Inbound Marketing Tactics to Get Bulk of B2B Marketing Budgets in 2011

As we head into November and the start of the Holiday Season, B2B marketers are getting into their budgeting mode. With the cloud of economic uncertainty still hanging over many industries, it is not surprising that B2B marketers are shifting their 2011 budgets more towards lower-cost inbound eMarketing tactics.

MarketingSherpa asked more than 900 B2B marketers how they expected their marketing budgets to change for 2011. The chart below shows the breakdown between different marketing tactics and the projected increase/decrease for the next year. Read more

Variety of Content is the Key in the Early Stages of the Industrial Buy Cycle

In the early stages of the industrial buy cycle, you as the marketer have very little information about the visitor to help you tailor your marketing content to their needs.

In Needs Awareness and Research phases, the first two stages of the industrial buy cycle (see my earlier post Deconstructing the Four Stages of the Industrial Buy Cycle) your prospects and customers use a variety of online content to find solutions to their current problems and needs.

The chart below shows the variety of content used at different stages of the industrial buy cycle (Source: Understanding the Industrial Buy Cycle: How to Align Your Marketing with Your Customers’ Buying Process from GlobalSpec).

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The Twofold Benefit of Optimizing Marketing Content

Online optimization is usually associated with natural or organic search engine optimization (SEO). Optimizing your marketing content around keywords or phrases is the first step in your content marketing strategy. After all, that’s how your prospects and customers will find your blog and/or Web site.

However, there is another strong reason for optimizing your marketing content that has nothing to do with SEO. I am referring to optimizing customer engagement in B2B marketing.

Why is it important? Because B2B and industrial buyers tend to be more sophisticated in the use of online content in making their decision over the entire buying cycle. BtoB marketers need to create and deliver content that is relevant to those searching for their solution while mapping it to the prospect’s buying cycle. Read more

Optimizing Your WordPress Business Blog

Probably the biggest benefit of creating a business blog is to engage with your readers, build deeper relationships and convert most of them into paying customers. However, none of that can happen until you drive lots of interested traffic to your business blog.

Optimizing (SEO) your business blog is critical because it allows your target audience to find you in search engines and attract traffic. An invisible blog doesn’t draw a crowd and neither will you have the opportunity to engage with them.

Organic or natural search engine optimization (SEO) has always been shrouded in mystery, bordering on voodoo. It seems the secrets of SEO are known only to a few high-priced consultants. However, you can do it too with some help. See my earlier post, “Do-it-Yourself Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Your WordPress Blog.”

I don’t deny that effective SEO does take experience, expertise and time to produce results. So no one should expect a DiY solution to achieve the same kind of results as a paid SEO expert (ethical one!). Start with some baby steps and fine tune as you learn more.

In this post, I’m going to focus on a powerful DiY SEO tool for WordPress blogs. It is called All in One SEO Pack (AIOSEO) and you can download it from here for free. After you have installed it, log into your admin panel, go to Settings > All in One SEO (See screen shot). Read more

Shortening the Industrial Buy Cycle in 5 Simple Steps

The other day I read an interesting article titled “5 Steps To Shorten The B2B Buying Cycle” by Kerry Spellman, Client Relationship Manager at iProspect. Even though her article is about the B2B buy cycle in general, it is a perfect follow up to my earlier post “Deconstructing the Four Stages of the Industrial Buy Cycle.”

The most frequent complaint that I have heard in the past year from my industrial clients is that their sales cycle has become longer, more complex and increasingly difficult to get on the buyer’s radar screen until it is too late. Any help that I can provide to my clients to alleviate the problem is greatly appreciated and rewarding for my business.

That’s precisely why Kerry’s article caught my attention. She has focused on identifying the problem and providing a 5-step solution to shorten the buy cycle. I have summarized here my takeaways on her five steps.

What is the key to shortening the buy cycle?

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How Lack of Marketing Content Can Derail Your Website Redesign Project

What comes first – site content or site design? In the words of Jeffrey Zeldman, the renowned web designer, blogger, independent publisher and the king of Web standards according to Business Week, “Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.”

Are you involved in or responsible for redesigning your company’s website? Is your website redesign project on hold waiting for marketing to deliver content? If so, you know the frustration.

It doesn’t matter whether you work for a corporate marketing department or the owner of a small business website. You spend countless hours, weeks and months working with the site designers developing site maps, wireframes and mock ups – but content? It is relegated to the bottom of the totem pole of deliverables. As a result, your dream web redesign project comes to a screeching halt. Read more

Do-it-Yourself Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Your WordPress Blog

Instead of an industrial marketing strategies post that I typically write, this is more of an implementation post. I have listed some easy, do-it-yourself (DiY) SEO tactics to optimize your WordPress blogs for search engines.

Just building a business blog is not going to help you drive traffic or generate leads. You need to optimize it for search engines in order for your target audience to find your B2B blog (see my earlier post, “How to Use a B2B Blog to Win Customers and Influence Prospects”). Before you dive into the deep end of do-it-yourself (DiY) SEO, you should be aware of the two types of optimization tactics and they are:

  1. On-page or on site optimization
  2. Off-page or off site optimization (mainly link building, which is a topic for another post)

In this article, I’ll be focusing on a few DiY on-site optimization techniques for a WordPress business blog.

What is On Site SEO?

On-site SEO refers to changes that you can make within the code of your blog. You have full control over this SEO technique since you can add, edit code and content at anytime. Read more

The 6 essential rules of a website redesign – Ignore them at your peril

Is you current website an asset or a liability? Is it so outdated that you avoid sending prospects and customers to your site? It may be time to invest in your online presence.

The one thing that this recession has taught B2B marketers is to do more with less. This trend towards lower-cost content marketing is likely to continue well into 2010. It goes well beyond just cutting costs, today, it is more about accountability, analytics and engaging customers and prospects by using free or inexpensive social media tactics.

So, what should you do to revamp or redesign your current website? I’m not talking about a cosmetic facelift but turning it into a marketing powerhouse as you position your company for the recovery. Here are six essential rules that you should follow:

1. Optimize, optimize, optimize: That’s the golden rule of online marketing as is location, location, location in real estate. Unless your prospects can find your site when searching in major search engines, you are dead in the water. It is possible to do search engine optimization (SEO) by yourself but allow yourself time and there is a learning curve. Consider hiring a coach or an SEO expert to work up a strategic plan that you can execute.

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