Let’s be honest here for just one second, marketers love buzzwords. Even when it comes to discussing marketing, marketers love to market marketing. You’ve probably heard chatter about SEO, marketing automation, or seen ads online about top 10 things you should be doing with your SEM strategy. The following are more than buzzwords, they are tools and strategies that amplify your marketing and advertising for today’s digital age.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Simply put, SEO is doing a bunch of things to ensure your web page shows up when people search for it. Ever wonder why certain pages show up ahead of others when you Google things? That’s all due to the corresponding page’s SEO. Since Google is the primary search engine used by individuals browsing the web, a lot of websites are built and managed according to Google’s outlined best practices. Everything from your page load time to how your web copy is written impacts your website’s ranking. Google is really nice and even put together a list of how they rank websites. Read about their ranking system here. SEO is a pretty dense and in-depth subject. We strongly recommend checking The MOZ’s blog if you’re interested about learning more about SEO management. They also provide nifty tools to make the process a lot easier to manage.
Basically, marketing automation gives your marketing strategy a second brain that deploys content to your audience based on preset rules. Imagine having the power to follow up exactly 12 hours later with someone if they opened one of your emails. With marketing automation, you can do that. A fully integrated marketing automated strategy can be extremely useful if you have multiple accounts to manage and want to manage personalized relationships with your customers. A simple marketing automation platform that we recommend for small to medium-sized businesses is Mailchimp. Some of the more enterprise level platforms require the use of a CRM. Yes, we will explain that one too.
CRM System – Customer Relationship Management
A CRM system is a database that manages all of your current customers as well as the ones you are currently prospecting. A CRM stores data in relation to but not limited to contact info, purchase history, and what stage of the sales cycle they are in. Since everything is in the cloud and stored digitally, there is no paperwork, and information can easily be accessed. This abundance of data managed properly can be an effective sales and marketing tool. Two of the most widely used CRM platforms are Hubspot and Salesforce.
You know when you’re casually browsing social media and you stumble across an ad for a carpet cleaning service? That’s a native ad! Yes, we know a lot of people find these annoying and intrusive. But and that’s big BUT, done right they are very effective. Native ads are meant to work with the flow of content you see on your feed. The recipe for a great native ad isn’t complex, it’s one part knowing who your audience is and one part creating content that your audience will value. All of your favorite social media channels have guides and explanations on how native advertising works on their platforms. Check out the guides Facebook and Twitter have prepared.
Analytics – Specifically Google Analytics
Did you look at the analytics? Go look at the analytics. What do the analytics say? Please send me the analytics. If we got a dollar for every time we heard any of those phrases, we would be running a venture capital firm instead of an agency. If you have a website, it’s ESSENTIAL to monitor your Google Analytics. Ever wonder how people find your site, how long they stay, what pages they view, or what social media channels are driving the most qualified traffic? Google Analytics has the answers. We could honestly write a 50-page book about Google Analytics, we actually just might. But until then, read more about Google Analytics here.
SEM – Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing allows you to position your site competitively in search engine results. Imagine being able to show up ahead of your competition in a search result, done right SEM makes it happen. In a nutshell, an ad has assigned keywords that are related to the desired page. When a user searches these keywords, the ad shows up ahead of organic search results. If there are multiple ads for the same keywords, a bidding war for the top spot ensues. SEM is fantastic for reaching people who are looking for a specific item online. Just like SEO, and pretty much everything here, SEM is heavily data-driven. We strongly suggest checking out Google AdWords page to learn more about the technical side of SEM.
If you’re looking to learn more about these, Google is your best friend. You’ll find countless amounts of blogs dedicated to these topics. Most category leaders that offer these products and services have a blog on their site that explores the basic 101s, as well as how to get the most out of each tool. Don’t forget, you can always reach out to us, we are dying to talk about the latest features in marketing automation.