Marketing Moxie Blog

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

New Call-to-action

Tags: online marketing, linkedin, personal branding

The importance of a Responsive Design site

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Fri, Aug 21, 2015 @ 19:08 PM

Responsive design is a way of developing websites in such a way that they are viewable on different platforms and devices-desktop computers, personal computers and smartphones. This approach is different from the traditional way of designing websites, not that long ago, it was common for sites to be developed so that they were viewable and navigable on one kind of device exclusively. This new trend, recommended by Google, means only one URL address is needed to access one website, instead of having to develop two different sites.

Here are the reasons why you need a responsive design website: Screen_Shot_2015-08-21_at_7.25.17_PM

Smooth Navigation

Sites developed using responsive design shrink or become larger depending on the screen size of your gadget. The clarity is not compromised in any way. This ability to adjust means your potential customers can navigate easily from site to site with ease and as such, can see the your full offering in one click.  Smooth navigation will mean they stay longer on your site, increasing the engagement.

Greater Audience

Smartphone sales have been escalating rapidly for the last five years, as reports Canadian Profit Magazine.  The statistics on tablet computers are almost as high. This means more people have access to information on their handheld devices. Having a responsive design site means more potential customers viewing your site.  Take advantage of this mobile audience and make an impact on them.

Compliance with Google

The world’s largest search engine recommends that websites be modified to have the responsive design. The World Wide Web Consortium endorses the same. Forbes magazine, on March 26th of 2015, reported that Google would reward mobile friendly websites. This in some sense implies that these sites would rank higher in search results. Google’s guidelines for creating a mobile friendly platform can be found at here 

To see how your website looks like in smartphones in tablets, use mobiletest.me. This tool simply requires you to enter your URL from whatever device and your website appears. You can choose what and where to improve on afterwards.

Cutting costs on website development

Traditionally, if companies wanted a mobile site and a traditional website, website developers had to develop two websites. One would run on desktop PCs while the other would be tailor made for phones. Smartphones however, have been manufactured in such a way that their functioning in terms of web browsing can accommodate webpages designed for desktops and laptops. In the long run, you save valuable time and money that would otherwise be used in developing a different program for a mobile website. In addition to that, potential clients get to see what would otherwise only be offered on a traditional website.

Ready to see how your website stacks up compared to your competitors and how the experience ranks for your customers, try the free marketing grader.

webgrader hubspot

Tags: online marketing

Hubspot Marketing Pays Off-- Grow your business with Hubspot!

Posted by Melanie Tajaard on Thu, Oct 09, 2014 @ 20:10 PM

I am my way back from Iqaluit, Nunavut.  I never thought I would pick up business in such a remote area of Canada.  The story of how I came to speak at the 23rd Annual Nunavut Trade Show and Conference is a true testament to the fact that Inbound Marketing can give a small, local business big reach!

More in Store was Atlantic Canada’s first Hubspot Agency Partner.  In 2012, I was fully Hubspot-certified  - both personally and as an agency partner.  When I discovered Hubspot, I had been doing Inbound Marketing for quite a while, so finding one tool that facilitated all Inbound Marketing tactics in one platform was dreamy. 

love_hubspot

I immediately began using Hubspot for my own marketing needs, and then, once I mastered it, I rolled it out to my clients.  Thanks to Hubspot, my website ranks number one when you search keywords related to: Hubspot agency, Hubspot trainer, and Inbound Marketing consultant -  even in Iqaluit.  

When the team behind the Nunavut trade show and conference decided they needed an expert to present on Inbound Marketing, they found me.  Hubspot helps your site come up high when clients search for your offering.  Hubspot also has all the tools you need to convert a prospect to a lead.  With Hubspot, you’ll also have rich analytics to understand your prospects and customers’ interaction with your website. 

Ready to start being found by prospects near and far?  

Connect with Me!

 

Tags: online marketing, hubspot, lead generation

The Power of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Wed, Aug 27, 2014 @ 14:08 PM

Search Engine Optimization is something a lot of people know about but do not understand. SEO is time-consuming to implement and if not done the correct way, can have poor results. Don't expect to have a page with just a bunch of keywords and wait for traffic to be directed to it by search engines. Big and small businesses alike need to properly create and adapt their search engine optimization strategies to get the most out of their website.

What is SEO?

SEO Question

Let’s start from the beginning: what is search engine optimization? In a nutshell, SEO is changing a web page to get it to the top of the list when someone hits enter on a relevant Google or Yahoo search. This is everything from putting keywords in the pages itself to having the right meta tags. There are many facets to search engine optimization, and businesses with large websites often have an entire team devoted to this task.

Basically one should get inside the mind of a visitor to their site. How did they get there and what are they looking for? If no SEO tactics were used, it is assured that a visitor didn’t get there from a Google search? So it must be advertising, either in the form of free links to the site or paid advertising links. The amount of traffic generated from these links is drastically lower than what can be generated by being on the first page of a search results list.

Implementing this Approach

The problem with implementing SEO and inbound links for a website is that it takes a lot of time —firstly to learn about SEO, and secondly to actually optimize the content. It is easy to see this as something that doesn’t need to be dealt with right now and there are other parts of the business which need time devoted to them. However, in 99% of cases, this is incorrect. Correctly used, optimizing a site for search engines will increase the inbound traffic hundreds, if not thousands of times. Added to that, the people that are on the site are actually looking for the service provided by the site. Instead of having three or four customers making purchases from a site each day, there would be thousands. There is literally no faster way to grow a business.

This doesn’t mean that the other tasks around the business are getting done, and how can a business owner be sure that the SEO implementation has gone according to plan? This is why it is often better for small businesses to outsource this task to a professional. Search engine optimization is basically web marketing. In an age where people turn to the internet to search for everything, it is viable to spend more money on web promotion than more traditional forms of marketing —using radio or television.

The best way to increase inbound traffic is to maximize the number of ways people are entering the site.  From blog posts and gaining a foothold in social media to optimizing landing pages and forms, they all play a role in getting your site to a number #1 Google ranking and increase traffic flow to a business exponentially.

We've put together a free ebook for you, whether you've already invested in an SEO strategy or are just getting started, this guide will help you gain a stronger understanding of all aspects of the SEO process. 

Download Now!

 

Tags: evaluating media efforts, online marketing, search engine 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

Pay per Click Budget Growing?

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Wed, Jun 04, 2014 @ 09:06 AM

CPC (Cost per Click) advertising, such as Google Adwords, offers businesses an amazing opportunity to reach targeted groups of prospects and customers.  I love Google Adwords—when it’s done right, the potential to target and evaluate results is impressive. 

Having fallen in love with Google Adwords many years ago, I decided to master Google Adwords so I could use it to its full potential for my clients.  After taking several advanced Google Analytics and Google Adwords courses I put Google Adwords to work.  True to Google – there were always changes and enhancements to Google Adwords – more targeting options – enhanced ads and more. 

The other constant with my Google Adwords campaigns was the increasing budget!!  The more you spend on Google Adwords the more you can drive up the cost per click.  In my experience, when I would help a client with a Google Adword campaign they may lead their category in the short term, but it never took long before the competition followed suite.  

While it may be challenging to do Google Adwords well, it isn’t challenging to simply have a presence on Google Adwords.  Let me clarify—it is VERY easy to spend too much on Google Adwords.  If you aren’t targeting your ads, using custom landing pages and negative keywords (to name only a few spending traps) then you are probably spending too much on Google Adwords.  

Even if you are being very strategic with Google Adwords, chances are that your budget is likely to perpetually increase and there is a small chance that your conversion rate increases. 

If you are in a competitive industry (as  most of my clients are) you may lead in this space for a while, but as soon as a competitor jumps in and starts to bid on the same keywords the cost go up for both of you and the only winner is Google! 

There is a better way! 

What you spend on Google Adwords today is of no benefit tomorrow.  But if you focus your efforts on search engine optimization and simply enhancing your website for humans, the work you do is of benefit today, tomorrow and the next day.

Could your marketing efforts benefit from a free inbound marketing assessment?

Connect with Me!

 

Tags: inbound marketing, evaluating marketing, search engine marketing, online marketing

Marketing isn’t always sexy

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Tue, May 20, 2014 @ 10:05 AM

As a marketer, I ‘ve had the chance to do some pretty cool things that I call work.  Like when I worked in travel marketing and I visited exotic locales or when I get to mystery shop businesses and play customer at a spa or restaurant.  Marketing your own business can be fun – hosting events, doing photo shoots, video creation, networking, etc.  I even get a charge out of bringing a new website to life or finally seeing a collateral in print—but then again I am a bit of a marketing nerd.  

But marketing isn’t always sexy. 

marketing consultant halifax

In fact some of the most effective marketing tactics are by far the most boring. 

Last month, I hit some all time record highs – the most website traffic ever on my site and my leads were also up 1200%+, so as I always do, I took time to reflect on the recent efforts—how I spent my time, what worked and what didn’t.

As I reviewed efforts and results what stood out was how unremarkably sexy any of the efforts that generate such impressive results were.  No new website, I have yet to launch the video I have been working on.  The month consisted of simply staying the course and rolling out what I know to be tried and true marketing efforts—like regular blogs, enewsletters, site optimization and a strong social presence.  Sometimes this can get a bit boring – but staying the course is often where the magic happens.

Lessons from the recent marketing success remind me of the book—Do the Work by Steven Pressfield.  Well worth the read if you need the motivation to work on your business instead of in the business. 

And as for your marketing – be sure to give those new tactics time to show their value.  Pay close attention to your marketing analytics and look for opportunities to create synergy among your pieces.  If a marketing tactic isn’t pulling it’s weight – take a long hard look at it before you give up. Did you give it a fair chance?

Need to give your marketing a critical review, why not start with my ebook – 10 Useless Things to Cut from Your Marketing

Click here to download the eBook!

Tags: evaluating marketing, evaluating media efforts, inbound marketing, website marketing, halifax marketing consultant, online marketing

Spring Cleaning for your Marketing

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Fri, May 09, 2014 @ 07:05 AM

hubspot provider halifax

 

Spring has been terribly late coming to Nova Scotia.  That’s if it’s here at all.  So perhaps you’re justified if you haven’t started your spring-cleaning yet. Spring cleaning isn’t just for the home – your marketing could likely use a little spring cleaning too!

Just like spring cleaning around the house – the list of things you could do to tidy up your marketing is … well, endless.  But I am not going to suggest you wash down every wall and baseboard, rather here are my top 7 tasks to freshen up your marketing this spring.

1.             Review your goals and results. 

We are ¼ of the way through 2014—you still have lots of time to achieve your goals (if you wrote some).  If you didn't write any – it is not too late.  Create goals that can be achieved in the next 8 months or review your goals and evaluate your efforts to date.  

2.             Clean up your lists

When was the last time you cleaned up your list (from your lead management tool or your email marketing tool?)  Hard and soft bounces are costing you (hard dollars if you pay per contact) and they may also be causing you deliverability issues as bounces are held against you by many email providers.  Did you know the age of a lead is a significant factor in the likelihood of conversion?  More leads aren’t always better—old inactive leads should be cleaned out.  Just like you take the garbage out now and again, it’s time to review contacts—clean out bounces, segment your lists and tidy them up.

3.            Dust off and Repurpose the Good Stuff

Content is king-–well-crafted content is valuable stuff.  Google loves it (which helps you come up higher in search and your prospects love it too).  Of course the well-crafted part of that is essential.  If you have an ebook, guide, webinar, newsletter or blog that your clients appreciated at one point – there is a good chance you could repurpose it by freshening it up and putting it to work for you.

4.             Throw out the unused tools and programsmarketing spring cleaning

Sometimes spring cleaning can be profitable if you have a garage sale with the finds.  Marketing spring-cleaning can also result in savings.  Review the programs and tools you’ve signed up for and cancel or unsubscribe from what you are no longer using. 

5.             Have a quick walk through your entire website

When was the last time you had a quick walk through your website – checking on each and every page for broken links, missing alt tags, page titles that could use a little cleaning up?  Use a tool to make this tedious but important task beneficial.  I use Hubspot Page Performance tool to see all my webpages in one snapshot.  It highlights and prioritizes what needs my attention.

6.             See who is supporting you and say thanks

Nothing speeds up spring cleaning more than team work – whether it’s the neighbor that helped rake up last year’s leaves or shared a load of garden mulch. In the world of online marketing help from other organizations often comes in the form of inbound links.  Have you had a look lately to see who is sending traffic to your site? You may be surprised to see who supports you.  Review your incoming links and take the time to say thanks to those who support you with a link.

7.             Set priorities and focus for the coming months

Are the lazy hazy days of summer right around the corner?  I am not so sure, and in my business (and likely yours too) there will still be lots to do).  It’s time to set priorities and refocus to make the most of the next 8 months of 2014.

Do you think your marketing could be more effective?  If so contact me today for a free inbound marketing assessment.

Connect with Me!

Tags: evaluating marketing, evaluating media efforts, inbound marketing, internet marketing, website marketing, lead generation, online marketing, Marketing planning

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

Recent LinkedIn changes and how to leveraging your presence

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 @ 11:04 AM

Are you leveraging the online networking opportunities with LinkedIn?  In 2012, I blogged about, How to Use LinkedIn to Generate Business Two years on and I still love LinkedIn. Hands down THE social media platform that generates the most leads and business for More in Store. 

Just like the other social media platforms, LinkedIn continues to adapt and evolve their presentation and features.  Most recently, LinkedIn announced that effective on April 14th they will retire the “Products and Services” tab from “Company Pages” and removed from LinkedIn all together.

linked in company pages 

As of April 14th the product and services tab has be deleted, effectively the tab is being replaced by the Showcase Pages.   Showcase pages can be tested out now. 

According to LinkedIn, here are three reasons to use a Showcase Page for your product and/or service content:

  1. ‘Showcase Pages’ were built to enable you to highlight a particular brand or product line.
  2. ‘Showcase pages’ make it easy to build a dedicated community on LinkedIn and start an ongoing conversation about a particular product or brand.
  3. ‘Showcase page’ followers know to expect news about your ‘product or service’ – in fact, they’re looking forward to it! And since Showcase Page updates work just like company updates, they offer all of the benefits detailed above.

I tried out this new feature and created a ‘showcase page’ for my Inbound Marketing Services.  A couple of cool features that I liked about the new ‘Showcase pages’ are…

  1. ‘Showcase pages’ are Indexed and appear when using LinkedIn Search

linkedin showcase pages

This is a wonderful feature that we didn’t see with the ‘Company Page’s Service and Products’ tab.  With the page being index you have the opportunity to gain exposure with non-followers – name your page wisely using highly searched terms to attract prospects. 

 

2. Once your showcase page is set up, you can choose to post to your Company Page, to the Showcase page or to both.  This will ensure the most targeted reach of your updates on LinkedIn.

    showcase page screen shot

    The showcase pages are also more visual than original Company Pages’ Service and Products tab.  The full width image allows you 973 x 330 pixel area to showcase your offering.  Much like other social platforms you’ll need to layout your text around the logo that LinkedIn adds to the bottom left and the follow button they also insert over the full width image. 

    I can see the value of the Showcase pages and will likely create a few more.  Are you putting a LinkedIn Company page to work for you?  Not sure where to get started?  Make tackling this important tactic easy with my free ebook, LinkedIn Company Pages.

    Download Now! 

    And if your personal profile could use a little TLC, I have a free ebook for that too!  Download a copy of Creating an Effective LinkedIn Profile.

    Download Now!

     

     

    Tags: linkedin, social media marketing, social media tips, inbound marketing, online marketing, content optimization system