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Content Isn’t King for B2B Lead Generation – here’s what is

Content Isn’t King for B2B Lead Generation – here’s what is

If there’s one topic every B2B enterprise owner or marketing manager is interested in, it’s lead generation. In this post I’m going to do something pretty odd for someone who runs a content writing business – I’m going to explain why, for B2B lead generation, content often isn’t king. Event marketing is. Content and social media will still be part of the lead generation equation for most B2Bs, but having given this topic a lot of thought this week, I’ve come to the conclusion that many B2Bs (myself included) have become overly focussed on online lead gen, and might be better served by making event marketing the key plank in their strategy. A recent personal observation really clinched this for me. I’ve been thinking lately of putting together my own workshops, so I went along to one I knew had been run multiple times to see what I could learn from the presentation and approach. It was by no means the liveliest workshop I’ve ever been to, but I have no doubt it works a treat. Free personal consultations were offered at the very end, and it seemed that about 50% of attendees were ready and waiting to take up the offer. Yes, they were taking the next step in the ‘buyer journey’ – in droves. Of course, not all of those enthusiastic attendees will progress from the free consultation to a paid service, but I’m guessing there’s a pretty decent conversion rate and an excellent ROI. If 20 people attend a free personal consultation, and the conversion rate is only 25%, that’s still 5 new customers – and...
Why Some Digital Marketing Agencies Provide Content that Sucks

Why Some Digital Marketing Agencies Provide Content that Sucks

I can safely say that more than a few digital marketing agencies regularly lose clients over poor quality content. That’s because many people who enquire about our content marketing services do so the moment they reach the end of a digital marketing agency contract – when they’ve made a decision not to renew because of a content issue. Often, they’ve encountered the problem early on in the contract, but when their complaints didn’t result in any significant improvement, they stopped complaining and quietly awaited the contract expiry date. To be clear, there are some digital agencies that do an excellent job in this space. But why do many others have such a problem supplying good content? For a few, it’s because they’re short-sighted and not even trying. Many others seem to have the will but not the way – they want to keep clients happy but can’t seem to stem the flow of complaints about content. Where agency attitude and culture are right but the content is falling short of client expectations, I believe it comes down to the not having the right processes and team members in place for properly managing content creation. Agencies that began in traditional marketing and added digital marketing or content marketing services seem to have far less trouble that those that began with a focus on SEO and PPC management. That’s likely to be because traditional marketing agencies are accustomed to the processes necessary to manage creative work, so if they add a content or blog writing service for their clients, they tend to apply similar processes. The challenge for those traditional marketing...
Does your digital marketing agency need a content editor?

Does your digital marketing agency need a content editor?

For agencies that offer content writing services or create content for their clients’ inbound marketing campaigns, there’s one team member whose importance should never be under-estimated. The content editor. If you’re in the process of establishing a content production team, whether it’s by way of in-house employees or contracted blog writers, having an outstanding editor can make all the difference. They’re by no means easy to find, but that’s another story. When you do find one, here are 5 ways the right content editor can contribute to ensuring quality and making the entire process relatively smooth sailing. Being your quality gatekeeper One of the reasons it’s difficult to find an editor suitable for a role in an agency, is that content editing isn’t just about spelling and grammar. Your editor needs to check content for compliance with client briefs and suitability for client purpose and audience, and ideally pick up everything from style issues to unsuitable links and incorrect facts. There are two ways your editor can contribute to quality control – preventing unsuitable work slipping through to your clients, and ensuring that your writers know (and are constantly reminded) of the standard of work required. Managing amendments In digital marketing agencies that utilise freelance writers but don’t have a content editor, account managers are often burdened with having to deal with client amendment requests, which means toing and froing between clients and writers. It can place added pressure on their time, and also on the account manager/client relationship. Enter the editor. A good editor will be able to make minor amendments where necessary before work is sent to clients, return unsatisfactory...
Social Selling with LinkedIn: interview with Tom Skotidas

Social Selling with LinkedIn: interview with Tom Skotidas

Tom Skotidas is one of the world’s leading authorities on generating B2B sales leads using social networks. This week he spoke with Andrew Shaw at Article Writers Australia about what it takes to create an effective presence on LinkedIn, and how to avoid mistakes that make your potential business connections hit the spam button. Tom, what was your introduction to the world of LinkedIn social selling? “I realised the power of social media platforms in about 2008. I was head of sales and marketing at an agency that specialised in search engine marketing. I’d used LinkedIn since 2005 the way most people do – as a CV and rolodex. Then in May 2008, I sent my first InMail and realised how powerful LinkedIn could be in helping me generate qualified leads. Between May 2008 and March 2011, I grew that agency from about half a million dollars in annual billings to $7 million a year. Of that amount, half of it was directly attributable to my usage of LinkedIn and Twitter. I resigned from that agency in March 2011 to form Skotidas Consulting Group. Do people need to create content before they begin using LinkedIn?  Yes – they must create their personal profile. Your LinkedIn profile is your first– and most important – piece of content. Your profile must have the right picture, the right headline, and the right sales copy. You must also add marketing assets such as videos, presentations, and publications. A professional and impressive LinkedIn profile is your single greatest piece of content on the platform. After building their profile, do people need to share content...
Video Blog Production for Beginners

Video Blog Production for Beginners

If writing is not your thing, you might want to consider producing vlogs – or video blogs where you talk about a topic or viewpoint rather than outlining it in written form. On the other hand, you might be thinking about producing some how-to videos to enhance your written content, increase engagement and grow new audiences. MORE: Engaging All the Senses With Content Marketing Video Whatever your motives, the same general content production principles apply – such as quality, consistency, and relevance. And while you don’t have to be a budding James Cameron or JJ Abrams, you will need some basic equipment to ensure your videos are an acceptable standard. After all, poor lighting and bad recordings are not a very professional look! Here’s a quick look at what you need to get started. Camera: As for just about anything else, when it comes to video cameras you get what you pay for. A basic video camera with a built-in microphone for instance can be bought for a relatively low price ($300 or less) and can be a good place to start out. If you want to use your own microphone however you will need to make sure that the camera has an external mic port. If you intend investing in regular video production for your business, you might need to spend a bit more for a professional model – which will probably cost you at least $1,500. Tripod: A tripod allows you to operate the camera hands-free and also keeps the camera steady. If you don’t have a tripod you will at least need a surface on which to...
A Beginner’s Guide to Podcast Equipment

A Beginner’s Guide to Podcast Equipment

2015-2016 Big Time Podcast Stats and Demographics from Bigfoot Podcast Studio from Mark Grimes   Podcasting is much like any other form of content creation – you can do it cheaply and quickly (and possibly very poorly!) or you can invest more deeply in it and produce some really great results. Creating great podcasts not only involves consistent production methods and quality content, but also having the right equipment. Here are a few options for podcasting equipment, and a brief overview of how you can go about creating your own recordings using free Audacity software. A rundown of podcast equipment You’ll need a few pieces of basic hardware to get you started. Microphone: There are essentially two types of mics: USB mics, which plug into your computer and convert analogue signals into digital. Analogue mics, which cost a bit more and produce a higher quality of sound. With these types, you will need a digital recording device or an audio interface if you are recording directly onto your computer. You may be able to get USB mics for a few dollars from electrical stores but if you want good quality, paying a bit extra for a higher quality USB mic or an analogue model might be a good idea. Pop filter or shield: A pop filter is a device that is placed in front of the mic to filter out the popping noises that can come with speech. It may also protect the mic from mould and moisture damage due to saliva. A pop filter consists of a piece of material stretched over a frame. Digital recording device: If you...