How to Ensure You’re Hiring a Trustworthy Marketing Agency

How to Ensure You’re Hiring a Trustworthy Marketing Agency

Corey Eridon’s post published on Hubspot raises questions every business should ask itself before hiring a marketing agency. As a business owner, are you ready to place your trust in them? And why should you?  Trust is the key to a successful agency-client relationship. Here are a few points that are relevant to consider before signing the contract.   Does the agency practice what it preaches? One thing you can do is to check if the marketing agency you’d like to hire does to itself what it is supposed to do to its clients. Do they implement their strategy to their own business? Simply check on the website of the company and on their social presence on the Internet. They haven’t been tweeting for a half-a-year or they don’t have a blog?  That’s definitely not a good sign. Don’t hesitate to ask them direct questions like: what kind of content do you use to drive trafic to your website? See their case studies Client case studies are one of the best ways to prove success in the industry. It allows you to determine whether or not the company fits your kind of activity. If you are a B2B entrepreneur, do you want to hire a marketing  agency that has worked only for B2C clients? Maybe not. Another thing you can do is to obtain in-depth references just by directly getting in touch with the agency’s clients. This will show you straight away if the company has built strong relationships with them. Do they understand your goals? If the answer is yes, they should have a plan for you before you sign...
Search vs. Display Advertising: Which Promises More Bang for the Buck?

Search vs. Display Advertising: Which Promises More Bang for the Buck?

In this article published in the Forbes Magazine, Micheal Blending talks search vs display ads. Has it become easier for marketers to measure the impact of an advertising campaign since the Internet has become the biggest communication means? Obviously yes, according to Sunil Gupta Edward W. Carter Professor of Business Administration and Head of the Marketing Department at Harvard Business School. One good reason for that is that online marketing is more measurable than traditional marketing. How measurable is it? If we look a little bit closer, it is not that easy to calculate the ROI (return on investment). Plus, there is not only one way to do online advertising.ads Are search ads more measurable than display ads? Search ads, which are linked to search queries, are the most measurable form of online advertisement. They have the advantage to directly relate to a purchase decision. That’s why they’re supposed to work better than display ads, more visible but less likely to be translated into direct clicks although they can drive customers down the funnel. First of all I really want to insist on the fact it depends on the market. This is not necessarily true, for several reasons: 1. Internet users go through different phases when they do a search query and search ads can respond more or less efficiently to their needs. For example: searching for “plumming tips” is different than typing “plumming emergency”, its the same with display ad, depending on wich site they will show up 2. In the case of retargeting, based on the fact that an average 80-90%,  people originally arrive on a website through...
Crossing the Borders—Some Tips for International Online Marketing

Crossing the Borders—Some Tips for International Online Marketing

How far do you want to go with your business? Whether you just started or you are already well implemented in your segment and country, you may ambition one day to cross the border. Targetting new countries and foreign markets certainly  is an exciting project. The read of the post Crossing the Borders—Some Tips for International Online Marketing on Business2community.com’s blog gives me the opportunity to talk a bit about this challenging topic.     Prepare yourself Where do you want to  go? This question may seem simple to answer but it’s going to take you some time and research. You need to know if there is room for you and if you are able to comply with the regulation of the country you intend to go to. So take time to sit down and study ! Costs are another matter that you want to take care of (taxes, echange, etc.). This article published on global-strategy.net’s website can help you find some answers: How do you build a global strategy?. These are the different steps that are to be taken : – analyse the market – identify the company’s ressources for international expansion – set international and global objectives – explore market entry and mode – develop the product or service – innovate and learn Adapt your strategy and get some help Are you sure that your strategy will work abroad? Check if other local strategies may be more efficient than yours beacause they fit the customers’ habits. Even within your own market, sometimes you just can’t predict what is coming up. It never hurts to find someone who will be able to...
Are Your Content Marketing Campaigns Converting?

Are Your Content Marketing Campaigns Converting?

Singlegrain.com’s blog recently published a post intitled Are Your Content Marketing Campaigns Converting?. I found in this article a few good points that are worth to share. Today content is one the best way to start leveraging an audience. It is a crucial step in a social media marketing strategy. However it is just the first move to reach the ultimate target: converting your visitors. There are a few questions you might want to answer before creating and banging your content.     What is your strategy? The first thing you have to do is to define your goals from a conversion point of view. Of course, you want your visitors to buy your stuff. But there are many other impacts you can expect from providing good content on your website: build or reinforce your brand, increase a targeted audience, make visitors opt-in, etc. Great tools to measure your audience and ROI from your content are – Google analytics – Share of Voice – Social Mention (find out who mentioned you or your product) Manage your campaign The next step is: you want to take the right decisions and make the right moves. Track your conversions with a combination of Google Analytics Goals + Advanced Traffic Segments. Read Google support documentation to learn how to use these tools. Identify the limitations of your content marketing campaign Yes, it may take a while to obtain solid conversion data. A few months, sometimes. The phases are generally : Traffic generation Visitor engagement Conversion rate optimization This can easily take you to 5 or 6 months to achieve a satisfying conversion rate....
LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman’s Advice for start up  Entrepreneurs

LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman’s Advice for start up Entrepreneurs

 Reid Hoffman says he was a loner when he was at school. Years later he founded LinkedIn, one of the most powerful social network on the planet. So, which tips this business guru has to bring to entrepreneurs? Well Kissmetrics’ blog tells it all in this article about Reid Hoffman’s book The Start-up of you cowritten with Ben Casnocha and released in 2012. Offering a good, a better product than what already exists is not enough to be successful on the Internet. Good is not enough. Your product has to be outstanding to compete. And it has to be new and disrupt the market. But that’s not it. Then you’re going to need a strong distribution. Here are a few of Hoffman’s major points: The Start-up of you 1. Don’t enter a crowded market 2. Don’t wait too long, start thin and adjust 3. Act fast, make sure your team is ready to move on with you 4. Take intelligent risks 5. Make plans 6. Don’t be afraid to think big 7. Thinking out the box is OK, you can sometimes break the rules 8. Have a plan … Z. This is probably one of the most important point : you want to have a plan A, a plan B and… a plan Z. Why? Because there is a good chance that A may be wrong. And that’s ok… if you have another plan. That’s why I advise you to read about Eric Ries’  Lean Startup methodology wich  is an interesting way of implementing this vision by providing tools in order to continuously test the product. This project was...
4 Reasons Brands Shouldn’t Rely Solely on Social Media to Communicate

4 Reasons Brands Shouldn’t Rely Solely on Social Media to Communicate

  Vice President, Content Marketing at PR Newswire Sarah Skerik gives her opinion about why you shouldn’t rely only on social channels for your communication. According to her, the four major reasons are : 1. Reliability (because you can’t predict when Twitter is going to be overloaded or when the Facebook Apps will break down) 2. Services and plateform changes on which you have zero control 3. Feed managment algorithm. Are you really sure that your audience sees the content you post? 4. Security: well, no need to explain. We can even go a little bit further than this when it comes to relying on social media for your communication. Last December in Forbes Magazine columns J. Maureen Anderson pointed out in an article called 3 Reasons You should Quit Social Media in 2013 a wise argument: Online is no substitute for Offline.   Indeed, although social networks can help you build new partnerships, it just can’t replace the real world. Remember one thing: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other tools you’re going to use for your communication on the Internet are running for themselves, because they are companies. What if tomorrow Facebook disappears? Ok, there is a very slight chance that it happens tomorrow but that’s something you should always keep in mind. You can still make the most of it by using the right tools. (Have a look on our previous post  Top 5 Tools to Manage Your Social Media: A Pros and Cons Review. Go to 4 Reasons Brands Shouldn’t Rely Solely on Social Media to Communicate...
How to Use April Fools’ Day to Build Links

How to Use April Fools’ Day to Build Links

April Fools’ Day (or poisson d’avril) is near and you know what that means – beware of a slew of humorously untrue news stories and pranks from different brands. Remember that viral story about Google launching their own SEO company? Who else almost fell for that? What about that one time Google turned Maps into 8-bit images? And who could forget YouTube’s compilation of viral videos in physical DVD disc format? If you’ve been paying attention, April Fools’ Day isn’t just a day to pull pranks anymore; it’s a very effective way to make a post go viral. Yes, you’ll be fooling people, but they usually take April Fools’ Day pranks in stride, unless of course you steal their money, burn down their crops, cast a plague or poison their water supply, which I doubt you’ll do just to pull a viral prank for your brand. So here are top tips on how to use April Fools’ Day for building links and viral marketing. Compile a List of Pranks Sometimes, the simplest ideas can bring in a flood of links. Larger media sites, for example, have been successful in getting swamped with traffic simply by publishing a list of the best April Fools’ jokes. With some creativity, going viral will be easy peasy. Make your article a roundup of the best pranks in your niche market. You not only attract readers looking for some laughs, you also draw in your target audience. Partner with Other Sites A good idea for a prank, especially if you want to involve other people or want a wider reach, is to get two...
Customer Stories: How to Write Compelling Content

Customer Stories: How to Write Compelling Content

Using case studies and customer stories is old school; it’s been practiced for decades. Yet, it’s still very effective. After all, when shopping for a product you haven’t used before, who would you rather trust will help you make the right choice? The sales guy who’s probably trying to meet quota or the customer who has used this product before? Case studies are a fundamental element in sales and marketing. And in a business era where a lot of marketers depend on content to popularize their products, fresh and interesting content is important to rise above the competition. Customer stories make very powerful content because they: Tell why customers trust your products and services Showcase the features and benefits customers can receive from your business Emphasize your core message Engage customers and prospects Give prospects convincing references when they’re deciding to have transactions with you In terms of SEO and lead generation, case studies can propel people deeper into your sales funnel because they: Expand your content marketing strategy, because you can turn them into different pieces of content, such as email newsletters, eBooks or presentations for SlideShare Allow more publicity through media coverage Generate more SEO authority Further optimize your website Stories can grab the interest of readers in ways that elevator speeches, product announcements and even content marketing articles can’t. They are the voice of actual people and real experiences, whether or not the customer’s experience has been good. On the other hand, many companies still don’t leverage their customers’ stories enough to turn them into tools for conversion. SAP Germany built this exemplary content marketing strategy....
Facebook Layout Update: Improve Your Brand’s Facebook Strategy Now

Facebook Layout Update: Improve Your Brand’s Facebook Strategy Now

Find out what Facebook’s latest redesign means for businesses, and learn implications and tips that will help improve your Facebook marketing in light of the layout update. Have you heard the news? Facebook is completely changing its layout! The social network has been forcing layout changes on us from time immemorial and it seems like only yesterday when we first got Timeline. This time, apart from retaining the white and blue theme, Facebook is getting a complete makeover. The Facebook layout update is for removing clutter and creating a simpler, cleaner News Feed, according to the social media giant. Here’s the preview video with some commentary from one of the people behind the social network: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PW54Sm99ck[/youtube] Sign up to be in the new layout waiting list here: www.facebook.com/newsfeed First of all, does anyone else think this preview looks a bit too “stock photo-ish”? Seriously, a normal Facebook timeline doesn’t look like this; it’s filled with 9gag memes, selfies, passive-aggressive status messages, pictures of babies and pets, and promoted posts among other banalities. Considering that the usual timeline is mostly packed with mundane or funny photos and statuses, the question of how uncluttered Facebook will turn out remains. With Great Change Comes Great Opportunity Now, let’s move on to the really important question: how will the new Facebook affect your social media marketing? Facebook’s udpates have always driven us to revamp our social media strategies. When the social network stopped supporting static iFrames, we had to cease developing Facebook landing pages; and although not many social media marketers knew this, Facebook once had a feature where you could easily send...
9 Steps to Resolve Customer Complaints

9 Steps to Resolve Customer Complaints

Every time a customer complains, they are giving the business in question a chance to maintain customer loyalty. Complaints are brought about by dissatisfaction in an otherwise fine product or service; they are pleas from the customer to the business – pleas to correct a situation gone wrong. If the situation isn’t rectified, the customer will most likely take their business elsewhere and you lose them forever. Unhappy customers are not good for any company, and it only takes one to ruin your day at work, and only one to stir an upheaval against your business. That being said, ignoring grievances is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. If you see grumbles as a chance to keep people as customers and improve your business, you’ll view them in a positive light and understand that complaints are necessary for your business’ health. What to do when a customer complains? First off, let me tell you a story. Earlier this month, the ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s gave 16 customers a Willy Wonka-esque tour around their factory. This was the first (and probably the last) time the manufacturer of frozen confections invited customers to their facility, but it wasn’t because they won golden tickets, it’s because they were at one point dissatisfied with the ice cream and emailed Ben & Jerry’s to complain. One of the customers, Leslie Gerhat, was disappointed when the pistachios of her flavored ice cream were soggy and fell apart in her mouth. After emailing the company, Gerhat received a coupon in the mail for free ice cream some weeks later, but it wasn’t...