Month: January 2013

Why Most Marketers Fail at Content Marketing

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If we believe Google Trends, throughout 2013 we will continue to see content marketing rise in popularity.

Content marketing trends

The challenge that most online marketing companies face is that they will now have to adapt to become content publishers.  Up until April 2012, most SEO companies focused on link building as the primary method to get their clients ranked high in the search engines.  Since Google changed their algorithm on the way that sites rank, there has been a drastic drop in the number of people interested in link building, and an increase in those interested in content marketing.

Before you begin a marketing campaign, ask yourself if you are making one of these common mistakes:

Mistake #1: They fail to use a content calendar

Using a content calendar is the foundation of a content marketing strategy. Content should not be created as an afterthought but rather planned out ahead of time. The content calendar should map out and plan the marketing for the year and all other activities should revolve around that calendar.

One easy way to start to plan a content calendar is to take a look at all of the upcoming holidays and think of what promotions you could offer for each month.  Once you plan out your promotions, decide if each month lends itself to a content theme.  Most businesses can segment out their products or services.  For example a DJ could create content around weddings, corporate events, and parties.  An ecommerce site could focus on the categories of their store.  For example a camping site might focus on tents one month and lanterns the next.

Mistake #2: They fail to use buyer personas

Buyer personas are sometimes thought of as outdated or not needed.  What some business owners fail to understand is that to have an effective marketing campaign, you need to have the right message to the right audience at the right time.  If you don’t understand who your customer is, you cannot create the right message for them. You need to understand who they are so you can know the questions they will be asking. With that knowledge, you can create content for buyer personas and each stage of the sales cycle.

To create buyer personas, take a step back and think about who your customer is.  How old are they? Are they male or female?  What type of job do they have?  What is their income?  Let’s take camping gear as an example again.  An ecommerce camping gear store might have the following types of personas:

Persona A: Family that is going camping for the first time.

Persona B: Avid camping family that camp every season.

Persona C: Military orders for bulk camping gear.

Each persona is going to ask different questions during the buying cycle.  Each will have different motivations and different needs.  Content can be created for each of the different personas.  Savvy content marketers will create content for each stage of the buying cycle as well!

Mistake #3: They fail to understand what good content is

Many marketers are still trying to create search engine optimized keyword stuffed content like it is 2011.   Even if they are not spinning articles and mass publishing them to multiple sites, they judge good content by if it was written by a US writer and not an overseas writer.  Good content today is not just about grammar and spelling.  Good content today is measured by content that is commented, liked, and shared.

Mistake #4: They think their job is done when the content is created

On the opposite extreme of trying to market a website and ask for content later, is the act of going through the process of creating high quality content and then not marketing it. Content promotion is actually 80% of the job.  Content promotion is not posting the same exact content on multiple sites, but rather promoting the content through social media. You can repurpose the content and publish in different formats on different sites but don’t confuse content publishing from content promotion.  You still need to use social media to promote the content.

Mistake #5: They don’t have a specific, measurable result

Although not every piece of content can always generate a result, a good content marketing strategy will have a specific goal.  Before beginning a content marketing strategy, map out what specific goals you want to achieve with your content marketing. Goals could be to get sign-ups for a webinar, increase likes to a page, increase opt-ins to a newsletter list.

Content marketing is the foundation of a successful online marketing campaign.  If you focus on creating high quality content that people will love, like, and share you will be well on your way to a successful campaign.
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3 Ways to Improve Your Twitter Marketing

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While newer social networks such as Pinterest and Google Plus may be growing in popularity, marketing on Twitter is still an effective way for many organizations to reach their marketing objectives. In fact, 32% of all Internet users are on Twitter (source: MarketingLand), and 34% of marketers have generated leads using Twitter (source: Digital Buzz Blog).

With that in mind, here are 3 ways you can improve your Twitter marketing in 2013.

1. Interact and Engage with Your Audience

This may sound obvious, but it’s easy for marketers to fall into the trap of simply tweeting thought leadership content and promotions. Sharing content is helpful, to be sure, but the real value in using Twitter is the opportunity to develop relationships with your audience. So interact with people, reply to their tweets, ask questions, and start building new relationships.

Example: How Zappos Can Improve Their Efforts

Follow and engage with happy customers who Tweet about your product—these people are already promoting your product, for FREE.

For example, let's say you are Zappos and one of your goals for marketing on Twitter is increase sales by strengthening relationships with your current customers. You can setup an alert for whenever someone Tweets with a combination of the keywords "received", "Zappos", and "order". (SproutSocial is my personal favorite solution for monitoring conversations like this.) Then, you'll see when your customers Tweet about your orders, and be able to thank and acknowledge them. See tip 2 below for advice on keyword monitoring.

Monitor Customer Tweets

To demonstrate this, I did a quick search on Twitter for those exact keywords, and came up with a reasonable number of Tweets, from both happy and dissatisfied customers. This is an incredible opportunity for Zappos to build deeper relationships with their satisfied customers, and also handle complaints from unhappy customers.

Engage with Satisfied Customers

Don't ignore customer complaints on Twitter—use them to create a better relationship with your customers.

For the positive Tweets from happy customers, Zappos could reply with something simple like "We're thrilled you received the order. Let us know how you like the shoes", and add that customer to a list that they can engage with in the future. The more they acknowledge customers Tweeting about them, the more likely they those customers will be to Tweet about them in the future, as well. Make it easy for them to promote your brand.

Acknowledge Unhappy Customers (and Turn Them into Raving Fans)

As for the Tweets from unhappy customers, there is no better way to turn an unhappy customer into an evangelist than by acknowledging complaints publicly. Based on the activity in the Zappos Twitter accounts, I don't see them spending too much time on it, but at the least, they could allocate 1 hour a day replying to customer Tweets. Even without the hard data, I know the ROI for engaging with and acknowledging your customers for 1 hour a day is there, especially if you are solving complaints from customers that would otherwise use customer service resources, or never purchase from you again.

2. Monitor Conversations and Relevant Keywords

Monitoring keywords is a great (and easy!) way to find targeted people to follow, offer timely advice, and stay on top of industry trends. Get started by monitoring the following types of keywords, in order of priority:

Brand Mentions

Monitor brand mentions, including Tweets with the domain of your website

Start by monitoring mentions of your company and brand, including @mentions and Tweets with your brand and product name(s). For example, Cisco would want to monitor mentions of the Cisco brand and Twitter handle, in addition to variations of individual products, such as "WebEx". I consider monitoring brand mentions critical, regardless of resources and priorities.

If you are a larger organization with an unmanageable amount of mentions, tools such as Salesforce/Radian6 can help you filter through the noise and focus your efforts on the most important Tweets.

Links to Your Site

Make sure to monitor when people tweet links to your website, even if they don't mention your brand name or Twitter handle—you can do this by simply setting up a search for the domain of your website. For example, at OMI, we monitor when people Tweet the keyword "onlinemarketinginstitute", because that is the domain of our website.

Pain Points

Monitor conversations directly related to the solution your problem solves—use the jargon they use to describe your need. For example, if you are an email marketing vendor, you can monitor when people Tweet with keywords such as "improve open rates" or "improve deliverability".

Related Businesses and Competitors

Expand your efforts by monitoring conversations related to complementary businesses and competitors. For example, at OMI, we monitor when people Tweet about Marketo and ExactTarget, because they are solutions that are target audience uses, and people we could potentially engage with.

You can also monitor people Tweet about your competitors, and follow them as well. This will provide great insight into your industry and business, and may even allow you to engage in a conversation when it is relevant (but not creepy).

Interests of Your Target Audience

Finally, once you're successfully monitoring the above keywords and need to grow your efforts, start monitoring conversations about your industry and topics your target audience is interested in. For example, an email marketing vendor could monitor conversations related to events that their audience would attend such as the Online Marketing Summit, or publications that their audience reads, such as the OMI blog or ClickZ. They could also monitor conversations about social media or digital marketing in general, because a marketer that would purchase an email solution would likely be interested in those topics, as well.

3. Grow Your Audience

Twitter Spam Accounts

Unfortunately, fake Twitter accounts usually don't have budget for your product or service (or know anyone that does, either).

Now that you're engaging with people and monitoring conversations, start to find new and interesting people to follow to increase your reach. Focus on building a community of potential customers, partners, influencers, and evangelists. Don't pay for followers or automate the process of growing your audience unless fake Twitter accounts actually buy your product or service (or know someone that will).

Find New People to Follow

To start growing your audience, find and target new and influential people to follow. You can find these users by 1) monitoring keywords and conversations 2) reviewing the followers of people and businesses in your industry and 3) reviewing lists that other related Twitter accounts have created. Don't worry about only following people that are potential customers—what you want to do is focusing on building a relevant Twitter community. This includes social media partners, related businesses, evangelists, influencers, and of course, your target audience. Even if many of these people may never buy your product or service, they can still help you amplify your message and achieve your marketing goals.

Add These Twitter Users to Lists

Once you start finding new people to follow, I recommend adding those accounts to a segmented list within your social media management tool. For instance, if you identify 20 key influencers or 20 potential customers and add them to a list, you can easily focus on consistently engaging with just those users over a certain period of time.

More Activity Leads to More Followers

As a general rule, the more you Tweet, the  more followers you’ll have, the more you engage with the people you follow, the more likely they will be to follow you back. Effective Twitter marketing takes time—you can't automate it. And you won't achieve your goals by simply Tweeting once a day or once a week (in fact, inactivity can do more damage than good). But with a solid plan and effort, Twitter may prove to be on of your most effective marketing channels.

Learn how to grow a high-quality Twitter following and ignite conversations with your audience.

In the OMI class, Twitter Best Practices and Tactics for Success, I reveal how to successfully leverage Twitter for your business. From engagement to growth tactics, you'll learn proven ways to grow your audience and develop meaningful relationships with them. Get instant access now—FREE.

 


12 Quick SEO Tips for Facebook’s New Graph Search

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Earlier this month, Facebook revealed a new way to search. Facebook Graph Search is a product designed to allow users to leverage their network of friends to find photos, dates, businesses, restaurants, music, and much more, all based on the data generated from Facebook friends.

While Facebook Graph Search is currently in beta, it is important to consider how this new product might affect your business and the search industry as a whole.

How does Facebook Graph Search Work?

Facebook aggregates all the information contributed by your network - likes, check-ins, tags, photos, etc. and indexes them to expose search functionality. The search bar is replaced with a new search box, and suggested categories for searching (including My friends, Photos of my friends, Restaurants nearby, Games my friends play, Music my friends like and Photos I have liked) appear. Users then enter their search query into the box to produce the results that Facebook determines are most relevant.

While some details are certainly in flux due to the beta nature of the product, Facebook has already confirmed that likes and check-ins on Facebook provide signals to increase your brand's rank and visibility. Therefore, it is important that before this product is adopted across Facebook that you set your business up for success now. So, let’s walk through some initial tips on how to optimize your brand page for Facebook Graph Search.

Optimizing your Business Facebook Page

Here are some basic tips for optimizing your business page for Facebook Graph Search:

1. First, if your business does not have a branded Facebook Page, create one. Your business can be listed in this search product even if you haven’t created a Page. So, rather than allow your business to show up without meaningful context, be proactive and create a page.

2. Customize the vanity URL of your Facebook Page to match your business name. Consider including keywords that users might include in their search (such as facebook.com/searchscholars).

3. Update your “About” section with keywords that your target audience uses to search for you. Specify the name, category and information about your business to be as relevant for users as possible and provide context.

4. If your business has a physical location or a local place Page, make sure your address is up-to-date so that individuals searching for a place nearby can find you.

5. Finally, build a relevant fan base for your Page and drive engagement with them on a regular basis. Encourage customers, friends, family and business partners to “like” your page.

This last point is an important one. Since Facebook has already revealed that your ranking is determined by the number of quality likes and relevant check-ins your Page receives, focus on building and driving these types of numbers.

Tips to Drive Check-ins

6. Discounts: Consider rewarding customers for checking into your business by providing a discount or free service.

7. Contests: Host an accomplishable contest (“Be the 100th customer to check-in to our restaurant and receive a free meal”).

8. Physical signage: Leverage signage in your place of business or place your Facebook Page information in your promotional materials. This can be a great way to expose users and encourage activity on your Facebook Page.

Tips to Drive Likes

9. Interests: Appeal to users’ personal interests to drive likes.

10. Humor: Consider using humor and entertaining content in your posts to personally relate to customers.

11. Cute photos: Don’t forget to post the occasional cute photo on your wall - shares are a great way to gather viral traffic.

12. Leverage your own network: Posting frequently to get people to like your page is considered “spamming,” but ask when you set up the page and every once in awhile to your network.

In summary, while its too early to know how successful Facebook Graph Search will be, implementing the above recommendations will help you stay ahead of the curve.

Download comScore’s Power of Like white paper now.

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How to Use Facebook Promoted Posts for Lead Generation

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Even with your jaw-dropping cover image, people are just less likely to go your brand page nowadays. And, Facebook estimates only about 16% of your fans will ever see the posts you publish from your brand page appear in their newsfeed. As we know, appearing in the newsfeed of your fans and friends of fans is critical to give your content the traction needed to justify your social marketing efforts.

Promoted Posts and Custom Facebook Tabs Together Drive Leads

Using your paid search budget on promoted posts (instead of Facebook ads) will allow your content to appear in prospects' newsfeeds. You can then drive them to your lead-gen form housed within a Facebook custom tab.

Test this to see if it’ll work for your fans, but I’ve seen that keeping people within Facebook instead of sending them to an external landing page generally encourages social sharing and increased comments on the content your brand page publishes. These forms of engagement can then be monitored in Facebook’s insights ‘Talking About This’.

And creating Facebook tabs is incredibly easy now. There are services like ShortStack which allows you to add a custom form widget offering white paper download functionality. Or, if you’re using Marketo for marketing automation, specific editions will allow you to publish the landing page you’ve created within Marketo directly as a Facebook tab (view how-to here).

As people express interest and fill out the form requesting the industry research paper or more information, keep this list segmented as ‘leads from Facebook’ as a way to measure ROI from this channel and to tailor your messaging for this group of people.

Just make sure to remember that promoted posts appear in the newsfeed at times when someone isn't directly searching for your product, so keep the messaging informational and inviting – rather than a hard sell. Don't over promote either for risk of annoying prospects. Instead, use promoted posts as a way to introduce your brand. It's a perfect additional touch point to keep your brand in front of prospects, so that when they’re confronted with a problem that your service offers a solution for, they’ll know where to look.

Ready to learn more?

Download comScore’s Power of Like white paper now.

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How to Add Google Plus Authorship to Blog Posts

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Have you searched Google recently and noticed a photo next to a news or a search result? This is called authorship information and Google displays it if you have verified your Google Plus profile as a contributor to the website housing the content that triggered the result.

Google Authorship

Online content creators link their Google Plus profile with the blogs or websites they contribute to for the chance to have their picture appear next to the Google search result. I say "chance" because Google will only display it if Google deems it adds value to the user’s quest for information.

And writers are betting that their name and photo next to a search result could deem the result more credible to the user, potentially resulting in more traffic to the page.

So how does someone verify their Google Plus profile as a contributor?

First, make sure your Google Plus profile photo is a recognizable headshot, and that your profile is set to be ‘visible in search’. Second, make sure the website that you’re a contributor to displays a clear byline of your name (i.e. by Rachele Cermak).

Now you have two options to verify, but let’s start with the easier of the two. You can link your content to your Google Plus profile using an email address, as long as the email address belongs to the site you’re contributing to.

For example, I would need rachele@examplesite.com to be verified as a contributing writer of www.examplesite.com. If you have that, submit your e-mail address to Google’s Authorship form.

But what if you don’t have an e-mail address? You’ll need to edit your Google Plus profile to add the URL of the website under ‘Contributor to’.

Google Authorship

Then have the website you’re contributing to add a bit of code that includes your Google Plus profile ID to identify you as the author of the post.

<a href=”[profile_URL]?rel=author”>by Your Name</a>

Now to make sure everything is working, submit the URL of one of your own articles to Google’s Structured Data Tool.

If it’s working, it’ll display green verified squares to indicate the page is properly setup to display authorship information, but don’t expect any instant gratification in the SERPs, as there is no guarantee it’ll be displayed but at least you've done your part.

Learn more about the benefits of creating a Google Plus page for your business in the class, Google Plus and SEO Reputation Management.

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Top 40 Digital Strategists in Marketing

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The Online Marketing Institute is pleased to honor 40 digital strategists in marketing, selected as the leaders that have led the interactive marketing industry through innovation and education during the past year.

This 'Top 40' list is compromised of OMI educators, authors, digital strategists and speakers, known for:

  1. Embracing the latest integrated digital strategies and technologies
  2. Advancing the industry through education — speaking, blogging, and teaching
  3. Driving game-changing results for their clients and organizations

As marketers continue to shift offline budget to online channels, its critical that they stay on top of the latest changes, proven best practices, and newest opportunities. Through their speaking, blogging, and teaching, the leaders below are enabling marketers to do just that.

In conjunction with this announcement, we asked the top 40 strategists to share their best advice for driving digital marketing ROI in 2013. You can see their advice in these 3 blog posts: Part 1—Social Media InsightsPart 2—B2B Marketing InsightsPart 3—Digital Marketing Insights.

Here is our annual list of 'Top 40 Digital Strategists in Marketing', in alphabetical order:

Kim Albee1. Kim Albee

Founder & CEO, Genoo | @kimalbee

Kim Albee is the founder of Genoo, a provider of marketing automation and integrated online marketing tools. With over 23 years of software experience including 15 years of corporate and entrepreneurial management, Kim works closely with customers to ensure that marketing and sales are able to sustain and improve their alignment.  Kim frequently shares her expertise in B2B digital marketing at events such as MarketingSherpa's B2B Summit and Online Marketing Summit, and has authored a quick-read booklet, “Effective Online Marketing In A Nutshell."

Tim Ash2. Tim Ash

CEO, SiteTuners | @Tim_Ash

Tim Ash is author of the bestselling book Landing Page Optimization, and CEO of SiteTuners, a firm that specializes in improving website conversion rates through landing page diagnosis and redesign, conversion consulting, a/b and multivariate test plan creation, and client training/mentoring. A computer scientist and cognitive scientist by education (his PhD studies were in Neural Networks and Artificial Intelligence), Tim has developed an expertise in user-centered design, persuasion and understanding online behavior, and landing page testing.

Tim is a highly-regarded keynote and conference presenter, and has published hundreds of articles about website usability, best practices in landing page design and tactics to improve website conversion rates. He regularly conducts live landing page critiques at in-person conferences—these sessions are informative and entertaining, and usually standing room only, too.

3. Laurie B. Beasley

Co-Founder, Beasley Direct Marketing

Laurie B. Beasley is co-founder and president of Beasley Direct Marketing, a Silicon Valley direct marketing agency that has managed search, email, online, and demand generation campaigns for nearly a hundred companies. Laurie is an instructor of online marketing at UC Berkeley Extension, and teaches in the Level 2 Demand Generation Certification program for the Online Marketing Institute. She is able to efficiently improve her clients' return on digital investment by applying her experience in classic direct-response marketing to the web. And her classes on email marketing are proof—Laurie not only focuses on how to get your messages delivered, but more importantly, how to get them acted upon.

Rohit Bhargava4. Rohit Bhargava

Founder, Influential Marketing Group| @RohitBhargava

Rohit Bhargava is Founder of the Influential Marketing Group, and an expert focused on helping companies bring more humanity back to their businesses. Rohit helped found the world's largest team of social media strategists at Ogilvy, where led marketing strategy for clients including Intel, Pepsi, Lenovo, Seiko, and Unilever. He's also the bestselling author of two books including the recent global marketing best seller LIKEONOMICS.

Rohit has written over 900 pieces of marketing advice on his personal blog, Influential Marketing, and has been featured in The Wall Street JournalBusinessWeek, and NPR. Rohit teaches marketing at Georgetown University, and presents keynote speeches not only on digital marketing and social media, but also on authenticity, creativity, and storytelling—because that's what great marketing is about.

LaSandra Brill5. LaSandra Brill

Senior Manager of Global Social Media Marketing, Cisco | @LaSandraBrill

LaSandra Brill is a change agent, social media enthusiast and marketing visionary who was named ‘2012: 25 Women Who Rock Social Media’ by TopRank Marketing Blog. As Senior Manager of Global Social Media Marketing, LaSandra Brill shapes Cisco’s marketing strategy to include a mix of innovative digital, mobile and social media techniques. She's known for building and executing the social media strategy of one of the top 5 product launches in Cisco history, and for driving social innovation across the organization. Based on her success at Cisco, LaSandra demonstrates how social CRM gives businesses a more complete view of their customers in the class, Social Intelligence Drives Social CRM.

Sarah Bundy6. Sarah Bundy

Founder, All Inclusive Marketing | @svbundy

Sarah is the founder and CEO of All Inclusive MarketingAffiliate Management Trainers, and Affiligate.org. Her passion lies in teaching advertisers how to get more out of their affiliate marketing programs through innovation, increased profits and high value affiliate relationships. Sarah leads the affiliate marketing department at the Online Marketing Institute where she educates students on performance marketing. Her blog, SarahBundy.com has been nominated for this year's Pinnacle Award and is ranked in the Top 25 Affiliate Marketing Blogs of 2012. In her class, Affiliate Marketing 101, Sarah shares how marketers can get started in affiliate marketing, and use it to build their business.

7. Lisa Buyer

CEO, The Buyer Group | @lisabuyer

When it comes to relationships, Lisa Buyer believes the connection between social media, search, and public relations is exponential. As the founder of three media companies and CEO of The Buyer Group, Lisa is ambitious about the influence of public relations on social media, SEO, and SEM, and she continues to share her innovative approach with clients, peers, and associates. Lisa contributes to leading publications such as Search Engine Watch, and speaks frequently at events including Search Engine Strategies and Online Marketing Summit. With experience both in-the-trenches and at a more strategic level—Lisa knows how to help marketers efficiently boost business results. In fact, she explains how B2B marketers can harness the visual web to increase brand awareness in the class, B2B Visual Storytelling.

Kelly Cutler8. Kelly Cutler

CEO, Marcel Media

Kelly is the CEO of Marcel Media, a Chicago-based digital marketing firm specializing in search, social and analytics. Kelly has applied her knowledge and expertise to clients ranging from eCommerce to healthcare to financial services. Kelly shares her insights at conferences and events around the country, including the American Marketing Association, Search Engine Strategies, Healthcare Internet Conference and many more. She has also taught at DePaul University and University of Chicago. Kelly began her career in the online media space in 1997 with companies including Classified Ventures and AOL.

Tami Dalley9. Tami Dalley

Sr. Director of Analytics and Insights, Salesforce Marketing Cloud | @DataDivaDalley

Tami Dalley oversees the analytics and insights team at  Salesforce Marketing Cloud. A self-proclaimed "fanatical explorer," Tami has more than a decade of industry experience in deep-dive web analytics, usability consulting, competitive intelligence, landing page design and multivariate testing. Tami's work has been honored with the Search Engine Strategies Award for "Most Effective Use of Web Analytics" as well as the HSMAI Gold Arian Award for "Outstanding Search Marketing Strategy." Tami explains how to effectively measure attribution and digital success in her class, Changing the Way We Measure Success.

Matt Dombrow10. Matt Dombrow

Founding Partner, Clixio | @mattdombrow

Upon entering the internet marketing industry in 2004, Upon entering the Internet marketing industry in 2004, Matt Dombrow quickly realized that everyone was chasing traffic but only a handful of people were working to convert all of those top search rankings into customers. Matt’s passion and focus has always been on increasing his clients' website conversion rates and driving bottom line results.  Founding partner and head of business development at Clixo, a Denver based, boutique agency that specializes in paid online advertising combined with conversation rate optimization, Matt’s eclectic work history and holistic approach to Internet marketing routinely produce conversion gains of 30% - 250%.

Leslie Drate11. Leslie Drate

Social Media Team Lead, Cisco

Leslie Drate oversees the planning and operations of Cisco social media channels focused on serving the needs of the global Cisco community. Leslie is a 20+ year marketing veteran with a background in website development, ecommerce, and content strategy. In addition, Leslie is an expert on the Cisco video landscape and building effective videos for the BtoB audience. Leslie shares advice for B2B content in the class, Best Practices for Business to Business Video.

Janet Miller12. Janet Driscoll Miller

President & CEO, Search Mojo | @JanetDMiller

Janet Driscoll Miller brings over ten years of search engine marketing experience to Search Mojo and is considered a leading expert in her field. Janet has spoken at search engine conferences including SMX Advanced, Search Engine Strategies and Pubcon, has published articles in B2B Magazine, Visibility Magazine and others, and contributes to several blogs, including Search Marketing SageMarketing Pilgrim and Search Engine Journal.

Emeric Ernoult13. Emeric Ernoult

Co-Founder, AgoraPulse | @eernoult

Emeric Ernoult is the co-founder of AgoraPulse, a Paris and San Francisco based Facebook Marketing Technology launched in 2011. He is considered one of the European pioneers in the field of social medifa marketing. The first company he co-founded in 2000 was a technology allowing brands to create their own white label social network—four years before Ning or Facebook launched. Emeric has advised French and international brands such as Virgin Megastores, FIA and Microsoft. He is a member of the Board of the Social Media Club in Paris, France and is a regular speaker at European conferences such as iStrategy, Digital Paris and eMarketing. He shares best practices for successful Facebook Marketing in his class, Facebook's Best Kept Marketing Secret.

Rand Fishkin14. Rand Fishkin

CEO | SEOmoz, @RandFish

Rand Fishkin is the CEO of SEO software company; SEOmoz. He co-authored the Art of SEO from O'Reilly Media, co-founded Inbound.org, and was named on PSBJ's 40 Under 40 List and BusinessWeek's 30 Best Tech Entrepreneurs Under 30. Rand has keynoted conferences on search around the world, and shares his insights on SEO and digital marketing in his popular video blog, Whiteboard Friday. He’s particularly passionate about the SEOmoz blog, read by tens of thousands of search professionals each day. Rand is an addict of all things content & social on the web, from his blog on entrepreneurship to TwitterGoogle+Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Aaron Goldman15. Aaron Goldman

CMO, Kenshoo | @AaronGoldman

Aaron Goldman is Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Freestyle Rap at Kenshoo, a digital marketing software company that engineers global technology solutions for search marketing, social media and online advertising. Goldman has been running the digital marketing rap game for more than 12 years, and is the author of Everything I Know about Marketing I Learned from Google (McGraw-Hill 2010). Aaron reveals proven advice for effective search and social strategy in the class, Successful Execution of Search & Social.

16. Dax Hamman

Chief Revenue Officer, Chango | @DaxHamman

Dax Hamman is the Chief Revenue Officer at Chango, the leading company in Search Retargeting, and is based in Chicago and Toronto. Prior, Dax founded and led the global iCrossing media group, developing the concept of ‘performance display’, an innovative planning strategy that drove significant ROI from display advertising for some of the world’s largest and coolest brands. He has 13+ years in the digital space with experience in just about everything online, including media, usability, creative, technical management and affiliate marketing. He writes and speaks extensively, particularly on new and emerging techniques within the digital media space.

Simon Heseltine17. Simon Heseltine

Director of SEO, AOL | @SimonHeseltine

Simon Heseltine is in charge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) at AOL Inc. Simon and his team are responsible for organic search and training across all AOL and Huffington Post Media Group properties. Simon writes a regular column for SearchEngineWatch.com on a variety of topics within the marketing industry, and has previously written for other industry sites, such as SearchEngineLand.com (for their in-house marketing column). He is a frequent speaker at conferences in the US & UK on topics ranging from SEO to social search to reputation management. He also teaches SEO at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. as part of their Digital Media Management program.

James Hickey18. James Hickey

Founder, JMH Marketing Group | @sdentrepreneur

James Hickey is a top leader in the internet marketing industry. He provides his clients and students with a proven internet marketing business model for retail businesses. He is an expert in all aspects of internet marketing , including Google Adwords, video marketing, blogging, article marketing and social media marketing, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, mobile application download strategy and more.

19. Kris Jones

Founder, ReferLocal | @krisjonescom

Kris Jones is a prominent and respected internet marketing expert and award winning entrepreneur. He brings with him expert knowledge of affiliate and search engine marketing and has been featured as keynote, panel member, and moderator at prominent national and international industry conferences and events. In addition to speaking to business owners, marketers, and fellow technology buffs, Kris has delivered dozens of inspirational speeches to thousands of college students at colleges and universities around the United States.

Sundeep Kapur20. Sundeep Kapur

Director of Strategic Marketing - Ecommerce, NCR | @emailyogi

Sundeep Kapur has been assisting organizations with their converged channel marketing strategies since 1990. From direct marketing to digital to converged, he is a passionate teacher who works with businesses across multiple industries, helping them to enable technology and services to brand, personalize and speak to consumers more effectively. Sundeep is also an avid user of social media, having leveraged words, pictures, & video into a conversational blog. His daily dose of best practices can be found at EmailYogi.com, where he wrote his 1,000th article on February 17, 2011. Sundeep shares how to effectively integrate your social and email strategy in his OMI class, 5 Ways to Leverage Social Media to Improve Email Marketing.

Warren Lee21. Warren Lee

SEO Manager, ADOBE | @SEOCUBED

Warren Lee is responsible for over ~48 million monthly visits from SEO to ADOBE. Warren manages SEO for Adobe.com, Photoshop.com and the many web properties owned by ADOBE. Prior to ADOBE Warren worked for MOVE inc. where Warren was also an in house SEO manager responsible for keeping Realtor.com the #1 most visited website in the real estate industry as reported by Comscore. Warren frequently shares his experience and insights on SEO at events such as Online Marketing Summit and Search Engine Strategies.

David Lewis22. David Lewis

Founder, DemandGen International, Inc. | @demandgendave

David Lewis is an early pioneer in Internet marketing, marketing automation, and CRM systems with over 22 years experience marketing and selling technology solutions through direct sales channels, online, and distribution channels. In 2007, he founded DemandGen International, Inc. a global consulting firm helping companies deploy and utilize marketing automation and CRM systems. DemandGen has become the trusted advisor to the world’s leading marketing and sales teams combining superior service, business process, and technology expertise.

Kent Lewis23. Kent Lewis

President, Anvil Media | @kentlewis

With a background in integrated marketing, Kent Lewis left a public relations agency in 1996 to start his career in search engine marketing. Since then, he’s helped grow businesses by connecting his clients with their constituents via the Internet. In 2000, Lewis founded Anvil Media, Inc., a digital marketing agency specializing in search engine and social media marketing for Fortune 2000 companies. Under his leadership, Anvil has received recognition from Portland Business Journal and Inc. Magazine as a Fastest Growing and Most Philanthropic Company. Kent reveals best practices for social media analytics in this OMI class, What to Measure in Social and Why.

Mike Lewis24. Mike Lewis

VP Sales and Marketing, Awareness, Inc. | @BostonMike

Mike Lewis is an international speaker, author of “Stand Out Social Marketing”, active blogger and Twitter personality. He is Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Awareness, Inc, a social media marketing software provider.  Mike helps companies like Sony Pictures, Major League Baseball,  American Cancer Society, FOX Broadcasting, and many others, realize the benefits of social media marketing and how to align social technology with practical business benefits.

Brian Massey25. Brian Massey

Conversion Sciences | @bmassey

Brian Massey is the Conversion Scientist at Conversion Sciences and he has the lab coat to prove it. He’s helped dozens of businesses transform their sites through a steady diet of visitor profiling, purposeful content, analytics and testing. Brian’s workshops have been characterized as “memorable” and can be attended virtually here at OMI. In addition, he's spoken at the Direct Marketing Association conference, PubCon, Innotech, Destination Design Management, OMMA and almost anywhere else people will listen. He “gets them early” by speaking at major universities and is available for corporate workshops. His OMI class, The Blog Volcano, is a perfect example of his engaging, memorable teaching style.

Jon Miller26. Jon Miller

VP Marketing, Marketo | @jonmiller

Jon Miller leads strategy and execution for all aspects of Marketo's thought leadership and content marketing programs. He is the executive editor of the popular Marketo blog, Modern B2B Marketing, and author of the comprehensive handbook, The Definitive Guide to Marketing Metrics and Analytics. Jon holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard College and has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Josh Ochs27. Josh Ochs

Founder, MediaLeaders | @JoshOchs

Josh Ochs is the Author of “Light, Bright And Polite,” and the founder of MediaLeaders: The Marketing Team that Advises 36+ Brands On Social Media.

With background in marketing at Disney and a love for all things technology, Josh Ochs combines both to advise businesses on how to use social media to find new customers, nurture existing relationships and tie each campaign back to the bottom line. As the grassroots founder of MediaLeaders, the team that manages Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn for over 36 brands, Josh is leading the industry with innovative and creative campaigns that blend traditional sales methods with new technology. Josh outlines many of his counter-intuitive techniques in his latest book: “Light, Bright and Polite” which shares many of his tips with businesses of all types.

Lee Odden28. Lee Odden

CEO, TopRank Online Marketing | @LeeOdden

Lee Odden is the author of Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing. He is also the CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, a digital marketing and online PR agency that specializes in a 360 degree approach to growing new business and community engagement online. Lee has over 15 years experience in online marketing consulting, and is an active international speaker and publishes one of the most popular marketing blogs on the web.

It's hard to sum up Lee's extensive list of accomplishments in speaking, writing, and teaching, so we'll stick to this: Lee has written for top industry publications such as Mashable, MarketingProfs, and ClickZ; has keynoted Online Marketing Summit, Social Media Junction and Search Exchange, and is a long time speaker at Search Engine Strategies, PRSA Annual conference, BlogWorld Expo and WebmasterWorld Pubcon.

Jason Patterson29. Jason Patterson

Industry Advisor, comScore

Jason Patterson joined comScore to help advertisers get the most out of their digital media investment using comScore’s end-to-end suite of digital measurement solutions. For 12 years, Jason has produced research solutions and analytics yielding actionable insights into media usage and consumer trends for a variety of the world’s largest advertisers. Jason teaches students how to increase the effectiveness of campaign messages in the class, Validating Campaign Delivery: How to Thrive In Our Evolving Digital Economy.

Brent Payne30. Brent Payne

CEO, Loud Interactive | @BrentDPayne

Brent D. Payne, of Loud Interactive, started doing ‘SEO’ before it was even called ‘SEO’. He’s an internet marketer with over a decade of experience and proven success. He cut his teeth in online marketing as a vendor for Amazon.com where he became Amazon’s second largest electronics vendor by driving demand to Amazon from search engines. Brent is esteemed as one of the top SEOs in the world. He speaks around the world (just Google ‘SEO presentations’ to find them) at online conferences and has held online marketing roles at prestigious companies such as Tribune Company, where he grew Tribune’s search engine traffic from 500,000 visits per day to 1,700,000 visits per day in just 3 years.

Ryan Phelan31. Ryan Phelan

Vice President of Strategy, Acxiom/Digital Impact | @ryanpphelan

Ryan Phelan is the Vice President of Strategy for Acxiom/Digital Impact with over 13 years of online marketing experience to help clients realize the potential within their email programs. Prior to Acxiom, Ryan served as VP, Strategy for BlueHornet and Director of email marketing and acquisition for Sears.com and Kmart.com.  Prior to his tenure at Sears Holdings, Ryan managed the east coast professional services division at Responsys and was director of internet marketing and advertising at InfoUSA. Ryan is a frequent speaker on digital marketing, and he reveals the latest techniques for successful social integration in his class, 5 Fundamentals of Integrating Social into all Digital Efforts.

Ben Pickering32. Ben Pickering

CEO, Strutta | @bpicks

Ben Pickering is the CEO of Strutta, a leading social marketing platform and Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer. Prior to Strutta, Ben worked at Yahoo! where he held a variety of strategic roles within the company’s display advertising business. He started his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers, providing transaction support to the firm’s global high tech client base on their M&A activity. As a writer, Ben has appeared on Mashable and Huffington Post Tech, and is a featured contributor to Social Media Examiner. He has spoken on the topic of social media promotions and marketing at events such as the AllFacebook Marketing Conference, Likeable Media’s #Likeable U Summit and as an instructor for the Online Marketing Institute.

Adam Proehl33. Adam Proehl

Managing Partner, NordicClick Interactive | @adamproehl

Adam Proehl, Managing Partner of Minneapolis based NordicClick Interactive, is a seasoned online marketing executive who has a passion for helping clients use online channels to grow their business. As a practical marketer, his ability to get at the heart of the core business issues, establish measurable goals, and map the appropriate online tactics to further those objectives has served his clients well. He presents frequently at industry events, including Search Engine Strategies and Online Marketing Summit. In his class, Building the Ultimate Dashboard, Adam explains how to focus on the right metrics, and create an actionable dashboard.

Jasmine Sandler34. Jasmine Sandler

CEO, Agent-cy Online Marketing | @jasmine_sandler

Jasmine Sandler is a veteran in online marketing. She has over 15 years of client experience in helping companies, both large and small, use the web to develop and grow business. She is a published author of “Branding & Sales: The LinkedIn Way,” and has expertise in the areas of using LinkedIn to grow business; B2B social media marketing strategy, and search marketing strategies for sustainable online visibility. Jasmine reveals how to develop an effective LinkedIn strategy in her OMI class, LinkedIn for Personal Branding.

Russell Sparkman35. Russell Sparkman

Co-Founder, FusionSpark Media | @FusionSpark

Russell Sparkman is a new media craftsman with more than 25 years of visual communications experience. Sparkman has been a content marketing evangelist since 2008, the year he first wrote a blog post about the topic. Sparkman’s experience with what’s now called “Content Marketing” dates back to 1999, when he co-founded FusionSpark Media, a new media production and marketing communications firm that inspires, informs and influences through online content in support of corporate, non-profit and government communications initiatives. Russell speaks frequently at industry events, and shares his advice for content marketing success in Content Marketing Crash Course.

Michael Stelzner36. Michael Stelzner

Founder and CEO, Social Media Examiner | @mike_stelzner

Michael Stelzner is the founder of Social Media Examiner, author of the books Launch and Writing White Papersand the man behind large events, such as Social Media Marketing World and Social Media Success Summit. He is also host of the Social Media Marketing podcast show. Michael frequently shares his insights on social media and digital success through writing and speaking. He dives deeper into best practices for content marketing in his OMI class, How to leverage business blogging for more traffic, leads and sales.

Scott Vaughan37. Scott Vaughan

Chief Marketing Officer, UBM Tech | @ScottAVaughan

Scott Vaughan is a 20-year passionate practitioner and student of marketing and the technology market.  As a sought-after thought leader, his experience spans B2B marketing and sales strategy, revenue and demand generation, database analytics, media, and content, product, event and digital marketing. His views and observations on all things marketing, technology and business can be found on CreateYourNextCustomer.com.

Ekaterina Walter38. Ekaterina Walter

Social Media Strategist, Intel | @Ekaterina

Ekaterina Walter is a social innovator at Intel. A recognized business and marketing thought leader, she is a speaker and a regular contributor to Mashable, Fast Company, Huffington Post, and other leading-edge print and online publications. She is an author of the book Think Like Zuck: The Five Business Secrets of Facebook's Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Todd Wilms39 .Todd Wilms

Sr. Director, Social Media Marketing, SAP | @toddmwilms

Todd Wilms is founding member of the SAP Social Media Audience Team, helping SAP's 47 solutions and 20 industries reach their appropriate audiences through social media marketing. The team is responsible for developing the strategy, helping to execute the program, and then developing repeatable processes to help other teams be more successful. A 20 year marketer, he has held executive product and marketing leadership roles with some of the world's best known brands like eBay/PayPal, Citrix, PeopleSoft, and agency George P. Johnson. He is an avid writer and blogs on Forbes, his team blog socialb2p.com, and Social Media Examiner. Todd shares competitive tips for social media marketing in his class, Social Media Marketing Landscape: Competitive Strategies for 2013.

Joseph Zuccaro40. Joseph Zuccaro

Founder, Allinio | @joezuc

Joseph Zuccaro is the Founder and President of Allinio LLC, a marketing automation professional services firm helping organizations plan and implement web-based technologies to better gather, store, analyze, share, and act upon data that maximizes marketing ROI and drives higher revenue. He has over 25 years of experience in marketing, sales, and business development with B2B product and service companies, including angel-funded, pre-IPO and post-IPO technology companies. He is a fervent believer in properly measuring marketing and the need to relentlessly make marketing provide calculable value to sales and management.

And a few others...

As you can imagine, we had a difficult time narrowing down the list to just 40, so we didn't, and added a few additional leaders below. Equally as as influential, these leaders are making the industry a better place through their speaking, blogging, and instruction.

If there is anyone else you think should have made the cut, please let us know in the comments below. While we won't be able to add them to the list this year, we'd love to learn more and get to know them in 2013.

Scott BrinkerScott Brinker

Co-founder & CTO, ion interactive | @chiefmartec

Scott Brinker leads product development and technical operations at ion interactive, the leading provider of landing page solutions for global marketing teams, including those at DHL, Dell, and WellPoint. With a keen understanding of the intersection of business, marketing, and technology, Scott has incredible insight into the unique challenges and opportunities in digital marketing. Whether he's wearing his technology hat, marketer hat, or both at the same time, he is able to effectively present these new (and sometimes complex) opportunities to both tactical marketers and business leaders.

Scott contributes regularly to publications such as Advertising AgeSearch Engine Land, and MediaPost, and speaks frequently at events including PivotCon, Online Marketing Summit, and Search Engine Strategies. He shares his insights on digital marketing at ion interactive's Post-Click Marketing Blog, and writes about marketing technology on his personal blog, Chief Marketing Technologist. His OMI class on B2B Landing Pages is a great example of Scott's presentation style—informative, succinct, but engaging, too.

Michael BrennerMichael Brenner

Sr. Director of Global Marketing, SAP | @brennermichael

Michael Brenner is the Senior Director of Global Integrated Marketing for SAP. He started his career nearly 20 years ago in sales, followed by field, product and corporate marketing positions at the Nielsen Company. Michael is author of the popular blog, B2B Marketing Insider, and a co-founder of the social news site Business 2 Community. He shares his B2B marketing success stories at industry events such as Content Marketing World, ConFab, and MarketingProfs' B2B Forum. Attend one of his sessions or webinars, and you may get a glimpse of his 4 kids and beautiful wife, too.

Thad KahlowThad Kahlow

CEO, BusinessOnline | @tkahlow

Thad Kahlow is the CEO of BusinessOnline and is responsible for the entrepreneurial leadership of all operations. His visionary leadership style has helped propel the company into the online marketing spotlight; making BusinessOnline one of the nation’s leading digital agencies. He focuses on the alignment of business goals and customer needs so clients can make business decisions guided by information that matters. Thad has presented at numerous industry and executive conferences including the DMA, HTMA, AMT and Online Marketing Summit, and is published in leading trade and business publications like iMedia, ERA and B2B Magazine, and was one of the original founding members of the SEMPO institute.

Heather LutzeHeather Lutze

CEO & Founder, Findability Group | @HeatherLutze

Heather Lutze is the widely acclaimed speaker, trainer, and consultant who literally wrote the book on search engine marketing. Two books, in fact—The Findability Formula: The Easy, Non-Technical Approach to Search Engine Marketing and the brand new Thumbonomics: The Essential Business Roadmap for Social Media & Mobile Marketing. Her writing and in-demand keynotes are delivered with the same witty, “no-geek-speak” style that has managed to demystify internet marketing for countless business owners.

Joe PulizziJoe Pulizzi

Founder, Content Marketing Institute | @JuntaJoe

Joe Pulizzi is a leading author, speaker and strategist for content marketing. Joe is first and foremost a content marketing evangelist, and founded the Content Marketing Institute (a division of Z Squared Media, a 2012 Inc 500 Company), which includes the largest in-person content marketing event, Content Marketing World. Joe is also co-author of  Get Content Get Customers (McGraw-Hill), recognized as THE handbook for content marketing, as well as Managing Content Marketing: The Real-World Guide for Creating Passionate Subscribers to Your Brand.

Joe travels around North America and Europe  speaking to marketers and business owners about how they are indeed publishers, and what they need to do about it. If you can't catch Joe on the road, watch his popular OMI class, Opportunities in Content Marketing.

Morgan Vawter

Director of Optimization and Analytics, Piston Agency

Some say Morgan Vawter ’s first word was “Internet.” Since then, she’s demonstrated an uncanny knack for deciphering the complexities of the web. After graduating from Oglethorpe University, she spent years as a web analyst and Internet marketing consultant for Shell Oil, Qualcomm, and Cox Communications, among others. Now at Piston Agency, Morgan focuses on business analysis, strategic development, optimization, and multivariate testing, synthesizing multi–channel data to uncover insights and increase ROI for clients. When she's not optimizing for Piston's client set, you can find her leading sessions on the future of Analytics at Conferences such as ad:tech, WebVisions, Digiday and the Online Marketing Summit

Dave WienekeDave Wieneke

Digital Strategy Practice Director, ISITE Design | @UsefulArts

Dave leads the digital business practice at ISITE Design. In this role, he manages ISITE's consulting practice which helps clients drive digital innovation that squares with the strongest market opportunities and organizational capabilities.

Dave is a faculty member in Northeastern University's graduate program for Digital Media. His experience as a brand marketer includes building digital teams for Thomson Reuters, Christian Science Monitor, and Sokolove Law. He has keynoted and shared his vision of the future of digital marketing for eConsultancy, MarketingSherpa, Online Marketing Summit, MarketingProfs, ExactTarget, Marketo, and e-Dialog. In addition, he dives deep into how marketers can harness mobile in this Mobile Marketing Crash Course.

 


26 Content Marketing Tools to Use in 2013

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Content marketing is so hot right now. No, really, it is. According to Content Marketing Institute’s recent B2B Content Marketing report, 9 out of 10 B2B marketers are using content marketing, and 45% plan to increase their spending on content marketing over the next 12 months. More marketers are shifting their content creation efforts in-house, but at the same time, producing enough content is their biggest challenge heading into 2013.

Marketers certainly need to focus less on producing more content and turn their attentions towards producing quality content. And, while content marketing is more than just tools and needs a solid strategy to be successful, there are a plethora of tools out there that can make the job of creating content just a little bit easier. RELATED CLASS: How to Implement and Operate a Content Marketing Program

Here are 26 of my favorite content marketing tools that can help you with everything from generating ideas down to distributing your content:

Content Ideas

  • TrendSpottr - TrendSpottr helps users discover the most timely and relevant information about any topic from across the real-time Web.
  • RSS Feeds Hootsuite Plugin - If you use Hootsuite, this plugin is great for keeping track of your RSS feeds all in one place.
  • Bottlenose – Bottlenose provides social media listening and analytics for marketers, including a free search tool for tracking trending news and topics.
  • Quora - Quora is a great place to find what people in your niche or industry have questions about - a goldmine of great ideas for content.
  • LinkedIn Answers - Like Quora, LinkedIn Answers is another excellent source of ideas for content.
  • Google+ Communities - Join some relevant Google+ Communities to get some content ideas from the discussions taking place.
  • Evernote - I use Evernote to quickly jot down and keep track of any content ideas I have. I can add it through the Evernote website, and it syncs to Evernote on my phone and tablet.

Content Curation

  • List.ly - List posts are great for traffic and SEO. Listly helps you curate items into lists you can then embed into a blog post. Plus, others can vote on your list items or add their own items to the list.
  • Storify - I love this tool. Using Storify, you can curate all different types of content about a specific topic, like blog posts, tweets, videos and images, into one board. It's especially useful for events like conferences.
  • Pinterest - By now I'm sure you're already quite familiar with Pinterest (and are as addicted to it as I am). But have you thought about using it to curate ideas for your content? Perhaps you see an infographic you like and want to emulate, or new ways to present your content visually. Pinterest is the ultimate visual content curation tool!

Content Planning

  • Editorial Calendar - This is probably the most important tool you need for content marketing - an editorial calendar. This post on Content Marketing Institute walks you through how to create an editorial calendar for your content marketing efforts, and even includes a handy template you can use.
  • Bubbl.us - This is a very easy-to-use tool for brainstorming and creating mindmaps. I use it for mapping out different content and blog post types to include in my editorial calendars.
  • Google Drive - Formerly Google Docs, Google Drive is a great place to keep your editorial calendars for easy sharing and collaboration during the content planning process.
  • Trello - Organization is key when it comes to producing content. Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards, and can help you organize your content projects from start to finish.
  • Podio - Podio is a project management tool, and can help you keep your content projects in check much the same way as Trello - with the added bonus of nifty Apps you can add it and use for different functions (like collaboration and research).

Content Research

  • Consumer Barometer - Google's Consumer Barometer provides insights into how consumers search and research product purchases - which is useful insight when it comes to creating content that targets those consumers.
  • Google Analytics - If you use Google Analytics, you have a goldmine of data available to you to inform your content marketing efforts. The keywords people are using to get to your website, for example, tell you what topics people are interested in and searching for.
  • Google Keyword Tool - Keyword research is a must for content planning and creation so your content can be optimized for the right keywords. Google's AdWords Keyword Tool is one of the best (free) tools out there for determining which keywords to use, and also doing some competitive keyword analysis.
  • Buzzstream - BuzzStream is a platform that can be used for SEO link building and public relations. Using BuzzStream, you can look up keywords to find content about those topics and the influencers writing that content. This will not only help you with research, but also with generating additional content ideas.

Content Creation

  • Prezi - Prezi has become very popular as a way to visually enhance your presentations and make them more dynamic. While it can take some planning and creativity to create a truly effective Prezi presentation, this could be a great tool for re-purposing existing presentations into something more interesting.
  • Visual.ly - If you don't have the resources in-house to create mind-blowing infographics and visual data, Visual.ly has a creation tool so you can create your own. Or, you can hire a designer through their Marketplace to create something a bit snazzier.
  • Piktochart - This is another tool for creating your own infographics. They offer a free tool with a few basic themes to choose from, as well as Pro packages for more choice and customization.
  • - Pixlr is a free online photo editor, and comes in handy if you don't have Photoshop at your disposal. I use it for creating simple visual content like photo memes and visual equations.
  • Issuu - Use Issuu to create your own digital magazines or present PDFs in a new format (such as reports, whitepapers, guides, or ebooks).

Content Distribution

  • Dlvr.it - Sometimes keeping up with a voluminous feed of content from multiple sources can be overwhelming. dlvr.it helps publishers deliver their content to their Twitter and Facebook accounts from RSS feeds.
  • BufferApp - If you have lots of content to post to your social accounts at once, Buffer allows you to set a schedule for automatically posting that content throughout the day. Just add each piece of content to your Buffer, create the posts, and you're done!

Learn how to incorporate real time into your content marketing strategy.

Watch Real Time or Die: Feeding the Content Beast and see how top brands, bloggers and media outlets are producing high-impact content at higher velocity. You’ll also get expert tips to plan for and produce real-time content—and feed your own content beast. Access it now with a FREE trial to the Online Marketing Institute. Get instant access now.

 


45 Ways to Improve Your Digital Strategy in 2013, Part Three

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The Online Marketing Institute's Annual List of Top Digital Strategists Share Their Best Advice for Driving ROI in the New Year.

Welcome to part-three of the top digital educators series. This part is focused on digital marketing as a whole, including content creation, email, Facebook and affiliate marketing. If you missed part one and two, read about what top OMI strategists had to say about the future of social media, and part-two focused on best practices for B2B marketers in 2013.

To help marketers discover new opportunities for driving ROI, the Online Marketing Institute identified the top 40 digital strategists, and asked them for their best advice for 2013. These are the digital leaders that are:

  1. Embracing the latest integrated digital strategies and technologies
  2. Advancing the industry through education — speaking, blogging, and teaching
  3. Driving game-changing results for their clients and organization

DIGITAL MARKETING INSIGHTS

26. Grow Your Skills by Taking on New Projects

"Never limit your work to your job description or to the list of tasks you've specified you'll perform. Great marketers win because they don't let 'that's not part of my job' stop them from achieving great results."

– Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz

Rand Fishkin is the CEO of SEO software company; SEOmoz. He co-authored the Art of SEO from O'Reilly Media, co-founded Inbound.org, and was named on PSBJ's 40 Under 40 List and BusinessWeek's 30 Best Tech Entrepreneurs Under 30. Rand is an addict of all things content & social on the web, from his blog on entrepreneurship to TwitterGoogle+Facebook, and LinkedIn. In his minuscule spare time, Rand enjoys the company of his amazing wife, Geraldine, whose serendipitous travel blog chronicles their journeys.

27. Evolve Your Facebook Strategy and Test Promoted Posts

"The introduction of Timeline earlier this year and recent changes to its Edgerank algorithm have changed the game on how brands interact with their target audience on Facebook. Contests and promotions remain the #1 tool to build and engage your fan base. However, gone are default landing tabs on brand pages so now, more than ever, marketers need to be wary of the "Field of Dreams" fallacy that if you build it they will come.

To see results from your promotional campaign you must reach out to consumers through all available social channels, email, and if you want to reach them on Facebook you should consider promoted posts. Once you've built initial momentum then the benefits of social sharing can take hold and your customers will become your brand advocates."

- Ben Pickering, Strutta

Ben Pickering is the CEO of Strutta, a leading social marketing platform and Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer. Prior to Strutta, Ben worked at Yahoo! where he held a variety of strategic roles within the company’s display advertising business. He started his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers, providing transaction support to the firm's global high tech client base on their M&A activity. Ben holds a bachelor's degree in Economics and an M.B.A., both from Stanford University.

As a writer Ben has appeared on Mashable and Huffington Post Tech, and is a featured contributor to Social Media Examiner. He has spoken on the topic of social media promotions and marketing at events such as the AllFacebook Marketing Conference, Likeable Media’s #Likeable U Summit and as an instructor for the Online Marketing Institute.

28. Monitor the Right Facebook Metrics

"When looking at the performance of your Facebook Page, you should not rely on metrics such as the number of fans or the number of 'people talking about this.'  These metrics are pretty much irrelevant when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of your Facebook marketing impact.

Content being the king, especially on Facebook, you should focus on your post level metrics and performance. In order to have a precise idea of your Facebook content's performance, it is important that you closely monitor post level metrics such as the average number of fans reached by each piece of content, the average percentage of reached fans who have engaged with that content as well as the level of negative feedback that you're getting. That latest metric is even more important since Edgerank is now giving it more weight."

- Emeric Ernoult, AgoraPulse

Emeric Ernoult is the co-founder of AgoraPulse, a Paris and San Francisco based Facebook Marketing Technology launched in 2011. AgoraPulse is currently being used by more than 8,000 Facebook Pages across 37 countries and is expanding internationally through strategic local partners. He is one of the European pioneers in the field of social media marketing. The first company he co-founded in 2000 was a technology allowing brands to create their own white label social network, this was four years before Ning or Facebook. Emeric has advised French and international brands such as Virgin Megastores, FIA and Microsoft. He is a regular speaker at European conferences such as iStrategy, Digital Paris and eMarketing. He shares best practices for successful Facebook Marketing in his class, Facebook's Best Kept Marketing Secret.

29. Test Out the Multiple Advertising Options Facebook Offers

"The mounting pressure on Facebook to monetize its vast audience is a win for marketers. Whether you’re looking to build your brand or drive direct response results, there’s a Facebook ad strategy that can deliver results. It may take some time to find the right combination, so keep testing and tweaking."

- Aaron Goldman, Kenshoo

Aaron Goldman is Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Freestyle Rap at Kenshoo, a digital marketing software company that engineers global technology solutions for search marketing, social media and online advertising. He thinks Kenshoo’s product suite is pretty sweet but prefers to let Kenshoo clients do the talking at Kenshoo.com/Testimonials.

Goldman has been running the digital marketing rap game for more than 12 years and is the author of Everything I Know about Marketing I Learned from Google (McGraw-Hill 2010).

Aaron reveals proven best practices for your search and social strategy in the class, Successful Execution of Search & Social.

30. Techniques That Worked One Place, May Not Work for You

"I often speak with marketers who are frantically chasing the hot new channel of the week armed with nothing more than a couple of ideas from a case study.

The implementation plan sounds something like 'My boss said we need to be on Twitter and I saw guru X present a case study that said we should tweet three times per week and use a short landing page with a red button.' Without truly understanding why the red button worked, the marketer blindly applies the techniques. I call this 'copy and paste' approach the Case Study Crap Shoot.

If you want to dramatically increase your chances of launching successful campaigns or conversion tests, taking the time to truly understand the principles driving the results in the case study and translating them into a strategy appropriate for your situation is mandatory. Consistently producing bottom line results in a complex online ecosystem requires research and sound hypotheses (yes, plural. You’ll be testing a lot.). Asking yourself simple questions like 'Why did that technique work?' and 'In what ways is my situation similar or different?' go a long way to increasing your chances of success."

- Matt Dombrow, Clixio

Upon entering the Internet marketing industry in 2004, Matt Dombrow quickly realized that everyone was chasing traffic but only a handful of people were working to convert all of those top search rankings into customers. Matt’s passion and focus has always been on increasing his clients' website conversion rates and driving bottom line results.  Founding partner and head of business development at Clixo, a Denver based, boutique agency that specializes in paid online advertising combined with conversation rate optimization, Matt’s eclectic work history and holistic approach to Internet marketing routinely produce conversion gains of 30% - 250%.

31. Use Audience Delivery Validation to Understand Effectiveness

"An impression can’t make an impact if it’s not seen. Validate delivery and maximize the effectiveness of your digital campaigns by understanding how visible your campaign is and who it reaches."

- Jason Patterson, comScore

Jason Patterson joined comScore to help advertisers get the most out of their digital media investment using comScore’s end-to-end suite of digital measurement solutions. For 12 years, Jason has produced research solutions and analytics yielding actionable insights into media usage and consumer trends for a variety of the world’s largest advertisers.

Jason shares more advice on increasing the effectiveness of your messages in the class, Validating Campaign Delivery: How to Thrive In Our Evolving Digital Economy.

32. Don't Underestimate the Power of Podcasting

"Take a second look at podcasting. Yes, you heard me right. Now that nearly every person in the world has a smart phone with them at all times, this on-demand talk medium is poised to simply explode. Smart marketers are closely examining the power of broadcasting regular messages directly into the ears of prospective customers."

- Micheal Stelzner, Social Media Examiner

Founder & CEO: Michael Stelzner is the founder of Social Media Examiner, author of the books Launch and Writing White Papers, and the man behind large events, such as Social Media Marketing World and Social Media Success Summit. He is also host of the Social Media Marketing podcast show.

Michael dives deeper into content marketing in his OMI class, How to leverage business blogging for more traffic, leads and sales.

33. Use Your Blog to Generate Sales Leads

"Turn your blog pages into social media landing pages by advertising your products around your own content. Put calls to action in your posts and always ask for something at the end of a blog post. Make it easy to share and ask your readers to do so."

- Brian Massey, Conversion Sciences

Brian Massey is the founder of Conversion Sciences and author of Your Customer Creation Equation: Unexpected Website Formulas of The Conversion Scientist™. He’s helped dozens of businesses transform their sites through a steady diet of visitor profiling, purposeful content, analytics and testing. Brian’s workshops have been characterized as “memorable” and can be attended virtually at OMI.

Brian shares proven advice for blogging success in his class, The Blog Volcano.

 

 34. Create Content Relative to the Stage in the Buying Cycle

“Content marketing isn’t just about adding more content; it’s about creating meaningful experiences for a targeted audience that inspires business outcomes. Smart marketers can do that by focusing on the information needs of their customers throughout the buying cycle and creating an optimized and socialized content marketing plan. Content and user experience focused optimization efforts will enable brands to attract, engage and convert more business while growing community and engagement."

- Lee Odden, TopRank Online Marketing

Lee Odden is the author of Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing. He is also the CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, a digital marketing and online PR agency that specializes in a 360 degree approach to growing new business and community engagement online.

Lee has over 15 years experience consulting, and is an active international speaker and publishes one of the most popular marketing blogs on the web.

35. Content Strategy is More Important Than Tools (Although, They Help)

"By now we all know that chasing the hot new marketing tactic is a fools errand, if for no other reason than it would be a full time job to keep up with them. Determine what you want to say before you decide where you are going to say it. Implement a content development process that blends helping with selling and allows you to understand where your leads are in their buying journey. That will set the foundation for everything else (including how you use the new shiny objects that pop-up)."

- Kim Albee, Genoo

Kim Albee is the founder and President of Genoo, a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering of Marketing Automation and Integrated Online Marketing Tools. With over 23 years of software experience including 15 years of corporate and entrepreneurial management, Kim works closely with customers to ensure that marketing and sales are able to sustain and improve their alignment.

Kim has authored a quick-read booklet, “Effective Online Marketing In A Nutshell,” to help business marketers and owners easily get their arms around online marketing. Follow Kim on Twitter @kimalbee and LinkedIn.

36. Evolution of Strategy is the Future

"The online marketing ecosystem changes so quickly and so often, that you can't stand still. You need to ensure that you're constantly moving forward; evolving your strategy and tools at a pace equal to or greater than your competitors to match what the search engines and social networks are doing - otherwise, you're going to be left behind."

- Simon Heseltine, AOL

Simon Heseltine is the Director in charge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) at AOL Inc. In this role Simon and his team are responsible for organic search and training across all AOL and Huffington Post Media Group properties. In his previous position as Director of Search at a Washington D.C. based agency, Simon was responsible for developing and implementing organic search and social media strategies for companies across several industries. He also developed and delivered training programs for clients, including several large U.S. media company, to enable them to best take advantage of the opportunities available to their companies through both organic search and social media.

37. Digital Strategy Must Appear Cohesive Across Devices

"About three years ago I became device agnostic as it relates to how people connect to the Internet. The reality is that over 50% of daily active users on Facebook are mobile-only, there were more iPad's sold in December 2011 than PC's, and the growth of tablets and mobile devices among youth, late adopters, and the developing world is staggering.

In short, if you are a business owner or want to make money online you need to devise a business strategy that is device agnostic and appreciate that the 'Internet world' as we knew it has drastically changed. It's not enough to simply have a Web site and it's not enough to only advertise on Google AdWords. The game has changed and to be competitive you need a multi-channel approach that optimizes across search, social, display, e-mail, mobile, and tablet....for starters."

- Kris Jones, ReferLocal

Kris Jones is a prominent and respected internet marketing expert and award winning entrepreneur. He brings with him expert knowledge of affiliate and search engine marketing and has been featured as keynote, panel member, and moderator at prominent national and international industry conferences and events. Learn more about Kris.

 

 

38. How Sophisticated is Your Digital Strategy?

"Think about five stages of sophistication for your digital marketing. Stage 1 - You do it because it is cheap. Stage 2 - You do it because it is quick. Stage 3 - You do it so you can track and adjust. Stage 4 - You do it because you can personalize. Stage 5 - You do it to move your consumers across channel. The higher your number, the higher your sophistication. Where do you stand?"

– Sundeep Kapur, NCR

Sundeep Kapur has been assisting organizations with their converged channel marketing strategies since 1990. From direct marketing to digital to converged, he is a passionate teacher who works with businesses across multiple industries, helping them to enable technology and services to brand, personalize and speak to consumers more effectively. Sundeep is also an avid user of social media, having leveraged words, pictures, & video into a conversational blog. His daily dose of best practices can be found at EmailYogi.com, where he wrote his 1,000th article on February 17, 2011.

Sundeep demonstrates how to effectively integrate your social and email strategy in his OMI class, 5 Ways to Leverage Social Media to Improve Email Marketing.

39. Leverage the Affiliate Marketing Channel

"Affiliate marketing is the only marketing channel that integrates multiple consumer touch points strictly on a performance basis. Advertisers can leverage search, social, mobile, shopping, international and even offline marketing campaigns through third-party vendors completely based on performance to make it the lowest cost, lowest risk and widest reach marketing channel available today."

- Sarah Bundy, All Inclusive Marketing

Sarah Bundy is the founder and CEO of All Inclusive Marketing, Affiliate Management Trainers, and Affiligate.org. Her passion lies in teaching advertisers how to get more out of their affiliate marketing programs through innovation, increased profits and high value affiliate relationships. Sarah leads the Affiliate Marketing department at the Online Marketing Institute where she educates students on performance marketing. Her blog, SarahBundy.com has been nominated for this year's Pinnacle Award and is ranked in the Top 25 Affiliate Marketing Blogs of 2012.

In her class, Affiliate Marketing 101, Sarah explains how marketers can get started in affiliate marketing, and use it to build their business.

40. Define Your Goals, Success Metrics and Revisit, Revise - Optimize

“Digital marketing begins with a business objective.  After the goal is clearly defined a strategy can be designed using tactics to implement and Analytics for tracking.  Then it's critical to revisit, revise and optimize.”

– Kelly Cutler, Marcel Media

Kelly Cutler is the CEO of Marcel Media, a Chicago based digital marketing firm specializing in search, social and analytics. Marcel Media uses a data driven approach to solving business objectives with digital tactics. Kelly has applied her knowledge and expertise to clients ranging from eCommerce to healthcare to financial services. Kelly speaks at conferences and events around the country including the American Marketing Association, Search Engine Strategies, Healthcare Internet Conference and many more. Under her leadership, Marcel Media has earned national recognition as one of the Inc. 5000's fastest growing private companies and has won many awards for their outstanding achievements.

41. Establish the Email Relationship First

"Contrary to what most marketers may think, the biggest challenge for email marketers is not about generating revenue. It’s about how to holistically manage their email program in a way that not only stays 'on brand,' but also increases brand equity while incorporating email best practices.

Whether the challenge is acquisition, engagement, attrition, or a combination of these, marketers can achieve success by creating positive customer experiences that enable a relationship--not by simply sending a promotional message that relies on discount for effectiveness. Once the relationship is established, and not before then, marketers can gain the sales and social advocacy that lead to long-term upward growth."

– Ryan Phelan, Acxiom

Ryan Phelan is the Vice President of Strategy for Acxiom/Digital Impact with over 13 years of online marketing experience to help clients realize the potential within their email programs. Prior to Acxiom, Ryan served as VP, Strategy for BlueHornet and Director of email marketing and acquisition for Sears.com and Kmart.com.  Prior to his tenure at Sears Holdings, Ryan managed the east coast professional services division at Responsys and was director of internet marketing and advertising at InfoUSA.

Ryan is a frequent speaker on digital marketing, and he reveals the latest techniques for successful social integration in his class, 5 Fundamentals of Integration Social into all Digital Efforts.

42. Provide Solutions with Your Content to Drive Results

“If you want to be effective with your digital marketing, you need to understand and map out your customer touch points. If you fail to do that, then you’re missing out big time when it comes to generating traffic, optimizing content, conversions, and social media participation.

For example, when someone first engages with your company online, what does that person know and what is he or she looking for? Are they coming to you with a problem they’re trying to solve and they need education on how go about it? Do they even know they have a problem? If so, are they aware that relevant products exist and they’re just looking to compare?

Before you dive head first into driving traffic, developing content, optimizing landing pages, etc., it is important that you do your research to understand all the various touch points it takes to get a sale, support, retain, and ultimately turn that customer into a great referral source.”

- Adam Proehl, NordicClick Interactive

Adam Proehl, Managing Partner of Minneapolis based NordicClick Interactive, is a seasoned online marketing executive who has a passion for helping clients use online channels to grow their business. As a practical marketer, his ability to get at the heart of the core business issues, establish measurable goals, and map the appropriate online tactics to further those objectives has served his clients well.

In his class, Building the Ultimate Dashboard, Adam explains how to focus on the right metrics, and create an actionable dashboard.

43. Make Your Content King

"It's time to replace the abstract 'Content is King' analogy with an analogy that has real meaning to marketers today, especially when it comes to creating, pitching and justifying content budgets. A more apt analogy is that Content is Gold. Like gold, content is an investment that holds or builds value and provides long term return on investment. Gold is highly conductive, and so is content, i.e. content is key to 'conducting' Likes, Shares, Earned Media and Word-of-Mouth referrals. Gold provides its holder with status and influence, and so does content. Think of it this way ... in a competitive environment, those with the best content earn status and influence that provides competitive advantage. Like gold, content today is a form of 'virtual currency,' a medium of exchange for building audience, driving engagement and so on. And when done well - and by that I mean the most entertaining, the most educational, the most useful - content is the marketer's bling."

44. Create Awesome, High-Quality Content

"The competitive imperative should be influencing marketer's decisions to increase their content marketing activities for this simple reason: whoever has the best content will win. That means that whatever sector you're in, whether it's B2B, B2C or non-profit, if you're not the one who is driving awareness, sales and customer service by providing the best content, it's likely that your competitor is. Furthermore, there's no turning back. This is real. The 'content' train has left the station. And marketer's have ZERO choice over whether or not they need to be not only on board, but driving that train within their sector."

45. Operate Like a CNN Newsroom

"A marketing department needs to look and function more like a CNN Newsroom and less like a cubicle enclave or warren of offices. In this new configuration, marketing, sales and customer service are seamlessly blended together into a single "Department of Communications and Engagement." Walls and desks are populated with monitors displaying in real time all brand related activities, conversations, sales data, etc. This configuration enables cross-pollination of ideas and awareness, and empowers the type of "real time" marketing, PR and sales activities that are critical in today's environment."

Russell Sparkman is a new media craftsman with more than 25 years of visual communications experience. Sparkman has been a content marketing evangelist since 2008, the year he first wrote a blog post about the topic.

Sparkman’s experience with what’s now called "Content Marketing" dates back to 1999, when he co-founded FusionSpark Media, a new media production and marketing communications firm that inspires, informs and influences through online content in support of corporate, non-profit and government communications initiatives. As CEO, Sparkman has played key roles in all FusionSpark Media projects, including executive producer, chief photographer, videographer, information architect, and project manager.

Russell provides a proven framework for content marketing success in his OMI course, Content Marketing Crash Course.

 

OMI is committed to bringing forth the insight of industry leaders. Look for the full list of classes from these top digital educators on the online learning center’s class topics page.

 


3 Big Opportunities for B2B Marketers to Increase Revenue in 2013

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Our latest online event, The B2B Digital Marketing Strategy Summit, kicks off Wednesday, January 9 at 11am ET. I'm proud of the comprehensive program we put together, as all 18 virtual sessions cover the entire B2B digital ecosystem—from content, to social media, to search, and beyond. (I'm presenting on integrated content and social media.)

Even better, 3 out of the 5 tracks focus on what I believe are the 3 biggest opportunities for B2B digital marketers to increase revenue in 2013. See the Full Agenda.

1. Content Marketing: Drive Traffic and Influence the Buyer Journey

Effective content marketing boosts traffic, engages your audience, and can help your prospects navigate the complexities of the buying process. In addition, great content builds trust and credibility, and allows your audience to build an emotional connection to your brand.

Just the facts:

  • B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who do not. (HubSpot)
  • 60% of business decision makers say that company content helps them make better product decisions. (Roper Public Affairs)

See the sessions and workshops on content marketing.

2. Conversion Optimization: Capture More Leads with Targeted Landing Pages

You can't nurture what you don't convert. According to a survey by BtoB Magazine, 59% of B2B marketers say email is the most effective channel for generating revenue. However, more than 60% of B2B marketers report that their greatest marketing challenge for 2012 was generating more leads. To efficiently boost revenue in 2013, focus on generating more leads by improving your landing pages.

Just the facts:

  • Companies with 30 or more landing pages generate 7x more leads than those with fewer than 10. (HubSpot)
  • Those with over 40 landing pages got 12x more leads than those with only 1 to 5 landing pages. (HubSpot)

See the sessions and workshops on conversion optimization.

3. Marketing Automation: Nurture Leads to Qualified

Conventional marketing wisdom says it takes at least 7 touches to move a cold lead to become a customer. Instead of sending rapid-fire emails to your entire list, get more relevant by communicating to your leads based on their segment, place in the sales cycle (lead score), and actions they take on your site.

Just the facts:

  • Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads. (The Annuitas Group
  • Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (The Annuitas Group)
  • Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost. (Forrester Research)

See the sessions on lead nurturing and marketing automation.

If your objective is to generate and nurture more qualified leads, I hope you'll join us this week at the B2B Digital Strategy Summit virtual event. As a blog reader, save 20% on your pass with code REVENUE. Register now. See you Wednesday.

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45 Ways to Improve Your Digital Strategy in 2013, Part Two

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The Online Marketing Institute's Annual List of Top Digital Strategists Share Their Best Advice for Driving ROI in the New Year.

Welcome to part-two of the top digital strategists series. This part is focused on B2B marketing and how to use data to improve your digital strategy. If you missed part-one, read about what top OMI educators had to say about the future of social media in 2013.

To help marketers discover new opportunities for driving ROI, the Online Marketing Institute identified the top 40 digital strategists, and asked them for their best advice for 2013. These OMI online learning center digital educators were selected because they are:

  1. Embracing the latest integrated digital strategies and technologies
  2. Advancing the industry through education — speaking, blogging, and teaching
  3. Driving game-changing results for their clients and organization

B2B MARKETING INSIGHTS

In the second installment of this three-part series,  digital strategists well-versed in the area of B2B marketing share their best practices, predictions for the future of business to business marketing, evaluation of industry trends and share the know-how to deliver thought provoking insight that will lay the groundwork for you to build an effective, holistic digital marketing strategy in 2013.

11. Lead Generation is Nothing Without Management 

"Lead generation was marketing’s focus leading up to online marketing and the web. With modern marketing and sales tools like customer relationship managers (CRM) and marketing automation, lead generation tactics must evolve to the practice of lead management, which extends marketing’s role from the top of the funnel on down. To be effective, lead management requires the right people, framework, process, systems, and a company cultural to have one integrated marketing and sales process."

- David Lewis, DemandGen International, Inc.

David Lewis is an early pioneer in Internet marketing, marketing automation, and CRM systems with over 22 years experience marketing and selling technology solutions through direct sales channels, online, and distribution channels. In 2007, he founded DemandGen International, Inc. a global consulting firm helping companies deploy and utilize marketing automation and CRM systems. DemandGen has become the trusted advisor to the world’s leading marketing and sales teams combining superior service, business process, and technology expertise.

12. Align Both SEO & Paid Search Efforts with Cross-Functional Marketing Strategies

"In a recent online marketing industry report, one of the interesting findings was that search marketing continues to grow worldwide and that search marketing represents a key channel for digital marketers. Search spend in the United states grew by 13% while ROI steadily improved. Additionally a recent Nielsen report finds that 94% of user interaction in search engines is on organic search listings compared to 4% paid interactions. This highlights that that there is a significant potential ROI opportunity for companies to align SEO with cross functional marketing strategies, especially between SEO and paid search."

- Warren Lee, ADOBE

Warren Lee is responsible for over ~48 million monthly visits from SEO to ADOBE. Warren manages SEO for Adobe.com, Photoshop.com and the many web properties owned by ADOBE. Prior to ADOBE Warren worked for MOVE inc. where Warren was also an in house SEO manager responsible for keeping Realtor.com the #1 most visited website in the real estate industry as reported by Comscore.

 

13. Generating Qualified Sales Opportunities Requires Multi-Touch Approach

"Your prospects are overworked, busy, and distracted. They receive between 100 - 500 marketing messages per day in their inbox, social media and web experience. It’s unrealistic to think that one email or one social media touch will get their attention enough to make a purchase decision on your product.

Plan to build in multi-touch from the beginning of the campaign. Also, remember to be proactive, calling responders and non-responders alike. Here’s how:

Demand generation is really hard work. You need to plan your campaigns to incorporate between 7 to 13 touches. This often includes email, direct mail and social media outreach as the first touches. And then overlay a tele-prospecting and nurturing stream that can involve another 4 to 8 touches. This can involve several steps, including being re-directed to a more appropriate decision maker, leaving a message, calling a busy prospect back later, sending a follow up email, providing more information, setting an appointment to discuss further, and then finally have the conversation where they will discuss budget, purchase authority, need and time frame.

Also don’t rest your laurels on the inbound responders. Actively triangulate from the email and direct mail to reach the non-responders with a tele-prospecting and nurturing contact stream to engage them in the sales process. Given the right outbound campaign and nurturing stream, you could generate qualified sales opportunities from 10 – 15% of the list. Those are results any marketer would be proud of!"

Laurie B. Beasley is co-founder and president of Beasley Direct Marketing, Inc. www.BeasleyDirect.com, a Silicon Valley direct marketing agency that has managed search, email, online, and demand generation campaigns for nearly a hundred companies. Ms. Beasley is an instructor of online marketing at UC Berkeley Extension and teaches in the Level 2 Demand Generation Certification program for the Online Marketing Institute.

 

14. Irrelevant Messaging Equals Costly Opt-Outs

"Buyers today have access to an abundance of information to help them make purchases: corporate websites, social networks, review sites and so on. And increasingly all that information is available in the palm of their hand, anywhere and anytime. This means that a buyer no longer has to talk with a sales rep to get the information they want about a purchase. Buyers use their access to this information to seize control of the buying process and delay engagement with sales reps until they know as much (or more) than the sales rep does.

Since buyers engage with sales later than ever, marketing has to step in and take a bigger role in the revenue process, nurturing relationships with early-stage prospects until they become sales-ready. These dialogues must be relevant to the buyer; or else they will opt out or screen out your communications. These must be individual conversations on the buyer’s time frame, not batch-and-blast communications on your time frame.

This is a MASSIVE scale problem. It’s not a dialogue with one person, or a dozen. It’s with hundreds of thousands or even millions of potential customers. And that’s why marketing automation technology suddenly becomes so critical. You literally can’t keep up with the requirements of modern marketing without a technology platform. As Lucille Ball famously demonstrated in the candy factory, attempts to implement these kinds of processes without the right systems quickly collapse into a mess of lost opportunity."

Jon Miller is VP Marketing at Marketo, is the executive editor of the popular Marketo blog, Modern B2B Marketing, and author of the comprehensive handbook, The Definitive Guide to Marketing Metrics and Analytics. Jon holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard College and has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He shares the latest marketing tips and best practices on Twitter using the handle @jonmiller.

 

15. Video Must Deliver Correct Messaging to Move Prospects Down the Funnel

"Before you build a marketing video, think about where you’re going to use the video. Where is the customer in their purchasing journey when they see the video? What kind of information do they need at that stage? Then build the video to deliver the information the customer needs to make their purchasing decision and move to the next step of the sales process. And don’t forget to offer a button or link under the video showing them where to click to move further down the sales funnel after they’ve watched the video. Finally, it’s not how much you spend on the video – it’s whether or not you delivered the information the customer needed to move further down the sales funnel."

- Leslie Drate, Cisco

Leslie Drate oversees the planning and operations of Cisco social media channels focused on serving the needs of the global Cisco community. Leslie is a 20+ year marketing veteran with a background in website development, ecommerce, and content strategy. In addition, Leslie is an expert on the Cisco video landscape and building effective videos for the BtoB audience.

Leslie shares advice for B2B content in the OMI class, Best Practices for Business to Business Video.

16. Provide Solutions to Your Web Visitor's Needs to Improve Conversion Rate

"Conversion Rate Optimization is about truly understanding the existing needs and real-world context of your intended audience. Only by aligning the web experience with those needs can a business maximize financial value. So look for unmet problems, not do not try to push your existing "solutions" and products as the false answer to everything your web visitors' desire."

- Tim Ash, CEO of SiteTuners

Tim Ash is author of the bestselling book Landing Page Optimization, and CEO of SiteTuners, a firm that specializes in improving website conversion rates through landing page diagnosis and redesign, conversion consulting, a/b and multivariate test plan creation, and client training/mentoring. A computer scientist and cognitive scientist by education (his PhD studies were in Neural Networks and Artificial Intelligence), Tim has developed an expertise in user-centered design, persuasion and understanding online behavior, and landing page testing. Tim is a highly-regarded keynote and conference presenter, and has published hundreds of articles about website usability, best practices in landing page design and tactics to improve website conversion rates, and he is the host of the Landing Page Optimization podcast on WebmasterRadio.fm.

Tim provides more tips for effective conversion optimization in his class, Conversion Ninja Toolbox.

17. Use LinkedIn for Lead Generation

"LinkedIn can and should be any business professionals' #1 social networking tool. By actively building a network of qualified connections, taking those connects off-line to create real business relationships, adding value to shared Group members, and by investing in your own personal brand, you can count on qualified lead generation on an ongoing basis."

- Jasmine Sandler,  Author of Branding & Sales: The LinkedIn Way

Jasmine Sandler is a veteran in online marketing. She has over 15 years client experience in helping companies, both large and small, use the web to develop and grow business. She is a published author of “Branding & Sales: The LinkedIn Way,” and has expertise in the areas of using LinkedIn to grow business; B2B social media marketing strategy, and search marketing strategies for sustainable online visibility. Jasmine reveals how to develop an effective LinkedIn strategy in her OMI class, LinkedIn for Personal Branding.

18. Set Goals to Determine Success

“In marketing, there are so many different ways to measure success. Before launching a campaign, the most important thing you can do is establish clear and concise goals. Every business is different and so is every campaign; you must determine what success means for your business. Let’s put it this way: if you’re not willing to tie your own bonus to your campaign goals, then it’s probably not a good measure of success.”

- Tami Dalley, Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Tami Dalley is the Senior Director of Analytics and Insights at Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and oversees the company's analytics and insights team. A self-proclaimed "fanatical explorer," Tami has more than a decade of industry experience in deep-dive web analytics, usability consulting, competitive intelligence, landing page design and multivariate testing. Tami's work has been honored with the Search Engine Strategies Award for "Most Effective Use of Web Analytics" as well as the HSMAI Gold Arian Award for "Outstanding Search Marketing Strategy."

Tami explains how to effectively measure attribution and digital success in her OMI class, Changing the Way We Measure Success.

19. Utilize All Departments to Gather Data

"We have all heard the adage, 'In this organization, everyone is a salesperson.' Now it’s time to take that a step further – '…everyone is a data gatherer.' Anyone that touches the customer in anyway or is out there designing products or following your industry from within your organization has access to data that can impact revenue. Therefore you need to learn how to efficiently gather, store, analyze, share, and act upon such data."

- Joseph Zuccaro, Allinio

Joseph Zuccaro is the Founder and President of Allinio LLC, a marketing automation professional services firm helping organizations plan and implement web-based technologies to better gather, store, analyze, share, and act upon data that maximizes marketing ROI and drives higher revenue. He has over 25 years of experience in marketing, sales, and business development with B2B product and service companies, including angel-funded, pre-IPO and post-IPO technology companies. He is a fervent believer in properly measuring marketing and the need to relentlessly make marketing provide calculable value to sales and management.

In his OMI class, Setting Up a Lead Management Process, Joe demonstrates how to setup a lead management process that takes into account everything from your target personas, value propositions, content, and what you want to do with leads to get them ready for a sales person

20. Your Data Is Important!

"Customers have control and the fundamentals have changed. Barriers to entry are minimal and competition can enter and win quickly, thus customer relationships become your largest asset. Data becomes the “introduction, enabler, and insight” into those relationships.

- Thad Kahlow, CEO, BusinessOnline

Thad Kahlow is the CEO of BusinessOnline and is responsible for the entrepreneurial leadership of all operations. His visionary leadership style has helped propel the company into the online marketing spotlight; making BusinessOnline one of the nation’s leading digital agencies. He focuses on the alignment of business goals and customer needs so clients can make business decisions guided by information that matters. Thad has presented at numerous industry and executive conferences including the DMA, HTMA, AMT and Online Marketing Summit, and is published in leading trade and business publications like iMedia, ERA and B2B Magazine, and was one of the original founding members of the SEMPO institute.

21. Make Digital Data Actionable

"The trend in marketing teams at retailers is an understanding of what first-party data means in a digital context, and how they can use it more efficiently. Take something like ‘site retargeting’ for instance: during the last 24 months many CMOs have realized that a visit to their site creates data, and with the right tools they can use that easily for their own needs.  Retailers will embrace Big Data and look for tools such as Programmatic Marketing Platforms to help them capture it, and make it actionable for their advertising and beyond."

-Dax Hamman, Chango

Dax Hamman is the Chief Revenue Officer at Chango, the leading company in Search Retargeting, and is based in Chicago and Toronto. Prior, Dax founded and led the global iCrossing media group, developing the concept of ‘performance display’, an innovative planning strategy that drove significant ROI from display advertising for some of the world’s largest and coolest brands. He has 13+ years in the digital space with experience in just about everything online, including media, usability, creative, technical management and affiliate marketing. He writes and speaks extensively, particularly on new and emerging techniques within the digital media space.

Dax shares more advice for improving data and analysis in his class, Measuring What Matters: Analytics Tips for Success.

22. Expand Your SEO Plan for Longevity 

"Now, more than ever, how users interact with your brand online impact how important your brand is viewed by the major search engines like Google. If you want more natural traffic from search engines, it is vital to be strong with your PR plan, social media plan, site usability, content relevance and most of all... user engagement. Search engines continue to utilize more and more factors to prioritize which brands/sites are displayed when an Internet user does a search. Because search engines like Google are using more factors, a strong search engine optimization (SEO) plan will influence more factors and do so in a way that's more balanced than ever before."

– Brent Payne, Loud Interactive

Brent D. Payne, of Loud Interactive, started doing ‘SEO’ before it was even called ‘SEO’. He’s an internet marketer with over a decade of experience and proven success. He cut his teeth in online marketing as a vendor for Amazon.com where he became Amazon’s second largest electronics vendor by driving demand to Amazon from search engines. Brent is esteemed as one of the top SEOs in the world. He speaks around the world (just Google ‘SEO presentations’ to find them) at online conferences and has held online marketing roles at prestigious companies such as Tribune Company, where he grew Tribune’s search engine traffic from 500,000 visits per day to 1,700,000 visits per day in just 3 years.

23. Use Analytics to Increase Conversions

"The best kept secret of digital category brand leaders, has always been knowledge of the high ROI of Analytics. Nothing fuels the bottom line more than increased user conversion and retention rates through smart analyses, segmentation and targeting."

- Morgan Vawter, Piston

Some say Morgan Vawter ’s first word was “Internet.” Since then, she’s demonstrated an uncanny knack for deciphering the complexities of the web. At age 16, she was selected to enroll in college two years early at the Georgia Academy of Mathematics, Engineering & Science. After graduating from Oglethorpe University, she spent years as a web analyst and Internet marketing consultant for Shell Oil, Qualcomm, and Cox Communications, among others. Now at Piston Agency, Morgan focuses on business analysis, strategic development, optimization, and multivariate testing, synthesizing multi–channel data to uncover insights and increase ROI for clients. When she's not optimizing for Piston's client set, you can find her leading sessions on the future of Analytics at Conferences such as ad:tech, WebVisions, Digiday and the Online Marketing Summit. It’s only complicated if you’re not a prodigy.

24. Integrate Your Search, Social, and Content Strategy

“In 2013 the smart marketers will be the ones merging the powers of social media, public relations and SEO and packaging an effective content strategy. The brands that optimize, socialize, visualize and publicize fresh content are the ones that will see the best ROI and monetize. Digital content that is fresh, visual, mobile and social will win the newsfeed race.”

– Lisa Buyer, The Buyer Group

Lisa Buyer

When it comes to relationships, Lisa Buyer believes the connection between social media, search, and public relations is exponential. As the founder of three media companies and CEO of The Buyer Group, Lisa is ambitious about the influence of public relations on social media, SEO, and SEM, and she continues to share her innovative approach with clients, peers, and associates.

 

25.The Future is Uncertain: Prepare for Success

Search Engine Optimization Prediction:
Penguin/Panda have created a brand new world… where good design (usability, site speed, etc.) and quality content will a greater focus for search engines than traditional use of keywords & inbound links.

Analytics Prediction:

Fueled in part by the election and Google’s Universal Analytics capabilities, predictive (convergence) analytics will make strides this year as platforms and consultants gain the attention of the executive suite (particularly CMOs) as sales projections and marketing ROI tighten up. Attribution tracking will also greatly improve and adoption will flow down from enterprise to medium-sized businesses.

Conversion Optimization Prediction:

Marketers will focus more on conversion optimization than ever before. Tools, once again, come to the rescue, enabling businesses of all sizes to easily create, implement and manage landing page & conversion optimization programs.

With a background in integrated marketing, Kent Lewis left a public relations agency in 1996 to start his career in search engine marketing. Since then, he’s helped grow businesses by connecting his clients with their constituents via the Internet. In 2000, Lewis founded Anvil Media, Inc., a digital marketing agency specializing in search engine and social media marketing for Fortune 2000 companies. Under his leadership, Anvil has received recognition from Portland Business Journal and Inc. Magazine as a Fastest Growing and Most Philanthropic Company.

Kent reveals best practices for social media analytics in this OMI class, What to Measure in Social and Why.

The Online Marketing Institute is honored to have the same industry experts leading various online learning center classes and crash course programs throughout the year, share their best advice on what to do in the ever-changing online marketing environment.

OMI is committed to bringing forth the insight of industry leaders. Look for the full list of courses from these top digital educators on the online learning center's class topics page.

Read our next installment on overall digital marketing: Read Part-Three Now