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Archive for strategic marketing

Why Business Blogging

Why Business Blogging Should Be Part of Your Marketing Plan??

There are some really good reasons to include business blogging in your marketing plan. It remains an important strategy that should not be ignored or neglected.business blogging

Marketing plans come in all shapes and sizes. The right marketing plan for your business depends on many different factors. But one thing all businesses have in common is that they can benefit a great deal from blogging.

Blogging is a tactic used in content marketing. When you write a blog, you publish a steady stream of fresh content. This content draws traffic to your site and earns new readers, while also building a relationship with the readers you have.

Business Blogging Is Simple but Effective

Many small businesses don’t want to blog because it’s ‘writing’ and you’re not a ‘writer.’ But blogging is extremely simple. This is why it makes a perfect element in an online marketing plan.

Blog posts can be as short as 300 words or even less, but generally I recommend 400 words. They can include videos and images. Each post can cover one simple topic and the writing doesn’t have to be magazine-grade. Write in a conversational tone like you’re talking to a friend and proofread so that there aren’t any grammar or spelling mistakes. The thing is that you ARE an expert in your field. You have knowledge and expertise that you can share.

The way to blog headache-free is to set aside a little time each week to write and post. Carve out an hour or so to write something and post it. If you have a team member who can write well, delegate the task to them.

How to Get Ideas for Business Blogging

The other trouble many people have when they start blogging is where to get ideas. Here are some simple places to get ideas for your blog posts:

 Answer questions customers often ask
 Teach readers how to do something simple step by step
 Discuss news, current events or hot topics on other blogs
 Answer questions from forums, Q&A sites like Yahoo Answers, social media or blog comments
 Start by looking at popular keywords and write blog posts around them.

Keep an idea file. Spend some time brainstorming topics at first and then add to it whenever you get an idea. Whenever you need an idea, refer to this file and start writing.

Working a Business Blog into Your Marketing Plan

Decide what topics your blog will cover and at what frequency you’ll write and post. If you add a blog to your website, you’ll boost your site’s SEO and give visitors more to do there. You can also use your blog’s analytics and its reader comments to learn more about your target market and its tastes.

Blogging can become the HUB of your marketing plan, bringing traffic back to your website.

Think about it.  If you have questions?? Reach out!!

Strategy vs. Tactics in Marketing

Lead GenerationHave you developed a suite of marketing tactics or have you developed a strategic marketing plan?

Many, many business owners have strung together a bunch of marketing tactics.  They think it is strategic but they don’t fit together well and they don’t work strategically.

A marketing strategy should take a prospect through a process that first gets their attention, then educates and guides until they have reached the point that they WANT to buy from YOU because they see YOU as the person that has what they need.

But when you decide to start using a new tactic without thinking through the entire process of the buyer, you will most likely fail. The tactic will be blamed as ineffective and you will not see the results that you want.

It is vital that strategic marketing be well thought through.  You should NOT be calling the newspaper to run an ad without a well thought out strategy for what people will do when they see your ad.

I was talking with a business owner just the other day that said — ‘well, I just want brand recognition’.  That is great for Coke or Pepsi or McDonald’s, but most small business owners cannot afford to do just brand recognition.  They need to do lead generation and lead conversion.  Brand recognition takes a lot of money. Using a tactic for brand recognition without a strategic system for lead capture is sure bankrupt many a small business owner.

But — with the right strategy you can make an ad work for you.  Marketing is not a puzzle — but it does have a lot of pieces to it and they need to be strategically put together.

The newspaper ad — needs to have a call to action!  That call to action takes the prospect somewhere — you need to think this through. The call to action should NOT be “Call ME!”.  That just is not realistic.  What is a good call to action?

A strong call to action has a lead capture system built into it.  It compels the prospect to give to you their name and email (minimally) and in exchange you provide something of value to the prospect.  Most commonly — this is a landing page with an offer of a free report/video series/tip sheet/white paper…etc.  It is too early to jump to the free consult.  And the offer needs to be compelling.  The lead capture form needs to be automated. You do not want to be manually sending out free reports to people. Using a service such as Aweber, Get Response, Mail Chimp or Zoho provides this to you.

Once you have captured the lead, then you have the ability to continue to follow up with people.  Auto-responders can provide a great deal of follow up for you, automatically.  Eventually, you do want to be talking with the prospect.  When depends on you and your business.  But when you do — this needs to be thought out also. What is the goal of the conversation?  How can you guide the lead to that goal?  Using a script to do this increases your conversions.  Just winging it and hoping that each of your staff do the same is likely to decrease your conversion rate.  When you script out the call or the office visit or the webinar then you are thinking the entire process through.  You aren’t forgetting a piece.

Throughout the process you need to be tracking what worked and what didn’t. If there is a step that doesn’t work — then refine it.  Do not give it up.  Revise and refine to get it right.

Take a few minutes to look at your strategies — are they well thought out?  Is there a system in place?  Have you put scripts in place for your staff?

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Could Your Marketing Strategy Be WRONG?

LeadGeneration_Design1_03Marketing Strategy is more than just tactics

Could it be that everything you’ve learned about marketing is wrong?  Well, we are seeing many, many businesses fail and it is largely due to lack of leads, conversions and increased revenue.  Would a business fail if it had all the leads it needed coming into it each and every day? Would a business fail if they had a system for converting leads to clients or customers — consistently?

But many do not have these systems in place.

New Business Leads Are Often the Make or Break of Business

Leads come and then they go. Or they sit stagnate without followup or follow through.

Systems that generate leads are no good if you do not have a system to convert the lead to a client or customer — either now or in the future.

If you are not capturing the leads that come your way — then you have wasted both time and money.

How do you put all of the pieces together? It is a puzzle, but there is a strategic way to put the pieces together.

It is not just a haphazard throwing together of tactics. They are no good to you without strategy.

For instance, if you decide to exhibit at a trade show but then have no follow up strategy — you have just wasted, time, money and marketing collateral at the trade show and you are feeling like the show didn’t work.  What really didn’t work was YOU!  Follow up is the biggest area of failure for business owners.  They put together marketing tactics and do not have the complete marketing strategy thought out.

Marketing effectively is strategic.  It is a process and a system —> from beginning to end.

If you run an ad without a planned strategy and system then you have flushed money right down the toilet.  Will you get calls?  Maybe, but without a system those calls will go no where.

Learn the pieces of what is wrong with your marketing strategy so that you can fix it!!

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