Digital Marketing

70% of businesses consistently fail to integrate their digital content correctly to maximize sales. Are you one of them?

When 62% of B2B buyers say they make a purchase selection solely based on digital content, then failing to adopt an accurate Digital Marketing strategy may easily prove to be a sin! A B2B buyer’s journey has evolved manifolds changing the traditional marketing processes and the entire approach to the sales funnel. Every step of their sales journey – right from leveraging a focused database strategy to a targeted digital nurturing journey to digital demand generation and lead generation and then eventually feeding the nurtured accounts into a robust demand generation engine– requires a targeted, integrated and ROI-driven approach to generate more sales ready leads. The returns, needless to say, have to be measurable and incremental. The significance of digital marketing rises exponentially in case of building a business recovery model.

Critical Discovery Processes & Audits

Critical Discover Process and Audit
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The discovery phase is a collaborative research and analysis process. As a team, we work to uncover your challenges, goals, and needs from different expert perspectives.

The discovery phase is the earliest phase in our work with a new client. Initial meetings will be focused on research and analysis, learning the details of the client’s business and pinpointing which technologies, tools, and processes would be most successful for them.

During discovery, we work with the client to find answers to many questions, including:

  • What are our specific goals and metrics for success?
  • How do our current marketing assets help or hinder those goals?
  • Who is our ideal customer?
  • Are the sales and marketing teams working together to nurture leads?
  • Is the current online presence optimized for engagement and conversion?

The resulting report serves as the foundation for all marketing strategies moving forward and is revisited regularly as your business grows and evolves.

1. Existing Website & Content Audit

Your existing website performance is a huge indicator of how your marketing strategy as a whole is working. Specifically, we evaluate common metrics — organic traffic, engagement, and conversion — as well as your existing content map to determine:

  • Where you are over-saturated or under-saturated with quality, informational content
  • The behavior and preferences of your existing audience
  • How you measure up to industry benchmarks

Our goal, based on this audit, is to lay out improvements to your overall positioning as well as your content mapping and tone.

In addition, if we identify metrics that are out of balance with industry benchmarks, we might refurbish parts of your website or content to correct the problems. As an example, if your conversion rate from organic traffic were 2% lower than the average for your industry, we might recommend changes to your website to bring that number up in the short term.

2. Competitor Analysis

Our competitor analysis is split into two parts: domain analysis and positioning analysis.

The domain analysis takes all of your competition’s websites and breaks down their performance against yours. This report serves as a great foundation as we develop goals for your marketing strategies. It also informs us about what content strategies are succeeding in your market.

The positioning analysis evaluates those same competing companies to determine their differentiators (both good and bad), tone, and branding. We use this information to find opportunities for you to expand your own positioning to become more visible in your market.

3. Buyer Personas & Buying Scenarios

A buyer persona is “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on existing market research and real data about existing customers.”

We build researched buyer personas and buying scenarios as a first step in developing a content strategy that serves your ideal customer first. Our research in this step often includes:

  • Interviewing members of your sales team
  • Reviewing existing data and analytics
  • Polling or interviewing existing customers
  • Analyzing customer reviews

Our buyer personas are developed with an eye towards your stated growth goals. As an example, if you’ve come to us because you need help expanding into new markets, we want to develop personas and scenarios for the target region or industry — which may look nothing like your existing customers.

4. Sales & Marketing Alignment

Sales and marketing alignment is absolutely essential to the success of any marketing strategy.

The discovery phase enlists the help of your marketing team and your sales team, and we put everyone in the same room at the same time. Marketing needs to know what kinds of leads sales wants, and sales needs to know how marketing is warming up those leads. The feedback loop between marketing and sales is critical to efficiently generating qualified leads.

As part of the discovery phase, we provide recommendations for ways to improve your sales and marketing alignment that you can easily implement within your company.

What happens after the discovery phase?

Obviously, the discovery phase is providing the foundation for the next steps in your digital marketing, and we use the research from the discovery phase with every strategy we develop, but there is no such thing as “after” discovery.

We may not provide a deliverable every time something changes in your discovery documents, but these are living documents that change and evolve right along with your business.

These documents are built on feedback, and we never stop collecting feedback. As we receive customer reviews, updates from your sales team, or simple site analytics, our understanding of your business grows and changes. In addition, your company’s vision will change over time and, hopefully, your managers and executives will adopt new goals for continued growth.

So, as the feedback loop continues to spin, each iteration of your marketing strategies can be more informed and effective than the last.

Trends in Digital Marketing Creative

Let’s face it: Consumers don’t have any idea they are part of a “campaign” when they’re interacting with your brand’s digital marketing creative.

They fluidly move between devices, channels, and screens and expect that their experience should be seamless, engaging, and fun. At every moment, any one person is taking in several bits of information and having to assess where they should pay attention. As a marketer, it becomes challenging to break through, make an impact, resonate, and inspire a customer to give you their attention.

Of All, we have seen the lines blur between creative, marketing, and content.

For example, some brands are using blog content to sell consumer products, while others are taking advantage of having a captive mobile audience to promote their app. The rules for using design to engage your customers are changing fast, so we pulled out three trends that smart marketers are embracing today:

1. Product Context: Williams-Sonoma, Orbitz

We do all this work and analysis to figure out the right product to promote to the right segment, but often times we stop there and forget there’s a human on the other end of our promotion. We need to give our product context – as in help the consumer see how the product can have a positive impact on their daily life.

Both Williams-Sonoma and Orbitz do a fantastic job helping the customer understand why these particular products (a juicer and hotel, respectively) are clearly better than the alternative.

Williams-Sonoma’s email is dedicated to the health benefits of juicing, and they happen to carry the top-of-the-line juicer.

Orbitz is promoting hotels in a creative, “tongue in cheek” kind of way, calling out that staying in a hotel when you’re visiting family is better than crashing on a couch.

As marketers we sometimes forget to focus on the benefits instead of the features, and benefits are what sell products in digital marketing creative.

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2. Guided Creative: Amazon, Comcast, American Apparel, Free People

It’s time to get creative with scrolling! Mobile devices make it fun to explore and engage with content, and keen creatives are using the smaller screens to their advantage by using design elements to draw the consumer’s eye down.

The stacked sweatshirts from American Apparel and the right product at the right time approach that Free People took with its gifting decision tree were great examples of this idea in action.

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3. Data-Driven Creative: Fitbit, Jet Star

The most challenging of the three trends in digital marketing creative is data-driven creative, where you develop your design and copy so that the data being pulled in feels custom to the subscriber.

Fitbit does a great job of developing data-driven creative by making the elements around the total number of steps feel completely custom, and even having a field that does simple math from the total step count. The design itself stays the same, but the unique data allows each message to have a special appeal to customers.

Jetstar does an incredible job of data-driven creative by developing a framework that supports multiple languages, and yet it feels specific to that region.

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While these examples are best-in-class, it’s not terribly difficult to start to think about how your own digital marketing creative could benefit from the ideas. By sharing your goals and ideas with your creative team, you can start and continue to develop conversations with your customers that keep them engaged and ensure your brand is top of mind when it’s time to convert.

Content Amplification: The Tools & Strategies You Need to Drive Growth

Except nobody reads your post. The social share count hovers just a little above zero, like a vulture hungrily eyeing its prey, waiting patiently for it to die. What kind of cruel god could allow such a tragedy to unfold? What went wrong? What unseen, malevolent hand caused your post to fail?

You didn’t amplify your content.

Content amplification is an amazingly powerful technique that, if done correctly, can deliver incredible results – and the kind of traffic that your web servers may struggle to cope with. It can expand your audience immensely, establish your brand firmly at top-of-mind among consumers in your industry, and create new opportunities to drive leads and sales.

In this post, we’re going to take an exhaustive look at content amplification. First, we’ll define what content amplification actually is, before taking a look at several reasons why it’s such an essential part of your wider digital marketing strategy. Finally, we’ll talk about how to actually do content amplification in a series of highly actionable strategies you can implement right away, as well as the tools you’ll need to get the job done. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started.

What Is Content Amplification?

Content amplification is the process of helping your content reach a significantly wider audience – hence, “amplifying” the signal of your content. Another way to think of it is in the classic signal vs. noise metaphor often used in content marketing. Your content is the signal, and everything else is the noise. When you put it in these terms, the concept of content amplification becomes a lot clearer.

Content amplification Grateful Dead Wall of Sound

The Grateful Dead’s now-legendary on-stage amplification system, “The Wall of Sound,” in 1974. Image copyright Richard Pechner / via Motherboard

It’s important to note that content amplification isn’t a single strategy or technique. The practice of content amplification encompasses many individual techniques, strategies, and methods of amplifying the reach of your content, making “content amplification” an umbrella term for several unique strategies.

Using paid search to drive awareness of your latest white paper? You’re amplifying your content. Running Facebook ads to generate buzz about your latest eBook? You’re amplifying your content. Leveraging influencers and their large networks to get the word out about your latest infographic?

You got it – you’re amplifying your content.

Now that we know what content amplification actually is, let’s take a look at why it’s so crucial to the success of your content marketing strategy.

Know More from the blog at https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2016/08/31/content-amplification

How to Build a Digital Marketing Roadmap for Your Startup

Marketing Roadmap

As a startup in today’s fast-paced digital world, it’s difficult to promote your brand consistently and effectively if you have no plan and no direction. With so many marketing options available, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which tactics and channels will drive the best results for your company.

In this article, we look at how a strategic digital marketing roadmap can help define and guide your online marketing efforts so you can reach your goals faster.

What is a digital marketing roadmap?

What is a digital marketing roadmap?

A digital marketing roadmap acts as a solid foundation for all your online marketing efforts. It lets you plot a course for optimal growth and lays out the exact tactics to enable you to reach your goals.

Your business is unique and has its own set of benefits and challenges. There are many examples of marketing roadmaps you can download online, but “best practice” strategies or copying what your competitors are doing may not work for your particular business.

Creating a comprehensive roadmap based on your company’s specific products and audience is the best plan of attack. This can also uncover new opportunities for growth and fresh directions for your campaigns.

Having a clear path and direction mapped out for specific channels and objectives means you can make the right decisions in the right order to drive results for your brand.

Key elements of a digital marketing roadmap

Key elements of a digital marketing roadmap

Your digital marketing roadmap can be as simple or as complex as you need – covering broad campaigns, or small initiatives. Once you’ve decided what you’re going to include, you can organize and prioritize these ideas and begin implementing them.

Some of the key elements of a marketing roadmap to consider are as follows:

Objectives

Your digital marketing roadmap should begin by defining your business objectives over both the short and long term. By setting clear goals, you can create a digital marketing plan that aligns with these goals and then develop a strategy to get there in the shortest amount of time.

Audience

Your customers are the most important part of your digital marketing roadmap. As you’re planning your online marketing strategy, surveying and interviewing your current customers should be a priority. Consumer research helps you figure out where your audience spends the most time online, what was going on in their lives when they were searching for a business solution like yours, and how they found out about your product.

For example, if you’re currently marketing via paid advertising on Facebook but your customer analysis now reveals that most people are finding you through mentions on Twitter and Reddit – it’s time to factor that into your digital marketing roadmap, change your tactics, and save your ad budget!

Speaking with your customers also helps you understand the type of content you should be creating and what their pain points and concerns are. This means you can address these points in your marketing to break down any barriers to conversion.

Once you build out a clear picture of your exact audience, you can develop customer personas to guide your marketing, and you’ll have a better sense of how to target these prospects online.

Competitors

While you shouldn’t obsess over your competition, a certain amount of digital stalking is needed to figure out the mechanics of other businesses in your space. This can uncover useful information such as:

There are numerous online tools to help you with this research. One of these is Spyfu, which gives you access to the Adwords keywords, organic rankings, and ad variations of your competitors for the last 13 years.

Competitive analysis can help you build your digital marketing roadmap by giving you the data you need to make more informed decisions around how to position and present yourself against the other companies in your market.

Website

It goes without saying that your website should be your best salesperson. It plays a critical part in your digital marketing roadmap and it should be working hard 24/7 to build your brand and attract new customers.

If your messaging is wrong, your copy is poor, and your user experience (UX) is frustrating your site visitors, all of your other marketing efforts will be diluted. Even the most well-planned marketing campaigns can be sabotaged when traffic arrives on a bad website.

Websites can be challenging to get right, especially SaaS websites where the number one goal is to convert visitors into customers. There are a number of website best practices every startup should be aware of to increase customer conversions. Building a functional, engaging site also means you’re not reliant on third-party platforms with expensive ad fees and constantly changing algorithms to help you grow your business.

Content planning and creation

Content is one of your most important assets. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) found that 72% of marketers state that content marketing increased the number of leads for their business.

Per dollar spent, content creation generates three times as many leads as other forms of marketing and costs 62% less. No matter your views on content marketing, it should not be overlooked as part of your roadmap.

Each piece of content you create needs to pave the way for future conversions by driving interest and engagement. Developing a content calendar as part of your marketing roadmap (or hiring a content marketing manager) can be highly beneficial. This gives you a set plan for the exact topics you need to cover, why they’re important, which format they’re going to be in, and how you intend to share and distribute each piece.

Content for your business might include:

  • Blogs
  • Video
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars
  • Facebook/Instagram Stories
  • eBooks
  • Case Studies

As part of your marketing roadmap, having a content strategy in place means less stress and faster time to market when it comes to creating fresh content.

Social media

Your customer and competitor research should have shed some light on the best places for you to show up on social media. Narrowing your content creation and advertising down to two platforms will save you the time and headaches of trying to be everywhere at once. This will also help you gauge if these platforms perform well for your particular business.

It’s important to consider your target audience and how that may affect which social networks you use as well as how you communicate within those networks. For instance, a company focusing on B2B sales might be better suited using LinkedIn and Twitter as opposed to Facebook and Yelp. You also might need to use more professional language when attempting to reach out to prospective customers. On the other hand, a company targeting end users might find more success using Facebook and Twitter, and might implement a more casual communication strategy.

As always – testing is key. You may find that Facebook is giving excellent results which can guide you towards putting more effort into promoting your company in that space. LinkedIn might not be giving you any results at all, so you can cross that off your list for a while and try out a different platform.

Whichever platforms you choose, having a brand presence on social media is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to grow your brand, and it should feature at some level as part of your marketing roadmap.

Paid campaigns

Paid advertising might not be in your budget as a startup, but if it is…don’t forget to add these campaigns to your digital marketing roadmap!

Advertising costs continue to rise, and cost per acquisition cost can be eye-watering if you’re targeting popular keywords, locations, and demographics.

Planning, testing, and budgeting should all be included in your roadmap to prevent you making expensive advertising mistakes. If you’re not experienced with paid ads, start by using the research you’ve gathered from your customers and competitors and test the waters with a small budget before launching any major campaign initiatives.

A roadmap to building brand awareness

Marketing roadmap to building brand awareness

As a startup, taking the time to create a digital marketing roadmap can be the difference between struggling to get noticed and successfully building brand awareness in your target audience. A roadmap gives you an actionable plan for showing up consistently in the right places, ensuring the best possible visibility for your company in the minds of your customers.

Once your digital marketing roadmap is in place, you can identify and measure what’s working in terms of your marketing tactics, and what needs changing or improving to give you better returns on your time and dollar investments.

Ready to Grow Your Business?