Best Don't Create Your 2014 Agenda Without Doing This, and The Top 14 Marketing Technology Articles Curated Wednesday, 9/18/13 | The MarTech Digest

Don't Create Your 2014 Agenda Without Doing This, and The Top 14 Marketing Technology Articles Curated Wednesday, 9/18/13

Right now, you’re probably neck-deep in (1) planning and budgeting for next FY, and (2) attending (and for that matter, exhibiting at) trade shows. And both activities are important right now as #2 impacts #1. I’ve got to ask you to add another item to the agenda: researching/testing different tactics that can have an impact on what you do and how you do it… 1) Retargeting: one of the most underutilized tactics available today, and there’s prime land to claim. Test it.2) Video: Yes, I know what the BaseOne study says, but that’s now, and it’s trending up. Consider delivering content via video, even in smaller chunks, e.g., Vine. Test it.3) Animation: Besides the notion that readers enjoy animated content, it draws upon both sides of the brain and is highly sharable. Go beyond the static infographic and into moving infographics and even cartoons. Test it.4) Improve your toolkit: Take a hard look at all the marketing automation, social media management, content marketing management, and analytical tools available today. You may want to reinventory. Test it. It’s all changing rapidly. Now’s the time to review and test. Marketing technology…NOW! Receive a daily summary of The Marketing Automation Alert directly to your inbox. Subscribe here (your privacy is protected). If you find this valuable, please share by using the links below:__________________________________________________Featured Marketing Technology Article The Top 7 Online Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014 - Forbes| #TheMarketingAutomationAlert - Today, 11:04 AM The Internet has drastically altered the way in which information is shared, and has had a profound impact on marketing. With these trends in mind, let’s discuss my predictions for the top online marketing trends of 2014. 1. Content Marketing Will be Bigger Than EverOne of the main ways that companies are establishing authority and gaining trust with consumers is by consistently creating valuable content through a variety of channels. This typically involves relevant industry information that provides insight or entertainment to an audience. Doing so allows a company to steadily build rapport with its demographic and develop a loyal following. According to the Content Marketing Institute, the top B2B content marketing strategies are social media, articles on a business’s website, eNewsletters, case studies, videos and articles on other websites. 2. Social Media Marketing Will Require More DiversityConsequently, it has become common for businesses to branch out and experiment with multiple networks with the aim of reaching the maximum amount of consumers. This diversification seems to prove fruitful for many companies because it often builds brand equity by making it easier for consumers to recognize a particular brand. For help figuring out which social media networks are right for your business, see my article “How to Determine Which Social Media Network Fits Your Business.” 3. Image-Centric Content Will RuleSuccessful blog posts that receive the most social shares also usually have a common characteristic: they pepper in some well-placed pictures to break content up and emphasize certain points. Another example is infographics, which combine images with a minimal amount of text to explain a topic and provide statistical information or data from research studies. 4. Less Will be MoreWith many consumers feeling burned out by a constant barrage of information and advertisements that scream “look at me”, some of the most innovative marketers are going the opposite direction. The’re now making efforts to tone-down their campaign messages and not overwhelm consumers with hype. 5. Mobile-Friendly Content Will Be NecessaryDue to the widespread (and quickly growing) use of smartphones and tablets, it’s necessary for companies to create content that’s accessible to mobile users. According to Forbes, “87% of connected devices sales by 2017 will be tablets and smartphones.” 6. Ad Retargeting Will Grow in EffectivenessThis is a marketing strategy that has really caught on recently. In a nutshell, it works by utilizing browser cookies to track the websites that users visit. Once they leave a certain site, the products or services they viewed will be shown to them again in advertisements across different websites. 7. SEO and Social Signals Will Become Even More IntertwinedAlthough social signals still don’t typically carry the same weight as traditional inbound links, it’s pretty undeniable that they play a role in organic search rankings these days. After all, they’re one of the three pillars of SEO. Since the goal of Google and other search engines is to provide users with the most relevant and highest quality content possible, it makes sense why they would factor in the number of social shares that a blog post, article or product page receives. The more people that are sharing a piece of content, the higher quality it’s likely to be, and therefore its position should increase within the search engine results pages. It’s no coincidence that the top-ranking search results tends to have lots of social shares, while those ranked lower have fewer. iNeoMarketing's insight:There's far more than these 7 trends, but I can understand the article given the generalist publication. But within the confines of the aforementioned, let me add:1) Smaller chunks of content...2) ...delivered in animated fashion...3) ...repeatable and shareable. And don't forget retargeting: one of the great unused B2B marketing tactics out there today. __________________________________________________Two of the dirtiest words in the Valley: "Big data” - PandoDaily| #TheMarketingAutomationAlert - Today, 10:26 AM Excerpt... The term “big data,” casts such a wide net, from infrastructure and analytics to applications, that it created confusion for companies and the term became meaningless. Sure, we got a ton of interest. But on more than one occasion, we walked into companies to pitch our “big data” technology and there would be a room full of IT people wanting to know what their “big data” strategy should be. These weren’t the right meetings for us. The right people were not in the room. The curiosity didn’t translate into anything. What I learned is that it’s important to remember that the Valley can be an echo chamber, only talking to itself. Companies outside of the Valley have a different perspective. You need to listen to your customers. You need to create value for them. Period. Today we’ve shifted how we talk about what we do to focus on the end result we deliver to our customers. We still talk about “big data,” but as a great enabler. We don’t have it perfect yet, but I can tell you that the interest we receive is spot on and continually accelerating. In hindsight, would I do it again? Absolutely. It’s how the Valley works, as much as we like to complain about it. Without our beloved buzzwords we wouldn’t have ideas to rally around and create momentum. But it’s important to know when it stops working. Trends should be picked up and discarded and not something to build a house on. And that you learn by listening to your customers.So we’ve officially jumped off the “big data” train, but it definitely took us for a great ride and brought us to the right place. iNeoMarketing's insight:Not a story about Big Data, but a story for all of us. A great tale, and I love the warnings regarding the VC vacuum. Indeed, there are two stories to tell to two different constituents. __________________________________________________Build a Better Buyer Persona: 5 Creative Data Sourcing Ideas - CMI| #TheMarketingAutomationAlert - Today, 10:15 AM Digest... Surveys and interviews seem to be the go-to source for learning about your target audience’s needs, interests, and goals, but they are not the only way to accomplish this goal. Google Consumer Surveys have several advantages over other crowdsourcing survey tools when it comes to buyer persona development. To begin with, respondents answer questions in exchange for premium access to specific content. This makes it good not only for data sourcing, but also as an opportunity to get potential leads into your funnel. Even if you already have clearly developed buyer personas, posing targeted questions on Quora can help you dive more deeply into your audience members’ motivators and interests, and flush out the content topics they are most likely to engage with. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk works to connect businesses with a large and diverse on-demand workforce that can help them address challenges and accomplish tasks effectively and cost-efficiently. Though the service is often used for outsourcing lower-level tasks, its capabilities (like feedback tools and content creation and monitoring services) can also be applied to helping increase the insight and accuracy of buyer personas. Today’s social applications are successful because of the insights that emerge through their use — the suggestion of music or books that you might like based on mutual interests that you have with a friend, for example. Organizations no longer need complex data mining initiatives to learn about the dark matter hidden within their user data; lightweight tools like NoSQL can speed time to market with new content and features by quickly unlocking inferences about customers. Where Mechanical Turk is useful across a huge range of topics, Feedback Army is geared more closely to providing you with feedback about specific web content. It is a quick and inexpensive way to test out content topics and experiment with new ideas by querying people about their interests and preferences. iNeoMarketing's insight:If you need to build personas or sharpen existing ones, this post is TREMENDOUS. What an innovative way to approach persona building. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. __________________________________________________Marketing Automation Is Everything But the Machine - Vocus| #TheMarketingAutomationAlert - Today, 10:21 AM Rushing headlong into marketing automation? Stay strategic to ensure your customer experience doesn't get trampled en route. Key excerpt... Clearly data is a huge driver behind automation. To make big data manageable, companies need to make governance a high priority issue. Data standards need to be implemented so data is easily handled, processed in the correct fields, and in turn empowers the company to better serve prospects and customers with great, precision-oriented information. Most importantly, strategists need to run marketing automation as opposed to automation dictating paths. They need to decide when someone is going to receive an email. Or a custom landing page. Just because someone can do something doesn’t mean they should. iNeoMarketing's insight:Of course, but two thoughts:1) What are the qualifications for the team running marketing automation?2) There is tremendous value using the MA platform as a means to restructure your internal processes. __________________________________________________Is Google Putting Less Emphasis on Links as Part of Their Algorithm? - Search Engine Watch| #TheMarketingAutomationAlert - Today, 9:57 AM Does it seem like Google is putting less emphasis on links as part of their algorithm? While some types of links are in fact being devalued and counting less and less, these were often links that never should have been counting in the first place. Digest... While some types of links are in fact being devalued and counting less and less, these were often links that never should have been counting in the first place. Those high trust links matter even more. In that sense, I believe links are more important than ever, it's just a matter of having the "right" links, and the skills to know what those right links are for any given site. The best link builders/content publicists will know how to identify and qualify the best targets for their clients. They will know what to avoid, how to keep clients out of trouble, and they will recognize that organic search traffic is only a part of the puzzle. iNeoMarketing's insight:It's about optimized, fresh, relevant content. __________________________________________________Content Creation Lessons From 12 of History's Greatest Innovators [SlideShare] - HubSpot| #TheMarketingAutomationAlert - Today, 10:03 AM Read lessons in content creation from some of the greatest innovators in history. iNeoMarketing's insight:Grab a cup of coffee, put in your earbuds, sit back and absorb. __________________________________________________Leadtail Releases 2013 B2B Social Marketing Report | Blue Focus Marketing| #TheMarketingAutomationAlert - Today, 9:45 AM B2B marketing firm Leadtail has recently released the B2B Social Marketing Report: Marketing Executives on Twitter. The aim of the survey was to Some notable results:40% of all tweets from marketing executives originated from mobile devices, providing further evidence that mobile applications must be a part of every business’s social strategy.Marketers were far more active on Vine than they were on Pinterst in the first quarter of 2013.Marketers are more likely to share content from mainstream media sources (44% of posts) than they are to share industry-specific content (32% of posts).Marketers tend to retweet content not because they enjoyed it—and not even because they’ve read it—but because they think their followers will enjoy it. This is a great anecdote for what should be a central tenet of all social marketing: provide value to your communities.YouTube is the most-shared content source for marketers, while Mashable is the most frequently mentioned. For all the information, I highly recommend taking a few minutes to read the whole Leadtail report. iNeoMarketing's insight:It's a good report, but pales in comparison to the BaseOne Report. __________________________________________________How to Use Email Marketing to Engage & Convert Customers - TopRank| #TheMarketingAutomationAlert - Today, 9:55 AM Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing tools for many businesses. According to a study by ExactTarget, 77% of consumers prefer to receive Digest... We’ve outlined a handful of tactics you can use to ensure that your messages are designed not only to engage newsletter readers, but also to inspire them to take action. 1) Identify yourself – Your email campaign will fail if you do not tell the recipient who you are and why you are contacting them. Scads of copy has been written on writing a winning subject line, but if your prospect or customer doesn’t recognize you, most email newsletters will go unopened, regardless of the offer. 2) Keep it short and to the point – A precise concise subject line followed by short declarative sentences should keep your readers opening your email and moving them through the copy to your desired outcome. Not surprisingly, Mailer Mailer discovered that short subject lines (4-15 characters) had the highest average open rate (15.8%) last year. 3) Develop trustworthiness – One simple way to achieve this is to identify on your sign-up form exactly what a subscriber can expect and the frequency of your newsletter. Then, regular communication will solidify the bond (assuming you consistently provide value.) 4) Create visual appeal – We’ve all become a lot more visual and consumers’ expectations have risen accordingly. There are any number of excellent email service providers who offer both beautiful templates as well as the ability to customize the HTML to create exactly the look and feel you want. 5) Segment your list – Most likely, your email newsletter will serve more than one purpose. You do not want to cram in educational information with event reminders and end with a postscript inviting them to take a survey. For B2B companies, you want to differentiate between prospects and customers at a minimum because they are at a different stage in the buying cycle; one needs to be nurtured and the other represents a possible up sell. 6) Provide a clear call to action – If you’ve done all of the above, it’s a simple step to “ask for the order.” Whether it’s a simple request to click through to read a blog post, watch a video demo or share on social networks, make the desired action simple and clear. The CTA isn’t always “buy now.” iNeoMarketing's insight:Email 101 stuff...blocking and tackling. __________________________________________________What Is The Future Of Content Marketing? - B2B Marketing Insider| #TheMarketingAutomationAlert - Today, 9:21 AM We no longer ask if content marketing is the future, we are now asking what is the future of content marketing? What's your prediction? Key excerpt... I see the future of content marketing as:More visual: the growth in visual content is astounding. My friend Todd Wheatland (@ToddWheatland) did a great job presenting on this at the show.Quantity content WITH Quality to support the growing information needs of our customers.Brands will resemble publishers and assemble newsrooms and hire or train journalists who can tell stories and contribute to major publications. Look at my friend Steve Olenski (@SteveOlenski) as one great example.Sponsored stories. Brands will continue to create more quality sponsored content that is buyer-centric and that removes the brand from the story.Content length will continue downward as our real-time, mobile world seeks smaller, more “snackable” and more “shareable” content. iNeoMarketing's insight:Think "snackable visuals." Think animation. Think cartoons. __________________________________________________Eight useful tools for testing social marketing - Econsultancy| #TheMarketingAutomationAlert - Today, 9:42 AM The time and effort spent in coming up with creative, interesting social content is all for nought if Facebook posts and tweets are published at a time when nobody is listening. FollowerwonkTwitter AnalyticsFacebook InsightsUnifiedSimply MeasuredBitlyGoogle+ RipplesTrueSocialMetrics iNeoMarketing's insight:Pales in comparison to the previous post and is too FB oriented. __________________________________________________45 Social Media Tools and Tips to Improve Your Marketing – Social Media Examiner | #TheMarketingAutomationAlert - Today, 8:59 AM Here are the useful social media tools and technology tips you need to manage and improve your online marketing presence. Introduction… In this article, I outline a collection of technology tools and tips you’ll want to consider using to improve your presence across social media. By using some of these tips to strategically choose your tools, you can get more out of your social media marketing. iNeoMarketing's insight:Here’s what you need to do: BOOKMARK EVERY SINGLE ONE! I’m not kidding! What a great collection! I cannot scoop all 45: that’s why you need to bookmark them. __________________________________________________Three Ways To Advance Your Social Marketing Initiatives | Forrester Blogs| #TheMarketingAutomationAlert - Today, 9:19 AM Condensed... This research will be published in our Social Marketing Playbook and will help you to do these three things: Build a better business case. I have spent the past two months interviewing B2B and B2C marketing leaders on how they currently build a business case to secure resources for their social marketing initiatives. I found that 1) most marketers who do not build a formal business case are hobbling along with stagnant social marketing programs, and 2) marketers who do build a formal business case tend to pave the way for incremental resources that help them scale and optimize their efforts. Break down organizational silos. Marketing leaders often ask me for guidance on how they should organize for social marketing. Should they use a "hub and spoke" model? Should they decentralize? Should they outsource? What is the ideal job description for a social marketing manager? The short answer: it depends. Fine-tune your strategies. When it comes to social marketing, there is always room for improvement. Social continues to evolve at such a rapid pace that it is difficult to keep up. But in order to stay ahead of the curve, you need to invest in your own education so that you can fine-tune your approaches. iNeoMarketing's insight:Again, an important point is missed: what human resources do I need to execute? Creative? Technical? __________________________________________________B2B Social Media: Building a Cohesive Strategy – Search Engine Watch | #TheMarketingAutomationAlert - Today, 8:56 AM Condensed… A five-step process for tackling a social campaign:Define the objectives for the campaign. Is it branding? Lead gen?Define the creative concepts. Start with what you care about as a person. Chances are other people will care about it too. Just make sure it ties in with your business and branding somehow.Look at the what the user's experience will be with the campaign. Make it easy for them to participate.Learn how to measure the campaign by walking through the experience as a user. Define each step and then identify every step where you can capture information. Then get granular with things like campaign IDs, so you can look in your analytics to see how people got to you. Channels like paid versus organic; tweets with photos versus tweets with videos and so on.Create the content. Even though it's "king," said Lee, content is actually the easiest part. If your concept is genuine and there is an incentive for an action, then it's easy. If you get excited about the content, other people will, too. And when you're building a B2B social campaign, think about how you're going to support it from within, said Tann. Look at in-house versus agency and what options you have for using one or more. Think about the advertising and marketing financial impact. Examine the technical aspect and what tools you'll use to carry it out. iNeoMarketing's insight:The larger point is the closing paragraph: having the resources to support the program, especially with regards to the required technical resources. __________________________________________________3 Social Media Tools to Identify Influential Bloggers – | #TheMarketingAutomationAlert - Today, 8:57 AM There are a range of social media tools to identify influential bloggers. Here are 3 cool tools to assist you in your blogger outreach strategies. Digest… #1. Follower WonkFollower Wonk is a Twitter centric tool that allows you to.Compare Twitter accounts to find and target new influencersBreakout followers by location, bio, who they follow and moreContrast your relationships with competitors and friends #2. BuzzStreamBuzzStream provides two core functions. Link building Managing influencers BuzzStream helps you manage word-of-mouth marketing campaigns that create buzz, build links, and increase traffic to your website by helping you “be found” via inbound marketing channels. #3. MozBarMozbar tab available for Firefox and Chrome. MozBar gives significant insights about the search engine rankings and popularity of the blog or page. This will let you know quickly the importance of the blogger as SEO metrics provide a snapshot of influence. iNeoMarketing's insight:If you want more information on Influencer Marketing, search for the tag under “Filter.” | The MarTech Digest Continue Reading..

Don't Create Your 2014 Agenda Without Doing This, and The Top 14 Marketing Technology Articles Curated Wednesday, 9/18/13 | The MarTech Digest

This image has shared 7 Times | Click images to read article