5 ways to amplify your content marketing to expand your reach

Every minute, over 211 million pieces of content are created online. 211+ million! How can our content marketing compete with those kinds of numbers?

We know that simply creating great content alone isn’t enough to get it found on the open web – we have to amplify it, increase its reach. One of the keys to success is getting your content in front of as many people in your target audience as possible.

But how do you do it? The following are 5 helpful hints to expand the reach of your content marketing efforts.

content marketing reach

1.) Promote, promote, promote

The truth is, your target audience is not going to find your latest blog post, whitepaper or eBook simply because you’ve created it. No matter how valuable and magnetic your content is, it still needs to be marketed and promoted.

The transient nature of online and social media means you need to find multiple ways to get the word out and keep it out. Here are a few tips to help you with your content promotion:

  • Premium content (eBooks, etc) should be promoted on your social channels regularly
  • Pull snipets/quotes from blog posts and re-use as tweets & include a link to the full post
  • Include older blog posts which are topical, relevant or evergreen in your social media publishing rotation
  • Leverage influencers, syndication and CTAs

2.) Optimise your content for search engines

While today’s search engine optimisation is much more about creating quality content over technical prowess, basic on-page SEO is essential to making sure your content ends up on the first page of the SERPs.

Here are some SEO best practices to ensure your content doesn’t fall into the search page abyss:

  • Include a descriptive URL that includes primary keyword
  • Create and accurate title tag that includes primary keyword
  • Create a unique meta description that includes primary keyword
  • Include primary keyword in headline and any secondary headline
  • Keyword optimise ALT tags and image file names

3.) Employ content marketing ambassadors (hint: they already work for you!)

Your employees represent a phenomenal opportunity to increase the reach of your content marketing, regardless of the size of your company. Each individual employee has their own social network – whether on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or all of the above.

While there may be some overlap, for the most part each employees’ network likely represents a different audience than you are able to target with your corporate social media efforts alone – take advantage of this!  Encourage employees to:

  • Share company blog posts, eBook, webinar, etc. on LinkedIn
  • Like, retweet and comment on social posts
  • Create discussions on LinkedIn groups using your content
  • Promote content during face-to-face and email interactions with prospects

4.) Leverage paid amplification

With the organic reach of many social platforms on the decline and the desire to get in front of larger more targeted audiences on the rise, paid amplification (sponsored content, social advertising) can be a valuable tool.  Social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have sophisticated platforms for paid amplification and other networks like Pinterest and Instagram have introduced their own paid marketing product initiatives as well.

The long and short is this – paid amplification is becoming more and more necessary if you want to expand your reach. Here’s a few tips to get started:

  • Set up and initial budget and experiment with different platforms and options
  • Target a very specific audience using LinkedIn’s Sponsored Content
  • Use Twitter’s Promoted Tweets or Facebook’s Boosted Posts

5.) Don’t forget old faithful – Email Marketing

When it comes to increasing the reach of your B2B content marketing, email can be a powerful driver. While email marketing has long been used as a promotional tool, it is often used to sell the company itself, not its thought leadership.

Use your email messages to share your interesting content – whether that is in the form of blog subscription emails or targeted messages promoting content relevant to a specific segment.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Set up a blog subscription and send subscribers regular blog updates
  • Shift your eNewsletter to be more content marketing oriented
  • Develop lead nurturing drip campaigns for all premium content marketing offers
  • Promote new premium content to relevant segments of your contact list

The take away message is this – Don’t leave the marketing out of content marketing! As stated before, you can’t create a great piece of work, then sit back and relax. Content creation requires content promotion in order to increase reach.

If you want to talk to us about how we can and increase your current content marketing reach, contact Managing Director Steve Ballantyne p: 09 950 2140

To survive the recent Google changes, should you build a responsive website, or a mobile one?

While Google has long favoured websites optimised for mobile, their newest, highly-publicisied change – affectionately dubbed “Mobilegeddon” – means that mobile-friendliness is officially a huge factor in search rankings.

The number of people using mobile devices to access the web is increasing rapidly, and Google’s new algorithm will reflect that growing trend, favouring sites with large text, easily clickable links and optimised sizes that fit smaller screens – sites that don’t comply will be demoted in the rankings.

So while the need to engage the mobile user is obvious, the question remains – what’s the optimal way to do it: a dedicated mobile site or responsive web design?


Option 1: Responsive web design (RWD)

A “responsive” design is built to accommodate all aspects of a mobile visitor experience, regardless of what kind of device you are using. In theory, these sites will work just as well on an iPhone as they do on a desktop, giving users access to the full content of a site no matter how they choose to access it. Responsively designed sites are flexible and fluid, resizing and reformatting content based on the screen it is being viewed on.

The underlying assumption with a responsive site is that the user wants all of the information on the primary site available on any device.

Option 2: Dedicated mobile site

In contrast to RWD, a mobile-only site is a stripped-down version of the main site, with less content and an emphasis on contact methods rather than a complete website experience. When a user accesses your site from a mobile device, it is automatically directed to the mobile version.

Mobile-only sites are usually predicated upon the user having visited the main site first and simply wanting to check the status of an order or verify an appointment/reservation – meaning portability and efficiency trump full access.

Building a new website is costly, so naturally you want to get the greatest ROI from your site scheme; however you decide to set it up. Both options have their pros and cons, a responsive build typically costs more upfront as it has to be built to interact with different devices using different operating systems, which usually means it needs to be customised. However, RWD only requires one set of code, so after it’s built, the only real maintenance is keeping your content updated.

Building a regular website and a mobile website independent of one another creates a different hassle. Building a mobile-only site can be less costly to build but can double in cost in the long run as you will need to maintain and update multiple sets of code.

Determining which option will work best for you and your business is to ask yourself which of these assumptions your site is based on – is your audience after full access to all of your content, or quick and straightforward contact options and navigation?

A mobile website can be a good choice for a site dedicated to consumer goods, whereas responsive design would be better for a complete inventory plus thought provoking articles and insights.


BallantyneTaylor has experience building both fully responsive websites as well as mobile-only ones. If you’d like to know more, email Steve Ballantyne at steve@b2bpartners.nz

In B2B, simple content and messaging speaks volumes

In the business-to-business sector, we’ve all been guilty of using wordy, complex or overly-technical language to explain our products and services. But when you are talking about your brand, you don’t need to impress your audience – you just need to relate to them.

The following are a few points of consideration in how to make your content more appealing to your audience and improve the overall message of your brand.

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Simple content is less congested

We want our audience to know everything about our brand – from our values and mission to services and products. The more we mention, the more convinced our readers will be, right?

Not necessarily.

On average, your audience only has enough time or attention to engage with 20-28% of your content, so it’s key that you highlight the most important and compelling aspects of your brand: who you are, what you do, why you do it.

Simple content is more relatable

The true essence of your brand can get hidden underneath your unnecessarily complex content. It can also make your messaging seem like it is disingenuous or trying too hard.

Instead, speak the way your audience does. A good rule of thumb: if you content seems too complicated for everyday conversation, consider revising.  Simple, conversational messaging creates a sense of transparency, allowing your brand to show through in a way that your audience can relate to.

Simple content is more engaging

According to Google’s Zero Moment of Truth, the average consumer engages with ten pieces of content before making a buying decision. But today’s consumers have neither the time, nor the attention span to decipher complex, verbose pieces of content, let alone ten.

Customers need messaging that is quick and easy to digest. This is especially relevant since today’s consumers use content more than ever to be more informed, and to share that information with their peers. The simpler your content is, the easier it is to share by word-of-mouth – without losing its essence in the process.

Creating simple content for B2B marketing isn’t easy. You’ve got to find a conversational tone that resonates with your target audience, and then you must pare down your messages without losing your brand essence. It may require a content audit or re-evaluation upfront, but your brand will benefit from it in the long run.

If you are unsure where to begin, let the content experts at BallantyneTaylor be your guide. Get in touch: erin@b2bpartners.nz

In B2B buying, emotion trumps logic

A common misconception in B2B buying is that prospects make decisions based solely on logic and reason, and are not influenced by emotion the way B2C purchases are. However, recent research has us singing a different tune.


The Corporate Executive Board partnered with Google to learn what leading marketing teams are doing differently to connect with their customers. Their research provides thought-provoking insights as to how B2B buyers react to emotional marketing compared to a more functional approach.

1.) Emotion over function

According to the research, B2B brands who connect with buyers through an emotional approach achieve two times the impact over those who sell business or functional value. Connecting emotionally requires open-ended questioning and observation of non-verbal cues to craft messages that speak to buyer’s needs, pain points and frustrations.

2.) Brand connection drives sales

In a marketplace that is overflowing with marketing messages, customers will be more likely to consider brands that they have strong connections with. To get their attention, marketers must “speak the language” – meaning businesses should use words and phrases that are familiar to customers, evoking an emotional response.

3.) Traditional methods don’t work anymore

According to the study, “the B2B Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is dead and 86% of B2B buyers see ‘no real difference between suppliers.’” By using emotion as a tool to connect with potential and current buyers, B2B buyers can stand out from a sea of sameness.

4.) Emotional benefits drive greater results

When businesses use “features, functions and business outcomes” as a means of marketing their brand, they see a 21% increase in perceived brand benefits, but “professional, social and emotional benefit” marketing leads to a 42% boost.

Understand your prospects’ challenges and communicate how their purchase will remedy current struggles and frustrations through empathetic messaging and content.


Whether written or visual, digital or traditional, global or local, everything we create must stir the audience’s emotions before we can engage the rational mind.


Want to know more about how to create an emotional connection to your audience?

Talk to BT Managing Director, Steve Ballantyne, for a one-on-one conversation about how to take your brand to new heights.   p: 09 950 2140

10 building blocks of a B2B focused website

Whether you’re redesigning your current website, planning a rebrand or a new build, it’s of utmost importance you use the right strategy and website components, because no matter what your mother or primary school teachers told you, all websites are not created equal.


Look at your competitors’ websites and you’ll see a disparity in everything from design, messaging, content and functionality. Developing a powerful website that functions as a platform for business development requires the right “building blocks” – and to take the stress out of it, we’ve compiled a list of the essentials for you.

1. Planning and executing your online marketing strategy

Building a dynamic B2B website requires every aspect of your website to work as a well-oiled machine. Everything must be meticulously planned and executed – your website designer must take the time to gain insight into your business, goals, sales processes and how your site ties into your online and offline marketing efforts.

Now is not the time to skimp on getting a professional – make sure you partner with someone whose expertise strong across both marketing and web development.

2.  Content strategy

Content is what draws visitors to your website and a good content strategy will guide your plans for the what, where, when and why of content creation. Your strategy should include: customer persona profiles, action plan, information architecture, content mapping, and content audit.

3.  Key messaging and copywriting

This fundamental of a great B2B website often gets overlooked. Many web-development shops don’t have the expertise to provide copywriting and messaging strategies in-house. But you can’t underestimate the value of having a professional help you craft powerful key messages – they’ll speak directly to your audience and bring a cohesiveness and clarity to your copy.

4.  Beautiful + functional custom design

Your website is the face of your business and represents who you are and what you offer, so investing in professional and creative design is crucial. Great web is about more than just good-looking visuals. It creates a positive user experience (UX) that will impact usability, navigation, engagement and ultimately conversions.

5.  Responsive design

It’s a multi-screen world, so build a website that works well on all devices. Responsive design provides a viable solution and has become a “must have” for new websites. Effective responsive design is a wise investment, but will require careful planning, testing and adapting throughout both design and development.

6.  Thought leadership blog

Blogging is the cornerstone of content marketing; it builds thought leadership, fuels SEO, propels social media marketing, drives traffic and helps to generate and nurture leads. Your blog should be integrated into your overall website design and navigation, as well as be cross promoted in various sections of your website.

7.  Lead generation

A lead generation strategy will help guide visitors to your website on to the next step. Start with premium content offers – whitepapers, eBooks, blog subscriptions and complimentary consultations. Premium content offers, in the context of lead gen, are a piece of content that has enough perceived value that a visitor is willing to give some personal information in exchange for it.

Promote your premium content offers throughout your website with clear CTAs leading to landing pages that are optimised to effectively convert website visitors into leads.

8.  Custom CMS development

Building your website on a content management system (CMS) is another crucial building block of a marketing-focused website. It’s important to partner with an agency that will build a fully custom website. And in addition to the custom design on the front-end, the back-end interface should also be fully customised, allowing you to be able to update and control virtually every word and image on your website – quickly and easily.

9.  SEO best practices and content optimisation

Failing to optimise your new website can have a negative effect on your existing search engine rankings and traffic. It’s essential your agency employs the latest industry best practices for SEO techniques: page load speed, on-page factors and clean code. You’ll also want to ensure that the copy, page titles and meta descriptions are optimised based on keyword research or search phrases you’ve identified.

10.  Marketing automation/CRM integration

To build a website that is focused on generating and nurturing leads, you’ll require the integration of marketing automation software and, ideally, a CRM system. Marketing automation will allow you to get the most out of your website investment as well as provide you with complimentary online marketing tools like lead capturing forms, list management and automated email campaigns. You’ll also be able to get real marketing and sales intel that will boost business development and allow your team to have a much more targeted and relevant conversation with prospects and clients.

Integrate your marketing automation with a CRM system for better web-to-lead functionality and the ability to capture lead behaviour and intelligence right inside the CRM console. The integration of these two platforms will allow you to fine-tune both the quality and quantity of leads being pushed into the CRM and over to the business development team, resulting in increased alignment with your marketing efforts.


Is it time to breathe some new life into your digital strategy? Whether it’s a complete website overhaul or a few tweaks in your content marketing strategy, BallantyneTaylor has got you covered.

Contact Managing Director, Steve Ballantyne for a one-on-one conversation about how we can take your brand to new heights.  e: steve@b2bpartners.nz

Steve Ballantyne, founder and Managing Director of B2B Marketing Agency BallantyneTaylor is widely recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading B2B marketing strategists. Steve’s passion for innovative branding strategy – on and offline – has culminated from 25 years spent starting and building many businesses of his own – in New Zealand and Australia. With 20 years as Managing Director of BallantyneTaylor, he’s become adept at helping others grow their businesses into strong brands too.

What is liquid content and can it work for SMBs?

A few years back, Wendy Clark, head of Integrated Marketing Communications and Capabilities at Coca-Cola gave some insight into the brand’s new and, somewhat surprising, approach to cross-media marketing.

For more than 100 years, Coca-Cola has been one of the world’s leaders in what they call “one-way storytelling,” which is what you and I call an advertisement.  But brands can no longer buy their way into greatness anymore, and Coke knows that.  And while they may have one of the world’s biggest brands, with a billion dollar budget, Coca-Cola adopted a strategy that is quickly becoming the most important tool for smaller businesses – content marketing.


“Liquid and linked” is the phrase Coke’s marketing team is using to describe its cross-media content strategy.  First, let’s talk about the “liquid” aspect.  Liquid content may be described as memorable or significant content which people are highly motivated to share via social networks.  This could be an article, image or video – anything that is contagious enough to be shared outside your own circle of influence.

One benefit of viral sharing is the fact that it will include the ‘conversations’ that surround the liquid content, which enhances customer engagement and promotes interest as a diversity of ideas emerge as participation builds.

The “linked” part of this strategy refers to the fact that no matter which media is used, it remains close to the heart of the underlying business goals of a brand.  After all, there is no point watching content go viral if it offers little or no sales increase of your product.

I think it’s safe to say that none of us have the same resources or budget as Coca-Cola, and we may not be able to produce content that consistently goes viral, but SMBs can still learn quite a bit from the “liquid and linked” strategy.

There’s not too much difference between average content and good content; there’s not even that much difference between good content and great content.  But there’s a substantial difference between remarkable content and the rest.  Remarkable content is what will go viral, and viral content will bring you amazing results and drive conversions.  No one knows for sure which bit of content will go viral, and not every piece will.

You don’t need an endless budget to create something special and works alongside your company goals.  Think outside of the box and get creative.  You will be rewarded with social shares and links, which will boost your visibility in the search engines, and potentially, sales.


 If you’d like to talk about how to improve your content marketing strategy, talk to Marketing Director, Steve Ballantyne today.  steve@b2bpartners.nz

Or download our ebook, The Superheroes of Digital Marketing.

The essentials of content marketing

Engaging today’s business buyers is no easy feat.  Not only do the messages you send out need to be personalised and relevant to the challenges your audience faces, but the content you produce must be actionable – letting your buyers know what the next step in the process is and where they can go to find more information.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, you have to create content that people actually want to read.

Successful marketers produce informative content, personalise it and deliver it to specific leads throughout every phase of the buying cycle.  Content needs to not only showcase your expertise, knowledge and thought-leadership, but address the challenges and concerns of your buyers.

The best content will enlighten prospects, facilitate the buying process and lay the foundations for an ongoing conversation.


Produce some eye-catching original content

When you are considering what to feature as your content marketing strategy, remember that your messaging is not limited to articles and whitepapers.  Think videos, webinars, microsites, infographics, ebooks and apps.  Or set your content apart with a more unique tactic – a video game, movie or cartoon.  There’s no end to the ways to interact with your brand; just be clear about who you are creating content for and what purpose it serves.

Curate content to fill the gaps

The average sales cycle for a B2B technology purchase can take up to five months and involve as many as seven people, each of which will be consuming multiple pieces of content during their journey.  You probably have a thousand ideas on how to reach each of these buyers, but is your budget going to cover them all?

Curating content isn’t stealing; in fact, it’s a respected social practice.  It will help you fill the gaps between original content ideas and will take some of the pressure off your budget.  But don’t run the risk of landing yourself in hot water, make sure you credit the source.

Promote your content

Now that you have some brilliantly worded original content and a catalogue of curated content, how do you promote it?  How will you get the word out and ensure the right people see it and share it?

There are three promotional techniques to advertise your content:  Owned, Earned and Paid.

  • Owned media is when you leverage a channel you create and control.  This could be your company blog, YouTube channel, website and Facebook page.  This is your chance to make the most of what you’ve got – but make sure your buyers stay front and center.  And think about the devices your buyers use to connect with you – desktop, mobile, tablet?  We strongly suggest responsive design to cover all your bases.
  • Earned media is when customers, press and public share your content and discuss your brand.  Every B2B marketer should be involved in the social media that matter to their customers, and the content you produce should be repurposed to suit each channel.
  • Paid media is when you pay to have third-party channel distribute your message.  This includes advertisements, paying for media coverage or distributing press releases on paid sites.  The hard part, however, is sifting through the options and keeping track of what is and isn’t working.  If you’re buying display advertising, experiment with design and calls-to-action.  If it’s pay-per-click (PPC), change up keywords and search terms.  Advertising on Facebook or LinkedIn?  Target different user interests, groups or job titles.  Find out what works for your audience, but bear in mind that people generally put more trust into non-paid channels, so set your expectations accordingly.

Last but not least, make sure your content is easy to find.  You could have the most compelling blog, the greatest website and the most informative articles, but it’s all for naught if no one can find it.  Keep a consistent look and feel across your content as well; you don’t want your webinar and looking like it came from a completely different company than the ebook!

Over the course of the next few weeks we will be exploring the pertinence of content marketing to any company’s marketing strategy.  Check back in each week as we delve deeper into this topic and find out how you can improve your own efforts and strategies.

In the meantime, you can check out our ebook: The Superheroes of B2B Marketing!

Why marketing automation should be part of your marketing strategy

My BT office is in downtown Auckland.  I’m an avid tramper and my favourite outdoor clothing brands all have stores temptingly close to our building.  It’s a blessing and a curse.

With the warmest June on record, retailers went into panic mode and started their winter sales early.  I needed a new water-proof tramping jacket but I only had a short break before my next client meeting, so I dashed across the road to Macpac.

It was their BIG sale and the shop was full.  The sales rep recognised me and greeted me with a wave.  He watched me head straight to the Gore-tex jackets, make a selection and bring it to the counter, eyeing my watch.  Reading the signals, he politely asked the Scandinavian couple ahead of me if he could serve me first.  They turned to the flustered ‘suit guy’ and shrugged, “Sure, why not.”

The sale was made and I was back in my office in less than 15 minutes.  If it hadn’t been for the sales rep’s keen eye, I could have been left waiting, growing impatient and leaving without making a purchase.


Marketing automation should be like an experienced, intuitive sales person on a macro level

The biggest misconception is what the term “marketing automation” actually means.  Clever marketing automation, B2B or B2C, should be like an experienced sales person on a macro level.  Don’t think of automation tools as “set-and-forget.”  Rather, think of these tools helping you get to know your target audience better.  Much better.  Use this knowledge to create more relevant campaigns that actually resonate with a buyer. The right platform, used correctly, should treat leads as individuals with unique needs, wants, and drivers.

Immediate, ‘personalised’ responses will significantly reduce the sales cycle

In B2B, where the sales cycle is typically longer, marketing automation should allow customers to feel as though they are taking control of their own journey with you.  But because an adaptive, ‘personalised’ response is triggered instantly, the sales cycle will be significantly shortened and better qualified.  Just as I could have been left standing at the counter waiting and growing more impatient – marketing automation allows you to respond to enquiries immediately.  “You are 100 times more likely to close a sale if you respond within 5 minutes as opposed to 30.”

Marketing automation tools will:

• Reduce your sales cycle to win new business faster
• Continually improve your marketing campaigns
• Deliver more leads for upselling
• Deliver more leads from referrals

In a perfect world, your prospects or existing customers should be designing their own interactions with your company.  In fact, I believe buyers should be designing your entire sales infrastructure.  Used effectively, marketing automation will send tailored, personalised messages to your customers on a regular basis.  You should be ‘crafting’ this regular activity, building your relationship with rich experiences until they are ready to buy.

Four marketing automation vendors to consider and why

This article is an opinion piece, not a review, but I’d be remiss without sharing some of my insights with you.  I’ve researched dozens of platforms and vendors and I’ve short-listed four vendors that I would urge you to put on your ‘consideration’ list.  And because pricing should always be part of your decision, follow this link for a definitive price guide.


1.) Hubspot – A great place to start

If you are an SME or small marketer, Hubspot should be on your marketing automation shopping list.  In a nutshell, it’s affordable and versatile with great training resources like easy to follow webinars, workshops and one-on-one live tech support.  For me, the best feature is the dashboard that gives you a live feed.  If you have a second monitor, you’ll be tempted to leave it running.  The mobile app is just as friendly and well designed, but your family will soon grow tired of you constantly accessing it at home on your iPad.
Hubspot will force you to set more measurable, strategic goals – visits, leads and sales. Be warned, it could become addictive.

2.) Marketo – For mid-size to enterprise businesses

If you have an in-house marketing team or an agency, Marketo could be for you.  It’s pricing is more flexible and B2B companies will gain better long-term value. It’s the platform we are most familiar with, primarily because some of our B2B clients already use it and it integrates natively with Salesforce CRM.
My Digital Manager, Carla Sheen, finds the visual drag and drop interface really easy to use and the reporting very thorough.

3.) Eloqua – If you’re enterprise or multi-site

Marketo and Eloqua offer similar capabilities and characteristics.  Both come with a comparably hefty price tag, but used to full effect they will grow revenue.

Eloqua is owned by Oracle Corporation who shelled out $871million US for the sale – yes, the same CEO, Larry Ellison, who shattered the sailing dreams of our nation.

It’s the vision of Ellison and the resources of Oracle that makes Eloqua different.  Marketing automation is growing exponentially.  Only 3% of non-technology companies have adopted the software so far.  Larry hates being second.  I predict that Eloqua will continue to release more updates than its competitors – like the improved lead scoring engine recently released that allows you to run different lead scoring modules for multiple sites, teams or product lines.

4.) Engage – And not just because it’s Kiwi

I would have put the Engage marketing automation platform, developed by Ubiquity, on this list anyway, but I must tell you upfront, they’re a client of mine.  SME to largest enterprise, you’ll find Engage scalable, functional, measurable and highly adaptive.
If you choose your stock market shares by studying the governance of the company’s directors, then you would be very happy to choose Engage based on the way directors, CEO Nathalie Morris and CTO Guy Bibby, run Ubiquity and its dedicated team. There’s a Xero-like zeal that’s palpable.

And the huge upside is that they are local.  Cloud-hosting is here in NZ, the account service team is here in NZ, the help desk is here in NZ and the tech support is superb and in NZ.  There’s a high degree of security and a small amount of local parochialism that might sway your judgement. The other vendors are northern hemisphere-based and the tech support probably won’t be there when you really need them.

Which Software is best for you? – again – it’s personal

Here we are full circle.  Draw up your wish list of features, components, and requirements– and then choose the tool that best fits these needs. You’re much more likely to get the greatest bang for your buck.  Marketing automation software is becoming more and more mainstream by the day.  It is a learning curve and a big investment in terms of your time and money.  As any carpenter will tell you, measure twice and cut once.  Do your research.

It’s not a question of IF you choose it but WHEN.

Consider this checklist before you decide

• Analytics / ROI Tracking
• Campaign Segmentation
• Contact Management
• CRM Integration
• Direct Mail Management
• Email Marketing
• Lead Management
• Multi-Channel Management
• Search Marketing
• Social Marketing

Read my e-Book ‘The Super Heroes of B2B Digital Marketing’

Marketing automation will only become more important over time.  To fully understand its place in your digital marketing strategy, download my BT e-book, ‘The Super Heroes of B2B Digital Marketing.’  The book was fun to write and hopefully you’ll find it informative and easy to follow.  The book will take you sequentially step-by-step through the B2B sales cycle.

5 reasons to use responsive design for your site

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. Forgive me for flogging the dead horse here, but I can’t stress this point enough – the mobile future is now.

As smartphone and tablet adoption rapidly increases, so does the importance of mobile-friendly websites. Mobile web access is one of the dominating trends of the internet economy, and marketers who care about better campaign results are quickly turning to responsive design.


Responsive design allows your webpage to open and function properly no matter what device it is viewed on – whether that is desktop, smartphone or tablet – and is essential if you want your customers to be able to do business with you on the go. If you are trying to decide whether or not to design a new website using responsive design, check out the list below for five reason why responsive design is beneficial for your business.

1. Better UX
One of the most appealing aspects of responsive design is that a responsive website can provide a great user-experience across many devices and screen sizes. A site that works well regardless of these variables will provide a better and more consistent user-experience across the board.

2. It’s Google Recommended
With 67% search market share, when Google talks, marketers listen. And Google states that responsive design is its recommended mobile configuration, and goes so far as to refer to it as an industry best practice. Responsive designs have one URL and the same HTML, regardless of device, which makes it much easier for Google to crawl, index and organise your content. It also makes it easier for users to share, link and interact with content. For example, I share a piece of content I like from my smartphone, but the person I’ve shared it with views it on their desktop. If the site is responsive, they will have the same positive user-experience as I did, but if not, they’re going to end up looking at a stripped down mobile site on their desktop. And as Google is putting more and more emphasis on UX in their rankings, a positive viewing experience is essential for your SEO.

3. Easier to Manage
Having separate desktop and mobile sites means you will have multiple versions that you, or someone else, will have to manage. That’s multiple updates for multiple versions and an SEO campaign for each one. Designing one site that is responsive means you can make edits for all versions of the website in one go.
Responsive design may be expensive initially, but once the design is created, only one update will need to be done when make changes, making it more cost-efficient in the long run.

4. Boosts SEO
Using responsive design will help boost your SEO as it ensures you don’t split clicks across multiple websites. Plus, Google doesn’t take kindly to websites that have content duplicated in multiple places, and may drop you in its SEO rankings, making it less likely to appear on the first page of search engine results.

5. Pay-per-click Benefits
Google AdWords has now converted the web to “enhance campagins.” This means that the targeting of devices is the same, no matter the device. A responsively designed website can use the same landing page for tablets as they do for non-mobile versions, which makes it far, far easier to manage your PPC.
So as customers increasingly use their mobile devices to shop, search and connect, responsive design will ensure user experience is optimised no matter what device your website is being accessed from. It is easier to manage, enhances your SEO and is recommended by the omnipotent Google. If you haven’t joined the mobile revolution, it’s time – all your customers have.

*It’s important to note, there may be situations where responsive design does not suit the particular needs of your customers. For instance, banks use mobile dedicated sites to make mobile banking simpler and more straightforward.

B2B Buyer Behavior: When Web Leads Convert

Ever wondered when your B2B buyers are most active on your website?

According to a recent examination of their own customer-base, Software Advice was able to determine what time of the day, what day of the week and what months of the year experienced peak click-through rates. Ayaz Nanji covers the findings in his article for MarketingProfs.

*Keep in mind when reviewing the data that this study is limited to unique viewers in the United States, so some statistics may need to be reconsidered to better suit countries in the Southern Hemisphere.


B2B Buyer Behavior: When Web Leads Convert

Conversion rates for B2B online leads are highest at the beginning of the year, in part because companies are renewing budgets and new funds are available,according toa recent analysis bySoftware Advice.

On the other hand, conversion activity drops significantly during the prime vacation summer months. Conversion rates also tend to drop below average in December as companies prepare for the new year and hold off on spending.

The analysis was based on information collected from more than six million visitors to the Software Advicewebsitesince 2008. The data is specific to a single business with a particular audience (B2B software buyers), but the learnings may be applicable to other B2B sales teams, especially those that respond to leads generated on the Web.

Below key findings fromthe report.

Activity by Day of the Week

  • Software Advice found B2B buyer activity on their website is highest Tuesday through Thursday.
  • Web traffic peaks on Tuesdays, but conversion rates are highest on Wednesdays.

Activity by Time of Day

  • The analysis categorized time of day into three buckets: before work hours (12:00 AM to 7:59 AM CST), during work hours (8:00 AM to 5:59 PM CST), and after work hours (6:00 PM to 11:59 PM CST).
  • There are 53% more unique visitors during work hours compared with Software Advice’s average number of unique visitors.
  • Traffic is highest in the first half of the day, with the peak time occurring just before and during lunch.


  • B2B buyer traffic drops more than 50% below average on New Year’s Day (-57%), Memorial Day (-57%), Independence Day (-58%), Labor Day (-54%), Thanksgiving (-71%), the day after Thanksgiving (-55%), Christmas Eve (-64%), and Christmas (-69%).
  • However, some holidays show only minor dips in traffic, including Martin Luther King Jr. Day (-8%) and Columbus Day (-6%).

About the research:The reportwas based on Software Advice website traffic and conversion data collected between January 1, 2008 and August 31, 2013. Data was limited to unique visitors from the United States, and to traffic to commercial landing pages.

Read more:http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2014/24150/b2b-buyer-behavior-when-web-leads-convert#ixzz2uCUSfp7n