Tag: winning

How to Develop a Winning Digital Marketing Strategy in 4 Easy Steps

According to Smart Insights, 45 percent of companies don’t have a clearly defined digital marketing strategy; 17 percent of companies have a digital marketing strategy in place, but it’s separate from their marketing plan. 

This means 62 percent of companies are unprepared. 

They don’t have the strategy, tactics, or tools they need to market their business well. The bad news is that marketers waste 37 to 95 percent of their marketing budget. This is really common, but it doesn’t have to be; if you have the right digital marketing strategy in place, growing your business is easier. 

If you’re feeling unprepared, don’t worry. 

Today we’re going to cover the important ins and outs of creating a winning digital marketing strategy. 

Why You Need a Digital Marketing Strategy

Your digital marketing strategy gives your company direction. With a plan in place, you’ll have the details you need to help your company grow consistently. Your digital strategy document should: 

  1. Define your short and long term goals
  2. Show you who your customers are
  3. Show you where you can find them 
  4. Outline what you need to attract your customer’s attention
  5. Offer a step-by-step plan to attract and hold customer attention
  6. Show you how to analyze and improve marketing performance

Why go to all the trouble? 

Is it worth the time to create a strategy document? CoSchedule’s State of Marketing Strategy Report found winning marketers: 

  • Document their digital marketing strategy. Marketers who document are 538 percent more likely to achieve success than those who don’t.
  • Document their marketing processes. Those that do are 466 percent more likely to achieve success consistently over time than those who don’t.
  • Winning marketers set goals. Goal setters are 429 percent more likely to report success than those who don’t; 81 percent of these marketers achieve their goals; 10 percent of organized marketers always achieve their goals.
  • Winning marketers study their audience. These marketers are 242 percent more likely to conduct audience research four times a year. Almost 60 percent of the elite marketers featured in their study conduct audience research once or more per month.

It seems too good to be true, but it’s actually the reality.

The more time you spend thinking about your goals, getting to know your audience and planning how you’ll approach your digital marketing, the more likely you are to achieve success. 

What Should Be Included In Your Digital Marketing Strategy

I’ve already given you a sneak peek, did you catch it? 

To be successful, your digital marketing strategy should focus on four specific areas. 

  1. Setting goals, objectives, and key performance indicators (KPIs)
  2. Understanding and defining your audience 
  3. Creating and implementing your digital marketing strategy
  4. Auditing and improving your marketing campaigns 

You’ll want to break each of these areas down in enough detail so you (and your team) can work with each of these areas properly. With each of these areas, you should have a pretty clear idea about: 

  • The information, tools, and resources you’ll need to create a plan
  • Who will be responsible for creating your plan
  • Who will be responsible for implementing your plan
  • The KPIs and metrics you’ll use to measure the success (or failure) of your plan
  • The tools and resources you’ll need to implement and improve campaign performance

Each of these points needs to be defined clearly for the four steps areas above. 

Let’s take a closer look at these four areas and break things down a bit more clearly. 

1. Setting Goals, Objectives, and KPIs

This step is all about deciding what you want.. 

Planning your marketing strategy begins with setting quantitative and qualitative goals;  you’ll also want to set KPIs. These goals are sort of like the railroad tracks that keep your digital marketing strategy on the right track. 

What’s the difference between qualitative and quantitative goals?

G2 has a really helpful way of defining these, so I’m going to paraphrase their definition here. 

Quantitative goals can be counted, measured, or displayed using numbers. Goals like increasing monthly recurring revenue by 15 percent or boosting your conversion rate by 3 percent are good examples of quantitative goals.  Qualitative goals are abstract, descriptive, or conceptual — these goals are usually tied to the question “why.” Goals like increasing customer trust or improving brand reputation are examples of qualitative goals. They’re difficult to measure but just as important. 

You’ll want to make sure that your goals are: 

  • Challenging, realistic, and attainable
  • Tied to your company’s mission, vision, and values
  • Concise — 2-3 main goals 3-5 supporting goals
  • Specific, clear, and timely
  • Broken down into smaller, step-by-step milestones 

Your goals are important, but they’re difficult to achieve if you don’t have a step-by-step plan to follow. That’s where milestones come in; milestones are tactical. They’re great because you can use them to move towards your goals quickly. 

What about KPIs? 

Scoro has a list of 136 KPIs you can use to jumpstart your planning. I’ve listed a few of the more common examples you can use below.

  • Unique visitors per day/month
  • Pages per visit
  • New leads per day/month  
  • Marketing qualified leads (MQLs)
  • Conversion rates
  • Churn/attrition rate
  • Cost per conversion
  • Conversion rate per keyword
  • ROI per content
  • Click-through-rate on paid advertising

Focus is really important. 

It’ll be tough to focus on lots of metrics at once. Instead, you’ll want to focus your attention on a small number of really meaningful KPIs and metrics. 

Which ones are meaningful? 

They’re the KPIs that have the biggest impact on your company, the ones that generate consistent returns or a large amount of cash for your company. You’re looking for the 20 percent of KPIs and metrics that produce 80 percent of your results. 

That’s a pretty easy place to start. 

If you’re not sure which KPIs you should focus on, start with the common KPIs and metrics that have a direct impact on your business. These are typically metrics that focus on traffic, conversions, and optimization. 

2. Understanding and Defining Your Audience

You know what your goals and objectives are. Now you need to figure the same things out for your customer. This step requires some upfront research, but the success (or failure) of your digital marketing strategy starts here. 

Think about it. 

If you find the right customers, the people are excited to buy your product, then selling is a whole lot easier. It’s especially easier if you can understand what they want and how you can go about selling to them. So to do that, you’ll need information on your customer’s demographics and psychographics. 

What are you trying to figure out? 

  • The size of your market: You’ll want to figure out some important details about your market —is it new or established, niche or mainstream, broad or specialized. You’ll want to figure out who the major and minor players are, market expectations, areas you can disrupt, and the financial upside in your specific market. 
  • Who your customers are:  Are you targeting new moms, weekend warriors who are active on the weekends? You should have a basic idea of the customer you’re targeting. Are you focusing your attention on a specific niche, i.e., affluent travelers, price-conscious fashion aficionados? Use previous sales, competitor research, and market research sources like Ubersuggest and Google Trends to find the answer. 
  • Where they spend their time: Your customers have specific hangouts. Web developers spend their time on sites like ArsTechnica, Reddit, SitePoint, etc. New moms spend their time on sites like Babble, CafeMom, or Bundoo. If you know where your customers like to spend their time, you have a pretty good idea of the channels to target and the content to use. 
  • What they consume: This overlaps a little bit with where they spend their time. When there is an overlap, you’ll want to break the differences down even further. For example, your customers may spend a lot of time on Reddit, but this doesn’t tell you what they’re consuming on Reddit. Reddit is where they spend their time; the subreddit r/RobinHood is what they consume. See the difference? One tells you about their specific interests and desires; the other focuses on location. 
  • Why they buy: Your customers don’t buy for the same reasons. Sources like online reviews are a great way to get really helpful, in-depth feedback on why customers buy from customers themselves. You can also use tools like surveys or polls to attract responses. You’re not looking for an individual answer; you’re looking for trends. 
  • Where and how they buy: Do customers price shop offline, in your store, then order online from Amazon? Maybe your customers prefer a one-time purchase over recurring payment options? If you understand when and how your customers buy, you’ll be able to adjust your marketing around their expectations. Maybe that means persuading customers to do something different or stick with market expectations. 
  • What they need to buy: Online reviews are a helpful tool here as well. If you’re a new business, you can start with competitor reviews. Go through your competitor reviews, then make a list of the concerns brought up in each review. Look for customer objections, technology issues, complaints, reputation issues, any problem that customers felt were deal breakers. If you have reviews of your own, you can do the same thing there. 

Remember the research I shared earlier? 

Elite marketers study their audience, conducting audience research once or more per month. This step is important because it gives you the instructions you need to create a winning digital marketing strategy. Audience research shows you how to persuade your customers. 

This isn’t rocket science. 

But it requires more effort than most companies are willing to give. 

Here’s why. 

Most companies assume they already know their customers. They believe they know what their customers want and the best ways to approach them. 

They may be right. 

But the data they have on their customers changes often. Consistent research is the only way to stay on top of what your customers actually want. At this point, you’re ready for step three. 

3. Creating and implementing your digital marketing strategy

If you’ve done your homework, you should have the building blocks you need to create a well defined digital marketing strategy. You should be able to identify the marketing channels that will work best for your business. There are lots of digital marketing channels you can choose from. 

You can focus on: 

  • Content marketing
  • SEO
  • PPC
  • Display advertising
  • Email 
  • Online video
  • TV commercials
  • Mobile ads
  • Channel partnerships
  • Events 
  • Social media advertising 
  • Podcasts and radio advertising
  • Print advertising

In fact, there are more than 51 different marketing channels you can use to promote your business. Which one are you supposed to use? 

There are a few ways you can approach this. 

  1. Investing in the channels your customers use (e.g., search, social media) 
  2. Investing in the channels that give you independence and control (e.g., email, partnerships)
  3. Investing in the channels that are most common/popular (e.g., SEO, PPC, Social media) 

Start by testing the channels where there’s more overlap. 

If your customers use popular channels like Google search or Facebook, those are great places to start. If you’re looking for a channel that gives you maximum control and works well with other channels (i.e., email), you can start there. 

Don’t forget to test. 

Testing shows you what works. The tools you use for testing tend to be consistent with the channel (e.g., email comes with analytics. Google offers Google Analytics, etc.). Typically, you can branch out once you’ve identified the marketing channels that perform best for your business. 

You’re looking for stability. 

You want to get two to three channels working well before you decide to add more. Once you’ve identified your channels, use the data you’ve collected in step two to create the kind of marketing content that fits well with the customers you’ve identified.

Your content should: 

  • Attract their attention
  • Be fascinating 
  • Discuss a problem or challenge
  • Offer a solution to the problem or challenge you’ve just identified

Here’s another important detail. The research you’ve done should help you create a strong value proposition that answers the “why me?” question. Your value proposition is basically a promise. It’s the most important part of your marketing copy. 

It gives your customers a persuasive reason to do business with you. 

Your value proposition sets you apart from the competition. It gives your business an unfair advantage, and it gives you the opening you need to attract more customers, increase customer loyalty, command higher prices,  and beat your competitors. 

Here’s a detailed breakdown if you need help creating your own value proposition. 

If you’ve followed the steps I’ve mentioned above, you should have the information you need to create amazing content that draws customers in. 

4. Auditing and improving your marketing campaigns 

If you can’t measure your marketing, you can’t improve them. Part of the reason marketers waste 37 to 95 percent of their marketing budget is the lack of measurement.  Forrester’s research stated that between 60 – 73 percent of a company’s analytics data goes unused. 

Companies don’t know how to work with their data. 

  • They don’t know which problems to fix
  • They don’t know what they have 
  • They can’t see the value of their data
  • They don’t know how to evaluate or analyze their data
  • Their data isn’t available to analysts who can use it 
  • There’s too much data to go through and not enough people or time to use it

The other three steps aren’t all that helpful if you can’t see your marketing results. If you’re going to create a successful digital marketing strategy, you’ll need a plan that helps you to capture, report, and analyze the data. 

You’ll need analysts who can use your data to solve problems. 

That’s part of the problem. 

Most companies don’t have the people or processes in place to handle this. This is why it’s so important for businesses to get help. It’s too much for most companies to handle on their own — small, medium, and large companies all struggle with these issues. 

If this is the case for your organization, it may be a good idea to get help from an agency. 

You should be able to plan, implement, and optimize your digital marketing strategy.  If you can’t, it’s a good idea to get help with all or part of the process. 

Conclusion

Almost half of companies don’t have a clearly defined digital marketing strategy in place. A smaller segment of respondents haven’t connected their strategy and their marketing. Most companies are unprepared; they’re not ready to handle the requirements that come with creating their digital marketing strategy. 

If you’re feeling unprepared, don’t worry; use the information we’ve discussed as a guide. If you’re aware of the ins and outs of planning, you can create a winning digital marketing strategy in four easy steps.  

The post How to Develop a Winning Digital Marketing Strategy in 4 Easy Steps appeared first on Neil Patel.

10 Tips For Writing a Winning LinkedIn Headline

LinkedIn’s 690 million members include 180 million senior-level influencers, 63 million decision-makers and 10 million C-level executives. 

Hence, there are a lot of influential people on LinkedIn that have hiring power and purchase power. Whatever you hope to achieve from using the network, you’ll want to make a good impression.

Your headline is the first thing that people see aside from your profile picture. It’s how decision-makers will find you. It’s how you get people to notice you and what will make them want to visit your profile to learn more. Thus, it’s safe to say your headline is pretty important.

So, I thought I’d share my top tips for creating an effective headline with you. But, first, let’s look at the basics:

What is Your LinkedIn Headline?

Your headline is the tagline that appears under your name on LinkedIn and at the top of your profile page. The headline used to be limited to 120 characters. But, here’s some good news, LinkedIn extended the headline to 220 characters in 2020. So, you have a little more space to sell yourself, share your vision or whatever it is you’d like to express via your headline.

What Makes a Winning LinkedIn Headline

There are some important criteria for creating an impactful headline. The best LinkedIn headlines do the following:

Make Use of Keywords

Keywords aren’t the only thing your headline should include. But they are key to helping the right people find your profile. Keywords can include your job title, skills and areas you specialize in. Place keywords towards the beginning of your headline and then expand with further information.

Express Your Value

Expressing you or your company’s value means sharing more than the tasks you carry out. Your headline should be driven by the benefits of the services you provide and the kind of results you achieve. For example, rather than saying you do tax planning, you’d say you help businesses to save money.

Are Unique

A winning LinkedIn headline is one that stands out from the crowd. Think about how many people do the exact same job as you or offer similar services. You can give yourself a competitive edge and encourage more people to visit your profile by making your headline different.

Help You Meet Your Goals

You need to think carefully about why you’re on LinkedIn and what you hope to achieve. This should inform what you include in your headline (and the rest of your profile). If you’re not sure about what you can accomplish on LinkedIn or how to go about it, you may wish to speak with a social media consultant.

Now let’s look in more detail at exactly how you can create a winning headline:

1. Get Inspiration

By default, LinkedIn uses your job title and employer as your headline. What a snooze fest. If you want to do better, the first step is to get inspired.

Search for people in your field or who have similar roles to you. Take a look at how they’ve formulated their headlines. See what appeals to you and what doesn’t. Of course, you shouldn’t just nab somebody else’s headline. But, doing this will help you come up with ideas for how you want your headline to appear.

Also, pay attention to those who appear at the top of the search results for your industry. What keywords do they use? Note these keywords as they likely contribute to why these pros are doing so well in the search results.

2. Ask Yourself These Questions

When you decide to upgrade your LinkedIn headline to maximize its impact, it’s a good idea to have a little brainstorming sesh. Here are some questions that will guide you when you’re coming up with ideas:

  • How would you describe yourself to a new colleague if you only had five seconds?
  • What makes you different from others with the same job title?
  • Why should users click on your profile?
  • What are your most in-demand skills?
  • What are your biggest accomplishments?
  • What makes you unique?

3. Choose the Right Keywords

Include relevant keywords in your headline so that you appear in more search results. 

To do this, you’ll first need to think about who you want to find your profile on LinkedIn. A recruiter? A potential lead? Influencers you hope to connect with? And so on…

This will guide you in figuring out the right keywords to use. For example, you may include your specific skills or specialisms to get found by recruiters with the most relevant job opportunities. 

In this example, we don’t just have a “developer”, nor do we just have a “chatbot developer”, the user goes even more specific with the terms “Facebook Messenger Marketing” and “Automation Practitioner”:

Whereas, if you’re using LinkedIn to network and boost your authority, you may want to use broader terms. Your job role might be “Artworker” but in order to be found by more people, it’d be a very good idea to include the term “Graphic Design”.

4. Include Your Unique Selling Proposition

Keywords alone aren’t enticing enough to get users to visit your profile. State the value that you provide by doing what you do, in particular something that makes you stand out from the crowd.

There’s a simple formula you can use to express this: I help X do Y by doing Z. Here’s an example from an accounting consultant:

When she says “I help women build profitable businesses”, she outlines the beneficial results of her work, not just the tasks that she performs. You should do something similar.

You can also use data to drive your point home. Here an email marketer shares the average results he achieves:

There are tons of relevant data points you could include to prove your value, such as the number of customers you’ve helped achieve a particular outcome or the results of an impressive case study.

5. Share Your Achievements/Credentials

When you make self-aggrandizing claims on LinkedIn, people will either think you’re arrogant or full of it. Instead, you should go by the old adage, “Show don’t tell”. Show that you’re great at what you do via your achievements or credentials.

What’s your most impressive achievement? Have you won an award perhaps? Been featured on top media outlets? Sold a bunch of books? Grew a well-known company? Those are the kind of things you’ll want to share.

This professional shares the fact that he’s been a LinkedIn Top Voice honoree four times and sprinkles in some serious social proof by mentioning his work with Mark Cuban:

Furthermore, certain credentials that are recognized by people in your industry will give you clout. For example, in the marketing world it’s good to be Google-certified, like this pro:

Share credentials relevant to your position to show that you’re not just messing around, you really know what you’re doing.

6. Use Natural Language

Keep your headline free of jargon, particularly if you’re using LinkedIn for sales or lead generation. If a prospect doesn’t understand what you’re selling, you won’t have much luck.

Similarly, make your job title clear and simple unless you’re seeking a specific job role. Again, users you want to connect with may not understand what you do. Even if you think the term “Business Development Manager” is clear, trust me, simplifying it to “Sales Manager” is much more transparent.

Also, avoid buzzwords. After a time, every Tom, Dick and Harry will be using the same trendy terminology to describe their services. Thus, your words become meaningless.

And saying that you’re a “Guru”, “Ninja” or “Wizard” is a bit cheesy and old-fashioned. It won’t help you in the search results either. When was the last time you searched for a ninja on LinkedIn or anywhere for that matter?

Try to use simple, everyday language to explain your role or value proposition. Here’s an excellent example from a marketing professional:

Her target audience, small businesses, may not be familiar with or fully understand industry terms so she offers a straightforward, benefit-driven value proposition.

7. Don’t Put “Unemployed”

Even if you’re currently looking for a job, you shouldn’t put “Unemployed”, “Seeking New Opportunities” or similar in your headline. 

The thing is, recruiters or companies aren’t searching for the term “Unemployed” on LinkedIn. You only get a couple hundred characters for your headline, so it would be better to utilize that space for keywords that they are likely to search for, and your experience, specialisms, credentials etc.

You can show that you’re looking for work on your profile instead. At the top of your profile, you’ll see a section that says, “Show recruiters you’re open to work”. 

Simply, fill in details about the type of role you’re looking for and the location. You can even change the settings so that your current employers won’t see that you’re seeking work.

8. Share Your Mission

Maybe you’re not looking to promote yourself. Perhaps, you’re in the process of growing a startup or maybe you or your company are trying to achieve a wider goal that you want people to know about.

If this sounds like you, then you should definitely share your vision in your headline. In this example, the professional shares what he does “mass transit” but also why he does it “to reduce our carbon footprint and create a more connected community”:

You could use a similar formula. Start with the what and then go into the why. If you’re unsure about how to phrase your goals, you can always take inspiration from your company’s mission statement.

9. Show Your Personality

Like with any other social media platform, users skim through their LinkedIn feed, groups and even search results at speed. So, you need a headline that’s going to make somebody stop and take notice.

Get creative and use your headline to express your personality. Not only will it make you stand out but it’ll also make your profile memorable.

Here’s an example from an SEO manager with a quirky sense of humor:

Don’t worry, though. You don’t have to be the Kevin Hart of LinkedIn. There are other ways to express your personality via your headline. Perhaps, you want to project positive vibes or enthusiasm. 

You could even share a little personal tidbit about yourself. Maybe you do PR during the day and rule at Settlers of Catan by night… This kind of thing will also help start conversations between you and new connections.

10. Keep Your Headline Updated

It’s easy to set and forget your headline. But to get the most from it you need to keep it up to date.

Firstly, be sure to add new skills, achievements, career developments and so on when they arise. Your skillset will develop over time and your headline should reflect this.

Moreover, you may wish to test the impact of your headline and update it accordingly. When you make an alteration, keep an eye on the number of people who have viewed your profile. 

With LinkedIn Premium, you can also see who has viewed your profile. Therefore, you can discover if your headline is attracting who you want to attract or your target audience.

Conclusion

You can use your LinkedIn headline to get noticed by influential professionals and encourage more people to visit your profile. A winning headline combines relevant keywords and your unique value proposition.

Don’t forget to think carefully about who you hope to attract with your headline. And don’t be afraid to sell yourself as long as it doesn’t come across as too boastful.

Take the first step towards creating a great LinkedIn headline. Do some research to see what works well in your industry and brainstorm ideas for your own headline.

The post 10 Tips For Writing a Winning LinkedIn Headline appeared first on Neil Patel.

Liverpool's Alisson concerned by "stupid goals" but Klopp won't care if they keep winning

LIVERPOOL — Alisson Becker apologised for his language when dissecting Liverpool's defensive record this season but his facial expression suggested that the words he chose weren't strong enough.

"It always annoys me when we concede stupid goals," the goalkeeper said when asked about the club's lack of clean sheets ahead of Tuesday's Champions League encounter against Genk at Anfield. "Sorry about the word, but when we concede in a stupid way, this annoys me and annoys my teammates also."

The…

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