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Marketing FAQ

These are quick questions and answers about everything marketing, digital, and business. As I go about connecting and conversing with business owners, marketers, and digital experts, I will add to this list of questions and answers that you can easily refer to when you need some more information.

  • How do I know if my paid advertising is working?
    If you can answer the following two questions in the affirmative, then you know your paid advertising is working: Are you, at minimum, achieving the goals that you had in mind when setting up your paid advertising? Are you learning something? Let us briefly unpack these. Are you achieving your goals? You need to remember that you cannot evaluate the performance of your paid advertising if you don’t have goals. What’s more, goals help narrow down what data you need to focus on when evaluating your paid advertising performance. For example, if you want to achieve a 20% increase in newsletter subscriptions, you would look at (you guessed it) how many viewers who clicked on your advertisement signed up for your newsletter. While your reach, impressions, and click-through data might be interesting to know, the answer to your question about campaign performance lies in the number of newsletter sign-ups. Note: Tracking the number of newsletter sign-ups in a situation like this generally does not come as standard data in your analytics. To do this, I would recommend creating a landing page with a specific sign-up form dedicated to your advertisement and directing your paid advertising to this landing page. Your database entries will then tell you which and how many of your subscribers signed up using the form on the landing page that is only accessible through your advertisement. As important as it is to understand what goal you are trying to achieve with your paid advertising, you also need to benchmark your performance. Ask yourself, how is this paid advertising campaign performing against the ones we ran in the past with the same goal? While you may have achieved your goals with your campaign this time, if a previous campaign performed better, it might be worth reviewing why and looking at how you can change what you did to match or better that performance. Are you learning something? The great thing about paid advertising is that it offers you a glimpse into your audience's behaviour. Paid advertising is a great way to test your ideas and gather immense amounts of data that you can use for future campaigns and other activities. For example, you could run two campaigns simultaneously aimed at the same target audience but with two different images or messages (for those who don't know, this is called A/B testing). You can then evaluate the performance of both campaigns and use the best-performing artwork and marketing message in your printed material. Learning more about your target market and their behaviour is a vitally important factor of marketing in general. So much so, that I would go out on a limb and say this; even if you achieved your paid advertising goals, you should consider your camping unsuccessful if you did not learn something that you can apply to future marketing and business activities.
  • Should I include a CTA every time I post something online?
    This might sound counter intuitive (after all, we want people to buy our products and services, right?) but the answer to this is actually no. You shouldn't include a call-to-action in everything you share in the digital space. The truth is, nowadays you need to be weary of adding a call-to-action to your content. See, the thing about a call-to-action (CTA) is that it asks something of your audience. Whether you are asking them to submit their details, sign up for something, buy your products, go to your website, or simply like your post, you are asking them to do something for you. As is the nature of consumers, the when your audience reads your CTA they are going to want to know what’s in it for them. What’s more, the more you ask (both in terms of frequency and the level of effort they need to exert) the less likely you are to get a positive response. Think of it as that coworker who constantly asks you for a favor but never does anything for you in return. After a while, you'll try to avoid them and that’s the last thing you want from your audience - avoidance. So, instead of constantly sharing content with the aim of getting your audience to do something for you, consider thinking about what's in it for them. This does not mean that you should never include a call-to-action in your content. There is a time and a place for it. My point is that you should use your CTAs sparingly. Opt rather to regularly share content that provides value and that your audience wants to read so that when the time comes to ask something of them, they will be more inclined to respond positively.
  • What is remarketing?
    While it sounds like a fancy marketing term, it is what it says on the tin - marketing to people who have already been marketed to. More specifically, making sure that people who have shown an interest in your brand or product/service see a marketing message that is more specific to their needs. That email you get when you placed items in your cart and left the website before paying for your purchase (an abandoned cart email), the suggested range of summer dresses that magically appears in your Facebook timeline after you visited the Zara clothing website last week, the invitation you received from that company whose online seminar you attended to download the eBook summary of the event - all examples of remarketing. Remarketing makes use of data such as how your customer interacted with your website, what their interests are, what they are actively searching for on search engines, which pages they like and profiles they follow on the different platforms they use, how they interact with your digital communication such as emails, forms, etc., basic demographics, and more. The depth and breadth of your data depend mostly on the way in which you collect it. Collecting data through technology is easier and more insightful than traditional methods, but you can still be effective with all kinds of data. At the risk of getting a bit too technical for the purposes of this post, there is a distinction that can be made between marketing to people who already know your brand and marketing to people who are looking for what you are selling but have not been exposed to your brand yet. That is why we say that remarketing is about people who have already shown an interest in you OR what you do or sell. This is where the tactic of remarketing lists for search terms and audience segmentation comes in and is also more suited to paid advertising because you are making use of data that the platform you use has gathered for you. For example, Google Ads allows you to display your ads to an audience of people who have shown to search for terms (or keywords) related to your product or service, but not necessarily your brand. If your CrossFit gym is situated in Rivonia and James in Rivonia is looking for a CrossFit gym and he searched “CrossFit Rivonia” last week, your ad will be shown to him because he has shown an interest in CrossFit gyms in Rivonia. Similarly, if you set up an advert on Facebook and you target parents with newborns because your business makes newborn carriers, Facebook will show your ad to users who have shown an interest in things related to newborns (like mommy groups, baby-specific events, etc.). These ads are also not necessarily shown at the time of the search, they simply appear as the user goes about scrolling. It is also important to remember that, while this is great for exposure and brand awareness, these users are higher up in the sales funnel and might not be ready to buy just yet.
  • When and how should I outsource my digital marketing?
    I have commented on the power of outsourcing several times in the past mostly in terms of outsourcing certain activities that you lack the necessary in-house resources or capabilities for. For example, you want to add an eBook that prospective customers can download from your website but you have neither the internal design capabilities nor the technical know-how to design the eBook, set up the page, and add the link to your website. In these instances, outsourcing can be an efficient and relatively cost-effective solution. However, when it comes to outsourcing your digital marketing, the choice is not that easy. Here's why. As can be seen in the example above, you outsource specific activities related to an end goal that you would like to achieve. In this case, it's having something on your website that someone can download. You ask your designer to create a layout of the content in the document that you wrote and then go to your web developer with the design from your designer and tell them to load it to your website in a way that would allow visitors to download the PDF. Your designer and web developer know what the goal is and what they are working towards; they have a clear direction. Similarly, when outsourcing your digital marketing, you need to provide clear guidance as to what you want to achieve. Simply going to an agency and asking them to do your digital marketing is not going to give you the results you are hoping for. Why? Because your marketing needs to align with your other business functions and as is the nature of outsourcing, your agency does not have access to the necessary information to create that alignment, you have to do it. Instead of simply asking an agency to do your digital marketing, discuss the goals that you have for your marketing activities and ask them what strategies and tactics they envisage would help you achieve these goals. If you are satisfied with what they are saying, decide on what strategies and tactics you would like them to focus on and then you can start talking about contracts, starts dates, and reporting. This will help you avoid getting stuck in an expensive situation where agencies are simply making sure you have a digital presence. So, as helpful as outsourcing may be, it'll only be truly effective when both you and the agency understand what goals you are working towards and what needs to be done to achieve them.
  • Is it worth signing up for MarTech as a small business?
    First, what is MarTech? MarTech includes all kinds of software and technology used by marketers to optimise their marketing efforts and help better achieve their goals. Canva, Biteable, Hubspot, Email Mailing Software, CRMs, and the like, are all considered MarTech. While these platforms are incredibly useful and effective at helping you reach your marketing goals, they can only be effective if you use them effectively. Let's put it this way, simply using MarTech doesn't make you a better marketer any more than standing in the garage makes you a car. You need to ensure that you are using the technology the way it's meant to be used AND that it fits into and supports your business processes and practices. For example, you may have signed up for top-tier email marketing software, but if you're not using the functionalities in a way that helps you achieve your goals, then you shouldn't be using that software. The same is true for design software, SEO software, social media management software and the like. So, before you decide to sign up for a new platform or sign on for a new service, ask yourself these three questions: What are you actually signing up for? In effect, what is the sacrifice you are making, and what will you be getting in return? The financial sacrifice you make is rarely just limited to the subscription fee or cost of the service. You will also need to dedicate time to getting to know the system and its features. Furthermore, is this sacrifice worth it? What are you trying to achieve by doing this? Are you looking to increase leads, increase your brand awareness, increase sales, organise your content, etc? The answer to this question must tie in with your overall company goals. What other options do you currently have that can achieve your answer to question 2? Does one of the platforms, channels or software you already use offer a feature you are not fully leveraging? Is there a different platform you can use without needing to make the sacrifices listed for question 1? As a small business owner, your resources are limited, so make sure to use what you have as effectively as possible to achieve your goals.
  • How do I measure my digital marketing campaigns?
    As we know, measuring the success of your digital marketing campaigns is essential to understanding if what you are doing is working and what to do if it’s not. In other words, it helps you determine whether your marketing investments are paying off and whether you should continue with similar campaigns or try a different approach. However, knowing where to look for the data and what data you need to look at, is where things get a bit tricky for most small business owners. There are a myriad of different paid tracking software available on the market (and even more free options) that can easily collate all your necessary data in one place. Simply reading the data, however, is not enough. You need to know what you are looking at, and to do that, you need to set up an effective measurement and tracking process. With this in mind, here's a step-by-step guide on how to do just that. Step 1: Define your marketing goals Before you can measure the success of your campaigns, you need to know what you're trying to achieve. This could include increasing website traffic, generating leads, or boosting sales. Having specific, measurable goals in mind will help you determine which metrics to track and how to evaluate your campaigns' success. Step 2: Choose the right metrics There are many metrics you can track to measure the success of your digital marketing campaigns, but not all of them are relevant to your goals. For example, if your goal is to generate leads, tracking website traffic won't be as important as tracking the number of leads generated from your campaigns. Choose metrics that are directly related to your marketing goals. Step 3: Use tools to track your metrics There are many tools available to help you track your metrics, such as Google Analytics, SEMrush, and Hootsuite. Choose the tools that are best suited to your needs and make sure they are set up correctly to accurately track the metrics you've chosen. Step 4: Analyze the data Once you've been tracking your metrics for a while, you can start to analyze the data to see how your campaigns are performing. This involves looking at the trends over time and comparing your results to your goals. If you see that a particular campaign is underperforming, try to identify the reasons why and make changes to improve its performance. Step 5: Make data-driven decisions Use the insights you gain from your analysis to make informed decisions about your future marketing efforts. For example, if a particular campaign is performing well, consider scaling it up. If it's not delivering the results you want, consider making changes or trying a different approach. Note: You can also do some testing at this stage to see what kind of marketing activities your audience responds to the best. For example, you can use the same campaign messaging but change the content format.
  • What is the difference between a Call-to-Action and a Call-to-Value?
    I was reading a post on LinkedIn about how using a call-to-value (CTV) is more preferred to a call-to-action (CTA) which sent me down a bit of a rabbit hole of internet research. The post stated that explaining the value of what the customer will get for acting is better than simply asking them to act. This does make sense, BUT simply swapping your CTA for a CTV is not that simple. Here’s why. It all comes down to where the customer is in the sales funnel when they read your message. While both a call-to-action and a call-to-value should persuade the reader to take action, a CTA is more applicable to someone with the information they need to know why they are performing the action. They already know what they want to do, they just need clear guidance from you as to how to do it. This means that a CTA is fantastic for a customer already at the Action stage of the sales funnel. A CTV, on the other hand, is better suited to a customer at the Desire stage of the sales funnel; i.e. they are actively looking for a solution to their problem, and you are a possible option, but they need a bit more persuasion before they make their decision. Here’s a basic example to explain my point a bit better. In this example, we’re asking our customers to sign up for a trial version of our pretend marketing software that helps users better manage their marketing content. Example of a CAT: “Sign up for your 14-day trial” Example of a CTV: “See how you can maximise your marketing productivity.” Essentially, your call-to-action tells your customer what to do, while your call-to-value tells them why they should do it. This is why you can’t simply replace a CTA with a CTV. Both are equally important to help your customer move through the sales funnel, they are just used differently.
  • What is PPC advertising and why is it important for businesses?
    Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is when advertisers pay a fee whenever a user clicks on one of their ads. In essence, it is a method for purchasing visitors to a website rather than attempting to acquire them organically. PPC advertising is essential for your business for a variety of reasons. It can help you reach a larger audience, to begin with. With PPC advertising, you can target keywords and demographics that are essential to your business. Which means that your ads will only be shown to individuals who are more likely to be interested in your products or services, hence increasing the likelihood that they will click on our ads and ultimately become customers. PPC advertising can also help you improve website traffic and, ultimately, increase sales. You may attract more people to your website by ranking at the top of search engine results pages for relevant keywords. These visitors are more likely to convert, as they are actively looking for products or services similar to yours. What's more, PPC advertising is a cost-effective technique to promote your business. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad, so you're not wasting money on users who aren't interested in what you have to offer. What’s more, you can also specify a budget for our PPC campaigns, allowing you to control your advertising spend and avoid overspending. Finally, PPC advertising is also measurable. Which means you can monitor the performance of your ads in real time, allowing you to make decisions about your campaigns based on data and adjust what you are doing accordingly. This ensures that your advertising budget and your ROI is maximised.
  • How do I use employee expertise in my digital marketing strategy?
    Leveraging the expertise of your employees can be an incredibly powerful way to build your brand and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. After all, your employees are often your most knowledgeable and passionate advocates. By encouraging them to share their expertise on your website and social media channels, you can demonstrate your company's expertise and establish trust with your audience. To get started, consider conducting a survey or interview with your employees to identify their areas of expertise and the topics they're most passionate about. From there, you can work with them to create content such as blog posts, videos, or social media posts that highlight their knowledge and insights. You might also consider creating a guest blogging program that allows employees to contribute content to external websites or blogs, which can help to expand your reach and build backlinks to your website. Another way to leverage employee expertise is to encourage them to participate in industry events or speak at conferences. By sharing their insights with a wider audience, your employees can help to establish your company as a thought leader and build relationships with potential customers or partners. Finally, make sure that you are giving your employees the support they need to create high-quality content. This might include providing them with training, editorial support, or access to tools and resources that can help them develop their skills and create great content. By investing in your employees, you can create a powerful marketing asset that will help to grow your business and establish your brand as a trusted authority in your industry.
  • What does "call to action" mean?
    At its core, a call to action is a directive that prompts your audience to take a specific action. It serves as an invitation, urging users to engage with your brand, make a purchase, subscribe to a newsletter, or perform any desired action. CTAs are important for several reasons, but what makes them a vital component of your marketing strategy and campaigns is their effectiveness at steering user behaviour, facilitating audience interaction, and providing measurable outcomes. By integrating concise and compelling CTAs into your promotional materials, you can guide users towards desired actions that align with your overall business objectives. Whether it's getting them to click on a button, to make a purchase, or to subscribe to your newsletter, CTAs serve as markers that direct users towards specific actions. What’s more, CTAs offer quantifiable outcomes, enabling you to monitor and assess metrics such as the rate at which users click on your content, engage with your content, and other conversion rates. By analysing this data, you can refine your tactics and work on increasing the effectiveness of your CTAs over time.
  • What is the purpose of a call to action?
    The primary purpose of a CTA is to motivate the reader to take an action—ideally, one that you have planned—that will take them along a predetermined customer journey that ultimately leads to a sale. CTAs are powerful tools that help you achieve several important objectives for your digital marketing activities. One significant impact of CTAs is the increase in click-through rates. By presenting a clear and compelling CTA, you encourage the reader to click and engage with your content. A well-designed CTA captures the reader’s attention and entices them to act, whether it's exploring a product page, signing up for a webinar, or downloading a resource. Higher click-through rates indicate an active and interested audience, indicating progress along your planned customer journey. CTAs act as guideposts along the customer journey, steering potential customers towards the next stage of the sales funnel. They provide clear instructions and direct users to take specific actions, helping them move from awareness to consideration to conversion.
  • What is a call to action in digital marketing?
    In the digital space, a call to action (CTA) can take various forms, such as clickable buttons, hyperlinks, or text prompts. They still serve the same purpose as explained above; they are just used in a digitally specific way. These CTAs are placed within websites, emails, social media posts, and other digital platforms to encourage users to take specific actions. By presenting a CTA, you create a focal point that captures users' attention and directs them towards the next step in their customer journey. CTAs act as guideposts, especially in the digital space, guiding users through the desired conversion path. Whether it's prompting users to make a purchase, subscribe to a newsletter, download a resource, or fill out a form, CTAs provide a clear directive on what action your customer should take. In offline marketing (such as billboards, TV ads, radio, etc.), CTAs are statements that encourage action separate from the source, whereas, in digital marketing, CTAs serve as interactive cues that prompt users to engage with your brand at the source and move further along the customer journey. What your CTA says and what it visually looks like in digital marketing are crucial to capturing your customer’s attention. It should stand out, contrast with the surrounding content, and make use of compelling language to entice your customers to click on it or engage with it. You also need to pay attention to where you place the CTA. It should ideally be positioned where customers are most likely to see it without having to search or scroll too far down the page. By serving as focal points as a result of their design and placement and by providing clear instructions, CTAs become pivotal in converting website visitors, email recipients, or social media users into engaged prospects or customers. They act as catalysts that bridge the gap between user interest (as explained below) and action, guiding users towards the next step in the customer journey and contributing to the overall success of your digital marketing efforts.
  • Where should a call to action be in your marketing content?
    The strategic placement of your CTA is a critical factor in maximising its effectiveness. To capture your audience’s attention and encourage action, CTAs should be prominently displayed in easily visible locations. But, what does this mean practically? One important guideline for CTA placement is to position it above the fold. This means placing the CTA in the upper portion of your webpage or email, which is immediately visible without requiring the reader to scroll. By placing the CTA above the fold, you ensure that users encounter it as soon as they land on your page, increasing the chances that they will engage with it. Another effective placement for CTAs is at the end of blog posts. When users reach the end of an informative or engaging blog post, they are likely to be primed for action. By placing your CTA here, you provide a natural transition point for your readers to take the next step, like subscribing to a newsletter or exploring related products or services. Landing pages are also ideal locations for CTAs. These dedicated pages focus on specific offers or campaigns and are designed to convert your visitors into leads or customers. Placing a CTA prominently on your landing page ensures that your users are directed towards the action that you want them to take without distraction or confusion. You should also consider integrating CTAs in your email newsletters, which can be highly effective. By including a clear and compelling CTA in the body of your email, you provide a direct path for readers to follow, whether it's visiting your product page, registering for an event, or making a purchase. Placing CTAs in email newsletters capitalises on the engaged audience that has already shown interest by subscribing to your emails. It's important, however, to consider context and relevance when using and placing CTAs in your marketing material. The rule of thumb here is to ensure that your CTA aligns with the content surrounding it and matches the reader’s expectations. For example, if your blog post discusses a specific product or service, the CTA should offer further information or an opportunity to purchase that product or service. Adding a CTA that takes people to a YouTube video of your annual staff awards won’t be effective in this case.
  • What is an Action-oriented CTA?
    An action-oriented CTA uses strong, imperative language to encourage your reader to take a specific action. These CTAs are effective for driving immediate action. Examples: "Buy now and save 20%!" "Book your free consultation today!" "Start your free trial now!" "Get started in just three easy steps!" "Subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive offers!"
  • What is a Benefit-Focused CTA?
    A benefit-focused CTA highlights the advantages or outcomes that readers can expect by taking the desired action. These CTAs appeal to their self-interest and showcase the value they will receive. Examples: "Boost your productivity with our time-saving software!" "Unlock a healthier lifestyle with our fitness program!" "Transform your skin with our revolutionary skincare products!" "Get the body you've always dreamed of with our fitness equipment!" "Discover the secret to financial freedom. Join our investment program!"
  • What is an Urgency-Driven CTA?
    An urgency-driven CTA creates a sense of urgency or scarcity to encourage immediate action. These CTAs capitalise on FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and encourage readers to act quickly. Examples: "Limited time offer! Shop now before it's gone!" "Only 2 seats left! Register for our workshop now!" "Hurry, sale ends tonight! Don't miss out!" "Get early access to our exclusive event. RSVP now!" "Last chance to grab our special discount. Order now!"
  • What is an Interactive CTA?
    An interactive CTA engages readers by inviting them to participate or interact with your brand. These CTAs can enhance user experience, increase engagement, and build a connection between the reader and your brand. Examples: "Take our quiz to find your perfect skincare routine!" "Try our interactive demo to see our product in action!" "Spin the wheel for a chance to win exciting prizes!" "Explore our virtual tour to discover our stunning locations!" "Create your own customised design with our interactive tool!"
  • What is a Social Proof CTA?
    A social proof CTA leverages testimonials, reviews, or endorsements to build trust and credibility. These CTAs showcase positive feedback from satisfied customers, boosting confidence in the reader's decision to take action. Examples: "Join thousands of happy customers. Start your journey with us!" "Read what our clients are saying about our services!" "See why industry experts recommend our solution!" "Discover why our customers rate us 5 stars!" "Join our community of satisfied users. Sign up now!"
  • What is a Personalised CTA?
    A personalised CTA tailors the message based on the reader's preferences, behaviour, or demographic information. These CTAs create a more personalised experience, increasing relevance and engagement. Examples: "Welcome back, [Name]! Check out our latest offers just for you!" "Based on your interests, we recommend these handpicked products!" "Get your free style guide customised to your fashion preferences!" "As a loyal customer, enjoy this exclusive discount on your next purchase!" "Complete your profile and receive personalised content straight to your inbox!"
  • What is a Curiosity-Provoking CTA?
    A curiosity-provoking CTA generates intrigue and compels the reader to click or explore further to satisfy their curiosity. These CTAs leverage the power of mystery and the desire for new information. Examples: "Uncover the secret to success. Click here to find out!" "Discover the hidden benefits of our new product line!" "What's the #1 skincare ingredient you've been missing out on?" "Unlock exclusive insider tips and tricks. Click to reveal!" "Find out how this simple hack can transform your productivity!"
  • What is a Confidence-Building CTA?
    A confidence-building CTA addresses potential concerns or objections readers may have, reassuring them and building trust in your brand. These CTAs instil confidence and remove barriers to taking action. Examples: "Try it risk-free with our 30-day money-back guarantee!" "See why we're rated #1 in customer satisfaction!" "Join our community of trusted experts in your industry!" "Get a free consultation to address all your questions and concerns!" "We've helped thousands of customers like you. Start your journey today!"
  • What can I do to make my website load faster?
    There are few things more frustrating for visitors than having to wait for your page to load. It might seem attractive to include elaborate moving graphics, videos, and images, but if they are going to negatively affect the load time of your page, leave them out! Other elements that you need to think about in terms of your page load speed are: the sizes of the images that you use. Naturally, the smaller the better, but not too small that it looks fuzzy. where your videos are hosted. While it's nice to have your videos on your website, you don't have to store them on your website. Opt for a YouTube player and load the video to YouTube instead. how many plug-ins you have on your site. Plug-ins are necessary for certain functionalities (like an exit intent pop-up), but make sure to only add the ones you actually need and not just because you think they're cool. other technical elements such as browser caching, the use of CDNs, your hosting option, the use of redirects and other things you would be better off chatting to a technical expert about rather than attempting to fix yourself. (Please get in touch if you don't know anyone like this and need a referral.) A good rule of thumb is to aim for a page load speed of 3 seconds or less, especially if your website is an e-commerce website (if visitors can buy products or book your services online directly from your website). When your visitor can access the information they are looking for quickly, they will be less likely to close your site before interacting with its content; lowering your bounce rate and increasing your conversions.
  • Why should I care about my bounce rate?
    First of all, your website bounce rate gives search engines an idea of the kind of customer experience that your site offers and the relevancy of your site in terms of certain keywords. This was implemented back in 2021 and is called the Page Experience Algorithm update. This helps search engines to suggest pages to users that offer a better user experience and are deemed more likely to give the user the information they need. Your bounce rate isn’t the only metric that this algorithm looks at, but it does have a big impact on the way that search engines see your website. Naturally, you want to rank higher when someone searches for something related to what you offer, so it makes sense to do what you can to help search engines see your website as worth a visit. Secondly, while the bounce rate of your website, in general, is good to know, the real benefit of this data can be found in reviewing the bounce rate of specific pages, especially those pages that encourage engagement. This helps build a picture of how visitors interact with and internalize your content. You can use this information to build a user experience that better serves the goals of your website and your business. If, for example, you find out that your new product page has a higher than usual bounce rate, there are certain metrics that you can look at in conjunction with your bounce rate data to form an idea of why this happens. You can then take a series of actions to better understand why your product page is not performing well and make the necessary changes to better the experience that users have on the page, ultimately leading to more sales. What's more, your bounce rate can also help you spot technical errors on your website and assist in understanding if your paid advertising is serving your business as it should be.
  • What are some key areas to evaluate when assessing the effectiveness of a business website?
    When it comes to leveraging existing resources, one of the most valuable tools at your disposal is your website. It is frequently the first point of contact between your company and potential customers, so making a good first impression is critical. Let’s look at a few key areas must be considered when evaluating your website. First, examine the design and user experience critically. Is the design modern and eye-catching? Is the navigation simple and straightforward? Do the pages load quickly? If you answered no to any of these questions, it's time to make some adjustments. Users have short attention spans and will abandon your site if there is any friction in the user experience. Next, look at the content on your website. Is it of high quality, informative, and interesting? Are you using the appropriate keywords to help your pages rank in search engines? Is there a clear call to action on every page? If your content falls short in any of these categories, it's time to invest in creating new content or optimising existing content. Another important aspect to consider is the functionality of your website. Are all of the links functional? Are there any errors or broken links? Are there any contact forms or other features that aren't working properly? It is critical to address any issues with your site's functionality in order to provide a consistent user experience. Finally, check to see if your website is mobile-friendly. As more people access the internet via mobile devices, your website must be simple to use on smartphones and tablets. If your site is not optimised for mobile, it's time to make the necessary changes. By evaluating these key areas, you can identify opportunities to optimise your website and ensure that you are maximising the value of this valuable resource.
  • How do I determine my brand voice?
    To establish your brand voice, you can start by: 1. Choosing three words that describe your brand. For example, if you offer a professional service (accounting, consulting, coaching, etc.) you might want to go for words such as knowledgable, authentic, and passionate. 2. Once you have selected your words, write a sentence explaining what each word means to you in the context of your brand. For example, knowledgable could mean that you are able to share information about your industry with certainty and authority because of the years of experience that you have. Once you understand your brand at this level, it is easier for you to step into that space when you create your content and help your audience to better connect with your brand. From your brand voice, you can determine what your brand tone and writing style is. Your brand voice further impacts the kind of content that you share. Consider a brand that is knowledgable and informative. This kind of brand will typically share interesting information about their industry; positioning themselves as thought-leaders within their field. A fun and friendly brand would be more inclined to share content that their audience has created (also known as user-generated content), sharing posts and stories from their followers.
  • What is the difference between B2C and B2B marketing?
    The terms B2B and B2C can be considered industry jargon and it’s something you will come across quite a lot as you do more research on marketing activities for your business. Effectively, B2B and B2C are acronyms that stand for business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) sales. Understanding these two concepts comes down to looking at the intention behind the actions that allow the customer to move through the sales process, and ultimately end up buying a product for themselves (as is the case for B2C) and when buying something on behalf of a business (as is the case for B2B). So, B2C (or business-to-consumer) is when I am buying something for myself, like shoes or a new TV. B2B (or business-to-business) is when I am buying something that I am going to use in my business. Signing up for accounting software or buying stock are examples of B2B purchases. Now, the reason why it is important to understand the difference between these two concepts is because of how it impacts your marketing message and the sales process. Whereas a B2C purchase is generally made by one person and the time it takes to make the sale is usually much shorter, it can take anything from 6 - 18 months for a B2B purchase decision to take place. This is partly due to the fact that there are often there are up to 7 different people involved in the purchase decision, each making the decision for a different reason or deciding to make the purchase because it solves a different problem for them. A purchase decision for a business can also have a much bigger impact on the future of the business than you buying a new coffee machine could. What’s more, there are also different emotions and motivations involved when making a B2C purchase than there are when making a B2B purchase. I always like to explain it in terms of the fact that a B2C purchase is all about how it makes the customer feel, while a B2B purchase is about how it makes the customer look. When you buy that pair of shoes it makes you feel confident or makes you feel gorgeous, whereas the senior manager who signed on for new sales management software did so because they wanted to look good to their manager. Their purchase also makes their manager look good to the board, and the board makes the company look good to the shareholders, etc. It’s important to also understand that in both instances, the customer still moves down the stages of the sales funnel in the same way. They are still going from awareness to interest, from interest to desire, and from desire to action, they just need different kinds of information, conversations, and sales and marketing touches to move from one step in the funnel to the next. A great example would be to think about an influencer post showing off a pair of shoes and how that differs from a case study that is shared with a manager about new sales software. These two types of content (a social media post and a case study) are both suited to helping the customer move from the desire to the action stage but the reason why they take that step is different.
  • How do I keep my branding consistent in terms of visual elements?
    Using standardised visual components is one technique to promote uniformity in digital marketing. These components may consist of typography, logos, colour schemes, and image styles. First and foremost, it's crucial to select and maintain a colour scheme that accurately conveys your brand. Choose two or three colours or shades that accurately represent the character of your brand, and apply them consistently to all digital marketing designs. This includes your website, social media pages, email templates, and other marketing tools. Using your selected colours consistently will aid in developing a unified and recognisable brand identity. Use consistent fonts throughout all of your digital marketing products in addition to your chosen colour(s). Choose two or three fonts that reflect the personality of your brand, and use them consistently in all of your marketing designs. Use the same version of your logo throughout all of your digital marketing designs because it's possibly the most identifiable component of your company. Your website, social media pages, and email signatures all fall under this category. Using your logo regularly will help you develop brand awareness and make it easier for customers to recognise your business and your brand. Another important element to focus on in terms of consistency is the style of the imagery that you choose to use on your designs. You could decide to solely use photographs, illustrations, or graphics, or you could prefer to use pictures with a certain colour scheme or tone. Using the same image style across all digital marketing channels can help build a unified brand image that your customers will recognise and connect with. Finally, you need to establishing brand rules that include each of these components and document them in a brand book. These rules should be shared with any team members or contractors who are part of the digital marketing collateral design process. By staying consistent with your graphics, you can build a strong brand identity that will help you stand out in today’s crowded digital world.
  • How do I keep my branding consistent in terms of brand messaging?
    Using consistent messaging across all of your digital marketing activities helps to reinforce your brand's message and make it more memorable to your target audience. Let’s have a look at some ideas for using consistent messaging in your branding efforts. First, you must establish your brand voice. This voice should be consistent across all marketing materials and should reflect your brand's personality and values. You can create a more cohesive and recognisable brand identity by establishing a clear brand voice. You can have a look at for a step-by-step guide on how to do this. Using the same tagline across all digital marketing materials is another way to use consistent messaging. Your tagline should be memorable and reflect your unique selling points (USP) and value proposition. Using the same tagline across all marketing materials helps to reinforce your brand's message and make it more memorable for your audience. Another important step in using consistent messaging is to create a messaging framework. A messaging framework is a collection of key messages about your brand that you want to communicate. These messages should be consistent across all digital marketing channels and should reinforce the values and USP of your brand. Content consistency is also important. Whether you're writing blog posts, social media updates, or email newsletters, your tone, style, and messaging should be consistent. This reinforces your brand's message and helps to create a more cohesive brand identity. Finally, storytelling is an effective method for connecting with your audience and reinforcing your brand message. Using storytelling across all digital marketing channels contributes to the development of a consistent brand narrative that resonates with your target audience and reinforces your brand's values and USP.
  • Should I be active on the same social media platforms as my competitors?
    The straightforward answer to this question is no. Let me explain. While competitor research is recommended when deciding which platforms to have a presence on, there is more to selecting a social media platform than simply doing what your competitor is doing. For any business to be successful in its marketing activities, it needs to understand who its marketing message targets. This only happens when the business has a clear picture of what its ideal customer looks like. Part of this picture includes the platforms that they actively use. Two ways to narrow down these platforms are to build a complete customer profile and to look at your competitor's activity. If your competitors are active on a platform and can generate high levels of engagement, then the platform is worth considering. When using your competitors' activities as a guide, it is vitally important that you: 1. consider the level of engagement that their activity generates. They might be active on the platform but if they aren't getting a response when sharing content, it might be that your target audience is not active on that platform. 2. mainly consider competitors that have the same resources as you do. For example, the engagement your competitor generates on the platform could be a result of paid advertising with a budget that far exceeds your own. If you need that kind of budget to generate engagement, other more niche platforms and options can offer better results with less of an investment. 3. consider the type of content that you need to share on the platform. If your competitor generates engagement on a platform that requires content that you can't develop, then your chances of leveraging the benefits that the platform has to offer are smaller compared to that of a platform that requires content that you are more comfortable with. So, before setting up your company page, consider the level of engagement that a competitor of a similar size and with similar resources can generate on the platform, then decide if it will be worth your while to build your presence.
  • Should I run a competition or have a giveaway on my social pages to increase my following?
    Yes and no. The reason for this confusing response lies in how you measure the success of your campaign. Those campaigns on social pages that ask you to like the post, follow the page, and tag three friends tend to increase your page following but you tend to also see a decrease in the quality of your followers. Why? Because your new followers did not follow your page to hear more about you or your brand, they followed it because they wanted to win something. And herein lies the tricky bit. The competition or giveaway resulted in overheads for you. It costs money to give something away and your chances of seeing a direct monetary return on your investment are small. Furthermore, your increase in followers won't necessarily mean an increase in engagement. I'm not saying that it's not a good idea either. A competition like this can be considered successful if an increase in followers is all you are looking for. It's important to note, however, that you can only measure your true increase in followers roughly a month after your competition closes ( depending on how active you are on the platform) as you need to allow for unfollows from those users who aren't interested in what you have to offer. Things you can consider to get a better return on your competition or giveaway: 1. Ask users to tag people who they think are part of your target audience. This is done by including statements such as "Tag three friends who you think need one of these." 2. Make sure that you share the content of value during and especially directly after your campaign. This goes beyond simply advertising your products or services. Give your followers something they can use without asking them for something. What's more, give it to them on the platform! Don't ask them to click on the link to read more or the like. Use the opportunity while waiting to hear who the winner is (before they get a chance to unfollow you) to show them that following your page has something in it for them. Bonus tip: This one is a bit more technical, but you can create a landing page on your site and include a keyword at the bottom of the page. Add a platform tracking tag (Facebook pixel, LinkedIn Insights tag, etc.) to this landing page. It's not essential, but if you can, add something users need to engage with in order to see this keyword. Ask users to complete the usual steps of following the page and tagging friends, but also ask them to visit the page and send you the keyword via a direct message. Now you are able to build a remarketing audience from this campaign that you can use for targeted advertisements in the future.
  • My posts usually get a lot of likes but I’m not seeing an increase in sales. Why does this happen?
    This can be a result of many things that usually depend on the situation. For example, you could have launched a competition that asks people to like your post, you could recently have promoted your page and gained more followers and now have more likes on your post, or you could have promoted the post itself and it’s getting tons of likes because more people are seeing it. While getting more likes on your post is great, it won’t equate to more sales because the people who like your post are either not part of your target market or they are simply not ready to buy. Some other tactics and activities are also much more effective at increasing sales than trying to increase your page and post likes. While likes shouldn’t be used to gauge the possibility of an increase in this month’s sales, there are two things you can (and ideally should do) to help your message reach the right audience at the right time. First, refine your audience targeting. This goes for who you choose as your target audience for paid advertising and page likes in general. To do this effectively, you need to know your target market inside out. Who are they, where are they, what do they do, what are they looking for, what are their needs, what are their fears, everything. It might seem like a lot of effort that you don’t necessarily have time for right now, but trust me, this has to be done if you are to get any kind of positive ROI. Second, think of the sales funnel when crafting your messages. You can reach more of your ideal audience by refining your audience targeting, but it won’t help much if you can’t convert them. The idea here is to show the right message to the right audience at the right time and knowing where they are along the sales funnel will help you do just that.
  • What do I need to look out for when selecting images to use in my content?
    While there are several tips and recommendations with regard to selecting images for your content, one of the most important aspects to consider is the rights attached to the image. As you know, many (if not most) images on the internet are copyrighted. This means that the rights to use and distribute the image belong to someone and if you were to use that image in your content without permission, you could be liable for a fine. While many websites do offer the opportunity to buy the rights to use the image, it's important to look out for what you're allowed to use it for. These are called Creative Commons Licenses and there are six different licenses that you can buy that regulate how you can use the images. Regulations include everything from free redistribution to needing to attribute the owner or creator, being allowed to use it only with modification to only being allowed to use it internally and everything in between. Websites that sell images generally include information on what your purchase entitles you to do, so it's important to read all the necessary information before spending the money on purchasing the usage rights and before using the image in your designs. You will usually find this information in the terms and conditions section of the website, although some websites do have a page dedicated to what you need to know and also display this information on the page where you purchase the license and the license itself. What about websites that advertise free stock footage and images like Unsplash, Pexels, and Freepik? Again, read the terms and conditions page! Some websites have different conditions attached to different images and items that you can download. Freepik, for example, allows you to use images and other elements without attribution ONLY if you subscribe to the website. While it advertises that it is a free stock image website, you HAVE to add attribution if you use the images without having a premium subscription to the website. Here are four rules I live by when selecting images to use in my content: Read the terms and conditions of the website you are on. Only use images from reputable websites. Where possible, subscribe to the website or pay for the license. Not only are you covering your bases, but you're also giving back to the photographers who create the images you are using. When in doubt, add attribution. This can be as simple as adding the word "Source:" followed by the website URL.
  • How do I decide what content to share on my social platforms?
    The recommended content to share is dependent on aspects such as how far in advance you prepare, what you are focussing on as a business, what the goal of your activities in the digital space is, what platform you are sharing your content on, how your content is performing, what you want users to do with the content, etc. While it is important to consider these, for this question, we are concerned with those situations where you need to make a quick decision about what to share because you need to share something today and didn't plan. I know many small business owners find themselves in this situation all too often. It may not be ideal, but it happens. You have a lot of responsibilities that you need to juggle as a business owner, and that's okay. So, here are some steps to guide you on how to decide what to share when you don't have time. Consider the platform that you are on and choose a content format that suits the platform. Look at your past content on the platform and see what performed well. Use this information to guide you toward content topics and types. If there is a post that fits the content topic and type, that is still relevant, and that was shared a while back, repost the copy with a new image, artwork, or video clip. If you cannot do this, have a look at past long-form content such as blog posts, newsletters, or parts of written content on your website and source snippets of copy that you can use. This can be accompanied by an image or (even better) a recording of you expressing this copy in your own words. Remember, it's always best to plan your content ahead of time. Doing this will not only help you avoid these stressful situations but (more importantly) help you better achieve your business goals. When you plan your content, you create a story that viewers can connect with and create a user journey that is more likely to result in your audience responding the way you want them to. However, as a small business owner, situations where you quickly need to create something are inevitable. In these instances, creating content for brand awareness is recommended and the above steps will help you do just that.
  • What are some ways in which I can repurpose my old content?
    Looking for fresh content ideas? Why not have a look at your previous posts and give them a creative twist? Doing this not only breathes new life into your existing content but also reignites interest in topics you've covered before. Let's use a blog post as an example. Here are 12 examples of what you can do with your blog post to create something new: Social Media Graphics: Create graphics featuring key takeaways from your blog. You can use tools like Canva or even PowerPoint to create something you can share on different social media platforms. Infographics: Condense the main ideas and statistics from your blog post into an infographic. Infographics are highly shareable and deliver information in an easily-digestible format. Podcast Episode: Turn your blog post into an engaging podcast episode. You can dive deeper into specific points, share anecdotes, and answer any questions you may have received on the initial blog post. This can then be shared as a podcast instalment or as a video. Video Tutorial: Turn your blog post into an interactive video tutorial. Guide your audience through step-by-step processes, showcasing solutions and practical tips. Share your video on YouTube, Instagram Reels, or other video platforms. Slide Deck or Presentation: Platforms like PowerPoint or Google Slides help you create visually appealing materials, perfect for sharing on SlideShare, during webinars, or as downloadables on your website. Email Newsletter: Summarise the key highlights from your blog post and send it to your email subscribers. Include a link to the full blog for those wanting a deeper dive. Webinar or Live Session: Host an immersive webinar or live session that delves deeper into your blog's topic. In this way you can encourage audience interaction, answer questions in real-time, and provide added insights. Guest Posts: Reimagine portions of your blog post as guest contributions for relevant blogs or industry websites. Doing this expands your reach and establishes your expertise in new corners of the digital world. Social Media Posts: Deconstruct different sections of your blog into bite-sized social media posts. Share quick tips, insightful quotes, or intriguing excerpts over several days or weeks. Ebook or Guide: If your blog post covers an extensive subject, consider turning it into an in-depth ebook or downloadable guide. This can also serve as a valuable lead magnet for building your email marketing list. Case Study: If your blog features real-life examples, you can turn it into a comprehensive case study that you can share either in presentation format or as a PDF. Interview or Q&A: Invite industry experts or peers for an interview or Q&A session tied to your blog's theme. You can share this interaction as a video, podcast episode, or another blog post or article. Remember, getting creative with repurposing not only saves time but also amplifies your content's reach and impact.
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