Karnak The MagnificentThat depends upon how closely my ideas resonate with you when you read my newsletter.

If you find the content to be exactly the information you need to make sound marketing decisions for your business, then I’m on track. On the other hand, if you find yourself shaking your head going, “I could never do that!” then you should probably tell me you need different content here.

So how do I choose what to write about?

There are a lot of factors that go into choosing what I write about for my readers and clients.

  • What’s currently getting headlines in marketing news?
  • Are there new ideas, tools and strategies becoming available for generating more quality leads?
  • How difficult is a tool or strategy for my readers and clients to implement for their own businesses?
  • How valuable is this new tool for my clients?
  • How much money does this new tool or strategy cost?
  • How much time will this activity take for my customers?
  • Can I explain my recommendation in a reasonable-length article?
  • Will this new tool or strategy prevent my customers and readers from making an expensive mistake in their businesses?

Finally, after zeroing in on the answers to all of those questions, I have to make one last decision: how much time do I have to write a cohesive article on this topic?

Making the Cut

Some weeks I don’t run across new tools or ideas that I think are worthy of my readers’ attention. I reject introducing many of the ideas and tools I research because I feel they are either much too expensive for the type of marketing you are doing, or they are far too complex technically and don’t relate to the level of marketing you are doing.

Don’t get me wrong! I’m not saying you’re not smart as a crackjack! I’m saying I know you won’t be interested in certain types of marketing tactics. Let me give you an example. (You can prove me wrong, if you like!) I’ve seen lots of articles about re-targeting leads (supposedly the next great coming of the Marketing Messiah!) But I haven’t provided any “Good Reads” links, recommendations or commentary on on this tactic.

This re-targeting technique is all about going after leads you had already let go because you thought they were seemingly dead. Then, with this technique, you find a new way to resurrect them. But my clients are mostly on the first step: getting enough leads into the funnel in the first place.

Re-targeting is a technique best used when you have gobs and gobs of leads that aren’t converting the first time around. Does that sound like your business?

What’s Important in Marketing Today

The fun weeks are the ones when I find highly valuable marketing tools or data that make me go, “Wow! My readers should know this! It may help them grow their businesses more successfully.” Then I can’t wait to share the news with you.

As you may have noticed, it’s been a pretty news-filled week already. But I’ll give it a shot anyway with a lot of exciting news in the world of marketing to help you grow your business:

Improve Your Social Media Success (but not necessarily Likes)

Use more photos!Roger Dooley, Neuroscience Marketing, writes about the importance of using photos in your reports, posts and so on. What makes his article interesting are the scientific findings accompanying it, relaying the results of various studies done on how folks respond to different photos (or lack thereof). (I love it when another marketer underscores the points I’ve been preaching. Reinforcement is a good thing!)

If you are struggling or stuck in trying to build an active and engaged social media presence on Facebook, how important is building more Likes? Will more Likes generate more leads for your business?

If that’s been your goal from the outset, Facebook may not be the medium for you. I’m not trying to discourage you, but I’m merely trying to convey that it’s one tool in an arsenal of marketing weapons. What truly moves the needle with prospects, converting them to genuine leads and sales, is leveraging one tool or medium off of another. Multiple marketing tactics, playing off one another (like players on a ball team), are what get the job done. Read about it in this terrific piece, Turning Social Media Follows into Content Marketing Leads.

Now that you’re committed to using Facebook, the most common complaint I hear is that the page owner doesn’t know which posts are resonating with their fans. How many people saw it? What was the complete reach of the post? Which post style is most effective? They all want to know what is or isn’t working so they’re not wasting time. Very reasonable, no?

Start with your Insights report. Not sure how to do that or how to make it work? Here’s a fantastic post that walks you through using your Insights report from A to Z, complete with simple step-by-step screen shots.

The Blogging Phenomenon That Converts Readers into More Solid Leads

A common complaint I hear from colleagues, clients and prospects is that they don’t have enough time, or enough to say, to blog on a regular basis. Whether your definition of regular is once-a-month, or is three times a week, is up to you. (Heck, I find it a struggle to regularly find time to write my newsletter/blog posts myself.) But it is a critical component of my marketing plan (for which I get more feedback than any other tactic I use). So I make the time to do it.

This recent news from online marketing expert Hubspot perked up my ears like no other news item. Here were some of the findings:

  • B2B companies that blog only 1-2 times per month generate 70% more leads than those that don’t blog.
  • Boosting blogging efforts pays off: Companies that increase the number of blog posts from 3-5 per month to 6-8 per month nearly double their monthly lead count.

Check out this simple graph of their findings:

All I can say is, “Wow!” Look at that crystal clear trend line! Does this help motivate you to add a blog to your website, Friend? Does it reduce the intimidation factor for producing upwards of 15 posts per month? Is it worth it to you to add a blog for the number of increased leads you will gain?

Too much work?

Remember, you can reduce your blog workload by inviting guest writers to post blogs on your site. You can keep them relatively short and sweet. But here’s the caveat: The thought may have come to your mind: “Hey, Marcia’s weekly newsletter isn’t very short!” (But I hope you’ll still think it’s sweet!)

That’s true. And the reason a large number of my newsletters range from 1000-1700 words is because the reports indicated my ‘open rate’ – the percentage of those that actually got eyeballs on the newsletter content – is much higher on my comprehensive newsletters than on my shorter posts. This is a bit of anomaly to the industry standard (which is half or less of the length of my posts).

Friend, I am not suggesting you must write all your newsletters or blog posts to this extreme length. What I am suggesting is that you must regularly review the reports that indicate which newsletters or blog posts get the most viewing, the most reading and reviews. Adjust your strategy accordingly to get the best results! It’s quite possible your ideal readership prefers more frequent blog posts of less than 500 words for your greatest success. You won’t know until you test it!

Bottom line: more blogging = more leads!

Perhaps you’re still not convinced. Perhaps you’re running a little inner dialogue saying, “Yes, that’s great. But that can only be true for larg(er) companies. I’ve only got 2 employees. Blogging won’t make an impact.” Alas, Hubspot’s researched blogging success for very small companies as well. Take a look at these statistics they reported as well:

Wow! That was my reaction. These are big results for small companies. I know it’s made me stop to reevaluate my efforts. Here’s a few more tidbits from Hubspot’s report:

  • Companies gain a 185% lift in web traffic after achieving 1,000 Facebook Likes.
  • Companies with 51 to 100 Twitter followers generate 106% more traffic than those with 25 or fewer followers.

All of this was reported in detail on MarketingProfs. There are many more statistics and charts viewable in their post, Blogging Drives Leads and Website Traffic.

Does this information resonate with you? Does knowing the results of increased blogging or increased Likes on Facebook influence your marketing decisions?

Let me know if this is or isn’t working for you. My mind-reading capabilities are somewhat limited. Comment or share your success stories here.