Tag Archives: Marketing Budgets

How Businesses Are Wasting Money on Marketing That Doesn’t Work

This entry was posted on by .

Businesses Are Wasting Their Money Marketing That Doesn't Work - Eminent SEO

This is probably the conversation I have the most frequently with marketing industry peers and clients. It is just a repetitive chat; the subject gets people animated, agitated, confused and eyes-bulging, vein-popping frustrated. Why? Because nobody listens.

Here’s one note of caution for starters: If you think you know marketing because of a Google search or two, you don’t know squat!

Marketing and Sales People Are the Biggest Suckers on the Planet

We’re in this conundrum together – because there isn’t one answer on how to do marketing. Instead, it’s essential that you understand the options and how they work together (or fail).

Even with the best industry gurus on your side, watching the SEO analysis month over month and staying current with the latest Google and Facebook algorithm shifts, there are no guarantees that your creative campaigns or media placements are going to work. Depressed yet?

Here’s what I can tell you. Marketing, just like people, shifts. What works today can be gone with the wind of tomorrow’s latest and greatest trend. Yaaass. This business is not for the emotionally thin-skinned. In other words, grow a pair, do some due diligence and have fun.

Beware of Snake Oil Yes Men (and Women) That Guarantee Anything

Recently, I had a client call me on the phone (old school, I know) to share his excitement. He’s got a handful of websites and just got a call from this guy in Chicago who swears he can deliver a branded TV commercial and media placement on 30 some odd stations. Wait for it… all for 1,000 bucks.

You’re laughing, right? It gets better. This guy also says he will guarantee 300 leads, calls that will go directly to my client’s call center.

Remember what I said earlier about there being no guarantees? Yeah. It applies here. So I called the guy in Chicago. I told him that if he wanted to swear to God that 300 leads are guaranteed, it was on him. I wouldn’t bet on that and I don’t think the Lord would appreciate being the brunt of a wager in futility.

How did I call him out? With one easy question: “Can you send me the list of media channels where the commercial will run?” I asked with a snarky smile. He replied, “No.”

This was a sketchy operation with phony leads that would undoubtedly go nowhere. Trust (sort of), then verify. Works like a charm.

Businesses are wasting money on #marketing because they do not think QUALITY over QUANTITY.Click To Tweet

Secret Keywords Are Like a Losing Game of Hide and Seek

Ever since Google has been cracking down on those who try to outsmart it (some do so successfully, but it’s temporary) one such solution appears as a “miracle grow” for SEO rankings. Watch out for the companies that say they will boost your presence by using targeted keywords strategically placed and hidden within your fine print of terms and conditions or right-hand-side testimonial content, for example.

Do really you think this is smarter than the peeps and tech that crawl websites for Google? Naw, probably not.

Marketing That Doesn’t Work: More Isn’t Mo’ Better

Marketing Tactics To Use In 2018 Keywords Video Content - Eminent SEOOverconsumption comes by us honestly. We’re Americans. It’s what we do. While some people have an issue with taking in excessive amounts of food, alcohol, drugs, toxic relationships or shoes (yes, shoes), many business owners believe that a handful of websites to represent their product offerings are better than just one.

Moreover, these duplicate (basically that’s what they are) sites house essentially the same content as one another. Not only is this so passé and ineffective; it’s naughty.

Why the marketing tactics mentioned so far don’t work isn’t just about cheesing up our industry standards. Our core audience detests it. Millennials are now the largest group of consumers. If your business doesn’t understand this audience, you might as well hang it up right now.

If you’d rather get a clue as to what you should be doing to get their appeal and more accolades for your product or service, keep reading.

Pander (I Mean Cater) to Your Audience

Millennials can be cruel. Maybe not cruel, but brutally honest. They don’t understand the merits of privacy (thank you MySpace, and now Twitter and Facebook) and believe that everything is subject to discussion, rant and opinion on the web. If your product or service doesn’t cut it, you’ll know, quickly. Here’s what to do to angle it all in your favor.

Invite the Criticism

Take a deep breath. Swallow that lump of insecurity in your throat. Be bold enough on social media to have a unique presence and put posts out there that speak to who you are and what you stand for. Take the heat that comes.

Pay attention; it’s the most inexpensive way to get an understanding of what’s working or not…and it’s ideal for discovering gaping holes of opportunity. Although, social media is not the place for ongoing product pitches. It’s about having a personality and building a following.

Make Millennials Matter

Leveraging the right social media platforms is essential to owning the millennial market. How you position your profiles is even more important. Make sure your content doesn’t talk down to them, as it needs to include them.

Position this audience as instrumental in your success. They must be part of your conversation. If your brand strategy allows them to lead the conversation, that’s golden.

Create the Experience

Product and services aren’t flat surfaces (though many smart devices are pretty close). The world isn’t flat either; it’s full of dimension. Enter marketing and editorial content.

What resonates with people today is a full-bodied experience with your product, service or brand. It taps on the emotion, the most powerful place your marketing can target. People may not remember what you said or did, but it’s how you made them feel that matters.

Provide Information That’s Unique and Individually Topical

The definition of an information junkie = millennial. From their childhood, web surfing was the only way to get the answers they needed. Ask a question of their parents, and “Google it” was the go-to response. As such, the information you put out must be accurate, relevant and thought-provoking, which gives them a reason to investigate further (they will) and respond.

Build Your Brand with Integrity That Is Globally Relevant

Long gone are the days where providing a free product offering would win over potential customers. Today’s consumers are cynical, and for good reason. With the onslaught of cyber theft and security breaches, people understand that if it says it’s free, there’s probably a cost.

If your product or service doesn’t provide global impact by its very existence, then your company brand should. If it doesn’t – to a millennial – you don’t exist.

Top 6 Marketing Angles Worth the Expense

Sales, web development and marketing firms will try to entice you into needing what they offer. With all the choices, it’s difficult to discern between necessity and fluff. Use this list of must-haves to position the marketing of your business well.

2018 marketing angles that work:

  • Quality content – original copywriting and optimized alt tags for imagery should rank organically
  • Video often – boosts viewership and experiential marketing
  • Cause marketing – brands your business with emotional substance
  • Niche campaigns – all media outlets, segment your audiences
  • Embrace the screens – use cross-channel marketing to increase impressions
  • Long-phrase keywords – catches the low-hanging fruit of search engines

Final Thought on Marketing to Your Audience

Not every business can claim millennials as its target audience. True. However, early adapters of web use and the culture of instant gratification aren’t merely for the young. This is how every generation under 65 years of age consumes.

Today, we are all millennials. Your marketing efforts need to align with our new, collective behavior.

See How to Appeal to Generation Z Online

Avatar for Melanie Stern

Melanie Stern

Looking at the world through word-colored glasses, I am continuously in awe of how we evolve as people in business. We strive to communicate in a direct approach and, when we see fit, through subliminal channels. As a content strategist, I look forward to sharing all perspectives to help entertain, enlighten and engage more in others.

More Posts

Follow Me:

Vol. 72: Giving Thanks for Huge 2018 Marketing Budgets

This entry was posted on by .

Eminent SEO Newsletter Vol 72 November 2017

How Will You Spend Your Marketing Dollars in 2018?

As we’re preparing for the holidays, we’re giving thanks for all we’ve accomplished and all the new clients we’ve brought on board in 2017.

But we’re also looking ahead to 2018, and we’re encouraging companies to invest enough in marketing and advertising in order to grow their respective brands and generate more sales.

Jenny Stradling Eminent SEO CEOJenny Stradling, CEO of Eminent SEO, says:

“This is my favorite time of the year. There’s such a good energy that comes with holiday preparations and celebrations. If you need help preparing your clients’ websites and marketing campaigns for the holidays, it is not too late! We can refresh content, launch a new Facebook ad campaign and offer dozens of other services to help your clients meet their goals this holiday season.”

Related Industry Links

There were some major players on the move and established companies acquired by industry giants in October. Here is a quick recap of the major moves:

  • Speaking of Google, the search engine giant has acquired Relay Media to convert ordinary web pages to the AMP format.

Business & Marketing Tips

How have marketing budgets changed from 1980 to 2017? Businesses are pouring less money into TV, radio and print ads while taking advantage of newer outlets such as social media paid ads and PPC/Google AdWords.

Here’s a visual representation of the evolution of modern marketing:

Marketing Budgets Evolution 1980 To 2017 - Eminent SEO

Highlights from the Eminent SEO Blog

As marketing continues to evolve, the way agencies interact with their clients will change, too. More transparency, flexible deliverables and realistic expectations will be among the newest developments.

Read more…

The Marketing Agency of 2020 A New Paradigm Is Around the Corner

Here’s some advice we all could use: how to stop your desk job from impacting your health beyond repair. Let’s look at the 5 ways office jobs harm your health, plus 8 tips on how to mitigate the damage.

Read more…

How To Stop Desk Job From Killing You 8 Tips - Eminent SEO

Want to stay in touch with us prior to the next newsletter edition? Visit our blog or find us on social media by using the icons below.

Avatar for Team Eminent SEO

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:

Vol 69: Complacency Kills in the Ever-Changing Digital Marketing Industry

This entry was posted on by .

What’s New at Eminent SEO?

Getting Ready To Launch Max Rocket - Eminent SEOIt’s a time of growth here at Eminent SEO. We’re close to launching our website makeover, and that’s just the start of what we’re cooking up for the rest of 2017.

We’re also expanding our marketing capabilities by bringing on talented new creators, aiming to do even bigger and better things for our clients.

Speaking to our growth, our CEO Jenny Stradling pointed out that:

“Our ability to test, track and make real-time adjustments to our marketing strategies and websites has been the key to our success.

“You have to be flexible. You must have the ability to grow. This may seem simple enough, but plenty of companies miss it. With SEO and PPC, it’s evolve or die.”

With that in mind, this month’s newsletter will touch on business growth topics and how digital marketing can help your company stay relevant in a rapidly changing digital world.

Your Industry News Roundup

The idea of “growth” is a broad concept that can mean very different things to different organizations. For some, growth may mean bringing on more qualified specialists to the team. For others, growth may merely be measured by a change in revenue.

Regardless of your definition of growth, digital marketing is bound to play a major role in the following ways:

  • Expanding your customer base (the right way) is an integral part of business growth. (Search Engine Journal)
  • Aligning SEO data with social media is necessary for brands seeking relevance in the digital age. (Marketing Land)
  • The best way to think about SEO is as a business investment, not a luxury. (Forbes)

Business and Marketing Tips

This may seem like a no-brainer, but the ways that marketers are spending their budgets have changed drastically over the past four decades. The changes reflect considerable shifts in consumer behaviors, particularly the shrinking relevance of television, radio and direct mail.

Want access to more marketing tips and shareable assets? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter by entering your email address directly below.

Related Blog Articles

You’ll find more useful tidbits in these recent blog articles from Eminent SEO. We hope our latest discussions about SEO and digital marketing inspire you to shake up your strategy for business growth:

See You Next Month!

We really appreciate your taking the time to read our newsletter each month. It’s our sincerest hope that these tips and strategies are a big help to you and your organization.

Please reach out to us if you have more questions about optimizing your web presence. You can also keep an eye out for our September newsletter for even more helpful input from Eminent SEO.

Avatar for Team Eminent SEO

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:

The Marketing Agency of 2020: A New Paradigm Is Around the Corner

This entry was posted on by .

The Marketing Agency of 2020 A New Paradigm Is Around the Corner

As the next decade approaches, the relationship between marketing agencies and their clients is evolving. On the surface, the goals of marketing agencies and their clients are the same: to attract more leads, customers and sales for the client. But when you look past shared good intentions and see how the traditional agency-client relationship operates, you’ll see that what incentivizes them is often at odds.

Let’s take a look at what savvy marketing directors and business owners need to consider as they evaluate their current agency providers and seek to maximize their marketing investment in 2020 and beyond.

The Old Paradigm: We’re In This Together … Mostly

In the current model, marketing agencies are contracted to do X amount of work per month, or to complete a project-based contract such as a new website or product launch. The model is deliverables-focused. Why? Because an agency has to know what they’re producing and how much they’re getting paid for it in order to manage costs and logistics.

Clients, on the other hand, are results-focused. They’re less concerned with how many blog posts or emails or social posts their agency produced this month and more focused on how many leads and sales they got from their investment.

After all, the whole point of marketing is to drive sales. For the client, marketing key performance indicators (KPIs) are leads and conversions. So ideally, from the client perspective, an agency should be compensated based on KPI results that prove the investment with the agency was worthwhile. And in a way, that’s what’s happening already, since a client isn’t going to renew their contract if they’re not seeing results.

Agencies know this, and they want to get results for their clients, both so they can keep the contract and because they take pride in their work. But there are a few challenges that make it difficult to realistically hold agencies fully accountable for KPI results.

Challenge #1: Factors beyond the control of the agency can influence results.

The fact is not all the factors that result in leads and conversions can be controlled by the agency. In most cases, the client has in-house marketing staff that is also partially responsible for meeting KPIs. There might be other agencies or contractors who also make contributions. Most marketers are too busy implementing projects to do the work of tracking who gets credit for what. Market fluctuations independent of the agency or the client also influence results.

There’s always a certain amount of risk in business: You come up with a great idea, you try it, and then you find out if it works … or doesn’t. And sometimes it doesn’t, despite the best intentions and hard work of everyone involved.

While agencies can promise to put their best effort into a project, they can’t guarantee it will have the desired result. This leads agencies to be focused on the thing they know they can guarantee: deliverables.

Because of this reality, it’s important that clients and agencies talk openly about what is and is not in the control of the agency, and the client.

Challenge #2: Results can take time to manifest.

Especially in today’s content-saturated marketplace, both online and offline, it can take months or even years to break through the noise and show up consistently enough to gain the trust of consumers. Oftentimes, clients will jump ship before campaigns have had enough time to gain traction. On the other hand, some companies keep doing the same thing over and over, hoping to see results that never come.

So clients and agencies need to begin their conversations not just by setting goals, but also by having a candid discussion about:

  1. How long a campaign will be given to achieve results
  2. How much money the client is really willing to invest in a project (it almost always takes longer and costs more than you think it will).

There are usually many more great ideas than there are resources to implement them, so clearly defining the top priorities is essential for managing budget and expectations. Investing in a few assets and giving them adequate time to produce results is usually a superior tactic compared to trying to do everything right away.

Challenge #3: Innovation is risky.

Clients want agencies to be innovative and come to them with out-of-the-box ideas … but those types of ideas are risky and don’t always work. If an agency’s compensation is tied to results, then it isn’t necessarily in the agency’s best interests to take risks. This happens with in-house marketing teams as well. By default, everyone is incentivized to play it safe. This also reinforces an emphasis on deliverables.

If clients want their agency to come to them with innovative ideas, it’s important to talk up front about how the risk will be handled, keeping in mind that both parties have to maintain profitability.

It’s also wise to have a process in place for vetting and prioritizing innovative ideas, and making sure there is a balanced mix of tried-and-true strategies with new strategies being implemented.

The New Paradigm: Fully Aligned Marketing Agency and Client Interests

Strong Agency-Client Relationships Thrive On 4 Principles - Eminent SEOTo overcome these challenges and become truly aligned, marketing agencies and their clients need to focus on improving communication and expectations in four key areas:

1. Realistic Expectations Regarding Results-Based Performance Metrics and Goals

As mentioned previously, it’s important at the beginning of an agency-client relationship to:

  1. Clearly define the client’s KPI goals
  2. Discuss realistic timelines and budgets to achieve those goals
  3. Clearly identify who has control over what (and which factors are out of both the client and agency’s control)
  4. Make sure the correct metrics are being measured

It’s important to discuss which metrics will be tracked, what information can be gleaned from those numbers, and ensure that those metrics directly influence or result from the big picture marketing goals. Just because a metric is available does not necessarily mean it is valuable.

2. Monthly Budgets with Flexible Deliverables

There are some tasks that need to be done regularly each month, and there are times when flexibility is needed to capitalize on timely opportunities. At Eminent SEO, we often see opportunities we can take advantage of on behalf of our clients, but sometimes it’s not in the budget.

For this reason, we’ve begun working up front with clients to establish flexible budgets that can be used for a default deliverable, such as weekly blog posts, but which can also be channeled (in whole or part) into another area if a better use for that budget presents itself. For clients with limited budgets, the entire budget may be flexible, each month focusing on the next priority in the queue, starting with the low-hanging fruit.

This allows us to pivot quickly based on sound strategy, take full advantage of the creativity of our team, and keep everyone alert for opportunities to make the most of our client’s marketing dollars.

3. Collaboration and Mutual Respect for Multiple Perspectives

In-house marketing staff members are experts on the company brand and immersed in the day-to-day reality of their industry. This gives them an insider perspective, yet it can also make it difficult for them to see their organization the way others do. Agencies provide a valuable outside perspective that can help identify opportunities to hone messages and marketing activities.

Close collaboration between the agency, the client’s in-house team and any outside contractors is essential in order to achieve success without tripping over one another and working at cross purposes.

Within an agency, there should be team members who are experts in the client’s brand and voice, so that the client doesn’t have to expend resources redoing work submitted by the agency. At Eminent SEO, we have our writers, designers and strategists assigned to cross-functional teams that specialize in messaging and production for each client we serve.

4. Balance of Risk-Taking and Safe Marketing Methods

Do you want your agency to manage your day-to-day marketing activities, implement innovative new campaigns, or both?

Clients who answer this question up front and communicate it to their agency will see better results from their agency because it sets clear expectations. Consider the following:

  1. Manage day-to-day marketing activities – Success is measured by high-quality work delivered consistently on schedule, using techniques that are already known to be effective.
  2. Drive innovation – Success is measured by finding new tactics that get results, with the understanding that there will be more failures than successes, but that successful new tactics can be amplified over time by moving investment into those areas.
  3. Both maintenance and innovation – Separating agency activity into separate budgets for routine work and innovative work allows for more accurate tracking and expectations of ROI.

Together at Last

It’s natural for a client to expect its marketing agency to be accountable for results. By shifting to a more collaborative approach in setting expectations, and working with an agency like Eminent SEO that takes this same collaborative approach, clients are more likely to see the results they’re looking for, including:

  • Agency efforts aligned with client’s business goals
  • Clear expectations for all involved
  • More effective use of marketing budget
  • Results-oriented reporting
  • Increased innovation
  • Faster response to market opportunities
  • Stronger working relationship

Read more about price-structure flexibility and six other traits of an evolving marketing agency:

More on the Marketing Agency of the Future

Avatar for Sara Korn

Sara Korn

Finding creative ways to give both readers and clients what they want is why I love being a writer! As a Content Strategist at Eminent SEO, I listen to clients and put myself in the shoes of their customers to create compelling marketing messages that drive engagement.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:

Social Media Takeover: How the Wrong Social Media Strategy Can Drain Your Marketing Budget

This entry was posted on by .

Wrong Social Media Strategy Can Cost You Thousands - Eminent SEO

When we’re living in an era when you can legitimately put a profession such as “Instagram Model” on a resúmé, you know just how powerful a tool social media can be. A once-lonely and overlooked high school girl can instantly turn famous by clicking, posting and creating a massive following. Just like that, she’s a business.

Well, it doesn’t quite work the same if your goal is to grow your business, put money in the bank, maintain a reputation and expand. What too many businesses don’t understand is how the wrong social media strategy can cost them thousands of potential dollars.

So, Where’s the Disconnect Here?

The internet age is actually still in its infancy, but it’s growing and maturing at lightning speed. It’s seemingly impossible to keep up with the amount of information that is constantly generated, no matter how valuable. There’s simply too much.

Additionally, there is a general naivety and lack of awareness about the power of social media and exactly how to use it to generate revenue. Many business owners don’t even know that an actual strategy is needed in social media to accomplish their business goals.

Every click, like, share, comment or request is all potential dollars for your growing business. Using the right social media platform and reaching out to your niche audience are what most businesses fail to comprehend. Instead, they use the wrong social media platform and cater to the wrong audience.

Your goal is to engage with your audience frequently enough to build the type of relationship that will foster loyalty and support your business.

It’s Always Best to Work Smarter, Not Harder

Money Down The Drain - Eminent SEOSocial media is a game and a precise strategy needs to be involved. There are rules to play by if you want to win. It’s not good enough to just show up on the sidelines and expect to get a trophy. You have to get in there, know your opponent, and then play better and harder.

Wasting your time Instagramming when you should be Facebooking can cost you labor dollars and decrease your online exposure – and eventually your ROI. This is why narrowing down your niche audience is so important. Snapchat is used by a much different generation and demographic than Facebook or even Instagram, and you certainly don’t want to waste your time and efforts on the wrong platform.

Don’t Be Afraid to Pull the Trigger!

Now let’s take a closer look at what evaluating a social media strategy looks like for an agency. Let’s say a client was a trendy new yoga studio located just outside of a major city. The social media agency may start with posting content on general health, wellness, the benefits of yoga, etc. to multiple social platforms. The marketers begin to notice that there are very few “likes,” comments and share on all of their posts.

The agency may start to realize that most social media platforms are image-driven, so it begins to repost the same content and add an image. This simple addition generates a significant amount of interest and response from the client’s audience, and then interaction with followers becomes more frequent.

Well, that’s great, but there are still one or two platforms (let’s say Snapchat and Tumblr) that are still not generating as much “buzz” as Facebook and Instagram. At this point, it may be better to ditch those two platforms and pour all social media marketing dollars into the ones remaining.

Now would be a great time to reevaluate the client’s target audience and the overall social strategy. The agency may conclude that there is an older demographic interested in the studio from a few clues:

  1. They are getting most of their responses from Facebook and Instagram.
  2. The studio is located outside of the city, which means the audience is most likely made up of people who are settling down and have families.
  3. Through geo-fencing strategies, this demographic has been targeted and has been receiving ads and promotions.

That’s still not the end of the agency’s marketing efforts. The marketers can now get even more detailed in their approach, and they can better specify exactly which kind of images appeal to the client’s target demographic.

The agency realizes that this “older” Facebook and Instagram crowd may be intimidated by images of yogis bending and twisting like a professional contortionist, so it decides to only use images that a healthy person at any age can easily do. This will show that the yoga studio welcomes all levels and ages of health and wellness. Even a small tweak such as this will boost audience interaction even more, which can quickly translate to direct membership sales for the studio.

The Moral of the Story:

Agencies must be quick to adjust, evaluate and reevaluate, and they can never slip into a place of complacency when strategizing for a business. They must be prepared to ditch any platform that is not producing results, based on the initial goal, and move forward with the others quickly.

But What if You’re Not the Young Instagram Model or the Stay-At-Home Mom Starting Her Own Business?

Social Media Thumbs Up Bar Chart - Eminent SEOA cheeseburger affects an Olympic marathoner differently than someone having a triple bypass. Posting frequency works very much the same. While some individual social media users can post multiple pictures and content all throughout the day, a thriving business using this tactic will quickly be considered spam. In order to capitalize on your platform and not chase away followers, it’s important to follow the rules of engagement.

Your main goal should be to increase followers and keep them engaged with your content. If you “overshare” and flood their timelines, you easily run the risk of getting unfollowed – or those who still follow you will quickly become overwhelmed by your content.

Building your business using social media is a marathon, not a sprint. The more consistent you are at posting on the correct platform, the more traffic you’ll see, and the more likes and shares you’ll receive. Additionally, your brand will make a name for itself and the money will flow – if you stay committed and consistent.

Seems Like a Full-Time Job in Itself, Huh?

Well, you can certainly take advantage of social media dashboards like Hootsuite or Buffer that make creating and posting content much easier. They allow you to create multiple social media streams, post to all of them at the same time, and even schedule out posts in advance. Again, consistency is key! Using these dashboards will allow you to account for human error, forgetfulness and even laziness all with a simple click. These social tools are all about convenience.

Don’t miss out on the chance to generate interaction and engagement with your followers because you didn’t stick with it. Social media is about investing time and constantly doing research in order to reap the rewards.

Don’t Forget to Track Your Progress!

How do you know you’re losing weight without a scale? Just like someone trying to drop weight can’t gauge their progress without a scale, a business cannot assess its progress without tracking it. This means recording the number of likes on a post, the comments left, the number of shares, etc. They all matter.

There’s always room for growth and development, so if one strategy or platform doesn’t work, no need to worry. Just switch up your game until you find your sweet spot. Again, repeat business and a strong brand reputation requires customer loyalty, so it’s important to quickly change and adapt to what your audience wants to hear or learn.

Can You Track Sales Through Social Media?

Now, social media isn’t the easiest way to track precise sales, but it’s possible to get an approximation.

Buffer is an excellent resource to help you calculate tangible goals and project the outcome of your social media campaigns. You can see just how much money you will be able to generate and can soon watch a “click-click” turn into a “cha-ching!”

Knowing is half the battle. When you know your goal and how it translates to revenue, you are able to strategize in the most effective way for your business.

Getting Help so You Don’t Have the Wrong Social Media Strategy

Social media is the way businesses market now. Buying a local ad is a waste of money if you know how to work your social media and maximize your efforts. Not jumping on board and becoming educated on all the tricks can cost your business some serious change, and who can afford that?

It’s all about finding the best strategy for your business and then adjusting it and making it even better as you ramp your efforts up. Eminent SEO is a leading industry professional here to guide you and perform market research on your behalf to quickly decrease your costs and increase your profit!

If you are overwhelmed right now, don’t be. That’s why we’re here! As the internet continues to develop, the type of resources at our disposal will expand, including ones that will help us streamline your efforts. The trick is to stay abreast of your competition and put out more useful content that drives consumers to your website.

Eminent SEO is here to guide you and help you filter through steps to save you time and frustration. We can remove all of the guesswork and tell you which social platforms are working best and what kind of online engagement can be expected. Click to learn more about our Social Media Marketing Services, or call 800.871.4130 to get started now.

Avatar for Team Eminent SEO

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:

This entry was posted in Branding & ORM, Social Media and tagged , .

The Cost of Doing Business Versus The Cost of Marketing

This entry was posted on by .

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

 

Avatar for Jenny Stradling

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:

Website Marketing Resolutions for the New Year – 2012

This entry was posted on by .

This is the time of year that everyone considers making personal resolutions, but here at Eminent SEO we urge you to make a few business resolutions as well! How will you fuel your business in the coming year? Here are a few places to start:

Delegate

When you’re running a business, there are so many things to consider, it’s easy to get mired down in the details. Why not start with outsourcing your social media or other online marketing? We can run your social media campaigns, write copy for your blog, get traffic to your website and even manage your e-mail campaigns – leaving you free to concentrate on the bigger picture – namely increasing your bottom line!

Promote

Don’t let promoting your business slip to the bottom of your to-do list. Attracting new customers means making promotion a top priority. We offer affordable web marketing solutions for every type and size of business. Let us help you reach your untapped client base!

Plan

Set new directions and adjust old goals. Why not hire an expert website consultant to help you target some areas that could use improvement? For instance, what’s your search engine optimization strategy for 2012? Don’t have one? Your competitors do. Just sayin’.

Learn

Add something to your work skill set. Enroll in a class, attend a conference or join a professional group. You could connect with interesting people who may eventually become mentors, coworkers or employees. Revitalizing your skills can revitalize your business. Knowledge is power.

Give

Use your business to support a cause that matters to you. Serve on a committee, mentor, volunteer or consider corporate sponsorship. Raising your standing in the community to that of an altruist will elevate your profile as a business owner (and goodwill for your business within your community).

Set Goals

Is this the year you finally commit to a professional web marketing plan? Outsource your search engine optimization? Redesign your clunky old website? These are realistic, affordable ways to enable your business to reach new heights  – and we can help with all of them!

Lose What’s Not Working

Are you currently working with an SEO company that’s not delivering results? Cut your losses an move on. If you’re unhappy with your current firm, check with a new media marketing company that takes the time to understand your business and your individual needs. We may not be able to help with your resolution to hit the gym every day, but we can definitely give you a hand with making 2012 a banner year for your business.

 

Ready to create a Marketing Plan for 2012? We are here to help you get started, call 1.800.871.4130, or contact Team Eminent here to get started.

 

 

Avatar for Team Eminent SEO

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:

This entry was posted in Business Tips & Practices, Marketing Strategy and tagged .

How Will You Be Spending Your 2012 Web Marketing Budget?

This entry was posted on by .

Everyone’s 2012 budgets are in, have you hired a web marketing company to help you figure out how to spend that budget strategically? You should, your success depends on it! Effective marketing strategies boost traffic, brand awareness and sales. Internet advertising, website design, SEO optimization and link building are all examples of essential internet marketing, and we just so happen to be experts.

A well-thought out and executed internet marketing strategy can make the difference between surviving and thriving. Every business should have a plan which includes a dynamic website, a powerful marketing strategy and analytics. All play important roles in attracting and nimbly responding to potential and current customers – and your success depends on that!

Let’s start with your company website. Is it specifically designed to sell your product and/or service? Everything included on your web site should have one single, solitary purpose, and that’s getting visitors to buy your goods or services. Did a professional SEO web design agency design it, or is it an outmoded, visually cluttered or confusing website driving people away in droves? How about your website copy? Copy is one the most powerful marketing tools in your arsenal. Who’s creating your copy? A trained SEO Copywriter? Or an unpaid student intern? Or maybe your mom? Quality SEO copy helps increase visibility AND conversions. Does your copy do that?

Another essential key to successful online marketing strategizing is knowing what to measure and how to measure it. We can set and monitor metrics such as unique visitors, pageviews and bounce rate. We can tell you if traffic is steadily increasing or on a downward spiral and even tell you how long people are staying on your site. We can assist you in setting targets for, measuring and ultimately reaching your goals of URL destination, time spent on site, and pages seen per visit. How are you currently measuring the success of your marketing efforts?

Internet marketing is the key to online success. If you just happen to be to be a web designing, social media marketing, Organic link building, website analytics wizard, then congratulations! You probably don’t need a custom internet marketing plan. You can take your 2012 marketing budget to the blackjack tables in Vegas. Everyone else: talk to us. We’ll help make 2012 the year your business left the completion in the dust.

Avatar for Team Eminent SEO

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:

This entry was posted in Business Tips & Practices and tagged , .