Posts Tagged ‘Wendy Marx’

20 Brilliant B2B Marketing and Digital Business Stats and Facts

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

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.

B2B marketing and digital business statistics 2015

Image Credit: B2B Marketing Insider

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!

#1: Welcome to Marketing Stats Summer!

#2: 34 Compelling Content Marketing Stats and Facts

#3: 21 Spectacular SEO and Search Marketing Stats and Facts

#4: Five Intriguing Inbound Marketing Stats [Infographic]

#5: 31 Sensational Social Media Marketing and PR Stats and Facts

#6: 17 Excellent Email and Mobile Marketing Stats and Facts

#7: 14 Dazzling Digital Marketing Stats and Facts

#8: 35 Stupendous Social Networking Facts and Stats

#9: 20 Brilliant B2B Marketing and Digital Business Stats and Facts

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31 Sensational Social Media Marketing and PR Stats and Facts

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Business and consumer marketers are nearly unanimous in their belief in the importance of social media to marketing activities. As noted below, the money is following that belief: social media now accounts for about 11% of all digital marketing outlays, and spending on social media marketing will total nearly $10 billion this year.

Still, marketers sometimes struggle with strategy, tactics, and measurement in social media marketing. Here are five actionable takeaways from the two-and-a-half dozen noteworthy social media marketing and PR statistics and facts presented below:

Social media customer service growth

Image credit: i-SCOOP

Be responsive. People expect to hear back from the brands they interact with on Twitter and other social networks. And when they report a problem or issue, they expect to hear back quickly: 53% of consumers on Twitter expect a response within the hour. Furthermore, nearly half of all social media users share content with their friends, family and co-workers at least weekly; so if they have a bad experience with your brand, the word is likely to spread.

Strategize and measure. 88% of marketers believe social media marketing is important, and 75% of consumers say they use social media in the buying process. Yet nearly half of marketers only “somewhat agree” that analyzing social media engagement can help improve the bottom line. The key to making social media marketing effective at the business level is to have a strategy in place and measure key performance indicators. Unfortunately, strategy and measurement are cited as the top two challenges faced by social media marketers. They aren’t easy, but those who get these two areas right will succeed.

Know your market (B2B). Twitter is the place to engage with companies: While just 20 of the of Fortune 500 companies actually engage with their customers on Facebook, 83% have a presence on Twitter—as do 76% of the NASDAQ 100, 100% of Dow Jones companies, and 92% of the S&P 500. For reaching top executives though, LinkedIn is the place to be. Though only 32% of Fortune 500 CEOs have a presence on any major social network, the majority of those (25% of the total) are on LinkedIn. And 59% of executives prefer video content to text.

Know your market (B2C): Nearly three-quarters of adult Internet users in the U.S. are active on at least one social network (predominantly Facebook)—but not all use social media the same way or have the same expectations. For example, while just 2% of all consumers prefer social media over other channels for customer service, 27% of Gen Y-ers favor it. On the other hand, consumers aged 55-64 are more than twice as likely to engage with brand content as those younger than 28. Older social media users favor Facebook and Pinterest; the 34-and-under crowd dominates on Tumblr and Instagram.

Get social PR right. While journalists are open to connecting with and being contacted by PR pros using social media, they prefer email for pitches and follow up. But 76% of journalists say they feel pressure to think about their story’s potential for sharing on social media platforms—so make sure that’s part of the pitch.

There’s much more in this collection of two and half dozen sensational social media marketing and social PR facts and statistics.

16 Social Media Marketing Stats

1. People ages 55-64 are more than twice as likely to engage with a brands’ content than those 28 or younger. (Social Media Today)

2. People share content 49% more on weekdays than on weekends. (Social Media Today)

3. On average, social media accounts for 11% of digital marketing spending. (MarketingProfs)

4. 72% of adult internet users in the U.S. are now active on at least one social network, up from 67% in 2012. (Marissa’s Picks)

5. More than 70% of users expect to hear back from the brand they’re interacting with on Twitter, and 53% want a response within the hour. (Marissa’s Picks)

6. 49% of people say they share online content they like with friends, family or co-workers at least weekly. (Ber|Art)

Twitter social media marketing

Image credit: Ber|Art

7. 86% of marketers believe that social media is important for their business. (Ber|Art)

8. U.S. spending on social media marketing will reach $9.7 billion in 2015.  (MediaPost)

9. Although 88% of marketers believe social media marketing is important, nearly half (48%) only “somewhat agree” that analyzing social media engagement can help improve the bottom line, and 15% don’t think analyzing social engagement matters at all. (eMarketer)

10. The top four challenges faced by social media marketers worldwide are assessing the effectiveness of social media activities (cited by 67% of marketers); designing an overall social media strategy (62%); making social media data actionable (61%); and educating staff on how to use social media (59%). (eMarketer)

11. Product/brand recommendations on social media mean more to younger people. 28% of those aged 18-34 say they are “very” or “fairly” likely to make a purchase based on a friend’s social media post, while just 33% say they are “not at all likely” to do so. The first figure gets smaller and the second larger with age; among those 65 and over, just 4% are likely to make a purchase based on a social media recommendation, while 78% are not at all likely. (Heidi Cohen)

12. 75% of customers say they use social media as part of the buying process. (Biznology)

13. 56% of marketers do not use any form of paid promotions on social media. (Cision)

14. Consumers may use social media for customer service, but they don’t love it. Although 67% of consumers have already used a company’s social media channel for customer service, just 2% say they prefer it over other options. Phone and email remain the most popular channels (66% combined). (MediaPost)

15. However–27% of Gen Y-ers favor social media for customer service. (MediaPost)

social network user demographics 2015

Image credit: Social Media Today

16. Facebook and Pinterest are among the “oldest” social networks in terms of their member demographics; 63% of U.S. Facebook users and 58% of those on Pinterest are age 35 and older. On the other hand, the 34-and-under crowd dominate on Tumblr (just over 50%) and Instagram (60%). Twitter is more balanced. (Social Media Today)

6 Social PR Statistics and Facts

17. While many journalists say they’d like PR pros to contact them via social media, less than half of PR practitioners have successfully pitched a journalist or outlet via social. So while engaging on social is a great add-on, traditional methods such as using a media database to target specific beats remains ever-important. (Cision)

18. The top three measures used by PR pros to show social media success increased website traffic (64%), increased engagement (61%) and increased followers (59%). (Cision)

19. 88% of PR professionals say their businesses or clients regularly engage on Facebook—more than any other social media platform. Twitter came in a close second at 85%. (Cision)

Social media is the #1 activity on the web

Image credit: B2B PR Sense Blog

20. Journalists receive, on average, 50-100 press releases every week. 44% prefer to receive them in the morning. 68% just want the facts. (B2B PR Sense Blog)

21. 76% of journalists say they feel pressure to think about their story’s potential for sharing on social media platforms. 64% say they prefer that follow-up on “pitches” be done via email rather than phone. (BentoBox Media)

22. When using video, 74% of journalists prefer content created by their own organizations. Just 3% use corporate / branded videos. (BentoBox Media)

6 Facts and Stats About Executive and Enterprise Social Media Use

23. Just 32% of Fortune 500 CEOs have a presence on any of the major social networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Instagram). Most of those have a presence on only one platform, with the majority (25.4% of the total) on LinkedIn. Mark Zuckerberg is the only Fortune 500 CEO on all five major social networks — and he owns two of them. (MediaPost)

24. 59% of senior executives prefer video over text. (41 Stories)

25. Just 20 of the Fortune 100 comnpanies actually engage with their customers on Facebook. (i-SCOOP) [IMAGE maybe – good one – social customer service]

26. On a company level, 83% of the Fortune 500 had a Twitter presence in 2014, up from 77% the year before. 80% were on Facebook, up from 70%. (Sword and the Script)

27. Among 500 of the largest U.S. companies, Cisco and HP score first and second in their use of social media for corporate communications. But Facebook is only number 242, and Apple comes in 416th place. According to research by Investis, “Facebook was marked down because it did not engage with its corporate audience using the other social media platforms reviewed. Even on its own platform, Facebook’s investor relations page fell well short of best practice. For example, it does not use videos or hashtags and it does not appear to have responded to any of the posts left by users.” (Virtual Press Office)

28. Only 76% of Nasdaq 100 companies maintain a corporate Twitter account which compares with 100% of the Dow Jones and 92% of the S&P 100. (Virtual Press Office)

3 SMB Social Media Marketing Stats

29. 75% of SMBs use social media to promote their businesses–more than any other media category. (MediaPost)

30. Social media is not only number one in terms of utilization by SMBs, it is also number one in share of SMB media spending (21% of total media budgets). (MediaPost)

31. In the average firm of 100-500 employees, seven people are involved in a buying decision. (Biznology)

This was post #5 of Marketing Stats Summer (#statssummer) on Webbiquity.

#1: Welcome to Marketing Stats Summer!

#2: 34 Compelling Content Marketing Stats and Facts

#3: 21 Spectacular SEO and Search Marketing Stats and Facts

#4: Five Intriguing Inbound Marketing Stats [Infographic]

#5: 31 Sensational Social Media Marketing and PR Stats and Facts

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10 Top Marketing Thought Leaders in Social Media

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

If you were asked to name the top thought leaders in marketing today–the 10 marketers you’d definitely advise others to follow on social media–how would you proceed?

You’d probably start by looking at those you’re connected with on the major social networks, then do some additional research. Perhaps you’d look at existing “top” lists from other sites. You’d develop a “long list” of worthy experts, then gradually narrow it down based on followers, level of engagement, quality of posts, and other factors. You’d carefully develop your final list, possibly using a method like pairwise ranking.

Top 10 Social Marketing ProsBut—what if you had to answer on the spot? What if you had to respond immediately, or within just a few minutes? You’d forget some important names, of course, but your answers would reveal those you keep top of mind.

If you’re up for it, try this now; spend no more than five minutes listing your top 10—then come back to this post.

This recently happened to me. Below is my list in response to the question:

“Tell me the top ten marketing people you would follow on social media, those people that you think are the top ‘thought leaders’ in the marketing space today?”

Cheryl Burgess would unquestionably be on the list. In addition to being an expert on enterprise b2b marketing, she’s the co-author (with Mark Burgess) of The Social Employee, and the authority on how to inspire employee social media advocacy inside large organizations.

Ann Smarty knows SEO inside and out, and is the guru-ess of online tools. She also hosts the highly popular weekly Viral Content Buzz Twitter chat.

Meghan M. Biro is an acknowledged thought leader at the intersection of HR, social media and marketing.

Carla Johnson is one of the top experts on enterprise content marketing. Plus, she went to grade school in a one-room schoolhouse, making her ascent all the more impressive (or perhaps that just explains it?).

Robert Rose is another top resource on enterprise content marketing, co-author with Carla Johnson of Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing, and an original member of the Lebron team.

Jeff Bullas — does anyone know more about blogging than Jeff? He’s one of those guys who seems to defy the laws of time and space by being able to consistently churn out bookmark-worthy blog posts, speak at events all over the planet, write ebooks, and still engage actively and prolifically on social media.

Glen Gilmore has long been known as an author and expert on the intersection of social media and the law. But not content with that, he’s more recently emerged as a top authority on the Internet of Things (IoT) as well.

J-P De Clerck is a “digital business and marketing strategist” whose expertise stands in the crossroads of content, search, and social media. Plus he’s from Belgium, so along with Jeff Bullas (Australia) he keeps this list from being too U.S.-centric.

Gini Dietrich is a top PR pro, author of Spin Sucks and co-author of Marketing in the Round (incidentally a great primer on building a team to execute a web presence optimization strategy), and tweeter of consistently good stuff.

Wendy Marx is a brilliant b2b PR strategist whose B2B PR Sense blog is a must-read for any marketing or PR pro seeking wisdom and insights into b2b content marketing and social media.

In the moments after rattling off this list, my first thought was: not bad, for a group quickly compiled off the top of my head.

But my second thought was: wow, I missed a lot of important and worthy names!

How could I have left off some of the most engaging social media marketing and PR pros like Harry Hoover, Judy Bellem and Jayme Soulati?

Or within just the PR realm, thought leaders and key influencers like Deb Weinstein, Lisa Buyer, Jeff Domansky and Arik Hanson?

In the realm of content marketing, Michael Brenner, Neal Schaffer, Rebecca Lieb, Heidi Cohen and Ann Handley are certainly worthy additions. As are, getting more granular, experts in developing b2b buyer personas, like Ardath Albee and Tony Zambito.

Closer to home, I could have highlighted the fact that some of the smartest people in social media marketing are fellow Minnesotans, including Lee Odden, Marty Weintraub and Angie Schottmuller.

How about CMOs and others focused on leadership, like Patrick Strother, Tony Karrer, Chris Schenk, Kent Huffman, Eric Fletcher, and Margaret Molloy?

Or leaders in academics on social media, such as Gary Schirr, Mike Johansson and Dorie Clark?

Even at that, there are deserving names left off the list.

If I’m ever again asked to name a list of the top 10 social media marketers, I think I’ll answer—I can’t name 10. But I can give you 75 or so.

Who’s on your “top of mind” top 10 list?

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23 Outstanding Social PR Guides

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

As noted in several of the posts highlighted below, the PR professional has changed considerably over the past few years. The audiences, topics, tools, and tactics employed in PR have evolved.

The PRiodic Table of Elements

Image credit: PRNews

Foremost among these developments is the shift from communicating primarily to a closely-guarded list of traditional “media’ contacts (editors and paid journalists) to working with an amorphous and expanding pool of influencers in specific industries and specialties: vendors, buyers, brand advocates, bloggers, freelance writer, peers, and others.

This shift has led to today’s emphasis on “social” PR. But it’s not merely about using social media platforms and outreach; as one of five pillars in the web presence optimization framework, PR now impacts SEO, content marketing, website design, and other marketing disciplines.

What role do press releases play in PR today? Are they still important for SEO? Is blogger outreach still an effective PR strategy? What are the best practices for social PR?

Find the answers to these questions and others here in almost two dozen noteworthy social PR articles, posts, and guides from the past 18 months.

Social PR Strategies and Tactics

What Brands Can Learn From @TODAYshow in 2014 by #SocialPR Chat

Lisa BuyerSocial PR expert Lisa Buyer writes about the transition of the TODAY show’s social media presence from awkward to awesome, and offers four related tips, including the importance of inspiring and training your own team first: “Brands of all sizes have the strongest army of brand advocates closer than they might think, with the right direction and structure – employees make the best brand cheerleaders.”

Why the News Release is Alive, and Well, and Thriving in the Wired World by Strategic Objectives

Deb WeinsteinDeborah Weinstein expertly explains how the news release have evolved over time, why news releases serve as a pillar of content marketing (news releases are “a tool we PR pros use to communicate with mainstream and social media journalists who share their stories, AKA “earned media,” with your brand or organization’s key audiences – be they consumers, stakeholders, shareholders, regulatory authorities, and/or, all of the above”), and what opportunities this creates for PR professionals today.

The Soft and Subtle PR Pitch of Content Marketing by Sword and the Script

Frank StrongThe brilliant Frank Strong says he’s “reached a point in my career where my best PR efforts aren’t made with a telephone or email, but rather with useful content that’s made freely available,” and explains six ways content marketing is invaluable for PR, among them “credibility” in the form of social proof as well as how “people, including the influential, look at us as individuals when they weigh a pitch.” Quality content and engagement matter.

Breaking PR: The Essential Elements of PR by PR News

Casysey-WeltonCaysey Welton showcases graphical “PRiodic Table of Elements,” which lays out “several important elements that a PR pro needs to consider on a day-to-day basis,” from the basics of jumaity, logistics, and budgeting through ethics, framing, media relations, and negotiation, in this quick-read post.

Why PR Agencies Should be Great at Social Marketing, But So Few Are by SocialSteve’s Blog

Steve GoldnerSteve Goldner explores why many PR professionals and agencies struggle to get results with social media, despite the fact that “PR companies are very well suited for driving social marketing success because their entire success is based upon relationships (and) relationships are what drive social success.” Among the reasons: PR professionals have traditionally carefully guarded their contact lists, and have historically dealt almost exclusively with professional journalists. The world has changed.

Forrester #CMO REPORT: Embracing Digital and Delivering Brand Experience by #SocialPR Chat

Carah Von FunkCarah Von Funk reveals research findings that “By 2016, Forrester predicts advertisers will spend more than $77 billion on digital marketing, more than they spend on television today and that interactive marketing…will comprise a full 26% of their total spend,” then presents four tips for marketers and social PR professionals to capitalize on these trends, including “CMOs need to take stock of this digital disruption and embrace it by working across departments to assess their digital readiness and identify every area their brand experience can be improved including messaging, actions and product.”

Guides to the Evolution of PR

You Know You Are in PR When… by B2B PR Sense Blog
***** 5 STARS

Wendy MarxThe awesome Wendy Marx provides an entertaining and video-rich look at how the PR industry has changed over the past decade. For example: “You knew you were in PR when you wined and dined a reporter over a 1 1/2-hour lunch with much camaraderie and laughter (while today) You know you are in PR when the reporter you previously worked with is now heading up editorial for a major brand.”

Quick Refresh on Untapped Opportunities for PR by Ishmael’s Corner

Lou HoffmanLou Hoffman offers “three thoughts for pushing out of the comfort zone and generating greater results” with PR, such as using tools like HARO and ProfNet to build lists of freelance journalists, because “As media properties have reinvented themselves to make the economics work, they have greater dependence on freelancers. Yet, many consider freelance journalists as second-class citizens when they deserve the same treatment as staff writers. In fact, one could make an argument for spending more time with freelance journalists since they’re NOT getting crushed with pitches and tend to be more open to input from PR.”

What’s Changed, What Hasn’t in Media Relations by Business2Community
***** 5 STARS

Jon GreerAcknowledging that “the news media has changed enormously in the last 10 years,” Jon Greer astutely details five characteristics of media relations that remain constant (e.g., “There are still hundreds of pitching targets: While the mainstream media sector has shrunk, online-only media and blogs have risen up to fill much of the void”) and five that have clearly changed (i.e., “There are fewer reporters and less space in traditional media outlets…Those that are left are being bombarded with pitches” – so your pitch to one of these individuals had better be exceptional).

Guides to the Intersection of PR and SEO

A Guide to Press Release Optimization by Business Wire

Acknowledging that “inserting targeted keywords with unnatural links is no longer a best practice for your organization’s communications plan,” this guide offers 10 alternative tactics for maximizing the SEO value of news releases, such as that Google’s Hummingbird update rewards good writing: “Focus on writing for humans and creating a good user experience, and Google Hummingbird will take note. Including relevant terms continues to be important, but they need to be in context with your story.”

Enduring Questions on Press Releases and SEO by Sword and the Script

While the days of using marginal-quality, link-filled press releases to game SEO are clearly over, Frank Strong (again)here explains why strategic, newsworthy, well-crafted news releases still do have SEO value, and supplies five tips for getting better search results from press releases, such as “Use multimedia (photos and video)…Multimedia is important for two reasons.  First because search engines return a blend of search results, or ‘blended search’…Second, because visuals draw viewers in…viewers will stay on page (with multimedia) for up to 30 seconds longer.”

7 Ways to Obtain “Unicorn” News Links to Your Site Using PR by iMedia Connection

Allison FreelandNoting that “PR and SEO are becoming converging marketing practices” (yes, within the context of WPO), Allison Freeland walks through “seven ways to obtain juicy links from news organizations to your website,” including press release distribution through the reputable news wire services; producing unique issue / research studies; and producing / distributing infographics (which “still have value”).

Guides to Influencer and Blogger Outreach

How to Find Niche Influencers in Google+, Twitter and the World at Large by Bruce Clay Blog

Chelsea AdamsChelsea Adams details half-a-dozen techniques for identifying influencers in any market segment or topic area, from checking out who speaks frequently at relevant industry conferences to finding authors on (“Are they on Twitter? Are they on Google+? Do they have a lot of followers?”) and using tools like FollowerWonk to analyze the key influencers on your key influencers. – The “Blogger Outreach” Multi-Tool by Justice Mitchell

Justice MitchellJustice Mitchell writes a glowing and detailed review of GroupHigh, a tool that helps identify bloggers for outreach by topic (along with supplemental information about each blogger including location, associated/guest bloggers, Moz rank, and other attributes); analyze competitor blogs; and track and measure outreach campaigns.

The 10 best ways to pitch a blogger by

David Meerman ScottAuthor and PR guru David Meerman Scott, who (not surprisingly) receives “several hundred pitches a week from well-meaning PR people,” offers 10 do’s and don’ts for getting the attention of influential bloggers, among them understanding that bloggers can provide coverage in multiple ways (“I might tweet about your product. Maybe you have a story worth adding to a book I’m working on, or including in a speech. Don’t limit yourself”) and not offering guest posts unless the blogger actually accepts them.

Bad Outreach Examples – How Not to Secure a Guest Blogging Spot by SteamFeed

Charlotte VarelaCharlotte Varela shares five examples of awful blogger outreach, explaining why each goes beyond ineffective to the point of offensiveness (e.g., “Rule number one of guest blogging – never talk about or ask about links in the initial outreach email! This clearly demonstrates that you’re after a link and nothing else”), as well as six helpful tips for maximizing your odds of success.

How to Find Key Online Influencers by MyBeak Social Media

Laura-Lee WalkerNoting that “Active web users create about 500 million impressions or data points on products and services per year, yet 80 percent of these user impressions were made by a mere 6 percent of users on social media,” Laura-Lee Walker explains how to use tools like Klout for Business and Traackr to identify and effectively engage key influencers in any realm to “get them sharing stories about your brand.”

Streamlining Blogger Outreach With Inkybee by Soulati-‘TUDE!

Jayme SoulatiThe smart and delightful Jayme Soulati explains how to use Inkybee, a platform that helps identify bloggers by topic or niche to facilitate blogger outreach activities. She notes that beyond just building lists, the tool also enables PR professionals to set up, track, and measure results from blogger outreach efforts.

Guest Blogging Guides

How Guest Blogging was Affected by Penguin 2.0 by AudienceBloom

Jayson DeMersIgnore the obnoxious pop-up here and you’ll find a helpful post from Jayson DeMers explaining how changes to Google’s search algorithm have impacted the value and practice of guest blogging, along with four tips for continuing to get value from this practice, such as focusing on content rather than links (“Google will begin to recognize mentions of a company or its website on other sites, even if that site isn’t directly linking to them. This is known as a citation, and is currently thought to play a major role in helping Google understand the buzz or importance of a particular brand”).

5 Tips for Guest Posting on Higher End Blogs by HigherVisibility

Amanda DiSilvestroAs Amanda DiSilvestro points out, techniques that work fine for obtaining guest-posting opportunities on smaller blogs don’t work with the large A-list blogs. She then steps through five tactics that must be approached differently for outreach to larger blogs, among them: “Take your time and form connections, and then use those connections. As with most things in business, who you know will come in handy. Authoritative blogs want to see that you have made connections to other important figures in the industry (or even in their specific company). If you can name drop, I highly recommend it.”

Guides to Creating Social Media Newsrooms

Why (And How) Brands Should Build Newsrooms by Contently

Shane SnowShane Snow publishes wisdom gleaned from his interview with former New York Times editor Neil Chase, regarding the value of buiding a brand newsroom (“Today, a business can create and distribute quality content that engages people…But creating content is a new skill for most companies, so it requires new capabilities and expertise. Building a brand newsroom gives the business control over its messaging and content — and the ability to create and distribute content quickly”), how it should be staffed, common pitfalls to avoid, and more.

The Social Newsroom – How To Make It Happen by MindJumpers

Jonas Klit NielsenJonas Klit Nielsen outlines “the ingredients you need to leverage” in creating an online brand newsroom, from (of course) your news itself (“The key is to catch the specific news that people talk about when standing by the digital water cooler that is the Facebook news feed…Just remember – the conversational topics must be in context with your brand”) and social behavior to understanding the creative skills required and measuring performance.

Brands with online newsrooms still lack SEO, content plans by Brafton

This post reports on research from Newsdesk showing that “98 percent of the world’s largest brands have their own online newsrooms,’ but also spells out how brands are struggling to keep content fresh, use relevant and high-quality images, and capitalize on the SEO potential offered by online newsrooms.


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28 (of the) Best Business Blogging Guides and Tips of 2013

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Maintaining a company blog has numerous benefits for businesses of almost all shapes and sizes: blogging is an SEO best practice; it drives more website visitors lead conversions; it draws new visitors, expanding the reach of the company website; and it’s core element of a content marketing and online presence optimization strategy.

Best Business Blogging Guides of 2013So it’s not surprising that 76% of b2b companies and 72% of b2c enterprises now have corporate blogs.

Still—not every company that blogs realizes the medium’s full potential. And blogs require significant effort and resources, so even companies that have effective blogs want to assure they are maximizing results.

How can you attract more sales prospects to your blog? Get visitors to engage with your content? Become recognized as an industry thought leader? Optimize your blog for search? What common mistakes should you avoid? Which tools and plugins should you be using?

Find the answers to those questions and many others here in more than two dozen of the best business blogging guides of the past year.

Best Business Blogging Guides and Tips

7 Steps To Make Your Blog A Marketing Machine by Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenTo make your blog a marketing machine rather than a me-me-me (or me-too) blog, Heidi Cohen advises focusing on your audience’s hot buttons, outlining a series of ongoing columns, branding your blog, and incorporating clear calls to action, among other tactics.

9 Ways To Get More Prospects To Discover Your B2B Blog by Business2Community

Douglas BurdettDouglas Burdett recommends “nine tactics (that) will get your blog discovered by more readers,” from looking for and capitalizing on trends in your blog analytics and publishing original data to being controversial by “taking a stand and backing it up with data.”

An Almost Effortless Way to “Get Your Name Out There” by The Un-Self-Help Blog

Stephan WiednerStephan Wiedner shares six reasons to write guest posts for other blogs, among them: “It builds relationships. If you write for someone else’s blog and their readers like what you share, they will be grateful, potentially ask you to write again, and who knows, maybe scratch your back in other ways some time in the future.” And despite some recent, widely misinterpreted comments by Google’s Matt Cutts, guest blogging is not dead.

30+ powerful adjectives and verbs for eye-catching headlines by Econsultancy

Chris LakeQuoting advertising legend David Ogilvy that “On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar,” Chris Lake offers guidance on choosing compelling blog post topics then grabbing attention by using key adjectives and verbs in the headline. Based on research over millions of page impressions, these adjectives include “best,” “brilliant,” “kickass,” “mindblowing” and “ultimate” among others.

5 Ways to Create a Deliciously Irresistible Blog Post Title by SteamFeed

Rebekah RadiceRebekah Radice explains why post titles are so important, the four objectives a post title should achieve, and a handful of tips to help craft compelling titles, such as keeping them concise: “It has been found that titles with eight words or less perform best.”

6 Ways To Go From Anonymous Hermit To Thought Leader by Fast Company

Wendy MarxContending that “Becoming a thought leader in your industry doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily the smartest kid on the block. It does mean that you’re the most receptive and understanding of your customers’ needs,” the brilliant Wendy Marx offers half a dozen tips for making the transition, including writing for trade publications and speaking at industry events.

How to Optimize Your Blog Content for Social Media by Maximize Social Business

Kristi HinesKristi Hines shares a handful of helpful tips for optimizing blog posts for social sharing, from adding social sharing buttons (a task done easily with tools like AddThis or ShareThis]) to including a social call to action (“let readers know that you want them to share your posts by adding a call to action at the end such as ‘If you’ve enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends'”).

33 Experts Share Their Secrets For Improving Reader Engagement by Blogging Wizard

Adam ConnellAdam Connell compiles advice from nearly three dozen seasoned bloggers on increasing reader engagement, including tips from Seth Godin (“The only thing I do to increase reader engagement is to write things worth sharing”), frequent Webbiquity best-of contributor Neil Patel, Dino Dogan, Anita Campbell, Ted Rubin, Lisa Buben, Joel Comm and more.

7 company blogs that build community by

Emma SiemaskoEmma Siemasko looks at “seven company blogs that do it right, along with some practical tips for getting the same success with your blog,” among them 37Signals: “Signal vs. Noise, 37 Signals’ blog, does a lot more than promote the company…The blog provides thoughtful, inquisitive, and truth-seeking articles about working from home, whether an iPhone camera is enough of a camera, and more.”

How to Generate More Leads With Your Blog: 5 Tips by Social Media Examiner

Kristi Hines (again) supplies a handful of helpful tips for generating leads via a blog, like placing opt-in forms around your blog content with “calls to action such as free trials, free consultations or a simple mailing list opt-in form.”

How to Contribute to a Blog and be Seen by Geekless Tech

Steve HughesNoting that contributing to other blogs “helps with reach, and exposes you to an audience you just don’t have with your own blog,” Steven Hughes shares a handful of tips for constructively contributing such as following directions: “Some sites will spell out exactly what they’re looking for and what you need to do to be considered,” and creating solid, original content.

20 ideas for content that people love to share on social media by Firebrand Ideas Ignition

Jeff BullasJeff Bullas provides 20 tips to help bloggers create a steady stream of fresh content, including creating lists, republishing infographics, curating content (kind of like this post), reporting news, analyzing research results, and reviewing tools or applications.

How to Make Your WordPress Blog to Stand Out by Themefuse

Karol KrolKarol Król presents five ideas to make your blog stand out from the crowd, from picking a new publication schedule (“you won’t know which posting frequency is the best for your blog until you try at least a couple of them”) to launching a contest (“Create a genuine task, or ask a genuine question…Then gather the entries and pick the winner”).

Best Tips for Beginning Bloggers

7 Content Writing Secrets Every Blogger Should Know by Basic Blog Tips

Glen AndrewsGlen Andrews details basic but helpful strategies for writing compelling blog posts, from crafting an attention-grabbing headline and opening through “giving it a rest”–“Before you publish that post – give it a rest. Why? Because, no matter how good we think our post is today, tomorrow never lies…Our posts will be more powerful and professional if we ‘let it rest’ and review it tomorrow with fresh eyes.”

5 Steps To A Successful Blog – A First-Time Blogger’s Business Plan by Viral Mom

Bernard ZarifovicBernard Zarifovic diagrams a first-time blogger’s business plan, starting with selecting a topic or niche and writing the first set of posts and progressing through social sharing, social engagement, and guest blogging.

7 reasons why a blog is vital to your social media strategy by Memeburn

Megan BersteinWhile most of the points here will be familiar to experienced bloggers, Megan Bernstein offers some interesting insights for corporate blog strategy, such as understanding the competitive landscape: “Your competitors in the online space are not always the same as those in ‘real life’.”

Top 10 Strategies to Successful B2B Blogging by

Naomi Ruth GanhinhinNaomi Ruth Ganhinhin offers 10 tips for blogging success, from setting clear objectives (“A clear set of objectives makes it easier to organize the type of content you publish. It also dictates the tone you are going to use and determine the right people to write your blog posts”) to including calls to action.

Best Guides to Blogging Mistakes and Pitfalls to Avoid

Are You Making These 20 Mistakes on Your Blog? by

Jeff Bullas (again) steps through 20 “common  mistakes that a lot of ‘newbie’ and other bloggers slip into,” such as not providing additional reading sources with each post, writing posts that are too long or too short (he recommends aiming for 500-800 words), and not using post categories to help readers find posts of interest.

Still Using Google Images for Your Blog Posts? Stop It! by She Owns It

Shelley WebbWriting that she has “seen too many people served with unexpected ‘bills’ and/or lawsuits for using images that held copyrights,” guest author Shelley Webb explains what types of actions and sources can get bloggers into trouble, and lists alternative / free image sources like Stock.XCHNG.

Blogging: 34 Things You’re Doing Wrong by Social Media Today

Yvonne LyonsYvonne Lyons reveals “34 things that could be keeping your posts from getting traction and making the jump from good to remarkable,” such as errors / lack of editing, choosing a topic that’s been “done to death,” and having no links within the post to your own site—and how to fix each problem.

Why Your Company Blog is Striking Out by Marketo Blog

K'Lee BanksGuest blogger K’Lee Banks offers advice on what to do “if you are spending time writing posts, but no one is listening,” for example: use interesting images (not just stock photos), always include social sharing buttons; and “Invite other professionals in your industry to guest post and connect with their readers.”

Best Blog SEO Guides and Tips

How To Move Your Blog Post Up In Search Results by V3 Integrated Marketing

Ian ClearyGuest author Ian Cleary outlines a half-dozen tactics to improve a blog’s search rankings, including the strategic use of internal and external links: “You don’t want to include a ton of internal links, as that looks spammy. Instead, make sure you’re directing your readers to the resources that they need (internal or external).”

How to Optimize Your Business Blog [Checklist] by Unbounce
***** 5 STARS

Lindsey KirchoffIn this highly bookmark-worthy post, Lindsey Kirchoff lays out a simple four-quadrant checklist for optimizing all aspects of a business blog: structure (e.g., navigation, search, categories); SEO (attributes like keyword use, internal links and Google authorship); CTAs; and social elements.

15 SEO Experts Give Their Best Tips For Blogging by Heidi Cohen

Heidi Cohen (again) shares blog SEO trips from experts like Kipp Bodnar and Jeffery L. Cohen (“The single biggest factor in SEO success for bloggers comes down to consistent publishing. Those who publish regularly receive more search traffic”), Eric Enge, Ron Jones, Rebecca Lieb and Charlie White.

Best Business Blogging Tools, WordPress Tips and Plugins

4 Useful Creative Commons Browser Plugins by Internet Marketing Ninjas

Ann SmartyOnline tools maven Ann Smarty reviews four browser plugins to help find free (creative commons) images for use in blog posts, including CC Search, a search plugin that provides “quick access to about 10 Creative Commons search engines (including flickr, spinxpress, wikimedia, fotopedia, etc). It’s a good search plugin when you need more options that just Flickr.”

How to Make WordPress Sites Load 72.7% Faster by CopyBlogger

Jerod MorrisIn an attempt to “cut the crap and turn down the hype” regarding how to create a faster WordPress site, Jerod Morris recommends staring by examining and optimizing the “core” of every WordPress site, which includes “hosting, theme, and plugins,” then offers a series of speed optimization tips. Not all are simple, but most bloggers should at least be able to find some helpful site speed-related takeaways here.

7 Emerging and Free WordPress Plugins of Fall 2013 by SteamFeed

Jesse AaronJesse Aaron reviews seven newer WordPress plugins, including WooSidebars (for creating custom sidebars by page), All In One Rich Snippets (self-explanatory) and his favorite: the WordPress Calls to Action Plugin, which makes it “insanely easy” to do things like “create an effective call to action button, direct the call to action to a landing page, and direct the landing page to a conversion form.”

Easily Move Your WordPress Website to a New Host by Masterful Marketing

Debra MurphyThis is an instance where “easily” may be in the eyes of the reader, but nonetheless Debra Murphy does an exemplary job here of detailing the non-trivial process of moving an existing blog to a new web host as simple and understandable as possible.

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