Friday, June 23, 2017

Why Customer Experience Is the Key to an Amazing Business

Why Customer Experience Is the Key to an Amazing Business written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

In this post – 5 Steps to Restart, Recharge and Revive Your Marketing Right Now! – I introduced an aggressive initiative to help any business owner struggling to stay on plan with their marketing for the year. The idea is to take the mid-point of the year and get a fresh restart.

In post #4 of 5, I introduced –  How to Perfect Your Lead Generation Follow-up


Today we tackle Step #5 – How to Turn Leads Into Customers with an Amazing Customer Experience

Why Customer Experience (CX) is in everything

So many people are focused on the changes in marketing and all the new things we have to master and pay attention to.

The fact is the most significant driver of change today isn’t the way marketing is changing, it’s the way buying is changing.

If the customer is indeed now in charge of their buying journey, and I believe this is true, then the most important marketing element still left in our control is the customer experience (Cx) – the way in which prospects and customers experience every aspect of our business.

May I be as bold as to suggest that Customer Experience is everything today.

Now, I realize if I’m going to suggest something so far reaching and universal I’m also going to have to help you expand your vision of what customer service is.

See, for me, the customer is experiencing your business long before you are even aware of their need or interest. The question is, have you considered the impact of every marketing decision in this light?

Even Google rewards you

Many people ask me how to get better rankings in Google, and while I may give more technical answers at times, the simple answer is to create a better customer experience.

Google’s objective, when it comes to search is and always has been to reward businesses that create the best, most relevant, and useful content and make it easy for people to find and consume that content. The only thing that’s changed is Google’s ability to understand what content does just that.

With the introduction of the Knowledge Graph, they’ve taken a pretty big leap towards achieving this objective. (Of course, I know their real objective is to get you and keep you in search results so that you might eventually click on an ad.)

So, producing a better experience with your content is customer experience, but so is paying attention to LSI keywords and writing better meta descriptions. (All of which leads to better search rankings and higher click through in the SERPs)

Heck, you can, and I do make the case, that backlinks are CX. If you think about it, the internal links you create should be focused on creating a better reading experience, not a better link structure. The external resources you link to should be focused on creating a better reading experience, and the backlinks you acquire should come from sites that demonstrate a more valuable customer experience rather than as a way to build domain authority – and Google now rewards for all of this

Guide the journey

It’s time to let go of the notion that your website is simply a tool to inform potential buyers on the products and services you offer – or worse a place to get your phone number.

Your website today is the hub or at the very least, the jumping in point of the customer journey. The job of your website is to lead and guide prospects into an ever deepening journey of awareness, trust, knowledge, insight and eventually conversion.

web design

So your website has to accomplish a great deal, but it’s also one very big piece of the customer experience.

Today, the number one thing a prospect wants from your website is a frictionless path to the information or action they’ve come their to find and take.

Website design should be renamed customer experience design and anyone calling themselves a web designer should possess certifications in SEO and content. (Self-serving comment alert: That’s why it makes so much sense to find and hire a marketing consultant who preaches strategy before tactics.)

Floss with your customers

Okay, so far I’ve been focused on the online elements of the customer experience, but in the end, many businesses make or break their customer relationships through a combination of online and offline touchpoints.

  • Think about the hair salon, here’s how this might go.
  • I’m looking for a new stylist
  • I search and find several nearby
  • I click around and like the photos and vibe of one
  • Great I can schedule online
  • I get calendar invite and reminder day of
  • I arrive and am offered beverage (a little early for a beer, but okay!)
  • Stylist asks a few questions and notes them in iPad
  • Haircut proceeds
  • I’m shown a few hair care products right for me
  • I’m given a “new customer kit” with coupons and samples
  • Upon paying they offer to set up next appointment
  • Stylist escorts me to the door and gives me referral and review card
  • About three weeks later I get my next appointment reminder

Sounds like a pretty good experience right? Well, it was, and it was obvious someone gave it plenty of thought.

Oh, I almost forget – what’s with the floss heading?

I was working with a group of orthodontists, and I asked them to tell me the most important thing their patients must do to get a great result with their braces – they all said they must floss!

The follow-up question then was – what stops your patients from getting a great result – and the obvious – “they hate to floss.”

So I started urging them and now anyone who will listen to choose a customer about once a quarter and make them a customer experience guinea pig of sorts. Give them an awesome deal of some special treatment in return for their feedback on every element of your business.

  • Watch them visit your website
  • Ask them to find or do something specific
  • Have them keep a journal and respond to every email
  • Walk them through the process of becoming a customer in slow motion
  • Run everything you do in the name of marketing by them

The first 90

The most tenuous point of any relationship is the beginning. See, when someone becomes a customer, the relationship immediately changes. Before everything was sweet and promising but now they’ve exchanged money for something in return, and this is when things can start downhill.

You must look at your customer’s first 90 days as your customer as a trial period where your entire goal is to construct the type of experience that can only turn them into a raving fan. (90 is an arbitrary number, but you get it.)

It’s not that hard because few do it, but it certainly takes thought and commitment to processes and a culture of accountability.

  • What happens when they say yes?
  • How are they oriented?
  • What do they need to know?
  • How can you over communicate?
  • How will you surprise them?
  • What do all your packages look like? (a package can be physical or conceptual)
  • How will you communicate progress or results?
  • How will you deliver bad news?

Continuous optimization

Creating a great experience is more of a guess than science – but what it does have in common with science is you need to build your experience as an experiment, with a hypothesis, and a plan to test and revise based on results.

A great customer experience comes from a commitment to continuously optimizing every element of the journey – this takes paying close attention, measuring, asking for feedback and applying what you see and hear – but more than anything else this takes care or maybe caring.

Organizations that deliver the best customer experience do so because they care about helping the people they serve. (I don’t know yet how to teach that one)

Turn it to 11

There’s a scene from a Rob Reiner’s classic mockumentary This is Spinal Tap in which guitarist Nigel explains his amp goes up to 11 so they have the little extra when they need it

That’s how I would like you to think about the entire process and journey we’ve gone on these last five days – ReStart Your Marketing and let’s turn it up to 11.



from Duct Tape Marketing https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/why-customer-experience-is-the-key-to-an-amazing-business/
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Thursday, June 22, 2017

4 Tools to Easily Create Videos to Diversify Your Content Marketing

Videos work great for content marketing for three reasons:

  • Certain demographics of users LOVE watching videos;
  • Videos open up more marketing channels (Youtube, Vimeo, etc)
  • Videos are highly engaging: People like sharing videos

Now, the days when video content was so hard to create that most people were just shying away are over. Videos are no-brainer now. When it comes to video tutorials and mashups, I am simply using iMovie (free easy time-saver). However, in many cases, you won’t even need any desktop software.

There are some awesome online tools that allow you to create professional videos that will diversify your video marketing and let you experiment with genres, styles and types. The first one that comes to mind is of course Youtube Hangouts on Air.

But it’s not the only one!

The following four tools are all freemium, so you’ll have a chance to play for free first:

1. Animoto


Animoto is a huge time-saver! Grab your screenshots and videos, choose (or upload your own) music, add text breaks – you are done! A new video is ready to distribute.

I like using it for screenshot showcase (for tutorials) and for summing up discussions, hangouts, etc but I am sure there can be lots of other ideas (this about weekly user photo showcase, testimonial showcase, etc etc.)

2. Powtoon


Powtoon is a freemium tool to create animated presentations and video instructions. The best thing about this tool is that it lets you create video instructions that grab attention and have huge viral potential as opposed to traditional step-by-step video guides.

It has lots of templates with different mascots:

There are lots of available elements inside: Characters, animations, text affects, image holders, etc. The free version will keep its watermark on the final version.

Powtoon is awesome for creating concept explanations, fun tutorials and even promo videos.

They also have #slides project in private beta which I am really looking forward to playing with! Stay tuned!

3. Vidtrack


Vidtrack is a new tool I’ll need to play with. It lets you user-generate your videos by enabling your readers to send you video messages. I think it may work for testimonials, contests, etc

You can try it for free and create 5 videos. I imagine you can use those videos in lots of ways (especially if you need some editing in place).

Just look at some examples of videos featured on the site get inspired

Their newest feature is the website recorder which also has a WordPress plugin allowing your users to create content for you:

Our video recorder will allow you to put a video record button anywhere on your website. Whenever someone clicks the record button it will activate a webcam or mobile camera. Site visitors can record any type of fan videos, crowdsourced videos or user generated videos. These could be video testimonials, video interviews, video contests, video auditions, video reviews, video feedback, etc….

Are there any other time-saving video creation tools you are aware of?

The post 4 Tools to Easily Create Videos to Diversify Your Content Marketing appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.



from Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog https://www.internetmarketingninjas.com/blog/content/3-tools-easily-create-videos-diversify-content-marketing/
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Our Best Tweets Ever (And How to Replicate Them)

At WordStream, we’ve taken a trial-and-error approach to social media. After I took over our accounts about a year ago, we’ve been implementing new strategies, trying out different approaches, and combing through data to see what our audience really likes to engage with.

First, let me tell you: it’s been hard. We post and tweet a LOT. We have a lot to share, what can I say? And obviously social media is part of our overarching marketing efforts, so we want to make sure that not only are we giving our followers what they want to see, we’re also accurately representing WordStream as a company.

Best Tweets and How to Replicate Them

[Shameless plug: if you’re interested in our company culture, check out our new Instagram handle: @WordStreamInc!)

Since it’s officially been a full year since I grabbed control of our social accounts (yes, that was me sending you those Facebook messages and Twitter DMs), I thought it was time to reminisce on what we did manage to get right.

Before we get started, I have some tiny tricks-of-the-trade that I use to make sure our tweets get enough eyeballs.

  • Post each tweet at least twice, but not more than five times. When people check Twitter, they’re not going to check tweets from two days ago, or even 2 hours ago. Make sure you’re covering your bases; and be creative! Don’t post the same, exact tweet if you can help it, use a variety of headlines.
  • If you use social media management software, consider auto-scheduling your tweets. We started doing this and it really helped with engagement—and takes the mind game out of picking a time for each tweet.
  • Know your strengths. Look at Twitter analytics to see what day of the week and time of day gets the most interaction from your followers.
  • Always post a photo. Bonus points for including emojis, too.

Here are our top-performing tweets from the past year and what you can do to duplicate them for your own social media success!

1. Best Tweets with Company Pride

Though a proud mother doesn’t like to pick favorites…these are my favorites. I love when WordStream hits a big milestone or wins an award and I have the platform to share it with the world!

This post was our best tweet from May 2016, posted right after we won the Best Content Marketing Award from MITX. This tweet garnered 216% more engagement than the next best tweet that month!

Best MITX Tweet

How to Replicate this Tweet:

Celebrate the big wins or the small successes. Include a photo of your team celebrating. Tag whoever was involved for maximum exposure.

2. Best Tweets with Gifs

These great tweets celebrated another award and a huge milestone for us as a company—which I tweeted about with some celebratory gifs. Using gifs always seems to lift engagement for us, but these tweets were the best of August and September 2016, by far. Engagement skyrocketed, more than triple the next best tweet of their respective months.

Best Gif Tweets

Celebratory Gif Tweet

How to Replicate these Tweets:

Gifs are eye-catching, as are numbers (see: “5000”, “$9B”, and “1M”) which probably contributed to our high engagement. Don’t be shy about letting your personality shine through!

Pro Tip: Link these kinds of tweets to a press release or blog post on your site and check out the impact on your site traffic. These tweets are also the perfect candidates for pinned tweets at the top of your profile on Twitter.

3. Best Company Culture Tweets

This category of tweets isn’t surprising—people use social media to connect with their friends. When businesses joined the party, it was a bit of a buzzkill for those of us who were used to seeing friendly faces on our screens. Tweets about our employees, featuring our employees, consistently perform well because it personalizes an otherwise faceless entity in your feed.

This tweet, featuring our Halloween festivities, had 420% more likes than our typical tweets.

Company Culture Tweets

How to Replicate These Tweets:

Be that annoying friend who insists on taking a group photo. It goes a long way! For those of you who are like me, and are slightly photographically challenged, take a LOT to edit, crop, filter, and the like. Make sure you tag whoever is in the picture and/or wherever your outing is, throw in some emojis, and call it a grand slam.

Pro Tip: These tweets can be scheduled more than once and auto-scheduled, but I’m a fan of tweeting these in real-time. It’s a little suspicious to tweet about a work event on a Sunday afternoon…

4. Best Tweets with Emojis

Emojis are an easy way to grab someone’s attention, especially on mobile! The best emoji tweets below are a double-whammy; they feature images of our employees AND emojis.

Best Tweets with Emojis

Best Tweets with Emojis

How to Replicate These Tweets:

It can be harder to include emojis when you’re scheduling tweets ahead of time through Buffer or Hootsuite. We like to use GetEmoji for an easy copy-paste. But don’t forget to tweet from your mobile at events, too!

Pro Tip: Use that time of day and time of week data you’ve been collecting, and schedule your tweet to hit that sweet spot. For reference, ours is on Sunday afternoons…

5. Best Tweets with Urgency

We find that increasing urgency generally increases engagement with your content. Using action-inducing words is great for news-based tweets!

Best News Tweets

Best Tweets with Urgency

Best Urgent Tweets

How to Replicate These Tweets:

Focus on your headlines. If you are breaking big news or reporting on an important change, add verbiage like “new,” “breaking,” and “get it now” to drive engagement. Create a few different headlines to make the message hit home.

Pro Tip: Expect these types of tweets to get lots of clicks and retweets! Make sure you choose an original image that accurately portrays your brand and relates to the content of the tweet.

6. Best Tweets with Infographics

Here at WordStream, we have a steady flow of content, but there are a few times when we know we’ve really hit the jackpot. In these instances, I’ll throw together a bunch of tweets—more than your average blog post promotion on social—and make sure to slice up an infographic appropriately for the attached image. I’ll also pin one to the top of our Twitter right away. We’ve had a few that really took off – the expanded text ads best practices tweet was our best performing tweet of the year!

Best Infographic Tweets 

Best Infographic Tweets

This was our best tweet of the year!

How to Replicate these Tweets:

Step one: publish engaging and relevant content with an infographic! If you can’t produce your own infographics, borrow someone else’s (but remember to give them credit!). Next, slice the infographic to choose an eye-catching section to feature in your tweets.

If you’re borrowing an infographic, tag the company it came from—that will absolutely up your engagement when they retweet you. For example, one of our most popular infographics was snagged by Jed Record for this tweet. He kindly tagged us, which allowed us to retweet him, and we helped each other out with this tweet engagement!

Best Tweet Mention

Pro Tip: All the tweets above simply use the title of the post for the copy. Composing an engaging image is half the battle since it will not only draw in your Twitter audience, you’ll get more clicks overall.

7. Best Dark Horse Tweet

I’m going to be honest, when this tweet did well, I was borderline shocked. I had scheduled it days before, thinking we needed a filler for the day but that no one would be checking Twitter on New Year’s Day. I added a gif and signed off to celebrate New Years!

Best Dark Horse Tweet

How to Replicate this Tweet:

Follow your gut and stay true to your company’s personality. If you see an opportunity to stand out from the crowd, grab it. Picking well-known gifs doesn't hurt, either.



from Wordstream Blog Feed http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/06/22/best-tweets
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How to Build a Business Around An Unmet Need

How to Build a Business Around An Unmet Need written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Kim Doyal
Podcast Transcript

It’s so easy to start a business today. You simply get online and start. Now I’m not saying it’s easy to own, operate, and profit from a business – but I do know if you don’t start you’ll never know.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Kim Doyal, the WordPress Chick. She is a podcasting coach, WordPress wizard, co-founder of the#FtheHustle movement, and founder at thewpchick.comShe and I discuss her journey, WordPress best practices, and even dish on the internet marketing crowd.

Doyal’s story is part tragedy, part inspiration. As she reveals on the show, she lost her husband in an accident and found herself at a major fork in the road. How she came through it is the inspirational part.

Today Doyal helps entrepreneurs get clear on what they enjoy doing most in their business, map out a digital strategy and find the right medium for creating content and growing their audience… in a way that works for them.

Questions I ask Kim Doyal:

  • What is #FtheHustle?
  • What are some of your favorite WordPress tools these days?
  • What is the best approach for small businesses to work on WordPress?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • Why it’s important to just show up
  • Why you don’t need to get in front of thousands of people to grow your business
  • Why connection is key to growing your business

Key takeaways from the episode and more about Kim Doyal:

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Are you an independent marketing consultant or an agency owner? If so, you may want to check out the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network. It is a growing group of independent marketing consultants and agencies that are partnering and collaborating using the Duct Tape Marketing tools, and really scaling their businesses. Check it out at ducttapemarketingconsultant.com.



from Duct Tape Marketing https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/wordpress-business/
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How to Perfect Your Lead Generation Follow-up

How to Perfect Your Lead Generation Follow-up written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

In this post – 5 Steps to Restart, Recharge and Revive Your Marketing Right Now! – I introduced an aggressive initiative to help any business owner struggling to stay on plan with their marketing for the year. The idea is to take the mid-point of the year and get a fresh restart.

In post #3 of 5, I introduced – How to Use Content to Generate a Steady Flow of Leads


Today we tackle Step #4 – How to Perfect Your Lead Generation Follow-up

The current infatuation of the internet marketing set is complex automated lead funnels. Go on Facebook, and you’ll likely be hit with ads offering to show you how to make it rain thousands of leads on autopilot.

While I’m not opposed to teaching lead generation techniques, I do think there is an issue with just thinking about the lead funnel as a standalone. After all, you don’t just want leads—you want new and returning customers on a consistent basis.

What you need is a client generation system.

I work with a lot of independent marketing consultants and service professionals, and most of them simply want to work with about ten of the right clients at any given time.

So let’s do some math. Let’s say you have four clients right now, and you would like to get six more. The typical consultant acquires new client by attracting a lead that wants to meet and learn about how you might help them. Let’s say one in four of those meetings turns into a client. (That’s terribly low for the approach we teach, but I’ll use it be conservative.)

With the math above it will take you 24 sales meetings to get the additional six clients needed to fill your practice and meet your revenue objectives. So, in building a lead generation and conversion system, there are two primary questions.

What does it take to get a consistent flow of appointments and how can you convert more appointments to clients. Build a system that does that, and you won’t need to worry about all of the lever pulling elements and moving parts in most lead funnels today.

If you need six clients, build a system that gets you in front of 10-12 qualified prospects, and you’ll land six clients in a matter of weeks, it’s that simple.

Below you’ll find the ten steps involved in creating a customer generation system for your consulting business.

Set a goal for meetings

The very first step is to determine your revenue goal for the year and go backward to determine how many clients you need to reach that goal. Then break it down to determine how many meetings, proposals, and pitches you need to make to hit that goal.

Example:

Goal – $250,000 in revenue in 12 months means that if you sell a $500, $3000, or $5,000 service, you will need either 42, 7, or 4 clients respectively to reach that goal.

$500               $3000                        $5000

X 42 clients    X 7 clients                  X 4

X 12 months X 12 month                X 12 months

From this point, you simply need to factor how many appointments it will take to land one new client, and you’ll have your primary metric – X meeting per month. (You may not know how many meetings, but it’s a number you need to watch and reduce as much as possible – lowering this number is the key to success.)

Narrowly define your ideal client

Back on day one of this little restart adventure I asked you to describe your ideal client.

Of course, it’s my hope that you have a pretty good idea of who makes an ideal client for your business but if not keep this in mind. At first target the group you can help the most, the fastest. The reason I advise focusing on this group is that you’ll probably be able to demonstrate how you can help them easily and by getting quick results, build some raving fans.

For example, as a marketing consultant, I can use a set of tools that can show me how badly a business needs marketing help. It’s a matter of auditing their online presence and matching it with a few other bits of data such as industry and even local reputation or groups they might belong to.

Create your workhorse piece of content

Remember back on day three we talked about producing one piece of content per month, but make it awesome.

Now it’s time to create a valuable piece of content that will resonate with your target audience. Most likely this will come out in the form of a blog post.

You may have some ideas about the kind of content that will attract your target audience if you want to make sure this one piece of content is the workhorse you need for your system, spend some time researching the questions and problems your target audience experiences the most.

You can start with a tool such as keywordtool.io to identify the most frequently asked questions around a subject. Then move to a forum search by typing forum+your keyword topic (this can be an industry, i.e., forum+chiropractor), and you’ll find forums where your target audience hangs out to ask questions and get advice. The data from both of these sources may prove invaluable as you search for hot topics for your blog post.

Finally, when you think you have a couple of solid ideas, take your topics to BuzzSumo, and you’ll discover a list of the most shared content for each theme. You can often use this information to determine a very hot topic and ideas for how you could create an even hotter post on the topic.

Build or buy a list of ideal clients

Once you know who you want to target you can usually buy or rent a list based on demographics and location if you don’t already have a list you’ve collected. You could also append this list with some other elements such as members of an association or community group if want to refine it further. If properly targeted this list doesn’t have to be very large either.

Use this list to build a custom Facebook audience and further create an expanded lookalike audience to increase the number of potential targeted prospects.

Advertise the content and upgrade

Now that you have an audience ready to target you can create Facebook ads driving people to your workhorse piece of content. In fact, if you don’t even want to go to the trouble of creating ads you can simply point to your blog post in a status update and “boost” your post to the custom or lookalike audience you created.

This means the post will show in your timeline and show up as sponsored post in the timelines of those you’ve targeted. It’s standard practice for any content, but make sure your post has a large image that pertains to the topic. This will help it stand out.

The key to making this kind of promotion work as the first step in customer generation is to add what is called a “content upgrade” to the post. (Also covered in great detail on day 3.)

A content upgrade is simply an offer for related, but perhaps a different form of, content made inside the blog post that entices those that visit to exchange an email address to receive the upgraded version of the content as well.

The reason this is such an effective form of list building is that the person responded to your ad in the first place because the specific topic appealed to them. Once they visited and found the content was solid, they are much more inclined to trust you to deliver something even greater.

Your content upgrade can be in the form of a checklist, ebook, or even a video. As you can see this post has a form of content upgrade offer above, but in this case, I’m not asking for any sign-up. Your content upgrade should come with an ask for an email address so that you can respond with more information.

We use the Thrive Leads plugin to create all of our content upgrade and subscriber boxes in our content.

Offer value to those who respond

Once someone responds to your content upgrade offer, simply reach out and offer to provide a valuable service for no charge as a way to demonstrate how great it might be to work with you.

For example, as a marketing consultant, I might use a few tools to run an audit on their online presence and quickly show them a few glaring weaknesses or places where a competitor has apparently invested and is benefitting.

I could even spin up a nice looking report and offer to simply mail this to them with a further offer to sit down with them and go over a plan of action for improving their current marketing situation.

If you’ve targeted and educated your prospect in this manner, then you are no longer creating demand and selling your harvesting demand and teaching.

An example offer might go something like this:

“would you like me to show you why your competitors outrank you and what you can do about it?” –  I’m happy to show you free ranking factors and create a custom plan for you – no cost or obligation.”

Qualify and set appointments

As you deliver value and move to an appointment, you want to make sure that your prospect is fully qualified to move forward with what you are going to propose.

We use a series of “Discovery” forms that help us understand the prospect’s objectives, goals, and potential challenges. This tool not only helps us learn more so we can deliver more, but it also places a hurdle that might not be approached and scaled by someone that’s not serious.

You can do a lot of free consulting if you don’t target and educate properly.

This doesn’t mean you only help those who are ready to buy; it means you only expend the precious time and specific knowledge you have with those who need and appreciate what you have to offer.

As part of this discussion I might add something like:

“Let me warn you,  I can’t help everyone – I can only help people who already have a solid service/product, are looking to increase their online presence and are willing to work hard at getting a return on what I ask them to do.”

Do the research and deliver the value

Once you’ve established a need and qualified for fit, do the research required to over deliver on what you promised as you set the appointment.

Run your reports on their online presence, use one of the many research tools to teach them about trends in their industry, give them a full rundown on their competitors, and map out the priority initiatives you see them needing to address right now.

For me there are two very significant ways to help our clients get more business immediately – increase the number of leads they are converting and do more business with existing customers.

These are the two areas I’ll address to show them how they could get more business now as we go to work on building a steady stream of new leads and clients.

Close the deal

Now you’ve done the research, and so you assume you have all the answers and the entire plan and you’re simply going to “show up and throw up” as I’ve heard more than one sales trainer describe it.

The key to engagement in this form of lead harvesting is to help the prospect tell you in their words what’s wrong and what not fixing it costs them. Get them to dream a bit about where they want to go and what they think it might take to get there before you prescribe anything.

Once you have them engaged in their story, you can start to talk about quick wins they could they could realize if they did one or more of the things you have in your plan – remember now it’s solely based on what they are telling you.

Then you can stretch and talk about more things that could be done long term to get the solid gains over time. This near-term vs. long-term vision is important to help your prospect see the road ahead and how they get both immediate and lasting change from working with you.

If done properly you simply need to ask them if they would like to achieve these kinds of gains from working with you.

While there are a few things you need to get in place initially and few moving parts you’ll want to test and tweak as you go, a customer generating system doesn’t have to be that complex, it simply needs to be based on your overall growth needs and goals.

That’s it for day 4 of Restart – tomorrow I’ll be back to close the entire loop and talk about how to turn those new clients into raving fans by creating an awesome customer experience.



from Duct Tape Marketing https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/perfect-lead-generation-follow/
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

10 Highly Effective B2B Link Building Tactics

Regardless of what people say, building up your link profile is a necessary part of your B2B marketing strategy. For most businesses, however, the process of establishing a backlink strategy and then going out and actually getting backlinks can be incredibly daunting.

There is a TON of value in building up your link profile. We attribute a lot of our organic growth to our backlink strategy. In fact we used to have a role here specifically for writing guest posts (8 a week if you can believe it). That’s how much we believe in it.

There are a lot of ways to get backlinks, and some require more work than others. So in this article I’ve tried to break down tactics by three separate categories according to how much effort they’ll entail:

  • Outreach (minimal work)
  • Submission (some light work)
  • Exchange (heaviest amount of work)

I recommend using a nice mix of tactics spread across these three categories. As with most things in life, the links that require the most work are usually the more authoritative, and will have the biggest positive effect on your organic rankings.

b2b link building tactics

So without further ado, let’s dive into the actual tactics. Here are 10 B2B link building tactics you can start implementing today to help get you more backlinks.

Outreach-Based Backlinks

Offer a Scholarship

This is a really cool way to give back to students, while also acquiring some high-quality backlinks. Google knows that .edu and .gov URLs are trustworthy and usually highly authoritative (seeing as not anyone can just go out and purchase a .edu or .gov backlink). This is actually a common thing that a lot of businesses do.

All you need to do is create a scholarship page on your site, then create an application form (we did this through Google Forms). From there we hired a data miner from Upwork to find contact info for someone in the Financial Aid office, as well as in the Marketing/Computer Science program, at over 180 universities. For your own scholarship, reach out to whatever field your company works in.

This is a great way to quickly earn links, and can be done in a few hours. All you need to do is build a page, create a form, and send out an email cadence to your list of contacts!

Here’s an example of our scholarship page, and below you can see that we already have 22 links from high-authority sites pointing there, and we’re still acquiring more every week!

scholarships for link building

Wikipedia Links

Wikipedia is a great way to get high-authority links to relevant blog posts. Essentially, you want to do a quick Google search for relevant keywords. Comb through the Wikipedia page that ranks for your keyword to see if there is any missing information that you’ve touched on or answered in a blog post.

If you haven’t edited a Wikipedia page before, here’s a great guide to get you started. There’s no guarantee that all links will get approved, but as long as your citation adds value to the page, there’s a good chance it stays up!

Keep in mind that Wikipedia links are nofollow – however, Google probably still views them as valuable, they can send a lot of referral traffic, and they can lead to other links.

Icon Packs

If your company has a designer (in-house or outsourced, it doesn’t matter), have them create some custom icon packs for your brand. There are a number of different sites that allow you to upload icon packs for download. Just make sure that you tell people to link back to your site somewhere on the page where they use the icons. There’s a good chance that not everyone will do so, but this tactic requires very little work up front (especially if you already have custom icons for your site), so it’s worth it even if only 50% of people who download the icons link back to your site.

Before you just go ahead and upload icons, however, make sure they are actually original and your company owns the rights to them. Here’s a helpful article from Shopify on 12 trusted places to download icon packs – the majority of which also allow you to upload your own!

Link Reclamation

This is another tactic that doesn’t require much heavy lifting (although it does require some outreach and data mining). Essentially, reclamation is the tactic of going after uncredited brand mentions, either in text or image, and reaching out to ask for a link back to your site.

There are a few ways you can go about this, depending on the amount of time you have. This Ahref’s blog post describes it in detail, but you can do a quick Google search that looks something like this:

“Brand/Company Name” -ownsite.com -twitter.com -facebook.com -google.com

For example:

brand mention monitoring for link building

This will pull up any site that mentions your company, and you can manually go through and see which sites are linking back to you and which ones aren’t. Again, this would be a great task for an Upwork freelancer, and you can usually get someone to mine these websites (for brand mentions as well as contact info) for around $8 an hour.

Another way to do this is to set up Google Alerts or another mention monitoring tool to send you an email anytime your brand or company name is cited. This allows you to stay up to date with any brand mentions that aren’t linked back to your site.

The Google Alerts dashboard is super easy to use, and looks like this:

google alerts link building

Affiliate Link Building

The final tactic in the “Outreach” category is pretty similar to Brian Dean’s “skyscraper technique.” We like to do it in a slightly different order than Dean’s method though.

After we write any piece of content, we do a quick search for that article’s primary keyword on BuzzStream and find 25 (if possible) articles on that subject. BuzzStream then highlights the authors and you can immediately add them to a “project.” For instance, let’s say we’re using this tactic for an article we wrote about link building. We would create a link building project in BuzzStream, and then add authors who have recently written about link building.

buzzstream for link building

We can filter by articles written in the past month, domain authority, location, categories, etc.

From there we can send out emails – we recommend individual emails for each author, as this increases the likelihood of earning a backlink. Here’s an example of one of our outreach emails, written for a CTA analysis post:

affiliate link building for b2b companies

I put this tactic under Outreach (even though it does take some additional data mining work), because a great place to start is through old blog posts. You don’t even have to write new content, but make sure the post you’re trying to earn a backlink to is high-quality and would actually provide value to another site’s readers.

Submission-Based Backlinks

Infographics

People love sharing infographics (or at least good ones). In fact, HubSpot has written THREE blog posts on how to create awesome, shareable infographics.

infographic link building

Infographics are a great way to scale out “guest blogging” opportunities, while requiring much less work than creating an entirely new guest post for every site you reach out to.

Here’s how to do it. Start off by creating an awesome infographic. Then, just as you would for a guest post, send out an email asking if relevant sites would like to post that infographic (as you have similar audiences, and their readers may find it insightful). You can even offer to write a quick intro paragraph to explain the infographic as well.

This is a lot easier than writing original 2,000-word guest posts, and you still get an awesome backlink from it!

P.S. While these aren’t really infographics, David McSweeney wrote an awesome blog post on using maps to earn backlinks. I highly recommend checking that out!

Forum Posting

Let me start by saying that if you are going to use this tactic, your main priority should be providing insight and help to any forum you’re posting to. If your main goal is to plug your own site, you’re going to run into some issues:

  • You’ll earn yourself a bad reputation, and pretty soon your answers will be downvoted into oblivion.
  • The site moderator may just start deleting your answers.

That being said, forums are still a great place to expand your link profile. A great way to start is just by answering questions on Quora, Reddit, Inbound.org (if you’re in the marketing space), Growth Hackers, etc. Don’t necessarily plug your content in every answer, but build up a following as a helpful contributor.

If you run into a question that can be answered by a recent post you’ve written, go ahead and link to it, but do it naturally. Here’s a great example from Neil Patel, who links to his own blog post in a Quora question asking about how to properly build links on Quora. (Linkception!)

Exchange-Based Backlinks

Guest Blogging

In my opinion, guest blogging is the link building tactic that can have the biggest impact on your organic rankings. As I mentioned, we dedicated an entire employee on our growth team strictly for guest posts.

Much like forum posting though, the goal of guest posting should not be to plug as many links as possible. If you do, you’ll most likely upset the editor, because he/she will have to go through and delete them all while still trying to make the post flow.

Your goal when guest posting should be to share new and innovative tactics.

There are different ways to go about earning guest post opportunities, but I’ll dive into the way we did it here at Directive Consulting. (For an in-depth look at our process, check out this article we published on Moz, where we talk about raising our response rate from 8% to 34% on our blogger outreach emails.)

First, we hired a VA from Upwork to find two different categories of sites. We wanted sites in our industry of digital marketing (such as Moz, WordStream, CrazyEgg, Kissmetrics, etc.), because we knew some of our topics would be a great fit for their audience. We also compiled a list of companies that sponsored a few of the big B2B conferences (since those blogs are most likely what our target audience spends its time reading). We had the VA get the names and emails of the managing editors for these sites.

We then sent out an email at scale (via Pitchbox) with these three main components:

  1. A background of our writer and area of expertise
  2. Previous sites we had been published
  3. Topic suggestions for our guest post (broken down into Primary and Focalized)

Component 1 + 2:

link building for b2b

Component 3:

how to use guest blogging for links

It was super effective for us.

HARO

HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out, and it’s a great way to diversify your backlinks across a number of different sites. HARO is used by both writers and contributors. The best part is it’s free to be a contributor. If you sign up to be a contributor, you’ll get three emails a day with a number of different queries that writers are trying to write articles on.

All you need to do is respond to the query with a short paragraph. If the writer likes your contribution, they’ll use it in their post and give you a backlink. Make sure you have an enticing subject line (or something that directly answers their question). These writers get tons of responses, so you need to make sure you can stand out. The below format is simple, concise, and earned us quite a few backlinks!

how to get links from HARO

Conference Sponsorships

This last link building tactic is definitely the most expensive. So while it doesn’t necessarily take a whole lot of time or work, I put it in the “exchange” category because you do need to exchange a portion of your budget.

That being said, sponsoring conferences is a great way to earn backlinks from high-authority sites that are incredibly relevant to your industry. Many times, a sponsorship also comes with a free pass to the conference, so it can be a direct lead generator as well (depending on how good you are at networking).

It can be difficult to determine which conferences you should sponsor, but we like to split our sponsorship opportunities into three categories: Local, Industry, and Target Audience. Local sponsorships are a great way to improve your local SEO. Industry conferences are great for building awareness and potential partners. And target audience conferences get your brand and website directly in front of your ideal clients.

In closing

Link building takes time, and while it’s usually not the most glamorous job, it can pay massive dividends when it comes to your organic rankings. That being said, you won’t necessarily see the fruits of your labor immediately. But if you’re diligent and consistent with the 10 tactics mentioned above, you will see organic growth.

Now go out there and start getting some links!

About the author

Sean Thomas Martin is the Growth Marketing Manager @ Directive Consulting, an industry thought leader based in Southern California, specializing in a unique blend of SEO, PPC, content, and social.



from Wordstream Blog Feed http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/06/21/b2b-link-building
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Find Out Why Nobody is Finding Your Content

Find Out Why Nobody is Finding Your Content written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Brian Dean
Podcast Transcript

Brian Dean

I believe that elements of SEO are now elevated to the strategic level. In other words, as you plan your message, website structure, and content for your marketing, you better include some research commonly seen as a technical aspect of SEO.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Brian Dean. He is a digital marketing expert and founder of Backlinko, an SEO training blog. He and I discuss on-page ranking factors and the simple steps you need to apply to every piece of content to get found online.

Since launching Backlinko, Brian quickly made a name for himself by publishing practical strategies that marketers can use to grow their online business. Backlinko is now one of the most popular marketing blogs online. Did we mention that he’s built this growing business while traveling in countries like Thailand, Japan, Spain, and Turkey? It’s true. He currently lives in Berlin, Germany.

Questions I ask Brian Dean:

  • What are some of the most important things to know about SEO?
  • What is LSI?
  • Are internal and external links still valuable?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • Why keyword research is so important
  • Which on-page ranking factors are still important
  • Why your page title shouldn’t necessarily be your URL

Key takeaways from the episode and more about Brian Dean:

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Are you an independent marketing consultant or an agency owner? If so, you may want to check out the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network. It is a growing group of independent marketing consultants and agencies that are partnering and collaborating using the Duct Tape Marketing tools, and really scaling their businesses. Check it out at ducttapemarketingconsultant.com.



from Duct Tape Marketing https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/not-seeing-content/
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