13 Ideas to Increase Sales Online and Build Brand Awareness

Let’s face it, we live in a time where as a business owner, you have so many options to advertise your brand online in the hopes of gaining more traffic to your website. You do your best to create valuable social media accounts, increase your online sales and improve your brand growth.

The right combination of advertising can make all the difference in the pursuit of any and all of these outcomes.

With so many different avenues available for your advertising budget, we’re going to give you a start with 13 ideas to increase sales online and build brand awareness through digital marketing.

 

  1. Google Search Ads

With over 3.5 billion searches per day, Google ads are a powerful tool for small business owners and established corporations alike. Let’s take a peek into the number one PPC form of advertising, Google Ads, to see if it’s a good fit to incorporate into your marketing plan.

The PPC Model

PPC stands for pay-per-click, a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked.

Growth from PPC is sometimes considered less organic than other forms of advertising, but is still considered one of the most successful ideas to increase sales and generate customer leads.

Use the Google Search Network to place ads on the search engine results pages (SERP). When your audience searches for businesses like yours, your ads will appear and the outcome is direct traffic to your website.

What is Google Ads?

For starters, Google Ads is one of the most used PPC advertising systems out there. Its platform allows businesses to create ads that appear on Google’s search engine.

Ads operates on a pay-per-click model. This system allows advertisers to reach potential customers at a cost that suits your budget.

Google Ads are effective, and is one of the best ideas to increase sales. Need proof? See how we made it possible for three small businesses to increase sales by over 457%.

  1. Google Remarketing Display Ads

Remarketing ads are banner ads used to stay in front of your recent website visitors to increase conversions. The more times people see your brand, the more likely they are to buy.

  1. Website Design

First impressions matter. In fact, it’s said that it only takes 1/10th of a second for an opinion to form, and websites are no exception to this snap judgment making.

To make sure you’re making a good first impression, consider the following SEO (Search Engine Optimization) elements that make for a top-notch site and the perfect ideas to increase sales online:

  • Mobile Friendly

For the love of guac, be sure your website is mobile friendly. Would it surprise you to know that 77% of Americans own a smartphone? Likely not. It seems like just about everywhere you turn someone is texting, on the phone, scrolling through social media, and browsing the web. A mobile friendly site means that it should have a responsive design. Regardless of the size of screen the consumer is viewing your site, the website’s elements should readily adapt.

  • Easy Navigation

People expect loading time to be minimal and navigation to be simple, so if your site meets both of these expectations, you’re in good shape, and likely to see a significant increase in the amount of traffic on your site compared to a site that lags.

  • Updated Content

Nothing says apathy more than an outdated website. You want your customers to know that you are in-the-now and current with your offerings. Merchandise out of stock? It should be listed on your website BEFORE the customer falls in love with the product just to have someone say it’s unavailable for months on end (knock on wood). Little updates make all the difference to the consumer, and updating your site is one of the easiest ideas to increase sales.

  • Design Scheme

Your website should embody the personality of your brand.

According to Hubspot, people can recall up to 65% of information that is visually depicted for a period of 72 hours vs only 10% of information they hear for the same period of time. People are generally visual learners, so featuring high quality photos and logos that represent your brand is the way to go.

  1. Email Campaigns

With 9 billion people using email applications, and 91% of consumers checking their email on a daily basis, now more than ever it’s essential to know who your target audience is when sending a newsletter. This allows you to optimize your click-through-rates and increase your customer interests in your brand’s message.

You know the age-old expression: “Know your audience.” Your email campaigns should live by this notion. Newsletters should always serve a purpose and embody your brand’s style to establish a trust and consistency of your brand.

Through our email marketing services, we design your newsletter, keep up with email list maintenance, and provide your email marketing reports so you can know exactly what content appeals to your customers.

  1. Facebook Advertising

It’s the big one, that’s right, Facebook. Did you know there are over 2.19 billion monthly active Facebook users? Yeah, I said BILLION. These users are consumers of hundreds of brands, products, and services, and are always looking for the best recommendations for where they should spend their next dollar. Allocating a portion of your marketing budget to Facebook advertising may be a good idea to increase sales for your business.

When Creating your Facebook Ad:

  • Choose your Objective
  • Select your Audience
  • Set your Budget
  • Measure and Manage your Ad
  1. Facebook Post “Boosts”

Another idea to increase sales is Facebook’s “Boost Post” feature. A potential reach is formed based on factors such as your budget, along with the location and interests you’re targeting.

The Boost Post button allows you to quickly create a Facebook ad using your post. This ad can appear in different places on Facebook, and you can show it to an audience of people you define. Boosting a post from your business page is a quick and easy way to show your content to people who might be interested and grow your page audience.

  1. Instagram Promotions

So you’ve taken the most amazing photo and slapped on the best filter, you’re done now, right? It would be great if we could stop and call it a day’s work here, but in order to build the brand awareness you’re looking for, we have to take it a few steps further and really leverage some of the more creative ideas to increase sales.

Your brand should understand how to promote your Instagram to reach your biggest audience possible. There’s more than 700 million Instagram users, so your target customer is definitely out there watching your brand. You just have to make the sale.

With 77.6% of small business owners using social media in their marketing strategy, you’re going to want to be the business that knows the benefits and drawbacks of social media marketing.

What are the Benefits?

  • Boosts Website Traffic
  • Instagram ads that are developed drive high volumes of website traffic.
  • Increase Website Conversions
  • Set-up Instagram advertising campaigns that are optimized for conversions.
  • Increase Brand Awareness
  • Gain brand impressions for your business at low costs.
  1. Hashtags

One thing that’s great about hashtags- they’re free, which makes them one of the cheapest ideas to increase sales online. By creating a group of relevant hashtags for your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter posts, you are highlighting your content and key messages to your audience. By using a hashtag, more people are exposed to your brand.

How do hashtags work?

Hashtags identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitates a search for it. Did you know that posts with at least one Instagram hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag?

Using hashtags helps categorize your post or tweet by keywords. Creating a hashtag highlights the conversation you’re trying to start in a post, and consolidates all posts tagged with a keyword to one page, allowing viewers interested in certain topics like #locallysourced or #smallbusiness to see your post and invites users to explore your page.

This makes it easier than ever for customers to:

  • Find your business
  • Search your products
  • Become acquainted with your brand’s personality

Becoming savvy with using hashtags on Instagram to push your product will increase your page traffic, and in turn, allow customers to fall in love with your brand.

Instagram even allows for you to follow a hashtag. This helps target the quality customer leads that are more likely to engage with your products and services.

 

  1. Instagram Stories

Instagram reported that in one month, over 50% of businesses on Instagram published an Instagram Story. And one third of the most viewed stories are created by businesses.

Yet another way to highlight your good side: Instagram Stories. IG Stories enable users to post pictures and videos to an album that disappears after 24 hours. Businesses can use Instagram Stories in their marketing efforts to improve their engagement, visibility, and content.

 

  1. Consistent Posting

Another idea to increase sales is to post frequently on your social media platforms.

Having a person or team designated to generate content increases your brand awareness, and converts to an increase in sales. It might even be a good idea to schedule your posts on a weekly calendar.

Not convinced yet? Read how we increased the sales of a local business by 714% through our social media.

  1. Pinterest Advertising

From wedding boards to office decor, Pinterest is the land of ideas including ideas to increase sales. You may wonder how many users actually purchase from brands listed on Pinterest, and you’d be right if you say over half. That’s right, over 61% of “Pinners” are buying the products and services offered on Pinterest.  81% of Pinterest users are women, and Millennials use Pinterest just as frequently as Instagram. If your target audience consists of Millennial women, a Pinterest ad may be a good idea to increase sales.

You may be concerned of interrupting the Pinners experience with your promoted pins, but 73% of users agree that it’s certainly not a distraction. And they go on to agree that promoted pins help pinners discover new ideas and products, which increases brand awareness and leaves the user satisfied for having found exactly what they were looking for, and faster.

  1. LinkedIn Advertising

LinkedIn is a forum where people are looking for answers and solutions to their professional problems.

With over 550 million users, LinkedIn advertising can help you reach a professional audience. LinkedIn advertising allows advertisers to target by occupation, job title, and location, amongst other categories.

LinkedIn’s advanced audience targeting capabilities allows businesses to ensure that increased traffic contains those most likely to convert into leads. If you’re company caters to a demographic of professionals, advertising here is a profitable idea to increase sales.

  1. Snapchat Geofilters

It’s safe to say Snapchat may be the most fun social media app due to its silly nature and relaxed demeanor. Through Snapchat’s customizable Geofilter feature, businesses can create their own filter, which is a great marketing tool to not only impress customers, but get them sharing your branding and place of business with their Snapchat friends.

There You Have It! Ideas to Increase Sales

From email campaigns and hashtags to Facebook boosts and Google Ads, we’re ready to show you how you can take your digital advertising to the next level so you can increase sales. Make your brand a must-have amongst your targeted market.

Understanding the Meaning of Click Through Rate

There are so many metrics that you should keep track of when monitoring your digital marketing campaign. Click through rate or CTR is one of the most important! You may be familiar with this term as it relates to PPC or pay per click, but what is CTR exactly and how can it be applied across different types of digital marketing?

What is CTR?

Let’s begin with what is CTR or click through rate. Click through rate is an advertising metric that is used to measure how many users clicked an advertisement, link, or call to action and went on to the landing page or website that was liked to that ad, link, or CTA.

A click through rate measures the people who saw your ad and clicked on it. It doesnot measure the people who saw the ad and did not click but maybe landed on your site later as a result of seeing your ad.

Why is this metric so important? A high click through rate tells you that your ads, emails or website are performing well. This content is resonating with your target audience and your high CTR is basically giving you the green light to keep going. A low click through rate tells you that you need to change up your strategy. Something’s not quite right and your potential customers are not clicking. It could be the copy, the imagery or it could be that you are targeting the wrong audience. In short, you want to focus on having a high click through rate. The more clicks you can get, the higher your quality score and the lower your costs. We’ll talk more about quality score soon so keep reading!

This is why you need to monitor your content, ads, and emails and pay attention to these metrics while doing so. It could save you a lot of money if you catch a mistake early on in your campaign.

What is CTR calculated?

How do we calculate this metric? Click through rate is calculated by taking the number of unique clicks your ad received divided by the number of impressions. Impressions are how many times your ad was shown. Don’t confuse impressions with reach. If you have a campaign where 10 users were reached 1 time and 1 was reached 4 times your reach would be 11 but your impressions would be 14. Your ad was shown 14 times but only reached 11 people.

What is CTR in PPC?

PPC or pay per click is a form of search engine marketing in which a business creates advertisements and then pays Google every time a user clicks on them. So what is CTR in regards to pay per click? Click through rate in a PPC campaign tells you how successful your ads are.

Facebook and Google assign each ad a quality score. This is a measurement of how well your ad is performing and how it relates to your objective and landing page. You want a high quality score so that you can achieve a better ad position and keep your costs down. If your ad is not getting a lot of clicks this means it is not relevant to your users and Facebook and Google will stop showing it to potential customers. This is when you will need to step back and look at your campaign in depth and ask yourself some questions. Are you targeting the appropriate audience? Is your ad copy resonating with your audience? Do you have an engaging photo?

When running a PPC campaign there are two types of ads that you can choose between. They are search ads and display ads. You can also run both at the same time if you have the budget.

Search ads are probably what you think of when you think of PPC ad campaigns. They are the text ads that appear at the top and bottom of Google’s search results. They include two headings and a description as well as a link to the landing page you want customers to go to. Search ads also include an inconspicuous indication that they are indeed an advertisement.
Check out this search advertisement for Nike. There is a clear title that it is the official store, there’s a nice description and there are direct links to some of their web pages. The “ad” part blends right in doesn’t it?

Display ads are also known as banner ads and appear on other sites when users are not searching for your product. This is kind of like an internet version of a billboard. Here is an example from the website Mashable. Active Campaign is currently running an advertisement on their site and it appears as a minimally invasive sidebar. While active campaign can also run text ads, this display ad is visually appealing and might catch a potential customers’ eye while they are surfing the web.

These two types of ads can work together to get potential customers to purchase your product. Let’s say your text ad shows up when someone is searching for red hats. They may click on your ad but maybe they don’t make a purchase. This is where display ads come in. You can run a similar ad on other sites and trigger that potential customer to come back and make a purchase on your site.

Can you spot the banner ads? As you can see, they aren’t taking over the page but if you were a potential customer surfing the web, you may not want to navigate away from the webpage you are viewing. The point of these ads is to get your brand in front of potential customers in hopes that they will recognize your brand in the future.

How does CTR differ between these two types of ads? Display advertisements typically have lower click through rates than search advertisements. Since people are not directly searching for something when they are on other websites, it’s normal for these click through rates to be lower. Running these ads together allows you to target potential customers from various angles. However, if you do choose to run both search and display ads, you will need to make separate campaigns. If your display ads are getting lower click through rates, it can really skew your data and make it difficult to determine your actual ROI.

What is CTR in SEO?

Do you know how many people are organically clicking through to pages on your website? If you have Google Analytics set up you probably do. So how can click through rate impact your rankings in Google search results?

You can optimize your website to rank for specific keywords, adjust your titles and meta descriptions but the secret to SEO is to make sure all of your content is relevant so that you capture those clicks. The more customers that click through to your website the better. Google uses your click through rate as one of the factors they take into account when ranking your website in their search results. If you have a high organic click through rate this means more traffic is coming to your site. For example, if your page is ranking number three in Google’s search results but gets a high CTR, Google may move your page up higher because people are clearly interested in your page.

How can click through rate harm your SEO? If you are appearing in Google search for something that is unrelated to your business and people click on your page expecting one thing but get something completely different, this can result in a high bounce rate. If you are seeing a high click through rate but a low conversion rate, something is not syncing up. It could be that you are linking to the wrong page on your site or you have optimized your page for the wrong target keyword.

When it comes to search engine optimization, click through rate is important but it isn’t everything. Make sure your website is optimized for search engines and contains relevant information for your customers. Figuring out an SEO formula for your brand takes some time but putting the right keywords to work can mean great success for your business. Not sure where to begin? Use our step-by-step guide for building an SEO campaign like the pros!

What is CTR in Facebook advertising?

Facebook advertising is a targeted way to marketing to your audience via one of the biggest social media channels out there. You can use demographics, location and interests to easily advertise to potential customers. Before you jump into advertising on Facebook, you should know how to navigate Facebook’s ads manager and theimportant metrics that you should keep track of.

Here is an example of Facebook ads Manager. You can manage your ads and create new ones, check your ad spend and see analytics. When you create an ad for Facebook you have the choice of several different objectives such as app installs, boosting posts, page likes, increasing engagement, or conversions just to name a few.

So what is CTR in terms of Facebook advertising? It’s quite similar to the way you would interpret it in PPC advertising because both are pay to play platforms. Here you will see CTR (link clicks) and CTR (all). These are two metrics you need to be aware of and be able to differentiate between. Link clicks include the number of clicks to specific destinations such as clicking on a call to action button or image within an ad. All clicks includes the link clicks plus any other clicks on parts of your ad. For example, if someone clicks to your Facebook page or Instagram profile these would be included in all clicks.

If you are setting up or managing your Facebook ads incorrectly it can be costly so make sure you have a professional help you out!

What is CTR in Email Marketing?

All good emails have clickable links in them. All great emails have a call to action in them that can help measure the success of an email campaign. Most email API’s will show you a bunch of metrics and statistics after each campaign you send out. There’s an open rate which shows you how many people opened your email. This is great but how can you tell that they interacted with your email and didn’t just open it to get the notification on their phone to disappear? This is where click through rate comes in. If someone is clicking a link in your email it means that they are engaged with your content. They are curious and want to learn more about your product or service.

What is a “good” CTR? A good click through rate, like any other metric, varies from industry to industry.

A study from Mailchimp revealed that retail has an average click through rate of 2.24%, government has an average click through rate of 3.65% and the restaurant industry has on average a 1.06% click through rate. As you can see with all of these incredibly different industries, the click through rates vary. In email marketing it can be helpful to compare your email campaigns to others in your industry. If you have a lower click through rate than your industry average, this may be an indication that there is something wrong.

Here are two reports from two different email campaigns. As you can see there is a big difference in the click through rate for each of these campaigns. Monitoring your click through rate will help you determine how your individual email campaigns are doing. That’s great but what if you want to figure out the overall success of all of your emails put together? In order to do this you will have to dive into other metrics like bounce rates, unsubscribes and open rates. Read up on our useful tips for determining the true ROI of your emails.

What is CTR in Video?

Video advertising is huge especially with how quickly people are consuming online content. Video gives your potential customers that instant gratification and allows them to absorb information without taking time to read. You can easily provide entertainment through videos while also educating your potential customers about your product.

Video advertisements, just like any other ads measure how many people click through to your site or landing page after watching the video. We already know that a higher click through rate means more visibility for your brand and more leads, but how do you increase your click through rate with video?

Make sure it’s short and to the point. Consumers do not want to watch a video that sucks up too much of their time. You will also want to have a video that is eye catching. Also consider that many people watching your ad may be doing so on their mobile devices without their sound on. If you do have sound make sure that watching without it doesn’t hinder the consumer’s ad experience.

Here is an example of a company called Instacart that uses a gif in their Facebook advertisement. The door opens and closes in a loop to show groceries being delivered. This is efficient, eye catching and easy to consume.

Online Marketing 101: The First Steps to Becoming an Expert

If you want your business to be competitive in today’s digital marketplace, it’s critical that you work to build a presence for your brand online. The modern consumer uses the Internet to find information on the products and services they need. If you want to reach your target consumers, you need to be where they are – online.

However, this goes far beyond just having a website with your business location information on it. Though throwing together a simple website may have been enough to bring in customers 10 years ago, it’s a bit more complicated than that today. If you want to earn the business of your ideal buyers, you need to reach and engage them through digital marketing tactics.

But how do you get started? If you’re new to digital marketing, it may be challenging to navigate all the different tactics that are available to your business.

That’s why we have put together this Online Marketing 101 Guide. It will give you everything you need to know about the basics of online marketing so that you can take your first steps to become an expert. After reading this guide, you’ll understand what digital marketing is, why it’s important, and how you can use it to reach, engage, and convert your ideal customers.

What is Online Marketing?

Online marketing is a collection of tactics for marketing your products or services to your target audience online. The goal of online marketing is to help your brand reach new leads and drive them toward conversion – whether that be buying a product or just taking the next step in the buyer’s journey.

Online marketing involves different tactics that allow you to engage your leads during each step of their buyer’s journey:

  • Awareness – With online marketing, you can reach your ideal buyers when they are first aware that they have a problem or issue. This is when they will start to look online for answers to their questions and more information that helps define their challenges.
  • Consideration – This is the stage in the buyer’s journey where consumers are doing research to find out which solutions are the best fit for their particular challenges. They may use the search engines or reach out to friends on social media or through email to compare different brands and consider which business provides the best products or services for their needs.
  • Decision – During this stage, consumers already know what they need, and they are ready to make a final decision regarding the purchase. Through different online marketing tactics, you can help increase visibility on the search engines and other online platforms to make sure that your brand is visible to those who are ready to buy.

Online marketing is crucial in today’s marketplace because it helps you connect with, engage, and convert your ideal customers online. Most consumers today start their product or service research online through a search engine or even on social media. If you want to grab their attention, you need to make sure that your business is visible on the Internet.

Why Digital Marketing Works

Before we get into the specific digital marketing tactics that your brand can use to reach more consumers online, let’s discuss why online marketing is so important for your business.

The way that consumers look for and purchase products has changed. Gone are the days of visiting the physical store location to compare features or prices. Today, consumers can compare a number of different products from the comfort of their own home. In a matter of moments, they can go online to find many different brands, compare prices and features, and even get recommendations on the best products or services available to them.

This global digital snapshot shows you just how many people around the world are using the Internet, including those are active on social media or using a mobile device.

As you can see from the graphic above, about 50% of the world’s population uses the Internet. With 37% active on social media channels and 66% using mobile devices. If you want to reach these global consumers, you need to increase your visibility online.

Digital marketing is the best way to ensure that your business is visible to these consumers in their time of need. Through a variety of different specialized tactics, you can reach these buyers through search engines, social media, and across other digital channels.

If you want to make digital marketing work for you, you’ll need to brush up on your online marketing 101 knowledge. Getting to know the basics of digital marketing will help you make smarter decisions about your overall marketing strategy. That brings us to our next section…

Online Marketing 101: What You Need to Know

Now that you know what online marketing is and why it’s important for your brand, it’s time to talk online marketing 101. The guide we have put together below will give you an informative introduction to each of the most important marketing tactics your brand will use online:

Social Media

Social media has become one of the most popular digital channels for the modern consumer. In fact, according to eMarketer, social media users are expected to reach 2.95 million worldwide by 2020. That number of users is equal to 70.7% of total Internet users across the globe.

This graph shows the number of social media users worldwide alongside the percentage of total Internet users and percentage change from year to year.

Social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest present a powerful opportunity for brands to reach and engage their target audience. By posting quality content, engaging leads and customers, and reaching out through social media ads, businesses can be on their way to driving more leads back to their website.

Social media management involves creating and curating relevant content for your social media fans and followers. Social media content can include unique posts sharing content from your website, images of your products, brand videos, and more. It can also involve curating relevant content from other sources, which you share with your audience to provide value and build a stronger relationship.

Social media engagement is another integral piece of online marketing 101. You need to go beyond just posting great content and work to start a conversation with your target buyers. Answering their questions and replying to their comments can help you build relationships that encourage conversions and repeat sales.

Social media advertising is a tactic that involves reaching out to your target buyers through ads strategically placed on social media channels. This tactic requires additional ad spend. However, with sophisticated targeting capabilities, social media ads help you reach more of your audience that social media posts alone.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a vital part of your online marketing strategy and internet marketing 101. SEO is the process of optimizing your website and content for search engines like Google. Looking at the graphic below, you will see that 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. This means that if you want to reach new customers online, you’ve got to improve visibility on the search engines and know the basics of internet marketing 101.

Search engine optimization has become an important digital marketing strategy for businesses that want to reach more consumers online.

Search engine optimization involves optimizing your content for certain keywords that are relevant to your business and products or services. Keyword research is an ongoing process that requires you to find which keywords and phrases consumers are using to find brands like your online. Then, you strategically create content to help rank for these keywords, thus improving visibility for searches related to your brand.

On-page SEO is the work that you do on your website to ensure that it’s easy for search engines to read and understand. Part of this process is making sure your site loads quickly and is easy to navigate. Another part of the process is ensuring that your site ranks locally and/or globally for the types of keywords that are relevant to your business.

Many businesses that are just learning online marketing 101 and SEO will start with a site audit. An SEO site audit helps your business understand what areas of your website need work when it comes to search engine optimization.

It’s important to understand that SEO is not something you can set and forget. You need to continuously check your site for areas of improvement and work to optimize over time. Some businesses choose to partner with an SEO agency for ongoing SEO services. This is the best way to make sure that your site is always optimized and ranking well for your desired search terms. An agency has knowledge far beyond what you’ll learn in online marketing 101 that they can leverage to improve your site and outrank your competition.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

Pay-per-click advertising, or PPC ads, help you reach even more consumers on the search engines. PPC ads appear at the top of the search engine results page. You bid on certain keywords that are relevant to your brand, products, or services. When search engine users look for these keywords on Google, they will find your PPC ads at the top of the page.

PPC ads help you draw more attention to your brand by appearing at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). Not only does this help you increase visibility, but it also drives more traffic back to your website while encouraging more conversions.

Pay-per-click advertising is a great tactic to complement your organic SEO efforts. While search engine optimization takes time to work, PPC ad results are immediate. Though you should be spending time on driving organic traffic to your site through SEO efforts, PPC ad campaigns can help drive even more traffic to specific pages on your website.

Since every click on your ad costs your business money, it’s important that you are strategic about your ad strategy and content. If you are new to Google AdWords and do not have PPC ad experience, you may benefit from working with an AdWords agency. A PPC ad agency has the experience and knowledge to help you get the most out of your advertising budget.

Email Marketing

Email marketing may seem old school, but it’s still very much a part of our online marketing 101 guide. Email marketing is a tactic that involves engaging your target audience through email. Email remains one of the best ways to reach and engage your ideal buyers. Most consumers have an email address and actively check their email daily, often multiple times a day. More importantly, many consumers prefer getting marketing communications through email.

Email marketing involves more than just sending out regular updates or promotions. You can also use emails to engage your subscriber list with relevant content. Email newsletters are a great way to keep your subscribers and customers up-to-date on the latest news and promotions from your brand while also delivering targeted content that they may find valuable.

List segmentation is an important part of email marketing. When you segment your email marketing list, you are putting your subscribers into different groups based on certain traits or characteristics. Segmenting your email marketing list helps you provide more relevant content and offers to your customers.

For example, you might put all of your email subscribers in a certain geographic area into one email marketing list. Then, you send this list of subscribers specific promotions or content that pertain to their region. That way, they are more likely to act on the information you present because it’s relevant to them.

You can also use email marketing automation to ensure that your subscribers are getting the right email messages at the right time. With an email marketing automation software, you can automatically send emails based on certain trigger actions. This could be a welcome email when a subscriber first signs up for your email list or even an abandoned cart email that reminds the user they have left their cart without making a final purchase.

Using this tip from our online marketing 101 guide will save you loads of time, stress, and money as well as convert some more customers.

Content Marketing

Content marketing plays an important role in many of the digital marketing tactics that you will use to reach, engage, and convert your audience. Content marketing involves creating engaging and strategic content that will attract new leads and help you build relationships with your audience. This content can include anything from blog posts and social media content to infographics and eBooks.

Content marketing helps you attract, connect, and build relationships with your target audience.

One of the most popular and effective forms of content marketing is blogging. A blog is a section on your website where you can post articles on topics that are relevant to your audience. By creating engaging and informative content, you can work to build credibility and authority with your site visitors.

Blogs also help improve your SEO by giving you the opportunity to continuously publish new content on topics and keywords that are relevant to your audience. The more relevant, high-quality content that you publish on your website, the more chances you have to rank for new keywords on the search engine results page.

The key to maintaining a successful blog for your business is creating high-quality content on a consistent basis that adds value for your readers. However, many small businesses may not have the time or resources to blog consistently. That’s where digital marketing services like blogging come in handy. By outsourcing your blogs to an experienced online marketing agency, you can save time and money while creating quality content that drives new leads.

Web Design

Your website is at the center of all your digital marketing efforts. That’s why it’s vital that you pay attention to the design and content on your website. Your website is your chance to make the best first impression and show that you know the basics of online marketing 101 and then some. In fact, 94% of consumers base their impression of your brand on your site and 75% of consumers judge your business credibility based on your site design and content.

Custom web design that’s attractive and professional is vital to attracting more customers to your brand.

When it comes to online marketing 101, your website needs to be attractive, informative, and easy to navigate. Most businesses that do not have the staff in-house to create an effective website will hire an agency for WordPress web design. The experienced agency team makes sure that the site has a clean and attractive design and makes it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for.

When designing your website, you’ll need to go beyond just what it looks like or how it works. You also need to consider how everything else you’ve learned in online marketing 101 interacts with your website. Consider what types of content you will be putting on your site. Most business pages have at least a home page, service or product pages, an about page, and a contact page. However, you may need additional pages based on your company’s unique needs.

Your website plays an important role in your overall search engine optimization. Be sure to consult with an SEO expert on the design of your site to ensure that it’s optimized for search engines like Google. Similarly, you need to make sure that your site’s content is optimized for the keywords that you want to rank for on the SERP.

Other Types of Online Marketing

It’s important to note that there are other types of digital marketing that we did not cover in our online marketing 101 section above. Here are just a few of the other types of online marketing that you might encounter:

  • Video Marketing – Video marketing involves developing creative and engaging branded videos that help educate, inform, and entertain your target audience.
  • Influencer Marketing – Influencer marketing involves working with individuals within your industry who have gained a following and are seen as experts to get them to share your content and recommend your products or services.
  • Live Event Marketing – Live event marketing can include a number of different tactics that are used to engage visitors at live events, including video and social media.
  • Affiliate Marketing – With affiliate marketing, your business works with other people who market and sell your product or service online for a commission.

All of these types of online marketing are worthwhile. However, we believe that it’s best to start building a foundation with social media, SEO, PPC, email, content, and web design. Once you have mastered these tactics, you can move on to more advanced techniques and test out different strategies to see what works best for you.

Finding Top Social Media Marketing Agencies

If you’re searching for social media marketing agencies for your business, stop and read this first.

Selecting the best social media marketing agencies is a major challenge for businesses.

There are over 50 million social media marketing companies, agencies, and freelancers across the globe.

Navigating through the top social media solutions to partner with is like finding a needle in a haystack. And unfortunately for many, it is a needle that stings when you choose the wrong partner to manage your social media accounts.

By not carefully evaluating social media marketing companies, you may risk:

  • Missed opportunities to increase revenue, leads, and awareness
  • Wasting hundreds, thousands, or millions of dollars
  • Business failure and going out-of-business

Use this guide to eliminate social media marketing agencies from your list and select the best partner for your business. Below you can click directly to the topic that interests you most.

  1. Finding a solution to your core problem
  2. Understanding agency pricing models & avoiding hidden fees
  3. Evaluating agency talent
  4. Determining the agency’s experience
  5. Anticipating your client experience
  6. Finding a long-term agency partner
  7. The average contract length of most agencies
  8. Agency thought leadership in the industry
  9. The Final Straw – Do They Practice What They Preach?

The Definitive Guide to Evaluating the Best Social Media Marketing Agencies for Your Business 

1. Top agencies should provide a clear solution to your problem

The main reason you are seeking a social media marketing agency is because you have a problem.

A very urgent problem.

The problem is that you are not maximizing your social media presence to grow your awareness, website traffic, and revenue.

And the cause is very simple.

You do not have the expertise to grow your social media presence. Or, you do not have the time to manage your social media marketing efforts.

Regardless of what side of the fence your problem falls on, if it is not resolved, you risk business growth and your competitors gaining a significant advantage.

When evaluating social media marketing agencies, make sure they are providing a clear solution to this problem.

It should be very clear how they intend to increase your awareness, website traffic, or website conversions.

How to evaluate solutions provided by social media marketing agencies

  1. Did the agency make an effort to learn my objectives?

Poor social media marketing agencies will talk about themselves before taking the time to learn about their business. If an agency you speak with does this, politely get off the phone with them.

Providing a social media proposal without assessing your business objectives is like a Doctor prescribing medication to your illness without looking at the symptoms.

They will be taking a shot in the dark at producing legitimate results for your business, and could be hoping to lock you in a contract that you’ll regret.

When calling social media marketing companies, pay close attention to how they conduct the initial call. If the first thing they talk about is their social media marketing service, eliminate them from your list.

Top social media marketing companies will make it a priority to learn your business objectives, pain points, and overall business goals.

  1. Does the proposal make sense?

After the social media marketing agency has learned your business objectives, the next step in the process is to receive a formal proposal.

When reviewing proposals by social media marketing companies, ask yourself one question.

Which of these social media marketing proposals makes the most sense?

The proposal should clearly communicate how the use of the companies’ services will increase your company’s awareness and traffic to influence sales.

Don’t pay too close attention to the price. Pay close attention to the details.

Many companies use the term “social media marketing” loosely, meaning that the services to be provided are vastly different from one another.

For example, company A may only provide social media content [that is often automated and irrelevant]. Meanwhile company B carefully creates unique content, includes graphic design, and develops a strategy specific to increasing your followers, traffic, and awareness.

If you look at price alone, you may end-up with poor service and no results to justify the pretty penny you’re spending.

Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. And, once you are, then consider the price point.

2. Make sure you understand the pricing models of social media marketing agencies

How much do social media marketing agencies cost?

Most social media marketing agencies charge between $500 – $15,000/month for social media services.

However, sometimes the price isn’t very clear, and hidden fees are charged without your knowledge (or consent).

To avoid being scammed into paying more fees, make sure that you fully understand the pricing models of top social media marketing agencies.

There are three main pricing models to be aware of:

  1. The Percentage of Ad Spend Pricing Model
  2. The Fixed-Fee Pricing Model
  3. The Hybrid Pricing Model

The Percentage of Ad Spend Pricing Model

The “percentage of ad spend” pricing model charges clients based on their total ad spend budget. In this model, the agency charges you a flat percentage of your total ad spend for your campaign.

It is the most common agency pricing model, yet many businesses who hire agencies do not understand it.

The best way to understand this pricing model is by looking at an example.

Let’s say that you have $10,000 that you want to spend on a social media advertising campaign. To maximize your impact, you decide to hire an experienced social media advertising agency to manage your spend.

They agree to advertise your business for $10,000 and tell you that they estimate you will reach 100,000 people and drive over 1,000 hits to your website. It sounds good to you, so you pay them $10,000.

Now here’s the magic question – how much of the $10,000 did the agency charge you to manage your campaign and how much was actually spent in advertising?

What percentage do most social media marketing agencies charge?

The most common appears to be 20-30% of your advertising budget.

This means that if you spent $10,000 in advertising, the agency would charge you $2,000-$3,000 to manage your campaign. If you spent $100,000, you would pay the agency $20,000-$30,000

And unfortunately, it is true that many social media marketing agencies intentionally do not disclose this to their clients.

They may disguise it in their contracts, or use “proprietary software” to extract their management fees from your advertising budget.

The bottom line is that you provide your advertising budget to your social media marketing company, there is a good chance that they may dip their hands in your advertising budget to pay themselves.

Even worse, some of them will purposely not spend your advertising budget at all.

To avoid this, ask the following questions to social media marketing agencies who use this pricing model:

  1. What are your management fees?
  2. How does your management fees change based on my advertising spend? Why?
  3. Are there any other fees associated with this campaign that I should be aware of?

While many agencies use this pricing model, our social media marketing company have found it to be more transparent [and fair] to charge people based off of the actual work to be performed.

Why? Because, there is not always more work involved with a client who spends more in advertising.

Sure, someone who spends $100,000 in advertising may be more demanding than a client spending $1,000 in ads, but we cannot justify charging a fixed percentage of advertising spend.

But at the end of the day, they’re creating the same Facebook ads, and spending the same amount of time optimizing your campaign as any other account.

For those looking for a more transparent, fair pricing structure, we recommend the fixed-fee pricing.

The Fixed Fee Pricing Model

The fixed-fee pricing model charges clients a fixed rate for services to be performed.

Typically, this fee is the same every month and only changes if you want more or less services.

We believe this to be the fairest pricing model, which offers the most transparency and understanding into the services you are paying for.

And, to eliminate all possibilities of “hidden fees”, we recommend that you only pay your agency their fees and not your advertising budget.

You should pay for your Facebook, Instagram, or other social media advertisements directly.

You can grant your agency access to ad accounts in a way that they can perform their work, and you are billed directly from the advertising platforms.

We’ve found this to be the most transparent way to work with our clients. There is no confusion on what you’re paying your social media marketing company, and you can see your actual advertising expenses.

For example, some social media marketing companies may charge $500 – $1,000 to manage your advertising campaign.

Regardless of if you spend $1,000, or $100,000 in advertisements, your agency fees do not change.

However, if your agencies charges you on a percentage-of-ad-spend model, you could pay up to $30,000 (30% of $100,000) in hidden fees.

Social media marketing agencies that adapt a fixed pricing model should be placed at the top of your list.

The Hybrid Pricing Model

Some social media marketing agencies adapt a hybrid pricing model.

This pricing model includes both, fixed and variable, pricing elements.

And sometimes, this can be tricky because agencies may disguise their service as a “fixed management fee”, but charge hidden variable fees.

For example, a social media marketing company may charge $300/month for Facebook ad management, and an additional 10% of any amount that exceeds $1,000/month.

While both, the fixed management fee and the percentage charged appears to be relatively low, it can be very expensive when added together.

Make sure you closely evaluate the total cost of all fees that social media marketing companies charge in order to make the best financial decision for your company.

3. Evaluating Agency Talent at Social Media Marketing Companies

If you evaluate on price alone, you may end-up with less than desirable deliverables and poor results.

This is why you should pay closer attention to the talent at social media marketing companies and their capabilities.

The structure of teams at most social media marketing companies will provide insight into their level of talent.

To evaluate the talent at top social media marketing companies, ask them one question.

Who is doing the work?

Answers will vary, but you will need to steer away from the following red flags:

  • The Jack of All Trades
  • Agencies that Outsource

The Jack of All Trades

You will know if your agency is using the “Jack of All Trades” structure to service clients if there is only one person working on your account.

This should not be confused with having one primary “account manager” for communication purposes. We are specifically talking about one person who does all of the work related to your campaign.

This person is generally responsible for everything – customer service, strategy, copywriting, graphic design, optimization, and reporting.

They may also be responsible for doing your social media marketing, SEO, email marketing, and other related services.

While this may sound ideal, it actually hints that there may be some weaknesses in their services.

What we’ve learned about digital marketing in our near decade of existence is that it is impossible to do everything, exceptionally well.

Every individual has skills and weaknesses.

And copywriting, graphic design, advertising, and SEO are very distinct skills. Some are visual skills, and some are very technical. And normally, individuals are better at one than the other.

For example, a graphic designer may not be a good writer.

A technical SEO specialist may be terrible analyzing data in advertising campaigns.

When you only have one person who is working on your account, you are exposing your business to significant risk.

Instead, look for agencies who specialize.

Top social media marketing companies hire talent that specialize in specific tasks to deliver the high value to their customers.

For example, they hire advertising specialists to do advertising for their clients. They hire social media specialists to create posts and grow their clients followers. They hire graphic designers to create engaging graphics. And so on.

The Outsourcing Structure

Some agencies will outsource all deliverables to other vendors in attempt to produce favorable outcomes to their clients.

While this may work in some situations, it is also very risky.

Agencies who outsource their social media marketing efforts to other vendors have less control over their product.

If vendor partnerships go sour, your business results are at risk.

And if you have questions about the services that are being provided, agencies who outsource are generally not very helpful.

This is because they have very little experience in providing the service you signed-up for.

To avoid businesses who outsource, ask them upfront – “do you outsource any of the work associated my account?”

Be aware that many social media marketing companies “white label” other services and make it appear that they are the company providing service.

Even if your agency uses a “jack of all trades” structure, it is still very possible that you they are outsourcing to other vendors.

You will want to know if the actual work is performed in-house. So be aware of these hints and do not be fooled by agency jargon they use to disguise their outsourced operations.

 

The benefits of hiring an agency who performs work in-house

Social media marketing agencies who do everything in-house typically has:

  • Better communication
  • Quality output
  • Greater control

All of which is critically important to the success of your campaign, and ultimately, your business.

4. Digging into the experience of social media marketing companies

While talent is great, experience speaks volumes.

There is nothing better than a talented social media marketing agency with direct or related experience in producing the results you are seeking to gain.

An agency with experience working with businesses like yours are more likely to:

  1. Understand your target market
  2. Create effective content
  3. Use your advertising budget more effectively
  4. Produce better overall results

To dig deep and figure out if the social media marketing companies you’re evaluating are best for you, ask them the following questions:

  • Do you case studies or examples of your work?
  • What type of companies does your company primarily work with?
  • Do you have experience working with businesses similar to mine?

Their Ideal Client

Ask your agencies what type of clients they prefer to work with. Then, see if your business fits that mold.

You’ll be surprised by the response.

Some will tell you that they prefer to work with Fortune 500 companies, and their prices will reflect what Fortune 500 companies pay for those type of services.

If you’re not a Fortune 500 company, perhaps you will not need those types of services.

Others may tell you that they work with primarily small businesses. Though, if you’re a midsize or large business, your needs may be more than what the agency can provide to you.

Take a look into your business size and choose an agency that complements it.

 

Industry Experience

When possible, it is always best to work with an agency with experience in your industry.

They will automatically understand the complexities and nature of your business, and will be easier to ramp-up then an agency who has no idea about the products and services your business offers.

However, depending on how niche your industry is, it may be unrealistic to find an agency with all of the traits in this blog to service your account.

In these situations, you should focus on working with companies that have experience in the “type of company” your business is.

For example, if you’re in eCommerce, an agency with a ton of experience in social media for eCommerce will likely be a good fit for your business.

Ask social media marketing agencies what industries and type of companies they service to find the best fit for you.

 

5. The Client Experience of Top Social Media Marketing Companies

The client experience of the social media marketing companies you’re evaluating is of great importance.

Sometimes great companies have terrible client experiences, and you would want avoid that nightmare at all costs.

Looking at client reviews online can be extremely helpful to gain insight into how satisfied agencies clients are.

However, many agencies today do not publish their reviews online at all. Because their client experience is so poor, many agencies default to removing their Facebook reviews, Google reviews, and other common review sites.

If you look for  an agency’s reviews on common websites, and do not see any reviews, exercise extreme caution.

They are a social media marketing company, and they know the importance of online reputation. But instead of working towards a strong reputation, they’ve decided to hide it all together.

Or, they fabricate fake reviews on websites you’ve never heard of.

To avoid relying on reviews alone, ask them for client references and testimonials to validate their client experience.

And, you will want to gain an understanding of how the agency interfaces with clients on an ongoing basis.

Find out more about agencies processes for servicing clients. See if there are procedures in place to ensure your satisfaction.

Specifically, you’d want to know if:

  • The agency helps with the strategy
  • How communication works with the agency
  • How account/project management works with the agency

 

Strategy Development

Believe it or not, many social media marketing companies do not create a strategy before servicing your account.

As peculiar as it may sound, some will begin to work on your accounts as soon as they collect payment.

While you may want to start your campaign as soon as possible, rushing can do more harm than good.

Once you start seeing posts that you are unhappy with, and inaccurate information being posted to your social media accounts, you’re guaranteed to be frustrated.

Generally, these situations are avoided with proper planning, research, and strategy development. When interviewing social media marketing companies, ask them how they go about creating a custom strategy for your business.

For example, our social media marketing agency starts with a questionnaire. Once our clients complete the questionnaire, we have an onboarding call to discuss it with them. And then, we begin researching the client’s business and developing a social media strategy to hit their goals.

 

Communication

Communication is everything.

Too many businesses are working with social media marketing agencies who fail to communicate with them.

Many do not even receive reports of the service they are paying for.

Avoid this by asking agencies the following questions:

  • How often will we have phone calls?
  • How does email communication work?
  • How often will we receive reports?

Most of our clients feel most comfortable when they are able schedule calls on a schedule that they prefer, whether that is weekly or monthly.

When it comes to email responsiveness, ask the agencies what their average response times are. For example, we strive to respond to our clients emails the same day or within 24 hours.

And, make sure you’re receiving reports. We routinely send social media reports monthly, with the option to schedule a call at the client’s discretion.

 

Account & Project Management

How will your account be managed?

Will you be responsible for managing the team assigned to your account?

When you are considering social media marketing companies, find out what will be required from you during the engagement.

 

What You Don’t Want

Ultimately, you are hiring an agency because they will save you time.

If you have to spend large sums of time to manage your social media accounts, then hiring an agency is counterproductive.

You do not want to caught-up in managing every single element of your social media marketing. Additionally, you do not want to manage several staff members that the agency has on your account.

This can drain your time, and ultimately take you away from your business.

 

What You Do Want

To prevent spending too much time, make sure that your agency designates an account manager as your primary source of contact.

This way, you do not have to coordinate with 5-10 different people who are working on your campaign.

Your account manager, or Director, should oversee your campaign and make sure that your needs are being met at a high-level.

We’ve talked to over 1,000 small business owners, and most of report that this is their preferred way to work with their agency.

 

6. Long-term Compatibility of Social Media Marketing Companies

When you consider hiring social media marketing companies, you need to think long-term.

How will the needs of your business change as time progress? What additional needs will you have in the future?

You need to make sure that the company you select is compatible with this.

Specifically, in the event that your business expands and you need more services. Will your agency be to support you?

Here are the things you need to consider:

  • What is the capacity of the social media marketing companies you’re evaluating?
  • What services are social media marketing companies offering that you may need?

 

Capacity of Social Media Marketing Companies

If you’re planning for expansion, then the capacity of the social media marketing companies you’re evaluating is important.

If you have a need for more work in the future, you will want to make sure that the agency you are partnered with will be able to support you.

Generally, capacity is a challenge for smaller agencies. If you suddenly need more posts, advertising campaigns, or channels managed, it may stretch smaller companies too thin. This could result poor output and results.

It is possible to “outgrow” your agency. And, continuously rotating marketing partners can be a painful and ineffective process.

Ask social media marketing agencies how much work they can take on at a given time, and what will happen if you need more production in the future.

 

Services of Social Media Marketing Companies

You should also get a feel for all of the services offered by top social media marketing companies.

As you grow, you may have a need for services to complement your social media marketing campaign.

For example, you may want to start blogging to engage your followers on social media. Or perhaps you want to start email marketing to customers and leads you’ve received from social media advertising.

When you choose social media agencies who cannot support you in these areas, it may complicate your vendor relations in the future.

Instead of managing 1 agency that manages all areas of online marketing, you’ll have to manage 3-5 separate vendors to handle your needs.

Now all of the sudden, you’re a full-time project manager. Or, you’ll need to hire someone just to manage your marketing vendors.

 

7. Average Contract Lengths of Social Media Marketing Agencies

The length of commitment to a social marketing marketing company is also an important consideration factor when choosing an agency.

Most agencies do not want to waste their time if a client isn’t serious about committing to a long-term strategy.

However, you should know where to draw the line between a reasonable contract and unreasonable contract term.

While the standard contract length used to be 12-24 months for most social media marketing agencies, the average contract length today ranges from 3-6 months.

 

The basis for contract terms generally boil down to providing agencies with enough time to produce the results you intended to gain from your campaign.

Though, many businesses in the modern age do not have the risk appetite to stomach a 12 month commitment. And you shouldn’t, due to some of the risks we’ve already mentioned in this post.

The last thing you want is to sign a 1-year commitment with a company with hidden fees, lack of transparency, or demonstrating very little results after a fair period of time.

 

  1. Thought Leadership in the Industry

Want to know what separates great companies from the rest?

Thought leadership.

The best social media marketing agencies are actively involved in the digital marketing space. They are not only keeping up with the latest trends, but are leading the conversation in those trends.

Now, why should you care?

Because many top social media marketing companies are using outdated strategies.

Outdated strategies produce mediocre results, or none at all.

If you are stuck in between choosing two companies, take a look at their blog. See who’s pushing out content, educating their audience, and being thought leaders in their space.

Thought leadership not only shows that agencies are up-to-date, but it also shows a commitment to helping businesses grow.

Some businesses exist to make money, while others exist to solve problems and help others. Speaking at conferences, hosting webinars, and writing blogs demonstrate a passion towards this.

Google around and find out who’s a bigger thought leader in your space.

  1. The Final Straw – Do They Practice What They Preach?

Do you want to know what’s funny?

Many social media marketing companies have terrible social media presences.

You may be considering agencies that are a living contradiction of everything they are selling to you.

Hiring a social media marketing agency with an ineffective social media presence is like hiring a chef that will not eat their own food. How can you trust it?

If you’re looking for social media marketing, examine how the agencies market themselves.

If their service is truly valuable, they would use it for their own business.

Take a look at their complete online presence. Look at their SEO rankings, subscribe to their email list, read their blog, and really form an opinion of the companies that you are considering.

Successful Marketing Strategy

Are you a business that wants to market to other businesses? If so then you are in the right place! Business to business marketing is similar to business to consumer marketing. You can use the same digital strategies and channels to acquire new customers. But if you are targeting other businesses there are a few differences in the way you will be marketing. We are going to show you how to build and implement a B2B marketing strategy that actually works!

Building a B2B Marketing Strategy

When building a B2B marketing strategy, start with your sales funnel. As a B2B company you may have several different sales funnels. Maybe you are targeting different industries and you have personalized your funnels to for each one. Whatever your sales funnel or funnels look like, it’s crucial to map out your sales cycle and how it relates to the buying journey of your customers.

Let’s say that the first step in your sales funnel is a blog. In this stage you are building brand awareness. A blog helps to answer your customers questions and builds trust with them. Blogging is often neglected by companies but this is an easy way to build a loyal following. During the buying process, your potential customers will have questions about your business. Show them that you are a reputable source through your blog and then continue producing excellent content that will engage your customers and lead them into the next part of the funnel. Once you establish trust you will be able to generate leads.

With every B2B marketing strategy your priority should be lead generation. B2B lead generation means obtaining those customers who might be interested in learning more. This is the most important component of a B2B marketing strategy. Leads don’t begin as leads. They start off as complete strangers. You will attract them until they become visitors and then convert them to leads!

Once you obtain these leads you will convert them through your sales funnel and eventually they will become customers and then advocates for your brand. There are a lot of steps you must take before your customers become promoters for your brand so let’s start with your sales funnel. As a B2B company your sales funnel is probably more complex than that of a B2C company. There’s a lot that goes into the buying decision.

Think about it like this. The decision to purchase a T-shirt is relatively simple. A customer sees a shirt you like on a website and adds it to their cart but they don’t purchase it. They are not ready to commit to purchasing the shirt yet. Next the customer may see retargeting ads or receive emails telling them that they left something in their cart.

After seeing the shirt multiple times you finally end up buying it. This is a quick process and probably happens over the course of a few days to a week. When deciding whether or not to work with a marketing company a customer will do research and look into the company, read reviews and ask other business owners about their experiences. They might even sign up to receive a free ebook like this:

Once a customer enters their email, they become a lead. They are interested in learning more about what your company can do for their business. Now that your customer is aware of your company it’s your job to show them why they should do business with you. You should be answering questions like:

  • Why would a customer need my business?
  • How can my company make my customers’ lives easier?
  • What are my unique selling points?
  • Why my business and not my competitor?

Now that you have a customer who is considering your business it’s time to gear up with a digital marketing strategy. During this stage your business will send emails, produce great content, run ads on social media and utilize search engine marketing. You have probably heard of each of these strategies but which ones should you use if you are targeting other businesses instead of consumers and how are they different?

Content and Your B2B marketing Strategy

Content marketing is important because before people buy they like do research. By the time they talk to your sales department they know a lot about your company. It’s your job to make sure that they are well educated with excellent content. Content provides potential customers with answers to their questions and it also builds trust and relationships. Content can generate leads and drive sales. They key to content marketing for any business is to produce valuable and curated content for your target audience. Use this content to show other businesses that you are the industry expert that they should trust.

Content tips for your B2B marketing strategy:

  • Work with thought leaders in your industry. If you as a company are associated with great thought leaders, customers will be more likely to trust you. Collaborate with these influencers by producing valuable content. You will be able to market to your audience as well as the audience of the influencer you are working with.

 

  • Segment your content for your different audiences. If you have several target audiences, separate your content to make it easier for them to navigate. This can help cut through the clutter and make your brand look organized and professional.

 

  • Conduct webinars. As a business marketing to other businesses you want to show that you are the expert in your field. You also want to put a friendly face on your brand. Take time to fully explain your product or service and give your customers the opportunity to have a Q&A with an expert. Webinars can build trust with potential customers and increase brand visibility. If you decide to use webinars in your strategy make sure you advertise them! This can be done through Google ads or email marketing.

 

  • Utilize social media. You should be posting regularly on social media. Don’t just post anything though. Find useful content for your followers that adds value and portrays your company as a reliable source for information. Keep in mind that Facebook is a “pay to play” platform. This means that you will need to spend some money to ensure that your audience sees your content. Don’t worry, Social media advertising is one of the cheapest ways to advertise.

Social Media Marketing and Your B2B Marketing Strategy

Producing content for social media and creating ads for social media are two completely different things. With content, your intentions are not to make a sale but to provide value. With ads you want customers to convert or make a purchase. Which social media channels should be a part of your B2B marketing strategy?

LinkedIn. This platform is quite possibly the best platform for B2B marketing. It allows you to make connections and build relationships with your potential customers. You can also run targeted advertising on LinkedIn with demographics ranging from location to industry. Don’t limit yourself to using LinkedIn as your only social channel.

Facebook. It is also important to have a presence on Facebook. You can boost posts, advertise and see analytics all from your Facebook Ads Manager. Facebook ads allow you to target your audience through many different demographics. You can also get really specific with something called a lookalike audience where Facebook takes a list of your current customer emails and targets similar users.

Twitter. This platform makes it easy to share your thoughts, participate in discussions and converse with your customers. There are over 500 millions Twitter users. Twitteris great for communicating with your customers, answering their questions and fixing their problems. You can also gain followers and increase your brand’s visibility.

YouTube. If you have videos, conduct webinars or produce any other type of video content your business needs a YouTube channel. You can increase your site traffic by inserting links to your website into your videos, run an ad campaign and view insights.YouTube also makes it easy for your customers to share your videos online.

Google+ is considered a social network but you will want to utilize it to move up in search rankings. If you publish your content (like blogs) on this platform your will increase your chances of ranking.

Do you need to be on every social media channel that exists? The answer is no. Figure out what works for your business and where your customers spend their time. This can only be done through researching your customer base and building buyer personas. At the same time don’t just choose one social network to advertise through. If you rely solely on LinkedIn you will be missing out on those customers who don’t use this platform.

Email and your B2B Marketing Strategy

You have heard of email marketing but how should you incorporate it into your B2B marketing strategy? Remember when you first generated those leads and received email address from potential customers in exchange for an ebook? It’s time to put those to work.

Most B2B email marketing campaigns are text focused. There’s not a lot of fluff like photos or design. You should be focused on your words. They should be powerful and engaging. It is important to include your logo, text that is easy to read and a call to action or CTA.

This email from Super Office is simple. It includes a logo, branding colors, text that is easy to read and a call to action to download a free guide. Make sure you logo is easy to see. This will increase brand recognition so that next time a customer sees this logo they will remember it. The text is spaced so that it is easy for the user to read. If you have a big paragraph of text it can be overwhelming. When people read emails they are often skimming to find the most important parts. One of our email marketing best practices is to make your emails scannable. Their call to action button is easy to see and it’s direct. You know exactly what you are doing when you click.

Many B2B companies tend to stick to traditional marketing tactics like sending out mailers. This isn’t a bad thing if you like wasting money. Your costs for sending mailers include design and writing copy, printing supplies, stuffing envelopes and postage. With email marketing you can obtain emails from customers via a popup on your website and send them out yourself.

In the amount of time it takes you to stuff 30 mailers you could have created an email campaign that can be sent over and over again with one click of your mouse. You can also hire a professional to even more time! Remember, every dollar you spend on email marketing yields and average ROI of $44!

Both of these strategies are forms of direct marketing but with the traditional approach you are unable to collect any data on your customers which can be used later for targeting them on other platforms.

Setting up email automations is also a key component of your B2B marketing strategy. You have a sales funnel and within in you should have an email funnel with the goal of taking the leads you have generated and providing useful content through direct marketing. Creating automations can make your life even easier.

You can set up different automations to target customers at specific points in your buying cycle. Or you can set up different automations that connect to each of your landing pages. You will be able to see where customers came from on your site, which emails they opened and when they convert! Having access to all of these analytics is crucial for a successful B2B marketing strategy.

Build a Professional Website

Every business needs a website that is functional and looks professional. For B2B companies there are several important components that need to be included in a B2B website design.

Your website should be built for lead generation. Landing pages are key in this situation. They allow you to generate leads quickly and efficiently. Landing pages are distraction free and focused pages that you can build in to your social media ads, emails and website.

Here is a landing page from Uber targeting drivers. They clearly lay out the benefits of working for Uber and have a simple contact form that allows people to sign up to drive with them. As you can see there is no way that someone can navigate away from this page to another page on Uber’s site. The ultimate goal of this page is to generate leads.

You will of course need a contact form so make it is as concise as possible. If your contact forms are too lengthy business owners will not want to fill them out. If you find that you do need to have a longer contact form there are some things you can do so that your potential customers are not overwhelmed.

Try fitting all of your questions above the fold. This means that a user can fill out your form without having to scroll down. You can also put one or two questions per page and have a next button. If you go this route it’s important to have some sort of progress bar where the user can see how much of the form has been completed.

Everyone likes to read reviews before they make a purchase. You need to have social proof on your website also known as customer testimonials. Make these easily accessible for your potential buyers. Good reviews add a layer of trust.

Your site should be speedy. Business owners do not have time to wait 3 seconds for a page to load. Yes you read that right. 40% of people will leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. There are several things you can do to ensure that your website loads faster like cutting back on plugins if you have a WordPress site, changing your hosting plan or making sure you are not uploading huge image files.

SEO for your B2B Marketing Strategy

You have probably heard of SEO or search engine optimization. You should be optimizing your site the same way you would optimize any website but your main goal for your B2B marketing strategy is to generate leads. Your sales cycle can start with a simple search. You need to make sure you are showing up on the first page of search results so that your leads can enter your sales cycle. If people can’t find your website they won’t know about your brand. If they do not know about your brand it is impossible for them enter your sales cycle.

In order to optimize your site you will need to comb through your pages and add keywords, H1 tags, title and meta descriptions and image alt tags. LYFE Marketing is the first organic search result after the advertisements. The first three search results capture the most traffic. The second page of search results receives a combined 6% of all clicks. This is why it is crucial to be on the first page of search results. It’s even better to be in the top three but this can take a lot of time and effort.

The pro/con of SEO: It’s is free but it does take some time. It will cost you absolutely nothing to optimize your website but it will take time to show up in search. If you don’t optimize your site correctly you may never show up in search. It’s wise to let a professional research keywords for you and optimize your site.

 

 

Types of Online Marketing

Digital marketing has exploded, making it easier to reach potential customers in a way that they enjoy. As Internet advertising has gone mainstream the types of online marketing at your fingertips have expanded exponentially.

This variety means that virtually every kind of business can reach any audience through the Internet. There’s something for everyone.

It also means that the types of online marketing can get confusing. It’s hard to know where to start. What’s right for your business?

Let’s explore the types of online marketing available to your business. How do they work? How do you evaluate which is right for you?

Social Media Advertising

Shopping for products and services is among the top 10 reasons people use social media. In the case of Pinterest, it’s closer to top 3. 1 out of 3 people mention specific brands when discussing life events.

Social media is where people spend their time and it’s a great place for your business to be.

Social media advertising is one of the two primary types of online marketing you can do on social media platforms. The other is social media management. We’ll look at that one later.

When done right, social media advertising allows you to advertise to customers in a way they actually appreciate and enjoy. By being relevant, you avoid forcing people to see your ads who have no interest in what you sell.

Get in front of the people who will actually find the ad helpful. Social media ads often don’t even feel like ads for this reason. And this is exactly the way social media channels want it. The less your ad looks and feels like an ad, the more reach the algorithms with give you.

On top of advertising in a way that people enjoy, you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad. This is great news for most people. On the other hand you could pay a lot for an ad spot on TV or in a magazine that may never even be seen. What a waste!

Paying for what you actually get is a much better way to go.

Social media advertising starts the customer relationship off on the right foot so you can earn loyalty more easily. With these types of online marketing, you can target the “perfect” customer on the social media platform where they spend their time.

Be visible where your target is to accomplish 6 primary marketing goals:

  1. Increase brand awareness
  2. Build an email subscriber list (so you can nurture leads in a more controlled environment)
  3. Build a following on social media (optional, but advised)
  4. Increase engagement with your brand (on social media or your website)
  5. Make quick sales (works best in conjunction with the other goals)
  6. Increase customer value (more upsells, purchase frequency, etc.)
  7. Generate promoter activity (put your loyal customer to work for you)

Meeting these broad goals on social media helps you generate more revenues, cut costs and grow your business.

Where Can You Run Social Media Ads?

Seemingly endless options await you. Regardless of who your customers are, you’ll find them in one or more of these places, in no particular order:

  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Yelp — Yes, review sites are a form of social media. You’ll find very high intention buyers here. That fact is reflected in the cost for these ads and in how you advertise.

To determine which platform is best for you, consider where:

  • Your target customer is active.
  • Your target customer makes buying decisions
  • You have a presence. You don’t have to have a business presence to buy ads on most social media platforms. But it will help you get a greater ROI.
  • You understand how your target uses the platform. If you get on there clueless, people will see right through you.

Quick tip: While it’s a good idea to be where the customers are, don’t try to be everywhere. You’ll be spread too thin to make an impact in one place. You’ll run out of money fast and reduce your potential long-term ROI.

You’ll end up looking inconsistent because it’s hard to manage.

Focus in one or two top spots. Branch out later if you feel you can competently and consistently do so.

Types of Online Marketing on Social Media

There are several ways to use social media advertising.

Boost Posts

If something you shared on your business profile got a lot of positive attention, get more out of it. Pay to have people who don’t follow you see it.

Use the platform’s targeting function just like you would if it were a regular ad. Narrow your reach to target your most likely customers.

Organic / Newsfeed Ads

Create ads that only appear in the newsfeed.

They’re labeled “sponsored” or “suggested” to comply with truth in advertising rules. But these look like things that people shared so they’re more likely to get attention.

To do best in this space, focus on being entertaining, clever and/or helpful over direct selling.

People unfollow and blacklist brands that are overly promotional in the newsfeed.

Sidebar Ads

On some platforms, your ads don’t appear in a feed. They appear above, below or beside the feed.

Remarketing Ads

Remarketing is when you to show ads to people who’ve visited your website or profile. They can appear on the platform itself or the platform’s partner sites. This is a very effective way to re-engage people and re-route a missed opportunity back your site.

How to Target People on Social Media

One of the top reasons your business should be using social media advertising is because it’s easy to target your ideal customer.

You’ll be amazed at some of the targeting options. This WordStream Graphic lists just a “few” available in Facebook.

Don’t show your ad to millions of people who will never buy from you. Show it to 100,000 likely buyers of which 1,000 click. Then 200 become new customers.

That’s a nice customer influx for most small businesses. But don’t write off the rest of them.

They are on the fence. But they will convert over time as you continue to engage them.

You can target by:

  • Interests
  • Job /Industry /Company
  • Buying behaviors
  • Location
  • And more

For example, if you’re a local carpet cleaning service in Atlanta, then target your local area.

You might get more engagement if you don’t geo-locate. But what’s that engagement worth if the person is in Oklahoma City? You’re not sending your cleaning trucks out there.

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram reward you when you use Ads Manager to target and be more relevant. They cut your ad costs and make your ad more visible to the right people.

Who Should Use Social Media Advertising?

Any business can use these types of online marketing effectively. It’s all about understanding how people use the platform and aligning your ad strategy with it.

If you’re a real estate agency, then Yelp ads are a great way to reach people in those final moments before they choose a company.

Instagram would help you reach people earlier when they’re dreaming of the perfect home.If you’re an ecommerce site, then Yelp probably isn’t ideal. And LinkedIn really wouldn’t make sense. Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram would be much better options.

Let’s briefly look at how social media management supports your advertising efforts.

Social Media Management

73% of people follow brands because they’re interested in buying their products or services. 70% of Gen Xers buy from the brands they follow on social media. 1/2 of Millenials check out a brand on social media before buying. But they may not follow it.

Social media management goes beyond just advertising. It’s about having a presence that people interested in your brand can visit to learn more about you.

It involves applying strategies to:

  • Build a social media brand
  • Get more followers
  • Engage followers
  • Educate potential customers
  • Lead people to your website or store

Here’s why having a social media presence is smart business to get the most out of social media advertising.

It Gives You Social Proof

Many consumers today are wary. They’ve been burned by fly-by-night companies that were just looking for a quick buck. The no-name company left them hanging with inferior products or shoddy services.

People have vowed never to let it happen to them again.

A social media presence allows you to interact on a more meaningful level. Demonstrate that there are people behind your brand. You are good at what you do. And there are people who like your brand and talk about it.

If someone doesn’t know you, a social media presence is instant proof that you’re legitimate.

It Cuts Advertising Costs

Increase your followers to become more visible on a platform. As you do, more people will be drawn to your profile like a magnet.

Get your first 1,000 followers. More people want to know what you’re all about. With more followers, engage people without paying every time someone clicks. If you need more help getting followers, consider using our social media management services to boost your follower growth.

Social media isn’t the place to overtly advertise. But sparingly test out ad ideas on your followers to optimize your advertising budget.

Check out your Google Analytics account to see how much “free” traffic your profile and posts send you. But note, you need social media ads to help get any new social media brand off the ground. And your need for ads will likely not go away.

Social media management simply complements advertising. It stretches your marketing dollars further.

It Meets People Where They Are

Some people aren’t ready to “buy now”, especially if you’re offering something that’s not a $20 impulse buy. What your target audience considers an impulse buy will vary based on income, education and other factors.

Social media is a great way to introduce people to your brand message and expertise. As you do, you become top of mind when this person is ready to buy. Educate them about what you do so that you’re the natural choice when they need what you offer.

Most people think of the buying process as a see, click and buy scenario. But the journey actually starts much earlier. It often lasts weeks or months.

During this time, they’re contemplating a need they have. They’re evaluating options both with you and other brands. They’re looking to see if others are happy doing business.

If you appear to be the best option and can seal the deal when the time is right, they’ll become your customers.

It Acts As Top of Funnel

Your profile has the potential to reach millions of active social media users. But it’s not the best place to personalize and seal the deal.

Social media management acts as a top of funnel, attracting likely customers out of a pool of millions. Then guide them into somewhere where you can more effectively nurture high-quality leads.

Who Should Use Social Media Management?

People with high acquisition costs should definitely consider how social media management works alongside advertising. If you make a dollar for every $0.50 to $0.75 you spend, that’s not sustainable.

Social media management requires consistency. If you don’t have someone who can devote significant time to building and maintaining your presence, then you should definitely look into hiring a social media management company.

They will have the tools, systems and know-how to get you the best return on your investment using different types of online marketing.

Pay Per Click (PPC) / Search Advertising

You can rise to the top of the search results through solid SEO strategies. Search based types of online marketing allow you to shoot to the top instantly.

You just have to pay per click (PPC).

Over 50% of website traffic starts on a search engine. People using searches are often high intention buyers. That means they’re looking for something specific. They’re ready to buy.

Most types of online marketing are PPC-based. But when you hear the term “PPC”, people are referring to search advertising.

With it, appear in the ad sections of the search results for search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo.

Google ads, also known as Google AdWords, is the most commonly known platform for search advertising. It has the most features and largest share of users.

You can appear as a text ad, a display ad in the search or a banner ad on their affiliate websites. AdWords also offers a remarketing feature, which is a great way to get people back to your website.

How Does PPC Work?

On social media platforms, excluding Pinterest, you target people by checking boxes for traits and interests that your target audience has.

Google AdWords uses keywords. These are usually phrases of 3-6 words.

Tell Google the most you’re willing to bid for a certain keyword. Then when someone enters that keyword in a search, Google looks at all the bids. It then shows the ads based on highest bidder.

They only charge you enough to beat the bid below you. The more competitive that keyword is, the more you’ll pay as a general rule.

But there’s a catch. Quality Score.

Quality Score Impact On Your Bid

Google wants people to be very happy with their search results. People are happy when the results are what they were looking for. Google allows lower bidders to win over higher bidders if they feel that the ad will be more relevant to that search.

But they don’t make the call. Instead, they let the searchers make the decision about whether your ad was relevant.

What they look at:

  • Click Through Rate – Number of people who click the ad divided by how many times it appeared
  • How the person reacted to your website — If the person left quickly or didn’t click on anything, your ad seems irrelevant.
  • Your performance history — The quality score is an average. If you let it go down, it takes a while to get it back up.

A person with a great quality score can save as much as 50% of the cost per click. If you have bad scores, you’ll pay as much as 400% more than someone with an average score. If you let the score slip that much, your AdWords costs will be way high.

To keep your score high,

  1. Do proper keyword research — Use tools to understand what people are searching for and understand how much you have to bid to actually get that ad space.
  2. Do a competitor analysis — Know what the competition is doing so you can do it better
  3. Align your ad text with the keywords — It should be clear why your ad came up in that search
  4. Align your ad text with your target audience — The ad should speak to their challenges and reasons for searching
  5. Align your ad with the buyer’s journey — In a nutshell, that’s awareness, consideration, decision-making (buying). Consider where the searcher is in the journey. The words they search for give you a window into where they are.
  6. Align your website landing page with the ad — the landing page isn’t your homepage. It should seamlessly continue what they searchers started in Google.
  7. Add negative keywords — These are words you don’t want associated with your brand or are irrelevant to the ad. If you’re a meal kit delivery service, you might have “meal kit delivery service” as a keyword. Now, if someone types “How to Start a meal kit delivery service” it’s best if your ad not appear. It’s not what the person is looking for.
  8. Track analytics — Pay attention to how people are interacting with your ads and website.
  9. Test and Improve — To get and keep a high quality score, listen to what the numbers are telling you. Test ads, landing pages and strategies to make it better.

Who Should Use Search Advertising?

AdWords can be effective for nearly any kind of business. It’s all about doing your research and applying the above 9 tips to keep your Quality Score up.

Practically every small business tries to use search advertising. Doing so and getting good at it are two different things. AdWords isn’t the easiest advertising method to master.

If you’re ready to tackle the challenge, commit to learning how to keep that score up and costs low. If you’re not able to dedicate significant time each week to managing your campaigns, it’s best to work with a professional.

Many people are worried about paying a professional search advertising company to do the types of online marketing they could do themselves. But experts have the systems in place to get you the biggest ROI.

Email Marketing / Advertising

77% of people prefer permission-based email as the way for a brand to advertise. With proper campaign management, a typical ROI on email is $44 for every $1 spent. You can’t get that kind of return on any other types of online marketing, which is why most marketers prefer it.

Email allows you to engage people on a very personal level. You can even call them by name and send them content that’s been “hand-picked” for them based on their interests, buying history, demographics and more.

Permission-based email means that you built your list by asking people to sign up. You might have encouraged them to do so in exchange for something of value like a chance to win, download or free trial. Or you may have a very successful email newsletter that they want to sign up for.

Social media management and social media advertising are the most common types of online marketing used to build this list.

Once you have an email subscriber, it’s time to start nurturing this relationship to get them to:

  • Make that first purchase
  • Continue to buy from you
  • Write you great reviews
  • Share your content with others
  • Stay subscribed… they can unsubscribe at anytime.

Do this by engaging them with the most relevant content and offers (ads) through a process called segmentation. And send them emails at the perfect time to get results through automation.

These two methods are how businesses get that 44 to 1 ROI or better.

What Is Segmentation?

Segmentation is when you take your email subscriber list and divide the subscribers up by one of more traits. Then you send each group content that is designed to be most relevant to that group.

For example, you’re selling something that appeals to Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers. But you realize that as broad groups they:

  • Like different types of content
  • Use langauge differently
  • Respond more strongly to certain messages, styles, etc.
  • Use your products/services for different reasons

To maximize relevance, adapt each piece of content for that group.

You can also segment based on:

  • Location
  • Buying or other behavior
  • Interests
  • Job Roles
  • Goals/Challenges
  • And more

What Is Automation?

Automation is about sending the right message at the right time. It also helps eliminate monotonous and time-consuming tasks that can eat into profits fast.

To continue our above example, you might find that Baby Boomers are more likely to open emails as 4AM on Saturday. Millennial emails perform better on Tuesdays at 8AM. You don’t need all that extra work. You don’t need to log on and send out the email at the right time.

Simply blast out your emails and automated software looks at which group should get it at which time. It handles the specifics of who gets what when. You just focus on creating relevant content.

Another great way to use email automation is setting up event-triggered reminders. When an email is triggered by an event around 60% of people will open it. Compare that to a 15-20% open rate, which is a decent open rate for most other emails.

This is your best opportunity to communicate something to a person.

You could use it to:

  • Thank new subscribers by offering them a discount
  • Remind someone what they abandoned their cart
  • Show them other items they may like
  • Offer them something on a birthday, anniversary or other event.
  • Remind them that they were interested in X
  • Thank them for contacting you, letting them know when you’ll respond
  • Head off negative reviews by directing people to resources

Just take a look at what Social Media Today found about open rates for emails triggered by special events.

Imagine having to manually create and send all of these emails when these things happen. How long do you think it would take? Would you be able to send them within 5 minutes of the event?

Automation solves this problem.

Is Email Advertising Right For Your Business?

Email advertising is the best way to nurture leads and increase customer lifetime value. Customers are in a controlled environment where you take relevance to the next level. Relevance is what sells in advertising.

Any business that has a longer buying cycle or sells something that requires some consideration (Usually >$20) should be using email to get the best ROI.

Through segmentation and automation software you can streamline your processes to maximize your return on investment.

These types of software are more advanced and often cost more than a small business can justify. If you’re getting into segmentation or automation, working with an email marketing company is the most cost effective. They can spread the costs across many businesses while delivering you superior results.

Avoid These Marketing Tactics At All Costs

It’s 2018, and the competition in your market is fierce. What type of marketing tactics should you use in order for your business to be successful and which ones should you avoid? How can you seamlessly insert ads into the daily lives of your customers without being annoying? The goal of any marketing strategy is to increase conversions while spending as little money as possible. We’re going to give you alternatives to the marketing tactics you should be avoiding that will help your business succeed.

Don’t wing it

One of the most important marketing tactics to avoid is not being prepared. If you wing it, you will undoubtedly do more harm than good. And your business could potentially go down the drain. You need to have a digital marketing strategy in place.

In order to have a successful marketing strategy you will need to do market research, create buyer personas and map out your sales cycle. Knowing exactly who your customer is will make crafting your marketing strategy a breeze. Be careful when defining your customers base. You can’t possibly market to every single person out there.

For instance, if you sell coffee you’re not going to be targeting people who don’t drink coffee. Carefully build your buyer persona. It should be unique to your business. You will want to hammer out every detail from your customer’s annual income down to what they like to do on the weekends.

50% of sales time is wasted on prospects who are not interested in your brand or business. Mapping out your sales cycle will eliminate inefficiency, help determine how you are going to market to people, and identify strengths and weaknesses. It can also aid in remarketing.

If you know how long it takes a client to buy your product, you can remarket to them at the appropriate time. Your sales cycle will not be the same as any other business. It may take your customers as long as a year to go through the buying process. Or it could take them as little as a week. It all depends on your products/services, your marketing efforts, and your customers’ preferences. No matter how long or short your sales cycle is, you need to map it out and make sure that it flows with the customer buying journey.

After you have written out your strategy and goals, you’re ready to decide which marketing tactics you want to use in your campaign. We’re about to show you which marketing tactics to avoid and which ones will help blow your competitors out of the water.

Stop running ads on TV

Do your customers even have cable TV anymore? Many younger audiences are cutting the cord and switching to platforms like Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube to reduce the amount of ads that often interrupt their shows.

Instead of TV ads, use remarketing ads. This is quite possibly one of the best marketing tactics out there. Remarketing is specific and targeted advertising to customers who have already visited your website. It can come in several different forms such as sending automated abandoned cart emails, advertisements on Instagram, or Facebook and banner ads.

Abandoned cart emails are one of the easiest ways to get customers to go back and continue their checkout process. They can be automated so that they send on their own and you can use a simple template with your call to action being to come back and shop. A successful abandoned cart email will have a killer subject line, a photo of the item your customer has left behind, short copy that is enticing but not annoying and of course a call to action button.

Chubbies sends a great abandoned cart email. Their subject line is simple but catchy “Shorts are patiently waiting in your shopping cart.” Although they don’t show the exact item they do say shorts with photos highlighting shorts. The call to action button is big and bold so that there’s not a chance someone would miss it.

Customers who are browsing a clothing site for example may click through some items but not make a purchase. You can gather this data on your site and use it to your advantage through remarketing advertising. Have you ever shopped for a product and the next second it appeared on your Facebook feed?

No, Facebook isn’t listening in on your conversations. But they are tracking your every move when you’re online. In order for this to work you will have to install a piece of tracking code on your website. Then your website will be able to send information to Facebook. You will also have to create an eye catching ad so that customers will flock to your site. You can customize who will see this ad and how it will appear.

Not design savvy? Our graphic designers can create the perfect Facebook ads to draw your customer back to your site to make a purchase.

  1. Crew offers 40% off in order to get customers to click through to their website. This is a great marketing tactic because now that people have already visited their site, they’re being brought back by a discount!

Banner ads are images that may appear on another site you are browsing with the goal of redirecting you to make a purchase. These work similarly to running ads on Facebook and Instagram. The user will visit a website that your ad is running on, they may decide to click the ad in which case they will be directed to your site or landing page to make a purchase. In the case that they do not click on your ad, you will need other marketing tactics in place so that you can capture the sale. But know that even if they did not click the ad, your brand just gained more exposure and is still positioned in their mind as a possible solution to the issue they are facing.

Avoid radio ad marketing tactics

Yes people still listen to the radio. But there are so many different people who listen to the same stations. How are you possibly going to target the right people who actually have the potential to become your customers? How are you going to know who hears your ad or who actually takes action? What if people hear your ad but still have questions?

The bottom line is: radio ads have no way of giving you measurable results that justify their cost. Instead of wasting money on radio ads, write a blog for your business.

Blogs are effective, useful and can increase your online visibility. Publishing written content in the form of blogs helps answers questions customers might have about your brand, business, products or services. Your blog can also help you come across as a leader or influencer in your industry especially if you keep it up to date. Blogs build trust with potential customers. If they see that you are actively producing high quality content that is useful to them, they are more likely to trust you. Blogging can be time consuming though. Generate more content faster when you work with a digital marketing company like ours. Check out our blog writing services to see if they fit your needs.

Blogging can also help with SEO. SEO or search engine optimization is how you appear in search. By optimizing your website you can organically move up in search results for target keywords. When potential customers search for a product or service that you provide, you want to make sure you show up on that first page of search results. You can, of course, optimize the pages on your site, but you can also write blogs to rank in search for specific keywords. We use this marketing tactic ourselves for our blogs.

After you read this blog, you may Google “digital content strategy” because you want to start your own blog. When you do, you’ll find another one of our blogs to provide you with more information. Notice how we have the top ranking position and the featured snippet. We’re getting double exposure for no additional cost. I’d say that’s better than a radio ad, wouldn’t you?

The more blogs you write, the more chances you have to rank. The key here is to make sure that your content is helpful to your potential customers. If you can increase the time they spend on your site, this will also help you to move up in search.

If you are a B2B company consider using webinars to grow your business and advertise to potential customers. This is a great way to show customers what your business can do for them. Webinars are informational, and you can put your best foot forward. This is also a chance for you to interact with your customer base. Have a Q&A so that you can answer your potential customers’ questions about your services.

Don’t pay for billboards

Billboards are one of the most expensive traditional marketing tactics and can cost anywhere from $300-$1,000 dollars. They are especially costly if you need to hire someone to design your ad too. There’s no way you can tell how many potential customers have interacted with your billboard. People are most likely driving down the road when they see billboards. How are they going to take down your information if they have two hands on the wheel? When people are multitasking they actually have to stop and focus on one thing at a time. Do not make potential customers do two things at once. You want their full, undivided attention when your end goal is to get them to convert.

Instead of advertising on expensive billboards, use banner ads. Banner ads are also known as display ads and can be set up through Google Ads. This type of advertising allows you to run your ad on a host website. Users on that site will be shown your banner ad. And if they click on it, they will be taken to your website or a specific landing page. Banner ads are great for generating leads and bringing awareness to your brand. (And remarketing to customers like we mentioned before!)

Lead generation is one of the most important parts of a marketing campaign. Without leads, it is difficult to build a customer base. Leads are people who are interested in your brand and are willing to learn more. They are ready to listen to what you have to offer.

Brand recognition and awareness are essential for the success of your business. Brand recognition is whether or not someone can identify your brand from a logo or symbol associated with your business. Brand awareness is how well a customer knows your brand’s culture or values. Generate both through banner ads and effective lead generation ideas, not billboards.

Don’t advertise with flyers

Flyers can get lost in the mix and aren’t really effective. They waste paper, time and money. And, most importantly, there’s no way to measure your ROI. Potential customers may see your flyer but there’s no way for them to interact with you.

Instead you should build a website and make sure it is optimized. Flyers are limited to a finite amount of space for you to include your information. The internet is endless! If you don’t have a website you are making a huge mistake. If you aren’t ready for an online store, that’s totally fine but at least have a place where potential customers can come to learn more about your business.

Building a site that is functional, yet aesthetically pleasing, can take a lot of time and effort. Not to mention all of the complications you can run into if you lack experience. Let a professional handle it so that you can get back to running your business.

In addition to optimizing your website you need to make sure you have a Google My Business account. This is a free service that you should be using to your advantage. It lists your location, hours, website, directions, reviews and more so that potential customers can easily find out more information about your business.

Look how much information you can have on your Google My Business page. This can be crucial when a customer needs to find your business. Make sure this is constantly updated and that all of the information is correct. Getting reviews on Google is another marketing tactic you should be utilizing. Although it may not seem like “marketing” reviews can help potential customers or leads decide if they want to do business with you. Imagine speaking with someone on the phone who owns a furniture store about a couch you would like to purchase. They’re friendly and seem really helpful. Then you Google them and find out that they have all bad Google reviews. You’re probably not going to purchase that couch anymore. Although you cannot delete reviews, you can monitor them. If there are unhappy customers, reach out to them and see what you can do to fix the problem.

Don’t use snail mail campaigns

Just like other forms of traditional non-digital marketing, snail mail marketing campaigns won’t do much for your business. You can’t physically see who has opened them or who has taken action.

Utilize the power of email marketing in your digital marketing campaign. This is one of the marketing tactics that drives more conversions than any of the other marketing channel out there.

In addition to not using snail mail to market to your customers, another marketing tactic you will want to avoid is buying emails lists. Do not buy email lists from anyone, anywhere at any time. Instead build a list of customers who actually want your emails. Why? They will engage with your content and be more likely to convert. Don’t waste your time and money on people who are uninterested in your brand and won’t engage with your emails.

Another pro of organically building your list is that your customers will be less likely to mark you as spam. Imagine getting an email from a company you have no interest in and that you are 100% sure you didn’t give permission to send you emails. They are clogging up your inbox and you are not happy about it. It’s likely that you’ll mark them as spam instead of just unsubscribing. This registers with other user’s email providers as well. So just by a handful of people marketing your emails as spam can affect hundreds of other recipients. Your emails will start directly going into spam inboxes and never truly reaching people on your list.

Within email marketing you will also want to avoid spamming your email list. You have worked so hard to obtain these emails and you want to reduce unsubscribes as much as possible. If you send too many emails, people may stop opening your emails or unsubscribe altogether. You will have to do some research and some testing to find out what your customers want. 

Get rid of your old website

One of the biggest mistakes companies make is that they don’t update their old website design and content. Keeping up with design trends can increase trust with potential customers. If a customer lands on your website and it has an engaging design and excellent user experience, they will be more likely to purchase your product or service. You know the saying ‘we eat with our eyes’? The same is true with website design. If it looks unappealing people will find an alternative.

If you are an ecommerce business, then you definitely have a checkout page. When a customer is making a purchase they want to be certain that their credit card information as well as their address is safe. This billing information page is simple but seems a little suspicious. There isn’t a security seal and the page doesn’t show which products you are purchasing.

Now compare it to this updated checkout page. It is much more visual and tells you which products you are buying, the price and delivery fees. It allows you to create an account which can make customers feel protected. There are also simple additions that increase trust. This site requires your name as well as your phone number but explains that they may need to contact you about your order.

Not only will you want to update your site for visual purposes, but you should also keep it updated with current information for both customers and search engines. Search engines like Google are constantly crawling your site. When someone performs a search, Google wants to make sure that they get exactly what they are looking for. If you regularly update your site and add new content then search engines will keep coming back to crawl your site. This can push you up in search rankings. New content can come in the form of a blog, new products or the creation of additional pages.

Using these web design marketing tactics are great additions to your advertising and email campaigns. If you have a great advertisement but a checkout process that is poorly designed and optimized you will quickly lose customers.

10 Best Ecommerce Marketing Ideas to Boost Your Online Sales

According to Google, there are hundreds of monthly searches relating to ecommerce marketing ideas, but very few search results actually explain these marketing ideas in a way that will help small business owners. Through this article, we aim to solve just that challenge for you. If you’re a business owner who is new to this sales channel and is looking for ideas that will wow you, then you’re at the right place.

To put things into perspective first, let’s think of online marketing as a big strong tree. This tree then has branches like social media marketing, search engine marketing,email marketing and so on. These make up the different channels a business can use to market itself to customers. Among these channels, one which has seen the most consistent channel wide growth is ecommerce. A transaction that takes place digitally where a user purchases a product or service online. This transaction fueled by convenience has started a scavenger hunt for the best ecommerce marketing ideas that will boost your online sales.

Did you know? Last year, consumers spent a total $455 billion on the web for retail purchases. An increase of close to 16% from the previous year! That’s the highest growth rate since 2011.

The ecommerce industry generates a combined $461 million in revenue yearly for businesses. And it is expected to grow another 48% in the next five years. It’s no wonder why companies like Walmart, Target, and Home Depot are following in the footsteps of e-commerce giant Amazon. These businesses know how important ecommerce is, so much so that they are adapting their processes to include ecommerce as their main revenue channel (or at least have plans to in the near future). All the while employing the best ecommerce marketing ideas they for their consumers.

So, why is this marketing channel important?

Ecommerce as a sales channel started in 1984. Much before the Facebooks, Amazons, and Googles of the world were ever a thing. And has been growing at the rate of 20% every year. Through this blog, we aim to arm small business owners like you with an understanding of just how important ecommerce is as a marketing channel and provide you with our best ecommerce marketing ideas in the form of a quick-fire checklist.

The digitalization of today’s marketplace has people using multiple devices a day, sometimes 4-5, just to perform daily tasks. When it comes to shopping, it’s not just in department stores – it’s on mobile phones, desktops, laptops, watches, tablets, and personal assistant devices like Alexa and Google Home. This presents a unique challenge to business owners to sell their products in places where consumers spend most of their time. No doubt that’s going to be online.

As digital experts, marketers today need to understand where and how their customers are buying the most. They need to remove the blindfold of traditional marketing tactics and move at pace with this fast-paced digital market in today’s environment. That’s exactly where we come in. It’s more like our comfort zone. Our staff is specialized in helping you gain more sales with innovative ecommerce marketing ideas.

Right from creating designs that appeal to an online audience to making sure your brand is fully optimized for ecommerce. And while we’re at it, we’ll share our pick of the top 10 ecommerce marketing ideas and tips that will serve as a preview of how businesses can benefit from the ecommerce wave.

  1. Ecommerce Based Websites

We can start our search for the best ecommerce marketing ideas with one basic step – creating an ecommerce friendly website.

Like many businesses today, if your business is all about selling a product and without much need for physical interaction with the customer, it is an absolute must to have a transaction friendly website that can take care of customer ordering, payment gateways, and shipping services. And the availability of ecommerce based website platforms like Shopify and Bigcommerce (some of the many available today) has made it easier than ever to now own a store online that handles it all. This has removed the physical store front from the equation for many businesses. With today’s audience often demanding an online transaction rather than a physical one, a easy to use website is key to ecommerce success .

As we discussed early, it is important to have creative designs that highlight the advantages of this channel. Something our team at LYFE Marketing can help you with. We build fully custom website designs for your ecommerce business.

  1. Track Real Time Customer Behavior

One of the most important things that physical stores lack over online ecommerce stores is the ability to record consumer behavior in real time and make instant changes to your marketing. It’s in this data that you find the materials you need to create the best ecommerce marketing ideas for your online store. It’s a process that starts with experiments and builds on gradually. Once you start observing, tracking, and noting consumer behavior patterns on your website, you can adjust what you sell, how you sell it, and how you promote it to the likes of your customers. This isn’t always an easy task, but the reward is worth the work.

Features like sorting popular orders, filtering out traffic sources and segmenting best value customers in real time are just some of the data that will give a huge boost to your marketing and advertising efforts. This data can then be effectively used in your email marketing campaigns to create customized communication pieces.

  1. Creating Targeted Communications

Another effective ecommerce marketing idea is to create email templates targeted towards data from your online ecommerce store. Once such famous tactic is targeting website visitors who added an item to a cart (yes! An ecommerce website lets you collect that data). You can send out quick emails to them with a discount to lure them to complete the transaction they forgot about.

Even if they don’t put anything in their cart, but merely look at a product, you can remind them. Unlike a physical business, it is possible to do this in real time, right when your brand is fresh in the user’s mind.

Below are a couple of ways you could entice your customer to come back to their digital shopping cart.

  1. Creating Customer Lists from Your Ecommerce Platform

Imagine having a bookkeeper for your store that records all transactions, customer information and inventory, all fully automated and in massive amounts. And the best part is you can get this information back with a click of a button. Welcome to the new age of ecommerce websites.

Just last week, we helped a client make sense of his year-long ecommerce data and created campaigns for him targeted towards different customers based on insights from that data. We chose to target his most valuable customers from the last year. We centered the campaign around customers who have spent more than $50, customers in specific locations, and even some customers who had visited his website for the first time.

This same model will not work for every business and it may not work for yours either. That’s why it’s best to build up your knowledge with blog articles like this one and then contact an ecommerce marketing company to help you setup your campaigns.

  1. Selling Through Social Media

Often referred to as social selling, this is an increasing trend employed by brands to build trust with users within a more comfortable setting first and then convincing them to purchase their products. You have built an incredible fanbase on social media, and you know exactly what they like to see in your posts. But now what? You leverage that opportunity! Our team will not only help you get there but also tell you what it takes to have the perfect social media marketing strategy that works. One element of which involves making sure that those likes and comments you are receiving aren’t just vanity metrics. You want real results, to you want to convert those engagements into ROI through product sales.

Many of the social platforms available today give you the ability to link your online store and sell to consumers in a social setting without pushing forceful advertisements. We have recommended this strategy to past clients who have seen a 10x return upon implementing social selling.

While we will discuss more in detail later, one such example is Facebook’s new products & services tab on your page. It is a page tab that is visible on way you are not only building brand credibility but have connected your ecommerce website to your social personality, adding one more channel to sell. Talk about ecommerce marketing ideas!

  1. Market Your Business Beyond Geographic Boundaries

Whether it is your neighborhood store or the local supermarket, they have one thing in common – they know it’s a challenge to appeal to potential customers in the next zip code. Not because the business is not a fit but because the physical location makes it less mobile making it a challenge to market beyond their geographic boundary.

Now think of what an ecommerce heavy business like Amazon can achieve. The lack of physical locations has given them the liberty to target users beyond their HQ. It is a big advantage when you think of economies of scale. They not only save on rent or lease but also translate those savings into free shipping and other discounts for customers. It’s a big part of their business that pulls in more people to order online rather than go visit their neighborhood stores. No wonder it’s such a crowd pleaser.

  1. Highlight Reviews

We all know how important word of mouth is when we make a purchase, whether at a local store or online. In fact, 92% of purchase decisions are triggered after a positive word of mouth recommendation either from family members, friends or past purchasers.

This brings us to one of our most prominent ecommerce marketing ideas. Imagine yourself visiting two stores online for vacuum cleaners. One has a basic design with no reviews next to it and the other website is bubbling with positive customer reviews. Which one do you think you’ll choose?

Ecommerce gives you the advantage of highlighting customer reviews right at the point of purchase, just when the customer is deciding whether to buy from you or not. This definitely is a great advantage to have by your side.

  1. Take Advantage of Check Out Pages

Like any other business owner you want to know as much about your customers as possible. However, retrieving personal information can sometimes be difficult. Not everyone is willing to give you much more than a first name or email address. However, with online ordering, customers are required to give much more information than this and seem to be happy to do so – unlike in a brick-and-mortar store. Online checkouts require you to provide information like email addresses, contact name, number and an address. That’s a great deal of information about your customer that can be used to not only re-engage with them but also learn more about your customers through business insights like geographical, demographic, and other forms of data.

The below image shows an example of a checkout page where a customer fills his information to complete the order.

If you’re working with a digital marketing company like ours, then we can also place a code behind these checkout pages to learn how the website visit was sourced – whether the customer came from your social ad or your email newsletter.

  1. Custom Content

Websites have given marketers the ability to create content specific to their target audience and change it as frequently as they like. Content marketing is something businesses must adopt to communicate with their customers in a way they understand best. Think local slang, viral trends or popular videos.

This gives you a fighting chance of being relevant to your audience, and in some cases, has seen as much as 8x increase in website traffic.

Our sources also tell us that tech geniuses are working on a way to let marketers change their website content based on website visitor. You can count on us to keep you updated.

A perfect example here would be the development of a blog on your website. Think of giving weekly tips to visitors about either solving their problems or just talking about FAQs. Our team of experts can help you create a synchronized content marketing calendar to stay on top of this.

  1. Testing Products That Actually Sell

What more, you ask? Well there’s one more thing. Testing!

Consumer needs change and so do their search preferences. As a business owner, it is your duty to provide your customers with products that solve their changing needs. Doing so can become costly and time consuming in a brick-and-mortar location. But not in an online store.

You can change out your products and introduce new trending products almost instantly.

Even a small change on the product description page can result in a 25% increase in conversions.

Of course, the best ecommerce marketing ideas depend on your business model, target audience, budget, sales funnel, etc. But don’t worry! Our team of experienced ecommerce marketers can work with you to find the best combination of digital marketing for your online store.

Now that we have reviewed some of our ecommerce marketing ideas, it’s time to discuss marketing channels. This checklist will help you determine with marketing channels will bring your business the greatest return on investment. Assuming you have already set your business plan, created tactical designs, and determined your advertising goals.

Checklist of eCommerce Marketing Channels

Set up Google Shopping Ads

These ads are fast and displayed instantly. They’re also a great way to show your products to people who are specifically searching for that product on Google. They’re searching for it, and they want it, so show them yours and outshine your competition.

Dating back a few years, Google has started allowing advertisers to list their own products in Google’s own product slider called Shopping Ads.

When a user searches for a specific product on Google, they are shown a slider filled with product suggestions that advertisers have paid Google to list. It is a popular way to sell your products and increase awareness of your ecommerce store. So much so that many small business owners have made Google their sole method of online marketing.

Google Display Ads

Google’s advertising platform and deep machine learning algorithms allow advertisers to tag website visitors and then follow them through their digital journey on the internet. They are then shown banner ads or display ads of your brand/product on future websites they visit. All of this is done to keep your brand top of mind at all times.

Below is an example of ad placement a user sees while visiting other websites after his initial visit to the advertiser’s website.

Known as remarketing, this tactic can help bring back lost visitors and increase sales for your business. Your audience becomes more aware of your brand and has a higher intent of converting. This increase in conversions has made remarketing a popular tactic for businesses & finds a prominent place in their arsenal of ecommerce marketing ideas.

Social Selling

We discussed this earlier but wanted to give you a little more information on it.

Over the past year, Facebook has introduced a feature for business owners to upload their product catalog to their business page and voilà! They can promote it directly to their target audience without having to worry about uploading details of each item they wish to promote.

Below you can see an image of your business catalog as uploaded on Facebook for marketing products to customers.

Instagram, too, is working on a feature of its own called product tags. Businesses can now tag their products on posted pictures which when clicked, directly gives a user information about the product on the image itself. And when clicked again, the user can then receive more details and purchase the item if they like – all right in the Instagram application.

Source: Ad Week

Similar to this feature, Pinterest now allows businesses to connect their ecommerce websites on their pins. These are called buyable pins and allow the user to view the product’s details and options and simply “add to bag” right from pin on their Pinterest feed.

Social Paid Campaigns with a Call to Action

As you probably know Facebook Advertising allows you to create ads targeting users based on geography, demographics, or even based on certain specific interests. A good ecommerce marketing idea is to have CTA (call to action) buttons on your ads that link directly to your ecommerce website page. There are quite a few interesting CTA buttons to choose from – Buy Now, Learn More, Book Now, Sign Up and more.

Making sure your social media is working for ecommerce will help generate an extra return on investment for your marketing dollars.

Multiple Email Campaign Types

We discussed earlier how you can build customer lists using lead magnets on your site like newsletter sign-ups, blog sign-ups, and collect customer information during checkout.

Some marketing tactics here can include sending out email newsletters containing new arrivals and popular products. Email automations also present the opportunity for upselling complementing products to customers who have bought an item from you and more.

The best place to upsell or educate customers of new arrivals is in transactional emails like confirmation receipts, or shipping confirmation emails because these have the highest open rates among all emails sent by businesses. Using email marketing for your ecommerce store remains one of the most effective marketing channels that is widely used by marketers today.

Use Video

With 70% of all trending online content in the form of video, it is no surprise that brands have committed to move 85% of their content to video by the year 2020. Video is a great way to convey a message and is certainly much more shareable on social media. Not convinced? Check out the information below to learn more about how video influences beauty purchases.If you own an ecommerce store, producing videos should be one of your first ecommerce marketing ideas. Whether it is creating how-to videos for ways to use your product or product description videos. They are a great way to personalize communication and improve the customer experience.

Ecommerce Blog

Blog articles are informative content pieces that you can publish on your website for customers to learn more about your business and products. They are a great way to create a buzz about your brand, grow your SEO strength on search engines, and share more information about your products or your industry.

We always recommend business blogging to our clients. It’s best to create a blog schedule for the topics you’re going to share in your articles. Always be sure to create value for your customers reading your articles.

Imagine a business that consistently publishes articles regarding the latest trends, frequently asked questions, and product experiences. Such blog articles have a massive favorable factor from Google to rank in search results. As a result these blog pages will be seen in Google’s organic results. More and more people become aware of your brand as you see sales increase. It’s a win-win situation when you think about it.

 

5 Powerful Law Firm Marketing Ideas to Propel Your Practice Forward

Regardless if you belong to a major firm or a small local one, the key to any successful law firm lies with how you market your services and expertise. Let’s be real, brainstorming law firm marketing ideas for your practice is filled with the challenges of managing a number of digital marketing efforts.

Gaining the awareness and trust of your clients is key to gaining their business, so we want to give you 5 powerful law firm marketing ideas and strategies that will give your firm more visibility, and quality leads ready to hire an attorney from your law firm.

  1. SEO Best Practices

When it comes to law firm marketing ideas, it’s important to consider that most folks hire local law firms so that they can meet and communicate with their attorneys easily. And these hired attorneys provide services based on the needs of their clients. With this knowledge, we can discuss the first strategy for law firm marketing: search engine optimization, SEO for short.

SEO is the practice of utilizing specific goal-oriented strategies to get your site ranking higher in search engine results pages, or SERPs. Managing SEO takes an investment of time that law firms typically don’t have to spare. Lawyers spend hours preparing cases, so leave the technical side of SEO to our.

Whether someone is looking for a place to eat or a good attorney, they’re looking it up on their smartphones and tablets. And you can pretty much guarantee either Google or Siri are in the mix of things. Your law firm needs to appear on the first page of Google’s local listings, especially considering that 55% of all clicks go to one of the first three organic search results.

To give you an example of how powerful SEO can be take a look at one of our client case studies and how we helped a small business generate $96,664.98 worth of SEO Results in 5 months. With opportunity like that, you can’t afford not to consider SEO in the mix of your law firm marketing ideas

  1. The Importance of Content Marketing

Content marketing for law firms brings in 55% more visitors to your website and 67% more leads. So, by creating reliable content, you create a trusting law firm with credibility, which is essential for capturing potential clients. Whether or not a person contacts your firm or not is a direct result from the content you’re generating on your site. Essentially, your site can either make you or break you.

First ask yourself, what is your website’s overall message? Consider the following law firm marketing ideas for your website:

  • Easy to read. Don’t trip up your potential clients with legal jargon that they won’t understand.
  • Easy to navigate. Your contact information is the most important here since clients will need to speak with someone in your firm before hiring.
  • List your areas of practice. Your clients come to you for need-based services, so cut down their search time and clearly list your areas of practice like the example below.

Directories
Additional law firm marketing ideas include making sure your firm’s profile listing on Google, Bing, Yelp, Facebook, and other profile pages are filled out with all of the pertinent information including address, phone numbers, website, and law practice categories. Adding your legal website to these directories increases your visibility for search engines and potential clients.

These directories are broken down by location, allowing local searches to yield a smaller number of listings. With a consolidated list of firms to choose from, your firm has a higher probability of being seen. Higher visibility = an increase in lead generation.

Other local directories include those run by your local bar association, your city, and any other organizations, including Rotary groups and business administrations. To add your business to some of these directories, you may have to join the organization.

Blogging
Blogs are a vital aspect of many company’s marketing strategy. Only 26% of firms maintain a consistent blog, and only a mere 7% of attorneys maintain a blog for professional purposes. To ensure that your law firm is marketed as efficiently as possible, it’s essential that you start a blog on your website. Why? Because a blog that features high-quality content draws people to your law firm’s website. You become a legal resource, which leads to more consumer trust in regards to your law firm’s services.

Your blog should share exciting and informative articles as items relate to your law firm while establishing a professional tone. A blog not only has the potential to increase page views, but it also has the makings to increase your site’s domain authority, and in turn, its search engine ranking.  These are all great feats in the marketing world and positive for the success of your law firm.

Maintaining a blog and legal content marketing on a regular schedule can consume hours of an attorney’s work week. Those hours are valuable to you. Don’t sacrifice them. Instead, hire an agency to do it for you! Considering 39% of lawyers say they were retained by clients due to their efforts in content marketing for law firms, we’d say making the decision to hire a company to help you maintain consistent blog posts is worth the effort.

 

  1. Get Noticed through PPC Advertising

Sometimes organic marketing and brand building isn’t always enough to get your firm at the top of the SERPs. Because of this, pay-per-click, or PPC, advertising is one of the fastest law firm marketing ideas you can use to boost your firm’s visibility.

Since hiring a lawyer typically only occurs when there is already a need for one, Google Ads is the best PPC platform for law firms to invest in. You can create ads that will be shown to users searching for specific queries, allowing you to appear at the top of search results when potential clients are actively looking for you.

You can also run remarketing display ads to capture more potential clients. Run campaigns targeting users who have recently visited your site but didn’t reach out to contact you. This can give them the push they need to get back in touch.

As we previously mentioned when discussing the importance of SEO, 55% of all clicks go to one of the first three organic search results. But what about the other 45%? They are likely heading to the Google advertisements listed above the organic searches. Here’s what comes up in the Atlanta area when searching for an “intellectual property lawyer”:

From the image above, we can note that these paid advertisements clearly take up the majority of the page. We also see that the search results yield local law firms in the Atlanta area without distinguishing to Google where we are searching for an attorney, making Google ads near the top on our list of law firm marketing ideas.

Our experts can help you create a plan for PPC ads that will yield the most results for your budget. Need proof? See how we used Google Ads to increase sales by over 457% for three small businesses.

  1. Social Media as it Relates to Law Firms

Figuring out which social media platforms your firm should be on depends on the type of law you practice. For example, suppose you’re a divorce attorney. Because it’s a B2C service, Facebook would be a better bet to advertise on than say, LinkedIn.

But, suppose your firm specifically provides legal counsel to small businesses. Because it’s B2B, LinkedIn would be a better choice than Facebook.

Social media is sort of the power house of brand presence these days. Facebook still remains the most popular social media network with 79% of internet users in the U.S. logging on the site. Although social media isn’t necessarily a law firm’s biggest marketing channel because people are typically less inclined to share things about their legal problems online, it’s still crucial that firms are present to provide information to their client base.

According to Hubspot, 87% of Gen X’ers and 70% of those ages 45-60 think brands should have a Facebook page. It provides humanization where a website may not. Share your blog posts, videos, and other informational material for quality content.

Need pointers on how to run your own Facebook ad? Check out these 4 genius ways lawyers can use Facebook ads and gain more customers.

When considering law firm marketing ideas, don’t forget the simple act of staying active and responsive on Facebook messenger. This allows your firm to show its attentiveness to your clients.

Because what’s more instant than an instant message, right?

Trends show that people are calling less and opting for Facebook Messenger to communicate with businesses. It’s always smart to make sure the right people are receiving these message notifications so that they can be responded to quickly.

LinkedIn is the land of professionals, and is a great platform for your firm to post relevant and useful legal content. Attorneys can create their own LinkedIn profiles in addition to a firm’s main page. By each attorney creating a profile, you’re putting human faces on your firm, which is important for people to relate and in turn utilize your services.

 

  1. Email Marketing: Your Old, New Best Friend

Life happens, and it’s likely that one time or another your potential clients and the family members of those clients will find themselves needing legal representation. The great thing about this is that, often, families and friends recommend their own trusted representation to one another.

This translates to every time you take on a new client, it’s typically for life and respectively the lives of those they recommend your firm to.  One of the easiest and most inexpensive law firm marketing ideas to capture the attention of these people firsthand is through email marketing.

With 9 billion people using email applications, and 92% of adults checking their email on a daily basis, it’s a good idea to get a newsletter schedule in place to take advantage of the potential clientele in need of your legal expertise. Newsletters allows for optimization of your click-through-rates, leading newsletter subscribers to your website and contact services.

Email has been around longer than social media and other modes of marketing. And one might think that this means it’s become irrelevant. But as the figures show, it’s still very much a key and trusted mean of communicating a message to a given audience.

Your firm likely has an extensive database of past clients, but you may not know exactly how to capitalize on those connections. An email newsletter can be a great way to maintain those relationships and keep your firm fresh in people’s minds. For a law firm, it’s important for clients to be kept up to date with the latest happenings in your law practice.

Consider the following content topics to highlight in your next newsletter:

  • Recently won cases
  • Welcoming new employees to your community
  • Noting changes in local or state laws regarding your particular services
  • New firm initiates and goals
  • Season-specific topics like how to prepare your car for winter weather

Through our email marketing services, we design your newsletter, keep up with email list maintenance, and provide your email marketing reports so you can know exactly what content appeals to your clients.

6 Best Healthcare Marketing Strategy Ideas for Your Practice

The healthcare industry is always changing. And so are the ways that patients find new providers and facilities. It’s vital that healthcare organizations and medical offices find ways to meet their target patients where they are – online and through the search engines. That’s where a healthcare marketing strategy comes into play.

If you want to reach and engage more patients, you will need to include a variety of tactics in your strategy to ensure that your brand is visible when and where patients are looking for practices like yours. Below, we’ve put together a list of 6 of the best healthcare marketing strategy ideas that you can start using today for your facility:

  1. Start your PPC medical marketing with paid search ads.

People look for more than just consumer products online. Often, if they need to find a new healthcare provider or medical facility, they’ll take to the search engines to find a practice near their location. If you want to bring those potential patients to your facility, you’ll need to increase visibility on the search engines.

One way to get more immediate results on search engines like Google is by including pay-per-click or PPC ads as part of your healthcare marketing strategy. These ads appear at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) when people type in search terms relevant to your practice. Unlike SEO, which can take some time to work its magic, PPC medical ads generate instant results.

With many patients looking for healthcare providers close to home, it’s vital that facilities use PPC ads to attract some of this traffic.

One of the benefits of PPC medical marketing is that it allows you to target your ideal patients. Using sophisticated targeting capabilities, you can reach those who are most likely to be a good fit for your practice. This helps ensure that the leads you are generating are quality leads, which in turn helps you maximize your return on investment.

Many patients search for medical facilities near their home, work, or current location, and PPC ads can be a great to generate more local traffic. By targeting keywords and phrases that include the city or region that your practice is located in, you can help bring more local patients to your website.

  1. Improve your healthcare SEO strategy to increase search rankings.

We mentioned earlier that reaching patients on search engines like Google is vital to any healthcare practice. But PPC ads aren’t the only way to boost your visibility online. Search engine optimization (SEO) helps you rank higher on the search engine results page so that your facility is more visible to the patients who need you most.

More and more patients are starting their search for healthcare facilities and medical practices online, making SEO all the more important.

Healthcare SEO involves making changes to your site layout and content to make it more attractive to the search engines. By optimizing your site for searches that potential patients are performing for healthcare services, you improve your changes of ranking higher on the search engines.

If you want to rank on the first page of Google, you’ll need to work consistently to improve your SEO. This requires an in depth knowledge of both your industry and SEO best practices. Not only is optimizing your site a time-intensive process, but it should also be done on an ongoing basis as keywords and best practices will change over time.

  1. Use healthcare social media to build your brand online.

Think social media marketing is just for brands that sell consumer products? Think again! Healthcare providers across the nation are using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to reach potential customers and engage their current patient population.

Healthcare social media marketing can help healthcare providers improve brand recognition and drive more leads. By marketing your facility across multiple social media channels, you can work to get your practice’s name out there in the local community and connect with new potential patients.

Through your profile, the content you post, and the reviews that your patients leave, new customers can learn a great deal about your facility and the value you provide.Patients are not only looking for providers on social media channels but also searching for other health related information and sharing their experiences.

Including social media content in your healthcare marketing strategy can help drive more people back to your website. Many patients look for healthcare providers on social media channels like Facebook. When they find your facility on a social platform, they are given an easy path back to your website. That’s where they will be able to learn more about your services and even make an appointment.

Social media marketing is not only an effective way to acquire new patients but also increase patient retention. Your patients have many different options when it comes to healthcare providers. If you want them to return to your facility, you’ve got to find ways to engage them on a regular basis. Informative and helpful social media content is a great way to keep these patients engaged. Not to mention, social media channels can be a great customer service channel too.

  1. Develop engaging healthcare email marketing to keep your patients up-to-date.

Speaking of engaging patients…email marketing is one of the best ways that you can keep your patients engaged and stay at the top of their minds. Email is an excellent digital marketing channel for sending informative newsletters, industry news, appointment reminders, and more.

With marketing emails, you can work to build trust with potential patients as well as current customers. By providing your email subscribers with valuable information about their health and your facility, you can work to create and foster positive and long-lasting patient relationships. Newsletters with information that helps patients better understand their health or stay up-to-date with changes at your facility are a great way to stay top of mind.

Email marketing offers the highest ROI of any digital marketing tactic, making it a great option for practices that want to optimize their budget.

One of the greatest benefits of healthcare email marketing is the ability to send targeted messages that resonate best with different audiences. By segmenting your email list, you can create separate lists of patients with similar interests or concerns. This allows you to send more targeted and relevant content to your email subscribers. The more relevance and value you can provide, the more likely readers will be to come to your facility when they need help.

Emails can also make a positive impact on patient retention and customer service. You can use emails to remind patients of appointments or send important documents that they need to fill out before their appointment. This simple convenience can go a long way in keeping your patients happy and thus getting them to come back.

  1. Create a healthcare content marketing strategy to inform and engage patients.

It’s no secret that the medical industry can be downright confusing sometimes. Whether it’s looking for the right type of healthcare facility or getting more information on a complex medical condition, many patients need help making the right choices. That’s where content marketing comes in.

Healthcare content marketing is essential tactic to include in your healthcare marketing strategy. It allows your practice to educate potential patients through engaging, relevant, and informational content. This content can come in the form of a blog on “how to choose the right healthcare provider” or a longer, more in-depth eBook on a certain condition that your practice specializes in. No matter what type of content you’re creating, the goal is to provide relevance and value for your leads.The top 3 content marketing goals for healthcare organizations are brand awareness, engagement, and patient loyalty.

Content marketing is a great tactic to use in combination with search engine optimization. Your facility can create content that is focused on certain keywords and phrases that your patients are using to find facilities like yours online. The more great content you have on your website, the more likely your site will be to rank higher on the search engine results page.

Content marketing is also an effective way to establish your practice as a leader in your industry. By creating content about the latest advances in your field or the most up-to-date information helps demonstrate your practice’s knowledge, training, and expertise. Not to mention, your content can also help reflect your professionalism and desire to help patients.

Publishing blog posts and other content about topics that are important to your target audience helps guide the lead nurturing process. If your ultimate goal is to have the person book an appointment online, an informative piece of content that helps them better understand their challenges may be just what they need to finally take action and make an appointment.

  1. Use a professional medical website design to make the right first impression.

Almost every aspect of your healthcare marketing strategy leads back to your website. Your website serves as your first impression for new patients. If you want to make the right first impression, it’s vital that you make sure your site design is easy to navigate and gives visitors the information they need to make a decision about whether or not your facility is right for them.

The goal of your website is to give new and potential patients the information they need and to address their questions before they even enter your office. You can do this through well-written and engaging website content that helps the visitor understand the value your facility provides and how they can get started and become a patient. Make it clear which types of services you provide and who they might be right for.

Website content isn’t the only important element of an effective healthcare website. The design of your site also plays a vital role in how patients perceive your practice. Your site should be attractive without being too busy. Everything from the colors and images you use right down to the style of font should give visitors a positive impression about your facility.

Another vital element of healthcare web design is your navigation. If your site is hard to navigate, people will click away very quickly. Use a simple navigation menu that makes it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for as quickly as possible.

It’s also important for your website to be responsive to all devices. Individuals will use the most convenient device to search for a medical provider of facility. That often means that they may be using their smartphone or tablet, especially if they are on-the-go. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you may turn potential patients away from your site.