The Critical Importance Of Lead Validation In Internet Marketing

I’m thrilled to include a guest post from Aaron Wittersheim who is the Chief Operating Officer at Straight North, an Internet marketing agency specializing in SEO, PPC and web design. Within my post “Four Trends Marketers Shouldn’t Ignore” I included information that content marketing and native growth will eventually outpace display and search.  I connected with Aaron and learned more about lead validation which is the process from separating sales leads from non-sales inquires and his team brought to light a very interesting lead validation study.  The presentation and forward from Aaron is below.

“You’ve spent a lot of time fine-tuning your lead generation website into a high-performance machine. However, if you’re not incorporating lead validation into your efforts, you’re driving without a roadmap. You might get where you want to go, but it will be almost completely by accident.

Lead validation is essential because measuring your site’s performance by the number of conversions alone is not enough. Here at Straight North, a Chicago SEO expert firm, we’ve spent a lot of time reviewing hundreds of thousands of conversions, and found that conversions aren’t sales leads nearly half of the time.

That means half of conversions are things such as job applications or incomplete form submissions, which shouldn’t be counted (but Google analytics numbers can trick you into counting). Lead validation also takes phone calls into consideration, something Google doesn’t track (but can have a big impact on the success of your campaign).

If you’re still on the fence about incorporating lead validation into your lead generation campaign, consider the information in the following presentation. We’ve complied some of the most compelling arguments for lead validation, illustrating how critical it can be for the success of any Internet marketing effort. You’ve put a lot of work into your lead generation website, so make sure it doesn’t go to waste.”

Aaron Wittersheim is the Chief Operating Officer at Straight North,

Four Trends Marketers Shouldn’t Ignore

Are you wondering what you should be keeping an eye out in 2016? Look no further, within this post I share key findings from recently published reports from PulsePoint and PageFair and Adobe highlighting key trends and stats marketers can’t afford to ignore.

1. Content Marketing is King!

If you’re vaguely familiar with Content Marketing you’ve heard heard the term “Content Is King.”  A report published by PulsePoint found that by 2017 content marketing budgets are projected to double, and 83% of marketers believe content marketing will go “programatic” by 2017. (Click to Tweet)

When most of us think about real-time content marketing, we think of examples like Oreo’s tweet during the 2013 Super Bowl blackout, when they advised customers that they “can still dunk in the dark.” That tweet was a great response to an unexpected occasion and the birth of the awareness of real time content marketing.

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Keep in mind that real-time content does not always have to be spontaneous. The majority of real-time content advertising and marketing can be prepared to some level by maintaining a close eye on preparing and trending topics material that replies to a broad range of scenarios.  Brand who are setup with strong content marketing strategies will rapidly set themselves apart and cut through the noise and “win” within this arena.

2.  Content marketing and native growth will outpace display and search

Brands, agencies and publishers reported that content marketing and native are both important to their organizations and strategies. But are the ad dollars and digital inventory available to back them? The answer is yes as both supply and demand are expected to grow over the next two years.

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While display and search still command most of the ad dollars, 37% of respondents to PulsePoint’s study named content marketing as one of the largest spending buckets.  That gap is only set to narrow, as content marketing and native ads both are both projected to see increased budgets over the next two years. The other format tracking slightly behind is digital video since the formal draws a higher audience engagement which is pivotal for brands with upper funnel campaign objectives.

 

3. Ad Blocking Is Rapidly Expanding, and Costing Publishers Billions of Dollars.

The number of consumers using ad blocking software worldwide has increased 41% year-on-year to 198 million monthly active users according to a report by PageFair and Adobe. (Click to Tweet)

Ad blocking is increasingly a challenge to marketers and it’s estimated that the click-through rate across all ad formats and placements is only 0.06 per cent.  Now users are able to be more discretionary than ever about which content they want and what they don’t.

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Currently ad blocking almost always happens via desktop computers, however ad blocking on mobile could soon become a mainstream phenomenon.

The rate of ad blocking varies country by country. The US has an estimated 45 million monthly active ad block users, up 48% year-on-year which across  Europe, 35% of the internet population (77 million users) used an ad blocker at least once a month.  The report also found that ad block users are usually young and technically savvy and predominantly male.

4. Mobile Emailing Marketing Remains in The Mix

Email is a channel which can’t be ignored however with the rise of wearable technology and mobile marketers must work towards firming up their email marketing strategy.

A study from Moveable Ink found that in the first quarter of 2015, 67% of all U.S. email opens occurred on a mobile device  and 75% of those were smartphones. (Click to Tweet)

The growth in mobile is staggering and the shift is undeniable as tablets and wearables are now being dubbed the “new inbox.” Marketers must ensure their messaging is “mobile friendly,” personalized, and optimized for success.

What trends do you think Marketers should watch into 2016, leave a comment below or send me a tweet.  

10 Types of Content we CRAVE!

If your content doesn’t resonate with your audience, then they won’t follow you where you want to take them.  For content marketers, this is a cardinal sin. It’s important to ask yourself what kind of content universally resonates with people.  Social Media is all about engagement, and driving conversation.  Content is fire, and social media is gasoline, so having a basic understanding of what resonate is imperative. Inspired by Scott Aughtmon’s post for Content Marketing Institute I created a list of 10 types of content we all love to consume.

  1. Content that tells us a story
  2. Content that inspires us to action
  3. Content that challenges our assumptions
  4. Content that evokes emotion
  5. Content that takes us along a journey
  6. Content which helps to educate as well as entertain
  7. Content which provides a fresh point of view
  8. Content that reveals secrets
  9. Content that encourages us to never give up
  10. Content that surprises us

It’s also important to keep the four rules below in mind as your creating content as you’re working to influence, inspire, and drive action.  You don’t necessarily need to have each of these types of content within each piece you produce, sometimes one is enough.

  • This is the kind of content we never get tired of.
  • This is the kind of content we always have time for.  
  • This is the kind of content we don’t forget.
  • And this is the kind of content we want to share.

I hope these provide some inspiration to get your content marketing in shape! Please leave a comment or send me a tweet and let me know what kind of content you crave!