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11 Content Marketing Examples That Stand Out in 2019

Think back to the last thing you Googled. Did the content you discover actually answer the question you were asking? Did you feel engaged in reading the article or watching the video that you found? Were you able to find a helpful next step to learn more?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then the person who created the content probably paid close attention to its structure. And they’re reaping the benefits — you, along with many others, are now aware of their business and potentially interested in engaging with future content related to their brand.

Ultimately, all effective digital content has a blueprint. You may not notice it, but it’s intended to help you and other readers make well-informed, confident decisions — whatever those decisions may be.

I’ve been a content marketer for over a decade. During that time, I’ve worked with thousands of businesses to help them effectively tell their brand’s story while increasing visibility online. Through this process, I’ve learned a thing or two about what works, what doesn’t, and why.

If you’re looking to improve your content marketing skills, it’s helpful to know what goes into creating content that both humans and search engines love. We’ll run through several of my favorite examples of content marketing that I’ve seen in 2019, below. Additionally, I’ll explain why each tactic was successful.

Sign up for HubSpot Academy’s Content Marketing Certification course to learn how to grow your business in a human and helpful way.

1. Switchback Travel’s Image Featured Snippet

First, a reminder — featured snippets are Google’s attempt to answer a search query on the results page itself. Google features these snippets in a box just before the number one organic search listing. They’re important because they take a significant portion of the search traffic from the results below them.

Featured snippets can show up in a variety of formats. However, below are the most common featured snippets Google generates:

  • Paragraph featured snippet
  • Image featured snippet
  • YouTube featured snippet
  • List featured snippet (bulleted and numbered)

One good content marketing strategy is to try and optimize your images for Google’s featured snippet. For instance, take a look at Switchback Travel’s image, displayed below as the image result for the search term “best hiking boots”:

As shown in the above example, Google sometimes pulls from more than one site to answer a person’s question. Occasionally, a source might claim both the text and image featured snippet, but that’s not always the case. In the above example, the text is from New York Magazine but the image is from Switchback Travel.

Ultimately, you might consider optimizing your images for search to try and capture the featured snippet result for keywords related to your product or service, like Switchback Travel did. 

2. Toyota Europe’s YouTube Featured Snippet

Google looks at more than just website content when it comes to featured snippets. Google additionally pulls content from YouTube, which is why it’s important to optimize your video content accordingly. Google may choose to recommend a specific clip from the YouTube video, as well.

For instance, check out Toyota Europe’s YouTube featured snippet, which offers a suggested clip:

By correctly optimizing your YouTube videos for SEO, you have a chance of being featured on search engines, rather than just YouTube. This enables you to reach a larger audience. 

3. Washington Post’s List-based Article

List-based articles are powerful opportunities to win Google’s featured snippet box for an intended search. 

For instance, if you’re unsure of how to plan for a road trip, you’ll likely stumble across this Washington Post listicle when searching “how to plan for a road trip” on Google or another search engine: 

4. RVing Planet’s Bulleted Featured Snippet

Additionally, the bulleted list featured snippet is often used for list-based articles, as well. This could be in the form of ranked or unranked items as well as a best-of list.

For example, let’s say you’re looking for a home on wheels to travel in — this RVing planet blog post could bring value to your search:

Screen Shot 2019-09-12 at 2.23.24 PMThere are several ways to optimize your content in a human and helpful way that can lead to Google pulling your content into its featured snippet box.

Here are some quick pro tips for optimizing for Google’s featured snippet box:

  • Include a YouTube video near the top of your page and optimize it according to how the page is optimized.
  • Similar to your video content, make sure to optimize the alt-text of your images throughout the page.
  • Near the top of the page, state what this page is about. This could be a definition or clear introduction to what this person is going to learn.

To learn more about featured snippets, check out the video below.

5. Content Marketing Institute’s Click to Tweet

If you make it easy for people to share something interesting with their network, then they’re much more likely to do so. An effective way to encourage readers to share your content with their social network is to embed a “click to tweet” button that automatically shares an interesting quote or statistic from your article.

For example, this blog post that I wrote for Content Marketing Institute is the most widely shared guest blog post I’ve ever written:

Months after publication, I still get daily Twitter notifications from people tweeting about this article. And the majority of the tweets come from the “click to tweet” option that Content Marketing Institute offers throughout the post.

If you want to start adding “click to tweet” options throughout your website content, check out this free tool.

6. Digital Olympus’s Expert Roundup

No matter what industry you’re in, there are influencers to whom people look for advice.

Partnering with these folks will strengthen your content, and more importantly, they’ll be more likely to promote the content if they’re mentioned in it.

Digital Olympus interviewed over 40 digital marketing experts for one of their blog posts, asking each expert to provide their most effective method for acquiring traffic.

What I most like about this blog post is how Digital Olympus organizes the contributions. At the top of the page, there’s a headshot of each expert next to their name. If you want to read a particular expert’s tip, you simply have to click on their headshot and you’ll jump down to their quote.

There’s also an anchor-linked Table of Contents that allows for topic-based searches. This way, readers can jump to the specific sections that are most applicable to them.

7. Colgate’s Research Page

Creating a resource page made up of helpful links on a given topic is an effective way to create helpful content.

If your business has been producing content for a while, then chances are you have clusters of related content to support the topics around which your business wants to build authority.

For example, oral hygiene company Colgate has over 2,400 pieces of content related to their broad topic “gum disease”:

That’s a lot of content to sift through … which is why Colgate created a resource page made up of specific sections of gum disease-related content, like “gum disease cause” or “gum disease diagnosis”.

Each section offers:

  • A paragraph of explainer text
  • A bulleted list of details on the sub-topic
  • Links to relevant content on their site

8. Moz’s Topic Clusters

The topic cluster framework is a highly effective SEO strategy that demonstrates to Google that the content on your website is organized and relevant to searchers. To learn more about this framework, watch the video below.

Some brands have taken this approach to the next level by creating a multi-page masterclass or guide that links together like-themed pillar pages. A pillar page is a website page that covers a topic in-depth and links to a cluster of related content, also known as a cluster. One of my favorite examples of this is Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing.

Moz creatively puts a chapter list at the end of each page that links out to more specific content marketing-themed pages within the topic cluster.

Additionally, using an anchor-linked chapter list is an effective way to connect the cluster together — it provides value to the reader while passing authority through to each pillar page. This has worked well for Moz, since the majority of their pillar pages included in this guide rank as the first position on Google for their intended key terms:

9. Mailshakes’ Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is a combination of software and strategy. With marketing automation, businesses can target prospects and customers with automated messages across multiple online and offline channels including email, text, web, and social media. Each message is sent automatically according to a pre-set list of instructions, called workflows.

Marketing automation can be an effective tool to keep your audience engaged with your brand, but it’s important to make sure you’re sending the right messages to the right people at the right time.

Mailshake, an email outreach tool, implemented marketing automation effectively by creating a Cold Email Masterclass to teach people how to make better connections via email outreach. The masterclass is made up of eight comprehensive lessons (i.e. pillar pages).

Mailshake knows that this is a lot of content for people to consume, and visitors won’t likely read it all in one sitting.

To make it easier for people to learn step-by-step, Mailshake repackaged their masterclass into an eight-part email series. In other words, they automated their education to help their audience.

Mailshake acquired 5,321 email opt-ins for their cold email masterclass workflow in under one year — proof that, if done well, this could be an incredibly effective strategy.

10. Townsend Security’s Content Offer

One tried-and-true way to convert visitors into leads is by offering something of value in exchange for their contact information (i.e. email address). This “something” is referred to as a content offer.

Content offers include, but are not limited to:

  • Guides
  • Workbooks
  • Templates
  • Webinars

It can take a lot of time to create a valuable content offer from scratch.

One effective way to create a meaningful content offer is to repurpose and repackage pieces of content found on your website. For example, data security company Townsend Security created a pillar page for one of their topics of expertise — encryption key management.

To help convert visitors into leads, Townsend repurposed and repackaged the content on their page into a guide. This allowed people to take the content with them, as opposed to having to search for the pillar page each time they wanted to read about encryption key management.

In the first year of publishing their encryption key management pillar page, 63% of visitors gave their information in exchange for a packaged PDF of the on-page content.

11. Venngage’s Free Product

Your product should be your best marketing. An effective way to provide real value to your prospects is to create a free tool that aligns with your products and/or services.

If you can get a free user hooked on one of your free tools, then you’re giving yourself (and your sales team) the best chance at demonstrating the value of your paid tools, too.

Let’s say, for example, that you’re a writer who needs help with creating visuals for the web content you create. You might consider using Venngage, a company that helps businesses create compelling visuals. In the free version of their platform, users get access to a wide variety of templates for infographics, presentations, brochures, checklists, and so on.

In the future, when your marketing team is considering paid products for design, you’ll have Venngage top-of-mind.

And there you have it — 11 content marketing examples to help get your creative juices flowing. Consider how you can apply one (or several) of these examples to your business to strengthen your content marketing efforts.

We live in a fast-paced digital world. In the time you read this blog post, a new channel, a new tactic, or a new competitor has emerged. The best chance you have at telling your business’s story and growing a pool of engaged prospects and customers is by learning the art of content marketing — and starting to apply it to your business, today.

Reblogged 4 days ago from blog.hubspot.com

Everything You Need to Know About Billboard Advertising

I don’t own a car in Chicago, but I do take the train (referred to as the “L” here). On the L, most of my commuting companions pass the time by looking at their phones. But, my motion sickness prevents that, so I typically find myself watching the world — and many, many billboards — go by.

And I must say: Some billboards can be very, very entertaining.

Now, billboard advertising isn’t your typical inbound marketing methodology. So why are we writing about it? Billboard advertising can still be a powerful way to build brand awareness and attract customers.

Plus, if companies like MINI can incorporate inbound marketing elements in their billboard advertising, you can, too!

Billboard Advertising

Billboard advertising is the process of using a large-scale print advertisement (a billboard, or a hoarding to those in the UK) to market a company, brand, product, service, or campaign. Billboards are typically placed in high traffic areas, such as along highways and in cities, so they’re seen by the highest number of drivers and pedestrians.

Billboard advertising is effective for building brand awareness and broadcasting your business (or product or campaign) to as many people as possible. Because they’re in such busy areas, billboards tend to have the highest number of views and impressions when compared to other marketing methods.

Billboard Advertising Cost

The cost of billboard advertising depends on many factors including the location of your billboard, the total traffic in the area, and how many people are estimated to see your advertisement. Billboard advertising costs are typically charged monthly and range anywhere from $250 on a rural highway to upwards of $22,000 in Times Square.

Billboard advertising is categorized as out-of-home (OOH) advertising, which is any advertising that reaches consumers when they’re outside their homes. Each OOH advertising opportunity (e.g. individual billboard) is given an OOH rating, which ultimately determines its value and the subsequent cost to advertisers.

Geopath is a nonprofit organization that uses technology and media research to estimate the weekly impressions of every billboard in the country and give OOH ratings. (OOH advertising companies [e.g. the companies that own the billboard spaces] pay Geopath for this data to share with potential advertisers.)

According to Geopath, there are up to 10 determining factors that make up an OOH rating and, therefore, the cost of each billboard advertising opportunity.

Here are the three main factors:

  1. Circulation is the total number of people who pass by the billboard each week. This information is gathered by local transportation authorities.
  2. Demographics refer to the age, gender, income level, and other characteristics of the traffic that passes the billboard. This information is gathered from travel surveys and local transportation authorities.
  3. Impressions are the number of people who see the billboard. This information is calculated based on the billboard’s circulation, the size of the billboard, how close it is from the road, its visibility, the speed at which traffic is passing by, and more.

The cost of billboard advertising doesn’t stop with “renting” ad space, however. You must also consider the cost of designing the billboard as well as printing and constructing it. Printing and construction can cost upwards of $500, depending on the size and location of your billboard.

If you outsource your billboard design, expect the cost to range from $150 to $1000, depending on what agency or designer you choose, as well as the complexity of your desired design. If you’d like to design your own, however, check out the billboard design tips in the next section.

Billboard Design

If you’re going to invest in an advertisement potentially seen by millions, you want it to do its job. Here are a handful of billboard design tips that’ll ensure your billboard is effective and eye-catching.

Tell a (short) story.

Successful billboards take viewers on a journey … even if that journey is a four-second glimpse over the steering wheel. Most billboard designs tell this story with imagery and possibly some text. In fact, most drivers stop reading after a few words. Use your billboard to convey the essence of an idea or campaign rather than describing it with text.

Take a look at this text-less billboard by Samsonite. It tells a story that Samsonite luggage lasts a long time, even longer than a billboard.

Source

Make it bold and simple.

Drivers or passersby only have a few seconds to get a glimpse at your billboard advertisement. To reach the highest number of viewers (and potential customers), keep your billboard design simple. After all, some people may be blowing by your billboard at 70 mph. Use big, bold fonts against contrasting background colors and avoid narrow, script fonts.

Also, choose colors that stand out to viewers. If your billboard is in a rural area, avoid greens, blues, and browns. Check out this bright, bold (and funny) billboard by Lamar.

billboard advertising lamar
 

Consider its location.

I’m not originally from Chicago, but I’ve been here long enough to foster a certain sense of pride. So, when I pass by billboards that play on the Cubs or Bears, or make jokes about the wind or traffic, I pay attention.

Well-designed billboards are reflective of their location. They take advantage of sports teams, nicknames, nuances, or inside jokes related to the area. This can make the billboard (and brand) much more impressionable to those who see it. Check out this billboard by SmileDirectClub in downtown Chicago.

billboard advertising chicago smiledirectclub

Source

This billboard, advertising the new Grinch movie, is in New York City.

billboard advertising grinch new york city

Source

Make it interactive.

Depending on your billboard’s location, you may be able to design it so it interacts with its surrounding environment. This strategy make your advertisement stick out among the noise and grab the attention of passerby (which we’ll talk about more in the next section).

Take a look at this Panasonic billboard that interacts with the wires around it.

Even if your billboard isn’t in the city, there are ways to leverage the environment around it. This billboard by Koleston Naturals used the sun to “color” the hair in the advertisement.

billboard advertising koleston

Source

Make it memorable.

OOH advertising has to be creative in order to stand out among the hustle and bustle of a regular commute (or the monotony of a long road trip). Your billboard shouldn’t be any different.

Your billboard needs to tell a story and/or share a call-to-action in a way that’s interesting and memorable. Whether you call on humor, anger, empathy, or cleverness, use emotional marketing tactics in your billboard design to make it memorable. Take a look at these examples of eye-catching, creative billboards.

This example, established by the Colorado State Patrol, warns drivers of the effects of tailgating.

billboard advertising colorado state patrol

Source

This one, advertising strong tape, is by Penline Stationery.

billboard advertising penline stationery

Source

Coca-Cola designed this one to encourage people to drink Coke.

billboard advertising coca cola

Source

Billboard Advertising Statistics

We’ve looked at some amazingly creative billboards and discussed how to design one of your own. At this point, though, you may be wondering: Do these billboards actually work? Do they reach the members of your target audience?

Let’s talk about some billboard advertising statistics that prove the impact of billboard advertising and to inform your next campaign.

  • Americans spend an annual average of 17,600 minutes in their cars. That’s almost 300 hours each year. (Source)
  • There are currently 342,306 billboards in the United States. (Source)
  • Almost 8,000 of these are digital billboards. (Source)
  • 6% of global ad spending is dedicated to OOH advertising. (Source)
  • 71% of people consciously look at billboards when driving. (Source)
  • Over 50% of people say they’ve been highly engaged by a billboard they’ve seen in the last month. (Source)
  • OOH advertising is 382% more effective at driving online activity than TV ads. (Source)
  • OOH advertising, when paired with search engine optimization (SEO), boosts its effectiveness by 40%. (Source)

Billboard Advertising: The Marketing You Never Knew You Needed

Billboard advertising might not fall under the hood of inbound marketing methodology, but it can still be a highly effective way of promoting your products and boosting your brand. It can also work to strengthen other inbound marketing efforts you’ve invested in, such as blogging, online lead offers, or SEO.

Follow our billboard design tips above to create an impactful, memorable billboard for your brand. And, who knows? Someone may look out the window during their next commute and see your billboard — and become a new customer

Reblogged 4 days ago from blog.hubspot.com

Here’s a script to spice up your Facebook demographics reporting

This script pulls a Facebook demographic report and generates a pyramid chart for age/gender performance analysis.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Reblogged 4 days ago from feeds.searchengineland.com

New Keyword Tool

Our keyword tool is updated periodically. We recently updated it once more.

For comparison sake, the old keyword tool looked like this

Whereas the new keyword tool looks like this

The upsides of the new keyword tool are:

  • fresher data from this year
  • more granular data on ad bids vs click prices
  • lists ad clickthrough rate
  • more granular estimates of Google AdWords advertiser ad bids
  • more emphasis on commercial oriented keywords

With the new columns of [ad spend] and [traffic value] here is how we estimate those.

  • paid search ad spend: search ad clicks * CPC
  • organic search traffic value: ad impressions * 0.5 * (100% – ad CTR) * CPC

The first of those two is rather self explanatory. The second is a bit more complex. It starts with the assumption that about half of all searches do not get any clicks, then it subtracts the paid clicks from the total remaining pool of clicks & multiplies that by the cost per click.

The new data also has some drawbacks:

  • Rather than listing search counts specifically it lists relative ranges like low, very high, etc.
  • Since it tends to tilt more toward keywords with ad impressions, it may not have coverage for some longer tail informational keywords.

For any keyword where there is insufficient coverage we re-query the old keyword database for data & merge it across. You will know if data came from the new database if the first column says something like low or high & the data came from the older database if there are specific search counts in the first column

For a limited time we are still allowing access to both keyword tools, though we anticipate removing access to the old keyword tool in the future once we have collected plenty of feedback on the new keyword tool. Please feel free to leave your feedback in the below comments.

One of the cool features of the new keyword tools worth highlighting further is the difference between estimated bid prices & estimated click prices. In the following screenshot you can see how Amazon is estimated as having a much higher bid price than actual click price, largely because due to low keyword relevancy entities other than the official brand being arbitraged by Google require much higher bids to appear on competing popular trademark terms.

Historically, this difference between bid price & click price was a big source of noise on lists of the most valuable keywords.

Recently some advertisers have started complaining about the “Google shakedown” from how many brand-driven searches are simply leaving the .com part off of a web address in Chrome & then being forced to pay Google for their own pre-existing brand equity.

Categories: 

Reblogged 5 days ago from feedproxy.google.com

Google tests “in this video” search feature

How cool is this new Google search feature that breaks down the sections of the video you are watching.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Reblogged 5 days ago from feeds.searchengineland.com

Google cracks down on some review rich results

If your review rich results in Google search disappear, here is maybe why.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Reblogged 5 days ago from feeds.searchengineland.com

[Hero Academy Video] Overview of Frequency Capping

In this new, short video on Hero Academy, Account Manager Ryan Opal, will talk you through how to manage frequency capping in Google, Facebook, Amazon Programmatic, Display, and Video 360.

Read more at PPCHero.com

Reblogged 5 days ago from feedproxy.google.com

8 New Jobs Posted on the PPC Hero Job Board

Digital Marketing jobs: Senior PPC specialist, Paid social marketing manager, Paid media specialist

Read more at PPCHero.com

Reblogged 5 days ago from feedproxy.google.com

How to Host a Twitter Chat That Connects with Your Audience

A Twitter chat, or TweetChat, is a virtual meeting or gathering of people on Twitter to discuss a common topic.

Companies like Cisco and FedEx have hosted their own TweetChats to engage with their audiences on a more personal level, and it’s a great inbound marketing tactic for your social media strategy.

For B2B companies, hosting TweetChats are an amazing way to get a better understanding of your fans, customers, and leads while also allowing you to grow your Twitter reach. But hosting a TweetChat also requires some thorough planning in order to be successful.

Below are eight steps you can take to plan a TweetChat for your business and ensure it’s a success.

How to Host a Twitter Chat

1. Monitor other chats and fill a void.

Before you even think about starting your own TweetChat, it’s important to take note of how other groups are conducting their chats. How do they interact with their followers? What are they discussing, and what types of questions are they asking? Monitoring other TweetChats will also allow you to refine your choice of topic for your own chat.

Try to identify a topic in your industry that is getting talked about a lot but hasn’t been represented yet in a formalized TweetChat. This is a great way to choose an appealing topic that generates interest from your target audience.

Once you’ve done this, attend a few Twitter chats that interest you and learn from what worked and what didn’t.

2. Determine your topic and make it the theme of your chat(s).

You may either decide that you want to run a one-time Twitter chat or that you’d like to host one every week. Either way, it’s important to have a common theme to guide your chat.

For example, FedEx’s TweetChats are always about some issue related to small business trends and issues.  They stay core to their focus throughout the chat and don’t segue to other issues that don’t relate to their core theme. Make sure that when you pick your topic, you stick with it throughout the chat. This keeps things focused and organized.

3. Choose your hashtag.

Now that you have your TweetChat topic/theme figured out, the next step is to pick a hashtag so people can follow your chat. You may want to use your corporate name in the chat, but it’s more important to make sure that the hashtag reflects what the chat is about.

People want to get a sense of what they’ll be participating in — be straightforward with them. And if you’re hosting a weekly chat based on a particular theme, consider making the hashtag more general so it can be used for future chats. For example,

4. Pick a date and time.

It’s important for you to choose the timing for your TweetChat based on what’s accessible to both you and your followers. Try to find a time that doesn’t conflict with another chat that may overlap with your specific topic.

For example, if you noticed that there is a #SocialMediaChat, you probably wouldn’t want to schedule your #FacebookChat to occur at the same time.

5. Create engaging questions for discussion.

Now that you have your topic, date, and time nailed down, think about the needs of your prospects and customers and what questions related to the topic they might want answers for. It’s important to create questions and discussion points ahead of time that you can use to help facilitate conversation during your chat.

For example, think about asking your followers which tactics they use, what’s the one biggest problem they face, or what they think will be a solution to an industry problem.  It’s important to make sure your questions can allow for some great engagement and interaction between your TweetChat attendees.

6. Bring in guest tweeters to help you host your chat.

If you want to make your TweetChat a “must-participate,” a great way to entice your followers is by asking an industry expert to join the chat from their personal account.

These guest tweeters can be from outside your company or they can be your business’ executives. Promoting that an industry expert will also be participating in your chat is a great way to add credibility to your chat and topic you’ll be discussing. It’s also a great way to encourage others to participate in your chat.

7. Promote your Twitter chat ahead of time.

After you have your chat organized and ready to go, it’s time to promote it!

Write a blog post about it, promote it to followers in other social networks, and tweet about the chat, its hashtag, and when it’s happening. Make sure people know that you’re organizing a TweetChat. If you want to attract key people in your industry to participate, go the extra mile and invite them personally, explaining how you think their insight on the topic would make for a truly valuable and engaging TweetChat.

8. Start your Twitter chat.

When the time comes, prepare to launch your Twitter chat. Confirm each host’s availability and be sure they have solid questions and topics to discuss.

Once you get started, it can’t hurt to have someone other than your host monitoring the discussion. This way, if you get a lot of tweet responses, you’ll be able to easily answer them with your team. It’s also helpful to have someone on board with community management knowledge incase the chat gets dull or is plagued by bad language, complaints about your company, or other unfortunate tweets. 

9. When the chat ends, continue to monitor the hashtag.

After you finish your chat, participants may still use your hashtag to engage in conversation, especially if you chose one that is more general. Make sure you’re still monitoring this discussion. It can help you identify followers who may be more qualified leads, and the discussion that sparks may even give you an idea for your next TweetChat!

10. Use highlights from your chat to promote future Twitter events. 

In step seven, we suggested that you should write a blog post to promote a chat. But, if you’ve already had one chat that gave solid insights and plan to have another, you could also write a blog post with the best quotes and tweets from the previous chat. Then note when and where readers can go to see future Twitter chats hosted by you or your brand.

This might be a great way to reach audiences that aren’t following you yet, and might make people feel like they missed out. If they do feel that way, they might want to attend the next chat. 

TweetChats can be a powerful tool for creating engagement and growing the reach of your Twitter account. These steps will help you on your way to becoming a TweetChat superstar.


Reblogged 5 days ago from blog.hubspot.com

Push vs. Pull Marketing: How They Differ and Work Together

I recently bought a new laptop. Before deciding which one was right for me, I poured through Yelp and Google reviews to make an informed decision. Once I narrowed my search down to a couple of models, I visited the store to examine specs in person before committing.

To put this in a different way, I was “pulled” into brands by their marketing of laptops for a young professional. Then, I was “pushed” into selecting the right fit by looking at the marketing inside the store. This is how push and pull marketing are at work separately and together.

What is Push Marketing?

Push marketing is a strategy focused on “pushing” products to a specific audience. The goal is to bring what you offer to customers in your marketing. Social media channels are considered to be “push” sources because they’re great for launching new or niche products.

Push Marketing Strategy

Also known as direct marketing, push marketing is a form of general advertising. When I grocery shop, I look for the signs that notate sales and gravitate towards them — picking up limes I never knew I needed. This is an example of push marketing. Similarly, let’s look at Suzie.

Suzie’s marketing company — specializing in local businesses — is ready for its big debut. But these local businesses have no idea Suzie’s company exists. This is a job for push marketing. Suzie reaches out to businesses in her area via email marketing, put ads in participating locations, and create a social media business page to expand her reach.

Because Suzie’s goal is to introduce her company to local businesses as she launches a new product, push marketing is her best option.

For a business that’s been around for a while but still wants to execute a push strategy, another option is running a limited time offer for your product. Use a channel your target market is closely integrated with, such as social media, or use landing pages to your advantage by including a CTA at the end.

Pull Marketing Strategy

You guessed it — pull marketing is the opposite of push marketing. Pull marketing is best for when you want to draw consumers to your product. The goal is to create loyal customers by providing marketing that showcases what they’re looking for.

For instance, if someone is looking for a new babysitter, they might visit Care. They can select a babysitter based on a list of preferences that are specifically shown to fit their needs. To put this in the context of another business, let’s take a look at Luis.

When businesses are looking for a point-of-sale (POS) app, Luis wants his POS system to be the one they choose. Pull marketing channels are exactly what he needs. To pull his target market, Luis starts a blog on his app’s website, runs specialized and high-traffic social media campaigns, and focuses on differentiating his brand.

To amp up his pull marketing strategy, Luis focuses on SEO for his online marketing to make his system discoverable to his target market. Google reviews, and word-of-mouth reviews on sites like Yelp, are his best friends throughout his campaign.

Since Luis has already developed a following from his app’s debut, he can focus on credibility and reliability rather than marketing to make the next sale. After a while, this will pull customers to his business. Pull marketing strategies generally take longer than push marketing to drive results, but this strategy ensures long-term customers and growth.

In the age of consumers educating themselves on products and services, pull marketing has become vital to markets with heavy saturation, like new apps or clothing companies. Pull marketing shows how you are unique as a brand.

There are a few negatives to push marketing — mainly splitting costs and keeping long-term customers.

If your company is working with a supplier to implement a push marketing strategy, you’d have to split profits with the supplier at the end of the day, which means less revenue for you. Since push marketing focuses on short term sales, building brand loyalty is difficult with an outbound strategy.

A downside to pull marketing is that you might not cater to the right target audience. In order to connect to your consumers, you need to know who they are and what they’re looking for. For instance, an athlete shopping for running shoes might not be interested in advertisements for heels.

To decide which method best fits your business, think about how you want to approach consumers. If you are trying to get the word out about your business, push will most likely be the way to go. If you’re a marketer building brand buzz in your market — perhaps about a specific product or service — pull would probably be best.

Push and pull can also work together. Customers need a push for demand to be created and a pull to satisfy that demand. For those who haven’t heard of your company, a push is needed. For those a little further along in their buyer’s journey, you can pull them in.

Push and Pull Strategy Examples

Going back to Suzie’s marketing company, once she gains leads from her push strategies, she can focus on a pull campaign. She can take to her company’s social media to do client spotlights, run a sale on services, and remind clients to rate her services.

When Luis pulls customers into his app, he can push them towards his product. Luis can integrate push methods into his strategy by sending automated marketing emails, investing in a streaming service ad, or focusing on a social media channel he doesn’t actively focus on.

Image source: Apple

Apple’s iPhone 11 advertising is heavily focused on the three cameras, a new implementation in the iPhone line of products. From this kind of push marketing, we can see that Apple’s market research centered around customers that wanted to see improved camera quality with their next iPhone purchase.

The Star Wars: Episode IX trailer starts with footage from the first Star Wars film, Episode IV. Text entices the viewer to see how a 40-year-long saga will come to an end. Not only is this an example of push marketing for longtime fans, but it’s an attention-grabbing pull to people not familiar to Star Wars, who might be interested in seeing what a movie of that caliber is like.

Lastly, let’s say you work for a startup that sells computer screens. In order to push your product out there, you convince stores like Best Buy to carry it. Based on the market, your strategy could pull consumers in by using your ad space in Best Buy to promote the features of your screens that others don’t, like length, look, and display features.

Most marketing falls into these two general categories, but what you do with inbound and outbound strategies is up to you. When I was purchasing my laptop, I was convinced by a mix of the two and used them to my advantage as a consumer.

Reblogged 5 days ago from blog.hubspot.com