Knute Sands

The New Rules & Realities of Sales & Marketing

Knute Sands on Feb 17th, 2016     B2B Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

“The biggest mistake I see with marketing is companies talk too much about their own products and services.”

As the author of 7 books, David Meerman Scott brings tremendous knowledge, real-world insights and infectious energy to the stage. As yesterday’s opening keynote at Content2Conversion in Scottsdale, David challenged the audience to set the bar higher with their content marketing efforts. In his own words, “B2B doesn’t have to stand for Be-Too-Boring.” I couldn’t agree more!

Below I share a few of Scott’s New Rules, including how the B2B buying process has changed, the importance of real-time engagement, and how content marketing just might land you on an Antarctic journey.

Joshua Nite

Content Marketing: 5 Unexpected Places to Find Inspiration for Your Blog Content

Joshua Nite on Feb 16th, 2016     Blog Marketing, Blogging, Content Marketing

content-marketing-inspiration

Creative inspiration is like a butterfly: It’s beautiful from a distance, but full of weird insect parts up close.

Sorry, let me try that again. Creative inspiration is like a butterfly: Sometimes it seems like no matter how far you stretch, it flutters above your head, beautiful but just out of reach. Sure, you could sit perfectly still and wait for it to land, but your editorial calendar beckons. Few marketers have the free time to truly find their creative space. At the same time, you know that content with that creative spark will be far more compelling.

The next time your creative butterfly just won’t sit still long enough for you to get a good look at it, grab your butterfly net of proactivity and go after it. Here are five ways to get inspired when you’re stuck.

Ashley Zeckman

5 Steps to Perfecting Your Influencer Marketing Waltz

Ashley Zeckman on Feb 15th, 2016     Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing

influencer-marketing-waltz

A well-performed waltz can move those watching it unfold on the dance floor. The audience can get caught up in the seemingly intricate steps and the flow with which the dancers move.

However, one small misstep can change the entire vibe for both the audiences and the dancers. As with dancing, influencer marketing can be both beautiful, and filled with stumbling blocks.

Influencer marketing has become a much larger part of the way that successful brands approach digital marketing. In fact, a recent study from McKinsey found that influencer marketing (which falls under Word of Mouth marketing) shows an average of a 37% higher retention rate and twice the amount of sales when compared to paid advertising on its own.

Tiffani Allen

Online Marketing News: Reaching Customers on Valentine’s Day, How CMOs Use Twitter and Facebook Adds Automated Captioning

Tiffani Allen on Feb 12th, 2016     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

how to reach your target customers on valentines day

How to Reach Your Target Customers on Valentine’s Day [Infographic]
With Valentine’s day fast approaching — and all the love and purchases that come with it. So how do you get the attention of the hordes of paramours in search of the perfect gift? This infographic is full of information to help guide your last-minute push. For example, did you know that Americans spent $18.9 billion on Valentines day in 2015, with the average man spending $191 on their loved one? 25-34 year olds spend the most on Valentines day gifts out of every other age group. Good news for you if your objective is to increase purchases from 25-34 year old men! SocialMediaToday

Joshua Nite

5 Tools to Help You Be a More Effective Communicator

Joshua Nite on Feb 11th, 2016     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

5-tools-effective-communicator

Words. We like them. Words are good things. Words can make people buy our products through changing of their minds, which for revenue is also good. But this is depending on the just right perfect word to use for effectiveness. We must word better for results that are good.

As you may have just noticed, the ability to communicate clearly is an indispensable skill in marketing. Your thoughts must survive the journey from your brain to someone else’s intact, or they won’t have the intended effect.

Fortunately, good communication isn’t a genetic trait. It’s a learned skill. You can develop it with guided practice, and there are plenty of resources out there to help. Here are five tools we recommend investigating to increase your wording abilities.

Ashley Zeckman

Why Your Approach to Digital Marketing Should be Crafted Like a Well-Balanced Breakfast

Ashley Zeckman on Feb 10th, 2016     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Online Marketing

well-balanced-digital-marketing-strategy

I start each morning the same way: After feeding my spoiled dog his morning delicacy of premium dog food, hamburger, rice and veggies, I go about making my morning meal. I know that this is a luxury that many people will say that they don’t have the time to do and are instead getting ready, herding children and grabbing a pastry on the way out the door. However, I’m one of those people that loves a hearty, flavor-filled meal to start my day.

Many Americans skip breakfast saying they don’t have time or don’t need it, while foregoing what is arguably the meal that gives you fuel for the day, can seriously hinder your ability to be productive during the workday.

Tiffani Allen

Data-Driven Marketing from Mad Men to Rabbit Holes

Tiffani Allen on Feb 9th, 2016     Online Marketing

Mad-Men-BMA

Last week, the Business Marketing Association of Minnesota hosted an educational panel event: From Mad Men Advertising to Rabbit Hole Marketing. The panel consisted of four B2B marketing and data experts and was moderated by the brilliant Rebecca Ramsden of SmartBase Solutions. The panel included Patrick Dunn, director of sales and marketing for GetWireless; Mike Bernard, VP of services at Relationship 1; Jason McConnell, director of marketing communication for Sport Ngin; and Bob Peterson, research director for SiriusDecisions.

Knute Sands

Ignite Your B2B Content Marketing Effectiveness at #C2C16

Knute Sands on Feb 8th, 2016     B2B Marketing

B2B Content Marketing Tips from Content2Conversion

The opportunity to surround yourself with top content thought leaders and practitioners is one that you should always take. That’s just what we will be doing February 15 -17 at the 2016 B2B Content2Conversion conference in Scottsdale Arizona.

We’ll be packing our bags and leaving the cold Minnesota climate for warmer weather and three days filled with top-notch B2B content marketing education. But before we dig into that, lets review the current state of content marketing for B2B marketers and why conferences like this are so essential.

A recent Content Marketing Institute study revealed that a full 88% of B2B marketers have adopted some form of content marketing. Go a layer deeper in this same study and you’ll discover that 55% of these same folks are unsure what B2B content marketing effectiveness really looks like. Is it time to pump the brakes on content marketing? Or, are half of B2B marketers simply missing the mark?

Tiffani Allen

Online Marketing News: Facebook Algorithm Changes, Samsung Ad Blockers, and Snapchat Statistics

Tiffani Allen on Feb 5th, 2016     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

How are people really using snapchat

How are People Really Using Snapchat? [Infographic]
When it comes to any medium, but social media in particular, we tend to assume that everyone uses it the way we do — or worse, the way we marketers want them to. Knowing how someone else uses a social platform is one of the first steps to properly using it to attract and engage with prospects and members of your digital community. So how are the over 100 million daily active users spending their time on Snapchat? Check out this handy infographic to find out. Social Media Today

Joshua Nite

Is Content Marketing a Viable Lead Generation Tactic?

Joshua Nite on Feb 4th, 2016     Content Marketing

Does-content-marketing-lead-to-sales

Hi, I’m Josh. I’m a content marketer and proud to be one.

Content marketing is unique among marketing tactics. It aims to accomplish business goals by offering people something of real value that can make their lives better.

It’s not, “you are lacking something in your life, so buy our product.” It’s not, “Read these exaggerated claims about our product and buy it.” Content marketing (as part of an integrated digital marketing strategy, of course) only works if you provide value to your audience. How cool is that? You provide value, they buy stuff, and everyone goes home happy.

As nice as it sounds, though, the previous sentence is missing a sizable chunk in the middle. Without lead generation, this is your content marketing plan:

Lee Odden

Influencer Content Marketing: The Art of Relationships and the Science of Software

Lee Odden on Feb 3rd, 2016     Influencer Marketing

Influence Content Marketing

Much of influencer marketing is about advocacy and as the industry matures and includes more digital marketing intentions than PR, I believe influencers will be viewed more as partners than simple proxies for message distribution.

Or at least as chatty dinner guests like the motley crew pictured above from a NewsCred influencer dinner (LtoR: Rohun, Bryan, Joe C., Alicianne, Joe P., Chad, Jon, Drew, Ann, Sheryl, Michael, Rebecca, Moi and Michael.)

It’s a very surreal experience sometimes being treated as an industry influencer one moment and then working on influencer marketing programs the next. But hey, I’m not complaining. Seeing both sides helps me empathize and pass those insights on to our consultants and clients.

Ashley Zeckman

Social Media Images Part 2: Creating Brand Recognition & Learning From Inspiring Brand Examples

Ashley Zeckman on Feb 2nd, 2016     Online Marketing, Social Media

social-media-brand-recognition

Each day customers are becoming increasingly self-directed, and are using search engines, content assets and social media to help guide purchasing decisions. Need proof? The average person now spends approximately 8 hours each day consuming some sort of media.

There is an enormous amount of opportunity for brands today to incorporate strong visuals as part of their overall digital marketing strategy. One of the biggest opportunities is on social networks.

Recent research has found that people only retain 20% of text that is read without visuals. What that should tell you is that in order to help your prospective and customers retain information, you MUST include compelling imagery.

In Social Media Images Part 1 we discussed the proper image sizing, best practices and tools. In part 2 we will explore inspirational brand examples and tips for uncovering imagery.