Even though the boom in digital marketing is often attributed to improvements in web and social media tools, email marketing - - the backbone of online business for a generation now - - is alive and well. Per DMR, “Email marketing has spanned the various stages of digital marketing evolution and is still growing stronger than ever.” As email users and platforms have become more sophisticated, so have the fertile minds of marketing experts.
Back in the old days, email was such a novel medium that users read everything that came into their inboxes, which was a gold mine for marketers. Now that practically all aspects of human life involve email, savvy users delete more messages than they read, and are careful who has their email addresses. Their email software helps them by pulling messages that look like marketing directly into a "Junk" folder. These two major developments have led some people to steer away from email marketing--but they're making a mistake. Here are two key ways to make an impact in this brave new world of email.
Bring your audience to you. Use inbound marketing techniques to persuade your customers to engage with you based on the content you provide on your website or social media, whether it's blogs like this one, links to research and related resources, humor, analysis or reviews. When they are interested enough to give you their email addresses, you can personalize your outgoing emails based on what content they focused on during their visit to your site/page.
Get creative with your message. Since inbound marketing is about appealing to the customer prior to engagement rather than making a sale, your follow-up emails need to keep the momentum going. If you are emailing customers who enjoyed the side-by-side reviews on your website, save a couple to add to your outbound emails. If you are reaching out to individuals who wanted to know more about the specs of your product, don't just send them the link to a specs list; create an infographic that shows the advantages of each spec. category in an easy-to-remember visual format.
Email marketing has shifted from the primary outreach tool to the follow-up, the "hook" that transforms an interested web or social media viewer to a potential customer. It's the outstretched hand of the relationship that you are trying to build. Let us know if you have any questions about how targeted, individualized email marketing can help your business. By making it a seamless part of your overall digital marketing strategy, you can make email marketing work for you better than it ever has before.
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With more and more companies and businesses establishing a presence on social media, it's more crucial than ever to make sure your LinkedIn profile shines. It's not just about filling in your information -- even though that is a big part of it. It's about using the right information in the right places. Having a great LinkedIn profile takes some hard work and the proper knowledge, but it's worth it. A properly filled out profile can help you find new clients or land that new job.
If you have any more questions or would like feedback, please feel free to contact us!
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In today's web, content truly is king and without your own original material, it's very difficult to make your site stand out from the rest. Creating content seems simple but there actually quite a few common challenges you might face when trying to come up with your own. Below are some tips to help guide you along the way to creating original content that sticks and makes people want to come back.
1. Writers don’t understand their audience
When a writer doesn't know their audience well, the writing always suffers. Knowing an audience's likes and behaviors can help craft writing into a piece that resonates with them better.
2. They Lack in-depth knowledge about the business
Just because someone is a great writer doesn't make them qualified to write the best content for a business. Without a comprehensive understanding of the business, the writing can be hollow and be a waste of time for readers who may not come back to read more after considering it of little value.
3. Create content that is full of fluff
Content that is full of fluff is one of the worst kinds there is next to clickbait. Readers want to be feel respected so when they spend there time reading nonsense, it's almost certain they will not want to come back for more. Make sure an editor that understands the business looks at a piece before it is published to ensure that it's of some value for readers.
4. Overselling and telling the same story
Overselling is something that happens a lot when it comes to the content that business produce. Save the overselling for other industry sites. You don't want your content to sound like propaganda and something out of an infomercial.
5. Don’t provide enough facts
If you don't provide enough facts in your content, it won't seem believable. People are comforted by statistics and studies so make you try to incorporate it as much as you can when it's relevant.
6. Don’t quote sources or provide references
Similar to #5, without sources to cite, the information provided may not be trusted by readers. Most people probably will not check the source material, but they do recognize when it's been listed. Doing so makes a piece seem more authoritative and less like "sales-speak"
7. Provide uninteresting headlines
Just like newspapers, a good headline is everything. A good headline should be able to capture attention immediately and spark interest. Sometimes headlines are too long or provide too much information due to SEO efforts but if you are going to be posting content on social media, its better to have a evocative headline than marketing phrases.
8. Inconsistent schedule and blog post
For a blog to be successful, the single most important thing you need to do is ensure that it is consistently updated. Try planning posts in 2 week intervals to keep things on a schedule and topical. The best blogs are updated daily but for businesses that may be a bit much. Instead try 2 posts a week.
9. Don’t have enough guidance from management
Sometimes top management are not heavily involved on the content side of the business. Without a company's management team treating a blog or social media channels as a serious endeavor, the content can flail. Be sure to always have someone responsible for content that interfaces with upper management. It adds a layer of accountability to it.
If you need help creating content, please don't hesitate to contact us today and visit our blog daily.
To ensure success, businesses need good lead generation. It is important to have good lead generation because the better your lead generation, the better your chances of attracting new customers. Here are 9 Ways To Improve Lead Generation for your business.
1. Word of mouth. Word of mouth might be one of the most honest ways to generate leads. If someone is genuinely interested in your product, they will be happy to pass on the information to others they think might be interested. Don't be afraid to ask your customers to promote you.
2. Educational workshops. Your product is something that customers will benefit from. An easy way to get more lead generation is to offer a tiny part of your product for free. Hold an educational workshop (in person or online) to hook your customers into your list and offer them more. People are much more likely to purchase from you, if they already know the value you provide.
3. Develop strategic partnerships. Maybe you don't have a lot of followers yet, but I can guarantee that there is someone or something that does have a lot of followers that would be helpful for you. If you're selling something to do with writing, team up with a company that sells writing supplies. If that person or company has more leads, they can pass them on to you. It's a win-win.
4. Community networking. Network within your community. If you are working by yourself, reach out to others working within your niche online. If there isn't anyone else working in your niche, find a companion niche or just a partner that can help you. Everyone needs to have better lead generation, so if you can find someone in your community to team up with, you will have a better chance of generating more leads.
5. Leverage social channels. Don't underestimate Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Each of these social channels can be used to generate more leads. And these can be used over and over again and used in other areas as well.
6. Optimize your website. Make sure that you are using SEO on your website and that you are keeping your information up to date. No one wants to read about outdated information to join your list, they want to read about current trends and what is happening. That being said, be careful not to chase trends. You only want to use the things that are most important and compatible with your business.
7. Blog on a regular basis. If you are blogging on a regular basis, your blog will be visited more often and it will be ranked higher than blogs that are inactive. People don't mind reading old information, but they would rather read new information from people that they have grown to trust. If your blog posts are attracting new customers, it will be easier to use another method to add them to your email list or customer database.
8. Generate how to videos and contents. Much like educational workshops, how to videos and content will hook people in and want them to see more from you.
9. Free reports or information. Free reports do not have to be extensive. You could have a simple free recipe to sign up for your email list about cooking. Or you could have a free checklist to sign up for your email list about productivity. Either way, people love free things and this is an easy way to incentivize people to sign up for your list.
You can contact NextStep Marketing, LLC for more information about improving your lead generation.
What is a squeeze page?
In Internet and online advertising vernacular, a squeeze page is a Web page that contains information that would interest the marketer's targeted readers. Squeeze pages are designed to obtain a reader's name and e-mail address information by encouraging users to opt-in to an e-mail list to receive more information about the topic. Marketers will collect the permission-based e-mail and information to follow up at a later date. (Vangie Beal) Squeeze pages are also referred to as landing pages.
What is the purpose of a squeeze page?
The purpose of a squeeze page is to gather email addresses from potential customers. Email address are an important lead generation tool for businesses. By opting-in, customers have given you permission to send key marketing messages and information to them. The larger your list, the more opportunity you have to educate your clients on your products, services, etc.
Squeeze pages can drive traffic to your website. The goal is to have good educational content about your products and an enticing offer or promotion prompting customers to buy. Incentives, often referred to as "calls to action"' should include something of value to your audience and is important to your message. Incentives should be unique to you and your message and should align with your website content and offering. Here are some examples of squeeze page incentives.
By Vangie Beal, Define “Squeeze Page” http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/S/squeeze_page.html
NextStep Marketing is part of the Duct Marketing Conlutant Newtwork.
CHICAGO, IL AND KANSAS CITY, MO (PRWEB) AUGUST 26, 2016
UpCity, the leading local inbound marketing software provider, and the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network, a global network of independent marketing consultants, today announced a technology partnership and integration.
The partnership will build on UpCity’s expertise in providing local inbound marketing software to simplify SEO, local and social marketing and combine it with Duct Tape Marketing’s proven system for marketing consultants and their small to mid-sized clients.
As part of the announcement, UpCity will be supporting the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network through their comprehensive software. Consultants using the UpCity platform will be able to utilize a Duct Tape-specific project plan and robust reporting via a white-labeled application to efficiently deliver results to their customers.
“It is imperative to have a solid process when executing on an inbound marketing strategy for a local business,” said Phil Singleton, CEO of Kansas City Web Design and a Duct Tape Marketing Certified Consultant. “With UpCity’s platform I have become more efficient by managing my team through a custom process and reporting on our activities to our clients all in one place.”
To support small to mid-sized businesses looking for help, UpCity is providing Duct Tape Marketing software support for the Duct Tape Marketing System. The Duct Tape Marketing System is an innovation in online marketing and training, providing an in-depth curriculum that includes SEO, Social Media and more. It is designed for small business owners currently managing their own online marketing who want an integrated marketing system and strategic consulting.
“UpCity’s powerful local inbound marketing platform has become an integral part of Duct Tape Marketing’s offerings,” said John Jantsch, founder of Duct Tape Marketing. “Creating effective and affordable marketing systems for our consultants and small businesses is no easy task. UpCity has made that process much simpler.”
“We are very proud to partner with a high-caliber organization like the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network,” said Dan Olson, CEO at UpCity. “John Jantsch and his team work tirelessly to bring the best marketing solutions to consultants and small businesses. Providing our software to their network further validates the vast need for software to help scale local marketing programs.”
Also as part of the announcement, UpCity will also be featuring Duct Tape Marketing consultants on UpCity’s Top Local Agency marketplace. The Top Local Agency marketplace is a resource for small business to find the best digital marketing service providers, including web designers and SEOs, in more than 60 cities across the United States and Canada. Verified Duct Tape consultants are now featured and can be contacted directly by small businesses looking for help with their local marketing needs.
UpCity provides a comprehensive local inbound marketing platform to help digital marketing agencies scale SEO, local and social marketing services. The UpCity platform serves as a single operating system that includes robust project management, sales tools, reporting, and can be fully white labeled to streamline client engagements from onboarding to ongoing engagement. UpCity, a venture capital-backed business based in Chicago, was founded in 2009. Learn more at http://www.upcity.com.
About the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network™
The Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network is a growing network of independent marketing consultants who use the Duct Tape Marketing System and set of “done for you” marketing packages to help grow the revenue and profits of small and mid-sized businesses around the world. The Network was founded by John Jantsch, author of the Duct Tape Marketing book. Learn more at https://ducttapemarketingconsultant.com/
As you may know, NextStep Marketing has been providing high quality digital marketing services to clients just like you in Charlotte since 2007. However, today we’re excited to celebrate our designation as a Top Local Agency in Charlotte, NC by UpCity!
What Does This Mean?
UpCity’s Top Local Agency marketplace is a resource designed to connect small and medium sized local businesses with high-quality digital marketing service providers in their local area, allowing business owners to get the services they need quickly, from a service provider they can trust. The UpCity team independently reviews agencies across North America to determine the best service providers in each local market, ensuring that no matter where you are, great digital marketing services are never more than a click away.
Check Us Out!
To check out our profile and discover the UpCity Top Local Agency platform for yourself, follow this link: http://upcity.com/local-marketing-agencies/profiles/next-step-marketing#contact.
UpCity provides a comprehensive local inbound marketing platform to help digital marketing agencies scale SEO, local and social marketing services. The UpCity platform serves as a single operating system that includes robust project management, sales tools, reporting, and can be fully white labeled to streamline client engagements from onboarding to ongoing engagement. UpCity, a venture capital-backed business based in Chicago, was founded in 2009. Learn more at http://www.upcity.com/.
About NextStep Marketing
We focus on educating clients on how to increase market exposure and improve sales performance. At NextStep, we believe in strategy first and work collaboratively with client leadership to define, monitor and implement inbound sales and marketing tactics that drive success.
In fact, we believe so strongly in developing strategy first that we trademarked the term StrategyB4Tactics®. Through understanding and identifying organizational goals and objectives, NextStep helps clients create inbound marketing strategies, processes, and tactics to improve brand awarness, get new customers, grow sales, and provide greater market penetration.
Thanks for being the most important part of our continued success: our awesome clients!
Outbound marketing: Is it right for your business? When non-marketers think of marketing, most of what they are imagining is outbound marketing: Reaching out to potential clients in an attempt to convince them to buy a product or service. Print and radio advertising, trade shows, telemarketing, and cold calling are all examples of outbound marketing.
This style of marketing is so ubiquitous that many marketers never even consider alternatives. But to ensure that your marketing plan is customized to your business, it's imperative that you examine all the options and choose marketing techniques that best suit your unique needs.
While this kind of marketing is traditional, and therefore comfortable for many customers and marketers alike, outbound marketing attempts can also be seen as interruptive, so much so that methods of avoiding this style of marketing have become standard in today's society: Ad blocking software and TiVo, for example. Because of this, outbound marketing has become less and less effective over the last few years.
What is the alternative?
But outbound marketing is not the only option. On the other side of the coin is inbound marketing, a style of marketing that uses methods like search engine optimization, blogging, and social media to intercept people who are already looking for what your business offers.
Take, for example, a company that sells equipment to hospitals. That company could use outbound marketing to cold call all the hospitals in their area, or send an email blast to a purchased mailing list of hospitals, and hope that one of those hospitals needs to purchase new equipment. They might obtain a new client or two from this method. However, much of their efforts would be wasted on hospitals whose equipment is not yet in need of replacement.
Imagine instead that this company channeled their efforts into optimizing their online presence through SEO and blogging to make them a hub for hospital equipment information and sales. Then, when a hospital has already decided to replace their equipment, they can search for a source and find that company. As opposed to the "cold" audience of an outbound marketing attempt, the audience for inbound marketing is already "warm." By the time that hospital is on the seller's website, they're already prepared to make a purchase.
Do you have to choose?
Luckily, businesses can dabble in both kinds of marketing to find a balance that's right for them. Unfortunately, many businesses are so stuck on outbound marketing that they haven't had a chance to realize how lucrative inbound marketing can be. Finding the perfect mix can be challenging, but ultimately will spell success for your business.
But you don't have to calculate that perfect mix alone. Contact us to discuss how NextStep Marketing can help create a strategic plan that will help your business stand out above the competition.
Outbound Marketing Charlotte | Inbound Marketing Charlotte
You've probably heard it's important to list your business with local business directories, but are you wondering why? There are 5 Reasons Why Local Business Directories Are So Important To Local SEO including the fact that your business:
LinkedIn is an excellent source for new prospects. Whether you're new to the professional social media site or you haven't yet used it to connect with potential customers, here are five strategies that can help you market your products or services using LinkedIn.
1. Keep First-Degree Relationships Warm
Having regular contact with your connections, whether it's a shared article or a request for their expertise, gives you an opening to ask for introductions to their connections. These second-degree connections are a fertile landscape for potential prospects, and you already have a foot in the door.
2. Join LinkedIn Groups
It's not enough to just join the industry-relevant groups, though; you should also add value if you want to find prospects. Consider hosting a webinar about your product or service and inviting those in your groups, turning fellow members into personal connections.
3. Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
The bare minimum won't cut it when prospecting on LinkedIn. Instead, make sure to fill out every section with compelling content, from samples of your work to references from colleagues and friends.
4. Take Advantage of Targeting
LinkedIn makes it easy to find the specific market segment you're looking for with their search function. For example, if you typically work with small firms, you can narrow your potential prospects to anyone in a specific region or industry who works in a company with fewer than 100 employees. You can also use the alumni search function, which will give you an opening among others who attended your alma mater.
5. Browse with Purpose
When you're looking at a profile of a potential prospect, check out the "People Also Viewed" section at the right. This will naturally lead you to others with similar experience, opening another portal for sales leads.
Learn more about social media marketing from NextStep Marketing, LLC.
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