You don't need at Hollywood production to make a good video!

Perhaps you’ve already watched this video about the Ghirardi Compton Oak. It made the rounds on the Internet a while ago. I think it makes a powerful B2B testimonial—for CAT Heavy Equipment and the Hess Landscaping Company. But that’s not what it’s really about. This simple but moving (pun intended) video on the City of League, Texas YouTube Channel documents the relocation and preservation of an iconic century-old oak tree. The massive 518,000 lb., 56 ft. tall tree was moved more than a quarter of a mile to make way for a road-widening project. It’s pretty cool. Yes, I suppose you could give Madison Ave. a million bucks and they’d polish it up—make it slick. But I’m not so sure they‘d do any better capturing the genuine authenticity and credibility that this video does with a few stills, some video clips, graphic titles, a stock music track and, most importantly, a great story to tell (and they did without an announcer).

What I love about this video (besides the story) is what it tells us—and B2B marketers about online video and what you do and don’t need to create good, compelling video content for online presentation today. (more…)

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Mapping and Effectively Using Twitter Hashtags for Business

Galen De Young ( @GalenDY ) | September 21, 2010 · 9 comments | B2B Social Media

How to effectively use Twitter hashtags in B2B marketingIncluding hashtags in your tweets is a powerful way to extend the reach of your activity on Twitter. While people can follow other Twitter users, they can also follow hashtags. Tools like TweetDeck, Seesmic Desktop, and HootSuite are great for monitoring hashtag streams.

When you include a hashtag in your tweet, your tweet will get seen not only by those who follow you, but also by those who follow the hashtag you include.

But which hashtags should you use? What’s your hashtag strategy? Do you have one? (more…)

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Huge Update to the List of Top B2B Blogs

Galen De Young ( @GalenDY ) | August 22, 2010 · 7 comments | B2B Social Media

The big list of top B2B marketing and sales blogsThanks to all the B2B marketing and sales experts who continually blog, sharing your insights and adding to the collective knowledge or the broader B2B community.

Since we originally posted the list on our site, we’ve continued to update it periodically. Now, we’ve completed a comprehensive revision to The List of Top B2B Blogs. (more…)

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Image of business trying to determine its positioning strategyIn today’s economy, no one wants to turn away business. But smart marketers are positioning themselves to do just that.

Most companies fall into the trap of positioning the company as broadly as possible, trying to be relevant to the broadest number of potential purchasers. That way, any lead or inquiry has opportunity. But this approach creates a broad range of lead quality and makes you chase nearly every lead, eating up large amounts of time and money. And as you try to close that business, you’ll be competing as a generalist. You’ll fight hard to get on the short list; you’ll be competing with other generalists and with specialists. (more…)

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Steer Clear of Price-Only Positioning

Richard Hatch | June 23, 2010 · 1 comment | Positioning

Lack of positioning means destructive price-only competition

In another life, I worked in automotive marketing. A domestic brand. Every time the market tanked, the client, along with their domestic rivals, would predictably do the inevitable. Slap on rebates, trump one another’s incentives, slash prices, sweeten the deal, give away the store, compromise the brand and train customers already accustomed to never paying the asking price to never pay anything close-ever again. (I know. There’s a history of other complex dynamics at work here as well.) Nevertheless, any bump in the road and they squandered what brand integrity they had left to chase market share at almost any cost-and we all know what the painful outcome has been.

But you’d never do that, right? Let’s get real. (more…)

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Content SEO: Best Practices and What to Avoid

Galen De Young ( @GalenDY ) | May 4, 2010 · 3 comments | B2B Search Marketing

B2B Forum Boston Logo


Live Blogging from MarketingProfs B2B Forum.
A series of posts covering selected sessions at this year’s conference in Boston.


Speakers:
Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank Online Marketing
Jiyan Wei, Product Manager, Vocus, PRWeb.com

At the start of the presentation, Lee cited several stats:
60% of marketers plan to take money away from traditional marketing and spend it on interactive instead, and 59% of that interactive spend will go towards SE and PPC (Forrester Search Engine Marketing Model, 4/09 US)

48% of senior marketing executives considered the most effective online marketing tactic for Generating Conversions (Forbes 2009 Ad Effectiveness Survey)

62% of B2B Marketers plan to increase SEM budgets in 2010.
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B2B Forum Boston Logo


Live Blogging from MarketingProfs B2B Forum.
A series of posts covering selected sessions at this year’s conference in Boston.


Moderator:
Christina “CK” Kerley, B2B Marketing Specialist, CKb2b Marketing
Panelists:
Deirdre Walsh, Community & Social Media Manager, National Instruments
Mike Travis, President, Equation Research
Ron Casalotti, Social Media PR, Bloomberg LP
Kirsten Watson, Dir. Corporate Marketing, Kinaxis

Key Takeaways from the Session:
Be tolerant and accepting of users’ desire to discuss or point to other content that may be from competing sources or issues. People are going to have those conversations somewhere anyway; it’s a question of whether you want to part of those conversations.

Not every social media ROI metric is going to be a hard, financial one; you need to identify what concrete metrics matter for your particular situation.
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Measuring Marketing Effectiveness Against Business Goals

Galen De Young ( @GalenDY ) | May 4, 2010 · 0 comments | Events

B2B Forum Boston Logo


Live Blogging from MarketingProfs B2B Forum.
A series of posts covering selected sessions at this year’s conference in Boston.


Speakers:
Dennis J Chapman, Sr. President & CEO, The Chapman Group
John Mueting, VP Distribution & 3rd Party Relationships, Allstate Distributors, LLC

First up is Dennis. Here are some of his comments.

It didn’t used to be complicated. It used to be we measured success dashboard of revenue against targeted sales. The role of marketing is changing in the new economy.

Decision making has changed in corporate America. Used to be 20 percent facts and 80 percent intuition. This is now the opposite. Why? The former is too risky.

Marketing needs effective dashboards that provide “predictive analytics.”

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Measure what you and your company requires/expects.

Three questions executives are asking Marketing:
How much revenue and profits are coming from our marketing efforts (investments)?
How can we optimize the results from our marketing investment?
How can you prove your positive financial impact to the organization?

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Meaningful Metrics for B2B Blogging

Galen De Young ( @GalenDY ) | April 20, 2010 · 8 comments | B2B Social Media

Image of graph for B2B blogging metrics

Whether you’re just starting a B2B blog or have been blogging for a long time, you should be hungry to see results. After all, a lot of time and effort is going into creating new content, and it’s hard to continually feed the content marketing dragon. But if you’re looking to traditional consumer blog metrics to evaluate your success and impact, you might be disappointed. (more…)

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Don’t Miss MarketingProfs B2B Forum: May 3-5, Boston

Galen De Young ( @GalenDY ) | April 15, 2010 · 1 comment | Events

MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2010It’s only a few weeks away now, and it’s sure to be one of the best 2010 conferences exclusively focused on B2B Marketing.

If you haven’t already done so, be sure to register for MarketingProfs Business-to Business Forum 2010. It’s in Boston on May 3-5. There are more than seventy speakers. 35 individual sessions. Four concurrent session tracks. Plenty of breaks and social events for networking. For updates on the event, tune into #mpb2b on Twitter.


Use Promo Code “Blog” and Save $200 on Your Registration


(more…)

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B2B Social Media Sharing StrategiesThere seem to be so many social media sharing options today at the bottom of blog posts, web pages and other content marketing assets. I’ve seen some blog posts that include as many as twenty different social sharing options at the end of the post. I’m afraid when there are that many choices, people will just glaze over and opt not to share the content. In my opinion, especially for B2B marketing, it is much better to have a few very focused choices. (more…)

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Inbound Marketers Report a 60% Lower Cost Per Lead

Galen De Young ( @GalenDY ) | February 16, 2010 · 4 comments | B2B Research

Internet marketing technology provider Hubspot recently released a study entitled The 2010 State of Inbound Marketing. The study included 231 marketing professionals, 69% of whom worked for B2B companies in a wide variety of industries. The largest industries were professional services (22% of respondents) and technology (15%).

Inbound Marketing refers to marketing strategies and tactics designed to help companies get found when searching for potential product or service providers or when researching issues or problems. Think search engine optimization, paid search, and social media. Outbound Marketing refers to push-type marketing like trade shows, advertising, telemarketing, email marketing, etc.


Cost of Leads


Respondents who spent more than 50% of their budgets on inbound marketing channels reported an average cost per lead of $134, while those who spent the majority of their budget on outbound marketing channels had an average cost per lead of $332. That’s a 60% difference. (more…)

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Where Should B2B Bloggers set up the Corporate Blog?

Galen De Young ( @GalenDY ) | February 12, 2010 · 2 comments | B2B Search Marketing

RSS icon denoting B2B blogging and where B2B blog should reside for corporate blogging

The question of where B2B marketers should place the corporate blog is a critical one. It has implications in terms of B2B SEO, positioning, and your ability to later successfully transfer the trust and authority you build up in the eyes of search engines. This post addresses some of the options and their implications. (more…)

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9 Tips for Leveraging Synergies of Email & Social Media

Galen De Young ( @GalenDY ) | February 4, 2010 · 2 comments | B2B Email Marketing

Are you using social media to promote your email marketing efforts? Are you using your email marketing to promote your social media efforts? The easier you can make it for people to go between the two, the more connections and touchpoints you’ll forge. Here are 9 tips to help you do just that.

Promote your Email Newsletter on your Blog

Feature your email newsletter on your blog and provide a way for your blog readers to subscribe to it. Promote it in the sidebar of your blog near the top of each page. Be sure to include a link to a sample issue.

Link to your Blog

Somewhere in your email—either in the sidebar, header, or footer—promote a link to your blog. Have options for them to subscribe to the blog, either through RSS or via email. That way you can gain people as both email and blog subscribers. Not only does this give you two media through which you can reach your contacts, but it provides a back-up conduit, in case people for some reason unsubscribe from your email or your email is later blocked (e.g., change in recipient’s spam filtering).

Link to your Social Media Profiles

Put links to your social media profiles in your email marketing. Email marketing goes out whenever you send it. But you’re not going to send it every day. Perhaps only once a month. But if you promote links to your social media profiles, email recipients can connect with you on LinkedIn or Facebook, or discover and follow you on Twitter, where you can have additional and more frequent touchpoints.

Post Email Content to Your LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn is one of the most popular social media sites for people in the B2B realm. Assuming your email marketing content continues on your site, you should promote that content in the LinkedIn groups to which you belong. Members of LinkedIn groups choose to get either a daily or weekly digest of activity within the group. That activity includes members’ postings of news, discussions, and other information. If you have good content that continues on your site, you should submit that content and its URL as a news or discussion item within relevant groups.

In posting to LinkedIn groups, you can link to either the web version of your newsletter or to individual stories within it.  Either way, however, you want readers to understand that the content came from an email newsletter and they can subscribe to it. For that reason, it may be best to link to the web version of the email. Just make sure the web version has a clear and obvious button that allows readers to subscribe.  Also, if you’re trying to point people to, let’s say, the third story in the web version of your email newsletter, be sure to insert named anchors in the web version and use URLs with named anchors as links to that content. That way, people who click through won’t have to figure out which of the four articles in your newsletter you’re trying to reference.  In posting to LinkedIn groups, however, remember to also post and cite others’ content. It’s good social media etiquette. If all you do is promote your own content, you’re really not contributing to the group. You’re simply using it as a sales platform. People can easily see the difference. (more…)

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30 of the Best B2B Search Marketing Articles of 2009

Galen De Young ( @GalenDY ) | December 21, 2009 · 5 comments | B2B Search Marketing

The velocity with which B2B marketing has evolved over the past two years (let alone five years) is amazing. Frankly, it’s a challenge to keep up with it at times. I’m particularly grateful to all those who take the time to share their knowledge to help others. Here are more than 30 of my favorite B2B search-related posts over the last year, posts that either focus directly on search or on the issues that strongly impact search (e.g., content).

While I’ve tried to bookmark this content throughout the year, I’m sure I’ve missed some really good posts and other resources. Please add to this list via the comments.

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B2B Illustrated: The Long Sales Cycle

Galen De Young ( @GalenDY ) | December 16, 2009 · 1 comment | B2B Selling

b2b-long-sales-cycle

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Big List of Blogs Continues to Grow for December.

Galen De Young ( @GalenDY ) | December 14, 2009 · 2 comments | B2B Marketing

blog-list-image6

We continue to find more B2B blogs and receive suggested additions for the the Big List of B2B Marketing and Sales Blogs.

This month we’ve got 7 more great blogs to add. Be sure to check them out.

Congratulations to all the new additions!

(more…)

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Are You Making it Hard for People to Mention You in Tweets?

Galen De Young ( @GalenDY ) | December 11, 2009 · 1 comment | B2B Social Media

It’s a common practice on Twitter to mention the source of cited content, most often by including a “mention”, the inclusion of the person’s Twitter name, i.e., @twittername.

It’s a great thing to do. You get a chance to not only share great content, but to mention the author or contributor. Doing so potentially helps build the author’s Twitter following and let’s that person know you tweeted something that referenced her.

That opens the opportunity for dialogue between you and the person you cited. They’ll see you mentioned them. They might thank you, explore your profile and contributions, choose to follow you, or reach out to you in some other way. On the other hand, they may do nothing, and that’s all right, too; you shouldn’t mention another user in a tweet simply in pursuit of what’s in it for you.

I really try to include a mention when I find and tweet good content. If the person’s twitter name isn’t immediately available, I’ll click on the author’s name to see if her profile page mentions her Twitter name. If I don’t find it there, I’ll try a search on twitter for the person’s name. Sometimes the search ends without success.

I think one of the best ways to do this is to change your author name on your blog posts to include your Twitter name. Most blog posts note the author of the post right under the post’s title. Instead of simply the author’s name, also include the author’s Twitter name. This way it’s always there. And if you have a multi-author blog, it’s super simple to set up. I changed ours this morning. You can see it right under this post’s title.

If you’re writing articles or posts that get published elsewhere, make sure your byline includes your Twitter name.

Most people want to mention the contributor of good content, not just the content itself. Why not make it easier for them to do so?

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B2B Blogging: What are You Talking About?

Galen De Young ( @GalenDY ) | December 7, 2009 · 3 comments | B2B Marketing

The other day I ran across a neat tool that generates a word cloud for a blog. This is different than a tag cloud. A tag cloud is a cloud of words based on how you’ve tagged your blog posts. As such, you obviously influence the cloud based on how you tag your posts. The word cloud, however, looks at the text of your blog posts.

b2b blog word cloud image (more…)

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Are Your PDFs Social Media Friendly?

Galen De Young ( @GalenDY ) | November 11, 2009 · 7 comments | B2B Social Media

If they’re not, they should be.

White papers, eBooks, case studies, best practice guides…when done right, these B2B content marketing assets can be powerful lead generation and lead nurturing tools.

At the same time, they’re expensive to create. They’re also hard to get into the hands of the right people. Further, in the B2B market, you may get one of these assets into the hands of one of your contacts, but there are many other people at the prospect’s company who will influence the purchase decision.

So why are you making it hard to share these PDFs? Why not give B2B prospects quick and easy ways share them with a colleague through email or with broader groups via social media on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook? If your stuff’s good, it will get shared. (more…)

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