this just in: advertising is going native. advertising is creeping out of sidebars and banners and perching proudly ‘mongst the stuff we actually read. “sponsored posts” on facebook, twitter and linkedin are a long way from the advertorials of yore. do native advertising, and its kissing cousin sponsored content, work? yes, indeed – if they’re done right. marketers must take care, however, to avoid situations where the audience feels deceived. herein a tale of lost innocence. Continue reading
missing or poor attribution creates confusion and uncertainty. in a knowledge marketplace where many suppliers claim the same expertise (often using identical phrasing), this uncertainty results in delay and (sometimes) flawed choices based on imperfect information.
are you guilty of blurring the lines in building your personal brand or business? Continue reading
for inbound marketers, shared content is the golden snitch,* a rare and elusive signal of value from one’s audience. make sure that if someone wants to share your stuff, you give them the tools to do it right. there are a number of ways to facilitate content sharing, and it’s well worth the few extra seconds needed to give sharers a powerful message to promote your content effectively.
facebook-style twitter image tagging was introduced earlier this year.* can (and should) marketers use the feature for targeting and to expand the reach of select posts?
twitter image tagging
- pro: tagged user gets an alert with link to that post
- pro: tagged handles don’t count against character limit
- con: tweet is (probably) not displayed to tagged user’s followers
- con: only possible (as of fall 2014) using native twitter app
the absence of support for third party social posting managers like hootsuite or my trusty buffer limits the scalability of this tactic, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I think the real value is as a microtargeted outreach effort – for an influencer connection or a top prospect/client – with high value content in combination with the usual channels.
have you used twitter image tagging to to target social posts personally or professionally? share your experience in the comments!
* if you don’t want to be singled out in this way, you can just say no. twitter’s security & privacy settings let users opt out altogether or restrict tagging to users you follow.
are you leveraging every contact to help engage your alumni donors? schools have long recognized the development potential of alumni reunions. they dedicate considerable resources to encourage participation (and associated giving). there is no reason, however, why other events to which alumni are invited cannot also become cultivation opportunities. Continue reading
hubspot is preparing for an initial public offering and with it, corporate validation of its inbound marketing philosophy. hubspot’s talking heads and their adherents condemn traditional marketing tactics, like advertising, telemarketing, and campaigns built on mailing lists, as “interruption marketing.”
now, however, critics are calling out the marketing automation firm for failing to walk the inbound walk with its own marketing. critics are asking the wrong question when they ask if inbound marketing can be profitable or why hubspot doesn’t rely solely on inbound tactics to build its business.
the real question:
does inbound marketing generate better leads?
headlines about the ROI of this or that marketing effort disguise the reality that marketing is not a question of profitability, but one of efficiency. marketing only gets prospects to the door. I am sure there are product categories where “getting found” is all it takes. I don’t know any offhand, and I know for sure I’ve never worked on one. For most of us, especially in the business-to-business arena, there’s a courtship dance of varying duration and complexity. that dance determines profitability.
want to evaluate inbound marketing?
ask these questions:
- do inbound tactics attract more leads than traditional methods
- do more of those leads close
- do they make the sales process easier
- do they result in an easier sale and/or higher price point
responsive design is hot lately, and justly so. making your website or email more accessible for visitors, however, can have negative consequences. visual content is not necessarily responsive visual content. how can we adapt our beautiful content for a responsive internet?
responsive design and visual content are both intended to increase the effectiveness of communications by making content more accessible. historically, however, visual presentation has optimized content for understanding in a single, static format. responsive design, on the other hand, uses multiple formats to accommodate the ways users access that content. companies like lemon.ly and tools like chartist are starting to provide ways to ensure all your content is effective on any screen size. Continue reading
from the hubspot forums, a query about why we’re not supposed to pitch visitors on the page of arrival. “why not put a form right on the initial landing page with the related content?” why indeed.
first, think about why visitors arrive at a certain page. the tenets of inbound marketing hold that visitors seek information – content that answers a question. how many arrive hoping to get a sales pitch right out of the gate? and how soon is too soon to give our guest a little shove down the funnel?
hubspot makes it easy to add social sharing links to emails, blog posts and webpages so readers can pass your content on to their peeps. it’s a great way to expand your marketing reach beyond your immediate network. it’s also even more incentive to make your content worth sharing! make your sharable content work even harder with an easy tweak that will get your message in front of even more of the people you most want to reach, whether the fan of your content has ten followers or 10,000. insert hashtags in your hubspot social sharing links. Continue reading