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4 Lessons About B2B Inbound Marketing from a Sunday Morning in the Coffee Shop #bigcitymarketinggroup

I was in Starbucks the other day, and in walks an older gentleman. I couldn’t help but notice that people kept focusing on him and chatting him up — in line, while waiting for a drink, etc.

I could overhear the conversations a bit, so I asked someone sitting near me, “Was that guy in the NFL or something?” He responded, “Yeah, that’s Rocky Rochester. He was defensive tackle for the New York Jets in Super Bowl III.”

He happens to sit by me, and we strike up a conversation. He notices I’m wearing a Hofstra shirt, and he says, “Hey, we used to practice there.” Then, when I notice his Super Bowl ring on his finger and mention it, he does something that simply shocks me.

He just hands it to me. So, I’m sitting there, holding a ring from Super Bowl III. The Super Bowl of Super Bowls. Broadway Joe. The Guarantee.

I share this story because inbound marketing was on the top of my mind in that coffee shop on Sunday morning — the team at our sister company, MarketingSherpa, was putting the finishing touches on the Quick Guide to Inbound Marketing for B2B  — and I realized this story was the perfect analogy for effective inbound marketing. Often, we get so focused on data and metrics, technology and automation that we overlook everyday human interactions like this.

However, normal human interactions are what we should be trying to emulate with our marketing, especially inbound marketing.

Lesson #1: B2B inbound marketing gets you recognized

The first lesson speaks to the power of inbound. Whatever you’re selling — marketing automation tools, hospital diagnostic equipment, construction software — your buyers have a list in their head. It’s the consideration list.

I need to buy a B2B product. I can’t consider every possible company. Who’s going to make that short list?

When you create an engaging inbound B2B program and build an audience, you’re like Rocky Rochester. No longer are you just another guy in a Starbucks. You’re someone everyone wants to talk to. And hear from.

And the value of that has a ripple effect through your marketing. When prospects are at a trade show scanning booths, name recognition makes them much more likely to engage. When they get a phone call or email from someone representing your company, they’re more likely to give it a small opening. And, when they’re making that all powerful consideration or RFP list, you’re more likely to be on it.

Lesson #2: Have a good story to tell

Recognition isn’t enough. Prospects must have the desire to actually want to engage with that brand.

Sure, it helps to have the biggest brand in the world in your industry. However, if customers know they will only be sold to when they engage with you, they’re much less likely to seek out your content or subscribe to your newsletter.

The reason everyone was engaging Rochester in that coffee shop is they knew he would have good stories to tell.

On the flip side, if everyone had recognized him as, say, a vacuum cleaner or insurance salesman, they likely would have had that moment of recognition as well. However, they also likely would have gone out of their way to avoid him, not engage him.

Lesson #3: Effective B2B inbound marketing is relevant

When we were talking, Rochester noticed my Hofstra shirt, and he mentioned how the Jets would practice at Hofstra.

It’s a minor detail. And it happens naturally in a human conversation.

But all of your inbound marketing should, as closely as possible, replicate these human interactions and seek to provide relevant, helpful content to your audience.

Do you give your audience different email newsletters to subscribe to based on their interests? Do you de-dupe email sends when you know someone has already taken advantage of the offer — for example, removing people who have already registered for a webinar from the invite?

What can you do to make your B2B inbound program more relevant to customers?

Lesson #4: Surprise and delight your audience

Once they know who you are, are interested in your story, and know it’s relevant…still, these are busy people with a million different concerns. Even if they’re reading your blog post, they’re probably skimming it and only half reading it. And, how likely are they to share it with their social network?

To stick out from the clutter, you really need to delight them.

When I noticed Rochester’s ring, I didn’t expect him to hand it to me. It was so far above and beyond my expectations that I didn’t even think to take a picture of the ring on my finger until the moment was well over, and I had left the Starbucks. D’oh!

How can you surprise and delight your prospects? How can you go above and beyond? Here’s a great example from the Quick Guide to Inbound Marketing for B2B with New Relic, a software analytics company.

The company had a photo booth at an event and turned the photos of visitors — along with their answer to the phrase “Data helps me ___” — into virtual picture billboards it shared on social media. A great inbound strategy — customers hearing from customers.

But, the New Relic team didn’t stop there. They decided to surprise and delight. They turned the virtual billboards into tiny physical billboards that they then mailed to the customers. What do you think happened when they received those billboards in the mail?

They were surprised and delighted, so they shared that story with their peers on social media. Just like I’m sharing my minor brush with Super Bowl history with you.

“It’s really important to connect on that personal level, because no matter how big the companies that you’re selling to may be, they’re still people. And any time you can find a way to engage that’s a little unexpected and fun, that makes a huge difference,” said Baxter Denney, VP of Growth Marketing at New Relic.

You can follow Daniel Burstein, Senior Director of Editorial Content, MarketingSherpa, on Twitter @DanielBurstein.

You might also like

B2B Inbound Marketing: Top tactics for social media, SEO, PPC and optimization

Inbound Marketing: How a B2B company used a content marketing strategy to improve customer experience

B2B External Communications: How IBM conveys the value of complex products, spotlights innovative employees and entrusts employees with social media

Inbound Marketing for B2B: 10 tips to attract and engage your audience in a helpful (not salesy way)


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The Pros And Cons Of Copywriting From Home

The idea of working from home is somewhat of a fantasy for many in Americas workforce. Many look forward to any potential work-from-home opportunity, hoping that they will be able to say goodbye to their usual cubicle and office.

While there are plenty of obvious benefits that can be had by those who work from home, there are some negatives that should be considered. Those who are thinking about working from home should take a serious look at the pros and cons of the situation. They will be able to better understand how the choice can both positively and negatively affect their career.

Pros

The first major positive aspect of working from home is the fact that your everyday life will become easier. You will not have to get up extra early in the morning to make it to work on time. You will not be forced to shower, change, and do your hair before you go to work. Your home is your office, meaning that you can wake up right before you plan on starting your workday, can skip the shower, and can wear sweats.

Working from home can also be a great way for an individual or family to save money. Those who work from home will eat out less (as they will not have to deal with going out for lunch), and will have fewer expenses (gas, parking, etc). Those who transition to working from home may find that they save hundreds of dollars per year.

Cons

One of the major negatives found by those who work from home comes in the form of focus. It can be difficult for some people to focus on their job when they work from home. This is especially difficult for those in the world of freelancing, as they set their own deadlines and goals.

Those who are still a part of a company will find that working form home causes some issues as far as communication and work is concerned. There is something to be said about being able to walk across the office to have a quick chat with another worker. Any potential last-minute meetings must be conference-called into, which is not as engaging as actual attendance at a meeting at work.

If you are thinking about moving your office to a home, or are thinking about taking a job as a copywriters, give serious thought to these pros and cons. While working from home allows you to work in the comfort of your home, it may be difficult for you to focus or be productive.

The best way for you to understand what you are capable of, in terms of working from home, is to take a test run. Plan a few days of working from home. You will be able to witness the pros and cons first hand, and will be able to decide whether or not working from home is the right decision for your career.

American Writers and Artists Inc. (AWAI), www.awaionline.com, has had direct-response copywriters and graphic design home-study programs since 1997.

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Paid Surveys – From Here You Should Start!

Many people have been paid again and again for taking up the surveys from lot of market research companies. These people have found the online paid surveys as one of the most ultimate part time job opportunity in order to increase their earnings. To be frank, there is no other easy way to make money. However, you have to be very smart in your approach towards the surveys job. The point is that you should know some trips and trick to earn big money from these business opportunities and perform your job in such a manner so as to enable the consistent flow of surveys jobs.

If you desire to make money in the simplest way, then online paid surveys are the best option to venture into. Lots of people are already in the market for taking up the surveys and some of them have even secured the best paying surveys. If you do not want to lag behind, then you should act now. The first thing to adopt is to read about paid surveys from the online resources like article directories, forums, search engines etc. You should remember that good preparation will yield better results. A majority of freelancers sign up randomly at various surveys sites so as to make money.

This practice is of no use as these sites might not reimburse you for taking the job. These sites are just there to collect the profile data so that that can be used in the later stage for sending promotional spam emails etc. As a beginner, you have to be very careful about this whole theory and should not sign up randomly at any good looking site. Your sole target should be to find a genuine site that pay you well for your efforts and time. For this, you need to submit your profile to at least twenty paid surveys sites so that the probability of getting a job increases. Rest of the incoming surveys jobs depend upon your performance and speed. These surveys are real fun as you work from your home and at time suitable to you.

Check out the Free Top 7 List of Paid Survey Sites that have high paying, Legitimate Surveys each paying – for a single survey done.

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Making Money From Blogging

Blogging is fun. You get to write about things that interest you, rant about things that make you rage and even entertain your readers with your posts. Maintaining a blog is an excellent outlet for your emotions as well as your thoughts. You can influence readers of your blog and with the right amount of readers and promotion; you can make money of it too. Making money blogging is one of the main reasons why more and more people get into blogging nowadays.

There are a variety of ways for people making money blogging. Most of these methods depend on one thing, the visitor traffic coming into the blog. These visitor numbers are the resources that the blog owners use for blog monetization channels. Before a blogger starts thinking about making money from their blogs, they first have to build up their visitor traffic. This is done through a variety of methods, SEO, blog promotion and of course, writing popular, enticing, inspiring and very entertaining posts and articles. The quality of the posts is what rakes in the visitors and what keeps them returning to your blog.

Once you have built up a respective following on your blog, you can now start considering the variety of blog monetization channels available online. One of the most popular monetization channels is Google Adsense. Google Adsense is a blog advertising system that uses a special algorithm to present ads that are related to you blog posts and articles. The ads are also clickable with links directing your blog visitors to vendor websites of the advertisements presented on your blogs. Adsense keeps track of the visitor clicks on the ads and pays the blog owner a corresponding amount. The system is very secure and can easily detect attempts to defraud it by multiple clicks on the advertisements from one IP adress. Aside from Google Adsense, there are also other ad networks that bloggers can use on their blogs. They can use these networks exclusively or a combination of them.

Ad networks are not the only way you can make money with your blog. You can also go with Affiliate Programs. Affiliate Programs pay a commission or referral fee to blog owners that direct their visitors to a particular service or product. The Affiliate Network can pay the blog owner for just referring visitors or pay them a commission every time a sale is made or a service is acquired. Affiliates pay bloggers more for a particular referral compared to ad networks because they get part of the profits made from a purchase of a person that they referred from their blogs.
Making money blogging can be a very lucrative endeavor. As long as you have a lot of visitor traffic and you keep making quality posts and articles, the revenue from your advertising networks and affiliate programs will surely be considerable and large.

To find out more, check out: Making money blogging

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How to Track Conversions From Google AdWords

One of the most important parts of using Google AdWords is being able to track conversions accurately. After you’ve made your selection of keywords, created a compelling ad, and then implemented your Google AdWords campaign, the next step is to start tracking conversions and reviewing the results.

Google offers two valuable conversion tracking tools through the AdWords platform, but you may decide you want to simply rely on landing page hits or the number of sales generated from a particular link you used within the ad. Whatever the case may be, here are some tips for tracking conversions with Google AdWords:

First, you’ll need to embed your conversion link using JavaScript. If you are using a shopping cart or other type of setup where the buyer receives a confirmation as part of their checkout process, your best bet is to use some JavaScript code that gets sent back to the Google AdWords tracker.

This tool allows you to track the ads that clicked through and produced a complete conversion; bear in mind that this tool does not allow you to see the number of visitors to the site. Just place the few lines of code into your website, and then access your conversion tracking reports directly on the ‘Campaign Summary’ page in the Reports Center of Google AdWords.

The only requirements for installing conversion tracking on your website is that you are running approved AdWords ads on the site, and that the code snippet is placed only on your conversion page. If you’re missing either of these elements, you will not be able to generate accurate data about your AdWords campaign.

You can verify if the code is working by completing a complete conversion yourself. If you can find out exactly when a user has clicked on your ad and completed the conversion process, you can review your conversion reports within 24 hours and see the click-through on the report summary. Avoid clicking your own ads, as this is a breach of the Google AdWords terms of service contract.

If you are using PayPal or another payment checkout system, you can still track conversions by setting up your Google Adwrods conversion tracker correctly. All you need to do in this case is set up a conversion confirmation web page within PayPal; you can then insert the Google AdWords JavaScript code directly into the web page. Whenever a customer completes the PayPal or other shopping cart process, you’ll have a record of their visit, and, most importantly, the conversion.

Authors Sarah Milstein, J.D. Biersdorfer and Mathew McDonald of the book “Google: The Missing Manual”, explain that it’s also important to determine your total cost-per-conversion over any given campaign period.

This information will let you understand how much it actually costs to generate your sale; you can calculate this by using the free conversion-tracking tools and matching the number of conversions up with the total cost of your campaign for any given period of time. To calculate this, you will need to produce a summary report of keyword purchases at the end of each month and divide the number of conversions by your total costs to run the ad.

Marketing with Google AdWords is a powerful technique that most online-businesses can use to attract more customers. Writing quality Google Ads is one of the most important skills to have when using AdWords – and there are many quality training resources available online.

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Paid Surveys – Earn From International Paid Surveys!

We often do come across people taking international paid surveys online and wonder if such surveys exist. Have people really made money from them? Can I apply and register with them? Yes, such surveys do exist and you can easily make money from them.

Most people think that online surveys are only offered in limited places like Canada, UK or the US. Part of this is true, as most of the companies seeking the surveys are located and based in these countries, but there are other international paid surveys companies and sites offering you surveys as well. The sites that tell us about the international surveys are mainly free, but that does not mean you think they are a source to earn millions in a short time. In case you are diligent, determined and committed, you can easily earn a good source of income by taking these surveys. People have earned anything from a few hundred to thousand dollars in a month, so sky is the limit, as the more you can work, the more you will earn.

Finding such surveys is a task that you have to perform carefully as these are basically free surveys to register for, so remain protected from the scammers. You need to find and register with the legitimate paid survey companies that will value your true opinion, for which you are paid by them. You would need to do a little research work about the company you would register for, ensuring that the surveys you undertake would be correctly and honestly paid for. Register with the top paid survey sites sending you the international online surveys.

Once you have registered for the correct surveys, the next requirement would be to fill up the form requiring you to submit your name, age, email ID, and profile. It is advisable to create a new email ID which would enable you to get all the survey mails in that email itself to avoid a mixture of personal and work related mail. Once you start getting the surveys, remain honest in giving your opinion and ensure to take all the surveys that come to your mail box. By registering for many survey sites you are sure enough to earn a lot, as each company sends out at least 2-5 surveys per month, and this would help you to make enough money.

So, don’t worry, as international paid surveys do exist and are open for everyone.

Here is a free Top 5 List of Earn money taking surveys, paying -5 for each survey taken.

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Van Conversions from vcl-conversions.co.uk

I am sure most of us know what a van looks like and we also know what the inside of one of these looks like. However what we don’t know enough about is the van conversions that we can order, to make the van perfect for any use.

If you run any type of business then having a mobile office of some kind can be really handy. This doesn’t mean strictly an office as such, but simply somewhere that you can run your business from. For example you may want a van that you can store cleaning goods in or a van that you can use for delicate deliveries. Whatever it is that you are looking for, you will be able to get van conversions that can make your van into whatever it is you need.

You can even get van conversions that will adapt your van to enable you to carry passengers.

If you have a van that you would like to use for business purposes but you are unsure of exactly how it could be adapted to suit you then you should contact a company that specialises in van conversions. This is because they are experts in this field so they can take a look at your van, the needs of your business and come together with a plan to suit you.

There are van conversion companies situated up and down the UK so it is a matter of doing a quick search and finding one that is local to you. You can do this by asking people locally to you if they know of any companies that can help. If this doesn’t help then looking online is probably the easiest way forward. Even just a quick search for something like ‘van conversions companies’ should help point you in the right direction of what you are looking for. However if you find that this is too wide an area(bear in mind it will search all over) then just add the name of your local area to the search in order to narrow it down.

Vcl-conversions.co.uk can supply and manufacture a range of van conversions with wheelchair accessible minibus to the highest quality and at a great price.

Byboyercross2

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