Content Marketing – Where to Start

I was about to write about the importance of Content Marketing when I came across this great post by marketing expert, Heidi Cohen which covers the topic in great detail. As you can see by the chart below the volume of content on the internet is exploding.

Digital content created -  Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers-1

No matter what you are selling, if your potential clients are researching online prior to purchase, then you really need to start either creating or curating content – preferably both.

Creating is self explanatory. Curating means that you are effectively identifying content written by others that would be useful to your audience and sharing it – of course always giving credit to the original author.

Content Marketing takes many forms and you need to set some clear goals and work to a plan. A key part of that plan involves the setting up of an Editorial Calendar and sticking to it.

By publishing quality content that provides answers to the questions that your prospects are asking you are effectively creating Lead Magnets on the internet that drive targeted traffic to your sales funnel. This applies in both the B2B and B2C markets.

According to Heidi:

“Content marketing is white hot!
As a core element of inbound marketing, content marketing fuels social media, supports search optimization, and drives lead generation and sales”

Here is the original article by Heidi Cohen:

ᔥEverything You Need to Know About Content Marketing (Charts)

Pepsi shuns Super Bowl – spends on the Net instead

Let the landslide begin!

Pepsi has just announced that it is pulling its multi-million dollar Super Bowl ad campaign in favor of a Net based strategy. This is big (and disturbing) news in traditional media circles. Pepsi has been a consistent advertiser over the past 23 years during the Super Bowl.

The fact that they are now choosing to spend their money on a Net based campaign would have to make other big companies question the value of their own traditional media strategies. It is likely that many others will follow suit.

Why are they doing this?

Simply because the “eyeballs” of their target demographic (18 to 35 year olds) have moved elsewhere – to places like Facebook. Twitter and other social media sites.

Besides, Pepsi can get much more “bang for its buck” by spreading its dollars over a longer term, online marketing strategy than with a single, big spend on a one-time event such as the Super Bowl.

Yep – watch out for a landslide.

But, just for old times sake, let’s take a look at one of the most famous Pepsi ads of all time.

Turn your speakers up to 11 and enjoy!

Amazing…

Online marketing at its finest…..whether you are an American Idol fan or not, you cannot help but be amazed at the guts of this young guy – David Cook. He took a song from a totally different type of artist/genre and turned it on its head. A great example of the combined power of traditional media (Television) and new media (YouTube) in potentially launching a career.

Turn your speakers up to 11 and enjoy!

Lead Generation – Part 2 – Successful Leadgen Sites

I promised to show you some examples of successful lead generation sites. The first two are from our Pure Golf Training business in which we partner with leading golf coach, Steve Bann to deliver golf training products and services worldwide. Both of these lead generation sites convert at better than 40% visitor to sign-up ratio:

The Golf Improvement Cycle

Free Golf Lesson

In a few short months we managed to generate over 10,000, well qualified, leads in the golf niche – mainly US. Canada and Australia. Many of these have now converted to paying customers. The key has been to deliver quality content in the form of video/free download etc in exchange for visitor contact details.

The other one I would like to show you is my own site (hopefully not too much shameless self promotion :-)

TheOnlineSalesManager

This is a brand new site – so no stats as yet. However, I have used this particular eBook download with great success on previous sites so…fingers crossed it will convert well.

Lead Generation – Part 1 – Lessons from Josiah.

Josiah Wedgewood - Legendary Potter

“Leads are the lifeblood of selling” – Jeffrey J.Fox, bestselling author of Secrets of Great Rainmakers.

Back in 1763, Josiah Wedgewood, of Wedgewood Pottery fame, was generating leads for his pottery business based on “word of mouth” referrals. He had convinced Queen Charlotte to let him name the line of pottery she purchased “Queens Ware”.

That was enough for him to set up one of the most effective lead generation campaigns in history via his own paperwork and stationery. Now Josiah would have shuddered at the term “Lead Generation” back in those days – but that is exactly what it was.

Fast forward to 2007

NEWSFLASH: ” The New York Times is to axe 500 staff members as a result of falling circulation and a slump in ad revenue as more readers turn to the Internet for news”

” For the first time the consumer is boss, which is fascinating, scary and terrifying because everything we used to know will no longer work.” - Kevin Roberts, CEO Saatchi and Saatchi

“I believe today’s marketing model is broken. We’re applying antiquated thinking to a new world of possibilities” – Jim Stengel, Proctor and Gamble

But the one thing that has not changed is the insatiable demand of the business world for quality leads. There is no doubt that Small/Medium Enterprises, in particular, are willing to spend money on lead generation. They are not so sure about “branding”…and who could blame them?

How does a small business measure the ROI on brand recognition – but that is a bigger discussion for another day.

So, just how does the small/medium business of 2008 generate leads?

It’s not so hard really. One powerful model, that few businesses have cottoned onto, is to combine the proven muscle of traditional media (e.g Radio/TV/Newspapers) with the proven conversion power of a lead generation website (or more accurately a “Minisite”)

The trick is to drive massive traffic (via either traditional media or search engines) to a website that does nothing but build a database of prospective customers. The job of the website is NOT to sell a product (at least not in the first instance) – but rather to sell the consumer on the value of exchanging his contact details (usually first name and email address) for information that will go some way towards solving his problem.

Done properly, that “exchange of value” will give the business owner the right to maintain contact (via email or even snail email) and build a relationship with the consumer. The sale comes later.

Just like Josiah Wedgewood did with his paperwork and stationery in 1763, the business owner of today can build up a relationship with the prospective customer – leading eventually to a sale.

That is the essence of Lead Generation in 2008.

Wouldn’t Josiah have loved to have had these tools at his fingertips?

In Part 2 (tomorrow) we will have a look at some effective lead generation websites.