A new free content planning template developed by Smart Insights and HubSpot

Regular readers may remember that, earlier in the year, we published some joint research with HubSpot to explore best practices in managing content marketing. Content marketing is still comfortably rated as the most commercially important marketing tactic for 2015 in my recent post exploring digital marketing technology options. Although content marketing is still seen as important by many businesses, our earlier research suggested that how to develop a content marketing strategy or plan is less clear. The chart below shows that the majority of businesses surveyed didn’t have a plan, but kudos to the 44% of businesses who do have a defined strategy!

The 4 Steps to creating a content marketing plan

To help develop a content marketing plan or review existing methods, I thought it could be helpful to apply some of…

Plus a clever Facebook cover image trick

With ever lowering Facebook reach, fan acquisition on Facebook is increasingly less of a desirable goal. Yet I do believe that the platform still has a major role to play for many brands, not least because of the ubiquity of the platform, but also for its simply awesome targeting potential. Savvy brands are using the platform to acquire new potential customers, but not necessarily as fans, instead they are using Facebook's wealth of advertising opportunities to data capture email addresses for their own databases. Page admins have moaned long and hard about decreasing reach - how hard it is to reach fans which many have paid to acquire. With the end of like gating and further algorithm changes afoot in January (Facebook will drastically reduce the reach of Pages that have a tendency to post promotional content with limited "context"), it is most certainly time to…

How to identify and manage the most efficient methods of generating leads

The most successful small businesses know how to identify and manage the most efficient methods of generating leads. Generally speaking, there are two main categories of lead generation tactics: outbound lead generation (where you reach out to the prospective customers via phone solicitation, direct mail, paid advertising, and email marketing) and inbound lead generation (where the customer finds you via Search Engine Optimization, social media, and PPC).

Deciding on the right lead generation strategy

Different methods (or combination of methods) might provide the best opportunity for new business leads, depending on your circumstances. Deciding on the right lead generation strategy depends on what you’re selling and how your customers get information that leads to a sale. Here are a few key concepts to keep in mind when deciding your lead generation strategy:

Tip 1 - Not all customers are on social media, and…

Fewer than half of businesses are responding to Digital Disruption by Digital Transformation

Business leaders today know that Digital technology is disruptive, the question is, how do they respond it as part of 'Digital Transformation' - as shown in the stages of our infographic. Pwc's 6th annual Digital IQ survey reveals that: 'having a strong Digital IQ, the by product of leveraging these five interlocking behaviours, were 2.2 times more likely to be top-performers in revenue growth, profitability, and innovation.' Their findings show that many larger businesses still trying to overcome challenges and 70% of those who are successfully driving Digital Transformation, are ensuring that their Chief Information Officer and Marketing Managers/Directors are working closely together to engage in 'digital discussions'.

How many businesses are concerned about the Digital Disconnect?

The findings show that 75% are ill-prepared to respond and adapt to technologies, and 69% can not keep up with the speed of technology, even though…

An introduction to Attribution Modelling

In a bid to connect web users with great content (and generally make the world a better place) Google is constantly tweaking its algorithm and filling SEO managers with dread. Updates like Penguin and Panda have altered the fabric of search entirely. The things that used to take your website to Page 1 simply don’t work anymore. But don’t believe the harbingers of doom just yet: SEO isn’t dead… it’s different. There are plenty of ways to understand your SEO effectiveness and so boost your rankings and improve the visibility of your site. An important part of the process is attribution modelling,

What is Attribution Modelling?

Attribution modelling is a system which can help you get the most from your marketing mix. Modern web users are smart and they don’t always purchase the first thing they see online. Often, they don’t buy something…

Plus techniques that can boost retailer loyalty

This new research from Emarsys explores the well-known thinking in marketing that it costs a lot to acquire a new customer, yet many will make a single purchase and not purchase again. A repeat purchase, on the other hand, costs far less than acquiring a new customer, estimated at between 4 and 7 times less. Despite this 'truism', many brands are failing to develop true loyalty according to this research. Although brand marketers talk about loyalty, this research show that few consumers have true loyalty. The implications? Measure loyalty to understand how your brand rates and the factors that drive or prevent loyalty. What's the reason behind this lack of loyalty? Well, marketers need to research this for their business, but it seems that poor communications is one reason... If we get our email marketing or other…

Plus three ingredients that you can combine to create a powerful name and strap line

The name you select for a brand, product or service will clearly have a major impact on how prospects and customers perceive your service, but what are the options for choosing the best name? There are lots of ways to name a business, a service, or a product. The addition of a strap line can take the name a little further. From nonsensical words, like Google, to highly descriptive names, like Compare the Market – there are just so many ways to think about naming! Whilst it's true that naming is a bit of an art and today we are often constrained by domain name availability, there are certainly a few issues to consider to guide you to choose a name that can work much harder for you.

1. Nonsense names – e.g. Google

The benefit of a name like this is that once you’ve lodged…

How does personalisation increase conversion rates?

In our experience, effective content personalization increases conversion rates, boosts lead generation and cuts cost per lead. It might be intuitive to believe a personalized message is more effective than a one-size-fits-all message, but intuition isn’t the driving force here – what does the data show? We have now served millions of personal content recommendations, and the evidence now shows an increase of 20%-30% in conversion rates, across all on existing traffic and content. Behind these numbers, there are several cool scientific reasons why this works so effectively.

5 ways personalisation enables you to generate more return from your content strategy

Here are five reasons why personalisation is effective, the first from the perspective of the marketer and four from the point-of-view of the online visitor:

1.  Take the economically-efficient choice and go after the low hanging fruit

If you are in marketing today you probably…

Who uses Snapchat by age, gender and country?

Do you think Snapchat is a 'fad'? Not so, particularly amongst the younger audience. There are now 400 million snapchats sent every day! This Snapchat infographic from GlobalWebIndex shows that the UK and United States rank amongst the top 3 countries for usage, as it's popular amongst the 16 - 24 year old 'snapchatters' who are multi-connecting across social media platforms. As we highlighted last year,  savvy brands targeting younger audiences are trialling Snapchat in marketing campaigns to connect with their youth audience. If you're still not sure how Snapchat works, watch this Youtube video which shows you the latest features.  …

Including 4 practical tips on mobile optimisation

With 2015 fast approaching, we within the marketing industry start to ask ourselves, what’s next? When prompted about their thoughts on the digital marketing trends of 2015, a large number of industry experts gave a similar response as shown in our recent survey Digital Trends for 2015. The answers given by many suggested that mobile marketing is now, and will be the pinnacle of brands' marketing strategy. There's a similar pattern in the Smart Insights poll of Digital Marketing Trends in 2015 with mobile marketing in third place behind content marketing and marketing automation. Rand Fishkin of Moz suggested that: ‘for many consumer-focused tasks, mobile is likely to eat away at desktop share’. Jason Falls suggests that ‘2015 will be all about figuring out mobile in some way, and Google will penalize you for not having…
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