Finding a Path Forward Post-COVID. Part 2: Adapting Your Marketing to a Stagflationary Environment

Shrinking ROIs and inflation are coming together to create a challenging environment for businesses. Finding a path forward entails realigning marketing spending, starting with taking a hard look at the different assets and channels in your marketing mix.

As many businesses still struggle to recover from the pandemic, high levels of inflation and stagnating markets are creating an even more challenging environment.

In part one of our series on finding a path forward post-COVID, we discussed the changes in marketing post-COVID and how businesses are switching to a digital-first approach. We also addressed marketing challenges like higher costs or the need to adapt to a changing marketing environment.

In part two of our series, we’ll take a closer look at stagflation, shrinking ROIs, and simple tools businesses can use to realign marketing spending strategically.

Stagflation and the bullseye approach

The current economic situation isn’t favourable. Prices keep going up, but economic growth is lacking. For businesses, this translates into a decrease in ROI and ROA rates. 65% of small businesses are considering closing if things don’t improve soon.

CMOS need to be reactive and realign their marketing approach, starting with where marketing dollars go.

The bullseye approach is a simple tool marketers can adopt to understand their marketing environment better and identify the channels and assets with the highest potential ROI.

The bullseye model uses a series of circles that represent different channels. The inner circle represents the core of your marketing assets, with your website, content, and SEO. As we get farther away from the centre, each new ring represents a channel that widens your outreach.

This visualization tool echoes the buyer’s journey. The outer rings will typically initiate the first contact via a campaign designed to increase awareness, and prospects will gradually move closer to the centre of the bullseye as they connect with your brand and consume more content.

sky rock building

Core assets: Build a strong foundation with content marketing and SEO

At the centre of the bullseye, you’ll find marketing assets that include your website, official app, blog posts, onsite and offsite SEO, and more.

These are assets that you own. You have developed this content and own the platform where you publish it. It’s important to establish the distinction between owned, earned, and paid content:

  • Owned content is the result of your content-creation efforts. Focusing on owned content allows you to build a repository of resources.
  • Earned content comes from users. It’s organic, but you don’t have control over creating it. Earned content is great for social proof.
  • Paid content refers to your paid outreach efforts, including PPC, partnerships with influencers, promotions, and more.

In a marketing environment where stagflation prevails, owned assets become more important than ever. A library of owned assets provides you with resources you can use to keep generating leads with little additional investments required. It supports a scalable model, and the more you invest in content and SEO, the more you’ll get back over time.

A marketing mix that prioritizes spending on owned assets can insulate your business. It will result in a strong online presence that protects you from new competitors. Plus, you’ll have existing assets to fall back on if you need to cut your marketing budget in the future.

Many businesses are adopting this strategy, with 42% of organizations increasing their content marketing budget. It’s a significant trend, with businesses increasing their spending on marketing by more than 10% on average. SEO is also a priority for 34% of businesses.

First ring: Reach out and nurture with email marketing

Email is a publication channel for your owned assets. It’s also a channel you can use to funnel traffic to your website and nurture leads as well as existing customers.

Email is the first ring in the bullseye model since you can reach out to recipients at any time once you establish initial contact.

For 47% of marketers, email remains the most effective channel for conversions. Focusing on emails is also an opportunity to deliver the kind of personalized experience that 71% of consumers expect with strategies like segmentation.

Second ring: Connect on social media

As you get farther away from the centre of the bullseye, you’ll find a ring for social media. Social media can include a mix of owned, earned, and paid content.

It’s a publication platform to share your content with fans or followers, but it’s also an opportunity to reach out to new users via shares, hashtags, and other features.

While B2C brands focus on trends like influencer marketing or exploring rising platforms like TikTok, LinkedIn remains a staple for B2B marketers. This platform plays a part in 47% of buying decisions and provides you with opportunities to conduct targeted outreach thanks to the data users share on their profiles.

Third ring: Increase awareness with paid ads

Paid ads represent the last ring in the bullseye model. PPC and other forms of paid advertising have the largest potential outreach, with close to 90 billion monthly visits on Google or 2.9 billion active monthly users on Facebook.

However, ROI is generally lower compared to other channels. CMOs can expect to get $2 back for every dollar spent on PPC campaigns, while channels like email marketing typically have an ROI of x42.

Plus, paid ad strategies need to adapt to recent changes regarding the end of third-party cookies. Transitioning to a model that focuses on contextual and interest-based ads leaves many marketers in the dark without any actionable data.

email marketing campaign

Aligning your marketing spending strategy with the bullseye approach

There are two ways to invest your marketing dollars:

  • You can build assets by investing in owned content. This approach unlocks long-term growth and resilience through a repository of resources you can leverage to generate leads in a scalable manner.
  • You can opt for buy over build and prioritize paid ads. This strategy can make sense for newcomers in a competitive market who need to increase awareness quickly, but ROI is lower, and you’re taking more risks.

Due to the current climate of stagflation, shifting toward a build strategy and consolidating the core of the bullseye with content marketing and SEO makes sense.

How managed marketing services can help

A managed marketing service can strengthen the core of your marketing mix by identifying opportunities for content creation, developing quality content, implementing SEO strategies, and more. Tempesta Media’s Performics solution is an option to consider if you’d like to realign your marketing mix to improve resilience and boost ROI in the face of stagflation.

Learn more about this service, or stay tuned for part three of our series, in which we will discuss the role of collaboration at the C-level in the context of realigning your marketing mix.

Finding a Path Forward Post-COVID. Part 1: Understanding the New Marketing Environment

COVID-19 resulted in a sustained period of disruption. Many businesses adapted by accelerating their digital transformation efforts, an approach that ushered significant changes in marketing post-COVID.

What does the buying journey look like in a post-COVID world? Between social distancing, closures, and a growing number of customers expecting a convenient omnichannel experience, more marketers are moving offline processes and campaigns to a digital environment.

This digital-first approach isn’t a new trend. Businesses have been focusing on digital transformation for years, but digital marketing post-pandemic comes with its unique share of challenges, including heightened competition and higher costs.

This four-part series will discuss the changes and new challenges CMOs are facing and explore some solutions.

COVID-19 as a force for change

Before we delve into digital marketing post-COVID, it’s important to understand how COVID-19 created change for organizations.

Some businesses had to change out of necessity. Established processes that involved in-person interactions became impractical, and many teams had to adapt to fluctuating demand.

Two years later, some significant challenges still force businesses to change. Close to 80% of small business owners feel that the economy has been getting worse recently. Inflation, supply chain issues, and labour challenges are emerging as the long-term economic effects of COVID-19 and creating a particularly challenging environment for businesses.

Some businesses also embraced change because they saw new opportunities during the pandemic. Moving some processes online helped organizations find a new way of doing things. Some adopted more flexible processes, while others discovered new niches.

The current trend is to transition toward a data-driven model. For organizations ready to embrace this model, there is a strong need for products and services adapted to remote or hybrid processes as well as a buying experience that supports data-driven decisions.

digital journey

An increasingly digital buying journey

Digital transformation has been shaping growth for decades, but it’s been accelerating at a fast pace, with more businesses adopting remote work, automation, and data-driven processes. Plus, technologies like AI or low-code platforms are providing businesses with a sound foundation to accelerate their digital transformation.

It’s no surprise that the buying journey is increasingly happening online. In 2020, eCommerce grew by 27%. Growth has continued, and eCommerce now represents 22% of all retail sales. Experts believe eCommerce sales will exceed $7.3 billion by 2025.

This phenomenon goes beyond consumer products. The B2B buying journey is also moving to a digital-first environment.

Some organizations that already relied on digital channels strengthened their online presence with new post-COVID marketing strategies, while others shifted entire processes online. A striking example is a video-conferencing market, which is currently growing at a CAGR of 9.5%.

As the buying journey continues to move to a digital-first model, we’re also seeing buyers prefer a self-directed experience. They expect an omnichannel environment, and more organizations are investing in websites or apps to support buyers through the different stages of their journey.

Online experiences are quickly becoming the new normal, with 65% of B2B companies offering eCommerce. Digital channels are also outperforming in-person sales.

And, with buyers becoming more comfortable with digital channels, they’re increasing their budget for online purchases. In 2022, 75% of buyers are willing to spend over $50,000 through online sales channels, and a record-breaking 35% are ready to spend more than $500,000.

digital marketing

What does marketing post-COVID look like?

Between rising costs and new challenges linked to operating in a digital environment, many CMOs are seeing their profit margins shrink. Successful marketing campaigns are more important than ever due to the prevalence of online buying journeys and require a strategic approach.

Higher costs

Higher costs are one of the defining trends of digital marketing post-pandemic. Inflation has been wreaking havoc on businesses’ balance sheets lately, but there are deeper issues at play.

Many organizations switched to digital channels during the pandemic with little warning. The social media market alone is currently expanding at an impressive CAGR of over 39%.

The marketing industry wasn’t prepared to absorb marketing dollars from offline budgets. Costs went up to curb this sudden increase in demands.

Having more businesses develop their digital presence also results in heightened competition. It’s an issue for newcomers to the digital space who need to make significant investments to grow their presence and establish awareness of what they offer. Achieving marketing goals now requires a more significant investment of time and resources due to the increased competition.

Pay-per-click ads are an example of this trend. Marketers now need to spend more to target popular keywords on platforms like Google Ads or Facebook Ads. They can still expect an ROI of $2 for every dollar spent on average, but keywords can cost an average of $58 to target for industries like business services.

Plus, the growing complexity of the digital environment and the heightened expectations of customers mean marketers need to branch out. For instance, PPC costs are going up due to competition, but many CMOs are increasing their budget to account for video searches, and voice searches, or even targeting additional search engines like Facebook, which is currently getting 20 billion search engine visitors each month.

Anticipating future trends

While PPC ads are a good example of this trend, there are other channels driving costs for marketing campaigns.

Now that all the major browsers are moving away from third-party cookies, many businesses need a new approach. Retargeting strategies are no longer viable, and there is a need to invest in first-party data and content creation.

Plus, the shift to a 5G network will likely have an impact on consumer behaviours. Businesses will have to adapt by focusing on mobile experiences that facilitate the buying journey.

And, as more marketers continue to embrace a digital-first approach, competition will make it difficult to stand out unless a brand uses personalization. A winning personalization strategy requires investments in data and other solutions.

ecommerce

Finding a path forward

Spending more on ads and other digital channels results in a lower ROI. It also increases the average cost of acquiring a new customer, which is why customer care is now a top priority to increase retention.

Finding a path forward is challenging for many organizations due to the current economic downturn. Many businesses have at best a reduced budget and are at worst struggling. Inflation is a problem for 34% of small businesses, and, with a third of businesses ceasing operations during the pandemic, many organizations didn’t have a chance to recover fully.

Businesses are at a turning point, and the current rates of inflation and economic downturn suggest this situation will last. Organizations that don’t find a path forward to achieve growth are likely to fail.

From a marketing point of view, the way forward is a strategic approach with a pivot toward digital marketing while prioritizing cost-effective solutions and yielding results.

Grow with a managed service solution

What are managed services? Instead of handling marketing in-house, you can partner with a managed service provider and work with a team of experts. Besides developing and publishing content, these experts can help with on and off-page SEO, email marketing, social media, and more.

With Performics, Tempesta Media offers a proven approach to managed content marketing. It’s a turnkey solution that includes thoroughly assessing your marketing program, content development services, publication on different channels (including social media), influencer marketing, SEO, email marketing, and more. Plus, ongoing optimization ensures that your ROI increases over time to get the most out of this service.

Stay tuned for part two in our series on finding a path forward post-COVID, where we’ll discuss challenges linked to inflation and a stagnating market. In the meantime, get in touch with us to learn more about our managed service solution.

Digital Marketing Strategy: What Will We Face in 2023, and How Will We Manage It?

To get customers to your company, you need to do marketing.

Many people talk about digital marketing, but they don’t provide the content or the context behind what it means. Generally, it is the concept of raising awareness about your company’s brand, getting people to be educated about what you provide, and ultimately inducing them to take action (purchase or get a lead form). 

Digital marketing changes all the time. 

When Covid 19 hit, it forced a major change in how people communicate with their prospects and their customers. Traditionally, most companies did some or most of their marketing offline. With the emergence of Covid 19, every company rushed into digital marketing, whether they had the skills, experience, and budget or not. Resultingly, there was a great deal of inflation in the cost of advertising online. 

Now, we’ve gotten to a point where certain forms of digital marketing have become too expensive, such as digital advertising. 

Сompanies are moving away from some forms of digital marketing. 

Companies are shifting to such forms of marketing as: 

However, they’re also starting to go back to offline marketing because things have started to open up around the world as well. So, it’s been very turbulent for marketers over the last couple of years. It’s not just where but also how they advertise. 

Three causes of digital marketing strategy changes. 

The underlying factors for the changing digital marketing strategy are the following:

  • There has been a move to omnichannel marketing, which means that marketers can sell both online and offline. 
  • Marketing has transitioned from centralization to decentralization. About ten years ago, marketing buying was centralized among a few television stations, a few radio stations, and a few newspapers. However, with the growth of the internet, everything is becoming very decentralized and diffuse. That requires marketers to change how they make purchases. 
  • There has been a general shift from offline consumption by users to online media consumption.

“Must-haves” in marketing strategy creation.

The creation of each and every marketing strategy starts with defining the target audience. Many marketers rely on past data or experience to accurately determine who their target audiences are. But prospective buyers are changing, and, if you’re not constantly reviewing who’s buying your solution or product, you’re likely to put forth a strategy that targets the wrong audience, and it will fail as a result. 

There are a couple of common tools every CMO should use when they’re trying to put together a digital marketing strategy, such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

Google Analytics does an excellent job of analyzing who’s coming to your site and who’s converting. It also has demographic and location-based information, as well as other intent data, that’s very important for you to help identify those pockets of new customer opportunity to fit for your company today. Google Search Console, meanwhile, gives you a good viewpoint into types of content or searches. 

Google Analytics and Google Search Console illustrate how well you are performing in terms of your site. For example, customers can use content and social media analysis tools to understand very clearly what their competitors are doing to align their services to fit with their target market much better and, at the same time, present the better.

Creating a great strategy in 2023.

2023 will be a rough year for customers. We see already that the US and the global economy have officially slipped into recession.

This means it’s a dangerous environment for marketers. They have to rationalize and determine which programs to keep for 2023 and which to cut. CMOs and business owners should expect layoffs in the marketing industry within the next 12 months. 

If you are a CMO, you should avoid adding staff that you can’t keep and explore outsourcing. This will give you the maximum flexibility to survive and keep your jobs. 

Regarding all these future hard times, you probably still wonder what that important magic tool is to create a new digital marketing strategy. With Tempesta Media, your digital marketing strategy is safe. Contact us today if you would like to accelerate your success with managed content marketing

3 Reasons Your Business Should Invest in Digital Marketing

Using digital marketing to grow your business

Investment in marketing is important

There are two ways to look at marketing: paid and owned media. Paid media is when you pay a third party, such as an advertising property like Google or Facebook, to drive traffic back to your site.

Owned media is created by you and doesn’t involve a third party. It could be a blog, social media page, or website.

Two important factors to consider when measuring the effectiveness of any marketing campaign are durability and sustainability. However, if you’re looking for more short-term results, you must be prepared to continue investing in that campaign month after month.

The key is finding a balance between the two extremes. It can be tough to justify investing in marketing and advertising because their return on investment (ROI) is very low. Costs have gone up while profits have decreased, making it hard for businesses to see a positive outcome from any marketing campaign.

However, there are two exceptions to this rule:

  • Ownable media. With ownable media, you’re investing dollars but getting very few leads in return.
  • Honorable media. With honorable media, you’re making an initial investment and then receiving a consistent flow of leads over time as long as you continue the campaign.
business growth

Where businesses should invest

Investments are an important part of any company, and just like in any other investment, there is a certain expectation of what you should get back. For example, if your company has an internal ROI threshold of 15%, that means for every dollar you invest, you should get $1.50 back within six months. But, of course, this also starts generating a return on your investment.

As a result, you need to find a project that will give you the best ROI in the shortest amount of time. There are many different opportunities right now in marketing, but one area where CMOs are seriously investing in research is social media.

CMOs quickly realize they can’t do everything in-house, and it’s not cost-effective to try. In addition, they struggle to find staff who are trained and capable in all aspects of marketing, from content writing to social media management. As a result, you should consider the following solutions:

  • Outsourcing. You can examine each component of the marketing team separately to determine what can be outsourced effectively.

  • Automation. A lot of companies are looking into automation because digital marketing has become increasingly reliant on technology over the last five years. The amount of money you need to spend to keep up with the competition has increased exponentially. So it’s important to be mindful of this when deciding on your marketing strategy.

Trying to build an in-house tech stack can be expensive and time-consuming; instead, it’s often easier to look for external solutions, cobble them together using tools like Zapier, and use that as your tech stack. That way, you can focus on your core business instead of trying to do everything internally. Again, this is an example of making an investment.

digital marketing discussion

Three reasons to invest in digital marketing

With everything digital, from social media to blogging and email marketing, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. But it’s important to remember that finding the right balance is key.

So don’t let yourself get bogged down — focus on integrating one or two new digital marketing efforts at a time and see how they go. If you’re still not sure whether digital marketing is the right step for your business, here are three key reasons to invest in digital marketing.

Brand recognition

It’s common knowledge that to increase brand awareness, you need to do some amount of brand advertising. The more visible your company is, the easier it becomes for your sales team to sell and close new business. This also means you’ll get more inbound leads because, based on the strength of your brand, people will be interested in what you offer.

Word of mouth

Word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful tool. Referred customers are often more loyal and profitable than other customers, so it’s important to have a system that encourages referrals.

Unfortunately, many companies don’t take advantage of this strategy because they don’t know how to track referrals. But with the right tools, you can easily measure the success of your referral program.

Competitor analysis

Many companies aspire to be the top player in their field but focus only on their direct competitors. While this is a good start, it’s important to remember that you’re also competing with indirect compe

titors. These businesses may not offer the same product or service as you, but they still threaten your success.

It’s crucial to understand who these companies are and what makes them different from yours. This should include evaluating your performance against theirs and identifying their strengths and weaknesses so you can capitalize on any opportunities.

In summary

To succeed in digital marketing, start considering investments in automation and outsourcing. Such measures can help you achieve your objectives quickly. At the same time, building your brand is an example of an investment that will pay off in the long run.

If your company prioritizes programs that generate fast internal returns on investment, you’ll be setting yourself up for long-term success. You can track and measure your success in the short term and make necessary adjustments along the way. 

With Tempesta Media, your investments in digital marketing are safe. Contact us today if you would like to accelerate your success with managed content marketing

 

What Megatrends Could Transform The Digital Marketing World in 2023?

In the digital marketing world, nothing stays still for long

What changed in 2022

The balance between offline and online digital marketing has shifted in recent years. As a result, many advertisers have switched from offline marketing to digital, which has caused the prices of digital advertising to skyrocket. This is particularly evident in the areas of websites, emails, digital ads, and SEO.

The market’s challenge now is that many people have invested in digital programs because they have become too expensive. Consequently, the return on investment for these programs has decreased significantly. To solve this problem, companies are looking for alternatives.

Incremental dollars can make a big difference for businesses and individuals, so it’s important to be strategic about where you invest them. By the end of 2022, we’ll see even more changes.

Overview of the digital marketing industry in 2022

The digital marketing industry is an oligopoly in which a few major players dominate the market. One example is Google. Companies are becoming increasingly frustrated with advertising on major platforms like Google because they do not see the desired ROI.

People in the 18-34 age range, who used to be the main target for advertising, are no longer attentive. A lot of their time is now being spent on Facebook and Google. This shift means there is a dispersion of usage, with different platforms gaining favor at different times.

To capitalize on the trend, other companies need to start looking into strategies to set them apart from the pack. The pendulum is swinging back toward decentralization. This is good news for media buying companies, as they will see a resurgence in their power and influence.

The current economic situation is challenging for businesses. Stagflation, high inflation, and deceleration are leading many companies to scale back hiring and ad spending. So, during this time, you should work harder to optimize the following areas:

  • Content marketing. You need to keep creating killer content that is relevant and engaging. Keep writing longer content, and make sure you publish it frequently.
  • SEO. You need a good SEO strategy that attracts your audience, creating leads to buy products or services.
  • Email marketing. You can continue communicating with your subscribers or customers through relationship-building or sales.
  • Ad retargeting. You need to work on retargeting to drive higher visibility and brand recognition. Use this tool and be ready to see more conversions from repeat visitors.

Social media optimization

Main key performance indicators (KPIs) in 2023

To make decisions about whether to invest in outside sales and marketing, you need to take a long-term view of your customers. These are four important KPIs that you should monitor closely:

  • Customer lifetime value. It is the total value of a customer’s business with you throughout their relationship with your company. Considering this metric, think about how much it costs to acquire a new customer. If customer lifetime value has decreased, it’s likely because the cost of customer acquisition has risen.
  • Unique visits. By using data from unique visits, which are an industry-standard metric, you can find out how many people view your content within a given time frame. That way, you can quickly see trends, as this KPI offers a baseline that allows you to compare one type of content to another.
  • Consumption. You need to understand how your visitors are consuming content. Views, downloads, opens, click rates, time spent, and bounce rates are crucial measurements that help you hold on to your customers. Make sure that when they click on your link, they find what they expect. If you have a low bounce rate, you’re doing things right.
  • Engagement. Measure likes, shares, mentions, comments, pins, etc. These tell you whether your audience engages with your content. The more they like it, comment, or share, the more engaged they are.

Where companies are spending money

Companies are removing their less effective marketing programs, such as radio, TV, and paid media. Instead, they’re focusing on content marketing, SEO, email marketing, and ad retargeting.

This shift shows businesses know that great content is essential for a successful online presence. As a result, they will spend money in the next 12-18 months in areas where they are most likely to see success.

How marketing managed services can cut down on costs

Differences between the B2B and B2C markets in 2023

The B2B and B2C markets started down different marketing paths in 2019. B2C started gravitating toward influencer-based marketing, while B2B focused on webinars, events, SEO, and content marketing. 

The B2C side is showing a significant pullback that’s happening specifically in influencer-based marketing and social media marketing because these businesses are struggling to achieve an ROI that corresponds to the expenses they’re incurring. So B2C businesses are becoming very aggressive and renegotiating ad rates, influencer deals, and other paid media contracts. 

The B2B side is better protected and less exposed. Advertisers are B2B companies and are staying true to what works. They’ve done a much better job of quantifying the results that go with that. They will have a drawdown and paid media as well as paid social, but it will be less traumatic than what you see on the B2C side.

What B2B and B2C companies should consider

Many companies have had difficulties attributing their performance to specific marketing channels. So, to begin with, your B2B or B2C company needs to look at a potential partner that can go in and efficiently drive results. Then, with an analytics layer, you can cover all your bases, from content marketing to mobile, social media, and influencer marketing. 

The second step is to rationalize your costs and shift your marketing spending to match market demands.

In summary

Since you are responsible for both the B2B and B2C sides, you need to explore outsourcing some or all of those responsibilities. These could include mobile marketing, which is becoming increasingly important. In addition, whether yours is a B2B or B2C company, it’s important to invest in analytics. 
As a managed content marketing service, Tempesta Media offers a platform with an analytics layer that covers all your bases: content marketing, mobile, social media, and influencer marketing. If you would like your business to keep growing in hard times, contact us today.

Learn How to Thrive: Smart Ways to Leverage Your Business’s Linkedin Profile

While LinkedIn is a great place for networking, professionals need a Linked content strategy to get the best results possible.

LinkedIn quickly established itself as the top platform for business connections after its launch in 2003. Today, with its 830 million members, there is no place like LinkedIn to reach out to professionals, experts, and decision-makers. Some marketers swear by it and use it as a primary channel to generate leads. Do you wonder if putting time and effort into growing your LinkedIn presence is worth it?

Here’s the truth. Like any other social media platform, LinkedIn will yield the best results if you adopt a strategic approach. Follow these tips to develop and implement a LinkedIn content marketing strategy that makes sense for your goals and audience.

Linkedin networking

LinkedIn as a publishing platform

LinkedIn has become the go-to site for connecting with other professionals and even advertising available positions. Still, it has also grown as a publishing platform thanks to the feed feature.

With 48% of users being active at least once a month and 16% logging in daily, LinkedIn provides plenty of opportunities to connect with your audience. It’s also one of the most trusted social media channels. As a result, its users are more likely to be receptive to long-form content compared to other social media platforms.

There are different ways of publishing content on LinkedIn. For example, you can create long-form blog posts via the Publisher platform or share content as a LinkedIn status update. The short status updates may generate more engagement, but leveraging long-form LinkedIn content can help you deliver in-depth information to prospects approaching a purchase decision. Plus, you can use status updates to promote your long-form content by sharing a key fact and encouraging your audience to read more.

Your LinkedIn content marketing strategy should include several content formats. For example, your long-form articles can mirror what you discuss in your blog posts. At the same time, you can use the status updates to share links to shorter articles and news stories.

You can also use LinkedIn to share links to webinars, educational videos, podcasts, customer success stories, case studies, tutorials, and more. As long as align your content with your overall marketing goals and your audience’s expectations, don’t hesitate to experiment with new ways of sharing your message.

The importance of posting regularly

Sharing quality content that offers your audience relevant information helps you establish a strong LinkedIn presence and generate audience engagement.

However, it’s also important to publish content regularly. Being active on LinkedIn can turn you into an influential voice in the different conversations shaping your industry. Regular status updates will also increase your brand recognition and awareness.

Ideally, you should post two to three times a week. Still, you should consider posting more often if you have a particularly active audience or if your contacts are likely to have many connections and could easily miss your posts.

Tracking engagement and conversions can help you find a sweet spot for posting frequency and optimize your social media efforts. You can get started with LinkedIn’s post analytics feature to keep track of engagement, discovery, impressions, etc.

social media

Why your LinkedIn connections matter

Beyond writing valuable content, the success of your LinkedIn marketing strategy depends on the size and quality of your network. Understanding the different degrees of connection among LinkedIn users will help you tailor your approach.

First-degree connections

First-degree connections are users who have accepted your invitation to connect or sent you an invitation.

You’ll typically find co-workers or employees in this group. While these connections won’t turn into leads, they can be great advocates for your brand and help generate engagement for your content.

First-degree connections can also include existing clients, prospects you have interacted with on other channels, and other acquaintances.

Second and third-degree connections

Second-degree connections are users who have connected with one of your LinkedIn contacts. LinkedIn will display their profiles through the People You May Know feature. Still, you can also explore second-degree connections by visiting the profiles of your various connections, especially if you have some superusers with thousands of connections in your network.

You will likely come across people you’ve met before, but it’s acceptable to introduce yourself to strangers and offer to connect after mentioning the contact you have in common.

Once you’ve established a second-degree connection, you can explore the profiles of users who have added this person to find third-degree connections.

It’s best to use filters to refine your search when exploring second and third-degree connections. For instance, you can limit results to decision-makers or professionals who work in a specific industry.

followers

Followers and group members

Second- and third-degree connections are an excellent means to grow your LinkedIn audience and reach more people with your content. However, your content itself can also help you forge new connections.

Users can follow each other to keep up with status updates and other activities. If you share quality content on LinkedIn and make it easy to discover with a strong SEO strategy, your content will attract followers. Then you can turn these followers into connections by sending them an invite.

Another way to form connections on LinkedIn is to join groups. You can find a group for about anything on LinkedIn, and joining a group will provide you with additional opportunities to share your content. Adding members of the groups you join as contacts is a common practice. Plus, it can be a great way to find leads outside of your direct network.

Search engine optimization strategies for LinkedIn content

Use search engine optimization (SEO) to make your content easier to discover so you can reach a wider audience. Your LinkedIn profile can also support your overall SEO efforts. For example, you can direct organic traffic to your site or enhance your ranking in search results, especially if you share long-form LinkedIn posts about trending topics. Here are some ways to make SEO work for you:

  • Choose keywords carefully. — Just as with every channel you optimize, you’ll need to identify the most relevant keywords for your profile and content. Google’s Keyword Planner is a terrific tool for getting started.
  • Include hashtags consistently. — Adding hashtags to your status updates and long-form posts will make them easier to discover. The key is to find the right hashtags for your industry and audience, which you can do by keeping an eye on trending content for your niche.
  • Link to your website regularly. — Direct organic traffic to your site and build up your backlink network by adding a link to your site on your LinkedIn profile.
  • Update your status frequently. — Don’t forget that Google and other search engines value fresh content. So keeping your profile updated and posting regularly will support your SEO efforts.

Get more from LinkedIn

As a managed content marketing service, Tempesta Media can help you stand out on LinkedIn by delivering exceptional content and implementing a publishing strategy on your behalf.

Contact Tempesta Media to find out more, or take a look at our 100 digital marketing mistakes ebook to learn what not to do when developing your presence on LinkedIn and other platforms.

The Pros of a Managed Content Marketing Service for E-commerce Companies

The rise of e-commerce is the defining trend of the retail industry over the past decade. As brands compete to grow their online presence, content marketing has an important role to play.

Between brick-and-mortar retailers developing their online presence, online giants transforming the shopping experience, and small retailers finding their niche online, e-commerce is a diverse space.

This market keeps growing, which translates into more opportunities to reach customers. However, it’s also a competitive space. Brands can stand out by leveraging an online shopping platform to deliver a unique experience and go further by investing in a managed content marketing service to connect with their audience.

The role of content

The online shopping journey differs from in-person purchases. Consumers have access to an unparalleled breadth of information to research a purchase and compare options.

From branded content to online reviews, consumers are likely to go on a rich content consumption journey before making a buying decision. This journey will also continue after the purchase, with content designed to upsell, generate repeat sales, or increase loyalty.

You need to deliver a meaningful experience at every step of this journey by offering content that is engaging and meets your audience’s expectations. Getting help from a content marketing service can make a difference since you’ll have access to a team of experts who know how to create content that engages and converts.

content strategy

Meeting the expectations of your audience

Common challenges for retailers are understanding and meeting the expectations of their target audience. Consumers have expectations regarding product quality, but they also want a convenient experience when buying something or contacting customer service.

A content marketing service can help you identify the expectations of your audience and create content that meets these expectations, in terms of both adopting a branding strategy that reflects consumers’ values and sharing a message aligned with the pain points shoppers are experiencing.

The rise of user-generated content

Branded content is everywhere, but a new type of content is quickly taking over the online shopping space. As consumers become more aware of the strategies that brands use to share promotional messages, the content generated by users has established itself as a more relatable and trustworthy source of information.

Leveraging user-generated content can create a sense of community for your fans. Engaging with the users who create content can also result in a more organic and genuine connection with your brand.

User-generated content can become a driver of scalable growth if you build a strong community of loyal fans who can help with word-of-mouth marketing.

Many brands are also focusing on influencer marketing. This approach often feels more genuine and relatable. With 49% of shoppers depending on recommendations from influencers and 37% trusting influencers more than brands, this type of UGC can have a significant impact on sales.

Partnering with influencers can help you grow awareness in certain niches, but don’t lose sight of the fact that every customer has the potential to create content. Shoppers can share online reviews, testimonials, social media posts, etc.

Engaging with these users post-purchase and encouraging them to share their content is important for word-of-mouth marketing. It will also establish social proof for your brand since 38% of shoppers consider online reviews as very important.

Thanks to their comprehensive approach, managed marketing services can help you implement successful programs for connecting with influencers and customers and promoting user-generated content.

content strategy

The omnichannel experience

We’ve already established the importance of meeting your audience’s expectations with quality content. However, shoppers have additional expectations regarding content consumption.

In order to deliver an optimal experience, you need to meet prospects and shoppers where they are and share content on their preferred channels. Blogs, email, and social media are common channels. Some retailers are going further with the omnichannel experience by using podcasts, videos, or live chat features.

You also need to keep up with new trends and incorporate the latest popular channels into your omnichannel strategy. For instance, many brands are currently focusing on TikTok to reach its 136 million U.S. users.

Developing an omnichannel experience is another area where a managed service can make a difference. You’ll get to work with experts who can help you identify the best channels for your target audience and ensure that your marketing efforts remain consistent from one channel to another.

The importance of thought leadership

With the rise of online shopping, brands are always challenging themselves to stand out with value and creativity. This competitive environment gives shoppers access to more options than ever, but it can also feel overwhelming.

Experts believe that shoppers are happiest with fewer options. The more options a shopper has to compare, the more difficult the decision will be. It can result in analysis paralysis. Shoppers can also second-guess their decision and regret their purchase because they didn’t get to try the myriad of other products available.

The best way to prevent analysis paralysis is to instill confidence in your audience with thought leadership. If shoppers feel they can trust you, they’ll have the peace of mind to know they made the best decision possible by following your advice.

Outsourcing content creation to a team of experts can help build trust and authority. You can work with a managed service to develop content that educates about your products and shows how they solve pain points in an authoritative manner.

Get help with content marketing

A strong content marketing strategy is paramount to the success of your online shop brand. Content is the primary channel through which you can form a meaningful connection with your audience and deliver a memorable experience.

However, many brands don’t have the time or resources necessary to implement the right content marketing strategies. If you find yourself in this situation, getting help from a team of content marketing experts is an option worth exploring.

As a managed content marketing service, Tempesta Media can help you grow your online presence through compelling content. Besides creating and publishing content on your behalf, Tempesta Media can implement a social media marketing or influencer marketing strategy to help you get the most out of these channels.

Get in touch with us to learn more about the services we offer, or take a look at our 100 digital marketing mistakes e-book for more advice about content marketing.

Make Your Content Profitable With These 6 Power Hacks

Content marketing is at the core of any successful digital strategy. However, developing quality, impactful, and memorable content takes time and resources as well as smart content marketing tips.

The following marketing tips will help you get more out of your content and turn these marketing efforts into a profitable activity for generating leads and sales. We’ll also discuss managed content marketing services and why they’re the golden ticket to a successful content marketing strategy.

Stand out as an SME

The term SME can mean two things. It can refer to small and medium enterprises, but marketing experts use this abbreviation to talk about subject-matter experts.

A subject-matter expert is a person or organization uniquely qualified to discuss a topic. Interestingly enough, many small and medium businesses also often happen to be experts in their niche.

With 81% of organizations considering content marketing as a core strategy, cutting through the noise and getting your content noticed can be a challenge. Step one is to tell your audience why they should listen to you:

  • As a subject-matter expert in your niche, you can bring a unique viewpoint to the table, such as an innovative solution to a common pain point.
  • Turn your professional experience into thought leadership by introducing new topics and discussions before your competitors.
  • No one knows your industry better than you. Inspire trust and confidence by adopting an authoritative tone.
  • While large organizations can have a broader focus for their content marketing efforts, the strength of small and medium businesses is often in their specialization. Establish yourself as one of the top content creators in your niche by adopting a narrow but insightful approach.
  • Build trust by delivering on your promises. Your content will be memorable and valuable if you discuss concrete solutions.

content marketing strategy

Create pivotal moments with strong CTAs

What comes next after establishing yourself as a subject-matter expert? Read on to learn how you can turn this initial connection into something more.

The previous sentence, and many others you’ll typically find at the bottom of blog posts or just above the fold in marketing emails, is a call to action (CTA).

The purpose of a CTA is to catch the eye and introduce the possibility of continuing the interaction, whether it’s signing up for a newsletter or scheduling a sales call. Once you establish this connection, you can keep nurturing the lead by delivering more content.

You’ll get better results if you use a few simple content marketing tips when creating CTAs:

  • Keep your CTAs short.
  • Use strong action verbs.
  • Suggest an action that makes sense for the current stage of the buyer’s journey.
  • Tell users how they can unlock more value by acting.
  • Use design practices that will make your CTAs stand out.

Capture organic traffic with SEO

Organic search is often the first channel prospects turn to when they need a solution to a pain point. It’s crucial to make sure your content will show up in relevant searches.

The best way to facilitate content discovery via organic searches is to invest in SEO. While some keywords will occur naturally in your copy and headers, you can go further by identifying two or three strong keywords for each page and using them in the URL, meta tags, link anchors, image alt tags, and more.

A successful optimization strategy starts with keyword research. You can use Google’s Keyword Planner to identify the top search queries and keywords your target audience is likely to use and keep up with the latest search trends for your industry.

Facilitate content discovery and consumption with internal links

We’ve already addressed how CTAs can become pivotal moments between content consumption and the first contact with a prospect.

However, facilitating pivots from one piece of content to another is just as important. The buyer’s journey is becoming increasingly complex.

A strong internal linking structure can help visitors find more content that is valuable to them. Plus, internal links will support your SEO efforts.

You can integrate internal links in your copy to help readers explore related topics. Marketers also use pillar pages to discuss a topic in depth and share hyperlinks to pages that focus on different subtopics.

SEO efforts

Stay on track with a content calendar

Content freshness is a key component of a successful content marketing strategy. Content can lose some of its authority as it becomes stale, and ongoing content marketing efforts from competitors can cause your pages to lose their top spots in search results.

Developing new content will also help you keep up with new topics and adapt to the latest search trends, including voice search, which is becoming more popular with over 135 million voice assistant users.

A content calendar is a simple tool you can adopt to streamline content creation. Besides helping you post regularly, it will support your strategic planning efforts.

Gain a competitive edge with content intelligence

Analytics can shed light on how prospects interact with your content and help you understand your content’s role in the buyer’s journey.

These are examples of the different metrics you can track:

  • Use a visitor counter to see which content pieces and topics are the most popular. Use your findings to plan more content around these topics.
  • Track your conversion rate for different channels and pieces of content. It will help you identify the top-performing channels and pages so you can focus your efforts on what is most profitable.
  • Go further by tracking metrics by audience segment, something that only 41% of B2B marketers do. This approach will give you a better understanding of your different buyer personas’ unique needs.

If you don’t have a content intelligence strategy in place, Google Analytics can be a great tool to get started.

Streamline your efforts with a managed content marketing service

If you find yourself short on time or resources to implement the strategies discussed above, outsourcing content marketing to a managed service can be a viable solution.

Managed content marketing services can streamline this process and act as an extension of your marketing team. From identifying content creation opportunities to creating and publishing content on your behalf, a managed content marketing service will help you turn content marketing into a profitable endeavor.

Tempesta Media is a managed content marketing service with capabilities ranging from content development and publication to social media marketing, SEO, analytics, and more. Schedule a content marketing assessment to learn how Tempesta Media can make your efforts more profitable, or take a look at our 100 digital marketing mistakes e-book for more tips.

Suitable Keyword Match Types For Your Google Ads Campaign

Exact match keywords are an efficient brand advertising strategy.

Google is a unique platform where you can offer your products. According to recent Google Search Statistics, Google processes over 8.5 billion product searches per day. In addition, Google has a very relevant advertising service: Google Ads. Users pay for advertising that appears in the search results. 

The focus of Google Ads is keywords. As the name suggests, keywords refer to terms and phrases people enter into a search engine when looking for specific information. So selecting keywords is crucial for your business to grow through advertising. What makes keywords so valuable is that they tell search engines about your website’s page content. 

Get started with Google Ads

To start using Google Ads, you need to select a relevant list of keywords. This list generally consists of words people would likely use when searching for the product. You bid on those keywords by choosing the amount of money you are willing to pay for that ad click. What determines the ad position on the SERP is the quality Google assigns to ads, combined with that bid. 

To begin using Google Ads, follow these steps: 

  1. Define a goal by heading to the Google Ads homepage.
  2. Select keywords list.
  3. Choose your target audience.
  4. Decide on the billing.

Some of the benefits that the Google Ads service provides is that you can target your ads. This allows you to get to people with specific interests, so you can show them ads they are interested in. Another benefit is that you can control your costs and decide on the billing according to your budget. You can also measure success and manage your business campaigns. 

That is why it is so important to choose the right type of keyword when you create your ad. Each type of keyword has its own benefits and drawbacks. You should find out more about them to create a successful campaign.

In this blog, we will see what exact match, broad match, and phrase match keywords are, their differences, and how to use them effectively for content marketing success

Types of Keyword Matches

Exact Match Keywords

Exact match is a Google keyword type of match. When a searcher types a word exactly as the word or phrase you are bidding on, your ad will be shown. As the name implies, the terms you are entering are the exact terms that the searcher is looking for when they’re on Google. Exact match keywords, when used correctly, can have a dramatically positive impact on your paid marketing program. 

For instance, if your search term is “gold bar prices,” and you have that term as an exact match term, your advertisement will only appear if a searcher types in that exact phrase into the search box. If they make any change to it, like, even though they may be similar, as a result, your ad won’t appear.

The benefits of targeting your message using exact match keywords are: 

  • Higher click rate and high click-through rate.

Your ad will be very tight on point and have a much higher click rate, which is very important because it directly affects your quality score. In addition, when you advertise on relevant queries, you are attracting the highest number of people to your offering, achieving a high click-through rate.

  • Lower costs and better ad positions. 

Your quality score, that Google assigns, is going to be high since an exact match lowers the search term-to-keyword ratio. Higher quality scores mean lower costs and better ad positions. 

  • Lower cost per click.

Your cost per click is going to be optimized and potentially lower, as you bid for that exact keyword. This match type lowers the amount of traffic your ad produces significantly, which works great for your budget. An exact match produces such extremely targeted traffic that has the highest chance of converting. A reason for this is that users are looking for the exact term related to the product you’re offering.

You might want to start bidding on exact match keywords if your advertising budget is tight. Using exact match keywords can give you a better revenue on your ad budget. 

However, there are also some downsides to going with exact match keywords. The first downside is that you’re going to have fewer opportunities to be able to serve and add up to your potential audience. Other disadvantages are the low volume and that you’re going to need to have different ads. 

Sometimes, there may be a mismatch between the message and what the search was searching for, which could hurt you and require more work. The compromise solution to that is using dynamic ad units, which Google rolled out a while ago, that can potentially help solve that problem for you.   

Keywords improve SEO

Phrase Match Keywords 

As the name implies, phrase match ensures that you can include a particular phrase in the query. So, let’s say the searcher was doing a question to find the best job posting services in Illinois. That’s the query that the user entered. So, if you set up a phrase match of “job posting service,“ then any search query that includes the exact phrase of job posting service will fire your advertisement. 

The advantages of using phrase match are that: 

  • You get tighter targeting.
  • You exclude a lot of what you would perceive to be garbage queries.

But at the same time, you don’t limit your search volume as much as you would under mapped exact match phrases. So, many times, phrase match can be a happy medium for SEO success

For phrase match to be successful, you need to overlay – terms on the ad group for on at the pain level to ensure that the other portions of the query that the user enters don’t go against your objectives. So a phrase match is meant to be the happy medium between an exact match and a broad match.

Broad Match Keywords

This match type is called broad because it matches your ad with a wide variety of other keyword searches that are similar to yours, which helps you reach a wider audience. An example would be the term “job.“ If that were set to broad match, Google would serve up any queries, including variance of job.

The problem with broad match is that you have your ads served on too many garbage search queries. So what ends up happening is that you spend a lot of money on targeted traffic, and your message will not be on target. On the contrary, you may show up on specific keyword phrases, which harm your brand. 

A positive aspect of a broad match is that it’s an excellent opportunity to get a large number of impressions on your advertisement in a brief period. In addition, broad match phrases sometimes will come in at a much lower cost per click because of their general nature. 

The other benefit is that you can still apply geo-targeting or geographic targeting to the term, further narrowing down who you’re going after, and giving you more control.  

Tips in using exact, phrase, and broad match keywords

The best approach you can do is to use phrase match for most of your keywords with an extensive and well-built term list. 

For those areas that are highly competitive and expensive, where the conversion rate is of critical importance it’s better to use exact match phrases.  

Using broad match keyword phrases should never be applied within a pay-per-click program within Google AdWords. It’s a recipe for disaster.

It is essential to choose the right keyword match type during the PPC planning process. 

In Summary

Google is an excellent platform where you can offer your products. And as Google focuses on keywords to show your ads, Google Ads is a perfect option to make your business grow. 

Deciding on which keyword type to choose when starting your ad campaign for the first time may be difficult. But the good thing is that after some period of testing, you will see what works and what doesn’t for you. Continue experimenting to get a mixture of keyword match types that are convenient for you. 

As a managed service provider, Tempesta Media can take over your paid campaign. Our experienced team can develop a new campaign for you or optimize existing one as a part of your overall digital marketing strategy. Visit our managed services page or contact us to learn more.

How to Win With a Strong B2B Content Marketing Strategy in 2022

Powerful content equals powerful results.

Do you want to build your company’s brand, attract and retain customers, earn backlinks, and improve rankings? Then you are going to need great content. But creating content without a solid B2B content marketing strategy is a waste of time. To win in the B2B marketing space next year, you need tailored strategies and tactics that help your business succeed.

When businesses cannot effectively communicate with potential customers, it creates a pain point. When potential customers cannot find what they need, it also makes a pain point. Every successful B2B content marketing strategy targets and cures pain points by delivering results that your prospects and clients need. There are many ways of accomplishing this:

Answer all your audience’s questions.

With B2B interactions, your focus is on informing the audience without them having to ask. Focusing on specific topics they will be interested in can help you quickly create high-quality, authoritative content.

Include testimonials and reviews of the service or product.

Testimonials turn into perfect word-of-mouth promotion that is beneficial to being organic. Studies show that audiences respond much more favorably to testimonials than traditional advertising.

Leverage artificial intelligence.

AI can utilize machine learning to help reduce the time it takes to create and optimize content. Where traditional methods used teams of marketers to edit and perfect content, AI makes it possible with 90% less need for human intervention.

Go beyond video and articles.

Use more specialized content like white papers, case studies, and market analysis. These are highly effective in more technical industries such as chemicals, oil, and gas, aerospace, and electronics.

When you attack pain points with the above B2B content marketing strategies, winning the B2B space becomes much faster, easier, and more effective. But there’s more to consider beyond these four concepts. You have to take on the mindset of a managed content professional and change your workflow to reflect this.

Know Who You’re Talking To

Knowing your client’s needs can help you maintain a rapid pace when creating content. Learn all you can about your target audience so that the message is custom-tailored for their unique perspective. Research what content is most prevalent in those demographics. It’s not about what they need to hear but how they’ll listen to it. Use keywords that are relevant to the topic and SEO friendly. Ensure that the voice and presentation align with what they expect and are looking for.

Become An Expert

Likewise, understand the business values and goals in-depth. Nothing is more deadly to B2B content marketing than incorrect information. If people cannot believe the information they are given, it will be tough to get them to trust the product or service. Remember, you often speak to a highly skilled audience in a given field and will immediately notice any inaccuracies. Therefore, you must be able to present your client’s business content as a trusted resource. It should be accurate, relevant, actionable, and realistic. It should also include a tactically placed Call To Action.

Establish Yourself As An Authority In the Field

The easiest way to do this is to reference subject matter experts (SMEs) in the field of interest. A solid B2B content marketing strategy requires accurate information, so why not take advantage of the tens of thousands of hours of completed research? You can bolster your content with quotes, statistics, and properly cited media. This tactic adds authority to your voice by showing that the leaders in the field support and can back up what your content is saying.

Relevant SEO Matters

staggering 93% of your audience will not look past the first search page when looking for information. Your content will never be found if your SEO strategy is not up to par. Powerful SEO and content marketing work together to increase traffic, boost brand recognition and improve customer retention. Make sure you aren’t making common mistakes that negatively affect your search ranking.

Distributing The Content

Select delivery platforms that synchronize with your audience’s preferences. Placing the content type where it is most likely to be seen gets the highest return on your marketing spending. For example, around 80% of B2B leads come from Linkedin compared with just under 7% for Facebook. Therefore, using Linkedin, even with a smaller user base, will net a higher percentage of potential customers.

Track The Costs

Knowing how much it costs to gain a customer is extremely important for growing a business. ROI is thus critical information that you’ll want to be familiar with daily. In one survey, while 80% of marketers measure performance somehow, only 43% track ROI consistently. Tracking this data point and other KPIs will give other companies a substantial economic and performance advantage.

Account-Based Marketing

Finally, you can use traditional funnels or opt for account-based marketing strategies when working with clients. This strategy treats each account as a single market, with personalized content and a solid personal relationship. Account-based marketing makes it easier to track ROI and offers higher revenue growth, and sales win rates. Usually, account-based marketing is used with larger businesses. However, it can be used in smaller firms with the right automation technologies.

Conclusion

While every B2B content marketing strategy listed here is beneficial, there is one that you should never forget: Above all else, realize that your audience is made of humans. Yes, you can quantify them as clicks, views, or read-throughs. You can also identify them as buyers, accounts, or brands. But all of those metrics represent an individual you are trying to reach. Humanize your content.

As a managed content professional, you shouldn’t just think outside the box. Forget that there is a box in the first place: brainstorm uncommon ideas and ways to translate them into engaging content. Tempesta Media offers advanced automation to help you create the content you need while giving you the creativity to leave the box behind.