marketing campaign new 58 (1)

BE YOUR OWN BOSS: 5 Success Tips On How To Escape The Grind Of 9-5 Job

If you work a 9-5 job, then I believe you will really understand how difficult it is finding time for other businesses.

Maybe you've finally succeeded in starting a business but finding a balance with the 9-5 job becomes a daunting one.

Don't Worry, I will be sharing with you 5 success tips on how to escape the grind of 9-5 jobs and be the boss of your own.

Let's get started:

Tip 1: Have A Definition Of What You Want

I know you want: To be your own boss, Make more money and have more freedom.

That's everybody's dream. But is that what you really want?

If yes, then

Have you define it: I mean the business that you want to start.

Often times our definition of the business we want centers around our passion.

Passion is great, but it needs to be channeled into achievable goals. That's where the need of having a definition of the business you want comes in.

In order to succeed in business, you need to know what you want, understand what it will take to get there and then execute a plan in order to arrive at your goals.

Here are a few steps to help you come up with a better definition of want you want:

1. Sit down and make a list of all the business ideas you had.

2. Make a research of the niche you have chosen: An ideal niche must be of sufficient size and purchasing power to be profitable, have growth potentials, of negligible interest to your competitor and have the required skills plus resources to exploit it.

3. Find a mentor

4. Identify the expertise and resources required

With these steps, I bet you will come up with a proper definition of what you want.

Tip 2: Create Your Business Master Plan

You already define a business, right. The next step is to create a business master plan. What you really need here is to have an understanding of what your goals are and your strategy for achieving them.

Don't get down with the traditional “business plan” format and requirements. But create a more realistic, tangible business plan. The type that will be your guide.

Here are a few steps that will help you come up with a better business master plan:

1. State your services, products or offer:

To succeed as an entrepreneur, you must carefully choose your services, products or offer correctly. More than any other factor, your ability to make this choice will determine your success or failure.

So how do you start?

First, start with a self-analysis:

  • What kind of products do you like, enjoy, consume and benefit from?
  • Do you like the product or service you're planning to sell?
  • Can you see yourself getting excited about this product or service?
  • Would you buy it and use it yourself?
  • Would you sell it to your mother, your best friend, your next-door neighbor?
  • Can you see yourself selling this product or service for the next five to 10 years?
  • Is this a product or service that you intensely desire to bring to the marketplace?

Second is the customer's analysis:

  • What does the product achieve, avoid or preserve for the customer?
  • How does the product improve your customer's life or work?
  • What kind of customers will you be selling the product to?
  • Do you personally like the customers who'll be buying this product or service?

Last, is product analysis:

  • Is there a real demand for the product at the price you'll have to charge?
  • Is the demand large enough for you to make a profit?
  • Is the demand concentrated enough so you can advertise, sell and deliver the product at a reasonable expense?

For a product or service to succeed, it must be the right product, being sold at the right time, to the right customer, in the right market. It must be produced and sold by the right company, and the right people. What you have to decide is this: Is this product, service or offer right for you and your customers.

2. Identify your niche (target market):

You have finally gotten that killer product, services or offer, but your work is not yet done – now you need to know to whom and where to market your product or service.

So what do you do?

Simple, bring your niche to a focus:

One of the most effective things you can do for your product, service or offer is to have a good selling position i.e. to narrow your gaze. I mean bring your niche to a focus.

Imagine you are a local coffee seller interested in marketing services.

Who would you rather hire?

Applicant Y: “I help businesses skyrocket their marketing.”

Applicant Z: “I help coffee sellers improve their marketing.”

Since one person focuses only on your type of business, you will have a lot more trust in their expertise to improve your specific type of business. Won't You?

3. Develop a value proposition

Once you have stated your services, products or offer, identify your niche (target market), the next thing is to develop a value proposition: positioning statement that explains what benefit you provide for who and how you do it uniquely well.

Here are a few steps that will help you come up with a better value proposition:

– State the problem clearly: Is the problem solvable? even if it is solvable,  is it undeserved? No, it is undeserved, then Is it avoidable? If not, is it urgent?

– Qualify the problem: Is it BLAC: Blatant, Latent, Aspirational, Critical? if yes, does it indicates a WHITE space in the market, allowing you to capitalize on the niche?

– Evaluate your solutions: You have stated and qualify the problem. Finally, you've got the answers to the problem. what's next? should you go ahead solving the problem.

But wait! you need to evaluate your solutions.ask yourself: What is unique and compelling about your solution? Do not lose sight of the fact that you are core to your venture’s value proposition. What problems do you understand uniquely well? What solution can you deliver uniquely well? What kind of disruptive business model can you bring? Be true to yourself as a thought leader and you will go far.

Tip 3: Map Out Your Finance

 

Your business master plan may not mean anything to you if you can't justify it with a good figure. I mean mapping out your finance.

Mapping out your finance is one of the most essential components of the business master plan, as you will need it if you have any hope of winning over investors or obtaining a bank loan.

Even if you don't need an investor or bank loans, it's important you map out your financial plan in order to know your financial strength.

You do this in a distinct section of your business plan.

However, the trick is to underestimate revenue and overestimate expenses. 

Here two steps to come up with a more realistic map for your business plan:

1. Make a realistic startup budget:

The rule of thumb when filling in the numbers in the financial section of your business plan, is to start with a startup budget.

For planning purposes, it is advised you define your budget in terms of startup expenses ( expenses you incur before launching the business) and assets ( which may includes cash (in the form of the money in the bank when the company starts), and in many cases, starting inventory

2.Set up a startup Cost Worksheet

Your startup cost worksheet should answer what the money is going for:

Make sure you have included every cost. it is better to over-estimate what you will need so you don't come up short with the money you receive from your loan.

Once you understand all of the cost categories involved, you can verify that your plan has captured all of the expenses needed to get started.

You can use a worksheet in a spreadsheet application like Microsoft Excel to Set up the Startup-Costs worksheet.

Few of the things to consider in your startup cost worksheet may include:

– Facilities Costs for Startup:

Those related to your location, including your lease, utilities, construction, and any other costs for preparing the facility for your business use.

– Business Equipment and Vehicles:

The types of equipment needed for your business startup will vary depending on your type of business, but in general, these types of equipment will be needed:

  • Office equipment and furniture for owners and employees
  • Specialized equipment for manufacture, warehousing, or shipment of products
  • Computers, software, and peripherals (printers, etc.) for office and other areas
  • Phone systems, cell phones, and computer networking equipment

Depending on your business, you may need to lease or buy vehicles for:

  • Delivery
  • Manufacturing activities
  • Cars for salespeople
  • Cars for executives

– Business Supplies and Advertising Materials:

Include the following basics on your supplies list:

  • Office supplies
  • Janitorial supplies
  • Supplies for manufacturing activities
  • Supplies for shipping and mailing
  • Stationery and business cards
  • Advertising materials, such as brochures, flyers, other printed advertising material
  • Costs for an advertising agency to prepare an ad campaign for your startup
  • Design costs for advertising and web site
  • Website setup

– Other Startup Costs:

You'll need to include funds to cover certain administrative costs for necessary startup tasks:

  • Fees for attorney to set up legal form of business, to assist with commercial lease documents, and other pre-startup negotiations
  • Fees for CPA to set up a bookkeeping system
  • Local business licenses and permits
  • Insurance deposits

There may be other costs you didn't expect, so include a comfortable amount as a buffer for any other miscellaneous expenses that might come up.

– Putting it All Together:

Calculate the subtotals for each section above and create a grand total start-up costs statement. If you are contributing equipment, vehicles or other startup items to the business, itemize your contributions and deduct these from the total amount needed. The new total is the amount you will need to get financed for your startup.

Finally, remember that you can deduct startup costs from your first-year business taxes, so save all of your receipts.

Tip 4: Do It as a side hustle first

You've finally put up a realistic business master plan and you can wait to implement it.

So what do you do?

Do it as a side hustle first:

To minimize the risk of failure, most people break into solopreneurship by moonlighting on the side while still employed at their full-time 9-5 job. This allows you to try your hand at hustling and landing clients, while not having to totally commit.

it will help you see if you can actualize the business in reality

Be warned, though, this doesn’t always give you a true picture. If you have the luxury of guaranteed income from your job to fall back on, are you really going to give it your all.

Laziness and procrastination can kill your drive even before you get started.

Also, as a side hustle, you’re may want to be responsible for administrative tasks, paperwork, billing and invoicing, as well as managing sales or projects – something that may be new to you. This can be a huge time suck when you only have limited time.

With these new roles, you may end up learning. Knowing exactly what you want to do, or you may learn it’s too overwhelming to be responsible for every aspect of running a business.

For many people, however, side hustling helps them get started with the nitty-gritty of the business.

This makes the leap into full-time easier and be the boss of your own.

Tip 5: Make The Jump

You’re now juggling your full-time work and your side hustle. The time you originally set to achieve your big goal is fast approaching.

Before you hand in your resignation, here are a few things to make sure you have in order before cutting ties with your employer and taking your business full-time status.

Secure enough clients beforehand

How many gigs or projects do you need to feel safe enough to quit your job for good? You’ve saved enough income for slow periods, so now you need to look at whether or not the clients you have will allow you to cover your expenses – and then some – every month.

Have a plan to land more clients

Being a solopreneur also means being a hustler. Just because you have steady gigs or are making regular sales from your products or services, it doesn’t mean everything can’t change next month.

It’s important to have a strategy in place for when a client cuts down your work or they end the collaboration.

Typically, you want to work on reducing or eliminating lower-paying clients as you start to replace them with higher-paying clients. This will free up some time and move you up the pay scale.

Similarly, you also want to get your name out there so that prospects start approaching you. This may be done by having a website for your services.

Boom You Are In

DIGITAL MASTER SKILLS (1)

7 Skills To Master As A Digital Marketer

I will tell you this truth If you try to find out from great marketers like Seth Godin and Neil Patel of what type of skills required to be a prominent digital marketer. You’ll be surprised by the number of skills they have that might not appear to have anything to do with marketing. But there is one unique thing about them –  a focus on meeting audience needs.

Throughout my many years as a Digital Marketer, I’ve found this to be true – When I focus on meeting my customers’ needs, I ultimately wind up more successful than when I put my gain first.

So, what does it take to follow that advice?

Simple: The modern marketer has to be familiar with a lot, good at many, and master of a few of the skills that have helped Seth Godin and Neil Patel have a focus on meeting audience needs.

To that end, I’ve put together 7 skills to master as a digital marketer to keep your customers happier and save.

#1 SEO SKILLS

SEO OPTIMIZATION

It is no surprise that search engines rule a digital marketer's life. Since the rise of Google and the death of outbound marketing, ranking on the first page of search results has become a daunting task.

According to a survey conducted by Gravitaonline, out of 8 million people, only 6% clicked on the second page of search results.

This tells us that a digital marketer without a working knowledge of SEO will find it difficult to scaleup. As search engine algorithms keep evolving, digital marketers will need to have the requisite skills to stay at their top-ranking position.

Take a quick visit to SEO Services USA and learn just how much this industry has grown and how important a thorough SEO knowledge has become their business's marketing strategy.

Both SEO and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) has informed the entire digital marketing landscape on both data and content level focus marketing.

One thing that should be highly noticed is that SEO is not just about building the search engine-friendly websites for Digital Marketing. It is all about improving your overall website content value for people too.

See some of the essential skills for modern Search Engine Optimization (SEO):-

  • Basic HTML Coding
  • Content Marketing
  • Conversion Rate Optimization
  • Strong analytical and research mind
  • Online Brand/Reputation Management
  • A clear understanding of best practice tactics ( such as on-page, off-page, technical SEO, local SEO)

Takeaway Tips:

Optimizing your content for relevance is one of the most important tactics for driving quality traffic to your website and brand properties. Which is best to achieve with organic searches.

Organic searches are quality traffic that should be a significant part of your digital marketing and is the most cost-effective way to get new prospects and customers.

#2 Content Marketing Skills

MASTER SEO SKILLS

 

Content marketing will remain a crucial part of the digital marketing game no matter what happens. With the rise in content marketing, business is expected to increase their budget on content production.

This is not surprising, because content marketing helps companies rank higher in search results. Whether it's a helpful and insightful blog post or a gated piece of content like an eBook, it all helps to generate those valuable leads, increase website traffic and move businesses one step closer to that first-page result.

It is not only creating high quality, SEO-friendly content of various sorts, you also have to understand how to effectively get audiences to engage.

For digital marketers, this speaks volumes for how important this skill will be. Digital marketers who know how to produce high-quality content are in great demand but short supply.

It’s important to note that content can take many forms, from video to social, emails, web content, blogs, e-books, videos, whitepapers and so on.

The way content is written in itself has evolved.

In the past, content creators were mostly concerned with writing for search engines. But In recent times, however, you must be able to write for audience persuasion as well.

Your content must be engaging and directed to attract a unique target audience in real-time and get them to take a specific and measurable action such as getting on a subscription list or making a purchase.

The major focus should be the creation and distribution of the engaging content across the variety of platforms which makes it the Major skill of Digital Marketing.

See a few things to bear in mind when using content marketing as Best tool skill for Digital Marketing:-

  • Brand awareness and education via podcasts
  • Engaging and informative blog posts to segment potential audiences
  • Customer’s testimonials and their stories that will influence the prospects of buying decision.
  • The other Resources and the webinars to educate your audience and surveys to evaluate their choices.
  • Lead magnets, infographics, social media updates and white papers that present your offers and introduces your company is focused on Content Marketing as a Digital Marketing skill.

Takeaway Tips

It’s much more than just writing content. Create and distribute epic content that would turn a stranger to a buyer.

If you Master the content marketing skill, your service would always be in high demand, and you will be able to key into the never-ending opportunity in the digital marketing space.

#3 Data Analysis Skills

DATA ANALYSIS

In this current digital marketing landscape, marketers are spoilt with an abundance of data. It is because of this volume of data that analytical skills are more important than ever.

As part of our research life, we can drill down into our customer's personalities, discover their wants and needs, pinpoint exactly where on the buyer's journey they are and determine which messages to send to them to move them one step closer to purchasing our products.

However, there's no point in being good at finding stellar data if you cannot analyze them.

Turning all this mined data into something tangible and valuable is a highly sought after skill, and there will be a continuity in the need for a data analysis skill.

Google Analytics is a central tool for digital marketers no matter what facet of digital marketing you may want to fall into. Monitoring and reporting via such tools are pretty straightforward, but the tricky part is how to gather and use that information to help you learn more about consumer behavior and apply it to new solutions that boost traffic and conversions.

Marketing analytics help drives better decision-making processes and has been known to be the best digital marketing skill.  But it's quite unfortunate that some organizations are overwhelmed with data and aren’t quite sure which numbers are most relevant for their needs.

Data analysis skills will help you in the following ways:

  • Micro-targeting messages and offers to audiences based on location, demographics and buying patterns
  • Research the most effective ads and tuning them in to supercharge your advertising ROI
  • Improve your overall online customer experience by reducing friction points and smoothing ordering processes
  • Analyzing market gaps with an eye towards new product development

Takeaway Tips:

Having working knowledge in data analysis can help you earn a six-digit income.

Most businesses (even small ones) have huge amounts of data to track and are always looking for people who don't only know how to “read” this data but to know exactly which data to use towards improving business strategy in the future. If you can show that you can do this in innovative ways and that the way you do it ends with important results, you’re going to be a valuable asset in the industry.

# 4 Video Marketing Skills

Video marketing skill is the most in-demand marketing skill and has become one of the most powerful strategies in digital marketing, especially in recent times that shows a record as high as 78% of people watching videos online (Hubspot).

Nothing tells a story better than a video.

It is a niche that is carved from content marketing which requires highly specialized skill in creating engaging video content through storytelling.

However, as a digital marketer you don’t have to know everything about video production, but knowing how to create a quick intro video is a good place to start with

With these new features for creating sharing and engaging videos on platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Facebook is a highly rewarding marketing strategy when used effectively and are a must for building digital marketing efforts.

See a few things to know about Video Marketing-

  • Optimized video descriptions and tags for search engines with the right keywords.
  • Working knowledge of editing videos and producing animations that will keep telling interesting stories your audience can relate with.
  • Take advantage of demos, interviews, testimonial and different storytelling styles and mold them to meet the needs of your target audience

Takeaway Tips:

The impact videos have on brand development and sustenance has made it one of the hottest jobs online today. It has the potentials to hold customer's attention, more than 80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product after seeing it detailed in a video. To add to that, a well-optimized video can boost your chances of being in a top Google ranking position by at least 50

Bear in mind that these are just loose statistics that are going to vary depending on who you ask, but the point is that most statistics point to much higher conversion, engagement, and higher SEO rankings when it comes to video.

What makes it so engaging? Because it’s personal. When people can see your face (or the face of the person promoting the brand), they are more likely to trust the entire enterprise. It’s also a wonderfully versatile content to use through different platforms.

If you want to learn more on your own, you can try out video editing tools like Apple Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere Pro.

#5 Email Marketing Skills

 

FIRST EMAIL SEND

This is truly not a new skill, but it is yet another best skill that makes Digital Marketing a new wave.

It essentially needs a deep understanding of the target audience and close interaction with them by sending out super targeted emails to inform, educate and engage them with your business

Having this skill set translates into being able to understand the :-

  • ability to develop relevant headlines and hooks.
  • strategy on which email automation is based and knowing where to use it in a funnel.
  • thorough measure and analysis of click-through rates, conversions, open rates engagements, deliverability, trends as well as other anomalies.

Takeaway Tips:

You need to be able to do more than send out regular communication. You must be able to optimize your email marketing by crafting a compelling strategy, testing relentlessly and refining content based on what works best with your audience. Thus, email marketing helps you create more business opportunities.

# 6 Social Media Skills

 

SOCIAL MEDIA PLUS

Social media skill is a must-have skill for a digital marketer.

This skill-set brings you closer to the nitty-gritty of how a business makes money online and this makes you indispensable.

What then does it entail and why is this skill so important?

These days every business wants traffic and is willing to hire a specialist to handle that part of their marketing that will drive traffic for more leads and sales.

Running adverts on social media can be extremely expensive, especially if you are not careful to target the right audience.  As a digital marketer, you are responsible for negotiating, purchasing, and monitoring of ads on social media.

To achieve this, you should have the following skill sets:-

  • A good understanding of paid traffic especially in areas of relationship marketing.
  • The right platform for the ads via your market research with a bid to target the right audiences.
  • Sound knowledge on the adjectives associated with advertising such as “display”, “third-party”, “mobile”, search” and “native”.
  • Good knowledge of when and how to use ad pixels.
  • By transforming the raw data into meaningful metrics such as Cost per Transaction, Average Customer Value and so much more.
  • Linking the design campaigns over ensuring synergy with others to make marketing efforts.

Takeaway Tips:

As a Digital marketer, you should understand how to develop a strong social media presence to help bolster business brands and further their marketing goals.

Ten percent of the businesses that we looked at in the Digital Professional Institute study cite social media experience as a requirement for applicants

#7 Marketing Automation

.

Digital marketers who are well versed in their niches marketing automation tools, and keep their finger on the pulse for new ones emerging, will be far more valuable to companies in the future.

With over 4000 marketing automation solutions available, staying on top of them all can be an impossible job for digital marketers

However, it is necessary to work with them and determine which ones are the most valuable to becoming an indispensable asset.

To make sure you are one of them, take advantage of the free certification courses many of these platforms like Hubspot, Hootsuite and Marketo offer.

 

good marketing strategy

8 Ultimate Steps To Developing A Successful Marketing Strategy

Marketing strategy has been a long-time business approach to selling a product or service. Its primary goal is to create a sustainable, successful business that connects with customers in real ways and continues to grow in real-time.

A good marketing strategy will help you realize your business goals and build a strong reputation for your brand. It usually involves you creating one or two ignited ideas to call awareness and sell your products or services.

In this article, I will share with you eight(8) Ultimate steps to developing a marketing strategy that will help you make the most of your marketing investment, keep your marketing focused, measure and improve your sales results.

#1 – Identify Your Business Goals

Identify your business goals enables you to precisely define a set of marketing goals needed for your marketing strategy.

Your business goals might include:

  • increased sells
  • increased brand awareness
  • winning new customers etc.

No matter what your goals may be, it's helpful to set your business goals as targeted as possible so you can effectively measure the outcomes against your achievements.

A simple criterion for goal-setting is the SMART method:

  • Specific: state clearly what you want to achieve.
  • Measurable – choose helpful metrics so you can measure your results better.
  • Achievable – set goals that are within your capacity and budget
  • Relevant – set goals that are relevant to your business dealings
  • Time-bound – set goals that are achievable within the set time limits.

If you’re seeking high-quality goal-setting tips plus tactics for a successful marketing strategy from a proven firm, consider Harveyteck.

You’ll learn how to define and set achievable goals for your business, assess the needs and motivation of employees at all levels, enhance your skills in both giving and receiving feedback, and learn how to coach effectively and resolve workplace conflict.

#2 – State Your Marketing Goals

Its time to define a set of specific marketing goals based on the business goals you listed above. These goals will motivate you, your team and help you benchmark your overall business success.

Two key examples of marketing goals include:

  • increased market penetration
  • increased market development

These marketing goals might be short or long term and in most cases take a few years to successfully achieve. However, the bottom line is that there should be set time frames for achievement.

Make sure your marketing goals are practical, measurable and consistent – a good marketing goal should not be changed at will but revised when your marketing strategies have been completely achieved.

Also, you may need to amend your goals if there are observable market changes due to a new competitor or new technology, or if your products or services substantially change.

#3 – Research Your Market

research market

Research is a key part of your marketing strategy. You need to put together relevant information about your market, such as its size, growth, social trends and demographics (population statistics such as age, gender, and family type).

Therefore, it is important to keep an eye on your market so you are aware of any changes over time so that your strategy remains relevant and targeted. You can develop strong marketing strategies based on what you find out about your products and services, your customers, your competitors, your industry and the challenges in your marketplace.

Most importantly, when you’re determining your pricing, you should have plenty of data to back up your decision. These may include industry reports, competitor ads, and comparisons that demonstrate the research you conducted and how you came to the conclusion that you are pricing your product or service correctly.

#4 – Profile Your Potential Customers

The idea of trying to sell something or offer services that solve 100% of the problems for 100% of the market is totally wrong.

Use your market research to develop a profile of the customers you are targeting. Your customer profile should not be too broad.

The profile will give you a description of a customer, or set of customers, that includes demographic, geographic, and psychographic characteristics, as well as buying patterns including how they buy, where they buy, when they buy and what they buy, creditworthiness, and purchase history.

Thus you may end up solving a few problems for a few people. Again, regularly review trends so you don't miss out on new opportunities or become irrelevant with your marketing strategy.

While you try to find new customers, make sure your marketing strategy also allows you to maintain relationships with your existing customers.

#5 – Profile Your Competitors

Similarly, as part of your marketing strategy, you should develop a profile of your competitors as well by identifying their products, supply chains, pricing, and marketing tactics.

This will help you know your:

  • competitive advantage – what sets your business apart from your competitors.
  • strengths and weaknesses – what areas of your own internal processes need improvement for performance compared with your competition.

#6 – Develop Strategies To Support Your Marketing Goals

List your target markets and devise a set of strategies to attract and retain them. As an example; your goal could be to increase the awareness of your products for young people.

Your corresponding strategies could be to increase your online social media presence by posting regularly about your product on social channels like Twitter and Facebook;  or even advertising in local magazines targeted to young people; and offering discounts as well.

This simply shows that your strategy supports your goals targeted to young people.

#7 – Use The ‘7' Ps of Marketing

If you can choose the right combination of marketing across the 7 Ps of marketing – product, price, promotion, place, people, process and physical evidence, your marketing strategy is more likely to be a success.

  • Product: This refers to what you are selling, including all of the features, advantages, and benefits that your customers can enjoy from buying your goods or services.
  • Price: This refers to your pricing strategy for your products and services and how it will affect your customers. You should identify how much your customers are prepared to pay, how much mark-up you need to cater for overheads, your profit margins and payment methods, and other costs.
  • Promotion: These are the promotional activities you use to make your customers aware of your products and services, including advertising, sales tactics, promotions and direct marketing. Generally these are referred to as marketing tactics.
  • Place: This is where your products and services are seen, made, sold or distributed. Access for customers to your products is key and it is important to ensure that customers can find you.
  • People: These  refer to the staff and salespeople who work for your business, including yourself. When you provide excellent customer service, you create a positive experience for your customers, and in doing so market your brand to them.
  • Process: Process refers to the processes involved in delivering your products and services to the customer. It is also about being ‘easy to do business with'.
  • Physical evidence: Physical evidence refers to everything your customers see when interacting with your business. These may includes – the physical environment where you provide the product or service, the layout or interior design, your packaging, your branding etc.

#8 – Test Your Ideas

In deciding your strategy, do some online research, test some ideas and approaches on your customers and your staff, and review what works. You will need to choose a number of strategy in order to meet your customers' needs, reach the customers within your target market and improve your sales results.

 

10 steps to Developing A Strategic Marketing Plan

9 Preparatory Steps To Developing A Strategic Marketing Plan

“Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the war on terrorism have reduced the pace of military transformation and have revealed our lack of preparation for defensive and stability operations. This Administration has overextended our military”. By Barack Obama

Preparation is everything. Whether you want to start a war or peacekeeping movement. The steps you take ahead of time are crucial to your success.

In the same vein, if you're figuring out how to develop a strategic marketing plan. Then, you must know that preparation is not optional for you.

Unlike a business plan, a marketing plan focuses on winning and keeping customers; it's strategic and includes numbers, facts, and objectives that drive better ROI.

A good marketing plan spells out all the tools and tactics needed to achieve your sales goals. It’s your plan of action – what you sell, who you sell to.

In this article, I will give you 9 preparatory steps to developing a strategic marketing plan. Our main focus is on digital marketing; we will expand on the concept of a marketing plan and how to develop a strategic marketing plan that encompasses the entirety of digital marketing.

The Concept of a Marketing Plan?

For today’s marketers, creating an integrated marketing plan that includes social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, and SEO is necessary in order to attract and convert buyers consistently and repeatedly.

Let me guess:

You work for a large corporation and have been tasked with developing a marketing plan for the year, or perhaps you are launching a new start-up and need to craft a plan from scratch. Maybe it’s been over 10 years since you graduated from business school or wrote your last marketing plan, and you realize that things have changed a bit and you're thinking of how to skill up.

Whatever the case may be, the steps you take ahead of time are crucial to your success – helping you to get measurable results.

To start with, you need to put down the following details:

1. List Your goals

While developing goals may not be the first step you would actually take when forming your marketing plan, listing them first on your marketing plan document sets the stage for everything to come in.

Trust me. These are a few things you shouldn't miss out when setting up your goals:

  • Plan for success
  • Manage your risk
  • Set time-limit for goals
  • Evaluation and reflection
  • Set goals that you can control.
  • Write goals that align with your business values.

2. Research

why good marketing plan

Research is the foundation of your marketing plan. Here are 5 research steps to help you in your marketing plan:

– Check Out the Competition

You need to understand the competition in your business space in order to determine the likelihood of success and define your marketing strategy.

Researching your competition first will also help you through the next step of performing a SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

In the world of inbound marketing, there are a handful of strategies that can be useful when researching competitors.

Here are some quick tips to help you understand who you’re up against:

  • Subscribe to receive your competitors’ emails (or those you perceive to be your competitors).
  • Follow your competitors on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and any other social media site where you can find them.
  • Examine what content your competitors are creating — who it is aimed at, how often is it produced, who is writing it, what the content topics are, etc.

– Perform a SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis is a Standard for any business or marketing plan. The SWOT analysis helps you

  • clearly define your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats so that you can develop goals and objectives that are on point and tied to your overall business value.
  • understand what differentiates you from your competition and how you should position yourself in the market.
  • develop your messaging and your unique selling proposition.

It’s helpful to do a SWOT analysis for the different segments within your marketing plan. However, limiting your lists will help you to focus on the most critical points and help retain focus. Use bullets and aim for 4–5 in each section.

– Create Your Buyer Personas

The days of outbound marketing have come and gone. No longer are we looking at audiences aimlessly. Instead, inbound marketers are honing in on the segments of those audiences that they want to target. This is a crucial step in developing an inbound marketing plan.

Creating buyer personas will help you understand:

  • Who you are marketing to
  • What their pain points are
  • Where they spend time online
  • And a number of other demographic traits

This information will help you to personalize your marketing materials so they are targeted and highly relevant to your audience segments.

Remember: You aren’t trying to catch every fish in the sea. You’re only trying to catch the ones you want, the ones you are targeting because they have the strongest potential to turn into leads. Your net doesn’t need to be wide — it needs to be precise.

– Learn Your Buyers’ Buying Cycle

After you have identified your buyer personas, the next step is figuring out how these personas think and ultimately make the decision to buy.

According to HubSpot and adopted by all those who believe in the inbound marketing methodology, there are three steps in the buyer’s journey:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision

Each of these stages is a major opportunity for you as a marketer to nurture your potential customers by providing valuable content about the product and or problem they are trying to solve.

–  Nail Down Your Budget

Of course, executing all of your marketing hopes and dreams isn’t feasible if you don’t know how much money your company can invest. Identifying your budget will dictate which goals you can tackle first, the manpower you can recruit to help, and the extent to which your marketing plan can go for the month, quarter, or year.

For more information about planning your budget, download our free marketing budget template.[lead magnet]

3. Define KPIs & Measurement Methods

Now your strategy is in place and you have begun putting them together and implementing your plans, it’s time to measure.

In fact, even before you have implemented your strategy, you should be measuring to establish your baseline. To know what you have done in the past and what were the results? How can those strategies move to improve your ROI?

Measurement should be done before, during and after — throughout the year, on a monthly or even weekly basis — to ensure that your plans are delivering measurable and expected results.

4. Explain Your Strategy

You have understood your buyers and your marketing landscape, it’s time to explain the strategy. This phase includes:

  • Defining Your Goals
  • Knowing Your USP (unique selling proposition)
  • Ensuring You Have a Strong Brand
  • Making Sure You Have an Optimized Website
  • Creating Kick-Ass Content
  • Defining Your Distribution Channels (email, social, etc.)
  • Creating an SEO Strategy

Now let get down to:

How to Develop a Strategic Marketing Plan

Now that you’ve done your research, you’re ready to start formulating a marketing strategy for your plan.

1. Identify Your Goals

creating good marketing plan

Goals are the most important part of your plan. If you have completed your research, you should have been able to identify your weaknesses and areas of opportunities.

Setting both quantitative and qualitative goals around these findings, as well as developing KPIs, will be essential. They will help you set a clear path, understand your marketing ROI and redirect your tactics as you move through the year if you find certain strategies are working better than others.

Goals should be obtainable, but not easy. You want to make sure you are shooting for the stars without ending up discouraged and overwhelmed.

Here are some general tips to keep in mind when developing marketing goals and objectives:

  • Evaluate your current position in the market and set realistic goals.
  • Understand your growth year-to-date and set attainable but challenging goals accordingly.
  • Tie your goals to your businesses' overall mission and vision.
  • Don’t overwhelm yourself. Pick no more than 2 main goals and 3-5 supporting goals.
  • Accept that sometimes you will fail and not reach all of your goals. Be OK with that and learn from your failures.
  • Create goal milestones to make reaching the goal more digestible.

And remember: We’re are marketers, not heart surgeons. Have fun, get creative and don’t take yourself or your marketing too seriously!

2. Know What Makes You Unique

Knowing your unique selling proposition (USP) and marketing that USP is critical if you want to beat your competition and solidify your company’s value in the marketplace.

Your USP ties in closely with your brand and your content because those are the conduits your USP will be communicated through. And communication is key. Clearly state your USP and do it often — on your website, in your emails, through your ads, etc.

For tips on formulating your USP, check out The Ultimate Guide to Finding Your Unique Selling Proposition.[internal link]

3. Make Sure You Have A Strong Brand

Branding can be fun, but it can also be tricky. A brand can be one of the strongest assets a company possesses and, if done right, will encourage customer loyalty. But brand consistency is key.

Some of the brand channels your brand should be consistently represented include:

  • Logo
  • Website design
  • Tradeshow booths and displays
  • Print marketing materials
  • Business cards and email signatures
  • Advertisements
  • Packaging design
  • Social media profiles
  • Sales collateral

Take a look at all the places where your audience comes in contact with your brand and ask yourself what each piece is saying about your brand as a whole.

If your brand encompasses several sub-brands or subsidiaries, have you strategically audited your brand architecture to leverage maximum brand equity? Not only will a well-designed, cohesive brand architecture benefit you in brand value and recognition, but an online brand strategy will benefit your SEO/search rankings as well.

4. Optimize Your Website

Website design is more than just a pretty homepage. Your website is often the first impression your prospects will get of your company. That means that your website has to be more than pretty — it needs to be clear and functional.

If your site is cluttered and hard to navigate, you will automatically lose potential buyers. Just think about the last time you went to a poorly designed, cluttered website. Did you stay long? What was your immediate impression of that company?

Similarly, if visitors can’t tell what you sell or why you sell it, they will leave. All it takes is the click of a button and they are on to the next provider. There’s often a direct correlation that if your website is hard to work with, your company must be hard to work with.

So be clear in your messaging. Make sure your site is a place that people want to stay, not only because it’s nice to look at but also because the information visitors need is easily found. There are an entire science and methodology behind website design including where to place buttons on the page, what content works best where colors convey certain feelings, and so on.

Check out stunning websites designed by harveyteck for inspiration and should you consider hiring a web designer who specializes in inbound marketing and SEO to ensure your website is reaching its full potential. They are always available for a consultation

5. Create Kick-Ass Content

content marketing

If you have read anything about inbound or content marketing you have likely heard the overused phrase “content is king.”

While it may be overused, when it comes to inbound marketing it’s pretty spot on. Content is the meat that will attract your buyers. It is what Google uses to search for keywords and drive users to your site and what buyers use to glean information and knowledge about their problem as they move through the buyer’s journey.

Content is all of the written words used to convey your brand including:

  • Website copy
  • Landing pages
  • Blog posts
  • Newsletters
  • Emails
  • Social media posts

But it’s not just having content that matters — it’s having quality content that is consistent. Content marketing is about providing useful information to your customer base. It’s about informing rather than selling.

Think of it this way: If you write intelligent and thought-provoking blog content on a weekly basis that in some way solves a problem, answers a question or simply entertains your target audience, you will become a go-to resource for those potential buyers. They will come back to your site time and time again because you are providing a free service to them, all the while building trust and establishing brand clout in a non-intrusive way.

And when these devoted followers realize they need the product you sell, guess who they are most likely to buy it from? You got it. They are going to go to you, the company they trust.

So, your content is essential for nurturing your customers as they move through the buyer’s journey. But in order to do this successfully, you need to know what types of content to use and when.

Recommended content types for each stage of the buyer’s journey.

– Awareness Stage

  • eBooks
  • eGuides
  • White Papers
  • Editorial Content
  • Reports
  • Blog Posts

– Consideration Stage

  • Webinars/Webcasts
  • Podcasts
  • Video
  • Expert and Solution-Oriented Guides and White Papers

– Decision Stage

  • Product Comparisons
  • Case Studies
  • Free Trials/Downloads
  • Product-Focused Content

But it doesn’t stop there. Buyers aren’t the only ones that like helpful content. Google does too! Creating solid content is important for your SEO strategy.

To learn more about creating a content plan read: THE CONTENT CODE:10 Addictive Types of Content The “Elite” Copywriters Pray You Never Find Out.[internal link]

6. Define Your Distribution Channels

As important as content is, without distribution your content goes to waste. It is useless. So it’s essential to have a clear understanding of how each channel works and to use a mix of paid, owned and earned media.

Social Media

In the world of social media, it pays to have an overall strategy that is tweaked depending on the social channel you are working in.

For example, the way you market on Twitter will differ from the way you market on LinkedIn or Facebook. They are different sites with different purposes and your messaging needs to reflect that.

One strategy that does work across them all is using photographs. Posts with pictures get higher clicks and engagement across the board. And because social media is all about getting your content and your message seen, timing is important.

According to sumall.com, the key is to catch people in their downtime, early in the morning, on their breaks or at night. Here is what they recommend for timing:

  • Twitter: 1-3 pm weekdays
  • Facebook: 1-4 pm and 2-5 pm weekdays
  • LinkedIn: 7-8:30 am and 5-6 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
  • Tumblr: 7-10 pm weekdays and 4 pm on Fridays
  • Instagram: 5-6 pm weekdays and 8 pm on Mondays with a sweet spot at 6 pm
  • Pinterest: 2-4 pm and 8-11 pm weekdays with weekends being the best

Of course, depending on your industry and audience, these times could vary. The key is to test and re-test in order to see when your buyers are engaging. Look at the competition. See who is doing social successfully in your space and note their patterns.

And remember, your engagement on social media is key. When you interact with your audience you are telling them you heard them, you are enhancing your brand and you are showing authenticity.

Much like your content plan, your social media plan needs a strategy of its own that is then integrated with your overall marketing plan.

For more on social media marketing read, The Ultimate Guide to Social media marketing [internal link]

Email

Email marketing is yet another tactic in your inbound marketing arsenal. Email is used most effectively as a lead nurturing tool, in that it is used to engage with potential customers as they interact with specific content on your website.

For example, if a prospect visits your website and downloads an eBook, they will then begin to receive a set of triggered emails related to the eBook topic, encouraging them to further interact with your brand.

Email is also commonly used for announcements, newsletters, and promotions. Just as with social media, email frequency, and timing matters. While incorporating email into your marketing plan is important, overdoing it can backfire. People don’t want to be overrun with emails and if you are overzealous you could risk losing potential buyers.

When creating your emails, here are some tips:

  • Keep the content short
  • Include one main call-to-action
  • Add links back to your website
  • Use images
  • Make sure the subject line is catchy

And when it comes to email, you can never test or measure too much.

For more on email marketing read, How To Start A Successful Email Marketing Campaign [internal links]

7. Get Found

SEO OPTIMIZATION

As we have already established, the content you create is important to your strategy, but it is only useful if it finds its way into the right hands.

SEO is what Google and other search engines use to index your pages and allow your content to be found by your prospective customers. In the digital world, SEO is incredibly important. You could think about it as another distribution channel with a whole different set of rules.

In order to use SEO effectively, you must optimize your content. And when we say content we mean all your content — from your blogs to your landing pages to your social tags. In order to do this, you need to create a keyword list, which will then allow you to create messaging around the words and phrases you are targeting. But SEO is much more than just targeting keywords. Link building, content and social media all play key roles in a successful SEO strategy.

For more on email marketing read: 7 Unbeatable Examples On How To Rank Higher On Google[internal links]

8. Measure, Measure, Measure!

MEASURE

This is the phase of your plan that should be ongoing. As soon as you put your marketing plan into action, start tracking, measuring and reporting.

The ability to measure your inbound marketing efforts is one of the most valuable parts of your plan and the beauty of inbound marketing. The number of things to measure and test are endless. And that’s a good thing because when you are able to test and measure, you are able to improve areas of weakness, report quantitative results and prove the value of your marketing efforts to the broader organization.

You should be measuring, reporting and testing your inbound marketing on a monthly basis to see what is working and what isn’t and to learn more about your buyer base. It might sound like overkill, but this actually can be a really fun part!

Read: 10 Metrics That Will Help You Increase Your Sales [internal links]

9. Creating Tactical Plans

Once you have your strategy in place, it’s time to decide what tactics are most important to the success of that strategy.

For example, let’s say a company decides to focus on four main tactics for the year:

  • Blog creation
  • A website re-vamp
  • SEO improvements
  • Custom list development for email campaigns

While they may still want to work on their social media strategy and PR, for the year in question they will devote the majority of their budget towards the four main tactics listed. But they will continue to allocate smaller budgets towards social media and PR, to keep them running.

In addition, tactical calendars will be needed to help layout the specifics of each tactic. For example, an editorial calendar will be needed for the content blogging strategy.

There is a lot that goes into creating a marketing plan. But when it’s done right, it will be the most valuable asset your marketing department has.

 

CUSTOMER-RELATIONSHIP

3 Fantastic Ways Relationship Marketing Can Build Your Brand

 

There is no successful business without a strong customer relationship. Thus, the stronger the relationship, the deeper the level of trust, loyalty, and devotion customers will have for a brand.

The big question – what happens if your customer relationships aren’t very strong? The answer is that you will struggle to build your brand and retain your customers.

So if you are not consistently strengthening your customer relationships, you might be in big trouble. Take Apple as an example; have you imagine why fans want to be the first to get a new release of the iPhone. Of course, it's a result of a solid relationship marketing.

In this article, you’ll learn all about how you can use relationship marketing to build your brand, dominate the market, and grow your business.

Well said, right. But wait!

What is Relationship Marketing?

relationship marketing

Relationship marketing is a business strategy used to nurture long-term customer loyalty and engagement, rather than shorter-term goals like customer acquisition and individual sales.

According to Jay Deutsch, CEO of merchandise agency BDA  – “I view relationship marketing as a brand’s ability to create an emotional connection with the consumer.”

The goal of relationship marketing is to develop strong connections with customers by providing them with information directly suited to their needs and interests through ongoing communications.

This means it’s all about the long-term. Consequently, customer relationship marketing is very different from more traditional transactional marketing methods.

Take pay-per-click advertising (PPC) channel as an example, they are all about money-in versus money-out. It’s short-term. It’s tactical as opposed to strategic. Hence, it doesn't allow you to make a measurable return on investment.

On the other hand, relationship marketing is focused on building things like reputation, loyalty, and customer retention.

I know you may ask why investing in relationship marketing when its extremely difficult to measure the effectiveness of your relationship marketing campaigns – there’s no reliable metric for emotions like goodwill and respect.

Now let's jump into the:

3 Fantastic Ways Relationship Marketing Can Build Your Brand

In simple words, I will say that relationship marketing is a future multiplier. A difference between making $100 today or $1,000,000 in 5 years.

Here’s how your investments in relationship marketing  can compound to produce incredible results in the future:

1. Higher Retention

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t underestimate the power of customer retention.

Why?

To start, global management consultancy Bain & Company found that increasing customer retention by just five percent can increase company profits by a whopping 25 percent.

Plus, repeat customers spend an average of 67 percent more than new customers.

But that’s not all.

Acquiring new customers is estimated to be 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining current ones.

You can measure the power of customer retention using a key performance indicator called “customer lifetime value (CLV).”

Okay, sure – the longer you retain customers, the more money you make and the higher your customer lifetime value.

But, that’s not even the best part.

This is: A high rate of customer retention is a superpower – one that you can use to dominate your competition.

Here’s how:

Say that your average customer lifetime value is $50, and your competitors are $25. This means that you’ll make $25 more than your competitor on each customer you land.

Now, imagine you’re running a PPC Facebook ad campaign.

These campaigns work on a bidding system. This means that the business which bids the most wins the opportunity to place their ad in front of their target audience.

And here’s the kicker:

When you make $25 more than your competitors on each customer, you can afford to bid a lot more on your Facebook advertising campaign than your competitor.

In other words, you can buy all of their traffic.

2. Enhances Your Brand Reputation

What is a brand?

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said it best: “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

The state of your customer relationships determines your brand’s reputation. And a business won’t survive for long with a poor brand reputation.

I mean, how often do you buy things from people or businesses you don’t like?

As marketer George Farris said, “We elect and buy from people we like. Likability is number one. We also need to believe they are honest and have our best interests at heart.”

So you should pay attention to the way people perceive your business’s brand.

The success of the online shoe store Zappos demonstrates the power of reputation and strong customer relationships.

Tony Hsieh, the founder, and CEO of Zappos explained the business’ success by saying, “We’re now at over $2 billion in gross merchandise sales, and the number one driver of all that growth has been repeat customers and word of mouth.”

3. Improve ROI Across the Board

Most businesses have such poor customer relationship marketing that they must work extremely hard to convince customers to purchase their products.

Truly great businesses don’t need to work at all.

For example, Apple simply announces a new product launch and the queues begin to form. No lengthy persuasion is necessary.

That’s the power of relationship marketing.

However, you can’t achieve this with logical arguments or rationale. You must connect emotionally.

In the words of poet and activist Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

As Farris puts it: “Conversation with customers will increase sales, even if the product or service is never mentioned.”

Powerful relationship marketing builds a strong foundation and sets the stage. It’s the oil in the engine: With it, everything is smooth and efficient. Without it, you’re toast.

 

direct-cash-deposit

2 Quick Steps To Set Up Direct Deposits Account.

There are several options to follow when sending or receiving payments. You can use cash, checks, or electronic payments. But most organizations prefer that you use direct deposits –  It’s a safe and inexpensive payment option.

PAY MYSELF FIRST

In banking, a direct deposit (or direct credit) is a deposit of money by a payer directly into a payee's bank account. It is most commonly used by businesses in the payment of salaries and wages and for the payment of suppliers' accounts.

For example, when money moves from an employer’s bank account to an employee’s bank account. It can also be used for payments for any purpose, such as payment of bills, taxes, and other government charges.

Direct deposits are most commonly made through electronic funds transfers effected using online, mobile, and telephone banking systems.

To make transfers, banks use the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network, which coordinates these payments among financial institutions.

Why Use Direct Deposits?

– Faster Pay:

Direct deposits give you immediate access to your money. if you get paid by check you will understand better – your money isn't always available to you immediately.  Instead, you may have to wait a couple of days after depositing the check to have access to that money. As your bank needs to be sure that the funds are available at your employer’s bank before clearing your check.

The process is even slower if you get your checks by mail. Imagine how much delay you'll have if you deposit your check right before a holiday weekend.

The good news is that direct deposits save you at that time. with direct deposits funds are cleared instantly, without any delay. Giving you immediate access to your hard-earned cash.

If you get paid by check, your money isn’t always available to you immediately. Why? And just think: you can run into yet more delays.  If your normal payday happens to be over a holiday weekend, you’ll typically get your paycheck on the last working day before the weekend.

Lastly, depending on your bank and how your employer processes payroll, you may even get your paycheck before everyone else. For example, Chime Bank offers an Early Direct Deposit feature, which allows you to get paid up to two days early.

No mail or paper:

With direct deposits, you need no mail or paper. You don/t have to print checks or pay to mail them. Neither do you have to wait to get your check in the mail or stand in line at the bank to deposit it?

Paper checks can indeed be inconvenient. if not careful enough, you may run into problems trying to cash the check. Especially when your bank is not the same as your company's bank, verification can take a couple of days – meaning you’ll need to wait to access your own money.

With direct deposit, your cash is in your bank account immediately. Also, payments don’t get lost as long as the process is correctly set

– Security:

According to a recent report by the Association for Financial Professionals check fraud is still the most prevalent form of fraud. Imagine the stress you'll go through when you lose your paycheck.

The good news is that direct deposits save you all that stress. Nobody can steal a check, alter it, or attempt to cash it. The funds seamlessly move from one checking account to another.

Because direct deposit happens electronically, the chances of losing your paycheck are slim, especially if you’ve provided the correct bank account information to your employer.

– Cost:

Sending funds by ACH is often less expensive than other options—including paying accountants.  And receiving funds is at a zero cost.  Also, you don’t go through checks, envelopes, or postage.

When receiving funds by direct deposit, the funds are added to your account without any action required on your part. Whether you’re out of town or too busy to make it to the bank, your account will be credited.

Some employers allow you to set up a direct deposit with multiple accounts. By doing this, you can automatically deposit cash into your savings account without lifting a finger.

In a case where your employer doesn’t allow multiple-account direct deposits, you can set up automatic savings instead.

For example, if you’re a Chime bank member, you can take advantage of Chime’s Automatic Savings program. Through this program, you can request that Chime automatically divert a percentage of every paycheck into your Chime Savings Account. Once you are opt-in, Chime does the work for you, and you don’t even need to get your employer involved.

– Direct Deposit Is Free

Signing up for direct deposit through your workplace – assuming your employer offers this option – is free to you. But, of course, you need a bank account for the funds to be deposited into.

– Electronic Records:

Keeping your banking transaction records is very important. And direct deposits does just that – Everybody has a record of the payment, and it’s easy to see what happened in your checking account’s transaction history.

Many big banks still charge monthly fees on checking accounts. And some banks require that you receive a certain number of direct deposits a month to waive fees. For example, to waive certain fees, you may need to receive direct deposits totaling $500 or have at least one direct deposit per month in any amount.

If you do bank at a financial institution with fees like this, being paid via direct deposit often allows you to meet these monthly requirements. This means you won’t get dinged with these specific fees and you’ll save money. Of course, you can also just switch to a bank account, like Chime, that will never charge you fees.

–  Automatic transactions:

When you receive funds via a direct deposit, your account balance will automatically increase when the payment arrives. You don’t need to accept the payment or deposit funds to your account, which would be required if you received cash or a check. Likewise, when you pay with direct deposit, your checking account balance will automatically decrease when the payment leaves your bank.

– Frequently used:

Direct deposit has become increasingly popular because it does away with unnecessary paperwork, and billions of ACH payments take place every year. For example, some branches of government, such as the Social Security Administration, no longer print checks. Instead, they require that you receive funds electronically (either through direct deposit or via a reloadable debit card). Even small employers enjoy the ease of making payments to not just employees but vendors.

A straight forward two steps process will get you started:

Step 1: Receive Payments

Like I said Signing up for direct deposit through your workplace – assuming your employer offers this option – is free to you. But, of course, you need a bank account for the funds to be deposited into.

The first step is to set up an account to receive payment. You need to provide bank account information to the organization that is paying you.

These list of information to provide:

  1. Bank account number
  2. Routing number
  3. Type of account (typically a checking account)
  4. Bank name and address—you can use any branch of the bank or credit union you use
  5. Name(s) of account holders listed on the account

You can find most of that information on any personal check. The routing number usually appears on the front of the check at the bottom left side. The account number will be just to its right. Alternatively, you can call your bank and ask for direct deposit information. Details are often available online as well, but it's best to log in to your account for accurate information.

It's worth noting that your bank routing and account numbers are sensitive information, so don’t provide those numbers to anybody unless you truly trust them.

Setting up direct deposit can take anywhere between a few days and a few weeks. Ask your employer what to expect so that you don't look for your payments in the wrong place.

Once everything is set up, your payments will arrive in your bank account automatically. Be sure to check your available balance in your checking account before you try to spend any of that money. Government payments like tax refunds and Social Security benefits are typically available immediately. Other payments might be held for a few days, but payments from employers are generally available immediately.

Step 2: Send Payments

To send payments electronically, you need a relationship with a financial institution that provides ACH payments. Business bank accounts, popular bookkeeping services, and payroll providers may offer that service—so ask the vendors you’re already working with. Next, gather information about your payee, and include disclosures relevant to local and federal laws. If you're unsure about the regulations check with your accountant.

Key Takeaway

Now that you know how easy it is to receive payments electronically, you might want to start sending payments the same way. As a consumer, you can use the same technology to avoid using checks, paying for postage, and getting bills into the mail on time.

To do that you can either set up online bill payment with your bank or set up ACH payments with whoever you need to pay.

It's also a good idea to set up alerts so you can receive an email or text message whenever there's a deposit or withdrawal in any of your accounts.

It’s always a good idea to check your bank accounts periodically to find errors and signs of identity theft before starting the process. Also, as you start sending and receiving electronic payments, it’s wise to review your bank accounts more frequently—at least until you figure out how everything works. If you’re switching from a paper-based check register, you'll have to adjust to the change of seeing everything online, but there's no reason you can't continue to balance your accounts as you’ve done in the paid

In conclusion, Automate Your Paychecks to Simplify Your Finances [internal link]. if you don’t currently have a direct deposit, sign up for it if possible. At the end of the day, direct deposit is more convenient than dealing with paper checks and it gives you greater control over your hard-earned cash.

 

automate-finaance (1)

5 ‘Magical Formulas’ To Automating Your Personal Finance

 

A race run, a dream job landed, a new home, a giant promotion, a touch victory…It’s one in all life’s nice joys to see somebody you recognize accomplish what they’ve been hoping for and working towards.

Here is that massive question: What happens if things fail and every one of those is not anymore?

I rephrase:

A race loss, a dream job taken, a fallen home, a pillage letter, a touch defeat…It’s one in all life’s nice misery to see somebody you recognize accomplished then fall within the hand of poorness.

Think about this:

  • when you woke each morning knowing that your cash is mechanically going wherever it'll generate a lot of itself.
  • your bills were paid on time each month (without you even puzzling it).
  • and you even had some financial gain left over to pay on what you like.
  • even invest within the right places without lifting a finger
  • with no worry of any debt

This is no miracle. simply a straightforward monetary Engineering – AUTOMATING YOUR PERSONAL FINANCE.

According to Eliyahu Goldratt:

Automation is good, so long as you know exactly where to put the machine”.

This is exactly what I will be discussing in this article: The keys to assembling systems and processes that limit undesirable behaviors in your gift self and promote desirable behaviors to your future self.

In economic science, this is often referred to as PRECOMMITTEMENT .

I will give you – The ‘Magical Formulas’ To Automating Your Personal Finance and escape from the untold financial crisis. 

We will dive deep into :

  • savings ways 
  • investing,
  • getting out of debt,
  • tapping into hidden financial gain,
  • and much, much more

But Why Automating Your Personal Finance?

These are three reasons you ought to automate your personal finance:

  1. Save Time: facilitate to save the time taken to transfer cash between accounts, finding bills, paying bills, filing statements, and driving to the bank to deposit paychecks. By freeing up more time, you will target the massive wins like your career, education, and skills, or an aspect business.
  2. Save Money: assist you to flee from late payment penalties, fees, and alternatives service charges. By handling personal finances mechanically and electronically.
  3. Life is good: assist you lower stress and reduce emergency calls. By reducing the task to perform in your busy life.

Now allow us to take a fast dive into:

5 ULTIMATE STEPS TO AUTOMATING YOUR PERSONAL FINANCE

Step 1 – Set Up An Account

money-automation

It starts by opening the proper account. Usually, a primary checking account [internal link] that functions as a grand central for your cash with income in and out on a planned schedule.

One way to attain this is often through direct deposit [internal link].

Over the past twenty years, a direct deposit has become the norm for businesses and payroll cooperations. Not solely is direct deposit simple to use,  notwithstanding, it's additionally economical.

Attributable to this, several businesses currently need their staff to use direct deposit instead of receiving paper checks.

If your employer offers a direct deposit option,  have your paycheck directly deposited into your checking account on payday. You may solely have to be compelled to fill out a direct deposit form once to get the automation permanent.

It is necessary to even have a cash cushion[internal link] in your checking account to assist in cases of mismatching the timing of automatic bill payments and a paycheck.

However, keep the cushion as moderate as doable – it doesn't need to be terribly massive. In most cases, individuals realize it convenient at twenty-five to – five-hundredths of their monthly expenses. If you have got unpredictable financial gain and expenses, aim to stay a hundred to one hundred and fiftieth of monthly expenses as your cash cushion.

Other accounts to utilize are credit cards that earn rewards or cashback on your everyday spending.

There is a unit of credit cards that earn two to three percent on specific payment classes such as gas, groceries, dining, travel, etc. You can opt-in for anyone.

It is smart to grasp that credit cards are NOT for everyone, but accountable and strategic use of credit cards give your finances with an extra boost from automation.

Step 2 – Alter Your Bills

ALTERED BILLS

The next step is to alter your bills. In several cases, most bills have due dates at an equivalent time of the month for a payday.

It is even better because it helps to urge all of your all your bills around payday. For example, if you're paid by the end of the month, You can request to have your monthly, recurring bills sent near the end of the month.

Instances where you're paid twice a month. First, you can select to have all of your bills sent to you on the first payday of the month. In this case, you’ll need to be aware of your income throughout the month so that you don’t overspend between paychecks.

Or you split up your bills between your paychecks. As an example, you can have half of your bills sent to you on the first whereas the last half of your bills sent to you on the fifteenth.

Step 3 – Always Pay Yourself First

PAY MYSELF FIRST

You've succeeded in creating a cash cushion and altering your bills. so what is next? You start to make the automation processes by paying yourself first.

In the book The Automatic Millionaire, David Bach writes regarding the importance of “paying yourself first” so as to grow your wealth. He suggests that you just fund your savings vehicles before you ever bit your paycheck. With direct deposit, paying yourself first is less complicated

On the days your paycheck hits your checking account, in real-time, direct a portion towards your emergency fund and retirement savings account such as 401(K).

Automate these deposits in order that the withdrawal happens the day after payday. once you set your investments and savings up on auto-draft, you can simply “forget them” while it automates the processes.

Even if you have got high-interest client debt or student loans to pay down, you need to be contributing something towards your emergency fund and retirement.

Step 4 – Line Up Bills on Autopay

AUTOPAY YOUR BILLS

Its time to line up your bills on autoplay[internal link].  Both online and traditional banks offer online banking options, that typically embody online bill-pay.

You can line up your bills on auto-pay via your own bank. Just log into your online banking account, enter the billing information and the day you’d prefer to be paid monthly. You only need to do it once, and you’re done.

Certain banks even permit you to automate your bills through your smartphone. If you are unable to urge all of your bills sent to your equivalence payday, you may consider using an app like Mint Bills.

Get all of your recurring bills loaded into the app. Then, allow it to track your due dates for you. Payment of bills can also be made directly through the app using either a credit card or bank account that you have connected.

To add to this, you may be able to use a credit card to automate some of your bill pay. Similar to line up online bill pay through your bank account, the same can also be done with your credit card.

Go to your credit card account and load the billing info. Then, select when and how much your credit card should pay each month.

Step 5 – Invest the Remainder

You’ve paid all of your bills, budgeted for alternative expenses, and saved money for your retirement. So, what should you do with the money you have left? Why not invest the remainder.  Betterment is a great platform to do it automatically.

Start by giving Betterment some general information about yourself including your age, time horizon, and appetence for risk. Betterment will invest your money into a low-cost ETFs that fit your investment style. You can line up your account to make automatic deposits, which should take place a few days after payday to avoid problems.

Betterment checks any drift in your portfolio and automatically create some balances through buying/selling some of the securities that you hold or through using your cash whenever you make a deposit.

One other great investment platform is M1 Finance. But with a slightly different approach. In M1 Finance, you have options to choose from one of their pre-made diversified portfolios. Better still, you can customize your own with ETFs or stocks of your choice.

Once you’ve chosen your portfolio, you can set an investing schedule to deposit money each month, week or every other week. After that, you just let the automated intelligence keep your portfolio on the right track. Unlike other roboadvisors, M1 Finance offers its services with fully no management fees or commission.

email-list (1)

7 Simple And Perfect Steps To Creating A Great Email List

You will agree with me that the only way to maximize your marketing value is by building a buyers list. Study upon study has shown that email marketing [internal link: how to start a successful email marketing campaign] beats out every other form of online marketing in terms of return on investment ROI.

According to Adobe, email has an ROI of $40 for every $1 spent. That beats organic search and paid search combined!

But how do you build a great email list?  What if you’re starting from scratch — no email list whatsoever? Don't worry!

Here is a step-by-step guide that you can follow if you have absolutely no email list.

But wait?

It's helpful to know these four main priorities to building a great email list:

  • Quality:  You want real information from real people who check their email frequently.
  • Relevance:  These people should be genuinely interested in your brand and industry.
  • Volume:  If the first two priorities are perfect, you can start focusing on quantity.
  • Bad investment: Buying email lists is a bad idea, nearly 100 percent of the time is a waste. You rarely get what you pay for.

STEP 1: Start Early

early start

This isn’t a formal step, but it’s a practical piece of advice that you’ll need if you want to be an effective email list builder. With best practices and a visionary strategy in place, your email list should compound in growth as you spend more time developing it.

Accordingly, the sooner you start, the sooner this compounding can begin, and the faster you’ll be able to build the list that you want.

STEP 2: Start With Who You Know

know people

The start of your list should be everyone you currently have. You may already have email lists from previous campaigns, but if you don’t, you’ll have to do some digging. Import all of your existing customer's contact that you have in your CRM system. This should give you a decent working start for your email list.

For building your email list, you can use one of the many email marketing services available. Some that we recommend are MailChimp, AWeber, and Infusionsoft.

STEP 3: Build a Great Blog

BLOGGING PLUS

The best way to build a list of email subscribers is to offer unparalleled blog content. This serves as a way to bring people into your site as well as an incentive to subscribe (to receive future content updates and/or exclusive content).

While content may take you some time to develop, but it’s worth it. Once complete, be sure to add multiple call-outs for an email subscription on your blog, including a sidebar form, lightbox popup, and even in-line forms.

You should also limit the amount of information necessary to sign up. A name and email address should be all that you need to get started.

STEP 4: Add an Opt-in Incentive

optin form

Finally, cater to the people who don’t like sharing their personal information for free by offering something valuable in exchange for signup also known as a lead magnet[internal link: how to create a lead magnet that converts].

Many online marketers offer a free eBook download or a whitepaper in exchange for your email information. You may be able to offer a free trial, free sample, or discount that can be used in your online store.

What’s important is that you recognize the submission of personal information as a kind of currency exchange in its own right. You have to offer something of equal value if you want people to go through with it. Don’t be afraid to change up your offer from time to time.

You might want to check out these 9 highly effective lead magnet ideas[internal link] as well as 3 effective lead magnets you can create in minutes[internal link].

STEP 5: Get Your People Sharing

Social sharing is powerful. For example, adding a “share” feature in the body of your email content can increase click-through rates by 158 percent or more.

However, sharing isn’t just about getting more email subscribers to engage with your content, it’s also about getting more people interested in becoming subscribers.

Imagine that someone shares a feature of your email, like a coupon code or a piece of content. All of his or her social contacts will see this message, and if they enjoy it or profit from it, then they’ll have a natural inclination to join your email list for future offers (this also assumes that you have a valuable offer to begin with).

STEP 6: Experiment With New Call-to-Action

CTA

You can maximize your potential subscribers by pursuing multiple avenues of recruitment. This includes both internal and external sources.

For example, you could experiment with a pop-up that offers the possibility to sign up for email, or you could use a new external source to attract a new segment of your audience. Even after signing up, there are tons of options to consider. For example, do you want a do you want a single opt-in or a double opt-in?

If you’re having trouble building an email list from scratch, OptinMonster can help. Our software has dozens of built-in features to help you maximize your email signups, from pre-made conversion templates to tools for A/B testing.

Remember step one: the sooner you start, the better, so stop procrastinating, and start building your email list today!

 

ONLINE MARKETING

The Golden Concept of Internet Marketing

DIGITAL MARKETING

The world is drastically ever-changing in ways we can barely imagine. Shopping for and marketing has gone far beyond the usual practice. Every business wants to have a place on the web.

Today’s consumers are self-directed, as the internet has offered a variety of options from which they can choose from. Within the same vein, providing good marketing opportunities for nearly all types of business.

It is correct to mention that 90% of each activity on internet centers around marketing. In straightforward words; finding visibility online.

This brings us to:

The Golden Concept Of Internet Marketing

Any kind of activity that is done on the internet to promote any product, person, service, business or finding online visibility, will be deemed as internet marketing or online marketing or digital marketing.

In the real sense, once we point out marketing on the internet, we're talking about driving traffic or boosting visibility via several online channels.

The concept of Internet marketing is viewed on the web in the following ways:

#1 – Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 

SEO OPTIMIZATION

SEO ought to be a core tactic in any marketing strategy. With over 200+ ranking factors in Google's current algorithms. Learning and successfully implementing good SEO tactics is essential to the success of your website or blog.

It may appear challenging to grasp initially, as long as you discover the right course, book or audiobook, and devote some time to learning, you will gain insight into best SEO practices.

Here are a few ways to get the best from SEO:

  • Pay attention to the often-overlooked on-page optimization elements such as your page speed, which may be determined by using tools like GTMetrixPingdom and Google's Page Speed Insights.
  • Leverage Google's new Accelerated Mobile Projects (AMP) specification to ensure that you appear on top search results
  • Utilized Google's Webmaster Tools to enhance your site's structured data, rich cards, and other HTML improvements such as discovering duplicate title and meta tags, and so on.
  • Read Google's Webmaster Guidelines and ensure that your content and your overall SEO strategies align with what the search giant is looking for.
  • Always build high quality, relevant content that is distinctive, perceptive and interesting, with high chances of sharing the content.

#2 – Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM MARKETING

SEM provides associate degree avenue for displaying ads through networks like Google Adwords and different paid search platforms that exist across the web.

By utilizing SEM, it offers the opportunity to put your ads in front of a motivated audience at the precise time they’re ready to make a purchase. No different advertising medium will try this, which is why search engine marketing is so effective and such an amazingly powerful way to grow your business.

Keywords are the foundation of search engine marketing. Before you opt for those keywords to use in your search engine marketing campaigns, you need to conduct comprehensive research as part of your keyword management strategy.

With the right budget, marketing on search engines for competitive keywords might be the right fit for you.  Keywords can range anywhere from a few cents to upwards of $50 and more. But be prepared to scaleup.

First, you need to spot out which keywords are relevant to your business and which prospective customers are likely to use when searching for your products and services. One way to accomplish this is by using WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool.

Another crucial aspect of keywords that is essential for the success of a search engine marketing campaign is the account structure.

Logical keyword grouping and account structure can help you achieve higher click-through rates, lower costs-per-click, and generally stronger overall performance, and keyword research can help you think about how to best structure your account.

An optimally structured account is comprised of five distinct elements:

  • Ad campaigns
  • Ad groups
  • Keywords
  • Ad text
  • Landing pages

However, SEM doesn't simply cover paying for clicks but also paying for impressions. That means, for instance, that every 1000 times your ad is displayed, you pay a pre-arranged amount, regardless of whether anyone clicked on it or not.

#3 – Social Media Marketing

SOCIAL MEDIA PLUS

One of the most popular styles of marketing anything online without delay is through social media channels like Facebook and Instagram, amongst others. Social media provides a near-direct avenue for reaching the masses, but it most certainly isn't a simple or easy thing to achieve saturation, especially when we're talking about millions of followers.

In a number of range of articles, where some of the social media's rising stars were interviewed; such as Jason Stone from Millionaire MentorSean Perelstein, who built StingHD into a global brand and Nathan Chan from Foundr Magazine, amongst several others, it's quite clear that multi-million-dollar businesses can be built on the backs of wildly-popular social media channels and platforms.

However, getting arriving at that saturation could be a frustrating process. It doesn't happen nightlong. Supported by conversations with the numerous rising stars in social media, there are a unit couple of things that ought to be done once it involves gaining attention through the spread of social media channels.

  • Find your voice: decide what your message goes to be and stick with it. Don't try to be everything to everybody. create a voice and stay committed to it. Whether it's a topic, idea, niche, business or something else, do your best to not waver.
  • Be real and be yourself: people can see through those that try to put up a front on social media channels. Don't try to be something that you're not. Be real and be yourself. It will resonate with people.
  • Deliver value no matter what: Inspite of who you are and what you're trying to promote, perpetually deliver value, first and foremost. Go out of your way to help others by carefully curating information that will assist them in their journey. The more you focus on delivering value, the quicker you'll reach that proverbial tipping purpose once it involves exploding your fans or followers.
  • Constantly engage with others: many of the social media superstars I've spoken to have said that, within the starting, they followed the popular profiles and constantly commented, shared and engaged with others. Not simply on their profiles, but by directly commenting on photos and engaging in conversations on other feeds.

If you're serious concerning finding your voice and discovering the secrets to success in business, one of the best people to follow is Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of Vayner Media, and early-stage invest in Twitter, Uber, and Facebook, has arbitraged his manners in the foremost popular social media platforms and built up large followings and infrequently spills out the secrets to success in a highly motivating and inspiring way.

#4 – Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads

PAY PER CLICK TECH

PPC advertising is a technique of advertising on search engines like Google and Bing. As mentioned earlier, with PPC ads, you pay each time that ad is clicked on. PPC ads conjointly exist on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook as well. However, if you're going to engage in PPC advertising, you must confirm conversion rates by using tracking pixels.

By using the Facebook tracking pixel or the Adwords pixel, you can help to define your audience and work to entice them to come back to your site. Let's say the didn't end their purchase or they merely showed up and left once adding something to their shopping cart, or they filled out a lead form and disappeared, you can re-target those individuals.

Re-targeting is one of the most effective ways to market your business online because you're marketing to “warm” traffic, or people who've already visited your site. If you've ever gone to a website and then seen those ads following you around the internet, then you're well aware of what re-targeting is.

When running PPC ads, you must keep careful track of the specific ads and keywords that you're targeting. You will do that by using the Google Analytics UTM builder to create campaign URLs that you can use to track the campaign source, the medium and any keywords or terms that you might be targeting. This way, you will be able to confirm the effectiveness of any campaign that you simply run and figure out the precise conversion rate.

#5 — Affiliate Marketing

AFFILAITE-MARKETING PLUS

Affiliate marketing is the art of marketing products, services or information for others. It doesn't require that you ever house or warehouse a single thing. But it does require that you have an audience to market those things online. Without that audience, whether it's through search engines like Google or social media channels like Facebook, you'll find a difficult time with affiliate marketing.

However, if you are a seasoned online marketer, and you've built a substantial following, then marketing as an affiliate might be the right fit. Jason Stone from Millionaire Mentor has built a seven-figure business with affiliate marketing, while David Sharpe from Legendary Marketer has built up an eight-figure business by creating an army of affiliates that market products in collaboration with his team.

There are various repositories to source affiliate products and services from. However, a number of the largest sites are  ClickbankCommission JunctionLinkShare, and JVZoo. You'll need to go through an application process, for the most part, to get approved to sell certain products, services or digital information products. Once approved, be prepared to hustle.

#6 – Email Marketing

HIDDEN EMAIL FACTS

For those that are not in the know, email marketing is a substantial money generator. Email marketing can far outstrip standard website sales because, at least for unknown brands or websites that are not household names, clinching a sale on the first interaction often doesn't happen.

That's why seasoned online marketers build squeeze pages with lead magnets, webinars and sales funnels to drip-deliver value and build a close personal relationship with their email subscribers, effectively moving them up a value chain to sell them high-ticket products and services.

If you have a website or a blog, be sure that you create a lead magnet or give something else of value away for free such as a trial software to a SaaS system or anything else for that matter that people could get value out of. Exchange your free offer for the email address and drop them into your sales funnel.

Use an email marketing system like InfusionSoft, ConvertKit or MailChimp, amongst others, to drip-feed value to those subscribers while also working to move them up to your value chain. Russell Bruson does a great job of explaining sales funnels and marketing virtually anything on the internet is his best-selling book, Dot Com Secrets.

#7 — Influencer Marketing

INFLUENCER MARKETING PLUS

Using influencers to market your products or services is a great way to quickly saturate yourself into the marketplace, no matter what you're peddling. However, finding the right influencer at the right price is the hard part. You don't necessarily have to go to the top-tier influencers; you can also opt for micro-influencers (those that have 10,000 to 100,000 followers or fans).

Some influencers charge a hefty sum for a simple post on platforms like Twitter and Instagram. You can expect to pay upwards of a million dollars and more for some of the top-tier influencers. If you're looking for mid-level influencers, you'll likely get away with paying roughly a couple hundred-thousand dollars and up.

The really important part of influencer marketing is to find influencers that are in your niche. Be sure that they represent your target demographic audience before deciding to part ways with your hard-earned cash. It can get incredibly costly, but it can also bring you instant attention and business.

#8 — Blog

BLOGGING PLUS

Blogging is one of the best forms of marketing online. It's free and it gives you a platform to build a massive audience as long as you don't give up. While starting a blog is relatively easy, actually following through and growing the blog is nothing short of downright frustrating and seemingly impossible.

However, some of the world's top-earning blogs gross millions of dollars per month on autopilot. It's a great source of passive income and if you know what you're doing, you could earn a substantial living from it. You don't need millions of visitors per month to rake in the cash, but you do need to connect with your audience and have clarity in your voice.

#9 — Video Marketing

video marketing

Video marketing is a great avenue for exposure on the internet, and utilizing a platform like YouTube to deliver value in the form of tutorials and other useful information such as courses or entertainment is a great way to grow your brand and build a presence.

While there are several platforms for doing this, clearly YouTube is the most popular for doing this. However, video marketing is also a great form of both content marketing and SEO on its own. It can help to provide visibility for several different ventures, and if the video is valuable enough in its message and content, it will be shared and liked by droves, pushing up the authority of that video through the roof.

#10 – Content Marketing

content marketing plus

Content marketing is one of my favorite go-to strategies when it comes to marketing on the web. It's my favorite because it's one of the most powerful, free and organic methods that are available for online marketers no matter where they're from. However, marketing content is difficult. So be prepared to put in the sweat equity.

My favorite style in this is article marketing. You create anchor content on your website or blog, then you build authority-content links to that content, effectively driving up the visibility. I've used this single strategy to rank hundreds of keywords in the #1 spot on Google, and I would highly recommend that if you're going to learn any marketing strategy, that you get good at this one.

The type of content you can market is wide open. Aside from articles, you can use infographics, tutorials, ebooks and many other forms of content marketing. As long as it's done the right way, and it isn't intentionally setup to trick or fool search engines, but rather to add value to human beings, you'll see immense results from this.

 

 

digital marketing

The Unravel Facts About Online Marketing

digital marketing plus

Take a second and imagine what life would be like today without the internet. To start with, you wouldn’t be reading this article. There’d be no email. No Googling. No website to direct customers to.

So much of our daily lives depend on the internet. We rely on it for information, communication, and most importantly, it drives much of the modern economy.

Though the present day of internet marketing is high, the internet market place is still very young. Of course, there’s a good chance to remember a time before the internet. Even if we do, it’s hard to imagine a world without it now.

The history of internet marketing shows that the internet was not introduced for any advertising purposes; rather it was a medium for exchanging information. Some events lead up to the online marketing business as it is now.

This brings us to:

Unravel Facts About Online Marketing

– The First Web browser

Tim Berners-lee invented the first web browser. It later remained as NERXUS but didn't get much popularity. In 1993,  the National center for supercomputing at the University of Illinois released a graphical web browser called MOSAIC. It was much easier to install and use. After this, the use of the internet begins to expand.

This also led to the initiation of business-to-customer (B2C) e-commerce; for creating ‘the first internet' the credit was given to the National Science Foundation In 1991, when the foundation opens the use of its internet for business purposes, B2C begin to gain popularity. In the next few years, online marketing begins to grow. Amazon, the leading online seller in the world, started its journey in 1995.

– The First Search Engines

first search engine

W3 catalog, released in 1993, was the first search engine that allowed users to readily find sites on the web. It was followed by Altavista in 1994, which was the first web search engine to let people run natural language queries, which meant that users could simply type a question or phrase into the engine and find what they were looking for.

In 1998, Google launched its site. Using innovative algorithms to crawl through millions of web pages and rank them, Google was able to deliver faster, better results than any other search engine. Within a few years, Google took on the dominant position it enjoys today. By 2006, the Oxford dictionary added “google” as a verb, showing just how closely the English-speaking world identified Google with internet searches.

Once again, it was advertising that allowed search engines to remain free to the users. But Google’s ranking algorithm also created a new challenge for digital marketers. Now, content had to be optimized to make sure that it didn’t get lost in a sea of search results.

And as search engines made the web more accessible and brought new users online, marketers were forced to adapt to a new change in the digital environment.

Web 2.0

By 2000, people began talking about “Web 2.0.” Rising from the ashes of the first DotCom bust, Web 2.0 sites were expected to not just deliver content, but to be interactive with its users. Comment sections began to show up on almost every site, letting users communicate with each other directly.

And as sites became more interactive and social media grew into a part of daily life, companies also had to engage more directly with their customers. Social media managers became an integral part of digital marketing as businesses needed a more personal touch to engage with the public on these new platforms.

This personal relationship between businesses and customers meant that marketers had more direct access to their audience. But it also meant that companies had to be more mindful of their relationship with the public. Widespread connectivity meant that businesses had more opportunities- and chances for PR disasters– than ever before.

 

– The First Internet Marketers

Considering how important the internet is now, it’s easy to forget that it’s still a relatively new invention. In fact, the first website wasn’t created until August 6, 1991. Posted by internet researcher Tim Berners-Lee, it was nothing more than an overview of how the world wide web project worked and some instructions on how to use it (you can actually still check it out here).

With the launch of the first web browsers in the early ’90s, personal internet use boomed. Marketers got in at the very beginning. In 1991, Computer Literacy, a silicon valley bookstore began selling books to local consumers over the internet. Amazon quickly ran with the idea in 1995, with the slight chance that they would sell books to people anywhere in the country, helping to create modern e-commerce.

That same year, something else that was very important to the creation of the modern internet happened. The wired magazine decided to launch a website. More importantly, they decided they would pay for it with advertising.

history of digital marketing

Included on the site was one of the first clickable banner ads. A candy-colored monstrosity from AT&T, the ad read, “Have you ever clicked your mouse here?” Next to the question was a long arrow pointing to the other side of the screen where the ad read, “You Will.”

In 1994, it was probably a little easier to convince people to click on banner ads than it is today. And they could afford to be a little less subtle. But these banner ads actually had a huge impact on the future of the internet. They meant that you didn’t need to charge users to access your site.

Which in turn meant that information on the internet could be free to users. Can you imagine a way the internet could have grown to what it is now if sites had to charge users for access? Instead, the internet was open to all and powered by advertising.

And soon, internet entrepreneurs came up with a way to make access to the rapidly-growing number of websites much easier.

Mobile Marketing

Driving the rise of Web 2.0 connectivity was the fact that users were no longer tied to their PCs. The rise of the smartphone made it possible to access the web from anywhere – The internet was going mobile.

The smartphone seems like a fairly new invention. But in fact, it’s almost as old as the web itself. The first smartphone, Simon, was released by IBM in 1992. It had a lot of the features of modern smartphones, like an LCD touchscreen.

Simon actually sold close to 50,000 units. But given the relative lack of internet use at the time, the price tag of around $899 (around $1,500 today), and the fact that the Simon was the size of a brick, the device never really took off.

It wasn’t until 2007, with the release of the iPhone, that smart device use really became common. With a touchscreen that could be navigated by a finger, a huge number of apps, and a killer marketing campaign, the iPhone completely changed how we access the web. Today, around 77% of Americans now own a smartphone. And the idea of going without a smartphone fills most people with at least a little bit of anxiety.

And the rise of smartphones also meant that digital marketers could no longer ignore the mobile marketplace. Now a site without mobile optimization quickly dies as users migrate to easier-to-access sites.

The combination of social media and mobile device use does create a lot of opportunities for marketers, however. Now businesses can launch media campaigns that, driven by social media and mobile devices, can accomplish amazing things.

– The Future of Digital Marketing

In July 2012, Frito-Lay’s launched a marketing campaign titled, “Do Us A Flavour.” That month, a pop-up store opened its doors in the middle of Times Square. Customers were invited to come in and taste new flavors of Lay’s iconic potato chips, along with flavors from around the world.

That’s a pretty traditional marketing campaign, right? It’s face-to-face. Lay’s met their customers and handed out physical samples. But here’s where the “Do Us A Flavour” campaign showed us what the future of marketing might look like: inside the store was $1 million in cash.

The money would go to the winner of a contest conducted through a Facebook mobile application where customers could submit their ideas for new flavors of chips. Other users of the app could vote on their favorites, and the finalist flavors would be released in stores across the country before the winner was chosen. Lay’s Facebook audience soared as millions of users accessed the app.

Lay’s marketers hoped that the buzz around the campaign would generate a 3% rise in sales. By the time the contest ended, sales were up by four times. More importantly, Lay’s now had a new flavor to sell that they knew customers would love – Sriracha – and millions of new followers on their social media pages who would now engage with the brand every time they logged in.

It’s an example of how digital marketing can drive sales and create more personal engagement with customers that translates into real-world engagement with the product in stores.

And that might be what the future of digital marketing looks like: a combination of digital and traditional marketing where digital marketing drives customers to interact with the product in person and vice-versa.

What we can be absolutely sure of is that these days, companies simply can’t afford to ignore digital marketing if they want to stay competitive. And as the world becomes more connected, digital marketing will continue to drive innovation on the internet, just as the internet drives innovation in digital marketing.

In the future, digital marketing will be less about driving people to your site, it will be about creating “buzz” around your brand that spills over into the customer’s daily life.

So, the next time you see a banner ad, take a moment and try to appreciate it. After all, they probably won’t be around forever. And the internet simply wouldn’t be the way it is today without a little bit of digital marketing.

– Why Digital marketing

Remember billboards?

I do.

As a young kid in California, my experiences from the back seat of our car mostly alternated between: “Mom, when are we there?” and “Uh, look, McDonald's, can we go?”, whenever one of those 10-foot billboards popped up on the side of the road.

Growing up with Indian parents, the answer to both of those would, most times, be the same: “Not yet.”

Sometimes, big brands would even start a billboard war, like this one between Audi and BMW, which got quite a few laughs:

In 2015, a ton of my clients still spent hundreds of millions of dollars on billboard advertising.

Unfortunately or fortunately, it’s dead.

Just think of it this way, Google and Facebook generate more revenue than any traditional media company because they control more eyeballs. That’s why digital marketing matters, it is where the attention is.

The reason why billboards, like the ones above, die, is perfectly illustrated in a single picture of a Volvo.

Because, frankly, the future of driving will look like this:

ot a single passenger will spend their time looking at the road.

Do me a favor, the next time you drive and are giving a friend a ride, take a peek at the passenger seat.

Just for a second.

Even now, chances are they’ll be looking at their phone.

Heck, in a world where 9% of all drivers are on the phone one way or the other (texting or calling), at any given moment during daylight hours, how can we think billboards have a future?

If not even the driver is looking at the road anymore, who’s supposed to see those advertisements?

And, that’s not even considering self-driving cars, on which both Apple and Google are working (you know it’s going to happen).

Elon Musk suggests that they’ll be here around 2020.  That’s in only a few years.

That means you don’t have much time to figure out this digital marketing stuff before you can power down your old school printing press and close up shop.

The share of people spending more time using electronic devices is only going up from here.

With Americans spending 11+ hours on electronic devices, every single day, there’s not much left. That is until we spend ALL of our time in the digital world.

And, while yes, online marketing is the reason that 25-year-olds can now sit in their living room and earn 2 million dollars a year playing video games, offline marketing still has its place.

Few of the benefits of online marketing are:

– To build up a relationship with the target audience:

The online marketing has the ability to grab the attention of a target audience for any business. The internet works as an excellent platform for initiating and maintaining  good communications

– To provide products, services or offer as per customer preferences

Nowadays online purchase has significantly increased – Day by day people are getting interested in purchasing product and getting services online because of the busy lifestyle of the present time. Through online marketing, businesses can provide customer easy access to the information about their goods and services according to  their preferences  or choices