Posts by Laura Elizabeth Saunders

Inbound: Moving Buyers from Awareness to Consideration

The buyer’s journey – the research process potential buyers go through before making a purchase – is critical to understanding how to develop effective inbound marketing campaigns. Inbound content should be written to potential buyers at each phase of the buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration and decision. The consideration stage Consideration stage content provides in-depth, solution-oriented information. This is the phase where a prospect has clearly defined their problem or opportunity and is committed to researching and understanding all available approaches to solving it. That’s where you come in. What does the consideration stage look like? (Here’s an example I borrowed …

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Inbound: 5 tips for effective “awareness” content

A strong inbound marketing campaign produces content that attracts site visitors and email contacts, converts them into leads and, ultimately customers (read: generates ROI). Writing content for each stage of the buyer’s journey (awareness, consideration, decision) is easy in theory, but not always in practice. The Awareness Stage Also referred to as “top of the funnel,” the awareness stage begins when your audience (potential buyers) realize they have a problem. They’re online looking for solutions. This is your opportunity to position your brand as an expert – you understand your buyers so well that you know their challenges and can …

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You’ve grown your contact list by 300%! Now what?

So you’ve developed the industry’s best white paper, ran an impressive social advertising campaign and received thousands of new email contacts. Now what? An expansive contact list is great, but only if you know how to use it. Break it down. Segmenting your email list allows you to focus on certain groups based on specific traits or characteristics. Let’s say your target audience is IT managers. The IT manager at a small local company is going to have different challenges and priorities than an IT manager for a Fortune 500 company. Segmenting these individuals into different groups according to company …

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Lead-generating content starts with buyer personas

When was the last time you had a problem and took to Google to find the answer? Given that every minute Google recieves more than 4,000,000 search queries, I bet it was fairly recent. Well, that’s what your potential customers are doing too.  They’ve got a problem and they need a solution. So, give the people what they want. That’s the idea behind inbound marketing: providing informative, helpful content – blog posts, ebooks, checklists – that draws customers to your website. The first step in creating that content is developing buyer personas. What are buyer personas? Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal …

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Facebook launches call-to-action button on company pages

Facebook Admins may have noticed a new button on their timeline page, the “Create Call-to-Action.”  The Create CTA button started appearing on some of our client Pages last week, but at the time of this post, not everyone has the feature, so be on the lookout. Here’s what we know so far. What is it? The CTA button allows admins to insert a CTA directly onto their timeline page (previously it was only available for status updates)at no cost. Choose from the following actions: Book Now, Contact Us, Use App, Play Game, Shop Now, Sign Up and Watch Video. (Nonprofits: …

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One of My Favorite Content Curation Tools – BuzzSumo

Working with various clients — from banks to software companies to local RVA groups — keeps me on my toes. Admittedly, I didn’t know much about banking, software or the RVA startup scene before working at Hodges. But, having clients in these areas made me knowledgeable about their businesses, what’s going on in their spaces and what their audience’s needs are. It’s important not only to know about the companies we work with, but also to stay on top of what’s going on in their industries. Knowing the latest news and topics helps me create interesting, sharable content, and stay …

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BuzzFeed’s tips for international social publishing

I learned some interesting stuff from the folks at BuzzFeed last week, and no, not how extreme my devotion to pizza is (I hardly need a quiz to answer that), or what super power I should actually have (sidebar: I got the power to shoot lasers out of my eyes…I’m still not sure what that says about me). BuzzFeed had a webinar last week about a more serious topic: Things You Need to Know about International Social Publishing. The VP responsible for BuzzFeed’s international growth and expansion (and creator of the disaster girl meme), and VP of international advertising shared …

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PR lessons from Sochi’s Olympic disasters

I usually don’t watch much of the Winter Olympics, other than figure skating, but this year I paid much closer attention. There was a lot of hype surrounding the Olympics this winter; however, much of it wasn’t about the games themselves. Instead, headlines surrounding the Olympics focused on what was going on in Sochi: the good, the bad, and the ugly. There are some public relations lessons we can learn from the events at Sochi this year. Hotels were built, but hardly complete. Upon arriving in Sochi, many journalists learned that not only were their rooms not ready, their hotels …

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