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How To Measure Your Content Marketing Success

by Joanne Dolezal on 22nd February 2018

In The Seven Habits of Successful Content Marketers series, we have looked at many ways you can succeed with creating, sharing and monetising content. Now it’s time to look at how you can measure and assess the impact your content is having on your target audiences. So what will your dashboard include?

Habit #7: Measure your Content Marketing, Often

Content marketing drives traffic to your website, which is one of the main reasons why we all do it.

It’s like sending out an invitation for people to come back to your house for a great party.

If you have good content on your website, people will stay for longer and look at more pages, and develop a deeper connection with you.

Ultimately, they will buy from you.

Audience Size

The obvious result of successful content marketing is followers and connections – how big is your audience?

If you want sponsorship, this is what people will look at. If you have back links from a respected website, this will move you up the rankings, because it’s the kind of thing that Google likes.

However, you can have a small following but if they are the right people, either as customers or referrers, this may be all your business needs.

Never buy followers.

Repeat, never buy followers.

Repeat, never buy followers.

Audience Engagement

The size of your audience is important, but the level of engagement is the most important metric. Facebook’s Edge Rank is based on this and all the other platforms are gradually cottoning on. If engagement is low, or zero, don’t expect any of your posts to be seen.

Increased comments, particularly on blogs and videos, are also valuable, because people look at these and this encourages them to engage and look closer at what you have to offer.

Repurpose Older Content

If you’ve been in business for a while, the chances are that you’ve amassed an extensive back catalogue of brochures, web copy, press releases, sales proposals and customer feedback.

Conduct an audit and get everything you have together in one place. Start by looking at what you’ve been saying about yourself. Think about rewording some of this.

For all of us the blank page is a tough place to start. It’s much easier if you’re building on something you want to edit and modify.

The most important word in marketing is “you”, not “I” or “we”.

Your customer wants to know what’s in it for them, and the benefits of buying from or working with you. Rephrase your existing content so you can share it with customers – explain the benefits to them.

Develop a Content Plan

It’s true that content marketing and social media are time-consuming, but so is marketing and running a business, and we’re all busy.

Remember to be efficient and have a plan, decide how you’ll share the links, and then think about batching your activities. Carve out some time in your diary, even if just a day per month, where you’ll focus on creating a nice, big, juicy piece of content that you can then slice and dice – repurpose your content.

Work out how you’ll share it on social media and look for a nice image to go alongside it. Can you record it to your camera and upload it to Facebook? What are all the different ways you could spread the message about that piece of content?

Batching, planning and scheduling are the keys to success.

Otherwise you’ll find that you frittered your time away and don’t feel that you have something you’re proud of. When you feel proud of your content, that encourages you to share it, just in the way you do when you’re proud of your website.

What it takes to succeed with Content Marketing

We’ve now looked at all seven of the habits of successful content marketers, some of which are skills and some are ways to manage yourself and your time.

Being a good communicator and putting yourself in your customers’ shoes is really important.

Forget what you’re trying to sell and find out what they’re looking for – it’s not a named product our service, but a solution or a resolution, or to feel different.

Whatever you decide to do, do it regularly and consistently. Don’t make your plans too ambitious – nobody expects this from you and you’ll just run out of steam, quickly. And don’t forget to measure the impact: likes, shares, comments, web traffic, dwell time, page views, etc.

Start with something you know you can do, put the time in your diary and do the graft.

Once you have a plan and you know what you want to write about, the universe starts to deliver.

What are the Seven Habits of Successful Content Marketers?

Tips and real examples from people who’ve inspired me over the last five years. They demonstrate, by using Content Marketing, how it has worked for the businesses they run.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 7 Habits of Successful Content Marketers. Why not check out the other blogs in the series:

  1.  Tell them what they want to know – often
  2.   Follow the plan and pick the right tools
  3.   Be efficient – reduce, re-use, recycle
  4.   Master social media, especially TWITTER
  5.   The 80:20 rule: 80% theirs: 20% yours
  6.   Earn Active Passive Income with RITE content
  7.   Find your niche… the smaller, the better
  8.   Measure your content marketing, often

Or if video is your preferred content type, click here to view the recording.

Our new online programme Content Marketing Conquered is designed with you in mind. Based on our successful workshop programme and latest strategies, we guide you to the top in 6 easy steps.

Don’t leave without grabbing your free eBook.

 

Photo by David Zawila on Unsplash

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Joanne DolezalHow To Measure Your Content Marketing Success

Know What Your Customers Want and Develop a Content Plan

by Joanne Dolezal on 18th March 2017

The Seven Habits of Successful Content Marketers

Knowing what customers really want is a tough nut to crack.

What successful content marketers have learnt, is that you can’t tell them what you want them to hear any more.  They will go out and find the truth elsewhere.

Nowadays, you need to tell them what they want to know, and tell them often. If readers, viewers, listeners or website visitors feel that they’re just getting a strong sales pitch, they’ll soon switch off.

Habit #1: Tell them what THEY want to know.

One of the people I greatly admire in the Content Marketing world is Marcus Sheridan, who has a podcast, Mad Marketing and blog: The Sales Lion. He’s super smart and his content is always really worth reading, watching or listening to.

Marcus has a well-know story of how he got into content creation in the first place: he was running a swimming pool business in the USA. At the height of the last recession was failing, and about to hit the skids. Aware that something dramatic was needed to turn the business around, Marcus got into blogging.

He didn’t know anything about it, but he is a born salesman, so he knew at first hand the questions customers are always asking and what they most want to know. He’d spent hours talking to them and had an intimate knowledge of their needs, objections and aspirations.

His mantra is simple: they ask, you answer.

His new book, They Ask, You Answer is packed full of sound advice.

He started writing articles which he shared on his website, answering people’s questions:

  • what type of pool liner is best?
  • what size and depth should the pool be?
  • is it right for the climate where I live?
  • how do I keep my pool clean?
  • and other maintenance queries.

Over time, he got into the detail of these questions and published a lot of blogs.

Marcus also started experimenting with keywords and search engine optimisation.

He found that even when he was doing comparison posts – comparing his products with others or his business with a competitor’s – his website came top of Google search. Marcus has now gone on to create a consulting business, as well as a career in public speaking and masterclasses (which are superb).

His pool business continues to flourish today.

Bear in mind that with content, it’s not just what you’re publishing and pushing out into the wider world, or publishing on a third-party platform, it’s also what’s on your own website.

How do you currently address the common questions you get from your customers?

If you’re not already doing this, it’s a great starting point for developing your content plan, deciding what to publish on your website and share in social media.

Habit #2: Develop your Content Plan.

Most marketers love to plan.

Whether its a spreadsheet, a tick list, key actions or setting things out on paper, you need to consider what your year looks like.  Not just your business calendar, but also your content calendar: what stories and messages need to be shared at key times?

Start to plan this content in advance, then you’ll know you’ve got the right content at the right time of year, including all the ingredients you need to create them.

Planning is important because it allows you to work out what resources you need and when, both now and in the future.

These ‘ingredients‘ could be:

  • product or service information
  • customer insight from colleagues
  • product or service feedback from customers
  • photos from a trade show
  • audio from a brainstorming session
  • client video testimonials.

Good quality content can take a while to create, but anything original that’s produced (audio or PDF download) is worth having.

So where to start?

First, think about who you’re writing for and the mindset of your customer:

  • how do they feel now and how do you want them to feel?
  • what are their expectations?

Your target customer is always the starting point of any marketing:

  • what are they looking to buy and how well do you ‘fit the bill’?
  • what do they care about?

Carry out some research.

Try using social listening tools, Twitter advanced search and Google search will both help you find out what people search for on your topics and how they talk about them.

What are your customers and your online community discussing – this may become topical. Use keyword research around these themes.

Consider the words your customer uses – how do they describe you? 

What do they think you do?

This research will inform not only the topics you write about, but also the language you use.

Think about the stories that will connect you – beyond your business year, key industry or sector events or what’s going on in the wider world.

Try not to go too far “off the reservation” and express strong personal views; but, we are living in interesting times, and these things will be relevant to your customers.

Acknowledging their concerns is important, because it shows you are human too.

What are the “Seven Habits of Successful Content Marketers”?

Tips and real examples from people who’ve inspired me over the last five years. They demonstrate, by using Content Marketing, how it has worked for the businesses they run.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 7 Habits of Successful Content Marketers. Why not check out the other blogs in the series:

  1.  Tell them what they want to know – often
  2.   Follow the plan and pick the right tools
  3.   Be efficient – reduce, re-use, recycle
  4.   Master social media, especially TWITTER
  5.   The 80:20 rule: 80% theirs: 20% yours
  6.   Earn Active Passive Income with RITE content
  7.   Find your niche… the smaller, the better
  8.   Measure your content marketing, often

If you like video, check out our recording of this fascinating topic and learn from these amazing thoughtleaders.

Our new online programme Content Marketing Conquered is designed with you in mind. Based on our successful workshop programme and latest strategies, we guide you to the top in 6 easy steps.

Don’t leave without grabbing your free eBook.

 

Photo by Mira Bozhko on Unsplash

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Joanne DolezalKnow What Your Customers Want and Develop a Content Plan

Content Marketing The Next Level

by Joanne Dolezal on 22nd January 2016

Are you and your team ready to take your content marketing to the next level?  Content Marketing ~ The Next Level is a one-day workshop dedicated to developing the skills you need to become an effective content marketer.

You will learn how to publish engaging, useful and effective information that will build your business, raise your profile and boost your profits.

Content Marketing The Next Level

Part 1: Morning ~ Your 8-Step Content Marketing Journey
Where to start?
Is your website doing what you need it to do? Is it driving traffic and converting your visitors into leads and ultimately into paying customers? Is it working hard for your business? Or could it be doing more?

We’ll look at the bigger picture of your business online and then drill down to the key elements of content marketing that will help you get the best and most effective results from your site.

Step-by-step support
Step 1. Is your website user friendly?
We’ll show you what to look out for and what to avoid – and show you what content your users will love.

Step 2. Is your website Google-friendly?
We’ll help you identify elements that will improve your Google search results, making sure more people can find you.

Step 3. Is your website optimised? If yes, what’s it optimised for – and why?
We’ll show you how to improve your optimisation, and create fresh, original content that will engage your visitors and work hard for you.

Step 4. Where is your online business ‘home’ – is it your website or your social media platforms?
We’ll explain why the wrong answer to this question could kill your business.

Step 5. Who are you writing for?
Does your content stand out from the crowd? We’ll show you how to develop content that’s both useful and irresistibly shareable.

Step 6. What are the different content types you can create?
Learn what to use where – and why.

Step 7. What are content outposts and why do you need them?
We’ll teach you about content outposts and pinpoint which ones will work best to build your business.

Step 8. How can you use content to demonstrate why you’re the expert who can answer your customers’ problems?
We’ll help you develop authority in your industry and build your voice online.

Part 2: Afternoon ~ Your Journey Starts Here
Session 1: Keyword Research – What is it and why is it an essential part of your business?
What are keywords – and why do they matter?
Get the ball rolling and develop your own brilliant SEO strategy.
Create a clear structure and framework for your content to make publishing simple.

Session 2: How to generate your Content Plan
Sticky content – understand what makes a post both interesting and useful to your audience
Research skills – How to find great ideas for titles and articles
Creative writing – Generate 10 titles for the content assets you’re going to create

Session 3: How to create a killer publishing plan for Content Assets and links to ‘on page’ content on your website
The vital importance of repeated and regular sharing of links in Social Media
The next value of ‘blogger outreach’ – how to make your content ‘move’.

Learn how to increase your website traffic, leads and conversions, establish your voice as an industry authority and grow your business – all through content marketing.

For more information or to find out if this workshop is ‘for you’, please call Joanne Dolezal on 07767 810 126 or email joanne@dolezalconsulting.com

This workshop can be delivered at your premises or a venue of your choosing.

This workshop is delivered by Dolezal Consulting with support from Arttia Creative and Haydn Grey.

Joanne Dolezal is an experienced marketer who has presented on Content Marketing at NECC, ISMM, Cumbria, and North East Expo events and regularly applies it to clients’ marketing – to great effect. Joanne holds an MA Marketing and teaches Digital Marketing at NESMA.

Belinda White, Arttia Creative will be on hand to answer questions on SEO and Content for the web; Katherine Wildman, Haydn Grey will guide you through the fundamentals of copywriting for online content.

 

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Joanne DolezalContent Marketing The Next Level

What Digital Marketing Means for Business Owners

by Joanne Dolezal on 3rd October 2014

Digital Marketing (also known as Internet, Web or Online Marketing) is a collective name for marketing activity carried out online, as opposed to traditional marketing through print media, live promotions, TV and radio advertising.

The rapid growth of Digital Marketing is due to ever-increasing access to and speed of the Internet.  Digital Marketing channels are increasingly effective at generating revenue and raising awareness.

Compared to traditional marketing methods such as direct marketing, trade shows and advertising, Digital Marketing often requires a much smaller investment (important for small and medium-size businesses and start-ups).  It also allows for accurate targeting and excellent reporting, making it far easier for even the lay person to judge whether digital marketing activities are having the desired effect or not.

The differences between tradition ‘campaign’ style marketing and digital marketing are:

Circular versus Linear

Digital marketing encourages you to research, target, test, modify and repeat and tends to be a continuous circular process of learning and modification until you get it right.  Traditional marketing campaigns take a lot of planning, but once they’ve ‘left the building’ there’s nothing you can do to change them.

Targeted versus Broadcast

Over time it is possible to gather and analyse enough data on your target customers that you save considerable time and effort communicating with them.  Either via email or mobile marketing, you can send direct messages to your target and past customers to build trust and loyalty.  Imagine how much time, money and uncertainty this saves you as you can track opens, clicks and conversions online.

Flexibility versus Committed

Because you have more control over the who, what, when, where of digital marketing you can control and modify the start and end of any activities within reason, rather than finding you are fixed into a longterm commitment that is either not working for you – based on digital metrics – or not generating the ROI (Return on Investment) you require. Response times are much faster too and campaigns can be set up and delivered in hours, rather than weeks or months.

‘Low’ or ‘no cost’ versus Expensive!

Print and broadcast media, whilst still effective at brand building, are beyond the means of all but a few businesses.  The proliferation of TV networks and channels, online publications and even digital broadcasting have meant that it is ever harder to reach the whole population but who wants to anyway?  You want the ‘right customers’ for your business as they’re more likely to buy from you.  ‘Laser vision’ trumps ‘spray and pray’.

The benefits of incorporating Digital Marketing in your Marketing Mix

It allows for accurate targeting and excellent reporting, making it far easier for even the lay person to judge whether digital marketing activities are having the desired effect or not.

What does Digital Marketing include?

Digital Marketing covers everything to do with your website, including Search Engine Optimisation – getting found online – and measuring where visitors to your website are coming from, what they’re at and which pages are most popular, among other things.

Driving visitors to your website, especially an e-commerce website, is essential if you want to achieve a healthy level of sales.  Tactics include Search Engine Marketing – anticipating and targeting the language customers use to find products and services like yours – and Pay Per Click advertising – display adverts online.

Social Media is also a Digital Marketing tactic and works well to raise awareness of your brand and create weak links: it takes time, thought and regular effort to build trust with potential customers.

Email Marketing and Mobile Marketing allow you to send targeted communications to a (potential) customers inbox or mobile phone.  Both require the recipient’s permission and are just as effective for Customer Retention as for Customer Acquisition.

Mobile Marketing in particular has evolved from SMS (text message) based communications to encompass Mobile ‘friendly’ Marketing, with developments in smartphone and tablet technology.  If your website is hard to navigate or looks too small on a smartphone screen – and 40% of Google searches are made on a mobile device –  you may be losing a lot of custom unnecessarily.

So what could digital marketing mean for your business?

Get in touch to find out more

Joanne Dolezal teaches Digital Marketing for North East Sales and Marketing Academy (NESMA) for the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI).

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Joanne DolezalWhat Digital Marketing Means for Business Owners

Northern Secrets Ltd.

by Joanne Dolezal on 5th April 2014

Northern Secrets Ltd. was founded by Alex Jacobs in 2007 to serve incoming groups to North East England.  Alex was the youngest person to ever qualify as a Blue Badge Guide and along with a Tourism Marketing degree and hands on experience in the hotel industry, is well-placed to understand and serve this market.

Alex is half-German, half-Geordie and Northern Secrets ALSO has a major client based in Germany and Northern Europe.

The agency has grown from strength-to-strength over the past few years and needed an enhanced web presence and communications tools to support the next stage of expansion.  It was essential that all software and communications tools could be managed in-house and ideally, from anywhere, as Alex travels regularly on business.

Our brief was to help Northern Secrets rationalise and streamline customer communications and CRM, source a web developer/designer, support the website development, ensure integration and ‘user-friendliness’ of all software platforms and web-based tools with any offline marketing.

The project included Database Cleansing and Segmentation, selection of communications and CRM software, CRM and e-communications set-up and ‘launch’, new website with CMS (WordPress) and refreshed brand, and a comprehensive Marketing Strategy and Plan.

The brand refresh, new bi-lingual website design and build were provided by Arttia Creative.

Northern Secrets Ltd., Clavering House, Clavering Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3NG

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Joanne DolezalNorthern Secrets Ltd.