A How-To Guide On Getting Inside Of A Customer’s Brain written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Nancy Harhut

Nancy Harhut, a guest on the Duct Tape Marketing podcast In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Nancy Harhut. Nancy is the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at HBT Marketing. A frequent conference speaker and author of Using Behavioral Science in Marketing: Drive Customer Action and Loyalty by Prompting Instinctive Responses.

Key Takeaway:

Behavioral scientists have studied how people make decisions and what they found is very often people aren’t making these well-thought-out, well-considered decisions. What people are doing instead is we’re relying on decision-making shortcuts, which are these automatic, instinctive, reflexive behaviors that humans have developed over the millennia as a way to conserve mental energy. In this episode, Nancy Harhut joins me to talk about how we as marketers can increase the likelihood that people will engage with and respond to our marketing messages.

Questions I ask Nancy Harhut:

  • [1:29] How do you define instinctive responses?
  • [4:00] Do you ever worry that people might learn behavioral science and create instinctive responses that are not necessarily for good?
  • [5:45] Where do you see marketers getting this idea of using behavioral science in the marketing realm?
  • [6:46] How do we create emotion so that they get the opportunity to back it up with logic?
  • [10:47] A lot of times we will do things to avoid pain or immediate loss before we will do things that are good for us. I’ve heard marketers talk about people will buy painkillers instead of vitamins. How does that one play into a marketer’s ability to get an instinctive response?
  • [11:48] Are there positive ways to use scarcity and urgency?
  • [13:45] How does reciprocation come into play with humans?
  • [17:23] How do you bring some urgency and scarcity to businesses that have a very long sales cycle?
  • [19:33] Do you find that any of these techniques or these approaches are more effective visually versus words or stories?
  • [21:18] When a client comes to you and they’re struggling with a challenge, do you have kind of a checklist you use, or is every case unique?
  • [22:23] One of the things you’ve done in the book is that you kind of break down at the end of the chapter with action steps. Do you also have some checklists and things that people can download as well?
  • [23:22] Where can people learn more about your work, connect with you, and get a copy of your book?

More About Nancy Harhut:

  • Connect with Nancy on LinkedIn
  • Connect with Nancy on Twitter
  • HBT Marketing
  • Get a copy of her book — Using Behavioral Science in Marketing: Drive Customer Action and Loyalty by Prompting Instinctive Responses

More About The Agency Workshop:

  • Apply for the Agency Workshop

Take The Marketing Assessment:

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network.

HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals who seek the best education and inspiration on how to grow a business.

2022 November 25 IAB Chart

2022 November 25 IAB Chart

The Top 50 B2B Marketplaces: A New Ranking
B2B marketplaces have raised more than $1.7 billion during the first nine months of 2021, with Faire, Joor, and Indigo AG topping the list of B2B marketplace startups, according to newly-released report data of interest to digital marketers. Modern Distribution Management

Why influencer marketing, still a small slice of digital budgets, seems recession-proof
U.S. organizations are expected to spend $6.16 billion on influencer marketing during 2023, climbing from the $5 billion seen during 2022, as influencer marketing has appeared to be more resilient than other forms of marketing, with influencer marketing budgets staying strong, according to recently-published forecast data. Insider Intelligence

20% Of Media Buyers Report Investing In The Metaverse
52 percent of decision-makers at brands and agencies have said that they are investing in metaverse marketing in order to build brand recognition and awareness, with 48 percent doing so as a new way of engaging existing customers, while 46 percent pinpointed investment aimed at boosting brand perception — three of several findings of interest to B2B marketers contained in newly-released survey data. MediaPost

Q&A with the director of Google Analytics: Getting Started with Google Analytics 4
With Google sunsetting its longstanding existing analytics incarnation in July of 2023, B2B marketers using the popular measurement system have some seven months to migrate to Google Analytics 4, and MarTech takes a look at how marketers and brands are moving to Google’s replacement analytics platform. MarTech

[bctt tweet=”“When a customer is migrating to GA4, one of the first things they need to consider is how to get the data they care about the most into the system.” — Russ Ketchum of @GoogleAnalytics” username=”toprank”]

Twitter is working on a feature to divide long text into a thread automatically
Twitter has tested the ability for its users to automatically split tweets longer than the 280-character limit — in place since 2017 — into multiple threaded messages, potentially offering marketers an additional way to share long-form content on the platform, Twitter recently announced. TechCrunch

2022 August 19 Statistics Image

How LinkedIn users are banding together to help those laid off
Microsoft-owned professional social media platform LinkedIn (client) has seen increasing use as a conduit for helping recently laid off workers find new positions, and WorkLife takes a look at the thriving practice on LinkedIn. WorkLife

WhatsApp Launches New Business Search Functionality, Expands In-Stream Payments
Meta-owned global messaging platform WhatsApp has rolled out new features that have made it easier to find businesses on the platform, giving brands an array of new exposure opportunities, WhatsApp recently announced. Social Media Today

Ads Work Better When They’re Near Relevant Content: Study
Some 67 percent of U.S. consumers have said that they are more apt to notice digital advertising when it is relevant to the content they are viewing, while 61 percent noted that they would be less likely to buy from brands that have ads appearing alongside disinformation, according to newly-published survey data. MediaPost

8 Graphic Design Trends that Will Dominate 2023 [Infographic]
Motion graphics with dynamic user experience (UX) designs, bold abstract shapes, artificial intelligence (AI)-generated imagery, and 3D elements such as typography and characters were among the top graphic design trends expected to grow in 2023, according to data from a recently-released design trend infographic. Social Media Today

Ad spend projected to grow 5.9% in 2023
B2B digital advertising is expected so see a significant increase during 2023, rising some 20.8 percent year-over-year, as the top high-growth category in the latest forecast data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), which has also seen B2B advertisers placing increased interest in engaging streamers and the creation of brand-owned video content hubs. MarTech

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2022 November 25 Marketoonist Comic Image

A lighthearted look at “Black Friday & holiday shopping” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

New Sponsored Google Maps Feature Directs Every Driver To Denny’s — The Onion

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — How to Break Free of Boring B2B Content Experiences In 2023 [Webinar] — Rock Content
  • Lee Odden — The Impact of Building Long-Term Relationships with Influencers with Lee Odden — Justin Levy

Have you come across your own important B2B marketing news item for the week that we haven’t yet mentioned? If so, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line in the comments below.

Thank you for taking the time to join us, and we hope you will return next Friday for another array of the most up-to-date and relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us on our LinkedIn page, or at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news.

The post B2B Marketing News: Rising B2B Ad Spend, Top B2B Marketplaces, Influencer Marketing’s Resiliency, & WhatsApp’s New Business Search appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

man disgusted at digital ads

Does Online Advertising Work?

By the title of this article, I’m sure you can guess our short answer is no. We just covered how CEOs don’t think it works. During the pandemic, brands like P&G, Chase Bank, and Uber slashed their ad budgets and saw exactly ZERO impact on their sales revenue.

Now we’re seeing the same thing happen again as ad sales plummet, advertising budgets shrink, and marketers are bring asked to focus on marketing that actually works.

Here’s a few more stats to show that digital ads don’t work:

  • 89% of marketers don’t think digital ads work
  • 36% of the clicks on paid ads are fraudulent. (Search Engine Journal)
  • Venture capital investment in ad tech is declining by an average of 10% each of the last 5 years.
  • Even CEOs from the most recognized brands know that digital ads are a waste money.
  • Businesses big and small from all sectors don’t see any lost sales after they stop spending money on ads.

And yet, business spending on digital ads is still projected to increase by 10% this year.

Most people think marketing is just people buying ads. Google, Facebook, and other social media platforms only exist because they convinced brands to spend money on “highly targeted” ads based on our behavior, demographics, or interests. That’s creepy!

But they must work, right? Cumulatively, brands spend more than $300 billion on digital ads each year!

The truth is, most marketers are simply lining the pockets of big ad tech execs, paying for bot traffic, and delivering no measurable revenue from ad spend.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Digital ads don’t work! And we have the data to prove it.
  • When brands slash their PPC and banner ad budgets, they notice paid traffic drops but sales are unchanged.
  • Venture capital is fleeing ad tech, seeking more sustainable solutions.
  • Our clients spend just 5% of their ad budget on Content marketing but see 7x ROI on average.

Do Digital Ads Work? Not For Most Businesses!

Digital ads don’t work. They’re the definition of a money pit. A swindle. A grift.

According to WordStream’s analysis of $3 billion in annual PPC ad spend, the average click through rate is 2.35%. More than 90% of those clicks bounce. So $3 billion gets you a 0.2% chance of finding a new warm lead.

Multiply that by the average conversion rate for most leads and you get exactly ZERO new customers. On average. (Yeah I know some companies are better than this. And some products are more likely to work.)

What about banner ads? Well, banners have 99 problems but a click ain’t one. The average click through rate on this fun little marketing curse is 0.06%.

Oh, those are just for generating awareness? Good luck with that! No wonder most marketers are miserable!

Digital Ads Might Be the Next Financial Bubble to Burst

eMarketer estimates worldwide digital ad spending sits at $441 Billion and projects that figure to grow to $526 billion by 2024.

eMarketer

Sounds promising for the digital ad industry! Not quite. Look at that dwindling growth rate—during the pandemic, it dropped to just 2.4% when brands halted all their costliest marketing tactics.

Wired ran a groundbreaking piece with a pertinent subtitle to drive home the point in October 2020 that didn’t get nearly enough attention (wonder why):

Wired

It points out that micro-targeted ads are far less accurate and persuasive than they’re advertised.

Plus, the metrics are less-than-transparent for brands like you, yet this is how Google makes 80% of its revenue and Facebook 99%: an average 60% of all digital ad revenue.

Wired’s writers even compare the inevitable implosion to the 2000 mortgage crisis. Think they’re being facetious? Well, consider that the entire industry of tech giants has built an empire off free apps by collecting the data to sell you ads.

Brands Realized Paid Digital Ads Don’t Work

Brands big and small cut the ad spigot in response to the pandemic’s uncertainty, and guess what? Nothing changed.

P&G turned off $200 million, Chase slashed ad reach by 99%, Uber turned off $120 million in ads for app installs—not one business noticed a change in outcomes.

Going back further, that’s the norm since shortly after ads emerged when eBay ended their paid search spending in 2012.

Yep, paid digital micro-targeted ads are just a big house of cards.

Even small businesses who reported a decline of 90% in ad spend saw little to no change in sales revenue.

Bots Drive Up Your Ad Spend More Than You Think

Goggle admits it right away (although I’m not sure who’s behind this embedded instant stat):

Search Engine Journal tells us each brand should expect “fraudulent” clicks to consume 20% of all paid ad clicks—in other words, bots.

But then again, the latest estimates tell us nearly 40% of all internet traffic is just bots, both “good” and “bad.”

Venture Capital Flees Ad Tech Quietly

Don’t get left in the aftermath of capital flight. Today’s capital flight looks much different than 1980s Detroit. Now, it happens internationally across entire sectors—like ad tech.

Back in 2018, Adweek quoted a Forrester report predicting venture capital would scatter from ad tech within the next few years. And looking at the latest stats from Crunchbase, venture capital has fled from ad tech deals at a roughly 10% compounded annual rate over the last five years.

Not good.

If Digital Ads Don’t Work, What’s Next?

Look, you’ve already made it this far—likely from literally asking yourself and Googling “do digital ads work?” Deep down, you know the jig is up, but what replaces them?

First, acknowledge you won’t miss anything by slashing your paid digital ad budget. Get over the FOMO because the ROI never existed and it won’t magically appear no matter how you tweak.

After starting my career in sales, I moved into marketing vowing to only work on things that can show measurable value. I never worked on a branding campaign. I never re-designed a logo. I mainly focused on creating helpful content for customers, knowing that would attract them to my business.

It’s what we now call Content marketing. You don’t have to pay for organic search clicks to your own site. But a small investment in strategic content (our average clients spends just 5% of what they spend on ads), can produce a compounding rate of return.

Replace Your Digital Ad Budget with Content Marketing

Because content marketing works for even the “least successful” content marketers.

As of 2020, 41% of even the low-performing content marketers surveyed said their content marketing successfully generates leads and ROI, compared to almost two-thirds for B2Bs with the best content:

Now, look at the massive gap between high- and low-performers as of last year.

Meanwhile, 29% of the low-performers said their content marketing generated sales and revenue, compared to three-quarters of high-performers.

It’s obvious from these stats and trends in Digital Marketing that businesses are investing more time, energy, and resources into their content marketing because they understand its value. They get that digital ads don’t work and they need a real solution.

Not Just Any Content Marketing Will Do

I get it. Digital ads are appealing because they look highly targeted, and the “clicks” start flowing in right away. But it’s all a charade. Content marketing is genuinely targeted because it uses empathy and brand storytelling— but also delivers traceable ROI.

Ads don’t work because potential customers don’t click them. Bots do. In fact, a quarter of people use ad blockers, so you’re already doomed. (Sorry if this video forces you to watch an ad!!!)

Customers do, however, click organic search results targeted to their query, pain point, and interest.

What are you more likely to click for help building your social media strategy…

…one of these useful blogs from an authoritative site?

…maybe one of these interesting scholarly articles?

…or one of these annoying paid ads?

The choice is obvious. It’s clear content marketing delivers trackable results and digital ads don’t work. Trust me, you won’t miss them when they’re gone.

Admit Digital Ads Don’t Work and Start Building Your Content

Hopefully by now you’re ready to stop living in denial, admitting to yourself and your brand that digital ads don’t work.

Digital ads just don’t deliver any real revenue—they cost a literal fortune, and soon, the whole operation will implode. So, will you be holding the bag?

Make 2021 the year you go all-in on content: blogs, eBooks, videos, infographics. You can still create targeted content to reach your audience. Content is simply more sustainable and delivers better revenue.

Which has produced more ROI for you so far this year? Don’t make excuses for Google to keep taking your marketing budget. Make the switch to content.

Take the first step now and browse Content Builder Services to see how can help your brand deliver 7x ROI and 138% YoY organic search traffic. Can your digital ads do that?

The post Digital Ads Don’t Work And Everyone Knows It appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.

Companies today can use chatbots for their online business to instantly communicate with customers and resolve their issues on multiple platforms, such as Facebook or their online store.

Online shopping doesn’t follow a single path. Enter “conversational commerce,” or businesses and buyers connecting through messaging apps.

These round-the-clock bots use AI to infer customers’ preferences and create a valuable, individualized shopping experience.

Learning how to set up your business for conversational commerce isn’t always clear since bot technology is still developing. To help sellers out, we’ve created this guide to cover everything from defining exactly what a chatbot does to measuring your bot’s ROI.

Apply this knowledge to your online business, and you’ll be set to launch your first bot. With this new technology, your business can immediately meet customers’ wants to create a personal and helpful shopping experience.

What is a Chatbot?

A chatbot is a computer program that simulates conversation with human users to complete some sort of service.

Chatbots for online business can improve customer experience due to quick response rate and immediate help.

Chatbots for e-commerce companies are typically designed to:

  • Complete buyers’ purchases
  • Offer buyers product recommendations
  • Provide customer support
  • Execute tasks

Even with this list of functions, it might be difficult to imagine how online sellers use chatbots since the technology is relatively new. Here are a few examples of how e-commerce chatbots can help businesses connect with their customers:

HelloFresh

HelloFresh’s chatbot not only answers questions asked by its users, but also shares discount offers to relevant prospects.

The bot, Brie, redirects you to the company’s Hero Discount Program page when you ask for a discount. Obviously everyone loves to save money, but add the benefit of instant access and minimal research and you’ll have some happy campers.

HelloFresh-demonstrates-successful-use-of-chatbots-for-online-inquiries

Sephora

Does your business utilize scheduling portals? Check out what Sephora’s been up to. Their Messenger chatbot allows customers to schedule in-person services such as makeovers or facials.

Sephora uses a Facebook Messenger chatbot for online business sales.

Through a series of basic questions such as preferred location, type of service, and available appointment dates, Messenger pulls the name and email of the customer and sets them up for their appointment.

By using Messenger, Sephora opens up a whole new stream of prospective customers without having a salesperson even pick up the phone.

H&M

The clothing brand H&M created a chatbot that asks users questions about their style and offers photo options for users to select. With this information, the bot creates a fashion profile of each user to make outfit suggestions and direct the user to purchasing the clothing.

H&M uses an AI chatbot on Kik to ask their customers questions about their style to customize their experience.

Users can also create their own outfits and browse and vote for other users’ outfits on the bot for an interactive shopping experience.

All of these brands show that chatbots are more than just computer programs in e-commerce — they’re a way to create helpful, enjoyable shopping experiences for buyers. Customers today recognize the usefulness of this technology and are ready to integrate bots into their online shopping.

Why Bother with Chatbots for Your Online Business?

Conversational commerce isn’t just a cool-sounding concept — user research shows that buyers are more ready and willing than ever to shop online with bots. Here are a few reasons why your online business should be using a messaging app to host a bot and boost sales.

People Are Increasingly Using Messenger Apps

Just as the number of social media users keeps growing, so does that of instant messengers.

Chart details that messenger apps are becoming increasingly popular which tells businesses to lean into chatbots.

Globally, there are over 2.5 billion people using mobile messaging apps, with WhatsApp and Messenger being the leaders. By 2023, that number is expected to be over 3 billion.

Using chatbots puts your business where plenty of customers are, so your brand stays visible and more buyers have purchase opportunities.

People Want to Shop with Messenger Apps

People aren’t just using messenger apps to chat with friends — they’re also excited about shopping with brands’ bots. Here are a few stats to show buyers’ willingness to shop with messenger apps:

  • 62% of consumers would prefer to use a customer service bot rather than waiting for human agents to answer their requests.
  • 82% of consumers claim that instant responses to their questions are critical when contacting brands.
  • 24/7 service of chatbots is most preferred, but when it comes to more complicated issues, human interactions are preferred.
  • 66% of consumers report more confidence in their purchase decision when a company is active in messaging apps.

These high figures show that a large chunk of buyers trust chatbots as a way to interact with businesses. These numbers are only expected to grow, so adopt a messaging app now to meet the increasing bot demand.

Rather than trying to replace all of your tasks with a chatbot, start small and test your options.

More Businesses Are Using Bots

E-commerce is a competitive space — with so many other merchants, you have to stay ahead by tracking other sellers’ activity to see how they’re reaching their customers. Right now, the data shows that merchants are embracing bots.

By 2024, global consumer retail spend via chatbots is expected to reach $142 billion (up from just $2.8 billion in 2019).

Messaging apps aren’t just a quick fad—more and more businesses are integrating chatbots to serve their customers in the long-term. Adding messaging app technology to your business now will allow you to support your buyers efficiently and personally instead of falling behind your competitors’ levels of service.

How Do Chatbots Work?

Before you add a chatbot to your business, it’s important to understand how this technology works. Understanding the different types of bots out there will allow you to generate one that serves your online business’ needs.

Chatbots work through two systems. The first type functions based on a set of rules, and the second type functions using machine learning.

Rule-Based Chatbots

Chatbots that function based on a set of rules are restrictive. They can only respond to specific commands rather than interpreting a user’s language.

A graphic showing two examples of chatbots, rule-based and AI.

Rule-based chatbots are great if users are only expected to have simple questions that refer to a limited set of information. They’re also more financially accessible and don’t require as much programming.

AI Chatbots

Chatbots that function through machine learning use AI to handle a wide range of conversations and requests from users. Instead of only responding to specific commands, AI chatbots can interpret a user’s language to understand and meet their needs.

Tidio uses AI powered chatbots to help businesses with online tasks such as customer support, sales and troubleshooting.

AI chatbots make sense if you want to handle complex queries and comments from users, such as a user asking for a product recommendation or checking inventory.

Whether you opt for the simpler rule-based chatbot or advanced AI chatbot all depends on what you’d like your chatbot to do. If you only want your bot to handle simple customer service requests, a rule-based chatbot may do the trick. With that said, most e-commerce merchants would benefit from the more advanced AI bot that can learn about customers’ preferences to encourage more purchases and provide personalized service.

How Do I Build a Chatbot for my Business?

You may feel too intimidated to launch your first chatbot if you know little to nothing about programming — don’t worry! There are plenty of platforms out there for building chatbots that accommodate all skill levels.

To get started, here is a list of a few bot-building platforms. Some require basic coding, but many have basic drag-and-drop models for those without programing experience. We’ll list the required skills needed for each platform and the channels where the platform can publish your bot, such as Facebook or a Shopify store.

Facebook (Meta) Messenger

Facebook Messenger offers a Messenger Platform for building bots to publish on, of course, Messenger. The platform does require basic to advanced coding skills, though it does offer a design kit with drag-and-drop elements for UI prototyping. The Messenger Platform is free to use.

With the Messenger Platform you can build chatbot messaging solutions that allow you to connect to your customers, potential customers, and followers.
Once you’ve created your bot on Messenger Platform, you can release it to the public by following this guide to submit to Facebook. Any Messenger bot can be launched through the Messenger app.

  • Coding skills: Basic to none
  • Price: Free
  • Bot mediums: Facebook Messenger

For more assistance in building your Messenger bot, check out this list of integrative platforms that can help streamline the process for you.

Tidio

Tidio provides a conversational AI chatbot that is easy to use and fully customizable.

Tidio uses NLP in their AI powered chatbots for online businesses for a better user experience.

What we liked most about Tidio is their resource bank of 35 templates and 16 different triggers for bots, making it seamless to get started for any business.

  • Coding skills: None
  • Price: Free option or Premium plan starting at $19/mo
  • Bot mediums: Facebook Messenger, MailChimp, Zapier, etc

Wati.io

WATI is an AI chatbot best suited for companies based on WhatsApp for communication needs.

WATI uses WhatsApp platform to power their visual and customizable chatbot experience for online businesses.

You can also record and send videos through WhatsApp whenever you need a visual aid to help with customer experience.

  • Coding skills: None
  • Price: Standard plan starting at $49/mo
  • Bot mediums: (primary) WhatsApp; (unofficial) Google Sheets, Shopify, Zapier, etc.

How Do I Measure My Bot’s ROI?

It’s not enough to build and launch a chatbot — buyers won’t chat with your bot if it’s not helpful or engaging. Roughly 40% of users will stop chatting with a bot after the first message, and 25% will stop chatting after the second.

To ensure that your bot is actually benefiting your buyers and driving sales, you have to measure its activity with chatbot analytics. This data includes basic metrics that indicate your bot’s helpfulness, like engagement and retention rates, as well as advanced metrics to measure sales conversions.

You can begin collecting analytics on your bot by either using analytics tools offered in some of the bot-building platforms, or you can tie your bot to an outside bot analytics platform.

These platforms offer basic metrics, like tracking your bot’s conversations amount and total users, to identify and understand your bot’s level of reach and engagement with users.

Outside Platform Analytics

For advanced metrics, consider using a third-party analytics service to integrate with your bot. These providers are solely focused on analytics, so they can track a ton of deep insights on your bot. They’re also useful for analyzing bots across multiple mediums.

Here are a few third-party analytics services to consider:

  • Chatbase: Google’s chatbot analytics platform Chatbase shows basic metrics, like active users and conversations, as well as advanced metrics, such as a Funnels report to indicate conversions.

The success of chatbots for online businesses can be measured using analytics platforms that show bot-based sales.
If your bot is able to facilitate orders, this Funnels report is especially useful as a way to track bot-driven sales.

Chatbase is free to use, and it can integrate with any chatbot platform, such as Facebook Messenger, as well as voice assistants, like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

  • Taplytics: Instead of solely focusing on bots, this analytics provider focuses on entire web and mobile user experiences.

The success of chatbots for online businesses can be measured using engagement rates.
Its comprehensive reporting is useful for understanding your bot if you’re planning on embedding it into your online store or app, rather than just launching it on a messaging app. Taplytics can track the engagement rate of users with your bot in different locations of your site and app. With these insights, you can determine which placement creates the most personal and useful shopping experience on your app and online store.

  • Botanalytics: This analytics service supports 13 chatbot platforms and assistants, including Facebook Messenger, and Twitter. It takes a deep dive on basic metrics by identifying the best re-engagement times for users and the most commonly used conversation phrases.

The success of chatbots for online businesses can be measured using analytics platforms to show most common phrases used.

Botanalytics also allows you to measure the conversion rates of conversation goals you’ve set. For example, you can measure your bot’s purchasing completion rates. The service offers a free plan with limited reporting, a $99/month plan with conversion funnel and conversation segmentation reporting, and a $349/month plan with customized reporting.

It’s Just the Beginning for Bots

Talking to a robot sounds foreign, cold, and impersonal. And yet, chatbots have made many brands more human and approachable to buyers. These bots are personal in remembering customers’ preferences and are convenient as a 24/7 service.

As long as companies are upfront about bots being technology and not actual people, this technology is a surprisingly intimate and useful way to communicate with buyers.

It’s up to you as a merchant to figure out how your company’s chatbot can easily reach and serve your key customers. Figure out which chat platforms your buyers use most frequently, and track your bot analytics to understand how the technology can better serve your customers.

The more you gear your bot towards your buyers, the more surprised you’ll be at your bot’s human-like, personal customer service.

Enhance your E-commerce Marketing Strategy with great content

The team at Marketing Insider Group can deliver you optimized, ready-to-publish content every single week for one year (or more!). To learn more, check out our SEO Blog Writing Service or schedule a quick 15 minute consultation with me to get started.

The post Everything You Need to Know About Chatbots in E-commerce appeared first on Sellbrite.

The post Chatbots For Online Business: Everything You Need To Know appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.

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An Action Plan For Embracing Change written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Jason Feifer

Jason Feifer, a guest on the Duct Tape Marketing PodcastIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Jason Feifer. Jason Feifer is the editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur magazine and the author of the book — Build for Tomorrow: An Action Plan for Embracing Change, Adapting Fast, and Future-Proofing Your Career.

Key Takeaway:

The moments of greatest change can also be the moments of greatest opportunity. We experience change in four phases. The first is panic. Then we adapt. Then we find a new normal. And then, finally, we reach the phase we could not have imagined in the beginning, the moment when we realize that we wouldn’t go back. In this episode, I talk with the editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur magazine, Jason Feifer, about how to make change happen on your own terms.

Questions I ask Jason Feifer:

  • [1:19] What does an editor-in-chief at a magazine actually do?
  • [3:23] Your book is essentially about embracing change, and there are four phases. As I was reading I saw panic and adaptation, and that sort of reminded me how that’s exactly what we’ve been doing these last two years — right?
  •  [6:28] Would you say that when you read and write things you’re always looking to answer the question – “where’s the insight in this?”
  • [10:30] You talk about the payoff for change being – you wouldn’t go back. Could you describe that idea and then share what a wouldn’t go back moment for you?
  •  [13:35] What would you say is one of the greatest benefits of change?
  • [19:24] What do you mean by future-proofing your career?
  •  [23:54] Where can people connect with you, learn more about your work, and grab a copy of your book?

More AboutJason Feifer:

  • JasonFeifer.com
  • Connect with Jason on LinkedIn
  • Connect with Jason on Instagram

More About The Agency Workshop:

  • Apply for the Agency Workshop

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John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Marketing Against the Grain, hosted by Kip Bodner and Keion Flanigan is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals. Look, if you wanna know what’s happening now in marketing, what’s ahead and how you can stay ahead of the game, this is the podcast for you, host and HubSpot’s, CMO and SVP of Marketing. Kip and Keion share their marketing expertise unfiltered in the details of truth and like nobody tells it. Fact. A recent episode, they titled Half Baked Marketing Ideas They Got Down In the Weeds, talked about some outside of the box campaigns with real businesses. Listen to marketing, its grain wherever you get your podcasts.

(00:55): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Jason Feifer. He’s the editor in chief of Entrepreneur Magazine and the author of a book we’re gonna talk about today, build for Tomorrow, an action plan for embracing change, adapting fast and future proofing your career. So Jason, welcome to the show. Hey, thanks for having me. Appreciate it. So I’ve always wondered what is an editor in chief at a magazine Actually do it. It is confusing. I mean all of media is confusing to people. I totally understand that. So I mean, look, it’s a little bit different at every publication, but generally speaking, an editor in chief is responsible for the editorial direction of either the whole brand or you know, at least certain parts of it. And in my case, that means that I am directly overseeing the day to day operations of the print magazine.

(01:54): I also am very involved in the editorial direction of digital, though we have a digital director who’s involved, who’s really running that day to day. And then I’m involved in very high level decisions about the brand more broadly. And I, I work very closely with the ad sales team. I’m often on calls meeting with clients and I’m also the face of the brand. So I’ll go out and represent the brand on television or radio or in podcasts like this. So that’s, you know, that’s what it means. Basically I’m, you know, part of, I’m part a director of brand, I don’t know, connection. I’m trying to come up with corporate language here, but I don’t, you know, I don’t really know. But basically I’m the guy who decides what we should be covering and why and the tone and feel of the brand. Yeah, so you might be the one saying, you know what, sometime in the next quarter we need to do an issue on AI or something like that.

(02:46): Yeah, that’s exactly right. And then what are those stories exactly gonna be and who should we assign to write them? And now that they’ve come in, let me read through that, you know, and give feedback and work with the other editors to make sure that everything is really up to stuff. And also make sure that, that I’ve set the tone for, you know, well if we’re gonna do a thing about AI then we gotta make sure we have a nice mix of these stories and who’s gonna be on the cover and now I gotta go negotiate with some publicist about which celebrity we’re gonna put on and on. And you were, uh, as if Memory serves me, you were a fast company in that capacity at some point as well. I was not as editor in chief, I was a senior editor of Fast Company.

(03:21): Yeah. So that, you know, sort of in the middle of the totem pole there. Okay. So let’s talk about your book. I’m gonna jump right into the middle of it. You talk about change, which essentially that’s what the book’s about, right? Part of the subtitle Embracing Change, you, you talk about it in four phases, panic, where do I have it? Panic, adaption, new Normal wouldn’t go back. And it’s funny, but as I read that component, I was like, well that’s exactly what we’ve been doing the last two years, isn’t it? It sure is and, and I, and that’s exactly where the observation came from, was watching how everybody went through the same change at the same time that started the Pandemic and then all I think went through the same emotional journey but all diverged quite radically in how they responded to it. Yeah. What’s interesting about that is, I mean, rarely do we get the chance to experience that so sharply and maybe in such a quick timeframe, right?

(04:12): I mean often, I mean, change is happening to us all the time, but in sometimes it’s just so slow we don’t really perceive it. So, so that was a great exam. I mean that was a great sort of laboratory, if you will, for, you know, how it actually happens, wasn’t it? Yeah, it sure was. And it was incredibly instructive. I had gone into the pandemic thinking a lot about this subject and I had come to this conclusion that the thing that drives success more than anything else is somebody’s ability to be adaptive. But I hadn’t quite gotten down to what they’re doing and my big theory of the case, and that really came because of the pandemic. And in particular, funny enough, it came because, you know, I had mentioned a minute ago that I have to go on all these or have to, is not the right phrase.

(04:59): It is my pleasure to go on all these sales calls with entrepreneurs, sales team talking to clients. And I was being asked all the time during those calls, especially in the first year of the pandemic, well what is, you know, what’s on entrepreneurs’ minds and what are they doing and how are they reacting? And because people kept asking me, I was trying to come up with a kind of simple narrative of what it is that I was seeing. And as I told this story over and over again, it just sort of coalesced into this little four phases of change thing. And as I said it, people responded very positively and said, you know what, that makes a lot of sense. And I started to share it with entrepreneurs who were going through major changes or had gone through major changes and they said, yeah, I think you’re really right about that.

(05:40): So I started to try to map on top of that all the lessons and insights that I was gathering from people and it just felt like a real progression of, of what the experience was. And I came over with a couple things from that, but one of the big ones was how incredibly powerful it is to be able to take observations and turn it into narrative form. That when you’re trying to share insights and information with people, whether it’s in a sales call or a book or anything in between, being able to map insights on top of a story is incredibly valuable because it helps people understand conceptually what you’re talking about. And it also helps them find themselves within your story. And that’s where I think you can really hook them and start to have more interesting conversations. Well, you probably have become possibly become more aware of that in the editorial copy that you write, that you read I’m guessing, is you start looking for those, like where’s the insight in this?

(06:39): Oh yeah, all the time. I mean, I am obsessed with how my theory of media for whatever it’s worth is that I don’t think that anybody wants to read a magazine. I don’t think that anyone wants to read a book. I don’t think that anyone wants to listen to a podcast. I think what they want is valuable information that they can use and or a useful experience, right? Right. I mean, sometimes people are just doing things for entertainment and that’s fine, it’s an escape or whatever the case is. But you have to be aware that the medium by itself is not the reason that people come. Nobody picks up the magazine because they love a magazine. They pick up a magazine because they love useful information and a magazine just happens to be a good delivery mechanism for them. So I try to take that insight and really remind myself of it on a minute by minute basis.

(07:25): So if I’m having a conversation with somebody or if I’m, you know, if I’m on stage being asked questions, I understand that even if you’re asking a question about me, you’re really asking a question about yourself. So I better in my answer, make sure that I’m taking insights and then turning them back and making them useful to you. Um, it’s, it’s why, you know, if you ask me on this podcast, you’re welcome to. So sort of personal question I’ll answer it. But what I’ll try to do is instantly search for the way in which whatever you asked me, whatever I’m talking about myself, how can that offer some kind of insight for an audience? Like how could this be useful to you? Cause again, I’m thinking just like, I don’t think that you care about picking up a magazine. I don’t think you care about me or there’s no reason that somebody’s listening to this right now because they care about me.

(08:09): What they care about is that I might say something that’s useful to them and that’s great. That’s exactly how we all should think. So I and everybody else who creates any kind of content or anything that people consume, we should be very aware of that at all times. So, so now we are going to continue our show on cynicism. , it’s not cynicism it’s, but you know, it’s funny but people sometimes interpret it like that, but it’s not cynicism, it’s optimism. It what it is. It’s a belief that you have an audience that is deeply engaged in something powerful to them, right? Everybody is trying to build something for themselves and they should. And so what they’re doing is they’re going through the world looking for insights that can be useful to them. And we, we, as the people in front of them, in whatever way we’re in front of them, whether we’re trying to sell them something or market something to them or speak to them or write something for them, we have to be incredibly aware of what is so important to them so that we can make sure that we are paying off on that.

(09:05): It’s funny cuz I, that reaction that you gave is one that I get a lot when I say things like this, but I don’t mean to say that this is, this isn’t a cynical thing at all. This is like, know your value. Yeah. Because if you know your value, you can pay off to people incredibly well. Yeah. And I was completely getting, um, you know, I understand because it could be interpreted that way, but I’ve said for forever as a marketer, you know, nobody wants what we sell. They want the problem solved. And that’s really how we have, that’s absolutely the right framework to look at it. Are you an agency owner, consultant or coach that works with business owners? Then I want to talk to you about adding a new revenue stream to your business that will completely change how you work with clients.

(09:41): For the first time ever, you can license and use the Duct Tape Marketing system and methodology in your business through an upcoming three day virtual workshop. Give us three days and you’ll walk away with a complete system that changes how you think about your agency’s growth. The Duct Tape Marketing System is a turnkey set of processes for installing a marketing system that starts with strategy and moves to long-term retainer implementation engagements. We’ve developed a system by successfully working with thousands of businesses. Now you can bring it to your agency and benefit from all the tools, templates, systems and processes we’ve developed to find out when our next workshop is being held. Visit dtm.world/workshop, that’s dtm.world/workshop.

(10:31): Going back to these phases again. Yeah, I, my personal favorites panic, I mean I like the messy, but you, you’re talking about wouldn’t go back as really the payoff, you know, for going through the change.

(10:42): So maybe two, two part question here. Maybe describe that idea or that you know what’s in that and then maybe talk about, you know, put you on the spot a little bit. What’s a wouldn’t go back moment for you? Yeah, so wouldn’t go back is what I say is the real payoff of the four phases of change where you reach a moment where you say, I have something so new and valuable that I wouldn’t want to go back to a time before I had it. And what this really is recognizing that there was more than one way to do something and that in fact that these other ways that maybe you were forced into through some kind of crisis or disruption or that you were proactive in trying to figure out how to grow beyond whatever it is that you initially built. That this requires discovering something that wasn’t on your original roadmap, but that once you get there you recognize it has tremendous transformative transformational value.

(11:37): And, and one of the ways I think people can do that is to do what I like to call to reconsider the impossible, which is to basically take stock of the ideas that you had discarded because they possibly are actually the ones that are gonna be the most transformational. I think we all build these filters for ourselves and, and we say the good ideas are in here, the bad ideas are out there, but you know, those filters are faulty, they’re understandable. We can’t consider every idea at every moment of the day. We don’t have the time for it. But we have to recognize, especially as we build systems and we start to incentivize the people around us to, you know, do everything better, faster, and cheaper, that we also have to make sure that we’re building systems that take into account that, that people are gonna have new needs.

(12:18): That, that the way in which we operate is going to shift and change and we better make sure that we’re alert to how to be adaptive to that or else we’re gonna become irrelevant. You asked about me, I mean, one of the things that I, when I started at Entrepreneur Magazine, my background is in media. So I was at, as you mentioned, fast Company, but also me, men’s Health Maxim. I freelanced for everybody from GQ to Slate to whatever. And, and so I got to entrepreneur, I really thought of it as a media project. You know, I’m here to remake the magazine, I’m here to make media and, and then people, when I would go out into the world, they wouldn’t treat me as a media person. They would treat me as a thought leader in entrepreneurship. And I was deeply uncomfortable by that at first because, you know, I just did, I felt like a fraud.

(13:01): But eventually I realized there was a massive opportunity if I could just understand what it was that people wanted for me and also find the honest way in for myself. Because look, I’m not the guy who can tell you exactly how to grow your business from a, you know, $1 million company to a $10 million company to a hundred. That, that’s not me, that’s not my background. But my background is in people. I understand people, I understand how they think, I understand how they process information and I can take those lessons and I can turn them into value for other people. So I wanted to figure out where’s my place in all this and if I could do that, then I could remake the way that I think about myself and also seize the larger opportunity, which is really the reason I’m talking to you right now.

(13:43): Nobody asked me to write a book, nobody asked me to be on all these podcasts or to go, uh, you know, do keynote talks for companies. But that was the opportunity available and I wanted to make sure I was able to rise to meet it. What would you say is one of the greatest, ultimate benefits of change? I mean, sometimes change is hard, sometimes change hurts, sometimes change ends you up somewhere that wasn’t as lucrative, for example, as you previously were, but there’s a payoff isn’t there to going, having gone through that or can there be Oh, I think, yeah, certainly there can be, and I think that there often is, you know, I mean look, oftentimes when we’re talking about people navigating change is sometimes of their own making a decision. And a lot of times it is reactive. It’s that we were doing something for a long time and it stopped working and so we had to do something else.

(14:32): So look, part of part of the value of it is not drowning is is building this kind of knowledge that things are going to change into the way in which you operate so that you don’t leave yourself vulnerable to a disruption that is incredibly hard to overcome. That’s really the power here is to be thinking is the reason I called the book Build for Tomorrow, is like, what are you doing today that is anticipating tomorrow? Because Harvard Business Review ran this piece a couple years ago that asked this question, which is why do big companies stop innovating? And the answer that was offered was because big companies start with an innovation and then over time they shift all of their energy and all of their incentives towards efficiency. How do we make things better, faster and cheaper? And that’s fine, nothing wrong with efficiency, but the problem is that if top to bottom everybody’s incentivized towards efficiency, then nobody is thinking about how this company is gonna have to change because you know, your blockbuster and Netflix is coming along and that’s how you see complete destruction, not just disruption.

(15:41): So I think that’s one, one way to think about it. The other way to think about it is that, is that they’re, I think oftentimes we sell ourselves short. I think that successful people sell themselves short because they say, you know, maybe the reason why I have this level of success was some combination of luck and timing that doesn’t exist anymore and there’s just simply no way that I could recreate it. And I just don’t, I just don’t think that’s true. I think that’s a good, that’s a way in which people end up holding onto old things for too long. But if instead you give yourself some credit and you own some of your success, then you say, you know what? Maybe I have something here and I could build even more than I have right now. Or I could build even bigger. I could solve problems that I can’t just let sit around until they eat at the foundation that I’m standing upon.

(16:26): The more that we just accept that new does not equal bad, then the more I think we can liberate ourselves to try to build that new ourselves. Well, I mean in a way it sounds like you’re advocating that, you know, if somebody’s been in a job, been in a career, been doing something for, you know, a certain period of time, that it may still feel comfortable, but maybe you almost need to force change that to put yourself out there to say, Hey, I need to do new things because I’m starting to do mediocre. I mean, I think this is a concept to call work your next job that I think everybody should be doing. Whether you own your own company or you are working for someone else’s company work, your next job is to remind that in front of you you have two sets of opportunities.

(17:12): Opportunities set a opportunity, set B opportunity, set A is everything that’s asked of you. So you have a boss or you have clients, whatever it is, like your ability to deliver on their expectations is opportunity. Set a opportunity set B is everything that’s available to you that nobody’s asking you to do. And you know, that could be within the work structure you have that could also be outside where you say, oh, I like podcasts, maybe I should start a podcast. My belief and the way that I built my career and the way that I watch others do too is that I think that they, I believe that opportunities set B is always more important. Opportunities say A, you know, doing the things that are expected of you, those are not unimportant, you have to do those. But opportunity set B is where growth is gonna happen.

(17:58): That’s where you’re going open up additional opportunities that you hadn’t seen before. I mean, you know, you look at the greatest companies in the world and what they tended to do was start in a very narrow space, prove their model and their understanding of what their value was, and then start to expand outward from there by understanding what people need and therefore building that back into who they are. And companies transform as a result, right? What you’re watching is really people who are, uh, leaders who are recognizing that the greatest thing that they can do for their company is test something now so that they can understand what’s going to be of value tomorrow to people. There’s just, you know, look, there’s nothing wrong If you have something and it works for you, I’m not telling you to throw it away, that’s ridiculous. But what I am telling you is that the, there’s a high likelihood that the thing that you’re doing right now is simply not going to work as well tomorrow as it does today because the world changes.

(18:52): And if you don’t change with it, then you become outmoded slowly but surely. So let’s build that reality into what we do. Let’s build systems in which we’re recognizing what’s changing around us and then running little experiments. Let’s make sure that, you know, if we’re running a business, that we’re constantly talking to our customers and understanding where they are moving towards so that we can take those insights and build them back into the way that we serve them now. Because everything has to be an evolution. And if you don’t think of it that way, then you’re gonna be stuck in the past. Yeah, and you know, again, um, subtitle the book, future Proofing Your Career. I mean, what you’re talking about there is really, I mean there’s probably always gonna be a market out there somewhere for that plan B, bucket B stuff you’re working on, right?

(19:37): If it’s not appreciated where you are, that’s really how you, I mean, I’m guessing that’s an element of future proof proofing your career, isn’t it? Oh yeah, without question. And I think that you, if we’re just talking about individual people and individual careers and individual skill sets, then, you know, then, I mean just to simplify it then it’s so interesting because what, look, think about your own career or the careers people who you know you’re close with are very impressed by it. And what you’ll see is this kind of wacky zigzag, right? Where they did one thing and it led to something that seemed completely different, which led to something else. I mean, how am I running Entrepreneur Magazine? It, it’s not because of some straightforward path, it’s because of like all of these random roles that I held over time that, that, that have a logic to them because I worked at Men’s Health and that taught me this particular kind of writing style.

(20:25): And then, and then I went to Fast Company, which fine, I worked at a magazine, but really the value there was that I worked at the video team and, and I got in front of the camera and I learned how to present, which many years later, the CEO and president of Entrepreneur Media would see that stuff and say, oh, this guy can be a good representative of this brand and that helps us feel confident that he should be an editor in chief Chief. So the more in which we are embracing this little zigzag path, while being mindful that some of the greatest opportunities are the ones that we aren’t going to have anticipated, the more that we’re really clearing the way for success. Malcolm Gladwell told me, I interviewed him, you know, bestselling author and podcast her and all sorts of things. Malcolm Gladwell, he told me when we were speaking for the magazine a couple years ago, he said, self concepts are powerfully limiting.

(21:15): And I mean, I just, I love that so much. I wrote it down and stuck it on my wall. Self-conception are powerfully limiting that if you have two narrow a definition of yourself, then you will turn down all the opportunities that don’t meet that narrow definition and therefore you will actually limit your ability to grow. I try to take that to heart pretty much with everything that I do. His audiobook with Paul Simon right up there with one of my favorites. Malcolm Glad was what you just said is interesting though, because there’s a fine line between that idea of limiting yourself and staying focused on, you know, not just chasing every new thing that comes down, you know, and that’s, that’s the real trick is under, is understanding where to get off path, what to chase, what not to chase, where, how to stay focused. And I think that’s, that that’s the part that many people stumble and have trouble with.

(22:06): Yeah, I think you’re totally right and look, it depends upon your circumstance, right? I mean, I hear lots of different versions of that problem from, I’ve been speaking to a lot of college students lately and cuz of the book, I’m going to a sort of college tour and there was a kid at Drexel University who just came up to me and he was like, you know, he wants to do seven different things and they’re all like wildly different, you know, and so which one is he supposed to do? And, and I hear that and then I also hear companies who have 10 different ideas of what they should be doing right now is not the resources to pursue all 10 of them. And one of the, I mean look, there’s, there’s all sorts of ways to answer that question, but I think one of the foundational things to think about is it came from conversation I had with Katie Milkman who studies sort of how people change and make decisions at Wharton.

(22:55): She’s a professor there and she said, you know, one of the greatest mistakes that we make is that we think of everything that we do as permanent. And, and so, you know, she told me, she was like, look, this advice is not gonna sound revolution. It kind of is because people often overlook it, which is to just give ourself, give ourselves the permission to run experiments to, to simply think, you know, I’m going to try something and it might be of value and it might not be of value. And both of those are, okay, so let’s go into something and maybe let’s set a three, three month check in and a six month check in and see if there’s value here and if there is, let’s continue. And if not, maybe we move on to something else. But you know, there’s no fault in having tried it. The more that we can just think of what we’re doing as experiments, the more in which we give ourselves the freedom to just explore some of those avenues and see whether they’re worthwhile. But we have to pick some of them and we have to go down that path. It’s the only way to know whether there’s value there.

(23:53): Speaking with Jason Feifer, the author of Build for Tomorrow, Jason, you wanna tell people where they can connect with you, obviously in other than the mass head of the magazine, there are other places you might send people and of course to get a copy of your book as well. Yeah, sure. So built for Tomorrow, you can find in any format you like. So, uh, hardcover, audio book, ebook, what basically any retailer you like. So anyway, again, it’s built for tomorrow. And then otherwise my website is JasonFeifer.com. It’s got links to all sorts of stuff that I produce from podcasts to free audio guides and, and also you can find me on LinkedIn or Instagram where I’m extremely active and responsive. Awesome. Well thanks again for taking a moment to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing podcast and hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days out there on the road. Hey, appreciate it.

(24:38): Hey, and one final thing before you go. You know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that, what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the Marketing Strategy Assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co. Check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketingassessment.co. I’d love to chat with you about the results that you get.

This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network.

HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals who seek the best education and inspiration on how to grow a business.

What fractional CMOs can do for small businesses written by Editor read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Want to grow your business and position your brand for success? One of the greatest ways to do so is hiring a CMO or Chief Marketing Officer, an experienced, result-driven executive responsible for all your marketing efforts.

But with an average annual salary of over $330,000 many small to mid-sized businesses can’t easily afford a CMO. Facing tight budgets and strained resources, these companies must embrace the idea of the fractional CMO and outsource their marketing efforts if they want to grow.

That’s what I want to discuss today. What is a fractional CMO and the services they provide for small to medium-sized businesses.

a marketing consultant speaking on the phone

What is a Fractional CMO

Let’s start by explaining something a bit simpler; What is a CMO?

CMO stands for chief marketing officer, and it’s the job of the person who defines strategic direction and marketing implementation in a business. The concept of a Chief Marketing Officer comes from large enterprises, but it is a role that has grown exponentially in the last couple of years.

A fractional CMO is basically a part-time version of this position. Just like fractional accountants, fractional Chief Financial Officers, or fractional Chief Technology Officers, a fractional Chief Marketing Officer is an executive that leads the marketing strategy and execution of a company on a part-time basis.

Marketing

What is the difference between a marketing agency, a marketing coach, a consultant, and a Fractional CMO?

The number of options businesses have to get marketing help can be overwhelming. But if we focus on strategy and implementation, the choices you’ll come across are hiring a marketing agency, a marketing coach, a marketing consultant, or a fractional CMO.

chat of fractional cmo vs agency, consultant and marketing coach

Marketing Agency

A marketing agency is a company that serves various clients in one or more areas of marketing. Agencies sometimes get involved in strategy, but they often focus on the implementation side of the business. They are useful for companies that have a strategy already in place and need some extra help with execution.

Marketing Coach

A marketing coach normally assists business owners or marketing teams with training material, acting as an accountability partner and recommending strategic actions, but is not involved in the implementation at all.

Marketing Consultant

Marketing Consultants are experts in a specific field who help companies by giving advice and developing their marketing strategies. However, they outsource implementation to freelancers or an external marketing team.

Fractional CMOs are particularly relevant today because they have the strategic approach of a consultant, can execute as an agency, and act as a marketing coach for your team, while being accountable for delivering measurable results for your business.

Fractional CMO Responsibilities

A typical Fractional CMO has a mix of responsibilities, all designed to meet the needs of the companies they serve.

These can include:

  1. 1

    Defining Goals and Developing a Marketing Strategy

  2. 2

    Managing the Marketing Department

  3. 3

    Establishing Marketing Metrics and KPIs

  4. 4

    Increasing Sales and Revenue

  5. 5

    Act as a consultant for the marketing team

Defining Goals and developing a marketing strategy

strategy

A fractional CMO should be able to develop and communicate clear goals for the marketing team. And align those goals throughout the organization.

Fractional CMOs are also responsible for developing a brand’s marketing strategy (budget, vision, team makeup, customer journey, systems, and tactics). They must narrow the marketing focus to crucial marketing channels and formulate a winning and repeatable plan for the business.

Effective fractional CMOs can direct the strategy from a marketing standpoint. For example, they could help define the ideal clients, propose the best markets to target, and choose the most appropriate marketing channels that lead to more business.

This is the most important part of the role because it helps the company stand out from its competition in the minds of their ideal customer.

To develop a winning marketing strategy the fractional CMO should start with these four concepts;

  1. Identifying the brand’s ideal client
  2. Finding the problem the brand is trying to solve and promise to solve it
  3. Make content the voice of strategy and establish the brand as an authority online
  4. Create a complete buyer journey

Fractional CMOs looking for a proven system to help them grow

a marketing consultant speaking on the phone

Business owners looking to hire a fractional CMO to help them grow

Managing the marketing department

marketing team

Fractional CMOs may have their own team to implement the strategy or be responsible for managing an internal department. Hiring, managing, and sometimes promoting employees are commonly known responsibilities of a fractional CMO.

The job of a fractional CMO is one of the most challenging. The average CMO lasts just 40 months, so they have to be prepared to make an impact fast.

That’s why most fractional CMOs have their own implementation team, and based on our experience training successful marketing managers and consultants, having a network of professionals that can help you execute your plan is essential to achieving consistent growth as an agency.

The Duct Tape Marketing Agency Workshop certifies fractional CMOs to license the complete Duct Tape Marketing System for their agency. Completion of the workshop includes an invitation to a community of like-minded business professionals who come together for strategic partnerships, continued training and events.

Establishing Marketing Metrics and KPIs

Graphic showing marketing metrics and kpis

A fractional CMO is responsible for establishing clear marketing goals, metrics, milestones, and key performance indicators (KPIs). These are used to measure progress and determine if the marketing team is meeting the goals of their campaigns.

Some of the commonly known metrics for a marketing department are the number of qualified leads in a given period, sign-ups or appointments generated, lead conversion rates, lead-to-customer conversion, cost per lead, monthly recurring revenue, and others.

Metrics can help fractional CMOs understand the challenges, and therefore deliver consistent and long-term results.

Increasing sales and revenue

A Fractional CMO’s mission is to increase sales by developing an all-around marketing plan that will help the organization gain a competitive advantage and make more revenue. They are also responsible for overseeing how the marketing budget is spent and managing the quality of the marketing campaigns.

In today’s digital world, Fractional CMOs not only have to be proficient at strategy and execution, but they also need the communication and leadership skills required to motivate and inspire the marketing team and other cross-functional teams.

A vast experience and ability in fields like product marketing, content, brand & design, Pay-Per-Click advertising, paid social, and project management is highly relevant to succeed as a fractional CMO. Also an understanding of commonly used marketing tools like Google Analytics, HubSpot, Salesforce, Marketo, Mailchimp, and others.

Act as a consultant for the marketing team

consultant in a marketing tem

Successful chief marketing officers, both full-time and fractional, often have a strong sense of purpose and can implement a set of values within the organizations they serve. They are not just order takers, but they are strategists, consultants, and coaches.

Other responsibilities of a Fractional CMO are creating programs that support employees in different ways. For example, they could create and run mentorship programs or training for their team or their clients’ teams.

Fractional CMOs might also implement the marketing strategy with their own team of experts. This can be far more effective than attempting to spread out these tasks throughout your company, or creating and hiring a whole new department.

Fractional CMOs looking for a proven system to help them grow

a marketing consultant speaking on the phone

Business owners looking to hire a fractional CMO to help them grow

Did you miss our previous article…
https://www.sydneysocialmediaservices.com/?p=3690

We’re entering one of the biggest weeks and months of Facebook advertising for the year. Consider pulling back.

I’m not suggesting everyone should pull back. It’s just that this period of time isn’t ideal for everyone.

Let me explain…

What’s Happening?

As I type this, we’re a couple of days from Black Friday. Next week is Cyber Monday. Even when those “days” expire, there will be a push for sales throughout the rest of the year.

Some brands will be jumping into Facebook ads for the first time this year to increase sales. Some will be increasing their budgets.

The common theme here, though, is that you will be seeing ads for retail products at significant discounts.

Deals, deals, and more deals.

Who is This Bad For?

Look, if you’re an e-comm brand, this is your time of the year. Consumers are looking to buy gifts. People actually want to see your ads and will engage with them at a high rate.

That said, you may have trouble standing out in e-comm if you are unable to offer a discount. People are bargain shopping right now. Your ad will not stand out if you can’t offer a good deal.

Additionally, this is potentially a bad time to advertise if you aren’t an e-comm brand that can sell something that can be given as a gift.

B2B isn’t ideal. Service companies can be good if you offer gift cards. But otherwise, it could be a struggle.

Why Pull Back?

You may have trouble standing out right now if you can’t offer a discount and you aren’t selling a product that’s given as a gift. But beyond that, consider that the increased competition right now is likely to lead to an increase in CPM.

In other words, it’s going to get more expensive to reach your target audience. You’re already at a disadvantage, and now it’s more expensive to run the ads you’d normally run.

Suddenly, things aren’t looking so great.

What Should You Do?

First, don’t assume the worst. Early indications are that CPMs are down year over year. It may not get that bad.

Second, get creative. Consider all of the possible ways to position an ad to make you stand out, even if you can’t offer a discount and it’s not the prototypical gift.

Third, monitor your results. Keep a close eye on the CPM.

@jonloomer Two ways to check whether your Facebook ads CPMs are going up over time, leading to bad results. #facebookads ♬ Old School Boom Bap Hip-hop – Friends_House

But, most importantly, monitor your Cost Per Desired Action.

If the performance of your ads is suffering, you need to do something. You can’t just push through. Or, you can. But you may not want to waste that money.

Consider one of the following options:

1. Turn Off Certain Objectives.

Maybe you are running some ads for awareness, some for leads, and some for sales. Consider turning off one of the campaigns.

2. Lower Budgets.

You can keep doing what you’re doing, but simply lower the amount of budget you’ll burn through. Sometimes, you can’t risk turning off ads entirely if it will also turn off your revenue.

3. Go on Pause.

Depending on your brand goals, you may be best served to simply turn off your ads for now. Save that money and go back at it in January.

Your Turn

This period of time isn’t for everyone. Pulling back isn’t an acknowledgment of failure. In some cases, it’s the smart thing to do.

How will you be treating this period of advertising?

Let me know in the comments below!

The post Should You Pull Back Your Facebook Ads This Holiday Season? appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.

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Growing gratitude from the TopRank Marketing team Thanksgiving dinner image

Growing gratitude from the TopRank Marketing team Thanksgiving dinner image

As the U.S. celebrates Thanksgiving Day this week, we can all look back at another unique year of opportunities, challenges, and changes in the B2B marketing landscape.

Despite the challenges we’ve all faced, we’ve grown, adapted, and overcome, and now is an ideal time to look back on those parts of our lives for which we’re the most thankful this holiday week.

In 2022 our team here at TopRank Marketing has continued to expand, and we’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on thankfulness in both our professional and personal lives, continuing our annual traditional post sharing messages of gratitude.

Our ability to see and express gratitude even in challenging times can be especially meaningful and even replenishing.

Let’s take a moment to open our hearts and take in sentiments of thankfulness from our team.

What the TopRank Marketing Team is Most Thankful for in 2022

Jane Bartel

Director of Search & Content Marketing
Jane Bartel
This year I’m celebrating five years with TopRank Marketing, and am grateful to continue working with a team who takes such pride in their work. We are focused on making content marketing more data-informed, and it’s been inspiring to see all the ways my colleagues contribute to that process, and the truly impressive results that it produces for our clients.

My husband and I welcomed our first child last December. She’s healthy and goofy, and has enforced a certain balance in my life that I’m thankful for (and almost adjusted to).

Katelyn Drake

Director of Agency MarketingKatelyn Drake

I am beyond thankful that I’ve joined the smart, dedicated team at TopRank Marketing this year!

Personally, I am always thankful for family, friends that feel like family, and the entire village that surrounds me helping balance kiddos, work, life and my sanity (most of the time).

My Thanksgiving wish for all of us is that we find space to breathe, disconnect and enjoy the season!

Danielle Motley

Account ManagerDanielle Motley

Professional: The people. I’ve never worked at a company where the overall culture has been so positive and the people have been so friendly and kind.

Personal: I’m grateful that my personal passions are successfully evolving and my years of hard work are slowly but surely paying off.

LaTanya Williams

Social Media & Influencer Marketing CoordinatorLaTanya Williams

I am thankful for having the opportunity to work with an incredible team of professionals at Top Rank Marketing. I can’t say enough about how amazing they are! I’m also thankful to have time to spend with my family and a chance to build new friendships in my personal and professional life.

Lane R. Ellis

Social Media and Content Marketing ManagerLane Ellis

2022 held many new wonders and delights, a few challenges, all coming together to form a year I’m extremely thankful for.

I’m especially grateful for my wonderful family, friends, and associates.

Celebrating 21 years of marriage with my amazing wife Julie Ahasay tops my thankfulness list, along with the continuing joy of having my parents Konnie and Bob in my life, as well as my astounding and always-inspiring 105-year-old grandma Lilly Haldorsen, who still lives in her own house and gets out often.

I’m grateful for nearly 39 years of using the Internet, and thankful to still be able to run and mountain bike the beautiful trails of Duluth. I’m grateful to have been able to set a new longest-known cross-country ski streak of 202 days in a row, and for our loving cats Kukla Francis Oliver Ahasay and our new kittens Twister Laszlo Ellis and Arlo Gurthie Ellis.

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reach out and give the world and its endless opportunities a cozy wintery embrace, so here’s a big virtual hug to all of you I’m fortunate enough to know, lovely family and friends. Thank you.

Zack Armstrong

Senior Account ManagerZack Armstrong

I’m thankful for the opportunity to join the TopRank team and am excited to grow personally and professionally within the organization in the coming years.

Theresa Meis

Content StrategistTheresa Meis

I am eternally thankful for the privilege of watching my children grow into two of the most creative, kind, and hilarious people I know.

Mike Odden

Research Analyst

I am thankful for the opportunity to expand my knowledge of marketing that TopRank Marketing has given me over the years and the opportunity to work with such a great team.

Debbie Friez

Senior Manager, Social & Influencer MarketingDebbie Friez

Health and wellness top my thank you list again this year. I have been lucky to avoid the ‘Rona, as have many in my family. But, I also know so many who have had health struggles, and I hope they know my thoughts are with them.

I would be remiss if I didn’t say thank you to my TopRank Marketing team for all they do and for blessing me with the opportunity connect with amazing thought leaders. I get to learn from so many great minds and my world is better for it.

TopRank Marketing Gives Thanks For You

All of us at TopRank Marketing are grateful for you, and thank you for being the supportive fans, amazing clients, friends, and enthusiastic influencers that have allowed us to elevate B2B marketing and achieve personal, professional, and brand success.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sincerely,

The TopRank Marketing Team

The post Growing Gratitude: What the TopRank Marketing Team is Most Thankful For appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

How Often Should You Blog?

In the world of content marketing, the lifeblood of your program is content. Much of that content is in blog form. Blogs help you attract new clients by answering questions and providing insights on their challenges.

We believe strongly that blogging with consistency is necessary for content marketing to work. Frequency really does matter. But, exactly how often should you blog?

Publishing 2 – 4 times per week provides the highest results in terms of both traffic and conversions.

This is the answer according to the data we have seen from multiple studies, as well as much of our own client work across more than a dozen client websites in B2B, B2C, and with companies large and small.

So let’s start by looking at the cold, hard facts – the data on blogging frequency.

Quick Takeaways:

  • The more frequently you blog, the more traffic you tend to get, as a rule of thumb.
  • 2-4 posts per week is a magic number — it results in a noticeable increase in traffic for both B2B and B2C businesses.
  • Publishing more frequently also increases leads for B2B companies and Revenue in B2C
  • Longer content is great but consistency is better so spread out you capacity to meet weekly goals
  • Try blog writing services from professional writers to get timely, relevant content to your audience without having to spend your time creating content

The Rule of Small Changes

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”
~ Vincent Van Gogh

One of the things I learned early on in my career is that small things, done consistently can add up to great impact. Think about anything you might want to achieve in your life: becoming rich, losing weight, training for a marathon. All of these things are achievable with small changes applied consistently over time:

  • Want to be a millionaire? start saving $100 / week at age 25
  • Want to lose weight? Cut out 200 calories every day
  • Want to run a marathon? Star running for 10 mins every day and increase by just 1 minute every day for a year

Content marketing is the same. Start by publishing 1-2 great articles every single week for a year and you’ll see massive changes:

(From our most recent case study)

Start with Data

To understand how the frequency of blogging impacts its effectiveness, it’s always a good idea to start with data. HubSpot looked at blogging data from over 13,500 companies to try to answer this question. The results they provided are pretty straight forward in linking frequency and increased traffic and leads. Let’s dig a little deeper.

When you are creating your content marketing plan, a key element is how often you will publish blogs. You may think you can just pick a number randomly and that will be enough. Blogging frequency, however, is a bit more complex than that.

According to the data, companies that published 4 blog posts per week or more received 3.5 times the traffic compared to companies that blogged less than 1 times per week.

So, that’s a sound argument for being very prolific on your blog. However, there are other factors that the research looks at related to the size of the company and the differences between B2B and B2C businesses.

Does Company Size Matter?

Next, HubSpot broke down some data points based on company size.

For companies with 10 or fewer employees, they drove more traffic with around 11 blogs per month versus those that published less than 11. Those that published more than 11 blogs a month had almost three times the traffic than those publishing only one blog a month and twice as much as those that wrote two to five posts a month.

For companies that have 11 to 25 employees or over 200 employees, the magic number was again 11. When they published more than 11 posts per month, they received 3.5 times the traffic versus those that only blogged once a month.

Companies with 26 to 200 employees that publish more than 11 blogs a month had about two times the traffic compared to those that only had one blog published.

B2B vs. B2C

The blogging frequency of B2B companies versus B2C companies was also reviewed. The research presented that for B2C companies, there was a consistent correlation between the number of posts and traffic to the site.

The results for B2B companies was more complicated. The data did show a positive association between frequency and traffic. When looking at companies that only blogged six to 10 times a month, they only had a slightly larger traffic pull than those that published one blog post.

The real difference was when the companies published 11 or more blogs, which drove the traffic to the site three times more than those only blogging once.

The Impact of Monthly Blog Posts on Leads

Creating great content is the attraction for leads. While the quantity of content has been shown to be associated with higher traffic, the quality of the content matters as well. Let’s look at the findings and how they affect leads.

Company Size, Frequency, and Lead Generation

Overall, companies that published 16 or more posts a month had 4.5 times more leads generated versus those that published four or less. Then the study breaks down the lead potential by company size:

Companies with one to 10 employees and 11 to 25 employees: The best return for these size companies on leads was publishing 10 or more blogs a month. At 11 or more, they were able to generate twice as many leads as companies publishing only six to 10 blogs.

Companies with 26 to 200 employees: Blogging at least 11 times for these companies produced about 2.5 times the leads than those publishing three or fewer blogs.

Companies with over 200 employees: The ideal number for this size company was six or more blogs monthly. For these companies, they were able to capture 1.75 times more leads than their counterparts that only wrote five or fewer blogs.

B2B vs B2C

Overall, both B2B and B2C companies attracted more leads the more blogs they posted. B2C companies posting 11 or more blogs per month received more than four times than those that distributed four to five blogs.

For B2B brands, the differences were smaller but still relevant. For those blogging 11 or more times, they received 1.75 times the leads versus those blogging six to 10 times a month and around 3.75 times more than those blogging three or fewer times a month.

Total Number of Blog Posts and Traffic: What’s the True Effect?

Next, the HubSpot report looked at the total number of blog posts of the companies and how that influenced traffic to their sites. Overall, more blogs did equal more traffic. The key amount was around 400 blogs. If a blog had more than 400 total posts, it received approximately twice as much traffic as blogs with 301 to 400 posts.

Creating 400 blog posts may seem like a difficult number to reach, but if you are publishing consistently in the 10 to 15 range, then you’d see this isn’t impossible over a few years. Blogs with over 400 posts are likely to be ones that have been around for a while. This data also offers a clear reason not to delete old blogs. Instead, you can always update them as more information becomes available.

Company Size and Total Blog Posts

The study broke down the data for the number of blog posts by company size as well.

Companies with 10 or fewer employees: These brands saw a boost of traffic around the 300 mark. When they had 300 or more posts, they were able to generate 3.5 times more traffic than those with 50  to 0 blogs.

Companies with 11 to 25 employees: This size company also received the best results at 300 or more blogs, bringing in 2.75 times more traffic than those with 150 or fewer blogs.

Companies with 26 to 200 employees: 300 was again the right number. They received 1.5 times more traffic with 300+ blogs versus those that had fewer than 150.

Companies with 200 or more employees: Larger companies also enjoyed more traffic with 300 or more blogs, garnering two times more traffic than those with less than 300 posts.

B2B vs B2C

Again, both types of businesses saw increases in site visits when they had 400+ blog posts. B2C companies had 2.5 times more traffic than those with 300 to 400 posts, while B2B companies also had 2.5 times more traffic than their counterparts that had 200 or fewer posts.

Total Number of Blog Posts Correlation to Leads

The study also looked at the correlation between number of blog posts and actual leads, not just traffic. Companies that published 400 or more posts received over three times the leads versus companies with less than 100 blogs.

There were also differences in the number of leads based on the size of the company. Companies with less than 10 employees publishing 300 or more blog posts had 3.5 times the amount of leads than those with fewer than 50 published posts.

Companies with 11 to 25 employees with 300 or more blog posts got more than two times the leads versus those with 151 to 300 posts.

For companies with 26 or more employees, they also had more leads but not as much as smaller companies. They were likely to capture 1.5 times more leads with 300 or more blog posts compared to those that published 25 or less.

In the difference between B2B and B2C companies, B2C companies had the edge, generating 4.5 times more leads when they had 400 or more posts compared to those with 100 or less total posts. B2B companies with over 400 blog posts delivered three times as many leads than those B2B brands with 200 posts or less.

I’ve summarized this data on this chart to show the correlation between frequency, traffic and conversions:

What Does All this Data Mean?

Consistent, regular publishing does seem to increase site traffic and leads. This doesn’t mean that quantity is always better than quality. While it is good to have a large library of posts, they still need to be well crafted and be meaningful to your audience.

So, what other data or research can corroborate these findings and add more insight? Let’s look at a 2018 Survey of 1,000+ bloggers from Orbit Media with analysis from expert Andy Crestodina, who is an esteemed colleague.

Why Are Some Blogs More Successful than Others?

That is the question that Andy tries to answer in his analysis of data. The survey consisted of asking bloggers specific questions grouped into three sections:

  • Length, Time, and Frequency
  • Process and Measurement
  • Content Formats, Original Research, and Promotion

For the topic of frequency, we’ll look at the first section, which included these questions:

  • How long is your average blog?
  • Home much time do bloggers spend on an article?
  • How often do you publish blogs?

The data points that are of real interest to frequency relay to question three. First, Andy notes that blogging frequency has been in a gradual decline over the last five years. In 2014, the most frequent answer was “several times per week.” Now, the answer changed to “several times a month.” The percentage of bloggers that publish every day has declined by half in this time period.

This decline could be because the survey also found that bloggers spend more time crafting a blog than they did in 2014. Thus, if a blogger spends more time per blog, it would make sense they would publish less.

Here is the full frequency of blogging results:

  • More than daily: 2%
  • Daily: 2%
  • Two to six posts a week: 18%
  • Weekly: 21%
  • Several times a month: 23%
  • Monthly: 15%
  • Less than monthly: 5.7%
  • Irregular intervals: 15%

However, nothing in the data associates fewer blogs with more benefits. The next analysis looks at the percentage of bloggers that reported “strong results” by publishing frequency.

Overall, bloggers who publish weekly were 2.5 times more likely to report “strong results” than bloggers publishing monthly or less.

The full set of data was as follows:

  • More than daily: 68.8%
  • Daily: 62.5%
  • Two to six posts a week: 42.5%
  • Weekly: 32%
  • Several times a month: 23.1%
  • Monthly: 17.5%
  • Less than monthly: 12.9%

The data from this study does make some connection between frequency and benefits. “Strong results” could be interpreted many ways and isn’t as exact as the Hubspot research which successfully linked high volume and frequency to site traffic and leads.

Quality vs. Quantity

This has been an ongoing debate in the marketing community. The data just shared above certainly endorses that quantity is a big indicator of success. Some would argue that with high frequency, there is no way to keep up the quality. That’s a false assumption.

One of the most important things to do is to find a content ROI formula that works for your business as far as quantity is concerned. Then once you have identified what type of quantity you need to be at based on factors like your company size, B2B vs B2C, and industry, you have to put a plan in motion to scale content production.

chart showing the roi of content

You may think that you don’t have enough ideas to increase the volume of blogs post created. Where will you find inspiration? There are specific tactics to take to expand your blog content ideas:

  • Activate your experts by asking them what topics are most on trend or what’s new or forthcoming
  • Tap into your sales team to find out what prospects and customers ask about most
  • Look into existing research in your field
  • See what your competitors are writing about
  • Refresh old content

These are ways to ensure you have both quantity and quality because there’s plenty of blogs out there that have no value. They suffer from SEO stuffing, false narratives, and no supporting arguments.

Yet, we still keep hearing from experts to create less content; but even experts change their mind. In a post for Buzzsumo, Steve Rayson argues that the “future is more content.”

He makes this strong point based on some compelling data. The Washington Post publishes about 1,200 posts a day, which is way beyond what any non-publishing brand would be able to write. While Steve initially thought this type of quantity would dilute their traffic, this was an erroneous assumption. In fact, The Washington Post saw its web traffic grow by 28%.

This new approach to increasing content was actually put in place by the Post’s owner and Amazon chief, Jeff Bezos. This trend of more is universal. The number of Google indexed pages grew by more than 100 trillion in four years to 130 trillion in 2016. The number of indexed pages is no longer noted on the How Search Works Google page, but it’s certain that this number has increased significantly.

So why is more content the way to go? Steve offers some points that are hard to argue with that align with the Post’s strategy.

First, the Post and those with a similar strategy still care very much about quality. Steve notes in his post that science-related publications are also creating more content. There are over 28,000 scholarly peer-reviewed journals publishing over 2.5 million new scientific papers each year.

There is also the emerging trend of automated content, which includes algorithm-driven content. There are better tools available now for publishing and distributing content. Internet access and literacy rates continue to rise meaning more people can consume content. It’s also less costly to create content now than years ago. All these points are a huge catalyst for more content.

But is blogging frequency really indicative of success? Is it all just convenient data to make a point? Who has a contradictory view?

The Ideal Blogging Frequency Doesn’t Exist

That’s the statement from the experts at Moz, who certainly have a lot of expertise and experience in content. So, we should probably hear them out.

The folks at Moz think a lot of the data supporting higher frequency is misleading. They argue that correlation and causation should be totally separate. Basically, they say that frequency doesn’t matter as much as these things:

  • Are the visits you are receiving because of more posts valuable? You could have a lot of traffic to your site, but those visitors may not be your ideal buyers and would never become a customer.
  • The data that’s been presented that aligns quantity with traffic and leads, what industries and sectors are they? If they aren’t in your industry, then it’s hard to say that the quantity would have the same correlation. If you’re a manufacturing company, you probably don’t have much use for data from retail brands.
  • Matching your goals and content schedule. If you are seeking to increase your viewership for a particular series, or drive traffic by writing about specific promos or events, then it makes sense to increase the frequency of blogs. However, if your goals are different and based on other elements like seasonality, then it may behoove you to publish less.
  • Consistency matters more than frequency. If you want a consistent audience, then you must also be consistent in your publishing. People get in the habit of coming to your blog and expecting new content.
  • Creating posts that attract more attention and are amplified is more beneficial than sheer frequency. If you have 11 posts that get an average number of views, that’s fine. But if you have less than 11 blogs, and several of those get lots of backlinks and shares on social media, then your traffic and leads will increase, not solely based on quantity.

So while I agree with these questions and concerns, they don’t present evidence against increasing blog post frequency. Just really good questions to ask about the data. In the end, we recommend you test it out for yourself. And listen to industry experts like The Media Captain:

How Often Should You Post?

Well, we’ve examined quite a bit of data and seen arguments from experts on both sides of the issue. So, simply put, how often should you post?

The very easy answer is, it depends! Quantity does have the ability to get your site hopping with visitors. However, you shouldn’t publish content just for the sake of saying you have more posts. You should align your frequency to your content goals, as well as consider what resources you have to create content. The size of your company, and whether it’s B2B or B2C, also matters.

Invest in Content for More Traffic and More Leads

What’s for sure is that you need to invest in content, and you can do that more effectively when you use a blog writing subscription service. A blog writing subscription service is one that delivers relevant content for your audience from professional writers. It’s high-quality content without any time investment from you. It’s on-demand content production.

There are lots of advantages to using such a service. You’ll save time and can be confident that the writers creating your content are qualified. All content will be optimized for SEO to increase your rankings in search. Plus, they come up with the content plan for you, which means it’s something you don’t even have to think about. Further, you can expect a quick turnaround and know that the work is 100% original and error-free.

Build awareness of your brand, attract new customers, and connect more deeply with your readers when you use a blog writing subscription service. Once you have blog content published consistently, you can then look at your own data to identify what the “perfect” frequency of blogging is from your specific company.

If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content that’s consistently published, check out our Content Builder Service. Set up a quick consultation, and I’ll send you a free PDF version of my books. Get started today and generate more traffic and leads for your business.

The post How Often Should You Blog? [Blog Post Frequency RESEARCH] appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.

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https://www.sydneysocialmediaservices.com/?p=3665

The past few years have brought some exciting developments in the events industry. And you might be surprised to hear that some of the biggest event trends are here to stay.

By keeping an eye on some of the top event trends expected for next year, you can make sure you plan an event to remember.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Sustainability and corporate responsibility will be key for events run in 2023 and the foreseeable future.
  • Emerging technology, including augmented reality and AI, will continue to offer more opportunities for event planning.
  • Brands must focus on highly personalized events and forging personal connections with attendees.

9 Biggest Event Trends Happening Now

1. Sustainability

The world is heating up – both figuratively and literally. Concerns around climate change have been one of the major themes of the past decade as an increasing number of individuals and corporations make a commitment to lessen their impact on the environment.

This eco-friendly approach has spilled over into the world of events, which traditionally has been a fairly wasteful industry – just think about all the plastic water bottles and catering waste, not to mention the merchandise and freebies that often get thrown away as soon as the event is over.

Easy ways to shrink your carbon footprint for your next big event.

Now the tide is turning, and sustainable events are becoming the more popular (some would say the only) option.

So how do you make a more sustainable event? There are many opportunities, from switching to digital ticketing systems to replacing plastic bottles and cutlery with biodegradable alternatives, using seasonal, local produce in catering, and donating leftover food to local charities.

However, as you can see from the above chart, travel contributes majorly to the carbon footprint of an event. Event planners can reduce this impact by planning more localized events, and even ditching physical events entirely in favor of online events.

As consumers demand brands to develop more sustainable practices, they will also expect events to be planned in a way that will have a minimal environmental impact. Organizations failing to follow this trend may well find that their audience votes with their feet and finds another, greener event to attend next year. And remember – your event is a representation of your brand as a whole. Make sure it aligns with your core values.

2. Mindfulness and Wellness

Next year may be the year we say goodbye to a culture of “hustle and grind.” Working long hours and putting work over personal life is becoming increasingly unpopular with today’s millennial workforce.

The workers of next year and beyond favor a more balanced approach – working smarter rather than harder, with more importance placed on the value of mental health and general wellness.

What does this have to do with events? Well, packing back-to-back workshops and seminars into an exhausting schedule is definitely considered to be an outdated approach.

Over the coming year, expect to see more events incorporating mindfulness and wellness activities into their schedule, whatever the industry. This may include meditation and yoga workshops, dedicated “brain breaks” designed to inspire creativity, “unplugged” tech-free zones, outdoor activities, massage stations, and other sessions designed around wellness.

Salesforce’s annual event, Dreamforce, has taken this trend to heart by partnering with mindfulness organizations to provide guided meditations and mindfulness sessions during the four-day conference, as well as running yoga sessions and fun runs.

3. Hybrid Events

Hybrid events allow for the flexibility of a virtual event, but the connection and engagement of an in-person option.

As time passes, hybrid events are being refined and it doesn’t look like they’re going away any time soon. Check out some interesting stats:

  • Searches for “hybrid event” have increased 237% in the last 5 years.
  • 97% of event marketers believe that the number of hybrid events will increase beyond over the next few years.
  • 59% of event marketers believe that hybrid events will be crucial for their event marketing strategy moving forward.

More than 59% of event marketers believe that hybrid events will be crucial for their event marketing strategy moving forward.

Hybrid events can be any configuration or breakdown of virtual to in-person. Tread lightly though, because more reach and flexibility doesn’t equate to ease of planning.

Be sure to do extensive research before deciding if this could be the right route for your next event.

4. Smaller, More Intimate Events

Running a big flashy corporate event may be seen as a badge of success by many companies, but demand is actually growing for simpler, smaller events with authentic opportunities to meet face-to-face.

Stop thinking of events purely as a marketing opportunity and consider them more as a chance to engage better with your audience and build trust. Consumers are increasingly demanding authenticity from brands and becoming distrustful of big business. Creating more opportunities to speak with individual customers on a one-on-one basis makes your brand feel more personal and less like a faceless corporation.

Smaller events also open up the possibility of using more unique boutique event spaces that are more appealing to attendees.

Networking opportunities are a big attraction for many event attendees, aside from the event itself, so make sure you schedule in plenty of free social time and provide casual spaces that promote interaction.

A huge plus of planning a smaller event is expanding your location options.

5. Non-traditional Venues Gain Popularity

If you’re about to book the conference room in your local hotel for your next event, stop! Research by Social Tables shows that over 90% of event planners agree that events are more likely to be booked in a non-traditional venue than five years ago.

Thinking outside the box when it comes to your event venue comes with advantages. Choosing a visually appealing venue is more engaging for attendees and encourages them to post images of the event on social media.

Some examples of venues that are becoming more popular for hosting events include warehouses, barns, gardens, museums, art galleries, and co-working spaces.

This doesn’t mean that hotels are out completely though. In line with this trend, more hotels are thinking about how they can meet this need for more inspiring surroundings with non-traditional spaces such as rooftops and outdoor venues, or simply offering more options when it comes to event design and styling.

A cozy, outdoor event space with neutral colors, string lights and a fireplace.

As long as you’ve got an inclement weather alternative at the venue, I’m sure your attendees will appreciate the fresh air and Vitamin D that outdoor spaces provide.

Additionally, the growth of ride-sharing apps has made it more practical to host events outside of the typical downtown venues. More accessible and affordable transportation means that organizations can now take advantage of more varied locations and lower cost event venues.

As more event planners are seeking out new venues for events, this hasn’t gone unnoticed. There’s now a new breed of venue sourcing software available that makes it easier for event planners to find an ideal venue based on several different criteria.

6. Experience-First Events

This should be a no-brainer. Isn’t an event already an experience? What you should think about is how you can flip the script of work conferences being boring and just for work.

The homebodies are still out there and some even prefer hybrid events or virtual conferences still. How can you make your in-person event worthwhile?

Some elements of events are inherently experiential so those might come more naturally. Food trucks and swag bags, VIP sections and photo opportunities.

Other parts of an event could be spiced up a bit. If networking is your only pull to have someone attend live rather than online, think harder.

You can add a digital element, such as a photo booth with fun props or even a hashtag-based photo contest. Share results immediately via a QR code or turn the photos into a social wall to display in break spaces or between speakers.

7. Enhanced Personalization

Advancements in technology mean that consumers are now expecting more personalization in their communications with brands, and this is going beyond digital marketing channels to become a key part of events too.

Big Data and AI are creating more personalization opportunities such as the ability to create a unique event schedule for each attendee, or even just to provide a personalized map of the venue location with nearby points of interest.

Companies using events for marketing can also use data collected about event attendee behavior to create personalized follow-ups and more highly targeted and optimized marketing messages post-event. This practice is commonplace in all the big and popular digital marketing conferences today.

8. Augmented Reality

Augmented and virtual reality technology solutions are becoming more commonplace and affordable. There are many potential uses for them in events for a number of different industries.

The AR and VR industry is forecasted to grow by over 25% over the next two years, with AR leading the pack.

A chart outlining VR and AR users in the U.S. over time.

While VR has already been a bit of an event trend over the last few years, AR is taking over as the most popular technology, mainly because it’s more accessible and offers more flexibility in the real world.

VR can certainly help to engage your event attendees and enhance their experience, but it’s still seen as somewhat of a novelty. VR can transport your event attendees to another world and can be useful for virtual tours and games, but its applications are limited.

While virtual reality creates a completely virtual world, augmented reality adds digital elements to the real world environment.

AR technology is a more attractive and practical option for many event organizers because the technology is more affordable and accessible (AR apps can be used on any smartphone) and it offers a huge range of possibilities.

AR can be used for interactive product demonstrations, to help attendees learn more about each other and network, to create interactive venue maps, provide entertainment and opportunities for engagement, and more.

9. Use of AI in Event Organization and Analysis

Another emerging technology that we’ll see more of in the events industry next year is artificial intelligence.

Event planners can use AI in a number of different ways from event planning to during the event and for post-event analysis.

Just as e-commerce sites use AI to power their recommendations engines, event planning software has started using AI to assist planners by finding potential attendees, speakers, influencers, and topics, and suggesting optimal times and venue locations.

AI-powered Chatbots can be used for pre-event marketing and customer service to answer common questions, automate ticketing and follow up leads.

Facial recognition is another highly useful application of AI that can be used in events for everything from security and streamlining registration to personalizing experiences.

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