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Archive for May, 2015

When Digital Marketing Dogs Technology

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

ID-100296232Technology that doesn’t work can be very frustrating. However, some digital marketers have let their frustration boil over into a prejudice. If technology does not work in exactly the way they envision, they bemoan inconveniences or small inefficiencies as if it’s a critical error. Setting up marketing systems for a website, social media, list management, and email marketing can get complicated. If it’s so complicated that tasks can’t be done or are laborious, then it’s worth investigating a new setup. If however, the system runs fairly well but does not meet a few small desires from marketing, it’s best to find a way to accomplish the task within the technology’s confines.

The fact of the matter is that for most trainers, consultants, and professional coaches, changing platforms or underlying technology for digital marketing is time consuming and can be expensive. A deficiency needs to be severe enough to justify the investment of time and resources to correct it.

As an example, a consulting firm we work with was launching an eBook. The campaign had been mapped out with an ideal process flow. A specific layout was set up for the landing page that included a form to download the eBook. In testing the process flow we discovered that the consultant’s web platform would not accommodate the layout and a form on the same page. So we outlined two workarounds, a simpler layout that included the form or the more complex layout with a button that linked to the form.

The marketing director for the firm adamantly refused either workaround stating that, “It’s a best practice to have our landing page mirror our communications and to have a form on that landing page. We have to figure it out.” While we agreed that was the ideal solution, the technology involved was not accommodating. Still the marketing coordinator was not swayed.

So we launched a project to build a separate landing page that was not built on their website’s pre-existing platform. Since the new page was off platform, it required a custom setup to report to their lead database to integrate with the rest of the process flow.

We were able to bend the technology to our will, but was it worth it? The workaround options were so close to the desired outcome that conversion rates were unlikely to suffer much, if at all. In the end, we can’t know for sure as testing an on-platform version didn’t make much sense after spending the time and effort to build the custom off-platform solution.

Don’t let technical irritations derail or delay your marketing campaigns. Part of digital marketing is working with technology to drive sales or leads. Technology rarely functions exactly how we want but with some patience and creative solutions it will often get close enough to deliver the desired result.

Image courtesy of  hywards / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How Valuable is A Keyword to You?

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

In asking trainers, consultants, and professional coaches what their keyword focus is, the answer is typically something general like “Sales Training”. There are two problems with this general objective. The first is that such a simple term will be very hard to rank highly because the competition will be intense and it will take a lot of time, energy, and/or money to get a meaningful rank. The second problem is that it will attract a general audience, many of which are not a good target for specific products or services. In considering keywords, come up with a valuation and target the ones that give the biggest bang for your buck.

So how does a trainer, consultant, or professional coach find target keywords? There are a ton of tools available. For simplicity sake, I typically recommend Google Keyword planner which is free with an AdWords account. The Google Keyword Planner will show you stats like average monthly searches, competition level (high, medium, or low), and the average cost per click for a pay per click campaign.

These stats can give you insights into the keywords that are most valuable to you. Focus on the terms that accurately describe your business in a fair amount of detail. For example, “Sales Training Programs in PA for Technology Professionals”. This is focusing on the long-tail search terms, or in other words, it’s the most valuable keywords specific to your business that can be ranked well with significantly less effort than general terms.

Often times, general keywords are targeted because the thought is that long-tail keywords don’t net as many people. While it’s true that a general term will outrank a single long-tail term, the inverse is true when looking at them collectively. Typically the aggregate of the long-tail keywords will make up 70% of total searches as compared to 30% of general searches.

The other major advantage to long-tail terms is that it connects with users that are further down the sales funnel. A search for “sales training” does not necessarily mean the searcher is interested in buying a program. They could be looking for a book or articles. “Technology Sales Training Programs in PA”, however, sounds like someone interested in a specific program in a specific area.

Spend some time researching keywords to discover the ones most valuable to you. You’ll find that SEO efforts to rank highly will be more successful and the hits that come from those keywords will convert at a higher rate.