In the world of business and economics, there is the Pareto Principle – it describes that 20% of our actions contributes to 80% of our results. Generally speaking, this applies in the marketing industry too! Small marketing tasks and fixes can definitely make a big difference or build up to create a greater impact.
When I meet with prospects and discuss the need for a content strategy, they either...

·         Admit they don't know what I'm talking about 

·         Glaze over, nod and agree (though I know we are not on the same page)

·         Or say they've tried content marketing, but in reality they have not or have not done it well, to say the least

While the marketing world is all abuzz about content marketing, it is very difficult to put together a well thought-out, custom designed, highly effective strategy.  Before I jump into how to create an effective content marketing strategy, let's first start with the definition.
If you thought email marketing was dead, think again. To show the modern value of email marketing ,Adestra completed a study measuring consumer opinions and behavior when it comes to email. The researchers surveyed more than 1,200 respondents, from teenagers to Baby Boomers and asked how they interacted with, and think about, the email messages they receive.

Here are just a few important facts taken from this study:

  • 43% of consumers give a real email address when they come to a website that asks for an email before continuing
  • 80% of consumers (across all demos) actually unsubscribe from emails they no longer wish to receive
  • 59% of consumers leave an email unread if they plan to read it later, 33% flag it
It goes without saying that spammy emails are not going to get read, they will be blocked and you will not have a successful campaign.

Buying lists are unreliable and legally you can't email people who have not willingly given you their email address.  

Here is what your need to do to ensure a successful email marketing campaign.
Landing pages are one of the most important elements of a lead generation campaign. In fact, according to MarketingSherpa’s research, landing pages are effective for 94% of B2B and B2C companies. So why are so few companies using them?

A landing Page is a single page within your website where you can direct visitors to one particular offer without the distractions of everything else on your website. Visitors are on a landing page for one and only purpose: to complete the lead capture form.
How do you respond to a week that goes completely opposite as planned?  In business we know that having processes in place is what makes for efficient operations, but what about when those operations don't work?

My week has been anything but normal and this disruption may be just what my businesses needed.  When you hear the term disruption, do you think of a disturbance that interrupts an event, activity, or process?  Or do you think of it as Clayton Christensen has defined: disruption that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market, displacing the established?

What I have found is that these can be two-sides of the same coin.  I realize that saying both definitions of 'disruption' work together is a bit like saying we should make lemonade out of the lemons we've been dealt.

Here's how I made something positive out of a week that went off the typical process.
We all know that having a website is vital to any business.  It is your digital storefront, greeter and initial explanation of your businesses products or services.

While websites can be optimized for better lead generation, what do you do for customers who are not coming directly to your website?  Here are three marketing tools that will help you gain more leads.
Google Analytics can be a very effective tool for entrepreneurs if you know how to use it correctly. Not only does it inform you of your sites digital traffic flow and about new incoming traffic; it also helps raise revenue for your apps or online business sites.  Amazing right?
Sometimes we're in conflict between our marketing professional selves and our personal or professional buyer selves. I'm in conflict now as I try to get my home back together after a hail storm pummeled our roof, fence and who knows what.   

My conflict is seeing how repair services are marketed to us and how as a buyer I perceive their efforts to meet my needs .  Yes, I see the hail storm as an opportunity for them. They have services and products in need, a well-defined target audience, and a high rate of anticipated purchase for their product.  For excitement, they face multiple competitors in a race to a sale.

This could be a chance to see multiple marketing styles and find out what works best on me.  It's a good test because all contenders start out the same.  No company has an inside track or perceived advantage. I was not already in the market, had not contacted any suppliers, no former suppliers have claimed me, and my insurance company offered only vague guidelines, no company recommendations. So how did they do?
The trend for small businesses is not adding more staff, but hiring an industry expert partner. Managing employees takes investment in training, paying for benefits, and so on.  Even worse, what if that individual is not the right fit for you business culture, then what?

What makes more sense is to hire a partner that off-sets the business owners weaknesses. Not as an employee, but as an adviser.

Here are some key reasons entrepreneurs should consider the outsourcing route.
I know the advice is usually Always Be Closing, but I think testing your marketing not only comes first but it's a critical element in bringing people to the table so you can close them.

User testing is a best practice in marketing. No element of the plan or facet of execution is exempt from the drive to find a better way. So unless you're considering a better way to present your plan to management or a way to connect people with the right content sooner you may be overlooking a better way to better results.

I'm all for user testing.  As an agency copywriter I worked on Fortune 500 accounts.  User testing gave us precise data on what worked for them.  Commercial formats were described by the test-winning techniques, plots and actions they contained.  Another highly targeted B2B company restricted colored headlines and concept graphics for ground breaking announcements figuring if they used them for everything they would use up the high scoring magic.   My requests to test something new were put off in place of tests that combined known winning elements such as a bigger graphic plus a colored headline.
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