“Proof of Work” when Hiring a Digital Marketing Firm

The term “proof of work” originally came from decentralized consensus mechanism that requires members of a network to expend effort solving an arbitrary mathematical puzzle to prevent anybody from gaming the system. More recently, Proof of work is used widely in cryptocurrency mining, for validating transactions and mining new tokens..

However, you can also apply this “proof of work” example when hiring a digital marketing agency. For example, when evaluating a digital marketing agency firm (bid) for your business, request the following:

  1. Industry experience. Agency experience in your particular field (niche). Ask for client (roster) names list and testimonials. Review agency clients website layouts, content (blog), social media accounts, etc. Drill down on Agency clients and look for website rankings, social media follower counts, blog content quality.
  2. What results are they promising (vision and strategy)? Ask Agency what their KPI’s (metrics) are with clients and did they meet them (KPIs)? If Agency guarantees  SEO rankings on first page, that’s a red flag. SEO top rankings takes years to achieve and its a “long game” strategy.
  3. What tools are they using (website & blog building, Slack, Social Media, Google apps, email, CRM, etc) with clients? Id the tools aren’t industry leading, and you never heard of them that’s a red flag.
  4. Size of agency? How many heads (resources) will they allocate for your marketing effort? How do they communicate (daily, weekly, monthly)?
  5. Agency website. I needs to be elite. An Agency website needs to look clean, flow well, images top rate, mobile optimized, call to actions (CTA), and downright pleasing to look at. Anything short of that, don’t bother hiring them.
  6. Communications. Do they speak well on the phone and in person (trust is crucial)? Make sure there is chemistry between you and the Agency’s team. If you feel a conflict in the first meetings (chemistry-wise), move on and don’t bother hiring them. Ask them for an initial audit (free of charge) of all your digital resources (website, blog, social media, etc). Most digital marketing agency’s will send you a quick audit and feedback/strategy when vying for your marketing dollars!

An outsourced Digital Marketing Agency should show you “proof of work” and a strategy on how to best achieve your business success in the digital world.

 

Small Business (SMB) – Why Blog?

Blogging helps bring customers, and potential clients onto your company website. Blog posts can also help visitors to specific landing pages (A landing page is a page on your site that is designed to convert visitors into leads). This additional and internal linking traffic will help brand awareness, increase sales & leads, and Google rankings.

Blogs are the new PR world order, a blog can become a destination, aggregate of knowledge and expertise that helps customers, clients (or investors) make decisions while also building relationships. Relationships are THE name of the game.

How many blogs per week? To boost organic traffic (from search engines, for example), you should publish 3 to 4 brand new posts per week, each of them fully optimized for search engines (HubSpot). For a specific industry like financial advisors, blogs are a great way to market your Company’s compliant content. Content shows up in Google Search and helps drive visitors back to your website.

Publishing a blog post really depends on the platform, demographic, and region. There is no blanket “best time” to publish. Ideally, should be published when your target demographic is getting home from work and they start checking their favorite websites as well as checking in on Facebook and Twitter.

Thinking About a Website Redesign? Basic Costs Breakdowns

Web designers are essential for your users website experience and search engines (optimization). A general website redesign costs estimate are between $1500-$15,000. A basic redesign should cost cost around $2000 depending on the underlying mechanics such as whether its based off free WordPress, Drupal, etc.

It’s essential that you redesign for mobile users (responsive website design) as most of the traffic these days are from a Tablet or Smartphone.

Designers general charge by the number of pages on your website. Also, note that websites that include a storefront with carts and products may increase the redesign costs. If your website includes e-commerce functionality, always include that e-commerce functionality in the website redesign budget. Adding interactive media can cost you between $200-$13,000. A custom CMS solution can cost between $2,000-$25,000. Look for a free CMS such as WordPress that would lower the costs and can be easily updated on the fly by a website owner.

Building or redesigning a website yourself with a template is usually the cheapest option. It can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $3,000 or more, but the real “cost” here is the time and hassle required.

Depending on your redesign goals, you’ll be able to find a freelancer that will charge anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 for a simple website and upwards of $10,000 to $20,000+ for a bigger website with a variety of template designs, custom features, store fronts, e-commerce, etc.

Agencies are businesses that are fully devoted to marketing, branding, and web design. They are the most expensive option generally, but they also bring diverse experiences and specialties to the table. Agency website design prices start around $10,000 and go up to $50,000 or more depending on the project.

A website redesign is crucial every 3-4 years as the customer visitor habits changes as well as the website tools technologies. Its crucial to pivot when you see your website not converting selling products or gaining client leads. Always too at the website data (Google Analytics) and adjust when the funnels and traffic drop off.

Can Your Product or Service Reach Escape Velocity in 2022?

Category power, Company power, Unmatchable offerings. Google comes to mind. Google Search and Google My Business that is. Make sure you register your website with Google Search Console and Google My Business. Submit your website sitemap thru Google Search Console for indexing! No matter whether you’re using Shopify, WordPress, Wix or Squarespace, adding your website to this service is the starting point for good SEO and will ultimately help sell your products or service through increasing traffic.

Registering your site with Google My Business should be #1 priority (particularly if you’re starting a brand new business). Doing so can give your business a quick win by helping it appear in relevant geographic search results — within just a couple of weeks. Industry stats show that people who see your “Google My Business” listing will click through to your website, and will call your business directly. Google My Business listing can also drive local SEO success for small businesses, pretty much guaranteeing visibility on Google Maps and Google Search. Make it easier to reach product or service escape velocity with the power of Google search and Google My Business.

Content Marketing Goals for 2022

Content marketing’s goal is consumption, then behavior. Social media goal is participation, then behavior.

 

Content Marketing goals really depends on your overall business challenges. If your website has lack of visitors, then Content creation should center around getting website visitor traffic (“clicks” and “time on site”). If your product lacks branding or “awareness,” content marketing should center creating high-quality content that speaks to your target audience’s pain points will position you and your company as a helpful, knowledgeable subject matter expert. Other goals we can drill down to include: Revenue, Lead Generation, Trust, SEO, Target Audience, Returning Visitors, Customer loyalty, Website Bounce Rate…the list can go on and on depending on what stage your business or service is currently at.

In order to be successful with and of your content marketing efforts, you need to be great at setting, measuring and communicating your goals (and progress). Content marketing helps businesses prepare and plan for reliable and cost-effective sources of website traffic and new leads. It takes time, organization, and creativity to grow a successful content marketing strategy. If your business doesn’t have the resources to meet your goals, reach out to freelancers for help! Freelancers are a great low cost, effective source of helping any type of content marketing effort.

Mobile Responsive Web Design Challenges in 2022

RWD major challenge these days is testing your content on all Mobile browsers and provide a seamless user experience. The desktop side of RWD that will fit and scale inside a desktop browser is relatively easy as there are no more that 3-5 different types of browsers.

On the mobile side, its entirely a different story as there are 10 + mobile browsers out there in the wild (default + installed). The user might view the website appropriately in the desktop version, but when the same website is viewed through his mobile phone, it’ll look odd and janky. What you need is a “device” plan of attack. Know which device classes you intend to support before you start to code and create content.

Have both your lowest common denominator devices and your high-end device designs before you begin to code. Try to visualize a way to create both versions from one code base and Test on different mobile devices from the beginning to the end to ensure that your incremental work will display correctly in the intended devices. Its good to have a small design lab where you can set up all these mobile devices and test your content. Designing and supporting multiple mobile displays takes time and patience. Responsive Design includes the use of CSS3 Media Queries, which is supported by almost all modern browsers and it reactively determines the screen size of a device and then renders the content appropriately on the screen layout. With a set of media queries, you will be able to display different layouts on different devices.

After successfully making your website responsive, you need to perform responsive test online on multiple devices like Mobile Phones, Tablets, Laptops, Desktops to ensure the responsive web design and that content and images are adapting themselves as per the screen size in which they are being viewed on. A good plan is half of your success. This is why planning ahead every little part of your responsive website design is crucial.

Pinterest Advertising “Quick Start” Guide 2022

Know your Audience first. Catering to Pinterest’s user base is key to marketing success.

79% of the Pinterest users are female. The age distribution of fairly even between 25-54. 60% has some college, 19% Bachelors degree, 10% High School degree, 6% Less than High School, 6% Graduate degree. Pinners spend 29 percent more than non-Pinners, delivering an average of $2 in profit for every advertiser dollar.

When you’re ready to get started with Pinterest, start with a business account. First, create a business account. Start with an eye-catching profile. A great blog post can be found here on”how to set up “Your Small Business on Pinterest in 2021.

Figure out a Content Strategy first. Foster and grow your community, build brand awareness on other social media websites, pin hi-res images and videos that will interest your customers and demographic. Host contests and encourage customers to repin their favorite products from your boards to their boards!

Types of Pinterest Ads – Promoted Pins (One-tap Pins), Promoted Carousels, Promoted Video Pins, Promoted App Pins, Buyable Pins. Story Pins. When your ready to set up the ad of your choosing, make sure you have installed the Pinterest Tag. With the Promoted Tag you’ll be able to track the actions people take on your website after seeing your Pinterest ads, including checkouts, sign ups, and searches. After you installed your Pinterest tag, the next steps are:

Choose your campaign goal > Choose your campaign budget > Create an ad group > Choose your target audience > Select ad placement > Add interests and keywords > Set your budget and schedule > Tailor for optimization and delivery > Determine your pacing > Pick your Promoted Pins > Monitor campaign performance

Pin It! Add a price on a pin. Add Hashtags (will help customers find your product), Link back to your website product page.

Create organized themed boards. Group similar images as well as similar products and multiple boards. you don’t have to be a big brand or a have a massive marketing budget to make Pinterest ads work for you. Use your creativity and your brand’s uniqueness to showcase your products and engage with your target audience.

Average Order for Pinterest Users $50

The average order value of sales that come from Pinterest is $50. This is currently higher than any other social platform. Pinterest is a popular and valuable channel for almost any small business.

Pinterest is designed to store ideas and inspiration in a way other social media sites aren’t. Users are encouraged to organize what they find into different board names for easy navigation, and most pinners are primarily on Pinterest seeking and saving what they want to see; they generally don’t care if other people see what they’ve tagged or archived, because it’s just not about generating discussion or exchanging information.

Many businesses have the potential to get meaningful results from Pinterest, especially online stores selling physical goods that can be photographed. Business-to-consumer (B2C) companies in general have a much easier time on Pinterest than business-to-business (B2B) companies, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for the latter to get traction on the platform. Ultimately, whether or not Pinterest is a good fit for your business will depend heavily on whether or not your target audience overlaps with their existing user base.

Your ultimate goal with Pinterest marketing should be to bring people to your website instead of giving them a sea of content that they will follow redundantly. A well-constructed Pinterest traffic sharable strategy should be in place to be able to achieve that. Pinterest has a great feature through which you can link your website address with the content that you publish via your account. You can share written as well as visual content to get people excited and driven towards your website. This feature can be highly instrumental in boosting your online sales and implementing your Pinterest traffic strategy. Pinterest is not just another social media platform. It acts more like a search engine, which means people on Pinterest are actively looking for content and you’re missing out on potential website traffic, followers and customers by not putting your content on Pinterest. There are over 2 billion searches on Pinterest every month. That is a lot of opportunities for your Pins to show up in a search and drive traffic back to your website!

Website Bounce Rates…Three Second Rule…

Three second rule: 57 percent of online shoppers will wait three seconds or less before abandoning a site. Website page speed is crucial.

Ideally, websites load within three seconds, or two seconds if it’s an eCommerce site. The two-to-three second mark is the turning point where bounce rates skyrocket. Some 40% of consumers will wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a site. if a website funnel isn’t converting, or it breaks down somewhere (leaks) in the middle, a website designer needs to figure out where the Google Analytics metrics drop off.