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Got Video? 5 Tips to Help You Create Compelling Video

In February 2012 179 million U.S. Internet users watched nearly 38 billion online videos, according to industry research.  Predictably, YouTube statistics are colored with consumer viewing behavior. But B2B online video viewing grew 27% from 2010 to 2011 and eMarketer estimates that B2B spending on online video will rise as much as 55% this year. Which makes it the fastest growing ad format in 2012. In fact, your B2B audience expects you to engage them via video. Companies that don’t utilize video as part of their marketing efforts are likely to use lead generation opportunities to competitors that do.

Having online video in your mix is a priority for marketing in the coming year. Here five tips to help  you create compelling videos to drive your business:

 Content is all around you – You already posses a wealth of content that can be reused, recycled and repurposed into online video. It’s tucked into the deep recesses and dank corners of your business. White papers, promotional materials, training videos, presentations developed for product briefings, keynote presentations given by your executive teams at conferences, panel discussions, interviews – the list is endless if you really look. Identify it, categorize it, and leverage it to engage your customers and prospect.

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5 Ideas for Leveraging LinkedIn for Business

I was recently asked by a Cisco partner which social platform was better for B2B marketing – Facebook or LinkedIn?  My response went something like this – We’re all using Facebook to connect and share with our family and friends and with 800 million users, Facebook is hard to ignore, but do we really want our professional networks and personal lives to intermingle to this extent? There is always the option to create a separate Facebook page solely for business purposes. However, these types of pages are more likely to be successful for B2C companies where the target audience is already a regular Facebook user and  the product or service they’re selling is a lifestyle fit.

On the other hand, LinkedIn is a social platform designed specifically for the business professional.  It’s used by over 160 million people worldwidewho did nearly 4.2 billion professionally-oriented searches within the platform in 2011 and are set to surpass more than 5.3 billion this year. If I only had $10 to spend on social marketing and I had to choose between LinkedIn and Facebook, I would choose LinkedIn. The audience is more targeted, more qualified for the B2B technology market we focus on and the platform offers many ways to engage with this audience.

Here are five thoughts on how to maximize LinkedIn for business:

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IT Decision Makers are People Too

Sometimes as B2B technology marketers, we experience a little tunnel vision when it comes to our target audience. There’s a tendency to think that there is a hard line dividing business buyers from consumers; that the marketing methods we must use to reach our intended audience are so unique that they are unrelated to consumer marketing techniques and that practices from consumer-oriented marketing can’t possibly be applied to B2B buyers. As it turns out, IT decision makers have a lot in common with personal technology buyers when it comes to online behavior, media consumption and brand reception.    

Consider these similarities noted from a recent TechTarget report and their implications for marketing:

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CRM, Metrics and the B2B Marketer

Marketing is transforming. We’re aligning closer to sales, owning more of the revenue pipeline and being held more accountable. To be a successful marketer we need understand our customers’ and potential customers’ needs and behaviors so that we can respond effectively with appropriate messages about our products and services. CRM systems allow us to do this. The data housed inside a CRM system can help close sales faster, retain customers, find new customers, and offer superior customer service – all things that ultimately increase revenue. So why is it that  less than 50% of executives are fully satisfied with the business benefits of CRM? How can we ensure that at least for marketing that we are maximizing the investment in our CRM tools and leveraging them to drive the right kind of engagement with customers and prospects?

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12 Marketing Metrics that Matter

Metrics are fast becoming the B2B marketers new best friend. As we begin to take on responsibility for more of the sale funnel and ultimately revenue generation, our reliance on metrics increases. We need to learn a new language – one based upon return on investment and productivity. With metrics we can show the value of marketing, effectively manage our marketing investments, and ensure we’re putting our budget dollars in the best places  to drive business.

Today, there are countless methods to measuring marketing. Unfortunately, not all metrics are created equal.  For example, if driving web traffic is one of your key goals, you may focus on low cost, high volume sources of traffic. However, the audience you’re drawing to your web site may not fit your target audience and do little to actually drive business.  So which metrics should you be tracking? And how do you leverage this data for the best insight?

Picking the right metrics matters. Here are twelve metrics that can help ensure you’re choosing the best marketing investments for your business:

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