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A Continual Supply of Useful Information through a Blog

Problogger.com wrote a post on What’s a Blog. Read it here: https://problogger.com/what-is-a-blog/

Benefits of a Blog

Blogs have multiple benefits for you and your potential clients. Sharing useful information in your blog is one of the best ways to reach your potential clients. And build your credibility. Your reputation grows. You rank better in search engines because of the constant stream of new content published to your blog.

Your target audience has access to useful and helpful content. When the time comes to make a purchase your potential clients will think of all the useful content you’ve provided in the past.

Blogs have another purpose too. By studying the comments made on your blog, you can reap valuable insight as to what your clients are thinking, what bothers them, what they are really looking for, etc. You might say a blog is a built-in marketing focus group at your disposable.

Example of a Good Blog

Qlik.com blog provides a pleasing appeal with three column format, showing off the latest content and offering other helpful resources on the right. As an added bonus, they even tell the reader how long it will take to read the post.

That’s great news for those who like to skim through content or don’t have much time to read long-winded posts. In addition to the time it takes to read the blog post, they make the content easily shareable. The key is sharing useful information in your blog. This is to your advantage as well. If readers like your content they will want to share it, so make it easy for them to do just that!

FIGURE 9 QLIK’S BLOG

Do you have a blog setup but don’t know what to share on your blog?

Contact me today to get moving in the right direction.

Looking for other ways to connect with your audience? Check out how to Social Media to engage with them.

Connect with Your Ideal Clients on Social Media Today

The internet has made it easy to connect with your potential customers.  Now connecting is just a click away. You can stay in direct contact with your customers through social media.  But you might be wondering which social media platform should you be on?

SmartInsights.com publishes a report each year to monitor social media platforms.  Maybe some of their charts may help you determine that.  Let’s look at a few.

Which social platform is the most popular?

I’ll give you one guess. Yes, it’s Facebook of course.

FIGURE 1  SOCIAL MEDIA RANKED

What’s the frequency of use on each social platform?

Looks like most users access their social networks daily.

FIGURE 2 FREQUENCY OF SOCIAL MEDIA

What is the average age of user on each social platform?

It looks like the 16 to 24 group and 35 to 44 group have the largest percentage across all social networks.

FIGURE 3 DEMOGRAPHICS OF SOCIAL MEDIA

 

So now you know which platform is the most popular. And how much time the average user spends on that platform. And the average age of the user by platform.

Does this help you figure out which platform may work for your business?

As you can see from the last chart above, there are many different Social Media platforms out there. And new social platforms are emerging every day.  Don’t let this discourage you!

This doesn’t mean you need to be present on all of them.  You just need to be on the one your clients are on most of the time!

When you’ve found the right social media platform for your business, prominently displaying your company’s social media networks will help your customers find you and engage with you.

Let’s look at three companies who prominently display their social network links on their websites in different ways.

Board.com appears to be on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube as shown in the picture below.

FIGURE 4 BOARD SOCIAL MEDIA

Qlik prefers the social icons to represent their social network profiles as seen on the left in below picture.

FIGURE 5 QLIK SOCIAL MEDIA

GoodData displays its icons in the footer as well.

FIGURE 6 GOODDATA SOCIAL MEDIA

What Social Networks are you on? Are you sharing your Social Network links on your website?

Need help figuring out where to share your Social Network links?

Contact me today to get moving in the right direction.

Looking for other ways to connect with your audience? Check out how to use User Groups to engage.

Build Repeat Customers through User Groups

User groups are primarily for existing customers. However, having a user group will help prospective customers feel they will have the necessary methods of support should they need it.

Benefits of User Groups

  • Creates a sense of belonging which enables loyalty.
  • Direct communication with actual users of your product helps with product development of new products.
  • An ongoing source of feedback for marketing purposes.
  • A resource to provide better customer service.

These are but a few of the benefits of having a user group community for your clients.

Successful Examples

Let’s look a few of the leaders in business intelligence industry to see how they use user groups.

Oracle provides a number of User Groups and Communities promising the user will be heard when they get involved.

FIGURE 1 ORACLE USER GROUPS

Alteryx allows users to locate user groups by area and posts upcoming Alteryx User Group meetings.

FIGURE 2 ALTERYX USER GROUP MEETINGS

Do you offer a user group community to your customers?

Need help sharing user group community updates on your website? Contact me at

Contact me to see how I can help you communicate to your target audience.

For another way to build thought leadership check out Special Reports.

3 Statistics That Prove Special Reports Are Needed Now

96% of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders. (Demand Gen Report, 2016) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)

72% of marketers say relevant content creation was the most effective SEO tactic. (Ascend2, 2015) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics).

These two statistics prove it makes sense to use Special Reports in your marketing strategy.

Why Use Special Reports?

Special reports are a great way to get people to start the journey of getting know more about you. The first statistic says 96% of B2B buyers are looking for you, the industry thought leader!

The report itself is meant to educate the reader.  It highlights a particular problem your product or service can address although it’s not primarily a sales piece.

What is a Special Report?

A special report is written as an informative piece to provide insights on how to solve a particular problem. It’s written very specifically, although generic enough that it isn’t selling them on your solution.

It generally outlines the problem and steps on how to solve a particular problem. And only at the close of the report, do you even mention a product or service of yours that supports the story you just shared.

Who Uses Special Reports?

From the research I’ve done, all of the Business Intelligence companies in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant utilize Special Reports. That’s because it’s another tool to grow your connection with a prospective client.

Typically, your audience has to provide their email address in exchange for the Special Report. Once you have their email address, you can contact them again over time.

So let’s look an example from the company called Tibco.

Below you see Tibco’s special report on Selecting an Integration Technology. It’s a free report in exchange for a name, email, and phone number. This not only provides value in educating the customer, it also increases Tibco’s email list so further marketing can be done later.


FIGURE 1 TIBCO SPECIAL REPORT OPT-IN

Lack of resources, such as staff, funding, and time, remains the biggest obstacle to successful lead generation for 61% of B2B marketers. (BrightTALK, 2015 Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)

So what about you and your business?

What problems does your audience have?

What problems do your products or service solve?

What Special Reports should you write to address those problems?

Need help writing a Special Report?

I’d be happy to help. Contact me to get started on your next Special Report.

For other ways to grow your thought leadership, check out industry conferences.

Grow Your Thought Leadership Through in Industry Conferences

To become a thought leader in your industry, you need to participate in industry conferences. Participating or even hosting and providing information about industry conferences helps prospective customers believe your company is a thought leader and strategic player.

This helps build trust and reputation.

Benefits of Attending Industry Conferences

As discussed above becoming a thought leader is helpful in building your brand. One way to do this is to attend industry conferences. There are several benefits of doing this:

  • Continued learning keeps you on top of your game.
  • Networking with industry professionals keeps you in the know.
  • Engaging with prospective clients attending can grow your business.

These are just a few of the benefits of attending industry conferences to grow your thought leadership.

Now let’s look at some examples.

SAS participants in various Industry conferences, such as these mentioned on their site:

FIGURE 1 SAS INDUSTRY CONFERENCES

InformationBuilders.com provides a convenient list of industry conferences.

FIGURE 2 INFORMATION BUILDERS EVENTS PAGE

 

Alteryx promotes industry conferences and events by showcasing them on the main home page.

FIGURE 3 ALTERYX CONFERENCES

 

What conferences occur in your industry? Do you speak at these conferences? Are you promoting these conferences on your website? How are you making your target audience aware of these valuable conferences?

Need help sharing conferences on your website? Contact me  to see how I can help you communicate to your target audience.

For another way to build thought leadership check out case studies.

Share Your Experience Today, Become a Thought Leader with Case Studies

96% of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders. (Demand Gen Report, 2016) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)

One way companies are viewed as thought leaders is by solving customer problems and documenting them in a Cases Study.

What is a Case Study?

These special stories highlight how you and your products or services helped solve a problem a customer had. These stories are powerful testimonies which help prospective customers understand you’ve done this before and get great results.

How Do Share a Case Study?

Case studies should be shared freely on your site with no opt-in needed. These special stories are used as the top of the sales funnel marketing material.  The purpose of is build trust and demonstrate your know-how.

You can never have too many case studies.

Who Uses Case Studies?

Just about every business under the sun uses case studies.  Anytime you have solved a customer’s pain point and provided the solution, it should become a case study.

For example, a business intelligence company called Targit.com provides generous amounts of Customer Case Studies.  This is important for helping prospective customers feel comfortable with their decision to go with Targit.

FIGURE 1 TAGIT CASE STUDIES

Another company called Board.com has many Case Studies which demonstrates they’ve been in business for quite a while. They even group the case studies by industry, making it easier for prospective customers to get the information they’re looking for faster.

FIGURE 2 BOARD.COM CASE STUDIES

So what problems have you solved for your current customers? Have you crafted those success stories into Case Studies yet?

Lack of resources, such as staff, funding, and time, remains the biggest obstacle to successful lead generation for 61% of B2B marketers. (BrightTALK, 2015 Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)

If you’re like the 61% of B2B marketers who lack resource, contact me to let me help you get started.

Read more on how Special Report can develop your Thought Leadership.

Why Video Makes Sense for Your Website Today

There are many ways to communicate. The written word is one way. Visual media such as videos coupled with sound is another very effective way to communicate.

Why Use Video?

From Videobrewery.com 75% of executives who told Forbes that they watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week. The results breakdown:

  • 50% watch business-related videos on YouTube
  • 65% visit the marketer’s website after viewing a video and according to Invodo 92% of mobile video viewers share videos with others.

Does Video Convert?

MarketingProfs say 70% of marketing professionals report video converts better than any other medium.

ReelSEO says Homepage videos are shown to increase conversion rates by 20% or more.

Unbounce says using video on a landing page can increase conversion rate by up to 80%.

As you probably can tell from the statistics shared above, a video is an important element to add to your site.

How Do I Use Video on My Website?

Let’s look at three business intelligence companies who use video on their websites.

  • Datawatch.com uses videos everywhere on their site.

FIGURE 1 DATAWATCH.COM

  • Yellowfin.com utilizes video very effectively too.

FIGURE 2 YELLOWFIN.COM

  • Panorama does a good job with offering plenty of videos.

FIGURE 3 PANORAMA VIDEOS

What about your business?

Do you have videos on how your product works?

Do you have how-to videos to increase awareness about your product or service?

Start using these videos effectively on your website.

Need help writing a script for a video? Contact me  to get started today.

Build your brand and thought leadership with White Papers.

Need Credibility? Try White Papers Now

There are many forms of lead generation tactics: newsletter, special reports, blog posts, articles, webinars, videos, case studies, white papers, and more.

Although, one tactic stands out – White Papers.

Why Use a White Paper?

96% of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders. (Demand Gen Report, 2016 Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)

And because White Papers have a dual purpose, on one hand, they offer helpful information on a particular topic. On the other hand, White Papers help position you as an expert in your field. This builds creditability and trust among your potential clients.

What is a White Paper?

A White Paper is a type of a report. It’s written as an educational piece. Typically describing a particular problem in a specific industry. It describes how people have tried to solve that problem and failed. It also shows how the problem is finally solved, along with a subtle mention of a specific product that solved the problem.

When is a White Paper Used?

At the top of the sales funnel you find lead generation pieces to get people into the sales funnel. Once a prospect has entered your sales funnel, you will nurture them with content. This allows you to overcome any obstacles preventing a future sale.

This middle portion of the sales cycle is where we help a potential client get to know your company has the potential for solving their problems.

What is Gated Content?

When content within a White Paper is highly valuable, it should never be shared for free. This is called gated content because one must pass through the gate of an  “Opt-In” to receive the information requested.

The content shared in the White Paper should be so compelling your potential client has no qualms about entering their name and email address to get this content.


Let’s a take a look at a couple business intelligence companies to see how they use White Papers in their marketing strategies.

Qlik.com has multiple White Paper opt-ins throughout their site. Below you’ll see one specific to Qlik Sense Architectural Overview.

FIGURE 1 QLIK WHITE PAPER OPT IN

Panorama is bucking the industry norm by giving away their White Papers with no email opt-in. While this may be helpful for the customers, this is definitely not best practice. Panorama is losing valuable marketing opportunity here.

FIGURE 2 PANORAMA WHITE PAPERS

What topics in your industry would make a useful White Paper?  What problems does your product or service solve? Can you write a compelling White Paper to convey how to solve that problem?

Lack of resources, such as staff, funding, and time, remains the biggest obstacle to successful lead generation for 61% of B2B marketers. (BrightTALK, 2015 Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)

If you’d like help with White Papers, contact me today.

Learn how to increase your thought leadership with webinars.

Why Webinars are a “No Brainer” for Instant Credibility

Part of your marketing strategies should be efforts to build your credibility and reputation as a thought leader. That’s where webinars come into play.

What is a Webinar?

A webinar is an online seminar. People opt-in to join the online meeting.  Those who join are sent an email with instructions on how to join and a link to “enter” the seminar.

What Tools Are Available for Webinars?

Teleseminars, Google Hangouts, and Webinars are wonderful methods to build your reputation as a thought leader.

There are many options to choose from.  According to Best Webinar Software 2017 article, Go To Meeting, Webinar Jam, Sleath Seminar, Google Hangouts, and Cisco WebEx are the Top 5 Webinar tools to use.

Regardless of which platform you use. You can produce both live and recorded sessions. Both are equally powerful to your target audience.

What Do I Share on a Webinar?

Let’s face it, you have valuable information to share with your target audience.  What do you know that can help a potential client solve a problem, satisfy a need, or achieve a goal? What things have you learned that could shorten someone’s learning curve?

The internet has made it possible for your reach more of your target audience without spending a fortune to do it.  So get out there and start sharing what you know!

Who Watches Webinars?

People in just about every industry are willing to watch a webinar or two to gain insight on a particular topic.

55% of people consume video content thoroughly. (HubSpot, 2016) and 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers. (HubSpot, 2016 Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)

Why Host a Webinar?

When you host the webinar you are setting yourself up as the expert and trusted advisor. This puts you in a place of authority where potential clients will trust you more. Being a host of a webinar sets you up as a thought leader in your industry.

Let’s look at one business intelligence company called InformationBuilders.com. They do a good job at sharing their webinars and podcasts, as the picture below displays. You can even search for upcoming events.

FIGURE 1 INFORMATION BUILDERS EVENTS

What do you know that your target audience needs to know?

Have you scheduled a webinar yet? If not, what are you waiting for?

47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. (Demand Gen Report, 2016 Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)

Your audience needs your information. Don’t let them find a competitor just because you haven’t produced a webinar yet!

Need help scripting a webinar? I can help with that. Contact me to get started on your next webinar project.

How to crush it with video to reach your audience.

Grow Your List by Giving Stuff Away People Want Now

86% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with at least monthly, and 15% would like to get them daily. (Statista, 2015 Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)

People are interested in you or your products and services. They want to know more. So give them what they want.

What is an Email Opt-In Used for?

Using an email opt-in form, ask your potential clients to sign up to receive something from you. That something can be the latest news about your company or some other free content that’s of value to them.

What content do I send?

Think creatively. What might a potential client want to know? What kind of problems do they have? What type of problems have you solved? What are industry resources available to share?

Is it helpful? That’s what you need to verify before sending out to your list. The content you share should answer a question, help solve a problem or help them get closer to achieving a goal. Otherwise, you shouldn’t share it.

What do I send content in the first place?

This allows your potential customers to take some time to get to know you. It’s a low-stress way to be informed about your company without a lot of sales hype.


Let’s take a look at one business intelligence company called Alteryx.com. They provide a number of reports and ebooks for the exchange of a few pieces of information from the potential customer.

FIGURE 1 ALTERYX E-BOOK LINK

FIGURE 2 ALTERYX SPECIAL REPORT OPT IN

FIGURE 3 ALTERYX EBOOK OPT IN

But special reports and ebooks are not the only things you can give away.  Remember 86% of consumers want to hear from you.

You might consider a newsletter sign up to provide latest updates on your company and send helpful how-to tips.

Running a contest or an actual giveaway is another reason to use an email opt-in form.

Email opt-in forms can be used in a variety of ways. Don’t limit yourself to one type only. Mix it up and try several types to see what works for your audience.

What resources can you package and give away free through an email opt-in? Do you have a series of helpful How To tips? Do you have an ebook to share? Do you have White Papers or Special Reports?

Lack of resources, such as staff, funding, and time, remains the biggest obstacle to successful lead generation for 61% of B2B marketers. (BrightTALK, 2015 Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)

If you find yourself including the 61% of B2B marketers who don’t have the resources for this, contact me today to help identify and/or create resources for your target audience.

Read how to build your brand with webinars.

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