One Dangerous Mistake is Preventing Successful Buyer Persona Development

Posted on Jun 23, 2017 6:30:00 AM by Brittany Laeger

I see it all the time. Whether it’s a new HubSpot portal, a PDF document, or just in conversation, there seems to be one, universally dangerous tactic that keeps marketers from having successful and useful buyer personas.

Now before I tell you what the one thing is, let’s just make sure we are all on the same page.

Buyer personas are meant to be fictional representations or cross-sections of your ideal potential buyers — a tool to identify and visualize your target audience.

When done correctly, they can help you better understand what drives a customer purchase, how to communicate with them in the consideration process, and what barriers they might have along the way.

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Posted in Buyer Personas

Why Authentic Content May Be The Only Way to Reach Millennial Shoppers

Posted on Jun 16, 2017 1:09:43 PM by Kevin Page

Did you know millennials now outnumber baby boomers and have become the largest generation in the U.S., representing more than a quarter of the nation’s population? Not to mention, we (yes, I am a millennial) are considered to be the most diverse and unique generation in terms of social, economic and demographic trends.

These statistics have marketers all across the country attempting to figure out the best messaging to grab our attention and collect our money.

So, how do you get our attention? How do you create messaging that millennial shoppers will actually consume and enjoy enough to consider making a purchase from your organization?

Trust me, I wish I had the silver bullet, but, I don’t. Although, I know a good place to start — create authentic content.

I know it sounds very “buzzwordy” and like a cop out, but I can’t stress it enough.

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Posted in Journalistic Content

Winning Webinar Best Practices that Will Skyrocket Your Success [VIDEO]

Posted on Jun 14, 2017 3:49:40 PM by Brittany Laeger

Webinars are a great way to connect with your prospects online, but just like any marketing tactic, there are a lot of things that you need to consider to be as effective as possible. Whether you’ve done several webinar or you are just getting started, here a few ideas that will help you skyrocket the success of your webinars.

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Posted in Content Marketing, Webinars, Lead Generation

When Does It Make Sense to Outsource Content Marketing?

Posted on Jun 9, 2017 2:34:54 PM by Gregg Litman

How long does it typically take you to write a 500-word blog post for your company?  If your answer is less than an hour, congratulations! You're in the top 13% of marketers, according to HubSpot's annual  State of Inbound survey, and if those blogs are driving great results you can probably skip the rest of this article. Everybody else is caught in the classic content marketing quandary, balancing time and content creation:  33% take 1-2 hours to write a blog, 23% take 2-3, and 16% need more than 4 hours. That may be acceptable for a blog post or two, but if you're trying to publish a full content calendar with 5 or more posts per month, those hours really start to add up. Throw in video, social media, landing pages, and all the other elements of a full-blown content marketing strategy, and you can see why so many companies struggle to do it all in-house. 

When does it make sense to outsource content marketing?

It's complicated, because content marketing comes in many shapes and sizes, just like the companies that use it. Still, the decision-making process isn't all that different from home remodeling, where different people and projects have different needs, and the choices include doing it yourself, hiring individual specialists on a project by project basis, or hiring a general contractor to handle just about everything. 
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Posted in Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, inbound marketing agency

Don’t Waste Your Time on Internal Video Production

Posted on Jun 6, 2017 2:13:57 PM by Steph Marsh

Every day, video is evolving. What once seemed like rocket science in the early 1950’s, is now so abundant on our phones and tablets that we casually swipe past it with the touch of a finger. Nowadays, we’re all amateur videographers with a simple horizontal flip of a smartphone and the press of a button. The thing is, that’s all these videos are – amateur. Just because you have a camera that records HD video doesn’t mean you’re a professional videographer. There’s a lot of skill and strategy that goes well beyond the equipment, so if quality is what you want in your company videos, you shouldn’t waste your time on internal video production.

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Posted in Video Production, Marketing with Video

Closed Loop Reporting: Setting Goals to Get Sales and Marketing on the Same Team

Posted on May 25, 2017 3:26:26 PM by Kevin Page

Sales Manager: “We didn’t achieve our revenue goals this quarter, let’s talk about what needs to change for us to hit our numbers next quarter.”

Sales Team:

  • “We aren’t getting enough leads.”
  • “The leads we’re receiving are garbage and unqualified.”
  • “The marketing team doesn’t understand what we’re looking for”

Marketing Manager: “We didn’t achieve our revenue goals this quarter, let’s talk about what needs to change for us to hit our numbers next quarter.”

Marketing Team:

  • “The sales reps never close any leads.”
  • “The sales reps don’t take the time to record any information in our CRM.”
  • “We don’t have any information to understand what makes a lead qualified.”

Does this sound familiar? I know I’ve had experiences in meetings like these and I’m sure you have, too. They tend to be focused on excuses and negativity – two of my least favorite things. I’m here to tell you that there is a better way. Some people refer to the ‘better way’ as closed-loop reporting, but I prefer to call it ‘heaven on earth.’

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Posted in Lead Conversion, Sales Tools, Lead Generation, CRM, Closed Loop Reporting

Uncover Your Company Stories Like a Veteran Reporter

Posted on May 24, 2017 10:36:24 AM by Ed Heil

Darcy Pohland was known for her ability to dig up stories like few other reporters in the Twin Cities television news market. Bound to a wheelchair as the result of a swimming pool accident as a teenager, the late WCCO-TV news veteran had some physical limitations, and yet she dug up stories with relentless resolve and determination. Darcy, who passed away in 2010, worked her beat, developed reliable and trusted contacts, and worked them on a daily basis. Darcy knew how to mine for stories, how to source stories, and ultimately, she could then craft that information into the lead story of the evening newscast night after night. Her commitment to uncovering stories was her gift and a trait that content marketers should steal if they struggle to uncover their own company stories.

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Posted in Storytelling, Journalistic Content

5 Silly Mistakes You’re Still Making in Your Marketing Videos

Posted on May 17, 2017 8:44:49 AM by Kari Jo Faulhaber

Congratulations! You finally jumped on the video marketing train, you’re full of steam and you’re in a content groove. If you can look at your website and see a library of videos that all share useful, engaging and unique information, you’re setting up your organization’s marketing strategy for success. However, not every video is created equally. Good video content should be gauged by quality, NOT quantity, which can sometimes be difficult to assess.

Even though there are tons of companies who have incorporated videos into their strategy, we still see plenty of silly mistakes being made. Here are 5 things to avoid when producing your marketing videos.

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Posted in Online Video, Video Production, Marketing with Video