Five Best Practices for Successful Webinars

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Historically, webinars have provided strong demand opportunities and the ability to build brand awareness, engage your target audience and establish thought leadership in the industry. What’s more, engineers and technical professionals find great value in viewing webinars—67 percent attended at least one webinar or online event in the past year; 31 percent attended four or more (2017 Digital Media Use in the Industrial Sector).

However, your target audience has high expectations. They want a robust, interactive and compelling learning experience. Your job is to give it to them. Here are five best practices to help ensure that your webinars are effective and memorable.

1. Put Audience and Purpose First

Are you trying to connect with financially-focused executives, tactical technical managers or hardcore engineers? Where in your audience’s buy cycle are you trying to connect with them? An early-stage webinar might focus on awareness and thought leadership, mid-stage buy cycle is ripe for presenting problems and solutions, and later-stage is the time to drive home benefits and purchase opportunities.

By answering purpose and audience questions up front, you will find it much easier to create focused, compelling content for your target audience. One thing you don’t want to attempt is to create a webinar that is everything to everybody. It will end up so general and watered down that no one’s needs will be met.

2. Create a Highly Visual and Interactive Experience

Webinars are not meant to be read by your audience and blocks of text on slides are boring, so keep your text to a minimum. Instead, make your slides visually interesting. Use screenshots, product photos, and data charts and graphs—all of which can be quickly absorbed and retained by your audience.

You can also use short video and audio clips in the webinar to deliver a multimedia experience. Go one step further and engage your audience by adding interactivity. Real-time polls give your audience an opportunity to participate and also provide you with valuable data. Q&A sessions allow you to hear directly from the audience, discover what’s on their minds and perhaps even generate ideas for your next webinar.

Another way to boost interest is by having more than one speaker. Pass the speaking duties back and forth based on each speaker’s area of expertise or segments of the webinar. Or include a brief interview with an expert as part of the webinar. If you can utilize both male and female speakers, their different voice qualities can add a measure of variety to the presentation.

3. Practice, Practice, Practice

Your audience will know if you’re not prepared and are just casually winging your presentation. They will also know if you are reading straight from a script. Both of these are audience turnoffs.

It’s important to create a comprehensive content outline to guide the flow of the webinar and it’s essential that you practice at least one complete dry run of the webinar, including testing your technology and settings.

Probably everyone has attended a webinar where something has gone wrong: the slides don’t display properly, the video won’t play, there’s background noise or the speaker isn’t clear or wanders off topic. There are many variables to account for when creating a webinar, but you can minimize anything going awry if you practice and prepare.

4. Market Your Webinar—Pre- and Post-event

To drive attendance to your webinar, make use of every marketing vehicle you have to reach your target audience. Promote the webinar prominently on your website, send invites through email and announce the event on all your social media platforms. Salespeople can even add a temporary email signature that promotes the event, and you can use online display advertising to build awareness and drive event registrations.

Make sure you record the webinar and post it for on-demand viewing following the live event. Many people may not be able to attend the webinar live, yet are still interested in your content and message. Just as you promoted the live event, promote the on-demand version as well. Attendance of on-demand webinars is on the rise, and can often result in a large chunk of additional viewers.

Also, if you plan ahead, you can build your webinar in discrete modules and split them into chunks for later on-demand viewing. This allows your audience to pick and choose what content interests them the most and gives you more fuel for your content marketing efforts.

5. Make Sure You Have a Trusted Platform or Partner

You’ll need a reliable webinar platform in order to market and host a compelling, interactive event that’s free of technology glitches. There are many providers to choose from, including GoToWebinar, Webex, On24, Adobe Connect and more. Make sure the platform you choose has all the features, capabilities and support you need.

Another way to add webinars to your marketing mix is to work with a media partner such as IEEE GlobalSpec. Whatever your marketing objectives, we have a webinar package to meet your needs — from providing industry speakers and additional target audience to handling all aspects of event production and marketing, freeing you to focus on other marketing responsibilities. Learn more about IEEE GlobalSpec webinar solutions here.

Marketing, General Webinars

GDPR is an Opportunity to Market More Effectively

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As most marketers know by now, Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a recent law that provides citizens of the European Union with greater control over their personal data. GDPR is intended to assure individuals that their information is secure, whether the data processing takes place in the European Union or not.

Industrial marketers with contacts in their database from the European Union should have taken steps by now to follow the law, which has been in effect now for six months. While the law contains many provisions, the biggest takeaways for marketers are that you cannot send marketing emails to someone without their expressed consent and you must offer subscription management tools, clear links to data and privacy policies, and easy opt-out.

And yet, 30 percent of marketers worldwide have not conducted the most important and primary of tactics: a reconsent campaign to their marketing list to ensure their subscribers are opt-in (eMarketer, subscription required).

An Opportunity, Not a Burden

It’s almost understandable why some marketers are lagging in compliance:

  • A reconsent campaign takes resources such as database management, the creation of web forms, and updated policies.
  • Marketers with a low percentage of email addresses from the European Union might be willing to risk noncompliance with the law.
  • The size of your opt-in subscriber list after a reconsent campaign will certainly be smaller, and therefore some of your metrics may temporarily skew to the negative.

But where some companies consider GDPR compliance a burden, others see new opportunity. For example:

  • GDPR has offered an opportunity for companies to clean up their messy marketing databases and improve their data quality. Governance of the marketing database shifts from tactical patchwork to a strategic initiative that will lead to better marketing results.
  • Marketers now have a mandate to execute true permission-based marketing and to communicate and engage with customers and prospects who are legitimately interested in their content and messages.
  • A culture of respecting personal privacy can become the norm within your organization—and across the industry—improving conditions for everyone involved. We all want our right to privacy to be respected.

Changes to Marketing Practices

Whether or not you have subscribers from the European Union in your database (you may not know for sure without analysis), you should implement a number of best practices including conducting reconsent campaigns, updating web forms and marketing emails, avoiding purchased lists and carefully choosing media partners.

Reconsent Campaign

You should have already conducted a reconsent campaign for your E.U. subscribers, but if not, it’s never too late. A reconsent campaign is a clear demonstration to your audience that you are serious about complying with marketing laws and respecting subscribers’ privacy.

Ask recipients to confirm that they want to continue receiving emails from you. Make clear exactly how you will store and use their data. Use subscription management tools to give users choices, such as narrowing the types of emails they receive from you or limiting frequency. This way, you might be able to hang on to some subscribers who are on the fence about opting in or out.

Web Forms

Web forms should have clear links on how to opt-in to lists and access your data usage and privacy policies. Boxes to opt-in cannot be “pre-checked” forcing the user to uncheck the box. That’s not opt-in. Also, just because a visitor signs up for a webinar or to download a white paper does not mean they are subscribing to every marketing email you send. They have to be given the choice to opt-in and manage their subscription.

Purchased Lists

Purchasing a list with email addresses has never been a good idea, and now it’s an even worse path to follow. If you acquire a list from a third-party, they need to have consent from the people on the list to share the information with you. You also are required to get specific consent to use the email addresses on the list unless the individuals have given their consent to be approached by associated partners.

Purchased lists have historically not performed well and the data quality can be poor, leading to bounces and spam complaints. Now, on top of those problems, you can be breaking the GDPR law.

Media Partners

Your media and marketing partners have to be as rigorous about compliance with GDPR as you do. For example, before you sponsor or place an ad in a partner’s e-newsletter to their subscriber base, be sure to ask if they have conducted reconsent campaigns. Ask if their subscriber database is compliant with GDPR. Also, ask what they do to ensure the accuracy and security of their data.

If you are experiencing challenges complying with GDPR, consider working with a reputable partner that has an accurate, opt-in database comprised of engineering, technical and industrial professionals and the marketing expertise to help you connect with this audience.

 

Lead Management Marketing Trends Marketing, General

How to Keep Your Email Marketing Lists Sparkling Clean

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Over time, the quality of your marketing list diminishes. Some experts report that email lists degrade at a rate of more than twenty percent each year, which isn’t that surprising. People change jobs or email addresses; businesses move, merge or shut down. Additionally, errors in the data entry and verification process can lead to duplicates and bad addresses in your databases.

Dirty data can derail your marketing efforts, negatively skew your email marketing metrics and harm your reputation as an email marketer. Your undeliverable and bounce rates will increase, as do spam complaints, while your open rates and click-through rates decrease.

Maintaining a clean list isn’t a luxury for industrial marketers—it’s a requirement for success. So how do you do it?

Clean your list

Data cleansing is the process of identifying outdated, incorrect or incomplete contact records and correcting any typographical errors and eliminating duplicate entries.

Sometimes you can clean your list manually, depending on your list size. You could review your list to catch common data entry errors such as misspellings of domain names, for example, imb.com instead of ibm.com, or gmial.com instead of gmail.com, and to look for duplicate entries.

Other options for cleansing a list include working with a vendor that offers list hygiene services. If you contract with an email marketing service provider, they often have tools to help clean your lists.

Append data to your list

For lengthier lists, you might use a service that both cleanses and appends data. The process matches your list against already verified lists from a vendor to replace outdated or incorrect data in your list with new, up-to-date information. Examples would be swapping a contact’s business email and title from their old job with their new title and email at their new company.

However, a service that appends email addresses to other user data you already have (such as name, title, and company) is a controversial practice in the email marketing world. Sending an email to people who have never explicitly opted-in is against best practices and sometimes against the law. Be sure to ask any vendor you might work with how they handle this situation. Find out if email addresses they append are from subscribers who have agreed to receive emails from companies such as yours.

Control points of data entry

Another way to ensure a cleaner list is to control the points of data entry. These typically consist of conversion forms on your website or data entered manually, such as transcribing an email address and other data from a printed form.

In these situations, you can take steps to reduce the potential for errors. For web forms, it’s a good practice to request that a user input their email address twice in order to ensure accuracy and reduce typos. You can also implement a process in which you send an email to the user and they must click on a link to confirm their opt-in. For company names or postal addresses that are typed in, you can use an address-matching service to check for accuracy. You can also do this for data entered manually.

Maintaining an opt-in list

Another important list hygiene practice is purging email addresses of those who no longer want to engage with your company.

To weed out unengaged subscribers or to spot potentially bad email addresses, create a sub-list of subscriber email addresses that bounce and of subscribers who have not opened your emails over an extended period of time.

Users that don’t download images or that use a preview pane to view emails still might be reading your emails, but it won’t hurt to have them on a sub-list that you email to promote engagement with your company. You just have to word your email appropriately. For example, you might tell subscribers you hope they find value in your emails and ask them to confirm their email address to ensure they continue to receive your emails.

Subscribers who don’t respond to several attempts at re-engagement should be removed from your list.

A final word

List hygiene isn’t a one-time task. It’s an ongoing process that should be embedded in your marketing workflow. Put checks in place during data entry, cleanse your lists of errors and duplicates, and conduct engagement campaigns to weed out bad addresses and unengaged subscribers. If adding another task to your revolving to-do list sounds daunting, find a trustworthy media partner that can help. The result will be an improvement in email marketing metrics and better results on your campaigns.

 

 

 

E-Mail Marketing Marketing, General

Email Needs to Align With Your Larger Marketing Goals

Amber Cooleen, IEEE GlobalSpec’s Senior Director of Audience Development, and Linda Uslaner,  Senior Director, Product Management recently contributed to eMarketers latest report “Email Marketing StatPack 2018: Benchmarks and Trends.”

You can view the entire report here.

Emarketer Benchmarks Report

eMarketer’s Emali Marketing Statpack 2018: Benchmarks and Trends report features the latest data and trends for the email marketing landscape, as well as interviews from industry experts and brands.

The report tackles, among other topics, tips for managing email and aligning it with the holistic customer experience. Among their findings:

  • Email marketers top challenges include staffing and resource constraints, poor coordination between other departments and channels, and bad strategy or leadership.
  • Email has become part of the larger marketing team’s efforts
  • In-house markters worldwide dedicate the most time to email design and content, vs. transmission, reporting,  or strategy and planning

You can view the entire report here.

E-Mail Marketing Marketing, General

Producing Relevant Emails is Impossible Without Data

Amber Cooleen, IEEE GlobalSpec’s Senior Director of Audience Development, and Linda Uslaner,  Senior Director, Product Management recently contributed to eMarketers latest report “Email Marketing StatPack 2018: Benchmarks and Trends.”

You can view the entire report here.

EMarketer StatPack 2018

eMarketer’s Emali Marketing Statpack 2018: Benchmarks and Trends report features the latest data and trends for the email marketing landscape, as well as interviews from industry experts and brands.

The report tackles, among other topics, tips for crafting relevant messages with Data-driven strategies. Among their findings:

  • Relevant emails result in better performance and help marketers stand out in the inbox
  • 82% of in-house marketers worldwide use basic segmentation in their email marketing strategy
  • Behavior-based triggers are a real-time way for marketers to send relevant emails
  • Advanced marketers are starting to experiment with dynamic email content

The entire report is availbale for download here.

E-Mail Marketing Marketing, General

Programmatic Advertising: What You Need to Know

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Programmatic advertising is a system of real-time automatic bidding on digital advertising inventory. It allows the advertiser the opportunity to show an ad, such as a banner, to a specific, targeted customer within a specific context.

The market for programmatic advertising has been almost breathtaking in its rate of growth. In a recent forecast, eMarketer estimated that almost four out of every five U.S. digital display dollars will transact through programmatic advertising. By the end of 2019, that share will rise to 84 percent.

B2B programmatic advertising is equally on the rise. According to a study conducted for Dun & Bradstreet, 63 percent of B2B marketers currently buy advertising programmatically and almost two-thirds said they plan to increase their spending on programmatic in 2018.

For an industrial marketer, B2B programmatic advertising can be especially effective when the target user comes from specialty sites (such as GlobalSpec.com). The users are identified by their cookies—without personal identification, of course—and can be recognized and addressed outside of the target site.

Before you dive in head first, make sure you’re familiar with how programmatic advertising works, as well as the benefits and potential challenges.

How Programmatic Advertising Works

  1. Advertisers work with publishers to determine target groups and to bid for available advertising inventory.
  2. A visitor arrives on a web page and the page publisher auctions off an ad impression.
  3. Among advertisers who compete for that space, the one willing to bid the most wins.
  4. A complex yet extremely efficient set of algorithms automates the bidding process and the display of ads.
  5. The ad is delivered to the user in real time as the page loads.
  6. The hoped-for outcome is the user clicking on the targeted ad and converting.

Benefits of Programmatic Advertising

  • Media buying is simple, cost-effective, and highly-targeted.
  • The human element of matching inventory to an advertiser’s stated target audience is removed from the equation. Instead, highly efficient automation handles the matching by leveraging real-time customer data and analytics.
  • Advertisers pay only for discrete impressions, rather than a package of impressions, based on their bid thresholds.
  • People can be better targeted because bids for advertising inventory are based on the user/visitor, not on the environment or websites. This increases the ability to target the right user at the right time in the right environment.

A Word of Caution

Advertisers love the convenience of buying media programmatically, but that doesn’t mean the programmatic space is free of challenges. You should be aware of the following:

  • Advertisers have less control over where their ads are placed, because programmatic advertising targets a specific user, not a specific website. Even when brands think they know where they’re running ads, they may not totally ever know. There have been several high-profile cases where brands have suffered after their ads were shown on sites considered inappropriate or offensive to certain groups.
  • Ads that are counted as seen by your target audience could have been registered by bots, reducing the actual occurrences of your ad reaching your audience.
  • Some agencies that buy ad inventory for their clients also own the programmatic platforms for ad bidding and delivery, causing a possible lack of transparency.

To avoid these potential pitfalls, make sure you work with a reputable media partner for programmatic advertising. Ask your media partner about their expertise in your sector, their ability to connect you to your target audience, and the makeup of their network of websites where your ads will appear.

For more information about programmatic marketing to reach engineers and technical professionals,

Marketing, General Programmatic Advertising

Why Video and Social Media Are a Perfect Match

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Video is growing in use and importance among technical professionals of all ages. Fifty-nine percent use YouTube or other video sharing websites for work-related purposes, an increase of 18 percent from two years ago, according to the upcoming “2018 Social Media Use in the Industrial Sector” research report by IEEE GlobalSpec.

One of the best ways to gain attention for your videos is through social media. Social networks favor video in their algorithms, knowing that this rich content is preferred by their users. In addition, social media allows your audience to easily share your videos with their colleagues and friends.

Video on social media is also an excellent way to connect with the millennial engineer. More millennials than older engineers use social media for work-related purposes, and they are more likely to watch how-to videos/tutorials and training videos on YouTube or other video sharing websites.

According to Forbes, millennials will make up roughly 50 percent of the workforce in the United States by 2020 and 75 percent of the global workforce by 2030. It’s a market you can’t afford to miss out on.

Check out our best advice on how to incorporate video into your social media marketing strategy.

Tips for Incorporating Video into Social Media

  • Your target audience has a clearly demonstrated interest in how-to videos/tutorials, training videos, and product demos. How-to videos are among the most popular search queries on YouTube and they offer great value to your customers.
  • Not all how-to videos have to be long and detailed. You can publish short, 30-second product-tip clips as a great customer support option.
  • Each social media platform—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and others—has its own video features. Make sure you do your research first so you can optimize your videos for the channels that you use.
  • Broadcasting live on social media is a great way to connect with your audience. Live videos are all about authenticity and real-time engagement. A live video should feel like a conversation between you and the viewer.
  • Use video to give an inside look at your company and the people that work there. This not only cultivates the human side of your company and lets customers see some faces of the people they work with, but it also can serve as a recruiting tool if you show that your company is a great place to work.
  • Use video to tease other, more traditional digital content. Much like a movie trailer promotes an upcoming film, you can create a brief video to promote an upcoming webinar, a new whitepaper, a product launch and more.
  • Just like with copy, video needs to be engaging, interesting and unique. It also has to hold the viewer’s attention from beginning to end. Unlike a page of copy, users can’t skim a video in search of what’s of interest to them. It all has to be compelling, or they’ll stop watching.
  • When working with video, think in terms of storytelling. Stories have a beginning, middle, and end. The best stories have a hero and conflict. Make sure there is a plot. Tip: make your customers the heroes of your videos.
  • Use metrics to track the success of your social media video efforts. Some key metrics include number of views, length of view, drop off point, comments and social shares.
  • If you don’t have in-house resources, consider working with media partners to develop and market videos. Their expertise can save you time and money and help ensure your videos are appropriate and relevant to your audience.

The importance of the video/social media dynamic is just one of the key takeaways from the upcoming “2018 Social Media Use in the Industrial Sector” report. Stay tuned to find out which social media platforms your audience prefers, discover how engineers use social media for work-related purposes and get recommendations for incorporating social media into your marketing mix.

Marketing, General Social Media Video

5 Tips for Building Your Brand on Social Media

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As reported in the upcoming “2018 Social Media Use in the Industrial Sector” survey by IEEE GlobalSpec, social media continues to be seen as an information resource for engineers and technical professionals. While it isn’t their primary destination for researching a work-related purchase, social media serves as a channel for engineers to access news, discover information about products and technologies, and to learn about suppliers.

At this point, most manufacturers have integrated social media into their overall marketing mix, although most may not know that the most effective use of social media is for branding and awareness. Brand-building is important in the industrial market—no one wants to do business with a company they’ve never heard of or one that might evoke a negative impression.

Follow these five best practices to build and maintain a strong brand and greater awareness through social media:

1. Share Appropriate Content

Social media is ideal for demonstrating thought leadership. You can do this by sharing your company’s perspective on industry issues that are important to your customer base.

Share a combination of articles from the media, your partners’ posts, and your own original content. Whenever you share content from others, always add your own point of view—that’s what shapes your brand.

For your own posts, focus on educating your audience, not selling to them. Whether you’re offering an article, white paper, video, webinar or other content, use the opportunity to polish your reputation as a trusted information resource. One of engineers’ biggest complaints about social media is that there is too much noise and not enough substance. Don’t add to that problem.

2. Add a Human Face

What really can capture the attention of your audience is getting an inside look at what goes on at your company. We’re not talking about divulging trade secrets, but instead showing customers the people they work with, the daily activities that go on and a peek into what life is like at your company.

Show your human side. You can even have a sense of humor (as long as it’s tasteful). People are what make your brand, so this tactic is like a free brand advertisement, without actually being an ad.

3. Create a Dialog

Social media is for connecting and networking with others – rather than just throwing messages out, have a conversation. You can do this by following your customers, partners, and prospects on social media. Comment on and share their posts; it’s a great way to build equity and extend your brand across the market.

Use a social media monitoring tool to be alerted about mentions of your brand. Always reply to any comments or questions on social media that are directed at your company, even the negative ones. Be polite and professional in your responses, no matter what someone might say about you. You can also use monitoring tools to track mentions of products, competitors and anything else you consider relevant to your business.

4. Follow Your Playbook

You should have a playbook that provides guidelines to all of your employees who post about your company on social media. The purpose of this document is to clearly convey high-level social media goals; flesh out details about which channels to participate in; provide clarity on who, how and when to respond, and define success metrics for reporting and program refinement.

The playbook can also offer guidance on what your team can and cannot share or say about your company on social media. This helps create a consistent voice for your company on social media and can elevate and protect your brand image.

5. Stick with It

A social media account that is out of date or hasn’t been updated with fresh posts or content in months can tarnish your brand. If a potential customer comes across your stagnant social media presence and sees that it has been neglected, they might very well wonder what else your company neglects.

Don’t try to be everywhere on social media. Just choose those platforms that work best for you and that you can manage within your marketing portfolio. The two most popular platforms for engineers and technical professionals are LinkedIn and Facebook, so a good idea might be to focus your resources there.

Would you like to know the other ways your customers and prospects use social media, and how you can better target your audience? The answer to those questions, as well as others, will be revealed in the upcoming 2018 Social Media Use in the Industrial Sector report. Stay tuned!

Marketing, General Social Media

Eight Features Every Manufacturer’s Website Must Have

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Most manufacturers deploy a multichannel marketing approach, and the one channel that remains at the top of their priority list is the company website. Your website was likely your first venture into digital marketing, and it’s the one place you can be sure every prospect visits to evaluate your company and offerings before making a purchase decision.

Without a website, you’re not in the game. And without a modern, high-performing website, you might be in the game, but you are most definitely losing out on potential business. To support your portfolio of marketing programs, promote a strong brand and compete for customers, make sure your website has these eight features.

1. Clear, Targeted Positioning

Your home page must clearly state who you are as a company, what you offer in way of products and services, and what kind of customer you are targeting. Some manufacturers make the mistake of going too “general” and trying to be all things to all people. Don’t be tempted to do this.

If a prospect lands on your home page and doesn’t immediately identify you as the kind of company that can meet their needs, they will click away and head to a competitor with more targeted positioning. If you want to draw them in, be clear, not all-encompassing.

2. Logical, Apparent Navigation

Customers and prospects come to your website to get something done: find products, discover helpful information, learn about your company and more. Create a clear navigational structure that can lead your audience to what they are trying to find. The key is to make things easy for your user.

Put navigation bars at the top. If you use drop-down menus, make sure they work in all browsers and environments. Repeat top-level navigation on the footer of every page to accommodate users who scroll down.

3. Landing Pages with Calls-to-Action and Conversion Forms

Your marketing efforts, such as banners, newsletter ads, social media posts, and search engine results should lead users to targeted landing pages on your website that reflect the message or offer that motivated them to click. Don’t send users to your home page.

A landing page should reinforce the offer you’ve made in your marketing—whether it’s a white paper, an article, a webinar, a demo or other—and include a simple conversion form to fill out if you are using gated content.

On conversion forms, ask only for the minimal information in order to start a dialog with a prospect. Usually, first and last name, company and email address are enough. You can fill in the rest of the information as you develop a relationship.

4. Optimized Web Pages

Search engine optimization (SEO) matters. Make sure that your page title and meta tags are appropriately filled out. Use alt-tags for every image. Use keywords in the text of web pages. Keep your page content fresh and up-to-date.

If you have a video that plays on a page, you can also provide a text script below, which provides another opportunity to include keywords. If possible, create easy and intuitive URLs for pages, which search engines prefer and are easier for users to copy and share.

5. Content, Content, Content

Having a lot of relevant, updated content is probably the most important aspect of a website. Not only do search engines favor it, but content is exactly what your visitors have come to your website to find.

Having trouble keeping up with content creation? Turn to your media partner for help. IEEE GlobalSpec provides turnkey content development from industry-leading subject matter experts. We handle everything for you—from content direction to writing, production and project management. Many types of content are available to meet your specific marketing needs, goals and objectives. Find out more here.

6. Testimonials and Case Studies

Speaking of content, don’t forget to showcase customer testimonials and case studies on your website. Prospects want to know what your customers have to say and who you are doing business with.

Possibilities include a web page listing your customers, video testimonials or in-depth case studies that follow the problem-solution-results model.

7. A Responsive Website Design

More and more visitors are using cell phones and tablets to access your website. Make sure your website has a responsive design that will ensure it renders well on the smaller screen of mobile devices. Otherwise, the text is too small, navigation gets buggy and users have to scroll in every direction to view a web page.

If you don’t have the budget or current architecture to create a responsive design for your entire site, pick a few key web pages and have them optimized for mobile devices.

8. Analytics

Every website needs an analytics package, whether it’s from Google or another provider. You can discover where visitors enter and leave your site, which pages are popular or not, how long users stay on a page, their navigation path through your website and much more. You need this data in order to implement changes that will continually improve your site and make it a winner in the marketplace.

Do you regularly invest time and resources into improving your website? Tell us how you plan to improve your website in 2019.

 

 

Marketing, General Web Sites – Design & Usability

9 Quick Tips for Content Marketing with Limited Resources

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9 Quick Tips for Content Marketing with Limited Resources

A survey of Marketing Maven readers this summer reported that the biggest content marketing challenge industrial marketers are facing is a lack of resources – time, budget, and people. And yet, content marketing is nothing short of a mandate, with prospects demanding a steady stream of relevant content to help them make a purchasing decision.

If limited resources are putting a squeeze on your content marketing efforts, check out these nine helpful tips.

1. Optimize Two of Three Resources

Operating under scarcity is the reality. No one has all the time, budget or staff they need. But you might be able to optimize two out of three resources in your content marketing efforts. Decide what to prioritize based on your most important goals. For instance:

  • If you need content fast and at a cheap price, you’ll have to be ready to sacrifice some of the content quality that only staff hours can provide.
  • If you need high-quality content fast, be prepared to spend more.
  • If you need high quality content but have limited staff available, you’ll have to wait longer as other staff matters take precedence.

2. Be Smart about Outsourcing

Fifty-six percent of marketers don’t outsource any of their content production, but this can be a great way to save resources. Outsource your weak spots. If you don’t have the time, passion or expertise for writing, hire a freelance writer, and then allocate your time to providing direction and editing. Work with freelance designers if your own design team is backed up with other commitments. Outsource any content marketing services that you don’t use on a regular basis, but only when the need arises.

3. Repurpose Content Whenever Possible

Repurposing content from one format to another can help you gain significant efficiencies. It’s important when first developing a piece of content to consider all the ways in which you can repurpose it. Turning an article into a white paper or webinar is easier to do when you consider each format’s requirements at the beginning. Retrofitting is a more resource-intensive way to repurpose.

4. Use Free Social Media

LinkedIn, the most popular social media channel in the industrial sector, offers many opportunities to start and participate in discussions. Adding comments to relevant discussions started by others is a form of content marketing: you can educate and inform your audience under your brand name. Also, be sure to add content to your company’s profile page for greater exposure. Do the same on all your social media profiles.

5. Free Up Underperforming Resources

Take a close look at the performance of your marketing programs. Consider moving budget or people away from initiatives that are underperforming and into content marketing efforts.

6. Be Targeted When Paying for Content Promotion

Many industrial companies pay to have their content promoted, which can be a good strategy. Optimize your budget and efforts by working with media partners who can guarantee that your content will be seen by your target audience across a variety of channels.

7. Start an Internship Program

Colleges are teeming with talented, motivated, and intelligent young people who are digital-savvy. Take on an intern who can help with social media, design, writing and other production and distribution aspects of your content marketing strategy.

8. Use Marketing Automation

If at all possible, take advantage of the low-cost marketing automation solutions on the market today. They will help you keep much better track of content marketing campaigns, schedules, content distribution, and tracking. You will gain efficiencies and possibly save money.

9. Catch Up on Fundamentals

“Content Marketing for Industrial Marketers” provides solid advice on how you can get more from your content marketing efforts. It offers solutions to common content marketing challenges and recommendations on how you can benefit from content marketing. Download this complimentary report today.

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