Let’s not fool ourselves. As online marketers, our job is not always a walk in the park — even if we do sometimes get to do it from home or far-off, remote places. Between answering many client and internal emails, keeping up on every-changing technology and strategies, working on that next one-of-a-kind campaign that hits it out of the park, or simply communicating internally across the coasts, we are always looking for a way to just...make life easier (and make us smarter)! Between the remote working team at First Page, we compiled our extensive industry experience and busted out a useful list of top-notch tools that we use daily or monthly and won’t break the bank. Check ‘em out!
For six years in San Francisco and two in Seattle, I ran content marketing for startups. I learned a lot about what worked: which I now use when building content strategies for First Page clients. I also learned a lot about failure — things that don't work when you're trying to build a content marketing channel, grow organic traffic and spend less money on SEM campaigns. Here are six reasons I think content marketing will fail at your startup:
You’ve heard content marketing is the “next big thing,” but you’re not willing to invest
High-quality content costs money. It requires paying journalists, freelancers or a copywriter to create the content and someone to edit it. You also have to pay someone for the strategy: what are you going to say, to who, and why? You'll likely need an SEO to conduct keyword research and optimize your content for Google. When you create the content, you should be paying to promote it. Content doesn't share itself. Especially these days with Facebook's algorithm and so many brands competing for newsfeed territory.
Regardless if these roles are internal or external through an agency or consultant, it takes a good, steady budget to start content marketing, distribute the content and continue to invest and evolve the strategy. I would recommend at minimum a couple thousand dollars a month to spend on content marketing, and for six months minimum. Also, be sure you have someone who can run analytics for your business to understand the investment you're making in content marketing: is your organic traffic growing, are leads converting and what is working best?
Social media matters to your business now more than ever. Since all internet users have an average of 5.54 social media accounts, if your customers are online, they’re using social media.
The heart of social media has always been to connect and communicate with online fans, customers or community members. But it can also be a great channel for driving traffic and even new customers for your business.
Here are seven easy strategies for driving website traffic using social media.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the single most important marketing channel for a small business, and if you’re not investing in it today you need to be. Why is it the most important? I’ll let these SEO statistics speak for themselves:
- 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine such as Google or Bing
- Search is the #1 driver of traffic to content sites, beating social media by more than 300%
- 70-80% of users ignore paid search advertising and click on organic search results
- 30% of all clicks in organic search results in Google go to the top three results
- 72% of all people who performed a local search ended up visiting a store that was within five miles of them
What these stats tell us is that people use search engines frequently to make a decision about a purchase or business, and it’s important your business is on the first page of Google (or even better, the first three organic search results).
So how do you get your small business to rank in search results? Small business owners often spend money hiring expensive SEO consultants or agencies without seeing results. And it can be hard to compete for the top three positions against big box companies that have giant marketing budgets. But there’s still hope for the little guys!
I’ve put together a few quick strategies that your business can use to start playing in the SEO sandbox.
Whether you’re a small boutique agency with a few clients or a large agency supporting big brands, your software suite means everything to your business. The best software for your marketing agency maximizes efficiency while juggling multiple clients, builds multiple marketing campaigns in one place, and communicates with all of your clients to ensure they all feel like they’re receiving the best service from you. As an owner of a boutique marketing agency, I’ve carefully chosen software that has saved me hours of time and a lot of dollars. Here are my recommendations for the best software for your marketing agency — all of which I have carefully vetted and use frequently myself:
If you’re using WordPress to build and manage your small business website, you’ve made a fantastic decision. WordPress is used by 60 percent of all websites running on a content management system (CMS), making it the most popular CMS platform out there. It’s popularity is in part because it is easy to use and free — the best of both worlds. In addition, as a WordPress user you have access to a library of more than 45,000 free (or inexpensive) plugins that can optimize your website design and content, and integrate with many other popular marketing tools.
Since the onset of social media in 2007, brands have known there is value to be extracted from sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. At the same time, they’ve struggled to measure the return on investment of their social marketing efforts and justify their spend in these channels.
Even still in 2016, proving social media ROI remains the number one challenge for brand marketers, according to Social Media Examiner’s 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report.
During my 12+ years working as a brand marketer, I have worked for large Fortune 500 companies who used light metrics to measure social media efforts – such as followers and the total reach of a campaign. I have also worked for high-growth startups who wanted to drive accounts using social media, utilizing social media as more of an acquisition channel.
Which approach is correct? The truth is, they both are. Social media should be seen as both a brand awareness and acquisition channel, and metrics should be associated accordingly. Here’s how to use and track social media within these two important marketing metrics:
Once you’ve landed a new customer, you’re on your way to earning repeat and bigger purchases. Customers that have bought from you once are three times as likely to purchase from you again, and repeat customers will spend 20% more with your business than first-time buyers.
Keeping customers engaged with your brand after the sale is a crucial part of scaling revenue – if you aren’t keeping in touch, you’re leaving money on the table.
Here are four simple nurturing emails you can use to build a customer loyalty and drive repeat sales.