Monthly Archives: August 2011

Five ways to integrate compelling video into your B2B marketing

My latest post as expert B2B marketing contributor on Dave Chaffey’s excellent Smart Insights blog went live today.

 

Video is an incredibly powerful way of bringing a product, brand or company to life and really positioning features, benefits and personality that can’t be conveyed using static media.

But, companies need to avoid gimmicks if they are to be seen as credible. The post offers five ideas for developing engaging video and offers five examples of businesses that have used them.

SmartInsights is fast becoming a ‘go-to’ digital marketing resource for marketers and business owners at every level of digital confidence. 50,000 unique visitors hit the website every month, 10,000 are subscribed to the weekly email newsletter, 1,650 follow on Facebook, 1,200 are members of the Linkedin group and 2,400 follow via Twitter. Bookmark the site now sign up for the weekly email by clicking through here.

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Hubspot’s The Science of Social Media

I’ve been spending some time familiarising myself with some of the latest thinking on all things social media – and especially as new developments relate to B2B marketing.

Dan Zarrella and the team at Hubspot have done an incredible job of creating a content and permission based assets that people the world over have come to rely on. This helps them in no small measure convert interested prospects to transactional customers and well over 4000 use their software to boost their digital marketing activity.

Their latest project has been around applying some scientific thought to social media to try and take the randomness out of it and work out which approaches garner the best results. Interestingly, the slide set seeks to explode some common myths.

Unfortunately, much of it doesn’t make a great deal of sense without a narrative, but there are some interesting observations.  (Note there is an on-demand launch webinar available on the site).

The key takeouts for me are as follows:

1. Engaging in social media isn’t enough. You need to create interesting relevant content.

2. Confident profile biographies and pictures matter whilst asking for retweets rather than RTs make a significant difference.

3. Don’t talk about yourself too much. People are interested in how they can develop, improve, be more efficient.

Links worth a click #9

At the end of every week, I look to pull some highlights from the huge amount of marketing and technology content I stumble across each week online. Here is a round up of this week’s ‘must reads’.

Mobile: As more people access the web through their phones, greater consideration needs to be given to the web experience on a significantly reduced screen. Here are five simple steps to getting started with mobile marketing.

Keywords and SEO: 4 helpful tools including some bespoke Hubspot tools for identifying the right keywords.

Social media ROI: A guide to measuring the results of your social media strategy [Infographic]

Engagement: Hubspot has conducted research that suggest engaging in conversation doesn’t grow your reach which is at odds with widely held beliefs [Infographic]

Last week I posted part one of a series on blogging from expert Jeff Bullas, How a Blogger can Build a Global Audience from Zero. Here’s part two: Marketing & Momentum

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Problem solving vs. market creation

Interesting and very readable slide set looking at how some of the biggest companies, trailblazing brands and cutting edge products and services didn’t actually set out to solve an existing problem.

They were the result of incredible gambles on future trends that for the most part paid off.

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More compelling reasons to use Twitter

Here’s a great little infographic for the stats fans amongst you. It chronicles some of the headline numbers in respect to Twitter use.

It is truly fascinating to see just how many users and tweets are involved now, especially as the platform has been live for barely five years. And, from a business perspective, more companies and more brands are using Twitter to develop their profile, amplify their reach, deliver their campaigns and deepen the ties with their target customers.

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Riot brands: The dangers of chasing the lifetime customer

Brand reputation has never been more firmly in the spotlight thanks to the recent riots that took place across England. A systematic breakdown in law and order for just a few days ensured that many of the country’s leading brands had their high street stores looted by a demographic they have spent years seducing.

It is no surprise that the very brands that have actively solicited the youth pound, whether they were JD Sports, T-Mobile, Foot Locker, Miss Selfridge and gadgets purveyors Dixons Stores Group, were the ones that were dealt the most savage treatment at the hands of rioters.

In an age where the disparity between the have’s and the have not’s has perhaps never been greater, it was inevitable that so many youngsters decided to take a chance to secure something for free, when Londoners were allowed to do so just a few nights previously.

RIM’s Blackberry together with its Messenger platform, which allows people to communicate instantly without trace or record, has been singled out by the authorities for criticism.  Blackberry remains the dominant smart phone of choice amongst the young because of the expense and contractual arrangements required to secure an Apple iPhone. Messenger is a powerful and cost-free communication platform. A great position to be in, but left unchecked, it becomes a dangerous tool that criminals can take full advantage of.

So, where does this leave brand strategy?

Attracting the young is an important strategy in many markets because it presents the opportunity to nurture the mythical ‘life time customer’. I say mythical because on one hand, in the age of unrivalled choice, improving own brand quality, and a decline in real-term disposable income, I doubt they exist. But from another they clearly do. Clothing brands like G-Star-Raw, for example, represent a specific gangster lifestyle. There is a swagger about the models, an attitude, an arrogance.

Clothing giant Burberry had a huge problem a few years back, ironically caused by its main USP it’s check design. The market was flooded with cheap copies and Burberry became the clothing of the class termed ‘chavs’. Burberry has steered a steady path to return to its premium positioning and the company recently reported incredible profits.

The lesson for brands? I think as a responsible brand owner, be careful what you wish for. Assess the long term viability of a target cluster of customers and think carefully about how to service their evolving needs.

Images: Newquaysurfer and Gadgethelpline

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Avoiding Linkedin group fatigue

Once the first destination for job seekers, Linkedin has fast developed its abilIty to cater for the needs of the modern business professional. In part a response to the phenomenal viral uptake of Facebook, the Linkedin boffins factored in a range of specific functionality to draw professionals into spending more time on the site.

More recently this has included blog plug-ins, news digests (Linkedin Today) and Status Updates, but it is the older ones that work the best.

Recent research suggests that over half of registered users now frequent one of the many thousand groups. Most lurk, watching and listening whilst a small, vocal minority set the agenda and contribute to the discussion. As you might expect, there is a group covering everything – as my current list below shows.

But there is creep. As groups are increasingly seen as the gateway to influence, more are springing up. People are starting more groups, which means more digests, more alerts, more email. Unless you opt out, you’re signing yourself up to the daily or weekly digest of activity – and if you join a discussion, you risk receiving an email every time a single subsequent response is posted thereafter.

If like me, you are a member of a large number of geographical, sector, job specific and special interest groups, your inbox can pretty quickly start to look like this. Information brings knowledge, but everyday, this can become overpowering.

When it comes to Linkedin matters, most users forget the settings they activated when they joined. For groups. it is as simple as switching the activation of daily to weekly email alerts to avoid the level of email above every day if you don’t want it.

Or not being in so many groups!

How often do you check the relevance of the groups you are a member of? Chances are you rely on only a handful.

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