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

ROI Reporting Templates and Tools That Really Rock

Posted on Apr 3, 2017 3:03:13 PM by Brittany Laeger

 Proving the value of your marketing efforts is absolutely essential, but that doesn’t mean that you want to spend hours and hours creating customized reports and searching for data points to show the ROI of your marketing efforts on a quarterly or monthly basis.

With 900 things on your to-do list, finding a ROI reporting template that helps you wrangle business metrics can be an easy way to save yourself some time and create a repeatable process so you can check this item off your list and get to the next thing.

Creating a clear and concise reporting template is essential, because the human brain can better translate data when it’s presented visually instead of in rows and columns on a spreadsheet. And when you’re presenting complex marketing metrics to bosses or clients, that’s even more important. Peter Caputa of Databox explains it like this:

As soon as your audience sees a KPI spreadsheet, their brains must decide whether it is worth the cognitive energy. If you want them to stay engaged with your progress, you need to make it simpler for them to understand your achievements.

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Posted in Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Reporting, ROI

Inbound Insights: Minneapolis #Converted16 Conference Doesn't Disappoint

Posted on Oct 28, 2016 1:23:04 PM by Kathy Heil

As a long time "HubSpotter," I have been to my share of industry conferences. HubSpot has set the bar high for all things "inbound marketing" related, so venturing to a different marketing platform's conference was a departure for me.

#Converted16 was a digital marketing conference hosted by Minneapolis-based Leadpages on October 18-19. The singular focus of this two-day event was to bring like-minded marketers together focusing on hard-hitting strategies for driving increased traffic, leads, and sales — with much of the focus, as you can guess, around conversion tactics.

Leadpages invited 18 top industry conversion experts to share their secrets and inspire marketers to think differently. Unlike HubSpot's #Inbound16 conference coming up in Boston on November 8-11, there was only one track of speakers at all times. While this takes the challenge of speaker selection away, some speakers resonated with me more than others. Here is a re-cap of some of my favorites.

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Posted in Inbound Marketing, marketing tool

Understanding the Building Blocks for an Inbound Marketing Pricing Retainer

Posted on Oct 21, 2016 12:02:15 PM by Kathy Heil

Whether you are a B2B or B2C marketer, a small or mid-sized company, in just about any industry today, you share the same marketing challenges; you want more traffic to your website and you're focused on converting more leads to customers. Yet, how do you accomplish this? How do you begin to take a complete stranger who has no idea your company exists, and turn them into a qualified lead and ultimately a delighted customer? By having a search optimized and responsive website for starters, coupled with a well thought out and strategic inbound marketing plan.

Inbound marketing, if you're not familiar with the term, means transforming how you do business. It's a shift in marketing all about being helpful and human and matching the way you market your products and services to the way your customers are buying.

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Posted in Inbound Marketing, marketing tool

61 Inbound Marketing Tools to Boost Website Performance

Posted on Sep 30, 2016 6:45:00 AM by Brittany Laeger

The inbound marketing methodology, at its core, is actually pretty simple and easy to understand. It consists of 5 main components: Attract visitors with content, socialize your materials to connect with more of your audience, convert viewers with compelling offers, close your leads to customers, and finally, analyze your results to understand your results. But understanding the core of the inbound methodology is only the first step. The second piece of the puzzle is understanding the tools you need to make it come to life. Having the right tools to help you along in the process can not only make your job a lot easier, but it can also help you connect all the pieces together in a way that makes it all much more streamlined. Here are our recommendations for 61 inbound marketing tools to help you get started.

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Posted in Inbound Marketing

Deploying Agile Marketing: How to Be a Navy SEAL of Inbound Marketing

Posted on Jun 28, 2016 4:33:53 PM by Kathy Heil

It's the perfect storm.

Technology and economic forces have put customers in control of their interactions with businesses like never before. The economy has never been more digitally and globally connected. Some will go so far to say that marketing has changed more in the last two years than in the last fifty! And yet, marketers are not confident in their digital ability. Only 48% of digital marketers feel highly proficient in digital marketing. According to a Forrester Research 2015 study, only 5% of organizations feel that they have mastered digital or agile marketing to a point of differentiation from their competitors.

In a recent blog post, published by HubSpot, 17 different traditional advertising agencies weighed in on what they perceived some of the biggest threats facing this dynamic marketing landscape to be. What surprised me is that while agencies acknowledge the digital evolution, many are still burying their heads in the sand, hanging on to their ever shrinking retainers, without adapting to the need for dramatic change.

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Posted in Inbound Marketing, Marketing Analytics

Data-Driven Metrics: 12 Inbound Marketing Analytics to Monitor

Posted on Jun 24, 2016 9:25:12 AM by Brittany Laeger

Over the history of marketing, there has been little ability to actually test and measure the ROI of advertisements, campaigns, and engagement. Unless you had the budget of Coca Cola or Microsoft, it was almost impossible to know what traffic sources were driving new customers. Then came the internet and for a few years marketers and businesses failed to harness the power of data-driven analytics and that was okay. But it's now 2016, and there are still an alarming number of companies that have no idea what inbound marketing analytics they should be tracking.

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Posted in Inbound Marketing, Marketing Analytics

Modern Marketing Event: 12 Things You Should Focus on Today

Posted on May 26, 2016 2:59:24 PM by Kevin Page

We had a great event this week at the Day Block Event Center, full of great insights and key takeaways for marketers. The event was called “Online Brand Presence: Meet Your Customers’ Modern Marketing Expectations,” featuring a panel of industry experts from StoryTeller Media + Communication (Inbound Marketing and Video Agency), Irish Titan (Web Development Firm), HubSpot (Marketing Automation Software), and Wistia (Video Analytics Platform).

Overall, the event was a huge success — with over 70 business owners, marketers, and salespeople in attendance. The panelists answered questions and held discussions on topics such as the creation and promotion of content (written and video), lead conversion best practices, buyer persona development, technology trends, and more.

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Posted in Inbound Marketing