A content marketing planning tool to help marketers generate ideas for the most engaging content types for their audiences
We created our Content Marketing Matrix to help our members audit their content marketing assets as part of creating a content marketing strategy. It can also be used for content ideation, i.e. to brainstorm future content ideas to generate leads, nurture prospects, encourage sharing and generate backlinks for SEO. It's a key part of our strategic approach to content marketing detailed in our 7 Steps to developing a content marketing strategy guide.
Since we created it eight years ago it's been shared many times and has inspired many 'mashups' in different formats as this Google search shows; great to see it's been useful!
I think the CMM is a powerful mindtool for marketers since it's a content mapping tool, structured to help you think through…
I'm sorry to break it to you, but building personas will probably take twice as long as you think it will. Now's the time to create accurate personas to reap the rewards from doing so.
When thinking about personas, what comes to mind? It's likely you'll think of persona cards like the one below. But there is a lot of work involved to get to that stage - there's no point simply creating persona cards based on who you think your customers are.
Many may think it's a good idea to have a quick look at data or produce them on the assumptions of every time they've dealt with customers, but by conducting persona research you can truly understand who your customers are.
Personalization is also becoming more important, personas help you to deliver content, services, and products to relevant and targeted customers and prospects. Here's why it's worth the time and effort.
[caption id="attachment_112641" align="alignnone" width="550"]…
It’s never been easier for B2B businesses to identify and target their ideal customers online.
"I have a great product or service but I just can’t seem to be able to find buyers."
I hear this a lot. It's one of the most frustrating things for a passionate business owner or manager with a solution that can solve a genuine problem for people.
For anyone who says "my product/service is for anyone that wants it", this may be true; but it won’t help you with your marketing strategy.
[si_guide_block id="18795" title="Download our Individual Member Resource – Customer persona guide and template" description="This template will be useful for both agency and client-side marketers to help them create compelling customer personas for their marketing plans."/]
Think about a sliding scale. At one end you have people who don’t, and probably never will have an interest in your solution.
At the other end, you have the person who recognizes…
A combination of data types allows marketers to identify and build out the segment of ideal and high-value customers
Segmentation helps boost the value that marketing teams bring to an organization. I am a big fan of the trusted segmentation toolkit, but for most companies, it can do with a much-needed upgrade.
Growing your current database with high-value customer acquisition seems just the way to get there. A new form of segmentation and targeting can be found with the use of Customer Data Platforms (CDP). A combination of data types allows marketers to identify and build out the segment of ideal, high-value customers.
Moving away from "blunderbuss marketing" from the start
Look at the Pillars of Segmentation marketing segmentation framework for a minute and you will realize that your data is at the heart of all segmentation efforts. Purchase data is a good starting point to identify interesting groups. What your a good…
Short ethnography studies can help to create personas and improve your website user experience and usability
Anyone who reads my Smart Insights blog posts will probably know by now that I try to achieve two things:
Show marketers that research isn't too difficult, time-consuming or expensive (ok that's actually three things there)
Show marketers the benefit of research and why it's worth the effort
The next method I want to talk to you about is a particularly time-consuming type of research: ethnography, which are long-term observational type studies, however, I also believe that a simple short-term ethnography study can also yield fantastic benefits for user research and building personas which I recommend contain these features:
Ethnography doesn't need to be time-consuming and there are ways of using this research method on a short-term basis to help increase your conversions and focus your marketing by helping…
Chart of the Day: Personas, Journey mapping, AB testing, VoC or NPS, which do you use?
From our research on managing digital marketing it's clear that there is a major challenge for many marketers of creating integrated strategies and communications plans. From a customer point-of-view there is also likely to be a poor experience if their customer journeys are unclear or restricted by the inability of brands to integrate their communications and experiences.
Since improving your customer journey can be one of the most effective ways to boost online leads and sales, we asked respondents which analysis techniques their businesses were using to research and improve the effectiveness of their customer journey.
You can see that using customer personas and customer journey mapping has become a popular approach which is great to see. Improved focus on customers can only be a good thing, both for businesses and…
Chart of the Day: Annual churn hits 23% in the high-tech industry
Email marketing is a vital channel for B2B marketers. Providing a high ROI when compared to other marketing channels. Which drives us, marketers, to spend many hours creating engaging content for our target personas. After all this effort when you're ready to hit the send, are you sure that your data is accurate?
A recent study by Salesforce found that the rate at which B2B marketers were able to grow their email lists looks relatively healthy. In the High Tech and Retail sectors, the growth is as high as 21%. On the face of it, most marketers would take a 21% growth rate each year.
Average Annual Growth by Vertical and Department
But this is only one side of the story. The report also looks at…
How to boost the effectiveness of your content marketing with properly mapped buyer personas
If you want to maximise results from your content marketing strategy, it is essential to map your buyer personas to the buying cycle. This is executed by delivering the right content, to the right people, at the right time.
If your business is B2B, your content marketing strategy is crucial to your success because 64 percent of B2B customers will engage in upwards of five blogs prior to purchase. However, a mere five percent of marketers believe their content marketing strategy is moving in the right direction, according to Top Rank Marketing.
Blogs, videos, ebooks, case studies, and infographics are all invaluable content marketing assets. And you want these content marketing assets represented in each stage of the buying cycle.
To make the absolute most of your content marketing strategy, you need to develop your buyer’s journey. This allows…
Chart of the Day: Most businesses address just three or more market segments with their content marketing
Marketers who are focused on campaigns, creative and marcomms can get a narrow view that marketing communications (that's content, social, ads, SEO, outdoor, video, you name it) are actually only one part of the marketing puzzle. But the smart marketer knows that spending time to develop accurate buyer personas and properly plan different strategies for targeting market segments and buyer states is also crucial.
The results of a survey which asked over 600 B2B Marketing professionals about their use of content marketing shows that plenty of content marketers are wising up to the need to properly segment their market and target different buyer personas and stages with different messaging and content formats.
Half of the companies were addressing three of more market segments, whilst almost half were addressing three or more buyer personas…
Exploring the benefits for small and medium businesses
Marketing Automation is one of the hottest trends in 2015, according to a recent SmartInsights survey.
However, adoption of this key technology is still in its early phase, especially amongst small businesses.
This article explains how small businesses are using a wide number of solutions as simple as keeping customer data on an excel spreadsheet, that they can see the benefit of using integrated marketing systems, just not yet. Because it is still a relatively new field, let's start with an explanation of what marketing automation is. I'll then go on to explain the overall benefits to business and the specific value that individual SMEs have expressed in our in-depth conversations and summarise with our predictions for SME adoption of automation.
[si_guide_block id="60769" title="Download Expert member resource – 7 Steps guide to digital marketing for startups, small…