Content marketers tend to avoid talking too directly about the product in their ‘top-of-funnel’ or awareness-building content.
There are three questions I ask myself pretty much everyday when I'm coming up with content ideas for clients. They always help to clarify and elevate my thinking.
Most marketing teams are sitting on a ton of old content that isn’t ranking or getting traffic. But this content isn’t a lost cause.
This guide covers 63 different ways to get more SaaS leads, from coming up with irresistible gated content ideas to optimising your landing pages and launch campaigns.
Question: How do you generate hundreds of ideal prospects ready to purchase for a brand new B2B SaaS product?
When we first met the Solverboard team, we were confident we could deliver on the targets they set. What we didn’t know was just how far we’d overshoot them.
I was having a conversation recently with an experienced Marketing Director and complimenting him on how effectively he’d aligned the Sales and Marketing teams at one of his clients.
It’s been a busy few months for us here at Future Content. Of course it's been nothing compared to the rush that NHS staff and other key workers have had to face. But we’ve definitely been going at it hammer-and-tong for the last three months, in our own small way.
One of the joys of working in a content agency is you get to interview a lot of smart people on behalf of your clients. The common thread of all of our interviews over the past few weeks is this; help me see me what’s coming, help me prepare, help me adapt.
The landscape has shifted quickly for almost all businesses over recent weeks. It’s not just working from home that has changed, but the way we support our customers and how we run our companies, for many, is profoundly different.
A lot of marketing activity has been reactive over previous weeks. But as marketers, it’s important to remember to pause, reflect and observe what is happening in the marketing environment, so we can best navigate the coming weeks and months and ensure we’re working to a wider strategy.
Earlier this week I was asked “what should business leaders and marketing directors be thinking about now to best prepare for the return of normality?”
By conversions, I’m referring to generating new contacts that may become leads for your business. A conversion from your blog is someone submitting their contact details - perhaps for a gated piece of content or signing up to your newsletter - so that you can begin to nurture them into becoming clients.
To: Managing Director
CC: Marketing Director
Subject: It’s time to get cracking with Linkedin
It’s time for you to get involved with marketing again. As you’ve seen, the digital channels we’ve previously relied on - pay-per-click, search and email - have become increasingly competitive, pushing up costs and reducing effectiveness. At the same time, customer expectations have changed, the lead time for sales of B2B products like ours has greatly increased.
There is, for the moment at least, a channel that offers good returns for those who play their cards right. Linkedin. And that’s what we need your help with.
You’ve been aware of Linkedin for several years. During that time we’ve often asked you to ‘get involved’ on the platform. Being the willing sort, you have, largely by sharing company posts and leaving it at that. Well, I’m afraid that we’re at that point in the cycle once more. But this time we have a plan for you to follow.
What follows is your briefing on Linkedin connections for your personal account. Don’t share it with anyone outside the company, however, or the game will be up!
Our goal for your personal profile on Linkedin is brand salience.
A reminder: Brand salience= being front of mind with the target market
Personal profiles offer us the best opportunity to get in front of as many people as possible - at no direct cost - and to keep showing up on their screens. (This is what the agency folks mean when they waffle on about organic reach and engagement)
As the leader of our business, your account is the one most likely to take-off on the platform (and, you’re the one least likely to take off with all your connections to another company).
Don’t worry about lead generation. We’ll take care of that through the company page and our sponsored posts.
You can connect to a total of 30,000 people. Aim to make full use of that allocation. We’ve been looking for a good reason to keep your profile limited to high-quality contacts only and - from a marketing perspective at least - we haven't been able to find any.
And don’t worry about losing touch with your old business contacts and clients, we’ve set them up as a list on Sales Navigator (The Linkedin ad on the sales team use) so you can keep a close eye on them.
The advantage of having many thousands of contacts has become clearer as the algorithm developed in the last year.
You have 930 connections, the average for a CEO. When you publish a post the Linkedin algorithm will push that out to a small percentage of your contacts. If they “like” and - most importantly - comment on that post, that post will get shown to more of your connections and will, ideally, snowball to many thousands of ‘views’.
You don’t need to be lectured on numbers by a humanities graduate, but I'll hammer home the point nonetheless. If you have 30,000 connections, the initial number of recipients will be higher - increasing the chance of post engagement, increasing the reach, helping us meet our goal of brand salience.
I’m in love with Linkedin’s content marketing.
I know, I know – I should get a life. And I will, I promise. Just not yet.
You see, they’ve been wooing me for years. At first, they were all too easy to ignore, producing thin, forgettable blogs.
Then they were just a bit awkward. They were trying a little too hard – introducing a new font, colour scheme or bootlicking title at every opportunity.
It’s that time of year when most marketing directors are underway with their marketing planning.
When you pick up a newspaper or browse online, what is the first thing that grabs you? Probably a headline or image. As a writer, you could craft the most elegant prose ever - but most people have short attention spans, and they are inundated with communications vying for their precious time. Why should they read what you write?
Back in the Fifties and Sixties, Paris was a hive of intellectuals. They’d sit in underground bars, wine-soaked amid cigarette smoke, and argue among each other for days on end.
GDPR – the General Data Protection Regulation – will come into force in May 2018, Brexit or no Brexit, hell or high water. It will force businesses to completely rethink their outbound marketing.
Put very simply, a tone of voice guide is one half of your brand book, or guide. It documents how your brand ‘speaks’, in tandem with the visual aspects of your brand like your logo, typography and brand colours.
LinkedIn has changed a lot since its conception in 2002. From a site predominantly focused on recruitment, it has evolved radically - sharing articles, groups, publishing, advanced recruitment tools - the list of functions goes on. But perhaps no change has been quite so stark as the look, feel and functionality overhaul rolled out at the beginning of the year.
When I tell people I’m a copywriter, the most common response is 'a what now?' Those who do recognise the title tend to associate it with Mad Men’s Don Draper, which, aside from the philandering, love of whiskey, brooding silences and suave demeanour, couldn’t be further from the reality. So, what does a copywriter’s role entail? I suppose the quick answer is, to tell the story of a brand or product, one that will make even the most mundane of subjects seem captivating.
Writing quality content is a lot like wearing old trousers; you’d better make sure you have great briefs otherwise you can get into all sorts of trouble.
"She was still dreaming. She had to be. . . . The plush four-poster brass bed and the veiled canopy were definitely out of some Arabian Nights dream. Maybe she was an exotic princess being made desperate love to by a handsome sheik. Carol willed the dream to continue and then her eyes absently focused on the gigantic mirror directly overhead. . . . "
***This article is intended as a crash course in Analytics, looking at the basics—plus a little extra—to get you up and running with the system. We’ll pinpoint the metrics you need to monitor to test and prove your content marketing activity, and we’ll also give you top tips on generating the reports that matter to managers.
Bread and butter content? What are we talking about? Well, content is not just a case of producing stuff for your blog. The content you produce should be adding value to your business and helping you generate leads.
In 2009, Jon Payne emerged from a bedroom in Bedminster in search of a real job, and founded search engine optimisation firm Noisy Little Monkey. Since then he’s marketed, socialised, seminared and flipped one or two tables, all in the name of improving companies’ grasp on getting noticed.
Are websites becoming less important? I was asked this question at the end of last year and, having reflected on it, I believe they are. Not in a ‘quick, let’s ditch our websites’ kind of way - websites are still really, really important and will remain so - it’s more about a growing market that relies less and less on websites.
May 2003 saw the launch of LinkedIn, the world’s first business-orientated social media site. This was before the concept of social media was really a thing (a time future generations will surely know as B.F. - Before Facebook). Over the years it has evolved: functionality has changed, user experience refined and features added, but its standing as the online business networking platform has never wavered.
When it comes down to it, business success relies on being able to stand out from the crowd. You’ve got to grab your customers’ attention and convert interest into action as efficiently as possible.
If you’re a small business owner fretting over a marketing strategy, Bryony Thomas’ book, Watertight Marketing, is a revelation. In simple terms, it talks you through a series of actionable steps to help your business get a grip on its marketing, plugging those all important leaks in the marketing funnel. We’ve long been fans of the book (and the blog) so it was a real pleasure to sit down and have a chat with Bryony about inspiration, small business marketing and the power of content.
One sure-fire way to generate traffic to your blog and capture the attention of your visitors is the use of visual content.
When it comes to publishing content online, the importance of SEO cannot be understated. Without on-page optimisation it really is a case of out of sight, out of mind. So what exactly is it that makes the search engines’ virtual ears prick up?
We’ve all Googled ourselves at one point or another (don’t lie, of course you have). Whether it’s to find like-named people, simple vanity or to to discover what we look like online from the outside the temptation to ‘find ourselves’ is a natural impulse. Perhaps you discovered that you have the same name as a past celebrity, maybe a known academic. Or you could discover what I did: that no one online appears to have the same name as me.
When Charles Darwin introduced the idea of the ‘survival of the fittest’ it presumed a certain kind of biological competitiveness, an implication that only the self-serving and strongest would reach the top.
Read all about it! Read all about it! In the past, a small shouting boy at a news stand in a scruffy hat was the best way to draw attention to the news.