40 Blog Posts That Will Make You Smarter, Better & More Efficient in 2016

40 Blog Posts That Will Make You Smarter, Better, More Efficient in 2016….(

I was recently asked my favorite influencers in the industry. Trying to recall a few (which even a year ago I could have spewed at least 100 of the industry’s top influencers), but quickly drew a blank. I began to ponder how in the world this could be. I am constantly reading, researching, and website/blog/social media account hopping.

It was instantly then, that I realized the one keyword… hopping. With the availability of sites like inbound.org , growthhackers.com, linkedin.com, reddit.com and the growing usage of specific hashtags on social channels (that then link to relevant content) — well the truth is, in 2015 I stopped following specific industry leader’s or blogs, and instead started following topics that peaked my interests.  A blog might have 1 killer post, but the rest could pretty much suck. So why waste your time visiting individual sites, or receiving emails of the latest posts

That aside; If you have an interest in inbound marketing and the various components that help produce great inbound campaigns, here are 40 blogposts that can help you bring your best to all you do in 2016.

Content Marketing

  1. 10 Steps Every Content Marketer Must Take In 2016, Heidi Cohen
  2. Planning Your 2016 Content Marketing Calendar, Duct Tape Marketing
  3. Content Marketing Grows Up: My 2016 Prediction, Ann Handley
  4. The Content Marketing Campaign Playbook – Guaranteeing Success in 2016, Moz
  5. Idea Sex: How New Yorker Cartoonists Generate 500 Ideas a Week, 99u
  6. Should you have a resources page on your blog?, BloggingTips
  7. 10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer (Poster), Copyblogger
  8. 5 Free Market-Research Tools to Read Your Audience’s Minds (And Create Content to Delight Them), Kissmetrics

 SEO

  1.   Planning For SEO Success In 2016, Search Engine Land
    1. 7 Highly Effective SEO Tips for Bloggers, Sprout Social
    2. SEO Checklist 2016, IDFmarketing
    3. SEO & Link Building in 2016, webprofits
    4. SEO Predictions for 2016, emagine

     

    PPC

    1. 3 PPC Trends And Tactics You Can’t Ignore In 2016 , Search Engine Land
    2. PPC New Year’s Resolutions for 2016, ClixMarketing
    3. PPC Trends 2016: 24 Expert Predictions On Paid Search, Display & Retargeting, momentology
    4. 8 PPC Trends for 2016, Serps-Invaders
    5. Why Facebook Is A Bigger Ad Opportunity Than Google, AdEspresso

     

    Social Media

    1. 5 Ways to Re-Ignite Twitter Growth in 2016, Ignite Social Media
    2. 12 Best Facebook Marketing Tips (Sharpen Your Skills Today), Post Planner
    3. A Quick Guide to Visual Marketing on Facebook for 2016, Social Media Explorer
    4. How to Use Facebook’s Best Feature: Targeting, Contently
    5. 2016 Social Media Marketing Plan For Success, Heidi Cohen
    6. The Truth About Social Media Strategy, Convince and Convert

     

    Design

    1. Data-Driven Design Tips for Maximising Impact on Twitter, Canva DesignerSchool
    2. How to Find Images on Google You Can Reuse, RODAMarketing
    3. Be Careful About These 6 Web Design Trends in 2016, AWWWards
    4. 6 Web Design Trends You Must Know for 2015 & 2016, AWWWards
    5. Web Design Predictions for 2016: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, Wix
    6. Top Web Design Trends To Watch In 2016, Forbes

     

    Email

    1. Retailers’ email volumes rise in Q3 and so do open rates, Internet Retailer
    2. Best Email Marketing Services for 2016, The Simple Dollar
    3. Email Marketing & Video in 2016 – All You Need To Know, Business2Community
    4. Email Marketing Trends in 2016, Keywords+Jargon
    5. 8 Ways to Improve Your Call-To-Action Copy to Get More Subscribers, AWeber

     

    General Digital Marketing Tips

    1. Stop Marketing Like It’s 2012, Gary Vaynerchuk
    2. The Dangerous Myth of the Magical Tool, Copyblogger
    3. Top 3 Digital Marketing Trends for 2016 (Which You Should Be Starting in 2015), Impress1
    4. The one thing keeping your marketing from being successful, YourMarketingCo
    5. 7 Inbound Marketing Trends You Need To Stay Ahead of the Curve, Impact

     

    You can also find Blair Pettrey on Facebook • Twitter • LinkedIn

     

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The Secret to Inbound Marketing

When times are tough and things are confusing – I am grateful for the resources I have to reach out to… Bill Faeth of “Inbound Marketing Agents” has been a constant source of inspiration and reminder of what it takes to succeed…. The best advice received? “Outwork everyone else. Focus. Figure out how to increase your efficiency in everything you do.”‪#‎inboundmarketing‬ ‪#‎digitalmarketing‬ ‪#‎progress‬ ‪#‎alwaysmovingforward‬‪#‎JustMOVE‬ ‪#‎justSTART‬ ‪#‎justDOit‬

blair pettrey

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,300 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

What is “Inbound Marketing” aka -“Sell Me This Pen”

Blair Pettrey sales & inbound marketing

“Sell Me This Pen” (As an Inbound Marketer that is!)W

I’m a big fan of dictionaries & definitions. I first learned about the amazing benefits of dictionaries & definitions when learning more about the Study Tech. They said think of the word “Cow”; and then write down what your definition of the word “Cow” would be.

How quickly I learned the value in dictionaries! While I don’t remember the exact ‘definition’ I wrote down – I’m sure it had to do with some 4 -legged animal/farm animal. When in reality, ‘cow’ can have several different meanings – and if you do not understand each of them ( or KNOW what it means) – how lost and confused (and turned off to further understanding) will you be? [You can read more here. or purchase the amazing book here!]

But in brief – to “have a cow” (as in owning a farm animal) vs “having a cow” (as in an emotional reaction) – are two entirely different things and need to be understood as such, to be fully grasped and accepted.

Inbound Marketing is quite the same.

Unlike “Cow” – if you Google Search: Define: Inbound Marketing – there is no immediate result; instead it links you to other resources & pages that have defined the term. (Update: Google has now added the definition – will Bing be adding the definition soon than as well?)

Some of the first queries define Inbound Marketing as:

  1. Wikipedia: promoting a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, enewsletters, whitepapers, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to bring customers in closer to the brand, where they want to be.
  2. Hubspot: Sharing is caring and inbound is about creating and sharing content with the world. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more.
  3. TrustEMedia: defined as a marketing strategy where businesses implement tactics to “get found”, or as we say, “get spotted” by customers.

However, I think that Johnathan Dane of Disruptive Advertising – best summed it up during a conversation we had many moons ago: Traditional marketing efforts are disruptive & interruption focused while inbound marketing is connection & draw focused.

On the contrast – if you aim to define Outbound (which some may argue is the ‘opposite’ of Inbound Marketing):

  1. Google: Outbound marketing examples: Tradeshows, TV commercials, radio commercials, print advertisements (newspaper ads, magazine ads, flyers, brochures, catalogs, etc.), cold calls, and email blasts.
  2. Wikipedia: Older, non-pejorative sense of marketing communications Newer, pejorative sense of interruption marketing
  3. Marketing-Schools.org: Outbound marketing tries to reach consumers through general media advertising as well as through in-person contact. Depending on the venue, the approach can be extremely broad (TV advertising), thoroughly personal (face-to-face meetings), or “impersonally personal” (cold-calling or blanket emails). Through each outbound methods, sales leads are generated and then followed by internal sales representatives.

If you Google “Outbound Marketing” – you receive ~ 6 million page results; while if you search for “inbound marketing” (the ‘new’ way) you’ll find over 10million page results. THAT alone should speak volumes about the support and emphasis on inbound vs outbound marketing.

However – what about when it comes to sales?

I would never deny that any form of marketing/advertising & sales – are MEANT to go hand in hand. However, I would very well argue that outbound marketing (as well as ‘cold calls/the entire process of disruption/interruption of stereotypical sales) – something of the past!

If you could spend 10 minutes a day and an additional 2-3 hours a week engaging with your targeted demographic/audience – knowing that you would see results & benefits, wouldn’t you? If you knew you could spend a nominal on a salary or agency fee– knowing you would receive a HUGE ROIwouldn’t you?

Maybe NOT but you should!

While marketing is never meant to REPLACE sales – I argue that I could draw in amazing successfully nurtured sales via social media, engagement, content (blogs that generate in SEO/content on your website that will create leads + guest blogging that creates leads & traffic from other websites), paid advertising (I’m Google Adwords & Bing Ads certified – as well as a facebook advertising rockstar… #justsaying)and more – that would generate in leads that went straight to the funnels you wanted, but were nurtured & ready for that sales person to connect & close – rather than having to have the sales person waste their time, effort, energy & expense – trying to nurture the client.

Depending on your business/company funnels and approach – the entire sales & marketing spectrum could differ from another company or business’s funnels and approach – however; INBOUND MARKETING is absolutely ESSENTIAL to include on your SALES TEAM!

After all – what business doesn’t want to grow because others are so passionate and engaged with your brand?

P.S.– How would I, Blair Pettrey, sell the pen as an inbound marketer?

1.) Paid Advertising & Engagement(Hand in HAND!)I would create paid advertising that targeted my demographic – depending on whom that demographic was, I may only focus on Facebook (a more targeted & cheaper resource) – or I may include Google Adwords/ BingAds as part of the campaign. I would create (strategic, keyword rich & researched) content both within the advertising as well as on social media, the company blog, and other verticals, joint venture partners and platforms – that would generate leads….

2.) Landing Page OptimizationFrom the leads that were generated from paid advertising and social media/content/linking – I would optimize the experience of the viewer. Depending on where the lead came from – I would create an unique & targeted landing page (and thus funnel) specifically geared to them. (This is where utilizing LeadPages and/or Unbounce come in handy!)

3.)Build Specific Sales/Marketing FunnelsFunnels that are specific to the lead are absolutely essential. By being able to nurture leads based on where they are coming from (what traffic source), and where in the sales process they may be – prevents any over sales/under nurturing. It allows you to build trust and engagement – without wasting your sales teams time – until that lead is truly nurtured and ready for the solution your company has! (I’m also trained in AMAZING sales & marketing funnel building & generation techniques including Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula)

4.)By my Focus on the LEAD Engage, Connect, Nurture, and Draw Leads so WELL that by the time they’ve contacted your company/reached your e-commerce store – they are ready to BUY. They’ve built trust & desire so much in your offer/product/service – that the sale is done – no closing/selling necessary!

5.)They say there are two rules to success– and the first rule? Never telleverythingat once!

Follow me on Twitter + Facebook + LinkedIN for more!

Using LinkedIN for SEO – (aka) 5 Minute LinkedIN Optimization!

Blair Pettrey SEO LinkedINLinkedin.com, according to Google, has extremely high page authority.

So much so – that if you Google yourself ( or anyone whom may have an active LinkedIn profile) – the following will appear:

Linkedin + Blair Pettrey

In addition to your author bio – it will also include the author photo from Linkedin.com (without any page authorship needed!).

With that said – why not spend the next 5 minutes adjusting your Linkedin.com profile to be SEO friendly!

  1. Include your name in your profile headline.(As you can see in the above screen shot – I have included ‘Blair Pettrey’ in my profile headline = “Blair Pettrey – Your Inbound Marketing Guru”)
  2. Link to your Highest Ranking URLs. Whether it be your Facebook, a personal blog (i.e. http://www.BlairPettrey.com), your about.me page, your twitter, or your BrandYourself profile – whatever shows up highest for you (that is positive) make sure to include those top 3 links on your Linkedin profile! Linkedin allows 3 –  utilize them!
  3. Target your keywords. Whether your an ‘SEO’ or ‘digital marketing’ or ‘South Carolina Inbound Marketing’ or ‘Maryland Digital Marketing’ guru, tech, IT, pro, what- have-you – make sure to build the content in your profile around these keywords!