As a regular feature, we provide our readers with a roundup of some of the best articles we have read in the past week. On the podium this week are Social Media Explorer, TopRank, Financial Post, Forrester, Forbes, Copyblogger, and Startup North.
We are all looking for the latest nugget of data that will help us optimize our social media strategies for success. Every time we see a post with an infographic about the best time to tweet or what social networks our audience is using we get excited thinking it’s just the right information to help us take our social media strategy to the next level. That’s why you see so many status updates hyping the data because it’s finally the answer we’ve been looking for … or is it?
Just as every B2B company stakes a claim to a market position, each of them has a story to share. The challenge is in figuring out how to share that story in a way that aligns with the needs and priorities of prospects and customers. But it’s not just about sharing the story. It’s about making the story so compelling that it elevates perceptions of value and urgency resulting in more qualified leads and faster purchasing momentum. Author Lee Odden teaches us to do just that.
Last month, Montreal entrepreneur Étienne Garbugli closed the door on his nine-month-old software startup. But not before he blogged about the decision, and listed all the lessons he had learned trying to build a product for a market that wasn’t there. Encountering Garbugli’s blog, author Rick Spence was impressed by his openness and his willingness to admit mistakes. Lessons learned from the school of hard knocks are the best lessons — and relevant to established entrepreneurs as well as startups. Spence called Garbugli to learn more for this post.
Forrester research shows that today’s B2B buyer will find three pieces of content about a vendor for every one piece that marketing can publish or sales can deliver. They are finding this content in an ever-expanding number and variety of channels. And they are accessing these channels from an increasingly diverse array of devices. Without debate, the business from business buyer is already much more multichannel than the business to business sellers are. Analyst Lori Wizdo makes the case that marketers should stop thinking about campaigns and start thinking engagement.
Everything we read today about marketing is focused on shiny new toys: social media, digital content, interactivity, SEO, viral video, etc. We are made to feel that unless we have a suite of apps, continually tweet, engage in Facebook conversations, have a fully interactive website, arrange crowd sourcing and flash mobs, we are failing as marketers. Of course there is some truth to this as our core consumers continuously change their habits and behaviours and the need to achieve and cut through in an increasingly crowded market is vital. But — and it’s a big but — none of this should be at the expense of core marketing activities.
Guest blogging is one of the most effective strategies to build your audience because providing smart, well-written content on someone else’s site is a great way to efficiently hit a number of audience-growing strategies at the same time. It’s also robust: unlike certain other strategies, guest blogging will stay strong despite what Google or other titans may do. And if you tackle it strategically, guest blogging drives traffic (and other benefits) back to your site and builds your audience. For your consideration today, here are four ways that guest blogging can grow your audience … which means growing your business.
Within a marketing strategy, it goes without saying that target audiences are a key consideration. For all the focus on nurturing an idea, addressing a point of pain and developing a product, the ability to achieve traction hinges on the ability to connect with target audiences. Again, it’s an obvious statement. The trick and challenge is identifying target audiences, their demographics, needs and buying behaviour. For some products, target audiences can be straightforward, while other products appeal to a variety of target audiences with slightly different needs. Author Mark Evans explains why, for startups, getting a good grasp on target audiences can sometimes be a challenge.
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