How Do You Manage Digital Marketing?

Digital Marketing Services | Kinetic Knowledge Monmouth County NJ

Outsourcing Digital Marketing | Kinetic Knowledge Monmouth County NJThese days nearly every single business relies, at least in part, on the Internet to both garner and measure their success. With that being the case, it is essential to develop an internet marketing strategy in order to outrank the competition!

So how exactly does a busy business handle its’ marketing? What gets any consumer to the website? Is there a plan in place? Is there dedicated staff to carry out a plan? If not, it’s likely more cost- effective to hire a professional internet marketing company.

What Are The Advantages Of An In House Marketing Team

There are times when in house marketing can be advantageous. You may not have the time to research a company to outsource to, the resources available and in this case your own in house team may be the answer.

  • You Are The Boss
    • When your marketing team is in house, you have full control and full access all of the time. You can be as involved as you would like to be in your digital marketing process and be there to see progress in real time. 
  • You May Save Money
    • If you do have an employee with the rare skills needed and the time available then you may be able to save money keeping your digital marketing team, in house. There are still going to be added costs for tools, areas where your employee may not have expertise will require time for learning, but when in house there is a unique vested interest that can actually reduce overall cost. 

When Does In House Marketing Become Disadvantageous

In house marketing has its advantages, but it can be time and/ or cost- prohibitive for some businesses and there are other risks or potential problems. Here are some of those in house marketing disadvantages.

  • You Are Not A Marketing Expert
    • You know the ins and outs of your business better than anyone. However, you likely lack expertise for what it takes to successfully market your business online. With experienced pros in Internet marketing , any learning curve is passed along. These are folks that excel with the tools & strategies needed to succeed in each aspect of digital marketing. They are there, doing the work each and every day.
  • You Don’t Have Time To Be A Marketer
    • With a business to run, you simply do not have the time. Internet marketing is incredibly time consuming. To effectively research & write compelling blog posts, strategic social media posts, copy for new website pages, that leverages all the correct keywords, headers, tags, etc. requires time. And its’ not a job a business should simply dump on an employees’ plate. Not if it’s going to matter. It will certainly distract them from the work they were already responsible for. All mistakes that will lessen any quality for a day to day deliverable.
  • You Need The Right Tools
    • It’s unlikely the correct tools needed are present, those needed to effectively market a business online. These are tools that help with keyword research, social media, SEO and everything a marketer needs to reach a target audience. Not to mention knowledge of what are the right tools! Tools already being used by marketing firms, all covered in their cost of hire.
  • In House Is Expensive
    • Most business owners assume that in house is less expensive. However, NOT outsourcing these tasks can actually be a financial cost for your company. It is estimated that in the next 5 years 15% of a business’s budget per year, will be going towards digital marketing. It may seem like a lot and lead you to believe you don’t have the room in your budget for that. But, consider the alternative. Hiring an employee to take over internet marketing in house can cost in ways you may have not even considered. The hiring process alone can be very costly and time consuming. Then of course there is training, health insurance, and payroll hassles to name a few. You also have to plan for vacations, sick days, the list goes on. Outsourcing digital marketing allows you to focus on the needs of your clients and complete the tasks needed to get done to protect your bottom line.

The Best Of Both Worlds: Why Collaboration Via Hire Can Work

  • Your third option is of course to do both in house and outsource your marketing team. If you have in house talent, use it! But, in those areas they lack expertise, find a marketing firm that can offer you help in those areas. This way, you will have the right people in the right positions. The key to this method, and the biggest challenge is communication. A few things that can be done to ensure smooth communication are:
    • Schedule regular meetings for each team to update each other on milestones and discuss upcoming campaigns.
    • Assign final creative approval to only one of these teams to ensure that your process is streamlined and your brand is properly and consistently represented.

Whichever method you choose, in house or outsourcing digital marketing, take the time to periodically reevaluate your strategies and be flexible. ANd remember that success in marketing is often a moving target.

 

Does Your Content Support Your Target Consumers’ Intent Online?

Content Research Copy Writing For SEO Kinetic KnowledgeWhat Is Your Target Consumers’ Intent!?

Simply put, building content that meets the consumers’ intent when she is researching produces MUCH BETTER business results! But what is the consumers’ intent and how can we attempt to be there with the right answers when they have that intent?

Nobody wakes up in the morning with a credit card and says, “just let me buy something.” That’s not the way that it works today. Especially not for more serious purchases, where consumers want to develop confidence pre- purchase. Nowadays they use their phones, in short bursts ( = micro- moments), to explore and research what they want to buy. Many brands still make the mistake of waiting until the I-want-to-buy moment to make their pitch. And slugging it out with everyone solely at the I-want-to-buy part of the purchase funnel is the hardest place to compete!

A better strategy is to reach them before the competitor does, such as during the I-want-to-know moments, to establish confidence & brand affinity! Start at the top of the funnel, where the largest addressable audience is available and a pipeline of leads can be built! Establish position as the authority and consumers will have this in mind as they progress on their purchase path.

Consumer Search

Consumer searches are generally one of three things: they are navigational, informational or transactional in nature. Based on this, we marketers must strive to meet the intent of our target consumer with the right types of response in our content. And yes sure the content needs to get indexed in search engines, but this works for marketers because it works for the consumer! In a time where consumers believe they can research anything they want, we need to consider earning their trust with the answers they seek! Why? Because consumers are more loyal to an immediate need than they ever will be to a particular brand.

Brands Beware- It’s NOT About You, It Is About Them!

According to Google, when conducting a search on their smartphones, 65% of those surveyed say they look for the most relevant information regardless of the company providing it. 51% of those same smartphone users purchased from a company/ brand other than the one they know because the information it provided was useful. For the marketer, it means that investigating intent will help to focus in on more specific consumer information needs. Look into things like the top category searches, searches that are trending and all the search questions relevant to the product or service category.

Ask yourself if you are truly serving the questions you would ask personally when YOU search for your own product or service purchase!? Identifying what’s most important to them and prioritizing the creation of answers for those intent-rich moments, where decisions are being made and preferences are established, is the key! When you provide the helpful content in these moments, customers are more likely to keep you in mind as they progress on their purchase path.

What are the key ‘Intent’ questions we should anticipate and then work to answer?

  • What do they want to learn about your products or services?
  • Why or under what circumstances do they want to learn it?
  • What are they doing with your products or services (e.g., baking cookies, buying a home, recovering from an injury)?
  • Would education and/ or instruction, maybe even ‘how-to’ video content’ support them?

In terms of content, are the answers to their questions available on your website yet?

Understanding Google’s Definition of Micro- Moments

Google introduced the concept of micro-moments broken down into I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do and I-want-to-buy moments to help marketers think about consumer intent. Again, 51% of smartphone users surveyed purchased from a company/ brand other than the one they know because the information it provided was useful. Each of the different moments reflects different flavors of intent and calls for a specific content response, so the next step is to map out what keywords & questions (Keyword + Where, Which, Who, Why, What, How and Are) consumers will use in their path to conversion.

  • Example I-want-to-go question searches could ( in the moment ) be “What to Do in San Francisco” or “Where to Stay in Miami.” Or maybe people are looking local and are considering buying a product at a local store. Serving this moment means getting your physical business address in their consideration in that moment. ‘Near me’ searches have grown to the degree 82% of smartphone users say they use them to find a local business.
  • Example I-want-to-know moments are likely more exploring or researching than they are purchase moments. Useful information, maybe even inspiration is the answer; whereas this is not a moment for the hard sell. Google says 66% of smartphone users search on their smartphone to learn more about something they saw in a TV commercial.
  • Example I-want-to-buy moments are huge, of course. Someone is ready to make the buy and need help deciding what or which one. Don’t ever assume they will seek you out so much as they will the right information. Interesting, 82% of smartphone users have consulted their phone while in a store?! What do they want to know about your product? A poor example might be the fashion retailer who concentrates solely on I-want-to-buy moments — “I want to buy a blue dress” for example. With such a narrow focus on JUST checkout, they missed the chance to position their clothing for what-to-wear-in-an-interview or maybe what-to-wear-to-a-business-dinner moments, a potentially big segment for business wear and blue dresses.
  • Example I-want-to-do moments can come before or after the purchase. In either case, these are ‘how to’ moments for getting things done or trying something new. Serving the right content is, again, the key. In fact, ‘how to’ searches continue to grow 70% year-over-year on YouTube. These are the I-need-to-fix-my-lawn-mower moments … the need is for immediate help with getting something done or learning how in these I-want-to-do moments. Because YouTube is so heavily trafficked video content can play a big role because it allows someone to learn at their own pace. Google says that 48% of smartphone users are more likely to buy from companies whose sites provide instructional video content!

Identify and prioritize the moments where questions can be answered, preferences can be established and then where decisions are being made! Do it before they get to a checkout.

Your messaging and content choices should stem from consumer intent and MICRO MOMENTS!

“ With Your Marketing, Where Do You Invest First? “

Website Marketing Basics | Kinetic Knowledge Monmouth County NJ Digital Marketing

So you’ve had a website built for your business and it’s ready to launch. But now what? It’s time to start marketing your website so your customers can find you. If you don’t know where to start you are not alone. It can seem that there are endless marketing channels and strategies to Website Marketing Basics | Kinetic Knowledge Monmouth County NJ Digital Marketingchoose from when deciding where to spend your first marketing dollars. While each website is different, there are website marketing basics that apply to each and every website looking to be found!

Website Marketing Basics Step One: Identifying Your Immediate Needs?

If you are just getting started building your web presence than your immediate needs likely match or are similar to the following:

  • Increase interest in your product or service
  • Be found by current or potential customers
  • Boost your ranking or visibility on search engines
  • Generate New Business Leads
  • Build a reputation for being a trustworthy, quality products or services provider

Now that you know what you want out of your website (at least for now) it’s time to identify the steps that need to be taken to accomplish these goals.

While we refer to these as website marketing basics, it’s important to note that accomplishing these goals is nothing but basic. There is a long learning curve for implementing these tactics in the ways that actually work. There are endless semantics that will trip up event the sharpest operator. If done improperly, there can be a negative effect on the health of your web presence. Unless time is not an issue, it’s likely a better idea to put someone in charge of the digital marketing who is knowledgeable and meticulous when handling various digital properties.

Website Marketing Basics Step Two: Identify How To Meet These Goals

Commit To Good, Long Term Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is is a long term investment that needs to be considered from the get go. It’s challenging, time consuming and always changing. But, without a good SEO strategy, your marketing strategy as a whole can be rendered ineffective. It’s why at Kinetic Knowledge we tailor cost effective web marketing strategies that work month over month and that produce long term results. There is a long checklist of both on- page and off- page SEO tasks that are a necessary part of any marketer’s day to day responsibilities. The following steps are all part of a holistic approach to SEO and basic website marketing. See: What is SEO?

Fill Your Site With Quality Content

It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to fill your website with fresh content that is useful and that adds value to your customers. There is a delicate balance between writing for humans and for the search engines. Both need to be in constant consideration. Your website’s pages and blog posts should be optimized with keywords 1) that you know (or that you have researched to know) people readily search and that Google can easily identify, index and compare or rank you for.

See: Kinetic Knowledge Content Options and The Content Optimization Checklist!

Get Found Locally (Local SEO)

Even businesses who do business nationally and internationally still need to be able to be found in local search. For most businesses the local market is where you will do most of your business and those customers need to be able to find you. Think about the amount of competition in your business type just in your city, the county and / or the entire state. If you do not make local SEO a marketing priority your website will find itself buried in search results. Be sure to have a presence on all local directories and make sure they are well optimized with keywords, links and reviews.  See: Getting Ranked In Local Search Results and Local Search Engine Optimization Services.

Get Customers To Leave Good Reviews (And Plan For Bad Ones)

There is no avoiding reviews in this day and age. So, you MUST make managing them a priority. When searching a business online people look for feedback first and foremost, than they go the website to see how you present the business and answers questions. You need to create an environment where your customers can EASILY leave you good reviews. You must ask and follow through for them. And you need to have a plan of action in place for the inevitable bad review.

See: Getting Positive Online Reviews For Your Business

Use Social Media Effectively

Using Social Media is a marketing advantage you cannot ignore. With over 4.75 billion pieces of content being shared on a daily basis through social channels, you cannot fall behind in your social media marketing efforts. Content fuels social media and social media spreads quality content fast! Be careful not to assume that since you use Facebook or Instagram for your personal entertainment that you can use it for your business in the same way. There are different considerations to take for each social network and very specific ‘best practices’ to follow. If you don’t you’re wasting time and losing opportunities. 

See: Using Content With Social Media To Gain Business Leads and How Does Social Media Influence SEO Strategy

Having A Complete Citation Profile

Citations are one of the most important elements when it comes to ranking well in search engines. Making sure that your business NAP (name, address, phone number and even hours of operation) is accurate and accessible is a lofty task, and one often too overwhelming and time consuming for an already busy business owner. But, it must be done to support both your searching customers, and the search engines who look to directories containing these citations for business information. If they are crawling listings with conflicting hours of operation or addresses, you will fall out of visibility rapidly. 

See: How To Complete An Accurate Citation Profile

It is not necessary to attack all of these business marketing basics at once, but it is important to develop a plan and a timeline to make sure that all of the tasks are completed properly, and well maintained throughout the life of your website, and the sooner the better. We are here at Kinetic Knowledge to offer you our expertise in each of these areas. Contact us today to discuss the marketing needs for your website.

Top Tips For Avoiding AND Dealing With A Bad Review

How Do You Avoid A Bad Review?

It’s often said that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, but why ever be caught off guard?!

This most obvious tip is prevention. To prevent negative reviews a company should carefully manage expectations about what someone may buy. Manage consumer expectations from the very start! Hiding unfavorable or surprising terms in the fine print, for instance, is a shortsighted business tactic that will inevitably be exposed to any future potential consumers as unfair or worse. Some might call it making sure consumers aren’t set up for confusion; better yet, how about avoiding disappointment that would motivate a bad review in the first place. Always be transparent and leave no expectations to chance! And when possible, try and know about all reviews, for instance via review alerts.

How Do You Deal With  A Bad Review?

I. Alerts: Be sure to at least try and know about all reviews when they occur, for instance via review alerts.
II. Removal:
If a bad review appears to be unfair, maybe placed by a competitor or other nefarious types, check the search or listing directory policies to see if it’s possible to pursue getting it removed. It will depend on the documented policies of the directory company and whether or not it can be proved those polices were violated; however, it is always worth a careful look. Yelp, for instance, will not  support a review posted by a competitor. And no directory will support false user accounts, so it is important to be sure the individual is legitimate.
III. Approach Reviewer Privately:

  • Privately pursue the individual before ever responding publicly, when possible.
  • If there’s a chance to make up for it in exchange for taking the negative review down or for an updated good review, pursue it.
  • Acknowledge a mistake, apologize if its appropriate.
  • Online reviews are not set in stone, they can always be changed by the reviewer.

      IV. Positive Public Response:

  • Never react, never make excuses.
  • Prepare an amicable response to resolve the situation, but ALWAYS have others review it before going live.
  • Identify oneself as an authority or as the business owner, explain customer satisfaction is a priority of the utmost importance
  • Offer up, given the chance to speak directly, the situation can be resolved.
  • Restate the issue because that individual is likely annoyed, they want to understand they have been heard.
  • Don’t motivate or engage in a back and forth exchange online for the entire world to see. Arguing or trying to explain how events maybe didn’t occur in the fashion reviewed will not help reputation. Consumers see arguing and they will side with other consumers, the response speaks to them too!
  • Acknowledge a mistake — possibly when unsure any were made — apologize and offer to proactively fix the situation.
  • If an agreement can be made, the person will often take a negative review down. If not, there is still a demonstration of goodwill for everyone to see!

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