Welcome to our Blog

The FreelancePost

Read our Blog

How to get a job as a digital marketer

Look up from your own computer or phone to survey the people around you engaging with the digital world. Of course this is purely anecdotal evidence, but it quickly supports the idea that the digital economy is booming. Digital marketing is just one of the fast growing industries. How can you get a gig in the field?

As with most anything, there is an abundance of advice available on this topic. We thought we’d focus on what might help someone gain a position at an agency such as Ironpaper. Here are some tips on how to get a job as a digital marketer:Value proposition - digital marketing and lead generation - buy persona

Be current

The digital economy is an ever-shifting industry that demands innovation. An individual looking to be successful as a digital marketer needs to be willing to learn and passionate about keeping on top of industry disruptions.

Set yourself out as a contender with a solid understanding first of what’s going on right now in search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC) advertising, social media, and content marketing.

“Understanding metrics on the web is key. The Internet provides so many ways of analyzing user behavior, and knowing how to gather and interpret data is important for success. Read widely and learn the lingo.” — Barnes & Noble assistant marketing manager in Mashable

Do your research

Some great starting points include Moz and Search Engine Land for SEO, Google Adwords and Analytics for PPC, Hootsuite Academy for social media, and Hubspot for content marketing.

You’ll need to know the acronyms (e.g. SEM, CMS, UX, and CRM) and understand how to implement current best practices. Keep in mind, though, digital marketing success is not going to come only from doing what’s been done before well, but also from introducing new ideas and approaching problems in fresh ways.

Related reading: How to Become an Inbound Marketer

Get comfortable with analytics

An advantage of digital marketing campaigns is the ability to analyze data to understand what has worked and what needs tweaking. There are many metrics to measure when tracking certain elements of a campaign or success with particular target audiences. If numbers scare you, get over it or begin looking at another career path.

landing page identification from Google Analytics

Pursue your own marketing

It won’t do to simply enter an interview or client meeting and parrot the latest wisdom of Seth Godin, Rand Fishkin, Ann Handley, or Joe Pulizzi (yes, you should look them up). Build your own personal brand (e.g. through blogging, social media, a web presence) to gain hands-on marketing experience. Offer to market a friend’s business or volunteer with a non-profit that could use some digital assistance. These kinds of projects enhance your credibility and show you have experimented with best practices and can drive success.

Diversify

A successful digital marketer doesn’t only know how to use Google Adwords or write a killer SEO-friendly blog. Digital marketing companies are going to be looking for people equipped to implement strategy, liaise with clients, write marketing content, analyze campaign success, and more. A basic knowledge of coding and graphic design aren’t going to hurt either.

Get Certified

There are many courses and certifications related to digital marketing available for free online. Some certifications are renewable annually while others will last a lifetime. A starting point might be:

  • Earning Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing Certificate
  • Completing the Google Adwords Exam
  • Gaining Google Analytics Individual Qualification
  • Google Tag Manager Certification
  • Hootsuite certification

Certification helps prove your seriousness about getting into the industry and demonstrates foundational experience in the field.

Related reading: Useful marketing certifications

Join the Ironpaper team! We are hiring. Explore careers at Ironpaper. Agency jobs. hbspt.cta.load(281355,’18d8a8c1-5d77-4eaf-b338-95665516c76b’,{});

Jobs at Ironpaper:

Sources
10 Tips on How To Kick-Start Your Digital Marketing Career. (n.d.). https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/10-tips-digital-marketing-career-advice
The Most In-Demand Digital Marketing Skills for 2015. (n.d.). https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/demand-digital-marketing-skills-2015
Swallow, E. (2010, October 2). 10 Tips for Aspiring Digital Marketers. http://mashable.com/2010/10/02/digital-marketers-job-tips/

Tips for improving trade show ROI using inbound marketing

Marketing ROI insights

Paying to sponsor a trade show is not a silver bullet technique for driving positive ROI from such events.

Simply attending the event isn’t enough either. Trade shows are expensive. Although trade shows can be great for training and educating team members, their marketing ROI can be questionable. Businesses can enhance their trade show ROI by employing strategic inbound marketing before, during, and after the event.

Before the Show

  • Research the audience. Inbound success requires a deep understanding of the target audience. A business that goes to a trade show thinking that a brightly colored booth and free mints is all the audience wants is unlikely to see the same ROI as one that has done its research in advance. What, truly, will attract the various buyer personas to the booth? What communication strategies will demonstrate value to customers with their varied buying habits?
  • Set goals. Before leaving for the trade show, set clear, quantifiable goals that can be answered with a “yes” or “no.” For instance, lead generation may be the target, so the question would be to generate a concrete number of sales leads. Define realistic goals, setting arbitrary goals can do more harm than good.
  • Tout participation. Write blogs and articles related to the show theme, presentations your people are involved in, or advancing the product or service you’ll be releasing. If you have a booth, encourage others to engage in particular ways at particular times with specific CTA recommendations in advance. Prepare giveaways and demos that speak to the value of your product/services–don’t simply address features and pricing.
  • Join the show conversation. The conference or show organizers, too, will be working to generate buzz about the event on social media. Follow those communications, employ the same hashtags in some of your postings, and even use the like/follow/retweet/share activity on your postings to identify possible contacts you want to make at the conference. For instance, invite a COO who likes a tweet about the company’s participation on a securing the IoT panel to speak face-to-face after the panel or stop by the booth. Lead generation from social media can be a vital tract for trade show marketing efforts.

During the Show

  • Be a subject expert. Inbound marketing efforts focus on attracting, educating, and delighting the target audience. Trade show visitors, in particular, are looking to be informed. They want to know what is new and exciting. They want to connect with experts that can become a valuable resource. Be ready to provide useful content, provide valuable takeaways, and build trusting relationships by offering credible information.
  • Enter leads into the CRM software. Set up an app or kiosk mobile device to enable booth visitors to enter their details. Any contacts that are added (independently or by booth workers) should identify the trade show as the source or referrer. This will help group and identify particular events and their contributions to lead and profit generation.
  • Leverage social media. Use social media channels to engage and reach out to show attendees. During the show it can be difficult to think of doing anything else but meeting and greeting, but some of the social media can be prescheduled. Also set aside some time to see who is checking in at the show on Facebook or FourSquare and respond to Twitter or Instagram. Or line up a staffer back at the office to take on this task.
  • Demonstrate engagement. When a conference or show participant appears in a panel or attends a workshop or keynote, use real-time posting of quotes and photos to involve followers in the proceedings. This can be used to educate, inform and delight current followers and drive an increase of followers among others attending the conference. Be sure to use the identified conference or show tag in posting.

Related reading: B2B Social Media Marketing Statistics 2016

After the Show

  • Continue the conversation. Upon return (and recovery) from the event, follow up directly with individual panelists or presenters with articles from your content database relevant to their discussion. You might even create a list of followers who you gained from the show and share relevant content over social media with this segmented group.
  • Create post event content and share socially. Create useful and helpful content that cites topics and learnings taken directly from the trade show or conference agenda. Reference speakers and provide links to presentations from the trade show. Focus your post event content on being helpful, educational and tapped into the heart of the topics presented.
  • Score the leads. Not every name entered into the database following the trade show is going to be a qualified lead. Use lead scoring tools to qualify leads based on their behavioral and demographic data, as well as your company’s past experiences dealing with various types of buyers. Qualifying leads will be more effective if the scoring is determined by an aligned sales and marketing team working together.

Related reading: What is Lead Scoring

  • Nurture qualified leads. Businesses might use marketing automation to send a first email to leads from the trade show 7-10 days after the event. Then, schedule two or more additional emails with valuable content to nurture leads into conversions.

Related reading: The Importance of Lead Nurturing and Scoring

  • Track the leads. Follow the trade show contacts through their journey to determine if they are converting. This will help the company to measure the value of connections produced from trade show appearances.
  • Keep tracking. This is not a one-time metric to consult. A contact from a trade show may take weeks or months to make buying decisions.

Trade shows are a significant investment of time and capital. Many companies invest heavily in trade shows and conferences and feel disappointed afterwards with the results. The inbound techniques presented in this article can supplement event marketing can help the business determine extend the value of trade show investments.

A CMO's Guide To B2B Lead Generation - eBook download // <![CDATA[
hbspt.cta.load(281355,'acb810cc-abc4-43d0-a654-075c5994d654',{});
// ]]>

Sources

Johnson, J. (2014, July 1). How to Combine Your Conference Strategy with Your Inbound Team. https://blog.influenceandco.com/empower-your-relationships-inbound-and-outbound-marketing-combined
Levine, A. (2015, February 5). Booth Bingo: Increase Your Trade Show ROI Odds. http://www.business.com/trade-show-displays/increase-your-trade-show-roi/
Nichols, M. (2016, February 12). 6 Post-Show Activities That Improve Trade Show ROI. http://www.launchsolutions.com/blog/6-post-show-activities-that-improve-trade-show-roi

Ironpaper is a results-driven digital marketing agency. Ironpaper integrates design, technology and marketing for the web to drive meaningful results for clients. We are based in New York City and Charlotte, NC.

// Initiate selectBoxIt
$(“.custom-select”).selectBoxIt({
theme: “bootstrap”,
showFirstOption: true,
autoWidth: false
});

var _hsq = _hsq || [];
_hsq.push([“setContentType”, “blog-post”]);
(function(d,s,i,r) {
if (d.getElementById(i)){return;}
var n = d.createElement(s),e = document.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
n.id=i;n.src = ‘//js.hs-analytics.net/analytics/’+(Math.ceil(new Date()/r)*r)+’/281355.js’;
e.parentNode.insertBefore(n, e);
})(document, “script”, “hs-analytics”, 300000);

twttr.conversion.trackPid(‘l61tk’, { tw_sale_amount: 0, tw_order_quantity: 0 });

social


/* */

Web

(function(d,s,i,r) {
if (d.getElementById(i)){return;}
var n=d.createElement(s),e=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
n.id=i;n.src=’//js.hubspot.com/analytics/’+(Math.ceil(new Date()/r)*r)+’/281355.js’;
e.parentNode.insertBefore(n, e);
})(document,”script”,”hs-analytics”,300000);

adroll_adv_id = “HH2MRAXJWNDLXE4WOYV7E4”;
adroll_pix_id = “LCZLHINHQFBYPFFMSJNKD7”;
(function () {
var oldonload = window.onload;
window.onload = function(){
__adroll_loaded=true;
var scr = document.createElement(“script”);
var host = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://s.adroll.com” : “http://a.adroll.com”);
scr.setAttribute(‘async’, ‘true’);
scr.type = “text/javascript”;
scr.src = host + “/j/roundtrip.js”;
((document.getElementsByTagName(‘head’) || [null])[0] ||
document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0].parentNode).appendChild(scr);
if(oldonload){oldonload()}};
}());

Gotcha! 5 Smart Marketing Insights from Pokémon GO

See what we’ve done here by linking our article to Pokémon GO? We’re tying our marketing insights to a relevant trend. Newsjacking such as this can work — when it’s done well.

gaming marketing insightsLearn more about this and four other marketing insights gained from the augmented reality game phenomenon.

#1 Relevancy Resonates

Why are nonprofits and B2C marketers signing up to be Pokéstops (the place gamers go to get more of the balls needed to capture the animations they are trying to collect)? Why are businesses adding social media post about Pikachu sitings? Because they are taking advantage of a real-time opportunity to draw attention to their business.

Pokemon Go locations

This isn’t always going to work; even Pokémon GO isn’t going to be a draw for everyone. You need to know your buyer persona before you allocate time in planning and executing the concept. For instance, in the case of Pokémon , it’s estimated only 31% of users are over the age of 29 and only 37% are male (perhaps surprising to those who think of gamers as guys living in their Mom’s basement). Your success in being responsive to a trending topic rests in good timing and, most importantly, relevance to your audience base.

#2 Get Interactive

People are walking into fountains, falling off cliffs and driving into highway medians playing Pokémon GO. Why? Because it is highly interactive.

Pokemon Go mobile device

While you don’t want your target audience to fall off a cliff — unless you’re a cliff diving company — you do want your content to immerse the audience. What engages audiences that effectively? Interactive content.

Interactive content was highly favored by the marketers surveyed in a recent Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and ion interactive study:

  • 66% agree that audience engagement has increased since they started using interactive content tactics
  • 79% agree that combining traditional content marketing tactics with interactive content enhances retention of message
  • 67% agree interactive content provides valuable ways to repurpose passive content

Requiring audience participation — through assessments, calculators, quizzes, ebooks or wizards— helps drive engagement. Interactivity gives the audience an active role to play in the age of 8 second attention spans. This content also encourages audience members to see your brand as more useful and relevant to them, and often drives greater social sharing.

Related reading: Content Marketing Tips for B2B Technology Providers

#3 Mobile matters

We frequently hear that [Fill in the blank] is the year of mobile dominance. Whether the mobile device has yet reached its zenith, it remains obvious that marketers must be mobile savvy. The widespread popularity of the Pokémon app (which surpassed Twitter for downloads in the US its first week) only further illustrates our reliance on mobile devices.

mobile-website

Marketers need to consider the mobile world in terms of both design and digestible content. Mobile users need to be able to conveniently navigate a site, and scan useful, relevant and engaging content easily. Designing a responsive website with the smartphone user experience in mind can expand your potential audience, decrease bounce rate and increase customer/lead outreach.

40 percent of people will abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. – Econsultancy

#4 Pay attention to numbers

In the Pokémon game each of the various characters in the Pokédex comes with “combat points.” The higher the Pokémon’s points, the stronger it will be in a fight at the Pokémon gyms. For instance, one would not likely want to pit a 78 point Caterpie against a 1360 point Flareon.

We’re not trying to endorse marketing as a gladiatorial battle against business competitors. However, it is just as important in our industry to pay attention to metrics that matter. Just as in the game a Pokémon also comes with details about its weight or height — which make little difference in gym battles — data analytics can provide insight into time on site, leads or inquiries, referrers, bounce rate and more. The marketer needs to attach metrics to concrete, specific campaign objectives for the data-driven approach to truly work.

#5 Slow down and strategize.

If you’ve avoided joining the hordes playing the game, you might not know that the idea is to throw red and white balls at the Pokémon to capture them. One thing that players quickly learn, though, is that the characters aren’t always caught on the first try. If the player is overconfident and moves too quickly after the capture, or the Pokémon is particularly feisty, the character might break free.

This can be taken as a reminder to marketers to make smart, thoughtful strategic decisions. Effective marketers will work collaboratively with sales, for instance, in determining the best approaches for campaigns and qualifying leads. Another best practice related to taking the time to do the work well, instead of simply quickly responding to a need, is researching and developing detailed buyer personas to dictate campaign choices targeted to particular audiences.

Related reading: Six Steps to Better Buyer Personas

Whether or not you elect to download and play the Pokémon GO app, it always helps to gain a new perspective on marketing insights.

Sources:
Horstead, M. (2016, August). The Internet Marketing Obsession with Pokémon Go Strategies. http://theurbantwist.com/2016/07/31/internet-marketing-obsession-pokemon-go-strategies/
Pulizzi, J. (2016, August 3). The Biggest Content Marketing Trends in 2017. http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2016/08/content-marketing-trends
Stoll, M. (n.d.). You Need to be Creating Interactive Content – Here’s Why. https://insights.newscred.com/creating-interactive-content/

Best practices for small business websites

Increasing revenue is a big goal for businesses of any size. A survey of 1,100 small businesses found the top strategy for achieving this goal was improving customer experience. None of the respondents surveyed by Wasp Barcode explicitly mentioned optimizing their small business website — but they should have.

With 94% of B2B buyers doing their own research online before making purchasing decisions, the small business website is often where prospects gain a first impression of a company. The web allows small businesses to compete with much larger rivals — and win.

Best practices for small business websites

A well-designed, current and relevant website can effectively:

  • improve customer experience and retention
  • boost customer acquisition
  • 
help launch new products and services
  • draw new employees to the business
  • acquire sales leads
  • measure the value of marketing efforts

Email, a company website, and social media were the top three marketing tools used by small businesses in the Wasp Barcode survey at 54%, 51%, and 48% respectively. Typically social media and email help drive the prospect to the website. So, why then, are so many small businesses taking a “set and sit” approach to web development?

What does “set and sit” mean? This is when a business invests great time and effort upfront in developing the new website. Then, once the site is launched — huzzah! — they move on to something else. The website becomes a task checked off the to do list and is largely ignored for the months (if not, gulp, years) that follow.

Use Your Website Well

With business websites used to inform visitors about the company’s goods and services, put prospects in touch with sales or customer service, enable the purchase goods or services, and allow visitors to apply for jobs, this online marketing tool can be doing a lot of good work for the company.

Yet only 51% of Wasp Barcode’s small business websites have the company’s location, phone number and email addresses on them! That’s an obvious “oops.” Let’s consider some other aspects of website design and functionality a small business might address in improving their web presence.

Design choices

A clean, crisp site that is simple to navigate is going to convert more prospects into buyers. A modern website focuses on accessibility and legibility over flashy design quirks.

For instance, sliders are widely used by businesses of all kinds. Yet they don’t work effectively. Why not?

  • Visitors often ignore the banner and don’t click on them.
  • They hinder load time (which in turn hurts SEO as site load time suffers).
  • They aren’t mobile friendly.

Related reading: 10 Trends in Web Design Today 

Landing page website designMobile users

As mentioned in the context of banners, being mobile friendly is important. It’s estimated 57% of users are now “multi-screening” or accessing sites on both their desktop and mobile devices today. Load time is important; use Google Webmaster Tools’ handy web page speed test to give you a detailed analysis. Website design should adapt to accommodate a variety of devices. This provides optimal user experience and is more efficient for Google (thus helping SEO).

Related reading: The Importance of a Mobile Responsive Website. 

HubSpot COS for Telecom Companies

Lead acquisition

Does the website employ relevant lead acquisition forms, chat dialogue tools and click-to-call functionality with tracking? Are these tools set up to be useful in capturing leads? Forms should not be confusing or overly cluttered. Also, it is important that forms have visual appeal to make the process of entering (or sharing) information more graceful and easier. Don’t forget to ask the right questions to help qualify leads and quarantine spam submissions.

Advance attention to web form design and development can pay off in better lead scoring, which can help generate better sales opportunities.A common problem for small businesses is their inability to track and manage leads after their inquiry. There should be a lead management system to help track the progress and communications with acquired leads. Examples of great tools for lead management are Hubspot & Hubspot’s CRM, Marketo, Pardot, Highrise, Salesforce, but there are many products that occupy this space.

Hubspot CRM lead profile

Related reading: How to generate leads without cold calling

Encourage action

The website should contain clear and persistent calls-to-action that guide users to an offer or data capture form. Design website calls-to-action so you can make edits to the language and placement of the buttons within the website. Install tracking code to measure the engagement with calls-to-action in order to measure their effectiveness.

Website design example

Related reading: How Do I Improve My Website’s Conversion Rate?

In auditing a small business website to identify small and large improvements consider also the need to establish trust. The website can help nurture relationships with prospects, but only if the user feels the site is secure and the information provided is credible and authoritative. Use compelling language to tell customers exactly what the small business offers and how it does this in a special, unique and better way than the competition.

This is when the small business website will begin to do its best work — just remember not to rest on your laurels. Test and test some more. Then tweak and tweak some more. A best-in-class website will be an iterative one. Keep the setting and sitting for you on your next trip to the beach.

Sources:
Wasp Barcode Technologies. (2016). State of Small Business Report. http://www.waspbarcode.com/small-business-report

6 Inbound Marketing Best Practices

Inbound marketing is a powerful and effective methodology for B2B, B2C and nonprofits alike. The most recent State of Inbound study from Hubspot found respondents prioritizing inbound over outbound at a 3:1 ratio — no matter the audience. So, what are some inbound marketing best practices?

Sales nurturing content

Develop Buyer Personas

Marketing success rests on the business’s knowledge of its audience. A customer relationship management tool, such as HubSpot, can help the brand better identify its target persona, track their activity and build campaign flows targeting each audience segment.

Content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62% less. – DemandMetric

Developing effective buyer persona requires understanding of the past, current and prospective client. Audit social media interactions, review LinkedIn profiles, read blog comments, and revisit other prospect and client interactions to gain a true sense of what the buyer is looking to achieve and his or her pain points. Create nuanced, specific stories about the target audience populations.

Related reading: 6 Steps to Better Buyer Personas

A pivotal piece of the inbound marketing methodology is content marketing. Publishing educational and authoritative content — regularly — can help at every stage of the funnel.

Sales funnel

TOFU — attract customers and gain awareness focusing on educational blogs, webinars, guides and content that might go viral.

MOFU — acquire customers with case studies, demo videos, how-to content that presents the solution the brand offers.

BOFU — convert customers with product descriptions, testimonials, reviews and a straightforward sales process

Content marketing shouldn’t be about quantity so much as quality. Add value for your target audience and address their pain points to best attract, convert, close and delight them.

Related reading: Defining B2B customer lifecycle marketing

Optimize Your Digital Presence

Cut wasted efforts and make additions to those campaigns that are working or which can be overhauled to boost conversion rates. Don’t focus on scaling efforts too soon — build a solid foundation first.

Digital optimizations include:

  • Optimizing websites to encourage action and educate buyers.
  • Prioritizing CTAs on web site and landing pages.
  • Making websites mobile friendly.
  • Streamlining forms so they ask relevant questions.
  • Study analytics for opportunities and trends, and take action on these.

Related reading: Best Practices in B2B Digital Marketing

Score Your Leads

Evaluate leads based on the information they provide in filling out forms. For instance, a COO would likely score higher for sales-readiness than an intern (unless this intern, surprisingly, is capable of signing the contracts). Scoring prospects based on demographics and their progress through the customer journey can help marketing funnel better quality leads to the sales team.

Align Sales and Marketing

Lead scoring will be even easier sales and marketing alignment. Alignment means many things: developing common definitions, sharing goals and metrics, and employing smart technologies and streamlined processes. Nevertheless, research shows establishing a marketing-sales service level agreement (SLA) leads to higher ROI.

Pay Attention to Metrics

Study the data in the marketing software or CRM to track what is working best. Compare trends, and monitor conversion rates across sources and workflows to identify tactics to rework entirely versus tweak and repeat.

Improve lead generation efforts. B2B lead generation agency. // <![CDATA[
hbspt.cta.load(281355,'cec6c421-bbe5-4a00-981a-cc6721f371dd',{});
// ]]>

Sources:
Moz’s Beginners Guide to Content Marketing. (n.d.). Chapter 3: Content and the Marketing Funnel. https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-content-marketing/marketing-funnel

Ironpaper is a results-driven digital marketing agency. Ironpaper integrates design, technology and marketing for the web to drive meaningful results for clients. We are based in New York City and Charlotte, NC.

// Initiate selectBoxIt
$(“.custom-select”).selectBoxIt({
theme: “bootstrap”,
showFirstOption: true,
autoWidth: false
});

var _hsq = _hsq || [];
_hsq.push([“setContentType”, “blog-post”]);
(function(d,s,i,r) {
if (d.getElementById(i)){return;}
var n = d.createElement(s),e = document.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
n.id=i;n.src = ‘//js.hs-analytics.net/analytics/’+(Math.ceil(new Date()/r)*r)+’/281355.js’;
e.parentNode.insertBefore(n, e);
})(document, “script”, “hs-analytics”, 300000);

twttr.conversion.trackPid(‘l61tk’, { tw_sale_amount: 0, tw_order_quantity: 0 });

social


/* */

Web

(function(d,s,i,r) {
if (d.getElementById(i)){return;}
var n=d.createElement(s),e=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
n.id=i;n.src=’//js.hubspot.com/analytics/’+(Math.ceil(new Date()/r)*r)+’/281355.js’;
e.parentNode.insertBefore(n, e);
})(document,”script”,”hs-analytics”,300000);

adroll_adv_id = “HH2MRAXJWNDLXE4WOYV7E4”;
adroll_pix_id = “LCZLHINHQFBYPFFMSJNKD7”;
(function () {
var oldonload = window.onload;
window.onload = function(){
__adroll_loaded=true;
var scr = document.createElement(“script”);
var host = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://s.adroll.com” : “http://a.adroll.com”);
scr.setAttribute(‘async’, ‘true’);
scr.type = “text/javascript”;
scr.src = host + “/j/roundtrip.js”;
((document.getElementsByTagName(‘head’) || [null])[0] ||
document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0].parentNode).appendChild(scr);
if(oldonload){oldonload()}};
}());

Useful Marketing Certifications

Marketing certifications are meant to give the recipient deeper subject knowledge and enhanced credibility. But, with so many options available, how can inbound marketers select the one that will best help? This survey of useful marketing certifications is a starting point.

As Uber’s Chris Messina noted, “These days, you’ve gotta be a real polymath to get ahead; you’ve got to be a full-stack employee.” Certifications are one way to indicate you have the skills and interest to get the job, earn the promotion, or land the client.

Useful marketing certifications

Full stack employees have an insatiable appetite for new ideas, best practices, and ways to be more productive and happy. — “The full-stack employee,” 2015

Google

There are two main certifications from Google. To become AdWords certified a user must take the Google Adwords Fundamentals exam plus one in search, display, shopping or video advertising. The Google Analytics exam is focuses on data analytics and related The Top 3 PPC Metrics You Can't Afford to Ignorebest practices. Hands-on experience is recommended, for both, but not required. Review the study materials and take the exams for free.

Bing similarly offers a Big Ads Certification free to active Bing Ad users.

 

Hootsuite

Social media managers and strategists may want to purse the HootSuite certification. Signing up for HootSuite University and the exam costs $21 USD per month. The certification never expires once the exam is passed.

HubSpot

The first certification for an Inbound Marketer is free and open to the public. The Inbound Certification from the Hubspot Academy covers the basics of inbound methodology, optimizing websites and landing pages and even gives a glimpse into the sales side.

The HubSpot Certification is the next tier up, and is free to HubSpot members. This training revisits what was learned in getting the inbound certification, but offers best practices and technical skills using the HubSpot software. There is both a test and a practicum (using your HubSpot communications) to pass before being fully certified.

HubSpot further offers Inbound Sales, Email Marketing, or HubSpot Design certification to individuals, free and open to the public. A HubSpot customer can also pursue the Contextual Marketing Certification while the remaining two Academy offerings are agency focused.

Added Suggestions

Understanding programming basics can also help. Codeacademy offers free and interactive tutorials. Writers might consider the Content Marketing Institute’s quarterly Content Marketing University. This online class series can be done at the marketer’s own pace, although the ($995) price tag may be prohibitive for some. Another great place to look is Generalassemb.ly’s digital marketing course, which is taught on-location and in-person. General Assembly has made it’s debut in the field of web development and coding, but the General Assembly system works great for digital marketing as well.

Image source: Fractl

Image source: Fractl

Fractl in May 2016, examined 3,300 job listings on indeed.com that included the phrase “content marketing” to find that experience is valued more highly than education. Getting certified can help demonstrate commitment and competence. We hope this survey of useful marketing certifications helps drive success in today’s modern marketing world.

Related reading: How to Become an Inbound Marketer

Sources:
Carlisle, A. (2016, July 11). What 3,000+ Job Postings Taught Us About Today’s Content Marketers. http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/modern-content-marketer
Fractl. (n.d.) Today’s Content Marketer: What Over 3,000 indeed.com Postings Can Teach Us About the Hybrid Content Marketer. http://www.frac.tl/research/hybridcontentmarketer
HubSpot Academy Certifications. (n.d.). https://app.hubspot.com/academy-certification/281355/

Messina, C. (2015). The Full Stack Employee. https://medium.com/chris-messina/the-full-stack-employee-ed0db089f0a1#.dbo3lqgi4

 

SaaS Market Size Forecast

What is the size of the saas market?

Forecasts vary in estimating software-as-a-service (SaaS) market size, but there is consensus the market is poised to expand. The growth is due to organizations of all sizes becoming comfortable with cloud software offerings to add to, or at the expense of, on-premise solutions.

Some global statistics and predictions:

  • Gartner sees SaaS growing 20.3% in 2016 to 37.7 billion.
  • The SaaS market is poised to surpass $112.8 billion by 2019, according to IDC research.
  • The overall market will reach $164.29 billion by 2022, according to Transparency Market Research (TMR).

According to IDC:

  • The worldwide cloud software market reached $48.8 billion in revenue in 2014, representing a 24.4% year-over-year growth rate
  • The market will surpass $112.8 billion by 2019 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.3%.
  • SaaS delivery will significantly outpace traditional software product delivery, growing nearly five times faster than the traditional software market
  • By 2019, the cloud software model will account for $1 of every $4.59 spent on software.

The primary use for SaaS among small-to-medium businesses in the US is file sharing (35% in 2015 and expected to reach 39% in 2018), according to Statista. The next top three sectors are online backup and storage, payroll and HR, and online accounting. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), support and help, and online customer relationship management (CRM) represented smaller, but still growing sectors.

Tech driving consumer trends

Mature Cloud Tech

SaaS is the most matured cloud technology sector, according to TMR. “The market grew at a very strong double-digit rate, with demand in the Americas being the strongest,” according to the firm’s Mary Johnston Turner, vice president, Enterprise System Management Software.

Other TMR findings include:

  • The global SaaS market will expand at a CAGR of 27.9% between 2015 and 2022.
  • The market was worth $23.88 billion in 2014 (a deep drop for IDC’s nearly $50 billion).

Synergy Research Group meanwhile forecasts the market will triple in size over the next five years. Its research depicted the market share and revenue growth for the top 10 players:

SaaS Market size

Explore Ironpaper services: SaaS Websites

Synergy’s findings concurred with TMR’s view of SaaS as a more mature market with Platform as a Service (PaaS) and cloud based infrastructure (IaaS) on its heels. Gartner meanwhile described IaaS as the fastest-growing segment in 2016, forecasting it would reach 22.4 billion.

An eBook focusing on the top digital trends that drive success for CMOs. // <![CDATA[
hbspt.cta.load(281355,'fd203eb7-4ff2-433a-a222-63012affa66d',{});
// ]]>

Sources:
Gartner. (2016, January 25). Gartner Says Worldwide Public Cloud Services Market Is Forecast to Reach $204 Billion in 2016. http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3188817
IDC’s McGrath, B. & Mahowald, R. P. (2015, August). Worldwide SaaS and Cloud Software 2015–2019 Forecast and 2014 Vendor Shares. https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=257397
Statista.(n.d.). Leading uses for Software as a Service (SaaS) among small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) in the United States in 2015 and 2018. http://www.statista.com/statistics/496244/smb-united-states-saas-uses/
Synergy Research Group. (2016, April 18). Microsoft is on a Charge in the SaaS Market. https://www.srgresearch.com/articles/microsoft-charges-ahead-saas-market
Transparency Market Research. (2016, May 11). Growing Adoption of SaaS Platform Contributes to Increased Revenue for Vendors in Global SaaS Market. http://www.tmrblog.com/2016/05/software-as-service-market.html?m=0
2016 ITA Cloud Computing Top Markets Report – Page 3.

Ironpaper is a results-driven digital marketing agency. Ironpaper integrates design, technology and marketing for the web to drive meaningful results for clients. We are based in New York City and Charlotte, NC.

// Initiate selectBoxIt
$(“.custom-select”).selectBoxIt({
theme: “bootstrap”,
showFirstOption: true,
autoWidth: false
});

var _hsq = _hsq || [];
_hsq.push([“setContentType”, “blog-post”]);
(function(d,s,i,r) {
if (d.getElementById(i)){return;}
var n = d.createElement(s),e = document.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
n.id=i;n.src = ‘//js.hs-analytics.net/analytics/’+(Math.ceil(new Date()/r)*r)+’/281355.js’;
e.parentNode.insertBefore(n, e);
})(document, “script”, “hs-analytics”, 300000);

twttr.conversion.trackPid(‘l61tk’, { tw_sale_amount: 0, tw_order_quantity: 0 });

social


/* */

Web

(function(d,s,i,r) {
if (d.getElementById(i)){return;}
var n=d.createElement(s),e=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
n.id=i;n.src=’//js.hubspot.com/analytics/’+(Math.ceil(new Date()/r)*r)+’/281355.js’;
e.parentNode.insertBefore(n, e);
})(document,”script”,”hs-analytics”,300000);

adroll_adv_id = “HH2MRAXJWNDLXE4WOYV7E4”;
adroll_pix_id = “LCZLHINHQFBYPFFMSJNKD7”;
(function () {
var oldonload = window.onload;
window.onload = function(){
__adroll_loaded=true;
var scr = document.createElement(“script”);
var host = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://s.adroll.com” : “http://a.adroll.com”);
scr.setAttribute(‘async’, ‘true’);
scr.type = “text/javascript”;
scr.src = host + “/j/roundtrip.js”;
((document.getElementsByTagName(‘head’) || [null])[0] ||
document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0].parentNode).appendChild(scr);
if(oldonload){oldonload()}};
}());

How to generate leads without cold calling

Cold calling prospects for salesPut the phone down.

You don’t want to cold call.

Your prospects don’t want to be cold called.

Consider these statistics:

  • The average sales development rep makes 52 calls daily.
  • It takes 18 dials to connect with a single buyer.
  • 84% of B2B decision makers start the buying process with a referral.
  • Referral leads convert 30% better than leads generated from other marketing channels.

Do any of those suggest cold calling is a smart lead generation and sales strategy?

It’s better to increase sales without disruptive marketing. These inbound strategies will help you generate leads without cold calling.

Optimize your website.
93% of the B2B buying process begins with an Internet search, according to Pinpoint Market Research. This means your website can be your best sales tool. The website needs to support your content marketing plan and help achieve your marketing goals. An optimization audit would consider:

  • Mobile responsiveness including page load times and clarity of layout on a smaller screen
  • User experience on the site — particularly ease of navigation
  • What your website is saying to the search engines
  • website design matters, greatly
  • Clarity of communications to the site visitor — do they immediately know your brand’s value proposition?
  • Does your website inspire, educate, inform, and drive action?
  • Does your website convert prospects to leads? It should. Conversion optimization is a process of continuous improvement.

Drive more website traffic.
Set up tools to assist you with search engine optimization (SEO). These include Google Analytics, Adword Planner, and Webmaster Tools.

Keep an active blog. 70% of people would prefer to learn about a company through articles (rather than an advert), according to Demand Metric. An interesting, educational blog can help lead generation. Plus, the blog will also help supplement your website’s content publishing and help your organization control internal link building which can boost the SEO value of your website.

Data graph of sales - Agile Sales as a Driver of ROI

Develop Buyer Personas.
Assess your current customer data to determine their needs, challenges, pain points, and goals. In developing the buyer personas, build off past, current and prospective client insights. Be specific and consider the buyer’s intent. Try to tell a story about the buyer, considering what the sales team may have to add about client challenges and behavior.

Related reading: 6 Steps to Better Buyer Personas 

Employ Email.
Email is a powerful tool for nurturing subscribers and prospects into buying customers.

  • Use personalization in the message and the email subject line
  • Include a call to action (CTA) and set up associated tracking analytics
  • Enable social sharing
  • Use A/B testing to optimize open and click-through and engagement rates.

A/B test for website design

Convert more leads.
One way to drive more conversions is to leverage high-value gated content. White papers and webinars that visitors can only access after providing their contact information, company name, location, budget, etc can help educate and inspire your audience. Now you are building a trusting relationship as a subject expert rather than calling someone up out of the blue.

Use Google Analytics to track what site links, pages, and CTAs are performing well. Make changes and iterate based on this data.

Make it quick and easy for customers to convert. Keep landing pages simple and clear, and position forms and descriptive CTAs where the user will see them and be driven to act.

Related reading: 8 Landing Page Mistakes that Hurt Lead Generation

When you’ve incorporated all of these tactics into your lead generation repertoire, don’t stop there. Improve your sales success on an ongoing basis by regularly reviewing what’s working and what’s not. Measure results and make data-driven decisions. The first of these can be to generate leads without cold calling, choosing instead to attract, educate and delight consumers with inbound marketing best practices.

Improve lead generation efforts. B2B lead generation agency. // <![CDATA[
hbspt.cta.load(281355,'cec6c421-bbe5-4a00-981a-cc6721f371dd',{});
// ]]>

Sources:
Brudner, E. (2015, June 5). 17 Surprising Stats on Sales Prospecting That Will Change the Way You Look at Cold Calling. http://blog.hubspot.com/sales/surprising-statistics-on-sales-prospecting-that-will-change-the-way-you-look-at-cold-calling-infographic

Ironpaper is a results-driven digital marketing agency. Ironpaper integrates design, technology and marketing for the web to drive meaningful results for clients. We are based in New York City and Charlotte, NC.

// Initiate selectBoxIt
$(“.custom-select”).selectBoxIt({
theme: “bootstrap”,
showFirstOption: true,
autoWidth: false
});

var _hsq = _hsq || [];
_hsq.push([“setContentType”, “blog-post”]);
(function(d,s,i,r) {
if (d.getElementById(i)){return;}
var n = d.createElement(s),e = document.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
n.id=i;n.src = ‘//js.hs-analytics.net/analytics/’+(Math.ceil(new Date()/r)*r)+’/281355.js’;
e.parentNode.insertBefore(n, e);
})(document, “script”, “hs-analytics”, 300000);

twttr.conversion.trackPid(‘l61tk’, { tw_sale_amount: 0, tw_order_quantity: 0 });

social


/* */

Web

(function(d,s,i,r) {
if (d.getElementById(i)){return;}
var n=d.createElement(s),e=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
n.id=i;n.src=’//js.hubspot.com/analytics/’+(Math.ceil(new Date()/r)*r)+’/281355.js’;
e.parentNode.insertBefore(n, e);
})(document,”script”,”hs-analytics”,300000);

adroll_adv_id = “HH2MRAXJWNDLXE4WOYV7E4”;
adroll_pix_id = “LCZLHINHQFBYPFFMSJNKD7”;
(function () {
var oldonload = window.onload;
window.onload = function(){
__adroll_loaded=true;
var scr = document.createElement(“script”);
var host = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://s.adroll.com” : “http://a.adroll.com”);
scr.setAttribute(‘async’, ‘true’);
scr.type = “text/javascript”;
scr.src = host + “/j/roundtrip.js”;
((document.getElementsByTagName(‘head’) || [null])[0] ||
document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0].parentNode).appendChild(scr);
if(oldonload){oldonload()}};
}());

Inbound Marketing Tips for IT Service Companies

IT service companies are increasingly focused on touting the solutions they offer in a myriad of industry segments. The CMOs at those same companies, though, are focused heavily on the marketing solution to generate more leads and customer conversions.

Stats on B2B

As the IT service company seeks to stand out in a densely populated, competitive industry, these strategies for inbound marketing success can make a difference. Marketing for IT companies demands the application of contemporary best practices, data analysis, and a keen focus on continuous improvement.

Content Marketing: Publish. Publish. Publish.
In academia it’s all about “publish or perish.” Demand generation isn’t as dramatic about it, but a huge part of successful demand generation is content creation. Publish educational and authoritative content. Regularly. This isn’t about quantity so much as providing quality content adding value for your target audience and addressing their pain points in the IT service arena — improving efficiency, reducing costs, powering business, or driving innovation.

Which pieces of content are most valuable to B2B technology buyers and at which stage of the customer journey?

content publishing schedule for B2B marketing

Conversion Rates: Optimize All Efforts.
Optimization of landing pages and the website demands an unemotional review of what’s is driving current conversion rates (or the lack of conversions). The intent is cut wasted efforts and make additions to those pages that are working or which can be further overhauled to optimize conversion rates. Don’t focus on scaling efforts too soon. A sound inbound foundation is needed to move the conversion rate needle in a favorable direction before turning attention to scaling best performing efforts, sales nurturing and lead management.

A/B test for website design

Educate Your Prospects: Give Stuff Away & Share Ideas.
IT prospects are human, too, which means they will enjoy free stuff. Especially when the giveaway is the good stuff. Perhaps an IT service company will offer a free tool or resource. This will make your brand look good, and help you to establish trust for your company and enthusiasm for your product.

Do this via gated content, though. Let the “price” the prospect pays be the information they fill out on your form. Then, you can use that information to generate even more customized, high quality content.

By providing an incentive in the form of gated content, you can increase your opt in form conversions by 300%. – JustUno

Marketing funnel using content marketing

Be Data-Driven: Pay Attention to Metrics.
With the content you’re generating, the stuff you’re giving away, and the partnerships you’re making, it’s critical to study the data to determine what is working best. Compare trends, monitor conversion rates, and track workflows to identify the tactics you need to rework entirely versus tweak and repeat.

In such a competitive market, you need to align your lead generation efforts to appeal specifically to your market.

Marketing and sales goals by revenue

Lead Management: Score Your Leads.
Evaluate your prospects actions on your site and interacting with your other demand generation strategies to gauge their level of interest. Score prospects based on their progress through the customer journey funnel to qualify better quality leads for your sales team. Marketing automation can automatically attach a value to each new IT sales lead, making it even easier for your company to differentiate between those who are ready to buy and those who will never pull the purchase trigger.

Salesforce CRM sync with Hubspot

Competition in IT services grows at the same fast pace as the industry. Not only do organizations need to establish prominence over other IT consultancies and service providers, but they also need to prove their value in the face of the ever-growing self-help SaaS industry. Inbound marketing tactics can help.

A CMO's Guide To B2B Lead Generation - eBook download // <![CDATA[
hbspt.cta.load(281355,'acb810cc-abc4-43d0-a654-075c5994d654',{});
// ]]>

Ironpaper is a results-driven digital marketing agency. Ironpaper integrates design, technology and marketing for the web to drive meaningful results for clients. We are based in New York City and Charlotte, NC.

// Initiate selectBoxIt
$(“.custom-select”).selectBoxIt({
theme: “bootstrap”,
showFirstOption: true,
autoWidth: false
});

var _hsq = _hsq || [];
_hsq.push([“setContentType”, “blog-post”]);
(function(d,s,i,r) {
if (d.getElementById(i)){return;}
var n = d.createElement(s),e = document.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
n.id=i;n.src = ‘//js.hs-analytics.net/analytics/’+(Math.ceil(new Date()/r)*r)+’/281355.js’;
e.parentNode.insertBefore(n, e);
})(document, “script”, “hs-analytics”, 300000);

twttr.conversion.trackPid(‘l61tk’, { tw_sale_amount: 0, tw_order_quantity: 0 });

social


/* */

Web

(function(d,s,i,r) {
if (d.getElementById(i)){return;}
var n=d.createElement(s),e=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
n.id=i;n.src=’//js.hubspot.com/analytics/’+(Math.ceil(new Date()/r)*r)+’/281355.js’;
e.parentNode.insertBefore(n, e);
})(document,”script”,”hs-analytics”,300000);

adroll_adv_id = “HH2MRAXJWNDLXE4WOYV7E4”;
adroll_pix_id = “LCZLHINHQFBYPFFMSJNKD7”;
(function () {
var oldonload = window.onload;
window.onload = function(){
__adroll_loaded=true;
var scr = document.createElement(“script”);
var host = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://s.adroll.com” : “http://a.adroll.com”);
scr.setAttribute(‘async’, ‘true’);
scr.type = “text/javascript”;
scr.src = host + “/j/roundtrip.js”;
((document.getElementsByTagName(‘head’) || [null])[0] ||
document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0].parentNode).appendChild(scr);
if(oldonload){oldonload()}};
}());

Creative Solutions for Extraordinary Clients