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Online Marketing

Knowing the Limits of Marketing Automation Software

As demonstrated by last week’s blog, finding affordable, effective marketing automation solutions is as easy as ever. Meanwhile, important questions arise when you look deeper into automation techniques. For instance, is it really the software itself that defines your success?

The Basics

What is the basic functionality of your average marketing automation strategy? On a general level, it’s helpful to think of automated marketing actions as being activated either at a regular interval defined by you, or when a certain condition arises, also defined by you. The ideal marketing automation solution will respond dynamically to your leads, learning as much about them as possible and allowing you to target more effectively. You’ll then be able to trust your site or email campaign to follow up on the right conditions with the right actions, producing a more personalized experience for leads as they move through the funnel.

Today’s Software

While the above is all well and good as a fantasy, it’s important to know how to separate the imaginary best-case scenario from the practical, actionable aspects of the technology. For one thing, a lot of today’s marketing automation technology focuses on things like email campaigns, which occupy the outbound end of the marketing spectrum. While this is an important and helpful part of any strategy, the fullest potential of automation lies in its integration with inbound marketing strategy. When something as dynamic and complex as an inbound strategy enters the mix, you can be sure that no single software solution for marketing automation will be your magic bullet.

Recipe for Success

If the automation software alone won’t necessarily guarantee you the best results, then what will bring you closest to that ideal solution? As always in digital marketing, it’s the person using the technology and the way in which they use it that will mean the difference between failure and success. Inbound marketing automation can take the effectiveness of your site — not to mention your overall customer experience — to another level, but only if you have the right people by your side to make it work. Opt for a team with maximum inbound experience and you’ll have a real recipe for success!

Even the most impressive strategy can fall flat when not implemented with the right tools and commanded by the right person. CAYK is here to help you and your business navigate today’s modern marketing world with skill and tact, so call us today at (403) 456-0072 to get started!

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Internet Marketing Online Marketing

Hashtags: Where to Use Them and Where to Rule Them Out

It’s hard to think about social media without also thinking about hashtags. Their use has become practically universal across all the biggest platforms. However, they don’t function the same way on all networks and their use is more advisable on some than on others. Let’s find out why.

A Little Background

Twitter is certainly one of the primary platforms that has become known for hashtag use, but it’s not where they originated. The “pound” symbol was actually implemented in the ‘90s to signify the designation of different discussion groups for the online chat protocol IRC. Several years later, a former Google designer named Chris Messina suggested the use of the pound symbol for sorting discussion groups on Twitter. Not long after this idea caught on, it was fully implemented on Twitter and spread to other platforms, quickly becoming the popular tool for grouping and trending that we use today.

Smart Usage

On many platforms, a good command of hashtag use will contribute to your success. That being said, it’s important to keep in mind that simply “using them” isn’t a comprehensive strategy for understanding their function. For one thing, excessive use of hashtags on any platform is guaranteed to get you in trouble. They can easily become disruptive to the flow of your content. As soon as a follower notices an excess in hashtags, they’re no longer thinking about your content. Instead, they probably see your efforts as a bit heavy-handed and insincere. Do research on the hashtags you plan to use in a post and only use the ones that are popular and functional enough.

Different Results in Different Places

Using hashtags on Twitter is a great idea, usually by applying a couple per tweet. They are also highly advantageous on Instagram, with 3 to 4 typically being a safe bet. Their use on Facebook, however, should be restrained, if not avoided altogether. Facebook has not refined its hashtag-related search result system enough to make for popular or functional use. In most places on Pinterest, they aren’t even made clickable, and when they are, search results for related boards aren’t guaranteed to actually connect well to the given hashtag. No matter what the platform, always remember that too many will significantly decrease your engagement!

How do you use hashtags in your marketing approach? This is just one small aspect of social media strategy that is essential to master when sharpening the brand and visibility of your business. CAYK can help you with this and more, so give us a call at (403) 456-0072 today!

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Online Marketing

Marketing Strategy Showdown: SEO or PPC?

A holistic approach to marketing means applying a well-organized, comprehensive set of tools to attain your goals, but sometimes a decision needs to be made that will prioritize one method over another. For instance, in a friendly match between SEO and PPC, who would win?

Round One

Let’s say you want to bring in more traffic to your website, and you want it to be of high quality. You want those visitors to not only come back, but also to feel that you are the best possible choice for them. How do you make it happen? Good SEO practices, such as properly written URLs, page names, anchor text, and excellent shareable content can be powerful allies here. That being said, they take time to kick in, and although SEO can work wonders for the right goals, it’s prone to struggle if it has to do all the work.

Round Two

Imagine that you’ve found your organic search visibility too temperamental to be relied upon entirely for the growth of your business. You want visibility that will be measurable and immediate, and you want it to bring you that precious traffic we mentioned earlier. Better yet, that traffic should be directed to particular places on your website. Last but not least, you want to be able to consult the numbers and adjust your plan as it moves along. PPC wins this round! With smart bidding and strategic skill, a strong set of AdWords campaigns can lock down all of the above.

Overtime

What if you select a sole winner and devote as much time and energy to it as you can? You may have chosen to invest in a heavy content plan and a rigorous overhaul of your on-page SEO factors. Or, you may have put a bulk of funds into a number of AdWords campaigns, hoping that most of them will deliver. In either of these scenarios, you’ve unfortunately lost. SEO and PPC are two of the best tools in modern marketing, but they don’t fulfill their potential unless they’re used in tandem, complementing one another to comprise a formidable holistic strategy!

What marketing methods would you prioritize for the needs and aspirations of your business? The team at CAYK is here to help you apply the tools in a way that gives you the most effective results possible. Get in touch with us at (403) 457-0072 to find out what we can do for you!