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    1. What is Permission Marketing Anyway?

      What is Permission Marketing Anyway?

      We are inundated with ads. The average consumer sees between 4,000 and 10,000 ads a day. And we tune them out.

      Permission marketing is a solution to this problem. This marketing strategy requires the consent of the individual you're marketing to before contacting them.

      While more difficult than traditional marketing, it's easy to see the benefits. PureB2B contributor Johanna Rivard explains why permission marketing exists:

      For more on the pros and cons of permission marketing, see Rivard's complete article below.

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    2. Your Brand Needs Marketing Automation to Succeed

      Your Brand Needs Marketing Automation to Succeed

      Marketing automation is a $1.65 billion dollar industry. Over 142,000 business use it to optimize their marketing efforts. Though marketing automation is a big part of marketing today, many marketers aren't taking full advantage of what it offers.

      Johanna Rivard at PureB2B points out that the modern digital landscape gives marketers an advantage that lends itself to better automation:

      The traditional channels of television, radio, and print media have seen a decline in usage as more users start looking at online platforms as their primary sources of media. This is great for marketers because online channels allow for better targeting, tracking, and analytics. 

      With the ability to target and track potential customers better than ever before, here are some ways to consider automating your efforts. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software such as SalesForce is integral to most marketing teams' success. As is a marketing automation platform (MAP) and email marketing. In addition to traditional marketing automation platforms, a content marketing platform (CMP) will extend your efforts and support your CRM and MAP.

      While these forms of marketing automation are important, they should be baseline for your organization. Other things to consider about marketing automation before implementing include:

      • Find a way to ensure the data you're collecting is clean. Marketing automation databases typically contain up to 25 percent erroneous data.
      • Consider the reporting and insights on top of what can be automated. Many automation platforms allow for A/B testing. Check to see what the resulting report looks like and if the software is capable of automatically serving the most successful option after testing a sample group.
      • Look at templates. If your marketing automation software isn't allowing you to use visually appealing templates that convert, it might be better to choose a different option.

      For more on various types of marketing automation software and how they make your marketing more effective, read Rivard's full article below.

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    3. 3 Ways to Make Your White Paper Stand Out

      3 Ways to Make Your White Paper Stand Out

      Ninety six percent of B2B buyers want more information from industry thought leaders, and 78 percent of buyers used white papers in the last 12 months to research B2B purchasing decisions.

      PureB2B contributor Johanna Rivard believes white papers can help differentiate brands from their competitors:

      Whitepapers hold enormous potential for B2B marketers. First, a well thought out whitepaper can pave the way for blog posts, discussions, and other accompanying content pieces. Second, a well-written whitepaper also differentiates you from competitors in the eyes of your reader.

      When creating a white paper, keep in mind some of the primary elements that differentiate it from an eBook. Take care to make sure the design and tone are more formal, and that your statements are backed up by facts and statistics. 

      While the tone of voice and research in the white paper are important, it's also important to create an aesthetic that is polished and professional. This approach will help establish your brand as a thought leader.

      For a graphic on the ideal white paper as well as more helpful tips, check out the full article at PureB2B below. 

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    4. How to Help Your Sales Team Close

      How to Help Your Sales Team Close

      In the world of B2B marketing, lead generation, nurturing, and qualification are key to helping your sales team and company succeed. Unfortunately, these efforts sometimes fall short.

      Johanna Rivard at PureB2B shares this advice:

      Don’t let your marketing efforts go to waste! Identifying and anticipating potential warning signs will help your sales teams counter potential sales objections and focus their efforts on accounts with the highest likelihood of following through.

      While identifying potential warning signs is important, it's just as important that you come up with solutions for those warning signs. Here are some common issues for sales professionals, and what you can do to help:

      • Leads are Avoiding or Postponing Sales Calls: While there's no way to avoid this entirely, this is probably a good sign that the leads you're passing over aren't ready or interested enough in your product to talk to sales. Come up with some suggestions to help your sales team manage these scenarios, or create a nurturing campaign to move these leads back into if they're not responding. 
      • Prospects are Objecting to Price: This is very common in the world of B2B sales. It doesn't necessarily mean the leads you're passing over are unqualified. Just in case, consider reevaluating industry and company size constraints to make sure the leads you're passing over have the budget to make the purchase. Create a battle card for your sales team to help them make a case for your pricing.

      For more on how to help your sales team, check out the rest of Rivard's article below.

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    5. Try These 5 Minute Lead Generation Hacks

      Try These 5 Minute Lead Generation Hacks

      From content marketing to email marketing to social media, marketers across B2B industries invest significant time and resources in lead generation. Fifty three percent of marketers say half or more of their budget is allocated to lead generation. Yet 80 percent of marketers report their lead generation efforts are only slightly or somewhat effective.  

      PureB2B contributor Johanna Rivard explains that many lead generation efforts are ineffective because:

      Everyone receives marketing emails, and we get bombarded with advertising constantly. It’s getting increasingly difficult to cut through the noise, so the demand for innovative new tactics is at an all time high.

      Here are some quick tactics to try that are outside the box and can produce immediate results.

      Include a CTA in you and your coworkers' work emails. This can generate extra eyeballs on content and ultimately more leads at no extra cost to you.

      Another tactic is to answer questions on topics related to your industry on Quora. If done well, this positions you as a subject matter expert. And if you add a related, valuable link in your response, it's likely to bring more people to your website and increase your leads.

      You can also try encouraging your audience to create and share user-generated content. This is a low-cost way to improve lead generation efforts, build brand awareness, optimize SEO, and more.

      For more ideas on increasing leads, check out Rivard's complete article below.

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    6. Should You Personalize All Your Content?

      Should You Personalize All Your Content?

      The short answer: no. You should not personalize all your content. The effort it takes to personalize content paired with the potential reward isn't always worth it. That said, careful personalization can be very important to marketing success.

      Johanna Rivard of PureB2B explains why: 

      We’ve entered a new era of marketing where customers expect a relevant experience that’s matched to their specific needs. People don’t want to feel like just another number on a list, they want to feel like human beings, and it’s up to businesses to treat them that way.

      In addition, 59 percent of consumers say that personalization influences their shopping decision.

      There are a few easy places to personalise content. Begin with your website and emails. Personalize the home page based on who's visiting. Personalize offers based on your audience's history on your website. 

      At the very least, ensure your emails use the name of the contact you're reaching out to. Then segment email lists based on interests, personas, etc.

      Other ideas for content personalization include custom audiences on Facebook, online advertising, and mobile. Gilt ran a campaign that gave mobile offers to customers based on location. So if you're in Boston for the weekend and Gilt notices, they might serve you a push notification for discounted Red Sox tickets.

      For more information on how to execute personalization on these platforms, read the full article below.

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    7. How to Generate Leads with Referrals

      How to Generate Leads with Referrals

      Referrals are the unsung heroes of many marketing programs. They help potential customers gain trust in your brand, help you target customers that are the right fit, increase your reach, and accelerate the speed that leads move through the pipeline.

      According to Heinz Marketing, companies with formal referral programs reported nearly two times more leads coming from referrals compared to companies without referral programs. 

      Johanna Rivard at PureB2B blog has this to say about what makes a good referral program:

      A good referral program rewards individuals that bring in referral leads, but what the reward comprises of is completely up to you. Whether it’s a referral fee, a discount on a future purchase, or an account upgrade, these rewards are more cost-effective than reaching prospects on your own.

      These tactics can improve a referral program:

      • Consider all possible sources for referrals. Referrals can come from a wide variety of people other than current customers. Look to other employees, family, friends or influencers in your space.
      • Create a rewards program. As Rivard mentioned above, offering incentives for referrals could help increase your chances of getting them.

      While referrals are important, don't forget the importance of other marketing. Referral programs with monetary incentives could add significant costs to your marketing programs.

      Help your referral program without incurring additional expenses by:

      • Creating templates to make referrals easier
      • Spending time giving referrals
      • Dedicating time each day to asking

      For a complete infographic on improving your referral program clink the link below. 

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      Mentions: Lead Nurturing
    8. Should You Still Create Downloadable Content?

      Should You Still Create Downloadable Content?

      Downloadable content is still a primary driver of lead generation for most content marketers. We churn out eBooks, white papers, checklists, and other downloadable content pieces on a regular basis because they're meant to be an effective method for moving prospects through the funnel.

      But with all the changes in technology and content consumption, is this still the case?

      Yes, downloadable content is still relevantif you do it right. Johanna Rivard, executive vice president of Pure B2B, advises that: 

      There’s so much potential for value in downloadable content both for you and your prospects. It keeps information flowing, and if your content borders on the exceptional, your social media shares will shoot up too.

      However, be aware of these variables when creating downloadable content for your organization:

      • Consider the type of content your audience prefers. For example: white papers are in-depth and created by experts, while checklists are short and actionable. While both are useful, consider which format is a better fit for your audience's needs before creating.
      • Don't be too sales-y. This is the cardinal rule of content marketing. Even if your content is designed to review your product, try not to review it in a way that erodes reader trust.
      • Only gate content your audience would pay for. If they're going to submit a form—in other words, pay you with their name and email—the content should be so excellent that it has monetary value.

      Check out more of Rivard's thoughts about downloadable content below.

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