Uncategorized

Getting To Know MA’s Neighboring State Of Rhode Island: Part 2

Since we’re all about not having any page of our website be too long to scroll thru, or have so many images that it’s slow to load (a huge SEO no-no), we’re picking up our story of visiting the beautiful and hidden-gem state of Rhode Island in this second in a series of blog posts about our quest to get to know Massachusetts’ neighboring state of Rhode Island better.

Read the first in our series of blog posts about visiting the less-touristy spots of Rhode Island.

Pawtucket/Warwick/Cranston

Last weekend, which was my husband Jay’s birthday weekend, we visited an old mill in Pawtucket that he had wanted to check out that we learned about from one of the ghost-hunting shows we like to watch. The mill, Slater Mill, is an old cotton thread mill owned and run by the National Parks Services. The employee or volunteer we met as we entered the mill was so kind, helpful, and welcoming! And, even though we were too late to attend an official tour, she played for us an 8-minute video about the mill that got us well educated about the mill and other buildings on the property. Definitely worth checking out if you’re a New England history buff!

Next we headed to Pawtuxet Village, a smaller village than Wickford Village (one we talked about in our previous post about RI), but still very quaint and worth visiting. The Village spans sections of both Warwick and Cranston. We loved how a local garden club did so much to make a small local park (Pawtuxet Park) look so beautiful because of the unique and beautiful flowers and plantings, and there was just beauty everywhere with the Village being on the water (It is located at the point where the Pawtuxet River flows into the Providence River and Narragansett Bay.) Loved how the bridges were decorated with flower boxes by volunteers!

We strolled around the Village’s waterfront areas, went into a gift shop with a lot of special items, and had a nice Irish dinner at O’Rourke’s. If it weren’t such a hot night, and one threatened by rain, we would have stayed for live music on the patio!

And, on the way home — for old time’s sake — Jay wanted to check out McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, the former home of the Red Sox minor-league team, the PawSox. One of our very first dates more than 25 years ago was at that park. Jay went out of his way to buy and surprise me with tickets since I had said I was a Red Sox fan and had always wanted to go to a PawSox game. We had many other nice times at games there with family members until the stadium sadly closed (last game played in September 2019)!

East Greenwich (Coming Soon…)

A family reunion is planned for East Greenwich in mid-July, so stay tuned for updates.

Uncategorized

How To Plan & Prepare Now For Google SGE Impact: Be Ready & Willing To Rock The Boat!

Yesterday, I attended a webinar about “Search Generative Experience (SGE)” lead by a team of experts in paid SEO (think Google Ads) and organic SEO (think your website and Google My Business Profile ranking well in Google without the help of paid advertising, i.e., organically). And, today, I googled the aforementioned “quoted” term to get an idea of how to best explain it to my readers. Of course, because I’m testing out the SGE experience, an SGE listing was served up to me, in the form of the content shown in the image below.

What Is SGE?

So, the above image of AI-generated content should provide you with an idea of what SGE is. It basically is a search capability that Google offers where it employs artificial intelligence (AI) to spit back answers to questions that searchers enter into Google, regardless of the complexity of those questions. Answers to questions usually are presented in conversational format and may include text, images, videos, or other multimedia content. The driver behind Google offering SGE capabilities was its desire to provide more natural-sounding answers than its algorithms spit out in the past to more-detailed/complex questions that its search engine users were posing.

In our SEO blog post about why any website owner should ensure they are writing and posting “helpful content” for their target audiences, we emphasized how Google rewards websites that offer what it considers to be helpful content by serving up their site higher up in its search results for relevant search terms. It makes great sense that Google wants to be more helpful too regarding the listings and information it serves up to users of its search engine tool.

According to a October 2023 pdf about SGE offered by Google, “When appropriate, SGE will show an AI-powered snapshot to help people quickly get an overview on a topic, with factors to consider and helpful information. These snapshots serve as a jumping-off point from which people can explore a wide range of content and perspectives on the web. SGE will show links to resources that support the information in the snapshot, so people can check the information themselves and explore further. This allows people to dig deeper and discover a diverse range of content, from publishers, creators, retailers, businesses, and more, and use the information they find to advance their tasks.”

When Did SGE Go Into Effect?

SGE went into effect in May 2023. Currently, if people do not “opt in” to pilot/test/experience Google SGE, they will not be served up AI-generated snapshots like the one shown at the top of our blog post. However, it is expected that Google SGE might be rolled out to all users/become Google’s search-engine default in 2024. Given the aforementioned, our thoughts as SEO experts are as follows:

  • Many individuals have already opted in to have AI-generated snapshots served up to them in search results, so why not take measures to have your website content or other assets like videos and images served up to them?
  • The day is coming very soon when AI-generated snapshots will be presented to each & every user of Google’s search engine. Don’t you want to see your organization featured in appropriate snapshots?

So, if you aren’t already taking the steps we’ve outlined below to respond to and capitalize on SGE, it’s time to start taking them!

Google SGE SEO Tactics

So, what are some tactics we recommend to capitalize on and/or defend against the Google rankings impact of Google SGE?

  • Be Willing to Share A Different Point Of View. As we called out in the title of our blog post, be willing to rock the boat, as we did a bit in our recent blog post entitled “Is Social Media Worth It?” Don’t jump tow the party line or jump on the same bandwagon everyone else is on related to a particular topic. If you’ve got different, unique ideas about something, share that — as long as you are not abusive to or attacking anyone. With so many other’s in your particular industry/space sharing the same ideas and content related to a topic of importance to your target audience(s), you’ll stand out to Google and likely have your content served up more if you’re willing to take and share a different approach to the topic in-question.
  • Share Data That Others Want and Need. Google SGE is most likely to share information from individuals and organizations it believes are experienced and credible. As long as you’re not giving out anyone else’s confidential information, share data you’ve collected and analyzed on a particular topic. Leverage propriety data that no-one else has, and if you want to rank locally, share regional data that’s important to the geography you serve.
  • Inform Google You’re Credible. Keep adding testimonials to your website or other content that demonstrates you are a trusted SME (subject matter expert) such as updates to staff/team bios. Give thought to what other information you could add to your site that would make an outsider trust you. Maybe it’s adding badges for certifications or accreditations you hold, or from organizations you belong to such as local Chambers of Commerce or Industry/Trade associations. And, of course, favorable publicity that you post on your site and/or from which you receive backlinks to your site is always helpful in establishing credibility.
  • Provide Non-content Assets to Google SGE To Share With Searchers. Create more video content for Google SGE to share with users of its AI capabilities and be creative about how you visually present data/info.
  • Continue To Include The Three Types Of Links We Discussed In Our Blog Post About Links That Support SEO. These are in keeping with the second bullet above — they reinforce your credibility.
  • Think Like A Cook or Baker, Plus Recipe Sharer. Make sure your content is both detailed enough for readers to apply learnings from it/take action, and digestible by a lay person. This is in keeping with Google SGE’s desire to answer people’s detailed questions and support what’s known as “long-tail keyword (descriptive)” search-engine searches. We’ve talked about this in several other blog posts, including “Give The People What They Want,” but make sure you cover a topic thoroughly by understanding and answering your reader’s questions. View yourself as having a conversation with your target audiences and try to walk in their shoes. What questions might they have, and how can you provide answers that are both thorough and understandable?

Need Help Planning For Google SGE?

Reach out today to schedule a complimentary discussion about your organization’s SEO challenges and opportunities!

Uncategorized

Why I Love A Good Walk ‘n Talk

I’ve always loved a good walk ‘n talk. Even in my days of working in corporate marketing roles, I enjoyed taking a lunchbreak stroll with co-workers or my direct reports to catch up or touch base on a variety of topics — both work & play.

A friend, to whom I’ve also provided marketing advice related to her small business, and I recently capitalized on a beautiful South-Shore-of-Boston spring day to catch up on everything going on in all aspects of our lives, and it reminded me how much I enjoy walk ‘n talks and how I’ve got to keep scheduling them with friends and business colleagues.

Image of our Boston digital marketing agency and SEO company's founder, Gail Snow Moraski, standing on a pier/wharf on Boston's waterfront. Image is shown in keeping with about blog post about walking. The image shows boats packed on edge pier/wharf.
I particularly love a good walk n’ talk along Atlantic Avenue or Commercial Street among all Boston’s waterfront’s many piers and wharfs.

Benefits Of A Walk ‘n Talk (Walk and Talk)

Here’s my thoughts on the benefits of a good walk ‘n talk, but you may have your own, so please do share!

  • Both exercise and being out in nature are good for destressing, and in this fast-paced world and unsettling times we live in, we’d all benefit from a means to unwind and get centered, right?
  • Particularly on a busy workday, time is capitalized since both work challenges and opportunities can be discussed, while engaging in an activity that keeps you healthy and in shape.
  • Being outdoors is freeing! Escaping the walls of corporate or home offices can cause one to let their guard down a bit, open up more, and be more creative.
  • Camaraderie and collaboration are created when you set mutual goals with your fellow walker — like, “let’s up our distance this walk,” “let’s get 6000 steps in,” “let’s walk four miles today,” or “let’s walk to the North End and back.”

I’m always up for a good walk ‘n talk, so please reach out anytime to see if we can identify a convenient place for us to walk and talk!

Need More Inspiration To Walk?

I regularly write about both marketing and walking. If you’re looking for more walking inspiration, visit our main blog page, at https://allintheresults.com/ponderings, then scroll down the right hand-side until you can select “walking” as a category, or simply click on this link to see all of our walking blog posts. You’ll see how much we love walking by the many blog posts I’ve written about it over the years.

Results Analysis, Uncategorized

Are You And Other Team Members Missing Out On One of Marketing’s Greatest Joys?

This blog post isn’t about HOW to track marketing & communications results (although we’ve shared a few links at the bottom of this post that you might find helpful on that front). It’s about WHY.

Because I’ve always been a data geek, one of the aspects of marketing I’ve always found most rewarding is being able to see the fruits of my labor. It’s always so fun and exciting to see if website traffic, phone inquiries, e-mail inquiries, or some other desired customer or prospect action (aka conversions) have increased as the result of some new or revamped marketing activity.

Being accountable for marketing results in a number of corporate marketing roles, it always made great sense to me to put various results-tracking mechanisms in place prior to launching a new marketing campaign — even if some of those were less technical/automated in the 1990’s and early 2000’s than they are now. For example, asking sales reps or customer service reps who would likely receive inquiries as a result of a new marketing campaign or tactic to ask prospective customers “how did you learn about us?”

But, you’d be surprised at the number of organizations that don’t make & take the time to:

  • figure out, prior to launching marketing activities, how they will track results
  • review and analyze the results of various marketing tactics regularly
  • know what key performance indicators (KPIs) they should be looking at
  • let other non-marketing team members of their organization know that a marketing activity is launching or has launched, such as customer service teams or sales teams that might need to respond to e-mails or phone inquiries that might be generated by a campaign
  • keep appropriate internal & external parties informed of campaign results

We regularly review and report on the results of various client marketing tactics and share insight on what KPIs make the most sense for the client in-question to track given the various marketing activities they employ. We recommend that every organization create and share a master marketing KPI report (one that is stored in a central, easily-accessed, version-controlled report — think Google sheet or report housed in a project management system) that everyone who has influence and impact on results can view whenever they want and need to. That keeps everyone well-informed and understanding and feeling that their contributions matter.

Hey, why shouldn’t everyone who plays a role in a product’s, service’s, or solution’s success get to experience one of the greatest joys of marketing? And, that’s knowing that their hard work, innovativeness, flexibility, creativity, etc. made a difference when it comes to generating results. Plus, having access to results makes everyone who plays a role related to a product’s, service’s or solution’s success aware when sales or engagement results are less than favorable, and hopefully, will prompt them to come up with ideas to improve results.

Joy of Marketing

Who Should Have Access To Marketing KPIs Reports?

  • The organization’s owner/founder
  • The organization’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or Executive Director (ED)
  • The organization’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
  • Other organization Chiefs and Senior Leadership Team Members, including the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Information/Technology Officer (CIO)
  • All marketing & communications staff/team members, including the organization’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), SVPs and Directors of Marketing & Communications
  • All sales & customer service staff/team members
  • Any Product Management, Product Development, and Project Management staff involved with the product, service, or solution being marketed.
  • Any external organizations that have been engaged for marketing & communication or market research services, such as digital marketing agencies, advertising agencies, website developers & designers, PR firms, and market research suppliers

What Marketing Results Should I Be Tracking And How Can I Track Them?

As promised above, shared below are past blog posts where we’ve addressed some of the marketing metrics/KPIs you should track and how to track them, but each organization’s results tracking needs are different, based on what digital and traditional marketing tactics and tools they employ, so please reach out if you’d like to discuss your organization’s specific needs with us.

alt-tags, Being Found on Google, keywords, marketing best practices, meta tags, organic SEO, Search Engine Optimization, search terms, SEO tags, technical SEO, Uncategorized

Making Infographics and Other Website Images Consumable by Search Engines

Infographics — images that are designed to condense and consolidate a bunch of complex information, and present that information in a fashion that makes it understandable by a variety of target audiences — have a variety of plusses, including, but not limited to, the following key ones:

  • they tend to get shared by others, whether it be in a social media post or on a website, so they have a lot of potential to go viral
  • they provide a vehicle for graphically/visually educating audiences on topics or concepts that may be hard to grasp when simply presented via text

The downside of infographics is when they are added to website pages without what’s known as “embedded text” or an “alt-tag,” they:

  • aren’t accessible to those with vision impairments or learning disabilities who use a screen reader to crawl a site and read the text aloud to them
  • can’t be crawled and indexed by search engines, so even though they may contain many high-volume search terms (keywords) for which you want target audiences to find your site, Google, Bing, and other search engines won’t know that the images contain those keywords or reward you from a search standpoint for using them

Spoon-feeding Google What It Needs To Index Your Infographic

Thankfully, there’s an easy solution to the infographic challenge described above. Regardless of what CMS (content management solution)/website platform your site resides on, your website solution should provide for the opportunity to enter an “alt-tag” or “image description” to describe to search engines or screen readers what an image is all about. This is an opportunity associated with all images used on your site, not just infographics.

How To Write An Effective Alt-tag For Website Images

So, what are some best practices for writing an alt-tag to accompany an image on your site? KEEP IN MIND THAT WITH ALT-TAGS YOU ARE BASICALLY DESCRIBING THE PICTURE TO GOOGLE’S AND OTHER SEARCH ENGINES’ SPIDERS/CRAWLERS WHO CAN’T SEE. Therefore, it’s important to adhere to the following:

  • Keep the tag simple, clean, and authentic, plus descriptive. Imagine describing the image to someone who has their eyes closed.
  • Don’t overstuff/use too many high-volume keywords. Google will ding you for that. Focus on one or two and only use them if you would fairly naturally use them in describing the image in-question.
  • You don’t need to include the terms “image of” or “photo of” in your alt tag – just by the fact that Google is crawling an alt tag, it knows it’s related to an image or photo.
  • Keep to 125 characters (including spaces) or less (you can use the “Word Count” function in MS Word to check for this.)
  • In general, only include the name of your business if you are writing an alt-tag to go with your Logo artwork/image. If you were describing a picture to someone based on what you are seeing, unless the name of the company were in the image/photo, you would not know what organization was associated with the photo and wouldn’t naturally mention it. Exceptions to this might be a photo where you described a staff member of your organization and the alt tag included a phrase like “Gail Snow Moraski of Results Communications & Research donates a check to…”

Alt-Tag Example

The below image which is found in my blog post “Defining Your Differentiator With Detail” employs an alt-tag “a bunch of white balloons with one red balloon standing out and rising above the white ones.”

a bunch of white balloons with one red balloon standing out and rising above the white ones.

For more help on writing alt tags, visit https://www.cincopa.com/blog/the-dos-and-donts-of-writing-image-alt-tags/

An Additional Opportunity To Increase The Positive SEO Impact Of An Image

When and where appropriate, consider hyperlinking your images, so that when a visitor clicks on the image, it will take them to another page on your site. Google rewards sites from an SEO standpoint that effectively use “internal links” to support a good user experience (note that user experience is expected to be a key component of Google’s search algorithm in 2021). That said, don’t “link” just for the sake of linking. Only include links when image clicks take site visitors to appropriate content.

Help Implementing Alt-Tags and Other Organic/Technical SEO Tactics

Our team is always here to either train your team on implementing organic SEO tactics, such as those that are the subject of this post, or implement such tactics on your organization’s behalf. So, don’t hesitate to reach out. We adore a good SEO challenge!

COVID-19 marketing, fundraising/development, Google Ads, Google Nonprofit Ad Grant, landing page, online advertising, paid search, pandemic marketing, Post-COVID-19 Marketing, pull marketing, sales, SEM, Uncategorized

Should You Be Running Google Ads Search Advertising During Our Pandemic?

The answer to the headline above is “it all depends.”

Based on the current Google Ads campaigns I’m running for clients, it appears that average cost-per-clicks, in general, have decreased a fair amount during our pandemic. That means the price an advertiser will pay each time someone clicks on their ad and arrives at their website landing page is less than what it would have been pre-pandemic. So, who should be investing in Google Ads (also known as paid search, pay-per-click (PPC), or search engine marketing (SEM)) right now?

Organizations Should Be Investing In Google Ads Right Now If:

  1. non-extravagant consumer goods products that can be shipped/delivered
  2. moderately priced services that can be accessed virtually/online, such as the ability to take a class or be coached virtually
  3. services and products that are a necessity, despite their cost. Examples of this would be services to repair a plumbing issue or a leaky roof or a new washing machine to replace one that broke
  • you offer a product or service that has a lengthy sales lead time, i.e., target audiences — whether they be business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) — tend to conduct a lot of research and take a number of weeks or months to make a decision to make a purchase of said product or service. Many individuals have more free time on their hands right now because of freed-up work commuting time and a significantly reduced number of social engagements. So, if they have a large future purchase in mind, it’s highly likely they are gathering information related to their probable purchase now. Examples of purchases with long lead time could be project management software or systems to be used by an employer or elective surgery to replace a hip.
  • you’re a nonprofit seeking donations to support your efforts to adapt or continue to offer services during COVID-19. Whether you have a Google Nonprofit Ad Grant under which you can execute such advertising, or you’ll need to pay for your own advertising, with the lower average cost-per-click we’re witnessing, Google Ads may be a very cost-effective fundraising tactic.

Be forewarned that the price of Google Ads and other forms of pay-per-click advertising, such as social media advertising, is expected to rise again — and perhaps rapidly — post-pandemic because of pent-up demand by organizations to promote their products or services. That’s why if you meet one of the requirements above and you’ve always wanted to test the “paid search” waters but believed the media (advertising buy) cost would be prohibitive, you might want to consider implementing a Google Ads campaign as soon as possible vs. waiting until things seem back to normal (or as close to normal as is achievable in 2020).

Need Help With SEO or SEM (Google Ads) Or Applying For A Google Nonprofit Ad Grant? Our SEO Experts Are Here To Help!

We are trying to “give back” as much as possible during these challenging times. We are glad to help any non-profit organization apply for a Google Nonprofit Ad Grant for free. We’re also offering the following special. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to discuss your pandemic or post-pandemic marketing challenges and opportunities. It’s never to early to start planning!

COVID-19 marketing, marketing best practices, organic SEO, pandemic marketing, Post-COVID-19 Marketing, post-pandemic marketing, SEO, technical SEO, Uncategorized

Why These Turbulent Times Are Ideal Ones to Optimize Your Website for Search

I’ve shared this already via some social media posts, as well as part of e-mail and phone conversations. I do believe this is the ideal time for both for-profits and non-profits to optimize their websites to be found well/rank high in search engine results for relevant searches for the following reasons.

Why You Want Your Website To Rank Well On Google For Relevant Search Terms (Keywords)

  • It’s a good way to redirect marketing $$ and energies if it doesn’t make sense to market now. Depending on the products and services your organization offers, it may come across as insensitive, irrelevant, or just plain crass, to be promoting offerings that could be viewed as too much of a luxury right now or that just don’t make sense because of their inaccessibility. Think a service or product you can’t receive or purchase virtually. Why not redirect the money and time that you planned on spending on other marketing activities to search engine optimization (SEO) efforts?
  • SEO is a no-brainer and best practice. Even if your organization’s website doesn’t currently receive a lot of organic traffic from search engine searches (this could be because your site has never been optimized for search, or simply due to the fact that individuals aren’t searching to identify someone who offers your products or services), or your industry is a referral-driven business, as many business-to-business industries are, it’s always a best practice to optimize your website to be found by searchers looking to identify an organization that offers the products and services or the solutions to problems that you do. You’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that if relevant searchers are searching, they will find your organization.
  • You’ll set yourself up for future success. As we shared early on in our current health pandemic, no-one has a crystal ball. While we all have our guesses and theories, it’s impossible to state, as of the date of this blog post, which types of organizations will be most impacted long-term by our world health scenario, and which types will rebound most quickly. But, in keeping with the bullet above this one, why not set yourself up for the best possible chance of being found by those who are searching for help and needs related to what your organization offers?
  • Your organization will save and maximize marketing $$ when $$ are particularly tight. One of the many outcomes we love about implementing technical/organic tactics to support a client organization’s appearing high up in relevant search engine searches is that it can help them avoid unnecessary spending on paid search/PPC advertising down the road. Depending on the competitiveness of an organization’s market, and whether or not searchers are indeed looking to identify someone like the organization, implementing SEO tactics may make paid search/search engine marketing (SEM) spending gratuitous in the long-term.

Check Out Our SEO Blog From SEO Experts For Posts On An Extensive List Of SEO Topics and SEO Best Practices

If you scroll through our blog at https://allintheresults.com/ponderings, you will find a large number of blog posts to get you up-to-speed on organic/technical SEO basics, and we are glad to answer any questions on those basics on a complimentary basis because of our desire to give back right now. Our SEO experts are also always here to help with some of the bigger and more complex lifts like keyword research. So, please reach out if we can help answer questions about smaller SEO tasks or help you complete larger ones.

Learn about our diverse SEO services, including one-time and ongoing SEO audit services via our SEO services page.

Uncategorized

What The Coronavirus Can’t Do or Take From Us

A blog post by Gail Snow Moraski and the Rest of Our Beautiful World

Starting a list and welcome contributions to it about what the coronavirus can’t do or take from us. I’ve got lots of thoughts on this, but only listing four that come immediately to mind to allow for others to weigh in. So, please do so!

The “big C” — in current times, this reference is to Coronavirus/COVID-19, but like the usual term it references, “cancer” — can’t do, take from us, or keep us from:

  • Spring from springing
  • Babies from arriving
  • Laughing with a neighbor (from a six-foot distance, of course!)
  • Singing our favorite song

Please add to the list by commenting below or e-mailing me at gail.moraski@allintheresults.com. Let’s take the power away from this virus and show it who’s boss!

dilution, integrated marketing, Results Analysis, Uncategorized

Why Trying To Do It All Will Dilute Your Marketing & Communications Impact

As promised in my most recent blog post about revisiting 2019 marketing activities to inform 2020 ones, I’ll be outlining below the primary digital and traditional marketing tactics that an organization or individual could use to spread the word about themselves in the hopes of generating some “conversions (sales, inquiries, donations, e-newsletter sign-ups, or other target-audience desired behaviors).” But before I get to that, I want and need to address the issue of “dilution” that access to an ever-growing number of marketing vehicles and activities has created.

As the owner of a digital marketing agency and a marketing consultant, I see so many organizations in my niche trying to do it all and have a presence everywhere, as far as promoting their agency/consultancy goes. It has caused me to really ponder that strategy/approach and whether that truly is an effective one — for both me and my clients. Of course, for us marketing agency owners, there’s a fine line we have to walk — we need and want to test various tactics and vehicles, so we can share our experiences with clients, and we also want to demonstrate proficiency, via our own marketing, related to those activities. But, honestly, some activities and vehicles just haven’t generated any kind of results for our firm, and trying to capitalize on each and every one is likely to lead to us not generating effective results from any of them. And, the same goes for our clients.

So, where I’ve landed for my own marketing and that of my clients is this — and it’s very much in keeping with my last blog post — it’s impossible to “do it all” on the the marketing & communications fronts, and to do it well. It’s also very important to regularly (at least quarterly, if not monthly) assess which vehicles are or aren’t generating desired results and to put your marketing $ and time into the ones that are. I equate trying to spread your marketing $$ and energies too far/thin to trying to be a “jack of all trades, and master of none.” We all know trying to offer too many products and services, or trying to be “all things to all men” doesn’t work well from a business standpoint. The same premise holds for marketing.

In sum, as marketers and business owners, if we try to have a big presence and impact everywhere, it will lead to us not having a big presence or impact anywhere. There just won’t be enough time or dollars spent on any one marketing activity or vehicle! Plus, if results don’t show it’s warranted, why put your $$ and energies into a tactic that just isn’t working for you? Not all marketing tactics are appropriate for each and every organization and each industry. Why fish where your target audience members aren’t? If they don’t tend to swim in certain marketing pools, why drop your pole’s line there?

Possible Marketing & Communications Tactics/Activities

Image Courtesy of Kiwicare.co.nz

Note that some of the below straddle more than one category.

Traditional Marketing Tactics:

  • Broadcast Advertising (Radio, TV (Cable, Network, Streaming Service) )
  • Print Advertising (Magazine, Newspapers)
  • Direct Mail
  • Sales Hand-outs (Flyers, Brochures, Sales Pieces), Business Cards, Promo/Give-away Items)
  • Transit (Buses, Trains, and Bus and Train Platform/Station)
  • Mall or Other High-Traffic Venue, Such as a Convention Hall
  • Outdoors (Billboards)
  • Public Relations (Reporter Pitches, Press Release Distribution)
  • Events (Your Own Event, i.e., an Event You Created, or Participation in Another’s Such as a Trade Show; Event Sponsorship/Attendance)
  • White Paper Creation and Publication (to Position You As Subject Matter Expert)

Digital/Electronic/Online/Internet Marketing Tactics:

Relationship Building/Networking Marketing Tactics

  • Online (Sites Such as Alignable and LinkedIn)
  • In-person (Chamber, Industry, and Other Business and Community Events)

Of course, depending on the size of your organization, some of the above tactics may be outside of your scope because of the associated implementation and maintenance cost, and/or the time that you or your staff would need to be involved — even if you outsource some of the work to a marketing agency like ours. 

Note: We’re sharing this link to another blog post we wrote after this particular post launched, about the importance of relationship building, that you might find helpful.

Our Boston Digital Marketing Agency Is Full-Service

We can help you figure out where to best employ your marketing dollars and time in 2020, so reach out for a complimentary brainstorm about any or all of the marketing tactics outlined above.

 

Google Analytics, integrated marketing, Marketing Planning, Results Analysis, Setting Marketing Budget, strategic planning, Uncategorized

Why You Should Revisit 2019 Marketing Results to Inform 2020 Activities

I’ve repeatedly shared in this blog and on social media that my firm’s tagline is “Maximizing Results Through Research-Supported Marketing.” I will never encourage a client to start or keep doing something on the marketing front that doesn’t make sense for them, based on available data. Data on which to make decisions can be primary, i.e., a client’s data, or secondary data, i.e., data found online about others’ experiences related to particular marketing tactics or vehicles. On a related note, the end of any budget year — and for many this is the end of the calendar year — is the perfect time to look back at which of your organization’s, if any, marketing activities have worked well for you. That should inform where your marketing $$ would be best spent in 2020. Sounds like I’m stating the obvious. That it’s a “no brainer”, right?

You’d be surprised at how many organizations continue to spend money on marketing activities that either aren’t working for them or regarding which they have no idea if leads, sales, inquiries, or other desired prospective customer or customer behavior — known as “conversions” are being generated. In fact, I was prompted to write this post because I’ve witnessed both the aforementioned scenarios numerous times with prospective clients.

Now more than ever, there are so many (actually too many for this marketer’s taste) diverse marketing activities and vehicles a marketer can invest time and $ in (we’ll be discussing this further in our next blog post). A fresh, new year is the ideal time to figure out which of these have worked in the past and/or might work in the future. Because each organization employs their own specific traditional and digital marketing tactics, we can’t address each & every piece of marketing results data you should look at in this post; however, we will provide some examples below to get you thinking about the types of analyses you should be completing and why.

Even if you can’t tackle this until the new year gets underway, to maximize your 2020 marketing budget, you or your team should:

  1. Conduct a detailed review and analysis of your Google Analytics data to get a good handle on visitor activity and behavior:
    • how/why are visitors getting to your site?
    • what are they doing once they get there?
    • which marketing activities are driving traffic to your site — this particular data set is critical to figuring out where to employ marketing $$ in 2020 — using reports under the Acquisition section of Google Analytics, you can see not only if visitors are coming to your site directly vs. thru organic search (finding you thru a search engine), but you can also see if they landed on your site due to your social media post or profile website links, via e-newsletter links, etc.
  2. If you don’t have a Google Analytics account attached to your website — make it an early 2020 goal to get one set up — you can use visitor data available thru your content management system (CMS)/website platform to look at some of the data above, but don’t expect the data to be as detailed or “rich” as Google Analytics data.
  3. If you’ve been running any kind of online advertising campaigns — whether they be social media, Google Ads, or banner ads — you should be able to employ reporting capabilities within the online advertising tool(s) to slice ‘n dice results.  Or, if you don’t have access to reporting capabilities yourself, ask whomever set up up or from whom you purchased the ads to provide you with detailed reports on 2019 advertising results.
    photo of planner and writing materials

    Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

  4. And, related to the above, even if you did achieve what you consider to be a significant # of ad click-thrus at a reasonable cost-per-click (this varies by the nature of the advertising, industry, whether advertising is business-to-business, or business-to-consumer, etc.) if you didn’t cause enough new inquiries/leads or sales in 2019 to achieve a positive ROI related to your online advertising, then you should revisit your online strategy for 2020.
  5. Using information available in Google Analytics Acquisition Reports or using data available within social media accounts themselves, look at likes/shares/comments of your posts. If you’re not getting any of the aforementioned engagement, on one or several networks, you need to revisit the nature of the posts you’re sharing, and if you’ve already done that a few times, maybe you shouldn’t invest so much time in those non-engaging forms of social media this coming year!
  6. If you send out e-newsletters or e-blasts via Mail Chimp or Constant Contact, use available data in those e-mail service tools to look at results like “open rate” and “click-thru” rate to determine if your efforts on the e-communications front are worth the time and associated dollars.

Need help analyzing available marketing data, want to make sure you have the right tracking tools in place for 2020, or need help figuring out what are the appropriate tactics and vehicles to be included in your 2020 integrated marketing plan? We’re data geeks, and would love to help, so please reach out!