Marketing Automation for Small Business: A Complete Guide

Marketing automation has seen a meteoric rise over just the last few years. What was once deemed necessary only for large companies is now used by companies regardless of size or industry.

With 80% of marketers reporting that marketing automation helped them increase leads which contributed to a 14.5% increase in sales productivity, it's easy to see why this technology has been widely embraced.

Read on to learn about marketing automation for small business.

What is Marketing Automation for Small Business?

The problem is that marketing automation sounds like the worst kind of marketing; impersonal and robotic. This could not be further from the truth. Marketing automation makes it easier to treat customers according to their unique needs. This is better than treating them as if they're all the same.

Marketing automation tools are software that take over repetitive marketing actions. Consider the time it takes you to manage your social media accounts or set up your email marketing campaigns. Marketing automation helps you complete these tasks more effectively so you can focus on actually running your business. This also allows you to pursue tasks that actually move the needle for your business, instead of being caught up in the minutia.

Unfortunately, marketing automation will only get you so far. You'll still need to participate in your marketing efforts with things like creating a great content strategy and testing your email campaigns. The best way to think about marketing automation is to see it as a supplement to your marketing plan.

The Benefits of Marketing Automation

You don't need to be a marketer to take advantage of the benefits of marketing automation. With more tools at your disposal than ever, it's easy for a small business owner to get started and enjoy the following benefits and more.

You Can Spend Less Time on Marketing and Focus On Your Business

The biggest benefit of marketing automation is that it takes over some of the repetitive daily marketing tasks. If you have a social media or marketing manager, that's great. But if not, how many hours a day are you spending on social media or writing individual emails to your clients? What about follow ups?

Imagine if you had to sit down every hour to post on Twitter, every other hour for Facebook and once or twice a day to Instagram. For each of those posts, you need to write the copy, find an image (or edit it for performance) and then post to the correct account. With a social media automation tool, you can spend an hour at the beginning of the week creating and scheduling those posts ahead of time.

You Can Anticipate Customer's Needs

While marketers are often focused on acquiring new leads and converting them into customers, it's important to look after your current customers as well. Remember that keeping your customers is definitely cheaper than attracting new ones!

Marketing automation software offers analytics that can be used to discover insights about customer behavior. Using these insights, business owners can try to predict customer needs and offer relevant products to their customers.

One example of this is when you sign up to receive emails from your favorite consumer goods stores. When your birthday is approaching, often these companies will send you an email offering you a discount on a product as a way to say happy birthday.

You Can Monitor Your Campaigns

Marketing automation software tracks a variety of data for your campaigns. If you're not tracking the performance of your campaigns, then how can you determine if they're successful?

Social media automation software gives you much more insight than just the number of interactions or followers you have on a platform. For example, you can use analytics on Instagram to see which of your posts led to people visiting or following your profile.

Email automation software is really an absolute necessity if you're running an email marketing campaign. The software gives you data on a range of metrics. This can include the number of times your email is opened and at what time, how long people spend reading it and whether or not they are following any of the links.

You wouldn't want to be wasting time on an email campaign and learn that no one is even reading your emails!

What to Look For When Researching Marketing Automation Tools

Ultimately, it's impossible to rank marketing automation tools. It really depends on where your focus is. Some marketers are looking for tools to help with lead generation and lead nurturing.

Others are focused on customer engagement or marketing productivity. Regardless, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind when choosing the best marketing automation software for your business.

Once you've narrowed your selection down to a few tools, you need to get a full understanding of how the licensing fee will work. For example, email marketing automation software is usually charged based on the size of your email list.

Additionally, how long of a license do you need to purchase and does it need to be paid in advance?

Once you find a platform with a license that matches your business, look at how other similar companies have fared using the software. The company should be able to provide you with case studies highlighting businesses that have used their software in the past. And don't just trust the company on this one.

Request contact info for these companies so that you can get a first-hand account of their user experience.

Finally, find out if user training is included. Often it is charged separately so you'll need to factor that into your marketing budget.

Marketing Automation Will Help You Achieve Your Marketing Objectives

Lead generation through email and social media marketing is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other uses of marketing automation for small business. It's ability to improve campaign targeting and measurability will help business.

Looking for more ways to generate leads? Contact us today to talk about how you can improve your digital marketing strategy.

8 Examples of Email Nurturing Leads That Work

If you're reading this article, you're likely tired of sending out email nurturing campaigns that just don't seem to click with your leads. You not only want a method that works the first time but also continues to keep your potential clients invested down the road.

Here's the thing: your site already has good content to go on; that's how you got your leads in the first place.

Now, you just need to channel what you've got on your site into your emails.

How, you ask? Well, we've got you covered.

8 Email Nurturing Tips That Work

These lead nurturing email examples are sure to spice up your emails and keep your leads interested. Check out the list and see what you think.

Highlight Your Reviews

One thing that customers all across the market like to see are good customer reviews.

These customer reviews let potential buyers know that real people have bought your product or used your service and that they were satisfied with what they bought. Even if not all your reviews are positive, if someone can see that your responding and addressing customers' concerns, its a definite step forward. No one can run a business perfectly and showing that you consider your customers concerns is vital.

Customer reviews are so important to a lead that eConsultancy reports at least 61% of potential customers will read a review or check out a testimonial before purchasing.

Using actual clients to back up your business is a technique that continues to be reliable to this day, and it would definitely benefit you to get in on it.

Use Storytelling to Build Empathy

Humans have always appreciated a good story, and you can use storytelling to build a noteworthy image of your company and build trust between you and your potential clients.

Now this does not mean to lie to your leads.

Instead, it's actually the opposite; telling legitimate stories about your company's success will let people know of your background and what you've accomplished for your clients, and that will bring them to trust what you do.

Use storytelling to your advantage to keep your leads interested.

Keep it Plain and Simple

Studies have shown that the best way to keep your leads invested is by just being simple.

In fact, it's further stated that the more unnecessary pictures and other non-text material you have in your email, the more likely you are to lose your potential customers. There is no need to overbuild.

So, in this sense, less really is more.

The best way to go is to write short messages to the client that encourages them to read the entire email and leaves them wanting to know more.

Try Out a Fun Video

People love to watch videos (it's kind of a big deal now) so why not grab the attention of your leads by making some video footage of your own?

Videos benefit you in two ways: one, they get out your ideas out in a way that anyone can understand, and two, you can use them to visually showcase what your company is about and the products you offer.

Videos are quickly becoming the median of choice for growing businesses, and it's about time you hopped on the bandwagon and made a couple yourself if you have not already.

Send Them Articles From Your Blog

Sending your leads articles that pertain to your business is a great way to keep them interested.

First off, you're reminding them through articles about the services you offer, which in turn reminds them of why they joined or followed you in the first place.

Secondly, you fill your potential clients in on intricate details about the services you offer, and how exactly your current clients (and by extent, your leads) benefit from these services.

This is a really good idea for those who want to share content but don't know what exactly to place in their email to keep the attention of their leads.

Tie Your Services to the Holidays

There are absolutely no occasions that bring in more money for business than the holidays. Why not tailor your emails around these days?

People are always more willing to buy products and services during the holidays, and your leads are no different.

They're already interested in what you have to offer; you just need to convince them that your product is worth buying on the special occasions, and you'll have new clients in a flash.

Never Forget Your CTA

It's a known factor that people like to click on things. In fact, the average person is known to click on a link before they've even fully read or understood the text leading up to it.

This doesn't mean you should slack on your writing, but it does mean your call to action is every bit as important as the text itself.

The leads who click on your CTA are genuinely interested in learning more, so make sure they have something worth their click.

Add All the Visuals

Some people like their emails Plain Jane. Others, however, do not.

If you're one of those people who need all the visuals, that's OK - we can assure you that your leads will like them, too.

Keep in mind that visuals can be harder to pull off because you have to make sure your creative template doesn't end up being one artistic mess (and at this point it's no longer artistic but just confusing).

As a piece of general advice, try to have your email match the feel of your actual site. So for example, if the site is poppy and colorful, make your email be just as poppy, and if the site is more professional, make your emails look like that. You want congruency more than anything.

Your artistic vibe will definitely keep your leads interested and will make you stand head and shoulders above the competition.

Check Us Out

Now you know everything there is to email nurturing ideas, and you can try out a few of your own to see which one fits you.

Want to learn more? Why not check us out? We know a thing or two about creating email leads...but you don't have to take our word for it.

When it comes to creating lead nurturing emails, we are the best at what we do. We cover all sorts of categories that focus on the lead building process, and our techniques are proven to get you the results you need.

Have any questions for us? Send us an email or give us a call, and we'll be more than happy to help you in any way we can!

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Shoppers Psychology Online and Offline (Infographic)

Infographic credit

Analytics: A Guide to Google Metrics


If this is your first time using Google Analytics and tracking metrics, it can get a little confusing. Do you know where to start when it comes to Google metrics? Do you know which metrics to observe first and which ones really don't matter?

Proper use of Google metrics can absolutely make or break your online business venture. Google's Analytics tool is the choice most online businesses use to track how their venture performs. An estimated 50 million sites use Analytics to track performance.

The first thing to note is that there are three main branches of metrics to study.

Three Types of Google Metrics

While there are many metrics to look at, you can group them all into three main branches:

These three types of Google metrics determine how people discover your site, what they do when they get there, and if you're earning or reaching specific goals with those visitors. Every metric leads into one of those three categories.

Acquisition Metrics

Numbers that focus on telling you how people discovered your site and where they land are acquisition metrics. These metrics will tell you:

The last bit is important to dissect. Channels can refer to a wide number of factors. People can enter your pages through social media traffic, direct traffic, or referral traffic. You'll want to see if they got to your site through organic searches or from PPC advertisements.

You can also check which links drove the most traffic, or which links don't receive as much attention. You can also track which social media accounts brought in the most views and active sessions.

Behavior Metrics

Once people find your business site, what do they do there?

Do they spend time looking around? Do they find what they need, make a purchase, and leave? Is your site possibly not intuitive enough that people leave after landing on one page?

Behavior metrics can help you determine all this and more! Analytics will help you keep track of things like:

These metrics will inform you what aspects you need to improve and how useful your site's design, SEO strategy, and content resonates with your visitors and overall audience.

Conversion Metrics

People find your site and spend some time on it. Do you profit or reach specific goals when these visitors go through your pages? Conversion metrics help determine whether you're hitting the results you need to find further success.

It's first important to note that you can keep track of two different things: goals and eCommerce ratings. You can do so with metrics like:

Goals are things you set yourself, like reaching 10,000 blog shares or 500 comments on a post. eCommerce ratings are more complex to analyze but when set them up you can keep track of how much you earn per day, which products earn you the most, and more!

Boost Your Metrics Now

People use Google search 2.3 million times per minute. Landing on top of those searches is no easy goal. Even if you do, you need to discover if visitors interact with your site the way you want them to.

Using these Google metrics is the key to achieving these goals and better performance.

Don't wait until your site is dying to improve these metrics. Start right now and boost your performance to get more conversions.

If you don't know where to start or if you're a little confused on all the terms, contact us and we'll lead you forward with our strategies.

How to Create a Digital Marketing Plan

Free Digital Marketing Plan


Video Transcript:

What's up guys? This is Zack from HookLead. We’re starting a new year, we're wrapping up the end of January and I'm sure most of you being business professionals have big goals for this year, right? So today we want to talk about a marketing plan, putting together a marketing plan and strategy in order to hit your goals.

If you say, I'm right here by the end of the year, I want to be right here, how are you going to get there? As the famous Jim Rohn used to say, “for things have to change, you have to change.” And essentially in a nutshell, what that means is if you expect to get here and you're here, if you're planning on doing the same thing you did last year but not different in higher results may not happen for you. Right? So in order to, to figure out how you're going to succeed, you need to put together a plan, a roadmap of blueprints and strategies.

A good place to start is to just brainstorm, right? Let's figure out like what are all the different things that we could and should do this year in order to get us more traffic, more leads, more conversions, more sales map. Just write it all down. Just brainstorm. Write it all down. Right? And then what you want to do next is kind of figure out, OK, well it's not like we can necessarily just jump right into doing all the things you could I guess, but it could be time intensive. It could be a big investment. Not necessarily saying that you couldn't or shouldn't do that, just figuring out where to start and the best place to figure out what a start is after you've outlined all the stuff, all the different ideas to take it from here to there. Identify about two, three, four quick wins.

What I mean by that are what can you do right now that can move the needle the most, the fastest, especially if it requires a little more minimal effort and comparison to the other thing. So for example, what that could be is say your website gets decent traffic already, right? But maybe you're just not getting very many leads or sales from your traffic. I'm just think about conversion opportunities, right? Do you have an exit intent pop up in place? So if people are coming to your website, they're not converting, they go to leave. What if you put a pop up and then place that promoted an ebook? All yes for was name and email. At least you're getting a prospect as opposed to getting nothing. You can nurture that prospect through your marketing automation sequence. You can nurture them through your retargeting campaign just to move them along, better to get something than nothing because traffic is earned either through time or money or both.
Right? So every click, every visitor, if they're targeted as a potential prospect and it's something you want to maximize. I've seen a lot of websites that only have maybe one conversion opportunity in place. I might have, you know, a real estate site might have forced registration and a contact us page. Right? What about all the other people that hit the website that aren't ready? Right? The need a few more touches before they feel comfortable giving information over to your brand, right? That's really good opportunities to have. Top of funnel offers, e-books, white papers, premium videos, you know, case studies, different things like that. It's the value trade, right? Nurture them along. Think about what are the quick wins on other ideas. What if you're sitting on a database that you already have a lot of leads, right? And maybe your sales team is, you know, kind of maxed out with time at the moment, but those leads are sitting there.

You could have a handful of customers in your database if only someone would work. If you're short on time, if you have bandwidth issues, why not put together a strategic marketing automation, lead nurturing campaign to, you know, reach out and start touching people and move them along. So again, put together all your, all your ideas. Identify about two, three, four quick wins that you can do right now to move the needle the most with minimal effort. And then start thinking about how to stack your strategy out for the rest of the year. So for example, uh, if, if like for real estate for example, right, we're heading in the spring, it's a good busy time for real estate professionals. That might be a time to say, all right, let's promote our listings on Facebook Ads. Let's run some Google AdWords to catch buyers, and then thinking long term, let's start getting our CEO in place now knowing that we're going to dial back or paid advertising in the fall.

And by that time our CEO be kind of ramping up, right? So just be strategic, think about all the things you want to do, what's the best timing for each, and where do you begin with a quick winds? Now, if you're kind of struggling with, OK, this all sounds great, Zack, but you know, I don't know if I can necessarily put together a successful marketing plan myself. Reach out to us. We have a link below that. If you would like to talk to us about helping with the marketing plan, helping identifying those quick wins, please hit the link below and we'll be happy to talk to you about what is a good strategy to help you reach your goals and crush your goals for 2018. Again, this is Zack from HookLead, hope y'all have a good a good week. Thanks. Bye.


Why Your Lead Nurturing Campaign Failed

Are you looking to build up your customer and client base online?

Despite lead generation becoming an increasingly popular marketing strategy, did you know that 70% of marketers still say that converting leads is their top priority?

While lead gen can be a powerful tactic for businesses in numerous niches, failure to nurture those leads into sales will do nothing positive for your company's bottom line.

If you're seeing poor results for your lead generation campaigns, your lead nurturing may be the culprit.

Here are 10 reasons that your lead nurturing campaign can fail and how to fix it!

1. Your Content is Weak

Evaluating the content in your content marketing should be the first step in diagnosing lead nurturing campaign problems.

Lack of quality content or an abundance of poor content can be your worst enemy when it comes to converting leads.

In order to build trust with your leads and warming them up for a sale, make sure that all of your content resonates with them.

Be the business that answers their questions, solves their problems, and is the most valuable resource they have.

2. The Path
Isn't Customized

While marketing automation tools absolutely make lead generation a more systematized and seamless process, they can also cause issues in lead nurturing campaigns.

Once you have a strong understanding of your customer personas, customize the follow-up path to suit each.

For example, the nurturing messaging for a home buyer would be different than that of a commercial real estate investor.

3. Your Lead Nurturing Campaign Has No Personality

The issue with a lead nurturing campaign that has no personality is tied directly to your content.

Oftentimes, this problem will manifest with content that is overly sales-y, with bland copy and lacking any expertise or personal connection.

As mentioned earlier, in lead nurturing you want to build trust in your brand. Don't go for the immediate quick sale.

Write your content in an approachable, friendly voice and be prepared to actually answer inquiries by email personally.

4. Not Using Appropriate Call-To-Action

Some types of lead nurturing content fall flat simply because you're not giving the leads a path to purchase.

Having clear calls-to-action can alleviate this problem immediately, even in your first welcome email sequence.

For example, simply asking a lead to reply to your email is a great, simple call-to-action.

A passive type of call-to-action could be an email footer that sends leads to a variety of places such as a product page, social media profiles, or contact form on your website.

5. You're Not Targeting Lead Behaviors

With marketing automation systems becoming more advanced each day, personalizing your nurturing based on lead behavior is a reality and a huge benefit.

Spend some time determining what type of action on a lead's part elicits a specific response from your marketing team.

Targeting messaging based on behavior is just another way of making your content more personal and your brand more trustworthy.

6. Not Researching Customer Personas

Failing to do proper customer research will deflate even the most attractive lead gen campaign.

Before beginning the process of developing a lead magnet and putting your nurturing systems into place, you'll need to spend a considerable amount of time getting to know your ideal customer.

There are plenty of online tools to help accomplish this task. For example, if you're using paid traffic like Google Adwords or paid social, a keyword planner of Facebook's Audience Insights can be immensely helpful.

7. Not Qualifying Leads

While conventional wisdom might assume that lead qualification is the result of a lead nurturing campaign, it is actually a very important part of the process.

If your nurturing campaigns are just not producing an ROI, the leads you're generating may not be the right fit for your audience. This will bring you back to the customer research phase.

To help with qualifying leads, be sure to segment your lists and pay close attention to analytics.

From there, you can make educated decisions about which audiences you should continue to pursue and which you should leave behind.

8. Weak Follow-Up and Not Retargeting

While it's important not to overwhelm the inboxes of new leads with constant emails, your follow up email sequence is a must have.

If you expect leads to convert to sales after opting-in to a lead magnet two months ago with little to no follow-up, think again.

Speaking of paid social advertising, plan to set up custom audiences based on your list segments. This will allow you to run retargeting advertising campaigns on Facebook for additional nurturing.

9. You're Not Welcoming Leads In

Speaking of follow-up, it goes without saying that if you're not welcoming your leads into your funnel, there's a good chance they'll go cold.

Your welcome message should be the first step in your follow-up during lead nurturing email sequence, as mentioned above.

For example, a simple automated email after a lead opts in for your lead magnet can make all the difference to whether a person interacts with you later.

Timing is everything in sales and a lead nurturing campaign is no different. Don't be a lazy marketer. Make your welcome messages prompt.

10. Not Optimizing Your Lead Magnet

Last but certainly not least, remember that your lead magnet is at the very top of your sales funnel.

Think critically about whether your lead magnet is working as a catch-all to solve a BIG problem for your ideal customers.

If you optimize your lead magnet and make it as visible as you can, you'll see an influx of leads that are more likely to convert with less nurturing.

Turn Leads Into Customers!

Now that you've got an arsenal of lead nurturing ideas to patch the holes in your strategy, take time to determine the weak spots in your lead generation campaigns!

Have you covered all these points, but are still having problems with your campaign? Let us know in the comments!

If you're not sure where to start with a lead nurturing campaign, get in touch with us and we'll help you set up a solid strategy!

5 Mistakes That Are Killing Your Digital Marketing ROI

Digital marketing has become the marketing focal point for small businesses.

But many businesses sabotage themselves trying to attain digital marketing ROI. You must avoid the most common mistakes to drive revenue for your business.

You may have the most modern digital marketing strategy in your niche.

But the biggest investments don't always pay off. You need more than the best 'marketing mix' to produce measurable, consistent results.

Your marketing strategy needs to focus on driving business value. But most businesses don't know how to measure their digital marketing ROI.

These businesses can't see their problem areas and continue to fail.

You can get the most from your investment and maintain a positive sales trajectory. You can study your results and improve marketing practices as well.

You must prevent the most common missteps before you can turn marketing into a profit driver.

Digital Marketing ROI for Losers

You're making big investments in your digital marketing team and technologies. If you're preparing to make marketing a revenue driver, you're not alone. 70% of marketers believe marketing is the primary driver of revenue.

Before we talk about how your business can succeed, let's talk about how it can fail.

First, know that the digital marketing space is all-out war. You're fighting for search rankings and fleeting attention within your target audience.

You may have a winning digital marketing strategy. You may have the right team and technologies as well. But they need to fail and learn from those failures before that revenue dream comes true.

Most marketing teams don't know how to link testing and performance to business results.

"New metrics and measurement techniques, facilitated by pervasive technology, are abundant," says SiriusDecisions. "Despite this, few CMOs can link activity to real business impact."

Your marketing teams will fail. Your responsibility is ensuring they learn from those failures. Do this and you'll be successful where your competitors fall short.

The 5 Major Failures of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is cyclical. Many companies fail to bounce back from early missteps. Other companies can't detect if they're failing at all.

These five big marketing mistakes prevent teams from improving techniques and performance. Avoid these traps and take our suggestions to move your business forward.

1. Failure to Prepare Teams for the Digital Marketing Cycle

Your team may be confident in their digital marketing strategy. They may have identified the best channels to engage your target market as well. But when they begin, how will they know when they've succeeded?

Most companies don't prepare their teams for how much they'll need to adapt their techniques as they go. Many companies don't have tools in place to help them. If your content isn't performing and nobody knows it, you're losing out on your investment.

Your content should evolve as your marketing campaigns continue. You should be adjusting how you approach different channels as well. It may seem economical to use the same content across channels, but you're losing money if it isn't working.

Be sure to challenge your digital marketers to develop winning content. You must trust them and approve new content quickly. Timeliness speeds up progress and more opportunities to improve.

But you can't improve digital marketing if you don't know how well it performs. The majority of marketers can't align their campaigns with real business results. But we'll discuss methods to get ahead of the competition.

2. Failure to Use Testing, Measurement, and Analytics Correctly

You can't avoid failure if you don't know it's happening.

You must measure the success of all your digital marketing initiatives. Do it in real time to get the best performance insights.

Many digital marketing channels have built-in metrics. These include Google and Facebook Ads. They provide in-depth pictures into your performance.

You can improve channel-specific content based on these results. But they don't provide a greater picture of your market impact. And many of the metrics you need are less straightforward than you think.

For example, you should check campaign performance across all channels for a holistic view. You must understand your brand impact across social channels in this case. Use the right tools to measure visibility, audience, and engagement in these areas.

3. Failure to Use Inbound Marketing Effectively

Most companies can't align digital marketing with the inbound process. This is especially damaging to digital marketing ROI. Marketers can't improve methods if they don't have visibility into the engagement process.

You need solutions that track performance from campaign launch to sale. This will help you identify where your leads fell off. You can adjust your messaging and target for better alignment with sales.

Marketing and sales have different disciplines. But the messaging you send out to the market must carry over to the sales team. Your leads shouldn't have expectations on which sales can't deliver.

4. Failure to Nurture Leads During the Customer Journey

Many companies fail to use the inbound methodology with success. That's because they don't understand how content affects the customer journey. They then don't understand why incoming traffic doesn't translate into sales.

Your marketing team should be offering value-added content to your audience. This will attract prospects to the sales funnel.

But most marketers fail at this point. They don't know how to properly nurture needs. They aren't able to transition qualified leads to sales.

Inbound marketing should be a component of your greater marketing strategy. There are a lot of components you'll need to improve as you go. Measuring performance throughout the inbound process helps you improve your entire digital strategy.

5. Failure to Delight and Turn Customers into Advocates

Personalization is another oversight among many marketing teams. This applies to both inbound prospects and nurturing existing customers. Your marketing team must also turn existing customers into advocates.

Once you've converted leads into customers, you should know a lot about them. You should continue to delight them as they do business with you. You should personalize messages for them if they have not engaged with you for a while.

You can also leverage existing customer data to improve your inbound digital strategy. But you need the data on what brought you their business in the first place. You need the data surrounding their conversion as well.

Then, find better targets in your audience and continue refining your strategy. Digital marketing ROI comes from patience and diligence. Your efforts become less strenuous as your strategy and business improve.

The Best Tools for Digital Marketing ROI

Your marketing team needs a lot of resources. Get the marketing, lead generation, and design tools they need from a single partner.

HookLead focuses on business value, helping you get quality leads that turn into sales. Contact us now for a free consultation on boosting your digital marketing ROI.

5 Lead Conversion Tips You Need To Know Today

How To Structure An Effective Content Marketing Strategy Framework

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Hey, what's up guys? This is Zack from HookLead. Today I'm going to talk about content marketing. I'm here to tell you from experience that first off, content marketing works, works very well, but it only works well if you have a solid strategy behind it. I'm just producing content for the sake of producing content will not get you very far and you'll waste a lot of time and effort and, and you won't really see the fruits of your labor. The strategy is, I wouldn't say it's everything because you have to have good content, but the strategy makes a huge part and the success or failure of your content marketing campaign. So not just for content marketing, but for any marketing for that, for that matter, you always want to begin with persona research. So figuring out who is your target audience, who are your buyers, right?

You want to learn everything you can about them and create buyer profiles around every single one of them. You're likely gonna have several, but she want to, instead of just saying, hey, anybody is great for service or a product, you really want to kind of get much more specific. Right? Who are they, what's their demographic information? What's their age range, their income, do they have families or they retire, do they live and in the suburbs to they live in the city, for example. what are their frequently asked questions or common objections? How do you help them, where do they hang out? You want to compile all of that together into a nice a buyer persona and then you can take that information and honestly, a lot of it, a lot of the information that you get out of there is going to be content ideas for your strategy, especially when it comes down their frequently asked questions.

Because if you think about the buying process, especially online, if this is a buying process, the first part is research. Where do they do research now online? What are they researching questions, that's where they start when they're kind of in the awareness phase, when they, when they know that they may need something, I'm there researching before they start comparing and before they pull the trigger, frequently asked questions are a great way to address that research mode, get your brand in front of them and just go ahead and start the process of delivering value and, uh, and sucking them into your funnel. So start there and then start mapping out your content strategy. Right? So you want to do that. I'm keeping a couple of things in mind. First, what kind of information is going to be helpful for your buyers or for your target audience.

It's going to help them with their buying process, what's going to answer their questions, what's going to help them with their research when they are comparing different things. Common objections, it's an opportunity to kind of overcome some of those with content. Make it easier on your sales process. And increase those conversion rates and number two, and this part is very important as you want to have a keyword strategy because content is very powerful for SEO, for search engine optimization. So what you want to do here is have a keyword strategy. You want to go after long tail keywords. For example, you wouldn't want to optimize around the word real estate, for example, great neighborhoods for families in suburban Chicago, something to that nature.

So just very specific, that gets after the long tail. Reason being is, you're not going to get a ton of search volume from that, bu the chances of ranking for phrases like that is going to be much better. So when you kinda think in aggregate, you're publishing posts after post after post over time, even if you're getting a small little bit of traffic from each one, all those added up over a year or two can really snowball into a lot of super targeted traffic. When you're doing your keyword research as well, thinking about the buying process, so have content for when they're in the awareness stage or when they're researching, when there a consideration stage when we were kind of pitching your product or service versus other options. And then the decision phase, what kind of content is going to help them ultimately bring them in and pull the trigger, what kind of searches are they doing when they're ready to buy, the keyword queries and research mode and decision and buying mode are going to be much different.

Right? So keep all that in mind and and go ahead and map out your content calendar for, I'd say probably do it on a quarterly basis if you do it every ninety days. That gives you the opportunity to have planning and have a strategy and have something to execute over the next several months. But it also gives you the flexibility to pivot if something comes up as far as a current event or just something that you want to kind of jump on to get content out there. And also thinking about content in regards to obviously you want written content, blog posts, articles, but video is a very strong piece of content now. Graphics, images, different things like that. So you don't necessarily have to handcuff yourself to only blog posts, right? You can kind of break it up.

Also write for a, just kind of knowing how people's attention spans are. So for example, when someone gets on a page nowadays, your content has to pass the scan test. So what that is, is they're going to hit the page, they're going to read the title, OK? There's a title, make me want to at least scan the page to see if I want to read it. If yes, then they scan the page to kind of pass a scan test. Do you want to have sub-headings? So instead of having 500 words of content is all paragraphs, add subheadings, right? That way they can scan and say, OK, yeah, I want to know more about that. Then I go back up to the top and they'll read it. So having subheadings helps pass the scan test to keep them on your page a little longer.

That's great for Seo because there might be opportunities for key words within those and then also be sure to always include a call to action at the end of your articles. So it could be, and again, you want to map your call to action to where they are in the process. So if it's like an awareness research, maybe it's a download an ebook or a white paper or watch a free video or something like that. If it's a consideration phase, kind of middle of the funnel, maybe that's a demo or a in depth white paper or a comparison chart between yourself and competitors. I'm this kind of thing about like their buying process. What kind of information would be helpful for them and then all that content you want to put behind some kind of a wall.

For example, a top of funnel, if it's an e-book, put it behind a landing page, I've name an email, and if it's middle of the funnel, you could probably ask for their phone number, maybe another qualifier in question. The decision phase is pretty self explanatory. That's where they're gonna either become an official lead or buy something from you or talk to them on the phone. But I'm a pretty high level, a bit, pretty in depth at the same time. That's a lot of information to get you started. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. If you need help with your content marketing and your overall marketing strategy altogether, please reach out to us. This is Zack from HookLead, thanks for tuning in. Thanks. Bye.