The stats show overwhelmingly that inbound marketing methodology and content marketing are working. They are working better, and better as time goes by. Very few people are successful with just blogging and using Hubspot or other marketing software.  Something more is needed to drive the success of the campaign. Too many businesses look at content marketing on a micro level of daily activities and are missing the big picture, strategy. It’s really easy to stay busy with social media and blogging, but if the strategy isn’t in place driving the purpose of those activities, you won’t achieve the results you are after.
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If you have tried content marketing before but struck out, most likely you aren’t executing it correctly and your leads are not nurtured.  Combining a strategy that maps the buyers journey along with the use of marketing automation software should lead to an increase in both lead quality and lead quantity.

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GlorifiedBlogCalendarThere is a known advantage for companies in the B2B space who operate with a content marketing strategy. In a recent article from COO Magazine, Joe Puluzzi the founder of the Content Marketing Institute states;

“93 percent of business to businesses do content marketing, but of those only 49 percent have a content strategy.”Tweet: “93 percent of business to businesses do content marketing, but of those only 49 percent have a content strategy. @pageladder” click to tweet

Given the failure to create a strategy, there is no wonder we are faced with so much content clutter. Let’s look at how you can determine if your “content strategy” actually isn’t a strategy after all.
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In general, a lot of businesses are not creating a steady stream of leads from their website. Our prospects are saying to themselves “I don’t want to make the investment, wait 6 months and be dumping money into something that isn’t working, only to find that it’s going to take another 6 months to show a return. I need to know how long we invest before results show.”  So let’s look at how inbound marketing gains traction from day 1, and  when executed correctly, produces measurable ROI in 6 months or less.

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There is an exceeding amount of content out there, but it’s a noisy environment.  So how do you make your content compelling to your target audience? If you’re going to go through all the trouble of creating, deploying and promoting it, you want to make sure it stands out and gets seen by the right people. This requires more planning than people initially give it credit for.

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Sometimes the idea of content production for your inbound marketing campaign can feel consuming. Not just consuming for your writers but consuming for your Subject Matter Expert (SME) who is most likely very busy with their high value regular workload. In this post we are going to guide you through creating rich inbound marketing content while using an efficient process that is a highly leveraged way to respect their time. Read more

It’s Time to Change the Way We Think About Blog Comments It’s time to debunk this common misconception about blog comments. Gone are the days of thinking about blog comments as links or a link building method. Anyone who has had their ear to the wind in the SEO world knows that Google has a pretty tight grip on what types of links actually help your rankings. Blog comments are indeed one of the most annoying vehicles of internet spam that exists but we need to stop thinking about them that way. Instead of fighting the battle of moderating blog comment spam, join the party but make your comments deliver the highest value possible.

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Three Strategies that Google's Penguin 2.0 RewardsLook out, web content creators! Has your content marketing strategy taken into account Google’s update  to its Penguin algorithm. If you have seen a decrease in search engine ranking over the past several months, your might consider reexamining your online marketing techniques. The latest algorithm is designed to reduce the ranking of sites that employ black hat marketing techniques. Google has been on a quest to make sure that its search results feature high quality authoritative content. These updates reflect the latest attempts to develop algorithms that actually understand the meaning and value of a site to its users. If your goal is to deliver the best content to a natural community that forms around your website, then you are on the same page as Google. You can celebrate these updates because they remove the bad actors from the search results and reward sites like yours. Here are three strategies that the Penguin update rewards.
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3 Easy Steps to Sculpt Your Lead Nurturing Content for Individual Buyer PersonasLead Nurturing is the process of guiding your leads through your sales channel by providing continued value and reasons to engage your brand. By identifying characteristics of buyer behavior you can target your marketing effort to groups of leads that share similar patterns, or buyer personas.
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An Introvert’s Perspective: Why We Do What We Do in the Sales FunnelDoes the core of your inbound marketing philosophy account for the fact that introverts and extroverts naturally behave differently?

In this post from Matthew Cook of Innovative Marketing Resources, we are introduced to the importance of accounting for the reluctance of introverted people to make personal contact without first having done their research.

Specifically he looks at three key points related to introverts:

    1. Introverts Are People Too—and They Buy Stuff When inbound marketing clients push for a simple “contact us” at the bottom of their funnel over a more valuable offer, it could be because that is how they, as extroverts, would prefer to interact with customers. They are not thinking about how introverted potential customers would like to interact with them. Marketers should be prepared to educate their clients on how they could be missing out on the opportunity to reach up to twice as many more prospective customers by building introvert-friendly elements into their sales funnel.
    2. Introverts Are Not Afraid—They Just Want Space to Think Introverted people avoid salespeople like the plague. When I am browsing a store and a salesperson asks me, “Can I help you?” I almost always say “No,” even if I do need more information before making a purchase. I would much rather search for information on my smartphone right there in the store than talk to a salesperson.
    3. Sorry, Salespeople. It’s Not You; It’s Us Remember, introverts avoid talking with salespeople whenever possible because they feel that they do not thrive in that environment. In a business-to-business interaction, the introverted prospective customer wants to demonstrate his value to his employer. He will avoid a sales call because he knows he will not be able to use his natural skills of thoughtfulness and careful consideration, and therefore would risk making a bad decision, which could cost his company a significant amount of money. An assessment and roadmap, however, at least appears to hold the promise of a structured interaction.The introverted prospective customer feels that he will be asked specific, pre-determined questions and be given the opportunity to think about his answers. The roadmap—the most “salesly” element of the interaction—will not be delivered until the end of the conversation, or perhaps in a follow-up even later, and it will come in the form of a written document, which the introverted prospective customer can then read and think about at his own pace before making a purchasing decision.

Matthew Cook, Innovative Marketing Research

Matthew Cook’s post also introduces us to the work of author Susan Cain on introverted and extroverted personality types. Her non-fiction book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking,” shows how our society continually undervalues introverts and how much we lose in doing so.

Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie’s birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects.

Perhaps most inspiring, she introduces us to successful introverts–from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Finally, she offers invaluable advice on everything from how to better negotiate differences in introvert-extrovert relationships to how to empower an introverted child to when it makes sense to be a “pretend extrovert.” -Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Matthew Cook expands on Cain’s discussion by referencing a post from Max Taylor of Innovative Marketing Research in which Max identifies the importance of accounting for the introverted personality type in your content marketing blueprint by making your bottom of the funnel offer introvert friendly.

Bottom of the Funnel Sales Offer

There are different types of personalities for your buyer personas. Testing and searching for an “optimized” bottom-of-the-funnel offer is not the way to go. Instead, try to understand that different personality types can affect the behavior of leads in your sales funnel. Create BOFU offers for each personality type (Thanks Susan!) and watch for data indicators like the ones above to point you in the right direction. – Max Taylor, Innovative Marketing Research

In a world that tends to be biased to extroverts and those that “fake” being extroverts, it’s important to account for their counterpart the introvert. Introverts and extroverts have critical differences in the way they process information, justify and make decisions. Create a marketing strategy and appropriate bottom-of-the-funnel offers for both tendencies and you will find yourself in a profitable and purposeful niche.