Tag Archives: Stray Media Group

Digital marketing illustration with technology icons, computer and people.

The Truth About Digital Marketing

Digital, inbound vs. outbound, SEO, web, budgets – oh my! When it comes to marketing, the vast amount of options and ‘things you should be doing’ can seem daunting.

While each option has its place and benefits, it’s wise to look at your unique business and see what makes the most sense for you. This post will take a look at what digital marketing is, how to know if it’s right for your business, and what you can do to make the most of your investment.

What is digital marketing?

‘Digital marketing’ is an umbrella term for numerous tactics used to reach your audience online or in some electronic form. Basically, it refers to any marketing efforts on the web and electronic devices that promote your business in some way.

Digital marketing tactics and examples include:

  • SEO
    • Websites
    • Blogs
    • Infographics
    • Retarget marketing
  • Content Marketing
    • Blog posts
    • Ebooks
    • Online brochures, newsletters, lookbooks
  • Social media channels
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • LinkedIn
    • Instagram
    • Snapchat
    • Pinterest
  • Pay-Per-Click Ads
    • Google Ads
    • Facebook boosted posts
    • Instagram sponsored posts
    • Twitter promoted tweets
    • LinkedIn sponsored messages
  • Email Marketing
    • Email newsletters
    • Social media scheduling
    • Blog subscriptions
    • Follow-ups to site visitors who shared their contact info

 

What is the difference between digital and inbound marketing?

 ‘Wait, isn’t that the same as inbound marketing?’ Look at you with all the smart questions! Digital marketing refers to the number of tactics you can utilize online to attract customers, but it is not compelled to focus solely on two-way communication like inbound.

While they may use some of the same tactics, inbound differs from digital in that inbound is a marketing method that focuses solely on pulling an audience in by providing helpful info (think ebooks, infographics, etc.). Outbound is a push method where marketing messages are put in front of the audience whether they ask for it or not (web banner ads, direct mail, etc.). Digital marketing incorporates both push and pull methods into a strategy.

 

Woman and man at table looking at data and graphs on computer.

The lowdown on digital marketing and how to make it work for you:

Digital marketing can be an amazing tool to help businesses reach their audience. However, it’s important to be mindful of how digital marketing plans are presented to you and think logically about what’s right for your business.

Beware of oversold data.

A note of caution: Beware of the companies that are not actually in the business of digital marketing and are just selling plans on the side as an additional service. Oftentimes, these tend to oversell data and numbers that actually hold little weight and can be useless to your business.

For example, if a company comes to you with a retargeting ad campaign plan that shows you can get as many as 100,000 impressions – number of times content is displayed, regardless of whether or not it was clicked – in one month, and convert on average 10% of those, that all sounds great! But if your site gets less than 2,000 visitors a month, this data can be extremely misleading. Oftentimes, unless you have 100,000+ monthly visitors to your website, data of this nature does not apply to you and your business.

Additionally, information on this scale relates best when applied to e-commerce sites that actually sell something. Sites like this are able to ‘convert’ potential customers into paying customers by getting them back on their site to complete a purchase. So how do you increase site traffic, and what if your site does not sell anything?

 

Papers with data and graphs on table.

How to increase traffic to your website.

So, you don’t have 100,000+ visitors to your website and you’re not sure where to go next? We get that. A good place to start is to focus on increasing your site’s traffic organically, in addition to digital marketing, so that both can work more effectively while also setting you up for long-term, sustainable growth.

 

  1. Build site traffic organically
  2. Pay to get people to your site
    • Paid Social Posts
    • Google Ads (formerly AdWords)
    • Retargeting

 

Set your own definition of ‘conversions’.

Conversion rates determine the value of your digital ad, and ‘conversion’ can mean different things for different businesses. Perhaps the nature of your business requires someone from your company to speak with potential customers in order to get their business. In this case, your definition of a conversion could be when someone completes a contact form on your website.

Some types of conversions:

  • Complete purchase
  • Fill out contact form
  • Inquire for ebook or other content
  • Sign up for blog
  • Complete questionnaire or quiz

At Stray Media Group, we primarily work with small- to medium-sized businesses in the country, mostly situated in the Midwest region. We understand the challenges you may be facing in the daunting world of digital marketing and finding the solutions that fit your business best. If you’d like to learn more about how we can build a digital marketing strategy that fits your needs and budget, feel free to give us a call.

Barista at coffee shop handing male customer cup of coffee.

3 Keys to Marketing for Your Audience

You know your business like the back of your hand, but does the same go for your target audience? Learning as much as possible about the customers you want to attract will help your marketing efforts reach their full potential, and in turn grow your business in the right direction. Consider these three tips for maximizing your marketing success:

Crowd of people crossing city street.

Don’t Get Personal

This is a big one, folks. In a sea of people, think about who you want to attract and what draws that person to a brand.

While it’s true that the heart and soul of why you offer the business you do needs to be a core component of your brand identity, it’s vital that you keep your personal preferences in check when marketing to your audience.

Are you part of your target market? Great! Then you’ve got a leg up on the competition. However, if you’re like the vast majority of businesses, you may be one very small – or not even at all – part of the audience that you’re trying to reach with your marketing strategy. If this is the case, what appeals to you personally is irrelevant.

The more you can let this notion sink in, the better off you and your marketing efforts – including the hard-earned money you put into your marketing budget – will be.

How do you know exactly what your target audience will connect with? We’re so glad you asked…

Person’s hand holding pen over sheets of paper with graphs on them.

Do Your Research

It’s elementary, dear brand ambassador. You believe in your company and how it can improve the lives of your customers. Don’t let that passion be wasted by taking shots in the dark for the best marketing strategies – do your homework to find exactly what will connect with your audience.

Excellent tools at your disposal for market research include:

  • • case studies
  • • consumer surveys
  • • focus groups
  • • competitor comparisons (social media channels, websites, branded material, etc.)

One more resource that will prove invaluable in your research efforts? People who do this for a living…

Handshake between woman and man in professional office.

Trust Your Experts

Would you trust your brother-in-law who knows nothing about electrical work to fix your faulty circuit breaker? Well, you could, but chances are you’re going to have a power outage or a trip to the hospital for a bad case of ‘could’ve-been-avoided-burn-by-electrocution’. If you want to save yourself time, money and a headache, you know that professional services are best left to – you guessed it! – professionals.

Related: Friends Don’t Let Friends Do Their Marketing

Getting a marketing team in your corner is not only a resource to tap for invaluable advice, it also lifts a heavy weight off your shoulders when it comes to marketing your business. At Stray Media Group, we offer marketing support and strategies tailored to your unique business, goals and budget.

Intrigued and ready to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing strategy? Give us a shout to learn how we can help you out.

How to choose blog topics

Blog How-To: Choosing Blog Topics Viewers Want to Read

Picking a blog topic – easy, right? Not necessarily. The process of writing a thorough blog that hits all the proper check marks – captures your audience, answers questions, provides value, positions you as an expert – requires many layers of work.

Where to begin? Here is a cheat-sheet for how to pick a blog topic that your customers will want to read:

Research

Man looking at a wall covered in papers

Start with some good old-fashioned research. You have more resources at your fingertips than you may realize. Before you put pen to paper, ask yourself these questions:

What are people searching on Google?

Many of us don’t remember life before Google, and would be lost without it. Use this to your advantage by viewing Google-suggested search options to see what others are looking for on the search engine giant. This will give you tons of great blog topic ideas that are relevant to your audience and industry.

Google search on "how to improve your SEO"

What questions do you get from customers?

Don’t make the mistake of forgetting about your customers – they are one of your best resources because they are already using your products or services, so they have an edge up on subjects that would be beneficial to write about, compared to just anyone off the street.

Question mark on gray background

What questions do you get from customers all the time? Is there a topic or some information you wish they had that would help to resolve issues your audience commonly encounters? What questions do you get in the comments from your other blog posts? Seek these questions from your audience and answer them to position yourself as the go-to industry expert.

Is there a common subject your competitors are addressing?

Look at what your competitors and fellow industry colleagues are writing about and put your own spin on it. This is a great way to both give your business clout and be involved in relevant conversations surrounding your industry.

Woman and mans hands on a table pointing to a chart with a pen

Use these tips to help get your blog topic juices flowing with an everlasting supply of great ideas to write about. Still a little hazy on the details of writing a business blog or how to get started? Give our team of experts at Stray Media Group a call to learn how we can help.

Writing a blog

5 Steps to Build a Better Business Blog

Stop making excuses or procrastinating; if you’ve thought about posting regular business blogs or you’d like to sharpen up your skills and increase your posting frequency, the time is NOW!

Why are blogs so important? They:

  • – Improve SEO so you’re easier to find
  • – Give businesses clout to position you as an industry expert
  • – Increase leads
  • – Open lines of communication with customers

Learn how to write a blog for your business with these 5 steps:

Blog Target Audience

Marketing communication is all about your consumer: Who are they, what do they like, what are their goals, hobbies, and interests? Find answers to these questions and formulate customer personas to more effectively connect with your audience.

A woman standing in a crowd waving.

This will help you choose topics, guide your writing style and find the best avenues to promote your content. You spend valuable time writing excellent content, so make sure it speaks to the leads you are trying to generate!

How to choose a blog topic

You have identified who you want to speak to, now it’s time to choose something to write about. Keep your business blog conversational and not entirely product- or service-oriented.

Potential clients want a solution to a problem – not to be bombarded with messages about your product or service. Keep your content focused on topics that offer useful information that adds value to the lives of your customers.

A person drawing black business graphics.

 

How to write a blog headline and intro

Content is surely king these days when it comes to a marketing strategy. We live in a Game of Thrones-esque world where there are more kings than you can count, with more and more popping up each day. In order to conquer the content world, you will need an epic headline and an intro that not only grabs attention but keeps the readers wanting more. Using numbers, keywords, and exciting verbiage is key – tell them why they must read this article!

How to organize a business blog

You’ve figured out the who and the what, now it’s time to write, organize, and condense your content so it is easy to read and retain.

Start with research. You’re well versed in the products and services your business offers, but it’s also helpful to research what others are doing and search for industry updates. This allows you to see how you stand out from the competition and helps you find new, unique, and interesting ways you could connect with potential clients or solve their problems.

A person typing on a laptop, the screen shows a WordPress blog.

After research, organize your information for optimal readability. Try breaking up the information into 3 to 5 sub-topics that would be most beneficial to the reader. This helps to keep your blog full of valuable information but organized in a way that the viewer can easily retain.

Remember to keep it short and sweet. Your blog doesn’t need to be a novel with every last feature and benefit, just something to answer potential clients’ questions and get them interested. A good starting point to go by is a maximum of 1,000 words but remember every blog goal is unique so do what works best for you.

Posting and promoting a blog

Once you’re done writing, the fun begins! It’s time to take a break, delete the blog from your brain for a bit (at least a few hours!), and focus on something else. Giving yourself a little time to refocus will allow you to have fresh eyes and reassess what you have written, reorganize, and edit better.

It is paramount that your content flows well and doesn’t contain grammar and spelling errors, which can reduce the blog’s credibility. Always allow an outside set of eyes with grammar and spelling strengths to take a second look and make necessary proofreading corrections.

Two people sharing an Apple laptop.

After that, you are ready to post and promote. Writing your blog is only half of the equation; in order for potential clients to see and benefit from your content, it is vital that you choose where the best place to reach your target demographic is, both online and through your active social media platforms.

We get it – building and writing a business blog can seem like an extremely daunting task when you aren’t one of the few who loves to write, but not having a blog can be a business marketing killer in this modern research- and consumer-driven market.

Let us check this task off your to-do list with our team of professional content creators, who love to write engaging and shareworthy content. Meet the team today by getting hold of us at 701.757.2000.