That means that most people don’t have the resources to cover a $500 emergency, like new brake pads or a dental emergency. And while the reasons why we fail to save may vary, at the heart of most of them is poor money management.
In 2013 researchers found that nearly 60% of Americans did not have a budget. That number has reversed itself in recent years with nearly the same number (60%) reporting that they DO budget.
That still leaves more than a third of all Americans making financial decisions without a financial road map.
And the reasons for not budgeting usually fall into two categories.
The first group is those who can’t be bothered, either because they find it boring or because they are busy people with limited time to devote to such things.
The second are those that are scared away from budgeting because they lack the knowledge or the confidence to do it well. For either group, there is a simple solution.
The 50/30/20 rule
This formula is the ideal budget. Ideally, 50% of your post-tax income should go towards necessities. This includes things such as rent, food, and transportation.
The following 30% should be devoted to the things you want. This includes entertainment and non-essential shopping. The remaining 20% goes into your savings account.
Chances are, your spending habits are far from ideal. Many Americans pay too much in housing costs or devote too little to savings.
Others have a hard time prioritizing. Regardless of your current financial situation, there are a few easy steps to get your budget back on track.
5 Budget tips for the busy entrepreneur
1. Track everything
Right now you probably have no idea where your money goes.
Take a week, or a month and simply track your spending. There are several apps that you can download for free that will do just that. They will track and categorize your spending habits so that it is one easy to read the chart.
This is one of the most important budget tips of this list. You need to know where your money goes.
2. Trim the fat
Now that we know where your money is going, it’s time to decide what you can live without.
Clearing up credit card debts should be your first order of business. Bring your coffee instead of buying it. Plan your week’s meals.
Switch to a cheaper cable plan, or get rid of cable altogether. Go online and shop around for cheap insurance quotes for your car and home. Chances are you can bring down your utility bills as well with a few minor changes to your lifestyle.
3. Increase your bottom line
There is a good chance that even after reducing your outgoing expenses, you still need a few extra dollars.
This is especially true if you have debts that need repayment.
Take your boss up on that over time offer. Get a part-time job. Or, take this as an opportunity to freelance. Many great entrepreneurs began as freelancers, doing what they loved in their spare time.
4. Automate everything
Lower the barriers of resistance by automating as many of your expenditures as possible.
Don’t forget to pay yourself as well. Make your monthly transfers to your saving account an automated deposit. Treat it like a bill.
This way you don’t hesitate to save. Start with an amount you know you can easily afford, and slowly increase it as your situation improves.
One trick is to have your spending money deposited into a separate account so that you don’t blow your budget by accident.
5. Reward yourself
Keep tracking your spending. Set monthly and quarterly goals, and then reward yourself for meeting them.
Perhaps you splurge on shoes after paying off your credit card.
This simple plan doesn’t require you to be a mathematician to figure out and doesn’t require hours of balancing checkbooks and detailed spreadsheets.
But, if you follow the budget tips and bravely face your financial reality, you’ll surely have a better control over you money
Leave your opinion in the comments below and let me know if you have more budget tips I’ve missed.
Being an essential aspect of any company, marketing plays a vital role to increase profitability. In the same way, content marketing is the prerequisite in practicing any of the SEO techniques for a website.
As we all know SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is all about creating amazing content, optimizing and promoting it. And now, SEO is inextricably linked to content marketing and other new methods of internet marketing.
The majority of search queries drive traffic websites, hunting quality information for that query. So, content displayed on the website should be relevant and quite informative. This is the main reason why content is said to be king.
Creating powerful and informative content doesn’t end your task. Rather, the main task begins to interlink content marketing and your goals. But, the most common mistake businesses tend to make is not considering goals from the beginning, and run behind boosting traffic to the website.
This is the main phase in digital marketing, where people face an issue. If content marketing is not done in coordination with the mission, then how is it possible to rank well on search engine results pages (SERPs)?
Let me break down a method to align your content marketing strategy with mission through these insanely amazing ways.
Before you start creating useful content for your website, look at how you can plan a content marketing strategy while coordinating it with the company’s mission. Here are few amazing ways to plan a mission-friendly content marketing strategy:
Maintaining consistency doesn’t start simply by managing a good flow of content. Instead, the foremost thing you need to do is understanding the importance of brand consistency on all the platforms. This is one of the best ways to maintain coherence with customers.
When customers get engaged with your content, they would mainly look for the same identity, same feel and similar experience across all platforms. This identity can be demonstrated through the brand name, and logo to mark your presence among all users.
Apart from brand consistency, it is a prerequisite to manage your timeframe in content marketing. Set a schedule of when, how and which kind of articles or blogs you will display on your website. When you maintain this consistency of regular posting, viewers easily encounter all your content and look forward more information on the website.
This way you can build a strong relationship with your customer and execute the strategies of marketing based on your mission.
2. Keep your target audience in mind
While setting goals, it is obvious that target audience is predetermined. But, many marketers neglect them while creating content and end up with detached customers. This failure negatively affects website search engine rankings.
The demographics, choices, and interest of your audience are a part of your goals. If you consider all these points during the content campaign, then it will work wonders on the website’s performance.
3. Incorporate Photos, Videos and GIFs
Gone are the days when people use to read long texts. New techniques bring in various tricks to grab the users’ attention and hold their interest until the end.
A study shows that 81% of people only scan the content they read online. Visual information can pull user’s attention to the content. So, it would be a good idea to fuse in various infographics, or photos, or GIFs. This way you can easily connect to the consumers as per your goals.
4. Promote it on correct platform
Assume that the content created with great efforts is not able to reach your potential audience. Do you think this is justice to those massive efforts? This is the reason why it becomes necessary to share your content on the correct platforms.
The majority of people are active on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and much more. So, use social media as a weapon to shoot the content to a large number of people and engage them with it.
The main task starts by recognizing which platform would be the accurate one according to goals of the website and to check which site would lead you towards potential customers.
SEO is not an arduous task, it’s a crucial one which requires special attention. It is possible to succeed in it with the correct aim, strategy and its implementation to augment website’s traffic which apparently leads to the productivity of the company.
Since we’ve learnt about these modifications, tweak your content strategy in such a way that it goes hand in hand with your company’s pre-decided goals and missions. This would greatly impact visibility, branding and effectively manage your online reputation management.
How have you aligned your content marketing strategy with your company’s mission? Tell your story in the comments below.
You are a store owner, a really good one – one that knows exactly how to run a business, satisfy customers and make them happy enough to guarantee their return.
In one instance, one of your repeat customer Paul approaches to you to check out. You get the payment and hand out the item to Paul and say ‘Thanks for shopping from us!’.
And while you do this, you may or may not think about why you do that, since you ‘thank’ each and every customer you have in your store.
Same thing goes for the online world, but this time with a little more detail.
Thank You pages, or confirmation pages, are the second step your visitors see right after they opt-in through your landing pages.
A good marketer knows that when a subscriber is generated, it’s just the beginning of a long journey. Every time you get new subscribers, you create opportunities. Aside from being a thank you page, confirmation pages are useful to continue communicating with your subscribers.
In this post, I am going to show you how exactly you could use Thank You pages to increase engagement, and unlock the opportunities to turn those leads into customers.
In each step, I used GetResponse Landing Page creator to demonstrate the use cases.
1. Ask them to fill a survey
Place a survey on your thank you page if you want to fine tune your offer, or create better content on your website.
Create your survey using GetResponse surveys. Fill out all the necessary fields to customize your feedback survey.
After filling out all the details, proceed on creating your questions.
When it’s done, publish it and copy your survey link.
Now, you already have your offer and landing page ready. All we need to do is to open the landing page editor, head on to thank you page tab and insert our message and call-to-action button that is linked to our survey we just created.
Webinars are one of the best ways to educate and qualify a lead that may have high interest in your product or offer. Using GetResponse landing page creator, you can add a webinar invitation section to your thank you page.
If you’d like to learn more about how to use webinars to generate leads and build relationships, head over to our newest Webinar Marketing Bootcamp page and sign up for the course.
3. Use video
You may have more to tell to your subscribers once they opt-in to your list. Let them know how they should be preparing for the course they just signed up or give them more information about how to redeem the offer.
Building a long lasting relationship with your audience is deeply connected with how much you show that you care about them. Delight your subscribers with ebooks, whitepapers or guides right after they opt-in.
5. Offer discounts
“Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much they care.” These are the words of Damon Richards, an expert on customer care. Besides offering your help to make their business better, give discounts that will make them come back and purchase from you again.
Here’s an example I created using GetResponse Landing Pages:
6. Show testimonials
Why not to continue building trust even after they are converted? Show them how satisfied your other customers are. 70% of people trust the opinions of other consumers posted online (source). Use the power of reviews to ensure continuous engagement with your audience.
Back to you
Once you create your landing page, think about what other opportunities you can create after you convert.
GetResponse Landing Pages gives you capabilities to edit your thank you pages any way you want.
Are you already applying any of those ways I described above? If so, let us know what results you got in the comments below.
It’s not surprising that you decided to dedicate yourself to work in the world of web. Perhaps you’ve seen lots of websites that get an enormous amount of traffic every single day. The owners of these web resources become popular, they earn solid money, and they are happy with the life.
You might think a kind of “I have a great idea/service/product to spread around the globe sitting in a comfortable office” business idea. Yes, you think in a right direction. The internet is a wonderful place to start your business. However, it is not as easy as it seems.
While you could be a skillful businessman outside the internet, it doesn’t mean you can get credit in the digital world. Here you will have to face a bunch of new rules; new personal findings and, of course, barriers you will have to overcome. Here you will have to become a professional internet marketer.
Let’s presume you’ve already launched a website. You believe it will generate some traffic. Unfortunately, the only thing you can see – your website brings you zero results: you don’t have any traffic, you don’t get new customers, your brand gets no visibility and, moreover, you spend all your time in vain.
It’s a kind of disaster, isn’t it?
Let me present you 9 steps to creating a magnetic blog that will attract dozens of visitors and bring you money.
1. Know your niche and your audience
Yeah, a statement “know your niche and your audience” might sound weird for you as you’ve just entered upon the path of internet marketing but it is not as strange as you think. I am sure you know what “a chain reaction” means. Right – it is a sequence of reactions where a reactive product or by-product causes additional reactions to take place. The same happens to your online activity. You just get in touch with your target audience, introduce them your product, and, afterwards, this audience will share it via all possible social media accounts (of course, if your product worth it). Why is it a chain reaction? Because you have to do a single “stovepiping” and your service users will do the rest instead of you.
Nevertheless, I haven’t given you any idea on how to find your target audience. Well, first things first. Determine your niche. It is easy to do because you, as a businessman, already know what kind of product/service you’re going to offer. Let’s take, for example, musical instruments. You are the one who has just released a new guitar brand and, of course, you want to get customers online.
Finally, you’ve determined your niche and it is time to investigate where to find potential clients for your awesome guitars. What Google says:
As you can see, Google reveals you TOP 10 websites that sell guitars and other musical equipment. These websites are the source of your customers you could gain.
Once you’ve found the places where your target audience “dwells”, it is time to know better your competitors.
2. Know your competitors – they can teach you a lot.
Believe or not but your competitors can give you a lot of things. As I’ve showed you above – it is not too hard to find out who your competitors are via Google. BUT in this very case you should ask Google about blogs that are dedicated to music instruments:
Please pay attention to an inquiry you’re using during the search. I didn’t want to do an in-depth keyword research, I just put the first that came to my mind “music instruments blog” and Google suggested me a few solid blogs. I want to underline an adjective “solid” because I’ve checked the DR of each blog and Organic Traffic they get via Ahrefs Site Explorer:
69K of traffic – it is really impressive. And do you know what do these numbers mean? It means this blog is the place where you could find a way lot of potential clients for your own music brand.
Why do I say “competitors can teach you a lot”? Because, thanks to discovering your competitors’ blogs, you have a great opportunity to see what they offer to their target audience:
What type of content they post?
Do they add video tutorials to the blog or not?
Do they pay attention to spreading the information via social media?
I don’t say that you should do all the same as your competitors do. But, please, take into account that these websites established themselves as the leaders being a part of TOP 10 Google results. Thus you can get lots of useful information spying these web resources.
3. Take care of your brand visibility
Despite the fact that your service is awesome as hell, you won’t scale up your customer database massively without the right brand visibility. Yeah, sometimes it is easier to say than to do. And the very first step you should do is to tell about yourself.
I am not familiar with psychological aspects of our society but the practice shows: if people don’t know your story, your background, they won’t be interested in the service you’re willing to sell them.
Why is it so important? Just because I believe everyone wants to trust to someone he or she already knows. No, it is not about personal relationships. It is about your “transparency” as a businessman. Here are a few suggestions you should follow branding yourself:
Don’t be shy about sharing your life story. Tell us about yourself, as if you were talking to a friend.
Point out how your product or service can help your users to solve their problems
Share your story via social media accounts.
When you talk about your service, you should never be arrogant. Remember, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar
4. Create a social media presence
I could combine this tip with the one above because a social media presence is a part of your brand visibility. However, I decided to talk about it in detail. I bet you won’t argue with me that creating accounts throughout such social media resources as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest is not a hard task. Yes, it will take some of your time but doing a good job these social media accounts will help you spread the information about your brand’s activity.
It’s a very slippery slope when marketers tend to self-promote instead of engaging more and more users to get familiar with the service itself. If you want to see that your social media efforts aren’t in vain, you should do the following:
Refresh the information on your social media accounts daily.
Never ignore comments people post.
Always reply to users’ questions.
Share the information related to your niche but don’t be persistent with self-promotion.
Use various methods of catching users’ eye: post videos, images, infographics. Make sure your content is interesting.
Use Twitter as a great place to find new connections and take a part in various conversations.
Use Instagram as the platform for posting innovations in terms of your service. Don’t forget to be closer to your users by posting some shots from your daily routine.
5. Be a guest contributor
Guest posting is an excellent way to get credibility for yourself as a marketer and, of course, to make your brand popular.
If you want to get visibility for your own blog, you should “fan a spark” on other blogs as the writer.
What will it give you?
Firstly, you will get credit as a writer and as a professional marketer. Moreover, you will increase traffic to your site earning backlinks.
Another one cool thing that guest posting allows you to do is create business relationships with influential people from your niche. My personal experience is a great example of this. When I started writing my first articles I had neither followers on Twitter, nor business contacts on LinkedIn. Likely, my guest contributions on marketing blogs with DR starts from 40-63 helped me get useful business connections (no more, no less):
Yeah, the situation with followers on Twitter is not impressive. Nevertheless, for me (who has recently started writing guest posts) it is a good result. Likely, my contacts on LinkedIn are far better in contrast to Twitter:
340 business contacts – not bad result for a person in this industry for only a year (I started guest posting 4 months ago though).
Guest posting has only benefits for you and your blog. The only drawback you might face is absence of time. Fortunately, you will be able to overcome this “trouble” improving your writing skills.
6. Content is king – don’t forget about it!
Do you remember this statement “Master of information, master of situation?” Any kind of information is like a weapon you can use for your own benefit. But why does every marketer on the web know a rock-solid truth “content is king?” Simply because content gives users answers to their questions.
Once I stumbled upon an interesting survey the Content Marketing Institute created. It states that 80% of businessmen prefer to get general information about some brand via reading a few articles, compared to an ad. And, 78% of consumers believe that those companies that provide high-quality content build better business relationships with them. However, 58% still think that those companies that produce video content are more trustworthy.
Truth be told, it doesn’t matter what kind of content you are going to present your audience. There are lots of blogs that win the game providing their users only with articles. There are blogs that like to mix their content up – they produce articles, videos, and even, launch podcasts.
By the way, if you want to get some new valuable insights on content marketing, you should check out what the founder of the Content Marketing Institute Joe Pulizzi says.
7. Optimize your blog
Every marketer who runs a blog optimizes it in a proper way. SEO is an integral part of internet marketing. You won’t get any traffic without an optimized website. I won’t provide you with a detailed SEO course over here (there are lots of guides in the internet) but I just want you to understand the basic aspect of it.
I could say for a lark “everything revolves around content” but I am sure it is more like an unquestionable fact rather than joke! Content is KING! Thus, never neglect of creating only high-quality and unique material.
Talking about written content, you should always focus on using right keywords that will help your content get ranked well in Google. It goes without saying that using only “text type” content makes your blog very boring. Thus, don’t forget to add images, videos, infographics, etc., on your blog. These visual additions will make your blog interesting and desirable to visit. Nevertheless, even though you will have to take care of adding an optimized description, alt tags, and, as I’ve already mentioned, related keywords. Without all these SEO “preparations” your blog will be invisible for Google first page.
Please, don’t neglect SEO!
8. Mobile accessibility is important as well
Wow, I thought this tip is self-evident just because you might be read this post using your mobile device.
Taking things more seriously, mobile optimization of a website is vitally important. Especially in the age of tech progress. Let me introduce you just a few reasons why you must have a mobile optimized website:
User experience. Firstly, mobile users want to get the information (or to purchase a product) very fast. If your website is inconvenient for mobile users, you lose out on thousands of potential customers. Additionally, mobile optimized websites lead to positive feedbacks from users.
Traffic. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t use a mobile phone for surfing the web. Maybe you do? Well, you got a clue that mobile users are a great source of traffic for your website.
Bounce rate. If your web resource isn’t mobile optimized, your bounce rate is going to be very high. If you want to reduce it, a mobile optimization is a must-do.
Brand engagement. Did you know that users who have been satisfied with your website’s mobile experience will likely return to your site on desktop afterwards? Yes, it is true. Thus, your brand engagement increases its popularity. However, just imagine if your visitors are not satisfied with a mobile version of your website, what’s next? Right, they will choose your competitors instead of you.
It’s good when your content finds its recognition by itself – when people can easily stumble upon it from Google. It means you’re a genius of SEO and marketing. However, what if your content still doesn’t get as much recognition as you think it deserves?
You should present your material manually to the audience. And this very process is called outreach. The primary goal of outreach is not just promoting your content (and service as well) but building new business relationships with influential people from your niche.
I want to present you a short step-by-step plan on how to do outreach via email correctly:
Prepare personalized email template with a “killer” subject line
Don’t be afraid of sending a follow-up email
Be persistent in reaching out
I want to convince you that doing outreach in a proper way (and on a regular basis) will give you the results you need – traffic, brand visibility, and personal growth as a professional marketer.
SIDENOTE: if you want to know a bit detailed on how to do blogger outreach, you should check out this marvelous guide.
Creating a magnetic blog is not a simple process, it takes lots of time, patience, and strength. Doing it on your own without additional knowledge might slow your efforts down. Likely, things can’t be all that bad on your side!
Following these 9 basic yet powerful steps you will be able to run a successful blog that will bring you lots of benefits.
Now, since you have already been armed with my helpful tips, it’s time to start crafting your web resource. Perhaps, I ‘ll be delightfully surprised when I’ll come across your blog in a few months reading some outstanding content.
If you have anything to add, please, feel free to share your insights in a comment section.
Content marketing is the art of communicating with your prospects without having to sell them anything.
Given the recent trends in how consumers learn about companies and products (IBM report), content marketing has become vital to your business success.
By creating useful and valuable content, you build lasting relationships with your audience and empower potential customers.
The 22 best content marketing platforms
Creating insightful content for each stage of your buyer persona’s journey will make the difference. And to get this done, we prepared a list (in no particular order) of tools that you might use to develop and execute your content marketing campaigns successfully.
Outbrain is the leading content discovery platform, reaching a highly engaged audience through distribution on top publisher sites, including CNN, Fox News, Hachette Filipacchi Media, Mashable, MSNBC and Slate.
Outbrain provides publishers with a service for recommended links to increase traffic and generate revenue.
Curata’s software help marketers scale a data-driven, content marketing supply chain to grow their leads and revenue. Hundreds of companies around the world from startups to the Fortune 500 depend upon Curata to fuel their content marketing engines.
Curata has been at the forefront of the content marketing movement and is part of the unprecedented growth in marketing technology investment projected to continue for many years to come.
ScribbleLive makes it easier for businesses to drive results with content. It’s the leading content marketing platform that brings together data insights, creativity, and effective process to empower marketers to predict what will be successful – and make it happen.
Make decisions with data, channel your creativity and deliver content effectively.
ScribbleLive is trusted by over 800 leading brands, including RedBull, Oracle, American Express, ESPN, Bank of America, NBA and Visa.
LookBooks let B2B marketers tell complex stories to busy audiences simply & effectively.
LookBooks increase audience engagement with your content and generate actionable data so that you can produce higher quality Sales Accepted Leads faster. It helps you track this and help you figure out the ROI of your content marketing.
OneSpot is the only content marketing platform powered by Content Sequencing® technology, which drives personalized, repeat engagement with branded content across websites, email and paid media channels.
Fortune 500 brands including Kraft Heinz, Delta Faucet, and Whole Foods Market rely on OneSpot to build strong content-based relationships, provide a measurable audience and content insights, and drive quantifiable results.
Prezi is the presentation platform that helps you connect more powerfully with your audience.
Unlike slides, Prezi’s interactive, zoomable canvas lets you show relationships between the big picture and fine details, putting your ideas in relief. With Prezi, your message is more likely to resonate, motivate, and be remembered.
Percolate’s complete web and mobile marketing software increases productivity elevates your brand and helps you generate more sales.
From governance, planning and content creation to audience acquisition, customer management and analytics, Percolate unite your brand, your data and your stories across every team, location, integrated system and customer interaction.
Kapost is the leading provider of Content Marketing software that enables companies to manage their content marketing as a structured business process.
Through its platform that manages the ideation, production, distribution, audience development and analytics of content marketing, Kapost empowers marketers to generate more content, more traffic, and more leads.
Turn what people post on social media into compelling stories. With Storify, you collect the best photos, video, quotes from Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and more to publish them as simple, beautiful stories that can be embedded anywhere.
It’s the best way to capture an event whether it’s a news event, a conference, a product launch, a wedding, etc.
CodeFuel is Perion’s (NASDAQ: PERI) engagement and monetization suite helping content publishers create new revenue streams and advertisers hit targeted audiences- all while increasing site performance.
CodeFuel enhances the user experience by delivering relevant content and optimizing conversion for both advertisers and publishers.
We keep users focused and on-site for longer through targeted search results while building the perfect native ad experience.
A good business listens to its customers and, thanks to social media, it’s easier to do that now than ever before – not just with existing clients, but potential customers and those of your rivals. Follow these simple tips and you’ll have a great chance of using social media monitoring to improve your business and generate new leads.
What is social media monitoring?
First, though, what exactly do we mean by social media monitoring? Many businesses adopt social media as a promotion tool – they use it to publicize new products or services or to announce special promotions. Social monitoring – or listening – is different. It monitors what people say about a product or a service to identify ways in which a business can improve. You could be listening for any one of a number of things – whether it’s how customers view your own products, how they interact with your competitors, what they’re looking for and what new products you could offer. That last point is possibly the most important because, if there is one thing many businesses get wrong, it’s what their customers truly want. The reason for that is simple – they ask them.
What customers want
Henry Ford once said that if he’d asked customers what they were looking for they would have said a faster horse – the idea of a car hadn’t even crossed their minds. Equally, nobody was clamoring for the iPad before it existed, but that didn’t stop it selling like hot cakes. People wanted it – even if they didn’t know it yet.
Asking customers, or potential customers, what they want is flawed because their answers will be limited by their own experiences. They can only picture things that they already know instead of imagining something which does not exist yet. Instead, businesses can listen to what they are saying as a way identifying the products which will sell.
Find out where your competitors are weak
As a business, you might spend time looking at where your competitors are strong. Using social media, you can find out where they are falling down on the job and letting their own customers down. It’s easy to do.
Simply type a competitor’s name into a search engine to see where they are being mentioned. Take note of any negative comments and what the problem is. You can also try adding words such as ‘can’t or ‘won’t’ into the search to see what they are failing to deliver. If you spot a common failing, make sure you can address that problem and ensure people know about it.
I’ve had direct experience of this. I was having a problem with a major payment platform which appeared to have lost a transaction. I wasn’t happy and expressed my discontent on Twitter. Pretty soon I was approached both by the platform itself who wanted to be seen to address the problem and also a competitor. They wanted to make it clear that their processes were much more reliable and I wouldn’t experience this same issue with them.
Locate your potential customers
Think about the kind of people you’re selling to and the kind of people you’d like to sell to. Try to find out where they spend their time online. Are they big users of Twitter or are there any discussion forums they like to hang out on? For example, if you sell to a specific business sector, it might have its own discussion forum. Sign up, listen to what’s being said and, at the appropriate time, join in. Be genuine. If you wade in with an overt plug for your product, it will stand out like a sore thumb and instead of attracting potential customers you’ll put them off for good. Be helpful, be useful and engage with them in a natural way. If you’re useful, they are more likely to become loyal and long term clients.
Get them early
Once you’ve located them, it’s time to get them early in the purchasing process. We are all becoming much smarter as consumers in the way we approach the business. According to data from MineWhat, 81% of consumers conduct research online before they make a buying decision. Sixty percent start on search engines and 61% say they will read product reviews before making a decision. Catch them early in the buying process and you’ve got a great chance of steering them in your direction.
Monitoring and listening plays an important role here. By listening to what they are saying you’ll be able to find out what they are looking for, what they are worried about, and what stops them from making a purchase. This allows you to present them with practical solutions. For example, the same survey found that approximately 60% of people decide not to make a purchase because they are worried about the returns policy. If that’s the case, reassure them that your returns policy is clear, simple, and fast.
Equally, if they decide against one of your competitors because they can’t offer something, make it clear to them that you can. For example, let’s say someone has rejected your biggest competitor because they don’t offer 24-hour phone support. If you can show them that you offer that, they will be much more likely to choose your company.
Every sector has their brand influencers – people who have the power to shape the buying decisions of others. You can find them by seeing who links to – or publishes – your press releases after a major launch. Get in touch and build a relationship with them to ensure they talk about you in a positive light.
Equally, the chances are you’ll have a lot of brand advocates out there – people who love your product and are happy to talk about it. They are a form of free promotion – they are out there plugging your business and you don’t even know about it. Sometimes it’s enough simply to listen to them and find out what they are saying. It will tell you what you’re doing that works and where your strengths lie. You could also engage with them; offer them promotions, special prices and giveaways – anything to keep them onsite and eulogizing about your products.
They can be useful if you have some bad publicity on social media. If someone is complaining about your product, they are the most likely people to come to your defense.
Embrace negative feedback
None of us likes to hear bad things said about us, but it can be useful. If someone is complaining about your product, take it as a form of product research. They are telling you about bugs with your product and service – and where you can make improvements. Iron these issues out and your sales will improve.
In general, good customer care and service are crucial in helping to improve sales. As consumers, we can be cynical at times. We’ve come to expect the worst from service providers – so much so that when someone pleasantly surprises us, we are likely to become customers and recommend that service to others.
Be attentive – listen to what’s going on and if someone is having trouble, help them out. They don’t even have to be customers. They could be asking a general question to which you have the answer. Give them a helping hand and the chances are they will repay you somewhere down the line.
The most important thing about this is that it works. We’ve worked with many clients who are using social media primarily as a promotional tool, but aren’t listening to what it’s telling them. We’ve helped them to see it as a two-way engagement and watched them reap the benefits.
Doing so is not always straightforward. There are millions of conversations taking place every day on social media platforms around the world. You need to sort out the good from the bad and the useless. You can get a long way by using the search features within platforms such as Twitter. Other tools such as Hootsuite can help you find relevant content and engage with the best people for your business. That, though, could be a topic for another blog.
Over to you
Do you use social media monitoring in your business? What was your biggest lesson learned from using it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
You’ve assembled a capable team, planned your campaign to the smallest detail, chosen the most effective platforms, and established an editorial calendar. Therefore, the social media campaign you are about to launch might as well be on its way. However, life in the marketing department can be hectic, stressful, and sometimes even chaotic, so keeping your team organized and on track is a paramount. And that, obviously, is easier said than done. Since this is marketing we are talking about, maybe we shouldn’t be thinking about elevating the level of effectiveness, but rather focus on the methods of preventing the chaos that is bound to ensue.
Pinpoint repeated processes and reuse them
Don’t reinvent the wheel every single time. You have done similar campaigns in the past. The experience you have gained will be the key factor when it comes to making decisions in the present. You know that some processes are bound to repeat, some issues will come up once again, and some bottlenecks will inevitably appear. Note the patterns whenever you can, and make templates which can ease your process management in the future. However, be wary of unexpected situations. If you ever face this unplanned, unstructured work, figure out the best ways of handling it and then reuse knowledge you gained in the future.
Keep track of tasks, working hours and progress
it would be the best if all data is kept in one place. No matter the workload, well organized processes are easier to handle and will produce better results in the end. By using a simple project management tool you can keep your personal, as well as your team’s work well organized without worrying about missed deadlines.
Clear your calendar
During the campaign you can’t be tied up in endless meetings. You must make time for thinking and planning, as well as yourself – just like your phone, you need to recharge to be fully operational. Even though routine is needed to get things done, taking short unscheduled breaks can relieve the stress and incent new ideas.
Importance of Workflow in Marketing Campaign Organization
No matter the object or type of your marketing campaign, effective communication amongst team members, as well as yourself and a client, is imperative. The first step towards managing a marketing team and organizing quality communication system is following a workflow of your marketing activities. Since each milestone is an opportunity to communicate with your team about project plans, objectives and intentions, there are some steps you might want to incorporate in your workflow:
Delegation and deadline determination: This is a well-known fact, so there is no reason to dwell on it. However, there is always some level of uncertainty when it comes to choosing the best way to organize day to day work. As it turns out, there are a lot of software solutions to help you out in this department and one of the best are project management tools. While all of them can help you with task delegation and progress tracking, only selected few project management software for marketing agencies will allow you to include clients in the process and let them provide you with an immediate feedback.
Choosing the performance metrics: By setting key performance metrics you will be able to determine and compare your performance to your peers in the industry at any time. Maybe you want to focus on inbound traffic or, let’s say, search engines ratings. It’s up to you. Just remember that right combination of metrics can show you not only where your strengths are but can point out your weaknesses as well. Having clear insights will help you determine which aspect of current marketing strategies or tactics needs to change.
Strict agenda: Like we mentioned earlier in the text, long-lasting meetings can be counterproductive and take a bite out of the precious creative time. Therefore, setting up a strict agenda and sticking to it will help you avoid off-topic discussions. This will shorten the time wasted on a pointless chit-chat and allow your team to focus on more important matters.
Establish centralized archive and documentation infrastructure: It would be ideal if all your documents, files, updates, task schedules, analytics and reports were in one place and accessible with the push of a button. That would eliminate the need for browsing for task related information, saving everyone’s time and effort in the process. Although not directly related to workflow, this is very useful tip overall.
By establishing a functional workflow, you have created conditions for your digital campaign to thrive and progress. All that is left now is achieving desired goals and delivering proper results to your distinguished clients.
“Remember that every lead generation campaign is powered by email marketing.”
He’s right. A lead isn’t a lead until you’ve captured their email address. Up until that point, they’re just a website visitor or someone who has discovered your business on social media (see “A Beginner’s Guide to Lead Generation”.
Patel goes on: “no matter which of the lead generation strategies you choose, you’ll always need an email autoresponder to capture the prospect’s information, nurture the leads and turn them into customers.”
This is the rudimentary point that I want to make absolutely crystal clear before we continue, for I know from experience that there is a little confusion about what a lead is.
Definition of a lead
A lead, in marketing terms, is a potential sales contact – specifically, a person or organization that has expressed a clear interest in our goods or services. In order to be able to make contact with these people/organizations, we must have their contact information. Crucially, however, the individual/organization must have surrendered their contact information of their own free will (no buying email lists from dodgy online vendors – the contacts on these lists are not leads, for they have expressed no interest in your business), usually in exchange for access to gated content. Only when somebody has made a clear expression of interest in our goods or services and has surrendered their contact information do they qualify as a lead.
A lead is only a lead when we have managed to capture their contact information. For online marketers, this contact information is almost always an email address – which is why Patel says that all lead generation campaigns are powered by email marketing.
Importantly, though (and just to reiterate a fundamental point), a lead is not only someone who has freely given us their email address. It’s also someone who has done so in exchange for more information about our goods or services than is otherwise freely available on our website or social media accounts.
Accessing this information gives marketers a clear indication that the person or organization is seriously considering making a purchase – and so we can send out email marketing campaigns to nurture them through our sales funnel accordingly.
But now we’re drifting into the realms of lead nurturing. What I want to cover in this blog are some top tactics for lead generation – i.e. the processes we can use in order to capture those email addresses in the first place.
Top lead generation tactics for content marketers
Lead generation is all about separating the wheat from the chaff. It’s about determining who’s simply a passive website visitor with no intent to buy, and who’s really interested in what our businesses have to offer.
Keep this in mind as we go through the following lead generation tactics, for it will determine the nature of the content that you use in each instance.
Ebooks, white papers, and research reports
Blogs and social media posts drive traffic to your website, but for lead generation, we need to offer something even more valuable.
Long form content is one of the first and most important lead generation tactics that a company can use – especially those in the B2B realm. Ebooks, white papers, and research reports are what we’re dealing with here.
Let’s say you’re a telecommunications company offering the latest and greatest in VoIP services. You’ve attracted a number of visitors to your site, but at present you have no idea who any of them are. So, you write three pieces of long-form content:
An ebook – “Top 10 Tips When Considering a VoIP Provider”
A white paper – “Why VoIP Systems Are More Secure than Landlines”
A research report – “The Business Case for VoIP and IP Telephony”
Those are some pretty good titles, which anybody seriously considering your services would want to read. And this is important – for remember, a lead is someone who expresses deeper interest in your goods or services beyond what you freely provide on your website.
In this sense, you can be sure that whoever fills out a form – in which they will freely hand over their email address – in order to access the content will be seriously considering your services. And when they do so – boom! – a lead is generated.
What other content can you create in order to capture email addresses?
One tactic comes in the form of webinars. Webinars are great because they offer live participation from an audience. During the broadcast, attendees are invited to leave comments and ask questions, and you as the host will of course do your utmost to answer them – either during the event, or in some sort of follow-up correspondence.
Much like those ebooks, white papers, and research reports mentioned above, webinars will promise to explore a subject in much greater detail than the content that is already available on your site. You might, for instance, use a webinar to demonstrate your product or solution in action, present the findings of your research report in a slideshow with commentary, or walk people through the basics (or advanced features) of your service.
Whatever you decide the topic of your webinar will be, you must remember that it needs to be valuable to your potential customers. This is what will encourage them to sign up to your webinar, thusly indicating that they are interested in what you have to offer, and in the process surrender that all-important email address. More leads generated.
Video is one of the most important content formats in 2017 and beyond. In fact, internet users engage with more video content than they do anything else – Cisco projects that video traffic will make up a full 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2020, up from 70% in 2015.
So, video marketing is clearly important – all that we need to do to turn our efforts into lead generation machines is include email opt-in forms that users will have to fill out in order to access our video content.
This may seem to go against the grain of your current video marketing strategy – which may be to generate as many video views and shares as possible. However, such tactics are solely to do with raising brand awareness and driving website traffic. In terms of lead generation, remember that we’re separating the wheat from the chaff – and those visitors who are so keen to watch your video that they fill out a form in order to do so are giving clear indications that they are more interested in your goods or services than the average visitor.
So, create two separate video marketing strategies – one that generates traffic, and one that generates leads.
Other lead generation tactics
Hopefully you’re getting the idea by now – lead generation tactics are all about creating superlative content that appeals only to those that are seriously interested in your goods or services. In order to access this content, visitors must fill out a form, thusly expressing their interest, indicating that they are considering a purchase, and of course surrendering their email address in the process.
In essence, then, lead generation is simply a more targeted form of content marketing – or content marketing that has the express purpose of capturing email addresses, as opposed to generating website traffic (which is what a lot of people assume content marketing to be).
I’ve highlighted long-form content, webinars and gated videos as three top lead generation tactics for content marketers, but there are more. Consider the following:
What other lead generation tactics do you employ at your agency? Let us know in the comments below.
Many websites use Google Analytics to track visitor data and action within the site. However, as websites grow bigger, Google Analytics (GA) must retrieve large amounts of information. Many webmasters run into problems related to sampling and other factors. The following tips will help you get the best service from your GA reports and hence improve your business.
1. Eliminate sampling errors by slicing data into small ranges
GA only returns a maximum of 500,000 data rows for most queries, with some exceptions. Therefore, if you run a query whose result takes more than the 500,000 rows, GA will pick a sample of 500,000 from the data and then multiply up to give the original number. Suppose your website had 4 million new visitors in one month, and you request a report of where the visitors visited from in that month. GA will sample 12.5% of your visitor data, analyze their sources and then multiply the resulting figures by 8 for the report.
This is a reasonable and common statistical technique that reduces data processing time. But, the danger with extrapolating in this manner is that reports may not always be accurate. In some cases, they may be altogether misleading.
In order to get accurate data, slice your data into sample ranges that allows GA to analyze within its range without sampling. For the example above, you may assume that you got 500,000 visitors every 4-5 days. In this case, make 6-7 queries for that number of days and then stitch the findings back together. The results will be accurate since they were taken as is.
2. Figure out how to operate the API
The GA web interface is a powerful and useful way of data exploration. You can easily get your reports and share with relevant colleagues for decision-making. However, it can be time-consuming and arduous to slice data as described above, download the results and then piece back together yourself. Not to mention the risk of introducing human error!
An easier way to do this is by applying the Core Reporting API. You can use the Query Explorer, which is an easier and friendlier way to construct multiple queries and piece them back together. You can use Python or other programming languages to grab the data. The entire process is hassle-free once you learn.
3. Have an actual database to store your GA data
Given that you’ll have to stitch your data slices back together locally, it helps to have a central location to store information. It will keep your data in an orderly way and let you use them as required in future. You can use a remote database expert to modify your website database by adding some tables to store your GA data. This is helpful since traffic data can be paired to relevant articles rather than URLs, given that URLs may change as time passes.
Additionally, doing this can help you run more complex article-related queries, e.g. the 10 most viewed articles in a given category for the past month, or a list of every long-term author’s 5 most popular posts (setting parameters for what constitutes long-term). These queries are usually difficult to run because GA doesn’t understand ‘author’ or ‘category’ as you may think. The other upside is that it’s easier to export data from one database if using third-party visualization and external analysis tools such as Tableau.
4. Adequately utilize your Views options
GA allows up to 10,000 API requests a day for each reporting view. If you have more than 10,000 posts across your website, getting information for each post in a single view will take more than one day, depending on how many they are.
What many don’t know is that views live within properties, and each property is allowed up to 50,000 requests. Therefore, you can set up your properties with a related set of views e.g. traffic info for one topic/author, as well as a view with traffic info for the site in its entirety. You can now query Topic views for data on a specific topic’s posts and hence use the 50,000 API limit rather than being limited to 10,000.
5. First retrieve broad data then narrow down
A lot of work can go into creating a GA report. Suppose you want to create a map displaying the sources of traffic by country to certain articles in your site. If you have 250 posts for a six-month period (about 100 day), you’ll need to run 25,000 queries to cover each post on each day. Consider that some posts will probably have no views on some days, and GA doesn’t sample ‘overall pageviews’ while it samples ‘pageviews-by-country’.
Instead, you can make one query for every post, requesting overall pageviews per day. Then, you can make another query for every post and for every day each post had at least one pageview, asking for pageviews-by-country. This will massively reduce the number of separate queries you’ll have to send, speeding up the process and saving that precious GA API request quota.
6. Apply multithreading
You’ll notice that GA takes about 5-7 seconds to publish the results of one query. If you have to make a request on every single post, assuming your site has thousands of posts, you’ll be making requests for days. Rather than run each query by itself, consider parallel querying. You can send up to 10 API requests per second, meaning in the time taken to process your initial queries you can send at least 50 more. This allows long query queues to have much faster processing times compared with serial querying, so that the work that would have taken 24 hours can now take just one or two hours.
7. Save, save, save
Finally, there are many things that can go wrong as you work: code may crash, you may drop your connection, use up your GA API quota or anything else, when you’re at the 95% point of downloading your data. You don’t want to have to start afresh once the problem passes. Therefore, ensure that your data is being saved to disk as it downloads rather than being cached in your memory. Make your settings such that you can skip to where you left off once the download resumes.
How have you manipulated the data you get from Google Analytics to increase your business and website power? Share your experiences in the comments below.
GetResponse is loaded with features right out of the box that make it easy to communicate with your customers via email and increase sales. What can be easy to forget is how much more power you can add by connecting the other apps you use during your work day—like lead gen form tools—to your campaigns in GetResponse.
Last year, Facebook rolled out an advertising solution called Lead Ads, which allow advertisers to collect information from prospects directly from mobile ads in the Facebook newsfeed. Instead of sending a user over to a landing page to fill out a form, Lead Ads are pre-populated with a user’s contact information, so in one-click, they can claim an offer, download an ebook, or subscribe to a newsletter, all without having to hop away from the day’s top stories (and memes).
But getting those leads out of Facebook and into GetResponse (or any other email or CRM app for that matter) can be challenging. When a lead submits the form on your Facebook ad, you need to export a CSV with their information and then import it into GetResponse. That means to send out a timely follow up to deliver content or welcome your new user, that export/import cha-cha-cha needs to be done several times a day.
So, it’s exciting that Facebook and Zapier, an app automation platform, have partnered up on a new Facebook Lead Ads integration that makes contacting your new leads much easier and more seamless.
Now, when you’re building a lead form in Facebook, you can choose to connect that form directly to GetResponse. That way, new contacts collected via the form will automatically be subscribed to a campaign in GetResponse and you can avoid the manual work of importing leads altogether. Best of all, it means you can follow up with those new subscribers faster, giving you a better chance of turning new leads into lasting customers.
Italian furniture retailer Magazzinosottocosto is doing exactly that—they use the integration to subscribe the leads who fill in their ad to GetResponse and send out the newest furniture catalog automatically, saving her team at least $200/month in billable time.
“Downloading the leads CSV file from Facebook and then uploading to GetResponse was a manual process that took time away from our team’s more important tasks,” said CEO Simone Lolliri. “Now that the process is all automated, the team can focus on improving other crucial things, like the ads, emails, and blog posts.”
Digital agency New Meta Agency takes advantage of the high conversion rates of Facebook lead ads while delivering top-notch service to their clients.
“Lead ads can now bolt straight to our auto responders in GetResponse. This gives our clients a marketing advantage as lead forms outperform any other form of direct response marketing on mobile right now,” says owner Ben Lewis.
Steal their workflows for yourself and get started building Zaps (what Zapier calls automated workflows) like the Facebook lead ads, and others that will free up your time for more important tasks. Zapier offers a free plan and is designed to be used by anyone—no coding required.
“I have witnessed firsthand Jon`s unique ability to lead and build a company from the ground up. He has a proven track record to create technology, operations and company vision based on identifying early adopter trends in the market place”– Bruce Knox
, VP , Circuit of the Americas
“Jon Flatt is a true entrepreneur and pioneer in the fast growing world of online advertising. His philosophies on innovation and business operations in the new economy have proven to be very successful.”– Red McCombs
, Billionaire and former owner of , The Minnesota Vikings
“Jon has an uncanny ability to quickly understand very complex issues and come up with effective scaleable solutions. His abilities as a problem solver are among the best I have ever experienced”– Scott Friesen
, CEO , Verdant Frontiers
“Jon Flatt is a visionary who has the unique ability to identify early adopter trends in online advertising and more importantly, develop and execute strategies to capitalize upon those trends.”– Rad Weaver
, Partner , McCombs Enterprises
“Jon Flatt builds and leads profitable, highly successful, and rapid growth companies. He is able to focus on mentoring excellent leadership teams, attracting top talent, and gaining employee loyalty during an intense high growth revenue stage. Having worked as CFO for Jon's previous company, Lin Digital, I was able to see first hand his razor sharp focus on building a highly profitable business with an end goal to produce company, employee and shareholder returns.”– Sherri Holland
, CFO , Nfluient
“With almost two decades of experience in digital advertising sales, business operations, and as a publisher, Jon brings a level of combined expertise not seen often in the digital space. Leveraging owned and paid assets for revenue and sales is tough. Building a business from that success is even more difficult. Few people exist that can help you accomplish those types of goals. Jon is one of them.
”– Farhan Rehmani
, Director, Business Development , Varick Media Management
“Jon Flatt is a true visionary in the digital space. He's a born entrepreneur, leader, and always has his finger on the pulse of "whats next".”– Jason Gibson
, Regional Account Executive , LIN Digital
“If you are looking to improve your company culture, attract the best talent and position your company for maximum growth, you need to be talking to Jon. Early on in the digital World, Jon realized that tech is an important component in the Red McCombs Media value proposition and while service is key, a tech platform would position the company far beyond competitors. He conceptualized and created RedZone, a platform that streamlines internal workflow that competitors are still trying to replicate in 2016 and gives full, real-time data access to agency clients and brands beyond the limitations of a DSP or an ad server. This is just one of many things that made Red McCombs Media attractive to bidders and led to the purchase of Red McCombs Media by LIN Media. With the powerful combination of tech and service touted by LIN Media, they were purchased by Media General, who was then purchased by NexStar. All of these companies achieved great success as a result of Jon’s early work…work which has withstood the test of time.”– Larry Tucker
, regional account lead , Centro
Jon Flatt is the founder and former CEO of RED McCombs Media, a.k.a. RMM Online. Jon held this position for over 10 years, generating over $500 million in digital revenue. The purchase of RMM (Nov. 2009 in which Jon retained his position as CEO) by Lin TV (which became Lin Media in 2013, and merged with Media General in 2014) was finalized in Dec. f 2012, prompting Jon`s departure from the company in 2013.