Reporting Analytics – Why Use Them

Reporting analytics are used to answer questions about what we are doing and what we want to have happen.

  • Are we achieving our objectives?
  • Is what we’re doing working?

The value of data is only available through reporting analytics and insight, and insight is useless until it’s turned into action.

Data -> Reporting -> Analysis -> Decision -> Action -> Value

reporting analyticsData – raw feed available from a variety of sources

Reporting – organizing the raw data, categorizing it and making it readily available

Analysis – to strike upon insight you first need to know where to dig.  Articulating the right questions will lead us to the well.  Applying agile methodology enables us to test our hypothesis, learn from it, draw a new hypothesis, test it and learn from it and repeat the iterations.

Decision – After analyzing your data you have to decide what needs to change.  There is a corollary element that must go hand-in-hand with decision, and that is commitment.  A commitment to take action on the new knowledge derived from our analysis.

Action – Knowledge is not power; action is power.  Once a decision has been made, action is the mode of the day.

Value – Ahhh, value – value can only be obtained through decision and action.  Value is what we all want.

Analytics is valuable in two ways:

  1. It shows you where you are wasting time and/or money and
  2. It reveals new opportunities for growth.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a branding play or a high-volume PPC campaign; the goal of marketing is to produce more revenue and profit for a business – period.

Simply tracking ROI isn’t enough, though. You can know your overall marketing efforts are profitable and still waste a pile of cash on individual campaigns.

This is how reporting analytics helps us determine the qualitative and quantitative value from your business data to drive a continual improvement of the online experience that your customers and potential customers have which translates to your desired outcomes.

One of the most important steps of reporting analytics is determining what your ultimate business objectives or outcomes are and how you expect to measure those outcomes. In the online world, there are five common business objectives:

  • For E-commerce sites, the objective is selling products or services.

  • For lead generation sites, the goal is to collect user information for sales teams to connect with potential leads.

  • For content publishers, the goal is to encourage engagement and frequent visitation.

  • For online informational or support sites, helping users find the information they need in the right place at the right time.

  • For branding, the main objective is to drive awareness, engagement and loyalty.

There are a variety of key actions on any website or mobile application that tie back to a business’ objectives.  The actions can indicate an objective, such as a purchase on an ecommerce site, has reporting analyticsbeen fully completed.  These are “macro” conversions.  Some of the actions on a site may also be behavioral indicators that a customer hasn’t fully reached your main objectives but is getting closer, such as in the e-commerce example, signing up to receive an email coupon or a new product notification.  These are “micro” conversions.  It’s important to measure both micro and macro conversions so that you are equipped with more behavioral data to understand what experiences help drive the right outcomes for your site.

Segmentation allows you to isolate and analyze subsets of your data.  For example, you might segment your data by marketing channel so that you can see which channel is responsible for an increase in purchases.  Drilling down to look at segments of your data helps you understand what caused a change to your aggregated data.

For Example:

  • Segment your data by date and time, to compare how users who visit your site on certain days of the week or certain hours of the day behave differently.
  • Segment your data by device to compare user performance on desktops, tablets and mobile devices.
  • Segment by marketing channel to compare the difference in performance for various marketing activities.
  • Segment by geography to determine which countries, regions or cities perform the best.
  • Segment by customer characteristics, such as repeat customers vs. first-time buyers to help you to understand what drives users to become customers.
  • A macro conversion occurs when someone completes an action that’s important to your business. For an ecommerce business, the most important macro conversion is usually a transaction.  A micro conversion is also an important action, but it does not immediately contribute to your bottom line.  It’s usually an indicator that a user is moving towards a macro conversion.  It’s important to measure micro conversions because it helps you better understand where people are in the Educational Spectrum.
  • Attribution is assigning credit for a conversion. In last-click attribution, all of the value associated with the conversion is assigned to the last marketing activity that generated the revenue.  However, there are other attribution models that can help you better understand the value of each of your channels.  For example, rather than assign all of the value to the last action, you might want to assign all of the value to the first action, the one that started the user on the customer journey.  This is called first-click attribution.  Or, you might assign a little bit of value to each of the assisting channels in the customer journey.

The measurement planning cycle consists of the following:

  • Define your measurement plan
    1. Document your business objectives.
    2. Identify the strategies and tactics to support the objectives.
    3. Choose the metrics that will be the key performance indicators.
    4. Decide how you’ll need to segment your data.
    5. Choose what your targets will be for your key performance indicators.
  • Create an implementation plan
    After defining your business needs and documenting the technical environment of your business, create an implementation plan that is specific to the analytics tool that you’re using. For Google Analytics, this means defining the code snippets and specific product features that you’ll need in order to track the data defined in your measurement plan.
  • Implement your plan
    The next step is to have the web development team, or the mobile team, actually implement the tracking recommendations that you’ve made. Some website technologies will require additional planning, such as:

    • Query string parameters
    • Server redirects
    • Flash and AJAX events
    • Multiple domains and subdomains
    • Responsive web design

reporting analyticsThe most common features used in an Reporting Analytics implementation plan for a website are as follows:

  • Implement the standard Reporting Analytics tracking snippet. This gives you the bulk of the data you need.
  • Determine how to track your KPIs. You can do this using goal tracking and the ecommerce module if you are an ecommerce business.
  • Use filters to normalize your data so that your reports are accurate and useful.
  • Use campaign tracking and AdWords linking to properly track marketing campaigns.
  • Use custom dashboards and custom reports to simplify the reporting process.

Maintain and refine.

The final step of the measurement planning cycle is to maintain and refine your plan.  Your business requirements and your technical environment can change over time.  Without a team to maintain your measurement plan, your data won’t keep pace with your reporting and analysis needs.

In summary, reporting shows us what is happening while analysis focuses on explaining why it is happening and what we can do about it.  Reporting Analytics focuses on different tasks such as questioning, examining, interpreting, comparing, and confirming.

 

Success Is All About People

At Internet Marketing Strategies, Our Success is All About People – Our Customers and Our Team

One thing we tend to forget in our daily lives is that at the end of the day we all want essentially the same things. We want to live comfortably; we want our families to be happy; we want to achieve or at least we want not to fail. At the core of this principle is “success.” And with Internet Marketing Strategies, success is all about people.  It may appear that people are becoming less relevant in our modern experience and that your interaction with them is inconsequential to success, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Customers: In business, the idea is to sell your product or service off to a customer who will pay you a premium for it. But how do you notify the world about your business? You do it by building relationships with people. Success is all about people. Your product or service may use the ancillary parts of other businesses who want to see your continued growth and success; if you’ve made a positive impression on these suppliers aren’t they even more likely to promote and/or use your product?

Family: We do all tend to move in a haze of our bleeps and digital handhelds, but why do we have these things?  We do it to keep closer to the people in our lives. Success is all about people. If your kids or spouse do not get that unplugged closeness that we all crave they will seek it out elsewhere. So staying connected is important, but it’s not the endgame. Remember the humanity in your personal interactions; turn off your devices every so often, and your relationships will flourish.

Relationships: One of the best ways to reconnect with people is through the digital/social world. See these old friends again and recall your humanity. You crave validation and acceptance from your friends; they do the same from you. And at the end of the day success is all about people. Getting out from behind a screen and seeing someone face to face can be a revelation! Both of your needs for human contact will be reaffirmed and your bonds will be strengthened.

Success is all about people, success is all about people. This should be your mantra as you move through your day-to-day. It can be easy to forget but at our core we’re all just human beings; moving through the world; striving for some type of success. And success is all about people.

Who Is The Obvious Choice To Do Business With In Your Industry And Market?

The Obvious ChoiceBecome The Obvious Choice

Google the industry you are in and the majority of  websites will look the same. It’s not that they are badly done; in fact, they all look vaguely generic. You click on a site and once you scroll through the platitudes, which you blithely ignore, you lose interest and click back to the search results. Why? Because they have not become the obvious choice to do business with.

The marketplace is filled with companies just like yours. “Seen one and you’ve seen them all,” your customer thinks as they comb through the search results.  It’s frustrating, especially when you know that your business is truly better than the rest. So how can you stand out from the crowd, to become the obvious choice to do business with?

Most decisions are made via an emotional connection, with potential customers choosing who they will do business with based on likability. If they do not like the person or product, they will often choose a big name-brand company because it is easier than searching for something else. They don’t mind holding their nose when they’re swiping their credit card if they don’t have to think about it. Instead of losing money to a company your customers don’t even care for, become the obvious choice to do business with.

Become The Obvious Choice to do Business With

So how can your business stand out in this ocean of mediocrity? It does not matter what service or product you are marketing; if you do not engage in effective promotion your message will continue to be lost at sea amongst the other drowning businesses.

  • Sell yourself. People make the majority of their decisions based on how they feel about a person or product. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to truly care about your customers and the product they are spending their hard earned dollars on. When you love what you do it shows you will become the obvious choice to do business with.

 

  • With a laser-like focus, you need to show that you have your customer’s wants and needs in mind with every bit of written material, product produced, and every personal interaction you have. Become the obvious choice to do business with by realizing you will BE out of business without them.

 

  • Become the obvious choice to do business with by providing exceptional customer service. Many businesses struggle with keeping their clients happy. When you go above and beyond the call of duty for each and every B2B or B2C transaction you will reap numerous rewards.

 

  • You are an expert in your field, and if you are not you need to become one. Consumers want to spend money if they know it will provide them the results they desire, and they do not want to spend money on anything less than what they feel is the very best. Become the obvious choice to do business with by your expertise.

 

  • Consistently providing an excellent product or service and experiences to your customers will help you become the obvious choice to do business with. It is easier to retain customers by providing the results they have come to expect. The one time that you do not live up to their expectations is how you will lose their business. While this does not seem very fair, it is the truth.

 

  • Become the obvious choice to do business with by listening, truly hearing what your customers have to say. When they feel ignored they will ignore you and spend their money elsewhere. Listening to their wants and needs will also give you a competitive advantage over other businesses. Instead of scrambling to find out what your customers really want you will already know.

 

  • Your customers want to trust you, and when they do they will show their appreciation in countless ways, especially through referrals. Be honest and ethical in every dealing that you have, and you will become the obvious choice to do business with.

Simply put, in order to become the obvious choice to do business with you must be someone that YOU would want to do business with. Why do you always go to a certain restaurant or use the same plumbing service? Those businesses have become the obvious choice to do business with by following the advice outlined above.

What else?  What other strategies or ideas do you think should be included?

5 Powerful Internet Marketing Strategies for Business Owners

Business owners looking to rule in their field know they can’t win the battle without putting the best possible internet marketing strategies to work for them. A perfect product, perfect sales people, and perfect traditional marketing can take you very far, but they won’t take you nearly as far today as they did before. Today, we’re going to discuss 5 powerful internet marketing strategies business owners should embrace, if they want to see what their company’s really able to do. These strategies work to improve branding, outreach, perception, and networking on the web. So read on, and learn how to perfect your web marketing. Internet Marketing Strategies

Who are You? 

Many fall into the same trap with internet marketing strategies as they do in their offline marketing efforts. They become generic. Empty, overused lines about better service and support mean nothing without specific details. Every other effort you make in internet marketing will depend on your ability to stand out, to integrate a clear identity in your every online effort. When customers know you for specific or unique reasons, that’s when your efforts all come alive and lead to success.

Change Points of Contact 

When we engage, it’s important to realize that we run the risk of focusing on only one sense or form of input. A sales effort built only on articles can work, but one which mixes in other forms of contact will do far better. When we appeal to more than one sense and reach out across multiple mediums, our message sticks better in the potential buyer’s mind. We create new links in their brain. It’s the same principal behind top notch teaching methods using movement or songs.

Inbound Marketing

In the modern era of internet marketing strategies, inbound marketing is king. Your website should be built to pull visitors in via SEO-optimized landing pages. It should direct them deeper via careful layouts and tiered content. It should guide them to the sale one piece of content at a time. This sort of funnel works far better on the modern web user than dated outbound marketing tactics. So, read up on inbound marketing best practices and get to work.

Using Social Media Right

Participation is key. It’s what so very many online businesses forget when putting together internet marketing strategies. The difference between successful internet marketing strategies using social media and the failures lack realness. Do you really involve yourself in the groups, hashtags, pages, and other networks you’re trying to appeal to on LinkedIn and Twitter? Or are you screaming nonsense with every other marketer? If you have the will to get involved and network for your success, social media is a major benefit. If you’re not interested, don’t fake it. You’re just wasting your time.

Strategic Partners

Partners on the internet can take any number of forms, depending on the needs of your business. Maybe you have lots of affiliates sending traffic your way in exchange for a cut. Maybe you have a strong partnership with another business targeting the same customers. Using partnerships in your internet marketing strategies, in any form, can be a good way to expand your reach to new user pools, keep the visitors you already have ‘captive’ in your network, and improve your ability to watch users and figure out ways to improve your internet marketing strategies. Working alone works, but a savvy partnership will take you much further.

What else?  What other strategies would you include?

Learn How To Become The Obvious Choice to Do Business With

Become The Obvious ChoiceThe key to learning how to become the obvious choice to do business with is to understand that no matter what you’re selling, whether it’s a product, service, brand, or idea, you are still selling yourself. Convincing people to buy YOU is much more difficult than convincing them to buy something with a price tag attached.

Having a “big name” in business doesn’t mean that people want to do business with you. In fact, most consumers avoid bigger brands simply because they associate them with a lack of personal interest. After all, multi-national corporations doing business all over the world are only interested in dollar signs, right? Some big-name brands may have the lion’s share of their market only because the consumer distaste of doing business with them is easier to overcome than the inconvenience of searching elsewhere for similar offerings. The lesser of two evils, in other words.

Approximately 8 out of 10 American consumers believe that smaller companies place a greater focus on customer service than bigger companies. Rather than being a consumer’s only choice of who to do business with, you should strive to become the obvious choice. This applies whether you are a small company with a specialized market and limited reach, or a global and diversified corporation with customers around the world.

Tips to Help You Become the Obvious Choice

Most important of all in your quest to become the obvious choice to do business with is that you are likable. People do business with people or companies they like, not necessarily companies that offer something at a lower price or with more features and options. Consumer decisions are largely swayed by emotion, which means you have to appeal to the emotions of your target audience through interaction, engagement and relationship-building.

Other things you can do to help you become the obvious choice include the following:

  • Love what you do.  If you truly enjoy what you’re doing, that happiness and passion will be easily visible to those with whom you interact.
  • Understand that your promotional materials and marketing content should focus on the wants and needs of your consumers, not on your own.
  • Be self-aware of your own capabilities, accomplishments, and areas in need of improvement.
  • Don’t be afraid of bad publicity.  It gives you the opportunity to show your current and potential customers how you face challenges and meet them head on instead of sweeping them under the rug.
  • Keep your written communications and content free of typographical errors.  Simple things like incorrect punctuation or poor grammar give the impression that you won’t care about your customers because you don’t care about the public’s impression of your company.
  • Turn big business into small transactions.  Make each B2C interaction intimate, special, and unique to show your customers they are valued and appreciated.
  • Negate any feelings of consumer risk by increasing corporate transparency.  Include information like testimonials to highlight your customer satisfaction rate.  Offer “try before you buy” samples or other no-risk opportunities to first-time customers.  Give customers the confidence to say “yes” to your offers by showing them you have nothing to hide.

The Importance of Exceptional Customer Service

Providing a positive customer service experience has a significant impact on your bottom line. In fact, it’s one of the most influential aspects of a customer’s transaction with a company. It takes 12 positive customer service experiences to make up for a single unresolved one. 91% of unhappy customers will not willingly do business with you again if they have a poor customer service experience. Almost that same number (86%) will quit doing business with a specific company because of a single bad service experience. Conversely, 90% will provide repeat business if they have a positive customer service experience.

Qualities That Attract Consumers

There are certain qualities in a company that appeal to and attract consumers:

  • Keep your word and always do what you say you’re going to.
  • Be an expert in your field.
  • Maintain ethical business practices.
  • Be genuinely interested in your consumers.
  • Avoid dishonesty in marketing and in B2C interactions.
  • Truly listen to feedback, questions and concerns expressed by your consumers.
  • Leave hubris at the door (it’s not about you, it’s about your customers).
  • Find common ground with your consumers and nurture it.
  • Appear busy and successful, but not too busy to devote time and attention to your customers (if your company looks like it’s on the verge of going out of business or you appear desperate to make sales, people will avoid doing business with you).
  • Add convenience to the lives of your consumers (save them time or money, or make things simpler for them to accomplish).

While you can apply all of the qualities above to your way of doing business and draw people to your company in droves, you still have to nurture the B2C relationship and cultivate it.  By doing so, you’ll increase your customer referral rate as well as see higher numbers in terms of customer loyalty and repeat customers.

The Importance of Your Brand & Identity

Another way to increase referrals, repeat customers, and your loyalty rating is to maintain consistency with your company’s brand and corporate identity. You want to make an immediate and positive first impression with your potential consumers when they encounter your brand, marketing materials, or your products and services. If you can achieve a positive public perception of your brand and company, consumers will be more inclined to start doing business with you and continue to do so.

Establishing strong relationships with your consumers and nurturing those relationships has never been more important than it is today. The digital age has created a hands-off atmosphere for so many of our day-to-day activities and companies and consumers have become accustomed to the impersonal nature of automated transactions. When your company actively engages in relationship-building and reestablishing more personal connections with your consumers, you set yourself apart from nearly all other businesses and business transactions in today’s marketing mill.

What else?  What other qualities are critical to becoming the obvious choice to do business with in your industry and market?

5 Powerful Internet Marketing Strategies For Business Owners

Internet Marketing StrategiesBusiness owners looking to rule in their field know they can’t win the battle without putting the best possible internet marketing strategies to work for them. A perfect product, perfect sales people, and perfect traditional marketing can take you very far, but they won’t take you nearly as far today as they did before. Today, we’re going to discuss five powerful internet marketing strategies business owners should embrace, if they want to see what their company’s really able to do. These strategies work to improve branding, outreach, perception, and networking on the web. So read on, and learn how to perfect your web marketing.

Who are You? Many fall into the same trap with internet marketing strategies as they do in their offline marketing efforts. They become generic. Empty, overused lines about better service and support mean nothing without specific details. Every other effort you make in internet marketing will depend on your ability to stand out, to integrate a clear identity in your every online effort. When customers know you for specific or unique reasons, that’s when your efforts all come alive and lead to success.

Change Points of Contact. When we engage, it’s important to realize that we run the risk of focusing on only one sense or form of input. A sales effort built only on articles can work, but one which mixes in other forms of contact will do far better. When we appeal to more than one sense and reach out across multiple mediums, our message sticks better in the potential buyer’s mind. We create new links in their brain. It’s the same principal behind top notch teaching methods using movement or songs.

Inbound Marketing. In the modern era of internet marketing strategies, inbound marketing is king. Your website should be built to pull visitors in via SEO-optimized landing pages. It should direct them deeper via careful layouts and tiered content. It should guide them to the sale one piece of content at a time. This sort of funnel works far better on the modern web user than dated outbound marketing tactics. So, read up on inbound marketing best practices and get to work.

Using Social Media Right. Participation is key. It’s what so very many online businesses forget when putting together internet marketing strategies. The difference between successful internet marketing strategies using social media and the failures lack realness. Do you really involve yourself in the groups, hashtags, pages, and other networks you’re trying to appeal to on LinkedIn and Twitter? Or are you screaming nonsense with every other marketer? If you have the will to get involved and network for your success, social media is a major benefit. If you’re not interested, don’t fake it. You’re just wasting your time.

Strategic Partners. Partners on the internet can take any number of forms, depending on the needs of your business. Maybe you have lots of affiliates sending traffic your way in exchange for a cut. Maybe you have a strong partnership with another business targeting the same customers. Using partnerships in your internet marketing strategies, in any form, can be a good way to expand your reach to new user pools, keep the visitors you already have ‘captive’ in your network, and improve your ability to watch users and figure out ways to improve your internet marketing strategies. Working alone works, but a savvy partnership will take you much further.  

What else?  What other Internet marketing strategies do you think business owners should focus on?

Which Marketing Channels Are Your Best Fit?

There are 19 marketing channels from which a company can choose to find new customers. 

There are nineteen customer acquisition channels companies can use to attract new clients.  When going through channels, we recommend that you not dismiss any of them as irrelevant for your company. Each marketing channel has worked for companies of all kinds and in all different stages.  Get one channel working that your competitors dismiss, and you can grow rapidly while they languish. Strategic Marketing Bullseye

Viral marketing

consists of growing your customer base by encouraging your existing customers to refer other clients.

Public Relations (PR)

is the art of getting your name out there via traditional media outlets like newspapers, magazines, and TV.  However, most PR campaigns begin on the Web and give you access to the wider reach than ever before.

Unconventional PR

involves doing something exceptional (like publicity stunts) to draw media attention.  This channel can also work by repeatedly going above and beyond for your customers.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

allows companies to advertise to prospective customers searching on Google and other search engines.

Social and Display ads

on popular sites like reddit, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and hundreds of other niche sites can be a powerful and scalable way to reach new customers.

Offline ads

include TV spots, radio commercials, billboards, infomercials, newspaper and magazine ads, as well as flyers and other local advertisements.  These ads reach demographics that are harder to target online, like seniors, less tech-savvy consumers, and commuters.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

is the process of making sure your website shows up on the first page of search results for your targeted keywords.

Content Marketing

includes your own blog plus guest posting on highly-visible industry blogs.

Email marketing

is one of the best ways to convert prospects while retaining and monetizing existing customers.

Engineering as Marketing:

Using engineering resources to acquire customers is an underutilized way to acquire a large number of new prospects.  Successful companies have built micro-sites, developed widgets, and created free tools that drive thousands of leads each month.

Targeting blogs

your customers read is one of the most effective ways to get a lot of customers quickly.  However, this channel can be difficult to scale due to the limited number of relevant high-traffic blogs.

Business Development (BD)

is the process of creating strategic relationships that benefit both your company and your partner.

Sales

is primarily focused on creating processes to directly exchange services for dollars.

Affiliate Programs:

An affiliate program is an arrangement where you pay people or companies for performing certain actions (like making a sale or getting a qualified lead).

Existing Platforms:

Focusing your growth on a mega-platform like Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube and getting some of their hundreds of millions users to use your service.

Trade Shows

are a chance for companies in specific industries to show off their latest products or services.

Offline Events

such as sponsoring something as small as a meetup to as large conferences – can be a primary way of attracting new customers.

Speaking Engagements

are self-explanatory; however you can get started with one of the previous channels such as speaking at a conference or trade show.

Community Building:

Companies like Zappos, Wikipedia, and Stack Exchange have all grown by forming passionate communities around their products and services.

Points to keep in mind

Every one of the 19 marketing channels has proven an effective means to grow the customer base for B2B and B2C companies.

It’s hard to predict exactly which marketing channel will be best for your company at a particular time.

You have natural tendencies (bias) toward or against certain marketing channels.  Which marketing channels are you biased for?  Which marketing Channels are you biased against?

With so many channels to consider, figuring out which one to focus on is tough.  That’s why we’ve used a simple framework called Bullseye that will help us find the channel that will get you the most new customers in the shortest time for the lowest cost of acquisition.

Knowing your time is extremely limited I’m not going to explain how the Bullseye framework is organized, rather I’m going to jump right in and give you what I think are at least one idea for each channel that might reasonably work for you in your situation.  Then I’ll pick the top three for your Bullseye and we’ll focus on those three simultaneously.  We will run small scale tests in the real world to find out which channel is producing the best results.  Once we know this, we will then focus in on that one channel.  Our main consideration at this point is speed, to get data and prove out our assumptions.

If all goes well, one of the marketing channels we’ve tested produced promising results.  In this case, we will direct all of our focus on that most promising channel.

What we have found is that at any stage in a company’s lifecycle, one marketing channel dominates in terms of customer acquisition.

If, unfortunately, no channel seems promising after testing, the whole process will be repeated.  The good news is we now have data from all the tests we just did, which will tell us as to what types of things are, and are not, resonating with customers.

(This information is drawn in whole or in part from Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares.  Published by S-curves Publishing.)  Available on Amazon.

Now it’s time for you implement your own Bullseye.

What else?  Can you think of any other strategies for acquiring new customers?

4 Ways to Construct a Stronger Sales Funnel

4 Strategies to Improve Your Sales Funnel

4 Ways to Construct a Stronger Sales FunnelIf you’re looking to pump up your inbound marketing bona fides, look no further; today, we’ll be covering 4 ways to construct a stronger sales funnel that you won’t want to miss. With the rapid decline of outbound marketing tactics, it’s more important than ever that savvy business owners work stronger inbound principals into their marketing, develop their websites for new effective sales funnels, and strengthen the funnels they already have in place.

Inbound Best Practices

A strong sales funnel demands a strict adherence to the principles of inbound marketing. By developing your outreach efforts, website design, content, and every other stage of your sales funnel according to the best practices established by experts in the field, you’ll see massive improvements to the efficiency of your funnel. Consider these points:

Original Content

Original content is key to a strong sales funnel; rehashed, uninspired, and otherwise boring content won’t go far with modern audiences. If they’ve seen it elsewhere, they won’t see any reason to stick around or come back—much less continue down your funnel.

Eliminate Waste. Figure out what efforts and paths on your funnel aren’t making proper returns, and get rid of them. Not every stream of traffic results in sales, and even those which do make sales may not be worth the time invested.

Actionable Content

You need CTAs, clickable logos, forms to fill out, anything that gets your visitors moving from passive reading to active engagement. Even if it’s a minor effort, getting that first action from a lead pushes them closer to making a purchase.

Nurturing Leads

Don’t jump the gun with leads—especially the really tempting ones. Take your time, develop your leads into guaranteed sales, and make the absolute most of your traffic.

Clean Layouts. Make sure your website’s design encourages visitors to travel the way you want them to travel—eliminate distractions and detours.

New Traffic

Exploring new sources of traffic should be undertaken carefully. An exciting new idea may become a major boondoggle—and wasted effort will only weaken your funnel.

Consider these avenues for outreach:

  • Referral Partners
  • Social Media Participation
  • SEO
  • Paid Advertising
  • Improving Efficiency

At the core of any sales funnel effort worth making lay a beating heart of data collection and thorough analysis. Your website should be designed with tracking and analysis in mind, giving you exhaustive insight into how your users interact with your content, your sales pages, and every other part of your funnel. If you redirect prospects to phone lines or other means of contact, you need to track that and understand that usage, as well.

After you have this network of data at your fingertips, it’s crucial that you begin—and never stop—refining your funnels. Split test as much as your traffic allows, guiding prospects to slightly different variations of the same page and keeping tabs of which worked better. This is a never-ending effort, so make sure you have the tools and knowledge to keep it up without wasting time.

What else?  What strategies do you use to strengthen your sales funnel?

7 Internet Marketing Strategies That Work In Today’s Markets

The internet marketing strategies of last year don’t always work in the markets of today. Once upon a time, it was enough to simply ‘show up’ to the web. People were still quite naïve, and advanced tactics meant little to such a ripe market. Today’s audience knows what it wants. It knows where it can get the things it wants. And those people want to know: Why should they give you any money? Today, we’re going to cover seven internet marketing strategies still relevant in today’s market. Some are classics reimagined, others are new ideas for a new era.

Internet Marketing Strategies

Internet Marketing Strategies That Work In Today’s Markets

Establish an Identity

First and foremost, any business looking to make its mark on the Internet needs to stand out. It needs to build awareness in its prospects minds and separate itself from other businesses in the same industry and market. This means tossing aside generic language and promises and building something truly unique and valuable. If you can’t show people what makes you different and make them remember, none of your other internet marketing strategies matter. The worst sin you can commit is to fill your marketing with platitudes.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound funnels built on inbound marketing principles go further than internet marketing strategies built on outbound marketing. You should develop natural paths deeper into your site, built upon content worthy of prospects’ time. Your website should be useful, and by the time you sell anything, prospects should be ready to thank you for the chance. Learn the best practices of content creation, social outreach, SEO, page layout, etc., and put inbound marketing to work for you.

The Giveaway

There’s so many freebies given away out there, it’s hard to encourage anyone to buy. That’s why clever internet marketing strategies use ethical bribes to get visitors invested. Once your visitors are hooked on what you have to say in your webinar, video, or ebook, you’re ready to start making real sales. This becomes even more important if you’re trying to sell something someone might not see the real value, such as access to a forum, membership site, and other material competitors might be offering for free. By helping visitors and showing them your value, they will be far more willing to make the leap to paying customer.

Business Innovation

A business needs to stand out, even if it doesn’t have much direct competition. Internet users find themselves buried in generic internet marketing strategies and quickly learn to treat advertising as mere background noise to their browsing. If you want to see a real profit from your internet marketing strategies, you need to innovate. You need to present to your prospects original value, and market it in a way no competitor would think to. Don’t say you offer better staff, when you can explain the tough standards your employees are held to, in detail, and offer a money-back guarantee on failure to uphold those standards. Don’t say your product will ‘improve efficiency’, when you can get into the details. Make exciting promises you know you can keep. Internet Marketing Strategies

Social Vetting

Social media presents an amazing chance to understand the people we sell to on a personal level. Whether you’re aiming at large parts of the population or aiming at very specific people, the variety of information freely offered on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn means an excellent chance to capture attention. This is one of the newest internet marketing strategies to develop, and one of the most potent. By learning to look in to your customer base on social media, you can refine your methods to a great degree. Combined with information about your existing customers, you can go even further. It also works wonders for cutting old data from email lists and confirming contact information.

Analysis and Revision

Modern internet marketing strategies live and die on data. We can see more about how visitors interact with our marketing today than ever before, and it’s important that we use that chance to succeed. Look at conversion rates, page views, clicks, every metric that modern suites can offer. Within that data exists a nugget. Opportunities to refine and revise, to cut out the parts of your marketing that don’t work and enhance and capitalize upon the parts which do. By thoroughly understanding how your customers use your website, engage with your material, and buy from you (or not), opens countless doors.

Diverse Engagement

When we engage prospects in several different ways, they remember us easier than they would if we only reach out to them in one medium. Mixing videos, articles, webinars, and other mediums makes our message stick in customers’ minds much better. There’s a reason the best teaching methods get students moving their bodies while they think. That reason can work in our internet marketing strategies as well.

What else?  What other Internet marketing strategies do you think I should have included?

3 Easy Internet Marketing Strategies in Link Building

Internet Marketing Strategies

Few aspects of inbound marketing matter more than the internet marketing strategies you utilize for link building. With regular Google updates upturning the status quo on a regular basis, those who fail to stay abreast of the shifting landscape can see their hard-earned traffic dwindle to nothing in a matter of days—or worse, see themselves on Google’s much feared naughty list. However, that doesn’t make it enough to chase blindly after algorithmic perfection, either; savvy marketers learn to make their internet marketing strategies pull double duty. Today, we’ll discuss three ways for you to do just that.

Natural Backlink Profiles Internet Marketing Strategies

Penguin changed the way Google analyzes backlink profiles in a major way, and woe to those who fail to adapt. Old internet marketing strategies generating backlink profiles consisting solely of your targeted keyword phrase and a few variations no longer satisfy the algorithm at the core of the search engine giant. Such over tuned, artificial backlink profiles will do you no favors. 

Fortunately, what does work now also gives you plenty of leeway to inject something unique into your anchor phrasing. You want some of the classic keywords and tangential variants, but you also want plenty of nonsense, ‘click here’ and ‘www.yourwebsitename.com’ and ‘Your Website’ in your profile. You’ll also want tangential variants of those—Google will recognize them all, don’t worry. The best news is, such naturalistic internet marketing strategies should have a long shelf life. 

Networking Internet Marketing Strategies

Backlink profiles made up solely from paid spots, properties you own, and zero-standard spam sites simply don’t cut it in today’s world. You need internet marketing strategies that involve creating content for and contact with real people—and you need to reach out, aggressively, to the people who can guide more attention your way. That means reaching out to other professionals for guest posts, reviews, anything. It means engaging the community at large on social media and discussion forums. Talk to people, and give them a reason to talk about you—and the site you’re trying to promote.   

Of course, standing out enough to get that attention means putting forth and maintaining a recognizable identity, something ‘you’ that stands out from the masses you’re in competition with for customer attention. Whether you position yourself for a specific demographic, as the Green or Exciting or Crazy Company, or something else, you need internet marketing strategies in place for shaping that identity. This brings us to…

‘Big Picture’ Internet Marketing Strategies 

Internet marketing strategies for link building shouldn’t be viewed in a vacuum; an effort which gets you backlinks, but creates a negative public opinion, is not worth it no matter how many unique linking pages you net. Similarly, flooding your site with unqualified, uninterested people because you managed to catch the wider masses’ attention for a brief moment doesn’t help much unless you know exactly how to capitalize on that sort of traffic.

Plan your internet marketing strategies for the big picture, and shape the way everyone looks at your business—including the search engines.

What else?  What other link building Internet marketing strategies do you feel should have been included?

Esolbiz