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During the last week in August I, along with 2,800 other marketers, attended Inbound 2012 (an inbound marketing conference) in Boston. It was an absolutely fantastic week full of wonderful keynotes and great breakout sessions. One of my favourite breakout sessions was ‘How To Create eBooks and Webinars Your Prospects Will Love’, presented by Maggie Georgieva, as I came away with so many ideas for my own marketing.

Here’s what I learnt from Maggie during her 45 minute presentation …

Test Test Test

Marketing should never be based on superstitions or gut feelings. Everything we do should be based on the results of tests we have carried out. Each campaign needs to be built from a solid foundation upwards, with your marketing offer being the foundation, and upon that you build (in order) your landing page, your email, your blog and finally your social media.

There are 3 steps to creating ‘lovable’ offers for your prospects …

1. How To Approach Content Creation

Good content is where the lead generation process starts. Your content should be based on your data:

  • Blog analytics. Check what the top ranking blog topics are to give you ideas for content;
  • Page performance. Check page views to see what pages are the most popular and use this intelligence to produce an offer
  • Landing page analytics. Conversion rates e.g. if your landing pages with ebook offers convert highest, then you should be doing more ebooks.

The format of your offers matter, so see which medium works best for your target market and offer your content to them via that medium, whether it be ebooks, videos, photos etc.

Review your email marketing analytics  to check for patterns in your click through rates (CTR) in order to get more content ideas.

Think of content creation not as a silo but as something you can do across all your channels e.g. if Pinterest is a topic of interest to your target audience don’t just do an ebook, also look at publishing blog posts and webinars on the same topic.

If you don’t have enough internal data to review for content ideas, check out other sources of data e.g. Google News and leverage the current buzz for your own marketing.

All your content decisions should have data to back them up. If you take this approach your offer will be much more successful.

2. Know When To Publish

Perfect is the enemy of good” – Voltaire.

If you constantly chase perfection in your marketing offers, then you will never publish anything. However, if you publish and review your data, then you can improve for your next offer.

The more you publish the more opportunities you have to drive lead conversion.

If time is an issue consider the following tips for creating high quality content fast…

  • Repackage your own existing content:
    • 20 ‘how-to’ blog posts becomes an ebook;
    • An ebook becomes a webinar; or
    • A webinar becomes an ebook.
  • Curate public content (this way you’re gathering existence content and repackaging it, as opposed to creating original content, which is more time consuming to produce):
    • 101 awesome marketing quotes;
    • 54 pearls of marketing wisdom; or
    • Learning Linkedin from the experts.

3. Double Down On What’s Working

Monitor your landing page conversion rates frequently to identify your winning offers, then repeat the activity that got you there.

Discover the offers that deserve your time; check the data and decide which of your offers to maintain, create again or ignore and move on. Focus on what is doing well and optimise those offers to increase conversion even further e.g. A/B test your landing pages and CTAs (call-to-actions).

Also consider incorporating some product information on your company into your top of the funnel content e.g. on your ‘thank you for downloading our whitepaper’ page, add a CTA for a secondary offer to, for example, demo your product.

What If Things Go Wrong?

If something doesn’t work, ask yourself …

  • Is my offer compelling enough?
  • Did I target the right audience?
  • Am I not sending enough traffic to it?

If any of the answers are no, review the data, re-evaluate and try again.

To Summarise … The Key Steps To Succeeding With Marketing Offers Are

  1. Don’t optimise before you build strong foundations.
  2. Use real data to drive your content strategy.
  3. Publish often and iterate later.
  4. Do more of what’s working!

Link to Maggie Georgieva’s presentation slides

 

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stack of booksI just finished watching last week’s episode of HubspotTV, during which Karen Rubin and Mike Volpe were discussing Joel Comm.

Joel ran an experiment for his new book KaChing: How to Run an Online Business that Pays and Pays.

First Joel created a professional commercial and paid to have it run 230 times during a 10-day period in October, during shows such as The Daily Show and Mad Men. At the end of the ad was a url where people could go to download the first two chapters of his book for free.

The TV ad resulted in 8.3 million impressions but only 112 websites visits and, even more disappointingly, only half of the visits converted to download the book chapters.

Next, Joel posted the ad to YouTube for free.

The YouTube video resulted in 5,000 views, 1,375 visits and a conversion rate of almost 33%.

Obviously the YouTube video was a much bigger success and although the commercial cost money to make, the YouTube posting was free, versus buying expensive TV air time.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

This experiment proves of course that one size does not fit all; not all mediums are suitable for all products / services, in this case TV ads did not translate into online hits.

Which brought me back to something I had been thinking about recently regarding books.

I have been wondering if printing physical books is appropriate for all industries.

Personally I love books, and would still rather read a ‘real’ book than read an ebook on my iPad, however I am also a big fan of audiobooks, ever since an eye operation a few years ago that meant I couldn’t read or watch TV for a couple of months. I listen to audiobooks all the time and find them great to have on when I’m tidying the house or going for a walk or commuting – that way I feel I’m making use of ‘dead’ time.

Last week I finished listening to Gary Vaynerchuck’s Crush It! A great audiobook full of advice on social media and inbound marketing, based on Gary’s own experiences. Gary actually reads the audiobook himself (which is fantastic as he is such a passionate person that I can’t imagine a voice actor ever living up to the real thing). During the audiobook Gary breaks off several times to elaborate on something he wrote in the book, or to discuss something that has appeared or changed since the book was published, for example Gary doesn’t talk about LinkedIn in the published version but mentions it in the audiobook as an important way to build your personal brand.

This got me thinking . . . are physical books simply not appropriate for certain industries?

Clearly the audiobook version of Crush It! is more current and given how quickly the world of social media is changing (every day) perhaps more authors should focus on audiobooks . . . or even better ebooks, that the author could then make updates available for, which could be downloaded by the customer onto their ebook reader . . . now that might convince me to read more on my iPad.

What do you think? Do we need to think more about tailoring? Move away from TV ads for certain products and move away from physical books for certain subjects?


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