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Is your site ready for paid traffic?

 

Is your site ready for paid traffic?

Is your website ready for paid traffic?

When it comes to pay-per-click (PPC) ads, the majority of people seem to have a “build it and they will come” kind of mindset. These ads are portrayed as being the easiest way to direct the kind of traffic you want to your website. It looks like all you need is a URL it can be directed to and the right keywords. But is this really the case? What happens once they’re on your site?

With the PPC bandwagon on the roll, many have jumped on it without hesitation, spending large amounts of money on PPC campaigns. These companies think they’re paying for visitors who end up spending money on their site, yet all they’re really paying for is the traffic – with little to no knowledge of where these visitors end up or whether they’re turning into leads.

The overlooked component of paid traffic

Approximately 64.6% of people click on Google Ads when they’re searching for a product or service, proving that PPC ads do hold value. So if your PPC campaign hasn’t been delivering quite the results you expected, you need to investigate the possibility of another component affecting the strength of your ads.

The biggest mistake businesses make is setting up a PPC campaign and failing to consider the rest of the journey that visitor takes once they’re on your website. Your website is often the first interaction customers have with your brand and needs to be a professional representation of what you do. If your website can’t accurately welcome PPC paid traffic and direct them to the appropriate product or service, it will hamper the effectiveness of your PPC ads.

How do I know if my website is ready?

To gain better control over where your paid traffic goes and whether they turn into leads, you need to look at the following aspects of your website:

Is your website up to date?

The look and feel of your website is important to your corporate image and a sleek, up to date website will distinguish you from your competitors. Any potential leads also need to be able to easily find the information they’re looking for.

Is your website responsive?

Many companies run mobile PPC ads without making sure their site is responsive, meaning they pay for traffic that can’t properly navigate the site once they’re there. A responsive site will improve the user experience and this will, in turn, increase the chance of a conversion.

Is your website converting?

If your site gets high traffic but few conversions, it means visitors aren’t able to find what they’re looking for and your site isn’t selling your product or service well enough. To gain more conversions, your site needs to be optimised or, better yet, you need to direct paid traffic to a landing page.

It all starts with impressive website design

What do visitors see when they land on your website? If the answer is anything other than a unified representation of your brand, perhaps it’s time to consider a redesign. Not only does a clean, stylish website make your brand stand out, but it will also make your PPC ads more effective. In a previous blog we discuss the advantages of growth-driven design, and this is exactly what you need to leverage to get better PPC conversion rates. A streamlined, optimised website with good site speed and an impressive user experience will ensure you direct the traffic you pay for to the appropriate destination.

In addition to your site’s design, another effective way of improving your conversion rate is directing your paid traffic to a landing page and not your homepage. This dedicated page can be structured in such a way that it best serves the keywords you have selected. Sending traffic to a homepage leaves the user with no desired action to take, whereas a landing page can have a clear headline and call to action (CTA), and give them exactly the information they need.

Whether it’s a new website design, a redesign, or a landing page, Inbound Inc. can design and develop the mobile-responsive website your business deserves. As part of a range of professional services, our web development involves CMS design, analytic tools and creating a unified brand. If you find yourself seeking an optimised website and better PPC conversion rates, then perhaps this is the first step.

 

The Evolving Website: The advantages of growth driven design

Growth Driven Design

 

The modern consumer is never fully satisfied.  Whilst brands try their best to keep up with ever-changing customer wants, needs and demands, the simple fact is that the consumer is always going to expect more, better, simpler and faster, and if your brand can’t sustain a culture of constantly delivering on this, they’ll turn to one that can.

In this age of perpetually evolving customer demands the brand that is in a state of ultra-responsive flux is always going to come out on top, as they react faster and more efficiently to what their customers want and need. You either adapt and evolve or you die; welcome to the jungle.

Enter the evolving website, a growth driven approach

Growth driven website design is a concept that effectively addresses the aforementioned issues, in the online space at least. It may sound like an intimidating new approach to web design, but really, adopting a growth driven approach to building and managing your website can be a relatively simple process that will see far greater ROI in the long-term.

To begin with, let’s look at what growth driven design, also called iterative website design actually is. At its core, a growth driven approach involves a continuous process of refinement and improvement on a website.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to constantly be adding functionality, changing your content and growing your website everyday. But what it does mean, is that your website is flexible enough to evolve in line with your brand’s and consumer’s needs.

4 reasons to adopt a growth driven approach

1. Become highly responsive to your clients’ needs

One of the key benefits of an iterative web build is its highly flexible nature, allowing you to quickly and easily respond to changing circumstances and requirements.

It doesn’t really matter which industry you’re in these days, the customer is always king. If your website is giving your users what they want and addressing their concerns, you’re far more likely to convert them into customers.

Building your website iteratively allows you to regularly take feedback from your site users and determine what they want to see on your site, before adding that feature or function.

As this becomes part of your website design culture, your users will notice this and really appreciate the fact that their feedback is being implemented and making a difference, which will in turn generate a deeper affinity for your brand. It’s a real win-win.

2. Identify bugs and other issues and fix them quickly

When you adopt a growth driven approach, it gives you the unique advantage of being able to respond to bugs or other issues on the website almost as soon as they are identified.

Web users are notoriously impatient and they will quickly judge a website on any problems they encounter, with stats showing that up to 39% of web users will leave a website simply because images load too slowly or incorrectly.

It’s an unforgiving world wide web out there. You can spend massive amounts of time and money trying to create a perfect website, and it will still have bugs and other issues.

However, if you simply adopt a growth driven approach and build a good, flexible website, you will be able to fix and improve on any issues that you encounter before they can cause too much damage.

3. Ensure your site’s content is fresh and on-brand

It’s quite simple really, if your site’s content is outdated or misaligned to your current marketing messages and campaigns, users will get fed up pretty quickly.

A growth driven approach not only makes it simple to add and update your content as often as you need or want, but it will allow you to quickly change the core message of your site to suit the current stage of your business or campaigns that tend to take over your whole brand message for extended periods.

Additionally, regularly updating your content helps you rank higher in your SEO, and with 93% of online experiences beginning with a search engine, according to imFORZA.com, this is an undeniable advantage for any website.

4. Save time, money and energy

The traditional approach to web design goes a little like this: you spend significant resources that include time, money, energy and often sanity, in developing a website that you think is as perfect as possible. You think it’s exactly what your clients want and you believe that once this world-beater website goes live, you can just sit back and reap the benefits of users visiting your site, being amazed and subsequently compelled to buy your products or services.

This is rarely how it actually pans out.

After investing numerous resources in your perfect site, you’ll soon realise that it isn’t quite so perfect. You might come to find your customers don’t enjoy it, it quickly becomes outdated and, having spent your entire budget on this behemoth, you simply don’t have the time or money to address these mounting issues. What a nightmare!

A growth driven approach, conversely, allows you to create a good site, which has the basics but isn’t too set in its design, content or functionality.

It is a work in progress, an evolving entity that you add to and improve as and when needed, and in line with what your users want. In this way you’ll save time and money and be able to get more, from less.

The benefits of a growth driven approach to your website are clear. While this might not be ideal for some businesses, it’s a strategy that you should consider and may end up giving you far more value on your website than you ever imagined.

Inbound Inc. is launching a new range of products this week that contains various options for growth driven design and marketing services to suit your budget. To have a look at these packages, click here!

Redesign time: 4 Signs it’s time to give your website a facelift

Redesign time: 4 Signs it’s time to give your website a facelift


Website redesign with Inbound Inc

We live in an undeniably digital world. Technology seems to be improving at an exponential rate and, as everything gets smaller, smarter and a lot more powerful, it’s becoming more and more difficult for brands to ride out the technological wave and keep their heads above water.

Even the smallest SMMEs are waking up to the need to establish an online presence for their business, whether it’s as basic as having a Facebook page or as complex as running multiple social media accounts, a website and a blog simultaneously. The harsh new reality is that if your business is not online, it simply isn’t relevant to the majority of contemporary consumers.

If you haven’t been living under the proverbial rock and your business isn’t in its absolute infancy, you’ll probably already have a website. You might even have a few social media profiles for your business if you’re particularly clued on the advantages of below-the-line marketing. But don’t pat yourself on the back just yet; simply being online is no guarantee that you’re getting the most ROI from your digital endeavours.

Years of experiencing in conceptualising, designing and building websites has left me somewhat jaded at the state of some of the sites floating around the Internet. From both a consumer and supplier perspective I can say with absolute certainty that a poorly designed and built website can not only put customers off doing business with you, it can significantly damage your brands’ reputation.

So should you consider redesigning your website?

This is a tough question for many businesses, particularly smaller businesses that don’t exactly have the funds for a site revamp. Many see it as being an unnecessary or luxury expense. Why spend on a site redesign when you have one that’s doing the job already?

Though it might be the last thing you want to think about, a website redesign could just be the best decision you make this year.

Besides the potential for lost sales and reputational damage, a bad website is a wasted opportunity.

As one of the first and most important touch points for new or potential clients, your website should be functioning as a sales tool, a valuable informational resource, a customer service portal, a showroom for your products/services, and so much more.

If your website isn’t a powerfully engaging, visually enticing, multi-functional digital ambassador for your brand, the chances are that it’s hindering your business and you should seriously consider a redesign.

4 signs it’s redesign time

1. Your website looks ugly or outdated

If you spend a decent amount of time online you’ve probably seen some gorgeous websites along the way, sites that catch the eye and entice you to actually explore them.

A website can be a beautiful visual journey that makes effective use of colour, imagery, animation, texture, pattern, audio and video. Although your site doesn’t necessarily have to be winning any design awards and have Hollywood-level production values, there is no reason you can’t have a good looking, well designed website without breaking the bank.

A recent study by ResearchGate found that 94% of people believe that a well designed website is more trustworthy! So if you take an honest, objective look at your website and notice that the colour scheme is boring, the imagery looks like a 90’s era Backstreet Boys album and it doesn’t quite meet your expectations for a well designed website, perhaps it’s redesign time.

2. Your website isn’t mobile-friendly or responsive

This is a really big one. According to Comscore, the number of Internet users that browse online on their mobile devices now outnumbers those using a desktop computer. This trend aligns with the ever-increasing number of smartphone users and we can expect to see this becoming even more prevalent as we enter the age of the smartphone.

The simple fact is that people are far more likely to visit your website on their mobile device than via a desktop, and if your site isn’t responsive across various screen sizes and platforms, you’re going to lose those potential customers.

It’s quite simple really, if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, it’s redesign time!

3. Your website isn’t converting visitors to customers

Your site might be an endless hub of traffic, with users visiting it in their droves… but if those visitors aren’t taking the plunge and buying your products/services, then what’s the point?

Your website should be designed with one main action in mind. Whether that is to get people to buy your product, sign up for a newsletter or just click the link to like your Facebook page, all of your content and functionality should be set up with that end goal in mind and relentlessly drive site visitors to complete that action.

If your site isn’t converting your visitors to customers, then it’s most definitely time for a redesign.

4. Your website isn’t really yours

This may seem a little nonsensical, but essentially what is meant here is that if you can’t manage your website or least make basic updates to the site’s content by yourself, then your site isn’t really yours.

Many organisations make use of a web design agency or entity that will build and maintain their site for them and these entities will often build the site in such a way that they are the ones required to update and add to the site whenever it becomes necessary. This guarantees that the client will have to keep coming back to them for more business. However, websites with built-in Content Management Systems (CMS) are now becoming something of a standard in web design and it’s easier than ever for clients to update and maintain their sites themselves.

This makes particular sense for SMMEs that can’t really afford to pay an agency every time they make a small update to their site. If you don’t have full control of your website and you find that you’re held hostage by the agency that built it, maybe it’s redesign time.

There are many other reasons you might want to redesign your website. Perhaps your business has changed and you need to reflect that with the website?

Maybe you want to build an e-commerce platform into your website to sell your products?

Whatever the reason, you can’t really go wrong with upgrading to a highly functional, well designed website.

If you’re considering a redesign for your website, why not get in touch with us and tell us what you’re looking for?

What makes content go VIRAL?

What makes content go VIRAL?


 Viral Content

Going viral is something of a holy grail to the content marketer. When a piece of content goes viral it’s not just seen as a validation of its quality and relevance, but as an opportunity for it to take on a whole new life as it’s shared far and wide and leaves a significant and measurable impact in the hearts and minds of all who interact with it.

Unfortunately, there’s no unequivocal way to define and quantify what it is that makes something go viral. It’s a perfect storm made up of a number of factors, which vary according to the content itself, the timing of its release, the audience that view it and much more. As such, it’s almost impossible to guarantee that a piece of content will go viral, unless you’re willing to spend significantly to boost and promote it, something which simply isn’t feasible for the majority of SMMEs and isn’t even a sure thing. Viral content is actually considered an unusual phenomenon, an outlier to the status quo of the endless reams of content that saturate the Internet.

So how does one create content that has the best chance of going viral?

To begin to understand and answer that question, we first need to define what is meant by viral content.  Essentially, and the name itself is a dead give away here, a piece of viral content is one that is viewed and shared many times, by many different users on the internet. The content itself can be anything from a piece of information to a video or audio clip and, much like its namesake, spreads quite indiscriminately from user to user as they internalise it and subsequently pass it on to those within their circle of influence; a fitting metaphor indeed.

Logically one might assume that in order for a piece of content to become viral, it needs to appeal to many different people and be optimised for sharing across many different channels. Creating content that has this universal appeal and compels a user to share it of their own volition, however, is not as straightforward as it may seem.  There are currently over 3 billion daily active Internet users in the world and this is increasing by the second.

With such a large and diverse audience, it becomes extremely difficult to create content that will resonate with as many of them as possible and, ironically enough, research has shown that content that is too general and tries to appeal to too large an audience is unlikely to go viral.

This is just further evidence that creating viral content is an imprecise science. But, while luck will always play a major role in determining whether content goes viral, there are certain guidelines you can follow to increase your chances of getting lucky.

The 3 key dimensions of virality

Although we’ve already determined that there’s no definitive way to ensure virality, trend-mapping has identified certain dimensions that will increase the likelihood of content going viral.

1. Make it visual

Visual content has consistently proven to have the highest level of virality compared to other forms of content. A recent study by Buzzsumo, which analysed 2000 of the most viral content pieces of 2015, found that out of the top 50 most shared pieces 45% were video and 24% image-based.  With 72% of the top 50 being primarily visual, it’s undeniable that visual content is far more likely to go viral.

The main reasoning behind this is that people find visual content far quicker and easier to engage with. It’s less demanding and facilitates ease of comprehension and sharing. Remember the old adage ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’? Well, in this case, that seems to hold true.

2. Make it informative

Whilst this doesn’t imply that you should load your content with facts and figures and reams of research, trends show that content that piques the users interest and leaves them somewhat more enlightened on a certain topic or issue, has a much higher chance of going viral.

There are many ways to achieve this, whether it’s in the form of a warning, advice, tips and tricks, interesting facts and trends or anything else that is likely to intrigue the everyman. Content that is informative and adds value to your audience’s lives is far more likely to get a share.

3. Make it emotionally-charged

Stimulating some kind of emotional response from your audience has shown to be a highly effective method to facilitate virality and, with the nearly endless array of human emotions we’re subject to on a daily basis, there are many ways to go about this.

Humour is generally the most powerful of emotions to leverage when virality is the end goal, and a witticism in your title, a lighthearted angle or just the odd comedic element in the content can see a huge increase in the chances of the content going viral.

Content that stimulates sadness, anger, joy, fear or any number of emotional responses, often proves to be highly shareable and really lends itself to virality.

Getting it right

So now that you have a better understanding of what virality is and the 3 key dimensions that increase its likelihood, let’s look at an example that managed to tick all three of these boxes and hit the viral jackpot.

Buzzfeed is something of an authority on viral content. They optimise their posts to try and ensure every piece of content they produce sees the highest number of shares possible and this post entitled ‘21 pictures that will restore your faith in humanity’ is one of their most successfully viral pieces to date, with over 8.7 million views. One of the 21 Pictures include the one below of Chicago Christians who showed up at a gay pride parade to apologise for homophobia in the Church.

Gay Pride viral content

(Michelle Gantner / Maladjusted Media)

As you can see in the above example taken from the post, they really have leveraged the 3 dimensions we identified.

It’s visual: Powerful images are used in each of the 21 examples, making it far easier for the audience to engage with and understand.

It’s informative: Each of the examples gives a scenario and then backs it up with the necessary facts and context so the audience learns something about that particular issue.

It’s emotionally-charged: Everything in this post is designed to stimulate an emotional reaction in the audience. From the emotive title to the imagery and language used, it’s all designed to make you feel a range of emotions and compel you to share the post.

Going viral is always going to be the most desirable outcome when developing content, and, although you might not get it right as much as you would like, if you start incorporating the dimensions above into your content on a regularly basis, your next piece may just be a winner.

If you need assistance in creating highly effective and shareable content to suit your audience, visit our content page to see what types of content we can assist you with.

Engage, convert, delight: The power of video in content marketing

Engage, Convert, Delight: The Power of Video in Content Marketing


Video in content marketing

We live in an age of instant gratification. Ultra-fast Internet speeds are ubiquitous for most and we have become accustomed to having virtually unlimited access to any information and content we require, in the blink of an eye.

This is not a trend in isolation. Rather, it has arisen as a consequence of our busy modern lives. We have become exceptionally time-poor as we strive to do business in a global marketplace that is more connected, and less patient, than ever before. Consequently, the nature of marketing, and content marketing in particular, has changed.

Brands are turning away from traditional Above The Line media, such as radio and television, in favour of leveraging off of more cost-effective and innovative Below The Line and direct marketing channels. It is becoming commonplace to target specific customers and communicate with them on their terms, catering marketing messages to microcosms of your target audience, rather than simply developing a blanket message to chuck at anyone who will listen.

In this contemporary global market you don’t have the luxury of long sales pitches and most customers will only give you a few minutes to convince them that your product/service is what they need. As a result, content, and its subsequent delivery, has become king. You have to get your message right and deliver it in the most concise, direct and engaging way possible and whilst a picture can tell a story, a video can embody an entire experience.

The undeniable value of video

Video content is experiencing something of a revolution. From SMMEs to global mega-brands, more and more businesses are discovering the inherent value of video, over other media, in conveying impactful and effective messages, faster than ever. According to Comscore, the threshold for average internet users watching online video everyday has broken 100 million and continues to grow at a rapid rate.

It’s even gotten to the point that just the thought of video content is a far more attractive proposition than other content forms, with recent studies from Brainshark suggesting that simply mentioning the word ‘video’ in an email subject line can increase the likelihood of a mail being opened by up to 19%.

The question is no longer ‘Should my business be using video marketing?’ but rather ‘How do we get the best ROI from our video marketing efforts?’

Getting your video marketing right

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing video marketing and selecting the right agency to develop and deliver your video is the most important step in ensuring you see real value and measurable ROI.

Inbound Inc. is adept at developing content marketing videos that not only address all of your marketing KPIs and reach your intended audience, but also ensure that you see these leads converted into real sales, before continuing to engage with and delight new and existing customers.

Working in collaboration with the highly distinguished, award-winning PLR Productions, our track record in producing engaging, effective video content is second to none. From corporate videos, animations and product/service explanation videos to interviews, seminar coverage, training videos and more, we have a versatile range of solutions to meet your video marketing needs.

The Inbound Inc. video marketing process

We follow a tried and tested process that ensures the videos we produce exceed our clients’ expectations, delivering real value that goes beyond simply conveying their message.

1. Understanding your target audience:

It is essential that your content be directed at the right audience. A broad blanket message that will speak to any audience is far less likely to see real, measurable impact and engagement than a carefully targeted piece of content that speaks the language of your intended customer. We conduct meticulous market research and draw strategically–driven insights into your target market, to ensure we know exactly at whom the message is directed and develop the content accordingly to see optimum levels of customer engagement.

2. Strategy and concept development:

With a clear understanding of the intended audience, we develop a powerful, strategically-aligned concept, from which concise, targeted content can be created. From storyboarding to scriptwriting, we ensure that the content of the video is of the highest standard and designed to resonate with your audience.

3. Producing the video:

Once the content is approved and the strategic direction is in place, we set about the production of the video. Whether it’s animation or live-action video, we take the utmost care and precision with every single frame to ensure that the lighting, composition, colours, graphics and audio are optimised to the highest production standards. We take care of all the logistical requirements, from sourcing actors and voice-over artists, scouting and arranging locations, sourcing props, makeup, wardrobe and whatever else is required to produce video that will leave a lasting impression!

4. Post-production:

Once the footage has been shot, the magic happens. Our post-production gurus set about cutting and editing the footage to ensure only the best shots are used, before bringing it all together in a concise and engaging narrative that will ensure your audience is hooked from the first frame to the last.  In this stage we also finalise the music, audio and visual effects, video graphics, colour and resolution, before rendering and preparing a range of video files and sizes for your intended media channels.

5. Going the extra mile:

Once we’ve created your video and are totally satisfied that it meets our stringent quality standards, we don’t just hand over and send you on your way. We go above and beyond by assisting and facilitating the delivery of your video across a range of digital and social media channels. We aren’t happy until we know the right audience is seeing your video content and the highest possible levels of engagement are recorded, thereby generating real ROI and ensuring your message is received.

It’s undeniable that video is the future of content marketing and, in order to really connect with the contemporary consumer, your business should be tapping into this invaluable resource wherever possible.

If you would like to learn more about the range of video marketing solutions that Inbound Inc. offers, or you’re ready to discuss your video idea with us, give us a call and start leveraging off of this most versatile and robust medium!
[cta id=”589″ vid=”0″]

Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing

 

Inbound vs outbound marketing

Have you ever become frustrated with trying to market your business and not seeing any results? Are you tired of spending your entire marketing budget on ineffective tactics and pushing your messages out far and wide hoping that it resonates with someone… anyone?

Have you ever enjoyed getting a cold call by a telemarketer or irrelevant spam in your inbox?

The truth is, outbound marketing tactics of the past are no longer appropriate for most businesses and have become increasingly ineffective.

That is why marketers have started to change the way they market and sell from outbound to inbound.

Inbound is less about manipulation and more about genuinely helping people. It’s less about charm and more about empathy. It’s less about making a quick buck and more about building a brand people want to buy from.

Inbound focuses on attracting the right kind of prospects to your business and turning them into happy customers.

To do this, you have to understand the basics of the inbound marketing methodology.

It all starts with attracting the right customers through great content – and making it easy for those prospective customers to find that great content.

For this you need:

  • A beautiful, user friendly website that can be viewed on any device
  • Great SEO, so that search engines such as Google will be able to find you
  • Content on your website that is helpful to your prospective customers

Next, you want to be able to convert those visitors into leads by collecting their contact information.
To do this, you need to offer something of value in exchange. Using your buyer personas as the foundation, crafting resourceful downloadable offers such as e-books, whitepapers, videos, or checklists you can optimize your website for lead generation.

The next step is “closing” those leads and turning them into happy customers through lead nurturing and marketing automation tactics. You want to make sure that you stay top of mind for when those leads are ready to make the purchasing decision.

Finally, and most importantly, is establishing brand loyalty, and in order to do so you need to continue to show your customers that you value them. After sales nurturing is as important as pre- sales nurturing… you want those customers not only to come back for more – but to also bring their friends along, when they come back for more!

One of the best things about inbound marketing is that every step of the marketing journey gives you the capability to measure, analyse and optimize. So the better you get to know your prospects, the better you can make their journey to discovering, purchasing and enjoying your product or service.

Stop wasting your time and money on expensive marketing campaigns that doesn’t give you a return on investment, and start using your marketing budget on tactics that work – ones that are measureable, optimizable and aligned with how your ideal customers want to be marketed and sold to.

Image source: http://www.optimed.co.uk

The new buyer segments: From demographics to buyer personas

demograpics vs buyer persona

For years marketers have assumed certain aspects of their ideal customer in order to craft their marketing message. The most popular of these assumptions revolved around what they knew or what they could generate from their customers general demographics.

With today’s technology however, segmenting by demographics alone, is simply not sufficient anymore. Mistaking Prince Charles for Ozzy Osborne when trying to sell your hand crafted leather coats – might just be the reason you’re not getting any sales.

Having a clear picture of who your ideal customer is as opposed to a general idea of ‘Male, between the ages of 40 and 60, with two kids’, is crucial in order to craft the right marketing message, for the right platform at the right time.

What is a buyer persona?

According to Hubspot, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.

As you can see, demographics remains important but is only a small fragment of your ideal customer. Your ultimate goal when creating a persona, is to find out why these customers choose certain products or brands over others, how they do their research, and what drives them to make that final purchasing decision.

Why marketers only started using personas in recent years

In the past marketers used demographic segments because demographic data was the only data available to them. But today, digital touch points such as google analytics, social media and online buying patterns provide so much more information about the consumer behavior, that when combined with the traditional demographic data – you can create a crystal clear picture of what your ideal customer looks like, what they purchase and how they make decisions.

What your website analytics can tell you about your customers

Website analytics is a very important step in your persona research process. It tells you how people interact with your site, what pages customers look at most, how long they are staying there, what sites are bringing people to your site, which sites bring you traffic and what search terms people are looking for when landing on your site.

From buyer persona to lead and then to sale

When you have insights into what your buyers think about your product, or doing business with you, and how those potential buyers have recently made a decision to solve a similar problem, you’ll have the knowledge to align your marketing decisions. Your marketing decisions from positioning and messaging through to content marketing and sales enablement, with your buyer’s expectations in mind, is what will lead these potential buyers through the buyers journey and get you those sales.

Having a payment gateway on your shop, that is not accessible in a country where half your customers are, will lose you half your sales. Writing a message that could be offensive to a potential customer, will lose you a sale. And sending an email, when your buyer prefers to be called – will lose you another sale.

When crafting your personas, make sure that you keep in mind all aspects of your product and/or services, and how your customers will interact with your business.

The ROI is this simple: When you know how to assist your potential customers to evaluate your product on their own terms and provide them with the right message, through the right channel, at the right time… you’ll build trust that your competitors won’t be able to match.

 

Image source: Customerthink.com

What is Marketing Automation?

Thin line flat design of internet website content research web CMS analysis measure product testing technology big data analytics. Modern vector illustration concept isolated on white background.

Marketing Automation is jargon for software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to market online channels. These channels are more commonly known as things we use every day such as email, social media, websites, etc. When it comes to Marketing Automation there are three major types. Marketing Intelligence, Marketing Automation, and Advanced Work-flow Automation.

Marketing Intelligence

This is the most common and uses codes in websites, social media, and email to track patterns of an individual’s interest in a product or products. This software can record links clicked on in emails, what social media group was followed, and search engine terms that were used to access a website.

The software then analyses specific patterns to track what the buyer could possibly have an interest in. This allows a supplier to better target their audience and also know what they can sell to certain demographics. To help understand this better, go to a leading online market such as Amazon and put in a simple search for an item. Throughout the day and possibly the week when you sign in to social media or check your email you will find the item you searched for or items like it posted everywhere. This is called remarketing, and is made possible through automation channels such as Google adwords – assisting you to reach the right audiences at the right time.

Marketing Automation

After Marketing Intelligence has done its job, the core of Marketing Automation comes into play. What it does is take those high searches, links clicked, web page views, etc from the top and moves them into a possible sales category. This is where the software takes your interest and then makes it alluring and enticing to you, it nurtures your customers possible want into a must have. Moving them through the buyers journey from Awareness, through to consideration straight through to the decision phase.

Advanced Word-flow automation

Lastly, Advanced Work-flow Automation is seen. This is the part of the software that keeps everything moving smoothly. This part of the program encompasses all of the internal marketing processes. These include budgeting, planning, work-flow and approvals, internal collaboration, digital asset creation and management and supports the operations of the internal marketing function.

This is the nitty-gritty part of the automation process where you’ll set up a series of complex rules or commands that trigger actions such as sending email campaigns, designing files, or sending letters all for the internal sales and marketing professionals to manually process. This allows marketers’ to deliver the most relevant content at the most appropriate time.

So why should a company use Marketing Automation?

  • Measuring Marketing ROI: One of the best things about marketing automation, is that everything is measurable. Gone are the days when you’ve put out an ad in a publication or on the side of the road… and now you hope for the best. With digital marketing and marketing automation, you’ll be able to track every marketing penny back to an actual sale and make decisions along every effort to optimise your results.
  • Alignment of your marketing message: Marketing automation will allow you to be consistent. Instead of manually posting ads, sending emails, posting links, and possibly forgetting to do so, marketing automation will allow you to plan ahead and show you any gaps in your communication efforts ahead of each campaign.
  • Improve your ROI: By targeting the right persona at the right time, you’ll be able to cut through the noise and clutter to get your message heard.
  • Align your sales and marketing efforts
    Any company that is looking to do business online should take full advantage of Marketing Automation. It will increase revenue, customer lifetime value, and will make hard work become a breeze all while being consistent and up to date.