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Tag: marketing

Add Video Easily to your WordPress Blog

ADDING VIDEO TO YOUR WEBSITE

 

BY    •   WORDPRESS TIPS

A lot of people ask us how they can add or upload videos to their WordPress site. It’s simpler than you think.

While WordPress does allow for the option to upload videos and other media, this can get messy and tricky as you deal with different browsers, operating systems and devices. Instead, we recommend that you embed videos from a different source — something like YouTube or Vimeo.

YouTube will allow you to reach a larger audience, while Vimeo will allow for more customization, and “white-labeling” if you upgrade to its Pro subscription.

Each service will allow you to Share or Embed, and will give you a URL or iFrame code to put directly into your editing window in WordPress. If you’re using an iFrame code, make sure you are on the Text/HTML tab of the editing window, not the Visual editor.

If you have Jetpack installed as a plugin, the process is even easier. You can simply add a shortcode in the Visual editor with the video URL. For example:

  [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1234567-A]

view rawShortcode Youtube Embed hosted with  by GitHub

  [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1234567-A&w=640&h=385]

view rawWith Width and Height hosted with  by GitHub

 

You can also customize the width and height using this method, by adding the query parameter for “w” ( width ) and “h” (height) &w= and &h= to the shortcode.

You can do the same with Vimeo and several other services. Want to see what’s supported?Click here to view the Jetpack Shortcode Embeds page.

Chris Corey

CMO Markethive Inc.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

4 Inbound Marketing Tools You Should Know About

inbound-marketing

For most small businesses marketing is either a huge expense or a huge burden. If you are trying to run a small business, or if you are an entrepreneur trying to navigate your way online, the word marketing is kind of a scary one.  

You envision yourself or your team spending hours and hours blogging, or creating content on social networks with no guarantee that your time investment will pay off. Or you pay someone through the nose to handle your marketing, not really sure if that investment will work out any better than doing it in-house.

This might be a bit of an exaggeration, but unfortunately, it is the reality that far too many start-ups and existing small businesses face. Here are some excellent tools that you probably have not heard of, that can help ease your burden. Do not worry, relief is on the way.

Markethive – this is a totally free social network for entrepreneurs and small businesses.  This network can help you, even if you don't have your own website. If you do have your own website, it can work hand in hand for even better results.

It would take an entire blog post to describe everything that Markethive can do for you, but let's just start with their blogging platform. Simply put I get 10X the post views on Markethive compared to the views I get on LinkedIn Pulse.  

Markethive is an engaged social network.  This is quite a surprising comparison, despite the fact that I have 10k 1st level connections on LinkedIn, and only 500 friends in Markethive.  As they say, go figure!

LeadOutcome  — you may or may not be aware that LinkedIn is one of the few social networks that allows the export of names and email addresses.  Your entire database of 1st level connections on LinkedIn whether you have 500, 2500, or 25,000 1st level connections, can be exported and sent email using automated marketing methods. This is obviously extremely significant for marketers.

I am not a big fan of autoresponders, or email blasters, as I like to call them.  Aside from telling you the open rates and clickthrough rates of email, they really do little else.

No autoresponder I know of can tell you who is "hot", and who is not.  There are a number of specialized features that CRM software systems like LeadOutcome offer, but the fact the each action a lead takes is "scored" makes a huge difference.

You now know who is "hot", and who is not. There are a number of additional features of LeadOutcome that make it highly desirable, but given that it's monthly cost is less than most autoresponders makes it a relative no-brainer.

Simple Lead Generator for Facebook and Twitter.  Without listing all of the features and benefits,  (see the video link for details), this powerful software lets you search for and find groups automatically by keyword search.  

You can post automatically to groups, and also to your friends on Facebook.  You can also auto-follow on Twitter and auto-like tweets in order to encourage people to follow you back.  This can save hours and hours of your time if you are active on either Facebook or Twitter.

Group Messenger  for LinkedIn. (see the video link for details) This software allows you to market automatically on LinkedIn.  No need for manual messages one by one anymore.  

You can auto-invite based on keyword searches and auto-invite group members for groups of which you are a member. You can email open networkers over and above the LinkedIn limits for invitations within LinkedIn.

Of course, you will find quite a large number of rather expensive systems for inbound marketing that will schedule and organize your content, etc. etc.  Despite the advantages of these systems, you will find most if not all of what they do in Markethive at no charge.

An essential component of any inbound marketing strategy, or what I like to call automated marketing is about how to gain access to prospects.  There are always restrictions to the manual methods social networks offer to contact, message, and connect with friends and potential prospects.

The above-mentioned automated software systems allow you the access that you need in order to market effectively on these major social networking platforms.  

You will not find a more powerful or lower-cost suite of tools for inbound marketing on any other list on the Internet that is current for 2016 than this one.

Please connect with me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/leadsonline  or call 973-259-6055 for more information.  

Related articles

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

The Ultimate Marketing Machine

 

The Ultimate Marketing Machine

Tools and strategies

 In the past decade, what marketers do to engage customers has changed almost beyond recognition. With the possible exception of information technology, we can’t think of another discipline that has evolved so quickly. Tools and strategies that were cutting-edge just a few years ago are fast becoming obsolete, and new approaches are appearing every day.

Yet in most companies the organizational structure of the marketing function hasn’t changed since the practice of brand management emerged, more than 40 years ago. Hidebound hierarchies from another era are still commonplace.

Marketers understand that their organizations need an overhaul, and many chief marketing officers are tearing up their org charts. But in our research and our work with hundreds of global marketing organizations, we’ve found that those CMOs are struggling with how to draw the new chart. What does the ideal structure look like? Our answer is that this is the wrong question. A simple blueprint does not exist.

Marketing leaders instead must ask, “What values and goals guide our brand strategy, what capabilities drive marketing excellence, and what structures and ways of working will support them?” Structure must follow strategy—not the other way around.

To understand what separates the strategies and structures of superior marketing organizations from the rest, EffectiveBrands (now Millward Brown Vermeer)—in partnership with the Association of National Advertisers, the World Federation of Advertisers, Spencer Stuart, Forbes, MetrixLab, and Adobe—initiated Marketing2020, which to our knowledge is the most comprehensive marketing leadership study ever undertaken. To date, the study has included in-depth qualitative interviews with more than 350 CEOs, CMOs, and agency heads, and over a dozen CMO roundtables in cities worldwide. We also conducted online quantitative surveys of 10,000-plus marketers from 92 countries. The surveys encompassed more than 80 questions focusing on marketers’ data analytics capabilities, brand strategy, cross-functional and global interactions, and employee training.

We divided the survey respondents into two groups, overperformers, and underperformers, on the basis of their companies’ three-year revenue growth relative to their competitors’. We then compared those two groups’ strategies, structures, and capabilities. Some of what we found should come as no surprise: Companies that are sophisticated in their use of data grow faster, for instance. Nevertheless, the research shed new light on the constellation of brand attributes required for superior marketing performance and on the nature of the organizations that achieve it. It’s clear that “marketing” is no longer a discrete entity (and woe to the company whose marketing is still siloed) but now extends throughout the firm, tapping virtually every function. And while the titles, roles, and responsibilities of marketing leaders vary widely among companies and industries, the challenges they face—and what they must do to succeed—are deeply similar.

Highlights from the Survey

Winning Characteristics

The framework that follows describes the broad traits of high-performing organizations, as well as specific drivers of organizational effectiveness. Let’s look first at the shared principles of high performers’ marketing approaches.

Big data, deep insights.

Marketers today are awash in customer data, and most are finding narrow ways to use that information—to, say, improve the targeting of messages. Knowing what an individual consumer is doing where and when is now table stakes. High performers in our study are distinguished by their ability to integrate data on what consumers are doing with knowledge of why they’re doing it, which yields new insights into consumers’ needs and how to best meet them. These marketers understand consumers’ basic drives—such as the desire to achieve, to find a partner, and to nurture a child—motivations we call “universal human truths.”

The Nike+ suite of personal fitness products and services, for instance, combines a deep understanding of what makes athletes tick with troves of data. Nike+ incorporates sensor technologies embedded in running shoes and wearable devices that connect with the web, apps for tablets and smartphones, training programs, and social networks. In addition to tracking running routes and times, Nike+ provides motivational feedback and links users to communities of friends, like-minded athletes, and even coaches. Users receive personalized coaching programs that monitor their progress. An aspiring first-time half-marathon runner, say, and a seasoned runner rebounding from an injury will receive very different coaching. People are rewarded for good performance, can post their accomplishments on social media, and can compare their performance with—and learn from—others in the Nike+ community.

Purposeful positioning.

Top brands excel at delivering all three manifestations of brand purpose—functional benefits, or the job the customer buys the brand to do (think of the pick-me-up Starbucks coffee provides); emotional benefits, or how it satisfies a customer’s emotional needs (drinking coffee is a social occasion); and societal benefits, such as sustainability (when coffee is sourced through fair trade). Consider the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, which defines a set of guiding principles for sustainable growth that emphasize improving health, reducing environmental impact, and enhancing livelihoods. The plan lies at the heart of all Unilever’s brand strategies, as well as its employee and operational strategies.

In addition to engaging customers and inspiring employees, a powerful and clear brand purpose improves alignment throughout the organization and ensures consistent messaging across touchpoints. AkzoNobel’s Dulux, one of the world’s leading paint brands, offers a case in point. In 2006, AkzoNobel was operating a heavily decentralized business structured around local markets, with each local business setting its own brand and business goals and developing its own marketing mix. Not surprisingly, the outcome was inconsistent brand positioning and results; Dulux soared in some markets and floundered in others. In 2008, Dulux’s new global brand team pursued a sweeping program to understand how people perceived the brand across markets, paint’s purpose in their lives, and the human truths that inspired people to color their environments. From China, to India, to the UK, to Brazil, a consistent theme emerged: The colors around us powerfully influence how we feel. Dulux wasn’t selling cans of paint; it was selling “tins of optimism.” This new definition of Dulux’s brand purpose led to a marketing campaign, “Let’s Color.” It enlists volunteers, which now include more than 80% of AkzoNobel employees, and donates paint (more than half a million liters so far) to revitalize run-down urban neighborhoods, from the favelas of Rio to the streets of Jodhpur. In addition to aligning the once-decentralized marketing organization, Dulux’s purpose-driven approach has expanded its share in many markets.

Total experience.

Companies are increasingly enhancing the value of their products by creating customer experiences. Some deepen the customer relationship by leveraging what they know about a given customer to personalize offerings. Others focus on the breadth of the relationship by adding touchpoints. Our research shows that high-performing brands do both—providing what we call “total experience.” In fact, we believe that the most important marketing metric will soon change from “share of wallet” or “share of voice” to “share of experience.”

A spices, and flavorings firm, emphasizes both depth and breadth in delivering on its promise to “push the art, science, and passion of flavor.” It creates a consistent experience for consumers across numerous physical and digital touchpoints, such as product packaging, branded content like cookbooks, retail stores, and even an interactive service, FlavorPrint, that learns each customer’s taste preferences and makes tailored recipe recommendations. FlavorPrint does for recipes what Netflix has done for movies; its algorithm distils each recipe into a unique flavor profile, which can be matched to a consumer’s taste-preference profile. FlavorPrint can then generate customized e-mails, shopping lists, and recipes optimized for tablets and mobile devices.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Inbound vs. Outbound: Part 2

Inbound vs. Outbound: Part 2

Why is inbound marketing better than outbound marketing?

Outbound Marketing: With outbound marketing, you are always the footnote. You are forced to stick out or not be seen at all. It makes your relationship with your customer based on attention-grabbing rather than value. If you are at the trade show you can have the best booth with the best giveaway prize, but you are not the keynote speaker. When you are advertising at the Super Bowl you can be the best commercial but the best commercial is merely a footnote to the main event. At best, with outbound marketing you might strive to be the best footnote. Unfortunately, to stick out in traditional advertising you usually have to sacrifice your message for a gimmick and hope that some of the people who see the gimmick look closely enough for the footnote.

Inbound Marketing: With inbound marketing, you are the story. You are the keynote speaker. Inbound marketing is all about creating great content to share with your audience. It’s about telling stories and speaking to your audience where they want to be spoken to, how they want to be spoken to. It’s about delighting them, educating them and engaging them in an open and transparent way. But inbound marketing is much more than simply being the keynote speaker at the trade show; it’s about being the article featured on the cover of the magazine. It’s about being the most valuable player at the Super Bowl. And when done correctly, inbound marketing can open up these amazing distribution channels that make it so you don’t have to wait for the next trade show, the next magazine or next year’s Super Bowl to show off your brand. You can do it on-demand with laser-like precision penetrating a group of your peers and the influencers in your industry.

Linear vs. Holistic

Best inbound marketing linear vs holistic

Outbound Marketing: With outbound marketing, the strategy is very linear. You only have so many marketing mediums to choose from like radio, TV, direct mail, tradeshow, billboard, sponsorships, etc. With this linear strategy, you assess which mediums most accurately address your target market and you start checking the boxes. You begin to attribute higher percentages of your budget to the more effective mediums and leave out the least effective mediums. You create a unified message across all mediums, and your job is done for the period. Come back again next period, sift through the data, reassess the percentages and do it again. Digital marketers can make the mistake of approaching the web with this outbound marketing approach. Social media, check! SEO, check! Email marketing- check!

Inbound Marketing: With inbound marketing, the strategy is holistic. Inbound marketing is a much more complex approach than outbound marketing. It takes simultaneous usage of all the digital channels, continuous strengthening of the website, development of effective content and implementation of measurement tools all in concert with one another to achieve these unparalleled results. Many digital marketers don’t understand the complexities, they stick with the approach that they are comfortable with, the outbound or linear approach applied to the digital world. This approach gets you the traditional results. The difference between digital marketing and inbound marketing are the complexities and the holistic approach.

Inbound marketing is like a holistic lifestyle — in order to carry out an inbound marketing campaign, a website needs to have a strong foundation. It needs to be in good enough shape to carry out strong messaging, a content marketing strategy and be a hub for distribution. It needs to have a blog, it needs to be responsive, it needs to have a call-to-action strategy, it needs to have micro and macro conversions and it needs to have an easy-to-use CMS. Once the website is in shape, the content can be created and the distribution can begin.

Content creation needs to be engaging and meet the objectives of your keyword strategy. The distribution needs to tap into all avenues: RSS-fed email for blog subscribers, social media channels, lead nurture campaigns, etc. But it is not the linear check-box approach of outbound. Inbound requires daily attention with constant analytical review. Like a holistic healthy lifestyle, it requires discipline and fortitude. Sometimes you need more content, sometimes you need more distribution, sometimes more landing pages, sometimes more blog posts, sometimes better conversion rate optimization, sometimes a stronger call-to-action strategy, but it always takes adjustment and strategy.

When a holistic inbound marketing strategy is hitting on all cylinders, your website is rock solid, your distribution is amplified and your distribution channels are feeding the website a steady diet of visitors, where prospects are being converted with the utmost optimization.

Obfuscate vs. Educate

Outbound Marketing: With outbound marketing, the message is inherently obfuscated, duplicitous and full of shit. It has to be. With very little room to work with, whether it be in a newspaper ad or a few seconds on the radio, the goal of outbound marketing has always been to stand out. And in order to do this, to be a clutter buster, the relationship with the client is compromised. Think about it: how else can we get someone to see your mortgage product in a quarter-page ad at the bottom of an article about Obamacare? If you’re lucky enough to know where the ad will appear, you can try to force the message to fit the audience, but this rarely succeeds, and more often than not, you’re trying to message males and females ages zero to one hundred with the same message. It’s all one big hoax. Misdirection. It’s pulling that shiny quarter from behind your ear.

Inbound Marketing: With inbound marketing, the message is specific and useful. Rather than forced upon you, the message is instead offered up on a nice shiny silver platter — ready for you to consume whenever convenient. This message contains quality content that educates and engages. It’s meant to answer a consumer’s question, to fill in the blank. I remember not long ago when marketing professionals would advise their clients to create deep discounts and BIG sales and then advertise them to the masses. The thought process was that more consumers would then thereby seek out the product and the increase in customers made up for the lost product value. The idea that I got paid to offer up that piece of bullshit advice is astonishing. The reality today is that instead of advising our clients to slash prices or advertise on all mediums, we instead encourage them to offer something of even greater value — thought leadership (and if we have to offer discounts, we offer them to our loyal brand ambassadors… a reward for subscribing).

Renting vs. Owning

Outbound Marketing: With outbound marketing, you are always renting your distribution. As most advertisers know, you’re only as good as your last campaign or your last media buy. If it works and sales get a bump, it’s on to the next campaign. If it fails, then jobs and budget are on the line. With an outbound campaign like direct mail, the leads come in for a couple weeks when the mail’s hitting households. Once those leads are processed and the mail is distributed, you need to start again, new message, new distribution.

All marketers know there is only one good tradeshow a year, the rest are all washes. The Super Bowl only comes once a year, the World Cup eventually comes to an end, and the newspaper gets recycled tomorrow. Nothing in outbound marketing is iterative, and there are always costs associated with lead generation. This often makes for a negative ROI, finicky CEOs and an overall high-pressure job.

Inbound Marketing: With inbound marketing, you own your distribution and it depreciates much more like an asset. You build up your subscription-based email list, you earn a top ranking on product-related keywords, you build a following on social media and voilà: you are creating assets. There is a cost of acquisition (creating the content), but it is iterative and it keeps working for you long after you stop the acquisition/creation phase.

For the first time in a marketer’s career, we are creating value that will last beyond our tenure. Create a 20,000-person email list, acquire 50,000 social media fans, rank in the top 10 for 400 plus keywords with a total search volume of 1 million monthly searches and you’ve created a Super Bowl opportunity every month of the year. There are companies (Hubspot) literally lobbying our federal government to allow them to book inbound marketing as an asset instead of an expense. It makes a lot of sense. If you have 10,000 blog posts generating 1,500 leads per month through online searches and you stop posting for a year, that lead volume will likely only diminish slightly. Over the years, you might see some fall-off, but it is a lot more like depreciation of traditional assets. Needless to say, this is the type of marketing that makes CEOs happy and makes heroes out of the marketing department.

Immeasurable vs. Quantifiable

inbound marketing vs outbound marketing - immeasureable vs quantifiable

Outbound Marketing: With outbound marketing, the success of the marketing is hard to measure. We can ask our prospects how they heard of us, but in general, the results are unreliable. This makes for a margin for error that is inherent within this archaic and linear model of marketing. Sure, it’s great to hear that the company call center received a few dozen calls as a result of a targeted marketing effort. It’s also great when someone fills out the “How Did You Hear About Us?” form, but this doesn’t tell the whole story. The margin of error occurs when you assume you know the whole story and assumptions lead to underperforming campaigns. The measurement of outbound marketing lacks complexity and a lack of complexity leads to a lack of results.

Inbound Marketing: With inbound marketing, everything is digital, and everything is quantifiable. There’s no need to assume anything. Complex algorithms track not only if your marketing strategy is effective, but also if it is converting potential customers into full-blown clients. An inbound marketing strategy is highly measurable. It allows for analysis of everything from the ROI of various distribution methods to whether the size and shape of a CTA button is more likely to attract a customer or not.

What I love most about inbound marketing is that it allows for closed-loop reporting. It lets me track someone’s IP address from the second it hits our website; it tells me how that IP address got there and how much time it’s spending on the site. It gives me an in-depth glimpse into the thought process of a consumer — showing me which blog posts they have read, which pages they viewed, whether they entered the site organically or through another avenue like social media, and lead generation metrics. Again, inbound marketing is highly measurable.

Inbound marketing succeeds because it allows you to talk to people who have given you permission, and to tell your story in a holistic, educational way on your own distribution platform, with quantifiable metrics. We know this to be true because we’ve experienced the shift, from our founding days in branding in 2001, through the rise of the digital marketing age and into this new era of inbound marketing. Why is inbound marketing better than outbound marketing? It works. We’ve made it work for us and our clients. Talk to us to see how we can make it work for you.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Inbound vs. Outbound: Part 1

Inbound vs. Outbound: Part 1

Why is inbound marketing better than outbound marketing?

As CEO of a digital marketing agency and inbound marketing convert, I’m always talking about the differences between inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing, or, more to the point, “Why is inbound marketing better than outbound marketing?” In case you can’t tell from the header graphic, I’m more partial to the complexities of inbound marketing than the simplicity of outbound marketing. But seriously, I’m pretty sure people keep asking this question because the same answer seems to be given no matter whose blog you read. It’s as if someone (Hubspot and Pardot) wrote a canned answer and it’s being regurgitated without real life experiences and insights into the actual evolution of inbound marketing.

The canned answer usually goes something like this:

Why try to buy customers with traditional “outbound marketing” when consumers aren’t even paying attention?

  • 45% of direct mail never gets opened, 200 million people are on the national Do Not Call Registry
  • 85% of people fast forward through commercials
  • 84% of 25­–35 year-olds are likely to click off a website with excessive advertising
  • You have a better chance of surviving an airplane accident than having someone convert on a banner ad
    Etc., etc., etc. …

Forget about trying to reach a prospect under 40 with outbound marketing. Inbound marketing is different. Inbound marketing works by earning someone’s attention, rather than buying it.

It’s a good enough answer with compelling supporting statistics, but there’s more to inbound marketing than this. In this post I’m going to give you my insights. I’m not just going to harp on how outbound is reaching increasingly diminished audiences and how inbound is more engaging and more accessible — although both statements are very true.

I’m going to speak from experiences that are real. And in the spirit of full disclosure: Vital is a Hubspot Partner Agency, so I could simply repurpose Hubspot’s experiences and playbook like most partner agencies. But we also consider ourselves a Moz shop, with a Moz Pro account, and we develop using the WordPress CMS with the Yoast SEO plug-in (not the Hubspot COS), which means we have some independent experiences and additional tools that frame our perspective.

No experience is more relevant to that perspective than our own inbound transformation. Over the past three years, we went from referring to ourselves as a creative agency (web design, SEO and branding) to wholeheartedly embracing the moniker “inbound marketing agency.” But we weren’t sold inbound — we experienced it. We are our own best inbound marketing case study. In an industry many say is difficult to scale, Vital has experienced 300% growth in revenue and 300% growth in employees, all of which is solely attributed to our inbound and content marketing strategies.

First, let’s define inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing, keeping in mind two aspects of marketing strategies: distribution and message.

Inbound marketing — if Hubspot didn’t coin “inbound marketing,” they have certainly spent a lot of time and money branding it as their own. Here’s how they define it:

“Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.” 

This is a decent definition, if somewhat oversimplified.

The term “inbound” is relatively new. It took Vital a while to embrace the term “inbound” to describe what we were doing with our clients. In the beginning, we referred to it as “SEO” and “content marketing,” and although we weren’t a Hubspot partner agency, we were reading their content. We knew a term was needed for the paradigm shift we were seeing in online marketing, because SEO had fundamentally changed and digital marketing was becoming increasingly more disparate from traditional marketing. Digital distribution made analysis highly measurable and results-oriented, showing that inbound marketing was exponentially more successful than outbound marketing when done correctly.

It’s not just that traditional distribution was so different from digital distribution; the message was changing, too. And the more we were learning about the message, the better the results we were getting. The terms “digital marketing” or “traditional marketing” only spoke to the distribution aspect of the message, and “inbound marketing” included the new message itself. This new message was educational, it involved thought leadership, and was transparent and engaging. So, in the absence of anything better, we drank a little of the Hubspot Kool-Aid and gave in — today we call it inbound marketing, too. But there’s more to inbound marketing than the statistics on the dwindling audience of outbound and the engaged and accessible audience of inbound.

Outbound marketing is inherently obfuscated, duplicitous and full of s***

Outbound marketing, or traditional marketing, is the marketing we grew up with: radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, direct mail, billboards, event sponsorships, etc. The traditional outbound strategy can even be found in such digital distribution forms as email blasts, banner ads, PPC, and SPAM. But the defining qualities of outbound marketing is a message. Outbound marketing’s message, as eloquently stated by Jeff Rosenblum of Questus, “is inherently obfuscated, duplicitous and full of s***” (check out his keynote speech “Can marketing save the world?” at Hubspot’s Inbound ’13).

Outbound is a world of jargon where the loudest and most obnoxious are rewarded. Back in the day, clever was rewarded, but due to the escalating costs and increased competition to reach dwindling audiences, marketers have had to dumb things down to the lowest common denominator to maximize their conversions. So we are left with advertisements that use fluorescent pink, bold print, BIG discounts, exploited women and puppy dogs. How dumb do they think we are? No wonder a paradigm shift in advertising had to take place.

Now that we have defined inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing, here are some of the comparisons we like to use at Vital:

Interruption-based vs. Permission-based

best inbound marketing Interruption vs permission based

Outbound Marketing: Outbound marketing is interruption-based marketing. Its premise is to find a medium with a large following and periodically interrupt that following with disassociated ads. The hope is that with some careful planning and a study of the demographics, a small percentage of the audience will listen to the interruption in the storyline and convert in to a customer. If you can find a large enough following or an above average association, the small percentage of conversions will be worth the investment. Those opportunities are increasingly more like a needle in a haystack.

You find some at these locations: TV, Radio, Direct Mail, Newspaper, Billboards.

Inbound Marketing: Inbound marketing is permission-based marketing. There are two premises here:

  • First, communicate via mediums in which the audience has given you permission to communicate.
  • Second, answer the questions people are asking and proliferate those answers around the web in anticipation of the question.

Both of these premises are permission-based.

In the first method, the audience is smaller in numbers than mass media, but because the audience is inherently more friendly and has already raised their hand to get your messages, the audience converts at a 750% higher rate than interruption-based marketing.

These are some examples: subscription based email marketing, social media, blog subscribers, webinar attendees, etc.

In the second method, the numbers are virtually limitless, since your audience online is infinite. Thanks to targeting keywords, you can answer the questions prospects might be asking about your products and your industry. Since this audience is looking for the answers that you are proliferating throughout the web, the conversion rates are unparalleled.

More examples: SEO, keyword targeting, landing page strategy, content/blog strategy, etc.

An example of permission-based marketing that will put inbound into context is the Yellow Pages. Before websites, subscription-based email and blog subscriptions, the Yellow Pages was one of the few places you could advertise where prospects were actually looking for you and you weren’t interrupting them. Yellow Pages was so successful that companies would name themselves AAA or ABC to be at the top of the listings. In 2001, Vital had a $10,000 a month Yellow Pages marketing budget, buying enhanced listings (bold) and an ad in every book from Boston, MA to Portland, ME.  Why? Because it worked, and there was an undoubted ROI.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Become a Guest Post Champion Promoter

For the most part, guest posting is sort of like begging, right?  You have a blog that you are trying to promote, and you are hoping to increase traffic to it, By guest posting on a blog that has more traffic than your blog, you are hoping to trickle away some of the traffic on the larger blog to your smaller blog.  

That pretty much sums it up, right?  The larger more popular blog doesn't mind so much, as long as you provide useful content to the blog owners readers. It is one less blog post the owner has to write after all.

In conclusion then, guest posters are like either beggars or leeches, and blog owners who allow guest posting are a little lazy. This is sort of a cynical way of looking at guest posting, I know, but it is to illustrate a point. 

Suppose you could promise that you would not only write a blog post, but you would post the link out to tens of thousands of your social media connections, and millions of members of Facebook, and LinkedIn groups to which you belong.  Would that make your guest post seem more attractive to the blog owner?  You better believe it would!

You move from the position as a guest post beggar to a guest post promoter, and even a champion.

Listen to these comments from a blog owner on whose blog I recently promoted a guest post at:

10 Ways to get more views on your LinkedIn Pulse Blog Posts

"Hi John, thats awesome! I see that your post is most viewed post of the site and is trending. Also, I see that it is performing well on Twitter and LinkedIn. Thank you so much for sharing. Great Synergy"! Max Angel — Cofounder at ThatsJournal.

I suggested that he might want to join Markethive, or that he might be interested in some of the automation tools I use.

Max responded.  "You are very welcome, John. Thanks a lot for the marketing inputs. I will check it out. Thanks again for the post contribution. Please feel free to let me know if you or your friends want to share anything related to marketing. We will be happy to help. Thanks!"  I would say that is a pleased blog owner, right?

If we work together, we can help each other find these kinds of guest blog post opportunities, and spread the message about Markethive.  Feel free to contact Max about guest posting on his blog.

John Lombaerde 

PS — did I mention that this promotion also brought in at least 5 or more new Markethive subscribers?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Can Inbound Marketing using Markethive give your business a boost?

Inbound marketing is now a trending topic in business, but it has actually been around for quite a while.  It has been used by savvy marketers to effectively attract and keep their audience.  This is the opposite from traditional media such as TV where everyone used to have to watch the same show at the same time,

The trend towards personalization and inbound marketing where anyone can choose which video to watch, which blog post to read, and which content they choose to subscribe is not going away anytime soon, and is here to stay.  Would anyone trade in their smart tv with recording capability and on demand media for their old tv with the rabbit ears?  Not a chance. Would anyone turn in their state-of-the-art smart phone for a land-line phone.  

It is not just about having the latest technology.  It is the availabilility of the content and the way it is delivered that is truly revolutionary.  The days of smoky back rooms of admen deciding what content to deliver are long gone.

Now with the development of social media, it seems as though the content factories have gone into overdrive.  Companies are scrambling now to put out content that can lure their prospects and customers into liking and sharing any kind of mediocre content the company wants to push out there.  Well, how long can people show interest in boring, uninteresting stuff?  Content may be king, but if you only produce junk, you will become the king of junk. 

Suppose you had a plaftorm that could connect all of your social networks together, that would be something desirable, right?  In addition if you had a group of people that had like minded interests, and you could share each others content on your blog, sort of like guest posting, but it would happen automatically. You could lessen your own burden of content creation, right?  And suppose you could automatically connect groups on your social networks with content that you create on your own blog, that would also be a way to extend the reach of your content, right?  If you start to get the picture of how content can spread in this way, then you are beginning to get the idea of Markethive.  

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Learn Advantages for an Entrepreneur

Learn Advantages for an Entrepreneur

 

 

 

 

 

 

For an entrepreneur who chooses to build a business in an existing business ecosystem, participating as a member of an ecosystem may offer the following advantages:

1. Market entry barrier reduction: joining an existing ecosystem can significantly reduce the technology barriers to enter a market, which in turn reduces the time to money, startup costs and ongoing operations costs.

2. Access to customers: ecosystems provide ready access to a well-defined, often international, base of customers. Access to customers is often one of the most difficult challenges for a startup to overcome and achieving access to customers can be one of the most expensive operational costs at the early stage of development as the revenue is just starting to ramp.

3. Operations cost reduction: ecosystems provide infrastructure services that reduce operations and startup costs, allowing the entrepreneur to avoid spending time on non-value activities such as information technology, process and technology.

4. Elimination of regional limitations: or local barriers related to access to talent, which no longer restricts a particular business operation to a large population center. The forming and operating of the business can now be location-independent.

For an entrepreneur who chooses to create a new business ecosystem and associated keystone organization, the business ecosystem model offers the following advantages:

1. Makes niche markets viable: keystone organizations can leverage niches by allowing members to make more money than they might as independents due to lack of reach or lack of community.

2. Leverages international disparities: a business ecosystem can allow widely differing costs of labour around the world to be harnessed, which can undermine the economics of incumbent providers.

3. Makes scarce skills abundant: ecosystems can harness under-employed experts and aspiring professionals for a wide variety of products and services.

4. Collaborative communities: help redefine the keystone organization assets to widen its value to member companies; communities can also help develop and sustain the assets to reduce operations costs.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

8 SEO Mistakes to Avoid

SEO - Mistakes

All search engine marketers are trying desperately to promote trends

Especially the trends that are aligned with traditional digital marketing. SEO is immensely important to enhance key to improving your website’s visibility, driving more traffic and better conversion rates.

The first thing one can do as an internet marketer is to avoid making mistakes. Following “SEO Best Practices” can be difficult for online marketers. With search engines changing algorithms on a periodic basis, every SEO strategy needs to adapt and adjust with the latest techniques while giving up on age-old practices. Here are some of the prominent mistakes made by SEO experts:

Mistake #1: Not optimizing images with rest of the content

Optimizing images is sometimes not part of the SEO strategy and can be over looked. Adding target keywords to images relevant to the rest of the content helps search engines understand them. A link to the image with just numbers and alphabets in odd positions does not convey anything but some relevant words and numbers would matter. One should incorporate descriptive keywords for every image. Including relevant alt text helps search engines to find images in relevant searches and even the accessibility of the site.

Mistake #2: Keyword stuffing

Nowadays websites contain varied types of content in terms of text. One needs keywords for SEO and use of right keywords is important for getting the right audience. Optimize them carefully to gain popularity in search engines. But keyword stuffing will only ruin your website ranking since cramming a keyword multiple times makes content worthless. Only keywords do not get customers to a website. Also, Google algorithms will get the site blacklisted and also issue a bad ranking.

Relying on large amounts of mediocre content can affect sites. Using specific keywords with strategic placement and relevant content is effective. Creating insightful info about a topic can can attract attention through different channels.

Mistake #3: Not Setting Up Canonicalization

When implementing an SEO strategy, one should make sure that you do not have duplicate content on the site. If there is identical content for online access using different URLs, you need to identify the right page for visitors and implement a canonical to help search engines know that it is not a duplicate version.

Mistake #4: Disregarding Pages by Not Indexing Them

One should not forget indexing pages. Pages that are broken or missing are going to avoid search engine results altogether because pages indicating 404 error are excluded. A high number of 404s leads to an increase in bounce rate and visitors will feel cheated of any information. Search engines crawl websites and rank them and 404 pages interrupt their process. It is important not to have broken links on your site and keep the website active.

Mistake #5: No updates on site

After spending months to create an interactive and attractive website, one should try to keep it dynamic with consistent blog posts or some other content. Companies fail to optimize the site with keywords and just sit back to watch the traffic decrease. Let in some updates that will help your prospects with relevant information and they might convert to leads.

One needs to make a schedule for posting different posts related to your field on a regular basis, and consistency will get you the attention of search engines too.

Mistake #6: Neglecting social media

Neglecting social media is a crime in this day and age. Social media is no longer an optional marketing ploy but a necessity for businesses. By being conversant and relevant on popular social sites like Facebook and Twitter, one can enhance a company’s image and credibility. Sharing your content will lead the search engines and drive potential visitors to your site. Social media following can also boost brand awareness amongst loyalists.

Mistake #7: Lack of internal links

One might think that it is erroneous to link to one’s own content and even think that search engines might read into it and even blacklist the pages. Despite what you may think, internal links to website is great for SEO and helps search engines to crawl to your website. One should focus on the most important pages of any site and strategize posts to link back to those pages. One should find a real connection between pages to do the linking task.

Mistake #8: Failure to measure progress

Improving SEO is like losing weight. One needs to check and measure your progress on a consistent basis. One should know the current standing when you start, and then track the changes. With solid metrics in place, one will know that the SEO practices have been working or not. If you do not think that there has been any progress, then it is preferable to drop it.

Credit: Keval Padia

Dennis Roeder

Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Pipeline Marketing: A Powerful Tool For Realizing Funnel Potential

Pipeline Marketing: A Powerful Tool For Realizing Funnel Potential

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Pipeline Marketing: A Powerful Tool For Realizing Funnel Potential

Pipeline marketing is a term that many in the marketing industry, even those heavily engaged in digital marketing, are not entirely familiar with.

It may go by other names; math marketing or revenue marketing, for instance, but the idea is the same: using data strategically to critically evaluate the effectiveness of online marketing efforts.

ClosedOpp was a very early adopter of this concept. A small paid search agency founded in 2007 that is breaking new ground in PPC marketing, ClosedOpp has been able to improve lead attribution by integrating all of its clients’ AdWords and Bing data with their CRM records.

The process of pipeline marketing is unique and innovative. ClosedOpp ties paid search data into clients’ Salesforce opportunity and lead records. This provides the ability to track leads from the point they were created, to closure. It also allows marketers to analyze the paths that resulted in the new business wins, to compare paths and to identify best practices to leverage in the future.

Pipeline marketing is a powerful tool to help businesses better understand their customers, how to segment customers into more high-performing groups, and how to identify the sales approaches that achieve the best results. Customer better, how to segment, and how to attribute successful sales approaches.

Rich Norwood, co-founder of ClosedOpp, describes how they developed this approach: “We realized early in 2012 that many digital marketers didn’t trust AdWords conversion data and were looking for a new way to track SEM performance.

We ran countless regressions identifying whether or not there was a correlation between AdWords conversions and Salesforce leads, AdWords conversions and Salesforce opportunities, and AdWords conversions and Salesforce wins. Once we determined there was a low R-squared correlation, we began looking for a better solution for our clients…”

The Power of Pipeline Marketing

The result was the new approach of “pipeline marketing,” which lets businesses focus less on lead gen and more on what they really care about, results. From Bizible’s website: “If your intention is to grow your business, shouldn’t you want to focus on generating customers and revenue, not leads?”

Lead gen, developing new contacts in hopes of increasing sales, has been an important marketing metric for decades. However, as Bizible states, “even as marketing has shifted to digital and analytics systems have been able to capture more complex data and insights, far too many companies are using legacy ways to measure their performance.”

Norwood asks the $64,000 question: “Do the clients care about leads or do they care about opportunities?” It boils down to this: do they want contacts, or do they want customers? Norwood says, “This may throw some people off. However, we’ve… proven that all leads are not created equally, some keywords drive larger opportunities, some keywords convert to opportunity at a much higher conversion rate. This is what Pipeline Marketing and Account-Based Marketing is all about.”

How It Works

The beauty of it all is that pipeline marketing allows marketers to be able to evaluate, in real time, exactly what keywords are driving visitors to their site, where they’re entering and what actions they’re taking. It’s a powerful analysis tool that requires careful consideration up front to realize the full promise of the technique.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Define campaign goals. The first step to embracing this new approach is for businesses to define their campaign goals in detail. And one of the most important goals is, as Norwood explains, to “focus on their sweet spot first. Start with the keywords that are must-targets.”
  2. Determine, specifically, the type of leads you’re looking for and where in the sales funnel you hope to initially engage with these leads. For instance, Norwood asks, “Do [you] want to buy top of funnel leads, leads looking for resources, checklists, and guides? Those leads tend to convert a lot… but [few] convert into opportunity. This can be a great strategy if the company is at scale and already has a successful nurture program. On the other hand, clients may decide it’s best to start with bottom of funnel leads that want a quote and pricing information and to talk with someone from sales.” It’s clear to see that engaging at the bottom of the funnel can yield better, and less expensive to convert, opportunities.
  3. Focus on Cost Per Opportunity. Norwood explains: “Because the opportunity has a high correlation with wins, and pipeline is defined as the total amount for all open opportunities, it makes sense that Cost per Opportunity should be the focus.” Simply put, you’re looking for the best outcome. This should be the main metric you focus on, according to Norwood. What keywords drive the highest ROI? “We need to create pipeline and wins. Period,” he says.
  4. Monitor and measure. Because they are tied in so closely with their clients’ CRM records, ClosedOpp is able to be extremely responsive and nimble, receiving feedback daily about what is and isn’t successful. Shorter timeframes allow quicker course corrections, as well as more rapid expansion of a campaign to leverage big wins.
  5. Adjust, and reap the rewards. Based on the feedback received, marketers are able to adjust their budgets based on real data related to ads, channels, keywords and audiences.

Access to Salesforce records powers the potential of pipeline marketing and provides a unique approach to business development. Norwood says, “[W]e actually measure leads, opportunities, wins, and Average Revenue per Unit (ARPU) daily, in real time. Our access to Salesforce allows us to monitor paid search so that we can see problems before they affect revenue.

We literally have our fingers on the pulse of the company. We often share data with our clients that cause them to pivot their whole strategy or completely redesign their landing pages.”

Pipeline marketing provides the ability to take a very focused, outcome-based approach to campaign analysis Norwood explains: “Our system creates an instant feedback loop between sales and marketing with the simple action of converting a lead to an opportunity and adding the amount to the opportunity.

We see this instantly and take action [often] days before the director of marketing suggests that we do so, because we’re looking at the data in real time and the director of marketing is in meetings.”

The Takeaway

What pipeline marketing boils down to is using your Salesforce records to figure out where your opportunities are coming from. Norwood clarifies: “Traditional PPC companies care about AdWords conversions. We don’t. We care about getting to know what campaigns, ad groups, keywords, landing pages, ads, countries, cities and devices result in opportunities and revenue.” 

Businesses that are able to tie marketing attribution to their CRM can get to market more quickly, spend money more wisely, and out-market their competitors. Pipeline marketing offers a unique competitive advantage, and gives business owners and managers an enormous amount of insight.

When you know where your best customers come from, it makes sense to invest more paid search dollars toward finding them. Pipeline marketing leads the way.

Contributor
Charles R Juarez Jr

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member