So, you are considering which are the best healthcare marketing ideas and top trends for 2020?
You want a progressive medical marketing plan that will set your practice apart, highlight its uniqueness, and attract ideal clients at scale.
This guide will show you 14 ways to market your medical practice, a clinic, a hospital in 2020 that are sure to convert.
One thing to note right from start: offline and online marketing methods are converging. What’s more, you’ll want to combine both strategies to win at medical practice marketing in 2020.
For example, local SEO techniques will continue to be a lucrative marketing technique for local practices that want to attract foot traffic through the door for both general consultations and treatment procedures.
Without further ado, here are effective techniques to add to your medical practice marketing plan starting immediately.
Wyzol made an interesting finding sure to concern any healthcare marketing plan for 2020.
96% of respondents said they’d watched an explainer video to learn about a brand’s service or product.
Perhaps you have a new medical procedure you are offering that the competition isn’t. Maybe it’s a new medical device that makes procedures safer, making a diagnosis more accurate, or your healthcare services quicker.
Show it in the video. But even more effective in 2020 will be hosting scheduled live videos, video podcasts, and streaming live events.
More people want to interact with your medical practice more directly.
They want to ask relevant questions they can get instant answers to during a live video.
See your practice establishing itself as an authority in your region because you offer practical advice on live videos—and at a convenient time.
And it’s never been easier to host a live video event. YouTube, Facebook. LinkedIn. Instagram. Twitter. Even Amazon. All these platforms now support live video.
Live video and podcasts are bringing an even more interactive edge to social healthcare marketing. Consider using this channel in 2020 to endear your medical practice to your target audience.
About 68% of people said they’d prefer watching a short video to learn about a service or product.
Compare that to text-based articles (15%), infographics (4%), pitches and presentations (4%), and ebooks and manuals (3%).
Source: 2019 video marketing statistics – Wyzol
So, video marketing will continue to soar in 2020.
For your healthcare video marketing, you can use interactive, animated, and screen recorded demo videos.
That way, you can help leads to ask you questions about your practice, understand how you conduct a procedure, and how to use your medical practice app to make an appointment, payments, etc., respectively.
In recent times, the trend has been to share short-form videos.
In 2020 and beyond, using long-form video will become even more attractive.
Longer videos mean you have more people sticking around to get all the juicy health advice you have to offer—and often for free.
Search engines equate readers sticking around on a particular piece of healthcare content to valuable content it should rank high up in search results.
And the higher your ranking the more organic traffic you will attract to your website, blog, or brick-and-mortar clinic or hospital.
Video Marketing Tip 1: While it’s a good idea to only share videos on your YouTube and Vimeo channels, the above trick will work best when you embed videos on your website or within your blog’s text posts.
Video Marketing Tip 2: Before making a video go to Ubersuggest website and type in the topic your video is going to be about. Find the right keyword with the most search volume that is closely related to your topic. Use this exact keyword in the video title, in the video description and pronounce this exact keyword during your video multiple times.
Video Marketing Tip 3: Did you know that you can get your video or audio transcribed for less than $1 per minute? Do it with Trint or Scibblr and your videos will get a lot more views and engagements. Use captions in your videos too.
Speaking of all those platforms…
You’ll want to present your case in front of a large audience to increase the number of leads at the top of your funnel.
But not only can it be expensive to create custom healthcare content marketing for all online marketing channels, but it can also take too much time and cripple your progress.
So Eric Siu and Neil Patel, two big names in digital marketing, recommend simulcasting.
Simulcasting is all about breaking up one piece of content, say a quality, useful video, into chunks suitable for sharing on different channels—online and off.
Tip 1: Multichannel online marketing will help you become visible to more potential clients by presenting your medical practice’s value proposition wherever they are. Simulcasting will make your marketing cheaper, more effective, and consistent across various channels.
Ten years ago, Facebook and Google weren’t big on paid advertising.
They are now, from selling any kind of advertising one could even imagine.
What you want is to get in front of a highly-targeted audience that is more ready to accept your medical calls to action at the right time.
So if somebody is typing “Rhinoplasty Denver Cost” into Google Search Bar you need to be in a position to be seen by that person.
Google generates almost $30 billion from the Ads every 3 months.
That’s because Google Ads can still be an inexpensive customer acquisition channel, for Medical Practices included. More Medical Practices now want you to advertise with Google than ever before.
Facebook Ads is becoming a really expensive marketing channel if you don’t get things right. Most of the Marketing “Gurus” will promise that Facebook and Instagram Ads for Medical Practices are the best for advertising.
But it’s not true.
The Leads from Facebook Ads don’t show up to the Clinics in 70% of cases. Is this is taken into account, Facebook and Insta become expensive if you track the conversions up to the number of sales.
Facebook and Instagram Ads are great for remarketing though. Choosing the Doctor for surgery is a tough decision.
That’s why potential patients visit the website and leave without talking to Clinics. To make sure your clinic is on the top of their mind for some time, you must show up in your potential patients’ Facebook and Instagram feeds.
Do it with Remarketing solutions widely available. The only prerequisite to this option is decent online traffic to your website already, from Ads, Organic Search or Direct online visits.
Top medical online directories (webmd.com or yelp are good examples) where you could consider advertising. However, for most medical clinics the SEO and Google Ads provide a better return on marketing investment.
The good thing about these ad campaigns is they are scalable, measurable, and according to multiple marketing surveys, effective.
You can spend as much or little as you want. Just pay per click. You can direct the clicks, calls, questions, and traffic back to a custom landing page.
You can measure the return on investment based off of incoming traffic from a specific ad, keyword, campaign, and medium of advertising used.
The only big disadvantage of the Paid Search Ads is the lack of long-term effect. You stop running Ads, you disappear from your audience’s radar. Completely gone.
While with SEO you build up the won asset that brings you targeted online traffic for a long time at no extra cost.
Healthcare Ads Tip 1: Use SimilarWeb’s free analytics tool to find out what your competition is doing to get more warm leads, make more sales, and get ahead of you. Then use those tactics yourself to achieve similar or better results.
Healthcare Ads Tip 2: Use iSpionage to see what Google Ads your competition is running, how much they spend and how well they are doing. That information is pure GOLD.
Healthcare Ads Tip 3: 72% of businesses run online Ads inefficiently by the latest statistics. By paying a specialized Agency with Google Partner badge you typically add to your cost but also bring a lot better return for your Clinic. So it’s worth it.
But some doctors feel business referrals have been on a decline. While there are no clear studies to back this up, it could be for several reasons.
Some lament it is out of concern surrounding insurance scams, greedy liaison programs in healthcare, and concern that the referee may not get proper service.
So, what can you do to improve your medical referral marketing results in 2020?
And do so right after you perform a successful procedure. That’s when your customer is most excited about your product or service.
Follow up with the customer to see if they made the referral.
Ask if you can make it easier for them to make that referral by writing a referral draft.
If they agree, send it to them through email or text message. You’d be making it easier for them to spread your positive medical practice message around, so do it.
For physician-to-physician referrals, only ask for referrals from PCPs or specialists aligned to what you do to ensure you only get the kind of patients you can help.
By referring back patients that are highly relevant to your partner’s medical practice. You don’t want either of you sued for malpractice.
An incredible 25-50% of physicians do not know if a patient got treatment to a healthcare facility they referred them to. Don’t be like that in 2020 and you’ll build genuine, long-term relationships when patients and partners realize you care.
Every. Singe. Time. 70% of specialists complain that most referrals are not accompanied by accurate health information to aid in making sound decisions.
Keep in mind, 80% of serious healthcare blunders occur due to poor communication during care transitions.
To cultivate a professional yet emotional connection with other doctors in your referral marketing network, physically meet and get to know each other and each other’s medical practice strongpoints and causes for concern so you can seek solutions together
Send a thank-you note for a referral, too. And if it’s the first time they are referring a client to your practice, meet up for lunch (on you) or a handshake to demonstrate your appreciation
So do invite primary caregivers into your network
Applying these patient and doctor referral marketing tips will help your medical practice gain more warm leads ready to become your clients with just a bit more lead nurturing. Trust is EVERYTHING in medical practice patient acquisition. So build it up.
Here’s the thing:
About 92% of your medical practice website visitors will not convert to customers on the first visit.
Unfortunately, when they leave your website, statistics have shown visitors rarely come back to the same website. So how do you regain the attention and potential business of bounced visitors in 2020?
That’s where retargeting comes in.
Also known as remarketing, retargeting is a newer digital marketing method. Here’s how retargeting works:
Remarketing is a cookie-based technology. You or your developer places a pixel (simple code) on your healthcare website. The code doesn’t jumble down your site’s performance. It isn’t meant to be obtrusive to your website visitors, either, although they don’t know it’s there.
When a customer visits your site for the first time, the pixel generates an anonymous browser cookie.
Even if your visitor leaves your website without taking the desired action, the pixel will follow them across the web, displaying your relevant ads to them even if they are browsing a different site.
While the average click-through rate for a Google Search Ad is 0.07%, that of a retargeted ad is 0.7%. That’s a clear indicator retargeting can help you attract more warm leads and convert more of those to customers.
And did you know Facebook retargeted ads are 76% more likely to get clicks than regular ads?
So, retargeting acts a bit like referral marketing—and offers some similar benefits, too.
When a prospect makes contact with you by visiting your online platforms, they demonstrate interest.
So they are likely to click on an ad back to your site because it all feels more familiar to them than conducting a new search.
Remarketing increases the number of visits hence trust-building and lead-nurturing opportunities you can have with them. That, in turn, increases their likelihood of converting to customers on subsequent visits.
Here are some retargeting tips for healthcare you can start using immediately:
You’ll provide multiple touchpoints where your target customer can interact with your ads, messaging, videos, and other forms of information to help you nurture them to become a trustful customer.
Show relevant ads or content to the bounced visitor for between 2 and 4 weeks. If they still won’t visit your website, maybe it’s time to focus on other leads.
But if they do, redirect the lead to the most relevant landing page(s). The best retargeting software helps webmasters to recognize the visitor’s initial intent based on their behavior on your online platforms.
So it can serve the visitor relevant information when he or she decides to continue their search on your landing page or website.
You probably already know using multiple channels to marketing your practice yields higher conversions.
Adding remarketing to your marketing arsenal can help you sell up to 50% more medical products or services, according to a Google retargeting report.
Try retargeting on other platforms such as Facebook instead.
Organic Traffic 🔝🔝🔝 is still one of the top inbound healthcare marketing channels. Period.
Now that we’ve mentioned organic traffic. Search engine optimization will continue to influence how your customers do the research and find a medical practice.
What we see often is one major mistake the Clinics make. They go after general search terms, e.g. “Is LASIK dangerous”, “Rhinoplasty Before and After”, without localizing the search terms. This way they get organic traffic nationwide. What the Clinic needs to do instead is double down on Local Search Terms, e.g. LASIK San Antonio, Rhinoplasty Orlando, etc.
The money is in Local SEO! Both Google Maps listings and Organic Search Results (SERPs).
Local SEO marketing will continue to expand and offer more walk-in traffic-based business in 2020.
For example, if you aren’t already using Google My Business, you need to in 2020. Website traffic from GMB grew a chunky 29% and direct searches by 38% between Q4 2017 and Q4 2018, according to BrightLocal.
And maybe you already use GMB. But is your GMB profile optimized for your medical practice SEO marketing plan?
Over the years, organic traffic has been the highest business driver for online businesses. Recently, optimizing your online marketing for successful local SEO continues to bear fruit—and will continue to in 2020 for healthcare services.
Prudent keyword research and application, useful content that seeks to provide value before asking for value back (inbound marketing), and consistent, quality content production and placement where your ideal clients frequent will help you draw more leads to your funnel.
Tip 1: Of note is the growing number of “near me” search queries. People want to know which is the nearest quality medical center, especially when faced with an emergency scenario. For example, people who’ve dealt with chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and elderly people would be interested in your services. Optimize for “Near me” terms.
Tip 2: Try this. Search for “Procedure/Service (LASIK, Drugs Rehab, Urgent Care, etc.)” + “City Name”. Open the top 5 results and compare the Content. If your web page has slim content and doesn’t mention the Procedure and City in Headings and Paragraphs enough, you won’t be able to compete. So if your competitor has 2 keywords in the Headings and 5 in the Paragraph copy, you need to have at least the same number, or just a little more.
Tip 3: Your Google My Business (Google Maps) listing position depends on many factors. The distance from Searcher to your Clinic you can’t control. All the rest you can. Tackle the major ones. (a) ask your happy patients to leave a review on GMB with the name of the procedure, with location and with your clinic name inside the copy of the review, (b) check if the Clinic Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) is the same across all business directories you are listed on and it matches the NAP listed on your GMB Listing and your Website – BrightLocal’s Audit will do just that.
Tip 4: Reach out to your Specific Medical Association and ask if you can publish articles on their website. Write an interesting article with a link to your website. Publish it. The more of those links you have from multiple websites, the more Trusted your website gets. Google rewards Trusted and Authoritative Medical Websites with lots of visitors and high rankings.
Tip 5: Do not write short articles on your Blog. Do not write several articles on similar topics. Combine the topically related articles into one big article and update such articles regularly by adding more content. Sign this article with Author Bio if the Author is a medical doctor. If the Author is not a Medical Doctor, please a Medical Doctor to read the content, verify it and then write “Verified by Name Surename, MD” on each Article. When Google reviews the websites, it needs to know if the content is written by an expert or not.
Voice assistants and tools such as Alexa and Siri have gained popularity over the years.
While they are aren’t as useful as we’d have hoped by now, more people are using voice search to find answers to queries and local services. Especially those up to 35 years of age.
How do you use voice search in your healthcare marketing strategy?
Learn from brands successfully getting Google snippet features.
Use scannable content. Quit medical jargon and find out which terms, phrases, medical lingo, and references your target clients are using to describe medical services, procedures, and related conversations.
Does this search image look familiar?
It is a clue you can use.
Utilize a healthcare marketing agency or virtual assistant to find questions patients use in social media groups, online forums, offline seminars, groups and so on.
Then create questions & conversational answers or content relating to those questions.
It’s just a small change in your Content Marketing daily task. And it will get you a big reward over time.
Heathcare Marketing Voice Search Tip 1: Review your Blog Content. Rewrite some of your Headings and Paragraphs so you have simple questions and short answers in the first sentence of the paragraph. This will help you earn the chance of being featured in Voice Answers as well as “Position 0” in search results.
Heathcare Marketing Voice Search Tip 2: Use Tables in your Blog Posts. As of September 2019, Google tends to give higher priority to the content with tables when it comes to Featured Snippets selection.
In-person marketing will continue to be a big marketing technique for the healthcare industry in 2020.
People still want a personal touch, especially when it is about intimate, delicate, care-driven matters such as medical diagnosis and procedures, personal health records, as well as medical insurance covers.
Hosting or participating in live events provides a solid networking platform.
You can interact with current and future customers.
You can get instant feedback on your procedures or services from people so you know what their objections to buying are—and how you can change that narrative.
Tip 1: Find the common patterns in your patients’ daily routine, learn where they hang out and what they do online and offline. Once you found the place where they are receptive to information, you’ve found a sweet spot. To raise your profile even higher than your competition, consider presenting a useful talk on a trending medical topic or problem in your niche. DO NOT SELL. Just offer value.
Tip 2: Offline events lead to an increase in the Branded search on Google. When many people search for your Clinic Name, Google registers a positive ranking signal. This will help you gain more website authority and improve your rankings, provided that your on-page SEO is well done already. Therefore, make sure your brand name is communicated multiple times during the event. Some clinics that do many events do not provide their website URL in the presentation anymore. This forces the people to find the website by the Brand Name = helping your online visibility long term.
Tip 3: If the goal is to increase the number of Leads for your Medical Practice, do less healthcare industry events and focus more on the lifestyle events of your target audience. If you run a Plastic Surgery clinic, do events related to Arts, Golf, Polo, etc.
It could be you are interested in a specific cause, community drive, or healthcare policy. Or the trend is towards a medical device or product by a particular brand.
Do you stand for affordable, sustainable, and high-value health programs? Who you can partner up with?
Can you sponsor an event, non-profit, health associations, researchers, caregivers, and families providing a united voice for people with disabilities and chronic diseases?
Are you going to be sponsoring sports teams, medical students, healthcare technology programs, and more?
Make contact and request to sponsor their live event, seminar, offer first aid services at their event, be on their banners, and so on.
Tip 1: Sponsorships empower you to align with a solid brand or lifestyle, helping your practice gain more brand awareness, positive brand perception, and even general support in your field. However, if you want to a quick return on your sponsorship investment, choose your sponsorship target with Precision. For example, if your ideal client is above average income level individual, why not sponsoring a Local Golf School?
Influencer marketing has seen a meteoric rise in the last few years.
For example, Instagram, the backbone platform for the marketing strategy, saw a sizzling rise in brand-sponsored influencer posts—from 2016’s 9.2 million to 21.7 million in 2018.
Statista forecasts the trend to blast past 32.2 million paid posts in 2019.
But influencer trust may be dwindling.
Media agency, UM, surveyed 56,000 active internet users across 81 countries, including in the U.S. and U.K. The study showed a 7% drop in the number of people that now trust influencers’ opinions (specifically bloggers and vloggers) in 2019.
The drop could be associated with influencer scams, fake and inflated follower counts, and undisclosed sponsorships.
More strongly, though once-loyal followers now feel their influencer has since “sold out” to paid-posts to make money and lost their authenticity.
However, 47% of global consumer respondents said the opinions shared online influenced their decisions.
To make the most of influencer marketing in 2020:
Bonus Tip: So influencer healthcare marketing is not dead. Neither will it die in 2020. Know your ideal buyer’s habits and you’ll know which influencer is worth collaborating with. Never guess. Use the tools to check if the Influencer is legit. There are way too many scammers out there.
For purely digital brands, including radio and TV in a marketing strategy may not be a smart move in 2020—it hasn’t been for the last few years, either.
What about medical practices?
Traditional marketing channels are still influential in healthcare marketing strategies and can still help. But it can be really expensive and inefficient. People dislike TV or Radio advertising. That’s why they move away to their Streaming Apps.
The problem with both radio and TV advertising has been they’ve both been tough to measure…
You can now check Google Analytics to grasp the number of searches people are making based in a particular region based on your radio or TV campaign.
But even more effective:
Radio & TV Healthcare Marketing Tip 1: Set up a custom website or landing page with a unique URL per large campaign. Be sure to set up tools such as Google Analytics to show you how many people are “landing” on the page or website. In your TV or radio ads let people know the URL they need to visit to learn more about your medical service, product, or device. You can then see your campaign’s impact by the numbers.
Radio & TV Healthcare Marketing Tip 2: Subscribe to call tracking service like CallRail and use one separate phone number per each large campaign. This way you can measure the Return on your Marketing Investment and draw the right conclusion based on the real data.
Putting up an ad on strategic billboards is an important move to consider for your healthcare service’s local marketing strategy.
If you can afford it, do it. And in multiple, strategic places.
The important question to ask:
Which area(s) do you want to get in front of your current and future customers?
Billboard marketing can help grow your brand recognition in a particular area.
Tip 1: Set up a custom website or landing page with unique URL per area where the billboards are. Be sure to set up tools such as Google Analytics to show you how many people are “landing” on the page or website. In your billboard lets, people know the URL they need to visit to learn more about your medical service, procedure. You can then see your campaign’s impact by the numbers.
Tip 2: Subscribe to call tracking service like CallRail and use one separate phone number per each area where the billboards are. This way you can measure the Return on your Marketing Investment and draw the right conclusion based on the real data.
In 2020, you’ll still attract a ton of credibility by aligning your healthcare brand with a reputable, ideal celebrity.
So how can you utilize brand ambassadors in your hospital marketing in 2020?
You know how Angelina Jolie adopted several children from orphanages around the world and demonstrated compassion for refugees. The U.N. appointed her as its Goodwill Ambassador for Refugees.
Other brands have reached out to celebrities struggling with various medical conditions or have a close family member or friend doing so.
Can you spot an opportunity to demonstrate your quality, cutting-edge, and/or specialist healthcare services by working with a relevant celeb?
You can provide free medical consultations for mentions. Or invite them to raise their humanitarian profile by teaming up with your practice on a community health cause dear to both of you. Or offer cash to get in front of their loyal audience.
Implementing these medical marketing strategies can help your practice attract more warm leads you can convert to paying customers soonest.
Remember to measure your impact using online tools. Have a custom landing page for each marketing campaign.
That way, you can tell which methods are offering desired results so you can double down on them and avoid losing marketing dollars on ineffective campaigns.
And if all these feels like a lot of ground to cover, feel free to work with a reputable medical marketing agency that understands your specialty, what your target customers are looking for, and which healthcare marketing techniques resonate best with them.
Author: Dennis Dubner, Founder, and CEO of SONDORA MARKETING, an agency helping healthcare marketers and CEOs with reaching an explosive growth.LinkedIn Marketing Guide: Practical and Complete
If you’re looking to make important business connections, LinkedIn is the premier B2B and often B2C social media platform to use. You’ll find millions of Sales People prospecting using LinkedIn, recruiters finding job candidates; CEOs looking to grow their influence and build trust with buyers; and solopreneurs looking for freelancers to build their dream team. In the world of business relationships, you just never know who you’ll meet that will possibly send you your most lucrative client, so growing your network steadily and consistently makes good business sense.
However, if you think blasting LinkedIn users with connection requests is the way to go, put the brakes on your plans and rethink your strategy. Here’s some well-researched advice:
Networking on LinkedIn really boils down to common sense: Act professionally so you portray your business in the best possible light and be authentic in your interactions. Your ideal clients will be drawn to you once they get to know you as a person instead of as a salesperson.
Next on this LinkedIn Marketing Guide is….
With 90 million senior-level influencers, 63 million decision-makers, 303 million active monthly users (40% of which visit the site daily), LinkedIn may seem like your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to sell their product or services to 303 million people?
Let’s remember, however, that LinkedIn in NOT about sales: It’s about building connections and developing relationships with people who may (or may not) be interested in what you have to offer.
Here are some tips for networking naturally on LinkedIn so you don’t develop that pushy “used car salesman” reputation that makes people want to run away:
One note: There’s a huge difference between introducing yourself with your company name and what you have to offer versus introducing yourself with a hardcore sales pitch. Craft your introduction carefully and you won’t be perceived as a tacky salesperson desperate to make a sale. If you need help with LinkedIn Appointment Setting please let us know.
LinkedIn is the premier social media platform for professionals in all industries. With over 300 million monthly users, you have quite a large base to develop new connections and build relationships with potential clients.
However, there are several LinkedIn “sins” which can haunt you and affect your credibility and reputation. Here are just a few things to avoid doing on LinkedIn:
Judge others for their choices. No matter what their choice – whether a prospect chose a different coach or chose a branding color palette that you don’t like – posting your negative opinions on LinkedIn serves no purpose. If your prospect chose another coach, ask them privately what influenced their decision. Feedback is useful, public shaming is not.
These examples are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what you should NOT do on LinkedIn. Across all the social media platforms you’ve probably seen plenty of tacky things that made your eyes roll. Use your common sense and think before you post on LinkedIn. How will your posts be perceived? These tips are not meant to discourage you from being your authentic self; they are instead meant to act as guidelines to maintaining your professional credibility so your ideal clients will find you and trust you.
Next on this LinkedIn Marketing Guide is….
Since you’re not approaching LinkedIn with a sales approach mindset, you need to make every aspect of this platform work to your advantage in order to both attract prospective clients and then convince them that you are the expert they’ve been searching for. One way to achieve this is by showcasing your expertise in a natural, informative way which leads to increase your credibility as an expert.
Paying attention to small details on your profile can help build your credibility as will participating in groups and by publishing content on a regular basis. When people recognize your name as a regular, they will check out your profile and a possible business relationship can blossom from there.
So you have a LinkedIn profile, now what? In addition to searching out viable connections (such as people you already know or have worked with in the past), publishing content should be at the top of your to-do list. Publishing the right content on your feed as well as in your groups will attract potential leads and increase your credibility and expertise.
One word of caution: Do not publish an article to your wall and then publish that same exact article to the twelve groups you belong to. That single activity will get your LinkedIn account frozen faster than you can sneeze. LinkedIn does not tolerate spammers so post your content carefully.
If you want to post both to your wall and to your groups (which is a smart strategy), either post on two different topics or rewrite one article so it covers the same topic but not with the same wording. An editorial calendar is helpful when it comes to planning your social media posts.
But if the words “publish content” scare you to death, here are a few tips to follow:
When in doubt about what to publish, consider outsourcing the content creation to an experienced freelancer. They will brainstorm ideas and help fill in your editorial calendar rather quickly as well as prepare your content so all you need to do is approve it and publish. Extend your knowledge and expertise to your audience with your content. You just never know how your content will affect someone or to whom they will pass along your articles.
This LinkedIn Marketing Guide wouldn’t be complete without….
When it comes to using social media to market your business or brand, choosing the correct platform can make or break your marketing efforts. LinkedIn is one of the premier social media platforms and it boasts a very professional atmosphere. While Facebook and Twitter are geared toward the more casual user, LinkedIn was specifically built for professionals in business.
LinkedIn allows users to build a network of contacts through direct introductions or posting helpful information on their own feeds and in groups. While relationship marketing requires effort on your part, you can also encourage others to network with you by putting forth a professional image. As the old saying goes, “You only have one time to make a good first impression,” and that one time often lasts only a few seconds while prospects look at your LinkedIn profile.
Let’s discuss ways to make that right first impression:
Done correctly, marketing on LinkedIn will showcase your expertise; done incorrectly, you’ll be seen as someone who’s just looking to make a buck or who doesn’t know the first thing about marketing. Be smart with your marketing efforts and watch your business grow.
Making the right connections on LinkedIn (or on any networking platform) should never be hit or miss. Don’t leave your marketing to chance; instead, know exactly who you’re serving, who you want to speak with, and what you have to offer.
Don’t be intimidated by LinkedIn marketing. Consistency is important for online networking so develop a plan which includes specific content sharing, groups to visit, and qualifying leads you want to meet. Once you formulate a plan, implementation becomes much easier and less time-consuming. Consistency also shows these new connections that you are serious about your business instead of treating it like a passing hobby, so plan to visit LinkedIn daily.
A Practical LinkedIn Marketing Guide must contain new client acquisition tactics, e.g.:
As you probably know by now, consistency is vitally important for any of your marketing efforts but especially for LinkedIn. How many times have you noticed that someone is really active but then disappears for months at a time? Then, surprise surprise, they show up again but that’s short-lived and within six weeks they are inactive again. What kind of feeling or impression does that impact, especially on an uber-professional platform like LinkedIn?
The easiest way to be consistent with any social media marketing is to create a plan: a checklist or action steps that you can implement every day. A simple way to remember all the things to check or do when you log in to make sure you’re covering all your bases. A daily action plan will help you remember everything but it also saves time and prevents you from staring at your computer screen, not having any thoughts as to what to share or how to contribute to the groups you’re in.
Creating this list of content ahead of time allows you to have the prewritten content ready to just copy and paste when you log in to LinkedIn. If possible, outsource your content creation or block off time once or twice a week to create that content.
Participating in groups shows your expertise to others and puts you in a small spotlight so people get to know about your specialty and services.
Your name will stay foremost in people’s minds if you provide value in every LinkedIn post and by staying active in your groups. Create a daily action plan that works for you and then put it into action. Engage your audience and provide value every time you post and you’ll soon see a growth in your connections and possible new sales.
Even after doing all your target market analysis and creating your client avatar, some people will still say NO to your products and services. The reasons are numerous – ranging anywhere from the price is not affordable to not understanding the benefits you’re offering – but these responses are not reasons to give up. Remember that any kind of business marketing, both online and in-person, is not about the sale: it’s about building the relationship.
Relationship marketing is about just that: building a long-term relationship that fosters customer loyalty, interaction, and engagement. It’s not about a quick sale or adding new names to your prospect list. Right now, at the beginning of these relationships, it’s all about proving your worth and showing your expertise in a helpful way to gain trust from your audience.
I once heard a marketer ask, “Did you marry your spouse the moment you met them? Of course not, so don’t expect your prospects to buy your product the moment you meet them either.” That idea really stuck with me because we’ve heard time and again that prospects become customers when they know, like, and trust you. Hitting someone up with your sales pitch at a networking meeting eliminates the “getting to know you” phase and then you’ll always be remembered as desperate or uncouth.
Networking is vital to spreading the word about your business. LinkedIn is a phenomenal place to start but being seen on social media means being active every day of the week. Post to your feed and in your groups; share about live events you’re attending; add a personal element to your posts by sharing a new-to-you vacation spot. No need to spend hours a day on LinkedIn but posting a minimum of 5 days a week is necessary.
Also remember to network in person. Attend business events in your community. Inquire about joining your local Chamber of Commerce, BNI chapter, or Toastmasters group. If it’s in your budget, sponsor a youth sports team or, at the very least, participate at local community day fairs by renting a booth and meeting your local neighbors.
When you get to the point in your relationship that you’re asking for a meeting or a sale but the prospect says “No,” don’t take it as a personal affront and kick that connection off your list. Instead, get some feedback about why they said no and don’t be afraid to ask if they know of anyone in their circle who could use your service. This type of mutual friend introduction is much more welcoming than you randomly trying to connect blindly.
Also, you never know when your connection will change their minds and decide to hire you. It could be six months from now or two years from now but continued interaction on LinkedIn will keep your name front and center in their mind.
Consistency refers to posting to LinkedIn daily but it also means to keep your offerings updated and produce new content on a regular basis. Write a new article or record a new video for your LinkedIn feed on a weekly basis. Create checklists or short reports on a regular basis and hand offer them on your feed and in your groups. If your prospects and connections see the same old products or freebies on your site or in your feed, they will think your business is as stagnant as your offerings.
Hearing “no” is a disappointment but that doesn’t mean it will be a “no” forever. The timing of your offering for your prospect may not be right, plain and simple, so keep fostering that friendship/relationship and be ready when the prospect changes their mind.
LinkedIn was created in 2003 as a way to do business differently. It was founded as a business-related social network and has kept that reputation as the go-to place for business connections over these last 15 years. Not only can job seekers find hiring managers or decision-makers in their dream companies but business owners and sales executives can find prospects via LinkedIn as well.
Gone are the days when job seekers answer classified ads or send resumes blindly to large companies. Likewise, cold calling prospects usually don’t yield very good results in this technology age where the buzzword of the day is “relationship marketing.” Whether you want to get noticed on LinkedIn by hiring recruiters or by business prospects, LinkedIn is THE place to be seen.
But how exactly do you get “seen” in a sea of 300 million monthly active users? Let’s explore some simple ways:
Start by thinking about how your target audience would search for you. What are they looking for exactly? How do you want to be known? Use those keyword phrases throughout your profile where the LinkedIn search bots look, such as the Headline and Summary as well as the Experience and Skills sections.
No blurry selfies or brooding, artistic headshots. If you do make it to the top of a search, you’ll want to catch your prospect’s eye very quickly and a professional, happy headshot is the quickest way to do that.
Still address your top skill or benefit your prospect will receive but add some flare to it. “Business Coach” certainly describes what you do but in a very general way. “Business Coach to the Fastest Growing Multi-million Dollar Companies” adds some more flare and immediately identifies who you want to work with.
Like it or not, prospects will skim your profile instead of taking their time reading, so edit the important details into powerful sentences. No need for subtlety here; be straightforward and place the most important details first.
Business networking is never complete; it’s an ongoing process you should learn to love if you want your business to grow consistently. LinkedIn will only display your connections up to 500 but you can certainly connect with more people than that. You’ll find two different schools of thought when it comes to making connections. One side believes it’s vitally important to increase those numbers quickly because prospects want to see you – their coach – well-connected. The other side believes the smart way to connect is only with people you have met previously, thus creating a higher quality network of known names.
Don’t think of LinkedIn or networking as a one-time task or a “set it and forget it” process. Being active on LinkedIn means: creating content to share, joining relevant groups, and making comments on other people’s content. When you share content it displays to all your connections, thus informing them of your expertise and inviting them to make comments. Being active in groups means starting a conversation, asking a question, giving advice to others, and sharing content. If you are active and then disappear, it leaves a bad impression and your connections will start to question your dedication to your business.
LinkedIn Marketing can become the premier source to connect with business owners and decision-makers. Creating an optimized profile that looks professional is important but don’t just leave your networking to chance. Be active and show your expertise in your shared content and group interactions.
LinkedIn Marketing Guide Author: Dennis Dubner, CEO, and Founder of SONDORA MARKETING.Industrial Marketing in the Digital Age [2020 Guide]
Marketers working in the industrial (mostly B2B) space have shown no reluctance to transition to a digital age. Person-to-person meetings, business trips, and conventional offline marketing tactics have largely been replaced with digital or hybrid alternatives. There will always be a place for signage, print advertising and physical tactics in general, but a multi-directional digital model helps generate leads before the business even knows they exist. The key to successful industrial marketing in the digital age lies in striking the perfect balance between digital and traditional. Digital industrial marketing is growing in power and importance, but shouldn’t necessarily be seen as the only effective tactic for the 21st century. Adopting a holistic approach enables the business to capitalize on the benefits of traditional and digital B2B marketing alike.
Nevertheless, success is dependent on business owners and decision-makers exploring and embracing every digital channel of value to their organization.
Industrial marketing being B2B differs from conventional business-to-consumer in a number of ways. Predominantly, business-to-business purchases are based on logic, careful research and analysis, while the typical consumer purchase may be motivated by emotion. A business buyer is more interested in the potential for a strong ROI, while the everyday customer prioritizes general satisfaction.
Roughly summarised, every industrial or B2B transaction is likely to involve considerably more analysis, evaluation, and decision-making at a variety of levels. It’s rarely up to a single person to make important business purchases – it’s a decision shared among managers and stakeholders throughout the business.
In the field of industrial marketing, the focus must, therefore, be on the logic of the product and its features. Personal emotion is largely out of the equation, so you need to think carefully about what matters to both the buyer and the business they represent. You need to convince them that your products and services are capable of getting the job done better than those of any competing provider within your niche.
There are essentially two distinct categories of industrial marketing channels – online and offline. Each of which contains a variety of different marketing channels, each with its unique advantages and disadvantages.
In the offline category, examples of the popular industrial marketing channels include:
Each of the above still holds value in the B2B domain, though in all instances have seen their power and influence diminish in the digital era. Digital industrial marketing hasn’t ‘replaced’ offline marketing in its entirety, but has nonetheless taken the lead for the proactive business.
In the digital category, examples of the popular B2B marketing channels include:
Large and small businesses alike have more diverse and readily available channels at their disposal than ever before. For an industrial marketing strategy to succeed, it must combine the most effective components from both channels.
Precisely what defines an ‘effective’ marketing strategy must be determined by each business individually. A marketing campaign can focus on generating leads, boosting brand recognition, reputation management, improving conversion rates and so on.
Across the board, however, there are specific key characteristics of effective marketing for the companies in the manufacturing, industrial sector.
The four most important being as follows:
A strong value proposition is essential in all types of business, though it plays a particularly vital role in the B2B sphere. The purchase and use of products and services for business purposes involve approvers, decision-makers, influencers and gatekeepers at a variety of levels. None of whom may be the final users of the product. It’s, therefore, the job of the industrial marketer to create and communicate multi-level value propositions that appeal to every entity within the value chain.
Just as important as a strong value proposition is a unique selling proposition. Very few businesses are truly unique, which can make it difficult to attract the attention of buyers. Effective industrial marketing means isolating what makes your business unique and why you’re the clear choice for the buyer. This, in turn, requires a detailed analysis of both your target audience and your competitors, to distinguish your organization from the pack.
The customer journey begins long before the business knows they exist. A compelling customer journey is about so much more than ensuring the customer’s needs are fulfilled, and their expectations met. It’s about exceeding their expectations and delighting them from start to finish, bringing a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction to the transaction.
Likewise, the user experience in B2B marketing isn’t simply about practicality. It’s about the elegance and simplicity with which the buyer’s requirements are met. In the case of a website, it needs to be a simple, streamlined and seamless digital representation of your business, which is a pleasure to use with no unnecessary complexities.
Businesses continue to debate the relevance or otherwise of the 4Ps of marketing in the digital era. Rather than being rendered redundant, it’s simply a case of the 4Ps of marketing having evolved and shifted significantly over recent years.
The importance of clearly defining the value of your product has never been greater. Today, business buyers are less likely than ever before to stick with just a handful of trusted sellers or local suppliers. Whatever they need, a simple web search returns thousands of listings from hundreds of competing providers. Loyalty isn’t what it used to be, emphasizing the importance of defining your product’s value proposition.
Likewise, the vast majority of business buyers now use the Internet to guide their purchase decisions. Whatever they need and whenever they need it, they’re more likely to find it online than anywhere else. It’s therefore up to the seller to ensure their products and services are positioned appropriately via the most effective and relevant digital channels.
A multitude of marketing channels to choose from prompts countless questions concerning effective promotion. These days, however, effective promotion often means selling without the hard sell. Buyers in the B2B space are increasingly less inclined to listen to the marketing/sales talk of sellers. Instead, they put their faith in customer reviews, recommendations, testimonials, write-ups and so on.
B2B buyers are inundated with choice when making key purchase decisions. Hence, they’re unwilling to pay excessive prices when more affordable options are available elsewhere. Nevertheless, research has shown that most businesses are willing to pay more if the seller provides better customer support and a more amicable customer journey from start to finish. Price is no longer the primary determining factor for B2B sales.
As touched upon previously, there are countless industrial marketing channels open to small and large businesses alike. There are, however, certain inbound industrial marketing channels that consistently prove the most effective of all.
The vast majority of B2B buyers researching available options begin their journey with an online search. Google, Bing and a handful of others accounting for more than 95% of all web traffic worldwide. Youtube is the second largest search engine worldwide now. And as our survey shows, Youtube is the 2nd largest marketing channel at the research stage at industrial, manufacturing and technology companies. If your company website gets most of the traffic from your brand relates search terms, your business might be in danger 3-5 years from now. If your potential customers don’t find your products and services website pages by the valuable search terms, e.g., your product or service name, in the top 10 search results on Google and Youtube, you do not exist online at all. Every CEO and Marketing Director at the Industrial, Manufacturing, Technology company must know the following Google Search statistics: 93% of the clicks happen on the first page of search engines:
An effective B2B search engine optimization (SEO) strategy can ensure your business appears prominently on the top positions on Google, Youtube, Bing for relevant keywords and search terms, both at the awareness and later stages across the Marketing Funnel. Quality B2B Industrial and Manufacturing SEO typically deliver unbeatable ROI. It is by far the cheapest customer acquisition channel with the lowest CPA.
Despite being a paid strategy, PPC advertising still qualifies as inbound B2B marketing in most cases. LinkedIn InMail, being a PPC method, is an outbound technique instead. By positioning your ads and your message right at the top of the SERP listings and/or within the LinkedIn feed, you stand to generate a healthy and near-immediate influx of traffic, in accordance with your selected keywords (search terms) and selected target audience. The benefits of a PPC campaign may be time-limited, but begin generating results from the moment of implementation. Typically, it takes several months for a B2B online marketing agency to optimize the pay-per-click campaign to an optimal cost and excellent performance.
From LinkedIn to Facebook to Instagram to Twitter, a multi-directional social media marketing strategy is no longer optional. Maintaining a strong presence on social media provides the opportunity to not only connect with potential buyers, but also keep an eye on your competitors and their activities. SMM is one of the best tools for leads nurturing and for bilateral communication with your market.
A business blog serves as the perfect platform to enhance your authority and reputation within your niche. Become known as a reputable source of information and your readers will know exactly to whom to turn to when the time comes. Tell your story, engage your audience and enhance your SEO profile with a steady stream of rich, relevant and regularly–updated content. Ask an SEO expert to optimize your article, and you’ll be rewarded by thousands of monthly readers relevant to the very core of your business. Update the Blog posts on a regular basis to keep the content up-to-date and deliver even more value to your customers, suppliers, and colleagues.
Traditional seminars and conferences still hold lots of value, but don’t offer the same convenience or accessibility as webinars and similar online events. Today, it’s possible to improve upon the results of a traditional conference, without having to leave the office. What’s more, online events open the door to the kind of interactivity that goes above and beyond any traditional seminar. However, I still am a big fan of shaking hand in the real world. Being out in the market and network is crucial. Therefore, I highly suggest finding the balance between online and offline events.
Never underestimate the power and influence of an effective e-mail marketing campaign. Particularly when engineered using the latest personalization and automation tools, e-mail marketing can be highly engaging and impactful. Something as simple as a regular newsletter to keep your readers in the loop can make all the difference. Email Marketing is arguably the number one leads nurturing marketing channel, if you are able to deliver true value to your subscribers.
GDPR is a topic that is present in many Board Meetings still for a good reason. The privacy regulations must be respected. The negative consequences of GDPR violation are massive. There are many ways you could get your target audience to opt-in to your newsletters. While many companies have the emails database completely erased in 2018 to comply with the GDPR, your creative approach to getting the online visitors to opt-in will give you a competitive edge.
Recent years have seen once-effective outbound marketing tactics become increasingly interpreted as intrusive, interruptive and often counterproductive. Anything that amounts to cold-contacting prospective buyers directly has the potential to have the opposite of the desired effect.
Conventional outbound B2B marketing channels that rarely deliver quality results include:
Much as these marketing methods still hold value in certain scenarios, they can be risky ventures in an industrial marketing environment. Typically best-avoided, substituted instead for the effective inbound marketing channels and techniques detailed above.
For those who still don’t know the difference between the Inbound and Outbound Marketing, here is infographic dedicated to this:
The digital age has created a unified global economy, in which businesses can target markets that would previously have been out of reach. Even just a couple of decades ago, the idea of small business in Singapore selling to a company in New York would have been far-fetched.
Inevitably, such opportunities for international expansion also bring unique challenges. Competition is ferocious across all industries and sectors, calling for a strategic approach to global industrial marketing.
Achieving the above without intensive market research is implausible. All businesses have certain basic knowledge and understanding of their home market, but a foreign market overseas could be an entirely different story. There’s zero room for assumptions, calling for intensive and on-going research. Traditional in-depth market research is quite expensive. However, a digital marketer can provide a rough idea about the demand in any specific country in the world within 5-15 minutes. A C-level executive at a manufacturing company must have an online marketer’s phone number saved in Contact because the amount of the high-level data a digital marketer can provide on a live call is truly impressive.
The marketing channels used at home may not prove nearly as effective in your target overseas market. Some nations and audiences still respond very strongly to offline channels, while others have become almost exclusively digital. Your marketing mix will, therefore, need to be adjusted accordingly.
Ultimately, your international industrial or manufacturing marketing channels should focus on the establishment of your reputation in your target market overseas. This means placing heavier emphasis on building strong and meaningful relationships, generating word-of-mouth and becoming a reliable, reputable and recognized the brand. As we say, an unsatisfied customer will tell ten people; a satisfied customer will tell one person, an entirely happy customer will tell two people. Digital Channels help companies to communicate bilaterally with so many more people now. Digital channels amplify everything you do, good or bad. They also help you understand how the market reacts to changes and (very important!) if the company employees are happy too. I suggest to check out what your employees think of their current employer on the Glassdoor website. You’ll be surprised.
Unless you have a dedicated, full-time team of B2B sales and marketing experts in-house, including online marketers, you could benefit enormously from professional consultancy. Particularly in the digital era, the industrial marketing landscape is shifting and evolving at an astonishing pace. What works the industrial SEO, PPC or Social Media today is not what worked even six months ago.
Getting ahead and staying ahead means carefully monitoring industrial sales and marketing trends worldwide, to create effective and efficient ROI-positive strategies within the brand’s budget.
Typical scenarios in which you could benefit from the involvement of a professional sales and marketing consultant include:
Contrary to popular belief, outsourcing B2B digital marketing tasks doesn’t mean handing control of your business to an unknown third party. It’s simply a way to finding a long-term partner able to help you reach your strategic business objectives faster. Much faster than with traditional marketing channels. The right online industrial marketing partner enables you to grow your digital assets that work for your business and get you closer to success.
Author: Dennis Dubner, CEO of SONDORA SA. 20+ years of B2B Marketing and Business Development experience worldwide.
10 Digital Marketing Rookie Errors to Avoid at All Costs
If you ask me, the value of the web as a 21st century marketing platform is best-illustrated in a few simple statistics:
Whichever way you look at it, the statistics speak for themselves.
Unfortunately, the tendency to dive in at the deep end without careful consideration is rife. Due to the sheer size and scope of the Internet, business owners often assume they simply can’t go wrong. In reality, it’s surprisingly easy to fall foul of any number of rookie errors.
We’ve reached a point in time where the ‘trial and error’ approach to digital marketing simply isn’t necessary. The reason being that enough mistakes have been made by millions of businesses worldwide to paint a pretty clear picture of what you should and shouldn’t be doing.
So rather than learning from your own mistakes, why not take something from those already made?
To illustrate the point a little more clearly, I’ve created a shortlist of 10 of the most common rookie errors in digital marketing. Irrespective of the size and nature of the business you run, steer clear of the following and your digital strategy will thank you:
While it’s true to say that you have to spend money to make money, needlessly overspending can have catastrophic consequences. If there’s an element of your digital marketing strategy that simply isn’t delivering consistent returns, modify it or get rid of it. There are too many incredible opportunities to leverage online to waste time on those of no value to your business.
Now more than ever, pop-ups have a tendency to have the opposite of the intended effect. Hence, to pay good money for pop-ups is to both throw your money down the drain and run the risk of sending prospects straight to your competitors. The effectiveness of pop-ups has deteriorated significantly over the years – a miraculous turnaround being unlikely at this stage.
When an individual clicks on one of your ads or links, it’s typically because they’ve decided they want something from you. Something specific, which they expect to access as quickly and conveniently as possible. Hence, you need to ensure they are transported directly to the appropriate landing page. There’s little more infuriating than clicking a link and being transported to a page that’s got nothing to do with the link you clicked, only to then have to search high and low for whatever it is you were looking for.
Suggestions that the importance and effectiveness of SEO are diminishing really couldn’t be further from the truth. If anything, the world’s reliance on the major search engines is only set to intensify indefinitely. For small and large businesses of all shapes and sizes, there’s really no long-term digital marketing initiative that can deliver the same consistent ROI as SEO. More than 90% of all online experiences start with a search engine – can you really afford to turn your back on Google and Co?
Tenacity and perseverance hold the key to successful digital marketing. Nevertheless, there’s a difference between a ‘both-barrels’ digital strategy and crossing the line into spam. From keyword use to link building to e-mail marketing and so on, too much of a good thing is never a good thing. Quality should always be prioritized over quantity in all aspects of your digital strategy.
If you don’t want to hire and pay for professional copywriters, you don’t have to. But under no circumstances should you make the mistake of publishing substandard content. Even the slightest errors and oversights are enough to paint entirely the wrong picture of your business. Quality content lies at the heart of every successful digital strategy, which must be unique, engaging, relevant and of value to the reader. If you can’t get the job done yourself, hire someone who can.
Or perhaps, little to no use of CTAs whatsoever. CTAs have played an important role in all aspects of marketing and advertising since the dawn of time. If you want your prospects to take action, it’s up to you to tell them what to do and show them how to do it. Effective CTAs are eye-catching, prominently positioned and communicate some kind of value in their own right. The idea being that the customer feels they’re benefiting in some way by clicking your CTA.
The most effective ads and online marketing materials have a limited lifespan. Sooner or later, everything goes stale and warrants a refresh. From time to time, it’s important to revisit all important elements of your digital strategy and continue their current effectiveness. Even if they’re still getting the job done with a solid consistency, it’s important to avoid stagnation before it occurs.
Digital advertising opens the door to literally hundreds of different marketing channels to explore. Nevertheless, the vast majority of newcomers to digital favour the ‘all eggs in one basket’ approach. They choose one or two channels they know, without considering what they may be missing out on elsewhere. These days, multi-channel marketing is the only truly effective type of digital marketing. Limit your exploration of the available channels and your strategy stands to suffer as a result.
Trust me when I say – overlook mobile audiences at your peril! Mobile traffic is already comfortably outpacing traditional desktop traffic in many key markets worldwide. Rather than simply paying a passing ‘nod’ to mobile visitors, the time has come to prioritize mobile traffic in everything you do. Including your digital marketing strategy – mobile-first being the new standard for the forward-thinking digital marketer. Now, most of our manufacturing and industrial clients start with “oh, but our customers do not use their mobile devices much, they sit in their offices in front of their computers…”. I do not want to throw more numbers and stats at you. I’ll just mention one that is big enough. Over 90% of business owners use their mobile devices over 70% of the time for online search, social media, and email.
2020 Fashion Marketing: Everything You Need To Know To Get Ahead Of The Curve
Fashion Marketing is my personal passion. We work with fashion brands and multi-brand retailers daily. Therefore, I think it’s our duty to write on this topic more. First of all, we love fashion and luxury marketing for its speed, borderless room for creativity and reach. And that’s why I’ve decided to add my 2 cents to the ocean of content on this topic.
Let’s start with the basics here. IMHO, Leadership, Marketing, and Finance are three vital parts of any fashion business as it can help a brand to get the products to the right customers profitably if done right. It is the only way a fashion brand can expand its market reach and stay in business.
I’ll elaborate on the Marketing component a bit more. While most people think that fashion marketing is just about modeling new products, it goes deeper than that. What’s more, the industry gets much more competitive with each passing day. Different businesses are pumping loads of capital to find ways they can get the edge and grow their reach, while still solidifying their grip on their current market base.
Fashion marketers have to research on their different target audiences and find innovative ways of getting to them. The global fashion market is noisy, very noisy! As a fashion marketer, you have to resonate with the customer and inspire them to develop an interest in the product and the brand. And not just a random customer, but a micro-targeted customer with a crystal clear set of values, beliefs, habits, expectations. An American woman, 40 to 50 years old with above-average income level as a Persona won’t be good enough of a targeting anymore.
Fashion marketing is very much different from the “normal” marketing for any other business. You can sustain the same marketing campaign for other businesses over an extended period of time. The fashion industry, on the other hand, is very dynamic and keeps changing as new trends come up every day. Marketing campaigns therefore only go for short cycles before fashion marketers are needed to come up with new campaigns for new products. The competition level is INSANE in fashion. This means that fashion marketing campaigns should be able to achieve its objectives as soon as they are launched. A good fashion marketing campaign should be able to balance both short-term gains and long-term goals.
And, just to mention, Fashion Marketing is being destroyed by the PROMO CULTURE. Black Friday, Christmas Sale, Final Liquidation Prices, 90% Off, Buy 1 get 2 Free, and so on and so forth. C’mon! This cannot continue!
The top fashion brands did not get to the top of the industry through sheer luck. One of the major components of their success is effective marketing strategies, tactics, and campaigns. Here are some effective fashion marketing moves that have proved tremendously successful for top fashion brands:
Competition doesn’t automatically translate to the enemy. Sometimes, your competition may be the key to your success. In the fashion industry, doing collaborations with your competitions can help you tap into their markets and break new grounds. It has worked for various brands before, the most notable ones being Nike and Off White, and H&M and Karl Lagerfeld among others. The collaborations helped the brands extend their product lines and increase their visibility.
Celebrity endorsements are also about increasing product visibility. Celebrities are usually almost worshipped by their fans and their opinions and choices are the ultimate truth. They are cult heroes.
Celebrity endorsements will not only help a fashion brand get new buyers but also loyal ones. No matter how big a fashion brand is, and a celebrity on its own rights, it can still do with a celebrity endorsement. For example, Rihanna was appointed as a creative director for women’s collection by Puma. Rihanna’s own fashion line, Fenty, has received celebrity endorsements from a number of superstars including Brandy, Cardi B, Ezra Miller, Gabrielle Union, and Karlie Kloss. Kanye West relied on celebrity endorsements from Calvin Harris and Justin Bieber to market his Yeezy Boost collection.
Newsjacking is a marketing strategy used by brands to capitalize on breaking news and trending topics to draw some of the attention to themselves and their products. David Meerman has been given credit for the popularity of newsjacking as a marketing strategy. The practice is quite common in the fashion industry. Fashion brands have often jumped on social media trending topics, especially on Twitter and Instagram, with humorous and sometimes direct marketing for their products. Here are some of the most renowned news jacks:
– Tide and Superbowl blackout: When the Superbowl experienced a blackout during a match, Tide saw an opportunity to market its washing detergent. They made a tweet saying that though they were unable to do anything about blackouts, they could help with getting stains out.
– Snickers and Luis Suarez World Cup bite: When Luis Suarez bite Giorgio Chiellini during a 2014 World Cup match between Italy and Uruguay, Snickers jumped in with a tweet advising the striker to grab a Snickers the next time he wants a bite.
Newsjacking has to be done right or it could backfire on the brand, as Kenneth Cole found out when the brand tried to take advantage of the Syrian Conflict to market their footwear.
A live stream can help a fashion brand reach millions of potential buyers as product launches and other brand events don’t have to be a privilege closed-door moment for the elite. Everyone gets to watch the event in real-time from their devices. Live Streaming helps the fashion house expand visibility and reach new audiences. Instead of relying on livestreams from invited guests on their channels, a fashion brand should establish their own official Livestream channels. Besides YouTube, other platforms that can make for great live streaming include: – Facebook Live – Instagram Live – Periscope – Ustream – Diecast – Vimeo Livestream – Streamshark – Stretch Internet – Brightcove brands such as Louis Vuitton are already capitalizing on Instagram live streams.
Insta is still going to be BIG! And if your target audience is older or younger, Pinterest and Snapchat are awesome. Do not ever forget about the second largest search engine in the world – Youtube – that keeps on trying to become a social media network.
Social media influencers can make a huge impact on a brand by simply giving them a mention or a review, or using their products. Influencer marketing is like high school, everyone wants to have what the cool kid has. Fashion brands can leverage on reputable fashion bloggers or vloggers to reach out to new market segments. It can lead to increased leads and sales. They can just generally share products from the brand or work in collaboration with a brand for a product-specific marketing campaign. One of the most common social media influencer campaigns is unboxing- in which the influencer uses a product for the first time and gives it a review on the camera. A classic example of influencer marketing is the unboxing video of Jordan Brand by YouTube vlogger Jacques Slade.
I am not a big fan but Giveaways can be an excellent way for fashion marketers to engage existing customers and acquire new ones for a brand. They can be used to promote new products or celebrate important occasions by the fashion brand. Giveaways help in creating brand awareness and growing the audience base. After a giveaway competition by Catparty on Instagram, the number of their followers increased by 70%.
This is a BIG ONE!!!! Paying a commission to the webmasters that already have massive traffic to their digital assets is a BAD DRUG for fashion brands. It’s LOVE/HATE relationship really. On one hand, the revenue skyrockets fast. On the other hand, brand evaporates. So it’s a tough call to start or stop an affiliate marketing campaign.
One of the benefits of affiliate marketing is that the return on investment is almost guaranteed. It is a widely used marketing strategy for increasing online sales outside of your website or an app. The affiliates are usually paid on commission, which is a percentage of the sales made from their sales funnel. Affiliate marketing is a great way for fashion brands to develop brand advocates and work with various publishers for mutual benefit. The costs majorly depend on how the affiliate marketing program is set up.
Some of the best platforms for Fashion Affiliate Marketing include:
You can dedicate a section exclusively to style guides and fashion tips. That style guides will give your website visitors ideas on how to dress and accessorize your brand and even incorporate your products with their wardrobe. You can do style guides for different seasons, special occasions, holidays, and topical themes such as a weekend getaway, work, and travel. When your audience is able to visualize how they would look in your products, they are likely to make a purchase.
In spite of the major shift towards digital marketing, traditional marketing platforms such as TV, radio, and newspapers are still relevant and can deliver a return on investment if well utilized. To realize any success with these traditional platforms, your brand should be able to tell a story. Well, the same stands for digital channels really. Just tap into people’s emotions in a positive manner and you’ll get rewarded. This has largely been Nike’s forte with their memorable campaigns. A perfect example was the “Just do it” campaign which also featured Colin Kaepernick.
While corporate social responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability may not have a direct impact on sales, it is a great way to establish brand awareness. In the long run, the fashion brand will be able to realize the benefits of CSR. You can never go wrong with giving back to the community.
Some of the notable brands who have realized tremendous growth after doing CSR activities include:
– Converse – The shoe brand set up a studio where New York artists could record their music for free. They do not claim ownership to the songs. Neither do they demand that the artists advertise the brand. This has had a huge impact on their popularity.
– Under Armour’s strategy to give free shirts to the National Football League (NFL) players resulted in shirt deals with more than 2 NFL teams.
– Lululemon offers free yoga classes every weekend in one of its California stores. This has elevated it as a fashion brand that cares about the wellbeing of its customers.
When thought and creativity are injected into a fashion marketing process, then there are higher chances of the fashion brand realizing returns on investment.
Fashion brands are increasingly exploring the option of allowing customers to shop and receive products from channels of their choice. Retail stores can be able to cross-sell items from other stores. One of the fashion designers who are already exploring this is Lyn Evans. All of its stores have iPads which customers can use to order items from the other stores in case they don’t find their favorite item or color in that particular store. Another brand that has embraced omnichannel retailing is Gap.
But wait! If you think Omnichannel is about the channels, you are very much wrong. Omnichannel is all about the Data and Attribution for most fashion brands. Every time I speak with a CMO about the Omnichannel, we have to invite a CFO into the meeting room as well. Omnichannel is a cause for many internal company conflicts for lots of brands. “So who gets the bonus then?” is what makes the omnichannel so difficult for the companies leadership.
Fashion brands are increasingly allowing their customers to customize the products to their tastes and preferences. NikeiD on the Nike website gives customers the option of picking the pattern and colors they would want on their shoes. Black Lapel, Indochino, Vans, Ray-Ban, and Adidas among other brands also allow their customers to customize and personalize their orders.
Online retail used to be left to fashion brands that were still trying to establish themselves. Not anymore. Luxury fashion brands are finally realizing how much potential online retail has to their business. Does it even make sense to list the luxury companies that sell online? It’s easier to list those who don’t. However, if you ask me how many luxury fashion brands are successful in selling online, I’d say “very few”.
E-Commerce marketing is HARD. It requires so many different expensive skill sets in your company that it barely breaks even. Hiring an internal expert data analyst and an external professional e-commerce marketing agency (may I say, like SONDORA MARKETING?) would be a great idea.
Visualization plays an important role in attracting customers. Amazon, in a bid to place itself as the top online retailer for fashion items, launched a photography studio with 22 photo bays in 2015. They also later launched a fashion site called Who What Wear aimed at enabling customers to shop for items that are inspired by celebrities. More and more brands are looking to curate photos in order to have a visualization effect on their customers.
Starting from 2019, lots of brands go beyond the standard visuals. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are yet quite slow in adoption by Fashion Brands. But I am pretty confident that this is a temporary state of things. AR and VR are going to be MASSIVE.
Fashion marketers are incorporating artificial intelligence in their marketing campaigns for greater return on investment all day long. AI has been pivotal in improving customer interactions and gives fashion marketers access to better and more reliable data analytics.
Social media is increasingly becoming a storefront for fashion brands. The brands create links on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest that redirect customers to their retail sites. Everyone does shopping ads for a good reason. It works beautifully.
But why Ads? You might ask. Why not organic reach on social media platforms? Well, thanks to Facebook’s Executive Team, the organic reach is aimed closer and closer to Zero now. Social Media Platforms have so much value that it wouldn’t be very smart not to monetize it. Would it? So if you want visibility, brand awareness and conversions, run Ads. As simple as that.
Let’s now move to the mechanics of Fashion Marketing.
In order to have in place a powerful roadmap and a successful set of marketing campaigns, fashion marketers usually undertake the following three phases in developing a strategic marketing campaign:
The fashion marketer does a market analysis so as to have a clear picture of the state of the brand. At this phase, the following functions are performed; – Analysis of competition – Research on the brand’s existing and potential customers. – Brand assessment – Industry trends After those functions are completed, the team comes up with a marketing plan.
The marketing plan is put into action. The fashion marketing team organizes resources, designs market organization and develops marketing schedules. The marketing plan developed in the first phase is used as a reference point for marketing tactics.
In this phase, the fashion marketing manager ensures that the results achieved from the marketing program are in line with the business goals that were set in the initial stages. Corrective actions are taken in case any deviations are noted so that the marketing campaign can stay on track. They also seek to maximize the positives. Basically, at this phase, the progress of the marketing campaign is monitored and evaluated.
The evaluation is done in the following ways:
With the cutthroat competition in the fashion industry, designers and fashion marketers cannot afford the luxury of wasting time and resources. They have to get it right the first time as the second chance is basically playing catch up to the competition. They, therefore, need to come up with a sound marketing strategy that guarantees results- leads and conversions. Here are 7 key components of fashion marketing;
The need for market research is even more profound in the fashion industry than any other. You need to understand the market size and its growth or decline, consumer spending habits, and any emerging trends in the industry. Some of the top publications that a fashion marketer can rely on for insights in the industry include Vogue, Elle, Glamour, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, and InStyle among many others.
The marketing strategy should be able to comprehensively capture the target market for fashion products. Besides identifying the type of buyers most likely to purchase the product, it should also segment the target market into at least three levels for effective marketing campaigns and easy penetration.
What kind of perception does the market have of the brand and its products? Are they perceived as the go-to brand for fashion items when on a budget? The market perception is an important element to consider when developing marketing campaigns. Once the fashion marketer understands the brands positioning, they will be able to develop effective campaigns that reinforce positive perceptions and change negative perceptions. They can communicate clearly on how they want the brand to be perceived.
A brand can only ignore the competition at their own peril. A good fashion marketer will want to know who the competition is, the brand’s products are different from that of the competition, the market segment they operate in, and how they can have an edge over the competition. You have to stand out from your competition.
An effective marketing strategy is the only way to nurture leads and convert those leads to sales. The effectiveness of a marketing strategy is measured in terms of impressions, leads, and sales. The core question the marketing strategy should answer is, “how do I find and attract the target market?” After identifying the target market, they can use various tactics to reach them.
The fashion marketer should be able to forecast how much budget they will need for a marketing campaign. The budget can be planned weekly or monthly. The budget should have a ceiling for each activity such that the marketer doesn’t waste funds on a strategy that is not generating a return on investment.
From start to the end of the marketing campaign, the fashion marketer should be able to measure the success of the campaign. They should be able to compare the budget spent on the entire campaign versus the actual return on investment. For online marketing campaigns, the marketer can rely on services such as Google Analytics to measure the metrics. This will help them to measure the effectiveness of their marketing strategies.
Obviously, Fashion marketers do not necessarily have to be designers. This does not mean that they do not have a say on the type of products that fashion brands put out to the market. On the contrary, they do have a big influence on the products and their designs. Fashion marketers carry out market research and therefore are in a better position to understand fashion trends and the impact they have on a business. They know which designs would be a hit and which wouldn’t. They therefore also contribute to the design of fashion products. The responsibilities of a fashion marketer include:
This helps in decision-making with regards to fashion designs and business processes. They perform both quantitative and qualitative research into fashion trends and consumer behaviors.
Fashion marketers are responsible for placing the brand such that the target audience can relate and feel a personal connection to the brand. They have to create the story behind the brand.
Besides creating compelling advertisements for the products, fashion marketers also have to manage media planning to ensure that the ads are distributed as scheduled. They are responsible for both traditional and digital advertisements.
Fashion marketers contribute to the decision on how brands price and distribute their products. Through their market research, they can be able to tell which distributions channels are better performing and how to price the products for each channel. This helps the brand to maximize their profits from both retail and online stores.
And now, since you’ve gone through this “long read” and wonder how the hack is one person capable of doing so many things, I have to say that such people work at many fashion companies. They are incredibly talented people.
If you are just beginning your marketing career at a Fashion company, I’d recommend developing many soft and hard skills.
– Good communication skills
– Outstanding Analytical Skills = numbers is everything in modern marketing
– Great taste and sense in Fashion
– Martech knowledge: the more in-depth the better
– Fast Decision-making
– Business acumen
– Ability to work in high-pressure environments
– Creative skills
– Sales skills: the amount of time and effort it takes to sell an idea inside the fashion company is just ridiculous sometimes.
Thanks for your attention. Please comment below and we’ll be happy to address any of your questions.
Win Loss Analysis – Best Marketing Practices for 2020
It’s a scenario you probably know well. You’ve finally closed the deal, the immediate future looks great for your business and the entire team is in the mood to celebrate. You’ve hit your targets ahead of time, you’re looking at a decent period with zero uncertainty ahead and your confidence is sky-high.
But here’s the thing – tomorrow is a new day, with new targets to assign and new challenges to face. The question being, what can you do to repeat this all-around success going forwards?
In my experience, this is where many businesses go wrong. They ride the wave of a recent big success, which is fine, but they ride it way too long. Assumptions are made based on immediate successes and insufficient effort is made to encourage history to repeat itself.
The result of which, as you can imagine, tends to be a disappointment.
If you fall on the more proactive side of the spectrum, what should you be doing to make things happen again and again?
The answer – conducting a win/loss analysis could help steer things in the right direction.
Carrying out a win/loss analysis (aka post-decision interviews) gives you the opportunity to replicate your biggest successes indefinitely. It’s also just as important for generating key insights as to why you didn’t hit your targets, helping guide your subsequent decisions and actions accordingly.
Win/loss analysis is one of the many options on the table for repeating your successes, but it’s a highly effective and measurable method.
At its core, a win/loss analysis provides the opportunity to assess your business and its performance from the perspective of your customers. It delivers a detailed overview of your points of appeal, areas for improvement and the reasons why you won or lost. Rather than assuming you know what contributed to your recent success or failure, you go directly to your customers and request their feedback.
Interviews can be carried out via various channels, but I’ve noted the most helpful insights are generated by in-person discussions or telephone conversations. Postal or email surveys are an option but don’t provide the opportunity to dig deeper than the base questions you ask. You can even ask a third-party to handle things on your behalf, but then you can’t be sure they’ll probe as deeply or specifically as you would personally.
By ensuring you (or your team) contact customers directly, you access a number of key benefits such as:
You’ll still produce helpful data through traditional questionnaires and surveys, but I strongly recommend at least some in-person interviews where possible.
The primary benefit of a win/loss analysis is the unique customer-first perspective it provides of your successes and failures. A strong and on-going sales strategy is mandatory for the consistent performance of your organization. A win/loss analysis provides the opportunity to gather, analyze and retain the kind of priceless data that can help improve success rates and identify areas of weakness.
In fact, there’s no more effective way of getting to know your business from the perspective of its customers than through win/loss analysis.
Specifically, win/loss analysis delivers such key insights as:
These are just a few of the insights you’ll gain access to by performing an effective win/loss analysis. Ultimately, the data you collect can be used as the basis for your on-going marketing and PR strategy.
The benefits of win/loss analysis are therefore clear, but what’s the best way of getting started?
It’s worth remembering that the data you collect will only be as useful as the collection method allows. Hence, it’s useful to view the win/loss analysis interview process in three specific stages:
In the wake of success or failure, you’ll first need to pen a robust interview strategy with your sales and marketing team, with the input of your customer service heads. Consider the questions you’ll be asking, who will carry out the interviews and how they will be performed. I recommend planning for interviews that last around 30 minutes, though allow extra time in instances where further probing is necessary. Make things as easy and comfortable as possible for the interviewee, which will encourage their participation and help maintain their interest.
Don’t be afraid to go off-script during the interview if you feel additional or modified questions could prove helpful. It’s also important to conduct the interview as objectively as possible, allowing as little emotion as you can to affect your approach. The customer should be reminded of the importance of their honesty, irrespective of how their thoughts and opinions differ from those of the interviewer. Stick with the timetable you assign as strictly as possible, in order to avoid frustrating the interviewee.
The data collected during each interview should be reviewed and analyzed with equal importance. Rather than searching for findings that correlate with your own beliefs, you need to consider every viewpoint and experience carefully. It’s also important to thank each participant after the event for their contribution to the project.
Post-decision interviews shouldn’t be conducted only in the wake of major wins or losses. Instead, they should form an integral part of your core sales, marketing, and customer service strategy. At least, if you prioritize continuous improvement and customer satisfaction.
There are, however, some ground rules that should be followed to make the most of every win/loss analysis carried out. Looking ahead to the remaining months of 2019, the following represent the most important best-practice guidelines to gain maximum value from your post-decision interviews:
Your findings will be skewed if you speak to a disproportionate number of satisfied or dissatisfied customers. You can only expect to achieve clear and balanced insights if you ensure both sides are represented equally. It’s also worth remembering that every interview represents an invaluable opportunity to get a disenchanted customer back on board with whatever it is you do.
As a general rule of thumb, try to ensure your interviews are carried out no more than two months (or eight weeks) following the event or action. The more time that passes, the more inaccuracies and inconsistencies may find their way into the participants’ accounts. It can also be useful to gauge the emotional responses of your customers to your brand, which will be at their rawest and strongest immediately after the event.
Consider the information you’re most interested in collecting and work backward to establish the questions you’ll need to ask. To what extent did you satisfy the customer? Which of your competitors were also in contention? Why did they choose you? What would it take to keep them coming back? Why didn’t you win their business? What would they change about the experience? What advice could they offer you? What were their perceptions of your representatives? What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
If impartiality is to be achieved, the interview must take place in a non-sales environment with zero pressure and with no hint of a sales pitch. Effective post-decision interviews can help get disenchanting customers back on board, but this should never be your priority. Salesmanship and marketing talk has no place in the mix – the same also applying to your own personal feelings and emotions.
If you simply cannot guarantee 100% objectivity and impartiality with your own representatives, you may need to consider hiring a third party. This may be the only way of achieving a true non-sales environment for the interviews, ensuring the results aren’t skewed by your own biased views, opinions, and objectives. Outsourcing can bring its own unique challenges into the mix but does at least guarantee neutrality and objectivity on the part of the interviewer.
Contextual free-form answers should be encouraged to determine how each customer feels about your business and your offer. However, it can also be very difficult (or even impossible) to compile and analyze this kind of data. It’s therefore useful to create fixed metrics for customers’ responses – such as asking them to gauge their satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10. Or perhaps determine the extent to which an issue is a priority for them – not at all, low, medium, high, very high etc. This will assist with the aggregation and analysis of the data you collect.
Conducting win/loss analysis once every year or so won’t tell you a great deal about your business. By the time your next interviews are carried out, you’ve already lost the opportunity to act on the prior project’s findings. Instead, it’s a good idea to conduct post-decision interviews on a quarterly basis at least. Compare and contrast each project’s findings with the last, taking every opportunity to act on your findings the moment they’re gathered.
As far as your customers are concerned, the thoughts and opinions they share are 100% factual. Hence, they’re the only thoughts and opinions you should be listening to. Irrespective of how the information you gather mar contradict your deepest-set thoughts and beliefs, this is the information you need to trust. However objective you think you are, nobody can provide more honest and objective insights than your customers themselves. Trust their opinions, consider their suggestions and act upon their feedback.
Above all else, you need to get out of the habit of viewing post-decision interviews as an optional extra. Win/loss analysis should be considered mandatory – a key strategy that forms the core of your on-going sales, marketing, and customer satisfaction strategy.
From a digital marketer’s perspective, I personally believe there is a no richer or more valuable source of data than that obtained through strategic win/loss analysis. Whether you succeed or fail, your customers can provide all the information you’ll need to move on with even greater strength and confidence.
Your digital marketing goal may be to enhance your brand’s image, boost your reputation, generate leads, enhance conversion rates, appeal to a new/wider market or any number of combined objectives. Across the board, you can only hope to succeed if you know exactly what’s working and what isn’t from the perspective of your customers. Which digital channels do they prefer? What would they change about the UX or customer journey? What’s their preferred customer support channel? Is your current digital marketing mix working?
Otherwise, you could be basing your decisions on incomplete and potentially flawed information, along with your own non-objective insights. A digital marketing strategy based on factual evidence and honest customer opinions will always perform better than a campaign built around assumptions.
Most businesses have the means and the resources necessary to conduct detailed win/loss analysis. More importantly, going directly to your customers for advice and insights simply makes sense.
Nevertheless, evidence suggests comparatively few show any real priority to post-decision interviews. Which is unfortunate, given their potential to produce invaluable data for near-limitless business-wide benefits.
Irrespective of the time and effort the project may entail, the results can and will justify your investment. It’s simply a case of adopting a carefully structured approach, in accordance with the practices and general guidelines outlined above.What Does SEO Stand For?
Here is the deal: SEO is a big deal. And it has been for the last decade or so. If you own any piece of internet real estates like a website, blog, YouTube channel, or an app, you’ve heard of SEO. But, what does SEO stand for?
This post is not another “What is SEO. SEO helps you rank well” type of guide.
You are in the right place if you are not only searching for an advanced SEO meaning but also want to discover what you can do now to increase organic traffic to your website, or another online asset.
The initials SEO stand for Search Engine Optimization.
We’ll break that down further. Shall we?
Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo use algorithms to present the most relevant information to the searcher.
The internet is a massive, global library. When you want to find information on the internet, you are more likely than not to fire up your internet browser and type in what you are looking for. Sound familiar?
Say you want to learn how to start a business blog or how to create a niche blog on WordPress. What words, phrases or questions would you type into the Google Search box?
Here is an all too familiar example:
Notice the first three search results are online advertisements (Google AdWords). But they are right on the money because they are relevant answers to your question.
So, what’s that got to do with search engine optimization in 2019 and beyond?
SEO is all about making your content visible to Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines. Search engines, in turn, make it easy for people searching for information online to find relevant, helpful, and genuine information on different digital platforms.
Search engines do this by ranking websites ideally in order of how relevant, helpful and genuine the content they contain is.
The words, phrases, and questions a searcher types into a search engine box are collectively referred to as keywords.
The likes of Google search engine use keywords to help web browsers like you and I find the best information as fast as possible. Not to oversimplify it, the thinking is if the content of an online platform uses the same words, phrases and questions searchers are typing into search boxes, then that content is likely to give the latter satisfactory answers.
The combined mix of keywords and need for user satisfaction invented Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERPs).
Here’s another familiar sight:
An example of a Google search engine result page (SERP).
SERPs are a big deal for businesses and marketers, and here’s why.
The higher up a SERP your website ranks, the more visitors you’ll get. In fact, websites that rank on the first page of Google search results take 92% of all traffic, according to Chitika.
Google web pages
Ranking on the second page of Google search results will see you get about 5% of the traffic. And it gets worse from there.
SEO helps you rank on the top pages of search results so you can be visible to your target audience. And you already know that buyers buy what they know exists.
Here’s the most interesting bit:
Improving your website ranking to number one on Google will help you fetch 33% of all traffic. Number two gets about 18%. And if you rank on page two of Google, you are likely to fetch only about 1.1% of visitors.
These visitors are also referred to as traffic. And the more traffic you get, the higher your chances of encouraging the visitors to consider your call-to-action.
Studies show providing useful content establishes you as an authority in your industry; that you know your stuff, and the visitor can trust you to help them learn to solve the problem they are looking for online.
By providing the information they need, you can further provide calls-to-action visitors can take to get more answers to their question. For example, in the SERP screenshot above:
The first result is a WordPress ad inviting you to create a blog with them. The second is about Udemy, an online platform where you can learn new skills—which is what the search query is asking to learn: how to create a blog on WordPress. The next screenshot shows other sites that can teach you what you are looking to learn.
Poor SEO techniques can have you buried in, for instance, a position 3 of Page 9 of a SERP, where not many people are looking. Proper SEO techniques, on the flip side, can have you attracting free traffic to your website in the tens of thousands of targeted visitors.
SEO marketing is a set of activities that involve using search engine optimization methods to help you boost your online visibility as a brand.
And what are these methods?
A web searcher (visitor) will click on your site from the SERP when they think you provide the best value for their time. Again, by providing high-quality content; relevant, helpful, and genuine content.
One of the most powerful SEO methods to implement for business is using geographical location; targeting searchers in a specific area.
What is local SEO?
What that means…
…whether you are a local brick-and-mortar business or digital brand, you can benefit from becoming visible to potential customers in your area (or target area).
By using keywords your local target audience would use to find a product or service similar to yours, you can direct local online visitors to your local business—whether online or through foot traffic.
Courtesy of Blue Corona
A robust local SEO strategy will involve listing your business on Google My Business. If you are a brick and mortar with a verified address, you can list. But if you take services to your clientele, you’ll want to register as a service area business; carpenter, plumber, cleaner, courier, and so on.
Source: Google My Business
This is a good example of letting prospects know where to find you, what you offer locally, and whether they can reach you when they want to buy from you. You can also use online business directories like YellowPages, FourSquare, and Bing Places for Business.
Remember, you are not listing your business based on the market you serve, but where you are located. You can use a professional local SEO expert to help you set up your GMB mini-website and local SEO strategy if you need expert guidance.
Let’s take an example.
Searching “hotels in Lugano Switzerland” gives:
Example of a Google local 3-pack listing via GMB
Potential customers can use this to find the best hotels in Lugano based on price, proximity, customer reviews, open hours, menu, description, nearby attractions, hotel class, discounts, amenities, directions, and so on.
In fact, a Moz Study showed while 44% of local searchers click on the local 3-pack listing, only about 8% search for more information past it. They get what they want. Fast.
All that information has to do with optimizing a hotel’s local SEO. It is about providing the information they need when they need it to decide their next action.
There is more. If you like to see some great ways to improve the organic traffic from the Local-Based Keywords to your web pages please read our blog post here.
As the name suggests, national SEO is about targeting a nationwide audience with that nation’s keywords.
National SEO is similar to local SEO in that you’ll want to target potential customers that are looking for products or services based in a specific area. It’s also based on localization optimization.
Only this time on a national scale as opposed to the neighborhood, city, county approach used in local search marketing.
Instead, you can target keywords and on-page SEO techniques (such as Maps) based on your state or country.
With International SEO, you’d be looking to appeal to regional and global audiences. That means your SEO needs to use keywords that encourage anyone from anywhere to find your business online.
This SEO strategy is ideal for companies that serve global markets. Otherwise, it would be a waste of resources to market locally sold products or services to a worldwide audience that is unlikely to ever buy from you.
So, how do you do that?
By optimizing your website pages for relevant keywords to your intended global audience.
So when someone is trying to understand what does SEO stand for, it is crucial to learn the process of website optimization.
Clearly, the importance of SEO to business cannot be understated. But how do you know what people are searching for online so you can use similar phrases in your SEO strategy and content marketing campaigns?
How do you attract traffic to your site using keywords? How do you know which keywords to use and which ones to leave out of your plan? What makes one SEO strategy more effective than the other?
You chose the wrong keywords you waste a lot of resources, including time.
Simply, it is about finding out the words, questions, phrases, sayings, and more your target audience are using to find the relevant information to search query (and related products, services, or a combination of both)?
By understanding the terms and related terms potential customers enter into search engines to find relevant products and services, you can strategically inject similar terms into your content, so it is easily discoverable by the very people looking for it.
Keyword research is to search engine optimization what fuel is to fire.
You can go at it manually.
You can search on online platforms such as reviews sites, online forums, and social media channels. You’d be seeking to find how potential customers discuss, describe, word, phrase, and even lament about your industry niche.
Also, you can pick some time-relevant, popular and effective keywords from the bottom of Google’s SERP pages in the “Searches Related to…” section free of charge.
Google’s free keyword research tool
But this can be a lengthy process. And even the best SEO companies take time to gather actionable, long-term keywords.
Alternatively, you can use online search tools to almost automate your search, get suggested keywords and volume data for each keyword. Some of the best keyword research tools include:
Still, if you prefer to hire an SEO expert to do the search and integrate results into your SEO strategy on your behalf, that is okay too.
Whichever way you choose, you’ll want to be keen about using the keywords you find. Because how you use them matters a lot.
A particularly important portion of SEO and search marketing is to be precise on longtail keywords vs. short-tail keywords.
And what are long-tail keywords and short-tail keywords?
A Long-tail keyword is a keyword phrase that typically comprises of three or more words. Short-tail keywords have less than three words and are broad in their target. Long-tail keywords generally are smaller search volume and less competitive phrases. So if you find it difficult to rank for “dental clinic Leeds” you’d rather choose a long-tail keyword “the teeth whitening dental clinic in Leeds”.
Let’s take an example:
If you entered the keyword “shirts” into a web search engine or an e-commerce search tool, you’d get a massive catalog of shirt results—from Hawaiian shirts to formal shirts.
Would that be satisfactory?
Not when you want to find formal cotton shirts.
Now picture your target market. If a web searcher is looking for shirts, it likely means they are yet to be specific enough to make a purchase decision.
On the other hand, a web searcher that types “official cotton shirts” is advanced in the buyer journey.
They already are aware of the kind of shirts they need. So a long-tail searcher is also much more likely to convert faster. This is a prospect not a lead, a potential customer who is actually looking to make a purchase—not learn what you do.
It gets deeper.
For example, you can use specific LSI keywords to target specific segments.
By using an LSI such as “best notebooks under $650” is likely to connect with potential notebook buyers who are on a budget and need a right mix of quality components, stable performance, and at an affordable price.
Due to their specificity, long-tail keywords are also easier to rank for than short-tail keywords.
In fact, long-tail keywords are ideal for small businesses SEO strategies because not only are most small businesses niche by nature but also because long-tail keywords have less keyword competition hence low keyword difficulty.
Large businesses (which have big SEO budgets to spend) tend to rank much better for shorter keywords, making it tough for smaller companies to rank well. And it can take years for the latter to break into the first pages of Google/Bing/Yahoo/etc.
Now that the time issue’s come up, how long does it take to rank at the top of SERPs?
The answer is…
There are literally hundreds of search ranking factors that come into play when creating a sound SEO strategy and in implementing one.
A more complex one is to do with keyword matrices. The combination of various, relevant keywords, including long-tail and short-tail keywords is also known as practicing Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keyword optimization.
LSI is about using a combination of keywords in contextual format and optimizing how they relate. For example, keywords like “dog”, “puppy”, and “breed” relate to the same context.
Link building is another influential ranking factor worth implementing.
Warning! Please be careful with link building because Google penalizes over-optimized websites with unnatural links. Your content needs to be so good that other websites start referring to your webpage to help the searcher get all the relevant answers. That is a natural link building technique and gives Google a strong signal that your webpage deserves a higher ranking. But if you buy spammy links, then it’s almost a guarantee that your website is going to be banned or penalized (Google called such action “a manual action”). Google’s algorithm is very advanced nowadays.
So to answer a question on how much time does it take to rank a webpage or a website we’d say it really depends on your website quality and on the competition. The SEO industry pretty much agrees that a website owner needs to be patient and work hard on natural optimization. On average, some good positive results can be achieved within 4-8 month unless you are up against the competitor that has been optimizing the web pages professionally for years.
But to avoid turning this SEO guide into a book, the most important search engine optimization stages can come down to three, which we’ll discuss here.
Let’s break each down, shall we?
It is not as mind-boggling tough as it reads.
Technical SEO is all about the search engine optimization aspects that do not involve content or links. So, no keyword density, keyword difficult, and long-tail keywords to deal here.
But what does technical SEO involve?
Here are the major factors to keep in mind:
These are just some of the most important technical SEO factors to look out for.
What is on-page SEO?
The term refers to all the tasks you can do on your website to rank higher on search engine results.
Such factors include:
Ensuring your site nails these search engine ranking factors is the first step to boosting the visibility of site online.
However, there is one MAJOR factor that has been increasing with lightning speed in importance – USER EXPERIENCE and USER BEHAVIOR. You absolutely must make sure your web page provides a great user experience so the website visitor does get all the answers to their query. If they don’t, they move from your website and keep on reading on your competitor’s website. If they stay longer on your competitor’s website than on yours, move to other relevant and engaging web pages on that rival’s website, it’s a matter of short time for Google to place your competitor higher in search results than your web page. It’s a simple concept. Write better content, provide a better user experience, and you’ll be rewarded with more online visibility by Google.
The next step is to execute your off-page SEO strategy.
So, what is the meaning of off-page SEO?
Contrary to on-page SEO techniques, off-page SEO involves all the things you can do directly off your site to rank high up the SERPs.
Some of the best off-page SEO ranking factors include:
Therefore, the answer to how long it takes to rank on top of Google is it takes as much time as you and your SEO professionals can get technical, on-page and off-page SEO factors in order.
White hat SEO techniques are the legitimate SEO methods to use to rank high in search results. They include on-page, off-page, and technical SEO best practices—as discussed in the above section.
Blackhat SEO techniques, on the other hand, violate Google Guidelines because they involve manipulation of the ranking algorithm. Black Hat techniques can lead to website penalization or even de-indexation from Google Search.
It is important to keep track of white hat vs black hat ranking techniques by occasionally conducting a thorough SEO audit of your site.
Because white hat methods do change to black hat approaches, you might find your site penalized for a mistake you didn’t even realize you were making.
To be safe and safeguard your ranking, even when the latest Google updates strike, you’ll want to avoid using black hat SEO methods and rely on white hat SEO principals instead.
But what if you need to rank fast?
What if you need to outrank your competition to stay in business? What can you do to boost your visibility fast and tidy?
Search marketing could help you boost your digital marketing campaign.
Search marketing leverages both paid and unpaid online advertising to promote a site and get traffic to your web pages. SM branches further into Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Organic Search.
Primarily, SEM involves using pay-pay-click (PPC) advertising to increase a site’s visibility faster compared to using organic methodologies (organic keywords and link building methods over some time).
And what if you want to learn SEO on your own, so you can practice search marketing on your own sites? You can tap the best SEO tips from the best in the field.
This question is frequently asked by the business owners and marketing executives. According to Forbes, every business needs to invest in the SEO – in-house or on professional external SEO agency or a consultant. An amount of USD 1,000 per month is a recommended bare minimum for a small business. Large organizations spend millions on SEO monthly.
The most dominant search engine on the planet receives over 2 billion monthly searches. Want to keep ahead of all the latest Google Search algorithm updates and more? For example, get some tips & tricks and learn how Google Search Console works from the horse’s mouth by following the Google Blog.
The platform brings together keyword research, backlinking, content and technical SEO in one place. Ahrefs is recognized as one of the most advanced tools by SEO community.
Rand Fishkin and team create educative blogs, videos and hold weekly podcasts to share their SEO and link building strategies with a solid following—which gets what it deserves.
Brian Dean is one of the most influential figures in SEO. He is particularly celebrated for inventing the Skyscraper Technique of white hat link building.
Recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the top digital marketers in the world right now, Neil teaches both simple and advanced methods to increase website traffic. Neil provides great tips for those starting their SEO journey.
The former webspam team head at Google has a wealth of Google, SEO and gadgets’ wisdom to share on his blog.
Or perhaps you preferred a more strategic, step-by-step and guided SEO tutorial or SEO agency to help you along?
Search engine optimization is a sophisticated and highly technical internet marketing strategy. But it is worth every effort. You can attract high-quality traffic to your website with almost zero financial strains compared to other methods.
What if you had a professional SEO service at your disposal?
As a Sondora SA client, you can get all the search marketing hacks you need to attract more business. You can focus on serving your customers instead of tweaking 301 redirects on edge.
You’ll have a full-fledged team of professionals on call.
Here is how our SEO project team looks like:
You’ll get a complete SEO audit done to reveal what is hurting your search engine ranking. And have them corrected to help you increase your visibility among other benefits for your business.
About the Author:
Matteo Iannelli is the Digital Marketing Manager at SONDORA MARKETING. He has been optimizing clients’ websites locally, nationally and internationally for over ten years. Matteo is always on the toe to create another most-proud-client-moment—like when the team helped a client skyrocket his e-commerce website traffic from 100 visitors to 15,000 visitors per month. After a thorough SEO audit and research that focused on buying intent keywords, it took only 12 weeks to start ranking for multiple significant keywords.2019 Checklist – B2B Lead Generation Stats and Hints
Find out how to optimize that B2B website to generate quality leads and more sales here in this Blog post.
The best business website is not limited to good design. To make the most out of a B2B lead generation strategy, it has to provide several key elements that help convert visitors into buyers. The following statistics unearth the different perspectives, marketers have (or need like to) to make the most out of a corporate website.
Here are the considerations and stats every B2B marketer should know in 2019 (and beyond).
Business owners and digital marketers will also want to carefully consider the kind of content they display on their business website—because their visitors care.
For example, is the website providing enough company information to boost trust and nurture newly-converted leads?
Here’s the essential content you need to checklist:
Using SEO will help leads find the business online through search engines.
The same applies to business websites that do not provide enough share buttons. Some social media benefits statistics to keep in mind:
While B2B website design matters by a large portion, it is not the only area of optimization for B2B lead generation. Search Engine Optimization, business content marketing, event marketing tools, social media integration, and marketing automation integration also play a big role. The statistics gathered above indicate what matters and where the opportunities lie when it comes to attracting more qualified business leads in 2019.
If you take a proactive approach to SEO, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the term ‘Googlebot’. If not, here’s its official definition as provided by Google:
“Googlebot is the generic name for Google’s web crawler. Googlebot is the general name for two different types of crawlers: a desktop crawler that simulates a user on the desktop, and a mobile crawler that simulates a user on a mobile device.”
In a purely matter-of-fact capacity, Google provides a fair amount of information on positive SEO practices. Nevertheless, they aren’t typically in the habit of providing the answers SEO specialists and webmasters really want.
As something of a break from the norm, Google’s Martin Splitt and Microsoft’s Suz Hinton recently sat down to discuss all things Googlebot in 2019. What it does, how it behaves and the more general information marketers and webmasters need to know.
Detailed below, you’ll find a selection of key questions raised during the meeting, along with a summary of the answers provided by both parties:
Much of the confusion surrounding SEO in general stems from the fact that most people have no idea how the Googlebot works. Even if they’re familiar with the concept, they may not understand its mechanics, its functions and its objectives.
According to Splitt, the Googlebot is simply a piece of software used to crawl websites, index web pages and help assign rankings. The system is designed to analyze web content, determine its value and decide who it should be presented to in the SERP rankings. The most appropriate content for any given query being prioritized and positioned more prominently.
However, Googlebot itself isn’t responsible for assigning rankings. Instead, it provides Google with the information required to make decisions and adjustments regarding SERP rankings. Googlebot essentially creates a ‘catalog’ of content by indexing web pages – SERP rankings are determined elsewhere.
Initially, Googlebot behaves in a similar way to a web browser. The software finds a website by way of a link or a sitemap submission, or through countless other detection methods. It’s also possible to direct site indexation or re-indexation if necessary. After which, the initial website visit occurs in a similar way as with any conventional web browser.
The frequency with which Googlebot crawls is calculated in accordance with the nature of the website and its content respectively. In the case of a dynamic website that’s likely to be updated with relevant content on a regular basis, it will be crawled more regularly than a predominantly static website.
A typical working example of which being news or current events website, which is updated around-the-clock with important news updates. Google wants to ensure it brings relevant information to its audiences the moment it is published, which in turn means crawling such sites more regularly to update its index accordingly.
By contrast, a retail store that’s updated once every few weeks needn’t necessarily be crawled as often. Just as an academic portal with relatively static content may not need to be crawled with any real regularity. Google also enforcers measures to ensure spammy sites are crawled infrequently, which can have a negative impact on their SEO performance.
It’s also possible to instruct Google not to index certain pages of a website if the respective webmaster doesn’t want the information to appear in the search results.
Interestingly, Google makes no attempt to hide its crawling activities from webmasters and online business owners. It’s actually pretty easy to identify a Googlebot visit, as outlined in Google’s official webmaster support pages:
“Your website will probably be crawled by both Googlebot Desktop and Googlebot Mobile. You can identify the subtype of Googlebot by looking at the user agent string in the request. However, both crawler types obey the same product token (user agent token) in robots.txt, and so you cannot selectively target either Googlebot mobile or Googlebot desktop using robots.txt.”
Addressing one of the most common questions among mobile-focused webmasters, Splitt explained that indexing is about Google ‘discovering content using a mobile user agent and a mobile viewport’. It’s essentially a case of prioritizing mobile-friendly content to be added to Google’s mobile index, rather than desktop content that may not be as appropriate for mobile audiences.
Mobile-friendliness – aka mobile-readiness – simply refers to the quality and appropriateness of a website’s content and layout for mobile access. If every aspect of a webpage or website can be browsed and interacted with using a mainstream mobile device, it’s considered mobile-friendly by Google.
Google’s efforts to index mobile content have been stepped up recently over the past couple of years, in order to satisfy the expectations and requirements of fast-growing mobile audiences worldwide.
Last but not least, Google once again took the opportunity to confirm that more than 200 signals (or ranking indicators) are used to assign value to any given website. Mobile-friendliness has been cited as one of the most important quality indicators for websites in 2019 but by no means the only indicator taken into account.
Interestingly, Splitt also confirmed that the value assigned to each of these 200+ quality indicators is continuously moving and changing. One of the many measures making it increasingly difficult for black-hat SEO strategies to produce positive results.
The moral of the entire story being eloquently summarised by Splitt in one simple plea to the masses:
“Just build good content for the users and then you’ll be fine!”
Ways to Calculate and Improve Lifetime Value (LTV)
Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) is an effective way of benchmarking your Customer Acquisition Cost against the Actual Profits you’ll generate from a single Customer.
Customer Lifetime Value is calculated by subtracting the total costs of acquiring a customer from the profits they generate. LTV can only be used to create basic financial estimates for the future, but can nonetheless prove instrumental in helping you make better decisions for your business.
LTV is useful because it provides a guideline as to how much you can spend to acquire customers, in accordance with their average spend. You can also evaluate the payback period – the time it takes for the customer to repay their acquisition costs. Longer payback periods amount to more risk for the business.
What’s more, investors always pay close attention to an organization’s LTV when carrying out wider financial health assessments. By getting to know your LTV, you’ll be in a much stronger position to drive your business forward.
Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) represents the average revenue that a customer generates for your business before they churn, offset by gross margin. LTV in SaaS is only ever used as a forward-looking estimate of the future, but calculating a reasonable estimate allows you to make smarter decisions for your business.
Business owners and marketing teams are constantly on the lookout for reliable ways to acquire new customers and enhance customer loyalty in a cost-effective manner. Calculating the lifetime value of your customer is an essential step in the journey towards boosting your company’s ROI in product development, customer support and marketing arenas alike.
In the simplest terms, LTV is a simple yet effective method for forecasting projected profits from customers throughout their lifetime relationship with your brand. Roughly translated, it’s a case of calculating how much you can expect to receive in accordance with the costs of acquiring them in the first place.
By calculating your customer lifetime value, you’ll have the opportunity to make more strategic decisions in key areas such as:
Product and Service Development – Customer lifetime values can help guide decisions regarding product and service development, such as whether it would be cost-effective to alter the design of a product to cater to the preferences of a sub-segment of your target audience.
There’s a great deal of data that can be brought together to create an accurate customer lifetime value. At its core, however, a basic customer lifetime value can be calculated as follows:
LTV = Lifetime Customer Revenue – Lifetime Customer Costs
Working with this formula, a typical example could play out like this. A customer orders products and services to the total value of USD 2,000 ($1,000 product price you charge in Year 0, and $1,000 revenue from the services you provide during Years 1 & 2) during the lifetime of their relationship with your business (for example, for 3 years). During these 3 years, the total cost of the sales and services you’ve provided add up to USD 750. This would result in an LTV of USD 1,250 ($2,000 – $750 = $1,250). With this data, it can be concluded that to spend anything more or equal than USD 1,250 on customer acquisition would be counterproductive. Doing so would mean breaking even at best, or coming out with a loss. Acquisition costs regularly fluctuate and vary significantly from one organization to the next.
In all instances, however, customer retention is considered a more effective and affordable strategy, with the potential to deliver a much healthier ROI.
Recent years have brought about the emergence of hundreds of thousands of new start-ups, intensifying competition across all industries and sectors. As a result, businesses are placing heavier emphasis than ever before on the acquisition of new customers. This, despite the fact that customer acquisition typically costs 700% more than customer retention.
Striking the right balance with your customer lifetime value calculator holds the key to your brand’s long-term success. The good news is that there are countless avenues to explore for enhancing and improving your LTV.
The most effective of all being as follows:
Be it products, services, features, resources or anything else, it’s up to you to provide your customers with something they have an interest in. It could also be something as simple as a blog, providing the kinds of insights that keep your customers coming back for more. It could be the quality of the service you provide, the simplicity of your online store, the consistent speed of your deliveries – whatever you can think of to set you apart from your competitors and nurture the relationships to deliver more value to the existing customer.
Placing your customers in the spotlight can be a great way of both nurturing retention and attracting the attention of new customers. From photos to video testimonials to reviews and recommendations, it’s all about engaging with the audience you intended to win over. Become part of the community, rather than building barriers between you and your audience.
Rewards and incentives are all well and good, though are often all-too predictable. But when we receive something unexpected completely out of the blue from a brand we’ve done business with, we can’t help but shout about it. All of which can work wonders for the respective firm’s reputation and position. Even if it’s something as simple as a hand-written greetings card, it could have the desired impact.
Rather than expecting customer feedback to flow your way organically, consider adopting a proactive approach. Make it as easy as possible for your customers to make suggestions and include some kind of incentive for doing so. Thank them for their comments, respond to any comments published online and act on their suggestions. It’s only when customers genuinely believe you’re listening to them that you can expect to win their loyalty.
Anyone wishing to do so should be able to contact your company instantaneously via whichever channel appeals to them most. It’s up to you to be there when your customers need you – not the other way around. Under no circumstances should you ever make your customers jump through hoops simply to contact a member of your support team. As mentioned a little earlier, stellar customer support typically holds the key to customer loyalty and a more robust LTV.
Your Customer Lifetime Value is by no means a silver-bullet metric capable of solving every issue you may face. Nevertheless, it’s one of the most invaluable and useful metrics to be brought into your key decision-making processes.
Once you’ve established your current LTV, it’s up to you to do whatever it takes to enhance and improve it where possible.