Category Archives: Marketing

Becoming a clairvoyant, or how to grow your pipeline in a predictable way?

You may have heard of the Maslow Hierarchy which shows how our needs as humans develop as we become more established and comfortable.  In the middle of the said hierarchy, just above food and shelter, sits security which most of us see as key to our lives. We can spend some time arguing about whether we can ever truly be secure, but I wanted to discuss one of the key elements of your business security: your pipeline.

Regardless as to whether you run your own business or the sales team within a bigger company, developing your pipeline is key to both your security and growth:

  • Without a pipeline, you will struggle to forecast the future of your sales which affects all major business decisions
  • Pipeline development helps you tackle your growth strategy, from immediate to further opportunities, existing and new markets

Despite its importance, many of us treat our pipeline development rather carelessly, leaving most of it to faith. Typical approaches include:

  • Relying solely on repeat business and referrals
  • Frantically looking for leads only when levels of sales have reduced dramatically
  • Running a variety of lead generation tactics without focus or strategy
  • Trying to convert any business that comes your way

This approach will either leave you with a small pipeline covering only immediate opportunities or a very large one full of long-term possibilities and pies in the sky. If you wanted to truly use your pipeline as a tool for growth and development, you need to have one which includes long term suspects which are being nurtured and developed into mature prospects, which will turn into customers. To achieve this, you will need to establish three things:

  1. Have a good understanding of your target markets
  2. Create continuous, relevant communications to create interest
  3. Follow up with your suspects and prospects continuously

Follow this, and you will end up with a funnel shaped pipeline like this one which is aimed at creating new opportunities in your desired markets and developing them into sales. You may already be doing this or a part of this but now is a good time to review your process and ask yourself if you and your team are getting it right. Economic uncertainty, like that which we are currently facing, can change market conditions, meaning you end up with less repeat business and referrals so make sure you are developing a strong pipeline to tackle it.

As always, we are happy to help and discuss your individual circumstances so get in touch.

Quality over quantity, top tips to building your new business database

Good old Emil Zola must have seen a glimpse of the future when he said, ’If I cannot overwhelm you with my quality, I will overwhelm you with my quantity.’  I am not entirely sure what he meant by it but these days we see plenty of examples of people trying to impress us with their quantity, rather than quality.

2018 has seen the data debate take to centre stage through the introduction of GDPR, which was introduced to stop the unauthorised use of personal data. There was much talk about the change it would bring beforehand, but we hear very little of it now. Dare I say that not much has changed in terms of B2B e-mail in my in-box. Even so, assuming that, like me, you think that communicating to a smaller but engaged audience is better, you might want to consider how you build this database in the first place.

Let’s consider some different methods to building your database:

Method Advantages Disadvantages
Buying a data list -Providing a solid start

-Allowing you to communicate with the right industries and decision makers

– The data is very cold which affects the speed of conversion

-Very niche markets can be hard to identify

Using your own client and contact list -Building on your existing industry knowledge

-Communications will be better received as it’s a familiar audience

– Much of the data might be out of date

-The list may not be very strategic in terms of new and target markets

-GDPR compliance is questionable

Using Social Media platforms to build your following -This is potentially a very engaged audience as they have connected with you

 

-Using this data outside of the specific platform can be difficult

-Many contacts will not appreciate a direct approach

Using digital funnels or landing pages to attract interested parties -As this method is based on targeting people who searched for your product or service it has the potential to provide you with highly qualified leads -Because this method is so specific it can be very slow in terms of building a database

 

Once more we have concluded that there is no one winner and no silver bullet. My advice would be to use a variety, if not all, of the above methods to communicate with your target audiences. The important thing is to create an overarching strategy which governs your marketing and lead generation system thus making it focused and tailored to your business.

This means that you have a specific process in which your funnel works, which involves several activities happening at the same time. Such a system will ensure that you are seen in front of the right audience at a volume and frequency that allows you to develop a substantial pipeline based on your new business conversion rate.

If it sounds interesting, check out  our system here or give me a call to discuss your requirements.

 

 

The truth about making a choice and why would you want to skin a cat anyway?

Many animal lovers hate the saying ‘there are many ways to skin a cat’ but if you actually check its origin you might be even more disturbed. According to Edward Brumley, Buddhist, Vegan and Atheist, ‘The phrase is just a more recent rendition of an older proverb that was expressed in many different ways, in which various animals were killed in diverse and sundry creative fashions. The earliest known version was recorded in 1678 in the second edition of John Ray’s collection of English proverbs, in which he gives it as “There are more ways to kill a dog than hanging… ‘

Let’s move on swiftly but stick with the idea that there is more than one way to achieve your goal. This notion is worth keeping in mind when it comes to your marketing even if it often looks like you have to choose. Well, let me break it to you gently, you don’t have to. To make things clearer, here are the main two choices you have when you consider your marketing strategy:

  • Outbound marketing: This term is used to describe pre-meditated activities you undertake to approach your target markets directly. These activities include tactics such as e-mail marketing, advertising and telemarketing.
  • Inbound Marketing: This term is used to describe the tools you create to help people approach your business when they are interested in your product and service. These tools include your website, referral marketing, content marketing and so on.

In addition, most marketing methods could be divided into the following categories:

  • Offline marketing which can be seen as old school by some, includes methods such as direct mail, leafleting, telemarketing and telesales
  • Online marketing which some will describe as all the rage, includes methods such as e-mail marketing, SEO, Social Media and ad words

Many companies feel they have to choose between the different options. This is sometimes the case due to budget limitations or the marketing company they work with. In my opinion, the choice needs to be down to the various target markets you are after. Here are a few examples to clarify what I mean:

  1. If your target market is stay at home mums who like to shop locally, you may choose to place targeted adverts in Facebook and use local groups. In this case, you will be utilising an inbound digital marketing campaign
  2. If you are targeting Estate Agents in Cardiff, you may choose a direct mail campaign which is followed up by telemarketing. In which case, you will be utilising outbound offline marketing campaign

Now, I am always for being as specific as you can when it comes to your target market. If you can narrow it down to people who only come out when it rains on a Sunday, that is great. However, our reality is made up of a very wide choice in nearly every walk of life, which means that even if you are specific, you still need to consider more than one approach to reach more people. By this, I mean that you need to adopt marketing campaigns that reach out to your contacts using a number of platforms. If you can e-mail, connect on LinkedIn and telephone them all in one campaign, you increase your chances of getting through to more people. Of course, you can choose to place some strategic Blogs alongside Ad Words and landing pages instead.  The point is that the choice is yours and should be based solely on your growth targets and marketing strategy.

As always, I am happy to discuss your specific questions further. In the meantime, you might find it useful to check out how our lead generation system works.

B2B E-mail marketing the right way, what and how?

If this image resonates with you, you may well be one of those people who cannot wait for GDPR to take hold, hoping that their inbox will considerably shrink as a result.  Well, I am sure it will, particularly from a private e-mail perspective but not so much when it comes to your business e-mails.

Why is that I hear you cry? In my latest Blog I talked about the future of B2B e-mail marketing and you can read all about the differentiation made by the regulations between corporate and private data. If you are past that stage and have decided to carry on using e-mail marketing with corporate date on a legitimate interest basis, you will need to consider a number of things.

Using legitimate interest as your legal basis to send marketing e-mails is not a licence to carry on spamming.  On the contrary, it puts you on the spot and gives you an extra responsibility to make sure you are compliant and respectful of people’s data and inboxes.  What does this mean? you might ask, well here are some examples:

  1. Carry out an analysis for each campaign you are planning, to determine the following:
  • Is the campaign absolutely necessary?
  • Is there a less intrusive way in which you could do this?
  • Will this seriously undermine your recipients privacy?
  • This questionnaire might help you out with your assessment
  1. Update your privacy policy notice on your website and add a link to it at the bottom of your e-mail
  2. Tell people why you are writing to them and ensure there is a clear and easy link to unsubscribe
  3. Include your company name and contact details so your readers know who it came from you
  4. Use a proper e-mail marketing software (like Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor). These ensure that unsubscribing is done properly, and you cannot write to these again.

All of the above is important and relatively easy to achieve but the key factor to consider is the content. The main point that GDPR is making is that people do not want to get unsolicited sales e-mails that are all about you and what you can do for them. They are a lot more likely to interact with you if you think about them and what they are likely to be interested in.  So, here are a few things to consider when it comes to making your content more compelling:

  1. Consider your target markets and ensure your lists are segmented to allow you to send tailored e-mails
  2. Create a campaign and content plan, ensuring you are sending out focused communications based on target market interests
  3. Make your e-mail template pleasant to look at and connected to your brand and website
  4. Blend your e-mail marketing campaigns with Blog pots, articles, guides and other useful materials
  5. Keep the e-mail message simple and include relevant links for people to find out more
  6. Don’t bombard people with communications; we are all busy and even useful e-mails can become a nuisance if overdone
  7. Don’t forget to analyse the data and follow up

I hope you found this useful. I read the other day that only 40% of UK business are ready for GDPR and truly hope that you are. If you are doing your own e-mail marketing and looking for some support, have a look on our website or get in touch.

 

 

How will GDPR affect B2B Marketing? An update on the state of play

When I first started looking into GDPR last summer, I, along with many others, had identified that big changes were in store for direct marketing. I even thought that this may be the end of e-mail marketing as the most popular B2B marketing tactic. It then became obvious that the regulations distinguish between corporate subscribers and personal data. This is significant as it could mean that the rules for B2B direct marketing may stay largely unchanged. This Blog attempts to give you the latest low down and provide some clarity:

A key fact some people are not aware of, is that GDPR itself does not mention marketing at all, rather the two relevant documents here are:

  1. The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA)
  2. The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR)

As you might have guessed, both have existed for some time but GDPR has given them extra importance since it has the power to act against offenders. One more important factor to bear in mind, is that the new e-privacy Regulation (ePR) which is currently being agreed by the EU to replace the PECR will not be completed by the time GDPR comes into effect in May. The new ePR may bring some additional changes affecting B2B marketing which are unconfirmed at present.

But what are the actual rules and what can you expect to be able to do or not in the B2B market after May 25th?  Well, I did a lot of reading and found some useful Blogs but they all said slightly different things, here are a few examples:

  1. In May 2017, the Upfront Blog interviewed Lecturer in Law at University of Hertfordshire Henry Pearce who said: ‘At present, PECR specify that B2B email marketing and similar activities would not have to obtain the express opt-in consent of any individuals whose personal data were involved in said activities. Therefore, in the context of B2B marketing activities involving personal data, if individuals are given the option to opt-out this is sufficient to establish consent. The GDPR broadly also retains the abovementioned conditions for processing of personal data contained within the DPA, but with some important clarifications, particularly regarding individual consent.’ Read more…

What did I make of it: Whilst Mr Pearce did his best not to answer the question directly the Blog does provide good guidelines for ensuring your data system is robust.

  1. In July 2017, Blue Sheep Blog wrote about the new e-PR and said: ‘Although an unfinalised draft, the new e-Privacy Regulationcontains several key points relating to electronic communications that will affect B2B (and B2C) businesses, including applications to more communication services, simplified rules on Cookies and changes to soft opt ins which relates to messages to existing clients.’  On the subject of B2B data being classed as personal or not the Blog said: ‘Depending on whom you ask, you’ll hear mixed messages’. Read More…

What did I make of it: This Blog does a good job of clarifying the situation and explain the distinction between B2C and B2B data.

  1. In January 2018, Lead Forensics produced a Blog which related to the definition of ‘personal data’, ‘sensitive data’ and ‘business data’. Under the business data category, it read: ’GDPR only applies to data relating to individuals, not relating to businesses. So, data that is clearly related to a business such as business name and address, landline number and info@ email are all outside of GDPR ruling. However personal business email addresses can fall under a classification of “personal data”.’ Read More

What did I make of it: Very helpful infographics for those who like the information summed up clearly.

  1. In the light of personal business e-mails being considered ‘personal data’ you might want to read the Marketing Centre Blog which clarifies the term ‘legitimate interest’: ‘Legitimate Interest is one of the 6 lawful reasons for processing personal information defined in GDPR. The regulation states specifically that “the processing of personal data for direct marketing purposes may be regarded as carried out for a legitimate interest.”In fact, the DMA view is that B2B marketers will be able to make use of the legitimate interest legal grounds for their marketing activity in most instances.  Keep in mind, though, that the definition of legitimate interest is still a matter of debate. GDPR requires the sender to justify that a communication is in the legitimate interest of and does not risk the privacy of the individual. ‘Legitimate interest’ should not be used as a reason to ‘catch-all-and-carry-on-regardless’. You can download the DMA guidance on legitimate interest here. Read More…

What did I make of it: The Blog raises some key points and offers some useful links. It helped me understand how legitimate interest works.

 So how do you settle it?

The surprising answer is, read the Direct Marketing Guide put together by the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office – they are in charge). The document is well written in easy to understand language and includes plenty of examples. It’s not even too long.

Key points to take away:

  • Whilst we await the new e-PR to be agreed by the EU parliament the main legal documents referring to B2B marketing are DPS and PECR
  • There is ambiguity as to whether business e-mail addresses (for limited companies and corporates) are considered ‘personal data’
  • The main justification for B2B marketing under GDPR will fall under ‘legitimate interest’ though you will have to treat this with care
  • The biggest change to practice will be around data management so you need to sort this out as a matter of urgency.

As always, we will be delighted to help if we can. Do check out our GDPR support here and get in touch if you would like more information.

 

A few key reasons not to throw the baby out with the bath water

Current affairs offer us many examples of throwing the baby out with the bath water, Brexit being a particularly prominent example. If you read The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters, you will be aware of how the chimp can rule our lives, leading us to make some hasty choices to prove that we know best.

With GDPR now in place I hear many business owners declaring that as these new regulations are a headache, they will give up on marketing all together. Others are being less defiant and plan to give up on e-mail marketing as a strategy. I understand this approach as many business owners of established companies hold two key beliefs which support it:

  1. They know they get most of their new business from referrals
  2. They see marketing as an expensive overhead with no guaranteed results

You might be surprised to hear that I don’t disagree with these beliefs: I regard networking and referral marketing as my key new business strategy. Like everybody else, I have seen mixed results from new business campaigns. The difference is that I have not given up on pursuing new business from scratch and have instead created an eco-system utilizing many strategies.

Sounds mysterious and complicated you might think. Others will regard it as marketing speak and they are probably right. What I mean by it is that I have come to accept a few beliefs of my own:

  1. Every strategy has its own rhythm and requirements which need to be taken into account in order to drive it forward.
  2. Referrals are great and much easier to deal with and convert. However, they don’t necessarily drive your business in the direction you currently seek.
  3. Very few things in life are guaranteed. Marketing is certainly not one of them but it’s essential to your business.

So, before you and your chimp run ahead and delete your marketing databases, suck your e-mail marketing company and free yourselves from the marketing overhead altogether, remember:

  • GDPR is not an excuse to stop marketing but rather to do a better job of it
  • Developing new markets is essential for your business to thrive and grow
  • Things rarely work by magic, but they will deliver value if carefully planned and executed.

As always, we will be delighted to help if we can. Do check out our GDPR support here and get in touch if you would like more information.

Main marketing trends small businesses should consider in 2018

This time of year, the whole world and his wife are talking about future trends so I thought I should jump on the bandwagon too. I have spent a few hours wading through tons of articles and have created a list of my favourite trends from top influencers. To make sure it is useful, I have added a little translation relating the trend to small businesses. I hope you find it useful

Forbes: Place your brand purpose at the heart of your business strategy. Every brand makes a promise. But in a marketplace in which consumer confidence is low and budgetary vigilance is high, it’s not just making a promise that separates one brand from another, but having a defined purpose. This is where an organization identifies an aspirational mission and ties it to its day to day offerings. This unifying theme creates experiences which are centred around making tomorrow better than today. Successful marketers in the year ahead will place brand purpose at the core of business and brand strategy and use it as a lever of growth with internal and external audiences.

What does this mean to small business: The idea of appearing helpful to clients and prospects will continue to be important to your marketing strategy. Brand purpose takes it a bit further and suggests that you relate your communications to your core business values. In other words, don’t just come up with a load of vague useful guides but make sure it is all connected to an overall theme related to how you specifically solve problems in your market place.

Marketing week: With GDPR coming into effect next May, marketers must get to grips with their data to ensure they are fully compliant. Marketers will need to take a direct interest in the makeup of their databases and what GDPR allows to be done with them, and then train their teams. This should hopefully be aided by clearer guidance from the ICO in the coming months, though that has been promised throughout 2017 and so far, little has materialised.

What does this mean to small business: Whilst we are awaiting some firmer guidelines from the ICO, make sure that you review your data and data policy, to ensure that you comply with basic requirements. As many SME’s don’t have the knowledge or resources themselves, don’t hide behind it, get some help.

Neil Patel: Changing formats mean content roles are shifting: In recent years, there’s been a consistent shift away from content churning. The brands experiencing the most success with content marketing aren’t just flooding their audience with content, they’re taking a media publishing approach. Blogging by itself doesn’t tie into all the pertinent marketing strategies of growing companies, and it doesn’t address the issue of new formats for consumption. The content team will need to grow and adapt for the next year and should include people who have a variety of talents including video production, audio editing as well as content optimisation and analytics.

What does it mean to small businesses:  I am afraid it means that creating content is going to become more complicated and cost more money. The problem is that even in a B2B environment content has become very important and you need to work at it. In my opinion, you don’t have to go the full hog as before; content needs to be a part of your strategy ensuring it’s considered and budgeted for.

Circle C Studio: `Account-based marketing and sales strategies: This is a strategic approach to business marketing based on account awareness in which an organization considers and communicates with individual prospect or customer accounts as markets of one. ABM has been a hot topic in B2B marketing for the past few years and it picked up a lot of steam in 2017. For B2B firms with long, complex sales cycles that often involve many stakeholders and transactions that are typically high-value in nature, ABM represents a more effective way to generate new business than solely relying on “inbound” approaches to lead generation.

What does it mean to small businesses:  This one is music to my ears and something that we have been working on a lot in 2017.  Many small businesses seem to approach small and big companies in a similar manner. This often means that when approaching a larger business, they tend to stop at one senior contact rather than researching and finding multiple decision makers. You can also see this as confirmation that you need to deploy a number of tactics to make a campaign strategy work.

HuffPost: Growth Hacking: Also known as growth driven tactics, these are marketing processes specifically targeted for increasing growth in revenue. SEO is the still one of the best growth hacking strategies simply because you are getting more traction from people who are already inquiring about your product or service. As technology evolves to allow additional search options, you have to adjust your strategy to meet your audience where they are looking for you.

What does this mean to small business: In 2018 the need for outbound marketing will continue to grow. With customers everywhere having less money to spend, the race to their wallet will require you to come out of your comfort zone and go after your target markets. HuffPost mention SEO but of course there are many other tactics you can use for Growth Hacking including e-mail marketing, direct mail, LinkedIn and telemarketing.

Some interesting ideas there I am sure you agree. Not very much of the thinking is new but I think that it supports the notion that difficult market conditions require a tighter strategy. Here is how we can help in case you were wondering.

Have a great Christmas and a successful 2018!

 

Why is lead nurturing not really a sales job?

If you have read any of my Blogs lately, you will have seen that I am very interested in buying and selling styles.  I have also written quite a lot about follow up and why you, or your sales team, should not have the sole responsibility for it.

Working with customers to supply them with new business leads has made me realise how important timely follow up is.  That’s still the case but recently I have come to understand the kind of follow up required in order to benefit from new business leads and I thought it would be good to share this with you.

Firstly, it’s important to understand the difference between outbound and inbound marketing:

Inbound Marketing: This term is used to describe the tools you create to help people approach your business when they are interested in your product and service. These tools include your website, referral marketing, content marketing and so on.

Outbound marketing: This term is used to describe pre-meditated activities you undertake to approach your target markets directly. These activities include tactics such as e-mail marketing, advertising and telemarketing.

Many established businesses I come across, survive almost entirely on inbound marketing and particularly referrals. This is a phenomenon I have written about before and would advise against. This Blog, however, is interested specifically in growing SMEs who utilise outbound marketing activities through their sales and business development arm. Not surprisingly, these companies generate many leads and then become a victim of their own success, struggling to keep following up with all of them.

When this happens, the business is effectively throwing away much of the budget and effort they put into their lead generation. Their problem is no longer of generating numbers but of converting them at a high enough percentage. This problem arises from two main areas:

  1. Growing businesses are very busy and as a result, non-urgent but essential activities, such as lead nurturing and systematic follow up, get put to one side.
  2. Follow up is normally an activity assigned to the sales team. However effective follow up requires listening skills and patience which is not at the forefront of every sales person’s mind.

What is the problem then?

When you are conducting a lot of lead generation activities, you will find opportunities before they find you. This means that you often speak to interested parties when they are very early on in their buying cycle and have not made up their mind on what they want and from whom.  This means you will need to conduct quite a number of conversations before you are in a position to make the sale. Hence why persistent, polite and long-term follow up communication is so key. 

So, what can you do? ·

  • Reduce your lead generation efforts·
  • Nag your sales people to follow up more·
  • Recruit a telemarketing assistant ·
  • Outsource your follow up requirement

Here is what we do:

Lead generation is key to continuous growth but your sales people’s time is better used developing hot sales opportunities. The reality is that effective follow up takes some experience, which means that outsourcing can provide a good solution for the following reasons:

  • You get access to considerable experience and skills
  • The activity must generate results to be continued
  • The contractual commitment required is considerably reduced

Click here to read more about our lead nurturing solution and get in touch if you would like to discuss this further.

GDPR is coming: Expert advice from Helen Moloney of All Things Web®: Pay Per Click Marketing Guide for Beginners

Pay Per Click Marketing can be a very valuable tool for businesses to gain visibility and drive traffic to their website.  Whilst many have heard the term we often find they don’t fully understand what it is, how it works and more importantly when to use it within their marketing strategy.

In this beginners guide to Pay Per Click Marketing we provide an overview of this useful digital marketing channel.

What is Pay Per Click (PPC) Marketing?

PPC is essentially a form of advertising in which the advertiser pays a fee to the advertising platform every time their Ad is “clicked”, hence the term Pay Per Click.

Advertising on the search engines is the most common form of Pay Per Click Marketing as it allows businesses to buy not only visibility (rankings) within the search results, for their targeted search terms, but also visitors or “traffic” to their website in a much quicker timeframe than would be achieved by “earning” their positions with an organic search strategy.

Google Adwords is probably the most well known PPC platform in use by businesses, and enables them to advertise their website within the sponsored links section of the search results (see below) and get a share of the traffic generated for their target search phrases.

Google ad words

How Does Google Adwords Work?

To set up a Google Adwords account is completely free.  You only pay Google when your Ad is clicked and the visitor is taken to your website.

When a search is completed on Google, the search engine trawls through the millions of advertisers it has and selects what it feels are the best Ads to place within the sponsored links section of the search results for that search query.

For Ads to be selected they need to beat the competition for that search phrase.  The decision on which win the fight is based on a combination of factors; the relevance and quality of the advertisement for the search (Quality Score) and the amount the advertiser is prepared to spend (Bid Value) to get that visitor to their site.

How to Set up A Google Adwords Campaign

When setting up a Google Adwords Campaign you first need to decide which keywords or search terms that the people you want to attract to your website are likely to use.

These Keywords will be the trigger for when your Ads are displayed.  Careful keyword research is imperative to the success of a campaign; too generic will waste your budget as whilst they may generate lots of visitors to the site the lack of clear intent will result in poor conversion rates.  Very niche and specific keywords will give you a much better potential for conversion but with much lower volume.  A combination is therefore the best option.

Keywords identified, you then need to decide how much you are prepared to spend to obtain that all important visitor to your website for that phrase or group of phrases.  How much you “bid” will be determined by a number of factors; how much your competitors are prepared to spend to “win” one of those coveted spots, the lifetime value of a client to your business and overall budget available, after all it is a numbers game to a certain extent.

Once you have your keywords and decided how much to bid, you then need to write your Ads.  Space is limited and there are some quite specific criteria to meet so you need to be creative.  Ad content not only needs to be engaging to elicit a click but you need to get a good quality score – so relevance to the search phrase being targeted, intent of visitors and also the landing page you are delivering them too need to be taken into account.  This will not only bring better click scores but will also ensure your Ad is more likely to be placed within the results, plus you will be rewarded by lower cost per click rates.

The final stage and one that many overlook, is optimising your campaign landing pages.  Are they relevant to the search phrase triggering your Ad?  Again this will result in a better Quality Score from Google as well as ensure you don’t waste the click by taking visitors to an irrelevant page which they immediately leave.

Landing pages for PPC campaigns need to be much more focused than other generic pages on your website as visitors from Adwords behave very differently to those already familiar with the brand.  They need to be clear, concise, with strong calls to action and immediately give credibility to the business.

There are a lot of other things to consider when setting up your campaign including geographical targeting, timings of when Ads are displayed, additional content to display alongside your main Ad content (Phone numbers / Ratings etc.) but the above are the basic things to get you started on setting up your first campaign.

When should you consider using Google Adwords?

Google Adwords can be a particularly effective marketing tool either as part of a wider integrated digital strategy or for some very specific situations:

Starting out on your digital journey

If you are just starting digital marketing for your business or have just launched a new website and want some immediate visibility, PPC is a good channel to select. In general Pay Per Click is a faster and lower cost option; although more competitive search phrases can be expensive. In addition to saving on costs and bringing immediate results, it can provide useful data to help inform future marketing activity as it helps to demonstrate website performance, as well as identify which keywords generate traffic and conversions.

Targeting customers in a specific location

Do you target or want to target a market, not in your local area in the UK, or even another country? To achieve 1st-page search results organically at a National level or internationally, can be difficult as well as needing a long-term approach with a higher investment. With Pay Per Click you can target potential customers in specific areas and be on the 1st page of the search results immediately.

New Products and Services

When launching a new product or service it is unlikely that you will have or be able to build immediate visibility organically.  Using PPC campaigns will enable you to launch your product and service effectively and generate sales whilst you develop your long-term and sustainable organic rankings over time.

Further Help and Advice

All Things Web® is a full-service digital marketing agency with offices in Bristol and Swindon.  They provide PPC campaign management or tailored PPC training to help businesses on their paid search journey.  Find out more about Helen or visit the website to find out more.

GDPR is coming: Expert advice from Lisa Williams of Atom Content Marketing- six top tips to make content marketing work for your business

There’s no longer any need to make the business case for content marketing. When done well, it can be highly successful and businesses of all sizes and types now use content marketing to attract and retain customers. But that’s part of the problem – most of us are bombarded with content every minute of the day. Some of it is good – some of it isn’t. So, how do you make sure your content marketing hits the spot?

  1. Be authentic: If you copy others blindly or try to be something you’re not, your audience will see right through it. It will undermine your credibility. Think about your brand values and make sure that every item of content you put out is in tune with what your business really stands for. Be who you are.
  2. Be committed: Running a business is very demanding, but that doesn’t mean you can neglect content marketing. It shouldn’t be allowed to become low priority. Lose momentum and the value of previous content marketing can quickly diminish. Create a sound content marketing plan for the year ahead and stick to it. Regularity is crucial.
  3. Be helpful: Your content marketing should encourage people to know, like and trust your brand. Be friendly and helpful. Provide genuine value. It can help to raise your profile and attract fans, followers and customers who value the things they get from the relationship they have with your business.
  4. Be relevant: If your content isn’t relevant to those you need to reach, it won’t engage them. And if it doesn’t engage them, it won’t offer any value. To make sure your content remains relevant, always focus on your target audience’s needs. Create content that’s relevant to their lives and provides them with genuine value. Don’t just broadcast sales messages.
  5. Be original: Don’t jump on the latest bandwagon just because everyone else is doing it. Instead, find ways to set yourself apart. Be pioneering. Find new angles. Be refreshing. Find new things to talk about. Be different. Don’t be boring and predictable.
  6.  Be the best: Never underestimate the importance of quality. Set a budget, of course, but spend it wisely and make sure your content is good as you can make it. Don’t cut corners. Work with good people. Keep your content free from silly mistakes. Your content must create the right perceptions of your brand. Quality matters.

You can find out more about Lisa Williams here.  Visit Marketing Donut for more help and advice on content marketing. Marketing Donut is published by Atom Content Marketing and is one of six market-leading Donut websites helping small businesses to succeed.