The key performance indicators your company isn't paying enough attention to

Key performance indicators are an essential part of tracking your marketing progress. However, picking out the most important ones and measuring them accurately can sometimes be tricky. Which key performance indicators should you be keeping an eye on, and how do you quantify their effectiveness?

The first most important key performance indicator is customer lifetime value. Although it doesn’t seem like something you should consider when you’re focusing on conversion rates, it’s crucial to have a good understanding of it to improve the means through which you advertise and how your budget is split up. Come up with an average transaction value for a cross-section of your customers, then calculate the average purchase frequency over a period of time - usually one year. Once you’ve determined how long any given customer remains a customer, you can calculate your customer lifetime value.

If you’re looking to extend the duration of time each person buys from you, develop a loyalty system that gives them incentive to come back to you repeatedly. One way to do this is through personalized marketing emails that you can automate to send at specific times or when specific actions are completed. Products that come included with signups or purchases can also help stretch the customer lifespan of your buyers.

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Why new business owners and startups should start bootstrapping

Although it may seem intimidating to some, bootstrapping your own company is a good option as long as you play by the rules. You always have the final say when you create something from the ground up. Get the business you want with the money you have by following our list of steps below.

Be realistic about your budget. You may be spending more than you think you are, which is why it’s so important to record every single thing you buy. Up your budget by a quarter of its initial number; you’ll likely be closer to this new spending roof by the end of the month.

If you’re overspending, look for effective ways to cut costs without cutting corners. This applies to life outside your business as well. Cut your leisure activities budget in half, get a more cost-efficient phone plan, or find a way to lower your vehicle loans. There are many ways to save a bit of cash in each category every month.

Protect yourself by making your business a C corporation. Some entrepreneurs forgo this option in favour of an LLC label, but it’s much safer for new startups to become C corporations. You and your company will be taxed individually rather than as one group, which means the large amount of taxes that your company eventually racks up won’t affect you.

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Every business needs to use SEO to some degree, but it’s especially important for small businesses. Skirting around SEO, or steering clear of learning about it altogether, can hinder your company’s growth more than you think, especially if it’s newer and smaller than others. We’ll help you get started by showing you exactly how to use SEO to your advantage.

Search engine optimization, when done correctly, will provide visibility for your company’s digital content across different online platforms. This typically involves the use of various strategies to rank higher in search engine results. Altering your website’s layout, taking advantage of content marketing, link building effectively, and advertising your business on social media can all put you closer to the top of the results page.

Although it isn’t common, businesses should keep SEO strategies in mind while building their websites. Larger businesses can afford to professionally market themselves right off the bat, but smaller ones should invest in affordable SEO practices.

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Turn your employees into brand ambassadors

One of the most important skills for any employee to have is the ability to effectively recruit. Workers who have grown accustomed to being in leadership roles or managerial positions often find recruitment to be an easy task, but the same can’t be said for the majority of the employees at any given company. They may want to recruit and simply lack the knowledge to do so correctly, which can pose problems down the road.

Although company leaders should be able to rely on their employees as their main brand ambassadors, they first need to be taught what being a brand ambassador entails. If they go in blindly, they could end up making near-fatal mistakes. Set your employees up for success by following our the three easy steps below.

Put them at ease. Due to the high costs in money, time, and energy, hiring bad workers is something a company can’t afford and something employees don’t want to be held responsible for. Many employees who want to make referrals simply don’t for fear that their referral will fail. You can avoid bad hires and obtain good referrals by training your employees to be good recruitment officers.

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If you’re part of a large company, you know that meeting all of the requirements in an approved way can be tricky. You often need verification from marketing and legal groups, on top of getting around many other obstacles. Simplify the process by putting a few things into place.

Create a genuine connection with your company’s decision makers so they can give the go-ahead for your company’s marketing strategies and activities quickly and easily. Make yourself an honest, likeable component of the team, and once you’ve gained their trust, start offering your ideas while still maintaining a casual relationship.

Unfortunately, a simple marketing pitch isn’t good enough - you need evidence that those ideas will benefit all parties involved. Email your decision makers accurate articles or reports that support your suggestion or marketing strategy pitch. Be ready to counter any objections they may have to your plan. When they see the value in your proposal, they’ll make a decision faster and with more knowledge of the situation.

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To achieve SEO with your content, you have to do more than just produce great content - you also have to follow Google’s rules. The way the company determines the quality of the content it receives is ever-changing, but two factors that are always relevant are the internet habits of device users and the people, not machines, that ensure the ranking rules are being followed. Human review and appeal are an important part of SEO. Having said that, we’ll go over the technical side of SEO first.

Every good marketer knows that using keywords is mandatory to achieve ideal SEO. With this in mind, you should choose keywords relevant to your business, but not broad enough to generate a great deal of competition. Go for keywords that are specific to your industry and often searched by members of your target audience. If you select keywords simply due to their high search frequency, you may not be reaching the right people. Dropping keywords into your article headlines is a great way of ensuring that those articles will be seen by many.

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Brand loyalty can be hard to come by now that millions of advertisements can reach anyone, anywhere, anytime. Recent studies have shown results that favour this notion, discovering that 79% of the millennials surveyed considered the quality of the product over the brand name associated with it when making a purchase.

Other studies have contradicted this information, finding that 77% of the consumers surveyed use the same brand countless times, and 37% of that group labeled themselves as brand loyalists based on the fact that they’d stick to their typical brand even when offered a similar, better product. Assuming the second findings are more accurate, there are a few things about brand loyalists that businesses and every advertising agency should know to better understand them.

Reeling in customers starts with presenting your product as a novelty. It may not be the first of its kind, but perhaps it has a unique feature or design that your competitors’ products don’t have. If neither of these things is applicable to your product, find an atypical way to advertise it and create novelty that way. This novelty, when repeated, will be stored in the consumer’s memory, and their mind will begin to equate happiness and quality with your brand.

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Now that so much of the world has gone virtual, it’s easy for just about anyone with access to wifi to make a bit of extra cash. Sneaky scams aside, there are many ways you can add to your salary through the services offered by the internet.

Blogging is a great way to make money online. Buying a domain name and a service package from a blog building site doesn’t cost much, and you can start blogging as soon as you’ve purchased the necessary equipment. If you choose the blog route, you’ll want to write about interesting topics to draw in as many people as possible. After your blog has gained a significant amount of traffic, monetize it through sponsors, advertisers, or affiliate commissions. Depending on your blog’s content, it may benefit more from one monetization option than another.

If you know a lot about a certain topic but don’t like the idea of blogging, try putting together books, videos, or items that people can purchase to learn more about that topic. You can do this alongside blogging, as well, promoting your materials on your business website and in your articles. Putting in the effort and properly advertising these products is sure to bring in some cash. Autoresponders can make the process easier, collecting the email addresses of interested customers and sending them a series of marketing emails.

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When SEO first came into play, the focus was on coding and practically nothing else. With the change in consumer habits and search engine functions, however, SEO has gained a much more human element. This means that while the logical, hands-on parts of the practice are still important, navigating the likes, dislikes, thoughts, and feelings of your audience is just as significant. It’s possible to find a happy medium, and we’ll show you how.

Technical SEO teams typically work on similar tasks as but separate from IT teams, helping to understand and clarify the needs of each content marketer, web developer, and link creator they deal with. The SEO team then puts its plans into action, making the data fetching, categorization, and ranking much easier. When SEO and IT teams collaborate, time is saved, issues are avoided, and cohesion is achieved.

Once your development teams are working together, separate on-page SEO and off-page SEO. On-page elements include internal links, website structure, coding errors, loading speed, page content, and mobile adaptability. In contrast, off-page elements include social networking, inbound links, influencer content, and guest articles.

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There are few people who know Instagram better than the ones who use it the most: 21st century teenagers. Having grown up with the internet and alongside the boom in social media, they’ve figured out how to swiftly navigate the photo-based platform in record time. So how do they do it, and how can your business benefit from the social media strategies of teens? You’re about to find out.

The majority of teenagers on Instagram and social media use the abbreviations LB, CB, and FB, as well as the word First when responding to a post from a popular online personality. These strange little codes stand for like back, comment back, follow back, and like my latest post, respectively. Surprisingly, employing this strategy can help your company’s account gain followers. This is because Instagram recommends relevant content to its users instead of recent content for a more personalized experience. You’ll naturally collect more likes, comments, and followers this way.

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When done correctly, email marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies available to businesses today. Automated email marketing follows the principles of email marketing, but sends emails at specific times that are predetermined by your company. There are many things you need to know before you start, so let’s go over the ins and outs of automated email marketing.

Automated email marketing doesn’t include the confirmation emails sent to customers when they place an order. This is because most of the time, those emails aren’t trying to sell anything; they’re simply laying out information that the customer already knows. Emails intended for marketing, on the other hand, give customers new information and attempt to draw them in enough to make a purchase.

We’ll first look at trigger emails, which are sent when a member of your target audience completes a certain action. Trigger emails cover those sent when a customer leaves a full online shopping cart, purchases a product, passes an important date, or is close to ending a free trial period. This type of automated email marketing is ideal for companies that have many active customers.

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Here's how to always appear on the first page of Google search results -- the search engine ranking advice you need to hear!

To push your company up to the first Google search results page, you’ll need links. While many businesses focus on the quantity of those links, it’s quality that truly determines how you’ll rank. Use our simple tricks to give your company more online exposure.

When it comes to search engine ranking, look for pre-compiled blog lists that relate to your industry. This makes choosing the best ones much easier and hunting down individual links unnecessary. Click on an article with a list of 20 to 50 blogs so you have a good amount of selection. When you find a few sources that are relevant to your business, reach out with an email offering an appealing deal or special offer.

If you want to be more sure you’ve chosen a good blog, use Ahrefs to evaluate the site based on its domain and page authority. It’s best to create a master list or spreadsheet to store the data you find and compare your sources. When you eventually reach out to other bloggers, make sure you’re not being demanding. Allow for some back and forth communication before you ask for a favour, and consider offering something free or discounted in exchange for an honest review.

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If your target audience is smaller and more refined than those of other businesses, you may be struggling to gain results from regular online marketing strategies. You’re in luck, however - there are several ways to successfully advertise your products to your very specific audience.

Start in the Google search engine to discover what your customers are typing into the search bar. Narrow down the information and create Facebook ads that will directly target and attract potential buyers. These ads need to be shown repeatedly to your customers over a decent period of time to press the product into their subconscious, predisposing them to buy your product when they need something like it.

You can also opt for the Google ads or Google AdWords approach, in which you use relevant keywords in your ads to have them appear far up on the search results page and lead your audience members to a contest or giveaway your company is hosting. The more specific the keywords are, the less it will cost your company to run the ads.

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Money-saving tips every startup should follow

No businesses struggle to keep their cash the way startups do. Most companies cost around $30,000 just to get up and running, and thousands more for rent, salaries, materials, and advertising. The last of this list seems unnecessary, but not doing it could cost your business more money in the long run. You’ll want to focus on it without spending much, so here’s a handful of cheap and useful marketing strategies for your budding company.

Give referrals a try. Create a campaign that allows your current customers to refer a friend who might be interested in trying your product and receive a reward for doing so. Setting up a campaign like this comes at little to no cost, and the referred individuals that come your way are more willing to trust you having been told about your company by someone they like and respect.

Press releases can work as well. You’ll have your company mentioned in popular media this way, extending your reach far beyond your previous boundaries. If you take the time to find the journalists yourself, it can be a completely free option. For an alternate approach, content marketing is promising for most. This strategy includes text, photos, videos, and podcasts, all of which can up your site traffic and be used alongside other methods.

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In the waning age of simple print advertisements, companies are forced to focus on what 21st century consumers have come to enjoy: content marketing. Nowadays, it’s important to come across genuinely in your marketing, putting thought into the composition of each advertisement and promotion you create. This is made more difficult with the growing popularity of social media platforms and the staggering rate at which they’re used. There’s no need to stress, however - there are many tools available that make content marketing easier.

Defining and integrating your goals into all the marketing campaigns you run can prove challenging, but this challenge can be overcome with an all-inclusive strategy manual. Content marketing manuals help your company maintain consistency throughout your marketing campaign, adhering to your overarching message. Many websites offer both digital and print manuals that can be purchased or downloaded by those who need it.

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Gaining and keeping the trust of others has proven to be challenging, and when those others are skeptical consumers, the task becomes even more difficult. Fortunately, having some knowledge of consumer psychology can make relationship development a bit easier.

Loss aversion is a powerful psychological phenomena that causes people to put more effort into avoiding losses than aiming for gains. One study divided participants into two groups, the first of which could risk losing or gaining $50 and ultimately keep $30, and the second of which could do the same gamble and ultimately surrender $20. Despite the game being the same, 61% of participants in the second group were willing to take the chance, compared to 43% in the first group.

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The New Adwords Experience is almost here, and while it’s quite different from is predecessor, many of those differences appear to be improvements. As expected, they’re not all presented upfront - they take some time to discover. Here’s what we found when learning about the new Adwords user interface.

Several advertising agencies and advertisers have been given access to the new Adwords over the past several months, and by the end of 2017, all active online advertisers will be able to use it. The advertisers using the new Adwords can still use the older version if they so choose, and many might, simply due to the unfamiliar design of the most recent version. However, Adwords creators are hoping that the updated list of features will sway advertisers towards the new interface.

One of the most useful features of the new interface is the promotion extension option, which gives marketers the option to reveal an offer in text advertisements and insert a direct link to it. The feature is clearly indicated by a tag icon and makes it easier for customers to quickly reach the company’s website or social media l media pages.

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Now that so many companies have a significant online presence through their many social media accounts, it’s important for the heads of those companies to lay down some ground rules to protect workers, private information, and the company’s reputation. How should you go about creating those guidelines? We have a few suggestions.

You must first decide and clearly state who can speak for the company on any of its social media platforms. Many businesses disallow its everyday workers to respond to the questions and concerns of customers, opting for a specialized team to do it instead for the sake of consistency, privacy, and accurate representation.

Of course, it’s possible to create milder rules that allow dedicated workers to provide helpful input when necessary. If you opt for a more general policy, make sure that even the most experienced workers give customers advice that aligns with the company’s views. One way to do this is to teach your employees how to interact with customers in a helpful but company-approved manner. Consider selecting a handful of longtime employees to carry out such tasks and be clear about the rules.

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Getting conversions from your online content is becoming increasingly difficult as the online world changes. You’re now up against not only your industry competitors, but also any other companies looking for digital space to advertise. It’s not always easy, but it doesn’t have to be hard, either. If you want to succeed, you need to know what your target audience likes and offer those things to them.

With the growing mistrust of companies among consumers, customer testimonials make your business much more credible to outsiders. Consumers have begun to look to their close friends, loved ones, and even general social groups they fit into for advice, so showing a few highly positive and generally descriptive testimonials on your website and in marketing emails will intrigue them. You’ll gain more conversions soon after.

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Gone are the days when marketers would vaguely suggest to other parties what their customers may like based on the number of pages they visited on any given site. That method has been replaced by a much more thorough practice called behavioural marketing.

Showing consumers ads that may or may not be relevant to them can work, but it’s quite inefficient. Behavioural marketing compiles each user’s search history, cookies, and other related information to create a profile that can be advertised to. The more the user interacts with certain digital information, the better catered their offers will be.

Like most marketing frameworks, behavioural marketing isn’t as basic as it seems. The term is used to cover things like promotional emails, product suggestions, and retargeting. The third of these elements is exactly what it sounds like: a process that remembers which products a customer has seen and reintroduces those products to the customer at a later time. Retargeting is most often used on Google and Facebook.

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Every company that’s good at marketing knows that SEO, or search engine optimization, is essential to success. But not everyone understands what SEO entails and how it works. Whether you’re completely new to the concept or just need a refresher, we’re here to help.

The goal of SEO is to spread the word about your company, making sure it reaches to and draws in your target audience to your business website. To do that, you’re going to need a set of tools. The first of these tools is Ahrefs, an algorithm that searches the internet for good backlinks for your website. Its expansive database makes it possible to view related backlinks and the metrics regarding those backlinks in a matter of minutes.

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When Facebook first introduced ads to its platform, users didn’t recognize them as ads; they saw them as regular posts. Now that everyone is all too aware of the sponsored posts on their feed, marketers have to watch their step.

Before you create your ad, plan to be honest with your goals and present yourself in a way you know will stand out. Instead of modelling your Facebook ads after those of other companies without knowing if they’ll be effective, choose an unlikely marketing strategy that will increase your uniqueness. Once you’re aware of these tips and are ready to implement them, create and release your ad.

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Companies spent $6 billion more on mobile advertising this year than they did in 2015, and that jump managed to beat out the yearly total of desktop advertising. With mobile advertising securing its place as the new standard, it’s time to start looking at the newest ppc and marketing trends of 2017, featured on Google AdWords and Bing Ads.

The most prominent part of AdWords specifically is its artificial intelligence. Machines have begun to take in new information and learn from it, taking over most search marketing functions. When Google introduced smart display, not many people knew that most of the behind-the-scenes work was completed by autonomous machines, which saves the company time and energy.

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What the iPhone Did for the Tech World

Despite Apple not being the first to create and release a smartphone, the decade-old iPhone became wildly popular upon its introduction to cell phone users and managed to drown out the noise of its competitors surprisingly quickly. With this evolutionary new product on the market, many things in the social, marketing, and tech spheres changed.

The first iPhone had some similarities to other smartphones, but its greatest advantage was its ability to easily connect to the internet. These phones were miniature computers packed into communication platforms, which many customers liked. Mobile device users also seldom took pictures before the iPhone, and when they did, they never bothered to edit them much. Apple made it possible for regular people to take high-quality photos and with the help of easy-to-use editing tools and mobile apps, stylize them on a near-professional level. Many would agree that some photos even rival that of your local web design company or photographer. In fact, 85% of the 1.2 trillion photos taken will be taken on phones this year alone.

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Six months into the year is a great time to analyze your company’s marketing content to determine which strategies are helping, which ones are hurting, and which ones seem to be stagnant. If you’re wondering how to handle such a large task, keep a few of these key ideas in mind as you review your results.

Hire a professional writer to speak to internal experts and record the information they hear in a cohesive manner instead of having the internal experts writing content themselves. This way, proofreading and employee hours can be reduced to a reasonable length of time, and the finished product is much more pristine.

Businesses that team up with companies in other markets tend to spend less on marketing campaigns and extend their reach beyond their regular audience. Both companies benefit financially in the long-run, yet so few take advantage of such a strength.

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