Marketing Moxie Blog

The Presence Audit

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Fri, Apr 21, 2017 @ 11:04 AM


Entrepreneurs and small business owners appreciate the benefits of marketing, particularly if they depend on website or blog readers to drive sales. It's not always possible to employ dedicated personnel to carry out marketing campaigns or increase brand awareness, however.

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As a business owner you know the basics of marketing, but may not have time or professional knowledge to keep on top of constant business marketing issues on a daily basis. That's where the Inbound Marketing techniques of More in Store and the objectivity of the Presence Audit marketing review allows you to take a step back and review the current state of your marketing program and recommends improvements to ensure your business remains competitive within traditional marketing methodologies as well as within the modern Internet marketplace.

Benefits of the Presence Audit for your Business

A Presence Audit gives you an accurate picture of your business presence, allowing greater streamlining and more efficient, targeted marketing. Our objective audit of marketing entails review of all your company's marketing, including:

  • in depth interview with a key member of your team
  • mystery shop/location investigation, if necessary
  • customer contact
  • analysis of your complete marketing methodology, including a review of your online reputation and research into competitor information

Your More in Store Presence Audit will focus upon the competitive landscape facing your business on a daily basis, your position within the marketplace, customer perceptions and comments about your business, your pricing strategies and the promotional activities conducted by your business. All aspects of your business marketing will be audited, whether traditionally conducted within retail outlets or with customers on a face-to-face basis or if they are associated with your Internet website or social media presence.

A Presence Audit of your business marketing activities will not involve you in protracted negotiations or take up too much of your valuable business hours. We have extensive experience within the arena of marketing audits and our audit produces results within 10 working days.

Once the Presence Audit is complete you will be provided with a summary report and a full presentation outlining our recommendations to enhance your business marketing and increase sales and profitability.

Engaging More in Store to review your marketing techniques gives you a broad based analysis, providing you with the insight to improve traditional and Internet marketing to keep your public profile and brand at the top of customer opinion and drive forward the sales and engagement you require to ensure continued success in business.

Contact More in Store for further information or to book an initial assessment. Free Inbound  Marketing Assessment

 

Tags: evaluating marketing

Take inventory of your assets

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Thu, Feb 16, 2017 @ 12:02 PM

So much of marketing focuses on the creation of great content. Create, publish, repeat. But while great content is important, it is also important to keep track of where it is going and what impact it is having. This is why everyone involved in marketing should schedule an inventory day, when you can take stock of what you have produced and how effective it has been.

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Why you need to take stock of your assets

The idea of taking stock of your assets will generally cause feeling of panic or boredom. However, by taking an inventory of your assets, you can build a clear picture of what you are offering, what works, and what needs a change of approach. This will allow you to be more efficient with the resources you have, which in turn will make your marketing more effective and efficient

How to Carry out an Inventory of your Assets

Taking an inventory of your assets involves more than just counting up how many blog post, ebooks, or tweets you have created over the past 12 months. A true inventory will delve deeper, looking at how the content is leveraged, shared and consumed.

Look at your content and your themes. No doubt you have dozens of quality blog posts. Is there a theme, could a group of blog posts be reworked into an ebook?

Looking at how various content has performed will enable you to make informed decisions about what you are doing right and what needs work. If you find a particular blog post has performed really well, you could consider turning it into a longer form piece or producing a follow up post. Which older blogs or ebooks performed well and could be updated and re-purposed?

Look for Gaps in Your Strategy

As well as using the inventory to think about what you are doing, it is also a tool to examine what you are not doing. It is possible that you are producing great content without even realising or sharing it. For example:

  • If you company has presented its product or service at an industry conference it is possible that PowerPoint presentations and other material could be repurposed and used as marketing content.
  • Your customers can be a great source of content. It is likely you are receiving feedback about how they use your products and services. Use this feedback to work with your customers to create testimonials and customer case studies.

It is recommended that a major content audit be carried out every 12 months with smaller, less details audits scheduled for every 3 months, to enable you to adjust and control your marketing strategy.

Once you’ve taken the time to review all your marketing assets it may be time to consider a presence audit—an outsiders review of your entire company’s presence.

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Tags: content creation, online presence, eBooks, social media goals

What they didn't tell you about Networking

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 @ 07:02 AM

Hands-up-who-hates-networking-events.jpgAsk any business coach how to grow your business and they ultimately preach about the many benefits of networking. These meetings can build valuable relationships that can help you stay connected to your community and other business leaders.

Networking can provide your business with a steady stream of leads - if you know how to do it properly. Networking can also be a huge time waster. Here's what those business coaches don't tell you about networking:

 

* You see the same people: Many coaches will tell you to join as many networking groups as possible. This doesn't always give you the exposure you want. You will start to see the same people over and and over again. If these people aren't right for your business, you will be wasting your time. Always keep your target market in mind and find people who are interested in your business, product or service.

* Networking takes time: All of those breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings may be tasty, but you will have to eat out on a regular basis for at least a few months. Don't expect a business deal after meeting someone for the first time, even if you think they will benefit from your product or service. Networking is all about building relationships, and people will have to get to know and trust you before they will purchase from you.

* You will be expected to reciprocate: If someone buys a product or service from you, there will be an 'unsaid' expectation to reciprocate the deal. You may not want what they have to offer, and that can strain the networking relationship.

* Pressure to deliver leads: Some groups pressure members to provide other members with leads. While giving leads to others in your group can be incredibly valuable, there are times when you have to say you just don't know anyone who would benefit from what they have to offer. This can cause friction between you and the others in the group.

Like all like all approaches to sales marketing, the key to success is knowing your target market and presenting your business in a way that helps others understand how you can help them. Is networking really generating leads and sales? Look back at your recent deals and think about the source.

Even if networking is working, chances are your connections are still going to google you tomorrow. I can’t stress enough the importance of polishing your online profile. Check out these great marketing resources to polish your online marketing presence. 

As you set out to grow your business—exploring every opportunity isn’t the best approach. You have to be laser focused and learn the art of saying no so you free yourself up to say to the right fit. I am selective about networking functions – I find they don’t bring me the leads. Don’t get me wrong, it is extremely valuable to get out in the community and connect with other leaders and support worthy causes, but then recognize it for what it is. I know if I am selling online it is far more valuable for me to spend time on SEO, blogging or a newsletter that “networking”.

So whether or not you are going to that next business after hours, I’d recommend that you polish up your LinkedIn page before heading out and get clear on your ideal customers as well as thinking about if they’ll be attending that event.

Loving LinkedIn -- A guide to creating an Effective Profile

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Tags: linkedin, online marketing, personal branding

Using personas to connect with your customers individually

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Wed, Feb 08, 2017 @ 06:02 AM

People see and hear marketing messages all day long. It gets wearisome and as often as not, people are tuning out the steady stream of ads, trying to avoid even seeing them. People see popup ads on their computers as irritations, even when it is something they might be interested in.

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Too often advertising, or marketing, sends out a broad message. It is a huge billboard on the landscape, or a huge megaphone, broadcasting a message louder and louder. This is what people are tuning out. How do you compete with that, especially when the ones doing it are national companies with unlimited budgets? The answer is, you don't. There is no need in competing with something that is not really working.

When you want to sell to someone, you need to sell to them as an individual, just as you would if they walked into your store looking for a good or service. When you do your marketing, you need to talk to an individual person, as opposed to sending out a message to the masses.

When you do that, you are talking to a persona - which is a representation of your customer. People want to be talked to as individuals. The new "rule" in marketing is, you don't want to interrupt people to tell them your message. You need to be what they are interested in, so they will want to pay attention to you.

Creating a persona then, is getting to know your customer. It is essential that you speak to people individually and that you reach them in their area of interest. To do that, you have to know who they are. In selling your good or service, you should not be trying to reach every single person in the world because not everyone is going to want your product. There are certain people who do, and the more you know about those people, the more effective you can be in getting the message to them and connecting with them in a more personalized way.

One way to start the process is by conducting surveys on your website. Surveys are a great way to learn about people, and make it fun so they will do it. Encourage customers, and visitors to your website, to give feedback. If you can establish a forum of some kind, you will get valuable information about who your customers are. Also try to find out why people bought your product, so you will know who the people are that want what you are selling. Asking for feedback when someone makes a purchase is also a good idea.

Consider customer interviews or focus groups to dig deep into customer perceptions and opinions. Hubspot offers an excellent tool to build personas. Check it out here

If you take the information you have gained, you an create a profile of the typical customer who bought your good or service. This is a persona. It can be simple or complex, but once you have a persona, then you can market to that person. Talk to that person as an individual. If you have more than one product, or if you have categories of products, you can do the same thing with each one. If you can speak to them as an individual in an area of their interest, they will want to listen to what you have to say.

You could do this yourself, or hire me to help you.

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Tags: inbound marketing

Creating Clickable images in Facebook Posts

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Mon, Dec 19, 2016 @ 07:12 AM

clickable-logo6-134155-edited.pngCreating clickable images on your Facebook page is a great way of directing traffic to your website, blog or other social media accounts. The good news is that this is very easy to do and requires no specialized tools or skills.

All you need to create clickable images is the URL you want to link to and the images you want to turn into clickable links. If the images are already available on your website or blog, it’s even simpler.

Below are 3 easy steps to enhance you Facebook page:

1. Adding Clickable Images

Copy the URL you want to link the images to into your post. All of the valid images on the page will then automatically appear in the post. If there is more than one image on the website page, you will see arrows to the left and right allowing you to scroll through the images.

If you want to include all of these images in your post just delete the link at the top and hit publish. Viewers can also scroll through the images and each will link back to your website. (Please note that not all images on websites are valid and will appear in the post. If the image you want to use does not appear, please see step number 3).

2. Choosing Images

If you only want to include one of the images from the linked address with your post, it’s just as simple. After you’ve copied the URL into your post you will notice smaller numbered boxes with duplicates images beneath the larger images. Click on the pictures you don’t want to include and the numbers in the boxes will disappear until you are left with just one numbered box.

This is the clickable image that will appear with your post. Again, you just need to delete the URL at the top and publish. Depending on the size of the singe image it will sometimes appear as a smaller image next to text from the website or a large image with text underneath.

Alternatively, you can click on the boxes to change the order in which multiple images appear.

3. Using Other Images

Sometimes you will want to add different clickable images to those that are available on your website, blog or the site you’re linking to. This is also quite easy to do. Next to the numbered boxes at the bottom of your post will notice a blank box with a cross in it. When you click on this box it will allow you to select another image to upload.

Each time you upload an image another blank box will appear to add more images. You can then choose which images you want to use and the order you want them to appear.

Clickable images are excellent for creating interest and fostering interaction. This user-friendly feature is very helpful in directing the right kind of traffic away from Facebook and towards your website or blog where brand awareness is developed and sales are made.

Your Guide -- How to attract customers with Facebook 

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Tags: facebook marketing tips

How Long does it Take Inbound Marketing to Pay off

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Wed, Dec 07, 2016 @ 12:12 PM

Marketing has always been an extremely important component of a lasting business, both online and offline. You must always be searching for the most effective ways to attract new customers and retain current ones. Unless you gain a spot on "Ellen" you'll probably always need to plan for to opportunities to market your business. That's where inbound marketing comes in.

What is inbound marketing

Strategic Inbound marketing powered by HubSpot, is a way of attracting leads and customers to your business, rather than you constantly prospecting and trying to bring customers to you. But like all marketing efforts, inbound marketing takes time to see results. It's natural to want to see results right away, no matter what your approach to marketing. The question is, how long do you have to wait before your inbound marketing efforts pay off?

How long before you see results?

If you're wanting to hear, 'right away' you're in for a disappointment. All marketing methods take time to pay off, and inbound marketing is no exception. The good news is you will likely see results faster than traditional methods. Like anything else, you get out what you put in. So, the more effort you put into an inbound marketing method, the faster you'll gain more leads and ultimately, more sales.

Let's look at some statistics, published by Hubspot:

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 On average, businesses using Inbound Marketing saw more than 4 times more visitors per month over a year than with traditional marketing methods. More than 72% of business owners saw an increase in sales over one year.

The true advantage of an inbound marketing strategies is that it is based on a solid SEO strategies and work on SEO pays dividends in the long run. With PPC (pay per click) marketing, you can get your site on the first page of Google, and get more social media fans and followers; but as soon as you drop the ads or stop paying for PPC you will quickly sink back down to the bottom. With inbound marketing techniques, you have a solid SEO campaign that will put you on top and keep you there.

So, the answer to the questions, "How long does it take for inbound marketing to pay off?" is a tough one to answer; but, it will pay off much more quickly than any other marketing method - period.

Free Inbound  Marketing Assessment

Tags: inbound marketing

What's in a Certification?

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Thu, Nov 03, 2016 @ 08:11 AM

How Does Certification Help the Client?

Marketing is important, so much so that businesses need to exercise considerable care in making sure that their chosen marketers possess both the expertise and the experience needed to market their products and services in an efficient and effective manner. However, choosing a capable marketer is much easier said than done, though there are various methods that businesses can use to narrow their options.

For example, the right certification from the right organization can be useful for separating capable marketers from their not-so-capable counterparts. After all, so long as the organization can be trusted, certification means that the certificate-holder has met all of its standards to be considered capable of performing in their chosen field. Given the importance of marketing, it should come as no surprise to learn that there are a wide range of organizations offering a wide range of marketing certificates.

What Is HubSpot Certification?

HubSpot_Certification_badge_with_banner-1.pngOne example of such organizations is HubSpot, which is best known for a software platform that powers inbound marketing in all of its forms, which range from blogs and social media profiles to optimizing websites for the search engines. Hubspot is the undisputed leader in Inbound Marketing which is why Hubspot also offers a number of certifications for the field:

Inbound Certification

Like its name suggests, Inbound Certification serves as an introduction to inbound marketing as well as a simple and straightforward primer for the fundamentals of the concept. It covers things such as creating good content, creating good landing pages, and nurturing leads. Inbound Certification is a fairly easily achieved certification but it provides certificate-holders with a firm foundation to build on.

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In contrast to Inbound Certification, HubSpot Certification focuses more on Hubspot's software platform, passing on best practices as well as explaining how each of those best practices fit into inbound marketing. This means that its certificate-holders can be expected to not just know how inbound marketing should be done but also how the software platform should be used as an integral part of a business's inbound marketing.

HubSpot Partner Certification

If HubSpot Certification focuses on how Hubspot should be used, HubSpot Partner Certification focuses on how HubSpot should be used for the sake of the client. As a result, it includes topics such as package services, price services, provide services, and ensure excellent results as measured using quantifiable metrics. In other words, certificate-holders can be expected to know how to ensure client satisfaction in the course of assisting them with their inbound marketing.

Get in Touch

Summed up, if businesses want a capable marketer that takes the time and effort needed to keep their skills up-to-date, a good choice would be someone who has received all three certifications from HubSpot. After all, inbound marketing is a fast-paced field, meaning that those who refuse to keep up will be left behind.

While these certifications may not appear as acronyms on my business card and are no replacement for my Bachelor of Public Relations or Masters in Business Administration, they do demonstrate may commitment to Inbound Marketing and Hubspot.  

The Ultimate Guide to Hiring and Inbound Marketing Agency

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Tags: certification, personal branding

Difference Between LinkedIn's Share an Update and Publish a post

Posted by Melanie Tajaard on Thu, Mar 10, 2016 @ 08:03 AM

linkedin-logo-square2-purple.pngLinkedIn is one of the most powerful, yet undervalued online marketing resources. Most people tend to gravitate
 toward Facebook and Twitter, and while those are great for getting results, LinkedIn can garner even more results. Because it's not used as much for marketing, there is some confusion as to how to market on LinkedIn effectively. One of the biggest sources of confusion is the difference between 'Share an Update' and 'Publish a Post'.

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Share an Update

Generally, this is for used for short, simple messages. For example, if you wanted to share a link with a brief commentary, you would use this option. You can also upload photos here as well. When you do this, a thumbnail of the image will appear below the text box. This is the ideal option when you want to share relevant stories, video or photos with your connections.

Publish a Post

This option is for longer posts. Here you can put a couple of paragraphs, or even write a full blog post. It still shares your post with all of your connections when you publish, just like the share an update option does. It also sends a notification to all of your connections to notify them that you've published a new post. You can embed video and photos with this option as well.

Generally, you only want to use the post option if you have more than a few sentences to share. Be careful that you are not sending too much, either via the share or the post feature, as your connections may get a little tired of hearing from you, even if you having something relevant to say.

A longer post can be beneficial, though, to influence your followers and help get you viewed as an expert in your industry.  The publish a post feature also has a few marketing advantages -- like a headline and the ability to TAG the post with relevant keywords.

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If you're not sure of what to post or how often, use the "Pulse" feature in LinkedIn, to follow posters and get an idea of their posting style and frequency.

The other major different is a post that is shared shows up in your followers notifications...

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LinkedIn has the potential to catapult your business to the next level, if you understand the features and market properly. Don't ignore this invaluable resource.  Ready to put LinkedIn to work for you?  Download these free resources.

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Tags: linkedin

We need to talk more about price.

Posted by Melanie Tajaard on Tue, Mar 01, 2016 @ 10:03 AM

 Take a look at your website. How many pages do your potential customers need to click through before they find 

price-tag.jpgout how much you charge for what you do?

There's no right answer to this question - there's a valid argument for putting pricing information in various places on a website. However, if the answer is that the customer cannot find any pricing information at all, there may be a problem.

There's nothing more frustrating than searching for a price. Everyone's found themselves clicking through FAQs and 'About Us' pages hunting for some mention of cost. Everyone remembers giving up when the information remains elusive after a few clicks too!

The unfortunate truth is that customers probably won't bother searching through a website if it's difficult for them to find out this crucial information. Why would they when there's always countless other sites that provide the same products or services alongside specific details?

People want answers when they're surfing the web. Even if they're just browsing or following an enticing social media ad, they'll never consider using your services if they don't have at least a ballpark figure attached to you in their heads.

Here are some strategies for presenting your pricing information. Every business and every site is different, so these might not be right for you, but they represent a few simple and effective options.

  1. Price on the Home Page

This might seem a bit upfront, but for some businesses this is ideal. How many websites that you use regularly have their prices in huge type and garish colours on their homepage? It's not the right technique for everyone, but if low price is a part of your USP then you'd be missing a trick not to advertise this on your primary landing page.

If you know that you're on the lower end of the price spectrum for your product or service then this is a great strategy, but it also works if you're promoting honesty as part of your core values. Putting a price, even if it's a starting price, out there before the customer knows your company intimately makes you seem upfront and open.

  1. Price on a Dedicated Page

For more complex services or multiple options it can be good to have a dedicated pricing page. PDFs of full price lists should be available, but there's nothing wrong with listing a handful of your most popular options to give a sense of your cost-range.

This can act as a menu of what you offer, which gives you an excellent opportunity to upsell by offering packages.

  1. Price Behind a Form

This can be polarising, so it depends on your service. If everything you do is highly bespoke, then it's OK to require potential customers to fill in a simple form to get personalised pricing estimates or an analysis of what you can do for them. Also: an email list is a mighty advertising weapon, so this option can have multiple upsides.

Having said this, some casual browsers would rather not have direct contact with a human representative before they know if they're able to afford services or not, so it's still a good idea to give some sense of scale with a 'starting from' price list.

There are as many web marketing solutions as there are businesses, so the right answer for your site may be a combination of these or something completely different.  The important thing is that you think about what your customers want from you and you deliever on that.  If you are ready to take your marketing to the next level, connect with me.

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Tags: marketing roi, Marketing planning

Inbound Marketing Rocks

Posted by Melanie Tajaard on Tue, Dec 29, 2015 @ 10:12 AM

Before there was inbound marketing, there was outbound marketing. The latter included cold calling, direct mail inbound-marketing-a-love-story-31-638.jpgand email blasts but these repelled rather than attracted customers. So brands sought out to related to consumers in a meaningful way and that was by creating content that was relevant, accurate and interesting.

In an era dominated by search engine use, pushing e-mails and messages the same old way will not cut it. There are three critical components of inbound marketing. They are SEO, content and social media. The three elements should be managed together as a comprehensive three-pronged approach. If well implemented, it can be very effective in drawing in customers.

SEO
Search engine optimization or SEO coordinates content with on and off SEO. This is achieved using a number of different methods including image names, site maps, alt text, meta data, html tags and content. This is easier to implement with platforms that are compliant with Web 2.0 platforms such as WordPress.

In putting out SEO content out there, it is important to realize that there are rules and regulations to be followed. Search engine giant Google leads and others follow so one must play by their rules. One reason Google stays at the top is because they go all out to ensure those who use their services only find relevant information. Overstuffing content with keywords can lead to a website getting penalized, including relegating such content to the bottom of the pile meaning browsers will never find it.

Content
Search engines thrive on content. The days of searching in the Yellow Pages are long gone; today, it's all about the internet. Being the website where browsers find the content they are looking for is what sets apart one website from another. Content must be relevant, current, easy to understand and interesting. Websites that often refresh their content often have higher rankings than those that don't. Things are always changing and content should be refreshed to reflect this. Content may be great but it it is old, it's not any good.

It takes the form of blogs, articles, podcasts, e-books, videos, white papers, listings. This should then be promoted through online marketing campaigns, integrated branding, lead capture campaigns and website development.

Social Media
Social media tools have become the means people and businesses use to keep in touch and to share what is happening around them. Facebook, Tweeter, LinkedIn, YouTube and other social media tools are being used to reach people all over the world.

Apart from unlimited reach, these tools are also ideal because they generate responses very quickly. A single tweet or Facebook posting can create a buzz very fast. These tools are also very inexpensive to use as a means of promoting a business and they give unlimited reach as they can be seen all around the world.

All together now

Just having these accounts is not enough though. They need to be synchronized, optimized and used effectively in a strategy that will ensure that one garners and holds the attention of browser so that traffic is continuously generated. The focus should be on capturing and retaining the attention of potential customers through the social media that they frequently use.

The three critical elements of inbound marketing should be viewed as a road map which if well laid out, will lead browsers to the intended destination of your website. There are 250 million websites worldwide and counting. These three elements must strategically be put to the best use possible to make your website stand out from all the others that competing for the attention of the same customers.

Ready to learn more about what Inbound Marketing can do for you?

Connect with Me!

Tags: inbound marketing