WOW Digital Marketing

Words of Wisdom for New Business Entrants


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Digital Marketing Review: Which is the Best Social Media?

By Maija Daujate

(Image of the book-face by angelosaysdotcom.blogspot.com)

Situation on the social platforms is constantly changing. Therefore some stats and other facts may help you while choosing a social platform when starting your business.

Digital Marketing Review: Networks We Love

By fblovepictures.blogspot.ie/

By fblovepictures.blogspot.ie

As AdAge reports, bout 25 million web pages on Facebook belong to small and medium businesses. There are about million advertisers in total. However, it turns out that the number of users on Facebook had reduced by 3% at the end of the last year. Facebook has engaged about 84% of internet users globally, but its popularity is melting. About 60% of Facebook account owners actively use their accounts. Hardly any site would be able to beat this record. The decline, while other social sites are flourishing, allows us to think that Facebook is slightly tired. Therefore it wishes to turn 25 million business pages into advertisers.

By webdesignleddger.com

By webdesignleddger.com

The same situation is with YouTube. It also has shrunk by 3%. But it still is in second place in the world and unites 60% of internet users of whom just 40% use accounts regularly. However we don’t know how many people not logging in actually use YouTube as a source of information and visit it daily.

By beautifullife.info

By beautifullife.info

In contrast, Instagram (in volume – one third of Facebook) – a site for sharing photos with a community – has grown surprisingly swiftly – by about 23%. Instagram unites 22% of internet users and half of account owners use it on a regular basis. Apparently, it is a norm if at least 40% of users are active. Of course, Instagram can try to attain the Facebook’s 60% level which still is the phenomenon on the social media landscape. In fact, Instagram belongs to Facebook, so transposition may happen due to the flow of customers from Facebook to Instagram.

By takedesigns.com

By takedesigns.com

Twitter has grown slowly by 2%. However, it comprises over 50% of the internet users market of whom more than 20% are active.

By reddit.com

By reddit.com

Another surprising fact: Reddit – the American site established in 2005 and publishing almost everything, starting with Obama’s comments and including weird and funny things – has grown by 13%. This is the second fastest growth result in the world. At present, Reddit accommodates just about 10% of world internet users and about 4% of them (presumably young Americans) use the site regularly. The fact that the owner of Reddit also owns Vogue and the New Yorker makes us think that Reddit might be a good place to research American consumers, if you wish to find new ideas or even new markets for business.

By Freevector.com

By Freevector.com

The third fastest growing site on the list is LinkedIn which has grown by 9%. The site has engaged 30% of users, 10% of whom actively use the page. LinkedIn became popular due to the business style. It is a place to find business partners and employees, and to manage your brand, because search engine optimization is sensitive to publications on LinkedIn. To make an impression to society you have to have 500 and more connections on Linkedin.

By the way, Google+ has grown by 6% and in terms of ownership and active usage has almost reached the volume of YouTube. This happened apparently due to the difference between Google+ and Facebook. As Forbes says, you can join Google+ as a brand, not just as a person. You can group by interests and organize discussions in what is a unique feature. In total, along with Google+ there are many Google platforms and all of them form a system where platforms support each other. This makes Google+ attractive for businesses.

By Pinterestnews.org

By pinterestnews.org

Pinterest has approximately 18% of the world internet users, half of whom are active. It has grown by 6%, which is just average speed for a social site. As Forbes and Shopify report, orders gained from Pinterest are larger than from Facebook or Twitter. Activities on Pinterest have much longer impact. Every pin works about 2.5 – 3.5 months.

Global penetration of social platforms

Global penetration of social platforms

Changes in active usage

Changes in active usage

(Statistics from GlobalWebIndex data on SmartInsights.com)

Ad Age.com Digital Conference

As NYU Professor Scott Galloway says, there are two statistics which show the power of the social platform: the size of the community and the engagement rate, which comprises such factors as likes, comments and other engagement facts. Thus, Instagram, having 200 million users and 1.5% engagement rate, compared with Facebook’s 1.2 billion and 0.1% engagement rate, becomes the most powerful social platform in the world.

Another fact: Ad Age believe that Twitter is overvalued. This is based on an IBM analysis of commercial websites, the traffic they got from social media platforms and the percentage of the traffic that generated sales. Working with large enterprises IBM didn’t find any levels of conversions from the traffic which comes from Twitter.


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Useful Tips for Email Marketing

Clever Email Marketing

Online Marketing on Smart Phone shows emarketing stock image

Online Marketing on Smart Phone shows emarketing stock image

With all the Social Media Platforms being used and available to us, many companies are still finding email marketing the best way to promote their business and have email as their primary communication channel in their Digital Marketing Strategy.  Many businesses use email as their main form of communication with the world so it makes sense to use this method to inform and promote and ultimately convert.

Advantages:

  • Highly Targeted
  • Immediate
  • Can be tested and refined
  • Measureable
  • Reach
  • Better Conversion Rates
  • Cost Effective

Graphic courtesy of AMAS graphic (www.amas.ie)

As you can see from the above graphic Email Campaigns is the most preferred online format for digital marketing as per a survey by the Marketing Institute conducted by an online questionnaire of 348 in 2012 of which 82% were responsible for budget spend.

According to Newsweaver/Mii Email Marketing Report companies are mostly using email for the following:

  • Maintaining Customer relationships           94%
  • Internal Communication                                70%
  • Building Brand Awareness                            89%
  • Increasing Website Traffic                             84%

55.3% have a database of less than 5,000 email addresses

67% of respondents are using some form of advanced email software to conduct email marketing campaigns.

Now that we have established it is the most popular form of communication used by companies the next step is to ensure that you carry out Email Marketing Campaigns which not only generate an interest in your company/service but go on to increase your conversion rates.

According to Dave Chaffey’s E-Business & E-Commerce Management, Strategy, Implementation and Practice (Chap. 9 Pg 532) The following is the correct criteria to follow for successful email marketing campaigns.

Critical Success Factors:-

  • Creative
  • Relevance
  • Incentive
  • Targeting & Timing
  • Integration
  • Copy
  • Attributes
  • Landing Page

Useful tips for generating more leads and conversion for your company via email marketing:-

  1. Use Incentives to increase open rates, such as free gift, free shipping etc.
  2. Less is more – no one has time or patience to read an essay.
  3. Keep the main message and CTA (Call to Action) above the fold – as many as 70% don’t read below the fold.  Also the CTA should be repeated at least three times.
  4. Put your logo in the upper left hand side of the page – that is the first place the eye is drawn to.
  5. Write compelling subject line. It should have a sense of urgency and it should provide a good indication to the reader what to expect when they open the email.
  6. Use Auto-Responders for Opt-ins.
  7. Unsubscribe – even though you might think it counter-productive, ensuring ease of ‘opting out’ ensures you will only be sending emails to customers that want to receive them and will an interest in your content and offers. So put the ‘unsubscribe’ button somewhere in the email where people can easily find it.
  8. ‘Prune’ your email list on a regular basis. Avoid being spammed. Inactive email addresses, non-existent emails etc., which are undeliverable should be removed from the list. If you continue to send emails to these addresses it will help the providers to mark you as spam and that is something you definitely don’t want.

Some more encouraging stats regarding email marketing –

According to “Message Systems, Marketing Channel and Engagement Benchmark Survey – ‘StrongMail, 2012 Marketing Trends” –

63%  – Direct Marketing respondents who said that email provides the strongest ROI

60% – Businesses that plan to increase email marketing spend in 2012 and beyond – more than social media (55%) or mobile (37%).

97% – Survey respondents who leveraged email as the top channel for marketing campaigns.

32% – Smart phone users who made a purchase after receiving a promotional email.

Although this survey was carried out in 2012 I am sure the trends are still the same today as regards the popularity of email marketing.

 ID-100240816 (3)

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Affiliate Marketing Diagram Shows Email Pay Per Click And Blogs Stock Image

By Stuart Miles, published on 02 March 2014

There are many services and tools such as Mail Chimp, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, iContact & AWeber, Newsweaver, Cheetahmail  which offer the client many advantages for ease of use such as being able to create a database and sign up form at the same time. They also allow you to view stats on your campaign’s performance. Campaign summaries and reports provide information such as the number of messages sent, how many emails were opened, how many bounced, how many people clicked on the links in your email and at what time, and also where these people were located. All of this is vital information for future targeting and segmenting email campaigns.

To summarize email marketing is the marketing strategy that offers the biggest return for the initial investment. It is really easy to set up.
All you need is a good email template to get your potential customers interested and an email database with opt-in email addresses that you can gather on your own or buy from one of the many email list providers on line.

Hope this blog was useful and provided you with some tips and observations for email marketing.

 

References


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Content driving business and emotions

By Maija Daujate

(Image by Forbes magazine: Madonna will sing until the year 9328…)

Content has been a buzzword amongst marketers over the last number of years. Buzz quite rapidly raised and turned into the content revolution. Can a start-up boost a business using the content with emotions?

By Marianna Palumbo

By Marianna Palumbo

The main purpose of content is to drive traffic to the company website and ensure conversion. Amongst all content formats, videos give the highest conversion rate and ensure leads or sale. They also boost search engine optimisation for the company website. Therefore content strategy has become central in the digital marketing. Amongst a variety of formats video is the most popular one.

Business and Emotions: Emotions Win

Buzz with content happens in conjunction with brand values. Any brand, product or service contains two contrasting values – rational and emotional, which can be combined in different ratios. An ideal combination of those can provide success to a product. Thus, marketers use either a more rational approach communicating the product with the customer, or a more emotional approach. The rational approach, along with simple educational videos which are quite in demanded, includes some fresh formats, such as infographics which recently became popular in digital marketing.

Currently there is a huge shift towards emotionality in all aspects. Thus, the highest demand in marketing is for formats with an emotional hint. Arguably, it happened after peak recession which caused a demand for strong positive feelings. Now, consumers like never before seek entertainment, laughter, light-heartedness and joy. We can see it in how people share this kind of information on social platforms. Recently, successful content strategy is all about creating a light emotional atmosphere with positive and surprising or funny elements. Even infographics – the new type of rational formats became popular due to their visually and emotional appeal.

profile-of-a-twitter-user

Funny infographic from Cmadigital co.uk

Temperature of emotions

WARC trend pages , providing trends, research and other very important stuff for marketers, allow us to observe what happens with content and the level of emotion over several years. Year 2011 was a year of the Big Idea when storytelling became the most popular digital marketing method. Nostalgia marketing and interactivity are amongst the main trends represented by WARC in 2012. Nostalgia indicates that consumers feel in some way tired. At the same time, they seek to share their feelings, so social platforms should be the best place for this. Though, the temperature of nostalgia could be very different. For instance, there was a very nice original nostalgic BMW X3 ad with Irish music at the background on YouTube last year, showing a family driving the car in a beautiful Irish countryside. But seems that the temperature of emotions in this ad was too low for social platforms and the video ad unfortunately disappeared from YouTube. At the same time, another non-commercial video made in an amateur format, with a much higher degree of emotion and with nostalgic hint, has been viewed more than 14.5 million times over three years (see below). Thus, more emotions means more customer activity.


Video: World’s most beautiful marriage proposal; 14.5 million views and more that 71 thousand likes.

According to WARC trends 2013, marketing shifts from brands to consumers becoming seriously social. For business marketing – getting social means listening to consumers and getting more emotional, as consumers more likely seek and share just emotional content. Therefore marketers try to emphasize the emotional value of brand and connect this with the emotional factor of consumers. In the result, WOW factor appears as a new marketing trend at the end of 2013. This means that content marketing reaches the peak of emotions.


Video: BMW M5 short movie directed by Guy Ritchie. Starring Madonna; Published on 24th of March 2013; After a year 16786 views and 60 likes.

WOW factor has to become more sophisticated in 2014 in the light of polarisation – the new marketing trend. Thus, contrasts will enhance and emotional versus rational will be stronger. Expensive immersive content will exist along with cheap and quick content, according to WARC.

It is interesting that cheap home video can be shared by audiences much more readily than can the expensive. The video below have viewed more than 689 million times. It is not a new video, but it still works on all digital platforms, and the high-budget videos less likely would have reached that sharing level.


No-budget Video: Charlie bit my finger – again; 688.5 million views and more than 1.2 million likes.

Implications for a small business

The hardest thing for a start-up business could be finding its humorous side. However it may be useful for creating the first digital marketing campaign. Happy and funny video content may help you to engage your audience on the social platforms.

Here is a plan of actins and some suggestions:

    • Think about the rational and emotional values of your product or service.
    • Find your audience on social platforms, watch and listen to it. Try to understand the degree of its sense of humour.
    • Figure out the touch-points between the emotional values of your product or service and emotional factors of your audience. How can the audience be entertained?
    • Start your storytelling: create the story which you will tell your audience. It should be to some degree rational but mainly emotional. Don’t forget nostalgic and WOW factors. Take in account that just about 1% of likes of the emotional content on social platforms could be converted into sale. To get a higher conversion rate you have to produce much more emotional content. Anyway, emotional content which collect a big number of likes boosts your brand awareness in the customer perception even if with no conversion.
    • Use the planning approach: Set a strategic goal for each social platform; Set SMART objectives to reach each goal; Subscribe with Google Analytics to see the impact of your activities on social platforms.
    • Don’t neglect a low-budget video; Use creative approach to reduce costs.
    • Be inspired, go ahead and use your story on social platforms.


Small budget video ad: Tesla: Modern Spaceship; Published 14th of March 2014; On 20th day after publishing 362.4 thousands views and 4326 likes.

Big budget video ad: BMW M5 bullet; Published in June 2012; More than 5.2 million views and 29029 likes.

 

 


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New to Content Marketing Strategies – Tips to get started!

Content Marketing Strategies – What to Say and Do!

“Content marketing is a way of promoting your products or services to your target audience, by creating relevant and valuable content that attracts and engages them, and possibly encourages profitable customer action” (WebNetHosting, Visual.Ly).  Website and social media content placement is essential to ensure you strike ‘engagement’ gold with your audience.   You need to leverage both to maximise return on investment and build a following and active community around your business.

 What is the goal of your Content Marketing

Understanding your business objectives and how each targeted channel works is absolutely key to achieving your goal whether it is to:

      • Attract more web traffic
      • Increase engagement levels with social media campaigns
      • Increase conversion rates by lead generation and customer acquisition
      • Increase brand awareness

Content is the key to getting people talking about your main marketing messages and attracting them to your site.  You can share your stories and information about your business and build a dialogue with your audience.  Make your activities interactive – show your visitors’ feedback and comments and allow others to join in.  Have a plan before you begin as social media channels (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) are content hungry.

The Periodic Table of Content Marketing courtesy of E Consultancy Ltd

The Periodic Table of Content Marketing courtesy of E Consultancy Ltd

Uploading content is not sufficient in today’s digital world.  The old catchphrase ‘if you build it they will come’ is no longer valid.  Content needs to be relevant to a reader’s interests, presented to them in a personal manner, and capable of viral activity to achieve likes, comments, and shares.  Think of social media sharing as an electronic word of mouth.  Content Marketing strategies help people, already engaged in your market, to find your business online using a combination of SEO, social media and good content.  Choose social networks that work for you and your customers.

Developing content is an integral business process but it is not all about new content every time: You can use appropriate published material by giving credit and linking to the source.  Remember, once you ‘go live’ it is important to maintain and monitor customer engagement by posting regular content in context.

Content must be relevant, detailed and deliver information to support the objective.

Context means having the right information personalised for the right segment using the right media.

Turning Strangers to Advocates 

Fail to Prepare and Prepare to Fail!

√Before you begin, listen to your audience and analyse your competition

√ Develop a content road map

√ Use a mix of media

√ Understand the power of blogging

√ Think about the importance of keywords when planning and sharing content

√ Create a process to develop content for your chosen social media channels

√ Create a publishing schedule for content.

√ Build time into your working day and week – set reminders on your phone and use Content Management scheduling systems.

√ Take an integrated approach to your visibility online – always include buttons to like, share, and comment to close your communication circle.

Create

Understanding the demographics of your audience will help set the tone and style of your content.

  • Your content must be useful to the reader
  • It must include a ‘Call to Action’ – telling your reader what to do next.
  • Optimise your content by using keywords
  • Keep your content interestinguse a blend of media just as you do in traditional marketing.
  • Build a list of things you can write about on your Website or Blog which will resonate with your target audience
  • Industry Articles
  • Video
  • Images / Photographs
  • FAQs
  • Expert advice
  • Tips and tactics
  • Webinars
  • Case study
  • Q&A session
  • Survey and poll
  • Interview
  • Stories

Publish     

  • Create a monthly publishing timeline focusing on frequency and topics to keep you on target.
  • Publish your content on platforms that you have created

Promote your content

Once published, it is important to promote your content. This places your business brand amongst your intended audience.

  • Re-use content in different ways targeting it slightly differently depending on the channel
  • Use social media marketing platforms to distribute your content
  • Build internal links to create authority
  • Manage comments and feedback
  • Encourage people to hit a button – like, share or re-tweet!

If people love what they read, see, or hear they can share the content on their networks; helping a wide audience to get to know about you, like you, trust you, share your messages and ultimately do business with you.

Analyse

You need to understand if your content marketing campaign is successful.  Track the metrics and measure targets frequently and adapt your strategy to ensure you extract full benefits.

  • Review the reactions and outcomes to published materials and understand how your message was received by your audience
  • Use social media analytics tools
  • Use Google Analytics
  • Monitor performance with marketing KPIs (key performance indicators) identified in your plan.

In summary, you are what you share – does it do you justice?

Onward and upward – SashaT♣

If you like this Blog, please see previous articles

a)https://wowdigitalmarketing.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/digital-marketing-strategies-for-small-business-are-you-lost-or-found-online/

b)https://wowdigitalmarketing.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/digital-marketing-strategy-for-small-business-begin-with-a-plan/

Bibliography:

  • Carvill M. and Taylor D. (2013) The Business of Being Social: A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube for all businesses.  Crimson, England.
  • Chaffey, Ellis-Chadwick F., Mayer R. and Johnston K (2009) Internet Marketing – Strategy, Implementation and Practice.   4th Edition: Pearson Education, England
  • Chaffey D. and Smith P.R. (2009) eMarketing eXcellence – Planning and Optimising your Digital Marketing 3rd Edition Elsevier:England


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Digital Marketing Strategies for Small Business – Are You Lost or Found Online?

Digital Marketing Strategies to Help Get You Found Online

Now that you have a well crafted plan (Digital Marketing Strategy for Small Business – Begin with a Plan!), you can focus on being found online.

Steps to getting found

An online business audience consists of 1) search engine bots and 2) people, looking for something, who want to talk about you! Your online presence needs to appeal to both circles and your content (information) must be available in ways that suit both audiences.

How do you search for information on the web?  Do you type in phrases to generate a search engine results page (SERP)?  Your customers do the same thing.  If you want to be found by a) people looking for your products and services or b) your target audience, it is important to provide a consistent presence across all chosen online portals e.g. website, blog, Facebook, etc.  Content helps you get found online.  Remember to keep your message simple, fresh and consistent.  Use imagery, keywords and tagging and always send people to your website, to a landing page specifically addressing your topic or to your social media sites.

Are you good at giving directions?

Online visibility is only as strong as the map you create.  Search (organic and paid) outcomes are based on the quality and relevancy of links you build (both incoming and outbound) and the keywords you attach to your content.  Start by:

a) considering the top five words that apply to your business
b) asking your customers to do the same.   How did they find you?
c) using Google Adwords to review keywords that people generally use
d) using Google Analytics to identify keyword trends of visitors to your site.

Are you proud of your Digital Shop Window?

Did you know 1.6 mio people in Ireland have a smart phone and 1.2 mio people have access to a tablet.  Your website is your digital shop window.

  • Does your website work from a mobile perspective?
  • Is it easy to read, of interest and relevant to your target audience?
  • Is it search engine friendly – can it be found by search engines so that people are directed to you?
  • Does your use of keywords get you on or close to the first page of search engines for your identified search terms?
  • Is the site easy to update?  Do you have a content management system?  Are you in control of your website?  Do you have to wait for and pay someone else for updates?
  • Is your website regularly updated – will your visitor see something new on each visit?
  • Is your site browser and device friendly?  Does it launch properly on different internet browsers e.g. Explorer, Chrome, Safari?
  • Have you signed up, embedded the code and used Google Analytics for all site pages?
  • How quickly does your site load – do you keep your visitor waiting?
  • Do you have a ‘Call to Action’ and encourage site visitors to do something e.g. sign up for a newsletter, provide an email address, contact your business or like your Facebook page.
  • Is your website something you are proud of?

Why start a Blog?

The statistics show you get more leads if you blog on your website.   Each blog post generates its own URL, has your keywords in the Title and Headings and delivers multiple signposts to Search Engines indexing material, thus creating more traffic opportunities for you.  Blogs can be easily created using Content Management System software (e.g. http://www.wordpress.com) that allow you add content without relying on technical support.  Blogging can help build your network  particularly when your content is useful, interesting and focused on the reader. 

Visibility + Credibility = Profitability 

Networking takes time and effort.  People want to get to know you, like you, trust you before they do business with you.  Social media is the vehicle for communicating and distributing interesting content across the internet.  In turn, readers share the content they think is compelling.  For example, Facebook will enable you approach your audience in a more relaxed tone, you can encourage activity through competitions, loyalty events, by adding comments to and sharing from other pages to build your profile.

Using social media news feeds provides a business with quick, easy and cost effective ways to broadcast information and make an impact.

Insert - Benefits of social media marketing

No more Hide and Seek

A connected marketing strategy, using traditional and digital channels, will publicise your digital contact points on all printed material and reuse your content across chosen channels.  Promote your website and Blog on your chosen social media channels.  Close your connection circle by adding social media buttons to your website to encourage sharing.  Use the website as your anchor and extend your presence across multiple sites as skills develop or you can dedicate increased business resources to your digital activities.  It does take time but this is not a process, it’s an integral part of business today.

Onwards and upwards – Sasha T♣

New to digital marketing  – you may find this glossary helpful.  A to D  /  E  to O    / P to W 

References:


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Content Marketing Plan

Content Marketing Plan

 

Image

In the modern digital marketing mix it is a customer awareness approach that succeeds. This involves planning and understanding your customer. Knowing how your customers seek out answers online and which formats they prefer is vital. Knowing how to create useful, engaging information which encourages the customer to progress from being aware of your product or service, to purchasing your product or service online. This is why clever content marketing and investing wisely in content gives ROI.

By understanding how your target audience discovers, consumes and acts on information, it is possible by using the RACE Model ( Dave Chaffey’s Marketing Value framework to increase sales) i.e. Reach, Act, Convert, Engage them .

The answer for improved online marketing starts with content: You should think of it as how you are going to help your customers get the information they require but it should also come from the heart and reflect what your company stands for. It should be a commitment to your customer that you are there to help them and they should feel confident purchasing from you.

So how do you decide what to write and how much is enough??

Content should be planned in an editorial calendar and should concentrate on the channels that you know the customers you are trying to connect with are using. According to Heidi Cohen author of ‘Actionable Marketing Guide: “Marketers and media firms must create stories people want to read”.  In her book she emphasizes that content marketers must become storytellers. Stories draw people in and if you want to stand out, becoming a better story teller is a good way of doing this. To discover how much is enough is trial and error, constant monitoring to see what is working and what isn’t is probably the best way to discover this. Sometimes what works is completely unpredictable, there are no hard and fast rules that predict what is going to work and what isn’t.

 

Image courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net by Stuart Miles

Image courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net by Stuart Miles

 

How does Social Media work with search and where does Content fit it?

Content is where your stories are relayed to your customers and social media and SEO are ways to optimize the reach and engagement to these customers. Analysing your SEO keyword research can review subjects which are in demand and may attract customers who are actively searching online. Search engines favour high value content in search results and Social Media sites favour sharable, linkable content. A small business that combines smart Social Media and SEO tactics can create an advantage for attracting new customers no matter which channels they use.  Also monitoring Social Media Insights and statistics can reveal trends and topics that your customers are interested in. Understanding your customer is the key to being successful no matter which channel you are using. Giving your customer the information they require in a fast and efficient manner helps with relationship building and gives your customers confidence in your company and making it easy to buy from your company will ultimately increase your sales.

Fig. 1

Image

 

Content Marketing Tactics for Start-Ups combining SEO and Social Media

freedigitalphotos.net  by Stuart Miles

freedigitalphotos.net
by Stuart Miles

 

    1. Blog

A Blog offers many advantages for both Social and SEO. Blog posts can concentrate on answering ‘frequently asked questions’. It can contain interesting topics for your customers. You can schedule posts to save time and encourage staff to comment on posts etc. It brings a human dimension to your business and builds good relationship with your customers and they can engage with your business on a 24/7 basis.

    1. Newsletters & Email Marketing

Email newsletters are a great way to inform your customers of offers and information regarding your services and products. They can be segmented and targeted to your direct market. While engaging with your customers through whichever Social Media Channels you are using you can invite them to sign up for your newsletter and they can be more informed about your business.

    1. Social Networks & Media

Customers expect every business these days to be ‘social’. Engaging with your customers through social channels that your target customers are using is essential to succeed. The particular business you are involved in will determine which channels are best suited to your business.

    1. Video

As they say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, and using YouTube to demonstrate your products or services can be very helpful and engaging for your customer. Videos can be embedded within blog posts, extending their value as content.

Conclusion

For small businesses or start –ups it is not necessary to use all the above tactics. What is important that you start small and specific and monitor at all times what is working and what is not. Make it a priority to gain an understanding of your customer’s needs, what topics and keywords are important and then socialize and publicize that content. Strive to be the ‘best answer’ for your customer at the time that they need you most.

 

E-Business & E-Commerce Management, Strategy, implementation & practice. Dave Chaffey (fifth edition). RACE marketing value framework (460-1).

Philosophy of Neil Patel (Quicksprout and KISSMetrics: ‘Combine your content marketing with SEO’.

‘Actionable Marketing Guide’ by Heidi Cohen, Content Marketing & SEO Perspective.

E-Business & E-Commerce Management, Strategy, Implementation & Practice. Dave Chaffey (fifth edition). Chap. 8 ‘Content Strategy’.

Figure 1

Content publication and syndication process. Source: Smart Insights (2011) The best tools and tracking techniques to save time on your social syndication. Dave Chaffey, 18/1/2011. www.smartinsights.com/blog/digital-marketing/tools-tracking-social-syndication.


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Objectives vs Goals: Do We Need Both of Them Starting the Business Online?

By Maija Daujate

Goals and Objectives can cause confusion because online and offline these terms often have been used differently. Dave Chaffey, the author of several academic e-business and e-marketing books and co-founder of the digital marketing theory provides clarity in this case.

Where are  Objectives? freedigitalphotos.net

Where are Objectives?
freedigitalphotos.net

Goals vs Objectives: Online and Offline

If you are starting your business – any – clicks, or clicks and bricks — have a glimpse into any business or marketing management book. Let’s look into the academic textbook Corporate Strategy for Irish Companies (Gallagher, 2011). It suggests that you have several criteria to decide at the beginning, such as your mission statement, vision, goals and objectives. It clarifies that goals represent your strategies at the corporate level, but your objectives represent the desired outcomes to be achieved and therefore should be SMART – an acronym for being Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-related. This is a basic system which helps to keep your business in track in any environment, online or offline.

However, searching for marketing topics online you will find that more often there are smart goals instead of smart objectives and sometimes there are no objectives, just goals. The situation online seems to be turned upside down and if you aren’t a specialist on this field yet you may get embarrassed. Therefore the question is: Objectives and Goals – how do they work online?

Let’s Ask the Expert!

It was quite easy to reach Dave Chaffey online. He always participates in conversations on his SmartInsights pages and if you are registered on this site you can start to speak to him. He answered almost instantly. This made me excited, because a couple of years ago I wouldn’t have even dreamed that I could reach such a renowned expert that easily.

My question was straightforward:

Me: “Hi Dave, as I know there are broad goals and specific objectives in business. At the beginning we set a goal showing our intention and then we set specific measurable objectives specifying things we want to achieve. Am I right? Why is it vice versa for the digital marketing?”

Dave: “Hi Maija, that’s right broad goals and specific SMART objectives – some say different. Perhaps it’s not helped that confusingly, in Google Analytics, goals are specific quantifiable metrics which are often used as KPIs and link to specific objectives. Even Avinash Kaushik of Google acknowledges this can be confusing in his post where he defines goals and objectives.

But that’s the way it should be:”

Goals and Objectives

The image from SmartInsights.com (Chaffey, 2013)

Dave Chaffey’s goals and objectives hierarchy, as his diagram shows, match with what is in the classic business management theory which states that goal is an intention behind the decision, but objective – anticipated end result of activity there.

Does It Really Matter If we Change Objectives for Goals?

For people who specialize just on the digital marketing, maybe not. They don’t really have responsibility for all processes of the whole business. They act on the digital layer – the top part of the iceberg called Business and Marketing – and focus on KPIs (key digital process indicators). All their game is played on Google Analytics and similar analytics instruments.

But if you are starting your own business and you wish to integrate digital marketing into your marketing plan, you take every word seriously, wherever it is said – online or offline, and you need clarity and consistency for all terms used. Otherwise, there could be a feeling that digitalists play their own game and there is no consistency in what they say all along with marketers.

By the way, the Oxford dictionary primarily associates goal with sports. ‘Goal’ sounds informal and energetic. It may explain why this term is chosen by Google and why it is more popular amongst digital specialists as a market segment.

Anyway, see the video:

In the Future: Goals vs Objectives?

WARC, a major site which provides trends, ideas and evidence for marketing people suggests that there is a “shift away from digital as a separate discipline, and a renewed emphasis on core brand-building programmes” (Tiltman, 2014). Thus, we can expect further more intensive integration of digital into conventional marketing and the goals and objectives of both may be married.

References

Chaffey D. (2013). Why and how you should define goals vs objectives carefully; 8th of November.SmartInsights.com; Available at: http://www.smartinsights.com/goal-setting-evaluation/goals-kpis/difference-marketing-objectives-marketing-goals/ [Acessed:10th of March].
Chaffey D., Ellis-Chadwick F., Mayer R., Johnston K. (2009). Internet Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. Harlow. Pearson education Limited.
Gallagher G. (2011). Corporate Strategies for Irish Companies: Text and Cases, 2nd edition. Dublin. Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland.
Tiltman D. (2014). Warc Trends: Toolkit 2014 – How to keep your brand ahead of the competiton. WARC com ; Available at: http://www.warc.com/Content/ContentViewer.aspx?MasterContentRef=d8a8617d-5e0b-4981-a266-0f96dde6a787&q=toolkit+2014&CID=A101049&PUB=WARC-TRENDS; [Accessed: 1st of March 2014].