Blog Ramblings

Need Better Editing? Right This Way, Please.

Posted by Courtney Wachob | May 23, 2017

First things first: No automatic editing tool can ever take the place of a human – nothing is better than a professional editor who understands the natural flow of language and has a strong grasp of grammar and punctuation.

That being said, if you’re the human who does the editing and you want to take a last pass over your work, or if the human who does the editing is unavailable and you absolutely need to send something out, there are several helpful options available online. 

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Topics: content marketing

You Have an Idea – Now What?

Posted by Matt Starnes | February 4, 2016


Pop! An idea!

Did you ever receive a gift that was unexpected and changes the way you see the world? I was lucky enough to receive such a gift for the Christmas holiday. My future mother-in-law sent my fiancée and me a box of books. One was a children’s book.

Written by Kobi Yamada and beautifully illustrated by Mae Besom, I soon discovered that What Do You Do with an Idea? is a book for all ages.

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Topics: content marketing

The second critical role on your marketing team

Posted by Laura Lorenz | August 20, 2014


In my last blog, I began discussing the change in marketing that has occurred over the last fifty or so years. Strategy was the focus of that post.

In this post, we’ll discuss the difference between copy-writers of old and great content writers of today.

When I think about copy-writers, I think of Peggy from Mad Men. Her job was to create promotional materials for the purpose of selling to a specific demographic. It needed to be able to persuade the reader to buy whatever the copy is selling. They used focus groups to see if the copy they wrote would move people to action.

Great content writers today write educational content that helps a potential client figure out how to solve a problem they are having. They need to be able to gently guide them through their buyer’s journey, helping the reader or viewer arrive at the conclusion that their product or service is the only one that will solve the problem.

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Topics: content marketing, outsourced marketing staff

Don't Post Blog Content You Hate

Posted by Dan Kraus | June 19, 2014


Once in a while I see a blog from someone who I like and respect, but that is SO TOTALLY WRONG, that I have to comment on it. This is one of those posts.

Scott Yates – an entrepreneur and writer I respect – recently posted on the Marketo blog this post on Amy Adams and why you must post blog articles that you may hate.

Scott summarizes his point this way “… the short version of how this relates to content marketing is simply this: You can't treat your business blog like a movie. It's fine to like or dislike an actress. What's not fine is to treat your business blog like a movie. The question isn't if you like it. Rather, the question is if the blog is helping you meet your business goals.

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Topics: content marketing

Pandering to Your Audience for Viral Discussions and Testimonials

Posted by leadingresults | September 8, 2013


Sometimes, we all like to be catered to - targeted very specifically.  When I was at Gen-Con 2013, a great example of this was from Noodles and Company that made special coupons disguised as Magic the Gathering cards.

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Topics: advertising, Referral marketing, content marketing, Packaging, Marketing

How Well Do You Know Your Perfect Customer?

Posted by leadingresults | September 2, 2013


First, let’s define perfect customer. The concept of a perfect customer is pretty simple – they are the ones, that if you could get enough of them, it would rock your year. They are profitable; they value your knowledge, experience and you as a vendor partner and they refer you. They are the people you love to do business with. As Duct Tape Marketing Consultants, we call them ideal customers.

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Topics: Referral marketing, content marketing, strategy, Marketing, Sales

6 Reasons your content marketing should not resemble Miley Cyrus at the VMAs

Posted by Dan Kraus | August 28, 2013


The noise about Miley is spot on. She was a train-wreck (and local teenagers confirm this).  Consider Miley’s reputation and her public image as her content, her brand.  Here’s our observation on how she got the marketing of that content dead-wrong.  If you haven’t seen the performance (and can bear to lose 6 minutes of your life), here is the link to it

  1. It was out of context – While Miley may be changing her image, she was so far out of context, that our mind doesn’t make the jump. If you want to transition your audience to a new way of thinking, its best to bring them along one logical step at a time.  A big jump is jarring and will likely lose a substantial portion of them.  If that’s your goal (and it may have been hers) then go ahead – just be prepared for the results.
  2. The performance provided shock over substance – Yes, she got people talking, but there can be bad press too. For celebs, it may not matter, but for your business, it probably does.
  3. You content has to be honest to who you are – Miley, trying to act like a rapper or boy from da 'hood, just looked silly.  Not only is it not in our image of her, she was also bad at it. It looked contrived and dishonest.
  4. You should be respectful your audience’s time: Give them something of value -  Miley’s performance was hollow, light, all antics and no substance. (well maybe she doesn’t have any substance anyway).
  5. Let your content set a good example: If your ideal target customer and persona expect flash and over the top (because that’s the business you are in) then great.  Remember, your prospects and customers are looking at your content as an example of what it would be like to do business with you.
  6. Use the filter you were born with (especially in a blog); just because you can say it, doesn’t mean you should – Where did Miley ever get to the place where she thought that this was a good idea? Yes, she had the stage, but she could have said no at any point, or changed the direction.

We all make mistakes with our content.  And making one or two of these at the same time is not fatal.  Please do us all a favor though and try not to make all six at once.


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Topics: content marketing

Best quotes from Hubspot Inbound 2013

Posted by Dan Kraus | August 23, 2013


The Leading Results team just invested 10 man-days at the Hubspot Inbound conference (3 of us for 3 days and 2 of us for a half day). If you are a marketer, you want to put this conference on your calendar for next year. The amount of great content and new things to learn was just about overwhelming. And it wasn’t all (or even mostly) about Hubspot software.  It covered marketing, life, customer delightion (a Hubspot word), charity, technology and trends – and those were just the sessions I personally went to.

There were great quotes from all the speakers throughout the conference – and some we thought worth sharing and considering. Here they are:

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Topics: content marketing, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Sales

How to Get Found In the Sea of Content

Posted by leadingresults | August 4, 2013


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a hot topic. How do you get found amid a sea of other websites out there? There are three main ways that you can get found online. The easiest way (please be clear, I did not say best!) is to buy Pay-per-click advertising. The second easiest way (again, not best!) is to hire a firm that specializes in SEO and hope they can get you listed where you want, without getting you blacklisted. The third way is go do good old fashioned content publishing. Let's take a quick look at all three methods.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Search Marketing, B-to-B Marketing, content marketing, Inbound Marketing, Marketing

Connections, connections everywhere, and not a one to pitch

Posted by leadingresults | July 8, 2013


“I have over 6,000 linked-in connections!” 

I met a small business owner this week who made the previous boast.  And yet later in the same conversation he lamented how it seems that for all the hard work he's done in developing his LinkedIn network, it really isn't helping him develop any real connections or sales opportunities.

And this is where today’s discussion of social networks will start.

We, as humans, can really only maintain up to about 250 active social connections at one time- and even fewer (less than 15) as our “immediate tribe or family”. As soon as you are over that number, you have what are termed “Facebook friends”  Not people on the proverbial Christmas card list, but people who you know of, and know of you. We do not however think of our Facebook friends regularly or first when we look to make referrals and introductions- they simply aren’t and can’t be top of mind.

This is also, by the way, why weekly referral groups like BNI can be much more effective than monthly chamber of commerce type events.

So our business owner with 6,000 Linked in connections, it seems to me, may not have any real connections at all.   What they do have is an advertising platform to attempt to reach and connect with people who have connected with him… likely to do the exact same thing! (connect without connecting!)

This is a perfect example of a very broad network-  lots of very weak connections.

How should they use that social media platform?

Two answers:

1) As a content based advertising platform following the 10:4:1 rule of thumb:

  • 10: Re-broadcasting 10 pieces of other people’s content relevant or interesting content to your connections (content that reinforces who you are/what you believe).
  • 4: Initiating and promoting 4 pieces of your content that you’ve created/written/had commissioned/etc.
  • 1: One direct sales promotional piece that is a direct promotional offer.

If you generate a ton of content, you can start to exchange the 10/4 numbers.  I’d start to define a ‘ton’ of content when you are producing at least 30 pieces of content a month.

2) As an introduction engine:   I’m looking for a _________ to connect with ___________.
Being at the center of a pleasant introduction can significantly ‘deepen’ the connection with both of the people.  We, of course, like people that help us, and that we help.  If said business owner started listening for referral/introduction opportunities, they can have a much better shot of quickly deepening those connections.

So what are you doing with the social connections you have built? Or have you been holding off building the connections because you didn't know what to do?  We're happy to help you figure out how to use social channels in your business development mix.  Give us a ring or drop us an email.

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Topics: Lead Generation, B-to-B Marketing, Referral marketing, content marketing, Linked-In, Social media, Sales