Do You Really Need An Online Marketing Strategy

Do You Really Need An Online Marketing Strategy Laurel Anne Stark5 signs you don’t need an online marketing strategy.

An online marketing strategy can be described a detailed written plan that explains exactly how you’ll market yourself and your business on the internet.

The development of an online marketing strategy can call for a significant investment of both time and money.

Before you spend your time and money, you may want to consider the following points to find out if you really need an online marketing strategy.

What is online marketing?

Online marketing is an umbrella term used to describe online tools that can be used for the purposes of marketing a person or business. Facebook ads, email broadcasts, getting on google and your website are all online marketing tools.

These are by no means an exhaustive list of online marketing tools, though.

In fact, the world of online marketing changes almost daily. New tools are constantly emerging, old tools dissolving and familiar behemoths changing their functionality or design almost entirely overnight.

Why do businesses market themselves online?

Consumers are savvy creatures. You know, you’re one of them!

In response to being inundated with advertising, we’ve adapted. We have spam filters, Netflix subscriptions and caller ID’s to help us avoid being sold to.

In the same breath though, we’re spending literally hours a day online. (Over 24 hours a week online in 2016 according to the Globe & Mail.)

Being in business, it pays to have a presence where your future customers are, so it makes sense to invest in a presence on Facebook, Google, YouTube and on other online marketing tools like your website.

When is developing an online marketing strategy a waste of time?

There are several scenarios when developing an online marketing strategy isn’t a good idea.

#1 – The first sign you don’t need an online marketing strategy.

The first is if you or the majority stakeholders in your business are of the opinion the internet isn’t a huge opportunity for businesses and business people alike.

Don’t laugh.

This is a reality for some people. Most commonly those who are just about to retire, those who don’t have cell phones and those who are generally resistant to change.

#2 – The second sign you don’t need an online marketing strategy

Another sign you shouldn’t invest in an online marketing strategy is when what you’re already doing is working well really well for your business, and for you personally.

Some businesses reliably experience an influx of new customers and sales from the internet. These leads and sales are willing to pay for what’s being sold and turn a tidy profit.

Sometimes this result can happen fairly easily and naturally, especially if the business owner is really in touch with their customers, where their customers hang out online and when they have an interest in learning online marketing.

#3 – The third sign you don’t need an online marketing strategy.

You’re confident.

You’re measuring your results, you know what works, what doesn’t and what tactics have the best return on investment.

Generating results and feeling confident in your abilities add up to an ideal situation, one where you likely don’t need any further support.

If you don’t find yourself in any of these three situations, it may be worth additional exploration to find out for certain whether or not an online marketing strategy will deliver value for your organization.

Other scenarios when an online marketing strategy doesn’t make sense are:

You may find you need an online marketing strategy, but you’re not able to allocate the resources.
You don’t want, or can’t handle any more business
When is developing an online marketing strategy a good idea?

The following symptoms usually indicate when it may be a good idea to invest in an online marketing strategy.

#1 You’re feeling less than confident:

You’ve been successful with your online marketing efforts to date.

Your business is making money, but you’re not feeling very confident you’re going about your online marketing the right, best or most effective way.

You may be wondering if you’re missing something. You may be worrying about whether you should have a presence on the latest social media site, or if it’s a waste of time. Any leads or sales that you’re getting from the internet may be fairly sporadic, so it’s not a very reliable source of leads.
#2 You’re not generating results:

You could have a very successful offline business, have an online marketing budget and believe online marketing can generate opportunities for you. But everything you’ve tried is a colossal waste of time and money.

#3 Your competitors are kicking your butt:

You may be noticing that your competitors appear to be doing a little bit better than you are. Whether it’s they are ranking better than you are on Google or their social media is getting more engagement or whether you’ve just heard through the grapevine that they’re doing better than you are financially.

#4 You can’t delegate:

You may want to delegate some of your online marketing responsibilities but you’re having difficulties doing so, because you don’t really know what to say to the person you’re delegating to.

#5 Your market is changing:

If you’re looking to expand or pivot into a different market, and you want to use the internet to drive leads, it makes sense to look at developing an online marketing strategy.

What kind of results can I expect from a strategy?

According to the Business Development Bank of Canada small business that have an online marketing strategy and are actually executing it can see revenues up to 22% higher than their competitors.

Obviously 22% more revenue is a significant increase in funds. That may be just the right incentive to invest in a strategy.

Why is a strategy that much more effective?

Without an online marketing strategy, typically anything that gets done in the area of online marketing is sporadic or reactive. It’s what we in the business call “spray and pray”. What this means is that you’re out there testing everything out publicly.

Remember the internet never forgets, so being reactive and inconsistent can compromise your brand and erode the trust you’re trying to build with your audience.
Instead of building on the solid blocks of a foundation, each tactic or effort is acting individually instead of in concert where you can expect a compound effect.

Obviously I am biased, but truly and in the long term an online marketing strategy is much more effective for resource allocation if you’re at all invested in marketing your business online.

An online marketing strategy can save you time, save you money and most importantly it can going to keep those sales coming in and keep those profit margins high.

How To Actually Make Time For Your Online Marketing

If you DON’T feel overwhelmed by marketing your business online marketing – you may be doing it wrong.

Really.

Let me be the first to admit it, small business owners like myself already have towering to-do lists.

Many of us have deadlines that would send your average worker bee into straight up panic mode.

Add in a huge amount of information about a constantly changing set of circumstances that is the world of online marketing, and it’s pretty standard to feel overwhelmed!

People are surprised to hear me say this.  I get called a social media guru pretty regularly and I guess people think that I am calm, cool and collected and perfectly organized when it comes to my online marketing. The truth is, I’m not at all.

One of my favorite personal development truths is that if you can’t change the person, change the environment, and so that’s what I’ve done.

So, walk and talk with me!

Join me and Moe as we walk in the park and I’ll share my system with you.

Why this matters: Your job isn’t what you think it is:

If you’re in business for yourself, you are definitely in the business of marketing yourself. If you don’t have clients and you don’t have sales, you don’t really have a business, do you?

So, your online marketing has to be a priority to ensure your sales funnel and pipeline stay full!

Clarity Kills Confusion

The first thing I do is get really, really clear on my strategy.

What is it that I’m actually doing that is going to drive my business forward?

What specific actions will translate into more credibility, exposure and working with the clients that I want to work with. I also want more profit so I have enough time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine every once in awhile, you know…Because it’s all about the life balance and I want to create a life and a business that works for me, not the other way around.

So before I do any marketing at all,  I get clear on:
who my ideal clients are and

  1. how I can find them online
  2. what the most effective way for me to spend my marketing time and dollars are.

Do you pencil yourself into your own calendar?

Once I’m clear on my strategic objectives, the second thing to do is then actually make time for working on and executing these objectives. Of course, that’s much easier said than done although the tactic is simple.

I basically have to book off time to work on my marketing in my calendar and I have to stick to the time slots I’ve dedicated to this.

How to leverage shame for personal gain

I find that if I don’t make myself accountable to another person then I will not actually execute all the marketing stuff that I promised myself I would do.

So, I have a weekly accountability call with my partner, Wendy, and every week I tell her what I did last week that I said I was going to and what I’m going to do this week and she does the same with me.

I feel like a schmuck if I don’t do the things that I said I was going to do. So I use that to my advantage.

“I basically leverage personal shame to achieve my business objectives.”

But you know what? It works like a charm because I don’t want to let Wendy down and it makes me do the things that I said that I was going to do.

Those are my top tactics for getting clear on the right action, making the time to do the work and motivating myself to get it done.

I’ll need a snack with that.

Believe it or not, I have trouble writing blog posts and filming the videos I do. I am a procrastinator, and even when I have the time blocked off in my calendar, I still find it difficult to get started.

What I do in this situation is  break my tasks and timing up into little chunks, like a half hour at a time. I give myself a little break after each chunk of time, to have a snack or a coffee or go outside and I give myself a pat on the back once I’ve done it as well.

Bulk scheduling tasks.

Because I find 80% of the effort is getting into the right headspace to get my online marketing tasks done, I want to get as much done once I am there as possible.

When it comes to videos and blog posts I typically will do 4-5 at once, all in one day.

I get my equipment set up, I’m in the zone and I can be really, really productive.That’s just what works for me.

In summary.

I hope you found this helpful! If you want more online marketing tips, check out my website at www.laurelannestark.com and don’t forget to like, comment and share this video.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on making time for your own marketing, please weigh in below!.

Thanks for watching.

What The Heck To Post on Social Media (For Business)

wHAT SHOULD I POST
“What should I post on social media?”

The lady asking this question isn’t personally on social media all that much.

She was asking for work and she hadn’t posted to any of the business’ social media accounts for six months or so.
This is much more common than you might think.

If you’re in the same situation, I’m going to help walk you through creating a document that’s going to completely answer that question for you – for the rest of this year.

You will never have to think “Oh Jeez, What do I post on social media?” again!

What we’re going to create is what I call an editorial calendar.

It’s a plan for the year and days of the week we’re going to create in advance, so you stay up to date and have a record of what you’re going to post.
I usually create it as an Excel sheet and I put columns for every single month and have another tab for theme days of the week – like “Sneak a Peek Sundays”

If you don’t have an editorial calendar, following this plan, it will take you, I would say probably, 15 to 20 minutes to sit down and create that calendar.

The 15-20 minutes you spend today will pay off in dividends. Trust me on this one!

Get Festive!

First thing you want to do is grab a calendar, whether it’s paper or electronic, and take a look at all the holidays that happen every single year.

I mean, we all know the obvious ones around a typical holiday season. There’s smaller ones like St. Patrick’s Day that you might want to incorporate.

Once you populate your Excel spreadsheet with all the holidays that are happening in every single year, you’re already going to have so many more things that you could possibly post about on social media!

What’s Happening?

Then, I want you to take it a step further and take a look at the news and events that are happening internally within your company.

Perhaps you would attend a trade show every single year at the same time.
Perhaps it’s your really busy season every single year at the same time.
Perhaps there’s deadlines that your customers need to know about every single year at the same time.
Again, put these events in your editorial calendar so that way next time you take a look at it you know, “Oh. This is what’s coming up this month.”

Channel Your Inner Photographer

Second thing I want you to do, is start thinking about taking behind the scenes photos.

Put it in your calendar once a week to spend a few minutes taking pictures. People love photos of other people so take photos of your staff, your customers if they’ll let you. Post it on social and just do a little introduction as to who we’re looking at here.
This helps people to know, like and trust your business by providing a little bit behind the scenes.

Similarly, if you can’t get anyone to pose for a photo you can also just take pictures about what’s going on around the office. Perhaps someone dropped of donuts or perhaps your parking lot is icy. Seems again, like a little bit of an overshare, but this is the type of stuff that happens on social media, and again, will get people to know, like and trust you.

Change Your Perspective

Then, I want you to put yourself in the shoes of your prospective customers.

What do they care about?
What are they interested in?

In the case of, say for example, you are a contractor, your customers care about making their homes look good.

Perhaps you could share tips and trends about interior decorating or landscaping tips or trends in lighting. Stuff that’s going to be valuable for your customers.

Prove It!

Another thing that is really super powerful to share on social media is what I call “social proof.”

Social proof is the phenomenon where people make decisions based on the decisions that other people have made. By sharing testimonials and reviews on social media, you convince other people that you’re a trustworthy business to do business with.
Even if people are not posting these reviews on social media, you can go into your email and screencap those awesome comments you’re getting and share those on social as well.

Put it in your calendar once a week to spend a few minutes gathering and posting testimonials.

Educate & Influence:

Say, for example, you’re a drywall company, you can share educational things like, what people need to know before they shop for a drywall contractor.

Perhaps any safety information or certification that’s updated and going on. Things like that will really help you to fill up that content calendar with thoughtful, themed content each month.
Once you go through this process once, I promise you will have an editorial calendar that will be fantastic and work for you perfectly.

If you like this article, please share with your network!
You can visit me online for more marketing tips at www.laurelannestark.com

What No One Will Tell You About Your Brand New Website

Reading a good book can change your outlook on life.

Philosophically speaking, you may even be a different person than you were before you read the book.

Most of the successful business owners I know are voracious readers, they have coaches and consultants and are in regular attendance at workshops and seminars.

Their growth game is strong.

The continued evolution of their offering, brand, services and approach to business and life has a downside no-one talks about.

Sometimes, you can evolve so fast, the online reflection of your business is outdated as soon as you launch.

Yep. Your website is outdated the minute you launch.

The text, images, wording…call to action, all of it is the product of your reality 3-6 months ago, when you were working to get it launched.

If you’re a perfectionist, or like the feeling of being done, once and for all, or even for this quarter, this can eat away at you.

Whether you change your hair as often as Madonna used to, or you’re committed to providing the best in service you possibly can, you’re going to be out of date.

It’s the side-effect of being an evolving entrepreneur.

And it’s ok!

The web has enabled you to become your own broadcaster – and that’s wonderful.

Just know that it’s iterative. Your website, your headshots, your official bio…all of it.

It’s all progress.

It’s never, ever going to be perfect.

And that’s ok.

Going into your new website development or product design or photo shoot or whatever it is with this knowledge can save you a ton of time and frustration.

It may never, ever, ever feel done, or perfect, or 100%.

But it can be an improvement on the last iteration.

Don’t let great be the enemy of good.

Just launch your website, then refine it.

Launch and refine, launch and refine, launch and refine.

That’s the evolutionary way.

But do continue to evolve your online presence on a somewhat regular basis.

Don’t just give up and settle for the online equivalent of an 80’s perm.

What no one will tell you about your brand new site

What to do when what’s on Google about you is costing you clients

What to do when what’s on Google about you is costing you clients.Generally people become aware that what’s on google about them is damaging after they’ve lost business.

It’s more common  than you think that bad things come up on Google, as errors, bad reviews or even mistakes.

It happened again this week.

I got a panicked phone call because a client googled their name and what is shows up on page one is unfavourable or damaging to their reputation, their business and their bank balance.  

There is a lot of time and expense involved with manipulating google search results to display favourable articles about you

Here are some things you can do to damage control:


Create a press release


PR newswire is one of many PR companies that will send your press release out to tens of thousands of news websites for a nominal fee.

If your press release gets picked up by these news websites you can often have page 1 of the Google search results dominated by the press release – instead of the unfavorable article that’s damaging your reputation.

The trouble with this approach is typically clients need to scramble to be able to determine a newsworthy angle for their press release.

Also, there are no guarantees that even if you have a newsworthy story and you pay for your news release to go out to all these websites that it will actually get picked up and republished on the news websites.

So worst-case scenario if you can spend a lot of time and money and not get any results.

Claim and brand online assets

Another approach is to begin feverishly creating online assets, branded under your name.

If you don’t already have them set up you could create the following:

  1. A simple website under your full name, so www.yourname.com
  2. Social media accounts such as LinkedIn, YouTube,  Google plus, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. These assets should all be registered under your name as well.
  3. Start writing blog posts and publishing them to your social media accounts.

Create backlinks or mentions on other websites


Examples of this would be a membership with the BBB, your name listed as a member of that association you’re part of, your name listed at any places you’ve been interviewed at.


While these three tactics can certainly help to push the unfavourable Google listings down on page 2 of the best practice is to proactively manage your own reputation online.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to protect and control what Google posts about you.

It will certainly not cause any harm to establish your personal brand online by using the tactics above in a proactive manner.

And don’t forget to do a quick check on a reasonable cadence to ensure your reputation stays squeaky clean!

5 email marketing best practices to skyrocket your open, share and click rates

5-email-marketing-best-practices
Email marketing is still one of the top most effective digital marketing techniques, according to a recent survey of small business owners.

If you’d agree, and you have an email list you’re regularly marketing to, than please accept my pat on the back!

You’re much farther ahead than so many business owners at staying in touch with existing and future customers alike.

As us marketers are so fond of saying “the money is in your list”.

Because, if you haven’t contacted your customer in 90 days, they’re not your customer.

Here are 5 best practices to help you get the money out of your list; increasing your email open and click rates.

Use your customer’s name. Repeatedly.

Your name is your favorite word of all time.

And it’s the same with your customers. Make your emails stand out from the never ending stream of emails in your customer’s inbox.

Most email marketing software companies, like Mailchimp, have a “shortcode” that you can use in the first paragraph of your email to pull your customer’s first name from your list and display it in the email you’re sending.

Mailchimp’s shortcode is [F*NAME] – use it, and watch your open rate soar.

Refine your email subject.

Watch buzzfeed.com and the front page of Reddit for trending topics. You’ll notice a pattern among so many top stories on these sites. They pique your curiosity.

Try creating curiosity in your customer, by creating an enticing headline that promises answers and solutions…as soon as they open your email.
For bonus points, use your customer’s name right in your email subject headline.

Use the Social Sharing Options.

You cannot receive what you do not ask for.

Asking for likes and shares on social media is a great way to get, you guessed it, shares and likes on social media.

Make it easy for your newsletter subscribers by taking advantage of the sharing modules provided with most email marketing providers.

Add in a little blurb explaining why someone should share that is in line with what they care about.

Recently we devised a share-line for a niche women’s boutique that was promoting an invite only event.

We crafted a line that was along the lines of “Don’t keep this secret to yourself; share with a friend. “ to appeal to the woman’s pride at having the inside scoop in a coveted industry.

Links, Links and More Links.

If your newsletter isn’t linking back to your website, it’s time to change that, like, yesterday.

With email marketing’s sophisticated tracking tools, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to see who’s engaged with your brand.

Tracking the amount of link clicks, as well as the click-ees themselves is a savvy way of determining what content appeals to who.

Create links in the text, the image as well as the headline. Make it easy for your subscribers to get to your website.

Have a call to action.

What goal do you have for your email campaign?

Whether it’s clicks to your website, calls to your location or social shares, you have to be explicit about what you want.
Make it easy for your subscribers to do what you ask by making the call to action the most visually prominent part of your newsletter.

I really like Mailchimp’s big orange button, for an unmistakable call to action.

How to run a blog that makes money (Case Study)

Did you know there are entrepreneurs who are making money and getting free stuff from their blogs?

Learn exactly what these successful bloggers are doing to generate revenue & get free stuff. Check out the interview below.

BLOG THAT MAKES MONEY

CTV news reports on how to run a successful fashion blog, interviewing 2 successful bloggers and CEO of The New Media Group, Laurel Lindsay.

Check out the video clip & transcript below.

 

Transcription below:
Joe: Look who’s back tonight. Lisa Perry back from Greece with Luis Hart. Trip was good?
Lisa: It was fantastic. I highly recommend Greece.
Joe: Our style has fallen apart in the last couple of weeks. We’re going to get that back on track tonight with a couple of local fashion bloggers.
Lisa: That’s right. I’m back with blogging. Joe, according to the business development bank of Canada, over 70% of Canadians online trust consumer reviews. That means there’s business to be had in personal style blogging. Take a look.
Narrator: Laura Mitbrodt has just been blogging for over a year.
Laura: I have 12,000 followers on Instagram but I work up to 60 hours a week.
Narrator: She blogs Monday through Friday and links through multiple social media platforms, sharing tidbits from her life always connecting them to an outfit of the day.
Laura: I kind of look at the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s for inspiration.
Narrator: Her efforts are paying off. In fact, she has never approached a sponsor—only they have approached her.
Laura: I have a company based in San Francisco that works with me. They get companies going to them and if they find brands or products that suit me, they will send them my way and I photograph them, kind of talk about them and review them.
Narrator: While blogging is Laura’s full-time job, it’s more of a hobby for Kai Mundigler.
Kai: A lot of the time, too, it’s for trade. Like I get my nails done in town and I just do some posts.
Narrator: Her blog was voted one of Victoria’s best through Best of the City 2013. She posts once or twice a week about local fashion finds.
Kai: I have quite a few people emailing me, “Where could I find such a type of dress or sandal?”
Narrator: Laura’s audience is wider.
Laura: Most of my followers are from the States. I have followers in Europe, Australia and South America.
Narrator: But she still maintains that connection.
Laura: I’m replying to their comments on the feed. And if they have a blog, I go back and comment on their blog.
Narrator: Web marketer Laurel Lindsay says that’s rule number 1 in successful blogging.
Laurel:

You have to give to get. That invokes the law of reciprocity where folks start to pay attention to you.

Narrator: She also says video is huge.
Laura: And then I got this really cute sunglass case from Michael.
Laurel: It’s the number 1 activity in mobile devices right now so if you can summarize some of your blog points in a video, that ups the points for share-ability.
Narrator: And lastly, consistency is key.
Laurel: People want to trust the websites that they’re going back to frequently—so consistency in tone and the amount of blog posts that you post per day, per week or per month.
Narrator: Laura follows these rules to a tee.
Laura: Actually going into it, I didn’t realize how much work it is to actually sustain something and create an audience.
Narrator: While the amount of effort going into their blogs differs, both Laura and Kai say you have to love it to do it.
Kai: I just like being out and about—being out there and I definitely learn new things along the way.
Laura: I just love that I am independent and it’s for me, not anyone else.
Lisa: Web Marketer, Laurel Lindsay says blogs with 1000 to 2000 words and about 15 images typically get shared the most, which then attracts the sponsors.
Joe: A lot of people blogging these days. Travelling. People love to blog travelling. So there you go. Some tips that could probably transferred over.

The New Instagram Desktop Experience – Three Strategies For Your Business

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Recently, Instagram added search to its desktop experience. This update is not just great for finding the best cat and puppy photos, it’s AMAZING for helping you market your business on Instagram. The following three strategies take advantage of the new update and will generate new and engaged followers of your business which could lead to new leads and sales.

1. Like and Comment on Keyword Hashtags

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Hashtags are widely used on Instagram so users can easily find similar or themed content. Consider keywords that relate to your business or that represent the target demographic of your product or service. Once you start searching, Instagram will show you how many posts have been tagged with a specific keyword and this can help you narrow down which keywords are more popular than others. Now it’s time for favouriting and commenting. I recommend a minimum of 100 outgoing favourites and 25 comments per day in order to achieve maximum effectiveness with engagement. Don’t over think your comments, keep it simple, for example “Great photo!” or “Love this!” and consider adding some emoji! Remember that this activity needs to be daily as Instagram users are always posting new photos (over 70M per day).

2. Like and Comment on Posts in a Specific Geographic Location

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This feature is undoubtedly the most beneficial for businesses. Now you can easily see photos in a specific geographic location. Simply type in the City name and the search box will suggest that location. Interacting with customers in your area will be the most effective way to generate leads and sales. Try to engage with local posts in a fun and friendly way and don’t hesitate to add a local flare to your comments. You should start to build relationships with local Instagram’ers and this in turn will help you gain a loyal following.

3. Research Competitors and Industry Influencers

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With the new update it’s now even easier to research competitors and industry influencers. In order to stay on top of your industry, you need to know whats working and not working for your competitors. Some things to consider would be which of their photos are receiving the most engagement and why? Are videos performing better than photos? Considering how many people are following them, are they receiving a high, medium or low level of engagement? Are there any promotions going on that you could match or beat? These questions will help you focus your strategy on Instagram and start leading the pack. Another way to get inspiration and for ideas on how great businesses use the platform, try researching some relevant industry influencers. These brands have larger marketing budgets for Instagram and can show you the most effective way to engage with your unique audience.

Optimize your Marketing Strategy with this Free Web Tool

marketing strategyAlthough the entry barrier to online businesses such as e-commerce is lower than for their offline equivalents, making a success of your enterprise is far from guaranteed.

Fortunately, there are countless web tools that you can use to help you get your business where you want it to be. Not all of these tools come cheap though, which can be off-putting for a fledgling project unsure of how much they can afford to spend on something that might prove unnecessary.

Thanks to the people behind our favourite search engine however, one of the most powerful tools available to help you optimize your marketing strategy is completely free.

Google Analytics is available to everyone, easy to set up, and gives you insights into where your traffic is coming from and what they are doing once they arrive, helping you to study the following data and make the tweaks that will improve your conversion rates.

Preferable referrals

Google Analytics allows you to see where your traffic is coming from, including those being sent there by way of referrals. This category tells you which websites are directing traffic back to your website, how much they are sending, and what it’s doing when it’s there.

If you’re paying for any online advertising as part of your marketing strategy, perhaps from the big yellow book company or other directory sites, this data can help you decide if this is money well spent or not.

If after analyzing your referral traffic you feel the amount is too low, or that the bounce rate is too high, you may want to consider dropping some of the referral services you are currently not getting value for money from and concentrating on the ones that you are.

Social engagements

Getting the most out of social media is a key part of any good marketing strategy, and Google Analytics can help you see how well your own efforts are faring.

By looking at the statistics in the Social tab, you will find exactly which of the various platforms you’re posting on are performing well, and which aren’t.

Are you getting more traffic from Twitter than from Facebook? Does your traffic from Instagram stick around longer than those who came from Pinterest? Do those coming from Google+ or LinkedIn look at more pages? Who makes the most comments? Who bounces?

And now that you know, what are you going to do with the information? Will you concentrate more on those who already perform well, or try to bring the others up to speed too?

The choice is yours, but at least now you have the data to help you decide.

Content with your content?

If you’re regularly paying for or writing your own blog posts, producing videos, creating infographics, or any other type of content as part of your marketing strategy, it needs to be hitting its intended mark if you’re to be successful.

Another way of using Google Analytics to help optimize your marketing strategy is to learn what type of content really resonates with your visitors and what leaves them unimpressed.

By measuring what content people like, by noting how long they’re spending on the different types and how often people bounce from them, you can get an idea of what topics people are interested in, whether videos are adding value to your marketing strategy, or if the time spent creating infographics is worth it.

As a free tool, Google Analytics provides priceless insights into the behaviour of your web traffic, helping you to optimize your marketing strategy by understanding where your audience is coming from, how effective your social media is, and what type of content you should concentrate on going forward.

To learn more about Google Analytics, watch our Youtube channel here:

3 Simple Ways to Help your Blog be Found and Read

digital marketing blogThe societal shift towards instant gratification in our media has completely altered the way we think about producing and digesting the written word, with online blogs in particular being a major force in the changing habits of both writers and readers.

When people say they want to read an epic blog post, they’re no longer talking about the length. As sad as it might sound to those with dreams of grandeur, unless you are a specially talented wordsmith or raconteur, the 2000 word wall of text you wrote for your digital marketing blog is unlikely to engage many people.

People want quick fixes of pleasure to get them through the gruelling fifteen minute bus commute to work, lists of easily digestible facts that go well with a coffee, and bite-sized nuggets of information they can devour with their fries on their lunch break.

If you’re regularly producing content for your digital marketing blog but finding the amount of either traffic or interaction is lower than you’d hoped, it might be time to rethink what you thought you knew about your desired audience.

Plan for the scan

The first thing to understand when producing content for your digital marketing blog is that even those who read it probably don’t really read it. When digesting web content, people scan, and the way your blog posts are formatted will be a bigger factor in people reading and interacting with them than even the content itself.

Because your digital marketing blog may live or die by the format, it has to be clear. We all know the importance of a good headline, but subheadings are just as vital in breaking up your topics into easier to swallow chunks, and even helping the reader to decide if they can skip to the next paragraph.

Using keywords in the subheadings is a very good idea too. Not only does it help with SEO, but it will also reinforce the relevance of the article to your reader’s interest if they have found it through an organic search.

To boldly go

To help the reader of your digital marketing blog pick out the information they are looking for, making bold the key points will cause them to jump out from the page.

Using this technique benefits yourself as much as it does your audience. While you may like to think they care about every line in your posts as much as you do, and want to spend time taking everything in, they probably don’t.

So while guiding them to the parts they want to see and showing them what to skip over by making bold the important points might sound counterintuitive for those wanting all of their content to be read, your reader is actually more likely to read more of your other digital marketing blog posts if you’re making it easier for them to find and digest the information.

Words and pictures

Whether images or video, using multimedia in your blog posts is vital to stimulating your reader into taking the action you want them to take.

As well as providing a break from the words, and being another effective way of breaking up the wall of text, images and video can get across messages in a way plain text never can.

The important thing to remember is to keyword your multimedia, usually by renaming the file before uploading, to give your digital marketing blog another chance to be found on Google.

People are increasingly going straight to Image searches to find what they are looking for, but your multimedia will not show in the results if it still has a generic, alphanumeric title.

Because most people scan articles on the internet rather than reading them, making your digital marketing blog easier to digest by breaking up the wall of text with key worded multimedia, subheadings, and with the important points made bold is vital in allowing your audience to find you, and in keeping them coming back.

 

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