Every week I get a number of questions from people who visit my site. A lot of the answers I give can benefit others so this week I will answer them in public.
Leave a comment if you have something similar irking you or have a perspective on the questions.
Q My burning question is…How can I find my voice on social media? At the moment I feel like I’m just posting for the sake of posting but my unique voice isn’t there and I don’t know how to make it shine through to ensure I stand out in the crowd.
A Facebook is a huge channel. When approaching it from a marketing perspective it’s easy to fall into the trap of approaching it differently than we do when we are using it with our friends and family.
Pay attention to what you share, like and comment on in your own feed. Are they overt, direct marketing and sales messages? Probably not.
Businesses get traction on social media when they share and curate stories their audience resonate with. People share and interact with these stories when they make them look good in-front of their peers or reaffirm already held beliefs. Look at Humans of New York or Upworthy for examples of this.
In the case of a virtual assistant service; aligning with the audiences beliefs around freedom, entrepreneurship and the concept of being ‘busy’ would be a start. Purely the act of curating content for this audience is valuable to them. Giving in this way without expectation of return will paradoxically give you a far greater return in every area.
Q….I do all the marketing myself. I know I’m doing some things right and some wrong. We have grown and I think I should hire someone. How do I know if that’s the right thing to do?
Anonymous (question is from an NZ based ecommerce website owner)
A Without an overall strategy hiring an internal marketing person will replicate what you’re doing now – just with an extra salary on the payroll. If you are going to hire someone you either need to prepare a strategy for them to execute or hire someone at a level that they will do it for you.
Many companies engage outside help (like me) at this point. The strategy comes first and gives them confidence that the investment they are making in a new staff member is much more likely to succeed. This approach also helps focus on what type of skill set you should be hiring for rather than just a ‘marketing person’.
In summary; work out what you should be doing to grow your business and it will become clearer who should do it.
Q I’m starting a price comparison website.
Am I stupid getting data from websites who I won’t be making money from (eg via referral or them buying ‘clicks’)
No – You’re not stupid. Get as much data as possible
Ask yourself the question: What is right for the audience?
The nature of a marketplace like a price comparison site is providing transparency to the consumer. To provide price transparency you will need the largest source of data available. This means publishing content without a clear revenue model.
I’ve designed or run (and continue to) dozens of B2C marketplaces and have learned to always make strategic decisions that favour the consumer side. Marketplaces aggregate demand and supply. You need supply on one side, in this case groceries, before you can generate demand on the other side. Look at how many people have tried to compete with TradeMe but lacked supply of listings to attract enough buyers…
Businesses will always go to where the audience is. Build a valuable audience and then you can commercialise them on your terms.
Using the right tools will make you faster and more efficient.
But choosing the right sales and marketing tools can be like pulling teeth.
This is what Michelle and I do for fun in the weekends
If you type ‘marketing tools’ into Google you get a mere 529,000,000 results…
Here are 3 that I use:
None of these are affiliate links and I’m not getting paid to promote them.
Yes. I operate at inbox zero
I’m a bit nervous about this one as it’s my dirty little secret and not everyone is going to like it.
I have automatic tracking on all the email’s I send using this tool.
What it is:
Yesware installs a status bar at the top of your Gmail inbox. Every email is tagged with a tracking pixel that loads when someone on the other end opens your email. It also tracks links that you insert into emails and lets you force a registration on people who open them.
How to use it:
If you’re in an email exchange with someone you want to impress or sell to you can use tracking to engineer serendipity. See they opened your email? Send a ‘hey I just saw this article you might like’ or ‘thinking about your project and had this idea’.
Devious? You decide. I prefer to have as much information as I can.
Free plan gives you 100 emails per month. Basic version is $12 USD a month
2. Active Campaign
I’ve talked about email and marketing automation frequently – and for good reason.
They are the highest ROI strategy to make more sales for most businesses.
What it is:
Email newsletters and marketing automation for small and medium businesses. Active Campaign is perfect for most without going to the complexity and expense of something like Infusionsoft.
How to use it:
I’ve showed you how I use automation to capture and nurture people automatically by giving away as much value as I can. Setting aside a day or two to copy this funnel would be one of best time investment’s you could make.
You know those nice images you see posted on social media with a quote incorrectly attributed to Albert Einstein? Chances are they were made in Canva.
How to use it:
If you lack design skills then Canva have thousands of pre-done templates for social media, proposals, designs and more
What it is:
Design is very important as it defines the impression of you. If an image in presentation or proposal looks cheap and nasty then it doesn’t create a great impression of your expertise. If in doubt be minimalist with your design choices.
“Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.”
Bill Gates said he would always ‘hire a lazy person to do a difficult job’ at Microsoft ‘because a lazy
person will find an easy way to do it’
I take great solace in this because I’m lazy.
I spend a large amount of time working out how to do the minimum amount of work for the maximum result.
When I was a sales person I always had the least amount of customers and prospects but mine were consistently more valuable. It’s just easier to get someone to spend more rather than finding a new customer.
It’s because I’m lazy I love marketing automation.
I also love it because it works.
Marketing automation is technology that repeats repetitive tasks through multiple channels.
I use marketing automation on this site to generate leads, enquiries and opportunities.
It works like this:
In all there are 10 emails in the sequence. When the sequence has finished a subscriber gets weekly posts or interviews.
I wrote 10 emails and they get sent hundreds or thousands of times.
The content aims to be helpful and gives away ideas of how you can execute different strategies in your digital marketing.
Most people will either do nothing with them or implement a small number themselves.
Some will ask me to do it for them.
So what happens when you regularly send people helpful, actionable content?
In a digital world we collect a lot of data and have huge amounts of information readily available to us.
Unfortunately sometimes we get false hope by focusing on the wrong ones.
Good metrics guide our decisions.
What works. What doesn’t.
Here’s some that can be dangerous.
Unless you are selling advertising views then the total amount of pageviews your website generates is irrelevant in isolation. I have had many people proudly tell me how many ‘hits’ their website generates but when asked how many prospects/leads/sales it generates they don’t have an answer. Having a high number of pageviews is an opportunity you need to be leveraging. They are all people. On it’s own, having a website with lots of traffic is not enough.
Email Open Rates
The likelihood of opening an email has more relation to who it’s from rather than what it’s about. Think about it. What is the open rate of emails from your Mum? I would estimate 100%…
Unless you’re looking at your interaction rate and the behaviour of people who have opened your email then your looking at the wrong thing.
Facebook have been reducing the organic reach of page posts for a while. They wan’t to sell more advertising and deliver a better experience to their audience. Who can blame them.
This means having a big audience of Facebook does not equal you being able to communicate with the audience.
Take 5 minutes today to check what metrics you’re focusing on.
Do they help you make better decisions and contribute to the bottom line or do they just make you feel better?
She is great at so many things. Building teams, pitching investors, developing her product, strategising and ideas – she has the hustle you need for something to work.
But there’s a problem.
Because she is good at all these things, she does them all. But none of them quite well enough to get the one thing her business needs right now – rapid growth.
We are human (duh)
We all have the same 24 hours in the day. But some people seem to get so much more done
If you scratch under the surface it usually comes down to one thing.
We are trained from a young age that results and hours are linked. If we work harder then we get more. While that isn’t untrue, it’s not completely accurate. What really counts is the relationship between time and results.
We can achieve outsized results by focusing our time on the things that really matter.
Warren Buffet owes 90% of his multi billion dollar wealth to just 10 investments.
When I was at GrabOne, there were dozens of metrics we could focus on. Traffic, visits, revenue, new members etc etc. The whole business in different ways could affect any one metric but I asked what my team could affect.
One of the key day-to-day responsibilities was email – the largest traffic source and revenue driver.
Every day if they focused on Revenue Per Email that would take care of the other metrics.
It was the one metric.
Did we get dragged away from it constantly? Yes.
Did we all focus on it every single day? No.
But as long as someone was asking themselves the question “Is what I’m doing right now going to improve RPE?” then it was usually going in the right direction.
Your area of focus doesn’t have to last forever. Business goes through cycles where it might not be fit for purpose but having a singular focus on one thing will always give you momentum.
What are you focusing on today?
If it’s moving you towards that big, hairy goal then keep doing it.
In 2008 Andrew Mason was working on a community website called The Point. He wanted to give people the ability to make change occur through collective action. To prove the power of site Mason organised an offer from the pizza restaurant in the building they worked in.
He quickly put together a WordPress site and posted the offer. When someone purchased the deal they had to manually email the voucher to the purchaser.
He called the site Groupon.
Within 2 years Groupon had become the fastest growing company in history with 1600 employees and over $1 billion in sales.
If Mason had waited to build the perfect daily deal platform then his well funded competition would have overtaken him.
I should know. I worked for the competition.
When Shane Bradley saw the early success of Groupon he immediately shifted his development team’s focus to building GrabOne. It was done in a few weeks, launched and went on to define a new business category in New Zealand. No one looked back.
What are you waiting for?
Entrepreneur has become a cool word. Movies like ‘The Social Network’ and star founders have propelled entrepreneurs into the public domain and made anyone with an idea an entrepreneur.
But to become an entrepreneur you have to have an idea AND execute it.
In my work with large clients, I’ve seen way too many people pitch overvalued ideas to large businesses. They want someone else to take the risk out of executing it by using their money and resources as they think they need them to make them successful.
Waiting for the perfect conditions means these ideas are unlikely to gain momentum.
If they just started, proved value, then pitched they would have a chance.
Dan Norris sold his web design business then spent a year developing an analytics dashboard. The problem was nobody wanted to pay for it.
Dan was on the verge of taking a job when he started WPcurve, a WordPress support service, in just 7 days. In the beginning Dan had to answer any customer enquiries 24 hours a day. As he took on paying customers he hired developers. Now the business has over $70k in monthly recurring revenue.
What is the most valuable commodity to a business owner?
You might be surprised, many business owners do not know the answer. They’ll tell you it’s business assets, sales, profit.
They’re all wrong. These are important but nothing more important than TIME!
You can make more money, but you can’t make more time!
For small and medium business owners, time is even more valuable. There’s not enough hours in a day to run a business and to network to get the job done.
Running every aspect of business – from marketing, finance, and day-to-day operations – is hard to do all on your own.
Sometimes, you have the manpower, but it isn’t enough. You need to have the right people to back you up.
The High Cost of Hiring In-House Staff
Hiring an assistant or a team of individuals can be one of your options. They will be responsible for each business process, so everything is streamlined and running smoothly.
This option can be costly though, especially if you’re starting out with your business.
In fact, you need to offer them a competitive wage and some exceptional benefits before you can get the right people onboard.
What is the most effective strategy to cut business costs?
Businesses turn to digital marketing firms to help them accomplish several of their online marketing processes. Some of these tasks include following:
Social Media Marketing
Website Creation and Maintenance
In their bid to save time and money, they often consult business management experts who can help them improve their business processes. You can find these experts within the ranks of digital consulting and marketing firms.
Some of them even own an online marketing company, since consulting is one of their main services. These companies can also provide teams of skilled professionals who can handle several of the online marketing processes I’ve mentioned above.
Common Digital Processes that Business Owners Can Outsource
There are several business processes that can be passed on to digital marketing companies. These firms can help you with your online marketing campaign, so you can focus on other areas of your business. Some of these processes include the following:
1. SEO-Related Services
Search engine optimization is a task that you can’t do in a day.
It is time-consuming and requires expertise and knowledge of the field. It’s broad, and most of the time – unpredictable.
A foundation of an excellent SEO campaign is a good keyword research.
There are tools to make it easier like Google Keyword planner or paid tools like Moz, but analysing thousands (if not millions) of keywords also takes time.
Aside from keyword research, SEO experts regularly update their knowledge to cope up with the latest algorithm updates from Google, Yahoo, and Bing. They also analyse results using analytics tools, so they can come up with a more result-oriented campaign next time.
If you are going to put people who do not have expertise in this area, it’s a waste of time and resources. The right people including strategic planning and implementation is a must for any digital marketing campaign to succeed.
Content Creation and Marketing
This is another important process to businesses with websites. When you want to engage your target audience and acquire the much needed leads for your business, it’s essential to have quality content on your site.
Having quality content on your site can give you the following advantages:
You gain more credibility with the search engines
The content get shared and distributed on other relevant websites, hence you get organic links
It can gather considerable amount of traffic to your site
Your visitors are more likely to convert into paying customers, since you have something valuable on your site.
Creating your own content is not a mundane task. An engaging and informative post also requires in-depth research and sometimes, time. Take note that content is not only limited to articles, but video/digital storytelling and infographics.
A better solution is to delegate this task to third-party content writers, graphics designers and video editors. A good example for digital storytelling is Sparkol – a whiteboard video creation tool that can take your story to the next level.
It’s a simple tool to work on, but if you’re not yet confident on creating your own videos, then you can simply let a digital marketing firm do this for you. You only need to collaborate with them, especially during the story/plot creation phase.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a process that will focus on efforts to create valuable content that can effectively attract and encourage followers through various social networks. Just like content marketing, this task can be delegated to online marketing teams.
There are several social media tasks like:
Regular updates of social media accounts
Creating social media calendar
Publishing quality content
Answering comments and feedback
Scouring social networking sites for relevant content that can be posted on your own company page
Since this process will require regular updates of social media accounts, it will take much of your time.
There are 10 social media management tools that you can use for these particular tasks:
Site creation and management is another essential process for any type of business these days. Oftentimes, you need to create landing pages, tweak your email capture form or simply update the look of your website.
For this purpose, you seek the help of a web developer, or if you have the coding skills – you can do it yourself. But then again, it can be tedious work that you can simply outsource.
In addition, the popularity of mobile devices has paved the way for marketing apps to enter the digital marketing arena. Creating an app for your business is an intricate process that digital marketing firms can easily do for you.
Overall, outsourcing business processes is a flexible and strategic way of doing business. It’s a trend that every business owner should be aware of. Most importantly, it’s the best way to save your resources.
If you want to know more about outsourcing, maintaining an effective website, and gathering leads for your business, you can speak to James first and book in a free 30 minute strategy session.
You can also download our FREE Ebook The Growth Engine to know the exact strategy we are using to grow our clients’ business.
The time you prepare and act on any decision decides the growth and success of your business.
So it’s not surprising that many businesses take a few weeks or even months to launch ads and other digital marketing campaigns.
One major decision in a business is the timeliness of a marketing campaign. A classic example is Oreo’s tweet ‘You can still dunk in the dark” during a blackout in one of the Super Bowl Series. It’s brilliant in a sense that it’s timely.
Are there effective digital campaigns that you can prepare and launch in less than a day?
The answer is a sweet yes.
How do you start preparing for your digital marketing campaign?
The answer to the question is simple; you need to research and consistently create valuable content. This content will be distributed to multiple channels and platforms. The information needs to involve relevant industry information that can both entertain and provide valuable insights to your audience.
What are the different tools to use in a digital marketing campaign?
There are tons of tools that are used in various campaigns, but some tools are only applicable for a particular job. You don’t cut a tree with a toothpick, right? Of course, you will use a chainsaw for that job.
Here are some of the tools to consider based on their purpose:
Infographics – if you want to make your message more visual and pleasing to the eye, then you will need this tool. Infographics are great for citing competitive advantages or highlighting benefits of your products and services.
Articles – the most common but still a powerful tool to use in your business website, blogs, newsletters, etc. You can publish short or long articles. It all depends on how in-depth you want to be with your messages.
Streaming Services – if you want a substitute for traditional radio and TV ads, then this tool is for you. A good example is Pandora and Hulu. They can stream your ads in between TV shows on their site.
Google Pay-Per-Click – you can advertise using keywords that are most relevant to your business. Google PPC is a popular tool utilised by digital marketing companies to gather a considerable amount of traffic that clients need for their sites.
Social Media – what else can I say about social media that you don’t already know? Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram are popular channels to take advantage of. They can bring you closer to your target market, and you can use them to promote your business.
Video Streaming – there are several video streaming sites on the web, but YouTube is the most used site for this purpose. You can upload any promotional content about your business for free on this site.
Apps – there are tons of mobile devices and gadgets on our planet today. Your prospects are definitely using one of these devices. The best way to leverage this is to create an app that can capture their attention. An app can also be a useful tool to educate your prospects about your products and services.
Using Effective Digital Marketing Strategies
Now that you know the type of tools you can use, it’s time to incorporate strategies that are proven in the industry. One such strategy is the integrated marketing campaign. There are steps to take to make this method a success.
Step 1: Identifying who your target audience is
It’s important to clearly identify your audience and know their attitudes, behaviours, and pain points. You can easily develop messages for your target audience if you know their wants and needs. That is why it’s essential to conduct proper research to get the information from them.
Step 2: Choosing the right channels
Choose the right media channel that is suitable to your business. Make sure that it is where your prospects are, because your main goal is to get your message to these individuals.
Step 3: Establish your visual identity
Branding is an essential aspect of your business and you need to establish your visual identity. You must understand though that visual identity is far more than your logo. You must be consistent with your company colours, fonts, and overall graphic presentation of your website and newsletters.
Step 4: Publishing content that is integrated and can be repurposed to different media channels
Your content must be set up to drive traffic to your business website or any of your main landing pages. Whether you’re submitting an article, blog post, video or infographic material to any site on the web, it must have a link that points back to your target site. Also, use valuable content that can be repurposed to other media channels on the web.
Step 5: Tracking campaigns through proper analytics
The most important aspect of a digital marketing campaign is to know the result of your efforts. You must have accurate data of your progress. There are several analytics tools on the Internet, but nothing compares to Google Analytics. It’s widely used by marketers and it can accurately render the numbers and data that you’re looking for.
4 Digital Marketing Campaigns that You Can Launch in 24 Hours
Facebook Ad Campaign – if you want to effectively tap into your target market, you can use the paid Ad campaign option on Facebook. This will enable you to allocate a budget for a particular content on your FB page. The system will prioritise that content and it will be more visible to your target audience. You can even set various adverts for different types of audience, so you can identify which content works better. All these marketing activities can be launch within 24 hours.
Email Marketing – this method will entail two important steps. The first one is to build an email list which you will use as the primary respondents of your message. This will require you to capture the email addresses of your prospects via your website. For this to happen, you must give your site visitors a reason to input their email ad on your capture forms.
Growth HQ has setup a great system for this particular purpose. Once a prospect has signed up to our email list; their emails will be sent to an online database and we can easily send them an email back with just one click.
Google Pay-Per-Click – using this method, you can easily target a keyword or key phrase that your target market uses on Google Search. Although this will cost a bit more than any other marketing campaign, you can easily set it up within 24 hours.
Ad Retargeting – technically, this method will require you to create a java script code, which creates a list of people who are visiting your site. This will enable you to display your ads to potential customers when they visit other websites. Imagine this, you can easily send your messages to your prospects wherever they go online. It’s truly a powerful stuff at your disposal and you can easily launch it within the day.
Have you enjoyed this article? Download this checklist and know how to properly launch a digital marketing campaign:
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I often have two questions for a business owner about their marketing.
How much do you spend to acquire a customer?
How much is that customer worth over their lifetime with you?
Some can give real numbers. Most can’t.
Knowing those two figures makes a huge difference to a business.
If you know your numbers you can outspend your competition and take customers from them.
If you know your numbers you can get a higher quality of customer who will spend more.
If you know your numbers you can turn low spending customers into high spending ones just by knowing that they are low spending…
The good news is it’s never been easier to know those numbers and how they relate to your website.
Why are metrics critical to your business website?
As a website owner, you need to gather relevant data that gives you an overview for your campaigns. This is why metrics play an important role in improving the performance of your website.
During the 90’s and mid-2000, website owners did not have the means to track their own campaigns. Web analytics were not yet available to the masses. Only large companies could afford to setup it up. And it was tedious work.
In 2006, Google launched its own web analytics tool. They made it a free tool that everyone could use.
Using the information that Google Analytics provides you can get a picture of where you should be focusing your attention online.
What are the Most Popular Metrics To Assess
At present, more and more online marketers are using metrics to assess strategies. There are different types but here are some of the most popular ones used today:
Visits Referred by Specific Search Engine Terms and Phrases
This metric shows keywords or key phrases that are responsible for sending traffic to your website. Some of these keywords can come from any content that you published on your website.
This is good to track on a regular basis as it will help you identify new and profitable keywords. This can also help you understand the performance of your current content strategy and take steps to boost your search ranking, if needed.
Pages Receiving Traffic from the Search Engines
Are your pages getting indexed? This metric shows the website pages that are getting indexed through the number of incoming traffic. You can also track certain issues with your site like: link acquisition, site architecture, XML Sitemap, metadata and uniqueness of your content.
Conversion Rate by Search Query
What keywords or key phrases continually send visitors to your site and convert this traffic to paying customers?
Tracking this metric will enable you to dig deeper and find out the most effective landing pages on your site. You can also pretty much ballpark how you can tweak your strategy to address the pages that are not performing well.
Using Analytics Tools to Optimise Your Content
There are many types of analytics tools in the market today. For this segment, our focus are metrics in Google Analytics. It is perfect to use since it is free but very powerful.
Some of the most important data you can get from the behaviour report are:
Pageviews – The number of pages viewed by your visitors. This will include repeated views on a single page.
Average Time on Page – Amount of time viewers spend on a particular page on your site.
Unique Pageviews – This is the number of unique visitors who have viewed a page at least once during their visit.
Bounce Rate – This is the percentage of single-page visits to your site. If a visitor goes to one of your pages and exits the site from the same page they entered in. This action will be factored in into the bounce rate.
One other tool that offers real-time analytics tracking is Woopra. This tool is a desktop application that can feed live visitor stats. One awesome feature exclusive to this tool is its capability to chat live with individual site visitors. This is a great feature for e-commerce sites, but it would also be an invaluable feature for any type of business.
Metrics help you measure your success when doing online campaigns. If you have identified your buyer persona and know their online behaviour, you can make changes accordingly and segment your market. You can better address their pain points if you have a deeper understanding of how they behave when making selections and finally doing a purchase.
If you can clearly identify who spends more time on your site and on what particular content, when and where they enter and exit, it can point you to the stage when your customer decides to purchase and give you an idea why they stopped at certain points.
Knowing these, you can already ask yourself the following questions and make adjustments based on your answers:
Do I need to change the format of my content?
What kind of format works best for my market?
What kind of information do I need to give out to my audience?
What information is lacking in my content that my audience needs?
What particular pages in my website needs adjustment?
How can I maintain the interest of my visitors to a particular page?
Enjoyed this article? Download a copy of our Google Analytics Metrics Guide and get to know what metrics matter most to grow and improve your business.