Gated vs Ungated Content for Industrial…My Dilemma

gated vs ungated content-a dilemmaThink hard now…when was the last time you saw some valuable content on the web and decided to download?

You said to yourself, “Man, that looks like great information…just what I was looking for.”

Then you hit the download button and changed your mind because you had to give up your name & e-mail address. You thought, “The content looks great, but I don’t want to open myself up for more harassment.”

If you are like me, you harbored some lingering pangs of distrust towards the company that offered up the content…for “free”.

Research demonstrates that 90% of web-users will ignore the sign-up page for fear of getting peppered with more email. It seems the whole privacy/data collection issue is top-of-mind for consumers.

For those of you that follow this blog you know that I am a huge proponent of marketing automation platforms like HubSpot. All marketing automation platforms make their living…sort of speak…by exchanging personal data for “gated” content. Using forms to gather more information about an interested prospect has been the virtual foundation of most of these marketing automation platforms. Information gathered from forms is the currency many of these platforms promote as “lead generation” and the best way to cost-justify the additional expense of marketing automation.

Now, however, after much thought and research I am leaning towards ungating content as common practice…as I have done on my own page.  (If you download some of my work…enjoy!)

But…like a good economist, “It depends” or “on the other hand”

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Industrial Branding: You Get What You Pay For!

you get what you pay for when it comes to industrial brandingWe all know our parents had the best advice. As I baby boomer, I still recite my Father’s favorite axioms: “If you want something done, give it to the busiest people”, “The cheapest insurance you can buy are the best quality tires”, “The will to prepare comes before the will to succeed”…and of course the most time-honored quote of all:

“You get what you pay for.”

Still true today.  Thanks Dad.

Often, I am asked to start an online marketing effort including website, content deployment, e-mail, blogs, the “whole shootin’ match” (thanks again, Dad).

But…before they embark on a comprehensive online marketing effort, I always suggest they start by taking a critical look at their company’s brand.

Often the discussion ends with, “I don’t believe we can afford to spend the extra dollars on brand development”…or something very similar.

A well-defined brand message is the most misunderstood and underutilized marketing asset for most businesses, especially for industrial companies.

Why?

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4 Steps to Achieve Competitive Advantage Using Rich Snippets

using rich snippets to gain competitive advantageHave you recently noticed when you search for a specific product, a specific restaurant, a specific recipe or a specific definition you often receive a “rich snippet” that gives you EXACTLY what you were looking for in a nicely formatted box? Some call these “featured snippets”, some call them “answer boxes”. As a techie would say, “I use structured data to create rich snippets on my webpages.”

No longer is Google’s search engine return page (SERP) a simple list of blue headlines.

You may have also noticed that voice searches are becoming more accurate than your first attempts a few years ago.  For example, “Siri, where can I get the best car loan rate?” or “OK, Google, where can I get spare electric motors in Kalamazoo?”. If you have not tried this, go ahead and open your Android or Apple device and try it.  (Personally, I like Google’s Assistant as they have a lot more data for artificial intelligence to glean from, resulting in more precise answers.)

Let us explore how you can gain a competitive advantage using rich snippets.

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