By Christopher Hutchens

This week in inbound marketing we look at four ways you can upgrade your email efforts, a new targeting feature introduced by Facebook, and we'll look at a few studies noting the performance of branded content. 

1) New & Noteworthy

Upgrade Your Emails with These 4 Tactics

If you’re a marketer, you know that email is the most powerful tool in your arsenal to reach customers. But given the amount of ads that people see every day, it’s easy for a company email to come across as just another advertisement and not the personalized message that it’s intended to be. Email isn’t going away anytime soon, but it’s important to know what it takes to be successful in today’s advertising landscape. Here we look at four tactics you can use to update your emails.


Facebook Targets Ads to People Who Visited Brick-and-Mortar Stores

Facebook is constantly coming up with new ways for advertisers to target customers. New platforms, new targeting options, and new metrics are introduced just about every year as the digital advertising landscape continues to evolve. Now Facebook is testing a new targeting tool that allows businesses to target people who have visited their physical brick-and-mortar location. It’s the inverse of what Facebook has done in the past, which is to try to drive people directly to the store. Read about Facebook’s new offline-to-online targeting here.


2) Grow Your Inbound Marketing

Public Relations Didn’t Work? 5 Questions to Consider

The value of PR is not always easy to prove. While it helps increase visibility and can help establish you as an industry thought leader, it’s less predictable and controllable than advertising, which makes the ROI hard to prove to some marketers. The reality is that public relations takes careful planning and has to be thought of as a long-term investment. If you’ve failed at PR in the past or had a few bad experiences, here are five questions you should consider.

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How to Turn Cold Contacts into Marketing Qualified Leads

As marketers, it’s our job to keep our customers and followers engaged. But the reality is that, over time, the people who have engaged with you in the past—who at one point may have needed your service—stop coming in or stop responding to your messages. They’re still contacts in your database, but they’re no longer engaging with your company. So, what do you do? Here we discuss the different ways you can identify cold contacts so that you can work toward turning them into MQLs again.


3) Marketing Reports, Updates, and Trends

Does Branded Content Drive Brand Lift?

As inbound marketers, we’re constantly thinking of ways to produce better content that reaches more people. The days of producing an e-book or putting out a few blog posts and picking up organic traffic and social shares are starting to dwindle. Today’s internet users are pickier about the information they share and the content they download, and this trend will continue as we get more sophisticated as internet users. But brands are adapting quickly, and there are a few strategic ways that companies are staying in front of internet users—and one way is in the form of branded content. In this post, Peter Minnium reviews a study on branded content and discusses the positive impact it can have on brands.


Facebook Now Lets Brands Promote Influencer Posts as Ads

This week, Facebook announced that brands could now promote influencer posts directly on their company page. Previously, brands would have to pay a publisher or influencer to post to Facebook and promote the post. Now with publishers being able to give brands direct access to posts, companies will be able to share posts directly on their page without having to share the original post first. For the sake of authenticity, it’s a big change, because companies will now be able to promote original content directly on their page. Learn more about Facebook’s update here.


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Christopher Hutchens

About the author

Christopher Hutchens is a Marketing Consultant at SmartBug Media. He previously worked as an interactive project manager, helping launch and redevelop websites for B2B and B2C companies. Chris is originally from Chicago and has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Missouri. Read more articles by Christopher Hutchens.