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3 Things To Watch Following McDonald’s Q3 Earnings – Alicia Kelso

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With global comp sales up 4.2% and U.S. comp sales up 2.4%, McDonald’s turned in a strong third quarter, and investors are happy for now. But we all know that running a restaurant chain is about more than just making investors happy, right? Beyond the financials, a number of narratives emerged during the company’s earnings call Tuesday morning that could qualify as storylines to watch through Q4. For starters, the company continues to endure its largest construction project ever with its Experience of the Future initiative…….

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/aliciakelso/2018/10/24/three-storylines-to-watch-following-mcdonalds-q3-earnings-report/#3f804e0d26d5

 

 

 

 

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7 Forms of Content Marketing That Can Help You Generate More Sales Leads – Chirag Kulkarni

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According to a study by Media Dynamics, Inc., customers are shown more than 5,000 ads and brand messages per day, so it’s no surprise that content marketing is becoming one of the most successful strategies for reaching the consumer. People are tired of having traditional outbound ads forced on them, so when a brand steps in with authentic, useful content, consumers can’t get enough. That’s probably why content marketing generates six times the conversion rates of traditional marketing methods.

It’s easy to segment your content marketing to maximize your own conversion rates. Start by creating content based on your product or service, and then use content to target each of your strongest-performing buyer personas. To get even more specific, focus on the various pain points that these buyers are looking to address. According to Curata, 41 percent of marketers have increased the number and quality of their sales leads by utilizing content curation.

While there’s no denying the effectiveness of content marketing, it’s a broad term. Content comes in many different shapes and sizes and can require varying degrees of upfront investment. To improve your reach and generate more sales leads in 2018, focus on these seven forms of content.

1. Create a company blog. You should already have one, but if you don’t, then join the club and make 2018 the year you finally start that company blog. HubSpot notes that 53 percent of marketers cite blog content as their top priority for inbound marketing.

Putting blog content to work is a great strategy. Content Marketing Institute reports that more than three-quarters of all internet users read some form of blog, and they aren’t just passive observers. When given a recommendation by a favored blog, 61 percent of U.S. consumers made a purchase, which is probably why small businesses with a blog enjoy 126 percent more lead growth than their peers that don’t.

2. Use brand journalism. Part of what gives your brand a sense of authenticity is a strong focus on storytelling. Brand journalism is simply about keeping your audience up to date on the story of your company.

Companies such as PowerPost are making brand journalism easier by providing software that coordinates content publishing across a wide range of channels. They also help with content creation so it doesn’t take up your or your employees’ valuable time. After all, content marketing isn’t helping your bottom line if it gets in the way of running your business.

3. Add video content. According to Cisco, 82 percent of all internet traffic by 2021 will be video. It’s taking over the internet, but it’s especially significant in the social media sphere. When it comes to content, an Animoto survey found that customers prefer viewing a video 4 times more than reading text. This hasn’t escaped the attention of marketers — almost 70 percent say they’re ramping up spending on video production.

4. Curate content from influencers. Word of mouth is one of the most effective types of marketing, and online influencers can amplify that approach with powerful megaphones. YouTube is an especially effective means for influencers to reach their audiences — 70 percent of teenagers on YouTube relate to their favorite influencers better than conventional celebrities. According to a 2017 poll by PMYB, 28 percent of marketing managers reported that influencer marketing was their fast-growing method of acquiring customers online.

5. Spice up statistics with infographics. Customers prefer video over text, but an infographic allows information to be digested even faster. Infographics draw customers in quickly while communicating several paragraphs’ worth of messaging in a single visual, and the appeal is undeniable. On social media, infographics are shared and liked three times more often than other content varieties, according to research compiled by Lucidpress.

6. Employ Google AdSense. This advertising tool from Google puts display ads on websites that pay a commission each time they’re clicked. Google automatically scans your website content so it can display the most relevant advertising, meaning some ads are worth more than $1 per click for the website owner. AdSense is a great way to monetize a blog, yielding dollars that you can then reinvest in content generation.

7. Create an online course. If your business has expertise in a particular area, sharing it with your audience will help you gain a loyal following. If you’re not sure where to start, there are a number of marketplaces for online courses worth checking out, and certain software solutions can make the process of putting together a course simpler for you and your students.

Whether you rolled out a content marketing strategy for the first time in 2017 or you’ve been utilizing this marketing gold mine for years, there are many ways to optimize your content marketing performance in the coming year. Using some of these tools and techniques can help you generate more leads and acquire more customers, but remember that consistency is crucial when it comes to content marketing. Put in the time and effort, and you’ll reap the rewards.

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To Be a Better Salesperson, Master Your Ego and Bend Time – David Meltzer

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In the early ’90s, my first job out of law school had me selling legal research at Westlaw, where I was trained by Mike Bosworth, a solutions selling expert. He taught me that a good salesperson needs to have two important characteristics: empathy and ego.

I believe that this approach is outdated, as ego and empathy are related in my view, and this formula certainly needs to be upgraded. There’s another important factor to be added that Bosworth did not consider when it comes to achievement in business: time.

There are two things that often get in our way when it comes to sales, business, or life: our perception of self (our ego) and our perception of time.

Leggo my ego

The ego has illusionary needs, which can create a waste of your time and energy. The ego also has the need to be right or to be offended. It can cause you to feel a need to be separate, inferior or superior. Ego can cause fear, guilt or shame. It will have you searching for recognition over achievement.

These needs cause you to react in inefficient or ineffective ways. This is why it’s necessary to utilize the following tools that will counteract your ego:

  • Gratitude gives us perspective.
  • Empathy brings forgiveness for ourselves and others.
  • Accountability provides control over everything that’s attracted to our lives.
  • Effective communication lets us draw upon inspiration and share it with others.

When it comes to communication, there are two types of people: One type manipulates, and the other inspires. What’s the difference between the two? Ego.

Ego can hamper any type of relationship, from business to personal, so use those four tools to keep it in check.

Time, activity and productivity

The missing component in my mentor’s sales philosophy was a perception or understanding of time.

I’m sure you’re familiar with this phrase: “Time equals money.” I believe that the way we utilize time is actually what equals money. There’s no such thing as linear time. Like ego, it’s an illusion.

Time in business is directly related to two things: your productivity and your accessibility.

Making optimal use of your time allows you to be productive. It also allows you to be accessible, to be of service. Understanding time pushes you to ask for help when you need it (which saves you time), or to pitch in and help others when necessary (which saves them time).

The best way to “bend” or maximize time is to be a student of your calendar. Now, most people think this simply means you need to look at your calendar at least twice a day. But, no matter how many times you check your calendar, if you’re a busy person, you’re going to forget when things are scheduled, or what events are taking place.

To be a student of your calendar takes consistency, in order to raise your awareness of what’s going on in the organization around you. People who do this are better able to take advantage of the opportunities that are being attracted to them.

Study your calendar both in the morning and at night. Ponder efficiencies and potential problems, and prepare to make adjustments.

You’ll see that your productivity changes and you become aware of new opportunities that exist and now are accessible to you. Equally important, you’ll discover new ways to save time.

In order to instill this strategy in my team, every morning I have a Hill Street Blues meeting (a police “roll call” briefing, for those who are too young to get the reference) where I go through my calendar and ask questions to ensure my employees are students of their calendar as well as the company agenda. This creates a collective belief in accessibility and leads the team to be more effective, efficient and statistically successful.

If I can, I do it, no matter how annoying it may be to others. “Do It Now” is a remedy for procrastination. It tends to take you twice as much time to finish a task if you don’t start right away. And the more you put it off, the less successful you tend to be in the end.

One example of this is email. If I can respond to an important (key word) email shortly after it comes in, I do it now. That way I don’t find myself swamped, overwhelmed and feeling begrudged, at the end of the day when I’m ready to go home, by a slew of emails that have accumulated.

No traps from ego or time

If you understand the traps of your ego and combat them with the tools of gratitude, empathy, accountability and effective communication you’ll soon be seeing success in both business and your personal life.

Also focus on your perception of time, especially as it relates to productivity and accessibility. Learn to “bend time” by being a student of your calendar and practicing the “Do It Now” strategy every day.

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