what is brand strategy

Long-term essentials: What is a brand strategy?

The term “brand” gets thrown around a lot these days. When people think about a brand, they often think about the name of the company and its logo. For example, Nike and its swoosh. However, these are just elements of their brand. Your brand encompasses much more than just your name and logo. Your brand is about your unique selling proposition, what your company stands for, how you engage with consumers, and more. As a result, you’re going to need to create a brand strategy. What is a brand strategy? A brand strategy involves building your brand identity and reputation as well as increasing brand awareness. A good brand strategy will consist of the following eight essentials:

1. Establish Your Brand Strategy Goals

Without goals, a strategy isn’t a strategy. How are you supposed to measure the performance of any of your branding efforts if you don’t have any goals to measure them against, after all? As such, you need to establish clearly defined goals at the outset. These need to be long-term goals. What are your main business goals? Do you want to reach a new audience? Do you want to be an industry leader? Your brand strategy will vary based on what your main goals are — and while every company’s goal is to “make money,” you need to get a little more specific than this.

2. Maintain Brand Consistency

In order to increase brand awareness, you need to strengthen your brand identity. One of the most important elements of a strong brand identity is consistency. All of your branding efforts need to be consistent across all platforms. If your tone is generally somber (for example, if your company provides funeral services or sells anxiety medication), then posting wacky memes or pictures of cats onto your Facebook page isn’t going to be consistent with your brand. Doing so will only confuse your audience, especially if they jump from one platform to another. For instance, if they’re on your Facebook page and they decide to visit your website and your branding isn’t consistent, they’ll be unsure as to whether they’re in the right place. A lack of consistency causes doubt into what your company is and does, which is not going to help you retain your audience or capture new leads.

The key to maintaining brand consistency is to maintain the same tone and to always keep your message in mind. All of your branding efforts should align with that message. Even the aesthetic of your brand needs to remain consistent. You can’t just have different logos or different color schemes for each platform you use. Consistency is important because it helps to contribute to brand recognition, which is vital when it comes to building customer loyalty.

Learn more about brand development: Why Brand Development Matters and How it Works

3. Avoid Short-Term Brand Building

While getting immediate results would be nice, you don’t want to sacrifice long-term brand building for short-term results. Successful brands take years to build and require continuous work and consistency. It can be easy to lose focus of your long-term goals when you see other companies implement branding tactics that appear to be successful. Just because it works for one company doesn’t mean it will work for you — especially if what they’re doing doesn’t align with your goals. For example, one brand might put out a video that goes viral. Creating a similar video does not guarantee similar results, especially if it’s not in line with your existing branding efforts. You should also be careful about following the latest trends within your industry. Many branding trends are often short-term tactics that may hurt your long-term strategy.

4. Create An Emotional Connection

Branding isn’t just about putting information about your company out into the world in the hopes that consumers remember why your product or service is the best one available. Consumers don’t always use rational thought to justify their purchases, after all. It’s why you need to engage consumers on an emotional level. Not only are they more likely to purchase products from a brand that they can relate to emotionally, but they are more likely to be loyal as a result. The reason behind this is simple: humans have an innate need to belong and to feel a connection.

When building your brand, you need to figure out how you can foster such an emotional connection. It’s why you need to make sure your branding efforts engage consumers on a personal level. Many businesses employ a more informal marketing strategy as a result as its easier to connect to. Developing a brand personality or even putting a face behind your brand makes it easier for audiences to connect to you as well. Take, for example, Apple’s commercials in which a young actor wearing casual clothes and speaking in a friendly, informal manner represented Apple, while an older actor dressed in a suit with a more formal demeanor represented Microsoft. Apple used these commercials to connect to their younger audience, essentially showing younger, hipper consumers that they were just like them.

5. Involve Your Employees

One of the most important ways to maintain brand consistency is by involving your employees. You’ll want to make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to the tone and message of your brand. For example, if you’re pushing a more informal and playful tone on your social media pages, then you’ll want your customer service reps to follow that tone. The last thing you want is for someone who follows your brand on social media to call your company only to speak with someone who is incredibly dry and informal. This lack of consistency may not fool consumers, but it will hurt your ability to build brand loyalty.

Consumers are expecting a certain kind of experience and engagement as a result of your branding and if they don’t get something similar when actually interacting with your employees, they will likely be let down. It’s why you should make sure that your employees understand your message, goals, and tone so that they can accurately represent your brand when speaking or engaging with consumers, whether it’s over the phone, via email or online chat, or even in your physical location.

6. Reward Loyalty

Customers who have already showcased loyalty to your brand can help strengthen your brand. Such customers will often go out of their way to recommend your brand to others, whether it’s by writing reviews, providing testimonials, or simply recommending products and services to friends and colleagues over social media. There is nobody consumers trust more than another consumer. That is why you should turn to these types of customers to act as brand ambassadors on your behalf.

Reach out to customers who have made multiple purchases with a personal thank you note. Ask them to write a review for you. Thank them for any reviews that they have written. Engage them on social media. You can even reward their loyalty with something like a discount or a special offer. These kinds of efforts don’t go unnoticed and will help to further encourage their loyalty. Making such efforts in public (such as on social media) can help highlight your relationship with your best customers, which will strengthen your brand’s reputation and entice other consumers.

7. Track Your Competitors

Your competition is likely targeting the same audience you are. It’s why it’s worth your effort to keep an eye on what they’re doing to build their brand. While you don’t necessarily want to copy their ideas and tactics (remember, short-term tactics may not benefit you in the long run if they don’t align with your goals), you do want to track what their strategy is and whether or not their tactics prove to be effective. This can help you identify tactics that work and to figure out why they worked or didn’t work. This information can be incredibly beneficial for your own branding strategy since it can allow you to avoid certain pitfalls.

You can also track your competition by following what consumers are saying about them. You can see what positive things people are saying about your competition and use that information to your advantage. Negative comments can also be helpful as they can allow you to address a need your competition isn’t addressing. For instance, if you notice that consumers are complaining because a competitor is difficult to get a hold of, you can make sure that this won’t be the case for you by offering various channels of communication to your audience.

8. Be Flexible

While you don’t want to jump on the latest branding tactics just because they’re trending, you do want to remain flexible. For example, your branding goals may end up changing over time, so you’ll want to adjust your branding strategy accordingly. Additionally, some short-term branding tactics may actually align with your goals and could benefit your long-term strategy. You shouldn’t be afraid to deviate from your existing strategy in order to adopt such tactics. Flexibility is important to your brand’s continuous success.

 

No brand strategy is the same, nor should it be. Your brand strategy should align with what your goals are. However, these are eight essential tips to keep in mind when creating your brand strategy. Just remember, don’t expect overnight results. Building your brand is a long-term strategy that never ends — you should continue to build your brand even as you gain success. While consistency is important, change is inevitable, whether it’s your products and services that change, your customers that change, or your market that changes.

buyer persona guide for business

Using Organic Marketing To Reach Your Audience

There are many ways to go about marketing your business. Paid marketing (such as through the use of Google AdWords or Facebook Ads) can be effective, but there’s only so much you can do with it, as it’s more short-term oriented. You’ll want to implement more organic marketing strategies. Organic marketing is a way to generate more traffic to your website in a more natural, unforced manner. Additionally, anything that you don’t directly spend money on can be considered organic. Of course, it’s worth noting that all marketing costs money in one way or another. However, there are a lot of benefits to using organic marketing that go beyond the cost.

Reasons to Implement Organic Marketing

There are two major reasons why you should implement organic marketing into your marketing strategy. First of all, it’s a more long-term strategy than any paid marketing strategy is. The efforts you make executing your organic marketing strategy can help drive traffic to your website for a long time to come. They can also go a long way in helping to strengthen your brand identity and build up your brand reputation, both of which will have positive long-term effects as well. Finally, organic marketing gives you the opportunity to learn more about your customers and to better understand what their needs are. This is something that cannot be discovered via paid marketing, which is completely one-sided.

Learn about another type of marketing: The Benefits of Mobile Marketing Optimization

How You Can Make it Work

The following are a number of different tips on how to implement organic marketing successfully.

  • Make sure your website is engaging

    Your website is usually what will convince potential leads to further engage with your brand. Make sure it’s user-friendly, meaning that it’s easy to read, easy to scan, and easy to navigate. In addition to your homepage, consider creating an about page, a testimonial page, a contact page, a blog page, and an FAQ page. You may want to implement a chat feature as well so that visitors can interact with you whenever they want to.

  • Create evergreen content

    Evergreen content is content that will never grow out of date. For example, an article about how to save money will always remain relevant for a financial advisor’s website. Evergreen content will continue to be of use to visitors, which means it will organically attract new leads over time.

  • Use hashtags

    Hashtags make it easier for people to find your content on social media and also shows consumers that you’re up to date on trends and current events.

  • Build relationships with social media influencers

    Social media influencers can unlock the doors to large audiences that you haven’t reached yet. Find the influencers in your industry and engage with them on social media.

  • Engage with followers on social media regularly

    Always respond to commends or feedback that people leave on your social pages, even if they are negative. This will greatly help your reputation and shows people that you care and that your social media presence isn’t just for show. Keep in mind that engagement isn’t just about posting content — it’s about listening to what your customers have to say. Ask questions and respond to concerns in a timely manner.

  • Contribute to social media discussions

    Look for groups, communities, and conversations occurring across social media concerning not just your brand, but your industry as a whole. Engage with these conversations. Doing so will naturally get your name out there and will generate interest in your brand (as long as you have worthwhile things to say, of course).

  • Use local SEO

    One of the best ways to naturally attract local customers is by implementing a local SEO strategy. Use local keywords (meaning, geo-centered keywords) and generate content that’s relevant to your area. Submit your NAP (name, address, and phone number) to local directories as well. This will make it much easier for local customers to find you organically.

  • Find ways for customers to participate

    By finding ways for customers to participate, you create a more engaging experience for them. This can help build brand loyalty as well as generate more interest from new leads. For example, set up contests on social media. Something as simple as sweepstakes can be quite effective. For something a bit more engaging, consider photo contests on platforms like Instagram.

  • Request customer feedback

    Routinely ask customers for their opinions about your products, services, and brand. You can do this by asking visitors to fill out surveys on your site, sending out net promoter scores through email, or asking followers directly on social media.

Organic marketing does take some effort, but it’s less expensive than paid marketing tactics and will have a much bigger impact over the long term. These organic marketing tips should help you to drive more traffic and, eventually, generate more sales as a direct result.

Integrating Social Media & SEO Efforts For Enhanced Search Engine Results

5 Noteworthy User Generated Content Examples & Benefits

Content marketing is an essential component of any successful online marketing strategy. The success of your content marketing depends on a variety of factors. Your content has to be relevant, informative, and of high quality. However, it also has to be varied. Creating content takes a lot of effort and it can sometimes be a challenge to create content that’s both new and exciting. One type of content that you should focus on is user generated content. User generated content adds to your content’s variety and provides benefits. Before going into some user generated content examples, it’s important that you understand what those benefits are.

The Benefits of User Generated Content

The following are a few ways in which user generated content can benefit your marketing strategy:

  • Free content – Constantly creating new content is a challenge for any business. However, user generated content does it for you for free. For example, asking your audience to submit creative content such as artwork or stories relevant to your brand creates a positive experience for both parties. Also, free content can boost your SEO and your social media reach.
  • Build brand trust – Consumers are naturally skeptical about anything that businesses have to say to them. It’s why they tend to trust the word of other consumers more. User-generated content, such as brand hashtags, gives users the opportunity to share their positive feedback about your company in a more authentic form. The content comes from the consumer’s point of view, which means that they’ll be more likely to trust it.
  • Engage customers – Allowing your customers to create content for your brand is a great way to get them involved. Brand engagement lets customers participate directly in your marketing efforts, which also boosts brand loyalty. Engagement helps customers feel like they’re communicating with real people, rather than just a business.

Learn more about content creation from Stevens & Tate: How To Create Content For Each Sale Funnel Stage

5 User Generated Content Examples

Now that you know the benefits of user generated content, take a look at some examples of brands putting it into action:

  1. T-Mobile

    T-Mobile attempted to steal customers away from its competitors by offering to pay for the early termination fees charged by carriers for any customers who switched over. In addition to being a stellar unique selling proposition, it was accompanied by an excellent marketing strategy that focused on user generated content. They invited customers of other carriers to submit break-up letters that highlighted why they were leaving their existing carriers for T-Mobile. Not only were many of these letters hilarious, they also highlighted the weaknesses of their competition. Over 113,000 letters were written, resulting in close to 70 million social impressions.

  2. Warby-Parker

    Roughly five years ago, Warby-Parker launched a campaign in which customers were allowed to request five pairs of glasses online to try on at home. This allowed them to try the glasses, pay for the pair they liked most and send the others back. It was an effective way to promote their online store. Additionally, they encouraged participants to post photographs on line of them trying on the glasses. Customers then gave and obtained feedback from each other, thereby driving engagement between customers and their brand.

  3. GoPro

    GoPro uniquely allows users to capture incredible footage using small cameras that can be strapped to their heads. To highlight the GoPro’s capabilities, GoPro used the footage that their customers filmed using their products as part of their marketing campaign. It was such a successful endeavor that you can now find over 40 million results for the word “GoPro” on YouTube, and GoPro itself has almost 8 million YouTube subscribers.

  4. Adobe

    This popular design software company ran a campaign not long ago called the Art Maker Series. During the campaign, they asked their users to share the work they did using Adobe products. Adobe used this content to promote their software. The campaign was incredibly effective as it allowed Adobe to show off their software capabilities while providing exposure to talented designers.

  5. Starbucks

    Starbucks ran a similar campaign to Adobe in terms of highlighting the creativity of their customers. They did this by running a Twitter contest called #WhiteCupContest. The contest encouraged participants to draw on their white coffee cups and submit them. Starbucks used the winning cup as a limited edition reusable cup design. They received over 4,000 submissions in just three weeks. It was so successful that Starbucks ran several similar contests after that.

User generated content is a great way to develop more content and help build your credibility with consumers. It also encourages consumers to participate, thereby building brand loyalty. Hopefully, these five user generated content examples inspired you to encourage your consumers to help create content for your brand.

17 SEO Myths

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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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

Mobile Marketing Automation

The Benefits of Mobile Marketing Automation

According to the Pew Research Center, around 81 percent of adults in the U.S. have a smartphone. First off, if your online presence isn’t optimized for mobile use at this point, this is something you need to update immediately. Secondly, consumers who have smartphones are easier to reach because people tend to have their smartphones on them at all times. There are many ways you can reach them, including through text, the web, email, and in-app messaging. As a result, you need to implement a mobile marketing strategy. However, mobile marketing can take up a lot of resources, which is why you’ll want to consider mobile marketing automation. The following are six mobile marketing automation benefits you should know about:

1. Improve Accountability

Marketing automation allows you to see the overall effectiveness of your marketing and sales departments by providing birds-eye view reporting of your pipeline. This makes it easy to pinpoint issues, and to determine what is causing them. Not only does this mean that it’s easier to hold your marketing and sales personnel accountable, but it allows you to address bottlenecks in your pipeline.

2. Reduce Staffing Costs

You can automate many of your mobile marketing campaigns based on certain triggers, such as actions taken by your leads. One of the advantages of being able to do this (besides saving a significant amount of time) is that a single employee can handle tasks that would normally take dozens of employees to complete. Since you won’t have to hire more employees to handle time-consuming tasks, you’ll save a lot of money on staffing.

3. Increase Revenue

You can set up specific messaging based on actions that your leads or customers take. If a client purchases a specific software solution, you can use automation to automatically send recommendations for additional, services that are related to their purchase. This can help to increase up-sells and cross-sells. Not only can this increase short-term revenue, but effective follow-ups help increase the lifetime value of your B2B customers.

4. Improve Effectiveness

Mobile marketing automation will help improve the effectiveness of your mobile marketing efforts in numerous ways. It can help you reach leads at the right time, and help personalize interactions to improve your chances of converting.

5. Reduce Repetitiveness

Without automation, your staff would spend a lot of their time on mundane tasks. When tasks are mundane and repetitive, your staff will be more likely to make errors. Automation prevents these errors from occurring. Additionally, repetitive tasks can be incredibly boring and are not creatively fulfilling. Allowing your staff to focus their time on more important aspects of marketing will make them more productive. This is true especially when their tasks actually require them to take full use of their creative abilities.
These are five reasons you should consider implementing mobile marketing automation. Because of how prevalent mobile use is these days, mobile marketing is a must. The best way to engage with your audience effectively is through the use of mobile marketing automation.

 

Inbound marketing will help you grow your business by attracting website visitors, converting them into leads and closing leads into customers
earned media vs paid media

Understanding the Difference Between Earned Media vs. Paid Media And Embracing The PESO Model

When it comes to digital marketing, there are four main types of media. The first, owned media, is relatively obvious. Owned media refers to the media that you own, such as your website, your blog, or your social media pages. Then there’s paid media, which often comes to mind first. However, you could argue that earned media is just as important. The following is a breakdown of earned media vs paid media as well as the importance of following the PESO model, which implements all forms of media for a more balanced digital marketing strategy.

Earned Media vs Paid Media

Paid media consists of the marketing elements that you pay for. Traditionally, paid media consisted of things like TV commercials and magazine ads. However, these days, they also include PPC (per-per-click) ads, social media ads, and display ads. To get the most out of your paid media, you have to plan your marketing strategy carefully and make sure that you’re targeting the right audience. However, paid media can be quite effective at helping to increase brand exposure and web traffic. earned media vs paid media

Earned media is essentially a form of marketing that you do not pay for and do not own. Customers and brand advocates generate earned media. In a way, it’s like a digital form of “word-of-mouth.” Earned media can include having reviews written by customers as well as professional product review sites or having news stories published about your company. Any kind of publicity that you didn’t pay for is earned media. Earned media is an excellent way to increase brand recognition even though you don’t have direct control over it; however, earned media is also free.

What Is The PESO Model?

Earned media and paid media are not the only types of media you should be concerned with. Owned media, which includes marketing elements that you have direct ownership and full control over (such as your website and your business blog) as well as shared media, which is the media you earn through social media engagement (shares, likes, and comments), both play an important part in helping to grow your brand. The mistake many businesses make is to focus more on one type of media than the other.

Similar Article: Using The Right Media Mix During Each Stage Of The Buyer’s Journeys

Gini Dietrich stressed the importance of integrating all four forms of media with her PESO (paid, earned, shared, owned) model. By implementing the PESO model, you integrate all four forms of media to strengthen your ability to attract leads and convert customers. For example, the use of paid media and shared media can help draw the attention of prospects. Earned media helps to establish the credibility of your brand so that those prospects trust you. Owned media, such as eBooks or whitepapers, help showcase the value of your brand.

While knowing the difference between earned media vs. paid media is important, it’s also important that you don’t value paid media over earned media or vice versa. They, along with shared media and owned media, play an important part in helping to grow your brand. Finding the right balance can take some time, but as long as you keep the PESO model in mind as you create your marketing strategy, you’ll end up having a more balanced and effective marketing campaign.

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mql vs sql

The Differences Between MQL vs SQL

One of the biggest challenges businesses face is the lack of communication between their marketing teams and their sales teams. It’s not uncommon for a marketing team to use a variety of strategies to convert a lead and then move on to the next one, assuming sales will pick up where they left off. However, not all leads are the same. Some leads need to be nurtured further and aren’t ready to be engaged. Without any kind of communication with marketing, your sales team is more likely to engage leads that aren’t ready to make a purchase yet while missing out on leads that are. This is why identifying leads as MQL (marketing qualified leads) or SQL (sales qualified leads) is important. But how exactly do you determine whether a lead is an MQL vs SQL?

The Difference Between MQL vs SQL

Not all leads are of high quality. Just because someone is visiting your website doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a good prospect. You won’t want your sales team wasting time trying to engage with someone who might only have a passing curiosity in your products or services. That’s why you’ll want your marketing team to identify leads who are MQLs. An MQL is a lead that has been identified as someone who is likely going to become a customer, which means that they have value to your business.

Similar Article: Why ‘Star Wars’ Is Really About Sales & Marketing Qualified Leads

However, just because they are likely to become a customer does not mean your sales team should engage just yet. They are likely still in the beginning stages of their buyer’s journey and are still doing research on their own. Trying to close a sale at this point may push them away. It’s only once the lead has taken actions that indicate that they are likely going to make a purchase that they become an SQL. It’s once they are an SQL that your sales team can engage with them.

mql vs sql

Determining MQL vs SQL

The most effective way to label leads as MQL or SQL is through the use of a lead scoring software. Lead scoring software allows you to designate points based on certain qualifications. For example, you can assign a point for downloading an eBook or watching a video on your site. It’s not just specific actions that you can assign points to either. You can assign qualifying points based on demographic information, company information, social engagement, and email engagement as well. You can even assign negative points. For example, if you’re a local business and the lead fills out a form that indicates they live outside of the country, then negative points can be assigned. This ensures they don’t get mislabeled as an MQL.

You will need to determine at what point total a lead becomes an MQL and an SQL. This will require input from both your marketing and sales teams. As to how to decide on how many points to assign to certain qualifications, you’ll need to make use of your analytics. For example, you might find that leads who download a specific whitepaper are more likely to go on and make a purchase. As a result, you’ll want to assign more points to this action.

 

Knowing where your leads are in their buyer’s journey is essential to knowing when to engage with them. As a result, using lead scoring to identify your leads as MQLs and SQLs will help to increase your sales team’s success rate. However, in order for your lead scoring system to be effective, your marketing team and sales team are going to have to work together.

lead generation tips
Marketing Trends

What’s Trending in Marketing for August 2019

Staying current on recent marketing trends is an excellent way to reflect and verify whether your marketing efforts are harmonious with what’s going on in today’s ever-evolving marketplace. We’re aware that keeping up with these trends can often be difficult given the abundance of information thrown at us every day. The following articles come from popular marketing blogs. They highlight current marketing trends that we think are worth paying attention to:

Noteworthy Marketing News

Amazon is Turning Advertising into its Next Huge Business – Here’s How

Due to the amount of consumer data that Amazon can use, Amazon became the 3rd largest digital ad platform in the US. The sponsored product ads on Amazon work similar as ads on Google. Advertisers only pay when their ad is clicked and a maximum budget is set.  An advantage of Amazon Sponsored products is that they don’t look like ads to the untrained eye. Marketers are able to not advertise to those that just bought a product that won’t be bought again soon. You can read more about this story on CNBC.

Why HubSpot is Introducing a Free Email Marketing Service

HubSpot will allow users of the free version to send up to 2,000 emails each month. Additionally, HubSpot will allow users to manage up to $1,000 in ad spending on Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn each month. This will save marketers time as they won’t have to login to several different websites or sync data between systems as frequently. Learn more about this HubSpot update at Fast Company.

Advertising Tips: An Ad’s Environment Is as Important as What It’s Selling

A new study suggests that the content an ad is associated with can influence how a brand is perceived by a potential audience. Researchers found that people enjoy ads more when they are next to high-quality content and disliked them when the content wasn’t acceptable.

Business News Daily writes, “Using participants’ brain pattern data, researchers found that ads seen on high-quality websites were perceived as 74% more likable than the same ads on lower-quality sites.” Ads on these high-quality sites are more memorable and have more engagement.

Improving Your Marketing Program

Micro Moments: A New Consumer Behavior in Marketing

Successful businesses understand that consumer behavior in marketing does not stay the same. Consumer behavior changes based on a variety of factors, including new tools and ways of using those tools. The smartphone drastically changed consumer behavior in marketing. This happened somewhat recently, yet people already spend roughly 3.5 hours a day on their phones. The way that a person interacts with their phone is much different than how they interact with TV, magazine ads, or their computer. As a result, marketers must expand the ways in which they engage with consumers in order to continue capturing their attention.

For example, smartphone usage has resulted in a new consumer behavior in marketing termed “micro-moments.” If you want to capture the attention of your mobile audience, you must find a way to take advantage of these micro-moments.

What are the Real Customer Benefits of AI?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming more prevalent in the technology of today, from virtual assistants, such as Alexa and Siri, to Google’s self-driving cars. AI also sorts through massive amounts of data for businesses of all sizes. This technology can also eliminate repetitive tasks. Thought the benefits of using AI are apparent for business, it may not be as obvious as to how the customer benefits. The following are a few ways that the use of AI can help your customers.

Considering the Pros and Cons of Using Artificial Intelligence in Marketing

The uses of AI range from manufacturing incredibly complex microchips, to driving unmanned vehicles. However, it’s also used in a more behind-the-scenes capacity. For example, businesses use AI tools to help collect and analyze customer data as well as to engage with customers and prospects on their website and social media channels. It’s important to understand that there are artificial intelligence pros and cons. The following are a few of the artificial intelligence pros and cons that you should keep in mind.

Recent Marketing Reports, Updates, and Trends

Global Marketing Automation Software Market 2019-2027: Lead Nurturing & Lead Scoring is the Fastest Growing Application

A new report states that “the global marketing automation software market is expected to progress with a 9.16% CAGR over the forecast period of 2019-2027. Some of the factors responsible for driving the market growth are the rising interest from the retail industry, the expanding need for coordinating advertising endeavors and the growing interest in digital marketing.” The Asia-Pacific region is expected to become the fastest-growing region over the forecast period. Learn more about this report on Yahoo Finance

Marketers Up Traditional Media Budgets Amid Increased Competition

As overall marketing budget growth stalls, marketers are increasing their budgets for “main media buying”. Companies are looking to build brand recognition and expand customer bases despite economic uncertainty. TV, radio, and outdoor advertisements saw growth since brands used big marketing campaigns to expand their customer bases. You can learn more about this report on Marketing Week.

YouTube, Netflix Surge in Ranking of Most Valuable Media Brands

Right behind Disney, Youtube and Netflix surge to the 2nd and 3rd most valuable media brands. ESPN keeps Disney in the number 1 spot. Netflix and YouTube expanded their audiences and saw revenue growth while a massive shift in viewing habits occurred. In response to competition, Netflix has invested heavily in original programming. Some industry experts have speculated that Netflix can not continue financially without the support of advertisements. More information on this story can be found at Marketing Dive.

lead generation tips