Why Your Business Needs Whitepapers

Think white papers have faded into the grey? Think Again!

Called the “cornerstone report” in business industries, often highlighting benchmark moments in our industrial and financial evolution over the years, white papers have been around for the better part of the twentieth century and despite a few misconceptions they are in fact still in demand.

Why? Simple! There is just no better way to present well researched, in-depth information.

Intriguingly enough, there are many forms in which a white paper can be presented, ranging from a business report released in the Sunday newspaper right through to the ever-familiar online version.

There is no doubt that everyone has read a white paper in some form or another at least once, whether they realized it or not.

They can sneak up on you, you know. This is the very reason why white papers are still so valuable and effective.

They continue to serve several important sales and marketing functions within our business sectors, including generating new leads, increasing company profiles as an informed professional, and setting brands apart from competitors by enhancing what is provided in quality and knowledge alike.

Enjoy a glass or two with someone you love!.png

In recent years, statistics were released showing that up to 51% of companies still rely on content through white papers to research their buying decisions. 96% of consumers want content with input from industry thought leaders, instead of the run of the mill information or jargon one sometimes finds.

So, before you join the crowd in chanting that white papers are on the outs, consider a few points that go quite a way in explaining why and how white papers are still being used today.

Gating

Well-researched and authoritative in a specific topic, these nifty reports make great incentives for users to convert to potential customers or clients on a specific website.

By requiring that interested customers provide their contact information in exchange for free and highly valuable content, you can build what is referred to as a “gate” around any content you are providing. Entry to this information is usually just requires a few seconds of the customer’s time.

Studies have shown that 76% of buyers are willing to register for and share personal information in exchange for white papers and the information they supply – 13% more than those who would do so in exchange for an ebook.

Simple right? This step could turn into a huge business opportunity for those companies who are quick with the follow-up and implementation.

One of the key attributes of white papers is that they are an effective means of generating leads within any business initiative. They are a tried and tested method of collecting information from customers and buyers.

White Papers Establish You as a Thought Leader

Marketing Insider Group defines thought leadership as “a type of content marketing where you tap into
the talent, experience, and passion inside your business, or from your community, to consistently answer the biggest questions on the minds of your target audience, on a particular topic.

It is through this that white papers show their true strength and value. Each topic is so thoroughly researched and professionally presented that one cannot help but feel deeply informed and motivated after reading one, because let’s face it knowledge is power after all.

White Papers Give You a Competitive Edge

If you want to put your company on the map, you need to find a way to set it apart from the competition. White papers allow you to achieve this.

While it is safe to assume that your competitors create content mainly for social media and engage in some sort of blogging and other means, studies show that it’s significantly less likely that they are creating white papers. This creates a perfect gap for you to step into. People love different.

Statistics from a survey AlterraGroup conducted show that white papers and ebooks ranked only fifth in B2B marketer’s most used content marketing vehicles. While most create social media content (83%) and blogs (80%), white papers and ebooks (65%) are only created by around two-thirds of B2B marketers.

As more businesses and curious consumers seek content and find value in it, the demand for white papers lives and thrives.

Creating a set standard of professionalism and knowledge has and always will be a winning formula. So the next time you find yourself in a debate about what type of content you should create next, perhaps you’ll spare a thought for the humble, but formidable white paper.

Don't Be Bland With Your Lead Nurturing Strategy

Much like a good dining experience has an enticing appetizer, embracing entree, and attention-grabbing dessert, a company’s lead attraction and nurturing processes should be cleverly organized into a three-part, customer-clinching powerhouse.

It’s your responsibility to ensure that you’re serving up the kind of content that keeps the buyer interested and engaged at every step. You’ve got to put in a little extra effort to make your audience feel wanted and valuable.

It might come as somewhat of a shock to know that at least half of your qualified leads are nowhere near ready to make a purchase when they first convert. Another little secret: they’re not going to budge if you stick to outdated selling strategies. Frequent sales calls are out of the question. Your aim isn’t to become a pest but rather a trusted source of valuable content.

This is your chance to serve up some piping hot ToFu, MoFu & BoFu content. If you’re not sure what that is, stick around and you’ll find out.

Whet Their Appetites with ToFu
(Top of the Funnel)

At the top of your sales funnel, your main aim is to attract as many potential leads as possible. Your audience is much larger at this point,  so you’re casting a fairly wide net. Your main aim at this stage is to attract traffic without filtering or discouraging conversions from the “wrong” types of leads.

ToFu content is captivating and educational. You need to address a specific need, question, or pain point without sounding sales-y. Consider your blog as the best platform for ToFu content; you’re providing value without necessarily asking for anything back.

This content can contain calls-to-action that lead prospects to conversion opportunities. Only then do you ask your audience to exchange their email addresses (or other contact information) for even more valuable content. ToFu content, in the form of short blog posts, should contain a few snippets of valuable information, which are intended to lead the audience to something more substantial like an eBook or whitepaper.

Fill ‘Em Up With MoFu
(Middle of the Funnel)

Once you’ve managed to convert a lead from the ToFu content stage, they’ll be expecting something stellar in the MoFu stage. You’ve tantalised them with a tidbit they’ve found interesting or helpful in some way; now they’ll be ready for something more substantial.

You’re going to need to work on content that continues to educate or solve a particular problem but with a slight sales angle. This is the point at which you’ll begin to position your company as the most logical, useful, and helpful solution to the lead’s challenges.

Take some time to develop whitepapers, case studies, eBooks, or even videos. The challenge here is ensuring that you produce top quality content. If your internal team isn’t necessarily up to the job, consider bringing in professional help. Remember, you’re trying to build credibility, so you need to put your absolute best foot forward.

Seal the Deal With BoFu
(Bottom of the Funnel)

Once you’ve warmed up your leads with amazing MoFu content, you’ll progress to the most crucial stage. Your aim is to go in for the sale, which means you need to keep your leads feeling well cared-for.

In many cases, the BoFu stage is a simple one-on-one encounter, whether it be in person or over the phone. Think of this as the after-dinner coffee ritual, for leads who are full-up and don’t need any more content to convince them of your worth.

In other cases, you’ll need to curate a teensy bit of BoFu content in the form of a free assessment, trial, or discount code. It’s the small yet rich dessert that they can’t help but want to add to their menu.

Automation is Key
(Work Smart)

The concept of lead nurturing through the 3-course meal approach sounds fairly simple. It is, however, important to realise that your lead nurturing strategy does require a certain amount of planning and effort.

If you put in the time needed to develop your strategy, curate stellar content, and evaluate converted leads at each stage of the sales funnel, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the pay off. Excelling at lead nurturing will help you generate 50% more sales ready leads. Furthermore, those leads are likely to make 47% larger purchases.

Because the process is so time-consuming, it’s completely illogical to manage everything manually. You wouldn’t have time to do anything else! Marketing software is an absolute necessity. You’ll notice a marked ROI on this particular investment. In fact, companies that automate their lead management processes notice a minimum 10% increase in revenue within half a year.

Automation doesn’t mean you’ll sacrifice that all-important personal touch. You’ll still be able to send out emails with customised greetings and subject lines. In fact, you can even create them long before a lead converts. These mails can be triggered based on a particular conversion and scheduled at your chosen frequency as well.

With clever automations in place, you’ll have more time available to create content that keeps visitors coming back for more. Additionally, your sales team will have continuous access to marketing qualified leads and sales qualified leads, making their jobs that much easier.

lead nurturing tips

eBooks: Why You Need Them as Part of Your Content Marketing Efforts

By creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content, marketers aim to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience. The major goal is to convert this traffic into profitable customer action.

Of course, the keyword here is “valuable”. It’s what distinguishes content marketing from other forms of advertising. Instead of simply pitching products or services, it becomes necessary to provide truly reliable, relevant, and useful content to potential and current customers, helping them solve their problems or answer their own questions.

ebooks content marketing

The best way to tell if a piece of content is worth using in a content marketing campaign, is to establish whether people actively seek it out. If people want to consume it rather than avoid it, it’s worth your while.

A strong content marketing strategy includes a variety of content types. As individual pieces begin to take shape, there are some specific items to keep in mind: blog posts, ebooks, cheat sheets, workbooks and templates, whitepapers and reports, infographics, slide decks, video, etc.

Why content marketing

According to Pagefair.com, over 200 million people now use ad blockers. Conventional marketing tactics are becoming less effective. “Good” content is impervious to ad-blocking software and actually happens to be something that consumers want to interact with. Content marketing is therefore more effective and welcome on a foundational level.

There is the assumption that content marketing is an expensive alternative to the traditional marketing model. This, however, is inaccurate. Content marketing is highly effective and easy to begin. It is popular with consumers and can therefore drastically reduce the amount of money that would otherwise be spent on advertising that has a potentially lower success rate.

Roughly 88% of today’s B2B marketers use content marketing as that foundation of their marketing strategy. The sustainable value of content marketing means that brands are able to easily connect with their customers, as the lines of communication are a little more open. With conversion rates that are six times higher than those associated with traditional marketing efforts, it is hardly surprising that content marketing is growing in popularity.

Ebooks in Content Marketing

According to Jesse Noyes, senior director of content marketing for Kapost, “Fat content will become the focus of marketers everywhere.” The term ‘fat content’ extends to include whitepapers, infographics, ebooks, and videos – all of which can be used in a clever content marketing strategy.

In a content marketing plan, eBooks are best used by businesses that need to communicate complex information in a way that is both interesting and accessible. The term “infotaining” is often used to describe these eBooks, which should be filled with practical, useful, and possibly inspiring content that aligns with the business’ brand.

eBooks present the perfect balance between education and entertainment. Visually, an eBook is more appealing than a whitepaper yet it is more serious than an infographic. Essentially, eBooks cover several bases whereas other forms of content tend to be a little more one-dimensional. According to PricewaterhouseCooper LLpP, eBook sales are expected to grow from $2.31 billion in 2011 to $8.69 billion in 2018. This proves that they are somewhat of a “hot” commodity.

eBooks are being referred to as “fat” content, anything that can be broken up into smaller pieces and used in multi-channel campaigning. Ultimately, flexibility is what makes this type of marketing tool so popular. At least 39% of B2B marketers are using eBooks as a part of their strategy, whereas “thin” online content is slowly edging its way out of the limelight.

Benefits of eBooks

There are several benefits to using eBooks as a part of a business’ marketing strategy, some of which will be highlighted below.

Generate leads

What sets eBooks apart from other marketing tools is the fact that they seem to be more informative than a regular part of an advertising tactic. To the consumer, they exist in order to provide entertainment or expertise. After all, the best source of knowledge is an industry expert who can offer insight into solving the “real-life” problems of customers.

In an age where transparency is key, marketers will find that potential customers shy away from anything they perceive to be a “hard sell”. EBooks enable marketers to control the content they send out. The content becomes more inviting to consumers, drawing their attention in such a way that they feel as though they made a conscious choice to pursue a particular service rather than feeling as though they’ve been harassed into making a purchase.

Ebooks have the following technological advantages in lead generation:

  • The electronic medium provides a convenient method for an immediate call-to-action – a click!

  • eBooks containing links allow businesses to track their success through quantifiable measurements.

  • Rather than provide a static product, companies can add links to a variety of additional media (video, audio, or graphics) adding visual appeal.

  • An eBook is fast and easy to produce while still looking great and providing a professional appearance to a business’ content strategy.

Build a Brand

When used properly, an eBook will cause potential customers to link the content to a particular business’ existing brand. For this reason, marketers need to find a way to ensure that they maximise the eBook’s ability to enhance the company’s image.

Connecting an eBook to a specific brand can be done in the following ways:

  • Complement the existing brand by using the appropriate logos, fonts, and colour schemes on the eBook cover.

  • Present a professional image by ensuring that the format, writing, and editing are publication-ready.

  • When making your eBook publication-ready, marketers should execute each step with precision – especially in terms of the conversion of media.

Offers Valuable Knowledge to your Target Audience

When creating eBook content, authors should focus on topics that they have expertise in. Consumers are able to sense when content has been penned by an author who is floundering in unfamiliar territory. Furthermore, the eBook should not be about the product or service offered by the company in question.

While the eBook content may not be intended to sell, it will still have a positive impact on the decision-making of its audience.  The key here is to ensure that there is a call-to-action at the end of the eBook which links to the pertinent areas of the company’s website. This subtle method of selling helps readers make a decision without feeling they are under inordinate amounts of pressure.

Of course, the topic of the eBook should still be industry relevant – something that will attract the attention of the appropriate audience and teach them something that will assist them in making the “correct” purchasing decision. Ebooks are often used to set a particular company up as a trusted source of information or an industry leader on a particul

10 Best Practices for Creating eBooks

Below are the top ten best practices for creating quality, effective eBooks:

  • Covers should be compelling with short, provocative titles.

  • EBooks should be easy to find, share and act on.

  • Anticipate varying screen sizes for eBook consumption and make graphics and text readable across the board.

  • Lists, tips, and best practices with examples are the most compelling eBook content formats.

  • Include links within the eBook to blog posts, videos, and articles from the business itself and from 3rd party resources.

  • Focus on content that is easily shareable on social media.

  • Promote portions of the eBook through blog posts and social networks.

  • Co-create eBooks with industry thought leaders to create a built-in incentive for them to help promote.

  • Use a clear and relevant call to action according to the eBook purpose.

  • Provide PDF and embeddable versions of the eBook.

Creative Lead Generation Approaches for the 21st Century Salesperson

Say what you like about sales, no matter how you look at it, the entire lead generation process is a tough gig. It’s even more of a challenge when you’re forced to rely on traditional approaches. When your days are filled with sending cold emails and painstakingly scraping together lists, it’s hard not to feel despondent and demoralized.

The fact of the matter is that when you’re going through the cold calling and cold email process, most of these people don’t really want to talk to you. Sales can be somewhat of a lonely road if you’re sticking to the old school script.

It’s important to switch up your tactics and take a more modern approach. If you don’t, you’ll fall behind. It’s time to reach your lead generation goals while adding value for your prospects. It’s time to network and build relationships instead of focusing on the hard sell.

creative lead generation techniques

1) Take Advice From the Pros

It’s always smart to collect success secrets from thought leaders. It’s even smarter to share these tidbits with your prospects. One of the best ways to provide unparalleled value in your content it to reach out to an expert in your industry and ask for an interview. It doesn’t have to be a long and complex process. A few choice words are all you need. Pass this information on to your customers and over time it’ll become clear that you’re committed to delivering the best possible advice to your entire network.

2) Use Google Scraping Tools

GoPinLeads is a Chrome Extension that scrapes data from Google Maps, LinkedIn, and other credible online sources, and delivers a comprehensive database to your email inbox within minutes. It’ll show you the businesses you’re looking for, who works there, what their details are, and their address. With just a click of a button you’ll have access to all the information you need to target the right kind of prospects – people who might actually want to talk about your services or products.

3) Be Helpful Via Video

We exist in a time where people want handy information at their fingertips. The less effort involved for them, the better. Very few people want to sift through lengthy FAQs or articles to find solutions to their problems. By creating help videos, you can take a step towards becoming an industry authority and solve real-world problems for prospects in a way that’s completely accessible and easily understandable.

4) Harness the SEO-centric Power of Client Reviews

Here’s a fun fact: review platforms have a strong presence in organic search results. So, while you’re building up your own SEO foundations, you can use these review platforms as a way to extend the reach of your brand presence and get noticed by the right target audience. Use your social channels (or email) to get your customers to leave reviews on these platforms. Without paying even the smallest amount of cash, you’ll exponentially increase your chances of being found by the right prospects.

5) Share Your Success

You want prospects to know that you’re good at what you do. The best way to get that message across is to highlight your successes. Write a transparent blog or social media post that sheds light on something you’ve done well in. You’ll be offering value both to potential clients and to other companies going through similar growth phases as your own. Be the kind of company that offers inspiration and transparency; it’s the best way to build trust.

6) Create Useful Resources (Like Worksheets or Spreadsheets)

Every business has tasks that can be simplified. Worksheets are a great way to take the common processes and break them down into something more accessible. If, for example, you need to review the content and design of a website (yours or a client’s) it’s possible to create a worksheet that gathers all the necessary answers in order to make the entire process much easier.

Similarly, creating spreadsheets of resources can take a good long while. The process isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Creating these for prospects and trading them for an opt-in is a good way to communicate value whilst getting something in return.

Disruptive Techniques to Grow Signups

When doing cold outreach and getting people to sign up to your application, we know simple outreach doesn’t work.

Here are some tips on using scarcity to gain users and more than triple your sign ups.

How to grow signups

1. The “Waiting in Line” Approach
While walking down the street, have you ever seen a line of people waiting outside a store, concert hall, etc? Your immediate response is to crane your neck to see why there’s such a long queue. Generally, what’s going on in the back of your mind is, “That’s a lot of people, whatever is going on must be cool. What am I missing out on?”

By announcing that your app has a waiting list, you create a sense of popularity. When there is only standing room left, people feel almost desperate to get in now.

2. The “Limited Supply” Approach
Reward attendees that sign up first. After all, they’re going to be spreading some positive vibes about any  special treatment they receive. A particularly smart move is to allow people to pre-register for items or services that will only be available in limited supply.

For example, when planning its launch strategy, Connect.me allowed users who signed up early to pre-register usernames instead of merely giving an email address.

3. The “Make Money from Scarcity” Approach
Why not validate your idea and make some extra cash at the same time? You may find success in selling beta versions of your product at a discount. If you have a product that’s ready to go, that is. Allowing a select few people into your beta – in exchange for immediate payment – you gain a significant amount of monetary validation for your idea.

4. The “Countdown” Approach
When the clock is ticking, a sense of urgency leads people to make decisions faster. Use this approach when you have cemented a specific launch time. Be sure that your timer counts down to the very second of your launch. By putting a countdown on your landing page, you promote the idea that people need to sign up soon or forever lose out.

5. The “$1*Buyers Per Sale” Approach
This approach to creating a sense of urgency is highly effective. In this approach, buyer #1 pays $1 for the product, buyer #2  would then pay $2, and so on. Simply add on $1 for every 1 buyer and you’ve created a ripple effect that keeps new buyers coming in for more. The first buyer walks away on top of the world with the best possible deal. The last buyer feels comforted by the belief that the product is worth every penny, if only because so many people have made a purchase before them.

As the price goes up, people are compelled to ‘buy now’ to avoid paying more and more as each new buyer causes the price to increase.

6.  The “Refer for Earlier Access” Approach
This approach is an offshoot of the “Waiting in Line” approach. If you want to project the idea that your app has more traction than it does, try an approach where you don’t need to inform people of where they are in the queue or how many others are in line with them. Essentially, when someone pre-registers, they are motivated to share a referral link with their contacts. The more referrals they have under their belt, the closer they’ll move to the front of the line.

Forkly.com made this particular method quite popular during one of their own launches.

7. The “Social Contest” Approach
This is another approach that rewards people for referrals. There are several different ways to do this. You may be successful in combining it with the approach above, and making each pre-signup worth a specific number of entries into your contest. Be sure to give away something related to your product – the end goal is promotion of your brand, after all. Give away something like a lifetime membership, as this will guarantee the use of your product and a spin-off of referrals as well.

8. The “Your Friends Like Us and So Should You” Approach
Think of this as the “birds of a feather” approach. It’s generally much easier to convince a person to sign up if their friends have signed up too. Using Twitter or Facebook logins to accept pre-signups makes this approach even easier.

PACER, Inbound meets Outbound. How to rapidly grow your business l

Step-by-step guidance on how to go from Zero to first 50 customers in any business, existing or brand new. Whether you’re looking to start a new arm of your business or start it from scratch, we’ll shed some light on how you can set yourself up for success. All of our techniques are based on what we have used to grow Goodman Lantern from $0, with no investment raised, to where we are today. We bootstrapped it all the way, and so can you!

The name of the game is being tactful. It’s not about inbound or outbound marketing; it’s about standing out and building trust. You can’t build trust with customers if you haven’t made contact with them yet. If you’re merely relying on blogging, Facebook, or Twitter to pull in the punters, we have some bad news for you: outbound tools, like email, see an average click-through rate of 3.57%, compared to 0.07% for Facebook and 0.03% for Twitter.

If you’ve previously heard that inbound was the only way forward, it’s worth looking at this:

  1. In an interview with Jeb Blount, author of Fanatical Prospecting, he mentions that he “was sold Hubspot on an (outbound) cold call ” (scroll to 42.30). The term “inbound marketing” was coined by HubSpot, yet even they engage in outbound marketing.
  2. Tony J. Hughes, in his blog post, talks about a company which went “full bottle” social selling. They removed phones from the sales floor and tanked their top and mid-funnel.

Why Isn’t Inbound Marketing Good Enough? 

Before we identify why inbound marketing isn’t sufficient on it’s own, it’s worth exploring why people don’t have success with it as an alone-standing approach. It’s worth noting that inbound works very closely with content marketing. The top reason why companies are likely to give up on content marketing, says Roman Kniahynyckyj, is due to the length of time it takes for the benefits to kick in, driven by these factors:

  1. Google indexing: The bottom line is that you need Google to index your website fully. Unless you are an internet phenomenon, based one experience, you are looking at a minimum of  3-6 months.
  2. Time to learn: Writing content takes time and you probably won’t get it right the first time, so you need to maintain a trial-and-error approach.
  3. Building content: Once you have mastered the art of content creation, you need to build enough volume so it starts to snowball and you begin to receive leads.

Inbound is good but it’s slow, outbound is quick but it’s pushy. What we are proposing is to take the best of both inbound and outbound, making the latter a dialogue. The key is to make outbound part of the 6-8 touches required to convert prospects into customers.

Our focus with this campaign is to rely majorly on email. Why email? 

  1. Email marketing alone drives as much revenue as all other digital channels combined, according to a survey of US marketing execs.
  2. Email is 40x more effective for customer acquisition than Facebook and Twitter combined.
  3. Marketers generate 174% more conversions with email than social media.

The Inspiration

Where did the idea come from?

I will be the first to admit that the idea is inspired; it came from an email which I received in 2016 from Laura Hannan. It was probably the most well-crafted email I have ever read and I had no option but to respond asking for more information.

Subject: Goodman Lantern’s Role in the Future Smart Home

Hi Raj,

I’d be interested to understand if you have a view on where Goodman Lantern might sit in the future smart home.

The smart home future marketplace is not properly defined yet, so JM of EC (Wiki page) has created an ecosystem of organisations who want to lead or participate in this exciting field.

Members include utilities, telcos, insurance, property, manufacturers, digital enablers and start ups.

They share insight, ideas, and by utilising each others strengths, technology and consumer bases, they co-create and test applications for the future smart home.

Can we please set up a call to discuss?

Laura

This email was doing the following:

  1. Selling me an opportunity to be part of an elite group in exchange for a phone call, without spelling this out.
  2. Qualifying me to see if I’m in the space of smart homes.
  3. Testing if I’d be interested in transacting with other members.
  4. Finally, it’s up to me if I’d be interested in a phone call.

This is a push form of marketing where I have to request or ‘pull’ information. Now, here is the backdrop to this information: the person referred to as JH is someone who I know, as she has been on various business websites / social media sites, really getting her inbound marketing right.  As a result, this combination of inbound and outbound marketing worked. Had there been no email, I would have never signed up. I would have never reacted to this via a Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook ad etc, as I wasn’t searching for it.

So how did Laura find me and get in touch? What is the process?

Here is a step-by-step guide on how this can be achieved over a 3-month period:

1. Develop tool or content

2. Develop list of emails

3. Send out emails

4. Monitor results / compare with the industry

5. Repeat

PACER

We call this technique the PACER (Promote > Collect > Email > Analyse > Repeat)

PACER.png

Promote

According to Eric Worre, Go Pro: 7 Steps to Becoming a Network Marketing Professional, you need to give away something in order to invite people to your network. To start your promotion, you need to give knowledge, webinars, software tools, and other freebies to get your target market interested in what you’re offering. Some call it Inbound marketing, others Karma, but the fact of the matter is that genuine promotion is about giving, not taking.

Collect

Once you have done your promoting, you need to find a way to collect the email addresses of your target market and proactively email them. This is very much an outbound tactic, and yes, you will approach them cold. If you have done your promotion right, they would already have heard of you.

There are various tools in the market that enable you to collect email addresses. Alternatively, you can use data marketing agencies to buy lists. In a bid for shameless promotion, we also offer a free tool to help you generate a B2B list of leads including phone numbers and email addresses.

Email

Once you have collected the email addresses, you need to carefully draft an email and send it out using a mail merge tool. Be warned: please don’t send out newsletter or HTML emails, the default option on Mailchimp.

This section has three parts:

1. Drafting emails which generate high conversions

2. Sending out the emails

3. Developing effective landing pages

Analyse

This is probably the most import aspect of the campaign. You need to make sure your campaign actually reaches the goals you’ve set and that you get responses. The best outcome of the campaign is that you receive several positive responses, mostly in the form of signups or a direct response to the email.

This email campaign will generate a much higher response rate than the industry email marketing statistics. Our previous campaigns on average have the following responses:

Open rates should be 45-60%
Average open rate is 9.2-20%

Click through rate of 4-11% and
Average CTR is between 1.25-5.13%

Conversion rate of 2-5%

Repeat

Now repeat the process with new data and keep doing this recursively till you find a target market.

Let us know in the comments if this worked for you. We are always keen to hear success stories

Overseas Market Introduction Service

What Does OMIS Entail?

The Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) provides support for businesses pursuing export activities overseas. The information provided often includes competitor analysis, market reviews, bespoke events, and assistance with adjusting to local business etiquette and culture. Essentially, OMIS gives businesses an instant link to invaluable insights and set them on the right track. This service is tailored to each individual businessperson and assistance depending on the needs of the client. 

OMIS activities and support can include market information, advice and practical support, such as:

  • Understanding how to do business in the market
  • Having the confidence to explore or expand in a new market
  • Market analysis and feasibility studies
  • Identifying business opportunities and prospects
  • Understanding the competition
  • Identification, assessment and contacting of potential distributors, partners and contacts
  • Promoting business and products through events such as receptions and product launches
  • Meeting arrangements with business contacts
  • Deciding on the best market entry strategy
  • Understanding local regulations and standards
  • Overcoming barriers to entry or expansion
  • Raising profile and credibility in the market

Why is an OMIS Report Helpful?

Any business aiming to expand in the overseas market may face barriers in accessing the right international contacts or partners. Additionally, it can be equally challenging to find the best ways to operate in a specific overseas market and to successful market entry strategy in an entirely new sphere (both economically and culturally). Businesses seeking to increase profits by employing an effective overseas promotion may find OMIS to be particularly helpful.

There is no doubt about it: internationalisation is a difficult task. Differences in time zones, languages, and cultures are inescapable obstacles that must be faced. OMIS provides a wealth of practical support, advice and key market information, supporting business owners through each stage of their international expansion.

Each expansion starts with the process of market research. However, international research can be particularly challenging without contacts ‘on the ground’. The socio-economic environment is often quite specific, something not many business owners are used to or even aware of. Even when the necessary research information is in another language, OMIS teams can prove invaluable in finding the information needed. Unsurprisingly, these reports can open doors that would otherwise remain closed.

When it comes to actually visiting an international market in person, OMIS can be handy too. Booking meetings for a market visit and sending marketing material abroad can be time-consuming and frustrating. Using OMIS’ market specialists removes considerable stress and hassle both during the organisation of your visit and once you’ve actually landed in the country.

Thus, OMIS puts you in touch directly with overseas markets. It is beneficial for business, as it helps with the following:

  • Access the right international contacts or partners
  • Provide insight of the overseas market
  • Find the best way to do business in a market
  • Achieve a successful market entry strategy
  • Increase profits by using effective overseas promotion

What are the Characteristics of a Good OMIS Report?

It’s likely that the closer a business is to entering a chosen market, the more practical the services will need to be. Key tips here are the followings:

  • Mix and match OMIS services to select those that best meet your needs and requirements
  • Use OMIS for ‘value added’ services (i.e. activities that you are unable to easily do yourself)

For market research, one needs to choose between depth and breadth depending the current level of understanding. It is necessary to dive deeper into the market if there is  already an understanding of the broad brush strokes.

To obtain a comprehensive OMIS report businesses need to:

  • Provide a fully comprehensive brief of their request
  • Specify their objectives
  • Maintain personal involvement throughout the OMIS process
  • Set up milestones and due dates
  • Ensure that they obtain sight of draft/initial research so that they can be involved in final revisions/tweaks
  • Once the research has been completed, business owners need to make sure that they sign off on the brief and they you’re happy it has been met
  • Prior to sign off, businesses should ensure that they obtain any final amendments that they feel are needed.

A typical content of OMIS market report includes:

  • Identification of market size, market potential and key trends within a marketplace
  • Provision of localised industry and sector advice
  • Analysis of possible routes to market
  • In-country competitor analysis
  • Assessment of the potential level of demand for your products or services
  • Identification of opportunities and prospects.

If you are looking for an Overseas Marketing Report get started today with a Free Trial

Goodman Lantern ties up with Startup Grind Conference to Offer a 47.5% Discount

LONDON and SAN FRANCISCO, 24th October 2016. Goodman Lantern, one of the UK’s most prolific new market research and content development companies, has recently announced an exciting new partnership with the Startup Grind Conference to offer attendees a 47.5% discount on tickets to the event. Goodman Lantern works with  SME and enterprise customers helping facilitate conversation between the two.

Startup Grind is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs and is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs connecting 400,000 founders in over 200 cities. The Startup Grind conference is one of the highlights of the entrepreneurial sphere, offering budding business owners a chance to rub shoulders with industry leaders and pick their brains on pertinent topics. Past speakers include the co-founder of Twitter (Biz Stone), Airbnb (Nate Blecharczyk) and Slack (Stewart Butterfield).

We at Goodman Lantern believe that the best way to connect is face-to-face.  For this reason, they have arranged an exclusive 47.5%* discount for the Startup Grind Conference held in San Francisco on 21st Feb 2017 using the code Code12345, expiring on 14th November. For further information email startupgrind@goodmanlantern.com.

Professional conferences are a great platform for training and peer-to-peer interaction. These events are the number one place for entrepreneurs to learn new and more effective ways of conducting business. The actionable tips and statistics that business owners are able to collect from industry leaders are invaluable. It is just as important to note that attending these conferences can lead to viable solutions for fundraising efforts as well as an opportunity to sell to both enterprise and startup customers.

* The total discount on one full price ticket when buying 2 for 1 is 47.5%. Applying the code gives attendees a 5% discount on all tickets available until 14th November.

Using SWOT Analysis for Clever Content Strategies


In terms of business analysis techniques, a thorough SWOT analysis is possibly the best means of identifying the feasibility of an impending venture or project. This analytical tool is used for the identification and categorization of internal and external factors. Strengths and weaknesses in SWOT analysis are termed as internal factors while opportunities and threats are termed as external factors. Potential ventures are only considered as serious possibilities only when the strengths and opportunities outweigh the weaknesses and threats.

SWOT analyses, flexible as they are, can be conducted for the following:

· a situation

· an organization

· a project

· a new venture

· a country

· a nation

· individuals

While some factors in the SWOT analysis are internal to the venture being undertaken, others are external. Internal factors, quite naturally, involve the internal operations and resources of the organization including the strengths and weaknesses inherent to the project/ venture. External factors, on the other hand, relate to the external environment and elements on which the organisations have no influence, including opportunities and threats.

In order for a SWOT analysis to be carried out correctly, it necessary to focus on internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) before moving on to the external factors (opportunities and threats). This is a fairly straightforward strategy as it is of the utmost importance that you should have a full understanding of the inner workings of your company before considering the world outside.

Internal Analysis: Strengths and Weaknesses

A full internal analysis of your organization will always include its culture, expertise, resources, and unique qualities within the marketplace.


Strengths

A company’s strengths are the basis on which success can be made and sustained. They are, in short, the qualities which enable a business to achieve its goals; adding value or offering a competitive advantage. These qualities should be considered from an internal perspective as well as from the viewpoint of customers and competitors.

Your strengths refer not only to what you are well-versed in or what you have expertise in, but also the traits and qualities your employees possess (individually and as a team) as well as the distinct features that give your organization its consistency. Your company’s strengths include human competencies, process capabilities, financial resources, products and services, customer goodwill and brand loyalty.

In order to discover your business’ strengths, you may wish to consider the following key questions:

· What advantages does your organization have?

· What do you do better than anyone else?

· What unique or lowest-cost resources can you draw upon that others can’t?

· What do people in your market see as your strengths?

· What factors mean that you “get the sale”?

· What is your organization’s Unique Selling Proposition Add to My Personal Learning Plan (USP)?


Weaknesses

Weaknesses will prevent a company from achieving its full potential. Essentially, any factors within the company which do not meet your expectations can be considered a point of weakness. These should be addressed immediately, and if not eliminated, they should be minimized as much as possible.

Weaknesses in an organization could refer to depreciating machinery, insufficient research and development facilities, narrow product range, poor decision-making, high employee turnover, wastage of raw materials, etc. Any of these problems can place you in a negative light and provide your competitors with the advantage they need to climb to the top.

To discover where your company’s weaknesses lie, it is necessary to ask the following questions:

· What factors that are within your control detract from your ability to obtain or maintain a competitive edge?

· What areas need improvement to accomplish your objectives or compete with your strongest competitor?

· What does your business lack (for example, expertise or access to skills or technology)?

· Does your business have limited resources?

· What are people in your market likely to see as weaknesses?

· What factors lose you sales?


External Analysis

External factors to consider in your analysis include the environment in which your organization operates in, your market, the economy, and all of the 3rd parties involved in the day to day running of your business.


Opportunities

Opportunities arise when an organization can benefit from conditions within its operational environment. These opportunities enable you to plan and execute strategies that secure higher profitability rates and as such gain a competitive advantage. More often than not, these opportunities present themselves for a limited amount of time and should therefore be snapped up as soon as they arise. There is a delicate balance to be found in selecting the targets that will best serve the clients while getting desired results.

Opportunities often arise from changes in:

· Technology

· Markets

· Government Policy

· Supply methods

· Social Patterns

· Population profiles

· Global offerings

· Lifestyle

The followings key questions need to be considered:
· What opportunities exist in your market that you can benefit from?

· What interesting trends are you aware of?

· Is the perception of your business positive?

· Has there been recent market growth or have there been other changes in the market to create an opportunity?

· Is the opportunity ongoing, or is there just a window for it? In other words, how critical is your timing?

Threats

Threats arise when conditions in your external environment jeopardise the reliability and profitability of your business. Threats are uncontrollable, particularly when they relate to the aforementioned weaknesses within your company.

Contingency plans should be put in place to combat threats when they arise. Not many businesses can survive being taken completely by surprise.

Major sources of threats are the following:

· Competitors reducing prices

· Supply costs increase

· New Technology

· Government regulations

· Economic downturns

· Changes in consumer behavior

Benefits of SWOT Analysis

In addition to the cost-effectiveness of conducting a SWOT analysis, the following benefits are well worth looking into:

· Wide Range of Applications:

SWOT analysis can be used to conduct competitive analysis, strategic planning or any other study.

· Promotes Discussion:

SWOT analysis promotes discussion. It is important that you have your employees on the same page.


· Provides Visual Overview:

 A SWOT analysis is usually presented as a square, each quadrant representing one factor. This visual arrangement provides a quick overview of the company’s position and encourages dialogue.


· Offers Insight:

SWOT analysis can be used to gain insight about the market, giving you a better understanding of your competition.


· Integration and Synthesis:

SWOT analysis gives the analyst the opportunity to integrate and synthesize diverse information, despite it being qualitative or quantitative in nature. SWOT analysis organizes information that is already known, as well as information that has just been acquired or discovered.



· Fosters Collaboration: SWOT analysis fosters collaboration and encourages open information exchange between a variety of functional areas in a firm that would otherwise not collaborate or interact much

Using SWOT Analysis for Content Strategies

A SWOT analysis is the ideal catalyst for targeted content strategies. The main reason for this is simply the fact that a two-step process (data collection and categorization) is all you really need to fuel various different types of marketing content for your business.

Your content strategy can be evaluated according to the following framework:

Strengths

· List 3-4 major internal strategic strengths of your current content marketing efforts.

· Identify what has been working well for you so far (eg. a well-defined blogging strategy)

· Identify your expertise in certain subjects

· Identify potential partnerships that could assist in promoting your content to generate traffic

Weaknesses
· List 3-4 major internal strategic weaknesses of your current content marketing efforts.

· Identify holes in your resources

· Identify problems with tracking your ROI

· Identify where your focus is lacking (lead generation vs closing deals)

Opportunities
· List 3-4 major external opportunities that exist for anyone working within your market.

· Are there paid distribution opportunities worth looking into?

· Are any platforms looking for specific content that you are able to create?


Threats

· List 3-4 major external threats that exist for anyone working within your market.

· Is your content easily replicated by competitors?

· Do your competitors have better resources than you do?

· an organization

· a project

· a new venture

· a country

· a nation

· individuals

While some factors in the SWOT analysis are internal to the venture being undertaken, others are external. Internal factors, quite naturally, involve the internal operations and resources of the organization including the strengths and weaknesses inherent to the project/ venture. External factors, on the other hand, relate to the external environment and elements on which the organisations have no influence, including opportunities and threats.

In order for a SWOT analysis to be carried out correctly, it necessary to focus on internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) before moving on to the external factors (opportunities and threats). This is a fairly straightforward strategy as it is of the utmost importance that you should have a full understanding of the inner workings of your company before considering the world outside.

Internal Analysis: Strengths and Weaknesses

A full internal analysis of your organization will always include its culture, expertise, resources, and unique qualities within the marketplace.


Strengths

A company’s strengths are the basis on which success can be made and sustained. They are, in short, the qualities which enable a business to achieve its goals; adding value or offering a competitive advantage. These qualities should be considered from an internal perspective as well as from the viewpoint of customers and competitors.

Your strengths refer not only to what you are well-versed in or what you have expertise in, but also the traits and qualities your employees possess (individually and as a team) as well as the distinct features that give your organization its consistency. Your company’s strengths include human competencies, process capabilities, financial resources, products and services, customer goodwill and brand loyalty.

In order to discover your business’ strengths, you may wish to consider the following key questions:

· What advantages does your organization have?

· What do you do better than anyone else?

· What unique or lowest-cost resources can you draw upon that others can’t?

· What do people in your market see as your strengths?

· What factors mean that you “get the sale”?

· What is your organization’s Unique Selling Proposition Add to My Personal Learning Plan (USP)?


Weaknesses

Weaknesses will prevent a company from achieving its full potential. Essentially, any factors within the company which do not meet your expectations can be considered a point of weakness. These should be addressed immediately, and if not eliminated, they should be minimized as much as possible.

Weaknesses in an organization could refer to depreciating machinery, insufficient research and development facilities, narrow product range, poor decision-making, high employee turnover, wastage of raw materials, etc. Any of these problems can place you in a negative light and provide your competitors with the advantage they need to climb to the top.

To discover where your company’s weaknesses lie, it is necessary to ask the following questions:

· What factors that are within your control detract from your ability to obtain or maintain a competitive edge?

· What areas need improvement to accomplish your objectives or compete with your strongest competitor?

· What does your business lack (for example, expertise or access to skills or technology)?

· Does your business have limited resources?

· What are people in your market likely to see as weaknesses?

· What factors lose you sales?


External Analysis

External factors to consider in your analysis include the environment in which your organization operates in, your market, the economy, and all of the 3rd parties involved in the day to day running of your business.

Opportunities
Opportunities arise when an organization can benefit from conditions within its operational environment. These opportunities enable you to plan and execute strategies that secure higher profitability rates and as such gain a competitive advantage. More often than not, these opportunities present themselves for a limited amount of time and should therefore be snapped up as soon as they arise. There is a delicate balance to be found in selecting the targets that will best serve the clients while getting desired results.

Opportunities often arise from changes in:

· Technology

· Markets

· Government Policy

· Supply methods

· Social Patterns

· Population profiles

· Global offerings

· Lifestyle

The followings key questions need to be considered:

· What opportunities exist in your market that you can benefit from?

· What interesting trends are you aware of?

· Is the perception of your business positive?

· Has there been recent market growth or have there been other changes in the market to create an opportunity?

· Is the opportunity ongoing, or is there just a window for it? In other words, how critical is your timing?

Threats
Threats arise when conditions in your external environment jeopardise the reliability and profitability of your business. Threats are uncontrollable, particularly when they relate to the aforementioned weaknesses within your company.

Contingency plans should be put in place to combat threats when they arise. Not many businesses can survive being taken completely by surprise.

Major sources of threats are the following:

· Competitors reducing prices

· Supply costs increase

· New Technology

· Government regulations

· Economic downturns

· Changes in consumer behavior

Benefits of SWOT Analysis

In addition to the cost-effectiveness of conducting a SWOT analysis, the following benefits are well worth looking into:

· Wide Range of Applications:

SWOT analysis can be used to conduct competitive analysis, strategic planning or any other study.


· Promotes Discussion:

SWOT analysis promotes discussion. It is important that you have your employees on the same page.


· Provides Visual Overview:

 A SWOT analysis is usually presented as a square, each quadrant representing one factor. This visual arrangement provides a quick overview of the company’s position and encourages dialogue.


· Offers Insight:

SWOT analysis can be used to gain insight about the market, giving you a better understanding of your competition.


· Integration and Synthesis:

SWOT analysis gives the analyst the opportunity to integrate and synthesize diverse information, despite it being qualitative or quantitative in nature. SWOT analysis organizes information that is already known, as well as information that has just been acquired or discovered.


· Fosters Collaboration: SWOT analysis fosters collaboration and encourages open information exchange between a variety of functional areas in a firm that would otherwise not collaborate or interact much

Using SWOT Analysis for Content Strategies

A SWOT analysis is the ideal catalyst for targeted content strategies. The main reason for this is simply the fact that a two-step process (data collection and categorization) is all you really need to fuel various different types of marketing content for your business.

Your content strategy can be evaluated according to the following framework:


Strengths
· &nbs
p; List 3-4 major internal strategic strengths of your current content marketing efforts.

· Identify what has been working well for you so far (eg. a well-defined blogging strategy)

· Identify your expertise in certain subjects

· Identify potential partnerships that could assist in promoting your content to generate traffic


Weaknesses
· List 3-4 major internal strategic weaknesses of your current content marketing efforts.

· Identify holes in your resources

· Identify problems with tracking your ROI

· Identify where your focus is lacking (lead generation vs closing deals)


Opportunities
· List 3-4 major external opportunities that exist for anyone working within your market.

· Are there paid distribution opportunities worth looking into?

· Are any platforms looking for specific content that you are able to create?


Threats
· List 3-4 major external threats that exist for anyone working within your market.

· Is your content easily replicated by competitors?

· Do your competitors have better resources than you do?

Survey on 'Why top level executives attend conferences'

In an effort to learn more about the conferencing behaviours of Fortune 1000 executives, Goodman Lantern conducted a survey featuring 191 top-level panelists. Our main aim was to discover why these executives choose to attend certain business events, how they research upcoming conferences, and what motivates them to participate as exhibitors or sponsors rather than attending in an observational capacity.

Why top level executives (Fortune 1000) attend conferences from Raj Anand

Download the entire presentation (free)

Determining the “Worth” of Attending an Event

An overwhelming 62.6% of respondents choose to attend conferences based on the quality of marketing and communication received before the event. The second-most popular method, ranking in at 41.3%, of decision-making in this regard is learning about these events from peers and colleagues.

Reasons for Attending an Event

One of our main motivators in conducting this survey was to discover why Fortune 1000 executives attend certain conferences and events. Most of our panelists, around 68.9%, claimed that these events presented a wealth of networking opportunities – clearly a driving force behind making their decisions. The runner-up reason for attending events was to meet experts and speakers face-to-face, a motivating factor for nearly 31% of our panelists. At least 21.1% of the executives interviewed stated that they saw event attendance as a way to invest in themselves and their professional endeavours.

Motivation for Sponsoring or Exhibiting at an Event

According to 51.3% of our participants, industry reports and knowledge produced at the event form the bulk of their motivation for exhibiting at or sponsoring an event. The next-highest motivator, 39.9%, for our panelists was the quality of attendees. Additionally, 22.6% of our survey participants stated that a speaking slot was motivation enough for attending a conference.

Produce industry reports and knowledge for your conference via Zero Cost Content via Goodman Lantern’s research platform.