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Carter Hostelley News & Analysis

Shift Your Thinking About Content Marketing

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For B2B marketers, there’s no question that content marketing is a key initiative. And these days, it seems everyone is sharing his or her content marketing best practices, promising marketers that if they could simply do X, Y and Z, then success is all but assured.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret: you can never win at content marketing using best practices alone. 

How to Set Social Media Marketing Goals

2014-26-June-Goal.jpgI have a lot of conversations with B2B marketers. And you know what? They’re all struggling to figure out what the right goals are for social media.

I’m not saying they don’t know what they hope to achieve (hint: leads). It’s just that these smart marketers seem unsure of themselves when it comes to setting measurable goals for social media. No wonder there’s still confusion about Social ROI!

So what’s going on?

5 Types of Influencers B2B Marketers Need to Engage Now

2014-29-May-Horse-Race.jpgYou've seen the stats: 60 to 80 percent of the buying process is done before anyone wants to chat with your chomping-at-the-bit sales reps. To make matters worse, more people than ever are now involved in the process of buying complex products. So where does that leave you?

Most likely trying to craft a never-ending stream of content marketing to influence this very process. And that helps, for sure.

But let’s be honest. You need to do more than turn your brand into a publisher … especially as most publishers are having their own issues these days. With that in mind, there’s another approach to influencing the buying process while also supporting your could-be-better content marketing efforts.

Start engaging the influencers.

Transforming Social ROI From a Myth Into Reality

Transform Social Marketing ROI From a Myth Into RealityHere’s a question I still get way too often: “What’s the ROI of social media?” It’s usually a B2B marketer that’s doing the asking, someone seemingly resigned to spending valuable time and resources on social media without really understanding why. Or it's a marketer that totally gets the value of investing in the company blog, Twitter profile and LinkedIn groups but still needs help convincing their “old-school” CMO or CFO that investing in social media is worth it. 

Aren’t we marketers now experts at calculating the return on all our online marketing initiatives? Why is social media such a tough nut to crack?

11 Ways to Boost Traffic to Your Company Blog

It’s official. I no longer need to explain to B2B marketers why a blog is an absolute must have. If you're a B2B marketer then chances are good you can already recite the many reasons why a blog makes sense: SEO, content marketing, fuel for social media, etc. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Hubspot and the Content Marketing Institute, I can eliminate “blog evangelist” from my job requirements.

So all is good in the land of B2B blogging, right? Far from it. Beyond the typical questions I get (e.g., what to write about and how often to post) a larger question is emerging:

How do we generate more traffic for our company blog?

Is Employee Advocacy the Next Big Thing for Marketers?

Is Employee Advocacy the Next Big Thing for Marketers?It started with a simple question: “What’s the next big thing marketers need to focus on?”

I asked Mike Edelhart who runs the Pivot conference -- a conference for senior marketers on the leading edge of the social media revolution. I expected Mike to respond with the usual suspects: big data, mobile, customer experience, media-specific social platforms, etc. Instead he replied, “It’s all about turning employees into a powerful force to advocate the company’s brand.”

B2B Marketing on Twitter: Turn Listening into Social Insights, Influence

B2B Marketing on Twitter: Turn Listening into Social Insights, InfluenceAt dinner the other night with a group of B2B marketers (sounds fun, I know) the conversation moved between discussing food delivery startups and ride sharing services, to all SaaS pricing, marketing automation and demand generation, all the time.

Now imagine you sell to B2B marketers and happened to be sitting nearby and listening in. Wouldn’t you have loved to pull up a chair and join our conversation? Sure you would. And maybe you’d have also wondered how to influence me or someone else at the dinner to recommend your company.

B2B Marketers: Identify and Mobilize Your Brand Advocates

Do you think that only consumer brands such as Apple, Harley Davidson, Starbucks and Trader Joe’s have customers passionate enough to recommend their products or services without being paid or otherwise incentivized? Every company has brand advocates, even those that sell to other businesses.

5 Reasons Why Social Media Is NOT Helping Your Content Marketing Efforts

5 Reasons Why Social Media Is NOT Helping Your Content Marketing Efforts Here’s a question for you: how can B2B marketers be so gung-ho about content marketing, but still seem so lukewarm on social media? Isn't social media the “marketing” in content marketing? Or is content marketing just about creating relevant and helpful content that you then blast to your email list, push via your website and hand off to the lead generation networks?

5 Ways Social Media Insights Can Influence Your B2B Marketing

Social Media Insights for B2B MarketingYou meet new people all the time. At work, at your kid’s school, at Starbucks while waiting for your morning latte … and maybe it’s someone you've seen before, but once you've had a conversation you’ll always look at that person differently. Why? Because you've chatted, looked them in the eyes, traded pleasantries. It doesn't take much for you to form an impression.

The 3 Stages of Content Marketing to Make Your Results Take Off

3 Stages of Content MarketingEverything has stages. Rocket launches, careers and life to name just a few. So why wouldn't your content marketing efforts?

How Marketing Executives are Using Twitter

Marketing Executives on TwitterJust what are marketing executives up to on Twitter? And what does this mean for senior marketers and the companies that sell to them? 

5 Reasons Your Company Blog Fails at Thought Leadership

Any B2B marketer worth her salt can list the many benefits of blogging -- search engine optimization, social media engagement, audience development and brand building. But guess what most B2B marketers really want from their company blog? Thought leadership.

3 Ways to Boost Your Content Marketing Results

Sure you’re smart. You’re part of the 91% of B2B marketers that do content marketing, right? You understand that content is a must for engaging buyers before they’re ready to buy, and building brand trust for when your sales team starts reaching out to them. And chances are good you've been doing content marketing for a while now -- so to quote Dr. Phil: “How’s that working out for you?”

6 Ways to Grab Your Buyers' Attention Using Social Media

Let’s face it, social media has changed how we marketers are doing our jobs. In addition to all the work that’s already on our plate, we now have to do LinkedIn updates, Twitter tweets, Facebook posts and, oh yeah, Google pluses. That’s not even counting blogging (or chasing down guest bloggers!). And it’s all with the hope of getting the word out about our company… and maybe generating some quality leads too.

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