Tag Archives: digital marketing

The Ultimate Guide to Lead Generation for B2B Companies

B2B marketers have a main goal in their company: to generate leads at a fast rate for their sales team. They list down all the details of their daily progress and work. Marketing in today’s world is no longer just about making a name for your brand; it has evolved to include meeting the needs of customers. It is not just about the work, but also about the results as well.

In short, lead generation is all about gaining attraction and interest from complete strangers and then converting them into people who have indicated interest and involvement in your company and its products. It is much like advertising in the sense that it converts someone who has no prior knowledge about your company into a customer. This is also what inbound marketing is all about. There are two types of leads: marketing qualified leads (MQL) and sales qualified leads (SQL). MQL are not always ready to purchase from you even if they are interested. On the contrary, SQL are always looking to purchase from you and request pricing and product demonstrations. These are the leads converted into customers by the sales team. These are the kinds of leads you should be actively looking for.

But you should not focus solely on the sales qualified leads because the quality of the leads is definitely much more important than quantity. It does not matter how many leads you are getting, what matters is how many of them are actively looking to purchase from you. You can only assess each and every lead carefully if your incoming leads are not overcrowded with hollow leads. The leads should be beneficial by being promising customers. Quantity is not as important as quality because with fewer leads, your team can easily assess them more effectively rather than how they would do it if the situation was the other way around. Hence, quality over quantity is your priority as a marketer.

Now, let’s take a look at how you can generate leads as a B2B company.

  1. Persona – Define and decide who you want to target. Make sure it aligns with your brand strategy and is finalized before the next step.
  2. Content – The next step is to create and manage content relevant to your choice of target audience. The content can be ebooks, webinars, podcasts, etc.
  3. Landing Page View – Your landing page where potential customers land after clicking on your links should be well-planned and should be laid out professionally.

These are a few ways you can generate leads by creating good management on your website. When it comes to how the potential customers will see you, it is more about how you present yourself and your company. Your focus should be on quality leads that can be converted into customers. This grows your business and puts you in a favorable spot to get even more potential incoming conversions. Your conversion rates go higher and higher with each and every click that you get from customers, therefore further improving your website stats.

Your goal with this approach is to care about your customers more than ever before. Inbound marketing works both ways. It provides a two-way communication between the customer and the marketer. It is essential to have this, as any area of concern should not be left without discussion. There should be a complete track of communication between the marketer and the customer to ensure every important topic of discussion has been covered.

With lead generation, you dispose of the old ways and transform your marketing as a company in new ways. You do not force your ideas and products onto people by interrupting them during their daily routines. Think of their convenience and yours as well at the same time. You do not put up commercials and ads between their activities, thereby enforcing a rather negative image of your brand. Instead, you focus on your product by making it so that potential customers are attracted towards it themselves. In this way, a positive image of your company is enforced naturally in the mind of the customer and you get a successful lead at your end. This creates a good relationship between you and your customers as there are no barriers of communication this way of marketing. Sales teams assess and communicate in the best ways possible with the potential customers to ensure total understanding and are thus able to provide a suitable product to the customer.

Along with this, lead generation also allows you to see who has visited your site even though they have never submitted a form on your website. You track every conversion on your site and its rates as well. You know by this what you need to improve and what needs to stay the same and be preserved. Your team can track records of all visitors and see a pattern of what type of customers buy from you and make a list of them. Then, they can make products that are best suited for such people and draw in even more customers as they know that this is the product that sells the most. This is a great technique that allows you to generate even more leads by learning about your previous customers by lead generation.

You can also partner up with social media influencers for many different reasons to generate more leads. The social media influencers have an interested, consuming following and an audience that takes direct influence from whatever the social media influencer does and says. Their words mean a lot to their followers, and hence, this can be to your advantage in partnering up with them. They can even give you tips and pointers on how you can achieve your goals with ease, how you can increase the number of your customers, and how to effectively advertise your brand. You can have them post about your product; this will result in you getting an increase in the number of sales in a very short period of time.

Is Inbound Marketing Right for Your Small Business?

If you have just started out your small business and are in the beginning stages of its progress and growth, you might end up finding yourself in a situation where your desired leads and conversion rates are not achieved. This is quite common for small startups. One great solution to solve such an issue is to learn inbound marketing and then apply it to your business. You should do research on how inbound marketing is different from your previously applied marketing methods. In doing so, you will learn why inbound marketing is good for small businesses.

Your first goal as a business owner is to target an audience and reach out to them. But here is how inbound marketing is different. It does not require you to reach out to customers; instead, it helps in a way that your customers reach out to you. This is highly effective in increasing conversion rates and site traffic in general. You should learn to benefit from this as this is much more efficient and convenient in the long run. It is more popular today than it has ever been before. It is relevant in this age with the increase of adblocking.

Another convenient benefit of this kind of marketing is that it does not even cost a lot of money. So, for small startup businesses, it is the ideal choice for marketing. Another benefit you can have from inbound marketing that traditional outbound marketing does not offer is that it always attracts those customers that are already interested and are ready to buy from you. You will not have to look through a ton of individuals to find a customer. Hence, inbound marketing is good for small businesses.

Effective Use of Analytics in Digital Marketing

When users come into contact with your content, they see it and interact with it. This is known as digital marketing. You always want to be able to measure your progress and see how well you are performing in the market. With traditional forms of marketing, there is little to no telling how well or badly you are doing. These traditional forms of marketing include posters, TV commercials, billboards, direct mail, etc. If you want to get better or want to know why your conversion rates and leads are not increasing, you need to bring analytics into your system. These analytics are a way to view all your conversion rates to see how can they improve if you want or need them to.

The main goal of any digital marketing website is to attract effective customers. Then, these customers make purchases on your website by signing up. They fill out various kinds of forms to get there, and they also provide phone numbers and pick them up too. The simplest form of analytics will help you to see what happens when a customer visits your site and when conversion starts. Basically, you get to know what the entire background procedure is all about on your website.

Whenever you get a customer, a data point is created, which allows you to learn through that customer’s information which people your digital marketing is influencing and which it is not. In this way, you get to know what to improve and what to preserve in your digital marketing through the help of data analytics. With data analytics, you get to see how many views and clicks your site gets, at what times of the day, and so much more. In conclusion, data analytics or web analytics are extremely effective in digital content marketing.

Best Digital Marketing Books for Small Business Owners

There is no doubt that reading does one’s mind a great favor in learning and understanding whatever it is one reads about. In business, it is crucial to gain knowledge from reading different books as it enhances one’s mind in learning from other people’s experiences in life regarding business and entrepreneurship. Books about business strategies provide insight on what works and what does not based off the experiences of these people. By learning from others in such a manner, one is always more cautious about making the same mistakes that the writers did. In short, it is a great idea to read business books as an owner of a small business.

In the world of digital marketing, there are so many books that you could read to improve your digital marketing strategies. You can find books dealing with any issue you might be facing. Technical problem solutions and productivity problem solutions are readily available to be learned in these books. This article gives you information on three books regarding digital marketing strategies and problem solutions. They are listed below.

  1. Blue Ocean Strategy by Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne – This book enhances the way you plan your business and marketing strategy. It provides an innovative approach towards your marketing strategy, which is important for your marketing. It says how competition is completely irrelevant to creating your own individual success. It has a bright approach named the blue ocean strategy.
  2. Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team 4th Edition by Alina Wheeler – This book gives a five-phased approach to ace your branding game. It is crucial for marketers, designers and business owners looking for branding strategies.
  3. The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing: Everything Entrepreneurs Need to Know About SEO, Social Media, Email Marketing and Generating Leads Online by Rich Brooks – This is an essential book for every small business owner out there doing digital marketing. It covers everything from SEO management to lead generation.

9 Best Analytics Tools for Your Digital Marketing Campaigns

Analytical data and tools help you to measure the progress, process, and development of your digital marketing campaigns. You can use analytical data tools to improve several factors on your site, including conversions, leads, interaction rates with customers, advertising strategies, branding, and more. The analytical approach to solutions for digital marketing allows the site owner to analyze and thus improve the user’s data, online activity and app usage. Digital marketing can be done in various ways, but how your users are using your site and how you can improve your performance depends on your utilization of analytical tools for digital marketing success.

This article will tell you about 9 of the best analytics tools for your digital marketing campaigns.

  1. Google Analytics – This is perhaps the most commonly used analytics tool. It gives you information about the user data, usage, app activity, and more. You can then optimize the app and improve your website based on the data you got. It is extremely helpful to improve your marketing strategies.
  2. Google AdSense – Google is once again on the list for best digital marketing analytics tools. With AdSense, you get to track how your ads are performing on every webpage you plotted them on.
  3. Zoho Social – This application is all about improving the online presence. It allows you to manage multiple social media accounts at once and preschedule your posts on them to better your online presence.
  4. Salesforce Wave Analytics – This is a customer relationship management (CRM) application that uses the cloud system for computing. Its aim is to convert data into sales.
  5. Flurry Analytics – There is an app to see how your campaign is doing in the market. Flurry analytics powered by Yahoo allows you to do just that.
  6. Hootsuite – Hootsuite allows you to measure and analyze your social media traffic, schedule posts and much more. It also has a Hootsuite Directory with over 50 extensions. It offers a free and a premium version for special benefits like customer interaction on posts.
  7. Klout – This is yet another analytical tool used popularly among digital marketers. It allows you to see in-depth how many people viewed and liked your posts to then help you do better.
  8. Buffer – Buffer lets you manage all your social media activity in one place with convenience and ease.
  9. HubSpot – This app provides digital marketers all they need to analyze marketing campaigns on a single platform.

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.