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The simple truth about what’s driving digital next year


Someone recently asked me what I thought the future of marketing was going to look like: what’s driving digital next year and, most importantly, how marketers can prepare for the seemingly ever-shifting changes brought about by digital. This remains a critical question and one that I spend a huge amount of time thinking about for clients and my own business alike. hard and b.) Coincidence?

Why content marketing complements (but doesn’t replace) link building


Content marketing has often been conflated with link building. In fact, numerous SEOs have declared content marketing to be the new link building. But there’s one problem: Content marketing doesn’t actually secure links without promotion. And manual promotion with the goal of links is, well, link building. Content Marketing and Link Building Aren’t Interchangeable. Link earning is a fallacy.

10 essentials missing from your business website


You want a business website that sells. If your online marketing fails to pull in prospects, then you may be missing some essential digital marketing features. There are plugins and website features that make your life easier. Having a place for people to comment, send you information, and follow or sign up for content can reduce the amount of effort it takes to connect with online customers.

Add For Immediate Release to your podcast queue


A couple Sundays ago I met up with Joseph Thornley , Lynette Young , and Shel Holtz on video Skype to record episode 15 of Shel’s industry-trusted and industry-respected PR podcast,  For Immediate Release , AKA the FIR Podcast. Out of thin air, and fulfilling a dream, Shel asked me if I might be willing to join a hand-picked panel of PR professionals and I jumped on it. Go git ’em!

Six Key Steps to Successful Marketing Automation Adoption

Selecting a Marketing Automation platform can be a daunting task. With so many options out there, your success with Marketing Automation depends on selecting the platform that best fits your needs.

If you post it will they come?


I work harder promoting my online content than I do writing the posts themselves. And so does everyone else, including mainstream media. If you build it, they won’t come unless you get the party started yourself. Not even revolutions just happen. Everything requires a  vanguard of the proletariat , a catalyst , a shove , a newsie , a  royal entrance fanfare , even the King ! Like this post?

Audience Lab is a secret weapon for political advertisers


Audience Lab is a secret weapon for political advertisers who are interesting in only reaching their target audience surgically every time instead of wasting time, money, and goodwill by firing for effect at best and carpet bombing at worst. This is game-changing. Why war? The less the gun lobby knows the better the chances that they won’t  be able to mount a counter-offensive. Good to go.

How long should your online business video production be?


In the office, commuting to work, and during off hours; on our desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile devices…we are all watching more online videos for business than ever before. We watch online videos to get informed and make decisions across every stage of the purchase cycle… and this trend will only increase over the next few years. Will people watch more than 30 seconds? 180 seconds?

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How even social media & social selling experts are getting LinkedIn wrong – Part 1


In previous posts, I shared how CMOs at Xerox, Lithium, G2Crowd, Wiley, and XOJet are getting LinkedIn wrong as they simply focused on brand awareness, reach, and filling the funnel. showed how the actions of these CMOs and others are the reasons behind why 8 out of 10 sales and marketing leaders are unable to prove a clear social media ROI on LinkedIn. Rifles trump shotguns in this case!

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

25 B2B marketing thought leaders answer the question "What do you expect to B2B marketers to be doing more of or differently in 2016?" The results are amazing insights around content marketing, achieving business results, alignment, employee advocacy, new technologies, customer experience and more.

Earned media influencer marketing demands your awesome


I’ll be honest with you, relatively few companies can conduct a successful earned media influencer marketing campaign. Earned Earned media (or free media) refers to publicity gained through promotional efforts other than advertising, as opposed to paid media , which refers to publicity gained through advertising. That’s cool. Earned media influencer marketing is time-consuming.

Are you taking advantage of B2B marketing data?


Frequent readers know that most of my marketing experience is B2B rather than B2C, and that virtually everything I do is data driven. So, perhaps you might think that I didn’t have much to learn when I picked up  B2B Data-Driven Marketing by fellow Biznology blogger Ruth Stevens and Theresa Kushner. Wrong. And that was just in the first couple of chapters.). Like this post?

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Your team is the best content source for search


If there’s anyone in your world who can pass the duck test , it’s your employees. There’s nobody else anywhere who looks more like a duck, swims more like a duck, and quacks more like a duck, then your staff. So, don’t duck your staff when your aim is to win at search. Admit it. That’s smart. But it doesn’t need to be hard. How about  James Lipton ? Jimmy Fallon?)

Analyze your target’s buying process, for greater marketing efficiency


B2B selling is a complicated affair, but you can simplify your marketing strategies dramatically with buying process analysis. This means that you lay out your prospect’s buying process, stage by stage, and then develop a selling process that maps to it. Voila! Your marketing investments will become much more efficient, being applied to their best use. Let’s look at how this works. And so on.

Socialize your videos for business development


People spend more than 100,000,000 hours every day  watching video on Facebook , which will soon be 100% video, according to Mark Zuckerberg. Sales and marketing people take note: v ideo is a medium used for everyday social communication. That makes sense — it’s just another thing we do with a smartphone.  Use Video to Activate Other Media. On-demand product demonstration videos. Video blogs.

8 Ways to Create More Effective Lead Generation Programs

Explore key areas you should focus on with your content syndication strategy in order to help you get the attention of your target audience and build trust.

Build a page and profile for absolutely everything


Summary : if you have multiple locations and/or multiple products, you need to create social media channels for every single one of them. If you have several 9Round franchises in Northern Virginia , you need to have a Twitter , Facebook, Google+ , Instagram , and Foursquare/Swarm profile for each one. People are mobile. bandited @9RoundPenrose because I want to mention my new 9Round Gym. Right?

Why 9Round should be using SOCi for social media management


OK, this may well be my weirdest post ever, so bear with me. This isn’t actually happening; it’s theoretical. SOCi is a former client and 9Round is my new HIIT kickboxing gym. I pay 9Round Penrose money to use their gym. And, And, as a gym, they’re taking over. They currently have 311 locations in 8 countries via franchise. It was frustrating. He saw the post and we chatted.

The state of the blogger outreach union ten years on


I stared my first blogger outreach agency back in 2006. Called AbrahamPR it evolved into Abraham Harrison a year later. Now Gerris Corp , I am still offering influencer engagement campaigns to my clients. Ten years on, the state of the union of blogger outreach is good for brands and agencies but great for the bloggers and online influencers. Blogging Isn’t Cool. Blogging is Hard. Groan.

The business of reviews and search and for small hotels and restaurants


If you run a small hotel, restaurant, cafe, or small business, you can win my business away from Marriott International by just being awesome and having all your guests gush about you online in authentic, open, persuasive, and passionate reviews and testimonials. And, over the last week, I have had an amazing experience with a local hotel that should never have earned me as a guest but did. Yikes

A Blueprint for Content Marketing Success

84% of marketers plan to increase their content marketing spend over the next 5 years but less than half have any real confidence such content investments are paying off, based on a recent CEB survey.

Help Google help you optimize your content for search


It’s really hard to get Google’s attention. Content marketing is indeed a silver bullet — why do you think I’m writing this — but there are ways of wooing search engines beyond starting a blog. Google loves structured data. We try to make it clearer by using categories and tags, but it’s often for naught. Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes. Chile Relleno Recipe.

Influencer marketing tools of the trade


We’re off to the races! Dan Krueger and I just launched a new influencer marketing campaign on behalf of the best pure, extra virgin, raw cold pressed, and alkaline coconut oil, Skinny Coconut Oil. So, since blogger outreach is at the top of mind, I thought I would talk a little bit about the tools of the trade — what we use to stoke excitement about our clients! OK, now on to tools.

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Do-it-yourself influencer marketing


Chris Abraham’s latest webinar was about influencer marketing. You built it, where are they? Unless you’re a celebrity, influencers won’t come to your open mic night unless you’ve already won them over. Learn to get the attention of potential natural allies and fans, connect with them, and appeal to their interests and passions to benefit your brand in a million ways, often for free.

Why don’t more marketers use keyword research?


I recently had the privilege to sit in on FIR B2B episode 45 : a podcast by Paul Gillin and David Strom. When my wife heard it, she said they sound like the “Click and Clack of tech.” Needless to say, it was a lot of fun. I had a few belly laughs and we also covered some serious topics. brief description: you build digital experiences using the words and phrases of your target audience.

The Ultimate Guide to Content Experience

The process of content marketing has typically been defined by a three-pillar system that consists of “Creation”, “Distribution”, and “Insights”. However, this system neglects to include the significant fourth pillar of content marketing: Experience.

How to implement a Video 1st content marketing strategy that drives action


Because of the importance consumers and business decision makers are putting on content, many marketers and business owners are challenged with how to create the ongoing flow of quality business content that they need to drive their marketing objectives. Why a Video First content marketing strategy makes sense. Back in 2005, we mostly used the internet for browsing. Forget about video! Take

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The big challenge for big brands today: authenticity


Before the internet, marketers had relatively free reign for making questionable competitive claims, creating a brand image of superiority, and hence demanding a premium price. But the internet has changed the ground rules. Instant access to endless information and objective feedback from friends has enabled consumers to seek and find the truth behind such promises. Like this post?

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It’s normal to be bad before you’re good


attended Ira Glass ‘ talk at Wolf Trap last Saturday and my take-away is :  it’s normal to be bad before you’re good. That’s not a license to suck, it’s a challenge that as long as your writing is concise, your audio is clear, and your video is well-lit enough, then the rest of it is really a rabbit hole. 3)  Don’t let your tools get in the way of your creativity.

What is structured content?


Structured content is the most important trend in digital marketing that you’ve probably never heard of. Of all the stories and advice in our book Outside-In Marketing: Using Big Data to Guide Your Content Marketing , the one that has attracted the most questions from my colleagues is the section on structured content. Though important, AMP pages just improve load times for your mobile users.

Why B2B Content Strategies Are Paramount for Generating Quality Leads

Generating demand and ensuring the consistent flow of high-quality, actionable leads is what makes B2B marketers successful.

Why SEO is just the start for digital marketing


Congratulations. You’ve won! You show up on the first page when the world searches for the goods or services you offer. Maybe you’ve even reached the peak and rank first for valuable keywords in your industry. Why in heavens not? Oh, right: traffic doesn’t pay the bills. Customers pay the bills. More specifically, profitable customer engagements pay the bills. Traffic isn’t the end goal.

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6 studies show why Facebook organic reach is declining so quickly


50,000,000+ businesses have a Facebook page. 1.48 is the average number of times these brands post each day. 2% is their Facebook organic reach and it’s declining (source: DMR ). 50,000,000 businesses post 1.5 times a day to reach just 2%, a small and shrinking percentage of their audience. Why is Facebook organic reach declining so fast? What can business do? Here are 6 studies to explain.

Time to abandon spray-and-pray lead generation


A couple of years ago, a client told me he was having some lead quality problems. The company had contracted with a major IT publisher for a webcast that guaranteed 150 leads. But the leads weren’t panning out; the quality was terrible and salespeople were pointing the finger at marketing. offered to check it out myself, and over the next few days spoke to 20 people on the list at random.

Selling is to hunting like marketing is to trapping


Always remember: don’t forget to keep on selling. Put that coffee down,  coffee’s for closers only. Are you a brilliant genius when it comes to search engine optimization? Are you a digital PR god ? Do you live and breathe social media marketing ? It’s 2016! Everyone needs to always be selling, always be closing (ABC). Selling is hard. People value your connections.

2016 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study

To build a world-class marketing program, it's crucial to compare yourself to the best performers - but competitor data can be scarce.

10 secrets to research the best SEO keywords


SEO is a puzzle to some. Researching the best SEO keywords is an essential part of your online strategy, that is, if you want to be seen. Before slapping content up on a website, be sure you’ve done your keyword research. As a content marketer, you easily find that search engine optimization (SEO) can kill your online sales and prospects if not executed properly. Don’t Fight the Competition.

Act casual, and write your website content


Do things get awkward when people visit your website? Time to make a switch in tone or voice. Just act casual , and write your website content. Your look, text, and message should resonate with your audience. Who are you talking to, anyway? Writing in a casual conversational manner is crucial to the success of your website content. Identify your people and how they talk to you. Like this post?

What’s the killer app in B2B marketing? Face-to-face events


I was teaching B2B digital marketing in Buenos Aires this month, and found some of my students to be dismayed by one data point that came up again and again in the course: of all tactics in the B2B marketing toolkit, the most valued, the most used, and the most effective is face-to-face events. It’s not digital, except tangentially. Why is this the case, and what does that mean for us marketers?

Influencer marketing should not be about collecting influencers


Before I start, please attend my free webinar on March 22,  Do-It-Yourself Influencer Marketing. The worst thing about the internet has been the commodification of friendship. Even before the internet, I am sure you’ve been to a mixer and have seen people really work the room. Like their kissing cousins–ladies men–these folks go from person to person, collecting digits. Ready?

10 Key Marketing Trends for 2016

Learn how you can deliver the outstanding cross-channel experiences your contacts want.