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Tracking ROI: Traditional Versus Online Marketing

ROI, or return on investment, is referred to as the profit gained from an investment. It also refers to the cost that was saved because of that investment. In other words, ROI is the proof that the investment you made is or will be worth it in the end.

ROI is a big concern for marketers, even if it can be a bit of a slippery fish at times (more on that later). Advertising is an investment, and it can be an expensive one too. This is why ROI is critical: the business owner has to know that he’s putting money into something that will give it back with a profit. Otherwise, he might as well be tossing his cash into a bottomless pit.

ROI can be calculated. Every good businessman has the formula set in stone: 

ROI formula

ROI In It’s Most Basic Form

When you decide to employ the services of a professional to help you market your products, you can expect him to touch on the subject of ROI when he’s giving his sales pitch. He could recommend to you the best forms of advertising, according to your budget and company profile, which will give you the best returns.

Still, most of the time, it’s not enough that you solely rely on the advice of another. You need to be able to calculate and track ROI on your own to help you with your decision-making, as well as to help you see if your marketing strategies are truly working.

 

Two Types of Marketing

I’m sure you’re aware that today, you have more outlets for your marketing strategies. If you’ve also read our article on digital marketing, then I assume that you already know the difference between push marketing and pull marketing. For now, let’s focus on two of the major forms of marketing, which are traditional and online marketing.

Traditional marketing is a form of push marketing or outbound marketing wherein you “push” information on people who may or may not want to know more about your company and its products. The relationship between the advertiser and the audience is just one-way. Examples include television commercials, radio broadcasts, direct mails, and print advertisements.

The purpose of traditional marketing is to raise awareness for your brand. You simply want the popularity. You’re also not very specific with your target audience. The more people that the advertisement reaches, the better your chance of reeling in potential customers. In a simple world, anyway: in real life, we know other things play a role in this, such as the types of customers who do see your ad, your ad’s efficacy, etc. But we can keep it simple, at least for the moment. There’ll be enough time to complicate things later.

Keep it Simple

Let’s keep it simple for now so we don’t break something.

Meanwhile, online marketing is a form of inbound marketing or pull marketing wherein you “pull” a specific group of people toward your website using high-quality content, optimized advertisements, and SEO strategies. It promotes a two-way relationship between the advertiser and the audience because there’s a platform for communication.

Online marketing also means that it’s the buyer who actively looks for the seller. In traditional marketing, it’s the other way around. 

There are a lot of arguments on which is better and more effective. Both have pros and cons, obviously, and you can also use both for the promotion of your business. It’s just that you have to know when’s the best time to use one or the other.

Like when you’re just starting out and you are new to the advertising world. We can’t expect you to have as big a budget so as to be able to use wide media like the television or the papers immediately (unless you’re really, really rich). For the time being, while you’re establishing yourself, you can use online marketing for promotions and branding. Only once you have a significant number of customers, a good reputation, and a steady trickle of profit, should consider going mainstream with your advertising.

 

Tracking ROI in Traditional Marketing

Calculating the ROI from your traditional marketing strategies is somewhat different from calculating the ROI from your online marketing strategies. The difference lies with the tools that you can use to measure conversion rates and track the ROI. Let’s start with traditional marketing.

In traditional marketing, there’s really no sure way of measuring and tracking the ROI. The best that you can do is come up with estimations for the gain you could get for that investment. I know some people who would just take notes on how much they spent for an ad, and then compare it to the profit they earned after using that ad. Precise? Definitely not. But few things are when it comes to calculating ROI for marketing campaigns, whether online or off it.

Why is it so difficult to track ROI for traditional marketing?

It’s because your audience is very wide, and there’s little means by which you can measure conversion rates. For instance, you don’t know who sees and who really looks at your ads on television or on the newspaper. You’ll find it very difficult to guess if a person who buys from your store was led there by your billboards or your fliers. 

Ad Targeting Targeted Marketing

Experienced This In Your Meetings?

Still, there are so-called “surrogate” means of measuring ROI in traditional marketing. Instead of focusing on the profit you gain, why not look at how much you’ll save with an investment? Remember that traditional marketing is one-way, and its main purpose is for brand awareness. Knowing this, what media will you use to increase your brand awareness, and at the same time save you money?

Another way is by measuring the conversion of sales before and after marketing. Before you put up an ad, how was business? Now that you have an ad, what changes have you seen in your numbers? For print advertisements, there’s usually a unique phone number or an email address that people can use to contact the company.

You can use the number of people who call, text, or email these details to measure the number of people who have seen or heard about your ad. These are just some of the ways traditional marketers measure the success of their campaigns.

 

Tracking ROI in Online Marketing

With online marketing, tracking and measuring ROI can be both easier and harder. Let’s take the easier route first: it becomes easier because the factors that you’re looking for can easily be measured using online tools. Take, for example, with SEO.

SEO, or search engine optimization, helps increase your visibility on the Internet, mainly on search engine results pages. It is the process of optimizing your site in such a way that it will be deemed relevant by search engines like Google. 

If you do your SEO right, then you can expect a higher ranking on the SERPs when a person searches for keywords that are related to your business and products. More importantly, people will see that your website has content that is relevant to their needs, boosting your credibility and chance for conversion. Neil shows an easily digestible explanation here but obviously, anytime you talk about ROI, it will always be controversial.

In this great article from Himanshu, SEO’s ROI isn’t only measured by the amount of traffic driven to the page, the ranking on the SERPs, and popularity. It also focuses on the revenue that will be generated because of SEO.

You can measure the success of SEO by comparing your anticipated ROI with the actual ROI. Factors that need to be considered for both anticipated and actual ROI are the number of the website’s monthly visits, your budget used for SEO, how much you earned upon using an SEO strategy, and the conversion rate.

With anticipated ROI, you set your goals, not forgetting the four factors mentioned above. Then actual ROI shows you how you’ve actually done. Comparing the two will help you optimize your site better and implement your SEO strategies more efficiently.

Aleyda Solis created this international SEO calculator based on Himanshu’s article mentioned above. I personally love it so props to them!

Aside from SEO, online marketing allows you to use social media for the promotion of your business. You can create social pages where you can interact with your followers, and you can post listings on social “directories” to lead people to your brick-and-mortar store.

The good thing about using social media is that every important variable can be measured, and you don’t have to do the measuring manually. The bad thing about using social media is that it’s the part of online marketing for which ROI becomes nearly impossible to calculate with any certainty, at least if we consider ROI in the ultimate sense of “turning a profit”. In that sense, it might have something in common with traditional marketing campaigns. 

Buffer Talks About Why They Stopped Directly Measuring ROI From Social Media

Gary V Shows You Precisely What He Think About Social Media ROI Through This Slide Deck

The thing is, most social media campaigns don’t have a direct cause-to-effect relation with profits. Just take a look at your Twitter account and read the latest tweets from companies or businessmen you follow: those tweets are examples of social media marketing already.

Now here’s the question: How many of those tweets actually make you buy something from the company tweeting it right after reading?

Ideal Social Media Marketing Scenario

If only social media marketing were really this simple and effective.

The reality is that even if a social media marketing campaign eventually ends up contributing to your profits, it will be in a way that’s more or less impossible to directly measure. People read a tweet, nod or smile or even retweet it… and then they move on.

They don’t usually rush over to the tweeter’s site and purchase a product or service. Maybe they will, far into the future and partly because they remembered that tweeting company’s amusing message or update.

But by that time, so many other things have influenced them in between the first tweet and the sale that it would be silly to attribute the sale to that tweet alone.

Reality Social Media Marketing Real

Unfortunately, we know it’s really closer to this.

Add to all this the fact that applying the formula mentioned earlier in this post would be pretty hard here (how do you even figure the cost of tweeting?) and you realize that figuring ROI as profit in the traditional way would be an impossible undertaking for any marketer.

A solution might be to redefine “ROI” in this situation. That is, by considering secondary steps in the long and tortuous process whereby marketing leads to profit

In fact, this is what a lot of social media marketers do instead now: instead of talking about the ultimate goal (the sale), they talk about one of the minor goals. They assign KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) to track. They talk about getting a consumer to sign up for an email newsletter. They talk about bringing up page traffic. They talk about website hits. All of these can be key performance indicators. Which one is most apt for you depends on your plans and your total marketing strategy. Again, you can’t be sure it’s a straightforward cause-effect relation, but at least you have a better idea of whether or not what you’re doing is getting you what you want to get. Whether or not you can use what you do achieve as part of further plans to get you closer to more sales, though, is another matter.

Update: You might want to look at this article from Polly Pospelova if you want to automate (most of) your ROI reports.

 

In the End, Which Is Better?

Digital vs Analog

The traditional/analog vs online/digital battle as some envision it.

So is going digital better than traditional marketing since ROI can be better tracked?

The obvious answer? There’s really no sure answer to this because both traditional and online marketing have positive effects on your company. This might sound like a cliché, but the answer depends on you. I say this because you have your own purpose for advertising.

What do I mean? If you go for traditional marketing, then this might mean that you are focused on brand recognition. This could also indicate that you have already established a reputation, and you’re seeking ways to expand your reach in terms of target demographics.

While tracking and measuring ROI is important in helping you calculate sales and revenue, ROI is not the priority in that case. Exposure is. The purpose of marketing is number one.

If you use online marketing, you might give more importance to ROI because you would like to measure all the variables that have an effect on the visibility of your business. You work hard to study what drives traffic to your page, what SEO techniques to use to increase your ranking on the SERPs, and how to optimize your site and ads to save money and gain more money. In this case, the priority is on the conversion rates and the effect of the marketing strategy.

Someday, when you business is ready, you may not even have to choose between the two, since it’s very possible that you use both forms of marketing to enhance the reach of your business. In fact, many now advocate a blend of the two.

Again, whatever works for your purposes: don’t go with one exclusively just because it happens to be “the default” for your type of business. If mixing both types happens to be just what your brand needs, do it—just be aware of how and why you’re doing it, and what you want it to get you.

 

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Dennis is a wannabe coffee connoisseur and loves sharing great content about digital marketing. If you want to tell him about that great cup of joe or simply talk about boring topics like SEO, just get in touch with him on Twitter, Google+ or his blog. BTW, if you like this post, be sure to subscribe to our RSS Feed.

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How to Find the Best SEO Specialist For Your Business

SEO or search engine optimization is a process that you should never forget as part of your digital marketing strategy. SEO plays a crucial role in making sure that your website is seen by search engines as trustworthy. If you do your SEO right, you can expect to receive a higher ranking on the SERPs. Higher ranking = more visibility = more potential visitors = more potential customers. Simple, right?

Doing good SEO isn’t, though. You can do SEO on your own, but unless you have significant expertise in it, it is best to leave some things to the professionals. If you’ve read our article on SEO, you already know it involves at least 3 things:

SEO aspects subdivisions types

These are the basic subdivisions of SEO – Not related to Zelda.

  1. The technical aspect of SEO, which focuses on optimizing your website in such a way that search engine spiders can scan your content quickly and efficiently. It’s basically focused on the architecture of the website.

    This aspect also takes into account user experience and interface, specifically how easy it would be for a spider and the user to navigate from one page to another on your website to find the they need.

  2. On-page SEO – Basically, this involves all the aspects on the page, which helps in driving traffic to your website. Keyword optimization, rich snippets for localization, enhancing user experience and posting high-quality, relevant content are part of on-page SEO.
  3. Off-page SEO – these are the strategies you do outside your page, such as link-building, page traffic analysis, use of social media, graph search optimization, gamification (anyone?) and even continuous market research

If you’re new to SEO, you might find it difficult to decide where and when to start implementing your strategies. There are so many people who already know everything they need to know about SEO, but still have trouble applying this knowledge.

Proper SEO will take a lot of time and effort. You simply can’t expect success overnight, or after a few days, or even after a few months, even if you’re engaging in best practices consistently.

That’s why you’re encouraged to consult with SEO experts. They can be your extra pairs of hands whenever you need help in certain aspects of SEO. And they also come with the knowledge, skills, and experience that could give your company that extra push it needs to increase the traffic that goes to your page.

 

Things to Consider Before Hiring an SEO Specialist

First, you have to know what you need and what your end goal is.

In this industry, it’s normal for potential clients to tell agencies like us: “I need SEO, take me to Number 1″ or “I need a digital marketing campaign, can you provide that for me?” or even “I want 10,000,000 links by next month” – so these guys know what they “want” but usually, they don’t really know what is involved to get them what they want.

Here are some examples of questions you may want to task yourself:

  • Do you want to increase the popularity and visibility of your website?
  • Do you want people to see you on the front pages of the SERPs?
  • Do you need help creating high-quality content?
  • Do you need help with keyword research and optimization?
  • Do you want the experts to do link-building for you?
  • Would you need social media marketing?
  • What’s your end goal? Do you know exactly what you want? Are you capable of explaining what it is that you need?

Here at LeapFroggr, the last one is the most important one for us. We hear you out,  look at what you need, we dissect it and let you know what value you can get from us based on what you’ve shared to us. If we aren’t capable of giving you what you need or if your requirements aren’t possible (due to budget/technical limitations/etc) then we will tell you honestly.

If you are new to digital marketing and SEO, then you should at least know your goal so the agency or consultant can recommend the right things for your business. They can suggest what else is possible and give you a timeframe for results based on their experience.

Your SEO campaign’s “success” depends on your goals. It keeps your project focused, expectations can be satisfied and your relationship with the SEO company will be great. 


Your SEO campaign’s success depends on your goals.
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Second, you need to decide if you want to hire one professional or a whole team. Both have their pros and cons, but it’s up to you to decide between them. If you have a small business and little to no experience in SEO, a freelancer can help you out but be sure to still understand what it is that needs to be done. Some freelancers still practice bad SEO processes so be wary of that. One professional is also good if you only need help in one specific aspect of SEO.

On the other hand, if you already have a big company, and you need help with SEO, a team (in-house or outsourced to an agency) is definitely recommended. It’s also ideal that you have a background in SEO, because the team will regularly need to communicate and work with you. Having an SEO team means getting a variety of skills and experience, but it also means paying out more money, especially if it’s in-house, which is why the agency/SEO company route is very compelling.

Speaking of money, another thing to consider is your budget. SEO services typically come in different payment models, from fixed rates to hourly rates, from project-based prices, value-base prices, to monthly prices. Decent SEO services nowadays often range from $1000 – $5000 per month or per project cycle, and $100 – $300 per hour for consultancy rates. For Corporate SEO, it will at least be double that as their needs and the value delivered are much bigger and more labor intensive.

 

What to Look for

Now you know that SEO services can be a significant investment. That’s why you have to be extra careful when looking for SEO specialists. I don’t have to tell you that on the Internet, there are plenty of scammers who will take your money and leave you with a poor website. Hiring strangers will always be risky.

Fortunately, there are tips that you can follow to make sure that the SEO specialist or team you’re eyeing is legit.

First, you need to ask the SEO specialist about his experience in SEO. You can ask how many years of experience he has, and if he can show you an example of his previous work. Better yet, you can request references, preferably from previous customers. This way, you’ll know directly if this professional’s former clients were satisfied with his services.

You should also try to check out his own site or blog as well as his social accounts. It would give you a bit more insight about how he operates.

Computing Experience

The man’s pretty convincing.

Second, ask the specialist about the services he will give you, taking care to focus on how he can provide you with his promised results. What are his strategies and techniques? What does he think of black hat SEO and negative SEO? Is he up to date with the latest SEO news? What link building work will he do? If it involves “making thousands of forum profiles and signature links” then that’s a clear sign that you need to drop him unless you want to add him to your in-house black hat SEO training pool.  

Kidding aside, these questions will also show you his character and ethics.

Third, why not ask about his expectations before and after you avail of his services? He should be able to measure the possibility of his expected results quite easily. Most of the time, you know if the professional is telling you the truth if his answers are always focused on how to improve your website, giving you a rough estimate of expected traffic and so on, rather than promising you #1 results for all 127 of your target keywords.

Job Interview Joke

Probably not what you want to hear from your SEO specialist, from TVSnark

Finally, you can give the specialist a test run. Maybe you can show him your website, and ask him what he can do for you. Ask him to be specific with the details of his plans. When interviewing prospective professionals, it pays to ask and ask and ask. His answers will tell you what you need to know about the person and his knowledge and understanding on the field of SEO.

You can get more ideas on what to ask a professional here.

 

What to Watch Out for

I mentioned earlier that the Internet is a place where scammers thrive. This is an unfortunate truth. The Internet has provided a sense of anonymity that can make it very difficult to choose the people you can trust. This is true when looking for SEO experts.

But thankfully, there are tell-tale signs that a professional, and his services, are just too good to be true.

It was mentioned before that if you want to get to know your SEO specialist, all you need to do is ask. If he can’t give you a clear or an acceptable answer, then it could be a sign that he’s not a good fit for your company. Or it might mean that he still doesn’t have the knowledge and the skill that you are looking for.

You should also be wary of guarantees and instant results. How many times do experts need to say that success doesn’t come overnight? The same thing is true with SEO. There’s no such thing as a deadline for success. Professionals who promise you the top spot on the SERPs (for moderate level keywords and above) within a very short time are usually lying to you.

False SEO Promises

I’d be concerned, Mike.

Though it’s possible for these things to happen, you have to be worried about how these professionals will make it happen. Black Hat SEO teaches you the different ways by which you can “game” the algorithms of search engines, but if you get caught, you’ll receive severe penalties. You need to be cautious about the practices that are acceptable to these experts because, at the end of the day, it’s your website that will take the hit, not theirs.

And as far as their reputations as “SEO experts” are concerned, they usually don’t worry about that: these SEO consultants typically just fold their existing consultancy once it starts getting harder to find clients, then set up shop somewhere else on the Web under a new (still tarnish-free) label. So don’t delude yourself by thinking a Black Hat practitioner is gambling with both his reputation and your reputation on the line: he’s really only gambling with yours.


Black Hat practitioners don’t gamble with their reputations: they gamble with yours.
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How about SEO services that are priced very cheaply? This is also something to watch out for because you know that as an investment, SEO doesn’t come cheap. You need to consider, again, how the specialist will render his services at such a low cost. Poor link-building techniques, fully automated “same template for all” processes, poor-quality content, and poor keyword optimization strategies come to mind.

As you can see, there are many obvious signs that show you when a specialist is legitimate or not. It’s up to you to make the decision on whom you should and shouldn’t trust. Thorough background checks won’t hurt as well.

As a reminder, I urge you to always think of SEO as an investment. It involves time, effort, patience, and money on your part. Just because you hired a professional or a team to do SEO for you doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed positive results overnight. And just because you choose to go the other route and do it yourself doesn’t mean you’re saving money either, to say nothing of guaranteeing results (at least if you’re new to it).

However, as long as you know that you are doing SEO properly and using ethical and best practices, and with the help of an expert, you can expect that this investment will grow soon. And with any luck, it’ll yield you a pretty nice crop.

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What Inbound Marketing Is Really About

To some people, advertising refers to the process of raising brand awareness by means of television commercials, radio broadcasts, billboards, and print advertisements. However, these are not everything that marketing is about. These examples fall under traditional marketing, which is often used by big companies to simply make people aware of their products and services.

Traditional marketing is normally considered push” or (for the most part) outbound marketing because one of it’s main purposes is to raise brand awareness. It pushes information about the company to all kinds of people, not necessarily to only its target customers. Though traditional marketing techniques are expensive, there can be no doubt that they are effective in achieving the goal, which is to make a brand known in all areas of a country or even the world.

But nowadays, digital marketing is quickly gaining on traditional marketing because of its many advantages that the latter cannot offer. For instance, digital marketing, in most cases, is more affordable. It can be executed by people and teams from anywhere in the world, thus producing a level playing field when it comes to endorsing products and services. Digital marketing also gives more platforms for pull” or what is more commonly called nowadays as inbound marketing.

Push Pull Inbound Marketing

Push and pull marketing can work together to raise awareness for your brand.

Using both traditional and digital marketing will provide you with more benefits than you can imagine and while you’re still starting with a business, we’d recommend that you consider using digital marketing first as the lessons (& data) you’ll learn from executing inbound marketing can actually help and complement your traditional marketing endeavours.

 

What Exactly Is Inbound Marketing?

There’s still a lot of talk about inbound marketing going around, especially when it was first “introduced” to the industry. It has been called a buzzword, a “technique” and even the “new” alternative name for SEO. One thing is for sure though, inbound marketing is here to stay.

To explain inbound marketing, I think using a chart would make things easier.

What is Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing Alone is Huge! But It’s Still Just A Part of Digital Marketing

This explanation can be a lot more complicated but this is my own take and I’ll try to make it as simple as possible.

True, the SEO of today has a wide scope and social media plus content marketing plus analytics are usually associated under it hence why a lot of people just relate SEO = Inbound Marketing.

But there is a difference.

Inbound marketing, or pull marketing, should be considered as a strategy. 


Inbound marketing, or pull marketing, should be considered as a strategy.
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Remember that push marketing is all about actively seeking out customers. In inbound marketing, it will be the customers who will actively seek you.

Inbound marketing is about making sure that your pages contain all kinds of information that people are looking for, specifically content that is relevant and useful to them. Your pages should bear important details about your company too, as this will greatly contribute to the reinforcement of your brand in the minds of your page visitors. 

A healthy balance of SEO + Content Strategy + Social Media Marketing + Analytics, all aiming for the same goal is powerful enough to turn slumping businesses around or to launch startups to the moon.

That’s why inbound marketing is important today and for the many years to come.

 

What Are the Advantages of Inbound Marketing?

It was mentioned before that an advantage of digital marketing is that it levels the playing field, allowing small businesses to compete with big ones. Of course, success still depends on how you plan and implement your marketing strategies, and this is where inbound marketing techniques come in handy.

The purpose of inbound marketing is to pull in people, and when you manage to get people to approach you, that’s already the first step to potentially rich engagement.  Contrast that to traditional marketing, where you’re usually the one trying to approach people.  It’s usually a little harder to get them to engage you when that’s the case.  Add to that the fact that traditional marketing doesn’t really provide as many channels for immediate feedback.

Push Marketing Example

A tongue-in-cheek ad of the push marketing type

Take the example above. Interesting?  Definitely. Engaging? Probably not very much. People can call the number indicated, but most of the time, they don’t have the time to memorize or write down the number. If the ad is next to a road too, most people wouldn’t stop their cars or take a break from driving just to call.  The consumer feels as though a lot of effort is being asked of him from the get-go.  Not to say that no effort is required of him with inbound marketing: only that he feels it less keenly since he is being drawn in and guided through the engagement process.  

Inbound marketing is also often used in conjunction with ad targeting, which generally means more effective ads. As a businessperson, it’s important that your marketing approach appeals to the right people. By knowing who these people are, and by creating advertisements that are specifically geared toward them, you can effectively increase your sales, establish your online presence, and get more followers… all without wasting effort trying to advertise to people who aren’t interested in what you have to offer.

 

The ABCs of Inbound Marketing

The process of inbound marketing can be summed up in three words: attract, bring, and convert.  Let’s start with the topic of attraction.

Attract people to your page.

Inbound Marketing Attracting Consumers

“Oooh, look, shiny!”

This is the time when you really need to get your creative juices flowing. Fortunately, because of tools like social media, it’s now easier to promote your business, though the hard part comes with the creation of ads and content that will catch the attention of people, particularly your target audience. You have to research what they like, of course, and what resonates most with them. Another thing you can do to attract people is to optimize your pages by using great hooks and headlines, make them friendlier for users in both design and user interface. Make it easy for them to find what they are looking for.

Now, from the pool of people you’ve drawn in, what you need to do is…

Bring out the leads.

Inbound Marketing - Bringing out leads

“All authentic — and sooo shiny!”

The next step would be to make people stay on your page. In this case, content is very important if you want to engage your visitors. If they don’t find what they expect to find, they will leave.  It’s your job to make sure that they don’t by posting things on your page that will be appealing to them. This phase is more about filtering the traffic and bringing out the people that will most likely…

Convert.

Inbound Marketing Conversion

“Cash only, please. After all, it’s so shiny!”

Converting people into customers depends on your personal definition of conversion. This isn’t always about sales. Sometimes, the goal may be just to encourage people to subscribe to newsletters, be a part of a social media following base, and the like. With inbound marketing, converting people should be subtle and natural. You can do this by strategically putting call-to-action buttons or links within your posts.

Inbound Marketing Customer Loyalty

“Did I mention that our newsletter is also very shiny?”

When you’ve successfully converted people into customers, your next duty is to make sure that they stay customers for a long time. You can do this by further optimizing your site and improving your customer services. At the end of each month, it’s recommended that you analyze your inbound marketing strategy and see if it can be further enhanced.

 

Best Practices of Inbound Marketing

If you want your inbound marketing methods to succeed, don’t forget these best practices:

1. Remember what you learned about SEO and SEM.

Inbound marketing is about people actively seeking your stuff, your company, and you making sure that they can find what they’re looking for. Search engine optimization or SEO will ensure that people are driven to your page when they use the search engines to look for you. If you do your SEO right, you’ll enjoy a higher ranking on the SERPs, which means more visibility.

Right now, SEO makes up a huge part of inbound marketing, especially since nowadays, the ranking of a website on the SERPS depends on the relevance and the usefulness of its content. In fact, some SEO agencies have gone and transformed themselves into inbound marketing agencies due to the fact that SEO has now evolved so much.

SEO is probably the most important element of inbound marketing because it affects how you implement your entire marketing approach. Inbound Marketing will always need SEO, which is why it’s vital to do great research for keywords, stats and other demographic data you can get. Great research leads to high-quality, targeted content – content that is primed, optimized for searchers, enhanced for user experience and satisfaction. All of it will help in your overall SEO and the path to a conversion. 

Oh, and you shouldn’t forget search engine marketing (SEM) either, where you can pay PPC ads to further gather data for your inbound campaigns.

Further Reading:

Ruth Burr talks about The Relationship Between SEO and Inbound Marketing – probably the only SEJ article I allowed in my Pocket app.

Kurtis Bohrnstedt published his 2014 Inbound Marketing Trends post on Moz – people will always challenge studies like this but I look at it from a different perspective so I find the data shown to be highly useful for my own research. Plus it’s great for slides and impressing clients. What’s there to hate? Awesome work from Kurtis.

2. Focus on your content.

Ensure that your content is useful to people who were brought to your page. Content is perhaps the top reason that people will stay on your page. It also greatly influences a person’s decision to convert.  It’s not necessarily easy to produce content that will retain user attention and promote conversion, but you tend to get better at it over time.

Content Marketing Reality

The content marketing challenge

As mentioned above, should you engage in any type of  content marketing, it would be best to consider applying SEO and CRO (conversion rate optimization) techniques.

For instance, it’s never enough that you post captivating and useful content. If you want that content to be popular and bring you more potential customers, you have to research and use keywords to their full potential. You have to factor in the conversion path, how it ties up with your whole strategy. You need to test images, the words you use and so on. 

Angie Schottmuller did a presentation about SEO + CRO and I’d like to share her slides with you. You’ll learn a lot of actionable tips that you can apply to your content to maximize it.


Draw in traffic with your content and convert them.
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3. Take advantage of social media and its services.

Aside from increasing your popularity and getting more followers as potential customers, social media makes it possible for you to regularly communicate with people. By posting great content on your pages, you can catch the attention of your followers, and then engage them by facilitating discussions and encouraging participation. Here you can also answer questions of people personally.

If you want your content to stand out among other social network posts, you should often include high-quality pictures or videos with your messages but do test out even plan text messages as some markets are more responsive with just witty text alone. Fortunately, social media tends to be pretty accommodating there… even if it doesn’t supply us yet with cats we can pull out of the screen.

LOLCats Become Reality

If only this could happen.

Let’s not forget that there are several social networks that you can see as a pool for prospective leads. Facebook is currently leading the social media race with more than a billion monthly active users, followed by Google+ with 300 million monthly users, and then Twitter with 230 million users. Sites like Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and the like shouldn’t be ignored as well.

As inbound marketing is all about engaging people, social media networks make up one of the best platforms that give you everything you need to facilitate conversation and eventually, conversion. Most networks have communities, groups or “forums” where they can effectively communicate with people about anything related to the brand.

Oh, and since you want to stimulate engagement, never forget to respond. It’s still a part of inbound marketing, after all.

4. Consider SMS, Apps, and Email Marketing.

Many people feel that SMS and Email marketing are already obsolete, and some may feel that this is already a form of push marketing. Perhaps it’s because people are used to receiving spam messages, and that’s why they have this view. However, you can use these approaches to cultivate a deeper relationship with people without being offensive or interruptive.

In order for these to be effective, you will need to find a way to get people’s permission, which would allow you to send them your messages through SMS, thru an app, or by email. Get that permission and you’re good as gold.

We have some more tips for business owners like you about Mobile Marketing, so check out our post here.

5. Never forget Analytics.

As mentioned above, Analytics is a major part of inbound marketing. After you’ve implemented your inbound marketing strategies, you will need to gauge how successful these strategies are. Are they helping you meet your sales goals? How successful are these methods in converting people? How will you improve things? Surprisingly, it’s THE one thing that we see often neglected by teams and companies, especially over here in the Philippines.

By measuring the success of your techniques, you will then get an idea of which area you further need to improve to get the best results. Today, so many helpful tools can be found online. A free tool such as Google Analytics, can help incredibly when measuring your return on investment.

Further Reading:

Aaron Friedman did an awesome post called Storytelling Through Data: A New Inbound Marketing & SEO Report Structure and he also provided a template. Probably the best one I’ve seen out there.

 

TL; DR

Inbound marketing is an investment. It’s true that outbound marketing may be quicker and more effective when it comes to raising brand awareness and recognition but inbound strategies will help you establish an online presence, reinforce your brand and improve your sales.

It will also hone your research skills for you to better target your customers and create content that will appeal to this demographic. More importantly, you’ll be more encouraged to engage and establish a friendly and professional relationship with people by simple communication, which is often lacking in push marketing.

When you do your inbound marketing right, you’ll find that you don’t necessarily have to rely on heavy advertising to be able to gain loyal customers and increase your sales.

Imagine having your strategists for SEO, Content, Social and Data all working together towards a single goal. That looks pretty damn good or your company, not for your competitors.

How about you? What’s you definition of inbound marketing? 

 

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Dennis is a wannabe coffee connoisseur and loves sharing great content about digital marketing. If you want to tell him about that great cup of joe or simply talk about boring topics like SEO, just get in touch with him on Twitter, Google+ or his blog. BTW, if you like this post, be sure to subscribe to our RSS Feed.

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July 2014 Digital Marketing and SEO News Round-Up

The previous months brought a lot of big changes to the world of digital marketing. But July didn’t “bring it” as much until the latter part of the month. 

Here’s a quick digital marketing recap for the month of July, 2014.

It won’t be a long post like what we usually do. We’re are pretty much (still) adapting to a fully remote setup so it’s been a challenge and the weather over here didn’t help but we’re chugging along. We believe August will definitely be another great month though.

 

SEO and Digital Marketing News – July 2014

Overall, it was sort of a confusing month due to a release of another update for Google’s local algorithm. Aside from that, there has been few social media related news and a couple of speculations about the next “major” update to the world of SEO but not much big news-worthy changes.

 

SEO News

It’s been a “quiet” month for digital marketing in general but it was a pretty important month for local SEO. 

 

- A Bit More of In-Depth Articles

We noticed a bit more of In-Depth articles showing up but we didn’t have enough data to further study it. Good thing Moz has the proper data and Dr. Pete pointed it out here

 

- Local Search Algorithm Update

This is probably the most significant news this month as it has fixed a lot of old problems in local results. Yelp’s listings is now at the top (I guess that will stop them from whining) and other directories are benefiting as well.

If you are familiar with local results, you might notice that the 7-packs are missing though. Some will show 3-packs but a lot of them are gone so that’s something they will be tweaking further. This has not yet been fully rolled out globally so it’s currently only for Google.com.

If you see weird results, then don’t worry, it’s normal for new algorithm updates. They usually screw up.

PS. SELand calls it the “Pigeon” update.

 

- Local Search Results for SEO and Web Design Companies

Remember back then when Google REMOVED all traces of your SEO and/or Web Design company from your local search results?

Well they’re back! I don’t see it here in the Philippines, yet but I have noticed this with our other partners in the US. 

I looked around and only found Brent’s post about it and it’s the only one you need.

Check his post and listen to his advice. You should see your listing soon… unless they decide to remove them altogether again.

 

- The Future of Foursquare

I’ll consider this news as part of local search.

If you have used FourSquare (You haven’t? Shame) – especially when promoting a local business, then you better look at what the future holds. We love FourSquare and it gets our clients a lot of local leads and understanding their plans and their changes is key to maximizing your reach.

I love the new logo, too.

 

Social Media News

It was a pretty quiet month for social media outside the not-so-new news about Twitter.

 

- Facebook Save (Not about local SEO)

We think this is a big step towards keeping Facebook users ON Facebook so we included this here.

Facebook just released their ala Pocket ripoff (no surprise there) called Facebook Save and it’s going to give you the ability to save the crappy BuzzFeed stuff you see on your feed!

 

Saving on Facebook Save

You can even save these.

You might laugh but it’s actually something a lot of people need and it will keep them on Facebook instead of going to other “Read Later” web apps. It will need some more work but they will definitely promote it in the coming months and you will probably use it yourself.

Jenn Herman just put out a complete step by step post on her blog about Facebook Save so learn how to do it, now.

Come on, admit it. That “The 21 Most EXTREME Selfies Ever Taken” post looks really interesting. Learn how you can save it for later.

 

Recommended Reads

6 Content Marketing Takeaways from 30 Days of LinkedIn Publishing by Greg Ciotti

Using Modern SEO to Build Brand Authority by Jason Acidre

Digital Dashboards: Strategic & Tactical: Best Practices, Tips, Examples by Avinash Kaushik

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Dennis is a wannabe coffee connoisseur and loves sharing great content about digital marketing. If you want to tell him about that great cup of joe or simply talk about boring topics like SEO, just get in touch with him on Twitter, Google+ or his blog. BTW, if you like this post, be sure to subscribe to our RSS Feed.

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The Basics of Content Marketing

As far as SEO is concerned, it’s important that you realize that high-quality content is probably one of the bigger factors when it comes to increasing your ranking on the search engine results pages. Remember that search engines use different algorithms and the biggest of them, Google, uses over 200 factors in it’s algorithm for classifying websites. Some of which may include using the right keywords or structuring a website with user interface and experience in mind.

However, at the end of the day, the usefulness of your content in the context of the search that was performed gives the biggest value to the user and ultimately, the search engines.

Before we continue to talk about what content marketing is and our tips for business owners to use, we’d like to make something clear.

We hear about how “content is king” day in and day out. But if we are to really call ourselves SEO’s, then we need to admit that other factors, most obvious of which are backlinks, are equally as important.

We believe that “content is key” as that is probably the more honest statement. Your content will never build links on it’s own, nor promote itself, after all.


We believe that “content is key”… not king.
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So, getting back to topic, if you have recently set up a small business online, or maybe you’ve created a blog or a social networking page for your company, and you want to gain more visibility online, you should give importance to the content you put on these pages. Content doesn’t have to come in the form of a formal article. Your content could be in the form of photos, videos, infographics, blogs, social media posts, etc.

The process of optimizing and promoting your content is called content marketing.

Content Marketing Baiting Customers

Your content is pretty much your bait in content marketing — and the better the bait, the bigger the fish.

 


Your content is pretty much your bait in content marketing…
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Why Is Content Marketing Important?

It was already discussed in our article on digital marketing that there are two forms of marketing: push (outbound) and pull (inbound). While both have great benefits and work well with one another, if you’re still starting an online business, your best option is to engage in inbound marketing first. Instead of pushing information to let people know about your business, you use information to pull in more visitors and have them stay on your page longer.

Content marketing is a form of inbound marketing in which you actively share or market high-quality content that people will love to read. In effect, because of your attractive content, people are more likely to search for you. If they like what they see on your page, they will also keep coming back to it, and possibly spend more time browsing through your website. This could eventually lead to a higher conversion rate by leading these readers into your sales funnel.

Inbound Pull content Marketing

Great content marketing can draw people to a site like a magnet does iron.

Think of your content as the magnet that draws people in, giving you a chance to show them what you can offer later on. Note the “later on”, which can be replaced by “at a tangent”.  It’s important to understand that while content marketing is still a form of advertising, you see, its main purpose is to share valuable information with the page visitors. Because your chief intent is not to sell your products and services, your visitors are more likely to trust you. It’s a good way to establish a friendly yet still professional relationship between you and your potential customers.

With content marketing, you potentially get your visitors to do the promotion for you. How? When they read useful and interesting content, they will be inclined to share that content with their friends, usually via their social networking pages and their blogs.

Content marketing will also have a positive effect on your ranking on the SERPs. Search engines will see that you have content that is relevant and useful when people keep visiting your page, sharing your content and linking to it from their blogs. Thus, you get a better chance of scoring a higher ranking down the road. Plus, you may also be seen as a topic’s content specialist or a thought leader, which could lead to more opportunities.

 

Before You Create Quality Content…

Before you start writing your content, you need to do some research. Come up with a target persona. Familiarize yourself with your products and services, and who you think they’re for. Where does you company stand currently? Where do you want to be ten years from now? How do you measure success (e.g. many followers, high sales, high SERP ranking, etc.)? Who are your competitors and what are they doing now? These are all very important to determine how you will go about your content marketing strategy.

As mentioned before, you need to know who your content is specifically targeting; otherwise, your marketing strategies won’t work right, in most cases. A basic knowledge of your customers and your industry go a long way. If you have an idea of who you want to attract as customers, then it will be easier for you to determine the platform where you can share the content. 

Marketing wrong Demographic

You know how people say they hate ads and marketers? They’re talking about ones with bad timing and targeting.

For example, your products and services are specifically designed for women and may be concentrated on the latest fashion. While you can still do your content marketing using your blog or maybe your official website, you can also attract more female visitors when you put relevant content on sites that are known to be dominated by females, like Pinterest.

Now, from the information you obtained, you will then start creating high-quality content that targets your preferred demographics, challenging to your competitors, and beneficial for your company in the sense that it helps achieve your goals.

 

How to Create Quality Content

Now it’s time to get creative. Writing content doesn’t necessarily mean writing a long scholarly article, though this may have merits when it comes to usefulness and completeness of information. Aside from making sure that your content provides your readers with a set of useful information that they’ve been searching for, you also have to ensure that the content captures their attention and calls them to a form of action.

 

Here are some tips for how you can do this:

i. Write your content with SEO in mind.

If your goal is to make it to the front pages of the SERPs, then you shouldn’t ignore SEO best practices. In this case, don’t overlook the power of well researched keywords, which you can include in your articles. There are those who also suggest that you first come up with fully optimized keywords, and then write an article based on those keywords.

You should also pay close attention to how your listing will look on the SERPs. Your title tags and meta description should tell the reader that your website has what he’s looking for. Here’s an example:

What Is content Marketing

Meta descriptions and title tags serve as previews for searchers. PS: These guys are awesome.

Similar to PPC ads, the content (title and description) that appears should get the attention of your readers. Using call-to-action phrases to encourage people to click on your result can also be a critical component to a successful content marketing campaign.

 

ii. Engage in Social Media Marketing.

Many business owners have decided to first open their businesses in social networking sites. Why not?

Facebook alone is enjoying over a billion monthly users, and that’s a number that businesspeople should take seriously, especially if they want to increase their brand’s visibility and sales.

Aside from putting all of your effort into enlarging your following, you are advised to prioritize the content that you post on your page. If you have captivating and interesting (and useful) content, then you will find that people will be the ones liking your page without much nudging from you.

It’s not enough that you post high-quality content on your page, and then just wait for followers to like, share, or comment on it, though. What you can do is actively engage your followers in discussions by acting as facilitator. Reply to comments and talk to your followers personally. It’s a step to building better relationships and creating a friendlier environment in which your followers will want to stay. The key is to practice active and genuine communication, which is two-sided.

Social Media and Content Marketing

The (social) medium is the message, to paraphrase McLuhan.

There are plenty of ways to start a discussion on social networks. You can start by asking questions or posting an inspiring or challenging status update. On other sites, like Twitter and Instagram, contests can also be conducted to encourage the participation of followers so it’s not just for Facebook.

 

iii. Use pictures and videos.

Most of the time, even if your page has the content that a person is looking for, if your content is presented in a way that doesn’t look interesting, there’s a good chance that the person will leave. That’s why it’s a good idea to break down your article into short paragraphs to make it easier to read. It’s also recommended that you accompany your text with pictures, GIFs, or videos.

These days, most articles that go viral are those that have interest-grabbing titles, like “10 Things You Should Do to…” or “How to Do…”. The title is interesting enough, but what really grabs the attention of the readers is the way that the article is structured. Take the example of articles from Buzzfeed, Cracked.com, and Huffington Post.

Most of the posts come with entertaining and interesting pictures and videos to support each paragraph.

Content Marketing Humor Funny Picture

He’s right, you know.

Your content can also come in the form of standalone pictures and videos. A single picture can get your point across, and this is when you need to unleash your imagination the most. As they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”, and business-wise, let’s hope that your picture will also get you a thousand or more supporters.

Before posting pictures and videos, make sure that they’re fully optimized. For instance, your pictures should be of high resolution, and your videos are clear, in terms of display and intent. Most important is that both can tell a story that inspires and motivates people to respond.

 

iv. Be familiar with all kinds of content that you can post on your website.

Aside from long, informative articles and a bunch of pictures and videos, you can try posting other types of content, like infographics, blog posts, quizzes, surveys, contests, etc. These are unique ways to catch the attention of people and urge them to stay on your page and participate.

Infographics, for instance, can make a tedious topic very interesting. Click here for examples.

 

v. Use tools to measure your content marketing success.

Google Analytics is a great tool that will help you gauge the success of your content, based on the traffic that it drives to your page. Kissmetrics provides a list of tools that will be useful for content marketing, from content creation to management.

 

As a bonus tip, when creating high-quality content, don’t be afraid to mix things up. It’s all right to keep doing what you do best, but remember that your readers are always on the lookout for something new, and it’s your duty to make sure that your content will always pique their interests. Regardless of where you post your content, the important thing is that what you post is important and entertaining that your readers will find it difficult to leave your website.

On the other hand, it’s also a plus if you have a clear idea of where you will post your content because you wouldn’t want to risk having duplicate content. Your readers want something fresh, so copy-pasting your content from your website to your blog or to your social pages are not recommended, unless really necessary.

What you can do is post your content in one place, like your main website or a blog, and then use your social networking pages to promote and share that content. That way, your readers will never get bored by seeing similar things every time they visit each of your sites.

At the end of the day, your content is all about your readers. That’s why it’s essential that you have a clear idea of who your content is targeting. Ultimately, what keeps people on your page is what will keep you in business.


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Is Twitter better? Or just not as bad as Wall St. feared?

Featured Image -- 137

Originally posted on PandoDaily:

Twitter RT Cards

Twitter’s stock surged as much as 36 percent to $52.35 a share Tuesday after reporting sales that grew 124 percent, an unexpected net profit and – perhaps most importantly – a 25-percent increase in monthly active users.

It is all welcome news for a company that has so far delivered much more on social and cultural impact than on financial performance. But it is also a reminder not to get too carried away by the short-term response of the stock price to a single piece of news.

Twitter’s stock later settled down to the $50 level, still an impressive 30-percent jump over the closing price on market trading hours. But consider that it was only four months ago since Twitter’s stock last traded above $50 – a period during which many insiders frst became able to sell shares. And that the stock is still down 32 percent from the all-time high…

View original 638 more words

A Small Business’s Guide to Going Mobile

Why Mobile Marketing?

A report in 2012 was released saying that over 75% of all people own a mobile phone, and a newer study for 2104, shows that 55% of these people have smartphones.

For those uncertain about the meaning of the distinction between the regular mobile phone and a smartphone: smartphones are created to do more than the average mobile phone. They can connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi or cellular data, and each one is built with features that will make your online experience a lot better, from the wide screen for browsing to the interface that allows you to navigate from one site to another at a touch.

The convenience of portable computing can’t be understated: it’s no wonder that smartphone technology took off so quickly.  As a businessperson, it means that mobile marketing is something that you should take advantage of to reach more people and lead them to your company website. It means that there’s another outlet that you can use to increase your business’s influence.

And if you have been living under a rock the past half decade, you might have missed the emergence of tablets and how it has almost overtaken desktops and laptops in overall sales.

So, what is mobile marketing? It’s the process of marketing through mobile computing products, such as tablets & phones and their features, from SMS & MMS to applications. 

 

Pros & Cons of Mobile Marketing

Like many other marketing strategies, mobile marketing has its ups and downs. Let’s start by looking at the pros of going mobile:

  • SMS and MMS promotions are still quite common today, and what’s great about it is that when you send a message to someone, or even to multiple people, they will receive that message at the very moment you send it. The same is true for emailing or updating social media statuses via applications on mobile phones. Sending a message is instant, and you’re also more likely to get instant results.
  • Mobile marketing promotes a two-way relationship between the advertiser and the audience. People can always give you feedback and make inquiries directly by contacting your mobile.
  • Usage of different apps as platforms to further increase your visibility.
  • For many, the “built in” function to process mobile payments is also a big positive.
  • Mobile marketing helps you use applications (“apps”) to your advantage. Rather than opening multiple tabs on your browser to update your social media pages, with a mobile phone, you can simply install applications and access your social pages from there. Some applications keep you logged into your social media accounts for a long time and you can send marketing messages or post updates to a company page on the go.
  • GPS or Global Positioning System, which is common in smartphones, provides a user the ability to look for information and services that are near his location.  For businesses that have optimized themselves for location-based searches, this can work to their advantage.

Now let’s look at the cons of mobile marketing:

  • It’s difficult to create a single mobile version of your website that will satisfy all sizes of mobile screens. For those users who have smaller-screen mobiles, it’s hard for them to navigate the page, let alone navigate from one page to another. Most mobile computing gadgets also use different Internet browsers and operating systems, so if you’re planning to create a mobile version for your company, you have to ensure that your site is viewable on all of these.
  • It’s harder to pair specific ads to a specific user for certain platforms. Have you noticed an app showing ads for something you totally have no inclination to buy, let alone, check out?
  • Permission and Privacy will always be an issue with mobile marketing. If you’d like to call or send people SMS or MMS messages, they should willingly give you their phone numbers or user IDs. Take note that they should do it with the understanding that they are giving you a number that you may use for marketing your business, by the way. They should also be able to opt out anytime. Randomly sending marketing messages to people who never even knew about your business when they handed you their numbers isn’t going to win you fans.  
Mobile Marketing Faux Pas

You shouldn’t send marketing messages indiscriminately to your contacts.

 

Why Use Mobile Marketing for Business

Taking on mobile marketing isn’t an easy feat, but it does have its unique advantages:

Mobile marketing allows you access to your customers 24/7. Unlike when you do your business solely online, you don’t have to wait for people to connect to the Internet and go to your page for you to engage them. In this case, your customers are just a call and a text away.

Another good thing about it is the instantaneous nature of mobile communications. Since mobile users always leave their phones on for long periods of time, whenever you send a message, or an update about the latest deals and events of your company, these people will receive your messages and updates in real time.

Advertising via mobile is also more affordable. Sending multiple messages to people frequently is obviously cheaper than renting a billboard space or maintaining a television commercial.

Furthermore, mobile marketing allows you to potentially get to know people better on a more personal level. Tailoring your messages and advertisements to sound more intimate or informal is a good way of establishing a friendly relationship with your prospective customers, and mobile communications tend to promote that sort of casual intimacy.

Mobile Marketing advantages

It’s mobile BECAUSE it has fewer hang-ups.

 

Tips on How to Use Mobile Marketing for Your Business

Mobile marketing is a process that involves many strategies that you can use to promote your business. However, with so many options, it might be difficult for you to decide where and how to start. That’s why it’s important for you to do your research on mobile marketing, and find out the main strategies that will be most effective and will give your business the best returns.

Here are just some of the main mobile marketing strategies that you’re recommended to try:

SMS Marketing

What’s great about advertising via SMS messages is that all kinds of mobile phones can send and receive SMS. This means that you have a wider audience, and your advertisements are not only limited to those who have more modern gadgets and smartphones.

Nowadays, SMS marketing is not only limited to texts. Messaging apps can be installed on smartphones, and these allow you to send SMS messages for free, provided that both sender and recipient have the same application and a connection to the Internet.

Sending SMS marketing messages won’t put a dent on your budget, and this strategy has been present for a long time now. It’s still being used by many businesses today. Of course, you need permission from the people for you to be able to regularly send messages.

Getting permission is crucial because you don’t want to offend your potential clients by sending them marketing stuff that they don’t want. But once you’ve gotten the go-signal, all you need to worry about is the content of the messages.

When marketing via SMS, it’s important that you set the right tone in order for the recipient to read the entirety of the message. You can offer discounts and also provide the person links and contact details as a follow-up or a call to action for your SMS.

Take a look at what several brands and businesses are doing today. Most of them are still practicing SMS marketing by encouraging people to sign up to receive daily text messages from said businesses. Usually, people who are interested just need to send a keyword to a particular number to opt-in to the service, as you can see here.

Here in the Philippines, digital marketing is still a new idea for most businesses and SMS marketing is used in the most primitive way. Handled by the wrong “professionals” – they blast out messages multiple times a week or even within a day. This just turns off the receiver and there’s usually no opt-out option. 

Company Branded Mobile Apps

Some brands have also invested on mobile apps that will help people get to know them better. 

Starbucks App

The Starbucks app is a superb example of using mobile technology for marketing.

For instance, the Starbucks mobile application not only helps users to locate Starbucks branches that are near them (or in other places), but it also has features that allow users to get to know all the products, even down to the nutritional information. You can also come up with personalized drinks, and more importantly, pay for your drinks via the mobile app. Recently, Starbucks revamped the iPhone app to include digital tipping and shake-to-pay features.

Email Marketing

This works like SMS marketing, except that you send people emails about your business and products rather than sending them an SMS. Again, permission is required before you can send out these emails.

Email marketing starts with a landing page you need to create to build leads. In this landing page, people should see a button where they can subscribe to your newsletters or email messages. It’s ideal to use autoresponders so that people will be able to confirm their subscription as soon as possible.

A person who confirms his subscription gives you permission to send him email messages about your business. With the autoresponder, you will also receive the email of the person is sharing with you. If you used a form to get different details, then you will also receive those. Since you know from which page they opted in, you will have an idea of what they are interest in and from these details, you can personalize your email messages so that the content will be useful to the recipient.

An advantage of email marketing is that you can optimize the appearance of your messages so that they will catch the attention of your audience. You can attach images, files, and links to your website to the emails, and you have more space to include everything you need to in one message.

On the other hand, it’s important that you put a limit on how often you send your email, and that you take special care in supplying a good title. Otherwise, you might get labeled as a spammer or simply get ignored, removing your chance of engaging with a potential customer.

Also, remember that your email should be clearly read via a mobile phone, which means that you shouldn’t overdo the designs and use formats that some browsers and email apps cannot read.

One of the companies that have successfully integrated email marketing into its advertising campaigns is Amazon. People who have made a purchase on Amazon are given the opportunity to subscribe to the company’s newsletter. But what makes Amazon’s campaign different is that those who subscribe to these emails do not get the same email. 

Amazon Inbox Marketing Email

Amazon customizes marketing emails, which makes them more likely to grab attention.

Instead, the company makes sure to send emails whose content is based on the customer’s data on the site. Usually, the product or service highlighted on the email will be related to the product/service that the recipient has purchased before.  Look at the connections between the email subjects in the image above, for example.  This gives you an idea of what the customer has purchased before on the site.

Social Media on Mobile

Most mobile users access their social networking accounts via their gadgets. It’s obviously more convenient to do so than to start the computer. Plus, with a mobile phone, they can go online whenever they want and wherever they are. Thus, you should also optimize your messages and ads in such a way that they can be seen via mobile.

As always, it’s important that all the important details about your company are present. Your pictures and videos should also be accessible or, at least, clearly seen via mobile.

For marketing on Facebook, once someone “likes” your page, they will be able to see your post in their feed. Be sure to test the proper timing of when your users are online and try to use a plain text message (we tested this) or a photo to get the best results. Videos can also work depending on the niche you are in.

There are also other social networks that serve ads to target mobile users like Twitter and eventually, others will follow suit. You also shouldn’t forget to use mobile-based applications that you can use for business too, such as and Instagram.

Mobile Ads and PPC

Using ad serving platforms, the most common of which is Adwords, will get you targeted leads fast. It works similar to Facebook ads, but you will be able to show your ads and banners within apps and websites the user visits.  

Location Based and Niche App Marketing

It’s important to also know that for most popular niches, there are specific “local” apps that cater to that niche where you can put your business details in those apps for free and even advertise in them. Foursquare is obviously one of the more popular ones globally. 

Here in the Philippines, one of the more popular apps we use is Looloo. And just to get it in there, they have been doing a great job at content marketing recently.

Although not specifically a niche specific app, Yelp’s app is widely popular and putting your business in their database can potentially make you visible in front of an endless amount of targeted users. They also have an internal advertising platform.

 

Chat Marketing and Support

You can use chat apps like Viber or WhatsApp to promote your offers, content or business. WeChat can be useful for finding those nearby and giving them a nudge about your products, and you can make use of their in-app advertising platform as well.

There’s always a local preference when it comes to chat apps. WhatsApp is certainly the leader worldwide, but WeChat dominates China, Line in Japan and so on. There are more apps popping up but those are the clear leaders so be sure to focus on what’s being used in your area.

The best part is that these apps give you a direct connection to your customers. You get reviews, feedback, suggestions and you can do support and damage control if it’s needed. Your customers will appreciate it even more when they receive personal message from you, because at the end of the day, making your customers feel special will always bring in more business to you.

And by the way, Twitter is actually pushing to be part of this space now.

Mobile SEO

It’s important that your mobile design is built with SEO in mind. Search engines, like Google, have already given a guideline on how to improve mobile sites for SEO. You’re likely already familiar with some of the guidelines, especially if you know how SEO and local SEO works.

Aside from those, mobile SEO requires your site to be mobile-friendly. This means that your site should be responsive or have a mobile site or mobile ready landing page. Pictures and videos should also be optimized for mobile.

As mentioned above, much like local SEO, your success with mobile SEO will stem from proper technical & onpage SEO, obtaining reviews, building up your social media mentions, getting listed on local sites and posting high-quality content relevant to the users. Building a following with social media also helps in numerous ways, one of which is getting links from bloggers and those active in social media.

For example, Huffington Post is known for it’s blog posts and news pieces that tackle various topics, from pop culture to current events.

Usually, the content is styled into lists to make it easier and more interesting for people to read. These lists are often so long that it might be difficult for a person to read the article from his mobile phone in standard view. Fortunately, HuffPo has already made its site mobile-friendly, allowing users to catch up on their news with ease.

Combine the power of SEM with proper SEO, then you are basically visible to your potential customers everywhere. Read more about the difference of SEO and SEM here.

Here in the Philippines, business owners that have encountered SEO in the past still fear it or have a different view of what it actually does. Business owners from other countries have more experience with SEO but still fall prey to those that do cheap SEO. We highly encourage educating yourself first before thinking it’s a scam or a trick to get more money out of your pockets.

If you are a business owner new to digital marketing, be sure to sign up above (the bar at the top of the screen that follows you around) to get our free digital marketing eBook.

 

Mobile Marketing + Your Business = WIN

When marketing your startup business, you need to understand that a lot of successful businesses utilized digital marketing strategies to to their advantage. It’s just the way it is nowadays.

Mobile marketing is a tool most companies should be quick to look into. It has strong potential to be fairly high-yield despite the modesty of its expense and some forms of it are also a little friendlier to marketers not yet that entrenched in more technical and SEO-heavy aspects of modern promotions. 

It doesn’t necessarily take a lot of technical knowhow to compose a marketing SMS campaign, after all. That said, mobile marketing is best when integrated into a marketing plan that involves other strategies so do your business a favor and jump in.

 

So how about in your area? What’s the coolest strategy you’ve seen from a business that utilizes the power of mobile marketing?

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Dennis Seymour

Dennis is a wannabe coffee connoisseur and loves sharing great content about digital marketing. If you want to tell him about that great cup of joe or simply talk about boring topics like SEO, just get in touch with him on Twitter, Google+ or his blog. BTW, if you like this post, be sure to subscribe to our RSS Feed.

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