Spotify’s rumored ‘Create a podcast’ feature could be a valuable resource for marketers



Amy Gesenhues

Spotify is rumored to be launching a “Create a podcast” button within its app that will allow users to record, edit and publish podcasts using the Anchor podcast creation app, according to Engadget. The feature was first spotted by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong, who shared images of the “Create a podcast” button in the Spotify app via her Twitter account on Tuesday.

Spotify purchased Anchor in February; Wong noted that Anchor’s website included a product page for the Spotify feature.

Why you should care

The ability to produce and publish a podcast via Spotify’s app could open up a brand new marketing channel for SMBs and brands with limited resources and budgets.

Podcasts are booming business. Best-selling author and marketing veteran Seth Godin recently reported that 25% of the U.S. population listens to podcasts, on average, for six-and-a-half hours per week. “There is no other medium I am aware of that has grown at that pace with the exception of browsing the internet,” said Godin during his podcast on the topic (aptly titled “Meta”).

An Adobe Analytics report from earlier this month revealed mobile podcast app usage had increased 60% year-over-year since January, 2018 — and that 25% of podcast listeners had purchased a product discovered through podcast advertising.

By giving creators an easy-to-use podcast creation tool on top of its distribution platform — paired with its recently launched podcast analytics dashboard — Spotify is providing marketers the opportunity to tip their toe in the ever-growing pool of podcasts without the financial burden or risk of a large-scale initiative.

More on the news

  • Spotify’s podcast analytics dashboard allows creators to upload their podcasts to see listener demographic and engagement data.
  • Along with the Anchor podcast creation app, Spotify acquired Gimlet Media, a podcast development company.
  • At the time of the Anchor/Gimlet Media acquisitions, CEO Daniel Elk said he believed the podcast industry was positioned to become, “Significantly larger when you add internet-level monetization to it.”

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.



Source link

The importance of an effective review management workflow



Ben Wood

Whether it’s finding accommodation, booking a restaurant, choosing a new car or upgrading software for your business, reviews will impact your purchase decision.

Indeed, nearly 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase, which will have a huge impact on website conversion rates. It’s therefore vital that marketers know how to harness usergenerated reviews to their advantage through a proactive review management workflow.

Customers are reading your reviews – don’t ignore them

With the rise of social networks and online review platforms, customers are now more informed than ever before on brands and what others are saying about them. There’s now a plethora of information available to users conducting a quick Google search for “[A BRAND] reviews” which will impact their decision to either get in touch or make a purchase.

Third-party review websites covering various topics are businesses in themselves. Trustpilot, HomeAdvisor, Feefo, Yelp and many more review aggregators make money from businesses who pay a small fee to actively manage what customers are saying about them online. Add to this the fact that most online stores feature customer reviews of any given product and you start to appreciate the impact they can have on customer trust and website conversion rates.

Indeed, 93% of customers are now using reviews to assess the quality of local businesses (BrightLocal), while 72% of customers reportedly don’t take action until they’ve read reviews of a product or service (Testimonial Engine). Instead of leaving review management to your customer service team, reviews should be treated as a marketing conversion lever and managed accordingly.

How then can you keep tabs on what users are saying about your business? All companies are to a certain extent at the mercy of third-party review management sites, so it’s important to monitor and manage this process as best you can. Not forgetting the techniques you can employ on your own web properties to boost trust in your brand through displaying testimonials, client logos and so on.

Create a proactive review management workflow

The review economy relies on consumers willingly sharing their experiences. For customers to write reviews, we need to understand why any consumer would take the time to provide their thoughts on the experience they had with a product or service.

Most reviews are triggered by exceptionally positive or negative customer experiences. These customers will look for a place to share their experiences if they’re not addressed by the company in question to their satisfaction.

Oftentimes, customers just need a gentle push to leave a review. According to BrightLocal, 68% of customers have reportedly left a local business review after being asked to do so. Power Reviews finds approximately 80% of reviews originate from email requests for customer reviews.

Proactively requesting reviews is one way of negating the risk of negative reviews happening in the first place while at the same time encouraging positive customer reviews.

As an example, the following review management workflow could be used to funnel customers into a post-sale or service first-party review process. This means you manage the collection of the ratings as a first step, enabling you to funnel negative customer experiences directly to your customer service team, and encourage customers who have left favorable ratings to go online and spread the word.

One benefit of managing your own review workflow is that you’ll be able to funnel customers toward whichever review platform tends to hold the most weight in your niche, and the platform which gains most visibility when users are searching for your brand name and “review” queries in Google search.

While this type of workflow can be set up at scale using major CRM and email marketing platforms, you can also achieve this using free email tools such as Mailchimp, proving a cost effective method of encouraging customer reviews for small business owners.

Google Alerts

Google alerts is a free tool used to monitor a selection of keywords, which in this case (review and reputation monitoring) would be your brand name.

While it’s not as refined as many paid for reputation management tools, it’s another costeffective method of keeping on top of what people are saying about your brand online.

Setting up Google Alerts for your business is really simple to do, but don’t forget that you can refine your search terms by using:

  • Quotation marks (“”): Specific words or phrases
  • (Site:): To be notified of new content on specific sites of high value
  • Minus (-): To filter out articles containing certain keywords

Paid tools for reputation management

In addition to the DIY solutions you can create to effectively manage your online reviews, there are a number of paid tools you can utilize if you have the budget.

There are some less expensive tools out there to keep on top of what people are saying about your brand specifically on social media, including Hootsuite and Tweetdeck.

However you decide to monitor your online reviews, ensuring you respond to reviews is vital – 53% of customers expect businesses to reply to their online reviews within seven days (Review Trackers) and your lack of response could have a negative impact on your brand perception, especially on social media.

Sign up to review platforms

As the volume of dedicated review platforms expands, it’s important that you claim and maintain a presence on each of the major platforms in your location and niche.

Major platforms such as Yelp and Google My Business are necessary for all types of businesses and should be claimed and updated as a basic first step for all business owners.

You’ll notice that Google My Business dominates the review landscape for the vast majority of navigational and local queries on Google. Just type your brand and a local keyword into Google and you’ll almost always see Google My Business listings (the “local pack”) complete with reviews returned first.

Remember, your customers will more often than not use Google to search for reviews, so once you’ve worked through the more basic platforms, carry out some research of other review platforms that tend to appear when typing in your brand and “reviews” as well as your service or product and “reviews” search queries into Google.

Displaying reviews and testimonials on your site 

It’s important to not only rely on third party review platforms to help convert your customers. Reviews are an important trust signal that you should utilise wherever possible on your website to boost your conversion rate, and there are a number of different review formats you can utilise to do this:

  • Customer testimonials
  • Case studies
  • Service specific reviews
  • Product specific reviews
  • Third-party reviews and ratings

Don’t forget that 73% of consumers have more trust in a local business after seeing positive reviews, so don’t just rely on off-site reviews, ensure that potential customers have visibility of your reviews directly while browsing your site.

Responding to negative reviews

However well you manage your reviews, inevitably a few poor reviews will make it into the public domain. But don’t fear, the important part is how you respond and manage to them.

Responding to reviews gives the perception that you really care about your customers, and you should be prepared to not only thank customers for their positive reviews, but respond publicly to negative reviews in a proactive manner.

If you’re wondering how to respond to negative reviews, it depends a lot on the severity and nature of the review, but there are some guiding principles:

  1. Never be confrontational
  2. Address the root cause of the issue (listen to what your customers are saying!)
  3. Always respond and apologize
  4. Offer to make things right
  5. Say thanks
  6. Respond in a timely fashion

Conclusion

If you weren’t proactively managing your reviews before reading this post, hopefully some of these stats have changed your mind.

No matter what else you do to attract customers to your website or how much money you spend on advertising, customer reviews will play a role in your customers decision making process, so ignore them at your peril!


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

Ben Wood is the Digital Director at UK based agency Hallam. Ben specializes in SEO, paid search and web analytics. In his spare time, Ben is an experienced ice hockey player, currently representing the Nottingham Lions in the English National League.



Source link

The astronomer has a star

Lorem ipsum dolor sit ametconsectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmodtem pod caall incididunt ut labore etdoloremag naaliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam quis nostru jam exercitation. Lorem ipsum dolor sit consectetu

Continue reading

Lead Volume vs. Lead Quality By RuthBurrReedy



RuthBurrReedy

Ruth Burr Reedy is an SEO and online marketing consultant and speaker and the Vice President of Strategy at UpBuild, a technical marketing agency specializing in SEO, web analytics, and conversion rate optimization. This is the first post in a recurring monthly series and we’re excited! 


When you’re onboarding a new SEO client who works with a lead generation model, what do you do?

Among the many discovery questions you ask as you try to better understand your client’s business, you probably ask them, “What makes a lead a good lead?” That is, what are the qualities that make a potential customer more likely to convert to sale?

A business that’s given some thought to their ideal customer might send over some audience personas; they might talk about their target audience in more general terms. A product or service offering might be a better fit for companies of a certain size or budget, or be at a price point that requires someone at a senior level (such as a Director, VP, or C-level employee) to sign off, and your client will likely pass that information on to you if they know it. However, it’s not uncommon for these sorts of onboarding conversations to end with the client assuring you: “Just get us the leads. We’ll make the sales.”

Since SEO agencies often don’t have access to our clients’ CRM systems, we’re often using conversion to lead as a core KPI when measuring the success of our campaigns. We know enough to know that it’s not enough to drive traffic to a site; that traffic has to convert to become valuable. Armed with our clients’ assurances that what they really need is more leads, we dive into understanding the types of problems that our client’s product is designed to solve, the types of people who might have those problems, and the types of resources they might search for as they tend to solve those problems. Pretty soon, we’ve fixed the technical problems on our client’s site, helped them create and promote robust resources around their customers’ problems, and are watching the traffic and conversions pour in. Feels pretty good, right?

Unfortunately, this is often the point in a B2B engagement where the wheels start to come off the bus. Looking at the client’s analytics, everything seems great — traffic is up, conversions are also up, the site is rocking and rolling. Talk to the client, though, and you’ll often find that they’re not happy.

“Leads are up, but sales aren’t,” they might say, or “yes, we’re getting more leads, but they’re the wrong leads.” You might even hear that the sales team hates getting leads from SEO, because they don’t convert to sale, or if they do, only for small-dollar deals.

What happened?

At this point, nobody could blame you for becoming frustrated with your client. After all, they specifically said that all they cared about was getting more leads — so why aren’t they happy? Especially when you’re making the phone ring off the hook?

A key to client retention at this stage is to understand things from your client’s perspective — and particularly, from their sales team’s perspective. The important thing to remember is that when your client told you they wanted to focus on lead volume, they weren’t lying to you; it’s just that their needs have changed since having that conversation.

Chances are, your new B2B client didn’t seek out your services because everything was going great for them. When a lead gen company seeks out a new marketing partner, it’s typically because they don’t have enough leads in their pipeline. “Hungry for leads” isn’t a situation any sales team wants to be in: every minute they spend sitting around, waiting for leads to come in is a minute they’re not spending meeting their sales and revenue targets. It’s really stressful, and could even mean their jobs are at stake. So, when they brought you on, is it any wonder their first order of business was “just get us the leads?” Any lead is better than no lead at all.

Now, however, you’ve got a nice little flywheel running, bringing new leads to the sales team’s inbox all the livelong day, and the team has a whole new problem: talking to leads that they perceive as a waste of their time. 

A different kind of lead

Lead-gen SEO is often a top-of-funnel play. Up to the point when the client brought you on, the leads coming in were likely mostly from branded and direct traffic — they’re people who already know something about the business, and are closer to being ready to buy. They’re already toward the middle of the sales funnel before they even talk to a salesperson.

SEO, especially for a business with any kind of established brand, is often about driving awareness and discovery. The people who already know about the business know how to get in touch when they’re ready to buy; SEO is designed to get the business in front of people who may not already know that this solution to their problems exists, and hopefully sell it to them.

A fledgling SEO campaign should generate more leads, but it also often means a lower percentage of good leads. It’s common to see conversion rates, both from session to lead and from lead to sale, go down during awareness-building marketing. The bet you’re making here is that you’re driving enough qualified traffic that even as conversion rates go down, your total number of conversions (again, both to lead and to sale) is still going up, as is your total revenue.

So, now you’ve brought in the lead volume that was your initial mandate, but the leads are at a different point in their customer journey, and some of them may not be in a position to buy at all. This can lead to the perception that the sales team is wasting all of their time talking to people who will never buy. Since it takes longer to close a sale than it does to disqualify a lead, the increase in less-qualified leads will become apparent long before a corresponding uptick in sales — and since these leads are earlier in their customer journey, they may take longer to convert to sale than the sales team is used to.

At this stage, you might ask for reports from the client’s CRM, or direct access, so you can better understand what their sales team is seeing. To complicate matters further, though, attribution in most CRMs is kind of terrible. It’s often very rigid; the CRM’s definitions of channels may not match those of Google Analytics, leading to discrepancies in channel numbers; it may not have been set up correctly in the first place; it’s opaque, often relying on “secret sauce” to attribute sales per channel; and it still tends to encourage salespeople to focus on the first or last touch. So, if SEO is driving a lot of traffic that later converts to lead as Direct, the client may not even be aware that SEO is driving those leads.

None of this matters, of course, if the client fires you before you have a chance to show the revenue that SEO is really driving. You need to show that you can drive lead quality from the get-go, so that by the time the client realizes that lead volume alone isn’t what they want, you’re prepared to have that conversation.

Resist the temptation to qualify at the keyword level

When a client is first distressed about lead quality, It’s tempting to do a second round of keyword research and targeting to try to dial in their ideal decision-maker; in fact, they may specifically ask you to do so. Unfortunately, there’s not a great way to do that at the query level. Sure, enterprise-level leads might be searching “enterprise blue widget software,” but it’s difficult to target that term without also targeting “blue widget software,” and there’s no guarantee that your target customers are going to add the “enterprise” qualifier. Instead, use your ideal users’ behaviors on the site to determine which topics, messages, and calls to action resonate with them best — then update site content to better appeal to that target user

Change the onboarding conversation

We’ve already talked about asking clients, “what makes a lead a good lead?” I would argue, though, that a better question is “how do you qualify leads?” 

Sit down with as many members of the sales team as you can (since you’re doing this at the beginning of the engagement — before you’re crushing it driving leads, they should have a bit more time to talk to you) and ask how they decide which leads to focus on. If you can, ask to listen in on a sales call or watch over their shoulder as they go through their new leads. 

At first, they may talk about how lead qualification depends on a complicated combination of factors. Often, though, the sales team is really making decisions about who’s worth their time based on just one or two factors (usually budget or title, although it might also be something like company size). Try to nail them down on their most important one.

Implement a lead scoring model

There are a bunch of different ways to do this in Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager (Alex from UpBuild has a writeup of our method, here). Essentially, when a prospect submits a lead conversion form, you’ll want to:

  • Look for the value of your “most important” lead qualification factor in the form,
  • And then fire an Event “scoring” the conversion in Google Analytics as e.g. Hot, Warm, or Cold.

This might look like detecting the value put into an “Annual Revenue” field or drop-down and assigning a score accordingly; or using RegEx to detect when the “Title” field contains Director, Vice President, or CMO and scoring higher. I like to use the same Event Category for all conversions from the same form, so they can all roll up into one Goal in Google Analytics, then using the Action or Label field to track the scoring data. For example, I might have an Event Category of “Lead Form Submit” for all lead form submission Events, then break out the Actions into “Hot Lead — $5000+,” “Warm Lead — $1000–$5000,” etc.

Note: Don’t use this methodology to pass individual lead information back into Google Analytics. Even something like Job Title could be construed as Personally Identifiable Information, a big no-no where Google Analytics is concerned. We’re not trying to track individual leads’ behaviors, here; we’re trying to group conversions into ranges.

How to use scored leads

Drive the conversation around sales lifecycle. The bigger the company and the higher the budget, the more time and touches it will take before they’re ready to even talk to you. This means that with a new campaign, you’ll typically see Cold leads coming in first, then Hot and Warm trickling in overtime. Capturing this data allows you to set an agreed-upon time in the future when you and the client can discuss whether this is working, instead of cutting off campaigns/strategies before they have a chance to perform (it will also allow you to correctly set Campaign time-out in GA to reflect the full customer journey).

Allocate spend. How do your sales team’s favorite leads tend to get to the site? Does a well-timed PPC or display ad after their initial visit drive them back to make a purchase? Understanding the channels your best leads use to find and return to the site will help your client spend smarter.

Create better-targeted content. Many businesses with successful blogs will have a post or two that drives a great deal of traffic, but almost no qualified leads. Understanding where your traffic goals don’t align with your conversion goals will keep you from wasting time creating content that ranks, but won’t make money.

Build better links. The best links don’t just drive “link equity,” whatever that even means anymore — they drive referral traffic. What kinds of websites drive lots of high-scoring leads, and where else can you get those high-quality referrals?

Optimize for on-page conversion. How do your best-scoring leads use the site? Where are the points in the customer journey where they drop off, and how can you best remove friction and add nurturing? Looking at how your Cold leads use the site will also be valuable — where are the points on-site where you can give them information to let them know they’re not a fit before they convert?

The earlier in the engagement you start collecting this information, the better equipped you’ll be to have the conversation about lead quality when it rears its ugly head.



Source link

Don’t call me: Nearly 90% of customers won’t answer the phone anymore [Study]



Greg Sterling

There’s an ongoing debate about the role of telephone sales and whether they’re effective anymore. Many pundits have long asserted that “cold calling is dead,” but is any form of outcalling or inside sales effective now?

Declining success rates. A new survey and report from Zipwhip (registration required), intended to promote messaging, argues the phone as a channel is experiencing decreasing effectiveness for multiple reasons. Indeed, plenty of anecdotal evidence indicates reaching prospects over the phone is a growing problem across markets, whether the targets are consumers or b2b buyers.

Widely cited data from separate studies argue that fewer than 2% of cold calls result in meetings and that cold calling is ineffective more than 90% of the time. But these statistics are from old studies that don’t appear to be available anymore, only the passing third-party citations. Yet these assertions appear to support anecdotal experience.

Conversely, there are some who still argue that cold calling can be successful if done properly.

87% mostly ignore calls. The Zipwhip survey (n=520 U.S. adults) found that 87% of respondents said they ignore phone calls from unknown numbers “often” or “very often.”

How often do you ignore/reject phone calls from businesses and unknown numbers?

Source: Zipwhip consumer survey (2019)

This is undoubtedly driven by the increase in robo calls and mobile-phone spam, which First Orion has said will represent about 45% of mobile calls in the U.S. this year. This rise in spam is leading to various anti-call-spam solutions and just plain call avoidance by consumers. Indeed, the top piece of advice from the FCC to combat mobile phone spam is: “Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. If you answer such a call, hang up immediately.”

The Zipwhip study goes on to explore the various reasons people don’t want to answer the phone. Among them, people are too busy, calls are intrusive or they prefer to communicate in other ways.

Select why you avoid phone calls from businesses/unknown numbers (select all that apply)

Source: Zipwhip consumer survey (2019)

Only 4% don’t think calls disruptive. Beyond this, the survey asked “how often do you find calls to be disruptive?” Respondents said:

  • Always — 27.69%
  • Sometimes — 68.5%
  • Never — 3.65%

In other words, less than 4% were generally open to receiving phone calls.

None of this should be interpreted to suggest that overall call volumes are declining. Indeed, (legitimate) call volumes are growing according to call tracking companies and several studies. BrightLocal, for example, found that the phone was the preferred channel for consumers to contact local businesses. And a recent survey from Broadly found that a majority of small businesses see the phone as their most important channel.

Why we should care. There’s an overall sense that tried-and-true sales channels (e.g., email) are declining in effectiveness. As the data above show, this is also true for calls — when they’re unsolicited. While some stubborn sales executives might say cold calls have a role to play, the evidence argues this approach is getting less efficient and more expensive over time.

One response (now almost a cliche) is that in-bound marketing is the answer and dramatically improves telephone close rates. But as most marketers already well understand, brands need to diversify their prospecting and communications strategies to reach audiences through the channels they prefer. Taking pressure off the phone enables it to become much more effective in this “don’t call me” era.


About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk, about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+.



Source link

Choosing a CMS – Marketing Land



Digital Marketing Depot

With the current pace of technological innovation, customers are demanding more out of their digital experiences. They now expect personalized and seamless experiences across all of their devices. That means delivering relevant content wherever they are, and whenever they want it.

Companies need a CMS that allows them to turn great ideas into reality quickly, and meet rapidly changing market demands. The market for CMS solutions, however, is vast and complicated. There’s no perfect solution, so the key is finding a CMS that’s going to fit your unique needs and specific business goals.

This guide from Magnolia is here to help you do that by breaking down the selection process from beginning to end. Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download “Choosing a CMS: The Ultimate Guide.”

About The Author

Digital Marketing Depot is a resource center for digital marketing strategies and tactics. We feature hosted white papers and E-Books, original research, and webcasts on digital marketing topics — from advertising to analytics, SEO and PPC campaign management tools to social media management software, e-commerce to e-mail marketing, and much more about internet marketing. Digital Marketing Depot is a division of Third Door Media, publisher of Search Engine Land and Marketing Land, and producer of the conference series Search Marketing Expo and MarTech. Visit us at http://digitalmarketingdepot.com.



Source link

ABM goes mainstream: What have we learned and what’s next?



Scott Vaughan

Account-based Marketing is one of the most discussed strategies in conferences rooms and at conferences. Sales and marketing research and advisory firm TOPO released a report to the B2B community last quarter that stated emphatically: “ABM is going mainstream in 2019.”

Game on.

In the spirit of understanding the state of all things account-based, here’s what I’ve learned from meeting with more than 50 B2B teams last quarter on the state of ABM.

B2B marketing and account-based marketing aren’t synonymous yet – but it’s close.

The B2B sales process is in sync with an account-based model, driven by how solutions are purchased and the total available market (TAM) of accounts for most B2B brands. 

The numbers so far are giving us a strong indication of what’s possible. Account-based leads are four times more likely to be followed up on by sales, according to Sirius Decision’s 2019 ABM research.

However, most marketing teams struggle with transitioning from a quantity-based lead generation system – create content, drive traffic, capture lead, nurture, score to qualify, route to sales and hope leads get followed up on – to the more precise and collaborative account-based approach.  

ABM is not the antidote to the elusive sales-marketing alignment. 

Having an account-based strategy and mindset gets deeper sales buy-in, focuses the marketing department’s effort and gets the organization moving in the same direction. But it’s not the way to get sales and marketing aligned. If metrics aren’t shared, the collaborative culture isn’t in place and/or executive leadership isn’t behind the strategy, the chance of revenue success with an account-based model is just as unlikely as the old lead gen model. 

Account-based Marketing is not enough to deliver results.

Marketing driving an account-based effort and/or operating in a silo will fail. Don’t believe me? Check the history books on “lead scoring.” Acknowledging this challenge, the B2B industry has attempted to adopt multiple different versions of “ABM” descriptions (Account-based everything, Account-based revenue, Account-based orchestration, etc.). 

For an account-based approach to work, it must include a holistic approach integrating (not just aligning) sales, marketing, customer success and product. 

ABM’s hidden gem use case may be customer revenue and expansion.

ABM works extremely well for revenue expansion and growing your relationships with existing customer accounts. 

Here, we have a very clear set of accounts. There is no debate about which companies or organizations should be on your “account list.” They’re straightforward to identify and to reach out and engage in context to your existing relationship. Just as importantly, your customers are looking to get more out of their existing investments and more value from existing, approved providers. 

Your current lead-based metrics will go down, don’t panic.

Lead quantity will go down. Embrace it. 

Many of us are driven (and often rewarded) by quantity metrics, such as web site visits, database contact size, and the number of leads – especially marketing qualified leads. Key strategic metrics for account-based efforts are different. Key success indicators include an increase in average contact value, faster close rates and larger lifetime contract value. 

Accounts don’t buy anything, people do.

As you adopt an account-based approach, be careful not to get so obsessed with accounts you lose sight of the true buyers – people. Accounts are important but ultimately people on the buying committee will make the decisions and determine your fate. 

Successful account-based marketers emphasize the things that still matter to people: being relevant, differentiated, timely and inspiring in their communications. 

Intent data is gaining traction and success in account-based strategies. 

The lead generation era was about digital buying language, and tracking and acting on the behaviors of individuals. In contrast, the account-based era is all about understanding the collective actions of people that work at target accounts, around action and engagement with specific topics. 

Using this “intent” data has become an important signal and way to prioritize when and how to follow up with specific accounts. The mindset needs to shift from “I see you downloaded this white paper” to “it looks like you may be doing research around x topic.”

Mastering account-based strategies and tactics is a good career bet. 

Account-based strategies and know-how have moved from nice-to-have to critical skills for B2B professionals. 

The good news is that there is a lot of data generated from those that have successfully deployed account-based strategies and tactics – and we can tap into deep learnings from that data. It’s the perfect time to commit to mastering account-based strategies for your professional advancement and for the success of your organization.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

Scott Vaughan is Chief Growth Officer of Integrate, an enterprise marketing software and solutions provider. With previous roles as CMO and B2B revenue marketing leader, Scott leads Integrate’s go-to-market, customer, and growth strategies. Scott’s experience and passion are fueled by working with customers and partners to create new levels of business and customer value.



Source link

Podcast listening growth continues: Mobile app usage up 60% since January 2018, study finds



George Nguyen

Podcast mobile app usage has risen 60% since January 2018, and the sector’s growth is expected to continue as 45% of listeners said they plan on tuning into more podcasts in the future, according to a study conducted by Adobe Analytics.

Discovery and growth. The study, which combined survey information from 1,008 U.S. respondents and Comscore data comprised of 193 million monthly unique visitors to U.S. mobile apps (between January 2018 and May 2019), found that 41% of podcast discovery occurs through online sources such as blogs and articles.

The report also stated that 25% of current podcast listeners began listening to podcasts for the first time within the past six months. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents perceive podcast quality to be on the rise, with just 6% under the impression that quality is decreasing.

Who, where, what. One-third of millennials said they listen to five or more podcasts per week, accounting for the largest demographic of listeners. Slightly more than half (52%) of respondents said they tune into podcasts while working or commuting and 42% said they listen in the car. 

The four most popular genres were found to be comedy, educational, history and true crime/documentary. Video game and discussion panel podcasts were among the least popular categories.

Ad effectiveness. The majority (60%) of listeners surveyed said they looked up a service or product after hearing it advertised on a podcast, and 25% reported that they ended up making the purchase.

The report also found that, of the 72% of listeners who had heard a podcast ad, 33% said podcast ads are more engaging than ads on other formats, and 40% found the ads less intrusive that other types of ads.

On the flip side, 58% of respondents said they skipped podcast ads.

Why we should care. The podcast sector’s momentum increases the viability of podcast advertising to reach a growing audience. And, with more data available from platforms like Spotify or third parties such as Nielsen, advertisers have more targeting capabilities to help them get closer to the listeners that are most likely to be interested in their products or services.


About The Author

George Nguyen is an Associate Editor at Third Door Media. His background is in content marketing, journalism, and storytelling.



Source link

LinkedIn Sales Navigator will now surface more content for sales teams to share



Amy Gesenhues

Among the quarterly product updates released Wednesday in LinkedIn Sales Navigator are more features for discovering and managing leads, a redesigned Help Center and an integration with its content-sharing app Elevate.

Bringing more content into Sales Navigator. LinkedIn first launched Elevate — an app designed to help users curate and share content on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook — in 2015. Now, Sales Navigator users who also use the Elevate app will receive alerts on their Sales Navigator homepage when new content is available.

Users will be able to access the content without having to log into Elevate, and then share it on LinkedIn as well as Twitter and Facebook.

“Marketers will still be able to control what content they’d like to see employees post,” writes Doug Camplejohn on LinkedIn’s Sales Blog, “But now Sales Navigator users will have an even easier time boosting their brand and the brand of their company.”

LinkedIn reports salespeople who regularly share content are 45% more likely to surpass their quota.

New ways to manage lead lists. As part of the quarterly update, Sales Navigator will now let users sort Custom Lead Lists by Name Account and Geography, and Custom Account Lists can be sorted by Name and Geography.

Users will also be able to copy a lead list that was shared with them, creating a new list that they can own, and perform a “bulk save” for all leads or accounts from a shared list. There’s also a new feature that lets users remove shared lists from their list hub.

Lead discovery updates. Sales Navigator is increasing the number of results when performing a search for new leads. Previously, it capped the total available search results at 1,000, but is increasing that number to 2,500, giving users a longer list of potential leads.

When a user sends a request to connect on LinkedIn via the Sales Navigator platform, they now will be able to save that potential connection as a lead. Regardless if the person connects, the user will still get alerts on the lead and the account — notifying them of new activity like a promotion or company funding announcement. It is also adding a feature that lets users know when an existing lead is currently on LinkedIn (putting a green status dot by their profile picture).

A redesigned Help Center with new chat function. LinkedIn has redesigned the Sales Navigator Help Center, giving more visibility to shortcuts, recommended topics and the “Contact Us” link. It is also rolling out a “Chat with Us” feature that lets users contact support rep via a chat function in real-time.

Whey we should care. LinkedIn says more than 1.3 million lead and account lists have been created in Sales Navigator. For marketers managing B2B campaigns, this latest update will benefit their content strategy efforts, helping them push more content to their sales team. On the sales side, the update offers more functionality with improved lead discovery and management features.


About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.



Source link

What’s the right approach to online marketing for your business?



Jacob Baadsgaard

When it comes to online marketing, there’s a lot of advice out there. I can’t criticize, I’m responsible for a good deal of it myself.

But, everywhere you look, it seems like there’s another person sharing their latest marketing innovation, best practice or hack. It’s almost impossible to keep them all straight, let alone decide which ones are relevant to your business.

So what do you do? How do you sort through all of the clutter and pick a marketing approach that will work for you and your company?

To be honest, the secret to effectively marketing your business isn’t the latest best practice or marketing hack. Those might be tools in your marketing tool chest, but they won’t do you much good if your fundamental approach to marketing isn’t solid. In fact, if they distract you from focusing on the most important things for your business, they can actually do more harm than good.

With all that in mind, let’s take a look at why you should take most marketing advice with a grain of salt and a few reliable marketing approaches you can use to get consistent results.

The problem with most marketing advice

When it comes to marketing advice, there’s one thing you have to keep in mind: almost all marketing advice comes from marketers. And marketers are constantly trying to sell something.

Even when they’re not directly trying to sell you on a product or service (or their breakthrough, ultra-secret methodology that will make you an overnight millionaire), marketers can’t help but market. It’s instinctive for them. If they want you to believe in their breakthrough or hack, they’ll do their level best to make it seem awesome.

There’s nothing wrong with that…as long as you remember one thing: your results may vary.

No two businesses are the same. Even direct competitors can struggle to effectively replicate each others’ marketing secret sauce. There’s nothing wrong with that, but this point often tends to get lost once marketers start talking about how great their latest idea is.

So, the next time you’re reading about the latest and greatest in the marketing world (including this article), remember, just because something worked for someone else, that doesn’t mean it will work for you. There’s a lot other people can teach you, but ultimately, what’s right for your business will be specific to your business.

How will you approach marketing?

In light of all that, you might be wondering, How do I know what marketing strategies will work for my business?

That’s a great question.

While there are countless different tricks, tactics and hacks you can use to promote your business online, most of them fall into three basic categories. In my experience, as long as your marketing is effective in at least one of these areas, you’ll be successful. So, it pays to understand each of these marketing approaches and which one(s) you want to use for your business.

Ideally, you want to be strong in each of the following areas, but that can often be overwhelming, so start by trying to identify which sort of strategy best fits your company’s personality, needs, and brand.

1. Create something compelling

Although we all love fun, engaging and compelling content, let’s be honest, most marketing is boring. For every truly brilliant ad or article, there are a million utterly forgettable ones.

But here’s the thing. People want to see something fun, funny, entertaining, novel or just plain compelling. They don’t actually hate marketing – they just hate boring marketing. So, if your company can be clever, thought-provoking, soulful or hilarious, people will naturally be interested in your marketing. 

Engaging content stands out from the crowd. It gives people something interesting to look at, think about and share with others – even if that content isn’t all that unique or different to begin with. 

Take the following image from “The Art of Manliness,” for example.

Is there anything novel or new about the idea of giving a good firm handshake (among men and women)? Not really. In fact, this idea has been around for decades, if not hundreds of years.

But…put this content into a fun infographic like this and suddenly, it’s new, fresh and engaging.

If you’re smart about it, you don’t have to say anything new to be an effective marketer. You just have to say things in a new and engaging way. If online influencers and YouTubers can win thousands-to-millions of people over with this simple strategy, it should come as no surprise that creating engaging marketing content is a surefire way to win over your target market.

Don’t believe me? How about a concrete marketing example?

This pooping unicorn put Squatty Potty on the map. By approaching the subject of pooping in an engaging way, this ad made the Squatty Potty a cultural phenomenon.

Obviously, you shouldn’t expect Squatty Potty success from your own marketing, but the point remains that engaging marketing works. There are countless examples of business that made their mark by creating content that their customers love.

The downside to this approach, of course, is that putting together compelling content takes a lot of creativity and work – which is a big part of why most marketing content isn’t all that compelling. If you or your business isn’t creative or willing to put in the time and energy to create engaging content, this approach might not be for you.

But, if you love the idea of creating compelling, stand-out content, this sort of approach can do wonders for your business. Marketing like this makes people remember your business and want to follow you for more great content. It isn’t easy, but it can certainly produce great results.

2. Strike first

Sometimes the easiest way to win against your competitors is to beat your competition…to the competition. It’s not hard to get clicks when your business is the only option people see.

And, when it comes to online marketing, there’s always something new to try.

Social media platforms, ad formats, campaign strategies, those hacks and breakthroughs we mentioned earlier—they all fall into this category. Anytime a new option comes around, if you can be the first one to figure out how to make it work, you win. How much you’ll win may vary, but you’ll almost always have a market advantage until your competition catches on.

The problem is, though, striking first is probably the most popular approach in this article. As marketers, we love shiny new toys, so most businesses eagerly look for the next big thing that will allow them to achieve maximum success with minimum effort.

As a result, the long-term effectiveness of this strategy tends to wane with time. The more people who start using the platform, tactic or ad format, the more competition you have and the less exciting your results become.

Take Facebook Ads, for example. 

Not too long ago, you could get clicks for pennies and there weren’t a ton of businesses running ads. These days, however, Facebook is crammed with ads and the cost per click is pushing up against two dollars.

For advertisers who figured Facebook out early, it was a real cash cow. But, nowadays, you have to have a solid strategy just to make any money with Facebook Ads.

The other challenge with trying to be first is that it can sometimes be hard to predict which options are worth investing in and which ones will be a waste of time and effort. For example, remember Vine?

During its hey-day, Vine was a hub of content creation. Accounts that created memorable video snippets became incredibly popular, almost overnight.

And then, Vine died. All of the people who had invested countless hours into creating a following on Vine lost most of their network when the platform closed up shop.

For a while, it seemed like Vine could be the next big thing, but for reasons outside of its users’ control, it didn’t survive and all of their efforts went up in smoke.

So, while being an early adopter is exciting and can yield massive results, it isn’t without its share of risks. But, if you love figuring out new things and are willing to constantly jump on the latest bandwagon, striking first can be a very viable way to market your business.

3. Keep going…and going…and going

Our final marketing approach is far less exciting than being an early adopter. However, the grade-school truism of “slow and steady wins the race” is just as true in marketing as it is in any other area of life.

While it can be easy to look for quick results, there’s a lot to be said for consistency. 

Will posting daily on social media yield tons of followers overnight? No, but over the course of months-to-years, it will probably lead to a sizeable following. Will refining your paid search strategy on a regular basis cut your cost per click by next month? No, but give it long enough and you’ll have a CPC that makes your competitors green with envy.

The point is, most business success doesn’t happen overnight – even if it looks like it does. Behind every story of overnight success are countless days and nights of work. But nobody mentions all of the blood, sweat, and consistent effort that lead to a sudden stroke of brilliance. All we see is the end result – and then wonder why we can’t achieve the same thing without all of the effort.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in my career, it’s that consistently doing the right things usually yields results over time. It’s not always fun to be patient, but eventually, it pays off.

Of course, if your business is struggling to keep its head above water or patience and consistent effort make you miserable, this approach can be hard to employ. But honestly, even if your focus is on one of the other approaches we’ve discussed in this article, you’ll always be well-served by being consistent in your marketing.

Conclusion

With all the chatter out there about online marketing strategies, hacks and breakthroughs, it can be easy to get confused about what applies to your business…and what doesn’t. But honestly, most marketing advice fits into one of the three categories we’ve discussed in this article: 

  1. It helps make your marketing more compelling
  2. It’s a new idea that most businesses aren’t trying
  3. It’s something that needs to be done consistently to yield good results

Understanding which of these approaches you want to focus on in your business can help you figure out which strategies to try and which ones to ignore. If creative, compelling content simply isn’t your strong point, don’t try to implement a big, bold, attention-grabbing strategy. Instead, focus on tactics that play to your strengths.

Your business is unique. You don’t have to replicate what someone else does to be successful. You just have to figure out what makes your business special and the best way to communicate that to your audience.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

Jacob is passionate entrepreneur on a mission to grow businesses using PPC & CRO. As the Founder & CEO of Disruptive Advertising, Jacob has developed an award-winning and world-class organization that has now helped over 2,000 businesses grow their online revenue. Connect with him on Twitter.



Source link