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How Services Firms Grow with Online Marketing (Guest Post)

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A note from Janice: Professional services for activities such as infrastructure assessments, deployment planning, and outsourced IT operations are a significant revenue stream for many technology companies. There is one exception, however: both average and high growth firms focus equally on sending company newsletters, a popular tool that has been around for quite some time.

Four Tips to Guarantee Freelancer Websites Deliver Great Results (Guest Post)

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A note from Janice: I know that not every technology company has the budget to hire a freelance technical copywriter with my depth of subject knowledge, writing skill, and marketing savvy. For these companies, the freelance marketplace sites can be a good way to find writers for less-demanding content projects. company’s identity (no sense in alerting the competition that you lack in-house. AdWords expertise), you might mention that you are a company “similar to” the. But using these sites can be overwhelming and nonproductive if not approached carefully. In the.

Content Marketing Insights for Technology Companies

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As a possible reason for this rating, the report concludes that the content produced by tech companies is not matched to the different information needs of buyers at different stages of their decision cycle. Has your company made this analysis? Yet the report shows that marketers give middling ratings for the effectiveness of much of this content. Content Marketing Sales Materials

Justifying the Cost of an Experienced Freelance Writer

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Interact with customers and subject experts, including high-level executives, in a way that maintains a positive perception of your company and the marcom department. "How long have you been freelancing?" is a question I rarely hear when I am discussing my copywriting services with a potential client. But it's a question you will want to ask any freelance copywriter you hire. The reason? writer who is experienced in running a business and managing projects as a freelancer can save you time, money, and headaches through more effective project activity and relationships. Value Area.

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B2B Loyalty, The B2C Way

Find out how consumer loyalty principles can help B2B companies reward, recognize, and engage their customers

White Papers: Refresh or Write Fresh?

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Promotes a major product or service that will continue to be sold by your company. The media company UBM Tech found in a survey that 63 percent of IT buyers will only consider information useful if it''s less than 18 months old.* Your marketing department may produce dozens of new white papers each year, but how often do you refresh an existing one? Was written more than a year ago.

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Are You Abandoning Your Leads after a Webinar?

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assumed the companies would send a link to the webinar recording and the slides or other material so I could see what I had missed. After the second webinar ended, I watched my email and waited, and waited.Until the next day when the recording link message came from one company. As for the other company, its message wasn''t sent until two days later. The lesson from this story?

Why You Still Need PDFs for Content Marketing

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Last month I was on the website of a major technology company, looking for basic information about a product. Is this company trying to push prospects away (unlikely) or is it simply caught up in the trend-du-jour of web interfaces and content presentation that view a downloadable PDF document as belonging in the dark ages? Not exactly what I was looking for.

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Murphy's Laws of High Tech Copywriting

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Your company president will suddenly become an expert copywriter, but only when the brochure is already at the printer or posted on the website. document that you think will appeal only to a very limited audience will turn out to be the most requested material ever produced by your company. Your technical guru will reject as "too salesy" a headline that your marketing VP loves.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

Collaborate with industry influencers: marketers must creatively build advocacy and content amplification outside the company as well. customer/stakeholder goals of my company, and what do I need to make. company sales rep, it becomes even more vital that both groups understand the buying process from. There will be more companies developing SLAs between sales and.

Do You Want a Case Study or Just Feedback?

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It may be harder for the writer to get the big-picture, business-focused story during the interview if the questions continually prompt a customer to discuss details of the product implementation or your company's support activity. A prime customer has just agreed to participate in a case study for your product--great news! that add depth and interest to the case study.

What To Do With a "Not Quite Ready" Technology Case Study

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One of your company's sales reps e-mails you in breathless excitement: "We just signed a contract with XYZ company and they are willing to say great things about us. Of course, it's not everyday that a customer actually volunteers to give a positive testimonial about your product or company. Can we get the writer to do a case study?". Have you encountered this situation?

WriteSpark: Best Blog Posts about Content Marketing

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This month's list focuses on my best posts and recommended resources for content marketing as it applies to technology products, services, and companies. If you are involved in producing any type of technical sales or promotional materials, you'll find these posts helpful: What does the content tell you? Decision makers like details. Content tips for e-books. Content Marketing

Roundup: Social Media Policies from Technology Companies

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In the spirit of openness that is encouraged by social media, many high-tech companies have posted their policies for employee blogging and social media use as public web pages.  Although they vary in depth and formality, each of these companies' guidelines offer insights for creating your own social media participation policies. Some examples: Cisco's Internet Postings Policy.

Is Your Topic Worthy of a White Paper?

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For topics that don't meet these criteria, other types of marketing materials may be a good choice: An article on the company website or submitted to online or print publications that covers the relevant technology, industry, or customer base. But of course, not every topic is suitable.or even best presented in a white paper format. blog post for even shorter topics. .

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

Collaborate with industry influencers: marketers must creatively build advocacy and content amplification outside the company as well. customer/stakeholder goals of my company, and what do I need to make. company sales rep, it becomes even more vital that both groups understand the buying process from. There will be more companies developing SLAs between sales and.

What's Wrong with Saying You're the Best?

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You know that your company has hired very skilled and knowledgeable employees who will do their best to support your customers and make your product fulfill their needs. You know that your product and company is truly the best choice for customers. Have you noticed that the largest technology companies rarely (if ever) use superlatives and absolutes in their marketing language?

The Value of Qualitative Results in a Case Study

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There are times when you have what seems to be an ideal case study: a happy, willing, and talkative customer; a prestigious company name; a story for an application or industry that you want to target. What to do? Instead of turning down a willing customer, you can focus the case study on qualitative results and value.

How a Freelance Writer Can Help Solve Marcom Project Issues

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For example, the writer can: Bring a fresh set of eyes and insights from working with other companies to project plans and outlines. As a marketing communications manager, you probably spend much of your workday trying to resolve common issues that arise in your projects such as: Endless debates over the project plan or document outline.

Justifying the Cost of a Professional Copy Writer

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High-visibility projects that position your company, such as case studies that showcase your success to prospects and support loyalty from current customers. A new year typically means a long list of new marketing communications and public relations projects. You know you'll need the services of a professional copywriter for some of these projects, yet how can you justify the expense?

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

Collaborate with industry influencers: marketers must creatively build advocacy and content amplification outside the company as well. customer/stakeholder goals of my company, and what do I need to make. company sales rep, it becomes even more vital that both groups understand the buying process from. There will be more companies developing SLAs between sales and.

The Value of LTRs with Freelance Copywriters

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Insights into your company’s culture helps the writer work appropriately and effectively with your subject experts and customers. For example, a technical copywriter who has not previously written a video script, but who knows your products and company, may be a better choice than an experienced but generalist scriptwriter who lacks the technology knowledge.

WriteSpark: Best Blog Posts about Case Studies

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In this blog, I frequently write about case studies, white papers, and content marketing for technical products and technology companies. And, you'll want to read these excellent books and share them with your team: Bill Lee's The Hidden Wealth of Customers , a thoughtful guide for justifying a full-fledged customer reference program to your company executives. Over the next few months, I'll list what I consider to be my very best posts on these topics, along with a few "must have" books and other resources to further your knowledge. What to do with a "not quite ready" case study.

Is It "Use It or Lose It" Time For Your Marketing Budget?

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Identify small, quick-return marcom projects, for example, a series of blog posts or Web articles with the bylines of your company's topic experts. . The end of a calendar year is often the time to review marketing budgets. And for many marcom managers, it may be time to use any remaining funds so they aren't taking away during the next budgeting cycle. Refresh existing documents.

Insist on the Right Copywriter

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But in a large agency that is handling many complex projects for your company, combining these roles simply will not produce the best work. If your primary source of outside help for marketing communications and public relations projects is a marketing or advertising agency, you have probably worked with whichever copywriter the agency assigns to your account. Not at all.

Are you still selling after the customer has been sold?

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But this valuable information is buried under flyers, a cover letter, another copy of the product brochure, perhaps even sales materials for other products or companies. Yes, it is fine to use part of a white paper to showcase the expertise of your company or the credentials of the paper's author. the work she had already been hired to do. Consider another scenario.

Case Studies: Does Your Team Know What Makes a Good Success Story?

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One of your sales reps sends a breathless e-mail: "XYZ company just signed a contract. And in doing so, you may place your company in an awkward position if the customer is unwilling, is contacted too early, or doesn't have the hoped-for positive experience with your product. Example answers: It's a well known company, the customer is in a target industry or market segment or has an interesting product application. If so, can we name the company or must they remain anonymous? In both cases, what input do you receive?

How to Tell When You Have a Good Freelance Copywriter

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These questions can help you gauge service professionalism: Do you feel like you need to participate in all phone calls and be copied on all emails between the freelance writer and your colleagues and customers because you fear embarrassment to you or your company? Consider the factors below. Quality of the work. The "gets it" factor. Service professionalism. Adaptability. Independence.

White Papers: Too Much Fat, Not Enough Meat

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Many documents begin with a history review, basic definitions, personal reflections, or company positioning statements. Basic information about your company isn't the place to drone on about your company's mission, historical achievements, information about individual products, commitment to providing outstanding customer support, blah, blah, blah. It's easy to overload technology white papers with content that is irrelevant and poorly structured for the reader's interest. According to an Eccolo Media survey of IT buyers, ". Avoid throat-clearing text. Narrative text.

Interviews Part 2: Are your questions leading or asking?

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However, by creating an opening for whatever the customer tells you, you will likely gain information that has the greatest value to your company and project.  I keep a file of interview questions for case studies that I have collected from various client projects over the years. Some question lists are short.  Then ask for the specific numbers or percentages for each type of savings.)

Tell Your Own Stories

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Does your company produce a product that it uses internally? Some of the largest technology companies are certainly users of their own products. Intel: IT@Intel Microsoft:  Microsoft IT Showcase What materials and techniques have you used to share your company's product experience with customers and prospects?  . If so, have you written your own case study?

Do You Need a Specialty Copywriter?

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instead, I recommend that clients find a writer whose focuses on this kind of work. Y our company has a particular market focus. It's easy to understand that not every freelance writer is a good match for every marketing project. Yet, how can you recognize when you need a specialty writer and identify what kind of writer to seek? These ideas can help your search. You need a writer with specific technical or subject knowledge. Teaching a generalist writer about your products, customers, and applications probably isn't a good use of time--for yourself or your subject experts.

White Papers: Does Your Writer Have an Eye for Detail?

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Given that a white paper is usually a showcase marketing piece for your product and company, you have every right to expect that the writer has done the detail work to create a quality draft. An obvious typo. usage that shows a clear misunderstanding of the word's meaning or proper use. statement of quantitative results where the math doesn't add up. missing or incorrect source citation. These errors seem small on their own, but when they appear multiple times within your materials, they diminish your credibility in a reader's mind. their, there, they're).

Do You Need a Freelancer or an Agency?

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Technology companies typically maintain relationships with one or more advertising, marketing, and public relations agencies for services related to sales promotion, including copywriting. freelance technical copywriter can easily handle a single document or a set of related materials, working with your company’s templates and style standards. Lower costs. Time savings.

E-books: More Than a New Marcom Fashion

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You can showcase your company's technical experts by naming them as authors of the e-book or featuring them in audio or video clips. Like women's fashion, some marketing documents are trendy for awhile, then considered unhip.only to emerge again a few years later in a new form. book Advantages. The call to action can provide a link for immediately taking the next step. Facebook, Twitter).

Why NOT to Publish an Audio or Video Transcript

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When heard, these items are easy to ignore, but when read, they don't always reflect well on the presenter or your company. This may be marketing heresy today, but I much prefer to read an online article or transcript than to watch a video or listen to a podcast. In part it is because as a writer, I certainly have a bias for the written word.

How Marketers Can Help Salespeople Succeed with Large Companies

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« Conference Focuses on Making the Most of Customer References | Main. | B2B Tech Buyers Like Social Media » How Marketers Can Help Salespeople Succeed with Large Companies. Many technology products are sold to large companies or organizations, yet marketers are often insulated from the day-to-day challenges of that sales activity. Jill Konrath's book Selling to Large Companies is an essential read for understanding this environment. Listed below are links to weblogs that reference How Marketers Can Help Salespeople Succeed with Large Companies : Comments.

Decision Makers Like Details

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I recently participated in a group to evaluate the effectiveness of sales materials produced by an insurance company. The group included people of diverse professions, ages, and life experience. Yet it was interesting to see how quickly they reached consensus on one factor: which document had the most appeal, especially for motivating a purchase decision. The group's choice?

Understanding the Concerns of Technology Buyers

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Company reputation; buyers want the assurance of a solid vendor when making a commitment to any technology. In her blog post "Why can't selling be more like buying?" marketing consultant Ardath Albee provides a good list of the concerns that buyers have in mind when considering a purchase. Content Marketing Sales Materials White Papers

New FTC Disclosure Guidelines for Testimonials and Endorsements

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Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is expected to issue new guidelines for disclosure about a company's use of the testimonials and endorsements received from both customers and expert reviewers. In October 2009, the U.S. In particular, these practices are changing to reflect the expectations of social media users, especially for the impartiality of product reviewers. Read the FTC guidelines.