How to Develop an Integrated Content Marketing Strategy That Drives Business Results

Knowing how to develop integrated content is vital. The purpose of this blog is to give you the steps to creating an integrated content marketing strategy for your company. Ultimately, it should help your company stand out from the competition, engage with customers on a deeper level, improve brand awareness, increase web traffic and convert visitors into customers.

What is an integrated content marketing strategy? 

Integrated content marketing is simply a way to use several different marketing channels to ensure that your company is successful at reaching your target market. It is how you create relationships with your customers, and it is a powerful tool to increase brand awareness and customer interest. 

A great example of implementing successful integrated marketing is the “Compare the Meerkat” campaign by Compare the Market, which has been ongoing for almost 8 years. It combines a variety of channels, such as social media, search, television, and other media, as well as genuine meerkat dolls as gifts, to maintain the market’s brand awareness constant.

Step 1: Set realistic goals for your integrated content marketing strategy

The first step in creating an integrated content marketing strategy is goal-setting. Determine the goals for your content marketing and how you will measure them.

One way to do this is to set up a content marketing funnel with a goal for each stage. A content marketing funnel is a process used to turn prospects into customers. It is designed to help businesses use content to attract their prospects, convert them, and retain them. To create a content marketing funnel, you will need to:

  • Identify your target customers and segment them. One of the most popular methods is the customer segmentation method. It categorizes customers into groups based on their characteristics, which are then used to develop marketing strategies. For example, the customer segmentation strategy could involve dividing customers into groups based on their age, income, occupation or other factors. This allows you to create the marketing strategy that would be most effective for each group of people. 
  • Find their pain points. You can discover what customers want to see changed in a number of ways: use a survey, ask your current customers directly, or start a business blog and post a survey link. 

If you decide to use a survey, make it short and simple. Ask three questions: what they want, what they need, and what they would love to have.

  • Create content that addresses those pain points. It might be an interesting blog post or an informative video. Whatever it is, remember that you should provide them with a solution they can’t find elsewhere.

Use the content you create to attract new prospects and convert them to customers, and then use customer retention strategies to keep them coming back. 

Step 2: Build your persona and construct their buyer journey

The second step in developing a great integrated content marketing strategy is to build a target persona and understand their buyer journey. This will empower you to create content that resonates with your buyer.

Awareness stage

Once you have a persona in place, you can create integrated content that addresses pain points and fears associated with the purchase. By doing so, you will fulfill their needs at the awareness stage. It’s important to attract your readers in this stage by solving their problems with educational content.

The ideal channels to distribute the content for this funnel stage are:

  • Blogging (through educational content).
  • Social media marketing.
  • Search engine marketing.

Consideration stage

At this stage of the buyer journey, you will want to show your target customer your services or products while demonstrating how well they meet the customer’s needs and the benefits they offer. It’s important to build trust between your brand and audience.

For the consideration channel, we recommend taking a closer look at these settings:

Decision stage

The decision stage is the final stage of the buyer’s journey. When you have made it this far and it is time for your target customer to decide whether to buy your product or service, you will want to let her explore all the available information and answer any final questions that may arise. 

We think these are the perfect channels for the consideration stage:

  • Knowledge base. 
  • Email marketing.
  • Remarketing.
  • Live chat.

Last but not least, you may consider the buyer journey not as a linear process, but as a wheel. This means you can target multiple stages across all of your chosen channels simultaneously. 

Step 3: Identify the ideal communication methods 

Some of the best ways to communicate with your audience are email, social media, and blogging. 

Email campaigns

Email marketing is the best way to reach out to your customers and prospects. It is highly effective, economical, easy to use, and flexible. You can target your prospects based on their location, interests, and other details. One of the greatest advantages of email marketing is that it’s cost-effective. You don’t need to invest much money in it to see results.

Social media marketing

Social media is a great way to communicate with customers, particularly to find out what their concerns are. If they are not happy with something, you can address it quickly. 

It also allows you to show customers what you are doing and reach out proactively. You can share events, new product launches, or even feedback through social media. You can post photos, videos, and other content they may be interested in. It gives you an opportunity to tell your story and let customers look into your business.

Blogging

As many as 95% of B2B product and service customers say looking at content is a great way to evaluate any business. Content creation is an excellent opportunity to answer your audience’s questions and present yourself as a thought leader.

The best way to create an integrated content marketing strategy is to develop an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar helps you plan each piece of content you will publish, on what channel and when. Using this tool, you’ll be able to stay on track, grow your audience and increase your chances of success.

Step 4: Define key promotional channels

Another crucial step in creating and developing an integrated content marketing strategy is defining what promotional channels to use. You’ll also want to define your goals for each channel and the steps you need to take to achieve them. 

Successful integrated marketing allows each individual to сhoose the time and channel to consume desired information. Here are the most common promotional channels:

  • Direct marketing: This type of marketing can deliver a customized message to your audience through online adverts, database marketing and emails. 
  • Email marketing: The benefits of email marketing include being able to reach a targeted audience in a less expensive way with a high conversion rate.
  • PR: PR is a great way to get more exposure for your brand, and as a result to reach new potential customers.
  • Digital marketing: Digital marketing helps you connect, convert and retain customers with the help of the internet and online technology such as web pages, email, apps and social media.
  • Social media: This channel lets you promote your content while engaging with your audience. By using social media to communicate, you can share your content and promote it on your own social media pages (paid options also available) as well as in related groups. 

It’s crucial to your integrated content marketing strategy that you choose the right channels. Remember: only by targeting the right digital channels will you be able to generate significant results.

Step 5: Take advantage of other valuable resources

If you want your content to be read and shared, you need to produce high-quality, valuable information within it. But you might find this time-consuming and realize it requires a skilled team of content producers. You also need the right SEO strategies to make sure your content will be discovered by potential customers. 

For an integrated content marketing strategy that performs well, you may need to enlist the help of a valuable outsourced partner. Tempesta Media’s managed service solution offers full digital marketing services as well as access to an expert writing team. These benefits will streamline your content production.

Step 6: Analyze the results and improve

Another action to take when you’re looking to create an integrated content marketing strategy is to figure out the best way to analyze your own results. This way, you can determine what you need to work on to improve. You’ll want to focus on the metrics that matter the most to your company. A potent way to measure your results is to use key performance indicators (KPIs)

You can use these metrics to measure everything from how many  sales you’ve generated in a specific time period to the number of website visitors or social media followers you’ve gained. It’s important to take into account what has worked and what has not and adjust your integrated content marketing strategy accordingly.

In summary 

A clearly defined strategy is one of the most important elements of a successful content marketing campaign. In this article, we provided a step-by-step plan to create an integrated marketing campaign that generates the best possible results. 

Tempesta Media can design and execute an integrated content marketing campaign that is customized to your business and delivers the results you want. If you need help creating and developing an integrated marketing strategy, contact us.

100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing, and Scaling Content Marketing Programs

100 mistakes eBook – learn from the mistakes of others and get content marketing results today.

Our comprehensive eBook will guide you on the ways of quickly improving content marketing programs. This work is a result of analyzing business’ content marketing programs across financial services, business services, and healthcare industries and discovering common issues that companies typically do. With our recommendations, you will be able to scale up a content marketing program and detect potential issues along with guidance to solve it.

Get the right direction on how to:

 



Get more out of your existing content marketing program with recommendations in our e-book, “100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing and Scaling Content Marketing Programs.” At nearly 70 pages, our e-book contains 100 different content marketing recommendations to help you implement a successful program and generate great results.

Merging Human Industry Expertise With Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Tempesta Media and Craftly.AI partnership takes expert-driven content marketing to the next level.

September 15, 2021, MICHIGAN CITY, IN:Tempesta Media, a performance-based content marketing solutions leader, announces its partnership with Craftly.AI, an AI-powered copywriting assistant.

Tempesta Media will incorporate the Craftly.AI platform as part of its managed solution. The new capabilities will be made available to the company’s vetted industry experts. Craftly.AI’s AI-powered copywriting assistant will help them convert their extensive industry knowledge and subject matter expertise into magazine-quality content. The partnership will benefit writers by increasing productivity and benefit clients with enhanced customer satisfaction and better-optimized content that achieves results even faster.

Leveraging AI for better content

In a rapidly evolving digital marketing world, quality content matters. It remains one of the most effective tools for attracting new customers and converting leads into sales. The ability to continually adapt to the changing online algorithms and industry shifts gives companies an edge over the competition.

“After evaluating numerous solutions, we selected Craftly.AI because of the tangible value it will bring to our industry experts and our managed service clients,” commented Michael Marchese, Founder, and CEO of Tempesta Media. “This partnership further advances Tempesta Media’s leadership as the premier content marketing managed solution for financial services, healthcare, and business services companies.”

“I know that by combining Tempesta Media’s 27,000+ industry experts with Craftly.AI’s creative and original copywriting, we are bringing together the very best of human talent and revolutionary technology. This partnership will produce content that is far superior to either individual component. In the hands of a novice, Craftly can produce great content, but in the hands of a copywriting and industry expert the output can be amazing.” commented Iman Bashir, Founder of Craftly.AI

Click here to learn more about the combined solution.

About Tempesta Media

Founded in 2011, Tempesta Media is a leading performance-based provider of content, social, and influencer marketing solutions that drive revenue for businesses. Our managed service brings together cutting-edge technology with world-class expertise and industry knowledge to drive leads and revenue for B2B companies. We serve businesses across North America in financial services, manufacturing, business services, technology, and trade services. For more information, please get in touch with us at (312) 371-0555 or Sales@TempestaMedia.com.

About Craftly.AI

Craftly.AI is a web-based artificial intelligence copywriting assistant that generates original and high-performing content. By leveraging the largest neural network to date, the technology learns to flawlessly emulate unique communication styles while injecting the necessary formulas for success. Be it billion-dollar brands or freelance writers, Craftly.AI designs marketing tools with a data-driven approach to provide users all the options they need to generate copy for blogs, web, e-commerce, emails, or ideas in seconds. 

Credit Union Marketing Trends in 2021

Credit unions are constantly changing with the times to keep ahead of the competition. To stay current, it is time to take a look at what tendencies are on the horizon for the rest of 2021 and beyond. This blog post will cover top credit union marketing trends and how you can start implementing them to improve your chances of success.

The marketing landscape is changing continuously for the financial industry. To keep up with the latest trends, use the following tips for successful credit union marketing.

Implement digital financial tools

Consumers today are more aware of cutting-edge technologies, which is resulting in increasing demand for self-service banking and other digital-based services (such as financial digital tools). In fact, digital banking stats expect that the total number of mobile and online banking users will surpass 3.6 billion by 2024.  

Through digital tools, consumers can take better control of their finances than ever before. As credit unions continue to experience mounting competitive exposure in the marketplace, the financial industry will ultimately shift toward innovative digital tools that are mutually beneficial to financial institutions and consumers alike. 

Credit unions should invest in innovation to make the transition to a more technologically driven future. Leveraging payment solutions and other delivery channel technologies will enable you to provide a variety of modern mobile cooperative financial services that maintain savings and income within the movement.

Use chatbots to improve customer experience and collect user data

Chatbots are computer programs designed to simulate conversation with real humans. Credit union marketing departments widely use chatbots to offer faster and more direct communication with consumers. 

Some of the advantages of chatbots are that they are easy to deploy, do not consume a lot of time, and can be used to answer simple questions via instant messaging applications. Furthermore, bots are designed to help the customer during the day, but they also collect valuable information about the user, which is a part of banking content marketing efforts.

Bots may be beneficial for automating routine tasks, responding to typical client inquiries, and even closing deals.

Build individual member experience

In the ever-changing world of banking, credit unions are turning to new strategies to stay competitive. One of the most comprehensive strategies is to focus on members. According to the annual American Consumer Satisfaction Index survey, credit unions “fell 2.5% to a score of 77 on a 100-point scale” – behind banks by one point. The more you can focus on your members, the happier they will be, which will ultimately lead to higher customer satisfaction.  

Financial institutions must meet the expectations of educated consumers for a consistent, highly personalized experience across all digital and physical touchpoints, or else members will switch over to another organization. To effectively satisfy customer demands, you should first understand them. Knowing customers’ needs will allow you to match products and services to customer behaviors and intent dynamically. 

Connect with your audience as a part of your credit union marketing campaign

When it comes to credit union marketing trends for 2021, the first thing to keep in mind is who you’re marketing to. You may need to create online and offline events and programs for your target audience. By doing so, you can build trust and long-lasting connections. 

For example:

  • Newsletters. This is one of the most significant ways to reach a target audience in a more personalized manner. Make sure that the language and tone are light and conversational.
  • Infographics. You can make your content more visual by using infographics and videos. People are 30% more likely to send payments faster when persuaded by visuals.
  • Social media engagement. Create social media polls to ask customers about their needs and pain points. It will give you the chance to understand where improvements are needed. Ask the right questions to receive feedback.
  • Content marketing. Provide valuable insights and establish yourself as a thought leader.

Digitize your processes to attract a younger audience

With the proliferation of mobile devices and online marketing, credit unions need to focus on using their digital presence to help engage with younger users and those who want to interact outside the traditional banking content marketing system. 

The millennial market has shown itself to be more receptive than past generations to leveraging new technologies. Millennials are the most active online bankers of all ages. They tend to search offers online, with 31% of them using apps to discover deals.

So, it makes sense for you to consider utilizing these new technologies to further your business. Keep in mind what your customers’ needs are based on their age range. For example, when you think of millennials, it would make sense to consider their struggle of financial uncertainty during these times and propose services accordingly that address their concerns and economic demands. 

In summary

In 2021, a tremendous planned marketing strategy can play a critical role for credit unions. By following and implementing a rapid change in marketing trends in digital banking usage, you will be excited to see what positive impact it can bring for your credit union development.

Tempesta Media’s managed service solution assists financial services firms in generating profits and boosting engagement. We can help scale your strategy to enhance your client base through our extensive experience in digital marketing. Content, social media, and influencer marketing are all seamlessly integrated into our managed service solution for the financial industry to produce revenue for you. 

Contact us to optimize your bottom line performance while minimizing your costs.

Tempesta Media CEO, Michael Marchese, shares insights for start-up CEOs

In celebration of Tempesta Media’s 10th anniversary, we sat down with founder and CEO Michael Marchese to answer a few questions and gain insight into the ideas and inspirations behind one of the fastest-growing companies in content marketing as well as offer advice to fellow start-up CEOs.

Can you tell me about the day you had the idea to start Tempesta Media?

Michael Marchese, Tempesta Media CEO

It’s interesting – it actually happened by accident. Over the 15 years prior to founding Tempesta Media, I had accumulated many valuable domain names.   

I was always looking for a better way to monetize them.  Ultimately, I developed a company called Pareto Media Networks in 2008. The whole point of that company was to develop these domains into full websites. We developed a pretty cool system that could turn these domains into websites pretty automatically, and all it needed was content fed into it.  That company became successful — we were a PITCHfest finalist at DOMAINfest. By the time the idea came upon me, we were already managing over 2,500 websites.

What ended up happening is we ran a test in the late summer of 2010 to see whether the domain name was what was bringing people to the site or the content. That test proved that content was what was driving not only the visitors but also revenue – much more so than the domain name. While that may seem obvious today, back then, it was revolutionary.

So I had to make a very difficult decision because I saw that content and content marketing were the future. Ultimately, I went back to some of my original investor and said, “You’re going to think I’m crazy, but I’m going to completely shut down the successful business that we have and move it into this completely unproven area. It’s going to take us a couple of years of no revenue or very little revenue while we go and build all this stuff out. But I think this is the future!”

Now, imagine going to your board or your investors and telling them that kind of thing. Clearly, it took some convincing to do.  In 2011, we formally started Tempesta Media, while using the month that we discovered the idea – August – as our Founder’s Day. We moved much of the technology we developed with Pareto Media Networks, and the rest is history.

So you decided to take a risk when you started Tempesta Media?

It was a huge risk. Can you imagine having a successful and growing product and all of a sudden saying, “You know, we’re done. We’re not doing this.” And it was actually incredibly fortuitous that we did make the leap. A lot of people thought I was crazy at the beginning!

That decision was the right decision because what ended up happening was Google moved into the marketplace and started offering their own domain parking service. And then probably two years after we started Tempesta Media, Google shut down their whole domain parking business and essentially killed the entire industry. So, they eliminated all the competitors. They became the number-one dominant competitor, like they are here in search today, and then they just shut it down. So imagine the hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars that were lost across the industry because the industry died. If we hadn’t made that move, we would have been dead.

What did content marketing look like when you started Tempesta Media?

Content marketing didn’t exist, as we know it today, when we started Tempesta Media. We were one of the pioneers that helped get it started, at least digital content marketing. There was offline stuff that was happening for years before that.

I remember that when we said that this [digital content marketing industry] was going to be one of the trends, one of the things that we looked at was millennials. At that time, they were the new generation that was just entering the workforce, and I had observed that millennials did not actively work with what’s called push-based advertising.

They didn’t like advertising pushed on them, like television commercials and banner ads. Instead, they wanted to grab the information they needed themselves – when they wanted it and how they wanted it. That concept’s called pull-based advertising, and content marketing is the cornerstone of that.

So, we noticed that trend, and that’s when we really started to define the industry. We rolled out some of the first content style guides, now called Voice ProfilesTM that we trademark and own, and a lot of other innovations that really separated us.

In fact, I could say today that the revision rate for content at Tempesta Media is 90% better than anything in the industry. And that just goes to show that when you lead and you’re early on within the industry, you can do some innovative things years before other people.

Would you say you were a pioneer in the content marketing field? The first to move into this niche?

Yes, we were one of the first ones. There was a cluster of companies at that time that rolled out all within 36 months of each other.

What were the main challenges for the company at that time, and how did you overcome them?

It was pretty funny – because the industry wasn’t defined, we had to define the industry. So that meant developing the messaging, the business model, the financial model, and the pricing model for a new industry where there were no references.

As an example, we were one of the first ones to roll out subscription pricing for customers. We were one of the first company to put out research on how this new industry was doing. I remember probably the biggest challenge that we had early on was working with venture capitalists about our industry.

Ninety-nine out of the 100 VCs that we talked to had no clue whatsoever what content marketing was. They couldn’t understand it, they couldn’t grasp it, and therefore, it was very difficult for them to find a reason to invest in the company.

Fortunately, because of the relationships I had established over my career, I was able to turn to angel investors to be able to help fund the company early on.

As a first mover, if you were to compare the time when you moved to the industry and today, how has the world of digital marketing changed over these 10 years, and how has the company changed?

The industry has changed dramatically.

First, there is no longer the issue of whether or not content marketing works or is a viable channel. It absolutely is. In fact, with B2B companies that do content marketing, over 40% of their digital marketing budget is now spent on content marketing. That’s up from practically zero 10 years ago. So that’s a great acknowledgment and validates that this is the industry to be in.

I think that another big change for the industry is that there has been that shift that I predicted – where we’d move from push-based advertising to pull-based advertising.

You mentioned the shift from push-based advertising to pull-based. Can you explain a little bit more about that?

Sure, so imagine the world in the year 2000. The internet as we know it today had only existed for about 6-7 years. So, from when Netcom© rolled out NetCruiser©, which was the first internet browser in 1993, to 2000, it was all about growth of internet users and usage of the internet. Advertising was very much a secondary function up until about 1994. Actually, I was with a company that later became Monster.com, and we launched one of the first banner advertisements.

The reason I’m giving that backdrop is that at that time, consumers were accustomed to having advertising put right in front of their face, whether they wanted it or not. So if you think about a magazine: You opened up the magazine, and there were advertisements right there. If you looked at a television program, you had commercials interrupting your viewing. On the internet, you had banner advertisements blocking what you wanted to see or riding along with what you wanted, whether you wanted to see them or not. That’s called push advertising.

At around 2000, millennials began to come onto the scene. They were quickly starting to enter the consumer marketplace. They had grown up in an internet-immersed world, and they started to become blind to advertising that was pushed upon them. More importantly, just because of the nature of that generation, they were more interested in seeking what they wanted rather than having that information pushed to them.

That whole concept of seeking the information or seeking the marketing or seeking the brand is what you would call pull-based advertising because the consumer is pulling it to them versus the advertiser pushing it to them. That’s the difference between the two.

Now let’s focus more on Tempesta Media itself. What are its greatest developments or achievements in the past 10 years?

10 years anniversary of Tempesta Media

I think there’s a lot. We have served, across our different products and services, well over 10,000 companies. We have also vetted over 25,000 expert writers in the United States. And so, by far, we have one of the most comprehensive writer networks in the industry.

We’ve had multiple awards. I mean, just last month, we were named one of the Top 24 content marketing companies in Indiana, and we’re number four.

We were named by FUND conference – over several hundred other startups – one of the top 10 best startups in the industry at that time [2018].

We’ve been nominated multiple times for awards from the Chicago Innovation Awards.

But I think the most flattering or biggest achievement we can say is how our customers, how our writers, and how our employees feel. And based on Net Promoter Score® surveys, as well as internal satisfaction surveys, we have never been in a better position than we are today.

Michael, can you describe what Tempesta Media means to you on a personal level?

Well, the name Tempesta is actually an Italian word, and it means storm or tornado – “tempest.” I always felt that what we were doing was very much acting as the bad boy on the street or the black sheep and going against everyone to do the right thing. You know, do something, make things better.

Because you have to remember: When we started the company, part of why we came up with the name Tempesta was that the current business environment at that time was not in the best interest of writers or small businesses. Small businesses were going out of business left and right because all the traditional forms of marketing that they relied on – newspaper advertising, magazines, direct mail – they were all disappearing.

And they were getting stuck with a choice of Facebook or Google and nothing else. And with the costs of Facebook and Google, which are still rising, they didn’t even have the expertise to deal with it. And so they were going out of business just because they couldn’t figure out how to adapt to this whole new environment.

At the same time, journalists all across the country, here in the US, were getting laid off nonstop because the newspaper and magazine model didn’t work anymore. So when I said Tempesta Media would be a thing I hold most personally, it’s like, “Man, you know what? You get up every day and can make millions of dollars doing other stuff, but I get up every day knowing that what we’re doing is actually helping people. It’s making the world a better place.” Do something that matters!

You mentioned that Tempesta in Italian means storm. Why did you decide to choose an Italian word? Was it your idea or someone else’s?

Tempesta Media – 2011 “Storm” Logo

Sono Italiano. I’m Italian. My family is originally from Italy. My parents are not native Americans. They are naturalized Americans. And so obviously, I grew up in an Italian household where both English and Italian were fluently spoken.

When we were starting the company, we faced challenges trying to get prospective investors to believe that the world of journalism and small business marketing could be changed.  I felt that we really needed to sweep away this antiquated way of thinking.

I still remember to this day there was one venture capitalist that told us, “You know, what you’re trying to do has been attempted multiple times, and no one has ever succeeded. And they’ve had tens of millions of dollars to do it, and you’re trying to do it with a fraction of that. So it just can’t be done.”

I said, “Well, why can’t it be done?” And they said that it’s just the way it is. And that just pissed me off – you have no idea – and I said, “You know what, these people – the whole table – just need to be cleared, and something new needs to come in.” And that’s where Tempesta Media was. If you think about a tornado, it clears everything in its path.

Can you talk a little bit about the future? Can you share some of the plans and goals for Tempesta Media in the next 10 years? What can we expect?

I guess let’s start off with the industry as a whole. It’s my belief that content marketing, social media marketing, and influencer marketing will all merge together under one common solution. So as it is today, companies typically have to use multiple systems, teams, and platforms in order to execute a cohesive content, social, and influencer marketing campaign. I feel that that’s going to all consolidate into one solution, which, by the way, we are rapidly moving in that direction.

And I think also, you’re going to see the average writer essentially become a cyborg. And you’re probably saying, “What do you mean cyborg? Half-human, half-writer?” In one sense, yes. I think artificial intelligence, combined with smart algorithms and an excellent writer with deep expertise, will make that writer so much better. If they do not have all those capabilities enmeshed within the content that they write, they’re not going to be able to compete.

So we’re going to lead the path on marrying the best of technology and the best of writers’ creativity together into one solution. That’s the second thing I see happening and where we’re going to lead.

To conclude our interview, from your personal experience, what lessons would you want other founders to take away from Tempesta Media’s 10-year history?

That’s a good question. We made a million mistakes to get to this point, and every mistake was a learning experience. So there’s a couple of things that I would recommend.

First off, leverage the cloud. And by that I mean many providers like Amazon, Microsoft, Azure – they provide all kinds of support, credits, and everything else to get you cloud-based. If you are developing a solution that is not cloud-based, you are losing out.

The second thing is venture capital is not the only way to success. It’s not the only path to get there. Many people will tell you to go and spend money on a whole bunch of different things, and at the end of the day, you don’t need them. There is no reason, for example, to hire a PR firm anymore, until you’ve gotten to at least the million or $2 million of revenue. Content marketing has replaced a portion of PR, so there’s really not a need to do that.

Another recommendation that I’d have is hire the very best people that you can financially afford. If you have to reduce even your compensation or go without compensation to get the very best people – do it, because many entrepreneurs think they can just do it themselves, and it is the number-one mistake. What an entrepreneur is supposed to do is really get the very best people, give them all the resources that are necessary for them to succeed, and get the hell out of the way. That’s, I think, a lot of the reason why small businesses and startups don’t scale.

The final thing and the most important thing: Ignore what everyone else tells you. Listen to what your customers tell you and what your employees are telling you based on their experiences with the customers as well. Go and talk to your customers who cancel. Find out why they cancel. Directly. Hear it yourself as the founder and CEO. If you do the things that I’ve outlined, it will save you hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost capital, and it will get you to scale much quicker.

And finally, one other important thing: balance. Entrepreneurs like myself, and I’ll be the first to admit it, we are very much passionate about what we do. However, too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing. Make time for life outside of your company. Even if it is a couple of hours on a Thursday night, do it. You’ll quickly find that if you dial back the number of hours that you work, the hours that you do work will be more productive and impactful.

Posted in Q&A

Tempesta Media Celebrates 10 Years as a Content Marketing Pioneer

The company has served thousands of customers and writers during this time.

August 9, 2021, MICHIGAN CITY, IN: Leading digital marketing company, Tempesta Media, celebrates its 10th anniversary. A decade ago, the company started with a mission to rapidly change the world of digital marketing. The company’s name and logo, meaning “storm” in Italian, symbolizes this goal. In the ten years since its founding, Tempesta Media has helped pioneer the content marketing industry.

Background and accomplishments                                                                          

The company’s founder and CEO, Michael Marchese, started Tempesta Media in 2011, launching the first version of its content marketing platform.

Over the next decade, its platform and managed service would rapidly expand to serve over 10,000 companies. Among its many achievements, Tempesta Media was:

  • Part of the first group of 1871 incubation companies.
  • A Chicago PitchFEST finalist.
  • Named by the FUND Conference as one of the top ten fastest-growing companies.

In 2019, the company moved its headquarters from Chicago to Michigan City, Indiana. “Three years ago, when we were considering where to relocate the company’s headquarters, Northwest Indiana kept coming up at the top of our list of options. There was and continues to be strong momentum and growth,” stated Marchese, himself a graduate of Munster High School and Indiana University.

Tempesta Media today

Not resting on its past successes, the company continues to innovate. Recently, it launched a major addition to its platform, Simple Social Share™, which gives businesses the ability to tightly integrate their content and social media marketing programs together.

Business leaders agree that Tempesta Media continues to innovate with advanced B2B solutions. Jennifer Ratcliff, Director of Digital Media at MNI, commented, “What started out as a basic content management platform 10 years ago has transformed into an end-to-end digital marketing solution that drives revenue and results for B2B companies.”

Powered by a world-class team

Tempesta Media’s team has been a critical part of its success. As Kristan Manley, Director of Service Delivery at Tempesta Media, revealed, “People are the most valuable asset of any business. It’s great to be able to work at a company and in an environment with talented, passionate people.”

When powerful technology is coupled with a strong team, customers see the results. “Tempesta Media continues to lead the content marketing industry with innovative solutions,” commented Jason Wadler, former Co-CEO at JiMMYBAR.

As part of its 10-year anniversary, Tempesta Media is offering several promotions, exclusive to B2B businesses throughout Northwest Indiana. Promotions are available at TempestaMedia.com.

About us

Founded in 2011, Tempesta Media is a leading performance-based provider of content, social, and influencer marketing solutions that drive revenue for businesses. Our managed service brings together our cutting-edge technology with our world-class expertise and industry knowledge to drive leads and revenue for B2B companies. We serve businesses across North America in financial services, manufacturing, business services, technology, and trade services. For more information, please contact us at (312) 371-0555 or Sales@TempestaMedia.com.

Business Development Executive

The Business Development Executive (BDE) will be responsible for driving new managed service subscriptions.  The BDE will be required to prospect for new business via phone and email.  This is a fully remote position, giving the BDE the ability to work with an innovative company from their location.

The ideal candidate has a track record of sales quota achievement, is comfortable communicating with C-level prospects, and enjoys working in a friendly, fast-paced, creative environment.  

COMPENSATION

The compensation and career development plans are targeted towards overachievers.  Six-figure compensation OTE (on-target earnings).  Salary, commissions, and bonuses are part of the compensation package.  Earnings are uncapped and designed to provide market-leading compensation to top performers.  In addition, Tempesta Media offers a competitive benefits package; including stock options, generous paid time off (PTO), and insurance.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

The vast majority of the business development executive’s time will be spent on the following:

  • Prospecting into multiple organizations via cold-calling, e-mail, and social networking.
  • Articulate the company’s value proposition to decision-makers in order to assess their needs, alignment with our solution and purchase intent.
  • Develop proposals that solve prospects’ pain points.
  • Close and successfully transition the relationship to the customer success and service delivery team.
  • Learn and demonstrate a fundamental understanding of Tempesta Media’s managed service– and clearly articulate those capabilities, advantages, and benefits to prospective customers.
  • Contribute to every component of the critical functions associated with fulfilling the sales cycle (forecasting, reporting, etc.).
  • Collaborating with team members, to optimize the sales and marketing process.

This business development executive role is a full-time position and will initially report to Tempesta Media’s CEO and later CRO.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

Technical skills

  • MS Office or Google Office.
  • Previous CRM experience (e.g.; HubSpot, Salesforce).
  • Extensive understanding and usage of social networks.

Professional skills and experience

  • At least 1 year of experience selling a SaaS or tech-enabled solution to small and mid-sized businesses.
  • Experience selling at the $25,000+ annual price point.
  • Previous experience exceeding quota (must be documented).
  • Previous formal sales training or a degree in sales and marketing.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and presentation skills.
  • Superior phone prospecting skills
  • Excellent follow-up/follow-through with prospects.

Before applying for the business development executive position, be sure to learn more about our platform.

How many external links should I include in my blog article?

As search algorithms have evolved over the years, one of the key things that they look for is links. Inbound, outbound, and internal links all play a key role in your search engine ranking.

There are three basic types of links:

  • Internal links – To another page on your site.
  • External links – From your site to another website.
  • Inbound links – From another site to your blog.

The basics of inbound links

Inbound links are arguably the most important of the three. They are like a vote of confidence for your website from a third party, and they tell search engines that your page is a trustworthy source that other people would go to for essential advice and information.

While they are critically important for SEO, inbound links are also some of the hardest to obtain. It’s important that these types of links come from trusted sites, and not artificial links created through fake or spam sites like:

  • Blogs.
  • Wikis.
  • Social media profiles.
  • Directories.
  • Guestbooks.

These low-quality inbound links could actually have the opposite effect and harm your SEO if a search engine punishes you and moves your results down on the page. With algorithm updates throughout the years, such as Google’s Page Experience, search engines are getting better at evaluating page and link quality and spotting artificial links.

The best way to get high-quality inbound links from trustworthy sources is simply to create great content and promote it so others will read it, see it, and want to share it with their own audience. As you get more votes of confidence through these links, search engines will start to notice.

Examples of good external links for your content strategy

External links are links that lead a reader from your website to a site elsewhere in the world wide web. External linking happens when you link to an outside source that you reference in your blog article.

Any SEO practitioner worth their salt knows that it helps to include links in a piece of content. External links greatly benefit your website in terms of building visibility and adding credibility to your content. Just as important is that they add value to the readers’ experience because the links connect them to other valuable information while reading your content.

Content marketers should not use just any link though. As with any source of information, there are good and bad examples of external links. 

How to identify a high-quality external link:

  • The website you are linking to is regarded as a high authority in the industry. A well-respected source will boost people’s confidence in your content.
  • The link leads to a source known for content relevant to the subject matter.
  • The source links to mostly informational websites instead of your competitor companies.
  • The site you are linking to has attracted regular readers and a substantial number of visitors.
  • The source has valid information that gets fact checked (for example… the opposite of Wikipedia)

How many external links should you have in a content article?

Because external links encourage readers to click away from your blog article, you must limit these links and set them to open in a new tab. That way, readers won’t abandon your site entirely. Abandoning your site increases bounce rates, which hurts your website traffic. Ahhh… a perfect example of why SEO can be so tricky!

What, then, is there an ideal number of external links that you should include in your article?

With Google constantly making algorithm changes, no number can ever be set in stone. Some say 2-5 external links, depending on the length of the content, would work. Still, others would not put a limit on the number of external links. Many industry experts, however, advice against linking more than once to the same page.

Based on what we’ve found from our own research:

We recommend 1-2 external links for every 500 words of content. Limit your total number of external links to 5 (which would be for a very long blog article that is approximately 2,000 words long).

What is the best way to include an external link in a blog article?

An external link should be placed within the body of the content. Readers appreciate knowing what they’ll get if they click a link. That is why an external link should be properly emphasized using a concise, relevant and contextual anchor text. This hyperlinked text within the sentence you are linking from should convince the reader that clicking it leads to more valuable information.

What external links should be avoided within the content?

Not all external links are created equal. By all means, take great care and thought into including external links within any quality content. 

Tempesta Media writers and editors meticulously check all external links to ensure they do not lead to competitor websites. They make sure each link works. A broken link is not a good thing. No one wants to be greeted by a web page that is inaccessible because it has moved or the target website is offline. A working link leads to a good reader experience and increased traffic.

Finally, no content should be caught linking to outdated sources with information that may now be incorrect or irrelevant. At Tempesta Media, all external links within a content piece are verified to ensure they are accurate, current and up to date.

Now that you’ve learned about external links, want to learn about internal links? Read our recent blog article: 8 tips on how to incorporate internal links to your content.

Tempesta Media Platform Integrations

Tempesta Media offers many different integrations that allow you to use our platform as a cornerstone of your content marketing efforts. Using Tempesta Media as an extension of your digital marketing team allows you to spend valuable time on growing your company. You can view our integrations here.

Google Analytics

Being able to track your content metrics is crucial for every single digital marketing endeavor. Failing to have this insight can be detrimental when it comes to learning and optimizing your content to perform the best that it possibly can.

Integrating your Google Analytics gives you the ability to see all of your important insights from the Content Analytics tab on your dashboard.

Having easy access to the following metrics is vital when it comes to optimizing your content for SEO:

  • Bounce rate.
  • Organic searches.
  • Average session durations.
  • New users.

Additionally, it gives your customer success manager access to the same data. This means that (depending on your subscription level) you can get additional insights and suggestions from our SEO experts.

WordPress and HubSpot

When you order articles from Tempesta Media, your writer also does the formatting, meta information, and anything else requested in your Voice Profile. Integrating your WordPress and HubSpot allows you to instantly publish their completed content as a draft onto your website. All you have to do is review the draft and post it to your blog. This facilitates consistent and quality content that search engines love.

Social media

Tempesta Media allows integrations with your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter into our platform. You can order and schedule three types of social media posts to your website:

  1. Posts written by you and your team.
  2. Ordered in bulk and written by our experts.
  3. Posts ordered with your blog articles to promote the content.

Having full control over and visibility into your social media is essential to a successful content marketing campaign. Once your content has been posted, everyone on your team is notified via email. The email contains a link to the post so you and your team can easily click, review, and promote your content.

Content marketing and search engine optimization don’t have to be complicated, time-consuming, or confusing. The ability to consistently post quality content that is optimized specifically for your company’s marketing goals does not have to be exclusive to large corporations. Content marketing in this age is more important than ever. Therefore, ensuring that you are using Tempesta Media to its fullest potential is just as important.

Posted in Q&A

I’ve Signed a Contract With a Marketing Managed Services Provider. What’s Next?

There’s a list of items that needs attention immediately after you’ve signed up with a marketing managed services provider. Use this checklist to stay on top of every decision.

So, you’ve chosen a marketing managed services provider for your business. The hard parts of finding the right vendor and negotiating a contract are behind you. However, what you do immediately after signing up will determine your relationship going forward. We’ve outlined a checklist of action items and, most importantly, things to pay attention to going forward.

1.     Start with a kickoff call

This is by far the easiest part of beginning a relationship with the marketing managed services provider. Think of it like an extended agenda for your future touch points. It shouldn’t be overly long and will touch on:

  • Introductions of key team members, such as an account manager, specialists, etc.
  • Important points about your service-level agreement and future support.
  • Outlines for current priorities and areas of focus early on.
  • Expectations for the relationship going forward.

In short, this is a formal greeting between your teams to make sure you’re all on the same wavelength. After that, your work behind the scenes begins.

2.     Define business objectives

Here, your C-suite should come together and lean on expectations established in the previous part. Firstly, discuss your needs internally and get an inventory of all the resources you already have. Secondly, talk to your contact with the marketing managed services provider and work on these steps together:

  • Begin with the target audience. This one depends on the model you use. For example, it can mean a Voice Profile or style guide for content marketing, demographics and psychographics for sales copy, or an ideal customer persona if you prefer that model.
  • Establish key performance indicators. This is the part where you isolate key metrics and focus on objective data. Whether it’s impressions, clicks, opens, time between deliverables, or internal standards, they can all be outlined and tracked later.
  • Specify target goals. Everyone focuses on different matters in marketing. Maybe you’re big on influencer marketing this quarter, or you want to focus on formal press releases to drive industry partnerships your way. Here, make your needs as transparent as possible.

In addition, think about where your MSP can deliver the most value or make the biggest splash right now. Starting a relationship with a win-win is always encouraging for both parties!

3.     Provide the marketing MSP with all the tools they need

Oftentimes after the initial high of a signed contract, we forget about the most basic matters. For example, how often have you had to put off work because someone didn’t give you access to the right account? This can translate into days of unnecessary delays. So, think about the following:

  • Which accounts does your MSP need access to? This includes access to Google Analytics, Search Console, social media accounts, and more.
  • Which systems should they understand before they start work? This means covering marketing strategies, internal procedures, approval processes, and the like.
  • Who should they report to and how? Sometimes, different marketing materials go to different people in your company depending on project. Make sure it’s documented.
  • How will deliverables be tracked? Let’s face it. A lot of information gets lost while emailing back and forth. You should have a system or platform to keep track of tasks. 

To summarize, this part is about tying loose ends before you delve into working together. Both parties should have an easy time navigating each other’s tools and systems.

4.     Review your individual program

Any marketing managed services provider worth their salt will offer an individual program after onboarding. That is to say, they’ll audit your marketing during the earlier steps and determine points where they can close gaps. Here’s how to review and analyze it on your end:

  • Personalization. How tailored are their suggestions to your business goals? Where can they be improved?
  • Expectations. How reasonable is the program in terms of ambition versus reality? Which resources need to be involved in the process?
  • Tracking. What metrics do they suggest using in tracking the success/failure of the program? Who is going to monitor them?
  • Contingencies. What measures are there to address gaps in the program? What are the secondary means of achieving outlined results?

Your job at this point is to sit back and ask good questions. The MSP’s job is to address any gaps in the program and help bring it up to your standards. Don’t stop communicating until both parties are satisfied.

5.     Hold council

Establish regular strategic meetings to touch base and course correct. This is where planning ends and implementation begins – from here, it’s all in management. Moreover, if you both put enough energy into previous steps, this should be the most enjoyable part. It’s where you:

  • Offer and receive feedback. Any healthy business relationship includes both praise and constructive criticism. Therefore, don’t shy away from either.
  • Introduce new priorities. Marketing is never the same. Some new thing always comes up and throws a wrench in the works. Shine a light on new points of focus here.
  • Refine established practices. By now, you know which parts of the program work and which don’t. So, here’s your chance to improve going forward.
  • Monitor metrics. You’ve established KPIs earlier, and now is the time to see how well they’re working out. Above all, focus on the metrics that lag behind.

Strategic meetings are ultimately where you figure out how much ROI your relationship with a marketing managed services provider brings. Moreover, it’s where you expand your program to include new and exciting marketing strategies and (hopefully) create a lasting business relationship.

In conclusion, your journey with an MSP should begin with a kickoff call, go through important business objectives, and offer the tools they need to succeed in the relationship. After that, they should be able to create an individual program for your review that’ll lead to your long-term marketing partnership. From there, it’s all about monitoring the results.

Looking for a reliable marketing managed services provider?

The Tempesta Media team has a versatile marketing platform to meet the needs of our growing list of customers. Learn more about our marketing managed service and join their satisfied ranks.

In addition, we offer education on all things content marketing. We’ve established a community of expert writers who are ready to jump in and create content at a moment’s notice. Find out more about the Tempesta Media platform here.

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