How to Better Understand the Size and Composition of Your B2B Audience

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In my corporate days, I asked this question of the marketing team on a weekly basis: “Who are these 20,000 people in our email newsletter database? Do they even fit our ideal client profile?”

I’m embarrassed to admit, instead of pushing for the answer, we stayed on the hamster wheel churning out a weekly newsletter featuring one staffer blog post, two curated industry articles, and one marketing meme. No wonder our click-through and open rates were low and never budged.

We were focused on fulfilling the obligation to ship the newsletter on time. However, before I beat myself up too much about the quality of our content, I realize now I should have pushed the pause button and taken a step back to investigate.

When click-through & open rates are low, take a step back to investigate. @JeffLHerrmann #email
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Were the open and click-through-rates low due to lame subject lines and shoddy copy or was our email database full of people who didn’t fit our ideal client profile?

We had no idea if we were wasting great content on the wrong people.

Today, smart marketers operate like niche media publishers, forgoing a massive but unresponsive email database in

How to Robot-Proof Your Job as a Content Creator

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Artificial intelligence is all around us. As I shared in Content Creation Robots Are Here, billions of AI-created pieces of content are published yearly.

What does this mean for humans who create content? Are you in danger of losing a job?

Not quite. Despite the growth in artificial intelligence capabilities, the human content writer is needed more than ever.

Logical place for artificial intelligence in content

Robot content generation excels at drawing conclusions from large amounts of data, according to the Associated Press study The Future of Augmented Journalism: A Guide For Newsrooms in the Age of Smart Machines.

Robot content generation excels at drawing conclusions from large amounts of data via @AssociatedPress study.
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That’s why, since 2014, the AP has used algorithms to produce automated quarterly earnings reports. These short, objective pieces may lack any creative storyline beyond the raw data they lay out, but they allow AP to cover 12 times more businesses than they could with human creation.

Each of these AI-generated examples follows the exact same style and format:

Apple beats Street 4Q forecasts Yahoo! Finance: McCormick beats Street 3Q forecasts Taco Bell sales jump, helping Yum’s profit beat expectations FedEx misses Street 1Q

Stock 2.0: What Savvy Marketers Need to Know About the Changing Rules of Visual Content

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SPONSORED BY STORYBLOCKS

Back in 2015, Vince Vaughn, Dave Franco, and Tom Wilkinson were featured in a series of parody stock photos to promote their upcoming movie Unfinished Business. The film has a 10% rating on RottenTomatoes.com, so don’t worry if you never saw it.

The faux stock photos were the best part anyway.

This series of images inserted the three actors’ heads into existing photos, creating a hilarious mockery of the genre.

The movie was terrible, but its promotional tactic was a watershed moment for visual content. Bland, meaningless stock photography had become so ubiquitous – and so universally disliked – that it could be used as a tongue-in-cheek marketing vehicle.

Several years later, marketers fully understand that these kinds of images get about a 10% positive rating from our audiences, but we’re struggling with what to do instead.

Now more media have joined the fray, forcing us to curate high-quality audio and video resources along with standard photography. As both CEO of the stock imagery service Storyblocks and a marketer myself, I spend quite a bit of time trying to find the right balance between time, budget, and quality in visual content.

Those are really the

Are You Ready for Content Marketing in 2018? 60+ Predictions

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It’s hard to believe that, after 10 years, this will be the last time I share my annual list of content marketing predictions for CMI. Not to get all sentimental or anything, but looking into the future of our industry and anticipating the content and media trends most likely to impact our businesses has always been a favorite part of the job … and it will be one of CMI’s content experiences I’ll miss the most as I retire from CMI this month. 

But, as change is the only constant, it’s time to put the past aside and focus on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. And, if anyone can help lead the content marketing industry forward and prepare you for what’s to come, it’s the group of experts who contributed to our 10th annual e-book of content marketing predictions.

In 60+ Predictions on Content Marketing in 2018, some of our favorite content marketing colleagues and compatriots share their thoughts on what it takes to build an audience; how advanced technologies and newer techniques – like AI, voice-enabled search, and virtual reality – will impact the content landscape; how troubling trends like “fake news” and data breaches will

How to launch your international sales with a small budget

How to increase your international sales with a small budget

If you have a product or a service that you would like to sell in other countries as well to consumers, there are a few options. If the product is easy to sell, to pack and to deliver, you could choose Amazon to be your online partner. With a product in one (or all) of the 11 Amazon networks, you can reach out to hundreds of million potential consumers. If you make your product available in the Alibaba en Aliexpres online shops, you have the potential global market covered. All you need now is that people will start to search for your product. Or get informed that your product is really important to have and can range from the famous finger spinner, a wireless phone charger up to an inflatable hammock. To promote your product and to generate traffic to online shops, you can choose to advertise online using SEA (Search Engine Advertising).

Retailers will demand serious marketing support

If your product must be in a physical store to feel it and test it, you’d be better of with a local distributor that can knock on shopping doors, to get some shelf and floor space at retailers. This approach will need of course strong local marketing support regarding POS materials, advertising and online testimonials. You know the drill: ‘In the shops now, this new product is hot and can be bought at…followed by the names of your retail partners. Retailers will demand some serious marketing support before they make the decision to put your product in their shops. You have to place ads in their paper door to door leaflet, make some radio commercials, some tv commercials or you pay 30% of their running tv commercial. It’s all about the money that you can spend BEFORE you sell anything. But that’s the risk of entrepreneurship.

Europe is a booming market

So far, the above goes for your local market. If you are going internationally with your sales, you need translators and people to check the translations if the commercial message and your marketing promise are still powerful enough. The most interesting part of the world to sell to might be Europe. With a population of 400+ million people and an above average coverage of fast Internet access, Europe is a booming market. Online sales in 2016 went through the 1 billion euros roof, and the best is yet to come with faster Internet, smarter phones and a growing number of people that discover the beauty of online shopping.

Create awareness online

But what if your product if a bit more complicated than a finger spinner? Maybe you want to sell a new boat design to watersport lovers, or a super flexible technical up to date maintenance service for trailers across Europe, or advanced software for architects, developers, and builders that is a hit in the US, but not yet in Europe? To find specific new customers in other countries, you need an international sales strategy. If you have the money, you hire local salespeople and an office for them to work in. It can take maybe a year of spreading the news that you have arrived in that country, making an appointment, visiting prospects and trying to get new local clients. Creating new sales in new territories is a long-term effort that needs dedication and discipline. It also takes a long-term budget in the traditional way to make things happen. And don’t forget that service is your best marketing weapon, so before you sell something, you must have a good service support in place. This part can be outsourced with a local partner, giving your business instantly a local flavor.

If you have the ambition to sell internationally, and you need local presence, you can do it the smart way.

Content driven online strategy

Sales and service people are easy to find and easy to hire. But the start-up process of promoting your services and creating awareness on a local language level need an online content marketing strategy. A content driven online strategy is by far the most efficient way to generate specific leads from specific customers. If you have the right content online in the local language, new customers will find you through Google. You can place Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, Twitter messages and Instagram ads, but nothing beats organic search in Google. ‘Be found when somebody searches for your service’ is the key to effective content marketing. Of course, this needs a set-up with local websites hosted on the country domain. If you aim for the German market, open up a website on a local domain; ending with .de. Local hosting might look like a small detail for your content marketing strategy, but it is essential for having success. Any search request in the German Google will firstly bring up German websites, despite your German language version on a dot com hosted site. This Google strategy to get the best results on a local level is called ‘Trumping’; putting your country first in line of other results.

Be found by new customers

Next step is to create content that is in line with demands in Google. Are people searching for new innovative boat design? Use those keywords in your stories. Put great images in your content and make it easy for people to share these on platforms like Pinterest or Instagram. And more people search in Google Images to see the products straight sway, so don’t forget to tag your pictures.

The above is the set-up you need for every country you like to sell your services to. If you believe in your product, but you are unable to invest upfront hundreds of thousands of dollars in local sales teams, the described method is your small budget key to success. We know the saying ‘If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys’ but actually, you can get a lot of expertise for a relatively small budget. For the price of one employee, you hire a full team that works dedicated to your brand and stays up to date on your local market. This team has seasoned journalists, art directors, SEO experts and your local contact. This contact person will talk to your sales people, your marketing managers and your board of directors to get the best input and convert this into content that will make a difference. A difference in your Google ranking and a difference in leads through your local website.

Interested? Contact Ab Kuijer for more details and a tailor-made solution on WhatsAb +33770186203. Or visit www.imfs.nl