How SEO is Different Around the World, According to HubSpot Content Strategists

In 2020, brands are increasingly growing global awareness with international marketing strategies. And, one major way they’ve driven traffic from different regions to their site is through international SEO.

But, like any marketing campaign, SEO is not always a one-size-fits-all approach. In fact, every country is diverse, uses the internet a little differently, and might have different sets of regulations. Not to mention, audiences in one country might have vastly different interests, cultural backgrounds, and values than audiences in another region.

As a marketer, your biggest goal should be to know your audience. And, according to HubSpot SEO experts, this is no different when it comes to building an SEO strategy for your international or multi-language website.

“When you run a multi-language version of your website and you’re serious about delivering best-in-class, high-quality content to audiences around the globe, you should invest in an international SEO strategy that will rely strongly on a proper technical structure and global content strategy that considers local nuances,” advises Karolina Bujalska-Exner, HubSpot’s international SEO manager.

But how do you create a winning international SEO strategy? First, it’s important to identify how SEO, search engine algorithms, and search platforms might vary from region to region.

To help those interested in gaining global online awareness, I spoke with HubSpot’s SEO experts to learn how optimization strategies differ around the world. Here are four things to know.

4 Ways SEO Varies Around the World

1. Your search competition might vary in different geographies

When you’ve only marketed your brand in one country, it will take time to get a social media following, email subscribers, traffic, and other metrics from a new international audience. This is because people around the world are just getting familiar with your brand for the first time.

Although SEO focuses on search, it will similarly take time to grow awareness on another country’s Google or Bing domain.

“Every region of the world has its own Google ccTLD (for example, Google.com, Google.es, Google.fr, Google.jp, etc). Each Google domain follows similar — if not identical — algorithms, but each one is ultimately its own market with its own economy of publishers,” Becker explains.

“A different Google site doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be starting with zero domain authority if you were to expand your content to other regions,” Becker adds. “But it does mean your brand might not have the same awareness it has on Google.com. Therefore, traffic growth may be a bit of an uphill battle as you establish an audience.”

Even though you might be ranking on the U.S. version of Google, keep in mind that audiences on Google.fr in French territories might not know you exist just yet. As you create more content for these markets, they’ll get more chances to click on your content and boost your website’s authority. However, when you start with no SEO or content strategies catered to this market, it will take time to get traffic needed to rank quickly.

2. A region’s language and local nuances can impact your rankings in that territory.

If you’ve done any research on SEO, you probably know that keyword research is a vital way to create and optimize content so it ranks on Google. This is no different in other regions where English or your website’s language might not be as smoothly translated.

“When serving content in different languages, translations or localisations sometimes might not be enough to win rankings or get valuable traffic from another locale,” says Bujalska-Exner.

“Why? Even when the most amazing content is optimized for one region, it might not have a similar meaning or wording when translated to another regional language.”

To mitigate translation issues, Bujalska-Exner says, “It’s important to do your keyword research in the target language so you can find the best regional opportunities for main and long-tail keywords.”

“The same goes for search intent. One term might have completely different intent in another country,” Bujalska-Exner adds. “The way SERPs look varies across the globe. Some countries have more specific search features present than others. This should always be taken into account when deciding how to structure your content.”

As you do international keyword research, Bujalska-Exner advises, “Remember that some SEO tools offer more accurate results for search volumes in specific languages or regions than others. Test several tools before implementing one that provides the most accurate information for your target language.”

Aside from doing research, another helpful way to optimize content for one region is by writing it in that locale’s language from the start.

When you have a regional creator write your content in their language, the writer can better ensure that content is “optimized, helpful, and engaging” to the regional audiences. They can also use their knowledge of the area and audience to include “local examples and ideas,” Bujalska-Exner says.

“There are many ways to set your website for an international audience. The most common are separate ccTlds, subdomains, or language folders.” Bujalska-Exner explains. “Each of those has advantages and disadvantages. You should choose your strategy based on what you want to achieve. You have to think of your SEO needs, the resources you have or might invest in, and choose the best option for you.”

For a technical comparison of ccTlds and international subdomain options, check out this guide.

3. The top search engines in some regions might not be Google or Bing.

While search engines behave similarly internationally, it’s important to know that some of the major sites like Google, Bing, or Yahoo are rarely used or banned in other countries. When marketing web content in these areas, you might need to consider an alternative other than optimizing your site for major search platforms.

“One very clear difference that does exist globally is a search engine’s share of voice in various countries,” Becker explains. “Most search engines you’ve heard of — Bing, Yahoo, Google — have similar algorithms and ranking factors. Therefore SEO for one engine will benefit you across multiple engines. However. some national markets operate on a completely different set of rules “

As our SEO experts have revealed, you don’t have to dramatically change your SEO process, or learn about a whole new list of algorithms to rank on Google in different countries.

But, while the foundation of your keyword research and SEO strategy could be similar from country to country, you’ll still need to identify how search behaviors vary internationally, which languages will be key to your SEO, and local topics that certain international markets might be more heavily searching.

“When discussing SEO, we usually think about optimizing for Google. But, there are many countries in the world where Google’s market share is actually very low,” Bujalska-Exner explains. “Instead there are other regional alternatives that are used as primary engines. For example Yandex is used in Russia and Baidu is primarily used in China.”

Although search engines like Baidu, shown below might look similar to Google, they don’t necessarily act the same, according to our experts.

Baidu, a Chinese search engine.

 

Becker, who also points out China as one region with its own search engine, adds, “China is unique in that Google does not have a presence in this country at all. The primary source of information in China is from Baidu, which does not resemble the ranking factors that marketers are familiar with from Google.”

4. SEO isn’t that different around the globe — but you still need a strategy for each country.

Because platforms like Google, Bing, and Yahoo are still present around the world, optimizing your website for them won’t be that different from country to country. According to Braden Becker, a senior SEO strategist, there are a number of strategies that will work for these search engines in many different countries.

“SEO isn’t really something that differs globally, but rather extends globally,” says Backer. “In the case of HubSpot, we have an SEO strategy that is both native to each region, but also follows a number of universal SEO techniques that marketers need to know in order to do international SEO successfully.”

Yes. If you want to develop audiences in international territories, you’ll need to keep in mind that people in other regions will be searching for different phrases in different languages. This instantly will make keyword research and SEO strategies different in each area.

However, the ranking algorithms that major search platforms, like Google, use in one country aren’t much different in another. So, if you have SEO specialists in different locations, they might use a similar keyword research and SEO optimization strategy. However, they’ll likely discover different lists of keywords and different blog posts to optimize based on what people in their area are looking for.

Navigating International Marketing

Like any other international or audience growth marketing strategy, you’ll ultimately need to know your target audience, give them content that they enjoy, and encourage them to visit your website more often. As you gain traffic to your international website, you’ll gain brand awareness as well as ranking authority from these markets.

For more international marketing tips, check out this post on social media platforms that weren’t founded in the U.S., as well as this list of brilliant international marketing examples.

Want to dive deeper into international SEO? Here’s a technical guide on how to optimize your site for global search engines. Or, worried you’ll make a major global SEO mistake? Read this post to discover how you could sabotage global SEO.

Go to Source
Author:

Powered by WPeMatico

How These 7 Companies Thrived During the Recession

In 2008, the Great Recession was all over the news. At 14, I didn’t exactly know what that meant. However, I understood that my parents were struggling financially.

While it was the first economic crisis I was old enough to remember, it isn’t the only economic downturn we’ve seen, nationally or internationally.

In 1997, there was the Asian financial crisis. After 9/11, the New York Stock Exchange closed for four days, the first time that had happened since World War I.

The world has faced uncertain times before, and I’m sure it will again. But, how do companies thrive during financially rough times?

In this post, we’ll review seven companies that grew during the recession and see how they succeeded during economic uncertainty.

1. TeamLogic IT

TeamLogic IT provides IT solutions and consulting services for small businesses. Interestingly, IT has been a growing industry during times of uncertainty, including the 2008 recession.

Since consumers are becoming more and more dependent on newer technologies, this industry usually does well during economic recessions. Technology impacts almost every area of our life from our security to our entertainment.

In fact, sales for technology increased during the 2008 recession.

Because of this trend, TeamLogic IT weathered the storm of 2008 well.

If you want to start a business, it’s important to consider whether that industry has done well during times of economic unrest. Industries such as tech, discount stores, accounting, grocery, healthcare, and DIY/repairs do well.

2. Netflix

You might be thinking, “Of course Netflix survived the 2008 recession, it’s a huge company.”

However, in 2008, Netflix wasn’t yet the media giant it is today.

In fact, Netflix introduced a new product (the streaming service), around the time of the Great Recession as a response to dying video rental stores.

Then, during 2008 and 2009, the company continued to work on partnerships with organizations like Xbox so people could stream through those devices.

It was these innovations that allowed the company to continue to grow during the economic downturn. In fact, they were increasing memberships and subscriptions during the 2008 recession while other companies were struggling to maintain revenue.

Additionally, 2008 wasn’t the only time this company has faced a recession. Netflix was founded before the dot-com bubble and had to weather that storm in the early 2000s.

It was during these times that the brand innovated ways to continue to appeal to their audience, whether that meant introducing new products or expanding its products with partnerships and collaborations.

3. Citigroup

Every year, the Federal Reserve conducts stress tests to see how much capital banks would have if they were subjected to hefty losses.

Interestingly, in 2014, Citigroup had grown in assets, making it one of the only banks to have grown since the 2008 recession.

This bank grew in the aftermath of economic distress while others didn’t because they worked on branding and offering quality services. Citigroup started supporting certain community services which helped with their brand story.

In fact, marketing played a large role in Citigroup’s ability to grow after the 2008 recession.

4. Lego

Lego is an interesting case study because you might think that toys and amusement parks or play centers are unessential, so the industry would be impacted by an economic crisis.

However, during the 2008 recession, Lego decided to expand into a global market.

The company concentrated its efforts on building revenue in Europe and Asia while the U.S. faced economic distress.

By doing this, the company reached an all-time high profitability during a recession. This company expertly knew to expand to global markets when its main market was facing an economic downturn.

5. Groupon

Groupon is another company that you might think, “Of course they survived an economic downturn.”

However, Groupon was just a startup in 2008. In fact, the company launched in the middle of the Great Recession. How can this happen?

Well, surprisingly, startups tend to do well during recessions because they usually fill a need and are able to spend less money because of discount prices.

With Groupon specifically, the site did well because it was offering discounts.

Discounts are in extreme demand during recessions because consumers are trying to cut costs wherever they can. Discounts actually offer consumers a way to survive a recession, which is why discount stores tend to do well during economic instability.

6. Mailchimp

Mailchimp has been around for almost 20 years and has survived several economic uncertainties. The company weathered the economic downturn in 2001 (in fact, that’s when it was founded), and the 2008 recession.

So, how did the brand survive and thrive during a recession? Well, the company was founded during the 2001 crisis and was able to do well because of it.

In 2008, the company survived because they changed their entire business model. They became a freemium business, and their revenue soared after that.

Many customers wanted to use Mailchimp during an economic crisis because it was free. By adjusting to the times and offering a free product, the brand was able to grow and they’ve maintained that business model ever since.

7. Warby Parker

Warby Parker is another example of a brand that was founded during the Great Recession. The reason they were able to succeed during this time? They filled an enormous gap in the marketplace.

While you might think that you shouldn’t start a business during an economic crisis, it’s actually a good time to notice gaps and pain points in the marketplace and fill the need.

Warby Parker did that when they realized it was hard to purchase an affordable pair of fashionable glasses online.

They filled a need and customers showed up even though they weren’t spending a lot of money. The company was marketed as affordable (which was necessary during a recession) and customers needed an affordable glassware solution.

Even if your company isn’t as big as these examples, remember that a lot of enterprise companies today started during a recession.

As another example, Microsoft started after the recession in the 70s. Apple transformed its brand after the 9/11 economic downturn by introducing new products and investments.

The global economy is resilient and uncertainty has always passed. The economy will recover, but it’s important for your company to be prepared for when a financial crisis happens.

These companies succeeded because they looked for new opportunities, expanded into new markets, adjusted their offers, developed new products, and gave folks a cost-efficient alternative. Innovation and creativity can help you succeed in the next economic downturn.

Want to learn more about business growth? Check out our ultimate guide.

Go to Source
Author: Rebecca Riserbato

Powered by WPeMatico

How to Use Account Mapping to Build an Effective ABM Campaign

Account-based marketing (ABM) is transforming the B2B marketing and sales world because of its effectiveness in reaching high-value target accounts — but it’s a difficult strategy to manage.

ABM has a lot of moving parts that need to move as a synchronized whole to bring success to your organization.

Fortunately, like any aspect of marketing, ABM is made easier with strategic planning.

Starting with your goals and mapping out a targeted plan is key to building an effective ABM campaign.

Here, we’ll break down the steps of how to put ABM mapping into practice within your organization and implement the right process to make it happen.

What is Account Mapping?

Account mapping involves selecting and organizing the accounts targeted within an ABM program.

After establishing goals, the next and arguably most critical step to ensuring a successful ABM campaign is selecting and mapping the accounts.

Once accounts have been selected and mapped, the sales and marketing team can build their engagement strategy and ensure both sides maximize their alignment.

How to Get Started With Account Mapping

Account mapping is an exercise in account research and documenting details that will be useful as you target an account on your journey to a successful close.

Here are the four main steps you’ll need to take when account mapping:

1. Identify Key Decision Makers and Influencers

After identifying what accounts to target through account planning, the next step is digging into the account to understand the organizational structure and how decisions are made. Starting with the top person in a functional area is an excellent place to begin mapping the functions.

The larger the account, the tougher this task, as many large organizations operate in a matrix environment where influence comes from many directions.

Nonetheless, sourcing these contacts and documenting their Buyer Role using HubSpot or alternative system of record will allow you to track and manage information related to each contact. This will also improve your ability to create unique experiences as a part of your ABM program.

It’s essential to consider buyer roles as it relates to the buying process, not a functional title.

Buyer roles to be considered include:

  • Decision Maker
  • Blocker
  • Influencer
  • Budget Holder
  • Champion
  • Legal & Compliance

Depending on the goods/service sold and the operational impact it may have in the account, there may be a need to expand the roles to meet the specific needs of the account, so you can edit or add new roles as needed.

Using tools such as LinkedIn or ZoomInfo can be helpful when researching an account and the key contacts within the account. Using the Buying Role Property within HubSpot is a great way to align your account intelligence to the contacts within the account.

During your research, you may find that one contact has multiple roles, so you can assign them accordingly as well as assign multiple contacts to the same role.

2. Gather Intel and Align Content

Understanding an account’s needs and pain points is an important input to your ABM engagement strategy. Whether it’s for content alignment or sales outreach, align relevant communications to each stage of the buyer’s journey.

While getting direct intelligence through discovery calls is an excellent way to explore account needs, you should use a wide range of sources to gather as much information as possible to fill any gaps.

Social listening, search intent, press releases, and Google Alerts are all great resources to leverage for information that can be used to gain insights into future account needs. Once well-documented, these insights can be used to map marketing content and sales playbooks to ensure each interaction with the account is meaningful.

3. Engage and Learn

Develop a plan for how and when you will engage the target account. Using a playbook for both sales and marketing engagement plans can help standardize the approach you take and identify points within the process that are working well or areas that need improvements.

Depending on where the account is within the sales cycle when you implement the ABM strategy, the engagement approach may vary. Targeting with account-based advertising may be an excellent first step to warm up the accounts if starting with cold accounts.

Many platforms can enable ABM advertising; however, using HubSpot’s Company List and its LinkedIn Ads integration provides a seamless introduction into account-based advertising without leaving HubSpot.

4. Document How Decisions are Made

Throughout the research and documentation process, you’ve been collecting data that will be useful for both marketing and sales teams. As you seek to advance the engagement process, direct outreach to contacts within the account will be required. Be sure to add value and use best practices to improve the quality of this interaction so that it’s a seamless and valuable experience for the prospect.

You have been gathering account intelligence through the planning process, so now it’s time to put those activities to work. Before reaching out, utilize LinkedIn or LinkedIn Sales Navigator to research the contact. Using the outreach activities to fill data and intelligence gaps will help improve future interactions and engagements.

Of the things you need to learn, understanding who will influence the purchasing decision is high on the list. It’s also helpful to know how the company makes a purchasing decision and their process of awarding a contract. Ensure that you’re gathering these details effectively by recording information in your CRM under the deal, company, and contact records.

Account Mapping Software

There is a long list of software applications that can assist with the account mapping process. The good news is that a lot can be done with free tools, many of which are commonly used within both small and large sales and marketing organizations.

Below is a short list of free and premium tools, along with a brief description that will get you started with ABM Mapping.

1. HubSpot

HubSpot is the centralized marketing platform that helps sales and marketing leaders execute marketing campaigns. HubSpot provides a set of tools that helps keep an ABM-centric campaign, which enables greater transparency between sales and marketing teams when compared to disparate systems.

Cost: Freemium to Paid

2. LinkedIn

The king of professional networking within a digital environment has become a dream tool for sales and marketing professionals. When targeting specific accounts, LinkedIn is a great free resource. In addition to general account research, LinkedIn also is a great integration partner for three of their paid services, which can be invaluable to ABM.

  • LinkedIn Ads
  • Sales Navigator
  • LinkedIn InMail

Cost: Varies depending on tools/service used. 

3. ZoomInfo

From prospecting to buyer intent, ZoomInfo is an excellent resource for finding and tracking companies that fit your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). In addition to identifying the account, they provide a comprehensive set of products that offer deeper account insights, including organizational charts. ZoomInfo is also a HubSpot integration partner, which makes working with the tool seamless.

Cost: Free Trial to Premium

4. 6sense

If you are seeking to take action on Buyer Intent, 6sense provides solutions that improve the transparency into the buyer’s intent using AI. It captures signals across a wide variety of channels and connects it to prospect accounts. 

When moving into the engagement stage of an ABM campaign, these tools provide the ultimate reach and scale.

Cost: Paid (Contact 6sense for pricing details)

ABM mapping can be an effective process to help sales and marketing teams navigate complex account structures. While there are great tools that provide helpful insights, the mapping process is robust and tends to be manual.

An important part of the planning process will be to gain buy in from your internal team and properly assign team members who will be part of the research and documentation process so that your organization will have access to centralized information about your target accounts and contacts within them.

The payoff can be well worth the work if you take the proper steps while developing a focused account-based marketing strategy.

Go to Source
Author: Alex Moore

Powered by WPeMatico

The Plain English Guide to Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

As a writer, I’ve never been very good at math. I know … shocking.

Most marketers can relate, because as a bunch, we tend to be better at English and history than math and science.

However, as a marketer, we need to be able to analyze data and calculate the effectiveness of an article or campaign, even though math might not be our strong suit.

One of the calculations we need to run and metrics we need to track is return on ad spend (ROAS).

Below, let’s review ROAS. In this post, we’ll discuss what ROAS is, how it’s different from ROI, and how to calculate it.

Ultimately, ROAS is meant to measure the effectiveness of a specific ad campaign, not your overall ROI — more on that below.

Besides ROAS, you’ll most likely measure other metrics such as click-through rate and ROI. By measuring multiple metrics, you’ll get a more accurate view of your results.

Of course, measuring performance and tracking analytics is an important part of any marketing campaign.

By tracking performance, you can improve and iterate on your marketing techniques. Plus, data is one of the only ways to truly prove that your department brings in revenue, which is incredibly important.

However, it’s important to note that not everything can be measured with quantitative data. For instance, calculating brand awareness and sentiment is much more difficult. And while you can calculate downloads or email sign-ups, those might not always lead to revenue.

When you’re analyzing any data, it’s important to consider context and review qualitative data as well as quantitative data.

That being said, today we’re going to dive into ROAS specifically. Before we do that, let’s review how ROAS is different from ROI.

Ultimately, this means that the only cost considered in a ROAS calculation is the cost of advertising. On the other hand, the cost of an entire project or campaign will be considered in an ROI calculation.

The goal of your ads campaign, of course, will be to generate a positive return on your ad spend. However, how can you determine what that ad spend should be?

In the YouTube video below, HubSpot details how to determine ad spend by understanding the bidding system used by ad networks.

You’d use ROAS to help you determine how you spend your advertising budget and as a signal to determine if your campaigns are successful. This would let you know that you might need to evaluate your approach to running ads.

So, at this point, you might be wondering, “How can I calculate ROAS?” Let’s review that now.

While the equation is simple, you might face difficulty gathering the data needed to run this calculation. For instance, calculating the cost of an ad isn’t always easy. You’ll need to consider the cost of the ad bid, the labor cost for the time it took to create the creative assets, vendor costs, and affiliate commissions.

But it’s important to get an accurate estimate of the actual money spent on an ad to get an accurate ROAS measurement. If your data isn’t accurate, your findings won’t be either.

Additionally, if you don’t run an ecommerce business, it can also be difficult to measure the revenue generated by an ad. For example, someone might convert from your ad because they downloaded an ebook, however they haven’t spent any money yet. In fact, they might not spend money for months.

To combat this, you can use a CRM software like HubSpot in conjunction with HubSpot Ads, to track revenue made from leads.

With a CRM and ads software, you can keep track of your data and tie it all together — marketing leads, ad results, etc.

Now, you might be wondering, “What’s a good ROAS?” and “How can I improve my ROAS?”

Well, a good ROAS is typically around 3:1. If you’re barely breaking even, it might be time to dig further into the accuracy of your metrics and evaluate your ads and bidding strategy.

However, it’s important to note that the objective of some ad campaigns might not be to make immediate revenue, but to increase brand awareness. If that’s your objective, then a lower ROAS makes sense.

To improve your ROAS, you can lower your ad spend and review your ads campaigns. You might want to optimize your landing pages or rethink your negative keywords.

Overall, ROAS is an important metric to track, but it shouldn’t be tracked in a vacuum. It’s important to look at other data and metrics to get the full picture of your return on investment.

Go to Source
Author: Rebecca Riserbato

Powered by WPeMatico

How to Develop a Successful Marketing Mix Strategy [+ Templates]

One of the first things you’re taught in your Introduction to Marketing class is that marketing can be best explained using the marketing mix — also known as the four P’s.

They are — and say ’em with me, because if you took that class, you know these four words by heart:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion

One of the first things you’re taught in your first marketing internship or job, however, is that marketing entails so much more than can be simplified in a four-section marketing mix matrix.

Still, there’s an undeniable benefit of marketing teams organizing their work into the marketing mix framework.

When you stray too far away from the four P’s, it can be easy to lose focus on your purpose as a marketer.

Marketing truly is about teams and individuals working together to promote a product in the right place at the right price point. Efforts beyond this scope are essential, but they do all stem off of this foundation of the marketing mix.

Here, we’re going to dive into what a marketing mix is and how to develop a successful marketing mix strategy for your own company.

What is a Marketing Mix?

The marketing mix refers to the actions a company takes to market its product(s) and/or service(s). Typically, it acts as a framework for breaking down the four key components of marketing — product, price, place, and promotion.

The marketing mix helps companies organize their marketing initiatives by task and department for more process-driven and impactful marketing campaigns.

This framework has roots back to the 1940’s and has been evolving ever since. While some elements have been added or tweaked over the years — most notably for the modern digital age — the core elements of the marketing mix (i.e. the four P’s) have remained consistent for decades.

Featured Resource: Marketing Mix Templates

Need a way to visualize your marketing mix to share it with your employees or investors? Use these four marketing mix templates to organize your initiatives and activities by the right section. Click here to download them now.

Marketing Mix Elements

The core elements of a marketing mix are product, price, place, and promotion — known as the four P’s of the marketing mix. When perfected and synchronized, these elements provide a well-rounded approach to marketing strategy.

1. Product

Product refers to what your business is selling — product(s), service(s), or both. The bulk of the work in this element is typically done by product marketers or managers. Nailing the product element of the marketing mix means doing extensive research and development, understanding the need for the product, developing a product launch plan and timeline, and educating customers and employees — especially salespeople — on the product’s purpose.

2. Price

Price refers to the price point at which you’ll sell your product(s)/service(s) to consumers. Arriving on this dollar amount requires consideration of multiple pricing strategies, analysis of similarly priced products in your market, and insights from consumers through surveys and focus groups. Price speaks to positioning in the market, the speed at which you want to penetrate your market, and your company’s revenue goals and profit margin.

3. Place

In the marketing mix, place refers to where your product or service will be sold. For tangible products, this will include physical locations such as your own store, or a retailer where your product will be resold. It can also include the other methods where your products can be purchased, like online or over the phone.

4. Promotion

Promotional activities are those that make your target market aware and excited about what you’re selling. While this does include paid initiatives like commercials and advertising, promotion also entails organic initiatives like word-of-mouth marketing, content marketing, and public relations.

Other Elements

While the marketing mix can often be simplified down to the 4 P’s, the expansion of the scope of marketing in recent years has resulted in more P’s added to the list.

For example, Smart Insights includes the following elements in its marketing mix definition:

  • Process, or the large internal initiatives taken to support a product launch, such as including salespeople in goal setting.
  • People, which can refer to your buyer, market, and target audience, or your internal team responsible for launch.
  • Partners, or who you’ll be working with outside of your company, such as distributors or co-marketing partners.

Some of the other P’s can include:

  • Payment, or how transactions will be held and processed.
  • Physical evidence, or anything tangible pertaining to your product or service, like any materials needed to complete your service or deliver your product.
  • Packaging, or anything pertaining to the physicality of your product, like how it looks or how it’s packaged.

These other marketing mix elements should be utilized as you see fit for your projects. However, every good marketing mix should rely on a thorough exploration of those first 4 P’s of product, price, place, and promotion.

How to Develop a Marketing Mix Strategy

Because the marketing mix incorporates elements from across your department — and even your company — it’s imperative to establish a marketing mix strategy for each product you launch, or for your company as a whole. For a fully-fleshed out marketing mix, follow these steps.

1. Engage in market research and product development.

The success of your marketing work is first and foremost contingent on your product. Make sure it’s well-developed and your team can speak to its benefits and the story behind it.

Best practices in this step include:

  • Engaging in market research to understand your buyers’ needs.
  • Speaking to your current customers to see what needs to be added or changed about your current product or service line by uncovering their pain points and insights.
  • Monitoring industry trends to identify a potential demand in your market.
  • Examining the competition.
  • Collaborating with your product team during product development to ensure it meets your buyer personas’ needs.
  • Have your product tested by current customers to see how they’re using the product and if it’s actually solving for their problems.

Taking these actions ensures you’re making every effort to understand and solve for your customer, providing a solid foundation for your product to launch successfully.

Featured Tool: Market Research Kit. To make your R&D more impactful, use these free market research templates so you can better understand your customers and competitors.

2. Determine your pricing model.

A lot goes into choosing a price point — so much so that we wrote an entire guide to pricing strategies.

Luckily, you’ll be able to refer to much of the work done in the previous section. Thanks to your understanding of your market through research, you’ll have answered most of the necessary questions in this section. You’ll also need to take your costs into account so you can maximize unit sales and profit.

During this stage, make sure you do the following.

  • Speak to customers (or refer to previously completed market research) to determine the ideal selling price.
  • Work with the product team to ensure the product can be developed in a cost-effective manner that would ensure profitability at your target price point.
  • Meet with finance to determine aggressive yet realistic sales forecasts to contribute to the company’s bottom line.
  • Collaborate with sales to determine to what extent discounting should be allowed or utilized.
  • Determine how you’ll adjust price and revenue forecasts when selling through resellers.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to factor in the perceived value by the customer. Even if your product or service doesn’t cost a significant amount to make, you’ll be able to mark up your product more if you face little competition and provide an irreplaceable benefit to your customers.

Featured Tool: Pricing Strategy Calculator. If you need help selecting your pricing model, use this template to compare different pricing strategies and see which will yield your company the most profit and revenue based on your forecasts.

3. Choose your distribution channels.

The place part of the marketing mix answers where your product will be sold. Keep in mind, this can be any combination of your store, a distributor’s store, or online. You’ll want to address the following points before moving onto the promotion stage:

  • Determine if your product will fare best in your physical location, a store of another retailer, on your website, on another company’s website, or some combination of these locations.
  • Think about geographic location — make sure your supply meets regional demand, and plan for whether or not what you’re selling will be available in a certain city, a state, the country, or worldwide.
  • Come to an agreement with retailers and resellers on margins, markups, and MSRPs.
  • Figure out how many salespeople will be needed to ensure you meet your goals.
  • Set goals for retail/third-party sellers, since you may be sharing shelf space or search results with a competitor or two.

4. Select your promotion tactics.

Finally, it’s time to promote your product. While this is probably the element most associated with marketing, it’s crucial that this element be completed last, because you need the foundation of product, price, and place before determining promotion tactics.

Think about it — shouldn’t you know what you’re promoting, why you’re promoting it, and where it’s available before actually promoting it? It’s tempting to jump right to this step, but your promotion will be much better off if it’s done after everything else in the marketing mix.

Once you do have that understanding, consider the following promotional channels and choose the one(s) that make the most sense for your product, its buyers, and its price point:

  • Content marketing efforts, such as blogging, content creation, and building a website.
  • Public relations and working with affiliates and/or influencers.
  • Social media marketing — both organic and paid — on channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • Search engine ads on sites like Google and Bing.
  • Ads to air on video streaming sites like YouTube, or on TV.
  • Event marketing, including attending industry events or hosting your own event.
  • Customer marketing and utilizing referrals.
  • And more. There are countless promotional ideas you can use to spread the word on your product, service, or business.

Featured Tool: Marketing Plan Template. If your promotional tactics are multi-faceted enough, consider documenting your plans in this customizable template.

Marketing Mix Examples

Every company’s marketing mix is different, placing emphasis on certain factors over others.

Some businesses use their marketing mix for a single product, while others adopt a company-wide marketing mix. However, all examples of good marketing mixes never fail to neglect the word mix. All elements of the marketing mix are important, so don’t be quick to overlook any of them, and find ways for different elements of the mix to overlap and share goals.

With so many activities happening to support a single initiative, it’s helpful to organize everything in a single template for easy reference. Here are a few examples of marketing mix templates your marketing department can use, in addition to when they might make sense to reference.

1. Simple Marketing Mix Template

Download this Template

This template is a great starter for organizing a marketing mix. It’s ideal for one product and for the marketing mix’s maker to get an understanding of all the elements involved in the marketing of a product.

2. Company Marketing Mix Template

Screen Shot 2020-06-23 at 1.38.28 PM

Download this Template

For a marketing mix that applies company-wide, this template is a perfect fit. You can outline the initiatives that apply to most or all of the products and/or services in your suite.

3. Structured Marketing Mix Template

Download this Template

For when you need to get right to the point with a more organized, actionable visualization, use this structured, bulleted template for quick reference and clarification.

4. Production Marketing Mix Template

Download this Template

Finally, a production marketing mix template is best utilized for internal reference. This template answers questions on the go-to-market efforts for products and services that you’re selling.

Mix It All Together

Whether you’re a student just learning to understand everything that marketing entails or a CMO hoping to clearly convey the work that your team is doing to your fellow employees, the marketing mix framework is an essential tool to help you get the job done.

Don’t forget — if you need to organize your marketing initiatives into a central location, try using HubSpot’s Marketing Mix Templates to document your activities in one place.

Go to Source
Author: AJ Beltis

Powered by WPeMatico

Gated Content: What Marketers Need to Know

As William Shakespeare once wrote, “To be or not to be, that is the question.”

Marketers have a similar classic debate and that is: gated versus ungated content.

While 80% of B2B content marketing assets are gated and lead generation is one of the top objectives for marketers, it’s not an open and shut case.

That’s why we’ve gathered everything you need to know about gated content in this post.

Below, let’s review what gated content is and how it compares to ungated content. Then, we’ll dive into gated content best practices and look at some examples.

So, how does gated content work?

Usually, users arrive at your website and see a CTA or pop-up that offers them access to a piece of content in exchange for their information.

Your CTA or pop-up could lead to a landing page where the visitor will get more information on the content offer.

It’s important to note that gated content for inbound marketing is free and not hidden behind a paywall. Users just need to submit contact information to access the content.

Now, you might be wondering, “Why would I hide my content from my audience?”

Typically, the goal of gated content is lead generation. Marketers will create targeted content for their audience and use it to attract leads. Gated content isn’t used for brand awareness or visibility campaigns because the nature of hidden content doesn’t allow for high traffic.

Below, let’s discuss the pros and cons of gated versus ungated content.

As you can probably tell, gated and ungated content both serve different purposes. But you might be wondering what the pros and cons are. Let’s dive into it now.

Pros of Gated Content

  • Increases lead generation
  • Leads to more sales
  • Provides analytics and insight into your customers
  • Allows for email list segmentation

Cons of Gated Content

  • Lack of page views and traffic
  • No SEO benefit or boost
  • The form deters people from downloading content
  • No brand visibility

Ultimately, gated content is meant to generate leads that you can nurture into prospects through your marketing efforts while ungated content is meant to increase traffic and improve trust with your audience.

Both types of content are valuable and should be included in your content marketing strategy.

After reading this list, you might be wondering, “How do I know if I should gate my content?”

Well, it all depends on your goals — brand visibility/SEO or lead generation.

Additionally, consider the type of content. Longer form content like an ebook is suited to gated content, while shorter form content such as blog posts are better off as ungated content.

Once you’ve decided to create a piece of gated content, you’re probably curious how to get started. Let’s review some best practices below.

1. Create content for each stage in the buyer’s journey.

When a prospect goes through the buyer’s journey, they’ll go through three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision.

In fact, here’s a quick graphic explaining each stage:

HubSpot's buyer's journey.During each stage, it’s important that your audience has content that’s meant to help them along the way.

For instance, visitors in the awareness stage are probably interested in reading an ebook. On the other hand, a visitor in the decision stage might prefer a product demo or webinar.

That’s why it’s important that your content offers are designed for each stage of the buyer’s journey. If your gated content is aligned with their journey, your audience is more likely to convert.

2. Complete a competitive analysis.

Once you’ve brainstormed some content ideas for each stage of the buyer’s journey, it’s time to conduct a competitive analysis.

In a competitive analysis, you’ll research what your competitors are doing. This means looking up what type of content offers they’re creating. Look at what content is gated versus ungated.

This will give you a good idea of what content of yours should be gated.

3. Provide incentive.

As an inbound marketer, you know that providing value is of the utmost importance.

Your content offers shouldn’t just be a long blog post. Instead, your gated content should provide actionable, valuable content.

Additionally, your gated content should be relevant to your audience.

When your content provides true value, it gives your audience an incentive to fill out that form and give you their contact information.

4. Build a strong landing page.

Usually, when a user clicks on a CTA for a content offer, they’ll be led to a landing page. That means one of the best practices for gated content is to build a strong landing page.

This means you’ll want to create a strong headline, write compelling copy, and generate a form.

Ultimately, a landing page will eliminate distractions and capture your visitor’s undivided attention.

5. Segment your audience.

Once your audience has downloaded your gated content and you receive their email address, it’s time to segment your email lists.

This will help you develop email marketing campaigns that are targeted and effective.

Additionally, segmenting your audience means you can send nurturing emails to move those leads to prospects.

6. Measure the analytics.

When you’ve decided to gate a certain piece of content, that means you can track conversions and measure your analytics.

As with any marketing strategy, measuring your success is extremely important. This data will help you understand your audience better and improve your content strategy.

Now that you know some best practices for creating gated content, let’s look at types of content and examples of what this will look like in action.

Gated Content Examples

1. White paper.

A great example of gated content is a white paper. A white paper is an authoritative, in-depth report on a specific topic.

Usually, these are long-form pieces of content that are interesting and valuable to your audience.

White papers make great gated content because of the value they provide. Additionally, it helps your brand become an industry expert on a topic. When you’re a trusted expert, people want to know what you have to say.

This means you’ll get more people to download your offer.

2. Ebook.

An ebook is another popular type of gated content. Unlike a white paper, an ebook is usually a shorter guide on a specific topic.

Ebooks can also give your brand authority and build trust with your audience. Usually, ebooks are used in the awareness and consideration stage of the buyer’s journey.

3. Templates.

One of my favorite forms of gated content is the template. Providing a template is a tactical, actionable piece of content.

The perceived value of a template is much higher than that of an ebook and a white paper, which means your audience is more likely to input their contact information to receive it.

Templates are a great gated content offer for folks in the consideration and decision stage of the buyer’s journey.

4. Webinar.

With a webinar, you’ll educate your audience to learn more about a topic. You’ll develop trust, build relationships, and hopefully, inspire.

For prospects who are in the decision stage of the buyer’s journey, webinars are an excellent gated content offer.

Again, webinars have a high perceived value, which makes your audience more likely to fill out that form.

With gated content, it’s important to consider what types of content you’re offering and make sure it’s suited to your audience. Ultimately, gated content should be targeted and help you generate leads.

Go to Source
Author: Rebecca Riserbato

Powered by WPeMatico

12 of the Best Marketing Techniques for 2020

When content marketing was gaining steam, there were really only a few techniques you could leverage.

On a typical day, you’d write a blog post, hope it ranked on Google, send it to your email subscribers, and post it to your social media profiles.

That was pretty much it.

This is still the main strategy most marketers use nowadays, but since content marketing has exploded in popularity since its early adoption, it has developed into a much more nuanced and complex type of marketing with many techniques for reaching and resonating with an audience.

To help you learn about the most effective marketing techniques around today, we’ve rounded up the best ones to add to your content marketing arsenal.

1. CTA Copy Test

Every company has a different set of customers, so there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for designing the most optimal CTAs. To figure out which CTA copy will produce the best results for your company, you must discover what your unique set of customers prefer.

With A/B testing, you can run an experiment between two variables, like a red and blue CTA, and identify which one produces better results. A/B testing shouldn’t be confused with multivariate testing, though, which allows you to simultaneously test many variables.

To conduct an A/B test, you can use HubSpot’s A/B testing kit. With this kit, you’ll get guidelines for A/B testing, learn what variables to test, and gain access to a simple significance calculator to track your results.

2. Email Preview

Did you know that more than 50 percent of U.S. respondents check their personal email account more than 10 times a day, and it is by far their preferred way to receive updates from brands.

This means that there isn’t a lot of room for error when you send an email. To avoid any issues, a great marketing technique to implement is to begin previewing your email in different email providers before sending.

There are plenty of tools you can use to preview your emails such as HubSpot’s free email software. With an email preview tool, you can test your emails before you send them and see how they look in every service provider.

3. Blog Post Title Test

When you write a blog post, do you use the first title you came up with or do you write a few?

Most marketers write several headlines before deciding which one to use. However, it’s not always easy to decide.

To make this decision, you can run an A/B test and see which types of titles work best for your audience.

Additionally, you can use tools like this headline analyzer to see what you can do to improve your headline.

4. Brand Storytelling

In the neuroscience field, researchers have proven that storytelling is the best way to capture people’s attention, bake information into their memories, and resonate emotionally with them. The human brain is programmed to crave, seek out, and respond to well-crafted narrative — that’ll never change.

So just like your favorite Netflix show, you can craft a series on YouTube to entice your viewers subscribe to your updates. This can get your audience more excited for your show’s newest season than they currently are for the latest season of Stranger Things.

Before you green light another slew of listicles, how-to posts, and ultimate guides, remember how powerful storytelling is and consider crafting a YouTube series, podcast, or social media hashtag chock-full of conflict, surprise, and emotion that your viewers will relate to your brand.

5. A Topic-Based Content Strategy

Since people heavily rely on Google to provide accurate and relevant answers for most of their questions today, Google needs to understand the intent and context behind every single search.

To do this, Google has evolved to recognize topical connections across users’ queries, look back at similar queries that users have searched for in the past, and surface the content that best answers them. As a result, Google will deliver content that they deem the most authoritative on the topic.

To help Google recognize your content as a trusted authority on marketing, sales, and customer service topics, consider implementing the pillar-cluster model on your blog.

Essentially, the pillar-cluster model is a topic-based based content strategy. This means that you generate and organize ideas for your blog by topic.

By creating a single pillar page (an ultimate guide, for instance) that provides a high-level overview of a topic and hyperlinks to cluster pages (subtopic blog posts) that delve into the topic’s subtopics, you can signal to Google that your pillar page is an authority on the topic.

Hyperlinking all of the cluster pages to the pillar page also spreads domain authority across the cluster, so your cluster pages get an organic boost if your pillar page ranks higher, and your cluster pages can even help your pillar page rank higher if they start ranking for the specific keywords they’re targeting.

6. Growing Email Subscriptions

As of now, subscribing to your favorite online publications through email is the best way to keep up with their latest stories and news. And since it takes an average of six to eight touch points to generate a qualified sales lead, persuading people to subscribe to your emails and, in turn, constantly consume your content will generate more leads and revenue for your business.

Growing an engaged, loyal subscriber base also speaks volumes about the quality of your content and its emotional resonance. Even though hoards of content saturate the internet and most people’s inboxes today, people are still actively engaging with your content, which is a clear sign that they actually value it.

To build your email list, you’ll want to use an email marketing software like HubSpot. This way you can create, personalize, and optimize marketing emails without needing a developer.

7. Historical Optimization

In 2015, HubSpot made a revolutionary discovery about our organic monthly blog traffic — the overwhelming majority of it came from posts published prior to that month. In fact, 76% of monthly blog views came from these old posts.

Today, the groundbreaking revelation rings louder than ever — 89% of our monthly blog views currently come from posts that were published at least six months prior, and we’ve developed an entire strategy dedicated to refreshing and republishing these historical pieces of content.

These types of blog posts are called “updates”, and they comprise 35-40% of HubSpot’s editorial calendar. By refreshing posts with new information and effectively republishing them as new blog posts, HubSpot can build upon its existing organic value that these posts have accumulated through backlinks and user engagement and double or even triple their traffic. This process also helps HubSpot optimize our blog for efficiency, decreasing the amount of new content we have to create while increasing our organic traffic and conversions.

8. Podcasting

According to a content format study conducted by Edison Research and Triton Digital, people age 12 and older are listening to online audio content at unprecedented levels. On average, people spend 17 hours per week tuning into their favorite podcasts, online radio shows, and audiobooks. There are also 14 million more weekly podcast listeners this year compared to last year, which is more than Guinea’s entire population.

The demand for audio content has exploded, but that doesn’t mean people will listen to your branded podcast just because it’s a podcast. In reality, they’ll only listen to it if it can hold their attention and, ultimately, entertain them. Otherwise, producing yet another interview-an-expert podcast like everyone else will only add to the noise flooding the internet.

9. Link Building

Earning high-quality inbound links from websites and pages with high authority scores is crucial for boosting your domain authority. But, unfortunately, “If you write it, they will link to it,” is not a viable SEO tactic.

An effective method for earning high-quality links is by asking other websites that have the same or higher domain or page authority score than you to link to your top content. You should also make sure your content is relevant to the referring website’s content.

Another way you can earn quality backlinks is by using Backlinko’s skyscraper method. The skyscraper method is an SEO strategy where you find content that ranks well for keywords you want to rank for and then create content that’s better than the top ranking posts. Then, you use SEO tools to find all the sites that have linked to your competitor’s content and ask the most relevant sites to replace your competitor’s link with a link to your improved content.

10. Social Media Based Public Relations

Today, over 30% of time spent online is dedicated to social media. Needless to say, people spend more time on social media than ever before. And public relations professionals are pivoting their strategy from solely focusing on placing their stories in news outlets’ publications to concentrating on driving traffic to their social media profiles too.

In order to successfully pitch your stories to journalists and news outlets nowadays, you need to account for the content that performs well on their social media profiles and their publication. So before you pitch your story, make sure it’s relevant and interesting to the news outlet’s social audience.

11. Audience Segmentation

In a world overflowing with digital noise, creating irrelevant or unwarranted content won’t catch anyone’s attention.

To create personalized marketing campaigns for each slice of your target market, consider leveraging audience segmentation, which separates your target market into specific, accessible groups of people based on personal attributes like their demographics, psychographics, and behavioral information.

To properly implement an audience segmentation strategy, you can use a marketing software like HubSpot. For example, with HubSpot’s marketing software, there’s a lead collection and tracking feature where you can segment and nurture your leads. This makes it easy to build an email list, automate campaigns, and expand your database.

12. Brand Extensions

Big companies often extend their brand to develop new products in industries that they don’t have any market share in. These initiatives are called brand extensions, and they allow companies to leverage their brand awareness and equity to create more revenue streams.

Historically, the most successful brand extensions are the ones that closely tie to the company’s flagship product or core brand, like Gerber’s baby clothes and Dole’s frozen fruit bars. So by entering tangential markets that can preserve your brand’s unique associations and perceived quality, you can develop new products that consumers intuitively understand the benefits of, even though they’ve never seen them on a shelf.

On the flip side, a company can also exploit its brand, and, in turn, damage it. If they develop a product in a market that isn’t closely tied to their flagship product or core brand, audiences might attach undesirable associations to a brand, weaken its existing associations, and hurt its established products’ perceived quality.

When you’re developing a new marketing plan, it’s important to consider new marketing techniques. Don’t forget to continuously innovate on your strategies.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Go to Source
Author:

Powered by WPeMatico

How to Create a Social Media Report [Free Template]

Social media is an undeniably powerful channel for marketing in 2020.

In fact, social networks are the biggest source of inspiration for consumer purchases, with 37% of consumers finding purchase inspiration through social channels.

However, if you’re using social media as a tool for organic exposure and brand awareness, rather than just a channel for paid ads, it can be difficult to track the success of your efforts.

As any social media manager knows, successful implementation of a social media strategy is contingent on countless factors — and all companies prioritize different channels, metrics, and criteria for success.

For example, is paid more important than organic to your business, and if so, to what extent?

Is more importance placed on audience engagement, or audience growth?

Has a posting cadence been directly tied to revenue?

With so many areas of focus for social media marketers, it’s crucial to choose, analyze, and report on your key social media metrics with a social media report.

A social media report can help you clearly convey what factors your social media team prioritizes, why those factors matter, and how you’re performing against those goals.

In this post, we’ll highlight the importance of a social media report, list the metrics you should consider including in one, and walk through a step-by-step process for building a social media report yourself.

For a quick and easy solution to your reporting woes, click here to download HubSpot’s Free Social Media Reporting Template.

Why Use a Social Media Report?

A social media report is the best way to distill the key metrics your social media team is tracking on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and/or annual basis.

Since social media encompasses so much, gathering and reporting on the data and channels that you’ve determined are most important for your business provides a lens of focus for your social media marketing team, and delivers a necessary high-level overview for leadership.

Social media doesn’t just affect marketing. Prospects ask questions, customers write reviews, and thought leaders follow you for company news. Because social media coincides with nearly every aspect of your organization, gathering and distributing the state of your social media channels is a move that shows transparency and encourages cross-company alignment.

You can also use a social media report to report on campaign-level analytics. If your social media account is serving as a cog in a larger company initiative, this report shows to what extent social media contributed to the project’s success.

Featured Resource: Free Social Media Report Template

social-media-report-hubspot

HubSpot’s free social media report template has pre-made slides for you to report on all of your predominant social media metrics. Download the template today and simply plug in your own metrics to customize a social media report for your organization.

Social Media Metrics to Report On

Your business likely values some metrics over others when it comes to social media reporting. Likely, these metrics also vary between your channels — since LinkedIn doesn’t let you retweet, and Twitter doesn’t let you click a cry-face button.

Before you start reporting on your social media channels’ performance, read through this list of options of social media metrics so you can determine which ones you should include in your report.

1. Audience Size and Growth

This metric tells you how large your reach is and how quickly that reach is growing. This is typically seen as the core social media metric, as it shows how large of an audience you can leverage with your posts and content.

2. Cadence of Posts

A rather self-explanatory example, this metric represents how many times you posted in a given time period. This metric is usually compared alongside other metrics — such as engagement rates — to help you determine the right cadence for your audience.

This metric should also be channel-specific, because it makes sense to post more frequently on some channels than others.

3. Post Engagement

Post engagement measures how your fans and followers are reacting to your posts with likes, comments, and shares. A healthy post engagement suggests you have a loyal audience — and that your content is reaching them.

You can also track engagement as a percentage of your audience to determine engagement rate.

4. Mentions

One metric you have a little less control over is mentions. You can track mentions from customers, prospects, and even news outlets to gauge perception of your business and brand online.

5. Clickthrough Rate

When a post links to a page on your website, you can measure how many people and what percentage of your audience clicked through to the page. A strong clickthrough rate shows you’re sharing website pages that your audience finds relevant.

6. Conversions & New Contacts

Conversions comes into play if you’re using social media to generate leads, subscribers, or even customers. If you want to attribute contacts to your social media team’s efforts, make sure you’re using proper tracking and setting reasonable goals, as it’s rare in some industries to go straight from social media to becoming a customer.

7. ROI

Directly tracing ROI (return-on-investment) to social media efforts can be tricky. However, if you determine it’s worth reporting on this metric, make sure you have proper expectations set and attribution models established.

8. CPM / CPC

This metric is essential for monitoring the performance on your social media ads. If you’re solely reporting on organic social metrics, you can ignore this one.

9. Competitor Metrics

To provide a benchmark, consider analyzing the aforementioned metrics for your competitors. Obviously, these metrics can vary drastically based on publicity, paid budget, and the size of the company, but it’s still worthwhile to make the comparison.

How to Make a Social Media Report

Step 1: Choose Your Presentation Method

For consistency and clarity, make sure you’re using a social media report presentation, spreadsheet, or memo template. This way, each time you update your metrics, you’ll simply need to copy over your most up-to-date metrics onto that template rather than reinventing the wheel every time.

We suggest using a PowerPoint or Google Slide Deck template, because you can share it with your team via email, use it for an in-person meeting or presentation, or both.

Need a template to get started? Try this one.

Step 2: Determine the Metrics You’ll Be Reporting On

Like we’ve established, different companies and different social media teams value different social media metrics.

It’s your job to choose the metrics that matter most to your team and your organization.

Using the list from the section above, narrow down the essential metrics you believe are worth presenting to your team at large. Remember, you can change which metrics you report on for each of your organization’s social media platforms.

If your social media report is campaign-specific, reach out to the project stakeholders to see if they’re hoping to see reporting on any certain metrics in the social media report.

Pro Tip: For your first few ongoing social media reporting presentations, ask your peers which metrics they’d like to see, or which ones they need clarification on. Making these changes sooner rather than later helps you keep your team informed and engaged.

Step 3: Gather Your Data

Once you know what you’re reporting on and how you’re reporting it, it’s time to start collecting data.

When you’re first setting up your social media reports, create bookmarks for your data sources. Make a folder for the analytics page for each social media channel you’re analyzing and/or your social media reporting software for an all-encompassing view.

If you’re tracking click-throughs to your website, make sure you’re analyzing from a single master location, such as your tracking URL builder or your traffic tracking tool like HubSpot or Google Analytics.

Step 4: Add in Some Visuals

A chart of numbers on a slide deck is, well, pretty boring.

While a numerical chart is important for sharing as much info as possible in an organized way, using visuals is a better way to convey the growth and success metrics of your social media performance. Try incorporating one or all of the following into your social media reports:

  • Linear graphs to show followers over time.
  • Pie charts to show clicks to different pages of your website (blog pages vs. case studies, for example).
  • Bar graphs to show number of engagements on each platform.

These examples are more eye-catching than numbers on a slide and further illustrate what you want your team to walk away with. If data visualization is new to you, check out our Guide on Data Visualization for Marketers.

Step 5: Think of Your Story

A running social media report should always remind people about where you came from and where you plan on going. That said, make sure your reports make reference to how your numbers have changed since the last period of time on which you presented, in addition to why numbers have changed.

Did follower growth as a percent increase drop last month? Maybe that’s because one of your posts from the month before went viral and resulted in unprecedented growth that was impossible to match. Make that clear and add context to the numbers.

Additionally, each report should contain clear action items about how you plan to continuously improve your social media performance. Social media is constantly evolving, so your approach and strategy for it should, too.

Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge to build, design, and share your social media report, download your social media report template and get to work!

Go to Source
Author: AJ Beltis

Powered by WPeMatico

Why Marketers Should Implement User-Generated Content: 23 Stats to Know

As a Boston-based young professional, the biggest product I’ve had to invest in was an over-priced apartment.

And this year, with apartment tours going fully virtual, I’ve found it even harder to do the extreme research needed before committing to a lease. Now, as I research apartment after apartment online, my new process feels like an intense buyer’s journey.

In my research phase, I spend hours on end scouting listings, looking up addresses on Google Maps, researching neighborhoods, skimming through Yelp reviews of prospective property managers, and analyzing photos or video tours for potential problems that an unseen apartment could have.

Ultimately, I’ve found that the apartment listings I’m most drawn to have links to video tours filmed by current tenants.

When I’ve watched tours filmed by tenants, they’ll explain what they like about their apartment, note major pros and cons, and give tiny — but authentic — details that the average salesperson might not offer. For example, in one video, a tenant honestly revealed one pro and one con about a bathroom by saying, “The bathtub has a great jacuzzi, which makes up for the lower water pressure.”

After viewing a pleasant and seemingly trustworthy virtual tour, I feel like I’ve gotten an in-depth and authentic look at the product, as well as thoughts from a previous customer who is an expert on the product. Additionally, because the tenant often voluntarily offers their time to host the create video or virtual tour, I also get the sense that they are willing to help a trusted landlord find a new tenant.

Ultimately, I’m more likely to respond to an apartment listing with a great tenant-generated virtual tour than a listing with over-produced images or videos edited by an outsider.

When it comes to smaller purchases, I feel the same way about promotional content created by customers. This content shows me what the product is like in real life and proves that customers are delighted enough about their experience to promote a trusted brand.

And, I’m not the only consumer (or marketer) who thinks this. An estimated 90% of consumers say user-generated content (UGC) holds more influence over their buying decisions than promotional emails and even search engine results.

Below, I’ll highlight more stats, facts, and figures that demonstrate the benefits of user-generated content.

23 User-Generated Content Stats to Know in 2020

Benefits of User-Generated Content

  • Consumers find UGC 9.8x more impactful than influencer content. (Stackla, 2020)
  • 79% of people say UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions, (Stackla, 2020)
  • 48% of marketing professionals believe that content created by customers can help humanize their marketing. (TINT, 2018)
  • 34% of TINT users surveyed and 45% of marketing professionals agreed that UGC helps increase key social media KPIs. (TINT, 2018)
  • 42% of marketers say user-generated content is a vital component of their marketing strategy. (TINT, 2018)
  • Ads featuring UGC garnered 73% more positive comments on social networks than traditional ads. (Jukin Media, 2018)
  • 31% of consumers say advertisements that feature UGC content are more memorable than traditional ads without it. (Jukin Media, 2018)
  • 28% of consumers say ads with UGC content in them are also more unique than ads without this type of content. (Jukin Media, 2018)
UGC ads are more memorable than traditional ads.

Image Source

UGC Tactics

  • 50% of marketers have utilized user-generated content in email marketing, (TINT, 2018)
  • Meanwhile, 58% of marketers have implemented UGC in ad campaigns. (TINT, 2018)
  • Nearly half of marketers use UGCto support their overall marketing campaigns. (TINT, 2018)
  • 41% of marketing professionals ranked content engagement as their top KPI for tracking user-generated content. (TINT, 2018)
  • The most common types of UGC are photos, videos, social media content, customer reviews or forums, and content created with branded AR filters. (IAB, 2019)

Brand Authenticity

  • 60% of consumers believe UGC is the most authentic marketing content. (Stackla, 2017)
  • 75% of marketers believe user-generated content feels more authentic than other types of content. (TINT, 2018)
  • Although 92% of marketers think they’re creating authentic content, 51% of consumers think their favorite brands offer authenticity. (Stackla, 2020)
  • 57% of consumers think that less than half of the content brands create resonates as authentic. (Stackla, 2017)
  • Consumers are 2.4x more likely to say user-generated content is authentic compared to brand-created content. (Stackla, 2020)
  • 56% of internet users say they find out about products from friends or acquaintances while 32% rely on customer reviews. (Statista, 2020)
  • On average, 20% of consumers have unfollowed a brand on social media because they felt their content was inauthentic. (Stackla, 2017)
  • 70% of the time, consumers are able to distinguish between consumer-created content and brand-created content. (Stackla, 2017)
top user generated content strategies

Image Source

UGC Audiences

  • Demographically, more Gen Z YouTube viewers prefer UGC to professional videos more than older generations. (YouTube, 2020)
  • Globally, Gen Z and millennial generations watch more user-generated content than Gen X and Boomer generations. (YouTube, 2020)
  • More than 30% of millennials have unfollowed a brand due to inauthentic content. (Stackla, 2017)
consumers unfollow brands due to inauthentic content

Image Source

Defining a User-Generated Content Strategy

As you can see from the stats above, user-generated content not only saves you production time, but it can also make your brand more authentic and trusted.

If the data above has persuaded you to implement UGC in your marketing strategy, here are a few next steps you can consider:

  • Get inspiration from other brands: Seeing successful examples of UGC from brands in a similar industry will give you an idea of which customers to reach out to and how to amplify their positive thoughts about your product. For a few great UGC examples, check out this blog post.
  • Determine how you’ll get the content: Will you encourage fans to send you videos on social media, host a content-related contest, or directly ask your clients to promote a product via email? For tips on this step, read this post,
  • Be authentic: Remember, the biggest strength of user-generated content is that it allows audiences to see an authentic view of your product. Don’t be afraid to promote UGC that might be lower quality but highlights all the best features of your brand or product.

To learn more about how to leverage user-generated content in your marketing, click here.

Go to Source
Author:

Powered by WPeMatico

What is Latent Semantic Indexing & Why Does it Matter for Your SEO Strategy?

If you’re anything like me, you probably read the title of this post and thought, “Latent semantic indexing … wait, what is that?”

Latent semantic indexing (LSI, for short) can be an overwhelming and confusing term for anyone hearing it for the first time.

Luckily, although it sounds like something that requires a degree in computer science, it’s actually a concept you’re already probably familiar with — particularly if you have some basic knowledge of keywords and their close relationship with search engine optimization (SEO).

In this post, we’ll define LSI and how the process can potentially benefit your overall SEO strategy, take a closer look at ways to find LSI-driven keywords, and outline how to add these keywords into your content.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Access Now: Technical SEO Glossary

What is latent semantic indexing?

Latent Semantic Indexing, also known as latent semantic analysis, is a mathematical practice that helps classify and retrieve information on particular key terms and concepts using singular value decomposition (SVD).

Through SVD, search engines are able to scan through unstructured data and identify any relationships between these terms and their context to better index these records for users online.

Before SVD, it was rather difficult for computers to try and grasp differences between synonyms or semantic changes.

To help paint a picture, take the words “silly” and “string”. When separated, these words represent two very independent definitions, but when brought together, their formation creates a brand-new concept: “silly string”.

If you work for an e-commerce company that sells silly string, you don’t want your content arising for the word “silly” alone — in that case, you’d need to use LSI keywords to help let search engines know for which searches it should serve up your content.

As technology adapted, the quality of user search was highly improved due to stronger patterns in relevancy. Through “stemming”, computers began taking into account the various forms a word could represent on a page.

Depending on the site’s content, search engines can serve up results based off relevancy (not using mind-reading, but instead using LSI keywords).

Search engines use LSI keywords to help add context to pages in order to provide better search results.

As LSI became more sophisticated, the ability to group thematically came into place, which for many rank-driven content writers meant synonyms became your best friend.

So … the more ranking LSI keywords, the better your overall position, right? Well, it depends.

What are LSI keywords?

LSI keywords are based off the idea that using similar keywords throughout your content to strengthen your topic or theme can help boost your overall SEO performance.

After all, if you end up ranking for one keyword, the possibility of you ranking for a related keyword sounds reasonable.

However, that isn’t necessarily always the case. There is quite a bit of contradictory analysis challenging how much LSI truly boosts your content.

As Google and other search engines have become more sophisticated and advanced, we have learned there are many outside factors that influence overall ranking.

In fact, there is no certainty behind the idea that LSI is a part of Google’s ranking algorithm. LSI is a practice dating back to the 1980s and in this day and age, we know Google’s too smart to rely on just synonyms to retrieve and index information.

So the power of “LSI keywords” comes into question. However, some argue that even if Google isn’t using LSI, there is no damage done in adding synonyms to your content, so long as they are not overstuffed and used naturally.

So what are a couple ways to help boost SEO that doesn’t rely on LSI?

  1. Use structured data! There is nothing Google likes better and will reward more than data that users can understand. For more information on what structured data is and how to add it to your website check out the Beginner’s Guide to Structured Data for Organizing & Optimizing Your Website.
  2. Practice co-occurrence, which relies on concept relativity, frequency in keyword occurrence, and closeness in keywords across different websites. Search engines will tend to use this method to scan and index websites most closely related. Therefore, if you’re looking for a place to start, you should:
    • Identify a long-tail keyword or phrase you would like to rank for
    • Research the top trending articles
    • Find which concepts or keywords they have in common
    • Incorporate and optimize on your findings!

Now, this doesn’t mean LSI driven keywords are bad for SEO, it just means it shouldn’t be your catch-all. In fact, there are a multitude of ways your content can benefit from LSI keywords. So let’s dive a little deeper into how you can use LSI content to your advantage.

Benefits of LSI-Driven Keyword Research

Search engines are constantly hunting for the most relevant and thorough content for a given query. The internet is much like the universe, ever-expansive and well, big. That said, it’s not an easy task for even the best of search engines, like Google, to determine what a page’s content is really about.

Better targeted categorization helps publishers, marketers, and users alike. For example, publishers can boost engagement since LSI-driven content is directed and selected for a specific audience. Online users mutually benefit since the queries they’re searching for are served up quicker and more accurately.

And, at the end of the day, users who find content that answer their questions are happy users, and happy users are more likely to engage or convert.

5 Ways to Find LSI Keywords

You’re one step closer to becoming an LSI expert. Congrats! Now that you’ve learned a little bit on the importance of LSI keywords, let’s walk through the various ways you can identify new keywords for upcoming blog posts and content.

1. A Simple Google Search

One of the easiest ways to find LSI keywords is Google itself. When you enter a term in the search query field, it automatically shows the keywords related to the particular query.

Let’s use the earlier example of “silly string” again. An initial search of the word provides these results:

lsi-keyword-google-search

Again, there are a lot of pages this particular keyword could point to which is why we need to use LSI to add more context. If you continue to scroll down to the bottom, you’ll find a section titled, “Searches related to” and your given query:

Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 3.00.49 PM

Use the list of keywords as a starting point for potential LSI keywords because it reveals what Google already associates with your primary keywords.

The best part? This method is 100% free!

2. Use the Keyword Planner Tool via Google AdWords

If you have access to Google AdWords, you can also use their Keyword Planner tool.

Again, we’ll use the “silly string” example. Begin by adding the term into the initial query box. Click “Get ideas” and you’ll be redirected to a page that offers related keywords and an idea of how competitive search rankings are for said term.

google ad keyword

3. Take Advantage of SERP Stat’s Keyword Research Database Tool

Another free tool for you to use comes from SERP Stats. SERP Stat’s Keyword Research Database Tool is very similar to Google’s Keyword Planner. Simply add your query into the search bar and you’ll receive results based on volume of searches and CPC.

serpstat-lsi-keyword

4. Use the LSI Keyword Generator

The LSI Graph/LSI Keyword Generator is another free tool that’s perfectly made for identifying LSI keywords. Similar to the previous tools mentioned, it follows the same rinse and repeat process. Add a term into the search bar, click “generate” and choose from a variety of related keywords below.

lsi-graph-keywords

5. Try Ubersuggest

Lastly, another freebie to discover LSI keywords with is Ubersuggest. I’m sure at this point, you can guess how simple each of these tools are. All you need to do is enter you primary keyword, and Ubersuggest does the rest! From search volume, keyword difficulty, and CPC, you can expect a generated list of related search terms.

ubersuggest

How to Select (and Use) the Best LSI Keywords

By this point, it’s likely (and normal) to have a long list of potential LSI keywords. The best way to cherry pick the finest keywords is to narrow down your options to those keywords that are most related to your content and have a sufficient search volume. Extra points if you can determine those golden nugget keywords with both high search volume and low keyword difficulty.

Understand the Three Different Types of Intent

It’s vital that your LSI keywords help answer any questions people might have about your primary keyword, so be sure to do some research on your target audience to figure out the types of queries they might put into Google to find your content.

We’ll refer back to “silly string” again, this time in the context that it’s on a site dedicated to exploring “how silly string works”. Below are three different types of intent someone on Google might have when searching for “silly string”:

  • Informational intent: This type of query is typically on a much broader scale. An example would be, “How does silly string work?”
  • Navigational intent: This is a more specific type of query. For instance, someone might want to know who invented silly string, or what it’s made out of.
  • Transactional intent: This type of query relates to purchasing something. In regards to our example, it could be related to purchasing silly string.

Choose Words That Add Context, But Don’t Overstuff

A misconception some people have is that you should use as many LSI keywords as possible to give your content a better chance at outranking others.

This is called overstuffing your content, and it’s a practice you’ll want to avoid because it could actually deter you from ranking. The best way to make sure your content isn’t overstuffed is to reread your content once all the keywords are added. If a specific word doesn’t sound natural, leave it out.

Remember That LSI Is Only Part of an Effective SEO Strategy

LSI is just potentially one of many factors that determine how well your content ranks in search engines. To achieve the best results and set your content up for success, an effective SEO strategy should also consist of proper website architecture, relevant backlinks, ongoing optimizations, etc.

With that said, it’s definitely worth taking the time to discover and add relevant LSI-driven keywords into your content, particularly since it can help your readers find the most relevant, helpful information to meet their needs, faster.

Go to Source
Author: Elika Dizechi

Powered by WPeMatico