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A company's blog is no longer the voice of one person. It's the voice of many telling the story of your brand. How can you keep your blog current and on message using guest contributors? Start with these four fundamentals.
It's easy to get excited by all the sexy new marketing tools. But it is a mistake not to have addressed accountability before you address technology, including automation. So first follow these four steps.
We've all heard presenters who apparently forgot that a tool such as PowerPoint is just a medium for re-enforcing what they have to say. Instead, text-laden slides take center stage—a classic (and costly) mistake.
If you're responsible for generating sales and leads from your company's website, you know that one of the biggest culprits hurting conversion rates is visitor confusion. six ways you can uncover visitor confusion and improve your website performance.
Let's take a look at three content delivery approaches you can use to launch a thought leadership campaign for yourself or the executives you advise.
US marketers haven't tended to their audio brands—their distinct music-based identity—but their European competitors have been doing so for years.
Innovation in email marketing is tied to the customer conversation. If marketers don't keep their end of the conversation up between purchase cycles, they risk becoming irrelevant or forgotten.
Even the most experienced email marketers make mistakes—sometimes time and again. This article discusses five such mistakes and offers tips so you don't sacrifice your emails to the junk folder.
Whether you're new to using video to support your marketing program or you've been doing it for years, you won't find the success you seek unless you set a strategy to guide your activity.
Never-ending rounds of review, revision, and approval push marketers' projects past deadlines, endangering campaign launch dates. Here's how marketing teams can get back in the fast lane.
When Twitter remarketing is used alongside Twitter's already familiar Twitter Ads and Cards, Twitter marketers gain a powerful new ally.
Event marketers can use data to plan more personalized events that appeal to attendees, boosting attendee satisfaction and retention, customer relationships, and return on event investment.
Smartphones and tablets are changing our lives. We've never been more connected... and never has it been easier for us to share our thoughts, feelings, and opinions—or for marketers to collect them.
Inbound phone calls convert at up to 10-15 times the rate of traditional Web clicks. Meanwhile, Apple, Google, Twitter, and Amazon recently released products or features that merge calls with multiscreen experiences. Here are five steps to help you deal with what's coming.
Consumers have made a dramatic shift toward mobile, and it's time that marketers finally do the same. These three steps will help you integrate mobile messaging into your marketing campaigns.
Here's a six-step process to dramatically increase the number and quality of your content pieces—in half the time it would otherwise take.
Most global marketers have no strategy for multilingual content marketing. That's a dangerous oversight, because the economic potential of non-English-speaking markets is staggering. Here's how to plan for success.
Congrats, you're sending more email than ever, so it's time to consider a new email service provider. But migrating to a new platform can be tricky, and because email is a major driver of revenue, mistakes can be costly.
As more video content moves online, marketers and brand managers grapple with this question: How do we monetize this investment? The answer lies in regularly checking these four vital signs and taking action accordingly.
Unless you're a Fortune 500 company, mainstream and even industry media probably won't cover your acquisition, new hire, or other news. But you can use content marketing to break into popular news stories.
As marketers grapple with consistently producing high-quality content, many are turning to outsourcing to freelancers and agencies. But which is faster and more agile—and makes more sense for your budget?
By encouraging influential people—bloggers, customers, thought leaders, journalists, consultants, experts—to talk about your products and to recommend them, you quickly score a unique advantage over your competitors.
With every passing day, getting noticed by your audience is becoming more and more difficult. Being in the right place, at the right time, in front of the right people is about implementing the right tactics and ideas, including the following five.
Developing a Millennials-focused marketing strategy is a must: They are, after all, the largest generation by number and they already have enormous purchasing power. They also have unique generational characteristics that require a shift in tactics and strategy.
Building and maintaining a strong brand require constant monitoring and nurturing. And, on occasion, brand strategy needs to be refined, rejuvenated, or entirely reset. In any event, standing still is not an option.
Content marketing's honeymoon is over. You can't just create good blog content and call it a day. You now have to consider the entire content experience you're giving your audiences, and for that you need an optimized blog.
Google has decided to stop showing Authorship in search results, and so the interest in Authorship has dropped. No picture? No byline? What's the point? But there are still good reasons to use Authorship.
Don't take down those back-to-school signs just yet, there's still work to be done. By scoping out styles before buying, Generation Z has stretched the back-to-school season weeks past its traditional stopping point.
How can you maximize content output in the minimum amount of time? The answer, it turns out, isn't particularly complex: Spend time only on content that works. The trick, of course, is figuring out what content will perform.
To get the quality of your content to where you need it to be, you need a road map—or, better yet, a writing GPS of sorts that gets you from discombobulated thoughts to coherent, useful content that engages audiences.
This handy guide breaks down the costs associated with exhibiting, from basic (stands and booths) to the cost of travel, day-of expenses, and entertainment of prospective clients and customers.
Most people tend to trust non-salesy content that businesses post on their corporate, social, and other sites to educate prospects and customers. People may start out believing what you have to say, but that trust is both fragile and fleeting.
Without huge marketing budgets or teams of people to help, startups had to be creative and efficient because capital has been hard to come by recently. Businesses large or small can benefit from their approach.
The branding and design of packaging, seasonal retail themes, product attributes, and so on don't merely have to engage women—they need to do it without losing the men.
How can you make sure your new product programs have the right kinds of competitive advantage? You need to think big—and "outside the box." So follow these steps for a greater probability of success.
Being able to efficiently create, send, and track email campaigns that work takes trial and error and lots of practice. These tips will help you get the most out of your email marketing efforts.
Marketers should be having fun, and their audiences should be having fun, too. Because fun is good for business.
Colleges rarely teach analytics, automation, content, email, mobile, social, and other critical skills in depth. What is your organization doing to build a modern marketing team—and differentiate through talent?
Most sales and marketing teams continue to operate out of alignment. They questions each other's skills and commitment to the job. They fight over the quality of the leads. But it doesn't have to be that way.
With the proliferation of marketing automation tools and increased pressure from the C-Suite to prove the value of Marketing, marketing ops management is gaining traction; for all but the smallest organizations, it is now a "must have."
Implementing these best-practices (and periodically revisiting them to ensure that everything is running smoothly) can make a serious impact on search impressions, traffic, and rankings.
Your top-of-funnel videos are designed for broad reach, but if the content doesn't load quickly, or if it isn't optimized for mobile, you don't get a chance to impress your audience. You're skipped over. End of story.
Young and old alike have their eyes glued to their mobile phones. Some companies haven't caught on yet that this new behavior is an important marketing opportunity. Here's how you can take advantage of it.
Considering switching email service providers? It's possible to get to the short list faster—or skipping the RFP altogether—saving you time and money. How? By optimizing your RFP process with these six tips.
The influencers in your niche are probably receiving hundreds of friendly requests a day. The trick behind successful outreach is to stand out and catch the intended party's attention—and maintain it.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has turned into a viral phenomenon—and a case study for marketers looking to capture audiences' attention. Here's what it can teach us (or remind us) about content marketing.
Email marketing is like driving a car, right? You don't need to know how it all works, you just use it. Except when it breaks down... and then you wish you knew more! So let's take a look under the hood of email delivery.
These tips provide a framework for scaling lead generation strategies as overall business objectives evolve. They also constitute a coordinated, measurable effort that can result in a dramatic pipeline uplift.
Online reviews and other feedback mechanisms can be used to improve nearly all parts of a business, from the quantitative (like higher ROI) to the qualitative (like building trust). Here are five ways to start making reviews work for you.
The implied endorsement of third-party experts holds much more weight than anything a company can say about itself. Learn where to find those experts, how to woo them, and how to make the most of their reviews.
These might not be the most popular video features or the most talked-about options, but they can give your video that extra something it needs to stand out from among the rest and increase engagement and CTR.
A clear call to action (CTA) in email is as vital to ensuring click-throughs as the subject line is to ensuring opens, and video is the king of CTAs.
Marketers must have a full grasp of not only which message to send to whom and at what point but also how to get their messages into the recipients' inbox in the first place.
Change is tough. That's why most people resist it at all costs. So, how do you get people to change an ingrained behavior, such as switching from a competitor's product to yours?
We've constructed an efficient and repeatable process for producing and promoting remarkable blog content. These hard-won tips are derived from a lot of trial and error: We've stumbled in the dark so you don't have to.
How marketing and creative content is consumed is changing on a daily basis. To succeed, the marketing teams of the future will have to keep up with trends shaping how businesses market to their audiences.
If you have ever wanted to be considered an influencer—and in the process get a better understanding of your audiences on social media—a good way of doing so would be to create and grow your Klout profile.
Writing for a website is different from other kinds of writing. If you are new to writing online copy, you have to learn what works and what doesn't, and you have to learn fast. This article can help.
Creative teams are under intense pressure to consistently deliver high-quality work on time. Even one missed deadline can erode trust. Here's how to make sure that doesn't happen.
Understanding causation—including the underlying motivation of various troll types—and the impact trolls seek and have on other people, is essential to understanding how best to handle them.
If you're a marketer in North America, you likely send email to recipients in Canada. New commercial email regulations are being introduced there, and to avoid trouble... you'd best understand the new law.
Turning a negative into a brand goldmine is something every company would want. The 2014 World Cup ban on Beats by Dre headphones—and the brand's victory despite the setback—holds some important lessons.
Being the recipient of Google's algorithmic wrath can result in a penalty that makes your site virtually invisible to searchers, undermining your ability to reach your audience and effectively eliminating your potential to establish a digital presence.
There are lessons for all marketers in these 10 marketing plays that helped the 2014 World Cup become the most watched in history.
Accessibility to media, and how technology has changed what that looks like, is something many marketing organizations are not taking into account. Here are ways to take advantage of the new realities of media.
SEO hearts fell when Google's Matt Cutts published his "The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO." But Cutts was doing everyone a favor—and guest posting remains a cost-effective way to generate inbound leads.
Having just completed a 60-day marketing automation implementation process, I want to share some lessons learned.
The writing is on the wall: Either demonstrate how Marketing will contribute to the company's top-line revenue growth... or be prepared to change careers.
Marketers often miss revenue opportunities hiding in plain sight in their customer base. Here's how to take advantage of them.
What does it take to work successfully as a marketing communications professional in today's world?
What you might consider relevant and witty content sometimes simply doesn't get traction. It could be the most insightful blog post you've ever written, but it does not get a response. What went wrong?
Your website is your storefront to the world. If you want to reach targeted locales around the globe, you need to localize your site to meet your audiences' unique needs—and there's more to it than translation.
Why can we watch three movies in a day but we're barely able to manage three books in a week—or a month? Humans are wired for visualization. We can more easily make sense of visual info than text.
If you can constantly create content that adds value to the lives of your audience, then prospects and customers alike will see you as their first—and best—resource.
Here are five things Amazon is doing that your business isn't—and five things you can do that Amazon doesn't.
A rock-solid reputation, a remarkable product, and a price the market believes is fair will get you only halfway toward loyal, repeat buyers. Here's what else you need...
Here's how you can engage your customers, provide them with proactive service, personalize their experience, and go the extra mile for them.
Here's how marketing automation (along with an old-school method) can sync Marketing and Sales to drive revenues.
Does your content do most of the selling for your company? It should. But if it doesn't, your problem may be rooted in not having a content strategy that mirrors an effective sales funnel.
For brands, the question remains: If Facebook is no longer "cool"—but young people are still using it—what should marketers be doing with the channel?
Implementing these 10 tips to boost AdWords search network ads can make a significant difference in your click-through rate, Quality Score, and campaign ROI.
You can find scores of articles about how to grow a Facebook following... But what if you've already achieved that? How do you engage with tens of thousands of social media fans to build a more successful organization?
First of all, good news, being the worst email marketer is a lot easier than being the best, but it still involves some work on your part. So here you go: 10 email marketing worst-practices you can emulate—or avoid. It's up to you.
Marketers make these four common mistakes that drag down their AdWords clickthrough rate. But you can write ads that get two, even three times the average CTR. Here's how.
To avoid having your tradeshow exhibit become a tradeshow apocalypse, don't make these this four fatal tradeshow exhibiting mistakes.
Whatever type of data puzzle you’re trying to solve, you need an analytics team—whether internal or external—to make sense of the trends and patterns in your data. But how do you know your team is effective?
Often, people think the more grandiose the idea for improving their website, the better their conversion rates will be. The truth is that most conversion increases come from changes to small, overlooked details.
To help you navigate the world of PR in today's world, here’s a road map to understanding its contours and features—along with tips on how to get some of that PR yourself.
"Free" for customers is never free for marketers. There are always expenses to be paid for free offers or giveaways. And those costs are often higher than marketers anticipate.
A video conference is an excellent way to communicate information to clients and colleagues—as quickly and efficiently as possible. But people sometimes forget they’re professional events... leading to embarrassing and unprofessional gaffes.
One of the keys to having a successful nonprofit is to ask pointed questions about your organization and to respond with truthful answers. It's better to see problems and fix them than to bury your head in the sand and risk permanent failure.
Deploying a team of remote employees can help companies increase productivity, boost morale, and achieve substantial cost savings. However, managing those workers can be extremely challenging.
Merely hoping your exhibition goes well is much different from planning everything down to the last detail. So here's a "Quick, Easy-to-Remember Exhibition-Planning Checklist" to make sure your effort pays off.
You love sharing content—from articles and videos to posts and photos—across the Web and with colleagues. Chances are, though, you're spreading copyright-protected material—and increasing your risk of infringement.
Hyper-personalization is the latest buzzword—as if it's no longer enough to be personal... you have to add some hyperbole to it. What you really need to do is engage in conversation with leads and customers.
Older brands that have been deeply entrenched in conventional marketing plans for years, sometimes decades, often have difficulty wrapping their heads around how to begin crafting a powerful online strategy.
To draw attention to your brand, video footage must visually engage viewers and provide them with meaningful information. Here's how to get the most out of stock video.
Print marketing works best when designers and marketers can easily work together. So both need to know at least the basics of each other's craft. Here are print design essentials that all marketers should keep in mind.
Conventional wisdom has it that B2B content is workman-like: stolid, dependable, and certainly not as sexy as its B2C counterpart. So is it nevertheless possible to make B2B content twerk, not just work?
Marketing and sales teams function best when in sync, but too often the two are opposed. If that's how it is at your company, here are six ways to change the unhealthy paradigm.
No longer is SEO the main tactic for e-commerce marketing. Online merchants now have numerous ways for connecting with and selling to customers. The future of e-commerce is multichannel marketing.
Before embarking on a return on customer engagement strategy, you must implement these five key components to ensure relevant, timely, and accurate measurement—ultimately, of future business performance.
You've sent your tweet out into the giant black hole that's the Twitter stream. Now what? Is the time you devote to marketing via Twitter paying off? If so, how? Here's how to make sure you get more out of Twitter.
Outdoor sports are in full swing, and even athletes who aren't planning to compete are honing their workouts. Which made me realize that three key metrics categories we apply in sports also apply to marketing.
How can you make sure that search engine marketing is driving business to you? The next evolution in SEM—call tracking—will improve your paid search conversion rate and maximize efficiency.
As marketers have been under more pressure to prove ROI on their efforts, leads have been an easy KPI to measure. Unfortunately, leads don't always lead to revenue, which is of course the most important KPI for any business.
You've asked for a yearend report on your website, and you don't like what you see. Turn things around by giving your creative and digital teams productive goals. Here are six simple fixes to wake up your site.
Gmail has been making lots of waves lately: priority inboxes, promotions tabs... Every new release seems intended to make life harder for email marketers. But if we'd stop complaining for a minute, we'd see a host of hidden opportunities.
LeBron James is one of the greatest basketball players ever. Even when his natural ability reaches its limit, he continues to improve by using simple principles that can be directly applied to your marketing efforts.
Creative marketers worry that organization, structure, and process take away from time that could be spent creating. But without structure and processes in place, you lose more time than you gain.
Remember the cool kids in school who stayed ahead of trends? Back then, catching up seemed impossible. Today, your cool peers are using social media in cool ways, but the good news is that you can, too!
Asking for customer input isn't enough to ensure candid feedback in the post-Snowden era. So how can you make your customers comfortable enough to be honest with you?
Google AdWords is undoubtedly a viable medium for attracting qualified leads. But to fully take advantage of the opportunity, you need to track and monitor for both online and offline conversions.
Businesses should create content for what really matters—the person who could convert and pay for a product or service offered by the content creator. These tips will help you create a solid content marketing strategy.
Most customers enter your store with a secret weapon in their pocket—a smartphone—and plenty of them use that smartphone while shopping. How can you capitalize on consumers' in-store mobile use?
Want to drive more traffic to your YouTube videos? Here are seven steps for getting your videos seen on the third most-visited website in the world.
Some workdays, you have so much to juggle that you just need a quick, easy way to post to your social networks. These 10 ideas can keep your social channels full of relevant, timely, and useful content—fast!
Buyers are busier, they have more choices, and they are better informed than ever. So, what are companies that are bringing in new customers and growing their accounts doing different from the rest?
Sports audiences are particularly receptive to marketing. Here's how to reach the audience of the world's most popular sporting event, the FIFA World Cup, which is right around the corner.
Here's a little secret: Almost all digital communication is actually measurable (direct) marketing. And, if done correctly, it will fatten the bottom line. Here's how to do it correctly.
Increasingly, IT must turn Marketing's data into something more valuable and measurable for the enterprise. At the same time, in this age of the customer, Marketing is directing more technology.
Webinars give marketers a unique opportunity both to interact with prospective clients and to qualify leads based on real-time behavior. Here's how you can tap into the power of webinars.
The director of analytics on the 2008 Obama campaign offers actionable insights to help retailers optimize their sales by running website experiments that help them deliver a better experience to visitors
If you're a newcomer to Facebook marketing, the good news is that a successful promotion can land you hundreds of fans—and plenty of leads. Here's how to run an effective, popular promotion on Facebook.
Hidden persuaders influence what products are bought and how customers rate the shopping experience. Here's how those persuaders work—and how you can make them work for you.
Marketing during global-scale sporting events, when target markets encompass a wide spectrum of cultures and languages, marketers need to make sure their campaigns take into account the nuances created by a multinational audience.
If you want to survive in the new world of social media sales and marketing, here are five handy tips to make sure your social efforts don't look like the walking dead.
The original flavor of PR is dying, and we're in the process of watching a whole new era of marketing rise from the ashes.
Conversion rate optimization is having a moment in the sun because it uses a resource you already have—website traffic—to drive additional growth at little additional cost.
If you approach content marketing thoughtfully and strategically, you can find ways to get more for less.
If you want to boost your website traffic overseas, you need a localized strategy for each market. Here are five SEO tips to keep in mind during that localization process.
Selecting the right images for social media requires some serious thought. Brands that skimp on the quality of their images risk lowering their brand's appeal.
If video is good for business (and it is), and if LinkedIn is good for business (and it is), then combining the two makes perfect sense. Here are three ways to make that combo work for your B2B organization.
See how you can use a feedback survey to maximize effectiveness in relation to employees, customers, and events. Also, read two brief case studies of businesses that simplified their work with feedback surveys.
The strongest-performing companies bring Marketing and Sales together. But, in today's fast-paced environment, keeping the sales team up to date and aligned with marketing is tougher than ever. But there's hope.
With the first quarter of the year behind us, what will you do to maximize email marketing's contribution to your bottom line from here on out? I encourage you to try these program-level objectives.
No reason for Marketing to fear Big Data. Just determine what information is most beneficial for marketing activities and which is most helpful to Sales. Then play nice together. Here are some ideas on how...
Meetings can waste irreplaceable time. To be more productive, consider these invaluable tips to keep the length as well as number of meetings to a minimum.
Savvy digital marketers who use the methodologies of public relations in a sustained and strategic manner across the board can reap a potential world of benefits.
Social video marketing can encourage prospects and customers to help get your message out and reach a wider audience. Here are some easy ways to get started.
We live in a celebrity-obsessed world. No wonder spokespersons are used to promote events, increase product sales, and generate publicity for marketing programs. As you plan your next marketing effort, keep in mind these top 10 tips for using a spokesperson.
Measuring your social media communities purely by the numbers doesn't really count for much. What does count is how engaged your connections are with you, your ideas, and your discussions.
Content marketing is going to become an increasingly important component of virtually every company's overall marketing program.
The digital age has changed how buyers research and buy products. An online rewards program can be a powerful way to reach buyers over and over, helping build a new kind of loyalty toward brands old and new.
How can companies appropriately respond to negative social media comments? That is what this article explores, also providing you with a few examples of how some companies have actually turned negative social media into positive PR.
With so many options available to mobile marketers, where do you start? Is SMS still relevant? How about mobile search? Or banner ads and video? Focus on these five key smartphone choices for the rest of 2014.
If implemented correctly, LinkedIn pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be a high-volume lead source at a low cost per lead. It is similar to Google AdWords paid search, but it can be more targeted and it is more specific to B2B.
Part 2 covers customer-experience-driven comparative advantages and targeted deployment—the tactical execution of communicating a brand's value proposition and unlocking competitive advantages.
Marketing and basketball teams have traits in common. Though individual superstars account for some wins single-handedly, the teams that go deep in the NCAA Tournament year after year are those that play as a cohesive unit.
Here are three tips to consider when crafting messaging so you can pique interest, create a relationship, and stand out from your competition.
To cultivate a flourishing social media presence, here are five things you need to do.
Content development has many facets. Two that are often ignored are content strategy and the reuse of content.
Through the years I've watched marketing adapt to technology, the Internet, and two-second attention spans. I've also spent much time thinking about how to adapt to effectively manage my teams.
Scientific studies can tell you which words appear with the most frequency in successful email campaigns... but to create a compelling subject line, a simple strategy sometimes works best.
What on Earth can marketers learn from programmers? At first glance, the answer might seem to be "nothing," but my experience tells me otherwise.
In today's competitive restaurant market, having great food and service is no longer enough: You also need great marketing. Here are four tips to make sure the time you spend doing your own restaurant marketing really pays off.
No question about it, brand loyalty is down since the recession. To fight that trend, marketers have been using short-term tactics—with diminishing results. Something different is needed.
Is your site sending traffic down one-way or dead-end streets? Are there places where your user flow completely stops? Sadly, most websites are filled with dead ends—and huge missed opportunities...
Budgets are marketing's biggest myth. If you're running your marketing programs right, your budget shouldn't even matter. It should be uncapped. Get started immediately with the following four critical tips.
The better you plan your B2B customer satisfaction survey, the more you'll get out of it. Done properly, the survey should be a significant source of additional revenue rather than a chore.
If customer retention is a top priority for you, and you haven't embarked on a customer experience mapping initiative, you need to get on it! Here are five key steps you need to take to create your customer experience map.
Developing a productive environment where marketing team members can do their best work even under stressful deadlines is a true leadership skill. But how does one create an environment where creativity can grow and productivity is king?
Competitive advantage these days demands customer-centricity. The more customers your organizations can engage meaningfully—especially those who care enough to tell you how to do things better—the better off you'll be.
To reap the proclaimed benefits of marketing automation, marketers have to shift their focus from technology to the creation of personalized, segmented, and customized content matched to customers' needs.
The solution to marketing and business problems—and the identification of strategic opportunities—often lies in the realm of Little Data, not Big Data.
Consumers are demanding mobile-optimized emails, and businesses need to adjust their content and tactics accordingly. Those that don't adapt to meet this new customer demand are fated to fall behind.
These are the podcasting lessons I've learned after hosting 40 episodes of the Marketing Smarts podcast.
Video is the future of personal branding. It's your best opportunity to stand out from the pack and increase your influence.
Nothing sends potential customers away faster than dead content. But how do you find it—then remove it—without disrupting the flow of marketing work and causing the SEO manager's blood pressure to spike?
You're at the point of social media burnout, so you've decided it's about time your business had a dedicated social media manager. Good move. But what skills, traits, and experience should an effective social media manager have?
Marketing automation serves many purposes, but its biggest advantage is in enabling marketers to tailor their activities to the customer's buying process—which has changed dramatically in the past few years.
Part 2 of this two-part article series outlines more ways that comedy—in this case, improvisation—can help us become better marketers and connect more easily with our audiences.
Expanding into new markets abroad is never as easy as "translation." Instead, the key is "localization"—adapting a product or service and your marketing to conform to the language, culture, and legal and technical requirements of a country.
Guest article or post submissions can be a great asset to a publication, but they can also be an excuse for bad content to slip through the cracks. Here's what makes for the best guest content.
Today's key to subscriber engagement is personalized and relevant email content. Behavioral segmentation is one of the best ways of reaching your target audience and sending exactly what they want.
In data-driven marketing channels, such as paid search, having the most relevant and recent data possible is vital, because you're competing in real time (usually with real budget constraints) for clicks.
In the entire scheme of search engine optimization, social media has a useful role to play, one that compliments the internal and external factors of a search friendly website.
Market segmentation and customer insights are only part of what you need to enter the competitive market. You need to take your marketing to the next level.
Many companies attempt website redesigns to boost their search engine optimization. In reality, though, redesigns can have a negative impact on prior SEO achievements. Luckily, you can take steps to negate losses.
The oldest, most basic form of online navigation (think .com, .org, .net, etc.) is getting overhauled. New generic top-level domains—.app, .sports, .club, .healthcare, and many more—have already begun to launch.
Marketers have long collected and analyzed data to enhance customer experience and boost sales. But Big Data poses new challenges. Here are some ways of capitalizing on it to improve customer experience.
Every great marketer doesn't need to have every single skill or trait. Rather, it's the mix of each marketer's skills, experience, and traits blended with those of others on your team that produces success. But here are the traits that the best marketers have in common.
Marketers simply can't create enough original, quality content for each channel every day, which is why many rely on content curation. But, all too often, it's not done well. Avoid these five mistakes if you want to provide value to your audience.
There are proper and improper ways to use QR codes—which, when used correctly, are marketing marvels. Here are 10 of the worst, and best, examples of QR code use.
Effective follow-up equals more sales, yet most businesses do not follow up enough with prospects. Drip email marketing allows you to easily follow up as much as you want via automated emails.
How should productivity be measured? Here are three types of internal marketing metrics you should be tracking to help ensure greater effectiveness, efficiency, and predictability for your marketing team.
Embracing these tactics can extend your reach on Facebook, engage your audience, and drive revenue from your Facebook marketing—despite recent News Feed changes.
Don't get hung up on where and when to start your marketing program. These four steps are easy to follow. And if you get them right, you will be well on your way to success.
Marketers have access to more data than ever before, so the ability to identify data patterns and use that information to make strategic decisions is vital for success.
Regardless of form or viewing device, video is an ideal medium to engage, inform, and entertain prospective buyers and clients. Here's what you need to know to get in on the action.
Although some people believe there's no such thing as bad publicity, most businesses would prefer to stay out of the spotlight of a social media mistake.
Here are some approaches to assigning subscriber value even if you can't clearly attribute revenue by channel. You'll learn how to determine what each email subscriber is worth to your business.
You bit the bullet and decided to hire a naming firm for your next branding initiative. You researched and you vetted, and you picked a firm that feels like a good match. A lot is riding on this. So now what?
If you are a services professional of any kind, or you market for a services firm, here are five steps to take to improve you influence and the ROI of your online and social media efforts.
No matter how big or small, your nonprofit can improve its social media results by doing these three things.
The "consumerization" of B2B marketing is about reducing friction at all customer touchpoints. B2B vendors need to learn from friction-reducing techniques of consumer goods firms and retailers.
Using well-executed sweepstakes promotions, drawings, and contests to reach fans can increase the likelihood that members of your audience will share with their friends—AKA, your future audience.
The greatest story never told (until now) about content as a marketing tool is that it helped to deliver humans to the moon in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Learn how to set up a Google+ Local account, where besides Google you can find local customers, what offline marketing tactics to use to spur online activity, and why every local biz needs a social marketing plan.
Emotions are powerful, and your customers cannot make buying decisions without them. To take your brand from good to ridiculously amazing, focus your marketing on building emotional connections with customers.
We can learn plenty by observing how people use social media—and those lessons can apply to how we function as marketers at our places of work.
In contrast to LinkedIn's Company Pages, its Showcase Pages are focused on one aspect of your business. The idea is to create a dedicated space for your prominent brands, products, and other initiatives, allowing people to follow the page for related content.
Social media contests are a great way to promote your company, and they can create customers for life. But not all companies have successful experiences with contests. For best results, follow these do's and don'ts.
Based on a recent successful campaign, here are five ways to make sure you get good results from your native advertising efforts.
An unexpected twist in your marketing can gain you the spotlight and your audience's attention. But how do you add the element of surprise to your marketing without going too far and tarnishing your image?
Comedy can teach marketers a lot about marketing. From finding your tribe to being more human, all comedy is great marketing in action! This article summarizes some of the most important lessons.
Using some of the concepts that have the power to make or break your public address, you can dramatically transform the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. The best part? You never have to give a speech to do it.
Make the most of the evolving mobile marketing and advertising landscape to foster better brand awareness and growth, engage customers, and create loyal fans.
A good call to action is a lot more than just a link. Rarely will you get someone to follow your CTA simply by asking them. So use these lessons learned from the world of direct mail to enhance your calls to action and get people to respond.
"Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" has earned high praise for breaking new ground in marketing. It owes much of its success to great content—and great content strategy. Here are five lessons to take away.
Marketers know that good data management is critical to the success of their lead generation programs. Still, many fail to ensure that their contact databases are as accurate, complete, and up to date as possible.
Creative needs to go through one last stage (after briefing, concepting, and the selecting of the right medium) before it can deliver measurable results: It has to match the step-by-step lead generation process.
Here are easy ways to choke off traffic to your website, kill leads, and push your stats into the basement. They're listed in general order from bad to worse, from serious flaws to utterly devastating ones.
Executing an innovative and successful augmented reality (AR) marketing campaign doesn't have to be complicated. For retail marketers considering experimenting with AR, here are a few simple tips to keep in mind.
Did you get a piece of this holiday pie, or were you left out in the cold with just a piece of coal to show for your troubles? Now that the holiday season is behind us, here are lessons about what marketing teams can do to make the holidays in 2014 even merrier.
When using a free or subscription-based online tool to create a survey, you must be certain that the survey is carefully designed to yield the most valuable data.
Understanding these trends will help you to strategize ways of harnessing them to enhance your brand and expand your career success.
2014 promises to be just as transformative as 2013 was. Here are five trends that will be affecting marketing; keep them top of mind.
Our fast-changing media environment is unpredictable. So we have to pay attention to how our medium affects our audience, and we must consider how to use what we learn to our (or our clients') advantage.
So how can you go about determining the value of new subscribers—as well as the limits of what you’d be willing to pay to get one?
Here's a to-do list to jump-start your video marketing and make 2014 the year you excel in video—and impress prospects, demonstrate commitment to a medium customers crave, and remain relevant and competitive.
If you've made your marketing New Year's resolutions, we hope you devoted at least one to marketing performance management. As inspiration, here are four to choose from, along with a few tips for bringing them to fruition.
2014 will be the year when the idealism and hype of big data and analytics will die down as retailers start to focus on how and where to take action.
The first step to a successful website testing and optimization program is ensuring that you have buy-in from your executives. However, buy-in is also crucial for ensuring long-term success.
The digital landscape continues to change at light speed. Here are six key resolutions that digital marketers should follow to make sure they are delivering better than expected results in 2014—and beyond.
The creative concept helps define the very core of your marketing message. It underpins your campaign content, and encapsulates the major themes to be communicated to your target audience.
Throughout the year, I monitor the world of personal branding. At year's end, I analyze the data to predict future trends. My take on 2014? It will be a year of personal branding evolution—not revolution.
As digital marketing grows ascendant, the relationship between marketing and IT departments will become more dependent. Here's how to ensure both departments are working toward the same goal of delivering the most business impact.
Most online marketers are familiar with retargeting—or they should be. Search retargeting, a more recent incarnation, is uniquely powerful, and on the rise... These six steps will help you launch a search retargeting campaign.
We aim, as marketers, to gain the trust of customers and prospects. To accomplish this we must engage with the individual, building trust and understanding by asking for appropriate information, at the right time, and treating that information with care and respect.
Even as technology evolves and online marketing grows, print is (and will remain) an effective tool for delivering your marketing messages to your audience.
Social marketers should keep in mind these five insights to help their brands and organizations prepare for and succeed in 2014 by connecting with customers.
Together with placement and execution, creative can make or break your marketing campaigns. This series explores the four steps you or your creative agency should take to achieve better results from your marketing creative.
What metrics can marketers track to make sure their content strategy is headed in the right direction?
The key to authoring good written content is to use language that doesn't detract from your message. That's where readability scores can help.
Remarketing emails aren't a new thing, and marketers have been doing it for years. But many companies still don't have a proper welcome series set up to welcome new subscribers and turn them into new customers.
Dealing with simultaneous projects is simply the nature of the marketing beast. As the pressure builds, projects end up over budget and behind schedule, which leads to higher overall costs, lower ROI, and missed opportunities. There has to be a better way.
In social advertising, where is your money better spent—on Twitter, or on Facebook? Here are the key findings of a study across four measurement categories.
With the right strategy and a smart approach, companies of any size can harness the power of social selling to boost sales results, without adding to their already long To Do list, and without adding staff.
You may be doing a stellar job of bringing in new customers, but if you're not doing enough to keep those customers, you're just wasting resources. The good news: retention is easier and less costly than you think.
Google is integrating Google+ directly into its ecosystem, which means marketers are eventually going to have to pay attention to it. But how do you get started on this extensive social network that has so many features?
What makes CMOs great at their job would make them really good CEOs, too. Follow the marketing career advice outlined here, and who knows how far up the ladder you might climb...
Aside from the hands-on, nuts-and-bolts skills that are required for success in e-commerce, SEM, mobile marketing, Web analytics, social media, and email, expect employers in 2014 to put increasing emphasis on these eight key qualities when sizing up candidates.
Marketing professionals and their nonmarketing counterparts, particularly those who come from a finance background, might as well be denizens of different planets. But they can communicate. Here's how.
How do you upgrade email out of the servants' quarters and into the manor house without causing companywide upheaval that makes a season of Downton-Abbey seem like a child's fairy tale? Focus on these five objectives.
You can go about direct response in two common ways: An extremely targeted one-shot approach that goes for the sale right away, or a campaign approach that has a distinct, planned follow-up component.
Accurately tracking customers is critical to Sales and Marketing. But the simple "who is our customer?" has a complicated answer. Here's a proven approach that will enable you to answer in a way that's useful across the company.
Every publisher wants to attract big brand advertisers. It's not an easy task, but if you're willing to get your hands a little dirty, here are the six things you'll need to do to attract those brand advertisers.
Despite competition from a plethora of e-newsletters, you shouldn't conclude that newsletter marketing is inevitably losing effectiveness. Rather, you need to be more resourceful, creative, and goal-oriented.
With the right tools, a little know-how, and some scrappy can-do spirit, anyone can make a holiday promotion landing page to be proud of.
Tailored to marketers, this presentation covers what the Smart Revolution is and why you need to begin focusing on these emerging technologies. It also lays out a five-point framework of best-practices, with examples.
Compared with the creation of original content, curation can be a faster and easier way to generate content. But bad curation can damage your brand's credibility and potentially lead to legal issues. Here's how to do content curation right.
In professional services, relationships and referrals are the anchor of business development. In the past, those referrals were driven by geographic proximity. Today, conducting business from afar is the new norm, so how can professional services reach far-away prospects? Enter content marketing.
The winner of the "Best B2B Marketing Project" Bright Bulb Award during the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum offers takeaways based on common themes between her tradeshow campaign and the Forum's main messages.
Whether in the form of a book, a movie, or a marketing campaign, great storytelling will always resonate with audiences. As consumers become increasingly mobile and social, however, they want to interact with the story, not just be exposed to it.
Here are some specific tactics for getting more happy customers to share the good word about your business, product, or service.
Responsive Web design has become the gold standard for website redesign projects due to its fluid nature and ability to adapt to the size of device screens.
We are about to move from an age of smartphones... to an era of smart everything. And in this era, technology will not only change how we market our brands but also transform the core brands themselves.
Envisioning the future of the mobile marketing industry is certainly challenging. Nevertheless, to guide marketers through the 2014 mobile planning process, outlined here are some important trends and innovations.
Instagram launched its ad-supported model with an ad for a Michael Kors watch that showed up in the feeds of Instagram's users on Nov. 1. Three experts weigh in on how Instagram can become a successful platform for marketers and advertisers.
Thoughtful, eye-catching animation in email has the ability to compliment a marketing message rather than distract from it. Here are three ways Emma customers have used animated GIFs to make their email campaigns pop.
If you're interested in getting your brand in front of a larger audience, one way to do so is to create high-quality, engaging, and informative video content for your target market. Google's Hangouts on Air can help you do exactly that.
Apple customers are emerging as an important new demographic, accounting for a massive 89% of mobile commerce sales. It's time to apply that knowledge.
Small businesses can't go toe to toe against large retailers on Black Friday. It's just not a fair fight... But small businesses can still capitalize on Black Friday in ways the Big Box stores can't or don't.
In this, the third of three articles focusing on how the professions—lawyers, consultants, accountants, etc.—can effectively market using new/digital media, I focus on LinkedIn.
Your plate is full... every day: payroll, inventory, scheduling, employee issues... the list goes on and on. Now, Small Business Saturday is around the corner, and some of you are asking, "Is it worth adding to my plate?"
Your "About" page is one of the most popular destinations on your website. Leaving your "About" page in sub-par condition is costing you more than you think. So why have we been ignoring the quality of this valuable space?
There is plenty of proof out there that trust is not just good for one-on-one relationships, it's also good for business. Building trust can reap higher response rates, loyalty, and revenue.
Google has introduced a search results section dubbed "in-depth articles," which present some great new opportunities to content marketers. Here's the nitty-gritty on how to take advantage of those opportunities.
Whether you are new to content marketing or you are looking to re-evaluate your current resources, keeping these four steps in mind will help you assemble your dream team.
Even in utterly banal optimization methods, you can find something new—something that will differentiate you from competitors and will increase visitor numbers and sales.
Two characteristics are a mark of successful digital marketing: keeping your outreach in bite-size portions, and marketing with a personal touch.
Whether your goal is to obtain a seat at the table or to prove the value of Marketing—or more easily obtain approval for your budget—you need a viable relationship with Finance.
Selecting the right qualitative researcher for your marketing project is critical, because a lot of money and your credibility are on the line. So make sure to ask these five questions when selecting a qualitative researcher/moderator.
It is that time of year again, when employees are forced to attend a "morale-building event" that does nothing of the sort. But if you consider these five elements, a holiday party actually can be a fabulous bonding opportunity and an event to look forward to.
Declining email open rates... Chances are, they bother you as a marketer. Don't fret, here's both a diagnostic checklist as well as suggestions on alternative, more useful ways to measure email marketing performance.
New accountability expectations across sales and marketing departments, coupled with increased demand for online content, are changing the playing field for sales teams. How you connect with your prospects can ultimately have an impact on meeting sales goals.
As customers change, the channels of engagement morph, and data explodes, ultimately it's going to be the partnership between IT and Marketing that will be the lynchpin to grasping new, emerging opportunities.
Professional services marketing is not normally known for early adoption of cutting-edge techniques, likely because its role tends to revolve around reducing risk for clients. But the world has changed, and there's now a new normal.
Rich media, social media, and native advertising may be making the headlines these days, but let's face it: They don't work for everyone. You know what does? Email marketing. Nothing delivers results like email.
Real-time marketing isn't necessarily new, but marketers are now scrambling to understand how they can integrate it into their marketing mix. Here are a few tips to get started.
Some of the most progressive brands have discovered quantifiable marketing success in what may seem like an unlikely place: philanthropy. Here's how you can align your marketing with philanthropy using existing marketing assets.
Mobile is personal, with every feature, sound, and function customizable. To capture mobile's potential, marketers must personalize the mobile experience for customers. Here are easy-to-implement tactics to do just that.
Stories have always been vehicles via which we communicate and perceive truth. So, for growth-minded retailers and consumer brands, omni-channel success hinges on the ability to deliver cross-channel brand stories that are engaging, memorable, and consistent.
There's been plenty of speculation about the death of outbound marketing in recent years. In fact, however, outbound marketing still efficiently drives leads and sales.
Though social media may feel as if it has been around for a while, it's important to remember that it's just picking up steam and there will be continued growth and disruption in how consumers use social platforms.
Adopting lean principles for your mobile strategy ensures that complexity, rigidity, and friction are replaced with simplicity, adaptability, and speed.
It's OK, you can say it: Online leads are a pain in the neck. One problem is that many firms treat online leads like traditional leads, but online leads are live—more like an inbound phone call or a face-to-face customer.
It is easy to become so focused on creating content for your blog, and marketing it properly, that you forget to periodically check its health. Here's how to turn a dusty blog around for increased conversions and SEO.
Bela Lugosi's portrayal of the creepy count continues to inform all depictions of vampires on screen and in books. Because of that consistency and memorability, Dracula can teach us lessons about branding.
A mobile marketing strategy is crucial to an online retailer's success these days, and here's how to get your strategy working for you ASAP.
Time is not just money, it's a factor in the efficiency of your CRM strategy. Here are five ways you can have a more productive day with your CRM—one for each day of the week.
This holiday season, customer-centric brands have an opportunity to up the ante for their consumer shopping experiences with an ace in the hole: Big Data.
Especially in social media, if there isn't an immediate and significant response to an initiative, it's deemed a waste of time. But before you rush to judgment, give your effort an honest assessment against these three basic criteria.
Sometimes you struggle to get your firm's executives to recognize the power of good writing. You edit their text, but they put the jargon and longwinded language back in. But you can win over your subject-matter experts.
From social media to retargeting ads, marketers continue to add new communication channels, and with each one we add the ability to sell but we also increase our ability to annoy.
E-commerce is one of the hottest trends in B2B marketing. Inspired by B2C e-commerce sites, buyers and procurers are demanding that their B2B suppliers deliver buying experiences comparable to those of leading online retailers.
The resurgence in storytelling, the original social medium, is an important and welcome evolution for many reasons. Memorable stories scale in a way that facts alone cannot. In a world of noise, the best stories win.
How do you make the transition from marketing strategy to actionable tactics in time for the holiday season? Here are three ways you can integrate social—and mobile—engagement into your holiday campaigns.
Low conversion rates, users that leave your site without engaging, and blatantly falsified registration data are the obvious symptoms of a broken registration system. Consider the following five best-practices for online registration that have been proven to increase conversion rates for leading B2B brands.
The Scenario: You want to email a list of people who have not opted in to get email from you (i.e., you have an "opt-out" list).
Private companies and investment firms are no longer forbidden from advertising that they are seeking investors. But their marketers and PR professionals still need to stay on the right side of the law.
Over the last few months Google has secretly rolled out an algorithmic update called "Hummingbird." Upon hearing of it, many in the SEO community panicked...
Google has delivered a one-two punch in the past few weeks, announcing that organic keyword data will no longer be available and that it has released the Hummingbird update.
I once had to call on a prospect 52 times before we were invited to pitch. But the last client I picked up at my current firm took exactly one call and a meeting over beers. Exact same result. Far less effort and expense.
Most content marketing is intelligent and strategic and professional. But it's also a bit... limp. Middle-of-the-road. Safe. It's lacking the "C word." But Ann Handley pointed out it's lacking something else, too.
Not enough time to find the best content to share with your audience? Too many articles to read to keep up with what's going on in your industry? These seven low-cost tools will help you to find and share great content.
I hear a lot of excuses about why marketing automation won't work: My company is too small; my product is too transactional; my leads don't respond; my porridge is too cold...
So what do C-suite executives need to know about SEO? (Hint: it has more to do with enterprisewide collaboration than actual SEO skills like programming or copywriting.)
Despite your overwhelming work schedule, you can still capitalize on social media for learning and for supporting your career and business objectives. Here's how.
Email marketing is the perfect tool to grow your website traffic or boost your Web shop's conversion rates. But to do so, recipients first have to click the hyperlinks you included in your email.
I got to interview Albert Einstein. It was insane. And he told me the secret to online content! Here's how it all went down.
There may be whispers of it in the workplace, but if learning leaders haven't heard a lot about gamification yet, they will in the near future.
Today's B2B marketers find themselves confronting a rapidly shifting landscape. Let's look at how you can tap into five developing trends that can help you steer your way to success.
There's a difference between being a service organization to Sales and being a value generator for the company. As marketing professionals, our future depends on being the latter. Let's clarify the difference.
My friend Joe Pulizzi today releases a new book on the evolution of content and marketing. Joe is the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, and his new book is called Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less.
Just as press releases were about to go the way of the horse and buggy, SEO saved that workhorse of public relations. But Google again changed the rules, stripping most SEO value away from press releases. Now what?
Very few businesses run entirely online, which means most are going to have offline advertising campaigns. Make visiting your website one of your offline calls to action, and you can assign attribution. That approach is actually quite common, but it's often poorly executed.
For most e-commerce providers, the question isn't whether video content should be a part of the brand's e-commerce strategy, but how to harness video content effectively and efficiently, and in a way that generates measurable returns to the brand.
Tradeshows are where up-to-the-second media such as Twitter come into their own, helping make the physical event virtual, and bringing something very localized to a wider—and potentially global—audience.
As a marketer, your every encounter with a smartphone-toting consumer should be considered an opportunity: They want to buy. You want to sell. But how do you make the connection happen?
Ed Abrams, vice-president of marketing for IBM's small and midsize business unit, offers tips for SMBs on social strategy, content marketing, and running a social business.
In search results, keyword-to-landing page correlation can be unpredictable; however, you can take certain actions to increase the chances of a better match. Here are seven steps to get the right page to rank for the keyword you target.
Social media has proven itself an invaluable venue for businesses promoting their products and specials, but its value doesn't end there. Here are five ways CMOs can start getting more out of social media today.
Video appeared on the scene so suddenly that marketers are still learning how to use it effectively. Here's a look at three forces shaping the evolution of content marketing, and the crucial role video plays within each.
This year, the number of people browsing the Web from mobile phones is expected to surpass the number using laptops, tablets, and desktop computers combined. App use has similarly exploded. So how can you make your app stand out from the crowd?
Hashtags are powerful, useful tools for marketing, communication, and driving engagement. They are an excellent way to break through the noise of the Internet and reach valuable audiences.
How can brands encourage social sharing via Facebook? By deploying social engagement apps to showcase campaigns and content. And the basic best-practices for boosting engagement on Facebook fall into three main categories.
You might not think much about it, but we experience the world through colors. Every day, in all we do, we respond to the colors around us. That has implications for your marketing.
Rather than just throwing money at content creation, taking a "quality over quantity" approach can reap greater rewards. Here's how a "less is more" approach to content can create the maximum marketing impact.
So you've created some great content that can be used for natural link-building, but what if you want to give it an extra push? (And if you're an SEO, you're more than likely inclined to want to.)
"People who think well, write well," said David Ogilvy. Good writing is the clearest indicator of good thinking. You also need love and commitment.
All companies should have a social media strategy built into their crisis communications plan that includes multiple modes of delivering a message. When a crisis hits, you can't wait until tomorrow's paper to resolve it.
With over 72 hours of video content being uploaded every minute, the days of creating a video, posting it on YouTube, and assuming viewers will find it... are a thing of the past. How do you break through the clutter and succeeed in sharing your message?
Event attendees have come to expect more from their time and investment in meetings and events. These five trends are a response to those expectations and will shape event management success in the year ahead.
You are now in a position to execute an informed conversion rate optimization program—one designed to address the most important and promising areas of improvement.
"It's complicated" would be the proper way to describe the love/hate relationship between Sales and Marketing. But it doesn't have to be that way. Having been on both sides of the fence, I have a few tips to offer to my fellow marketers. Hopefully, these tips will help make your Sales stakeholders fall in love with you.
Understanding visitor intent is at the heart of conversion rate optimization. How do you effectively harvest intent-related information from the Internet?
Historically, personalized targeting has been done through direct mail, sending offers to segmented lists, targeted at personas. So how can you achieve the same level of segmentation and targeting in the digital world?
Social media conversations are shifting from text to pictures, making images the new language of fan engagement. How can you harness this engagement to build stronger relationships with fans? Here are three easy ways.
Today's consumers are mobile, on the go, sending and receiving messages of all types. The fundamental practices outlined in this article provide a solid foundation for how to communicate with mobile subscribers appropriately and comfortably using SMS.
Relationships begin with an introduction. In the case of Twitter (and social media in general), your profile picture is a big part of that introduction—your first impression. Don't blow it...
Whether you're completely new to marketing automation or already approaching pro status, there are several things you can and should be doing. Here are a few ways to integrate and automate your digital marketing, along with a few tips for beginners, intermediate users, and automation experts.
Most companies have only a basic mobile optimization strategy, if any at all, so here are five tips for taking your email to the small screen.
How can a brand be sure that its investment in TV, Internet, radio, or other media is paying off at the checkout counter? Companies must follow the entire customer path and attribute the sale correctly. Otherwise, marketers can flunk one of the most profitable sale seasons of the year.
Creating a tradeshow booth can be difficult. Here are some helpful tips to get you started as you plan, design, and create an effective booth that can be used for many years to promote your company.
Most SMBs may not realize that it is possible—and affordable—to target relevant consumers in close proximity to their stores by using an online, neighborhood-level targeting approach.
Just how do you optimize your funnel, and shuttle visitors quickly along their way to the experience that will turn them not just into a conversion but into engaged users who love your product and spread the word to their friends?
Although websites were introduced over 20 years ago, the vast majority still function on old-school paradigms. Here's where most websites are getting it wrong—and how you can get it right with your own site.
How do you know where to start when jumping into website optimization? As easy as crossing the street, building a testing strategy oriented to the needs or your users all starts with stop, look, and listen.
A good way to think about your marketing operations function is that it could operate either as a pit crew or as a service station. Both maintain and support a car's (or Marketing's) performance, so what's the difference?
To portray data effectively, use simple and informed graphs to reveal the story behind the data. This article focuses on how to apply data visualization techniques in marketing operations to make a real impact.
In the last two months, Google has trampled on the rulebook with the introduction of its Promotions tab in Gmail and the addition of email-style advertising. Here's what you need to do to prepare.
Over the past few weeks, email marketers have been criticizing Gmail for its new interface. Some are saying that it's delivering a "spammy" experience for users, while others are sounding the alert that Gmail open rates have already started to decline.
You've probably heard the saying, "It's better to ask for forgiveness than permission." All too often I hear from marketers and business owners who find themselves considering such an unfortunate choice. Here's what to do instead.
In Part 1, we began the examination of how emotion and logic operate in the buying cycle, and we covered what sort of content to produce for the Awareness stage. This week, the remaining four stages of the buying cycle...
In Argo, which won the Best Picture Oscar, the filmmakers followed what I now call the Argo rule: Lure them in, keep them engaged end-to-end, and keep them talking about you long after it is over. Your corporate storytelling can do the same.
Strong customer relationships drive sales, sustainability, and growth, especially in today's economy. Regardless of your industry, follow these five tips for stronger and healthier customer relationships.
Is your LinkedIn business page up there with the best? It should be... After all, it's a sought-after online destination for business networking, hiring, and even financing.
The good news is that you don't need an MBA and you needn't have taken an accounting class to figure out the basics of your cost structure and an associated billable rate.
Naming your new company or product is a huge opportunity. Get it right, and you could put your brand on the map, generate buzz, and spark interest among customers. Get it wrong, and you might render your brand invisible—or call attention to it for all the wrong reasons.
Here are three sets of email best-practices for turning prospects into actual customers, extracting value from active customers who eagerly make purchases, and retaining customers for the long term.
The saying "people buy on emotion and rationalize with logic" has been around so long that people rarely question it. But in content marketing, you need to question it. Otherwise, you run the risk of either not providing people the right information or—worse—alienating your audience.
All marketing practitioners are seeking ways to save money and get a bigger bang for their budget buck. How to do that isn't at all obvious. But, sometimes, the answer can be staring you in the face!
The passionate emotional enthusiasm (and sizable financial expenditures) that 1D inspires among its massive global fan base is not a fluke: It's the result of a meticulously nurtured loyalty-building strategy.
Attention is a scarce resource—and that means it's a costly one. In a world of hundreds of competing voices, art and music have become a powerful way to bring a brand back into the spotlight.
Today's marketers have a lot of questions about programmatic advertising: Where do I start? If I automate my bids, will I be sacrificing quality for "low rent" inventory? How much control will I have over where my ads appear?
In our world of branding and marketing, we know how crucial it is to share knowledge and information among colleagues and teams. But what if you have marketers working in different locations and time zones across the world?
To unlock long-term love for our brands and set the stage for strong lasting connections, one simply has to look at and apply basic human relationship principles. Here are five ways you can keep the spark alive and forge a devoted, lasting connection to consumers.
Want to get frighteningly good at content marketing? Take a trip with me to the dark side. Off we go... venturing into some scary territory: the human psyche. Who knows what we'll find...
Purpose-driven marketing is used to grow and sustain a business, but the overall idea is to help a business understand where it's going and then act effectively. Here are a few questions that will help you understand your company's purpose and its ability to change.
Your life is increasingly mobile. And to support your mobile lifestyle, MarketingProfs is giving away an iPad Mini to one lucky MarketingProfs member.
Innovative marketing campaigns may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the agricultural industry, but these four campaigns have something to share with any marketer—ag-focused or not.
If you ask people about their preferences, their answers aren't always accurate. But by tracking and analyzing behavioral data gathered during webcasts you'll be able to "hear" what your customers and prospects really think.
For most software purchases, you identify a business process that could be accomplished more efficiently with the help of technology. Then you buy it. Then you use it. Then your life becomes easier. For marketers, however, it's not that simple. (Of course not, we're marketers!)
We all knew that one day the government would catch up with this thing called "social media." It was only a matter of time. But it's somewhat surprising that the TTB, FDA, and FTC are starting to consider it a type of advertising.
What is it that regularly blows apart business development efforts and causes marketing to fail? The lack of follow up. Yes, it can be uncomfortable to do for professionals, but it isn't hard; anyone can do it.
A classic email conundrum: How do I prevent or minimize unsubscribes from my email list? First, accept them as a fact of life and don't take them personally. Then, take these five steps to mitigate unsubscribes.
You send a great proposal, but now the client says your costs are too high. Should you reduce your rates to win the job, or should you stick to your guns and risk losing the project altogether?
Like agile software development, agile marketing relies on speed, lots of communication, rapid iteration, and highly measurable results. Let's take a closer look at this emerging discipline.
Here's what you need to know to make sure you filter out the riffraff and find an agency partner that actually jibes with your company and, most important, helps your bottom line.
Inaccurate myths surround the print industry, leaving many with the wrong impression. That misinformation can lead to missed opportunities and a weaker marketing presence for your brand.
We certainly are moving toward a digital world, and QR codes are part of that evolution. But QR codes do not replace print; they can, nevertheless, supplement it in new, unique, and interesting ways.
Nothing beats face-to-face communication, which is why live events are still vital to your branding mix. At many companies, though, events have grown stale. Here's what's you can do to reinvent your events.
Marketing nirvana is liberation from a deluded marketing mind—the one that imagines it can persuade people to do things they don't truly believe in or desire. Enlightened marketers, on the other hand, understand the realities of today's savvy and well-connected marketplace.
Yes, buyers leave breadcrumbs behind them, in the form of data, with every online click or in-store interaction. But mountains of data don't solve a core problem: How do you use that data for insight into buyer behavior?
For marketers, achieving a high email open rate is highly desirable, and it is often a key metric for shedding light onto the effectiveness of a campaign. The following 10 best-practices ensure open rates are as high as possible.
If you can't retain a customer, you'll need to spend 6-7 times more to find a new one. By using a mobile app and focusing on the following three areas, you can promote customer loyalty and help retain your most valuable customers.
B2B marketing—at least in the tech world—is starting to mirror the simple marketing, transparent pricing, and frictionless buying process that we see in the B2C world. Here are four ways that B2B marketers can "consumerize" their marketing.
Your brand has a story, which is nearly impossible to tell without some form of digital media. Managing those media assets effectively is an important skill. Here are five ways you can manage media assets while keeping the focus on telling your story.
You can master many tasks as a social media marketer, yet remain amazingly mediocre. That's because the world's best social media marketers possess more meaningful skills, including these 10 traits.
Samuel Clemens created the cherished celebrity known as Mark Twain as surely and craftily as he created Huck Finn. The man had "platform" a century before the concept had circulation.
Though hundreds of millions of QR Codes are being generated every year, it seems customers are not scanning them as much as marketers were expecting. The key to unlocking that problem is engagement.
Zombie takeovers are the monster event of the moment. And they hold lessons for us marketers. In addition to learning to never get bitten, and to sever heads off completely, those lessons include some worthwhile marketing tactics.
Can a computer really understand and interpret your customer's needs? We know computers can win in Jeopardy! and chess, but can they compete on personal interaction? In business to customer communication, it seems a computer just might, in many instances.
By day, I am a marketing manager, and I truly enjoy what I do. By night, I am a comedian. The basic principles of improvisational comedy have proved useful not only in marketing but also in other areas of my professional life.
Many online marketers get too wrapped up in measuring data that, though useful, is not the most important for understanding how your website is performing as a marketing channel. Here are five online marketing metrics you should be looking at every day.
The typical business communications mistakes I read and hear rarely reach the level of farce or slapstick. They're more missteps that detract from your message. Here are three of them to avoid.
Marketing is full of choices, so let's have some fun with the social platforms of choice: What social media outpost works best your brand? And which do you love to use personally? And which would you choke, if you could?
Apple just unveiled iOS7—a radical transformation of the world's most popular smartphone and tablet operating system. Apple is preparing for a rapidly evolving mobile world, and so should marketers. Here's how.
Good personal branding is all about presenting yourself as both personable and professional. In this article you'll find seven tools and services to help you automate the growth of your personal (or business) brand.
Events used to be about getting bodies in the door, then delivering a message to a captive audience and hoping it sticks. But today's busy professionals—attendees and event organizers alike—don't have time for such a haphazard method.
If there's a bible for this new media world in which we do business, it's David Meerman Scott's The New Rules of Marketing and PR. A revised and updated edition (its fourth!) of the classic is out this month. David and I had a chance to sit down and talk about what's new in new marketing.
Before I ventured into the exciting world of digital marketing, I had a short career with the Israeli Defense Forces. Some of the lessons I learned during my service apply to my current role managing people as well as marketing campaigns.
The new world order of media and advertising demands that brands find new ways to drive consumer engagement. They must now look for ways to optimize paid, owned, and earned media. And the Holy Grail is to integrate all three sources of media into a single, consistent brand experience.
If you're a B2B marketer, you've likely felt the frustration of trying to give Sales the materials it needs. You even ask what they want and follow their direction to the letter—and they STILL don't use what you create. Why?
The recognition of digital user interface's importance seems to be slowly sinking into corporate culture the way "brand" did a couple of decades ago. Branding agencies need to hire or train great UX people, and CMOs must start managing digital UI/UX as an asset alongside the branding asset, because they are inherently intertwined.
Can a marketer combine free and paid YouTube promo methods in a campaign? Of course. Moreover, if you do it the smart way, each individual method becomes more effective.
Because Google has transformed its free Google Product Search into the paid Google Shopping service, retailers must re-evaluate their comparison shopping engine strategies, asking themselves a host of questions.
Companies looking for more profitable growth often turn to three common strategies. But each has a major flaw that causes leaks in precious margin. Here are counterintuitive ideas to make each strategy more effective.
One tool for Twitter stands above the rest, yet everyone already has access to it. In fact, it's right in front of your face every time you're on Twitter. And if you're a marketer, you can't afford to overlook it.
Whether you've never had a logo developed for your small business or you suspect your logo isn't everything it could be, these five rules for your brand can help guide the process of creating or updating your logo.
Demand Success conference keynote speaker Arianna Huffington gave attendees her take on marketing today, as well as on how the workplace needs to change to sustain the wellbeing of employees.
Online shoppers who have an unsatisfying shopping experience at a website are unlikely to make a purchase from that site again. Here are three tips to help you succeed with customer experience monitoring before that shopping cart is abandoned.
Although online video might not be the easiest marketing technique to take on, more businesses are carving out time and resources to ensure it's on their list. Why? Because its benefits are so many.
Despite its current popularity, brand reputation management is not a new concept, but today it's about actively managing the references, conversations, and feedback that typically occur online. Here are seven key areas you should address.
We're drowning in data. We generate it from our own activity or research; we collect and capture tons more from external sources. But action doesn't always follow collection. And more data does not always translate into better insights.
As summer approaches, some of us will hit the gym in hopes of being swimsuit-ready. The more we exercise, the easier it becomes. That's because we're building up our endurance and creating a habit. Content marketing is the same way. When we stretch our creative muscles and get into the habit of producing content, it becomes almost second nature.
Recently, a client told me he wanted to share his content with a larger audience and reach out to prospects, but added, "I don't have time for Twitter. It's trivial. I want to get into serious social media." I gave Jason Falls a call to help me out.
Competing on price is not a sustainable strategy for most businesses. So, instead of asking "how low can I go?" ask "how high can I set the bar to deliver an experience that connects with my customers?"
Now, more than ever, buyers have more control over the sales cycle. Marketers must therefore evolve with the buying cycle and find new ways to own the early part of the sales process. How? Here are a few steps in the journey toward a buyer-centric marketing automation strategy.
Many see content marketing as just that—marketing. But smart marketers know that what they're delivering is a great story—so long as it's a true story, even if it's not perfect...
You know the importance of SEO, but building a program can be overwhelming. If the thought of SEO makes your head hurt, here's a tried and tested guide on how to create and execute a killer SEO keyword strategy.
No matter what you're selling or promoting, video should be a consideration. Technology is no longer a hurdle, but coming up with the right message, tone, and approach can be. Here's a brief intro to bring you up to speed.
You want return visitors who are engaged by your blog content, because they are the folks most likely to convert to customers. The following "secrets" will help you turn casual visitors into loyal fans.
Finding nine minutes and spending them building your brand isn't difficult if you develop the nine-minute habit. Here are nine tips and tricks—and an infographic—for making nine minutes a day work for you.
Timely, pithy, and unique content is critical to establishing awareness and trust with your audience. The need for you to produce content is not going away. So how do you make content work for your brand?
If you're like most B2B sellers, you've seen the features and functions available in the consumer e-commerce marketplace and realized that your company's website is woefully inadequate for delivering similar online experiences. Here are some tips to start fixing that problem.
Little attention has been paid to the importance of being better at receiving and processing email. So, here are my tips to help you process email more efficiently, free up hours of otherwise wasted time, and reduce your stress level.
Before you can use a new channel, you must create a strategy around it. But many marketers struggle to create strategies. So, how can you begin to chart a successful social media route? Map out these five areas.
Many marketing professionals are having serious challenges in executing a content marketing program at a very basic level. How can you address those challenges and implement a successful content marketing program? By following these four steps.
Being visible and available is something you must do every day so you can attract ideal opportunities and advance your career. Here are nine activities you can easily slot into nine minutes to help you stand out, get noticed, and achieve your goals.
Gutenberg's invention has had a fantastic run. But it's time for content marketers to cut the ink-stained umbilical cord and become digital content marketers.
As a marketer, how can you effectively use brand images in social marketing? What are some proven tips and tricks to incorporate images into your social content mix? Here are four practical ways to incorporate images into your social media marketing programs.
Most bloggers don't know how to emotionally connect with readers and get them sucked into their blog posts and articles. Here, I want to give you five easy tactics to instantly transform an ordinary blog post into an empathetic work of art.
Larger companies may be less concerned about the direct correlation between content marketing efforts and deals. But, for the rest of us, it's critical. So, how do you gauge the power of content and the value of your content marketing initiatives?
In the show "Undercover Boss," senior execs go undercover as frontline employees to see how the company is really doing and what customers experience. CMOs should try that, too—with these outside-the-box ideas.
Understanding the power of stories is one thing; knowing how to craft them is another. So, let's delve into some practical applications of story. I'll use case studies, annual reports, and video as examples.
J. Peterman is a brand with far more personality than most. However, somehow, it got lost along the winding road to the social Web, and it's a tragedy that's costing the cataloger. Here are our ideas to engage the J. Peterman fan base.
Many companies at all stages invest time in planning but lack the processes and leadership needed to ensure a strategy achieves the desired results. Failure is expensive and wastes precious resources. To avoid both and to achieve execution success, check out these four tips.
Many career-minded marketing professionals we coach tell us they are too busy working in their career to work on it. Sound familiar? If so, it's time to switch from autopilot to manual mode and deliberately manage your career.
First impressions matter a great deal. That's why you need to structure your sales calls to establish rapport and drive toward a sense of trust and camaraderie with your prospects. Here are three tips for success on that first call.
A lot of marketing organizations today think that they are on the path to greater insight because they now have analytics technology. The reality is that it takes a significant investment in four foundational areas to ensure analytics success. Here's a look at each area.
Want to market your small business online? Doing so isn't difficult. Just make sure to produce quality content and authentic messages. Here are seven ways to get started with your online marketing.
Many companies turn to newer, hotter media and technology when they want to increase profits. But being successful isn't about tech; it's about effectively engaging customers. Here are three ways to do that.
Through apps or the mobile Web, on a phone or tablet, consumers are watching more and more video on mobile, and now you have some figuring out to do lest you get stuck in the last century. Here are seven steps to get started planning your mobile content strategy.
Social networks were meant for real humans—for real-life conversations about real-life things. But, of course, we marketers saw an opportunity. Social media can become a powerful medium... so long as you preserve a human face while acting on behalf of your company.
Google Analytics is a great free tool for e-commerce websites. It can allow marketers and webmasters to record specific data about items purchased, learn how a user navigates the website, and focus on specific, actionable ways to increase sales.
Value propositions are the heart, soul, and epicenter of a business. They reflect its market positioning while communicating the core promises it makes to its customers. Let's look at three smart organizations innovating their value propositions through mobile.
Though email campaign process metrics such as delivery, open, and click-through rates have their place, if you don't look beyond them... the true impact of your email marketing—and opportunities for continuous improvement—will go undetected.
Positive ratings and 5-star reviews from online consumers are powerful marketing content, because consumers trust other consumers for purchasing advice. But few marketers have integrated reviews into their social marketing.
Moving from one-size-fits-all broadcasting to highly targeted communications that are personalized and timely, and in the consumers' preferred channel... that's the proven path to marketing success in today's world.
The time has come for air travel and hospitality brands to address an existential threat to the travel industry: Customer loyalty has all but vanished.
The if-then logic of the marketing automation process can lead to a snarl of over-communication, with only a loose relevance to the recipient's true interests and needs. It doesn't have to be that way.
One of the toughest marketing jobs today is working for an app developer. Here's how text messaging can attract new users and increase engagement with customers.
Mobile is a boon to the customer experience, because mobile provides myriad ways for marketers to delight customers and improve their experiences in ways previously unavailable.
Content marketing is not rocket science, but it can appear so in the absence of a clear-cut strategy—and planning, without which your content marketing machine will be firing on three cylinders instead of being a turbocharged V8 behemoth.
Here's the quick-and-dirty guide to being an SEO "expert," which merely means you know more than the people around you. This article will accomplish that. Well, not really... But the building blocks are all here.
Whether you think it, believe it, or discard it... the truth is that buyer personas are the start of every successful campaign. Every marketer knows that understanding your buyer is key, but every smart marketer knows that standard demographics just won't cut it anymore.
When the need arises to train a large department within your organization on a new marketing campaign, or you find yourself having to relay crucial marketing information to partners or associates in a short amount of time, traditional e-learning methods just won't cut it.
Millennials grew up with the Internet, and they are used to having everything at their fingertips. After interviews with 21 global marketing executives, we defined a five-step plan for improving your marketing to Gen-Y.
Globalization brings exciting opportunities and enormous challenges for all parts of a business, but nowhere is that more apparent than in the marketing department. Here's how to avoid five common European marketing pitfalls.
Your customers, whether consumer or executive audiences, expect you to use the same mobile technology that has improved their lives to also improve the products and services they use: your offerings.
The retail industry has recognized that critical events in customers' lives can shift loyalties, or serve as opportunities to retain or upsell via event-driven marketing. That approach can also work with B2Bs...
So where does the line get drawn between a creative, compelling email subject line and one that is deceptive (and, therefore, illegal)?
Like the word "content" itself, "content strategy" is often an ambivalent term. But, however you define it, any good content strategist should have these seven skill sets.
Marketing professionals can use their mobile phones to maintain efficiency on the go and professionally manage day-to-day communication demands by applying the following tips and mobile features.
Lead nurturing and dinner parties require the host (marketer) to build and maintain relationships through conversation, rapport, and trust. And both involve careful planning...
If Pinterest is great for driving referral traffic, Instagram takes the lead in customer retention and engagement. The practices outlined here are only just starting to spread, and they will continue to do so as more brands adopt Instagram.
As any marketer knows, sales are mission-critical to the success and survival of all companies. But what many a marketer doesn't yet fully understand is how many ways mobile can be wielded to stimulate sales... more so than via any other medium.
Why do rock stars have fans but companies have customers? The short answer: that's what rock stars and companies want to have. But if you think like a rock star, you can cultivate an army of fans for your brand. Here are four steps you need to take.
Although the dawn of the Web was nearly two decades ago, many small and midsize businesses (SMBs) still have a limited, ineffective online presence. Let's examine the top reasons SMBs are failing online.
The cost of managing an online crisis or reputation issue can seem limitless. Worse, bad news travels online at turbo-charged speeds: A negative tweet or nasty video can end up on mainstream media within hours. It pays to plan ahead.
Understanding how the customer behavior you can monitor influences the buying process... is key. Here are three areas to monitor and how to tie them to more outcome-based metrics.
Conversion-rate optimization can be intimidating, especially since marketers don't have many sources of clear advice on how to avoid common pitfalls, generate strong ideas, and run tests that get real results.
In the '80s, in the days of Michael Milken and Gordon Gekko, the rule on the street was "eat your young." Nice guys finish last. Hold your information. Keep the rules to yourself. Win at all costs. No matter who or what you have to trample. But not anymore...
The battle for attention—and, in turn, engagement—has escalated into an all-out war by marketers... and their target audiences are its victims. This article explores how to innovate brand engagement via mobile, providing three examples of companies that are doing just that.
The combination of search and social is revolutionary. Find out the search capabilities of Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ and how to search-optimize your presence on them.
The iPad is one of the best ways marketers can enhance their brand image and interact with today's mobile generation, but marketers are struggling to find innovative ways that encourage and enhance customer conversation. Here are a few basic steps you should keep in mind.
What really drives success in B2B marketing can be hard to decipher. Here are seven misconceptions about what makes for truly successful B2B marketing—and how you can steer your efforts in the right direction.
As consumers become increasingly more connected, so too will multiple shopping channels. The industry has dubbed this shift the "omni-channel" experience. Here's how, by embracing this approach, two brands significantly increased sales.
Though some forward-thinking businesses are already using Instagram, chances are you aren't yet, and neither are your competitors. With its universal appeal, however, Instagram is not a medium marketers should ignore. And you'd better move quickly if you want to make an impact.
This article will help writers gain a better understanding of Google Authorship and Author/Agent rank, learn to set up their own Google Author accounts, and help protect their online work from piracy.
Mobile devices are the first thing people reach for in the morning, and the last thing they look at before going to bed. Mobile is at the center of your customers' lives. Now, with mobile, you can be at the center of your customers' experiences.
The combination of search and social is revolutionary. Find out the search capabilities of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+—and how to search-optimize your presence on them.
Social media is quickly changing what's expected in today's customer service world. But many companies are still struggling to find a way to fit it into their customer service processes.
Anticipation and planning improve your ability to effectively cope with emergencies such as a storm—or a career crisis—even when its timing is uncertain. Those who are always prepared for an unexpected job change are likely to suffer less than those who are caught by surprise.
Weight Watchers is clearly the dominant company among weight-loss centers and programs. So what are the company's marketing secrets? Let's take a look at six savvy principles Weight Watchers has implemented to solidify its position at the top of the weight-loss stack.
In the final installment of this series, we cover three mistakes: Your content doesn't tell a story; your content never leaves home; and your content never grows up.
Content is the treasure trove that connects customers to companies now. And where there's gold, you're bound to find miners. The problem is that far too many will be swinging a wimpy little pickax and struggling mightily to break any ground.
Your "marketing universe" contains everyone you can sell to; you must expand it, or your business will stagnate. Even if you build a receptive, high-conversion audience, but then can't increase its size, you'll soon be sunk.
What's the best way to establish connections with video viewers? Storytelling. But a great story does not guarantee success. Your video's genre plays a large role in determining whether you'll meet your campaign goals.
Most people's perception of that Millennials don't like radio could do with a splash of cold, hard facts. Here are five ways you can put this phenomenal medium to work for you to reach Millennials.
Landing pages aren't dead—or even unimportant—but you shouldn't be treating them as a standalone strategy. Rather, you should be focusing on the big picture: optimizing the entire customer experience.
The next time you confront a marketing problem, consider George Polya. What can marketers learn from the Muhammad Ali of mathematics? Problem-solving in four steps, of course. Here's a brief outline of those steps.
Consumers are using social media to interact with brands, but most customer complaints and comments there remain unanswered. Big mistake! You must deal with these five types of complainers on social media.
The rise of real-time bidding (RTB) for online display advertising now allows marketing departments and agencies to build lean display ad campaigns. That's because RTB allows marketers new ways to optimize and adjust display ad campaigns on the fly.
Does your content sound like everyone else's? Did you do any research before producing your content? Do you always use the same media format? And do you tailor your content according to venue and audience?
Social media is full of numbers, but most of the time we don't use them in any actionable way... because social metrics are often too complicated. But here are some easy (but rough) calculations that will give you a general idea of success. They may not be perfect, but they will give you actionable insights you need to succeed online.