How do I measure the success of my content marketing efforts – and my overall digital marketing efforts?
Ultimately, the success of a digital marketing plan can be seen in the number of conversions it creates. But it can be difficult to track exact results, as a consumer needs several “touches” before finally deciding to purchase. A visitor may read a blog post, and then see an update on social media, and then read a few emails, before finally deciding to convert. While the blog post wasn’t the immediate cause of the purchase, it was that all-important first touch.
The most common content marketing mistake is to fall back into the old habits of traditional marketing. Writing blog posts that are overly salesy, or that promote the company and its products excessively, is a big no-no. Content should be valuable to consumers, and sales pitches are not only not valuable – they’re off-putting. There’s a time and a place for sales, and it’s not in your content.
Much debate surrounds this topic. Some studies seem to suggest that short and sweet is best – that consumers want to skim a short blog and be able to get the message quickly. Other research shows that long, in-depth, detailed posts are best at converting. Our answer? Find out what your unique audience prefers through testing. Write some long posts and some short ones, and see which ones are most successful – and then create more like them!
There’s a lot of talk about the importance of becoming a thought leader – and with good reason. Getting you known as an expert in your field is exactly what content marketing is meant to do. It’s what creates the sense of trust in consumers, which allows them to feel comfortable making a purchase from you. By creating unique, original content, in which you demonstrate your expertise and answer questions consumers might have, you’ll be on your way to becoming an industry thought leader in no time.
The answer to this question depends a lot on your particular audience. What’s engaging to teens will necessarily differ vastly from what middle-aged business professionals will find engaging. Speak to your target audience’s pain points or interests, let them see that you understand them and want to help them – and then open up the conversation. Ask questions, and invite them to respond. The beauty of content marketing as opposed to traditional marketing is that communication is not one-way anymore.
Despite the constant changes to Google’s algorithm, keywords are still important in content creation. While the standards have been somewhat relaxed, so that words and phrases that mean approximately the same thing as the exact phrase searched for can now pop up in search results, too, it’s still best to include a few mentions of the exact words and phrases you want to be found for. Just remember that your priority is always to write for humans, not search engines.
Some businesses swear by them, other not so much. How important an editorial calendar is depends on your individual strategy. However, even if you don’t maintain a full-blown, detailed editorial calendar, you should at least plan out your content a month in advance, noting any holidays or promotion dates you want to mark with special content.
There is still a lot of debate surrounding this question – every industry and every demographic sees different content consumption patterns. But in general, fresh content should be posted no less often than twice a week. As for an upper limit, there is none – studies seem to show that posting once a day, or even several times a day, is a very effective way to drive traffic to a website. It’s just a matter of deciding how much time and effort you can devote to creating content. Google is known to give more prominence to websites that update their data on a frequent basis.
Yes and no. Content creation does need to be ongoing, but there are ways to streamline and simplify the process. One of the easiest and most effective ways of doing so is to repurpose content. This entails creating content in one form, and then reworking it several times in order to utilize that same information in other forms, as well. For example, you might write an ebook about an important topic in your industry. Then, you could take the chapters of that ebook, and edit each one to make them into individual blog posts. Next, you could create an infographic illustrating the statistics mentioned in the ebook. And finally, you could give a webinar discussing the content in that ebook. Not only does this approach lighten the content creation load, but it also allows the same content to be consumed by people with different tastes in content.
The most important thing to remember about your From email address is to make it recognizable. If subscribers see an unfamiliar name on the From line, they might just mark the email as spam. Your From line should either feature your company’s name, or an individual’s name, if you want to make it more personal – but it needs to be clear which company that individual is a part of, or subscribers will again be confused.
Your call to action should be very clear, and very simple. It should be somewhere towards the top of your email for those who won’t finish reading the whole email, and then repeated again at the end for those who do read all the way through. It should spell out exactly what you want subscribers to do, such as, “Click here to download our report.”
If you have the resources to write that extra content, and the flexibility within your niche to divvy your subject matter up into segments, then by all means, yes! Segmenting your email list is a great way to personalize marketing messages according to subscribers’ individual interests, making them that much more effective.
The single best piece of advice we can give when it comes to writing a marketing email is to keep the following in mind: The purpose of every email you write is to deepen your relationship with each individual subscriber. That means writing to them as if they were a friend, or at least a real-life person, rather than sounding like a used car salesman.
The average person will only spend about 20 seconds reading an email, so use that as a guideline. If your email will take longer than 20 seconds to read, make sure that the most important information, as well as your call to action and links, are located near the top, where they can be seen without having to scroll down.
This is another case for A/B testing. There’s no one right answer, even though some people swear by the gorgeous, eye-catching images of HTML emails, and others maintain that simple text looks best in every email program and is never blocked like an image can be. Once again, it all depends on your particular audience and their preferences, so try both and see which one is most successful.
Once again, the answer to this question differs from business to business. And once again, testing is the way to find out what works best. As a general rule, weekends and mornings seem to be the times when more emails are opened – but since your audience may have different habits, it’s best to experiment and then use your own data to decide.
As often as you can, without getting annoying. How’s that for a vague answer? But it’s true – you want to send frequent emails, but not so frequent that people start unsubscribing or worse, marking them as spam. Where’s the happy medium? Unfortunately, it’s different for each business. For some, once a month is plenty, while for others, daily emails are just fine. Again, it’s a matter of experimentation and testing to see what your particular audience responds best to.
For some businesses, a newsletter is the way to go. For others, a different approach works better. Newsletters usually feature several different pieces of content, such as recent blog posts and current specials. But it’s also perfectly fine to send an email featuring only one piece of content, or an individual marketing message. Tailor your email structure to your unique audience, and see what works best through experimentation.
It can be tempting, but you’ve got to resist that temptation. The only way to get an email subscriber list that will be beneficial to your company is to grow it organically. First of all, many email service providers won’t even allow you to use purchased lists. And secondly, the email addresses found on lists like those are not high-quality leads, to say the least. They will not contain people truly interested in your products or services, since these people didn’t opt-in to your specific email list, so they’ll also be much more likely to mark your emails as spam.
Actually, statistics show that email reaches three times more people than Facebook and Twitter combined. That’s a significant difference. Social media marketing is wildly popular, and becoming even more so every day, but it is definitely not taking the place of social media marketing any time soon. On Facebook, for example, each post only reaches a small portion of your users. If you have users opted into your email list, however, everyone on that list will receive that message.
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways for a business to reach customers directly. Think about it. You’re not posting something on your site and hoping people will visit it. You’re not even posting something on a social media page and hoping fans will see it. You’re sending something directly into each person’s inbox, where they definitely will see it! Even if they don’t open it, they’ll still see the subject line and your company’s name each time you send an email, so you’re always communicating directly with your audience.
With social media constantly evolving, this depends on variables such as the time and effort you’re putting into social media marketing management, your budget, your audience, your strategy, and whether you’re using paid ads or not. Regardless, it’s important to remember that social media is a marathon and not a race.
Timing is everything in social media marketing. The good news is, by using social media you have the opportunity to reach your specific audience in real-time. But even though there are many tools you can use to schedule and automate posts to save some time, you’ll also want to keep track of the activity on your social media accounts throughout the day, so that you can provide timely responses to audience questions and comments. Between strategizing, creating and posting content and images, responding to your audience, and checking analytics, social media done right can be a full-time job.
A company’s social media activities don’t have to all come from the same place – but they do need to be coordinated, and that can be hard to do when each department is doing their own thing. Sending differing messages causes more confusion to customers than anything else – consistency is key.
Taking “control” of your brand isn’t really possible anymore, thanks to social media. Whether you’re in the conversation or not, people will talk about you online, and there’s no way for you to “control” what they say. But what you can do is join in those conversations, and influence them by being a part of them. From negative reviews on Yelp to customer complaints on Twitter, the way to influence your audience’s perception of your brand is to participate in the conversations, and steer them in a direction you’re happy with.
Guest blogging is one of the most effective and widely discussed methods of outreach, but social media can help your outreach efforts significantly, as well. Connect with other influencers in your industry via social media, and then build relationships with them through conversations and helping them to promote their content. Building a relationship in this way before reaching out to ask for a guest blogging opportunity can boost your chances of success greatly – and when your audience sees that you regularly converse with other experts via social media, they’ll see you as an expert, too!
Though it started out looking promising, Google+ is one platform we don’t recommend using for marketing purposes anymore.
LinkedIn has over 467 million users. It is a great place to share your credentials with the world, but more importantly, it’s the perfect place to interact with your audience online. Using LinkedIn Groups, you can answer questions and contribute to discussions in order to demonstrate your industry thought leadership as well as your willingness to help others generously.
Yes! A blog is one of those non-negotiables. Apart from all of the benefits it provides on its own, such as increasing your credibility as an industry expert, and providing fresh, keyword-rich content on a regular basis to please the search engines, a blog is a vital component of social media marketing. One of the most effective types of content to post on social media is a link to a blog post. Without fresh blog posts being shared on a regular basis, you won’t have nearly as much to talk about with your fans, and you won’t be driving as much traffic to your site, either.
One thing is for certain – social media marketing is never free. Whether you’re spending your own valuable time on it, asking an employee to add it to their workload, hiring a social media employee, or outsourcing to a marketing firm, there is always a cost. The key is to get the maximum ROI out of the time or money you put into it. It’s important to remember, however, that ROI doesn’t have to mean revenue. It can, but it can also mean meeting other objectives, such as getting new leads, increasing email subscriptions, or even boosting customer satisfaction. The ROI you end up with is the direct result of how focused your social media marketing strategy is.
Success is measured using the same metrics you use for any other marketing activity: traffic, leads, and customers. Counting the number of fans or followers you have can help you understand your social media reach, but the bottom line that determines its success is how many people it drives to your site, how many of them are qualified leads, and how many of them actually become customers.
Whether your business is taking advantage of it or not, social media has forever changed the way that consumers communicate with businesses, and vice versa. Being accessible to your customers – and your prospective clients – via social media is a vital means of developing relationships with them and helping them through the sales funnel.
Again this is something where there is no secret sauce. It’s about writing and curating valuable content, being a strategic follower, and building relationships.
You need the training and expertise, a certain amount of experience, and a lot of time and effort to be able to produce successful PPC results. Most businesses that fail with PPC usually lack in at least two of these things.
This is obviously different based on the Agency you’re working with. At a lot of marketing companies you’ll be given an Account Manager who will be your single point of contact.
We’re a little different in that we’re small, so the people who you work with and communicate with will be the same people actually doing the work as well.
We do, but this doesn’t mean that we are delegating responsibility for tasks or using cheap labour. At Naples Digital Marketing Expert, we believe that to create something exceptional you have to use the best resources available. While we would love to be experts in absolutely everything, it isn’t always possible. We have developed a trusted set of expert suppliers whom we are confident can produce work to the standard we require for our clients.
The type of work we commonly outsource would be content writing to specialists in a particular field, photography and videography or specific web development tasks.
Yes, we will happily take on certain tasks for other agencies. We are actively looking to engage with web development agencies who may be interested in offering our specialist services to their clients and vice versa.
At Naples Digital Marketing Expert, we have a number of software licences for industry-leading tools. We tend not to use a single tool or a standard set of tools, as it is much better for us to use the best tool for a job, rather than just the one we happen to have access to.
If you need a full list of tools we have access to, please drop us an email and we will be happy to provide it.
We certainly can. Google penalties are becoming increasingly common and increasingly visible within Google Webmaster Tools. While we have never had any clients penalised for work we have carried out, at Naples Digital Marketing Expert we have experience in helping a number of sites recover from penalties.
Yes, we have a number of clients who have agreed to be contacted by potential clients in order to give feedback on our work and service. We will happily arrange an introduction.
Due to its nature, there are relatively few qualifications available within the digital marketing industry. However, at Naples Digital Marketing Expert we are Google Analytics and AdWords qualified, as well as being Marin Certified.
As far as possible, we will always try and use relevantly qualified third parties in the event we engage them for work; for example, copywriters who hold relevant copywriting diplomas or topic specific qualifications.
One of the common horror stories we hear from prospective clients is that their current/old agency is threatening to remove links if they leave. We would never think of doing this, if for no other reason than it would be staggeringly unprofessional and immensely time-consuming. All work conducted during the project would have been paid for and would remain in place*, including all links built.
Furthermore, we never use link networks or place links on sites we own or control. This means that link removal would only ever be done by the owner of the site, or if for any reason a client asked us to remove a link (although this could only be done at the discretion of the site owner).
* From time to time, links created by Naples Digital Marketing Expert may be removed for various reasons by the site owners, for example a site removing old content during a redesign or being permanently deleted (these things happen even to the biggest sites). While we take care in choosing where to place a link, we cannot be held responsible and will not guarantee they will not be removed by a third party.
We do . For small charities, if possible, we will work free of charge or at minimal cost. For larger charities with marketing budgets, we will use a reduced rate when pricing our projects
This is another tough question, as all projects are different and timescales may often be out of our control (for example, a client’s developer may have no time to work on our recommendations). Our stock answer is that within the first 60 days from the start of the projects, most, if not all, clients will have seen a noticeable improvement.
At Naples Digital Marketing Expert, we always like to sort at least some quick win items first so that the project starts to pay for itself almost immediately, so most clients start to results quicker than that.
While we love to work with local companies, especially in the Oxford area, and be involved in our local community, we will take on clients anywhere in the world. We are especially keen on client visits to hot and sunny places!
In all seriousness, distance may affect our ability to spend as much face-to-face time with a client who is further away than a local client, but this doesn’t mean that we won’t visit, and it won’t affect the performance of your campaigns. We will also schedule regular Google+ hangouts or other video conferences so you still get to see and speak to us regularly
You are more than welcome to come and see our offices, or come and spend some time working with us on your project if you need to. We chose our offices for function rather than the fact that they are pretty, so please don’t expect Google-esq surroundings (although they are quirky)!
As we don’t have an official meeting space in our office, we tend to hold meetings away from the office or we visit our clients. But don’t worry, we don’t charge for room hire or travel.
In most cases, we invoice on a monthly basis with 30-day payment terms. For certain projects we may require a proportion of the payment upfront or for it to be fully covered by the clients; for example, building new sites and payment for PPC spend.
We always agree payment in advance of a project being started, and any changes in budget will be fully communicated and agreed in writing in advance.
At Naples Digital Marketing Expert we are passionate about what we do, the results we want and the service we give our clients. On occasion, and as long as we have the time free, this means that we may get carried away and overwork for our clients. The great news is that we never charge for this, as we are doing it because we want to!
There are some times where if we are at a critical point of a project we may also transfer time from future months (if required) or contact a client to see if they want to add additional budget. At no time will we be watching the clock and downing tools as soon as the time is up. If we mistakenly underestimate the time required, that is our fault not yours and we will complete the work anyway!
While we do use contracts and we like to have long-term projects in place, we are happy to work on short-term or even rolling monthly contracts. We generally prefer to have longer agreements in place, as it helps us with long-term planning for both our projects (we can use tactics that may take a couple of months to implement, but will give much better results), as well as making sure we always have enough staff to cover all our clients effectively.
In a word, yes! However, we generally only act as consultants, as it is much more effective if internal teams are used to speak on behalf of a company. This is because internal teams will be much more familiar with the company, products, tone and customers.
At Naples Digital Marketing Expert, we will happily give training, come up with topics or promotions or find the best social channel for a client to use.
Local SEO focuses on achieving results in location-based searches, for example, “restaurant in Oxford”. These types of searches are becoming a lot more frequent and often result in a map being displayed in the search results. There are some very specific tactics that can be employed to affect performance in the location-based search results.
Contrary to popular belief, ranking first in Google has nothing to do with money! Put simply, you can’t pay to be first. While large marketing budgets help when it comes to SEO, as you can do more, it doesn’t guarantee results. More specialist smaller sites or sites creating great content can often outrank bigger companies.
All the search engines do offer paid advertising models, where you can pay to appear higher in the paid results, but these have no impact on the natural search results.
While the majority of our PPC clients will make use of AdWords, it is not the only advertising platform and certainly isn’t always the most effective. At Naples Digital Marketing Expert , we also have experience using all sorts of PPC services, such as Facebook Advertising, LinkedIn Advertising and Paid Stumbles, to name a few.
We will help you find the correct advertising platform for what you’re trying to achieve.
PPC stands for pay-per-click, and is a phrase used to describe the paid advertising model available to companies on sites such as Google (the results at the right or top of the normal search results). The name comes from the fact you only pay for the advertising when someone clicks on it.
In the majority of countries in the world Google has the highest search engine market share. This is especially true in the UK, where its market share is regularly over 90% of all search traffic to sites. As a result, we tend to spend most of our time working on optimising sites for Google.
Luckily though, a lot of the tactics we use will have a similar effect in the other search engines.
If we work in countries in which other search engines are dominant, we will tailor our approach to make sure you get the best possible results.
SEO stands for search engine optimisation, and while there are many detailed explanations, the best one we can think of is “making things appear higher in Google (or any other search engine)”. In our case, we also break SEO into on-site and off-site SEO.
On-site SEO works on things on your own site that will help search engines understand what you do and find all the pages on your site. Off-site SEO is concerned with creating links back to your site in order to help demonstrate relevance and popularity to Google.
It is obviously more technical than that, but we reckon these are good summaries.
Digital marketing is a bit of a catch-all phrase to cover all the services we offer. There are likely all sorts of definitions, but in our particular case it covers anything based online. This includes:
We don’t do account managers at Naples Digital Marketing Expert; all our clients have our direct contact details, including phone (landline and mobile), email and social networking accounts. What’s more, we can arrange regular calls and visits to make sure you’re always up-to-date with the project.
At Naples Digital Marketing Expert, we like to keep our clients up-to-date. We send monthly reports outlining performance, as well as work completed and upcoming work. In addition, we will also show you how to use Analytics and set up appropriate dashboards so you can keep track of performance yourselves.
We also provide action lists detailing all the areas we believe need working on, with appropriate due dates.
If that isn’t enough, we also will be in regular contact and if possible will spend time in your office working alongside you.
Nobody can guarantee results in digital marketing as there are too many variables, especially with SEO, as Google’s algorithm is a secret. What we can do is point to a highly successful track record across all sorts of sectors and put you in contact with some of our clients if you want to see the kind of results we can produce.
Also, trust us when we tell you that we aren’t happy with results unless you are!
All our projects are completely bespoke, so it is difficult to give exact figures. At the moment we work with companies who have budgets ranging from a few hundred pounds per month to a few thousand. Rather than having a minimum amount, we adjust our strategies, volume of work and timescales based on the available budget.
We can also adjust the approach we take depending on how much involvement our clients have. If you are happy to implement suggestions yourself (after a proper explanation), it will reduce the overall project cost.
Furthermore, if you have a service we may have use for, we are happy to trade skills if possible.
We have experience with and work with businesses of all sizes, from local companies and start-ups to national and multinational brands. We have experience of working with companies in all sorts of sectors, from software companies and insurers to local plumbers and photographers.