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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!

Categories
Online Marketing

Content Matters: Your Clients Are Reading Your Website

Your marketing plan can’t live up to its potential unless you have great visibility in organic search results. Without high-quality content, this will only be a pipe dream. So what does “high quality” mean exactly? For one thing, it needs to be accessible not just to you, but to your clients!

Walking in Their Shoes

You know a thing or two about what you do. From your perspective, all the basic information surrounding your profession is pretty intuitive. So let’s say you start writing a blog to fill your company website with content that will boost your traffic, organic search ranking, and notoriety. The last thing you want is for someone to visit your blog hoping to learn about your products or services only to be confronted with insider jargon. If you don’t start from the ground up in terms of what topics you delve into, you’ll lose your leads quick. This is why ensuring that your content is accessible to the layperson is so critical.

The Value of a Professional Writer

There are many aspects of your marketing plan that you can (and should) be directly involved in. However, not only are you probably too busy to write all that copy yourself, there is a need for a certain tone and style designed for a more universal audience. This is where the value of a professional content writer lies. When you partner up with a marketing team to put together a digital marketing solution, part of that solution is combining the knowledge you have about your business with the skills of a writer who can translate that into valuable, approachable content for potential and established clients alike.

A Collaborative Process

What is the nature of the collaborative dynamic between you and the writers you’ve entrusted with your content? Instead of writing the web copy yourself, work closely to ensure that your writers know the key pieces of information that you want your leads and clients to grab ahold of. If you’ve chosen the right Calgary marketing agency, they’ll be able to use that information to build a picture of what you do, one that is accurate and detailed while also being helpful to someone who hasn’t worked in your industry!

Is the content on your company’s website accessible to your audience? Creating excellent content with a universal touch isn’t always easy, but it’s one of many marketing tasks that the CAYK team can help make easier. Call us at (403) 456-0072 today for more information!

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Internet Marketing Search Engine Optimization

There’s More to Marketing Than Just PPC

We love the versatile and detail-oriented nature of an AdWords strategy, but the current digital marketing landscape is far too rich and varied to focus entirely on PPC. We’d like to run through the other superstars of the marketing arsenal so that you know what you have at your fingertips.

SEO and Search Marketing

Trying to buy your way onto search results pages with PPC isn’t the wisest or most cost-effective strategy for visibility. You’ll need to support your AdWords campaigns with diligent SEO practices so that your organic reach can compete with those of other companies. Great content with plenty of variety, smart on-page SEO, and other methods are very important!

Social Media and Community Management

No marketing strategy is complete without consideration of your wider audience, particularly with regards to how different leads and clients are linked together into a larger online community. Managing this with holistic yet detail-oriented application of social media platforms is the way to go. Engage with your followers and maintain a familiar, personal touch!

Blogs and Content

This is an important component of SEO, but its territory is rich enough to be examined in its own right. Your blog needs to strike many balances. It must provide detailed expertise while remaining accessible, have depth and variety while staying concise, and be consistent and reliable without boring your readers. Explore video content, written content, graphics, and more!

Inbound Calls and Live Chat

Many of the factors we’ve listed can be regarded as modes of communication with your leads and clients, but it’s the phone and live chat window where the most direct and personal correspondence will take place. Teaming up with a skilled team of inbound call and live chat operators will ensure that each exchange adds up to a competitive client experience.

Smart Branding

Even if you’ve covered all of the above, you’re missing one more key ingredient: branding. Utilize every resource you can to built an attractive, approachable, and distinct brand for yourself. Everything from the design of your site to how you use modern forms of content like video will contribute to an image that will be remembered, respected, and preferred!

With so many tools at hand, it’s inspiring to imagine all the possibilities available to you. CAYK aims to help you explore and utilize the best methods available, and we do it with the unique attributes of your business in mind. Get in touch at (403) 456-0072 to get started!

Categories
Internet Marketing

What’s the Difference Between the Internet and the Web?

With so many digital technologies, resources, and strategies at hand in the digital world, there are all kinds of terminologies to keep up with, many of which get mixed up and misunderstood. “The internet” and “the web” are perfect examples. Here’s how to get them straight.

The Network of Networks

Before we had the World Wide Web, we had the internet. It developed out of a need for computer networks at various institutions and establishments to share information with one another across long distances. While several computers linked to one another locally would comprise a single network, the term “internet” refers to a massive super-network of interconnected networks. Information is exchanged in various ways, and this is made possible through protocols. These are standard methods by which data is transmitted between systems. Without them, data couldn’t get anywhere and we wouldn’t have the internet!

Surfing the Web

If we were to think of the internet as the entire system of data exchanged between computers and computer networks around the world, we would think of the World Wide Web as one means of accessing certain pieces of that data. The Web uses a protocol for accessing and transmitting data called HTTP. This data is displayed in the form of web sites as viewed through web browsers, all connected to one another via hyperlinks. It’s basically the information within the internet that we access, view, and share every day. Meanwhile, things like email data or banking data are transferred over the internet in a way that isn’t directly and openly visible via the World Wide Web.

Knowing Your Stuff

While it may seem like an overly technical distinction, the truth is that it’s important to understand today’s digital marketing concepts clearly in order to stay sharp and savvy when it comes to your marketing plan. “The internet” and “the web” are often mistakenly interchanged with one another as terms, and accurate usage of these and other forms of vocabulary is a big part of modernizing and optimizing your business. When you know your stuff, you can make truly intelligent use of technology to grow and reach more people!

Keeping your business modernized isn’t quite possible without a truly modern marketing plan. The CAYK team is always at the cutting edge of today’s marketing technologies, so give us a call at (403) 456-0072 to find out how we can keep you there too!

Categories
Calgary Marketing News

Do Direct Mail Campaigns Still Work?

With so much of common marketing practice surrounding digital tools these days, it’s easy to lose sight of the methods that have been used for much longer. Direct mail is a perfect example. You may be surprised to know that it can still get the job done!

More Effective Than You Think

When combined with digital methods, the effectiveness of a direct mail campaign can be measured and tracked in ways that are similar to an AdWords campaign. If your mail directs a lead toward a specialized landing page, you’re on your way to getting great data out of a versatile hybrid approach. The upside of this over email-only campaigns is that mailouts, when designed and written well, can be a bit harder to ignore than an email in an inbox of, say, fifty or more unread messages. It also covers your bases in terms of demographics that are less attentive to email.

Addressed or Unaddressed?

Whether you want to personally address your leads depends on a few factors. Are you hoping to cover a large-scale pool of prospects in a new area and significantly raise awareness of your service? Unaddressed is better equipped to do this. Is your campaign meant to make more specific offers based on data you already have on the area and the recipient? You might want to put together an addressed campaign. Keep in mind that they each have their drawbacks. Unaddressed direct mail is less personal and can get lost in the noise of other nameless mail, and addressed material can end up at the wrong address or with the wrong person if your data isn’t up to date.

Essential Considerations

Whichever of these options you decide, there are things you’ll want to make sure to integrate into most campaigns. Firstly, when a prospect checks their mailbox, they may be confronted with a variety of campaigns from different businesses. This means yours needs to stand out. Eye-catching design and good copywriting are necessary to make sure this happens. Another indispensable component is a discount or special offer, which won’t be complete without a clear call to action. Including a worthwhile incentive could mean the difference between a conversion and your mail out in the trash!

Keeping an open mind to all marketing techniques, new and old, can bring your business to new heights. Get in touch with CAYK today at (403) 456-0072 to learn more about the possibilities!

Categories
Internet Marketing

Mobile and Your Marketing Plan in 2016

As you may know, 2015 was a benchmark year for the ever-evolving relationship between the internet and consumer mobile devices. It was the first year in history that the number of mobile-only internet usage among adults surpassed that of desktop-only usage. This year, you should plan accordingly!

The Basics

Let’s consider your site and your SEO. Firstly, the necessity of a mobile friendly site is indisputable. And we’re not just talking about a quick responsive overhaul. Your visitors will navigate your site differently and have different expectations when using a mobile device. Considering the psychology of this will be to your advantage, such as the relatively short attention spans and browsing times on mobile compared to desktop. Also keep an eye on the rise of voice search. Thanks to this and mobile devices, we’re entering an age where simple and unnatural keywords are subsiding in favor of more natural, conversational strings of information.

New Forms of Advertising

If you’re currently reluctant to take apps like Instagram and Snapchat seriously, you may want to reconsider. By the end of last year, Instagram opened its advertising capabilities to businesses everywhere. While Snapchat’s current system is still in its infancy in terms of accessibility and versatility, it’s only a matter of time before their in-progress API will make for a practical and effective mode of targeted advertising. When you consider their usership, potential behind both of these can’t be ignored. Neither can AdWords’ “mobile-preferred” function, vertical video ads tailored for phone screens, native ads placed within apps (which can often bypass adblock software), and more.

Adaptability & Creativity

In general, mobile usage should be viewed as enough of a game-changer that it should fundamentally transform the way you approach your company’s brand. It’s an opportunity for you to adapt in new and exciting ways, so be prepared to think of marketing in much more flexible and creative terms. Whether it’s the development of an app for your business to customize and streamline customer experience or the use of features like Instagram’s “Shop Now” to integrate your social profiles with e-commerce, the possibilities are always expanding. Whatever route you take, it’s clear that 2016 is only the beginning for mobile!

Is your business ready to stay current among the latest developments in digital marketing? CAYK can help you stay prepared! To fortify your brand for 2016 and beyond, give us a call at 403-456-0072 today!

Categories
Online Marketing

What to Do If You Need More Business Now

The success of your marketing plan and how quickly you get results depends on what tools you use and how. Some take time while others are more immediate. So what if you need results as soon as possible? Here are a few things you should consider.

AdWords

If you want to spark a boost in traffic and start locking down more conversions with an AdWords campaign, it’s important to have a budget, use careful strategy, and maintain feasible expectations. Bid intelligently on keywords with good search volume, write relevant ad copy that ranges from referring to specific services to covering broader terms, and focus on getting the most clicks from your budget as possible rather than splurging on high visibility. That last one is key in the early stages of a campaign, especially for a small business. High visibility does not necessarily mean more conversions, so don’t overstretch your budget and compromise your ROI!

Irresistible Offers

Making offers is a pretty flexible approach because it can be designed to both convert potential clients and retain current ones. When it comes to current clients, make time-limited special offers via email or social media campaigns. Target your offers by taking note of what services your clients rely on most often and discounting them or combining them into packages. When it comes to potential clients, offers are sometimes made in exchange for information. Trials, demos, coupons, or specified consultation offers that become available upon the completion of a form can be a great way to get those conversions rolling again.

Reflecting On Your Practices

There are many practical possibilities out there for getting your numbers back to where they should be, but what about your instincts? Marketing expertise will get you far, but no one knows your business better than you do. Take a few steps back and build a snapshot of your company when it was particularly busy. What were you doing correctly? What has changed? Is it a result of factors on the outside affecting your industry, or factors on the inside affecting your decisions? Clear and concise understanding of these considerations will allow you to adapt and get truly time-efficient results from your marketing tools!

While good things do come to those who wait, CAYK understands that sometimes you need swift marketing tactics that will help to get you back on the right foot. Call us at 403-456-0072 to find out how we can help!