Tag Archives: markethive

Inbound Marketing: How to Connect with Millennials

Inbound Marketing: How to Connect with Millennials

“So, Content is King but, millennials demand superior content quality for their money” …. Vaurn James

So, do you smell the money and if not then, your olfactory senses require immediate medical intervention because “there are currently 80 million millennials in the U.S., and with an annual buying power of 200 billion, they are the most lucrative segment of the us market”.  Clearly, it’s in the interest of both marketers and corporations to better understand this audience so as to provide them value rich content, while addressing their interests, needs, wants and problems for this segment of the population between 18-34 years old.  So, how do you go about understanding the behavior of Generation Y in the digital age and build a trusting relationship where commerce results in a WIN-WIN for all involved?  Truth be told, I had no bloody idea and that’s why I deferred to Google, Hubspot, Markethive, life experience, millennials, marketers and pure guesswork.  It’s like being a parent but, you still don’t understand the kid because your knowledge and experience are both inadequate so you seek help.  Hence, I sought professional expertise in the arena of what is called Inbound Marketing to millennials and learned much about this new generation of consumers.  To connect involves understand how they behave and think.   

According to the experts creating a Buyer Persona is the best approach to connecting with this desired target market.  Now, a buyer persona is a multi-dimensional profile that identifies the way your ideal consumer thinks, feels, motivations and problems, that you will resolve by providing a solution.  Remember, “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them…Albert Einstein”.  The more detailed the profile the greater the odds of success increases.  Think of today’s inbound marketing specialists as behavioral analysts or more commonly known as profilers who analyze significant sums of data detailing past sales patterns and contact databases (surveys, interviews, etc) to uncover trends about how certain leads or customers find and consume your content.  It’s all psychology; therefore, to better influence anyone then, it starts with understanding their behavior through how they think.  Without a doubt critical thinking, research and posing the right questions are key factors in the assessment process that helps create an evaluation narrative of your ideal buyer persona. 

This is especially true when dealing with millennials because they are highly educated but, also technologically dependent and use social media as a daily interface with other millennials to interact with each other, while developing their own individual identity through the use of technology.  Today’s corporations still continue to struggle to connect with flavor of the month demographic because they are very frugal and skeptical because of how business is conducted in such a mercenary manner.  In today’s economy millennials have little expectation of long-term employment with the same company; hence, they have no loyalty to brands that have not been approved by fellow millennials which creates the challenge of gaining them as long-term customers.  As a growing and powerful segment of the economy millennials demand what they want and can leverage by using the digital tools that have become part of their daily routine.    

Now, interruption or outbound marketing tactics appear to be no longer effective because the approach isn’t permission based.  Traditionally, marketing involved the following methods: buying TV ads, flyers, popup ads, radio ads, mass emails and other intrusive methods that try to interrupt an individual’s daily routine to buy.  Clearly, a permission-based method of marketing where attention of your audience is earned increases the chances of successful sale.  Since, millennials were raised in the digital-age with new technology available to them and increasing in sophistication their attention is often restricted to products and services that they and peers identify with.  Old school marketing tactics are less effective and this is why inbound marketing that focuses on the interests of their audience functions as superior approach in developing a long-term trusting relationship.  Nobody will buy if, they don’t trust you nor your company.

So, are you engaging in direct advertising or educational marketing where an informed decision can be made regarding potential purchase?  If, it’s the former then, your content is wasted because purchases in today’s economy often go through a vetting process by consumers via YouTube, blogs, snapchat and other social media devices where people express their likes or dislikes of a product.  Want people back at your website for purchase then, content must show the benefits; otherwise, the miserly millennials will keep their shekels in their pouch.  

“In a nutshell, inbound marketing is about making meaningful relationships with consumers via the internet, primarily through content. It’s about creating and sharing content that your audience seeks. It’s about positioning your brand as a thought leader that can be trusted”.  “In addition, inbound marketing will help you to create opportunities for participation and interaction—through likes, comments, and shares, your audience can better connect with your brand on social media, through your blog, and through other means”. 

Vaurn James

Contributor

 

Eight Steps to Guarantee a Successful Video or Web Conference

webinar

webinar

Eight Steps to Guarantee a Successful Video or Web Conference

A successful video or web conference can really give a boost to your organization. Online conferencing is now connecting people in a way that was not possible in the pre-Internet era. However, as powerful a tool as online conferencing is, it works best when you prepare your conferences properly. Here are some steps that you can take to help guarantee that your next video or web conference is a great success.

1. Make sure each of your attendees has enough bandwidth at his or her location

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to watch a video online when you just don’t have enough bandwidth to get it all. If your participant doesn’t have enough bandwidth there will be latency delays and he or she will not be able to enjoy the experience or participate properly. The amount of bandwidth that is required varies from system to system and also according to what features you will be using during the conference. Features such as video, audio, screen and application sharing have different requirements. Check with your vendor or provider to find out what the minimum bandwidth requirements are, and then make sure each of your locations does indeed have enough bandwidth.

2. Test your web cameras to see that they are working properly

If video will be involved at any of the locations, make sure that the location has tested their camera to ensure that everything is working satisfactorily. Ideally, all cameras should be tested from within the video or web conferencing system that you will be using. A camera that is working fine in one application may work differently within another system. Check it in advance so that you will not have any surprises on the day of your conference.

3. Check your sound equipment in advance

If VoIP (audio) is going to be used from within the meeting itself, make sure that all attendees have the right tools needed, whether these tools are microphones, headsets and speakers.

4. Supply your participants with proper access information in advance of the conference

If audio will be conducted via an audio conference call, make sure all attendees have the access number to dial into and the PIN (Personal Identification Number) they will need to access the call.

5. Conduct a “trial-run” of your presentation prior to the conference date

The presenters or leaders of the conference should practice in advance. If a presentation will be involved, make sure that whoever will be presenting any material has tested this part of the video or web conferencing system. The presentation that is to be used should be demonstrated to another party BEFORE the date of the actual meeting.

6. Supply web access information to your participants well in advance of the meeting

Make sure that all of your participants know how to access the video and web “conference room”. Send an e-mail "link" to each participant well in advance of the meeting so that they will be able to easily access the meeting when the appropriate day and time has arrived.

7. Get as much training as you can in the video or web conference system that you will be using

The host should be very familiar and comfortable with the video or web conferencing system they are going to use. If training is offered by your vendor or provider, then take advantage of this in order to become more familiar with the system. Familiarity with the system will help you to host a flawless meeting or conference.

8. Conduct a test meeting prior to the big event

Most importantly! Conduct a test meeting or two before the day of the "big" meeting. Tests will help you eliminate as many surprises as possible before you gather all of your attendees. A meeting free of technical glitches will go far to help you achieve the goals of your conference.

The key to a successful online conference, whether it be a web conference, a videoconference or a combination of the two, is preparation, preparation and preparation. The more you prepare and the more you practice, the better your online meetings will be.

Ida Mae Boyd
Contributor

 

SEO Tips for Bloggers

SEO Tips for Bloggers

All serious bloggers are interested in building a large community of enthusiastic readers, and this is why SEO is so critical to your success. Without good search visibility, people who are interested in your content, but don’t know you, may never find you.

SEO best practices are primarily driven by Google, and change frequently. This post, which lays out 50 important SEO tips for bloggers, features a lot of links to Google instructional pages. These Google links will enable you to bypass outdated or incorrect SEO advice that unfortunately permeates the web.

Besides being ever changing, SEO is complicated and technical. These 50 tips, while important, just scratch the surface. What tips can you add to the list? 

SEO Strategy

The following five points offer some big picture guidance for your SEO activities. Perhaps a sixth point would be, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Great SEO requires balance: pay equal attention to onsite and offsite optimization opportunities.

  1. Content quality is your primary onsite SEO consideration.
  2. For keywords, user intent is a major consideration, since the most valuable traffic to your site comes from users who are interested in doing business.
  3. Think visibility rather than rankings, because rankings vary from user to user, and users look for search results based on content type (images, news, etc.).
  4. A steady increase in organic search traffic growth is usually the best indicator of strong SEO.
  5. For link building, quality is more important than quantity.

Blog Post Setup

Your blog posts not only have to interest human readers – they also need to be constructed so that Google can find them, read them and appropriately display them in search results. Even brilliant content must be optimized in order to find its largest potential audience.

  1. The post URL should default to display the post title.
  2. The post title (H1 tag) should default to be the post Meta title tag.
  3. The post title should include keywords, preferably at the beginning of the title.
  4. Post titles should always be unique and relevant to the content.
  5. WordPress users should use the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin or the  All in One SEO Pack.
  6. Always write a unique and catchy Meta description tag, with a call to action if applicable, for your post, as it will attract more click-throughs.
  7. Read this page from Google with extreme care for a foundational working knowledge of key SEO content considerations.
  8. Include prominent social media share buttons in the post template, as social shares are correlated to rankings.

Site Structure

Many blog themes from WordPress and other CMS platforms are SEO-friendly right out of the boxbut how you set them up, modify them and maintain them makes a big difference in Google’s ability to find and rank your blog’s content.

  1. Avoid long blogrolls on the sidebar, because site-wide outbound links can reduce rankings.
  2. Do not participate in link exchange programs.
  3. Internally link relevant posts on your blog, but do it selectively.
  4. Avoid keyword-optimized anchor text for outbound links unless they are extremely relevant and flow naturally within the narrative.
  5. Use Google Webmaster Tools to identify and fix broken links and other SEO-unfriendly site issues.
  6. Have your own domain.
  7. Have all versions of your blog resolve to the www.domain version.
  8. Use Custom robots.txt to prevent Google from crawling pages you don’t want indexed, such as off-theme content.
  9. Improve page loading speed by upgrading hosting, clearing your cache, compressing images and other techniques.

Content Composition

Going back five years or so, SEO copywriting involved a lot of precise rules about how and where to display keywords in a blog post. Today, Google is smart enough to interpret a post’s theme and relevance without strict adherence to these rules – which is great news for bloggers who want to focus on human readers!

  1. Original content generally outranks duplicate content by a wide margin.
  2. Don’t overuse keywords in post text.
  3. Keywords in subheads, italics, bold or within ordered and unordered lists have slightly more power than keywords in plain text.
  4. Word counts aren’t as important as they used to be, but all other things being equal, longer posts rank better than shorter posts.
  5. Your first SEO priority is to write useful, relevant and authoritative content for human readers, because that is what Google is looking for.
  6. To develop new post topics and SEO opportunities, review analytics regularly to identify popular new keywords and strategic long tail keywords.

Onsite Images And Video

Image and video search are segmented search options on Google that can attract a tremendous amount of traffic. If you are in a visual business, such as graphic design, or any type of business where customers may want to view images or video of what you do, then image and video optimization are essential.

  1. Use relevant keywords in your image’s file name.
  2. Write descriptive alt text for images in plain sentence format.
  3. Write useful and interesting image captions, because they keep visitors on your page longer.
  4. Follow Google Webmaster image publishing guidelines.
  5. Follow Google Webmaster video best practices.

Google Authorship

Traditionally, Google primarily associates content with the site on which it is published. Google Authorship is a fairly new program that associates content with its author. In time, we will probably see high authority authors outrank low authority authors, making it important for bloggers to start participating in Google Authorship program now.

  1. Actively participate on Google+ and in the Google Authorship program.
  2. Since original content is immediately indexed and ranked on Google, write original, useful and keywordrich content on your Google+ posts.
  3. Link your Google+ profile to all blogs and sites you write for following these instructions.
  4. Whenever possible, link your guest authors’ Google+ profiles to your blog.
  5. Use an appealing Google+ headshot, as it will be displayed in Google search results.

Offsite Activities

When your blog is linked to from high quality, relevant sites, it tells Google your blog’s content is authoritative, meaningful, useful and interesting. Establishing and maintaining a solid link profile is probably the single most important SEO activity you can engage in.

  1. Guest blog on relevant and authoritative blogs to build inbound links.
  2. Invite relevant and authoritative bloggers to guest post on your blog, to build social shares and traffic.
  3. Be ultra-selective in pursuing directory listings, as they are generally not an effective way to build inbound links.
  4. Avoid building links by publishing content on article banks.
  5. Avoid building links by publishing non-newsworthy press releases.
  6. Review your link profile, removing bad links, fixing broken links and updating good links to conform to best practices.
  7. Optimize your YouTube channel and videos by following these instructions.

SEO Agency Red Flags

Many bloggers partner with SEO agencies or freelancers in order to cover all of the bases noted above. There are a lot of tremendously talented people to choose from – but there are also some that bloggers would be wise to avoid.

  1. Avoid agencies that promise #1 rankings or tons of free links.
  2. Avoid agencies that don’t have a documented, transparent description of their methodology.
  3. Avoid agencies that don’t provide detailed reports of activity and/or results.
  4. Avoid agencies that won’t provide client referrals.
  5. Avoid agencies that speak in an overly technical way or have other communication shortcomings.

That was a lot to digest, but when it comes to SEO, it’s still just an appetizer. What SEO tips can you share?

Guest author: Brad Shorr is Director of B2B Marketing for Straight North, an Internet marketing agency headquartered in Chicago. He is an experienced content strategist, respected blogger, and SEO copywriter. Connect with him on Twitter @bradshorr.

Entrepreneurial Social Networks

Top 5 Social Networks Entrepreneur Strategy

There are hundreds of social networks out there. You can’t be everywhere and we all need to focus our efforts and time on the most effective social networking sites. Here are the social networks I would recommend most for entrepreneurs.

Looking for a job? Consider creating your own. There are a number of social resources to help you connect with other entrepreneurs and get your business ideas off the ground.

Here are the top 5 social networks for entrepreneurs. Each helps entrepreneurs succeed by providing them with the guidance, tools and resources they need to setup their company and gain exposure.

Nothing compares with the brute force horsepower Inbound Marketing engine that comes free with Markethive, but we need to build alliances among our peers and this list is the top 10 of other Entrepreneurial social nets we recommend you frequent as well.

1. Markethive

I am putting Markethive as number one for many reasons, including a serious case of bias. I built it, aside from that. Markethive is a traditional easily navigated and profile oriented network similar to Facebook, oriented like LinkedIn but unique in that it's engine is a multimillion dollar Inbound Marketing platform. As entrepreneurs, we invest (spend) millions on autoresponder systems, capture page systems, blogging platforms, broadcasting technologies, known as Inbound Marketing today. Markethive's founder is the same man the developed Veretekk and invented Automated Marketing, auto responders, capture pages basically what has become today known as Inbound Marketing. There is no other Inbound Marketing solution on the Internet that comes close, has the level of integration found on the Internet at any price and the other systems cost upwards of $10,000 per month. Markethive's Inbound Marketing platform is free included and built into the social network.

2.  StartupNation

Most social networks neglect the content aspect that makes StartupNation so useful.  With articles, forums, blogs, on-demand seminars, and podcasts, entrepreneurs will be better prepared for their ventures and have the resources required to make better business decisions. 

There are a wide range of topics being discussed on StartupNation right now, including business planning, marketing and web-based business.  The site also offers a series of competitions, such as a dorm-based 20 contest and an elevator pitch competition. If you're an entrepreneur or hope to become one, this site is definitely one you can’t miss out on.

3.  LinkedIn

It’s difficult to leave LinkedIn off of any social networking list because it’s so useful for anyone who's either searching for a job, is trying to network with like-minded individuals, or building a company.  LinkedIn offers many resources for entrepreneurs, such as groups, including the very popular “On Startups” group that has over 54,000 members. 

Entrepreneurs on LinkedIn should brand themselves properly so they can attract the right kind of business opportunities, and perform searches to find service providers or partners.  As an entrepreneur, you should also be looking to participate in LinkedIn Answers, events and applications to spruce up your profile and become a valuable member to your community.

4.  Perfect Business

If you want to meet thousands of serious entrepreneurs, experts and investors from a variety of industries, then Perfect Business might be the perfect social network for you.  The type of people you’ll find are potential business partners, potential clients and advisers. Additionally, the site has leading business partners like Entrepreneur and Virgin Money.

From business networking to a video center where you can learn from successful entrepreneurs, a business plan builder and even an investor center, you’ll have most of the resources you need to create or regenerate your business. There is a free basic membership and a gold membership that costs $29.99 per month.

5.   The Funded

The Funded is an online community of entrepreneurs who research, rate and review funding sources.  Entrepreneurs can view and share terms sheets to assist each other in finding good investors, as well as discuss the inner workings of operating a business.  General benefits of this site include viewing facts, reviews and commentary on funding resources, and accessing RSS feeds of the most recent public comments by members. 

By joining the site, you have access to detailed fund profiles with specialty, reference investments, and investment criteria, in addition to accessing partner vCards that have full contact information of all partners at venture funds.  In order to get any value out of this social network, you pretty much have to become a member.

 

 

Why Work Inbound Marketing?

Why Work Inbound Marketing?

Different teams are going to have different solutions for who does what when it comes to inbound marketing. At a smaller company, inbound marketing strategy may fall entirely to one person to create and execute. A larger team may have more specialized positions in content, social, brand, etc. or really any combination of the above tasks among any number of people, depending on the company’s needs an the team’s strengths.

So where does SEO fit in to all of this? Is search engine optimization as we know it being absorbed into other marketers’ jobs?

Rather than being threatened by other disciplines’ encroaching on our territory, or overwhelmed by the volume of tasks that go into a robust inbound marketing strategy, modern SEOs should be embracing the rise of inbound as a holistic approach since it allows us to do better marketing. The days of being handed a blog post and told to add keywords to it are coming to an end, and that’s a good thing!

What happens when a company has a lot of employees with SEO knowledge, but no SEO? I learned what that looked like when I started at SEOmoz. Obviously, lots of folks at SEOmoz understand SEO strategy and why it’s important, but it had been several months since an official SEO had worked at the company.

The result? A lot of elements that were important to SEO had fallen through the cracks or been back-burnered. Content producers knew that keywords were important, but didn’t know which ones to be using and where. New features had been added to the website in ways that were great for users, but created unnecessary headaches for search engines. Even though a lot of people on the marketing team understood the basic tenets of SEO, it was nobody’s job to make sure SEO was taken into account; they all had their own jobs to do. It’s one thing to know that SEO is important – it’s another to know what to pay attention to and look for, especially if your core competency is in another field.

The SEO as Inbound Marketer

Even at a company whose internal education around SEO is top-notch, it’s still vital to have someone to be a steward of the site’s online presence and search performance. SEOs need to take a “the buck stops here” attitude toward ensuring
that our designers, content creators, social media managers, PR representatives and the like are working together on a search-engine-friendly strategy that encompasses all of their efforts.

 

An SEO should be continually helping a larger inbound marketing team do better marketing in the following ways:

  • Analyzing keyword data and trends, and tracking traffic and links per content piece, to help the content manager create compelling, keyword-rich, linkworthy content.
  • Working with the dev team to keep the site fast, crawlable, error-free and trackable.
  • Building relationships with influencers in the space, and leveraging those relationships for links and shares.
  • Syncing with the Director of Marketing and PR contacts to enact a solid, consistent brand strategy, then making sure it’s seeded to the right places for maximum authority and impact.
  • Diving into analytics to support conversion rates; sharing analytics data with business development and account management teams to aid retention of search-driven customers.
  • Collaborating with the UX and design teams to make sure a site that’s a lovely experience for users is also a useful experience for search engines.
  • Consistently evangelizing SEO internally through ongoing education, and being a staunch advocate for SEO best practices in every meeting – the buck stops with you.

By starting to view SEO as a series of collaborations with more specialized colleagues, we can build inbound marketing programs as a team effort.

From Keywords to Sessions

One thing I’ve heard Duane Forrester from Bing speak on several times recently is the search session: the idea that people aren’t using search engines to make one-and-done searches, but rather to make a series of searches over a period of time that could be anywhere from several minutes to several days, before arriving at a decision that might result in a conversion. An example might be a user who starts with “honeymoon destinations” and searches for “beach honeymoon,” “romantic beaches Hawaii” and “Maui vacation packages” before finally searching on “cheap flights to Maui.” That keyword might be the one that gets the conversion, but each search is an opportunity to build brand relationships and influence the final purchase.

Even when consumers aren’t actively searching for things, they’re still building opinions about and relationships with brands via social media – not only through the conversations they’re having, but also through the content they consume. People spend a ton of time on the internet, and most of it isn’t on Google.

A robust, marketing-team-wide inbound marketing strategy is perfectly positioned to market to this new breed of searchers. In order to really start some next-level, better-than-ever organic search marketing, SEOs need to be cognizant of the fact that organic search is just part of a larger experience. To ignore inbound marketing in favor of tunnel-vision focus on SEO means fewer opportunities to engage with customers (not to mention fewer opportunities for links, shares, and other awesome SEO benefits).

We’re all in this together. Let’s get out there and make inbound marketing better.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

5 Tips For Improving Your Site’s Search Engine Positioning

seo

seo

5 Tips For Improving Your Site’s Search Engine Positioning

Almost all webmasters or website owners are looking for ways to get better results from their websites. They wish to improve their site’s standing and get better rankings in search engines. This quest for improved results, known as search engine positioning, can be satisfied by following a few basic procedures.

Before you even begin, you have to realize that you are competing against hundreds, and in some categories, thousands of websites offering similar products and services.

In the case of affiliate marketing, many of the competing websites may even be identical! If you want to get the edge over these competitors and improve your search engine positioning you have to fine-tune your website and actively work to make it better.

1. Make Sure that your design is search engine friendly:

Your design may look good to your eyes, but it may also be the cause of your present difficulties and poor search engine positioning. How is that possible? Look at your web page using a text editor or in an html viewer of popular editors such as Dreamweaver and Editplus. On what line does your first line of copy begin? If your actual copy is pushed far down the page, it is more difficult for search engines to pick up the crucial information that would have helped you to improve your web page ranking.

If you have this difficulty, first take out all unnecessary spaces in the html code. If there are long strings of java script, put these in external files. Similarly, put style information in external Cascading Style Sheet files. Simplifying your table structure may also help. If this starts getting too complicated for you, then consult with a professional search engine positioning specialist or your web designer.

2. Make sure your keywords are strategically placed in your copy:

It is not possible to improve web page ranking if the readable copy on your web page does not contain the words you wish to be found by. Many people erroneously think that just putting your important keywords in meta tags is enough. This is not true, some search engines hardly use the meta tags and look more to the copy on the page. Make sure that your important copy is in the first paragraph of text, in headlines (using headers such as H1, H2, H3) and in the active or clickable portions of link text on your page.

3. Use a site map and text link navigation on your pages:

If you want to improve your search engine positioning for all the pages of your website then you have to be sure that these pages actually get indexed or included in the search engines. You can help this process by making a site map, a web page that has text links to all the sub pages of your site. Another good practice is to include a text link navigation system on your web pages, even if you already have a graphics based navigation bar elsewhere on these same pages. Remember, search engines follow text links more easily. A robot that lands on your main page or site map page will follow the text links and then visit and index your lower level pages.

4. Increase the quantity and quality of inbound links:

In fiercely competitive categories it will be difficult to improve web page ranking without obtaining a good number of links to your page from other websites. If you have very good and valuable copy, other sites may link to you because you are a valuable resource. However, if you want to speed this process along you will have to actively request links from other websites, either by trading links or by getting your content (with a link back to your site) placed on other websites.

When it comes to links you should keep in mind one important principle: it is not the quantity of links that is important, but the quality. One good link from an authority site such as CNN or Wikipedia is worth more than dozens of links from other sites. To get these quality links, there is no short cut. You will have to earn it by having a site that provides a lot of useful information.

5. Keep up with Search Engine Developments:

The challenge of improving your web page ranking and search engine positioning is dynamic. Search engines are not static. Most of the big search engines of yesterday have disappeared or are only minor players today. You should keep up with changes in the world of search engines by taking part in online forums or subscribing to newsletters which deal with topics such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), web ranking, and general webmaster related issues.

If you do not have the expertise or the time to tackle these matters by yourself then you should take advantage of skilled professionals who can help you to improve your site's performance in search engines. Whether you rely on professionals or are able to do it yourself, these five tips can provide a good point of reference for starting the work.

Ida Mae Boyd
Contributor

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH on MarketHive: Welcome to My Page!

Physician, small business owner, budding real estate/land investor, & educator on MarketHive, a social marketing platform for entrepreneurs that has the combined power of Facebook and LinkedIn.  

I think of myself as just a regular guy who is passionate about those issues I believe affect us all. Those matters include (but are certainly not limited to): LGBT equality,  healthcare reform (which would include health information technology reform), education reform, prison/criminal justice reform, politics, government, business/investing, and more. 

MarketHive is a multi-million dollar platform which evolved from Veretekk and offers the following features:

auto-responders, virtual conference rooms, blog casting, blog sharing, campaigns/press releases, capture pages, email plugins, daily live workshops, and lead generation exclusively for entrepreneurs.

In essence,  MarketHive is all about empowering entrepreneurs through social engagement and marketing.

To learn more or to join for free, go to 

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH on MarketHive

I hope to see you there!

Best Regards,

Glenn

Success – What’s Keeping You Back?

What are some of the things that hold you back from succeeding?  Could it be the time factor? Or perhaps it’s that you don’t have the necessary financial resources.   Maybe it’s your personality . . . you set up barriers to success even before starting something by thinking it’s not in your nature or you don’t know what to say or do.   Perhaps you’re not technically savvy!

Think about it!    If you had the opportunity today,  to make a huge difference in your life tomorrow or even in the coming months, what would it be worth to you?  How much effort would you be willing to put into it?   How much time would you devote to this effort? 

In today’s hustle and bustle world, with economic uncertainty all around, wouldn’t  it be nice to have more time to devote to family and the things in life you truly enjoy? If you were financially secure, wouldn’t that make life so much more enjoyable?

What if there was something that you could do about it?   Would you follow through?  If push comes to shove, could you overcome your objections and leap over the barriers holding you back from success?   How motivated are you to change your situation? 

 

In order to have success, you must know, choose and be who you are.  In other words, success is finding who you really are, your core values, then consciously choosing which of these things you want to keep and which you will change or discard.   Then let that “you” be present all the time, every day, in all that you do. 

The habits you form go hand in hand with success.  It’s essential that you form habits that align with your values for you to be successful in whatever area of your life you wish.  

Have you assessed the areas that might be holding you back?

 

 

Here is a list of potential areas that might be holding you back:

  • Waiting for the right moment  — this could be disguised as procrastination or even fear.  There never really is the right moment so it’s pretty much a waste of time to wait for one.  If you are living true to your values, every moment should be acted on within the best of your interests.  Be aware and take the opportunity and run with it.
  • Needing approval from others – If you understand you are responsible for everything past and present in your life, you will understand that you will be responsible for your future.  Taking action and having faith in your own decisions will make you a leader, and you will not need the opinion or approval of others.
  • Perfectionism —  The need to always be perfect is almost a form of self-harm as it will never happen because perfection does not exist.  If you think about it, when is anything ever perfect?   It will be much better to be happy and proud of the achievements that are already made, rather than be unhappy when there is always “something else to do”.
  • Not apologizing for making mistakes – Admitting when things go wrong is something we are not too comfortable with.  The people that you have the best connection with and value the most are ones who are open and honest with you.  People respect honesty.  If you want to be respected, in business and in life, learn that apologizing for your mistakes is imperative.
  • Too stubborn to let go – Nothing lasts forever.  Ideas come and go, so will good people, employees, partners, business associates.  Learning to let go will allow you move on.  You need to find a way to allow things to leave your universe as easy as they came in.  It is helpful not to create an emotional attachment to things as they will become harder to let go.  You will make way for the new when you lose the emotion and lose the stubbornness. Know that whatever you are holding on to does not define you so no need to cling to it. 
  • Not willing to do something beyond your duties –  As the saying goes “you get out what you put in”, a little more effort goes a long way.  The super successful do not sit around reveling in their accomplishments.  They are thinking of how they can do more and continue to excel.  Step out of your comfort zone and try something you don’t usually do.  It may just become addictive!
  • Comparing yourself to others – Looking at others and measuring whether you have achieved what they have achieved, or comparing what you own to what they own is unnecessary.  Success is a personal matter so find what’s important to you, what success looks and feels like to you, and be in control of that feeling.  
  • Not assessing your mistakes – we all make mistakes.  However, if you repeatedly make the same ones over and over, then it’s time to assess.  Ask yourself honest questions.  Why the mistakes are happening and why you didn’t act differently from the last time.  This assessment will help you find better solutions in the future.
  • Spending too long worrying about the outcome – we all worry from time to time.  If you let worry take over, this will hinder your success.   Realize there is only so much that you can control and many things are out of your control.   Continue putting in hard work, relax, and what will be, will be. 
  • Not working on your  weaknesses – We all have weaknesses and it’s a good thing because, for every weakness, you have a strong area.  Identify your weak areas and then spend a bit of time daily to work on improvement in these areas. 
  • Taking life too seriously – We have a lot more on our agendas as adults compared to when we were kids.  Life can get you down, but when you feel that way, remember how wonderful life is and think about all the great people and great moments that have helped to bring you to where you are today.  Set a goal for yourself.     “At work, I’ll always stay focused and think of what to improve.” 

Your success is important, but you have full control of making it what you wish. 

Judy Curtis,

Contributor

 

 

 

Pipeline Marketing: A Powerful Tool For Realizing Funnel Potential

Pipeline Marketing: A Powerful Tool For Realizing Funnel Potential

Posted By 

Pipeline Marketing: A Powerful Tool For Realizing Funnel Potential

Pipeline marketing is a term that many in the marketing industry, even those heavily engaged in digital marketing, are not entirely familiar with.

It may go by other names; math marketing or revenue marketing, for instance, but the idea is the same: using data strategically to critically evaluate the effectiveness of online marketing efforts.

ClosedOpp was a very early adopter of this concept. A small paid search agency founded in 2007 that is breaking new ground in PPC marketing, ClosedOpp has been able to improve lead attribution by integrating all of its clients’ AdWords and Bing data with their CRM records.

The process of pipeline marketing is unique and innovative. ClosedOpp ties paid search data into clients’ Salesforce opportunity and lead records. This provides the ability to track leads from the point they were created, to closure. It also allows marketers to analyze the paths that resulted in the new business wins, to compare paths and to identify best practices to leverage in the future.

Pipeline marketing is a powerful tool to help businesses better understand their customers, how to segment customers into more high-performing groups, and how to identify the sales approaches that achieve the best results. Customer better, how to segment, and how to attribute successful sales approaches.

Rich Norwood, co-founder of ClosedOpp, describes how they developed this approach: “We realized early in 2012 that many digital marketers didn’t trust AdWords conversion data and were looking for a new way to track SEM performance.

We ran countless regressions identifying whether or not there was a correlation between AdWords conversions and Salesforce leads, AdWords conversions and Salesforce opportunities, and AdWords conversions and Salesforce wins. Once we determined there was a low R-squared correlation, we began looking for a better solution for our clients…”

The Power of Pipeline Marketing

The result was the new approach of “pipeline marketing,” which lets businesses focus less on lead gen and more on what they really care about, results. From Bizible’s website: “If your intention is to grow your business, shouldn’t you want to focus on generating customers and revenue, not leads?”

Lead gen, developing new contacts in hopes of increasing sales, has been an important marketing metric for decades. However, as Bizible states, “even as marketing has shifted to digital and analytics systems have been able to capture more complex data and insights, far too many companies are using legacy ways to measure their performance.”

Norwood asks the $64,000 question: “Do the clients care about leads or do they care about opportunities?” It boils down to this: do they want contacts, or do they want customers? Norwood says, “This may throw some people off. However, we’ve… proven that all leads are not created equally, some keywords drive larger opportunities, some keywords convert to opportunity at a much higher conversion rate. This is what Pipeline Marketing and Account-Based Marketing is all about.”

How It Works

The beauty of it all is that pipeline marketing allows marketers to be able to evaluate, in real time, exactly what keywords are driving visitors to their site, where they’re entering and what actions they’re taking. It’s a powerful analysis tool that requires careful consideration up front to realize the full promise of the technique.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Define campaign goals. The first step to embracing this new approach is for businesses to define their campaign goals in detail. And one of the most important goals is, as Norwood explains, to “focus on their sweet spot first. Start with the keywords that are must-targets.”
  2. Determine, specifically, the type of leads you’re looking for and where in the sales funnel you hope to initially engage with these leads. For instance, Norwood asks, “Do [you] want to buy top of funnel leads, leads looking for resources, checklists, and guides? Those leads tend to convert a lot… but [few] convert into opportunity. This can be a great strategy if the company is at scale and already has a successful nurture program. On the other hand, clients may decide it’s best to start with bottom of funnel leads that want a quote and pricing information and to talk with someone from sales.” It’s clear to see that engaging at the bottom of the funnel can yield better, and less expensive to convert, opportunities.
  3. Focus on Cost Per Opportunity. Norwood explains: “Because the opportunity has a high correlation with wins, and pipeline is defined as the total amount for all open opportunities, it makes sense that Cost per Opportunity should be the focus.” Simply put, you’re looking for the best outcome. This should be the main metric you focus on, according to Norwood. What keywords drive the highest ROI? “We need to create pipeline and wins. Period,” he says.
  4. Monitor and measure. Because they are tied in so closely with their clients’ CRM records, ClosedOpp is able to be extremely responsive and nimble, receiving feedback daily about what is and isn’t successful. Shorter timeframes allow quicker course corrections, as well as more rapid expansion of a campaign to leverage big wins.
  5. Adjust, and reap the rewards. Based on the feedback received, marketers are able to adjust their budgets based on real data related to ads, channels, keywords and audiences.

Access to Salesforce records powers the potential of pipeline marketing and provides a unique approach to business development. Norwood says, “[W]e actually measure leads, opportunities, wins, and Average Revenue per Unit (ARPU) daily, in real time. Our access to Salesforce allows us to monitor paid search so that we can see problems before they affect revenue.

We literally have our fingers on the pulse of the company. We often share data with our clients that cause them to pivot their whole strategy or completely redesign their landing pages.”

Pipeline marketing provides the ability to take a very focused, outcome-based approach to campaign analysis Norwood explains: “Our system creates an instant feedback loop between sales and marketing with the simple action of converting a lead to an opportunity and adding the amount to the opportunity.

We see this instantly and take action [often] days before the director of marketing suggests that we do so, because we’re looking at the data in real time and the director of marketing is in meetings.”

The Takeaway

What pipeline marketing boils down to is using your Salesforce records to figure out where your opportunities are coming from. Norwood clarifies: “Traditional PPC companies care about AdWords conversions. We don’t. We care about getting to know what campaigns, ad groups, keywords, landing pages, ads, countries, cities and devices result in opportunities and revenue.” 

Businesses that are able to tie marketing attribution to their CRM can get to market more quickly, spend money more wisely, and out-market their competitors. Pipeline marketing offers a unique competitive advantage, and gives business owners and managers an enormous amount of insight.

When you know where your best customers come from, it makes sense to invest more paid search dollars toward finding them. Pipeline marketing leads the way.

Contributor
Charles R Juarez Jr

3 ways to pump up your online marketing with video

3 ways to pump up your online marketing with video

by James F. McClister 

real-estate-agent-marketing-video-youtube-buyer-seller-home

In the 1990s, real estate agents posted ads in the newspaper and slapped their faces on the backs of benches. In the 2000s, agents still put ads in papers and spruced up bus stops with their smiles, but began shifting their operations to the Internet – promoting themselves on websites and, later, social media. In the 2010s, ads in papers and on benches still exist, websites are still a staple and social media has exploded, but in the Internet age agents must continue to diversify their marketing strategies. One crucial medium is video.

Every month, YouTube receives more than 1 billion unique visitors. The platform has offered major exposure for real estate businesses around the globe; in fact, the Australian Real Estate Group reported listings that include a video receive more than 400 percent more inquiries than those without.

But the medium is versatile, and as such, requires a strategic approach. Here are a few ideas for agents looking to harness the power of online video in their marketing:

  1. Serialize – A weekly “top listings” list or a monthly dive into market stats (or any other topic your clients will want to return to on a regular basis) is a great way to establish a branded video product that will continuously engage viewers (and potential clients) with compelling content. Keeping potential clients engaged with regular video content will help you stay top of mind for when viewers are ready to buy or sell.

  2. Establish authority – It isn’t fair, but it’s a reality in the lives of agents that their value is often questioned. People forget to ask the question of “what can you do for me” because, in many ways, they feel they already know the answer – which is to say: nothing the Internet can’t already do. Agents know this to not be the case, but someone whose real estate experience is limited to lackluster showings and HGTV series will have a skewed perception of the profession. Video allows agents to look buyers, sellers and hopefuls in the eye and give them a glimpse of the benefits a helpful, professional agent can provide.

  3. Promote your personality – Video is the perfect way for you to show potential clients your personality in action. It answers the question of “what’s this person like” before the initial meeting, giving them a sense of who you are and how you’ll handle their business.

Contributor
Charles R Juarez Jr