The No matter how concise your bullet points are, some people might not stick around long enough to read them. 1. Use a specific, valuable offer to entice visitors to fill out a form. double the conversion rate of your landing pages Topics: 2. Use a headline to lay out your offer. landing page 9. Use an effective “Thank You” page after the visitor has submitted the form. essential Visual cues content offers that incentivize conversion good landing page As an illustration, let’s say your website is attracting 5,000 visits a month with landing pages converting at 10%. That’s 500 leads. If you wanted to double the number of leads you’re getting, you could spend lots of money over several months trying to double your website’s traffic, or you could take a few minutes right now and This is another opportunity to drive home the value of your offer. Data shows that you should . Here are ten tips to do just that! You’ve got them on a page with a form, don’t let them get distracted and have them click away! 3. Have a bullet-pointed list with several specific benefits they’ll get from filling out the form. 8. Hide your site’s navigation. . Maybe offer a free half-hour phone consultation or a basic How-To eBook. Your visitors are always thinking “what’s in it for me?” This allows you to elaborate on your offer, but you should still try to keep it short and sweet. Use these to build urgency and emphasize why the visitor needs your offer. information so that you don’t are important for encouraging visitors to linger. Just using a “contact us” only attracts spammers, and people don’t get excited over sales brochures. Create , all of the time and effort you spent driving traffic to your website will be wasted since your site isn’t driving leads. , since those tend to turn people off the most. You can always follow up later to find out more information if necessary. avoid using generic words risk turning visitors off with too many questions Originally published Jun 15, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 age, address or telephone number they’re giving up their information. Make it very clear. 5. Keep your form short. 4. Use an image to reinforce the benefits of your offer. Your visitor should see the form on your landing page without having to scroll down. This makes it very clear what needs to be done to receive your offer. Experiment with new landing page features by building two identical ones and switching a feature, like a shorter form or a different image. Does one version convert better than the other? If so, you’ve found an improvement. Stick with that new feature and then run another test on something else. 7. Use engaging button text on your from. like “submit” or “send” and try using more specific words like “sign-up,” “register” or “download”. is the single most important part of your online marketing efforts. Without a Only ask for Landing Pages Give them something to do next that might encourage them to move further down your sales funnel. Also, be sure to add social media sharing buttons so that they can share your offer with their friends. 10. Always test your landing pages. . Specifically, avoid asking for 6. Keep your form high on the page, or “above the fold”. why Your visitors want to know Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published Sep 1, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack LinkedIn Marketing Topics: As a marketer executing a social media marketing strategy, LinkedIn should be one of your top priorities. And with the social network attracting over 100 million business professionals to its user base, you can’t be wrong.Last week, we published “The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Mastering LinkedIn,” which serves as a helpful guide to some of the most hidden, under-utilized tricks for taking advantage of all LinkedIn has to offer. But if you still need convincing that LinkedIn is a social network where you should be spending some of your social media marketing time, the awesome statistics and data in the following 2011 infographics could serve as a wake-up call.1. 100 Million Professionals by LinkedIn2. The Value of Being Linkedin by OnlineMBA.com3. The LinkedIn Profile by Lab424. LinkedIn’s Road to IPO by The Credit Score Blog5. How to Be the Man (or Woman) on LinkedIn by SocialMediaSonar.com6. The State of LinkedIn by Vincenzo Cosenza7. LinkedIn Identity by Gigya8. Battle of the Sexes: Who Are the Savviest Networkers? by LinkedIn9. LinkedIn for B2B Marketers by LeadFormix10. A Snapshot of LinkedIn on its 8th Birthday by paidContent.org 11. LinkedIn at a Glance by leftygbalogh.com12. Sequencing the Startup DNA by LinkedInHow do you use LinkedIn for marketing? If you don’t already, has any of the data in these infographics convinced you to start including LinkedIn in your social media marketing strategy?
Twitter Marketing Data Things look promising for Promoted Tweets, Twitter’s advertising platform. New data from market research firm Lab42, as reported by eMarketer, shows that 24.8% of Twitter users say they have seen Promoted Tweets from brands that are relevant to them. More than 1/5 of users said they have gotten a discount or have found out about a new brand through a Promoted Tweet, and 14% of respondents said they have retweeted a Promoted Tweet.Interestingly, only about 11% of those surveyed said following brands was a reason they joined the site, with about half saying they followed just 10 brands on Twitter.Marketing Takeaway If you’re sharing something relevant, people will be receptive to your marketing.This applies not only to your Promoted Tweets, but also to things like your Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and even your blog content and email campaigns. While those surveyed weren’t necessarily interested in following a ton of brands on Twitter, when they found content that was interesting and relevant in a promoted Tweet, they were receptive to it. If what you are offering is targeted and relevant to your audience, it may be well-received, even if it’s a promoted campaign or not something they were initially seeking.Are you considering a Promoted Tweets campaign? Let us know in the comments! Originally published Sep 6, 2011 1:01:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Oct 20, 2011 5:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Twitter Marketing If you’re not already thinking of social media as a channel for lead generation, then you need to start… today. Twitter, in particular, is a great place to promote special offers that turn followers into warm leads. Earlier this week, I had a conversation with a relatively new addition to the HubSpot team, Laura “@Pistachio” Fitton, about best practices for creating compelling offers on Twitter.What Makes a Great Offer on Twitter?1. The offer has to be nice. By “nice,” we mean something of actual value. This sounds obvious, but this can be a tricky thing to master because you need to understand what you’re audience actually wants. Here are some general tips: People like things that are free, that are educational, that help them make purchasing decisions, and that make their lives easier. For example, if you sell swimming pools, a “First Time Pool Buyer’s Guide,” would probably be appealing to your target audience.2. The offer has to be novel. A great Twitter offer needs to be something that you can’t get anywhere else. It needs to be exclusive. For example, if you are a Yoga Studio and you tweet “come take a Yoga class,” you’re not offering anything or adding real value. Likewise, if you’re currently offering a 20% discount on your homepage, then offering the same discount in a tweet isn’t something new. On the other hand, if you say something like, “The next 10 people who retweet this will receive a free Yoga class,” you’re heading in the right direction.3. The offer has to be time sensitive. The idea of “creating urgency” is necessary for any offer, but it’s especially important on Twitter, since Twitter is such a fast-paced medium. If you want to get people clicking, you need to give them a reason to click now. On Twitter, where content in Twitter streams flies by fast, if followers don’t click now, they probably never will. 4. Bonus Tip: Make the offer naughty. People like knowing that they’re getting something they’re not supposed to. If you can, make your offer a little surreptitious. For example, you might say something like, “Here’s a trick to get an extended trial of Spotify,” or “I just found a secret registration discount code for SXSW.” Often times, these types of offers are best if they come from partners or individual Twitter accounts from employees within your organization.Follow these tips to start driving leads from Twitter today!
Marketing Data Originally published Nov 18, 2011 1:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Marketing automation is a hot topic among marketers these days, and even though we believe in the power (for both good and evil) of marketing automation, there are still some people that are a little squeamish about the concept.So we’ve compiled some super cool stats and data to help paint the picture of what’s going on in the marketing automation industry, illustrate the key challenges marketers are facing, and show how marketing automation has helped address those problems. See if your business can identify with any of these jaw-dropping marketing automation stats.The Marketing Automation Industry1.) The B2B marketing automation industry will reach $325 million in revenue by the end of 2011. This is a more than 50% increase over 2010, which had also doubled in revenue from the year before. (Source: Raab Associates) Tweet This!2.) The adoption of marketing automation technology is expected to increase by 50% by 2015. (Source: Sirius Decisions) Tweet This!3.) Marketing automation has seen the fastest growth of any CRM-related segment in the last 5 years. (Source: Focus Research) Tweet This!4.) By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship without talking to a human. (Source: Gartner Research) Tweet This!5.) 50% of respondents to a 2011 Focus survey stated they have not realized the full value of their marketing automation investment, and less than 25% use their platforms to their full potential. Tweet This!Marketing Automation Challenges6.) 50% of qualified leads are not ready to purchase immediately. (Source: Gleanster) Tweet This!7.) The average sales cycle has increased 22% over the past 5 years due to more decision makers being involved in the buying process. (Source: Sirius Decisions) Tweet This!8.) Nearly 2/3 of B2B marketers identified engaging key decision makers as their top challenge. (Source: Forrester Research) Tweet This!9.) 47% of B2B marketers say they either close fewer than 4% of all marketing-generated leads, or they don’t even know this metric. (Source: Forrester Research) Tweet This!10.) 89% of marketers said email was their primary channel for lead generation. (Source: Forrester Research) Tweet This!11.) With a delivery rate of just 75%, achieving strong inbox placement remains a challenge in the B2B sector. (Source: Return Path) Tweet This!12.) Only 33% of companies who use both CRM and marketing automation said the two integrated well. (Source: The Experts Bench) Tweet This!13.) 64% of CMOs have either an informal or no process to manage their marketing automation. (Source: The Annuitas Group) Tweet This!Why Marketing Automation Rocks!14.) Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost. (Source: Forrester Research) Tweet This!15.) Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads. (Source: The Annuitas Group) Tweet This!16.) Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (Source: The Annuitas Group) Tweet This!17.) Companies that automate lead management see a 10% or greater increase in revenue in 6-9 months. (Source: Gartner Research) Tweet This!18.) 46% of marketers with mature lead management processes have sales teams that follow up on more than 75% of marketing-generated leads. (Source: Forrester Research) Tweet This!19.) 25% of marketers who adopt mature lead management processes report that sales teams contact prospects within one day. Only 10% of marketers report the same follow-up time without mature lead management processes. (Source: Forrester Research) Tweet This!20.) Companies with mature lead generation and management practices have a 9.3% higher sales quote achievement rate. (Source: CSO Insights) Tweet This!21.) Relevant emails drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails. (Source: Jupiter Research) Tweet This!22.) Personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14%, and conversion rates by 10%. (Source: Aberdeen Group) Tweet This!23.) Gartner estimates a 15% savings on creative production with marketing automation. Tweet This!24.) Gartner estimates a 5% reduction in marketing waste through automating fulfillment. Tweet This!25.) Event-triggered marketing can potentially save 80% of your direct mail budget. (Source: Gartner Research) Tweet This!If you’re grappling with making the marketing automation leap or trying to make the case to your boss, these stats should help give you some context around the world of marketing automation.Have you ventured into the world of marketing automation? What kind of gains have you seen from your efforts?Image credit: Benson Kua, veganstraightedge Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Jul 30, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 You know when your boss asks you what your leads goal is, and you don’t know how to answer because it’s basically just a shot in the dark? Or how about when he asks how your new fangled inbound marketing is going to help you drive leads to the sales organization? It’s hard to make the case for inbound to a non-believer when your projections aren’t based on math, isn’t it?It’s high time to start making your monthly inbound traffic and leads goals based on your business’ growth goals. And we’re here to tell you how! The good news is that it’s ridiculously easy, and with the help of our friend Greg Elwell over at B2B Inbound, we’ve created an Excel template that you can download and save to make this goal-setting easy as pie every month. With just a few quick inputs, this template will do all the math for you, and you’ll be able to know exactly how much traffic and leads your inbound marketing efforts need to drive each month for your sales organization to hit their numbers, and your company to meet its growth goals.Download the excel template now so you can follow along with the instructions on how to use it below!How to Calculate Your Monthly Inbound Traffic and Leads GoalsStep 1: Enter Your Monthly Revenue GoalThis number is how much new monthly revenue your sales team needs to book, which you are going to attribute back to leads generated from inbound marketing.But wait, what if you’re only using inbound marketing to generate new customers? Let’s go to the next step!Step 2: Enter the Percentage of New Revenue Driven From Inbound MarketingHere, you’ll input how much of that new revenue will be driven by inbound marketing. So if you’re only generating leads via inbound marketing, well, go ahead and put 100% in there. For the sake of this example, we’ll just say you’ll drive 80% of your monthly revenue from inbound marketing.Step 3: Enter Your Average Revenue Per ClientNow, it’s time to input your average revenue per new customer. If you don’t know this, a simple way to calculate it is by taking your total revenue collected over the past 12 months, and dividing it by the number of customers you have.And in this step, you’ll get your very first calculation — right there in that orange box. Now you know exactly how many new customers you need your inbound marketing efforts to generate to meet your growth goals (based on the information you’ve input thus far). Pretty good information to know, eh?Step 4: Enter Your Lead-to-Customer Conversion RateNow, enter your current lead-to-customer conversion rate to determine how many leads you need to actually get those customers. You can also input a goal if you’re targeting a better conversion rate to see how that affects the number of leads you need to generate to hit your goals.If you’re not sure how to find your conversion rate, simply take the number of new customers you acquire each month and divide it by the number of leads you generate.Step 5: Enter Your Visitor-to-Lead Conversion RateFinally, let’s figure out how much site traffic you’ll need to generate! Enter your current visitor-to-lead conversion rate, and this template will deliver the number of visitors you need to bring to your site. Again, you can also enter a target visitor-to-lead conversion rate if you’re looking to improve upon this metric (and by extension, get a bit of a traffic reprieve and still meet your goals).Not too difficult, eh? Now it’s your turn. Download this Traffic and Leads Goal Calculator, and see how your inbound marketing efforts can help your company hit its growth goals next month!How do you calculate your monthly traffic and leads goals right now? Business Calculators
Originally published Apr 23, 2013 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 What’s New for Facebook Page Admins?In addition to design enhancements from the user’s perspective, Facebook’s updated mobile page layout also comes with some notable changes on the admin side of things …Pinned Posts Appear Higher Up: Ever since Facebook’s Timeline changes went into effect back in 2012, Facebook page admins have been able to pin important posts (including offers or videos) to the top of their Timeline using Facebook’s desktop version. With Facebook’s mobile update, this pinned content will now appear front and center when pages are accessed via mobile devices.Better Mobile Management: Facebook’s changes give page admins the ability to easily swap between public and admin views of their page directly through their mobile devices, enabling them to comment on posts with either their personal or business account. In addition, Facebook has also released a new layout for corporate pages that have both a central brand page as well as other local business pages. The parent page shows links to its child/local pages below the map so users can find the nearest location. These features are noticeable in Facebook’s images below: Topics: Big Wins for Local Business Marketers Although Facebook Page admins don’t have to do anything in order to activate the new layout for their mobile visitors, Facebook’s changes do have some implications for marketers — particularly local businesses.Aside from any possible motives of competing with more mobile-friendly local business-oriented apps like Yelp, Facebook’s changes all seem reactive to the need for making the mobile experience on brand pages much more utilitarian rather than social. It makes perfect sense, considering that mobile users accessing Facebook Pages are likely more interested in getting information about nearby local businesses than actually interacting with the content on the page — a behavior that makes much more sense for the desktop user.Given that the mobile design is much more focused on providing users with local business information, recommendations, and ratings than encouraging Timeline engagement, Facebook’s updates appear to be much more beneficial for the local business brand page than any other type. And because it’s possible that mobile users may start gravitating toward Facebook over other apps like Yelp (at least I’m sure that’s Facebook’s hope) for information about local businesses, it’s critical for local business marketers to make sure the information on their Facebook Page is accurate and up to date. It also wouldn’t hurt to start collecting positive reviews/recommendations and star ratings, either ;-)What do you think of Facebook’s new mobile page layout? How do you think it will affect Facebook mobile marketing? Facebook Updates If you’re the proud owner of a Facebook business page, your page’s mobile presence is about to get a makeover. Today, Facebook announced some design and layout improvements to the mobile version of Facebook Pages in response to the fact that half of Facebook Page visitors access those pages from their mobile devices. These updates are accessible starting today via mobile browsers and on the Facebook iOS app, with the changes coming soon to the Facebook Android app.The best thing about it? Facebook Page admins don’t have to do anything to optimize for it besides keeping the web version of their page complete and up to date. How’s that for easy optimization? Let’s review the changes to the Facebook Page mobile layout so you know what to expect both for yourself as a page admin, and for your mobile Facebook Page visitors.What’s New for Mobile Users?As you can see via the screenshots below from TechCrunch, there are a few noteworthy changes to the mobile version of Facebook Pages from the user perspective.Cleaner Look and Feel: The simplified layout is designed to give page visitors a much more mobile-friendly user experience.Easy Ways to Interact With the Page Overall: The new design features buttons for users to Like the page, check in, call the business, or click for more, which includes actions like sharing, sending a message, copying the page’s link, or reporting the page — right below the page’s cover photo and thumbnail.Most Useful, Relevant Information Featured Up Top: The new design aims to surface the important information closer to the top of the page so users don’t have to scroll to find critical info. This information includes a close-up map so users can quickly determine the business’ location in addition to the business’ address, distance from the user’s mobile location, hours of operation, price range, and a prominently featured average star rating.Below the fold, the layout includes reviews left by the user’s friends, and an option for users to add their own recommendations. Next, users see a large, slideshow-like album of photos from the page before finally viewing the page’s feed of Timeline posts. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published May 15, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated May 23 2017 Inbound Marketing Education Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack In the older days of marketing, most interview questions revolved around a marketer’s knowledge of marketing principles like “The 4 Ps” and how he or she could apply that knowledge to case questions in an interview setting.Whether you studied marketing as an undergrad, graduate, or business school student, chances are your studies included classes about branding, marketing strategy, public relations, and the basics of advertising — all of which are interesting topics and core to the history and relevance of modern marketing. But (isn’t there always a but?) … Today’s successful marketer doesn’t necessarily look like Don Draper or Donny Deutsch. As a result, most classically trained marketers are lacking some critical skills required in today’s marketing word. In this post, we’ll explore how marketing has changed — and what’s missing from traditional marketing curriculums. And luckily, today we’re announcing our new Inbound Certification program to help marketers and aspiring marketers alike bridge these gaps in marketing education. Old School: Smile and Dial for Media CoverageOscar Wilde once said, “There’s only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” On some level, that’s the fundamental principle of public relations — to get people talking about and interacting with your brand, your executive team, and your product in lovable ways that inspire great conversation and content. While the end goal of public relations hasn’t changed, the tactics used, mediums leveraged, and patterns of communications have fundamentally shifted.Public Relations 101 used to be all about the art and science of press releases and effective pitch emails. Marketers were taught to load as many gobbledygook words like “unique” and “first ever” and “launch” into headlines and then charm, cajole, and convince reporters to tell their story in a positive way using a combination of press releases, pitch documents, and phone calls. In addition, aspiring PR pros were taught to tailor the release to the few, not the many. Press releases and pitches were tailored specifically toward the end readers (assignment editors, producers, and reporters) versus a wider net of prospects, customers, and leads who could benefit from the news as well.Moreover, PR professionals wielded considerable power in the sense that if journalists wanted to interact with their customers, executives, or analysts, they were responsible for facilitating that interaction, so marketing education focused on making the most of those opportunities. As a result, marketing education focused on empowering PR pros to identify key events to expose their executive team to key audiences, and choose the venue, message, and invite list accordingly. Marketers were taught to be focused as gatekeepers to what truly happened inside a business, and journalists relied on them.New School: Got a Story? Share It With the Many, Not the FewSimilar to the shift that’s transpired in the sales world (wherein the buyer now has access to customer reviews and other commentary about your brand with a quick Google search), journalists rarely have to pass through media relations professionals to get the information they want or need to craft a story. On one hand, this seems like bad news in the sense that it’s harder and harder to control the messages leaving your company’s door, but it also provides a unique opportunity: Marketers should no longer focus their press releases and content toward a few select reporters, but it’s actually a huge opportunity for marketers who are armed and ready to share their news with the world.21st century marketers need to have the skills to develop, edit, format, create, and promote effective content that shares the brand’s core messages in a manner that’s remarkable. In that regard, press releases are no longer about winning over the hearts and minds of six key reporters, but rather about telling a compelling story to the world and promoting it via every relevant medium available, from your blog to your social channels to press outreach and events.Lesson Learned: Take David Meerman Scott’s advice: Ditch what he calls “Ye Olde Press Release” and focus instead on creating blog posts, press releases, infographics, and social media posts that convey your brand’s core messages to buyers, media, investors, evangelists, and customers alike.Old School: Work With Great Designers to Create Your Ads and LogoMarketers and consumers alike recognized the importance of a distinctive logo (if you’re skeptical, read about the uproar Gap created when they altered their logo). However, marketers were typically trained to develop creative briefs, project manage logo design and refinement, and draft the core messages for an advertising campaign, while the visual storytelling and execution were typically left to a designer or agency to draft and return for feedback.Two challenges emerged from this dynamic between marketers and designers. The first was that marketers developed briefs chock full of aspirational language, which designers were then supposed to comprehend and convert into reality. Second, design was very rarely tied to key performance indicators. Both of these challenges converged into one greater problem: logo designs, advertising executions, and brand standards were often relegated to subjective metrics, and there was a distinct gap between marketing strategy, execution, and feedback.In addition, waiting until your project was 90% complete before including design meant that often the message and execution simply didn’t make sense to the consumer, so significant money, time, and energy were wasted for a project whose end result didn’t move the needle on consumer awareness, brand loyalty, or purchase behavior. Marketing courses espoused the importance of a strong logo and building your brand through paid advertising, de-emphasizing the importance of design and medium within the process, many times at the expense of valuable input and user experience insight that impacts the final product. Although it’s certainly true that your logo, brand marks, standards, and advertising play a critical role in your brand perception, the design paradigm is changing fundamentally, and we as marketers need to adjust accordingly.New School: Design and Build for a Visual WorldA great logo is critical, but if that’s where your design expertise starts and stops, your marketing is in trouble. As design expert Walter Landor notes, “products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind” — so it’s more important than ever that your brand interactions are highly visual, lovable, differentiated, and memorable to survive and thrive as a 21st century marketer.To illustrate just how important design is in modern marketing, consider the following: 40% of people respond better to visual information than plain text, and publishers who use infographics grow in traffic an average of 12% more than those who don’. In addition, posts with videos attract 3 times more inbound links than plain text posts, and in just one month after the introduction of visual content in Facebook Timelines for brands, engagement increased 65%As a result, marketers need to start with the finish line in mind, and garner enough knowledge to execute visual design concepts themselves or enough context around the mediums they leverage to give constructive, specific feedback to their user experience and design teams. Consumers don’t care how many hours you spent designing and testing your logo, or what your CEO thinks of its blue gradient. They care about a unified, intuitive, and lovable brand experience, and considering both the medium and means through which prospects find and interact with your brand is imperative for marketers in 2013 and beyond.Lesson Learned: Attracting and delighting prospects, customers, and leads begins with highly visual and easily digestible interactions, so design simply cannot be an afterthought. Today’s marketers need to understand the various channels they leverage to interact with prospects (from social media channels, to their blog, to TV or radio) and develop the expertise, understanding, and vernacular necessary to create and/or help edit visual materials.Old School: Guess Which Content Your Audience Will LoveIn the Don Draper school of marketing, a company would design a campaign, develop messaging (sometimes with the help from a focus group or two), agree upon an ad buy, then sit and wait to see what, if any, impact a given campaign had on customer growth, revenue, or awareness indicators. The emergence of Nielsen data made advertising efforts slightly more measurable, but they were at best an estimate and typically came back a minimum of one week after the ads actually ran. Marketers would capture successes in campaigns launched, estimated viewership for each ad, and subjective comments from consumers, executives, and colleagues alike.With the emergence of digital advertising, targeting became significantly easier, particularly given that Google AdWords and other channels allowed you to target on multiple variables and keywords and adjust your buy in real time based on the interactions to date. Many marketers were even taught to go the extra mile, developing buyer personas and customizing campaigns and outreach around the perceived needs of specific segments of their customer base. That was a huge step, but still many marketers were focused on clickthrough rates and cost-per-click versus tying their marketing efforts back to core metrics such as the rate targeted individuals converted into customers and the return on investment specific to each campaign.Fundamentally, whether you were spending to conduct a focus group, create an ad, outsource messaging, or test a user experience, measurement almost always came either after a campaign ran or just before it went out the door. On both occasions, companies expended significant labor time and energy on an effort before they received any measurable feedback on its success rate. Marketers were taught to spend first, then solve for the variables involved, one of many factors which resulted in marketers being perceived as more focused on “arts and crafts” than business metrics.New School: Know Which Content Your Audience Will LoveToday’s marketing happens in real time, and marketers have more tools than ever to access, analyze, and act upon metrics than ever. To that end, it’s not only imperative that aspiring marketers learn how to walk the walk and talk the talk on the marketing metrics that matter, but also that they learn from and act on data on a daily, not annual, basis.Here are some examples of how today’s marketers can evolve from the guessing game of the past to today’s more accurate, metrics-driven approach:A/B testing each email so contacts always receives the highest-performing email possibleConducting ongoing polls in social media channels to facilitate lovable feedback in real time versus waiting to facilitate focus groups or customer interviewsCustomizing calls-to-action based on where an individual is in the buying cycle to optimize for resultsInvesting more time and energy into social media channels that are the highest performing for the business in terms of revenue and customersTerminating paid campaigns that aren’t delivering ROIToday, the focus on measurement need also apply to a marketer’s content creation approach. While a television ad could take months to fund, develop, produce, edit, and place, marketers can develop and publish smaller pieces of content like blog posts and ebooks, which are inexpensive to create, and require a relatively low investment of time and resources. In addition to the relative ease of developing short-form content, marketers can also leverage the analytics from that content to inform future efforts, replacing guesswork about what appeals to each of their personas with real data about what resonates with prospects — which can ultimately be used to improve their marketing programs. The bottom line is that no company can pay their bills with Nielsen data, Facebook Likes, or retweets, so it’s imperative that marketers not only know but also act on the data that matters most to their business. To fulfill this promise, marketers need to understand, align, and deliver upon core business metrics (such as the cost of customer acquisition and lifetime value of a customer) and be tactical and technologically savvy enough to optimize on the fly. Measurement and alignment are often the greatest hurdle for marketers, which is why getting a little extra help from our expert inbound marketing professors can be useful for beginners and advanced marketers alike. Lesson Learned: Marketers need to learn what numbers matter most to their company and develop a plan for every channel and campaign accordingly. Moreover, it’s no longer enough just to capture data and adjust after you’ve completed a large promotional campaign — marketers must always be measuring so they can constantly adapt and optimize for results and efficiency.Old School: Build and Deliver Upon a Major CampaignThe crowning achievement for many marketing and communications students has historically been developing a campaign of their own to launch a product, announce a service, or drive awareness for a brand new business unit. The concept was simple: Every marketer has to juggle multiple priorities, messages, mediums, and team members, so the campaign was the ultimate way to leverage every asset available to make a big splash in awareness or impact.While there is little question that these projects effectively simulate the fact that marketers at every company wear many hats, the fundamental premise of a campaign is rooted in old school marketing. Consider this: Marketers used to learn they should heavily front load their advertising buy to ensure their target audience saw it — and time the press release, ad unveiling, and events strategy around that initial bump in awareness and engagement with prospects. All that is great in a world without modern technology, but now think about your own life: How often do you watch your favorite shows with commercials in real time? For many people, the answer is rarely — if ever. In fact, a recent study by Motorola Mobility showed that 68% of DVR owners use the device explicitly to skip commercials, and that American forget to watch 41% of the shows they DVR.In addition, campaigns have historically been built around rented assets. Running a back-to-school campaign? Plan on paying extra for the keywords that matter most to you because getting to moms in that critical time window is going to cost you. Launching a product at the Consumer Electronics Show? You’re going to have to work extra hard to break through the clutter in social media and earned media to share your story. Campaigns were built upon an outbound model of advertising whereby marketers “rent” eyeballs from Google AdWords, TV networks, blogs, or newspapers, and each of those entities charges a premium for highly contested marketing real estate, so campaigns are also typically an expensive way to do business.New School: Continuous Engagement Outranks CampaignsThe reality is that the way in which consumers live, work, and interact with technology isn’t organized around your campaign schedule. Your prospects, leads, and customers leverage social media, Google, and other channels to research products, provide feedback, complain about customer service, and solicit recommendations every day. Very few — if any — consumers sit around waiting for your next campaign to launch to buy a product.As a result, it’s imperative that today’s marketing campaigns be continuous versus campaign-based. Eric Wheeler wrote an obituary for ad campaigns in Ad Age that correctly noted, “It’s no longer about‘the campaign.’” Rather, it’s about understanding the social influence of your own loyal customers. What are these people interested in, what are they actually buying, and how can they be turned into a word-of-mouth marketing powerhouse?” The first step in this shift is building ownable assets over time versus always paying for rented space that your competitors have equal access to. Your blog, YouTube channel, Twitter account, Facebook Page, LinkedIn Company Page, and website are all valuable real estate just waiting to increase in value over time, so today’s marketing must focus on leveraging those owned assets to differentiate yourself from competitors, meaningfully engage consumers, and ultimately, build an audience of evangelists, fans, friends, and followers that can consume your content, engage with your brand, and share your messages with their social networks as well.Lesson Learned: Continuous is the new campaign. Unless you’re Apple, the chances that someone is waiting to make a purchase based on your next unveiling or campaign launch is exceptionally low, so don’t wait for campaigns to interact with your audience. Instead, build ownable assets over time to help you attract, convert, close, and delight prospects, leads, and customers. They’ll thank you, and your marketing budget will too.There’s an old adage that everyone in any organization thinks he or she is a marketer because all it takes is an opinion and some creativity and you’re set to go. The reality is quite different: 21st century marketers are expected to deliver measurable results, demonstrate continuous engagement, produce, disseminate, and promote exceptional and relevant content, and ultimately contribute to the bottom line of their business. While many textbooks will tell you otherwise, the reality is that today’s marketers need a remarkable combination of skills, know-how, and business savvy, and each of us needs to adapt and grow accordingly.In a month filled with graduation ceremonies worldwide, it’s only appropriate that today celebrates the official launch of HubSpot’s free, on-demand Inbound Marketing Certification program. We’ll also be offering two in-person certification programs at the INBOUND conference in August. Learn more or sign up for either here.
1. List-Based PostExample: 10 Fresh Ways to Get Better Results From Your Blog PostsList-based posts are sometimes called “listicles,” a mix of the words “list” and “article.” These are articles that deliver information in the form of a list. A listicle uses subheaders to break down the blog post into individual pieces, helping readers skim and digest your content more easily. According to ClearVoice, listicles are among the most shared types of content on social media across 14 industries.As you can see in the example from our blog, above, listicles can offer various tips and methods for solving a problem.2. Thought Leadership PostExample: What I Wish I Had Known Before Writing My First BookThought leadership blog posts allow you to indulge in your expertise on a particular subject matter and share firsthand knowledge with your readers. These pieces — which can be written in the first person, like the post by Joanna Penn, shown above — help you build trust with your audience so people take your blog seriously as you continue to write for it.3. Curated Collection PostExample: 8 Examples of Evolution in ActionCurated collections are a special type of listicle blog post (the first blog post example, described above). But rather than sharing tips or methods of doing something, this type of blog post shares a list of real examples that all have something in common, in order to prove a larger point. In the example post above, Listverse shares eight real examples of evolution in action among eight different animals — starting with the peppered moth.4. Slideshare PresentationExample: The HubSpot Culture CodeSlideshare is a presentation tool owned by the social network, LinkedIn, that helps publishers package a lot of information into easily shareable slides. Think of it like a PowerPoint, but for the web. With this in mind, Slideshare blog posts help you promote your Slideshare so that it can generate a steady stream of visitors.Unlike blogs, Slideshare decks don’t often rank well on search engines, so they need a platform for getting their message out there to the people who are looking for it. By embedding and summarizing your Slideshare on a blog post, you can share a great deal of information and give it a chance to rank on Google at the same time.Need some Slideshare ideas? In the example above, we turned our company’s “Culture Code” into a Slideshare presentation that anyone can look through and take lessons from, and promoted it through a blog post.5. Newsjacking PostExample: Ivy Goes Mobile With New App for Designers”Newsjacking” is a nickname for “hijacking” your blog to break important news related to your industry. Therefore, the newsjack post is a type of article whose sole purpose is to garner consumers’ attention and, while offering them timeless professional advice, also prove your blog to be a trusted resource for learning about the big things that happen in your industry.The newsjack example above was published by Houzz, a home decor merchant and interior design resource, about a new mobile app that launched just for interior designers. Houzz didn’t launch the app, but the news of its launching is no less important to Houzz’s audience.6. Infographic PostExample: The Key Benefits of Studying Online [Infographic]The infographic post serves a similar purpose as the Slideshare post — the fourth example, explained above — in that it conveys information for which plain blog copy might not be the best format. For example, when you’re looking to share a lot of statistical information (without boring or confusing your readers), building this data into a well-designed, even fun-looking infographic can help keep your readers engaged with your content. It also helps readers remember the information long after they leave your website.7. How-to PostExample: How to Write a Blog Post: A Step-by-Step GuideFor our last example, you need not look any further than the blog post you’re reading right now! How-to guides like this one help solve a problem for your readers. They’re like a cookbook for your industry, walking your audience through a project step by step to improve their literacy on the subject. The more posts like this you create, the more equipped your readers will be to work with you and invest in the services you offer.Ready to blog? Don’t forget to download your six free blog post templates right here. Originally published May 6, 2019 7:30:00 PM, updated October 25 2019 You’ve probably heard how paramount blogging is to the success of your marketing. But it’s important that you learn how to start a blog and write blog posts for it so that each article supports your business.Without a blog, your SEO can tank, you’ll have nothing to promote in social media, you’ll have no clout with your leads and customers, and you’ll have fewer pages to put those valuable calls-to-action that generate inbound leads.So why, oh why, does almost every marketer I talk to have a laundry list of excuses for why they can’t consistently blog?Maybe because, unless you’re one of the few people who actually like writing, business blogging kind of stinks. You have to find words, string them together into sentences … ugh, where do you even start?Download 6 Free Blog Post Templates NowWell my friend, the time for excuses is over.What Is a Blog?A blog is literally short for “web log.” Blogs began in the early 1990s as an online journal for individuals to publish thoughts and stories on their own website. Bloggers then share their blog posts with other internet users. Blog posts used to be much more personal to the writer or group of writers than they are today.Today, people and organizations of all walks of life manage blogs to share analyses, instruction, criticisms, and other observations of an industry in which they are a rising expert.After you read this post, there will be absolutely no reason you can’t blog every single day — and do it quickly. Not only am I about to provide you with a simple blog post formula to follow, but I’m also going to give you free templates for creating five different types of blog posts:The How-To PostThe List-Based PostThe Curated Collection PostThe SlideShare Presentation PostThe Newsjacking PostWith all this blogging how-to, literally anyone can blog as long as they truly know the subject matter they’re writing about. And since you’re an expert in your industry, there’s no longer any reason you can’t sit down every day and hammer out an excellent blog post.Want to learn how to apply blogging and other forms of content marketing to your business? Check out HubSpot Academy’s free content marketing training resource page. 2. Create your blog domain.Next, you’ll need a place to host this and every other blog post you write. This requires choosing a content management system (CMS) and a website domain hosting service.Sign Up With a Content Management SystemA CMS helps you create a website domain where you’ll actually publish your blog. The CMS platforms available for you to sign up for can manage domains, where you create your own website; and subdomains, where you create a webpage that connects with an existing website.HubSpot customers host their website content through HubSpot’s content management system. Another popular option is a self-hosted WordPress website on WP Engine. Whether they create a domain or a subdomain to start their blog, they’ll need to choose a web domain hosting service after choosing their CMS.This is true for every blogger seeking to start their own blog on their own website.Register a Domain or Subdomain With a Website HostYour own blog domain will look like this: www.yourblog.com. The name between the two periods is up to you, as long as this domain name doesn’t yet exist on the internet.Want to create a subdomain for your blog? If you already own a cooking business at www.yourcompany.com, you might create a blog that looks like this: blog.yourcompany.com. In other words, your blog’s subdomain will live in its own section of yourcompany.com.Some CMSs offer subdomains as a free service, where your blog lives on the CMS, rather than your business’s website. For example, it might look like “yourblog.contentmanagementsystem.com.” However, in order to create a subdomain that belongs to a company website, you’ll need to register this subdomain with a website host.Most website hosting services charge very little to host an original domain — in fact, website costs can be as inexpensive as $3 per month. Here are five popular web hosting services to choose from:GoDaddyHostGatorDreamHostBluehostiPage3. Customize your blog’s theme.Once you have your blog domain set up, customize the appearance of your blog to reflect the theme of the content you plan on creating.Are you writing about sustainability and the environment? Green might be a color to keep in mind when designing the look and feel of your blog, as green is often associated with sustainability.If you already manage a website, and are writing your first blog post for that website, it’s important that your blog is consistent with this existing website, both in appearance and subject matter. Two things to include right away are:Logo. This can be your name or your business’s logo, either one helping to remind your readers who or what is publishing this content. How heavily you want to brand this blog, in relation to your main brand, is up to you.”About” page. You might already have an “About” blurb describing yourself or your business. Your blog’s “About” section is an extension of this higher-level statement. Think of it as your blog’s mission statement, which serves to support your company’s goals.4. Identify your first blog post’s topic.Before you even write anything, you need to pick a topic for your blog post. The topic can be pretty general to start with. For example, if you’re a plumber, you might start out thinking you want to write about leaky faucets.Then, as you do your research, you can expand the topic to discuss how to fix a leaky faucet based on the various causes of a faucet leak.You might not want to jump right into a “how-to” article for your first blog post, though, and that’s okay. Perhaps you’d like to write about modern types of faucet setups, or tell one particular success story you had rescuing a faucet before it flooded someone’s house.If a plumber’s first how-to article is about how to fix a leaky faucet, for example, here are four other types of sample blog post ideas a plumber might start with, based on the five free blog templates we’ve offered to you:List-based Post: 5 ways to fix a leaky faucetCurated Collection Post: 10 faucet and sink brands you should look into todaySlideShare Presentation: 5 types of faucets that should replace your old one (with pictures)News post: New study shows X% of people don’t replace their faucet on timeFind more examples of blog posts at the end of this step-by-step guide.If you’re having trouble coming up with topic ideas, check out this blog post from my colleague Ginny Soskey. In this post, Soskey walks through a helpful process for turning one idea into many. Similar to the “leaky faucet” examples above, she suggests that you “iterate off old topics to come up with unique and compelling new topics.” This can be done by:Changing the topic scopeAdjusting the time frameChoosing a new audienceTaking a positive/negative approachIntroducing a new format5. Come up with a working title.Then you might come up with a few different working titles — in other words, iterations or different ways of approaching that topic to help you focus your writing. For example, you might decide to narrow your topic to “Tools for Fixing Leaky Faucets” or “Common Causes of Leaky Faucets.” A working title is specific and will guide your post so you can start writing.Let’s take a real post as an example: “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.” Appropriate, right? The topic, in this case, was probably simply “blogging.” Then the working title may have been something like, “The Process for Selecting a Blog Post Topic.” And the final title ended up being “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.”See that evolution from topic, to working title, to final title? Even though the working title may not end up being the final title (more on that in a moment), it still provides enough information so you can focus your blog post on something more specific than a generic, overwhelming topic.6. Write an intro (and make it captivating).We’ve written more specifically about writing captivating introductions in the post, “How to Write an Introduction,” but let’s review, shall we?First, grab the reader’s attention. If you lose the reader in the first few paragraphs — or even sentences — of the introduction, they will stop reading even before they’ve given your post a fair shake. You can do this in a number of ways: tell a story or a joke, be empathetic, or grip the reader with an interesting fact or statistic.Then describe the purpose of the post and explain how it will address a problem the reader may be having. This will give the reader a reason to keep reading and give them a connection to how it will help them improve their work/lives. Here’s an example of a post that we think does a good job of attracting a reader’s attention right away:7. Organize your content in an outline.Sometimes, blog posts can have an overwhelming amount of information — for the reader and the writer. The trick is to organize the info so readers are not intimidated by the length or amount of content. The organization can take multiple forms — sections, lists, tips, whatever’s most appropriate. But it must be organized!Let’s take a look at the post, “How to Use Snapchat: A Detailed Look Into HubSpot’s Snapchat Strategy.” There is a lot of content in this post, so we broke it into a few different sections using the following headers: How to Setup Your Snapchat Account, Snaps vs. Stories: What’s the Difference?, and How to Use Snapchat for Business. These sections are then separated into sub-sections that to go into more detail and also make the content easier to read.To complete this step, all you really need to do is outline your post. That way, before you start writing, you know which points you want to cover, and the best order in which to do it. To make things even easier, you can also download and use our free blog post templates, which are pre-organized for five of the most common blog post types. Just fill in the blanks!8. Write your blog post!The next step — but not the last — is actually writing the content. We couldn’t forget about that, of course.Now that you have your outline/template, you’re ready to fill in the blanks. Use your outline as a guide and be sure to expand on all of your points as needed. Write about what you already know, and if necessary, do additional research to gather more information, examples, and data to back up your points, providing proper attribution when incorporating external sources. Need help finding accurate and compelling data to use in your post? Check out this roundup of sources — from Pew Research to Google Trends.If you find you’re having trouble stringing sentences together, you’re not alone. Finding your “flow” can be really challenging for a lot of folks. Luckily, there are a ton of tools you can lean on to help you improve your writing. Here are a few to get you started:Power Thesaurus: Stuck on a word? Power Thesaurus is a crowdsourced tool that provides users with a ton of alternative word choices from a community of writers.ZenPen: If you’re having trouble staying focused, check out this distraction-free writing tool. ZenPen creates a minimalist “writing zone” that’s designed to help you get words down without having to fuss with formatting right away.Cliché Finder: Feeling like your writing might be coming off a little cheesy? Identify instances where you can be more specific using this handy cliché tool.For a complete list of tools for improving your writing skills, check out this post. And if you’re looking for more direction, the following resources are chock-full of valuable writing advice:The Marketer’s Pocket Guide to Writing Well [Free Ebook]How to Write Compelling Copy: 7 Tips for Writing Content That ConvertsHow to Write With Clarity: 9 Tips for Simplifying Your MessageThe Kurt Vonnegut Guide to Great Copywriting: 8 Rules That Apply to AnyoneYour Blog Posts Are Boring: 9 Tips for Making Your Writing More InterestingThe Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Successful Blog in 20199. Edit/proofread your post, and fix your formatting.You’re not quite done yet, but you’re close! The editing process is an important part of blogging — don’t overlook it. Ask a grammar-conscious co-worker to copy, edit, and proofread your post, and consider enlisting the help of The Ultimate Editing Checklist (or try using a free grammar checker, like the one developed by Grammarly). And if you’re looking to brush up on your own self-editing skills, turn to these helpful posts for some tips and tricks to get you started:Confessions of a HubSpot Editor: 11 Editing Tips From the TrenchesHow to Become a More Efficient Editor: 12 Ways to Speed Up the Editorial Process10 Simple Edits That’ll Instantly Improve Any Piece of WritingWhen you’re ready to check your formatting, keep the following advice in mind …Featured ImageMake sure you choose a visually appealing and relevant image for your post. As social networks treat content with images more prominently, visuals are now more responsible than ever for the success of your blog content in social media. In fact, it’s been shown that content with relevant images receives 94% more views than content without relevant images.For help selecting an image for your post, read “How to Select the Perfect Image for Your Next Blog Post” — and pay close attention to the section about copyright law.Visual AppearanceNo one likes an ugly blog post. And it’s not just pictures that make a post visually appealing — it’s the formatting and organization of the post, too.In a properly formatted and visually appealing blog post, you’ll notice that header and sub-headers are used to break up large blocks of text — and those headers are styled consistently. Here’s an example of what that looks like:Also, screenshots should always have a similar, defined border (see screenshot above for example) so they don’t appear as if they’re floating in space. And that style should stay consistent from post to post.Maintaining this consistency makes your content (and your brand) look more professional, and makes it easier on the eyes.Topics/TagsTags are specific, public-facing keywords that describe a post. They also allow readers to browse for more content in the same category on your blog. Refrain from adding a laundry list of tags to each post. Instead, put some thought into a tagging strategy. Think of tags as “topics” or “categories,” and choose 10-20 tags that represent all the main topics you want to cover on your blog. Then stick to those.10. Insert a call-to-action (CTA) at the end.At the end of every blog post, you should have a CTA that indicates what you want the reader to do next — subscribe to your blog, download an ebook, register for a webinar or event, read a related article, etc. Typically, you think about the CTA being beneficial for the marketer. Your visitors read your blog post, they click on the CTA, and eventually you generate a lead. But the CTA is also a valuable resource for the person reading your content — use your CTAs to offer more content similar to the subject of the post they just finished reading.In the blog post, “What to Post on Instagram: 18 Photo & Video Ideas to Spark Inspiration,” for instance, readers are given actionable ideas for creating valuable Instagram content. At the end of the post is a CTA referring readers to download a comprehensive guide on how to use Instagram for business:See how that’s a win-win for everyone? Readers who want to learn more have the opportunity to do so, and the business receives a lead they can nurture … who may even become a customer! Learn more about how to choose the right CTA for every blog post in this article. And check out this collection of clever CTAs to inspire your own efforts.11. Optimize for on-page SEO.After you finish writing, go back and optimize your post for search.Don’t obsess over how many keywords to include. If there are opportunities to incorporate keywords you’re targeting, and it won’t impact reader experience, do it. If you can make your URL shorter and more keyword-friendly, go for it. But don’t cram keywords or shoot for some arbitrary keyword density — Google’s smarter than that!Here’s a little reminder of what you can and should look for:Meta DescriptionMeta descriptions are the descriptions below the post’s page title on Google’s search results pages. They provide searchers with a short summary of the post before clicking into it. They are ideally between 150-160 characters and start with a verb, such as “Learn,” “Read,” or “Discover.” While meta descriptions no longer factor into Google’s keyword ranking algorithm, they do give searchers a snapshot of what they will get by reading the post and can help improve your clickthrough rate from search.Page Title and HeadersMost blogging software uses your post title as your page title, which is the most important on-page SEO element at your disposal. But if you’ve followed our formula so far, you should already have a working title that will naturally include keywords/phrases your target audience is interested in. Don’t over-complicate your title by trying to fit keywords where they don’t naturally belong. That said, if there are clear opportunities to add keywords you’re targeting to your post title and headers, feel free to take them. Also, try to keep your headlines short — ideally, under 65 characters — so they don’t get truncated in search engine results.Anchor TextAnchor text is the word or words that link to another page — either on your website or on another website. Carefully select which keywords you want to link to other pages on your site, because search engines take that into consideration when ranking your page for certain keywords.It’s also important to consider which pages you link to. Consider linking to pages that you want to rank well for that keyword. You could end up getting it to rank on Google’s first page of results instead of its second page, and that ain’t small potatoes.Mobile OptimizationWith mobile devices now accounting for nearly 2 out of every 3 minutes spent online, having a website that is responsive or designed for mobile has become more and more critical. In addition to making sure your website’s visitors (including your blog’s visitors) have the best experience possible, optimizing for mobile will score your website some SEO points.Back in 2015, Google made a change to its algorithm that now penalizes sites that aren’t mobile optimized. This month (May 2016), Google rolled out their second version of the mobile-friendly algorithm update — creating a sense of urgency for the folks that have yet to update their websites. To make sure your site is getting the maximum SEO benefit possible, check out this free guide: How to Make a Mobile-Friendly Website: SEO Tips for a Post-“Mobilegeddon” World.12. Pick a catchy title.Last but not least, it’s time to spruce up that working title of yours. Luckily, we have a simple formula for writing catchy titles that will grab the attention of your reader. Here’s what to consider:Start with your working title.As you start to edit your title, keep in mind that it’s important to keep the title accurate and clear.Then, work on making your title sexy — whether it’s through strong language, alliteration, or another literary tactic.If you can, optimize for SEO by sneaking some keywords in there (only if it’s natural, though!).Finally, see if you can shorten it at all. No one likes a long, overwhelming title — and remember, Google prefers 65 characters or fewer before it truncates it on its search engine results pages.If you’ve mastered the steps above, learn about some way to take your blog posts to the next level in this post. Want some real examples of blog posts? See what your first blog post can look like, below, based on the topic you choose and the audience you’re targeting.Blog Post ExamplesList-Based PostThought Leadership PostCurated Collection PostSlideshare PresentationNewsjacking PostInfographic PostHow-to Post Hi 👋 What’s your name?First NameLast NameHi null, what’s your email address?Email AddressAnd your phone number?Phone NumberWhat is your company’s name and website?CompanyWebsiteHow many employees work there?1Does your company provide any of the following services?Web DesignOnline MarketingSEO/SEMAdvertising Agency ServicesYesNoGet Your Free Templates Topics: How to Write a Blog Post1. Understand your audience.Before you start to write your first blog post, have a clear understanding of your target audience. What do they want to know about? What will resonate with them? This is where creating your buyer personas comes in handy. Consider what you know about your buyer personas and their interests while you’re coming up with a topic for your blog post.For instance, if your readers are millennials looking to start their own business, you probably don’t need to provide them with information about getting started in social media — most of them already have that down. You might, however, want to give them information about how to adjust their approach to social media from a more casual, personal one to a more business-savvy, networking-focused approach. That kind of tweak is what separates you from blogging about generic stuff to the stuff your audience really wants (and needs) to hear.Don’t have buyer personas in place for your business? Here are a few resources to help you get started:Create Buyer Personas for Your Business [Free Template]Blog Post: How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your BusinessMakeMyPersona.com [Free Tool] How to Write a Blog Post Free Templates: Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Free Blog Post Templates
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Lead Generation This post originally appeared on Agency Post. To read more content like this, subscribe to Agency Post.Determining the success of your marketing programs and analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs) can be challenging if you don’t have access to industry data.But how can you improve your KPIs if you don’t understand which ones really matter?To find out how companies are generating demands for their brands and how successful they’ve been in these efforts, HubSpot and Qualtrics conducted a survey of 900 management-level marketers in North America and Europe. The results are included in our new ebook, The Demand Generation Benchmarks Report.Below is a highlight of the main charts and stats from the survey:Nearly 80% of companies not meeting their revenue goals attract 10,000 monthly website visitors or less. For those exceeding their revenue goals, nearly the reverse is true. 70% report attracting more than 10,000 visitors per month.Companies meeting or exceeding their revenue goals attract significantly more website traffic and generate more leads, Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), sales opportunities, and customers than those that aren’t.Companies with higher annual revenues tend to pay a higher cost per lead. However, companies with between $250,000 and $10 million in revenue all average a cost per lead of $26-$50.Companies with the highest annual revenue also report more visitors, leads, MQLs, sales opportunities, and customers than other companies.82% of companies generating $250,000 or less in annual revenue report generating less than 100 leads per month whereas only 8% of companies generating $1 billion in annual revenue report the same.74% of companies that weren’t exceeding revenue goals did not know their visitor, lead, MQL, or sales opportunities. 40% of companies not achieving their revenue goals didn’t know their click-through rate. That’s 90% more than those exceeding their revenue goals.34% of companies not achieving their revenue goals didn’t know their open rate — 52% more than those exceeding their revenue goals.60% of those exceeding their revenue goals had an above-average open rate, while the same was true for only 48% of those achieving their revenue goals and 35% of those not achieving their goals.79% of all marketing leads never convert into sales and a lack of lead nurturing is the common cause. Companies exceeding their revenue goals report branding, website design and optimization, and social media as their top 3 marketing investments. 24% of telecommunications companies aren’t reaching their revenue goals (20% higher than average), and it’s one of the few industries still ranking telemarketing and traditional advertising among their top investments.91% of companies not achieving their revenue goals generate 500 MQLs or less per month , whereas the same is true for only 45% of companies exceeding their revenue goals. The travel and tourism industry lists “online advertising” as a top investment, which is 75% more than other industries.Financial services companies list “marketing automation” as a top investment, which is 73% higher than other industries.Content creation is a top investment for 43% of information technology companies, which is 54% more than other industries.What kind of marketing technology do you use? Take our quick survey here. Originally published Jan 24, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017