Forget everything you know about sales and marketing. It’s 2016, and what worked in sales and marketing 3-years ago will not work this year. It’s just that simple.
Today, marketing and sales are really about riding the digital conversation-wave. It’s about being open to new methods of communicating far beyond the traditional forms of radio, TV, trade shows and billboards. It’s also about embracing social, value-based online platforms that provide specific solutions for the people who have an interest in what you provide.
Today’s digital era allows sales and marketing to be faster, more precise, targeted and more highly effective – if you do it right! Here’s 5 MUST KNOW’s if you are going to succeed in marketing and sales in this new digital era.
The front door of your business is no longer a door; it is a domain. Get the right domain name and ensure it is relevant, brief, descriptive, and always go for a .com where ever possible.
Invest the funds to create and maintain a successful website with every effort to ensure that your website is a sales conversion portal. Every website component should have calls to action that build your list of potential clients and generates leads.
You might spend $15 – $20 G’s to have it designed properly the first time. But this ensures you have a website that you can update and modify yourself. It will give you control and allow you flexibility to make your changes as your website progresses.
Websites will become outdated in 3-4 years simply because of technological progress. Expect that when you design your website, realize that a part of your budget will be needed to upgrade or build a new website 3 years from now.
Focus on CONTENT and VALUE in your website. Websites are no longer solely about who you are and what you do; they are far more about the VALUE you bring to your clients.
Be an expert in your field. Ensure you are constantly providing potential clients with valuable information that will enhance their businesses and lives. Make sure you have a compelling offer that is more efficient, more valuable and incredibly innovative. Show them the “why” of what you are doing. Be in “their world”, and ensure you are meeting their goals, overcoming their challenges, and supporting their successes. It’s all about “them”.
Get smart with SEO. This is Search Engine Optimization, or we might say, it’s what happens when you “Google it”. SEO is probably the most important aspect of your website and its content.
When you look for something online you simply put in a keyword or key phrase (s). It is your responsibility to ensure that your products and services show up in the prime locations when you google that product or service. Potential clients can’t afford the time to look for you; you have to be there on Google search – right on top!
What’s the best way to consistently be on top? Invest in Google Ad Words, or organically produce content that consistently ranks high on Google. SEO is the path to being seen and available on Google and other search engines. It’s like the telephone book of years ago, and it’s your place to be found. If you’re not on page 1 on Google, you have already lost the game. Get SEO savvy and win the search game!
Sponsored content is the king of all search engine solutions. It’s the answer to being found, building credibility and being seen as an expert in your field. Sponsored content combines useful information that aims to engage the reader early in the buying decision process. It’s the background, the confidence builder, the avenue to encouraging and motivating buying decisions.
Yes, you have to pay for sponsored content and it’s well worth it. It gets you out there on your website, then onto other aggregated web platforms and out there on social media. What that means, is that for the first time in digital marketing history you can get your message to build millions of impressions online, in a matter of weeks or sooner.
You can build a sales funnel of specific, relevant buyers like never before. You pave the way for sales using unprecedented methods.
Sponsored content is advertising for your business that looks and reads like an editorial. It makes perfect sense because nobody wants to be “sold” something, but everyone wants something of value that will enhance their experience at work or in life.
The tone and look of sponsored content blends into a publication’s editorial content and is VALUE focused for the readers. It’s not advertising based, it is information based. It has the flexibility to include not only text but graphics, charts, info-graphics, video’s, audio clips, webinars and much more.
The cost of sponsored stories varies depending on the publication and the promotional package that you choose. Choose publications that are established, reputable and have a plan for aggregating (sharing with other publishers to expand your reach).
Sponsored content on a blog may run less than $1,000, while sponsored content for a reputable publication may cost between $12,000 and $25,000 per story. For example story rates for Forbes’ Brand Voice range from $150,000 for two months (five posts minimum) to $100,000 per month for a package that includes home page placement, special feature opportunities, influence engagement, and more.
Unlike old forms of advertising you were not quite sure who saw your advertising or if it was effective. Whereas, with sponsored content you will get an accurate picture of engagement. Sponsored content is trackable by monitoring traffic on your site, reviewing time spent reading the story, the amount of lead generation, and social media engagement and interactions. As well, sponsored content aggregators support the dissemination of your stories to other publishers, which expands your reach and again is trackable. Ensure you aggregate content in relevant locations and with relevant publishers.
Sponsored content is a science. It is powerful and revealing. You can test-try content to match your buyer’s wants and needs with strong headlines, different lead in pictures, and informative stories. These strategies can be modified and changed as you build and grow your content. The process is trial and error until you find the most effective strategy.
When mapping out your marketing budget, consider a broad-spectrum approach that includes stories that have multiple channels of dissemination. The power that one story has is incredible. It can go on your website, to other publishers websites, on social media, as well as e-mail marketing, print advertising, and other channels that your company may use.
With multiple channels delivering your message to the right markets, the mix of multimedia solutions may give your ROI the boost it needs.
Sponsored content works extremely well for selling products and services, attracting investors, scouting for potential partners, hiring, employee engagement, corporate credibility, contribution and much more.
The number of ways you can build your business with the digital revolution is as endless as your imagination. Have fun!
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