Monthly Archives: January 2015

Why You Should Do Your Marketing In-House

As a small business owner, marketing can take a lot of time. When you run a business, there are a million other things you have to take care of, including growing revenue, improving your products, and retaining customers (not to mention that you have to spend time acquiring customers in the first place!).

With all these tasks to complete, it only makes sense that you should hire an outside marketing consultant or company to do your work for you, right?

Wrong.

While marketing may take up a lot of your time, the best thing we advise you to do is do it all in-house. It is quite common for marketing businesses that specialize in PR, marketing, advertising, public affairs, etc. to end up being procurement officials in disguise.

From charging outrageous prices to confusing the lines of communication, outside marketing agencies can often times take advantage of the customer’s lack of knowledge in the space. They tend to charge trumped up prices to business owners that only belief paying more most likely leads to more traffic to their website.

In order to do your marketing in-house, you’ll need several areas of expertise to get a handle on:

1. Social media

You’ll need to know how to use social media effectively. Not just enough to post the occasional update, but enough to engage influencers and potential connections into sharing your marketing message across their social platforms.

2. Design

Both technical and artistic expertise are imperative to design. It’s a skill not many people can claim to practice, so be sure to master this one.

3. Content writing

Let’s be serious here: anyone can write content. But very few people can actually write well enough to resonate with an audience. This is one of the most important skills to possess as a marketer, as content is the main way you’ll be conveying your message.

4. Email marketing

Learn how to create email campaigns that are adequately designed and tailored for your audience’s consumption. Remember that for most industries, the shorter and more concise the email, the better.

These skills may take time to acquire in the short-term, but in the long run, you’ll be saving several costs that lower quality marketing agencies would’ve extracted from you otherwise.

What are some other skills necessary to do marketing in-house? What are some of the benefits? Let us know in the below comments section.

How to Get to the Top of Google Rankings

How strong is your website? Does it have the capacity to be the number one search result for your targeted keywords?

Most webmasters think SEO is a one-and-done solution. All they think you have to do is optimize your website a few times, do an audit or two, make the relevant changes, and then you’re good to go.

Unfortunately, nothing can be further from the truth.

SEO is an On-Going Project

Think about the way you exercise. You might get yourself into a peak level of fitness, but that doesn’t make it permanent. You have to keep exercising in order to stay strong. Luckily, it’s the same concept with your website.

You can’t just audit your website a few times, make a couple of tweaks, and expect to never have to “work out” again. Keep optimizing. Continue doing keyword research. Keep strengthening your website and looking for opportunities to rank in search.

What is the Standard for a Strong Website

So what’s your fitness plan for a strong website? What strategy is going to get you a steady stream of search traffic? Well, there are two common tells that can give you an idea of what keeps a site robust.

The first thing to take note of is keyword density (and it’s not what you think). You don’t need to stuff a lot of keywords into your pages in order to be search engine-friendly. Rather, have one page optimized for each target keyword, and you should be good to go. Plan on focusing on about 20 specific key terms regarding your niche.

However, don’t go overboard on keyword research (don’t target that much more than 20 terms).  Keep your website fit and strong, but not overly bulky and clumsy.

Another important tell is crafting quality content. We’re talking top-quality thought leader content writing. In search engines, the better your content is, the more links you receive from visitors. This is the key to maintaining a top ranking in Google.

Your content also has to be relevant. Don’t expect people to read your content if you’re going off on a random topic that doesn’t increase your audience’s knowledge. Readers love to learn, so invest time into teaching them.

At the End of the Day, Keep Your Website Fit

Here are the two main takeaways:

  1. Focus on your keywords. You won’t get a significant amount of traffic without at least a little research in this area.

  2. Write great content. Try to be as good if not better than your competitors. Keywords help get you in front of readers, but good writing lets you stay there.

Have you been putting these tips into practice to boost your website’s rankings in Google?

5 Ways Content Marketing Has Changed PR

It wasn’t long ago that media was run by push messaging (sending your message out to as many eyeballs as would be willing to pay attention) in order to be heard. PR companies were especially taxed in trying to find journalists to write content for them. Back then, this was the only way things could work.

However, things have changed.

No longer can you simply write something and get it seen by tens of thousands of willing participants. Now is the era of pull marketing (where you draw readers in with your story, quality content, and high quality partnerships). The tools that came about enabled anyone at anytime to become a publisher.

And this became the beginning of authentic content marketing for PR companies.

Here are a list of ways that content marketing fundamentally changed how PR marketers wrote content.

1. You have to actively promote your writing.

Gone are the days when all you had to do in order to receive traffic was hit “Publish.” Now, active promotion determines whether or not you’ll receive an audience for your content. Social media is one the premier ways to distribute content, and companies all over are taking advantage of this fact.

You can also email people you know to help in promotion towards a larger audience. As you can tell, building relationships is key to a successful promotion strategy.

2. Writing high quality content is important.

Regular writing won’t cut it. People want to read writing from thought leaders; experts on the industry. This is the part that takes talent, research, and hard work in order to make doable.

The higher quality posts you produce, the larger your following becomes. Putting extra effort into this is critical to building a reputation as an expert.

3. Storytelling is key.

People come to blogs and websites expecting to be wow’d; can you tell a story that captivates them upon arrival to your site? The stories sites are telling these days are extremely powerful, allowing PR companies to build a solid place within a dedicated niche market.

4. Partnerships are mandatory.

If your content is only on your own blog, you are underestimating the impact it can have in front of another audience. Creating partnerships with authorities can yield significant benefits for all parties involved.

Actively seek out places to guest post as a thought leader so that you can acquire more readers and, in turn, provide quality content to another authority.

5. Everyone is a producer now.

PR companies aren’t alone out there; with content creation made easier than ever, everyone is a producer now. And that’s perfect.

Now that anyone can create content, everyone is forced even more to create the best content they can. It’s ultimately a win-win for everybody when low quality content is shoved out of existence.

Always strive to publish the best content because anyone can just as easily be switched off.

In the end, content has changed PR for the better, and the digital world we live in is only going to improve.

Do you think content has leveled the playing field? Let us know in the comments section below.

Take Your Marketing Offline to Improve it Online

If you think about it, online and offline marketing isn’t that different. We love both interesting conversations and engaging reads. Whether you stick to using TV, print, radio, networking events, or tweetups, pay-per-click, native advertising, content marketing, or video, you still have to convey the same message.

In 2015, let’s be sure to rather than forcing yourself to choose between the online and offline marketing channels, integrate both for maximum effectiveness. Even though the methods are different, the power and effectiveness of consumer reach is equally potent.

However, how do you plan to make this strategy work in your favor? In this article, we’ll quickly go through some smart ways to make your marketing work both online and offline.

Replicate What Works on the Other Platform

In the offline world, the ability to provide fast exposure to a large set of eyes is what has made the advertising industry what it is today. Paid outlets like Google Adwords and Bing Ads allow business owners to market their websites to a much more targeted audience just like those who regularly read newspapers.

Speaking of newspapers, write more quality content. Print matters both online and offline. You have to be able to captivate your audience in more ways than one. Tell a compelling story, share valuable information, or simply keep your readers up-to-date on the goings-on from within your industry.

Reach Out and Engage Customers

In the offline world, one of the best ways to talk to customers is through your phone or in-person meetings. Customers sometimes go to places of business to speak with the owners, as well as calling to speak to a representative.

Make your online platform openly communicable too by having your contact information visible to website visitors (you can also downloads apps that enable you to live chat directly with visitors through the site). Your customers (and ultimately, you) will be glad you opened the lines of communication.

Trying out different tactics online can influence your offline strategy and vice-versa. Did these tips offer helpful insight into your marketing? Let us know in the comments below!

Interactive Monthly Marketing Roundup: December 2014

It’s that time of the month where we compile the best web marketing articles on email, copywriting, mobile advertising, and more! November was a significant month for the marketing industry, especially with the holiday season right around the corner.

We really hope you guys had an awesome year reading our content and taking a look at our roundups for the best information on the web.

Here’s to an amazing and prosperous 2015!

Email Marketing

Looking to grow your email list? Here are 50 proven ways to do that from Jayson DeMers.

Implementing custom messages in your emails as a result of user behavior is incredibly important to increasing email conversions. Jimmy Daly goes over several shining examples from top companies’ emailing practices.

Copywriting

How does a copywriter practice his craft? Here are some special tips for writing with Daniel Pink by Kelton Reid of Copyblogger.

Creating top notch landing page copy requires research on your market and relentless testing. Here is the complete eight-step process to writing converting copy with Henneke Duistermaat.

Mobile Advertising

2015 is here and is a year for greatness to begin! It’s the perfect time to get your mobile app up and running. Rahul Varshneya has the top 10 articles for learning to build your app.

Mobile is no longer the “second” screen. Here are 10 ways to optimize your mobile content marketing strategy by Jeff Bullas.

PPC Management | Paid Ads

PPC can be an incredible investment for any business owner, especially when you consider the amount of time you spend in order to get tangible results. Pauline Jakober lists five practical reasons why you should start off 2015 with a PPC plan in hand.

Take your PPC marketing to the next level with specific ecommerce strategies by Dejeesh of Techwyse.

Social Media

It’s been another incredible year for social media in 2014! Mike Allton does us the pleasure of doing his list of his top 10 Social Media Hat blog posts from that year.

Can social media ROI be measured? Look at the results several companies have had since implementing social media and see for yourself in Christian Arno’s article.

Web Development and Branding

Christmas may have past, but these lessons on planning out your web development remain as true as ever. Sudeep Banerjee offers a holistic approach to improving your website plan in this post.

The best web design companies offer more than just design. They also offer top-of-the-line customer service to make communication as easy as possible. Rick Whittington puts down a list of specifics you can read.

Search Engine Optimization

If you’re an avid reader of SEO news and tips, this blog post is for you! John Rampton shares his top 10 SEO blogs to read this year.

Here’s another refresher on learning the basics of on and off-page SEO by Joseph Cruz of Ahrefs.

*BONUS*

Technology and innovation are vastly improving the digital social experience for both customers and business owners. Cindy King presents 28 social media predictions for the year of 2015!

Let us know what you think of the roundup! List any of your favorite stories from last month down below in the comments section.