The Social Media Revolution Is Changing Sales, Too


It’s accepted wisdom that the social media revolution has dramatically changed the world of marketing. But it’s also having a profound effect on sales, says Natalie Nathanson, the founder and president of Magnetude Consulting. Social selling tactics allow for a tighter alignment between sales and marketing, she says—and salespeople who adopted these tactics early on have generally enjoyed strong results.
For a complete listing of MindEdge’s course offerings on digital marketing, click here.


Copyright © 2018 MindEdge, Inc.

What, Exactly, Are "Influencers"?


Influencers are an important component of any successful content marketing strategy. But what are influencers, anyway? And what can they do for us? Dave Charest, director of content marketing for Endurance International Group, provides the lowdown.
For a complete listing of MindEdge’s course offerings on digital marketing, click here.


Copyright © 2018 MindEdge, Inc.

In Defense of Blogs

Content marketers love video, but words still matter

By Frank Connolly
Senior Editor, MindEdge Learning
Video content vs written content.
Content marketers, as a group, tend to fixate on trends. As well they should: you can’t give people what they want unless—well, unless you know what they want. And trends are one way to measure what the market is looking for.
But content marketers also fixate on trends within their own industry. A recent Google search for “content marketing trends 2018” returned 51.4 million results, many of them only a few days old. In the Land of Content, it seems, trend-spotting is a year-round thing.
What’s interesting is that, even as they churn out a seemingly endless stream of trend-defining literature, industry analysts focus on the same handul of trends, day after day. And what’s the most clearly defined content-marketing trend of all? That’s easy: Video rules!
Don’t take my word for it. Digital marketing guru Neil Patel insisted late last year that ”Live video is taking over.” Forbes contributor Brian Sutter argued last April that ”Video—live video in particular—is expected to be the darling of 2018.” Dreamgrow’s Martin Laird observed on June 12 that ”Video content marketing is on the rise”, only to be seconded a day later by Coredna’s Edward Dennis: ”Video will continue its rise in the years to come.”
Okay, okay, we get it—video is hot, and everything else is not. But in the face of this monolithic consensus, is it possible to offer even a brief defense of the written word? To be even more specific: Isn’t there anything good to be said for blogging?
I’ll admit that I’m biased: I’m left-brain verbal, not right-brain visual. As a professional writer and editor, I’ve been pushing nouns against verbs for a living ever since Jimmy Carter was President. Words matter to me, so I blog.
But the case for blogging relies on statistics, not sentiment. According to HubSpot, 53 percent of marketers identified blog content creation as their top inbound marketing priority in 2017. And a 2017 study by BuzzSumo found that long-form content, like blog posts, receives more social shares than short-form content. In fact, the BuzzSumo research suggests that, at least when it comes to blogs, longer is better: content in the 3,000- to 10,000-word range receives, on average, the most shares.
None of that would matter, from a content marketing perspective, if blogs didn’t deliver the goods. But they clearly do. Again according to HubSpot, B2B companies that blog generate 67 percent more leads per month than those that do not blog—and brands that create 15 blog posts per month average 1,200 new leads per month. Overall, companies that blog get 97 percent more inbound links than companies that do not.
Blogs work well because they can establish a brand as a trusted source of information and advice. Through blog posts, a business can address and solve customer problems, teach valuable skills, and elaborate on industry-related topics to establish an “expert” standing. Businesses can take advantage of the long-form format to create in-depth tutorials, how-to guides, product reviews, and interviews that inform and educate a target audience. And, when optimized for SEO, blogs are a surefire way to boost website traffic.
None of this is to say that video is unimportant; far from it. Video is becoming the dominant form of online content, and for good reason: it is both emotionally compelling and highly shareable. And there’s a wealth of research that shows blogs are even more effective when used in conjunction with visual images, including video. For instance, the BuzzSumo study cited above shows that blog posts that incorporate an image every 75 to 100 words are shared twice as often as content with fewer images.
The point is not that blogs are “better” content than video. It’s simply that they remain a highly effective way to build customer relationships, establish trust and expertise, and boost traffic to your website. Smart content marketers know that—even in an online world dominated by video—words still matter.
For a complete listing of MindEdge’s marketing courses, including “Content Marketing,”click here.


Copyright © 2018 MindEdge, Inc.

Content Marketing: Plans and Strategies


Content marketing requires both a big-picture strategy and a nuts-and-bolts plan, says Meaghan Corson, a video marketing speaker and consultant and a former television journalist. Most, important, she insists: both plan and strategy need to relate clearly and directly to your business goals.
For a complete listing of MindEdge’s course offerings on digital marketing, click here.


Copyright © 2018 MindEdge, Inc.

How Much Content Is Enough?


Content marketing is based on the idea of using digital content—blogs, videos, whitepapers, infographics, and the like—to create and sustain positive relationships between a company and its potential customers. But just how much content does your company need to create? And how often do you need to distribute it? Dave Charest, director of content marketing for the Endurance International Group, says there’s no hard-and-fast answer to those questions. You have to take into account your company’s resources and its business goals, he advises: “What it all boils down to is, what the business can handle.”
For a complete listing of MindEdge’s digital marketing courses, click here.


Copyright © 2018 MindEdge, Inc.