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Digital Marketing Tips For Law Firms

Digital Marketing Tips For Law Firms

Law Firm Digital Marketing

Law firms are embracing the digital economy in a bid to gain more market share. Legal areas such as contract law, conveyancing, copyright, mergers and acquisitions and private client are implementing digital marketing techniques to be more competitive. Digital marketing in the legal sector focuses on better client communication, client acquisition and digital content. It is not only about publishing content online, but also about establishing a strong brand. Digital marketing for law firms is a long term strategy that will pay off in the years to come.

It is also important to note not only the DOs but also the DON’Ts of engaging in digital marketing. Here are some effective digital marketing tips for law firms.

What to DO in digital marketing for law firms

1. Connect with clients through content

The best way to know your client is to LISTEN.  Listen to whatever they say to you and listen well to their needs. Client feedback and communication forms the core of your legal firm content marketing. It is important to build relationships with them, and to show them how much they are valued.  If conversion is your law firm’s objective, then showing them you care is the door to your clients’ business.

Email newsletters, law firm mobile apps, social media and blogs are all channels of communication with clients online. Through your content, you are connecting with them about legal queries they may have and other concerns. Law firms are in the best position to educate clients about their practice areas and expertise. They can publish online case studies, testimonials, videos and helpful articles about legal procedures. For opt in email clients, legal newsletters will update them about legal staff and changes in the statutory law.

2. Invest a minimum of 2.5% of your revenue in digital marketing

This 2.5% should be invested directly in digital marketing activities. It does not include the wages of the individuals you have employed to execute the work:

Digital marketing spend as a percentage of revenue in different sectors

In the legal sector, 2.5% of the revenue spent on digital marketing should generate good results. It should cover social media ads, search engine optimization, paid search and display media. Create a digital marketing plan and gauge its effectiveness through testing.  This 2.5% will surely not go to waste, as it will improve your online visibility.

3. Use multimedia to liven up your law firm website

Incorporating multimedia content is an excellent marketing strategy for your law firm. It will increase engagement rates, views, traffic and brand awareness. Make sure that your legal firm’s logo is displayed on all visual and video content. With a visual content approach, you can deliver your message with a punch. You can take advantage of affordable video production services to create professional and engaging videos for your legal practice. You can even create a legal video blogs to address questions about the law, legal procedures and limitation periods.

4. Focus on quality over quantity

Content saturation is a very real problem for your legal firm’s clients. They do not have a lot of spare time and relevance is the only thing they care about. For every piece of content that you publish, assess whether it is necessary, relevant or informative enough for your clients. Reduce all content to valuable information that your clients want.

Good content will stand out in your client’s minds and strengthen a relationship that can lead to word of mouth or even more leads. Make sure that this content is easy to understand (a problem for many clients), up to date and relevant to the legal services that your firm provides.

5. Word of mouth is effective for law firm marketing

How do you encourage word of mouth through digital marketing? The answer is to use satisfied clients to create content. Client testimonials, online reviews and user generated content on social media are all ways to generate more trust in your firm.  It is also important to be open to accept criticism online; see it as constructive criticism to improve your firm.

Offline, you must increase word of mouth referrals through your quality legal service.

What NOT to do in digital marketing for law firms

1. Do not focus too much on your law firm’s revenue

Whilst your law firm’s revenue is very important, it should not be the main focus of your digital marketing activities. There is truth in the saying: serve your customers well and they will look after you. Digital marketing for law firms is very client centric in solving their pain points and connecting better with them. The incentive to provide a better legal service will direct your efforts in better content marketing, client care and reputation for long term gains.

2. Do not use too much legal jargon in content marketing

Make sure to create content in a way that your clients understand. You are interpreting the complex legal procedures, not adding to the confusion. Not all of your clients have any legal background, so avoid using legalese about your firm. Only use it to try to explain it in a simple and brief way.

Avoid legalese in law firm digital marketing

3. Do not be inactive on social media

Social media marketing involves interacting with clients in a relaxed manner. Clients may address questions to you on social media and you may acknowledge any positive content about your law firm. Legal firms may fear breaching client confidentiality on social media but it not be a problem if you train your legal staff in what they post.

Once you have social media accounts for your firm, you need to invest time in connections, providing value and conversations. Tweeting constantly about your firm will not do. You need to offer insights in legal trends or Use a social media tool to monitor conversations about your law firm and to see what content receives the most shares and views on social media. It will help you to track your social media marketing progress for your law firm.

There are many potentials clients active on social media, and many opportunities to catch their eye for services that your firm offers.

4. Do not use too much automation in your law firm marketing

Automation can help us save time in digital marketing, but it should not replace real time, human interactions. Non automated engagement with your clients shows that you are active and open for response.  It is a great advantage to be able to reach out with them through social media and be able to be part of their life.  When you implement marketing automation, it can be for out of office auto responses or scheduling posts, email newsletters.

Here are the most used marketing automation tools in 2015:

The most used marketing automation tools in 2015

5. Do not forget about website optimization for your law firm

 

Did you know that 40% of all small law firms do not have a website? Of those who do have a website, 70% do not have a call to action on the landing page and only 30% of websites are optimized for mobile devices. When 35% of clients start their search using the Internet, this is not acceptable at all.

How can law firms optimize their website for clients? The first step is an audit to find all the technical onsite errors and structural weaknesses. This will prepare the website for search engine optimization. If the website is not mobile friendly, this needs to be changed. Google has issued guidelines for mobile friendliness and site performance.

If your law firm’s website needs a redesign, the main things to consider are content and UX. Will your website visitors have a good user experience? Is your website easy to navigate/intuitive to use? If they are looking for law firm contact details and legal services, will it be easy for them to find? Updating your content and contact details is necessary for good search engine rankings as inconsistencies can confuse your clients.

Lastly, optimizing your website for mobile should be be executed by marketers with experience. Adapting your firm’s website for a smaller screen requires changes in layout and text formats. You will need to keep the design streamlined for your clients without the loss of vital information. If you really feel it would add value to your clients and employees, perhaps it is time to create a mobile app. Make sure it is different from your main website and get client feedback about the ease of use and app features.

Digital marketing for the hospitality industry faces many challenges such as website optimization and lead generation

Digital Marketing In 2016 For Hotels

Disruptions For The Hotels Industry

Digital marketing for hotels has come a long way. The transition from traditional channels of marketing to online marketing is not smooth but the entire hotels industry is placing more value on paid social media content and mobile marketing than ever before. In an era of real time social media engagements and 24/7 content, the hotels industry is finding their footing.

Perhaps the biggest shock to the hotels industry in recent years has been disruption of the hotels model. AirBnB, a website that connects rooms to rent with lodgers, challenges established hotel names such as Marriot and Hilton in scale and market share. Hotel businesses such as AirBnB are savvy about digital marketing, and the integration of digital content (user generated and paid) with offline channels. They are also agile enough to improvise with content marketing.

Keys to digital marketing success for hotels in 2016

Digital marketing for hotels in 2016 will involve content optimization, multi-channel marketing approach and forays into user generated or interactive content. Before implementing a digital marketing strategy for their hotel, managers have to define the hotel brand’s unique selling point (USP), who their target customers are, marketing objectives and what actions are effective in reaching them. Once this is defined, they can  measure and evaluate their digital marketing efforts.

Here are the 10 key areas of digital marketing for hotels in 2016

1.Programmatic buying for hotels

According to a study by Business and Leadership, more than a third of marketing budget is being spent on programmatic bidding in 2014-2015. This number is certain to rise in 2016. Programmatic marketing allows marketers to place ads automatically in front of audiences that are interested. Marketers in the hotels industry will invest more in programmatic buying to target their customers.

2.Reputation management across multiple channels

Social networks are a double edged sword for hotel reputations. Online travel review sites are another cause of concern for hotel brands (139 reviews are generated every 60 seconds on TripAdvisor alone).Constant monitoring and fast responses to complaints are the only ways to mitigate harm to your hotel brand. Resolving complaints in a professional and timely manner is expected.

There are several advantages to proactive hotel reputation management for hotel brands

On social media, hotel brands can engage in social listening to gauge what consumers are saying about their experiences. Social media managers employed by the hotel may address public complaints sincerely and in real time. Maintaining a good reputation on social media requires PR skills and quick thinking when crises breaks out.

3. Conversion rate optimization for hotel websites

The hotel website is integral for engaging and converting website visitors. There are many opportunities to engage through the website photos, descriptions and special offers. Visitors to a hotel website already have the intention of booking, so having a user friendly website that is intuitive to navigate towards payment/checkout is vital. Furthermore, hotel websites should be mobile friendly or responsive to different viewing devices. 69% of people planning travels begin their search through mobile devices.

4. Hotel video marketing

Video content is ideal for the hotels industry where story telling can say more than an entire brochure. A website with video is 53% more likely to appear on the first page of Google so this can boost your online visibility. Creating video content and then optimizing the video for the major search engines could be one of the smartest investments in hotel digital marketing.

5.Remarketing hotel websites

Statistics show that 92 website visitors never return to a website. A very high percentage of new visitors is not ideal for hotel businesses where the cost of customer acquisition needs to be minimized. Remarketing content, or retargeting, allows hotel marketers to customize content for website visitors when they have left the website. Hotel brands can create messages or videos that follow website visitors so they can guided through the purchase conversion funnel. Retargeting hotels customers is the perfect solution for abandoned hotel room checkouts or incomplete email signups.

Example of Hilton hotel retargeting consumers

6. Optimize content for all social media networks

Every social media platform is different and presents opportunities for the hotel to showcase their brand persona. With 60% of hotel guest using more than one social media platform, it is vital to maintain a unified presence on all of them. A well designed Facebook page, beautifully formatted Flickr and engaging YouTube page, for example, can amplify your brand.

Twitter cards allow hotel marketers to attract Twitter users with exciting content that links back to the hotel website. You can insert engaging media or use a large gallery card to entice leads. To implement Twitter cards, hotel websites require a markup using html within the webpages. Hotel brands already using Facebook can use Open Graph, Facebook Open Graph protocol-to generate Twitter cards.

7. Share content across different digital channels

Hotels can really utilize the interconnected social networks by sharing positive content about themselves. Glowing guest reviews from TripAdvisor, user generated content from guests, articles, hotel marketing videos and influencer content should be distributed amongst the social networks for faster uptake.  Sharing creates greater brand awareness and can reach more leads over time.

8. Mobile optimization for hotel websites

Increasing mobile traffic and use of mobile on the move means mobile optimization is a priority for hotels. Mobile optimized content should also be consistent with the hotel brand image. Instead of treating mobile optimization as an afterthought, hotel brands can make mobile an engaging platform for guests. Many guests book hotels at the last minute and will want all the booking information at their fingertips. Hotels can design their mobile websites in such a way that contact, pricing and room availability information is immediately accessible. A mobile app created just for guests to book rooms on the move is a viable option for hotels with corporate guests.

Hotel apps uses mobile optimized content and user friendly features to increase conversions from leads

9. Diverse and niche channels of hotel marketing

Relying on a single channel of marketing is bad for any hotel. By diversifying the distribution channels to different travel booking websites, hotels can attract more guests and market themselves in a different angle. Travel websites such as MrandMrsSmith.com and Jetsetter.com are especially good for marketing hotel brands as luxurious boutiques or honeymoon resorts.

10. Flexibility in digital marketing methods

Digital marketing is constantly changing to facilitate the way guests communicate and book hotels on the move. At any time, hotels may have to reevaluate marketing campaigns that are not effective and start something new. At other times, a digital marketing strategy may need to be adjusted in line with unforeseen changes. At the core of hotel marketing is customer service and proactive approach to meeting customer’s needs. Marrying the traditional approach to hospitality services with agile technology is the way forward for hotel marketing.

The latest studies in facial coding for content shows that consumers prefer familiar, transparent and credible content

Facial Coding Content Marketing Research?

Emotional metrics in content marketing research

What does facial coding have to do with content marketing? Quite a lot if you follow the content marketing research by BBC StoryWorks and CrowdEmotion. Content triggers emotions in humans and can make us do all kinds of things: sharing content, engaging with it or try to attack the creator. The last one is an extreme reaction but not unlikely given the polarized nature of some content.
In content marketing, success were traditionally measured in metrics and KPIs. Facial coding measures deeper level metrics: human emotions. The aim of the facial coding study is to understand the emotional impact of content marketing. In order to gauge emotions, facial coding was used to measure what emotional reactions took place. This voyeuristic study allows researchers to see what effect their content has on real life audiences. The results of the studies show 77% increase in positivity between pre and post content exposure. Repeated exposure to content led to 14% increase in subconscious positivity. The implications for brands is a justification of investing more money and effort in content marketing. 

Credible, transparent content marketing

In 2016, companies are spending more money on content marketing, so the study is timely. What it reveals is consumers want good quality content, from reputable ‘premium environments’ news websites. Simplicity and transparent narratives are other factors that make content better. 64% of consumers were happy to read branded content as long as it is labeled.

 In terms of branding, content led marketing created positive perceptions of the brand-a 10% increase in familiarity and 14% increase in average brand image.

Branded content marketing triggers emotions

The study used a sample of 5153 people from 6 key markets; 6 emotions were coded as sadness, happiness, fear, surprise, rejection and puzzlement. These emotions would be hard to measure without facial recognition technology. The consumer’s reactions to branded content showed that content marketing was a worthwhile investment. If anything, it showed that branded content triggered stronger, more positive reactions in consumers. In essence, this is just what brands want: influencing the consumer’s reward center in the brain.
Email marketing tips that will improve conversions rates and help to achieve your marketing KPI

Effective Email Marketing Tips To Know

Better Email Marketing Tips

Most companies are investing in email marketing techniques. It is one of the best ways to approach the customers through a personalized marketing channel. If you have been on the receiving end of special offers and discounts through emails, then you will be familiar with the different types of email content. Moreover, information regarding special events for the company and newly launched products can be provided in the form of email. When you are doing email marketing, get the basics right. Given below are a few useful email marketing tips to help you.

Try these tips for better email marketing

Email marketing is essential for every entrepreneur to master

1.Make your email subscribers feel special

The idea is to make your email marketing subscribers feel special. Through emails you will be able to generate excitement amongst your customers  regarding the products and offers of the company. Email marketing is a powerful tool for customer relationship building and increasing interest around your products. When you email about new offers to customers, make sure you address them by their name and use a friendly, engaging tone for your message.

2.Personalize your email content

By sending emails you should show the customers that you care. Your email subscribers must be getting such email newsletters every day. To make yours stand out you need to provide a personalized message and content. Show them that their attention is of value to your company. If you are telling your customers to download a brochure, take a free trial, or follow your company on social networks, tell them in a different, personalized manner. Add a suitable title to your email.  Do not write misleading emergency messages or email subject headings. It will show that you are desperate to sell your products and services.

3. Engage and ask for opinions and feedback

It’s okay to ask for help from your customers as long as you are not pushy about it. You can straightway ask for feedback and comments on your products and services. This helps the users to know the company better and also to support the company to create a better future. If you are asking for help and comments, be genuine and direct. Your customers may be willing to help or offer suggestions about your business. Don’t beg your customers to visit your website or buy your company’s products just because they seem willing to give feedback. Instead, you should thank them in a friendly manner for their input and and assure them that you will improve the company with their feedback. In time, you will earn a reputation for being innovative and customer service oriented .

4.Humanize your brand through email engagement with customers

Email marketing is a good way to humanize your brand. So go ahead and do some personal communication with the customers. The inbox of the customers is that intimate place where you should speak about each others likes and dislikes. You should let them know what you are doing to improve products/services and what your vision for the company is. Listen to customers when they email you back; this is valuable for your business development.

Although automation is easily available, always remember to write emails like a human. Email marketing automation tools can be used for streamlining the process but they are not useful for generating personal content. Talk about your company’s challenges and obstacles. It is okay to talk about company’s failures to the customers. But it is also important to let them know how the company pulled up from the crisis.  Through email, you may get a better picture of how your customers feel about the quality of your products and services.

5.Don’t be afraid to initiate the email

There are many startups that start a conversation with the customers through emails. They send emails to the customers and develop a healthy relationship with them before directing them to the websites and blogs of the company. Other forms of digital marketing often come later in the scenario.

6.A/B test your emails

There are certain important things that your email should contain. One of the primary things that you should focus on is the title of the email. It should be short, crisp, and attractive. It should deliver the message to the target customers in an instant without being vague. It is good to keep the titles to-the-point and relevant to the content of the email. In a way, it will be the summary of the email that you send  to your customers.

Another important thing to do is to A/B test your email marketing for improved conversions. Finding the optimal email content will not only save you time it will allow you to plan your marketing spend better. There are many ways to A/B test your email but testing one variable at a time will yield the most accurate results. For instance, you can A/B test:

  • The effectiveness of different call to actions in your email (‘buy now!’ versus ‘place an order’)
  • The open rates of different email subject lines
  • The visual layout and formatting of your email content
  • The different uses of wording within the content, such as ‘seasonal,’ instead of ‘holiday,’ and other adjectives.
  • The choice of offers; this can be new product offers or product discounts

7.Add links to email content for your website or other important pages

You must make sure that the emails you are sending to the target customers have links. There should be links to your website and other important pages of the website. The customers should be able to use those links to navigate and find the content referred to in your email. Driving traffic to the landing pages will increase the ranks of your website in the search engines. If the links are not placed properly in the emails, the customers might find it difficult to find the information they want and decide not to make a purchase.

8.Keep the email design simple

You must minimize the use of images in your marketing mails. If needed, used coded HTML in the emails. Marketing emails should be short and crisp. Too much of images take up a lot of space and space will be wasted if you include too many images unnecessarily. Don’t push any message through an image or do not send just one big image in the email.

9.Make it easy for customers to opt out of emails

Leave easy options to unsubscribe. Even though this seems counterintuitive for your email marketing campaign, you should provide enough comfort for the customers to unsubscribe from your mailing list. It creates a good impression in the minds of the target customers about your company. You aim is to gain their confidence in the longer term. Easy to find unsubscribe links is good and healthy for a marketing campaign. You must keep this in mind when targeting marketing campaigns with email.

How to design the perfect call to action

How To Design The Perfect Call To Action

Effective Call To Action

Do you have a strategy for your call-to-action button? I bet you do have. However, does it call to action effectively?

The best way to design a call-to-action button is to focus on effectiveness.  It is not just a button on your web site; it is where the action is. It prompts your website visitor to make a purchase, sign up for offers or download an item. If you want your conversion rate to increase, designing an effective call to action button is mandatory. Let us focus on its three main important aspects that work effectively together to attract conversion from your website visitors.

  • Copy
  • Design
  • Placement
  1. Your COPY in call to action

In digital marketing, it is important to address your searchers through their needs and satisfy them with your content marketing. Your words aka copy, must inform and encourage your website visitor to act.  You need to address the following areas in your copy to make your website visitors act.

Be specific with your language

If your Call-to-Action button explains exactly to your readers what will happen when they will click, that is an instant click.  The specific wording you use on your call-to-action buttons can have a great impact on your conversion.  Make your copy straightforward, specific and simple as possible.

Example of a simple and effective call to action copy

Focus on your offered benefits

Your call-to-action has to show a benefit to your searchers, you need to promise them a benefit in order to get them to click and take your offer. The micro copy (minimal words) needs to communicate this benefit clearly. For instance, instead of using a “Read More” button copy or “Buy Now”, use “Learn to write email copy that sells” or “Learn More”, this will reinforce the benefit the searchers will get in clicking your button.

Be careful of your friction words

Buy, download, order and submit are common friction words that imply your searchers have to do something they do not essentially want to do.  You need to lessen the perceived effort of your searcher and replace these friction words with light words like “Get” or “Learn” and you can add up with a benefits statement like “Get your free account” or “Learn to make how to…” You can also use buzzwords such as ‘free’, ‘discount,’ ‘instantly,’ ‘bonus,’and ‘sale’ to be more effective. It is best to imply a benefit than being so persuasive with your copy.

Give the sense of ownership

In reality, humans tend to be driven by the sense of loss and it triggers a benefits for your call to action button to use first person possessive determiners like “my”  or “I” to convey ownership to your offer. Projecting this sense of ownership like “Get Your New Items” to “Get My New Items” could be a cool way of getting your searchers to take action.

  1. Your Design in call to action

Let your design also speak with your copy.  It is also an important element with your call-to-action button.

Your design must: Shine out on the page

Great designs for call to action buttons

Ensure your call-to-action button to shine out within your page. It must be noticeable.  Use or select a button color that contrast the other colors used in your page.  You can try “Squint Test” to see if your button stands out.

Shine out like a button

As your button must be noticeable, it must also look like a button.  Do not make it too fancy so as the searchers must easily recognize it.

Shine out in an appropriate size

Too big or too small is not a good size for the call-to-action button, it must be just right so as the other content on your page can also be noticed and your button will not appear too promotional.

Shine out within the whitespace

The space or the whitespace around your call-to-action button can help it to shine out but not leaving behind other elements in your page.  Be sure to shine out connected, not too close and not too far; just let it be noticed, and making the searchers more aware of your page’ set up.

  1. Your Placement for call to action

Your call-to-action button location is often above the fold or the part of the page that is visible before the searcher is required to scroll. However, the ideal location or placement of your call-to-action button is in relation to the complexity of your offer.

If your offer is easy to understand then you can position your button towards the top that allows searchers to easily find and click the button.

If your offer is a little bit more difficult to understand and you want the searcher to understand more, you can place it just in the right place that it will not appear before the offer. Let your website visitor feel free to click as you motivate them to understand well your offer and what benefits they can gain out of it.

The call to action button placement is important for website visitors to understand and take action

 

As the digital marketing grows with its trends, call-to-action button makes its own growth as it has a big action to take in your marketing.  It is where the action is!

The purpose of the “Call-to-Action” Buttons placement:

Main purpose is to get a visitor or searcher to your site to do something or guiding them what to do. It can lead them to add a product after viewing photos and content, download something, request some information or anything else they need.

Importance of the placement for “Call-to-Action” Buttons:

The placement of Call-to-action buttons are important on your page as it increases click-through rates by making it clear to your searcher and guiding them what step to take next.

As you have the best thought design of your “Call-to-Action” button, you must not forget to test everything.  All the changes you make must be observed, studied, analyzed and tested.  You can A/B test your call-to-action button and analyze it.  You change and test to improve not just for sake of observation.

Take advantage of its purpose and importance of call to action copy, placement and design in your digital marketing as it can lead to more conversions.  Its goal is to reach your business KPI.   It is important to design and create your call to action button with the end goal in mind.  Put the right copy for the right searcher at the right moment!

What are the spending mistakes to avoid in marketing?

Spending Mistakes To Avoid In Marketing

The Cost Of Customer Acquisition

Investing in effective forms of online marketing will help your company to acquire more customers; the challenge is in knowing what, and, how much to invest inIn order to maximize the return on investment of their marketing spend, companies try to avoid expensive mistakes. Some marketing methods are a complete waste of money because the cost of customer acquisition (CoCA) is too high compared to other methods. 

The cost of customer acquisition can be discovered from tracking digital marketing campaigns. It simply tells you how much is spent to get customers. By taking the money spent on acquiring customers, and dividing it by the number of customers acquired, you will get the cost of customer acquisition.

When is the cost of customer acquisition too high?

Companies usually know when their cost of customer acquisition is too high. It is an unsustainable cost for the company. They determine this by calculating the life time value of the customer (LTV), which simply means the profit they can earn from repeat business with this one customer.

To avoid spending mistakes in marketing, you need to justify the cost of customer acquisition by the profits you can make from customers. A $100 cost of customer acquisition with a customer lifetime value of $20,000 is much better than $100 cost of customer acquisition with a customer lifetime value of $200.

Expensive mistakes to avoid in marketing

Making the best decisions about marketing spend is not easy. Despite the resources available to companies, the best allocation of resources for each company vary. There is no one size fits all when it comes to marketing spend. Some companies will find certain channels of marketing more effective than others and invest their monies there:

Survey showing the most effective channels of marketing 2015

As you can see, the effectiveness of marketing channels differs for every business. The spending mistakes in marketing for one company can be a good investment for another. What matters is knowing the cost of customer acquisition, customer lifetime value and the effectiveness of various marketing channels for your particular company.

Nonetheless, here are the costliest mistakes to avoid in marketing:

1. Spreading yourself thin across too many channels

Successful companies know which marketing channels are effective for them and focus their marketing efforts accordingly. One of the costliest mistakes in online marketing is to spend money on too many channels of marketing at once. Choose channels for the greatest impact you will make on your target customers, whether this be conversions, engagement or brand awareness. By focusing effort and money on building trust through those effective channels, you will avoid wastage.

2. TV marketing is not for everyone

Hyper inflation in advertising costs and availability of alternative marketing methods have dampened the attractiveness of TV advertising. Even the effectiveness of TV marketing is being threatened. Two decades ago, marketing on TV was effective because that was where the audiences were. The biggest threat to TV is smartphones and tablet devices in 2015; a report by Accenture found that 87% of people watched a second screen when they watch television. Furthermore, 50% penetration of digital video recorder (DVR) in homes means that TV adverts can be skipped altogether. Without the attention needed for TV advertising to work, it would be a lot of money wasted. For niche products, television audiences are too diverse to drive targeted traffic.

3. Unrelated mass media publications

Hiring PR companies to put your company name in mass media publications can be an expensive mistake to avoid. Unless your publication is highly related to your product-for instance, a B2B automation tool in a B2B magazine, it would not bring any conversions. You might gain a lot of traffic, but your conversion rate will be low. Appearing in New York Times and the Wall Street Journal will boost your confidence, but it may not boost sales. Find relevant publications for your targeted audience; they are more likely to be looking for the solutions that you are offering-and convert.

4. Building a website that is not optimized for mobile and SEO

A website that is not optimized for mobile and SEO, no matter how beautiful it looks, will never be found by your target customers. The rise of mobile shopping, search and apps means companies need to prioritize mobile first designs and optimization. Mobile friendly websites is a necessity for every online business. It is surprising how many companies opt for an expensive website without mobile friendly features and mobile optimized content.

5. Hiring a bad marketing team

Hiring the wrong marketing team is an expensive mistake companies can avoid. There are many ways companies can find out if their marketing hire is a mistake. Here are the common symptoms of an incompetent marketing hire:

  • Badly coordinated marketing campaigns
  • Lack of tracking, measuring of marketing campaigns
  • Lack of communication between the marketing team and company CEO/director
  • No quality control in place for content creation, distribution channels
  • Lack of understanding for the company’s industry and customer demographic
  • No justification for the marketing fees they charge
  • Poor work ethic and attention to details
  • Inflexible mindset to marketing/one size fits all
  •  Disregard for marketing channel integration: no cohesion in the marketing plan

Unfortunately, the damage done by bad marketing campaigns can incur even more expenses down the line to rescue the company’s reputation.

6.Bidding on inflated Adwords

With more companies bidding on (and inflating the price of) the most competitive keywords, the costs of PPC or pay per click can shoot through the roof. Competitive keywords have high search volumes, but not necessarily high conversion rates. Companies that pay for highly competitive keywords may be wasting their marketing money for poor results.

Instead of highly competitive single keywords, companies can bid for long tail keywords containing phrases people are likely to use to search for their product. This is cheaper because of less competition and the searches will be from highly targeted leads. So instead of bidding for a highly competitive keyword such as ‘books,’ you can bid for ‘first edition signed copy of Harry Potter.’ The traffic you draw will be much more focused and ready to convert.

7. Not using location specific marketing

Local businesses can use Google Places, Facebook ads and location specific keywords to target potential customers. When people search for businesses in specific locations, they will be able to find your company at the top of search rankings. The costliest mistake is to spend money on non-specific location advertising if you are a local business. Even if your advert is seen by many thousands of people, they will be too far away geographically to convert. An example is a local cafe shop advertising for the whole of Vancouver when it is specifically based in 6th Avenue.

8. Not tracking your marketing

Tracking the metrics and ROI of your marketing can help you allocate your marketing spend better. It can minimize wastage. There are many excellent marketing tools available for measuring the data of your online marketing campaigns. Google Analytics and Omniture are just two reliable tools you can use to find the conversion rate of website visitors and leads from other marketing channels. You can also track meaningful data such as the length of time website visitors stay on your site and their return rate.

Social media monitoring tools can help you find out what customers are saying about your business and their areas of interest. These insights can help you allocate your marketing spend wisely and even find new opportunities in marketing.

9. Meaningless marketing metrics

Marketing metrics are not all created equal; some are irrelevant for the company’s goals. Spending too much money on increasing traffic volumes when you want actual subscriptions is a waste of time and money. Traffic is a meaningless metric because it does not necessarily lead to more conversions (in this case, subscriptions).

To avoid spending mistakes in marketing, determine which key performance indicators (KPI) are important to the company, and specify an actual target.

10. Spending not aligned with marketing goals

By defining your marketing strategy, business goals and quantifiable KPIs, you can minimize spend in areas of ineffective/irrelevant marketing. If you cannot justify why you are spending X amount in certain areas of marketing, then it is an expense to avoid.

Conclusion

Every marketing plan require flexibility along the way. There are so many unforeseen circumstances in running a company that relying on one course of action would set you up for failure. This flexibility mindset applies to marketing spend where allocation of budgets is determined by the objectives of the company. A good marketing strategy is constantly being defined, reassessed and redesigned in tandem with your business life cycle.

Is content marketing sustainable or not in todays digital space?

Is Content Marketing Sustainable?

An Excess Of Content

The supply of content marketing far outweighs the demand from consumers. That is precisely the problem with it. Producing content is free and the huge quantities of ubiquitous content is clogging up the digital space. It is clogging up the social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where millions of users vie for attention. How can marketers ever compete? 70 million photos are published on Instagram daily and within the same timeframe 500 million tweets are being sent out. 

Yet business owners are advised to create ever more content; taking up their resources to provide content not in demand by consumers. There is a word for this glut of content marketing: content shock. Consumers are simply not able to consumer nor retain that much content. To get the consumer’s attention, your content has to be exceptionally good. This is achievable through deep pockets or an astute and highly efficient team of content creators. Failing that, your content marketing will just lurk around the Internet as if it never existed.

So, in the light of reality, the question: is content marketing sustainable? Are businesses really doing the right thing, in the long term by investing in content?

Content Marketing is difficult

That must be the understatement of this decade. Content marketing is becoming increasingly competitive because the bar is raised for the quality and amount of published content. Online business owners are advised to publish free and fresh content 3 times a day-a feat that is incredible considering that is 1095 pieces of free content per year. On top of that they had to optimize content for mobile devices, different social media platforms and find time to promote it!

In theory, content marketing sounds like a magnificent method to deliver value and build trust with consumers. In reality, there are many obstacles in producing content. According to recent statistics, 60% of content marketers are ineffective at content marketing; 67% of marketers cannot measure their content marketing efforts, 69% of all content marketing are inferior in quality and only 21% of marketers said they could track content marketing ROI.

Why are we stuck in a content marketing rut?

The more you post, the more credibility and authority you will earn for your industry area. The most prolific content writers are gaining the kind of visibility that makes traditional advertising methods pale in comparison. In addition to creating fresh content, the content quality has to be high for readers to pay more attention. The amount of free and high quality information available on the internet makes this a difficult task again.

Brands competing with other brands for higher visibility, technology levelling the playing field and the accessibility of content online for consumers has created  some major problems for content marketers. Virtually anyone can create content for free and quickly from their laptop or smartphone. Still, marketers cannot abandon content creation because it is proven to work. As long as the content is relevant, interesting and targeted-all will be good. Producing high quality content works very well if you are capable of producing high quality content.

Content shock is good for consumers but not for businesses

Content shock is fantastic from the consumer’s standpoint; highly competitive content are more relevant and entertaining. This is where creative talent and thinking outside of the box content triumphs. At some point, a maverick marketer will rise above the noise.

From a business’ standpoint, the outlook is not so good. More money needs to be spent on promoting content; social media ad prices will go up and the most talented content creators will be hired by the big brands. How can smaller businesses compete with million dollar budgets for the best marketing teams?

Content marketing is sustainable or not?

At this rate of content creation, content marketing is not sustainable. The rate is doubled every 9-24 months. This leaves marketers no choice but to focus on the most important things. 

What is the solution to content marketing shock?

Content will need to address very specific queries or none at all. The audience will be segmented and the social media platforms of distribution narrowed down to a few. Brands that do well with YouTube marketing will need to excel in video content. Brands with very engaged audiences on Twitter will need to engage more and build relationships with other influencers. The gist of it is to focus on one or two channels where content marketing is effective and differentiate yourself from others. Google Analytics can be used to assess which channels are worth focusing on.

The other solution is to be really honest with what the business needs to achieve. If it is quick sales then PPC, hyper targeted social media ads or email campaign may be most effective. Writing down the specific content marketing goals is another way to avoid contributing to the content shock. Businesses can trim off the useless content and concentrate on creating content that is getting the results (measured every month).

Content marketing lessons we can learn from Star Wars Force Awakens

5 Content Marketing Lessons From Star Wars

Star Wars: Master Class Of Content Marketing

The highest grossing UK film release of 2015, Star Wars: The Forcer Awakens was the blockbuster that put James Bond Spectre and Jurassic World in the shade. This should not be a surprise looking at the box office takings of the Star Wars franchise. Star Wars: The Force Awakens may be the first film of the Star Wars Trilogy but it is not unusual in the success it has garnered. All of the Star Wars films have been very successful.

Part of the new Star War’s success can be accredited to the film’s content marketing. In 2015, the prevalence of internet marketing has made marketing efforts more fragmented across different channels but Lucasfilm has made sure that the new content is consistent with the entire franchise.

Star Wars content marketing in the digital age

Social media marketing has become one of the most popular ways to promote new film releases. Big film releases, such as Star Wars, distribute content on social media channels that are shared virally. The timing and context are incredibly important for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It has to implement a content strategy within the context of the entire Star Wars franchise and market it just in time for the box office release.

What are the content marketing lessons we can learn from Star War’s success?

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens has an aggressive content marketing strategy

In a world of fast content and even faster consumption, it is hard to get the audience’s attention. Star Wars has an aggressive content marketing strategy that gets attention through effective channels of online marketing. Marketers of the Star Wars film produce high quality content that are engaging for the target audience. They produce content that would resonate with fans of the Star Wars trilogy and appeal to newer fans. They then distribute this aggressively along all the channels where their audience would have access to it. In other words, they focus a great deal on their content strategy and getting it to their target demographic.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is very active on social media where thousands of content are distributed and produced every day in the lead up to the film release. Star Wars Google+, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts are followed by millions of fans and the content is shared virally across wider networks. This content marketing approach gets more impressions, engagements and leads for the film.

 

2. Big budget on mass media marketing

Lucasfilm have spent tens of millions on traditional media; in November 2014, Lucasfilm released an expensive teaser trailer across cinemas in United States and in 2015, another trailer to screened at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim California. The first trailer generated 88 million views and second one 30.5 million within the first 24 hours. The content marketing lesson from this is that spending a lot where it gets you the most attention, i.e on YouTube and in cinemas, is a smart investment.

3. Star Wars creates engaging and nostalgic content

Star Wars understands the context of content marketing for audiences that would later see their film. Original visual content is created daily across Star Wars social media profiles, official websites and video platforms. The official Star Wars website and Facebook are full of engaging videos, games, photo stills from the movie, exclusive behind the scenes feature, premier night footage and other fun content. Star War’s weekend opening success is mostly due to the nostalgic trailers and carefully created content distributed across the internet.

4. Context marketing is king for Star Wars

The target audience for Star Wars are general cinema goers and fans of the franchise. Content was created to entertain, fascinate, inform and ultimately to convert their audiences. To appeal to children audiences, Star Wars have interactive content and game apps too readily available for download on iPhone. Adult audiences can follow the official Star Wars blog or go behind the scenes. Clearly, Lucasfilm understood that behind the scenes features and nostalgic content would appeal to adults whereas games would appeal more to children.

5. Content marketing for the target audience

Star Wars has shown that advertising and distributing content where their audiences is is an effective tactic. Instead of concentrating all their marketing on traditional cinema trailers, Lucasfilm have embraced creating content for new channels of online marketing, such as Instagram and Twitter. Lucasfilm understood that the majority of their customers (by age and interest demographic) will be on social media platforms. Posting content where your audience is most likely to consume it is the underlying factor of Star War’s content marketing success.

Conclusion

Disney/Lucasfilm has targeted large audiences both offline and online to get the attention it needs to make Star Wars: The Force Awakens a success. The content marketing strategy used by the film studios is aggressive, contextual and highly nostalgic in creating multimedia content. The movie industry is spending big budgets with modern channels of marketing such as social media and Star Wars has captivated it’s audience with content long before the film release.

The reasons why email marketing is helpful to growing your business

How can email marketing help your business?

 

The cheapest marketing option available online, email marketing can work wonders if you handle it well. How can it be of any value to your business it is just some email, after all? Most people have an email account whether they are individual users or a business. It is relatively easy for marketers to reach people through email, making it one of the most effective digital marketing methods.

Inbound and outbound marketing gets a boost through email marketing, and this can earn you more benefits in search engine ranking than SEO. This is because the subscribers can refer you to others, mention you on their social accounts and increase your brand reputation.

Ways email marketing can improve your business

To get subscribers, first of all, you need to place the specific tab on a prominent place on your website. Keep this position for this tab on all pages. Make the process easy and straightforward. To tempt more visitors into subscribing, you can offer special discounts and perhaps some limited time free products or useful content.

Common observation tells us that subscribers are more predictable than normal traffic and generate more revenue. This will mean that you can gain a good quality of customers and hence have better prospects for your business.

Let us talk about the benefits associated with email marketing.

1) Save time and money without sacrificing the benefits

With great new tools available on the market, you can save precious time which can be used in other forms of online marketing like social media marketing and content marketing. You can automate the mails that save you the trouble of sending it to the subscribers. You can use the templates available in the tools to make beautiful, eye-catching emails to make yourself heard.

2) Laser focus on customers

When people subscribe to your site, you get to see them much more closely. Knowing where they come from and what their interests are lets you develop your content marketing strategy in a more effective way. You can keep different types of subscribers based on their interests and demographics in different mailing lists and then create highly targeted content. This is bound to have a huge impact and make your inbound marketing much stronger.

3) Helps you connect to your customers

With regular emails, your customers will be constantly reminded of you. This will keep you fresh in their minds and increase the possibilities of sales. Personalized emails make the customers feel valued and cared for and lead to generation of loyal customer base which, of course, is more than anyone can hope for.

4) It is reliable

Unlike traditional traffic, email marketing is dependable and predictable. The subscribers are steady source of revenue, and so you can rely on them. There are no seasonal peaks in the sales which keep it running smoothly.

5) Improve brand reputation

When you communicate with customers on a more personal level, their psychology leads them to trust you and prefer you over the others. They also tend to refer it to others hence bringing in more traffic. Increase in traffic means an increase in the probability of subscribers and the cycle continues. This, however, is not the only benefit. When your brand gets trust and is mentioned over the web, its popularity increases and it gets higher ranking by the search engine. This means more customers for you.

What can Google Customer Match do for your digital marketing plans?

Google Customer Match And Digital Marketing

Google Customer Match Features

With the words, ‘Aim for the ‘right moment’, ‘right target’ and ‘right goal’! Google introduced their Customer Match feature to the world of online marketing. To remain competitive in business, it is vital that the right moment and target is defined; the Google Customer Match will allow digital marketers to upload their email contacts for targeted ads through Gmail, Display, paid search on Google and even YouTube.

Reaching customers on Gmail is an effective way to target ads. Since they are already opt in contacts, targeting them will help to achieve higher rates of conversions. When you create marketing campaigns, these will be specifically tailored to reach the highly converting audiences. As we get closer to an era of highly personalized and contextual digital marketing, what are the implications of Google Customer Match on your content strategy?

Customer Match will help reach valuable customers

When you know the preferences of your opt in contacts, marketing should be more efficient. In the right moment, Google Customer Match will allow your customers to see targeted ads that are highly relevant to them. The more relevant the ads, the more likely it is that customers will act upon the content. They may be influenced to make a purchase or browse your website for new content.

Customer Match improves segmentation

Email segmentation is an area of improvement for most marketers; 62% of marketers said that they needed to segmentation for their client lists. In digital marketing, targeting the right segments of customers is vital to conversion success. With Google Customer Match, marketers can set bids and create ads for specific segments of their customers. This increases the rates of conversion and allows for better email marketing strategies. Using Customer Match, marketers can also promote supplementary products-such as an international plug adapter for an electric toothbrush. Customers will appreciate the relevant content.

Customer Match helps to capture new customers

Customer Match can help companies reach similar demographic of customers.  Similar Audiences is a smart marketing feature that allows marketers to group email lists with similar interests. This feature works on YouTube and Gmail and will automatically build audience lists that are similar to current customers. This enables new customers to find your products through specific ads.

Customer Match creates personalized content

Personalized content sent to your customers based on their characteristics or interests give you higher chances of conversions.  It is a challenge to enhance the lives of your customers by giving them relevant ads.  With Customer Match, you can surely achieve that goal to connect and engage fully to your customers.   You can inspire them to plan for their next move through your marketing content.

Another personalization feature is non-cookie based targeting. Ads will not be targeted according to cookies stored in browsers, but actual Gmail accounts. This enables consistency and improved personalization because it will be the same customer logging into their Gmail accounts.

Customer Match provides value to customers

Customer Match is not all about advertising; it is about sharing relevant content to give value to your customers’ lives.  This is the foundation of marketing content in digital marketing.  Your campaign will match your customer’s needs which is why it is called Customer Match.  It allows marketers to build a relationship that lasts and satisfies.

As this new door opens to the global market, Customer Match will help to create a great and high quality match for customers. The right moment in targeting customers will be optimized through content.

The ‘right target’ or ‘right audience’, lies at the core of all these marketing, and it must be served with consistent and constant high quality content that can really touch your customer’s lives.The ‘right goal’ is to remain in touch in the real world in the digital space. By giving your customers what they want, you will be achieving business goals faster.