What Is SEO in Digital Marketing?

What is SEO

SEO is one of the many ways to drive traffic to your website. But more than the traffic it brings, it’s one digital marketing strategy that can help deliver high quality leads to your business for years to come. 

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the nitty-gritty of SEO. Here, you’ll get a better understanding of what SEO is and why it is essential for businesses like yours. 

By the end of this piece, I’ll help you make an informed decision on which is the best route to take for your business or blog. 

To begin, let’s start with what SEO is. 

 

What is SEO? 

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is the practice of optimizing content so that your website is discovered in the search engine results page (SERPs). 

The goal of SEO is to drive ‘earned,’ ‘unpaid’ organic traffic to your website. 

In simpler terms, you make specific changes to your website to make it more appealing to search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. And what do you get in return? 

Those search engines will display your website on top of the SERPs. It helps show your business in front of your customers as they search for what you have to offer. And this means more targeted people are seeing and clicking links to your website based on past work. 

Optimizing for search engines increase both the quality and quantity of a website’s traffic. It also helps website owners gain exposure to their brands without continued spending on ads. 

 

Why is SEO Important

Why is SEO Important? 

There are many other ways to drive traffic to your website, aside from SEO. But why should you optimize for search engines? 

SEO’s impact lasts more than several years. 

While paid advertising, social media, and other digital marketing strategies can drive traffic to your website. They last for a relatively shorter time compared to good SEO. This is especially true for paid advertising that gives immediate results but disappears completely once the campaign ends. 

The more time, effort, and budget you spend on SEO, the better and longer your website will enjoy consistent organic traffic. 

But the importance of SEO doesn’t just end there. Optimizing for search engines also gives you 20x more traffic opportunities than PPC on both desktop and mobile. This is when your website appears in organic search results. 

Organic search plays a critical role in getting users to engage or convert. To put that in numbers, 40.9% of Google searches get an organic click for mobile devices. That’s a huge difference compared to the mere 2% of paid clicks. For desktop devices, it’s 62.2% organic versus 2.8% paid clicks. 

These are only a few of the many reasons why you should utilize SEO for your business. 

 

Types of SEO 

There are two types of search: organic and paid. 

As stated above, organic means unpaid, natural rankings in search results. Paid search, as the name suggests, focuses on paid rankings. 

Organic search can be optimized with various SEO practices. Meanwhile, traffic from paid search can be acquired through search engine marketing (SEM). 

For this guide, we will focus on organic search and discuss the different types of SEO. 

On-Page SEO 

On-Page SEO involves optimizing the content on your website. 

Optimizing each page on your website helps search engines understand the topic of the content you are publishing. This tells search engines that your website is relevant to people who are searching for specific terms.

In this type of SEO, you do the following: 

  • Keyword Research – Looking for keywords to include on a page (more on this later) 
  • Content Creation – Publishing high-quality, informative content revolving around the keywords 
  • Keyword Optimization – Adding the keywords in strategic places in the content 

For On-Page SEO, excellent content is key to rank higher in the SERPs. According to Rand Fishkin of SparkToro (formerly with Moz), your content should be ten times better than other content available on the results page. That and a couple of relevant and related keywords. 

Areas of On-Page SEO 

To find success in this type of SEO, you must pay attention to these areas that will help increase your rankings, traffic, and conversions. 

Title Tag 

Title tags are an HTML element the shows the title of your web page. Along with meta description, they appear in search engines like this: 

Steven J Wilson example of a Title Tag

Meta title tags are crucial because they help search engines understand what your page is about. This is why it’s vital that you follow the SEO best practices for optimizing title tags, such as including your target keywords. 

SEO aside, they also leave first impressions on the people looking on search engines, which can be a make-or-break factor on whether searchers will click on your link. 

Meta Description 

Located just below the title tag, meta descriptions explain what your page is about. It is the longer version of the title tag. 

Just like the first HTML element, meta descriptions also tell search engines what the topic of your content is. Meta descriptions also need keywords to rank your page in the SERPs. 

Header Tags 

Header tags are HTML elements H1-H6 that’s long been a fixture of SEO, but most people know a little about. But what exactly are header tags? 

These HTML elements are used to determine headers and subheadings within a content. Just take a look at the illustration below. 

Steven J Wilson Header tag examples

While header tags aren’t as critically important for site rankings as they used to be, they still serve a role that can indirectly influence your rankings. 

Header tags indirectly impact rankings by: 

  • Making content more scannable for an easy read. 
  • You are sending the right signals to search engines about what topic your content contains. 

Image ALT Tags 

People visiting your web page can physically see the photos published on your site. But search engines can’t. And this is where image ALT tags come in handy. 

ALT tags, otherwise known as “alt attributes” or “alt descriptions,” are HTML code and text that you add to describe an image. If you include keywords in these tags, search engines will easily determine what your photos are about. 

These tags are vital because they not only make for better user experience, but they also contribute to image SEO. ALT tags lend search engines a helping hand by describing what an image is about through keywords. 

Internal Links 

Internal links are hyperlinks that direct to another page on the same website. 

Internal linking is an essential step in SEO for the following reasons: 

  • It allows for more straightforward navigation on the website.
  • It helps establish site architecture for the given website. 
  • It helps distribute link juices around web pages. 

Both internal and external (more on this later) links send search engines signal about the topic of your content. But internal links are used to show relationships between content. As search engines determine such relations, they work on ranking your most essential pages higher in the SERPs.

Page Speed 

Page speed is another important ranking factor that Google is looking for. It is the measurement of how fast your web page content loads. 

Page speed is often described as “page load time.” A page’s loading time is dependent on several factors, such as image compression, page file size, and the site’s server. 

Google penalizes pages with longer load times, which tend to have a lower average time on page and higher bounce rates. Hence, it’s crucial that you follow the SEO best practices on increasing your page speed. This includes enabling compression, reducing redirects, and improving server response time, among others. 

Off-Page SEO 

Off-page SEO involves optimizing efforts outside of your website. Unlike on-page SEO, you often do not have control over off-page SEO. 

For instance, you reached out to an authoritative website to link to your website. That’s off-page SEO. It is considered off-page because you didn’t change anything about your website. 

Off-page SEO is vital because it touches many of the search engines’ off-page factors that help rank a website. Some of the most important of these factors include the following. 

Links 

Building links is at the core of off-page SEO. This is because links are one of the most important ranking factors for Google. 

Links are crucial because search engines use them to discover new web pages. They are also used to determine how well a page should rank in the SERPs. 

Search engines look at the number of links from external websites pointing to a page you are trying to rank. These links tell search engines if the page has sufficient quality to rank for relevant keywords. 

In general, the more high-value links you build, the better you rank in the results page. 

We will discuss link building in great detail at What is the SEO Process section. Keep on reading to learn more about this process. 

E-A-T 

E-A-T in SEO stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness. It is one factor in determining Page Quality. 

Search engines determine a page if it has a beneficial purpose. If it does, it’s E-A-T level is considered whether the content is YMYL (Your Money or Your Life). 

This ranking factor matters on topics such as YMYL, which include pages that can potentially impact a searcher’s safety, financial stability, health, and happiness. 

And what do these all mean? It all boils down to links and high-quality content. 

As mentioned above, links are crucial to rank higher in the SERPs. And it’s not just any link; it should be linked from high-quality content. For you to create high-quality content, you need to look at your E-A-T. 

Social Engagement 

Google made it clear that social media is not a direct SEO ranking factor. But despite this, there’s still a connection that indirectly affects how search engines see your content. 

Engagement metrics, like “shares,” play a role in SEO. How? The more social shares you get, the more visibility of your content gets. 

And visibility sends the right signal to search engines that your content is high-quality and relevant to the keywords you are targeting. 

That said, social engagement impacts SEO. And you should also pay attention to this when trying to rank on the results page. 

Local SEO 

Statistics show that 46% of all Google searches are local. And how do you take advantage of these searches? Through local SEO. 

Local SEO is the process of optimizing content to drive traffic organically. But in this type of SEO, you are targeting more relevant local searches. 

Investing in local SEO is vital because 80% of local searches result in conversions. And 50% of people who made those searches visit a store within a day after conducting a local search. 

If your business offers laundry services, and a local customer searches, “laundry service near me,” local SEO helps you get found in the SERPs. That means an opportunity to convert, so you shouldn’t miss out on local SEO. 

Important Parts of Local SEO 

The process of local SEO is not all that different from organic SEO. This involves taking the following steps to optimize your content for local searches. 

  1. Performing keyword research. 
  2. Creating content with a local focus. 
  3. Acquiring high-quality links. 
  4. Outreaching. 

These steps will be discussed in great detail in the What is the SEO Process section. 

 

What is The SEO Process

What is the SEO Process? 

Now that you have an idea of the types of SEO, it’s time you get an overview of how the SEO process goes. 

How Search Works 

Search engines rank a website in three primary steps: 

  1. Crawl – search engine crawlers scour the Internet for content. 
  2. Index – search engines process and store information they find into a huge database called an index. 
  3. Rank – from the index, search engines chose the best answer (aka most relevant) for each search query. 

For crawlers to rank your website higher in the SERPs, you have to optimize your content for search engines. How? Through the steps below: 

Keyword Research 

SEO campaigns usually start with keyword research. 

Keyword research is the process of finding words and phrases that your audience enter into search engines. It involves analyzing those search terms to help you develop an informed content and marketing strategy. 

The ultimate goal of this process is to optimize content around those keywords. You do this, so your website ranks in the SERPs. 

Importance of Keyword Research 

Keyword research is crucial because it tells you what topics your customers care about. It also gives you relevant data like search volume that tells you how popular those topics are to your target people. 

Determining the intent behind each search term also lets you identify what sort of content you should create to resonate with your audience. 

By researching keywords for their search volume and intent, you get insight into what answers people are looking for. You get a clearer view of what you should consider in the next steps of the SEO process. 

It is like a compass that tells you where to go when doing content creation, outreach marketing, and promotion, among others. 

The Keyword Research Process 

SEO specialists usually take the following steps to discover search terms. 

  1. Making a list of relevant topics for your business. 
  2. Research keywords that fall into those topics. 
  3. Discover related search terms. 
  4. Come up with a mix of head terms and long-tail keywords for a balanced strategy. 
  5. Use keyword tools like SEMrush to check how competitors rank for specific keywords. 
  6. Refine your keyword list based on search volume, general intent, and trends. 

Content Creation 

Once you have your keywords sorted, the next thing to do is to create your content. 

SEO speaking, content must be of high-quality and should contain useful information to your audience. Remember that when searchers type a query, they are looking for a ‘relevant’ answer. 

If you want to rank on the results page, your content must be able to provide answers that are of value to searchers. 

Importance of Content Creation 

In digital marketing, content is ‘still’ king. 

Search engines’ mission is to compile and organize information and to present the best possible answers to questions. 

That’s why content should be useful and relevant to searchers. And the ‘best’ answers are always rewarded by search engines in the form of a higher results page ranking. 

Simply put, content with SEO value, ranks higher in the SERPs. So, you should work on creating optimized, valuable content. And by optimized, we mean strategically placing relevant keywords on the content you are creating. 

Different Forms of Content 

There are different forms of content, and they work differently depending on your audience. 

Remember that each industry is different. One industry may find blogs to resonate with its audience. In contrast, others may notice videos to be an effective form of content that drives results. 

The idea is to find what content appeals to your audience. Because the more it appeals to them, the better search engines will look at your content. 

Below, we rounded up some of the most common types of content that work best for SEO

  • Web Page Content 
  • Video Content 
  • Blog Posts 
  • Long-Form Articles 
  • Evergreen Content 
  • Photo and Visual Galleries 
  • Podcast 
  • Social Media 
  • Local Listings 

Link Building 

After creating content for your audience, the next to do is to build links to your website. 

As mentioned above, links are one of the most important ranking factors that Google has established for SEO. Previously, we’ve discussed internal links. Now, let’s talk about external links, aka inbound links or backlinks. 

Importance of Links 

Inbound links are links that point from one website to a page on another website. They are like “votes” for a specific page, acting as a real-life reputation. 

To put it simply, think of links as people. Say, you asked five people what the best diner in town is. Then, they all said, “Steven’s Kitchen in Manhattan.” In your mind, you would trust Steven’s since people are vouching for it.

This is what links do for search engines. These links signal to search engines that other website trusts your content. 

And the higher the number of links that point to your website, the higher you appear on organic search engine rankings. 

Ways to Build Backlinks 

Link building can be done in several methods, and Moz has provided an exhaustive list to help you build high-quality backlinks. To give you an idea, we rounded up some of the most popular strategies that tend to work for most campaigns. 

  • Publish a blog 
  • Find customer and partner links 
  • Create unique resources 
  • Build resources page 
  • Refurbish top content 
  • Get involved in your local community 
  • Be newsworthy 
  • Be personal and genuine with outreach 

Outreach 

Aside from link building, outreaching is another way to help businesses rank for their chosen keywords, thus attracting organic traffic. 

But what exactly is outreach in SEO? 

Outreach is technically one way to do link building. In this method, you reach out to people to create valuable backlinks from third-party sites. Other than gaining traffic, doing outreach also helps businesses build credibility within their respective industries. 

Often, businesses also perform outreach to improve brand awareness. This is done in several ways, like earning a mention from influencers and press releases, among others. 

Importance of Outreach 

Outreach is crucial in SEO to stand out from the crowd. 

As more and more digital marketers create content for link building, the supply of content is now significantly exceeding demand. 

It is up to the outreach specialist’s skill to identify strategically valuable publishers and convince them to accept and promote their content. 

When you do this correctly, you may enjoy high-quality backlinks to your website. And that means better ranking and more organic traffic for your web pages. 

Ways to Perform Outreach 

Businesses can outreach in various ways. This includes the following strategies: 

  • Email outreach 
  • Social outreach 
  • Influencer outreach 
  • Press outreach 

 

Is SEO Difficult? 

With all the steps mentioned above, you’ve probably guessed: SEO is complex. 

Learning its process by yourself demands a significant amount of time and attention. You might even have to spend months just to learn the basics and find your footing in this digital marketing strategy. 

This is why many business owners are too intimidated to take on SEO themselves. 

But you know that SEO is an excellent investment. So, what should you do? 

Seek help from the professionals. 

Marketers who have spent enough time mastering the optimization method offers you better chances of achieving your business goals through SEO. 

 

Should You Hire Someone for SEO? 

If you are a business owner who doesn’t have the luxury of time to spend on learning SEO from scratch, it’s probably best you hire an expert to optimize your website. 

Pros of Hiring Someone for SEO 

You get someone who has a full understanding of SEO 

When you hire someone for SEO, you acquire valuable digital marketing knowledge that will help you achieve your business goals. You are getting someone with advanced skills that can work hand-in-hand with you. 

You get someone who is updated on current algorithmic changes 

Search engine algorithms are an ever-changing element that you need to keep up with. And staying up-to-date is one of the many offers that an SEO specialist can bring to the table. Using outdated tactics can hurt your rankings. 

You get someone to talk to within your business 

Got an in-depth question about SEO? Feel free to discuss it with an SEO expert. Having someone to do SEO for you means you can explore ideas that might work best for your business. There is not a one method works for all approach in SEO. Strategically piecing together business goals with SEO could be the thing that helps you stand out to algorithms. 

Quicker Return on Investment 

SEO is an investment that, when done right, gives excellent returns. Depending on your business goals, SEO can provide some of the best returns in digital marketing. For instance, one case study shows how a website saw an average of 140,000+ organic visitors per month from the previous 20,000. That’s an increase of 600%, boosting the client’s brand awareness and, ultimately, their revenue.

Cons of Hiring Someone for SEO 

SEO takes time to get results 

As we will discuss below, SEO is a commitment that takes months or even years to pull off. Be mentally prepared to commit to 6 to 12-months for superior results.

SEO Is Complicated 

Many factors contribute to the success of an SEO campaign. If you’re hiring someone to do the job for you, you will have to rely on that person’s skill to get results. That’s why it’s crucial to find an SEO expert with experience and someone whom you feel you can trust to deliver results.

 

How Long Does SEO take

How Long Does It Take to See Results From SEO? 

If you’re hiring SEO experts to work for you, know that there is a baseline period for you to see results from your optimization efforts. 

Ask some SEO agencies, and they will tell you that it takes 6 to 8+ months to rank for high competition keywords. High competition means keywords that have high search volume that often convert well into visitors or purchases.

Many marketers and advertisers bid for high competition keywords because of its opportunity to convert, gaining huge traffic and sales. Thus, the term “high competition.” 

In contrast, it may take you 4 to 6+ months to rank keywords with lower competition. By lower competition, it means terms that have relatively lower search volume. 

Low competition keywords often rank easier in search engines because fewer marketers and advertisers are bidding for them. Ranking low competition terms usually take little to no link building and no domain authority.

As a general rule of thumb, it is best to find high volume keywords with low competition during the keyword research phase. These keywords give businesses a chance to rank on the results page. 

With that said there is value in using keywords that have low volume with low competition as well. I recommend this more for newer sites that are still growing and building their E-A-T with google.

 

How Much Does SEO Cost? 

The cost of SEO services depends on what is included in the package. Services are based on the scope of a project, but just to give you an idea, the typical SEO campaign cost in 2020 is around $750-$2,000 per month.

One-time projects cost around $5,000-$30,000. Hourly rates for consultants are priced between $80-$200. 

Feel free to contact me if you are interested in SEO services.

 

Wrapping It Up 

Now that you have a better understanding of SEO, it’s time to decide which is the best route for you to take for your needs. 

Decide whether to take it upon yourself or hire someone to do SEO for you. But here’s a piece of advice: if you want to increase your chances of success in this strategy, it’s best that you seek the help of an expert. 

What is your take on SEO? Is it worth learning or getting experienced help is best?

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How to Create an Effective Digital Marketing Action Plan

Digital Marketing Action Plan

An effective digital marketing action plan consists of understanding your audience, creating SMART goals, utilizing the appropriate tools, analyzing your online presence, creating content, and launching and optimizing your campaign.

The number of Internet users worldwide is growing each year. In 2023, the numbers are projected to grow to 317.1 million in the US alone. 

Statista Internet users Growth
Source: Statista

And what does this mean for your business? Without a digital marketing action plan, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to grow your customer base. 

However, coming up with a digital marketing strategy to support your business goals may seem overwhelming. This is especially true for small- and medium-scale businesses or personal brand development. 

But with a step-by-step action plan below, I will guide you to create an effective digital marketing strategy for your business. But before I delve into that, let me first define what digital marketing strategy and campaigns are.

 

What is a Digital Marketing Strategy? 

A digital marketing strategy is a plan of action that you, the business, implement to achieve your desired goals (emphasis on goals). 

Identifying goals is a crucial step here because a strategy will revolve around the goal or multiple goals. 

For instance, your business goal is to increase sales by 3% by the end of the quarter. To do this, your strategy may involve generating twice the website traffic in the following months. 

Your strategy, which involves a series of actions, should work toward your business goal. 

But how? 

A strategy may utilize one or multiple marketing channels to support what you want to achieve. These online marketing channels include paid media, earned media, and owned media. 

Later, I will discuss the owned, earned, and paid media framework in great detail in the succeeding sections. Keep on reading to learn more about these marketing channels. 

 

What is a Digital Marketing Campaign? 

With a strategy in place, the next step is to set your plan of action in motion. This is where digital marketing campaigns come in. 

A digital marketing campaign is the building blocks within your strategy. These are the actions you take to achieve your desired goal. 

But isn’t it basically the same with digital strategy? 

Think of it this way: 

Digital Marketing Campaign Simplified

Goal > Strategy > Campaign 

Within your goal is a strategy, and within a strategy is a campaign.  

In a strategy, you identify the what, who, where, when, and why of achieving a goal. In a campaign, you answer the how. 

Digital Marketing Strategy & Campaign Example 

To illustrate, let’s take a look at Red Bull’s example below: 

Redbull Marketing Example

Red Bull has established itself as a brand that focuses on sports, culture, and lifestyle. This is all thanks to its digital marketing campaign utilizing articles and videos about the latest happenings in the sports community. 

Its strategy involves using owned media (what), creating content and experiences that would resonate with people even if they don’t care about energy drinks. 

Red Bull’s content is catered to extreme sports fans (who) and is distributed through various platforms including their website and social accounts (where). 

The brand’s campaign to appeal to sports fans via relatable content and experiences (how) makes it an unbeatable marketing powerhouse. 

While achieving what Red Bull has reached may seem unlikely as no marketer has a perfect first marketing campaign, you can still follow some steps to help you achieve the best results for your business. 

Read on to know how you can create a digital marketing action plan. 

 

How to Create a Digital Marketing Action Plan 

  1. Understand Your Audience 
  2. Create a List of Goals 
  3. Identify What Tools Can Help You Reach Your Goals 
  4. Analyze Your Current Online Presence 
  5. Create High-Quality Content 
  6. Launch, Analyze, and Relaunch 

1. Understand Your Audience 

It is crucial to any marketing strategy to understand its audience. Knowing who they are, where they hang out, what are their needs and problems, and other vital information can help you craft an effective strategy. 

Let’s put it this way: If you don’t know who you’re talking to, you won’t even know what message to give them. You won’t know what media to use, or where to find them. 

That’s why it’s essential to understand your audience. 

Demographics and Psychographics 

But what kind of information should you gather about your target audience? There are two kinds of information to make an informed digital marketing strategy. 

Demographic Information 

Demographics are the quantitative data of your target audience. These are measurable characteristics that can be a useful insight when crafting your strategy. 

  • Location 
  • Age 
  • Gender 
  • Income 
  • Job title 
Psychographic Information 

Psychographics are qualitative data that forecast consumer behavior. These less measurable characteristics determine the following: 

  • Goals 
  • Personality traits 
  • Hobbies and interests 
  • Values 
  • Lifestyles 
  • Priorities 
  • Opinions 

It takes more than knowing their demographics to better understand your audience. You also have to take into consideration their psychographic information to come up with an effective digital marketing strategy. And the above items are just some starting-points. 

Knowing your audience’s demographics and psychographics helps you: 

  • Create an accurate list of topics for content 
  • Find keywords to target 
  • Optimize content 
  • Deliver a message that resonates to your audience 
  • Set up your pages for a more effective conversion 
  • Provide a great user experience 
  • Find key influencers in your niche 

How to Reach Your Online Target Audience 

Now, the million-dollar question is: “How do you know your audience better?” 

Search Engine Journal outlines some key steps to understand your audience so your digital marketing strategy can reach them. 

Conduct market research 

Nothing beats good old market research to obtain your audience’s demographics and psychographics. 

Market research allows you to get as many details as possible about your prospects. But most importantly, you can get this acquired information to build buyer personas. 

Here are some methods to gather your much-needed information. 

  • Reach out to the sales team 
  • Gather data using tools 
  • Perform social listening 
  • Create a quantitative survey 
  • Conduct interviews (qualitative research) 
Build your buyer personas 

The use of buyer persona is an indispensable tactic in digital marketing. In fact, research shows that marketers who utilize it achieve 73% higher conversions than those who don’t. 

But what exactly is it? 

A buyer persona represents your ideal customer. But it isn’t just a simple buyer profile. This information is based on real data to ensure your marketing strategy is in the right direction. 

That’s why it is essential to conduct a market research first to come up with the closest representation of your target audience. This will evolve overtime and should continue to be updated as you learn more about your audience. 

Identify influencers in your niche 

Influencers, without a doubt, can help build awareness and sales for your brand. To put that in numbers, eight out of 10 consumers buy something after seeing a recommendation from an influencer. 

But for influencers to be effective, you need to choose one that is relevant to your target audience. For instance, if your audience is into a healthy and active lifestyle, you might want to find and reach out to a popular fitness blogger. 

But aside from the niche, here are some considerations when you are looking for influencers: 

  • Pay attention to engagement 
  • Ensure the influencer believes in your brand 
  • Know how much the influencer is worth 

Once you’ve created your list, narrow it down by getting to know your prospective influencers. Take the time to check out his posts before reaching out to them. 

Don’t forget to communicate your brand objectives and expectation when you speak with them. 

2. Create a List of Goals You Want to Achieve 

Previously, we’ve touched the importance of setting goals to create an effective strategy. Without them, you wouldn’t know where you’re headed, much more if your strategy is working. 

Goals are crucial, but just how do digital marketing goals look like? And how do you come up with these for your business? 

Below, find out some common examples of digital marketing goals as well as business goals. Also, discover the SMART way of creating a list of goals for your digital marketing strategy. 

Examples of Common Business Goals 

Remember that the most important thing about goal-setting is to align your digital marketing goals with your business goals. That’s why you must first define your business objectives before you come up with digital marketing goals, which include: 

  • Drive more sales 
  • Raise more revenue 
  • Increase profits 
  • Grow brand awareness 
  • Reach new audiences or demographics 
  • Secure funding 
  • Enter new markets or territories 
  • Develop stronger relationships with stakeholders 
  • Expand market share 

Examples of Common Digital Marketing Goals 

With your business goals defined, it is only then that you can create a list of goals for your digital marketing strategy. To give you an idea, here are some common goals that marketing teams come up with to support their overarching goals. 

  • Improve conversion rates 
  • Drive more click-throughs on paid ads  
  • Increase website traffic 
  • Get more website or social media engagement 
  • Grow an email list 
  • Gain more social media followers 

SMART Goals of Digital Marketing 

Smart Goals in Digital Marketing

When it comes to goal-setting, you should be SMART. And by that, I mean your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. 

The SMART framework works best in digital marketing because of the following: 

  • It gives you a clear direction 
  • Allows you to use time and resources productively 
  • Focus efforts 
  • Ensure goals are relevant to business 
  • Emphasizes the role of measuring results 

Ultimately, having SMART goals can increase your chances of achieving your desired result. 

Here are some examples of how to leverage SMART goals in your digital marketing strategy: 

  • Specific – Be specific to make your goals clear to anyone who has a basic knowledge of the campaign. 
    • Example: I would like to increase our brand awareness by growing our Facebook page following. 
  • Measurable – The success of the goal should be measurable in numbers. 
    • Example: I would like to double the number of follows on our Facebook page. 
  • Attainable – Your goals should be realistic—targets not too high or too low. Ensure that you have all the resources to achieve your goals. 
    • Example: I would like to gain more followings by allotting a certain budget on Facebook sponsored posts. 
  • Relevant – Your digital marketing goals should support the overarching goals of your business. 
    • Example: I want to drive more traffic to my website by building our Facebook presence since that is where our audience hangs out.
  • Time-based – Deadlines are crucial so you won’t end up aimlessly exerting efforts without an idea when should you stop. Determine how much time you need to achieve your goals. 
    • Example: I would like to run a Facebook sponsored post for two months to double my following. 

3. Identify What Tools Can Help You Reach Your Goals 

Tools are essential before, during, and after running a campaign. 

There are plenty of digital marketing tools out there that makes executing your strategy easier. From organizing your to-do list, automating tedious tasks, and tracking your progress, you can find a tool that best suits your needs. 

I curated some of our favorite tools to get you started. 

Organization Tools 

With a team working on your digital marketing campaign, it’s easy to lose track of tasks. This is where these organization tools come in handy. To maximize organization and productivity, here are some tools that can keep your marketing team updated with what’s happening in the campaign. 

Trello Marketing Strategy Screenshot
Trello 

A simple visual project management tool, Trello’s system of boards and cards makes it easy to keep up with a list of to-do tasks, ongoing tasks, and completed tasks. Create lists, add labels, assign teammates, set deadlines, and make it easy for everyone to visualize each step of the campaign. 

Slack

This communication service appeals to small and medium companies because it allows them to create channels specific for certain information. For instance, you can create a channel for #Copywriting to talk about everything-copies there. Slack is all about focused collaboration so the team won’t get distracted by conversations about where to go for lunch. 

Evernote 

Leave notes in one place for everyone in the team to see. With the Evernote tool, you can store important notes, organize research, draft blog posts, save articles, and access them for later use. 

Automation Tools 

Automation tools save precious time that you could use for other tasks. These tools will allow your team to focus your efforts on other things that support your campaign. 

Mailchimp Automation Screenshot
MailChimp

If you’re looking to automate email drip campaigns, MailChimp got you covered. This tool offers intelligent email marketing features including personalizing, behavioral targeting and automating emails. 

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is popular among marketers for its social media post scheduling feature. This is a real savior as it takes Facebook posting, tweeting, LinkedIn updates, and scheduling YouTube videos done on a single platform. 

HubSpot

HubSpot offers advanced marketing solutions for businesses. This goes beyond automating email as it puts lead nurturing, managing data in bulk, notifications, and other tasks on auto-pilot. 

Tracking Tools 

Jeff Bullas, one of the top online marketing influencers today, provides a great resource of digital marketing tools that you should check out. My favorites among his tracking tool recommendations include: 

Jeff Bullas Google Analytics Screenshot
Google Analytics

GA is a tool that should not be missing from a marketer’s arsenal. It’s free, powerful, and offers insightful data about your website. 

This tool allows you to see who’s visiting your website, and which pages they spend most of their time. It also has a goal feature that enables you to track events, conversions, and a lot more.  Check out HubSpot’s Ultimate Guide to Google Analytics if you want to learn how to use this amazing tool. 

Google Search Console

Another free tool from Google, this tool gives you information about which queries bring users to your website. It also offers insight on your site’s clicks, impressions, and position on Google Search. 

To utilize this tool, here’s a comprehensive beginner’s guide to Google Search Console by Moz. 

SEMRush 

What I love about SEMrush is it allows users to track the position of the keywords they are trying to rank on search engines. 

But it doesn’t stop there. SEMRush is also a handy tool for anything digital marketing—from SEO, PPC, link building, traffic analysis, and more. 

The above tools are only a few of the many that can make your job a little more painless. Now, identify what tools you need that can help you reach your goals. 

4. Analyze Your Current Online Presence 

How is your online presence doing at the moment? Are your prospects finding you on search engines like Google? Are you getting enough leads without paying for advertising? Do your competitors show up for high-volume keywords? 

A thorough audit of your online presence (e.g. website, editorial content, social accounts, etc.) will give you a clear picture of where you are standing right now. It identifies and rectifies potential issues that weigh down the performance of your business. 

What worked? What didn’t? Which platforms performed best? 

Analyzing your current online presence plays a key role in a successful digital marketing strategy. And a good start to do this is by looking at your available digital marketing channels. 

The Owned, Earned and Paid Media Framework 

Categorizing your digital assets as owned, earned, or paid media lets you identify how your content reaches your target audience. Below, let’s take a look at the media framework you may already be using. 

Owned Media 

Owned media refers to the digital assets that your business owns and has complete control over. This can be your website, blog posts, and social accounts, among others. 

Owned media always takes the form of content. It can even be off-site blogs that you own, such as the ones you publish on Business 2 Community and Medium. 

It is essential that you audit and plan your owned media to build a more effective digital marketing strategy, which I will discuss more in Step 5 of this guide. 

Earned Media 

When people speak about your brand through press mentions, social shares, and reviews, those are “earned” media. 

What’s great about earned media is that it reaches a new set of audience, and you don’t have to pay for it. 

It also buids stronger trust and loyalty. We of course will say great things about ourselves. When those are also echoed by third parties is helps your brand and increase sales. 

Paid Media 

Paid media also gets you in front of your audience, but it comes with a price, literally. 

In this category, you have to pay for media placements to reach more people. This can be in the form of PPC, Facebook Sponsored Post, and Google Ads, among others. 

Here’s a great image from Search Engine Journal that summarizes the digital marketing trifecta: 

Search Engine Journal Digital marketing Mix

The Mix: Combining Two or More Types 

A common misconception is that you only need owned media in your marketing efforts. While it’s true that owned media is indispensable, it is not enough. 

A great digital marketing strategy combines these categories to get better results. 

For instance, getting your audience to read your blog post (owned) may be a challenge with so much online content vying for attention these days. If that’s the case, you may consider tapping into influencers (paid) who may be interested in your blog. If your content is relevant and good enough, people may share them on their social profiles (earned). 

Now, you have all these channels working together to significantly grow your visibility. 

5. Create High-Quality Content 

Now that you’ve taken a better look at your channels, it is time to evaluate existing content to make a well-informed editorial calendar. 

A good start here is to analyze content gaps. 

A Look Into Content Gaps 

Content gaps are areas in content that could be improved upon. 

For instance, if you’re writing a post about web design, you may find that the content on Google’s First Page may be outdated, lacking examples, or difficult to understand. 

Those are gaps that you could fill with your content. And because you are improving those gaps, you are able to create better content. 

Some best practices to spot content gaps include: 

  • Evaluating Google’s first page 
  • Using gap analysis tools such as SEMrush to scale the process 
  • Auditing your own content 

Creating Your Editorial Calendar 

With these content gaps in mind, you can now fill your editorial calendar with valuable articles and blog posts to write about. 

But what is an editorial calendar in the first place? 

An editorial calendar is a publishing schedule that documents your content efforts. With an editorial calendar, you can track publish dates, authors, content types, and promotional channels you set for your digital marketing strategy. 

Editorial calendars may take the form of spreadsheets or software. Either way, you need to answer the following questions to determine how your editorial calendar should look like. 

  • What platform will you use to manage the calendar? 
  • How many people will use the calendar? 
  • Do you create more than one type of content? 
  • How frequently are you publishing content? 
  • What stages will the content go through before it’s published? 

With an editorial calendar in place, you can plan strategically, fill gaps, track content, improve scheduling, and manage your editorial team more effectively and efficiently. 

Learn How to Create High-Quality Content 

There are a lot of considerations before one could come up with high-quality content. And what better way to learn about these from the experts themselves? 

Ann Handley of MarketingProfs, a Wall Street Journal’s best-selling author and a digital marketing pioneer, shares a lot of tips about writing high-quality content on her blog

From developing a strong tone of voice, short-form and long-form storytelling to writing better and making boring writing fun again, she discusses some key elements of great content. 

6. Launch, Analyze, and Relaunch 

It’s the moment you’ve all been preparing for. When you completed all the steps above, it is time to finally execute your strategy. 

Giving yourself enough time to prepare before the launch of a campaign significantly increases your chance of achieving your goals. 

With all these goal-setting, planning, and organizing, you’re one step closer to success. In fact, CoSchedule’s annual State of Marketing Strategy Survey of more than 3,000 marketers found the following: 

Coschedule Digital Marketing Action Plan Stats

But you can’t rest easy yet. 

There is always the possibility that you might not experience what you had hoped for once you launch your digital marketing campaign. And that’s an inevitable part of the process. 

That’s why your campaign shouldn’t go untouched once you press the “Launch” button. 

What you should do is to continuously monitor and improve your campaigns. Adapting in real-time and your willingness to make small and big changes can make the big difference between a winning and losing campaign. 

Relaunching with Adjusted Strategy 

In case your marketing strategy doesn’t work as planned, here are some ways to adapt to the situation: 

Give it more time, or adjust 

Some digital tactics start working immediately like PPC while others take a long time to pay off such as SEO

Short-term strategies should improve over time when you make adjustments based on available information. For a long-term strategy, give your campaign more time. Otherwise, adjust using the approaches below. 

Be different 

Based on the data you gathered from the duration of the campaign, adjust your strategy to make it unique. With so many competitors vying for your audience’s attention, you have to stand out. 

For instance, find out what your competitors are saying. Then, change your brand messaging in a way that only you are the one saying it. This could get your brand cut through the noise. 

Offer more value 

People always want something valuable in return. Whether it’s an affordable product, discounts, freebies, or more useful content, they are more likely to notice your business depending on your offers. 

If your campaign doesn’t get enough interactions, it might mean that you have to consider increasing the value of your offer. Incentivize and win some customers. 

Retarget to fit your audience 

Say, your ads are not getting enough clicks from your target audience. This could mean that your message is not resonating enough with that group of people. If that’s the case, revisit your buyer personas and conduct some new research about your demographics. You may be targeting the wrong group that you may have to retarget your ads. 

Segment (and AB test) your strategy 

Alternatively, you could get better results by running AB tests. Test different personas, types of messages, and channels to see which ones perform better. Doing so lets you understand which marketing elements work and which don’t. 

Try a new strategy 

If all else fails, be ready to try another strategy. 

While your previous strategy may seem like a failure, this doesn’t mean it’s for nothing. Remember that digital marketing strategies are hardly total successes or total failures. Whether your campaign performs well or poorly, there are always opportunities to learn, and then begin anew. 

Again, no marketer has a perfect first marketing campaign. Take these learnings to further improve your digital marketing strategy. 

 

Final Thoughts 

To conclude, a digital marketing action plan is crucial to map out the actions you’re going to take to achieve your overarching goals. 

Yes, creating an effective digital marketing action plan may seem an overwhelming task. But with this guide, it’s never impossible. 

If you need help developing a digital marketing strategy for your business, do not hesitate to contact me

What step in this guide are you currently working with? 

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The Competitive Advantage of Personal Branding

The Competitive Advantage Of Personal Branding

To grow your business, a strong personal brand can be a massive advantage.

Why?

Competing with giant companies in your niche with sheer costly exposure is tough. You don’t have as many resources to spend on advertising as large businesses do.

Also, people don’t trust business brands like they use too. It’s not entirely your fault, as trust in business brands, in general, is going down the past years. This makes it harder for you to convert people into buying customers.

So, how do you get past these challenges? By building your personal brand.

But what is a personal brand? And how does it help grow your business so you can compete with other brands in your industry?

Let’s find out the answer below.

 

What is Personal Branding?

Personal branding is how you promote yourself to your target audience. It involves communicating certain qualities that you want people to associate with you. It is a marketing practice that sums up your experience, skills, values, beliefs, and purpose as a brand.

Simply put, your personal brand is how people think of you. It is your reputation that can make a difference in your business.

Everyone has a brand. However, only a few have managed to turn their brands into a strength. If you want your business to succeed, you should work on building a solid personal brand that works to your advantage.

 

Why Personal Branding is Important

Back in the days, brands used to be only for a select few. Branding was better left to businesses, celebrities, athletes, and prominent people. 

However, the emergence of new marketing channels such as social media has changed how branding is perceived. Today, personal branding has started to present itself as an essential element in business success.

With social media now allowing your voice to be heard, you get to reach and influence people. Likewise, it becomes easier for people to find you. Now, everyone has access to some degree of information about you.

For instance, you are a financial advisor and your prospects want to learn a thing or two about you. With a few taps on the screen of their phones, they can see your credentials and what other people are saying about you.

It would be a waste of opportunity if your prospects didn’t see what they want to see. As someone who runs a business, you would want to leave an impression on potential customers when they search about you.

That’s where personal branding comes into play. Taking the reins of your personal brand lets you control the narrative and show your audience what you want them to see. And that’s always good for business.

 

Benefits of Personal Branding

When you take control of the narrative surrounding your online persona, you are putting a face behind your business. A face that reflects your personality, hopes, dreams, and motivations. As a unique human being, you have interesting stories that attract people toward your business.

Building Your Personal Brand

Personal branding is a powerful marketing strategy. To further understand what a solid personal branding can do for you, let’s take a look at some of the most important benefits of personal brand to your business.

  1. You are Discoverable

In a crowded space where businesses try to vie for attention, personal branding allows you to stand out from the rest.

Say, you’re a financial advisor. You want your name to appear in Google when people look for “how to invest” on the search bar. But the problem is, you are competing with massive companies like Investopedia, CNBC, Bankrate, and Bloomberg on the search results.

Defeating these giants for that search term is virtually impossible unless you have a team and a large budget. It’s a major uphill battle that has no guarantees. However, there is a better way.

With a personal brand, you can make it appear like these established brands are competing with you and not the other way around. If someone searches “Your Brand Name” and “How to Invest,” even these giants would struggle to compete with a specific search actively requesting information from your brand.

That’s one of the powers of a personal brand.

  1. You are Shareable

Fact: content posted by a personal brand gets reshared 24x more than when it is posted by a company brand. It’s all about trust.

On average, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from other people over business brand content. This number translates into better engagement when you post content under your personal brand.

No wonder why a significant number of individuals have or are already building their own personal brands based on a survey by Steven J Wilson & Associates.

  1. You Establish Authority

One key to building a personal brand is by publishing valuable content. When I say valuable, I mean content that educates your audience and helps them solve their problems.

Each piece of content you post on your social profiles, website, or blog contributes to the development of your personal brand. As you develop your brand, you are also gaining authority in your field.

The content you publish presents you as an expert, making your audience think that you are the go-to person in your specific niche. And when you are seen as an expert, your credibility starts to grow.

People would start trusting you, and this opens up various opportunities not only for you as a personal brand but also for your business brand. You get to meet fellow experts in your industry, build partnerships, and attract a following.

  1. You Build Partnerships

With a solid personal brand, you get to meet other professionals in the field and work with them.

Now, let’s go back to the financial advisor example. With a personal brand, say, you meet another advisor who’s also winning thanks to his branding. As like-minded professionals, you form an alliance with one another so you can both benefit in your respective referral networks.

How you would work together depends on both of you, but you get the point. Having personal brands open up opportunities to partner with fellow experts so you can strengthen your business.

  1. You Attract a Following

When people trust your personal brand, you get to expand your network.

Developing a personal brand helps attract like-minded audience. This lets you build a network of people in your industry, prospects, and existing customers.

Having a loyal following to your personal brand is extremely valuable to your business. How?

An expanded network helps boost awareness of your business brand. You also enjoy an increase in visibility in terms of your potential audience. In fact, when people share content through a personal brand, it is 561% more likely to reach a new audience than when it’s shared by a company brand.

When you attract a loyal following, you are building a real asset that grows with both your personal and business brand.

  1. You Have Greater Asking Power

Personal brands also have the power to sway people into action.

Your audience is more likely to do what is asked if the personal brand meets their needs. Statistics show that personal brands who share content gets 2x higher CTR than company-shared content. Leads developed through individual social media activities are also 7x more likely to convert than other leads.

To improve your chances of people doing your intended actions, what you need to do is to ask. Yes, even if some tasks may seem obvious, asking people to do something is an easy and efficient way to improve the results of specific actions you want your audience to take.

Just take for example how YouTubers always ask people to Like & Subscribe to their channel. Every single time. Regardless of the size of their following.

Why? Because there is power in the ask. So, don’t leave it to chance. Make the ask.

  1. Your Business Becomes Stronger

Finally, personal branding strengthens your business.

When people can find you, trust you, follow you, and perform your desired action, you are creating a business that stands out from the competition. You forge strong relationships with your customers that is not easily achieved with business branding alone.

Ultimately, your business goals become more achievable thanks to personal branding.

 

Things to Remember When Building Your Personal Branding

Personal branding can be the key to your business growth. Before you start building your personal brands, here are some things you need to know so you don’t run into common pitfalls.

How To Build Your Personal Brand

Determine your brand voice

Your personality is what makes you unique. It is what sets you apart from your competitors.

To create a solid personal brand, make a list of your key traits. Include in the list your strengths and weaknesses. These qualities will make your brand as human as possible. Also, don’t forget to ask relevant people in your life what characteristics stick out at you the most.

Then, communicate those traits with your content.

The key here is to make your personal brand authentic, so be honest about it.

Know your target audience

Not everyone will be interested in what you are going to say. So, it’s best to direct your thoughts to people who matter to your business.

Like with any solid marketing plan, you have to narrow down who your audience will be. These people include:

  1. Those who will pay you
  2. Those who influence the person who pays you
  3. Those who will benefit from your message

Create a description of each person and include as many details about them as possible. Doing so allows your message to better resonate with your audience.

Build your online presence

Once you have your personality sorted out and who your target audience is, it’s time to get the ball rolling.

To get your voice out there, you have to determine where is “there” exactly. Start by knowing which platforms you should be establishing a presence in. Defining your target audience helps.

Then, decide what you will and will not be sharing in your brand.

Information about your family may be off-limits, like many entrepreneurs do. You don’t want to subject them under online scrutiny. On the other hand, you may want to share your personal struggles so your followers can relate more to you.

Deciding what you should and shouldn’t post entirely depends on you. There’s no wrong answer. Choosing not to share specific things doesn’t make you less authentic. That said, decide what you think is right for your personal brand.

Create a website

You may have the option to pick a social channel that you think will work best for you. However, having a website is a must.

This is because those social channels may disappear in an instant someday, along with all your efforts building your personal brand. But a website is something you owned and you have control with.

Having a website also allows you to publish a personal blog, which is essential in establishing your reputation online. Publishing quality content that shows your knowledge about the industry helps boost your authority. 

A website also allows you to publish other types of content such as your products and services, contact information, and membership forms. It is also an essential element if you want to be found online, especially when you follow SEO best practices.

In short, building a website is beneficial for your personal branding. Don’t go around establishing a personal brand without it.

Build relationships in the industry

How do you get found online when you’re just starting a personal brand? One way is by connecting with other well-known brands in the industry.

When you interact with these brands, you are making yourself visible to their already established following. That’s why it pays to engage with them whenever you have the chance. Leave feedback on their blog posts, comment on their social media posts and communicate with them.

Sometimes, your competition can also be a great partner that can lead you to the success of your business.

 

Taking the Power of Personal Brands to the Next Level

Indeed, personal branding helps grow your business in many ways. Now, imagine this: if your personal brand can have that much impact on your company brand, what more if OTHER personal brands also work for your business?

By other personal brands, we mean your employees.

Yes, employee personal brands tied with the company brand are a lot stronger than using yours alone. When employee personal brands work in harmony with your company brand, you are tapping into their extended reach, credibility, and convincing power.

Leveraging employee personal brands to your advantage is a step above the concept of personal branding—an approach dubbed as “Building Brands Within a Brand.”

In this method, you help your employees develop their own personal branding that attracts their own set of followers.

When you build employee personal brands, you are leveraging on your greatest influencers. And when employee personal brands build their own following, you are building a real asset that grows with you. Hence, your company brand benefits on the increased reach and trust.

 

Start Building Personal Brands Now

Whether it’s your personal brand or your employees’ personal brands, we’d love to help. My team helps employers and business owners build solid branding that allows for long-term business growth.

If you think personal branding is key to help you succeed in the long run, contact us.

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A Helpful Guide To Personal Branding For Executives

Branding Executives

Look around at the C-suite executives in your field and you’ll find certain individuals getting all the attention. Whether it be the media, business communities, or clients, they are all wanting to be associated with these people—and by extension, their company brands.

How are they getting all that industry fame? Are these executives much more knowledgeable than you?

The answer is no.

They are just like the rest of us in the C-suite position—great leaders with the technical know-how to manage the business. But what sets them apart is their courage to charter what many executives fear the most: getting personal on social media.

While many executives are still hesitant about developing their personal brands online, these individuals have fully embarked on the task. Now, they have risen to national prominence.

If you want to share the same authority that these industry stars are enjoying, it’s time to consider building your personal brand. In this guide, we’ll help you develop a personal branding strategy that can bump your career to the next level.

Why Executives Should Develop Their Personal Branding

Before we proceed with the strategy, first, I want to emphasize one vital element you will need to see you through your personal branding journey. It’s persistence.

Developing your personal brand comes with challenges along the way. That’s why it’s important that you remain persistent and keep moving forward. You never know what will be the springboard that gets others to read, follow, and ultimately use your products or services.

To fuel this persistence, let’s take a peek at what awaits you at the end of this journey. Here, discover the competitive advantage of personal branding for executives like you:

A strong personal brand helps build your authority. When people see you as an expert in your field, you get to stand out from the crowd. You get more visibility and become the go-to person when it comes to issues related to your area of expertise.

Highly-visible experts can build their network and connect with people. They get the chance to build valuable partnerships with fellow experts. This opens up opportunities for both parties to strengthen their respective businesses.

With a strong personal brand, you attract more quality investors and clients. People are naturally drawn to experts to solve their problems. And when you build your reputation as an expert, you gain an advantage over your competitors.

Having a well-established executive brand allows you to charge premium prices for your products and services. People are more willing to pay extra for experts they believe in.

Executives who position themselves as thought leaders also benefit the companies they work for. When people trust you, it often creates a halo effect that brings potential customers to your organization.

Creating a strong personal brand on social media can launch your career to new heights. And when you have the determination to push through, all your efforts will pay off soon.

How to Develop a Strong Executive Personal Brand

Now that you know the benefits of personal branding for executives, it’s time to work on your reputation. Below, discover how you can develop a personal branding strategy that can build your credibility as an expert in your field.

Define your brand

As an executive, you must already be an expert in something. Narrow down that expertise and define the problem you can solve. This will become the foundation of your brand message that will be used on social media, website, and profiles.

Also, when defining your personal brand, remember that you have to be authentic. It should reflect your skills, knowledge, passions, values, and beliefs. Find something that makes you unique and focus your message on that.

Identify your target audience

Whose problem are you going to solve? Who are you addressing with your content? Don’t make the mistake of appealing to everyone. Define the people who will benefit the most from what you will offer. The secret here is to understand your audience.

To do this, look for similarities among your audience. For executives aiming to build a community, your audience may have similar professions, income, goals, dreams, and pain points. Profile your audience using the information you will gather.

Set up your social media profiles

Depending on your target audience, choose the most relevant platform for you. Find out where your audience spends their time the most and establish your presence there.

Being a professional, LinkedIn should be your primary social media platform.

Then, set up your profiles with credibility-boosting elements such as your credentials, accomplishments, and awards. Also, join active groups that are frequented by people in your target audience.

Remember, you have to be social on social media!

The best way to attract new followers is to actually connect and help others by sharing your expertise. If you use the platform not just for your own benefit and work to build your presence, you can accomplish your goals.

Here is an example of what happens when you use and interact with others on the social platforms like LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Post Engagement Example

Have an optimized website

Aside from your social media profiles, a website also plays a vital role in building your personal brand. While social media channels are crucial, you don’t own or control these platforms. On the contrary, a website is something you owned and have control with.

For your audience to find your website, you should also make sure that it is well-optimized for search engines. SEO is a great way to be visible and to drive traffic to your website.

Develop a content strategy

A well-established executive brand is strongly rooted in content. To succeed in this task, don’t just create content that sells your products or services. Instead, create content that will help solve your audience’s problems.

Developing a content calendar helps you focus on quality and consistent content. To fill up the calendar, start by listing all potential topics that would be helpful to your following. Then, decide which type of content will appeal the most to them (i.e., text, articles, videos, infographics, podcasts, case studies, etc.)

Develop an outreach strategy

Don’t just stop after publishing your content. You also have to support it with an effective outreach strategy to reach more people. For this step, email marketing is a critical tool for your success.

Email marketing lets you interact with customers on a one-on-one basis. This means you have the chance to introduce who you are and make an impact on those who have subscribed to your newsletter. If you know how to use email marketing, it can help paint a personal branding that wins a loyal following.

Monitor your progress

How do you know if your personal branding strategy is working? You have to measure your progress with key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs let you see what works for your brand and informs you when to adjust your strategy.

Some important metrics include website traffic, branded search, mentions, social reach, and feedback. Monitor your growth and the people’s perception of you to ensure your personal branding is headed in the right direction.

Once you have done all the above steps, you’re ready to launch your personal branding strategy. Almost. Before you do, we’ll discuss some additional steps you may consider to strengthen your executive branding.

 

Reinforcing Your Personal Brand

By now, you have learned the importance of personal branding for executives like you. Also, you have learned the steps needed to start building your executive brand on social media.

But it doesn’t stop there.

If you want to really make it out there, you need to take extra steps and branch out from just being an executive. Here’s how some highly-visible experts do it.

Based on a study by Hinge Marketing, the top marketing tools that have the greatest impact on an individual’s personal brand are:

Hinge Marketing Leadership Study
As you can see, most industry stars today have branched out to different activities beyond their existing roles. These activities have helped them propel their brands to popularity. Below, let’s discuss the most impactful activities you can include in your personal branding strategy.

Author a book

Check some of the well-branded CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and CIOs in your industry. Chances are, most of them have written at least one book that addresses their area of expertise. This goes to show that writing a book can effectively demonstrate your knowledge in the field. Whether you write it yourself or hire a ghostwriter, authoring a book is critical to boost your credibility and build visibility.

Get speaking engagements

If you want to be known in your field, it’s time to build your speaking resume. The best-known professionals speak frequently at national conferences and trade shows to share their knowledge. When they do speak in front of a large audience, they get to build their reputation. There are many ways to get your voice to be heard out there. You can start by speaking with small groups, say, the local chapter of your professional association. Also, you may try starting a podcast to discuss the know-how of your industry.

Maintain a blog

While publishing a book can significantly boost your credibility, it is no easy task. If you don’t feel like taking on the job right now, practice honing your writing skills first by keeping a blog. Blogging is one of the most effective ways to demonstrate your expertise. It is an essential tool to share your knowledge and build a loyal following. So, don’t forget to add a blog when you create or update your website. What can we take away from these activities? Executives must branch out from their existing roles to improve their personal branding. To do this, you need to learn certain skills along the way, starting from the essential writing, public speaking, and blogging. Most importantly, you have to become not just an executive who is an expert in your field. You also have to assume the role of a teacher. You see, industry leaders have built their reputation around their ability to simplify technical knowledge into easy-to-understand materials. And the most successful executive personal brands dedicate their time to educating their audience. So, to be a thought leader, you have to be an excellent teacher first.  

Executive Branding Examples

To cap this off, let’s take a look at two notable executive brandings that are winning today. We hope their success inspires you to start your journey to personal branding soon.
NeilPatel.com

Neil Patel

Content is a vital piece of a successful personal brand, and we can’t emphasize that enough. When we talk about great content, Neil Patel is a name that comes to the top of our minds.

Neil Patel is a household name in digital marketing, co-founding many of the well-known digital marketing agencies today. With his thorough and well-researched content, he’s an excellent example of how content can make or break your personal branding. In his case, his hard work creating useful and honest content around marketing worked in his favor.

Melanie Perkins

Melanie Perkins

LinkedIn is by far the most important platform to grow executive brands. It’s made for professionals, and it’s only natural for an expert to establish a presence there. If anyone is nailing the use of the platform, it’s Melanie Perkins, CEO and co-founder of Canva.com. In fact, she used the platform so well that she’s named a LinkedIn Power Profile in 2018. How did she make such an impact? She used her profile to share useful content, engage her followers, and discuss topics in her industry. P.S. If you are not one of my LinkedIn connections, you should reach out.  

Build Your Personal Branding Today

Many executives today are hesitating to build their personal brand on social media because they worry that they might do more harm than good to their respective companies. But with careful planning and the guidance of a credible personal branding agency, you’ll be one step closer to joining the ranks of well-known C-suite executives who enjoy all the perks and attention in your field.
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The Benefits Of Using A Personal Branding Consultant

Personal Branding Consultant

Do you want to be known as a thought leader in your field? A strong personal brand helps you position yourself as an industry authority. With solid expert branding, you’ll gain an advantage over your competitors and establish your career for long-term growth.

However, developing a strong personal branding DIY-style can be a struggle for many founders and executives. Getting started is already challenging. Along the way, you will face obstacles that can cut short your journey to industry recognition.

But you’re not alone in this journey.

If you want to get past all the challenges, consider seeking the help of a personal branding consultant.

Here, learn why you should engage in personal branding consulting. Discover how a personal branding strategist can help you create a winning brand, and what you should look for in a trustworthy partner.

What is a Personal Branding Consultant?

personal branding consultant is someone who is passionate about branding and helping people. Using his expertise in personal branding, this specialist helps people develop, maintain, improve, reinvent, and manage their personal brands.

For executives who aren’t digitally native, personal brand consultants can guide you in creating a credible narrative to build your reputation online.

4 Ways a Personal Brand Consultant Can Help 

If you’re new in personal brand creation, you would benefit from hiring a branding specialist. Here’s how.

 

Helps you define your goals

A successful executive branding starts with a goal in mind. It is a consultant’s job to develop a strategy that aligns with your business goals.

The consultation process often starts with an assessment of your brand. In this phase, your consultant evaluates where you are currently standing. Then, he helps you narrow down what you want to achieve with your branding.

Having an expert to partner with is important if you feel like your goals are unattainable or too ambitious. These branding specialists can weigh on your goal-setting so you’ll know that you’ll be taking the right path.

 

Points out your strengths and weaknesses

In the initial stage of the consultation, you will also undergo a personal branding audit. Here, the branding specialist will pinpoint which aspects are working and which areas need to be improved or stopped altogether.

This involves analyzing your social media, website analytics, and the competition. To determine your strengths and weaknesses, you will have to answer important questions about yourself, such as:

  • Are you using the available platforms properly?
  • Do you have an updated website?
  • Do you publish enough content on your website to demonstrate your expertise?
  • Are your profiles consistent across all social media channels?
  • Do you use marketing strategies that are staples in your industry?

The specialist will have you reflect on these kinds of questions. Depending on your answers, he will know what you need to work on to develop a solid personal brand strategy.

 

Guides you in developing a solid strategy

Once the assessment has been laid out, it’s time to develop a personal branding strategy. With professional help, you’ll know how to use social media the right way.

When building your reputation, details matter. These specialists will help you create a polished and consistent branding that reflects your personality and expertise across all your social media platforms.

Many executives are also hesitant to be online because they don’t know what content should they post. If this is the case, a personal branding consultant can also help you with that.

Branding experts are more than willing to share the secrets of how your content can be found online. In a crowded space like social media, the right content and outreach strategy are key to connecting with your audience, investors, and the press.

 

Saves you from falling into personal branding pitfalls

As we’ve mentioned before, the path to personal branding is riddled with challenges. Without professional guidance, it’s easy to get caught in the common pitfalls of building your online reputation.

For instance, many executive brands can become rigid and formal as if they were corporate brands. Others also make claims that are beyond their ability just to get more business.

Personal branding consultants have seen them all. Hence, they are the best person to reach out if you want to avoid these traps. Their wisdom and experience can save you money, energy, and time in the long-term.

How to Choose a Personal Brand Consultant

Now that you know how you can benefit from a branding expert, it’s time to look for one who will get you started on your journey. To find the right strategist, we listed down some factors you should consider when choosing a branding specialist.

 

Has a good branding

Steven J Wilson Personal Branding Consultant

If someone claims he’s an expert in branding, he should have proof to back it up. What better way to check someone’s expertise than to see his own “branding”?

Good branding has a well-designed website, updated blog, and consistent social media profiles. Pay particular attention to his LinkedIn profile, which is arguably the most important social media platform for experts.

If he has authored a book, conducted studies, or had several speaking engagements, these are also great signs that you’ll be working with a reliable marketing partner.

 

Offers years of experience

Many of today’s branding specialists are self-taught. They developed their processes doing trials and errors, testing theories, and analyzing the results.

With years of experience, good personal brand consulting services have created a defined, repeatable program to build executive brands. They boast of a deep portfolio and extensive case studies about how they have established personal brands.

Also, look for client testimonials that will attest to the credibility of the expert you’ll be partnering with. If he can give contact details of past clients, that’s also a good sign that you’re onto the right person.

 

Offers free branding audit

A free branding audit even before a formal consulting begins is a sign that you’re working with someone who has your best interests. Not only that, but the experience also gives you a glimpse of what’s in store for you when you proceed with the actual consulting process.

 

Asks the right questions

A cookie-cutter approach doesn’t work in personal brand building. For your branding to flourish, you need a customized strategy that fits your distinct needs.

That’s why it is crucial that a specialist asks questions about you. The right questions allow him to craft a personalized strategy that is aligned with your goals.

If the specialist doesn’t ask questions, yet is promising to “develop” personal branding strategies for your brand, you should proceed with caution.

 

Is passionate about you and his work

About Steven J Wilson

Finally, a trustworthy personal brand consultant is genuinely passionate about his clients. Working with a strategist is a serious commitment, and your executive branding can make or break you and your business. You have to feel at ease that your name is in the right hands.

A passionate consultant is always eager to expand his knowledge so he can serve his clients to the fullest extent. His passion to see your reputation grow can overcome obstacles that may come your way.

Simply put, a passionate personal brand strategist does his best to help his clients.

Partner with a Personal Branding Consultant Now

Building a successful executive branding that can win new clients is hard. But only when you do it alone. Fortunately, there are branding experts who are willing to help you in creating, maintaining, and marketing your name online.

If you want to save money, energy, and time building your reputation on social media and beyond, partner with a personal branding consultant now.

Steven J Wilson & Associates is a team of branding experts equipped with systems, processes, and courses that we developed throughout our years of marketing experience. 

Feel free to contact us for all your personal branding needs.

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11 Vital Personal Branding Tools You Should Start Using

Tools For Personal Branding

Personal branding can be time-consuming. It involves a long list of to-dos that can be difficult to accomplish without the proper tools and guidance if needed.

Fortunately, there are a plethora of tools for personal branding that will make the task a lot easier. From free tools to paid, you can find various apps and services that can help you stay on top of everything.

In this post, we rounded up the vital tools to start building your personal brand

What Makes for a Good Personal Branding Tool?

Before we delve into the list, let us first know why we picked our selection below. Here are the key benefits that make for a good personal branding tool.

1) It saves you time

We use personal branding tools to save time while providing the same results, or even better. That’s why tools like Buffer and Hootsuite are great because they automate your work, and they make sure they still follow the process correctly.

2) It keeps you organized

With a long list of to-dos, it’s easy to get caught up in the branding process. Good thing tools like Trello and Evernote help keep us organized, making us efficient at this personal branding endeavor.

3) It’s easy to use

The personal branding task is difficult enough. We wouldn’t want to use a service that would get us struggling. For this list, we only picked user-friendly tools that you can use even without much experience, such as the photo-editing platform Canva.

4) It’s affordable

Finally, a good branding tool shouldn’t break the bank. We know that building a personal brand is, well, a personal undertaking. Fortunately, a lot of branding tools out there offer free versions like Google Trends and Alerts. Or if not free, you can find budget-friendly services.

Free Personal Branding Tools

Google Alert Free brand mentions

Google Alerts

Website: https://www.google.com/alerts

Price: Free

Do you want to monitor mentions of your personal brand in search engines? Or even your competition?

Google Alerts is a free notification service that allows you to monitor certain search activities on the web. This is great for tracking mentions of your name or business, which can open up opportunities for brand building.

Moreover, you can use it to keep an eye on the competition. This tool allows you to see where your competition is getting mentioned, or which platforms they are using to build their online presence.

Google Trends free personal branding tool

Google Trends

Website: https://trends.google.com/trends/

Price: Free

If you’re struggling to come up with content to post for your blog and social media profiles, Google Trends can help with your problem.

Google Trends is a tool for finding topics that are trending across the globe. It can be used to discover hot topics that match your industry so you can decide on the approach you want to take.

This free service also lets you see if your target keywords are trending online. It provides information such as keyword volumes and their performance history throughout the past months and years. Using these insights, you can come up with a more informed strategy for your content and social media calendar.

Tools for Keeping You Organized

Evernote for personal Branding

Evernote

Website: https://evernote.com/

Price: Free, or starts at $130/month

If you want to find content and save it quickly for later use, Evernote comes in handy.

Evernote is an organizing tool that lets you save curated content that you may want to use in the future. This tool features a smart search capability that lets you find saved stuff easily. Be it your blog post drafts, images, or ideas for future content, you don’t have to worry about losing it.

Curating content for your personal brand is much easier with a free organizing tool. Additionally, you can bring Evernote wherever you go thanks to its cloud-based service.

Trello for personal branding

Trello

Website: https://trello.com/

Price: Free, or starts at $9.99/month

Accomplishing each step of your personal branding process is much easier when you can visualize them. Trello is a tool for this matter.

Trello is a visual project management tool that features a convenient boards-and-cards system. Here, you can manage boards, create cards, add labels, include checklists, and set deadlines that make it easy to visualize your process.

Trello is also great if you’re working with a team of personal branding experts as you can share your board for everyone to see.

Social Media Tools for Personal Branding

Octopus CRM tool for personal branding

Octopus CRM

Website: https://octopuscrm.io/

Price: Starts at $6.99/month

When it comes to establishing your personal brand, LinkedIn is a platform that you wouldn’t be without. LinkedIn is by far the most important channel for professionals, and you would need help growing your presence here.

Octopus CRM is an automation software that you can use to simplify your lead generation process on LinkedIn. With this tool, you can send personalized connection requests to your prospects automatically. You can also send bulk messages to hundreds of connections easily, which is great for follow-ups.

These features allow you to build your connection that you can use to create your personal LinkedIn lead generation funnel. Aside from that, Octopus CRM also lets you track important metrics to measure the effectiveness of your campaign.

Buffer social media tool for personal branding

Buffer

Website: https://buffer.com/

Price: Starts at $15/month

If you’re looking to schedule posts on social media, Buffer is a popular tool that most marketers would recommend. 

Buffer is a social media marketing tool that allows you to schedule your posts across any platform. All you need to do is to add content to your Buffer queue and designate a time you want the post to be published.

Aside from automating posts, Buffer also lets you curate content, track your progress, and analyze your campaigns. It’s a powerful tool to manage your campaign from one dashboard at an affordable price.

Hootsuite social media marketing tool

Hootsuite

Website: https://hootsuite.com/

Price: Starts at $19/month

For those who want to simplify their ad campaign process, Hootsuite got you covered.

Hootsuite is another social media platform that does the same functions as Buffer. It allows you to schedule posts, manage social media accounts, curate content, as well as measure ROI. But what makes Hootsuite stand out is its ability to create and manage ads.

This tool lets you create, launch, and manage ad campaigns across multiple channels, all in one place. If you want to save time running a paid promotional campaign, Hootsuite can help you with that.

IFTTT for personal branding automation

IFTTT

Website: https://ifttt.com/

Price: Free, or starts at $3.99/month

If you’re looking for another automation tool that takes more advanced functions, IFFT is the app to go.

IFTTT stands for “if this, then that”. It’s a productivity tool that allows you to connect apps, devices, or web services. Here, you create a chain of conditional statements to perform certain actions.

For instance, you can set it to automatically tweet a native Twitter photo every time you post on Instagram. The logic may look like this: “If this (Instagram) posted a new image, then that (Twitter) will tweet the same image.” Simply put, IFTT allows you to automate your work processes, thus saving time on manual management tasks.

Other Helpful Tools for Branding

Canva for personal branding design

Canva

Website: https://www.canva.com/

Price: Free, or starts at $12.95/month

Want to create images to capture the attention of your audience? Canva offers plenty of design templates and layouts for all your branding needs.

Canva is a design platform that lets you create various graphics for your personal brand. Yes, even without artistic skills, you can create images for social media posts to website banners, presentations, book covers, and even logos and videos.

With its drag-and-drop feature and a massive library of graphic elements, you can design images that are unique to your branding. It’s a life-saver for those who want to create professional-looking graphics without a designer.

Mailchimp Email Marketing tool

Mailchimp

Website: https://mailchimp.com/

Price: Free, or starts at $9/month

Email marketing is a crucial tactic to get the word about your brand out there. For a convenient way to send those emails, MailChimp got you covered.

MailChimp is a platform designed to allow users to create, manage, and automate email campaigns. This tool is an intelligent system that boasts of handy features, specifically the ability to personalize emails and target based on user behavior.

With MailChimp, you can send automated emails to a targeted audience easily. This gives you more time to spend on other important things aside from your outreach strategy.

WordPress For personal branding website

WordPress

Website: https://wordpress.org/

Price: Free

Having a website is important in building your personal brand. When it comes to creating a website, WordPress is simply the best choice.

WordPress is a powerful website builder with plenty of convenient features perfect for busy individuals like you. The best thing about it is that you don’t have to learn coding to use this platform. That’s why it’s the top choice among website builders and content management systems out there.

WordPress is flexible, user-friendly, secured, and search engines like Google love it. The platform is great if you’re into SEO, which you should if you want to become visible online.

Wrapping Up

If you want to grow your brand, you’ll need tools to make the task a lot easier. The ones we listed above are affordable and easy to use, which will help you save time and keep you organized.

But not only these tools will lighten your load. They are also essential to the success of your branding endeavor. So, before you start your journey, be sure to check these tools out.

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