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Content Marketing Is The Fuel For All Types Of Marketing Strategies

Inbound Marketing, Demand Generation, Account-Based Marketing, Email Marketing And Influencer Marketing All Need Content To Drive Results

Over the weekend, it occurred to me that with so many marketing strategies available to marketers these days, it’s very hard to figure out which methodology, tactic or combination of tactics is right for your company. That got me thinking about how content is the one consistent thread across all these types of marketing systems.

Inbound marketing needs content to convert visitors into leads. Demand generation needs content to create awareness. Account-based marketing needs content to engage prospects. Even search engine marketing needs content for the search engines to find, rank and present content to people searching.

If these diverse marketing methodologies are the engines that drive leads, new customers and revenue, then it seems apparent that content is the fuel. An engine without fuel won’t run, an engine with the wrong fuel will run sporadically and an engine without enough fuel will run inconsistently.

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Why A Stocked Resources Page Might Not Produce Inbound Marketing Leads

Your Prospects Don’t Want To Do The Work, So Make Sure Your Content Marketing Strategy Doesnt Ask Them To

This is probably going to sound ridiculous, but bear with me, because its relevant to this topic. When I go to the supermarket, I don’t want to bag my own groceries and I don’t want to have to return my cart to the store. I have a job, and I don’t want to work at the supermarket, too.

This applies to the content on your inbound marketing website. I’ve noticed a trend at other agencies and with clients that are asking for and creating these large repositories of content called resources. Here, they very cleverly package up all of their content in nice categories for visitors to self-serve and select exactly what they want.

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7 Surefire Ways To Fail At Content Marketing Lead Generation

In The Battle To Drive Revenue And Profits, Content Marketing Is A Critically Important Weapon

Content Marketing Drives RevenueThe content on your web pages, blog posts, landing pages and downloadable educational resources gives you an opportunity to attract prospects, build trust with them and answer questions critical to their buyer journeys. Without content, your digital marketing assets would be a series of empty web pages.

Content is everything. If you fail to make it a cornerstone of your marketing strategy, your lead generation efforts will suffer. Unfortunately, far too many businesses don’t know how to put the right strategy behind their content.

Here are seven surefire ways to fail at content marketing. Work hard to avoid these at all costs.

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Quality Vs. Quantity: The Inbound Marketing Balancing Act

It’s Not As Clear As Other Inbound Marketing Experts Make It Sound

You’d think it’s straightforward, right? Most experts agree that you shouldn’t create a ton of content simply because more means better. They’re right, for the most part. But the answer isn’t as simple and straightforward as they’d make it appear.

Yes, quality content marketing is going to trump poor-quality content, and if you continually generate poor-quality content simply to produce, you’ll end up with an audience of unhappy fans. That means fewer clicks, fewer visits, fewer conversions and diminishing inbound marketing results. But how do you measure quality? It’s in the eye of the reader and you can’t measure quality based on size. Having short copy doesn’t always mean it’s of lesser quality than something longer or more in-depth.

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Prediction #11 — Website Optimization Advances With Inbound Marketing

The Big Website Redo Project Is Finally A Thing Of The Past

The big website project is becoming less and less popular. Ongoing, regular website optimization is now a mandatory part of any progressive inbound marketing effort. This is a trend that you need to be looking for in your inbound program or ensuring is included in any agency program. If you’re not optimizing your website marketing strategy every month, you’ll be disappointed in your lead generation results.

Ongoing conversion optimization is one of the biggest missing elements we see when we’re evaluating an existing inbound marketing effort. While the website is typically front and center around optimization, optimization activities should be deployed around content creation, search engine optimization, email marketing, lead nurturing campaigns and social media marketing. The only way to ensure you’re getting optimal results is to optimize all aspects of your program every month.

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Prediction #10 — Influencer Marketing Helps Amplify Inbound Marketing

Using Influencers As Part Of An Inbound Marketing Campaign Accelerates Lead Generation

We’ve been doing influencer marketing for years now and it’s great when it works. However, it still takes a lot of energy to get it working right and it doesn’t always produce results. Influencer marketing, as a part of content marketing, should take the next step in 2017 and become a more predictable, scalable tactic in the inbound marketing playbook.

The downside of this trend is that the “influencers” have all the power. Two or three years ago, the content providers had the power. This means influencers get to pick and choose who they work with, and some of them are opting to only pick people who pay them to influence. This has made influencer marketing more complex and more time-consuming.

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Prediction 1 - Video Becomes Prominent In Content Marketing And Inbound Marketing

Video Becomes Mandatory Within Inbound Marketing Campaigns

No earth-shattering revelations here. Video marketing is already insanely popular as a content type, but going forward short, homemade snippets for use on social, web, mobile and email are going to be much more popular as vehicles to carry your story and engage your prospects.  

The major change that has been going on and will continue to go on is that video is becoming much more mainstream. No more need for expensive production resources, professional video resources or complex shoots. Don’t get me wrong, there will always be a place for the professional corporate video. However, when it comes to inbound marketing and content creation, the homemade variety of video can produce results with only a small investment — making the ROI extremely attractive.

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An Early Holiday Gift Filled With 2017 Inbound Marketing Predictions

Inbound Marketing And Inbound Sales Accelerate The Pace Of Change Next Year

While I’m not going to tell you I know exactly what’s going to happen next year, I do have enough experience to give you some insight into the trends and challenges we’ve seen this year that are setting up to have major impacts on what might transpire in 2017.

They key for you is to be aware of what’s going on, understand the speed at which the transitions and evolutions are progressing, and then make decisions based on these changes. I’m a big believer in having a plan A, plan B and, in some cases, a plan C.

If for some reason cold-calling became hyper effective (don’t worry), at least we would be prepared to start moving some effort into this suddenly highly effective tactic. But if I have no idea it's coming, I would be ill-equipped to make that move. Consider the next 12 predictions as a “heads up” as to what might be coming in the foreseeable future. Enjoy!

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How To Create Better Bottom-Of-The-Funnel Offers To Drive More Inbound Leads

It’s Time To Graduate From Demos, Free Trials And Contact Us Offers

Leads! They are the lifeblood of any good inbound marketing program and every company wants more leads. Unfortunately, if online lead generation was easy, more people would be proficient at generating them. Instead, you have a lot of people searching for the right combination of marketing program tactics to create a scalable, repeatable and predictable lead-generation effort.

There is good news. Over the past couple of years, we’ve applied enough testing, experimentation and program optimization to know exactly what you need to do to drive website conversions and sales-ready leads. The trick comes in the execution.

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Why Everyone Thinks Inbound Marketing Is Content Marketing

Because Content Marketing Is Simple And Inbound Marketing Is Complex

A quick look at Google Trends data on the searches for inbound marketing vs. content marketing shows that content marketing has been consistently more searched than inbound marketing. In fact, it's usually by a factor of 2 to 1.

In 2012, both phrases started gaining popularity, but content marketing continued to get many more searches than inbound marketing. I was curious — what would cause that? Why would content marketing be more popular and what’s contributing to keeping this trend consistent over the past four years?

Back in July of this year, I wrote a blog article titled "Content Marketing Vs. Inbound Marketing: What’s The Difference?" that remains the number two ranked page for the phrase "content marketing vs. inbound marketing." But the differences don’t explain why one piece remains more popular than the whole.

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