Inbound Marketing Company Blog

Sales and marketing just got better: HubSpot launch new CRM

Posted by Jeremy Knight

I don’t need to tell you: selling just doesn’t work like it used to!

It used to be a salesperson held all the cards – had all the information a buyer needed, and the consequent power over any deals on pricing, spec, etc.  But today, information is highly accessible to anyone who cares to search for it, and the buyer holds the upper hand.

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5 ways your digital marketing mix is like camping...no really!

Posted by Kirstine Storey

Really? I hear you! Surely, the link between camping and the digital marketing mix must be pretty tenuous.

But bear with me - it’s still summer after all (just), so maybe you've still got the time and space to ruminate and reflect on even the most obscure of analogies…

My family does a fair few camping holidays each year; we’ve chalked up 3 this year so far (in the UK and France) with a fourth planned at the end of September, before the weather gets too chilly.

And rather sadly, some may say, I found myself thinking about the ways in which planning and undertaking a camping trip bore a striking resemblance to the approach that businesses should take to their marketing in this noisy, digital world. No, really!

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Social media: What's your policy?

Posted by Keith Errington

One of the great liberating things about social media as a communications channel is that anyone can do it. But, for a business this is both a blessing and a curse.

It’s a curse because any of your employees could be using social media in a way that does not benefit the business or even worse, in a way that may be sabotaging it.

On the other hand it’s a blessing, as all those employees could be a collective force for good – adding significantly to the marketing effort and engaging directly with customers and prospects, providing an authentic voice for the company.

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What qualities do thought leaders bring to their business blogs?

Posted by Eric Swain

Anna Lawlor, journalist and co-founder of Social i Media, gives her interpretation of the term "thought leadership" and what it takes to become a proponent in your field.

Thought leadership is a term that is often bandied around in the content marketing field so Anna, what do you define as thought leadership and how do you deal with clients who are interested in becoming a "thought leader", out of the blue?

Quite a lot of people either think they are thought leaders (often self-determined) or would like to be. I’m a bit uncomfortable with the term "thought leadership" because there’s a danger of it just being another mindless piece of business jargon. What does thought leader actually mean?

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B2B email marketing success: 5 things to check before you hit send

Posted by Kirstine Storey

Email is easy, right? You design your campaign, your content is penned and you have included the offers that you want to highlight to your contacts, and now it’s time to hit send. No, not quite yet!

Done well, B2B email marketing is a highly efficient and cost-effective means of generating new revenues, repeat business and stronger relationships with your clients. But done badly, as we all know, it is an area of marketing that is shrouded with risk: risks around your reputation as a purveyor of interesting, useful content ("that link is broken"); risks around your spoiling your relationship with your clients ("my inbox is drowning…!"); risks around your relationship with ISPs – with the danger of being black-listed if you are sending large volumes to an un-opted-in mail -  the worst outcome here.

So, how can you ensure that the emails you send do not fall foul of these inherent hazards, and achieve the engagement, interest and response that you desire?

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7 simple B2B blog strategy tips that will help you get read

Posted by Jeremy Knight

According to research in The State of Inbound Marketing 2013 by Hubspot (sample 3,339) 62% of marketers published a blog in 2013 and almost 80% reported inbound ROI, proof that they can be ultra-critical to the success of your business.

A good b2b blog has multiple benefits and can be a great way of projecting an authoritative and trustworthy company personality to your existing customers as well as helping you get found by new prospects, too.

If it contains relevant and useful insight, helpful advice, and intelligent opinion, it will get shared, extending your reach. And, each time you publish a new post you are adding a new page to your website, so you become more visible to the search engines.

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Why b2b marketers need a media-first approach in their marketing mix

Posted by Jeremy Knight

Brian Clark, CEO of Copyblogger Media and architect of the recent ‘agile’ launch of New Rainmaker (a new inbound/content/automation marketing platform) coined the moniker ‘media not marketing’ to position his latest offering which comprises the suite of software solutions used behind the highly successful Copyblogger platform.

‘Media not marketing’ goes to the crux of how b2b marketers need to rise above the tsunami of ‘noise’ flooding the Internet today, especially if you are in a crowded market. Look at it this way -- in 2010 Eric Schmidt, then CEO of Google, was quoted as saying “Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003”.

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Blog writers tip: keep your blog on target with a brief

Posted by Keith Errington

I like to think of blog posts as arrows – powerful, accurate and effective – but only if they are targeted. In fact any weapon is only effective if properly targeted – and can cause huge damage if it’s pointing the wrong way.

Whilst forgiving the somewhat campaign/war like bent of this view, applying this analogy to a blog – you have to identify the overall nature of your enemy and then hit specific targets with your posts. So what you need is a brief and a targeting system.

All projects require a brief – to set out aims, objectives and methods of measurement. Without a clear brief that sets out what is wanted, when it is wanted by, and the specific criteria for success, no project can be a success – because success is not defined. A blog should be no different. Even if you already have an established blog, you should go back and write a brief for it.

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Why you need to be writing online content like a journalist

Posted by Eric Swain

Anna Lawlor, writer and director of Social i Media, offers some fascinating insights into why writing and thinking like a journalist can give content creators a real edge.

So, Anna, what made you leave the world of journalism?

Well, I wouldn’t say that I have left; I still write journalistic content, but I also call myself a content creator, because I produce content marketing for corporations like Barclays and the Economist Intelligence Unit.  We talk nowadays about every company having to be their own publisher or broadcaster, and I’m very much of that mind-set. I suppose I'm straddling both spheres - I’m still a journalist but I’m also working on social media and content marketing.

We were having a discussion on Twitter the other day about the term ‘content marketing’ and whether there is a better one out there. Because it just seems to be a fairly benign term, it puts us in a third class citizen position in the world of media and marketing. Do you have any thoughts on that?

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Social Media – it’s not just marketing

Posted by Keith Errington

I’ve introduced social media to a lot of people over the past few years and one thing has struck me time and time again; the number of organisations that approach it as a marketing channel only. They are used to dealing with other types of communication channels such as print advertising, posters, radio, TV, newsletters and the like – all of which are purely marketing channels. They are principally one-way communications and they usually fit neatly within the remit of the marketing department.

But social media is radically different – not just different – but RADICALLY different. It isn’t just a marketing tool and you cannot restrict it to just a marketing tool. Trying to treat it as such and ignoring the other aspects WILL actually harm your marketing efforts.

Likewise – some organisations approach social media from the point of view of customer service – but again, it’s not just a customer service channel.

This multi-faceted nature creates a number of problems for an organisation and its social media management.

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