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Key Digital Branding Tips to Dominate Your Online Presence

9 Jan

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In a competitive marketplace where analytics and conversion rates rank high among digital marketing tools, many businesses put the idea of branding on the back burner. Because it’s a relatively slow process, traditional branding is often overlooked in favor of the instant-gratification of PPC campaigns, Facebook ads, and AdWords. Establishing a brand can sometimes be accomplished in just months…but in many cases, an effective brand can take years to develop.

As a critical marketing strategy that creates measurable results over time, downplaying the importance of your business’s brand is a big mistake. Take a look at our most valuable tips to help establish, expand, and empower your digital brand’s presence:

Leverage content to develop authority in your industry

These days, it’s no secret that content is crucial to any digital marketing strategy worth its salt. Video has risen to the top as a content leader, and blog posts are still the method of choice when it comes to establishing your brand’s voice through writing: the key is to keep the content high-quality, engaging, and authoritative.

Another great way to define your brand and establish authority is to publish free informational content designed to educate and assist your customers without directly selling to them. This type of content can have a positive effect on your SEO efforts by increasing page views, links, and long-term visibility.

Use social media to promote your content

No matter how much amazing content you publish on your website—it won’t do you any good if no one can find it. Utilizing social media ad campaigns can help with promotional efforts by streamlining your target audience and expanding your content’s reach. For example, Facebook allows you to aim for groups who “like” companies and products similar to yours, and Twitter offers the option to target a specific brand or influencer’s followers.

Maintain content that resonates with your brand voice

Effective branding relies on consistency, and keeping your content in line with your brand image is a critical step toward forging a meaningful connection with your audience. Focus on publishing content that’s consistent with your brand’s subject matter, image, and tone of voice.

Concentrate your efforts on branding over conversion rates

With the massive amount of fast-acting digital marketing tools available today, it may be tempting to focus on short-term metrics rather than long-term effectiveness in evaluating your branding campaign’s ROI. Many businesses make the mistake of initially strategizing with the intention of strengthening their brand—only to compromise those efforts by redirecting the campaign strictly on boosting conversion rates and return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) metrics.

Rather than trying to push a product or conversion in the effort to strengthen your brand, focus instead on associating the brand with a specific feeling, a sense of nostalgia, or reliable solution. This isn’t to say that those digital marketing metrics should be ignored—but they should be evaluated separately from your branding strategy. After all, branding’s real value and ROI can only be accurately measured over the long term.

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Are You Properly Using Intent Data?

3 Oct

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Your sales and marketing departments should be constantly on the lookout for the most cutting edge revenue driving innovations. One idea that is gaining an enormous amount of traction – with good reason – is intent data.

Intent data, is at its core, a tool for marketers that closely resembles big data. Many companies found that simply collecting big data was an expensive time sink unless that data was properly interpreted and activated. Intent data takes big data one step further. Taking the big data thats been aggregated by marketers and applies a rhyme and a reason to it. Intent data data gives marketers that interpretation and activation without the complicated manual process of analysis.

The term has been on the scene long enough that a few intent data techniques have proven themselves to be quite effective. Let’s take a look at some of the best!

Intent Data as Context

Your prospects may not be converting for the reasons that you think they are. If you never find the context within which your customers choose you, your sales will have a more difficult time expanding into new markets. You will push the wrong features and benefits, drawing deaf ears where you could be mining new business.

Intent data is really good at moving past the surface level information that populated CRMs around the world. Company name, position, and time served will not get you anywhere these days. You need to know the preferred technologies of a contact, what their unofficial role in the hierarchy might be, and their history of behavior when faced with criteria relevant to your sales funnel. Intent data does this more intensely than perhaps any other current information grab or practice, and as such, is definitely something to add to your repertoire in the near future.

Without intent data, you may find yourself selling to people who exhibit the right behaviors but will never purchase. They may not have the capacity nor the propensity, and you will never know unless you drill, drill, drill.

More Personalization

The hidden secret of today’s online marketing is how to un-anonymize your prospects as soon as possible. When your prospects first visit your website, they are fairly anonymous – outside of IP tracking – but their personal character traits and motivations are still a mystery to your business. You also have very little information about the purpose they serve within their company. That person could be a decision maker or just an intern who is surfing the Internet randomly.

Web personalization serves these visitors customized content that will drive them towards actions that will identify them. The modern intent data process is not obvious or invasive. Ideally, your new prospects will feel as though they are meeting a new friend rather than putting information into a resource and time sink.

Lead Prioritization

The process of lead prioritization, essentially separating good leads from the bad, has never been easier thanks to the ever-increasing automated marketing stack marketers have at their finger tips. CRM’s email systems, ad platforms, and more can all be combined to create big data that then gives us the ability to score leads more quickly and accurately than ever before.

If you are in need of additional intent data, most automated marketing stacks allow for the introduction of third party intent data through publisher networks. These networks utilize user registration cookies of IP information to give you an even more refined and accurate picture of your user.

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4 Questions Small Businesses Should Ask About Your Website

16 May

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In some ways, the features that make a website a good website vary from one small business to the next. Every small business serves a unique market, and your website should reflect that. But there are a few key basics that every small business should demand in their website regardless of market if you want to be competitive in your market.

Whether you already have a website or are thinking of getting a new one, these are the key questions you should be asking:

 

  1. SEO?  While optimizing your site so it appears high on the list of results that search engines return for their users may sound easy, it’s actually fairly complicated—especially because search engines like Google are constantly changing things to perfect their search algorithm. Are you positive your website is optimized for SEO best practices.
  2. Leads?  Can you prove your website is driving leads for your business? If not, it can be almost impossible for you to understand its cost vs. value. Like any other investment you make as a small business, the numbers should add up. Make sure your site includes a system that allows prospects to enter their information to ask for services and assistance. Lastly, look into pay-per-click (PPC) for your website and determine whether your site has the built-in capabilities to prove where the leads are coming from.
  3. Copy?  Words matter, and they especially matter on your website. So what is your website saying about you? Have you personalized it for your market? Does it convey what makes your company unique and special? Does it make a potential customer trust you? And lastly, are you leveraging keywords effectively so you show up first—and not your local competitors—when potential customers go searching for the products and services you offer?
  4. Products and services?  Does your website effectively display the products and/or services you offer? Are you able to quickly and easily update your site to reflect what is current? If not, are you showing your customers outdated products or services no longer available? Today’s customers want to be able to research their options—this is an easy but important opportunity for you to be their partner in getting the product information they need.

 

And lastly, a bonus question—do you have a website at all? If not, why don’t you? Better yet, if you have a website, are you putting resources into promoting it via PPC and other services that make you stand out against competitors?

As more and more people turn to the internet to not only find service providers, but to do research and find someone they trust, it becomes that much more important for you to have a strong web presence.

The truth is, if you’re failing any one of these questions, you could potentially be sending potential business prospects to your competitors, even if these prospects would typically already be inclined towards your brand. That’s why it’s important to ask questions regarding your website, whether it’s new or old.

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Inbound and Outbound Marketing: A Lesson in Marketing Reinforcement and Recall Value

11 May

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Too many business owners assume that inbound and outbound marketing are mutually exclusive and have little, if any, impact on one another. The truth is that both forms of marketing reinforce the other. Inbound marketing is best thought of as a “pull” style of marketing that makes use of premium content, referrals and an array of other means to bring in customers through online channels. Outbound marketing is more of a mass marketing effort that attempts to reach a wide audience. It pushes the service or product directly to the audience rather than relying on them to find it on their own. 

Inbound and Outbound Marketing: The Importance of Recall Value

Business owners, managers, and marketing managers are finding that inbound marketing greatly enhances outbound marketing. Inbound marketing is a somewhat covert means of advertising that keeps the business’s services and products on the minds of potential customers. Furthermore, the company itself, including its brand, remains at the forefront of the customers’ minds. The importance of this ubiquity cannot be overstated. This is the “recall value” that companies and marketers strongly desire.

Consider a target customer who is exposed to a company’s product, service, and/or brand by way of inbound marketing channels over and over again. Such a customer is able to rapidly recall his familiarity with the product and its features after being exposed to the selling points through outbound marketing campaigns. This means inbound and outbound marketing efforts reinforce one another in an effective manner.

Another Layer

Inbound marketing also enhances outbound marketing by providing an additional layer of depth to the overarching marketing picture. As an example, a traditional outbound advertisement on TV that motivates a prospective customer to visit the advertiser’s Twitter or Facebook page to learn more about the product or service gives the customer another way to engage with the company, its brand, and it’s product/service. This is an important additional layer to the product’s marketing. Inbound marketing really does provide a prospective customer with the opportunity to interact with the business, its offerings and even fellow consumers. This in-depth experience is much more important than functioning as passive observers who are subjected to conventional outbound marketing efforts.

Covert and Overt Marketing

Inbound marketing engages the target customer with the company’s offerings as well as its brand. It really makes customers feel as though they found the company’s products/services on their own. This experience provides customers with a sense of empowerment that has truly organic roots. Whether it is a web search, social media, or a referral that brings the consumer to the product, the point is the customer did it on their own so they value the connection with the product that much more. This phenomenon builds a unique style of brand loyalty as the consumer finds the product or service on their own rather than receiving it in a traditional top-down outbound advertisement.

A consumer who finds a product or service through inbound marketing and later sees the company name, brand or a specific offering in an outbound marketing effort will likely be that more receptive to the message. They already identify with the company and its offering, as their own actions connected him to the seller’s inbound marketing efforts. It is a spontaneous sequence of events, making it that much more legitimate from the customer’s perspective. This is the magic of reinforcing inbound marketing with outbound marketing. It is the perfect way to inspire brand loyalty across posterity. 

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4 Ways Building Materials Manufacturers Can Benefit From a Blog

9 May

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Businesses that don’t have a blog are not taking advantage of all the opportunities that this powerful marketing tool can offer. Even manufacturers of building materials can use their blog to reach out to new target audiences and grow their profits. Even if you don’t know much about blogging, these four reasons will convince you it’s necessary for your business. 

1. Connect with Customers

Blogs can provide means of connecting with customers and building relationships. This is especially true if you allow others to comment on your blog posts. Tying your blog topics to items that are in the news or that are trending means that people who are searching for that topic are more likely to find your website. 

Be sure to follow up on any comments and/or questions from readers in a timely manner. Answering succinctly and in a manner that is easy for the average person to understand shows good customer service and helps build relationships. 

2. Gain Authority

Your blog needs a purpose, like being a vehicle for imparting high-quality information that your audience can use.  Posting well-written blogs can help you gain a distinctive voice of authority within your industry. It’s important to refrain from directly selling to your audience when you write blog posts. 

While this might sound difficult, it doesn’t have to be – if you keep in mind that you are trying to be informative rather than sell. For example, instead of simply pointing out that you sell several different types of a particular building material, outline the benefits of each one in a way that makes it easy for your readers to choose the right one for their needs. 

3. Reach a Different Demographic

Think about your ideal customer that is most likely to purchase your products. Now visualize what the next generation of your customers is doing right now. Chances are that last demographic is online a great deal. Tapping into that up-and-coming customer base is crucial to ensuring the continued success of your business. 

4. You Stay Informed

One of the least well-known – but most important – reasons for maintaining a blog for your business is that it forces you to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings in your industry. Blogging about trending topics gives your business a stance of authority which you will have earned since you needed to research the topic before blogging about it. 

Don’t let this marketing tool sit idle any longer, take advantage of all the opportunities blogging can bring your business. Put these four tips into practice in your upcoming blog posts and let us know if they work for you by reaching out to us at here.

 

 

 

 

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