Tag Archives: 2017 Content Marketing Trends

Top 5 Content Marketing Trends for 2017

17 Oct

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Content marketing trends change often due to advances in technology, search engine preferences and changes in advertising. While the primary goals remain the same, strategies and techniques vary dependent on audience and industry. B2B companies work to find the best practices to reach their leads and prospects and turn them into loyal customers as they move through the marketing funnel. As content marketing becomes more sophisticated and prospects more discerning, let’s take a look at the current trends for 2017.

1. Videos Gain Importance

When online videos were first introduced, the video channels were clogged with homemade videos made by teenagers and kids that they shared with friends on YouTube and other video sites. Videos are still made by teens these days, but they are vastly surpassed by professionally made content marketing videos. Videos are a popular form of content, especially with the growth of mobile technology. They are easy for prospects to view on any device and if they offer value, drive traffic, revenues and profits to your website and/or brick-and-mortar store.

While videos can be effective for any product or service, they are particularly useful for B2B companies. Most B2B companies need to explain complex operations in bite-sized pieces. Videos are the perfect medium for that purpose. Videos don’t always have to be highly professional; simple hand-held cameras that display insight into a company’s culture, process or events can build a relationship between the business and customer one person at a time. You should also take note that videos show up at the top of the SERPS on Google, and can be searched on YouTube. YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine on the internet.

2. People Get their News from Social Media

With the majority of the news media online, many people get their news from their preferred social media channel. While a person may get individual updates from a local or national news source via email, it is quite likely that they are also getting access to stories on Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites. When you add this trend to the growing move towards personalized content, you can see how different segments of the population are seeing completely different stories. Knowing where your audience hangs out is very important in targeting your content marketing. Knowing which personas are your best customers will help hone that content for your preferred audience.

3. Super Niche, Micro Niche or Sub-Niche Branding

As content marketing becomes more personalized, marketers can increasingly dig deeper for niche interests. By pulling together a detailed persona of their ideal buyer for each tiny niche, marketing can be targeted to a very niche population. Big brands are taking advantage of this sophisticated targeting by creating micro-niche branding. If you pay attention, you can see this trend every day in advertising for foods, travel, clothing and specialized markets.

4. The Growth of Remarketing

Remarketing is an insidious force that is very effective. When you visit a website and then leave, you are shown ads from that site as you move around the internet. You can see evidence of this trend any time you search for a topic or visit a site. You get reminders to go back to the original site and place an order.

5. Interactive and Easy-to-Navigate Content

It is easy to lose prospects when they land on difficult or confusing content or hard-to-navigate pages. This issue is problematic, especially after working so hard to move leads and prospects through your marketing funnel. Making websites easier and more fun to use is an effective method of retaining visitors. As technology advances, it is a smart choice to make site interactions more entertaining.

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How to Drive Leads to Join Your Email Mailing List

12 Oct

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In order to convert leads to prospects and then customers, your B2B company first must find qualified leads. Driving those leads to join your email list is a priority, because they are your future customers. It makes sense to maximize your lead-gathering system to find as many qualified leads as you can, so that your email nurturing system can further quality them. Here is a list of methods of driving leads to join your mailing list. See if your B2B company is taking advantage of all of these opportunities.

1. Old-Fashioned Sign-Up Sheet

A tried and true method of gaining email subscribers, a sign-up sheet at industry and customer trade shows will net you qualified leads that are interested in further communication. Through a proper email nurturing system, you can prioritize these leads.

2. Ask for Business Cards

While handing out your own business cards may help you network and get referrals, asking for your leads’ business cards can give you additional opportunities to contact them. If you do this routinely, it will become a positive habit for qualifying leads.

3. Host an Educational Event Related to Your Business

Hosting an event for people interested in aspects of your business will give you an opportunity to meet leads face-to-face and then ask for contact information. You can also have an email sign-up sheet at the event or ask for attendees to leave their business cards if they want to hear more.

4. Offer a Giveaway

Depending on your industry, you may be able to offer a giveaway in exchange for an email address. Some industries allow small gifts, while others don’t. If a giveaway is not a possibility, you can offer information in exchange for an email address. An e-book, report or whitepaper on a topic in your industry works well as an exchange gift. Topics that are most successful are evergreen with updated current information such as “closing hacking loopholes” for website providers or “artificial intelligence in manufacturing for a higher profit margin” for manufacturing companies.

5. Highly-Targeted Direct Mail

Direct mail is more expensive than email, therefore should only be used when recipients are qualified and targeted. It is important to send them to the correct name and title as well as physical address. Once they receive the mail, it should work similar to the giveaway. Offer recipients valuable content that is worth it to them to exchange for an email address.

6. Website Email Sign-Up Forms

Set up your website with an email pop-up form that shows up each time a new visitor (within a specified time period) lands on one of your pages. While this method is “in-your-face obnoxious,” it works. Once they see the form, they won’t see it again until after the specified amount of time (usually 2 weeks). If they don’t sign up, they can just click the form to make it disappear.

7. Blog Post Call-to-Action

Add a CTA to every single blog post, article or guest post you publish (unless the channel doesn’t allow it), to remind leads to give you their email address. Busy people often mean to do things that they forget about when distracted by other priorities.

8. Maximize Engagement through Social Media

For B2B businesses, social media can be a valuable method of finding leads, especially if there is an industry-specific social media channel. If not, look for industry groups and clubs on bigger sites. You can also add people to your email address on service-focused social media accounts.

9. Ask for Emails at Time of Order and After Installation

It is never too late to get a customer’s email address because you can always sell them accessories, upgrades and expansions.

10. Add a Sign-Up Link to All Employee Email Signatures

Everyone in your company represents the business and seeks growth (because it pays their salaries), so it just makes good business sense to add an email sign-up link to their signatures.

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