Tuesday, April 12, 2016

What Is Marketing Automation and Who Uses It?

What Is Marketing Automation and Who Uses It?

Marketing automation is the process of integrating all of your marketing channels into one platform.  Though marketing automation software has been around for quite awhile, it’s importance as the digital world continues to climb. As businesses begin to use more and more marketing channels to reach their customers, marketing automation software helps them create consistent and multi-faceted campaigns.

Why You Should Use Marketing Automation in Your Business

It’s pretty hard to judge the success of your campaign when all of your marketing channels are separate.  Your social media channels, landing pages, and emails are living in separate homes, making it almost impossible to get realistic results that you can apply to your business.  Think about it - you have no way of looking at the data from all of these platforms at the same time.  When you implement marketing automation tools, all of your marketing channels can be accessed through one place.  This ensures that your content and message stays consistent, while providing you with the big picture of your marketing strategy.  You’ll be able to see where you need to improve, as well as make changes before you’ve wasted money on a useless campaign.

Better yet, marketing automation software empowers every member of your team by creating a place where they can see the big picture.  Instead of staying inside of their department, they become fully aware of how their job helps the machine run.  With this data at their fingertips, they can make wiser decisions about their campaigns.  For your sales team, it creates a clear picture of where that prospect is in the buyer’s journey. Are they ready to buy? Are they still looking around? With marketing automation software, you’ll be able to segment these prospects and address their needs right the first time.

All in all, marketing automation services create a new culture within your business.  Your team functions like a  well-oiled machine and you’re able to provide your future and existing customers with consistently excellent service. Though it’s possible to operate your own marketing automation software, consider marketing automation consulting before you move forward.  If you don’t know how to use marketing automation software correctly, you’ll be missing a lot of the benefits we’ve talked about.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Hiring an SEO Agency

Hiring an SEO Agency

Hiring the right SEO agency can be difficult, especially when you don’t have the technical knowledge to navigate your way around the industry.  Though you may lack the skills to talk the talk, you can still be prepared for the walk. As with any business adventure, take your time when hiring a search engine optimization agency.  In addition to making the initial contact, arrange a time to interview one of their strategists to get an accurate idea of what you can expect from the agency.

5 Questions to Ask the Seo Agency

How do you measure the success of your search engine optimization strategies?  It’s important to understand exactly what the scalability of ‘success’ is.  Does it align with your goals for implementing search engine optimization services into your business?  If the agency’s idea of improvement is far from your own, it’s best not to waste your time.

Do you have any certifications or accreditations?  Generally speaking, the people who work with your search engine optimization strategy should have a good idea of what the big picture should look like.  In addition to understanding search engine optimization strategies, the agency you choose should be able to fit that strategy into all of your marketing channels.

Will you provide me with data and inform me of changes?  If the agency is unwilling to share data with you, don’t bother with a second conversation.  A good search engine optimization agency will have set terms for how you will communicate, when you will communicate,  and what is going to happen to your website and strategy.  If making contact to discuss your business seems like a hassle, you can expect working with them to be a hassle.

What are your payment terms?  Be firm when asking about payment.  In addition to flat rate costs, ask if there will be any hourly costs.  You never want to be at the will of your SEO consultant.  Make sure the agency is willing to contracted terms for how your business relationship will operate.

May I have a list of past clients?  Looking through a portfolio or researching past clients is a good way to tell the success of the agency, as well as the type of branding that aligns with their company.  If an agency works for primarily bars and restaurants, it’s probably not a good fit for your non-profit program.  Not only is this a reflection on your business, but it’s a pretty good indicator of how well you will work with one another.

Take your time with this decision.  After all, you are allowing someone else to work on your business.  Trust is at the foundation of any relationship and you should be able to trust that your business is in good hands.