Content Marketing Trends: Goals, Distribution Channels, and Budgets

source: http://www.marketingcharts.com/online/content-marketing-trends-goals-distribution-channels-and-budgeting-44507/?utm_campaign=rssfeed&utm_source=mc&utm_medium=textlink

OneSpot-Top-Content-Marketing-Objectives-B2B-v-B2C-Aug2014Content marketers have fairly clear-cut objectives, but the majority are falling short of meeting them, details a new report [download page] from OneSpot and 614 Group. The survey finds that B2B marketers are largely focused on lead generation, echoing other research on the subject, while brand engagement is the top objective among B2C marketers. For the time being, though, a slight majority feel that they’re not meeting their content marketing objectives, and most feel that they’re underperforming when it comes to the business results of their efforts. › Continue reading

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Friday, August 8th, 2014 news No Comments

Top Objectives and Most Useful Metrics

source: http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/online/marketing-automation-top-objectives-and-most-useful-metrics-44282/?utm_campaign=rssfeed&utm_source=mc&utm_medium=textlink


Beyond productivity and lead-focused objectives, fewer respondents are looking at marketing automation to improve marketing-sales alignment. Indeed, recent research from Regalix suggests that while half see marketing-sales alignment as a benefit of marketing automation use, it’s a secondary benefit behind lead management and nurturing.

The Ascend2 survey respondents’ most useful metrics for measuring marketing automation performance largely reflect their objectives. A majority 57% of respondents cited lead conversion rate as a useful metric, with revenue generated (42%) and lead generation ROI (40%) also in the mix. Basic metrics such as open and click-through rates (21%) and website traffic (17%) take a backseat to lead-focused metrics such as cost-per-lead (32%) and leads generated (32%).

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Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 Uncategorized No Comments

Marketers Look for Mobile to Improve Customer Engagement

source: http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/online/marketers-seek-improved-customer-engagement-from-mobile-efforts-43458/?utm_campaign=rssfeed&utm_source=mc&utm_medium=textlink


That same study revealed that mobile applications are considered to be the most effective mobile tactic for driving audience engagement, with few seeing SMS as an essential tactic.

Mobile apps are becoming more rapidly adopted, per the Ascend2 study: among those using or planning to use mobile marketing, 35% are using or plan to use mobile apps, on par with the proportion using or planning to use mobile social media (33%) and mobile-optimized email (32%). Fewer are interested in SMS messaging (22%) and QR codes (12%), while the most common mobile marketing type in use or planned by this group of respondents is a mobile-optimized website (54%).

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Saturday, June 21st, 2014 news No Comments

Quality Content Creation Said Most Effective

source: http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/online/quality-content-creation-said-most-effective-and-difficult-seo-tactic-42230/?utm_campaign=rssfeed&utm_source=mc&utm_medium=textlink

Ascend2-Most-Effective-Difficult-SEO-Tactics-Apr2014Almost half of marketers and sales practitioners believe that SEO has become more effective for them over the past year, according to [download page] the results of a survey conducted by Ascend2 and Research Partners. With their SEO objectives primarily revolving around increasing lead generation and website traffic, respondents rated their most effective and difficult SEO tactics. Quality content creation topped both lists.

Some 57% of respondents indicated that quality content creation is their most effective SEO tactic, with keyword research and management deemed effective by the next-highest share of respondents (46%). Content creation also emerged as the most difficult tactic to execute, cited by 47% of respondents. That was slightly higher than the percentage (44%) pointing to the difficulties of link building; just one-quarter find link building to be effective, though.


Sunday, April 27th, 2014 news No Comments

Global Marketers Say Lead Gen A Bigger Social Ad Objective Than Branding

source: http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/online/global-marketers-say-lead-gen-a-bigger-social-ad-objective-than-branding-36489/

Econsultancy-Main-Objectives-for-Paid-Digital-Media-Sept2013More companies cite lead generation (37%) than branding (27%) as their main social media advertising objective, according to [download page] a new study from Econsultancy in association with Adobe. The survey – of company marketers around the world, but primarily from Europe – indicates that fewer respondents are looking to increase traffic (18%) or drive direct online sales (18%) from their social media advertising efforts.

The results mark somewhat of a departure from recent studies which have suggested more of a branding focus from social media ad buys (see here and here).

Lead generation is also the primary objective for a plurality (37%) of in-house marketers engaged in online display advertising, although direct online sales (26%) is their second-biggest objective. When it comes to paid search, direct online sales (40%) counts as the primary objective, followed closely by lead gen (38%).

The bulk of social advertising dollars are being spent on Facebook, per the report. Client-side respondents indicate that they’re allocating 41% of their social ad budgets to the platform, compared to 18% for LinkedIn, 17% for Twitter, and 24% to other networks. Agency respondents estimate that an even greater 53% of their clients’ social ad budgets are being directed to Facebook.

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Monday, March 24th, 2014 news No Comments

Brands Using Twitter Primarily to Boost Awareness; Sales an Afterthought

source: http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/online/brands-using-twitter-primarily-to-boost-awareness-sales-an-afterthought-41579/?utm_campaign=rssfeed&utm_source=mc&utm_medium=textlink


Those results mostly align with recent research from Ad Age, which found that brands advertising on Twitter were chiefly doing so to increase brand awareness rather than to generate leads or sales.

While the Ad Age study measured the objectives of paid advertising on Twitter – rather than marketing – the two studies’ results indicate that the platform is mainly being used for branding efforts. That’s in contrast to a recent study from Econsultancy and Adobe, which found that among global digital marketers, social media ad buys had evolved beyond branding goals to lead generation objectives.

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Monday, March 24th, 2014 news No Comments

Video Marketing: Top Objectives and Most Effective Distribution Channels

source: http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/online/video-marketing-top-objectives-and-most-effective-distribution-channels-41489

Ascend2-Most-Effective-Video-Distribution-Channels-Mar20142 in 3 marketing and sales decision-makers and practitioners from around the world (but primarily US-based) using video marketing are planning to increase their spending on the medium over the next year, according to [download page] a new report from Ascend2. Respondents count brand awareness (47%), lead generation (40%) and online engagement (40%) as their most most important video marketing objectives for the year ahead. Interestingly, of the online distribution channels used, videos in emails are highly touted.

Indeed, asked which of the online channels they use to distribute channels is the most effective for achieving important objectives, respondents pointed first to video email (25%), followed closely by video platforms such as YouTube (24%) and company or brand websites (23%). By contrast, few name social networks such as Facebook (8%), professional networks including LinkedIn (5%) and microblogs such as Twitter (1%) as their most effective.

Email takes the lead in effectiveness despite not being one of the most popular distribution channels. Some 65% have used email to distribute videos, slightly behind use of company websites (73%) and video sharing sites (70%), but ahead of social networks such as Facebook (55%).

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Friday, March 21st, 2014 news No Comments

Marketers Begin Aligning Content With the Buyer Journey

source: http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/online/marketers-begin-aligning-content-with-the-buyer-journey-39783/?utm_campaign=rssfeed&utm_source=mc&utm_medium=textlink

EloquaLookBook-Aligning-Content-Buyer-Journey-Feb2014Recent research has brought to light the importance of customizing content to the buyer’s journey stage, something that few B2B content marketers feel adept at doing. A new study [download page] from Oracle Eloqua and LookBookHQ, conducted among the Oracle Eloqua community, suggests that content marketers are trying to get better on this front, though.


Asked how well their sales and marketing teams leverage marketing automation to align content across the buyer’s journey in order to present a more united front in communications, some 49% of respondents said they’re learning how to do so and plan to execute on their within the next 6 months.

Encouragingly, about one-third are even further along the process; 12% are sophisticated in their content alignment and measurement, while another 22% understand how to align content but lack measurement strategy. And only a fraction (3%) have no plans to align content or measure success.

In general, respondents to the study seem to be working on more targeted content. About 6 in 10 say they’re delivering right time/real time content based on behavioral patterns, and 46% are using progressive profiling to build a better picture of their prospects.

Of the multiple trends listed in the survey, though, the most popular is repurposing existing content to make it “snackable,” with 63% doing so. Separately, among those who regularly repurpose content, a plurality say that the average content asset gets repurposed 2-5 times.

Some 44% say t! hat conte! nt production is their biggest challenge, whether that be creating enough targeted content (23%), enough content in general (16%), or content that helps the sales team (5%). With quantity a key challenge, it’s not surprising that many have turned to sharing 3rd-party content. Most commonly, marketers are doing so by tweeting links or posting to social networks (56%), while others are sharing links to the third-party content on their websites (41%) or in email campaigns (38%). There are challenges to using third-party content, though, primarily in integrating the content with the marketers’ overall narrative (43%).

Other Findings:

  • Not surprisingly, the study finds that white papers/e-books (76%) and webinars (74%) are the most commonly produced content types.
  • Content is most often produced to support demand/lead generation campaigns (88%), a result consistent with other studies.
  • About 4 in 10 respondents product at least one content asset per week.
  • Fewer than 4 in 10 measure “beyond the click,” capturing time spent with content and feedback.


Friday, February 14th, 2014 news No Comments

Digital Marketers in Canada Focus on Increasing Sales, Lead Gen – eMarketer

source: http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Digital-Marketers-Canada-Focus-on-Increasing-Sales-Lead-Gen/1010590

Social media cited as most important digital marketing activity

Digital marketers in Canada have set increasing sales and lead generation as their No. 1 goal for their efforts this year, according to research from Ignite Digital.

The digital agency, which surveyed marketers in Canada in January 2014, found that nearly three-quarters reported increased sales was a digital marketing goal for the year. Almost two-thirds wanted to beef up brand awareness.

The polling suggested social media would be key to these efforts—or at least that marketers believed it would be. Almost one in five selected social media engagement as the most important specific digital marketing activity this year, followed closely by content marketing.

Social engagement is already the most common digital marketing activity conducted, according to the survey, which found 76.7% of respondents doing this. Nearly as many worked on website development, while email marketing was also conducted by more than seven in 10.

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Thursday, February 6th, 2014 news No Comments

How Bing Pre-Renders Webpages in IE11 and How Marketers Can Use The Pre-Render Tag for CRO Today

Source: http://www.hmtweb.com/marketing-blog/bing-prerender-ie11/

Bing, IE11, and Pre-rendering Webpages

Bing recently announced it is using IE11’s pre-render tag to enhance the user experience on Bing.com.   Pre-rendering enables Bing to automatically download the webpage for the first search result before you visit that page.  Note, this only happens for “popular searches”, and I’ll cover more about that below.  Pre-rendering via Bing means the destination page will load almost instantaneously when you click through the first search result.  Bing explained that over half of users click the first result, and using IE11’s pre-render tag can enhance the user experience by loading the destination page in the background, after the search is conducted.

A Quick Pre-Render Example:
If I search Bing for “Samsung” in IE11, the first result is the U.S. Samsung website.  When clicking through to the website, the first page loads immediately without any delay (including all webpage assets, like images, scripts, etc.)  Checking the Bing search results page reveals that Bing was using pre-render for the Samsung website homepage.  You can see this via the source code.  See the screenshots below.

Search Results and Sitelinks for Samsung

Checking the source code reveals Bing is pre-rendering the U.S. Samsung homepage:

Bing Source Code Pre-Render Tag


Yes, Google Has Been Doing This With “Instant Pages”
In case you were wondering, Google has been accomplishing this with “Instant Pages” in Chrome since 2011, but it’s good to see Bing roll out pre-rendering as well.  My guess is you’ve experienced the power of pre-rendering without even realizing it.  When Bing and Google have high confidence that a user will click the first search result, they will use the pre-render tag to load the first result page in the background.  Then upon clicking through, the page instantaneously displays.  That means no waiting for large photos or graphics to load, scripts, etc.  The page is just there.

Testing Bing’s Pre-Render in IE11
Once Bing rolled out pre-render via IE11, I began to test it across my systems.  When it kicked in, the results were impressive.  The first result page loaded as soon as I clicked through.  I was off and running on the page immediately.

But when did Bing actually pre-render the page and why did some search results not spark Bing to pre-render content?   Good questions, and I dug into the search results to find some answers.

Identifying Pre-rendering with Bing and IE11
During my testing, I began to notice a trend.  Pre-rendering was only happening when sitelinks were provided for a given search result.  So, if I searched for “apple ipad”, which Bing does not provide sitelinks for, then pre-rendering was not enabled.  But if I searched for just “Apple”, and Bing did provide sitelinks, then pre-render was enabled.  If I searched for “Acura”, sitelinks were provided for the branded search, and the first result was pre-rendered.

A Bing search for “Acura” yields sitelinks:
Search Results and Sitelinks for Acura


Checking the source code reveals Bing is pre-rendering the first search result for “Acura”:
Bing Source Code Pre-Render Tag for Acura


A Bing search for “Derek Jeter” does not yield sitelinks:
Bing Search Results for Derek Jeter
Checking the source code reveals Bing is not pre-rendering the first search result for “Derek Jeter”:
Bing Source Code for Derek Jeter Without Pre-render


So, Bing clearly needed high confidence that I would click through the first listing in order to use pre-render.  In addition, there was a high correlation between sitelinks and the use of the pre-render tag.  For example, “how to change oil” did not yield pre-rendering, “Derek Jeter” did not trigger pre-rendering, and “weather” did not trigger pre-rendering.  But “Firefox” did trigger sitelinks and the use of pre-render.

How Can You Tell If Pre-Rendering is Taking Place
You need an eagle eye like me to know.  Just kidding.  🙂  I simply viewed the source code of the search result page to see if the pre-render tag was present.  When it was, you could clearly see the “url0=” parameter and the value (which was the webpage that was being pre-rendered).  You can see this in the screenshots listed above.

And for Chrome, you could check task manager and see if a page is being pre-rendered.  It’s easy to do and will show you if the page is being pre-rendered and the file size.

Using Chrome’s Task Manager to view Pre-rendered Pages
Using Chrome Task Manager to Check Pre-render


How Marketers Can Use Pre-Render On Their Own Websites for CRO Today
Yes, you read that correctly.  You can use pre-render on your own website to pre-load pages when you have high confidence that a user will navigate to that page.  I’m wondering how many Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) professionals have tried that out!  Talk about speeding up the user experience for prospective customers.

Imagine pre-loading the top product page for a category, the first page of your checkout process, the lead generation form, etc.  Pre-rendering content is supported by Chrome, IE11, and Firefox, so you can actually test this out today.

I’ve run some tests on my own and the pre-rendered pages load in a flash.  But note, Chrome and IE11 support prerender, while Firefox supports prefetch.  That’s important to know if you’re a developer or designer.  Also, I believe you can combine prerender and prefetch in one link tag to support all three browsers, but I need to test it out in order to confirm the combination works.  Regardless, I recommend testing out pre-rendering on your own site and pages to see how it works.

You can analyze visitor paths and determine pages that overwhelmingly lead to other pages.  And when you have high confidence that a first page will lead to a second page, then implement the pre-render tag.  Heck, split test this approach!  Then determine if there was any lift in conversion based on using pre-render to speed up the conversion process.

Analyzing Behavior Flow in Google Analytics to Identify “Connected Pages”:
Analyzing Behavior Flow to Identify Connected Pages


An Example of Using Pre-Render
Let’s say you had a killer landing page that leads to several other pages containing supporting content.  One of those pages includes a number of testimonials from customers, and you notice that a high percentage of users click through to that page from the initial landing page.  Based on what I explained earlier, you want to quicken the load time for that second page by using pre-render.  Your hope is that getting users to that page as quickly as possible can help break down a barrier to conversion, and hopefully lead to more sales.

All that you would need to do is to include the following line of code in the head of the first document:

<link rel=”prerender” href=”http://www.yourdomain.com/some-page-here.htm” >

Note, that will work in Chrome and IE11.  If you combine prerender with prefetch, then I believe that will work across Chrome, IE11, and Firefox.

When users visit the landing page, the second page will load in the background.  When they click the link to visit the page, that page will display instantaneously.  Awesome.


Summary – Pre-Render is Not Just For Search Engines
With the release of IE11, Bing is starting to pre-render pages in the background when it has high confidence you will click the first search result.  And Google has been doing the same with “Instant Pages” since 2011.  Pre-rendering aims to enhance the user experience by displaying pages extremely quickly upon click-through.

But pre-render is not just for search engines.  As I demonstrated above, you can use the technique on your own pages to reduce a barrier to conversion (the speed at which key pages display for users on your website).  You just need to determine which pages users visit most often from other key landing pages, and then implement the pre-render tag.  And you can start today.  Happy pre-rendering.  🙂



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Friday, January 31st, 2014 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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