Healthcom Media Marketing Blog

Healthcom Media Marketing Blog

have an idea? a suggestion? [contact us here]

  • HealthCom Media (HCM) Recognized in Five Categories at ASHPE Awards

    DOYLESTOWN, PA — Healthcom Media (HCM), the publisher of American Nurse Today, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Nurses Association, and Women’s Healthcare: A Clinical Journal for NPs, the peer-reviewed journal of the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, have been recognized in five categories by the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors (ASHPE) in their annual awards competition. Read more…

  • American Nurse Today Announces Winners of the 2019 All-Pro Nursing Team Award

    DOYLESTOWN, PA — Healthcom Media, the publisher of American Nurse Today, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Nurses Association, recently released the results of its 2019 All-Pro Nursing Team Awards. Read more…

  • HealthCom Media (HCM) Welcomes New Vice President of Sales and Publishing

    DOYLESTOWN, PA — Healthcom Media (HCM), the publisher of American Nurse Today, the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Nurses Association, announces a new appointment to the organization’s leadership team. This week, Gregory Osborne, President of HealthCom Media and Publisher of American Nurse Today, introduced Robert Brawn as the Vice President of Sales and Publishing Operations, and the newest member of the HCM family. Read more…

  • HealthCom Media Welcomes New Sales Talent

    DOYLESTOWN, PA — Healthcom Media, the publisher of American Nurse Today, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Nurses Association, announces two personnel appointments to the organization’s sales team. Gregory Osborne, President of HealthCom Media and Publisher of American Nurse Today, is pleased to introduce Meredith Haywood and Cara Sosnoski as the newest members of the HCM family. Read more…

  • 20 Of The Most Popular Nursing Websites And Who Owns Them

    Registered Nurse is the fifth largest occupation in the United States according to the U.S. Department of Labor. It’s also the only occupation in the top 10 with average earnings that are well above the country’s average. It’s no wonder that there are tons of websites devoted to nursing. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at 20 of the most popular nursing websites and who owns them. Read more…

  • How to Create a Marketing Funnel that Generates Sales

    funnel marketing leadsWhat is a “marketing funnel”? No, it’s not what you use for cooking. We’re talking about the kind of funnel that you absolutely must get right if you want your business’ sales process to run as efficiently as possible. Basically, your marketing funnel is made up of several stages through which would-be customers move from first awareness of your brand to post-sale evangelism. It’s the process of converting a visitor or browser into a paying customer. Think of pouring rice through a funnel: a lot goes into the top but only a trickle comes out the bottom. That’s how leads pour into a funnel: a lot of interested people go into it, but a much smaller number of people come out the other end — with your product in their hand. Some business owners are moving away from the term “marketing funnel” because they think it’s too mechanical or simplistic to describe the lead nurturing sequence by which customers move from awareness to purchase. I think it’s still a useful way to describe a complex process and it’s a good visual to imagine the entire process from start to finish. Here’s a more in depth break down:

    What is a marketing funnel?

    A marketing funnel is a way of breaking down the customer journey all the way from the “awareness” stage (when they first learn about your business) to the “purchase” stage (when they’re ready to buy your product or service). First, you want to attract awareness to your business by ranking high in search, publishing white papers, etc. As leads progress through your funnel, your outreach methods will get more and more personalized (sometimes involving a product demo or a phone call) until the sale takes place. Let’s define this idea further by looking at two examples:

    Example 1

    Norman Newbie owns a software company with ten salespeople and one product. He’s not a very savvy marketer, so his sales process currently involves handing his salespeople lists of leads that he purchased online and having them “dial for dollars.” His salespeople frequently get frustrated since his leads aren’t always good quality. Because they’re usually calling on people who A) aren’t interested in his services and B) are not a good fit for them, the salespeople close less than 1% of the prospects they initially reach out to.

    Example 2

    Molly Marketer has a similarly-sized company, but instead of taking Norman’s traditional outbound marketing approach, she’s created a marketing funnel that helps her three salespeople close more sales with less effort. Molly started by building a series of attention-grabbing content marketing pieces that are tied to landing pages on her website. Potential customers can engage with her content (blog posts, infographics, videos) and learn about her company and its services without a cold call from a salesperson. When these would-be buyers become interested enough in her products, they request an online demonstration by filling out the form on her landing pages. These requests are routed directly to her salespeople, who, because they’re dealing with warm leads, close roughly 50% of the customers to whom they demo. Molly’s company closes more sales than Norman’s, with fewer salespeople and no time spent on cold calling. Obviously, these are simplified examples, and most businesses will fall somewhere in the middle of this “0 to 60” spectrum. Even if you’ve never heard the phrase “marketing funnel” before, make no mistake about it: you have one. Whether you’re an old hand looking for fresh ideas on optimizing your current funnel or a newbie wanting to learn how to make an effective marketing funnel, you’ve come to the right place! Read more…

  • How to Boost B2B Lead Generation with Content Marketing

    b2b lead generation content marketingIn the 2016 report from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 62% of B2B marketers said that their organization’s content marketing efforts are more successful compared to a year ago. This is an indication that content marketing is more than just an industry buzzword, but an important business strategy that any organization must have. The same report also revealed that the top content marketing goal of organizations in the following months is lead generation (80% of all surveyed marketers). If lead generation is an important content marketing goal for B2B marketers, then the next logical question to ask is: what types of content produce quality sales leads? Here are a number of lead-generating content marketing strategies to consider.

    1. Produce content that is genuinely useful.

    B2B content must not only be interesting and stimulating but also have utility and practicality. Its reader/viewer must be motivated to think how to apply your blog article, video, or white paper in some way to their own business. It should be your priority to become a leading source of useful, engaging, and quality information in your industry. To compare, the goal of many B2C content is to inspire or entertain. Red Bull, for example, creates either branded content or shares exciting media. This is great for building brand awareness, but not much for targeted lead generation.

    2. Know the basics of an effective landing page.

    No matter what form of content you are trying to use to generate leads, it all comes down to great landing pages. Econsultancy reported that only 20% of marketers are satisfied with their conversion rate; meaning, there are a lot of ineffective landing pages that aren’t building leads or making new business. Formstack, a startup focusing on building online forms, said that an effective landing page has the following: Read more…

  • 3 Ways to Make Personalized Marketing a Practice, Not a Goal

    business meeting women men marketingMarketing–the process or technique, not the profession–is a verb for good reason. It represents an ongoing dialogue between brands and their audience. While these conversations change depending on who’s participating in them, they’re constantly evolving and creating a foundational relationship between the two parties. To create, build, and grow these necessary and meaningful relationships, brands are segmenting their audiences and personalizing their content and campaigns. However, many often settle for a bare-minimum approach, adding a prospect’s first name to sales emails or segmenting customers based on sweeping demographic markers. In today’s increasingly personalized world, this approach is obvious at best. At worst, it doesn’t lend to a meaningful interaction with a prospect or customer. It can also mislead brands into thinking they are achieving personalization when they’ve only bucketed buyers into a broad segment like “millennials” or “empty nesters.” Such an approach falls short of truly representing individuals, their interests, pain points, and actions. Communicating with your buyers shouldn’t feel like checking a box or completing a form. Below are three best practices for a holistic, personalized marketing strategy, aimed at building meaningful relationships with buyers at every turn: Read more…

  • How to Keep Your WordPress Staging and Live Sites in Sync

    wordpress live stage syncIn a recent post, I showed you how to easily set up a staging site for WordPress on cheap hosting. If you followed the steps I outlined, you’ll have been able to set yourself up with a staging site you can use to test updates to your site, without paying for expensive hosting with staging options included. But how do you manage your staging site so it’s as close as possible to the live site? After all, it’s not much help testing your updates on your staging site and then implementing them in your live site if the two sites aren’t the same. In this post, I’m going to show you how to do just that. I’ll show you an easy way to do it using the Snapshot Pro plugin. My aim is to make sure that this process isn’t daunting and that anyone could follow it, whatever their hosting and whatever their level of experience. Note: If you’re an advanced web developer, you’re probably better off using a more complex process, involving making changes locally and saving to a version control system like GitHub, deploying your Github repository to your staging and love sites, and using something like Vagrant to keep the databases in sync. If that’s you, I recommend following this guide. But if you’re getting started, read on! First, let’s start by what this will involve. Read more…

  • 3 Tips for Turning Your Customers Into Your Marketing Team

    twitter social media networking mobile smartphone tweets feeds followers editorial iphoneHow can a startup generate awareness and attract new customers without the resources necessary to pursue traditional marketing or public relations efforts? Get creative and use these three tips to turn your customers into an effective marketing channel:

    1. Reward users that recommend your product.

    Word-of-mouth marketing isn't just more effective than any form of advertising, it's also really cheap or free. So, you need to make sure you maximize its potential. If you have a product or service that leaves customers happy, many will recommend it. But, when you offer even the slightest incentive for sharing your product, the number of recommendations you get climbs significantly. Many of our users at Boomerang tweet about us in exchange for message credits that allow them to snooze and schedule additional emails. Cynics might wonder if giving such incentives could result in disingenuous tweets on throwaway accounts with few real followers. But, our research rejected such skepticism pretty clearly and showed we garnered word-of-mouth recommendations that reached thousands of real users. Read more…

  • Use Mobile Marketing to Reach Your Audience

    mobile marketing

    How Mobile Marketing Can Attract a Larger Audience

    Businesses are leveraging new marketing platforms like video, social media and mobile to acquire customers and build a supportive community. Mobile marketing can push messages to your clients and build a loyal raving fan client base. This provides something no other form of advertising can – instant traffic. Consumers are using their mobile devices to access the Internet more than ever before – and it’s expected continue to grow at astonishing rates. Pew Research reports that 95 percent of Americans own a mobile device — most users keep their phones within arm’s reach over 90 percent of waking hours. Americans are spending an average of three hours per day on the Internet from their mobile devices. Shopping on Black Friday in 2016 also made history according to CNET, who reported that there were $1.2 billion in purchases from phones and tablets. More people are accessing the Internet and social media from their mobile devices than from their computers. When combined with other marketing methods, mobile marketing has proven to increase conversion rates. Imagine, it’s a slow day at your business and you promote a paid ad on Facebook and Instagram then soon generate instant sales. Can you see the power of mobile? There is still a small number of businesses who have responsive websites that are mobile enabled. According to an article on Marketing Land, only 18.7 percent of 100,000 top-tier websites in an Akamai study were responsive. Read more…

  • 5 Reasons Your Sales Reps Aren’t Getting Enough Qualified Leads

    default qualified leads manEarlier this year, I talked to a CMO at a B2B tech company whose sales counterpart was lobbying strongly for the company to adopt Account-Based Marketing (ABM) as part of their demand generation strategy. The reason? Though the marketing team was doing a great job generating raw inquiries at the top of the funnel, the sales reps weren’t receiving the number of “sales ready” leads they needed to hit their pipeline targets. And therein lies, as any B2B marketer who’s been paying attention for the last year will tell you, the predominant argument for why B2B companies should convert to an ABM strategy: traditional demand generation is broken. The lead funnel is obsolete. Inbound marketing doesn’t work, or at best is grossly inefficient. But I’d like to offer a different interpretation. Maybe demand generation isn’t broken. Maybe companies are just really bad at it. Think about it: most companies have no problem generating leads at the top of the funnel. Heck, you can pick up the phone and buy hundreds of leads on a Cost Per Lead basis. Where the system breaks down most often is mid-funnel. Where most B2B companies generally have a much tougher time is converting those top-of-funnel leads to MQLs, SQLs and revenue. Studies show that few companies use technology like marketing automation to its full potential. In more unvarnished terms, their lead nurturing programs are woefully inadequate. Now, that’s not to say that ABM isn’t a fit for the company I described earlier, or that ABM can’t increase marketing ROI even for those companies who do a first-rate job with lead nurturing. Far from it. But my suspicion, based on the marketers we talk to every day, and the visibility afforded into the way they generate and nurture leads, is that one factor in ABM’s popularity is that many, many companies are failing miserably – or at the very least, are grossly ineffective – at nurturing leads to maturity. If your sales reps aren’t getting enough qualified leads, I’d wager that one or more of the following five reasons is to blame. When our firm works with B2B companies to improve their nurture programs, these are some of the most common issues we uncover: Read more…

  • How to Bridge Marketing and Sales in Your Buyer’s Journey

    default buyers journeyContent marketing isn’t a nice-to-have these days; it’s an incredibly effective and necessary tool. Whether it’s increasing brand recall with an online video, generating more exposure through earned media, or delivering higher social engagement via microcontent, it is essential to your operation. That’s why 89% of marketers pursue content marketing, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2017 B2B Content Marketing Report. But just creating content doesn’t mean you’re doing content marketing well. The best success comes when it’s executed correctly. Great execution entails many things: Read more…

  • What Can You Do with Marketing Automation: Surprise! It’s More Than You Think.

    Almost every marketer knows that marketing automation (MA) has been a boon for demand generation. But, while driving potential customers’ awareness and interest in a company’s products or services is certainly one essential function of MA, the story hardly ends there. Because marketing automation can do so much more. It also slices! It dices! It makes julienned fries! … Well, proverbially, that is. Some marketers use MA solely for demand generation purposes and have not fully realized how to leverage their existing technology to extend to branding and customer marketing needs. And they, unfortunately, are missing out on a whopping two-thirds of the benefits of marketing automation. Expanding the scope of marketing automation is not particularly complicated. The same tactics used for demand generation can also be applied to other marketing disciplines. And, this very same MA technology that makes demand generation so easy, also makes strategic execution repeatable, scalable, and measurable ‒ while ensuring a consistent customer experience. Most marketers are already paying attention to all three major aspects of marketing: brand awareness, demand generation, and customer marketing – or as we call them – Brand, Demand, and Expand. They just may not be using their marketing automation technology to support branding and expansion as much as they could. Marketers create profitable relationships with potential customers by delivering the value and information these prospects want at every touchpoint through the buyer’s journey. Each function within the marketing team has a different role to play, and marketing automation can help at every stage.

    Brand Marketing

    Brand Marketing tasks and responsibilities can include public, press, analyst, shareholder, and influencer relations; corporate communications; social media; advertising; events and sponsorships; and content marketing. Branding relies on strategically communicating your brand’s voice and positioning. It’s the promise you make to customers, and it needs to infuse every stage in your company’s growth and your customer’s lifecycle. Marketing automation helps you get your messaging out and keep tabs on how the market, press, and analysts engage with your brand. Try these tactics for using marketing automation to achieve your branding objectives: Read more…

  • How to Bridge Marketing and Sales in Your Buyer’s Journey

    Content marketing isn’t a nice-to-have these days; it’s an incredibly effective and necessary tool. Whether it’s increasing brand recall with an online video, generating more exposure through earned media, or delivering higher social engagement via microcontent, it is essential to your operation. That’s why 89% of marketers pursue content marketing, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2017 B2B Content Marketing Report. Read more…

  • How to Use Social Media for Your Lead Generation Marketing

    default lead generation marketingOne of the most overlooked parts of a B2B marketing campaign is social media. Everyone likes to talk about it because it’s fun, and because it looks simple and easy. Because of that, social media doesn’t look like something where a business in a B2B industry would focus their energies. After all, when was the last time the CxO of a Fortune 500 company signed a five-figure contract through a Twitter conversation? Yeah, that never happens. But just because social media isn’t the main driver of sales doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter. On the contrary, 45 percent of companies that use social media marketing have found it helps them reduce their marketing costs while 24 percent of businesses who use it specifically for lead generation have seen an increase in revenue. If social media matters, then how do you use it in your lead generation marketing? Read more…

  • 4 Steps to Get Real Marketing Impact from Your Personas

    default marketing persona

    The Persona at the End of the Line

    Like most marketers, you’ve got personas on your “to do” list. You can’t be a self-respecting marketer these days without creating them. We all have seen the presentations of these B2B or B2C customer types in human form, from Cameron Controller to Pauline Popcorn. And let’s assume for conversation’s sake that you’re one of the minority (according to our research) who is blessed with well-built personas that reflect research with actual prospects and uncovers hidden insights that can give you a competitive marketing advantage. So you can check that box. You’ve “done” your personas. Now what? Do those personas represent the end of another marketing task (destination) or the start of a journey to new sales and marketing opportunities? And more importantly, how exactly can personas be translated into more effective marketing?

    How Personas Help You Do Better Marketing

    Fundamentally, good personas can and should equip you to answer three questions. We will use B2B decision-making as our example since it is more complex (with multiple influencers and decision contributors) and more in-depth (with multiple layers of messaging at each stage of the consideration process). Here’s where you should apply persona learning: Read more…

  • Please Stop Making Boring Email Subject Lines and Do This Instead

    mail email subject line cta attentionThe email subject line is dead, long live the email subject line. Few of us bother to read them, since we're so inundated with messages on email, chat, social media, and collaborative apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams. What works instead? It's better to think of an email subject line as more like a headline (for example, the one for this article). You have to get really creative. Recently, I tried this as an experiment. For an article about the Apple iPad, I wanted to find an analyst who can comment about whether the tablet is starting to lose momentum with consumers. (By the way, it is.) I decided to send out ten emails. For half of them, I stuck to a boring headline: "Apple iPad sales slump, care to comment?" As you might have guessed, only one person responded. Yet, it's strange because that subject line is similar to 99% of the subject lines that arrive in my inbox everyday. We have this tendency to explain what is in an email as we were taught to do when we first learned how to use email. That no longer works. For the second batch, I got a lot more creative. And why not? In the age of social media, contributed content, and digital overload we all have to figure out how to cut through the noise. For the second batch, I used this subject line: "Apple sent me to you." Read more…

  • Sliders suck and should be banned from your website

    slider carouselTwo years ago, we wrote about why we really don’t like sliders. We still don’t like sliders. If your theme forces you to include a slider (also named carousels) on your homepage, please realize that it’s making you use a feature that has no value for SEO. A feature that is probably slowing down your site by loading extra JavaScript. And prevents your user from reading the good stuff (your content) immediately. It will most probably account for less conversion as well.

    Even though both SEO experts and conversion experts agree on the fact that sliders have little use 99% of the time, website developers insist on adding sliders to their themes. Some customers refer to sliderless themes as “outdated” but we strongly disagree. Let’s make one thing very clear: sliders suck. Of course, I entitle myself to my own opinion, and you’re entitled to yours. But let me explain once more why they suck.

    Science and experiments

    It’s not often that science is conclusive in their findings. However, sliders seem to be one topic on which it is. There’s literally not one study that we’ve found that says sliders are a good idea. I often point people to when wanting to explain why not to use a slider. This simple website does an awesome job at showing the statistics as well as trigger the annoyance sliders usually evoke.
    Read more…

  • 15 Web Design Terms to Help You Navigate the Latest Trends

    When marketing managers, IT administrators, copywriters, designers and developers come together to hash out project plans and timelines, things go more smoothly when everyone can speak the same language. So what do you do if you don’t know your duotone from your parallax? We can help. If you’re about to kick off a web design project, or just want to be able to speak intelligently when you work with your design team or agency, knowing these buzzwords will help you chime in confidently. Here are some of-the-moment web design terms that can help you better understand the look, feel and functionality of your new site.

    1. Card layouts

    As simplicity and responsiveness continue their reign in the field of web design, card layouts have become a popular tool for chunking out information into small modules that can be easily sorted, personalized, flipped through and swiped. As a refinement of the tile layouts popularized in recent years, cards add new layers of richness and interactivity with animations and hover effects. Card layouts lend themselves to a variety of applications, especially news sites, blogs, product catalogs and community platforms. “The usefulness of the card UI pattern goes beyond loading times and translating across different screen sizes,” writes Jerry Cao for Designmodo. “Bite-sized content matches the attention span of most web users (especially on mobile devices).”  

    2. Duotone

    A keen editing eye is crucial to effective design, and that applies to color as much as content. Duotone images are essentially made up of two dominant tones, created by generating a grayscale image and replacing highlights or midtones with contrasting colors. With duotone images, designers can inject mood and personality into a web layout using a restrained, sophisticated color palette. These visual touches can hold together a site’s look and feel, offering cohesion and consistency while communicating aspects of a brand’s identity, or the energy or tone of a piece of content.  

    3. Dynamic storytelling

    Web marketing today is all about connecting with your audience and making them feel something for your brand. Dynamic storytelling is a means to this end, combining the use of imagery, graphics, videos and text to weave a compelling narrative about a company’s product or service, or to show the humans behind the business. Rich storytelling like this requires a greater time investment in storyboarding, writing and multimedia asset creation. But it can pay off when these content marketing endeavors deliver heightened engagement and loyalty for your brand.  

    4. Flat design

    Flat design essentially scales back digital graphics and design elements from 3-D to 2-D. By limiting or eliminating the use of realism-based design effects like drop shadows, gradients and textures, designers can emphasize usability and speed up page load times across devices. Flat design techniques use minimalism, solid colors and crisp edges to simplify the user experience and let the content shine. The evolution of Google’s logo is a prime example of the trend toward flat design. As shown below, Google’s logo has progressed from prominent drop shadows and beveled edges to a much simpler two-dimensional logo with a cleaner, sans serif font. This movement toward minimalism is echoed across the modern web as designers pare down stylistic elements to the bare basics.  

    5. Graceful degradation and progressive enhancement

    Graceful degradation describes a design approach that arose in the last decade. As browsers, operating systems and screen sizes proliferated, it created a challenge for designers, who sought to maintain the integrity of their designs for all users. In the graceful degradation approach, designers created an optimal experience for modern browsers and full-sized screens, but then built safeguards into their code to ensure a site remained functional on older browsers and mobile screens, albeit with some features omitted. The downside to this approach is that those with older technology or smaller screens could end up with a subpar experience. For this reason, graceful degradation has largely been eclipsed by a contrasting approach called progressive enhancement. With progressive enhancement, designers start with the smallest and simplest web experience, typically for mobile devices. This mindshift forces them to prioritize content and features to create a great design for a broad audience. From there, they add features and functionality, progressively enhancing the interface for larger screens or more advanced browsers. The benefit is that smaller screen users are no longer an afterthought—they’re top priority.  

    6. Growth-driven design

    Traditionally, website redesigns happened every several years and took about three to six months to complete. Once a new site had launched, designers and marketers would hope for the best and make the most of their new site until they restarted the process a few years later. Growth-driven design offers an enticing alternative to the old-school design process. The GDD approach involves a shorter planning and development time, allowing businesses to launch a new site more quickly, then make ongoing data-driven optimizations as designers learn how the new site is performing. This process is becoming the standard for modern web designers because it allows for more nimbleness, and uses time and budget more efficiently.  

    7. Hamburger menu

    With the rise of mobile web design came a need to condense site navigation menus into something more compact and expandable for miniature screens. Enter the hamburger menu—the design world’s kitschy name for those three stacked horizontal lines you’ve come to know. It’s usually found in the top left-hand or right-hand corner of a user interface, and is also called a side menu, flyout menu or navigation drawer. Some criticize the hamburger menu for obscuring navigation options or for increasing the number of taps users must complete to reach their destination. But like many UX standards, the menu has become ingrained across the web, and users have now come to expect it. Still, viable mobile-friendly alternatives to the hamburger menu include traditional top menus with fewer items; tabbed menus; scrolling menus; or dropdowns. Read more…

  • Generate More Sales Qualified Leads to Feed Your Sales Team

    sales qualified leadsAfter implementing inbound marketing, you probably noticed an increase in the leads collecting in your database. But your sales team is demanding more qualified leads. So how do you generate more warm, qualified leads? These four steps will help ensure a successful strategy for creating more sales qualified leads with your inbound marketing efforts—and satisfy your ever-hungry sales team.

    Discuss What a “Sales Qualified Lead” Means

    Marketing and sales must see eye to eye on what qualifies a lead as ready to be contacted by the sales team, otherwise no one will achieve their goals. For example, the sales team will not be able to close leads who are either unqualified or not far enough down the sales funnel, and leads will be turned off by the salesperson’s misplaced efforts. Marketing and sales need to agree on what a qualified lead is to achieve synergy. This step alone can make a significant difference. Once you’re on the same page, the right leads can be handed off at the right time. To make your hand-off process as efficient and effective as possible, consider using an automated process. Learn how to set up a CRM (customer relationship management system) with this free guide.

    Develop Your Lead Flow Strategy

    Now that you’ve discussed what a sales qualified lead looks like, it’s time to put it down on paper. Create a document that clearly defines your different lifecycle stages, when and how they are handed off to sales, when and how these leads should be followed up with, and any other labeling conventions for leads that you’ll be using in your CRM. Share this document with all company departments and be sure to make this a living document—changing with your marketing and sales department as your database and company grows. While the document should be shared with the entire company and suggestions for tweaks and improvements should come from many angles, make one person the document gatekeeper to keep it in order and make any needed updates to the CRM. This document will help you identify, and more importantly avoid, any bottlenecked, mislabeled or lost leads. Read more…

  • UX Principles to Apply to Your Inbound Marketing

    ux designIn some ways, a successful inbound marketing program boils down to understanding, planning, executing and optimizing: You need an acute understanding of your audience; a concrete plan for how to attract them with relevant, useful content; and holistic processes for continually managing and improving the entire buyer’s journey, from end to end. It just so happens the tenets of inbound marketing overlap substantially with the core principles of effective user experience design. UX design is all about creating experiences that are optimally relevant, useful and enjoyable for real people. Let’s take a closer look at some key UX design principles that can help you become a more savvy inbound marketer.  

    Build From the Bottom to the Top

    In “The Elements of User Experience,” Jesse James Garrett explains each of the five planes of experience design: strategy, scope, structure, skeleton and surface. He says the key is to build from bottom to top—strategy to surface—which applies as aptly to developing a website or app as it does to executing an inbound marketing program. Too often in the content development process, marketers allow issues of format and design to dictate tactics and content. In the mad rush to start generating leads, it’s easy to jump ahead to the offer itself, as in, “We need to write an eBook.” In Garrett’s UX design model, this approach is akin to starting from the structure or skeleton plane instead of beginning at step one—strategy. There’s no reason to think an eBook will be a successful tactic to meet your marketing goals unless you’ve taken the time to determine what exactly you’re trying to accomplish, who you’re trying to reach, what content they need at a particular phase of their buying journey and which content format is best suited to meet their needs. Rather than starting with “We need to write an eBook,” start with your business objectives, your user needs and a strategy for bridging them.  

    Prioritize the User In Everything You Do

    UX design differs from web design in that questions of technology are set aside to focus exclusively on user needs. Technology becomes a tool to help users accomplish their goals. “Not only do you want to know who they are, but you want to dive deeper into understanding their motivations, mentality and behavior,” writes Grace Ng for Hack Design. User research, persona development, usability testing and measures of user satisfaction are pillars of UX design. The field draws on psychology, anthropology and sociology to get inside people’s heads and try to understand their goals and motivations. If this sounds familiar to the marketers out there, it’s because these pillars also infuse all areas of modern marketing, especially inbound, which emphasizes offering content that helps people solve their problems rather than interrupting them with brand-centric sales messages. Becoming a successful inbound marketer requires you to tap into your empathy and try to experience your brand’s interactions from other perspectives. Conduct robust user research to anticipate the resources your potential buyer needs at each step of the buyer’s journey, and continually remind yourself that your reader isn’t necessarily like you. Bear in mind the “curse of knowledge,” a cognitive bias that makes it harder for subject matter experts to explain their subjects to non-experts in understandable language. You can’t unlearn what you’ve learned, but you can have non-experts review your content before publication to check for comprehension. Read more…

  • 3 Clever Content Plans to Triple Your Output

    time planLet’s face it: writing content is hard work and takes a lot of time. That’s true for beginner and veteran marketers alike. So anything you can do to increase your output would really help. What if I told you that you could triple the amount of content you publish, with only a fraction of extra work?

    Content time and effort

    Think about how you might write a blog post or other fairly meaty piece for publication. What takes all the time and effort? Read more…

  • Content Marketing Fails to Avoid in 2017

    stop sign wrong way redContent marketing is an art and a science. It is not something a company can (or should) engage in haphazardly. Content marketing paints a portrait of your company – it showcases who you are, what you do, and what you represent. Great content marketing allows a brand to shine, while unfortunate oversights threaten the integrity of the entire organization. It’s 2017, and consumer patience for content marketing mistakes is wearing thin. Help yourself and your clients avoid these marketing blunders and earn a reputation as smart, savvy, and successful.

    #1: Ignoring Your Audience

    You wouldn’t show up to an important business meeting in sweats and flip-flops … unless you wanted it to end badly. You know you need to dress appropriately for your intended audience. So why would you try to push content that doesn’t fit the intended reader? Tailoring content to the target audience is one of the most important – and often underrated – aspects of content marketing. Without paying ample attention to who you want to read your material, there is no way you can create the type of poignant, relevant content that works. First, create a persona of your ideal demographic. What is this person’s age, gender, income, location? What does this person need from your company? Make your persona as detailed and realistic as possible. Give him/her a name, a job, hobbies, a family. Then craft your content marketing strategy around this personnot a massive audience. Tailoring your strategy around just one person helps you keep your message clear, concise, and true to the point. Instead of trying to please everyone (which is impossible), try to please this made-up persona. Paying attention to one’s audience is a major first step in content marketing. Only an in-depth knowledge of who you’re marketing to can help you choose the correct channels, platforms, and language. Content written without an audience becomes just that – content with no audience. B2B and B2C businesses alike need to focus intently on the audience before engaging in any content marketing strategy.

    #2: Going for Stock Content

    You might think investing in cheap content is the best way to get the most for your money, but you’d be wrong. Today’s consumers don’t want stock content. They want originality, individuality, and authenticity. Google’s algorithms prove this – the search engine rewards websites that have original, valuable, authentic, and authoritative content. Excellent content may take more effort, but it is well worth the returns in search engine rankings and brand recognition. Creating unique content takes research, patience, and skill. Not everybody can create engaging content. Luckily, there is a simple, cost-effective solution – outsourcing your content. Outsourcing content has many advantages, from better search engine optimization results to access to a broader skill set. Your end clients never have to settle for stock content – or worse – writers who plagiarize others’ work. This will not only fail to deliver the benefits of original content, but it will actually hurt the company. Recommended for YouWebcast, July 19th: The Blueprint to Build Trust in a Digital World You may be asking if consumers can tell the difference. As it turns out, they can – according to Neil Patel (a highly successful marketer himself), content marketing leaders get about 7.8 times more site traffic than non-leaders get. “Content leaders,” in this case, are those who craft compelling and valuable content for their readers. Consumers are savvy about businesses that cut corners and try to skimp on content. Generic, boring content is one of the quickest ways to lose traction as a business. Don’t make this epic fail when a simple solution is available. Read more…

  • 7 Online Resources to Tap When Creating a Marketing Plan

    online resources marketing planWhether you’re launching your first startup, preparing for the release of a new product line or getting ready to make the leap to self-employment, you’re going to need a bulletproof marketing plan before hitting the accelerator. Regardless of how great you believe your solution is, a strategic marketing plan will help you better formulate your value propositions, target the right customers and reach them as efficiently as possible. Over the past few years, I’ve helped brands like LinkedIn, Zendesk and CreativeLive develop and execute high-return marketing plans. Through my research and practical experience, here are the top seven online resources for creating a marketing plan that in order to get real results for your bottom line:   1. Google AdWords Keyword Planner Want to get a clear estimate of how much online demand there is for your type of product or service? Google’s Keyword Planner will give you the most accurate idea of how many monthly searches there are on Google for the specific keyword phrases you enter. For example, if you’re planning to launch a new portable speaker targeted for use in the shower or at the beach, you’d want to check out the level of demand and competition while creating your marketing plan. With Keyword Planner, you can get a snapshot of how many people search each month using keyword phrases like, “waterproof speaker,” “Bluetooth shower speaker” and “best portable speaker for the beach.” You’ll also get clear estimates for how much running an AdWords campaign will cost for your target keyword phrases.   2. Buzzsumo This tactical research tool gives you the ability to track down the highest performing existing websites, content and influencers in the space you’re operating in. Buzzsumo’s content researcher gives you a targeted list of potential partners for your marketing campaigns, destinations to run sponsorships and relevant influencers who’d likely be interested in becoming brand advocates for your upcoming solution.   3. HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator Like it or not, any marketing plan in today’s digital age needs to incorporate content. Whether that’s in the form of written blog posts, testimonials, product reviews, video content, animated films or otherwise, creating unique content is a must. After entering a few nouns that describe your upcoming product or service, the blog topic generator tool by HubSpot will automatically give you a list of five creative topics you can create content around. Read more…

  • Keep readers in the loop with WordPress push notifications

    default pushwoosh wordpressAs a leader among content management systems, WordPress involves thousands of publishers and millions of readers every day. Due to the vast variety of tools, it became a one-stop shop for everyone who has something to say out loud and wants to be heard. Whether you have a website or a blog, you are constantly looking for new ways to communicate with your audience and keep users posted. It’s no secret that great content is only half the work. The other half is making the readers know there is something new and worth reading. Push notifications are the best way to get the latest news from the platform you signed up for. The strongest point is that users get notified on what’s new even when their browser is closed, and mobile devices are locked. By using WordPress push notifications plugin, you can communicate with your readers through desktop and mobile devices.


    PRICE: Free This easy-to-use widget fosters better user engagement by sending timely alerts from your WordPress website when a page or post is published or updated. But there is much more in it.

    Reasons to try Pushwoosh for WordPress

    1. Audience – You can reach your audience across 21 platforms. Safari, Chrome, and Firefox push address to your web audience. And there are still 18 platforms for better outreach.
    2. Targeted push notifications – Send alerts to specific users based on their language, age, and behavior on your website.
    3. Geo-targeting – Notify users who enter a particular area.
    4. Advanced stats – Watch detailed statistics for every push notification you send.
    5. Scheduling – Set the time in future to send push notifications and address users when they are more responsive. You can send automatic push messages when a scheduled post goes live and then return users to the website using timely mobile alerts.

    Read more…

  • How to increase open rate of email marketing campaigns

    default increase open rate email marketing campaign10 tips to increase open rate and let your subscribers always open your emails As you know email marketing is an essential part of the success of an online project and you probably also know that having a mailing list is crucial, without you can’t do anything! Well, today I give you another news, unfortunately, this is not enough! As you begin to do email marketing you will bump into a much bigger problem and that is the opening rate of the email (also called OR). The OR is the ratio between the number of unique openings of an email and the number of subscribers that has been sent. Having a higher (or still acceptable open rate) means having a greater possibility to convert, and then to begin to succeed online. Below you can find some useful tips that will allow you to increase open rate of your email and start producing results with your email marketing. Let’s start! 1- Organize your mailing list into sections organize mailing list Having a well-organized mailing list into sections, for example by area of interest, can take you to have an impressive increase of open rate. According to research carried out by Mailchimp, a campaign with an audience, segmented on registration for an individual interest, leads to 5% more of openings than an email with an audience not segmented. From this research we can take a very important tip: it’s critical to understand what the user expects from you and from your emails and the easiest method are surveys or questions at the moment of registration. Personally, I advise you to think a lot about the method with which you can segment your audience. Think about a question that you can make in the registration form, or think about a survey with few questions where the user reflects on his own needs; all this work will lead to an increase in your open rate and consequently in a future an increase of conversions. More conversions = more happiness   2- Send the right amount of email! send amount Another major factor for the open rate increase of an email is the frequency with which you send emails. If you send emails rarely your subscriber will not remember who you are and will not open if you send too often risks to annoy him, and therefore the user does not open anymore, thereby decreasing your open rate. Prepare immediately a timetable, thinking about the contents to be included in the email and how often send them, personally I suggest you send a maximum of one email per week; remember to keep to this timetable, it is your reputation online! According to a study, half of the people who have unscribed from a mailing list did so because they have received too many emails. BRIGAZZO’S ADVICE If you do not know your writing and the tolerance they have towards the frequency with which they will receive the emails you should try more frequencies, and for each period measures your OR and the rate of unsubscribe and choose the one that gave you the best results.   3- Choose the perfect time to send emails choose time watch Identify the best time to send your email is very important, for example, usually, a person will be more inclined to open an email during working days than weekends. According to some studies and my experience, you should send your campaigns on Thursday (on this day you could have an OR 10%higher) and avoid the weekend, because the user usually isn’t on the computer. Obviously, these data are generic; you will have to adjust the schedules according to your mailing list. For example, if you have a professional public you will need to send emails during the week and during business hours; if you’re promoting a disco, surely you must send your emails over the weekend. This reasoning, of course, is also true for hours, which follow your audience (or your mailing list). In general, the hours in which it has a greater OR are from 7 am to 11 am and 5 pm. Recently, thanks to some tests we performed with our American mailing list, we noticed that in the US appears to be convenient also send at night so that it can be read in the morning. Remember to test everything that concerns hours and days, in order to have the certainty to make the most profitable and efficient action.   4- Use your name as the sender’s name name senders One of the keys to success in email marketing is surely being as human as possible; For this reason, one of the best ways to increase your OR exploiting this key is the use of your name or that of a real person as the sender’s name. The increase of OR thanks to the use of your name as the sender has a very simple reason: people do not like to talk to a “robot” and, above all, seeing that to send the email is a known person or otherwise mentioned they have already heard about are safer and enticed to open it because he knows that is not SPAM. Another advice I give you is to not use the generic email as or the these types of email addresses make impersonal emails and consequently lowering OR.   5- Clean your mailing list clean mail list Oh yes! Now you will need to clean your house and your mailing list. 🙂 Having a clean mailing list is critical as it allows you to have accurate data on open rate and therefore have the ability to make better choices and precise. This “cleansing” operation is a very delicate and personal: - Delicate because, you are going to remove members from your list and especially because you have to create a delete/extraction well studied and especially automatic process on your email marketing system, so that it deletes/extract the contact when certain conditions you established occur; - Personal because, the user can be considered inactive when he does not perform certain actions that correspond to the objectives you want to achieve and, obviously, are very likely different from any of your competitors, or of any other person. When you’ve determined your inactive users you should act in this way: 1- Make sure that the user is moved from your main list into a secondary where there will be only inactive users; 2- Create an engagement email just for these users, for example by entering some discount or otherwise some bonuses to make sure that he take an interest in your product/blog; 3- Send it and track their behaviors; 4- Users who perform the action will have to be re-entered in the main list, and those that don’t perform the desired action or those that don’t open the email you will eliminate them. Recently, I’m testing Sendinblue, I advise you to try it because, in addition to being very efficient and easy to use, it has a professional and automated management of inactive users. Read more…

  • Top 7 plugins for better WordPress media management

    wordpress plugins defaultBy default, WordPress media management is quite good. When starting a fresh blog, the media library will be empty, and organizing new files won't be a problem. Even if it's your first time with WordPress, adding new images, videos and audio files will make you feel at home. These #WordPress plugins will help you with media management on your #blog CLICK TO TWEET While you're still working with just a dozen of media files, you won't feel the need for a better WordPress media management tool. But when you start using the media library on an everyday basis, when your articles get filled with images and videos, and when you start counting the files in thousands, things will change. Don't get us wrong; even in that case, you can still work with the default media library and organize your files without serious problems. But you should know there are 3rd party plugins that can make your life easier when it comes to WordPress media management. Stick with us, and we will show you seven plugins to help you with the media management. Read more…

  • What’s New in Marketing? And What You Should Try This Year

    marketing strategies defaultSmall businesses have to stay competitive in their marketing efforts in order to be relevant and able to reach the right audiences. As small businesses don’t always have a full marketing team and an unlimited budget, they need to find creative ways to market their brand. Luckily, marketing comes in all shapes and sizes, and every year new and exciting trends emerge. This article will discuss the marketing strategies gaining popularity this year, and best of all, they can all be used by small businesses too! Read more…

  • 6 tips to get subscribers to open marketing emails

    email open subscribers marketing tipsWhile there are several email metrics you should track, a vital way to gauge the health of your email program is to monitor your email open rates. If your emails are being met with radio silence, it’s safe to say recipients aren’t taking any next steps. With recipients’ inboxes becoming increasingly inundated with marketing emails, this should come as no surprise. As the volume of email continues to increase, marketers will need to distinguish their promotional emails in order to stand out from competitors. Fortunately, there are best practices you can follow, regardless of where you are in your marketing campaign, to increase the effectiveness of your email programs. Encourage double opt-in during signup During the sign-up process, implement double opt-in, which requires a secondary action from the subscriber to confirm their participation. Since recipients must voluntarily perform an extra action to confirm their subscription, many consider this the best form of consent, as it captures users who expressly want to be included in your distribution list. Pestering your recipients leads to decreased open and delivery rates. To avoid this, it’s best not to present users with a pre-selected opt-in, which requires them to change the default option of receiving promotional emails. Furthermore, do not have third parties send emails on your behalf. Read more…

  • Long-form written content most shared on social media

    social media twitter facebook linkedin instagram tumblr google bloggerA new digital marketing infographic published by MDG Advertising has urged brands to publish more in-depth content pieces and conduct regular analyses and audits in order to optimise campaigns and maximise return on investment. The Six Digital Marketing Trends to Budget for Now infographic outlines relevant tactics to help marketers “focus on what matters” in an increasingly complex digital landscape. It brings together major findings from recent research reports and consumer surveys to support its recommendations for content creation, investment and strategies. Read more…

  • How to Create a Drip Campaign Series

    drip campaign defaultSetting up a drip campaign is easy with MailPoet! In this post, we’ll show you how to set up a series of automated emails to create your own drip campaign. Read more…

  • 5 Pro Tips to improve site speed

    site-speedThe adage “patience is a virtue” doesn’t apply online. Even a one-second delay can drastically reduce pageviews, customer satisfaction and drop conversions. The speed of your site even affects your organic search rankings. Since 2010, Google has been accounting for a site speed in its algorithm. So what’s the biggest factor contributing to your page speed? Read more…

  • Keep readers in the loop with Push Notifications

    Push NotificationsAs a leader among content management systems, WordPress involves thousands of publishers and millions of readers every day. Due to the vast variety of tools, it became a one-stop shop for everyone who has something to say out loud and wants to be heard. Whether you have a website or a blog, you are constantly looking for new ways to communicate with your audience and keep users posted. It’s no secret that great content is only half the work. The other half is making the readers know there is something new and worth reading. Read more…

  • Green Web Hosting. Powered by the Sun

    sun powered servers with solar arrayI'm not sure if you've heard but we're now generating over 20kW of electricity via a large solar array that pumps electricity right into our datacenter! And did you also know that our data center was extremely energy efficient even before we built our solar array?  We use ambient air cooling - filtered outside air - to cool our servers, instead of air conditioners, whenever the outside air temperature is below 70 degrees.  Since we're located at a 7,000' elevation this means that our datacenter is cooled without air conditioners nine months of the year - and even most summer nights! Read more…

  • Segmenting Lists: Top 4 Benefits Showing Amazing ROI

    email marketing best practicesGone are the days when digital marketers would send the same generic email blast to their subscribers. Now, every savvy digital marketer knows that segmenting their email marketing list is key to running successful email campaigns. In fact, many customers have come to expect this high level of personalization. A report from AgilOne found that 79 percent of U.S. consumers expected personalized experiences with the brands they shopped with and that 50 percent expected them to remember their past purchases. Read more…

  • IAB Display Advertising Guidelines

    Interactive Advertising BureauIAB released a complete overhaul of the IAB Standard Ad Unit Portfolio, for public comment, updating its digital ad formats to adapt across screens, and to incorporate the LEAN Principles of lightweight, encrypted, AdChoice supported, and non-invasive advertising. Please review the technical specifications and email your comments to before November 28, 2016. Read more…

  • Top 6 Digital Marketing Aspects for 2017

    Strategic content marketing is an integral part of successful businesses, both local and globally. Companies can no longer rely solely on face-to-face sales or word-of-mouth advertising. With CopyPress reporting that 84% of digital agencies expect content to become more important in 2017, now is the time to jump on the bandwagon, if you haven’t already. A new year is upon us and growth is evident with the many changes in content marketing. This platform presents a phenomenal boost to businesses of all types. Almost all your colleagues and competitors have developed a strategy for business growth, with content playing a key part. Content marketing is not going away, and as you start to think about your marketing budget for 2017, you should make content a focal point. Read more…

  • email marketing: How to Engage Before the First Touch

    email marketing best practicesEarlier we covered English-language spam rules, a diligent observation of laws regulating the mass sends of unsolicited marketing materials to prospects. The good news for marketers is that there are dozens of perfectly legal, non-spam ways to make first touch engagements happen. Here’s a real life illustration that showed up in my Facebook feed the other day. My friend, a former colleague who now works as a marketing director at a university, posted a conversation she had with a sales rep selling billboard space who cold-called her office line: Read more…

  • Top Strategies for B2B Content Syndication

    Extensive reach, increased targeting of active buyers, reliable prospect qualification, and higher return on investment are some of the most significant content syndication benefits. However, knowing the value of content syndication is only half the battle in strong marketing; you must also understand how to achieve the best possible results. Based on proven success, the following is a look at several key plans for maximising your B2B content syndication efforts. Read more…

  • Top 7 Content Marketing Platforms to increase Content Marketing Quality & Quantity

    With every other form of marketing on the internet becoming too competitive and difficult, one marketing strategy that will save you is content marketing. Your audience is dying to hear your voice and your story, and you’ve got to give it to them in an enchanting manner or you stand the risk of losing them to your competitors. In today’s internet marketing world, companies and businesses are defined by their unique voice and their story, and it’s only by creating compelling content that you can easily get your story out there and get your voice heard by thousands of people. Read more…

  • Where top blog sites get most of their web traffic

    Go crazy creating content AFTER you get your SEO strategy figured out. When it comes to driving traffic to your blog, one of the most common mistakes people make is spending too much effort on things that barely move the needle. The entire goal of establishing an effective online presence, after all, is to one day cross the threshold where people find you more often -- ideally far more often -- than you spend time trying to find them. Read more…

  • Connect NinjaForms with Salesforce

    Salesforce Authorization

    Salesforce uses Open Authorization to connect to your Salesforce account. This process enables you to connect your WordPress site to Salesforce without having to store your Salesforce username and password in the website. You will create a “Connected App” in Salesforce, which has its own Consumer Key and Consumer Secret. This ID and Secret is what you will enter into WordPress to help you gain access to your Salesforce account. Read more…

  • Generating Leads – The real work begins after the first connection

    As a professional digital marketer, you’ve most likely got the workflow down pat.

    • First, you determine your ideal customer or prospect.
    • You create the content those buyers are most interested in, like a clever social media campaign, a well-researched content strategy, or an irresistible offer.
    • When the campaign seems perfect, you launch it into cyberspace.
    • Then, you watch as the new leads roll in and congratulate yourself on a job well done.
    But your job as a marketer shouldn’t stop with lead generation or the handoff to the sales team. I dare say your most important work is yet to be done — nurturing those leads to become customers. Read more…

  • PHP 7 – Top 7 features

    Released in late 2015, PHP 7 was the first major PHP release in over a decade, skipping over the cancelled PHP 6 to provide a whole slew of modern updates. Here are some of our favorite features: Read more…

  • Bulk Email Rules: CAN-SPAM, EC Directive, CASL and more

    Email Best PracticesWith email usage worldwide projected to reach 3 billion users by 2020, businesses simply have to continue using email marketing to reach their target audiences. But it’s not as simple as quickly drafting a messages and hitting “send.” With laws and regulations surrounding this marketing method, many still don’t understand all the rules and restrictions that surround this platform. Marketers need a reference guide for bulk email compliance as it gets pretty complex internationally. This handy resource will help you navigate CAN-SPAM, CASL, EC Directive, and SPAM Act 2003.  The information provided covers your bases for all English-language bulk messaging in the marketing context. We’ve tried to break down the rules and legal jargon into something a little easier to understand and help you remain compliant in your email marketing efforts. For the full-on legalese we’ve provided links to the government copy. Read more…

  • Hide Page Title or Post Title in WordPress

    hide on a post by post and page by page basis. Those of us who want WordPress to be more than a blogging system often find that we need to bend and twist and shape it to do things that might at first seem counter-intuitive: hide a Page title, for example, or even remove a Post title. Read more…

  • Where to Put Your Logo? What the Research Says

    You’ve got a beautifully designed logo. Well done. Now, what do you do with it? Once your high quality logo is designed and ready to go, it should appear on all your branded material, including your WordPress website. Typically, there are three schools of thought as to where logos can go: in the top-left, top-middle, or top-right corners of a page. So this begs the question: which position is right for yourlogo? If we’re going strictly based on UX logic, then your logo belongs in the top-left corner of your website. No questions asked. There are two reasons for this: Read more…