Content is now the most important element to your online marketing campaign as it has a massive and long lasting effect to your sites visibility in the search engines. Creating content can be quite difficult as there are many elements to determine before you should start.
I have spoken about this in earlier articles, but in a nutshell, you need to understand all the different attitudes of your potential customers, then you need to develop content that each user persona will find useful and interesting. Each persona will have different take aways from the content and they will all be in different buying cycles for your product. As an example, this article is written to be of interest to business owners, or people that have some decision making ability for a business who knows a little about our industry and potentially have looked at our service offerings and is looking to find out more about our company.
They may be in the final decision making stage of a purchase for our services, as this article talks about HOW we work, thus this content is developed for them. If the user was more interested in learning about what we do, but not in the later decision making process, they may be more interested in our eBook “A beginners guide to marketing automation”, which is more for users in the discovery phase of the process.
Each piece of content that we produce has a target market, whether that is for the early stage user or someone just about to buy our product, everything has a reason.
DSA will create the customer persona of the business, then conduct a content audit, find out what content you have on site, and then place it into the different quadrants of our spreadsheet, working out what is working for who and if there needs to be more content generated to fit a target user.
Additionally, we will develop the sales funnel for a site, working out what content needs to be created to drive a user from one post or page to the next, on to the final goal, even if it’s to just bookmark the site or to sign up to a newsletter.
Content may take many different forms, from written content like this article, or videos/infographics or even pod casts. Whatever content that will appeal the most to the personas and buying cycle of your customer is the content that DSA will create and market. This will, over time, not only grow your rankings and traffic, but also your brand and your sales.
PPC Traffic Generation:
For almost all sites, a customer will want to ensure that there is traffic coming to the site, this is especially so for new sites, but getting traffic can be a slow process and for some sites, well for most sites, you want to start making sales as fast as possible.
The easiest way to do this is to buy your traffic from the search engines or social media. This buying traffic is done by creating ads, either with text, image, video or audio and paying the sites to display your ads to either users with complementary interests, or on keywords and phrases that they are using to find information on.
The costs can vary a great deal depending on a number of factors, like competition and how related to the search word your page will be, but it’s an almost instant way to generate sales from a brand new site. We have written a number of articles on this topic and have recently launched a new Google AdWords product, however, we do want to illustrate that buying your traffic is a stop gap and shouldn’t be the only strategy that a site uses. As you are only really renting that traffic, once you stop paying for it, it goes away and there is no residual effect or ongoing benefit for that spend.
You can spend many thousands of dollars getting traffic and making sales, and if your margins are good, you can even build in the cost of marketing to the profits, however, long term, your site will not grow in rankings and DSA do not believe in paid traffic as a long term strategy, more a growth strategy that will be used in the early stages of a campaign.
This is not to say that we will do it once and then never again for a site, quite the contrary. It’s a fantastic way to build recognition of a new product or service, or even to drive traffic to a particular piece of content that has high value, however, running an endless campaign to your homepage with no change or direction can be a losing tactic and one that DSA will not do.
The great and tangible benefit to PPC in the short term, while you are building your content, is that you can get to the first page for highly competitive searches, in an instant, thus getting your brand in front of potential clients instantly, and usually above your competitors. As time goes on, you can refine your content and ads as the organic placements of your content start to show on the same pages.
Additionally, the only place that Google will tell you what keywords are sending converting traffic to your site, is AdWords, and you can develop a very good understanding on what keywords make you the most sales. If you have an ad running for “music that puts you to sleep” And the keyword that generated the most sales in your ads, is “awesome music for bedtime” then you can start to develop content and strategies that target this search. You can have content that will stay in the search engines for as long as Google is operating, after you stop running your ads.
This investment in content, based on the data you get form AdWords, is worth its weight in gold and one that DSA will strive to gather as fast as possible as it can really define the goals and direction that the content strategy can take.
DSA has a number of articles on what is marketing automation and a downloadable eBook “a beginners guide to marketing automation”. I won’t go to much in to the nuts and bolts of it, however, Marketing automation is the use of tools to develop a long term relationship with your online customers through content and targeted emails, based on how a user interacts with your website.
DSA is a proud partner of SharpSpring and Leadonics and we use both tools to manage our client’s sites.
After creating content and posting it on your site, DSA will then set up a number of automations that will allow you to develop a relationship with you potential leads at any point of the purchasing cycle. However, by doing simple things like posting content that is easy to read and created often, we can develop a readership that returns to your site. We can then promote content or a resource that will require an email address. Then once we have their email address, they will be put into a workflow.
This workflow can contain a number of pre-written emails that relate to topics or products on your site. Each workflow is created to target a specific persona within each level of their purchasing process, and depending on what content they go to on the site, and how they interact with that content, it will trigger emails to be sent out automatically.
For example: if a customer has been reading your blog for a while, and then they want to know something in more detail (they are moving from being a passive reader to a product discovery reader in the buying cycle) they may download an eBook. Then, a few weeks later they come back to your site, and they look at a product page in detail and then look at the pricing page (moving from Discovery to enquiring), the automation system will then send them an email that may be “would you like to know more about X specific product”. This is a simple look at automation, and we are looking at it from the selling side only. Automation is most powerful when you are developing a relationship with a potential lead, long before they move to enquiry phase. You can send them links and content that they like, based on what they do on your site, e.g. they get an eBook on marketing automation, then they visit another page on automation and personas; you can then send them automatically, a workbook that you created on how to develop personas.
There are many ways that automation can be used, and this is a tiny snapshot of it, however, we find that marketing automation is the future of online marketing as it works with the way that users will interact and search out new products.
It used to be that you could withhold information and then a user will need to contact you to get that last bit, and once you have them on the phone or in an email conversation, the sale was easy. Now a user will go almost to the point of making the purchase, or even make a purchase, and never get in touch. So you, as a business, need to start developing your strategy to deal with that process, and Marketing automation is the key.
Discovery and Reporting:
The last step in the DSA methodology is of course ”reporting and discovery”. Every month (well every day) the DSA team will look at all the data that is gathered from the different tools that we use; Google Analytics, HotJar, Optimisly, Leadonics, Webmaster tools, Sharpspring and more. From that data we can develop an overview idea on how the site performed that month, what issue arose that may have caused bumps, either good or bad, and of course, how best to develop next month or next quarter.
Looking over a month is ok, but no decisions or opinions that are truly representative of your users can be made in that time. It’s really over the course of a few months that you start to get a very good understanding on what makes your users buy or not buy on your site. That is why DSA insist on all clients coming on board for a minimum of 6-12 months, as this gives the team and you a dataset that is accurate and representative of your site and your potential.
Also, over that time, many, many changes will be made to your site and content that will affect the data, good and bad, and this data is how you grow as a business.
Dsa will not just send a PDF full of stats and hope that you make sense of it; our methodology is one that we are your digital marketing department, not that we are just a service provider, and as such, it’s our responsibility to inform you in a way that you can understand and make decision on information about your site and it’s progress.
If there are two things that DSA would like all our clients to take away when working with us it is this: One is that we have been in this game long enough to know what works, what doesn’t work and what data to watch and what to ignore, and the second is that we actually care about your business, that we as a company treat your business, and its success online, like we do any of our own products.
That caring is what we feel sets DSA apart from the rest of the providers online and what keeps our clients with us for years, rather than months. In fact, we have not had a client leave us yet!