Why You’re Failing at Content Marketing

failing at content marketing

Content marketing is vital for any brand that wants to promote itself online. You need a content marketing strategy if you want your efforts to be fruitful. However, even with a strategy in place, you might find that your content marketing isn’t seeing the success you want it to. Are you failing at content marketing?

If you think you MIGHT BE failing at content marketing, there could be multiple reasons for it.

People often approach their content strategy in a disorganized manner. They don’t think about it in-depth.

There are many techniques you should think about. They will ensure your content strategy involves high-quality content on a consistent basis.

Here’s why you’re failing at content marketing and how to fix it.

You Aren’t Publishing Consistently

If you want to create a successful content marketing campaign, you have to be consistent. This applies to the frequency of your publishing and the quality of your content. Are you currently publishing only sporadically, when you can find the time?

This isn’t the best approach to take if you want your content to take off. You need to have new content available on a regular basis if you want to attract attention. You’ll have more to share and more information that’s helpful to your customers.

By publishing regularly, you can keep your website up to date and search-engine friendly. Plus, your social media posts will be more diverse. You also need to maintain consistent high quality in all of your content.

Your Content Is Too Short

How long is long enough for the articles that you publish? Many people choose a short 500 words per post. Some even decide on even shorter posts and publish them frequently.

However, longer content is often the best choice for a winning content marketing strategy.

There are several reasons to publish long-form content instead of sticking to shorter pieces. To begin with, people like reading longer articles. You can get more in-depth on the topic you’re covering and provide more information.

Search engines also like longer content and view it favorably over shorter pieces. Articles of at least 1000 words are a better choice than those of 500 words or fewer.

Your Content Needs to Be More Unique

How do you come up with ideas for your content? If you search for the topics you cover, can you find hundreds of similar articles? Perhaps you even rewrite content to make it suitable for your brand.

If you want people to share your content, it needs to be unique. It’s boring if it’s just like all the other content on similar topics. You don’t have to avoid writing about anything in particular. There are many subjects people have written about before that you can give your own twist.

But your content shouldn’t look almost identical to other pieces. It’s better for search engines and for people if it’s fresh and presents a new angle.

Don’t pump out boring content if you don’t have anything to say.

You Are Not Repurposing Your Content

Do you repurpose your content? If you don’t, you should be.

You might begin by publishing your content on your own website. But you can use it in a number of ways to spread it far and wide. For example, you should consider publishing your content on LinkedIn. This will allow you to reach a professional audience of people from your industry.

You can also repurpose content by turning it into different forms. Some people prefer visual content. Your blog posts could contain information that would make a great infographic. You could also make your content downloadable by turning it into a PDF guide or even a course.

Repurposing your content helps you make the most of it across a range of channels.

You’re Not Using High-quality Copywriters

Writing your own content can be a good idea if you have the time and the skills. But there’s a lot more to writing quality content than many people think. You might have some good ideas, but it takes a lot of work to turn an idea into a great piece of content. Perhaps you can bang something out in half an hour, but will it really be as good as you need it to be?

If you run a business or a website, you have a lot of other things to do. Not everybody is able to produce the high-quality content they need on a regular basis.

If you want to ensure you can publish consistently, you should access quality copywriters. You can pass on the responsibility of writing your content to someone else. They have the skills and knowledge to help you.

 

promote the best content marketingYou Aren’t Using Paid Social Media Promotion

You’ve published your content, and not you just have to sit back and wait for the clicks and shares, right?

If you’re wondering why not one is coming to look at your content, you need to get sharing it yourself.

Don’t rely on people discovering it on their own.

You should be using social media promotion especially. Make sure you’re using appropriate channels for your brand. It could be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat.

Sharing using free methods will help you reach your followers and their followers.

However, if you want to expand your reach you need to use paid promotion. You can do this on a range of platforms to reach out to people in the right demographic.

You Don’t Pay Attention to SEO

Remember that SEO is important for your content, even if you’re sharing via social media channels. You still want your content to be discoverable on search engines and for your website to have a good reputation.

If you’re not thinking about SEO when you choose topics and create your content, you’re missing out. It’s important to be up to date with the latest SEO content writing tactics. To make sure you’re following the rules, using copywriters to do all the hard work will help.

Don’t let your content marketing strategy be a failure. Publish high-quality content and promote it in the right places to make the most of your campaign.

About MarketCrest:

MarketCrest is a Marketing & Consulting Services firm focused exclusively on strategies that drive revenue growth. Simply put, we exist to help you compete and grow and we expect to be held accountable for your improved performance. MarketCrest provides Content Marketing, Marketing Automation and CRM solutions, and services for clients. Learn more, and receive a free 1-hour consult with a marketing strategist.

 

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What’s The Buzz About Content Marketing?

Content Marketing Buzz MarketCrest

Content marketing is a hot buzzword these days – and perhaps it should be. It has become one of the most effective ways for brands to connect and build credibility with prospects and customers. There’s no debating the fact that content is becoming an essential online marketing strategies… and there’s no end in sight to that trend.

Research is clear that:

Nine in 10 organizations report that they are currently marketing with content

 Source: Content Marketing Institute

B2B buyers say that 70% of the content they read and study before making a purchase decision… is found on their own.

Source: Forrester

So 90% of organizations surveyed, are marketing with content and the vast majority of customers making purchasing decisions are using that content to make informed buying decisions! These statistics should be are a bit of a wake up call for business owners who don’t have Content Marketing at the top of their Online Marketing and Sales priorities.

What is Content Marketing and it’s purpose?

So, What Exactly Is Content Marketing?

The Content Marketing Institute defines it as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience…and ultimately, to drive profitable customers.

In other words… communicating with potential customers to have an influence on their buying behavior.  Sounds easy, but proper execution can be harder than companies think… and it does take time.

The concept behind content marketing is fairly simple — consistently create helpful, interesting and relevant content and make it available to your target audience. Digital content can come in the form of:

  • webpages
  • articles
  • ebooks,
  • check lists
  • case studies
  • infographics
  • podcasts
  • webinars
  • slideshows
  • videos
  • images

On a similar note, offline content tends to come in the form of printed books, brochures, samples, sell sheets, proposals, presentations, papers, manuals or “how to” guides. With digital content being less expensive to create and easier to distribute and update, the use of offline content is still important… but less so than ever before.

Currently, when it comes to sharing content, in most cases online marketers share it for free. Other times they “gate” content, which is to share it in exchange for something of non monetary value, such as contact information. This allows the marketer to play the long game of capturing a lead that can be nurtured.

The nurturing of the relationship continues via email marketing and often marketing automation, until the lead becomes an opportunity that can be closed during the customer’s buying cycle. Understanding the buyer’s cycle is another article entirely, but it suffice to say it is perhaps the most critical time for content and digital marketers.

42% of B2B content marketers report that they segment content by stage in the buying cycle

Source: Top Rank Blog

Content marketing is often used to:                

Achieve website traffic goals

60% of B2B marketers use content marketing to achieve website traffic goals.

Source: Marketing Profs

Generate additional sales

 43% of B2B marketers use content marketing to achieve sales goals.

 Source: Content Marketing Institute

Get a greater return on marketing dollars spent (ROI)

Per dollar spent, content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing.

 Source: Leaders West

The ultimate goal for a content marketer is to become better than their competition at solving people’s problems. Once a company is considered a source for valuable information, and a thought leader… brand trust and sales are next to arrive.

“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust.

Trust drives revenue.” – Andrew Davis

Content marketers remember to treat their communication with customers like they would any relationship… they nurture the relationship. The relationship was built on sharing quality content, which is why they take the content their business is putting out there, very seriously.

Statistics tell us that even small companies have turned to content marketing.

Companies with fewer than 10 employees typically allocate

42% of their marketing budget to content.

 Source: Marketing Profs

Remember that content marketing is used to build significance and impact over time. Marketers are building relationships and trust by becoming someone that people turn to for quality information and assistance.

What fueled the rise in content marketing?

The Decline in Traditional Content Marketing

Robert Rose explains content marketing this way:

“If traditional marketing and advertising is telling the world you’re a rock star.

Content marketing is showing the world that you are one.”

It is no secret that traditional advertising effectiveness is on the decline. It is a trend fueled by a myriad of factors ranging from consumers having more control than ever before (and a subsequent unwillingness to be interrupted) and consumers having TIVO, email spam folders, caller ID, national do not call lists, ad blocking software, satellite radio and other technology to lesson the likelihood they will be bombarded with advertising and interrupted.

They are canceling print newspapers and magazine subscriptions. Traditional advertising, and outbound selling, is working less and less… so marketers have been forced to identify new ways to connect with customers.

70% of consumers say they prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads

 Source: News Cred

Content marketing is becoming a great equalizer. It evens the playing field against a myriad of claims and interruptions. It’s no longer enough for business to say they’re the best… they have to show it through the quality of the content they’re sharing.

As it is, content marketing is still advertising, just… modernized to convert casual readers, into paying customers, create fans, followers and loyalty. In this way, content marketing is demonstrating the ability to be more powerful than traditional advertising, and provide a greater return on marketing dollars invested.

Is Content Marketing right for you and your business?

If you are a company that relies on the arrival of new leads to maintain and grow your business, Content Marketing may be for you.

Content must be relevant, valuable and of high quality if you want to impact buyer’s behavior in your favor. Buyers have access to the widest range of information and services ever collected thanks to the internet. Google and search has changed how buyers shop and how companies market.

The entire Search Engine Marketing (think SEO and PPC) industry exists because buyers relentlessly search for quality content on the internet. Buyers will complete a great portion of the buying cycle long before actually contacting a company. As a result, having your content and company “found” on the internet, has quickly become a necessity to many businesses.

So you know what the buzz is all about and that content has quickly become one of the most effective ways for brands to connect and build credibility with prospects and customers. Content and online search go hand in hand.

You see that statistics of the large number of brands using content marketing to drive website traffic, leads and new sales. …and there’s no end in sight.

If you want to explore how content marketing would do the same for your company…contact us for a free, 1 hour strategy session to outline your plan.

About MarketCrest:

MarketCrest is a Marketing & Consulting Services firm focused exclusively on strategies that drive revenue growth. Simply put, we exist to help you compete and grow and we expect to be held accountable for your improved performance.

MarketCrest also provides Marketing Automation and CRM solutions, and services for clients. Learn more, and receive a free 1-hour consult with a marketing strategist.

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5 Signs Your Business Is Ready For Marketing Automation

5 Signs Marketing Automation

 

Many businesses find the concept of marketing automation appealing and want to jump right in with an improved strategy. However, a number of these companies don’t fully understand the financial implications — dedicating someone to the project full-time, or even just three-quarters of the time, is a big investment, not even considering the expenses for paying for software and development of content.

Although it is undeniable that marketing automation has significant advantages, it can also be a waste of money if you are not yet in the position to benefit.

1. You Have Enough Content to Automate

First of all, it is important to understand just how much content you will require for marketing automation. Ideally, you will have content for every persona at every stage of the buying cycle and in a range of formats (blog posts, videos, and podcasts, for instance).

This is a huge amount to plan, design, and create, and you should already have at least half this content to make marketing automation worthwhile.

2. You Have an Allocated Budget

You must be able to afford the costs of software, a dedicated team of staff, and content creation tasks. The exact amount you can expect to spend will depend according to the number of contacts in your database and the number of emails you intend to send per month.

It is important to note that trying to cut costs in any aspect will most likely result in lower quality content and less conversions, which can end up costing you more due to a reduced ROI.

3. You Are Unable to Reach Your Revenue Number

You should have already completed the analytics and determined the number of inbound visits, conversions, nurtured leads, and wins you need to reach your revenue. If you are currently falling short, marketing automation is the right solution, as it will allow you to deliver the right type of content to different groups of prospects at specific points in the buying cycle.

4. You Are Already Investing in SEO

SEO is essential for continually gaining qualified leads and a constant flow of traffic to your website, as marketing automation cannot work if you lack leads and prospects whom you will convert. Plus, connecting the content you create for email campaigns, newsletters, and articles to your website adds to optimization efforts, further improving search engine rankings to send you yet more visitors.

5. You Have CRM Software

CRM software is a much smaller investment and a precursor to the more complicated marketing automation. You can think of skipping CRM to dive straight into marketing automation as like trying to learn to ride a bike without training wheels. Before you even consider marketing automation, you should have set up CRM software with all the details about your customers and prospects.

Once you have fulfilled all the above criteria, you are ready to benefit from marketing automation. However, if you fall short in any point, you should first focus your attention on solving this shortcoming before employing marketing automation software.

Do Your Research

SharpSpring, a marketing automation services company, and Acend2 collaborated to conduct interviews with over 300 small-midsize businesses to benchmark their automation strategy and expectations.

MarketCrest has presented the results in a free ebook to help CEOs determine if they are ready for the investments and if so, provide benchmarks on strategy. The research results are available on our free Resources page.

MC MAS-Research Reports

 

About MarketCrest:

MarketCrest is a Marketing & Consulting Services firm focused exclusively on strategies that drive revenue growth. Simply put, we exist to help you compete and grow and we expect to be held accountable for your improved performance.

MarketCrest also provides Marketing Automation and CRM solutions, and services for clients. Learn more, and receive a free 1-hour consult with a marketing strategist.

 

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An Introduction To Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation

When looking for ways to improve marketing in your business, you may come across the phrase “marketing automation.” This term encompasses all types of software and techniques that enable you to automate your marketing tasks while personalizing efforts toward different groups of prospects to increase your chances of gaining conversions.

As a manager of a small business or startup, you may be wondering if such a course of action would be worthwhile for you. To clear up any doubts you may have, in this post we will look at how marketing automation works, what are its advantages, and who can benefit.

The Marketing Automation Process and It’s Capabilities

Marketing automation is often confused with email marketing, when in fact it is far more complex. Although email marketing is part of marketing automation, it is just one small component.

In addition to handling marketing execution, marketing automation allows businesses to improve efficiency in a number of areas, including lead generation, segmentation, lead scoring, nurturing, customer retention, and analytics, all by prioritizing leads by their likelihood to convert, filtering prospects according to engagement and interest, and making sure marketers stay on track with the aims of their strategy. More on this subject in our MarketCrest Infographic.

Software for marketing automation usually consists of:

  • A database that holds all the information about leads, prospects, and customers.
  • An engagement aspect, where authors can create and manage content for lead nurturing and for landing pages.
  • Analytics, to measure marketing efforts, compare actual results against expected results, and determine the best ways to improve engagement and conversions.

Some of the top providers include HubSpot, Pardot, Marketo, and SharpSpring.

Why You Should Consider Marketing Automation

As your business grows, you will find it impossible to handle all your marketing tasks manually, even if you dedicate a small team to the task. Marketing automation solves this issue by doing some of the work for you. Whereas this is obviously a priority for large corporations, it is also beneficial for small companies. Freeing up resources for other necessities will allow you focus your efforts on aspects of marketing that cannot be automated, such as content creation.

The most significant benefit you will receive from marketing automation is higher revenue, due to increased pipeline and greater productivity. Nuclear Research found that 95 percent of companies saw some improvement, including between on average 1.5 and 6.9 percent greater productivity in marketing and 4 percent in sales productivity.

To get started with marketing automation in your company, check out this new marketing automation research.

MC MAS-Research Reports

Once you’ve decided if it’s the right option for your business, contact us to find out how to take your marketing efforts to the next level, including which automation services would be suited to your needs.

About Us: MarketCrest is a Marketing Consulting & Services firm focused exclusively on strategies that drive revenue growth. Simply put, we exist to help you compete and grow and we expect to be held accountable for your improved performance.

MarketCrest also provides Marketing Automation and CRM solutions, and services for clients. Learn more, and receive a free 1-hour consult with a marketing strategist.

 

 

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Why Inbound Marketing? What exactly is it, and what is the ROI?

Inbound Marketing With MarketCrest

It’s Time To Talk Inbound Marketing

We think it is time to dedicate a few posts to Inbound and Marketing Automation as MarketCrest is involved in an increasingly large amount of conversations about the purpose and value of modern marketing. For many companies, Inbound/Content Marketing and tools like HubSpot, Pardot, Marketo and SharpSpring are becoming the Go To Marketing strategy for B2B marketers.

In this post, we peek in on a article by Mike Volpe, of Hubspot, where he interviews his own CFO about the relationship between Inbound and a typical CFO.

Be a fly on the wall, and then contact us at sales@marketcrest.com for a Free Consult to see if Inbound Marketing might be right for your firm. Enjoy!

From Mike Volpe of HubSpot

“If you’ve ever wanted to get inside the head of a CFO, now’s your chance. I, (Mike Volpe of HubSpot), sat down with John to talk about the CFO perspective on marketing — from the approval process for an inbound marketing program to how the marketing budget is decided. Below are some excerpts from our conversation, which you can use as guidance for building a better working relationship with your own CFO.

An Interview with HubSpot CFO John Kinzer
Q: How effective do you think inbound marketing is, from your own experience?
From my own experience, I do think it’s effective. I’ve seen it’s success firsthand. For one, I personally don’t respond to cold calls or anything like that. And I always try to research things before I buy anything.

Here’s a great example. Last year, I bought a zipline for my three daughters. Literally, I searched the internet for “zipline” and I found this company called Zipline Gear. They had a great blog and YouTube videos that I learned a lot from. I’m not sure they were the least expensive, but they sounded like they knew what they were doing — so I ended up buying a zipline from them. That’s just a small example of how inbound marketing has worked on me.

Q: Do you think most CFOs think that marketing drives value?
To some extent, I’m sure we all do — but we also tend to view marketing as a black hole of expenses. We’re more apt to quote the classic line, “50% of my marketing is working, I just don’t know which 50%.” As a CFO, you’re always trying to get better metrics around marketing.

Fortunately, inbound marketing can give us those metrics. When I came to HubSpot, I saw that the marketing team does an amazing job of tracking what works. They track MQLs, SQLs, and marketing CAC across all markets. Knowing these metrics makes investing in marketing far more palatable for a CFO. I can see how marketing drives leads and produces customers. I can connect the dots and see that the marketing team really is driving value. So from that standpoint, marketing doesn’t seem like a black hole.

Q: CMOs often say their CFOs love PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising because it’s predictable and measurable. But they also say it’s hard to get their CFO’s buy-in to reallocate dollars from PPC to inbound marketing. What are your thoughts on PPC?
At previous companies, we didn’t use PPC that much because we had a clearly defined market. And, personally, I’ve never really clicked on PPC ads.

The way I think of PPC (and hope other CFOs would as well) is that PPC is like renting space on somebody else’s site. Blogs and other content you create, on the other hand, are assets you own that have a long shelf life. I know because at HubSpot, we get leads from blog posts written four to five years ago!

I think that the concept of renting versus owning really resonates with CFOs. If you’re doing inbound and building assets your company owns, you know that if you stopped doing any more blog posts, you’d still be generating leads for the foreseeable future. Whereas, once you stop funding PPC advertising, leads stop. Inbound marketing is also sort of like creating an annuity. It returns interest or leads ongoing without putting in more investment.

Q: Is it fair to say that inbound marketing has a compound interest effect?
Yes, especially because it brings in other people from social media. When that happens, new leads and markets can be discovered that we would never have encountered otherwise. A blog can be spread out all across the web and bring in referral links from all kinds of blogs, publications, and social media sites. That’s an amazing potential impact and a cost-effective way to attract qualified leads.

Q: In what ways do CFOs participate in marketing planning?
From a planning process, we do both bottom-up and top-down analysis. From the top-down perspective, we look at what comparable companies are spending on sales and marketing.

From a bottom-up perspective, we look at metrics such as CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost), which we separate between sales and marketing. We then compare that to the LTV (Lifetime Value of a customer). The higher the LTV to CAC ratio, the better return we’re getting on our investment.

When we start planning, as long as we can keep marketing CAC in a range that leads to these returns, then we’re comfortable. We’re especially lucky to have a financially savvy CMO like you, who’s very bottom-line driven. So, as long as you stay in that range, we know you’re making good one-off decisions and we don’t need to micromanage how you’re spending that money.

We also look at MQLs and SQLs. As long as our Senior VP of Global Sales, Hunter Madeley, is getting enough leads for his team to hit their sales targets, we know the process is working and the company is doing well. In summary, I look at high-level metrics and then let you (the CMO) manage how you spend the budget.

Q: How do you decide what budget to approve for marketing?
First of all, we come up with sales goals and customers necessary to hit our growth goals. We then back into the marketing budget necessary to drive those customers using the historical CAC. It’s then up to you as the CMO to put together a budget that fits into that framework and we iterate from there.”

We will revisit Inbound again on our next post. Until then, read the remainder here at HubSpot:  or reach us here: Contact MarketCrest

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SEO-Social Media-Lead Nurturing: Voice of clarity from Spokal Founder

Spokal

Sharing a great article sent from Chris Mack the Spokal CEO and Founder. Enjoy SEOSocial MediaLead Nurturing.

“Are you reading blog post after blog post on online marketing? Watching webinars put out by every guru trying to figure out the ‘trick’ to online marketing?

You can stop right now. There are some shortcuts. There are some hacks. But the gurus aren’t sharing them until they’re already used up. You see, all those ‘secret tricks’ – they have a limited lifespan. And while they’re hot, they’re being used by people who spend their entire days, their livelihood, working at it. As a small business owner with more things to worry about – you’re not going to get access to the information in time, or be able to compete because unlike them – internet marketing is not your business.

Focus on the fundamentals. The building blocks.

Build a solid foundation with proven strategies that work and have lasted the test of time. Once you’re seeing results with that and understand the basics – then you can branch out into ‘new tactics’ if you want to experiment. You’ll also be in a better position to tell which ones might work from all the noise out there.

The good news is that there are only 3 fundamentals.

1. SEO

2. Social Media

3. Lead Nurturing

Today I’m going to talk about the first.

SEO

SEO is about getting found in search engines. It stands for Search Engine Optimization. Search engines are a fantastic source of traffic to your site, because people find you when they’re actively researching or buying.

Getting ranked in Google is IMPORTANT. But it’s also slow.

If you’re currently getting 20 visitors a month to your site (and 10 of those are your friends and family), then expecting to get thousands in the next 30 days is not going to happen. Well it could. But then, you could win the lottery too. The odds are about the same.

It IS possible to do that in 6-9 months. If that sounds too long, don’t worry, search engines aren’t the only source of traffic to your site. We’ll show you how to get traffic faster, WHILE still pursuing the long-term advantage of being highly ranked in Google in an upcoming email (hint: that Twitter guide we already sent you – that’s a FANTASTIC way to speed things up)

Optimizing for SEO *IS* a long-term strategy. It probably won’t make much difference to your business in the first month. Or the second. Or maybe even the third. But things will start to roll, and then it becomes an unstoppable train.

Like rolling a snowball – the longer you roll it, the bigger it gets. Eventually, it’s no longer a snowball, but the base of snowman. It compounds over time.

You can also look at it like going to the gym. If you go to the gym once and expect to have that perfect beach-ready body, well, you’re probably going to be disappointed. But if you keep going to the gym, it’s pretty much inevitable. And if, once you’ve reached a physical state of perfection you stop going to the gym, you don’t automatically gain 20 lbs. You still enjoy the benefits of all the hard work you put in. Sure, slowly it will deteriorate, but you’ll still be looking good for quite some time. SEO is exactly the same.

So what do you have to do?

WRITE! (or create videos or other content).

You have to put something out there for people to find. A 5 page website doesn’t cut it anymore. You need to create content regularly – at least one blog post a week. While this might sound like just more work on top of an already busy schedule – it’s a great opportunity to not only increase leads to your business, but build trust with them before you even speak to them.

It’s an opportunity to tell the world what you do, how you do it, and what you think. It’s how you differentiate yourself in an increasingly competitive world. It’s an opportunity to reach people you could never have otherwise reached.

It’s a small business owner’s dream come true. Never before in the history of the world has it been possible for small businesses to compete for eyeballs with larger ones. They could always out-bid, out-budget, out-spend their way in every marketing channel. But the internet isn’t like that (as much). People find you.

The second requirement is doing some analysis on what to focus on. If you focus on things that noone is searching about in Google – well, it won’t be as effective as if you focus on things with lots of searches. On the flip side, if what you write about is highly competitive on Google – then your odds of ranking highly for it are very low. You’ll pretty much be invisible. It’s important to go after the right terms.

Third is optimizing your posts for search engines and social media sharing.

Spokal has all these tools built in, but you can do this using free keyword research tools, and a free plugin on your WordPress site called Yoast.

Write what you wish you could tell everybody. What to look for when evaluating service providers in your industry, or the type of product you sell.

If you’re short of ideas – open up your inbox. Find questions your customers and leads have asked you – take the answers you gave them, and write them up in a bigger blog post. Then send that customer a link to it – they’ll love it!)”

—————————–

We have no affiliation with Spokal, just respect for Chris and his team’s knowledge. Visit the Spokal home page and their other blog articles by clicking the link below:

http://www.getspokal.com/blog/

MarketCrest is a firm focused exclusively on Marketing Consulting & Services that drive revenue growth. Simply, we exist to help you compete and grow and we expect to be held accountable for your improved performance. Learn more, and receive a free 1-hour consult.

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The Value of Persona Development & List Segmentation

B2B Marketing Techniques: Yes, investing time in persona development and list segmentation is worth it.

persona development and list segmentation marketcrest

Two of the most influential ways to market your business include implementing the techniques of persona development and list segmentation.

Not only do these practices help to efficiently identify your target market, but they help business owners and CEOs determine the most effective strategies for attracting, engaging, and satisfying their clients. Not to mention the practice has been proven to help win business and boost profits.

Uninformed marketing, the kind that is commonly used to blindly attract anyone and everyone, tends to end up in the mundane, unsuccessful category. It doesn’t stand out from the crowd. It fails to make a convincing argument to the audience. By taking the time to determine who your business is best suited for, business owners and CEOs can optimize their marketing budget and maximize ROI.

List Segmentation

The first step includes segmentation, or the classification of individuals into various groups based on specific characteristics or qualities. Once these subgroups have been determined, distinguishing tactics can be implemented so that each subset is adequately addressed. In order to pull this off, business owners should tap into a variety of supporting data from various resources.

When deciding which target markets are most applicable to your brand, the following criteria are crucial for successful market segmentation:

  • The group must be large enough to produce substantial income.
  • The market must be consistent and not at risk for dissipation or disappearance from the general population.
  • The group has a general history of responsiveness or reactivity to being targeted from an advertising standpoint.
  • The characteristics that determine the subsets must be clear, measurable, and exact.
  • Reaching the subset does not require any additional or excessive expense.
  • Individually specific consumers can be targeted from the group.
  • Your marketing strategies must be capable of reaching said group.
  • The subsets offer relevant supporting data that enhances and improves your approach to sales and marketing.

Marketing experts often use geographical identifiers like country, states, regions, cities, languages, postal codes or even neighborhoods to help narrow down a specific group of targeted consumers.

Another option for marketing segmentation includes the classification of customers based on demographic information like age, education level, current occupation, and/or gender.

Using a combination of both geographical and demographical descriptors is often referred to as a geo-cluster approach to segmentation, and this method helps business leaders to identify an even more specific audience.

Internal segmenting of customer accounts is often used as a business model to help organize territory based sales tactics. For example, client accounts grouped by industry type, transaction volume history, or nature of the developed relationship can all help to identify the most loyal accounts and those that are most likely to conduct continued business with your company. 

persona development marketcrest

Once your target markets have been established, a key to successful marketing campaigns is the development of personas.

Persona Development

This requires business professionals to place themselves “in the shoes” of their own customers and create a hypothetical individual that is likely to do business with their company. In theory, these characters are real people, with real identifiers, realistic characteristics, and relevant needs. So, how do you generate these marketing personas?

Start by considering the following questions:

Describe your persona’s demographic characteristics. Are they male or female? How old are they? What do they do for a living?

In the B2C world, you might leverage whom they live with and what necessities keep their household afloat. In B2B, not so much.

You can, however leverage other characteristics. How do they make choices when it comes to spending money? What advertising techniques are most influential to them? What types of outlets or platforms are pivotal to their buying choices?

Determine which departments are most likely to be involved (ie: Information Technology, Purchasing, Sales, Marketing etc.) and why. What is the driving force behind their activity or interactions with your company’s industry? How might they communicate with your competitors or other businesses with products and/or services similar to yours?

And also…

Why are they choosing to engage with you specifically? What is the extent of your relationship with them? Do they need special attention or accommodations? What are their goals? Where is this relationship going?

What media platforms are most useful in transmitting helpful information regarding your company’s products and/or services? Are they conducting online searches or using social media accounts? What keywords might they be using to help them locate your company online?

Are there any other influencing factors like product reviews, personal success stories, or specific details concerning merchandise that might be driving their decision to reach out and conduct business with you?

People tend to be very complex, so the more you can develop your marketing personas, the more relatable, realistic, and successful they will become.

Dive deeper and expand the character of your persona(s) with the following suggestions.

Tap into third party resources for statistical information regarding your persona’s demographics or habits. Existing data is incredibly informative and applicable to further strengthening the potential of your persona.

Consider how your persona might interact in real life. Use those scenarios to help you create strategies for conversation and communication to your target audience.

Take advantage of any opportunities to implement social media platforms that are relevant to your persona. As society continues to depend on technology, these free resources are becoming popular and effective tools for reaching your buyers.

So why exactly should businesses take the time to segment and develop marketing personas?

Personas should be used to help your business team come up with marketing strategies all across the board. Collectively determine which personas are most likely to conduct business with your company on a regular basis.

Which personas are least likely to spend their money with you? If you narrow down your marketing target, you are more likely to secure your best accounts and generate dependable, predictable transactions. Failure to develop well defined personas, can result in futile marketing attempts that do not reach the correct audience.

In addition, successful personas allow business leaders to connect, relate, and communicate with their clients on a more personal level. This type of relationship has a proven track record for establishing loyalty, longevity, and overall customer satisfaction.

If you get to know your clients like you do close friends and family, they will be more likely to recommend your product and/or services to others. It will also keep the doors wide open to smoother communication when conducting your business transactions. You will have the tools to identify the specific needs of your clients, and you will know best how to address them.

Here are just a few examples of how marketing personas can help you maximize your business capabilities.

  • Defining your company’s distinguishing qualities
  • Shining light on internal changes that might help enhance current client relations
  • Determining the most effective ways to present your company’s brand
    Shaping pricing structures, discounts, bundles, etc.

So, not only can segmentation and marketing personas help businesses shape their advertising and branding tactics, but they can help businesses to determine the most effective business practices that are most likely to result in long term, profitable relationships with their clients.

MarketCrest is a firm focused exclusively on Marketing Consulting & Services that drive revenue growth. Simply, we exist to help you compete and grow and we expect to be held accountable for your improved performance. Learn more, and receive a free 1-hour consult and Get Help NOW!

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