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October 2018

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The Top 8 Digital Marketing Issues You’ll Commonly Face

You’ve done the best research, formed the best plan possible, and executed your marketing strategy with glorious perfection, like a boss. It’s a masterpiece, the Mona Lisa of marketing campaigns, and you are Leonardo da Vinci. And now, naturally, you sit back and enjoy the most smooth-sailing campaign to ever hit the market.

What’s that? The sailing’s not so smooth? You’re having trouble getting leads, training your team, and proving ROI?

It sounds like your perfect campaign sort of hit the fan, so to speak. But don’t worry.

So this marketing thing wasn’t as easy as you thought it would be. That’s the bad news. The good news is, everyone else, and we mean everyone, is having the same problems you are.

And here’s the even better news. We’re going to share with you all the most common marketing issues marketers face so you’ll know what to expect going forward. Aren’t we nice?

Read the list below so these marketing problems won’t catch you off guard.

Problem 1: Where My Peeps At?

When Hubspot polled thousands of companies about their top marketing challenges, only one was reported by more than half of all participants. 63% of them reported “generating traffic and leads” as the number one problem marketers face.

Companies are struggling to get enough demand for their supply of product or content. Why is this? Because the internet is just too darn big.

Here, your marketing choices are limitless and your audience is everyone in the world. It’s hard to know where and how to focus your efforts.

So what do you do? Pay deep and continual attention to market research and don’t try to be everything to everyone.

Know every statistic about your ideal audience. Know what devices and apps they’re using, when they’re using them, and for how long.

What social media platform do they prefer? What do they like to see there? Find out exactly what they want from you, and then give them the highest quality version of it that you can.

In short, marketing analytics are your best friend – IF you can interpret them, that is. (We totally rock at analytics, btw, so we’ll be your best friend if you’d like)!

Problem 2: Is It Working?

You have so many wheels turning in so many different campaigns. How can you track which ones are working and which ones aren’t?

This is the second-most common marketing problem. Proving the return on investment (ROI) of marketing activities is a complicated challenge. And if you can’t prove ROI, you can’t effectively budget or strategize your campaign.

The answer, therefore, is better analytics software. Lucky for you, analytics technology has gotten way better than it used to be at tracking sales.

It’s also grown to become more advanced at linking more types of analytics together. This gives a more accurate picture of what impacts your returns and how.

All your digital marketing analytics should be linked to the same analytics software. That includes social media marketing, ecommerce, and website analytics. If they’re not linked, you need new analytics software.

Problem 3: You Can’t Make the Scene If You Don’t Have the Green

Many companies, especially smaller ones, have trouble getting funds for their marketing campaigns. This is mostly due to the point we just covered. No one wants to invest in a marketing tactic with an effectiveness that can’t be proven.

But if you can prove the ROI of your marketing efforts, you’ll have no problem securing funds. And the key to proving ROI is top-notch analytics software (plus help from awesome nerds like us).

Problem 4: You Can’t Be Good at Everything

A successful website is essential to any digital marketing campaign. So why are so many companies having trouble with it? Quite simply, they either don’t have the know-how or manpower to do it right.

The ever-changing world of search engine optimization (SEO) is a whole other campaign all by itself. SEO refers to the tactics used to make a website rank higher on search engine results pages (SERP).

To create and maintain a successful website requires expertise and up-to-date knowledge of SEO. We know you’re an expert at marketing. But you can’t be excellent at everything.

Therein lies the problem. Many marketers try to manage their own sites without this in-depth knowledge or without knowledgeable people working on it.

The obvious solution is to get knowledgeable people working on your SEO. Either put your own, SEO-competent staff on it or outsource to professionals. Your website’s crucial to your digital marketing efforts; you can’t afford to skip this step.

Problem 5: Knowing What’s Good for You

Ok, let’s see how you’re doing so far.

You’ve gotten better analytics software, one that links all possible analytics to marketing returns, and you’ve hired the right people to maintain your website. You’re doing great!

But even when doing your best, you can’t anticipate changing technology, glitches, Murphy’s Law, etc.

New problems will always pop up, requiring some other app, software or device to solve it. The problem most companies have with this is figuring out what technologies they need and whether or not they’re reliable.

This is another situation where hiring awesome, professional help is a good idea. Pros are on top of the situation before you even find out about it.

You can straight-up ask them yourself if their software can solve your problem. They can even refer you to customers they’ve helped with the same problem.

Or, if you like to live dangerously, you can trust online reviews of marketing solution software and hope for the best. If it doesn’t work out, though, you might end up wasting a lot of valuable time.

Problem 6: Team Training Troubles

As digital marketing evolves, so must your company. Each change demands retraining or rehiring: two sides of one really sucky coin.

Both mean finding (and funding) the time for training. And turnover means starting from scratch.

The best solution is to set up an hour or less of training updates at the same time every week. You update your leaders, who then train the rest of your team. An alternative is requiring your team to take training courses.

New hires are more difficult. You want their training time to be short and intense.

The shortness will cost you less money (especially if they quit). And the intenseness will weed out those who might quit anyway.

Your other option is the next problem: hiring people who are already the best.

Problem 7: The Top Talent Gamble

Hey, wait a sec. Why not just hire better-qualified people?

It would save the time and money required for training newbies, right? You’d think.

But trying to find and hire top talent that isn’t already employed, may cost just as much as training from scratch. Then, add to that a higher salary.

The solution? Be as specific as possible in your career ad.

Think about the exact position in your company you need the top talent in. Require a very-specifically-described skill set for the position. That is, write the job description for that one, perfect candidate you want.

Post to a niche-specific job board that’s just for digital marketers, like growth.org, and voila! You let the perfect candidate find you.

Problem 8: Your Target Is Everywhere

Have you ever sent a text and then afterward realized it autocorrected to a completely wrong message? Then, you already know the biggest challenge of marketing internationally.

Most companies aren’t familiar with the markets and cultures of other countries. They don’t know how to appeal to them, so their attempts at advertising end up sending the wrong message.

Avoid this by gaining marketing expertise in the countries you do business with. There are several global marketing books and other learning resources you can learn this from. But it may be more practical to hire a qualified marketing expert for each country.

Next, optimize your website and ad campaigns for the language and culture of each target country.

Kick These Marketing Issues to the Curb

Now that you know the most common, current marketing issues, they won’t catch you off guard. Instead, you can face them and say, “Enguard!”

Ok, we’re sorry; that was terrible. The point is, plan for these issues now and you’ll be ready when they happen.

Now read 8 creative marketing strategy examples to inspire you.

SEM Guide: What is Search Marketing?

Being visible online is important to every business, whether you sell business services or sweatpants.

To launch your brand to online success, you likely need some form of search marketing.

When people think about search engine marketing, often times they focus on optimization techniques known as SEO. But SEM is distinct from SEO and is an important part of any internet marketing plan.

Here’s the skinny on SEM.

The Language of Search Marketing

Search engine marketing, or SEM, is a practice where marketers essentially purchase authority within search engines through advertising, keywords, and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns.

It differs from SEO in that search engine optimization focuses on your organic ability to earn a ranking on a search engine.

A winning search marketing strategy has both SEO and SEM.

SEM vs SEO, Yo!

As mentioned above, SEM and SEO are different because one is a service you pay for, and the other is an accomplishment you earn. Both are important to your marketing strategy.

Here are some key terms and strategies in the SEM vs SEO world that will help you differentiate between the two.

Did Someone Say, “SEM Strategies?”

Below are several popular strategies for building an online reputation with SEM.

  • Paid Search/PPC: the process of buying keywords that will put you in front of your target market
  • Landing pages: purchasing succinct landing pages that offer a great user experience (UX) for customers
  • Local SEM: purchasing 360-degree videos and ads on Google maps, things that will help you appear in more local searches

Well, What About SEO?

Here are the most common terms and strategies used in the SEO world today.

  • Keywords: selecting and using the keywords you want to rank for in your content
  • Organic rankings: use on-site SEO strategies like content marketing and seamless navigation to boost your page organically to top rankings
  • Local SEO: using free and organic strategies to get on local ranking sites, like adding your business to Google maps
  • Site indexing strategies: having a well-functioning site that creates a great UX is a good way to ensure it is indexed by Google
  • Link-building: link-building is an organic SEO strategy by which links from other sites drive traffic to your site and increase its authority with Google

As evidenced above, there are a number of similarities between SEM and SEO strategies. The differences, however, are distinct enough that both should play into a search marketing strategy.

SEM: Some Translation Required

So, that’s SEM in a nutshell. But what does that mean for you? How do these terms translate into something useable for your business?

He Gets an Avatar! She Gets an Avatar! Everybody Gets an Avatar!

At the foundation of any marketing campaign is the customer, and SEM is no different.

To start your SEM journey, you need to first understand who is buying your products and services and create a customer avatar.

This can be done from scratch or from a template.

If you haven’t taken inventory of who is buying a product or service in a long time, a good way to do that is to utilize free tools within the Facebook Business platform.

Start with an existing list of customers and emails. Put that into a new campaign in Facebook’s ad manager, and watch Facebook develop a profile of demographics from your list.

If you don’t have a list, run a Facebook ad campaign and use the analytics built-in to Facebook to determine who is likely to interact with your campaign.

Or pick a look-a-like audience. For instance, our sweatpants manufacturer might choose “people who like Fabletics.”

Once you’ve used Facebook to capture an audience you can pull the analytics to begin filling in your target customer avatar.

Cough Up the Dough

Once you know who’s most interested in your products and services, the rest becomes much easier.

The key to a good paid search campaign is selecting the right keywords to purchase. In order to do that, you need to do keyword research that is heavily based on what you’ve learned about your customer.

For one, you can use social platforms like Twitter to see what your target audience is talking about online. That should give you an idea of what they are interested in.

Then you can jot down a list of hashtags and work backward from there, using any number of free resources to drill down the best keywords from the hashtags.

You can also turn to other blogs and see what they are writing about. What keywords are your competitors using? If your direct competition wants to own a keyword, then consider if you should compete on that keyword too.

After you’ve narrowed down your list of most valuable keywords, you can start making purchases based on search volume and competitiveness.

When you select the keywords you want to focus on in your Google AdWords or Bing account, your ad will appear on search results for those keywords.

It will look like organic search results, only there will be a notation showing that it is an ad. And when people click through you will be charged, hence why this is a form of PPC.

Your Best PPC Campaign

When it comes to SEM, PPC is a big purchase category. However, in most industries, the click-thru-rate (CTR) is less than 1%.

It’s no surprise people prefer being in the top of organic search results and that’s why it’s so important to utilize both principles of SEM and SEO in tandem.

They said, when structuring a PPC campaign, make the following considerations:

  • Ad Campaigns: This is the largest group of like-ads, perhaps you want to run a campaign of seasonal sweatpants and fall patterned leggings because these categories have similarities they would fall under one campaign
  • Ad Groups: The ad groups are a division which campaigns can be broken down into, perhaps one ad group focuses on seasonal sweatpants and the other group is for fall coloured leggings
  • Keywords: For each ad group, you should have a subset of keywords that make up the campaign

By breaking down your campaign into Ad Campaigns > Ad Groups > Keywords, you can target the right market segment and make the most of your ads.

Holla at Your Search Marketing!

When it comes to search marketing, you have to have both SEO and SEM. But the difference between a successful campaign and one that falls flat is in the details.

Pay attention to what your customers are looking for, and appeal to that. Whether you are optimizing or purchasing pay-per-click understanding your customer base is key.

For more information like this for your Calgary, Alberta business, click here.

The Top 6 Benefits of Digital Marketing

The benefits of digital marketing are more apparent than ever in 2018. Digital marketing can help increase your brand exposure as a business.

In fact, more than 1.1 million small businesses have taken off in the past four years.

If you want to thrive in this economy, it’s important to grow your digital marketing strategies right now.

1. Digital Marketing is Cost-Effective

There is no doubt that marketing your company takes money. You need to fuel your business with real dollars in order to see real results. Digital marketing has slowly become the new norm in terms of how to market your company in the real world.

Digital marketing is a cost-effective alternative to other forms of marketing. When you include targeted digital marketing campaigns, you can save money. Once you determine who your target audience is you can tailor your campaigns and advertisements to be seen by a select few.

For example, a small business can utilize the power of social media in minutes. You can easily run an ad on Instagram where your targeted audience will see your ad show up on their feed based on advanced targeting measures you determine.

This can cost a small business anywhere from $5-$500. The engagement with the ad will be much higher than even the results created from expensive television and radio ads. You will be able to target your ideal buyers in no time.

2. Digital Marketing Hones in on Customer Loyalty

Another strength to note with the benefits of digital marketing includes the development of customer loyalty.

One customer purchasing clothing from your online retail website is the first step in the right direction. Sales are obviously important to you as a small business owner who needs to make revenue to keep the business going.

However, it’s also crucial to hone in on the value with customer loyalty. You want that same customer to return again and again and even spread the word about why she loves shopping on your site in comparison to your competition, right?

Customer loyalty is another aspect of digital marketing that you can work on growing. The digital marketing strategies used by small businesses to grasp the concept of customer loyalty continue to show impressive results.

Turning one customer into a loyal customer is possible with digital marketing. How do you accomplish this? Create a reputation for having great customer service. If you have a huge following on Instagram or even Facebook, be sure to constantly check your direct messages to respond to your customers that way!

Speaking of social media messages, always respond to comments on your posts and engage with your audience!

3. Create a Global Outreach

Digital marketing gives you the opportunity to reach even more customers than you could ever dream of if you focused solely your local and traditional marketing channels.

Give digital marketing a chance because you can increase your customer base by implementing the right techniques to boost your following across the globe.

People living around the world could see your efforts as the Internet continues to be a means of communication to find new markets and explore larger audiences.

Social media marketing will give you the freedom to potentially expand your small business into these new global territories, too.

4. Your Customers are Waiting for You on Social Media

Don’t be afraid of social media! Even if you have an old company, you need to start creating an online presence to tap into the market you are missing out on right now.

With so many millions of people using their phones to purchase on a daily basis, you need to create a space to increase your sales online because over 2.4 billion people use social media platforms on a regular basis.

Encourage your customers to interact with you on social media, too. Offer them incentives to follow your social accounts. Giveaways are a huge way to gain new followers and grow your audience in an organic nature.

Social media has the potential to help you conquer your digital marketing goals once and for all. Of course, with the help of experts at Octopus Creative, you can achieve your goals in less time than you would on your own!

5. SEO Optimizes Your Content

There is no point in spending hours of your time and hundreds of dollars producing content if nobody sees it.

SEO, search engine optimization, is another excellent example of a digital marketing tool to assist you in your journey to grow your client base.

Here is how SEO works:

When a potential customer uses Google to make a search for “fall boots” the top results are shown. You need to incorporate keywords into your content found on your website to boost your ranking according to Google.

Once you channel some important SEO rules into your posts, you will see your ranking improve over time.

It’s difficult to make your retail store show up on the first page without implementing any of the powerful and effective SEO techniques necessary to improve your local SEO rank.

Talk to the professionals at Octopus Creative Inc. for more guidance with SEO related strategies.

6. The Benefits of Digital Marketing Drive Sales

The proof is in the sales. It’s seen within your revenue streams. It’s also proven with the obvious signs of higher growth expectancy in your business.

You’re going to see much higher conversion rates once you begin practising the art of digital marketing. Digital marketing influences conversions as soon as you determine a targeted audience to attract.

These trackable results are set up to show you exactly how much money you have earned through digital marketing strategies put into action. You can see how much money one digital campaign has earned for you through your website analytics.

Tracking your web analytics, using Google analytics, for example, will show you real-time data that can guide you to understand what tactics work and what needs to be changed about your current campaigns for better outcomes in the end.

Why Not Take Advantage of the Benefits of Digital Marketing?

The benefits of digital marketing show you how important it is to consider adding these online strategies to your small or corporate business.

All six of these reasons are meant to prove the power behind creating social media platforms and utilize them to your advantage to draw in new targeted customers over time.

Interested in learning more about digital marketing? Submit a Marketing Discovery Form on our website to get in touch with us today.