business marketing strategies

  • Gated Content for B2B Companies: Pros, Cons, and How to Use It Wisely

    Any digital marketer worth her salt will tell you that if you want your brand to succeed in today’s market, you have to be creating content. Blog posts, e-books, whitepapers, infographics, podcasts…when it comes to content marketing, the options are many. The point of creating all this content, of course, is to get it in the hands – or on the screens – of consumers, who will be much more likely to become your customers if you give them something great to read. So if that’s what you’re trying to do, then what’s the whole idea behind gated content? Why would you ever erect a barrier between your potential customer and something they’re trying to access? After all, marketing is generally about removing barriers to purchase, isn’t it? That’s certainly true, but in some cases, putting up a gate that consumers have to pass through to get to your content can work in your favor. The trick is knowing what content should be gated, and what kind of gate you should use. What does “gated content” mean, anyway? When it comes to content, the term “gate” can mean a couple of things. It can mean a paywall, so that people…

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  • The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing for Product-Based Businesses

    In the olden days of marketing – like, 20 years ago – designing a marketing plan for your product-based business was pretty straightforward. Mostly, you had to show how much better your product was than its competitors. That could mean running a taste test with random consumers and then telling people about it. It could mean paying a celebrity to wear your product to a major event. It could even mean just spending tons of money on commercials in which an actor looked really happy eating/using/looking at your amazing product. That is somewhat of a simplification, sure, but in general, that was the idea behind product-based marketing before the digital age. Today, things are different. Consumers are way more savvy. They can price-shop for products just like yours across the entire internet, which basically means the entire planet. They’re wary of the hard sell, and want to feel in control of the purchasing process. On the marketer’s side, the channels through which you can reach consumers have exploded. It’s not just TV, radio, and print anymore. You have mobile ads, browser ads, mobile apps, email, social media, live chat, text alerts…you get the idea. When you add in the fact…

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  • 21 Common Questions About Email Marketing Answered

    Today’s installment in our series of answers to common online marketing questions addresses email marketing. Email marketing can seem like a deceptively simple task at first glance, but once you get into the trenches, it becomes clear that it’s anything but. Luckily, we’re here to help point you in the right direction. We’ve answered 21 of the most common questions we receive about email marketing. 1. Is email marketing still effective? Email marketing is one of the most effective ways for a business to reach customers directly. Think about it. You’re not posting something on your site and hoping people will visit it. You’re not even posting something on a social media page and hoping fans will see it. You’re sending something directly into each person’s inbox, where they definitely will see it! Even if they don’t open it, they’ll still see the subject line and your company’s name each time you send an email, so you’re always communicating directly with your audience. 2. Isn’t social media marketing taking the place of email marketing? Actually, recent statistics show that email reaches three times more people than Facebook and Twitter combined. That’s a significant difference. Social media marketing is wildly popular,…

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  • 21 Common Questions About Content Marketing Answered

    Next up in our “21 Common Questions Answered” series, in which we answer the top questions we commonly receive about various aspects of online marketing, is the topic of content marketing. (Check out the previous posts in this series for answers to your questions about email marketing and social media marketing!) The importance of content in an online marketing strategy has undergone a meteoric rise over the last few years, so it’s only natural that businesses have questions about just how to harness this marketing tool. And as usual, we’re here to help. So without further ado, here are the answers to 21 common questions about content marketing: 1. What is content marketing exactly? Content marketing turns traditional marketing on its head. Instead of focusing on a company and its products or services, it focuses on the consumer’s needs first. The goal of content marketing is to provide valuable, genuinely helpful information to consumers for free, in order to create a relationship with them based on trust, which eventually leads them to make a purchase.  2. What qualifies as content? When most people think of content marketing, they think of a blog. And blogs are certainly one of the easiest…

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  • 51 Online Marketing Tactics That Get Results

    Here’s the thing, you guys. Every business is different, and the internet marketing strategies that work for one company may not suit the goals of another, and vice versa. (That’s why it can be a real plus to have an experienced online marketing agency on your side, like, say, for example… Marketing Zen!) So, to help out as many businesses as we can in one fell swoop, we’ve compiled this huge, humongous, gigantic list of 51 different online marketing tactics, so that you can wade through them all and pick and choose which ones would do the most good in your particular situation. Again, not every tip will work in every situation, so choose wisely. Take your company’s internet marketing resources into consideration when planning your online marketing activities, so you are only taking on as much as you can reasonably handle. And keep your business goals in plain sight the whole time, so that each and every tactic you implement will be in their service. So without any further ado, and in no particular order, here is our list of 51 online marketing tactics that get results. 1. Write a blog. Having fresh content on your business website is…

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  • 21 Common Questions About Social Media Marketing Answered

    Here at Marketing Zen, we often get questions from businesses about online marketing, and we do our utmost to answer every one. But it occurred to us recently that it might be helpful for us to put together a little blog series answering some of the most common questions we get related to web marketing. Today’s installment? The 21 most common social media marketing questions we receive, answered just for you! 1. Can social media marketing really help my business? Most definitely! It’s been proven again and again by business after business. In fact, 73% of businesses surveyed by Constant Contact in 2011 had already started using social media marketing with measurable results.  Not utilizing social media marketing can actually harm your business, since having an online presence on social media is simply expected of any reputable firm these days. 2. What are the benefits of social media marketing for my company? Whether your business is taking advantage of it or not, social media has forever changed the way that consumers communicate with businesses, and vice versa. Being accessible to your customers – and your prospective clients – via social media is a vital means of developing relationships with them…

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  • Ten Local Business Review Sites Influencing Your New Customers

    Every business –restaurants, doctors, law firms, dry cleaners and other brick (click) and mortar businesses – wins and loses new customers every day before the potential customer even sets foot out the door. Their decision to do you business with your company is often made without ever engaging with your company directly. Some customers may even form opinions about your business without ever stepping a foot in your store. This is because online review sites make it easy for potential customers to look up businesses and compare ratings, all without ever leaving their home. And with so many businesses to choose from, being number one on Google is almost never the only deciding credibility or trust factor. When marketing your business these days, you’re dealing with an educated consumer who does their research on review sites and does not really care what you have to say about your business. They care what others have to say. When friends and family aren’t readily available to ask for recommendations, where else can people turn but the local online community? Welcome to the new word-of-mouth (mouse) marketing. Looking To Online Reviews When faced with too many choices, others will rely on the “social…

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  • Why Integrating Traditional and Digital Marketing is a No-Brainer

    The digital age has given us so many things: better ways to stay in touch with loved ones, new ways to market and advertise, a social connectivity that reaches across the world. Another thing the digital age has been quite generous with? Hyperbole. “Traditional advertising is dead!” “Print is dead!” “Cable TV is dead!” “God is dead!” Oh, wait. That was Nietzche. Anyway, you get the picture. Once SEO, social media, and influencer marketing came on the scene, lots of people in the position to make loud and definitive proclamations like this did so, and we ended up with a bunch of doomsday-esque predictions that turned out to be a bit exaggerated. I still read books made of paper, and lots of people I know do too. Advertising firms are still alive and thriving. Cable TV shows no sign of fading away, although it has, certainly, adapted. The point is that no matter how game-changing the digital revolution has been, it’s not the end-all be-all. That’s as true in marketing as it is in any other industry—salespeople, for instance, still make phone calls and face-to-face visits, and retailers still invest in brick-and-mortar stores despite the popularity of online shopping. The…

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  • Our Top 5 Ways to Use Remarketing to Increase Your ROI

    It’s hardly news that our digital experience is getting more personalized every day. Open Netflix, and you see movies recommended specifically for you (my recommended list recently got it completely right with The Wedding Singer, and completely wrong with Columbo—but hey, I appreciate the effort). Sign up for a retailer’s email list and they notify you when items you’ve clicked on are on sale (I and my wallet know from experience how persuasive those emails can be—thanks, Modcloth). But now the personalization is bigger than just on specific sites. You’ve probably noticed that if you search for something on Google, you’ll probably see ads for that thing—tan high-heeled shoes or The Incredibles DVD or a mid-century sofa—popping up on the sites you visit thereafter. It’s not exactly Google reading your mind, although it kind of seems that way. It’s actually an ad strategy called remarketing (or retargeting, depending on who you ask). It’s been around for several years, but it’s only in the past year or so that it seems to be literally everywhere—I mean, when was the last time you visited a website without seeing ads that seemed hand-picked for you, from plane tickets to China, to fitness apps,…

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  • How to Use Quora to Help Your Business

    Websites that allow you to pose questions to the internet at large have to be one of the both best and worst things web developers have given us. You can post the silliest, most random question—“What should I have for dinner tonight?”—and you’re bound to get a slew of answers, plus start an argument about the advantages of pizza with mushrooms versus pizza with spinach.

  • Finishing Strong: Digital Marketing for the Fourth Quarter

    It’s official: summer is coming to an end. It doesn’t exactly feel like it from my house in Texas, but the calendar doesn’t lie. My Facebook feed has switched from being filled with skinny girls in bikinis frolicking on beaches to little ones posing on their porches for the first day of school. Stores are stocked up with school supplies instead of sunscreen. Yes, summer is ending.

    Summer can be rough on digital marketing efforts.

  • 4 Ways that BuzzSumo Improves Your Digital Marketing Efforts

    As digital marketers, we are constantly trying to keep up with all the things technology is making available to us. Thanks to many different applications and software, we’re able to increase our marketing efforts when strategizing for a client. One tool we’re really loving here at Marketing Zen is BuzzSumo. Whether your focus is social media, content, search engine optimization, or outreach, there is a ton of data and metrics you can get from the site to incorporate into your marketing strategies. Today we’re going to show you 4 of the ways that BuzzSumo can make your marketing team better.