The secret to success is having an
experienced coach and advisor.


The secret to success is having an
experienced coach and advisor.



Usually when you find the missing link everything clicks into place. This is certainly the case with marketing. Gaps in management and strategy prevent success. And it all adds up, from the skills and knowledge on your team, down to the fundamentals of your marketing mix and your customer targeting. Getting the foundation right is the key to growth and building the desired revenue. As a Marketing Consultant I help with that missing link.


After diagnosing business problems and areas of weakness, I outline recommendations and strategies that will get results. Delivering a frictionless customer experience and connecting effectively with buyer behaviour inevitably drives revenue. Marketing Consulting isn’t just theory and advice here; it’s action and application.

Digital Marketing: transformational digital strategies and services | Melissa How, Marketing Consultant Melbourne


In 2020, Covid accelerated the growth of Digital Marketing and eCommerce by a massive four to six years. Now, with online the norm in mass markets, digital transformation has never been more critical. Layer great strategies with the right digital mix. Implement tactics that streamline user experience and transform the customer journey.

Marketing Planning: strategy and direction to achieve the results | Melissa How, Marketing


Marketing Planning underpins all good marketing. It’s fundamental. Whether it is a campaign plan or annual plan, results, ROI and profitability depend on creative ideas and planning ahead. Campaigns and their implementation must be designed around clear goals and objectives. How else do you have the direction to achieve results?

Marketing Project Management | Melissa How, Marketing Consultant Melbourne


Teams depend on experienced leaders. Bringing in an expert to manage your marketing project, digital transformation or campaign is good management practice. It reduces stress and builds confidence by streamlining processes and helping to deliver on time and in budget. If you don’t have the internal team, outsource it to me.

Marketing Consultant


Leverage and shape strategic opportunity.

Melissa How is a qualified Marketing Consultant in Melbourne with 20 years of experience working with businesses that wish to achieve goals and drive growth.

A bit about me.

I’ve been in marketing since 2003 when I started my career in digital. Working up the ranks, I became the Marketing Manager of Australia’s fastest-growing agency in the 2000s. And it was there that I fell in love with marketing technology. It was obvious to me that digital transformation was the future.

In 2010, I founded Marketing Wise. Companies were frustrated with the lack of transparency in digital agencies. I could translate complex technology into digestible sound bites and wanted to demystify things like SEO. The company delivered best-in-class strategy and 100s of marketing projects, all while staying true to its ethos of integrity.

For many organisations I remain an advisor, helping to lead the constant cycle of improvement and sometimes mentoring less-experienced marketing teams. I enjoy empowering others and sharing expertise that accelerates results for the business.

Lecturing and Marketing Consulting put my two master’s degrees to work. And Marketing Principles, Digital Marketing, Consumer Behaviour, Strategic Planning and Entrepreneurial Marketing are just some of the subjects that I have lectured at Swinburne and RMIT Universities.

While most of my clients are in Melbourne and Sydney, I do work with businesses Australia-wide. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask.​

Marketing with…


Strategic intent is the intersect of planning and purpose.
Being intent on achieving something makes a person determined and preoccupied. What are you trying to achieve?
Where do you see your business in the future?



November 22, 2022Digital Marketing / Marketing StrategyIn 2022, digital marketing has evolved in so many ways. And the truth is that in 2023, things in the mar-tech world will be even more radical. New trends are emerging, and companies are being called upon to adapt or die. In other words, you need fresh digital marketing strategies for your business. This plan should focus on a personalised customer experience. But also take advantage of the latest technologies, such as AI and machine learning.  And it’s not easy because competition is getting tougher by the day. That’s why, in this article, we take a look at the trends that will transform digital marketing in 2023 and beyond. Are you ready to get ahead of the competition?  The Digital Marketing Trends You Must Know in 2023 From email marketing and social media to analytics and AI-driven chatbots, digital marketing is seemingly endless. But not all tools and strategies are equally effective for all businesses.  Terms like personalisation, customer behaviour, and buyer journey help marketers understand their customers. And customer needs are exactly what will drive digital marketing in 2023.  Let’s analyse the key digital marketing trends. 1. Customer Experience (CX) If you’re familiar with marketing terms, you should know that Customer Experience (CX) is different from User Experience (UX).  Of course, there’s some overlap between the two terms. However, CX captures every touch-point the customer has with a brand, regardless of how brief. CX strategies encompass the customer’s needs, feelings, goals, and expectations across their full experience with a business: Brand awareness and research Customer service Sales funnel and support Product purchase, delivery, and use  Communications and advertising  Content marketing UX, on the other hand, zeros in on the company’s systems, products, and services. It’s a practice that seeks to answer questions about the customer’s experience in terms of utility and ease of use. In 2023, optimising the customer experience is simply a necessity. Of course, a company’s goal has always been to have satisfied customers. But digital marketing now offers more tools than ever.  That’s why CX is more than just a digital marketing trend. It’s a shift in marketing mindset. That’s why it’s tied to almost every other trend we will explore in this guide, from automation tools (live chat services, virtual assistants, etc.) to personalisation. 2. Email Marketing In the past, the power of email marketing was underestimated. In some cases, email marketing was even considered a spammy, non-effective marketing strategy. Unfortunately, there was a reason for that. Cold email outreach used to be an unorganised effort to attract more clients using pushy emails.  Well, thankfully, that’s not the case anymore. If organised correctly, email marketing can easily be the most effective digital marketing strategy for a business in terms of return on investment (ROI).  Maybe the reason that more companies haven’t prioritised email marketing is that it is not the easiest digital marketing strategy. To use email marketing, you need to build an email list, understand your customer persona, and produce content that hits the mark.  However, an email list is a valuable asset. Unlike followers on social media, when you build a list, you’ll own that list forever.  Email marketing can also be highly automated thanks to CRM software like Mailchimp, Hubspot, etc. Even though marketing automation is only one factor that makes an email marketing strategy successful.  To build a successful email marketing program, consider:  Personalisation and CX Lead nurturing (buyer journey) CRM data and analytics Upsell and cross-sell opportunities With around 4 billion email users globally and an exceptional ROI for both B2B and B2C companies, email marketing is projected to become even more popular in 2023.  3. Virtual Events There’s no argument that the pandemic completely altered the marketing world. This was particularly evident in events with event organisers fully switching to virtual events in 2020 and 2021, out of necessity. Almost 70% of all B2B companies replaced some or most of their live events with virtual ones.  Now, two years later, virtual events still maintain their popularity. The reasons for that are plenty, but in particular, we know that virtual events are: More affordable (budget-friendly) More accessible (global reach) More efficient: saving time for both hosts and attendants More flexible (interaction, post-event material, etc) Better when it comes to lead generation and feedback collection Measurable via analytics 4. User-Generated Content As mentioned earlier, CX is the driver of most of the 2023 digital marketing trends. However, if there is one strategy that is most keyed into CX, it’s got to be user-generated content (UGC).  This trend is all about building closer relationships with your customers. And the concept is pretty simple. It works like traditional word of mouth but digitally.  In short, UGS means that your loyal customers “promote” their connection with your brand in their personal online channels.  This can take a variety of forms. It may be a simple Instagram post in photo or video form, which features your product. Or it may be an endorsement or review. Nothing is left out.  UGC offers big advantages for startups, small businesses, and big brands alike. Firstly, there’s the credibility factor – consumers place a high degree of trust in word-of-mouth recommendations from their peers. Secondly, it’s unique content that can be curated and shared. And user-generated content is also linked to the next trend we will explore: Conversational Marketing. 5. Conversational Marketing Conversational marketing is precisely what its name suggests. This digital marketing term is all about real-time, two-way communication between a company and its customers. As such, dialogue is an integral part of the overall customer experience.  In 2023, companies need to be accessible to their customers. This means you need to optimise your customer service.  There are no limits to conversational marketing, from chat boxes and live chats to virtual assistants, social media messaging, and personalised emails. Of course, a few years ago, this would have been a very difficult and expensive strategy, especially for small businesses.  Fortunately, that’s no longer the case today. This is where Artificial Intelligence comes in. 6. Artificial Intelligence (AI) AI-powered bots are becoming more accessible to businesses. Nowadays, you can easily set up a chatbot on your website or social media.  Of course, a chatbot is not conversational marketing. Remember that your customers need to build a strong relationship with your business. Chatbots simply can not replace your human communication with customers. But they can speed up specific processes.  AI is also an essential tool for CX, especially in terms of personalisation. For example, using data and analytics to predict customer behavior and automate customer segmentation. In 2023, marketers will use AI in a variety of ways: For customer communication For audience expansion For audience targeting For product recommendations  For optimisation of marketing strategies (AI reports) 7. Video Content Marketing  The power of video is no secret. Videos are surpassing other forms of content when it comes to customer engagement, and have become an important tactic in SEO. Plus, video has taken over social media with 90% of businesses surveyed claiming that posting video had a stronger ROI. Video marketing is particularly successful when it comes to attracting new leads. Around 70% of marketers believe that video marketing has a better return on investment than Google Ads. And as the owner of YouTube, Google has already embraced that fact, as evident in its SERPs. Visual content is becoming more and more potent by the day. This is why video content marketing quickly made it into our top 2023 digital marketing trends. 8. End of 3rd-Party Cookies The first time Google announced it would remove third-party cookies was in 2020. Since then, this action has been postponed again and again. But 2023 will finally be the end of third-party cookies in Chrome browser.  While it’s a necessary move towards privacy, the phasing out of 3rd-party cookies will most likely have multiple consequences in the digital marketing world. How? Well, third-party cookies are one of the best ways to gather user browsing activity and history. They keep track of user behaviour – not only purchases but also interests – and help advertisers target audiences.  Google has already announced an entirely different version of analytics, Google Analytics 4 (GA4). This new version will track the customer journey on both websites and apps. The transition is expected to take place on July 1, 2023.  9. Accessibility Throughout this guide, we’ve referred to accessibility more than once. But, in this section, we will focus on how social responsibility, diversity, and inclusivity are becoming necessary in the digital marketing world.  In 2023, a business is expected to share its character and values with its customers. In other words, you are responsible for stating the social causes you support, your opinions on certain social matters, etc.  It becomes evident that accessibility is directly linked to personalisation. The more you interact with your audience, the stronger you’ll bond emotionally with your customers. 10. SEO trends SEO is always playing a significant role in digital marketing. As we’ve mentioned in the past, the rules of SEO are changing fast. Of course, content quality is always a priority for Google and other search engines. In 2023, we’re expecting to see a major shift when it comes to extracted page content and featured snippets. Google has been focusing on featured snippets since 2014. But, rich results are here to change featured snippets completely.  In other words, page listings are automatically enriched with additional visual or interactive elements such as videos, photos, lists, and so on. And this is only one of the SEO trends that will stand out in 2023.  In fact, this year, SERPs are expected to revolve around:  AI and Machine Learning Featured snippets Long-form content Predictive search 11. Social Commerce Most social media platforms offer several ways to advertise and sell your products or services directly. Just a few years ago, a well-designed, SEO-optimised website to sell products online was a must for all eCommerce businesses. Well, that is no longer the case.  Social Commerce has now gone mainstream, driven largely by Millenials and Gen Z who prefer shopping within their social media environment. And the trend delivers a number of benefits for consumers and businesses alike: Social and interactive shopping experience.  The entire buyer journey takes place on just one platform. User-generated content and collecting feedback. Wrap Up  Delivering a world-class customer experience should be a priority for marketers and businesses. And in 2023, we’re likely to see more CX strategies leaning towards automation and personalisation. With that said, the 11 biggest digital marketing trends to watch out for in 2023 include: Customer Experience (CX) Email Marketing  Virtual Events User-Generated Content (UGC) Conversational Marketing  Artificial Intelligence (AI) Video Content Marketing  End of 3rd-Party Cookies Accessibility  SEO trends  Social Commerce  To remain competitive, it’s vitally important to keep on top of the latest trends in digital marketing and implement them effectively. So, if you haven’t already, now is the best time to start planning for a successful 2023. Find out How to write a digital marketing plan in six simple steps.  [...]
October 5, 2022eCommerce / Marketing Strategy
September 12, 2022Business / Marketing Strategy
August 1, 2022Business / Digital MarketingIt’s not easy running a startup or small business. You face numerous challenges on a daily basis, and time is limited. So how do you juggle everything, especially when digital marketing has become a top priority for all businesses, regardless of their size or niche. In 2022, terms like digital strategy are taking over the marketing world. And as more businesses invest in digital marketing, competition is naturally getting tougher. Typically, there are two ways companies organise their marketing activities. They either have internal marketing resources or hire an external team to do the work for them. In this article, we will analyse the second solution and help you decide if hiring a marketing agency makes good business sense. What is a Marketing Agency? A marketing agency or marketing company is a team of professionals that can help organise and implement a marketing plan. Such a plan will eventually help a business achieve certain goals. So, you can think of a marketing agency as a campaign partner that can help your business take advantage of digital marketing opportunities. For example, you may want to optimise your website for Google using the latest SEO trends or improve your email marketing communications or sales conversions. An agency can help you with these types of objectives. A Marketing Agency’s Main Responsibilities To examine what a marketing agency does, let’s have a look at the four main responsibilities: Planning phase: The team gets to understand the initial marketing needs and objectives of a client, and then conducts market research. Implementing different marketing approaches: After the planning phase, the team builds a tailored marketing strategy for the client. This can include TOFU (Top of Funnel), MOFU (Middle of Funnel) and BOFU (Bottom of Funnel) approaches to promotion. Result evaluation: A data analyst monitors the strategy via analytics, A/B planning, ROI measures, etc. Readjusting efforts: At the end of a predetermined timeline, the team collects data and readjusts the marketing strategy (if needed) in a constant cycle of improvement. Now that we’ve examined what a marketing agency is and what it can do to help your business, let’s have a look at the main pros and cons of this option. Advantages of Hiring a Marketing Agency Hiring a marketing agency could result in a valuable partnership. The most significant advantages of such a partnership are: 1. Value for Money Contrary to what you may think, hiring a marketing agency will likely save you money. There are two ways to look at this: time and value. If the agency saves you time and can do things more efficiently, that has saved you money. So too, if the agency has specialised skills that make them more efficient and they know how to maximise results, then that is improving ROI. This is especially true for startups and small businesses that usually don’t have an in-house team of marketing professionals. In such a case hiring a marketing agency makes a lot of sense. 2. Adding Professionals to Your Team During the planning phase, the team will identify opportunities in your niche. From content marketing and SEO to paid advertising and web development, a marketing agency has usually tried it all, so they’ll know what to do. In other words, a marketing agency’s expertise can help develop a strategy that works best for your business case. 3. Improving Your ROI Chances are that you have already allocated a budget for marketing purposes. Well, a top-notch marketing agency will help to optimise your marketing efforts while maximising limited budgets. Sooner or later, strategies like content creation, SEO and email marketing will help improve your ROI. This will help your business generate new leads while saving money. 4. Saving You Time We know that developing a marketing strategy internally sounds ideal. But in most cases, you do not have the time to do it. Outsourcing will automatically save you time and give you access to numerous marketing tools (analytics, keyword research software, etc.). This is very important regardless of the type, size or niche of your business. Disadvantages of Hiring a Marketing Agency Even though hiring a marketing agency comes with plenty of perks, in some cases, it might not be the best option. For example, if your company already has an in-house marketing team, hiring an agency is a significant additional expense. However what if you have an internal team that is inexperienced or has skill gaps? What do you do? In this case, even larger companies can benefit from the guidance of a specialist from time to time. When they do they usually hire a professional consultant and not a marketing agency. Another pitfall is when a marketing agency is not familiar with your niche or services/products. Of course, a top-notch team will start by thoroughly researching your market (industry, competitors, opportunities, etc.). But this will probably take some time. Now that we have explored both the pros and cons of hiring a marketing agency, let us answer the initial question. Are marketing agencies worth the investment? Making your Choice: Should you Invest in Outsourcing to a Marketing Agency in 2022? Let’s start by mentioning the importance of digital marketing. With nearly 5 billion active internet users, and recent research showing that about 25% of the global population buys products and services online, the possibilities of digital marketing are endless. But is hiring a marketing agency the best choice for your business in particular? Well, that depends. For example, if you own a startup business and need a professional team to organise marketing tactics such as social media, hiring a marketing agency is a very wise decision. As we have seen, having an outsourced team of professional marketers will save you time and money in the long run. But what if you have an in-house team and just need a professional to improve your strategies? In that case, you should opt for an experienced marketing strategist or mentor instead. Wrap Up It is undisputed that digital marketing is the future. Professional marketing agencies have the knowledge and tools you need to improve your marketing efforts. If you want to increase sales or strengthen your brand, a marketing agency can definitely help. On the other hand, hiring an experienced marketing strategist is the best alternative if you have an internal team and just need to sharpen up results. So consider whether hiring a marketing consultant could be a better option. Outsourcing can deliver much better marketing ROI. At the end of the day, whether you go with an agency, strategist or consultant, the decision comes down to your business needs and preferences. [...]
July 13, 2022SEOWhether you own a small blog or an eCommerce business, you have probably heard about Google’s algorithm updates. The thing about Google is that it is by far the most popular search engine. In just one month, Google records more than 80 billion visits. And its algorithm updates impact every website owner. The Google algorithm is the most important SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) factor for any website, small or large. This article aims to explain how (and why) Google updates its algorithm and how to prepare your website for future algorithm updates. What is Google’s Algorithm and How Does it Work Let’s start with the basics and understand what Google’s algorithm actually is. You can think of Google as an endless database. In this database, there are billions of indexed pages. The algorithm helps Google’s users search for something and find the best result for their query. But how exactly does this work? Well, the Google algorithm uses hundreds of filters to find the optimal answer to that query. Those filters are widely known as ranking factors. Let’s take a look at them. Google Algorithm: Ranking Factors Throughout the years, Google has been enhancing its algorithm with new ranking factors. This helps the platform to eliminate spammy, low-quality websites from its search results while promoting SEO-friendly ones. When Google’s algorithm was developed, it was set to rank a website based on the number of backlinks. The more links pointing to a website, the higher it ranked in search results. But, it was too easy to cheat the system and the search results were flooded with irrelevant listings, which made it less efficient for users to find an answer. Since then, Google’s algorithm has been updated multiple times. In 2022, some of Google’s main ranking factors are: Content quality (readability, writing quality, length, visuals, etc.) Mobile optimisation Page speed and core vitals User experience (UX) Internal links (useful links pointing to other relevant pages) Backlinks (external links signalling authority) On-page optimisation (keywords, metadata, etc) Every time Google introduces a new update to its algorithm, some of the factors above are slightly modified to make the ranking process more “fair” (at least, by Google’s standards). But, what does an update include? Let’s have a deeper look. Google Algorithm Updates: Everything There Is To Know Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) are not static. This is the main reason why Google’s algorithm updates are very important for every website. Every once in a while, webmasters are called to adjust their SEO-related strategies according to the latest algorithm update. What is an Algorithm Update? As the name suggests, a Google algorithm update is nothing more than an update Google applies to the formula (or rules) it uses to rank web pages. In other words, an update is Google’s small (or sometimes large) tweaks and adjustments to the algorithm that sorts its listings. Why? Well, historically, certain websites found ways to manipulate Google SERPs. In that way, they helped their web pages rank higher for search enquiries when they shouldn’t. And this is exactly what a Google algorithm update aims to terminate. In the last 10+ years, Google has been regularly optimising its algorithm. This is why it is important to have a look at the most important updates that took place during this period. The Most Important Algorithm Updates Panda (2011): Back in 2011, Google improved its main ranking factors concerning plagiarism and spam. Since 2011, valuable content has always been Google’s top priority. Penguin (2012): A year later, Penguin focused on the quality and relevance of backlinks. Hummingbird (2013): With Hummingbird, the algorithm was improved to understand more than just keywords (goal: to eliminate SEO-tailored, low-quality posts). Mobile (2015): As the name suggests, Mobile introduced a new era when mobile optimisation started playing a crucial role in a page’s rank. RankBrain (2015): RankBrain was much more than just an algorithm update. With this new MLS (Machine Learning System), the algorithm was taught to take UX, content value and relevance into account. Bert (2019): Bert introduced a new (natural language) processing technology to the algorithm, employing machine learning to handle phrased search queries. This allowed Google’s algorithm to REALLY understand the context of keywords and searcher intent. Google Core Updates (2017-2022): Since 2017, Google has applied a few major changes to the algorithm’s core. The basic elements of the Google Core update usually revolve around a page’s mobile-friendliness, speed, safety, stability and interactivity. Google’s Algorithm Updates: Trends in 2022 It becomes evident why Google’s algorithm updates are a big thing for SEO efforts. Although Google’s tweaks aren’t always transparent, it is safe to say that a few elements will always play an important role in keyword rankings. For starters, the quality of the content is very important. In 2022, long posts (1500+ words) that really aim at helping the reader deeply understand the topic usually perform much better. Mobile-friendliness is also a must for websites nowadays. The more mobile-friendly a page is, the better it will rank in Google. Additionally, visuals (images, videos, infographics, etc.) and audio (e.g., podcast) also help pages rank higher in 2022. Finally, backlink quality (authority, no-follow/do-follow), internal links, and relevance play an important role in SEO. But, the next algorithm update could change some of the ranking factors above. So, what tips will help you prepare your website for upcoming SEO-related updates? Preparing for an Algorithm Update: 5 Tips To Follow There are a few things you can do to make sure that your rankings will be improved (or at least won’t be affected) after a Google algorithm update: Always focus on quality: By creating valuable content, you make sure that your pages will always rank higher than your competitors. Aim on mobile-friendliness and UX: No matter what tweaks Google applies to the algorithm, responsiveness and user experience will always be important ranking factors. Prioritise visual and audio content: Images, videos, infographics, and audio content are most likely the future of SEO. Read the Google report: After every update, Google publishes a Web Vitals report explaining a few changes. Reading this report will help you understand the update better. Hire an SEO strategist: By hiring a digital strategist, you won’t have to stress about any upcoming updates to the Google algorithm. A top-notch professional will adjust your SEO strategies accordingly and, therefore, save you time and money. Wrap Up By reading this post, you have learned everything you need to know about Google’s algorithm and what those pesky updates are really all about. Most importantly you should be more confident knowing how to prepare for updates to come. With SEO there are some very important things to keep in mind. Don’t try and cheat the system. Google prioritises quality, so if you are already creating valuable, helpful content and optimising well, you should have nothing to worry about! [...]
July 7, 2022Digital Marketing / SEOIf you’re one to keep up with the latest in SEO, you know that things can change fast. Focus on high-quality content, AI, and machine learning are all hot SEO trends right now, and Google is making some significant changes to its algorithm too. This blog post will look at what’s going on in the SEO world and how you can stay ahead of the curve. So read on to learn what’s hot and what’s next in Search Engine Optimisation. What’s Hot Now in SEO Before discussing future trends, let’s see what is already hot in SEO. As you can guess, quality content is still king, but user experience and mobile optimisation are increasingly important. Content Quality Without a doubt, it’s critical to focus on high-quality content. Long interesting content is more likely to be shared and linked to, which can help to improve your SEO. But what makes content quality? Spelling, grammar and readability are a good start. Reliable, accurate content is also up there. There is no single answer, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Your content should be well-written and free of errors. It should also be informative and engaging, providing value to readers. In addition, your content should be keyword-rich so that it can be easily found by people searching for information on your topic. However, beware of keyword stuffing, which is when you include too many keywords in your content in an attempt to game the system. This can hurt your SEO. Finally, your content should be regularly updated to stay current and relevant. And that means going back through your website and blogs from time to time, refreshing copy. If you keep these things in mind, you’ll do well creating high-quality content that will improve your user experience and help your SEO. User Experience User experience is essential for SEO because it helps to keep visitors engaged. The longer people stay on your website, the more likely they are to convert into customers. So understanding and optimising every step of the user journey is a crucial step in SEO. You can do a few things to improve your website’s user experience. First, ensure your site is easy to navigate, and all your content is easy to find. Second, provide clear and concise information that is easy to read. Third, ensure that your site loads quickly and that there are no technical errors. Take these steps to improve your website’s user experience. And remember that proper interlinking also plays a huge role in on-page optimisation as it provides a pathway for users to navigate through content. And since Google considers user engagement when ranking websites, providing a good user experience is essential for improving your SEO. Mobile optimisation Mobile optimisation is important for SEO because it ensures that your website is accessible to people on all devices. In today’s world, 4.32 billion people are accessing the internet through their mobile devices. That’s why you need to ensure your website is mobile-friendly. In 2017, Google announced it was putting mobile first. But instead of introducing a separate index for mobile, it would index the same web page on all devices. This meant that SEO needed to give priority to optimising the mobile version of the webpage for indexing purposes. By now, most businesses have caught up and mobile-first is now the default for new websites. And we know that Google prefers the desktop version to be the same as the mobile version, including content, headings and structured data. Also, the mobile-friendly update made core vitals up front and centre, which of course keeps us glued to Page Speed Insights. What’s next for SERPs – expect more AI, featured snippets, and long-form content Now you know what some of the current SEO trends are, let’s take a look at the future and what to expect in the short term. AI and machine learning AI and machine learning have become central to Google’s mission. These technologies are helping to improve search results by providing more accurate information and reducing the number of spammy or low-quality websites appearing in search results. As Google improves its search results, businesses that want to be ahead of the game should also focus on using AI and machine learning to improve their SEO. AI tools can be used for keyword research, competitor analysis, finding keyword opportunities, content strategy, voice search, and generally understanding user intent behind a search query. The importance of featured snippets will increase Featured snippets have been a major thing in SERPs since 2014. Appearing at the top of Google, these snippets of information get the most valuable real estate in SERPs – Position 0. Yet few SEOs utilise the opportunity! Google displays answer boxes at the top of its SERPs that feature a snippet of information from a website, along with the link. These boxes aim to answer a specific question or query. The user benefits from the speed of the response from Google with no need to scroll down or click through multiple search listings to find the information they’re looking for. These might appear as paragraphs, lists, tables, videos or carousels. Lists of questions provide an opportunity for Google to show more than one response to a search query at once. Featuring your expertise through highly targeted content is imperative if you want people to find your information when searching online. This includes small businesses with limited budgets who cannot afford professional SEO (which often includes writing). Improve page ranking with long-form content In principle, long-form content will get higher ranking positions and increase traffic to your site. The idea is that long-form articles keep readers engaged and are more comprehensive, giving readers richer answers to their queries on a specific topic. Publishing long-form content on your website or blog will help you outrank your competitors. Crawlers love long articles. Long-form articles also give you more scope to target a range of keywords and topics. This leads to the question, how long is long? And the answer is subjective. Articles 1000+ words are considered long-form. However, the number of words is steadily increasing. In the State of Content Marketing 2020 Report by SEMRush, long reads of 7000+ words drive almost four times more traffic than articles with 900-1200 words. Predictive search Google is now placing a greater emphasis on predictive search. This technology anticipates what you will ask based on autocomplete, auto-suggest or find-as-you-type functionality. The goal is to speed up the user’s query by making suggestions as they type in the search bar, reducing the time it takes to complete their query. Google is already using this technology in its mobile search results, and it’s likely to become an even more critical aspect of its AI in the future. Tips for staying ahead of the curve in SEO Google has been making significant changes to its algorithm lately. For example, one recent update, which SEO experts are calling “Medic”, is designed to improve the quality of medical-related content on the web. This update will considerably impact “how-to” articles and other types of content that offer advice on medical topics. So you can see that if you’re not keeping up with the latest trends and how they affect your industry, you could be in for a big surprise. In July, Google released two updates that will likely have a big impact on SEO. Google is now emphasising authoritative sources more, so it’s vital to ensure that your content is reputable and is shown to have authority through quality backlinks. The second update, “Mobile-First Indexing,” is designed to improve how Google indexes mobile content. This update will significantly impact sites that don’t have a mobile-friendly version, as they will now be ranked lower in search results. So if you want to stay competitive, it’s essential to make sure that your site is mobile-friendly. Both of these updates impact SEO, so staying on top of the latest trends is crucial. If you’re not an SEO professional, getting your head around Google’s algorithm and how it changes is a good place to start. Wrap up! SEO is constantly changing, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest trends. But if you want your website to rank high in Google search results, it’s essential to stay informed about what’s happening in the SEO world. In this blog post, we’ve summarised some of the most important SEO trends and Google updates in 2022. And more than ever, it’s important to keep up with best practices and invest in a good SEO toolkit. [...]
June 21, 2022Business / Marketing StrategyAs the owner of a small business, you may not have the time to review your own marketing strategies. And time aside, you may just not have the resources internally. It is rare for any small business to have a marketing strategist on the team. When small businesses have limited resources, outsourcing to a professional or agency can make good business sense. For example, you may need a new website or campaign, but you don’t have the diverse skills on staff to create one. To most of us, that makes perfect sense. But when do you need a marketing strategist? From time to time, it is not easy to answer such questions. Not everyone knows exactly what a marketing strategist does and the main reasons a small business might hire one. Therefore, in this short guide, we will take a quick look at what makes a top-notch marketing strategist. By the end of this read, you will also know how a strategist can benefit your business. The Role of a Marketing Strategist In short, working with a marketing consultant can help you improve your marketing strategies. This is because a marketing consultant works at the strategic planning end of the marketing process. Typically, marketing strategists will have extensive experience when it comes to: Clarifying a business’s goals and marketing objectives Conducting market research and analysing customer data Generating marketing strategies and optimising the marketing mix Empowering a brand through communications and data-driven campaigns Utilising metrics such as ROI and ROAS in the constant cycle of improvement But, why does your business need a marketing strategist? Let’s analyse the 6 most obvious reasons. 6 Reasons Why Your Business Might Need a Marketing Strategist 1. Your business needs clear goals and objectives to set the overall direction When you hire a marketing strategist, you automatically “reboot” your marketing efforts. Your first contact with such a professional will give you the opportunity to rethink your business goals and set the overall direction. And because your marketing strategies enable you to achieve your business goals, this is an important step. Think of marketing objectives as sales and revenue, brand awareness, customer retention, or any actionable target that your business needs to achieve to meet its goals. They are clear, specific actions that are SMART, eg specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Plus, chances are a top-notch marketing strategist has already created a number of successful marketing campaigns for other businesses. That means adding a professional to your team who has proven experience in achieving goals and objectives. 2. Your business needs the most effective strategies for your niche With clearly defined marketing objectives, a consultant can develop effective marketing strategies based on your individual business needs. In some cases, your business may need new strategies, but in other cases, your existing strategies may just need to be improved according to your niche. For example, let us say you have invested in email marketing but are not getting the delivery, open or click rates you expected, not to mention conversions. This might be because your target marketing strategy is not on point. Niche marketing aims to attract and engage a specific subset of buyers. If your business is in a narrow category, marketing to a broader market may miss the mark. You will soon find that a marketing strategist has innovative solutions to all your marketing-related problems. So, all you need to do is work closely with your consultant and provide them with any background and data they need. A marketing strategist is a skilled researcher who analyses the data to explain what I like to call “the who, what, why, when, where and how”. Then, the strategist will suggest a more tailored approach for your niche. 3. Your business needs to increase sales or improve customer retention Increasing sales and improving customer retention at the same time is a sure way to accelerate your business. A strategist will adjust your marketing sails in this direction. In particular, this is a job for a digital marketing strategist with deep knowledge of integrated marketing and metrics. In 2022, the best way to strengthen your brand and generate new, valuable leads is through digital strategies. During this process, a professional digital marketing strategist will know the channels and technology you need. They will apply different approaches and models to find the most effective methods for your business (e.g. through A/B testing). 4. Your business needs data-driven campaigns If your marketing campaigns are underperforming or you have simply run out of ideas, a marketing strategist can bring a refreshing and creative perspective. Plus a strategist who has a high level of expertise can examine metrics and analytics to identify what isn’t working in your current marketing plan. When logically, you do not have the experience or the time, create a list of all the things you could improve on in terms of marketing. Can you pinpoint why? If you or your team do not have that kind of marketing expertise, hiring an outsourced partner is simply the best way to go. 5. Your business needs to stand out from the competition Nowadays most industries are hyper-competitive. Whether you own a SaaS company or a cosmetics startup, chances are you have several well-organised direct competitors. Understanding your value proposition is the key to outshining the competition. To do that you may need to add an experienced person to your team who can strategize and elevate your points of difference. At the same time, a marketing strategist will help you personalise and automate your marketing communications. Technology-based automation enables marketing campaigns to function across a variety of platforms. Processes behind such multi-channel campaigns can perform automatically, which can increase the efficiency and performance of marketing, and also do the heavy lifting when it comes to keeping your brand top of mind. 6. Your business needs to save time and money Ah, efficiency and effectiveness. My favourite. Aside from automating your marketing efforts, what can you do? Making marketing more time and cost-effective is one thing. But getting better overall ROI (return on investment) and ROAS (return on advertising spend) is another thing altogether. Think of it this way: If your new SEO or social media marketing campaign delivers what your target audience needs from the outset, you won’t have to adjust or correct it while it wastes precious marketing budgets. So getting it right in the first place is what increases efficiency and effectiveness. Too often businesses think they should cut corners to save money, and it rarely pays off. Skipping proper marketing planning and jumping headfirst into development or advertising is a risk not worth taking. Get your strategy right first. Although a marketing strategist can’t guarantee that your ROI will skyrocket overnight, professional advice will fast-track your marketing to succeed. How Does a Marketing Strategist Benefit Small Businesses? Hiring a marketing strategist is a smart decision for both small and large companies. But since most small businesses do not have the resources to hire highly specialised resources internally, such a decision becomes almost essential. To be precise, most startups need marketing to deliver from the get-go. And what underpins effective marketing campaigns? Strategy. Every business needs the right marketing strategies to compete in this highly competitive online world. In other words, there’s nothing a strategist can not improve: from simple things like branding to more complex marketing plans. Likewise, a marketing strategist can give you the initial advice or “boost” you need to strengthen your brand or reach your target audience. Wrapping Up The many different types of marketing consultants are a perfect reflection of how diversified the marketing industry is. No one marketing professional can have all the skills. While there are plenty of great generalists out there, they are often missing the strategy piece. Skipping market research or strategic planning is not an option if you need your marketing to be successful. A marketing strategist is a partner your business needs to get those campaigns right. [...]
May 6, 2022Business / Marketing StrategyRunning a business can be a real challenge at any stage, but in 2022, this is especially true. Many business owners feel overwhelmed post pandemic. And that’s where a professional marketing consultant can help. Different stages in the business lifecycle require different marketing strategies. There are times when you need to focus your marketing campaigns on awareness and getting your brand known through advertising. Fast forward and an established business trying to grow might want to deepen relationships with existing customers through CRM. Hiring a marketing consultant can help you achieve your marketing objectives, whatever they happen to be. However, there is not just one type of consultant. To properly identify the 7 types of marketing consultants and help you choose the one that best fits your needs, let us first analyse some roles and responsibilities. Key Roles, Skills and Responsibilities of a Marketing Consultant You can think of a marketing consultant as an external, independent coach or guide. Such a person has the advice and leadership your company needs to survive and thrive in a highly competitive marketplace. Their deep experience means they bring a degree of knowledge and often specialised skills that aren’t usually available internally. When it comes to marketing, a consultant typically has one or more of the following roles, skills and responsibilities: Role Skills Responsibilities Market Research Collect and study information about your market and customers Identify trends and opportunities that inform marketing decision making Marketing Strategy Analyse marketing needs or opportunities and develop marketing strategies Determine the best marketing plan for business budget, goals and needs Inbound and/or Outbound Marketing Experience in campaigns, technical platforms and funnels, as well as marketing automation Integrate the platforms/funnels needed and run campaigns that provide competitive advantage Branding or Creative Analyse communications and develop branding strategies and creative Implement branding, PR, communications and advertising promotion Digital Marketing Technical know-how in content marketing, SEO, social media, eCommerce, data/analytics, EDM, etc. Implement an online presence and integrated digital marketing campaigns Marketing consultant: basic roles, skills and responsibilities Although a top-notch marketing consultant usually has a combination of skills, there are times when companies do not need all of them. That’s why it’s important to know which type of marketing consultant is the best for your specific marketing needs. 7 Types of Marketing Consultants in 2022 In a nutshell, there are 7 types of marketing consultants, and here is what they do: Marketing Strategy Consultant: develops marketing strategies and plans, then helps you create, optimise and manage them Market Research Consultant: analyses data to help you adjust and improve your marketing approaches Communications and PR Consultant: gets your brand in front of customers to increase awareness and improve perceptions Inbound Marketing Consultant: creates and publishes valuable content that attracts new customers and builds reputation Outbound Marketing Consultant: uses direct marketing to increase sales and revenue Digital Marketing Consultant: implements digital marketing strategies, testing and optimising various campaigns and channels Branding and Creative Consultant: create and develop the brand, including identity, positioning and messages Often enough, a marketing consultant has extensive experience in more than one area, so it’s important for a business owner to know what each consultant offers before engaging one. Let’s analyse them one by one: 1. Marketing Strategy Consultant Without the right marketing strategies, it is unlikely your business will do well. All businesses have limited resources and it’s essential to concentrate on the strongest opportunities. This is what we mean by efficiency. Marketing strategy consultants will take the time to understand your industry and market, as well as other external factors that influence marketing conditions. They will also identify any weaknesses and problems in your business. This market research and analysis underpins all good strategic vision. Having a professional to determine the right marketing strategies, which align with your budgets and resources, and to then help you and your team implement and manage them, can be invaluable. Hiring a marketing strategy consultant with finely tuned management and leadership skills, as well as a focus on goals and objectives, is the best way to optimise the company’s marketing efforts. 2. Market Research Consultant Sometimes businesses can have a blind side and this is where a marketing research consultant can really help.  From understanding problems to finding new opportunities and trends in your niche, a market research consultant can find answers. Studies may involve studies on your competitors, customers or strategies. Such research will help you make marketing decisions. You may need to adjust your marketing approaches to ultimately increase your sales or generate new leads. 3. Communications and PR Consultant With a communications and PR consultant, you have the opportunity to shift perceptions of your brand or improve your relationships with existing and potential customers. They are often charged with making the public aware of your brand or news related to your business. Remember that consumer behaviours and preferences have changed due to the pandemic. This means that businesses today need to build much deeper relationships with their customers online if they want to outshine their competitors. Such a professional can help you develop a comprehensive strategy to improve interaction with customers through various channels (social media, website, etc.). 4. Inbound Marketing Consultant Inbound marketing attracts new customers to your business via valuable content and experiences, from social media posts and infographics to blog posts and e-books. This includes, but is not limited to innovative inbound marketing strategies for top of funnel content (TOFU). So an inbound marketing consultant is the best professional you can hire if you want to develop and implement an effective content marketing plan. 5. Outbound Marketing Consultant An experienced outbound marketing consultant will help your business grow by generating revenue through direct marketing methods. Such a professional will help you develop effective push messages that drive sales. This type of marketing includes strategies such as email newsletters, deals and discounts, cold calling, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and social media advertising. 6. Digital Marketing Consultant Perhaps the most complex areas of marketing in 2022, digital marketing is a broad term that encompasses numerous marketing approaches. A digital marketing consultant can identify the best ways for a business to promote through various digital channels and techniques. They help with research, planning, development and optimisation. With advertising, for example, a digital marketing consultant can suggest improvements for existing campaigns or help you develop and test different strategies to determine the most effective one for your business. 7. Branding and Creative Consultant A brand consultant is an experienced professional who can help you strengthen your brand and grow your influence. To this end, a brand consultant will also conduct market research and help you create the perfect brand elements (logo, fonts, colours, messages, etc). By the end of your collaboration, you will have a deep understanding of your customer persona and have aligned your brand with their preferences. What Kind of Marketing Consultant Do You Need for Your Business? Since there are 7 different types of marketing consultants, the right one for your business is out there. Let us take a look at which professional you should hire based on your budget and needs: Marketing Consultant Types You Need One When: 1. Marketing Strategy Consultant You need to determine the best marketing strategies for your specific business and a comprehensive marketing plan so they can be implemented efficiently. 2. Market Research Consultant You need more information or data on a specific marketing problem; to learn more about your niche, customers, or competitors; or to find new opportunities. 3. Communications and PR Consultant You need to increase or control information about your business and improve customer perceptions in the marketplace. 4. Inbound Marketing Consultant You need to create and publish valuable content that will promote your business and attract new leads and customers. 5. Outbound Marketing Consultant You need to drive more sales and increase business revenue; or build relationships and rapport with customers. 6. Digital Marketing Consultant You need to use digital channels, such as SEO, social media, EDM, eCommerce, content marketing, PPC, etc, to reach and engage the right customers. 7. Branding & Creative Consultant You need to understand your customer personas; create competitive advantage  and develop or refresh your brand. 7 types of marketing consultants / When do you need one Wrap Up Hiring the right marketing consultant will save you both time and money in the long run. In general, a top-notch marketing consultant will be able to identify exactly what your company’s marketing needs are, so even if you are not entirely sure what you need when you hire them, they’ll be able to advise you. Therefore, whether you own a start-up business or a well-known brand, such a hiring model has numerous benefits. Remember that it is always a good idea to optimise your marketing in a constant cycle of improvement. And adding a consultant to your team is most likely a good idea as well. [...]
April 6, 2022Digital Marketing / Marketing StrategyCRM and email marketing work perfectly together. If you want to generate more sales and improve the overall customer experience, this strategy is for you. It’s almost as if CRM (Customer Relationship Management) was created specifically to allow email marketing to shine. Let us explain. In the early stages of digital, there was a common problem among businesses. When developing email marketing strategies, it was impossible to personalise and automate the process. Then, CRM software came along. Now it is one of the fastest growing industries, projected to grow by 14% between 2021 and 2027 as more and more businesses adopt the technology. In this article, we will take a look at the benefits of integrating CRM and email marketing. By the end of this read, you’ll know how to combine these two marketing strategies to take advantage of this powerful partnership. How can CRM Improve your Email Marketing Strategies? Email marketing enables businesses to efficiently interact and communicate with their customers electronically. And you can now optimise email marketing with tools like CRM software. But what exactly is CRM? Well, that is two-fold. Firstly, CRM is a marketing term known as Customer Relationship Management. This is a relationship marketing strategy businesses can use to build and maintain relationships with prospective and existing customers. On the other hand, CRM also refers to the technology that enables businesses to nurture and analyse customer relationships. A CRM  streamlines business operations, such as sales, marketing, customer service and accounting. Essentially it is a centralised database that allows you to manage and analyse customer information and intelligence. Nothing is left out of CRM systems from sales and contact management to productivity and customer support. So, it is obvious that CRM and email marketing, when combined, become very powerful for businesses. By integrating CRM with email marketing, you can: Optimise your sales opportunities based on specific customer data Optimise your marketing communications by using specific customer data Create personalised customer journeys Automate email workflows with pre-built templates The great thing about CRM in email marketing is that it can be used for pre-transaction and post-transaction emails. Email Type Timeframe Common Uses Pre-transaction email Inform the customer (prior to the purchase) Reminder emails, storytelling, sponsorship emails, lead nurturing emails Post-transaction email Create loyal customers (after the purchase) Follow-up emails (welcome emails, transactional emails, newsletters,  re-engagement emails, product/subscription extensions) Pre-transaction vs post-transaction emails 6 Ways to Integrate CRM With Email Marketing Now that we have figured out why businesses integrate CRM with email marketing, let us take a look at how to actually do it. There are 6 key ways to use CRM to enhance your email marketing strategies. 1. Utilise Third-party Software There are many CRM-based tools on the market. Most CRM software has pre-made email templates and allows you to create detailed user personas, as well as fully automate your email marketing campaigns. Best of all, you do not need any programming skills to use this type of CRM software. Although there are many CRM systems on the market, we have found that the most reliable and powerful ones are: Keap Sendinblue Benchmark Email Hubspot Zoho Freshworks Engagebay Salesforce Of course, you do need the right personnel to fully exploit the possibilities of such CRM software and we don’t recommend setting it up in-house without the right IT resources. Most businesses need to outsource the set-up of their CRM, as well as engage a professional marketing consultant to devise the most effective email marketing strategies and tactics. 2. Personalise your Email Marketing If you use any of the above tools, you will be able to personalise emails. Personalisation is one of the reasons why email marketing is considered more efficient than social media, especially when it comes to ROI. It allows you to deliver targeted marketing messages that appear one-to-one. With CRM, you have the ability to collect customer data from multiple channels and create individualised content. Data and analytics provide useful insights into the needs, interests and preferences of customers, so messages remain relevant. This is simply the best way to convert sales, but also to engage customers and build their trust. 3. Boost Lead Nurturing Let us first define what Lead Nurturing is. Simply put, lead nurturing is a tactic that marketers use to help customers move from thinking about buying a product or service to actually buying it. In the buyer journey, the customer moves from the awareness phase to the consideration phase to the decision phase. Email marketing can be used to help customers make a purchasing decision. It can also be used in the post-purchase phase to increase customer satisfaction. 4. Automate your Email Campaigns Marketing automation is another way CRM and email marketing work together. With a CRM system, you can use pre-built email templates and data to organise customer interactions and communication. It makes setting up reminder emails, email sequences and newsletters very easy. Communications can now be based on data collected from previous customer interactions, such as product inquiries, previous purchases and more. Not only can CRMs personalise the emails you send, but they can also send trigger-based email flows automatically based on customer behaviour. By taking the manual work out of setting up and sending emails, CRM has dramatically improved the efficiency of marketing communications, thus saving businesses time and money. 5. Use CRM Data and Analytics The power of analytics cannot be underestimated. With the right CRM software, you have access to valuable data that can improve operations. Data and analytics can help inform management decision-making. For a start, you can determine which communications approaches are working and which are not. And the right adjustments to customer service can improve customer retention measurably. Also, analysing customer data can help identify the best sales opportunities and improve business productivity. 6. Detect Upsell Opportunities Last but not least, combining email marketing and CRM helps you nurture existing customers. Although generating new leads is important, repeat purchasing is the best way to increase revenue. Focusing on customer lifetime value is a smart way to grow your business. This is because acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining one. Increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profitability by 25-95%. In addition, word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to generate new sales. But to do this you must turn loyal customers into advocates that will recommend your products or services to others. Combining email marketing, CRM and referral marketing is the best way to encourage and incentivise such referrals. Wrap Up This article explored how important it is for businesses to use CRM and email marketing strategies. If you want to improve your customer management systems, automate and personalise your emails, and find new upsell opportunities, this is the best way to do it. In summary, combining CRM and email marketing has a host of benefits that include: Stronger business-customer relationships Increased sales and revenue Improved customer lifetime value Meaningful data and analytics Greater productivity and efficiency Businesses of all sizes can benefit from CRM and email marketing. Hiring a professional consultant who has the essential marketing skills will help you combine these strategies to your advantage. [...]
January 7, 2022Business / Digital Marketing / eCommerce / Marketing StrategyThere are many reasons why a business might choose to hire a digital marketing consultant. For most, it’s a fantastic decision. More than 90% of people find brands via search engines and social media. And that’s just one of the reasons why investing in digital marketing is so important. But how do you know which consultant to hire and whether they’re the right fit for your business? Well, a good place to start is their skill set. After all, the decision comes down to the individual needs of your business. In this blog post, you will learn about the skills of a digital marketing consultant and why having professional advice in these critical areas of digital will benefit your business. From content marketing and SEO to email marketing and e-commerce, we’ve covered all the skills so you can confidently choose the right person for the job. 8 Skills That a Digital Marketing Consultant Must Have Hiring an experienced marketing consultant has many advantages. You add a professional to your team and save money while increasing the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. But what makes a good digital marketing consultant? To answer this question, let us look at the 8 essential skills a professional should have. 1. Search Engine Optimisation | SEO SEO has everything to do with your website and its ranking in search engines like Google. A professional marketing consultant knows how to help your website rank higher by optimising it for search results. The biggest benefit of SEO is that it helps you gain qualified, inbound leads that cost less than advertising and deliver higher conversion rates. Keep in mind that more than 90% of online experiences start with a search on Google, so it’s kind of essential that your business can be found in keyword searches. SEO is a technical skill and not simply about keywords on a page, however. Here are just a few SEO concepts that a digital marketing consultant should understand; indexing, UX, core vitals, link structure, anchor text, metadata, alt tags, backlinks, do-follow vs no-follow, and domain authority. They should also know how to research keywords and analyse competitors to replicate links. 2. Email Marketing | EDM Digital marketing consultants should understand how email marketing works. This strategy uses types of emails like storytelling, newsletters and re-engagement emails. It’s often referred to as Electronic Direct Marketing and emails are known as EDMs. Email marketing has a higher ROI (return on investment) than other marketing strategies like social media marketing. It is also one of the most effective methods for engaging customers in eCommerce, with automation tactics increasing conversions by recovering cart abandonments and upselling. Another benefit of email marketing is that your email list can be one of your most valuable assets. Unlike social media where the audience belongs to the platform and you compete with their algorithms, your email list is your own. Therefore, strategies for list building are another essential skill for digital marketing consultants to have. With most consumers checking emails on their mobile devices, your digital marketing consultant should know how to optimise content and templates for mobiles, as well as know how to best schedule your EDMs for the best open and click-through rates. 3. Content Marketing Contrary to what many believe, your content is not limited to your website’s blog posts. The term encompasses any type of information (emails, e-books, social media posts, podcasts, etc.) that you create. Content marketing is about building a trusting relationship with your target audience while feeding them good content that they can engage with and value. A good consultant will help you leverage information to build brand awareness and drive customers to action. This type of marketing includes: SEO-optimised content, e.g., blog posts Social media content Publications, e.g., eBooks and resources Videos and audio productions, e.g., podcasts Types of Content used in Content Marketing 4. Social Media Marketing Social media marketing has everything to do with a company’s social media strategy and channels. Most brands these days have business accounts on social media. However, a digital marketing consultant has more than just the knowledge of how to post. They can design effective strategies that deliver real results, rather than just vanity metrics, and also automate social media, so it consumes fewer resources. Scheduling and automating posts on social media is a data-led approach, which requires some analysis of the best time and day to get the biggest impact. There are tools like Buffer and Later that social media marketers use for scheduling. Digital marketing consultants are also responsible for analysing social media performance. Analytics are crucial when it comes to getting ROI from paid social media campaigns and generating new leads from socials. 5. PPC: Social Media & Google Ads Pay-per-click (PPC) is a term used for paid ads and promotions across search engines and social media. PPC helps businesses drive more traffic and leads to their website. In a typical PPC model, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad and visits your website. This category includes ad types such as: Google Ads Ads in YouTube videos Ads in mobile apps Display ads on websites Ads on social media, eg Facebook, Instagram, etc. A digital marketing consultant can develop a strategy according to your needs and budget that includes keywords, targeting and ad copy. They can also help you set up marketing campaigns and understand the technical factors involved. And their contribution doesn’t stop there. They can help you to optimise and manage your campaigns, which is especially important as campaigns require ongoing maintenance and adjustments to ensure they are delivering results. 6. Marketing Data & Analytics Digital marketing is ultimately measurable. This means that digital marketers can help you track the performance of your marketing at any given point in time. This is possible through data and analytics that track user behaviour. Analytics can help you and your digital marketing consultant in the following ways: Gain an understanding of which types of marketing work best (and which do not) for your business based on audience behaviour. Determine the keywords, copy or creative that drives the best engagement and goal conversions. Make strategic decisions and create more effective campaigns over time. Analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, are customisable. And such platforms offer endless opportunities to measure your brand’s online performance if you know how to set them up properly. A professional is usually required to set up all the features that make GA most useful for helping with marketing decision-making. 7. E-commerce The global e-commerce market was approaching $5 trillion at the end of 2021. E-commerce has become an indispensable channel for the retail industry around the globe. Of course, this also means that competition has become fierce. For this reason, a digital marketing consultant will bring the required understanding of how the e-commerce industry works. Likewise, a professional consultant can help you: Choose the right e-commerce platform for your business. Implement marketing strategies such as email marketing, content marketing and social media marketing to attract customers. Choose the best e-commerce plugins for your online store. Measure your performance with analytics, and adjust accordingly. 8. Mobile Marketing Mobile marketing is very important if you want to promote your brand on mobile devices. This type of marketing includes mobile apps, social media, responsive websites, text messaging and emails. With consumers spending around 5 hours per day on their mobile devices, investment in mobile marketing is crucial. A great marketing consultant knows how to best optimise a website, emails or social media content for mobile devices. In addition, smartphone apps can take your mobile marketing to the next level, especially when it comes to eCommerce which has proven apps get higher conversion rates. It is obvious that this skill has become essential for digital marketing consultants. Wrap Up The above list contains all the hard skills a digital marketing consultant should have in 2022. We covered: Search Engine Optimisation | SEO Email Marketing | EDM Content Marketing Social Media Marketing PPC: Social Media & Google Ads Marketing Data & Analytics E-commerce Mobile Marketing Still, hard skills aren’t everything. In fact, soft skills like adaptability, creativity, and persuasion are also important for marketers. Moreover, a professional consultant should have leadership skills, a motivated attitude, and exceptional professionalism. By combining hard and soft skills, a digital marketing consultant can deliver fantastic results and be a great investment for any business. [...]
December 14, 2021Digital Marketing / Marketing StrategyDid you know that email marketing is more efficient than social media marketing? Most businesses invest a large percentage of their marketing budget in social media, but it may not be the best tactic. For many reasons, social media marketing can add value to any business. The right social media mix, with platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, can increase brand awareness and loyalty. But what about email marketing? Though often underrated, it is a budget-friendly tactic that has the highest ROI (return on investment) of all marketing strategies. In this blog post, we will look at why your business should invest in email marketing – also known as Electronic Direct Marketing (EDM). Let us start with a brief overview of the strategy. What Is Email Marketing? An email marketing strategy harnesses the power of email to generate new leads. It is also used to improve customer retention and customer lifetime value. EDM is cost-effective and promises to increase your conversion rates. Welcome Emails Re-engagement emails Lead nurturing emails Transactional emails Newsletters Sponsorship emails Dedicated emails (standalone) Storytelling emails Common email marketing types  Email marketing can be aimed at both existing and potential customers. The process is pretty simple. All you need to do is build an email list and nurture it to increase your sales. Recent statistics show that more than 3.9 billion people read their emails every day. So EDM is all about converting some of those users (your target audience) into customers. But how can it be more effective than social media marketing? Let’s find out. 8 Reasons Why EDM Is More Effective Than Social Media Marketing 1. When You Build An Email List, You Own That List Forever Unlike your followers/connections and posts on social media platforms, email lists will always be yours. Regardless of the email provider, you can use email marketing to gradually build and grow your list of customers. This is very important for professional marketers. Think about it. With social media marketing, you can only promote your products or services. Ultimately, you are waiting for your customers to take action. Some of your posts or ads may not even reach your existing/loyal customers. That’s why your email list is a very powerful tool. It helps you reach your audience directly (one on one). Therefore, email marketing is a more personal approach than social media marketing. And that’s not all there is to it. 2. EDMs Are Cost-Effective Cost is one of the main reasons why email marketing is preferred by small businesses. Suppose you want to create a social media campaign. For that, you would have to pay for things like ad placement, photoshoots, hiring an agency, and so on. On the other hand, EDMs are simple to create and ultimately inexpensive. All you need is an email platform, a great campaign strategy and professionally written copy. For this reason, email marketing has an exceptional ROI of 122%. Finally, with platforms like MailChimp, you can send up to 2500 business emails per month for free. 3. Email Marketing Nurtures Customers Although email marketing is very effective at lead generation, the real kicker is investing in your target markets. Namely, with a nurturing campaign, you aim to build a deep relationship with your target audience. Personalised and branded emails help you achieve just that. For this reason, EDMs are great for both B2B and B2C brands. Since emails allow you to connect with your target audience in an organic way, you can inform them, help them, and support them. 4. Emails Will Always Be Around Email is a stable digital marketing channel. As social media platforms come and go, email remains consistently popular. But why is this so important? Well, what if you invest in building an audience for a social media channel and the platform loses its popularity after a while? Then, unfortunately, you’d lose all your hard work as users leave. On the other hand, email has been around for more than 30 years and keeps evolving. So building your email list is a long-term investment that will not disappear after just a few years. 5. Remarketing To Past Buyers And Website Visitors Another benefit of email marketing is follow-up promotion. And EDMs allow you to retarget previous customers and visitors to your website in more ways than one. Newsletters, promotions, and loyalty offers are just a few of the types of emails you can share with your customers to keep them coming back to your business. Returning customers are just as important (if not more important) than new customers. According to some studies, marketing that attracts new customers will cost six times more than a steady base of returning customers. That’s why building an ongoing relationship with past buyers is a great tactic. 6. eCommerce Abandoned Cart Emails Similarly, email marketing is more effective than social media when it comes to remarketing to users that abandon shopping carts. If you own an eCommerce business, you know this problem well. How many times have you seen your customers fill up a cart, only to abandon the site a few minutes later? The average cart abandonment rate across all industries is a staggering 69.57%! But, with email marketing, you can bring those customers back to your website to purchase the products they left behind. There are many abandoned cart plugins that will automatically send a customisable follow-up email flow. 7. Drives Traffic to your Website Let us say you have an SEO-optimised website with top-notch content. In many cases, that may be enough to attract new users. But what about your existing audience? How can you share your latest content with your customers? Email marketing is the answer. It’s not hard to create an email that links to your newly published content. Best of all, emails can (and should) include calls to action (CTAs). With engaging buttons, you can ensure that your audience takes action and revisits your website, which further boosts your SEO. 8. Online Users Prefer Emails Over Other Communication Channels The final reason email marketing is more effective than social media has to do with statistics. If building a deep relationship with your audience is a priority for you, you should listen to their preferences. If you think upcoming generations are shifting all their communications to social media, think again. More than 73% of millennials,  prefer to communicate with businesses via email. In general, email is still the most popular way to receive marketing updates from businesses. Wrap Up We know that social media platforms can expand your brand’s reach and generate leads. This article was not about underestimating the power of tools like Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest. However, social media marketing is more expensive and risky than email marketing. Still, it’s wise to keep a balance and use more than one marketing strategy. With the best return on investment, email marketing should be a key part of your overall marketing plan. [...]
November 26, 2021Digital MarketingHow to choose the right social media mix for your business is something small business owners often ask. The most common misconception is that for a small business to thrive and grow, it needs to have a presence on ALL social media platforms, all the time.  As you can imagine, this way of thinking can be a source of great pressure for many new business owners!   We asked Lauren Hamilton, Founder of Sydney Agency Digital Narrative, to share her thoughts on how small businesses can choose the right social media mix for their marketing strategy. Read on to hear Lauren’s insights. How hard can it be?  It’s just Social Media… Many hours of skilled work per week are necessary to create enough quality content to fill multiple social channels.  This is without accounting for the hours spent on community management – responding to messages and comments – or on engagement tasks.  In short, it’s unfortunately not something you can really do in 15 minutes on the sofa at the end of a long day, with a glass of wine in hand. Many small business owners choose to outsource their social media management as a result, however, this comes with a steep, often prohibitive price tag.  Others try to do everything themselves, ending up with poor-quality content duplicated across all platforms, and poor engagement metrics which damage their account ratings.  There is, however, a third path.  One which I recommend in most instances to my small business clients.  And, it takes us right back to Marketing 101… The Who & The What Not to get on my (well-worn) soapbox here, but Digital Marketing has two words in it – digital, and of course, marketing.  Many people these days forget the marketing part and go with the theory that if you throw enough mud at digital targets – mainly social media platforms – it will stick.  And sure, some of the mud will stick, but without a solid marketing strategy behind your efforts, a great deal of that mud will miss the mark, hit someone who hates mud or go unnoticed altogether. The key to getting your digital marketing – and by extension, your social media mix – right, is a deep, nuanced understanding of your target audience. Who are you looking to reach?  You’ll be able to mount a more effective campaign if you know who is most likely to buy from you, and what their life looks like.  Once you’ve determined the Who, you need to work out the What.  What is their problem, their need, their ‘lack’ that your product or service solves or soothes better than ANY other brand can?  Insight into your target audience’s pain point and how you can make it go away is the backbone of consumer insight, which in itself is a core tenet of marketing.  Finally, Where are these people?  Where are they in the real world, and of course… Where are they online? The Where (and Which Channels are the Most Popular) Contrary to popular belief, Facebook remains at the top of the social media pile with 2.91 billion users.  YouTube follows closely with 2.29 billion, with Instagram at 1.28 billion and TikTok at 732 million.  To see where other channels rank, this list is handy. For a small business, however, it’s more important to know Where your target audience is than where the whole world is.  This is the key to choosing your social media mix.  If they’re heavy Facebook users (typically women 35-65), then focus your attention there. In 2021, this doesn’t mean simply pumping out the feed posts – it means operating across posts, stories, ads, groups and all different facets of Facebook.  You may choose to duplicate content across additional, complimentary platforms (e.g. Instagram or Pinterest) but ensure most of your effort goes into your primary social channel.   If your target audience is young, look at emerging and trending platforms such as TikTok.  This platform is especially excellent for brands that have good video content, a strong personal branding component (i.e. a ‘face’ of the brand) and owners with a good amount of courage!  Again, this doesn’t mean you don’t use other channels, but prioritise your core channel and create content with it in mind. And finally, the How. Once you’ve got a solid grip on the Who, What and Where, it’s time to move on to the How.  By this, I mean How do you speak to them on social media in a way they’ll not just be receptive to, but LOVE and look out for?  It’s no mean feat, but it comes back (again) to consumer insight.  Put yourself in your audience’s shoes.  What would float their boats?  Why did they follow you in the first place?  What will they want to share with their friends?  Reproduce the type of content which earned you likes and comments in the past.  Ensure plenty of video is included – it is proven to be the strongest performer across all platforms. And, always remember this: Don’t post what you want your audience to know.  Post what they want to see.   By flipping your way of thinking on its head like this and choosing the right social media mix for your business, you’ll improve the efficiency of your digital marketing and create a strong, loyal community to support your business as it grows. However, if the reality is that it is just all too daunting and you have more important things to do in your business, then outsource social media management to someone that has the time, expertise and most importantly, the passion for it. [...]
November 11, 2021Digital Marketing / Marketing StrategyOne thing all marketers can agree on is that every business should invest in digital marketing. Whether you own a small business or a large company, planning your marketing strategy around digital is critical to your success nowadays. Digital Marketing is defined as: ‘Achieving marketing objectives through applying digital technologies and media’. Possibly the best thing about digital marketing is the ability to integrate different channels to organise customer flow. Creating a digital marketing plan is not as difficult as you might think. Most businesses choose to hire a professional digital marketing consultant for the job. Even if that is the case, you should know your goals and objectives in advance and have a clear purpose for investing in digital marketing. Knowing how to write any type of plan is a valuable skill to have, but because every business is so unique, getting started can be the biggest challenge. In this article, we will explore a formula for writing a digital marketing plan and by the end of this read, you will know all the steps you need to follow. But, planning. Is it even necessary? Some might not think so, but first, let’s discuss why a digital marketing plan is still critical for your business. What Is A Digital Marketing Plan? In essence, a digital marketing plan is a working document that details the strategy and the steps to implementation, including resources, timelines and budgets. Beginning with the goals and objectives, the marketing plan is like a roadmap on how to get to the result within a specific timeframe. Of course, a digital marketing plan is aimed at a defined target audience. It may even describe buyer personas and their behaviour, including where they’re directing their attention in terms of media and interests. This research on your potential customers can mean the difference between success and failure. But why is such a plan necessary for your business? Is it not enough to just jump in and advertise? Test the waters on social media, perhaps? Well, not quite. Let us find out why. Why Is A Digital Marketing Plan Important For Your Business? To understand how important digital marketing is for businesses, we need to look at consumer behaviour. A recent study by Oberlo reveals that more than 2.1 billion people around the world made purchases online in 2020. Shoppers flocking online is a prime reason why businesses need to be investing in digital marketing to stay competitive. However, you don’t have to have an eCommerce business to need digital marketing strategies in 2021. Everyone from small businesses to global companies needs to be visible online. Being where and when your customers are searching for you can mean the difference between winning or losing the sale. Whether it’s a brand or product, customers are using the internet and smart devices all day, every day to help them make purchasing decisions. Without a plan, it’s unlikely you’ll accomplish your goals, reach the right audience through your advertising, or stand out as a brand. This is because the main benefit of marketing planning is time to think. Planning captures more ideas and provides the opportunity to analyse those ideas objectively. Planners make better decisions simply because of the space to make better decisions. It’s a process that also forces you to take things step-by-step. How To Write A Digital Marketing Plan The secret to writing a great digital marketing plan is to be methodical. That’s why we have created this guide with the six steps you need to follow. Let us go through them one by one. Step 1: Start With A SWOT Analysis By SWOT analysis or SWOT matrix, we mean the process of identifying your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This is the first step in developing an effective digital marketing strategy. Think of this step as the cornerstone of the entire plan. The SWOT is an important situational analysis that considers any internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) and external factors (opportunities and threats). These are insights that can guide strategic decision-making in marketing. In this step, try to capture all the things that could impact a successful digital marketing plan, encompassing both advantages and disadvantages. From social and technological changes to marketing budgets and customer service, this process should uncover and analyse every relevant detail, and then help direct decision-making. If your SWOT analysis revealed that your website is very good at driving traffic, for example, then leverage that strength. Likewise, if converting those visitors to customers is a weakness, you should focus your digital marketing plan towards improving conversion rates. And of course, there is some benchmarking to do in your analysis. Understanding your competitors and their online strategies goes a long way towards implementing a successful online campaign. Without competitor research,  how will you know which media, what messaging and how to differentiate online? Step 2: Set Your Goals & Objectives If you haven’t already worked out what you’re aiming to achieve, it’s time to set your goals and objectives. While your goal may be to make more sales, to get there you may need to increase product or brand awareness amongst your target market, increase demand or increase purchasing intent. These objectives will guide the types of digital marketing you do. Think carefully about where you want to get to (goals) and what it is that you need to achieve or change to get there (objectives). Objectives should be S.M.A.R.T. That means that the marketing objectives are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. This approach eliminates guesswork, helps keep the project on track, sets an achievable timeline and makes it easier to measure marketing outcomes. In addition to setting objectives, you should also create a specific timeframe to achieve them. Like all goal setting, having a timeline ultimately helps deliver a successful digital marketing plan. Step 3: Create Your Buyer Persona There’s no success in marketing without customers, so if you want your digital marketing plan to work, you should have a clear picture of who your customer is, what they like and how they behave. That’s why marketers recommend creating what’s called buyer personas. To do this, you can look at the characteristics (demographics, geographics and psychographics) of your target audience. By gathering information such as interests, motivations, gender, age and location, you can begin to create an accurate persona. The more data you collect, the easier it will be to figure out how to turn a random visitor into a loyal customer. You may even present your personas as avatars with fictional names and personalities that can bring them to life. Step 4: Map The Customer Journey Once you have identified your buyer persona, you can turn to user experience. Because of the technical complexities, this is one of the steps where hiring a professional marketer is an excellent decision. Research shows that customers’ expectations have changed recently due to the pandemic. Most people shop online and expect businesses to be highly engaging. This is why you should focus on designing an engaging User Journey. Once you have mapped the customer journey scenario, you should have a good understanding of all the media and channels to link together to create a marketing funnel. You can now start working out the implementation section of your digital marketing plan. Step 5: Optimise Digital Marketing Tactics It is finally time for you to pull together your digital marketing strategy. At this point, you already know what your goals are, you have created a buyer persona, and you have mapped out the buyer journey. Having laid down the framework, you can start developing specific marketing tactics for each channel. For example, if you want to increase traffic to your website, you can improve your SEO. Accordingly, at this stage, you can create a content calendar. This calendar will help you organise your content, from blogs to social media posts to EDMs. Step 6: Analyse The Results And Adjust Digital marketing is a constant cycle of improvement. Even if you implemented all your digital strategies perfectly, some revision is necessary. This is why analysing the data to check the results of your digital marketing plan is so important. You should regularly look at how your content is performing. Is your target audience interacting? Are you converting visitors? Remember those objectives and check how you are tracking against those goals. There are many tools on the market that can provide such analysis for your business. Google Analytics and SEMrush, for example, are popular among website owners and marketers for good reason. Some things take time and results are not always immediate. Therefore, analytics tools are the best for measuring progress. Don’t be scared to adjust your digital marketing plan accordingly. Wrap Up Creating a digital marketing plan may feel like it delays progress, but it is actually the opposite as a great plan can put you well ahead of the game. This is why you should invest some time to create and optimise your digital marketing. We all know that integrating different inbound marketing strategies to attract new customers is the true benefit of digital. It pays to get it right. [...]
October 9, 2021Digital Marketing / Marketing StrategyOver the past two years, digital marketing evolved dramatically due to Covid. Digital transformation literally helped businesses survive and flourish. And for those that adapted, the good news is that they will continue to benefit after the pandemic. New approaches like User Experience (UX), will deliver long-term benefits. But getting back to business as usual means attracting new leads and customers. It’s time to think about inbound marketing. In this article, we will explore top-of-the-funnel marketing strategies. We will first explain what top-of-the-funnel means, what it has to do with inbound marketing and why it’s so essential for your business. Then, we will analyse seven of the best inbound marketing strategies. By the end of this read, you’ll know all about top-of-the-funnel marketing and how to implement effective tactics to generate new leads. What is Top-of-the-Funnel Content? To understand any part of the funnel, we must first define what a marketing funnel is. A marketing funnel is a model businesses can use to describe the different stages in their customer acquisition strategy. The concept has evolved from the consumer behaviour theory known as the buyer journey. A customer takes theoretical steps from awareness through the various stages of their purchasing decision and post-purchase behaviour. Also known as TOFU, top-of-the-funnel marketing is the first step to attracting a customer. The theory is that you need the highest number of leads at the top of the funnel where prospective customers become aware of your business, brand or product as a solution to their need. Thus, the goal is to maximise awareness. High-quality content can increase brand exposure and visibility, and in turn, help to build awareness across your target market. You can think of TOFU as the first step of a predesigned User Journey. You use attention-grabbing content to capture the attention of your target market. Once the user becomes aware of your brand, your job is to engage them and guide them down the funnel to a purchasing decision. Building brand awareness is one of the hardest phases in the marketing cycle. Of course, converting a visitor into a customer takes skill. Nevertheless, the first touchpoint with your brand is crucial. Let us analyse why. Why Should You Optimise Your Inbound Marketing? It becomes evident that top-of-the-funnel content aims to improve the first experience your customer has with your brand. As they say, first impressions count and you only have one chance at a first impression. Customer behaviour has changed dramatically, especially since the pandemic began. According to Statista, more than 80% of customers around the world shopped online in 2020. Most customers do extensive research online before buying a product or service. This research takes place on search engines such as Google, and on social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. And that’s exactly what inbound marketing is all about. In fact, TOFU encompasses all of your marketing tactics designed to introduce your brand to new users. It’s in these moments that you really need to stand out from your competitors if you desire more customers in your theoretical marketing funnel. 7 Effective Inbound Marketing Strategies for TOFU In our experience, the following marketing strategies have proven to be very effective when it comes to generating new leads. 1. Word-of-Mouth The age-old method of WOM (Word-of-Mouth) is – and always has been – one of the most effective TOFU marketing strategies. According to Forbes, there is nothing more effective than word-of-mouth when it comes to the three E’s: Engage, Equip and Empower. Even though word of mouth traditionally relied on natural conversations about your brand, passing on awareness from one person to another (referral), modern WOM marketing is about predesigned efforts. To encourage these recommendations, you must build trust between your business and your customer. High levels of customer satisfaction are the key to turning people into advocates for your brand. A satisfied customer is more likely to recommend your brand to friends and family or even promote you on social media. 2. Referral Programs Referral marketing is a tactic based on the principles of word-of-mouth marketing, but with one fundamental difference – it incentivises recommendations. Existing customers can sign up to recommend your brand in exchange for a reward. Referral programs utilise digital marketing tactics and usually utilise a referral page within their website. Customers choose to share your brand with friends, family, colleagues, etc. via WOM or social media, along with a link that connects a new buyer with the referral club member. Consumers trust recommendations from family and friends more than advertising and messages from brands themselves. That’s why referral programs are a great way to attract new customers. 3. Podcasts According to recent research, more than 60 million households (about 50% of all homes in the U.S.) are podcast fans and more than 75% of all people are familiar with podcasting. For this reason, podcasts have become one of the best marketing tools in 2021. Advertising your brand on a podcast proves to be a brilliant tactic, especially when that podcast’s content is relevant to your niche. In general, podcasts have a loyal audience. Since all listeners of a podcast share the same interest, they have a sense of belonging, often taking the conversation to social media and online forums like Reddit. Therefore, promoting your brand through podcasts is a brilliant TOFU strategy. Podcasts are suitable for both B2B and B2C businesses. All you need to do is choose a podcast that is thematically relevant to your product or service. 4. Contest Marketing: Competitions and Giveaways Contest marketing is another brilliant top-of-the-funnel marketing strategy. A well-designed competition or giveaway is sure to increase brand awareness and promote your products/services. Competitions are also one of the most innovative ways to connect with your audience. Contests, giveaways, quizzes, and trivia are just some of the contests you can organise. Hiring a social media influencer is also a smart way to increase your campaign reach. In fact, influencer marketing has become one of the most effective TOFU tactics, so why not use an influencer to host or promote such an event or campaign? 5. Social Media Promotion In 2021, many brands are heavily reliant on their social media accounts for TOFU. Platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook have millions of users every day., so posting is a great tactic for increasing brand touchpoints. Social media can be extremely powerful channels for capturing new leads and customers in your funnel. Investing in top-notch visual content and paid ads on social media are popular ways to promote your brand. Don’t forget the CTAs. Calls to action (CTAs) are all about encouraging customer decision-making. Many brands get so caught up in visually representing their brands in a certain way on social media, that they forget to include tactics to pull leads further down the funnel. CTAs should always be integrated into your TOFU content. 6. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Search engines are highly powerful tools and necessary strategies in digital marketing. Most online experiences begin with research on Google or Bing. And that’s exactly why Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is so important to your top-of-the-funnel marketing. SEO is arguably the most effective method when it comes to driving traffic to your website. The higher your site and pages rank on Google, the more new leads you generate and the more customers you attract. It’s as simple as that. However, optimising your content for search engines can be tricky. You should always try to stay up to date when it comes to trends in search engine marketing. Plus, always use best practices and familiarise yourself with the main steps in on-page SEO, as outlined in this free handy guide. 7. Quality Content Written content is a great way to attract new customers via search engine results and posts shared on social media. When it comes to blog posts, Google usually prefers longer articles (1000+ words) that signify authority on a subject and value for the reader. Don’t forget to include internal links to other blog posts or pages on your website in order to keep users engaged. As for visuals, use more than just images. According to a recent study, blog posts that contain infographics receive over 170% more links than standard posts. An infographic is a visual representation of information or data (that is relevant to your brand). In addition to infographics, original visual elements like images and videos are also important for your top-of-the-funnel marketing. In fact, most professional marketers believe that original visual content (illustrations, videos, diagrams, etc.) is a great way to achieve your marketing goals. Filling the Funnel So, now you know why it’s essential for your business to understand the user journey and focus on top-of-the-funnel content. These inbound marketing tactics will help you build awareness and attract more leads. You can start by improving your website’s SEO and incorporating CTAs. Then, you can invest in creating top-notch visual content. There are many more inbound marketing strategies that you can try. This is why many businesses choose to hire a marketing consultant. A professional can help you stand out from your competitors and fill your marketing funnel with an endless supply of buying customers. [...]
September 12, 2021Business / Digital MarketingThe impact of the recent pandemic on businesses has been significant. Regardless of whether your business is an eCommerce startup or a huge law firm, you have felt the effects of COVID-19. The emergence of Covid completely changed the face of business around the world. With economies and markets literally shut down overnight, the pandemic has forced businesses to pivot and sometimes reengineer entirely different business models. We have already looked at how marketing has changed as a result of the pandemic and the need for new tactics and marketing strategies. Now, let’s look at some key statistics on how the pandemic has also affected business in general. With digital marketing emerging as the key to businesses adapting to this new, post-COVID reality, we have six new marketing strategies to use during and after the pandemic. And finally, we will analyse why a marketing consultant is a good addition for businesses looking to thrive on the other side of this crisis. Let us dive deeper. The Impact of Covid-19 on Business: Key Statistics Drastic changes in the economy have been evident since the beginning of the pandemic. By March 2020, the 2019-born disease had caused a sudden, global economic crisis. A survey recently conducted on a sample of more than 5,800 small businesses demonstrates just how severe the impact of the pandemic has been on small businesses. Nearly 43% of the businesses in the sample had to close temporarily. In addition, most businesses have actively reduced staff (39% on average). In addition, many businesses were forced to cut back on spending. On the other hand, this new reality has also led to some drastic positive changes. For example, recent research by the SBI shows that more than 81% of Australians believe that employees can work from home. In fact, 44% of Australians have already agreed to flexible working hours. The same is true in the US, where 58.6% of the country’s workforce now works from home. The study shows a huge 159% increase in this percentage during the pandemic (since 2019). It’s clear that COVID-19 has impacted the daily lives of businesses and workers around the world. And some of these structural changes are here to stay. But how has marketing helped businesses adapt to this new environment? And should companies cut corners on marketing during or after the pandemic? Why Marketing Is Not the Thing You “Save Money” On More than 72% of businesses believe that marketing is crucial to surviving in this new (online) environment. Why? Let us start with how lockdowns around the world instantly changed consumer behaviour. With social distancing measures keeping people at home, professional marketers quickly adapted, proposing innovative strategies to help businesses survive this crisis. In 2020, we saw a flurry of companies integrating digital technologies into their business, not just to manage internal operational and communications challenges, but also to manoeuvre their marketing tactics. This rapid uptake in marketing technologies accelerated digital transformation by seven years. Offline brands shifted all their promotion online, via websites, apps, social media, and online shops. Due to social distancing measures, new, omni-channel marketing strategies began focusing on the entire customer experience. This is also one of the main reasons why digital marketing should not be underestimated. Let us now identify some innovative marketing strategies that have emerged due to the outbreak of COVID -19. 6 New Marketing Strategies to Use During and After the Pandemic No doubt, many companies have had to reduce their marketing budgets. Fortunately, strategic marketing does not have to be expensive. In fact, most of the new marketing strategies listed below can be implemented on a shoestring budget. All you need to do is implement one or more creative tactics and have professional staff to support them. Reward Loyal Customers Although it is very important to attract new customers, it is potentially more important to retain the customers you already have. Since most purchases are made online, it is much easier for customers to check out your competitors and other alternatives. Therefore, it is important that your marketing tactics also focus on loyal customers and give them reasons to buy from you and continue to trust you. For example, showing your gratitude via email campaigns is just one of the brilliant tactics you can use to keep customers sticking around. Invest in Digital Marketing Digital marketing has everything to do with your online presence. The pandemic has shown that digital marketing is extremely effective, regardless of your industry or business. The first thing you need to do is move everything online. And by everything, we really mean everything. Everything from actual products to seminars can be moved online. You can set up a brand new eCommerce store, host webinars, and boost your social media presence. These are all effective digital marketing strategies that can help you succeed during and after COVID -19. Engage with your Audience Engagement is critical to the success of any online business. During the pandemic, consumers tend to look for other solutions. So it’s up to you to build a deep, sincere relationship with them. You can do this by responding to comments on your website and social media accounts. There are other tactics you can use to increase engagement, such as using live chat services on your website and nurturing them through email campaigns. Create Quality Content Whether you focus on written or visual content (or both), it must be of high quality. Learning the basics of terms like SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) can help you increase your traffic and boost your conversion rates. Hiring a professional marketing consultant can help you develop a content strategy for your online presence. Focus on CTAs (Calls to Action) Increasing your traffic is great, but converting a customer during a pandemic can be a challenge. That’s why CTAs are so important to your business. You can include CTAs just about anywhere, from your website pages and articles to your social media posts. Improve User Experience The pandemic has also changed the way customers think. This has led to an entirely new approach to marketing, one that applies to the entire User Experience. This new approach is based on what is known as buyer behaviour theory. Therefore, marketing strategies like User Journey can help you create a customer-friendly online profile. This is a brilliant marketing strategy that encourages interaction with your customers and improves the customer experience. How a Marketing Consultant Can Help Your Business Survive the Crisis? Hiring a top-notch marketing consultant can help you in many ways. Implementing digital marketing and the innovative strategies described above can be difficult. However, by adding an experienced marketer to your team, you can: Identify weaknesses in your existing marketing strategies Explore different alternatives based on your objectives Create a new, comprehensive marketing plan for your business So, a marketing consultant can get you back on track and give you an edge over your competition. Now is the time to implement new strategies so that your business is set and ready for post-COVID economies. [...]
August 21, 2021Digital MarketingThere is no denying that the pandemic has changed the world of marketing in a big way. Marketers and companies had to quickly adapt to the rapid changes in the market. More professionals began to work remotely, and companies began to focus on digital marketing.   Accordingly, marketers looked for innovative ways to improve the online user experience. But why did this happen? Recent studies show that lockdowns around the world have completely changed customer behaviour. In this article, you’ll learn what the User Journey is and how it can help you improve your user experience. By the end of this 5-minute read, you’ll know all about its benefits and how you can incorporate it into your marketing strategy. What is the User Journey? Due to the Covid-19 situation, most people have started shopping online and expect companies to be more engaging. This fact has created new customer priorities and changed the way a successful customer experience looks like. In a few words, the user journey is exactly what its name suggests: a representation of the timeline of a customer’s online (or offline) experience. Unlike traditional approaches, the user journey has everything to do with the customer’s perspective. So this visualisation (graphic) is all about the customer and how they interact with a product or service. To illustrate, let’s say you have developed a photo editing software and are promoting/selling it through your website. In such a case, a user journey map shows a customer’s experience with your software. The timeline shows the customer’s behaviour from the moment they discover your product to the moment they decide to buy. What’s the User Journey Role in Customer Experience User journey visualises all the steps of an overall user experience: Awareness: Where an online user searches and finds out that your product/service is one of the solutions. This happens through search engines, social media, etc. Asking Questions and Collecting Data: In this part of the user experience, potential customers identify other alternatives (your competitors). They ask questions and gather information about each product/service. Consideration: Where the clients have collected all the details, know who you are and how you can help. In this stage, they compare your product/service to your competitors. Decision: In this stage, they decide if your solution is the best way to go.  Conversion: Once a user chooses your product/service over competitors. Retention: Where customers expect you to guide them through your product, solve potential problems. With user journey mapping, all those stages are visualised from the client’s perspective. This helps you understand what you do right or wrong. Why is User Journey Important? How Can it Help you? As the marketing industry changes, businesses are called to quickly adapt to digital. Delivering a great user experience must be top priority for marketers. In this, the user journey is critical. Designing the journey from the customer’s perspective is an innovative and intuitive way to improve the overall experience. Let us take a look at the benefits of user journey mapping: Understanding your customers’ behaviour/emotions: There is no better way to understand the behavior and emotions of your customers than user journey mapping. This visual map can help you answer critical questions and understand how clients think and act in the buyer decision making process. Identify problems: Customer journey maps will help you find potential problems in the overall engagement with your clients. Reduce marketing costs: If you identify what your clients need and what you can improve, you can alter your strategy accordingly. Thus, a great user journey map will help you reduce costs in the long term. Customer satisfaction: User journey maps will increase positive client comments and lead to a bigger, more satisfied target audience. Increase your conversion rates: Ultimately, this is the goal for most businesses. Understanding what your clients need will help you boost the user experience and rapidly increase your sales. It becomes clear that the user journey can help you in many ways. However, user journey mapping is only one part of a more general approach in buyer behaviour theory. Buyer Behaviour Theory. What Is It and How It Changed Digital Marketing? Buyer (or consumer) behaviour is a study that helps businesses understand their consumers. Like user journey mapping, buyer behavior theory helps you understand what’s going on in your customers’ minds, i.e. how they think. This theory is based on various factors (psychological, personal, and social). Also, this approach helps businesses to change their marketing strategy and improve user experience. For this reason, digital marketing has recently adapted to this type of “consumer-centric” strategy. Let’s take a look at how you can incorporate such techniques into your marketing. Customer Journey Mapping: Creating An Innovative Marketing Plan Since we have concluded that customer journey mapping is a smart marketing approach, let’s have a look at how you can organise it. First of all, hiring a marketing consultant is a brilliant thing to do. In fact, hiring a professional will simplify the entire mapping process. If simplified, successful customer journey mapping consists of six different steps: Identify your goals Create your customers’ profile (utilising the information you have about your audience) Define the map scenario (timeline and touch-points) Understand your target audience expectations and motives Sketch each stage of the map Analyse and refine the map based on insight By following these steps, you’ll get closer to developing a unique marketing strategy that focuses on the user experience. Wrap Up Businesses that focus on user experience are more likely to grow their audience and generate new leads. This blog post identified all the reasons why creating a user journey map is a great thing to do. Since customer behaviours, motivations, and priorities change occasionally, it’s important to adapt to the new reality. These days, if you do not understand what your customers need and how they think, you are less likely to succeed. Investing in the user journey and innovative digital marketing strategies, in general, is a smart approach. This way you can improve the impact of your business and build a strong relationship with your audience. [...]
August 14, 2021Business / Digital Marketing / eCommerceDigital marketing is becoming increasingly powerful as a tool for inbound marketing. As a result of the pandemic, all types of businesses have started investing in innovative marketing strategies in an effort to generate more leads. Inbound marketing is the best method to grow any type of business, from small eCommerce stores to large corporations. However, not all marketing strategies work for all types of businesses. For this reason, this article will examine what inbound marketing is and how it can help your business. By the end of this 5-minute read, you will be able to identify the best inbound marketing strategies for your business. What is Inbound Marketing? Inbound marketing begins with growing your online presence and building a strong relationship with your audience. Inbound marketing uses social media, SEO, content marketing, and other tactics to create demand amongst your target market. The methodology is relatively simple when broken down into four phases: Attract: The first stage of inbound marketing helps you attract a target audience. Convert: Using numerous tactics such as CTA (call-to-action) or sign-up forms, you can use inbound marketing to convert visitors into customers. Close: In the close phase, you add other tactics like email marketing to maintain and strengthen your relationship with your customers or attract new ones. Delight: In this final phase, show your appreciation to your customers through thank you emails and messages, discounts, etc. Now that we have analysed inbound marketing methodology, let us look at some of the inbound marketing strategies you should try. 10 Best Inbound Marketing Strategies The strategies below will help to generate leads, whether your business is a startup or growing company. 1.    Google and SEO Organic traffic is one of the best ways to attract new customers. By organic traffic, we generally mean users that come from keyword searches in search engines like Google. For many businesses, organic search generates the greatest amount of traffic and site visitors that convert into buying customers. There is no better way to rank in Google than by investing in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). However, since the Google algorithm changes from time to time, it is essential to understand the principles of SEO and stay up to date on the latest SEO reports. 2.    Hire a Marketing Consultant If you want your marketing strategies to succeed, there is simply no better solution than hiring a marketing consultant. A professional marketing consultant can find and solve all manner of problems in your business. This person will also explore different approaches to growth and create a detailed marketing plan based on your business needs. This is a fantastic choice for businesses that are not performing as well as they used to or need to modernise their marketing strategies. 3.    Invest in LinkedIn All social media platforms have their place in digital marketing. However, LinkedIn is underrated as a channel for B2B (business to business). In fact, LinkedIn is the most important platform for generating quality leads. Especially in B2B marketing, paid ads are better on LinkedIn than Facebook. For this reason, you should invest in promoting your profile and business on LinkedIn to increase your presence on the platform. 4.    Invest in Marketing Through Instagram With more than 500 million active daily users, Instagram has become a powerful marketing tool. There are numerous ways to interact with your audience through Instagram. Moreover, the platform is based on visual elements (images, infographics, videos). This makes Instagram even more captivating for users. Most successful businesses focus on Instagram stories and advertising through visuals like Instagram Reels. You should engage your audience through your Instagram content and keep it short, relevant and informative. 5.    Create Captivating Visuals Visual content is as important as written content. Creating engaging videos, photos, and infographics will help your audience understand and value your products or services. Luckily, plenty of online platforms like Canva allow you to create top-notch photos and videos, even if you have no graphic design experience. 6.    Explore eCommerce and Its Capabilities The e-commerce market has grown rapidly since 2020 and will continue to do so. For this reason, investing in e-commerce is a smart next step, even for service businesses. In addition to selling physical products, many companies offer webinars, digital consultations via Skype or Zoom, etc. It becomes clear that eCommerce allows you to explore countless revenue opportunities in your niche and is a brilliant marketing channel to invest in. 7.    Email Marketing Whether you own a new blog, a B2B startup, or anything else, email marketing is a smart way to build a strong relationship with your customers and target market. Even though email marketing is usually underutilised, it’s a marketing strategy used by most successful businesses for communication and engagement. 8.    Focus on Conversational Marketing As mentioned earlier, inbound marketing focuses on engaging and building a relationship with your target audience. Therefore, conversational marketing is precisely what the name implies: a real-time conversation. This can be achieved through a live chat on your website or through chatbots. Of course, the conversation needs to be personalised and helpful to improve the overall user experience. This strategy is very effective for B2C (business to consumer) companies. 9.    Create High-Quality, Valuable Content Even though visual content is more valuable today than ever before, written content is still the most crucial way to attract customers through search engines. For this reason, every successful marketing strategy relies on high-quality, relevant written content. From blog posts to forums to interaction on platforms like Quora, your options are endless. In any case, long posts (more than 1000 words) that are SEO-friendly will consistently rank better on Google. 10. Optimise Call To Action CTAs are crucial to the second step of inbound marketing, converting users. Even though most businesses tend to place CTAs only on the website’s main page, it’s a good idea to place them on all pages and posts. In fact, you should always use at least one call to action in your written (and visual) content. The Bottom Line There are numerous other marketing strategies you can use for your business. For example, influencer marketing is a great way to improve user engagement and generate new leads. The inbound marketing approaches mentioned will help you develop an effective marketing strategy. Understanding terms like SEO are crucial. Hiring a marketing consultant is a great way to ensure a successful marketing strategy. Invest in some of the tips above to improve your business’s online presence and, ultimately, its marketing impact. [...]
July 11, 2021Business / eCommerceChoosing the best eCommerce platform for your business can be a challenge. Both WooCommerce and Shopify have their fans, however Shopify has been gaining popularity. Still, being the most popular platform doesn’t make it the most suitable for all eCommerce businesses. In this article, we explain the advantages of WooCommerce over Shopify. After exploring the top benefits of WooCommerce, we will compare it with Shopify and explore the strengths and weaknesses of each platform. So, by the end of this read, you will be able to decide which eCommerce platform is the best choice for your business. The 8 Benefits of WooCommerce over Shopify WooCommerce is better for certain types of businesses, particularly depending on their size and stage. It also beats Shopify on parameters like flexibility, scalability and SEO-friendliness. So let’s dive into the things that make WooCommerce a better choice for a large number of organisations. 1: Scalability Although Shopify is easier to learn and use, it has its limitations while WooCommerce is an endlessly upgradable platform. As with WordPress in general, WooCommerce is fully scalable, which means that the platform works as a creative project but can grow with your business. Building a store with WooCommerce gives you the freedom to scale your business incrementally. Unlike stores built on Shopify, your WooCommerce store can continue to expand both its capabilities and capacity as your business grows. As your business scales and traffic to your online store increases, you’ll want your site to be capable of handling surges in traffic and perform under pressure. Hosting resources, database configuration, caching plugins and CDNs are some of the options that give WordPress/WooCommerce advantage over Shopify for rapidly growing eCommerce businesses. 2: Customisation As with scalability, customisation is all about the creative options each platform offers. While Shopify has numerous themes to choose from, you’ll have limited options for customising themes and functionality to your needs – forget thinking outside the square. On the other hand, WooCommerce gives you the freedom to modify every single aspect from the theme to functionality. Extensions in WooCommerce make it possible for anyone to create a store that suits and changes with their needs. Of course, the more advanced your website or eCommerce project is, the more sophisticated the skills required. A more advanced developer can give you even more control over design and functionality. However, this is where there is a cost to customisation. If you are planning to build your own online store with limited technical knowledge and time, then it’s easier to do so with Shopify. But if you want a kick-ass, original, fully customised and scalable site and online store, then the investment in outsourcing will be worth it for the results. 3: SEO Friendliness SEO is the best way to attract direct traffic and qualified buyers to your eCommerce store. In fact, 93% of online sessions begin with a search on Google or other search engines. For this reason, SEO is a marketing strategy every business should have. Optimising a site and online store in WooCommerce is the best way to drive organic traffic and when it comes to SEO friendliness, WooCommerce is the better platform. WooCommerce is built on WordPress with its collection of SEO tools and plugins. Unlike Shopify, the platform allows you to edit every aspect of your SEO, regardless of how technical. Remember that SEO is not just about metadata and content. Technical factors that determine user experience, speed and performance are crucial, especially since the latest Google Core Update. Shopify has known speed issues and in practice it is easier to make adjustments on WooCommerce. 4: Pricing – Value for Money Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce and many of the plugins it offers are free to use. With no contracts and monthly fees, WooCommerce delivers better value for money. Sure, if you want to create a top-notch eCommerce store there are costs incurred for third-party services. And you will have to pay for hosting and an SSL certificate – two things that come included in Shopify’s recurring fees. Still, using third-party providers gives you freedom and flexibility (i.e., you can find deals). Even numerous paid plugins and extensions in WooCommerce are more affordable than most Shopify apps at an average of $39 (annual or lifetime). Shopify’s monthly fees add up. 5: Payment Gateways & Transaction Fees WooCommerce is a slightly better option than Shopify when it comes to transaction fees. Both apps have numerous payment gateways to choose from (PayPal, Apple Pay, Stripe and others), but WooCommerce also allows you to integrate with niche payment gateways. Shopify also charges 2% for each transaction through a third-party gateway – that’s an additional 2% on top of what the payment gateway itself charges! On the other hand, WooCommerce does not charge any fees. Therefore, WooCommerce is generally a better option for those: 1) who sell a lot of products; or 2) who want to choose their own merchant account; or 3) want more control over their business. 6: Plugins and Integrations The WooCommerce platform easily outperforms Shopify when it comes to integrations and external apps. As an open-source platform, WooCommerce lets you integrate countless extensions to extend your store’s capabilities and services. Like WordPress, WooCommerce has numerous plugins (more than 50,000) that you can use to build on extra features and functionality. While Shopify has a growing number of plugins (approx 1,200 apps that you can integrate with your store), it was designed to be an all-in-one, simple eCommerce store builder. 7: Customer Support Even though Shopify has amazing 24/7 customer support, WooCommerce uses Bluehost. So when you launch your store on WooCommerce, you can directly submit tickets, read numerous store setup guides, or contact Bluehost (24/7) via phone and live chat. This comparison is close. However, Bluehost is one of the most well-known customer services and offers a top-notch experience for WooCommerce users. In fact, this is also one of the main reasons why you can quickly overcome the learning curve of WooCommerce. Of course, this is only relevant if you are building your own store. If you partner with an agency or other third party, then you should expect A-grade customer service and support. 8: Control The big question here is, who really owns your site when it is on Shopify? There may come a time where your business outgrows the platform and needs a better enterprise solution. And while you can export your products from Shopify, you must pay to take a backup of your design and settings. There are numerous ways that Shopify locks its customers into the platform. WooCommerce doesn’t have these barriers and you are free to choose any provider you like for hosting or support, plus you are free to move the site as you please. Being open source CMS (content management systems), both WordPress and WooCommerce have open source code, so anyone can view, copy or edit core code, while Shopify is closed source and retains ownership and control over code, creating a host of limitations. WooCommerce vs Shopify: Advantages and Disadvantages Now that we have analysed all the benefits of WooCommerce over Shopify, let’s have an overall, side-by-side comparison of their advantages and disadvantages. WooCommerce Advantages Ultimate Scalability and Customisation SEO-friendliness Based on WordPress: open source CMS, huge community, real-time solutions Value for money: free to use and has numerous free/affordable plugins Top-tier customer support Flexibility and control Shopify Advantages Ease of Use: Shopify takes care of the technical (coding) side for your store All-in-one software: Shopify includes hosting and security features Integration of external marketplaces (Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest, eBay) Top-tier customer support WooCommerce Disadvantages Steep learning curve: You might struggle to learn how to use WooCommerce, especially if you don’t have any technical (coding or development) knowledge. Shopify Disadvantages Less flexible and not as customisable as WooCommerce Transaction fees for third-party gateways Less SEO friendly Monthly plan and apps cost Barriers to exit It becomes clear that both Shopify and WooCommerce are amazing eCommerce platforms. However, they have some core differences. Therefore, choosing the best platform comes down to your business needs. For example, WooCommerce is a better choice for growing businesses that have marketing budgets and need flexibility and control. Also, WooCommerce is the best way to go if you already have a successful WordPress website and want to upgrade to eCommerce, scale or customise. On the other hand, Shopify is specifically for small business ventures – it is ideal for home-based startups and people with no coding knowledge who want to launch their own eCommerce business without having to outsource. Thus, Shopify is perfect for those who need an all-in-one platform to start a store quickly and efficiently. The Bottom Line WooCommerce and Shopify are the top choices when it comes to creating an eCommerce store in 2021. However, WooCommerce is generally a better option for certain types of businesses, especially larger enterprises. Due to the ultimate flexibility of the platform, its numerous plugins, and performance advantages, WooCommerce is a powerful choice for marketing and eCommerce professionals. [...]
June 26, 2021BusinessNo one could foresee that a virus could completely change our lives. It was entirely unpredictable. But when the pandemic hit, businesses had to shift their strategies fast and find new ways to distribute goods and services. It became survival of the fittest. Marketing, as we all knew it, had changed entirely. Australia has had some of the strictest lockdowns in the world in an effort to suppress or eliminate Coronavirus. We have avoided the health catastrophe, but it’s been at a massive cost to businesses. Over time, the marketing world has adapted to the new environment. As a result of Covid, some companies saw it necessary to invest in additional marketing, reposition, and pivot. However, although the way they do business changed, their goals remained the same. Marketers know that there is one thing that will never change, and that is the fundamentals of what makes a good brand. Therefore, many businesses continued with optimised marketing activities that promote their brand and grow their businesses, but with more focus on customers than ever before. If the pandemic changed marketing for good, then what does the future look like for marketing? Are marketers going to build their brands by investing in customer service and customer experience? Is digital marketing, eCommerce stores, websites and apps going to remain the priority? Does “for good” mean for the best or permanently? We are yet to find out. Here are some of the major changes and trends that emerged since the pandemic that look like they are going to stick around for some time. Acceleration of eCommerce and Digital Marketing The pandemic has changed the behaviour of consumers. No longer do people need to go shopping outside of the comfort of their homes. Instead, everything they need is within a click. But what does this mean for businesses that don’t have a strong online presence or eCommerce platforms? Unfortunately, they instantly fall behind their competitors. Since traditional advertising has shifted to online advertising, companies had to implement new digital technologies to survive. As more and more people are looking for and buying products and services online, e-sales are reaching unprecedented proportions. As a result, consumers who used digital and omni-channel services during the pandemic will likely continue to do so in the future. Marketing Teams Working Remotely Due to lockdowns, social distancing, restrictions and other measures during the pandemic, many businesses had to create a new working environment remotely and, more recently, a hybrid working environment. However, the new way of doing business didn’t stop marketers from offering value and building trust with their customers. The use of digital tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet helped tremendously with the in-office to remote work transition. Social Distancing Impacting Retail While many savvy online companies used social distancing to their advantage and made record sales during the pandemic, physical retail didn’t have a good year. Many big shopping centres were closed, and retailers were left wondering whether things would go back to normal for them. Since there was no business and rents had to be paid, it took an even heavier toll on retailers. Such an example is Scentre Groups, a major retailer, who had to close their stores in all Westfield centres due to rental disputes with Noni B and Strandbags. However, after implementing new strategies, marketing planning and concepts to adapt to the “new normal”, many retailers came back even stronger than before the pandemic. Consumer Confidence We are all witnesses to the post-Covid changes in consumer spending and behaviour. For example, during the peak of the pandemic, people were scared and didn’t know what to expect. As a result, they started stockpiling groceries and buying long shelf life, canned and boxed food. Consumers began to value businesses that did something good for the society and environment during the pandemic. This change in behaviour is probably here to stay, and that is great! Companies will make products that will positively impact our planet. But among these changes in habits, hygiene and food safety was consumer’s number one priority. So now, more than ever, companies need to build trust with their customers. Economic Factors When it comes to a pandemic affecting your business, there are so many variables to think about. How long will it last? Is there enough capital to survive months of lost profit? How can businesses change their strategies to adapt and compensate? As we all know, many businesses were lost during the pandemic because they were not prepared for such an event. But now, because of Covid, enterprises of all sizes are restructuring their economic planning. They have begun looking at tighter budgets, focusing on internet marketing and long term money management, which could initially slow economic recovery and growth. Restrictions on Travel and Losing International Markets International travel restrictions didn’t just affect major airlines and cruise ships. No doubt, tourism, leisure and accommodation sectors took a major hit and were bleeding revenue. However, travel restrictions also impacted local industries. Recovering is going to be a long journey for the travel industry, as well as industries that rely on transient visitors. None more than hospitality. But the restriction on travel also brought about some positive outcomes for many companies, who turned to digital solutions and business going via virtual platforms. As a result of the pandemic, the international business travel budget was cut and energy consumption was reduced, as were travel emissions and fixed costs. Tight Marketing Budgets Many businesses had to create new strategies and plans to adapt to the “new normal” and optimise their ROI. This meant cutting their marketing budget. The good news is that strategic marketing can be done even on a budget. But creating a marketing strategy on a tight marketing budget means having to be more creative, which is why good management is more important than ever. Moving forward, many of these marketing trends are going to stay for good as they will be necessary for survival. Companies must keep evolving and adapting to the new marketing world to keep up with strong competition. “Throughout our history, every major disruption that we’ve studied leads to some reshuffling brands. Even in normal times, when there are big changes in normal households, it tends to shuffle the brand loyalty deck,” says Scott McDonald, president and CEO of the Advertising Research Federation. The world as we know it has changed, but that also means we learned how to adapt to the new environment as fast as we could. The aim now is to be better than ever before. [...]
June 20, 2021Digital Marketing / SEOGoogle has introduced a new update to its core. This update will roll out from June through til August, with the first release on June 2. Google’s core update brings noticeable changes to its search engine results pages (SERPs). For this reason, it will impact digital marketers around the globe. This article will examine what you need to know about the 2021 Google Core Update. We will explore what this update is about and the reasons why Google decided to update its core algorithm. After investigating these background factors, we will showcase some professional opinions concerning the update’s pros and cons. By the end of this 5-minute read, you will have all the tips needed to prepare your search engine optimisation and use the update to your SEO advantage. What is the 2021 Google Core Update About? Core updates aim to increase the overall quality of Google’s search results. As mentioned above, Google began rolling out its new update on June 2. This was the first update since December 2020. But before you relax, the next one is coming next month (July 2021). Every update causes anxiety to online marketers, bloggers, and content writers. According to professionals like Cesar Cobo, updates bring significant changes and this one is certainly no different. In fact, Google’s update will affect the ranking algorithm, which can affect a website’s ranking, visibility and traffic. It will affect the way we create online content. For this reason, this article will identify: The seven key components from the Google core update How to take advantage of those changes The advantages and disadvantages of the update Without further ado, let’s dive deeper into the upcoming changes. Why did Google Announce This Core Update? Before we conclude why Google decided to make this update, it is important first to identify how the ranking system will change. This update will alter seven key categories: 1. Mobile Friendliness This is one of the most important changes. Google understands that every day, more and more people use their mobile devices for browsing. For this reason, the algorithm recently started to prioritise websites with responsive, mobile-friendly interfaces. This update is also oriented in this direction. 2. Website Safety The new update favors websites that focus on user safety. Likewise, the ranking system will identify crawling websites, phishing, etc. For this reason, it is vital to ensure that your website or blog adheres to the safety protocol. 3. HTTPS/SSL Protocol As with previous updates, the Google algorithm keeps preferring websites that use HTTPS over HTTP. Accordingly, if you have a valid SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate, your website will be an HTTPS website, showing the padlock in the address bar. This integral factor in your website’s security lifts your search ranking. 4. Limit Intrusive Interstitials This is another important feature of the upcoming Google core update. Many websites and blogs use pop-ups, banners, and paywalls. Google believes that this kind of interstitials is intrusive as they often popup before the expected content for advertising purposes. For this reason, the latest algorithm update bans the excessive use of these interstitials. Keep in mind that interstitials, like cookies, are at times necessary, such as for age verification. Thus, certain types of interstitials won’t hinder your ranking. 5. Webpage Interactivity Google’s new ranking algorithm also focuses on the interactivity of the user with a website. With a brand new score, called First Input Delay (FID), Google will identify if your webpage interacts well with the visitor. This factor relates to speed, measuring the time it takes for the browser to respond to a user’s first interaction. According to Philip Walton, your website should have an FID of 100 ms or less. 6. Website Stability For Google, Visual Stability has to become a priority for all websites. With the term Visual Stability, we mean the stability of your webpage during a user’s visit. This is now measured by the so-called Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), which are the unexpected changes that occur during a visit. For a CLS score to be considered good, it has to be 0.1 or less. 7. Website Loading Speed Last but not least, Google’s core update focuses on the loading speed. To be more precise, this is a different score than your page speed. Google has introduced LPC, which stands for Largest Contentful Paint. What this metric counts is the time needed for your webpage content (largest image, text block, etc.) to be loaded. According to Google developers, a good LPC score has to be 2.5 seconds or less. Google Update Advantages and Disadvantages According to SEO Professionals As with any Google core update, the latest one has fans and haters. The Google ranking system is changing once again, but SEO experts explain that these changes to the algorithm probably will not cause major problems for most websites. Even though there are some changes concerning content, most of the key elements focus on user experience. For this reason, this might be a problem for websites that rely on pop-ups and banners. Likewise, this update could influence ad-reliant websites, like news sites. However, most SEO professionals are confident that this update won’t bring enormous impacts to SEO. Any update can result in drops or gains for content, but this update is somewhat different as it is rolling out in stages. Gains or drops may be temporary as impacts could be reversed from one roll out to the next. Also worth noting that negative impacts don’t necessarily signal that a website has broken any rules. It can simply be a sign that content that was relevant previously is just no longer as relevant in search results. Top 4 Tips to Get Prepared for Google Core Update Preparing is vital for those concerned about the changes mentioned above. Thus, if you are not sure how the update will affect your webpage, it is important to follow some tools and tips: Read the Web Vitals report: Google offers a Core Web Vitals report that is worth a read. By exploring this report, you get insights concerning your webpage performance. Thus, this is a smart tactic to follow if you want to improve the metrics we analysed above (CLS, LPC, FID). Focus on content quality: This is one of the most important things to do. If your website relies on SEO, creating high-quality, original content is vital for your success. Prioritise user experience: As mentioned above, the new update focuses on parameters like mobile-friendliness and safety. Accordingly, you can prepare your site by using Google’s mobile-friendliness test and security issues report. Don’t stress: even if the new core algorithm has affected your ranking, don’t forget that this update will take at least two more months to fully roll out. Thus, there will be adjustments and new changes on the go. Now is the time to be proactive. The Bottom Line This article explored what you need to know about the 2021 Google Core Update. It’s an update to the algorithm that focuses on elements like user experience, mobile-friendliness and security. SEO professionals are being as prepared as possible for the upcoming changes and any impacts it could have. In any case, keep in mind that this is a long rollout, and we can’t predict its outcome. Most importantly, be proactive, but don’t panic! [...]
June 8, 2021BusinessNo one denies the importance of marketing, in general. The question is, do you need a Marketing Consultant? Well, due to the complexities of digital alone, hiring a Marketing Consultant is a brilliant choice. Then there are things like strategy and issues of competition. Still, this type of cooperation needs to be right for you and contracting a marketing expert can be a big step. There are numerous benefits to hiring a top-tier marketing advisor, especially if you find the right one. On the flip side, there are also some drawbacks. This article explores all the pros and cons of hiring a consultant for your business. At the end of this read, we will analyse why a Marketing Consultant is a great choice. The Advantages of Hiring a Marketing Consultant 1. Add a Professional to Your Team By hiring a professional Marketing Consultant, you can benefit from having an experienced member on your team. In this way, you bring in someone who is an expert in their field and has the best strategic mind to help your company. Of course, most top-tier consultants have extended skill sets and can help you solve more than one marketing issue. However, if you had a particular challenge, the right Marketing Consultant would bring deep experience in that area. For instance, if you need someone to optimise your SEO strategy, all you have to do is hire a specialised Digital Marketing Consultant. 2. Save Money Without Compromising on Work Ethics and Quality That being said, outsourcing is a fantastic alternative to traditional hiring. Instead of adding a senior member to your permanent in-house marketing team, you can employ a professional Marketing Consultant for a fraction of the cost. This is a great way to save money and time without compromising work ethics and quality. Likewise, you can adjust your project’s time frame and budget to benefit from the cost savings. And a Marketing Consultant will work on your projects with just as much passion and professionalism. Their excellent reputation from previous projects should give you confidence. A great Marketing Consultant has numerous positive reviews for you to check on their website or LinkedIn profile, etc because work quality is their number one priority. 3. Quick and Flexible Hiring Process Another advantage of hiring a Marketing Consultant for your projects is that the hiring process is easy and quick. You won’t have to deal with time-consuming logistics or complicated hiring procedures. Accordingly, for urgent marketing projects, there is simply no better hiring model. Hiring a Marketing Consultant also gives you flexibility. For example, after a big project, you are not locked into permanent employees. Most senior consultants will work with specific timeframes and deadlines, then their contract is done and you move on. This can be a huge cost saver. Depending on what industry you’re in, up to 45% of your revenue will go to payroll. But in this case, no need to adjust your goals or objectives, your Marketing Consultant will work quickly and efficiently, saving time and money in the process. 4. Lessen your Burden If you need to implement a marketing plan but don’t have the time to commit, outsourcing to an external expert is a brilliant alternative. In fact, all experienced consultants recognise that their client’s time is limited and valuable, which is the main reason they are vital for your success. Outsourcing allows you to focus on the things you do best. A Marketing Consultant can manage your marketing projects for you. This is very important, as an expert will relieve some of the pressure on you. Plus the internal team will have strong guidance and a senior person to learn from in the process. There are numerous benefits to your team working with a marketing mentor, from building their confidence to developing competencies, a Marketing Consultant can be invaluable for less-experienced marketers and leave a long-lasting legacy. 5. A Marketing Consultant Will Offer a Fresh, New Perspective Last but not least, if you need a keen eye and a fresh perspective on your marketing, a professional Marketing Consultant is an excellent choice. Top-tier consultants will understand your goals and needs, and then create strategies to achieve them. Plus, they are full of innovative, different ideas that you may never have thought of. The Disadvantages of Hiring a Marketing Consultant As with all important business decisions, you need to consider the downside of hiring a Marketing Consultant too. Engaging an advisor to scale your business can have its drawbacks. Nevertheless, most of these disadvantages have reliable and easy solutions. 1. Discovery Phase and Familiarity with Your Industry Even if the consultant you decide to hire is an expert in their field, they may be unfamiliar with your specific field or industry. In most cases, Marketing Consultants need a discovery period to get familiar with all the particular details of your company. Of course, a smart thing to do is to check a consultant’s previous practical experience. They may have had a previous client from your industry, or even a competitor, which would be a bonus. Still, all you have to do is provide the background they need. You should help your advisor understand your industry, markets and business processes. 2. Cost As previously mentioned, hiring a Marketing Consultant can save you money. However, it is an investment. This cost won’t approach the expenses of hiring a full-time senior marketer but for some businesses, the cost can be prohibitive. Just keep in mind they bring a high degree of expertise, and their input is designed to provide a return on investment. 3. Communication Issues Most professional consultants don’t operate from your office. For this reason, you have to contact them via phone, email, video conferencing, etc. This can cause specific communication challenges. Nevertheless, during the last few years, there has been an uptake in working from home, so most businesses are getting used to communicating remotely. Let’s have a look at some categories of online tools that can help with communication barriers: Video Conferencing platforms (i.e., Zoom, Skype) Online Messaging Team Platforms (i.e., Slack, Microsoft Teams) Project Collaboration Tools (i.e., Trello, Asana) Work and Time Management tools (i.e., Scoro, Timecamp) The Bottom Line A Marketing Consultant can be truly beneficial for your business. In fact, hiring an advisor is a great way to quickly and efficiently add an experienced member to your team while saving money and time. On the flip side, nothing is perfect and this article has explored some disadvantages of outsourcing. The unfamiliarity with your industry and remote communication may be the main drawbacks. However, there are numerous reliable solutions to work around such issues. For this reason, we concluded that hiring a Marketing Consultant is a fantastic choice for your business. Follow the tips in this article to ensure a successful collaboration. [...]
June 5, 2021Business / Digital MarketingIs a Digital Agency a better choice than a Digital Marketing Consultant? Marketing is the pillar of every successful business, with digital marketing being the strongest branch when it comes to advertising. In today’s Digital Age, digital marketing is your best investment if you want your business to grow. This is no longer an option but something that every serious entrepreneur must use. However, deciding to upscale your marketing comes with another decision to make. Whether to hire an agency or consultant for your digital marketing. Many entrepreneurs do not know which option is better for them and why. Some are not aware there is a distinction. When they opt for the least expensive, the reason is often their lack of understanding or faith in the effectiveness of digital marketing methods. This article will explain the difference between an agency and a consultant and which one is the better choice for your circumstance. But first, let’s expand on the definition of both. Digital Marketing Agency A digital marketing agency is a team made up of technical specialists. It’s an outsourced team that will execute your marketing tactics. The number of employees in a digital agency can range anywhere from two to hundreds. Hiring an agency may break out of the “comfort zone” of established rules, but it can fill resource gaps and bring new energy or ideas into the business. Agencies usually have experience in various areas of digital and will repeat a strategy that has proven to be effective. In addition, agencies follow trends and are familiar with all the digital marketing tools. Digital Marketing Consultant A marketing consultant can be independent or work with an agency.  Businesses hire a digital marketing consultant to create and implement online strategies that will help a business move forward. An independent marketing consultant is someone with a high degree of knowledge and experience in their respective field. They do the groundwork; the planning work that ensures that the right strategy is put in place. These consultants deal with market analysis, customer targeting and studying competition. The work of the marketing consultant is often solo, however they can bring guidance to the internal team when it comes to implementation. On the other hand, a digital marketing agency employs entire teams of experts that work on execution and creating effective marketing content. It’s the done for you solution vs the doing it with you one. The Services of a Digital Marketing Agency vs Consultant Not all digital marketing agencies are the same. They also differ in the range of services they offer. Thus, some agencies offer a complete service from creating and hosting websites through social media and copywriting. Some agencies are narrow or specialised in a certain area, such as a specific social network or SEO. It is also more difficult to control the agency. That is why it is important to find an agency that will be more than a service provider. Instead, they should be a well-coordinated team that will act as a marketing partner so together you can promote your brand and grow your business. Results As someone who analyses your business from the side, a digital marketing consultant will approach the work from a different perspective. They easily put themselves in the client’s shoes. Due to the fact that their personal reputation is on the line, a consultant may be more invested in delivering ROI. A business should not be deterred by the fact a marketing consultant may have a limited set of skills as they know how to bring in expertise from outside the organisation. It’s when you need specific tasks done that a digital marketing agency is the better choice. They employ experts in every position, be it social media, design, analytics or email marketing. Their expertise may be in social media or design, or they may excel at creating email marketing campaigns. Just keep in mind that agencies may be less focused on ROI and more on reach and branding. Strategy Having highly analytical skills, a digital marketing consultant will build, plan, and support the best marketing strategy for your channel. If you have an in-house team that will execute what your consultant recommends, working with a consultant is your better choice. Otherwise, if you don’t have the team to execute the consultant’s strategy, you are better off hiring a digital marketing agency. Cost A consultant doesn’t have the capacity of the entire team. Hiring an agency is probably more expensive, but you get the cross functional team of experts. Doing everything in-house can be costly. You may have a person who will post things for you on social networks, which is great. But you will often need the services of a professional photographer, website developer, or graphic designer as well, just to name a few. Ultimately, hiring individuals for each of these activities will inevitably cost you more than a full service agency. Also, if you are not satisfied with the performance of the agency, you can usually terminate the contract before the deadline without additional costs and penalties. When to Hire a Digital Agency? A digital marketing agency will bring multiple experts to the table who will get your marketing done for you. Here is when you should hire a digital marketing agency: Your advertising needs to be more competitive in search or socials You need to reach new customers Your in-house resources are limited You don’t have the funds to hire an in-house marketing team You spend too much time on marketing instead of focusing on business growth When to Hire a Digital Marketing Consultant? Think of a digital marketing consultant as the strategist and planner. They focus on business and setting up for success. This is when you should hire a digital consultant: You are lagging behind your competition Your current in-house marketing team fails to deliver results You lack in-house expertise It would help if you had a new perspective and a second opinion Your marketing efforts need enhancement Which one is right for me? When deciding which service provider to hire for your digital marketing, you should check: Your budget Your time Your goals/needs If you need a new marketing strategy or an expert to guide and up-skill your internal team, a consultant is your better choice. However, if you need the strategy to be executed and you lack the resources in-house, hiring an agency may be the better idea. At the end of the day, it all comes down to getting ROI from digital marketing. There is no ideal one-size-fits-all solution and which service provider is right for you is entirely dependant on your needs. You need both great strategy and great execution. So where are you in the journey? If you are unsure, it’s best if you contact a digital strategist for consultation first. Together, you’ll be able to develop a plan and help your business grow. [...]
June 1, 2021Business / Digital Marketing / SEODid you know that 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine? Or that 81% of consumers use search engines to find products and services on the Internet. That’s the facts, according to Forester’s comprehensive report on SEO. Search engines are the go-to source for finding information online with Google being the leading search engine. In fact, 94% of searches are done via Google in Australia. Bing, Yahoo and other search engines have never been able to capture more than a minute portion of market share. Worldwide Google accounts for around 80% of all searches online. Since launching in 1997, Google has dominated and continues to maintain its stronghold. Heck! The word “Google” is now even used as a verb, meaning to search for information about something on the Internet. Let’s look at all the reasons your business needs to be found at the top of Google. Most importantly, let’s debunk the myth that SEO is hocus pocus. Believe it or not, Google is a lot less scary – and more necessary – than you might think. The Awkward Truth About Google It’s not just consumers Googling anything and everything. Search engines are often the starting point in the B2B buying process too. 94% use the internet to research a B2B purchase decision 77% use a Google search as the first step in the buying process With so many customers using Google to find products and services, you’d think every business would be there. However, only 7% of all websites are visible in search engines. Why? Because most websites are not promoted properly. And not being search engine optimised makes them almost impossible to find. Hiding deep within the search results is a problem faced by many businesses. As the saying goes: “The best place to hide a dead body is page two of the Google search results.” HubSpot’s research showed that 75% of users never scroll past the first page. The top three organic listings accounted for around 60% of clicks. But before you throw your hands in the air and say, “Well that’s it then, it’s all paid search from here on in”, 70-80% of users ignore the paid ads, focusing on organic results. That’s not to say that Google Ads doesn’t have a place in any good search marketing strategy. PPC and SEO lead to more success when strategically combined. The question is, if businesses aren’t aiming to be invisible, why are so many doing such a darn good job of it? To SEO or Not to SEO: It’s a Simple Case of ROI Every marketing program aims to place that business in front of qualified, buying customers. And that’s where search marketing really shines. Inbound leads. We’ve outlined why being at the top of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) is the place to be to capture customers with purchase intent. But wait, there’s more to it. Organic referrals from search deliver a lower cost per lead and higher conversion rate. Fact! Inbound leads cost 60% less than outbound leads, plus leads from search engines have a 14.6% close rate vs. 1.7% from outbound tactics, such as cold-calling. Hence why no business has ever complained about being first in Google. So, put all this together and there’s only one conclusion you can possibly come to. SEO will probably be your best marketing investment yet. Fingers Still Do the Walking to Find Local Businesses For local businesses specifically, search rank has become an essential factor in business success and focusing on organic results pays off. The top three organic listings in location searches, known as Google 3-pack, account for around 93% of click-throughs. Amongst consumers, smartphones are driving a rapid increase in searches with local intent. 87% of smartphone users now utilise a search engine at least once a day. “Near me” or “close by” searches for local businesses grew by more than 900% over two years. It’s important to note here that 92% of these Google users will pick businesses in the top three coveted positions in Google 3-pack. Google now considers online reviews and star ratings a key success factor in the ranking of local businesses. Star ratings in search engine results influence buying decisions, firstly by improving click-through rates with 4 to 4.5 star businesses earning the highest average revenue. With such compelling data, it’s clear that even local businesses should prioritise search engine optimisation (SEO) in their marketing plans. Remember that catchy tag line for the old Yellow Pages? Well, consumers still let their fingers do the walking. Understanding Search Engine Optimisation in Layman’s Terms SEO makes a website search engine friendly in an effort to increase site traffic. When done well, the majority of website visitors will come from organic search listings in Google. Relevant keyword searches refer high quality leads to businesses – that’s the power of search marketing. To explain SEO in the simplest terms, if your website is a book and Google is the library, SEO categorises your book by topic and adds it to the library shelves so library users can find it. If it’s a really good book, it will feature in the bestsellers section. Google’s algorithm uses hundreds of factors to categorise and rank a website. But put simply, rank is probably based on three main sorting criteria: Relevance: how relevant your website is to the search query Authority: the credibility and popularity of your website Service: your website’s user experience and usefulness The shocking truth is that Google isn’t such a mysterious beast. The details of its algorithm are kept secret, yes, but it’s a search engine and search engines are not that complicated. Google Is Not What You Think For a minute, let’s think of Google as a business, rather than just a tool. Like any business, Google has a purpose and objective. And that purpose isn’t to drive traffic to websites. Those referrals to your web page are just a useful by-product. Google is on a mission “to organise the World’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. If raving fans are an indication of success, then Google is indeed doing a great job. But how? By giving search engine users what they want, every time without fail, in the quickest time possible, and with the least amount of effort. Yes, Google refers traffic to other businesses, but its real value lies in its service and the degree of trust search engine user’s have in its recommendations. The Insider’s Guide to Winning at SEO When you think of Google, does your mind automatically jump to the text listings? There’s more to it than that. A holistic SEO strategy aims for visibility across all the SERP’s. Google has images, maps, videos, rich answers and shopping. Depending on what’s relevant to your business, your content can appear universally for a long list of keywords. SEO methods are very specific and, like any skill, can take many years of practice to master. However, it doesn’t have to be baffling and SEO is not a secret society. Once you understand what Google wants, SEO should no longer sound like one of the dark arts. It is in fact a logical set of steps combining technical and marketing skills. SEO is ever evolving and there’s always another algorithm update around the corner, but it doesn’t mean it’s as complicated as it gets made out to be. Yes, you can learn to do your own SEO. Many of the techniques we use aren’t that difficult once you know how. Not everyone can afford an SEO service. For small businesses and start-ups, outsourcing to an agency may not fit the budget. But before trying and failing, at least ask an SEO expert for advice. Businesses will always need Google and that means they will always need SEO. How you go about it is literally your business. The most important thing is that you do. [...]
May 30, 2021BusinessEvery business will at some point require marketing advice. This is an inevitable step for any owner or entrepreneur. Unless you are a marketing leader yourself, there will be times that the expertise of a marketing mentor will be invaluable. Whether it’s a start-up or small business, having a marketing consultant who is also a mentor to your team will help you achieve your business goals. Think of it more as insourcing that outsourcing. A mentor will work with you to develop the right marketing strategies, as well as train your less experienced in-house staff. Building internal confidence and competencies is the key to success in the future. There are times when your business needs a fresh perspective. Someone impartial can clearly see the weaknesses in your blind spot. But also, as a business owner, having a coach in your corner will push you in the right direction. Or maybe you need someone to build your in-house team. Regardless of the reason, hiring a marketing mentor makes good business sense. Why Should you Hire a Marketing Mentor? Although the idea sounds great, in reality, not everyone can afford to outsource to a top tier marketing agency. However, utilising a mentor that will embed their expertise in your business could be the best decision you’ve ever made. According to Bob Proctor, “A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability with you than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you. It’s almost like getting a direct pipeline from their mind to your mind where you’re gaining all their wisdom, all their experience and all the studying that they’ve done over a number of years, and like that you get it all in a short period of time”. There are many reasons why hiring a marketing mentor should be a part of your business strategy. Here we discover how to know if you, your team and your business need one. When is the Right Time to Hire an Expert? The power of mentorship is not to be underestimated. Business mentors are becoming an integral component to company success. And whether you like it or not, they are here to stay. If you feel that your business plan needs a little boost and can benefit from the expertise of a marketing mentor, then don’t waste even a minute. Investing in a marketing mentor to help grow your business from day one is the right move. Some entrepreneurs rely solely on their internal team because trusting an outsider can seem a little scary. And that is understandable if you are not ready for change or are anxious about losing control. Hiring a marketing mentor is a risk. The decision is whether it is a risk worth taking. So, how do you know when it’s time and whether it’ll be worth investing your time and money to hire a marketing mentor? Your business might be struggling to drive marketing ROI There are a lot of factors that can have an impact on your ROI. It’s important to take them into consideration when you are calculating your ROI. The wrong marketing strategies, poorly targeted advertising, weak sales processes, and an unskilled marketing team are just a few common factors that kill results. If you have been investing not only your time, but more money than you are seeing in ROI for your marketing, you need to make some changes. And when you have been doing things the same way for so long, change is never easy. A marketing mentor can help relieve a lot of the stress of change as they guide you and your team in a new direction that will surely kick-start the growth of your ROI. Your business may have hit a rough patch All business owners dread the moment they might hit a rough patch. This past year was possibly the most challenging period that any business could have experienced. Due to Covid-19, some businesses stagnated and some businesses fell to their knees. An experienced marketing mentor is not only essential for your business to get back on track, but it’s also especially helpful in building your team up again. The Covid crisis brought about change and accelerated the adoption of new ways of doing everything. This post-Covid world is an age of digital and technology that requires expertise and outside help. It will take entrepreneurial mindset to adapt. Competitiveness in these new marketing and economic environments will require new strategies and tactics. You want to get more out of your team Whether your reason for hiring a marketing mentor is to help your team figure out the new trends and technologies, or to provide guidance, this expertise will undoubtedly help your employees make the best decisions for a successful business. A marketing mentor plays a vital role in the development of your junior professionals who would benefit from this mentor/mentee relationship. What can a Marketing Mentor do for Your Team? A marketing consultant can make a fantastic mentor for a less experienced internal team or a small team that is under-resourced. This is especially true for small businesses that don’t have a Marketing Director or Manager. Sometimes companies don’t even have qualified or experienced marketing staff. Therefore, there is no better way than hiring a marketing mentor to guide and coach your team. This is exactly what having a marketing mentor on the team can do for you and your team: Help with strategy and planning Build confidence Increase competencies Motivate and encourage innovative ideas Train and guide young team members Accelerate results As a result, your team members will: Build in-depth skills Discover new professional interests Learn new tactics Grow their potential and effectiveness Eventually, an experienced marketing mentor will make the journey all worthwhile, but it’s important to know what you want from them, why, and when is the right time to hire one. “I’ve had a number of mentors, and my whole life has changed dramatically. I went from going nowhere to having a business that operates all over the world. If you want to win in a big way, you want to get a mentor”. If a marketing mentor is indispensable for Bob Proctor who is an entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker and one of the best marketing experts in the world today, then imagine how invaluable it will be for you. If you want to find out more about how a marketing mentor can empower your team, don’t hesitate to get in touch. [...]
May 26, 2021BusinessNowadays, having the support of a marketing consultant is vital. Engaging this outside help is a brilliant choice, whether you have a startup or a bigger business. Although there are countless marketers out there, finding the best person for the job isn’t easy. For this reason, you need to know what your business needs are beforehand. This article is a complete guide to choosing a great marketing consultant for your business. By the end of this read, you will be able to identify all the factors you should consider before hiring a marketing expert. But before we dive deeper into those, let’s discuss what a digital marketing consultant does. What is a Digital Marketing Consultant? A digital marketing consultant is an outsourced guide, hired by you to help scale your business’s online marketing. When it comes to managing online marketing platforms and channels like Facebook or Google Ads, there is simply no better option. In a few words, a professional digital marketing consultant will help you increase your sales conversions, generate leads, and lift your online presence in general. Still, how can you identify if a candidate is perfect for your needs? A digital marketing consultant may or may not be the best fit and we’ll explain why. The Tricks to Choosing a Top-Tier Marketing Consultant As mentioned earlier, finding the right marketing consultant can be challenging. Consequently, we have created a list of the eight most important things you should consider before hiring a marketer. Reading through this list will help you make the right choice for your business: 1. Define Your Goals As with most hiring processes, goals are something you have to establish first up. Defining your business goals and needs is crucial for several reasons. If you don’t know precisely what you require from a marketer, you won’t be able to identify the right candidate. Apart from that, having a clear list of goals and objectives will help your marketer create a strategy. Therefore, defining your goals (like the increase of sales, engagement, leads, etc.) will be one of the keys to success and will ensure the marketing strategies for your business will be successful.  2. Find Out Their Areas of Expertise Once you define why you need a marketing consultant for your business, you have to find exactly the right person for the job. You’ll need this ingenious hiring strategy. As with recruitment, this will require a shortlist. Still, how can you achieve that? Well, the first thing you can do is identify each candidate’s areas of expertise. Marketing has many different areas of specialisation and all the best marketers focus on specific categories and have one or more areas of expertise. For this reason, you should first check what each consultant can offer. To be more precise, if you need to engage a digital marketer to improve your website’s SEO, you should look for someone who has excellent experience and is well-known as an SEO expert. On the flip side, if you need someone to create a complete marketing strategy for your business, you should go for a consultant with a broad skill set. 3. They Have Practical Experience As with any other job position, previous experience plays a significant role when it comes to hiring a digital marketer. Likewise, practical experience is crucial for a consultant to understand your business needs and create a marketing strategy adjusted to your preferences. Apart from that, an experienced marketer has proven results in related projects and has the required positive reviews. Likewise, this person is a very reliable choice for your company. Thus, hiring an experienced marketer is an intelligent way to ensure that your (theoretical) marketing strategy will be transformed into actual profit and success.  6. They Should Understand How Digital Marketing Works Apart from practical experience, the marketer you will choose should understand how digital marketing works, given most marketing is executed digitally nowadays. It is crucial for your business’s marketing strategy to follow digital marketing rules and benefit from its potential. For example, your marketer should have an excellent understanding of SEO, social media platforms, PPC, etc. This is crucial for your online presence to be not only successful but also respectable. Thus, identifying your candidates’ level of digital marketing experience is also vital for the success of your hiring process. 5. Check Out Their Website & Copy As long as you ensure that a marketing consultant satisfies all the previous requirements, it is time to examine their online presence. By checking a candidate’s website, you can ensure that this is the right person for your business. Try to answer the following questions: Are their website’s copy and content effective when it comes to sales conversion? Does it indicate how their services can help your business grow? Does it include all the answers to your key questions/issues? Does it evoke your interest? 6. Check Out Their LinkedIn Profile Apart from their website, all reputable marketers use LinkedIn to showcase their expertise. For this reason, the platform is a great way to identify if a candidate matches the profile you require. In fact, LinkedIn recommendations are unedited, and for this reason, more authentic than testimonials. Apart from that, a great LinkedIn profile will answer all your questions when it comes to a marketing consultant’s previous experience, education, certifications, etc. 7. Review Their Portfolios Even if a marketer has a fantastic website and LinkedIn profile, you can always ask to review their portfolios as well. In most cases, marketing portfolios have more information when it comes to the person itself. Don’t forget that hard skills and expertise isn’t the only thing a business should look for. Through a marketer’s portfolio, you can also identify if the person has the soft skills and style you require. Likewise, by reading their portfolio, you can save some time and prepare your questions for the interview. 8. Check Out Reviews and Testimonials Even though LinkedIn recommendations are critical, reviews and testimonials are another smart way to ensure a marketer is professional and a great team player. Thus, it would be best if you always asked them from your candidate. By reading their clients’ testimonials, you will be able to identify if they: Have worked with companies similar to yours, with the same goals and needs. Have succeeded when it comes to increasing profits and statistics. Conclusion It becomes evident that choosing a marketing consultant isn’t easy. However, if you make the correct choice and hire a top-tier marketer, you will hugely improve your business’s marketing strategy. By reading this article, you acquired all the knowledge needed to hire a great marketing consultant. Following the tips highlighted here will help you ensure a productive and successful partnership. [...]
May 24, 2021BusinessBusinesses have one goal when they first start out and that is to attract their first clients. Therefore, they rely on different forms of marketing to promote their brand to the right customers. Fortunately, there are many tools that will help your business have a successful start, but one that’s the most invaluable is investing in a marketing consultant. In today’s Digital Age, it’s almost impossible to stay up to date with constant changes and improvements of marketing. And when the competition is very high, what can you do to stand out? Create the best marketing strategy for your business by hiring a marketing consultant. It is no surprise that the demand for marketers has skyrocketed the past three years, and is expected to grow by 8% until 2028, which is above average. The 8% increase in demand indicates increased confidence in marketing consultants. So, whether your business has stopped growing, or you simply want to up-skill in some areas and need a little boost, here we talk about why hiring a marketing consultant is the right choice. Let’s get the ball rolling, shall we? What does a Marketing Consultant do? The definition of a marketing consultant describes an expert who creates winning strategies to help your business reach goals and meet targets. Their services include anything from creating a marketing strategy and plan, to promoting your content on social media and boosting your SEO. In today’s ever-changing world, holding onto old perspectives may have a negative impact on your business. And even though many companies are afraid to let go of the status quo, Eventually they realise that this might be the reason their business is stagnant. So if you think your company has hit status quo and your in-house team is in no position to help you develop a solid marketing strategy, hiring a marketing specialist will be the smart move. An experienced marketer will make fundamental changes, and work with you, the business owner, to guide and show you the right path to success, expansion and growth. If you are still not sure how a marketing consultant can help your business, take a look at this. Marketers have highly analytical skills, and after in-depth research and analysis, they are able to identify the following: What the problem is with your business plan Why your business is stagnating Where the best opportunities are How to create marketing that will attract your customers How to up-skill and strengthen internally When to Hire a Marketing Consultant Whether your company needs professional help short-term, such as for a project or team training interventions, or fundamental changes in your business plan, a marketing consultant is exactly what you need. However, the big question here is, are you and your company ready for change? Many business owners, mainly startups and small businesses, rely on their in-house marketing team to do all this. More often than not, the reason being is the perceived higher expense of outsourcing. What they don’t understand is that an expert marketing consultant can be highly beneficial to their business, increasing value and ROI. So if you don’t know when is the right time to hire a marketing consultant, here are some indicators: Your Business Needs to Get Back on Track  Most businesses will hire a consultant when the business experiences a downturn due to a slowdown in the economy or it’s not faring well compared to others in your industry. Regardless of the issue, a marketing consultant will then develop effective marketing strategies to help get the business back on track. You Need to See Greater Return on Your Investment Are you spending money on marketing with no profitable return? You need to change something; otherwise, you are throwing money down the drain. Your Business Needs to Get Ahead of the Game In the constant change of world markets, it is almost impossible to stay on top of forever evolving trends, and that is when a professional marketing consultant comes in handy. Having your finger on the pulse usually requires some external help. Even if you are comfortable with how your marketing is presently going, having a marketing consultant is still the best way to go. They will help you adapt your program to current best practice and give you a leg up on the competition. [...]