7 Business Blogging Tips To Help You Rank Higher

7 Business Blogging Tips To Help You Rank Higher

7 Business Blogging Tips To Help You Rank Higher

So you started a business blog. You’ve got a lot to say, but more importantly, someone like me told you that if you start blogging, you’ll start drawing in more of the right leads. 

I stand by that statement 100%. 

But, if you started a blog and aren’t seeing the traffic or the leads yet, there’s probably a reason. It’s important to get the foundation and strategy behind business blogging right, so you put out content that delivers the results you want.

Here are 7 business blogging tips designed to help boost your blog in search engine rankings. If you stick to all 7 of these tips, and blog regularly, you should start to see more of the right leads flowing in. If you don’t? Let us know — we’d be happy to take a look and offer some pointers. 

New call-to-action

01. Don’t Talk About Yourself

Let me be very clear here. Your blog should not be a highlight reel of your company’s greatest accomplishments. That’s just bragging, and it’s not going to do you any favors. 

Your company’s blog should be useful to potential readers, and that doesn’t mean talking about how amazing your products, services, customer service, or company is. 

If all you’re doing is talking about you, you’re not solving your customers’ problems. That means you’re not going to see traffic or leads. 

The goal of business blogging is to provide your ideal buyers and visitors with the information they need to eventually make an educated purchasing decision. 

Which brings me to my next point:

02. Do Answer Your Customer’s Questions

As I said just seconds ago ^ business blogging works when you publish content that answers your customer or ideal buyer’s questions. 

Believe it or not, when they’re looking for a product, they want to hear a lot more than flat, promotional, old-school marketing messaging. 

Think about the last time you purchased something significant. 

I’m willing to bet that at the very least, you read the product reviews before you made the purchase. 

Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re trying to eat healthier but as a busy professional, you just don’t have time to think about shopping, finding recipes, and more. You’ve heard about services like HelloFresh and BlueApron, and want to try one out. 

Now, if you’re new to delivered meal services, you’re probably going to do a little research first. You might wonder: 

  • What meal service is the cheapest?
  • What meal service is the healthiest?
  • What meal service is the fastest?
  • What meal service is the most customizable?
  • What meal service has the best reviews?

You’ll browse around the web for a bit, looking for content that answers these questions, until you narrow it down to one or two options that sound best. Then, you’ll read the reviews for each, and search queries like: 

  • HelloFresh vs. Blue Apron
  • Sun Basket vs. HelloFresh
  • Daily Harvest vs. HungryRoot

Finally, you’ll use all of that information you’ve gathered to make a purchasing decision. 

And that, my friends, is how content marketing works. 

The way your customers search for your product or service is no different than how we just decided on the best meal service for us. 

When you write your business blog, you’re writing to get in front of those customers each time they ask one of those questions.

But I’m a manufacturer. My customers aren’t asking those questions. 

Wrong. 

Even if you’re a manufacturer of something you don’t think is exciting — let’s say air compressors — business blogging will work the same as the little exercise we just did with HelloFresh. 

Someone buying an air compressor wants to know: 

  • What are the best air compressors on the market?
  • What air compressors are the most cost-effective?
  • How much service will each type of air compressor need?
  • Is there someone in my area who can service my air compressor?

Answer those questions with a well-developed blog, and you’re looking at a high SERP ranking that pulls in more of the leads you’re looking for. 

Still not sold on business blogging for manufacturers or B2Bs? Check it out in action with this case study:

New call-to-action

03. Do Pick Keywords You Care About

If you want your business blog to rank higher, keywords are something you should care about. 

The higher you rank, the more eyeballs on your site. And the more eyeballs on your site, the greater your potential to draw in and convert qualified leads. 

But, how to pick keywords you care about?

As a general rule of thumb, when you’re writing your business blog, you’re looking for keywords with high search volume and low competition. 

These keywords are the low hanging fruit. Lots of people are looking for that information, but not many companies are supplying it. 

Tools like Ubersuggest, WMS Everywhere, and Google Keyword Planner can help you find em. 

But there are so many keywords. Which ones are best?

True. Virtually anything can be a keyword. The challenge is choosing high volume keywords that are relevant to your company. 

I’ll use an extreme (fake) example to illustrate. Let’s say you sell air compressors, but you notice the long-tail key phrase, “how to peel an orange” has amazing search volume and almost no competition.

peeling oranges serp

While you could probably write a blog about how to peel oranges that might rank, that keyword is not useful to you in any way. 

Remember that you want to rank higher, but you want to rank higher for the right keywords. 

You’re driving garbage traffic to your website that will never convert. 

Instead, choose keywords that are relevant to your business, your industry, your products, and your services. 

04. Do Read Competing Blogs

Once you’ve chosen a keyword you like, go ahead and type it right into your favorite search engine. 

Who is ranking at the top?

What does their content look like? 

What do they do well? What key points are they missing? Have they optimized their blog as best possible?

To write blogs that rank highly, you have to beat out whoever is already ranking first. You need to know what they’re doing, so you can do it better. 

Reading top-performing blogs also helps confirm search intent

Reading competing blogs is also a great way to verify search intent on a keyword you’ve chosen. When you type your keyword into a search engine, make sure that the results reflect the information you were planning to include in your blog. 

I’ll use a recent example. I wrote a blog about “the breakup email“. 

business-blogging-examples
the breakup email example

Just looking at that keyword — with no context — you might think it’s about writing an email that breaks up with a romantic partner. 

Actually, the search intent associated with that keyword is related to a sales breakup email — the last email you send a prospect after they’ve gone cold. 

But, I wouldn’t have known that was the search intent until I searched it myself. 

Matching a query’s search intent is another key to ranking highly on search engines. If your blog doesn’t match the search intent associated with the keyword you’re writing to, your blog isn’t going to do well, and even if it did, wouldn’t pull in the qualified traffic you’re looking for. 

That’s why it’s so important to read competing blogs before you start writing. 

05. Don’t Write for Length

Now that you’ve settled on a keyword and cyberstalked your competitors to see how you can beat them, it’s time for the actual writing portion of your business blogging strategy. 

Blog length is a contentious subject in the SEO world. 

I don’t care if you think your blogs should all be 500 words or 2,000, Google and SEO webmasters everywhere have confirmed — word count is not that big of a deal. 

If you’ve told your content writers that your business blogs should always reach a certain word count, you’re missing the point.

From Google’s John Mueller himself, helpful and in-depth content is the real goal. 

John Mueller-Google-Tweets

That doesn’t mean make your blogs longer. That means make them better. 

If you’re answering a simple question like, “what is a search engine”, you don’t need 1500 words to do it. 

If you’re offering a “Complete Guide to Marketing Your Construction Company”, you’ll probably need considerably more than 500 words to deliver on the promise your title is selling. 

Great business blogging is about writing on one topic, thoroughly. 

Instead of writing your business blog according to a certain word count, try a different tactic. 

How to write comprehensive business blogs without getting hung up on word count

  • Choose your topic — “How to Carve a Pumpkin”
  • Make a list of all of the questions someone might ask when they’re getting ready to carve a pumpkin and the steps that go into the process:
    • What pumpkin is best to carve?
    • How do I prep the pumpkin for carving?
    • How to scoop out the pumpkin
    • Choosing a design for your pumpkin
    • Carving your pumpkin’s design
    • How to make your carved pumpkin last
pumpkin-business-blogging-example
business-blogging-carved-pumpking
  • Cut out any steps that might not be relevant to the question you’ve set out to answer.
  • While those might be related to your original question, they’re not exactly relevant to the problem you’re trying to solve — don’t make your job harder than it has to be!
    • Now that you’ve decided what’s relevant and what’s not, each of those questions and steps you kept become H2s and H3s in your blog. 
    • You’re done writing when you’ve finished writing each of those sections — not when you hit a certain word count. 

    Clearly, not all topics will be as long as the “how to carve a pumpkin” example. Some might be considerably shorter, and some might be much longer. 

    The point is that whatever you write, your blog posts should be comprehensive, and cover the topic you’re focusing on with complete, helpful content. 

    06. Don’t Get Too Hung Up on the Details

    Oke doke — you’ve written the blog. Now just publish it! 

    One of the biggest problems we come across as an agency is companies that get tunnel vision when it comes to publishing “perfect” blogs. They go back and forth for months on one piece of content, and nothing ever gets published. 

    Yes, you want your blog to sound like your company. Yes, you want to put out quality information that is helpful to your readers. 

    But no single blog is going to accomplish every single marketing goal you have. 

    A blog is just that — a blog. It’s an informal piece of content designed to help your ideal customer make an informed purchasing decision. 

    It’s never going to be the end-all-be-all marketing content that educates your reader, sells them on your brand, and converts them into a sale. It’s one tool in a complete arsenal of marketing tactics. Business blogging is designed to increase brand awareness and lead generation. 

    That’s it. 

    All of your other marketing and sales tactics should pick up the slack from there. Let your blogs do what they’re designed to do — draw in more visitors with helpful content.

    Too many companies put so much weight into the importance of every single word in a blog post that they spend hours editing and rewriting a blog that will never see daylight. That’s just a waste of time. 

    Set a reasonable goal for each blog. Hint: it should be about education or lead generation. 

    If the blog you’ve written achieves that goal, that’s it, you’re done. 

    Post it, and move onto the next blog and the next goal. 

    While you do, the first blog you’ve posted can generate leads and interest. 

    Okay, rant over. All I want you to know is that posting good content is more important than not posting excellent content. Get blogs out there. You can always edit and optimize them later if you need to. 

    07. Put a CTA On It!

    Business blogging gets eyeballs on your site. 

    You have to have a plan for those eyeballs once they make it to your site. 

    CTAs, or calls-to-action, are key. 

    Once you have a new visitor on your site, if they’re qualified, you want them to keep reading your content and progressing through their buyer’s journey with the content you’ve developed for them. 

    The best way to do this is to get their contact information. When a visitor is reading your blog, you know they’re interested in what you have to say. Including calls-to-action that are relevant to what they’re reading is the best way to convert that visitor into a lead, and keep delivering them quality content that pulls them through their buyer’s journey. 

    Every blog you write should have at least one CTA or conversion opportunity. 

    Take a look at our blog structure. 

    HubSpot-Business-Blogging-Example-CTAs

    If you’re on a desktop, every time you read one of our blogs, you’re hit with a “Let’s Talk” conversion opportunity at the top of the blog. 

    In this image, you can see I’ve also got a relevant CTA at the bottom of the first section. Since this blog was about HubSpot, it made sense to offer up one of our case studies about work we’d done with a client on HubSpot. 

    business-blogging-cta-example

    As you scroll down the page, you also get a pop-up asking you if you want FREE marketing tips delivered directly to your inbox. Who doesn’t?

    And finally, at the bottom of the blog, the reader is hit with one more CTA relevant to HubSpot. 

    All of these CTAs are relevant to the reader, and they’re fairly unobtrusive, too. 

    It’s a suggestion — “Hey! If you want to learn more about this, we’ve got plenty of info.”

    But without a CTA, your readers don’t have much incentive or much opportunity to stick with your content. 

    Yes, most people want to optimize their business blogging strategy to rank higher. But a high ranking blog doesn’t do you much good if it’s not converting your visitors into leads. 

    If you’ve followed and implemented steps 1-6, you’re going to see more qualified traffic headed to your site. Step #7 helps ensure you’re able to capture those leads and continue nurturing them until they’re ready to make a purchase. 

    Business blogging is one of the most surefire ways to help your site rank higher, draw in more of the right, qualified leads, and boost your company’s authority in your industry. But, you gotta do it right. 

    There’s a lot that goes into the content strategy and production of any business blog. The best way to cut through the noise is to remember that blogs are for people. Search engines and content creators alike are always looking to put the very best, most informational content into the hands of readers. If you can do that, above all else, you’ll start to see your business blog creep up in the SERPs

    Struggling to gain traction with your business blog? Can’t figure out the right keywords, or just can’t seem to rank? We’re here to help! Our team of strategists and SEO experts would be happy to take a look at your content strategy and offer a few suggestions for improvement. Get in touch. 

    And if you’re still not sold on content marketing, I’d encourage you to take a look at this case study: 

    New call-to-action
    New call-to-action

    Build A Growth Marketing Strategy For Your Construction Company [5 Steps to Serious Results]

    Build A Growth Marketing Strategy For Your Construction Company [5 Steps to Serious Results]

    Build A Growth Marketing Strategy For Your Construction Company [5 Steps to Serious Results]

    Many construction companies reach a sticking point in the life cycle of their business. Maybe business is fine, but you’re no longer scheduling bigger and bigger jobs. Maybe your yearly revenue has started to flatten, maybe you’re having trouble expanding outside of your current region, or maybe you just can’t seem to break into that higher investment market you’re looking for.  

    If your construction company has reached a plateau, and you’re just not sure how to break out of it, growth marketing might be an ideal solution. Growth marketing is a marketing methodology that focuses on helping you apply your time and resources to the channels, platforms, and tactics that will deliver the best results according to your company’s growth priorities. 

    New call-to-action

    Today, we’re going to dive into the five steps of building a growth marketing strategy for your construction company. 

    The goal?
    To help you:

    • Figure out what your goals are
    • Determine what marketing tactics can help you achieve them

    • Develop a growth marketing plan you can continue to optimize over time for continuous, sustainable growth for your construction company. 

    This blog will give you an actionable plan you can use to build a growth marketing strategy that delivers the results your construction company is looking for. Let’s start at the beginning of any good plan — Step 1.

    Step 1: What Does Growth Marketing Success Look Like for your Construction Company?

    Growth looks different for each construction company. The key to a successful growth marketing strategy is first identifying what success looks like to you. 

    Maybe you want to: 

    • Build more projects
    • Sell more building materials
    • Open up more locations
    • Grow your company’s presence in the market

    While all of these are great goals, only one or two of them likely apply to your construction company.

    Maybe your marketing team is great at pulling in qualified leads, but you’re having trouble getting those leads to convert quickly. 

    Or maybe you have all of the projects you want in your current region, but you want to grow into another part of the country or state. 

    Whatever is challenging your construction company — identify it. 

    Then, determine what success would mean to you, specific to that challenge:

    • Would you like to grow your commercial projects by 10% this year?
    • Maybe you want to expand into two new states this year.
    • Or maybe you want to improve your presence in the market for a specific type of project, product, or service.

    By identifying what success looks like to your construction company, you can work to build a growth marketing strategy that will deliver the kind of success you’re looking for. 

    Once you know what success looks like to you, it’s time to sit down and put some hard numbers to that end goal.  

    Step 2: Set SMART Goals that Identify Key Growth Metrics for Your Construction Company

     

    If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a trillion times. Set SMART goals that will help bring your construction company closer to that ultimate success you outlined in Step 1. 

    We’ve written a lot about SMART goals, from why goal setting is essential, to how to set SMART goals. They are crucial to a growth marketing strategy that actually works to put your construction company on top. 

    It’s important to remember that SMART goals shouldn’t be your end goal or your definition of success. Instead, think of SMART goals like stepping stones. They each work to put you closer to your end goal, but instead of taking one big leap, you break that big overarching goal down into smaller steps that are measurable and attainable. 

    If you want to reach one yearly revenue goal, what kind of sales numbers will you have to reach each month to achieve that yearly goal? 

    Those monthly sales goals are your SMART goals. Make sure to dive into these goals, and put specific numbers to them that your sales and marketing teams can easily measure. 

    And most importantly, make sure your SMART goals contribute to what you’ve identified as “successful growth” in Step 1. For example, if you identified that successful growth means completing 10 more commercial building projects than you completed last year, your SMART goals shouldn’t have anything to do with opening up a new location. 

    New call-to-action

    Step 3: Does Your Construction Company’s Website Support Your Growth Goals?

    You’ll notice that most of these steps have a theme. Every aspect of your construction company’s growth marketing strategy should be aligned to your Step 1 definition of growth success. 

    Your website is no different. 

    Let’s use the goal from Step 2 as an example. Your overarching definition of success would be building 10 more commercial projects this year. That means you need to complete between 2 and 3 commercial building projects a quarter. 

    How does your website factor in here? 

    For this example, your website should work to help you convert your ideal lead for that specific type of project. Key website conversion features for this goal would include: 

    • Landing pages that speak directly to that ideal buyer’s pain points, questions, and concerns. 
    • Calls-to-action that make it easy for that ideal buyer to get in touch with your sales team. 

    In addition to key website conversion features, it’s a good idea to implement nurturing & relationship-building website content that helps pull that ideal buyer through the sales cycle quickly by answering their questions and addressing any concerns they might have about starting this type of commercial building project.

    There are hundreds of ways you can adjust your website to capture more of the right leads, according to your construction company’s specific growth goals. These lead generation tactics for construction companies are a helpful place to start. Keep your SMART goals in mind, and implement the tactics that are most relevant to those goals, and you’ll have a website that’s set up to convert the leads that will drive your growth marketing success.

    Step 4: Invest in Marketing Tactics that Will Support Your Growth Goals

    Your website is in charge of converting the right leads. If you’ve completed Step 3, you’re set up to convert the leads that will contribute to your construction company’s strategic growth. 

    Now, you need to invest in the marketing tactics that will support your growth marketing goals and bring in the right leads. 

    Having a well-rounded marketing program is important. I’d never tell you not to invest in content or email marketing. But, when you’re marketing to reach specific growth goals for your construction company, you should put more effort into some marketing tactics than others.

    Let’s look at a couple of examples of what I’m talking about here. 

    Example #1 

     

    Your Construction Company Wants to Grow Your Market Presence

    If your construction company is looking for ways to command a greater portion of the market, your growth goals are likely centered around KPIs like brand awareness, consumer engagement, and increasing your authority in the market. 

    Tactics that would support your construction company’s growth goal to improve your market position might include: 

    • Content marketing to increase your domain authority with rich, quality content that shows both search engines and your ideal buyer that your construction company is the go-to resource for your industry. 
    • PPC advertising to increase brand awareness for key construction services and products you may not already be known for. 

    Tactics that would not support this growth goal would be: 

    • Email marketing
    • Content offer development

    Even though email marketing and content offers are great growth marketing tactics, they’re not supporting your current growth goal of increasing your position in the market. While you should keep developing content offers and email marketing to your leads, neither of these would be your focus in achieving this growth goal. 

    Your time, resources, and money are better spent on growth marketing tactics that get the word out and improve your authority among consumers who don’t already know about your brand. 

    Example #2

     

    Your Construction Company Wants to Grow Business by Shortening the Sales Cycle

    Many construction companies struggle with a long sales cycle. If you’re a commercial construction company, you know those projects are long, involved, and require sign-off from many decision-makers. Your growth goals are focused on getting more sales, in less time, and better nurturing the qualified leads you have in your pipeline. 

    Marketing tactics that would support your growth goal of shortening the sales cycle include: 

    • Email marketing delivers more of the right content to your prospective buyers. 
    • Sales enablement supports your sales team with the tools and content they need to make more positive touchpoints with sales leads, in less time. Sales email automation, automatic notifications, and prospecting sequences are all tactics that will support this growth goal. 
    • Marketing workflows also work to provide the right message, to the right person, at the right time, which works to shorten the sales cycle. 
    Marketing tactics that would not support your growth goals include: 

    • Social media marketing
    • PPC and social media advertising
    • Guest blogging
    • Broad-topic content development

    Again, these marketing tactics are awesome, but they’re not relevant to your current growth goals. If you want to close more of the leads already in your pipeline, then inbound tactics that pull in more leads isn’t the way to reach that growth goal. 

    Instead, we’ve recommended marketing tactics that help your sales and marketing teams engage better with the qualified leads you already have. If you already have a rich pipeline, you’ll see more ROI and benefit from tactics that help your sales and marketing team maintain better engagement with the leads you have. 

    The key to choosing the marketing tactics that align with your growth goals is looking at your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Choose marketing tactics that feed into those KPIs, whether that’s boosting conversions, improving traffic rates, or closing bigger sales. 

    Step 5: Set Checkpoints to Analyze and Optimize Your Growth Marketing Strategy

    The fifth and final step of building your growth marketing strategy is to analyze and optimize.  Just like Rome, a high-quality growth marketing strategy wasn’t built in a day. Regular analysis and optimization, over time, will help you reach that overarching success goal you set in Step 1. 

    The fact is, no quality marketing strategy is going to deliver everything you want immediately. That’s why we set SMART goals. 

    Each of those SMART goal stepping stones helps you progress closer to your goal, but they also are a helpful checkpoint for analysis and optimization.  When you reach one SMART goal, you shouldn’t just set a new one and move on. 

    Instead, when you reach your SMART goal or come to the end of a  month or quarter, take the time to see how you did. 

     

    • Where was your growth marketing strategy effective?
    •  Where are you falling short of your growth goals?
    • Is there a particular tactic that’s driving great results for your construction company? Maybe next month or quarter, you lean in a bit more. 
    • If there’s a tactic that’s not working well, analyze why. 
      • Is it the wrong tactic for your specific growth goals? 
      • Is your construction company having trouble implementing it successfully? 

    The more opportunities your sales and marketing teams have to align and identify what’s working and what’s not, the more capable your construction company will be of adapting your growth marketing strategy to deliver your team the very best results. 

    Growth marketing is a strategic way to look at where your construction company is at, and develop specific goals and marketing tactics to reach those goals. With a tailored-to-you approach, you can put more of your efforts into the tactics that can deliver the results you’re looking for. 

    If you’re stuck on any part of building a growth marketing strategy for your construction company, let us know. From goal setting to strategy implementation, developing and deploying tailored marketing strategies to deliver business growth is what Evenbound does best. We’d be happy to help walk you through the process or answer any questions you might have. 

    New call-to-action
    New call-to-action

    A Quick Guide to 5 Types of Digital Marketing

    A Quick Guide to 5 Types of Digital Marketing

    A Quick Guide to 5 Types of Digital Marketing

    Evenbound-2019-135

    When it comes to digital marketing, there’s a lot of confusion. Is inbound marketing also digital marketing? Is content marketing digital marketing? What about outbound marketing? 

    There are so many different types of digital marketing, and the differences between digital marketing and inbound marketing and every other type of marketing you can do from your computer aren’t always clear. 

    Let’s get that straight right now too. 

    If you’re totally new to the industry, you might want to check out this inbound marketing vocab list to bring you up to speed. 

    New call-to-action

    5 Types of Digital Marketing

    Think of digital marketing as a huge umbrella. 

    It encompasses every marketing strategy you can implement on a digital platform. If you can do it, or see it on a smartphone, tablet, computer, or Elon Musk’s spaceship, it’s digital marketing. 

    Inbound marketing is a methodology, a specific way of marketing, that draws people into your company. 

    The goal is to draw people to your website or platform with great content and positive, helpful interactions. In an age where consumers value agency, inbound marketing allows the consumer to navigate to the information, decide what information they’ll read or download, and then make a decision based on what best suits their needs

    If you offer the best content, the most information, and have quality, positive interactions, you’re the company most likely to come out on top.  

    Inbound marketing, though, is just one type of digital marketing. Here’s a look at all 5 types of digital marketing we’re going to talk about today:

    01. Inbound Marketing

    Inbound marketing is primarily used in a digital capacity, where your website functions as the central hub to which all traffic is drawn. 

    Most inbound marketing tactics are relatively inexpensive and rely on organic results, rather than paid ones. Inbound marketing and digital marketing serve different goals, but can work together beautifully to deliver the results you’re looking for. 

    02. Content Marketing

    Content Marketing is a marketing tactic that supports an inbound marketing strategy. Used most often on digital platforms in the form of blogs and content offers, content marketing works to draw in qualified potential clients by offering up high-quality content that answers people’s most pressing questions about your product or service. 

    03. Social Media Marketing

    Social Media Marketing is a marketing method that uses your social media platform to provide quality content to your followers. Social media advertising is the paid version of social media marketing. 

    04. Email Marketing

    Email Marketing has been used since email came out. For many, it’s those spammy emails you get from Target and Art Van about their latest sales. Email marketing that’s done with inbound marketing methodology at heart helps nurture leads by providing the relevant content leads are looking for, when they need it. 

    05. Outbound Marketing

    Outbound Marketing is any type of marketing that shouts or advertises your product. (Don Draper, we’re looking at you.)

    In the digital marketing world, outbound marketing means paid ads, social media advertising, and pay-per-click. 

    While these methods are all still under the digital marketing umbrella (and very useful in specific situations), they don’t fall under inbound marketing because they push your product to people, rather than pulling them into your website naturally. 

    As we’ve all learned, outbound marketing doesn’t have to be bad or annoying to consumers. Outbound marketing advantages actually do exist — outbound marketing can help you get more of the right people to your website, right now. It just costs a little bit of money. 

    But it is good to remember that outbound marketing is separate from inbound marketing. 

    While inbound and outbound marketing can and do work together seamlessly, they have opposite goals. Inbound marketing aims to pull people in, and outbound marketing works to push a message out. 

    New call-to-action

    How All 5 Types of Digital Marketing Can Work Together to Drive Leads

    Now that we’ve got clear definitions of what each of those types of digital marketing are, and how they’re different, it’s important to know how they all fit together. 

    And more importantly, how they can work together to drive leads. 

    Let’s start with inbound marketing. 

    Inbound Marketing Frames Your Digital Marketing Strategy

    Inbound marketing is the foundation of your digital marketing strategy. It provides the guidance your digital marketing strategy needs by dictating how you market. The inbound methodology gives you the foundation you need to truly build a digital marketing strategy by forcing you to answer questions like: 

    • Who do you want to market to? Your ideal buyers, defined by buyer personas.
    • How do you want to market? By pulling leads in with great content.
    • Where do you want to market? On your website, which you’ve designed to be a lead generation tool.

    Once you have the answers to these questions, you have a foundation to build the rest of your digital marketing strategy on. 

    Content Marketing Delivers the Value You Need to Pull in Leads

    With your inbound marketing framework in place, you can start to develop content that’s geared to your buyer personas. 

    Content marketing strategy helps you deliver value to those leads, and when written or developed for keywords, it helps your website rank higher on search engines. 

    The content you create works to: 

    • Help you rank for keywords
    • Increase your site traffic
    • Pull in more qualified leads
    • Nurture those leads through the buyer’s journey

    The more aligned your content strategy is with your inbound marketing strategy, the more leads you’re going to pull in.

    Social Media Marketing Amplifies Your Strategic Content

    Once you’ve spent a ton of time developing content that you know will speak to your ideal buyer, you can amplify it with a social media marketing strategy

    Your social media platforms enable you to share your message with your followers on Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Houzz, Twitter — whatever social media platform you have the greatest foundation on. 

    Social media marketing takes all that hard work you’ve done creating content, and broadcasts it to an even greater audience that you’ve already curated. Your followers on social media are people who already have an interest in your product or service. That means your content should be hyper-relevant to them. 

    The better you’re able to promote your content on social media, the more qualified leads you’re going to pull into your website. 

    Email Marketing Nurtures Leads for your Sales Team

    Your content marketing and social media marketing efforts are driving a ton of people to your website. Thanks to your inbound marketing strategy, you’ve optimized your website with calls-to-action, landing pages, and forms that are capturing qualified leads’ contact information. 

    Email marketing helps you take that contact information, and turn it in into something valuable — an email list. 

    With that contact information, you can enter those leads into email marketing campaigns that are specific and relevant to their unique pain points. 

    Maybe you have a regular newsletter. Maybe you’ve got unique email marketing campaigns set up and segmented to address each unique buyer persona. 

    Either way, your email marketing strategy uses more of that great content you’ve been creating to keep building relationships with and nurturing those leads. By answering their questions and solving their pain point, you’re keeping those leads warm and in your sales funnel, until they’re ready to talk to your sales team. 

    Outbound Marketing Pulls in Qualified Leads, Now

    The only downside to inbound marketing, and the digital marketing tactics that support it, is that it can take a bit of time. 

    Content has to be indexed by search engines before it can climb in rankings, and that can take time. 

    Outbound marketing solves that lag by delivering the qualified leads you want to your site, right now. 

    When done well, by identifying long-tail keywords with buyer intent, and by targeting your social media advertising audiences intuitively, outbound marketing is a great way to draw in only the right leads, right now

    And it serves the secondary purpose of helping you build brand awareness. The more recognizable your brand, the more likely people are to follow your blog, sign up for your newsletter, and follow you on social media. 

    And as your digital platform grows, you’ll only continue to pull in more and more of those qualified leads you want. 

    Digital Marketing Delivers Leads

    So there you have it. That’s how all 5 of those types of digital marketing can work together to deliver leads. 

    When you implement a digital marketing strategy that’s founded on inbound, and supported by digital outbound marketing tactics, you develop a lead generation machine that’s always working to draw in qualified leads for your company. 

    It’s a long, complex process to both understand and implement, but we can say from years of experience — it works. 

    Not sure about digital marketing? Sounds great, but also like a lot of work? Yeah, we get it.

    We’ve helped dozens of clients implement a digital marketing strategy from the ground up. We can help you too.

    If you have questions about where to start with your digital or inbound marketing strategy, or if you think you’d like a bit of help getting started, let’s chat. A quick conversation can help you align your efforts in no time. 

    New call-to-action
    New call-to-action

    Conducting A Competitive Analysis: A 10-Step Guide

    Conducting A Competitive Analysis: A 10-Step Guide

    Conducting A Competitive Analysis: A 10-Step Guide

    Ever wonder how you stack up against your competition? It’s a natural question, especially for industrial and manufacturing B2Bs who operate in tight markets, where all of the key players are well-known. Understanding where you stand in your market in relation to the competition is powerful information. It tells you how you’re doing, whether you’re growing, and what portion of the market you’re taking up. It’s also a really powerful way to figure out how to strategically optimize your own business operations to position yourself higher in your own market. 

    Whether you’re gearing up for a new digital marketing strategy like inbound marketing, are planning to redesign your website, or are just looking for a way to get a leg up, understanding what your competition is doing is the first step to improving your own growth strategy. 

    So how do you figure out where you stand in the market? It’s called a competitive analysis. 

    What is a Competitive Analysis?

    A competitive analysis is a method of strategically researching your competition, and analyzing their performance and position in the market. But, a competitive analysis does more than show you where you and your competitors stand — it’s also a powerful tool you can use to find and address gaps in the market, identify new market trends, and of course find opportunities for your company to improve marketing and sales efforts to you can perform better than your competitors. 

    HubSpot says that by doing a competitive analysis, “you can create solid business strategies that improve upon your competitor’s.”

    Why is a B2B Competitive Analysis Important?

    Competitive analysis is often talked about in regards to e-commerce and direct-to-consumer applications, but it’s equally important for B2Bs. For most B2B industries, like manufacturing companies and industrial technology providers, the market is small and competitive. Chances are you already know who your top competitors are. A competitive analysis helps you get a better picture of what you’re doing, what your competition is doing, and how you can do better. 

    A competitive analysis is key to strategic marketing positioning, which is essential for B2Bs. When there are only a handful of key players, your marketing and sales tactics are put under a microscope. The slightest edge over your competition can win you a huge market share in an industry that is so niche. 

    So, now that we know why a competitive analysis is so important, especially for B2Bs, how do you conduct one? Let’s dive in. 

    How to Conduct a Strategic B2B Competitive Analysis

    When you start a competitive analysis, know that it is a big process. You don’t have to do the whole thing in a day. Take the time to really look into your competitors, and remember this is a learning experience. 

    All of the research you gather, from what your competitors are doing really well, to what they’re not doing, is useful to you. With that in mind, here are 10 steps to a successful, strategic B2B competitive analysis: 

    01. B2B Market Research

    Even if you work in a small, competitive market, it’s worth it to do a bit of market research before you decide which competitors you’re going to analyze. There’s always the possibility that someone has shifted in the market or there’s a new player. The best way to start? 

    Type your broadest and most relevant keywords into a search engine. 

    If you’re a steel manufacturer, type that in. If you sell air compressors, type that it. Who comes up? Are they a competitor? 

    Make sure you’re doing both general and geographically-specific research. 

    It’s important to know who you’re in league with in your area, as well as who some of the national or international players might be. 

    02. Who’s in Your Market?

    Once you’ve completed some solid B2B market research, it’s time to narrow down all of the companies you’ve found into just your top competitors. 

    For B2Bs, we’d recommend picking your top 5 competitors. 

    I know a lot of other guides recommend picking 10 or more competitors to compare with, but for most niche industries, 5 is probably going to give you what you need. (You can always choose more for extra credit!)

    Try to go for at least 3 direct competitors —  companies that sell the same product you do to a very similar market. The other two or three can be indirect or secondary competitors — maybe they sell the same product to a different market, or they have similar solutions, but not quite the same as what you offer. 

    A good example here would be pre-fab cleanrooms vs. custom cleanrooms. 

    If you sell custom cleanrooms, you can probably learn a lot from a company that sells pre-fab cleanroom kits, but they’re not your direct competitor. They’re selling to a slightly different market that doesn’t need the high level of customizability you offer. 

    03. Take a Coffee Break and Gear up for the Work of your Competitive Analysis

    Alright, you’ve made it through the first big part of your competitive analysis. Now’s a good time to take a break. The next step is going to be to dive into the actual analysis part of this competitive analysis. Make sure you’ve got your coffee ready to go and somewhere to take notes. 

    Before you dive in, decide how you’re going to tackle this competitive analysis. You’ve got two main options:

    1. Run through all of these steps with all of your competitors, all at once. That means you’ll start by analyzing everyone’s marketing strategy. Then you’ll move on to everyone’s website, SEO, sales tactics, etc, all in the same order, at the same time.  
    2. Run through each competitor individually. This means you’ll start with one competitor, move through the entire competitive analysis guide, and then start over with the next competitor. 

    There’s no right or wrong way to do this, it just depends on how you think best. And, if you’re working through this competitive analysis as a team, option two might be easier — just assign each team member a different competitor to analyze. 

    Okay, we’ve got a plan. Let’s get going:

    04. Check Out Their Marketing Strategy

    I find it easiest to work through a competitive analysis exactly the way a lead might work through your competitor’s marketing and sales cycle. 

    That means looking at them like a visitor, and then diving slowly deeper into their marketing strategy, until the point you’d become a sales lead. Then, you tackle the sales portion of the competitive analysis. 

    That’s why we’re starting with marketing strategy first. 

    Do a lot of digging into your competitor’s marketing strategy. For B2Bs, this is certain to look a little different from competitor to competitor, so pay special attention to those differences. Be sure to look at everything from their social media pages and engagement to their content strategy. Here are a few questions to get you started:

    How Do They Manage Their Content Strategy?

    Figure out what their content strategy is. 

    • Are they blogging
    • If they’re not blogging, how do they get the word out?
    • Do they submit to magazines or technical industry websites?
    • Do they put out content, blogs, videos, infographics, ect, regularly?
    • Does their content seem helpful?
    • Is it true?
    • How are they promoting their content?
    • Is that content and content promotion getting engagement?
    • If so, which platforms are most successful?
    • Do they have large followings on social media? 

    Then, see if it’s working.  As an industry expert yourself, you know if their content is actually helpful, or if it’s designed with the sole purpose of putting out company news updates and gaining search engine positioning.

    Is Their Content Strategy Working?

    Ask:

    • What gets a lot of engagement?
    • Who are they speaking to with this content?
    • Is the content successful in reaching that audience? Answering their questions? Solving their pain points?
    • Does their content strategy go together seamlessly?
    • Do they use internal linking and lead nurturing strategies that drive visitors further into their content?
    • What could they be doing better?

    Finally, compare that strategy to your own. 

    • What are they doing that’s working?
    • Can you apply that to your content strategy?
    • Are there gaps in their content that you can or already are filling?
    • Is your content speaking to the same audience? Should it be?

    The key to a successful competitive analysis is the element of critical thinking. Just because your competitor is doing something doesn’t mean you have to be. 

    That strategy you think is really cool is only right for you if it’s effective, and if it speaks to your audience.

    05. Check Out Their Website and SEO

    If you think about the inbound marketing process, content is what draws a visitor in. Their website is the next step in that visitor’s buyer’s journey. It should be working to keep visitors on the site by offering more quality content, and converting those visitors into leads with content offers, CTAs, and landing pages.

    For B2Bs, this tends to be one of the biggest pain points. 

    This step will give you a lot of insight into which of your competitors are really investing in digital growth, and which might still be a bit behind the times. 

    Analyzing a Competitor’s Website

    The website portion of the competitive analysis falls into two categories — how the website itself is working, in terms of usability and lead generation, and how they’re using their website to talk about their products and solutions, specifically in regards to SEO. 

    Let’s start with UX and web design first: 

    • How does their website work? 
    • Is it easy to navigate?
    • Do they use any creative lead capturing tactics?
    • Are CTAs visible and eye-catching?
    • Do they have forms for leads to fill out?
    • Are there great content offers that you know target buyers would find value in?
    • Is it easy to find their contact button?
    • Is their website fast, responsive, and easy to look at?

    Website design has a lot more to do with successful lead conversion than you’d think. A slow, non-responsive website that doesn’t look good is sure to turn visitors and leads away. Check out your competitor’s website, and think about how it stacks up against your own.

    • Are there elements you wish could be incorporated onto your site?
    • Are there elements to their site that you know you do better on?
    • Is their website missing anything?

    Once you have a solid understanding of how their website performs for the user, you can take a look at how it performs for search engines. 

    Analyzing a Competitor’s SEO

    SEO isn’t always easy to analyze on your own, so be sure to use tools that can help you. 

    We love these three to help give you a clear picture of how that website is performing overall, what keywords your competitor is targeting, and how your website stacks up against them in SERPs. 

    SpyFu

    SpyFu will give you a comprehensive comparison of your site against your competitors. It offers a clear analysis of what keywords that company is ranking for, what keywords its almost ranking for, and more. SpyFu will also give insight into your competition’s top paid search ads. 

    Website Grader

    HubSpot’s Website Grader will give you an idea of how well that competitor’s website is performing. HubSpot can tell you how fast the site is, how many keywords it’s ranking for, and if there are any problems it the backend that might be threatening the site’s performance. 

    Ubersuggest

    Ubersuggest is a great tool for keyword analysis. Typing in your competitor’s URL will pull up a complete list of the keywords they’re ranking for, which of their pages are driving the most traffic, and how many keywords they rank for in general. You can compare this to your own results on Ubersuggest for a clear competitive analysis. 

    Now That You Have the Numbers

    Do a deep dive. 

    • What keywords does your competitor rank well for?
    • Are they the same keywords you try to rank for?
    • How are they managing to rank well for those keywords?
      • Blogs
      • Service Pages
      • Great on and off-page SEO
    • Are they ranking for any great long-tail keywords?
    • What’s their average site traffic per month?

    In addition to looking at straight SEO, take a hard look at how your competitor is talking about their products and services. Are they highlighting the same benefits and solutions that you are? Or have they taken a slightly different angle than your team?

    If they’re using a different angle, or marketing differently than you, is it working? Are they ranking for keywords that you’d like to rank for?

    Most importantly, look for gaps in their SEO, in their content, and in their marketing strategy. 

    Chances are, they haven’t covered every possible angle of any product or service. Maybe they’re not blogging, or maybe they’re not ranking for some keywords that you already know drive a lot of traffic. 

    06. Dig Into Their Sales Tactics

    This is probably the hardest part of any competitive analysis because there’s likely not a lot of information out there. That said, in a B2B market, you’re likely to have a slight advantage. You already know most of your competitors, and you probably already have an eye on how they’re performing, if they’ve been growing or expanding in the past year, and more. 

    A few ways to look into your competitor’s sales tactics include: 

    • Check out your own CRM. Do you have past leads or customers who said they were considering other competitors? Why did they choose you?
    • See if they have a “process” page on their website. That can help you understand how they move prospects from leads to sales. 
    • If they’re a public company, you can find annual reports online. 
    • Are they scaling their company up or down? Have they been doing a lot of hiring?
    • Do they have multiple locations? If so, is that helping them close more sales?

    Do a little digging to see why people may have chosen your product over your competitor’s, and vice versa. 

    Even more importantly, look to see if their sales process matches up with their marketing process.

    • Do their sales and marketing efforts seem aligned?
    • Does marketing content feed seamlessly into sales content like estimate and quote requests?
    • Does it seem like they’re following up with leads, or is that a pain point for customers who chose your company instead?

    You’ll have to do a bit of sleuthing to dig deeply into any company’s sales process, their sales tactics, and their results, but going the extra mile can return helpful information. 

    The more you know about how your competitors are selling, and what’s working for them and what isn’t, the better you’ll be able to tailor your sales tactics to outperform them. 

    For example, let’s say they’ve been scaling up but are having trouble following up on all the leads coming in. You can optimize your sale process by making timely, helpful contact with leads a priority. The more connected you are to your prospects, the better supported they’ll feel, compared to your competitor’s sales team. 

    How you sell is equally important to how you market. If you can make improvements to your sales process as well as your marketing tactics according to the results you find in your competitive analysis, you’ll be able to draw in more of the qualified leads you want, and provide the nurturing sales touches those leads need to convert. 

    07. Decide What’s Working for Them, and What’s Not

    HubSpot calls this a SWOT analysis — identifying your competition’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. When you’ve figured these out, you can compare them to your own, to see where you’re crushing it in the market, and where you might have some opportunities to improve. A few questions to get you started might be: 

    • What is your competition’s best area? Sales, marketing, content, promotion, online engagement? 
    • Where are they performing better than your brand?
    • What is their weakest area?
    • Where are you performing better than your competitor?
    • Are there any gaps in your competitor’s marketing strategy?
    • Are they missing out on ideal keywords or strategic tactics?
    • In what ways might you consider this competitor a threat?
    • Are there opportunities in the market that your competitor has missed?
    • Are there opportunities they’re capitalizing on that you are not yet? 

    When you have the time to sit down and list out answers to all of these questions, you’ll have a better idea of where you go next. If there are areas you’re performing well in, keep up the good work. If there are new strategies that you have yet to try, add that to your list of tactics to implement next. 

    08. Implement What You’ve Learned

    Chances are, through this whole process, you’ve learned what your competitors do well, and what they don’t. Both of those categories are opportunities for you to improve. 

    Take what they do well, and do it better.

    Take what you’re already doing really well, and keep on crushing it. 

    A competitive analysis works for you in a variety of ways: 

    • It gives you a clear picture of the current market
    • It shows you upcoming market trends you can capitalize on now
    • It highlights your competitors strengths and weaknesses

    Use all of that information to optimize your own company’s strengths and weaknesses. If there’s something your company is really missing out on, like an optimized website, take some time to really make that your strength. If you’ve been crushing the content game, don’t stop. Make sure you keep your competitive advantage by continuing to put out excellent content regularly. 

    09. Save Your Research

    You put a ton of time into your competitive analysis. Make sure you organize that research and save it somewhere your entire team can access it. Going forward, be sure to keep checking back on your competitors and adding to that competitive analysis you’ve put together. 

    Just like you, your competitors are always looking for opportunities and areas to grow in the market. The good ones are going to continue optimizing and improving over time. Keep your research handy, and try to update it at least quarterly. This will help you keep an eye on how the market is moving and responding, keeping your brand as current, if not ahead of your competitors in market position. 

    10. Always be Optimizing

    Your company wants to keep growing. To feed that constant growth, you need a marketing and sales strategy that can keep up. That means you should always be looking critically at your marketing and sales tactics, and optimizing wherever you can. 

    It’s not always an easy or straightforward task, but keeping an updated competitive analysis around should help you identify key areas for improvement. Remember to capitalize on the opportunities your competition is missing out on, and work to do the things they’re doing really well, better when it’s possible. 

    Conducting a competitive analysis isn’t easy or fast, but it is worthwhile. If you’re struggling to dig up dirt on your competitors, we get it. There are a ton of components to a competitive analysis and it’s tough to know where to start and where to stop.

    If you’ve got more questions about conducting a competitive analysis, what competitors to look at, or how to find the right information, we’re happy to help

    New call-to-action
    New call-to-action

    Should You Cut Your Digital Marketing Budget in a Recession?

    Should You Cut Your Digital Marketing Budget in a Recession?

    Should You Cut Your Digital Marketing Budget in a Recession?

    As digital marketers, this is a question we’re getting a lot right now. And it’s a big one.

    Many companies, our clients included, are struggling with the decision to spend more on digital marketing, even if they’re unsure of future revenue, or pause their inbound marketing strategy to save where they can. 

    It feels like a Catch-22. If you’re marketing, you’re pulling in leads, but you’re not sure what to do with them right now, or even if you can convert them at this point. 

    New call-to-action

    If you’re not marketing, you’re saving money, but you’re not filling up your pipeline or maintaining your market position — which for many industries is a hard thing to get in the first place. 

    So, what’s a business to do? 

    Our president, John Heritage just posted a blog on his LinkedIn about exactly this. He’s been engaging actively with our clients through all of this, and the conversations he’s had have put a spotlight on what really happens when you cut your digital marketing budget or pause your marketing agency in a time of recession or crisis.

    A Case Study:

    The Real Effect of Cutting Your Digital Marketing Budget Amid a Global Crisis

    I’ll leave it to you to read John’s full post — it’s a good one, with plenty of data to back it up — but I’ll also give you a quick synopsis here, too. 

    social-media-screenshot

    John’s article takes a look at two very similar clients, with opposite reactions to the COVID-19 crisis. Both clients function in technical B2B industries. Both clients use Evenbound to manage their entire marketing program. 

    The Clients

    Client #1 asked to pause their marketing program until they know that the industry is going to move past this crisis. They’re concerned their revenue will drop, and they don’t want to spend money if they don’t have any coming in. 

    Client #2 chose to lean into their marketing program. They felt they’d recently made big gains positioning themselves in a competitive market, and don’t want to lose that market advantage They felt it would be better to fill up the sales pipeline now, so their sales team could hit the ground running when the economy gets back to work. 

    John mentions in his post that both decisions are valid. They’re both based on sound logic, and each client is just working to do what’s best for their company. 

    That said, the data that’s starting to emerge now (we’re about 6-7 weeks into Michigan’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Order) is telling. Take a look at the high-level KPIs for each of these clients.

    The Results

    Client #1 (Paused Marketing Efforts)

    Client #2 (Continued Marketing Efforts)

    Again, John’s article will help make more sense of the data as a whole, but the big picture here is that client #2, who chose to keep investing in digital marketing, has made significant gains in all major KPIs — traffic, leads, and sales.

    Their sales conversion rate isn’t perfect, but we knew going into this that it probably wouldn’t be. People aren’t buying right now, but they are planning for a future where they will buy. Client #2 is perfectly positioned for this, with a significant number of leads in their pipeline, ready to convert when the sales team can really get back to full steam. 

    Though Client #1 will probably be fine, they haven’t gained any market share, aren’t adding leads to their sales pipeline, and have opened the door for competitors to beat them out online. 

    Considering Cutting Your Digital Marketing Budget in a Recession?

    That’s not a decision we can make for you. It’s up to you.

    But know that by cutting your digital marketing budget, you’re probably going to make your climb back to breaking even more difficult. Like client #1, you’re going to have to work a little harder to fill up your pipeline when we all go back to work. 

    Companies that keep marketing, even a little, during this time, are helping to maintain their market position, and fill their sales pipeline with qualified leads, just as client #2 did. 

    Even if you’re not making conversions now, you’re setting your sales team up for success when they’re able to get back to work, and when buyers are ready to make purchasing decisions again. 

    I think John summed it up pretty well: 

    And I get that, “Just keep marketing” isn’t a compelling reason to do it, especially when it’s coming from a digital marketing agency. So, here are 5 key reasons to keep marketing, based on the actual data we’ve been seeing over the past few months:

    5 Reasons To Keep Digital Marketing in a Recession

    So we’ve shown you data from our clients, and we’ve told you, as experts, why we think it’s a good idea to keep marketing. But, you’re a savvy businessperson, and you know better than to take the word of a marketer at face value. Good critical thinking on your part. 

    New call-to-action

    Here are 5 reasons, based in fact, and on tangible data, that it’s a good idea to keep digital marketing, even in a recession. 

    01. Search Traffic is Up

    Internet use is up 70%. As more people are in lockdown, more people are turning to the internet for work, for entertainment, and more. 

    If you’ve got great digital content, you’re going to see a spike in organic traffic. If you don’t have great digital content, now is a good time to start creating it. 

    Now, we know that conversions are down. Neil Patel said it himself.

    That doesn’t mean that educational content isn’t useful right now. 

    Just because people aren’t buying, doesn’t mean their eyes and lead conversions on your site aren’t useful to you. 

    The more quality content you create now — that’s targeted to keywords and phrases that are relevant to you and to your ideal buyer — the more leads you’re pulling into your pipeline.  

    And the more leads you have in your pipeline, who are ready to make a purchase as soon as accounting says, “go ahead, we’re getting back to business”, the more sales you stand to make, and quickly when we’re all back to work. 

    That really sets your sales team up for success.

    Take this time to create great content. Content that answers your ideal buyer’s top questions, solves their pain points, and helps them make the decisions that are best for them and their companies. Those buyers are searching for those answers, and they’re searching now.

    When you’re at the top of the list (and search engine results pages) with quality content that answers questions, informs, and solves problems, you’re also going to be at the top of the list when those people are ready to buy.

    02. PPC Advertising Costs Are Down

    A global crisis means that many companies have paused their marketing and advertising efforts. Social media advertising rates and PPC costs are down.

    And it stands to reason — if there’s less competition, and fewer companies bidding on search terms, that bid cost will go down. 

    For you, this means there’s some opportunity to reconfigure your paid digital advertising campaigns for keywords that are relevant to your business. 

    Since conversions are still down a bit (though not as much as you’d expect), it’s important to be smart here, but if you’re doing paid advertising right, you can see some serious results. Neil Patel has shown that his paid ads have increased in ROI from 31% to 53%.

    That’s a significant increase in ROI, showing that he’s paying a whole lot less, to get a whole lot more. 

    We’d suggest you take a look at your paid ad strategy and focus on two main areas of user intent — awareness, and decision making. Awareness ads, especially on social media platforms, will work to keep your name out there, solidifying you as an authority in the industry. 

    Their cost is significantly lower right now, which means that when people do convert, you’re getting a whole lot more bang for your buck.  

    03. Digital Marketing is Both Flexible and Scaleable

    Their cost is significantly lower right now, which means that when people do convert, you’re getting a whole lot more bang for your buck.  

    A huge advantage of digital marketing is that it’s not static.

    You’re not putting down a huge chunk of money to wait and see what it returns. 

    Digital marketing is comprised of a multitude of tactics — blogging, social media engagement, paid search advertising, social media advertising, email marketing, conversational marketing, the list goes on. 

    Some of those tactics are easier and less expensive than others, and some might cost you something, but only what you are willing to spend. 

    The beauty of digital marketing is that you get to decide what works for your business, and optimize those efforts based on the results you’re seeing.

    If something’s not working, making a change is easy. If your budget is light one month, you can scale back paid ads to just the campaigns that are producing results. Or you can shift your efforts to nurturing the leads you have with content and email marketing. 

    Digital marketing is one of the few marketing and advertising opportunities that can produce significant results while being flexible according to your capacity, and scaleable to your available budget. It makes sense to lean in now, with whatever you’ve got. 

    04. You Have the Time to Make Necessary Improvements

    It’s never a good thing to have your sales team stuck at home. It’s not ideal, and we’re not getting around that. But, this is an opportunity to make improvements. 

    In normal times, your sales team, your marketing team, and everyone else is typically functioning at full capacity. 

    They’re on the road, handling client meetings, drawing up quotes, and more. There isn’t much space to optimize or improve your process when everyone is so busy. 

    Right now, you have the opportunity to take a close look at how your marketing and sales processes are working, and make the necessary improvements. 

    We’ve had clients who have decided to use this time to improve a long-outdated website.

    They’ll move out of this crisis with a fresh, new digital face for their company that’s also working to draw in leads. 

    We’ve had clients who decided to use this time to improve their sales process.

    Setting up a solid sales pipeline with deal stages, and clear visibility on what deals are in the pipeline, and where, can do a ton to streamline sales, improving your reps ability to focus on closing hot and warm leads when the time comes. 

    Finally, sales and marketing alignment is another great place to spend a bit of extra time right now. Get your sales and marketing teams together on a zoom call, and work on some alignment strategies. 

    While this isn’t an ideal situation for anyone, we can’t control what has already happened. 

    You can control how you use this time to move your business forward. 

    05. You Have the Space to Gain Market Position

    Finally, maintaining a digital marketing strategy allows you to gain a better position in your market. For many industries, your company’s reputation is everything. If people know your name, you’ll get the business.

    But, you have to build up a lot of awareness, and a lot of trust to gain that reputation, and that’s where digital marketing comes in now. 

    At this point, you have the time, and you have the space, to work to better position yourself as a leader and an authority in your industry. 

    Many companies have halted all marketing and advertising efforts. That means there’s room for you to grow and move up. The greater your authority online, the better positioned you are on search engines, which in turn boosts your competitive position in the market. 

    Take this time to do some research and identify where those opportunities exist. 

    Write educational content that helps people. Update your website to show new visitors what you are capable of, and what sets you apart in the industry. Then take all of that work, and promote it. 

    Together, these efforts work to position you higher, and more strategically in your industry. With a bit less competition online right now, and a bit more effort on your part, you’ll start to see your position rise, just like it did for client #1 in the case study mentioned earlier. 

    That helps you draw in more site visitors, who become leads, who eventually — when the economy reopens — turn into sales.

    What Can You Do Today, To Ensure Growth Tomorrow?

    Choosing to extend or pause your digital marketing budget at this time really comes down to this question: what can you do today, to ensure growth tomorrow?

    For any business, the answer to that question might look a little different. And it’s true that not every business will have the budget to market as they were before this crisis happened. But, if you have the ability, any level of digital marketing is absolutely an opportunity for growth at this time.

    If you’re new to digital marketing or aren’t sure where to start optimizing or reconfiguring your existing strategy, you might just need a fresh pair of eyes to help you out. The Evenbound team is here to help. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have. 

    New call-to-action
    New call-to-action

    Small Business Growth Strategies that Boost Revenue

    Small Business Growth Strategies that Boost Revenue

    Small Business Growth Strategies that Boost Revenue

    When we talk about growth strategies, we think it’s important to talk about tangible strategies your small or midsized business can implement today to help drive growth. There’s a lot of information out there about diversification, market penetration, market segmentation, and acquisition. Those are legitimate small business growth strategies, but they’re nebulous, not actionable. 

    Yes, it’s important for your overall business health to do things like diversify and acquire new products/services and even other businesses, but that doesn’t help you grow in real-time. 

    Those are strategies that bring you growth, but they don’t set you up to support that growth in the long term. That’s why we’re here to talk about small business growth strategies that can help you boost revenue in real-time, helping you prepare for long-term growth, and supporting your company in a sustainable way. 

    Today we’re talking about small business growth strategies that:

    a) help you get the word out, 

    b) deliver you the qualified leads you’re looking for

    c) help you close better deals, faster. 

    Best of all, each of these strategies is measurable and results-driven. 

    You want growth, right? There’s no point in investing in a growth strategy if you can’t see the results it’s delivering. 

    So, without further ado, here are a few of our favorite small business growth strategies that boost revenue in ways you can track:

    Set Growth Goals

    If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times — it’s hard to implement a growth strategy if you don’t know where you’re growing to. 

    Setting growth goals is an integral part of your small business growth strategy. Think of it this way: how will you know which strategies to implement if you don’t know what you want to grow?

    It’s one thing to say, “I’d like to grow my business,” or “increase revenue”. It’s another to actually sit down and make that happen. 

    I won’t belabor this point because we’ve already written a lot about it, but set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely), and develop your small business growth strategies to help you meet those goals. 

    Once you’ve set your growth goals, you’ll have a better idea of which of the following small business growth strategies can help you meet those goals.

    For example, driving traffic helps bring in more leads, focusing on customer loyalty helps with customer retention, and increasing local SEO helps do both, with the added benefit of increasing your digital presence. 

    With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of those key small business growth strategies:

    Create Value that Draws in Leads

    Sure, your product or service has value to people, but it’s tough for customers to take that at face value. Other than selling something, how can you create value for your potential customers and leads? 

    Content is always a great place to start. You have the knowledge and you have the authority in your industry to create helpful content. Developing content that showcases both of those qualities and answers questions that your potential customers are asking creates serious value that will start to draw those leads into your business. 

    It’s tough to grow a business without customers. 

    By creating value with blogging, with content offers, and dynamic social media channels that offer the information your ideal audience is looking for, you start drawing in those customers you want.

    How does creating value boost revenue? 

    When you offer valuable information, you build both trust and authority with your prospects. By providing helpful answers to their questions, you become their go-to resource. So, when they do finish their research and get ready to make a purchasing decision, you can bet your business will be at the top of their list. 

    Not sure your content creating is creating value? Make sure you have calls-to-action on your blogs and articles and make sure you're tracking conversions on your content offers. Click To Tweet All of these tools can show you exactly where your customers are coming from, and how your valuable content is contributing to your bottom line. 

    Drive Traffic

    When it comes to small business growth, it’s all about traffic. Whether you’re a brick and mortar business or strictly digital, traffic is important. You need people in your store and on your website if you want to grow your company. 

    Drive traffic with:

    Social Media

    Point people to your valuable content, your new video, your awesome website, or your attractive content offer by sharing it on social media. Make sure you’re choosing the platforms that are best for your industry, too, like LinkedIn for B2Bs, Facebook for home services and local, community-focused messages, and Instagram for any exciting visuals. 

    Strategic SEO

    We’ll talk more about SEO later on, but developing a website that’s tailored to specific keywords and topics that your customers are searching for is key to getting the traffic you need to grow your business. 

    Backlinks

    Backlinks help you boost your domain authority (basically, how important search engines think you are) but they also drive traffic. When another site links to your page or piece of content, everyone who comes to that site has the potential to click over to you. If you don’t have backlinks yet or don’t have the power to get backlinks, it all starts with great content. If you’re writing unique, interesting content that people relate to, it’s naturally more shareable.

    How does driving traffic boost revenue?

    Well, if you’re generating more of the right traffic — that ideal target audience who’s genuinely interested in your product or service — you’ve got a higher percentage of qualified leads on your doorstep just waiting for your marketing and sales teams to close the deal. 

    Traffic is also an easy one to track. Use Google Analytics to measure your influx of traffic over time. If you have marketing software, that’s also a great place to look for results. 

    See where your most promising leads are coming from, which pages they’re landing on, and which content they seem to prefer, and you’ll be able to keep optimizing both your traffic growth strategy and your content strategy for better results. 

    Increase Local SEO Efforts

    For most small businesses, it’s all about location, location, location. You’ve got to start getting your name out somewhere, right? If your business is location dependent, meaning you offer a product or service in a specific area, local SEO is key to your small business growth strategy. 

    As a local business, you want to be at the top of the list when someone searches for, “roofing near me” or whatever local search is relevant to your business. Local SEO is how you get there. 

    As small business growth strategies go, local SEO is a solid one that offers tangible and measurable results. We won’t go into the key points of implementing SEO, but you can find plenty of information about how to get started with local SEO on our site, and from digital marketing leaders like Moz and HubSpot

    How does local SEO boost revenue? 

    Like I said before, this is a great small business growth strategy if you’re looking for measurable ways to boost revenue. 

    First and foremost, when implemented properly, local SEO works to put your company in front of qualified leads in your area. 

    You can tell that your local SEO strategies are working by tracking your traffic, your SERP (search engine results page) rankings, and just by measuring how many of your leads are coming from organic search results. Again, marketing software and Google Analytics can help you get all of these numbers. 

    Like many growth strategies, local SEO does have its limits. When you’re working hard to get your company to rank well for local search terms, you’re going to see more local traffic. But all this growth strategy can do is get those leads to your website or sales team. From there, it’s still up to you to actually convert those leads into sales. 

    That said, it’s hard not to grow when more of the qualified local leads you’re looking for are coming directly to you. 

    Build Customer Loyalty

    These days, consumers are more engaged than ever with the brands they choose to buy from. Most consumers take pride in supporting companies they believe in, whose beliefs they align with, and whose products and services they love. In the digital age, growing your small business is about a lot more than just selling a product. 

    Today’s most successful small businesses stand out by building relationships and trust with their customers and prospects. 

    How do you do that? 

    Think about how your brand is interacting with people.

    In the digital era, consumers are seeking that sense of connection wherever they can find it. They want to buy from brands that “get” them. Brands that understand their pain points and work hard to support their goals and needs are brands they’re likely to stick with. 

    This might seem like a lot of personal, touchy-feely advice, especially for small businesses in B2B industries, but it’s true. No matter who your consumer is, whether it’s an engineer looking for the next great tool to support their research and development, or a local homeowner seeking a new roof — how they perceive your company matters. 

    If your company and brand seem human and approachable, they’re more likely to buy from you. If they feel like they’ll get personalized customer service, and you deliver, they’re going to keep buying from you in the future.

    Today’s consumers, in every industry, are looking for personal connections and exceptional customer service. If you can deliver that, your small business is going to start seeing your growth. Here’s how you can make that happen: 

    Deliver personalized messages.

    Email marketing is a great place to start. If you’ve been doing any kind of digital marketing, you’ve probably collected the email addresses of previous customers, potential customers, leads, and prospects. Use those email addresses to start delivering the personalized service and messaging that can build that customer loyalty. 

    Segment your email list, and start putting out marketing messages that really resonate with each segment of that list. 

    For new prospects, that might be information to help them through the consideration phase of their buyer’s journey. 

    For past customers, that might be reminder emails when its time to get their product serviced or inspected, or helpful information on how to use your product or service for the best results. 

    When you are able to deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time, you’re not just developing a successful email marketing strategy for your small business.

    You’re also building positive, strong relationships with leads, prospects, and previous customers, all of which keep your flywheel spinning and contribute to small business growth. 

    How does building customer loyalty boost your revenue?

    • 70% of companies say that retaining customers is significantly cheaper than converting a new one. 

    • 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer a personalized experience. 

    The more personalized and positive your experiences with leads, prospects, and customers are, the more business you’re going to win and retain. 

    And of course, when your customers love your products, your services, and your company, they’re going to talk about it, which means word of mouth marketing for your small business. And that’s one of the most effective small business growth strategies out there if you can get it going. 

    Growth strategies are integral to the success of your SMB. Whether you’re looking for more local leads, hoping to convert a greater number of leads into sales, or you’re looking for ways to increase customer retention, we can help

    All of these small business growth strategies I’ve mentioned today can be combined into one overarching strategy that puts your business ahead of the competition. If you’re ready to grow your SMB, we’re ready to develop a tailored strategy that’s guaranteed to deliver. 

    New call-to-action
    New call-to-action