It’s never too late to focus on your digital strategy

With the new year half way gone, brands are going through their budgets—and must determine how to spend the remainder based on previous metrics and business needs to ensure they reach their annual digital goals. This includes but is not limited to digital, which entails SEM, Paid Social, Media, CRM, and lead generation.

The last thing any brand wants is to come up short on their budget or on their KPIs.

An important first step is to look back at last year’s and the current year’s analytics, and evaluate what worked based on your brand and segment’s benchmarks, and what makes sense to increase, continue, and kill in regards to strategy and tactics.

According to Forbes, digital is the best way for marketers to truly reach their audience where they already areand is the most cost-efficient.

Here are five things to consider to increase your digital success:

1) SEO – Review your Google Analytics and Adwords reports to determine the best performing keywords and content, and determine what percentage is coming from SEM vs. SEO.

If your site relies only on paid traffic, your budget will likely end up bleeding dry, unless there is significant investment in SEO capabilities.

Consider the following:

Regular quality content. (And this doesn’t mean quantity!) It means content that a brand’s audience will find valuable. It is content that is distributed in a measured pace so your target audience knows when to expect it.

For example if it’s an article, ensure it’s an article that you can be an authority on, with content your audience will consume thoroughly and hopefully share and/or go on to consume more of in the next installment.

Ensure your content is tagged, and uses proper keywords to compete.

Tag your content in Voice Search, which searchengineland expects to be a major trend in 2018.

Cross-and back-link (where appropriate) to articles with previously well-written content to help direct traffic to your site.

 

2) Leads – After analyzing where the majority of your leads came from, and the associated spend, determine which lead sources are worth moving forward with.

For most brands, especially B2B, leads are critical to the success of the company. Generating leads enables a brand to nurture potential customers through the sales funnel, and hopefully, convert them into customers and loyal advocates down the road.

What more can brands do?

Facebook is known for cost efficient lead generation, because advertisers are able to specifically target their audience down to interest level, and has reasonably priced lead generation ads.

LinkedIn is another helpful channel, allowing brands to target specific career categories. However, Facebook remains one of the most effective platforms for targeting based on cost.

Bottom line: ensure the tools your brand is using are low CPL and capture quality leads, not just quantity.

 

3) Engagement –  Analyze the purpose of the engagement tactics your brand utilized last year, and determine if the results made sense for the purpose.

Was it to get clicks, or was it to get shares, or simply to get comments? Each piece of content has a particular purpose.

If you haven’t already, this year you must determine your brand strategy based on intent and purpose in order to measure and analyze accurately.

For example, it’s very difficult to compare the success of a video, which is measured by views, to an article, which is measured by clicks to your site.

In order for your content to be successful, ensure your analytics marketer is comparing apples to apples.

 

4) Views – As mentioned above, engagement is different and so are views.

Views have different definitions on different channels. Evaluate last year’s numbers based on the channel and their particular benchmarks, rather than the exact amount of views.

Using these insights, your brand can determine which channels are worth continuing with this year, which channels are worth more investment, and potentially, if video works for your brand in the first place.

If video does work for your brand, but not all video, it helps to determine length options (15 vs 30 vs 60), and types of videos (ex. How-to vs. interview).

 

5) Purchase – Last but definitely not least is purchase. A great example is e-commerce, where your marketing team can see exact calculations to determine which tactics led to the most purchases.

For instance, an alcohol brand selling on a 3rd party delivery site can attribute their e-mail marketing campaign with the partner to an exact purchase. They can see how many clicks were true attributions, and which marketing tactics did not help at all.

This year, go a bit further and ensure the brand’s tagging and tracking is set for both internally and for partners, so the products and conversions can be measured back to your marketing action based upon the channel used.

Marketing never ends, and neither do the metrics. Is your brand ready?

 

Originally written for social media club.

Five Must-Have Marketing Skills for a Startup Marketer

 

marketing skills

In the startup world, when you’re beginning your new business, everything is going really fast. You’re wearing twenty different hats a day. One minute you’re the marketing manager, the next you’re the project manager, and yet another you’re the production manager.

Unfortunately, with the speed of the startup scene, sometimes certain skill sets fall to the way-side. So instead of letting that happen, make time to ensure that certain marketing skills are kept polished; whether it’s through workshops once a month, webinars, or just diving in with a good old business book.

Here are five key marketing skills that every brand must have. 

Storytelling

This is a unique skill that any marketer needs in order to be successful. It allows a brand to be unified across channels, allow consumers to understand what the brand stands for, and believe in the brand. It allows for the human side to come out and connecting with consumers on a deeper level. In addition to online storytelling through images, video, and written content, storytelling transcends to in-person interactions with customers.

Thinking Mobile First

When it comes to marketing your content, realize that people are always on the go. The one device that is always on them is their phone (and most likely a smart phone). Therefore, when creating your content and social strategy, designing your website, and/or strategizing your e-commerce efforts, it’s valuable to understand how your content will live on mobile devices first, then tablet, then desktop.

Differentiating Social Media Channels

It’s important to understand how each channel works, what it’s used for, which audiences are on it, and how best to distribute content within those channels. For example, one brand may be better suited for YouTube with its variety of videos,  while another may consider creating a tumblr blog for aggregating their content in one place for a community that is hungry for discovering and sharing cool stuff. Each channel is different and provides different features, which may enhance your products or services. Being knowledgeable on the ones that best fit your brand and your competition is helpful in creating the best marketing plan to be successful now and in the future.

Understanding SEO

This is one of the underpinning of being successful organically. Although Google makes changes on how people will be successful with their SEO tactics, it’s important to keep up. Whether it’s tagging your content with the right keywords, getting more shares on social, or distributing on partner channels for a larger audience – make sure you take the time to understand how SEO can play to your benefit.

To check out my tips around Data and Why it’s important to Understand all of the above, check out my full post on Startup Fashion!

Image via colinlogan

Three Tips for your Blog Content Strategy

Blogging Content

Image via janefriedman.com

Publishing is no longer just in the hands of magazines and newspapers; brands have the opportunity (as many have realized) to provide the value of content to consumers through video, blogs, infographics, and much more.

Today the brand is the publisher. When brands start creating and curating content it is normally through a blog or landing page that consumers are directed through to other channels.

Does your brand have a blog? Is it ready to make the investment in writers and quality content to keep loyal fans and accrue new ones?

3 things to consider for your blog content strategy…

Content Buckets
Your blog strategy is dependent on your marketing/business goals so it is important to ensure your content strategy for your blog is in line with those goals. Then, whether you have a 3 person team or a 500 person team you need to do a few things to put out valuable content:

  • Evaluate what your competition is putting out for content and what content buckets they are focused on (is it lifestyle content, industry content, sales content, and what mix?)
  • Evaluate what your audience is clicking on; spending most of their time consuming, and what keywords drive them to your website.
  • Where are the gaps…fill them in.
  • Determine the 2 to 4 buckets your brand can focus on and  test and learn and optimize the content accordingly.
  • Note: your strategy will change with time and so will your content buckets. Be ready and willing to adapt.

To read my other 2 imperative tips for a blog content strategy, please check out my full post on Startup Fashion! Thanks!

 

Will you Geek out on Halloween?

The past couple years, I’ve seen more and more individuals admit and embrace their “geekiness” – present company, included. More and more individuals are on Twitter and learning the importance of Inbound Marketing and utilizing SEO. Now, with Halloween around the corner, will those “geeks” show off that side of themselves, or “opt out”? I would love to see some creative Twitter costumes with some bold hashtag and RT remarks. Could someone be an actual RT? In the past I’ve seen someone be a Facebook Profile Page…Lame. We can do better! Creative ideas? Thoughts?

I, myself am going to be an M&M because my 16 yr old sister made the costume for me. Free Costume? Hell yea! Maybe next year I will embrace my geekdom during halloween, but as for this year, I am embracing my sweet tooth.

Would love to hear what other people consider “creative and geeky” costumes. @mention me at @pamsahota and Share!

(p.s. here’s a few from the past)