The Benefits of Marketing Automation in Digital Marketing

The Benefits of Marketing Automation in Digital Marketing

Marketing Automation is the future of digital marketing. Many marketing departments have to automate numerous repetitive tasks, such as emails and social media posts.

Thankfully, technology has allowed digital marketing warriors to streamline an otherwise tedious process.

Digital Marketing & Marketing Automation

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation refers to the software that allows for more effective marketing on numerous online platforms. When done correctly, it can determine the evolving needs of your leads, their behaviours and interactions across all of your marketing channels.

This form of marketing uses all the information that you have on a prospective client in order to understand what their wants and needs are.

This enables you to deliver the information they need to make a purchase, exactly when they need it and in the place that they are looking for it.

Benefits of marketing automation

With that said, the benefits of automation software can be simplified to three key factors:

  • It automates content to relevant platforms and buyer groups, thus giving the marketing team more time to focus on other tasks.
  • By tracking the behaviour and actions of potential and existing clients, it can personalise their online journey.
  • By tracking each touchpoint with a campaign, added to having sight of any sale and their value, marketing automation software can determine which campaigns have had an influence on each and every sale. Therefore, it understands and maximises the return on investment.

If you are producing effective inbound marketing content, and you’re generating a steady flow of organic leads, consider focusing your efforts on an automation strategy to scale your successful efforts. This will enable you to nurture good quality leads into satisfied, paying customers.

The key is to understand that automation software does not do marketing for you, it merely enhances your marketing efforts. When considering a marketing automation provider, make your decision based on the unique goals of your company.

ITM Website Design, SEO & Digital Marketing

For marketing automation that gives you the most added value, contact ITM. Using the SharpSpring platform, we have been able to free up a lot of time for marketing teams, allowing them to focus on their important tasks, while SharpSpring sends out all their emails and social media posts.

Content SEO – Your Online Business Partner in Success

Content SEO – Your Online Business Partner in Success

When you think of what it takes to establish an online marketing strategy which includes content SEO, do you stop dead in your tracks with confusion and a touch of unease?

Well, our goal is to remove all feelings of stress or concern by acting as your translator of all things digital.

We’ll show you that you don’t need a course in digital marketing and you definitely don’t need to hire an advertising agency to get your business to flourish.

All you need is a little bit of help, which we are more than happy to provide. We are here to change your opinion and make you aware of your ever-present online ally known as SEO.

SEO content

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the practice of implementing unpaid or ‘organic’ online marketing techniques to successfully push your website to the first of the search engine result pages (SERP).

As a result, you increase the quality as well as the quantity of your website’s traffic (while decreasing traffic to your competitors!).

By definition, marketing should allow you to place your business in the line-of-sight of your consumer. Most people pretend to know what they’re talking about when it comes to online marketing, yet, few truly understand how it works.

Therefore, not many realise that SEO is an imperative part of your business’ marketing plan. Research states that SEO ( online marketing strategies) has a positive correlation to higher sales and marketing leads.

Whether you use an advertising agency, social media advertising, organic advertising, or paid advertising, it’s a great idea to utilise SEO for your business.

This is ultimately a fancy way of saying that you structure your website and content to captivate the attention of Search engines (mainly Google). In turn, you drastically increase your chances of catching your target market’s eyes.

SEO is for Search Engines and Humans

The goal of Google is to be the most comprehensive online hub of marketing, communication and information. They seek to provide their users with the best quality information available through intelligent searching algorithms applied to specific search terms.

That may seem like a simple task. However, when you think of the billions of websites in the world, different search term combination and the amount of spam-sh content, the search bots have their work cut out for them.

It could easily be compared to sifting through a desert to find only the finest grains of sand. Then laying them out, in order of quality and relevance, for all to enjoy.

By using SEO properly, you implement strategies that allow search engines to find, understand and index your website quickly and accurately, resulting in your page being at the top of the first results page.

There are over 250 factors that Google uses in hugely complicated mathematical algorithms to decide the rank of a website. This includes everything from:

  • Design;
  • Standard of user interface;
  • Age;
  • Traffic;
  • Activity;
  • Technical aspects; to
  • Scrolling text.

Content SEO

3 Main SEO Categories:

  1. Technical SEO – These include foundations such as: sitemaps, robots.txt,  page speed and mobile friendliness.
  2. On-page SEO – This includes a content audit, page titles, URL, meta-description, title tags and semantic architecture.
  3. Off-page SEO – includes back link building, social citations and domain authority.

Without improving the technical aspects, content SEO alone has the ability to drastically increase your websites ranking on Google. This deals with the writing and structure of your content, making it easy for people and Google to navigate.

On-page SEO deals with three main topics:

  1. Keyword strategy
  2. Site structure
  3. Copywriting

Keyword Strategy

Your keyword strategy is created based on the findings of your keyword research, which involves:

  • Search intent: discovering what the target market actually wants to know, do or buy;
  • Finding keywords: terms you want your business to be associated with and, more importantly, the terms your target audience would use to find your business.

Your target market already is asking questions, it’s your job to find out what exactly they are asking. The next step is to answer the queries with concise, quality content.

Three Steps to Keyword Research:

  1. State the mission of your business.
  2. List all the keywords you want to be found for.
  3. Create a landing page for each keyword.

Keywords can be divided into heads and tails. Head keywords are generally short, common and highly competitive as they generate decent traffic for websites. Tail keywords are usually longer, more specific (niche),less common and, therefore, easier to rank.

At first, your content should focus on the small number of the most commo keywords that are most relevant to your business. It’s good practice to place them on the highest level pages of the website (homepage and menu categories).

Your business is dynamic, so, it may change over time. Therefore, your marketing and keyword strategy should be flexible enough change and adapt accordingly.

keyword research

Site Structure

The structure of your website is important for various reasons, here are two:

ONE: So that Google may read and ‘understand’ your site. This allows them to discover important aspects such as:

  • What the site is about;
  • Where the most important content is;
  • How easy it will be to find and index content relevant to your sites purpose and intent

TWO: Ensure that you don’t compete with your own content. You may find yourself with several articles on a similar topic. A well-planned and executed internal linking structure can show Google which articles are the most important.

Site Structure is a Pyramid

Begin with the fundamentals and the basics, and as your progress down the pyramid, you can get more technical and complicated.

Use head keywords higher up and tail keywords addressed lower down in the site’s scheme.

The homepage would serve as the top tier and would contain content regarding the focus keyword which is the main keyword you want to associate with your site.

The top tiers of the pyramid would focus on cornerstone content: articles on head keywords which you are most proud of;  fit the mission of the site best; and which you want to rank most with.

The next tier should form categories that refer to the preceding pages and additional tail keywords.

It’s important to link from tail to head in order to tell Google which articles to rank highest. In other words, mention tail content in your cornerstone content, and incorporate internal links between the two.

More characteristics of an ideal site structure are:

  • Incorporating tags and taxonomies to give the site more structure (this assists Google in understanding how to group your articles on similar topics);
  • A clear, logical site map (with unique and apt page titles);
  • A Meta-description (to reflect the relation of the page to key search terms);
  • A lack of duplicate and out-dated content; and
  • Solving orphaned content (which don’t get any links from your other articles/posts).

Copywriting and Content SEO

Content copywriting, like all writing, must be attractive to readers in order to grab and maintain their attention.

However, this specific type requires you to attain the attention of two audiences: the human target.

content seo copywriting

Readability

The role of content copywriting is to incorporate SEO practices to make your website more visible to search engines and answer the target markets queries with high quality content.

Not only should your content be original, but also easy to read for both of our audiences (humans and Google). This is where traditional writing skills are particularly useful.

A well-written article follows a systematic path and is complete with defined paragraphs, superior grammar and immaculate spelling. Furthermore, articles must be factual and to the point.

These are all part of creating informative, easy-to-read posts that get your audience to develop trust in your brand.

Ultimately, the goal is always to answer the target audience’s questions and ensure a decent UX (User eXperience). They have posed specific questions and these require quality answers.

Digital Marketing South Africa

Many businesses focus on creating content while few focus on maximising their content’s visibility and with regards to Google. The result is that good content gets lost in a vast abyss of the very average.

What is the point of having website? It’s to have your content seen by the largest audience possible. Visibility is about increasing the likelihood that Google picks your content for result pages. The higher up your website is found, the more clicks your site will get.

In fact, SEO is all about making 100% sure that your superior content and the product/ service, or message you offer is seen and acknowledged by Google. As a result every person out there that’s looking for an answer, finds your website.

We can help you rank achieve everything it take to rank at the top of Google. For more information about our comprehensive digital marketing and SEO services and expertise, contact us.

Align your Business Goals with Marketing Automation

Align your Business Goals with Marketing Automation

Many marketing departments have to automate numerous repetitive tasks, such as emails and social media posts. Thankfully, technology has made these tasks much easier. Technology like marketing automation, which refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions.

And this is not the only benefit of automation in marketing. When done correctly, it can determine the evolving needs of your leads, their behaviours and interactions across all of your marketing channels.

Marketing automation uses all the information that you have on a prospective client, in order to understand what their wants and needs are.

This enables you to deliver the information they need to make a purchase, exactly when they need it, in the place that they are looking for it.

What are the benefits of marketing automation?

The benefits of marketing automation software can be simplified to three key factors:

  • It automates content to relevant platforms and buyer groups, thus giving the marketing team more time to focus on other tasks.
  • By tracking the behaviour and actions of potential and existing clients, it can personalise their journey.
  • Marketing automation software can determine which campaigns have had an influence on each and every sale. Therefore, it understands and maximises the return on investment.

If you are producing effective inbound marketing content, and you’re generating a steady flow of organic leads, consider focusing your efforts on a marketing automation strategy to scale your successful efforts. This will enable you to nurture good quality leads into satisfied, paying customers.

To optimise your marketing automation strategy, it is recommended that you create buyer personas in order to improve the bottom line and increase your conversion rates.

What are personas?

A persona is a detailed portrait of the needs, motivations, environment and characteristics of intended user segments.

A persona should include the buyer’s name, age, career, income, and any other relevant information such as their values and goals.

It is important to remember that personas should not be made up of the average customer, as there simply is no such thing as an average user. This is especially true when the personas are employed for design or creating a user experience.

How to create a persona

Regardless of how simple or complex you want your personas to be, it is crucial that you use the data that you hold on customers (interviews with customers, client surveys, social media profiles, etc) or prospects to build your personas.

Never assume that you already know who your customers are and what goals they have.

You can gather all the information on your customers and prospects, and group your findings in a spreadsheet. If you have a data analytics tool – such as Google Analytics – you will be able to identify customer segments using cohort analysis or reduction techniques.

Google Analytics has information on your customers’ demographics, interests, language and geographical location.

How can personas increase lead conversion?

When creating a detailed persona, you will not only gain a clear understanding of what it is that your customers want and expect from your product or service, but you will be able to target prospective clients directly.

This leads to prospective customers becoming existing customers, which in turn increases your conversion rates.

Why are personas important in Customer Relationship Management?

When you use a persona in your CRM system, every form of contact you make with your customer or prospective customers seem personalised. It gives the customer the idea that you know them and understand their needs.

This not only builds on your relationship with your customers, but it also inspires customer loyalty to your brand or business.

Additionally, CRM systems enable you to monitor the sales process by showing you every step of the process, from prospective to satisfied clients. It also allows your employers to keep track of their tasks related to individual clients.

This ensures that you and your team are constantly aware of what needs to be done for a client, as well as the last conversation had between your business and your client.

The key is to remember that personas can be used in marketing automation to enhance your marketing efforts. However, when considering a marketing automation provider, your decision should be based on the unique goals of your company.

Which marketing automation platform works best?

At ITM, we have found that the SharpSpring platform not only enables us to keep track of our marketing campaigns, it also allows us to keep track of the projects that we undertake for individual clients.

SharpSpringis more than just marketing automation software, it helps us to determine the pipeline for each individual project, while also allowing us to establish and build relationships with our clients.

For marketing automation that gives you the most added value, contact ITM. Using the SharpSpring platform, we have been able to free up a lot of time for marketing teams, allowing them to focus on their important tasks, while SharpSpring sends out all their emails and social media posts.

Why Content Marketing should be part of your Marketing Strategy

Why Content Marketing should be part of your Marketing Strategy

While content marketing isn’t a new concept in the world of digital marketing, it’s now more important than ever before.

Today, EVERY business, including yours, has a story, a great product, a unique selling point – but how you communicate this with your audience is what sets you apart from the rest.

Online users are tired of having to sift through irrelevant content and search engines like Google have recognised this.

But before we dive into how irrelevant most online content is these days, we should probably define what content marketing is, why businesses need it and how they should be using it.

Content Marketing and Brand Awareness

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the process of creating content that offers readers something of value and making it readily available for them to access and consume.

It should involve less of a sales pitch while rather aiming to inform readers and create interest in your brand as a whole.

Content comes in various forms – blogs, videos, social media posts and podcasts – to name just a few of the most recognised and widely used.

But, keep in mind that content marketing isn’t just blogging, creating at-home videos or speaking your truth through your podcast about the recent distasteful redesign of your favourite supermarket.

It involves research, more research, keyword analysis, good writing skills and a website design that enables you to take advantage of the positive effects content marketing can have.

Content Marketing – Why is Content King?

Consumers have become more conscious about who they are purchasing their products and services from and are now looking for brands that are aligned with what motivates them to invest their money.

Not only does your should your company be ranking at the top of the search engine results, it also needs to have a good social media following and a solid narrative to back it up.

With hundreds of companies out there and more popping up each day, not to mention how easy it is to search for businesses online these days – it’s understandable why it’s so important to make your brand’s unique selling point conspicuous to the public eye.

The beauty is that, when content marketing is done properly, it can help you achieve search engine stardom as well as create and grow the social media following your business needs.

Publishing high-quality content and having it well-received by readers will positively impact your website’s search engine optimisation (SEO) and as a result, its search engine ranking.

Search engine rankings are determined by using very specific algorithms. Search engine bots then use these algorithms to scan websites, assess how relevant they are to a search query and report back with the most relevant, informative websites that they find.

Integrating Social Media Marketing

To further encourage engagement and foster a trusting relationship with consumers, content should be pushed out through social media channels in order to make sharing easy.

However, a one-size-fits-all approach will not suffice when it comes to content marketing through social media. The type of content, as well as the appropriate platform and method of publishing is largely determined by your target audience.

content engagement

Quality Content Encourages Engagement

Engagement plays a key role in understanding who your brand should be speaking to and who is listening.

Good content which is shared to social media encourages more users to engage with your brand. If the content is genuinely good, users happily consume it, understand the message it delivers and will perhaps even like, share or comment on the piece of information.

Although your content should be designed to target a specific audience, by making it shareable across various platforms, you are now given the opportunity to analyse who exactly is engaging with it.

These analytics can further assist you with creating even more appropriate and valuable content specifically for the people who are already interested in what you have to offer. See where we’re going with this?

If the content is not relevant or compelling, users will continue to scroll past it and the content, as well as your efforts will eventually disappear into the black hole of cyberspace.

Creating Brand Awareness – The Value of Content Marketing

Always keep in mind that good content is generally less “salesy” than an advertisement, so it allows consumers the opportunity to engage with a brand without a blatant sales message disrupting the engagement.

Quality Content can Position Your Business as an Industry Expert

Quality content creates authority in a saturated market which, in turn, has the potential to generate new leads and increase sales. It adds value either through solving a problem in the everyday lives of consumers or teaching them something new and useful.

Although content is king, it doesn’t carry a direct monetary value. However, it’s vital to the business model as well as the relationship between the brand, its consumers and its sales.

ITM – Your Digital Marketing Agency

Identifying the components that make up a good content marketing strategy and being able to implement them successfully requires an understanding of consumer behaviours, sales, content creation and search engine optimisation.

ITM is a full service, online marketing agency, and our team of content creators, SEO whizzes and marketing specialists are guaranteed to produce the most compelling, relevant content for your brand.

Contact us, and we’ll help you get your crown.