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Digital Marketing Audit

These 7 Online Marketing Trends for B2B Companies and Business Owners Are Game Changers

In the Internet age, there is no such thing as stagnation; the digital landscape is constantly evolving. Rather than be intimidated by new marketing practices or dismiss them as trends which aren’t built to last (don’t be the guy who thought Facebook was just a fad!), prepare for the future and determine which specific approaches can help your business explode in 2017, leaving your competition in the dust.

  1. Data Visualization Tools – marketers are obsessed with all things data, but if they can’t explain what the data means, then what’s the point? In order to explain with quantitative information who your business’s customers are, why they want your product and when, and what needs to be said to them to build a relationship, data visualization tools are starting to be used to interpret large amounts of numerical information. This is a huge opportunity for you as a business owner and marketer to tap into possible new customer segments as well as build upon your current foundation. Just remember, in the words of Orbitz Media’s Andy Crestodina, “You don’t have to be big to use big data to make better decisions.” (not sure if you want to link out to other pages or not, but I like the quote)
  2. Dense Content – in a world where every business has a Facebook page, constantly sharing updates and posts, it has become enormously difficult to get your message to stand out in crowded newsfeeds. Savvy marketers have realized this, and now make every word of every line in their content count, providing instant value for their customer. In other words, don’t post for the sake of posting; post something worthwhile, something that will help!
  3. More Live Video – people have been screaming for more live video for years. And with the diversity of platforms which make videos available, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram, among others, there is no doubt a specific medium exists for your business to share your message with your audience. This is where using search and social data to determine where your possible customers are is crucial for executing a video strategy which will actually provide ROI.
  4. E-mail Marketing Isn’t Dead – e-mail is about to make a massive comeback, and if used wisely, will enable tremendous growth. Now that many marketing automation platforms integrate with most others, as a marketer you can use behavioral insights from your social and content campaigns to develop customer-centric messages which will resonate with your audience and lead to a substantially higher conversion rate.
  5. The Referral Model – don’t be scared of online customer reviews! Rather, monitor reviews and actually respond to them. In fact, if you invite your customers to review your business, you’ll not only get a chance to improve your customer service but also see increased traffic to your website and/or physical location, leading to more sales!
  6. A “Post-Fact” World – marketers have known for a long time that emotions matter when making purchasing decisions, but now the rest of the world has caught up. Instead of relying on statistics and data alone to make the sale, you’ll need to frame these insights in a way which will make your customer feel a specific way.
  7. Content Becomes More Than “Content” – as noted earlier, lots of businesses haven’t tapped into the full potential of content, and simply use it as something just to say they have it. Smart business owners and marketers will now use their content to solve customer support problems, develop engagement with employees to enhance retention, organize the sales process, among a wide variety of other uses.

In short, there are a lot of different ways a business can use new tools and trends to effectively market themselves. In order to understand what the correct route to take is and which platforms are worth spending time on to spur growth for you, follow our blog for more updates as we tackle pressing issues in the digital space. Or just leave us a note! We’re always happy to lend a helping hand.

Many businesses have no clue how effective their digital efforts are within and outside of the organization. Teams are reporting to executive vanity metrics and isolated analyses that don’t tell the whole picture. This leads to the continued state of “You don’t know, what you don’t know”.
This is a problem!

Understanding how you compare and how effective your organization is a digital competence practice can dramatically increase your ability to be efficient and effective at strategic operations, marketing and finance. This will translate to higher margins, lower cost of visibility, increased employee happiness, lower cost and an increased number of new customers.

Creating this scoring framework for your Digital Competence can bring structure and clarity to optimizing your business in two ways: first, by defining where digital technology has the greatest impact and, second, by providing a clear method for assessing how your company compares with the competition in capability areas that will be essential for success in the face of digital change.

A fact-based assessment of a company’s digital competence can provide executives & managers with the intelligence needed to keep moving in the same direction or make a pivot when the digital scorecard has raised red flags.

As an example:
In retail markets, the paramount priority may be creating highly relevant omnichannel customer experiences that build strong relationships with a target demographic.

For an auto supplier, on the other hand, the key issue may be how well it meets customer needs in areas like infotainment and assisted driving, or how effectively it deploys digital tools in its own business to manage its supply chain, inventories and product development.

Defining where digital contributes the most value in a given industry is the first step in assessing where a company falls on a spectrum of excellence and leadership. It also helps identify where insurgents are disrupting the status quo and how quickly.

Check out this graphic on how retail can leverage Digital effectively in 6 key areas

Digital Scorecard 6 Key Areas

View more about how Private Equity firms use this in their due diligence process from this article by Bain: http://www.bain.com/publications/articles/measuring-companys-digital-competence.aspx

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The job of marketers is becoming more and more complicated.
We now have access to so much data on customer insights via analytics tools and are expected to know how to measure and what the data means.
Recently a study from Forrester shows how organizations successfully use marketing analytics tools to develop relevant & compelling customer experiences.

Consumers expect to find what they want from their smartphones, tablets and laptops at any time from anywhere. These behaviors and commonly referred to micro-moments give marketers more opportunities to connect and engage. They also allow marketers to identify valuable insights about consumer behavior.
Effective marketing measurement is is the key to success here.

To understand the challenges we marketers face in measuring performance and creating the technology & tactic recommendations, Google commissioned Forrester to perform a survey of 150 marketing, analytics and information technology executives. The research shows how successful marketers are able to leverage analytics tools effectively so they make the most of consumer interactions.

Key findings

  • Marketers must be able to link marketing performance to business results. Of the survey respondents who were identified as “sophisticated marketers”, 53% said they adhere to well-established KPI’s & metrics that tie directly to business objectives. These marketers work with companies that are at least 3X more likely to hit their goals than other organizations.

  • The right tools are critical to success. 26% of marketers surveyed believed that their marketing analytics tools are well-integrated & work seamlessly together. Contrast that with marketers with well-integrated tools who are more likely to outperform revenue goals.

  • Marketers that employ complete itegrated marketing analytics platforms see an increase in performance and results. Smart marketers who deploy a complete integrated marketing analytics stack of five or more tools are 39% more likely to see improvement in the overall performance of their marketing efforts.

To Download and learn more about improving marketing performance with analytics, check out the full study, “How Marketing Analytics Increases Business Performance” by filling out the form below.

Download "How Marketing Analytics Increases Business Performance"

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Social Media is a must do when it comes to growing a business, communicating with customers, acquiring new customers and becoming a real brand.  Many companies are not doing it, Many companies are “kind of” doing it, few companies are doing it successfully and only a small fraction of businesses are running social media at the highest level.

We break out Social Media Marketing effort into 3 Phases.

  1. Table Stakes (thanks to Eliot Frick from BIGWIDESKY for this name)

  2. Successful

  3. Top One Percent

*We don’t even consider not doing it a phase.  If your company is not on Social Media, please call us right now, at this very moment so we can get you up and live on social.  Every second you are not online and up on social media the quicker your company will die.

 

Table Stakes

When it comes to Social Media Marketing there is a minimum level of effort that must take place.

Having live profiles that contain consistent and accurate company information, imagery, posting content regularly at some frequency and linking to these profiles from other places on the web including your website, other social profiles, email, etc.

This is easy and will give you a boost in the search engines, overall customer visibility, website traffic, foot traffic, leads and sales.

Example Table Stakes Social Media Profile

The Dallas Furniture Bank

https://www.facebook.com/DallasFurnitureBank/

https://twitter.com/dalfurnbank

The Dallas Furniture Bank has consistent and accurate information, while posting regularly.

There is not an a large amount of engagement and obviously not running any paid promotion.

This is fine for many companies and should be getting done, but could be getting done in a more significant way by moving into the Successful Social Media Marketing phase.

 

Successful

To be running at the Successful Social Media Marketing phase, you must be doing everything in the Social Media Table Stakes phase plus driving consistent meaningful engagement through strategic organic & paid tactics as well as relevant strategic content (copy, images, videos, documents, etc.).

Example Successful Social Media Profile

The Watering Bowl

https://www.facebook.com/TheWateringBowl/

https://www.instagram.com/thewateringbowl/

The Watering Bowl has consistent and accurate information, while posting regularly.

There is good engagement, they respond, comment, message and are running some paid promotion.

This where most companies should be, but there is still one more level that your business could be reaching, it is the Top One Percent Social Media phase.

 

Top One Percent

To be in the Top One Percent of companies on Social Media you must be everything from the 1st and 2nd phases, plus creating a massive amount of content, promoting accurately through all means possible, engaging like your life depends on it and having passionately dedicated resources to work on this 100% of the time.

 

Example Top One Percent Social Media Profile

Red Bull

https://www.facebook.com/redbull/

https://twitter.com/redbull

https://www.instagram.com/redbull/

Red Bull does everything on social media, all the time, in every corner of the web and is engaging, relevant and passionate.  Strive to be like Red Bull when it comes to the social media part of growing your business.

 

We are always putting out content on digital marketing tactics for SEO, PPC, Social Meida, Email Marketing and Analytics, but the truth is we really are a Content Marketing Agency.

Our Definition of a content marketing agency is one that creates content based on research and strategic principles that generate awareness, drive more traffic, leads, form submissions, phone calls, new customers and revenue.

We are a Really Good Content Marketing Agency!

Many agencies, especially here in St. Louis, can write and publish content while calling themselves content marketing agencies, but the truth is, they are rarely strategic and virtually none of them have the deep discipline experience to effectively utilize a multi-channel strategy that will drive results.

Good Content Marketing delivers results.

The goal is to ultimately obtain new customers through the strategic exposure and knowlege share that content marketing lends.  Greater visibility, More Traffic, More Leads, Form Submissions, Phone Calls and Revenue.  This is the goal.

We approach content marketing from a very technical position.

  • First, we get to know a company at it’s core.
  • Then focus on the why, the how and the what.
  • This allows us to perform meaningful research into the behaviors of users and potential customers around strategic topics and terms.
  • We then perform a content gap analysis to identify what content does exist or needs to exist on your website.
  • The modification of the existing content and addition of the missing content is outlined and implemented.
  • We then monitor, analyze and recommend tweak or additions thereafter to continously optimize the content marketing efforts.

St. Louis Content Marketing Agency

We are not a Creative Agency

There are a TON of agencies in the St. Louis area that call themselves digital marketing firms, content marketing agencies or marketing agencies and try to do the strategic work, but this needs to be handed over to the pros the digital marketing technologists and analysts that know the tools, tactics and research methodologies.

We’re not just in St. Louis

Mentioned alot here in this article are “St. Louis Content Marketing Agencies” or Marketing Agencies in general, but we actually have phenomenal clients from all over the united states and are working on global campaigns for a couple of our domestic clients.  We just want to be clear in giving examples of what we actually do and what other agencies say they do.  Plus we Love St. Louis and rep this city pretty hard!

Why work with us on your Content Marketing Strategy

  1. We’re really really good at content marketing
  2. Our goal is to generate as much value as possible for you (authority, leads, customers, revenue)
  3. We are on 24/7.  Accessibility, transparency and getting things done is what we do all of the time.  There is no such thing as too early or too late for us!

If you want to work with the Best St. Louis Content Marketing Agency or learn more then please contact us by phone or by filling out the form on this page and we will speak with you very soon.