While 2020 brought big changes—even if only temporary—in how we live our lives, do our work and how brands reach audiences through content and integrated marketing, some things remain the same: marketers like you continued to seek out ways of improving their campaigns, fine-tuning their strategies and simplifying the tasks that support that work.
We’ve talked before on this blog about the power of compounding blog posts, and how high-quality evergreen content continues to drive website traffic and lead development long beyond its original publication date. Our own metrics are a testament to the truth of this concept.
As I reviewed our most-read posts of 2020, I see that many of them have true staying power, and have been among the top 10 for some time. That doesn’t excuse us from continuing to create more useful content for our audience, but it is reassuring to know that our peers in this industry continue to find value in our posts.
Which of these posts have you read and used to do your job more effectively and efficiently, or taken inspiration from? If you haven’t read them yet, this could be a great way to start your year with new ideas from enduring content.
If you are using, or plan to use, lead nurturing emails to engage contacts following a few key rules will improve the effectiveness of your efforts. Base your workflows on the sales funnel or the lead’s stage in the buyer’s journey. Ensure each workflow has a specific goal in mind. Don’t push for the goal right away—offer value first. Know your sales cycle, and time the emails in your workflow accordingly. And, finally, keep workflows simple. Sounds simple, right? Read the full post for details and suggestions on how to implement all of these best practices.
Calls-to-action, or CTAs, are the essential links that bring your website visitors (or email recipients) to your website with a specific objective in mind. Find out what you can learn about your performance, and how to improve it, by tracking click-through rates, click to submission rates, and views to submission rates as part of your basic marketing metrics.
Your marketing content needs to solve problems for your customers. The first step, though, in developing a content marketing campaign full of blog posts, thought leadership articles, email newsletters or videos is to understand what your customers’ problems are and how you can solve them, not only by selling them a product or service, but also by providing valuable information within your content. The six steps outlined in this post provide a framework for identifying the pain points you can address.
Public relations departments have used media audits for decades to understand who is saying what about their business, how often, where and when.
But that knowledge shouldn’t be used only by PR; it is just as vital when crafting marketing campaigns that are part of an integrated communications strategy. The key to getting the most from a media audit is in ensuring the agency you choose goes beyond delivering a handful of raw data points. You need an audit that includes details, interpretation and, most importantly, recommendations based on the audit results.
This post outlines nine categories of information your next media audit should include, and three important recommendations that should come from that information.
No. 7 on our list talked about media audits, but marketing audits as a whole can offer even more insights into your program’s effectiveness, its strengths and opportunities for improvement and growth. Audits provide the data to drive changes that improve your marketing in six key ways.
Closing B2B sales can require a large investment of resources — time and money. If your business wants to get the most return on that investment, it doesn’t make sense to ignore the ways marketing can set sales up for success.
There is one problem, though, with the way many businesses operate, which is to send every lead that comes in directly to sales. The result? Sales reps end up wasting 97 percent of their time on leads that don’t go anywhere. Instead, establish your own definition of a qualified lead based on these five criteria: need, fit, budget, influence and timeline.
Research has shown that when people hear information, they are likely to remember only 10 percent of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65 percent of the information three days later. That is why infographics and other visual content play an essential role in today’s marketing mix. Check out this infographic for inspiration and a list of characteristics that increase the marketing power of your visual marketing content.
Awareness content—meant to introduce new leads and prospects to your brand, boost website SEO and generate interest and trust—is used across many different channels in integrated marketing programs, from blog posts on a corporate website to thought leadership articles placed with industry publications and explainer videos shared on social media. This checklist can provide a jumping-off point for your campaign brainstorming to help you develop full-funnel marketing campaigns with content designed to flow from awareness and consideration to decisions and deals.
This post, originally published in 2016, stands the test of time on the Inbound Accelerator blog, topping this list the last three years. The key takeaway I want readers to remember is this: a logo is not a brand. There is so much more to creating a full brand concept, whether you are introducing a new company or product or simply refreshing and reframing the image of an existing one. If you seek the help of an agency to develop a new brand concept, make sure they include all eight of these elements in the final presentation.
Defining lead status goes along with the topic of the blog in the Number 5 spot on this list: lead qualification. In order to provide leads with the most relevant information, you need to understand where they are along the buyer’s journey (or in the sales funnel, depending on how you prefer to identify it). When you define leads as cool, warm or hot, you can segment your marketing content and content promotion to fit what each needs at that time. And you can also ensure, as you do with lead qualification, that you aren’t sending sales team members on a wild goose chase after leads who landed on your contact list without any real intention of buying.
There you have it—the 10 most-read posts on the Inbound Accelerator blog in the last year, nearly all of them exhibiting the staying power of evergreen content that remains relevant and useful long after it was first published.
But I wouldn’t want you to miss out on some of the best NEW content we’ve produced, either, even though it is still building momentum in the search engines. That’s why I’m offering quick links to the most-read posts published on our blog in the last 12 months.
Three most read posts published in 2020:
- How to Use Our Lead Nurturing Workflow Template
- How To Audit Your Existing Website
- Your Complete Social Media Guide: What, Where, When & How Often To Post
We also have a great line-up of blog topics planned for 2021. Subscribe to the Inbound Accelerator blog today, and we’ll send you a weekly digest of the new posts so you can keep up, as we share checklists for creating specific content types, such as case studies or bylined articles, along with highlighting the integrated marketing approach that our clients are using successfully.