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Marketing Strategy

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Why Content is Your Secret Weapon for a Successful Lead Nurturing Strategy

By | Lead Nurturing, Marketing Strategy

“We spend so much time on content marketing. When is it going to start having an impact on sales?”

I overheard an exasperated business owner having this conversation with a colleague at a networking event and it took everything I had not to pop into the conversation and tell them that maybe it wasn’t content marketing’s fault. Maybe it was their approach.

Now, do I know for sure that their approach needed some work? No. I’d need to ask a few more questions to better understand their lead nurturing strategy. But I do know this––if content marketing isn’t producing results for you (yet), it’s not because it doesn’t work. And it’s not because you need to spend more time and money on it.

Ultimately, content marketing can improve your lead nurturing strategy by building trust with potential clients and providing insights on how people are interacting with your brand. Here’s what we mean:

Using Content to Build Trust with Leads

Trust is important in any relationship. Building trust with potential clients is crucial in order to gain and hold their attention. When potential clients trust your brand, they will feel more confident in buying your services.

Building trust isn’t a one-and-done effort. This is something that is built over time. Use these tips to develop trust through your content.

  • Be consistent in your brand story – Make sure all of your content is aligned. If your services are described as cutting-edge, you should have a great website experience. If you claim to offer competitive prices, make sure you’ve done your research to back that up.
  • Resolve customer complaints – Everyone, including prospects, does the obligatory online scan of a business they’re considering to work with. Online reviews play a big role in how people perceive a company and have a huge impact on their decision to do business with them. Check out our guide from last week that outlines how to develop a rock solid online review strategy.
  • Introduce social proof into your lead nurturing strategySocial proof may seem like one of the easiest marketing tactics, but it’s definitely one of the most important. Show potential clients just how you can solve their problem. Examples of social proof include testimonials, reviews, and case studies from your clients. As a result, this can influence them that it’s finally time to make a change.

Learn How Leads Are Interacting with Your Content

You can leverage digital marketing to better understand how potential clients are interacting with your content and inform your lead nurturing strategy.

First, take a look at your website. Google Analytics can show how prospective clients are interacting with your website. This tool gives insight to user behavior on your website like where users click, how long they spend on each page, and at what point they bounce from your website. Knowing where they hesitate is the first step in determining how to help them step past that.

You can do the same with email marketing. What subject lines are people opening, and which links are they clicking on? People interact with content most when it’s relevant and helpful to them.

Finally, explore your social media analytics. What types of posts are gaining impressions and engagement? This may provide insight into what your prospective clients need from you in order to take a leap of faith and make a change.

Content marketing doesn’t just help promote your business; it can also provide crucial information into how your prospective clients’ minds are working and what you need to do to help them consider your services as a solution.

Do you have clients stuck in the middle of the decision cycle? You might need to adjust your lead nurturing strategy to help them decide it’s time to make a move. Let the Wayward Kind team help.

There’s no time like the present to begin developing an effective video content strategy for your small business. Schedule a free strategy review with our team so we can help you make 2019 the year that your content marketing strategy produces results!

Improve your SEO ranking with a rock solid online review strategy.

Improve Your SEO With a Rock Solid Online Review Strategy

By | Marketing Strategy

Whether you sell products, provide services or have a brick and mortar business your customers visit, online business reviews matter play an important role in a company’s ranking factor in local SEO. A 2018 local consumer survey by BrightLocal found that 86 percent of consumers read reviews for local businesses and consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business.

Having a Rock Solid Online Review Strategy Matters

It’s important to always keep refreshing your digital marketing strategy with new practices and techniques. Having a rock solid online review strategy to gather Yelp reviews, Google Business reviews, Facebook reviews, testimonials for your website and more can improve your online rating scale, increase sales, and establish a healthy cadence of positive reviews posted.

When people read positive reviews, the next step often taken is a website visit or business location visit. According to Propecta, 81 percent of B2B purchase cycles, and 89 percent of shoppers, start with a web search.  

Two of the most important things search engines look at when weighing reviews are quantity and sentiment. The quantity, or overall number of reviews used to be the most important factor, but as of 2017, sentiment now matters even more.

Lastly, review cadence is also important. Your business needs consistent online review activity over time, rather than a spike and dip in reviews. Keeping this in mind when developing an online review strategy will help you identify the best practices and most feasible tactics to implement for your company.

Understand Why People Leave Reviews To Benefit Your Online Review Strategy

When it comes to leaving reviews, it’s the tale of two extremes. People leave reviews when they love a brand and want to celebrate it, or, when they hate a brand and want to warn others. In other words, people with strong emotions about a brand or company’s products or services will go out of their way to sing their praises or warn other customers about their experience.

When executing your online review strategy, be prepared to take the good with the bad. We know that it takes about 10 positive reviews to nullify one bad review, so keep that in mind when working to gain new reviews for your company.

Focusing Your Online Review Strategy on SEO

For the purpose of SEO, your primary focus should be on increasing the number of Google reviews. Your secondary focus should be on platforms like Yelp, Facebook, TripAdvisor etc.

We know that it takes about 10 positive reviews to mitigate damage from one negative review. We’ll need to keep that ratio in mind as we set a goal for how many positive reviews we need to earn over the next few months.

With the goal of improving SEO, reviews should go ONLY to the business listing on Google. The question isn’t “what is the best platform,” it’s “what is the best platform for SEO?”

How To Get More Reviews

Ask for them. The old adage “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” rings especially true when it comes to receiving reviews. Increasing the number of reviews you have is a fundamental part of a rock solid online review strategy.

Here are some ideas and best practices to get you started:

  • Before you ask, know when it’s appropriate to ask for a review. First, determine which past and present clients have something positive to say about their experience working with your team.
  • Another route is to identify past and present colleagues and members of your professional network that would welcome the opportunity to leave a few kind words about your working relationship.

It’s all about timing. Consider implementing some sort of timeline rollout in your online review strategy to keep you organized.

  • Know when clients are most likely to respond and actually leave a review. For instance, after a big win, at a major company milestone, on their anniversary date, or after a big project is completed.
  • Everyone’s always going to be busy. Don’t let that deter you from reaching out. Trying to identify a “slower time of year” never works, so just reach out then to ask for their help with learning an online review for your business.
  • If it is a busier time of year, manage your expectations in terms of immediacy for a response. The key is to keep following up.
  • Once you have identified the best time to reach out and which clients to reach out to, make note of this in your Customer Relationship Management system or internal timeline calendar so you don’t forget to reach out and/or follow up.

Lastly, make it easy for customers to post a review. Provide a direct link for your customers and colleagues to easily post an online review about your business.

Here is an easy step-by-step guide to simplifying this process:

Expanding further on this, another idea is to include a CTA in your email signature. Here’s a sample prompt you can simply copy and paste into your existing signature:

“Have feedback for [YOUR COMPANY NAME]? Tell us how we’re doing by leaving a review on Google. [HYPERLINK TO YOUR COMPANY’S GOOGLE REVIEW PAGE].

Responding to Online Reviews

A review, whether it’s good, lukewarm, or bad, means that people are proactively interacting with your brand. Best practices suggest that all reviews are worth a response. The approach should be different depending on the tonality of the review.

If reviews are left on other sites, set up an alert for when they are posted. Then, get in touch with reviewers personally to thank them for leaving a review and ask them to copy/paste it to Google Business reviews with a provided link.

How to respond to a positive review:

  • Be quick with your response
  • Be warm and personal
  • Say thank you
  • Talk about “next time” and “in the future”
  • Make it actionable on your part

How to respond to a bad review:

  • 57 percent of the time, bad ratings relate to customer service
  • In your response, depersonalize the interaction. Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about the business.  
  • Be empathetic and proactive
  • Be actionable. Say what you are going to do to make it right
  • Talk about “next time” and “in the future”

How to respond to a lukewarm review:

  • Consider it like a negative review
  • If you didn’t wow them, the service was disappointing in some way so follow the same methodology in which you would respond to a bad review
  • The upside is that they found it worth their time to leave a review, meaning they’re open to giving you a second chance

There’s no time like the present to begin developing an effective video content strategy for your small business. Schedule a free strategy review with our team so we can help you make 2019 the year that your content marketing strategy produces results!

video_content_strategy

Say Hello to Short-Form Video Content Strategy

By | Marketing Strategy

The question is no longer whether or not video should be a part of your marketing plan. Video is here to stay. The question we have to answer is how much video do you need and how video content strategy will integrate with other aspects of your marketing plan.

Short-form video content is a rising trend in 2019, thanks to enhancements in technology and increased accessibility on all platforms. Social platforms like Facebook and Instagram now favor and enable native video content. The newest social platform, Snapchat, only allows users to post “micro-videos” that disappear after 24 hours. With these content platforms focusing their efforts to make short-form videos more accessible, even more users are creating and consuming video content.

A recent research report by the Altimeter Group found that short-form video content was the best performing content in terms of engagement across every industry and every geography. It raanks as more engaging than blog posts, whitepapers, and podcasts. Developing a solid video content strategy is a powerful marketing tool that shouldn’t be dismissed.

So, let’s get to it!

What is Short-Form Video Content?

Short-form video content is anything short enough to hold a viewer’s attention span, but long enough to get your point across in an engaging way. Typically, this lands in the 15 seconds to two minute time frame.

Short-form video content is found on YouTube and popular social media platforms like Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook, however, brands also leverage this type of content for their websites and blogs. Google, of course, favors YouTube content and even LinkedIn users are embracing video content.

Short-form video performs exceptionally well because it allows a brand to get its point across in a visual and very personal way. Another major advantage is that it forces companies to deliver their brand message in a memorable way. 

Benefits of a Short-Form Video Content Strategy

Human attention spans have rapidly decreased over recent years, thanks in part to the increased popularity and use of social media and smartphones. A study by Microsoft reported the average human being now has an attention span of eight seconds. And, according to Jampp, our attention span has been rapidly decreasing over the last 15 years and at a rate of 88 percent year-over-year.

Video content strategy offers an opportunity to humanize and personalize your brand identity. Another benefit of using video as part of your digital marketing plan is that it creates more natural opportunities for email marketing. Research shows that adding video to email can boost click-through rates by 200-300 percent and accelerates a company’s sales cycle.

Short-form video also helps with your Google and SEO ranking. YouTube videos tend to rank high in Google search results and the most popular type of videos on YouTube are short-form. Additionally, embedding videos into your website’s landing pages can help increase the time visitors stay on your site, which contributes to search engine rankings.

How to Make a Great Short-Form Video

Don’t overthink it when creating a short-form video. Remember to keep it short, anywhere from 15 seconds to 2 minutes is best. This is great for camera shy executives that a company’s message should be coming from in a video for the brand.

Remember to make it meaningful. Videos that create an emotional response work best, especially on social media platforms. Video content that evokes an emotional response from its viewers also has the best chance to go “viral.”

Here are a few more examples of a short-form video highlighting B2B services from some of our clients, JWB Family Law and HipHire:

Types of Short-Form Content to Include in Your Video Content Strategy

Here are some ideas of different short-form content you can start creating for your video content strategy in 2019:

How-to videos for your company’s products, tools or services.


Videos showing the benefits and features of your products or services.


Behind-the-scenes video of your team in action, such as your company’s manufacturing/production line or featuring a day in the life at your business.


Customer testimonials done interview-style with past or present customers, partners, and clients sharing their positive experience with your company.


Messages from C-level executives expressing gratitude for company milestones and/or wins at the end of a quarter or fiscal year.


Teasers for upcoming events or your company’s new products, tools, and/or services.


Live-streaming from events of your company’s presence at industry conferences, speaking engagements, or tradeshows.

There’s no time like the present to begin developing an effective video content strategy for your small business. Schedule a free strategy review with our team so we can help you make 2019 the year that your content marketing strategy produces results!

Generate more qualified leads through a personalized content marketing strategy.

Personalized Content Marketing Strategy for Greater ROI

By | Content Development, Marketing Strategy

Consumers in the United States spend about as much time sleeping––about 7.8 hours––every day as they do engaging with online content. (Source: Adobe) The time you spend on content marketing strategy is well worth it.

2019 is officially here, bringing opportunities for new beginnings and a fresh start for your content marketing strategy. With email, search, and social continuing to dominate the content landscape, it’s easy to get scattered and try to do a little bit of everything to connect with your clients online. Before you dip a toe in too many digital channels, start with a solid plan.

The bulk of your marketing budget should not be spent on ad campaigns and promotional marketing. Instead, spend that time creating meaningful, customized content that helps your clients solve a challenge. They will thank you for your efforts with their trust.  

The most effective content is tailored for the industry your business is in, as well as with a specific person––and a specific challenge–– in mind. The content should offer your audience a solution to their problem. For instance, a cost analysis tool might help customers understand how you help them save money. A white paper or infographic could explain how your services will help streamline a potential client’s business operations.

Here are a few of the most important steps that should be taken when developing a content marketing strategy for your business.

Personalize your content marketing strategy

Content personalization will continue to be a major content marketing trend in 2019. This not only means that your content needs to be customized for each target audience, but you also need to develop the right strategy for each platform you use to distribute your content.

In a survey of 190 marketing influencers worldwide conducted by Ascend2, 63 percent of respondents said that developing personalized content is a difficult tactic to execute. Instead of thinking of it as if you need to create custom content for each person who interacts with your brand, approach personalization as an opportunity to create relevant and useful information and understanding your clients’ core challenges.

Valuable content is a powerful element to your content marketing strategy. Your clients can tell the difference between meaningful content and content that was developed just to fill space or provide click-bait.

If you spend the time developing meaningful content, you’re likely to generate more qualified leads. As you build out your content schedule for 2019, identify what your audience wants to learn about, not what you want to sell. That will help to eliminate content ideas that are just space-fillers, or overly self-serving without providing real value.

Distribute content effectively

The way your content reaches your audience is crucial for a small business’s content marketing strategy.

Social media is one way to distribute your personalized, segmented content, but your efforts shouldn’t stop there. A segmented email marketing strategy will also be helpful. When you really know who your audience is and what they’re most interested in, you will be able to create even more valuable content––videos, infographics, webinars, gifs, blog posts, etc.––and know exactly where to share it to get the right message in front of the right audience at the right time.

Once you have a handle on which content should be distributed through email marketing and social media, you can extend this knowledge to your website and personalize content for the traffic you drive from other channels.

Power in numbers

Prospective clients rarely make a purchase decision based on one piece of content. It takes time and repetition to build trust. Rather than putting all of your time and effort into creating one piece of content, plan to develop a series of content that will provide ongoing value over time. This will help your audience understand your expertise and how you can help them solve their challenges.

There’s no time like the present to begin developing an effective content marketing strategy for your small business. Schedule a free strategy review with our team so we can help you make 2019 the year that your content marketing strategy produces results!

Social proof can give your clients the information they need.

What Is Social Proof in Marketing? And Why Does It Matter?

By | Content Development, Lead Nurturing, Marketing Strategy

Social proof—it’s all over the news these days. But what is social proof exactly?

Social proof is when you like things because other people or brands like those things. They influence your opinion.

For example, think about the last novel you bought, it probably had raving reviews from big-name authors on the cover, right? That’s an example of the principle of social proof.

If Stephen King had great things to say about this book, then it must be good and you have to buy it. Otherwise, you’re missing out.

And social proof doesn’t only come from celebrities. Those around us every day are also an important source of social proof.

Have you ever bought something based on the recommendation of a friend? If so, you aren’t alone! About 77 percent of consumers found this to be the most persuasive way to learn about new products and businesses.

So how can you leverage this in your marketing?

Testimonials and other social proof examples may seem like small items, but in the big picture, they play a significant role in moving potential clients toward a sale.

Social proof is the hook that helps sell consumers on a product or service. Including some form of social proof in your marketing strategy will help give your potential clients the right information they need to consider doing business with you.

First Things First: Consumers Are Looking at Your Social Media

Your social media profiles say more about your brand than you might think. Consumers tend to look at your profiles to see the content you’re producing and if it’s worth their time.

Don’t worry about how many followers you have, how many likes you’ve gotten, or how many comments were left on your posts. At the end of the day, that doesn’t matter.

Your clients aren’t looking at that—what does matter is the quality of what you’re posting.

Utilizing social proof on your social media is a great content idea. For example, you can post part of a testimonial that someone left you or a link to case studies you have.

Whether you want to showcase a new client or a stellar testimonial you received, this kind of content is great for your social media.

Think of social media as a place to showcase your social proof and bring out your brand’s voice in a more casual setting.

Testimonials & Reviews Are More Important Than Ever for Social Proof

If your company’s page on different review sites like Yelp and Google looks like a ghost town, this isn’t a good sign for your business. But it doesn’t take a ton of reviews to make a difference.

Having just one review can encourage someone to do business with you. For example, every star increase you have on Yelp can increase revenue by 5 to 9 percent.

Before making a purchase, trying a new restaurant, or seeking a spontaneous haircut, most people today will look at a business’ reviews. Studies have shown that the average consumer checks two to three reviews sites before making a decision. If there are no reviews, they will be less likely to choose your business.

The same goes for testimonials on your website. By simply including attributed quotes from your happy clients in an easily accessible spot on your website, you can increase conversion rates.

This is word-of-mouth marketing in the digital age.

Don’t Forget About Case Studies for Social Proof

Although reviews and testimonials provide solid social proof, case studies prove why the reviews and testimonials can be trusted. Ultimately, clients want to know that you can solve the problem they’re facing.

If a client is interested in your product or service and you have case studies that show you’ve solved a problem similar to the one the person has, this helps build trust in what you’re offering.

Case studies allow you to build this personal connection with potential clients—which can help them move one step closer to becoming your next client.

Social Proof Should Showcase Your Clients

If you work with notable clients, show them off! Somewhere on your website, cite some of the businesses you’re working with.

If you’re working with other businesses, drop their logo onto your site—that alone has been shown as a viable source of social proof that pushes people to buy.

This will make you more credible to potential clients. One of those notable clients might be one they connect with or admire, which only makes them want to connect with you more.

Create a Conversation With Social Proof

So why does social proof matter?

Social proof offers your potential clients a mental shortcut to get from “Should I care about this?” to “tell me more.”

Create a conversation with your clients by giving them the information they need to care and want to learn more about your business and services you offer.

Social proof plays an important role in marketing. Are you using it to your advantage? Schedule a consultation with one of our experts to start putting social proof into action for your business.

Take a look at what’s new in digital marketing.

Keep Your Eye on the Ball: What’s New in Digital Marketing?

By | Marketing Strategy

What are you doing to stay relevant with your clients when it comes to your digital marketing strategy? You need to keep your eye on the ball to make sure your digital marketing strategy is a success.

With so many different trends in digital marketing, you should know that not all are worth following. But there are a few we think are likely to stick around.

The needs of your customers and clients evolve over time, which is why digital marketing strategies have to evolve, too. By staying on top of the latest trends and your clients needs, you can ensure that your future and current customers will stay happy.

See which digital marketing trends you should know about:

What’s New in Digital Marketing: Mobile Marketing

Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few years, you most likely know how important it is for your business to be mobile-friendly. Why? According to Statista, in 2018, 52.2 percent of all website traffic around the world was from mobile phones—and it’s only going up from there.

With most people are glued to their phones for an average of five hours per day, it only makes sense to integrate mobile marketing into your digital marketing strategy.

You should start with a mobile-friendly website. You want a responsive website that allows users to easily navigate through your website regardless of what device they’re viewing it on.

When a website is not mobile-friendly, this can cause users to become easily frustrated and leave your site sooner than you want them to.

When it comes to mobile marketing, your email marketing should also be designed to look great when opened on phones as well on computers. This is because consumers are more likely to open an email on their mobile device than their desktop.

When you’re brainstorming your next marketing campaign, think about how you can integrate your mobile phone into the mix.

What’s New in Digital Marketing: Quality Content

OK, so quality content itself isn’t new. But putting a huge emphasis on creating and curating quality content for readers is.

There are two key factors at play here—first, it’s important to create and publish content on a regular schedule that your audience can depend on. And second, it’s important to make that content useful, helpful, and relevant for your clients and potential clients.

Sure, having tons of blogs and Facebook posts looks great, but if nobody is reading them or connecting with them, do they really matter?

Provide your customers with authentic and helpful content they’ll want to read, engage with, and share. You should stick with a consistent schedule and keep an overall goal in mind.

What’s New in Digital Marketing: A Focus on Reviews

There are a lot of different factors that go into organic traffic to your website, but one of the most overlooked is reviews. Google would rather rank a business with hundreds of five-star reviews over a business with one five-star review or a business with one star. This means your Google, Facebook, Yelp, and other review profiles are considered.

Before customers purchase an item or visit a business, about 50 percent of adults under age 50 will check reviews online first.

This is why you should make sure to include a plan of action for acquiring more reviews in your digital marketing strategy.

Reach out to your customers personally to ask them to leave you a review, leave reminders in email marketing, or even create social media posts asking for reviews. It’s better to ask for reviews than to expect them to happen without a little nudge.

If your digital marketing strategy isn’t meeting customers where they are, it’s time to rethink it. Wayward Kind is here to help you stay ahead of your competition and give you a marketing strategy that works! Connect with us today to find out how we can help.

Repurposing content is important for your content development plan.

Getting More Out of Your Content Development Plan

By | Content Development, Marketing Strategy

So you’ve put the time and investment into creating content, now what? Post it on your blog and that’s it?

Not quite.

Take that amazing content and repurpose it for different platforms and audiences. Your content development plan doesn’t have to stop at one audience and one platform.

The more platforms you use, the more people you reach, the more results you achieve.

What do you have to lose?

Why Does My Content Development Plan Need Repurposed Content?

Have you ever sat down to create an editorial calendar for the rest of the year with unique ideas every day of the week? You will most likely run out of ideas within a few months.

Hence the benefit of repurposing content.

When you repurpose content in your content development plan, you can use the same idea dozens of times—in a ton of different ways.

Not only is this going to save you time, but repurposing content can help drive traffic to one source. If you know anything about SEO, this is a good thing. Continuously driving traffic to one spot can help you rank high for a given keyword on Google.

If you have several different audiences that you market to but each have a service in common, you can easily switch up some of the wording in your content to cater it to a different audience. That keeps you from writing something from scratch, but still personalizes the content for each audience.

The last reason you should repurpose your content is that there are different audiences on every platform. Not everyone checks Facebook…and not everyone opens emails.

The more platforms you use, the more likely someone will read your content.

Where Should I Repurpose Content?

You can repurpose your content almost anywhere. Whether you prefer digital or print, you can use it across the board. The possibilities are pretty endless, but a few options include:

 

  •        Blogging
  •        Guest blogging
  •        Email marketing
  •        Video marketing
  •        Social media
  •        E-books
  •        Infographics
  •        Brochures
  •        Newspapers/magazines

How Do I Repurpose Content in My Content Development Plan?

Whether your initial content is a blog, video, email, or something else, you can use that content across the board.

For example, let’s start with a blog about baking the best chocolate chip cookies. You can first repurpose this blog by posting a link to it on different social media platforms. Schedule these for different days and different times depending on your audience.

Next, you can take that blog about baking the best chocolate chip cookies and make a video about it. Whether you want to take a live video of you baking these cookies or a slideshow that demonstrates the process, this video can be posted on YouTube, on the original blog, and on social media platforms. Voilà, that’s content use No.3!

You can also make an infographic with content from this blog and/or video.

From there, you might find that this recipe is a huge hit and you want to have it published in a newspaper, magazine, or brochure. You can pull bits and pieces of the original content into the new piece, cutting the time for creation way down.

Don’t forget to email the recipe out to your network! You can use part of the blog to catch your reader’s attention, where they will then click on the link to read the rest of the blog and to watch the video.

Once you’ve gathered up enough blogs about the same topic, compile them into one document and repurpose them as an e-book, which you can then repurpose across all the platforms.

This content development strategy will allow your content to circulate through the platforms so that it stretches as far as possible.

Our last tip: Don’t publish your content all at once, spread it out! Not only does it last longer this way, but it increases the chances that your audience will see it in one place and increase exposure to your brand.

If creating your own content development plan seems a bit overwhelming, no sweat! Our team at Wayward Kind is happy to work with you to create the right content strategy. Get in touch today to discover how we can take your content to the extra mile.

To generate growth you must engage all parts of the sales funnel.

Is Your Sales Funnel Leaking?

By | Lead Generation, Marketing Strategy

If you’ve been in the business for any length of time, you’ve probably faced the scenario. An existing client referred a potential client to you.

The prospect is promising—it’s a mid-sized business that needs your services to help promote growth among their own clientele. You had a phone call and then a follow-up meeting to chat through the company’s goals and how your services align with them.

But since then, your lead has fallen off the radar…leaked out of the sales funnel, so to speak.

And that’s a problem. Whereas marketers were once tasked with only the top of the funnel, things like brand awareness and metrics, they’re now responsible for moving prospects through the entirety of the funnel.

Times have changed. Now, marketers who only focus on the top of the funnel risk their budget and their jobs.

Every CEO expects marketing to focus on growth, not just brand awareness. In fact, 70 percent of CEOs believe that CMOs should be leading revenue growth, and the majority name revenue as the primary mandate of marketing.

Moreover, companies are now facing challenges in the marketing field that can be overcome with growth marketing. Generating leads is the biggest challenge for many marketers, but just as important are challenges like proving the ROI of marketing activities.

Plugging the leaks in your sales funnel can mean better leads, better data, long-term customers, and the ability to prove ROI combined with retention.

Retention & the Sales Funnel

So, what’s the big deal about retention, anyway?

Well, it’s really the backbone of growth marketing. Successful marketing is not just about the top of the funnel and customer acquisition. It is also about acquiring customers who will stick around long-term.

Growth without retention is not really growth.

And you should be focused on growth now more than ever. In fact, the typical SaaS business loses 2–3 percent of their customers every month, so they have to grow by 27–43 percent annually in order to compensate for that loss and maintain the same level of revenue.

That’s just to keep things where they are—not to increase revenue.

That’s why retention is a critical make-or-break factor in many companies. With improved retention, losses are reduced and revenue grows.

On the flip side, the more customers you lose, the more new leads you have to generate.

The Fix for Your Sales Funnel

Start by identifying your top marketing channels.

Marketing strategies typically include multiple channels, which differ based on industry, audience, or business model. Rather than trying to maximize acquisition across all channels, determine your top three—then work to be a rockstar in those three.

Pull your efforts away from the less effective channels. Then, identify weaknesses.

Before you use growth marketing, you need to figure out where bottlenecks exist in your sales funnel. Determine where your funnel inhibits customer growth.

For most people, the common bottlenecks exist at awareness and conversion.

The widest part of the funnel might not seem like a bottleneck, but it is. Companies often fail to establish that much-needed initial trust. Creating and maintaining that trust is an essential part of proving your worth and value to a prospect.

The middle of the funnel is where you lose customers. This is all about relationship-building and nurturing, areas where marketers can struggle at times.

But taking the time to tighten up your sales funnel and patch up any leaks is key to moving prospects through the funnel and turning them into customers.

If you need help with your existing sales funnel, or would like to create one, schedule a free strategy session with our team.

SEO optimization

Why SEO Optimization Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

By | Content Development, Lead Generation, Marketing Strategy

SEO sounds so simple—make sure all your web content, blogs, and landing pages can be easily located and ranked high by search engines. But it’s not really simple—and it’s not just a one-time thing.

Just when you think your SEO efforts are in tip-top shape, Google rolls out another twist and you find yourself struggling to catch up to the pack.

Imagine an athlete training to compete as a sprinter only to be told at the last minute she was entered in the Boston Marathon. Whoa! The training is different, the skills you need are different, and you’ll need way more stamina if you’re running long distances.

SEO is a long-haul marathon process. Marketing managers and companies study the latest Google algorithms often to learn just what it takes to get to the top of search rankings. And yet, Google is always elusive, never quite divulging all its secrets.

So spend a few minutes stretching, grab your running shoes, and let’s focus on some key principles to help you prepare for the marathon of improving your web content SEO.

SEO Is Work

Just as training for and running a marathon is hard work, so is the ongoing task of preparing your web content for SEO. Like marathon training, it’s a long game. Each race demands its own level of training. For most marathon runners, after one race comes another.

Good SEO programs and services can provide you with data and guidance, but the work is up to you.

You must implement the changes (or authorize their implementation) on your website. Make the necessary adjustments to your design. Seek to understand recent keyword data and how it needs to be woven into your content.

Or, you can depend on an SEO-savvy team to get you there.

SEO Takes Discipline

If you want to get in the physical shape necessary to run a marathon, you should eat well, sleep well, and have a training plan. Improving your rankings on search engine results pages is similar—you need a plan.

SEO means making changes when they are necessary, even when it hurts. It means improving website design. It means quality keyword research and use practices. It means internal and external linking that builds value and boosts rankings.

SEO Takes the Right Equipment

It’s easier to train and run a marathon if you have the right equipment. If you want to run long distances, you need great running shoes for support. If you want to get on Google’s first result page, you need a few important resources to get there.

Clean web pages, seamless back-end structure, and a reputable SEO tool are some great suggestions. Also, it pays in the long run to invest in smart keyword research and SEO assistance.

SEO Requires Following the Rules

Like training for a marathon, there really are no shortcuts to effective SEO. A short-term gain can lead to sickness and destroying your body. You also cannot take shortcuts to get ahead of the competition.

To get quick SEO results, some companies consider spammy techniques that promise results. But Google is on to that. Any attempt at shortcutting the process can result in penalties or even being banned altogether.

At Wayward Kind, our SEO experts have trained for the long haul, and we can go the distance with your company’s SEO process. Done correctly, SEO produces results.

A client needed to increase leads and nurture those leads as they moved through the buying process. After working with our team to improve their content strategy and SEO, they celebrated the following results:

  • Increased the number of keywords ranking on page one of search results by 40%
  • Improved position of targeted keywords in search results by an average of 13
  • Increased time on site by 51%

Our team has experience in generating the best results for online marketing clients. Get in touch today to discover how we can ensure your online content is ranking well helping prospective clients find your products or services.

what to do when my digital marketing strategy isn't working

Your Digital Marketing Strategy Isn’t Working. Now What?

By | Lead Generation, Marketing Strategy

What do you do if you’ve spent a bunch of time and money creating a marketing strategy and it just doesn’t seem to work? Many of our clients come to us for this very reason. They’ve made a big investment in planning, and it’s not paying off.

We get it—feeling like you are constantly starting over with marketing is right up there with rubbing salt in your eyeballs. It’s something to avoid at all costs!

But the cost of ignoring a marketing strategy that isn’t working is too high. Eventually every business ends up right where you are now—trying to figure out what needs to change to hit your business goals.

As marketing changes, your digital marketing strategy should, too.

In business and marketing, updates come along pretty often. New technology, shifting trends, and updated government regulations are a few of usual suspects causing changes in digital marketing.

So, the best marketing strategy is a working plan that’s flexible. The kind of plan that always looks to see what’s working—and discards what isn’t.

Where to start

You begin by asking some hard questions. I know that isn’t fun. But, asking hard questions leads us to solid answers.

Begin first by looking internally.

What makes your brand compelling and memorable? Is it consistently recognized across different platforms? Do you solve a problem people actually have? Do people trust your brand to solve this problem? Why or why not?

Next, look externally.

Who is your best customer? How much do they know about their pain? Do they know you provide a solution to their challenge? Do they consider your services THE solution? Or just one of many options?

 

Now we’re getting somewhere.

Next, look past your customers to your competitors.

What is your competitor offering that you’re not? What does your competitor do well? Where do they struggle?

Your digital marketing plan shouldn’t be static.

Now for some good news. You never really have to start over with your digital marketing strategy, but you do have to constantly be iterating and refining the strategy.

The most effective approach has three steps: plan, measure, and improve. Most companies get the first part right—they create a well-thought-out digital marketing plan and start putting it in motion.

The problem is that very few companies spend time measuring results and using those results to improve upon the initial plan.

The companies that see the greatest results do not follow their marketing plan to the letter. They use the plan as a guide and are diligent about making make strategic changes along the way based on results. This approach allows you to capitalize on the things that are producing results and nix the pieces of the strategy that aren’t.

You never have to “start over” if you’re constantly tweaking and improving as you go.

Here’s an example of how the Plan Measure Improve approach works:

Plan

Recently, we worked with a law firm that wanted to book more consultations online with prospective clients.

  • We started by defining segments of the firm’s audience and identifying which segments were most likely to book appointments online.
  • Next, we created blog and landing page content that helped answer common questions that those specific segments of the audience often ask during their initial consultation.
  • After giving the prospective clients a few pieces of information we knew they’d need no matter what, we offered to help in a more concrete way through a free consultation.
  • Last, we drove traffic to the blog posts and landing pages through targeted social media content and Google Adwords campaigns.

Measure

Whew! That’s a lot of work. Next up is to see how it all worked so we know whether to keep going or make some changes.

  • We found that the social media campaigns were not as effective as we’d anticipated. This could be because people who are considering a divorce don’t want their friends and family on social media to know they’re interacting with a family law firm.
  • We discovered that the average visitor looked at three pages of content before booking a consultation online.
  • We saw that a handful of the ads were outperforming others—the subject of these ads was about getting custody of your kids during a divorce.

Improve

The data we uncovered was really useful. With that information, we shifted the digital marketing strategy after only 45 days in order to improve results. Here’s what we changed:

  • Knowing that the social media campaigns were not performing as planned, we just spent less time here. We still published social media content, but we didn’t expect it to produce results—not yet, anyway. The result of this change in the strategy was more time to devote to other things that were working.
  • Once we discovered that the average visitor needed to see multiple pieces of content before converting, we looked at the editorial calendar and found ways to create content to build upon previous content. Creating clearly linked pieces of related content delivered a really rapid uptick in conversions. Within a couple of weeks, we were already seeing positive results.
  • Lastly, knowing which ads were working and which were not, we dropped the duds and focused on the subjects that were driving traffic. Doing this allowed us to shift more of our client’s advertising budget to topics relating to child custody—and we saw immediate positive results from this shift.

The most effective digital marketing plan is a flexible one.

Having a digital marketing strategy in place is critical, but it’s not meant to be followed blindly.

If it’s been a while since someone has assessed whether your plan is working, schedule a free strategy review with our team.