The deep data that comes from the digital dialogue with interactive content is incredible. Really, that’s not hyperbole. It’s mind-blowing, market-making, sales-empowering go-go juice of the highest order. But how do we do something with all that incredibleness? There are two vastly different ways to use interactive content data. One is human, the other is software. For humans to use data, it must have context and be understandable. When data has value, context, and is understandable, it earns the old 'actionable' adjective. For people to use data, it must be actionable. That can be hard to come by.
This week’s interactive content Quick Start is a visual quiz that guides visitors through an interactive flow of eight questions and visual answers. Who doesn’t love to test their knowledge on a product, service, or industry standards (that is, once we’ve grown up and aren’t graded like our future lives depend on it)? Quick Starts are a great way to do just that: get a quick start to creating engaging interactive content that is useful and educational for your audience.
As a sales leader at ion, I’ve always been obsessed with the concept of ‘meeting the buyer at the point of interest’. It’s incumbent upon sales to not drag a buyer through some sort of rigorous pre-defined process, but rather to start the conversation based upon where the buyer is in their journey. The best sales people instantly (intuitively, perhaps?) pick up on this and know how to shape their conversations accordingly. Buyers appreciate connecting with a sales person who is knowledgeable enough to make it all about them.
As you work towards those New Year’s resolutions, don’t forget to start planning and brainstorming for your content strategy. We’ve got some exciting things coming this year and some awesome tools and ideas to take away from this past year. So take a look at some of our favorite content marketing articles of 2014 and grab some advice and tips from the experts to make sure you’re on top of the content marketing game in 2015!
How many people really listen? The best conversationalists listen, process and engage extraordinarily well. Listeners tailor what they say based on what’s said to them. Their message gets more and more specific as the conversation goes on. Marketers have traditionally not been real good at listening. There are reasons for that—some more valid than others. But the fact is, marketers have always been much better at talking than listening. Unfortunately in the digital world, this lack of listening skills affects sales as well. If marketing doesn't probe and listen, they can't pass on what they hear and the sales team is left in the dark.
I’m totally not a grinch. I love the holidays! But holiday cards have just become boring, especially from businesses. It’s the same stamped message with little personality and practically no love that arrives at your door in an envelope with a “Warm wishes for the new year!” scrawled on the front. I mean at this point, you’re lucky if anything other than the envelope address even has your first name on it. Personalization, people. When did so many things begin to lose that human-to-human touch? So we’re bringing it back in 2015 — coming off the boom of interactivity and engagement that was 2014. Introducing the first Quick Start of the Week for 2015: the Interactive Video Message Board.
We know, we know. You’ve read enough prediction articles already. We have too. It’s December and lists of what’s to come in the year ahead are just what marketing thought leaders do. So this time around, we vowed we would abstain from our own list of predictions. And we have. But along the way, we have stumbled upon a few gems that we really wanted to share. These are a few 2015 predictions that we hope will come true!
Predictions are great. They are fun, introspective and conversation starters for sure...especially for marketers, since we all have an opinion about everything. As we cull our list of 2015 predictions worth highlighting, we’re feeling a little retrospective—you know, like when you find a mix tape filled with ballads from the likes of Air Supply and Chicago from a high school boyfriend (not ashamed). So we are calling out 30 top 2014 Online Marketing Predictions that came to fruition!
With so much information out there (ahem, more like a flood, really), where to turn for great content about content marketing? Have no fear, we’ve got your go-to list right here. In no particular order, here are 15 Content Marketing Tweeple we are all about. You can always count on them for real-world, useful perspective. We hope you love these guys as much as we do!
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… Santa’s naughty and nice list of content marketing! Alright, we may not be your true love but sure hope we jump up a few spots in the running for favorite after this. It’s December. Yes, December. Get ready to put a cork in 2014! So for the 12 days of Christmas, we thought we could give you the 12 naughty and nice practices of content marketing.
Movember is a great cause, it deserves lots of buzz, and why not add a little fun to the mix? Right? So we did. You might remember our previous blogpost about kicking off this project. Well, it’s time to see how the story ends! After tons of social sharing, lots of voting from all of you, and countless hoorays from people who saw first hand you can build something marvelous and interactive WITHOUT a stitch of code...we have our winners!
December already, huh? This year has flown by and it’s really been all about the interactivity. Interactive this, interactive that. Interactive infographic. That’s right. I said it. INTERACTIVE infographic. Interactive infographics work well early in the customer journey (or nearer the top of the funnel, for those of you so inclined). They’re especially effective at generating social shares—spreading virally like wildfire. They get people engaged and move them to the next stage of your message and content. So check it out for yourself.
This past month, ionians banded together to support a great cause: Movember. The Movember community has raised $559 million to date and funded over 800 programs in 21 countries It has widespread appeal and people really have fun with it while bringing attention to men’s health. And while of course we love marketing apps, why wouldn’t we take this incredible cause and make it a chance to build a marketing app in support!? Now it’s your turn to be a part of the action. Check it out for yourself!
The holiday season is upon us. And it’s time to gorge on the best day of the year… Thanksgiving! Of course it’s a day to give thanks. And we here are ion sure are thankful for this past year and all of our awesome online visitors. But as we’re sure you’ve seen in the past, we pride ourselves on being foodies and, with that, love to compare content marketing to food. Because… well… what could be better?! So while you’re getting ready to stuff your face with turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and whatever else your family loves to cook up, check out how your content marketing can be just like your Thanksgiving dinner.
Black Friday: the revered day right after Thanksgiving where you can score the best deals on pretty much everything. Before the calendar even hits November, the buzz starts. Television and radio ads, newspaper circulars, social chatter, ecommerce site promo. And there’s no denying it works because each year the crowds show up in massive numbers, right? So, why can’t you set a similar (maybe with less pushing and yelling) to your website? What if you could form (virtual) lines of people just waiting to see your content marketing efforts, and better yet, stay on their radar as you churn out really good stuff?
Need to get away? Don’t we all sometimes. And with summer gone and holidays fast approaching, a vacation or retreat sounds just like something you need before the stress of the holiday rush. But the last thing you want to do is struggle to try to figure out where to take your entire family or company at a time like this! Don’t you wish everything was easy? Answer a few simple questions and get an answer that fits your needs and wants. If only…Oh wait. That’s right. We strive to always find an answer for you here at ion… And with that, we introduce you to the Quick Start of the week: the solution finder.
You and I both know content marketing is anything but simple. I know I’m not the only one frazzled over how I can make my content have an impact on our online visitors as big as Michael Jackson’s fro in The Jackson 5. Marketers have been churning out content like factories and the content produced is falling flat (hair pun intended). So like everyone, we love to read up on what the industry is saying will make sure your content and the ROI from your content top notch. So why not toss you some of the articles we found helpful?
Happy National Peanut Butter Lovers Month Y’all!!! I can think of a million ways I would celebrate this incredible holiday. Fluffer nutter sandwiches, Peanut butter cups, good old fashioned PB&J. The possibilities are endless. Let’s take a minute to talk about peanut butter cups since they absolutely deserve special attention. They might be my favorite candy of all time. It’s just the perfect combination, right? So perfect, that it’s one of the analogies that we use to describe marketing apps.
After hours and hours of watching the Food Network, I finally did it. I finally figured out a recipe I could write. Forget the numerous times I’ve burned something or the embarrassing number of times I’ve forgot an ingredient. This girl can’t cook. But she sure can write an incredible recipe. A recipe for a tasty, delicious, mouth-watering dish of… Content Marketing!
In the spirit of last week’s Halloween, we’re going to take this chance to scare you a bit. Ready? This Quick Start of the Week is all about forms and evaluating yourself! Terrified of forms boredom? We bet you are. And that’s why we’re doing something totally different (because since when does ion ever do anything to follow the pack?!). Let’s talk about forms in a whole new light—through the lens of an interactive marketing app…