Category Archives: Marketing

5 Types of Sales Analysis Reports for Your Startup

It is no secret that when a startup is initiated, the customers do not come over right away to hand over money to the owners for the products. A data-driven approach is necessary for every startup to succeed with its long-term goals. A marketing and sales machine must be built by the startup with just as much analysis and precision their products. The startups must be well-thought-out and the owners must understand lead generation, conversion rates and data analysis. If you are looking for sales analysis reports, this article is for you.

Listed below are five different kinds of sales analysis reports for your startup that you can use to track your sales and marketing progress.

  1. Lead Trajectory – This kind of report shows lead growth over time in an effective way. Once you put your data into the market, you track its lead generation progress with this report.
  2. Pipeline – This shows the history of leads being converted into sales after being generated. This is an important tool and report for sales analysis.
  3. Sales Funnel – This report shows, after acquiring the pipeline history, where you lose the deals in business and how you lose them. This is important as you learn how to prevent losing sales.
  4. Sales Forecast – After becoming aware of your winning and losing stages, this report allows you to bring in a data-driven approach here and forecast a full report of your progress so far.
  5. Sales Leaderboard – A sales leaderboard gives motivation to the entire team as the big wins are clear on it after every report. It is a great board to have after every other report is in your control.

5 Tips for Building a Successful Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing is far more stretched than it seems to be. It is not merely limited to the boundaries of just creating and sharing content to a target audience. Rather, it goes far and above that by being strategic in nature. Content marketing strategy teaches businesses to enhance their content to make revenue and promote brand loyalty. Understanding content marketing strategy is essential to improve the overall level of engagement that a company has with its audience. This article will introduce you to five tips for building a successful content marketing strategy.

 

  1. Plan – You will need to have a plan for everything in your marketing strategy. The plan should include everything from your goals to how you are going to achieve them. What is your target audience and how do you plan to attract them to your marketplace? All these factors need to be strategically planned in order to build a successful marketing strategy for your content.

 

  1. Documentation – Documentation plays an important role in making you aware of your process and progress. You cannot create interest in your developmental process simply with a narrative; rather, it needs to be documented and calculated. You are required to have a long-lasting impact on your audience in order to secure success. Your document must include your goals, plan overview, target audience, content categories and titles, posting timetable, and means of calculating your success.

 

  1. Teamwork – Building a team or even hiring one person to manage the content for your brand can ensure that you will have engaging content. Content creators are driven to publish about attractive and popular issues to reach a target audience.

 

  1. Target Audience – Deciding who is your target customer is beneficial as your content becomes focused. Select your audience and make relevant content to ensure your brand is engaging and relatable.

 

  1. Various Content – Publish different types of content to keep it interesting to your audience. For example, use videos, photos, infographics, charts, etc.

3 Ways You Can Use Visitor Statistics to Increase Conversion Rates on Your Website

Any activity performed on your website by a visitor is known as a conversion (calculate conversion rates). The higher the conversion rate, the better your website is doing in terms of popularity and rank success. Every time a visitor comes on to your website, the visit is statistically recorded and kept in statistical data form. You can improve your conversion rates by viewing the statistical report of your conversion rates. This report tells you whether you are doing good or not based on the type of your market. Although there are many ways to improve and increase your conversion rates, using this statistical data allows you to learn more about the visitors you have on your site, which is always a good thing to know about.

The conversion rates on your website…

Listed below are three different ways you can analyze and assess this data to raise your conversion rates.

  1. Redesigning – If your website layout is dull, you are likely to have lower conversion rates. Re-evaluate and redesign the entire layout of your site. Then, check the visitor statistics again. You will come to learn that, most likely, the conversion rates have improved. Thus, if you have a low visitor count, redesign and get more conversion rates. In this way, visitor statistics help you to better your website and gain higher conversion rates,
  2. Testimonials – Add statements from high-profile clients on your landing page to increase conversion rates as visitor statistics usually show an increase when this feature is added on a website. It builds an environment of trust and faith between you and your visitors. Your legitimacy is verified by these testimonies.
  3. Eliminating distractions – Wordstream has concluded that removing distractions such as navigation links from the landing page of your website increases the conversion rates by up to 40 percent.

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How to Use Google Analytics for Measuring and Optimizing Your Email Marketing

Email marketing is very important for generating business.

Being a very efficient and cost-effective way of strengthening customer relationships, creating brand awareness and increasing sales, it has become an indispensable tool for every marketer.

But how to measure and optimize your email marketing campaigns remains a major concern for most businesses.

The answer is fairly straightforward: You should use a free but robust tool called Google Analytics for email marketing measurement.

There are many benefits of measuring email marketing through Google Analytics. Here are a few.

  1. Know the leads and sales your email campaigns have produced.
  2. Find out which links in your campaigns performed successfully and which of your web pages were viewed more.
  3. Helps you in comparing the results of your email marketing with other marketing channels.
  4. By setting goals, running A/B tests and automatic link tagging you can track the success of your campaigns.

When you use Google Analytics for email marketing, an important consideration for you is to decide the goal of your email campaigns.

Is it for lead generation, increasing your email subscribers or converting more leads into paying customers? Having clarity on questions such as these will help you decide which metrics you should track and how you perform against those goals.

Google Analytics for Email Marketing: How to Set It Up

When you have set up Google Analytics for your website, you can track the source your website visitors are coming. If you go a step further and set up email campaign tracking also with Google Analytics, further segmentation of the email traffic is possible.

This is possible when you create trackable URLs by setting up UTM parameters. These UTM parameters or tags are small pieces of information that are added at the end of any link that you include in your emails.

The steps involved in setting this up are:

  1. Open a free Google Analytics account for your website.
  2. Add the Google Analytics tracking to your website to connect it.
  3. To set up tracking for email campaigns, create your trackable URLs by setting up the UTM parameters.

Creating UTM parameters for Email Campaign Tracking Using Google URL Builder

When you create the UTM variables, Google Analytics will be able to track many email marketing metrics. Without adding these parameters, traffic coming to your website from email campaigns will be clumped under ‘Direct’ and you will never be able to measure and optimize your email marketing.

The UTM variables are added at the end of your links and they tell Google Analytics which link the person is coming from.

The URL builder has some fields that you need to fill out for every link in your campaign. Once you have filled out the fields, this tool provides you with a trackable link which you are required to use in your email campaigns.

Creating Advanced Segments in Google Analytics

Advanced segments are filters in Google Analytics. With these, you are able to generate reports that show visitors from specific sources like those from search engines or emails.

How to create segments

  • Add the Segment box above your standard reports and name it Campaign Medium: email.
  • From the left menu under Traffic Sources and Medium field, select ‘exactly matches’ and choose ‘email’ type.
  • Click Save.
  • You can apply this to your reports.

Now, you will be able to see your email visitors along with your usual metrics.

With everything set up in Google Analytics for email marketing, let’s review the reports.

Reviewing Google Analytics’ Powerful Reports

With campaign tracking enabled and having set up email traffic as an advanced segment, let us analyze the four most important reports.

  1. Real-Time Report

This is an interesting report that shows in real-time the click-throughs of your recently sent email campaign. You can see the people on your site right now and the campaigns they have landed from. Access it by clicking ‘Real-Time’ from the left menu, then select ’traffic sources’ and ‘email.’

  1. Overview Report

This report gives an overview of the traffic coming from emails in comparison to the total website traffic. It tells how many total visitors (also called sessions) and unique visitors (called users) were from email campaigns. The number of pages per visit and bounce rate can also be seen.

To access it, enable ‘Campaign Medium: Email,’ turn on the advanced segment, from the left menu select ‘Audience,’ and finally, select ‘Overview.’

  1. Campaign Report

This report lets you compare the results of all of your email campaigns in one go. To access it, select the ‘Campaign Medium: Email,’ turn on the advanced segment, select ‘Acquisition’ and then click ‘Campaigns.’

  1. Behavior Flow Report

Are you curious to know what people do on your website and which pages they visit? This report lets you know their behavior.

On the left menu, select ‘Behavior’ and then ‘Campaigns’ to view all the campaigns. To check out one campaign, choose it and click on ‘View only this segment.’

Some Important Metrics

Some important metrics that should form part of all reports, irrespective of your goals, are given below.

  1. Click-through rate (CTR) – This denotes the percentage of people who clicked on at least one link in an email. Through this, you can easily calculate the performance of every email sent and how CTR changes over time.
  2. Conversion Rate – This is the percentage of recipients who clicked on at least one link within an email and completed the call-to-action like filling out a form or downloading a free ebook.
  3. Bounce Rate – This percentage denotes the emails that could not be successfully delivered to the email addresses.
  4. List Growth Rate – This simply means the rate at which your email list is increasing. A healthy growth rate means your reach and audience is expanding.
  5. Forwarding and Sharing Emails – The percentage of recipients who shared the emails to any social platform by clicking on the sharing buttons or forwarded to acquaintances through the ‘forward to a friend’ button.
  6. Return on Investment (ROI) – You should be able to calculate the ROI of your email campaigns.

Conclusion

If you want some incredible reporting features at no cost, then go for Google Analytics to track the metrics of your email marketing campaigns.

This efficient reporting will help you in email optimization and increasing your ROI.

A Comparison of Popular Email Marketing Tools You Can Find on the Market in 2019

Paying attention to your customers’ needs is important to keep your business thriving.

If you want to build a direct contact and a strong relationship with them, you need to reach them in their inboxes. Choosing the right email marketing tools for your business should become a priority in 2019.

Direct Marketing Association found out that, on average, email marketing has a 4300 percent return on investment (ROI) for businesses in the United States, which is massive.

If you compare email marketing tools that are available on the market, it can be daunting. We want email marketing tools that are easy to use, offer the maximum features for customer engagement, and at the same time are reasonably priced.

Why Comparing Email Marketing Tools Is Important

Comparing email marketing tools and choosing the best one is governed by your objectives, email list size and budget. Here are some of the reasons why you should thoroughly compare email marketing tools:

  1. Your success with email marketing depends on getting most of your emails delivered.
  2. Good tools will increase your ability to create highly engaging emails.
  3. Email marketing campaigns need contacts to be managed, lists to be segmented and performance to be tracked.
  4. Every email marketing tool has different features, templates, user interface, security and integrations.
  5. Free trial and pricing considerations.

Let’s take a look at some of the popular email marketing tools.

Comparison of Popular Email Marketing Tools

  1. Constant Contact

This is one of the oldest email marketing companies. They are quite good at what they do but not super rich in features. This makes their learning and adoption easy for beginners.

Managing lists, contacts, templates and marketing calendar are very easy.

Some other features are:

  • Easy tracking and reporting of email campaigns to show statistics like opt-outs, bounces and click-through rates
  • Built-in social media sharing buttons
  • Free image library
  • List segmentation
  • Integration of Facebook ads
  • Ecommerce integration for Shopify stores
  • Several design templates with the ability to custom design

Moreover, their live chat, emails, phone support and helpful resources will ensure that you get immediate help when needed. For onboarding, they have online training and live seminars across the United States.

If you are a small business and just starting out, then Constant Contact should be amongst your top choices.

  1. ConvertKit

If you compare email marketing tools, ConvertKit emerges as the ideal platform for professional bloggers and marketers. Being extremely easy to use doesn’t make it any less powerful.

Here are its important features:

  • Allows you to offer content upgrades and incentives with email signup forms.
  • Auto-responders allow you to send trigger-based emails.
  • Allows for easy segmentation of your email list based upon actions that subscribers have taken.

If you are looking for a top-notch email marketing tool, then ConvertKit is the one for you.

  1. Infusionsoft (by Keap)

If you compare the pricing of email marketing tools, this is an expensive option but the return on investment (ROI) is simply amazing. In the US, the average ROI of email marketing is 44 percent but businesses who’ve been using Infusionsoft have reported more than 300 percent increase in profit and an eightfold increase in revenue.

Here are its main features:

  • You can set up flowchart-style campaigns, which is pure fun.
  • The real standout is its lead scoring feature, which is much better than most customer relationship management (CRM) platforms.
  • It integrates natively with your CRM process.
  • It allows A/B testing for email optimization.
  1. ActiveCampaign

In the last few years, ActiveCampaign has built one of the best email marketing tools. Small companies, big corporates, bloggers and startups are using this as a marketing automation and email marketing tool.

If you want the powerful sales and marketing automation features of Infusionsoft, yet seek a tool that’s easy to set up and use, then ActiveCampaign is your best bet.

It has a lower cost than Infusionsoft but doesn’t compromise much on features and functionality.

Important features are:

  • Creating behaviorally driven sales and marketing campaigns
  • Its top version has an all-in-one solution to incorporate multiple services of businesses like CRM, deal flow and email marketing

It also has good one-on-one training and a useful onboarding facility.

  1. Drip

When it comes to automation and personalization in email marketing, Drip emerges as the most powerful of them all. It is highly useful for ecommerce businesses.

Important features are:

  • Allows seamless integration with website builders like WooCommerce and WordPress. It gives you the flexibility of adding sign-up forms to your website and capturing more leads.
  • Allows for custom workflows and trigger-based actions.
  • Smarter email segmenting and listing groups to reach targeted customers.
  • Allows visual and text-based tools for building emails, which is helpful for image based marketing.
  • The conversion tracking feature allows for tracking the performance and effectiveness of email marketing campaigns.
  1. AWeber

As one of the oldest email marketing service providers, AWeber is quite popular with small and medium-sized businesses.

Its important features are:

  • Connects seamlessly with most platforms, including shopping cart tools, with the ability to add new customers when they make a purchase on your website.
  • Access to email templates, list management, auto-responders and tracking.
  • Over 150 email templates for designing visually appealing emails.

You will find it easy to get accustomed to its platform as it has live chat, email support, webinars and tutorials for help.

  1. GetResponse

The GetResponse platform helps marketers build targeted email subscribers’ lists, create impactful newsletters and video emails, and has responsive email designs.

Some of its features are:

  • Creating campaigns and segmenting contacts is very easy.
  • Their drag-and-drop builder helps in creating effective campaigns that get leads, sales and profits.
  • It has responsive forms and landing pages that allow A/B testing and tracking.
  • Integration with third-party lead generation software like OptinMonster, Google Docs and Salesforce is also possible.
  • Flexibility of adding custom fields to contact lists, copying contacts and conducting searches.

Its visual display of the survey data results in the formation of pie-charts and bar graphs that give all the information clearly. Help and support is always available in the form of FAQs, email and chat support, video tutorials and learning center articles.

Final Thoughts: Comparison of Email Marketing Tools in 2019

When you compare the best email marketing tools on the market and finally decide what suits you the most, it’s important to keep your requirements in mind for the next two to three years. You don’t generally change email marketing tools frequently.

With the right email platform for your business, you can create an effective email marketing strategy and reach your marketing goals.

How Effective Is Email Marketing Compared to Other Marketing Techniques in 2019?

Email marketing continues to be one of the most effective and simplest methods of marketing your business online.

Some people think that email marketing is not effective and that the newer digital channels like social media advertising are much ‘cooler’ and better. Social media does get more attention than email marketing, but email marketing remains the cornerstone of the digital marketing channels.

Consider these statistics:

Anyone questioning the effectiveness of email marketing will know that this is an excellent medium for leads nurturing and sales.

How Effective Is Email Marketing as Compared to Other Channels in 2019? Here Are the Key Benefits

Email marketing is very cost-efficient because it delivers a very high ROI. It is also very easy to measure because once an email is sent, marketers can generate many reports from the data.

Moreover, your email marketing can generate leads, increase sales, build brand awareness and client loyalty, produce repeat business, and reduce marketing costs.

Let’s see some other reasons why email marketing is effective.

  1. Simpler design and interactive elements

Visually rich newsletters and design-related elements of emails are reducing. Users are preferring plain-text and interactive emails. Marketers are focusing on email strategy more than loading subscribers’ inboxes with advertisements and detailed graphics. The majority of email users abhor advertisement-related emails that seem more like spam.

Now, emails are full of interactive content that contains games, image carousels, quizzes and links to landing pages. The focus now is to allow the users to interact with the emails without them having to leave the emails. This is turning out to be effective and has seen a huge engagement level with users.

  1. Longer-form content is possible

We know that long-form content works well from an SEO point of view. Users also prefer it as it gives in-depth information about the topics they search for.

Email marketing now focuses on plain-text and long-form content that people find value in. You could mail people complete blog posts, sales pitches, and long-form content through emails. People will happily read them as long as they are engaging. Email marketing is a proven way to deliver long-form content that people will willingly receive.

  1. Ability to segment and target through automation

Email marketing allows you to micro-segment your subscription list with the help of artificial intelligence and more advanced data-collection techniques. Splitting email lists into specific and niche segments helps in sending more personalized and tailored content that matches with their interests and needs.

With smart email marketing, audiences are engaging with emails. Email automation even allows for email sequencing, which means that after an email is sent to a subscriber, the next one will be triggered based on a specific action, like whether the email was opened and, if so, which link was clicked.

Segmenting and hyper-targeting makes emails much more engaging and effective.

  1. More engagement through storytelling

Consumers want authentic content. Too much exposure to ads and sponsored content, Facebook’s privacy issues, and influencers on Instagram advocating products they have been paid for, is eroding users’ confidence in authentic content.

Storytelling through emails gives users what they are looking for as they are personalized and you can share your brand story, customer experiences or anything that aligns your marketing goals with the subscribers’ needs in a transparent way. Storytelling through emails ensures trust and engagement.

  1. Works very well with mobiles

When startups align the email marketing strategy with mobile marketing, then you know exactly how effective email marketing is. But this can be achieved when emails are optimized for mobile devices as many people like to read emails on their smartphones.

Almost 75 percent of the 900 million Gmail users check their email on mobile devices.

  1. More personalization is possible

Email marketing can make an amazing level of personalization possible. Consumers’ expectations on quality content are increasing, and effective email marketing requires marketers to create extremely personalized and interactive emails for increasing brand loyalty and revenues.

So much data is being captured through multiple digital touch-points with the brands. Artificial intelligence coupled with smart analytics have enabled marketers and content creators to identify the content that performs more efficiently.

  1. Ability to generate revenue is very high

The deliverability of emails is very high and they are recognized as a means of professional communication. If you have taken the effort to build your targeted email list and are sending highly personalized emails, then the email open rate will be high, too.

With such a powerful email list, you have the ability to generate revenue easily. When you send authentic emails that are not too salesy, people trust you and some will buy from you. Your conversion rate with email marketing is higher than that of other marketing channels.

The problem with many social platforms like Facebook and Twitter is that their organic reach is very low. In fact, on Facebook it’s disappointing to note that not all posts will reach the News Feeds of your audience because of the site’s filters. Your conversion rate is much higher with emails.

  1. More customer data through loyalty programs

Brands and businesses have been using loyalty programs to garner brand awareness and repeat sales. These programs are becoming more sophisticated when they are pushed through emails because they are super-targeted and personalized, the emails’ open-rates are high, and these emails can be analyzed through email analytics .

Data such as the types of products a particular demographic of people are interested in, the kind of promotions that work for them, and at what time they want to receive emails is analyzed. This information is then used to bring people with similar behavior to join the loyalty programs. Again, this is the beginning of more engagement.

Email marketing is becoming increasingly relevant by reaching your target audiences and giving a very high ROI. Although it is not a new marketing technique, it will continue to evolve in 2019 and generate revenue for your business.

How to Do Mobile Marketing – The Ultimate Guide for Startups

If startups want to ramp up their digital marketing strategy, then they should know how to do mobile marketing.

As a digital marketing strategy, mobile marketing allows startups to reach a much larger audience than they would focusing only on the desktop or laptop marketing processes.

We are on our mobiles 80 percent of the time. This gives startups enough reason to understand how to do mobile marketing and focus on marketing campaigns targeted for mobile users.

Before we learn how to do mobile marketing, let’s fully understand what it encompasses.

Mobile marketing is a digital marketing strategy used by businesses whose aim is to reach the target audience through their smartphones, mobile devices and tablets with the help of social media, apps, emails, SMS, etc.

More people are buying stuff digitally and an average American spends around five hours daily on their mobile devices. Unlike other marketing strategies, mobile marketing enables startups to reach their customers directly on the mobile devices they use most of the time.

How to Do Mobile Marketing for Startup Success

If you’re new to mobile marketing, you’ll find the methods below will help you create a mobile marketing strategy for your target audience.

  1. Optimize your website and landing pages

Make sure that your website opens up accurately on a mobile device so that your target audience can see the information clearly. Optimizing your website requires you to have a responsive design for different screen sizes. You might have to change certain elements like images, text layout and buttons.

High-converting landing pages have the visual aspects very well balanced for mobile viewing and show the right message to their audience quickly.

  1. Identify the right social channels to focus on

Most people check their social media accounts on their mobiles. So being present on the right channels and engaging with your audience should be your strategy.

Before you pinpoint which are the ideal social channels you should be present on, identify the ideal client profiles (ICPs) and your buyer personas. These can be used to identify the platforms on which such ICPs are present. Once you identify the platforms, create a strong social media presence and engage your mobile audience.

  1. Make call-to-action (CTA) accessible for mobile users

Creating landing pages optimized for mobile viewing is important for getting engagement, leads and sales.

But you should also keep in mind that if you want your viewers to take any CTA (like clicking a button to open up a lead generation form), you should make the steps very simple. Check that any clickable link in your email that prompts an email box to open or requests for a call-back is working right.

  1. Use texting (SMS) and messaging apps

Texting is instantaneous and near-confirmed delivery of your messages to the users’ mobiles. Nowadays, even financial institutions trust text messages to send sensitive data to their customers. Use it to your advantage to inform users about discounts, tell them about schemes, send coupons, or for any other important communication.

Some social messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat and others have become very popular for mobile marketing. These tools have opened up many options for B2B and B2C marketers to engage prospects.

  1. Enable payment options

The number of people using mobiles for e-commerce is on the rise. It’s also becoming important for offline retailers, as people prefer to research about a shop online before visiting the store. These retail outlets can give customers the option to let people pre-pay on their mobile phones.

If you streamline the buying process and incorporate mobile payments like Google Wallet and Apple Pay, then generating sales right from mobile devices will get a boost.

  1. Optimize email marketing for mobile

Just like all the links, buttons and CTAs should be clickable and lead to the action within a few clicks by optimizing them for mobile, so should all the links and CTAs contained in your emails.

People frequently access emails from their mobile devices, and as part of your email marketing strategy for mobiles, you should take the utmost care to ensure that your emails are optimized too. Landing pages accessed through emails should be designed to be high-converting.

  1. Optimize website for local searches

Many local searches happen through mobiles. There has been a spurt in ‘near me’ searches, which are local searches. They generally carry buying signals like ‘to buy’ or ‘buying.’

Optimizing your website for these local searches and local SEO means you should use a lot of local search terms and long-tail keywords in your content. This increases your chances of showing up in local search results. As a large percentage of local searches result in store visits, this is a very good opportunity to market your offline business online.

Claiming your business in Google My Business (GMB) is a very important step if you want to show up on this location-based platform when people search online.

  1. Create a mobile app for your startup

It’s good to have an app for your business that people can download on their smartphones. Keep track of the leads, sales and other actions that users perform on the app.

Check the analytics to find out who all are installing and uninstalling it. Understand the reasons for people’s behavior and fine-tune the app.

  1. Use social media

People using mobiles spend a considerable time on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. That’s why you should focus on creating mobile-friendly content like shorter content for mobile viewing, and using images and videos that are optimized for mobiles.

Short content can be consumed easily as most people use their devices during a work gap or while commuting. Create short and crisp content that resonates with your audience.

  1. Optimize site speed for mobile viewing

Giving your mobile users a good experience is vital to keeping them on your website. If your mobile site speed is slow, people will leave. Create a mobile-first site design to make it mobile-friendly.

Optimize your site-loading speed and design elements.

Wrapping it up

Customers invest in brands that provide them solutions and if you understand how to do mobile marketing, you’ll stay at the top of their minds. This way, you will be able to generate new leads, increase conversion rates, grow sales and increase your bottom line.

The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing for Local Businesses

You’ve heard that content marketing gets your business found. In this article we are going to explain an ultimate guide to content marketing plan or strategies.

The reality is that most content marketing approaches don’t work well when you have to market to your local community and appear in local searches.

That’s why you need to use local content strategies for your local business.

Content Marketing Plan for Local Businesses

According to Deloitte, digital influences 64 percent of the time spent in retail stores. This means that before visiting any local store, people will research it online.

If they don’t find your business online, then you are missing out on a huge opportunity of getting found locally. You will also not be able to influence these customers’ purchasing decisions.

Following a clear content marketing plan for local business helps you be found in local searches, build rapport with the local community, and leverage your locational advantages that many large corporations and big-budget companies will never be able to garner.

How to Do Content Marketing for Your Local Business

  1. List your business in Google My Business

Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that lets your business appear in Google searches and on Google Maps.

Having your business listed in GMB listings is important if you’re focusing on local SEO. When people are searching for local shops, they generally Google terms such as ‘watch repair near me’ and when your business listing shows up, there is a high chance that they will visit your local store.

You should approach GMB by creating an account, verifying your business, and optimizing it for appearing in searches. Here’s a guide to help you get started with GMB listings.

  1. Identify the local audience

Being able to identify your target audience is a very important step in approaching content marketing plan for local business. Specific information about your audience’s demographics like age, gender, income group, likes and dislikes is helpful when you have to formulate marketing strategies.

Facebook Audience Insights from your Facebook page can give you very specific information about the demographics of your local audience.

  1. Create a blog for your website

Optimize your content marketing plan, it is very important that you have a blog for your business so that you can write high-quality local content. This helps you attract and engage customers, and build brand awareness.

Some types of content that you can publish on your blog are:

  • Long-form and quality blog posts
  • Infographics
  • Instructional videos and your product guides
  • Case studies that tell how your products and services have been beneficial

To find out the results of your blogging efforts, set up proper conversion tracking in Google Analytics. This will help you to find out if the right type of traffic is being attracted to your blog and whether you are able to convert that traffic into leads or sales.

  1. Write SEO-optimized content for better search rankings

You should aim for ranking your content for commonly used local search terms that relate to your business. For this, doing keyword research is important. Research local search keywords to find out what people are searching that’s location-specific and is relevant to your community. Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that helps you find these keywords.

Don’t forget to use related keywords throughout your content. These keywords are called LSI keywords, and LSIGraph.com will help you find them out.

  1. Build social profiles on social media platforms

Having a presence on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter where your community is present is such an important content marketing strategy for local businesses.

You can build engagement with your audience by creating buzz through contests, offering discounts, and encouraging more comments.

Posting videos of your satisfied customers, promoting your content through local hashtags, and running Facebook ads are other ways that help in your content marketing.

In all your online listings, keep the name, address, and contact number the same to maintain uniformity and help you be found easily.

  1. Encourage online reviews

Encouraging customers to post online reviews about your business on relevant sites like Yelp, Google Maps, and TripAdvisor has many benefits. They will help in bringing people to your local store because around 88 percent of people check online reviews before they make a purchasing decision.

Reply to negative reviews by apologizing for the issues the customers have faced, and outline the steps you are going to take for their rectification.

  1. Partner with local businesses

Collaborating with other local businesses that complement your own can be a good opportunity for content marketing to each other’s audience. You could do guest posting, joint partnerships, package deals, and blog about them. This would also help you in getting local backlinks.

  1. Optimize content for voice searches and mobiles

Many local searches happen through voice searches. These search terms are long-tail keywords and are generally in the form of questions. So you should optimize your content for voice searches by using local search terms that are in the form of long-tail keywords.

Local searches also happen on smartphone devices. According to Google, 76 percent of smartphone local searches result in store visits.

Having a mobile-responsive website will help you appear in local search results. If your site’s mobile version loads quickly, you get higher rankings.

Optimize your website for mobile.

  1. Use guest blogging opportunities

In content marketing plan for local businesses, guest blogging is one of the best ways to get local backlinks, build local brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, and attract customers.

Contact the editors of local newspapers and magazines for such opportunities. Agree on an interesting topic that relates to your business and that the editors are ready to publish.

  1. Participate in local events

Invest in local content marketing by participating in local events and distributing offline material like brochures and leaflets. Get business cards made.

You can host local events and get the community involved. Some tactics that you can use are giving early-bird offers, discount vouchers, free gifts, or holding a lucky draw to build awareness and engagement.

Advertise about the event in local publications and contact local media to get coverage.

If you follow these local content marketing plans or strategies listed above, then you are sure to take your local business on a high-growth path.

The Pros and Cons of Marketing Automation for Small Businesses (In 2019 and Beyond)

You may have heard the term ‘marketing automation’ quite often.

Be it a small business or a large-scale enterprise, marketing automation is a top priority of marketers in 2019. For small businesses, it is one of the most powerful marketing methods because it automates the mundane tasks and streamlines the processes.

Marketing automation tools can be any software that helps in doing small, repetitive tasks on an autopilot mode. These tasks would have otherwise been done manually.

Nowadays, consumers expect businesses to offer them highly personalized and contextual experiences at the right time. Brands that focus on providing exceptional customer experience are the ones that connect with customers, and get more leads and sales. Marketing automation makes providing exceptional customer experiences possible.

So much consumer data is being captured by businesses across multiple channels and devices. Marketing automation for small businesses can create user engagement experiences from this data, resulting in improving the bottom line for businesses.

Best Marketing Automation Software for Small Business in 2019

Some of the most popular marketing automation software solutions that small businesses use are ActiveCampaign, HubSpot, SendinBlue and Ontraport. Larger enterprises use more robust automation tools like Pardot and ActiveCampaign Enterprise.

You may want to consider the following points before making your decision to go with a particular automation software.

  • Pricing
  • Usability
  • Integrations with your existing software.

It pays to do your research because you will be considering a long-term perspective, say three to five years.

Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of marketing automation tools.

 

Pros of Marketing Automation for Small Businesses

Small businesses have lots to benefit from when it comes to marketing automation, both in the B2B and B2C sphere.

  1. Ability to gather user data and increase marketing efficiency.

Marketers who use active personalization in their messaging with their consumers will be at a distinct advantage. It will get them more engagement, leads and sales.

This kind of personalization is only possible if you are able to gather user data across multiple touchpoints, segment the customers, and create targeted campaigns that are contextual and personalized.

You can create an integrated marketing functionality through collecting data, conducting analysis, executing digital campaigns and managing the workflow of leads. Marketing automation does all this and more.

  1. Enhanced ability to generate better qualified leads and improved sales capabilities.

Marketing automation for small businesses allows you to segment your users, tag them and enable lead scoring. This is helpful for lead generation and nurturing.

All types of digital marketing campaigns, such as email campaigns, paid advertising campaigns, and setup of lead generation, sales and conversion funnels, are successfully powered by marketing automation tools. In fact, these tools can help small businesses to enhance their ability to generate high-quality leads that convert well.

  1. Email management capabilities

Email marketing is one of the most used areas in digital marketing that takes advantage of marketing automation to the fullest. You can do so much with email marketing automation software.

If used properly, it can build your email list really fast and help you further in building a relationship with your email subscribers. When you keep nurturing them through a welcome email series or relevant and contextual emails, you gradually build trust with your subscribers. Then, selling them your products and services becomes very easy.

Email marketing capabilities involve doing A/B testing, setting up drip campaigns and sequences, and personalizing emails and triggering mails based on user behaviour.

  1. Social media automation

As a small business or startup owner, you have to manage accounts across many social media platforms where your business prospects are. It requires your active involvement on these platforms to build brand recall and gain engaged followers, shares of posts, comments and a higher level of engagement.

Managing social media can be a very time-consuming affair but the marketing automation software can really make your work easier. Some of these software solutions are Hootsuite, Buffer, SocialOomph, Sprout Social and HubSpot.

Each platform has its own unique features and pricing. They allow you to schedule your social posts in advance and monitor accounts for brand mentions, comments and shares. Their social listening feature is truly amazing.

In addition, some social automation tools like Hootsuite scan social media for engaging content and discover suggested content that you can share with your followers.

  1. Enable conversational experiences powered by chatbots

Customer experiences have gone a notch higher with more businesses creating conversational experiences powered by chatbots. These mimic human behaviour by interacting with website visitors through a series of automated questions that give answers to the most common concerns.

Chatbots can help in areas such as growing your email list, lead prospecting, bookings and addressing FAQs.

  1. Enable prediction-based marketing

Prediction-based marketing is being used a lot nowadays by ecommerce brands like Amazon to suggest products and services based upon their users’ browsing history. Complex machine learning algorithms continuously collect online users’ data to create data-backed user profiles.

For example, Amazon suggests products and services that the users are likely to buy, based upon their past purchases, browsing history and the products they are likely to be interested in buying. This creates very high engagement levels.

 

Cons of Marketing Automation for Small Businesses

Some challenges that you will face when introducing automation in your startup’s marketing processes are:

  1. It is a complicated and time-consuming process. Resistance to change in the status quo among sales and marketing staff may lead to onboarding hassles. Some marketing automation processes may not integrate with the CRM or other software currently being used. This can impede platform adoption and efficiency.
  2. If you are using automation for creating content, then it will be produced faster but the human touch in the writing will sadly be missing. Your content may even run the risk of sounding robotic and may not resonate with your target audience.
  3. Sometimes, not all the platform features are used, which may result in the software being used only for email marketing. Too much email automation can result in many triggered emails being sent. This can annoy the customers because not all emails will be relevant.
  4. 4. Some people may be annoyed when they know that all their online activities are being tracked. They may even abandon you if it becomes a regular feature for the sake of automation.

That’s why you should put a lot of thought in finding out how marketing automation for your small business can actually benefit you. Take a step-by-step approach to automation because it can backfire if applied haphazardly.

 

Conclusion

Marketing automation will play an important role in increasing user engagement. Customers are becoming more demanding and expect businesses to be responsive. Your competitors are adopting it and if you don’t take proactive action in 2019, then it will be too late. Make the transition now and be at the top of customers’ minds. They will happily engage with your brand and you will reap the rewards.

7 Tested Mobile Marketing Strategies for Small Business (That Deliver Results)

Mobile Marketing – Small businesses face tough competition from all sources.

To remain competitive, they have to cash in on every opportunity that’s present. Sadly, most small businesses are wary of trying out and adopting new marketing strategies to grow. They want to take the safe route of using the tried-and-tested traditional marketing approaches. It’s daunting for them to try out the newer digital and mobile marketing strategies for small businesses.

Mobile marketing can be so beneficial to small businesses, whether they are online or have brick-and-mortar stores.

Mobile devices are within everyone’s reach most of the time, and almost 70 percent of mobile searches result in action within an hour’s time.

What is mobile marketing? In very simple terms, mobile marketing is targeting marketing campaigns to mobile device users.

 

Small Businesses Need Mobile Marketing Strategies More Than Ever

Let’s look at some of the reasons why mobile marketing strategies for small businesses should form an important part of their overall marketing.

  1. Mobile email open rates are increasing. People prefer reading emails on the go.
  2. For online businesses, many purchases are made online. Mobile ecommerce is exploding.
  3. Mobile searches are very specific and generally result in an action.
  4. For local searches, mobiles are used very often, which is a huge opportunity for offline retailers.
  5. Smartphone usage is increasing and so is the usage of mobile apps.
  6. Mobile marketing is trackable and doesn’t require a huge budget.

So what mobile marketing strategies can your small business implement?

 

These 7 Mobile Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses Will Deliver Results

  1. Transition to a responsive design and mobile-friendly website

Before starting any mobile marketing campaign, you should make your website mobile-friendly. This means your site should read well on a mobile device. You don’t want the text, images, videos and other elements to appear in a haphazard manner because these are enough to spoil a homepage, reduce your conversions and, worse, turn your visitors away to a competitor whose site is mobile-optimized.

Make sure to use a responsive website design or theme that is optimized for mobiles by default. This means that the website will automatically change its layout and content depending on the screen and device. You might still need to do a bit of tweaking of the menus and content display for mobile viewing.

Essentially, you should ensure that the website opens well on mobiles, laptops, desktops, tablets or any other device.

 

  1. Optimize your website content for local searches

As many as 60 percent of searches for local businesses happen on mobile devices. Additionally, these local searches like ‘watch repair near me’ result in offline store visits. So, mobile marketing strategy for small businesses should be focused on local searches.

When you create content, target local search terms. Local searches are generally long-tail keywords.

List your business in Google My Business (GMB) with your information including name, location and contact number. GMB is like a local map for business listings and it makes it very easy for desktop and mobile users to discover you in local searches.

 

  1. Use text (SMS) marketing

Text marketing via a platform is easily trackable as you know the open rates and the links clicked. It also has immediate delivery and you can get feedback from your clients quickly. Personalization of your message is possible, too.

Financial institutions are utilizing this medium to send sensitive data through SMS. As a small business, you too can use this powerful mobile marketing strategy to send special, time-sensitive discounts and exclusive information to your customers.

 

  1. Incorporate mobile payments

When you talk about mobile marketing, incorporating mobile payments into your strategy cannot be neglected. Mobile e-commerce is on the rise and small businesses have a product or service offering.

Make the buying process as simple and streamlined as possible for mobile customers by giving them mobile payment options. Incorporating payment processing offers benefits like service quality and ease of use. Services such as Google Wallet and Apple Pay make this very easy.

Mobile payments can even be used by offline retail shops on their websites when they allow customers to order and pre-pay on their mobile phones.

Creating QR codes will take your marketing to the next level altogether. These codes store digital data that can be transmitted quickly. You can see them frequently in print ads and in shops. To make a payment, you just need to scan the code using your mobile and you are directed to a custom-built landing page that has the details about the payment process.

 

  1. Create mobile apps

Smartphone usage is on the rise and around 80 percent of these users use apps each day.

Having an app built for your business and website is a smart mobile marketing strategy for small businesses. This way, you can get your brand in front of mobile users and drive leads and sales.

Creating a mobile app doesn’t have to be difficult. You could get it done through a job site. The app users can install it from the Google Play store or the App Store on their mobiles.

When you have an app for your small business, start tracking the downloads, installs and usage to make your mobile marketing effective. It’s important to track your app in real-time to know what’s happening and take action, if required.

 

  1. Use mobile ads and deals

Small business owners can get their brands to their target customers by utilizing mobile ads and deals pushed through the mobile ad networks. These mobile ads can be run through social media and other channels.

Mobile ads are dynamic and can give your business very high returns. Their ability to target your audience based on geographical area and demographics enables them to reach people who are very likely to engage with your messages.

You can register your business on a good mobile advertising network. Mobile advertising enables your business to send out digital deals like SMS coupons directly to users’ smartphones. You might lose a physical coupon, but losing its digital version is rare.

 

  1. Encourage engagement on social networks

Most people check social media on their mobile devices and spend lots of time checking Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. That’s a big opportunity for engagement. Share content that encourages engagement, likes, shares and comments.

Focus on shorter content because it’s easy to consume it on social platforms. Visual content including images and videos work very well on social media.

Your Turn Now

Once you have planned the mobile marketing strategies for your small business, start experimenting and consolidating what works for you. Which mobile marketing strategies have you tried, and how have your results been?