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 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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9 Key Benefits of Using WordPress (Why It’s Your Best Option)

Benefits of Using WordPress

If you’re serious about your business, you should be thinking about putting up a website now. Having a website is a crucial tool for your digital marketing that can significantly help improve your branding and lead generation.

And when it comes to building a website, WordPress is your best choice.

You’ve probably heard about it, but today, you’ll learn more about what WordPress is. You’ll also discover why a lot of website owners love it, and why you should be using this platform for your business website.

By the end of this post, you’ll be convinced that WordPress is all you need to create your site.

 

What is WordPress? 

When we talk about WordPress, we are referring to the self-hosted software WordPress.org. We don’t want you to confuse it with the hosting service WordPress.com.

But what exactly is WordPress?

Many of you know about WordPress as just the simple blogging site. But that’s a common misconception.

Throughout the years, WordPress has evolved into a powerful website builder and a content management system (CMS). And with its exceptional performance, it managed to become the most popular in the field, followed by competitors Joomla and Drupal.

That said, WordPress has become one of the various options to create and manage a website. Be it blogs, personal sites, business websites, and eCommerce stores, you can do it with the said software.

 

Why is WordPress so Popular?

One study from Kinsta shows that WordPress is the top website builder and CMS worldwide. In fact, it powers 35% of all websites on the Web. That’s a staggering one-third of the Internet.

Worldwide CMS Stats
Source: Kinsta

Even top brands use WordPress to power their websites, including Time Magazine, TechCrunch, and Target, among others. To put that in numbers, the said CMS makes up 14.7% of the world’s top websites.

But why is the platform so popular?

It’s simple: WordPress is easy to use and flexible enough to build various types of websites.

Both its closest competition, Joomla and Drupal, require a certain level of coding knowledge to use these platforms. But not WordPress.

Although WordPress allows experienced users to work with advanced knowledge of coding, it’s not a requirement. Instead, the platform offers basic features for beginners which allows them to create a site even without technical knowledge of any programming language.

That’s a convenient feature, especially for busy individuals and business owners who can’t afford to spend time learning even basic coding.

And that is what sets WordPress apart from the competition.

With such convenience, it is no wonder why WordPress is a reliable website builder used to create 500+ sites each day.

 

Advantages of Using WordPress

The numbers above are proof that WordPress is the top choice for building websites across the globe.

But WordPress isn’t only popular, it also offers plenty of advantages for its users. Here are some key benefits of using WordPress to power your business or personal website.

1. Flexibility

Whatever your website needs, WordPress can deliver.

Whether you need a basic site to publish personal blogs and showcase a portfolio or a complex version to power an ecommerce store and multinational corporations, it can be done with the software.

The said website builder offers many themes and plugins to adapt to a business’ changing requirements. Depending on your needs, WordPress can be as elaborate or as simple to create and manage a wide range of sites with various purposes.

But its flexibility doesn’t just end there.

You can also use WordPress regardless of your technical experience level. It provides a user-friendly experience to everyone, whether you’re a newbie, an advanced developer, or anyone in between. This brings me to my next point.

2. Ease of Use

With just a few clicks, you can start your own site with WordPress. Yes, you can build a site even if you don’t have knowledge about coding.

But that’s not all there is to it when we talk about this software’s ease of use.

One of the most impressive features of the said CMS is its simplified content creation.

Many website owners find it time-consuming to add and format new pages, blog posts, and images regularly. But not with WordPress.

With its straightforward interface, you’ll find creating content here a breeze.

WordPress Dashboard
Source: WordPress.org

From the dashboard menu, you can access everything you need to create a new post. There, you’ll find text editors, ways to upload media files, and formatting tools.

You can even make simple site updates yourself. No need to wait for your web designer because WordPress allows full control of your site without much trouble.

3. Constantly Improving

The team at WordPress understands how important site speed and performance are to users. That’s why they always work to improve the platform.

When you use WordPress, expect that they’ll be rolling out some major core and minor updates every now and then. That is to fix small bugs and improve speed and performance for better user experience.

Not only the software is always improving, but so are its plugins and themes. This is vital because outdated plugins and themes are common reasons that slow down a website’s speed.

The great part is: the WordPress software updates itself automatically. And if ever you need to update your software version, themes, or plugins manually, you can do it in as simple as clicking the “Update Now” button.

4. Simple Integration of Themes and Plugins

With a large and growing directory, WordPress has a theme suitable for just about every type of website. Whether it’s for a personal blog, a business website, or an online store, you can choose from basic and premium themes available via the WordPress theme directory or purchasable from a third-party designer and design marketplaces.

Wordpress Themes

Just like themes, the platform also offers tons of plugins to add specialized features on your site. A plugin is a piece of software added to WordPress to perform specific functions to the website. This includes analytics, contact forms, shopping carts, and more.

Wordpress Plugins

Once you’ve chosen your theme and plugins, you can integrate them easily into your website. WordPress allows for hassle-free customization without the need to write any code at all. That’s why it’s a great choice for non-tech savvy users.

5. Ranks Higher in the SERPs

Search engines such as Google love WordPress. And what does this mean for your site?

Your website is more likely to appear in the search engine results page (SERP).

WordPress is designed to optimize sites for search engine optimization (SEO). SEO helps websites get more traffic through organic search engine results.

In simpler terms, you’ll be easier to get found when users search for certain keywords on Google and other search engines.

This is because WordPress uses code that is clean and simple. WordPress also has some built-in tools and plugins that are SEO-friendly.

For instance, WordPress allows you to optimize each page, post, and image for specific keywords. This can be done via the platform’s title, meta description, and tags section.

When done correctly, this makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site. With such SEO features, WordPress tends to rank higher than others in search engines.

6. Security

In general, WordPress is a safe platform to run a website. It is built with security in mind, which is evident with all the constant updates to fight off threats.

However, the Internet is still unpredictable. There will be malicious attacks, hackers, and malware that can compromise your site.

The good thing is that WordPress enables you to enhance your site’s security with additional protection against intruders.

From integrating password protection, two-factor authentication and SSL certificates to installing WordPress security and backup plugins, the platform ensures that you are safe from cyber-crime threats.

That is if you stay alert and implement some security best practices available on the platform.

7. Mobile Responsiveness

In today’s world, mobile responsiveness is essential for any website. Both your audience and search engines require your site to look good on mobile devices. But why is that?

First, 52% of traffic comes from mobile devices. With such numbers, you have to impress and make those visitors stay, and a mobile-friendly website can help you with just that.

Second, mobile responsiveness also serves as a factor in search engine rankings. If you want to rank higher in the SERPs, your website should be mobile optimized.

Fortunately, WordPress strives hard to cater to mobile usability. The platform is geared to provide responsive designs, optimized images, mobile-friendly plugins, and fast site speed.

8. Own Your Content

Originally a blogging platform, you can expect WordPress to deliver with your content needs.

Publishing content on this platform is easy. It offers a built-in blog feature that allows you to add a new post whenever, wherever. No need to create a separate blog that will save you from all the hassle.

Then, WordPress lets you set up email subscriptions and RSS to your blog. The said CMS also has commenting capabilities, and it is even simple to add new blog posts to other pages of your site, say, your homepage.

With WordPress, you can use its blog features even if your site is unrelated to blogging. This makes it ideal for publishing announcements or updates about your business.

9. Great Support

With more than 30% of website owners using WordPress, you’ll never run out of how-to guides, tutorials, and resources for just about every concern you have regarding the platform.

Users have built a community of WordPress-loving individuals across the globe. They engage and help fellow users through various means, including WordPress forums and WordPress camps.

And it’s not only limited to WordPress. This community also extends to third-party applications that you may be using. So, you’re assured that there will be no shortage of resources on the web.

That’s on top of the help you can get directly from the WordPress support team. This includes 24-hour live chat support, resources, and documentation to get the most out of the most popular CMS.

 

Designing Your WordPress Website

Now that you know the pros of using WordPress, it’s time to design your first website.

Fortunately, design companies are making it easier for users like you to visually create your WordPress site. With professional-looking themes paired with intuitive page builders, you can have your own website in no time.

Here are some themes I recommend to get you started:

Thrives Themes WordPress

Thrive Themes

Thrive Themes offers conversion-focused WordPress themes and plugins to help websites turn visitors into customers, clients, and subscribers. It provides the tools you need to implement value-based actionable content for your audience.

Features:

  • Theme builder
  • Intuitive drag & drop editor
  • Quiz builder
  • Lead generation plugin
  • Testimonial plugin
  • Comments plugin
  • A/B testing for landing pages
  • Scarcity marketing tool
  • Professional online course builder
Elementor WordPress Themes

Elementor

Elementor is built for professionals from freelancers to agencies. It’s an all-in-one solution for a visual design optimized for faster performance.

Features:

  • Visual theme builder
  • Design-responsive pixel-perfect layouts
  • Drag & drop landing page builder
  • Popup builder
  • WooCommerce builder
  • Form builder to generate more conversions
  • Dedicated widgets to streamline marketing efforts
  • Seamless integration of your favorite tools
 
Divi WordPress Theme

Divi

Divi by Elegant Themes offers an advanced visual builder technology that takes WordPress to a whole new level. It features a visual editor that replaces the standard WordPress post editor, which can be enjoyed by both design professionals and newbies.

Features:

  • Drag & drop building
  • Visual editing
  • Custom CSS control
  • Responsive editing
  • 800+ pre-made designs
  • 40+ unique page elements
  • Inline text editing
  • Email opt-in provider support
  • Pricing tables
  • Social follow module
  • Built-in split testing

Choose WordPress to Power Your Website

If you’re looking for a website builder that is easy to use and flexible, WordPress is your best option. This platform demands almost no effort from business owners who only want to create their first website—no coding knowledge, no design expertise, no hassle.

With plenty of available themes and plugins, you can create your site with just a few clicks. And maintaining your site wouldn’t be a problem with its technology.

To conclude, WordPress is simply the best choice for creating and managing a website. It wouldn’t be the most popular CMS in the world for nothing.

Now that you know the benefits of using WordPress, I hope this convinces you to use it for your website.

If this convinces you, then share this article and help fellow business owners start their own website.

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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. 

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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What Is Lead Generation In Digital Marketing?

Lead Generation in Digital Marketing

In today’s developed market, lead generation becomes crucial for the survival of businesses, especially during this time. Your business can grow or become extinct based on how many leads you are able to generate. 

Lead generation in digital marketing is about crafting valuable content for your audience & guiding them through a funnel that ultimately results in a sale.

To help you keep your head above the water and even thrive in today’s highly competitive business environment, I’ve put together a complete guide about lead generation. In this article, you will discover: 

  • What are leads 
  • What defines a high-quality lead 
  • How to generate high-quality leads 
  • Tips to increase the number of leads you get leveraging the power of digital marketing 

By the end of this lead generation guide, you’ll be able to grasp the ins and outs of lead generation fully, and you’ll know how to get your own high-quality leads to keep your business flourishing despite any setbacks and challenges. 

 

What is a Lead? 

So what is a lead? A lead can be defined as a “prospective customer who lands on your page or gets into your marketing funnel and provides their contact information.” Simply put, a lead is a potential buyer who leaves their contact information and agrees for you to contact them, either by phone or email. 

The Buyers Journey in Lead Generation

A site visitor can turn into a lead when they either register for an event on your site, call you, or contact you via live chat. If you have an upcoming webinar or a useful eBook, you can “gate” these assets and request for the email/phone number of your site visitors. Those who want to access these assets need to leave their name and contact information, turning them into a lead. 

A site visitor who turns into a lead is eager to learn more about your products, services, or to find out valuable information that can help them. Even if most leads do not buy right from the start, as they are either in the awareness or the consideration stages, your chances of converting them into sales can grow considerably if you manage to “re-heat” your leads. I will detail the entire process later on. 

 

The Importance of Generating Leads Today 

According to a report by Nurture HQ, generating sales-ready, high-quality leads is one of the top priorities for modern digital marketers. 

Smart marketers have understood that they need to employ the most innovative marketing techniques in order to turn today’s information-savvy users into leads. 

Generating leads has become a must because of the digitization of our economy. 

Almost all types of transactions are moving online. Banks are turning to digital onboarding, B2B companies are selling their services and products via their websites, and even realtors are using 3D mockups to sell houses and properties via the internet. 

With more and more shoppers using the internet to purchase products and services, you need to have a strong presence online if you want to grow your business and outsmart your competitors. 

Because most people tend to buy after multiple interactions, you need to have a proper attribution model in place. This means that you need to be aware of how much a particular technique in your funnel has contributed to the conversion.

Staying on top of the data you receive from every step in your funnel is vital to optimizing and scaling winning strategies.

 

What is a Good Quality Lead? 

There are two types of leads – good quality leads, and poor quality leads. A poor quality lead is a person that will never buy from you or is not interested at all in what you have to offer. A good quality lead is someone who engages with you and has a real potential to turn into a customer. 

Usually, most good quality leads are not necessarily ready to buy in the beginning. They need to realize that they have a desire and are the best person who can fulfill that desire. 

As a rule of thumb, a good quality lead has the following traits: 

They are pre-qualified: You have made an offer that only potential buyers of your product or service would be interested in, and they opted in to learn more. You need to send multiple emails and “feed” your leads various details, helping them to know, like, and trust you. This will help show them that they need you and should try your product/services. 

They were quick to convert: A good lead that converts after just a few interactions is definitely a good-quality lead. So, even if they start to run dormant and don’t engage if you have a great product or service and delivering top quality, eventually, they could end up using your services again.

They are measurable: After the lead has made a purchase, you should be able to track that lead and discover more about there interest. For example, in the past, they have made repeat buys of a skincare product you sell but have recently liked one of your social media posts on skincare tips. This data is priceless and can be used to send special offers on skincare products to help re-heat a previous customer.

 

The Lead Generation Process 

The lead generation process is pretty simple and straightforward. Let’s break it down below: 

Step 1: A prospect discovers your brand through a marketing channel or tactic, such as paid ads, organic, email marketing, video marketing, or social media. 

Step 2: The prospect clicks on a call-to-action, or CTA, which can be a button, message, video, or photo, which takes them to a landing page to learn more. 

Step 3: On the landing page, the prospect finds an asset that they want to download, or wishes to talk to you via chat. They fill out a form in exchange for an offer. 

Step 4: You are sending your leads emails to nurture them and to encourage them to choose you as their vendor or provider ultimately. 

The Lead Generation Process

Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps: 

1. Discovery 

The first and most crucial step in this process is the discovery phase. You can use a wide variety of channels to promote your landing page and to showcase your brand’s strengths. You can choose anything from content syndication, blog posts, social media posts, emails, ads, retargeting campaigns, product trials, referral marketing, affiliate marketing, or even search engine optimization (SEO) for organic traffic. 

Of course, another option you have here is to buy leads, but that’s not the ideal scenario for numerous reasons. 

First, the leads you’ve purchased do not know you and have not found you online. If someone receives an email from a company that they never encountered online or spoken with, they will more than likely neglect your messages. 

Second, you might be flagged as a spammer, and your account might suffer from that. 

Third, you might buy a faulty list that has very few good potential leads. You would have done much better by investing in content syndication, native advertising, or remarketing. 

To be safe, always try to generate leads organically. 

2. CTA 

The CTA is a key component of your lead generation process. Once your business is discovered on the targeted digital channels, you want to ensure that your CTA sparks the interest of your prospects and that they click on it. If your CTAs fail to capture the attention of your audience, then all your efforts, time, and money spent would have amounted to nothing. 

To create a killer CTA, here are some advanced rules you can use: 

  1. Always use a strong command verb at the beginning: verbs like “shop,” “order,” “discover,” “find out how,” or similar ones will help boost your engagement rate quite a lot. 
  2. Make use of words that provoke enthusiasm and spark emotion: examples include “plan your dream vacation right now” or “buy it now and get a whopping 80% off”. 
  3. Offer your audience a compelling reason to act: think of your audience when creating the CTA. What’s in it for them if they click and land on your page? Tie the reason with your unique selling proposition (USP). 
  4. Leverage FOMO: also known as the Fear of Missing Out, this is a motivating factor that can dramatically increase engagement rates on your CTA. The best way to capitalize on FOMO is to mention a limited promotion. For instance, you can say something like this: “Limited offer! Sale ends today!” or “Download the eBook until it expires.” 
  5. Get creative: a killer CTA is always the result of creativity. For example, instead of a bland message that everyone uses like: “Call us today for more information,” use “Don’t miss out! We’re just a phone away!”. Also, the standard “Check out today’s deals” could be transformed into “Tons of amazing deals at your fingertips” for improved conversion rates. 

Never get married to what you like or think your audience will like. You have to pay attention to the data. You may have to test several variations of your CTA to find the one that converts the best.

3. Landing Page 

Once a user clicks the CTA in an ad or organic message and lands on your page, it is time to start the education process. While your final goal should be to convince your site visitors to leave their details or to contact you for a personalized deal, you must also focus on providing useful information to your users. 

Educating your visitors before trying to convert them is key to gain more good quality leads. For example, if a user enters your page after he saw an ad about the new GDPR regulations, he will want to find out more about this and about how GDPR can impact his Europe-based store or clients.

After offering helpful information, you can provide them with an offer to leave their contact information in order to gain access to an outstanding GDPR-information eBook that can solve their problem. Anyone interested will leave their details, and you’ll have a new lead in your funnel to begin the nurturing process. 

Your page and your lead capture forms should be eye-catchy and should entice your site visitors to interact with them. 

4. Offer 

In exchange for their personal information, you can give your site visitors an exceptional piece of content. This can be a whitepaper, case study, infographic, webinar, how-to video, interview, template, data visualization, free trial, a demo video, spec sheet, coupon, or quote. 

 

How do you Generate Quality Leads? 

When it comes to lead generation, it is crucial that you generate high-quality leads. Failure to do so can result in over 67% loss in sales, according to Steven Tulman

To generate quality leads, you need to look at several aspects. 

First, try to find out if your prospects have a specific need that they want to solve. 

Second, provide a unique solution that caters to their needs and is easy to implement. 

Next, do some brainstorming and research to discover if your target audience has enough money to spend on your solution. 

The fourth step of the process involves taking into account the level of influence your prospects have in making a decision. If they are not the final decision-makers, you should probably get more targeted and focus on bringing only decision-makers on your site. 

Lastly, think of how soon your prospects need to implement a solution. 

To generate good quality leads, you need to add value through everything you do. You want to establish yourself as an expert in your niche who knows how to solve specific problems your customers might have. Your content should also be focused on addressing your customers’ pain points. 

In the awareness stage, you should only create content that focuses solely on solving the user’s problems and needs. Next down the funnel, you should show them how your company can quickly solve their problems. 

Only after they have decided to see what you have to offer, you can start promoting your services and advertising your expertise and accomplishments. 

 

How do you Get Leads in Digital Marketing? 

Today, marketers are more focused on the quality of leads than on quantity. For that, they use a mix of inbound and outbound lead generation methods. To get good quality leads you can focus your efforts on several areas: 

Outbound lead generation strategies 

These include content syndication, display ads, PPC ads, event marketing, and retargeting. Also known as “interruption lead generation,” these strategies are perfect for reaching out to prospects in the awareness stage who are not yet aware of your services. 

The most common outbound lead generation strategy is using content syndication. This tactic involves pushing out your content on third-party sites to create awareness and spike interest. By wiring your content into specific digital contexts related to your business, you can boost your reputation and drive highly-qualified leads over to you. 

Inbound lead generation strategies 

Social media marketing, SEO, content marketing, email marketing, and website optimization are considered inbound lead generation strategies. This is a tactic that leverages your prospects’ desire to make a purchase and showcases yourself as a true and tested solution. By offering an interesting mix of content and assets, you can spike your customers’ visitors and drive them down the funnel to the purchase stage. 

A Website 

Optimizing your website is key to getting more qualified leads. This is probably the most essential method of generating high-quality leads since your website acts as a portal between your brand and potential customers. Almost all customers convert after at least one interaction with your website or landing pages, so you want to ensure that your main platforms offer a superior experience to all its visitors. 

Since over 96% of visitors who land on your site are not yet ready to buy from you, it becomes crucial to optimizing your website. This means you need to ensure it loads extremely quickly, it works flawlessly on mobile devices, offers streamlined navigation, and has no broken links. 

A Blog 

Your blog content is an excellent source of new leads, especially when it is optimized for search engines. You can use a wide range of methods to transform your blog into a lead-generation system

For starters, you want to offer exclusive content to your readers that provides value and demonstrate your expertise. 

Next, you can offer them certain perks. For example, if they read your blog on a regular basis, you can entice them to enter a contest and win a discounted product or service. 

Lastly, try to capitalize on slide-in CTAs that appear on the page once readers scroll down the page. Intrusive popups still work, but I’m a fan of less intrusive options as long as they convert better, of course.

Content + SEO 

Your content all across your site should be optimized for SEO. Of course, SEO is quite complicated and involves optimizing numerous aspects on your website, together with link building and social media integration. However, the most crucial part of SEO involves creating content that sparks engagement and uses the right keywords

To generate leads through SEO, you should also start using schema markup. Schema markup enables you to rank higher in SERPs (Search engine result pages) by enabling search engines to understand your content better. This may also allow you to get featured in Position 0, which will drive up additional targeted traffic to your site. 

Email marketing 

An essential lead generation method that comes at a reduced cost and offers excellent results is email marketing. This is widely considered to be the least costly ways to generate high-quality leads and to re-heat cold leads. Email marketing is famous for enabling US-based businesses to enjoy up to a 4,300% increase in ROI

To fully capitalize on the power of email marketing, you should start by designing automation campaigns and a funnel. People who land on your page from any source and complete the form should immediately receive a thank you email, plus a link to the resource they requested. After a few days, they should receive a follow-up email with a link to another asset. This funnel can have several iterations, driving people down the funnel until they are ready to purchase from you. 

Social media 

Leveraging the power of social media is a must if you want to get more leads. To use social media marketing for lead generation, you can start by promoting gated content on your social media accounts. Next, use giveaways and contests and drive up engagement. Lastly, set up alerts for relevant keywords or hashtags that mention your brand or your products. You can also use a tool such as Hootsuite to stay in control of your social media management. 

Ads 

PPC Ads represent a unique online advertising model where you can display information about your products and services. You’ll pay when a user clicks your ad and visits the page, or you can pay for 1,000 impressions. You can run PPC ads on virtually any platform, including Google Search & Display Network, Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora, Twitter, and even Amazon. You can create highly targeted display options in order to reach your prospects right where they are. With this method, you can generate new leads extremely quickly. However, it is imperative to continue “heating” them on your site and email list, with targeted content. 

 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, it is vital to strive to leverage all the tools and strategies you have at your disposal in order to drive more qualified leads. 

People can quickly find any type of information they want without much effort. This can hinder your growth if you don’t have enough content or the proper lead generation methods in place. 

The ever-increasing competition has made it a must to implement effective digital marketing strategies in order to compete in many industries. 

If you need help integrating a new tactic that would help you drive more quality leads, do not hesitate to contact me.

What are some lead generation tactics that work well for your business or areas you’d like to improve on?

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The Digital Marketing Mindset Need for Long Term Success

Digital Marketing Mindset

Do you have what it takes to succeed with digital marketing? With an average annual growth of 5.6%, the digital economy is showing no signs of slowing down. That means you’re going to have a lot of competition to face.

The digital marketing mindset required to succeed must include patience, persistence, continued education and constant analyzation and optimization of campaigns.

So what do you do? Do you specialize, or do you go broad? Since digital marketing can encompass many things, you need to have the right mindset to tackle this giant beast.  

Without it, failure is practically guaranteed.

Below are six digital marketing mindsets you need to have to set you apart from the rest of the competition.

 

Adapting to changes 

Technological assets don’t usually have a long lifecycle. The general idea is that it would only last on average, about five years. This necessitates companies to manage their hardware and software – to track operations and ensure it’s updated or replaced when required. 

It’s the same outlook you should have for digital marketing in your business. To market online effectively, you have to keep up with the trends, adapt to changing technologies, and the ever-changing algorithms.  

Finding new ways to reach your target audience 

The global average Internet penetration has increased by 24% since 2013. And with more companies entering the foray of online marketing, reaching your audience is about being innovative, creative, and being able to understand what the market wants through research. 

For example, with more people using social media, some digital marketing companies have employed the use of chatbots to improve customer support. 

These AI-powered bots can respond to questions quickly, execute tasks around the clock, and create personalized customer experiences. And the usage doesn’t stop there. 

Ticket-based support systems nowadays are supported by AI chatbots. They help the staff to focus on other more complex and non-repetitive issues, increasing productivity and customer satisfaction.

Reevaluate marketing effectiveness  

After the whole process, the primary goal of digital marketing is for your target audience to take action on your content. Whether from clicking your ads, liking your social posts, or signing up for your newsletter, evaluating and tweaking your copy is a continuous process. 

Making changes when something is not working works towards your goal. So it’s essential to know your goals, and if your digital marketing strategies are not hitting them, then drop it and try something else. The faster you can pivot through these campaigns to find the winning ones will result in quicker positive results.

By adapting to changes, you can face challenges and unfavorable circumstances head-on, enabling you to stay competitive in the digital economy. This will allow you to increase your website’s traffic, get more customers, and build brand loyalty

 

Keep on learning  

Digital marketing is ever-changing. What used to work five years ago may not be as effective today when it comes to marketing strategies. 

Previously, keyword stuffing was the norm for SEO’s, and marketers obsessed over achieving a certain level of keyword density in their content. That is no longer the case nowadays because of relevancy and authority matter more when it comes to ranking sites. 

Tactics will change 

Just look at how fast social media platforms change, whether it’s to please shareholders and increase profits by showing more ads, or changing how and what a user sees in their feeds. 

A drastic algorithm shift can alter how you market and engage with your clients. With digital marketing, your services and skills need to reflect the current times, or you’ll end up with mediocre results or some irate clients. 

Tools can become obsolete 

Digital marketing has its fair share of products and services that cater to the b2b market. Since you’ll probably end up using some of these products as well, it’s essential to evaluate the longevity and usefulness of the available features. 

You should be aware of the people behind the tools and services that you’re using. It’s not uncommon to use something for a couple of months, then suddenly, the product or service stops working. On top of that, the developer goes missing. 

One example of this is with WordPress Plugins. You can add a plugin that is highly recommended and has excellent reviews. Then one day months or even years later, you run into functionality problems with your website. 

After troubleshooting, you will see that this once great plugin hasn’t been updated since the last three versions of WordPress and is now incompatible. 

Picking the right tools and services that best complement your business in terms of functionality, price, user experience, and integration is essential for digital marketing.  

Invest in your education  

Technology can be very intimidating. You might think that you already nailed down one method. Still, then you realize another three objectives need to be implemented to make the strategy work. 

So how do you keep up?  

As with most worthwhile things in life, you should never stop learning. Reading blogs and industry-specific magazines are a start. 

But you should take a few steps further by browsing sites like Udemy and Skillshare. 

Find online courses that can further your digital marketing education and put in the time to learn. Companies like Ahref, who do content marketing with their helpful SEO videos, is another way to learn for free. You can find whole playlists of digital marketing tips and tactics by viewing their channel alone.  

If you feel you’re up to it. Get certified. There are free and paid digital marketing certifications in various areas of specialization that you can do online. You get to practice as you learn and, at the end of it, be recognized as an industry expert – which will help with credibility.

My personal favorite is finding mentors. Not necessarily someone whom you can work with hands-on but someone who is accomplishing the things you want to achieve. Consume all their online content, buy their books, and get their courses if they offer them.

For example, Ryan Biddulph from Blogging From Paradise has been blogging for years and is widely respected in the online space. I have consumed a lot of his content, and when I was ready to sharpen my skills on guest blogging, I move to the next level and purchased his eBook on the topic.

There is a lot of information out there, and if you are not careful, you could be mislead. So, finding a mentor can be an essential way to cut through all the noise. 

Use reliable data to make decisions  

Digital marketing is not a guessing game. But many people make decisions based on what they assume their audience wants. 

There are clear metrics that you can measure to create the right response after you deploy a strategy. This is the only way to have tangible evidence on what works and what doesn’t, which would save you months of your time and money from ineffective results. 

For you to gain meaningful data, you need to have a few tools in your arsenal. This can include the following: 

Comprehensive SEO data 

Tools like SEMrush are useful for a lot of digital marketing related tasks. But most marketers use it to improve their SEO campaigns

Keyword research and finding trending topics is a significant component of SEO, and SEMrush helps you do that. It’s not limited to just that though, think of it as the Swiss-army knife of SEO tools. 

If you need to rank better in the search engines and find new data for SEO opportunities, then SEMrush is for you.  

Other notable alternatives are Ahref, Serpstat, and Moz.  

Email marketing to gauge response rate 

Email marketing is more than just a tool to communicate with your audience. It can be used to measure response rates from your headlines, your email copy, and your various content. 

You can integrate a shopping cart with it and conduct retargeting campaigns with your newsletters, among other things.  

By measuring your open and click-through rates, you can gain insight into what interests your audiences. This data can be used not just for crafting better emails but can be used to create other forms of content as well. 

Most people check their inboxes at least once a day. So by knowing how they react to your email messages, you can form strategies that cater to your audience’s wants and needs. 

Once you build a loyal list of subscribers, you’d be amazed at how much knowledge you get by just asking them the right questions. 

A popular email marketing solution is MailChimp and GetResponse. MailChimp is excellent for beginners with its free plan up to a certain number of subscribers.

Using data from paid social media campaigns 

Everybody is on social media. And forgetting privacy issues for a moment, that means these giant platforms have a ton of information on their users. 

By doing paid social media advertising, you can get a wealth of information on your target audience. This gives you stats on your ad performance, which translates into better marketing and attributions data.  

To get started, you don’t even need third-party tools. Just use Facebook’s own Power Editor to manage your ads. You can target exactly the audience you want and save these as Saved Audiences for later use.  

When you can accurately measure your key performance indicators or KPIs, you can evaluate and adapt your social media efforts to make the most impact on your audience. 

 

The importance of perseverance and persistence 

You’ve analyzed all the data and taken all the necessary steps for your digital marketing campaigns. Now you want to see the results of your efforts. 

But it’s not going exactly the way you expect. Or you do not see the results you thought you’d get by now. So what do you do? Give up your online marketing dream or continue?

As with most things in life, perseverance and persistence are what’s needed to succeed. Staying strong amidst setbacks and unforeseen outcomes is crucial; some would even argue it comes before everything else. So it’s vital to have a strong and ‘technical’ mind at the same time as you are unlikely to succeed with one without having the other.

Some results are beyond your control 

Even after the right attitude and mindset, you’ll still have to be patient to see results. It’s like hitting a baseball; you can only control your stance and how you hit the ball, but not exactly where the ball will go once the bat makes contact the majority of the time. 

The same holds true with digital marketing. You need time to build an audience and gain trust; positioning your brand will take multiple campaigns. Your SEO efforts will likely see organic results after at least six months to a year. 

Therefore, it’s ideal for focusing your efforts on what you can control. Look over your marketing copy, can you improve your headlines, so it gets more clicks? Try to enhance its relevance to your audience by making it more engaging and updated. 

You can scrutinize the quality of your videos. Do they have the proper lighting? Are you using the right video scripts that make your audience subscribe to your channel and hitting that Like button? 

Asking these types of questions in your digital marketing will help refocus your efforts in the right direction. 

On the flip side, obsessing over vanity metrics over actionable metrics won’t do you any good. And for organic search results, it will stress you out trying to keep up with every single update. Forget how your competitors are doing; you’ll catch up to them eventually. 

When it comes to making decisions, taking the long view, and making small, calculated steps goes a long way. You should plan and prepare, but perseverance and persistence win the battle.

Sticking with what works  

Don’t reinvent the wheel. Being successful with digital marketing is about focusing on what works and ditching the rest. It’s the Pareto Principle – 80% of your results should come from 20% of your efforts. So if you find that a particular type of content resonates well with your audiences, improve and create more of the same.

You might discover that a category on your blog gets the most comments. If so, keep on creating more posts in that category, improve the visual elements, and make it a sticky post if it’s evergreen content. 

Not only do you increase the relevancy of your content for the search engines, but you encourage repeat traffic from website visitors as well. 

Another thing you could do is repurpose your most popular content into other types of media. You can turn a popular post into an infographic and submit it to websites like Visual.ly or Slideshare. Or use the content and create videos and send it to YouTube and Vimeo. 

It takes a lot less effort to repurpose content than to create one from scratch. By doing this, you can reach new audiences and double or triple your results.

Don’t get caught up with the infamous ‘chasing shiny object syndrome.’ There will be a time and a place to broaden your marketing scope. Focusing on what works not only allows for tangible results but prevents you from straying from your core marketing strategy. 

 

Appreciate the successes you’ve achieved 

I know you heard this at least one thousand times already.

Rome wasn’t built in a day! And the same goes for your digital presence. 

Regardless of the size of your company, if you are an established solopreneur or just starting out, there will be small and big wins that you should care about. 

Maybe you’ve reached your first 1000 subscribers. Or you managed to get a lot of replies when you gave your email list a free training course you just created. 

Appreciating the small wins is just as important as celebrating the big ones. The significant strides that you achieve with your digital marketing efforts probably would not have happened if you didn’t build on the smaller results first. 

With digital marketing, your results can have a snowball effect. We all know how small a snowball is before it turns into a giant rolling down a hill. And that’s how you should view your successes. 

 

Final Thoughts 

Digital marketing is a complicated, challenging, but ultimately rewarding endeavor. You need to have hard and soft skills to succeed. 

And being able to adapt to changes while learning and persevering will make you a more effective digital marketer. 

So go out there and make it happen!

Much Success!

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