Marketing Moxie Blog

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.

 Connect with Me!


Tags: marketing roi, Marketing planning

Retargeting ads -- what every marketer needs to know

Posted by Melanie Tajaard on Thu, Jun 04, 2015 @ 16:06 PM

 

Retargeting, a.k.a, remarketing is a marketing technique that serves relevant ads to visitors on a website based icn-home-eyeserve-2on their past behavior on the Internet and helps improve conversion rates. 

How does Retargeting Work?

The process involves placing a piece of JavaScript code on a website. This code places "cookies" on the browsers of visitors to such sites. The cookies allow retargeting vendors to serve targeted ads to a visitor during the course of his online stay. 

How to Run an effective Retargeting Campaign?

  • Have a clear objective. The content of the ads and the overall marketing strategy will flow from it. The ultimate objective could be lead generation, customer acquisition, or fostering brand recognition.
  • Create content that gives first-time visitors a reason to come back to a site. 
  • Have a structured content marketing program in place; so that along with retargeted ads, a website registers its presence through social media.
  • Businesses should place a limit on the number of times in a day that a targeted visitor gets to see their ad. 
  • Businesses should use a Burn Code to stop serving ads to visitors that make a purchase. 
  • Continue to test creatives to see which ones work best.
  • Use analytics to target visitors more effectively. Use data on demographics, age, device used, interests, region, etc to place the website audience in groups. 

What are the Benefits of Retargeting?

The most obvious benefit of retargeting is that it helps generate sales from would-be buyers; the ones that may have paid a cursory visit to a website, but did not make a purchase or complete a desired action. Or, those that left behind a filled shopping cart. Retargeted ads place a website or a brand in front of such visitors. 

Essentially, retargeted ads let businesses rekindle their conversation with visitors that already have an idea of what the business is about. It helps to bring down the cost of new acquisitions. And when used as a part of a larger marketing plan, these ads bring in viewers that can be converted into clients. This brings down the cost of doing business. And, for the majority of small businesses, any activity that brings down costs and contributes to the bottom line is worth investigating.  

Does Retargeting Work?

Unsure if retargeting could work for your business?  Check out these stats, they might inspire you to give retargeting a try.  

  • The average CTR of retargeted ads is ten times that of regular visual ads.
  • Retargeted ads on a website increase the chances of a targeted visitor's conversion by 70%.
  • In a comScore study, retargeted ads led to an increase in brand awareness and recall by 1046%
  • Retargeting enables e-commerce stores to bring back 26% of the shoppers that have left behind abandoned shopping carts.

Retargeting is an opportunity for small businesses and startups to get more out of their marketing budgets. When integrated with a brand's overall marketing efforts that include content marketing, social media marketing, and CPC ads, this concept increases conversion rates and improves ROI. Businesses can drive traffic through one or more of these marketing strategies and then boost conversion rates through retargeting. 

Of course before starting a retargeting ad campaign – make sure your website is picking up its end of the sales process.  Ensure the site visit will be a positive one for any visitor.  In the same way you wouldn’t advertisers that you’re having a sale and not stock the shelves.  Don’t launch the retargeting campaign until you’ve enhanced your website.

Download your copy of 25 Must Have’s to Driving Traffic Leads and Sales and we’ll point out the most common pitfalls.

New Call-to-action

Tags: marketing roi, website marketing, internet marketing

More Efficient Marketing Spending: Why You Need Effective Calls To Action On Your Website

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Fri, Jul 11, 2014 @ 13:07 PM

Growing a business is not just about spending money, but about spending your money effectively.  Everyone knows that businesses need to market their products or services, but blindly throwing dollars at marketing promotions does not always reap full benefits, and can in fact be a gigantic money sink for any business.  When a company makes the move away from a simple marketing campaign and incorporates specific calls to action for their target audience, business owners start to see a better return on their marketing investment.

Tracking recruitment image

A Better Method Of Tracking

Business owners have to ask themselves a lot of questions, and in the area of marketing three are of particular importance:  What was the ROI for the last three marketing campaigns?  Which marketing strategy generated the most click throughs?  What is the customer persona that can be used to tailor future campaigns to those customers most likely to do business with the company?  If a business owner does not have the answer to any of these readily at hand, he or she may be wasting their marketing dollars.  Calls to action create unique links that businesses can use to track all of the traffic that is created by a specific marketing campaign so the owner can analyze where their marketing dollars are best spent.

Taking Advantage Of A Customer’s Interest

Customers who take the time to read a company’s marketing materials, whether it be a blog post, an email or printed items, are already engaged with the company effective marketing then gives the customer a little push to make the sale.  Marketing materials put customers in the right mindset to do business with a company, but if business owners put the onus on customers to take action on their own accord, they are expecting too much.  Calls to action are a tool to guide those customers by asking them to do as little as possible to continue their engagement with the company.  Rather than having to look for a url or type an address into the search bar, a call to action asks customers to do nothing more than click a link that the business has already provided.

A Subtle Way To Sell

Finally, a call to action gives business owners the opportunity to create subtle ways to sell their products and their company.  Customers do not like to feel as though they are being given a hard sales pitch every time they go online, and calls to action let businesses work in a subtle sales pitch when the company has piqued their interest.  This kind of call to action is most effective when it is used in conjunction with informational blog posts or web pages that speak indirectly about the company. 

The company’s bottom line is affected by every dollar that is spent, so finding a way to spend those dollars more effectively is essential.  Look for a marketing specialist that understands the importance of calls to action for your company, and watch the company’s profits climb.  Ready to put calls to action to work for you?  I have a free ebook on that too http://www.moreinstore.ca/the-step-by-step-guide-to-mastering-the-design--copy-of-calls-to-action

How do call to actions work?  Take for example one of my most popular ebooks, Creating an Effective Facebook Fanpage.  You’ll read a blog on my site about Facebook marketing, perhaps this one Facebook not delivering like it used to? And that blog promotes the ebook.  By downloading the ebook my prospects get to learn more what it would be like to work with me – you’ll read my thoughts and views on Facebook marketing and I’ll get the prospects email address (with permission of course) and then I can remarketing to you about Facebook training sessions or other product that may be of interest to you. 

Ready to put Calls to Action to work for your website? 

Tags: marketing roi, evaluating media efforts, inbound marketing, website marketing, lead generation, online marketing

Understanding Google's Algorithm

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Wed, May 07, 2014 @ 16:05 PM

In a typical search engine query, there are thousands, even millions, of web pages containing helpful information. The algorithms that provide these results are the computer formulas and processes that takes users’ questions and converts them into answers. Today's Google algorithms depend on over 200 unique signals or clues that allow it to guess what users are searching for. These signals

A September 2012 presentation from the Google Engage Conference in Vancouver showed that 4.8 billion Canadian Google searches are performed each month alone.

In the beginning

The earliest days of Google weren't that long ago either, only stemming back to the late 1990s to 2000s. Google and its search engine counterparts mainly worked as machines that matched keywords and counted links. Back then, a website could receive a high ranking by a simple Google and SEO two-step process that went like this:

  • Include keywords or keyword phrases into every web page or website as many times as possible
  • Get as many inbound links as humanly possible

The beat goes on

However, the "fun" wouldn't last as Google discovered weaknesses that required attention, and when addressed would provide higher quality results for its users. In 2003, the search engine began introducing various changes to its algorithms, some quite minor, but others with major changes. With the past earthshaking algorithms like Panda and Penguin, Google was responsible for considerable crackdowns in practices such as keyword stuffing, content farms, thin content, high ad-to-content ratios, and numerous other black hat tactics. These algorithms also had a direct effect on greatly reducing search engine rankings for article directories, and gaming and porn websites.

The next step

Then, with the February 2013 introduction of the highly overhauled "Hummingbird" algorithm, Google and SEO practices have provided users with dramatically increased. Google began to recognize full question queries with high emphasis on quality content. Hummingbird is thought to have affected around 90 percent of all queries, not to mention change how Google processes its user requests. It does still maintain the traditional factors like PageRank but includes more complex methods to reach its results.

For example, someone may search for "Where can you buy vintage Michael Jordan sneakers?" The updated Hummingbird algorithm will present the user with results that direct them to e-commerce sites that carry the sneakers, shops that carry vintage sporting goods, or other places that would carry the item. The search engine should hopefully understand the query and provide the various results rather than the previous keywords of only "buy sneakers."

The infographic below provides the full Google algorithm changes history:

Visual History of Google Algorithm Changes

Mobile searches

Among the new improvements in Hummingbird is the mobile search. According to the Vancouver Google conference, it was shown that mobile searches have local Canadian attention. Smartphone usage is growing based on the proximity of the searcher to e-commerce places. For example, overall Canadian usage shows that:

  • 60-70 percent of Canadians are on mobile
  • 80 percent are on a smartphone
  • 83 percent use mobile on the go
  • 72 percent use mobile in restaurants
  • 77 percent use mobile in stores
  • 86 percent of smartphone users notice mobile ads

How does this relate to marketing?

The latest Google algorithm also strongly encourages:

  • keeping a close eye on link profiles
  • maintaing good content strategies through regular, helpful content targeted at the targeted audience
  • staying active on social media related to one's industry

As today's businesses move into the latest Google algorithm, the most successful ones will gather their Google and SEO data by providing their audiences with pure information as well as differentiating their products or services from their competitors. This in turn will give consumers greater choices.

While it is important to design and write websites for Google.  It is still most important to write your website for your customers.  Your website is mostly likely going to be a prospects first interaction with your company. 

Is your website as hard working as you are?  If you think your website could be doing more for you consider a strategic Inbound Marketing program to convert more site visitors to paying customers, learn more here...

Free Inbound  Marketing Assessment

 

Tags: selling online, marketing roi, evaluating marketing, inbound marketing, search engine marketing, website marketing, lead generation, online marketing, hubspot

Stop writing RFPs...and realize your marketing goals

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Mon, May 05, 2014 @ 21:05 PM

Once you realize how valuable your time really is - you can let go of tasks that are not yourmarketing consultant halifax focus or you area of expertise. In today's markets - more and more business consultants are growing their businesses by skipping the RFP (Request for Proposals) process altogether.  

Many consultants see RFPs as the primary way to secure business, yet it remains a time-consuming approach. For every proposal winner -  there are several losers, which means those who placed a great deal of energy and time into the proposal inordinately lose money through wasted time.

Instead of spending large amounts of time responding to RFPs - consider the possibility that you can showcase your effectiveness by becoming your industry's thought-leader.

Anytime a company succeeds at becoming the go-to source for all industry prospects - not only have you become a true thought-leader - you will be influencing your industry while also making it really easy for perspective customers to find and come to you. To begin building this presence, a series of steps can be taken: 

  • Demonstrate you industry expertise with ebooks, whitepapers, webinars and more
  • Give your content the exposure it deserved with regular blogs and a presence on social media
  • Keep all marketing accountable.
  • Create integrated marketing solutions
  • Use marketing automation software
  • Excel at Lead-Capturing

Why Hubspot and Inbound Marketing?

Inbound Marketing is all about giving away quality helpful content and becoming a thought-leader in your industry -- while attracting prospects along the way.  Lead-capturing content is the most dynamic approach to permeating your industry with your presence and knowledge. 

There are powerful competitive tools within Hubspot. On just one dashboard, you can gather massive amounts of competitive insights including:  

  • Marketing grade
  • Traffic rank
  • Number of indexed pages on the site
  • Linking domains
  • MozRank
  • Facebook Fans and Twitter followers

Hubspot offers all of these powerful insights - just one click away , what’s even better is you can glen this info on your top 10 competitors in one snapshot, as well as highly detailed information about each website visitor.

Inbound marketing is all about building relationships.  It’s about helpful, timely information getting to prospects when they need it most. Anytime you succeed at building your prospects’ trust - you then become a thought-leader. This means when your prospect needs your services - you are the first one they think of.

Building trust with your prospects remains the core of building quality relationships.  With inbound marketing, your thought-leadership material is always online anytime a prospect goes looking.

Through blog posts, ebooks, FAQs etc. - SEO rich, professionally written content is offered in exchange and with an easy process for a prospect to offer up pertinent information - such as email addresses. 

Now Let The Magic Begin

With powerful marketing insights at your finger tips. If you are ready to enter the world of high-technology coupled with proven marketing strategy - contact More In Store now to get your free inbound marketing assessment.

Free Inbound  Marketing Assessment

Tags: marketing roi, inbound marketing, internet marketing, website marketing, hubspot

Realizing Marketing Goals with a Marketing Retainer

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 @ 18:04 PM

The goal of every business is to make money. Increase sales, and or increasing the customer base of the business, but that isn't always as simple as it sounds. Reaching a larger audience is something that every business should strive to do, not just to survive but to expand. Successful companies are successful because they manage to do this through the use of a focused marketing strategy.

marketing strategy halifax

When it comes to planning out one’s marketing strategy, companies have three basic choices: do it themselves, hire a marketing agency on a per project basis or hire a marketing retainer. The following are a few of the advantages that hiring a marketing agency on a retainer will provide:

  • A clear marketing budget – Businesses that hire a marketing agency will have the same agency working for them on multiple projects throughout the year. The fee will be decided upon upfront. This is a huge advantage, because it allows companies to know exactly what their advertising budget will be for the entire year as opposed to hiring an agency for one project at a time. Agencies working on one project at a time often charge an hourly rate, making figuring out a yearly budget almost impossible.
     
  • A strong relationship – Companies that use a marketing retainer will develop a strong relationship with that specific agency, making it easy to work together on project after project. After a short while, the agency will be familiar with the wants and needs of the company and it will be easier to create and produce marketing campaigns that fit those wants and needs. This is in stark contrast to having to hire a new agency for every new marketing project. Not to mention that companies that hire marketing agencies on retainer will find that they become a priority for that company, meaning that the best employees will be assigned to the company’s ad campaigns throughout the year.
     
  • The company can focus less on their marketing campaign – With a marketing retainer in place, the company does not have to focus as much of its resources on their marketing strategy. Not only will the agency on retainer complete the marketing campaign that the company desires, they will see it through to the complete end – making sure that it is operating successfully. Any lessons learned from that campaign will then be used on the next project. This means that the company does not have to worry about having to focus any of its resources on keeping up with their advertising campaign.
     
  • A clear marketing strategy – Hiring an agency for one project at a time can be problematic in terms of the big picture. While most ad agencies will do a good job within the parameters of the project, they have no say in the big picture. By hiring a marketing agency on an ongoing retainer, a clear marketing strategy for the entire year can be discussed and implemented, which means that all the different marketing campaigns created throughout the year by the retainer will fit into the overall marketing strategy of the company. A clear overall strategy will lead to much better results than a number of different marketing campaigns that don’t have the same goals or purposes and that have no obvious connection other than the product or service.

These are just a few of the advantages that hiring a marketing retainer to oversee a company’s marketing strategy over hiring an agency on a project-by-project basis. For more information about a marketing retainer, contact More in Store today.

Connect with Me!

Tags: marketing roi, evaluating media efforts, outsource marketing, Marketing planning

Inbound marketing efforts reporting made easy

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Fri, Apr 04, 2014 @ 11:04 AM

eBook CoverIn the world of digital and online marketing there are so many ways to reach prospects. From traditional to Internet marketing, a lot of things have changed in terms of the way it’s done.

With Internet marketing, discovering how far your marketing efforts go and how well they work is easier than ever to analyze, however many companies and organizations don’t take advantage of such analytics. A lot of money goes into marketing and it’s best to make sure that you’re getting the best returns on your investments.

To ensure efficient and effective online marketing, I use HubSpot, which provides an abundance of analytics and reporting tools all under one platform. While HubSpot offers a ton of data in their portal, reviewing and customizing data usually provides valuable insights, and is an excellent practice. These tools are super effective, and will help you track how your marketing campaigns and strategies are performing. By creating these reports every 30 days, you’ll be able to have accurate and consistent data.

Never heard of HubSpot? In a nutshell, HubSpot is an inbound marketing platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customersClick here for a high-level overview of HubSpot, and even request a free demonstration!

From a marketing agency perspective, it’s a good idea to make report creation and review a regular practice. If you’re using the HubSpot platform, this is a great way to analyze your inbound marketing progress. By doing these reports monthly, you’ll always have accurate and consistent data to show you where your marketing dollars are going.

Because I believe this is a good practice to get into and to keep up regularly, I’ve created an easy-to-follow monthly marketing report guide to help you keep up with marketing reporting. In this guide you’ll find 10 steps to creating a monthly marketing report with HubSpot. You’ll learn how to generate reports for leads generated from keywords, referring sites and social media. You’ll also see how to find out your landing page conversion rates and much more!

To go alongside this marketing report guide, I’ve created a 12-month marketing report worksheet that will allow you to record all the data in one simple, easy to read document. Not on HubSpot? No problem! This report template is valuable for any marketer. You can add and delete columns to meet your marketing needs. Then, when you’re going over and analyzing the data, you’ll be able to see all in one spot how your marketing efforts are doing.

I encourage you to download these two documents and customize them as you need to, to fit your company(ies) or organization(s). If you’re interested, please click the link below to take you to the download page! It’s a FREE download, and there’s no strings attached, so don’t worry!

Download Now!

Best,

Melanie

Tags: marketing roi, evaluating marketing, inbound marketing, internet marketing, halifax marketing consultant, online marketing, HubSpot Tips, hubspot

More Marketing Pitfalls

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Wed, Apr 02, 2014 @ 09:04 AM

Effective marketing is an art and a science.  With so many different venues to get your message out, it is crucial that you spend your marketing dollars wisely.  This blog post follows Marketing Pitfalls, and highlights more marketing pitfalls and just like those spring potholes... steer clear of these pitfalls...pot hole two

1.    Using a website developer that uses aggregate content

Your company website is one of your most important assets.  Done right, it will be found by a wide spectrum of prospective and current customer alike, and, it will make your business shine, giving prospects and customers the information they need to do business with you, and also tell others about you.

Creating and maintaining an amazing site requires unique content written specifically for YOU.  Many companies offer to simplify your website creation process by providing turn key templates, including pre-written text.  I see this very commonly in the health sector – websites designed for dentists, physiotherapists, vets etc.  These providers tell you they know your industry and have realized success in your industry in other markets.  While their offer to serve you up pre written content may help you to turn on a live site pronto, you can and should do much better than this.  Your business deserves better than generic content and worse yet, Google doesn’t like duplicate content and your site will not rank as well in Google if you use this approach for a website development. 

Investing in unique content is always worth the time and money.  Take the time to understand who your target audience is and speak to them in your own words, they’ll appreciate it and you’ll appreciate the higher search rankings by staying away from duplicate content.

3. Focusing on the wrong social media matrix

Social media success isn’t defined by the number of LIKEs you have on Facebook, or the number of followers on Twitter. Effective social media marketing is about using social media to grow your business.  You need to get beyond LIKEs and start creating LEADs.  It’s easy to create BUZZ with social media, but the magic happens in the next step – moving prospects down the funnel and converting them to leads and then customers.  Getting from LIKEs to LEADs requires a strategy that helps move people through the sales cycle with effective call to actions, landing pages, conversion forms and more. 

Consider downloading, Download The Social Media Tune-UP: 3 Step Process to Effective Social Media Accounts.  Enhancing your social media presence will be as easy as 1-2-3 with this free guide. 

3.    Not setting benchmarks or reviewing your results

John Wannamaker, a rather famous businessperson from the 1800s used to say, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half.

Are your marketing efforts still back in the 1800s?  Technology has made tracking marketing efforts so much easier.  If you don’t have Google Analytics or another web site tracking tool, get it on your website right away.  Google Analytics is a free tool and it can provide you with tremendous marketing insights.  Make sure you are gathering marketing data at every possible point and take the time to analyze the results.  After all, you can’t improve what you don't measure.

4.    Not defining or poorly defined target audience

Do you know who your target audience is?  Do you know him or her so well that you have a clear picture of her, do you know demographic and physiographic details?  This great blog article by Hubspot provides details on how to incorporate physiographic into your marketing http://blog.hubspot.com/insiders/marketing-psychographics  Getting clear on your customer will greatly increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. 

5.    Caught in old marketing practices that are eating up your resources?

Marketing is changing and evolving.  Some tactics like networking and the value of positive customer feedback have stood the test of time and will always be a part of effective marketing in one form or another.  But some practices should be retired.  Maybe it’s a social network that you jumped on sometime ago, but now with your well defined target audience you know your customers aren’t even on that platform. Perhaps you’re churning out meaningless reports just because somebody is used to getting a certain report the old fashion way every Tuesday.  Take the time to review your marketing efforts and ask yourself if each of them are making a difference or are some just being done because that’s the way you’re used to doing it?

Why not download a copy of our free ebook, 10 Useless Things to Cut From Your Marketing and see what time you could free up for marketing tactics that could positively affect the bottom line.

Click here to download the eBook! 

Have you been caught by a marketing pitfall?  Share your experience below in the comments section.  

Tags: social media marketing, social media tips, marketing roi, evaluating marketing, internet marketing, website marketing, Marketing planning

Marketing Pitfalls

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 @ 09:03 AM

For most businesses, marketing is a necessary expense ensuring they keep top-of-mind with prospective customers.  Marketing expenses often run 5 -10% of projected sales, or more depending on the marketing objectives.  Deciding on a marketing budget and how to allocate the budget is a challenge for business owners and marketing professionals alike.  As I meet with prospective clients (and existing clients) I hear a theme of pitfalls that have caught many businesses.  With little time to allocate to marketing, planning it is easy to be ‘sold a bill of goods’.

After noticing a theme of common pitfalls I was inspired to create this blog, shedding light on some of the common ways businesses have spend their marketing time and funds, that are not likely to further their awareness.

This first blog post recaps just 4 of the common pitfalls I come across. This blog post will be ans highway118 852x479 1 8col two part series because, unfortunately, there are as many marketing pitfalls as our Nova Scotia potholes after a long hard winter….

1.  If it seems to good to be true… it probably is.

I’ve heard many clients tell me of companies that promise to get their site ranked number one in search for a nominal monthly fee – either a cost per word or a monthly subscription.  Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is well worth the investment, but optimizing your site for search isn’t usually effective with a “pay up and forget about” it strategy.  Coming up high in Google’s search results is all about having up-to-date quality content on your site—like the right content, links, optimized pages and more.  This blog post by Hubspot, Answers to 18 SEO Questions You Were Too Afraid to Ask, addresses many questions that I am regularly asked by clients. But as a rule of thumb, I’d steer away from a proposal that sounds too good to be true.  Market takes work!

2. Blogging without a Call to Action

Blogging is a proven tactic to increase your website traffic and SEO rankings. A recent Hubspot study found that businesses who blog get 55% more website visitors than those who do not.  That is a considerable increase in traffic, and a wonderful opportunity.  If you aren’t blogging, it’s time to add this high ROI marketing initiative to your marketing programs.  But don’t just blog, make sure every blog you write leads prospective customers further down the marketing funnel with a call to action.  Need a little direction on growing your business blog and using call to actions? Download my FREE eBook! - How to Grow & Scale Your Business Blog 

3. Going for the free tools

Technology is a marketer’s best friend.  The right tools can allow you to send scheduled targeted emails, test headlines and call to actions, track your efforts and so much more.  Whether its email marketing, social media monitoring or scheduling, there are dozens of apps, tools and programs to make you into a marketing genius.  But not all tools are created equal, and once you upload your list, or customize a template, switching to another tool can be a challenge.  Over the years I’ve used a long list of different free and paid tools to realize my marketing goals.  There are without a doubt some amazing free tools; Google Analytics would be top of my list.  But each tool that you embrace takes some time to learn and to customize for your business.  Choose your tools carefully and consider not only the monthly cost, but the associated cost of the time it will take you or a team member to learn the tool.   My favorite marketing platform is Hubspot, this all in one solution is the same platform for all marketing functions:  landing pages, blog posts, emails, search engine optimization, social media monitoring scheduling and more.  The time I save using Hubspot is well worth the monthly subscription cost. 

4.  Improper Use of Social Media

There is so much buzz on social media it can be hard to know how to best allocate your marketing efforts for social media.  Social Media should be a part of most any businesses marketing efforts, but there is no one size fits all social media strategy.  The three biggest pitfalls I see in terms of social media are:

  1. Getting into it for the wrong reasons – because the competition is doing it, or somebody else has had great success with it aren’t strategic reasons for getting into any marketing tactic.  Your social media efforts need to be strategic and supported by a larger marketing goal. 
  2. Taking on too many platforms – the only thing worse that no social media presence is having a profile that is no longer updated or being monitored.  Figure out where your customers are (Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn are all great tools to start with) master one tool and then embrace another. 
  3. Assuming Social Media is a free marketing tool – while a presence on social media is free (or there are minimal hard costs) the human capital should be accounted for.  Social Media marketing can be time consuming (especially so if you aren’t trained in it).  

If social media has become a pitfall, check out my Social Media Tune Up -- Free Download

Next up, I’ll be looking at other common pitfalls including:  website building tools, more on social media, reviewing results, reactive marketing and more.  Has a different marketing pitfall put you off track?  Share the details in the comment section below.

Looking to get more out of your marketing?  Contact me.

Connect with Me!

Tags: marketing roi, evaluating marketing, internet marketing

Taking inbound marketing back to the basics

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Mon, Mar 03, 2014 @ 09:03 AM

I’ve been doing this a lot of years. Marketing, that is. I’ve learned the industry, adapted to the new digital era of marketing, and have since built my business around inbound marketing. Often, we get caught up in all of the bells and whistles of Internet marketing, but we forget the basics of what makes it all come together.

Let’s bring inbound marketing back to the basics. What is it? Why do we use it? Why is it effective?

Traditionally, marketers would shell out hundreds… even thousands of dollars on outbound marketing techniques, like creating a billboard to be placed in hopes that your prospects will drive by during the time the billboard is up. Television advertisements work similarly, where you invest on coming up with a television commercial concept, write the script, shoot the commercial, produce the final cut and ultimately pay to put it on the air. Mind you, television commercials are becoming even less effective as now our prospects have learned how to turn off the noise, with their DVRs and skipping over commercials. All of these avenues of traditional marketing expire. What’s happened within the last couple years is marketers discovered that people were starting to search the Internet for information on products and services before they made a purchase or subscription. So, they took that discovery and ran with it.

Inbound marketing has proven time and time again to be more effective and less costly than traditional marketing. Rather than sending messages to massive amounts of people at a time, we as marketers want to target the right message, to the right people, at the right time. We want our products and services to be found when people go searching. One of the main ways of doing this is search engine optimization, and building an effective business blog

Inbound Marketing Methodology

Inbound marketing methodology

Because inbound marketing has become so complex, it can get tricky when trying to figure out the best strategies to tackle first. In some cases, companies and organizations take on this task themselves. That is, creating and or maintaining their website and social media on their own. Social media is quite a labour intensive task as it is, and not having someone dedicated to it more often than not will normally lead to an ineffective use of time and money. Now, there are marketing agencies out there who eat, breathe and dream marketing, and organizations and companies are starting to hire these agencies to do their marketing for them. This is becoming an effective practice yielding a positive return on investments. Hiring an inbound marketing agency can be tricky, and you want to make sure you make best use of your time and money you invest into an inbound marketing agency. I’ve written a guide to hiring an inbound marketing agency that will help you navigate the questions and process of hiring an agency.. If you’re ready to take your marketing to the next level, but are unsure how or have noticed that your current efforts aren’t yielding desired results, this download is for you. You want to make sure you seek the right advice, and the hire the right talent to take charge of your marketing.

Now, not only is it important to have an effective business blogging practice in place, and have someone who knows what they’re doing maintaining it; creating and maintaining an effective Facebook fanpage is also important. With more than one billion active users, there is absolutely no doubt that your customers are on Facebook! Why not go after them too? Now, you have to be careful though. You are competing with their family photos, friend’s status updates and a plethora of other business marketing being driven their way. This is why you have to make sure you do Facebook fanpages right. Take a look at my eBook, “Creating an Effective Facebook Fanpage.” I’ve included 13 great tips that will help you make sure you’re getting the most of your Facebook efforts.

We’ve only touched on the tip of the iceberg in terms of the many tactics to realize inbound marketing… that is, there is so much more to making marketing efforts effective and making good use of your money. Let’s make sure your marketing is yielding you the right results, and ultimately reaching new prospects. Do you know where your inbound marketing is at right now? Contact me for a free inbound marketing assessment. I’d love to take a look and see where you’re doing well and where you can improve.

Click below for a free inbound marketing assessment.

Free Inbound  Marketing Assessment

Tags: social media marketing, marketing roi, blogging, inbound marketing, halifax marketing consultant, outsource marketing