6 Takeaways for Building Up Your Marketing

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"I like people who know how to work. Done is better than perfect. So when people tell me [in interviews] about their weekend projects in their house, like the treehouse they built and they couldn't go to sleep until it was done, that's a cool thing."
Dottie Mattison, CEO of Gracious Home New York in a Q&A last week in The New York Times

I often come across interesting notes that don't quite fit a column, but I try to save them for just the right occasion. Today felt like such a day.

1. My favorite [interview] question is "What do you do on the weekends?" Mattison continued. "'What do you do in your spare time?' Because ultimately you find out what matters to people, you find out where their passions lie. I have a fun lottery question too: 'If you won the lottery, what business would you open?' Sometimes that turns out to be a product category they know a lot about, or a certain kind of customer they understand really well.

2. If content is king, we don't always crown it. In its latest survey report, Contently found that two-thirds of respondents (marketing departments) devote less than a quarter of their marketing budgets to content, and 63% devote less than one-tenth of their marketing budgets to content marketing technology. In addition, a whopping 89% of marketers devoted less than a quarter of their budgets to content marketing technology, yet according to Forbes' "Publish or Perish" CMO report, content marketing technology can reduce the cost of a content marketing program by up to 65%.

3. Lead generation through video. Wistia offers a feature called Turnstile that allows you to insert a lead capture form anywhere in your video to either completely gate your video content or just make it optional for viewers to submit their emails to receive future content from your company. They did an analysis of more than 15,000 videos with turnstiles, and found that turnstiles placed in the first 10-20% of the video have the highest conversion rates, ranging roughly from 38–43%!

4. Breaking down silos. "I don't think a media or marketing company can flourish anymore burdened by silos," said Whit Shaw, president and CEO of Charlotte-based American City Business Journals—the nation's largest publisher of local business news and information. "Like many, we were comfortable for a long time having those silos, bunkers, so that communication was more controlled and channeled than it is now. We've put a lot of emphasis on making sure that when product development group talks about something new, people from marketing, content, ad sales, tech are all in the room. It has become a much more collaborative effort."

5. For good marketing copy, forget self-importance; engage in a dialogue, Michael Johnson writes on Ragan.com. "If a person talks on and on about themselves without letting you speak, how do you feel? Bored? Frustrated? Angry? Well, remember this when writing marketing copy. Readers will quickly switch off if your literature is self-important gobbledygook, so try to have a two-way conversation—talking a little about "me" or "us" and a little about 'you.' You can look out for self-centered sentences by searching for words such as 'I' and 'we,' but don't feel that you have to delete them all. You still want to make your mark on the reader; it's a fine balance."

6. Plan ways for your subscribers/members to network. The top reason given for joining an organization is networking with others in the field (23%). Next is access to specialized and/or current information (12%), advocacy (10%) and continuing education (9%)—so training should be on your radar as well.

Ronn Are you subscribed to the SIPAlert Daily?
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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…