We are going to play devil’s advocate for a moment, as we ponder a bit of a conundrum in the ever-present question of content creation in the expanding world of inbound marketing.
We are in the middle of a heatwave in Ireland, and as temperatures soar, we are all feeling the effects of that unfamiliar yellow ball in the sky searing down on us for days on end. As any sensible person will know, we need to protect ourselves from overheating, but when it comes to inbound marketing, many agencies don’t cover themselves and run the risk of getting burnt – both as a company and by clients. Here’s some of the more common mistakes inbound agencies make that see them lose their cool.
The World Cup is finally here! It’s been a long four years since Germany lifted the trophy in Brazil, and football fans all over the world are licking their lips at the thought of the month-long spectacle of goals and saves, heroes and villains, victories and defeats. It’s a pity Ireland aren’t involved, but while we wonder who might win the tournament, this soccer extravaganza can also give food for thought to inbound marketers everywhere. Here’s just a few things we should keep in mind about our own inbound marketing efforts while we watch the drama unfold on the pitches of Russia.
It’s May the fourth, the annual celebration of all things Star Wars, so we thought we’d update our quick rundown of some of the quotes from everyone’s favourite space saga that digital marketers everywhere from Ahch-To to Yavin 4 should know.
We recently looked at the big issue of GDPR and what it means for inbound marketers, and in particular focused on the two main areas the industry needs to be aware of – consent and legitimate interest. Here, in the second part of our piece on this new legislation that increases consumer data rights, we take a look at what needs to be done with the data we gather and process in order to be compliant and still manage to keep our inbound marketing strategies working.
The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is fast approaching, and there are probably a lot of nervous inbound marketers out there, wondering what their agency or business needs to do to be compliant with these strict new rules on personal data. In a recent blog, we outlined the 12 main things you need to know about, from data auditing to data security and breach reports, but here, we take a closer look at the two big areas of concern for inbound marketing: legitimate interest and consent.
Easter is here, and with thoughts turning to eggs (unless the religious connotations are more your thing), we're taking a look at the chicken and egg scenario, and how it relates to sales and marketing.
We all know the 'which came first?' riddle, but what do we mean when we apply it to sales and marketing today? Well, let’s assume that the egg is marketing and the chicken is sales. Just as the chicken had to come from an egg, so sales will only come about by way of successful marketing. But that egg had to come from a chicken, just as marketing resources are only possible if your business has made the sales necessary to invest in them. Therein lies the conundrum: What comes first, how do you make sure you have both, where should your priorities lie, and what’s the process?
When it comes to working with new clients, any inbound marketing agency worth its salt wants to prove the value of their approach. However, this is not always easy, especially when those clients are hungry for instant success and dramatic improvements in their online marketing results. We have had many successes and happy clients, but I’m sure we are not alone in sometimes being faced with a client who, despite our best efforts, still wants more, and more often than not, this comes down to expectations.
It’s official: The use of keywords as we know them is becoming a thing of the past. In response to changing consumer behaviour and search engine algorithms, HubSpot has announced that as of May, their keywords tool will be no more. By declaring that they will be ‘sunsetting’ this previously vital element of content creation and SEO strategies, the inbound marketing colossus has refocused to launch its Content Strategy tool in its place.
The sheer volume of content available online means that many businesses and agencies are struggling to compete, to reach their audience and present their experience, expertise and insights to the people they want to see it – their potential customers and clients.
Voice search is the latest development in SEO, delivering AI-driven search results to spoken questions, and it’s going to be a major player in online content. All inbound marketing agencies need to know how to make sure their business or agency is found online when spoken questions overtake typed requests in search engine results.
While the trends and developments in inbound marketing mean the industry is constantly changing as regards best practices and strategies, one element of the mix has remained a constant: organic content. Your blog is as important as ever when it comes to attracting visitors to your site and proving your authority and expertise, but producing great content continuously can be a difficult task, and we don’t always get those lightbulb moments of inspiration.
It’s still early in the year, but inbound marketers everywhere are starting to emerge from their winter hibernation and consider their digital marketing best practices for the year ahead. Having looked at the New Year resolutions and the strategies we should ditch in 2018, here we take a look at the major inbound marketing trends we should be considering to achieve success and growth.
Getting a guest blog post on a high-profile website is a great feeling.
It’s 2018, and it’s time for everybody to make their New Year resolutions. That doesn’t just mean those plans to join a gym (and stop going by February), or to cut down on the cakes, it also applies to your inbound marketing efforts and how you can generate more leads for your business by following the inbound marketing New Year resolution list.
The festive season is upon us, and we would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our clients, past, present and future, a Very Merry Christmas, and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
The Christmas Holidays are fast approaching, and while B2C companies in the retail sector may face a bonanza of trade at this time, B2B businesses and agencies in the inbound marketing sector will be experiencing a winding down of activity. It’s natural that, as we look forward to the Christmas break, our marketing machine starts to slow, but it shouldn’t grind to a halt completely. Nobody wants to be a modern-day Bob Cratchit, forced to work right up to the last minute (or get back into work mode while everybody else enjoys the festive season), so a bit of planning can ensure everybody can have an enjoyable and relaxing break. Here’s a few simple steps to take to make sure your inbound efforts continue to roll out over the Christmas holidays.
Nowadays, in order to satisfy consumer behaviour and demand, the majority of businesses have a website that they hope will attract new clients and customers. It is imperative for any successful business to be able to be found online, but simply having a website doesn’t mean that the job is done and that customers will come flooding in.
Back in April, I wrote a blog on why marketers need to get smart about AI, so it was with great interest that I recently tuned in to an interview by the HubSpot Academy with Paul Roetzer, founder and CEO of PR 20/20 and creator of the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute. You can watch the whole interview here, in which the emergence of this new technology and the impact it can have on digital marketing is discussed, but if you are short on time, here’s some of the key points, questions (and answers) about artificial intelligence that were raised.
By now you have probably heard lots of mentions of the upcoming GDPR legislation, but do you know what it will mean for your organisation? The fact of the matter is that, whether you are a multinational, an SME, a marketing department or an agency, you will need to not only put in place adequate measures that show you are compliant with data protection and data privacy, and data processing requirements such as consent and legitimate interest, but also document how you are compliant in these areas.
If you’re worried that you will never be president because you can’t fit your thoughts into less than 140 characters, you no longer need to worry! The world and his dog probably knows by now that Twitter has doubled its character limit to 280, giving people twice the elbow room to share their opinions (or insult other world leaders). But what does it mean for marketers? We take a look…
It’s always handy to check in on what’s going on in the world of digital marketing outside the walls of Get Focused Towers, so we are constantly on the lookout for new events coming up that can help us gain the insights we need to continue delivering a top-quality service to our clients and partners.
I recently visited a friend of mine, who is a plumber, and was surprised to find that the taps in his bathroom, and his kitchen, were leaking. We’ve known each other long enough that I didn’t have to beat around the bush in asking, so I put it to him that it seemed strange that someone in his line of work would have less than perfect plumbing. His response may come as no surprise to many of us. He was too busy tending to customers that he doesn’t have the time to look after his own fixtures and fittings. Sound familiar?
For content creators, coming up with new ideas for blogs can be a harrowing and scary proposition, and not just because it is Halloween. With only two months left to go in the calendar year, you have had ten months of constant brainstorming, writing and re-writing, and at this stage you may feel drained of inspiration and walking slowly into a graveyard of the mind. What else can you possibly write about? How do you come up with that killer content over and over again?
Like ‘Old Gil’ from the Simpsons, I’ve been in this game for more than ten years, and I’d like to think I’m not as long in the tooth as him at least. From a Glengarry Glen Ross perspective, I’m almost the newest kid on the block, but if you’re a Millennial, perhaps I seem over the hill. The bottom line is that times have changed, and selling is no longer about spewing out feature sets - it’s about identifying and being able to solve a problem in a succinct and value-orientated fashion, and interacting with your prospect in the newer channels on which they want to communicate.
One of the main concepts behind successful inbound marketing is to broadcast to and engage with as many people as possible who might be interested in what you have to offer. It’s the old saying of ‘fishing where the fish are’, meaning to have a presence on the platforms where the right consumers are spending time, looking for useful information to address their needs, and find solutions to their challenges. And where is that? Facebook Messenger.
An unexpected bonus was when I bumped into my former colleague, Dan Sally, senior salesperson with HubSpot and MC of the Inbound summit, and got to talk to him about the changing face of Inbound.
We were really excited to go to Inbound 2017 in Boston last month, and our team came back with lots of inspiration and great ideas to help improve our inbound marketing strategies for ourselves and our clients. There was a lot to take in, with product reveals to keynote speeches and an array of thought-provoking talks, but now that the dust has settled, we can take a step back and look at the big takeaways from the biggest inbound marketing summit in the world.
Forgive me for asking an obvious question, but: Do you have a sales process for your business or agency? Here’s another three, straight off the bat: If you do have a sales process, what does it look like? Does it work? Is it scalable?
Our team has just returned from Inbound 2017, the biggest inbound marketing summit in the world, which took place in Boston last week. We had a great (and very informative) time networking with our peers and hearing from inspirational figures from the inbound world and beyond, while our co-CEO Clodagh Higgins also presented a session on creating a happy and healthy inbound agency, touching on everything from what a modern agency looks like, to agency culture to formulating a successful retainer model.
Every inbound agency wants to grow, but with that growth comes the need to find the right people to help you achieve the success you are aiming for. Those people need to not only fit into your agency culture, but bring the right level of skill, know-how and expertise to the table, and finding them, let alone onboarding them, can be a tough HR headache you don’t always have time for.
There will be more than 19,000 inbound marketers converging on Boston next week for Inbound 2017, the single biggest digital marketing event of the year, and (most of) our team will be joining them. We can’t wait to catch as many of the inspirational talks and instructive sessions as possible (especially the one from our very own Clodagh Higgins) that will help us perfect our strategies for ourselves and for our clients. In anticipation, we look at just some of these, and we hope to see you there.
The biggest event in the inbound marketing calendar is fast approaching! Inbound 2017 rolls into Boston’s Convention & Exhibition Centre from September 25-28, and will feature the biggest names in the industry, as well as a few inspirational figures you won’t want to miss.
If you are looking to learn about or improve your knowledge of inbound marketing and the tools you can use in the HubSpot COS platform to generate, nurture and convert leads, here is some good news: HubSpot is bringing its in-person training courses to Dublin again, with three sessions set to take place this October in the city centre.
(This blog post stems from our editor's over-zealous devotion to the English language and does not reflect our attitude to digital marketing in general, just those pieces of jargon he constantly gives out to us for using)
When you have the bandwidth to growth-hack your enterprise to move the needle and hit your KPIs with deliverables that prove ROI, can you revert with bleeding edge solutions to capture the low hanging fruit? That might make sense to seasoned digital marketers, but many potential clients are likely to respond with: ‘What? What? And, erm… What?’
Clodagh did some interviews in her home town of Sligo . . . here is a collection of them.
It might sound like a delicious chocolate bar, but topic clusters are actually the best new way to meet SEO challenges, create an effective digital marketing strategy to generate leads, and position your business or digital marketing agency at the top of the search queue. We take a look at what they are, and why they are so effective.
Finding the right people to work with you in your modern day digital marketing agency is essential if you want to deliver the best quality service to clients, but that search can be an arduous one with many pitfalls. Gone are the days when you could sift through one-page CVs and choose those who impress you by talking the talk in an interview. Now, your potential hires need to be able to demonstrate that they can also walk the walk, and any candidate worth their salt should have that information at hand and freely available to view. You just need to know what to look out for, and where to look.
In my last blog, I looked at the KPIS that really matter, and how you can measure the performance of your digital marketing strategy with the leads you generate, qualify and convert into customers. Here, I look at another important KPI you need to measure in order to assess the quality of the products or services you provide: customer satisfaction.
Following his recent interview on Dublin City FM’s The Persuaders programme, our sales director Ross recently made a swift return to the airwaves on Friday, August 4, this time as a guest on UpStarts, the show about digital marketing and business.
Attracting potential clients and converting them into potential customers for your inbound marketing agency involves many hard-fought and challenging tasks, but that is only half the battle. You also need to secure the resources to make that happen.
Inbound marketing is still a relatively new breed of animal, but in what is a fast-paced and constantly evolving industry, the concept of what an inbound agency is, and what it does, has also changed. We have now entered inbound agency 2.0 territory, with the more successful agencies not only fine-tuning the services they offer, but changing their focus to deliver better results for their clients.
What's the measure of success for your business?
Remember the days when salespeople went door to door or picked up the phone to make cold calls to try to win business? Those days are, for the most part, gone. Seismic shifts in consumer behaviour brought on by the omnipresence of the internet’s endless supply of information means people no longer want to be bothered by that interruptive approach from some guy (or gal) who has no idea who you are, what your interests are, or what you might want to buy.
With 1 billion websites on the World Wide Web, the internet is a daunting place, and you’d be excused for thinking there is no point in your small business putting in the time and effort of adding to the noise by creating loads more content. What makes it worse is the fact that there seems to be a thousand and one people selling you a template fix for your business’s very specific visibility issues. But there are ways you can avoid simply adding to the noise and really make your SME stand out from the crowd. So here is a checklist to help you get on your way.
Your company is going to have a culture whether you want it or not, so you may as well make it a great one. Bad company culture leads to disaffected team members, fast turnover of staff, and a general lack of enthusiasm for the job at hand. That not only leads to a bad working environment, but ultimately to poor performance. If team members don’t feel they are part of something great, it will show in what they produce. That way lies unhappy customers or clients.
I have always been a sales and marketing guy. In my inbound marketing agency, I go in and dazzle the client with the answers to their problems and get the deal signed. After that the work begins and in order to give the client all the bells and whistles that we promised, I go to Karolina. Today it’s Karolina, but in the past, I have always relied on someone like Karolina - that is, a person who brings together all the assembled talent that you have and moulds it together to hit the agreed KPIs. We are talking about a great project manager.
Our sales & strategy director Ross Lauder is nothing if not persuasive, so it is fitting that he was the most recent guest on The Persuaders, the Dublin City FM show about all things marketing last Friday.
If your digital marketing team is churning out a load of great content to give you a favourable position in search rankings and an increase in visitors to your website, you might be wondering why your sales team is not delivering when it comes to closing all those juicy new leads and turning them into sales.
By now, you will hopefully have seen my previous blog discussing the chicken and egg scenario when it comes to sales and marketing. If you haven’t, you can see it here, but to summarise: the conundrum is that sales need marketing to generate the leads they can turn into customers, but marketing can only come about when there are enough sales to invest in marketing resources. The solution to the puzzle – both departments working as one to create an integrated ‘smarketing’ approach.
Ok, so the Irish summer blows hot and cold like a femme fatale in a film noir, but summer it is, and we can be forgiven for turning our thoughts towards holidays and a little relaxation. However, the world of inbound marketing doesn’t take a holiday, and continues to evolve to meet ever-changing consumer demands, and sometimes it can be hard to keep up with the latest best practices, innovations and words of wisdom. Luckily, there are several handy events and workshops taking place in July to help keep you up to date and on top of your digital marketing strategy.
We all know that creating great content that will attract leads to our website and channel them along the conversion path with the right message tailored to the right persona at the right time is essential to a successful digital marketing strategy. However, the task is getting increasingly difficult as the sheer volume of content out there for an evolving consumer market means it is harder than ever to stand out, to get noticed, and to convert those visitors into qualified leads who can be nurtured until they are ready to make a purchasing decision.
In our previous blog, we looked at some of the mistakes digital marketing agencies make when trying to secure new business from a potential client, and how they should rework their retainer model to outline plainly how they can help a business to grow through an effective marketing strategy that will increase the client’s website traffic and generate more leads.
We all have a friend who doesn’t take our advice. Even though we may be knowledgeable about the challenges they face, have some great insights into the problem, and can offer any number of workable solutions, they still don’t heed, or even want that advice. It’s frustrating, right?
The times they are a changin’, and whilst the financial services industry is steeped in tradition, regulation and laws, it’s also becoming more and more important to role with these changes to get the edge on competitors. While Ireland hasa thriving financial services and fintech sector, with that success comes competition and keeping your marketing department ahead of the rest has its challenges, so whether you need to implement a CRM to manage client relations or use social media more effectively to engage with target markets on a daily basis, there are many tools that can help make every marketing effort more effective.
There are a lot of digital marketing experts out there, and that’s great – we lesser mortals can always use the insights and expertise they share so we can improve our marketing strategies. However, perhaps it’s the English language nerd in me, but I find the trend towards calling them anything other than ‘experts’ a little jarring. Ninjas or wizards they are not. Ninjas carry out irregular warfare tactics and historically were pretty much looked down on by the samurai, while wizards perform sorcery, and neither of these traits are evident in the modern marketing mix. Another thing they are definitely not are ‘gurus’.
As you know, (and if you don’t, you should) social selling is not as simple as some would have you believe. It is not a quick fix, so get that out of your head NOW. It’s important that you start at the start and learn as you go. I always believe that you should learn on the job so I decided to give my thoughts on how I use LinkedIn, as that's what I know.
‘Smarketing.’ It’s not the nicest example of a portmanteau out there. There are others that manage to effectively and more nicely capture a two-word concept into one, from the now mundane ‘brunch’ or ‘internet’ to the entertaining ‘craptacular’. But craptacular term aside, the concept behind ‘smarketing’ - having sales and marketing working together - is great, and is one that business and agencies really should be familiar with and practising.
Big data. You may have heard a lot of people talking about it recently. Just as AI, VR, AR, automation and chatbots are subjects that reflect the evolving technology digital marketers need to get to grips with (eventually), big data has also raised its not insubstantial head. But is big data a big problem or a big opportunity? Is it a topic we need to understand and address? If we are not yet availing of it, are we already lagging behind? Let’s first take a look at what exactly it is, and how it is affecting business and marketing today.
Earlier this week, we brought you a list of some of the best free digital marketing tools to help create an effective digital marketing strategy and grow your business or agency. While all of them are great and can prove very useful to your marketing efforts, the following paid-for tools can offer even greater functions, and can be not just affordable but extremely lucrative.
Getting to grips with your digital marketing strategy can be a tough task. Making sure you consistently create the right content to attract online visitors, effectively channel them down the conversion path, and that you can analyse the results to see where you can improve, means having to juggle a lot of balls and spending a lot of time you should be using to turn your business into a success. And that’s before you even begin to mention keeping your staff in the loop and making sure you are all working towards the same goals with the same approach.
The 4 Ps of Marketing, the so-called Marketing Mix, has been around and followed loyally for almost 60 years, but can a principle that old really be applied to today’s rapidly changing marketing environment? Can such a ‘magic mix’ of Product, Placement, Price and Promotion, established a decade before we first landed on the Moon, be relevant in today’s world of super-connectivity, of always online consumerism and multiple device demands, of digital marketing as we know it today?
This year’s Next Web summit is approaching and will offer digital marketers a great chance to stay ahead of the curve regarding the tools, tips and advice needed to maintain an effective online marketing strategy. The many industry-leading speakers, the networking opportunities and the chance for your business to get noticed by investors… there are so many reasons why you should think about attending. Here, we give you five of the best.
It’s always good when people say nice things about you, but in business, it is not just good, but important to your brand’s visibility and ability to engage with consumers and turn them into qualified leads. Contrary to the Oscar Wilde quote that there is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about, in the world of digital marketing, being talked about is pretty much essential to business growth.
Though big hitters such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have warned of the possible negative consequences of our adopting Artificial Intelligence, nobody has come back from the future to warn us about just how catastrophic a robot-dominated future will be for humankind, so we have to assume that this innovative and exciting advancement is going to be around for a while yet.
They keep changing the rules! It’s difficult to keep up with the best practices that will push you up the rankings in online search, but there are certain things you should keep in mind that will help your business increase visibility, website traffic and consumer engagement. Here’s a rundown of ten of them…
We’ve been hearing about it for a while now within the digital marketing sphere: video is the way to go in terms of consumer engagement. It is true that video is proving to be a very effective means to attract and engage with a target market and to drive them down the conversion path, but its popularity within digital marketing departments and digital agencies means that there is a danger of this medium being overused. The consequence? We are already seeing the backlash previously faced by paid for advertising in the form of that familiar nemesis – ad blocking.
Our latest morning workshop, this time discussing how to accelerate your digital marketing campaigns with effective email marketing, was held earlier this week and offered lots of tasty tips and advice.
In our last blog, we discussed how the email campaign is the best friend a digital marketer could ask for when it comes to converting leads into customers. Proven to be a highly-effective way to engage with personas in a target market, and to nurture them until they are brought along the buyer journey to the point where they are ready to make a purchasing decision, email remains the king of the content types.
Best friends are great. No matter what happens in life, how many new friends you meet and spend time with, no matter how long it is since you last saw them, the true mark of a best friend is that you can return to them at any stage and simply pick up where you left off. They will always be reliable, will help you out, and make you a better person. When it comes to digital marketing, email is that best friend.
We are all familiar with the idea of email marketing, but for many digital marketers, it is still seen very much as a standalone endeavour, not an essential part of a comprehensive lead generation and sales strategy. We want to change that.
Maintaining a website has become a necessity for every business in today’s world of online consumers armed with a wealth of information and resources to find what they want, how they can overcome their challenges, and the people they want to get products, services or solutions from.
Times have never been more exciting, or busy, for digital marketing agencies. Simply keeping up with ever-evolving technology and how it is being applied to the online marketing world is a full-time job in itself, not to mention the actual day to day operation of inbound strategies for your clients to help them increase website traffic and generate leads.
An interesting column about Harrison Ford in the Guardian last week spoke of his numerous near-death scrapes over the years. Having narrowly avoided crashing the small plane Ford was, appropriately, flying solo, the column likened the Star Wars actor’s life to that of Dick Van Dyke. The comparison was made because of the latter’s numerous lucky escapes and recalled a time when an elderly Van Dyke fell asleep on his surfboard and drifted out to sea. In an incident as bizarre as it was compelling, the Mary Poppins star was saved when a pod of porpoises nudged him back to safety.
We spoke last week about why digital marketers should attend the Dublin Tech Summit, and we weren’t disappointed with the first day’s great array of talks. Here’s 3 big takeaways we got from Day One that can teach us a lot about how to approach a digital marketing strategy and what you need to know about increasing consumer engagement and generating leads.
Ah, Valentine’s Day, that day when those who are loved, and those who are not, feel the sensation most of all. Many digital marketers are falling into the latter category, their messages and mails left unanswered, their courtship ignored, by an audience of consumers who have changed; changed how they act, how they think and how they react to what we have to say. So, what happened in this dynamic relationship in which marketers used to hold all the cards, and what can they do to regain that love (and trust)? What can they do to regain website traffic and generate leads?
The Dublin Tech Summit takes place at the city’s Convention Centre next week, February 15-16. Aptly hosted in the heart of Dublin’s digital and technological hub, which giants of online enterprise such as Google, Facebook and HubSpot call home, the two-day event will feature more than 200 speakers and global investors, 10,000 attendees, and as they neatly put it, an infinite number of ideas, relationships and new ventures created.
Earlier this week, we outlined some of the main talking points from our first inbound marketing workshop held in Dublin, but there were so many more takeaways and tips that we thought we would take a look at what else our Sales Director Ross had to say.
Our first Inbound Marketing Workshop took place last week at the Hilton Charlemont in Dublin 2, and we were delighted with the reception we got from many enthusiastic and enterprising attendees who got there bright and early to hear what we had to say.
You may have seen it in the news this week: Irish bloggers will now have to openly and immediately declare that content they are writing on behalf of a brand, and for which they are being paid, is in fact, an advertisement.
And so the big day has come. After what seems like an eternity of bold statements, power plays and possibly a little outside influence, Donald Trump will today finally be sworn in as the latest president of the United States. He will become arguably the most powerful man in the world, lording over the largest economy on the planet, and he got there using his unique, sometimes offensive, always eye-catching self-promotional style.
As the only HubSpot Platinum Agency in Ireland, we at Get Focused are constantly striving to provide great inbound marketing solutions to our growing number of clients. However, not only do we try to avoid resting on our laurels, but we also want to engage with other like-minded businesses, agencies, movers and shakers to pass on the insights, advice and experiences we have gained. We are good like that.
I learned a valuable lesson over the festive period. No, it wasn’t the true meaning of Christmas, and I wasn’t brought on a life-changing metaphysical journey by three ghosts, but it was interesting nevertheless.
Here’s an interesting stat for you: The amount of online content produced in 2016 was 64 times the volume of the entire web in 2005, according to this web page. ‘Jaw dropping’ as so many sensationalist websites might say. Here’s another stat: On average, 4.6billion pieces of content are published every single day, with 83,000 blogs posted every hour. That’s a lot of content.
Inbound16 gave many of us working in digital marketing the chance to meet up and discuss our experiences of the last year and our hopes and expectations for 2017. I was delighted to meet the Get Focused team there, and below I have answered some of the questions they kindly put to me as a leading entrepreneur and advisor to businesses looking to get back on track with their digital marketing efforts.
If you want your business to be found in today’s online world, you need to be blogging. It’s as simple as that. A high ranking in organic search engine results is vital to your content, and your business, being found, and to potential customers finding out that the product or service you provide is the solution to their challenges or needs. In essence, blogging is one of the key components of an effective inbound marketing campaign.
The festive season is upon us, and most retailers will be seeing a major boom in sales, but if they are smart, they will know that a customer is for life, not just for Christmas, and should be acting accordingly.
If you are a small or medium-sized local business trying to get more customers in the door through your digital marketing campaign, you may be wondering what else you can do to increase footfall from your target market. What can you do to make sure you get even the slightest edge on your competitors?
In the last couple of weeks since we crossed the big pond to attend Inbound 2016, we have been taking a look at some of the new features and tools from HubSpot that can help digital marketers create and maintain a better online marketing strategy.
First things first – by ‘C word’, we mean Christmas (If you thought it meant something else, your mind is not as pure as the driven snow). Yes, it’s that time of the year again when consumers are frantically looking around for presents to buy and places they can spend their hard-earned cash. Forget the sleigh bells and the chestnuts roasting on the open fire – to put it bluntly, it’s a capitalist holiday, and any business, whether e-commerce or traditional, that wants to bring in customers, needs to get serious about attracting them through social media channels.
While we took a lot of inspiration and great tips and ideas away from Inbound 2016, it is always useful to discover what other digital marketing agencies and companies looking to develop their online marketing strategy take away from such events.
Content creators, picture the scene: You have slaved over a hot laptop to produce a finely-crafted, thought-provoking, entertaining and informative piece of content you are confident will attract and engage your target audience. Then a colleague takes a look at the finished article and says: ‘Hmmm, can I suggest a few changes?’ (Or worse still, wants to make changes after it has been published). This is when a tool that enables you to collaborate with colleagues to compose high-quality inbound content would come in handy.
Irish whiskey is on the up and up, and while recently attending the Irish Whiskey Awards and Whiskey Live events, it struck me that there were a lot of lessons digital marketers could take away from the lift in spirits, so to speak, within that industry. Here’s a few I distilled down for good measure…
While we were at Inbound2016 amidst thousands of other digital marketers and business owners, we seized the chance to hear from many leading figures in the industry, learn about new products and features HubSpot will be releasing in the next few months, and make a lot of new connections with other agencies and business leaders.
Inbound 2016 gave HubSpot the chance to unveil several new products last week, appealing to a wide range of both digital marketing agencies and businesses looking to increase their lead generation and conversion rates with great content.
Whatever your thoughts on Donald Trump and his victory in the US presidential election, there are certain element to his campaign that all inbound marketers should admire. His blustering tilt at the seat of power in the White House was definitely not to everybody’s tastes. But throughout the campaign, he was always the one getting all the headlines, and therefore, all the attention, and he is now arguably the most powerful person in the world. For this reason, it would be prudent to take a leaf out of his book when it comes to your own approach to digital marketing.
This week, we jet off to Boston to join up with the more than 14,000 marketing and sales professionals attending HubSpot’s INBOUND 2016 summit.
The Starks were right – winter is coming. But for digital marketers looking to bring in leads, it doesn’t have to be a winter of our discontent. If your sales leads have gone a little bit cold, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have been lost, and there are ways to use your inbound marketing strategy to warm them up again.
It’s almost that time of year again - Halloween - when the dead walk amongst the living (apart from every Monday morning in our office), so we thought we would bring you some of the scarier digital marketing mistakes that send shivers down our spines and send us screaming into the night. Read on, if you dare…
I’m not sure when it started, but Google has persisted in asking me to specify my location roughly every fifth time I open the search engine. Like my poor mother when I was a teenager, they really want to know where I am and what I’m up to, but I know it’s not out of idle curiosity.
Last week, we brought you our 5 big takeaways from the HubSpot State of Inbound Report 2016, but as a writer tasked with producing the blogs and web content for our company, one aspect of the report really held my interest: content creation.
One of the first nuggets of information to come out of the 3XE Digital Conference held at Croke Park in Dublin yesterday was that 90% of consumers are influenced in their purchasing decisions by online reviews.
We all love a good takeaway, and the HubSpot State of Inbound Report for 2016 has given us a lot of food for thought, as well as many facts, statistics and projections to bite into and chew over.
Let’s come clean here: How often have you filled in an online form in order to get something of value, but played around a little with the truth? That includes putting in a false name or phone number, or a made up location. The fact is, a lot of us do this, and the reason it boils down to is trust, or lack of it. The result? Bad data.
We recently returned from the first UK HubSpot User Group (HUG) event in Oxford, where we were one of several leading digital marketing agencies invited to give a presentation on an element of inbound marketing. With more than 100 people there, the event was a great success, but if you couldn’t make it, don’t worry, because I want to fill you in on the tips and tales we shared on the subject of turning boring brochure websites into ROI-based business assets.
Get Focused on Marketing were delighted to attend the first ever UK HubSpot User group (HUG) conference in Oxford on September 21.
We spoke recently about how email and newsletters are still the most effective way to generate leads for your business, despite the fact that many online marketers are focusing their resources on social media platforms.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
Our recent blog outlining why email is still the most effective digital marketing tool available to you discussed how what many in the era of social media see as an outdated approach, is still king. Email works 40 times better at getting customers than social media, offers a 17% higher conversion rate, and is the single most effective way to build relationships with customers. Long live the king!
When it comes to digital marketing, social media is great. That’s pretty much agreed, right? The exponential growth of your target market and the promotion of your online content through all the bells and whistles Facebook, Twitter and the like can offer mean that many digital marketers see these platforms as the best way to go, a golden ticket to the promised land of increased customer engagement and leads for your business.
It goes without saying that agencies thrive on client relationships, but as an agency you might be reluctant to spend money on technology for yourself, rather than your clients.
Here at Get Focused Towers, we are not averse to the occasional debate, and we recently returned to an issue that has been doing the rounds for a while now but is still going strong. The imminent release of the iPhone 7 brought up a discussion about smartphone capabilities and their year-on-year improvements, in terms of both technology and usability, which inevitably led to the question: Are they really capable of replacing your business’s laptops or PCs?
How do you define success? Minds smarter than ours have come up with some great definitions, such as American author Gene Fowler, who said that success is ‘a toy balloon among children armed with pins,’ or Woody Allen, who said it is ‘80% showing up’.
One thing we all hate is when a colleague returns from their holiday and we have to sit patiently and listen to their tales of travel and excitement, but bear with me as I tell you what I saw while away recently.
Having looked at the psychology of consumer behaviour and how the online customer differs from the traditional shopper, we have seen that at its heart, despite these differences, the message is essentially the same – creating a positive customer experience is key to your business successfully selling its products or services.
Online shopping. When first introduced it threatened to spell the death knell for high streets, traditional retailers and service providers. It seemed to herald a bright new dawn where one could sit in the comfort of a home or office and buy goods or services without the perceived hardship of travelling, traipsing from store to store dragging bags behind you before finally facing the long journey home through the annoying traffic. AND (logically presumed in the dark recesses of our minds) HUGE SAVINGS!
For the benefit of brevity, I’m going to make a couple of big assumptions here.
No matter how great you are at creating content for your digital marketing, there will come a time when you will struggle to come up with fresh ideas and compelling, informative copy. Don't feel bad - it happens to us all. But what can you do about it?
When you’re running a business, one of the underlying fears you probably have is: what happens if your income suddenly dries up overnight?
Marketing automation allows for an efficient and streamlined process of turning prospects and leads into happy customers. It does this by helping you place relevant and personalised content in front of your audience at exactly the right time.
A successful business depends on successful marketing. However, if you’re not a marketer, your time is probably better spent building your products or services than building your brand.
With the decentralisation of information brought about by the omnipresent internet, traditional platforms used by PR agencies to promote their brand are dwindling – fewer people are reading print media, online entertainment is replacing TV and radio – the move towards digital media is a necessary one. However, getting your content online is not enough. You also need to make sure that the content is of great quality, fully optimised, and being seen, shared, even created by the right people.
The financial services sector is extremely competitive, and has faced many challenges in recent years, the biggest of which is the fact that consumer behavior has changed dramatically.
Unless you have been living in a cave, you are probably aware by now that a new app game from Nintendo, Pokemon Go, is taking the world by storm. If you are living in a cave, by the way, expect thousands of people to converge on your stony, dark home looking for rare virtual characters they can collect and use to fight against other player’s collections.
We’ve recently gone back to basics to discuss some of the elements of an effective digital marketing strategy, and after covering Keywords and CTAs, we now turn our attention to Landing Pages. Sitting comfortably, let’s prepare for landing.
Attracting visitors to your website is great. It’s one of the first goals you need to target in your digital marketing strategy. Generating traffic with content that is informative, relevant and entertaining is something every business needs to do, but it is of course only the first step - there has to be a point in bringing people to your content. What is that point? You want visitors to become leads or potential customers, and in order for them to do that, you need to have the means by which they will engage and offer up information in return for more valuable content.
Facebook’s announcement last week that it will now give posts from friends and family more prominence in its news feed effectively underlined their newfound stance that they are not, in fact, a news platform.
As an inbound marketing agency, we are more than happy to talk about anything and everything to do with digital marketing, but it is also important for us to realise that not everybody is, or should be, up to date on the latest industry trends. As a business owner, your interests lie in, well, your business, not the ins and outs of online marketing. So sometimes we need to take stock, turn back the dial, and take a fresh look at the basics, and we start here with a look at keywords.
Logic would dictate that businesses in the tech industry would be dab hands at social media marketing, being at the forefront of all things innovative and enterprising in the digital world. Yet sometimes business is not logical, which might be one reason why tech companies are actually performing poorly in this respect when compared to other industries.
With the Brexit result causing a lot of concern all round, we need something a little lighter to take our minds off the challenging times ahead. It is the weekend after all, so what better distraction than the movies? We thought we might have a little fun and come up with some of our favourite film quotes and see what lessons we as digital marketers could learn from them.
The challenge of lead generation for tech companies and how to overcome them through inbound marketing
Picture the scene: I’m looking at my favourite sport-related website to get the latest news and views from the European Championships, but every time I open a story to read, I notice three pieces of content to the side that flash and throb like a carnival charlatan winking at me, gesturing for me to step inside his tent and see the unearthly delights and horrors that await. I ignore them, as much as I can, walk away from that proverbial tent, but find myself wanting to go back and scream that I won’t be taken for a fool.
It seems that Twitter has done a Hodor on its Buy button plans, ‘holding the door’ on its attempt to incorporate social commerce into its platform and instead refocusing on existing functions and features.
Financial services is one of the largest but also one of the most competitive sectors in the global economy, and the company that will stand out is the one that continues to create new leads to be converted into new customers.
We recently hosted the quarterly Dublin HUG event at HubSpot’s HQ in Dublin, which we felt was a great success. HubSpotter Sean Reid was our guest speaker, discussing how to create a great lead generation strategy, while our very own Ross Lauder also spoke about the benefits of influencer outreach and how to go about it.
Whether you like it or not, social media as a major force in marketing is here to stay, and the financial services company that wants to stand out in a highly-competitive market needs to incorporate it into their overall digital marketing strategy.
The latest Dublin HubSpot User Group event hosted by Get Focused On Marketing took place last Thursday evening in the inbound marketing giant’s shiny new international office and EMEA HQ in Dublin’s docklands area, the capital’s high-tech business hotspot that is also home to Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
The issue of adblocking and voluntary payments to fund an ad-free online experience, ironically, keeps popping up.
There are only two days to go to our latest Dublin HubSpot User Group, and we couldn’t be more excited about it.
The financial services sector is facing a number of challenges that make succeeding in this highly-competitive industry increasingly difficult. On top of recovery of both position and trust in a post-crash environment that has led to more stringent regulations, the industry now faces a more demanding market, more competition and the necessity to adopt and utilise new technologies without losing the data security the industry requires.
Here we are - the last part of our five-part series in which we asked 49 experienced and well-known bloggers in the online and SEO industry for their advice on organising a digital marketing strategy (and then added our own half).
Two news items sat side by side in my inbox last week, and though they were about very different things, they got me thinking about a common thread between them.
How do you best organise your digital marketing activity and what tips do you have for beginners? We put that two-pronged question to 49 of the most well-known, active and experienced bloggers in the online and SEO industry (with half a contribution from us), and they came back with some great advice and top tips for you.
If you are the head of marketing, the content manager, marketing agency or even the sales and marketing manager, you have probably by now become a firm believer in the power of a fully-integrated inbound digital marketing strategy, and know that implementing it through a CMS or COS is the most effective and efficient way to generate leads and increase sales. It’s easy to see why. The trouble is, you need to convince your boss, colleagues, clients or team of this fact too, and that is not always so easy.
Getting your online content noticed is becoming increasingly difficult, and digital marketing departments and agencies need to come up with innovative and entertaining ways to attract visitors to their website.
How do you best organise your digital marketing activity and what tips do you have for beginners? 49 well-known, experienced bloggers in the online and SEO industry shared their opinions with us (and we threw in the other half), and here we are at the halfway point in our series, where we share another ten of these great pieces of advice with you.
Moving - it’s one of those things we don’t look forward to. There’s all that hassle getting everything boxed up, labelled and transferred to a new destination. Not to mention the worry about whether everything will make the journey, and if it will still look the same when it gets there.
Designing a website for your brand and creating effective, consistent content that will attract visitors and turn them into potential customers is hard. Managing all that content is even harder, so you have probably by now thought about investing in portal or platform like a Content Management System (CMS) to do that. And as for aligning it with sales data to see what elements of your digital marketing strategy are working? Well, that’s even harder still. But it doesn’t have to be.
Last week we brought you the first instalment of our top tips from 49 (and a half) experienced bloggers on organising great digital marketing content. We hope you found it as helpful as we did, and look forward to bringing you this second selection of great advice that will help you build an effective and successful content strategy.
A recent article by Greg Sterling on Marketing Land reported that ad-blocking detection by publishers without the consent of the user could be illegal in the EU.
Ok, we know, you might be thinking: ‘CMS? COS? WTF?’ But relax, we can help explain the difference, and tell you all you need to know to make an informed decision on which platform is best for your business to build its website on to enable an efficient and effective inbound digital marketing strategy that will see you get great results.
Content is king – it is, after all, what the internet consists of, but there are many types of king, and many types of content available to encourage visitors to engage with your website.
How do you best organise your digital marketing activity and what tips do you have for beginners? We put that two-pronged question to 49 of the most well-known, active and experienced bloggers in the online and SEO industry, and they came back with some great advice and top tips for you. The other 0.5 is my own input. Information overload? Don’t worry, we’ve broken it down and over the next few weeks will be presenting them to you as an easy-to-digest, surefire way to help you set your own marketing strategy off on the road to success.
So you need to build a new website, or do a major overhaul of the one you already have. But what are the key elements you need to incorporate in order to make sure it is as effective as possible and helps you to reach your digital marketing objectives?
We’ve all seen the death notices about Pay-per-Click, left for dead after a brutal assault by ad blocking, but to paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of its death were an exaggeration.
The recent changes Google made to Adwords has caused a bit of hand-wringing in the digital marketing world, with many wondering what effect the repositioning of ads on the platform will have on the effectiveness of paid and organic searches.
Ad blocking is really putting the cat amongst the pigeons in the online marketing world. Last year alone saw AdBlockPlus (ABP) use grow by 43%, with more than a quarter of all Americans availing of it, 43% of whom lie in the key demographic of millennials. It’s great for online browsing, meaning there are less bandwidth-heavy interruptions by unwanted ads, but for businesses, it is either spelling doom, or the necessity to rethink their digital marketing strategy.
Hubspot’s announcement via Twitter that its expansion would result in the creation of 320 new jobs in Dublin has been met with resounding cheers by some, and curious questions by others.
Imagine, if you will, you open a bar. You’re fully stocked and ready for business. The big sign over the front door is bringing lots of people in – lots of traffic. Great. The problem is, not everybody who comes in stays. Some just take a quick look and leave, while others stay a while, but don’t buy anything. In fact, very few people buy a drink at all – only a tiny percentage. On top of that, for every person who walks through the door, you have agreed to hand over some money to another company. Does that sound like a good business strategy to you? Me neither.
You’ve faced the inevitable – your business needs to grow its online presence – but not everybody has the skills, expertise and personnel to create and maintain an effective digital marketing strategy that will increase brand awareness, online traffic and engagement, and ultimately bring in new customers. The smart move is to work with an internet marketing agency that can operate and oversee the many different facets required to meet your marketing objectives.
I have a confession to make: I wasn’t always a content marketing manager. However, I know I’m not alone. Given that the role itself is a relatively new one (compared to jobs like PR executive, marketing manager, etc), I know there are others out there who came to the job wondering what it was they were now supposed to do. But the one thing that I kept in mind was that, though, yes, the role is new, the work involved is not. In fact, it has been around a long time, and the only thing that has changed is the platform, or number of platforms, across which the job is done.
It happens a lot – companies undertake an inbound marketing strategy because they know it makes sense in today’s digital marketing world, but it doesn’t seem to be working for them. It could be down to not creating great content consistently, or maybe mastering email workflows proves too much. It leaves some thinking that the entire Hubspot process may be too difficult to undertake.
Relationships are not always easy. If you want to find happiness with someone you like and who likes you, there are certain things you need to do, and many things you shouldn’t do, in order to make it work. Love at first sight is a nice idea, but it is very rare. Most relationships require time, effort, give and take, if they are to be rewarding in the long run.
Online influencers are becoming increasingly important to digital marketing strategies. People no longer want to be sold to, they want to make their own searches for content relevant and helpful to them, and influencers provide the unbiased, trustworthy, expert content they seek.
The internet is crowded, and it’s only going to get busier. This year, global internet traffic will be 64 times the volume of the entire web in 2005. Getting your website noticed, therefore, is a difficult task. Not only do you need to attract visitors, but you must be able to hold the attention of your audience and show that you can provide the solutions to their life challenges and problems, and that makes it even more difficult. Content marketers need to come up with fresh, innovative, interesting and entertaining ways to attract visitors to their content, and the current trend seems to be the use of video.
The Oscars took place on Sunday, and while we couldn't predict all of the winners on the night, there was one thing we could predict: Jennifer Lawrence would wear Dior. We all knew, not because we are fashion aficionados, but because the first question she is asked when she walks down the red carpet is: ‘Who are you wearing?’
In this series of articles, we have examined the various challenges that you will encounter as a start-up founder. In this final part, we provide a summary of the main points made. Enjoy!
Is there a market for your plan?
Your business needs to do more than merely provide a product or service that is nice to have. Do your utmost to make your offering a must have. You can achieve this by focusing your solutions on our core and innate human needs such as health, wealth and love. These markets are both huge and evergreen.
It is probably the most celebrated and most awaited day in China in terms of online shopping, and what’s more interesting is that it is actually a made-up occasion: Single’s Day.
Alibaba, the number one e-commerce company targeting online consumers in China, has been enjoying immense success on sales since it launched the Single’s Day shopping bonanza in 2011. As a sample marketing plan, it chose November 11 or 11-11 as a date for the sale, emphasising
Johannesburg, located in the wealthy province of Gauteng, is the largest city in South Africa. As of 2015, Johannesburg is ranked as one of the 50 largest urban agglomerations in the world, while also being the largest city in the world not situated near a coast, river, or lake.
Mumbai, also known as the Hollywood of India, is one of the most diverse cities in the country because of its large economic market. It is the most populous city in India and ninth in the world with a population of nearly 18.5million. Along with New York, London, and Tokyo, Mumbai is regarded as a Global City because of its global economic system.
Lagos is the largest city in Nigeria and one of the powerhouses in the global economic set-up. As the second-fastest growing city in Africa (after Nigeria’s capital Abuja), the coastal city boasts the highest GDP as well as the busiest and largest port in the continent. As a mega metropolis, Lagos is also the most populous city in Nigeria and Africa, part of which has to do with the expansion activity that has been driving urbanisation in the region since 1991.
Hong Kong is an amazing place for start-up investors and entrepreneurs. The city is located on the southern coast of China, ruled under a one-country, two-systems policy, with ts own distinct political and economic system. There are often comparisons made between Hong Kong and places like Tokyo and SIngapore. There has been an influx of foreign investment in the city due to lax governmental policies for start-ups. The city is an ideal place to do business in Asia, with great growth prospects and a chance to enter into the mainland China market. Business-friendly, stable, and cosmopolitan, Hong Kong opens a world of opportunities for start-ups to earn above average return on investments.
It is difficult to define the start-up environment of China in a few words; it isn’t only huge, it’s diverse and rapidly changing. It sets itself aside from the likes of London and San Francisco. It is a little difficult for foreign entrepreneurs to set up a business here due to the language barrier, but despite that, there are many foreign start-up companies flourishing by using the right techniques and strategies, making effective use of the huge economy. Shanghai is comparatively more diverse than every other city in the country and is central to the region’s innovation.
Lebanon is one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse countries in the world, currently going through extensive reforms in infrastructure and business models. Despite the turmoil in the Middle East, Lebanon remains a popular destination for businesses, especially SMEs. But how does it compare to places like San Francisco and London? Let’s take a look at some of the facts, stats, and policies in Lebanon that make it a good prospect for a start-up.
Singapore is the hub of global commerce and finance in Asia, so it’s not a surprise that the city-state has been ranked as the ‘Easiest Place to do Business’ by the World Bank for nine straight years. What makes Singapore a great city for start-ups is its diverse economy. After all, the city consistently ranks high in key measures of business and financial progress. But how does it match up to the likes of London and San Francisco?
When you are building your start-up from the ground up, there are a lot of things to consider. Choosing a business model, product lineup and customer segment is a normal part of the initial planning process, and you may use more than one digital marketing agency to establish a promotional strategy for your brand.
Wondering about the best location for your startup? Want to find the ideal city to launch your first business? Want to expand your business to another city? Why not consider Tokyo, the capital of Japan? Japan is indeed considered one of the foremost mature markets for businesses and has had major influential hits in the past few decades — and the hub of all this excitement is Tokyo. This city is home to many startup success stories like GungHo, Puzzle & Dragon, and Rakuten. But, launching your business in Tokyo means you will have to ensure your marketing objectives cater to the needs and requirements of Tokyo residents and have the right appeal. For this, you would need to conduct some research.
San Francisco is considered the cultural, technological, and financial centre of California. The city is enormous, and offers great opportunities for start-up firms. It has a diversified service economy ranging from high technology to financial services to tourism.
Among the most popular cities in the world, London has gradually transformed from a financial and cultural capital to a high tech global hub for startups. In the past few years, this city has risen as one of the first European city's, along with Dublin and Berlin, to compete directly against the likes of New York and Silicon Valley. Many startups are opting for London for its location, the abundance of talent, and numerous funding options for new businesses.
One important question to consider is whether you are building your start-up to sell or to keep. Why are you getting into the game and what do you want out of it? Creating an exit plan is an important step towards deciding on your startups marketing objectives.
Berlin is one of the best locations for budding entrepreneurs to start up a business. The city boasts an excellent transport network that has made the city a nexus of the major European routes connecting western and eastern Europe. The trans-European air routes, railways, highways, and inland waterways intersect in the capital city of Germany.
If your answer is other than 'I feel great”, the content strategy you're using may require a re-think.
Sharing is caring and inbound marketing is about creating and sharing content with the world as Content Marketers & HUBSPOTERS will tell you. However, not everybody is your customer. Thus, tailoring your content to attract the right customers should be your #1 goal. Why? well let’s explain.
Alibaba is the biggest mobile and online ecommerce company in the world, accumulating huge success within just a few years of its launch. The company’s primary platform offers numerous business opportunities for SMBs to leverage innovative technologies in order to compete efficiently in global and domestic markets. It is important for other companies to learn from the marketing strategies incorporated by Alibaba if they are to achieve success as an online store. In order to become one of the best responsive websites, you must ensure that your website works well across all devices; something that Alibaba did exceptionally well back when responsive websites were in their infancy. Aside from that, you must learn from the successful online strategy of Alibaba to gain success.
However revolutionary your product may be, your start-up cannot be successful without having the right people working for you. Attracting, hiring and keeping star performers should be one of your core priorities as a start-up founder. The responsibility rests firmly on your shoulders, so make sure you are up to the task!
It may be among the most difficult aspects you will have to face as a start-up founder. Aim too low and you leave money on the table. Ask for too much and you put off potential customers, thereby losing even more revenue. In this article, we discuss how to find the correct pricing strategy for your product.
Effective cash flow management is a vital ingredient for the success of your start-up. For established businesses, cash flow is king. For start-ups, it's God.
So you've done your research and identified your target market. You have negotiated the first 2 pain points of being a startup and are confident that there is a strong demand for your proposed product that will help you reach your marketing objectives. However, there are still some big questions: Are you capable of challenging the larger players? Do you have the ability to reach the market?
Passion for your business idea is a vital ingredient of any start-up, but does your solution solve people's problems? Does your target demographic actually want to use your product? Is there a market for your plan?
It’s not a difficult concept to understand; Startup’s either sink or swim. In fact, with a 90% fail rate, startups are just as likely to fail as baby sea turtles making their way to the ocean, the chief difference being startups aren’t eaten by racoons. Sea turtles aside, there are certain pain points that can be identified and navigated to avoid early failure.
Currently, China has more than 630 million internet users who spend a minimum of 25 hours per week using the web on their devices. In order to prosper in the Chinese market, it is essential for a company or brand to design their online marketing strategies in a way that utilizes the latest online marketing trends of China. Here are the 5 major things that your boss would want to know before creating an online marketing plan to cater to the Chinese market:
Although it may be far away from your thoughts when it comes to startup locations, everything about this bustling Arab city means business; from the high-rise sky lines to the ridiculous wealth, it certainly cuts the shape of a sexy business capital.
Dubai is among the most popular cities in the world today, and the most populous in the Persian Gulf. It’s rules and regulations aren’t as tight as its neighbouring Arab states, and maybe this is one of the major reasons it is quickly establishing itself as the tech startup hub of the Middle East.
Recent years have seen Dublin turn the entrepreneurial corner, becoming one of the more successful startup cities in Europe. This little capital has a thriving ecosystem that helps support a vast range of businesses, especially those in the digital gaming, telecommunication, and mobile internet industries. So what are the reasons behind this transformation? And is there a big future for startups in this bustling city?
Chinese tourists make up a large market as more and more prefer to do their luxury shopping overseas. For companies and brands who want to attract Chinese tourists, it is essential to come up with effective online marketing objectives. Chinese people rely heavily on online platforms like social networks and online newspapers for information, which indicates that a brand or company has a higher possibility of attracting Chinese tourists if they offer a great online shopping experience.
In China, the market share of Google, the dominant search engine internationally, has gone below 1% in 2015. All services offered by Google, including Google analytics, Google Maps, Google Docs etc., have restricted access in the region. Similarly, social media system is different as here. This has made things rather difficult for marketers and for various businesses and regular citizens as well. However, an alternative to Google is in place in China – Baidu. The largest search engine in China, it has about 60% of the market share and is similar to Google in many aspects, especially in terms of marketing tools, advertising options, and the digital marketing solutions it offers.
Our team was talking in the office recently, and something struck us: Believe it or not, there are huge similarities between the way people headed out in their droves to dig for gold in the mid-1800s and today’s drive towards finding leads and customers – marketing gold – through modern-day techniques.
Since the 1950s, the Four P’s of Marketing – also known as the Marketing Mix – have been the main building blocks marketers use. It’s true that there have been changes over the years, but for the most part these pillars have stood the test of time. They’re still the keys to the science of marketing, but a new question is relevant: how does social media fit into them – or does it at all?
There’s no question that ad blocking is here to stay, but any digital marketing agency will tell you: that’s not the end of the story. Many questions still remain: How has it affected outbound marketing, and how will it affect it in the future? Is it the greatest evolution for inbound marketing, and Hubspot in particular? Or is it here to kill the internet? While some may still argue over the answers to these questions, we’ve got the truth for you: ad blocking is indeed the best thing that’s ever happened to inbound marketing. Here’s why.
You want to use social media to reach your marketing objectives as quickly as possible, but you’re not sure what platforms and campaigns will work best for you. Check out these ten killer social media hacks that can turn software startups into software giants in no time.
Boasting more than 300 million online users, China has a robust social media scene that certainly should not be ignored. Regardless of the industry in which you are involved, if you plan to market in China, you need to understand how social media platforms work there. At the heart of the social media scene in China is WeChat.
Part of the Tencent tech family, WeChat can lay claim to more than 300 million active users. The mobile messaging service is unique in the Chinese social media landscape in that it provides relatively private methods of communication. That is precisely why many former Weibo users have now flocked to WeChat. Even more astounding is the fact that WeChat has snatched up more than 80% of the country's market share - no small feat considering that mobile messaging services have become the primary communication channel in China.
Software start-ups must utilise integrated marketing communications if they want to get off the ground, and reach both their short-term and long-term marketing objectives. Yet many are not utilising social media to its full potential. Learn the ten ways in which social media marketing can get your company where it needs to go.
It’s an exciting time for software start-ups – but it’s a challenging time, too. With the advent of integrated marketing communications that include social media platforms, companies have more access than ever to potential customers. On the other hand, new companies must be savvy about setting up their online marketing plans. Check out these ten issues to consider as you’re looking to nail your plan and reach your marketing objectives.
Weibo is easily one of the most powerful social media platforms in China, if not the world. Each day alone, more than 600 million users visit the platform. Of even more interest for marketers is the fact that the platform is accessed by users in more than 190 countries. Given the wide reach and number of active users on the site, it is little wonder that brands, not only in the Asia-Pacific region, but also around the world, have begun to tailor their marketing campaigns to reach that audience. These big names opting to open fan pages on Weibo include Luis Vuitton and Coca-Cola.
They understand the importance of creating quality content, and that the customer-centric approach is the key to achieving their end goals but don't set milestone marketing objectives.
As a result, start-ups have begun realising the significant shift in market dynamics and consumer behaviour. They are moving towards inbound marketing strategies and reducing their investments into interruptive outbound marketing strategies.
Marketing simply works differently today than it has at any other point in history. As a business owner, you have to consider all kinds of consumer services and how your company is affected by what people say about them. From Twitter to Facebook, to the content on your network of websites, you need to make sure you’re paying attention to your company’s image on the internet. One extremely important aspect of that image is how you come across on the ‘blogosphere’.
Many start-ups looking to save cash think that they can do so by simply writing social media advertisements on their own and performing social media marketing in-house. It’s certainly possible, but having a marketing consultant can make the process so much more headache-free, and often much more fruitful, at a lower expense.
When it comes to social media and digital marketing, we often tend to think in terms of the US, forgetting that there is an entire world out there where social media is just as relevant. Make no mistake about it: Facebook may be banned in China, but social media is still prevalent. If you're doing business in China or trying to break into the Chinese market, it is imperative that you understand the major Chinese social media platforms as well as the context of the country’s tech world.
Social media has power to such an extent that it can cause revolutions or uprisings in countries, eventually leading to changes in government. Less dramatically, in the business world, social media has become the go-to tool for finding the real sentiment of consumers and end users.
You won’t be a successful start-up unless you meet your marketing objectives. The good news is that in today’s technological world there are a million and one ways to get your brand in front of potential customers. The challenge is honing in and figuring out which of these ways are the best ones for your company. Whether you’re focusing on how to promote your blog or how to boost your Twitter followers, inbound marketing will play an integral part.
You want to know if outbound marketing is the right strategy for meeting your business’s marketing objectives; how effective it is as a mass communication marketing strategy; and if there is any truth to the rumors about its death — right?
Social media has transformed from being a marketing opportunity to a marketing priority. Popular social media platforms are now a constant in people's lives, with 58% of adults having a Facebook account and 23% of adults using Twitter on a regular basis.
In order to maintain a steady flow of cash during those initial months of your startup, it’s highly desirable to quickly ramp up search engine traffic coming to the main website. As modern tools for SEO research have become much more accessible, savvy start-up entrepreneurs can speed up the search engine optimisation process by performing the initial keyword research themselves.
Running a successful start-up is all about visibility. Virtually all consumers and potential investors look to the internet and in particular search engines for answers and service-related inquiries every day. An enormous share of the market could easily be lost to your competitors if your online presence is weak. A streamlined approach to meeting your marketing objectives must be at the top of your priority list. Part of this process is undoubtedly search engine optimisation.
AdBlockPlus, commonly know as ABP, has been a blessing and a curse; a blessing to web surfers anxious to enjoy the online experience without intrusive ads popping up on their screen, and a curse to marketing companies tasked with creating the advertising that drives users to small, and medium business enterprises (SMEs).
No matter what kind of business you are in, it is now almost essential to have an online media presence. Many start-ups turn to blogging as a means to keep in contact with their customers and inform the public of the new products and services they offer. Blogs can be a vital asset as the face and personality of a company.
Many companies understand that social media should be a part of their marketing plan, but often they don’t realise just how essential it is. A recent study showed that 74% of consumers turn to social media to inform their purchasing decisions. Product offers shared by trusted influencers covert up to ten times more than those sent out by other brands. With stats like these, it’s clear to see that social media is important, but some companies are still left wondering: why do I need a social media consultant?
Your blog needs views and you need to take the steps necessary to make it happen. But where do you start? How do you reach your marketing objectives? There are numerous avenues you’ll have to pursue, but one essential step in learning how to promote your blog is to pay attention to what the top influencers are doing. Take a look at these ten influencers and learn from their expertise.
Your target customer has read about your startup: in a blog, article, a promotional video, an infograph, or an interview you gave.
You let them know about your startup and what it is doing. Perhaps you shared your vision and team’s mission.
What will the potential customer do?Search for your startup.
You would have expected that, AND SO you decided to build a website where they can learn more.
Sina Weibo, known as Chinese Twitter, has become one of the most popular social media channels in the world, with around 167 million monthly active users.
Having successfully completed the Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 2014, Sina Weibo has achieved net revenues of $105.2 million in Q4 2014, with 83.8% of the revenue coming from advertising and marketing ($88 million).
Once your startup is up and running, you need to market it, to promote its message to your vast, as yet unmet target audience.
Your marketing objectives are diverse: increase awareness, engage customers, build rapport, establish trust and authority, increase conversions, and boost revenue.
Your purpose is singular: grow your startup.
When creating a marketing plan for your business you have many factors to consider: how to get your brand in front of as many eyes as possible, how to best portray your unique message, and how to expertly utilize the latest technology and social media options. The good news is that you’re not starting from square one as you work to meet your marketing objectives.
When creating a marketing plan for your business, you have many factors to consider: how to get your brand in front of as many eyes as possible; how best to portray your unique message; and how to expertly utilise the latest technology and social media options. But don’t worry - you are not starting from square one as you work to meet your marketing objectives.
Social media influencers are able to build sizeable loyal followings across their social networks. They produce quality content that is innovative and compelling, and they are able to authentically interact with their fans and followers in order to drive high levels of engagement. They garner the most likes, shares, and comments on the content they post.
Looking to take your mass communications or integrated marketing communications strategy to the next level? These seven marketing and technology startups have highly successful blogs that capture consumer attention, generate leads, and drive sales. What makes them so great? Let’s take a look.
Start-ups that don't use the services of a digital marketing agency may struggle with marketing communications, so having a digital or internet marketing consultant is a crucial step towards attracting and retaining customers. But how do you go about it?.
To say the internet has changed the marketing scene in the last 15 years is stating the obvious. If you look at the advertising budget of any business, you will see that the allocation for digital marketing solutions has increased exponentially, with some even relying solely on the internet for their marketing strategies, leaving some old school marketing techniques in the box clearly marked ‘obsolete’.
Establishing a business can be very exciting. Sadly though, the majority of companies don’t last because many entrepreneurs think that after building a company, customers will simply start pouring in. The old ‘If you build it, they will come,’ saying doesn’t apply to business.
It's easy to lose your marketing objectives amongst the many tools and methods available. There are just too many online platforms and channels you can use to reach your market. Add to that all the creative possibilities you can come up with as you use all the cool mass communication tools online and, sure enough, you could drown in indecision. To stay on steady ground, you need to stop and take a closer look at your marketing efforts and positioning strategy.
Social media marketing can be simply defined as the process of building a customer base, driving more traffic, and selling products and ideas by using social media platforms. It’s quite different to traditional marketing - friendlier, more consumer-oriented, innovative. The rise of social media and its reach into all parts of the world gave origin to social media marketing, now considered the most way to reach marketing objectives.
Marketers are always searching for ways to improve their search engine positioning and achieve their marketing objectives. Social media consultants now seem to have re-coined SEO, so instead of referring to Search Engine Optimisation, it’s now all about Social Engagement Optimisation i.e. engaging with search engine users to improve positioning on both the search engine and social media.
So, you’ve created an amazing and successful niche business, your customer base is firmly rooted, and revenue is streaming in at a consistent pace. Well done you! The question now is: Do you now expand to a mass market? This could result in a larger customer base, higher sales volume, but a lower profit margin. It’s a decision only you can make with data from your current business, competitors, and market trends.
Part of beginning a new business venture is making big decisions, and one of the biggest is how best to market your product. So many startups turn immediately to a web design company to create the perfect website for them because someone told them this was an absolute necessity if you don’t want your business to fail. This is not really the case.
Certainly, if you have the next great social media platform that will
Just 20 years ago, businesses that wanted to get word of their products or services out there in the public domain took out ads in newspapers, put up billboards and hired marketing firms to help with slogans and jingles for TV and radio commercials. That time has passed, and a significant shift has occurred. Nowadays, most people read their news online, and digital marketing agencies offer their expertise to navigate the technological seas businesses may not have sailed before. If you don’t get on board, you may be sinking your start-up before the wind even catches your sails.
When embarking on a new business venture, the excitement and momentum of getting the word out about your products and services can sometimes cloud your vision of the best marketing methods. Understanding the different types of marketing, their cost, and returns on investment are all determinants in which direction you should take your company. In the 21st century, it is critical to align yourself with social media outlets and perhaps give up mass communication as a whole until you are well established.
As any social media consultant or digital marketing agency will tell you, social media marketing is an integral component of mass communications strategy in 2015. But, when it comes to social media marketing, it isn’t just about what you put into it - it’s about what you get out of it too.
In marketing today, so much time is wasted jumping from one online resource to another. Data and content has to be gathered and compared across various tools and platforms - everything from blog publishing and email control to analytics and lead management. Going back and forth between services can be a time-consuming hassle, even without the constant logging in and out.
Whether a business exists online or on Main Street, during start-up it’s difficult to control your message. So many other priorities can overshadow marketing considerations during those early days. A new business might be juggling staffing, payroll and banking concerns, or even just getting an inventory in place. However, in the online age, getting the word out can be just as vital as keeping the lights on.
Facebook is great for friends and Twitter is perfect for talk, but when it’s time to do some real business, LinkedIn remains social media’s top dog.
LinkedIn connects members to peers and colleagues across countless job types, from corporate accountants to fashion designers. Whatever field you’re in, LinkedIn has a sizable community of similar professionals. This has proved to be an invaluable tool for networking and headhunting, but how can LinkedIn be used effectively for standard mass communications?
Social media is an essential component of anyintegrated marketing effort, working to improve your brand’s visibility, attract new customers and drive sales. But in order to be successful at social media marketing, you need to stay on top of all of the latest trends and opportunities. I’ve discussed the best tools and platforms for business before, so here is what you should know about successful social media marketing in 2015.
Here’s an eye-catching figure: Approximately 40% of US companies use blogging for marketing purposes, and more than 80% of those companies feel that blogging has been a successful marketing initiative. I’ve discussed how to promote your blog and the pros of blogging before, but it is worth repeating - from a mass communications standpoint, the benefits of blogging as a digital marketing solution are tremendous. Blogging boosts customer acquisition rates, drives sales, improves brand reputability and enhancesvisibility.
With the rise of digital marketing channels, marketers face ever-increasing competition to capture customers’ attention, facilitate engagement and drive sales. But meeting your marketing objectives is absolutely crucial to generating leads and nurturing them through the sales cycle. If you’re encountering marketing roadblocks in 2015, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Let’s take a look at three of the most common obstacles marketers face in 2015, and more importantly, how to resolve them.
PROBLEM 1: Getting engagement.
Are you exasperated because you are struggling to meet your start-up’s marketing objectives? If you are pouring time and money into a comprehensive integrated marketing communications strategy that includes social media, but are still failing to meet those objectives, you may want to turn your attention and resources towards LinkedIn.
As every digital marketing agency or SEO agency will tell you, there are two key components of every successful mass communications strategy: social media and blogging. With the following helpful tips and tricks, you can master this two-part strategy and give your business the edge over competitors.
Promote your blog posts on social media. The vast majority of social media consultants will tell you that the key to integrating blogging and social media is promoting your blog posts across all of your social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. This will get the blogs out there and available, but the key to effectively promoting them is to post links to your blog posts when you know your followers are likely to be online. To know this, and get other specific information regarding your followers’ activities on social media, be sure to use analytics tools, such as Facebook Analytics.
Less than a quarter of a century ago, advertising, and marketing in general, was a much simpler battleground. Companies connected with customers using, almost entirely, three basic platforms: print, TV or radio. Messages were quite broad in order to reach as many people as possible, without alienating large sections of the audience. The idea of reaching smaller niche demographics was limited to specialty publications, sponsorship of events or promotions.
While today’s mass media continues to open up new and broader avenues for reaching people, it also magnifies a company’s ability to hone in on exactly the types of customers they’re after. Too often the mass in mass communications overshadows how well it can be used for precision strategies. Too many businesses, especially with small business marketing, neglect this possibility entirely.
Want to meet your marketing objectives without the help of a social media consultant or an SEO strategy? It’s possible! With the following tips and tricks, you can go it alone this year, and next, and still meet all of your targets, whether you are trying to improve your brand’s visibility, boost social share rates, or earn more revenue.
Social media is a tremendously powerful tool when it comes to meeting marketing objectives and it's not difficult to leverage it yourself. A well-planned, well-executed social media strategy can improve your brand’s visibility, generate new leads, drive traffic to your website and increase revenue. These 10 social media tools will improve that strategy and help you meet your marketing objectives.
There was a time when business cards did all the work for professionals looking to network or connect. These pieces of paper contained all the information a person looking to do business needed, but in this age of mass communications, are they still as effective, given the much larger business arena?
The digital age has enabled us to reach more people at the touch of a button and in less time. Thanks to the internet and the rise of various social networking sites, there are more ways to connect and many more opportunities to explore.
While the business card does its job of relaying information up front very well, if your goal is to attract and be available to a more global audience, it is no longer enough.
The importance and role of mass communications to the average start-up business can’t be overstated. If small business owners are to thrive, they must employ the use of online media in order to stay connected, share information and generally be available to interact with their market. Start-ups must understand the power of reaching out to prospective clients while keeping their current clientele engaged.
Its no secret, running a startup is tough. In fact tough doesn’t even begin to explain it. The time, the effort, the blood, sweat and tears. Not to mention the daunting fail rates. The idea of running your own startup is certainly a lot greater than the reality. But there is help out there. Social media has changed the way we reach our marketing objectives, and with that comes a whole heap of potentially baffling features and concepts. Thankfully there are plenty of social media tools that specialise in helping you minimise the stress and maximise the effectiveness of your startups social efforts.
The number of start-ups is constantly on the rise, and they are all vying for the attention of the general public. Those that fail to expand, or just flounder after an initial success, may find the root of their failure has something to do with their business positioning. Put simply, your start-up needs to nail down its positioning strategy.
In short, positioning is all about what you place in the mind of your potential customers, not what you do with your product. Your marketing strategy itself starts here, so in today’s ultra-competitive business world, you need to focus on having a superior positioning strategy.
The major challenge every start-up faces is planning how to reach its target customers and achieve its marketing objective. Companies basically want to sell their products and services, but getting your business out there on the internet is not the straightforward task you’d think it is. The internet is inundated with websites trying to achieve the exact same thing.
It’s not a terrible idea, therefore, to employ a digital marketing consultant and web design companies to address challenges such as how to promote a blog.
There are plenty of digital marketing companies that try to address this issue. One is HubSpot, a digital marketing platform known for its expertise in inbound marketing. So how can HubSpot help your start-up reach its marketing objectives?
That’s one of the most common questions I hear as an inbound marketer. There is a perception that social media is a magic bean and that, overnight, your business will go through the roof if you simply create a profile.
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but social media isn’t a magic bean, it takes time, patience and careful planning to develop a strong social media presence and climb that beanstalk. Rather than go through all the mistakes people make in the early phases of the social conception for their business, here is a crash course on how to plan and implement social media efforts.
Golf has long been the meeting room of choice for business owners and CEO’s around the world. A privilege passed down from CEO to CEO, it offers the perfect mix of a leisurely meeting ground and competitive tussle between two businesses.
Although it may seem like the flawless setting for a business-based chinwag, the convenience of a business/golf outing is slowly beginning to fade as the world wide web brings global businesses closer together without any geographical changes. Now marketing objectives are a lot easier to reach without having to actually meet the prospective client,and we have entered a new age of "business golf " in the form of blogging.
Social media has changed the game of marketing, and at the forefront of that change is Facebook, the platform that really took social media to a new level. With so many features and capabilities, Facebook can be a daunting prospect for any business owner and it is understandable if DIY marketers once opted to shy away from it. Unfortunately Facebook has so much to offer that businesses can barely afford to avoid it anymore. Maybe your business is operating well enough without it? Perhaps you are reaching your marketing objectives? Or maybe you’re in a market where you feel as though you don’t need Facebook? That’s fine. Here is a quick look at some of the additions you could be missing out on if you decide against using it as part of your mass communications.
Every business no matter the size and scope deserves an attractive, effective and modern website. Whether you’re looking to hire a web design company to do the heavy lifting for you or you’re designing your own, it’s important to know the basics in web design so you’ll have a good idea whether a design will be effective depending on your digital marketing objectives.
Looks aren’t everything, especially when it comes to web design. You can have a pretty, eye-catching website but if it doesn’t have the crucial elements that would make it search engine friendly, you might experience difficulties in getting people to find your site.When shopping for a web design template or choosing a design prepared by a web design company, look for these critical elements:
Having a web identity has become a crux in successfully marketing a business to new markets and establishing a loyal customer base. A website is your company’s virtual calling card and your opportunity to reach customers that are unreachable using traditional marketing methods.
Digital marketing has become an important part of a larger marketing strategy for any business. No matter the size, a company or brand will find it hard to penetrate a competitive industry without a strong digital presence. To this end, companies are shelling out hundreds and thousands of dollars to invest in effective digital marketing solutions.
The problem is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to digital marketing and what might work for one may not work as well for others. If you’re currently using several digital marketing solutions to promote your brand, take a look at these five telltale signs to determine whether one or more (or all) your methods need a bit of revision.
The business world is a fickle one, if you don’t have the perfect positioning strategy then you run the risk of missing out on prospective clients every day. Whether you are new or old, one of the best methods of learning is through your competitors. The problem is you can’t ring up the competition and simply ask – “how they are you nailing your marketing objectives?” Fortunately there are ways you can find out exactly what they are doing, right and wrong, and the answers will certainly help your business blossom.