In January 2016, the corporate training team at General Assembly set out to determine the marketing strategies and skills that all companies need to succeed in today’s rapidly changing business environment.
As an educational institution providing skills on technology, business, and design to individuals and corporations, our greatest asset is our network, which comprises students, alumni, instructors, subject matter experts (SMEs), and Fortune 500 clients. Leveraging this incredible network, we were able to survey CMOs of Fortune 500 companies, CEOs of startups, and a host of branding experts, mobile experts, performance experts, data experts, and digital experts.
A blog can boost your brand, drive leads, and increase ROI. So what are you waiting for?
With the overwhelming noise of social media, promotional emails, and paid advertising clamoring for consumers’ digital attention, it’s hard to squeeze in a genuine conversation about who your brand is and what it stands for beyond a pithy tweet or savvy slogan. That’s where blogging comes in.
Blogging is one of the earliest forms of storytelling on the internet — and it’s still one of the most vital in elevating a brand’s culture, community, and influence.
Consider this: According to the marketing and sales platform HubSpot, B2B marketers who use blogs receive 67% more leads than those who do not, and companies that blog receive 97% more links directing to their website.
The landscape of digital marketing continues to change at a rapid pace, and for all the right reasons. Employers are gaining a stronger understanding of what are now considered “basic” digital marketing skills that any candidate should have, and the knowledge and skills that will set you apart from the rest of the pack. For example, just being able to use the various tools of the trade is now the new level playing field. It’s expected. However, what you can do with the data that you gain using those tools will set you apart.
At your next interview for a digital marketing position, you can demonstrate that your knowledge and skills are above the rest by being prepared to answer these five questions.
When we deliver the Digital Marketing class at General Assembly, we start off with branding. Not digital branding — just branding. Digital marketing is, after all, still marketing, and in order to market effectively, you must first define your brand.
Early in the very first day of Digital Marketing, we ask the class to define the word “brand,” and then we offer up several other definitions from people who are much smarter and much more experienced than I am.
Your target audience is the first place you go to spread awareness about your product, and likely your first adoptors, too. Assuming you’ve done the necessary amount of customer discovery — identifing and validating the problem that you’re solving, and identifing your potential customers — your next step is effectively communicating your message to this audience. When you are speaking to your audience, remember it’s not about you or what you do. It’s about their pain point and your recognition, understanding, and empathy towards that pain. That’s why you set out to solve the problem in the first place.
Once you understand that part of your message, you have to find the channels that are the most effective for your communications strategy. Ask these 7 questions in order to properly locate and target your audience.
How is your content marketing strategy going? If you’re blowing the doors off with tons of new content every week and thousands of inbound leads, read no further. But if your attempts at lots of content have resulted in lots of inbound leads that just aren’t happening, perhaps it’s time to pull over and do a quick check.
The Lean Startup Methodology changed the way we go about starting businesses. Instead of creating a business plan worthy of a Harvard Business School case study, we go out into the market space that we know and find a problem. Then, we validate the problem and see how the market is dealing with, compensating for, or otherwise working around that problem. Next, we determine if the market participants are willing to pay for a solution to the problem. If they are, then we solve the problem.
Of course, it’s never that simple, but that’s the basic process in a nutshell. Atlanta entrepreneur David Cummings recently wrote that this process, from discovering the problem to getting to product market fit, generally takes about two years. Finding a problem is usually fairly clear. Validating the problem takes longer. Finding customers who are willing to pay takes a little longer, and building a product that fits the market takes a long time and usually includes several pivots or small deviations from the original product idea.
At the core of everything involved in creating a startup is the problem. But many times, the best product for solving that problem doesn’t win. Why? Because the makers of that solution are really good at solving said problem, but not good at all at explaining what exactly the problem is. In other words, the entrepreneur who can communicate better usually wins. That is why it is so vitally important to be able to explain the problem you are solving to anyone so that they understand it completely. But how do you do that?
A marketing firm in Atlanta, Syrup Marketing, recently wrote a great article about how your brand is the “lead domino,” to quote Tim Ferris. What that means is that, once you create and solidify your brand, everything else tends to fall into place easily. One of those other dominoes that falls into place after you’ve created a fantastic branding strategy is the actual nuts and bolts of your business model.
Any business model is made up of many different moving parts, but they can be boiled down to these five pillars, on which you should build your business.
As a content marketer by trade, two of my core business goals are without a doubt, increasing the size of my email list and driving more revenue into my business.
Building an audience from scratch can be a serious challenge, and it helps if you understand exactly where your ideal customers are spending their time online. That way, you can target other sites that you should be publishing content on, and over time—make their audience your audience. If you’re creating valuable content, you’ll be in a great position to add value to these other websites by offering to guest post. It’s a win-win for both the publisher and your business.
If you’re a marketer, you’ve probably heard of the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). With it’s quick tips and thoughtful lessons, this website is full of advice for startups, freelancers, and corporations who are looking to learn how content can help grow their businesses. We recently chatted with Joe Pulizzi, CMI’s founder and the man who coined the term “content marketing,” to discuss the content marketing revolution and what’s next for him and this fast-growing industry.