marketing

UP Agency | Digital Marketing Agency Toronto

4 Ways on Getting your Content Marketing Started

4 Ways on Getting your Content Marketing Started 2074 1263 Adrian Lischer

Content marketing refers to a deliberate approach to marketing that involves the creation, and distribution of content that is valuable, informative and consistently directed to a particular demographic of consumers to cause profitable customer action. Well that was a mouthful.

In lehmans terms, its creating content that your customers find valuable. However, instead of the traditional manner of pitching your goods in a traditional sales manner, you provide information that encourages prospective customers to purchase items. This is done through forms like blogging, social media posting, podcasts and the list goes on. Many leading brands e.g. Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and others utilize this form of marketing to drive their business profits. Small businesses have also begun to execute this method of marketing, since it has proven to be successful.

They key aspect that differentiates content marketing from other forms of advertising is the keyword ‘valuable’. The content has to appeal and cause people to seek it out. Keep reading below to find out how you can begin creating a content marketing strategy.

Create A Documented Strategy

As per a study by Content Marketing Institute (CMI), it was found that the lack of a documented strategy is a primary cause for the failures of content marketing. According to this study, 60% of companies with a strategy reported positive ROI margins. It was also found that only 7% of those without any form of strategy brought in profitable ROI.

Publishing for the sake of publishing is not recommended. You need to focus on create quality content and tracking to check whether it generates marketing-qualified leads. If you work in sales, get ready. You may have to work overtime for all the leads that you’re about to bring in. Hopefully you get compensated well, but that’s for another article (check back later for more!)

When creating a documented strategy, start by creating a SMART goal. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Creating a SMART goal will help you on your path to establishing a defined content marketing strategy.

Create Resource Articles

There are alot of articles out there (mind blowing, I know). Writing a resource article is ideal in the commencement stages of trying to launch your content marketing efforts. Your content needs to generate a consistent and increasing rate of traffic before seeing any positive ROI.

A resource article is a well-researched article, which revolves around useful information that your target audience will read and find value in. The content of resource articles should be good enough for people to spend money on. For example, when a skateboarder buys a skating magazine, he or she will tike the time to read through the main articles and look at all the pictures. Once they are done, they will proceed to go through the ads. This consumer has paid good money for a periodical full of articles that are offering him or her value. 56% of marketers believe that personalized content promotes higher engagement rates. Resource materials in content marketing have to be targeted toward your specific niche due to the face that you are trying to establish that value. Moral of the story, if you’re selling skateboard trucks, you’re not going to use a homesense magazine.

Assign Each Content A Goal

During a workshop at Content Marketing World, one of the Speakers, Ardath from Marketing Interactions, challenged each of the attendees to assign a purpose to each piece of content they churn out to the world.

 

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Although many people post content with a simple goal of driving consumers from one piece of content to another, they disregard the fact that each individual piece of work should have a goal attached to it.

The content as a whole can be geared to achieve goals like brand awareness, drive more purchases or build up a subscriber base. Regardless of these common aims, you should operate in a manner by which you can track the performance of your content marketing tactics to particular targets.

Email Marketing As A Form Of Content Marketing

Emails, according to VentureBeat, offer the largest overall reach, compared to any other content distribution channel.

ROI

They further go to state that; for every dollar spent, email gives back a staggering $38 in ROI. This is because emails are tailored and targeted directly to the consumers’ inbox. It’s an incredibly frugal method for gaining customers.

If you are aiming to increase profits, you must absolutely give email a try. This is especially important when you consider that approximately 98% of people who visit your page will not transact with you immediately.

Unfortunately, content marketing isn’t as easy as I or other articles may make it seem. But it also, is not as difficult as some may argue. There is no set path that needs to be undertaken, rather there are key aspects that if followed, can result in success. Other than creating value, another key is being persistent. Rome wasn’t built in a day. It takes consistent time and effort to see the fruits of your labour.

If you think you may need some help in developing an adequate content strategy, give us a call. It’s kind of what we do. Quite well I might add. We can see where you’re at right now, and tell you where you can ramp up your CMS (content marketing strategy) or if you just need to be a little more persistent. Let’s grab a coffee and talk content marketing, or sports. Either or works.

UP Agency | Digital Marketing Agency Toronto

6 Steps to Great Inbound Customer Service

6 Steps to Great Inbound Customer Service 1452 884 Adrian Lischer

How do you get people who have never used your product of service to promote your brand?

The internet is awash with information – blog posts, stats galore, etc, on how to turn your customers into brand promoters, but very little has been said about getting your leads to recommend your brand to other people.

Why? Well I’m going to tell you.

It’s all about one thing, and that’s excellent customer service. You’re welcome.

Because getting potential buyers (or influencers) to promote your product or services when they haven’t yet used it is nothing but pure lies. It is simply a fake review that could affect your brand negatively. Moral of the story, do not pay for reviews.

If you have already succeeded in captivating total strangers to the point where they are likely to buy your products, then you want to complete the cycle by getting them to buy your great product. It is only after you have turned your leads to your customers that they can become promoters of your brand.

According to the inbound methodology, you have to attract total strangers (eg, website visitors), convert them to leads, turn them into customers by closing a sale, and lastly, a delighting them – exceeding their expectations, getting them to interact with your brand and ultimately getting them to promote your brand.

So how do you pull this off?

Simple. Make your customers fall in love with you!

As you may already know; simply sending a “Thank You” email to a customer who just purchased your product will not automatically turn them to a raving fan. Instead, you have to enchant them; you have to make them fall in love with your brand.

6 tips to make them fall in love with you

Solve Your Customers’ Problems


This goes without saying, you cannot get anyone, much less your customers, to promote your business if you have a less than worthwhile product. If your products fail to solve the problem your customers initially thought it would when they so happily exchanged it for their credit card or debit, then don’t expect them to tell anyone else to buy it. A great product is the first step into turning leads to promoters.

Be Trustworthy


Don’t tell your customers they can trust you,

Show it

Be honest. A 2014 survey by Cohn and Wolfe says 91% of people care about companies communicating honestly about products and services. Be clear on what you offer and do more than your promise your customers, not less. Trust is the backbone of practicing excellent customer service.

Be Transparent


In a world of Wikileaks, it sure pays to be transparent. Find out what information your customers find valuable and care about. Take a page out of Whole Foods playbook and make it available to them.
Be True 
In a world that is connected through a plethora of social platforms, it is all too easy to want to be many things to too many people. But you don’t want to wear yourself thin. You need to be true to your brand, your mission and values. Authenticity is essential in the world of inbound marketing, and you will be rewarded for it.

Listen and Act


Never assume that you know your customers’ needs more than they do. Rather, try to listen to what your customer feels or says and act on that information in a way that your customer finds valuable. Some will say things you don’t like, but you cannot simply run or wish them away. You need to attend to customer complaints and compensate where necessary. You cannot get your existing customer to bring new buyers to you if you don’t treat them well. A disgruntled customer is bad for business.

 

Reward your customer
Put in place a referral program that rewards customers who send business your way. This will encourage them to spread the word about your brand. The reward can be anything from a discount to a free service. What you decide to give is your decision, but ensure it’s valuable to the customer.
There you have it. No matter whether the consumer is a lead, or a purchaser, you must treat them with the same excellent customer service that the inbound approach is predicated upon. We like to think we’re experts in the field of inbound. Give us a call and we can prove it to you.

UP Agency | Digital Marketing Agency Toronto

5 Things you Need to know about Marketing to Millennial Moms

5 Things you Need to know about Marketing to Millennial Moms 1244 758 Mike Arsenault

Women still control the majority of the purchases in the home but don’t be fooled; millennial moms aren’t the same as the moms of the past. Make sure your company is using digital marketing to direct marketing strategy for these millennial moms the right way.

She’s techy

It’s not 1980, these women know how to use a computer, and they grew up with technology. Try and find a millennial mom without a smartphone… You probably can’t. 94% of millennial mothers currently have a smartphone in Canada and an additional 51% also have a tablet. These mommas have numerous social media accounts and spend over 2 hours a day on their phones alone.

She never leaves her phone at home

Millennial moms will use every tool available to ensure they’re making the right choice. She scours Pinterest for recipes, texts photos to her friends, hunts for better prices and reads reviews all before heading to the check out. She doesn’t have time between cooking and taking Timmy to T-ball to return products that weren’t good enough. Have a good marketing strategy so you can always be one step behind these millennial moms. Let’s face it; moms are always one step ahead.

The Internet is her Mommy group

When women entered motherhood back in the day, friends, family and new mom groups were the ultimate source of advice and recommendations. That hasn’t changed for millennial moms, but the mommy group just got a whole lot bigger…like the whole world bigger. There are endless resources online and Millennial Moms are taking advantage. They are their own digital marketing strategists, so be wary and tready very carefully in your direct marketing tactics for these millennial moms.

She’s very vocal

Millennial moms are in a constant conversation about what to buy in person and online. What soap is safest for baby, what yoga pants can take a beating, what can you do with chicken for the 6th time in a week. The average millennial mom is asked for product recommendations 9.6 times a month and will make product suggestions 10.4 times a month voluntarily. If something works for her, she’s going to talk about it.

She’s not Mrs. Perfect and she’s cool with it

The “SuperMom” kick was fun in theory. Giving mom credit for doing all the awesome stuff she does was a great idea. But, what it over looked was how bad it made women feel when they were tired or really just didn’t want to “do it all”.

Millennial moms are not letting Motherhood define them; they’re taking time for themselves and enjoying some freedom. The persona of the “mom” consumer is the same in many ways but vastly different in others. Talk to her like shes a mom of the 80s and she won’t hear you. Get it right, she’ll love you and the world will know.

Where would we be if it weren’t for our mothers? All those back to school deals and all that meticulous scouring through flyers to find the best deals, Coupon crusaders (you’re welcome Marvel). We may not be millennial moms, but we can definitely try our best to make sure you’re marketing strategy is only one step behind them. Let’s talk and see if we can make something happen, I mean we’ll never be moms – but we can try our best to help them in their scouring.

UP Agency | Digital Marketing Agency Toronto

How to Create Effective Teamwork between your Sales and Marketing Team

How to Create Effective Teamwork between your Sales and Marketing Team 2074 1263 Mike Arsenault

Often, the success of an organization becomes dependent upon a cohesive marketing and sales team. Actually, scratch that. The success of an organization is dependent upon proper teamwork and a cohesive team in general. However, marketing and sales teams tend to bear a majority of the burden in terms of an organizations success. This may be due to the fact that these teams are called ‘revenue generators’. They make the main fraction of money for the company. However, these two systems are known for their, putting it mildly, discontent for one another. The following will be my best attempt as to how you can sluice-out gravel between these two vital parts of your business to maximize efficiency, and most importantly, increase your profitability up to 3 times.

Nevertheless, when your Marketing and Sales teams understand the importance of teamwork, real magic happens. Harry Potteresque, and these teams are full of Fantastic Beasts.

4 steps as to how to align your sales and marketing team

Disciplined Communication is Key.

Talk it out. More disciplined interaction between your sales and marketing team will open-up new possibilities and is a cornerstone of effective teamwork. This means arranging meetings at regular intervals: quarterly, monthly or even bimonthly. Too frequent of meetings can be harmful as they take up valuable time without any worthwhile results, so it’s important to strike balance.

Meetings should include discussions about prospective opportunities and problems the marketing and sales teams see. Exchanges should also include brainstorming sessions about solutions. The interactions will dissolve any frustrations spewing beneath the surface and reveal critical points unforeseen by both sides.

Assign an In-Charge or Chief

One of the most effective steps you can take to align your marketing and sales team is to allocate a joint Chief. Under this designation, both teams are responsible for one common goal: profiting. The head is responsible for the frictionless operation of both teams. Many companies use this method and to good success: Coca Cola, Campbell’s Soup and FedEx have commissioned a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) for this purpose. Responsibility of both teams lies with the head. Lead by example. Refer back to one of our posts on how to build and hone those leadership qualities.

Proximity Helps

Having both of your teams under the same roof helps bridge the gap between them. Members of either team should sit in on the other teams discussions, and report their findings to their team. Propinquity also helps by creating trust between them. Team members are less likely to view other members as suspicious. It will also lessen the impact of cultural differences, which exist because of the contrasting ways the teams operate. The workplace setting will care more positive vibes.

Feedback Your Way To Efficiency

This point closely matches with the first, however, given its importance, it deserves a place of its own. Essentially, this point highlights the importance of fruitful feedback between the Sales and Marketing teams. This can be done in several ways:

A sales VP can summarize any sales made by the sales force, especially emphasizing the methods employed and the nature of the lead: hot, warm or cold
Feedback forms, that marketing develops for the sales team, can be made more concise, to save time and energy of the sales force
Marketing can pay Salespeople for a discussion. This allows marketing insight into how salespeople operate, and their recent sales practices. This will generate useful information about how customers think and what they need.

In a nutshell, the best way to move forward is to analyze your organization’s requirements. If there are distinct marketing and sales teams, your focus should be to alleviate any disconnect between them. For that, the steps given above will guide you and your business to maximum profitability and lucrative success.

Here at UP, we understand the value and importance of a cohesive team. That doesn’t mean we don’t butt-heads, but that is when some of our best work gets accomplished. If you aren’t arguing, are you really trying? In order to better align your marketing and sales team, you need to understand the importance of teamwork. Effective teamwork can be established through implementing these tips. Give us a call to learn more tips, or share some of yours below in the comments. We would love to hear any input you can offer us!