Case Study Must Haves for K-12 Solutions

 

students and school computersOne of the most common ways to demonstrate product efficacy or to tell a product story in the K-12 industry is through a case study or a customer success story. Case studies are an important component of your content marketing strategy in pushing out content of interest to your community of prospects.

While the general structure of a case study is basically the same across all industries, K-12 stories are usually quite compelling because they strike at the heart of two things our culture holds most dear – kids and education.

Case studies have a four-part basic structure:

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Why Content is the Secret Sauce in Your Marketing Mix

 

secret sauce for your marketing mixWhen developing a marketing mix for a new campaign, not only do we need to ensure that each channel's tactics complements the others, but they also need to stand on their own to move the prospect forward to the next step in the process.

Our marketing mix should include every available channel that makes sense for the product. We can choose from: direct marketing (including email, phone, print), search marketing, social media marketing, advertising, public relations and mobile marketing.

Different products require a different marketing mix, but no matter what channels we use, each should lead the prospect to the product website which is "brand central." It's there that we get to tell our story in detail and prove our authentic intention to help customers solve their problems.

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You Only Get 9 Seconds to Make an Impression (Sally Hogshead video)

It used to be that you had 1 minute to grab your prospect's attention. Then it dropped to 30 seconds. Now, because of our fractured attention span, it's dropped to only 9 seconds. Obviously this has huge implications for our personal as well as business lives as we build customer relationships.

Via Content Marketing Today Sally Hogshead's video explains the 9 second rule. Grab them fast or lose them. Keynote speaker Sally Hogshead is the author of FASCINATE, teaching audiences how to persuade and captivate in a world with a 9 second attention span.  

 

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Does the New 80/20 Content Rule Apply to Educational Publishers?

solving problemsYesterday I read that companies should plan to give up to 80% of their content away for free and generate sales and profits from the remaining 20%. As publishers, that seems an unrealistic metric.

Content is our stock and trade. We've invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in developing the best-of-category, and now we should give it away for free?

How is that a viable business model?

Yet more and more companies are allocating larger amounts of their resources each year to this effort as reported by the Content Marketing Institute.

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New Realities of Email Marketing

For smart marketers, the days of indiscriminate batch and blast emails are long gone.

Today's email list builders are not just interested in building the largest list but are gathering names and segmenting them based on individual preferences, behavior or where the name belongs in the sales cycle. Quality outranks quantity.

Savvy consumers are selective about who they give their email address to, and most often are giving it in return for something they value: a free report, white paper, eBook, discount coupons, etc.

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Are you Confident in Your Delivery System? The New York Times Shouldn’t Be

After many Sunday morning phone calls, the NY Times has lost a customer. We used to be happy customers, and we still want to have the Times delivered. But that apparently is the problem.

Over the last five years we have been a daily delivery customer; a 4 -day a week customer (Thurs-Sunday); and we've tried unsuccessfully to be a Sunday only customer.

We're finally giving up.

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SEO Series: Part 2 – What is Search Engine Optimization Exactly?

First published February 26, 2008

SEO can take many forms but one time-tested strategy is evaluating the primary keywords that people enter into search engines to find relevant content. Make sure that those keywords appear multiple times in your page text. Strive to use those key words as frequently as you can while ensuring that your text still reads easily and naturally to your audience. You want to avoid "stuffing" keywords into your text artificially, however. Current recommendations are that keywords should comprise no more than four percent of your total text.

When automated programs from the search engines called "spiders" find your website, they create an index of words used on your web pages. The more frequently keywords appear on your pages, the more relevant  the search engine considers your page for those keywords and the higher it places the link to your website on the list. This is called "organic" search and is more valuable to a searcher than "paid" search links.

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SEO Series: Part 3 – SEO Helps You Deliver Effective Learning Solutions

First published February 26, 2008

SEO is critically important to any business, but especially so to educational publishers. When teachers and educators search for quality content that impacts their students' academic success, they need to find programs and solutions as quickly as possible with as much supporting efficacy evidence as is available.

When SEO is used correctly, you can help ensure that web searchers looking for keywords that are core to their needs and interests will find your web pages at the top of the search engine results.  Appearing at the top of the lists of results assures the searcher that those links will take them to content that is relevant to their informational needs.

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What are your customers and prospects talking about?

Talking, social_conversationFirst published June 19, 2008

Okay, now that you know where your customers and prospects are at their various social websites, how do you engage them and what should you say?

First, you need to listen to them for awhile. It's okay to be a "lurker" until you grow more comfortable with blog and social site "netiquette."

Here are some of the things your customers will say:

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5 Guiding Principles for Great Sales Presentations

j04358801.jpgFirst published April 7, 2008

I ran across an article today at Speechworks and it reminded me of the same essential points I use in training sales people. Since this article echoes my own experience, I share it with you here. If you adhere to these five guiding principles, you will walk away with the order more often than not. Even if you’re “just” pitching your ideas to company colleagues, these principles apply.

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