THE SECRETS TO ONLINE MARKETING (MOST AGENCIES WILL NEVER TELL YOU!) A Key Principles publication

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1 10 THE S TO ONLINE MARKETING (MOST AGENCIES WILL NEVER TELL YOU!) A Key Principles publication

2 10 S THE TO ONLINE MARKETING (MOST AGENCIES WILL NEVER TELL YOU!) By Jackie Key, Managing Director, Key Principles Jackie Key is the Managing Director of Key Principles. She has over 20 years experience in Marketing and in Integrated Marketing, and over 10 years experience of implementing Online Marketing, SEO and PPC. She has been working with businesses of all sizes, from FTSE 250 companies to medium size businesses as well as small owner managed businesses and start-ups. Through creative, integrated marketing, she has helped companies grow with a primary focus on generating more leads and more sales. (Jackie is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and has an MBA from Warwick University.)

3 S 10(MOST TO ONLINE MARKETING AGENCIES WILL NEVER TELL YOU!) Introduction When it comes to online marketing, perhaps like marketing itself, things don t really change as quickly as many may suggest. Marketing and online marketing are basically still about understanding your market, your customer and potential customers and providing a product or service which exceeds their needs and is profitable for you. Going back to the very basics, Kotler s classic definition of marketing first published back in 1996 still holds true. Marketing means working with markets to bring about exchanges for the purpose of satisfying human needs and wants. (Kotler et al, Principles of Marketing 1996) So what does this mean in the real world? Well this ebook is going to help de-mystify some of the common myths around online marketing and let you into some secrets most marketing agencies simply won t tell you. So here goes.

4 #01: It really isn t rocket science (honest!) If truth be told, online marketing just like marketing is more than often about common sense. It s about getting the basics right and promoting your business and what you offer using various marketing channels. Online marketing is no different to marketing. In fact online marketing is simply just another channel or group of channels, which if used appropriately can add to the available options you have for promoting your business to your customers and prospects alike. Talk of click through rates, unique visitors, conversions, page speed, etc. maybe important but again it is jargon and simply needs explaining. Any agency that isn t able to explain the jargon in plain English probably doesn t understand it themselves!

5 #02: You still need a plan; a Business Strategy & Plan and a Marketing Strategy & Plan To really move your business forward you have to have a plan. Start with the development of a plan for your business. What business are you in? Where do you want to get to? Include financial goals that cover revenue and profit. If you really want to grow your business; if you have ambitious plans, then your marketing plan needs to reflect this with appropriate activity and budget, as well as most importantly clear return on investment (ROI) targets. Your Marketing Plan should be informed by your Business Plan. It should include metrics such as the number of leads that need generating and the expected number of sales from those leads. If you want to grow you need more leads and more sales so the Marketing Plan needs to identify the activities that will help you obtain those leads and sales. As the saying goes, Failing to plan is planning to fail. (Alan Lakein, 1979) But remember the strategy and plan doesn t have to be a large document that no one reads. In fact it is best as a small document with deadlines, responsibilities, budgets and lead generation goals by activity so that it becomes a working document.

6 #03: No one can guarantee you a top position on Google! If you come across agencies that purport to be able to guarantee you get to number 1 on Google for a particular phrase, then my recommendation is to steer clear. No one can guarantee a number 1 ranking. If an agency can get you to number 1 on Google within weeks rather than months, chances are they may be using black hat techniques. Black hat techniques are basically methods some unscrupulous agencies use to push your website up the rankings quickly. Generally these techniques are frowned upon by the search engines so once you are found out, chances are your website will drop down the rankings once more. Getting listed number 1 on Google for various phrases takes time unless of course you use pay per click techniques. Getting good natural listings requires a long term commitment and at its foundation is key word research. And let s be honest here, the natural listings are free but it takes time and investment (if you re going to use an SEO expert) to improve your natural listings.

7 #04: You still need offline marketing too and integration There are numerous agencies offering inbound and online marketing as the panacea to all your business and marketing woes. In fact online marketing alone could be the way forward but in almost all cases a mixture of activity; both online and offline is undoubtedly the best way. You want to use all the channels available to you to promote your business to your customers and prospects. There is an array of options now available and just because some of them are old, doesn t mean you should write them off! They will all have their merit and will need testing to see if they are right for you. Here is a quick list of just some of the channels you could be using: Direct mail, Social media marketing, Referrals, marketing, Networking, Website / squeeze page, Blogging, Word of mouth, Exhibitions, Seminars, Sponsorship, Pay per click advertising including Adwords, Samples / tasters, Press releases, Vehicle livery, Adverts / Advertorials, Banners, Google Places and local SEO, SEO (Search engine optimisation). Are you thinking some of these activities are no longer relevant? Think again! marketing has had some bad press recently. Yet, one client used marketing to encourage registrations to an event half of the registrations were generated from the ing!

8 #05: There is no silver bullet! You ll have to test, test and test again! And implement! When it comes to marketing, just like business in general, there really isn t a silver bullet. There isn t one thing that if you did it would lead to super success. Business and marketing in the end is about developing great strategies and plans and most importantly implementing them. Without the implementation, what do you have? Nothing really. If you can develop a proposition, product or service that is creative, interesting and of value to your prospects and customers then you are half way there. But you still have to implement it well and in an integrated manner. Do this and you will reap the benefits. But remember you have to measure the results, tweak your activity and measure the results again. You want to achieve the best return on your investment so it pays to test, test and test again.

9 #06: Your products/services and pricing still matter When it comes to marketing products and services, you have to have a great product or service that you can deliver profitably to your customers. So before you even start promoting your products or services, they have to be appropriately designed and be deliverable at a profit. They need to be as good if not better than your competitors products or services (or at least perceived to be). Pricing has changed with the introduction of internet and ecommerce. It is now very easy for buyers to compare the prices of one supplier against another. You can still develop products and services that command above averages prices by adding value in various ways. For example, smaller retailers can compete online and on the high street against the larger competitors such as Amazon by offering unique products and services. Bundling products together so that direct comparison is more difficult is certainly one way to go as is providing additional customer service features that the big boys simply struggle to provide.

10 #07: Customer testimonials really help online When it comes to online marketing, because it is not face-to-face and you may never actually meet your customers, it is important to offer reassurances. The most powerful of these is the customer testimonial. If you can produce video testimonials from key clients you really are on to a winner as these are incredibly powerful. At the very least make sure you have written testimonials on your website and in other items that are used to communicate to customers and prospects. If you can include a photo of the client, I think that also adds to how powerful the testimonial is to others. And by the way, if you don t have a referral scheme a way of encouraging your current customers to refer you to other businesses you should seriously think about this. Your current customers can be your best advocates.

11 #08: You still need offers and guarantees Much like customer testimonials, guarantees in particular encourage confidence in your products or services. If you can include guarantees prospects are more likely to turn into customers (more quickly). It helps to alleviate any concerns they may have about buying from you. Adding offers to the mix may not be appropriate for all businesses. Offers can be used strategically or tactically to help secure business. The offers should be of value to the prospect and should ideally include some kind of time limit so that it encourages immediate action on the part of the prospect.

12 #09: It is not about the number of visitors, it is about the number of leads and sales! When clients come to me asking for an increase in website visitors from 100 a month to 2000 per month, alarm bells start to ring! They are asking for the wrong thing. Of course we all want visitors to our website, just like we want increased turnover or revenue. But let s be serious visitors and turnover are not the key to success, leads and profits are! Far better to have 200 visitors to your website each month that come from your target market than 500 visitors of which 60% leave after landing on your home page. It is far better to have a turnover of 1,000,000 and profits of 50,000, than a turnover of 3,000,000 and profits of 50,000. This brings me nicely on to secret number 10. Measuring ROI and results. Think about what you are going to measure the number of visitors to your website or the number of leads it generates, the number of followers on Twitter or the number of mentions, retweets, etc.

13 #10: You can measure ROI (if you really want to) The truth is you can measure online marketing more easily than offline marketing but it pays to measure both and to close the loop! To really move forward with your marketing activity, you need to know what activities are generating the leads and even more importantly what activities are generating the sales. If you ve got an online shop that can be relatively easy to track through Google Analytics and other similar tools, but if your sales take place offline, you do need to set up systems to enable you to track and measure which activities are generating the sales. Even offline, there is much that you can do to automate the tracking. Perhaps the best thing you can do, today, right now, is sort out telephone tracking numbers and start using different numbers on different communications methods. By doing this you can start to measure what activities are generating your enquiries and do more of those lead generating activities. And make sure with all enquiries you receive that you track where your prospect heard about you and what led to them call you. And then track the lead through to a sale! Tracking ROI is not easy but it is worth doing as it can help you to improve what you do and improve your ROI. For one client I managed to close the loop and recorded over 500 leads, generating over 10,000,000 pipeline and sales of 2,000,000 (which we managed to track). Profit wasn t so easy to measure but for small and medium size businesses, it makes sense to close the loop, measure ROI and find out what is working and what isn t so that you can improve!

14 S 10(MOST TO ONLINE MARKETING AGENCIES WILL NEVER TELL YOU!) Conclusion So much of what I have written about in this ebook, is not particularly to do with online marketing but everything to do with marketing as an integrated discipline, that uses all the assets you have available as a business. Whether online marketing or marketing in general, things haven t really changed. You still need a strategy and a plan. You still need to measure results. You still need leads and you still need sales. Hopefully the information provided has been of value, has made you think about what you are doing and why you are doing it. If you do nothing else having read this ebook, I would recommend that if you aren t already, that you look at what you are doing and start to measure the results of it. You need to know how many leads an activity generates and most importantly how many sales you achieve. Only then are you in a position to develop your marketing campaigns and activities to generate the best return on your investment.

15 Want to boost your online and offline efforts? SEO 1 PPC INTEGRATED MARKETING SOCIAL Want to unlock your leads and sales? CONTENT Get in touch STRATEGY Yes, of course you do and Key Principles is here to help. Our services focus on lead generation through integrated marketing and include those shown here and more. FREE WEBSITE ASSESSEMENT (worth 50) Risk free, no obligation offer! Connect with us for regular marketing and SEO tips T:

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