The brilliant Ann Smarty and her team at MyBlogU are launching a new blogging contest which could win your new blog a big prize—if you’re up for the challenge.
In The MyBlogU Blog Launchpad: Content Zero to Blogging Hero Challenge, participants will be required to start a brand new site (with a new domain; no expired domains or old blogs) and build up the content and traffic for six months (with the help and support of the MyBlogU community!)
After six months, entrants will compare results (traffic, subscribers, profit) and the MyBlogU team will pick the winner; then commit to work together to double the winning site’s results!
The contest offers an opportunity for blogging pros to build a new web presence and a great way for newbie bloggers to find ways to succeed!
Participants will share their results regularly, learning strategies and practices from each other as the contest progresses.
Think you’re ready to take this on? Check out all the details of the challenge here.
We’ve all seen example of megaposts: multiple-thousand-word posts promising an exhaustive take on a topic. They carry titles like “The Comprehensive Guide to…” blah blah or “101 Ways to…” yada yada.
People may click on them. And they definitely share them. But do they read them? Or do busy professionals really prefer “content snacking” to a big sit-down meal of information?
Let’s say you’re a Facebook marketing expert, for example. Is it better to write one big post along the lines of “105 Ways to Master Facebook Marketing” or to break up that content into a series of smaller posts: 20 Tips for Facebook Advertising, 17 Ways to Grow Your Facebook Audience, etc.?
To test that, here’s a comparison of three marketing statistics megaposts published on Webbiquity within the past 18 months or so, and a series of similar but shorter, more tightly categorized posts.
Versus this themed series of posts:
Which approach works better? The answer is a crystal clear…it depends.
If your goal is short-term shares and traffic, there’s no question megaposts drive more activity than individual, shorter themed posts—but the themed series generates more shares and traffic as a group.
On average, the megaposts received three times as many tweets and five times as much 30-day traffic as the individual themed posts. But the themed series in total got nearly triple the number of retweets and roughly twice as many 30-day visits as the average megapost.
Another advantage of producing a series is that, for a relatively small amount of extra effort, you’ve covered several days (or weeks, depending on your publishing frequency) rather than just a single post.
However, megaposts have their advantages as well. They help establish you as an expert on the topic; they tend to draw traffic over a longer period of time; and they may rank more highly in search (as shown in the chart above).
So which format should you use: megaposts or themed series? As Deion Sanders famously said: “both.”
Marketers spend billions of dollars and thousands of hours each year developing compelling content, search-optimizing websites and blogs, fine-tuning their ad targeting, and engaging with influencers and prospects on social media.
While these activities serve a number of purposes—establishing thought leadership, expanding brand awareness, improving customer retention—lead generation remains the top goal.
So once you’ve attracted a prospective customer to your website, you’d really like them to convert into a (potential at least) lead by completing some sort of call to action: downloading a white paper or report, registering for a webinar, subscribing to your newsletter, signing up for a free trial, asking for an online demo, or some other goal.
To maximize the odds that will happen, you need to build the perfect lead generation form.
Well…okay, creating the “perfect” lead gen form may be a tall order. But building a better lead gen form is eminently doable. Where should you start?
The infographic below, from Formstack, provides several helpful tips and best practices, among them:
- • Keep it short! Ask only for essential, basic information. You can earn the right to ask for more details later in the lead nurturing process.
- • Position forms above the fold, and on the right side of the screen; forms on the right side of the page generate 24% more leads.
- • Use attention-grabbing colors, like blue, green, and orange.
- • Optimize for mobile users: incorporate mobile-friendly features like simple-select buttons and drop-down lists.
- • Test everything! Colors, form length, copy, headlines, and images. Form A/B testing alone can boost conversions by up to 25%.
Check out this infographic for more ideas.
B2B marketers today certainly live in “interesting times” (in the sense of the not-actually-Chinese curse).
While search, social media, ecommerce and content marketing have dramatically altered the roles of buyers and sellers, a number of traditional channels (that is, pre-dating millennials) remain highly effective.
The collection of facts and stats below shed light on this paradox, as well as other insights. Here are four key takeaways from this research for B2B marketers:
- • Sales people won’t disappear, but their role is changing, and many are struggling to adapt. 82% of B2B decision makers think sales reps are unprepared; product demonstrations are among the least-valued types of information for buyers; and half of all B2B purchases may be made directly online by 2018. To succeed, B2B sales people need to focus on the three Rs—no, not reading, `riting and `rythmetic, but rather responsiveness (50% of sales go to the first salesperson to contact a prospect), relationships, and references.
- • Social media accounts are like seat belts; they’re only effective if you actually use them. 55% of B2B buyers say they search for product/vendor information on social media. Yet while 95% of B2B marketers have created corporate social media accounts, half are still not active on social media on a regular basis.
- • Don’t rely too much on advertising. Ads certainly have their place in a web presence optimization (WPO) framework, as the “paid” pillar in the paid-owned-shared-earned (POSE) media model. Search ads are effective for capturing immediate demand and display ads are useful for brand awareness. But 80% of B2B decision makers prefer to get information from articles rather than advertising, and 40% of millennials don’t trust ads—so strong organic tactics need to be part of the mix as well.
- • The classics still rock. Despite the tremendous growth in digital marketing, several basic old-school marketing channels remain highly effective. Trade shows remain the top source for B2B lead generation, with 77% of marketers saying they generate a significant quantity of leads. 59% of CMOs still say print marketing is an effective channel—and 64% of buyers cite print among their trusted sources of information—while 51% still see value in direct mail.
Get more inspiration from these 20 B2B marketing and digital business stats and facts.
12 B2B Marketing Facts and Statistics
1. Death of the salesman? When purchasing online, B2B buyers rate pricing as the most useful information (though not, generally, special offers or discounts). Technical information and specifications are the next-most important topic. Product demonstrations are least valued. (V3B Blog)
2. 55% of B2B buyers search for information on social media. (Biznology)
3. Today’s sales process takes 22% longer than 5 years ago. (Biznology)
4. 91% of customer say they’d give referrals; only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals. And 82% of B2B decision makers think sales reps are unprepared. (Biznology)
5. 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. (B2B PR Sense Blog)
6. B2B customers now expect the same range of omnichannel buying options they enjoy as consumers – which is why almost half of B2B buyers (49%) prefer to use consumer websites to make work-related purchases. (The Future of Commerce)
7. 52% of B2B buyers say they expect half of their purchases to be made online by 2018. (The Future of Commerce)
8. 78% of B2B customers (and 83% of consumers) say fulfillment options – such as next-day delivery – are important or very important. (The Future of Commerce)
9. Although 95% of B2B marketers have created corporate social media accounts, half still are not active on social media on a regular basis–and just 10% feel they are able to articulate the business value of social media efforts. (MediaPost)
10. Good old-fashioned trade shows remain the top source for B2B lead generation, with 77% of marketers saying they generate a significant quantity of leads, and 82% saying they generate high-quality leads. (MediaPost)
11. The average cost of a B2B sales lead varies widely by industry. Healthcare leads are most expensive ($60) followed by business/finance ($43). At the low end are leads for marketing products/services ($32) and technology ($31). (B2B Marketing Insider)
12. Just 34% of B2B organizations say they touch leads with lead nurturing on a monthly basis. (B2B Marketing Insider)
8 Other Digital Business Stats and Facts
13. Six of the ten busiest websites are based in the U.S. – but 86% of their visitors come from outside America. (TechCrunch)
14. 15 of the 25 largest U.S. tech companies were founded by first- or second-generation Americans. (TechCrunch)
15. Marketing is all about digital now, right? Not quite. 59% of CMOs still say print advertising is an effective marketing channel. 58% say the same for TV, 51% direct mail, and almost half radio and telemarketing. (AdWeek)
16. The larger the company, the higher the marketing expense budget as a percentage of revenue. Firms with revenue of $5 billion or more spend on average 11 percent, compared with 9.2 percent for those with revenue between $500 million and $1 billion. Marketing budgets as a percentage of revenue varied widely, with nearly half of companies (46%) spending less than 9% of revenue; 24% spending 9-13% of revenue; and 30% spending more than 13% of revenue. (Gartner)
17. 40% of millennials (aged 25-34) don’t trust advertising. Marketers trying to appeal to this group need to understand that, but also that this group is highly educated (33% have a college degree) but struggling financially: many have student loan debt, 52% don’t have enough money to cover basic living costs, and 35% are either unemployed or work part-time. (Heidi Cohen)
18. 50% of sales go the first salesperson to contact a prospect. (Biznology)
19. So much for the “death” of old media. Though the heyday of print may be over, the two most trusted sources of information remain the online versions of traditional media outlets (68%) and print (64%). Blogs come in at 21% (ugh). (Cision)
20. 14% of businesses fail due to poor marketing. (B2B PR Sense Blog)
This was the ninth and final post of Marketing Stats Summer (#statssummer) on Webbiquity. Hope you’ve found the series entertaining and enlightening!
#9: 20 Brilliant B2B Marketing and Digital Business Stats and Facts
Using social media to maximize the impact of live events (like trade shows, forums and conferences) is where shiny new tools meet old school marketing.
As noted here previously, trade shows and other live events remain one of the top three lead generation channels for B2B companies, despite the fact they’ve been around for a while (the first trade conferences were in the 1700s).
But social media marketing, which emerged as a distinct discipline just eight years ago this month, has proven a powerful tool for maximizing the results from and investment in live event marketing.
Growth in searches for “social media marketing” per Google Trends
A new infographic from the Lakeshore Convention Centre in Ontario provides a number of interesting facts and helpful tips for using social media to market events. Among the key points:
- • Social media marketing budgets are projected to double over the next five years.
- • Yet—less than half of businesses use social media for event marketing, and just 11% use blogging to market events.
- • A Facebook event listing can serve as an information hub for attendees. Companies can use this to promote the event, post updates, and respond to inquiries.
- • Two of the best ways to use Twitter for event marketing are to create an events-specific hashtag, and provide a pre-crafted tweet for attendees to send out upon registering.
- • Keep the buzz going after events by posting photos of the conference or trade show to Facebook and Instagram.
Check out the complete infographic for more ideas.