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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.

Build Confidence in Your Products through User Communities

User communities are similar to user groups, wherein the user gets to interact with other users around the world. This forum is helpful to prospective clients as they can join user communities to gain a sense of how well a company’s products performs based on the feedback they read about in the communities.

Benefits of User Communities

Building a sense of belonging among your current customers is a necessity in today’s digital world. There are so many ways to connect. Providing one place to connect with your brand and other users of the brand is yields many benefits. Below are just a few of those benefits:

  • Creates a sense of belonging which in turn builds loyalty.
  • Robust user feedback is priceless for product development.
  • Direct communication with users enables marketing to understand user’s perspective.

Examples of User Communities

Qlik.com has its own user communities which are both productive for users and Qlik’s marketing purposes as they can listen to the voice of their customer.

FIGURE 1 QLIK

Tibco has Communities and User Groups for just about every product they make.

FIGURE 2 TIBCO

SAS offers many communities and user groups as well.

FIGURE 3 SAS

Do you have user communities for your existing customers? Are you promoting user communities on your website?

Need help figuring out how to promote user communities on your website? Contact me today to get started.

Read more about how offering Free Trial of your product can improve customer engagement.

Increase SEO Rankings Fast with Unusual Type of Ads

Internal Linking with Ads

Placing Ads on your site actually increases SEO ranking and the type of advertisement I’m talking about may not be what you’re thinking of.

You might be thinking why would I want to put ads on my site?

I’m not suggesting advertising other people’s services. Rather you should advertise your own products and services.

Benefits of Internal Linking

By advertising your own products and services through the use of Ads on your web pages, it accomplished three things:

  • Keeps your audience reading.
  • Increases visitor length and page view.
  • Reduces bounce rate.
  • Increases your SEO rankings.

When you build a webpage that has a link to another page on your site you are creating something called “interlinking.” A good interlinking strategy helps the customer find information faster. And it notifies the search engine your site is worth ranking well. Keeping your prospective customer on the site longer is the main purpose of these “Ads.”

The more helpful information, links to other pages, suggested videos, or even opt-in forms for special reports you provide, the more chances you have of capturing the attention of that potential customer.

This inter-linking to other pages on your site is not only helpful for your prospective customers, but it also helps you rank better with the search engines.

Examples of Good Internal Linking

Let’s look at three examples from business intelligence companies on Gartner Groups Magic Quadrant report below.

The first example is from  http://www.tableau.com/learn. On the right-hand side of the page, Tableu includes pictures with links to a powerful customer story and Tableau Software Certification.

FIGURE 1 HTTP://WWW.TABLEAU.COM/LEARN

The second example is from Qlik.com.  Qlik does a good job of showcasing additional resources multiple ways, as the picture below highlights.

FIGURE 2 QLIK.COM

Our last example is from Oracle, who shows off its “Ads” on the right side of its pages as seen below:

FIGURE 3 ORACLE.COM

What about your business?  What resources, products, or services do you offer that could be promoted on other pages of your site?

Thinking about your on products and services, what “Ads” should you be showcasing on your website pages?

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 with the 61% of B2B marketers who lack resources, contact me today.

Read more about how your website copy can help you build engagement.

18 Ways to Generate Traffic Without Paid Ads

There are plenty of ways to generate traffic to your website. Many would say the first place to start with paid advertisements. But I disagree. I like to utilize all my free options before I spend a penny. So here’s a list of free things you can do to increase traffic to your website. Enjoy!

1. Identify Content Themes in Your Content Strategy

Consider your buyer’s journey. At each step in their journey, they need to know certain things. Identify them.  Identify the type of content needed at each stage in the buyer’s journey.  For example, if I needed to buy a new car I might start by thinking about what features I need in a new car. I might need to know which brands/models have those features. I might want to know who has the best feedback from others who bought the same car as I’m considering. I might want to know who has the most awards around the top features I care about. I might need to know what dealers have inventory, etc.

Industry trends, how-to suggestions, problem/solution, power stories, and case studies are a few of themes that might be applicable in your market.

As the MarketingProfs graphic below suggests, there are several tactics for sharing those content themes.

Figure 1 MarketingProfs infographic on Content Marketing Stats

2. Write Compelling Content that resonates with your target audience.

The content you provide needs to tap into the specific things your target audience is dealing with. If you know their pain points, you can create content to help them solve those pain points.  This will draw the readers to your website for more great content.

Interview industry experts who can speak to specific topics your audience cares about.

MarketingProf infographic shows 69% of B2B marketers focus on creating content for their audience versus their brand.

Figure 2 MarketingProfs Infographic stat of audience vs brand focus

Content that resonates with your audience will be content focused on the buyer’s journey.  Information that helps them make a more informed decision or guides them in the way to solve their problem.

3. Create Only Great Content

So what makes content great? Several things actually.  Let’s start with a strong headline, one written to peak interests, adds urgency, is useful and totally unique. Remember the Power of One principle when writing a piece. The entire piece should be focused on one main thought. Weave in the promise you offer as well as the benefits they get from taking advantage of your promise. Then offer enough proof and credibility to your claim. Close with a solid call to action to move your reader to take action. Content should be written in a conversational tone. After all, you’re writing to one person. If it doesn’t sound like you talking, go back to the drawing board. There’s much more that goes into the making of great content. If you starting implementing these, you’ll be on the right track.

MarketingProfs infographic shows 76% of B2B marketers prioritize delivering content quality over quantity.  And you should too!

Figure 3 MarketingProfs infographic stat on quality vs quantity

4. Utilize Social Networks to Reach Your Target Audience.

Great content won’t be effective if you don’t get it in front of your ideal clients. Find out what social networks your target audience uses. Get active on those networks. Share your awesome content written specifically for your ideal client.

Wordstream suggests “Twitter is ideal for short, snappy (and tempting) links, whereas Google+ promotion can help your site show up in personalized search results and seems especially effective in B2B niches. If you’re a B2C product company, you might find great traction with image-heavy social sites like Pinterest and Instagram.”

5.Optimize Everything For SEO

When I say optimize everything, I mean everything.  From content titles, post descriptions, image names, image descriptions, page title, page descriptions, snippets, and all the meta tags should utilize the specific keywords or phrases people search with.  Don’t underestimate the power of SEO. When done properly your content will rank better in the search results. This means more people finding your content and ultimately your website.

Here are 7 trends in SEO you need to stay on top of in 2017

6. Utilize Influencer’s Networks

An influencer is someone in your market that your target audience listens to. Anyone who generates content in your market that your audience readers would be an influencer.  Cozy up to them. Get to know them.  Offer your content they can share with their network.

Note: You can’t just give them any ol’ content. It needs to helpful to their audience. It must add value otherwise there would be no reason for sharing it.

7. Invite Others to Write for You

Identify the leading blogger’s in your market. Contact me and ask them to contribute content to your website. This will help bring their following to your website.

8. Increase Your Share Ability

Every page on your website should be shareable.  Consider adding social share buttons on every page.  Make it easy for people to share your content on whatever social networks they want.

9. Increase Your Rankings With Internal Links

Create a linking strategy inside your website. Include call-to-actions on every page that link to other pages on your website. This helps increase the time on your website and search engines like it.

10. Offer a Free Newsletter

Add an email opt-in form to your website to allow potential customers to sign up to receive updates from you. Remember people want to get to know you better before doing business with you. This is your chance to communicate with them.

11. Make Your Website Responsive and Fast

Your website must be easy to use on every platform. Not an easy task! With the ever increasing types of devices, how can you stay current? The answer is with a responsive web design. If you don’t have one, get one.  Your website needs to be fast, too. No one wants to wait around while your bulky images take forever to load.

12. Share Your Content With Others

Content aggregators help get your message out there. There are many to consider. Look for those in your market that share content similar to you.  Sharing your content with content aggregators will also help your SEO ranking, as reputable links to your website are good for you!

13. Use Video Everywhere You Can

With today’s always-connected users, a video is the leading type of content people are consuming today.  Think about ways to incorporate more video. Share case studies of how you help your clients. Share helpful ways to solve problems. Create videos to help your prospects get to know you more.

If you haven’t considered using videos yet, you might want to check out this infographic from HubSpot.

14. Face to Face Networking

There is nothing better that meeting people face to face. This builds trust faster than anything. So look for opportunities to meet people face to face. Check out MeetUp.com. They offer “meet up” opportunities for just about any interest out there.

There are several ways to get face to face with people.  Consider professional associations, such as American Marketers Association at https://www.ama.org/Pages/default.aspx Find one that is specific to your industry and join it.

Figure 4 AMA logo

Look for groups meeting in your area. Take advantage of the https://www.meetup.org/ to find meetups on various topics, industries, or niches in your area.

15. Host Webinars

Potential clients love to sign up and watch webinars as part of their buyer’s journey. This is a good way to get your name and expertise out there and draw people back to your website for their next steps in getting to know more about you.

16. Go to Industry Conferences

While this is similar to face to face networking, it is a little different. For one, you’re likely to meet industry experts who you can partner with. You’ll also meet prospective customers who are researching in your field.

17. Comment Your Way Into Their Hearts

Look for user communities and other online groups you can join. Then get active commenting where you can. As you comment more, people will see your name and the wisdom you share. This helps build an audience who will then click back to your website to know more.

18. Submit Your Sitemaps Regularly

Don’t forget to submit your sitemaps to the search engines on a regular basis. Remember search engines always want the latest and greatest information. If you provide your sitemap updates regularly then search engines will be able to index you quickly.

 

As you can see from this list there’s a lot to do. You might feel a bit overwhelmed. Don’t be. Pick one or two items to implement and start with that. But if you find you’re like most B2B companies where resources are tight, I’m happy to help you get started.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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