1 The Modern Marketing Playbook REVENUE RIVER copyright 2014
2 Introduction: If your business has struggled to find your digital marketing identity, the problem is likely in the plan or the execution. Or both. Revenue River would like you to take a closer look at your assets and compare them to each online marketing channel. This e-book will help you take an honest look at your efforts, offer some great tips for improved results, and lay the foundation for a better digital marketing campaign.
3 Table of Contents Set Goals Your Website Content Social Media s That Matter Search Engine Series Analytics and Testing Summary
4 Setting the Stage The rise of the internet age has left many old-world marketing tactics blowing in the wind. Increasingly, however, businesses have recognized the need for a solid digital presence both for credibility and lead generation. After all, the goal of any marketing effort should be to get the right traffic and leads, not just anybody.
5 Whether you have already invested much into marketing your business on the internet or are just getting started, there is an opportunity to drive real results with the right mix. Remember, 89% of US internet users search online before they make a purchase, even when the purchase is made at a local business1. Whether you like it or not, your potential customers are searching for what you do online. If they don t find you, they ll find someone else. 1
6 Chapter 1 Set Goals That Drive Digital Results
7 Start With Goals Goal setting isn t a new concept, but you might not have spent your time setting goals with the right people. As the business owner you need to participate in this process with someone you trust. If you built your goals with a webmaster, graphic designers, or an SEO consultant, you made a mistake. Marketing goals need to be built on an understanding of the challenges to accomplishing the overarching business goals, not based on the metrics of a single marketing element.
8 For Instance, if a CEO wanted to grow the business by 30% in the next year, you would work backwards to find the revenue gap that your digital marketing efforts need to fulfill. That number would ultimately drive your marketing goals. Additionally, these goals need to consider an overall budget, be supported with a plan to accomplish them by a specific date, and have metrics in place to track progress and status. 43% of marketers generated a customer via their blog with less than 10% of total time allocation. 2
9 So What Do Good Goals Look Like? Let s first consider what good goals do not look like. Here are a couple that definitely need some help: I want to rank higher on search engines. I want to increase website traffic and lead-to-sale conversions.
10 It s simple to want these things, but how do you measure your success in attaining them? Without the right metrics, these are nothing more than wishes. However, a little polishing can turn these into great goals: I want to rank number one for the keyword term valuation process since it will bring an estimated 200 visitors per month to the website. In order to achieve our revenue goal from digital marketing, we need 12,000 visitors, 300 leads, and 10 customers over the course of the next twelve months.
11 To best formulate the right marketing goals for your business, it s important to consider several critical questions. Here are a just few you should answer before you set your goals: If your best prospect called you right now, what are they like? (Job title, age, sex, education, etc.) How do your customers buy your products? (Do they use the phone, , website, or come in-store?) How many leads are you currently producing each month? (Determine how far you re behind pace of goal) When you achieve your goals, what will that change in your business? (Will you be able to hire, increase profit?) Under what scenarios would you consider hiring someone to help you? (do you need help to reach your goals?) For a complete list of questions you should answer before planning your goals, grab our SMART Goals Template here.
12 Chapter 2 Take Your Website from Amateur to All-Star
13 Website Isn t Performing? As one of the main elements of your digital marketing strategy, the goal of your website should be to attract, educate, and convert the right web traffic into qualified leads. If it isn t currently doing its job, it is likely because your website was built with the wrong things in mind, without the right internal people involved, and by the wrong team. As such, you ve probably failed to address one simple facet with your website: people go to your website for a reason.
14 They re looking for something, what is it? Who are they anyway? If you haven t answered these questions, your website won t work. You need to begin with the end in mind and that s your customer. Define them first, market to them second, design it third. The average website conversion rate 3 for small companies is 8%.
15 Build a Better Website If you want to make your website start working for you, you ve got some work to do. Step 1: Develop your buyer personas you have to understand who they are, what they re looking for, and how they best receive information. Your website needs to answer their questions and help them make a good buying decision.
16 Step 2: Determine your voice develop a plan for how to speak to them from an expert and resourceful standpoint. Share your knowledge with them in a way that doesn t alienate them. Step 3: Find something to offer develop additional information of value and package it in the form of an offer they can download in exchange for some of their information. Step 4: Prioritize the necessary elements feature your top initiatives, products, or services along with any tools or resources that must be present.
17 Step 5: Build your wireframe lay out your message and offers like you d lay your services out in a magazine. Put your information and choices in containers with bold calls to act and learn. Step 6: Call a designer find someone fantastic with web design and have them bring your wireframe to life. Make sure they have your brand book so everything they design is consistent with your guidelines and other assets. Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales 4 ready leads at 33% lower cost.
18 Chapter 3 - Why Content Gets the MVP Award 4
19 What is Content? Content should be the center of your marketing efforts since all other channels depend on content to truly be effective. Content can take the form of articles, ebooks, whitepapers, guides, calculations, etc. The concept is simple: provide potential clients valuable resources and information in exchange for a few details about themselves. Help them get informed on your industry, services, and what sets you apart. You ll gain credibility through the process and position your business as an industry exp ert. The reason most companies don t implement content marketing into their strategy is simple. It s hard.
20 more leads than traditional adopters than non-adopters Website conversion rate is nearly 6 times higher for content marketing (2.9% vs 0.5%). Statistically, inbound practices like content marketing produce 54% outbound practices. It takes time, energy, and focus you probably don t have, however, the results are undeniable. Without compelling content, you re only performing at about two-thirds of your potential. To capture those missed opportunities, you need to begin creating content and positioning your business in the process. If you do it right, you won t regret it. 6 5
21 6 Steps to Your Content Marketing Campaign Step 1: Download our free ebook on the art and science of blogging. This gives you full instruction on how to write an optimized blog post for search engines that speaks to your target market and builds message. Step 2: Get your keyword research together and download our free blog editorial calendar. Build out your calendar with topics, keywords to focus on, and frequency you can commit to. Minimum commitment should be one article published per week, but try to shoot for two. Step 3: Designate a team of resources you ll use for writing, provide them the calendar, and get their commitment to delivering. Help them understand the importance and benefit to both the organization and to themselves.
22 Step 4: Hold a 10 minute weekly accountability meeting to report upon status, questions, and deadlines. Step 5: Select your best resource and challenge them to expand an article into an ebook. Have them read our ebook on how to construct yours, it gives you complete direction. Step 6: Have your website designer make you an advertisement for the ebook on your website homepage and build you a new page to promote the offer. Make sure they include a form to claim it so you capture their contact information. Congratulations, you just started your own content marketing campaign. 6
23 Chapter 4 Social Media: Your Online Brand Commentator
24 The Search Ranking Myth With millions of users logging in on a daily basis, social media platforms provide a valuable digital opportunity to engage with your target market. Therefore, the goal of your social media efforts should be aligned with your overall marketing goals to attract, educate, and convert the right traffic into leads. Think of social media as a message distribution vehicle similar to . In this social sphere where users are digesting tons of content regularly, you have a great opportunity to present your content to the right audience. It s important to determine your message and then distribute your content over the appropriate channels, repositioning your title and image based on platform demands.
25 13% of marketers noted that social media generates above average lead conversion rates. 7 Keep These Things in Mind Effective social media marketing considers target demographics of your ideal customer. Consider who you re targeting, where they are most likely to participate, and how best to reach them. Don t spam people since coupons and discounts simply aren t effective in this space. Focus your efforts on being a resource for information. Answer their questions and provide them valuable resources. They ll love you for it and they ll convert.
26 1. Make sure you re on the right channels If you re in the B2B space, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter are fantastic places to play. If you re selling a product to consumers, you may want to spend more time on Facebook and Pinterest while posting a lot of images to Twitter and Instagram. 2. Learn the rules of each channel If you don t know what a hashtag is, you have work to do. Each channel has its own set of rules for effectiveness, follow them. 3. Be consistent and be genuine If you decide to take a few months off, you ll lose interest If you stage all of your content generically, you ll lose interest Follow the 80/20 rule: 80% resourceful content, 20% self-promotional
27 Chapter 5 Knock it Out with s that Matter
28 The Case for Marketing With nearly 122B s being sent every hour (that s B 8 for billions!), marketing can be a very effective component of your digital marketing strategy if you find a way to cut through the noise. Similar to social media platforms, campaigns work best as message distribution channels. Because your target audience likely gets bombarded with a number of s, it is critical that you craft a message that speaks directly to them and engages them with your content.
29 Why Your s Aren t Working? If you re struggling to get results through your marketing, one of two things can generally be identified as the root cause: You re not segmenting your database and changing the voice to match Your campaign isn t tied to your other marketing efforts
30 What is the goal of your ? Are you trying to drive people to your website? Do you want them to download a resource guide? You should be sharing your content with the right contacts, based on who they are and what they re looking for. Match content with demographics and lifestyles.
31 Steps to Take 1. Segment your contacts into separate lists based on who they are, how you found them, and where they sit in the sales process. 2. Choose a different offer or article that each list would find value in. 3. Be passionate in your subject line, sell the need to read. 4. Add links to additional resources in your ; the more you add, the more clicks through you ll get. 5. The fewer s you send, the more unsubscribes you ll get, so be consistent. marketing as a channel was the third overall lead gen source for marketers in 2013, producing 13% of 9 all leads.
32 Chapter 6 The Search Engine Series How to Get a Leg Up
33 The Search Ranking Myth Historically, acquiring traffic from search engines has been all about a very singular pursuit the pursuit of higher rankings through optimized keyword usage. Because higher rankings typically lead to more clicks and visits from interested searchers, that search traffic is uniquely valuable due to its high relevancy and timeliness. People often search when they re interested or ready to perform an action. While it s true that you want to land on the first page of the search results, it s important to consider what exactly you re landing there for. For example, a top-ten ranking for stores that sell boots won t do you much good if you re an IT company selling Bootstrap solutions. Clearly, there s a lot more to optimize for the best Search Engine Result Placement 9 (SERP) than keywords alone.
34 The Comprehensive View When optimizing for search traffic today, marketers can t think just about rankings. They need to be holistic in their approach to the visibility and appearance of listings. A marketer who dives deep on this topic can find dozens of opportunities to enhance their listing and earn more traffic. Because these days, it s not enough to rank. However, marketers need to their clicks and SEO experts are only providing a small portion of the pie.
35 Remember, the goal of your SEO campaign should be to drive convertible, relevant traffic to your website. With the right offers and conversion paths, your results won t hinge on rankings alone. SEO performance needs to be measured against bottom line results, not false metrics such as rankings. Evaluate your firm: do they understand this? Are they making suggestions on how you can improve CTR? If not, it s time to give them a boot and save your money. You re wasting it.
36 Years ago, when HubSpot first started teaching people about search engine optimization, one rule was essential: above all else, create good, useful content. The rest will follow. From Panda to Penguin, and everything else you ve learned from the previous experts, search has changed quite a bit in the last few years, but that cardinal rule has held strong. 70% of the links search users click on are organic, not paid. 10
37 Chapter 8 Clinch the Win with Analytics and Testing
38 If at First, You Don t Succeed... Ultimately, the success of any digital marketing strategy depends on your ability to analyze the data captured by each component of the campaign. As the competition between businesses becomes stiffer in the digital space, your ability to stay in the game will hinge on your data analysis capabilities. By drilling down, you will be able to find the weak spots in your strategy, the areas where your efforts simply aren t performing based on the metrics you ve determined. You can take those ideas back to the drawing board for reworking, possibly incorporating elements of the efforts that are performing well for you.
39 Going through this process regularly is known as testing. Several elements of your digital campaign can benefit from testing, including (but not limited to): Offers (do your ebooks get downloaded more frequently than your worksheets?) CTAs (do sidebar CTAs receive more clicks than end-of-blog CTAs?) s (do subject lines including the contact s name outperform those that don t?) Taking a critical, multi-dimensional look at each element will help optimize your overall efforts.
40 Data Strategies That Can Help You There are a number of both free and paid tools that are useful for capturing data. With metrics, though, it s easy to focus on those that make you feel successful even though they re not really all that indicative of what s happening to your business. Examples of these might be website visits, page views, social media followers, etc. Recognizing growth in these numbers can sometimes signify a useful trend, but for the most part these are simply vanity metrics.
41 It is important to remember when using these tools that it is more valuable to consider the metrics that suggest action. Useful data can be extracted by evaluating: Who is coming to your site? What are those people doing once they get there? What particular channels are most successfully driving buying customers? Who is converting? What conversions are strengthening relationships? Which conversions tend to drive revenue? Answering these questions with hard data will help you refine your digital marketing strategy. Spending on marketing analytics is expected to increase 60% by
42 Summary Connecting the Dots
43 We hope this information gives you a better understanding of digital marketing techniques. You can t fix what you don t understand and putting the puzzle together can be difficult. Most companies struggle to produce tangible marketing results because their efforts are fragmented and don t work together toward the same goal. The issues you re facing could likely be improved through deeper evaluation, but you first need to determine exactly what you re trying to accomplish. Start by establishing realistic goals. We encourage you to go through an inbound assessment to outline your goals, current plans, biggest challenges, and a timeline for results. You can improve your results. You can expect better. You just have to learn and apply, practice and master. And we can help.
44 INDEX 1 42 Tweetable Facts to Squash Marketing Fantasies, HubSpot, August The Ultimate Resource for 2013 Inbound Marketing Stats and Charts, May The Ultimate Resource for 2013 Inbound Marketing Stats and Charts, May Rethinking the B2B Tech Marketing Mix in the Digital Age: A Social Computing Report, Forrester, May State of Inbound Marketing, Hubspot, Crossing the Chaos: Managing Content Marketing Transformation, AberdeenGroup, August The Ultimate Resource for 2013 Inbound Marketing Stats and Charts, May Best-Practices, MarketingProfs, March The Ultimate Resource for 2013 Inbound Marketing Stats and Charts, May All the Marketing Statistics You Need, HubSpot via Marketing Sherpa, February Is the Year of Digital Marketing Analytics: What it Means for Your Company, Forbes, February keting-analytics-what-it-means-for-your-company/