CMPNY Coquitlam And The Importance Of Coworking Spaces

ElementIQ has a fairly unorthodox approach to where we work. We currently spend two days of the week remotely, and the other 3 are spent at CMPNY, a coworking space in Coquitlam.

Wondering what a coworking space is?

Coworking spaces are shared workspaces with desks in the open, private offices, and meeting rooms making up the majority of the floor. The flexibility, price point, and amenities offered are stealing entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small businesses from traditional workspaces.

We had the chance to sit down for an interview with boss lady Alicja Mazur, Director of Communications and Community at CMPNY to discuss how these innovative hubs are creating opportunities and fostering communities for teams of all sizes.

Stivian: Hey Alicja, thanks for doing this. Tell us a little bit about your professional background.

Alicja: I started out in retail, as we all do, where I perfected my salesmanship skills. Then I became an Executive Assistant for a software development company, whereupon I started working for the Port Moody Arts Centre as a Communications Manager. Then I landed this gig, where I was a Space Manager for about two years.

Stivian: Word on the street is you recently got a promotion?

Alicja: Yup, I’m now the Director of Communications and Community.

Stivian: What’s that gonna entail?

Alicja: It’s an experiment! I’m hoping to grow the community in Burnaby and Coquitlam. I’m going to come up with a strategic plan for us in regards to communicating the benefits of coworking.

Stivian: That’s exciting. Big role. Tell me a little bit about CMPNY, what you guys do, and what your values are.

Alicja: CMPNY is a coworking space that primarily focuses on shared office space, shared desks, shared meeting rooms, etcetera. Our clients are small business owners, entrepreneurs, contractors, freelancers and the like. They can share among the resources of CMPNY and the community to grow their business and look more professional to their clients, and be in that continual phase of growing and acquiring knowledge.

Stivian: Makes sense. Is there anything behind the name? You guys were Spacekraft before, right?

Alicja: We were Spacekraft before. That was a stylistic choice because we wanted to represent innovation. That being said, we felt that we’ve grown quite a bit from our original choice, so we rebranded as CMPNY. The reason it’s CMPNY with no vowels is because it’s such a striking visual. If people recognize the brand, that’s the first step to success.

Stivian: It’s a strong name, I like the look. What sort of impact have you seen CMPNY have in the local community?

Alicja: The impact we’re having in the Tri-Cities right now is that we’re getting people used to the idea of coworking spaces. What we’ve noticed is that most people in the suburbs either commute all the way downtown or work from home. There’s very few local jobs that allow people to commute in 5, 10 minutes, and the people that work from their homes are comfortable doing so. Something that CMPNY’s doing right now is making sure that talent comes here because that brings the zest of business relationships, and that grows the businesses inside the coworking space.

Stivian: Nice. Why do you think businesses are coming here? What’s drawing them in over traditional working spaces?

Alicja: Well, there’s scientific-based research that says that working remotely isn’t healthy for people. People who work remotely are more likely to experience depression, they’re more likely to be divorced, and people who commute long hours downtown typically experience decreased life satisfaction overall. So for those able to work remotely, over the internet, and not having to be at a workplace, all of a sudden you have this opportunity to be at a workplace. You might not want to work at your house, per se, because there’s so many distractions there.

Stivian: That makes sense. I think the whole loneliness thing, being alone Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, that’s got to have an effect on those working from home. I guess some people can pull it off but…

Alicja: Well that’s why you see an increase of people working out of coffee shops. They want to be around people because we’re inherently social creatures.

Stivian: So you get a lot of freelancers and solopreneurs, do you guys do anything to build a community for them?

Alicja: Yes! So, one of the main missions of the Space Managers, and one of CMPNY’s main missions is to make sure we host events that people want to go to and make connections. Not necessarily rigid business connections, but more-so friendly, neighbourly, communal connections. I come from a Political Science and Communications background, so the value that people get out of micro-communities and micro-villages is stupendously strong and influential. That’s where you form friendships. That’s why the eradication of neighbourhoods causes so much panic.  

Stivian: Are people enthusiastic about the events? Do you see them come out pretty often?

Alicja: Yep, we have really great turnouts and we usually have a bunch of different people that come out to them. We have a mix of social events, and their primary reason for existing is for people to get to know one another. We have education programming where we bring in an expert on a certain topic so you can learn more and bring a new tool to your arsenal. Next week we’re doing a lip-sync battle. It’s just one of those things where if you can lip-sync in front of a bunch of strangers (who might be friends now), you now have the confidence to do that pitch in front of an investor that can take your business to the next level.

social lunch
One of CMPNY’s beloved social lunches.

Stivian: If you could organize one event – your DREAM event, what would it be?

Alicja: If I had unlimited funds, I would take all the CMPNY folk on a 7-day retreat cruise where we would talk about professional development, and bring in a business coach, a life coach, a psychologist and a business planner, and have each person go through that, and go through it together as a community. That would be a cathartic experience.

Stivian: That’s better than what I had. For some reason, my brain jumped to bringing in like 12 llamas to the office. So the Digital Nomad movement has become very popular within coworking spaces, do you get a lot of these people coming through?

Alicja: Absolutely. Again, it’s one of those things where you want to connect. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Digital Nomads usually specialize in specific areas, and while they might be able to Google a resource or call a colleague in Alberta, it’s way easier to just talk to somebody face to face. That face to face interaction is key to improving and learning better. If somebody shows you how to do something, as opposed to reading a blog about it, that’s much more likely to stick.

Stivian: Has the industry changed a lot since you started at CMPNY?

Alicja: The industry has changed quite a bit. A little history of coworking – the connotation of coworking started with the dotcom movement in Germany. A bunch of hackers rented a basement and were like “…This is pretty sick. It costs us all virtually nothing and it’s fun working together.”. It then migrated to Silicon Valley, where it was more of the bean-bag chairs recreational area and developing personal relationships. You can see that at Google’s headquarters where they have a bunch of benches, a cafeteria, ping pong, and things like that. And then it came here because there was a need for it. With the whole Digital Nomad movement and the fact that office spaces were becoming increasingly more expensive, why not work out of coworking spaces?

Stivian: That’s a big impact. Last question. What role do coworking spaces play today and how do you see them evolving in the future?

Alicja: Coworking spaces right now fill a niche for community building and a lack of affordable building space. I see coworking spaces expanding like franchises, similar to Starbucks and McDonalds. People want to work close to home, as they’re increasingly starting to value work-life balance. For parents who have careers that are demanding, it’s important to spend as much of your time with your kids as possible. You want that balance.

I think coworking spaces are going to be a-dime-a-dozen, and what that’s going to mean is they’re going to really differentiate themselves. For example, there’s L’Atelier downtown that’s primarily catered to creatives. For us, 10 to 15 years down the road, I can see us having a coworking space primarily for Digital Marketing people, a coworking space specifically for engineers, a coworking space for X, Y and Z. It’s just going to silo.

Stivian: That’s really cool. Any last words you want to add?

Alicja: CMPNY is cool. We love ElementIQ. #love.   

The Importance of Call Tracking

What is call tracking, and why should you care?

You’ve probably heard that call tracking is important for your business, but why is this the case?

Online marketing campaigns typically drive traffic through multiple channels, such as paid search, email marketing, and social media. These channels work together to drive people to your website, where they can take any number of actions.

As a business owner, you want these people to eventually become your customers. However, when they reach your website, this probably won’t happen right away. Instead, they might show their interest or try to do more research before determining if your business best addresses their needs. Only then will they hand over their hard earned cash.

To understand and improve your marketing efforts, you need to be able to clearly visualize what is working for you and what isn’t. You need to know what activities are causing people to show more interest in what you have to offer, as well as understand their behaviours and how your internet presence can influence these behaviours.

One way of capturing marketing data is by tracking content form submissions. Almost all websites with contact forms will automatically track them. So why don’t we do the same for calls?

Despite the fact that we are living in an increasingly digital area, people are still calling businesses, especially when they’re interested. In fact, the number of calls to businesses is only increasing as smartphone capabilities improve. Phones now, making it easier to call a business than ever before. As well, according to digital marketing expert Neil Patel, calls convert 10 to 15 times more often than web leads.

If you don’t track calls, you are losing valuable data. Calls are far more important than you think.

How Does It Work?

Call tracking provides you with data that shows which marketing efforts are driving calls to your business. In fact, if you don’t track calls, you might not be tracking up to 80% of your conversions. Without accurate conversion data, you can’t appropriately allocate resources towards your most effective marketing efforts. You’re basically throwing money at all sorts of channels, with no idea of which ones are giving you the best ROI. You won’t have any idea which pages, tactics, and campaigns are effective and ineffective, as you will only be seeing part of the picture.

Check out this handy infographic we made to visualize how this works:

 

To track calls from different sources, digital marketers use something called dynamic number insertion. What this means is that your leads will see a different phone number to call, based on the channel and geographic location they are on. All of these numbers will lead back to your actual number, so the visitors will contact you directly. However, the usefulness of this is that you will receive data about the referring URL, search keywords, landing pages, and ads the caller came through. As well, the tracking code will remember the original channel for each visitor, so they will see the same tracking number each time they visit your site.

When Is It Useful?

Unlike traditional marketing, online marketing has the ability to clearly demonstrate which activities are yielding specific results. When you have this information, you can then make adjustments as needed and optimize your activities.

Imagine you’re working on an email campaign for your business which redirects visitors to a unique landing page. There might be a form on there for visitors to fill out, but there might also be a phone number at the top. If you only track the form submissions, you’re completely missing data about the email campaign. You won’t know how many people called your business because of that specific email. Call tracking will give you that data so you can see how successful the campaign is, and learn and make improvements for the next email campaign you do.

Call tracking can track calls from a wide variety of platforms. If someone calls your business from directly accessing your website, an ad campaign, Google My Business, or even from Yelp, you will know and be able to see exact data. This data will then allow you to better understand your consumers, drive conversions, and help your business flourish.

State of Local Search in 2018

The Gamut of Changes to Google My Business

In less than 2 years, Google has relentlessly rolled out a series of updates to Google My Business features. In 2017, they had added a featured post feature, Q&A section and introduced a messaging option. In December 2017, we wrote about a post on some of the new Google My Business features. In 2018, they have added a business description section which allows businesses to capture user attention with a 250 character message about the business. Clicking this description shows a longer description, up to 750 characters.

What does this reflect?

One thing is clear – Google is devoting a lot of resources towards Google Local. This particular segment has been identified by the search giant as one of its most important segments. To continue being the most popular search engine, it must deliver the most relevant results to users.

Finding service providers is a BIG part of user search behavior and includes all kinds of queries like restaurants near me, plumbers in Vancouver, dentists, plumbers and so on. In fact, the device you search from would know your location and if one searches for pizzas, one expects Google to show pizza places near me. So we, the users, are even going to stop saying things like ‘near me’ or ‘in Vancouver’ but expect geographically relevant search results for a variety of queries.

This indicates two things –
1. Businesses need to make Local SEO a bigger priority in their marketing plans
2. Google Local is expected to be an important revenue generator for Alphabet

How Significant are Organic Search results now?

Take a look at the Google search engine results first page real estate for the query – ‘Dental Implants’

As you can see, one organic search result popped up right below the top 4 paid ads and then the rest of the organic results are buried half way down the page. For some queries, these results are going to be higher up in more prime spots but for a variety of searches, they are getting pushed as far down as shared in the example above.

The map results are the result of Local SEO and those have become extremely important for businesses to generate phone calls and website leads. These map results can also include paid ads in certain cases. E.g. for ‘Dental Implants Near Me’ –

WHAT IS ONE TO DO?

The Local Search Optimization includes actively managing the following –

  • Citations – business listings across various online business directories
  • Reputation – soliciting and responding to customer reviews across important directories
  • Map listings – updating business information on Google My Business (Bing and Apple listings are less important to maintain as regularly)

 

CTA Conference 2016 Review – The Best Of The Best In Digital Marketing

The Unbounce CTA Conference was a 3-day whirlwind and it’s taken a few weeks for us to settle down, get our thoughts together and discuss what our major takeaways were.

First of all—WOW! Talk about the cream of the digital marketing crop all under one roof! This conference was jam-packed with one engaging and informative speaker after another.

There were frequent breaks and great snack offerings—Lara Bars and fruit snacks galore all day (yum), food trucks and to top it off, we walked away with some cool swag as well!

cta conference 2016 vancouver banner

Knowledge Grows from Sharing

Building on the momentum of the conference, we are writing this article in the spirit of ‘marketers share tips and tricks with each other and then use those tips and tricks to beat each other’.

So without further delay, here are 3 things we are dying to share as we reminisce on the 2 days invested in dancing with the celebrities of the marketing industry:

Machine Learning is creating algorithms that are smarter than the collective intelligence of over a thousand marketers.

machine learning
Machine learning refers to writing software which can learn from past experience.

Marketers currently invest considerable time in creating and optimizing site pages and landing pages, looking at elements such as content quality, design, colours, and user experience.

A/B testing allows marketers to discover best practices for conversion rate optimization. Data scientists are now using the massive amounts of data collected through years of research to create highly sophisticated algorithms which will be capable of analyzing pages and identifying gaps and opportunities to optimize for conversions.

In the age of technology, being human is the secret sauce to the best strategies.

human vs machine translationWith Machine Learning becoming more developed and widely used, we must remember that machines can’t think on their own and they can’t be creative. So, while we strive to make data driven decisions, it is important to remember who your marketing is directed to.

The real person you are trying to converse with does not like bots or even marketers. He/She prefers having real conversations with real people. So maybe it is time to ditch the email templates and start sending emails like the ones you receive from your mother – plain text.

Perhaps it is also time to go beyond the data and actually meet people who fit the buyer personas you create.

A goal without a plan is just a wish and an opinion unassisted by data is just an opinion.

opinion to a data fight‘Don’t bring an opinion to a data fight’, exclaimed Andy Crestodina from the stage. Remember this every time you are pitching ideas to your team or your manager or even bickering about any topic with your colleagues.

Data has become fundamental to all decisions – from strategy to design.

Phew, with that now out of my system, let us move on.

Unbounce did a great job in organizing this event. I was impressed by their attention to detail and especially impressed when they said they had an official note taker assigned. This meant that the audience could keep their laptops and notebooks at bay and really pay attention to the speakers.

Digital Marketing Nuggets

However, there are some statements and quotes we felt compelled to write down during the presentations and here they are:

1. ‘What is the best place to hide a dead body? – The second page of Google’ – Andy Crestodina | Applied Analytics: Insights & Actions from 13 Reports | @crestodina

2. ‘Our goal is not to shove content into Inboxes; it is to provide the right content to the right people’ – Anum Hussain | Re-thinking Blog Subscribers: The Playbook Nobody Told You About | @anum | anumhussain.com

3. ‘Don’t spam people and don’t waste their time by sending emails that don’t say anything’ – Susan Su | Open Rate: 100% | @susanfsu

4. ‘If you have a bad product and you invest in marketing, you will just be pissing off more people faster’ – Morgan Brown | Lessons Learned from Building a Fast-Growing Subscription Business | @morganb

5. ‘A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week’ – Morgan Brown | Lessons Learned from Building a Fast-Growing Subscription Business | @morganb

6. ‘2001 Space Odyssey: Nobody knows what the movie is about. It answers a question you never asked with an answer you don’t understand. This is what makes it brilliant and my presentation will be like that.’ – Andre Morys | The Growth Canvas – Stop Searching for Nuggets – Build a Goldmine | @morys | web-arts

There were so many more nuggets flying from the stage, but my hands could not possibly keep up while my brain and ears were engaged in learning. Besides, remember there was an official note-taker (can’t say this enough).

Finally, in the interest of all the savvy readers who have made it this far, I am including a table of the conference schedule with links to all the talks. It’s your lucky day, have at it –

MONDAY, June 20, 2016 TUESDAY, June 21, 2016
Oli Gardner – The Conversion Equation

Co-Founder, Unbound

Rand Fishkin – The Measure of a Marketer’s Worth

Wizard of Moz, Moz

Andy Crestodina – Applied Analytics

Co-Founder, Orbit Media

Mackenzie Fogelson – Evolve or Die: How Authenticity Builds Durable Brands

CEO, Genuinely

Anum Hussain – Rethinking Blog Subscribers

Senior Growth Marketer, HubSpot

Brian Davidson – Syncing Facebook Ads with Mobile Landing Page Conversions

Partner, Matchnode

Erin Bury – 7 Key Marketing Lessons I’ve Learned Growing 20+ Brands

Managing Director, 88Creative

Mathew Sweezy – The New Psychology Behind Top Performing Campaigns

Principal of Marketing Insights, Salesforce

Kevan Lee – 10 Lead-Gen Strategies from the World’s Best Social Marketers

Content Crafter, Buffer

Kristen Craft – Video Analytics: What to Know About It

Director of Partnerships, Wistia

Susan Su – Open Rate: 100%

Partner, 500 Startups

Johnathan Dane – The 5 Best-Kept PPC Secrets

Founder, Klientboos

Morgan Brown – Lessons Learned from Building a Fast-Growing Subscription Business

COO, Inman News

Cara Harshman – The Homepage is Dead

Content Marketing Manager, Optimizely

Andre Morys – The Growth Canvas

CEO, Web Arts AG

Aaron Orendorff – 3 Counter-Intuitive Tactics for Successful and Brand-Defining Content

Content Strategist, iconiContent

Annie Cushing – Five Tips To Get Your Google Analytics Account Ready

Founder, Annielytics

Stefanie Grieser – Marketing Tips to Pack the House

International Marketing Manager, Unbounce

Hana Abaza – Myths about High Converting Content

VP Marketing, Uberflip

Amy Harrison – Is Your Copy Selling you Short

Founder, Harrisonamy Copywriting

Michael Aagaard – The Psychology Behind Terrible Conversion Experiences

Senior Conversion Optimizer, Unbounce

Closing Ceremony

unbounce cta conference 2016 volunteersWith all the videos, slides and notes from the conference made publicly available, it is fair to question the need to pay for the ticket and physically attend a conference such as this.

During the after party (which was at the Telus Science World and reason enough to attend), we met Carl Schmidt, the founder of Unbounce.

When we commended him for organizing official note takers, he shared a gold nugget. He said he never liked making notes of what the speakers were saying or presented on the slides. Instead, he carries his notepad and tries to jot down three actionable ideas that can be implemented at work. These ideas are inspired by the presentations made by speakers.

Presentations are the nucleus of the conference but equally important are the people you meet and the ideas and inspiration that the entire ambiance creates. We highly recommend that you facilitate your marketing team members to attend at least one big conference a year.

What Does Marketing Mean?

what does marketing mean

The American Marketing Association Board of Directors approved the following definition of marketing in July 2013 – Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.

Many other definitions of marketing can be found in this article which includes marketing as defined by Philip Kotler and 72 other highly successful marketing professionals.

I think of marketing as an action verb for market. It’s like putting market in motion. This is not how any of my marketing professors or the several dozen books I have read have described it. I think this is a unique description and one that seems to explain so much in such little words. But I am going to continue this sermon.

The Objectives Of Marketing

First and foremost, I am going to begin with exploring different objectives of marketing. These, from my experience, can include:

  1. Brand Awareness
  2. Lead Generation
  3. Sales Facilitation
  4. Customer Satisfaction
  5. Customer Loyalty and Retention

Depending on what the overarching marketing objective is, the marketing strategy planners design a campaign. Now that we know what various marketing campaign objectives could be, let us continue with our primary question of what is marketing.

A business, any business, is an entity that provides a product or a service. The consumers (past, current, potential) of this product/service are what constitute the market. Marketing is what makes this market active. Without marketing, a product would be manufactured but no one will ever know about it and its market will remain dormant.

So is marketing essentially communication?

The answer is no. Communication is an integral part of marketing but marketing is broader in scope. Marketing is actually deeply integrated into business strategy. Neil Borden, the president of the American Marketing Association, coined the term ‘Marketing Mix’ in 1953. This mix continues to be taught as the foundation of any marketing course even in top B-schools around the world.

The 4 P’s Of Marketing

Let’s explore this marketing mix which includes the 4 P’s of Marketing – Product, Price, Place and Promotion:

Product

Marketing is the link between manufacturing and end users. Based on customer feedbacks, marketing is able to guide manufacturing in the development of a better product. In some cases, marketing might determine that consumers do not want a change.

For example, consumers were enraged when Coca Cola altered its formula in the 1985. Based on the feedback from the marketing team, Coke decided to revert to its original formula. Of course, commonly, the feedback is more subtle than nationwide protests.

Price

There can be different approaches to pricing. For example, one could determine the manufacturing cost of a product and add a markup based on industry standards for profit.

Alternatively, one could look at competitive pricing and price the product at par with its competitors. It could price it higher with the promise of higher quality or engage in price cut. Here again, the marketing team can gather and analyze industry data to determine industry standard mark-ups, competitor pricing, price sensitivity of target consumers etc. For example, the tobacco companies had engaged in price-wars which had lowered the value of the entire industry in America in 1993.

Apple, on the other hand, charges a premium for its products with the promise of a higher quality. My first employer had used the analogy of the automobile industry to explain how he approaches pricing. He said you must determine where you wish to position your product and base pricing accordingly – do you wish to be a Rolls Royce Phantom, Porsche Cayenne, a Toyota Camry or a Chevrolet Spark?

Place

This is a decision that relates to determining the market for your product. Here, the marketing team helps establish which particular countries, cities, and neighbourhoods one should target. The surest way to failure is in trying to be everything to everyone. The better a business can determine what the niche is; the more effective it will be is creating demand. For example, if you are a service provider serving only the Vancouver metropolitan region, the marketing team can delve deeper into what neighborhoods are more likely to be interested in your product.

If you provide a service like interior designing for affluent houses, you will not want to waste your resources advertising your service in neighbourhoods populated by low-income housing communities. An example of this is Amazon choosing the e-commerce model while Walmart chose the more traditional retail model. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Promotion

This involves deciding the mix of tools to be used to promote your product or service. These days the choice includes two broad segments of traditional and digital media. Traditional media includes print advertisements in newspapers, magazines, billboards etc. Digital media includes television, radio and more recently the elaborate world of the internet which everyone is on. These sub-segments can be further broken into more sub-segments and the marketing team must decide the appropriate media mix based on your product and brand guidelines. E.g. Nike uses the whole gamut of media from T.V. ads to Billboards to actively leveraging social media.

On the other hand, Apple advertises on TV, magazines, and events but chooses not to have any presence on social media. This was explained well in an article by Kissmetrics – ‘Why Apple Doesn’t Tweet’.

The Role Of Communication In Marketing

Now that we have touched upon the broader scope of marketing and briefly elaborated on the marketing mix, let’s explore the role of communication in marketing.

In doing so, let me highlight the classic marketing funnel and the distinct role that communication plays at each stage –

Awareness

This is when you make potential buyers aware of your product/service. Your communication is designed to highlight that you are a player in a particular industry. For example, people interested in buying a car are aware of the popular brands in the market. But in this competitive market, Kia wants to make people aware of its all-new 2016 Sorento. It does so with a commercial focusing on key features such as space, utility, and toughness. Watch the ad here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvyacdBrezQ

Consideration

Here, the focus is on conveying more specific advantages of your product. This focus can range from features to visual appeal to price. Using the same example of Kia Sorento, the company has a detailed page published on its website with a complete overview of features, price, reviews, unique selling propositions etc.

Intent

By now, you have moved interested people further down your marketing funnel and now you want to move them closer to making the purchase decision. In the automobile industry, this popularly done with a common call-to-action of a test drive. You want your leads to touch and feel your product. One way of booking a test drive of any Kia model is by filling in a form on their website where you can select the model, your preferred dealer, a suitable date and time etc.

Purchase

You have already created the willingness to buy and now the intent of the communication is to guide the consumer in the buying process making it as easy and seamless as possible. Kia allows you to book your car online with their Build & Price tool on their website.

Loyalty

This is about continuing to build a relationship even after the sale. You want to create loyalty to encourage repeat purchases to increase the customer lifetime value. This can be done by following up to get post-purchase feedback or smart communication relaying information that can add further value to the user – e.g. Kia can look at complementary products like windshield cleaners or even gasoline and give its customers a loyalty discount at select retailers.

Advocacy

Once you win customer loyalty, you should aim to make your loyal customers your brand ambassadors. You can encourage them to refer you to their friends by providing financial or psychological incentives. With social media, encouraging users to share your brand messages has become more integral to marketing communication than ever before. For example, Kia can offer discounts on vehicle servicing for customers who share their post on social media or complementary servicing for customers who refer other buyers.

In the pre-internet age, marketing communication was usually one sided and easier to control until you confronted the sales personnel. In the internet age, it has become more complex because customers have greater control on media and information that they consume and media sources are much more spread out than before.

This has sparked interesting discussions in the marketing teams of various companies like Google, Intuit, SAP, Sephora, Twitter, and VISA. An article published on the Howard Business Review website makes for an interesting read – Marketing can no longer rely on the funnel.

Marketing In The 21st Century

So, now we have visited the Marketing Mix and the classic Marketing Funnel. Let me finally list out three key ingredients of marketing in the 21st century:

Data

having entered the information age, it is not the lack of but the access of data that is a challenge for most companies. But data can be the most useful tool for your business if one knows how to collect, gather and analyze data to draw quality insights.

Data can be used to get a better understanding of your buyers, the buyer’s behavior, the target market segments, the competition, the industry, and all sorts of other variables that influence your business and marketing strategy.

Data projects an unbiased opinion on market realities and can be used for descriptive and predictive analysis. An amazing example of predictive analysis is the accuracy with which Microsoft, Apple and Google predicted the results of each game of the FIFA 15 Men’s World Cup with astounding accuracy. Microsoft Bing’s prediction technology was perfect in the knockout stage scoring 15 out of 15 correct results.

However, one must exercise a high level of caution in using data to guide decision making. Any bugs in the entire process from collection to analysis can alter the end results. Also, data normally needs context to make it relevant.

Authenticity

A dozen years ago, my father use to say that a good salesperson can sell ice to an Eskimo. I differ in my opinion, especially in this day and age. With easy access to abundance of information, consumers are now much smarter than before. Before making a buying decision, they are now likely to research your product a lot more thoroughly.

While before they may have been convinced by the advertising copy and might have consulted their friends and family; today, the advertising copy might be compelling but they will want to check your website, read your blogs, browse your social media feed, look for reviews and may even post a message on their social media page to source an opinion from a much larger pool of family and friends. If they don’t think you are being authentic in your value proposition, not only will they choose not to purchase your product but they might even discredit your brand publicly on the internet.

This has made authenticity extremely important in all of your communication and marketing campaigns. A great example of authenticity is the way Taylor Swift promotes her brand. She actively engages with her fans on social media and her posts and comments are genuine – not tailored by a PR agency. She is excellent in understanding her fans and often goes above and beyond to delight them. No wonder that there was an article published on July 16, 2015 that Hillary Clinton is borrowing marketing tactics from Taylor Swift (and its working).

Responsiveness

One of the differences between your previous smartphone and your new smartphone is that your new smartphone is able to open applications one-tenth of a second faster that your previous phone. As small as this may be, engineers have worked really hard to ensure faster processing speeds and it matters to you. The same way, we have become expectant of faster communication.

A long time ago, postal careers were used to deliver messages. Now we use emails and instant messengers for instant communication. With this breakthrough in the time taken to deliver and receive messages, your consumers have become expectant of almost real time responses to their queries.

Hence, you must have a robust process in place to attend to consumer queries almost immediately when they submit a query form on your website or ask you a question on your social media page. Here is an article that highlights 10 companies that take this very seriously and totally rock customer service on social media.

There are many other factors that play a crucial role in marketing in the 21st century, but off the top of my head I covered three that I feel are very important. One thing to remember is that a sale is a function of marketing – marketing is a much bigger strategy that might have sales as a primary goal but extends much beyond a financial transaction.

Lastly…

I am Vikram Shivahare – a student, thinker and practitioner of Marketing for more than 10 years. I started writing this article with the intent to answer a fundamental question – What is marketing? There is a fine line between passion and obsession and I believe that by continuing to rant on this subject, I might cross that line. Hence I am going to stop here. But I sincerely hope that this article raises the level of understanding of marketing amongst those who are curious. I also hope that for the more experienced professionals in the field – they are able to revisit some of the fundamentals and it sparks more enriching discussions on this subject.
Any feedback and comments are encouraged and will be deeply appreciated.

Why Businesses In Vancouver Need HubSpot

If you’re the owner of a company operating in or around Vancouver, you’ll know how much of a struggle it can be to attract the right customers to your business, especially with so much competition in every sector. The British Columbia economy is still on fairly fragile ground and Vancouver business owners know this all too well. In order to be found by prospective buyers looking for a business just like yours, you need a sales and marketing plan that is appropriate for the digital age, and you need the right tools to help your business grow. This is where HubSpot comes in.

HubSpot vancouver businesses logo

Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you didn’t have to chase as many prospects? Instead, imagine that more of your potential customers actually found you, took themselves through your sales process, and then contacted you when they were ready to make a purchase. HubSpot can help you keep track of all your inbound marketing activities like SEO, blogging, social media marketing, and email marketing, ensuring you capture quality leads at the right time and place.

The Benefits Of Inbound Marketing

First, it’s important to understand what makes Inbound marketing more effective than traditional marketing methods.

It’s less expensive. Buying ad space online and offline is expensive. By using various online channels including websites and social media, businesses can publish their own optimized content, usually at no cost.

It’s more credible. Consumers are more savvy than ever before. They know when they’re being sold to; they can smell a sales pitch from a mile away. Ads and sales messages don’t have the power that they once did. By using content marketing and other inbound marketing techniques, businesses can educate consumers before they are ready to buy, giving their brand more credibility from the outset.

It’s less intrusive. Consumers have more power than ever before to control their social and digital environments. They fast-forward through TV commercials, block incoming phone calls, trash emails, and ignore pop-up ads. Inbound marketing promotes your brand without the “hard sell”.

It reduces the need to cold call. By using the right Inbound marketing strategies, businesses will find that customers come to them when they are ready to make a buying decision.

A Smarter Digital Marketing Solution

Many businesses in Vancouver still rely on a number of tools to help them with digital marketing. They use analytics tools to monitor their website and social media activity, another tool to analyze their email marketing, a design tool for creating landing pages, and publishing tools for blogging and managing their content marketing. It’s becoming way too complicated, and yet these businesses are so busy juggling all these activities with the day-to-day operations of their business, they lose sight of what they are actually trying to achieve. HubSpot simplifies the whole marketing process.

An Overview Of HubSpot

The great thing about HubSpot is that it helps you streamline the entire marketing process, from creating content and attracting customers, to capturing leads and closing a sale. It can help you with SEO, email, social media, blogging, analytics, and more. Ultimately, it will help you attract more people to your website at a lower cost per lead. As a result of the Inbound marketing techniques, the leads are interested in your products or services and are more likely to buy.

HubSpot has been helping businesses since 2006, and because of the continued growth of inbound marketing and the rise of social media and mobile technology, the popularity of the marketing tool is growing faster than ever before. If you are operating a business in and around Vancouver, make sure you don’t lose out to other businesses in the area who are already using HubSpot’s powerful marketing features. The benefits are clear:

  • It gives businesses a greater return on their marketing investment
  • It simplifies the whole marketing process
  • Your target market can find you more easily
  • Prospects are already more qualified and more likely to buy

The core marketing tasks covered by HubSpot can all be managed from one central hub, so you and your team can manage every aspect of your sales and marketing. These include:

  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Blogging
  • SEO
  • Optimizing landing pages
  • Creating effective calls-to action
  • Analytics and reporting

How HubSpot Can Help Your Business

There are many marketing tools included in the HubSpot package. Here are just some of the main features you can use to boost your marketing power:

Prospect Tracking

Most website visitors end up leaving a site without converting into a lead. HubSpot allows you to track these visitors so you can see which companies are visiting your website, how each visitor found your site, and which pages they viewed. If they performed a search, you can also discover what they were searching for. You can then export these results to other team members.

Keyword Research

Use HubSpot to host your blog and get live help as you create each blog post. HubSpot helps you optimize your content with the most effective keywords by analyzing different keyword phrases for their competitiveness, meaning you focus on the right keywords before you publish.

Email Marketing

As with any marketing automation tool, you can send targeted email messages based on the interests of your prospects and their position in the sales cycle. For example, you can set up an email to be sent when a website visitor performs a certain task. Because HubSpot’s email platform is connected directly to its contact database, you can personalize each email to help increase open and click rates.

Lead Nurturing

Set up workflows so you can nurture leads through the sales funnel. You can send automated emails at specific times to each lead, monitor the results and then pass on this data to the sales team.

Lead Management

HubSpot’s lead management tool shows you how prospects interacted with your website. It uses lead scoring technology to identify the most qualified leads, and can even show you a timeline of every interaction between a contact and your company.

Business Blogging

HubSpot’s blogging software helps you create posts that are optimized for search engines and readers, so your content is more likely to rank higher for certain keywords and get more shares. Its blog analytics tool helps you see which posts are most effective so you can optimize future content. Social inbox. Monitor your brand’s online presence from one central location. See all the information about your keywords, customers, leads, interactions, and content across all your social networks.

Landing Page Creation

Creating landing pages that are optimized for conversions is a key part of an effective marketing strategy. HubSpot makes it easy to build powerful landing pages that convert more customers.

Smart Calls-To-Action

With HubSpot, you can segment leads based on specific criteria and display different offers on your website based on the individual visitor.

The Bottom Line – Growing Your Business In Vancouver (With HubSpot)

hubspot for vancouver businesses

Many businesses in Vancouver and the surrounding areas either don’t use HubSpot or don’t use it to its full potential. This is a great opportunity for you take advantage of one of the most powerful marketing platforms around and stay one step ahead of the competition. If you’re finding it difficult to attract customers, capture quality leads, and close a sale, HubSpot could be just what you’ve been waiting for. Why not make it easier for your target customers to find you, and take your online marketing to the next level?

Next up: I’ll detail the latest and greatest with HubSpot’s brand new CRM! Stay tuned!

Inbound Marketing Assessment

Why I Hate AdWords’ ‘Ad Relevance’ & ‘Other Ad Triggering’: Simple Solutions To Combat Flawed Ad Serving

I have a confession to make… I’m not fond of Google AdWords’ Quality Score calculation, on a good day. From what I gather from digital marketers the world over, I’m not alone in my belief.

The idea itself is a great one—a way to filter and rank advertisers for similar goods and services in Google’s AdWords auction—so that the advertiser with the highest bid doesn’t automatically win each auction. It’s intended to effectively eliminate a monopoly on ad space that would be waged between deep-pocketed corporations (although some would say, with good authority, it too often is a battle of the titans).

So, I have no problem with it existing. I do, however, have a problem with the way it seems to be—almost randomly—calculated by Big G. Specifically, for this blog post, the ‘Ad Relevance’ metric.

Generally the LocalTrifecta blog is filled with useful, actionable material to help you or your client’s businesses improve online and get a leg up on the competition. It’s all about improving your ROI in digital marketing efforts.

That being said, there isn’t any rule saying we can’t air the occasional ‘complaint’ blog post. So please, if you’ll bear with me, hear me out and perhaps we can gripe together (and come up with some solutions?) on this rather frustrating issue.

All About Ad Relevance

At its very core, Ad Relevance is supposed to measure how relevant your ad text is to the keyword in question, with 3 possible grades (like all Quality Score metrics): Above Average, Average, and Below Average.

As per Google:

“This status describes how well your keyword matches the message in your ads. For example, if someone searches for your keyword and your ad shows up, would your ad seem directly relevant to their search?”

Fair enough, right? One would think, then, that any mention(s) of your keyword in your ad text should sufficiently earn you at least an ‘Average’ grade, right?

After all, if your customer is looking to hire an immigration lawyer and they type “immigration lawyers” in to Google, wouldn’t the following ad be quite relevant to their query:

  KM_Law_Ad_Example_Blurred

So, in this case, why would the keyword “immigration lawyers” have a ‘Below Average’ grade for its Ad Relevance metric? Is the ad irrelevant, or not very relevant, to the keyword in question, “immigration lawyers”? I mean, the keyword is actually in the ad’s headline, written exactly the same way, and the term “immigration” is used again in Description Line 1. What gives? Isn’t this worth at least an ‘Average’ grade?

According to AdWords, ‘Below Average’ grades for your keyword’s Ad Relevance are caused by:

“…your ad or keyword [not being] specific enough or that your ad group may cover too many topics.”

And can be remedied by:

“…creating tightly-themed ad groups by making sure that your ads are closely related to a smaller group of keywords.”

Now, in the example I’ve used above, that Immigration Lawyer ad group contains 14 keywords (every one of which has “immigration” in it and some variation after or before it, ie. “attorney, law firm, find” etc.)

So, isn’t it safe to assume the ad group is tightly-themed, and the keywords are closely related to the 1 text ad I shared here? I’m not including ‘criminal lawyer,’ ‘immigration laws’ or other unrelated terms in here, so what’s the issue?

Wouldn’t the ad seem “directly relevant to [the customer’s] search” as per Google’s definition of Ad Relevance? I think it would to the vast majority of rational human beings on this planet, anyways.

What complicates matters with this supposed ‘Ad Relevance,’ is ‘Average’ or better ratings given to keywords that DO NOT appear in the text ad at all!

Another client has a keyword “roof cleaning cost” in their Roof Cleaning ad group, while the ad that’s served 99% of the time with the keyword looks like this:

 NSHS_Ad_Example_Blurred

 The problem with this is, the keyword’s Ad Relevance has an ‘Average’ rating. Really?! There is nothing in that ad copy that mentions the cost of roof cleaning, or anything along the lines of getting an estimate or quantifying the cost of such services.

With these 2 examples in mind, it seems like the first advertiser is getting robbed in the Quality Score department, doesn’t it? With a ‘Below Average’ grade in any Quality Score metric, there’s no chance of your ad getting a 10/10 rating, and very unlikely it even achieves an 8. So, despite the apparent relevancy to the rational human eye, this keyword will suffer with a lower Quality Score. It will, therefore, rank lower in the ad auction, and accrue a higher average cost per click than those with higher Quality Scores for the same or similar keywords.

I could go on with other examples like this, but this blog post must get to a discussion.

Clearly, ‘Ad Relevance’ isn’t always calculated on the description that Google puts forth about it, or else these aforementioned keywords would have different grades.

Maybe we can use Google’s Ad Preview & Diagnosis tool (which you can find at the bottom of the pop-out that appears after you hover over the little speech bubble beside each keyword in your ad group) to get some answers? This tool is supposed to show you which ad is currently running for a given keyword, in a geographical area and device of your choice.

Try this in your account. It will infuriate you. I performed this task multiple times across different ad groups in a client account, and while it would show me Ad ‘A’ in the preview, when we performed an actual search using the exact same keyword in the exact same geographical area, we would be served Ad ‘B.’ Or Ad ‘C.’ There was no rhyme or reason for this.

And just to add salt in the wound, Google says when you use this tool:

“You’ll see the exact same results as a Google search…”

Utter hogwash. Try it for yourself and see if Google is telling the truth or not…

Google’s ‘Defective’ Ad Serving

Ad_Triggering_Sad

As an aside, when we performed manual searchers ourselves in our browser, sometimes we were served ads that weren’t even IN the ad group in question! We’d be served ads from a completely unrelated ad group, connected to their own keywords. This is related to another object of my ire (and arguably an even worse offender): the dreaded “this keyword is triggering other ads with a similar keyword…” message in the keyword’s speech bubble in AdWords.

 

 Safe_Step_ad_triggered_by_other_keyword_example

 This is maddening. We create ads in a specific ad group for a reason, no? But in the case above, the keyword “walk in tubs” is triggering an ad from the ‘Safety Tubs’ ad group, which is associated with the keyword ‘safety tubs,’ a completely different term. Yes, ‘tubs’ is in each of them, but each keyword resides in its own, unique ad group that contains only similar keywords (ie. the word ‘safety’ does not appear in the Walk In Tubs ad group, and ‘walk in’ doesn’t appear in the Safety Tubs group).

Again, we create ads in a specific ad group for a reason, no? Apparently not… Google gets to decide this for you, judging by the following from their help page on this problem:

“This keyword is already associated with at least one other ad in your account.
You can only have one ad showing per keyword. If you have two or more ads eligible for the same keyword, the ad with the highest Quality Score will show.”

Thank you Google, for deciding which other ads (not in the same ad group) to match the keyword in question to. And, didn’t they just contradict themselves in the paragraph above? It says that the keyword is ‘associated’ with multiple ads, but then in the very next sentence, says that only 1 ad can show per keyword. Huh?

So why then, Google, did you decide to ‘associate’ another ad with the same keyword, despite saying only 1 ad can show for it? That’s why you made US make an ad(s) in the ad group for the specific keyword in question. Match it to any of those ads, not an ad that is supposed to be triggered by an entirely different keyword residing in another ad group!

What’s more, ads don’t actually have Quality Scores assigned to them: keywords do. So this just adds to the confusion. Worse still, I’ve seen an example of this in a client’s account—where the ad that ended up showing for the keyword in question, was attached to a keyword in a separate ad group—however, it had a LOWER Quality Score! It’s enough to make your head spin!

Take the above example, the keyword “walk in tubs.” When I went to look at the offending keyword that was ‘stealing’ the ad impression (safety tubs), that keyword was triggering other ads with a similar keyword TOO!

 

 Safe_Step_ad_triggered_by_other_keyword_example_2

 This time, it was “walk in bathtubs for seniors” that was stealing the ad impression; showing an ad related to the seniors term, instead of an ad related to the safety tubs term, which is what Google should have shown, for relevance.

 Safe_Step_ad_triggered_by_other_keyword_example_3

 Can you see the madness of this ‘cross-pollination’ of keywords and ads? Mind-numbing, if you ask me.

And no, I’m not done with the silliness… turns out, the keyword “walk in bathtubs for seniors” had a much lower Quality Score than the keyword “safety tubs,” so that flies right in the face of what Google told us in its multi-ad explanation. And I quote again:

“You can only have one ad showing per keyword. If you have two or more ads eligible for the same keyword, the ad with the highest Quality Score will show.”

So why would the keyword with the lower Quality Score trigger an ad in its ad group, despite it having a lower Quality Score and a less relevant ad, as well? Doesn’t AdWords pride itself on serving the most relevant ads at the right times? With all its incredible calculations and algorithms running in the background, how doesn’t it know to serve the most relevant ad to the searcher’s query, AND to follow its own rules, as per the quoted text above?

And finally, for the cherry on top of a very sour dessert, this ‘cross-pollination’ can change every single day. I checked the next day to see if this ‘other ad triggering’ was still occurring for the original keyword in question (“walk in tubs”), and indeed it was; but this time, completely different keywords were causing the wrong ad serving! At this point you just have to shake your head and realize you’re ‘playing the game.’

Sometimes there’s no justice in the AdWords world.

Are We Being Duped… By The Same System, We Have To Trust?

Is it also possible that the keyword with the lower Quality Score is being used in the ad auction itself (instead of the original keyword that should have done this)? If so, this could be real detrimental to our ‘correct’ keyword’s Ad Rank (which is calculated as Quality Score x Keyword Bid), since the lower the Quality Score, the lower the Ad Rank, and therefore, the lower the position of the ad on the search results page, and the HIGHER the cost we’d need to pay (keywords with higher Quality Scores ultimately receive ‘discounts’ in the auction, meaning the advertiser pays less and less with each numerical improvement). There’s an incredibly comprehensive look at the economics of Quality Score here.

As far as we know, the original, ‘correct’ keyword is the one receiving the impressions and other statistics for the ads being shown (even though the ad was from a different ad group which is supposed to be triggered from a completely different keyword). However, it does make you wonder, since the ad that showed is supposed to only be triggered by the keywords in its own ad group.

Sigh…

AdWord’s #1 Flaw That Humans (Not Algorithms) Can Solve

These 2 problems, the ‘Ad Relevance’ conundrum, and the ‘cross-pollination’ of keywords to ad groups (which no one can easily explain away), point to what I feel is a glaring weakness in the AdWords system:

Human Beings Are Not Allowed To Choose Which Ads Run With Which Keywords!

Again, I salute Google for creating an advertising vehicle that I couldn’t even begin to fathom how to create, and for the most part it is incredibly intelligent and useful. However, such a fundamental element of advertising is relevancy, and I don’t care what they say, if you have a marketing team or copywriter with at least half a brain, they’d be able to point out which ad copy would be the most relevant to the keywords triggered by a user’s search queries.

Google, why not let us decide which ads to run with which keywords? Most of us know our target audiences, and this way, we’ll avoid being at your mercy, and avoid potentially showing ads for “walk in bathtubs for seniors,” when “safety tubs” is what the search was originally for. Yes, maybe the ads are similar, but we made the ads in the “Safety Tubs” ad group for a reason, and the ads in “Seniors” for another.

In this way, we could still rely on AdWord’s ‘Ad Rotation’ settings to ensure the best ad in the ad group is still shown; simply choosing ‘optimize for clicks’ or ‘optimize for conversions’ will still allow Google to choose the appropriate ad—it will just choose between those in the given ad group… not from unrelated ad groups that potentially contain keywords with lower Quality Scores!

Is this asking too much? I’m sure Google likes the status quo, so it has control, and because they pride themselves on serving the most relevant ad, as per their electronic algorithm’s brain. Plus, it is possible that they’ll serve ads that may historically cost more than others (for all you conspiracy theorists out there). Again, we can’t see the inner workings, so we’re more or less at the algorithm’s mercy.

Common Sense Solutions To ‘Lower Your Risk’

What can we do to combat these 2 problems, Ad Relevancy and ‘cross-pollination’ of ads and keywords?

For Ad Relevance, love it or hate it, all we can do is:

–  Create tightly-themed ad groups like Google suggests. Keep it to 15 keywords or under if possible

–  Use a combination of broad, “phrase,” and [exact match] keywords, particularly [exact match] if possible, since these are the most specific and Google finds these super relevant to the searcher’s query, when it’s (obviously) what the searcher typed in

–  Diligently use negative keywords in your campaigns (and specifically at the ad group level)

–  Create ad copy that contains the keyword

–  Use {dynamic keyword insertion}. However, don’t overuse it!

To avoid ‘cross-pollinating’ ads and keywords:

–  Use [exact match] negative keywords at the ad group level. For my example above, we would use the keyword [walk in tubs] as an exact match, negative keyword at the ad group level of the “Safety Tubs” ad group.  Just like we would use the [safety tubs] exact match keyword as a negative in the “Seniors” ad group. So, wherever possible, use the ‘offending’ keyword stealing the ad impression as an [exact match negative keyword] in the ad group level of the correct ad group. Don’t forget to do the same for plurals and common misspellings as well! This can be very tricky with match type.

–  Create unique, tightly-themed ad groups, but don’t go so granular that AdWords sees little difference between them; ie. though it’s no guarantee, don’t create an ad group for ‘purple shoes’ and ‘flowery purple shoes’ just because of a 1 word difference, even if you do use [exact match negatives] and single word broad negatives at the ad group level.

–  Ensure your landing page is as closely related to the ad group’s keywords as possible. This doesn’t mean keyword-stuff your page, but be cognizant about what the overall theme is for the ad group, and ensure your landing page serves up relevant content around potential search queries that match to these keywords. Don’t forget, ‘Landing Page Experience’ is an important element of Quality Score as well!

Wrapping It All Up

Do you suffer from these same kinds of AdWords challenges? Is the algorithm going ‘rogue’ on your keywords and choosing what it thinks is the best ad for the searcher? If so, I hope you’re able to see some improvement in your accounts by following these guidelines.

AdWords will test your patience, but as a whole, it does do a good job of managing your campaigns. As long as you can recognize any problems and then know how to act accordingly, you’ll continue to see respectable results.

Do you have any suggestions to combat this unfortunately ‘inhuman’ aspect of the AdWords engine? Any personal success stories or valuable advice you can share with our readers? If so, please do tell us about them in the comments below!

I’ll see you there!

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What Is HubSpot? A Complete Overview And Why Your Business Needs It (Part 2)

In the first half of our comprehensive HubSpot overview, we answered the question “What is HubSpot?” and started to answer the question “Why do I need HubSpot?” Here’s the second half of our exclusive overview of HubSpot.

 

HubSpot Sales Funnel

To recap, let’s go back to the original question again:

What Is HubSpot?

HubSpot is an all-in-one inbound marketing software platform that helps businesses attract website visitors, convert them into leads and turn those leads into paying customers. It uses inbound marketing (Search Engine OptimizationBloggingSocial MediaMarketing Automation and Marketing Analytics) to accomplish that.

So what more can we do with HubSpot?

Optimize For Search Engines

With HubSpot, search engine optimization (SEO) is ingrained in every tool. It’s woven into all of the content tools so you can rest assured you’ve got a guide for making sure your content ranks in search engines and ranks well.

  • Page Performance. Discover how each and every page on your website is performing and ranking. This unique HubSpot tool checks if your page has all the critical SEO and conversion rate optimization (CRO) factors like Title tags, Image Alt text, Header tags, Meta description and more. I find this to be a great checklist for basic SEO.
  • Keywords. HubSpot’s Keywords tool allows you to see how your business ranks in search engines for certain keywords. Here’s a great way to use the Keywords tool and other tools to your advantage in 3 easy steps:
  1. Find keywords with the Keywords tool that have a Rank of under 60 and an Average Monthly Search total of over 100
  2. Create and publish a blog post with one of those keywords
  3. Once published, use the Page Performance tool to optimize your post for best SEO practices

Integrate With Your Customer Relationship Management system (CRM)

  • Having your sales and marketing teams aligned and working closely together is extremely important. HubSpot dubs this alignment “Smarketing.” With Salesforce being one of the most popular CRM systems, HubSpot hypes up its ability to integrate with it. In reality, HubSpot can integrate with almost any CRM system. Your marketing team creates the content that will help the sales team close more business. Your sales team needs to provide feedback. With HubSpot and CRM alignment, you’ll be able to create meaningful relationships with customers which means more initial and recurring revenue for your business

Share Your Content Over Social Media

With the Social Inbox, you can take social media management to the next level – without hassle! No more logging into multiple accounts to manage each profile individually. Monitor, publish and report all in one tool. You’ll save time and enhance your social campaigns.

  • Social Media Monitoring. With HubSpot’s Social Media Monitoring screen, you’ll find out more about who is interacting with your business on social networks. Key intelligence items include:
  1. Full interaction history with contacts
  2. Contact information
  3. How influential those contacts are
  4. Ways to converse with them.
  • Social Media Publishing. Here’s your ultimate time-saver: Effortlessly attach and post content to one or multiple of your social media channels. HubSpot has suggested times for posting which is a great aspect of this tool. We use the Social Inbox as our social media management tool and it’s effective and easy.

Report Progress

Run a marketing campaign without complete reporting and you’ll run into a bunch of problems. You’ll find that knowing where your traffic and leads come from, how your competitors match up to you, and what you should be focusing on is the insight you need to increase your bottom line. The good news? HubSpot has the solution:

  • Sources Reports. Want to know exactly where your visitors and leads are coming from? HubSpot’s Sources tool shows which channels are doing well and which ones are not. It provides you with the insight and intelligence that will tell you where you should put more effort into.
  • Competitors. Do you know how your competitors are doing? Want to know what their online presence is like and how you can beat them? The Competitors tool breaks it all down pooling analytical data from a plethora of great resources. With the Marketing Grader, Alexa Traffic Rank, Indexed Pages, Linking Domains, mozRank and much more, you’ll find out how your online presence is and how it matches up to your competitors. Here’s what’s even better: You can track these statistics graphically over time within HubSpot.
  • Closed-Loop Reporting. Being able to work with your sales team seamlessly and find out where your best lead sources are can do wonders for your business. This is what great closed-loop reporting can do. With closed-loop reporting, you’ll be able to find where your customers are coming from. HubSpot centers it’s reporting data around this. Here are some distinct benefits of closed-loop reporting:
  1. Gain Valuable Intelligence On Your Target Audience
  2. Deliver Clear, Concise Results To Your Boss
  3. Focus On The Channels And Offers That Are Working
  4. Discover Your ROI

So Why HubSpot?

Let’s be clear. As wonderful as everything you’ve read sounds, managing HubSpot is no magic bullet. It does take time. That’s why it’s best to get an Internet Marketing Agency to manage your inbound marketing for you. And what we do know is the benefits of HubSpot are clear, some of which are listed below:

  • Consolidate Your Marketing Into One Easy-To-Use Platform
  • Create, Optimize and Promote Content To Turn Your Leads Into Paying Customers
  • Quantify Your ROI With Ease
  • Move Your Leads Down The Sales Funnel
  • Discover What Your Best Lead Sources Are
  • Segment Your Contacts Into Lists To Trigger Targeted Actions Towards Them
  • Get Your Business Found With The Easy Search Engine Page Optimization Tool
  • Amplify Your Brand With The Social Inbox
  • Turn Visitors Into Leads With Custom ‘Smart’ Forms And ‘Smart’ Calls-To-Action

As detailed as HubSpot is, and as thorough as this post has been, there are plenty of fine details that make it a leading software tool. Do you and your business a favour by integrating HubSpot into your marketing campaigns. Inbound Marketing Assessments are always a good way to begin so you can see how compatible you are with HubSpot.

 

Inbound Marketing Assessment

What Is HubSpot? A Complete Overview And Why Your Business Needs It (Part 1)

In conversations with clients, more often than not, we’ve been asked: “What is HubSpot? All I hear is HubSpot, HubSpot, HubSpot!” HubSpot is a proven tool for generating leads. It’s fantastic and I’m not just saying that because we’re HubSpot partners. The facts are that it works and as a result, HubSpot’s popularity is rising.

This shouldn’t be a surprise. HubSpot has been around since 2006 propelling their message of why every business should be doing Inbound Marketing. What is Inbound Marketing? It’s the process of getting ordinary people to find your business and turn them into paying customers. Inbound is growing and because of that,

HubSpot is growing…fast.

Here are two reasons why HubSpot is so rapidly growing amongst marketers:

  1. The Need For Stronger ROI. Business owners and managers alike are TIRED of not being able to get a decent ROI on their marketing investment. But before even getting a decent ROI, they want to be able to SEE an ROI and quantify it. The bottom line is: You need cost-effective results!
  2. The Need To Simplify Your Marketing. In the marketing world, there are loads of tools you can use to better manage your day-to-day inbound marketing. You’ve got one tool for analytics, one tool for email marketing, a bunch of design tools for landing pages, thank you pages and calls-to-action. For efficiency’s sake, business owners need something that saves time and simplifies the inbound marketing process.

So What Is HubSpot?

HubSpot is an inbound marketing software platform that helps businesses attract website visitors, convert them into leads and turn those leads into paying customers. It’s an all-in-one marketing software that uses inbound marketing (Search Engine Optimization, Blogging, Social Media, Marketing Automation and Marketing Analytics) to accomplish that.

What Can You Do With HubSpot?

Create Content In HubSpot

Great content will convert visitors into leads and send them down the sales funnel. Content is a major piece of inbound marketing and is critical in getting leads further down the sales funnel. But you need the right tools to make that happen and it requires your creative juices to flow. With HubSpot, you can create:

Landing_Pages___HubSpot

  • Landing Pages. Great landing pages are critical to inbound marketing success. You need a way to get visitors to opt into what your business has to offer. Valuable offers like ebooks and whitepapers are great pieces of content that can bring a website visitor closer to buying. In converting them from just ordinary visitors to qualified leads with great content offers, you’ll the kinds of leads your business craves for. Create custom landing pages with HubSpot’s landing page tool that includes all the components of a highly converting landing page.
  • A Blog. Everyone talks about content and with HubSpot, you can reap the benefits of the Blogging tool. So how does HubSpot’s Blogging tool help? It allows you to create content easily with the ability to optimize each post for search engines. Not sold on blogging? Here’s a short list of what blogging can do for your business:
  1. Build Your Reputation As A Thought Leader In Your Industry
  2. Rank Higher in Search Engines
  3. Solve Problems Your Customers Have
  4. Drive Traffic To Your Website
  5. Increase Leads and Sales
  6. Decrease Your Cost Of Customer Acquisition

As you can tell, it’s a pretty attractive tool to have.

  • Calls-to-Action (CTA’s). It’s a common best practice to have CTA’s on every page of your website because you want to give someone the ability to convert on any page. And as we know, the end goal for any landing page is for the visitor to fill out the form. The best way to usher them closer to filling that form is with a customized CTA that sends them to a landing page and clearly explains what the offer is. You should also tell them why they should click on it and go to the landing page. With HubSpot, you can use the very easy-to-use CTA builder or create a custom image CTA. You want to make your offers as visually attractive as possible. As you can imagine, this is a critical tool in the HubSpot toolbelt and you ought to take advantage of it.

Convert Your Leads With HubSpot’s Unique Tools

So your leads have expressed interest in your business. What do you do next? HubSpot gives you the opportunity to nurture and convert those leads down the sales funnel into qualified leads and customers with marketing automation.

  • Workflows. There’s no better way to nurture your leads with custom workflows. Trigger post-conversion actions like custom emails and content to move your leads further down the sales funnel and closer to buying.

Email___HubSpot

  • Email. Email Marketing STILL works! Whether you want to reach your customers through a one-off email or an entire email campaign, HubSpot’s Email tool allows you to customize an email that your prospects will love. You have the option to use a HubSpot template or you can create your own email from scratch which means you have the power to communicate what you want to your subscribers in a stylistically attractive way.

Here’s one unique feature within the Email tool: You can add personalization in the subject or body of the email. HubSpot can take information that the subscriber has given through a form submission and put that into your emails to give them the personal touch your leads will love.

  • Forms. We’ve seen countless instances of companies bombarding prospects with questions and requests for information in their contact forms. The facts speak for themselves: Long forms are big turn-offs for any user. HubSpot ‘Smart’ forms allow you to pre-populate fields with previously entered data, fully remove fields that have already been filled out and allow you to ask your prospects the smart questions.

So you’ve got the content creation side of things down pat and can convert and nurture someone down the sales funnel. But do you know how to optimize your content for search engines, promote it through social media and report your inbound progress? Learn all about that in Part 2 of this LocalTrifecta special blog post – click here to go to Part 2!