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Laura PinterMarch 14, 20123 min read

Inbound Industry Report: March 14, 2012

Top marketing news, articles and tips from the second week of March 2012.

Inbound Marketing Measurement

In his video, Visualizing the Funnel, Rand Fishk

in (@randfish) explains why marketers need to rely on more than just basic web analytics when measuring their site's marketing effectiveness. To get started, Fishkin provides the following action items:

  • At minimum, set up first-touch tracking in Google Analytics (GA defaults to last-touch). Or, for a deeper, multitouch look, consider advanced analytics like Mixpanel or KISSmetrics.
  • Segment content that drives visitors, both early and late in the funnel, to determine what type of content is priority. By doing so, you can understand the dichotomy of not only the content that's bringing people in, but also what's successful in leading them through the conversion process.
  • Identify and track the actions most likely to turn into transactions. Once you know what leads visitors down the funnel, you can identify where to invest to help continue that drive.

Shifting Content

Georgy Cohen (@radiofreegeorgy) addresses changes in our content consumption habits, and suggests that content creators plan for time-shifted reading. With our growing “read it later” mentality, publishers must equip content to be readable in any circumstance with these tips:

  • Enable the Shift—In addition to content-sharing features (i.e. “Tweet This”), include time-shifting options, such as "save to ReadItLater," or "Download as PDF."
  • Understand Your Users—Allow audiences to consume content on their terms; the more formats of consumption you provide, the better.
  • Structure Content—Think of it as an application. Services like Instapaper use code for structure, which yields adaptability across contexts, and will help to adopt different ways of delivery in the future.

Blogging for Business

Neil Patel (@neilpatel) shares his content strategies to help businesses create successful blogs. Here’s a snapshot of Patel’s step-by-step process:

  1. Define your top content objectives to maintain focus and consistency.
  2. Utilize social media tools to research and understand your audience.
  3. Create an editorial calendar; manage with publishing tools.
  4. Share only high-quality, interesting content, and include great photos.

Social Media

Keith Paul (@kemipa) defines the Six Social Media Personas You Want to Meet, and explains how social listening can help marketers better understand their target buyers. A reoccurring theme in this week's Inbound Industry Report, Paul emphasizes learning about how your audience finds, shares and consumes content to properly align your products or solutions—and marketing and sales messages—with their needs.

Last week, we filled you in on Facebook's move to Facebook Timeline for brand pages. This week, Red Bull made a splash with a campaign that uses Timeline to engage fans in a scavenger hunt. Using a variety of apps, fans battled for a chance to win prizes, and simultaneously took a journey through the company's history.

In the News

  • The South by Southwest (@sxsw) Interactive conference began in Austin, TX, on March 9, and wrapped up March 13. See recaps across the web on Mashable and other top tech-marketing blogs. And, stay tuned for lessons from our team members that attended in the coming weeks.
  • Apple introduced the new iPad, which is touted as “the best iPad ever made." It features a "Retina display," updated camera qualities, 4G LTE the speedy A5X processor. Apple continues to lead the tablet war, which is also chipping away at the PC industry. The company shipped more iPads last quarter than personal computer shipments by Dell, Lenovo or HP.
  • Government agencies and college athletic departments have fallen under scrutiny for asking job applicants and student athletes to surrender Facebook log-in information.
  • KONY 2012, the viral video produced by nonprofit The Invisible Children, hit the web hard, with more than 78 million views since it was published on March 5, 2012. Mitch Joel (@mitchjoel) calls out the social media lessons that any organization can learn from the video's success.
  • Pinterest continues to gain ground as a hot, new social network, with visually driven clones popping up all over the web. Even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg gave his seal of approval on Friendsheet, an app that organizes Facebook newsfeed photos into a format similar to Pinterest.

Bookmark of the Week

Al Pittampalli (@pittampalli), author of Read This Before Our Next Meeting, shares a flowchart that helps to answer the question, “Is this meeting really necessary?” Pittampalli’s book highlights the challenges we encounter with too-frequent (and bad) meetings, and acts as a guide to streamline the decision-making process.

What articles made your top list last week? We’d like to hear your opinions.