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Use Your Company Website as the Hub of Your Online Marketing

With so many digital marketing tactics and channels being used today, it’s important to make your website the hub of all your online efforts. Rather than operating in silos, your digital efforts should be fully integrated—with your website serving as the home base.

By now you have (hopefully) read many of our blog posts saying that content marketing is imperative for your business. You may be starting up your social media efforts, writing blog posts, sending out email campaigns and promoting other types of content—all of which should be leading prospects back to your website with the goal of conversion. But is your website helping or hurting your digital efforts?

Why your company website is more critical than ever

The Internet has fundamentally changed how people make purchasing decisions. In the past, consumers based decisions on information they received from advertising, brochures or sales people. Now consumers research extensively online, read reviews, download guides and reports and participate in forums. According to the 2012 Digital Influence Index released by Fleishman-Hillard, 89% of consumers use the Internet to find information on products, services or companies prior to making a purchase decision. Prospects want to get as much information as possible before they have to speak to a sales person or make a purchase.

Your website is the front door of your business

What good is web traffic if you don’t have a quality website to send prospects to? Your website is the front door to your business, and is often the first impression your brand makes on prospects. It’s the place where you control the design, narrative and style. And in a split second, your website conveys something about your brand and company.

So is that message positive, negative or neutral? Design and aesthetics aren’t the be-all, end-all, but they are hugely important to reflecting well of your company and keeping prospects on your site. Is your website clean, organized and easy to navigate? If it is confusing or hard to find information, you can say good-bye to prospects.

Your website operates as the center of your content publishing

The idea behind having your website as the hub is so that you can reach out to people where they are, like Facebook, Twitter, email or blogs, and then lead them back to your website. Because what good is great content if nobody knows you have it? Your website acts as the hub for your online marketing efforts, and most of your content will reside there in some form. And it’s fundamentally important to cross-promote your content as much as possible in order to maximize its reach and influence. For example, you can share your blog post on social media channels, promote your eBook on your blog and use email to showcase your latest case study—all of which send prospects back to your website.

Your website provides information at each stage of the buying cycle

Your website should have all the information that prospects are looking for at each stage of the buying cycle, in a way that is easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing. Driving traffic and giving prospects the information they need is paramount, but generating leads and converting leads into customers is the end goal. And it takes more than simply having a website, you need it to have all the components necessary to get results. It should provide the information prospects need throughout the buyer’s journey, but also have clear calls to action when they are either ready to move forward, or need more information as they move into the next stage of the decision making process.

Your website serves as a member of your sales and business development team

Your sales or business development people work 9-5, but your website is available to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be accessed from anywhere in the world. When consumers begin researching for their next purchase, it can be at any time of the day, and you want your website to be your online business development tool. Your website is your central point of contact and should have front-and-center phone numbers, clear calls-to-action, a contact form or anything else that will help your visitors have a way to get in touch with you.

Once you have provided the information prospects are interested in at the awareness and interest stages of the buying cycle, you need to make sure that you also provide information for the “sales” stage. As prospects are considering and evaluating your company or product, be sure your website clearly explains who you are and what you do. What is it like to work with you? How is your product different than the alternative? Why are you the best in the world at what you do? While not everyone on your website is looking for this information, at some point they will be, so take the opportunity to use your website as a sales and business development tool.

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So, are you wondering if your company needs a new website? Check out these 12 reasons your company may need a web refresh. Don’t let your content marketing efforts go to waste because your website is driving the incoming traffic away or failing to convert visitors into leads.

Interested in making your website a hub of your online marketing? Click here to contact us or call us on +254 713 047 177 or drop us an email at info@sadorit.com

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Boost Online B2B Lead Conversions Using Retargeting

Only about 2% of first time visitors to a company’s website are ready to make a purchase. The B2B sales cycle can be quite long, so leveraging retargeting technology can be a great way to bring potential leads back to your website that didn’t “convert” the first time.

While retargeting continues to gain traction in B2B marketing, forty-six percent of search engine marketing professionals believe retargeting is the most underused online marketing technology available. Due to it’s effectiveness in reengaging previous website visitors and helping to convert leads, your B2B online marketing program could greatly benefit from this technology.

What is retargeting?

Retargeting, also called remarketing, is a marketing technology that helps reengage prospects who have previously visited your website by showing them ads as they browse the web. It allows you to promote a product or service to people who have previously interacted with your company, but just might not be ready to purchase yet—keeping you top of mind and increasing brand awareness.

Search retargeting is not the same thing as site retargeting. Search retargeting focuses on engaging new prospects that have an interest in your product or service but might not be aware of your brand yet. However, this post will focus on using site retargeting to attract prospects back to your website and increasing conversions. Site retargeting can be accomplished in several ways such as display ads, search, banner ads, etc. Here are a few companies that provide this service:

  • Google Adwords Remarketing
  • ReTargeter
  • AdRoll
  • FetchBack
  • Perfect Audience

Why site retargeting matters

Site retargeting is an effective way to target a narrow audience and nurture leads. It’s an alternative to mass digital advertising, and is a way to spend your advertising dollars more wisely—targeting people that have already peaked an interest in your brand. Retargeting can boost ad response up to 400%.

Site retargeting complements the longer B2B sales cycle since it keeps your brand top of mind with prospects as they research and do their due diligence. Retargeting could even help shorten the sales cycle by nurturing leads. It also provides an opportunity to cross sell other products or services you offer that complement the original item.

Best practices

Retargeting is best utilized by segmenting your visitors to provide the most relevant ads possible. For example, if one visitor looked at Product A, you’ll want to segment them from visitors that looked at Product B. Segmenting allows your campaign to provide the most relevant ads possible and increase your chances of clickthroughs. Once visitors do come back and purchase a product, you will want to either remove them from your retargeting list or add them to a different list that promotes a similar or complimentary product or service.

Monitor, test and tweak consistently. Don’t just create your retargeting campaign and let it run its course. In order to have a successful campaign, you will need to monitor it and change your ads depending on their clickthrough rates.

Concerns around retargeting

Most likely we’ve all been exposed to retargeting. Some advertisers are concerned that retargeting is too intrusive or “stalker-like.” Others sometimes see it as spam. However, it’s really no more intrusive than any other type of online marketing—as it uses cookies stored on your computer to track your online activity. And no matter what, you are always going to see online ads. So why not have them actually be relevant to you?

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Retargeting is an effective way to convert prospects into customers, especially for B2B companies with a longer sales cycle. By following best practices, you’ll be able to spend your online advertising budget more wisely and convert more of your prospects into customers.

Interested in implementing retargeting in your online marketing efforts? Click here to contact us or call us on +254 713 047 177 or drop us an email at info@sadorit.com

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Boost Your Online Marketing Program With Marketing Automation

Marketing automation software is proving to be an indispensible tool for online marketers by helping to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their programs. It’s been said that marketing automation is to online marketers what QuickBooks is to accountants.

Marketing automation provides marketers a powerful and easy way to integrate all the components of their online marketing program into one system, helping to more intelligently manage the customer experience across online channels. And over the last several years, the software has seen enormous growth, fueled by the likes of Act-On, Pardot, Marketo and Hubspot among others. And according to SiriusDecisions, the marketing automation industry is expected to grow by 50% by 2015—proof that the valuable tool will continue to gain more widespread exposure and adoption.

Marketing automation enables smarter marketing.

As today’s buyers (B2B and B2C) have become increasingly sophisticated and research oriented, marketing and sales simply have to change their approach. Customers are in control and want to make informed decisions. And they seek out information that is educational, insightful and helpful, not the in-your-face sales messages that dominated marketing of the past.

So naturally, it has become critical for marketers to communicate with prospects and customers with targeted, relevant content that meets them where they are in the customer lifecycle. That’s where marketing automation comes in. It tracks and aggregates valuable behavioral information, allowing marketers to see where contacts are in the lifecycle, determine what is or isn’t working and then optimize customer engagement accordingly.

Marketing automation saves time and increases efficiency

The digital landscape continues to expand and become more complex and fragmented. Marketing automation gives marketers one integrated multi-channel platform that makes the many facets of online marketing (e.g. email, social, search, lead generation, lead management, web analytics, webinars and CRM) much easier to manage. While many online marketing functions can be accomplished using many disparate tools, marketing automation makes it simpler, faster and ultimately more efficient.

Marketing automation helps align marketing and sales

As buyer behaviors have changed, the relationship between marketing and sales (or business development depending on your industry lingo) has changed or is changing as well, making the need for increased alignment and closed-loop communication absolutely critical.

A successful marketing automation implementation can help align marketing and sales through increased communication and transparency. Additionally, marketing automation has the ability to integrate with CRM, providing internal sales and business development teams with real-time, actionable intelligence on what prospects and leads are up to—all inside their CRM. Once marketing and sales have come to an agreement on what defines a qualified lead, the entire process can be fully automated and marketing can adjust both the quantity and quality of leads being pushed over to sales.

Marketing automation provides marketers with essential tools

Marketing automation is a virtual playground for online marketers, providing a toolbox full of valuable and “must have” solutions necessary for moving the needle in the chaotic digital landscape we find ourselves in. Here are just some of the essentials tools that a solid marketing automation platform will give you:

  • Website Visitor Tracking/Analytics: Allows you to know who is visiting your website, when they are visiting, pages they are viewing, content they are downloading and what brought them there.
  • Email Marketing: Go beyond the limitations of a typical email marketing platform (e.g. Constant Contact) and leverage the power of other automation features such as list management, lead scoring, behavior history, A/B testing, subscription management, automated programs, etc.
  • Lead Scoring: Each lead gets profiled and their actions tracked in order to assign a score value to each one in real-time. Determine sales-readiness and know which leads might be the best opportunities to focus on.
  • List Management: Segment leads and messages based on profile attributes, buying cycle stage and/or observed behaviors to boost your click-through rates and ultimately lead to higher conversion rates.
  • Lead Nurturing: These “drip” campaigns send a series of automated emails that are at scheduled intervals to qualified, but not sales-ready, leads.
  • Social Media Management: Integrate your social media activities with your other online channels for increased consistency and measurability. Leverage the power of social media to drive traffic and action and know when it does.
  • Landing Pages and Forms: Create highly trackable destination pages for your content offers, surveys, events and campaigns using landing pages complete with lead capture forms that utilize progressive profiling.
  • Reporting: Measurement is critical to your online marketing program. With marketing automation, you can see results in real-time, gain insight into campaign performance and make adjustments and refinements on the fly.

The stats: marketing automation is a difference maker

More than just hype and another line-item expense, companies that have successfully implemented marketing automation are seeing the value it brings. Here are just a few stats we’ve compiled to offer proof:

Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads. (Source: The Annuitas Group)

Companies that automate lead management see a 10% or greater increase in revenue in 6-9 months. (Source: Gartner Research)

Marketing automation drives a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead. (Source: Nucleus Research)

Relevant emails delivered through marketing automation drive 18 times more revenue than email blasts. (Source: Jupiter Research)

Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. (Source: Forrester Research)

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Leveraging marketing automation software can provide your online marketing program a much-needed boost. It saves you time, cuts costs and increases reach and engagement by sending relevant and timely content to prospects. It can also show proof that marketing delivers measureable, bottom-line results.

To install, configure and implement a stable and result oriented affordable marketing automation software, click here or call +254 713 047 177 or email us at info@sadorit.com

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The Best Way to Land a Job in Social Media? Just Dive In.

Q: What’s the best way to get started with a career in social media/digital advertising?
Christopher Young
Elkins, W.Va.

A: Just like any industry, there are a lot of ways to get into “the business.” In my opinion, the best way to break into a new industry is to dive right in. Do so by reading books and blogs, look at job postings and network by attending meetings and informational interviews. Here’s how:

Must-read books
You’re going to want to read. A lot. These are the books I recommend without hesitation. (I’m keeping the list short to avoid scaring anyone)

  1. Ogilvy on Advertising: Do not skip this book! Famous advertising executive David Ogilvy wrote it in 1983, but the insights are timeless.
  2. All Marketers Are Liars and We Are All Weird: Seth Godin is considered the modern marketing thought leader, and his books are clear and sophisticated. Start with these two titles and work your way through his library.
  3. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion: Learn the mental and behavioral switches to throw for compelling marketing.
  4. Trust Agents: I believe this book offers the best high-level view of how social media works.
  5. Web Analytics 2.0: Analytics and data are required skills for any internet marketer and this book can take you from beginner to expert.
  6. Anything by Edward Tufte: Data visualization will eventually make or break your ability to explain things to bosses and clients. It’ll also make or break your career. Statistician Tufte presents anything and everything on the topic of data presentation. 

Related: 12 Must-Know Trends in Digital Marketing 

Read them in the order, as the books build off each other. Then, look at the authors they each cite and work through those. After 18 years in this business, I still try to read one new marketing book every two to three weeks. 

Blogs to follow 
Books give you the high-level view, but blogs are a great place to learn tactics. There are a lot of marketing blogs out there, but only a few offering real value. Here are the ones I read every day:

  • Scott Stratten’s Unmarketing: Scott doesn’t publish often, but when he does, it’s well worth a read.
  • The Moz blog: The company behind search engine optimization software and analytics tools has its pulse on these marketing tactics, along with pay-per-click.
  • Occam’s Razor: is Avinash Kaushik’s blog, the author of Web Analytics 2.0. He offers examples, lessons and downloadable reports.
  • Annielytics: will teach you everything you need to know about Excel and then some.
  • A List Apart: gets tactical about everything from typography to project management.
  • The Harvard Business Review: has given me some of my best lessons. 

Related: A Social-Media Marketing Primer Even Your Mom Can Handle 

Getting a job
You did your readings, have a solid foundation of marketing trends and now you are ready to find a job. This is always the hard part, isn’t it? Everyone wants marketing experience, which you can’t get without a marketing job, right? Wrong. We’re fortunate to be in an industry where you can build experience any time you like. 

Get noticed
The best way to build an online presence is sharing your insights on a blog, Google+, Facebook, Twitter or a Tumblr page. If you feel so inclined, you can also create YouTube videos, Vine loops or upload an entire slide deck on SlideShare. Just get out there, as it will help you define yourself as an expert, while also building your network.

To do so, you should set aside an hour a day and choose a topic you love (I started writing about video games and bicycles). Brainstorm a few good articles to write, pick your favorite and begin producing content. I suggest writing for 30 minutes. 

Not every post is going to be brilliant but you should aim for publishing at least one out of three times you sit down and write. If you never publish, you’re not a marketer: You’re just keeping a diary. 

Once you hit publish, become active on social media. Peruse your favorite relevant thinkers on sites like Twitter and see who is following them. Follow those people. 

Also, make sure you socialize your own content. Take time to announce your latest and greatest on all pertinent social channels. Remember to engage with your audience on these networks.

Get out there
You can make connections in the industry at networking events. Honestly, it’s a tough way to gain entry into an agency that might hire you, so I suggest scheduling informational interviews with team members at agencies. Most of us are more than happy to meet, tell you about what we do, what skills you need, and yes, size you up to see if we’d like to hire you. Very few agencies will turn down a smart person who can write. And worst case, you learn a great deal from someone who’s got a job in marketing.

Related: 4 Contacts You Need In Your Network Now 

Stick with it 
Persistence may be more important than anything else. If you keep reading, you will learn. If you keep writing, you will improve. Keep at it. Marketing’s a great profession, because you never stop learning.

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5 Ways to Close The Sale With Indecisive Customers

One of the biggest challenges sales organizations face is securing customers who aren’t ready to buy. Maybe they’re considering a competitor’s offer or having internal issues that are delaying their decision-making. Whatever the case for their indecision, your goal is to convince these prospective customers to eventually buy from you.

To accomplish this often elusive task, you need to be savvy about the way you follow-up with prospective customers. Here are five keys to follow-up success:

Sales & Marketing Expert Services? Click here to contact Rose Situbi and Owen Kabole

1. Create a follow-up marketing budget. Your company probably spends significant dollars on marketing and advertising to attract new prospects. Why not invest more in converting prospects into customers — particularly if they’ve already shown an interest in your company? This kind of approach will help you yield the highest return on investment for your advertising dollars.

2. Simplify their lives. While the ultimate purpose of your follow-up is to close sales, your messaging to prospects needs to go beyond selling. No prospect wants to constantly hear your message of “buy my stuff.” Instead, use the follow-up to establish yourself as a trusted advisor. You can send a prospective customers articles and information addressing their concerns, for example. By helping them, you build trust. When they are finally ready to make their buying decision, they will be more likely to buy from you.

Sales & Marketing Expert Services? Click here to contact Rose Situbi and Owen Kabole

3. Use multiple touch points. Email is the easiest and quickest way to follow up with prospects, but don’t limit yourself to one form of communication. When following up, you an reach out with a phone call, through snail mail, or by sharing a video link. All of these give you a better chance of engaging prospective customers, increasing their likelihood of buying.

4. Set a follow-up timeline. Set a follow-up timeline based on your typical sales cycle. For example, if the typical sales cycle is one month, perhaps you should follow up with prospects twice per week for the next four weeks, once per week for the following two weeks, and then monthly for the next 12 months.

Most importantly, don’t give up. You’ll be surprised how effective reaching out to a prospect six months after your initial contact can be. Most importantly, because your competitors will rarely follow-up with prospects for that long, you’ll often be able to close sales without any competitive pressure.

Sales & Marketing Expert Services? Click here to contact Rose Situbi and Owen Kabole

5. Establish a follow-up system. It’s important to establish a system, particularly with follow-up sequences that last many months or even years. Without systems in place, it’s too easy for someone to drop the ball and for necessary follow ups not to get done. This can range from simple follow-up alerts in your CRM system to hiring a marketing manager whose sole focus is helping sales staff secure more sales from follow-ups.

In today’s competitive business world, it’s all too common for buyers to delay making a decision. Those firms that can leverage this fact via effective follow-up will dominate their markets. Remember the old adage — you can’t improve what you don’t measure. Measure the effectiveness of your follow-up campaigns. Determine what’s working and do more of it. Likewise, fix or refrain from continuing the efforts that aren’t yielding results. Do this and you’ll be the envy of your market.

Sales & Marketing Expert Services? Click here to contact Rose Situbi and Owen Kabole