At VA Partners, we aim to help our clients achieve their marketing goals. Whether they are already an established business and are looking to change their marketing strategy or are a startup looking to gain more exposure, we are part of the process from the planning stages through to the execution. Everyone has the same end goal, to increase revenue. We love to see results just as much as our clients because that means that we are doing something right.
Here are some tactics we use that may help you as well.
When we first meet with our clients we sit down and discuss what their desired outcome is, what they are trying to achieve or improve upon. Usually this includes improving their web presence, gaining new leads or marketing to a new audience. Whatever their goals may be, we break down each step-by-step during the planning stages. We feel that it is helpful to show our clients how we intend on executing our strategy and stay organized.
During the planning stages, it’s important to create personas. This is a great exercise to really understand who you are marketing to. First we make a list of who the target customer is and from there we build a plan based on how we can get on their radar. Generally, this is something that can be built into the keyword research and content marketing plan.
We encourage our clients to create new content regularly. Usually this is as simple as a weekly blog post. At VA Partners, we write two blog posts weekly, which has proven to be a great tactic in improving our SEO and getting more traffic to our site. If you have never blogged before it can seem like a huge task, but it is really quite simple once you get the hang of it. Depending on the size of your team you can rotate blog writing responsibilities through team members. We usually give ourselves 2-3 hours to research and write a blog post. You have to remember that driving traffic to your site takes time and this is a great way to help speed up the process. Plan your blog posts weeks in advance to avoid writers block.
We have found the best tactic for inbound lead generation is to create great content which individuals can download once they provide their contact information. Generally, this includes white papers, guides or regular newsletters. When brainstorming ideas we have to think like the audience. What information would be useful to them and is it something that they are willing to give up their contact details for? Every document that you create reflects the quality of your business, so ensure that you are proud of the result.
Once we have set goals, we like to spend some time going through our clients’ website. We look at things like navigation, information and general layout. We try to imagine ourselves as the end user and evaluate whether or not someone would find the content useful. Tools like Google Analytics are helpful when it comes to reviewing a website. However, this only works if Google Analytics has already been installed. Information like how others are finding you or the bounce rate is important, as well as understanding how the user navigates through the website. This will help us understand areas to improve.
Keyword & SEO
Keyword research is extremely important and will help improve your SEO. Google Keyword Planner is an extremely useful tool that will help you understand what your target audience is looking for. We often do keyword research in the beginning stages of our engagement with our client. We want to understand which keywords are being searched so that we can build a content plan based on this. It’s beneficial during the planning stages to research how people are searching for information on the Internet. This is also another way to improve your SEO.
Email newsletters are a tool to help your company stay top of mind with people in your industry. Like blogging, it takes a lot less time to create an email newsletter than people think. Luckily, you don’t have to spend time creating new content because you’ve spent the past month doing this. Look at which blogs were most popular and use them in your newsletter. We usually look at website traffic to determine which posts had the most engagement. You can also look at how often blog posts were shared on social media to determine popularity. We think that sharing third party content is also beneficial. MailChimp is our go-to tool to build and schedule our newsletter. It also offers great insights into who is opening our newsletter and how they are interacting with it.
Social media is a useful tool to share content, but having an account that you don’t regularly manage is not going to reflect well on your business. You don’t have to be on every social channel; choose the ones that are relevant to your business and to your audience. We are personally fans of Twitter and LinkedIn because these are the channels that others in the sales, marketing and startup world use most often. By posting regularly to your social channels you are letting your audience know that you are active and serious about what you do. Post content that is relevant and is worth sharing. This can include your own content like blog posts or infographics and useful third party content.
It’s also useful to research what your competitors are doing. By looking at competitors websites, social media channels and content they are producing, we are able to gain a better understanding of how we can improve. We often use Moz to track our client’s competitors so we can make regular improvements. Moz especially comes in handy when tracking keywords and let’s us know how our client’s are ranking compared to their competitors.
To learn more about how an outsourced marketing team could help your business, download our white paper, Is Outsourced Sales & Marketing Right for Your Business?