CRM

What is CPQ for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales enables your sales team to build relationships with customers through contextual data and insights. Analytic dashboards give visibility into sales results to help with training and coaching. These are powerful features that can be extended with the addition of another powerful software that puts Dynamics on hyper speed – CPQ.
What is CPQ?
CPQ is Configure Price Quote – a sales software that helps organizations configure the pricing of their products and generate quotes and proposals to be presented to their buyers. A CPQ can be configured using pricing models, discounting, product dependencies and other attributes, and typically includes contingencies for approvals. The software then prepares the quote or proposal and tracks receipt of the document and e-signature.
Configuration ensures that products or services are available, meet buyer specs, and deliverable within agreed-upon terms.
Price management allows sellers to choose between products, packages, and services, and offer discounts that are mutually beneficial.
Quote generation ensures everything comes together in a way that is on-brand, legally compliant, and contains all necessary collateral to help close the deal.
Why do Microsoft Dynamics 365 Users Need CPQ?
CPQ enables sales teams to generate accurate quotes in minutes, not hours, based on up-to-date product configurations and pricing rules. CPQ extends the value of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales by giving sales teams the power to send customized, accurate, legally compliant quotes to buyers while tracking their engagement and interest.
CPQ solutions deliver ROI when your products or services feature a certain degree of complexity and the need for quoting accuracy is magnified through the prism of multiple choices or considerations. This is often the case with buyers in the Financial, Services, and Manufacturing industries.
Close Deals Faster with CPQ for Microsoft Dynamics
Research by Aberdeen Group shows that “best-in-class sales teams are 2.2 times as effective at minimizing the number of people, functions, systems required to generate a quote or proposal.”
CPQ software integrated with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales streamlines the price quotation process and enables sales reps to generate error-free quotes from within their CRM, using templates and pricing that is updated in real time. In a highly competitive global market, CPQ is considered a mission-critical sales technology to enable sales teams to respond to buyer requests for quotes quickly while reducing administrative tasks.

Putting Your Customer at the Center of Your Price Quote Process
Aligned with the Microsoft Dynamics mission to put the customer at the center of the sales process, a CPQ helps your sales team focus on their customers’ needs by responding faster with the right pricing, the right messaging, and the right content to help them make a decision.
The Sales Playbook tool within the CPQ guides selling workflows to keep deals focused on buyer needs and drive deals forward. Sales reps can select the right configurations for each customer to ensure consistency in pricing, discounting and approvals. A master CPQ template that simplifies multiple SKU variations into a guided question and answer process eliminates complexities and produces quotes that are easy for buyers to understand.
Benefits of CPQ for Microsoft Dynamics 365
Beyond providing an excellent buying experience, optimizing time to quote, and shortening the sales cycle, CPQ has other benefits:

Streamline Sale Process
Simplify sizing, configuration & pricing
Automate renewals
Ensure adherence to pricing & legal policies
Facilitate internal collaboration
Standardize proposals

Request a demo to learn more about how DealHub CPQ extends the value of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales.

Dirty Data? 5 Questions to Determine if Your Incentive Promotion Data is Clean

Data powers incentive promotions. A channel incentives and program management (CIPM) solution can help streamline accuracy and efficiency of the channel; however, challenges tend to arise if your data inputs aren’t standardized and clean.
The Benefits of Clean Data
Complete and clean data enables smooth program automation and workflows – such as safe validation of claims, simple auditory compliance, quick creation of micro target audiences, reward payouts, communications, participant registration, and more.
With the efficiency created by the program doing the heavy lifting, it affords program Admins greater time to apply their channel expertise to more strategic and valuable work.
WorkStride incentive programs share three key common benefits to clean data:

Be in the promotional driver’s seat. Simply incorporate complex inputs and calculation rules on one or many promotions to better suit your specific audiences. Create specific program requirements or enable your own specific trainings, to that particularly underperforming Western region, to keep the ecosystem productive and engaged. Choose the strategies that best suit the audience, such as promotion type—for example, unit SPIFFs, Loyalty Rebates, and Top Seller contests—as well as reward options like Visas, Direct Deposit, and a Rewards Mall.
Reduce fraud and errors. Due to the reduction of the human element, a software-driven solution will have a smaller margin of error than self or manual reporting. This helps ensure claims are valid, user registrations are authorized, and reward payouts are accurate. Gain control to setup your processes to ensure that claims are being paid out fraud free, with compliant auditory trails.
Realize the true potential of your reports. See standard reports like your promotion summary, user, or sales submission report, along with other standard or custom ones to broaden your promotional point-of-view. Avoid tooling around with exports from CRM or ERP systems to see how your program is performing.

Is Your Data Clean?
These benefits of an efficient and streamlined program start with ensuring that data feeding into the program is clean and reliable.
Your channel data can include product SKUs, sales data, user and partner attributes, along with other historical program data. As an accessory to raw program data, also important is the math element, including promotional logic, registration requirements, and other specific program rules. These criteria flow through and interact with program data inputs – all building the data plant which powers your promotions. The program data is the fuel source (like wind, oil, natural gas, etc. is for electrical plants) for incentive promotions.
Before unleashing the power, ask yourself:

Where is all your data coming from?In which location(s) does the data that will feed the program rest? It could be in a centralized system, dispersed amongst separate partner systems, across numerous files, not generated yet (in the case of a brand new program), or a multitude of other locations.
In what condition is your data?Is your data dirty? Is it organized enough to be processed for fulfillment or ingested into a channel incentive program? Is it free of blank cells, duplicates, extra spaces, non-standard or inconsistent formatting, etc.?
How will the data get into your program?Through what medium(s) will your data get from its current restful state to its platform to use in your promotions. Examples include file exports, transfers, system integration (or even multiple integrations).
How will the data interact?When you blend your data with product, sales, promotion, and other inputs, how are you ensuring the pieces all come together to tell the story of who sold what, when, where, and how much to ensure program longevity?
What specific inputs (behaviors) deserve a reward?Once your data is live and producing outputs, configure your program logic to payout your intended user behaviors that will earn the greatest return for your program. Consider percentage rebates to partner loyalists as a “thank you,” or motivating SPIFFs to brand new partners to get them participating.

Value of Corporate Reputation as an Intangible Asset

The success of your business often rides on one thing: your corporate reputation. But how can something so important be so desperately intangible? Despite our inability to “calculate” corporate reputation, the future of your business relies on your ability to keep it in good standing.
It’s so important, in fact, that 97 percent of travel business owners say online reputation management is important to their business.
And it’s not just the travel industry that benefits from a likable corporate reputation. According to the 2018 Reputation Dividend Report, corporate reputation is estimated to be responsible for an average of 38 percent of market capitalization across the FTSE 100 & 250: a total of £1,062 billion of shareholder value, up 5 percent from last year.
The statistics are overwhelming and confirm that reputation can lift, sink, or otherwise change the value of a company (more on that later). This blog will dive into the concept of corporate reputation—why it matters and how to measure it. Then we’ll detail specific examples of how companies have overcome or succumbed to, reputation disasters.
Why corporate reputation matters
Your corporate reputation hinges on the sentiment your consumers feel about your brand. Now corporate sentiment is difficult to quantify, but people do try!
It’s easier to think of the big picture effects of a fluctuating reputation to assess just how much reputation matters. For example, if a company’s corporate sentiment is positive, it can expect to see:

Increased revenue and stock prices
Decreased churn rate
Increased customer lifetime value
Better job candidates and employees

On the flip side, a negative corporate sentiment will surely cause stock prices to dip, customers choosing the competition, and higher turnover and less qualified employees.
So with these two futures in mind, it is clear that it’s worth taking the time to improve (or to uphold) your corporate reputation. But how do you do that in an ever-changing market? Let’s take a look at some examples of brands that have survived shifts in their reputation, and how we can learn from their experiences to avoid common pitfalls.
Corporate reputation brand analysis
Reputations can change quickly without notice. One day your company may seem reputationally secure—you have loyal champions of your brand, you’re able to charge a premium for your products or services, and the general public has a favorable opinion regarding your company.
But what happens when something goes sour? The stronger your corporate reputation is, the easier it will be for your brand to overcome publicity disasters. Whether an executive made a bad decision or you were associated with negative media backlash, your reputation can potentially save you from a crisis.
Let’s take a look at the reputational journeys of a few brands, and how they handled reputation crises.
Coca-Cola’s lasting brand reputation

Source
The soft drink behemoth has had its fair share of reputation scandals, but it continues to overcome them all. Why? Simply because its reputation is so strong that people will remain loyal to the brand even if it is in hot water.
How much is Coca-Cola’s brand worth?
Coca-Cola dominates the charts year after year for its reputation and brand recognition. Valued at $80 billion, Coca-Cola was ranked #5 in Interbrand’s Best Global Brands 2018 list. Here are a few reasons why Coca-Cola resonates so strongly with its audience.

Emotional appeal: Coca-Cola has a proven track record of listening to its customers, and adapting to changing customer needs. Time after time, they have swiftly resolved customer complaints or corporate crises.
Financial performance: People trust companies that are doing well financially. A healthy financial forecast shows that a company is profitable and offers a low-risk investment.
Corporate communications: Coca-Cola is transparent with its marketing and communications. By sharing company news and events, as well as appealing to emotions, Coca-Cola has established itself as a leader.

With such a strong reputation, Coca-Cola can overcome mistakes faster and easier than companies without such clout. Take, for instance, a 1999 policy that Coca-Cola tested in which vending machines would automatically raise prices during the summer heat. This resulted in a huge backlash at the time, as customers in hotter climates felt unfairly targeted based on where they lived. The policy didn’t last long, resulting in Coca-Cola pulling the idea and hiring a new CEO.
Coca-Cola survived the incident relatively unscathed. Would a company with less brand loyalty have been able to do the same? Probably not.
How Salesforce grew its reputation
Salesforce entered the market in 1999. Virtually unknown and competing with top established brands like Microsoft and Oracle, Salesforce didn’t seem to stand a chance. Salesforce was even referred to as “the ant at the picnic” for taking on Siebel. So how did this little “ant” grow up to be one of the biggest forces in CRM software? By building a strong corporate reputation. Here are a few ways they did it:

Guerilla marketing: Salesforce broke into the scene by leading creative events that created a reason for the media to report on them. Rather than trying to promote themselves in the traditional sense, Salesforce created news that landed them in the media.
Social responsibility: Today’s consumers have high expectations when it comes to social responsibility and they are more likely to support brands that hold commitments to improve society.
Vision and leadership: Salesforce has a clear vision for the future and a CEO that is consistently well-liked.

How to measure corporate reputation
There’s no shortage of lists and descriptions of how to measure corporate reputation online. However, the formula, criteria, and rankings vary greatly depending on which website you check. Here are a few of the top ways to measure corporate reputation.

Search engine research: A simple Google search can go a long way. Search your company or your competitors to get a sense of the mood surrounding each. Check out Google’s news tab for more current search results.
In-depth research: Once you’ve run a diagnostic search, begin to dig deeper into the blogs, articles, and reviews you find to discover how and why the sentiment is what it is.
Social research: Perform social listening to find out what the social buzz is around your business.

The above tactics will give you a good idea of the general sentiment surrounding your corporate reputation. Having more positive posts about your business than negative is absolutely critical to the success of your business. Since 64% of consumers trust search engine results more than traditional media, you want to make sure that what they see on the Internet is a positive reflection of your business.
By actively measuring your corporate reputation, you can develop more effective strategies to maintain and drive business growth. You’ll know how and when to spend those valuable marketing dollars to see results. In addition to the research techniques listed above, here are a few more best practices for measuring your corporate reputation.
Set fluid goals
We’ve already established that corporate reputation is intangible. One of the biggest mistakes executives often make trying to quantify reputation is to set rigid criteria to the measurement or even to assign a number to it. Instead of approaching the measurement as a hard and fast number, consider it as more of an instrument capable of evolving with changing trends and goals. Corporate reputation and business growth are closely intertwined, so as your success metrics change, so should your corporate reputation measurement factors.
Consider your audience
It is important to be true to the public’s sentiment when measuring your reputation, and to avoid letting any internal biases affect your measurement. Keep in mind that “the public” can be segmented into several key groups: stakeholders, investors, employees, customers, influencers, haters, etc. It is beneficial to take into account how each of these groups is affecting your corporate reputation and to develop specific strategies for each group to improve or maintain your reputation. What matters to one group may prove to be useless to another.
Execute an action plan
When dealing with a measurement as fluid in nature as corporate reputation, it is important to develop an action plan that you stick to over time. Half the battle with measuring your reputation is being consistent. Set priorities for what you’re going to measure, develop a roadmap as to how, and establish accountability for the team members responsible for collecting the data.
By consistently measuring your corporate reputation over time you can be in a better position to detect any reputational crises and will be better equipped to handle them if and when they arise.
What are today’s top brands
YouGov’s 2018 Global Best Brand Ranking shows the top brands worldwide. The list is compiled based on surveys with more than six million people to find out how people feel about each brand. Respondents were asked, “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?”
Here are the results:

Top value of brands
The brands that top this list not only have successful reputations, but they are hugely successful financially. Each company that made this list enjoys a healthy amount of champions of their brand as well as a strong financial worth.
Conclusion
Every company’s reputation changes over time, and each journey is full of its own nuances and challenges. Although it is impossible to craft a formula for defining your corporate reputation, the fact is that it’s extremely important and absolutely worth the time and effort required to maintain it.
A positive corporate reputation will result in increased revenue and stock prices, decreased churn rate, increased customer lifetime value, and even better job candidates and employees. The bottom line is clear: your corporate reputation defines the value of your company.

We Signed Up for 12 Products: Here’s What We Learned About Sales Email Subject Lines

An email subject line packs a powerful punch (or at least it should). With the amount of emails the average worker receives a day (121 daily emails on average!), you need to grab the readers of your sales emails quickly. Instead of viewing the limited characters of a subject line as a challenge, view it as an opportunity.
Here are sales email subject lines lessons from twelve companies to help you do just that.
Make the message personal
Accenture found that “75% of customers are more likely to spend their hard-earned money with brands that recognize them by name and remember information about them.” Use this desire to your advantage with sales email subject lines.
Include the contact’s name
According to The Washington Post, a “person’s name is the greatest connection to their own identity and individuality.” Using a contact’s name in an email subject line has the same effect as it would in a personal conversation — it establishes a personal connection between the contact and company.

Alexa’s email subject line
Another personalization tactic is to use the contact’s first and last names. Mailchimp found that, although including both first and last names in a subject is less common, it has the largest positive impact on open rates.
Use the word “you”
Too often, our inboxes are slammed full of formal email subject lines, which ultimately sound salesy. Cut through the formal clutter and sound friendly instead. One tactic is to address the recipient using the second person — “you.”

Wistia‘s email subject line
Subject lines like “Are you ready?” “Have you tried XYZ?” are simple, but effective. This tactic makes you sound less formal and more conversational.
Customize your subject line
A report by Silverpop found that 50% of recipients unsubscribe to email lists because the content they receive is not relevant to them and they don’t have any interest in learning about it. Along with using the prospect’s name, take advantage of email segmentation through segmented lists and CRM third-party integrations (e.g., Mailchimp) to create customized email subject lines that individually speak to every prospect’s needs.

Chameleon’s email subject line
Start by organizing your email list by customer demographics, pain points, etc. Then, divide the customers in each segment according to their purchase stage. For example, if a small financial company is in the pre-purchase stage, create a subject line about “X best blog posts for finance startups.”
Use few words
Wordiness has been the death of many a subject line — people have short attention spans, and long subject lines beg to be skimmed over. Shorter, concise subject lines are not only easier to read, but they also have a higher open rate because they grab the reader’s attention in the inbox.
Write 41-character subject lines
Short subject lines are also easier to read on a mobile device. According to Convince & Convert, 35% of business professionals check email on smartphones and tablets. The number of characters shown depends on the device, but most people view emails on iPhones and Gmail, which show between 41 to 70 characters.
According to Marketo, 41 characters (or 7 words) is the best length for an email subject line, but you can also use fewer. With the average subject line being about 51 characters, your shorter subject lines will have a better chance of standing out.
Compare these two subject lines:

Get ready for our amazing product upgrade this summer to XYZ 4.0: Sign up today!
Are you ready for XYZ 4.0?

Which subject line are your eyes more drawn to? Most likely the second one, because you can see the whole message right off the bat.

PandaDoc‘s email subject line
Another tip? Think about using sentence-case rather than title-case. “Congrats on your Series B funding!” is much easier to read (and less spammy looking) than “Congrats On Your Series B Funding!”
Pique the reader’s curiosity
By nature, humans are curious. Convey that you have something the reader doesn’t and give them a reason to want to open your email. A few ways to capture your reader’s attention is to ask a question, share number-based facts, and speak to a reader’s pain point.
Ask a question
You don’t have to give away everything about the email in the subject line. Instead, ask a question that hints at the nature of the content. A question makes the reader want to know the answer and fill their knowledge gap. Questions also sound like an actual human conversation and not computer-generated messages.

FollowUp‘s email subject line
Simple questions such as “Want to build a startup faster?” are thought-provoking and intriguing without giving away too much.
Share data-based insights
Yesware found that subject lines with hard numbers have higher open and reply rates. Build the prospect’s trust in your company by backing up your claims with data. Talk with marketing about using your company’s original data to develop data-based content.
For example, if your company offers e-Signatures, find out how many of your clients use it to sign documents instead of signing paper documents that must be printed and mailed or scanned and emailed. A possible subject line could be “Decrease time to sign by XX%.”

CoSchedule’s email subject line
If you don’t have a bunch of original data to work with, be creative with numbers. For example, “The 3 step guide to social selling,” or “6 ways to improve content marketing” can also be effective.
Convey a pain point
Prospects don’t care about your company’s accomplishments as much as they want to know what you can do for them. How can your product/service solve their problem? Prove in the subject line that you’ve done your research on the prospect and recognize what their business struggles with.

Appcues’ email subject line
Other possible subject lines include “X blogs for [Pain Point]” or “How to improve [Pain Point].” This type of subject line makes you seem more customer-centric than product-centric, which helps set the right tone for a future customer relationship.
Share valuable information
If the reader feels like there’s a gap in their knowledge base, they’re more likely to click your email. First, use tools like a CRM to understand your audience. What questions are current customers asking customer support? What are their main pain points? Then, use this information to craft helpful emails/subject lines.
Be direct
You don’t have to be crazy creative with subject lines. If you’re offering something of value, let the content speak for itself. Share the exact benefit the reader will gain from opening your email in the subject line.

Chargify’s email subject line
“Introducing the 2019 Social Selling Report” or “[Your Company] Video Content Marketing Guide” are subject lines that get straight to the point and convey exactly what the reader will receive.
Continue the value
Have you ever bought something online that promised to be amazing, but when you received the item in the mail, it didn’t even match the description? Disappointing to say the least. An email works the exact same way. Make sure that the body of your email delivers what the subject line promised to the reader.

Airtable‘s email subject line
Above all, don’t trick your readers with subject line clickbait. If your subject line says that you’ll be sharing “10 tricks on how to improve employee retention,” ensure that the content meets the expectations that the subject line sets up.
Experiment with the language
Word choice matters. For example, the subject line “Crush your social selling techniques” is more likely to be opened over “How to social sell.” Weave together words in a way that’s both intriguing and direct. And avoid words like “free” in your subject lines — it has been shown to lower email open rates.
Create a sense of urgency
Urgent subject lines have been shown to increase open rates by 22%.Mailchimp also found that including words like “urgent” and “important” result in higher open rates. For example, “Last chance to sign up” suggests that the reader will miss out if they don’t click on your message.

YNAB’s email subject line
Like YNAB, imply time sensitivity to your messages to increase the open rate.
Thank the recipient
Everyone appreciates being appreciated, so it’s not surprising that saying thank you increases email open rates (e.g., “I wanted to say thank you…” or “Thank you for —”). By showing gratitude, you forge a closer bond with the recipient.

Zendesk Sell’s email subject line
Combine with the contact’s name to make the subject line even more personal: “[Contact Name], thank you!”
Give alliterations a try
If used correctly, alliterations (the repetition of consonant sounds, e.g., The Subscription of the Season) can help make your subject line memorable. Even just a couple of words that work well together can eliminate the monotony of an email. “Want to master memorable marketing?” or “Get your startup financially fit” are a couple of examples.

CB Insights‘ email subject line
Granted, you have to be careful with this tactic (it’s easy to overdo). Experiment with different word pairings and find what sounds best for your brand.
Improve your sales email subject lines
Chadwick Martin Bailey found that the subject line is what drives people to open an email 64% of the time. When crafting your subject lines, place yourself in the reader’s shoes. What message would make you want to open the email?
Use a CRM to compile and automatically send your sales emails. Also, experiment with A/B testing with your sales email subject lines. Do some subject lines get a higher click rate than others? If certain subject lines aren’t working, refer to this article again and try something new the next time.
No matter your target audience, be customer-focused with every sales email starting with the subject line.

Creating a Questionnaire That Drives Responses

andibreit / Pixabay
Staying competitive in business today requires meeting and exceeding customer expectations. To do that, you first need to know what their expectations are. One of the best ways to find out exactly what your customers want is by collecting customer feedback through questionnaires.
By sending questionnaires to your customers, you can gather insights that will help you improve their experiences and move your business forward. But, as you probably already know, getting responses to your questionnaires isn’t always easy.
The fact is, many questionnaires aren’t designed well, which leads to poor response rates and a lot of wasted effort. The key to driving responses is taking a thoughtful approach to creating a well-designed questionnaire that encourages your customers to share their valuable thoughts with you.
5 tips for creating a questionnaire that gets you responses
Keep it short
One of the biggest ways to increase response rates to your questionnaires is by limiting the length. The longer the questionnaire is, the more likely you’ll cause survey fatigue and the less likely customers will be to respond. Our general recommendation is to limit your questionnaire to no more than 10 questions or 5 minutes to complete.
Stick to the most important questions, and only ask for the information that’s essential. If you can find a piece of information about the customer somewhere else, for example in your CRM, then it’s best not to ask for that. Instead, ask something you couldn’t find on your own.
Using a survey tool with a logic feature can help you cut down on redundant or irrelevant questions by adding or skipping questions based on a customer’s previous answers. This way, you tailor the questionnaire to each individual customer and get the most meaningful answers.
Always tell your customers how long the questionnaire will take. This lets them know what to expect and can be a helpful reference point. If at any time they feel the questionnaire is dragging out, they’ll be able to assess how much longer they can expect to take. This can get more customers through the finish line.
One other note: Be wary of sending too many questionnaires per customer. as this can also lead to fatigue and lack of responsiveness. You can safely survey customers every two months. Any more than that and customers will just be too taxed to respond.
Structure questions carefully
On a similar note, keep your questions short and to-the-point. Indirect questions can confuse and frustrate customers, causing them to drop out of the questionnaire before finishing it.
Ambiguity in your phrasing can also result in lower quality data for you when customers misinterpret the question and provide irrelevant answers. Review your questions with a fine-toothed comb to ensure they’re crystal clear.
When it comes to the way you set up your question types, there are a lot of options, like multiple choice, ranking, and short answer. Question types that allow for longer-form answers are valuable but keep in mind that they take longer for customers to complete, so use them sparingly.
Instead, use more closed-ended questions like multiple choice and rating scales. These take less time and effort, making customers more likely to answer them. As an added bonus, the data generated by closed-ended questions are easier to analyze.
Make it contextual
Contextual means that your surveys are placed within the appropriate setting so that customers know exactly what you would like feedback on. Sending contextual questionnaires will boost response rates because customers have a strong point of reference for giving their feedback. Wherever possible, send the questionnaire through the same channel where the customer is already interacting with you, and make it about their specific experience.
If your customer is browsing your website, for example, you can send them a quick in-app questionnaire to get their feedback on things like the design of the website. Or if they’re chatting with your customer support team, then you can send a questionnaire at the end of the chat. You can even use a CRM integration to make this happen automatically.
Another key component when it comes to context is timing. Before sending a questionnaire, think through whether or not it’s going to make sense from the customer’s point of view. If you’re sending a questionnaire regarding your product, for example, make sure your customer has been using it long enough to have an opinion.
Be sure not to wait too long, though. You want the experience to be fresh enough in the customer’s mind that they can provide detail in their answers, and that they’ll be motivated to do it.
Speaking of timing, studies have shown that Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday after working hours are the best times to send questionnaires. However, every business and customer base are different. The best bet is to look at your data to see when open and click-through rates are typically highest and send your questionnaire then.
Design it well
A visually appealing questionnaire will encourage customers to engage with it, and one with your brand’s colors and imagery will further connect them to your company. Add a background image or add images to your questions. With GetFeedback, you can save time by using a pre-designed template and adding customization to match your brand style, font, and button colors.
With 30-40% of online surveys being taken on a mobile device, it’s highly likely customers will be trying to complete your questionnaire on their phones, so be sure to optimize your design for mobile.
Along with an attractive design, it’s important for customers to be able to read your questionnaire. Customer attention is hard to capture, and if your questionnaire is difficult to read, then it won’t take long for customers to lose interest.
Use of a font size of at least 16 pixels, and if you’re using a background image, make sure it contrasts with the text so your questions are legible. Review your images to make sure they’re not too busy. While design is an important element in making the questionnaire a pleasant experience, it should complement the questions, not detract from them.
Offer an incentive
Incentives can dramatically increase response rates because you’ll essentially be compensating customers for their time. They’re a great way to boost responses as well as thank your customers for their participation.
One option is a prepaid incentive, where you give everyone something, regardless of whether or not they complete the questionnaire. For example, you could send a 10% discount to everyone. This can be an investment, but research has shown that it can increase response rates by up to three times.
If you’re looking to make a smaller investment, another option is a promised incentive, where customers get something after finishing the questionnaire. This is a good way to boost response rates without giving so much away.
Keep in mind that your questionnaire might not really need any incentive, and be careful not to use them in situations where doing so might introduce bias or change the validity or the responses you get. If you’re not sure, try starting your questionnaire without an incentive, then try introducing it slowly to smaller groups to see what impact it makes.
Wrapping up on creating a successful questionnaire
Questionnaires will help you learn from your customers, improve their experiences, and stay relevant in today’s crowded market. Doing it right requires careful planning and effort, but with these tips, you have everything you need to get started on a questionnaire that gets responses.

8 Key Components of a Perfect CIAM Platform

If you aren’t already taking advantage of CIAM (customer identity and access management), you should be. But what components do you need to include if you want to implement the perfect CIAM platform? One that meets all of your organization’s needs, both now and in the future?
The CIAM revolution has taken over the access management landscape in just five years. Winning customer trust by safeguarding their data is becoming a competitive advantage.
Research from Deloitte shows that 70% of consumers are more likely to purchase from consumer product companies that they believe protect their personal information.
Customer identity management goes beyond simply repurposing employee IAM for customers—CIAM’s scalability, scope, and customer focus enable you to go far beyond simple privacy management and access verification. In fact, it forms a key component of effective digital transformation.
To succeed in today’s environment, businesses should consider an all-in-one CIAM platform that manages people, systems, and devices used throughout their organization. Customers, vendors, partners, and more should all be included in a comprehensive framework if you want to enable true digital transformation.
There are a number of key features that are essential if you want to implement a robust customer identity and access management framework.
1. Advanced Frictionless Security
The initial seed behind CIAM will always be the need to securely manage access, with many of its advanced functions evolving from this essential starting point. Going beyond old-fashioned access methods, a modern customer identity management solution should enable frictionless security. By enabling seamless authentication between people, systems, and things, CIAM can enable low-friction access for all, while still remaining secure.
Frictionless security means easy-to-use security. Your customers are presented with a beautifully integrated access solution that works so well they barely notice it.
2. Strong Privacy Management
Compliance with local data protection laws can be a chore, especially given their constant evolution. A good customer identity platform should enable you to keep up with local laws anywhere in the world that you do business.
With country-specific or regional control over how personal data is stored and managed, you’ll always meet legal requirements, saving you compliance management costs each year.
These aren’t the only potential costs you can save—legal fees can run high when privacy management fails. Presenting customers with easily self-managed privacy choices and a solid privacy policy also shows them that their data is safe and shows your company to be competent and professional in handling these issues.
This reputation will encourage customer loyalty in the long run.
3. Integration with APIs

A perfect CIAM platform needs to be able to integrate more than just people. There are lots of identity-filled business processes and practices, and in the future the number of these is only set to grow.
A well-designed customer identity solution connects all native and third-party applications that handle customer data.
APIs let you quickly integrate systems that need to work together across providers, so the APIs available from your CIAM provider need to work with every system that can benefit from CIAM integration.
To make the most of your customer identity and access management solution, it needs to integrate seamlessly with your CRM, business intelligence, analytics, content management, and marketing automation systems. You also need to know that your vendor has the capacity to create effective APIs to let you take advantage of new technology as it comes online.
4. Data Access Control and Aggregation Process
Customer data needs to be securely protected at all times, yet at the same time be available to those who should be able to use it. A good CIAM solution will let you develop schemas flexibly so you can get the most out of your systems
Without effective data access control, data governance is useless. You need to know these essentials:

Where did the data come from?
Where should it be synchronized?
Who should have the right and opportunity to access and/or change it?

All of these things need to be manageable across future system updates without fail. At the same time, there should be no need to mess around with schemas that work well.
5. Security Compliance

Your CIAM platform must meet compliance requirements on a global scale, even though many of these requirements are constantly changing and evolving. Currently, here’s what your CIAM platform needs to do:

Offer redundancy practices for protecting data in transit and at rest.
Store and manage access to customer data.
Implement multi-factor and enhanced authorization.
Be regularly certified by third-party security standards like SOC 2, HIPAA, and ISO.
Be able to meet industry and location-specific needs wherever you do businesses.

Make sure you aren’t wasting time and money on security compliance—use an up-to-date cloud CIAM system.
6. Customer Analytics
One of the best things about an advanced CIAM solution is the ability to tie in customer analytics, giving you a much deeper and clearer understanding of each customer. Here’s what this data can be used for:

Monitor and improve customer experience.
Feed data back to product development teams.
Hone sales and marketing functions.
Deliver targeted content effectively.

CIAM can be used to both extract and store many different data points, feeding them back to your other systems for use.
7. Scalability During High Demand
Your CIAM solution must be not only scalable, but rapidly so, making it possible to meet unexpected demand without faltering. You shouldn’t ever need to worry that a promotion or event could affect the smooth operation of your account features.
8. Better Customer Experience
All told, your CIAM platform needs to boost customer experience in every possible way. A reduced initial entry threshold that leverages social login or passwordless login is just the start.
Advanced analytics, effective self-service options, and integration with all of your customer-facing functions should all work to improve the way customers access your systems. And storing everything about one customer in the same place—data, analytics, preferences, and browsing/purchase history—will make it much easier for employees to manage customer accounts.
Conclusion
The main thing to remember is that customer IAM is all about customer experience and customer trust. More than just an identity platform, and more than just an access management solution, LoginRadius offers a way to go beyond customer expectations.
Today that means you need to offer self-service data management and make use of the additional customer data that CIAM platform can give you. Only then can you improve what you offer customers at virtually every point in their journey.

Solving the Bad Data Problem in Marketing

Marketers are always on the lookout for the latest low-hanging fruit that can help them capture attention. Low-priced attention with high-value engagement is the holy grail of marketing ROI. But marketing success doesn’t just hinge on your ability to recognize shifts in B2B buyer attention faster than your competitors.
All of your marketing tactics, channels, and strategies are meaningless if you continually fall victim to one of the biggest issues plaguing our profession—bad data.
It’s easy to mask bad data problems by going through the motions in marketing and sales. But when it comes down to results, seeing a return on marketing investments and driving sales success requires a foundation of strong data. The right approach to intent data can get you the results you need.
Summing Up Marketing’s Bad Data Problem
When big data analytics solutions went mainstream, marketers rejoiced. Finally, a means to putting all of the data you collect to good use. But the realization of “garbage in, garbage out” keeps many marketing and sales teams from unlocking the benefits.
One study from IBM found that poor data quality costs U.S. businesses over $3.1 trillion per year. According to the Data Doc, Thomas C. Redman, “the reason bad data costs so much is that decision makers, mangers, knowledge works, data scientists, and others must accommodate it in their everyday work. And doing so is both time-consuming and expensive.”
When you supply sales with bad prospect data, they inevitably waste time trying to hunt down deals that will never close instead of focusing on high-value opportunities.
But what exactly is bad data in marketing? Generally speaking, bad marketing data means that it’s inaccurate. Whether it’s duplicate data complicating your CRM, data missing from contact profiles, data that was incorrectly entered in your CRM, or data that’s just plain inaccurate, bad data will hold your business back.
There are multiple contributing factors to bad data. However, many of these issues stem from an over-reliance on the data you generate with traditional lead generation tactics. While first-party data gives you a strong foundation for marketing strategies, solving bad data problems requires verified intent data that gives you deep insight into the contacts you’re trying to reach.
Solving Bad Data Issues with Intent Data
Third-party intent data is the key to overcoming marketing’s bad data problem. By working with a trusted provider, you can ensure the accuracy of data that indicates where your target accounts are in the buyer’s journey. Not only that, but third-party intent data gives you a reference point to compare your databases to so that you can minimize inaccuracies that may have existed in your CRM for years.
Unlike first-party intent data, working with a third-party provider helps you understand the behavior of target prospects outside of your own website. It’s great to know when a prospect downloads your content or requests a sales demo—but how are they interacting with your competitors? The right provider will give you accurate insights into all prospect behavior so that you can make the best data-driven decisions possible.
Focusing solely on the bad data problems in your own CRM might lead you down the costly path of building out a data science team to overcome “garbage in, garbage out” problems. And while that’s a valuable task, you’ll see greater marketing ROI by striking a balance between third-party intent and first-party data collection.
To help you overcome bad data problems and maximize sales performance, we make sure our intent data is:

Most Accurate: We can deliver up to 91% accuracy in predicting purchase intent.
Most Actionable: We drive in-market, target company web visits at a quarter of the cost of paid search.
Most Targeted: We calibrate intent data to your unique business with nearly half a million keywords to choose from.

If you want to learn more about how third-party intent data can improve your marketing activities and sales performance, download our report, Demystifying B2B Purchase Intent.

The Secret to ABM: Balancing Technology with the Human Touch

Account Based Marketing is a go-to-market strategy that coordinates personalized marketing and sales efforts to land and expand target accounts. An array of technology solutions now empower companies to use this methodology to increase reveue. These include customer relationship management, marketing automation, web analytics, and advertising technology, predictive tools, etc. Also essential are tools for web analytics, progressive profiling, content delivery, social media management and more. Even more recently, we’ve seen the rise of ABM platforms.
As we climb through this technology stack, it’s easy to lose sight of the key to success — to connect human-to-human and develop long-term, win-win relationships that foster business growth. Technology is simply a stepping stone that enables a company to relate to prospects and customers in an insightful, personal way.
Find the balance of technology and the human touch and you will strike gold.
The Role of Technology
That said, it does not diminish the essential role of technology. Without it, due to the immensity of the task, B2B marketers would fall back on blanketing their target audience with one-size-fits-all messaging. Unfortunately, one size fits some better than others. Technology enables them to drive results by delivering personal messages at scale. And today, because your competitors are likely personalizing their communications if you’re not doing the same, you’re falling behind. Customers now expect emails, websites and phone conversations to cater to their needs.
How to Build Human Relationships
1 – Create Your Ideal Account Profiles
To build human relationships, you start with the big picture and then drive down to people you want to reach. Define your ideal account profile, including specifics such as industries, number of employees, location and anything else that is a predictor for your company’s sales achievement.
Here are some factors to consider when defining your ICP:

What sector or sectors are you winning in?
Are there ‘look-alike’ segments similar to those you have success with now?
Alternately, what new markets are most important for your company to develop?
Are these markets growing?
What accounts will deliver the most value (including strategic value, advocates, referral sources, geographic presence)?

The output of your ICP should be a document that clearly represents the type of companies you are targeting in your ABM efforts. The most important part is this is clearly articulated to everyone and in a place that is easily accessible for quick reference.
2 – Learn About Targeted Industries
Once you decide on the industries you wish to target, learn as much as possible about the trends, growth drivers, competitors and challenges. This information helps inform how you communicate with them.
Generating insight isn’t enough. Insight isn’t anything if itn’s not followed up with action. Get the knowledge into the right hands and get busy. Here are some insight-sharing tips:

Create an ABM Insight Machine with a dedicated team of researchers. One company we work with has a four-person team that creates Value Hypothesis documents for each of their 1,400 target accounts, including: What they think the account should be worried about; Examples of similar companies that they’ve helped; Content they’ve researched about them (e.g. quotes from their CEO); Entrypoints–contentor messages that can be sent directly to start dialogsThese are customized by account but can be based on segment-specific templates.
Spin up an Insight Base using a web collaboration tool or intranet.
Issue regular update reports highlighting new insights or developments
And ad hoc alerts for breaking news that can be acted on.
Integrate insight into your CRM profiles or your ABM platform.

– Brandon Redlinger, Director of Growth, Engagio
3 – Define the Landscape at Each Target Account
Next, develop a profile of each account because they are not monolithic organizations. Instead, they represent networks of decision-makers. You need to identify the individuals and determine the concerns and questions they may have during each phase of the buying cycle. Understanding their decision-making process enables you to approach them in an intelligent, relevant way.
Create these individual account profiles using web research, LinkedIn, sales intelligence platforms previously mentioned, and engagement data using a platform. After you’ve completed this secondary research, you will likely still have some knowledge gaps. Fill them in by talking via phone with decision-makers, influencers and gatekeepers at your target organizations.
During phone calls, establish rapport quickly by painting a picture of how your company can provide help. By providing value, you can open doors and gain clarity on how the organization functions. Your goal is to learn who is on the buying team, their titles, roles in the buying decision and contact information. At the same time, learn as much as possible about their issues and any upcoming or recent changes, such as acquisitions or high-level personnel moves, which may trigger buying decisions.
4 – Orchestrate Your Outreach to the Buying Team
With this information under your belt, you can orchestrate personalized human and automated account-based tactics through multiple channels. Your game plan should include well-coordinated plays from both marketing and sales to all those who contribute to the buying decision. The trick is going to be balancing automation with human efforts – automate where you can, do it manually where you should.
Marketing might start with online ads to build awareness and then follow up with a highly segmented, personal email. They should be prepared to offer webinars, white papers and case studies that help solve problems. Business development reps can follow with customized emails and phone calls. Since you won’t reach everyone you call, make sure you leave voicemails. They have proven to increase response rates when they refer back to emails. Include a call to action, such as a request to set up a demo.
For best effect, you can stagger your outreach to the various contacts within an account. You don’t want to overwhelm anyone by providing too much information all at once. The drip, drip, drip nurturing approach popularized by inbound marketers, also applies in ABM.
Conclusion
Using this highly personalized process, you go beneath the surface to understand the internal dynamics within a target account. Plus, you uncover the texture of their problems from multiple team members’ perspectives. Technological advances can take you a long way, but to gain the level of insight you require, you’ll need two-way conversations. In them, your reps should listen, learn and share ideas. At the same time, they build trust, which is essential for B2B sales.
Those who derive the most out of Account Based Marketing and Sales recognize that human relationships drive success — people respond to people. It’s about understanding people and offering value. The purpose of the finely choreographed digital communications is ultimately to connect people, provide value and solve problems.

12 Critical Items to Check Off Your List Before Launching a New Website

If you’ve been involved in a website project before, you know how nerve-racking it can be to finally give the go-ahead to “flip the switch” from the old website to the new one. There are a lot of things that need to be tested, double-checked and implemented before launch to ensure a smooth transition.
Your web development partner will have a pre-launch and a post-launch website checklist of their own, but you and your team have an important to-do list, too. Here is a list of items that need to be checked off before the big launch.
1. Cross browser testing
When you use a certain browser every day, you might assume that everyone else uses the same one and can see exactly what you see on your computer. This, however, is not the case, as not all browsers work the same way, and your website may display and act differently on each one. Therefore you need to thoroughly test your website on all browsers (i.e. Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, etc.) and all different mobile devices (i.e. iPad, iPhone, Android, etc.). The best way to go about testing is to share the staging site link for your website with a few people on your team and ask them to click through every page and every link, making note of anything that seems off or broken. It’s important that one person doesn’t do all the testing by themselves so that you don’t miss anything! Then, this process needs to be repeated after the website goes live to be sure nothing broke during the launch process.
2. Proofread content
Most websites today are set up with a content management system, and copy changes can be made quickly and easily – but no one wants to launch a website with a spelling error. So be sure you and your web team proofread the website thoroughly before launch. It’s a good idea to get another set of eyes who wasn’t directly involved in the process to review the copy as well. In addition to spelling errors, check that all phone numbers, addresses and other contact information is correct.
3. Test forms
During testing, make sure you fill out and test all of the forms on the site, such as contact forms, job applications or email subscriptions. To test, change the notification email to your own and then fill out each form on all desktop, tablet and mobile versions. Just because a form works in one place doesn’t always mean that it works everywhere. If the forms are integrated with a third-party tool such as CRM, marketing automation or email marketing, you want to make sure that all fields are properly pushing information into those platforms. After testing, don’t forget to change back all of the form notifications to alert the right people. There’s nothing worse than a prospect filling out a form on your website but no one knows because you forgot to set up the notifications.
4. Implement necessary SEO
It’s essential to set your website up for search engine optimization (SEO) success before launch. One of the most important aspects of SEO is making sure each page of your website has a unique title tag and meta description. This helps tell the search engines what content is on the page so people can search for your firm and your capabilities. Another common SEO oversight is the omission of image ALT tags, robots.txt and other technical factors. Here are some important SEO practices to remember when launching a site.
5. Set up 301 redirects
Creating a new website or redesigning your current one means that some of your page URLs will change. For example, your old website might have the URL ‘/team’ for all of your team member bios but use ‘/professionals’ on your new site. Making sure that those URLs redirect correctly after launch is critical to ensure that your users don’t land on any 404 error pages. It also helps with SEO because adding 301 redirects triggers search engines to remove the old page and only index the new page, therefore helping it rank organically. Before your old website goes away, be sure to record all of the current URLs in an excel spreadsheet and then designate the page on the new website where each URL to redirect.
6. Upload a favicon
Favicons are a small, but very important detail on any website. They are the little image of your logo or brand that appears in the address bar and tabs of your browser beside your page title. Favicons are important because they help with the credibility of your website and provide some additional branding for your company, improving user experience.
7. Page speed optimization
Your website’s page speed is just as important as the visual design and content. If a user visits your website and the page is slow to load, they more than likely will leave right away. The biggest cause of a slow website is related to image size and quality. Make sure that your images are compressed but still really good quality. The Imagify plugin on WordPress websites will do all the compressing for you and is very easy to use. Another way to help improve page speed is to enable a caching plugin such as WP Rocket. Caching plugins generate HTML pages of your website and save it on the server so that when a user accesses your site, it will pull the simple HTML instead of the heavy loaded PHP scripts.
8. Create a sitemap
When you launch a new website, search engines aren’t automatically aware of this change. In order to get them to correctly index your site and recognize the new pages you have published, you will need to create an XML sitemap. This is a specific file that lists all of the pages of your website, helping search engines understand your website’s structure and what pages are important. There are many SEO plugins, such as Yoast SEO for WordPress, that will automate the creation and maintenance of XML sitemaps.
9. Install tracking codes
Your beautiful new website just launched, but do you know how users are finding it and what pages they’re landing on the most? That is where Google Analytics comes into play. Any firm should utilize Google Analytics since it’s free and easy to set up, and it’s a powerful tool to help you better understand your website’s performance. It tracks the number of visitors that come to the website, what pages they are visiting, how long they are on certain pages, etc. There are also some really great paid tracking services, such as HotJar or marketing automation platforms, that can be added to provide even more in-depth analytics for websites. Each of these tools have a unique tracking code you’ll need to add to the code of your website in order to collect data. Add these right after launch to make sure you capture all data from the start of your new site!
10. Purchase SSL certificate
Making sure your website is secure is more important now than ever. An SSL certificate not only protects your website and keeps the data between the servers and your browsers private, but Google will penalize your site and mark it as “not secure” on its search results page if you don’t have an SSL, which deters users from visiting your site. Your business is credible and secure, so you want to make sure users know that when they view your website.
11. Update the Time To Live
Time To Live (TTL) is a very important setting in your DNS record because it tells the server how long the DNS information should be cached. This should always be checked before launching your new website because it will affect how long it takes the new site to propagate on the servers. You’ll want to communicate to your web person or your IT company where your domain is registered and how short you want to set the TTL. Ideally, you want to make sure that the TTL is set as short as possible—typically 30 seconds to a few minutes.
12. Website privacy/robots
Once the website has launched, it is critical that the privacy of the website is turned to public. During development, your website is normally set to “private,” which tells search engine robots not to index your website while its under development. However, once the website is ready, it’s incredibly important to make sure this is turned to public so that people can find your new website and search engines can begin to crawl your newly created sitemap to help you show up on search engines.
Launch with confidence
Communicating with your web development partner during the launch phase is extremely important. They should have their own detailed launch list that has the technical items that are typically beyond the marketing team’s understanding. And once the site is live, be sure that you or your development partner have a plan for properly maintaining the website moving forward. Depending on the complexity of the website, there could be more items on this pre-launch checklist, but this is a comprehensive list of items that tend to apply to the majority of website projects and will set you up for a smooth and successful launch!

The Importance of Blogs to Your B2B Content Marketing Strategy

Your content strategy leans on several different components—your team, your resources, your bandwidth, your strategy, and, maybe most importantly, the content itself. If you create and execute a great plan but the content itself is stale or lackluster, your audience won’t be motivated to engage with it. Luckily, there’s a simple yet powerful form of content that can play an essential role in making your organization’s content strategy accessible and engaging: the blog post.
What kinds of blogs are there?
Simply put, a blog post is an online article that discusses a topic in a more casual, conversational tone, while still maintaining structure. Blog post style and length can vary depending on the topic, the format or the site it’s being hosted on.
When leveraging blog posts in B2B marketing, there’s a seemingly endless amount of different structures or formats you can use to effectively get your message across. Whatever format you choose, seek to add value to your audience by informing, entertaining or educating them. Below are a few of the top contenders for most engaging blog post formats.
Listicles
When you want a clearly defined structure that gets to the heart of the topic and instantly captures your audience’s attention, listicles are a tried-and-true option. Blogs such as “7 Ways to…” or “3 Tips for…” let the reader know exactly what they’ll be getting out of your blog post. It also allows you as the author to hone in on the core components you’re discussing.
For example, if your content strategy focus that quarter is promoting a new CRM software, a blog post such as “X Reasons a CRM System Can Benefit Your Company” will allow you to introduce the topic and product in a way that’s both organic and shows that you’re truly committed to helping your clients.
“How To” blogs
The “How To” blog is another great way to show your readers that you want to build up their knowledge base and not just throw your service or product at them. With this kind of blog, you can provide clear step-by-step instructions on how to perform a certain task or achieve specific outcomes that may be beneficial to your audience.
Profiles and interviews
Some of the greatest blog resources are right in front of you—your team. Many of your coworkers have a wealth of industry knowledge and your specific service area, so take advantage of this untapped reservoir and interview them on a topic that aligns with your content strategy. This not only provides your blog with great content, it also makes your business feel more personal to the reader, since they get a little glimpse behind the curtain.
You can also take advantage of past clients you’ve worked with. If a company gives their approval, you can profile them in a blog post and share how they may have engaged with your team, product or service.
Why blogs are so popular
For most, particularly in the B2B environment, time is of the essence. Since blog posts are usually faster to write, publish and read, they can provide quick downloads of current events and trends while still providing educational value. Some blogs even specify the read time, be it a 4-minute read, 6-minute read, etcetera.
Someone who is a little more hesitant to dive into an eight- or nine-page white paper or case study might be more inclined to check out the 600-word blog post highlighting just one aspect of that longer-form content. Blog posts can also use elements like pull quotes, key takeaways and images to help make the content even more engaging and scannable.
For a final bonus, blogs are free. As ungated assets, blogs don’t require the reader to provide anything to access them. Conversely, gated content such as eBooks or white papers that are viewed as being higher-value assets commonly require the reader to provide contact information in exchange for access. Getting this contact information is highly desirable, however, and engagement with your blogs can often precede engagement with the gated assets that deliver it.
Why Blogs Matter to You and Your Business
For your audience and clients reading your blogs, they’re gaining a wealth of information that’s engaging and insightful. So how does their readership benefit you?
Blog posts can boost web traffic with SEO
When writing a blog post, it should focus on a specific topic or keyword. By including target keywords within the flow of your post, you improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and ultimately help drive traffic to your website. When someone is searching online for a topic that they want to know more about, you want your blog post to be one of the first results that rises to the top. Applying SEO best practices can push it there. If they gain value from your blog, they are more likely to keep exploring your website—meaning greater outreach, potential clients and connections.
Blog posts can build trust and reinforce your brand position
When you create blogs that are researched, edited and thoughtful, you’re placing yourself as a thought leader on the topics your content strategy is aimed at. Readers will view your business as an authority and presence in the industry, allowing them to recognize how your company, services and/or products can provide value to their business.
As you continue to publish more and more posts of value, you begin to earn the trust of your audience and give them a compelling reason to continue coming back to your website. Each of these instances is an opportunity to deepen your relationship with that individual and create positive perceptions.
Blog posts can support your content marketing strategy
One of the greatest values of a blog post is how it lends itself to building up your content marketing strategy. As you’re creating your content calendar and planning for the upcoming quarter or year, blogs can be a great and often quick way to fill out that calendar. If you have an active blog section on your website, you want to make sure you’re continuously curating and producing blogs that are both relevant to your audience and timely to what is happening in your industry.
Blog posts can generate additional content
Writing a single blog post can create a cascade effect with your content. An idea you have for a blog post can be spun into an infographic, white paper, video or any type of content that makes sense for your content marketing strategy and brand.
Don’t forget: once you have a blog, share it! Post your blog to your active social media channels so you can make sure people are seeing and engaging with it. You can also incorporate blogs into your email marketing strategy by sharing posts to clients who you think can truly benefit from the read. Your website is also an ideal platform to highlight recent posts. Consider advertising new blogs in sidebars, relevant CTAs or even on your homepage.
The High-Level Value of Blogs
Blogs are a staple in the modern marketer’s content arsenal. While a blog post can be a reliable choice when trying to spin out content quickly, it’s important to strategically think of not only the best format for your blog, but also how it fits and aligns with your overall content marketing strategy. The quality and performance of the blog is not only a reflection of your marketing team, but also your company and brand.
If you’re struggling with how to put the power of blogs to work in your organization or how to maintain a consistent cadence of new posts, check out the “Verify and Multiply Your Marketing Content” section of our eBook on building marketing momentum.