Tag: Content marketing

Internet Marketing

5 Lead Generation Techniques For SaaS Businesses

Generating leads is vital for any business. If you don’t have a steady flow of leads into the top of your funnel, you won’t have a business for long. However, when it comes to SaaS and encouraging prospects to become happy, ongoing customers, the quality of the leads you generate is at least as important as the quantity (if not more so).
In this post, we’re going to cover five lead generation techniques every SaaS marketer needs to know about. We’ll look at their pros, cons, and ideas to help you get started.
1. Content Marketing
As defined by the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.”
Examples of commonly used

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Internet Marketing

The Undeniable Influence Of Colors In Marketing (And How To Use Them)

How many individual pieces of content marketing have you seen so far today?
If you’ve spent any time on the internet, the answer is probably somewhere between “thirty-something” and “far too much” – there’s a reason for it.
Marketing is everywhere, from our social media accounts to Google searches to even our email inbox. We are surrounded by a plethora of content (websites and apps) that demand our attention. And that’s just considering online content!
Understandably, that creates a conundrum for marketers. How can you make your own marketing stand out from the crowd or how do you increase your website engagement with all the competition out there? And how can you get – and keep – the attention of your potential clients?
One of the biggest factors in marketing that works

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Internet Marketing

The Top 5 Content Distribution Strategies to Proliferate Your Brand’s Reach

There’s a whole lot of amazing content being generated each minute on different platforms.
Here are some mind-boggling facts:

Instagram users publish 46,740 posts per minute.
Google conducts 3,607,080 searches per minute.
Twitter users send 456,000 tweets per minute.

Yes, content is essential. Google loves quality content. Your visitors love content. But it simply makes no sense to write content for the sake of writing.
Not only do you have to produce quality content but you also need to adopt methods to distribute it.
Producing content is one side – marketing it is another.
Content marketing is an absolute requirement for brand survival and it focuses on respecting your customers. I’ve grown a big part of ProofHub through content marketing by offering our potential customers information that is relevant to educate them about project management problems

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Internet Marketing

How to Create Your Own Video-on-Demand (VOD) Channel To Promote Your Brand

Video on demand (VOD) is the future and the future is here. All over the web, new services are popping up, offering consumers a new way to view their media. Some of that is already published media that they have bought the rights to (Shudder). Others are original content made by these services, giving them a unique platform where people can enjoy new kinds of video series they couldn’t see anywhere else (the now-defunct Seeso). Other platforms allow for both (Go90).
Over the top programming puts control into the viewer’s hands and Netflix, Hulu and other services show us the value of the business model.
Modern-day technology allows anyone – from huge brands to small businesses – to create their own VOD channel. Similarly to how blogging allowed anyone to

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Internet Marketing

11 Helpful Marketing and Sales Tools You Might Not Know About

Maintaining steady growth is critical to company performance and the long-term survival of a business. However, most business owners are neither able to identify their bottlenecks nor discover new opportunities to expand.
In this article, I want to introduce you to eleven marketing and sales tools to dissect your competitors and identify the gaps in your business. These tools are not mainstream, but they are powerful.
You can leverage them to fix the bottlenecks of your growth, streamline your business operations, and grow your business. Without further ado, here’s the first tool.
1. Nightwatch
For pursuing SEO and content marketing effectively, you need to measure your performance and analyze traffic trends. Nightwatch can be your go-to tool for tracking your search visibility.

Its backlinks tool shows you how the links you build are affecting

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Internet Marketing

Why Online Gifting Is Critical to Your eCommerce Success

Online store owners face the daunting task of increasing conversions day by day. Despite the rapid growth in technology and sales, efficient marketing techniques are still limited.
If you ask any modern-day retailer about the methods they use to market their products, the usual suspects would be PPC (Pay-Per-Click), SEO (Search Engine Optimization), email marketing, content marketing, and whatnot.
One underrated eCommerce marketing technique with a lot of potential is the use of online gifting.
Yes, you read that absolutely right.
Allowing your customers to send and receive gift cards opens the domain of choice to them.
The main reason for the underuse of gift cards on eCommerce stores is the inability to use them effectively. Store owners aren’t sure how to leverage this promising marketing tool.
Throughout this article, I will be walking

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Internet Marketing

The Importance of Fonts in Web Design – Do You Have The Right One?

Long before the age of technology, fonts have been evolving. We’ve come a long way since scriptwriting, mainly because our works are no longer in scrolls but anywhere from screens to print ads.
Fonts have changed with our times and the means of which content was presented to us, yet that doesn’t mean all fonts have gone outdated. Some of them outlasted the test of time and are still used today!
Finding that perfect font can often feel like locating a needle in a haystack, however, it’s important to remember that before we dive into that haystack, we need to understand a few of the basics of font pairing.
A bit of history about fonts
Going back to the beginning, it all started with the serif font. The first category of serif

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Internet Marketing

7 Psychological Techniques to Increase Your Web Page Dwell Time (With Examples from Experts)

A high click-through rate (CTR) may help you get higher rankings on the search results pages. But a high dwell time will help you keep those rankings.
When a search engine user visits your page and spends a lot of time going through your content, search engines see your page as providing value.
And in most cases, this is true.
As Duane Forrester said when he first used the term “dwell time” on Bing’s blog:
“If your content does not encourage them to remain with you, they will leave. The search engines can get a sense of this by watching the dwell time.”
He then continued:
“And while that’s not the only factor we review when helping to determine quality, it’s a signal we watch.”
Now, the big question is: how do you present accurate

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Internet Marketing

How Video Content Can Help You Boost Your Google Rankings

Google’s search algorithms are inclined to deliver a good user experience. That’s why you need to create content that is authentic, relevant, and valuable to your target audience.
A majority of SEO professionals create and optimize various types of content such as blog posts, infographics, and images to increase their brands’ search visibility. However, one type of content that is quite underutilized in the world of SEO is video content.
Though 87% of brands now use video content as a marketing tool, not many focus on deriving its SEO benefits.
If used effectively, videos can significantly contribute to your overall SEO strategy, in a couple of ways. Let’s see how video content can help you boost your SERP rankings.
Drive more traffic to your website
Consumers enjoy video content. U.S. adults aged 18

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Internet Marketing

How to Use Topic Clusters to Drive SEO Performance

Search is changing, and the way we market and promote our small businesses, nonprofits, and other ventures have to change with it.
It’s no longer enough to do keyword research – the basis of the vast majority of SEO strategies over the last decade-plus – when creating content, building your brand, and seeking to rank higher on Google’s results pages. We need to think more holistically about our content, and that means using a concept called “topic clusters.”
Topic clusters are a relatively new way to think about how to write and organize content. From now on, no blog post, article, or other digital content should exist only to include the odd long-tail keyword phrase. When you write, you must think about where your content fits into the bigger picture

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Internet Marketing

5 Types of Content That Grab Immediate and Lasting Attention With Prospects

Attention – you can have insanely high conversion rates and super compelling products, but still lose if you’re not able to get attention.
Follow and reverse engineer what Jeff Bullas does and you’ll notice a pattern. Create content, publish, and share it.
Is that it?
No way, Jose.
What kind of content? Where is it published? How is it shared?
In this post, we’ll cover the different types of content that get attention.
Need help blogging? Click here for a 10% discount on blog writing services.
1. Video
It’s hard to contemplate getting out of your comfort zone if you’re a great blogger, but you need to start getting into video.
According to the latest Alexa stats, YouTube is the second most visited site in the world. In an article on Think With Google, David Mogensen (Head

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Internet Marketing

7 Brilliant B2B Video Marketing Techniques You Should Try Out

Need some inspiration for your latest B2B video marketing campaign? B2B videos don’t have to be boring anymore. It’s time to get creative.
And you can’t escape it. Video is not a trend, it’s not a fad – it’s everywhere. It’s a great way of connecting with clients, building leads and clinching sales.
How relevant is it to the B2B sphere? Well, 73% of B2B marketers have already said that video positively affects their marketing ROI, which means that;
a) your rivals are already using video and;
b) they’re doing pretty damn well.
But it’s okay. Even if you’ve still got some catching up to do, there’s plenty of time. In this article, we’re going to share with you 7 of the best B2B video marketing techniques so that your own ROI grows and

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Internet Marketing

3 Major YouTube Marketing Trends You Need to Know in 2019

Most marketers know the value that social media can bring to the business and website they’ve created.
With over 3.5 billion daily users on social media, you already know your target audience is on there talking about their experiences and discussing their favorite products. It’s also become a popular way of handling customer service issues and speaking directly with brands.
Now more than ever, customers and businesses are communicating one-on-one and using social media to do so.
An ever-growing method used by brands and customers to connect is through YouTube, which has sparked a rise in video marketing to appeal to different audiences. The platform boasts more than 1.9 billion logged-in users each month and those numbers continue to rise along with its popularity.
With all that traffic, your business is sure

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Internet Marketing

The 4 Types of Business Audits You Need to Conduct for Survival

Auditing isn’t just a term you should get concerned about hearing during tax season; it’s a way to make sure your company is functioning properly, both internally and externally.
Successful businesses frequently conduct various types of business audits to locate their mistakes and weak spots, as well as to create crucial reports for current and future reference.
What’s interesting is that there aren’t just financial business audits to keep in line. If you want to indicate to shareholders and investors that your company is operating truthfully and efficiently, then you need to conduct regular audits. Here are the four different types of business audits you should conduct to keep your business healthy and happy.
1. SEO audit
SEO is an impossible beast to tame. Maybe that’s why, every year, companies spend more

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Internet Marketing

The seven deadly vids: Video content to amplify and generate leads on social media

Today’s marketing departments are creating more videos than ever before – and with good reason as such content attracts more organic traffic from search engines, keeping prospects on websites for longer.
The figures speak volumes too as nearly 60% of executives said they would choose video over text content if shown both, and 77% rated video would as an effective content marketing tactic.
It’s therefore important to have video as part of a content marketing strategy when looking at ways to not only drive lead generation but offer something visual and engaging to really tell a story.
With that said, there are so many types of video to choose from when pulling together compelling content for a buying audience – from ‘pieces to camera’ to behind-the-scenes shots to help prospects and existing customers get a feel

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Internet Marketing

4 Smart Ways to Give Your Blog Content a Spring Clean

Another day, another content marketing piece that needs to be written, edited and published.
The constant churn of creating content for your business blog can be somewhat draining. 60% of marketers are creating at least one major piece of content on a daily basis, and many would agree that it is incredibly challenging to consistently make top quality content.
Chances are, you and your marketing team may feel a little bit overwhelmed and run-down from the pressures of content creation day-in and day-out. That’s why it’s the perfect time to take a step back and re-evaluate your current content library with a little spring cleaning.
Here’s how to do a blog content audit in just four easy steps.
1. Conduct a keyword audit
Auditing isn’t just something that comes around during tax season

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10x Your Product Launch Effectiveness With These 5 Proven Viral Marketing Techniques

Ready to launch a new product? You’ve already done the hard work, now all you have to do is put it out there, right?
Well, not exactly.
The truth is, knowing how to launch your product may be the hardest part of all.
Where you launch it and how you market it can be the difference between utter disappointment and raging success. Today we’re sharing 5 proven viral marketing techniques to 10x your product launch effectiveness.
We’ll skip the obvious tactics like focusing on content marketing and social media marketing. Instead, we’re going to focus on actionable viral marketing tactics that will help you reach your target market as fast as possible.
1. Exponentially scale brand awareness with viral referral campaigns
Long before the days of digital marketing, companies relied on good old fashioned

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Internet Marketing

How to Leverage YouTube Influencer Marketing to Increase Sales

Video marketing helps you generate more high-quality traffic, increase brand visibility, and credibility.
In fact, 84% of marketers reported that videos helped them increase the traffic to their websites. Naturally, marketers are trying to leverage the power of videos and the potential that video marketing carries.
YouTube is an amazing platform to post and distribute high-quality content that can do wonders for your brand. The platform has more than 30 million daily active users and 1.9 billion monthly active users. 300 videos are uploaded to this platform every minute.
So, you can imagine how challenging it can be to stand out among others and get the attention of your audience. One of the best ways to do this is to collaborate with popular YouTube influencers in your niche.
There are many ways

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Internet Marketing

How to Craft the Perfect Email

How to Craft the Perfect Email written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing
Some small business owners are intimidated by email marketing. Having to write an individual email is scary enough if you don’t consider yourself a writer. The thought of sending an email out to an entire mailing list can be downright terrifying!
Fortunately, the perfect email is about more than just writing. And even for the written elements, once you’ve figured out the essential components, it’s easy for even those more timid writers among us to excel.
Here are the steps that go into crafting the perfect email.
Start with a Strong Subject Line
According to Campaign Manager, the average office worker receives 121 emails per day. That’s a lot of activity in just one inbox, and it

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Internet Marketing

Why cloud-based interoperability is critical to the modern marketing stack

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 92 percent of B2B companies and 86 percent of B2C organisations now depend on content marketing to drive growth and customer retention. With daily online, social media, and video campaigns supplanting traditional print and television advertising media, marketers increasingly need a more robust, efficient way of creating diverse content and getting it in front of potential customers.
Traditionally, marketing departments have stitched together a variety of software platforms to create, visualise, and track the status of content development efforts. This inevitably creates confusion and content bottlenecks, especially as content volume grows.
When the first marketing resource management (MRM) tools were introduced in the early 2000s to solve this problem, vendors pushed for a single-platform solution that would serve as a one-stop shop for

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How to Create a Webinar That Sells Like Crazy (Step-by-Step)

How to Create a Webinar That Sells Like Crazy (Step-by-Step)

Want to create a webinar?

You’ve probably seen so many successful bloggers and digital marketers running them…

… but you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet.

The reason?

Webinars look too complicated!

Thinking about the tech aspect alone is enough to give you a headache.

The content? Makes you feel overwhelmed.

And… how do you even launch it?

Let me tell you a secret: the process to create a webinar is way easier than you may think – other than being an extremely profitable strategy. You just have to know how to do it.

Let’s break the webinar creation process into a few easy steps…

1. Craft your content

Your first step is to craft the content of your webinar.

Make it relevant to your offer

To do it, you have to think about your goal for the webinar: what do you want to sell?

Webinars work very well to sell mid-priced to high-priced products or services (think about $200 or more).

If you don’t have any product in that price range, you can offer a new service on the webinar – so you won’t have to work on a new product before launching your webinar.

Once you know what you are going to sell, you have to craft your webinar content around your offer – while you’re giving away a ton of useful content for free on your webinar, you also want to be sure to leverage the exposure to sell your product/service.

In other words, your webinar content has to be relevant to your offer.

So, for example, if your offer is a self-publishing online course, your webinar may be about writing a Kindle book.

Once you find the right webinar topic, you are ready to write it.

Write your script

This may come as a surprise, but most webinars follow a script – even if they seem so natural.

The webinar script can be divided into three parts:

  • Intro (10-15 minutes)
  • Content (45-60 minutes)
  • Close (15-30 minutes)

In the intro, you greet the audience, give a preview of the webinar content and show proof of your authority .

Then you share your content. Give away valuable information that works on its own.

At the end of the content, you can tell people that there’s an easier way to reach their desired result. Your offer represents this easier way and you show it to the people who are interested – this part is very similar to the classic sales page that you see for each product… but instead of being a written sales page, is one that you present by yourself.

2. Build your pages

Once your webinar script is ready, it’s time to build your pages.

I won’t cover the pages that are related to your product/service here – if you are reading this post I suppose that you either already have a product/service that you are currently selling or you know how to set up the pages to sell your product. So, we’ll just talk about the two pages that are specific to the webinar.

If your website runs on WordPress, you can easily build your webinar pages with a plugin like Thrive Architect. In case you don’t use WordPress, you can use software like WebinarJam or ClickFunnels.

If you want to keep things as simple as possible, just use WebinarJam: it’s designed specifically for webinars and will provide you everything you need – from building your pages to streaming the webinar, from sending emails to registrants to displaying important data.

The registration page

Here you’ll show the benefits of watching your webinar, a quick overview of the topics covered and any form of social proof.

Basically, you want to persuade people to register for your webinar.

Here’s an example by Jon Morrow :

The registration page for how to create a webinar

Jon’s page is missing social proof, but he’s promoting the webinar to his email list (people who know that he’s an authority in the field), so it isn’t necessary.

The confirmation page

After a person registers for your webinar, he/she will be redirected to the confirmation page. Other than giving the details to attend the webinar, you can use this page in a couple of interesting ways.

The first one is to build anticipation – in this way, people will be more interested in participating. You can do this by reminding the benefits of your webinar, talking with excitement in a video, giving a short preview of something cool from your presentation, etc…

Here’s an example by Chandler Bolt :

The confirmation page for how to create a webinar

You’ll notice his excitement even before the video starts and the webinar title (repeated twice in the page) will remind you of the benefits of participating.

The second one is to sell something related to your webinar.

Here’s an example by Todd Brown :

Sell something related to webinar for how to create a webinar

The confirmation page includes a sales video. At the end of the video, a buy button will appear and you’ll be able to purchase the product shown if you’re interested.

3. Set up your emails

When your pages are ready, it’s time to focus on the emails that you’ll send to the registrants. There are two different email sequences that will serve two different purposes.

Pre-webinar emails

The goal of these emails is to increase your attendance rate – you want to maximize the number of people who show up to your webinar.

To accomplish this goal, you’ll send a few emails to build anticipation, increase desire and remind registrants about the webinar.

There isn’t a strict rule to follow, but I prefer to send 5-6 emails before the webinar with the following timing:

  • The 1st email right after the registration
  • A couple of days before the webinar
  • 24 hours before the webinar
  • 6 hours before the webinar
  • 2 hours before the webinar
  • 20 minutes before the webinar

In the first 3 emails, you want to focus on the benefits of participating in your webinar. Talk about them, go deep, share stories, show a case study… do whatever you feel is aligned with your brand (or the image you want to convey) that will make the registrants spend time thinking about how the webinar will improve their life.

The last 3 emails are a mix of reminder and benefit discussion. You want to put your main focus on the fact that the webinar will start soon, but your secondary goal is to casually mention how the webinar will benefit the attendee.

Post-webinar emails

The end goal of these emails is to sell the offer that you showed on the webinar. To do that, you may have an intermediate goal, depending on the specific person who is receiving your emails.

The reason is that after your webinar, the registrants who didn’t take your offer right away will be divided into 3 different segments:

  • People who saw your offer but didn’t buy
  • People who attended but left early and didn’t see your offer
  • People who didn’t show up to your webinar

To the people who saw your offer but didn’t buy, you simply want to send a few sales emails. How many? I’d say about 4-5 – if you want to be more aggressive, you can send a few more, but be aware of the risk you take by doing this.

To the people who attended but left early, you want to to send a couple of emails that will encourage them to watch the webinar replay – so they can watch it all. After those emails, you can try to send a couple of sales emails to show your offer.

To the people who didn’t show up to the webinar, you want to send emails to watch the replay. If a person didn’t show up to your webinar, there’s no reason in trying to sell your offer: they are not interested/engaged enough to buy anything from you.

If you’re worried about the tech aspect of setting up this funnel, don’t be: WebinarJam (and any other serious webinar software) have a way to easily do it in your control panel.

4. Launch and deliver

At this point, you’ll have everything ready. Now it’s about launching and delivering your webinar.

Promote your webinar

Ideally, you have an email list and you’ll promote your webinar there. It’s enough to send a few emails about the webinar to your list.

In case you don’t have an email list, you’ll have to contact other bloggers/influencers/authorities and propose a collaboration. They’ll promote your webinar to their audience and you’ll take care of everything else. In return, the blogger/influencer/authority will get a commission for each sale that the webinar produces.

Let me be clear: it’s way harder than it seems – you’ll have to send a ton of outreach emails to get a few yesses.

The good news is that sometimes even a single yes can change everything.

Before moving on, I have to say that there’s a third way to promote your webinar… but I don’t recommend it unless you have enough experience with paid advertising or you already run a few successful webinars and want to scale your reach. I’m talking about promoting your webinar with Facebook ads.

The problem is that it’s expensive. If you don’t fall in one of the two scenarios described above, you’ll just lose money with Facebook ads.

Deliver the webinar

This may scare you… but let me tell that it’s one of the easiest steps, if not THE easiest.

Do you remember your webinar script?

Well, you’ll print it and during your webinar, you’ll just read it. Sure, you may add something else here and there or you may answer a few questions… but for the most part, you’ll just read the script.

That’s easy, isn’t it?

Actually, it’s even simpler: before the day of the webinar, read your script out loud a couple of times. By doing this you’ll be prepared – and will probably be more confident too.

Let me also tell you one last crucial thing to do on the day of the webinar: record it.

If you use WebinarJam you can have the software record your webinar on its own. Anyway, it doesn’t matter how you record your webinar, the important thing is to have that recording.

The webinar recording is very important because:

  • It’s crucial to sell your offer to two registrants segments
  • You may use it to set up an automated webinar funnel
  • You can watch it to see if you can improve something

Now, you’re ready to deliver your webinar.

After that, it’s time for everyone’s favorite step: relax.

Conclusion

It’s your time to put everything you learned today into action.

I know, it seems like a lot of work… but let me tell you this: time will pass anyway. You can use it and have your income-producing webinar ready in two weeks from now, or you can spend it in any other way – and you won’t reap the benefits of hosting a webinar.

I’ll even go a step further! You don’t have to create your webinar in two weeks. You can take it easy and complete it in one month or even two. It doesn’t matter.

What matters is that you can make more money thanks to a webinar.

Take your first step today, no matter how small that is. And commit yourself to complete this journey, no matter how long will it take.

Guest author: Andrew Morrison is a digital marketing strategist who helps bloggers, marketers, and entrepreneurs turn their websites into fine-tuned businesses. He has been an online business owner since 2011, but he didn’t get to work on a tropical beach yet because his girlfriend loves winter! Follow his blog for practical digital marketing tips.

The post How to Create a Webinar That Sells Like Crazy (Step-by-Step) appeared first on Jeffbullas’s Blog .

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Why Good Content Isn’t Enough: Lessons From The Latest Content Marketing Studies

Why Good Content Isn’t Enough: Lessons From The Latest Content Marketing Studies

It used to be that as long as you wrote long-form, valuable content on a regular basis, you could do well at content marketing .

Unfortunately good content isn’t enough anymore.

The SERPs are getting more competitive, and the marketplace is turning into a winner-take-all battle to the death.

Here’s what the latest content marketing studies can teach us about ‘good’ content and why it’s no longer going to get you the results you want.

1. The battleground is overflowing

On average, four million blog posts are published daily. With so much competition, it’s becoming nearly impossible for your content to be seen.

There are millions to billions of search results for even the most absurd keywords on Google:

The battleground is overflowing for content marketing studies

“Good” content isn’t enough to make your post the one-in-a-million (or billion) articles that earn a coveted spot on the first page in SERPs. After all, only the top ten make it onto page one. At most.

Back in 2015, Moz reported a significant spike in the number of SERPs showing fewer than ten results .

SERPs showing fewer than ten results for content marketing studies

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And this trend hasn’t reversed.

But wait: does it matter if page one is only showing 5–7 results instead of the usual 10? If your article is ranking in position 8, you’re probably screaming, ‘Hell yeah!’

While, in reality, it’s not going to make much of a difference. Because over 95% of people click on one of the first five results:

International exact position for content marketing studies

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So, if you’ve been competing to get on the first page, you’ve been wasting your efforts. You need to be within the top 5 results. Which takes a lot more than just good content.

Optinmonster recently shared the ten most important SEO ranking factors for 2019.

the ten most important SEO ranking factors for content marketing studies

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When looking at the list, it’s understandable if you start to feel a little excited about your chances. After all, the first three ranking factors (site security, page speed, and mobile friendliness ) are all fairly easy to meet with little to no technical or SEO knowledge .

Unfortunately, it starts to go downhill from there. It’s nearly impossible to gain the links and social signals required to rank in the top positions on search results.

Research from Moz and Buzzsumo indicated that 75% of blog posts received zero links and fewer than ten shares.

And it’s only gotten worse over the last four years. Much worse.

Today, according to a study by Backlinko, 94% of all blog posts have zero external links . 94%!

94% of all blog posts have zero external links for content marketing studies
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That means only 6% of the content being produced earns even a single backlink.

And your chances of getting multiple backlinks is even less likely. The same study shows that only 2.2% of posts earn backlinks from more than one external website.

Yet the top SERP spot holders have acquired thousands of links:

SERP spot holders for content marketing studies

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Competition is fierce. And the newer your site is, the more you’re at a disadvantage.

No one is going to link to your post unless it’s the best of the best.

That means content that: is audience and intent driven, has compelling copy, and covers a wide variety of subjects.

Sure, these types of articles might have been good enough in the past. But these days, all the experts agree that anything surface level isn’t going to make the grade :

Result Comparison for content marketing studies

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It’s no wonder that bloggers are relying more and more on paid traffic and influencers to help them reach their audience.

According to research conducted by Orbit Media, the number of bloggers who pay for website traffic has increased by 322% in the last five years!

Bloggers who report strong results based on type of promotions for content marketing studies

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These days, only the top 1% of 1% will ever show up in the top five SERPs.

And that’s not even the worst part…

2. Click-through rates are abysmal

We’ve already covered that 95% of click-throughs go to the first five results in SERPs. Which is bad enough. But just how closely did you look at that graph that I shared?

Let’s blow it up for easier viewing:

Click-through rates are abysmal for content marketing studies

Over 30% of CTRs on a desktop go to just the first SERP result. And that rate gets cut roughly in half as soon as your article slips just one position. While things are mildly better on mobile devices, it’s still a shockingly steep curve.

By the time you’re in third place, you’re only getting a third of the click-throughs of first place.

At this point, you may be so depressed by the competitive SERP environment that you’re thinking about your other options. After all, SEO is far from the only way to get your content out there.

Maybe you’re willing to put your money into paid ads?

Well, that’s no guarantee that your content will be seen either. According to WordStream’s latest survey, the average AdWords CTR is 3.17% for search and 0.46% for display ads.

Google Adrrords Industry Benchmarks average click through rate

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Both these averages are higher than when the survey was first done in 2016. But the average cost per click has also gone up over that period. Which brings us back to the insanely competitive battleground.

You could opt for social media ads instead. But the competition is just as fierce there. Acquisio reports that the average CTR of a Facebook Ad ranges between 0.5%–1.6%.

What about email marketing?

This option is marginally better, with an industry average CTR of 7.06%, according to Constant Contact.

All Industries Overall Average for content marketing studies

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But of course, you need to account for the insane reduction in potential reach. Since you’ve now gone from a SERP or social media audience in the 6–7 digits to a small mailing list. Even with the right lead magnets , your list is probably only in the 4–5 digits.

Wait, what about video content ? Cisco reported that 82% of all internet traffic will be related to video content by 2021. And as a newer development, it should be less competitive, with better results, right?

Wrong.

Video marketing is already as saturated a market as blogging , if not more so. Companies are already dominating with video, and first to market advantage for it was lost years ago:

Case Study Snowboard addiction for content marketing studies

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People already watch a staggering hour or more of online video content every day. And video-based ads have skyrocketed by 95% in the last few years.

Andrew Chen coined a special name for this CTR problem: the Law of Shitty Clickthroughs.

Back in the early days, even mediocre content got noticed, because there was very little competition. Skip ahead to 2011 and CTRs had already dropped to alarmingly low levels.

Check out Andrew Chen’s display ad example:

Check out Andrew Chen’s display ad example for content marketing studies

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And as he predicted, CTRs have continued to decay.

3. The game is rigged

We’ve already talked about the fact that Google is reducing the number of SERPs on page one. But we didn’t talk about what those organic results are being replaced with.

Enter the Knowledge Graph.

The game is rigged for content marketing studies

The knowledge graph was created by Google to answer people’s questions without making them click on a result to find the answer.

In other words, you’re now competing with the house. And the house always wins.

A recent study conducted by Moz reports that 40% of search results now end without a single click.

Which means that 40% of people have got their answers straight from Google, without ever having to click through to your website or anyone else’s.

And that percentage will only continue to grow.

Back on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, Google started experimenting with zero-result SERPs where organic search results were entirely removed from a small number of keyword searches such as the one shown here about the time in Seattle:

Google started experimenting with zero-result SERPs for content marketing studies

The experiment was halted less than a week later . But it is still an important omen of what may come.

Danny Sullivan update post for content marketing studies

And we shouldn’t be surprised since this has been Google’s primary objective since Day 1 .

Couple that with the fact that most people only read for 15 seconds on your content, leading to scroll maps and heat maps that look like this :

heat maps for content marketing studies

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All that hard work for almost zero real content consumption, and therefore, no brand awareness or development.

I’m not trying to suggest that SEO will disappear. Far from it. After all, Amazon and Voice search both equal SEO.

But we need to start looking at SEO and content in a new light. It’s no longer just text. And it’s no longer even static. Content is becoming more conversational, both through voice search and chatbots .

This is just yet another sign that SERPs have become winner-take-all markets. And ‘good’ content is not enough to survive. So what makes the cut? What is better than “good enough” in today’s market?

Let’s cover a few examples of how companies are standing out.

Check out this customer service resume article by Freshdesk . It covers multiple subsections and targeted keywords in the customer service space. This is a great start. Then, it delivers with detailed content and a free PDF to drive big-time on site and user satisfaction, all while building their brand:

customer service resume article by Freshdesk for content marketing studies

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Want to produce better content? Stop settling for mediocrity. Drive value through depth, content upgrades, and understanding what the user wants to see.

Another stellar example is from SpyFu , a competitive analysis tool. In a blog post about SEO audits , a topic that has been covered more times than you can probably count without going crazy, they vastly improved their value. How? First, they added a table of contents for usability:

blog post about SEO audits for content marketing studies

But that was just a minor step. Then, they took usability to the next level and created a video showcasing how to do it for visual learners and those that want to follow along:

How to do an SEO Audit for content marketing studies

Finally, they were responsive in the comments section answering any and every inquiry:

Responsive comment for content marketing studies

Want better results? You have to go the extra mile as SpyFu did. That means better-formatted content, more formats to consume it, and responding fast.

Conclusion

Content marketing can still provide significant results for your business. If it couldn’t, people wouldn’t still be creating millions of blog posts every day.

But in this hyper-competitive market, with no barrier to entry, anything less than extraordinary will languish in obscurity.

If your content is not amazing, unique, or controversial… don’t bother. Because the odds are literally stacked against you in almost every way possible.

You’re fighting an uphill battle. Where you need to be the one in a million to get noticed.

Guest author: David Zheng is the Founder of Growth Wit  and Wisemerchant  and the Head of Growth at BuildFire . He specializes in growth and content strategies to help influencers, eCommerce brands, venture-backed startups, and Fortune 500 companies grow their traffic and revenue online.

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The 7 Most Common Agile Marketing Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

The 7 Most Common Agile Marketing Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

Do you want to effectively pivot your marketing tactics based on incoming data?

What about getting visibility inside and outside the department into what marketing’s working on?

Or how about figuring out what’s messing up your process before it’s caused you to miss every single deadline this quarter?

If any or all of those are appealing, I have good news: the path to achieving all of those is paved with the exact same substance, namely Agile marketing. The second annual State of Agile Marketing Report from AgileSherpas and CoSchedule found that these are the top three benefits cited by Agile marketing teams.

The bad news? It’s a lot easier to get Agile wrong than it is to get it right.

I spend my days training marketing teams on how to translate Agile principles and practices to work in our unique world, so I’ve seen my share of missteps. In the hope of saving you some of this pain, here are the seven most common Agile marketing mistakes and how to avoid them.

Agile marketing mistake #1: Organizing around projects

You can hold daily standup meetings religiously, visualize your work meticulously, and otherwise follow Agile practices to the letter, but if marketers are sitting on a dozen different project teams none of it will make a whit of difference.

Rather than rearrange people to suit different types of project work, flow projects onto the teams best suited to handle them.

I recently coached a team who had heard me say this a dozen times, and they theoretically agreed with what I was saying.

But once we sat down and mapped out their current team obligations and compared that to how things would look in an Agile world, the light bulbs went off all over the place.

5 Reasons Not to Organize by Project for agile marketing mistakes

This marketing group supports multiple software products being sold around the world, plus they’re responsible for putting on global and regional events. Pre-Agile, every person on the team was flitting back and forth amongst 6-60 of these different obligations on a daily basis.

As you can imagine, it was taking FOREVER to get anything done.

Instead, we created four Agile teams who would focus on particular global regions. Whatever marketing work related to the products and events that matter to those parts of the world would be worked on by the team responsible for that region.

Agile team for agile marketing mistakes

In this modified version of the Spotify model you can see another way of looking at it. Here teams are organized by stage of the funnel.

However you choose to arrange your people, the important thing is to get out of multi-project purgatory and let groups focus on certain kinds of work.

Flow work to the right people; don’t force people to chase dozens of different projects.

Agile marketing mistake #2: Not aligning around strategic objectives

Agile is often closely associated with speed and efficiency, and that’s absolutely true. Our Agile Marketing Report shows that 36% of Agile marketing teams enjoy a faster time to get things released.

But without good alignment around strategic marketing outcomes, you’re just spinning the hamster wheel faster.

Ensure marketing leadership is creating (and communicating) marketing’s annual and quarterly objectives. Teams need to be confident that their daily work aligns to larger priorities.

And once those priorities have been established, don’t change them on a whim.

There’s nothing worse than coming up with a great project to support the new initiative and getting really pumped about it, only to discover that it’s been arbitrarily de-prioritized.

Support your Agile teams by clearly stating and sticking to big-picture goals .

Agile marketing mistake #3: Being rigid in your choice of framework

I often compare Agile marketing frameworks to flavors of ice cream:

Everybody has a preference, but in reality, one isn’t quantitatively better than the other.

The same goes for Agile frameworks in marketing. Most people have heard of Scrum; it’s nearly ubiquitous inside of software and IT. But being well known doesn’t make it perfect.

In fact, marketing teams get the most benefit from using a hybrid framework:

Hybrid framework for agile marketing mistakes

If Agile frameworks are like flavors of ice cream, marketers should be buying Neapolitan. We benefit from a broad spectrum of practices, so don’t limit yourself to a rigid implementation.

Agile marketing mistake #4: Assuming Agile marketing means all or nothing

If a department-wide reorganization is out of the question, and everyone works on a dozen projects simultaneously, does that mean Agile marketing is out of your reach? Definitely not.

You can begin by piloting Agile within a subset of the department, documenting their journey, and using it to inform a wider rollout.

Piloting Cross Functional Teams for agile marketing mistakes

If even that seems like a stretch, individuals can benefit enormously from using Agile practices in their own day to day work. In my content marketing days, I had a personal kanban board next to my desk, and I used it to navigate “urgent” incoming requests by showing everyone what I was already working on.

It’s amazing how visibility can turn “I need this yesterday! Drop everything you’re doing!” into “Oh, wow, ya…you’re really busy…and I need that other thing you’re working on. I can wait until you have time.”

Adopting Agile in an incremental, agile fashion is often just as effective as going all in.

Agile marketing mistake #5: Not insisting on limited work-in-progress (WIP)

One of the most paradoxical parts of Agile is its insistence that working on fewer things will let you get more done, but it’s a highly documented fact.

Limit the number of things you’re doing at the same time, and everything you work on will get done faster.

The big time suck here is what’s known as context switching, or the mental tax we pay every time we jump from one task to another.

Effects of Context Switching for agile marketing mistakes

Iterative frameworks like Scrum limit a team’s work in progress (WIP) by forcing them to confine their to-do list to a limited time box (known as the Sprint).

Flow-based frameworks like Kanban create ceilings on how many individual items can be in progress inside the team’s workflow, achieving a similar result.

However you choose to do it, don’t assume that you can dabble in Agile and get its benefits without somehow limiting your work in progress.

Agile marketing mistake #6: Dropping meetings without understanding them

I know just a few paragraphs ago I was telling you not to be overly rigid in your Agile adoption, but you also shouldn’t throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.

If, for instance, your daily standup meetings feel overwhelming and unhelpful, don’t automatically assume it’s the meeting that’s the problem and stop having it.

Instead, consider WHY we have daily standup meetings in the first place, and if the way you’re managing this meeting is true to that core objective.

Are you spending all your time problem-solving? Do outside stakeholders butt in and make the meeting go long? Are you *gasp* only meeting once a week?

Interrogate your process and see if it’s setting you up for success before you abandon a core Agile meeting.

Agile marketing mistake #7: Leaving BAU work out of the backlog

Ok, this last one is pretty in the weeds, but my Agile coach soul just wouldn’t let me leave it off the list.

When you’re building your backlog (the prioritized to-do list that guides an Agile team’s work), don’t succumb to the temptation to only document strategic project work.

You must – and I mean MUST – include all the work that the team’s committed to.

If you don’t, “dark work” will creep in and derail your work without you knowing.

This applies to all kinds of teams, both those using Kanban and those using Scrum.

If you don’t put everything out there, Agile marketers will go off and put out fires, respond to “urgent” emails, and get pulled into meetings day in and day out, and your efforts to adopt Agile practices will all be for naught.

Visualize all the team’s work, even if you know it’s an absurd amount. Only by putting it all out in the open can you hope to eventually avoid mistake #5 and not limit your work in progress.

Avoid Agile marketing mistakes with education

Agile software development has been around for a couple of decades now, which means there’s no excuse for marketers to repeat their mistakes.

Sure, marketing and development are drastically different professions, but marketers at least have some frameworks to build on; we don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Education remains the most commonly cited barrier to greater Agile marketing adoption, so get a running start and clear it by committing to ongoing learning. There are online courses, free webinars, tons of written content, and even a formal Agile marketing certification available to you.

No excuses – get out there and get educated so these mistakes won’t derail your Agile marketing adoption.

Guest author: An early convert to the ways of Agile marketing, Andrea loves nothing more than seeing a team evolve from a chaos to high performance. In addition to being trained as a Scrum Master and Product Owner, Andrea is a Certified Professional in Agile Coaching (ICP-ACC) and a Certified Agile Leader (CAL-1). She shares her findings (and failures) regularly from stages around the world as an international speaker on all things Agile marketing.

Andrea is a content marketer by trade and functions best when she’s writing regularly. Her most recent book, Death of a Marketer , chronicles marketing’s troubled past and charts a course to a more agile future for the profession. You can find more of her writing on the AgileSherpas blog .

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The Proven Formula For Generating B2B Leads on Autopilot in the eLearning Industry

The Proven Formula For Generating B2B Leads on Autopilot in the eLearning Industry

eLearning is booming , with no sign of slowing down…

People want access to information and learning on demand.

Not in a month’s time when the next conference is on or when the next corporate workshop is planned.

As a society we’re impatient – and if we need a new skill, we need it now, and we need it on our own terms.

eLearning is the Netflix of personal development, it’s the Uber of corporate training initiatives. People can choose their own pathway for development and take lessons all from the comfort of their home.

For businesses that provide eLearning solutions, the biggest opportunity lies with corporations where you can sell programs and software to hundreds or even thousands of employees at the same time. Rather than fighting for every single sale, you can focus on the big-ticket clients and truly scale up the profitability of your business.

In 2017, corporate training expenditure in the United States grew by 32.5% . Basically, organizations are investing more in learning and individuals are seeking better and more flexible access to learning. It’s the perfect intersection for B2B eLearning solutions.

But, how do you generate a consistent flow of B2B leads in the eLearning space without burning out your sales team?

The answer is Inbound Marketing.

Bonus #1: Download a detailed PDF checklist that contains the exact steps to take in order to carry out this lead generation process

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound Marketing is a term popularized by marketing software tool HubSpot . The general idea of this concept is that you attract people to your business by first providing value – predominantly through content – rather than bombarding them with outbound sales messages. Once you have a prospect’s attention, you then engage with them via marketing automation and lead nurturing tactics, before delighting them as a customer of your business. The concept is depicted visually below:

eLearning - B2B leads - image 1

Instapage Founder and CEO Tyson Quick does a great job of summarizing Inbound Marketing in this video:

Why use Inbound Marketing in the eLearning industry?

While Inbound Marketing is an effective lead generation strategy in many industries, it’s especially powerful in B2B environments, and even more acutely suited to the eLearning industry. Here are two reasons why:

Trust and credibility

Perhaps more than any other industry, eLearning is built on trust, credibility, and expertise – be it perceived or otherwise. Companies are putting the achievement of their employee’s goals, ambitions, and career aspirations in your hands. So you need to instill confidence in these people that you are the right company to facilitate this journey.

Given its foundation of helpful content production as a way of attracting leads, Inbound Marketing is custom-made to build trust with naturally skeptical people.

Think about it for a moment, are you more likely to buy something after seeing a banner ad for a business you have never heard of before, or from a business that has gone above and beyond to provide valuable content that has helped you achieve something? It’s a no-brainer.

Cost-effective

When compared to traditional forms of digital marketing, such as cold advertising, inbound is far more cost-effective. Instead of running cold ads to people who have never heard of your business previously, you can remarket to those that have consumed your content. There is already a base level of trust in this situation which reduces your ad spend.

As well, by creating content that is evergreen in nature, you build assets that will deliver you leads today, tomorrow, and next year. Evergreen content can be created once and continue working for your business well into the future as it accrues organic traffic from search engines and social media channels. You are investing in content assets, rather than spending money on ads that will stop running as soon as your budget dries up.

How to use Inbound Marketing to generate B2B leads on autopilot

When it comes to generating B2B leads on autopilot in the eLearning space, here is a 5-step process you can follow. The inspiration for this process has been drawn from the eLearning Industry’s Always-On Conversion Engine (ACE) methodology for Inbound Marketing.

Bonus #2: Watch this free video on how this process works in practice, with real-life case studies and results

Step 1 – Research

It’s tempting to jump straight into creating content aimlessly without any direction. Sure, it may feel like you’re doing something to progress your goals, but in reality, the wheels could be spinning on the spot.

To get the most from your Inbound Marketing efforts, you need to start by researching your ideal customers, competition, industry trends, search engine keywords, and opportunities for brand growth.

Before getting started with your research, you should remember that your inbound marketing strategy must be very specific to your target audience so you can address their specific pain points in a more exact way. In order to build a successful inbound marketing strategy, you should focus on targeting the right buyer personas who will maximize your digital marketing ROI.

Armed with the information from this research process, you can then create an editorial calendar of content ideas that align with your objectives.

Step 2 – Create

According to the Content Marketing Institute , producing engaging content is the biggest challenge for inbound marketers:

eLearning - B2B leads - image 2

Basically, being successful with Inbound Marketing is not as easy as publishing a few blog articles and hoping for the best. Creating content is time-consuming and is far too easily pushed to one side by busy employees.

The thing is, you don’t have to publish every other day to get results from Inbound Marketing. In fact, most eLearning businesses won’t have the time, resources, or know-how to make this kind of content production happen. After all, you’re not a publishing business!

Instead, look at your inbound strategy as a project. Based on the research you have done, create a complete editorial calendar which targets your buyer personas. This will help you increase your Marketing ROI , without wasting your resources, money and time on less valuable audiences and topics.

Your editorial calendar should include 8-10 extensive articles per topic, use case or persona targeted, that will describe all aspects of your specific topic and buyer personas. By publishing high-quality, enjoyable content that is relevant to ongoing conversations in your industry, you can demonstrate your knowledge and authority.

You will write about the pain points your buyer personas face and how they can overcome them using your solution. This process will also help you progress your readers to the next steps of the buyers’ journey. A proven technique is to combine your focus keyword and your buyer persona in the title and text of your articles. That way the readers of your articles are unlikely to deviate from your target audience.

Regarding the content creation, a success factor of your editorial calendar is whether the articles you create will be search engine optimized and easily re-purposed into other formats like eBooks. So, the next step, after your article creation, is to repurpose the articles into an eBook. That way you will have the chance to turn your readers into leads by getting valuable information for them, such as their name, business email, their company, and their purchasing authority among others.

Finally, the last step to further nurture these leads, but also to create another conversion point for interested parties, would be to use the main outline of the ebook and summarize it into a webinar deck.

Step 3 – Promote

A fundamental mistake many would-be inbound marketers make is to focus all of their energy on creating content and neglect the distribution and promotion aspect of the process. One study found that as little as 15 cents of the dollar are spent on content promotion when compared to 85 cents that are spent on content creation . If you want to get serious with inbound, consider flipping this equation on its head.

Effective content promotion is about finding a third-party B2B eLearning publication where your ideal buyer audiences are active online and developing a systematic and repeatable way to access those people when you publish content.

Step 4 – Convert

Put simply, if someone ‘converts’ on your website, they have taken the specific action you intended them to. This is usually an exchange of value. For example, they may give you their contact information in exchange for the eBook I discussed in Step 2.

Those that part ways with their contact information are now your leads because you have permission to communicate with them again in the future – ideally turning them into a customer.

Here is an example of a white paper being used in this way by eLearning Industry:

eLearning Industry: ebook example

Step 5 – Close

The final step of this Inbound Marketing process is the close. It’s when you turn a warm lead into a paying customer. When it comes to eLearning, one of the highest-converting tactics is to run a webinar. It makes sense in this industry because a webinar is essentially a live preview of the product you are selling.

It makes sense in this industry because a webinar is not only a live preview of the product you are selling but more importantly, a webinar is an opportunity to interact with people that have downloaded your eBook, in a live manner. When someone downloads an eBook, you really don’t know how much of the eBook they read, if any at all!? With a live webinar, you can qualify leads more deeply by monitoring their activity.

For example, you can use an intake form to select a few more critical data points, run a poll during the webinar, and foster a conversation during the webinar by taking cues from the chat/Q&A. This makes the experience much more interactive and full of insights, just like a normal sales call would feel.

The beauty of hosting a webinar is that you can record the session, use the recorded version to nurture future leads, and generate sales on autopilot.

Here is an example of a webinar sponsored by eLearning Industry and presented by Jon Graves eLearning Industry’s VP of Sales and Brittni Kinney Ratliff, VP at Influence & Co.:

eLearning Industry: webinar example

Want this process done for you by eLearning Industry? Find out more here.

Wrap

With the rapid growth being observed in the eLearning industry, the opportunity for fast customer acquisition is more prominent than ever.

However, with so much opportunity comes increased competition too. So you need to be smart about the foundations you lay for your lead generation objectives in the long-term.

Creating an Inbound Marketing engine that generates B2B leads on an ongoing basis without significant intervention makes a lot of sense. It’s cost-effective, and perhaps even more importantly, it reduces the trust gap between your business and its cold prospects.

The thing with inbound is that it takes time to bear fruit. So the sooner you start, the quicker you will see rewards.

What’s holding you back?

Want this process done for you by eLearning Industry? Find out more here.

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