Last week Twitter repositioned itself from a social network to a news channel. For those of us who have been tweeting for a while (7 years in my case) this is not a huge surprise as we have seen the network become less social as it has grown.
Red Evolution Opinions & Musings
We created a rather nice little keyword tool many moons ago called Seed Keywords. The idea was simple, create a scenario or problem and ask people to provide the search phrases they would use to solve it. We figured that getting real search phrases from real people in response to a very specific problem would add some spice to the mix, and it did. It's proved to be a useful tool in people's SEO and search marketing armoury.
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We get quite a lot of invitations to tender or ITT's. These lifeless documents are often put together by out of touch advisors working with businesses who are confused and in need of help. I get it, I understand why on the face of it, it seems to make sense. The businesses don't know what they need (neither it seems do the advisers) and to compensate for a lack of knowledge they commoditise it and go out to the market looking for a price. This approach rarely works.
Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach potential customers and, more importantly, to provoke a response. Even with decreasing open rates, emails can trigger actions better than most other marketing tools.
Thanks to our own inbound marketing efforts we get a steady stream of fantastic business opportunities. Many of the enquiries we get are from businesses at an early stage of their journey into inbound marketing; so early they are often unaware of the inbound marketing philosophy. What I mean is they've recognised their websites are not generating leads but that's as far as they've got. I believe there are 7 stages to inbound marketing success and I'll now explore all 7 stages as I see them, based on our experience with many businesses.
In our industry, webby marketing type stuff, we get lots of emails that start like this. "We wanted to let you know about our lead generation service which gives you access to thousands of clients per year seeking new websites and an average of £35K worth of projects per month." These emails amuse me (I amuse you?). They amuse me because they're offering us low-quality leads and an opportunity to compete with a bunch of lowest common denominator companies, usually for a thirty-bob client. No thanks.
In a recent post, Julie wrote about the importance of marketing in a downturn. It was aimed at the good people of Aberdeen and indeed, Houston, who are going through interesting times because of the fall in the global oil price. Most people didn't see this coming, or chose not to, and now marketing departments around these cities are scrambling around in an attempt to get the phone ringing again. Let's just say their lead generation wasn't quite up to scratch.
In Business to Business Marketing, decisions tend to be lengthy and complicated. They usually involve more than one person, a good deal of money and a fair amount of risk. Every step of your marketing efforts should be moving them towards becoming a lead.
In a recent blog post we opened up about inbound marketing costs and introduced the idea of a retainer. Now, we get that some people will wonder why they need to retain an agency to help them generate more leads online, thinking it's perhaps a distinct project with a start and an end, not so. Lead generation isn't an activity with a start and an end.
Admit it, you started your Facebook page because you thought you should have one, and you joined Twitter to..., well you're not really sure why. If that's you, you are not alone. It is very difficult to decide what to post or share if you don't know the purpose of your social media presence.
We're an Aberdeen based web agency and we've spent the last 12 months transforming ourselves into an inbound marketing company so we can deliver even more value to our clients. Through a process of formal training, cohort-based workshops and lots of hard work we're now securing retainers to work with some amazing and forward thinking companies from all over the UK and beyond. Although we've been "doing" inbound pretty much since we started in 2003 we decided to formalise our offering and it's really paying off for us.
We did this because we LOVE what we do and we LOVE helping businesses do more on-line.
Inbound marketing is all about attracting potential customers to your website, engaging with them by providing useful and compelling content and hopefully, eventually, converting them into clients or customers. The range of skills and tools that inbound marketing agencies, like Red Evolution, employ include Search Engine Optimisation or SEO, design, content creation (blogs, videos etc), strategic thinking and everything in between. But what does it cost?
Defining your topic is a vital part of your content strategy - without it you won't know what to talk about or how to engage your audience and you can't start to develop a content plan. Here's a video explaining how to figure your topic out.
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is a contentious subject for many businesses. Oh and if you're a little confused about what exactly search engine optimisation is, this explanation will help! But the thing is, many businesses make it worse by falling for what we call the SEO Cycle of Denial and it goes something like this.
Warning: As with our last post this one also contains some hard truths.