by kitzmillermedia | Jan 27, 2020 | B2B, Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media
[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” column_margin=”default” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_link_target=”_self” column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” overlay_strength=”0.3″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column_text]The sales process hasn’t changed much over the years. There are specific tactics all members of the sales team perform each and every day to get closer to the deal. They interrupt, engage, educate and offer. That’s it in a nutshell of course, but what about online leads? The online sales strategy is called inbound marketing and it unfolds much the same way but with one glaring exception.
Cold calling, direct mail, outdoor and online advertising are no longer working. Organizations cannot interrupt audiences with advertising like they used to. People have far more control over media for that to be effective. Now the consumer comes to you, not the other way around. So how can you get their attention? That’s where inbound marketing comes into play. Keep reading for a super simple introduction to inbound marketing.
Why is inbound marketing so important?
The reason organizations implement inbound marketing is to help them grow. Not only can it help grow their revenue but it can also help extend the reach of their brand. It helps organizations communicate their story more effectively. It gives them a voice online. It is one of the only marketing strategies that operates 24 hours a day and never calls in sick. Think of inbound marketing as a member of the sales team that never sleeps.
- Attract qualified traffic to your website
- Encourage discussion and social sharing
- Available 24/7/365
- Far more affordable than outbound marketing. (i.e., cold calling and direct mail)
“Businesses that blog at least 20x per month generate 5x more internet traffic and 4x more qualified leads.” – Hubspot
The inbound marketing sales team.
The email address is at the top of every inbound marketing sales funnel. Whether you are offering a free whitepaper or encouraging blog subscriptions, the email address is critical to nurturing leads. Here are several ways organizations use remarkable content to earn an email address.
Email newsletters are a must have component of every inbound marketing strategy. Newsletters are the next best thing to a getting a direct quote request from a visitor. It’s a safe way for your audiences to learn more about your organization. Start with an attractive and informative monthly newsletter and you’ll be way ahead of the game.
- Send industry related news
- Deliver your blog content
- Send special offers and promotions
- Encourage social media engagement
Visitors to your site are thirsty for knowledge. Chances are they are in the early phases of the buying process. By offering whitepapers on topics your visitors care about, you give them a chance to further their knowledge. The great thing about whitepapers is that they are often readily available from a manufacturer or trade partner. All you need to do is rebrand it and offer it as a download on your website.
- Offer whitepapers in exchange for an email address
- Automate the follow-up process with an email autoresponder
Similar to Whitepapers, eBooks are a great way to educate your audiences while obtaining leads. eBooks are much more substantial than whitepapers with more than 20 or 30 pages of helpful content. As I mentioned earlier, your visitors are craving information. If you can offer them a comprehensive guide that tells a compelling story, the dividends will be worthwhile. Here’s an example of a fantastic eBook from Freshbooks.
- Ask for an email address before delivering the eBook
- Follow up with a series of automated emails to nurture the relationship
Premium content is just what it sounds like; exclusive content produced for a unique audience. While some organizations offer premium content for a small fee, you could potentially offer it for free. People love to feel special. That’s exactly why brands like American Express, Costco and Mercedes do so well. There is perceived value in being a member of an exclusive club. You could potentially create an exclusive members area on your site where you offer content not found anywhere else such as podcasts or videos.
- Create an exclusive content club for members
- Use videos and podcasts
- Sweeten the membership deal with special offers
Blogs are a powerful business development tool for organizations. Blog posts create a permanent record of authentic thought leadership, opinion and authority. Blogs are also an excellent way to nurture leads by reaching prospects during the early phases of the buying process. Encourage visitors to stick around by listing related content at the bottom of the blog post.
- Use blogs to build authority and gain trust
- Place a call to action at the bottom of every blog post
- Keep them on your site by linking them to related content
Since about 2010 Infographics have been an increasing trend. An infographic is data that has been summarized in a visual manner. It typically involves complex information that has been reinterpreted with graphical elements such as graphs and charts. Perhaps this is best explained using an example. Here’s an infographic about productivity. Infographics can help educate and entertain your audiences with a branded, visual story. The last thing I will say about infographics is that they are incredible shareable. If they are designed well and contains great information, your infographic can easily go viral.
- People are visual learners
- Use infographics to visually convey meaning
- Infographics are easily shared across the web
So now what?
The best part about the leads generated from inbound marketing is that they are already qualified. You’ve gained their trust and they want to know more. Once a fresh lead hits your inbox you need to reply as soon as possible! Use autoresponders to send a daily or weekly drip email to keep the relationship going. Here are a few examples of what you could tie into your autoresponder.
- Thank them for visiting and interacting with your website.
- Let them know how to reach you on social media.
- Send case studies or examples of your work
- Send them a link to your blog
- Share an infographic with them
- Send them a special offer
It’s extremely helpful to have an automated system in place to nurture leads. Once you have an email address you should continue to communicate with them on a regular basis. One word of warning, never, ever send email to someone who has not asked to receive it. You also need to give them a way to opt-out when they want to. Always include an unsubscribe link in your email campaigns.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” column_margin=”default” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” enable_gradient=”true” color_overlay=”rgba(30,115,190,0.11)” color_overlay_2=”rgba(238,238,34,0.11)” gradient_direction=”left_t_to_right_b” overlay_strength=”0.8″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column column_padding=”padding-4-percent” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_link_target=”_self” column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” overlay_strength=”0.3″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column_text]
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by kitzmillermedia | Dec 26, 2019 | Business, SEO, Social Media
About three million people worldwide are active social media users. Businesses can take advantage of these people to grow their brand awareness, connect with customers, and grow sales. 90% of businesses agree that social media can have both positive and negative impacts on a business. Businesses that are not yet leveraging the power of social media in their marketing strategy will find it hard to survive the competition. So, let’s find out how social media can impact your business positively.
Any business that has been active on social media knows that there is a significant connection between search engine optimization and social media. While social media shares may not likely result in higher Google ranking, your profile may help you create a stronger presence. A strong social media profile can get its way and rank on the first page on Google. What this does to your business is to make it easy for people to find you online and connect with your brand. If you always share valuable content on social media, potential clients will easily notice and search your website. You will no doubt increase traffic to your website and rank better on SEO.
Social media is a powerful tool for businesses that want to boost their brand awareness. To leverage this power of social media on your business, you should find out the exact platform where your target audience is using. If they are on Facebook, most of your marketing efforts should be focused there. Once you know where to find them, ensure you attract their attention so that they become aware of your brand. You can do this by sharing valuable content with them, using eye-catching visuals, creating a conversation, and building authority. If you do all this right, it will be impossible for your business not to gain the brand awareness it desires.
Word of Mouth
Social media is the new word of mouth for your business. Businesses no longer go out there to try to spread the word about their business to the target audience but rather leverage the power of social media shares. There are booming online communities that help with this. Many people now depend on social media to give them reviews about a product or service they intend to buy. According to research, 71% of people take those online reviews as personal recommendations and are likely to make a purchase following a positive product review.
Social media is not just a tool for attracting new customers; it is also a good platform for retaining the existing ones. Businesses thrive on building long-lasting relationships with customers and gaining their loyalty and trust. You can achieve this by engaging and connecting with your customers through appropriate communication funnels. Statistics show that if a customer reaches an answering machine, roughly 35% will never call that business again, so creating multiple funnels which allow communication between your business and your customers can be helpful.
Social media is a fun way to generate leads to your business. Through the use of social media, a business gets access to different social networks that offer advertising formats to collect leads. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are lucrative platforms for getting lead generation ads. Businesses use both organic and paid social media platforms to promote their content and get desirable leads. When businesses follow lead generation best practices, they will benefit from the power of social media lead generation.
Attracting new customers, using them to generate leads, and building loyalty is a long process. Social media is a good platform to create a business to customer connection and making all three possible. Social media enables a business to connect with their customers, monitor their needs, and address their problems. Through these connections, businesses interact easily with customers and get their feedback on various products and services they offer. Through social media, businesses provide personalized services and respond to their customer queries without delay.
Social media is now a good platform where businesses can boost their sales. Social media sites create a good sales funnel where businesses can easily turn their page visitors into customers. All the new leads that social media pages attract every day; some percentage turn out to be buyers. Even if they don’t buy immediately, just having them around seeing your products/services every day slowly incites their interests, and they end up buying in the long run.
With the power of social media on business growing every day, it is evident that these social networking sites are not going anywhere soon. They are instead continuing to grow, and the earlier businesses make use of them, the more they’ll gain a competitive edge. Businesses should, therefore, recognize that social media is a powerful tool for engaging with their customers, increasing traffic to their websites, and making sales.
Here’s another article you might like: Two Free Social Media Tools to Help you Keep Up
by kitzmillermedia | Jul 25, 2018 | Business, SEO, Websites
[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]After researching dozens of accounting firm websites and working directly with a number of them, I noticed a few common problems. The good news is, many of these common accounting firm website issues are overcome with a little planning and some know-how.
The even better news is, once you take care of these common website issues, you start to see huge boosts in performance, conversions, and overall usefulness.
Let’s break down some of the most common issues with accounting firm websites.
- There is no SSL Certificate for security
- The site isn’t mobile-friendly
- The site looks outdated
- Contact info is hard to find
- There is no blog or news section
- The about page needs work
- No on-page SEO
There is no SSL Certificate
I’m not sure about you, but when it comes to my financial information, security is the most important part. Most accounting firm websites have some kind of client portal allowing clients access to important documents or services. How secure is the portal?
When a website does not have an SSL Certificate installed, it not only sends a bad message (Google is now warning visitors) to visitors, but the information is not actually secure.
The website isn’t mobile-friendly
Having a mobile-friendly website is not an option anymore. Your accounting firm website must look good on a mobile device. Pull up your website on a mobile phone or take the Google mobile-friendly test. If your website fails the test, you need to make it mobile a priority.
The website looks outdated
Many of the websites I researched looked outdated. An old, outdated website leaves a bad impression on potential customers. If your site looks outdated, what does that say about your business? In an industry where tax laws change often, looking current and up to date is an important part of your brand. It may be time for a website redesign if it’s too far gone.
Contact information is hard to find
Nothing pains me more than to see a website with hard to find contact information. This is especially true for accounting firm websites. Contact information needs to be upfront and visible on every page. Phone numbers should be large and locations should always include a complete address and a map.
There is no blog or news section
Blogging is important for a number of reasons. For starters, having several recent blog posts demonstrates to potential customers that you are an active and alive business. It’s like putting fresh flowers outside of your retail shop every morning. Another important reason to blog is to demonstrate your authority on the subject of accounting and tax law. Last but not least, it boosts search engine results dramatically. When you are competing with other local tax firms online, having a strong search game will net you big results.
The about page needs work
Many of the accounting firm websites I worked with did have an about page, but they were lackluster. About pages are the best place for potential clients to get to know you. Good looking, professional photos are a must. Professionally written bios help tell your story and expertise. Other than the home page, the about page is the most important page on your accounting website.
No on-page SEO
Search engine optimization is really a long-term marketing strategy, but there are plenty of tactics you can implement in the short-term to improve search results. Every page must have several key elements to be Google-worthy; A strong headline, subheadings, be on topic, internal and external links, good sentence structure and good-looking images with “alt” tags. This is just the tip of the search iceberg, but these small improvements could have big results.
So how does your accounting firm website stack up? Chances are there is room for improvement, but as I mentioned earlier, there are a number of quick ways to make measurable changes to your website and your bottom line.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” enable_gradient=”true” color_overlay=”rgba(30,115,190,0.11)” color_overlay_2=”rgba(238,238,34,0.11)” gradient_direction=”left_t_to_right_b” overlay_strength=”0.8″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”padding-4-percent” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]
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by kitzmillermedia | Oct 4, 2016 | Content Marketing, SEO, Websites
[vc_row type=”in_container” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Do you wish you had more traffic to your website? The good news is there are a couple of surefire ways to improve new and returning traffic. In this article I’ll briefly cover two types of visitors and a few of the best ways to get them to visit and keep returning for more.
Give them a reason to return. If you think of your website as a dynamic resource rather than a static brochure you can use educational and entertaining content to get visitors to return.
Blogging is one of the best ways to get people back to your site. Adding new and relevant content to your blog and then sharing it via email or social media is a great way to get people back to your site.
The good news is blogging can kill two birds.
Adding new content to your website that contains audience specific keywords and keyphrases will improve your search engine game – which may earn you new visitors. I say “may” because it depends on what search results you are hoping to rank for and how competitive the topic is. If you work in a highly competitive field such as law or real estate for instance, you will only see a return if you double (or triple) down on your blogging efforts. Regardless, the more you blog, the better your chances of people finding your content on Google.
Blog about topics that your audiences care about. Help them solve problems and use keywords they might use when using a search engine.
On-page SEO (search engine optimization) will also help improve your search rank. Even if a client doesn’t specifically request ongoing SEO, it’s our job as a web design professional to incorporate some basic level of SEO.
If SEO was overlooked or implemented poorly, it’s a good idea to examine each page for SEO opportunities. It will make a big difference in search performance! I don’t want to make it sound to be easy, because it’s not.
Let’s say you are a Denver attorney and you want to be on page one for the phase “Denver accident attorney”. Have you searched for that yourself? It is a highly competitive landscape. It will take a tremendous amount of time and effort to get your site on page one.
An alternative strategy is to focus your blog content on “long-tail” search engine terms. In our attorney example, you may consider the phrase “Denver motorcycle accident attorney.” It’s still very competitive, but it narrows down your audience to a specific subset. The more obscure (but still relevant) your phrase, the less competitive and the more chances you have of capturing that search.
Google has a great tool that allows you to estimate monthly traffic for a specific set of keywords. It will also tell you how competitive it is.
The search engine game is complex, but don’t let that discourage you from blogging. The more content you can produce the better chances you have of earning new and returning visitors. If you want to explore some keyword strategies for your website, let me know![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” enable_gradient=”true” color_overlay=”rgba(30,115,190,0.11)” color_overlay_2=”rgba(238,238,34,0.11)” gradient_direction=”left_t_to_right_b” overlay_strength=”0.8″][vc_column column_padding=”padding-4-percent” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]
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