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Sourced from IssueWire

Jeremy McGilvrey Gives Tips for How Small Business Owners Can Grow Their Customer Base with Email Marketin

If you’re among those who think that email marketing is past its prime, then think again. Contrary to popular belief, email marketing is still one of the most successful digital marketing strategies used by companies such as Amazon and HubSpot.

Statistics have revealed email marketing is a lot more successful than SEO, paid search (PPC), social media marketing, and affiliate marketing.

Many successful small business owners use email marketing to grow their customer base. You can either choose to outsource your email marketing or select a staff member to execute it for you.

With the right techniques and the correct use of the data, you can achieve success with email marketing. Let’s dive into some tried and tested email marketing strategies.

I’ll also discuss how these methods can drive leads to your small business.

3 Email Marketing Strategies:

Some businesses are unable to succeed with email marketing because of their lack of segmentation. Segmentation allows businesses to put different customers and prospects into different categories and send email messages that are tailored to their subscribers. When you segment your email list you exponentially increase your odds at succeeding with email marketing.

Segmentation can provide benefits of email marketing as it allows you to create more targeted campaigns for audiences in different phases of their consumer cycle.

According to HubSpot, segmentation works wonders as email marketing KPIs work better when segmented.

Let’s look at an example to understand this better. An email with the same subject line and the same content sent to two different groups (different consumer cycle phases) will result in different outcomes. That is why it is important to segment your mailing list and then create email marketing campaigns that target each list individually to get better results.

  • Personalized Messages

For a consumer named Tom, an email starting with Hey customer and an email with Hey Tom is going to resonate differently. A carefully curated email will give the consumer the right impression. Make them feel that you care about them and that they aren’t receiving randomly generated emails.

Amazon uses this strategy, and the success of the company is in itself is evidence of the success of personalized messaging.

According to Experian marketing services, personalized emails have a 6X higher transaction rate, but 70% of brands fail to use them. This is where many businesses don’t properly gauge the importance of personalized email and gain a competitive advantage over their competitors.

Additional research I discovered stated personalized emails can result in a higher ROI, up to $20 for every $1 invested. As I’ve mentioned above, the most basic yet easy route to email personalization is to address the reader by their given name. You can request the first name in your opt-ins to gain this information and start doing something that 70% of the brands aren’t – using personalized emails.

  • Automated Email Campaigns

With a high number of subscribers to your mailing list, automation becomes a necessity. Knowing when to automate your email campaigns is going to give you an edge over others. The most basic form of automated emails are confirmation emails or welcome or thank you emails.

These are also more commonly known as trigger emails. Interestingly, research shows that trigger emails perform much better than traditional emails. These emails have higher open-rates when compared with conventional emails. Forrester reports that trigger emails-based email marketing strategies can generate 4 times more revenue and 18 times more profit.

Benefits of Email Marketing

I’ve shared some strategies that can be useful for creating effective email marketing campaigns. Now, let’s further solidify those strategies by stating the benefits of email marketing.

Email is still one of the most commonly used platforms of communication. Did you know that during the year 2020 alone, 306.4 billion emails were sent and received each day?

Add in the fact that there will be 4.3 billion email users in 2023. This staggering growth can be communicated as a growing benefit of email marketing as well.

Low Costs

One of the benefits of email marketing is its low costs. You don’t have to pay a premium to have your message appear on a billboard or in a magazine.

All you have to do is invest in software that will automate your emails and track and analyze the data gathered. However, the cost would be significantly less when compared with traditional marketing.

Effective and Easy Communication

Email marketing is your self-curated platform to communicate with your audience and engage with them.

This communication can also result in your targeted audience getting closer to your brand and becoming more loyal. It’s an easy way for your audience to keep in touch with you and stay updated with your latest updates and offers.

Targeted Messaging To the Right Audience

A good email marketing solution is a timely one. And with email marketing, not only can you reach your targeted audience with a personalized message but also target them at the right time.

Segmentation, as mentioned above, can prove to be beneficial in targeting the right audience. Add in the right timing, and your email marketing strategy is fool-proof.

Revenue Generation

The bottom-line of all marketing campaigns is to generate revenue for your company. Email marketing does that, and with lower costs. Add an excellent copywriter to your team and see your call to action resulting in significant revenue for your brand.

According to marketing week – for Virgin Airlines – email marketing was the second largest revenue driver for them after PPC.

Self-Promotion

Promotion is not an easy feat to achieve. That is why brands have to come with unique and new ways to keep promoting themselves. But self-promotion can easily be a part of an email marketing strategy.

It is undoubtedly a tried and tested method of reminding consumers of your presence. And with email marketing, you have a low-cost platform to do so.

Source : Jeremy Mcgilvrey Digital Marketing Services

Sourced from IssueWire

By Michelle Garrett

How will you grab an online audience this year? Here’s how industry insiders see the game.

As we prepare to enter a new year, we all wonder what lies ahead.

2020 was anything but predictable. But what can we learn and apply to our digital marketing and communications strategies in 2021?

Here’s how 21 influencers answer this question: What one piece of marketing advice would you offer to brands as we head into the new year?

1. 2021 will almost certainly be a big reset for human behavior across advanced economies. If the news is right, distribution of vaccines will start early in the year, and begin returning economic and interpersonal activity to 2019-like levels. Major elections and political cycles in the West are at a low point as well, and political/news media consumption will decline while other sources take their place. As such, the best advice I can give for marketers is to reinvest in getting to know your audiences. Their habits are going to change in 2021, probably substantially. The same messaging, content, and distribution channels you’re using now won’t work the same—so it’s time to re-learn who your audiences are, what they care about, and where/how they can be reached. Now.

– Rand Fishkin, SparkToro

2. If you’re in B2B like me, you’re probably putting a lot of energy into your demand gen stack these days. That’s great—but here’s my plea for 2021: Don’t forget the importance of a clear, strong, smart brand! Too many B2B companies have let their brands atrophy as they ramp up the money machine. I get why, but it’s not either/or—you need both. It’s no accident that the best brands tend to have the most effective money machines too. Branding works in B2B just as much as in B2C.

– Doug Kessler, co-founder, Velocity Partners

3. My advice would be to start off the year with an independent audit of all your digital channels and make your plan for the year around this.  Did you ever hear the expression you can’t see the wood for the trees? Our head is buried so deep into our own business it’s very hard for us to see even the obvious issues.  Our temptation is to try something new, but we may be better investing our time in making the things we have already in place better! An independent audit will uncover many great opportunities and give you the impetus you need to create a plan for 2021.

– Ian Cleary, founder, RazorAudit  

4. People should be especially sensitive to racial and other bias in their marketing and PR introduced by AI algorithms. Frequently, bias comes from social networking companies without marketers’ knowledge as the networks use AI to slice people into groups. I foresee a coming backlash to these programs that marketers need to be aware of now.

– David Meerman Scott, marketing strategist and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of “Fanocracy” 

5. Remember to align your values with your value, and use that as the guiding force for how you relate to consumers. If you’re here to make people smile, have fun and be funny. If you’re a helper brand, show empathy. With any luck, 2021 will be a rebound from what a mess of a year 2020 was for so many people and businesses; the best way to earn loyalty, acceptance, and forgiveness from your customers is to stay true to what your brand is all about.

– David Berkowitz, founder, Serial Marketers

6. Get your analytics infrastructure in order. So many companies are in terrible condition, analytics-wise, and if you’re a mess, then you can’t make data-driven decisions. You want to be data-driven. You want to make decisions rapidly under changing circumstances, which defined 2020 and will continue to define 2021.

The toughest part of any disaster is surviving it long-term. When that initial wave comes through, be it hurricane or pandemic, a lot of damage is done, and that damage takes much longer to clean up. The effects of this pandemic will probably last at least half a decade, longer in some parts of the world. You’ve got to have a finger on the pulse of your business and your industry—and that requires good data.

– Christopher Penn, co-founder and chief data scientist, Trust Insights

7. If you’re a company that’s been hit hard by COVID-19, you should be spending your time filling in any marketing gaps that you’ve been neglecting. For some people, that’s building stronger bottom-of-the-funnel content. For others it’s improving their backlink portfolios, or maybe getting a technical SEO audit. Whatever it is, strengthen your site’s foundation, so when people are spending money again, they’ll find your brand and trust what you have to say. In the short-term, to keep business rolling in, double down on what’s working, but then spend at least 10% of your effort experimenting to uncover new opportunities!

– Amanda Milligan, marketing director at Fractl 

8. Write an article that helps you sell, something you can send to prospects after a sales call, something you can send to cold leads and stalled opportunities, something your contact can share with other decision makers.

Too many content marketers focus on the top of the marketing funnel. But your most important audience left the sales funnel long ago. […] it’s not too late to use content to help close some business.

  • It explains your approach in more detail than anything they expected.
  • It answers an important question they didn’t ask.
  • It includes examples.

Yes, it could be a case study, but that’s a bit obvious, isn’t it? They’re expecting that kind of story in that format. Try something more educational, more memorable.

We do web design and we have strong feelings about how that work should be done. We put a lot of our best advice into an article about B2B service pages. I couldn’t care less if it ranks or gets shared. Pageviews are irrelevant to me in this case.

Why? Because for bottom-of-funnel content, it’s about who, not how many. When the right person reads this article, they toss all of the other proposals and get out their signing pen.

– Andy Crestodina, co-founder and CMO, Orbit Media

9. My advice for 2021 is to shift your thinking from publish and promote to conversations and collaboration. Move past your direct teammates and schedule one-on-one conversations with new-to-you people in your industry to share ideas. Aerate ideas on LinkedIn by sharing your opinion and asking for feedback. Work on projects with other companies to bring in new ideas and help you extend the reach once something is published.  I think this is needed now more than ever as so many of us are working independently from home—and your marketing will be stronger as a result.

– Michele Linn, head of strategy, Mantis Research 

10. Heading into 2021, all brands must begin to invest in their purpose to move the communities where they operate forward. The time has passed for brands to release statements that yield no follow up and produce no measurable impact. We saw several brands participate in racial and social justice movements this year, and consumers will continue to hold them accountable in 2021. Beyond posting a black square on Instagram to show solidarity, brands should be investing in minority talent, establishing scalable partnerships, and diversifying their stakeholder ecosystem. 2020 was the year many brands joined the conversation and investing in purpose will be required for them to survive in today’s landscape.

– Sabrina Browne, account director, corporate, BCW Global

11. “Show, don’t tell.” I know, I know, our high school English teachers uttered these words years ago. Still, I think the counsel will be particularly relevant in 2021 when the world once again relegates hyperbole and who shouts the loudest to the back of the room. If there were ever an environment that would reward storytelling—as opposed to adjectives and adverbs—in communications, we’re going to see it this coming year.

– Lou Hoffman, president and CEO, The Hoffman Agency

12. 2020 threw us lots of curveballs, so the key to content marketing success in 2021 will be flexibility. As you think about the content you want to create and the stories you want to tell, keep in mind that you may need to change the format based on how our current reality evolves—or doesn’t. What you thought would be a great e-book may wind up needing to be a live video. What you thought would be a great live video may end up needing to be an infographic. If you start your contact brainstorms by getting clarity on the focus and purpose of your story, it will be much easier to adapt the format in which you deliver it, if you need to.

– Melanie Deziel, author of “The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas,” Contentfuelframework.com

13. Reinvent—don’t replicate.

We saw a tremendous number of marketers “adapt” their in-person events to a virtual format (myself included.) The results were not great. Not only did they make us miss in-person events more, they were frequently more costly, or lost more money than the tactics we used in pre-COVID times.

The key to 2021 will be to completely rethink your tactics—wahtever you’re doing—be it events, emails, Tweets, press releases, digital content or influencer marketing.  Go back to the business purpose and figure out how you can contribute to the business more effectively. The problem with replicating traditional tactics is that they can require new skills, new technology and new types of talent, so they may also need a bigger budget, in a time when many budgets are being cut. Use this time to reimagine your communications and be more creative and innovative in your approach.

– Katie Paine, CEO, Paine Publishing

14. When the pandemic hit, many marketing organizations reallocated their live event budget to content marketing. If virus concerns ease in 2021, marketers may feel pressured to swing money back to live events. In the rush to transition to another new priority, it’ll be all too easy to let your content efforts slide. This risks missing the return on investment you’ve already made in content marketing. I recommend leaders identify how content marketing can support live events and start making the case for it now. You’ll get more value out of both your content and events by focusing on the many ways these two line items can complement each other.

– Frank Strong, founder & president, Sword and the Script Media, LLC

15. My marketing advice for brands heading into the new year would be to focus less on traditional sales tactics and to spend more time and energy demonstrating, through the creation and distribution of content, how the thing they make or the service they provide is relevant to their current and potential customers. That’s the whole game right now. The old hard sales tactics—cold calls, cold DMs, traditional ads—just don’t work anymore. Create and share content that solves your customers’ problems and the leads will materialize.

– Warren Weeks, principal, Weeks Media

16. It seems to me that in 2020 marketers learned a lot (the hard way) about being fully digital, being agile, using data well, and about the importance of expressing brand values. Yet most campaigns were understandably reactive. The most important thing brands can do in 2021 is to take advantage of that digital transformation and use what they learned by investing in new ideas and initiatives. The brands who survived are stronger for it, and now is the time to double down by challenging their teams and agency partners to create innovative new campaigns with new ideas, to be bold and proactive and to take risks. For a while, marketers fell into a trap of prioritizing what is easy to measure (clicks, likes, follows, etc.) yet not always what is most valuable, which is the power of a differentiated idea that engages customers, employees, and partners. That will never go out of style.

– Dorothy Crenshaw, founder, Crenshaw Communications

17. Your marketing doesn’t exist for you, your team or your boss. It exists for your target audience. Why aren’t you spending more time with them? Double down on your audience in 2021. I can nearly guarantee that their challenges and their purchasing patterns shifted in 2020. Spend time with your audience to understand how those things shifted and adjust your marketing accordingly.

– Dennis Shiao, marketing consultant, Attention Retention LLC

18. My advice for 2021 would be to really make sure you throw your content a parade. Use it in as many channels that are relevant as possible and test new things. For example, if you decide to do a podcast, also use that podcast on a live stream and as the basis for an article. Maximize everything you do so you can increase your return on effort.

– Christoph Trappe, CCO, The Authentic Storytelling Project

19. Understanding your audience is a constant commitment. You can create personas and breakdown your target audience as much as you want, but you need to dive deeper and prepare for their behaviors to shift or change. We’ve seen many changes in 2020, and brands need to be prepared to watch, learn and adapt.

– Christina Garnett, senior insights strategist, VIZIT

20. I would say:

  • Use digital marketing but don’t be afraid to use print, or audio, or magazines, or flyers, or sidewalk chalk…we have five senses in our brain and we use all of them to form memory.
  • Be truly inclusive – this is way harder than it sounds.
  • Create a sense of community, whether that’s geographic, psychographic, or any graphic. People who feel they belong to a social identity are far more willing to remember and select you.

– Doug Downs, managing partner, jgrcommunications.com

21. The advice I offer brands in 2021 is to listen to your customers and what their needs are. There has been a shift in customer expectations and how they engage with brands with digital leading the way. New programs and solutions need to meet the new behaviors, audiences need to see the value and convenience proposition and the experiences need to look at short term needs while building toward long term solutions and brand loyalty. You either stand apart or you get left behind.

– Bernie Fussenegger, chief strategy & engagement, B2The7

By Michelle Garrett

Michelle Garrett is a PR consultant and writer at Garrett Public Relations. Follow her on Twitter @PRisUs or connect with her on LinkedIn.

Sourced from Ragan’s PR Daily

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Use these 5 powerful digital marketing hacks to not only bring in quality leads, but also effectively convert leads into sales

Digital marketing is the most effective way to reach your target audience, drive targeted traffic to your website, generate quality leads, and ultimately, close sales. To create a digital marketing strategy that will foster business growth, it is key to understand the following:

  • How much money should be spent on digital marketing?
  • Which tactics will provide the best return on investment (ROI)?
  • Which channels will help funnel in high-quality leads?
  • What can be done to foster the entire buyer experience?
  • How can success truly be measured?

No matter how small or large your business is, having a deep understanding of what happens when you implement your digital marketing strategy is critical to making better decisions that will yield positive results. As such, having the right tools, processes, and people in place will only help elevate your efforts to meet your other business objectives.

Here are 5 powerful digital marketing hacks that will help you increase sales now:

1. Create stellar content for digital marketing

The key to making content work for you in terms of gaining the awareness, leads, and sales you want is to make sure that you’re adding tremendous value. This means that the topics you write about and tips you put forth are actionable and consumed by your target audience.

One of the biggest mistakes I see companies make is that they develop content and hope that it will attract attention right away. Know that your content strategy needs to be focused on both short- and long-term goals. You’re really running a marathon, not a sprint.

There is a multitude of content types you can consider, so let’s look at a few and also understand the benefits of each:

  • Blogging — research topics that are actually being searched for, including hashtags that are being used by your target audience. Find a way to be a part of those conversations by writing thoughtful blog posts.
  • Infographics — visual content is easy to consume, so develop infographics as a way to drive engagement on your website, extend the time-on-site, and input a CTA (call-to-action) for people to inquire more about what you have to offer.
  • Guides and eBooks — whether you choose to gate your content or not, what’s more important is that they are being leveraged successfully as lead magnets. You can do this without gating the content because inputting CTAs throughout the content pieces will still help you understand what drives engagement and what doesn’t.

2. Run social ads

Advertising on social media networks is a no-brainer. Let’s say you’re in charge of generating leads for a B2B SaaS product and need to figure out how you can drive sales-qualified leads that will turn into opportunities — which social networks would you want to consider?

For starters, look at these three: LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

You’ll be able to narrow down specific personas, test multiple creatives and messages, and collect data to see what works best. Like any advertising strategy, make sure that you tie your social ads to their own landing pages and that the copy from the ad to the landing page matches up. Additionally, consider the following:

  • Leverage your content assets to funnel in leads and inquiries.
  • Make sure your messaging presents a clear problem and solution.
  • Create multiple creative assets to avoid ad fatigue.
  • Fine-tune and tweak as you go. In other words, focus on progress over perfection.

3. Develop robust email marketing

Once you have lead information collected from your website, the logical next step is to develop automated workflows that will nurture your leads. The key to making effective workflows is to map out the buyer journey and align your email strategy with that.

Here are some key tips to keep in mind as you develop yours:

  • Position the content around the lifecycle stages of your leads.
  • Enable lead scoring so you can keep track of what drives engagement and movement from one lifecycle stage to the next.
  • Segment and personalize.
  • Test out multiple subject lines and copy.

4. Host webinars

Get creative with your webinars by inviting guest speakers to help co-host and even do interviews with happy customers who are using your product/services. According to Xant, 73% of sales and marketing leaders say that webinars are one of the best ways to generate quality leads. In fact, a single webinar could get you over 1,000 leads.

In order to make sure that your webinars are successful, do the following:

  • Research and choose the right topic. Just as you would with your blog topics, do the same with your webinar topics — it’s about the searcher intent and target audience needs, i.e. the problem you solve.
  • Decide on a promotion strategy for your webinar. Unlike your other ads that are pushed to promote a guide or direct inquiry, webinars need at least 1-2 weeks of a promotional period.
  • Create a series of promotional emails as well as reminders.
  • Run social ads and even search engine ads.
  • Get out of the PowerPoint or Google Slides only presentation. Be interactive with your webinars.
  • Make sure the webinar is available on-demand and then have a series of follow-up emails and advertising to still drive engagement that then turns into opportunities.

5. Push a growth hacking approach

Growth hacking takes on the approach of testing nearly everything you can during the entire buyer journey so that you gain clarity around what triggers a lead to be interested and then progress into a sale. The great thing about growth hacking is that you can apply it to every single digital marketing tactic.

Here are some actionable examples you can use:

  • A/B testing headlines and CTAs for targeted landing pages that are tied in with ads and your homepage.
  • Personalize your emails per segment and even personas.
  • Develop multiple content clusters with your blog posts to see which one drives the best quality of leads that turn into actual sales opportunities.

Good digital marketing vs. great digital marketing

What separates good digital marketing from great digital marketing isn’t just your ability to spend a ton of money, but to use that money to show the actual problem you solve. In other words, you’re selling the solution for a clear problem and can show how you are able to do that.

More specifically, people buy from people, not companies. Therefore, being authentic with your approach and steering clear from just making a transactional sale will only help you in the long-term.

Finally, continue to integrate both your intuition and the data you collect to help excel your business forward. Don’t look at digital marketing as just a 1:1 — money in and money out — solution. Rather, use the power of digital marketing to create awareness that will expand beyond just one single piece of creative or content. Changing your perspective to this approach will help you keep the needs of your target customers top of mind, and in turn, support your growth initiatives.

Feature Image Credit: ipopba | Getty Images

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Sourced from Entrepreneur Europe

By Seth Price

Digital marketing is advancing each and every day. Every business will progress (or decline) depending on current trends and specific marketing strategies they set forth. The trends and strategies that are seen in digital marketing boil down to one crucial aspect: content creation. Content creation is crucial in digital marketing because it attracts and engages consumers, which leads to an increase in business.

Content can be as simple as making a statement. Anything from professional, financial, legal or technical advice to posting an entertaining GIF can all be considered some form of content. It is imperative to identify your target audiences because they are the ones who consume your content and essentially bring your business to life. Every business should know their target audiences, area(s) of focus and the type of content necessary to produce. Identifying these will effectively promote and improve the online presence of your business.

Identifying Your Target Audience

Convert your target audience to loyal customers by creating winning and distinctive content. The content you create will help you connect with your target customers’ needs and personas. Research and strong analytical data is required to secure all information needed to increase the traffic to your business. Gaining access to your target audience’s personal information (name, age, gender, geographic location and job title), along with answering questions and identifying their challenges, will help you improve the content you make and fine-tune your business agenda.

To adequately cater to new and current customers, research tactics such as interviewing past customers, conducting surveys and analysing the traffic you receive is vital. Use Google Analytics to view your site traffic and to analyse your audience by looking at the insights displayed. Having a very specific agenda that bookkeeps information such as key demographics, key psychographics (attitudes, aspirations and other psychological criteria of a person), challenges and preferred communication will help you create outstanding content that is unique and authentic. After identifying your target audience, the overall goal is to provide value to each consumer with the type of content you create.

Types Of Content

Content is used to entertain, educate and persuade. Businesses gain better visibility online by focusing on the content they create, increasing their exposure and attracting new leads. Every type of content produced should resonate with each consumer and provide them with a great deal of resources. High levels of engagement depend on the type of content generated.

• Blogs: Blogs are a great way to provide content and optimize search engines. Boost organic traffic by attracting potential customers who are looking for answers and other information that your business specializes in. With any blog, it is a great idea to create link pages within them so other people can share your post. Writing blogs is one way to have more interaction and develop strong customer relationships.

• Memes: Memes are videos or images that include correlating captions. Memes have become extremely popular this generation and are always going viral throughout social media. People create memes by embedding specific text into edited clips from videos, television and movies. Memes can easily create traffic because they are a fun way to engage people on social media.

• Live video/webinars: Online streaming is an effective way to increase traffic for any digital marketing strategy. Live videos and webinars allow businesses to inform their audiences, connect with them virtually and answer any questions or concerns they may have. Businesses can easily broadcast a live video or webinar to an online audience on multiple platforms.

Content Drives SEO

Content creation is to SEO as peanut butter is to jelly. Content increases traffic to your business and helps you become more visible online. Including valuable content on a business page gives owners the opportunity to reach more clientele. Content is created to be posted throughout the internet to build brand awareness and generate a larger audience. Every search engine has a variety of ways to index and provide information that determines your business exposure. These algorithms will decide the ranking of your business depending on a person’s search query.

Content creation benefits SEO because the words produced in the specified content highlights keywords that consumers search. These keywords are relevant to your business because it may create a higher ranking in the search engine result pages (SERPs). More keywords will result in a higher click-through rate (CTR) that will increase traffic and potentially bring new clients to your business. It is important for your content to be strong enough to appear in relevant search queries.

Keyword placement, backlinks and website visitors are all extremely crucial in the world of SEO. Lacking content will result in no keywords being found, no page for your future customers to view and no improvement in your SEO. Giving customers the best content possible is needed to eventually help lead your business page to one of the top search engine results.

Feature Image Credit: Getty

By Seth Price

Managing Partner at Price Benowitz LLP and CEO of BluShark Digital LLC, a digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO and SEM. Read Seth Price’s full executive profile here.

Sourced from Forbes

Sourced from Vancouver Magazine

Starting a business can be daunting, and there’s a long list of things to do to get it off the ground. We asked an industry expert for the top tips on how to kick start your small business and make the most of your online presence.

Choose the Right Domain

For many people, registering their domain name is one of the last things on the list and it shouldn’t be, says Anne De Aragon, vice-president and country manager, GoDaddy Canada. “A domain name is an important annual investment as it is the hub of your business’ website,” she says. “Much like a physical sign, it marks the location of your business on the web. This makes registering a domain name one of the most critical business decisions you make.”

Some business owners prefer their full business name as the domain name while others prefer an abbreviation. Business owners also need to consider this important fact: According to the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, Canadians are 4x more likely to shop on a .ca website over .com as it taps into the patriotic desire people have to support local businesses. “Taking a minute to think about your business, your goals and how you want to present yourself will allow you to decide on the best domain name for your business,” De Aragon says.

Create a Website that Looks Amazing

A mobile-friendly website is essential for a business to ensure it is easy to access and use for today’s mobile-first environment. This means your website looks its best and performs stress-free for the user since the text is readable, images are optimized and fitted to screen sizes, and there is no need for horizontal scrolling.

For example, GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing tool allows business owners to create a modern, mobile-friendly website for free and with no technical knowledge required. The tool has hundreds of already-designed templates, which allow business owners to control the look and layout of their website.

Leverage Digital Marketing

Digital marketing can deliver strong results at a fraction of the price of traditional marketing. Think of your website as a hub from which consumers access your various channels. De Aragon recommends being selective, always keeping your business goals in mind. “You should incorporate a variety of channels, but you don’t need to be on every platform,” she says. “It has to make sense for your business and your target audience.”

No matter what channels you choose, make sure you have high-quality visuals. Entrepreneurs can engage a design professional or take advantage of content design applications, such as Over by GoDaddy. These applications allow entrepreneurs and small business owners to easily create impactful visuals which can be leveraged on social platforms, websites, and email marketing campaigns.

Make Your Email Shine

Since email is often the first consumer touchpoint, it is important for your email address to be professional. “A professional-looking email address gives your business more credibility when you’re corresponding with existing and potential customers,” De Aragon says. “To set up a professionally branded email address, you need to have registered a unique domain. From here, setting up a professional email account can be done quickly and easily.”

Learn more at GoDaddy.ca.

Connect at Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Sourced from Vancouver Magazine

By Darya Jandossova

Every day, billions of people use the internet and smartphones. Because of this, digital marketing has become one of the most important aspects of an organization’s overall marketing strategy.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing can mean slightly different things to different people. For example, the tactics used by an e-commerce platform will be different from bricks and mortar businesses.

The most common types of activity encompassed within digital marketing include:

Content marketing

The shift towards content marketing has been significant over the last decade. Creating and distributing valuable content to your target audience to build awareness, trust, and inbound leads.

Content marketing can take the form of blogs, whitepapers, video content, case studies, infographics, and podcasts.

Social media marketing

There are a number of social media platforms used by brands in order to drive traffic and engagement. While much of the activity on social media can be classed as content marketing, the chance to listen and engage with an audience makes it a viable marketing channel in its own rite.

Social media continues to evolve as new platforms emerge. The most popular being Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, WeBo, and TikTok.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Gaining quality organic traffic through major search engines such as Google and Bing. Strategies can include optimizing websites, building backlinks, and SEO friendly content.

Search engine marketing (SEM)

The other side of the search engine coin to SEO. Search engine marketing refers to the paid activities used to increase search engine visibility and drive traffic through Google Adwords or Bing Ads.

Affiliate marketing

This particular form of marketing is becoming extremely popular. Affiliate marketing is when a person or company is paid a set commission for every sale or traffic they generate for another company. This particular form of marketing is popular with bloggers and solopreneurs, who can pivot content quickly in order to showcase affiliate links.

Every year Amazon pays out hundreds of millions of dollars in affiliate fees and is one of the most popular programs of its kind in the world.

Pay per click (PPC)

Similar to paid search, you pay a pre-set amount whenever someone clicks on your ad.

Email marketing

The granddaddy of digital marketing. Every year we hear that email marketing is dead, but it is still a staple of a solid digital marketing strategy. When it’s done properly, regular or automated email marketing is still a powerful tool, especially combined with personalized marketing techniques.

Instant messaging and bots

WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat have, between them, billions of users all around the world. That is an unmissable opportunity for brands looking to get their messages out there.

The use of bots, in particular on Facebook, is a great way of interacting with your audience in a scalable, on-brand way.

What does it mean to outsource digital marketing?

Outsourcing your digital marketing means that you are using a person, company, or companies to take care of those aspects of your overall marketing strategy. This could be for a number of reasons including a budget, lack of internal resources, or being too big or too small to be able to have the necessary resources in the house.

What does in-house digital marketing mean?

An in-house team will plan, execute, and report on all digital marketing activities using a team employed by the organization.

What are the benefits of outsourcing digital marketing

There are many reasons that you might want to outsource your digital marketing, including:

Budget  – smaller businesses know that they need to implement some form of digital marketing to grow, but cannot afford to hire a team full time to do this. Instead, they will use third-party/parties to plan and implement digital marketing on their behalf. Types of outsourcing could include web design, social media, SEO, and so on.

Knowledge – because digital marketing companies make their money from just that, they need to keep their knowledge, skills, and technologies on the leading edge at all times. You can benefit from this continuing development without having to put yourself off your team through the recommended training or costs.

What are the cons of outsourcing digital marketing?

There are some potential downsides to turning over your digital marketing to a third party.

Less personal – by handing over your marketing strategy to someone else, you might find that your brand begins to develop in different ways in order to attract new audiences and customers. If you’ve been responsible for your brand and marketing to date, it can be difficult to let go.

Finding the right team can be difficult – while working with the right team can fundamentally change your business success for the better, choosing the wrong team can be damaging.

It takes time to find the right people. You need to work with those that you connect with and work hard for you. There are plenty of horror stories out there that put people off hiring an outside agency.

You need to commit to a strategy – in order to create a comprehensive digital marketing campaign, you need to commit to a budget, and strategy at the outset, as well as have. It is unfair for you to move the goalposts frequently. You’ll also need to sign something along the lines of a digital marketing proposal and it’d make sense to get acquainted with one prior to signing it.

You are one of a number of clients – your business may not be as important to them as you’d like it to be. That’s not to say that you won’t be treated professionally, but you cannot always expect to be a top priority.

What are the benefits of in-house digital marketing?

Dedicated to one client, you – there are no other clients vying for your marketing team’s attention, so you know that your company always takes top priority.

Quicker response times – if your marketing team works with others within your organization on various tasks, having a team on-site, dedicated to you can cut out a lot of red tapes. For example, if a certain department has an idea for a campaign or would like something promoted at short notice, you don’t have to try and negotiate with an outsourced team to try and bump your request to the top of the list.

Better brand knowledge – because the team is part of your organization, they live and breath your brand every day. This can then be translated seamlessly into your campaigns.

What are the cons of in-house digital marketing?

Costs – as covered earlier in the article, digital marketing encompasses a lot of different specialisms. Recruiting and training people in all of these areas can be very expensive. In addition to salaries, you also have to consider recruitment costs, benefits and ongoing training needs.

Skill levels – each area of digital marketing could be done by one person full time. But it is usually down to a few people who are expected to do everything. They often end up gravitating towards the areas they prefer, or never developing in-depth knowledge in a number of areas.

Potential to be overworked – if you hire a single person to do all of your digital marketing, as well as your traditional marketing tasks, you run the real risk of burning them out quickly.

Fewer contacts and special deals – digital marketing agencies can often have great contacts and deals in place with other sites or providers. In house teams often don’t have the time of the financial clout to do this.

Less strength in depth – if you are using an agency and someone is out sick, then there are usually other people who can take over the project at short notice. This usually isn’t the case with small in house teams. If someone in your team leaves, you are without any skill in certain areas until they are replaced.

Does it make sense to combine the two?

Many businesses find a good balance between in-house teams and outsourcing. It usually works best when there is an experienced marketing point person who can lead on the strategy development and then recruit and oversee the people or companies who will then actually implement the digital marketing campaigns.

This works well for a number of reasons. Having a single point of contact who has overall responsibility for digital marketing helps to streamline planning and decisions. Small in-house teams can also take care of some of the days to day digital marketing tasks that need doing and respond to in house requests quickly.

From a digital marketing agency perspective, it is always easier to deal with someone who knows what they are doing when it comes to leading a marketing function within a company and has realistic expectations.

For those companies who are deciding whether or not to recruit an in-house team, or outsource, this article provides some of the pros and cons of each course of action. Remember, what works for one company will not always work for another. It might make sense to outsource your digital marketing requirements at the beginning, then move towards a blended team as you scale up. Alternatively, if you are large enough to recruit a full digital marketing team, then you will have an entire department dedicated only to your organization.

Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

By Darya Jandossova

Darya Jandossova Troncoso is a photographer, artist and writer working on her first novel and managing a digital marketing blog – MarketSplash. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, creating art and learning everything there is to know about digital marketing.

Sourced from noupe

Sourced from Small Business Trends

By Adam Feiner

Business to business (B2B) digital marketing provocatively communicates your unique value proposition in different formats, to different segments, and across several channels to gain awareness and earn consideration. Consider a company engaging in B2B marketing without first-party data, like a start-up or a business entering a new market. Where would they present their brand and value proposition to gain awareness? What content would they reveal and to whom? How would they respond to interactions with their brand? How would they capture and organize data?

The answers to these questions will define your digital strategy and illuminate your target audience. First-party data, like intent data, reveals information about your prospects that can help you earn consideration and win deals by delivering increasingly relevant content to your audiences. Accumulating first-party data requires that you elicit a response and add it to the profiles of your prospects to enrich personas. This enriched data is used to determine what content to present next. Email, mobile, social and website interactions (i.e., clicks, downloads and demo requests) and self-identified preferences are your opportunities to acquire first-party data. Data is perishable. It takes patience and persistence to build and maintain first-party data.

Website Experience

Your website reflects your digital strategy. Effective website design naturally guides visitors toward information they seek in as few clicks as possible. This requires a customer-centric perspective acknowledging user experience and customer journey focused on need, value proposition and solution rather than products and capabilities. Your prospects should see themselves as they navigate and consume content.

In 2008, the Nielsen Norman Group estimated that visitors will read only 20% of the text on an average page, so sharpen your writing and create engaging videos. Less is more when it comes to web design, and too much information risks confusing visitors and losing their attention. Clearly articulate your value proposition on your homepage to support your keyword strategy, create a site map that simplifies navigation, and make sure your CTAs are present but not intrusive. Your website should capture visitor data with cookies to identify first-time and repeat visitors and employ gated content to enable direct marketing. Once prospects reveal interest and share their email or mobile number, your odds increase. Because Google said in 2016 that over 50% of searches come from mobile devices, optimize for mobile.

Whether you’re creating or refreshing a website, tools like Google Analytics can help identify best- and worst-performing pages. Google Search Console can reveal technical problems skewing results, and you can use visualization techniques (i.e., heat maps) to illuminate how visitors see your site.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO strategy is designed to help website pages rank higher on search engines like Google and Bing. Focus on keywords that decision-makers search. Target low volume keywords with high cost-per-clicks (CPCs), publish highly tactical content for key decision-makers, and leverage social media to amplify content distribution and cover a wider audience.

There are several steps to create and leverage a B2B SEO strategy. First, know your buyer and build personas of individuals inside the companies of your target verticals. Second, understand how they search for what you sell and know the keywords they use. To uncover keywords, utilize available free crowdsourcing applications, search engine auto-complete suggestions and SEO tools (such as SEMRush and Ubersuggest) that search competitors’ keywords to uncover their strategies. When bidding on keywords, do not shy away from high CPCs. Those are likely the words that prospects use when they’re ready to buy. Third, identify the topics and content to share with your audience. This is your chance to differentiate and illuminate your solution. Successful outcomes might include capturing an email address or being mentioned on social media, which takes patience and time. Fourth, use on-page SEO to optimize each webpage for terms that indicate buying signals. Keywords in short URLs, latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords and long content publications help search engines understand what you do and increase SEO rankings. Fifth, publish high-quality blogs to increase your landing page rankings. For best results, select related topics that are impacted by your solution. “Shoulder” topics can draw more links to content. Finally, while it is not easy and takes time to get quality backlinks for your B2B business, they are important. With all the content and research required, this could easily be a full-time job.

Social Media

A successful social media strategy communicates your unique value proposition to your followers by sharing compelling content that resonates. Your brand’s story should be told to spark interest and engage the right audience. Maintain an active presence to stay current and shape industry dialogue. Social media in your marketing mix can amplify awareness, generate demand and improve content marketing campaigns. No other channel can provide the same immediate impact.

Listen to and monitor your social channels. By listening to your potential customers’ daily conversations, you can begin to see topic patterns, momentum and current market concerns. You can help guide the conversations as the subject matter expert who understands customer challenges and delivers positive outcomes. As you monitor specific prospect activities, respond to unique questions they post to establish credibility and trust.

Centralize your social profiles onto a single platform that enables monitoring and listening simultaneously. Create alerts to keep apprised of instances where your brand is mentioned directly or indirectly. Listening effectively will help you anticipate future campaigns and improve messaging. Listening can keep you ahead of your competition, help you construct an effective influencer program and even build more impactful brand partnerships.

Conclusion

Effective digital marketing authoritatively communicates your value proposition to an identified audience, guides them toward your unique content and website and educates and differentiates. Purposefully present your brand and value proposition where your audience will gain awareness of it. Become a trusted partner with relevant content and help search engines understand what you do. Listen to your audience and guide the conversations by responding to questions as a subject matter expert. Enrich your first-party data by eliciting responses and capturing information that can help you deliver more relevant content. Gain awareness, earn consideration and find in-market buyers for healthy digital pipelines.

Feature Image Credit: getty

By Adam Feiner

Follow me on LinkedIn. Check out my website.

VP Sales at Loyalty Builders, accurate and affordable pioneering predictive customer intelligence for retail and wholesale marketing. Read Adam Feiner’s full executive profile here.

Sourced from Forbes

By

The healthcare and pharma industry has been slower to embrace digital marketing compared with other US verticals we track. Heavy regulation makes ad targeting more difficult, which has kept traditional media buys and in-person marketing popular. However, the coronavirus pandemic restricted many of these in-person touchpoints, which caused both the B2B and business-to-consumer (B2C) aspects of the healthcare and pharma industry to further embrace digital advertising.

We expect the US healthcare and pharma industry will spend $9.53 billion on digital advertising this year, up 14.2% from 2019.

With a public health crisis serving as the single biggest factor impacting advertising this year, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that healthcare and pharma will be among the fastest-growing industries in digital ad spending, coming second only to the computing products and consumer electronics vertical (whose spend will grow by 18.0% in 2020).

While healthcare and pharma digital ad spend has grown faster in previous years, its 2020 growth is substantial, as the total US digital ad market is expected to grow by only 1.7%.

By

Sourced from eMarketer

Sourced from AAI Association of Advertisers in Ireland.

On behalf of PwC and the AAI, we’d like to invite you to attend a briefing and roundtable discussion about the future of digital marketing in a post cookie world.

This builds on the award winning ISBA/PwC study into programmatic advertising, which generated major press coverage on its release earlier this year.

Our event will quickly recap key study findings and then move on to the question: what happens next?

By the end of 2021, third party cookies will be history, so how can marketers leverage data and technology to retain and enhance the benefits of targeted marketing?

The format will be a short briefing by PwC, and then a Q&A with our expert panel to explore the future of data, technology, and digital marketing.

Date: Thursday November 12th
Time: 10:00 – 11:00am
Venue: Virtual – where else?

Please register to attend the zoom briefing and feel free to direct any questions in advance to barry.dooley@aai.ie