frank harris

Recent Posts

A Start-up Guide for Entrepreneurs

Posted by frank harris on 03/03/19 16:14

entrepreneursEveryone, especially entrepreneurs, wants more visitors, more qualified leads, and more revenue. But starting a business isn't one of those "if you build it, they will come" situations.

 

To build a successful company, you'll need to create and fine-tune a business plan, assess your finances, complete all the legal paperwork, pick your partners, choose the best tools and systems to help you get your marketing and sales off the ground … and a whole lot more.

 

Take control of your success with the help of this free business plan eBook.

 

To help, I've put together a library of the best free tools and resources to help you start selling and marketing your business, and a complete guide on how to start a business. The guide covers everything from the paperwork and finances to creating your business plan and growing your business online.

 

Starting a business involves a whole lot of moving pieces, some more exciting than others. Brainstorming business names? Fun! Filing taxes? ... Not so fun. The trick to successfully getting your business off the ground is to meticulously plan and organise your materials, prioritise properly, and stay on top of the status and performance of every one of these moving parts.

 

From registering with the government to getting the word out about your business to making key financial decisions, here's an overview of what you'll need to do to start a successful business.

 

The eBook covers:

  • What is a Business Plan?
  • How to Make a Business Plan
  • How to Write a Business Plan
  • Business Plan Template
  • Marketing, Sales, and Services Tips
  • Small Business Funding

As a taster here is the first section:

How to Make a Business Plan

  1. Narrow down what makes you different.
  2. Keep it short.
  3. You can (and should) change it as you go.

1. Narrow down what makes you different

"Before you start developing a business plan, think carefully about what makes your business unique first. If you're planning to start a new accountancy business, for example, then you'll need to differentiate yourself from the numerous other accountancy brands out there.

 

What makes yours stand out from the others? Are you planning to Offer other or additional services to auditing?

 

Remember: You're not just selling your product or service - you're selling a combination of product, value, and brand experience. Think through these big questions and outline them before you dive in to the nitty-gritty of your business plan research.

2. Keep it short.

Business plans are shorter and more concise nowadays than they used to be. While it might be tempting to include all the results of your market research, flesh out every single product you plan to sell, and outline exactly what your website will look like, that's not helpful in the format of a business plan.

 

Know these details and keep them elsewhere but exclude everything but the core areas from the business plan itself. Your business plan shouldn't just be a quick(ish) read - it should be easy to skim, too.

 

3. You can (and should) change it as you go.

Keep in mind that your business plan is a living, breathing document. That means you can update your business plan as things change. For example, you might want to update it a year or two down the road if you're about to apply for a new round of funding."

 

So, to get the rest of the eBook that will tell you all the rest covered, just click the link below:

 

A Guide to B2B Website Marketing  for Small Businesses

Tags: small business marketing ideas, small business goals, small business marketing strategy, small business online marketing, entrepreneurs, new business venture

Is it Time to take Content Marketing off its Pedestal?

Posted by frank harris on 28/02/19 15:50

b2b content marketing 0618The idea that content marketing is some sort of messianic marketing device has stuck so well that, regardless of business, product or market, there has been a compulsion to simply ‘do content’. With securing and retaining permissions, building relationships and earning trust more important than ever, is it time for content to integrate more with the rest of the marketing mix?

 

Never mind about the consumer’s experience – what about the content? Never mind about how, when or even whether you should engage – what about the content?

 

Too often, content marketing has not had the data, insight and creativity to support it. We have got personal without building the foundations. We have kept content and data strategy apart.

 

Now, GDPR puts the way we engage under greater scrutiny than ever before. If consumers want to hear what brands have to say, and share information with them, then content is going to have to climb down off its pedestal and integrate.

Permission to Speak?

GDPR doesn’t mean the end of email marketing. But it gives permissions the sort of currency usually only associated with US dollars in Cuba.

 

GDPR means content has to work harder to earn and protect those permissions. It should cultivate the journey from the initial privilege to communicate, to securing the long-term relationships that make people want to share their data.

 

Amaze One commissioned research to understand how UK consumers feel about the information they currently share. 70% of consumers said they were concerned about the way their personal information is collected and used. Only 18% feel they have some degree of control over their data. 80% have concerns about the way their data was sourced and sold.

 

The research revealed a feeling of imbalance in the ‘value exchange’, the quid pro quo of reward in return for personal information. Consumers feel they’re giving a lot of quid for very little quo. That would be worrying even without GDPR. But with the marketing landscape having changed, now is hardly the best time to be alienating customers who just want a fairer deal.

 

The right to share your content starts with clear permission. That is what gives you the privilege to engage. So, be transparent about the ask. Make requests big and bold, front and centre: permission that says, ‘here are some of the great things we are going to be sharing with you – and here is how you get to see them’.

This transparency is appealing, but there is pragmatism too.

 

GDPR does not have to be scary or difficult. If we embrace it, we share the benefit with consumers. If we don’t, we get to spend the next few years testing the boundaries of GDPR compliance to no real purpose.

Collaborative Content Marketing

Crucially, this model ensures content marketing is not the headline act. It forces it to work with data, strategy and consumer experience, and that forces us to ask questions about the nature for content before we create it:

  • Is content desirable and appropriate? How does your brand sit in your customers’ lives? How does that inform the content you create?
  • What is the role of the content marketing? How does it fit your communications strategy? If it doesn’t fit the strategy, why do it?
  • How does the content fit the customer experience of your brand?
  • What is the publishing model? Let the data, strategy and customer journey guide you to a production, publishing or newsroom model that is a natural fit.

How Personal is Personal?

Amaze One’s research showed that even a simple breakdown by age reveals major differences in the way we want to consume content.

  • Preference for visual (including video) content is strongest in younger groups (18 to 44) and falls away with age.
  • Entertainment is a key determiner of channel appeal among younger groups (18 to 44).
  • Being informative is a universal preference, but peaks in the 25 to 34 age group.
  • Trust in the originating brand/sender is a key factor in brand interaction. The older the target group, the greater the trust required.

So be personal. Tailor your voice to your customer. Mass marketing is fine when you are issuing a change of terms and conditions to every account holder, but it is personal content that generates interest and inspires a response.

New Time and Place for Content

Traditionally, content has been created parallel, but often not quite connected to other marketing activities, CRM-driven communications and distribution strategies.

 

But if content is to help drive sharing in this post-GDPR world, it needs to be constantly in the mix, a part of – but not superior to – the data and insight that informs the initial brainstorms and briefings.

 

It is time to take content marketing off its pedestal? Next time someone suggests you should just ‘do content’, pull back and ask what you are doing it for. When you do, you will find it’s a far more effective tool at generating the trust, permissions and sharing we are all going to need.

 

For your content marketing toolkit click the link below:

 

content marketing for small business

Tags: b2b content marketing, small business content marketing, interactive content marketing, content marketing strategy

6 Tactics to Drive more Links for your Online Marketing

Posted by frank harris on 26/02/19 16:39

link building-1Secure links for clients and increase rankings, traffic and leads are important in online marketing. Here are 6 ideas for you to consider.

  1. Develop Reusable Content Campaigns

Thinking about content-led link building campaigns is much like advertising or traditional PR campaigns - you run a campaign for a period, get as much as you can from it, then move onto the next one. This can work fine but isn’t very efficient when it comes to budgets and resources because you often must start design and development from scratch.

 

Instead, think of content campaigns that can be reused and revamped repeatedly.  Being able to reuse existing content allows you to relaunch very quickly and easily compared to a brand-new build and design.

  1. Learn what Works across Industries

Learn from campaigns and feed those learnings into other projects. If something works well, it may work for another industry and you need to look for these opportunities.

 

Over the last year or so, I’ve been doing this and did an exercise where I mapped out the success of client content campaigns against the complexity of creating them. This gave me something that looked like this:

 

mapping

 

Each dot represents a content campaign. I then saw patterns emerging that were successful and not complex to create. This success allowed us to do campaigns without being overly complex.

 

If you’re not doing this yet, the best place to start is simply to start recording data against all of your content campaigns such as:

  • The number of links, no follow links and brand mentions generated
  • Date of launch
  • What type of execution you chose
  • If data was used or not

The list will differ for everyone, but the first step is to start recording this data and then start learning from it over time.

  1. Target Golden Publications for an Exclusive Feature

 “What are your top 10 dream publications to be featured in?”

 

This offers you a very targeted list of sites where, if you can get featured, will get more traffic.

 

Then choose from the list and offer a single publication an exclusive when you begin your outreach. The idea is to find a journalist who values your idea or data highly enough to want to be the first person to write about it online and share it with their readership.

 

This works particularly well if you have a unique or different data set. The time between publishing the data story and other publications doesn’t need to be that long – 24 to 48 hours can often be enough for a journalist to be happy that they’ve got it first.

 

There are a few benefits to this approach:

  1. You can almost guarantee a “big hit” right at the start of the campaign which relieves some of the pressure on your when you start your outreach.
  2. If you can secure an exclusive with a large newspaper, it can lead to lots of other newspapers/magazines following suit, covering the content without you asking.
  3. You can slowly but surely start ticking off your dream list of publications

      4. Outreach to 2nd-tier Linking Websites

One of the core goals of a content-driven link building campaign is to secure links from high authority domains which can then pass that authority (and traffic) to your website. The downside of this is that the high visibility and credibility of these domains means that they can often be credited as the original source of the story. Whereas, you are the original source.

 

This can lead to links pointing at third party websites rather than your own which is very annoying!

    5. Use Keyword Research for more Links

This is more of a passive link building technique but the time spent is pretty minimal and has a few benefits.

 

The idea is to see if your content relates to keywords which have volume. If it does, then integrate the keywords into the piece and potentially get traffic by ranking well for them. The core goal is rarely to rank well, it is usually to secure links, but the benefits of direct traffic are obvious and shouldn’t be overlooked.

So where does link building come in?

 

If you are working on a content piece that is data-led, you have an opportunity to get in front of people who are trying to find this data. Amongst those people will be journalists, writers and bloggers to name a few.

By thinking about this, you’re giving your content a chance to generate links that you didn’t ask for.

      6. Overcoming Link Building Blockers

Driving more links to your content isn’t just about your own actions, it’s about the actions of others too. Sometimes, their activity can get in the way of yours and you secure fewer links.

 

One of the most common blockers is when you have either an agency working on their website or their own internal team. This can present challenges because you want to sync up activity and not over saturate contacts or worse still, both target journalists at the same time.

 

A way to overcome this is to share your outreach plans with the internal team and agree on who owns which contacts or publications. This helps to create clear boundaries and reduces the risk of something going wrong, especially under GDPR.

 

Another tactic is to share your plan for content campaigns as far in advance as possible, then add any other campaigns so you can quickly highlight times when work crosses over. This means when you launch campaigns, you’re less likely to hit blockers because you’ll have overcome them already.

 

For more tips on increasing traffic to your website using online marketing techniques, click on the  link below>>>

 

A Guide to B2B Website Marketing  for Small Businesses

 

Tags: b2b online marketing, online marketing, link building, website traffic, b2b traffic, small business online marketing

The Psychology Behind Social Media Marketing Conversions

Posted by frank harris on 21/02/19 16:07

Social Media PLatforms 0118Your company has its social media marketing followers, the question is, are you able to engage them so that they feel compelled to dig deeper and become customers?

 

Beyond just implementing tactics, it’s important to make sure your B2B social media marketing is optimised to improve your conversion rate. On average, B2B buyers are 57% of the way through buying considerations before ever talking to sales - and aside from their own research, they get there via content and social media marketing which compels them to act. If you want to achieve this for your B2B brand, you’ll have to use a little psychology.

 

Here are a few ideas to increase your conversion rate from social.

Show Them What They’ll Gain and what they’ll miss

As a B2B marketer, if you craft marketing messages that show what prospects stand to gain and miss from your product, you’ll find more and more of them will be compelled to act. This follows from the psychological principles of “loss aversion” and the “fear of missing out,” both of which state that humans are more motivated by the thought of losing than by gaining something.

 

Empathising with your customers’ pain points and providing unbeatable solutions will turn social followers into leads, and then into customers.

 

To always understand your customers’ pain points, have a good grasp on what they need, how your product or service fulfills that and what possible unexpected factors can play a role. Industry issues can arise and create new needs at a moment’s notice. Stay on top of what prospects are looking for in several other ways:

  • Current events. Social media is a breeding ground for breaking news. Staying up to date means being aware of what’s happening in your industry, but also means you are contributing to the generation of news. 55% of B2B buyers search for information on social media when considering a purchase, so be the first to publish social posts about what your prospects need.
  • Survey your customers and qualified leads. Sometimes all it takes is a few questions to understand your prospects’ troubles and trials in a certain business task. And then, getting their attention on social becomes much easier.

Make it Valuable

One of the most powerful selling points for any product or service is to provide prospects with the true value it will bring to their lives. Customers are always looking for the highest value-added available. If you can prove how your offering not only solves a need, but improves a certain aspect of business or life, you can reach potential customers in a more authentic and honest way.

 

To do this, you’ll need to make sure prospects know exactly what to do next. Ensure your call to action is clear, and perhaps have more than one, so that your social media followers can act as soon as they make a decision.

 

Value should always be the goal of your marketing efforts. Psychologically, whether knowingly or not, look for how something is going to enhance your prospect’s life. Will it make it better, easier, more enjoyable, more successful? Use those features as selling points for effective marketing and higher-quality sales.

Create a “Tribe”

Marketing maven Seth Godin, in his book “Tribes,” describes the concept as groups of people united by a common purpose or passion. And this is exactly what you, as a B2B marketer, should create via social media marketing.

 

A social media “tribe” is an essential tool because it allows us to enjoy and find meaning in associating with each other in groups. Belonging is essential to feeling safe and secure.

 

One of the best ways to create that sense of “security,” is through social media communities. Through LinkedIn Groups and Facebook Groups, for example, you can establish your company’s thought-leadership by answering questions and offering informed perspectives.

 

There are other ways to ensure that your tribe remains a tightly-knit group:

  • Create a seamless user experience across all channels. If your prospect knows exactly what your brand looks and “feels” like they’ll feel more comfortable and connected to you. Ensure that every LinkedIn blog post, Facebook message, and Tweet, as well as every other place you appear online, is a consistent reflection of your brand’s message.
  • Encourage engagements via your blog and social. Ask your prospects to tell you what they think after reading your blog post, or to Tweet you back with their opinions. Conversations are the lifeblood of a tribe and making the first move is the way to get them started.
  • Create a cause for your tribe. When you give your followers a substantial reason to keep following you, you’re providing the glue that will hold your tribe together. Values are what will make you stand out and convert like-minded prospects.

Build social content that addresses your values and is targeted to prospects who’ve endorsed similar ones.

Even better, when you source testimonials and case studies from your best customers, be sure to emphasise how your products have made their lives easier and align with your shared corporate values. That will attract similar customers in the future.

Create Curiosity and Invite Investigation

B2B products often involve a prolonged sales cycle, multiple stakeholders, and many touch-points along the way. How do you create enough trust to ensure that an interaction with a prospect will eventually result in a conversion?

 

By creating social campaigns and other content pieces that help your audience calculate value and make highly-informed buying decisions you’re establishing your company as a trustworthy thought-leader, and your followers will often convert on the strength of that brand perception.

 

Here are some ways you can pull your social media followers into an investigative curiosity about you:

  • Use trigger words in your social media content. Using the “five W’s,” namely the questions who, what, where, when, and especially why, as lead-ins for your social posts and blog headlines are great for piquing the interest of professionals who are hungry for knowledge.
  • Build your content around customer curiosities. Think about new technologies or happenings that are on peoples’ radar in your industry - things that people are wondering if they should adopt or understand. Then, put together content that offers an informed perspective.

Use a variety of content forms for various stages of the buying process. For some prospects, a whitepaper that goes in-depth about a process or system might be all that’s needed, whereas others will respond better to an unfolding “story” via a series of blog and social media posts. Your “why” questions, if poignant and relevant enough to your target audience, make for great Facebook and LinkedIn status updates, Tweets, and even LinkedIn discussion topics.

 

As a B2B marketer, you’re already using psychology in every tactic you implement. But with a special focus on the psychological techniques above, especially in the easily distractible yet high-potential world of social media, your conversion rates will only increase.

 

For more ideas on social media posts check out the link below:

 

43 Tips on  Social Media Marketing Posts to get a Response

Tags: social media marketing, social media marketing services, b2b social media marketing, social media strategy, social media communities, social media monitoring

5 Small Business Marketing SEO myths that can Hurt your Search Traffic

Posted by frank harris on 19/02/19 15:34

seo 0219Of all the digital marketing methods, small business marketing SEO is by far the most misunderstood. Constant changes to how people use the web and the role of search engines mean there’s always something new to think about.

 

Not to mention an endless stream of rumours and SEO myths that come along with each new development.

So here are five of the most common myths about SEO, because making the wrong assumptions about the state of search marketing is the fastest way to hurt your rankings.

  1. Organic Reach is getting Smaller and Less Important

While it’s arguably true organic reach on Google is getting smaller, it’s a symptom of something else entirely. For every ad, Knowledge Graph card or answer box on Google SERPs, there’s a new opportunity to connect with users. Most notably, we have the Google Maps feed which provides space for both organic and paid local listings.

 

There are also countless searches that still come back with zero ads, no local results or any other Google products. The key here is user intent and Google provides various types of results pages, depending on what people are looking for. Sometimes organic listings are the priority (informational searches), while other times ads (commercial searches) or local listings get the advantage.

 

If organic reach on Google is getting smaller, it’s because new ways of reaching a wider audience are being integrated. Today’s small business marketing SEO uses all of these to connect with searchers in a more relevant way.

  1. Content Marketing is the new SEO

In 2011, Google waged war on web spam, starting with the first Panda algorithm update. Since then it has tightened its policies on content quality, keywords, link building and the fundamentals of search.

 

This led some to argue content marketing had replaced SEO and that ‘quality content’ is all you need to rank. While it’s true content is the vital ingredient, it’s only worth creating if people get to see it. So technical aspects of on-site optimisation, how you handle 301 redirects, maintain your link profile or use deep linking to ensure the right pages of your site rank are as important as ever.

 

Content marketing hasn’t replaced SEO; it’s become a critical part of it. Meanwhile, search marketing has grown into something much bigger than content alone. 

  1. SEO plays a Smaller Role in Marketing Today

The rise of social media and content marketing had many predicting the end for SEO. Instead, search optimisation has grown bigger than ever as it overlaps with web design, development, user experience and everything else an online business needs.

 

Factors like loading times, mobile optimisation and security certificates are all direct ranking factors now. They also have an impact on other ranking factors, too, because poor experiences lead to higher bounce rates, fewer page visits and ultimately less valuable traffic.

 

The priority in SEO today isn’t only to deliver the information people need most, but also provide the best user experience possible. The aim is to improve the quality of traffic, keep visitors on your site for longer and give them every reason to keep coming back.

  1. Social Media Surpasses SEO

Social media is a powerful tool for promoting your content and driving traffic to your website. However, there’s a key difference between the kind of traffic that comes from social networks and search engines.

 

Social users are casually browsing content until yours grabs their attention, while searchers are actively looking for it. That’s a huge distinction and the latter comes with the kind of high purchase intent you can’t afford to ignore. We’re at a point now where we must catch consumers at various points of the buying process to make sure they don’t end up shopping elsewhere. Some of these interactions take place via search, others on social media, in-app or even offline channels.

  1. Desktop isn’t Important Anymore

Google has announced what we already knew by telling us more searches take place on mobile than desktop. Many involved in small business marketing took this as a cue to forget all about desktop and plough everything they’ve got into mobile. This is a big mistake, though and another of our SEO myths.

 

Mobile is certainly the now and future, but the desktop isn’t done yet. There are multiple fears over mobile security, mobile checkout performance and the user intent of each device. The fact is people still complete the buying process on desktop more often than mobile - at least for now. What’s interesting is that both mobile and desktop conversion rates are increasing every year, although mobile is closing the gap.

 

So there are 5 myths removed for you, whether you are planning a new website or updating your work to get more traffic to your existing one.

 

For a complete up to date way to optimise your site follow the link below:

 

new website seo checklist

Tags: small business seo, small business seo marketing, small business marketing strategy, small business website marketing, small business online marketing, website seo

How to use B2B Marketing Techniques to win Customer Attention

Posted by frank harris on 14/02/19 10:23

How do you increase customer engagement?

customer engagementEveryone in B2B marketing is competing to capture the attention of our best prospects and customers, and that’s not easy. We’re bombarded daily with information from all sides and individually choose to let in what we care about in the moment and block out anything that just creates overload.

 

With research and buying habits from our personal lives influencing our professional lives, there’s a battle for attention that’s getting tougher to fight every day. Just like we disregard a commercial on TV or an ad in a magazine due to its lack of relevance to us, we also block out communications from brands that don’t resonate or address challenges we’re facing.

 

Engagement is the new currency in B2B marketing. When we can capture and hold the attention of our personas, we have a real opportunity to nurture and mature our relationships.

 

Here are four things to consider when trying to build trust with your audience:

  1. Focus your efforts on those you want to engage

The notion of mass communication has been proven to reduce engagement and ultimately dilute performance. Getting people to read your latest eBook or visit your website is fine, but if none of them have the potential to turn into customers, have you really achieved anything?

 

A better way is to get specific with whom you want to reach. An Account-Based Marketing (ABM) strategy can help focus your efforts on personas that have the highest propensity to engage with your message and turn prospects into customers at a higher rate.

  1. Target for engagement

To target for engagement, you first need to build a target account list involving your sales team. In doing so, you should answer these questions:

  • What companies are most important to achieving your revenue for the year?
  • Who are the 20% that are going to drive 80% of your results?

You can take a few different approaches to build this list: Engage a predictive analytics company; identify the vertical industries the sales and marketing teams are already targeting; or understand how strategic accounts are included in your target account list.

 

Whatever path or combination of paths you choose, you need to collaborate with your sales team and ensure they provide insight on the list based on their experience in the field.

 

Once you have your target account list, begin marketing to these accounts to increase your awareness among them. You can’t control when those accounts will evaluate solutions like yours, but you can make sure that you are top of mind when they do and that you deliver relevant, contextual content that keeps them engaged and helps throughout their journey.

 

Consider continuous campaigns that will keep you in the game but reduce waste through specific targeting.

  1. Measure by engagement

Most marketers want to focus on an attribution model that shows revenue optimising for channel and assets - and that’s a good thing. But don’t lose sight on indicators that can provide key insights into what drives that attribution.

 

Before you begin your engagement-focused campaigns, take a benchmark for 30 days to understand how your accounts are currently engaging with your campaigns. This will be imperative to understanding the impact of your marketing on those accounts.

 

Then, as your campaigns launch and complete, measure the engagement you achieved with your target accounts. The accounts that increased the most represent the lowest-hanging fruit for deeper-funnel campaigns that drive those directly attributed results.

  1. Enable sales to identify and act on engagement

Around 80% of website visitors aren’t from accounts that are likely to buy your solutions. So, focus on what matters most to the ones in the 20% - accounts that are engaged and most likely to turn into sales opportunities.

 

When there are spikes in engagement from an important audience, capitalise on and convert that engagement into business results. This can be easy to do when you have known people in your database, but it proves trickier when those triggers are anonymous.

 

It’s critical to be able to identify both types of spikes and supply sales with the intelligence they need to get ahead of the competition.

 

Leads alone are no longer adequate for your business. With limited attention spans, we must be able to drive deeper engagement with our target accounts and turn that engagement into actionable insights.

Then, we can determine our campaign performance and enable sales teams to act. Engagement - through relevance, timing and enablement - is how we will deliver the best results.

 

For more on best practices in B2B marketing for small businesses just follow the link below>>>

 

A Guide to B2B Website Marketing  for Small Businesses

Tags: b2b marketing, b2b customer leads, behavioural marketing, b2b customer experience, b2b marketing tips, b2b web personalisation, b2b behavioural marketing, b2b integrated marketing

SEO for Better Content Marketing

Posted by frank harris on 12/02/19 10:21

content marketing 0119As marketers we should provide our customers with quality experiences. One way is by implementing a customer focused content marketing programme.

 

Content marketing includes blog posts, infographics, email, podcasts, and many other content types. Every online channel provides a unique way for us to reach our personas. So, we need to optimise every piece of content to make it easier for people to find.

 

Competition for your audience’s attention has never been higher and it’s challenging to get your content in front of your personas. This challenge continues to become more difficult as over 91% of B2B marketers claim they already use content marketing. Although that number is high, many can better optimise their existing content.

 

Here, we’ll cover basic SEO tactics you can deploy to make your content easier to be found by search engines.

Keywords

The first step for writing online content is choosing the right keywords to target. Conducting keyword research is an important optimisation process. First identify a group of selective keywords that are semantically related, i.e., share similar interest to your personas. By choosing a semantic group of keywords to target, you broaden your reach by ranking for multiple keywords instead of just one main keyword as search engines are getting cleverer at determining what keywords are related.

 

To help explain semantic keywords, a keyword glossary would include the following terms for “marketing book reviews:”

  • Marketing book comparison
  • Marketing strategy book
  • Reviews for marketing books
  • Best marketing book
  • Marketing books to read

Your semantic keyword group should contain some long-tail keywords that are less competitive. Long-tail keywords are much easier to rank for and brings most of your organic search traffic.

 

Another advantage of using a semantic group of keywords is the ability to sprinkle keywords naturally throughout your content. You will build relevance for the overall topic by doing this.

Content Marketing Structure

When creating your content, ensure you plan the structure. Content should be presented in a way that provides a solution for the issue your personas are searching for - answering a question, finding a product or anything else. Writing good content that solves a problem gains audience interest and potential visibility via social shares and links. Your engagement rate will be better, which sends positive signals to search engines.

 

Creating structure for your content is challenging. To create structure, fashion an outline of how you want the content to be viewed, with the most important information near the top of the page.

 

If your post gets long, use anchor links to push people to the content. Use heading tags (<h1>, <h2>, etc.) to break content up to allow users to skim and scan the content. Avoid using long blocks of content, and if content is becoming long, visually break it up by:

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Testimonials
  • Bulleted list

Creating a fluid structure for your content will help improve your audience engagement metrics by making the user experience friendly.

 

The structure of the content should be considered at the beginning of the optimisation process.

Build a Map to your Content

After writing optimised content, the next step is to build backlinks to it. Backlinks help people and search engines crawl and find your content more efficiently. They can be related to three areas - internal, external, and social links.

 

Building backlinks can be like a map. For example, you have the most amazing beach and you would like to charge admission. You’ve put in a lot of work to make your beach the best in the area and you know people would love to visit. The first problem is that no one knows how to find it. So, you build paths to make it easier for people to get to the beach (internal links). Next you place signs near your beach for local visibility (social shares). Now people start coming to your beach and they love it so much they go and tell their friends (external links). Soon, your beach is filled with happy and paying customers.

 

The moral of this scenario is to optimise your content by building links to your content. Links are still important to receive organic and overall traffic. The easiest way to get some links to your asset is to build internal links strategically with correct anchor text. Use keyword variations and long-tail keywords as your anchor text to not over optimise the content, which sends better relevance signals to the search engines.

Share your post on social media with a promotion plan to gain more visibility via referrals. Increasing social shares for your content sends more positive signals to search engines about how popular it is.

 

Lastly, focus of earning backlinks from credible sources on other websites. Reach out to influencers that might be interested in your content, so they can either share socially, or even better, on their website. Also, reach out to websites that are linking to the pages that are ranking for the keyword topic to see if they will link to your content. Hopefully, your amazing piece of content goes viral, which helps earn backlinks naturally and easily.

Writing more Optimised Content

This can be challenging. We can optimise content, so our personas can find it easily over our competitors. Optimised content will lead to more organic traffic and ultimately potentially higher conversions/ROI. We don’t need more content in general, but we need more optimised content that helps solve the audience’s problem.

 

For more on up to date SEO follow this link>>>

 

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Are we making Website SEO too complicated?

Posted by frank harris on 05/02/19 16:34

b2b seo 1218-1SEO has a lot of moving parts - and that can mean a lot of wasted time and effort if we're not organised.

Here’s a SEO process that stays focused on results.

 

With the world of SEO crowded with options and resources, it’s time to get back to the basics and simplify the process, especially when launching a new website.

 

So how can you use all of the data and great tools available to create a more streamlined and simplified approach to SEO?

Simple doesn’t mean easy

Simple is about focus, consistency and results. You need to focus on delivering results.

 

By simplifying your SEO strategy, you will strip from it some of the “extras” that don’t really matter and begin to focus on the tasks and actions that help your site achieve its overall purpose.

Website SEO begins with goals

You must have a plan. Goals help us define your desired destination. Once we define what you want, you can work backward to create a strategy to get there. Here are a few questions to ask:

 

1.  What is the purpose of my site?

Is it to drive leads? Sell a widget? Connect with content? Your site’s purpose is directly related to the kinds of goals you will see.

 

2.  What do I want to achieve?

This is where you outline what your end goal looks like. Is it revenue-based? User-based? Traffic-based? Defining what it is you want will help you determine whether you are succeeding.

 

3.  How will I measure success?

After you know what you want to achieve, you need to know what to measure. To be sure that you have a positive ROI, you must know what numbers count. For instance, if you need to generate leads, you are going to need not just to drive traffic, but to drive traffic that will convert. It makes no sense to have thousands of visitors if none of them convert.

 

4.  Who is my competition?

Knowing what you are up against is important. Looking at your competition, what they do and how they do it can give you some ideas on how to take advantage of the holes in their search marketing strategy.

Action-based strategy

Once you have your goals in place, it’s time to build an action plan. Again, you must understand that every site is different and what worked in the past may not work now.

 

When building your strategy, ensure you stay focused on the end goal. Forget everything that doesn’t help you reach your SEO goals. Identify the tasks that will get you the desired results, and then prioritise them.

During this phase of the cycle, think about key strategic partners you can bring alongside you. The internet is all about connections, and if you want to have SEO success, you must always be looking to connect.

Real results

As mentioned above, you have more access to data than ever before. This is both good and bad. The key to reporting is reporting on what matters.

When I say, “real results,” I am referring to anything that has a real impact on the advancement towards the end goal. At this point in the cycle, review what you have done and the impact of those actions. Here are four simple questions to answer.

  • What worked?
  • What didn’t?
  • Why?
  • What’s next?

The goal here is to figure out if you’re headed in the right direction. You may not always have concrete answers, but by asking these questions, you can ensure that you’re looking at the data that matters. The most important of all the four is the last one. Don’t get stuck in the results and data. Look forward and keep pushing.

Making adjustments

Now, just because you have a plan, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. If fact, it’ll never go perfectly. After you have reviewed the “real results,” it’s time to make calculated adjustments.

You’re not stuck having to do it over and over. The adjustment phase of the cycle helps make sure that you stay aligned with your goals.

Use the data you’ve collected to make tweaks, add and remove action items and refocus your strategy around your goals.

Around we go again

After you’ve made the tweaks, the cycle starts back at the top. Take time to review your goals after each time around. I have found that after going through the cycle one time, the goals I set in the beginning need to be shifted slightly.

 

A key thing to remember is that you must allow yourself flexibility in the process. Keep it simple. Define what you want. Put together a plan of action. Review the results and adjust as needed. SEO doesn’t have to be super-complicated; it just needs to be focused.

 

This is especially true in optimising a new site. To get the full story in this instance, download the whitepaper from the link below>>>

 

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Tags: SEO for small business, small business seo marketing, seo traffic, seo for b2b business, b2b seo programme, website seo

How to increase your B2B social media marketing success rates in 2019

Posted by frank harris on 31/01/19 16:22

social media marketing 010219Over the past year fraud concerns surrounding B2B social media marketing have come to the fore.

 

Some studies estimate that up to 90% of B2B companies are allocating more money in social media marketing, despite this, in an effort to better identify and reach their audiences. According to eMarketer, this investment is paying off. The majority of these brands reported that they closed at least one deal recently because of their presence on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 

 

Social media can and should still play a vital role in B2B marketing going forward.

Social is a Natural Fit

Though social media marketing may seem better suited to B2C companies, there are three main reasons why it’s plenty viable in a B2B context.

 

The first reason is that social profiles are created by individual consumers themselves. Rather than play the guessing game, brands have access to rich, accurate hard data regarding the names, ages, genders, interests, and (most importantly) occupations of their personas. They can use this information to seek professionals whose brands would benefit from their services and develop targeted messages that speak directly to their needs.

 

The second is that B2B social media marketing yields much higher engagement rates than display advertising. It offers an excellent content distribution format that makes it easy for an audience to interact with and share brands’ posts. Ultimately, this provides a powerful amount of word of mouth for the companies that get it right.

 

The last reason is that it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to begin seeing results. According to Social Media Examiner, 78% of marketers reported a boost in traffic after investing just six hours a week in social strategies. 

 

However, it’s not as simple as developing a few Facebook posts or scheduling a few tweets. If you want to execute campaigns that drive serious ROI, you need to focus on a strategic setup and constant optimisation.

Achieving B2B Social Media Marketing Success

Many brands fail to implement conversion tracking for their social advertising initiatives. Elements such as lead form completion and on-site video views enable campaign managers to optimise for the best results, so it’s important to build these into your strategies.

 

B2B marketers also make the mistake of defaulting to LinkedIn exclusively for social strategies, isolating themselves from more lucrative opportunities. Thanks to its targeting capabilities, Facebook offers greater reach to almost every B2B audience. In fact, B2B campaigns that centre on Facebook often outperform similar ones on other channels.

 

When you get involved in social campaigns, it’s easy to get hung up on these types of pitfalls. Avoid them by keeping the following best practices in mind when building your social strategy:

  1. Target a specific audience.

Marketing messages are most effective when they reach the right people. Gather all of the first-party data available on your personas, and integrate that information into your social advertising. Some platforms offer tools to help you organise custom audiences. For instance, Facebook lets you use converter data, CRM lists, and email databases to put your content in front of your intended viewers.

  1. Customise your content.

Reaching the right people is one thing but resonating with them is another. Create materials that match your personas’ interests, values, and needs. If you’re targeting a diverse group of personalities, segment them and develop campaigns for each cluster. Custom messaging will yield higher engagement and more conversions than generic mass-appeal posts.

  1. Align your campaign channels with your goals.

Clearly define your campaign objectives, and then identify which platforms and formats will help you achieve them. Be aware of audience preferences as well. For example, according to Adweek, Millennials tend to prefer 10-second video ads while older generations favour 30-second commercials. That’s an important distinction to make when developing content. Establishing goals at the outset will dictate which platforms and types of content will earn the best results.

  1. Be strategic in your scheduling.

Select your attribution window for conversions, and share content consistently across social channels to see where you’re getting the highest ROI. If your business runs on a long sales cycle, you may want to use a 28-day window instead of a one- or seven-day measurement. Analysing the entire purchase cycle will help you nurture leads and improve your social funnel.

  1. Track your results.

Verify that your pixels and conversion tracking systems work correctly before you launch your campaign.

 

Functional tracking lets you see which aspects of the initiative work best so you can optimise around the most valuable actions. You want to focus on these priority items instead of clicks or other vanity metrics.

 

B2B decision makers are busy, and they respond best when messages reach them in trusted environments and resonate with their circumstances. That’s what makes well-planned social media campaigns invaluable to B2B marketers. They allow you to connect with people in relevant, engaging ways on the platforms they love. Your potential B2B customers are spoon-feeding you all the data you need through social media channels; it’s up to you to take them up on that invitation.

 

For more ideas on B2B social media marketing check out the link below>>>

 

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Tags: B2B lead generation, b2b website marketing, social media marketing, b2b social media marketing, b2b marketing tips, b2b behavioural marketing, integrated b2b marketing

The 20 Lists for B2B Email Marketing

Posted by frank harris on 30/01/19 10:04

b2b email marketing list segmentation 1218People aren’t very good at B2B email marketing.

If you’re one of the 2.6 billion people who use email, you already knew this.

 

This isn’t a surprise to the marketers who send the emails. Only 4% of companies in an Econsultancy study would rate the performance of their email campaigns as “Excellent.”

We should, do better. We need to build better email lists if we expect our marketing to properly function today, tomorrow, and in the future.

How to Be Better at B2B Email Marketing

A great email is all about sending the right message to the right person at the right time. That’s why segmentation is critical to a successful email strategy: it helps you create context for the emails you send. Sending better emails means focusing just as much on the context of your message as the content you deliver.

 

Think about the emails you receive. Obviously, you pay more attention to the emails that are relevant to your needs and interests. Apply that same principle to the emails you send.

 

The more you focus on context, the more the reward. Consider this from Mailchimp, who found that improved segmentation increased good engagement and decreased bad engagement with email sends.

Improving your segmentation strategy is an immediate and impactful way to improve your email programme.

 

email segmentation data 1218

 

So, here are the 20 lists that every marketer should have as the foundation of a successful segmentation strategy.

Lifecycle Lists

Lifecycle Marketing is how you communicate with your contacts from their first point of contact all the way through their journey. Lifecycle lists track the stage that a contact is in. These include blog subscribers, leads, marketing qualified leads, customers, and evangelists.

Why do they matter?

It’s your framework for deciding why you are sending an email, who should receive it, what you want them to do, and how you will measure your success.

 

So how can building lifecycle lists improve your B2B email marketing?

 

73% of your leads will not be sales-ready when first generated.

 

Your job is to educate and provide value to these leads to generate interest in working with your business.

Using email is a most effective way to nurture leads.

 

Lifecycle Marketing also refers to making sure customers see value when working with your company.

The good news is that happy customers, or evangelists really can grow your business. Loyal customers are worth up to 10x as much as their first purchase. It’s not just any continued purchases, but their ability to market and sell through their own evangelism.

Which lists should you build?

1) Subscribers - everyone who subscribes to your blog should automatically receive an email on publishing a new post, to provide a boost in traffic and links.

 

2) Leads - contacts who have filled out a form for a content-based offer on your website.

 

3) Marketing Qualified Leads - commonly known as MQLs, are people who have identified themselves as more deeply engaged, sales-ready contacts but have not yet become fully fledged opportunities. They have requested offers like demo requests, buying guides, and other sales-ready calls to action.

 

4) Customers - all of your paying customers to track growth and exclude them from lead-specific promotional emails.

 

5) Evangelists - are advocates for your business. They are usually a small but vocal group who will refer new business to you unsolicited. Some might not be customers but can help you promote new offers and content.

Buyer Persona Lists

Buyer personas are fictional, generalised representations of your ideal customers.

Why do they matter?

They define the ideal customer you’re trying to attract relating to them as real humans. Understanding your buyer persona(s) is critical to driving content creation, and anything relating to customer acquisition and retention.

Which lists should you build?

6) Primary Persona - people most likely to be ideal customers.

 

7) Negative Persona - people you do not want to market to. Their goals, challenges, pain points, budget, or some combination of factors exclude them from being a good customer.

Engagement Lists

Engagement lists track and segment your contacts based on how they have interacted with your marketing channels online.

Why do they matter?

It’s probably best to start with some definitions of implicit and explicit data.

 

Explicit data is information that is intentionally shared between a contact and a company.

 

Implicit data is information gathered from user behaviour.

 

Engagement lists harness implicit data to send better emails.

Which lists should you build?

8) Website engagement - include number of pageviews, date of first and last visit, referral source, and specific pages a contact has viewed. 

 

9) Email engagement - include the number of emails bounced, delivered, opened, and clicked by a contact, their first and last dates when a contact took an email action, and specific emails they have engaged with.

 

10) Social engagement - include a contact's number of clicks across various social media channels, their connections and followers, when was their recent social click, and their profile links. 

 

11) Blog engagement - include number of blog views, their subscriber preferences, their date of first and last visit, referral source, and specific blog posts viewed. 

 

12) Social Influencers – are your most engaged and connected social media contacts.

Email Health Lists

Email health lists track the long-term health and sustainability of your email marketing programme.

Why do they matter?

First, the average contact database decays at 22.5% every year.

 

Secondly, poor performance and engagement in one segment of your email database can impact the rest. Email deliverability measures and understands how successful a sender is at getting their marketing email into people’s inboxes.

 

In the email world, past performance influences future results. If your emails are received and loved by your old recipients, new recipients are more likely to see emails in their inbox.  Poor deliverability is like an infection. People who would have engaged, who would have LOVED your emails, won’t see them.

Which lists should you build?

13) Unsubscribes - have taken the effort to remove you from their inbox. This is a warning sign that something is wrong with your email programme.

 

14) Hard-bounced contacts - were rejected by the recipient’s mail server. Keeping a close eye on your bounced contacts is a critical part of B2B email marketing.

 

15) Ineligible contacts – is a master list of churned contacts. Any good Email Service Provider will automatically block churned contacts from receiving emails from you. There are three ways in which a contact can become ineligible to receive emails.

  • they opt-out or unsubscribe
  • their email address bounces
  • they mark your message as spam.

16) Unengaged email contacts - haven’t opened your emails in several months. Maybe they opted in to receive emails a while ago, or maybe they opted in without even realising they did. You can try to re-engage by:

  • Sending re-engagement campaigns to unengaged contacts and then stop sending emails to the ones that don’t re-engage
  • Testing to optimise the frequency of your sends
  • Increasing segmentation and personalisation to send content that is actually valuable to your readers
  • Removing contacts from your database who are no longer engaged

17) List of contacts by source - to send a contextualized and relevant messages, but it will also allow you to suppress or even remove leads that come from a source you determine ultimately isn’t qualified.

 

18) Overall growth of your eligible email contacts - aggregates and then informs you on the size of your marketable database. That way you see how new leads generated, ineligible contacts, and disengaged contacts interact to create your accessible pool of contacts you can email.

Behaviour Lists

Behavioural email is the practice of sending automated emails to your contacts based on their interactions across multiple channels: like social media, email, your website, and beyond from forms they have filled out, pages they have visited etc.

Why do they matter?

According to a MarketingSherpa study, 39% of marketers said that “automatically sending emails based on triggers” is the most effective tactic for improving email engagement. But only 20% of B2B email marketers use behavioural targeting. It is the actions of your leads that dictate what emails they receive, not a decision made by a marketer.

Which lists should you build?

19) Track engagement with core offers - to identify offers that require immediate follow-up.

 

20) Track engagement with specific elements (button clicks, page views etc) - will allow you to nurture visitors based on their activity.

Conclusion

Taking the time to build out and improve your segmentation strategy is perhaps the most impactful work a marketer can do on their B2B email programme. It will improve your engagement, conversions, deliverability, and ROI. 

 

The work you do to build these segments will carry over into your other inbound initiatives. You'll have super-targeted groups of people you can use to create smart content, improve your reporting, do social prospecting and cross-channel marketing. 

 

This is miles away from batch and blast. Learn more about what to send, when and how from the eBook offer below>>

 

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Tags: small business email marketing, segmentation, email segmentation, small business marketing trends, interactive website content, b2b small business email marketing, b2b email lead nurturing, b2b marketing tips

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