Category Archives: Marketing

Email Marketing Is Far from Dead: Here’s Why

Is Email Marketing Dead - Eminent SEO

Many marketers are quick to tout the power of social media. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram provide quick and easy avenues for engaging our customers. When it comes to building a brand, there are few better outlets than social media. Facebook has roughly 1.7 billion users, according to Statista, and it’s hard to compete with that kind of reach.

While Snapchatting and tweeting may seem like best way to attract new clientele, one area where social media lags is measurable returns in the form of sales. Social media helps indirectly: It starts and drives conversions to get people in your industry thinking about your niche.

Email marketing, however, is often where you turn those visitors into customers. If social media gets your customers in the door, email marketing is responsible for making them loyalists.

On this Halloween, let’s investigate the claims of email marketing’s supposed death.

The Case for Email

Social media is undoubtedly a marketing revolution, but there’s a reason we keep turning to email: According to research from Campaign Monitor, every $1 spent on email marketing yields $8 in return.

And while we may twist our hands trying to compose the perfect viral status update, the same research shows email does more than simply edge out the competition when it comes to acquiring new customers. It squashes it. Email is actually 40 times more effective at gaining paying customers than social media.

Why, then, do we spend the bulk of our efforts perfecting our social media campaigns? It may be the result of several misunderstandings we have about modern email marketing.

Email Marketing Myths and Truths

91 Percent Of Consumers Check Email Daily - Eminent SEO

Marketers sometimes shy away from email because it suffers from two common misconceptions:

  • They think email marketing is spam.
  • They think it’s too “old school.”

Yet, statistics say otherwise. Consider the following:

Everyone Uses Email

Millennials are often a group we try to engage due to their massive buying power. They’re also the group most likely to check their emails in bed (70 percent), in the bathroom (57 percent), and in the car (27 percent), according to Adobe. Some other compelling facts about email:

  • Gmail alone has more than 1 billion users, with more than 90 million users who access their account(s) from a mobile device.
  • Ninety-one percent of all consumers report checking their email daily.
  • Worldwide, there are 4.3 billion email accounts sending 196 billion emails each day.

Email Drives Lead Conversions

Statistically, email is more likely to create paying and repeat customers. Email marketing was responsible for the most Black Friday transactions in 2015. Nearly a quarter of those sales originated from the marketing channel, according to Custora.

These Black Friday sales facts are especially important when we consider:

  • Nearly 90 percent of marketers say email is responsible for most of their lead generation.
  • Email marketing ROI can be as high as 4,300 percent.
  • More than three-fourths of consumers say they prefer marketing-related communication to be over email.

Clearly, email is still relevant. Making it work for you is simply a matter of sending the right email, to the right person, at the right time.

Crafting the Perfect Email

Your email marketing campaign can be streamlined into four steps:

  1. Find your audience
  2. Segment your contacts
  3. Pick the right time to click “send”
  4. Turn that lead into a customer

It sounds simple enough, but it will require some legwork on your part.

Find Your Audience

Email Blasts Entire List Or Segment - Eminent SEOWe obviously want to know whom we’re marketing to, and you likely already have an idea of who your brand attracts. But marketers sometimes fall into the “Field of Dreams” approach: “If you build it, they will come.”

Creating great content might organically draw people to your brand, but is it attracting the people you want to be your customers?

Understanding your target audience requires some introspection. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • What problems do we solve?
  • Who are our current customers? What are they like?
  • Who is our competition?
  • What do we do that our competitors don’t?

Answering these questions helps determine who is going to read your content, as well as why they should choose your product or service over that of your competitors.

Segment Your Contacts

Why is segmenting so important? Research from HubSpot suggests targeted emails received 62 percent more clicks than non-segmented ones.

If you’re in the B2B community, you should segment by:

  • Company size
  • Type of company
  • Industry

Alternatively, you can choose to segment by role: function, seniority, department.

If you’re selling directly to the consumer, use that marketing intelligence. Social media data and SEO search terms will help you segment your contact list. Remember, your email list naturally decays by about 25 percent each year, according to HubSpot, so continually pursue campaigns to keep it fresh and to add subscribers.

Pick the Right Time to Click ‘Send’

Timing is everything, and email marketing is no exception. Sending the right content at the right time is a matter of finding the opportune spot in your targeted buyer’s journey. Here are some examples:

  • In the awareness stage, you’re nurturing leads. Let potential customers see the value in your product or services with free tools, eBooks, videos or SlideShares.
  • If a potential customer is already familiar with your brand, you need to let them know what makes you better than the competition. Add links in your emails to white papers, webinars, case studies, or reviews from third parties.
  • Why should a customer choose you, for the first time or once again? Offer free trial information, demos, price quotes or ROI reports.

Turn that Lead into a Customer

Lead nurturing is simple: It’s the process by which you cultivate a relationship with a potential customer so they’ll choose you when they’re ready. According to data from HubSpot, nearly three-fourths of B2B leads aren’t sales ready. Most of your prospects require nurturing, so create emails that add value.

The Importance of Mobile

60 Percent Of Adults Check Email First Thing In Morning - Eminent SEO

If your email marketing campaign isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re far behind the curve. A 2015 survey by BlueHornet found emails that aren’t optimized for mobile will fail: More than 80 percent of recipients hit delete, and another 30 percent unsubscribe.

On the other hand, 63 percent of consumers report more interest in buying a product when it looks good on their mobile device.

Since 2011, the number of email opens on mobile devices has increased by 30 percent. In fact, nearly 60 percent of adults report checking their email first thing in the morning – in bed, or over a cup of coffee.

We no longer live in a world where we sit down at our desktop to read through emails. Everything we do is on the run, so emails must be optimized for mobile and easy to digest.

Video and Images Improve Click Rates

Consumers are more likely to interact with emails that contain images and video. According to Emma Email Marketing, adding a video can increase your click rate by 300 percent. While 35 percent of users report they prefer text in their emails, the majority (65 percent) state they prefer emails to contain mostly images. Therefore, make your emails all the more attractive by including one or both of these elements.

Personalization Is the Watchword

Email Subscriber Lists Naturally Decay 25 Percent Each Year - Eminent SEO

Want to get a prospect to open your email? The key is personalization. Consumers expect to be referred to by their first names: It shows a brand knows exactly who they are. It also helps if you send an email from a real person, not a general company name.

Research shows that personalization can help improve click rates by 26 percent. Consumers also expect to receive personalized content. It’s what makes segmentation so important.

Campaign Monitor reports that almost 75 percent of consumers feel frustrated when they receive content that doesn’t appear to be relevant to their interests. This is why three-fourths of all enterprises invested in personalized messaging in 2015. Also, personalization can reportedly lead to a 760 percent increase in ROI.

Email Isn’t Dead

Email is, and should continue to be, an essential part of your inbound marketing strategy. The right personalized email turns prospects into leads, and leads into customers.

Successful email campaigns address the right audience at the right time in their buying journey. Optimizing for mobile, as we’ve seen, can also make the difference between a sale and a deletion.

Don’t underestimate the power of email in your marketing campaign. While social media is important for creating brand awareness, emails net paying customers.

Not sure where to begin? Eminent SEO can help you with your email marketing strategy and content. Click to learn more about our Email Marketing Services.

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle PlusFlickrStumbleUponYouTube

Gatorade’s Example: Can a Company Be Health-Conscious and Sales-Focused at the Same Time?

Health-Conscious and Sales-FocusedMarketing is a tricky game: Businesses must convince consumers to buy their product, even when both the consumer and the business are aware of certain product drawbacks. No product can be everything to all people, though.

For instance, proper running shoes won’t look like Converse Chuck Taylors. What makes running shoes fly off the shelf isn’t their style, but their function. The reverse is also true: Converse can’t market their sneakers like they would athletic shoes. In this case, it’s about style over performance.

The Marketing Dilemma: Handling a Product’s Weakness

Companies in the food industry have a similar dilemma. In today’s health-conscious society, consumers are paying attention to labels. Dramatically high numbers of fat and sugar will turn off many customers.

If a business isn’t selling a health food, marketing can be tough. Most companies generally avoid pointing out unhealthy ingredients in their products and focus more on the items’ positive aspects, never addressing issues that might be considered a drawback.

Ad campaigns and marketing for these products tend to focus on taste and satisfaction. They even appeal to the bandwagon nature of people: “This celebrity likes it, so should you!” While this makes sense, acknowledging the perceived weakness of a product may be a boon to a marketing campaign.

Leverage Weakness for Better Marketing

One company is changing the game. Gatorade, the well-known sports energy drink, has a new video campaign that explicitly addresses the amount of sugar the drink contains. One 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade contains roughly 34 grams of sugar, although the specific amount can slightly vary, depending on the flavor. Sugar is often considered one of the worst ingredients in today’s diet, and people have a tendency to consume far too much.

Since the American Heart Association recommends that men cap their daily sugar consumption at 37.5 grams and women at just 25 grams, Gatorade’s high sugar content could be seen as a sales liability. Gatorade’s new campaign, however, turns this weakness into opportunity.

Gatorade’s Bold Marketing Strategy

Gatorade is addressing concerns about the amount of sugar in its product with a new video series featuring professional athletes. In the videos, professional athletes such as J.J. Watt and Karl-Anthony Towns confront ordinary people drinking Gatorade outside the context of sports or exercise.

The athletes challenge these individuals to “earn the sugar” by getting active and working up a sweat. For example, in one video Watt has one woman push a blocking sled in order to burn enough calories to “earn” a Gatorade. In another, Towns challenges a man walking calmly down the street with a Gatorade to try to dribble a basketball around the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year.

Gatorade’s head of consumer management, Kenny Mitchell, said the “Burn It to Earn It” marketing campaign was born out of a desire to address the amount of sugar in Gatorade – a key component of the product – without hurting sales. Essentially, the company wanted to make it clear their drink is intended for use by athletes who need to replace the sugar they sweat out during exercise.

An Uncommon Approach May Be Successful

The Gatorade campaign is a risky venture, but it looks like a surprisingly successful one. In addition to being used as a sports drink, Gatorade has gained popularity as a folk remedy for hangovers, as well as being popular with consumers who simply like it for the taste. The new marketing campaign, which makes it clear that Gatorade is intended for athletes, risks alienating these other consumer bases.

In contrast to the new ads from Gatorade, companies such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo (the latter happens to own and distribute Gatorade) have been in the news for trying to protect their market share by lobbying against health bills meant to combat obesity by reducing soda consumption.

It’s a much more common strategy than Gatorade’s approach, similar to tactics big tobacco and alcohol distributors have used in years past. This approach also comes with some risks: No one wants to support a company that sacrifices their consumer’s health for profit. Gatorade’s campaign is different by showing that a company can send out positive, helpful messages to the public that address a product’s drawbacks but still encourage purchases.

Has the Health-Conscious and Sales-Focused Strategy Paid Off?

Recent sales data shows that quarterly and annual sales of Gatorade appear to be doing well. Data from the market research agency IRI shows Gatorade’s various brands of sports drinks (led by Gatorade Perform) dominated the field of sports drinks in 2015, with the overall market share rising 10 percent that year.

It’s too early to tell if Gatorade’s new campaign will result in increased revenue. However, the health-conscious campaign comes off as a legitimate branding strategy, rather than a gimmick to drum up sales.

It’s interesting to note that while Gatorade’s new approach seems to be helping its brand and sales, public consumption of sugared sodas and carbonated beverages is dropping off, in spite of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo’s lobbying efforts to protect consumers’ access to soda.

Although carbonated soft drinks still led in overall sales among convenience stores in 2015, sports drinks such as Gatorade were a much closer second than they’ve been in the past, and the product shows much greater overall growth.

Consider Other Health-Conscious Approaches

Gatorade’s new campaign makes for an interesting comparison to other efforts by brands traditionally viewed as unhealthy, which are trying to keep their sales stable in an increasingly health-conscious market. Take McDonald’s, for example. Particularly after the release of the documentary “Super Size Me” in 2004, the company has worked relentlessly to convince consumers its food isn’t all that bad for you.

McDonald’s recent “Always Working” campaign in the U.K. aimed to convince parents that they’ve made Happy Meals healthier over the last 10 years, and that parents shouldn’t feel guilty about offering them to their children.

Changing the Product vs. Changing Your Campaign

A big difference between McDonald’s and Gatorade, however, is that Gatorade hasn’t changed the product, just the marketing. McDonald’s campaign is trying to show that it is listening to its consumers and thus changing the product to make it healthier. Gatorade, on the other hand, doesn’t claim to have made any changes to the amount of sugar in their traditional drinks.

However, it’s worth noting that Gatorade recently launched a G Organic lineup of drinks. While these new products still contain a high amount of sugar, they are made with only seven ingredients, including organic cane sugar.

Gatorade’s new ads clarify that the product is meant for athletic competition and that when it’s consumed alongside exercise and sports activity, the amount of sugar isn’t overwhelming for your body. Mitchell actually states that Gatorade is proud of the sugar in their drinks and has no plans to change its formula.

Turn Weakness into Opportunity

Marketing is about explaining to your base why they want or need your product. If your product has a downside, there may be a way to leverage that perceived weakness into a strength, much like Gatorade has done.

The “Burn It to Earn It” marketing campaign shows that it’s possible for a company to stay true to itself while also responding to public health concerns, all without hurting the bottom line.

At Eminent SEO, we can evaluate your company’s brand messaging and marketing strategy for areas of weakness and potential opportunities. Give us a try! Call 800.871.4130 today.

Save

Save

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle PlusFlickrStumbleUponYouTube

7 Elements to Look for in an Evolving Marketing Agency – and How to Avoid Being Left Behind

Futuristic Evolving Marketing Agency - Eminent SEO

Marketing practices have dramatically evolved over the years, and it looks like changes within this industry are not slowing down any time soon. The boom of the internet has rapidly altered the way we target niche audiences, which means that expectations for marketing agencies have shifted. Clients are expecting a much more symbiotic relationship in which the marketing agency is held accountable for its actions, or inaction.

Building Trust is Key!

Key Icon Orange - Eminent SEOWhen perusing the internet for a specific need, customers support the companies they feel are transparent and which have a simple and effective solution for their dilemma. The same idea applies when shopping for a marketing agency to boost a company’s online presence.

You want your marketing firm to show transparency and point out any inefficiencies in your current tactics or approach. Gone are the days of simply clocking hours and sending an invoice. Clients are looking for creativity, speed and efficiency, as well as an agency that can be proactive rather than trying to keep it “business as usual.”

Just Keep It Simple

With so many new technologies to track demographics, results, etc., marketers will have to take the initiative and become proficient in these programs and software to alleviate client stress. There’s just too much for the average client to keep up with. By becoming the expert, marketers are able to simplify the tasks of the client to save them time and labor dollars, as well as the stress of trying to learn new programs.

Pricing Structure and Effectiveness

Moving forward, evolving marketing agencies are beginning to get hip to the idea of pricing based on effectiveness rather than productivity. Clients now are looking for outside-the-box thinking and proactivity in their campaigns, and many of these tactics aren’t “billable.”

It’s easy to track time spent, projects completed, dollars per hour, etc., but how exactly do you bill a suggestion to change a strategy or creativity? Well, agencies sure are figuring this out if they want to stay relevant!

What About Content Marketing?

Content marketing has evolved and become much more intuitive and niched. Advances in technology have allowed this new generation of marketing to move at lightning speed to rival the shortened attention spans of millennial users.

Content marketing isn’t as simple and direct as it has been in the past. Marketers now have the ability to actually reach out to their demographic of consumers with features like geo-fencing and push notifications. This type of proactive and intuitive marketing allows businesses to gain more traffic by identifying their customers and sending them valuable content, rather than waiting to be searched for.

The Rise of Technology in Content Marketing

The rapid and relatively recent explosion of technology continues to challenge marketing agencies to improve their strategies by providing immediate feedback, tracking and general analysis of websites and content. Since a major goal of content marketing is to generate interest in and traffic on a particular website, simply tracking final sales would be an inaccurate and incomplete measure of success.

Evolving marketing agencies need to look for programs and software that provide enough information to be able to shift tactics in a reasonable time frame, so that they avoid investing time and money into a failing venture.

How Does an Evolving Marketing Agency Measure the Value of Its Content?

Measuring Tape Icon Orange - Eminent SEOThis is a tough question to answer since there isn’t a clear distinction between digital and traditional marketing anymore. Compelling content isn’t as simple and straightforward as it used to be. It isn’t just informational; it’s personal. It requires much more creativity and must possess an empathetic tone to customers.

Keep in mind, however, that the same blueprint cannot and will not work the same for each business. This is why it is imperative for agencies to invest in content creation and stop thinking of it as an expense.

The need for journalists with strong PR backgrounds is also on the rise. This particular skill-set is essential in creating the right type of content to generate “clicks.” The initial investment in this type of content has the potential to drum up business for years to come.

The Blurred Lines of Media Convergence

Another development that evolving marketing agencies need to keep their eyes on is the convergence of media platforms. This means that several current platforms will eventually blend into a single digital form. As this happens, content will become more diversified and the quality and value at which it is produced will increase.

The downside, however, is that as information becomes streamlined, many demographics will become underrepresented and unheard from. Those controlling the technology driven industry run the risk of losing potential customers when content is no longer relevant to diverse markets.

The Business-to-Business Element

As if the marketing game hasn’t changed enough, another element to consider is B2B, or business-to-business marketing. Creating value is the name of the game. Many companies are beginning to understand that other businesses are a huge source of revenue for them. However, some are now realizing they can’t market to a business the same way they market to an individual consumer.

B2B marketing promotes the sale of goods and services to other businesses in a way that adds value to the prospective client’s practices. The trick is to market in such a way that a business that purchases your product becomes willing to endorse your name. You have to make it clear what’s in it for them.

The Change Is Here

Max Monster Looking Out To Future - Eminent SEOThe content marketing arena has proven to be an aggressive force in redefining the slowly dying career track of journalism. Subsequently, evolving marketing agencies are currently paving the way for the future of their industry by quickly adapting to the technological advances in our ever-advancing digital world. Companies must be able to understand how their audiences are receiving and responding to their messages, so they must hire agencies that can provide compelling and creative avenues to reach a range of consumers.

The expectation of marketing agencies is changing, as are the litany of challenges they face in staying ahead of their competition. These agencies are required to be much more transparent and show more empathy toward potential clients. Evolving marketing firms are learning to get out of the driver’s seat and instead walk hand-in-hand with their clients. The relationship is changing, but if agencies and their clients can learn to meet in the middle, the result will be a new and satisfied customer – which is the greatest result of all.

Looking for a marketing agency that offers customized solutions for your needs and meticulously tracks all results while maintaining the utmost transparency? Talk to Eminent SEO today at 800.871.4130.

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle PlusFlickrStumbleUponYouTube

The Cost of Doing Business Versus The Cost of Marketing

BLOG POST PREFACE: I didn’t set out to write a blog, initially I wanted to just collect a few of my thoughts on the subject as I was talking to my team about the challenge we have helping our clients track their marketing ROI accurately. It turned into the blog post you see below when I realized that I want to share my thoughts with other businesses and start a conversation about this topic. I’d really like to hear from you on how you allocate budgets and track ROI, so please share your thoughts in the comment section here or reach out to me on my SEO social platforms:

Twitter (I am most active here and mainly tweet out SEO and marketing stuff)
Facebook (this is my professional page where I share business and marketing posts)
Google+ (I know G+ is dying, but I still find good info in the tech and SEO communities there)

The Cost of Doing Business Versus The Cost of Marketing

Eminent SEO offers a wide array of services to help other businesses find success online. Over the years we have developed and expanded our service offerings in order to accommodate the growing needs of our clients. This includes a lot of business and website services that are not necessarily marketing.

Here are some of the main reasons business owners hire us:

  • They want to increase their website traffic and leads (SEO, organic and/or paid marketing).
  • They need a new or refreshed website (design, content, development).
  • They need help with their brand (brand development and management).
  • They need help with an issue (audits, website cleanup, penalty resolution).

Before we begin, we ask: What are your needs and goals?

  • A new logo or site design?
  • Tools to track your efforts?
  • An audit of your SEO to see where you stand?
  • Help with your bad reputation?
  • Updated website content?
  • A new social media campaign?
  • Expert advice on overcoming a Google penalty?

We offer different services depending on your specific needs. Many of our solutions are marketing, but some of our services also fall into the categories of website management, creative work, preventative services or business expenses as well.

For example, is website hosting really marketing? Or, is it a necessary expense in order for your business to be online?

What about design? Although website design does enhance the user experience and can definitely help your website traffic convert, design in itself is not a marketing effort.

So, what are the differences in our services? What IS marketing, what is NOT?

 To keep it simple we have grouped our services into two buckets:

  1. Operations – The Cost of Doing Business Online
  2. Marketing – The Cost of Getting Traffic, Form Fills, Phone Calls and Conversions

Business Operations Versus Marketing - Eminent SEO

Clearly there is a lot of overlap, but this should help give you a better understanding of the intent behind each service.

So, how do we measure results?

Each service comes with its own measure of success, including operations and marketing tasks. Not all services are intended to have the same outcome, so there isn’t one single point of data or one single tool that can tell the whole story.

Lower-OnPageSEO

We suggest a combination of the following to properly track your marketing:

  • Google Analytics for traffic and visitor data
  • Google Analytics Goal Tracking for website conversions
  • Gravity Forms, fed to Google Analytics for form tracking (website form fills)
  • Call Tracking Metrics for calls and call conversion tracking (check them out, they are pretty rad)

The above tools will collect data that we can combine into a report to show you:

  • Changes to website traffic, by source (organic, referral, direct, paid, social, etc.)
  • Changes to user behavior (time on site, page views, top landing pages, etc.)
  • Where the traffic for the forms is coming from, and what action they took (subscribed to newsletter, filled out the contact form, downloaded your eBook, etc.)
  • Where the website conversions are coming from and how many conversions you received
  • Where your calls are coming from and (if you use the tool to enter in call sentiment and conversion data) what sources are driving the calls that convert

The data then helps us better understand:

  • What is working, what isn’t (with the site and the marketing)
  • What content/pages get the best visibility
  • What lead sources drive the best leads
  • What marketing channel converts the highest
  • What your ROI (return on investment) or ROAS (return on ad spend) is, per source
  • Where you should be focusing your efforts moving forward
  • How you should allocate your marketing budgets in the future

However, we would like to point out that no matter how many experts you have working on your team, no matter how many tools you have collecting data, and no matter how much time you spend evaluating the campaigns, there is no such thing as PERFECT reporting.

Why?

NONE of the tools are perfect, not even Google Analytics. Marketers report on inaccuracies all of the time. Sometimes it’s the implementation of the tool. Sometimes Google samples data. Sometimes third-party tools buy their data from someone other than Google. Some reports even say that Google only gives you about 70% of what they see. There are a million reasons, but the point is NO tools are perfect, and therefore you cannot expect to get perfect data from them.

Lead sources are never perfect. Even if you have cookies and sophisticated tracking methods, the lead source is only the first or last point of entry. For example, a visitor could find you on Facebook, follow your fan page and engage with your posts – having never clicked a link to your site. Later, when they decide to look you up they might go to Google and search for your brand. From there they could click a pay per click ad, your map (Google My Business listing) or your site in the organic results. What source gets credit for the lead?

Online Marketing Campaigns don’t come with clear parameters. At first, evaluating website and call tracking data seems pretty straightforward. If you see visits and calls from one lead source and not another, that must mean the second one isn’t working, right? Not necessarily. Big brands didn’t become household names by only focusing on the measurable data. They understand that it takes a multi-channel approach to get big results. For example, you will likely never be able to attribute a lead or call to a clean logo and website design. But, you know that your professional website helps users trust your company, leading to increased conversions. The same goes for blogging, social and even press. Although they CAN give you direct clicks (referral traffic) and phone calls, they are really part of a bigger marketing strategy intended to help your brand and website gain visibility with the search engines.

Branding is impossible to measure perfectly. I would almost never use the word “impossible,” but in this case, I feel confident saying it. Why? Your brand awareness began the first time you handed out a business card or sent your first company email. Your brand includes any mention of your company name and any image of your logo, online and off. Raising awareness for your brand doesn’t start and stop with marketing: It can be TV, billboards, radio, mailers, brochures, wearables, handing out your business card, emails, comments on blogs, listings on directories, the yellow pages, social media platforms, apps, blogs, press, attending events, newsletters, referrals, your storefront, signs, partnerships, etc. The list goes on and on. If you are using tools to track your lead sources, keep in mind that just because the tool shows one source, that doesn’t mean that the other campaigns and efforts didn’t contribute to the lead/conversion.creation-hosting

The Bottom Line

  • Website and online business services are not necessarily “marketing” and therefore should not be included in your tracking efforts as marketing, but rather the cost of doing business.
  • When budgeting for the year, always develop a separate budget dedicated to website changes, fixing issues, adding content, etc. Trust me, you need it.
  • When analyzing the effectiveness of your online marketing campaigns, don’t forget there is no such thing as perfect tracking and reporting. Don’t get so caught up in the details that you lose sight of the bigger picture. What’s most important is that your overall conversions are increasing… because that is why you are really investing into marketing in the first place, isn’t it?

Need Help?

If you have a question about business services verses marketing services and how to effectively track and measure results, give us a call at 800.871.4130, comment below or drop us a note. Team Eminent SEO is here to support you, your business AND marketing needs by working together to achieve the best strategy and reporting for you.

max

 

Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing work in 2005. I'm a {very} busy mom of 4 and I owe my sanity to my partner in work and life, Chris Weatherall. I love sharing and engaging in business and marketing conversations, and I'm heavy into social media and blogging on these topics. I love coffee, wine, food and other people who enjoy the adventure of seeking out the best places to eat and drink. In my free time (what's that?) you'll most likely find me studying philosophy and spirituality, cooking for my family or relaxing with a nice glass of wine, a funny movie and the people I love.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle PlusYouTube

Last-Minute Cyber Monday Digital Marketing Tips

This entry was posted in Marketing and tagged on by .

Cyber Monday Digital Marketing Tips

With Cyber Monday less than a week around the corner, many online and retail companies are preparing their ads for this huge online shopping event. The pervasive question that comes to mind for every business owner during the holiday season is, “How can I entice shoppers to buy from me during this busy season?” A quick answer to that question is to make sure your online store is easy for users to navigate and to designate items for sale that people actually want to purchase as a gift.

According to the National Retail Federation, about half of holiday shopping and research for gifts will be done online this year. Along with that, about 47 percent of shoppers are looking for free shipping promotions when making their final purchase decision.

The following Cyber Monday digital marketing tips will allow your online store to stand out from the rest and increase sales:

Have a Dedicated Cyber Monday Landing Page with Product Promotions

One of the first things to do (by now you should already have this) is specify which products and special offers will be available for Cyber Monday. The best way to do this is to have a dedicated landing page on your website for Cyber Monday Deals.

Dedicated Pay Per Click Campaigns

Now that you have a landing page with all of your deals, promotion needs to take place. A combination of ad platforms would be the best way to promote your deals. This includes ads for Facebook, Google Adwords Search and Google Adwords Display.

Having Facebook retargeting ads enabled will also be a great way to get the attention of existing clients and followers who are already interested in your products.

Personalized Email Marketing Campaigns

Since this is the season for deals, consumers are looking at their emails more to find out who has the best offers. Now’s the time to create a dedicated email marketing campaign that promotes your Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Personalize these emails as much as possible to entice users to click on your message by segmenting out your email lists. Having dedicated lists for existing customers, shopping cart abandoned users, and past holiday customers will help you develop personalized subject lines.

Be Extra Social

Social media can be a great way to get your deals to potential and existing customers. Participating in Cyber Monday giveaways with a dedicated hashtag strategy will help promote your brand, as well as increase Cyber Monday sales. The great thing about giveaways is that everyone loves free stuff and has no problem sharing it with their friends.

Offer Free Shipping

Now is not the time to be stingy when it comes to sending your products to the customer. Consumers are looking specifically for free shipping offers this season. If the product they want to buy doesn’t qualify for free shipping, you could lose out on the sale, especially if a competitor is offering the same product with no shipping charges.

Create Exclusive Coupon Codes

Another way to promote your Cyber Monday deals is to have exclusive coupon codes for different campaigns in progress, such as social media, email marketing, and PPC. Each campaign should include a custom coupon code, which can also be used to track which campaign is most effective for a specific promotion.

Track Your Results for Next Year

Along with your coupon codes, there should be ecommerce tracking set up in your Google Analytics. This will help you understand which sources are providing the most sales during the holidays. Understanding your return on investment (ROI) will help you create more powerful campaigns for next year.

Closing Thoughts

Your online store should undoubtedly be taking advantage of Cyber Monday this year. To effectively promote your exclusive deals, it’s best to start teasing them early. However, promoting your deals this week can encourage your followers and potential customers to add your site to their Cyber Monday itinerary for awesome products at stellar rates.

Lacey Chic

Account Manager at Eminent SEO - Passionate About Digital Marketing. I love music, pitbulls, traveling, hiking, yoga, and learning.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterLinkedInGoogle Plus

How to Market During the Holidays: 2015 Edition

Market During The Holidays - Eminent SEO

If your company is going about its marketing efforts this holiday season in the same manner as it does the rest of the year, you’re doing it wrong. Not only are shoppers in a frenzy searching for presents for loved ones, but there are several days during the season that are designed to encourage consumers to open up their wallets.

If you’re the owner of a business or at the helm of a marketing team, you’re about to receive several ideas on how to tap into the holiday spending craze and make your company’s products or services stand out. Before we get to those suggestions, let’s rewind a bit and take a look at just how big the holiday season is when it comes to how much money is being tossed around.

Looking Back at the 2014 and Previous Holiday Seasons

Marketing and retail experts now consider the holiday shopping season to stretch from before Halloween to after New Year’s Day. In fact, an estimated 30 percent of shoppers begin their search for holiday presents before Halloween. However, when it comes to measuring retail dollars during the holiday season, the standard window is from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31.

Analytics firm comScore has been keeping a very close eye on U.S. holiday spending in recent years. In 2014, comScore found the total amount in retail sales during November and December was $838.9 billion, about 3.5 percent growth over the previous holiday season. Shoppers are expected to drop $885.7 billion during 2015’s holiday season, which would be a jump of about 5.7 percent from the same time frame in 2014.

Holiday Transactions via Desktop

To the surprise of almost no one, online sales are on the rise during the holiday season – although transactions at brick-and-mortar stores are still significant. In 2014, consumers spent just under $70 billion online during the holiday season. That was up almost $10 billion over the holiday period in 2013.

Shoppers used their home or work desktop computers to spend $53.3 billion during the 2014 holiday season.

The following chart illustrates the steady growth in desktop holiday transactions since 2010:

When you look at the hottest days for holiday purchases via desktop in 2014, all but one of the top 10 days fell in December. Cyber Monday won the individual day battle for the fifth straight year, according to comScore. The day after Cyber Monday (sometimes called Cyber Tuesday) came in second. Black Friday finished in just fourth place, one spot behind Green Monday (a term coined by eBay for a day that is one week after Cyber Monday).

The 2015 holiday season will have a bit of a wrinkle, however. As two of the hottest online shopping days should fall in November. Cyber Monday lands on Nov. 30 this year, with Black Friday coming on Nov. 27.

Mobile Holiday Season Sales

As you’re probably well aware, consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with making a purchase with just a couple of button presses on their mobile devices. According to an IBM report, mobiles sales constituted more than 22 percent of all online transactions during the holiday season in 2014. That was a jump of about 27 percent over the 2013 holiday period. Mobile holiday season sales are projected to surpass $36 billion in 2015 and skyrocket to more than $60 billion by 2019.

As you can see, it is ever so critical to make sure your business’s website is mobile-friendly. Every online asset that belongs to your company needs to be optimized for mobile. If some assets aren’t, you need to get somebody on the job, pronto. Don’t let your website sit with clunky mobile navigation and slow-loading pages this holiday season. That will ensure you miss out on your proper share of the billions of dollars that get poured into online purchases this time of the year.

Your Holiday Season Marketing Strategy

Now’s the time to bring your holiday-themed products to the forefront. If you don’t have any holiday-themed items, dig into your numbers and see which types of products or services tended to be more popular last holiday season. People are ready to spend money this time of the year, so you and your team have to prepare a consistent blitz on every channel available to you, including social media, email, digital ads and more.

Shoppers love specials, so now’s the time to mark down prices of your some of your products or services, and then you have to let online users know about it. At the very least, plan to slash some of your prices on the major spending days, such as Cyber Monday and Black Friday. You should have all promotions for those two days pinpointed at least the week before Black Friday, and be ready to send midnight emails on the day of those two shopping holidays. It’s also helpful to tease your promotions with an email or two starting exactly one week before Black Friday.

As for your website, you should benefit greatly from creating a dedicated landing page of holiday content, including the items that either pertain to the holidays or are going to be on discount during this time. You also might want to consider adding site-wide holiday design accents to show your celebration of the season, with sidebar or horizontal banners that take your visitors to either your holiday landing page or certain holiday-themed products or services. You may even want add holiday language to the meta data of certain pages on your site, specifically the ones of products or services that you’re really pushing during the season.

‘Tis the Season to not be Stingy

Shoppers are dropping some big bucks during the holiday season, so your business should too as you market during the holidays, especially if you’re trying to reel in some of those ready-to-spend consumers. Even if you’re not one to throw money at Facebook and Twitter ads, you’re definitely going to want to try it on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and perhaps a few of the other top shopping days listed above. Make it clear what good or service you have on special, and be sure to stress the urgency of the promotion.

If you want to go even further, set up pay-per-click campaigns through Google AdWords that lead to certain pages on your website (especially if you’ve created a holiday landing page). Banner display ads are also worth exploring, particularly if you have a talented graphic designer on staff who can deliver creatives that pertain to specific promotions you’re running during the season.

But What if I’m a Service Company?

If your company doesn’t offer tangible products and instead provides business-to-business and/or business-to-consumer services, it’s still possible to tap into the holiday shopping craze, even if you don’t have any offerings that directly apply to the season. If you’ve analyzed your sales over last year’s holiday season and even the ones before that, then you should arrive at a specific set of services that you want to feature and even mark down this time around.

Consider offering a gift card (even if it’s digital only) on your website. Even if a few of your website visitors during the holiday season decide they don’t need your services, they may have someone in mind that does. Thus, a gift card will come in handy. You may also want to look into going through an eCommerce marketplace like Groupon in order to offer one of your targeted services at an enticing rate to a large audience of consumers. On the days of the major shopping bursts, you obviously don’t have to promise your services on the same day, but you can lock in customers at a discounted rate for service you’ll provide later.

As a service provider, you might have to be a little more creative than retail stores and eCommerce sites are during the holiday season, but there’s no reason why your sales can’t spike during these two months in comparison to the rest of year. A focused marketing effort will put your company on the path to holiday success.

Don’t Stop at Christmas

As mentioned before, the holiday season doesn’t really stop once Christmas Day passes. Keep up your marketing push not only through New Year’s Day, which falls on a Friday in 2016, but through the weekend that follows. Use social media and email to stress that time is running out on select goods and services at special holiday rates.

You now know the hottest holiday shopping days, and hopefully you now have some ideas in mind on how you draw consumers to your business this season. Ultimately, your marketing plan will succeed if you understand, “What products or services do I have that will appeal to buyers this holiday season,” and “How can I best direct attention to these offerings.” It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, but hopefully you’ll figure out which tactics work best for your business. Best of luck to you and your team on making this holiday season shine brightest of all!

Need Help?

Do the suggested steps to succeed during holidays seem outside of your team’s capabilities internally? Eminent SEO can help your company excel this holiday season through our wide range of digital services, including custom email and social media campaigns, website improvements, mobile upgrades, landing page creation and more.

To find out more or get started today, just call: 800.871.4130.

Andrew Gilstrap

Content Manager at Eminent SEO - I enjoy writing, editing and photography. I'm here to make YOUR website read better and rank better!

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter

5 Signs of When to Stop or Redirect a Struggling Online Marketing Campaign

Struggling Online Marketing Campaign - Eminent SEO

Sometimes, the best-laid plans simply go awry.

This phenomenon is fairly common in the sometimes unpredictable world of marketing. Although businesses can measure most of their marketing efforts like never before, part of the process remains artful, especially in the planning stages.

Every marketing campaign comes with some degree of a chance for failure. Sometimes, the reasons why they failed are obvious. In other cases, the reasons are hard to pinpoint. The answer could be the campaign simply didn’t get a foothold in the public’s consciousness, whether due to timing or other external circumstances.

If your team is currently putting forth an online marketing campaign — such as pay-per-click, email or search engine optimization — here are five signs that it may be time to pull in the reins on the project, or at least hand over the responsibilities to an experienced marketing firm.

1. When You’ve Given it Sufficient Time

It takes a certain amount of patience with online marketing campaigns. Rarely are they fruitful right off the bat. You’ve got to give every piece of the campaign time to coalesce. In the case of SEO campaigns, for example, you may have to wait at least sixth months before you start seeing results.

Before you launch any online campaign, have a time-frame in mind for when you’ll draw down if the effort isn’t paying off. Once you hit that deadline, you should know if it’s worth letting the campaign play out for a little longer or if that’s when it’s time to call the troops home. Just be sure not to abort the mission before you’ve really given it enough time to show signs of success. By the same token, don’t be too proud to call a campaign off if it’s readily apparent that it’s just not going to provide the returns necessary to sustain itself.

2. When Your Adjustments Aren’t Moving the Needle

Even for campaigns that take longer to pay off, you should know fairly soon after launch if the effort is receiving some degree of reception and if it’s on track to succeed. You should know this because of the abundance of digital tools at your disposal to evaluate various aspects of the online campaign.

So, before giving up on the effort, try to make any necessary tweaks to the approach. For example, this could mean using different imagery or a different tone in the copy. Or, maybe you’re targeting the wrong keyword. Also, you can try doing A/B testing to see which variation is getting more traction. If you’ve made adjustments to the best of your ability but the campaign still isn’t significantly getting off the ground, that’s when there would be little shame in calling an end to the whole effort.

Before the campaign reaches the breaking point, you may want to give serious consideration to contacting a business-to-business marketing agency. Yes, it will be more money poured into the project, but the experts you hire should be able to turn the tide on the campaign, as they’ll likely have resources and expertise that goes beyond what you have internally. If you go this route, give the agency your full confidence and ask for frequent updates and key performance indicators.

3. When Your Execution Can’t Get any Better

Similar to making adjustments, if you and your team have all put forth their best efforts and the campaign is still floundering, then it may be time to throw up your hands and move on to the next project. Just make sure you’ve allowed sufficient time for each employee involved in the campaign to perform his or her relevant duties. You may even have to hire new talent internally for this initiative or delegate additional tasks to current employees after launch. If you’ve done all this and the online campaign is still in neutral, then there’s simply a problem with the campaign, and not necessarily with you or your staff. If you identified the issues early on but you and your team still can’t seem to get the campaign to break even, despite everybody’s best effort, this might be the point where you seek help from an outside marketing firm.

4. When You’re Consistently Seeing Negative ROI

One of the areas you want to keep your eye on throughout the campaign is the return on investment. Basically, is the amount of money you’re putting into the campaign equal to or less than what you’re seeing in sales and new customers?

It’s not uncommon to be in the red the first few weeks after launch. After all, investments are often expensive and are rarely recovered quickly. However, if the campaign has been active for several months and is consistently yielding negative ROI on measured intervals of your choosing, you should put a stop to it before it drains your business irreparably.

What if the campaign is in the black but falling well short of expectations? Keep it going, period. It may hugely pay off down the road. Even if it doesn’t, at least it’s eliciting a positive net ROI for your business. If this is happening with your online campaign and you’re still thinking about getting help from a marketing firm, a well-qualified team should be able to take what you have and provide a major boost, reaping sizable rewards for everyone involved.

5. When Other Strategies Are Succeeding

If you have other campaigns and business strategies in place that are succeeding, then it makes sense to ditch the one lagging behind. After all, why keep throwing good money after bad? Something to keep your head up about is if you have several other strategies that are “winning,” then it means your business model is solid. Unless you’ve created a PR nightmare for your company with an unsuccessful online campaign, then have no remorse about calling for an end to an initiative that isn’t working out. It happens to the best of companies.

Final Word

Just because one campaign falls short of the mark doesn’t mean your entire business is doomed. Maybe you patterned the online marketing campaign after what you saw another company do. However, what works for one business isn’t guaranteed for the next.

Don’t beat yourself up for one failed campaign. Collect yourself, get back to what you know your company does well, and build upon those strengths.

A Different Direction

If you have an online marketing campaign that is struggling but that you still think has a chance to thrive, you can turn to Eminent SEO for direction or to hand over the duties involved in the project. Our talented team has powered hundreds of successful online marketing campaigns (SEO, PPC, social media, link acquisition, and more) for clients all over the U.S., starting either from scratch or mid-campaign. We know how to address areas of need, plus we always provide full KPI (key performance indicators) reports to keep you in the loop on the latest results of the campaign. If you’re ready for help or you just want to learn more, call Eminent SEO today: 1-800-871-4130.

Andrew Gilstrap

Content Manager at Eminent SEO - I enjoy writing, editing and photography. I'm here to make YOUR website read better and rank better!

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter

Ad Blocking is Changing up the Marketing Game

Ad Blocking Changing Marketing - Advertising - Eminent SEO

We all hate invasive advertisements when we’re browsing online. Well, most of us do. Companies behind the advertisements are putting themselves out there in hopes of making a profit on their ad spend. On the other side of the coin, some websites rely on the revenue that comes not from advertising themselves elsewhere, but on hosting ads from other companies.

At the time of this writing, Hubspot Blogs is featuring a survey on its site that asks, “Which Type of Ad is Most Annoying?” The choices are:

  • Auto-playing online video ads
  • Direct mail advertisements or promotions
  • Pop-up online ads
  • Sponsored Twitter ads
  • Television commercials

The overwhelming top choice at this time is auto-playing online videos, with about 60 percent of the vote. In second place, pop-up online ads currently has been clicked on 23 percent of the time. At the moment, Twitter ads and television commercials seem to bother users the least, according to the poll.

So, yes, most of us seem to loathe advertisements, but the HubSpot survey doesn’t really get at what percentage of us feel this way. A recent report by PageFair and Adobe sheds light on how many people claim to be annoyed by online advertising, as well how many people are using ad-blocking extensions and how they’re impacting the advertising industry.

Why Users are Blocking Ads, if at All

The PageFair-Adobe report included the results of a survey of 400 people in the U.S. Surprisingly, about 1 in 4 respondents between the ages of 35 and 49 who aren’t currently blocking ads said they have no plans to ever start using ad-blocking software. However, of those who aren’t blocking ads now but may do so in the future, half of them said the misuse of personal information to customize the ads would be their primary reason to start using a software that blocks such solicitations. The millennials in that non-ad-blocking group said that a sheer increase in the number of ads would be their top reason for eventually taking advantage of a blocking software.

The Rise of Ad-Blocking Extensions, even on Mobile Devices

The same report said ad block usage in the U.S. had increased 48 percent year-over-year, reaching 45 million monthly active users during the second quarter of 2015. The rise of Google Chrome usage played a big part in this, as it is easy to install an ad-blocking extension on the browser. The survey found that ad block usage on Chrome jumped 51 percent from the second quarter of 2014 to the second quarter of 2015. Ad block usage on Firefox increased during that time by 17 percent. What’s ironic is that many ad-blocking extensions can filter out pay-per-click ads in Google search, all while more users are browsing with Google Chrome and taking advantage of such an extension.

Ad blocking on mobile devices is underdeveloped, but is expected to become more of a force in the near future. The App Store on Apple phones first introduced several ad-blocking applications when iOS 9 rolled out this year. The PageFair-Adobe report said Firefox and Chrome currently comprise 93 percent of all mobile ad blocking, but that not a large percentage of overall mobile users have an ad-blocking feature enabled on their devices at this time. Presently, mobile Chrome users can manually install the AdBlock Plus app to stop seeing most or all online advertisements, although the app is no longer available in Google’s Play Store.

What Ad Blocking is Costing the Advertising Industry

Ad-blocking software has completely shaken up the advertising industry. The PageFair-Adobe study found that ad-blocking extensions will cause an estimated loss in revenue globally of $21.8 billion in 2015.

It’s only going to get worse. The report estimates that lost advertising revenue will jump to $41.4 billion in 2016. In the United States alone, the estimated figures of lost revenue from 2014 to 2016 are as follows:

  • 2014: loss of $5.8 billion
  • 2015: loss of $10.7 billion
  • 2016: loss of $20.3 billion

AdBlock and Adblock Plus (no relation) are the most popular browser plug-ins of their kind. A new app for Apple mobile devices, Been Choice, claims to block in-app advertisements, too, even in Facebook’s mobile application. Watch out, advertisers.

How to Combat Loss of Revenue from Ad Blocking

Many websites generate revenue by hosting ads and getting paid per number of impressions. Even if nobody is clicking on a certain ad, the website could still be raking in some revenue if it attracts a high volume of traffic. When visitors to the site have ad blocking enabled, that usually means an impression is lost. Thus, revenue is lost.

So, how do companies that rely on advertising adjust to this wave of ad block popularity? Some webmasters have taken extreme measures such as coding their sites in ways that withholds content until visitors disable any ad-blocking extensions. Other companies, large ones such as Google and Twitter, have been approached by Adblock Plus to become a part of its “Acceptable Ads” program, which means the extension has the ability to overlook ads on certain domains, especially ones that belong to preferred partners.

When all else fails, there’s always good ol’ SEO. If you rely on advertising to drive traffic to your website and increase sales opportunities, you don’t necessarily have to ditch any ongoing PPC campaigns, but now’s the time to ramp up the optimization of your website. There is a litany of elements that goes into optimizing a site for organic traffic. Below is just a sampling of the SEO-related steps you should take:

It’s Time to Optimize

In short, you should focus on making your website into all-around strong user experience, which includes engaging content and clear-cut navigation. Search engine optimization is a complex and ongoing process, and not every company is equipped to keep up with it effectively. Therefore, it never hurts to turn your SEO duties over to a marketing firm that specializes in the trade. Eminent SEO is a full-service digital marketing firm that has bolstered the traffic and conversions of thousands of websites. Click here to learn more about our SEO services or call us today at 800-871-4130.

Andrew Gilstrap

Content Manager at Eminent SEO - I enjoy writing, editing and photography. I'm here to make YOUR website read better and rank better!

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter

The Differing Strategies of B2C and B2B Sales and Marketing

Differences Between B2B And B2C Companies - ESEO
A sale is a sale. You may have different ways of getting there, but as long as you make the intended sale, the means of getting there hardly matter, right?

Well, if you’d like to consistently make more of those sales, understanding your target market and the best strategies to employ are going to be imperative. First of all, are you hoping to sell a specific product or service to another business, or is your product for mass consumption? In other words, are you in a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) organization?

If you’re not sure, you’d better figure it out pretty quickly. But, you probably do know, so let’s get deeper into the differences between the two outlooks. Keep reading to find out how the strategies of B2B and B2C companies differ when it comes to marketing and ultimately making a sale.

The Target Markets of B2C and B2B Companies

B2B-oriented companies usually boast a specific offering or set of offerings, and, therefore, they tend to have a narrow, highly targeted audience. For example, a company that produces large medical machinery will likely target hospitals and perhaps some private practices. There’s no reason a business of this sort would market to individual consumers, who would have no need for these appliances at home.

B2C businesses, however, usually market to a large audience of individual consumers. While there are ways to home in on a more-focused audience, these companies generally have to market in a way that has mass appeal. Some companies design products with a specific end user in mind, while others churn out products that are really for anybody and everybody. Whichever type of business it is, it’s all about making that sale and keeping revenue coming in.

The Logical Vs. Emotional Appeal

Although B2B and B2C companies both want to offer a product that solves a customer’s problem, the paths they take to get there are often very dissimilar. When it comes to B2B sales, companies generally make a logical appeal to try to sell to other businesses. These organizations put more time into building relationships and providing educational resources, hoping those efforts will elicit a sale. B2B firms tend to offer products or services that are more complex and expensive than what B2C companies provide, but the former group must spend more time educating prospective clients how the product can help their business.

A prime example of how to market a B2B business is the social media agency Social Quant, which actually focuses exclusively on Twitter. Many businesses are on Twitter, but many businesses don’t know how to use Twitter, especially when it comes to building a high-quality following. That’s where Social Quant comes in.

The Twitter-focused agency doesn’t spend all of its time making a pitch for its services, though. Its blog posts and eBooks offer innumerable tips on how to use Twitter, which any user (business or individual) can benefit from. Ultimately, Social Quant is educating the public and building up a certain level of trust that will eventually lead to a few businesses inquiring about social media help. The company’s useful advice is available to anyone, but when it comes time to who’s going to pay their bills, it’s other businesses who have taken the relationship one step further.

Meanwhile, B2C businesses generally don’t spend as much time schmoozing a client and building a relationship prior to the initial sale. Instead, the marketing departments of B2C companies often make an emotional appeal to consumers, hoping that their products provide some kind of instant gratification to the buyer. Building a relationship in this case consists of offering a trustworthy product that consumers buy over and over, or on which they stock up at one time. B2C companies need to focus on providing great customer service, concise education and special deals so they can flourish and earn repeat business.

Check out the emotional appeal and attention-grabbing strategies at work in a commercial released earlier this year by a B2C company, Hefty.


Similar to Super Bowl commercials, the concept of this ad has just a faint connection to the product being peddled, but Hefty has successfully grabbed the viewer’s full attention while helping build brand recognition. They’re probably hoping that you’ll equate the quality of the commercial to the quality of their products. This type of ad should appeal to a wide age range, as well. Next time you’re in the grocery store, you may just opt to buy some Hefty plastic cups over those ubiquitous red Solo cups, and Hefty’s hilarious commercial may have something to do with it, overtly or subliminally.

Differing Sales Cycles

As a rule of thumb, B2C companies operate on a short sales cycle. They need to catch a consumer’s eye and perhaps provide a quick bit of education prior to the point of purchase. Additionally, if they want repeat buyers, they’d better offer a product that the customer enjoys. For example, if a company makes an all-natural food products that sits on a shelf in the store next to similar items, that company needs to have packaging and even some quick literature (such as, “Why is all-natural better?”) that piques the buyer’s interest. Most consumers make purchases from B2C-oriented companies every week, even daily, and many of them are made with little prior research, if not on a whim.

On the other hand, B2B organizations operate on a long sales cycle, sometimes taking several months before turning a lead into a sale. In these situations, businesses have to be vigilant in nurturing a relationship through the entirety of the sales cycle, building brand loyalty along the way. From initial engagement to the point of purchase, B2B companies need to continually educate and hold a lead’s interest, making sure the prospect doesn’t develop cold feet or disillusionment with the process prior to the final sell.

In Conclusion

No matter if you work in a B2B or B2C company, you must start to develop an idea on your ideal buyer, how long it typically takes to make the sale and what motivates the buyer to purchase from you. There is some crossover between the two types of companies, and some businesses do a little bit of both (selling to individual consumers and other businesses), but any organization ultimately will thrive if it understands its audience and figures out how to market to them accordingly. For any skilled marketer making a job move, the transition from a B2B firm to a B2C company (or vice-versa) probably shouldn’t be too difficult, but there certainly are separate techniques to master, and it’s best to know the differences ahead of time.

Andrew Gilstrap

Content Manager at Eminent SEO - I enjoy writing, editing and photography. I'm here to make YOUR website read better and rank better!

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter

Why Your Sales and Marketing Team Should be Well Versed with Inbound Marketing

This entry was posted in Marketing and tagged , on by .

Inbound Marketing

With the way consumers are buying products and services today, businesses should be changing the way they market to those consumers. Creating a long-term relationship with a customer is how businesses are approaching their sales and marketing strategies because it is one of the most effective ways to increase sales.

Inbound marketing focuses on attracting qualified website visitors, nurturing those visitors with high quality content, converting visitors into leads, and delighting the leads to become loyal customers. Leveraging SEO, social media, blogging, landing pages, website calls to action, and email marketing will help increase the traffic to your website and nurture the traffic to convert into leads. Your sales and marketing team will need to understand this process in order to help grow your business.

Reasons Why Your Sales and Marketing Team Need to Know and Practice Inbound Marketing:

Because It’s Cheaper Than Traditional Marketing

According to HubSpot, the average cost per lead from inbound marketing versus outbound marketing is 62% lower.

If you are still spending a large part of your marketing budget on direct mail or banner ads, you might want to re-evaluate the return on investment for those marketing outlets. Interruption marketing is a technique of the past and is continuing to fade out more each year.

Because Cold Calling Doesn’t Work

Cold calling can be extremely uncomfortable for those who are doing it. It’s awkward, especially if you don’t have an existing connection with the prospect. According to Business Insider, if your sales team calls 1,000 prospects, only 345 will actually return their calls if there is not an existing connection with the company. If there is an existing connection, 849 of those prospects will call back. Developing a relationship with a prospect is much more important than wasting time calling them right away. To build up a relationship you can easily request a connection on LinkedIn where your blog posts are shared. If they’re interested in your content, they will subscribe to your blog where they can continue to be informed.

Email marketing is a great substitute for cold calling because you can easily set up workflows in your system to automatically email subscribers with your latest and greatest content such as: latest industry news, blog posts, eBooks and case studies. When subscribers start becoming more interested in your content, they are transformed into a qualified lead. That’s when you can pick up the phone and call because you’ve already established that connection with your content.

Because Half of Online Shoppers Use a Search Engine to Shop

According to HubSpot, 44% of online shoppers will begin their product search with a search engine.

If your website isn’t ranking for the keywords your consumers would be searching, your business is missing out on a tremendous opportunity for sales. SEO is a large part of inbound marketing because it helps attract those searching for your product and leads them to your website. Your website should be optimized with valuable content to show off your unique selling proposition. In order to keep visitors engaged, your website should also have a call to action for users to take on each page. By having engaged website visitors, your website will easily be able to turn those visitors into subscribers and leads.

Because Social Media Helps Develop Business Relationships

According to HubSpot, social media produces 100% lead to close rate in comparison to outbound marketing.

Social media is a great way to stay connected with existing clients and also build up new relationships. You can easily leverage social networks to directly connect with other organizations in your area, develop potential partnerships in your industry, stay in front of existing clients, and share your content to attract new leads interested in your business. Social media is a great way to share your brand messaging with your audience. It’s also great for SEO since search engines love crawling fresh content and social signals are a plus.

Because Blogging Increases Organic Traffic and Leads

According to BlogHer, 61% of online consumers from the United States have purchased something based off of a blog recommendation.

Businesses who blog not only become the expert in their industry, but they attract potential customers. Blogging, SEO, social media all work together to attract and nurture leads. By blogging regularly, your website will have fresh content which is better for search engine crawlability, and your content will create buzz for social posts. That buzz could lead to helping your target demographic make a purchase decision. The blog will build trust and when it’s time to buy, they will trust your brand because your content showcases your industry expertise.

Because It’s 2015

We’re living in a digital age. Your sales and marketing team should be well-versed with today’s marketing trends and how consumers are buying. If your business is still mainly focused on outbound marketing and has not transformed into the new age of technology and consumer purchasing, your business won’t be able attract as many new sales as it could be. It’s okay if you don’t understand the new age of marketing because there are companies who can help that do this every day (Eminent SEO).

Bottom Line

When your sales and marketing team understand this process, your business should be able to easily attract qualified leads. Your marketing team is responsible for the content strategies while your sales team is responsible for nurturing the leads from the content strategies. Start thinking about the future of your business by incorporating this strategy for your team. You won’t be disappointed with the results.

Ready to transform your business? Call our inbound marketing experts today to get started: 800.871.4130

Lacey Chic

Account Manager at Eminent SEO - Passionate About Digital Marketing. I love music, pitbulls, traveling, hiking, yoga, and learning.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterLinkedInGoogle Plus