6 marketing strategies to build your online presence

Digital marketing has changed the way publicity and advertising work – you can reach millions of users globally with a random click or tap into thousands of opinions with a brimming fan base.

Inbound
marketing strategies help claim your brand’s online presence by helping you
focus on your target audience much more proactively and rapidly than outbound.

Below you’ll find 6 marketing strategies that can help you boost your brand’s online presence.

1. Content marketing – blogs

The first step to
establish your brand’s
online presence
is to create a responsive and visually-appealing
website – a platform where you can help your customers solve their problems.

Next, develop a marketing strategy that focuses on content. Not only does content build trust among your audience, it also fuels your other marketing activities such as email, social, and PPC. Like driving a car without wheels, marketing your brand without content will get you nowhere.   

Blog and guest-posting

Create a blog on
your website to attract your target audience towards your brand niche. For
instance, take a look at how Ahrefs, a
leading software developer
, markets its industry blog towards its
consumers.

The majority of
its blogs focus on the subtle promotion of its suite to attract customers to buy.
Its product blog, however, inspires customer interaction and communication. Covering
an array of industry news and trends, the brand uses content to pique the
interests of its readers.

These statistics highlight the regularity of blog publications. Publishing regular, high quality content will help your site become an authoritative, trustworthy source of information in your niche and search engines such as Google. Plus, the more thought-leading content you produce, the more customer trust you’ll earn.  

You can also write content for industry-related websites as guest posts and link back to your website by embedding URLs to your landing pages. This will help your target audience find you and learn about your products and services.

2. Content marketing – podcasts and videos

According to
Google, content
marketing
is compelling enough to turn visitors into leads and then into
customers. That’s because of all the different content formats which help to
simulate interest over time and across a large audience-base.

Try adhering to content types such as podcasts and webinars, or videos like tutorials and how-to guides. Moreover, collaborating with other B2B marketers to appear on their podcasts, webinars, and videos can boost your online presence.

3. Email marketing

Consumers have been activity using email to communicate since its very inception. Email marketing, which supports your content marketing endeavors, is the most popular channel for bolstering your online presence. 93% of business-to-business marketers say so.

If done right, email marketing can serve as one of the most lucrative platforms for boosting your online presence. According to the Data Marketing Association, every $1 you spend on your campaign generates on average a return of $41.

  • Nurture your visitors into leads by capturing their email address to send them your newsletter and other product-related emails. For instance, entice them through a ‘free download’ of an exclusive ebook (which you can create with Designrr) or special discount coupon. Maybe tempt them with a free video tutorial that’s only available to premium or paid users.
  • Segment your mailing list by targeting your loyal customers, such as repeat purchasers. Send product- or service-related news, trends, and blog links to consumers who’ve shown an active interest.
  • Try A/B testing: Send your subscribers targeted emails to assess which ones bring the most conversions and why. Split testing will also help you to analyze whether you should go ahead with your email marketing campaign or not.

4. Get on the search engine

With 53% of internet traffic and 92% of the global market share dominated by Google alone, search engines play a major role in promoting online visibility of a brand. Approximately 93% of ecommerce consumers begin their journey searching for competitive results online.

Promoting your brand on a search engine won’t only help Google accredit your reputation, but also motivate consumers to learn more about your business’s legacy.

  • Optimize on-page SEO by writing content for your website that has the capability to rank higher. For instance, search industry-related keywords on Ahrefs or any other paid or unpaid keyword research tool to discover words that people are searching for.
  • Consider using long-tail search keywords throughout your content, including your blog, web copy, meta title and description, and tags, since they are easier to rank due to less search volume and competitiveness.
  • Optimize off-page SEO content by referring to link-building strategies through earned media. Either collaborate with B2B partners and embed your website’s URL within the shared content, or link your landing pages by adding CTAs within your content on social media.

From 2009 to 2017, the aforementioned statistics for search engine results have skyrocketed, making it one of the most profound channels for boosting brand visibility and consumer engagement.

5. Social media marketing

Today, millennials and Gen-Z users are hoarding time on social media for reasons other than networking, such as passing their time scrolling through the internet. Social media marketing helps garner the attention of your target customers, and there are two ways which you can build your brand’s publicity:

  • Engage on the social channels that matter to your target audience; then you’ll be able to gauge their interests better
  • Use social media listening tools to assess the number of clicks and views your content generates

Pay attention to the stats above. Consider installing social listening tools to find out which platforms hold the majority of your target audience. You’ll also learn about negative and positive feedback, allowing you to improve your content proactively for better sales and conversion rates.

6. Paid advertising

Besides promoting organically via link-building strategies and keyword-ranking techniques, consider paid advertising. These ads, which are within third party ad spaces, will help to rank your website better.

  • Google AdWords uses Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising techniques to display ads on the right- or left-most bar of search engine results pages. Google’s ads can also be displayed on your preferred websites as well. With every click on the ad, you not only earn a visitor to your website but also revenue in return.
  • Learn where your target audience is. You can also choose Facebook or YouTube to display your brand’s ads for better outreach.

The above chart is a simple guide that helps you understand the cost per click on ad placement for display on Facebook’s news feed and the right-most column on the page.

The final verdict

Many brick-and-mortar store entrepreneurs still staunchly follow the old outbound marketing route, foregoing the lucrative opportunity of building a worthwhile online presence of their brand.

In order to build and boost your brand’s online presence, it’s high time you jumped on the digital bandwagon and catered to the whims of the internet. This will scale your brand’s recognition far and wide.   

For more digital inspiration, download this cheatsheet on how to target your customers.

The post 6 marketing strategies to build your online presence appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 1 month ago from blog.dotdigital.com

What is RFM and how can you use it in your marketing?

These personas are created by giving each customer three scores. The scores are based on the recency (R), frequency (F), and monetary value (M) of purchases made. Each is scored between 1 (worst) and 5 (best).

The RFM scores are relative and appropriate to your customers: a customer scoring 5 recency for you may not score 5 for another retailer.

How scores are created

All scores are created by the same ranking method. As an example, let us look at how the Frequency (F) score is calculated:

  • For each customer, get the total number of orders and rank them (high to low).
  • Split them into 5 equal groups (quintiles). In fact, we do this a little differently — I’ll explain below.
  • Give each customer a score based on which quintile they belong to: 5 for the top quintile, 1 for the bottom quintile.

This ranking and scoring process is repeated for Recency (R) and Monetary (M) values.

Finally, the three RFM scores are joined together (not added) to create a 3 digit persona

Some examples:

  • A customer identified as a “244” is a frequent high-spender, but they have not made an order for quite some time.
  • A customer identified as a “511” is a new customer.

A better RFM model

The RFM model we have created in Engagement Cloud provides eight standard personas to help target customers. 

Whilst you can also create your own granular personas, those provided by the standard model do not overlap.

Non-overlapping personas are important and helpful. If you choose to coupon a particular persona, you want to be sure you don’t simultaneously coupon the same people differently as part of another persona.

Better quintiles

Another way Engagement Cloud’s model is different is how we treat quintiles. We use a dynamic range rather than a fixed range.

Quintiles in RFM are commonly made up of an equal number of customers (a fixed range). They are straight 20% slices of R, F, and M dimensions.

Fixed-sized quintiles are potentially flawed if you consider that a customer may be scored as a 5 or a 4 based on small variances in their data. For example, someone who spent $673.10 should have the same Monetary score as someone who spent $673.11. With a fixed range model they may become different personas.

To create dynamic range quintiles we normalize the data. “Normalize” here just means we make the data easier to compare.

  • Recency is grouped by unique days since last purchase
  • Frequencies are grouped by unique values
  • Monetary amounts may be subject to rounding and grouping

This approach leads to quintiles that are not evenly sized. This is a good thing. Customers are scored accurately by appropriately dealing with small data variance that could make them jump a whole persona.

Combining F and M keeps it simple and accurate

The final part of the model is to add up the F and M dimensions. This gives us an R dimension with a potential score of 1 – 5 and an FM dimension with a potential score of 2 – 10.

F and M are added together to help ensure segments do not overlap and to allow for easy visualization of your customers by RFM persona. This is done with a treemap.

Other RFM models treat this problem differently (such as throwing out a dimension). We think a combined FM score is a good compromise between accuracy and simplicity.

Conclusions

RFM is an easy way for retailers to extend their current behavioral targeting and reporting.

Key benefits:

  • Data-driven personas for no effort.
  • Easy segmentation and context for your marketing activities.
  • At-a-glance overviews of your entire customer base. Risks and opportunities are visual and actionable.
  • When combined with retailer reporting KPIs, RFM gives you new and interesting ways to slice your data and find out where the money is.

Keep your eye on Engagement Cloud’s upcoming release this summer for a lot more on RFM and retailer reporting.

The post What is RFM and how can you use it in your marketing? appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 3 months ago from blog.dotdigital.com

Rural Local SEO: A Marketing Package Strong on Education

Posted by MiriamEllis

Can your marketing agency make a profit working with low-budget clients in rural areas?

Could you be overlooking a source of referrals, publicity, and professional satisfaction if you’re mainly focused on landing larger clients in urban locales? Clients in least-populated areas need to capture every customer they can get to be viable, including locals, new neighbors, and passers-through. Basic Local SEO can go a long way toward helping with this, and even if package offerings aren’t your agency’s typical approach, a simple product that emphasizes education could be exactly what’s called for.

Today, I’d like to help you explore your opportunities of serving rural and very small town clients. I’ve pulled together a sample spreadsheet and a ton of other resources that I hope will empower you to develop a bare-bones but high-quality local search marketing package that will work for most and could significantly benefit your agency in some remarkable ways.

Everything in moderation

The linchpin fundamental to the rural client/agency relationship is that the needs of these businesses are so exceedingly moderate. The competitive bar is set so low in a small-town-and-country setting, that, with few exceptions, clients can make a strong local showing with a pared-down marketing plan.

Let’s be honest — many businesses in this scenario can squeak by on a website design package from some giant web hosting agency. A few minutes spent with Google’s non-urban local packs attest to this. But I’m personally dissatisfied by independent businesses ending up being treated like numbers because it’s so antithetical to the way they operate. The local hardware store doesn’t put you on hold for 45 minutes to answer a question. The local farm stand doesn’t route you overseas to buy heirloom tomatoes. Few small town institutions stay in business for 150 years by overpromising and under-delivering.

Let’s assume that many rural clients will have some kind of website. If they don’t, you can recommend some sort of freebie or cheapie solution. It will be enough to get them placed somewhere in Google’s results, but if they never move beyond this, the maximum conversions they need to stay in business could be missed.

I’ve come to believe that the small-to-medium local marketing agency is the best fit for the small-to-medium rural brand because of shared work ethics and a similar way of doing business. But both entities need to survive monetarily and that means playing a very smart game with a budget on both sides.

It’s a question of organizing an agency offering that delivers maximum value with a modest investment of your time and the client’s money.

Constructing a square deal

When you take on a substantial client in a large town or city, you pull out all the stops. You dive deeply into auditing the business, its market, its assets. You look at everything from technical errors to creative strengths before beginning to build a strategy or implement campaigns, and there may be many months or years of work ahead for you with these clients. This is all entirely appropriate for big, lucrative contracts.

For your rural roster, prepare to scale way back. Here is your working plan:

1. Schedule your first 15-minute phone call with the client

Avoid the whole issue of having to lollygag around waiting for a busy small business owner to fill out a form. Schedule an appointment and have the client be at their place of business in front of a computer at the time of the call. Confirm the following, ultra-basic data about the client.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone
  • URL
  • Business model (single location brick-and-mortar, SAB, etc.)
  • Category
  • Are there any other businesses at this address?
  • Main products/services offered
  • If SAB, list of cities served
  • Most obvious search phrase they want to rank for
  • Year established and year they first took the business online
  • Have they ever been aware of a penalty on their website or had Google tell them they were removing a listing?
  • Finally, have the client (who is in front of their computer at their place of business) search for the search term that’s the most obviously important and read off to you the names and URLs of the businesses ranking in the local pack and on the first page of the organic results.

And that’s it. If you pay yourself $100/hr, this quick session yields a charge of $25.

2. Make a one-time investment in writing a bare-bones guide to Local SEO

Spend less than one working day putting together a .pdf file or Google doc written in the least-technical language containing the following:

  • Your briefest, clearest definition of what local SEO is and how it brings customers to local businesses. Inspiration here.
  • An overview of 3 key business models: brick & mortar, SAB, and home-based so the client can easily identify which of these models is theirs.
  • A complete copy of the Guidelines for representing your business on Google with a link in it to the live guidelines.
  • Foolproof instructions for creating a Google account and creating and claiming a GMB listing. Show the process step-by-step so that anyone can understand it. Inspiration here.
  • A list of top general industry citation platforms with links to the forms for getting listed on them. Inspiration here and if the client can hit at least a few of these, they will be off to a good start.
  • An overview of the role of review acquisition and response, with a few simple tips for earning reviews and a list of the top general industry review platforms. Inspiration here and here.
  • An overview of the role of building offline relationships to earn a few online linktations. Inspiration here.
  • Links to the Google My Business forum and the main Google support platforms including their phone number (844.491.9665), Facebook, Twitter, and online chat. Tell the client this is where to go if they encounter a problem with their Google listing in the future.
  • Links to major independent business associations as a support vehicle for small and rural businesses like AMIBA, ILSR, and Small Business Saturday. Inspiration here.
  • Your agency’s complete contact information so that the business can remember who you are and engage you for further consulting down the road, if ever necessary.

If you pay yourself $100 an hour, investing in creating this guide will cost you less than $1000.00. That’s a modest amount that you can quickly earn back from clients. Hopefully, the inspirational links I’ve included will give you a big head start. Avoid covering anything trendy (like some brand new Google feature) so that the only time you should have to update the guide in the near future will be if Google makes some major changes to their guidelines or dashboard.

Deliver this asset to every rural client as their basic training in the bare essentials of local marketing.

3. Create a competitive audit spreadsheet once and fill it out ad infinitum

What you want here is something that lets you swiftly fill in the blanks.

For the competitive audit, you’ll be stacking up your client’s metrics against the metrics of the business they told you was ranking at the top of the local pack when they searched from their location. You can come up with your own metrics, or you can make a copy of this template I’ve created for you and add to it/subtract from it as you like.

Make a copy of the ultra-basic competitive local audit template — you can do so right here.

You’ll notice that my sample sheet does not delve deeply into some of the more technical or creative areas you might explore for clients in tougher markets. With few exceptions, rural clients just don’t need that level of insight to compete.

Give yourself 45 focused minutes filling in the data in the spreadsheet. You’ve now invested 1 hour of time with the client. So let’s give that a value of $100.

4. Transfer the findings of your audit into a custom report

Here’s another one-time investment. Spend no more than one workday creating a .pdf or Google Docs template that takes the fields of your audit and presents them in a readable format for the client. I’m going to leave exact formatting up to you, but here are the sections I would recommend structuring the report around:

  • A side-by-side comparison of the client vs. competitor metrics, bucketed by topic (Website, GMB, Reputation, Links, Citations, etc)
  • A very basic explanation of what those metrics mean
  • A clear recommendation of what the client should do to improve their metrics

For example, your section on reputation might look like this:

The beauty of this is that, once you have the template, all you have to do is fill it out and then spend an hour making intelligent observations based on your findings.

Constructing the template should take you less than one workday; so, a one-time investment of less than $1,000 if you are paying yourself $100/hr.

Transferring the findings of your audit from the spreadsheet to the report for each client should take about 1 hour. So, we’re now up to two total hours of effort for a unique client.

5. Excelling at value

So, you’ve now had a 15-minute conversation with a client, given them an introductory guide to the basics of local search marketing, and delivered a customized report filled with your observations and their to-dos. Many agencies might call it a day and leave the client to interpret the report on their own.

But you won’t do that, because you don’t want to waste an incredible opportunity to build a firm relationship with a business. Instead, spend one more hour on the phone with the owner, going over the report with them page by page and allowing a few minutes for any of their questions. This is where you have the chance to deliver exceptional value to the client, telling them exactly what you think will be most helpful for them to know in a true teaching moment.

At the end of this, you will have become a memorable ally, someone they trust, and someone to whom they will have confidence in referring their colleagues, family members, and neighbors.

You’ve made an overall investment of less than $2,000 to create your rural/small town marketing program.

Packaging up the guide, the report and the 1:1 phone consulting, you have a base price of $300 for the product if you pay yourself $100/hour.

However, I’m going to suggest that, based on the level of local SEO expertise you bring to the scenario, you create a price point somewhere between $300–$500 for the package. If you are still relatively green at local SEO, $300 could be a fair price for three hours of consulting. If you’re an industry adept, scale it up a bit because, because you bring a rare level of insight to every client interaction, even if you’re sticking to the absolute basics. Begin selling several of these packages in a week, and it will start totaling up to a good monthly revenue stream.

As a marketer, I’ve generally shied away from packages because whenever you dig deeply into a client’s scenario, nuances end up requiring so much custom research and communication. But, for the very smallest clients in this least competitive markets, packages can hit the spot.

Considerable benefits for your agency

The client is going to walk away from the relationship with a good deal … and likely a lot to do. If they follow your recommendations, it will typically be just what they needed to establish themselves on the web to the extent that neighbors and travelers can easily find them and choose them for transactions. Good job!

But you’re going to walk away with some amazing benefits, too, some of which you might not have considered before. To wit:

1. Relationships and the ripple effect

A client you’ve treated very well on the phone is a client who is likely to remember you for future needs and recommend you. I’ve had businesses send me lovely gifts on top of my consulting fee because I’ve taken the time to really listen and answer questions. SEO agencies are always looking for ways to build authentic relationships. Don’t overlook the small client as a centroid of referrals throughout a tight-knit community and beyond it to their urban colleagues, friends, and family.

2. Big data for insights and bragging rights

If your package becomes popular, a ton of data is going to start passing through your hands. The more of these audits you do, the more time you’re spending actively observing Google’s handling of the localized SERPs. Imagine the blog posts your agency can begin publishing by anonymizing and aggregating this data, pulling insights of value to our industry. There is no end to the potential for you to grow your knowledge.

Apart from case studies, think of the way this package can both build up your proud client roster and serve as a source of client reviews. The friendly relationship you’ve built with that 1:1 time can now become a font of very positive portfolio content and testimonials for you to publish on your website.

3. Agency pride from helping rebuild rural America

Have you noticed the recent spate of hit TV shows that hinge on rebuilding dilapidated American towns? Industry consolidation is most often cited as the root of rural collapse, with small farmers and independent businesses no longer able to create a tax base to support basic community needs like hospitals, fire departments, and schools. Few of us rejoice at the idea of Main Streets — long-cherished hallmarks not just of Americana but of shared American identity — becoming ghost towns.

But if you look for it, you can see signs of brilliant small entrepreneurs uniting to buck this trend. Check out initiatives like Locavesting and Localstake. There’s a reason to hope in small farming co-ops, the Main Street movement, and individuals like these who can re-envision a crumbling building as an independent country store, a B&B, or a job training center with Internet access.

It can be a source of professional satisfaction for your marketing agency if you offer these brave and hard-working business owners a good deal and the necessary education they need to present themselves sufficiently on the web. I live in a rural area, and I know just how much a little, solid advice can help. I feel extra good if I know I’m contributing to America’s rural comeback story.

Promoting your rural local SEO package

Once you’ve got your guide and templates created, what next? Here are some simple tips:

  • Create a terrific landing page on your website specifically for this package and call it out on your homepage as well. Wherever appropriate, build internal links to it.
  • Promote on social media.
  • Blog about why you’ve created the package, aligning your agency as an ally to the rebuilding of rural communities.
  • If, like me, you live in a rural area, consider presenting at local community events that will put you in front of small business owners.
  • Don’t overlook old school media like community message boards at the local post office, or even fliers tacked to electric poles.
  • If you’re a city slicker, consider how far you’d have to travel to get to the nearest rural community to participate in events.
  • Advertising both off and online in rural papers can be quite economical. There are also place of worship print bulletins, local school papers, and other publications that welcome sponsors. Give it a try.
  • And, of course, ask happy clients to refer you, telling them what it means to your business. You might even develop a referral program.

The truth is that your agency may not be able to live by rural clients, alone. You may still be targeting the bulk of your campaigns towards urban enterprises because just a few highly competitive clients can bring welcome security to your bank account.

But maybe this is a good day to start looking beyond the fast food franchise, the NY attorney and the LA dermatology group. The more one reads about rural entrepreneurs, the more one tends to empathize with them, and empathy is the best foundation I know of for building rewarding business relationships.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Reblogged 3 months ago from tracking.feedpress.it

How to use automation to create a smooth link between sales and marketing

A strong bridge between sales and marketing is a B2B company’s not-so-secret tool for success. With aligned sales and marketing, each team is in the best position to hit their most important KPIs and give consumers a more streamlined experience from the very first touchpoint.

In fact, LinkedIn research shows that
businesses with strong sales and marketing alignment are 67% more effective at
closing deals, 58% more effective at retaining customers, and drive 208% more
revenue as a result of their marketing efforts. Impressive, right?

To help get sales and marketing on the same page, you can optimize internal communication, hold regular meetings, and collaborate via shared metrics and dashboards. But you might not have thought about improving your sales-marketing relationship with automation.

Automation provides a myriad of benefits for any business. You can use the information you already have about
your contacts to automatically guide leads through your ideal marketing funnel.
Automated processes also help align your sales and marketing teams, especially
by kick-starting and facilitating processes, handovers, and data collection
that help you succeed.

But what should you get started with? And how
can you set up processes that get results? Let’s help you get started…

1.
Collect the right data for sales and marketing

To get the best results from automation, it’s
important to consider the data you’re collecting. Your audience’s attention is
incredibly valuable: every single form field should earn its place by being a
well-considered question that will give you valuable data.

Check all your forms and make sure you’re collecting
data that allows marketing and sales to qualify contacts and have the right
information as they move down the funnel. Don’t go overboard, though – it’s
important to ensure all questions are relevant and appropriate for the stage of
the funnel. Don’t ask for annual revenue to receive a top of funnel trends
report.

2.
Define the way leads should flow between Marketing and Sales

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking of your
marketing and sales funnels as separate entities. They’re very much connected,
and should always be considered in parallel.

Begin by getting a clear picture of what your funnels look like. Map them out – on paper with Post-Its if you need to. Make sure everyone agrees how leads enter your funnel, become qualified, and take key actions (such as requesting a demo) before becoming customers.

Next, pinpoint when your marketing team needs to pass leads to sales. Is it when a lead requests a demo? Or is it before then – maybe showing interest signals like visiting your pricing page?

Once you know exactly when a lead should move
to sales, you can use automation to reduce manual work and handovers. For
instance, if a qualified lead requests a demo, you can use your marketing tool
to change the contact owner to a sales representative and set a task for them
to reach out.

3.
Get your tools in sync

One powerful way to boost company efficiency
is to connect your marketing and sales tools.
With integrations and two-way contact syncs, you can automatically keep your
key business tools updated and ensure everyone has the latest data at hand.

List all the business tools you rely on. Are
they currently in sync, or do you have room for improvement? Set a goal to
streamline your data flow between the tools you use most and eliminate manual
uploads and updates.

As a starting point, consider synchronising contacts between your CRM and
email tool
, proposals system, and billing software if you
use these tools.

4. Deliver tailored content to
guide leads through your buyer’s journey

47% of marketing teams don’t have a documented
buyer’s journey, says Kapost in their 2018 B2B Marketing and Sales Alignment
Benchmark
. That’s a huge lost opportunity.

Make sure you’re clear on the key stages your
customers travel through before and after purchase. Once you’ve done that,
choose your best pieces of content for each stage (look at relevance, as well
as conversion rate and time on page). You can then create
emails to promote these content pieces
as part of
personalized workflows that deliver the right content at the right time, based
on certain triggers.

Consider adjusting the email sender and reply-to address depending on the stage of the funnel – perhaps having one marketer sending your top-of-funnel emails, and a product marketer or salesperson sending more product-focused messages. But make sure not to confuse your recipient with too many emails and too many senders.

Your goal should be to gradually move leads further down the funnel and motivate signs of engagement (such as demo requests). You can also use automation to schedule follow-ups when action is required from your contact, such as to finalize their demo booking or approve a sales proposal. Once a lead completes one workflow, you can choose to automatically trigger enrollment in another.

5. Set
up notifications to update key people in your team

Automation makes sending messages to contacts a breeze, but it can also radically improve your internal conversation. With your marketing software, set up internal workflows based on certain triggers (such as visiting your pricing page) to let your team know when a lead is engaging with bottom-of-funnel content or requires sales reach-out.

Alongside notifications, you can also create
automated tasks for your sales team to contact leads based on certain criteria.
That way you know your sales reps are always clear on the next action they need
to take, without wasting time trying to figure out priorities.


When you align
your sales and marketing
, you reap the benefits in every
area of your business. Automation is one of the best ways to create a smoother
bridge between your teams, as well as boosting overall productivity, response
times, and personalized outreach to contacts.

Ahead of your next sales
and marketing meeting, why not make a note to discuss how you can use automated
processes to improve your business performance and synergy

The post How to use automation to create a smooth link between sales and marketing appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 4 months ago from blog.dotdigital.com

B2B Local Search Marketing: A Guide to Hidden Opportunity

Posted by MiriamEllis

Is a local business you’re marketing missing out on a host of B2B opportunities? Do B2B brands even qualify for local SEO?

If I say “B2B” and you think “tech,” then you’re having the same problem I was finding reliable information about local search marketing for business-to-business models. While it’s true that SaaS companies like Moz, MailChimp, and Hootsuite are businesses which vend to other businesses, their transactions are primarily digital. These may be the types of companies that make best-of B2B lists, but today let’s explore another realm in which a physical business you promote is eligible to be marketed both locally and as a B2B.

Let’s determine your eligibility, find your B2B opportunities, identify tips specific to your business model, analyze an outreach email, explore your content with a checklist, and find an advantage for you in today’s article.

Seeing how Google sees you

First to determine whether Google would view your brand as a local business, answer these two questions:

  1. Does the business I’m marketing have a physical location that’s accessible to the public? This can’t be a PO Box or virtual office. It must be a real-world address.
  2. Does the business I’m marketing interact face-to-face with its customers?

If you answered “yes” to both questions, continue, because you’ve just met Google’s local business guidelines.

Seeing your B2B opportunity

Next, determine if there’s a component of your business that already serves or could be created to serve other businesses.

Not totally sure? Let’s look at Google’s categories.

Out of the 2,395 Google My Business Categories listed here, there are at least 1,270 categories applicable to B2B companies. These include companies that are by nature B2B (wholesalers, suppliers) and companies that are B2C but could have a B2B offering (restaurants, event sites). In other words, more than half of Google’s categories signal to B2B-friendly companies that local marketing is an opportunity.

Let’s look at some major groups of categories and see how they could be fine-tuned to serve executive needs instead of only consumer needs:

Food establishments (restaurants, cafes, food trucks, caterers, etc.) can create relationships with nearby employers by offering business lunch specials, delivery, corporate catering, banquet rooms, and related B2B services. This can work especially well for restaurants located in large business districts, but almost any food-related business could create a corporate offering that incentivizes loyalty.

Major attractions (museums, amusements, cultural centers, sports centers, etc.) can create corporate packages for local employers seeking fun group activities. Brands looking to reduce implicit bias may be especially interested in interacting with cultural groups and events.

Professional services (realty, financial, printing, consulting, tech, etc.) can be geared towards corporate needs as well as individuals. A realtor can sell commercial properties. A printer can create business signage. A computer repair shop can service offices.

Personal services (counseling, wellness, fitness, skill training, etc.) can become corporate services when employers bring in outside experts to improve company morale, education, or well-being.

Home services (carpet cleaning, landscaping, plumbing, contracting, security, etc.) can become commercial services when offered to other businesses. Office buildings need design, remodeling, and construction and many have lounges, kitchens, restrooms, and grounds that need janitorial and upkeep services. Many retailers need these services, too.

Entertainers (comedians, musicians, DJs, performance troupes, etc.) can move beyond private events to corporate ones with special package offerings. Many brands have days where children, family members, and even pets are welcomed to the workplace, and special activities are planned.

Retailers (clothing, gifts, equipment, furniture, etc.) can find numerous ways to supply businesses with gear, swag, electronics, furnishings, gift baskets, uniforms, and other necessities. For example, a kitchen store could vend breakfast china to a B&B, or an electronics store could offer special pricing for a purchase of new computers for an office.

Transportation and travel services (auto sales and maintenance, auto rentals, travel agencies, tour guides, charging stations, etc.) can create special packages for businesses. A car dealer could sell a fleet of vehicles to a food delivery service, or a garage could offer special pricing for maintaining food trucks. A travel agency could manage business trips.

As you can see, the possibilities are substantial, and this is all apart from businesses that are classic B2B models, like manufacturers, suppliers, and wholesalers who also have physical premises and meet face-to-face with their clients. See if you’ve been missing out on a lucrative opportunity by examining the following spreadsheet of every Google My Business Category I could find that is either straight-up B2B or could create a B2B offering:

See local B2B categories

The business I’m marketing qualifies. What’s next?

See which of these two groups you belong to: either a B2B company that hasn’t been doing local SEO, or a local business that hasn’t created a B2B offering yet. Then follow the set of foundational tips specific to your scenario.

If you’re marketing a B2B company that hasn’t been doing local SEO:

  1. Know that the goal of local SEO is to make you as visible as possible online to any neighbor searching for what you offer so that you can win as many transactions as possible.
  2. Read the Guidelines for Representing your business on Google to be 100% sure your business qualifies and to familiarize yourself with Google’s rules. Google is the dominant player in local search.
  3. Make sure your complete, accurate name, address, and phone number is included in the footer of your website and on the Contact Us page. If you have multiple locations, create a unique page on your website for each location, complete with its full contact information and useful text for website visitors. Make each of these pages as unique and persuasive as possible.
  4. Be sure the content on your website thoroughly describes your goods and services, and makes compelling offers about the value of choosing you.
  5. Make sure your website is friendly to mobile users. If you’re not sure, test it using Google’s free mobile-friendly test.
  6. Create a Google My Business profile for your business if you don’t already have one so that you can work towards ranking well in Google’s local results. If you do have a profile, be sure it is claimed, accurate, guideline-compliant and fully filled out. This cheat sheet guide explains all of the common components that can show up in your Google Business Profile when people search for your company by name.
  7. Do a free check of the health of your other major local business listings on Moz Check Listing. Correct errors and duplicate listings manually, or to save time and enable ongoing monitoring, purchase Moz Local so that it can do the work for you. Accurate local business listings support good local rankings and prevent customers from being misdirected and inconvenience.
  8. Ask for, monitor, and respond to all of your Google reviews to improve customer satisfaction and build a strong, lucrative reputation. Read the guidelines of any other platform (like Yelp or TripAdvisor) to know what is allowed in terms of review management.
  9. Build real-world relationships within the community you serve and explore them for opportunities to earn relevant links to your website. Strong, sensible links can help you increase both your organic and local search engine rankings. Join local business organizations and become a community advocate.
  10. Be as accessible as possible via social media, sharing with your community online in the places they typically socialize. Emphasize communication rather than selling in this environment.

If you’re marketing a local business that hasn’t created a B2B offering yet:

  1. Research your neighborhood and your community to determine what kinds of businesses are present around you. If you’re not sure, reach out to your local Chamber of Commerce or a local business association like AMIBA to see if they have data they can share with you. Doing searches like “Human Resources Event Seattle” or “People Ops Event Seattle” can bring up results like this one naming some key companies and staffers.
  2. Document your research. Create a spreadsheet with a column for why you feel a specific business might be a good fit for your service, and another column for their contact information.See if you can turn up direct contact info for the HR or People Ops team. Phone the business, if necessary, to acquire this information.
  3. Now, based on what you’ve learned, brainstorm an offering that might be appealing to this audience. Remember, you’re trying to entice other business owners and their staff with something that’s special for them and meets their needs..
  4. Next, write out your offering in as few words at possible, including all salient points (who you are, what you offer, why it solves a problem the business is likely to have, available proof of problem-solving, price range, a nice request to discuss further, and your complete contact info). Keep it short to respect how busy recipients are.
  5. Depending on your resources, plan outreach in manageable batches and keep track of outcomes.
  6. Be sure all of your online local SEO is representing you well, with the understanding that anyone seriously considering your offer is likely to check you out on the web. Be sure you’ve created a page on the site for your B2B offer. Be sure your website is navigable, optimized and persuasive, with clear contact information, and that your local business listings are accurate and thorough — hopefully with an abundance of good reviews to which you’ve gratefully responded.
  7. Now, begin outreach. In many cases this will be via email, using the text you’ve created, but if you’ve determined that an in-person visit is a better approach, invest a little in having your offer printed nicely so that you can give it to the staff at the place of business. Make the best impression you possibly can as a salesperson for your product.
  8. Give a reasonable amount of time for the business to review and decide on your offer. If you don’t hear back, follow up once. Ideally, you’re hoping for a reply with a request for more info. If you hear nothing in response to your follow-up, move on, as silence from the business is a signal of disinterest. Make note of the dates you outreached and try again after some time goes by, as things may have changed at the business by then. Do, however, avoid aggressive outreach as your business will appear to be spamming potential clients instead of helping them.

As indicated, these are foundational steps for both groups — the beginnings of your strategy rather than the ultimate lengths you may need to go to for your efforts to fully pay off. The amount of work you need to do depends largely on the level of your local competition.

B2B tips from Moz’s own Team Happy

Moz’s People Ops team is called Team Happy, and these wonderful folks handle everything from event and travel planning, to gift giving, to making sure people’s parking needs are met. Team Happy is responsible for creating an exceptional, fun, generous environment that functions smoothly for all Mozzers and visitors.

I asked Team Happy Manager of Operations, Ashlie Daulton, to share some tips for crafting successful B2B outreach when approaching a business like Moz. Ashlie explains:

  • We get lots of inquiry emails. Do some research into our company, help us see what we can benefit from, and how we can fit it in. We don’t accept every offer, but we try to stay open to exploring whether it’s a good fit for the office.
  • The more information we can get up front, the better! We are super busy in our day-to-day and we can get a lot of spam sometimes, so it can be hard to take vague email outreach seriously and not chalk it up to more spam. Be real, be direct in your outreach. Keeping it more person-to-person and less “sales pitchy” is usually key.
  • If we can get most of the information we need first, research the website/offers, and communicate our questions through emails until we feel a call is a good next step, that usually makes a good impression.

Finally, Ashlie let me know that her team comes to decisions thoughtfully, as will the People Ops folks at any reputable company. If your B2B outreach doesn’t meet with acceptance from a particular company, it would be a waste of your time and theirs to keep contacting them.

However, as mentioned above, a refusal one year doesn’t mean there couldn’t be opportunity at a later date if the company’s needs or your offer change to be a better fit. You may need to go through some refinements over the years, based on the feedback you receive and analyze, until you’ve got an offer that’s truly irresistible.

A sample B2B outreach email

La práctica hace al maestro.”
– Proverb

Practice makes perfect. Let’s do an exercise together in which we imagine ourselves running an awesome Oaxacan restaurant in Seattle that wants to grow the B2B side of our business. Let’s hypothesize that we’ve decided Moz would be a perfect client, and we’ve spent some time on the web learning about them. We’ve looked at their website, their blog, and have read some third-party news about the company.

We found an email address for Team Happy and we’ve crafted our outreach email. What follows is that email + Ashlie’s honest, summarized feedback to me (detailed below) about how our fictitious outreach would strike her team:

Good morning, Team Happy!

When was the last time Moz’s hardworking staff was treated to tacos made from grandmother’s own authentic recipe? I’m your neighbor Jose Morales, co-owner with my abuela of Tacos Morales, just down the street from you. Our Oaxacan-style Mexican food is:

– Locally sourced and prepared with love in our zero-waste kitchen
– 100% organic (better for Mozzers’ brains and happiness!) with traditional, vegan, and gluten-free options
– $6–$9 per plate

We know you have to feed tons of techies sometimes, and we can effortlessly cater meals of up to 500 Mozzers. The folks at another neighboring company, Zillow, say this about our beautiful food:

“The best handmade tortillas we’ve ever had. Just the right portions to feel full, but not bogged down for the afternoon’s workload. Perfect for corporate lunches and magically scrumptious!”

May I bring over a complimentary taco basket for a few of your teammates to try? Check out our menu here and please let me know if there would be a good day for you to sample the very best of Taco Morales. Thank you for your kind consideration and I hope I get the chance to personally make Team Happy even happier!

Your neighbors,
Jose y Lupita Morales
Tacos Morales
www.tacosmorales.com
222 2nd Street, Seattle – (206) 111-1111

Why this email works:

  • We’re an inclusive office, so the various dietary options catch our eye. Knowing price helps us decide if it’s a good fit for our budget.
  • The reference to tech feels personalized — they know our team and who we work with.
  • It’s great to know they can handle some larger events!
  • It instills trust to see a quote from a nearby, familiar company.
  • Samples are a nice way to get to know the product/service and how it feels to work with the B2B company.
  • The menu link, website link, and contact info ensure that we can do our own exploring to help us make a decision.

As the above outreach illustrates, Team Happy was most impressed by the elements of our sample email that provided key information about variety, price and capacity, useful links and contact data, trust signals in the form of a review from a well-known client, and a one-on-one personalized message.

Your business is unique, and the precise tone of your email will match both your company culture and the sensibilities of your potential clients. Regardless of industry, studying the above communication will give you some cues for creating your own from the viewpoint of speaking personally to another business with their needs in mind. Why not practice writing an email of your own today, then run it past an unbiased acquaintance to ask if it would persuade them to reply?

A checklist to guide your website content

Your site content speaks for you when a potential client wants to research you further before communicating one-on-one. Why invest both budget and heart in what you publish? Because 94% of B2B buyers reportedly conduct online investigation before purchasing a business solution. Unfortunately, the same study indicates that only 37% of these buyers are satisfied with the level of information provided by suppliers’ websites. Do you see a disconnect here?

Let’s look at the key landing pages of your website today and see how many of these boxes you can check off:

My content tells potential clients…

☑ What my business name, addresses, phone numbers, fax number, email addresses, driving directions, mapped locations, social and review profiles are

☑ What my products and services are and why they meet clients’ needs

☑ The complete details of my special offers for B2B clients, including my capacity for fulfillment

☑ What my pricing is like, so that I’m getting leads from qualified clients without wasting anyone’s time

☑ What my USP is — what makes my selling proposition unique and a better choice than my local competitors

☑ What my role is as a beneficial member of the local business community and the human community, including my professional relationships, philanthropy, sustainable practices, accreditations, awards, and other points of pride

☑ What others say about my company, including reviews and testimonials

☑ What my clients’ rights and guarantees are

☑ What value I place on my clients, via the quality, usefulness, and usability of my website and its content

If you found your content lacking any of these checklist elements, budget to build them. If writing is not your strong suit and your company isn’t large enough to have an in-house content team, hire help. A really good copywriter will partner up to tell the story of your business while also accurately portraying its unique voice. Expect to be deeply interviewed so that a rich narrative can emerge.

In sum, you want your website to be doing the talking for you 24 hours a day so that every question a potential B2B client has can be confidently answered, prompting the next step of personal outreach.

How to find your B2B advantage

Earlier, we spoke of the research you’ll do to analyze the business community you could be serving with your B2B offerings, and we covered how to be sure you’ve got the local digital marketing basics in place to showcase what you do on the web. Depending on your market, you could find that investment in either direction could represent an opportunity many of your competitors have overlooked.

For an even greater advantage, though, let’s look directly at your competitors. You can research them by:

  1. Visiting their websites to understand their services, products, pricing, hours, capacity, USP, etc.
  2. Visiting their physical premises, making inquiries by phone, or (if possible) making a purchase of their products/services to see how you like them and if there’s anything that could be done better
  3. Reading their negative reviews to see what their customers complain about
  4. Looking them up on social media, again to see what customers say and how the brand handles complaints
  5. Reading both positive and negative media coverage of the brand

Do you see any gaps? If you can dare to be different and fill them, you will have identified an important advantage. Perhaps you’ll be the only:

  • Commercial cleaning company in town that specializes in servicing the pet-friendly hospitality market
  • Restaurant offering a particular type of cuisine at scale
  • Major attraction with appealing discounts for large groups
  • Commercial printer open late at night for rush jobs
  • Yoga instructor specializing in reducing work-related stress/injuries

And if your city is large and highly competitive and there aren’t glaring gaps in available services, try to find a gap in service quality. Maybe there are several computer repair shops, but yours is the only one that works weekends. Maybe there are a multitude of travel agents, but your eco-tourism packages for corporations have won major awards. Maybe yours is just one of 400+ Chinese restaurants in San Francisco, but the only one to throw in a free bag of MeeMee’s sesame and almond cookies (a fortune cookie differentiator!) with every office delivery, giving a little uplift to hardworking staff.

Find your differentiator, put it in writing, put it to the fore of your sales process. And engineer it into consumer-centric language, so that hard candy buttons with chocolate inside them become the USP that “melts in your mouth, not in your hands,” solving a discovered pain point or need.

B2B marketing boils down to service

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”

– Charles Dickens

We’re all in business to serve. We’re all helpers. At Moz, we make SEO easier for digital and local companies. At your brand, _________?

However you fill in that blank, you’re in the business of service. Whether you’re marketing a B2B that’s awakening to the need to invest in local SEO or a B2C on the verge of debuting your new business-to-business offering, your project boils down to the simple question,

“How can I help?”

Looking thoughtfully into your brand’s untapped capacities to serve your community, coupled with an authentic desire to help, is the best groundwork you can lay at the starting point for satisfaction at the finish line.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Reblogged 6 months ago from tracking.feedpress.it

My predictions for marketing in 2019

As I sit in the office trying to muster my last ounce of motivation before breaking up for Christmas, I think to myself: what’s marketing going to look like in a year’s time? For marketers like myself it’s a difficult question to answer, simply because our intelligence-driven world is changing at lightening speed. Brands are finding it harder to differentiate themselves and gain trust from consumers, who similarly are trying to keep up with the rapid pace of technological change.

For those of you who’d like some light reading and no-nonsense content, here are my predictions for what’s to come.

1. Understanding customers should be top on the agenda

Consumers have so many channels to chose from nowadays so, as marketers, you’ve got to get the channel right. Brands are now more empowered than ever to track customer behavior and decipher that Customer X would prefer an SMS, while Customer Y, who hates receiving text messages, would much prefer email.

In 2019, remember that communication preferences matter. Did you know that some analysts foresee around 50% of searches to be made via voice search by 2020? Predictions like this one may seem outlandish, but the kids of today are growing up with the expectation that they’ll be able to contact whoever they like, however they like.

2. AI is poised to smarten up your marketing

To some, Artificial Intelligence sounds a bit like a horror movie. If I weren’t a marketer, my first thoughts of AI might have conjured images of 1984 or fanatical robots on the rampage. The latter aren’t too dissimilar to Elon Musk’s recent predictions that AI might kill us all. Jokes aside, AI is going to empower brands to do much more in less time, and with half the effort. Machine learning is causing quite the stir, enabling marketers to deliver hyper-personalized customer experiences across a multitude of channels like web, mobile, and in store. A great example are relevant product recommendations in email and landing pages.

3. Customers want relevant content, not irrelevant ads

Tell, don’t sell. That’s my mantra. If you’re like me, then you’ll respect brands more if they offer up some inspirational content that actually makes you think, rather than mind-numbing, generic ads that have nothing to do with you. Don’t get me wrong, ads can be exceptionally targeted if brands understand their customers and pay attention to data. However, rich editorial content is proving to be a worthy cause for investment, as customers continue to differentiate brands more on experience, rather than product and price.

4. Automation will enhance your brand authenticity

If you’re not already automating your marketing communications in 2018, you’re falling seriously behind. Intelligent messages will put your brand in a good light because customers appreciate (and are even impressed by) them. They’ll think your brand more authentic and reputable than competitors, and will think of you when they come to purchase next.

To nail your automation in 2019, you’ll have to have to be able to recall and act on important data quickly. If I’m browsing some flights to New York because I’m thinking about going with my boyfriend, and later receive a triggered email prompting me to book before prices sky-rocket, the likelihood is that I will.

5. AR and VR will transform the shopping experience

Customers have long complained about shopping. Inattentive store assistants, dimly-lit dressing rooms, and inaccurate product information have all contributed to many disheartened experiences. For retailers, it’s always been a challenge to control every irritating factor, but not for much longer.

As consumers ride the mobile wave, retailers are dipping their toes in digital signage, which is set to take off among luxury brands. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are on course to revolutionize the shopping experience, arming retailers with the tech they need to provide seamless shopping experiences that are both informative and entertaining.

With AR, customers will be able to view themselves donning their new attire in store via a digital projection. VR goes even further; ever wanted to see what your new bathing costume would look like on a speed boat? No, me neither. But it sounds pretty cool!

Goldman Sachs predicts that the market for AR and VR in retail will reach $1.6 billion by 2025, so watch this space!

 

If these predictions have inspired you to spice up your marketing, please contact your account manager or watch a quick demo.

That’s a wrap. I’m checking out now – see you all in 2019!

 

 

The post My predictions for marketing in 2019 appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 8 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Take the 2018 Moz Local Search Marketing Industry Survey

Posted by MiriamEllis

Local search marketing is a dynamic and exciting discipline, but like many digital professions, it can be a bit isolating. You may find yourself running into questions that don’t have a ready answer, things like…

  • What sort of benchmarks should I be measuring my daily work by?
  • Do my clients’ needs align with what my colleagues are seeing?
  • Am I over/undervaluing the role of Google in my future work?

Here’s a chance to find out what your peers are observing and doing on a day-to-day basis.

The Moz Local Search Marketing Industry Survey will dive into job descriptions, industries served, most effective tactics, tool usage, and the non-stop growth of Google’s local features. We’ll even touch on how folks may have been impacted by the recent August 1 algorithm update, if at all. In-house local SEOs, agency local SEOs, and other digital marketers are all welcome! All participants will be entered into a drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card. The winner will be notified on 8/27/18.

Give just 5 minutes of your time and you’ll get insights and quotable statistics back when we publish the survey results. Be sure to participate by 8/24/2018. We sincerely appreciate your contributions!

Take the Local SEO Survey Now

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Reblogged 1 year ago from tracking.feedpress.it

Marketing challenges: how to beat the 5 bottlenecks

Fast technological development has empowered companies with an array of SaaS tools, helping break down the traditional barriers between business and consumer. If used effectively, marketers can deliver exceptional customer experiences – easily and profitably.

What are we on about? Marketing automation of course!

Only 51% of businesses are using marketing automation – what’s causing this roadblock? It’s certainly not the ROI: triggered messages drive 624% more conversions than batch-and-blast emails (Blueshift Benchmark Report, 2016).

If you find your challenges overwhelming, you need to take a step back and:

  • plan ahead with realism
  • invest your time wisely
  • adopt technology that helps you reach your customers

Challenge #1 – data

Data can be a stumbling block for businesses. It can either bring strategies to fruition or stop them in their tracks. The #1 priority for worldwide marketers, according to eMarketer, is to generate traffic and leads. However, this ultimately hinges on the data processes adopted by your company – so it’s crucial to get to grips with your collection, enrichment and management of data.

Whether you’re a B2C or B2B, your data will tell a story. Extracting insight is a fundamental practice that will contribute to the success of your marketing efforts.

Single customer view (SCV) is a mystifying term that needs to be addressed. Commonly thought of as a product, SCV is actually an optimum flow of data that informs marketing, enables sales and yields analytics. It’s the most important process in business and heavily relies on having the right technology in-house.

SCV could be the sum of a customer’s behavioral, transactional and demographic data. These data sources provide complete and actionable insight, meaning you can treat customers as individuals in your marketing campaigns. As a result, they’re likelier to engage with you and buy from you.

Challenge #2 – technology

Technology innovation is shaping the digital landscape, and with it, the customer-brand relationship. Consumers are now the decision-makers when it comes down to communication.

Those who fail to move with the times will be left in the lurch – if brands don’t adapt to customers’ communication preferences, they’re as good as out of businesses.

Aspirational marketers must adopt the right tools to meet the demands of their audiences. And while there are many SaaS options available, it’s wise for businesses to work with a powerful platform that plays well with others – where native products, integrations and widgets work together under one roof.

Today, brands can no longer use the ‘technology gap’ as a legitimate excuse for delivering poor customer experiences. The development of marketing automation systems has empowered businesses to be champions of personalization and one-to-one communications. These data-triggered messages deliver twice the number of leads than bulk emailing. Blitzing contacts with a shower of emails simply doesn’t cut it anymore! Plus, the market offering is so plentiful that there’s an option to suit every budget.

Challenge #3 – time

It can be hard to break the routine and take time to focus on your wider strategic goals. As marketers, we often get bogged down in day-to-day tasks that need to be churned out; in doing so, we neglect the things that matter most.

79% of marketing leads never convert into sales, for example; poor lead nurturing efforts are to blame for this, and the root cause is a lack of time.

Marketing automation is the answer; making time to implement it means saving more time in the long run. You also make more money – 75% of marketers swear by automation as a revenue-generating tactic.

These winning automation practices can help you save time and make serious money:

  • Automating social media posts can save you around 6 hours per week – time better spent elsewhere!
  • Dynamic content variations in email deliver a 20% uplift in sales
  • Businesses that automate lead nurturing with timely emails see a 10%+ increase in revenue
  • It costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, so implementing an aftersales program is top on the agenda

Challenge #4 – resource

Not having enough resources in-house can hold you back from kickstarting your automation journey.

Many marketers prioritize their everyday tasks, neglecting proper time to focus on process improvements or alternative solutions that will make life easier. This can compromise long-term strategy and weaken marketing effectiveness to the benefit of the competition.

If you’re familiar with this scenario, you’re not alone.

40% of UK marketers surveyed in an eMarketer report said limits in resource hinder their email marketing automation. [1] This was the highest response rate for any given reason, which included a lack of strategy and budget restraints. Likewise, in an Econsultancy report, 60% of B2B marketers cited resource as the most significant challenge impeding marketing automation. [2]

Whether you want to create a customer lifecycle program, or need interim campaign management support, outsourcing your automation efforts means you can hit the ground running. After all, there are people out there – like us – building automation programs day in, day out.

And while this alleviates your resource constraints, your best brains get the chance to strategize and plan more programs. This will boost your long-term performance and ROI.

Challenge #5 – expertise

The surge in digital channels means that marketers need to leverage the right expertise to utilize their technology effectively.

According to a study of marketers conducted by the Digital Marketing Institute, strategy and planning emerged as the leading skills gap among US and UK organizations. Plus, only 8% of those who were tested on digital marketing competency achieved entry level skills! [3]

Ambitious marketers limited to in-house resources can easily get ahead of themselves and end up with too much on their plates. A whole host of things can suffer as a result: the learning curve, productivity, strategic planning, to name but a few. Not every marketer knows everything – and that’s okay! It’s important to remember that each knowledge gap you encounter is an opportunity to be seized.

If there’s a limit to your expertise – and this is preventing you from realizing your strategy – then it’s high time you considered outsourcing knowledge. A touch of marketing know-how is sometimes all you need to take your business to the next level.

Whether it’s practical advice from a digital marketing specialist, strategic guidance from an account manager, or a full-blown digital consultancy session – the learnings are there to take away and build upon.

When sourcing expertise, don’t forget to:

 

For the key takeaways on how to beat these five marketing challenges, download our handy cheatsheet here.

 

[1] eMarketer, Challenges of Marketing Automation According to Email Marketers Worldwide [Chart], 2017

[2] Econsultancy, State of B2B Marketing Automation, 2017

[3] Missing the Mark: the digital marketing skills gap in the USA, UK and Ireland, 2016

The post Marketing challenges: how to beat the 5 bottlenecks appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.dotmailer.com

How to Rock MozCon 2018 Like the Marketing Superhero You Are

Posted by FeliciaCrawford

MozCon is just around the corner, meaning it’s time to share one of our absolute favorite posts of the year: the semi-official MozCon Guide to Seattle!

For those of you following the yellow brick road of I-5 into the heart of the Emerald City to spend three days absorbing all the SEO insight you can hold, this should help you plan both how you spend your time at the conference and outside of it. For those watching on the sidelines, scroll along and you’ll find a treasure trove of fun Seattle ideas and resources for future cons or trips you might make to this fair city by the sea.

And if you’ve been waffling on whether or not to take the plunge (to attend the conference — I wouldn’t recommend plunging into the Puget Sound, it’s quite cold), there may still be time:

Register for MozCon!

We’re now over 99% sold out, so act fast if you’ve got your heart set on MozCon 2018!

Official MozCon activities:

We know you’re here for a conference, but that’s only part of your day. After you’ve stuffed every inch of space in your brain with cutting-edge SEO insights, you’re going to want to give yourself a break — and that’s exactly why we’ve put together an assortment of events, activities, suggestions, and Seattle insider pro tips for how to fill your time outside of MozCon.

The MozCon kickoff party!

With day one behind you, we’re guessing you’ll be some mix of energized, inspired, and ready to relax just a bit. Celebrate the first day of MozCon at our Monday night kickoff party with a night of networking, custom cocktails, and good music at beautiful Block 41 in Belltown.

Meet with fellow marketers and the Mozzers that keep your SEO software shiny while you unwind after your first full day of conferencing. It’s our privilege and delight to bring our community together on this special night.

Our famously fun MozCon Bash

There ain’t no party like a MozCon party! We invite all MozCon attendees and Mozzers to join us on Wednesday night at the Garage Billiards in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. From karaoke to photobooth, from billiards to shuffleboard, and peppered liberally with snacks and libations, the Wednesday Night MozCon Bash is designed to celebrate the completion of three days of jam-packed learning. This is the industry party of the year — you won’t want to miss it!

Birds of a Feather lunch tables

In between bites of the most delicious lunch you’ll find in the conference circuit, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with your fellow community members around the professional topics that matter most to you. Each day there will be seven-plus tables with different topics and facilitators; find one with a sign noting the topic and join the conversation to share advice, learn new tips and tricks, and discover new friends with similar interests.

Monday, July 9th

  • Google Analytics & Tag Management hosted by Ruth Burr Reedy at UpBuild
  • Content-Driven Link Building hosted by Paddy Moogan at Aira
  • Mobile App Growth hosted by Emily Grossman at Skyscanner
  • Content Marketing hosted by Casie Gillette at KoMarketing
  • Local SEO hosted by Mike Ramsey at Nifty Marketing
  • Podcasting hosted by Heidi Noonan-Mejicanos at Moz
  • Workflow Optimization hosted by Juan Parra at Accelo

Tuesday, July 10th

  • SEO A/B Testing hosted by Will Critchlow at Distilled
  • Community Speaker Connection hosted by Sha Menz at Moz
  • PPC + SEO Integration hosted by Jonathon Emery at Distilled
  • Meet Your Help Team hosted by Kristina Keyser at Moz
  • Agency Collaboration hosted by Yosef Silver at Fusion Inbound
  • Site Speed hosted by Jono Alderson at Yoast
  • Featured Snippets hosted by Rob Bucci at STAT Search Analytics
  • Voice Search hosted by Dr. Pete Meyers at Moz

Wednesday, July 11th

  • Content Marketing Q&A hosted by Kane Jamison at Content Harmony
  • Paid Search Marketing for High-Cost Keywords hosted by Trenton Greener at the Apex Training
  • SEO A/B Testing hosted by Will Critchlow at Distilled
  • Team Hiring, Retention, & Growth hosted by Heather Physioc at VML
  • Local Search hosted by Darren Shaw at Whitespark
  • Machine Learning & Advanced SEO by Britney Muller at Moz
  • Reporting Q&A hosted by Dana DiTomaso at Kick Point

The delight is in the details

MozCon is literally brimming with things to do and ways to support our attendees when they need it. Aside from our hosted events and three days’ worth of talks, we’ve got things to fill in the cracks and make sure your MozCon experience is everything you’ve ever wanted from a conference.

Photobooth with Roger: Admit it — you see that cute, googly-eyed robot face and you just want to hug it forever. At MozCon, you can do just that — and memorialize the moment with a picture at the photobooth! Roger’s a busy bot, but his photobooth schedule will be posted so you can plan your hugs accordingly.

Ping pong play sesh: Don your sweat bands and knee-high socks and keep your paddle arm limber! During breaks, we’ll have ping pong tables available to burn some excess energy and invite a little casual competition.

The world map of MozCon: Ever play pin the tail on the donkey? Well, this is sort of like that, but the donkey is a world map and (thankfully) there’s no blindfold. You’ll place a pin from wherever in the world you traveled from. It’s amazing to see how far some folks come for the conference!

Local snacks galore: Starbucks, Piroshky Piroshky, Ellenos Yogurt, and Top Pot Donuts will happily make themselves acquainted with your tastebuds! Carefully chosen from local Seattle businesses, our snacks will definitely please your local taste pallet and, if past feedback is to be believed, possibly tempt you to move here.

Stay charged: Pining for power? Panicking at that battery level of 15% at 10am? Find our charging sofas to fuel up your mobile device.

MozCon is for everyone

We want marketers of all stripes to feel comfortable and supported at our conference. Being “for everyone” means we’re working hard to make MozCon more accessible in many different ways. The Washington State Convention Center is fully ADA compliant, as are our other networking event venues. But it’s important for us to get even better, and we welcome your feedback and ideas.

Here are a few of the ways we’ve worked to make MozCon a welcoming event for everyone:

  • A ramp on the stage
  • Live closed captioning of the main event
  • Walkways for traffic flow
  • Menus featuring options or special meals (that actually taste good) for dietary restrictions
  • A nursing room
  • Gender-neutral bathroom options
  • Lots of signage
  • T-shirts that fit different body types
  • Visible staff to help make everyone’s experience the best possible
  • A proud partnership with 50/50 Pledge, furthering our commitment to better representation of women on stage
  • Strict enforcement of our Code of Conduct and TAGFEE

Bespoke city exploration — Get to know Seattle!

In years past, Tuesday nights were reserved for our MozCon Ignite event, where brave folks from myriad backgrounds would share stories in lighting-fast Ignite-style talks of five minutes each — the only rule being it can’t be about marketing!

While MozCon Ignite has always been a much-loved and highly anticipated event, we’ve also listened closely to your feedback about wanting more time to network on your own, plan client dinners, go on outings with your team, and in general just catch your breath — without missing a thing. That’s why this year, we’re folding Ignite into the official MozCon schedule so everyone can benefit from the tales shared and enjoy a fun five-minute break between SEO talks.

Wondering about what topics will be covered at Ignite this year?:

  • The Ninja Kit to NOT Get Sick While Traveling by Dana Weber at Seer Interactive
  • My Everest: How 10 Years of Chasing Tornadoes Came Down to One Moment by Tom Romero at Uncommon Goods
  • Baseball Made Me a Better Engineer by Tom Layson at Moz
  • Trailblazer: How Reading One Book Changed My Life for Good by Lina Soliman at OSUWMC
  • Drag Queen Warlocks, Skateboarding Sorcerers, & Other Folks by Jay Ricciardi at Tableau
  • Voice Dialogue Therapy: Listening to the Voices Inside Your Head by Kayla Walker at Distilled

We’re opening up Tuesday night as your chance to explore the Emerald City. We’ll have a travel team onsite at the conference on Tuesday to help you and your friends plan an exciting Seattle adventure. Perhaps you’ve met a fantastic group of like-minded folks at a Birds of a Feather lunch table and would love to talk featured snippets over fresh fish n’ chips at the Pike Place Market. Maybe you’ve always wanted to catch the view at the top of the Space Needle (recently renovated and reopened to provide even better views!). Or perhaps a quiet sunset picnic overlooking the water at Gasworks Park seems like the perfect way to relax after a long day of learning and networking. Regardless of whatever floats your boat, we encourage you to plan local meetups, invite your newfound and long-standing friends, and forge a few irreplaceable Seattle memories.

Wondering what there is to do, drink, eat, and see in Seattle?

Well, who better to ask than us Seattleites? Using tons of real suggestions from real Mozzers, we’ve put together a Google Map you can use to guide your exploration outside the confines of the event venue — check it out below!

Seattle’s got more to offer than we can name — get out there and discover the renowned Emerald City quirks and quaintness we’re famous for!

Travel options:

Seattle’s got a pretty solid transit system that can get you where you need to go, whether you’re traveling by bus or train. The city also has its share of rideshare services, as well as taxis, bikes, ferries, and water taxis, depending on where you’re headed.

Public transportation

  • King County Metro Trip Planner: Traverse the city by bus! You can also download an app to get real-time bus info (I like the One Bus Away app, developed here in Seattle by University of Washington grads)
  • Light Rail: Connecting the north end to the south, the Light Rail can move you across Seattle quickly (and even drop you off right at SeaTac for your flight home!)
  • Water taxis and ferries can float you right across the Sound (and offer a lovely view while they’re at it)
  • A Transit Go ticket or ORCA card will happily power your public transit excursions
  • Bikeshare programs: As you wander the city, you may notice brightly colored bicycles patiently awaiting riders on the sidewalks. That rider could be you! If you’re feeling athletic, take advantage of the city’s bikeshare programs and see Seattle on two wheels.

Rideshares and taxis

  • Uber & Lyft can get you where you need to go
  • Moovn is a Seattle startup rideshare company
  • Two taxi services, Seattle Yellow Cab and Orange Cab, allow for online booking via their apps (or you can call ‘em the old-fashioned way!)

Are you ready to rock MozCon?!

If you’re already MozCon-bound come this July, make sure to join our Facebook group and download the app (must be on mobile) to maximize your networking opportunities, get to know fellow attendees, and stay up-to-date on conference news and activities.

To download our MozCon 2018 app, head to the Google Play or iTunes store. Download the Bizzabo app and verify your registration with the email you signed up with for MozCon. Once you’ve verified registration via your mobile browser, you’ll be ready and rarin’ to go!

If you’re thinking about grabbing a ticket last-minute, we still have a few left:

Grab a ticket while you can

And whether you’re going to be large, in charge, and live at the conference or just following along at home and eagerly waiting the video release, follow along with the #MozCon hashtag on Twitter to indulge in the juicy tidbits and takeaways attendees will undoubtedly share.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

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Take a shot this summer: how to use the World Cup to up your marketing game

One of the most interesting things I noticed right from the off was the lack of batch and blast marketing with bland, generic, slightly football related content. Of course, there will always be some. Supermarkets, take-outs and travel brands who have special World Cup offers – Ryanair have a limited time sale, Iceland and Co-op have offers on food and drink, and Uber Eats are offering 50% off first orders – but there has been a distinct lack of brands throwing caution to the wind and jumping on the World Cup bandwagon.

Instead, consumers are getting a hyper-personalized experienced via apps and social media. Do you want to know everything that’s happening as soon as it happens? Get the FIFA app. Interested in a free beer while watching the England game? Budweiser have an app for that.

Maybe you’re not interested in the football at all – that’s okay. The likes of Boohoo and ASOS scheduled push notifications about their sales to coincide with the kick-off of England’s World Cup campaign.

Unfortunately, these kinds of tactics are to be expected by big brands. But that doesn’t mean you should let this opportunity pass you by. So how can you make the most of the World Cup fever gripping the globe?

1) Think of your fans

There’s no point running a world cup themed campaign if your audience aren’t going to be engaged, so make sure whatever you do it’ll appeal to your customers. Domino’s’ social media campaign captures this perfectly. Branding themselves ‘The Official Food of not Going to International Football Tournaments’, they created a series of videos featuring former footballer Jimmy Bullard enjoying the World Cup from home. Its tongue-in-cheek humor and popular front man perfectly appeals to their target customers. On the flip side, NowTV is appealing to those hoping to escape the football by offering box set selections for those who ‘don’t give a damn’, are a ‘sore loser’, or have been ‘dumped for the football’.

World cup campaigns

2) Dominate the game

So far, mobile marketing – via apps, videos, and social media – is dominating World Cup comms. Whatever tactics you adopt, make sure you’re optimized for mobile. The summer is here, and people are making the most of it, so catch your customers wherever they are and make sure the journey you invite them on is one they will can enjoy. Get started with designing your emails for mobile by checking out our latest best practice guide.

3) Be ready for anything

One of the most exciting things about the World Cup is its unpredictability. Utilizing the moments nobody expects is a fantastic way to engage with your customers throughout the month when the world goes football mad. Amongst the biggest surprises so far has been Iceland’s draw with football aficionados Argentina. This has been wholeheartedly embraced by the Iceland Foods who has been filling its social media feeds with hilarious comments about their unexpected success.

Iceland tweets

4) Don’t score an own goal

Don’t ruin your chances of winning big. FIFA have strict rules about how you can and can’t advertise during the competition. Their “Official Marks” must not be used in unauthorized marketing. This includes the official emblem, trophy and mascot. Additionally, they have a range of “word marks” – specific wording relating to the event – that you can’t use in your promotions such as ‘FIFA World Cup’ and ‘Moscow 2018’. There are still plenty of ways to get in on the action. Sporting phrases and terms like ‘Summer of football’ are the best way around this. More information about the FIFA advertising guidelines can be found on their website.

5) Capture the spirit of the game

One of the most important things to remember is to have fun! It’s summertime and your marketing should embrace the fun and excitement that comes along with the World Cup. Your customers will have their highs and lows, or they may not care about it at all, but make the most of this opportunity to try new things. Did the underdog beat a top tier team? Follow one surprise with another and have a flash sale to celebrate! Are you looking to expand your contact list? Why not organize a world cup themed competition to encourage sign-ups? Maybe think about adapting your abandoned cart automation to include a “did you get distracted by the football” message.

 

For ideas and inspiration about how to improve your email game, head to our resources page today.

The post Take a shot this summer: how to use the World Cup to up your marketing game appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

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