Do you want to grow a more profitable business online? Does your current online marketing strategy bring your more customers… or do you feel it’s just eating up your time & financial resources?
Click on this short presentation to see if you should invest your time in reading this article (P.S.: If you want to learn how to boost your business profits through a results-driven content marketing strategy WITHOUT losing time & money, then just skip to the article – it’s definitely for you!).
Australians are officially online. Yet not quite…
Australians are no longer hungry for an online presence; 93% of Australian marketers already use content marketing to promote their businesses. But here’s where they hit a wall: while 81% of Australian marketers publish more content in 2014 than they did only a year ago, 44% of them are challenged with producing content. Running out of ideas, that is. Interesting? That’s just the peak of the iceberg. An impressive 41% of these people admit it’s very difficult to create ENGAGING and RELEVANT content for their target audience. Again, running out of ideas for content. Yet… Australian marketers are confident in the results online content marketing can bring them. This is why 69% of them plan to increase their marketing budget over the next year.
Why do you need to know all these statistics?
A lot of the business owners I work with confess that they are skeptical at first when it comes to investing their time and hard earned money in online marketing. They’re not sure about the results they can get. Thinking that their competitors are already online, they automatically assume that all their prospects are “taken”. But that’s where Australian business owners are wrong. There’s a glitch in the system. And that glitch is your chance to have your business shine online. Wanna jump at this chance? Then keep on reading…
The 8 (still ignored) backbones of a profitable online business
A great number of Australian marketers realise the uber-importance of being online, but few of them know HOW to be online. To help you, I created a list of the 8 most important elements of a successful online marketing strategy. My opinion is you should implement at least half of these 8 pillars in order for your business to start bringing in some serious dough. Share the 8 Backbones of a Successful Online Business with your friends on Twitter:
I’m starting my list with the least important and going up to the most important. But then, take only one of the 8 backbones out of the equation and you destroy the entire ecosystem…
8. Diversified Content
Creating original content is the main challenge marketers are currently facing. Can you believe that the first 5 content marketing tactics used by Australians are ALL in written formats?
1. Website articles in written format, 84% 2. Newsletters, 82% 3. Social media posts (not including blog posts), 84% 4. Blog posts, 80% 5. Guest articles, 72%
Let’s be honest… who will read all this? Windows of Opportunity For You: Luckily for you (and sadly for the industry), these interactive tactics are less used:
1. Podcasts, 20% 2. Webinars and webcasts, 41% 3. Infographics, 43% 4. Digital Magazines, 30% 5. Mobile Content, 42% 6. Online presentations, 49% 7. Videos, 71%
The first 5 are not even in the top 10 content marketing tactics…! So yes, you must learn to diversify your content. If you want to find out more about creating content in multiple formats on a shoestring budget starting with ONE simple video, read my article. (P.S.: using these tips, you only need 1½ hours per week to create 2 or 3 pieces of content for your website!)
7. Optimised for Mobile
I always tell my clients: you MUST have consistent branding across all marketing platforms. When someone sees one of your business profiles they should recognize your brand immediately, regardless of whether it is a social media profile, an email newsletter, your website. Regardless of whether they’re accessing this information from a laptop, tablet, smartphone or desk computer.
Here’s why this is so important:
1. 90% of smartphone owners in Australia use their devices to access the internet on a daily basis. 2. Of the total population of Australia (22.2 million), 18.1 million are internet users. An impressive 12.8 million of them are active Facebook users. 3. Australians spend about 2 hours on social media per day. There is a 73% social media penetration of the total population, with 55% of people using social media apps from their smartphones. 4. 78% of smartphone users research products via their smartphone and a whopping 90% use their smartphones to search for local information
Every tool/platform/program you’re using to market your business needs to be representative of your brand, starting with your website and ending with your business’ social media profiles. Are these trends taking the marketing industry by surprise? Not really. But you still have some open windows… Windows of Opportunity For You:
- Use response-generated copy in every piece of content that you send out to your prospects (learn more about copywriting here)
- Have a responsive website done for you, or at least ask your designer & programmer to create a mobile website
- Brand all your promotional materials; include your logo / signature / slogan / profile picture in: email newsletters, ebooks, on your website, in articles and illustrations, on social media profiles, etc.
- And before anything else, choose and build your OWN business personality and brand identity
These are all practices that are (or at least should be) used in every online marketing strategy, by every business. However, you cannot talk about a content marketing strategy without having these basic elements. Once you’ve checked they’re there, read on…
6. Irresistible Databases
Content marketing is still a kind of myth for many marketers. Most of them (79%) use content marketing for brand awareness. Meh. Windows of Opportunity For You: Only 37% of Australian marketers understand that content marketing can be used for lead management and nurturing. This is your chance to shine:
- Content marketing is a great resource to gather more contact information from leads: on social media profiles, through optin boxes, landing pages, etc.
- Using different online marketing practices you can transform leads into prospects and then into clients. To start with, nurture your database with regular email newsletters that use response-generated copy.
- Take advantage of email autoresponders and create a marketing funnel that pours more sales into your business
- Make the most of your database by building a relationship with your subscribers: ask them questions, tell them personal stories, use a friendly tone… be social.
- Most importantly, include a Call To Action of some sort on ALL your content marketing pieces. Be clear on the action you want them to take and TELL them to take that action.
5. Powerful Social Media Marketing
When it comes to social media marketing, Australian marketers tend to go where everyone is going: more than half of them are on LinkedIn. And most of Australian marketers use at least 5 social platforms to promote their businesses on, although they’re not sure about the effectiveness of social media marketing. Windows of Opportunity For You: Australian marketers have not yet discovered the real resource that is social media marketing. But I’m sure you know the power behind being social, don’t you? You can measure your social media success & improve your business’ social media marketing strategy through CLARITY:
- By creating a thorough analysis of the insights and statistics on every social media platform you are using for your business; this can help you decide upon the most relevant social media platform for you.
- Even though the majority of marketers prefer LinkedIn, it might not be the best option for your particular business. Understand WHERE your target audience is hanging out and make sure your brand IS there too, communicating your message.
- Create a weekly / monthly social media strategy plan for each platform you are using to market your business: include more social content and less sales content.
- Analyse your competitors’ profiles to see what they’re posting; search for their most popular posts to get some inspiration for your strategy.
- Only 10% of Australian businesses are on Instagram; if the platform is relevant to your business, jump at it. Google+ and Pinterest are also less used by marketers from Australia – but have shown to be highly effective for businesses in a large range of niches.
Like what you’re reading? Convince your boss to invest in content marketing:
4. Signature-Style Blogging
We’ve already seen that most marketers are challenged with producing content, producing engaging content, and producing diversified content. Windows of Opportunity For You: While Australians like to produce content, they hit a wall when it comes to creating engaging content. Is this one of your main content marketing challenges? Not really, since you can at these missed opportunities:
- Creating enough content: what do you understand by enough? Sometimes a single blog post published per week can suffice. It’s more important that the post is syndicated across multiple channels, shared online, and brings you traffic.
- Creating relevant content: What are the most frequently asked questions you get from your clients during 1:1 meetings? What are the fears your prospects have? What are the latest news from your industry? What are your competitors writing about? Use spreadsheets to keep an eye on all these questions, and you’ll be able to create content that interests your clients directly.
- Creating engaging content: Again, response-generated copy is of great help here. A pinch of your own personality does a lot to define your style
3. Clarity of Marketing Strategy
So here’s the top 3 backbones of content marketing. Clarity is definitely of core importance to every marketing strategy. A whopping 93% of Australian marketers say they use content marketing. And it is absolutely mind-blowing that only 33% of them say they’re using online content marketing effectively. Windows of Opportunity For You:
- Have a very clear, objective-driven marketing strategy
- Understand WHY it is important to be online (not just for the sake of it)
- Create monthly online marketing strategies; ATTN! each strategy must have a clear end goal (increase database with X new subscribers, increase number of social media followers with X, get X% increase in sales of products, introduce new products and get X sales in Y days/weeks, increase web traffic by X%, etc)
- Use numbers in your strategy – numbers & statistics are the only elements that will tell you if your strategy was a success or not
2. Sharp & Accurate Marketing Measurement
ROI and KPIs. We all know how important these are. …or not: 58% of Australian marketers say web traffic is their No. #1 marketing metric. That’s a big no-no. You can’t rate the success of your marketing by the number of website visits you get. You rate it by lead generation and sales conversion! Windows of Opportunity For You:
- Know where sales are coming from (social media, website articles, landing paages, email newsletters). Spreadsheets are super-useful for that, or you can use an Excel file.
- Use Google Analytics to keep track of sales and measure the success of your marketing funnel
- Learn how to implement and use METRICS, KPIs, MEASUREMENT TOOLS
These being said, the winner is…
1. Legendary Time Management
More than half of today’s companies outsource content marketing to a third party, be it a freelancer, a VA, or another company. No wonder.
In Australia, 48% of companies outsource their content marketing, mainly writing and design. And a whopping 66% of them admit their biggest challenge is time management. Producing enough content ranks the 2nd top challenge, with 44%. To make a point, you CAN DIY, but from my experience I can tell you: you can’t do it alone. So don’t be discouraged if you’re getting overwhelmed at times. Windows of Opportunity For You:
1. It’s super important to surround yourself with people who inspire and motivate you. But also appreciate people with a sharp understanding of one’s real boundaries. They are the ones who will push you past uncertainties and setbacks. 2. Stop wasting years of your life avoiding asking for help and working endless hours to grow your business. Hire now. No one could do things like you can. That is true. But remember you’re not hiring to duplicate yourself, you’re hiring to stop doing anything that you shouldn’t be doing, and start doing what only YOU can do. 3. Consider using experts in this area – why create a headache for yourself by trying to manage something you don’t understand fully and that ends up consuming all your time? But be careful who you choose to entrust your business’s online presence with – they can make or break your reputation.
When you reserve your time and energy for only the most important projects in your business, it is amazing what you can achieve. Clarity is of uttermost importance for every marketing strategy you implement in your business. Keeping track of the latest industry news can be a real gem for your website articles. But sometimes it’s impossible to juggle with so many hats.
- Do you feel overwhelmed with your marketing?
- What are the tools you’re using to measure your marketing success?
- Do you have enough time to create and implement your own online marketing strategy or are you thinking about outsourcing it to another party?
- If you were to hire another company to supervise your online marketing, what would be the main company features you would look at? (i.e.: website, number of followers, etc)
I can’t wait to see your answers in the Comments section below. Meanwhile, feel free to share this infographic with your business colleagues…
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