6 Digital Marketing Basics You Dare Not Skip

6 Digital Marketing Basics You Dare Not Skip

More often than not, I see digital marketing basics being thrown right out of the window.  Just like that. Maybe because it’s boring to get into these digital marketing basics. Perhaps there are way too many digital marketing channels for us to worry about. 

Further, it could be that entrepreneurs have businesses to run, and digital marketing (all of it) is a full-time job that’s thankless, competitive, and something that never ends. 

As entrepreneurs and marketers, you are here because you have your own experience that shapes who you are. The things you do, the ideas you execute, your own task list at hand, and the fact that you’d also have preconceived notions about what works and what doesn’t. 

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You believe in what you believe in. You got to do what you got to do (or maybe you don’t do anything at all either because you froze right where you are thanks to indecisiveness or maybe you are admittedly lazy). 

Understanding digital marketing basics is one thing (like, I know there’s blogging. There’s social media. Growing a list is important.

I need to run paid campaigns on Facebook, Google, Quora, Twitter, and LinkedIn). I’ll also need landing pages and sales funnels to ensure that I generate leads.

Then, I’d need to nurture my email subscribers so that I make sales happen. 

If you are still reading, there’s a good chance that you at least understand what you need to do to at least have a chance to stay in the battleground. 

To execute the basics of digital marketing, however, is a full-time job. You’d need to do the following and there are no excuses (you can keep your opinions to yourself or maybe just thank me later): 

Blogging, On a Schedule

The topic of blogging itself is huge and we’ll need several thousand blog posts just to get this part of the equation right. Let’s keep it as brief as possible. 

When you start blogging for your business, you’ll go from zero visitors to your site to a few hundred visitors each month. Relevant traffic to your website will grow from there to a few thousand and then onto a few million per month. 

How you make use of traffic depends on the type of business you run. If you are a blogger, you’ll probably monetize your blog traffic with advertising or affiliate marketing. If you are a business, you’d want your blogging efforts to generate leads. If you are an e-commerce business, you’ll want to look at leads and sales. 

The only way to make blogging work for your business then is to publish exceptional, high-quality content regularly, without ever stopping. 

Expand your efforts With Content Marketing

Although blogging is almost the starting point for content marketing, it deserved a special mention and we did (see above). But there are other aspects to content marketing which require you to put in more effort than everything you do for blogging. 

Other forms of content marketing include creating other types of content such as videos, podcasts, Infographics, Presentations, Slide decks, and more. 

You could also use Content Curation as another way of creating and sharing content without actually going through the hurdles of full-blown content creation. 

You’d then create and share these other forms of content for expanding your digital footprint, score better on search (thanks to the natural backlinks you’ll create because of this content), and also establish authority along with more brand visibility. 


10 Clever Ways to Use Visual Content in Content Marketing, eCommerce, & Digital marketing

A Non-Designer’s Guide to Creating Memorable Visual Presentations. Practical and simple design tricks to take your slides from “meh” to “stunning.”

21 Tools to Create infographics (Save tons of time While Making Your Infographics Look Stunning)

10 Things Beginners Must Know About SEO Image Optimization for Infographics  

51 Stunning Presentation Slides You Can Customize [Plus Templates] 

Search Engine Optimization

There’s no such thing as SEO without high-quality content. Several factors work together to help you rank better on search (which in turn gets you traffic to your websites). Most of what works for SEO isn’t what you think or thought it was (these factors depend on Google’s algorithms and they are constantly changing). 

To be sure that your blogging and content marketing efforts actually work for your business, it makes sense to use a tool like SEMrush to make your content rank well in search engines, to start with. 

Your basic SEO could involve using keywords in your titles, meta descriptions, in H1 and H2 tags, and being sure that you are using your keywords in the content you create (but doing it judiciously without spamming the heck out of the blog post). 

You could also focus on building backlinks naturally (while constantly checking for toxic backlinks from scrappy websites all over the web), and to be absolutely sure that your website loads fast (to decrease bounce rates, increase dwell time, and to give a better experience to your users overall). 

For business owners, there’s no time to do SEO. Plus, most aspects of SEO are overrated as well. Keep your wits about you and only do what you can. Or, you could have experts manage your SEO for you. 

Whatever you do, stop expecting SEO work to be a one-time magical thing; it’s an ongoing process that rolls together with your ongoing content creation. 

Need help? Read this: 

7 Key Components of Useful and High-Quality Blog Content  

How to use SEMrush for Content Marketing

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Working With Social Media

Social Media is a lot of things for a lot of people. Whatever it is, it’s not a place for you to dump your links en masse or to keep pushing people in your social networks to buy something from you. 

There’s “social” in social media — it pays dividends to remember that. 

However, you can certainly use social media for sharing and distributing the content you create (your blogs, other pieces of content, your thoughts, insights, tips, and more). As others in your network share their own content, you can respond to their content, thoughts, and opinions. 

Depending on the network, you can also engage with others (as real people). Build networks. Share. Inspire. Exhibit some thought leadership. 


Your Ultimate Social Media Marketing Checklist   

10 Best Social Media Management Tools in 2019 to Grow Your Business  

13 Proven Ways to Get More #Twitter Followers in 2019 Social Media Marketing

Lead Generation, Landing pages, & Sales Funnels

Most people seem to think that when things like Landing pages, Sales Funnels, and Lead generation are mentioned, these only relate to Paid advertising. 

You are wrong. 

You can generate leads right off the bat with the organic traffic (from blogging, content marketing, and social media). You do that by using Lead generation elements such as Pop-ups, Slide-ins, exit intent lead capture, and several other ways. 

You may use the following tools to create your lead generation elements: 


Unbounce Popups and Sticky Bars


Now, that’s for the organic visitors to your website. 

If you were to do paid advertising on Facebook, Google, or by using Quora, you’d certainly need landing pages and sales funnels (just use Unbounce or Leadpages to create landing pages or sales funnels) to channel your visitors into a carefully calibrated and strategic way to turn your visitors into customers. 


Fundamentals of Sales Funnels


Lead Generation Strategies Proven To Boost Your Reach [Updated]

6 Lead Nurturing Mistakes That Are Killing Your Conversions  

10 Inspiring Exit Intent Pop-up Examples To Increase Your Conversion Rate

So, what happens after you slowly start generating leads? You’ll build your email marketing list, that’s what…

Build Your Email Marketing List

Your blogging and content marketing efforts will only bring in people interested in reading what you publish. Chances are that they’ll dwell on your site for just as long as it takes for them to read or consume what you produce in terms of content. 

Because the average shelf life of a typical social media post is not more than an hour, it’d mean that you’d have to continuously post updates and engage on social media. 

For an average entrepreneur, time is premium. Also, you can’t expect that all the people who come and consume your content will end up buying from you. For that reason, you need to build your email list so that you can nurture your leads with more content, delivered by email. 

Now, email marketing (by itself) is a deep subject that you can delve into. But the basics remain clear: Email marketing has an ROI of over 4300% (and you can’t make that stuff up). 

So, start with an appropriate email marketing tool such as MailChimp, Drip, or Convertkit.

To succeed with email marketing, however, just building up your subscriber base isn’t enough.

You have to keep your subscribers engaged, have ways to segment your email marketing list and use exceptional copywriting to make your email marketing work.

Most importantly, aim for the heart of the people you are writing emails to and don’t just treat them as “subscribers”. 


73 Proven and Simple Ways to Grow Your Email List

700+ Power Words That Will Boost Your Conversions 

Why You Need to Build an Email List Right Now – And the Exact Steps on How to Get Started  Email marketing

63-Point Checklist for Creating the Ultimate Optin Form (with Examples)

20 WordPress Lead Generation Plugins To Explode Your Email List

8 Email Marketing best practices

There’s no way you’d be able to bypass these digital marketing basics (unless you have a deep pocket for doing paid advertising forever and ever, regardless of the rising costs). 

How covered are you with digital marketing basics?

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15 Best Podcasts For Marketers & Entrepreneurs (& Why)

15 Best Podcasts For Marketers & Entrepreneurs (& Why)

Steve Jobs, back in 2005, predicted that Podcasts were the future of audio (when Podcasts were new). Little did he know that Podcasts would grow in acceptance and popularity the way they are at the time of writing this. 

According to TechCrunch,

The annual Infinite Dial survey by Edison Research tracked that the percent of Americans over age 12 who listen to a podcast in a given month grew steadily from 9 percent in 2008 to 26 percent (or 72 million people) in 2018. Fifty-four million Americans, or 17 percent of those over 12, are weekly podcast listeners with a mean weekly listening time over 6.5 hours.”

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Wondering How Many Podcasts are there? 

Ross Winn of PodcastInsights also has updated Podcasting Stats, updated for 2019: There are more than 750,000 podcasts live with more than 30 million episodes as on June 2019. 

Here’s an interesting Infographic (from podcastinsights.com), just in case you’d like to check it out: 

2019 Podcast Statistics

But for us small business owners and marketers, not all of those 750,000 podcasts or more than 30 million episodes make sense. We only need what we need and those are podcasts for businesses or podcasts for digital marketing, podcasts for entrepreneurship, and so on.

Here are some of the best podcasts for digital marketers and small business owners and why you should make it a point to listen: 

The Lead Generation Podcast By LeadPages

I am a huge fan of LeadPages (next only to Unbounce) as far as landing page builders are concerned. Leadpages also has an awesome Podcast called The Lead Generation Podcast hosted by Bob Sparkins. 

The best part about The Lead Generation Podcast is that it features regular small business owners, marketers, consultants, and coaches ( as against trying to feature only the top guns in the industry). 

Why should you listen? 

It’s remarkable just how insightful each of those podcast episodes is. These tips and insights come from everyday folks — the ones who are trying to do the best they can to help their own business grow. 

ConversionCast By LeadPages

ConversionCast By Leadpages has several golden nuggets of wisdom from the likes of Amy Porterfield, Tai Goodwin, Kat Von Rohr, and several others. There are, at last count, over 173 episodes or more.

Each episode digs deep into a topic that’s important for digital marketing over several aspects related to landing pages, conversions, split testing, retargeting. 

Why should you listen? 

Each of those episodes is from Leadpages insiders, experts, and those who’ve been there and done that. 

MarketingScoop By SEMrush Team

Every Podcast By the SEMrush team at MarketingScoop and their esteemed guests is an opportunity for us to learn something new, something we missed, and a new way of doing things.

This Podcast is a must-listen for all topics concerned with Search Engine Marketing (includes search optimization, keyword research, backlinking, site audits, competitor research, backlink auditing, Google ads, and so much more). 

Why you should listen? 

On top of the fact that SEMrush itself is an amazing tool for entrepreneurs and search marketers, the confluence of SEMrush insiders, experts, and industry heavyweights coming together to create podcasts for our collective benefit cannot be ignored. 

The Fizzle Show

Honesty is truly underrated in this day and age of anonymity provided by the Internet. As such, the folks at Fizzle always had that “honesty” angle when it comes to trying to educate, teach, and inspire thousands of small business owners ( or those that want to wade into entrepreneurship). 

The Fizzle show is the audio version of honest advice and insights on entrepreneurship and business that Fizzle was always known for.

Why should you listen? 

Honest and passionate advice for your benefit is hard to find these days. 

MozPod By Moz

Moz has always been the “go-to” destination to ramp up your knowledge and skills on the subject of SEO. While the Moz blog is a must-have on your bookmarks for learning everything you can about SEM, the MozPod Podcast is an even better resource for listening to Podcasts on SEO. 

Hosted by the team at Moz and often visited on by search marketing experts from all over the world, MozPod is a must-listen for everything to do with Google, search marketing, and organic digital marketing (which is, by itself, a full-time job). 

Why should you listen?

What else would you listen to? Who else would you trust when it comes to knowledge and skills on SEO? 

The Sales Evangelist

The Sales Evangelist is a Podcast hosted by Donald C. Kelly with his podcast taking a serious slant towards the topics of sales. Now, you might wonder why it’s listed here on podcasts for marketers and entrepreneurs? 

Without sales, there’s nothing left for marketers and entrepreneurs to prove. At the end of it all (the whole circus show of digital marketing jargon and fancy facade of everything else we do), sales is the moment of truth. 

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Why should you listen? 

We need sales. For that reason, we need to listen to podcasts for sales. The Sales Evangelist then is a must-listen as well. 

Perpetual Traffic By DigitalMarketer

DigitalMarketer has always been a great resource for everything digital marketing Perpetual Traffic (nice name, eh?) —  hosted by Ralph Burns and Molly Pittman —  takes you into a world of interesting set of episodes that go deep into the sphere of digital marketing.

Episodes includes insights and discussions on organic marketing, email marketing, landing pages, paid advertising, and more. 

Why should you listen? 

The episodes are meaty content on all things digital marketing that you’d have ended paying a pretty dime for (if you hired consultants or digital marketing experts).

Marketing School By Neil Patel and Eric Siu 

What’s the next best thing you can do when hiring either Neil Patel or Eric Siu (of SingleGrain) is beyond your budget (or maybe just unimaginable)? 

Listen to their podcast called Marketing School hosted by both Neil Patel and Eric Siu. That’s what. 

Both of the stalwarts bring their combined experience with marketing to the Marketing School Podcast and that’s the best you could ever ask for. 

Why Should You Listen? 

The episodes are rather short, focused, and to the point. 

Social Media Examiner Podcast 

You probably already know much about Social Media Examiner — a leading blog about all things social media (in the context of businesses who are looking to use social media for growth, leads, and sales).

The Social Media Examiner podcast hosted by Michael Stelzner features two weekly audio podcasts, a weekly live video talk show, a weekly docu-series, and a weekly Twitter chat to help boost your marketing skills. 

Why Should You Listen? 

Michael Stelzner himself is an entrepreneur and marketer who’s killing it with the Social Media Examiner blog, shows, and podcasts which should be reason enough. 

But then, he also has an illustrious list of guests on his podcasts that brings in a layer of authority and makes his podcast even more compelling to listen to. 

Noah Kagan Presents

You cannot miss Noah Kagan Presents with his top brass entrepreneurial chops (having founded AppSumo and Sumo — both of which are million-dollar companies).

Noah’s unique take on business strategies, ideas, and insights (notwithstanding his love for Tacos) makes for a very inspiring listen. 

Why should you listen? 

It always makes for a great learning curve when you listen to people like Noah who’ve been there and done that with a little over several million in between. 

CopyBlogger FM

Coming straight from the folks who founded the ever-popular Copyblogger.com blog, Studiopress (along with the popular Genesis platform), and The Rainmaker Platform, it’s one of those podcasts that you can’t afford to miss. 

Copyblogger FM — hosted by Sonia Simone — cuts its teeth into entrepreneurship, copywriting, marketing, and Inbound Marketing — in a slightly different way. The kind of a “way” that matters. 

Why should you listen? 

Does running several businesses and succeeding enough to make millions from it all count? 

Growth Everywhere By Eric Siu

Eric Siu is that guy who started his career at an agency, then went on to buy SingleGrain (the agency he runs to this day) for $2 and turned it into a marketing powerhouse. Eric is a man who is comfortable with taking on calculated risks on top of being a pro marketer and an entrepreneur who knows how to hustle. 

In addition to his own podcast called Growth Everywhere, he also co-hosts another podcast called Marketing School (see above) with Neil Patel. 

Why should you listen? 

Apart from all the goodness of a marketing-related podcast, you shouldn’t miss Eric’s take on marketing strategies and marketing tools to help you crush your marketing efforts.  

Zero To Scale Podcast

There’s always something to learn from “rags to riches” stories or Zero to scale stories of several businesses who’ve made it happen. The Zero to Scale Podcast (which just closed shop recently) is hosted by Greg Hickman and Justin McGill. 

The Zero to Scale podcasts has everything from startups, entrepreneurship, business planning, business growth, and marketing. 

Why should you listen? 

It’s a chance for the rest of us to listen to how Greg, Justin, and several of their guests think, plan, run, and position their businesses for growth. 

Ray Edwards Show

The Ray Edwards show is a free, weekly online radio show created for small business owners, and those who want to start a business. Partly inspiring and partly informative, the show is a ray of hope for anyone who wants to start a business, manage a business, or run a business to profit from it. 

The episodes also feature several other business owners or entrepreneurs with their stories on how they got started with their respective businesses, how they surmounted their own problems, and more. 

Why should you listen? 

Apart from the advice and Interviews, because Ray Edwards is also a good man. 

The Art of Paid Traffic 

The Art of Paid Traffic Podcast is hosted by Rick Mulready (a.k.a The Iron Man of Facebook ads) and has a certain lean on “paid traffic” — running ads, managing ads, and scaling your business with paid ads on digital media. 

The episodes themselves are fun to listen to and just like the team at Fizzle, there’s a sense of relatability, honesty, and truth to each of the episodes on The Art of Paid Traffic. This is on top of just how important it is for all of us to master skills related to paid traffic, paid ads, retargeting, and more. 

Why should you listen? 

For expert Insights, for knowledge, for learning new skills, and to master paid advertising (with a grain of truth). 

What are some of your favorite podcasts? Let me know in the comments below

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Negative Reviews on Google (My Business): How to Respond

Negative Reviews on Google (My Business): How to Respond

Negative Reviews on Google My Business can be a bad thing for any self-respecting business. As if running a business wasn’t bad enough, there’s a little bit of management involved to ensure that your presence on the web is not tarnished by a few negative reviews. Ashley is back this week on how to manage your Negative Reviews on Google My Business with Tips on How to Respond to them effectively.

These days, technology has made it possible for businesses to grow much faster than ever before. Companies have several avenues to explore, and multiple aspects consider that never existed before. One such pertinent example is social media marketing.

Another crucial element is online reviews. Where it could take several years to grow customer trust and loyalty in the past, positive online reviews can propel a business’ reputation much faster. Conversely, excessive negative reviews can have a drastically opposite effect.

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Google My Business is a valuable tool to manage and respond to online reviews. As Google is the most widely used search engine in the world, it is more than likely that a potential customer will search your business on Google.

If so, it is safe to assume he/she will also read the reviews left about your business and your company’s responses to them. Thus, regardless of the nature of the reviews, it is essential to respond to them effectively and promptly.

Here is a brief guide on how to respond to Google reviews, particularly negative ones:

Do Not Ignore the Review:

When a customer shares their experience on a review platform like Google, they expect to be heard and acknowledged.

If it is a positive review, the customer’s patronage should at least be rewarded with a few kind words. On the other hand, responding to negative reviews can be an effective way to appease disappointed customers.

Perhaps the worst thing to do with a negative review is to ignore them. Business’ may be tempted to think that if they only respond to positive reviews and not negative ones, the negative ones will be drowned out.

However, quite the opposite happens as the negative ones without a reply are further highlighted and stand out.

This reflects very poorly on the business and tells customers that it doesn’t care about their opinions, nor is it willing to change for the better.

On the other hand, if the business makes a habit of addressing both the good and the bad, it sends a message to the readers that the company genuinely cares about their customer satisfaction. In this way, even the most negative reviews can be used to make a positive impact.

How to Respond to the Review:

In responding to negative reviews, a few essential points should be noted. Firstly, the tone of the reply should never be confrontational or condescending. Instead of trying to find excuses, it is better to address what happened and accept your company’s mistake.

Nobody wants to hear excuses. The simple fact is no matter what the problems were; the customer experience should not have been affected.

To start, address the reviewer by name, mention what happened and apologize in an empathetic tone. These help the reply seem personalized rather than a generalized answer.

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Make sure to say that your business holds itself to high standards and that the customer’s poor experience is not the norm. Overall the review should not extend beyond two to three short lines. 

It is advisable not to mention your business by name in a negative review as this has a subconscious impact on the reader, and it keeps the review lower down when your business is searched for. For the same set of reasons, the brand name should ideally be mentioned in a negative review.

Offer a Short-Term Solution:

You need to learn the art and science of how to respond to Google reviews. Being offensive or defensive isn’t going to work. It’s easy to be polite and reply to a customer. It’s not as simple to self-reflect and genuinely see your mistakes.

You should take a moment to stand in a customer’s shoes. If you invested your valuable time or hard-earned money in something and still had a poor experience, you’d be disheartened and at least a bit angry. What you or any unhappy customer would want most is to be done right by.

This is why it is expected of businesses to not only reply to criticism but to offer solutions to the issues that were highlighted actively. For some customers who’ve had a particularly disappointing experience, refunds or discounts can be provided.

This won’t eradicate the customer’s poor experience, but at least they won’t be worried about lost money. Keep in mind though that a business can’t just hand out refund or discounts to all people who leave negative reviews as this would result in loses and potential abuse of the system.

Long Term Solutions:

Reviews are critical not just for marketing but for a business’ growth and improvement. How can a company know it is being perceived well until it takes the time and effort to read online reviews left by customers?

If customers continue to point out issues that are never resolved, they will stop coming. However, if their suggestions are heard and implemented, they will be won over, possibly for life.

Reviews first need to be categorized in order of frequency and urgency. If several customers face a particular problem, it demands more immediate attention as compared to one faced few and far between.

There can be exceptions, though. If there is a minor issue that is easy to fix, why not fix it as soon as possible?

Even the best run businesses have some room for improvement. It is worth investing in such growth as stagnation is never good. Constant evolution keeps a company ahead of its competition at all times and prevents them from ever falling behind the times.


It is important to note that both positive and negative reviews are to be expected for any business. In each case, it is vital to respond to such reviews in a timely and professional manner. This hold even more true for negative reviews. Indeed, as many as 89% of consumers read the business’ responses to reviews, making these responses critical in making an impact on the customers.

Ashley Rosa

About Ashley Rosa: Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion that why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well.  She is crazy about chocolates. You can find her at twitter: @ashrosa2.

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4 Digital Marketing Roadblocks (& You Are The Biggest One)

4 Digital Marketing Roadblocks (& You Are The Biggest One)

It’s the digital marketing roadblocks (the ones you created) that are the biggest problem you have today.

After working with several clients from all over the world, I’ve only come to realize that almost every single client I worked with waste a humongous amount of time with tactics, strategies, lines of through, deeply entrenched opinions, or fixed ways of doing things that are all putting each of those clients in a world of “no results”.

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They can whine, yell, order about, delegate, request, beg, or do whatever but nothing they are doing (and maybe you are doing the same thing) is going to results for them.

Digital marketing, at least in concept and theory, is simple to understand. But the way it’s applied? God help us all.

Here are some of that stuff you are truly wasting your time and resources on (and hence losing out on opportunity):

Build Website and Move On (Don’t Spend Weeks Or Months)

You need a website, for sure. There’s nothing stopping you from building one just by dragging and dropping. Unless you are a hardcore, Notepad++ – loving designer or developer (they sure love to whine about how they want to hand code websites to life), you don’t need to outsource website design. You don’t need to hire anyone to design a website for you.

Start with incredibly fast hosting choices available to you such as Kinsta, Flywheel, WPEngine, or 10Web (Stop overthinking your hosting choices), pick a WordPress template, and create your WordPress website.

Just buy Divi and use it with absolutely any WordPress theme in the world to customize your website the way you want.

Use any of the DIY website builders out there (and that includes Wix and Squarespace). There are so many of them out there today.

Or you could use the ultra-modern, sophisticated and kick ass Webflow if you want to.

The point: Spend no more than a day or two on your website.

Rigid Thinking Hurts You

I know clients who are great at delegating work. Like, sending in 4-6 documents with everything laid out for me to execute. Really, all I had to do was to execute (like a drone).

But then, I am no drone. I usually come right back at you if there’s something wrong with what you are asking me to do. Need examples?

  • I have a new store. I want to do Facebook Advertising [ Wrong: Don’t even start with Facebook Ads until you manage to get some traffic and engagement on your website without the need for Facebook ads or any other paid advertising method]
  • Build landing pages which should look like all the other pages of my website). [ Wrong: Your landing pages are focused pages that should be built with a specific purpose in mind. What’s with the landing pages being exactly like your home page? Why? ]
  • Write 600-750 word blog posts. Titles should have the keyword. Density: 2%. The keyword should appear once at the top, once in the middle, and once at the bottom. [ Wrong: No one cares. This isn’t what you call SEO anymore].
  • Write blog posts like you were competing for the Pulitzer Prize? [Wrong: Your aim is to write posts that can help your target audience. Anything less or more is overdoing it]
  • I don’t want to use MailChimp. I don’t want to use Drip. I am hiring developers who’ll build be a brand new Email Service Provider [Wrong: Why the heck do you want to reinvent the wheel?Just use what’s available for you to use]

No, you aren’t always right.

You could be wrong and your mistakes are staring right at you, on your face. Stop being so rigid in your thinking. Further, when you are hiring agencies or freelancers, treat them like real partners when you work with them.

Dumping work on them only saves you time (hopefully), but still won’t get you any results.

I don’t need Landing Pages, Pop-ups or Chatbots

Says who? What’s the basis of your “not” needed landing pages, Pop-ups or chatbots?

Or, I’ll get a developer to build my landing pages for me (your developer or designer is not a marketer. You need true marketers to create landing pages even if you were using landing page builders like Unbounce or Leadpages).

Is it because you just thought you’d sound cool saying things that way. Don’t make random statements to come off as authoritative or because you are paying money to get things done.

Don’t get too involved with the debate that pop-ups are bad or that they are irritating (all kinds of advertising is irritating). Pop-ups just work. Period.

Pop-ups are an easy and fast way to generate leads as visitors come to your website.

You can generate all those leads without ever spending a penny on paid ads.

Using tools like Optinmonster, Leadboxes from Leadpages or Unbounce Pop-ups make it easy to create pop-ups and generate leads (and you have no excuses, really).

Without landing pages, you’ll not be able to generate leads efficiently and quickly (sending people to your website is a no-no).

While Chatbots aren’t the best thing for every business, they have potential. They can lead to high-engagement selling. If your business is a high-touch business model, you should use chatbots.

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Email Marketing? Don’t care

If there’s one digital marketing channel that’s sustainable, profitable, and can provide a long-term marketing solution for your business, it’s email marketing.

No, they weren’t kidding when you read that it leads to 4300% ROI. It’s no accident that everyone in the business of marketing can tell you that it’s true. For instance, AppSumo makes millions only from email (not ads and not just content marketing).

If you are not using email marketing, you literally kick a bucket of cash down the drain every single day.

Thankfully, Chris Lawson of Orientation Agency reveals whopping 20 ways to increase email subscriber sign ups that you could use to get started with email marketing right away.

Or, you can start simple with RSS-to-email campaigns, autoresponders that deliver lead magnets, and then autoresponders built to nurture your subscribers. Before all that, however, you’d need to grow your list (and that’s what you need pop-ups, chatbots, Landing pages, and everything else that you are doing in the first place as above).

Before all that, however, you’d need to grow your list (and that’s what you need pop-ups, chatbots, Landing pages, and everything else that you are doing in the first place as above).

Artificial Intelligence Will Redefine Marketing: What Does the Future Hold?

Artificial Intelligence Will Redefine Marketing: What Does the Future Hold?

This is a guest blog post by Michael. Michael Deane is the editor of Qeedle and has been working in digital marketing for over a decade – has managed teams large and small, and still sees every working day as another way to be creative and drive leads and sales. He has an insightful and timely point of view on how Artificial Intelligence is Going to Change Marketing. Read on, and have fun.

The past few years have brought about huge change when it comes to digital marketing, with ever-evolving technology requiring marketers to stay ahead of the curve in order to ensure lasting relevance for their brands.

Companies with their finger on the pulse will already know that artificial intelligence is a huge asset when it comes to digital marketing campaigns, enabling customer journeys that are tailored to fit individual customer’s needs and desires, conduct marketing analysis, curate content and recommend purchases.

With more and more AI-powered MarTech solutions hitting the market, you’re probably wondering what does the upcoming year have in store when it comes to AI and how you can apply it to your marketing strategies?

Read on to find out what you should be looking out for (Spoiler: it’s bad news for the traditional marketing app).

Personalized Customer Experiences End-To-End

The ability of artificial intelligence powered-software to collate, analyze and act on vast quantities of data from a myriad of different sources is what makes it such a great tool for marketers.

So far, AI has done a great job at enabling us to tailor marketing channel content to customers’ desires: as opposed to the mass marketing emails of yesteryear, nowadays every email, pop-up or product recommendation can be crafted and timed to read like a message from a friend rather than a company with a product to sell.

And that’s already a huge step forward – but what can be done to take that process even further?

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Think about what happens when a customer leaves a carefully personalized email and lands on your landing page: they’re back to one-size-fits-all generic marketing copy.

In 2019, we can expect technology that will deliver a truly consistent customer journey, from subject line to email body to CTA to landing page, by dynamically modifying website content per user and delivering tailored content… and why not even design.

Consumers will feel that their brands truly “get” them, ensuring a greater degree of trust and improving customer retention.

Narrative Intelligence Will Mean a Stronger and More Consistent Brand Voice

Digital marketing is going increasingly omnichannel, and that is set to increase exponentially in 2019.

No longer will customers have to dip back into Google after an interaction with a brand in a brick and mortar shop in order to continue the conversation over social media or via your website.

That transition is set to become increasingly seamless, with technology enabling personalized experiences and great customer service throughout all the platforms and channels used by your audience.

You’re probably wondering how you can maintain a consistent voice throughout all those platforms and millions of messages.

The answer lies, yet again, in AI: advances in narrative intelligence, i.e. the ability to come up with, analyze and respond effectively to stories using natural language, is set to become a marketer’s new best friend.

While potential applications in entertainment are obvious, another major application for narrative intelligence is its ability to craft engaging messages for digital marketing campaigns.

This means that your brand’s unique voice will be reflected in each and every email, text message, Facebook post ad, and webpage.

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Your Brand Voice Will Literally Become a… Voice

Virtual assistants such as Alexa and Siri already use a combination of voice and AI to power sales and customer service.

The average customer probably doesn’t realize how much they already rely on AI in day-to-day life, whether it’s by asking Siri to look up cheap flights to Mexico, getting Alexa to fire up Spotify or ordering a coffee through the Starbucks chatbot.

These virtual assistants are set to become more and more present in our daily lives and everyday tasks, with 2019 promising to be their year. Smart speaker ownership in the UK alone doubled in just a few months.

AI-powered voice recognition probably won’t replace traditional advertising platforms, but it could deeply affect the way customers make purchases.

Yet again, this is an incentive for companies to think hard about the way they communicate their brands and to get creative.

How can marketers come up with campaigns that adapt seamlessly to multiple platforms, in a world where visual assets such as logos may well decrease in importance? How can we circle back to something that could resemble the radio advertising of times gone by, but with a direct link between the consumer and retailer?

One thing is for certain, brands would be well-advised to start taking voice marketing into consideration.

Apps Are Out, Chatbots Are In

Not so long ago, mobile apps were the go-to platforms for forward-looking brands. But as we well know, people love to text, and audiences, especially millennials and younger consumers are increasingly switching their attention to messaging apps.

Chatbots – those little windows that pop up asking you if you need help with anything – are already a fixture for many brands, who appreciate their ability to offer round the clock assistance, point customers in the right direction, adapt responses to customers’ needs and never, ever lose their patience.

People like them: many integrate with their favorite messaging apps, including Facebook Messenger, Kik or WhatsApp, and recent research by Twilio pointed out that 66% of consumers prefer to interact with brands through messaging apps.

How to Build Facebook Messenger Chatbots

Throughout the past year, chatbots have evolved to be more and more human-like thanks to advances in NLP (natural language processing) and they’re only set to get bigger in 2019.

Gartner even predicts that by 2020, 50% of companies will spend more on bots and chatbots than traditional mobile app development.

With the app market becoming more and more saturated, it makes sense that enterprises are moving towards AI-powered chatbots for their brand strategy.

So, what can we take away from all this? Shed a tear for the good old mobile app and start thinking beyond the traditional rectangular browsing screen.

Digital marketing in 2019 will be all about highly-personalized Omni-platform experiences with the ability take customers on an integrated journey from their smartphones to a brick-and-mortar shop and back again via voice assistance, chatbots and their favorite messaging apps.

Exciting times ahead!

Photo by Matan Segev from Pexels

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Drip Email Marketing Software: Sell Smart With Advanced Automation

Drip Email Marketing Software: Sell Smart With Advanced Automation

Email marketing has an ROI of 4300% (now, it might be even more). Email marketing didn’t die.

If you aren’t doing email marketing or if you are still focused on managing social media accounts or doing SEO like there’s no tomorrow, you are literally throwing money away.

Email marketing is the single best thing you could do for your business. Email Marketing just works. It’s also the reason why I write posts like why you should drop everything you are doing right now and embrace email marketing completely.

Of all the email marketing software you and I are both aware of, there are only a few worth considering: MailChimp, Drip, and Convertkit. Of course, Mailchimp is everyone’s favorite but you could quickly run out of its feature set. Convertkit and Drip are both powerful email marketing tools.

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Drip, if you look deep enough and if you work with it for as long as I have, offers the best value for money (especially with the host of features they recently added). Here’s how Drip email marketing software truly helps you sell products or services smart and with advanced email marketing automation:

Subscriber Timelines

Drip Automated Timeline
You’d know when an email subscriber signs up, but do you know what that subscriber did before he or she signed up?

Normally, you wouldn’t.

With Drip, however, you get a complete timeline of a subscriber — what your subscribers did before they signed up, the pages they visited and how many times per page, and more. This timeline continues even after your subscribers sign up — what campaigns they received, what tags have been applied to them, and precisely what they did with each email they get.

Think of it as magic.

Visual Automation

We are marketers and not logic gurus. For the life of us, we can’t seem to work with complicated code and APIs to create advanced automation workflows nor do we want to spend any extra time doing that.

Right at the outset, you get Visual automation and the ability to build automation workflows with Drip. You can do these visual automation workflows and build email automation workflows with Infusionsoft too, but we also know that InfusionSoft is also known as “confusionsoft” and that it’s way too much for regular businesses, bloggers, online businesses, and service-based businesses.

Email Automation Workflows

What makes Drip really powerful is the way you can create advanced (or simple) email automation workflows.

Trigger points (event triggers, sign up sources) lead to specific actions, delays, and decisions. Again, based on what subscribers do, you also have options to branch out into simple “Yes/No” paths that you can ease your subscribers into.

Drip Automation Workflows

Here are a few pre-made visual automation workflows you can check out and visualize as to how they work.

Liquid-based Personalization

Here’s something Drip does that absolutely no other email provider can: advanced personalization.

Drip uses Liquid templating language (popularized by Shopify). As such, you can do some really smart things with Drip with respect to email personalization.

But wait… why bother with email personalization?

According to RichRelevance, personalized emails lead up to 3X in clickthrough rates and in 3.8X in revenue per click. Event-triggered emails or emails that are relevant lead to more than 119% higher click-through rates than the regular “business as usual” emails.

When you send out personalized emails, you are really connecting with your email subscribers. Like, connecting one-to-many at scale. With Drip, you can do this:

  • Address people by their names by using something like {subscriber.first_name}. If you aren’t sure if you have the names of all your subscribers, you could do this: {subscriber.first_name | default: friend }
  • Use can use bits and pieces of liquid templating language for advanced inclusions such as countdown timers, or showing dates relevant to each subscriber (based on when they sign up, for instance).
  • You can edit a single email and add snippets to show up (or not) based on the status of your subscribers. For instance, a piece of content like “Buy my course now” won’t show up for people who already purchased your course. Instead, for existing customers, it’ll say something like, “Liked my course? Please leave a review here”.

Learn more about how you can use Drip for advanced email personalization.

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Visual Email Builder

Drip Visual Builder

Drip originally only had text-based email styles for us to use. I am a huge proponent for emails written and delivered this way minus the fancy HTML and images since these emails would look more personal (like you are writing to a friend), you get better email deliverability, and your emails would look much less spammy.

If you wanted to use a fully-designed HTML template then, you’d have to depend on an email design specialist or use a tool like Designmodo to create emails in HTML and import them to Drip.

Drip, however, did introduce a “Visual Builder” which is very much like the Mailchimp’s email visual builder that you might be familiar with.

You now have the option of just sending plain-text emails (which I recommend) or build complete HTML-style emails using the Visual Builder.

Shopify + Drip = Magic

MailChimp has always had a great focus on e-commerce. Open up the MailChimp dashboard and you’ll see just how your email marketing contributes to your e-commerce sales. None of the email marketing providers (Including Drip) had that before.

Now, however, Drip has taken a route that’s more e-commerce centric. It’s working to be known as an ECRM (E-commerce Customer Relationship Management) tool instead of just an email service provider.

Featuring deep integration with Shopify, connecting your Drip account with Shopify unlocks powerful benefits for you to use with email marketing:

  • Drip natively integrates with Leadpages (the parent company that owns Drip) — so you get landing pages and email marketing software at the same time. Plays nice.
  • When you connect Drip and Shopify, your whole order history will be automatically synced — a comprehensive order history means you can beef up your segmentation possibilities. Want to pick out all of your customers who’ve placed more than $100 in orders over the past year? Well, now you can.
  • You get complete and detailed records and behavior of visitors. When did visitors first arrive at your Shopify store? What are the pages they browsed? How many visits did it take for a particular visitor before a transaction happened? Earlier, you had to copy a script from Drip and put it on all the pages of your store. Now, it happens automatically.
  • Trigger automation within Drip for product page views on Shopify. Say, your potential customer is checking out Leather jackets, send an email about five hours after they are done browsing. It’s like magic, you see?
  • Segmenting your customers is powerful, and you can do it easily with Drip and Shopify based on your customer activity. Segments could be just subscribers who grabbed a coupon, customers who purchased product X but not Y, customers who purchased product Z at least 6 times in the last 12 months, etc. Once you tag your customers or segment them, you’ll be able to send completely targeted and relevant emails.

Learn more about how Shopify + Drip Creates Magic For your Business

Direct Integration with Facebook Lead Ads

Drip + Facebook Lead Ads

You can connect your Drip account with Facebook Lead ad campaigns directly by choosing Drip as the CRM from within your Facebook Lead Ads CRM integrations. Leads collected from your Facebook Lead ad campaigns are directly sent to your Drip account so that you can grow your list, nurture your leads, and use email marketing automation to sell your products and services.

On top of that, Drip also allows you to build custom audiences with Facebook so that your email list syncs in real-time with Facebook custom audiences (and this audience is constantly maintained).

As more people join your list, they are automatically added to your custom audiences on Facebook.

Now, you can include your special “email list based custom audience” in your campaigns, create lookalike audiences using this audience, or even exclude these specific audiences from your future Lead ads campaigns.

Automated Lead Scoring

Drip lead scoring
None of the email service providers have anything close to Lead scoring. Lead scoring is like adding a wee bit of gamification to your email list subscribers. By assigning points to specific actions your subscribers take as they join your list, an average lead score is determined for each subscriber.

Based on those lead scores, you can automatically prune or purge your list (by setting up automation or rules), filter subscribers out while sending them messages and send out special campaigns for those with high lead scores.

Lead score feature alone is worth the monthly fee you pay for Drip. Period.

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Conversions & Analytics

As far as analytics go, every email service provider lets you see KPI pertaining to email marketing such as the number of emails sent, how many people you sent your emails to, open rates, click-through rates, click rates and more.

Both MailChimp and Drip, however, have a fantastic focus on e-commerce now. Using “conversions”, you can clearly see just the sale transactions resulting from your email campaigns.

Again, you’d have all the data you need based on the actions your subscribers take as in whether they purchased, or purchased for the third time in a row, or if they added an item to the shopping cart and left without doing anything.

Conversions and analytics with both Drip and MailChimp are the best in the industry and there are no second thoughts about that.

Note: If you were planning to use Drip for your email marketing automation, use this Drip pricing calculator to reflect their pricing changes starting January 14th, 2019.


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