Important Tips in Creating Highly Effective Ebooks

Important Tips in Creating Highly Effective Ebooks

 

As a form of “thank you” to website visitors, ebooks are seen as the best downloadables businesses can offer to potential clients. Not only that, they also serve as excellent sources for B2B sales leads.

This year’s B2B Content Marketing Report reveals that up to 55% of B2B marketers believe ebooks are effective in helping them discover new business opportunities. Along with white papers and webinars, downloadable ebooks have been shown to provide better chances generating quality leads simply by having visitors enter their names and email addresses prior to accessing them.

But supposed your ebook’s content is not exactly what the prospect expects?

It is given that a single download faintly reveals a prospect’s desire to purchase. At present, buyer decisions depend entirely on – among other things – the type of message contained in your ebooks. As NewsCred Content Strategist Michael Brenner has pointed out, “The B2B marketing organization of the future will be organized around data, content and technology.”

So, the crux of using ebooks effectively lies on creating them from scratch. Here are ways to create digital publications that drive revenue in addition to download activity.

Hire a good writer

Ebooks are quite small for something that qualifies for a book, but they require specialized writers, mainly those with a background in composing business communications. With the capability to choose attention-grabbing words and use them to full effect, these writers – whether outsourced or hired as in-house staff – ensure you content marketing strategy is handled perfectly.

Related post: The 6 Unique Traits of All Remarkable Writers

Determine your topics

Some businesses offer downloadable content on a wide range of specifications. Offer ebooks that are made for certain audience segments based on budget, employee size, and most importantly industry. Also, narrow down your ebook to a single topic only. If you have a surplus of information that wouldn’t sit well with the current topic, reserve it for a separate issue.

 

A lead generation- Add Some Sauce to your Storytelling

Don’t sell

Just don’t. Prospects download an ebook because they expect to discover something about you, to learn what you know about the industry and to explore the possibilities of a long-term partnership.

Make your research count

Indeed. Writing an ebook is nothing like composing a romance novel. But even fiction writers need to do their research to make their stories more appealing to their readers. So, provide a good amount of data from recent surveys and technical papers. When the facts are set, there is a higher chance that a prospect will agree to a sales appointment.

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Let your Creative Marketing Juices Flow with these Tips

Let your Creative Marketing Juices Flow with these Tips

For many outside the realm of B2B marketing, calling the field “dull” or “more worthy for office deadheads” is uncalled-for.

What most people don’t know is that marketing, at least in the production of content, is a creative endeavor. Everything from blog posts and infographics for the purpose of B2B lead generation demands a certain amount of artistic dedication as a requisite to attracting buyers who have aesthetic inclinations themselves.

Marketo’s Libby Estell shares four ways in tapping your creative wells and provide highly effective lead content for your lead generation and appointment setting campaign.

1. Collect your thoughts

If creativity is all about combining old ideas in new ways, you’re going to need a system for generating, collecting and reviewing ideas. It’s all part of the creative process.

With your creative juices flowing, you’ll need a way to keep track of all your thoughts and ideas. Buy a notebook and take it everywhere. Or, for a digital solution, use Evernote to store everything on your phone (or really any device), since you take it with you everywhere already. Find a system that works for you—create a file folder of tear sheets and clippings, or pin things to a bulletin board.

Finally, and most importantly, review what you’ve gathered at regular intervals.

Related Post :   How to Effectively Use Research in Creating Marketing Infographics

2. Time is of the essence

We’re all familiar with the concept of early birds and night owls. No doubt you know which category you fall into. But did you know that creative thinking is actually at its best at non-optimal times? This means if you’re a morning person, creative insights will come more easily at night, when you’re tired. That’s because tired brains tend to lose their filter, which can lead to improved creativity. At work, set aside creative tasks or brainstorming sessions for the end of the day when fatigue has set in. Or try scheduling early morning creative meetings to get the most out of night owls.

3. Optimize your environment

Set aside a space devoted solely to creative thinking. It can be a communal area, a second desk, or a separate office. Removing yourself from your “productive” workspace to a different creative space sends a signal to your brain that it’s time to shift your thinking. And since research has shown that a messy space is more conducive to creativity than a tidy one, a change of venue could speed the transition between work modes.

4. Tolerate failure

Encouraging creativity isn’t foolproof. Challenging situations—like launching a new product or expanding internationally—can lead to failure. But they can also inspire creative thought.

Why are Marketing Infographics cool?

Why are Marketing Infographics cool

Of course by ‘cool’ we mean ‘intellectually enlightening’ and ‘visually fascinating’ at the same time.

A few years ago, people would rely on infographics to gain insight on the most important information out there, not only in the realm of business but also in everyday life. Now, not only do people crave for information from infographics, they also seem to have become more enthusiastic about creating them.

Naturally, for lead generation marketers, it’s a matter of building thought leadership status and generating traffic.

But what exactly makes infographics so effective?

Majority of people are visual learners

It’s also the reason why Facebook posts with images are more likely to generate likes and responses. People like seeing something for them to fully grasp a concept or idea. When long, boring stacks of information are transformed into pleasant visuals, the brain enjoys the learning process.

Infographics highlight the bottom line

You don’t see a lot of text on infographics. It doesn’t contain a lengthy account of what’s going on; rather, it only shows you what you need to know. Relevant pieces of information are summarized and presented in an impactful way, which makes people see the whole ‘picture’ at a glance.

People just love sharing infographics

We rarely see lousy infographics. It’s because they are usually created by people who really know how to make visuals a feast for the eyes. The information it contains, though, are handled by marketing researchers. This combination makes infographics a complete package, which makes it very shareable. The more a piece of content is shared, the happier lead generation marketers become.

Your brand has infographics = your brand must be wise

If you want to establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche, infographics are a good platform to start on. Especially if you and your team are able to produce quality infographics that really take on relevant topics within your industry. When people get to enjoy your output, they’d surely watch out for more.

Face it: you also learn a lot by creating infographics

After all the research and the organization of ideas, you’d find yourself being amazed by the information you’re intending to share to the world. In fact, had you not decided to create infographics, you may have never known these facts at all. That’s when the perks become double-edged. When you practice what you preach, the learning process goes full circle.

 

An Easy Formula in Writing A B2B Lead Generation Blog Post

An Easy Formula in Writing A B2B Lead Generation Blog Post

Blogs remain as a strong weapon in B2B lead generation, and its popularity is not showing any sign of weakness.

IgniteSpot.com says 77% of netizens are blog-readers, where 6.7 million people blog on blogging sites, and 12 million people blog via social networks.

By now you would think bloggers have already mastered the art of writing a blog post, and perhaps they already have. But when you’re talking about B2B, blogging is not just about doing it right – it’s also about doing it effectively.

B2B bloggers are more concerned with engagement, shareability and SEO optimization. Those, among other things, make blogging a bit tricky, except when you know these things:

Identifying with your audience – Imagine yourself as an American blogger tasked to write in behalf of the Eskimos in Alaska and their sentiments regarding the lack of cable TV shows. Now that’s something you couldn’t just write about off the top of your head. You have to at least learn about their culture and know how it feels to be like them. It’s the same with business blogging. If you’re clueless about your market’s situation, how could you gain their attention through writing?

Starting with a bang – Your blog title and intro are the first two elements people notice. Just how important are they? Sometimes, just by reading the title, people may decide not to continue reading. And even if they do start reading but found your introduction uninteresting, they still wouldn’t go on. Titles and intros are what drives and keeps them in your post.

Organizing your content – An overwhelming amount of information is not helpful. You need to learn how to sort different ideas of content within your content. You can use sections, bulleted lists, and sub-stories. Help your reader understand the message you want to send across.

Optimizing for search – Although a blog post’s quality is not decided by keywords alone, they are still a vital element in lead generation. You don’t want to waste a good article by not making it searchable. If nobody stumbles upon your blog, it’s like it doesn’t exist at all.

Positioning CTAs strategically – Calls-to-action are tools not only for marketers to benefit from; readers also consider this as a valuable resource. If they liked what they’ve read on your blog, they would desire for plenty more, and CTAs provide that avenue. They must be available in strategic places where they are clearly defined and easily found.

5 Things to Consider before Guest Blogging

5 Things to Consider before Guest Blogging
On paper, guest blogging is primarily a means to gain exposure. To have your credentials appear on someone else’s blog expands your presence into places you would not normally reach, and it’s a competent B2B lead generation tool.

But on the content side of things, guest blogging is also a platform for information harmony. Giving your own two cents and having fellow bloggers transmit them to world is a wonderful concept by default, especially if you have something meaningful to share.

So if you’re planning to post on a blog as a guest, here are some things you need to ask:

Who will be your audience?

Since you will be speaking your voice in a different territory, it’s only logical to identify who will be listening (or not). There would be no point in sharing your thoughts about something that the blog’s readers wouldn’t be able to relate to anyway.

How will it be distributed and what is your role in it?

It’s important to know how your name will be exposed – will it involve social media? Will it be syndicated to other sites? Will it include links to your site? Also, you might want to ask the blog owner if you have any obligation to perform to promote your own post.

What are usual topics on the host blog that generate the most responses?

You don’t want your post to stink – you would want to at least get a couple of likes or comments to start a momentum. To get this, you need to check the blog’s recent posts and get some ideas on what to talk about and how you would attack the approach.

If readers would be routed to your website, will they see something worth staying for?

When you guest blog, you should anticipate the possibility of new audiences who will be checking out your website. Obviously, that is the point of guest blogging, but the accomplishment of being able to lure them to your site would be wasted if they don’t see something that could make them stay or go back.

Will you be allowed to respond to comments or say your “thank you”s?

If you’re a business blogger who are accustomed to actively responding to feedback, you should ask your host blogger if there’s a means for you to do so. But remember, you’re in someone else’s turf, so take it easy on the flame wars.

Setting the Record Straight: B2B Blogging Questions Answered

Setting the Record Straight-B2B Blogging Questions Answered

When it comes to B2B lead generation, a business may choose different channels to use content as a means of pulling prospects in. One of the most popular ones is blogging, and despite its widespread use, some marketers, believe it or not, are still unsure what this approach really is all about.

In fact, even those who are already into business blogging are still not 100% sure that they know what they’re doing.
Let’s face it: sometimes we do stuff that other people do just as long as we see them being successful at it, even without fully comprehending what lies ahead. So to once and for all settle the doubt and reluctance over B2B blogging, here are some answers to questions that you might find useful in coming into a better understanding.

What’s up with blogging anyway?

Companies have different sorts of reasons why they choose blogging as a lead generation tool. Most of them cite brand awareness, being a thought-leader, or catering to customer needs as top reasons. Others do it because it leads people to their main websites, generate leads, and because it simply makes them “cool”.

If you combine all that, everything boils down to making money for your business – which is really the point of having a business in the first place. According to eloqua.com, 55% of business prospects turn to blogs for information, and 75% of them want vendors to sell products through “informational” and “unique” ways. Blogging can give you that power.

How does blogging help lead generation?

Yes, blogging informs people what they need to know, but what you really should aim for is to move them into the sales path. Basically, prospects are drawn into blogs because of keywords (terms and subject matters that they search for, leading them to you). Then blog visitors are converted to leads by subscription forms, surveys, newsletters and promotions. They become part of a “prospect inventory” after which a process will determine which ones are potentially profitable.

What’s the difference between a B2C and B2B blog?

When regular consumers decide whether or not to buy stuff, the sales cycle doesn’t usually take too long to take place. They read a blog, get convinced, think about it for a day or two, and then buy the product. In the B2B world, the buying process involves so much more: relationships, trust, budget, clear ROI, technology and competence. Hence, B2B blogs must be structured in a way that it meets such criteria for decision-making.

So what should B2B bloggers write about?

While it is definitely commendable to create original content, it may be quite difficult to produce consistently, considering the multitudes of business bloggers in the industry. It’s not a sin to develop ideas from existing content, such as corporate studies, news items, commentaries and even infographics. The point is on how you would put your own style and insight into the idea and how you would customize it to your unique audience.

Does your company give Mobile Content Marketing enough attention?

Does your company give Mobile Content Marketing enough attention

Pew Research (pewinternet.org) conducted a 2013 study on smartphone ownership in the US. They found out that 56% of American adults own smartphones while 34% own tablets. On top of that 63% of smartphone owners use their devices to go online.

Business Insider and ComScore both claim that mobile internet will overtake desktop internet usage by 2014. Time check: 2013 is almost over.

A content marketer in his or her right mind would never take these bits of information for granted. In fact, a good marketing team would have started giving mobile marketing some thought since 2011 (right now it’s still not too late, but you’ve got to act fast).

Any business that produces content online is probably already aware of the rise of mobile internet usage, but not all of them choose to do something about it. Others did respond, but they think providing a “mobile version” of their content is already enough. With this kind of trend being projected in the next few years, mobile content marketing should go beyond mere compatibility.

It’s not just about being mobile-friendly

While it’s true that mobile optimization is a good way to ensure your content is made available across all devices, but it shouldn’t stop there. Marketers need to start looking at actual behaviors of mobile users and situations that can provide marketing potential. Delivery must be specifically tailored to the right people at the right time.

Discover how they actually use their devices

Do they access mobile web strictly for social media? Do they consult the mobile web when they need technical assistance? How often do they purchase via their mobile devices? Who spends the most time on the web via mobile? These are just basic concerns, and as marketers go along, they will eventually have to delve deeper.

Emulate the same user experience and appeal

If you were able to make the best out of your desktop site by effective web designs, interactive buttons and attractive images, your mobile site deserves the same dazzle and should reflect the same impression on mobile users. Today’s brands of smartphones and tablets are already advanced enough to accommodate a certain level of sophistication when it comes to site structure and functionality, so there’s no need to fret.

Use location services

Lastly, since you’re already committed to going mobile, why not go full throttle? Mobile devices are perfect tools to engage with customers based on their location and geographic preferences. This can help put your business on the map (literally) and drive sales by maintaining your physical presence on the web.

Related post: Curious query of the day: Is There Any Future to Mobile Marketing?

Is Content Marketing synonymous with Thought Leadership?

Is Content Marketing synonymous with Thought Leadership? Almost every business blogger aspires to be regarded as a thought leader in his or her respective field. It comes with a lot of perks: gaining desired traffic, a huge following, exposure on other blogs, and even individual success such as making a name throughout an entire industry.

Back in 1994, Editor-in-chief Joel Kurtzman coined the term “thought leadership” in a Booz Allen Hamilton Magazine Strategy & Business. According to Kurtzman, thought leaders are people “who had business ideas which merited attention.”

Going back to the title of this post, the standing question lies. Does being a thought leader remain to be the sole force that rationalizes content marketing?

In a Forbes.com article entitled “What is a thought leader?” it was asserted that there are two “functions” that come into play in thought leadership: one is being an authority, and second is being profitable. The article presents both sides of the thought leader persona and how it relates to the true nature of content marketing in a business.

1. “A thought leader is an individual or firm that prospects, clients, referral sources, intermediaries and even competitors recognize as one of the foremost authorities in selected areas of specialization, resulting in its being the go-to individual or organization for said expertise.”

The foremost essence of being a thought leader is authority. This is mostly the marketing function of content, where the main target is to attain a certain level of perception and regard from those who support a particular business website or blog. With authority comes attention and respect – and marketers use those honors to position themselves in the market.

2. “A thought leader is an individual or firm that significantly profits from being recognized as such.”

This definition addresses the commercial aspect of thought leadership. While many people don’t readily see this as a by-product, it’s actually happening in reality. When a person or team representing a firm was able to come up with a state-of-the-art concept that, in its own way is innovative and revolutionary, they will have gotten the attention of clients – not just ordinary passersby but businessmen who actually are willing to pay for the idea.

Say, an IT products and services firm comes up with a never-before-heard business operation model for SMB IT operations. Not only will blog readers be intrigued with what the new concept has to offer, companies would also consider employing such ideas in their own businesses. But of course, that idea, should you choose to monetize it, must be made available only to those who are willing to “buy” it.

Thought leadership, as you can see, as evolved from being a mere breeding ground for industrial popularity. It could also come in handy in terms of profitability and engaging potential clients to actually establish a business partnership with your own.

Back from the Dead: How to resurrect a Blog

Back from the dead - How to resurrect a blog

Once upon a time, your company was running a business blog.

Then one day, it died.

Whether it was because of natural causes, assassination or suicide, nobody could remember (nobody was there when it died). Right now it’s just but a shrine of lost memories – blog posts that nobody reads, photos which nobody saw, and messages that never went across. The last post was dated almost a year ago, and the page looked like a ghost that never dared to haunt.

For a while you had come up with several excuses to convince yourself that you didn’t need a blog anyway, and that it was a death well-deserved. But deep down, you knew it was a terrible loss, until one day you couldn’t fool yourself anymore – you decided to bring it back to life.

But you don’t know how.

That won’t be the case anymore after you work through these 5 steps in resurrecting your blog.

Remember, bringing something back from the dead isn’t always easy, so if you think you’re determined, here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Identify the killer, and then take revenge.

Whatever killed your blog – may it be poor quality, insufficient time, lousy promotions, or a random act of dimwittedness – it must be taken care of. There’s no point in reviving your blog only to subject itself to the same killer.

Step 2: Create a comeback plan.

Now that you’ve figured out how to eliminate the killers, plan your every move, especially in the initial 2-3 months. Determine how often you’ll be posting again, what your next topics would be, and how to let people know that you’re back in the game.

Step 3: Find new inspirations.

You have to have a reason to resurrect a blog, not only for your audience but also for yourself. Don’t just treat it as a “second attempt” at something. Instead, try thinking of it as a fresh start. Remodel your writing structure, include media you’ve never used before, and make sure that your new efforts outclass your old blog in every aspect.

Step 4: Stock up on content.

Remember, you’re back in the beginning. Summon the excitement and the energy you once had when you were just starting out. Exceed your daily quota for articles until you’ve amassed enough material for the next few months.

Step 5: Be patient.

You have to understand that it will take time before your blog starts showing signs of life again. The journey would involve rekindling old relationships and creating new ones, as well as embracing a new “lifestyle”. Appreciate any development that comes along, and don’t lose sight of your goals.

Staring at a Blank Page: A Guide for a First-time Business Blogger

A Guide for a First-time Business Blogger

One ordinary day, your boss finally decides that the company you work for would venture into a territory they’ve never explored before: business blogging.

Everyone is both excited and apprehensive about this new undertaking. One thing led to another, and then suddenly you found yourself bumped into a desk facing a computer monitor with only a cursor showing a sign of life. Then it dawned: you have been tasked to write blogs for your company strategically.

So what do you do first?

Just like any commitment that involves writing, business blogging requires skill and patience. But on top of that, it also puts onto your shoulders the responsibility of making sure your company’s reputation is maintained and, in due time, enhanced. One mistake and you pull down your company with you down the drain.

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself before you start digging those typing fingers:

  • Who am I? When you ask yourself this question, pertain to yourself as the company you’re representing. You need to have a pretty good idea of what your company is all about before you introduce it to the business blogging world. This need for self-awareness is not for the purpose of boring your readers to death by writing a 2000-word piece on how the company was founded. Rather, this understanding of one’s business is for you to better project yourself and your thoughts through your words, coupled with a great sense of ownership, integrity and truthfulness.
  • Why am I here? People who are used to reading blogs would know right away if a blogger is a newbie – and that’s not a bad thing; you’ve got to start somewhere. What’s bad is if you let them think that you don’t know what you’re true purpose is. Before you even think of the topics you would post about, think first of your reason why you’re blogging in the first place? Is it for recognition? Naturally. Is it to share ideas? Of course. Is it to gain new perspective? Could be. Is it to meet new people? Possible. All of these things could be your reasons. What’s important is for you to have a guiding principle that you could stick to, so you won’t get lost somewhere down the road.
  • Who am I writing for? You would think that the answer to this question is obvious, but some people nurture a fear of not being able to convey the message across the table. As it turns out, you don’t have to make your blog readable for every type of audience. Before you engage in a medium as dynamic as blogging, you should understand the possibility of some people not wanting to read what you write. Be open-minded and prepare yourself for possible negative comments. Don’t compromise your unique or brilliant idea just for the sake of playing it safe for all readers. There is a reader for every writer and you don’t have to please everyone.