Online Marketing

Making Your B2B Blog More than Just A Blur Of Information

Let's talk about pimping your blog.

Blogging has become a real social phenomenon over the past few years and for good reason. Besides being a great customer service tool, its ability to rank highly in search engines, attract swarms of traffic, create advertising revenue, promote services and generate sales has led to the growing importance of the blog as a business tool worldwide.

Simply put: there just isn't any way around it.

As books inform us of the past, blogs inform of the here and now.

So what makes a blog great?

Like most things in life, there isn’t really a one-size-fits-all approach.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so yes, in some aspects it comes down to your target audience, as well as topic relevance. But wouldn’t it be great if one had a general recipe for success?

There might not be a one-size-fits-all approach, but below are a few of the most fundamental things one needs to keep in mind when hammering out that next blog.

Have you heard people speaking badly about growth hacking?

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Raj Anand, Goodman Lantern

Have you heard people speaking badly about growth hacking? It happens more than some people realise. It’s a great approach to building a loyal following for your brand. Unfortunately, it can go horribly wrong if you forget the one most important part of the puzzle!

The actual reason your brand exists in the first place?

The core of your entire existence as a business?

It’s often overlooked because people get their priorities all wrong over time.

The most important thing in your business: Your clients!

 - More Than Actions
Sure, growth hackers measure everything. We know that the more you try, the more you learn. The way you interpret the numbers matters. Each data point is relevant. The problem is, that you’re actually learning from people. Data points can’t interact with you. Numbers won’t buy your product or care about your message. Don’t lose the individuals in a spreadsheet. They’ll notice and lose interest in you.

 - How To Ruin It
Being impersonal is a real turn-off. If the messages you send out to people aren’t in some way personal and relevant, you’ll lose your audience. They will stop caring if you obviously don’t care about them. Never spam anyone, and never bore your audience. 

 - Test The Water
Jumping right into the deep end isn’t the best approach. You don’t know what could be under there! Make sure you try every idea and approach on a small scale. If it fails in the worst way, you won’t lose your entire customer base with one poor decision. You should really be able to test ideas on a small scale without losing any clients. It’s all about how you do it.

 - When Hacks Attack
Great ideas can go wrong fast when you alienate your audience. If you have an annoying sign-up process, they won’t sign up. If you make canceling a free trial overly complicated, they’ll never try anything of yours again. You want people to like you, right? Never mislead your clients!

 - Don’t Be Dull
You always want to be remembered by your clients. You need them to think of you at the right time. Constant live notifications, posting too frequently, and irrelevant topics will hurt you. A fly trapped in your office while you are working is also memorable, but for the wrong reasons! If you overdo your communication, people begin to switch off.

 - A Time & A Place
You have to know when to hack, and when to chill. You can figure out how to judge this by doing small-scale tests. You’ll notice that copying someone else’s tactics will only work if it translates into your business. Play with some ideas and engage your audience. They’ll love you for it.

 - Care Or Lose
It’s easy to use a ton of hacks to get a list of subscribers, followers, or fans. If you want to keep them and get even more? Keep your heart engaged, and show them you care. Your care directly translates to your client numbers and sales. Keep them close, and always deliver value!

A whole lot of business fail and crash because of the same mistakes

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Kiley Doll, Goodman Lantern

A whole lot of business fail and crash because of the same mistakes. These are so common, it’s hard to believe that errors like this still happen. Growth hacking, when done right, grows the number of repeat clients. 

When people buy from you more than five times, it shows that you’re attracting and keeping clients. Every business has to examine if they are committing these three deadly sins:

- Nobody Cares

You are the only one who loves your idea. You alone see it’s full value and potential. If you can’t communicate that vision and create demand for your product, you will fail. Nobody else cares yet. 

Startups have failed because they spent time and money on a product that nobody wants or needs. It’s impossible to sell something nobody wants. The wisest way to approach your product development is to test everything. If you find an aspect doesn’t work or isn’t wanted, fix the issue. In short, start by actually being valuable to your clients.

- Try New Things

Growth Hacking is all about attaining stability in your business through growth tactics. Some businesses think they have to put their entire budget into growth hacking. Many of these go out of business. You have to budget for your growth in a strategic way. Put capital aside to cover the cost of changes and supportive strategies. 

It’s better to prepare your business for success from many angles. Stay true to the Growth Hacker ethos of cross-platform excellence. You can have more than one solution if they work well together. You’ll discover which avenues fail, and have others to fall back on that work better. Test everything.

- Go Big or Go Home

Every businessperson wants to reach the levels of the big corporations of the world. It’s normal to crave the top prize, but must be done right. If you expect viral status right out of the box, you will be disappointed. 

You have to set steady, reliable goals for your growth. Realistic, attainable steps allow you to track your growth and maintain forward momentum. Reach smaller milestones more regularly. Continually experimenting with the best approach will keep your business alive.

Do you really understand growth hacking?

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Kiley Doll, Goodman Lantern

Do you really understand growth hacking? Could you explain it to a total newbie? Some people avoid growth hacking because they’ve been misinformed.

There’s a whole lot of nonsense going about that distorts what Growth Hacking is. Here are five of the most common ones:

 - Growth Hacking = Marketing
Growth Hacking and Marketing both focus on growing businesses. Marketers use marketing tactics and strategy to promote products and brands. Growth Hackers involve themselves in every facet of their business. They focus on the relationships between products and clients. Growth Hackers are on a mission to improve and perfect every part of the business. They want clients to love every part of their experience with their brand.

 - Growth Hacking Is All About Coding
It isn’t. It definitely helps to have an understanding of coding, but Growth Hacking does much deeper. Repeated experimentation, changing tactics, and constant refinement is what it’s all about. If it doesn’t work, do something else. 

 - Bigger Businesses Can’t Growth Hack
Every business has to constantly grow and evolve. When companies stagnate, they disappear as their competitors leap at the opportunity to disrupt their status. Obviously then, every company will benefit from Growth Hacking. It’s all about making clients and their friends love your business. 

 - Growth Hacking Always Works
There are a lot of people out there promising seemingly magical results by using Growth Hacking techniques. Growth Hacking is not magic, and requires a lot of work and strategizing. Growth Hackers work hard to figure out what works, and even harder to keep trying new approaches. 

 - One Growth Hacker Is Enough
Some companies hire a handful of Growth Hacking experts and expect amazing results. That’s not how it works. A company culture of constant experimentation and change, steered by experienced leaders is key. You need to create a company culture of growth hacking and refinement.

Video Fruit's Awesome Sales Funnel

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Kiley Doll, Goodman Lantern

Video Fruit have nailed their sales funnel. It's a simple, effective way to drive sales that has delivered awesome results. Their email list had 13,528 subscribers when the course went live, and used no ads or affiliates in the launch. The course took 90 days to create.

 

Video Fruit used 4 Steps to make their project a success:

Phase 1: Find a Topic

Video Fruit used four steps to figure out what their course should be about:

1: Think about what has gotten the best engagement. Which of your blog posts, videos, or podcasts have gotten the best responses?

2: Which content upgrades have gotten the most attention? If your subscribers gravitate towards certain topics, focus on those.

3: What themes have grabbed the most attention? Check out your most popular posts and figure out why they work so well. Find the common thread.

4: When you know what people want the most, you can begin to craft an awesome product hypothesis.

Phase 2: Collect Payment First

Now you know what people are eager for, write a description of the course based on your hypothesis. The next phase is to see if they bite! You need to be productive with your time. Make sure people will pay you for the course before you build it.

It's easier than you think:

Step 1: Select a small group of your email subscribers based on the most interest in your topic.

Step 2: Offer them a sneak peak into your course outline and ask them for their opinion.

Step 3: When they get back to you with interest in the course, send them the pre-registration link right away.

Step 4: When 10% of this test group pre-register for the course, begin building the course. If fewer responses come back, adjust the hypothesis based on your subscriber's feedback.

Remember that you can use every response to perfect your product hypothesis. This way, each of your hypotheses will be more polished and attractive to your customers. Your hypothesis will be the base for your sales letter, so this process is very important.

Phase 3: Create the Course

When you've reached your target 10% pre-registrations, you can start building your course:

Step 1: Choosing between the two types of courses:

-  Reference Courses - Students can move through the course, using only the info they need. This is the most popular model.

- Specific Path Courses - The opposite of reference courses. You follow the course from beginning to end with no free navigation. These courses promise to deliver a specific result and show you the steps to succeeding. This type of course helps students stay focused, use their new insights, and be successful.

Step 2: Choosing a Name

Choosing a name can be tricky! Here are some steps Video Fruit use to choose names for their courses:

- What type of course have you chosen? Specific Path courses need to have a very specific name.

- What courses have you bought or almost bought? What were the names of the courses?

- There are four questions you have to ask yourself about each name:

- Do you like the name?

- Is it brief and to the point?

- Can you adapt the name to fit your course?

- Will people immediately know what it's about?

Step 3: Naming Your Course

Now you can name your course, using all the insights gained through this process.

Step 4: Create a Storyboard.

Now is the time to develop your content. You must decide on which strategies to teach. You'll also need the course structure, and how many modules you'll include. You want to give each student a minor moment of success to help them get motivated for the course. Ask yourself:

- What will the course achieve?

- Which milestones will each student go though?

- What is the best way for your students to reach these milestones?

Step 5: Create the Content.

It's now time to start creating the content for the course.

- Your Milestones become your Modules. Renaming milestones is the quickest way to name your modules.

- Your Action Items become your Lessons. This is the best way to ensure you're covering everything you set out to. Be sure to keep your lessons to a manageable size.

Step 6: Set Up Systems

Once you have completed the first four steps, it's time to set the course up. You want it to look great and work well.

Step 7: PAS Boosts Sales.

Don't jump in and start talking about your product. Instead, you want to make sure that your clients understand three key points:

- Problem: You have to explain the problem you wish to solve.

- Agitate: Expand on the problem and show how deep the issue goes.

- Solve: Offer a solution to the problem you've identified.

Step 8: Keep Hyping

You want to keep your subscribers interested. Staying top-of-mind is essential. A great way to do this throughout the registration period is to keep offering more. You can offer discounts, added freebies, or useful links and tools. Include a deadline to motivate your subscribers to grab them while they're available.

 

Automating Sales Prospecting Emails

Raj Anand

Raj Anand, Goodman Lantern

Does writing sales emails take a lot of time out of your day? Each prospecting email can take around ten minutes to write. Wouldn’t it be better to make the process a lot faster?

Analyze Your Mails

Carefully reading through your sales prospecting emails is the best place to start. Find the personalized aspects of your email, and try to automate them!

- Avoid being too personalized - it’s a waste of time.

- Find the personalized sections and analyse them.

- Search for data that could replace the section entirely.

Using the Data

It’s important to ask the right questions to make sure you’re making the best decisions:

- Question 1: Can the personalised section be replaced?

- Question 2: If not, can company or personal data be used instead?

- Question 3: Ifdata not, can a range of data points be combined?

- Question 4: Is it possible to find the data quickly?

Once you have worked through the process it’s time to edit your emails and add in the personalized aspects of your mail. You’ll save time, send more emails, and get more responses as a result!

10 tools to make you look bigger and a global brand

Being a small company has its upsides, you're agile and fast, and you don't have endless red tape and bureaucracy. Although, being big has one advantage: increased credibility in the eyes of many consumers. So how can a small company appear bigger than it is, here are 10 great tools which will make you appear much bigger. Part of fake it till you make it: 

  1. Answeramerica.com : Phone answering service based in the US but you can forward calls from all across the world. Only costs $1/call and no monthly fee
  2. Skype.com Number: Get local numbers for most countries. Forward the number to AnswerAmerica.com if you can't answer them. 
  3. Freeconferencecall.com: Free conference call facility with dial in numbers for most destinations. Why pay $15/month on conference call facility if you can get it for free? 
  4. Webpagetest.org: Big companies have faster websites. Website Speed tester allows you to check how quickly your site loads up. 
  5. Cloudflare.com: We expect big companies to have their website online at all times. Now you can do this by using Cloudflare, which keeps (a cached copy of) your website online even it's down. 
  6. Google Pagespeed : Allows you to find ways to optimise your website and loading speed
  7. Canva.com: Design is the first thing your customers see when they visit your website. Canva makes the process of designing web and print effortless.               
  8. Squarespace.com: Developing quality websites, which look fantastic, mobile ready and completely hosted. 
  9. GoPinLeads: To get more sales you need to connect with people in your industry. Effortlessly creates local leads of physical businesses. Full disclosure: We developed this tool. 
  10. Commissioncrowd.com: A global commission only sales force           

15 free online tools for marketing and sales professionals

Our 15 top recommendations for anyone within sales and marketing to improve their productivity and improve customer acquisition. 

 

1. aytm.com   Conduct Primary Surveys with a panel of 25m people
 2. profound.com  Purchase research by chapters from 200 research publishers
 3. companycheck.co.uk   Check who is the director and address of a UK company
 4. spyfu.com     Find competitor's SEO / PPC strategy
 5. semrush.com   Keyword analysis of competitors website using Google Adwords
 6. www.domaintools.com  See who owns the website
 7. BuiltWith.com     What technical tools the website is built using
 8. rapportive.com    Verify emails right into your gmail
 9. voilanorbert.com    Find anyone’s email addresses
 10. freeconferencecall.com   Free global conference call facility
 11. answeramerica.com   Inexpensive phone answering service
 12. ninjaoutreach.com    Find influencers in your industry
 13. onalytica.com     Find influencers for the article you have written
 14. numbeo.com     Compare eco-social conditions between 2 cities
 15. copyscape.com    Review where is the content copied from

PACER, Inbound meets Outbound. How to rapidly grow your business l

Step-by-step guidance on how to go from Zero to first 50 customers in any business, existing or brand new. Whether you're looking to start a new arm of your business or start it from scratch, we'll shed some light on how you can set yourself up for success. All of our techniques are based on what we have used to grow Goodman Lantern from $0, with no investment raised, to where we are today. We bootstrapped it all the way, and so can you!

 

The name of the game is being tactful. It's not about inbound or outbound marketing; it's about standing out and building trust. You can't build trust with customers if you haven't made contact with them yet. If you're merely relying on blogging, Facebook, or Twitter to pull in the punters, we have some bad news for you: outbound tools, like email, see an average click-through rate of 3.57%, compared to 0.07% for Facebook and 0.03% for Twitter. 

If you've previously heard that inbound was the only way forward, it's worth looking at this: 

  1. In an interview with Jeb Blount, author of Fanatical Prospecting, he mentions that he "was sold Hubspot on an (outbound) cold call " (scroll to 42.30). The term "inbound marketing" was coined by HubSpot, yet even they engage in outbound marketing. 
  2. Tony J. Hughes, in his blog post, talks about a company which went "full bottle" social selling. They removed phones from the sales floor and tanked their top and mid-funnel.

Why Isn't Inbound Marketing Good Enough? 

Before we identify why inbound marketing isn't sufficient on it's own, it's worth exploring why people don't have success with it as an alone-standing approach. It's worth noting that inbound works very closely with content marketing. The top reason why companies are likely to give up on content marketing, says Roman Kniahynyckyj, is due to the length of time it takes for the benefits to kick in, driven by these factors:

  1. Google indexing: The bottom line is that you need Google to index your website fully. Unless you are an internet phenomenon, based one experience, you are looking at a minimum of  3-6 months. 
  2. Time to learn: Writing content takes time and you probably won't get it right the first time, so you need to maintain a trial-and-error approach. 
  3. Building content: Once you have mastered the art of content creation, you need to build enough volume so it starts to snowball and you begin to receive leads. 

Inbound is good but it's slow, outbound is quick but it's pushy. What we are proposing is to take the best of both inbound and outbound, making the latter a dialogue. The key is to make outbound part of the 6-8 touches required to convert prospects into customers. 

Our focus with this campaign is to rely majorly on email. Why email? 

  1. Email marketing alone drives as much revenue as all other digital channels combined, according to a survey of US marketing execs.
  2. Email is 40x more effective for customer acquisition than Facebook and Twitter combined.
  3. Marketers generate 174% more conversions with email than social media.

 

The Inspiration

Where did the idea come from? 

I will be the first to admit that the idea is inspired; it came from an email which I received in 2016 from Laura Hannan. It was probably the most well-crafted email I have ever read and I had no option but to respond asking for more information. 

Subject: Goodman Lantern's Role in the Future Smart Home
Hi Raj,
I'd be interested to understand if you have a view on where Goodman Lantern might sit in the future smart home.
The smart home future marketplace is not properly defined yet, so JM of EC (Wiki page) has created an ecosystem of organisations who want to lead or participate in this exciting field.
Members include utilities, telcos, insurance, property, manufacturers, digital enablers and start ups.
They share insight, ideas, and by utilising each others strengths, technology and consumer bases, they co-create and test applications for the future smart home.
Can we please set up a call to discuss?
Laura

This email was doing the following: 

  1. Selling me an opportunity to be part of an elite group in exchange for a phone call, without spelling this out. 
  2. Qualifying me to see if I'm in the space of smart homes.
  3. Testing if I'd be interested in transacting with other members.
  4. Finally, it's up to me if I'd be interested in a phone call.

This is a push form of marketing where I have to request or 'pull' information. Now, here is the backdrop to this information: the person referred to as JH is someone who I know, as she has been on various business websites / social media sites, really getting her inbound marketing right.  As a result, this combination of inbound and outbound marketing worked. Had there been no email, I would have never signed up. I would have never reacted to this via a Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook ad etc, as I wasn't searching for it. 

 

So how did Laura find me and get in touch? What is the process? 

Here is a step-by-step guide on how this can be achieved over a 3-month period: 

1. Develop tool or content

2. Develop list of emails

3. Send out emails

4. Monitor results / compare with the industry

5. Repeat

PACER

We call this technique the PACER (Promote > Collect > Email > Analyse > Repeat)

PACER.png

 

Promote

According to Eric Worre, Go Pro: 7 Steps to Becoming a Network Marketing Professional, you need to give away something in order to invite people to your network. To start your promotion, you need to give knowledge, webinars, software tools, and other freebies to get your target market interested in what you're offering. Some call it Inbound marketing, others Karma, but the fact of the matter is that genuine promotion is about giving, not taking.  


Collect

Once you have done your promoting, you need to find a way to collect the email addresses of your target market and proactively email them. This is very much an outbound tactic, and yes, you will approach them cold. If you have done your promotion right, they would already have heard of you. 

There are various tools in the market that enable you to collect email addresses. Alternatively, you can use data marketing agencies to buy lists. In a bid for shameless promotion, we also offer a free tool to help you generate a B2B list of leads including phone numbers and email addresses. 

 

Email

Once you have collected the email addresses, you need to carefully draft an email and send it out using a mail merge tool. Be warned: please don't send out newsletter or HTML emails, the default option on Mailchimp. 
 

This section has three parts: 

1. Drafting emails which generate high conversions

 

2. Sending out the emails

 

3. Developing effective landing pages

Analyse

This is probably the most import aspect of the campaign. You need to make sure your campaign actually reaches the goals you've set and that you get responses. The best outcome of the campaign is that you receive several positive responses, mostly in the form of signups or a direct response to the email.

This email campaign will generate a much higher response rate than the industry email marketing statistics. Our previous campaigns on average have the following responses: 

Open rates should be 45-60% 
Average open rate is 9.2-20%

Click through rate of 4-11% and
Average CTR is between 1.25-5.13%

Conversion rate of 2-5% 
 

 

Repeat

Now repeat the process with new data and keep doing this recursively till you find a target market.

Let us know in the comments if this worked for you. We are always keen to hear success stories 

 

The Piggy Back Hack📱: 4 Guaranteed User Acquisition Techniques for Apps

How did Snapchat, YouTube, Airbnb, Instagram and WhatsApp ‘piggy-backed’ acquisition of new customers?


These days, it seems like some tech companies go from zero to a million users overnight. The growth of these firms like Snapchat and YouTube can seem magical… but it’s not. 
Did you know a small tweak within the platform can make all the difference between being a million or a billion $ company? 

This the ‘piggy-back’ growth hack to gain users, We call this the ‘piggy-back’ hack, as these platforms rode on someone's shoulders to grow their user base.


4. YouTube’s Embed Code Hack
Back in 2005 - 2006 YouTube chose to focus on MySpace as a means of reaching its target audience. At the time, in 2005, with nearly 25 million unique users, MySpace was the top social network, particularly for bands and their fans, but sharing videos on the site was next to impossible.

Other video sites like YouTube had avoided allowing blogs and other sites to embed videos on their sites. To avoid paying substantial hosting costs associated with supporting traffic to other people’s sites. Instead, YouTube shouldered the cost in exchange for a huge boost in brand recognition and grew average users to nearly 20 million visitors per month. That initial traction helped it grow into the powerhouse it is today, with over a billion users. 


3.  Instagram’s Cross-Posting to multi-platform
Launched in October 2010 it quickly became a fast, beautiful and fun way to share life with friends and family through a series of pictures, beautified using filters. Instagram took the platform hack to another level. They made it quick and easy for users to cross-post to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, and more by push of a button. 

This was undeniably good for users, who struggled to post mobile photos to Facebook in those early days, but it was also good for Instagram, whose distinct-looking photos started popping up across various social platforms, serving as a free advertisement for the app.

2. Airbnb’s Craigslist Cross-Posting
Yet another example of a platform hack is a simple yet brilliant tool within Airbnb, which allowed users listing their properties on the app to cross-post them to Craigslist in one click. They asked the user to post their home that they wanted to rent out by filling a pre-filled form. It made it simple for the user to cross post their listing to Craigslist. (Image: https://www.quora.com/How-did-Airbnb-avoid-liability-when-they-implemented-their-growth-hack-with-craigslist-1)

Taking advantage of Craigslist’s well-established user base not only allowed Airbnb to get its name in front of as many new users as possible, but it also helped to ensure that the properties they listed for rent were booked more often—making listing with them more lucrative for users.


1. Snapchat’s Snapcode
Snapchat launched Snapcodes in early 2015 after they purchased a QR code company called Scan.me. While brands and marketers attempted to make QR codes hip for years, it was Snapchat who ultimately turned them into influencer currency. Snapchatters could then easily add friends by taking a snap of their profile picture. 

Also, By changing a Twitter profile picture to a Snaptag, users were able to encourage their Twitter following to add them on the new instant messaging platform.

Benefits of eBooks in Content Marketing Strategy

What is content marketing

By creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content, marketers aim to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience. The major goal is to convert this traffic into profitable customer action.

Of course, the keyword here is “valuable”. It’s what distinguishes content marketing from other forms of advertising. Instead of simply pitching products or services, it becomes necessary to provide truly reliable, relevant, and useful content to potential and current customers, helping them solve their problems or answer their own questions.

The best way to tell if a piece of content is worth using in a content marketing campaign, is to establish whether people actively seek it out. If people want to consume it rather than avoid it, it’s worth your while.

A strong content marketing strategy includes a variety of content types. As individual pieces begin to take shape, there are some specific items to keep in mind: blog posts, ebooks, cheat sheets, workbooks and templates, whitepapers and reports, infographics, slide decks, video, etc.

Why content marketing

According to Pagefair.com, over 200 million people now use ad blockers. Conventional marketing tactics are becoming less effective. “Good” content is impervious to ad-blocking software and actually happens to be something that consumers want to interact with. Content marketing is therefore more effective and welcome on a foundational level.

There is the assumption that content marketing is an expensive alternative to the traditional marketing model. This, however, is inaccurate. Content marketing is highly effective and easy to begin. It is popular with consumers and can therefore drastically reduce the amount of money that would otherwise be spent on advertising that has a potentially lower success rate.

Roughly 88% of today’s B2B marketers use content marketing as that foundation of their marketing strategy. The sustainable value of content marketing means that brands are able to easily connect with their customers, as the lines of communication are a little more open. With conversion rates that are six times higher than those associated with traditional marketing efforts, it is hardly surprising that content marketing is growing in popularity.

Ebooks in Content Marketing

According to Jesse Noyes, senior director of content marketing for Kapost, "Fat content will become the focus of marketers everywhere.” The term ‘fat content’ extends to include whitepapers, infographics, ebooks, and videos – all of which can be used in a clever content marketing strategy.

In a content marketing plan, eBooks are best used by businesses that need to communicate complex information in a way that is both interesting and accessible. The term “infotaining” is often used to describe these eBooks, which should be filled with practical, useful, and possibly inspiring content that aligns with the business’ brand.

eBooks present the perfect balance between education and entertainment. Visually, an eBook is more appealing than a whitepaper yet it is more serious than an infographic. Essentially, eBooks cover several bases whereas other forms of content tend to be a little more one-dimensional. According to PricewaterhouseCooper LLpP, eBook sales are expected to grow from $2.31 billion in 2011 to $8.69 billion in 2018. This proves that they are somewhat of a “hot” commodity.

eBooks are being referred to as “fat” content, anything that can be broken up into smaller pieces and used in multi-channel campaigning. Ultimately, flexibility is what makes this type of marketing tool so popular. At least 39% of B2B marketers are using eBooks as a part of their strategy, whereas “thin” online content is slowly edging its way out of the limelight.

Benefits of eBooks

There are several benefits to using eBooks as a part of a business’ marketing strategy, some of which will be highlighted below.

Generate leads

What sets eBooks apart from other marketing tools is the fact that they seem to be more informative than a regular part of an advertising tactic. To the consumer, they exist in order to provide entertainment or expertise. After all, the best source of knowledge is an industry expert who can offer insight into solving the “real-life” problems of customers.

In an age where transparency is key, marketers will find that potential customers shy away from anything they perceive to be a “hard sell”. EBooks enable marketers to control the content they send out. The content becomes more inviting to consumers, drawing their attention in such a way that they feel as though they made a conscious choice to pursue a particular service rather than feeling as though they’ve been harassed into making a purchase.

Ebooks have the following technological advantages in lead generation:
 

  • The electronic medium provides a convenient method for an immediate call-to-action - a click!

  • eBooks containing links allow businesses to track their success through quantifiable measurements.

  • Rather than provide a static product, companies can add links to a variety of additional media (video, audio, or graphics) adding visual appeal.

  • An eBook is fast and easy to produce while still looking great and providing a professional appearance to a business’ content strategy.

Build a Brand

When used properly, an eBook will cause potential customers to link the content to a particular business’ existing brand. For this reason, marketers need to find a way to ensure that they maximise the eBook’s ability to enhance the company’s image.

Connecting an eBook to a specific brand can be done in the following ways:
 

  • Complement the existing brand by using the appropriate logos, fonts, and colour schemes on the eBook cover.

  • Present a professional image by ensuring that the format, writing, and editing are publication-ready.

  • When making your eBook publication-ready, marketers should execute each step with precision – especially in terms of the conversion of media.

Offers Valuable Knowledge to your Target Audience

When creating eBook content, authors should focus on topics that they have expertise in. Consumers are able to sense when content has been penned by an author who is floundering in unfamiliar territory. Furthermore, the eBook should not be about the product or service offered by the company in question.

While the eBook content may not be intended to sell, it will still have a positive impact on the decision-making of its audience.  The key here is to ensure that there is a call-to-action at the end of the eBook which links to the pertinent areas of the company’s website. This subtle method of selling helps readers make a decision without feeling they are under inordinate amounts of pressure.

Of course, the topic of the eBook should still be industry relevant – something that will attract the attention of the appropriate audience and teach them something that will assist them in making the “correct” purchasing decision. Ebooks are often used to set a particular company up as a trusted source of information or an industry leader on a particular topic.

10 Best Practices for Creating eBooks
 

Below are the top ten best practices for creating quality, effective eBooks:

  • Covers should be compelling with short, provocative titles.

  • EBooks should be easy to find, share and act on.

  • Anticipate varying screen sizes for eBook consumption and make graphics and text readable across the board.

  • Lists, tips, and best practices with examples are the most compelling eBook content formats.

  • Include links within the eBook to blog posts, videos, and articles from the business itself and from 3rd party resources.

  • Focus on content that is easily shareable on social media.

  • Promote portions of the eBook through blog posts and social networks.

  • Co-create eBooks with industry thought leaders to create a built-in incentive for them to help promote.

  • Use a clear and relevant call to action according to the eBook purpose.

  • Provide PDF and embeddable versions of the eBook.

 

Who are Strategic Planning Consultants

In the realm of management consultancy, strategic planning consultants focus (as is indicated by their title) on the strategic issues faced by businesses. Their focus is firmly tethered to issues relating to anything from supply chains and logistics to Internet presence. While many of these consultants operate under the umbrella of outside consulting companies, more often they are a part of a larger organization offering their consulting services to different units within the company.


Strategic planning is driven at the highest levels of an organization, usually formulated by a board of directors with input from expert third parties. The resulting “plans” are officially implemented by the company’s executives.

The Role of the Strategic Planning Consultant

Strategic planning consultants help business owners and their executive teams to develop an integrated strategic plan that builds clarity and consensus on a critical game-plan for future success.

A strategy consultant’s role is to provide companies with advice on their goals and future direction. These consultants use expertise, industry experience and analysis to help their clients identify strategies that increase revenue and market share by improving their competitive advantage. Strategy consultants help companies grow faster and increase the value of their business.

A strategic planning consultant will endeavor to clarify an organization's objectives and the outcomes required for all key stakeholders including customers, shareholders, staff and community. The resulting strategic plan is formulated within a given framework of corporate policies and procedures, and against economic and regulatory backdrops.

A key role for strategy consultants is to help companies define what they do and to identify their capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Consultants examine the company’s product range, the skills of its employees, its customer base and its marketing communications to build a picture of its current capabilities.

Strategy consultants help management teams compare their current capabilities with market opportunities. They analyse a range of opportunities, compare market requirements with the company’s capabilities and set out a range of viable options. The options might include developing or sourcing new products, expanding into wider geographical territories or entering new market sectors. For each option, consultants highlight the associated risk and identify the changes required for success.

Independent strategy consultants are equipped with the expertise and experience of solving strategy problems for small and large businesses across different industry sectors. This perspective and experience can help a management team focus on what the company should do to differentiate itself from the competition. As part of their role, strategic consultants help management teams identify priorities and focus the team on the requirements for making the strategy a reality.

Strategic planning consultants will typically call on a range of individuals to bring supplementary expertise with depth of experience in particular areas for example: economic, financial, risk management, marketing, enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, information technology, and human resources.

The strategic planning consultant first analyzes an organization's current business practices, both internally and with its customers and suppliers. From the assessments made, the business strategy consultant formulates the objectives, both tactically and strategically. Once the plan has been stabilized and baselined, the consultant works with the executive team on an ongoing basis to implement the strategic plan and manage amendments, usually at specified intervals for example quarterly or annually.

Strategic Planning Consultant Skills

The skill requirements of a strategic consultant are extremely high. The complexity involved in formulating an effective long-term plan is immense. Consultants need to find the right avenue that will enable an organization to achieve its stated goals and objectives.

In order to be able to operate credibly with the leadership teams of large organizations, whether in the public or private sector, a strategic planning consultant will be expected to possess some or all of the following experience depending on the client brief:
 

  • Several years of direct business experience, preferably across several functional areas

  • Significant tenure in a leadership role including executive accountability for business planning across a number of organizations and probably in different industries

  • Experience as an external adviser or consultant to organizations

  • Continuous training and an advanced degree, possibly an MBA, to keep up with strategic advances and technological innovations

  • A solid background as a senior business professional involved in technical activities within a given niche or profession, perhaps including consultancies, academic research, thought leadership and presenting white papers at conferences

Rewards for Strategic Planning Consultants

Technically, there is no ceiling to the rewards available to the business strategy consultant. They are only limited by their experience, knowledge and contacts. A strategic planning consultant's compensation can quite easily range up in the millions of dollars over the life of an assignment. These fees can be supplemented quite substantially if you hire other experienced, niche consultants to contribute specialist insights.

An experience independent strategic planning consultant can make $250K or more in a year without too much difficulty. It is all within their reach given the right experience, knowledge, and drive. The total compensation will be determined by their background and skills.

There are also the non-monetary rewards: the kudos of being known as the expert in their chosen discipline and being in high demand among the world's top corporations. The potential in this field is great and very exciting.

Image Source:  http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Strategic_Planning_Consultant/Salary

Image Source:  http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Strategic_Planning_Consultant/Salary

The demand for skilled consultants is likely to remain high. Competition will be fierce, although the absolute number of credible competitors will be relatively low. Since the formulation of business strategy planning is an ongoing and evolving process, consulting services will be required for a long time to keep the plan current and the organization on track. The extract from Linkedin shows that the range of industries that are interested of services of strategic planning consultants is wide enough.

 

Using SWOT Analysis for Clever Content Strategies

In terms of business analysis techniques, a thorough SWOT analysis is possibly the best means of identifying the feasibility of an impending venture or project.  This analytical tool is used for the identification and categorization of internal and external factors. Strengths and weaknesses in SWOT analysis are termed as internal factors while opportunities and threats are termed as external factors. Potential ventures are only considered as serious possibilities only when the strengths and opportunities outweigh the weaknesses and threats.

SWOT analyses, flexible as they are, can be conducted for the following:

·         a situation

·         an organization

·         a project

·         a new venture

·         a country

·         a nation

·         individuals

While some factors in the SWOT analysis are internal to the venture being undertaken, others are external. Internal factors, quite naturally, involve the internal operations and resources of the organization including the strengths and weaknesses inherent to the project/ venture. External factors, on the other hand, relate to the external environment and elements on which the organisations have no influence, including opportunities and threats.

In order for a SWOT analysis to be carried out correctly, it necessary to focus on internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) before moving on to the external factors (opportunities and threats). This is a fairly straightforward strategy as it is of the utmost importance that you should have a full understanding of the inner workings of your company before considering the world outside.

Internal Analysis: Strengths and Weaknesses

A full internal analysis of your organization will always include its culture, expertise, resources, and unique qualities within the marketplace.

Strengths

A company’s strengths are the basis on which success can be made and sustained. They are, in short, the qualities which enable a business to achieve its goals; adding value or offering a competitive advantage. These qualities should be considered from an internal perspective as well as from the viewpoint of customers and competitors.

Your strengths refer not only to what you are well-versed in or what you have expertise in, but also the traits and qualities your employees possess (individually and as a team) as well as the distinct features that give your organization its consistency. Your company’s strengths include human competencies, process capabilities, financial resources, products and services, customer goodwill and brand loyalty.

In order to discover your business’ strengths, you may wish to consider the following key questions:

·         What advantages does your organization have?

·         What do you do better than anyone else?

·         What unique or lowest-cost resources can you draw upon that others      can't?

·         What do people in your market see as your strengths?

·         What factors mean that you "get the sale"?

·         What is your organization's Unique Selling Proposition Add to My Personal Learning Plan (USP)?

Weaknesses

Weaknesses will prevent a company from achieving its full potential. Essentially, any factors within the company which do not meet your expectations can be considered a point of weakness. These should be addressed immediately, and if not eliminated, they should be minimized as much as possible.

Weaknesses in an organization could refer to depreciating machinery, insufficient research and development facilities, narrow product range, poor decision-making, high employee turnover, wastage of raw materials, etc. Any of these problems can place you in a negative light and provide your competitors with the advantage they need to climb to the top.

To discover where your company’s weaknesses lie, it is necessary to ask the following questions:

·         What factors that are within your control detract from your ability to obtain or maintain a competitive edge?

·         What areas need improvement to accomplish your objectives or compete with your strongest competitor?

·         What does your business lack (for example, expertise or access to skills or technology)?

·         Does your business have limited resources?

·         What are people in your market likely to see as weaknesses?

·         What factors lose you sales?

External Analysis

External factors to consider in your analysis include the environment in which your organization operates in, your market, the economy, and all of the 3rd parties involved in the day to day running of your business.

Opportunities

Opportunities arise when an organization can benefit from conditions within its operational environment. These opportunities enable you to plan and execute strategies that secure higher profitability rates and as such gain a competitive advantage. More often than not, these opportunities present themselves for a limited amount of time and should therefore be snapped up as soon as they arise. There is a delicate balance to be found in selecting the targets that will best serve the clients while getting desired results.

Opportunities often arise from changes in:

·         Technology

·         Markets

·         Government Policy

·         Supply methods

·         Social Patterns

·         Population profiles

·         Global offerings

·         Lifestyle

The followings key questions need to be considered:

·         What opportunities exist in your market that you can benefit from?

·         What interesting trends are you aware of?

·         Is the perception of your business positive?

·         Has there been recent market growth or have there been other changes in the market to create an opportunity?

·         Is the opportunity ongoing, or is there just a window for it? In other words, how critical is your timing?

Threats

Threats arise when conditions in your external environment jeopardise the reliability and profitability of your business. Threats are uncontrollable, particularly when they relate to the aforementioned weaknesses within your company.

Contingency plans should be put in place to combat threats when they arise. Not many businesses can survive being taken completely by surprise.

Major sources of threats are the following:

·         Competitors reducing prices

·         Supply costs increase

·         New Technology

·         Government regulations

·         Economic downturns

·         Changes in consumer behavior

Benefits of SWOT Analysis

In addition to the cost-effectiveness of conducting a SWOT analysis, the following benefits are well worth looking into:

·         Wide Range of Applications:

SWOT analysis can be used to conduct competitive analysis, strategic planning or any other study.

·         Promotes Discussion:

    SWOT analysis promotes discussion. It is important that you have your employees on the same page.

·         Provides Visual Overview:

     A SWOT analysis is usually presented as a square, each quadrant representing one factor. This visual arrangement provides a quick overview of the company’s position and encourages dialogue.

·         Offers Insight:

    SWOT analysis can be used to gain insight about the market, giving you a better understanding of your competition.

·         Integration and Synthesis:

    SWOT analysis gives the analyst the opportunity to integrate and synthesize diverse information, despite it being qualitative or quantitative in nature. SWOT analysis organizes information that is already known, as well as information that has just been acquired or discovered.

·         Fosters Collaboration: SWOT analysis fosters collaboration and encourages open information exchange between a variety of functional areas in a firm that would otherwise not collaborate or interact much

Using SWOT Analysis for Content Strategies

A SWOT analysis is the ideal catalyst for targeted content strategies. The main reason for this is simply the fact that a two-step process (data collection and categorization) is all you really need to fuel various different types of marketing content for your business.


Your content strategy can be evaluated according to the following framework:

Strengths

·         List 3-4 major internal strategic strengths of your current content marketing efforts.

·         Identify what has been working well for you so far (eg. a well-defined blogging strategy)

·         Identify your expertise in certain subjects

·         Identify potential partnerships that could assist in promoting your content to generate traffic

Weaknesses

·         List 3-4 major internal strategic weaknesses of your current content marketing efforts.

·         Identify holes in your resources

·         Identify problems with tracking your ROI

·         Identify where your focus is lacking (lead generation vs closing deals)

Opportunities

·         List 3-4 major external opportunities that exist for anyone working within your market.

·         Are there paid distribution opportunities worth looking into?

·         Are any platforms looking for specific content that you are able to create?

Threats

·         List 3-4 major external threats that exist for anyone working within your market.

·         Is your content easily replicated by competitors?

·         Do your competitors have better resources than you do?

 

·         an organization

·         a project

·         a new venture

·         a country

·         a nation

·         individuals

While some factors in the SWOT analysis are internal to the venture being undertaken, others are external. Internal factors, quite naturally, involve the internal operations and resources of the organization including the strengths and weaknesses inherent to the project/ venture. External factors, on the other hand, relate to the external environment and elements on which the organisations have no influence, including opportunities and threats.

In order for a SWOT analysis to be carried out correctly, it necessary to focus on internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) before moving on to the external factors (opportunities and threats). This is a fairly straightforward strategy as it is of the utmost importance that you should have a full understanding of the inner workings of your company before considering the world outside.

Internal Analysis: Strengths and Weaknesses

A full internal analysis of your organization will always include its culture, expertise, resources, and unique qualities within the marketplace.

Strengths

A company’s strengths are the basis on which success can be made and sustained. They are, in short, the qualities which enable a business to achieve its goals; adding value or offering a competitive advantage. These qualities should be considered from an internal perspective as well as from the viewpoint of customers and competitors.

Your strengths refer not only to what you are well-versed in or what you have expertise in, but also the traits and qualities your employees possess (individually and as a team) as well as the distinct features that give your organization its consistency. Your company’s strengths include human competencies, process capabilities, financial resources, products and services, customer goodwill and brand loyalty.

In order to discover your business’ strengths, you may wish to consider the following key questions:

·         What advantages does your organization have?

·         What do you do better than anyone else?

·         What unique or lowest-cost resources can you draw upon that others      can't?

·         What do people in your market see as your strengths?

·         What factors mean that you "get the sale"?

·         What is your organization's Unique Selling Proposition Add to My Personal Learning Plan (USP)?

Weaknesses

Weaknesses will prevent a company from achieving its full potential. Essentially, any factors within the company which do not meet your expectations can be considered a point of weakness. These should be addressed immediately, and if not eliminated, they should be minimized as much as possible.

Weaknesses in an organization could refer to depreciating machinery, insufficient research and development facilities, narrow product range, poor decision-making, high employee turnover, wastage of raw materials, etc. Any of these problems can place you in a negative light and provide your competitors with the advantage they need to climb to the top.

To discover where your company’s weaknesses lie, it is necessary to ask the following questions:

·         What factors that are within your control detract from your ability to obtain or maintain a competitive edge?

·         What areas need improvement to accomplish your objectives or compete with your strongest competitor?

·         What does your business lack (for example, expertise or access to skills or technology)?

·         Does your business have limited resources?

·         What are people in your market likely to see as weaknesses?

·         What factors lose you sales?

External Analysis

External factors to consider in your analysis include the environment in which your organization operates in, your market, the economy, and all of the 3rd parties involved in the day to day running of your business.

Opportunities

Opportunities arise when an organization can benefit from conditions within its operational environment. These opportunities enable you to plan and execute strategies that secure higher profitability rates and as such gain a competitive advantage. More often than not, these opportunities present themselves for a limited amount of time and should therefore be snapped up as soon as they arise. There is a delicate balance to be found in selecting the targets that will best serve the clients while getting desired results.

Opportunities often arise from changes in:

·         Technology

·         Markets

·         Government Policy

·         Supply methods

·         Social Patterns

·         Population profiles

·         Global offerings

·         Lifestyle

The followings key questions need to be considered:

·         What opportunities exist in your market that you can benefit from?

·         What interesting trends are you aware of?

·         Is the perception of your business positive?

·         Has there been recent market growth or have there been other changes in the market to create an opportunity?

·         Is the opportunity ongoing, or is there just a window for it? In other words, how critical is your timing?

Threats

Threats arise when conditions in your external environment jeopardise the reliability and profitability of your business. Threats are uncontrollable, particularly when they relate to the aforementioned weaknesses within your company.

Contingency plans should be put in place to combat threats when they arise. Not many businesses can survive being taken completely by surprise.

Major sources of threats are the following:

·         Competitors reducing prices

·         Supply costs increase

·         New Technology

·         Government regulations

·         Economic downturns

·         Changes in consumer behavior

Benefits of SWOT Analysis

In addition to the cost-effectiveness of conducting a SWOT analysis, the following benefits are well worth looking into:

·         Wide Range of Applications:

SWOT analysis can be used to conduct competitive analysis, strategic planning or any other study.

·         Promotes Discussion:

    SWOT analysis promotes discussion. It is important that you have your employees on the same page.

·         Provides Visual Overview:

     A SWOT analysis is usually presented as a square, each quadrant representing one factor. This visual arrangement provides a quick overview of the company’s position and encourages dialogue.

·         Offers Insight:

    SWOT analysis can be used to gain insight about the market, giving you a better understanding of your competition.

·         Integration and Synthesis:

    SWOT analysis gives the analyst the opportunity to integrate and synthesize diverse information, despite it being qualitative or quantitative in nature. SWOT analysis organizes information that is already known, as well as information that has just been acquired or discovered.

·         Fosters Collaboration: SWOT analysis fosters collaboration and encourages open information exchange between a variety of functional areas in a firm that would otherwise not collaborate or interact much

Using SWOT Analysis for Content Strategies

A SWOT analysis is the ideal catalyst for targeted content strategies. The main reason for this is simply the fact that a two-step process (data collection and categorization) is all you really need to fuel various different types of marketing content for your business.


Your content strategy can be evaluated according to the following framework:

Strengths

·         List 3-4 major internal strategic strengths of your current content marketing efforts.

·         Identify what has been working well for you so far (eg. a well-defined blogging strategy)

·         Identify your expertise in certain subjects

·         Identify potential partnerships that could assist in promoting your content to generate traffic

Weaknesses

·         List 3-4 major internal strategic weaknesses of your current content marketing efforts.

·         Identify holes in your resources

·         Identify problems with tracking your ROI

·         Identify where your focus is lacking (lead generation vs closing deals)

Opportunities

·         List 3-4 major external opportunities that exist for anyone working within your market.

·         Are there paid distribution opportunities worth looking into?

·         Are any platforms looking for specific content that you are able to create?

Threats

·         List 3-4 major external threats that exist for anyone working within your market.

·         Is your content easily replicated by competitors?

·         Do your competitors have better resources than you do?

 

Goodman Lantern Partners with Marketo

London, UK --  06/10/2016 Goodman Lantern, expert data driven content development specialists, are pleased to announce their partnership with Marketo – one of the industry’s leaders in marketing automation and predictive content recommendations.

The partnership will provide customers with the full range from using Goodman Lantern's ground-breaking market research platform as well as the innovative marketing automation solutions provided by Marketo. This combination of services will assist strategic consultants in not only generating targeted content, but in distributing it tactically as well. Customers can sign-up for a free trial on Goodman Lantern's website.

Raj Anand, CEO of Goodman Lantern commented "With the continuous evolution of the consulting industry and inevitable changes within the financial markets, we are focussed on alleviating the stress our clients experience when generating fresh, targeted content, enabling them to concentrate on core business and deal-making.”

Goodman Lantern’s white papers and eBooks are based on in-depth market research generated by their market research platform. This professionally written content has a better return on investment and drastically increases the effect of inbound marketing. More information can be found on Marketo’s LaunchPoint partner page.

About Goodman Lantern


Goodman Lantern was founded by ex-McKinsey, KPMG, and Deloitte consultants with the shared vision of making engaging white papers and eBooks based on market research more accessible to marketers.
The company strives to enable marketers and business leaders to triumph over the challenges associated with time constraints, budget limitations, skill-set mismatches, and limited networks. Goodman Lantern’s technology platform provides businesses with in-depth research, analysis, and content creation services.

To learn more about how Goodman Lantern’s team of  analysts, researchers, and subject matter experts can improve an organization's existing content generation strategy, please visit www.goodmanlantern.com.

Survey on 'Why top level executives attend conferences'

In an effort to learn more about the conferencing behaviours of Fortune 1000 executives, Goodman Lantern conducted a survey featuring 191 top-level panelists. Our main aim was to discover why these executives choose to attend certain business events, how they research upcoming conferences, and what motivates them to participate as exhibitors or sponsors rather than attending in an observational capacity.

Download the entire presentation (free)

Determining the “Worth” of Attending an Event

An overwhelming 62.6% of respondents choose to attend conferences based on the quality of marketing and communication received before the event. The second-most popular method, ranking in at 41.3%, of decision-making in this regard is learning about these events from peers and colleagues.

Reasons for Attending an Event

One of our main motivators in conducting this survey was to discover why Fortune 1000 executives attend certain conferences and events. Most of our panelists, around 68.9%, claimed that these events presented a wealth of networking opportunities – clearly a driving force behind making their decisions. The runner-up reason for attending events was to meet experts and speakers face-to-face, a motivating factor for nearly 31% of our panelists. At least 21.1% of the executives interviewed stated that they saw event attendance as a way to invest in themselves and their professional endeavours.

Motivation for Sponsoring or Exhibiting at an Event

According to 51.3% of our participants, industry reports and knowledge produced at the event form the bulk of their motivation for exhibiting at or sponsoring an event. The next-highest motivator, 39.9%, for our panelists was the quality of attendees. Additionally, 22.6% of our survey participants stated that a speaking slot was motivation enough for attending a conference.

Produce industry reports and knowledge for your conference via Zero Cost Content via Goodman Lantern's research platform.

Online vs Offline Marketing... It's a Balancing Act, Not A Choice

The focus of the modern marketing environment has become increasingly online-based, with all types of campaigns running simultaneously via multiple channels – unfortunately leading to the inevitable neglect of an ‘old faithful’ marketing style. Offline marketing has big potential to be coupled with online marketing strategies in order to produce a holistic corporate presence that transcends an urgent dependence on the Internet. Unifying your Marketing Strategy is your Best Chance for Survival

In 2013, Andy Lombard posted an article on MarketingLand.com that is even more pertinent today than it was then. Lombard pointed out a major problem facing companies that adopt separate strategies for online and offline campaigns, often run by completely different departments; “Those silos only exist inside marketing departments. The customer’s mind perceives one continuous brand.” The key challenge here is the need to retain the customer’s attention, despite the fact that modern consumers experience multiple marketing channels within moments of each other.

Real-World Events Offer an Opportunity to Make a Lasting Impression

There are multiple combinations that can be explored to find the right balance between online and offline presence for individual businesses, however there are a few tips that remain universal. The best advice in the current climate is to combine online and offline marketing strategies into a unified message. Manobyte.com highlights the importance of real-world, offline events, which can be promoted online via social media or other such marketing channels. It’s also important to bring examples of your real-world customer interactions back to the online environment, to build interest in your offline events once again. The nature of this approach is reasonably cyclic, with one aspect feeding into another. The beauty of offline events is that they are a great content creation opportunity, building public interest on a level clients and potential clients can relate to.

Stop Hiding Behind Automation and Get Personal

Another great notion by Manobyte.com is to remove those impersonal automated email responses, and take the time to respond physically to enquiries, which can then be summarised in a follow-up email. The rapid shift to the online world seems to have left a somewhat bitter aftertaste in the mouths of customers, who are beginning to yearn for a more personalized customer service experience.  Another key example of including an offline touch in an online sale comes from eyewear retailer Warby Parker (Tintup.com), who pioneered the tactic of posting a number of frames for their potential customers to try on at home, to ensure proper fit and comfort. This made all the difference for the company who are now valued at approximately $1.2 billion.

Become Dependable on Multiple Channels

The concept works the other way around as well, as pointed out by Socialnomics.net who say, "Your websites should carry social media buttons, so that people are encouraged to share, implant, tweet, and email to help your website gain social traction.” The idea is to gain as much real estate within the customer’s circles as possible, retaining prominence in their mind and growing in influence. A high social media presence can be combined with offline reliability to create a sense of trust in your brand, in turn building customer loyalty. Over time, customer-relationships can be deepened as they learn that your company is dependable via any channel, whether online, or in the real world.