6 Reasons Why You Should Attend a Conference

There are hundreds of manufacturing conferences that are held every year around the country. As the owner of a manufacturing business, it would do you a lot of good to attend just one of these conferences. Unfortunately, many business owners don’t make the time to attend any of them. There’s a chance that you may not have gone because you simply weren’t aware that these conferences were being held. It’s more likely that you’re afraid that they won’t be worth your time. As a business owner, time is precious. You don’t want to waste what time you have traveling to and from a conference that may have nothing new to offer. If this is your line of thinking, then you should strongly reconsider. The following are six significant reasons why you should attend a conference:

1. Find New Prospects

Building relationships with existing clients shouldn’t be your only goal. You’ll find that conferences are attended by many prospects as well. They may be looking to educate themselves about the industry before they even choose a manufacturer to work with. This allows them to make a more informed decision. As such, these conferences are a great opportunity to introduce yourself to potential prospects, thereby giving you a better chance at closing new customers.

2. Build Relationships With Existing Clients

There’s a very good chance that you’ll run into existing clients at one of these conferences. Clients often attend a conference in order to better educate themselves about the industry. Doing so gives them the confidence that they’re investing their money responsibly. They also use these conferences as a way to network. By showing up as well, you’ll be able to interact with existing clients and to build your relationships with them. Not only is it a great opportunity to re-engage, but they’ll also see that you’re taking the effort to improve your business. This, in turn, helps to build trust in your brand, which will improve your chances of turning them into brand evangelists.

Learn how you can further increase your brand awareness: How To Drive Brand Awareness

3. Meet Experts And Influencers

Networking with clients and potential clients is important, but those aren’t the only people worth meeting at these manufacturing conferences. You will also listen to and meet numerous experts and influencers within your field. Building relationships with these people can be incredibly beneficial as well. For example, experts can provide you with advice that can help you solve issues that your company is currently having. Influencers can be key in helping you find new customers or discovering new markets that your company could enter.

4. Learn New Approaches And Ideas

Attending conferences isn’t just about networking (although it’s an excellent opportunity to do so), it’s also about learning. Most conferences will schedule a list of speakers from throughout the industry. They will also hold numerous workshops that you can participate in. It’s a great way to better educate yourself about your industry and to learn about new approaches and ideas about the manufacturing process, your business strategy, or your marketing strategy, to name a few potential subjects. As a business owner, you should always be looking for ways that you can improve your company. Knowledge is power when it comes to not just surviving in the industry, but succeeding in it.

Staying up to date on all the latest trends within the manufacturing industry can be a real challenge in itself. Not only do you need to keep up to date with the latest technologies, tools, and strategies, but you need to figure out which are worth implementing. Conferences are a great way to learn about the latest trends. For example, new manufacturing technology may be presented at the conference that you can learn about. Additionally, going to a conference is a good way to learn about the trends that are actually worth following, thereby giving you a better idea as to whether they will benefit your company.

6. Speak About Your Own Business

Conferences give you the chance to speak publicly about your business. This can help to generate interest in what you’re doing, thereby building your brand name and reputation. However, it also provides you with practice pitching your company and its services. Refining this skill will come in handy whenever you’re speaking with prospects in the future.

These are six reasons why you should attend a conference. Attending a manufacturing conference can not only help to educate you about different aspects of the industry, but it can also help you stay up to date on the latest trends as well as to network with hundreds — if not thousands — of people within your industry that are worth knowing.

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Introducing the 4C Marketing Model and why you should follow it

When it comes to marketing models, the 4P marketing model is the most traditional, business-oriented one — and the one you’re most likely familiar with. The 4Ps represent product, price, promotion, and place. For a more customer-oriented model, you may want to follow the 4C marketing model. The 4C marketing model was first proposed by Bob Lauterborn in an article published in Advertising Age in 1990. He saw it as a possible effective alternative. The following is a brief breakdown of the 4C marketing model, which consists of consumer, cost, convenience, and communication.

Consumer

First, you have to know who your target customers are and what their needs and wants are. The consumer should drive all of your marketing efforts from here on out. Having knowledge about your target audience makes it easier to create a product that fulfills a need in the market. This is where your buyer personas come in. Buyer personas represent your ideal customer and once you understand them, you better understand your target audience. This leads to improved communication with your consumers and gives them the sense that you understand them as well, leading to improved sales. Of course, the product is an important focus in any marketing model, but always remember the value of the consumer.

Cost

In the 4C marketing model, the cost evaluates the cost considerations from the buyer’s perspective. Determining the cost involves performing detailed research into what customers are able and willing to pay. Additionally, do research into the cost of competing products. The research will aid you in figuring out whether selling your product at a cost that customers are willing to pay will be profitable or not. You will also need to take into account the added costs of purchasing your product outside its sticker price. For example, how much customers will need to pay in taxes, shipping costs or transportation costs.

One thing that’s important to keep in mind is that the price point of your product isn’t what necessarily convinces consumers to purchase your product. A low price point won’t always drive sales, after all. In the end, it’s the benefit of your product that will help support its costs.

Explore More Marketing Models: Understanding the Difference Between Earned Media vs. Paid Media And Embracing The PESO Model

Communication

Communication refers to how you will engage with your customers. You will want to find ways to engage with your target customers to build confidence in your brand and your product. Customers want to know how buying your product will benefit them and that’s what you need to focus on communicating. You should focus on providing relevant information to customers in order to help them figure out what their problems, needs, or challenges are. This will then allow you to position your product as a potential solution. This requires that you ask your customers questions and listen to what they have to say. Communication is a two-way street after all.

Promoting products is all about saying what you have to say and hoping the customer buys it. Communication is about strengthening your understanding of your customers and building trust in your brand. One of the best ways to do this is through social media.

Convenience

Convenience focuses on how easy it is for customers to purchase your product. You’ll want to identify potential barriers and figure out ways to remove those barriers in order to improve customer convenience. For example, maybe a poor user interface is preventing potential customers from using your e-commerce site. Providing quality customer support to help make the purchasing process easier is also an important facet of improving convenience.

In today’s world, the consumer has more power than ever. As such, your marketing efforts will be more successful if you take a more customer-oriented approach. By using the 4C marketing model, you’ll have more success targeting customers who are actually interested in what you have to offer. Not to mention that such an approach will help you build long-lasting relationships with your customers.

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Hashtags on LinkedIn

10 Tips for Using Hashtags on LinkedIn

Using hashtags on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook helps users reach an audience beyond their group of followers or friends. Hashtags mark content with keywords that are relevant to the message of the post. When users search those keywords, your content becomes visible to people who may not have known about your business previously. Hashtags are often viewed as a casual practice, yet they hold value on professional social platforms like LinkedIn. To make the most out of hashtags on LinkedIn, keep the following 10 tips in mind:

  1. Remember the hashtag rules

    Hashtags can either be placed after your copy or embedded within it. However, you need to make sure that it’s relevant to your content. Additionally, do not hashtag every word in your post — doing so will just make it look like spam. LinkedIn allows you to include letters, numbers, and emojis in hashtags. The use of spaces and symbols within your tag will break the link. This means that you should avoid commas, hyphens, exclamation points, and apostrophes. You can use punctuation before and after you hashtag. Last, but not least, limit your hashtags to five at the very most. A string of hashtags in a single post can cause your post to be marked as spam by the LinkedIn algorithm.

  2. Follow hashtags on LinkedIn

    You can follow hashtags on LinkedIn. Adding hashtags to the Your Communities box allows you to monitor conversations and posts across LinkedIn that use the hashtags you’re following. This can be an effective way to monitor conversations about your brand, about your competitors, about your industry, and more. It can also help you identify influencers and leads. Additionally, following hashtags can help you discover ideas for new content.

  3. Research hashtags to use

    Pay attention to the content and posts published by other companies within your industry — or even those that you compete with directly. You can get a lot of ideas for hashtags to use from their content. You should also follow industry influencers on LinkedIn. If anyone knows how to use hashtags correctly and effectively, it’s the influencers using LinkedIn.

  4. Create a company hashtag

    Create a hashtag that coincides with your company or marketing campaign in order to strengthen your brand identity. For example, WeWork asks both clients and prospects to use #wework on social media to share their personal stories. This creates a memorable experience for social media users and spreads the brand’s message through UGC.

  5. Use the suggest hashtags feature

    When you’re going through the process of posting something, LinkedIn has a feature that will automatically suggest a hashtag that’s relevant to your content. Check the hashtag they recommend and use it if you think it’s relevant.

  6. Use hashtags in your comments

    Besides using hashtags for the content that you post on your LinkedIn page, use hashtags in any comments you post on other published content or posts. This ensures that your comments will show up in that specific hashtag’s feed.

  7. Popular hashtags are hashtags that use broad keywords that will help expose your content to a potentially large audience. However, you can target a more specific audience with less hashtag competition by using hashtags that are associated with niches. There’s no reason to forego one type for the other — they can both have a positive impact on your marketing efforts.

  8. Use location-based hashtags

    A large number of users on LinkedIn aren’t from the U.S. If you’re trying to attract potential leads within a certain area or are posting about a certain area, you may want to use a geo-specific hashtag. For example, if you’re partnering with a local restaurant in Detroit, you might want to add a hashtag on your announcement such as #Detroitrestaurants

  9. Use event hashtags

    Most events, such as industry events and conferences, have their own hashtags. Use these hashtags to let everyone know of your attendance or involvement with the event.

  10. Reuse effective hashtags from successful posts

    Use your analytics tools to identify the most successful posts. This can refer to posts that had a significant amount of clicks-through, comments, or shares. Take note of the hashtags that you used on these posts and be sure to use them again when it’s relevant to do so (you don’t want to use hashtags that aren’t relevant as this will just annoy users).

Hashtags on LinkedIn attract more leads to your business by making your posts easier to find and giving clients and prospects an interactive way to engage with you on social media. If your LinkedIn traffic is slow or if you simply want to communicate with more people, think of ways to start incorporating hashtags into your posts. Perhaps your next great marketing campaign will begin with a hashtag.

Integrating Social Media & SEO Efforts For Enhanced Search Engine Results

Planning a Website? Consider Growth-Driven Design

A business without a website is practically unheard of in this day and age. Not having a website severely limits your ability to market your brand. However, designing and building a website can be more difficult than you might think. The traditional way of building a website requires that you figure out exactly what you want your website to have and then launching the completed version. The problem with this method is that you’ll end up having to redesign it after a few years. This is especially true if it turns out that your website isn’t very user-friendly or needs additional features. It’s one of the main reasons that many companies are opting to use Growth-Driven Design instead.

What Is Growth-Driven Design?

Growth-Driven Design (GDD) is a website design methodology that uses an incremental approach. Instead of designing and developing a website and launching it after completion, GDD allows you to launch an incomplete site. The idea is to launch a site with basic functionality and to add to it over time. With GDD, you can continuously test the usability of your site and collect feedback. You can use this data to make changes or add features to your website over time. GDD consists of two phases:

Phase One

During phase one, you need to determine what your users want and need. With that in mind, plan a wishlist of features and functionalities you want for your website. Once a wishlist has been created, you’ll need to prioritize the list by features that will have an immediate impact. You will develop and launch your website to have those core features. Although not complete, your site should have the basic functionality to make it useable.

Phase Two

During phase two, you will analyze the performance of your website. Take into account things like user experience and goal achievement. You will then improve your website using what you’ve learned during specific increments throughout the future (such as every month or every two months). This allows you to continue to build your website even while it’s live.

See how Stevens & Tate implemented a Growth-Driven Design Strategy to help a client: DSI Spaceframes Case Study

The Benefits Of Implementing A Growth-Driven Design

At first glance, it might make more sense to wait until you completely finish the website to launch it. However, there are actually a number of advantages to using GDD instead. The following are some of the main benefits of implementing GDD:

  • Launch your site quickly

    Because the launchpad site only needs to have 20 percent of your wishlist’s features implemented, you’ll be able to launch it much faster. The quicker your site is up and running, the better (as long as it’s functional, of course).

  • Continuously improve your website

    With a traditional website design, what you see is what you get. Once it’s been launched, you’re done. You won’t be able to improve it unless you decide to do a major redesign or update. With

    GDD, you have the opportunity to improve your website continually based on the data you collect.

  • Minimize your risk

    You won’t spend as much money upfront with GDD since you’re launching an incomplete version. With a traditional website design, you’re taking a bigger risk because you’re using your entire design budget in one go. Your website could end up being a failure upon its launch, resulting in the loss of a significant amount of money. By building your website in increments, you’re taking less of a financial risk — especially since your budget can be spread across a longer period of time.

  • Avoid massive redesign projects

    With a traditional website design, you’re going to have to invest in a significant update or website redesign at some point in the future. This will be an expensive undertaking and it will be a necessary one. That’s just the nature of technology. With GDD, this will never be required since you’re constantly updating and improving your site.

  • Gain valuable insight into users

    GDD allows you to use what you learn about your users to continuously improve your site. At the same time, you’ll be gaining valuable insight into users that can be used in your marketing and sales strategies.

  • Evolve your site with your business

    Your business may change over time. With GDD, your website will be able to evolve naturally to keep up with all the changes your business experiences.

You simply can’t go without a company website, no matter how small your business might be. When planning your website design, consider implementing a Growth-Driven Design. Doing so will provide your company with a number of advantages over a more traditional design methodology. With a Growth-Driven Design, you’ll be able to adapt more successfully to the needs of your users, as well as your business.

Website Redesign Checklist
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top branding agency

Stevens & Tate Listed as a Top Branding Agency by DesignRush

We are extremely proud to announce that Stevens & Tate Marketing has been recognized as a top branding agency of 2019 by DesignRush! At Stevens & Tate, we recognize the importance of brand development, which is why we dedicate so much of our time to perfecting it. We know what it takes to create an authentic brand for each individual client that truly encompasses who they are and what their mission is. Furthermore, we pride ourselves on our ability to deliver quality results on a consistent basis. 

Our Branding Services

Here at Stevens & Tate, we provide a number of branding services including logo design, brand strategy and slogan creation. We want to help our clients differentiate themselves from the competition. Our dedication to providing top quality services for our clients is why we receive recognition from prestigious marketplaces such as DesignRush. We understand that every brand has different needs and we strive to help fulfill them. Our goal is to help all of our clients make strong connections with their customers through their developed brand identity. Not only do we assist with brand development, but we help our clients with the process of storybranding as well. 

Similar Article: Stevens & Tate Marketing Named as a Top Business Services Provider in Advertising and Marketing by Clutch

The Top Branding Agencies List

Being named a top branding agency by DesignRush is an honorable recognition for our company. DesignRush is a B2B marketplace that helps brands connect with full-service ad agencies, web design companies, digital marketing firms, and leading technology companies. For their branding list, they searched for the top agencies that successfully helped companies use their values, missions, services, and more to create a brand that reflected their authenticity. Additionally, they included both local and global agencies, showcasing a wide variety of companies. We’re thankful that DesignRush continues to acknowledge our company as a top agency in 2019. Earlier this year, they included us in their list of top digital marketing companies of 2019, amongst other recognitions.

Our Commitment to Success

The awards we receive would not be possible without our dedicated clients. We thank our clients for driving us to succeed and stay on top of our ever-growing industry. Our collaborations and hard work lead to great achievements. We promise to continue striving for the best as the end of the year approaches and we prepare for 2020

You can check out the full list of top branding agencies of 2019 on the Design Rush website. There, you can see our profile and find out more about why we’re a top branding agency.

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brand development

Why Brand Development Matters and How it Works

Branding is more than just creating a logo and slapping it on a website or the side of a van. Developing your brand takes time, but the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll see results. Your brand makes you recognizable to consumers and without having it clearly established, your company becomes lost in the crowd. You want to impress your prospects and brand development does a lot of the work for you. Get ready to put your other projects aside, because right now, developing your brand matters most.

Developing your strategy

Brand development is a multi-stage process with the ultimate goal of building brand equity in a consumer’s mind. Brand equity is an intangible set of assets that cannot be tracked on a balance sheet. But, the value of that equity is the most valuable asset a company can own. Think about Kraft, Amazon, Apple, Steve Carell or Servpro. What emotional ties do you have with these brands?

Developing a brand must be part of the larger marketing plan for the company. It is often the biggest challenge, but the most critical. You don’t have to invest millions to develop your brand, but making the effort will pay off.

You first need an understanding of the clients you want to reach. Don’t assume you already know them, and instead take the time to do some research. You want to figure out your brand’s buyer persona. This includes your audience’s demographic and even their psychographics, such as their goals and motivations. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what they want to see from you. From there, you can be sure you’re focusing your brand on the correct target audience.

Defining your brand

Next, focus on your brand definition. This definition can be in the form of a story or statement that clearly reflects what your brand is all about. Your marketing team will help you define what you are offering, how your target audience will benefit from it, what guarantees your offer, and what your unique selling proposition (USP) is. Remember to ask the question, what can this brand do or stand for that no other brand can say?

Think of what valuable services your company provides to customers that make their lives better. In order to compete with other brands, you need to have key differentiators that set you apart. Make a list of all you have to offer and then determine which unique offer stands out the most. This can be your lead differentiator you use in your branding when trying to appeal to your target audience.

Logo and Slogan

For your next step, you want to design a logo. Your logo should help convey your message to the audience you want to reach. Also, keep in mind that your logo is like the face of your brand, because it’s often the first thing people recognize. For example, if you think about Starbucks, McDonald’s or Louis Vuitton, their logo probably immediately comes to mind.

Now, you need to consider creating a slogan. This is part of letting your customers know what your company is about. Your slogan needs to be concise and relevant to your business. If you have trouble coming up with one on your own, consider using a slogan generator. You might also include your slogan in your logo, or create another version of your logo with the slogan in it that you can use, when suitable, to further establish your brand.

You know your buyer persona, you have your logo and slogan, now examine your company goals. How do you want consumers to see you? You need to make your brand strategy align with your goals and ideals in order to be consistent with your business. This step is important, because if you do not get it right, the rest of your brand strategy will fail. Take time to evaluate different possibilities and narrow it down to the one you think works best for you. This doesn’t have to be a one person job. Put together a team or get in contact with a marketing company for a fresh perspective.

Still unsure? Check out: The Brand Development Process Demystified 

Growing your brand

You’ve established your brand, but you’re not done yet. Now you need to help it grow. Put your brand out there for everyone to see. Incorporate it into your social media, SEO, ads and more. Specifically, focus on your website. Potential customers come to your website for a number of needs, so you want it to reflect your brand in the best way possible. Your new brand can also help you stand out at trade shows. The more public appearances your brand has, the more recognizable it will become. Don’t be intimidated by the amount of work it takes to grow the brand. It will be worth it when you start seeing the results of your carefully curated strategy.

Have patience while you wait for the results of establishing your brand. This is not an overnight process. So, take a look at your website and business analytics and continue to monitor them on a weekly or monthly basis. If your brand is a success, analytics will be able to show you how its helped your company flourish with growing numbers in connections and clients.

Going forward, continue to monitor your brand, conduct research into more growth opportunities and update as the market changes. Don’t let all your hard work go to waste by letting your brand fall behind. Better yet, invest in receiving help from a marketing company. Often, they know the best techniques and practices for your brand development. With them, you can be sure your brand has the best chance to excel in your industry.

buyer persona guide for business
A marketer's guide to advanced automation

A Marketer’s Guide to Advanced Automation

Using marketing automation solutions can greatly improve your marketing capabilities. Automation saves time on repetitive, mundane tasks, giving you more time to focus on more pressing matters. Additionally, automation helps improve the customer experience by making client data better organized and easier to access. However, using basic automation will no longer provide you with a huge advantage over your competition. Few companies exist that do not employ some kind of automation solution. If you want a real advantage, you need to begin using more advanced automation tools. The following are some of the advanced automation tactics that you should think about adopting:

1. Advanced Email Segmentation

Basic email segmentation, which involves sectioning your email list based on things like gender or information pertinent to your products and services, is quite common. However, the use of advanced email segmentation personalizes your marketing even more. Advanced email segmentation allows you to segment your email list even further based on things like content opened, location, engagement with your brand, the device used, their stage of the buyer’s journey, and more.

2. Date-Based Automation

advanced automation emailing

Many companies use action-based automation to deliver certain emails. For example, if a customer makes a purchase on your e-commerce page, you might automatically deliver a thank you email to their inbox. Many businesses use this basic form of action-based email automation. Another form of email automation worth using is date-based automation. Date-based automation tools allow you to automatically send off certain emails to certain recipients on specified dates. For example, if your opt-in form asks for a birthdate, use date-based automation to automatically send an email wishing a happy birthday to your leads and customers when their birthday comes around.

3. Lead Scoring

Lead scoring hasn’t quite caught on with the average marketer because it can take some time to set up. However, lead scoring helps make it easier to identify the quality of your leads. This, in turn, prevents your marketing and sales team from engaging with uninterested leads. It also helps prevent your marketing and sales teams from missing out on leads that were ready to convert. The way lead scoring works is simple. For every action a lead takes, or for every piece of information they provide, they are automatically assigned points. These actions or bits of information can be worth different values. For example, downloading an eBook might be worth more than liking a blog post on social media. Certain actions or information can be worth negative points as well.

You’ll have to decide at what point the total of their score determines that they are an MQL (marketing qualified lead) or a SQL (sales qualified lead). As you can imagine, having scores on all your leads can be incredibly helpful; however, your marketing and sales teams will have to work together to come up with a scoring system.

Learn more about how marketing automation can benefit you: How Marketing Automation Can Improve Your Lead Nurturing Process

4. Personalized Offers

Using an advanced automation eCommerce recommendation tool, you can automatically create dynamic emails that suggest relevant products to customers based on their past behavior. Some of these behaviors may include what they purchase, how much they spend, and how often they make purchases. The email is only generated after assessing the customer and it can go a long way towards increasing sales.

5. Chatbots

People often have basic questions when exploring a new website. A chat feature allows them to ask these questions without having to call or email you. Unfortunately, you may not have the resources to personally engage with visitors on your website 24/7 via the chat feature. That’s why you should consider implementing chatbots. Chatbots can be programmed to answer the most common questions automatically so that you don’t need a human to engage directly with every visitor. Even social channels such as Facebook are beginning to implement automated chat features.

Automation doesn’t just help make time-consuming tasks less time-consuming to do. It organizes valuable data, making it easier for you to improve your ability to engage with customers. Automation can even help improve the customer experience directly. Any business that’s looking to grow should go beyond the basics of automation and implement these advanced automation tactics into their marketing strategy.

25 Website Must Haves
types of digital marketing strategies

Types of Digital Marketing Strategies Your Business Should Use

If you have a website for your business, then there’s a good chance you’re familiar with SEO (search engine optimization). You know how the use of keywords can help increase your site’s exposure on search engines. However, when it comes to digital marketing, SEO is not the only valid strategy. In fact, there are many types of digital marketing tactics that you should consider employing in order to boost awareness of your brand and bring in more web traffic. The following are a few examples of different types of digital marketing to consider implementing into your marketing strategy:

Social Media Marketing

By creating a social media marketing strategy, you have the opportunity of reaching more people to expand your audience. Of course, you will need to do more than just set up some social media pages. First, you need to figure out where your target audience can be found. Different people use different social media channels, after all. For example, you’re probably not going to find an audience over the age of 60 on Snapchat. In addition to setting up a social page, you’ll need to post content, engage with relevant content posted by others, interact directly with users, and more. Social media is a great way to not only engage directly with your audience, but also to listen to what they have to say.

PPC Advertising

If you’re a smaller business owner with limited resources, the idea of PPC advertising may not appeal to you at first glance. After all, it stands for “pay per click.” While creating a website doesn’t cost much–and neither does running a social media page or posting content to a blog–eventually, you’re going to need to invest money into those strategies in order to expand your company’s reach. However, PPC advertising is something you have to put money into right away. Yet it’s something you should strongly consider doing because of how cost-effective PPC advertising is.

The way PPC ads work is you create an ad based around a keyword. You then bid on that keyword. Depending on your bid, your ad may show up on the results of someone who performed a search using your keyword. What makes these PPC ads so effective is that even though they show up and the user sees them, you don’t have to pay for them unless they click on the ad — and the amount you pay is the amount you bid. You’re basically only paying for results. You can run PPC ads on most search engines, although Google Adwords is the most popular. Social channels, such as Facebook, also offer PPC advertising.

Learn how Stevens & Tate can help you with your digital marketing: Stevens & Tate Recognized as a Top Digital Marketing Company on Design Rush

Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the oldest types of digital marketing. It’s still around because of how effective it is. It has also evolved significantly over the years. Email marketing is a great way to build relationships with your leads and nurture them through the sales funnel. The data you collect from your email marketing efforts can be incredibly insightful as well. For example, you can track email open rates, click-through-rates, and more to identify what kind of content your recipients care most about and what types of calls-to-action are working. Email marketing also helps you maintain the relationships you’ve built with existing customers, turning them into brand evangelists.

Content Marketing

Last, but not least, is content marketing. Without content, none of your other digital marketing strategies are even possible. Content is king, as they often say. You need to create content that is relevant to your audience and that is helpful — not overly promotional. Content helps inform your audience about their problems and needs as well as introduce them to potential solutions. Common types of content that can be posted on your blog, your website, your social pages, in your emails, and more, include articles, images, videos, infographics, eBooks, white papers, and much more.

These four strategies along with SEO make up the five main types of digital marketing strategies you can implement. However, these strategies are incredibly broad. Each strategy can include hundreds of different tactics, if not more. Not to mention that for each type of digital marketing strategy to be as effective as possible, they need to work together. For example, social media marketing depends heavily on content marketing, while content marketing depends heavily on SEO. If your current focus is on SEO, consider implementing these other types of digital marketing strategies as well.

Integrating Social Media & SEO Efforts For Enhanced Search Engine Results

ad fraud detection

Ad Fraud Detection: Should you be worried?

Although running digital ads has never been easier and more cost-effective, especially with the ability to target audiences and through real-time bidding platforms, there is one big drawback: ad fraud is on the rise. According to the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau), ad fraud costs the U.S. marketing industry alone almost $8.2 billion a year. Unfortunately, because of real-time bidding, committing ad fraud has become easier. Advertisers end up paying for clicks and exposure on specific pages that aren’t actually happening. To reduce the risk of experiencing ad fraud, the following is a brief ad fraud detection guide.ad fraud detection

Simple Ways that Small Businesses Can Use Data to Build Better Customer Relationships

Ad Fraud Detection Tips

When you purchase ad space, be sure to monitor your ads to make sure ad fraud isn’t taking place. The following are a few signs that you should look out for that typically indicate fraud:

 

  • Your ads aren’t performing – If your ads are having no impact whatsoever and you’ve put a lot of resources into your ad campaign, then it’s usually a sure sign of ad fraud. An ad with well-crafted content, thoroughly researched keywords, and a carefully targeted audience shouldn’t have zero conversions or sales. This is especially true if you compare it to display ad campaigns you’re running on other channels. If a display ad on Facebook is producing 50 conversions for every 500 clicks and your other ad has 500 clicks and no conversions, it’s a giant red flag.

 

  • On-site analytics aren’t comparing – If your ad has short session durations and high bounce rates compared to an ad you’re running on Facebook, it could potentially be ad fraud. People that click ads will typically spend some time on the page, even if they’re not filling out the form.

 

  • Your click-through-rates are too high – Having a high click-through-rate is great, but if your click-through-rates are too high, then you should be suspicious. Anything over one percent is a sign of fraud that you’ll want to look into. It’s even more likely to be fraud if that high click-through-rate is accompanied by poor performance, short session durations, and high bounce rates.

 

  • Your ads’ clickers have data center IP addresses – If the clicks that your ad is getting are coming from data center IP addresses, it’s a sure sign of fraud. It basically means that the clicks are being generated from a hosted server and not a residential or corporate computer. You won’t be able to tell if this is the case unless you check the IP addresses of your clicks. Advertisers should check IP addresses regularly.

How To Prevent Ad Fraud

Consider using an ad fraud detection company. Ad fraud detection companies can verify that the ad space you’re purchasing is legitimate. They often use algorithms to create blacklists as well, thereby helping you avoid known scammers. When looking for an ad fraud detection company, look for TAG certification.TAG (Trustworthy Accountability Group) is an industry-wide initiative to fight ad fraud. Companies that are TAG certified have gone through proprietary background checks and review processes and are considered legitimate.

As ad fraud continues to be a serious problem, it’s important that keep these ad fraud detection tips in mind. Even then, you should be very careful when purchasing or bidding on ad space. However, as long as you’re careful, don’t let ad fraud prevent you from bidding on digital ad space — it can be a very effective way to reach your audience, after all.

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Why You Should Be Using First-Party Cookies Instead Of Third-Party Cookies

In order to effectively target consumers online, advertisers use cookies, which provide them with data concerning their online behavior. A cookie is a snippet of data that saves information about a user’s browsing history. This means that these cookies can provide a lot of helpful information to the advertiser. The thing is, there are two types of cookies that you can use — third-party cookies and first-party cookies. While third-party cookies can be very helpful to your advertising needs, depending on them may be a mistake.

The Difference Between First-Party And Third-Party Cookies

Usually, when someone visits a website, both a first-party cookie and a third-party cookie are generated. First-party cookies will be created by the website that a person visits directly. A third-party cookie is created by a party outside of the website. For example, if you visit a website that has third-party advertisements on it, any third-party ads that are viewed as part of the website by the visitor will generate their own cookies. These are third-party cookies.

How Behavioral Marketing Can Increase Sales

The Benefits Of Using First-Party Cookies

You can obtain a lot of useful data from visitors who come to your website. The following are just some of the ways that first-party cookies can help you obtain valuable insight as well as help to improve the website experience of your visitors:

  • Remember visitor session activity. For example, their logins, game scores, or what they’ve added to their shopping cart. This helps to improve their experience the next time they visit.
  • Remember their privacy controls and settings.
  • Profile users, segment them, and optimize your site for them to improve how your website engages with each visitor.
  • Use visitor behavior on your site for analytics, attribution, and verification.
  • Map your visitors across multiple platforms.
  • Cap the frequency of your ads.
  • Improve your ability to target and retarget your leads.first party cookies

The Drawbacks Of Using Third-Party Cookies

If first-party cookies are so helpful, why not use third-party cookies as well? If you’re running ads on other websites, wouldn’t the information you can collect on users of that site be helpful for a variety of different reasons? While this is true — you can collect and act on insightful data through third-party cookies — users tend to view them as an invasion of their privacy. First-party cookies at least help to improve their website experience, which means that they won’t be frowned upon nearly as much. Additionally, even if you plan on using the data you collect responsibly, people can actually block third-party cookies using the following methods:

  • Surf the web using a private mode, such as incognito mode, on their browser, which essentially disables third-party cookies.
  • Browse the web on their Apple devices using the Safari browser, which will automatically block third-party cookies.
  • Change their browser’s cookie and tracking settings.
  • Use software that enables anonymous communication, such as Tor.
  • Install an ad blocker extension to their browser.

Using first-party cookies makes much more sense. Not only do you have greater control over the data being collected due to the fact that you have full ownership, but first-party cookies have a longer lifespan. Although they can be deleted, they are not blocked nearly as often as third-party cookies are. Last, but not least, first-party cookies are more user-friendly since they improve the website experience.

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