Alexa Blog https://blog.alexa.com Fri, 16 Feb 2018 20:35:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.5 The Importance of Targeting in Marketing (And How to Include It in Your Strategy) https://blog.alexa.com/targeting-in-marketing/ https://blog.alexa.com/targeting-in-marketing/#respond Thu, 08 Feb 2018 14:17:50 +0000 https://blog.alexa.com/?p=5205 When it comes to marketing, if you’re trying to talk to everybody, you’re going to have a difficult time reaching anybody. Vague and generic messages are far less likely to resonate with audiences than specific, direct communication – which is why targeting in marketing is so important. What Is Targeting in Marketing? Targeting [...]

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7 minute read

When it comes to marketing, if you’re trying to talk to everybody, you’re going to have a difficult time reaching anybody. Vague and generic messages are far less likely to resonate with audiences than specific, direct communication – which is why targeting in marketing is so important.


In marketing, if you’re trying to talk to everybody, you’re not reaching anybody.
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What Is Targeting in Marketing?

Targeting in marketing is a strategy that breaks a large market into smaller segments to concentrate on a specific group of customers within that audience. It defines a segment of customers based on their unique characteristics and focuses solely on serving them.

Instead of trying to reach an entire market, a brand uses target marketing to put their energy into connecting with a specific, defined group within that market.

The types of target markets are often segmented by characteristics such as:

  • Demographics: age, gender, education, marital status, race, religion, etc.
  • Psychographics: values, beliefs, interests, personality, lifestyle, etc.
  • Business Industry: business industry or vertical
  • Geographic Areas: neighborhood, area code, city, region, country, etc.

Through this strategy of market segmentation, brands get more specific about their target market. They can focus on a small group of customers who will be most likely to benefit from and enjoy their products.

For example, a brand that sells day planners may decide to focus on a smaller, specific target market. Instead of marketing to the masses, they may focus solely on selling planners to female business owners. Or they could choose to exclusively market to high school teachers. Both examples are smaller, more specific segments of the day planner’s potential market.

Why Is Targeting in Marketing So Important?

Targeting in marketing is important because it’s a part of a holistic marketing strategy. It impacts advertising, as well as customer experience, branding, and business operations. When your company focuses on target market segmentation, you can do the following:

Speak directly to a defined audience. Marketing messages resonate more deeply with audiences when readers can relate directly to the information. Brands that have a large, varied market of customers often struggle with creating marketing campaigns that speak directly to their audience. Because their viewers are very different, few slogans or stories can resonate with each person on a personal level. Through target marketing, you can alleviate this problem and focus on crafting messages for one specific audience.

Attract and convert high-quality leads. When you speak directly to the people you want to target, you are more likely to attract the right people. Your marketing will more effectively reach the people most likely to want to do business with you. When you connect with the right people, you are then more likely to get high-quality, qualified leads that will turn into paying customers.

Differentiate your brand from competitors. When you stop trying to speak to every customer in your market and start focusing on a smaller segment of that audience, you also start to stand out from competitors in your industry. When customers can clearly identify with your brand and your unique selling propositions, they will choose you over a competitor that isn’t specifically speaking to or targeting them. You can use your positioning in marketing to make your brand more well-known and unique.

Build deeper customer loyalty. The ability to stand out from competitors by reaching your customers on a more personal, human level also creates longer-lasting relationships. When customers identify with your brand and feel like you are an advocate for their specific perspectives and needs, they will likely be more loyal to your brand and continue to do business with you over a longer period of time.

Improve products and services. Knowing your customers more intimately also helps you look at your products and services in a new way. When you have a deep understanding of your target audience, you can put yourself in their shoes and see how you can improve your offerings. You can see what features you can add to better serve your customers.

Stay focused. Finally, the benefit of using targeting in marketing is that it also serves to help your brand and team. Target marketing allows you to get more specific about your marketing strategies, initiatives, and direction of your brand. It helps you clarify your vision and get everyone in the organization on the same page. You have more direction when it comes to shaping upcoming plans for both marketing and the business as a whole. A focused approach helps you fully optimize your resources, time, and budget.

What You Need Before You Start Target Marketing

Using targeting in marketing serves both customers and brands. It improves product development and operations, and it allows a brand to differentiate itself, stand out, and make a bigger impact. But before you start target marketing, you need something important.

The best target marketing plans start with creating a clear and detailed buyer persona.

A buyer persona is a description of a semi-fictional character that represents your ideal customer. It is a detailed summary of the characteristics, qualities, and habits of a person who is in your target audience.

targeting in marketing with buyer persona

Knowing your ideal audience helps you decide which target markets to focus on. When you deeply know your ideal customer, you can identify ways to segment them into a more defined audience.


When you deeply know your ideal customer, you can segment them into a more defined audience.
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To create a buyer persona, you need to imagine your ideal customer and describe their:

  • Demographics
  • Professional roles
  • Values and goals
  • Challenges
  • Sources of influence
  • Buying decisions

For help with creating audience personas, use Alexa’s free buyer persona template to build a complete description of your ideal customer.  

As you create a buyer persona, don’t guess at the details that describe your ideal target customer. To be successful at targeting in marketing, use real data and facts to form your buyer persona. Perform research to learn about your ideal customers.

  • Conduct interviews with your former and current customers.
  • Talk to your sales team and find out what trends they see and experience.
  • Track data on your point of sale systems and web analytics.
  • Engage in social listening on social media to see what conversations customers have about your brand and industry.

To be successful at targeting in marketing, use real data and facts to form your buyer persona.
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Another way to learn about your audience is by using Alexa’s research tools.

Use Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool to see what websites your audience visits. Enter your site or up to 10 competitors in the Audience Overlap Tool to produce a map of sites that all share a similar audience. This information allows you see what other websites your target audience visits and helps you understand where they get information, inspiration, products, and services.

targeting in marketing audience research

Use Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool to uncover audience interests. When you know what other sites your audience visits, you can also learn more about them. You can make educated assumptions about who they are and what interests they have by looking closely at the other sites they use. For example, using the similar websites map for daydesigner.com, you can see that audiences also visit intentionalmoms.com and momssmallvictories.com. Therefore, you can determine that the audience includes mothers. (This information can also help you identify an opportunity for a target market: moms who use day planners.)

targeting in marketing similar sites

While using the tool, if you aren’t sure what a website is about based on the URL, click on the site. From there, you can visit the site or use other Alexa tools to get more information as it relates to the site’s keywords, backlinks, and traffic.

site overview target market research

Use Alexa’s Site Overview Tool to see audience demographics. To get an idea of who is using a website, enter your site or one of your competitors into the Site Overview Tool. The report will provide insights into the gender, education, income, age, and ethnicity of the target website’s audience, helping you identify key characteristics about readers.

market research alexa demographics

How to Identify Target Market Opportunities

A detailed buyer persona is essential for helping you identify ways to use targeting in marketing and drill down into a more specific niche market. Here are two other tactics that help you identify opportunities within target markets.

Use Alexa’s Site Keywords Tool to look for trends. Enter your site or a site of a competitor into Alexa’s Site Keywords Tool to produce a report on the top keywords that send the most search traffic to the target site. Seeing what terms audiences use can give you inspiration for target marketing. For example, daydesigner.com might see that many people are searching for “printables” and “PDF” and then decide to create a niche market for downloadable calendars.

targeting in marketing keyword research

Use Alexa’s Keyword Difficulty Tool to see what industry terms your audience uses. This tool helps you see what trends are related to your products and offerings. Enter a phrase closely related to your business into the Keyword Difficulty Tool. Use the report to look for trends that show a need in the market. Daydesigner.com, for example, could see that people are searching for “academic” and “teacher” planners and may identify an education market it could tap into.

keyword difficulty targeting in marketing

How to Use Target Marketing to Improve Your Strategy

Now that you know what you need to create a buyer persona and identify opportunities for targeting in marketing, let’s look at how you can execute strategies based on this information. Here are a few marketing targeting examples and channels your brand can improve.

Marketing Communication: Improve your marketing messages by using the language your audience uses. When you intimately know your audience, you know the right ways to write content for a website, create copy for social media posts, and use words that connect and resonate with your audience.

Content Marketing: Produce more valuable, targeted content by focusing on your audience’s unique interests and needs. Instead of creating generic blog posts, e-books, and infographics that your audience won’t notice, improve your content marketing efforts by developing content that targets their specific desires, fears, and wants.

SEO: Improve the likelihood your ideal audience will find your brand via search by optimizing your content for the best keywords your audience searches for. Targeting in marketing helps you identify the phrases and words your audience uses so you can target those terms and drive traffic back to your website.

Paid Search: Also drive more traffic to your website by targeting the right keywords through paid search. Focus on the buyer keywords you have identified through your research to catch your target audience at the time they are ready to purchase.

Email: Use targeting in marketing to send emails to the right people, at the right time, with the right content for their stage of the purchase funnel. Using what you know about your customer, outline their buying decision process, and identify the places where you can use email to guide them through their journey.

Display Ads: Use your knowledge of your audience to identify sites where you should place display ads. You can make sure your ads are only in places where your audience will see them by choosing to advertise on the sites you know they visit.

Guest Blogging:  Also catch attention on other sites by guest posting on sites you know your ideal audience visits. Use what you know about your audience to find strategic guest blogging opportunities that will put your brand in front of your target customers.

Improve Your Targeting in Marketing Plans Today

Targeting in marketing serves brands and consumers. It improves marketing strategies and audience experiences, builds brand awareness and loyalty, and even leads to better products and services. Plus, target marketing makes it easier for brands to reach audiences in an authentic, more meaningful and personal way.

So if you’re struggling to stand out in a sea of similar products and services, try using this tactic to grow your business and connect with more customers.

And get help with launching your target marketing strategies by signing up for a free 7-day trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan. The plan includes the market and audience research tools mentioned in this post along with more than a dozen tools to improve your upcoming marketing, SEO, and content plans.

try alexa free for 7 days

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How to Define and Measure Marketing Objectives: A Start-to-Finish Guide https://blog.alexa.com/marketing-objectives/ https://blog.alexa.com/marketing-objectives/#respond Thu, 01 Feb 2018 16:21:12 +0000 https://blog.alexa.com/?p=5179 At the core of any great marketing plan is a list of strategic and clear marketing objectives. Marketing objectives are a brand’s defined goals. They outline the intentions of the marketing team, provide clear direction for team members to follow, and offer information for executives to review and support. Marketing objectives are a pivotal part of [...]

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8 minute read

At the core of any great marketing plan is a list of strategic and clear marketing objectives.

Marketing objectives are a brand’s defined goals. They outline the intentions of the marketing team, provide clear direction for team members to follow, and offer information for executives to review and support.

Marketing objectives are a pivotal part of a marketing strategy. Without defined goals, a brand will struggle with achieving its plans because it won’t be clear on what it wants to do.  A straightforward plan is required to know what you hope to do and how you plan on doing it.

So if you’re developing a marketing strategy that has a vision but lacks a concrete list of marketing objectives – use this guide to improve and upgrade your plans.

You will be far more likely to reach your goals when they are defined, outlined, and compiled into a clear list of measurable marketing objectives.

How to Choose Marketing Objectives

The first step in creating a useful list of marketing objectives is reviewing the options you have for your strategy.

While there are many goals you can outline in your marketing plans, some of the most frequently used marketing objectives examples include the following goals. Consider the stage and position of your brand, and select two or three marketing objectives to focus on.

Example Marketing Objectives

Promote New Products or Services

If your upcoming plans include launching new offerings, your marketing objectives should include promoting those new products and services.

Grow Digital Presence

If your brand doesn’t have a large footprint online, your marketing plans may be to start SEO and grow your visibility in search engine rankings as well as social media platforms.

Lead Generation

If your pipeline isn’t full, you may want to focus on lead generation tactics that grow your email list and fill your client relationship management (CRM) system with qualified prospects.

Target New Customers

You may choose this goal if you already have a loyal client base but would like to expand out and reach new audiences, customers, and clients.

Retain Existing Customers

Rather than focus on new customer acquisition, you may want to focus on keeping the existing customers you already have.

Build Brand Awareness

If your brand is new or only known to a small audience, one of the marketing objectives to focus on could be expanding your reach and getting more people to learn about your brand.

Develop Brand Loyalty

If audiences already know your brand, you may want to focus on building not just awareness, but a deeper brand affinity and loyalty.

Increase Sales and/or Revenue

If you are selling products or services, you may want to focus on selling more of those offerings. This is one of the marketing objectives that will increase revenue and the amount of money coming into your business.

Increase Profit

This marketing objective is different from increasing sales and revenue, because you may increase your profit through means other than selling more. This objective may include cutting expenses and overhead, selling more items that have higher margins, or other changes that increase profit (which may not necessarily increase revenue).

Expand Into a New Market

If your brand is already well-known or successful in a specific industry or geographic area, you may want to expand out into a new target market, vertical, or location.

Grow Market Share

Instead of growing into a new area, you may want to expand your footprint in your current market. This objective helps you get more available customers in your industry or geographic location.

Build Industry Authority

Another way to grow your visibility in an industry is to become an expert in the field. You can focus on establishing your brand as an authority in your vertical.

It may be tempting to look at this list and want to choose five, 10, or even all of the marketing strategies. But it’s important to note you should keep your list of marketing objectives relatively short. Take time to focus on two to three objectives at a time, and then create plans to revisit and refocus on other goals at a later time.

How to Define Clear Marketing Objectives

Once you know which marketing objectives you want to focus on, it’s time to drill down into the details of those goals.

It’s not enough to just outline the marketing goals you want to accomplish. You also need to validate your plans and make sure they are practical, useful, and reasonable.  You must check to see if your objectives are SMART.

SMART marketing objectives are:

  • Specific: The goals are clearly defined and outlined so the whole team understands the objective and why it’s important.
  • Measurable: The goals have key performance indicators (KPI) and benchmarks that allow you to measure your success.
  • Achievable: The goals are within the ability of your company and team. While you want to set a high bar, you also need to remember to set goals within your means, so you don’t set your team up for failure.
  • Relevant: The goals are relevant to your brand mission and direction of your business. You should have good reasons for each of your marketing objectives.
  • Time-Bound: The goals need to have a timeline that indicates when the objectives begin and end.

The types of marketing objectives that work best are SMART.  So use this method to check each of your goals to make sure they are worth pursuing.


The types of marketing objectives that work best are S.M.A.R.T.
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KPIs to Assign to Marketing Objectives

Once you know your marketing objectives and goals, it’s time to figure out how to measure them.

As mentioned above, successful goal setting requires placing KPIs and benchmarks on your plans. You need to assign numbers, deadlines, and metrics to each of your marketing objectives.

KPIs and growth metrics allow you to evaluate progress along the way and assess results at the end of your campaign. Without benchmarks for your goals, you will have no way of knowing if your work was successful.

So as you lay out your marketing plan, assign relevant KPIs that will help you assess and measure the output of your work. Examples of KPIs you could use include the following metrics.

Example KPIs for Marketing Objectives

Sales Growth

When looking to improve your sales, keep an eye on your revenue (amount of income coming into your business) and/or number of units sold. Both of those metrics will help you gain insight into whether your sales are growing. Monitor changes over specific time frames as well as during the duration of campaigns or marketing initiatives to see trends and fluctuations.

Changes in Profit

Changes in profit, or ROI , don’t necessarily mean increases in revenue or sales. It specifically monitors your profit margins, which is how much you take in after your expenses and costs.

Market Share

Your market share is the portion of a market that your brand or product controls. This metric helps you compare your company to others in your industry and identify ways to reach your growth potential. To measure changes in your market share, you need to know your current share of the market.

To find your market share, consider the total revenue and market size of your industry or geographic location. Then divide your company’s total revenue by the total revenue of the market. This calculation will give you an estimate of the percentage of the market your brand controls.

Lead Generation

There are many ways to measure lead generation metrics. Depending on your marketing objectives, determine which metrics will measure your success best.

  • Number of leads: total number of new leads brought in
  • Increase in leads: percentage change in lead generation compared to other time frames
  • Cost per lead: amount of money spent to acquire one new lead
  • Conversion rate: percentage of your traffic that becomes a lead after visiting your website

You can also break down these metrics into SQLs (sales qualified leads) and MQLs (marketing qualified leads) to get an even more detailed look at your data.

New Customer Acquisition

When in a growth phase, you should keep an eye on new customer acquisition and the metrics that help you monitor growth. KPIs that measure customer acquisition include the following metrics.

  • Number of new customers: amount of new customers acquired over a certain period
  • Increase in new customers: percentage change of new customers compared to other time frames
  • Cost per new customer: amount of money spent to acquire a new customer
  • Lead-to-customer ratio: percentage of leads that become paying customers

Lifetime Value of a Customer

If you’re focused on marketing objectives that relate to your current customer base and keeping those shoppers and clients happy, consider these metrics.

  • Number of repeat customers: number of customers who return
  • Customer retention rate: percentage of customers who return
  • Lifetime spend: average amount customers spend with a company over their lifetime

Customer Spend

You may also want to look at metrics that relate to individual, one-time purchases. Monitor the average spend per customer to see the most common ticket sizes for each shopper or client.

Conversion Rates

When running campaigns that have intended results (such as a customer making a purchase, a website visitor signing up for a free trial, an audience clicking on a link in an email, etc.), you should always monitor the conversion rates.

Conversion rates are the percentage of people who perform the desired action when presented with an option to act. Track conversion rates for all of your landing pages, website opt-ins, emails links, free trial sign-ups, or any other call to action in your marketing campaigns.

Website Metrics

When your marketing objectives include digital plans, it’s important to keep an eye on web analytics  and online KPIs that tell you how well your site is performing.

  • Sessions: number of visits to a website
  • Unique visitors: number of unique people who visit a website
  • Page views per visit: average number of pages a website visitor views on a website
  • Bounce rate: percentage of website visitors who leave a site after viewing only one page
  • Time on site: average amount of time that website visitors stay on a site

To view these stats: use Alexa’s Site Overview Tool. Enter your site URL and produce a report to view data for these metrics.

web analytics marketing objectives

Social Media Engagement

When engaging in digital strategies as they relate to social media, you may also want to utilize KPIs as they relate to social performance.

  • Increase in fans/followers: amount of new followers/fans acquired over a certain period
  • Number of comments: number of comments left on your posts or updates
  • Number of shares: number of times your content was shared
  • Number of opt-ins: numbers of leads generated through your social campaigns and/or posts
  • Traffic to website from social media sources: percentage of your website traffic that is referred by social media sites

SEO Performance

If your marketing plans include improving your visibility in search, monitor KPIs that show improvement in your SEO status. To get an accurate look at each of these metrics, use Alexa tools to keep track of (and improve) your numbers.

  • Alexa Rank: a measure of how popular a website is compared to other websites (the lower a website’s number, the more popular it is)

To check your Alexa Rank: use the free version of Alexa’s Site Overview Tool to view a site’s score in the U.S. as well as across the world.

alexa rank marketing objectives

  • Number of sites linking in: number of websites that have published a link to a website

To view a website’s number of backlinks: use Alexa’s Sites Linking In Tool. The report includes the total number of sites linking back to the target site, as well as each linking site’s global Alexa rank and the webpage that includes the link.

site linking in marketing objectives

  • Keyword share of voice: percentage of searches for a target keyword that lead back to a website

To check your brand’s online share of voice against your competitors: use Alexa’s Competitor Keyword Matrix. Enter your site URL along with up to nine competitors. When the report is ready, use the filter to find information related to your target keyword. Enter the keyword you want to research in the filter for “Include terms.” Then view the percentage of the target keyword that you and your competitors claim.

share of voice marketing objectives

To see which brand has the highest share of voice for a term: use Alexa’s Share of Voice Tool. Enter the target term and view the brands that have the most visibility for the phrase.

keyword performance share of voice

As you go through this list of KPIs, consider which metrics will offer the best insights related to your goals and objectives. Assign numbers and use benchmarking to monitor your progress toward accomplishing your goals.

Taking the time to assign metrics and review your results will help you gain insights into which strategies worked and are worth additional time and resources. It will also help you improve your processes and find more success in the future.

Marketing Objectives Help You Achieve Your Goals

Even the most ambitious and inspired marketing strategy can’t succeed without an important element – clearly outlined and measurable marketing objectives. So as you create upcoming marketing strategies, use this list of objectives, guidelines for SMART goals, and list of KPIs to create plans that are defined, outlined, measurable, and far more likely to succeed.

For more help with reaching your upcoming marketing goals, sign up for a free 7-day trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan. The plan includes the tools mentioned in this post along with dozens of other reports and features to help you research your competition, make better marketing decisions, measure your results, build your online authority, and reach your upcoming goals.

try alexa free for 7 days

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8 Reliable Blog Marketing Promotion Ideas https://blog.alexa.com/blog-marketing/ https://blog.alexa.com/blog-marketing/#respond Thu, 25 Jan 2018 22:02:03 +0000 https://blog.alexa.com/?p=5161 When you get done writing an epic, in-depth blog post and finally hit the publish button, you feel a sense of accomplishment; you feel like your content marketing work is done. But that’s not the case. Your work is only halfway over. Now, it’s time to work on blog marketing. Blog Marketing Is Just As Important [...]

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5 minute read

When you get done writing an epic, in-depth blog post and finally hit the publish button, you feel a sense of accomplishment; you feel like your content marketing work is done. But that’s not the case. Your work is only halfway over. Now, it’s time to work on blog marketing.

Blog Marketing Is Just As Important As Blog Writing

On the surface, blogging seems like it is mostly writing and publishing. But promoting your blog post is just as important as – if not more important than – creating and posting content.

You can’t just create valuable, high-quality content for your blog and assume readers will find their way to your site to consume it. You must use blog marketing to promote your content so you can:

  • Drive traffic from new audiences
  • Bring back existing audiences
  • Attract backlinks to your site
  • Trigger social shares
  • Lead to opt-ins and newsletter sign-ups

Blog marketing must be a part of your content strategy if you want your work to be seen, shared, and widely consumed.


Blog marketing is a must if you want your work to be seen, shared, and and widely consumed.
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Blog Marketing Promotion Tactics

A strong blog marketing strategy should include multiple tactics from this list.

No. 1 Target Popular Search Terms and Phrases

One of the most common ways for readers to find content is through search. They look for a topic or type a question into a search form and find relevant content. To draw readers to your content, optimize it for attracting these audiences. Do keyword research to see what top keywords people are searching for and create content to target those keywords.

PRO TIP: To find keywords to target for your blog marketing strategy, use Alexa’s Keyword Difficulty Tool. Enter a term or phrase related to your brand or industry. Then choose keywords that have a high keyword popularity score (which shows people are searching for the term) and a competition score within your range (which shows your website can rank for the term).

No. 2 Use On-Page SEO Best Practices

Another way to ensure readers find your best content via search is by optimizing your website, so your pages are more likely to rank. Each page on your website should target one primary keyword and use on-page SEO best practices to optimize the page for that designated search term.

PRO TIP: To confirm your webpages are properly optimized, use Alexa’s On-Page SEO Checker. Enter the URL of the page you want to check along with the page’s target keyword. The tool will check on-page SEO and produce a report with action items you can implement to improve the page’s SEO and increase its chances of ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). For more information on blog SEO best practices, read our post: Blog SEO Tips: How to Write SEO Friendly Blog Posts

blog marketing target keywords

No. 3 Leverage Search Engine Marketing

Focusing on improving organic SEO will help your blog marketing and eventually lead more readers to your website. But when you just start SEO, it may take time to improve your rankings on SERPs organically. In the meantime, you can pay to place your content at the top of search pages. Using search engine marketing (SEM) and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, you can pay to appear in front of audiences and draw readers back to your blog.

blog marketing on page seo

No. 4 Implement a Strong Social Media Promotion Plan

Next to search, social media is another primary way for audiences to find content online. Social media users browse their newsfeeds and use hashtags to discover blog posts that interest them. To use social media for blog marketing, don’t just sporadically post updates with links back to your site. Instead, create and stick to a solid promotional strategy. 

  • For each blog post, create multiple social media posts across a variety of platforms (focus on the platforms your ideal audience uses most).
  • Create custom social media graphics for each post that match the image specifications of each social site.
  • Aggressively promote your newest content.
  • Then continue to promote high performing content even when it’s old (to get the most use out of your content).
  • Tag any brand or person mentioned in your content (to let them know they were featured and to encourage them to share the post).
  • Encourage social shares of your posts by prominently displaying share buttons, click-to tweet buttons, and call-to-actions to share on your pages.

No. 5 Promote Content Through Paid Social Media Ads

Earlier in this post, we looked at how using both organic and paid promotions can get more visibility for your content through search. The same goes for social media. You can use both organic and paid social media promotions to attract the most attention to your blog content. Through these types of blog marketing, you can use detailed hyper-targeting filters to present ads for your content to a particular target audience.

PRO TIP: To better target your ideal audience, use Alexa’s Buyer Persona Template and information from our Audience Overlap and Site Overview tools. Use reports from the Audience Overlap Tool to gain insights into what other sites, brands, and topics interest your ideal audience. Then use the Site Overview report to get demographic details about readers. Use this information to set hyper-targeting settings while creating ads on social media sites.

target audience blog marketing

No. 6 Tap Into the Power of Online Influencers

Another way to drastically increase your content’s visibility is by having a powerful online influencer promote it. Online influencers are writers, social media personalities, and blogs that already have loyal followers. These outlets have readers who are eager and waiting for the influencer to post and share content. To get your content extra exposure, tap into these influencers. Use them as a resource for sharing your content with their followers. You can perform this blog marketing promotional tactic in a few ways.

  • Invite influencers to post on your blog. When influencers write a post and then share it with their audience, it will drive their audience to your site and introduce them to your brand and other content.
  • Ask social media influencers to share your content through their social networks. If a social media profile has a strong following, getting them to share your content could drive a substantial amount of traffic to your site.
  • Make digital PR outreach a part of your marketing strategies. Publish extremely high-quality, unique content (such as proprietary data or in-depth resources), and reach out to authoritative websites to see if they are interested in covering your content. If your content is valuable enough, other sites will write about it, link back to it, and drive traffic to it.
  • Be authentic and return the favor. When reaching out to influencers to get help with sharing your content, remember that it isn’t all about you. The relationships must be mutually beneficial. Offer to write for their blog, promote their work, and ask them to return the favor. Form authentic relationships with influencers. Don’t just try and use them for their followers.

No. 7 Actively Guest Post

There’s another way to use influencers for blog marketing. This tactic involves guest posting on other blogs. While it may seem counterintuitive, you can promote your blog by publishing posts on other sites. When you publish content on other similar websites, you tap into their existing audience. This allows you to make relationships with new readers and drive traffic back to your site. When guest posting, always try to include a link back to your site in your author bio or article content.

PRO TIP: To find guest blogging opportunities, start by using Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool. Enter your site or a site of a known competitor. Use the report to browse through a list of sites that share an audience similar to the target site you entered and would, therefore, be good options for guest posting. For even more tips on getting guest posts, check out our Guide to Securing Guest Posts Though Guest Blogging Outreach.

guest post blog marketing

No. 8 Set Up a Consistent Email Marketing Plan

The last item on the list of blog marketing examples is one of the most effective ways to ensure readers find their way to your website when you publish a new blog. It is through email marketing. The first step in this process is building an email list. You should always focus on encouraging your current audience to sign up to receive updates from your brand. Then once you have an email list, send regular emails and notify followers each time you publish a new post.


Writing may seem like the most important part of blogging, but it's only half the process.
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Improve Your Blog Marketing and Attract More Readers

Writing may seem like the most important part of blogging. But creating content is only half of the process.

To make sure readers find and consume your content, you must put as much effort into blog marketing as you put into content creation. Use the blog marketing tips listed in this article to promote your content, increase exposure, and drive larger audiences back to your site.

For additional blog promotion and content creation resources, sign up for a free 7-day trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan. It includes all of the tools mentioned in this post, along with other powerful keyword research, competitive analysis, and SEO optimization tools that help your content stand out and attract attention.

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Here’s How to Handle Niche Marketing https://blog.alexa.com/niche-marketing/ https://blog.alexa.com/niche-marketing/#respond Thu, 18 Jan 2018 17:19:57 +0000 https://blog.alexa.com/?p=5136 If you’re in an industry that feels oversaturated with other businesses and competitors, standing out can sometimes seem impossible. But differentiating your brand in a crowded market is achievable with niche marketing. What Is Niche Marketing? Niche marketing is a selling and advertising strategy that focuses on a targeted sector of a market. Instead of [...]

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5 minute read

If you’re in an industry that feels oversaturated with other businesses and competitors, standing out can sometimes seem impossible. But differentiating your brand in a crowded market is achievable with niche marketing.

What Is Niche Marketing?

Niche marketing is a selling and advertising strategy that focuses on a targeted sector of a market. Instead of marketing to everyone who could benefit from a product or service, a niche marketing strategy focuses exclusively on one group or demographic of potential customers who would most enjoy or benefit from the offerings.

A niche market could stand apart from others because of:

  • Geographic area
  • Lifestyle
  • Occasion
  • Profession
  • Style
  • Culture
  • Activity or habits
  • Behavior
  • Demographic
  • Need
  • Feature reduction or addition

The benefit of niche marketing is that it allows brands to differentiate themselves, appear as a unique authority, and resonate more deeply with a distinct set of customers. Rather than blend in with the many other brands that offer the same type of product or service, a brand can use niche marketing to stand out, appear more valuable, reach its growth potential, and build a stronger, longer-lasting connection with its ideal audience.


Use niche marketing to build a stronger, longer-lasting connection with your ideal audience.
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Niche Marketing Examples

Niche markets are often segments of larger industries and verticals. Here are a few brands that found a way to drill down into their industry to create a new niche market.

Divvies Vegan and Nut Free

There are hundreds of brands that sell sweet treats and snack foods such as cookies, brownies, popcorn, and cupcakes. While most people can choose from dozens of brands to find options that satisfy their cravings, there is a group of people who cannot. Those people have allergies or food restrictions that relate to animal products and nuts.

Divvies saw this underserved segment in the sweets industry and created a brand that exclusively targeted this group. Selling cookies and cupcakes is not a unique idea, but selling them as vegan and nut-free options differentiated Divvies in an already saturated market, allowing them to stand out and build a loyal customer base.

divvies niche marketing example

Lefty’s: The Left Hand Store

Identifying an underserved community in a large market is a smart way to approach niche marketing. Like Divvies, Lefty’s: The Left Hand Store found a widely underserved community of people – those who favor their left hand instead of their right hand.

Because 90% of the population uses its right hand, left-handers have widely had to adjust to using products designed for “righties.” Lefty’s saw this as an opportunity. They created a store that sells products designed exclusively for the other 10% and found success reaching this smaller, often ignored audience.

lefty's niche marketing example

UNTUCKit

The commercial clothing industry is a vertical that can feel like everything has been done. But UNTUCKit proves there are still creative ways to create a new space in a long-established market segment. By making even just a small change, you can build a whole new sector in a traditional space.

UNTUCKit probably wasn’t looking to create a new type of shirt. They were more likely focused on serving a specific community of people: those who didn’t like to tuck in their shirts. To give those people want they wanted, UNTUCKit created a new line of products that solved a problem that a lot of people were having, but didn’t know how to solve.

untuckit niche marketing example

How to Find a Niche Market

After seeing a few examples of niche market ideas, you will be better equipped for identifying micromarketing opportunities in your own industry. To find and flush out an idea for a niche market in your vertical, go through the following process.

Identify your strengths and interests.

Start by considering what you offer and what you’re good at. The best niche marketing strategies play into your brand’s unique strengths and perspectives. So reflect on the special and exceptional qualities of your brand, team, and offerings.


The best niche marketing strategies play into your brand’s unique strengths and perspectives.
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Also consider the areas that you enjoy working in and the people you like working with. Niche marketing is an opportunity to drill down and focus on the sector of people you most want to connect with, so decide who you are most eager to serve.

  • What specific problems do you solve?
  • What problems can you solve better than your competitors?
  • Where do you especially excel?
  • What do you know a lot about?
  • Who do you and your team like to serve?

Do industry research.

Once you have an idea about the type of niche marketing you want to do, validate that it is a reasonable idea. Do a competitive analysis to see if there are competitors in this space and if there are, what those brands are already doing.

Also look to see if any openings in your target market may have been missed and if there is legitimate demand in the vertical.

Use Ubersuggest to see what ideas might be out there. Ubersuggest is a keyword suggestion tool that provides variations of a phrase or word that people are searching for. Enter a broad term to engage in keyword discovery and get ideas for how to drill down into a topic.

ubersuggest niche keywords

Browse Amazon product categories. Because Amazon is such a massive online retailer, it’s a great place to get inspiration for product categories you may not have thought of. Spend some time browsing to see how to drill down into popular product categories.

find niche market on amazon

Use Alexa’s Keyword Difficulty Tool to gauge search interest. Knowing what people are searching for will offer insight into customer interest and help you see what type of competition already exists in a niche market. Use Alexa’s Keyword Difficulty Tool to search for top keywords and see how often the phrases are used by searchers (popularity score) and how competitive the term is (competition score).

niche marketing top keywords

Get to know your ideal customer.

Another way to gain insight and spark inspiration for niche marketing is to look closely at your target audience and identify what they really want and need. Get to know your ideal customer to learn how you can drill down to offer them a better product, service, or message.

To research your ideal audience, use Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool. Enter your site or a site that has an audience you would like to reach. The tool will help you find similar websites that share the audience and explore them in an interactive visualization. From here, you can look for trends that tell you what else the audience might be interested in. You can identify ways to focus in on your ideal customer’s needs and find opportunities for niche marketing.

For example, a yoga studio might enter mindbodyonline.com (an online scheduling site for fitness and wellness classes) and see that audiences also frequently visit potterybarn.com, anthropologie.com, and urbanoutfitters.com. Because those sites are all boutique-style shops with unique clothes, decor, and gifts, the yoga studio might see this as an opportunity for creating a specialty product shop or campaign just for yoga enthusiasts.

niche marketing audience research

Choose, test, adjust, and repeat.

Like most marketing strategies, you can’t just set up a niche marketing campaign and assume it will achieve the results you want. You must test your initial idea, review the results, and continue to adjust accordingly.

You may find that your first idea for niche marketing didn’t work, but that a simple tweak could hit a sweet spot that draws in audiences and leads to lifelong customers. Perhaps a full boutique shop for yoga enthusiasts didn’t catch attention, but you noticed more than half of the shoppers you had bought artwork. You may then want to test and see if artwork for yogis is an idea worth exploring.

Target and Reach Your Niche Market

If you haven’t engaged in niche marketing, it might be time to explore this tactic as a means to connect with a smaller, but more loyal subset of customers. Use the tips and examples in this post to help you develop a strategy for identifying an underserved and valuable customer segment you can focus on.

To get help with your niche marketing efforts, sign up for a free 7-day trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan. The suite includes the Keyword Difficulty and Audience Overlap Tool mentioned in this post along with other SEO, keyword research, and audience insight tools that can help you find, target, and reach your niche market.

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Create More Shareable Content With This Checklist and 7 Helpful Tools https://blog.alexa.com/create-shareable-content-checklist/ https://blog.alexa.com/create-shareable-content-checklist/#respond Thu, 11 Jan 2018 19:19:32 +0000 https://blog.alexa.com/?p=5041 To get as many eyes as possible on your content, it needs to be shareable. Shareable content quickly spreads around the Internet as audiences connect with a topic, idea, or story and click to share it with their friends and followers. If you want your content to have a large reach and get maximum exposure, [...]

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5 minute read

To get as many eyes as possible on your content, it needs to be shareable. Shareable content quickly spreads around the Internet as audiences connect with a topic, idea, or story and click to share it with their friends and followers.

If you want your content to have a large reach and get maximum exposure, go through this shareable content checklist and use these tools to make sure all of your posts are primed for prompting readers to push the share button.

Tools and Tips for Shareable Content

Is the topic shareable?

At the core of shareable content is a great topic. Content that leads audiences to share incites something in their hearts and minds. It prompts an automatic response that makes them want to include and inform other people.

A study conducted by a team of UCLA psychologists found that people have an inherent desire to dispense information. We are wired to share, and there are certain ideas we are most likely to share.

“Our study suggests that people are regularly attuned to how the things they’re seeing will be useful and interesting, not just to themselves but to other people,” said the study’s senior author, Matthew Lieberman. “We always seem to be on the lookout for who else will find this helpful, amusing or interesting…”

As Lieberman notes, shareable content ideas are helpful, amusing, or interesting. They are topics that resonate with us so much that we think others will appreciate them too. To create these types of ideas, create content that is:

  • Emotional: Strikes a chord with audiences and makes them feel something.
  • Tied to Identity: Makes it easy for readers to feel connected and see themselves in the content.
  • Trending: Related to hot topics and latest fads.
  • Valuable: Provides answers, solutions, and helpful advice.

The best way to get good at coming up with shareable content ideas is reviewing examples of shareable content. Use a site like BuzzSumo to find shareable content and see what audiences are responding to in order to get ideas for your own content.

shareable content ideas

Another tool to help you find shareable topic ideas is Alexa’s Competitor Keyword Matrix. You can see what keywords are popular in your industry by entering up to ten competitor websites and reviewing the terms that show up most in their content. The report includes frequently used competitor keywords which can spark ideas for topics that will be most interesting to your target audience.

shareable content topic search

Is the headline eye-catching and shareable?

Once you come up with a powerful, shareable topic, you must make it easy for the reader to notice your great concept right away. You have to add a strong, shareable title to your content.

Headlines are so important they can actually trigger social sharing on their own. A study by computer scientists at Columbia University and the French National Institute found that 59% of links shared on social media aren’t even clicked on. People share them based on the headlines alone.

A powerful, captivating headline is essential in creating shareable content, so as you write titles:

  • Show the value. Be clear about what the reader will gain or learn.
  • Be specific. Be detailed about what information is included in the content.
  • Present possible results. Explain what the reader will get as a result of reading.
  • Highlight lists. Show that content will be easy to consume by publishing lists.
  • Include numbers. Catch attention by sharing how many items are included in your list.
  • Speak in the second person. Call out readers by using words like “you” and “your.”
  • Use keywords. Include the best keywords most likely to catch your target audience’s attention.

Headlines are so important they can actually trigger social sharing on their own.
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While it might be difficult to include all of these content writing tips, do your best to incorporate two or three of these concepts into your headline. For help with crafting the perfect headline, enter your best title in CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer. The tool will offer a rating for your headline with tips on ways to improve it.

shareable content headlines

Are the images sized and designed for social sharing?

Images and social sharing go hand in hand. When available, social sites add featured images to posts on their platforms to make the content more engaging and interesting. So adding a dazzling, eye-catching graphic to your post will make it more likely to get noticed and re-shared. Buffer found that tweets with images received 150% more retweets.

Images also resonate with audiences because our brains easily consume visual information. A team of MIT neuroscientists discovered the brain can process whole images the eye sees in about 13 milliseconds. Graphics are, therefore, more likely to resonate with audiences than text alone.

To create shareable social media content, always include featured images that are sized and designed for social sites. Pair each post with a custom image for:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

To see what your posts will look like on social sites, test them out using AdParlor. While AdParlor is primarily used as a drawing board for social media ads, you can also use it to see what your images will look like on a variety of social media sites and device screens.

shareable content images

Is the content easy to share?

It’s not always the content that encourages audiences to share. It also has to do with the layout and options on the website itself. It should be no surprise that shareable content is published on web pages that promote sharing.

Online audiences are less likely to share content if they have to work for it. You must make it easy on them to encourage them to spread your story around the web. Your website and content must be optimized to promote sharing.

  • Add social sharing buttons to all of your pages, so it’s obvious and easy for readers to take action.
  • Include call to actions that tell audiences to share throughout your content. At the end of a post, ask audiences to spread the word.
  • In the body of the content, include callouts that prompt readers to click to share.

To make it easy for readers to share your content via Twitter, use ClickToTweet to insert noticeable and simple-to-use buttons and messages in your content.

shareable content

Is your shareable content use to find in search?

Another way to make sure your content is shared is by helping it get found in the first place. Your content must be optimized for SEO so new readers can discover and then share it. Each page you create should be structured with SEO best practices.

To make sure audiences can find your content through search, use the following Alexa tools to improve your content and website’s SEO.

Use Alexa’s On-Page SEO Checker to review each page to ensure that it’s optimized for your targeted keyword. And, use the SEO Audit Tool to run a complete scan on your entire site to see where you can make improvements to site security, performance, and other key SEO factors.

shareable content seo audit

If you go through this checklist and utilize each of these tools, you can make sure all of your content is primed for both search and sharing. Following these best practices will ensure that you create more shareable content every time you hit publish.


Follow these best practices to create more shareable content
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Ready to create shareable content that gets found in search?

To help your content gain visibility through search engines and increase your content’s chances of being shared, sign up for a free 7-day trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan. It includes more than a dozen SEO tools for helping you optimize your SEO content and website, so it ranks well in search results and is found by new audiences.

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Your Guide to Can’t Miss Digital Marketing Conferences 2018 https://blog.alexa.com/digital-marketing-conferences-2018/ https://blog.alexa.com/digital-marketing-conferences-2018/#respond Wed, 03 Jan 2018 17:57:17 +0000 https://blog.alexa.com/?p=4923 With so many digital marketing conferences 2018 to choose from, it can be hard to decide which events are worth your time, energy, and valuable marketing dollars. To help you determine which of the best digital marketing conferences 2018 will be the most beneficial to you and your team, start by looking at your goals [...]

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4 minute read

With so many digital marketing conferences 2018 to choose from, it can be hard to decide which events are worth your time, energy, and valuable marketing dollars.

To help you determine which of the best digital marketing conferences 2018 will be the most beneficial to you and your team, start by looking at your goals for the future. Consider what gaps of knowledge you need to fill, which strategies you need to improve, and what resources you need to accomplish your plans.

Then use our list of digital marketing conferences 2018 to find the events that will help you get what you need to achieve the results you want.

13 Best Digital Marketing Conferences 2018

GrowthHackers Conference

growth hackers conference 2018

One of the keys to building a successful, scalable business is knowing how to promote, support, and manage growth across all departments. The GrowthHackers Conference shares the insights, tools, growth metrics, and inspiration that the fastest-growing companies are using to quickly expand and scale.

  • Date: February 6, 2018
  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • You should go if: your business is succeeding but stagnant, and you’re ready to take it to the next level.

Digital Summit

digital summit digital marketing conferences 2018

With 18 conferences held across the United States, Digital Summit does it’s best to make sure there is an event for everyone in the country. The two-day, 2018 digital marketing conferences feature top-notch speakers in locations from Seattle to Tampa.

  • Date: Conferences run from February 21 – December 5, 2018
  • Locations: Click here to see a full list of locations and dates
  • You should go if: you have a limited travel budget as you will be able to find a conference located within driving distance of your homebase.

Traffic & Conversion Summit

traffic and conversion summit 2018

A great website can’t do its job if no one is visiting the site. The Traffic & Conversion Summit is one of the best digital marketing conferences 2018 for learning how to solve purchase funnel problems by teaching you to drive traffic, attract audiences, and convert them when they get to your website.

  • Date: February 26-28, 2018
  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • You should go if: the missing piece of your marketing strategy is driving high-quality traffic to your website.

A great website can’t do its job if no one is visiting the site.
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Social Media Marketing World

social media marketing world 2018

Michael Stelzner and the team at Social Media Examiner spend the year covering the latest changes and trends in social media. Then, once a year, they take what they’ve learned and compile it into one event that brings together more than 5,000 marketers and content creators.

  • Date: February 28 – March 2, 2018
  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • You should go if: improving and growing your social media footprint is a major part of your upcoming digital marketing strategies.

C3: Organic Marketing Conference

c3 digital marketing conferences 2018

C3 is one of the digital marketing conferences 2018 that offers a well-rounded look at online marketing. With three expert tracks (strategic SEO, content marketing intelligence, and digital marketing leaders), you’ll be able to find information on all important digital topics.

  • Date: March 7-8, 2018
  • Location: New York City, NY
  • You should go if: you’re looking to hone your entire arsenal of digital marketing strategies.

SMX West

smx west digital marketing conferences 2018

Best practices for white hat SEO and search marketing are constantly changing and evolving. SMX West is here to help marketers stay up to date on the latest trends and strategies that are leading to real results in the digital search space. (If you can’t attend this event, check out their sister event, SMX Advanced, in Seattle from June 11-13, 2018.)

  • Date: March 13-15, 2018
  • Location: San Jose, CA
  • You should go if: your upcoming plan includes a more targeted focus on long-term SEO results and SEM strategies.

Best practices for white hat SEO + search marketing are constantly changing and evolving.
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Adobe Summit

adobe summit 2018

What makes Adobe Summit one of the top b2b marketing conferences 2018 is its top-notch lineup of speakers that includes Richard Branson, Leslie Jones, and J.J. Watt. Focused on teaching attendees how to provide better customer experiences, the conference includes over 250 sessions and labs teaching you how to delight audiences and build lasting customer affinity.

  • Date: March 25-29, 2018
  • Location: Las Vegas, NV
  • You should go if: improving customer experience is one of your primary goals in upcoming marketing plans.

Marketing United

marketing united 2018

Marketing United is a conference put on by the team at Emma, an email marketing software. But you don’t need to be an Emma customer to benefit from their expert sessions that cover email marketing, automation, segmentation, design, and more. (Sign up for the workshops pass if you’re an Emma customer to get deep-dive sessions with product experts.)

  • Date: April 9-11, 2018
  • Location: Nashville, TN
  • You should go if: improving your email marketing strategy is a focus for the upcoming year.

MarTech

martech digital marketing conferences 2018

Nothing goes hand-in-hand with marketing quite like technology. MarTech celebrates the relationship between the two with conferences that feature innovative presentations and vendors related to marking, technology, and a third pillar, management.

  • MarTech West
    • Date: April 23-25, 2018
    • Location: San Jose, CA
  • MarTech East
    • Date: October 1-2, 2018
    • Location: Boston, MA
  • You should go if: you want to start using more data, technology, and software tools to improve your marketing efforts.

The Marketing Nation Summit

marketing nation summit 2018

The team at Marketo wants to make sure their users and clients know how to use their tools to the best of their abilities. So they put together a conferences that helps their customers improve their use of their tools while gaining valuable insights and inspiration from top thought-leaders. Past speakers have included Will Smith, Arianna Huffington, and Hillary Clinton.

  • Date: April 29 – May 2, 2018
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • You should go if: you want to learn how to boost your performance using Marketo software.

Podcast Movement

podcast movement 2018

As one of the largest digital marketing conferences 2018 that relates to audio, Podcast Movement is the place to be if you want to learn about the latest trends, tools, and tactics for podcasting. As podcasting continues to grow in popularity as a new and powerful content medium, this conference helps both beginners and experts improve their branded audio storytelling.

  • Date: July 23-26, 2018
  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • You should go if: you are interested in expanding your content platforms and launching a podcast media channel.

Inbound

inbound digital marketing conferences 2018

You don’t need to be a HubSpot customer to benefit from attending their annual Inbound event.

Every year, it’s one of the best marketing conferences to attend due to its lineup of speakers who have included Michelle Obama, Brené Brown, John Cena, and Arianna Huffington.

  • Date: September 4-7, 2018
  • Location: Boston, MA
  • You should go if: you want to meet other professionals while getting inspired. (Last year, the event attracted more than 20,000 attendees.)

Content Marketing World

content marketing world 2018

The Content Marketing Institute has been an authoritative voice in content marketing strategy and content writing tips for almost a decade. This extensive knowledge helps CMI curate top-notch speakers and sessions and put on one of the best marketing conferences 2018.

  • Date: September 4-7, 2018
  • Location: Cleveland, OH
  • You should go if: you’re engaging in content strategy but not seeing the results you want.

Choosing the Right Digital Marketing Conferences 2018

As you browse through lists of digital marketing conferences 2018, keep one thing in mind: Every event or summit comes with unique benefits for attendees. As you try to decide which one is right for you, keep your plans in mind and look for conferences that will help you achieve your goals for the upcoming year.

Education isn’t the only thing that will help you improve your digital marketing strategies. Find out how Alexa’s suite of SEO and research tools can help you launch powerful, new digital campaigns this year.

try alexa free for 7 days

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How to Market at Each Stage of the Buying Decision Process https://blog.alexa.com/market-each-stage-buying-decision-process/ https://blog.alexa.com/market-each-stage-buying-decision-process/#respond Thu, 21 Dec 2017 15:08:09 +0000 https://blog.alexa.com/?p=4793 The customer buying decision process is rarely linear. Customers typically don’t start at point “A” and move through each subsequent step of the buyer’s journey until they reach the finish line. Instead, customers move into the purchase funnel different phrases. They may enter early at the top or middle of the funnel or join late [...]

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9 minute read

The customer buying decision process is rarely linear. Customers typically don’t start at point “A” and move through each subsequent step of the buyer’s journey until they reach the finish line. Instead, customers move into the purchase funnel different phrases. They may enter early at the top or middle of the funnel or join late in the journey right before they make their purchase.

So brands need to have a strategy to catch customers at each entry point and know how to market to prospects at each stage of the buying decision process.

Let’s look at how you can position your marketing campaigns to help customers find you at every phase of their journey.

What Is the Buying Decision Process?

Before you can optimize your customer’s buying decision process, you must be clear about what it entails. You must know the consumer buying process definition.

The buying decision process is the path that customers take while moving toward doing business with you. It’s similar to a purchase funnel in that it is a downward flowing path that starts wide at the top (as prospects become aware of a brand) and ends more narrowly at the bottom (as prospects becoming paying customers).

It’s frequently described as a five-stage consumer decision-making process that includes the following phases of consumer activity.

5 Stages of the Consumer Buying Decision Process

1. Need Recognition

The buying decision process begins when a consumer realizes they have a need. They become aware they have a problem they want to solve or a gap they want to fill.

At this point, the customer may or may not know what will solve their problem. They may only be aware that they want to change their reality or situation. Or they may have an idea about what will help them but are not quite sure which brand, product, service, or solution will provide the best option.

Customer Examples: A consumer buying process example at this phase could be a college freshman, Sarah, who has a computer that is starting to run slowly. She is getting ready to start the semester and needs a computer that will efficiently help her with her assignments.

Or, it could be a project manager, Joe, who is tired of his team using an outdated method of Excel spreadsheets for keeping track of their projects. He needs a new tool or system for project management.

2. Information Search

The next phase of the buying decision process begins when the customer starts looking for information that will help them solve their problem. They know they need something to fix their situation but aren’t sure which solution is best for them.

The customer starts searching for information that will help him or her better understand their situation and identify what will fix their issues. At this point, the customer frequently turns to online research and conducts searches to find solutions.

Customer Examples: Sarah, the college student may start seeking information to help resolve her immediate problem, which is speeding up her computer. Depending on what she finds, she may also begin searching for options for purchasing a new computer.

The project manager, Joe may start researching topics about improving project management and may find multiple software solutions that could improve his processes.

3. Option Evaluation

Once the initial information search is complete, customers start reflecting on what they learned or discovered. They begin to evaluate their options to determine which is the best solution for their problem.

Customers at this point in the buying decision process have a lot to consider. They must determine what solution is the most trustworthy, affordable, highest quality, and highest performing. They look for reasons to believe why one solution has more benefits than the other.

Customer Examples: In this phase, Sarah might be making a comparison list of multiple computers. The list may include prices, features, and reviews.

Joe is at the point where he is doing product demos to see which software best fits his needs.

4. Purchase Decision

At this point of the buying decision process, the customer is ready to pull the trigger and make a purchase. They have made their decision about which product, service, brand, or solution is best for them, and they are ready to buy.

The research and evaluation are over, so now the customer just needs a clear pathway to purchase. For a brand to help customers through this phase, you need to make it simple to buy. You also need to present additional reinforcements (like great reviews, testimonials, discounts, etc.) that will lead to purchase and avoid negative reinforcements (like bad reviews, additional expenses, barriers, etc.), which will cause customers to turn away.

Customer Examples: Now that the college student, Sarah, has decided to buy, she is likely eager to make the purchase and get her computer. She may, therefore, be more likely to buy the computer if she gets free and expedited shipping.

Joe, the project manager may need final approval for making his purchase, but he will also be eager to get going, so a free trial may be the way to get him through this phase.

5. Post-Purchase Evaluation

At the last step of the five-stage consumer decision-making process, the path to buying is complete. The customer has made a purchase. But that doesn’t mean the customer journey is complete. Now is the time when the customer reflects on whether they made the right decision.

The customer will consider if the solution accurately and fully meets their needs. They will decide if it was worth the cost and if the brand delivered on their promises. They will feel either satisfaction or buyer’s remorse. If it’s the former, the customer could come back to make another purchase. But if it’s the latter, the customer could reject the brand, never make another purchase, and even share their negative experience with others.

Examples: When Sarah makes it to this phase of her buying decision process, she is using the computer and discovering what she likes and doesn’t like. Reading resources that show her how to better utilize the computer could make her like it more.

Joe is going through a similar process. He is utilizing the tool, distributing it to his team, and hearing feedback from his colleagues. Seeing articles about how this software has helped people like him will likely improve his perception of the product.

How to Nurture Customers at Each Stage of the Buying Decision Process

As we went through the five stages of the buying decision process, you saw how a buyer could start at the beginning and work their way through the phases.

But often, this theory doesn’t work out exactly as planned.

The buying decision process isn’t always linear, and customers rarely only enter at the beginning. Instead, customers come and go throughout the process and enter the funnel at the top, middle, and bottom of the process.

So you can’t focus on only catching customers at the beginning and hoping they find their way through the rest of the process. You must optimize the buying decision process from top to bottom to catch customers at every stage of their journey.

To accomplish this and improve the buying decision process in marketing for your brand, use these best practices and Alexa tools at each stage of the process.


The buying decision process isn’t always linear, and customers rarely enter at the beginning.
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No. 1: Attract Customers in the “Need Recognition” Phase: Actively Write Guest Posts.

In the first phase of the buying decision process, prospects are just becoming aware of their problems. They aren’t actively seeking answers or solutions yet.

So to capture attention in this phase, you must seed content in places where audiences will passively see it. You must work to get your content in front of their eyes and call out their problem because they are not yet looking for solutions. To do that, create and place content in locations where your audience spends time online.

To get your solution-focused content in front of your target audience, engage in guest blogging. Writing content for sites your ideal audience visits will help you make introductions with customers before they know they need your brand, products, or services.

To find the best guest blogging sites, use Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool.

Enter your site or one of your known competitors. A brand that is trying to connect with the project manager mentioned in the example above may enter Trello.com, as Trello is a project management tool. The results will show a map of sites that have an audience similar to Trello’s audience. You can assume the people visiting Trello.com are also visiting the other sites on the map.

find audience in buying decision process

You can use this information to find guest blogging opportunities. Select up to 10 related sites that your target audience visits, and run an analysis in Competitor Keyword Matrix.

find keywords in buying decision process

This will uncover common keywords and topics that drive your audience to these other sites. Use that to create a plan for writing content about topics that relate to those sites but also expose problems that your brand, products, or services solve. This approach is a good way to help your target audience identify problems before they even know they have them.

No. 2: Attract Customers in the “Information Search” Phase: Target Popular Topic Keywords.

To attract attention during the information search phase of the buying decision process and bring customers into your funnel at this point, make your brand visible in online search.

When prospects research to find potential solutions, you want them to find your content. So you should publish a variety of top-of-the-funnel content. TOFU content helps a prospect solve their problem or answer their question. This type of content is usually published as:

  • Blog Posts
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Guides
  • Checklists
  • Interactive Content

To develop topics for TOFU content, perform keyword research to discover the terms your target audience uses most using Alexa’s Keyword Difficulty Tool.

Enter a term or phrase that relates to your industry offerings. The project management company, for example, may enter “project management.” The keyword discovery tool will then return a report that includes related terms along with their relevance, popularity, and competition scores. Each of these metrics will help you identify the top keywords for your content.

find top keywords in buying decision process

Ideally, you would target terms that have a high relevance and popularity score, as that indicates the term is widely searched for and tied to your topic. You would also want to target low-competition keywords that have a competitive score within your range, so you have an opportunity to rank for the term.

No. 3: Attract Customers in the “Option Evaluation” Phase: Optimize Your Website.

When customers are in the option evaluation phase, they already have an idea about the solution they need. They just don’t know which specific solution is best. At this point, they are researching specific brands and options to see which one they should choose.

To catch consumers in this phase, you need to engage in MOFU marketing (middle-of-the-funnel marketing) and optimize your website so customers can find you when they look for you.

You should create content like buyer’s guide, landing pages, FAQ pages, and case studies that are optimized for search, so when interested audiences look for additional information about you, they can easily find it.

To make sure your MOFU is optimized and visible in search, use Alexa’s SEO Audit Tool and On-Page SEO Checker.

Start with the SEO Audit Tool and run a complete check on your website. This website SEO test produces a report that ranks your website SEO factors as well as provides a list of actions you can do to help your website improve its rankings. Focusing on these improvements will help your website show when customers search for MOFU content to aid them in their buying decision process.

seo audit for buying decision process

After reviewing the status of your site’s overall SEO, look at each page to see if it’s properly optimized. Enter a URL from your site along with the page’s targeted keyword into the On-Page SEO Checker to see how well the page is structured for SEO. The tool will scan the page and give you optimization tips to make the page more likely to be found in search.

check onpage seo buying decision process

No. 4: Attract Customers in the “Purchase Decision” Phase: Target Buying Keywords.

When customers find themselves in the purchasing decision phase of their buyer’s journey, they are ready to seal the deal. They are ready to buy.

To catch customers at this point, you must make it as easy as possible for them to buy. You need to position your brand so that when the customer searches for a path to purchase, they find it right away. You can accomplish this by optimizing your site to target buyer keywords.

Buyer keywords are phrases that customers search for when they are planning to make a purchase. The most powerful buyer keywords are transactional keywords, which are phrases like:

  • Buy
  • Order
  • Download
  • Deals
  • Demo
  • Coupons

To identify the buyer keywords that will lead customers to your website, use Alexa’s Competitor Keyword Matrix.

Enter up to 10 competitors, run the report, and then navigate to filter the results. Click the checkbox to “Show Potential Buyer Keywords” and apply the filter.

find buyer keywords in purchase process

The filter will drill down your results and display the most used keywords that also have purchasing intent. This report can give you ideas for the terms you should target so that when customers search to find buying options, they will discover your webpages.

purchase intent keywords in buying decision process

No. 5: Optimize “Post-Purchase Evaluation” Phase: Retarget With Industry-Related Content.

The post-purchase evaluation phase is a little different from the other stages of the buying decision process in that it is somewhat linear. The customer can only get to this phase by making it through the purchase phase.

While the post-purchase phase might sound like the end of the process, it does not mean the relationship is over.

Instead of thinking that the buying decision process is over, consider that this is the beginning of a relationship with long-term customers. You already know the audience is interested in a specific product, service, and industry so set up plans to remarket and reconnect with this audience.

Create more content related to your industry and place it where the customer will be likely to see it. Send it to customers through your email newsletters and use retargeting ads to present new content to past customers.

To find hot topics to write about in your industry, use Alexa’s Competitor Keyword Matrix.

Enter up to 10 competitors and run the report. Then use the “Use Cases” filter to “See the Top Industry Keywords Targeted.”

buying decision process hot topics

From there, you can see the top keywords that are mentioned on other websites in your industry. This information helps you identify the topics that are likely interesting to your audience and will give you a starting point for creating content to bring the customer back into the buying decision process.

popular keywords in buying decision process

Optimize the Buying Decision Process With Alexa’s Marketing Stack

The buying decision process is rarely a linear path that customers follow from top to bottom. Customers enter the purchasing process at all stages, and your brand must be prepared for it.

Use these tips to improve the likelihood that customers will connect with your brand at each phase of the buyer decision process. And, get extra help with the tools mentioned in this post. Sign up for a free 7-day trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan to get full access to the tools listed in this post along with other powerful competitive research, keyword, and SEO tools.

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Developing a Marketing Strategy 101 https://blog.alexa.com/developing-a-marketing-strategy/ https://blog.alexa.com/developing-a-marketing-strategy/#respond Thu, 14 Dec 2017 15:24:21 +0000 https://blog.alexa.com/?p=4516 The best way to start developing a marketing strategy is to reflect back on your business’s successes and failures. By assessing what worked and what didn’t work from past campaigns, you can identify tactics to focus on or avoid in upcoming plans. You can see gaps in your marketing initiatives and point out places where [...]

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6 minute read

The best way to start developing a marketing strategy is to reflect back on your business’s successes and failures. By assessing what worked and what didn’t work from past campaigns, you can identify tactics to focus on or avoid in upcoming plans. You can see gaps in your marketing initiatives and point out places where you need to improve.

From there, you can take what you learned to work on developing a marketing strategy that will help you upgrade your online appearance, improve your search rankings, and use your digital authority to grow your business.

Use these tips and tools as you go through your marketing strategy development process.


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Reflect Back on Your Past Marketing Strategies

An important part of developing a marketing strategy is using past data and information to get a good look at your current situation and results of past strategies. So begin your assessment by performing the following research.

Check your Alexa Ranking

Start by getting a good look at where your website stands online by checking your Alexa Rank.

Your Alexa Rank is an estimate of how popular your website is. The lower your numeric rank, the more authority your website has. For example, Google has an Alexa Rank of 1, and a lesser-known site, Social Media Examiner, ranks at 4,164. Alexa scores are relative to other sites, and websites that get more traffic and engagement have a better Alexa Rank than sites that have less traffic.

A sign of a good marketing strategy is one that is improving your Alexa Rank.

Use Alexa’s Site Overview Tool to check your Alexa Rank and monitor trends. If you see a dip or a rise in your score, look back and see what happened at that time that could have impacted your score. Focus on strategies that led to improvement and avoid tactics that weakened your Alexa Rank.

developing a marketing strategy with alexa rank

Review the number of sites linking back to your site

Another metric that offers a good look at your site’s standing online is its number of backlinks. The number of sites linking back to your website says a lot about the authority of your brand online.

The number of sites linking to your site (and the authority of the sites linking back to you) is an important SEO factor. When a lot of high-authority websites link to your site, it positively impacts your SEO and improves your chances of ranking in search results. It also shows that your brand is successfully getting attention, publishing great content, and building authority because more sites are linking to you as a source.

A good marketing strategy increases your number of backlinks.

To see how many sites link back to yours, use Alexa’s Sites Linking In tool. This is one of Alexa’s SEO tools that produce a report on all of the sites linking back to your site along with the URL that includes the link. The report also includes the Alexa Rank of the linking sites, so you can rate the site’s online authority and value of the link.

developing a marketing strategy with sites linking

Assess your site keywords

To look closer at your site as you start developing a marketing strategy, you also need to explore the keywords that are currently driving traffic to your site.

Prospects and customers discover brands when they search for terms that relate to the company’s offerings and industry. To make sure those interested buyers find you, your website must be optimized for the terms searchers are using. To find out if you are optimized for the right terms, review your site keywords.

A strong marketing strategy helps your website attract traffic from keywords closely related to your offerings and industry.  

To see which keywords are driving traffic to your site, use Alexa’s Site Keywords tool. The report shows which keywords are sending the most organic and paid traffic to your site. It also includes data on the competition, popularity, and traffic for each keyword.

use keywords to develop marketing strategy

Pro Tip: To see only topic-level keywords that are not tied to branded searches, exclude branded terms using the search filter.

developing a marketing strategy using keywords

Check your share of voice for related keywords

Your top keywords also offer insight into your authority online. They show you how well you match up against your competitors. Keyword share of voice, or the percentage of searches for a keyword that sends traffic to a website, shows how much control a brand has over a search term.

If a brand has a high share of voice for a keyword, it indicates that most of the people who search for that term end up on that brand’s website. You want to have a large portion of the keyword share of voice for terms that are related to your business and industry.

If your marketing efforts are working, you should have a large ownership of the top keywords related to your brand and offerings.

developing a marketing strategy with share of voice

To check your share of voice for a keyword, you can use the Site Keyword report to view data as it relates to the terms driving the most traffic to your site. Or you can use the Keyword Share of Voice Tool to produce a report on a specific keyword. The report shows the sites with the most ownership over a term’s share of voice so you can compare your own score.

You can also find data about your keyword share of voice as it relates to your competitors using Alexa’s Keyword Matrix tool. Enter your site and up to nine of your competitors. The report will list the most popular keywords that are related to each site and display which site has the highest share of both paid and organic keywords.

use keyword share of voice when developing marketing strategy

These reports offer data that should be included in any simple marketing plan example. From here, you can create plans for improving these numbers and your status in these categories.

Plan Ahead for New Marketing Strategies

Now you know where you stand, and it’s time to create a plan for improving your status. Use the following tactics and begin developing a marketing strategy.

Increase your site’s number of backlinks

Increasing your site’s number of backlinks helps you rank better in search, drive more traffic to your site, and increase your Alexa Rank. So if you need work in these areas, focus on developing a marketing strategy that gets your site more backlinks.

To build and find backlinks, use Alexa’s Competitor Backlink Checker. Run a report on up to 10 of your competitors to produce a list of sites that link to your competitors. This report shows where there may be opportunities for you to earn links as these sites have already linked to your competitors. You can also click on a site to see the exact URL that links to your competitor, giving you more insight into how the site was linked to and how you can earn a similar type of link.

developing a marketing strategy with backlink checker

Find guest blogging opportunities

Another way to get links back to your site and improve your site’s online authority is through guest posting. Guest posting not only builds links back to your site (as you typically get a link back in your bio or article), but it also helps you grow your audience as you get in front of new readers.

So when developing a marketing strategy, create a plan for guest posting. Use Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool to find guest blogging opportunities. Enter up to 10 websites that are either competitors or share an audience similar to the one you want to attract, and run the report. The tool will find similar sites and produce a visual map of sites that have an audience you want to reach and would, therefore, be a great target for your guest blogging outreach.

find guest blogging opportunities when developing marketing strategy

Target keyword opportunities

To grow your traffic and increase readership, you need to drive more people to your site through organic search. You need to help audiences land on your site after searching for terms that relate to your brand, offerings, and industry.

So as you are developing a marketing strategy, create a plan for targeting keywords that will lead your ideal customer back to your site.

To identify keyword opportunities, use Alexa’s Keyword Difficulty Tool. Enter a keyword that is closely related to your industry, products, or services. Then review the report to identify variations of the keyword you could target. Look for terms that have a high popularity score (which indicates that users are frequently searching for that phrase) and a competition score that is within your competition range (your site has enough authority to rank for the term). The Keyword Difficulty Tool will make keyword discovery faster, helping you to identify terms you should target in your new marketing plans.

find keyword opportunities when developing a marketing strategy

Improve your website’s SEO

Finally, all good marketing strategies should include plans for improving your website’s overall SEO. When your site is properly optimized, you will show up more often in search, drive more traffic to your site, increase your Alexa Rank, and connect with more customers.

To determine where you should focus your SEO improvement efforts for the upcoming year, analyze your site to look for errors that are holding you back and opportunities that could improve your rankings.

To produce a full review of your website with just one click, use Alexa’s SEO Audit Tool. Enter your site to receive a comprehensive report on your current SEO standings. The report grades major SEO categories and also includes detailed instructions on how to make changes to improve your grade and make your website more SEO-friendly.

run site audit when developing marketing strategy

Developing a Marketing Strategy Using Alexa Tools

This post includes a marketing strategy examples list that helps you reflect on past marketing tactics and plan for the future. These tactics are important if you plan on developing a marketing strategy that will build your online authority and grow your business.

To get all of the tools included in this post and simplify the process of creating a marketing strategy for the new year, sign up for a free 7-day trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan. It includes all of the tools mentioned in this post along with other powerful SEO, keyword, and competitor research and planning tools.

try alexa free for 7 days

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How to Reach Your Growth Potential Through Lead Generation Marketing https://blog.alexa.com/reach-growth-potential-lead-generation-marketing/ https://blog.alexa.com/reach-growth-potential-lead-generation-marketing/#respond Thu, 07 Dec 2017 15:48:50 +0000 https://blog.alexa.com/?p=4532 For a business to reach their full growth potential, they must connect with a large audience, keep their pipeline filled with prospects, and stay in touch with customers. They must have a strong lead generation and nurturing plan that attracts interested audiences and keeps them engaged. The rest of this post will show you how [...]

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5 minute read

For a business to reach their full growth potential, they must connect with a large audience, keep their pipeline filled with prospects, and stay in touch with customers. They must have a strong lead generation and nurturing plan that attracts interested audiences and keeps them engaged.

The rest of this post will show you how to use inbound marketing and lead generation strategies to help your company expand and reach its full growth potential.


How to use inbound marketing + lead generation strategies to reach full growth potential.
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Reach Your Growth Potential by Knowing Your Audience

Define your growth potential business plan by identifying exactly whom you want to target. Gather in-depth details about the people who will be most interested in your business and offerings.

Your business will grow more quickly if you know your ideal audience and target the right people. You will make a bigger impact on lead generation and sales if you focus on connecting with a small number of highly targeted prospects than if you try to build relationships with a huge group of people with little to no interest in what you offer. You must get to know the people you will target.

Research to learn about your ideal target audience.

Create a buyer persona that outlines the demographics, professional details, values, goals, challenges, and influences of your ideal customer. Use this buyer persona template to craft your description, and use Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool to discover details about your target audience.

Enter the websites of competitors or other brands that have the audience you want to target. You can enter up to 10 sites, but you may want to sift through the information with only a few competitors at first. Run the report to produce clusters of websites that reach an audience similar to the sites you entered.

reach growth potential using audience research

From here, dig into the information to find clues about the audience you want to attract. Hover over a site to segment a section of the clusters that are similar. This process allows you to find trends and see themes in website topics that tell you what your audience is interested in. For example, if you hover over a site segment and see that they are all digital marketing websites, you will understand that your audience has a strong interest in online marketing.

Create Content Your Target Audience Wants and Needs

Once you know whom you want to reach, create content that will catch the attention of this particular segment of people. Plan to make all of your future content with this audience in mind.

Content helps you reach your growth potential because it attracts audiences to your website, and persuades them to opt-in to your emails to get access to more content. But for your content to accomplish this, it must be what the audience wants to see. It must match their needs and interests.

Research to find topics that are most interesting to your audience.

Use Alexa’s Competitor Keyword Matrix and enter up to 10 competitors or other brands that have an audience similar to the one you want to target. The report will identify keywords that are popular on those sites. Terms that have a high popularity score are searched for frequently by audiences.

Include your site in the analysis and apply the filter “Show Keyword Gaps for” your site. This will show you keywords the other sites are getting traffic for, but you are not.

find keyword gaps to reach growth potential

Use this report to identify potential topics to cover to attract your ideal audience. A popular term that you don’t already get traffic for is a great growth potential example, as you know your ideal audience is regularly searching for that topic.

Place Content Where Your Target Audience Will Find It

Now you know who you want to target and what type of content will reach that audience, so it’s time to place that content where your ideal readers will find it. To reach your growth potential, create a plan for guest blogging and getting your content in front of your ideal audience.

Guest blogging is a strategic way to use another website’s readership to connect with your ideal audience. It offers growth potential because you can leverage the audience of another site as a gateway for meeting new readers.

Research to find guest blogging opportunities that will help you get in front of your target audience.

To find guest blogging sites, go back to Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool. Enter a few sites you know your ideal audience frequently visits, and run the report. The visual map will display dozens and dozens of sites that are great guest blogging opportunities. You know your audience spends time on these sites, so they present opportunities for connecting with your ideal readers.

reach growth potential with guest blogging

Easily keep track of the sites you want to include in your guest blogging plan by clicking on the site and using the List Builder feature to add the site to your planning list. From there, you can research to find more information about the sites to help you with your guest blogging outreach.

Help Your Audience Find Your Content in Search

Seeding your content across websites that share your audience is an important part of a growth plan. But you also need to help your target audience find the content on your website. You need to make your website content more visible in search.

To ensure that you reach your growth potential, you must have a plan for attracting new leads through search. Your ideal audience must be able to find you when searching for terms and phrases that relate to your industry, brand, and offerings.

Optimize your website content so it performs better in search.

To make sure your website is properly optimized, use Alexa’s SEO Audit Tool and On-Page SEO Checker. Start with the audit tool and run a report on the full status of your website’s SEO standings. The audit will produce a report with rankings and suggested improvements for how to optimize your website to improve its ranking abilities.

do SEO audits to reach growth potential

Once you look at your site as a whole, drill down and review individual pages on your site. Enter the URL and target keyword for a webpage into Alexa’s On-Page SEO Checker. The report offers suggestions on how to improve the page’s SEO content and give it a better chance at ranking.

check on-page SEO to reach growth potential

A growth potential analysis should always include looking into your SEO to make sure new audiences can find your business through search. To reach your full growth potential, you can’t miss any opportunities for having new customers connect with you.

Use Content to Capture and Nurture Leads

The final step in making sure your business reaches its full growth potential is setting up lead generation and nurturing plans. A key factor for growth is in creating content that attracts potential buyers into the purchase funnel and guides them through the rest of the process.

Your plan should always include strategies that capture a prospect’s contact information and then leads them through their buyer’s journey. Each piece of content should fit into a larger, cohesive plan.

Create content to fill every stage of the purchase funnel.

  • TopofFunnel Content: Publish evergreen content that answers your target customer’s biggest questions as it relates to your offerings, and create content that helps your ideal audience solve their problems.
  • Middle-of-Funnel Content: To execute MOFu marketing, connect with audiences that have already shown interest in your business by offering them content that gives a deeper look at your brand and offerings.
  • Bottom-of-Funnel Content: Close the deal with content that guides customers through their purchase and targets buying keywords that prospects use when they are ready to buy.

And always think about how your content will funnel readers back to an offer, content upgrade, giveaway, free trial, or another opt-in that collects their contact information.

Customers usually won’t buy the first time they interact with a brand. So set up breadcrumbs that guide readers back to an opportunity to pass over their contact information, so you can stay in touch with them and continue to guide them toward a purchase.

Reach Your Growth Potential Faster With Alexa’s Tools

The growth plan example in this post shows how you can use your online presence to help your business reach its full potential. By focusing on attracting the right audience and using strategic content, SEO optimization, and lead generation plans, you can capitalize on opportunities for growing your business and reaching your growth potential.

To speed up your growth potential and succeed with the strategies mentioned in this post, sign up for a free 7-day trial of Alexa’s advanced plan. The plan includes all of the Alexa’s tools mentioned in this post along with other powerful SEO, keyword research, and competitive analysis tools that help you grow and scale faster.

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The Beginner’s Guide to Small Business Internet Marketing https://blog.alexa.com/beginners-guide-small-business-internet-marketing/ https://blog.alexa.com/beginners-guide-small-business-internet-marketing/#respond Tue, 05 Dec 2017 17:36:57 +0000 https://blog.alexa.com/?p=4371 Small business internet marketing can seem overwhelming for those just getting started. It’s a vast landscape and involves many moving parts. After all, different platforms and marketing methods resonate differently for different audiences, industries, niches and products. For example, the fitness industry is very prominent on Instagram, while artists and musicians find a place on [...]

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7 minute read

Small business internet marketing can seem overwhelming for those just getting started. It’s a vast landscape and involves many moving parts. After all, different platforms and marketing methods resonate differently for different audiences, industries, niches and products.

For example, the fitness industry is very prominent on Instagram, while artists and musicians find a place on platforms like SoundCloud. YouTube is a popular destination for DIYers, crafters and toy-manufacturers. Snapchat, resonating with a much younger audience, has developed its own unique set of advertising features and offerings for internet marketers.

Part of the battle is knowing when, where, or how to start with internet marketing, while figuring out whether to put effort into organic web traffic or opting to finance for paid web traffic. Once you get this coveted traffic, will you email people periodically or engage them on social media? Perhaps, you’ll send them reminders about your company via SMS (text). But what’s the best way?

There are are many routes you can take along with tons of gurus claiming they’ve cracked the code to them all. Who do you believe? Where do you start?

As a small business owner, you’ll have to decide how digital marketing will fit into your overall marketing strategy. The fact remains that the internet is here to stay and will continue to change the way we reach our customers.


The Beginner’s Guide to Small Business Internet Marketing
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When you’ve got a question, you’ll more than likely go to Google, or even Facebook, for an answer. Internet marketing is about intercepting those inquiries from people who are ready and willing to engage with your brand. The only downside is that there are thousands of other businesses competing for the same audiences.

Use Alexa’s Competitive Analysis Tools to understand your competitors’ strategies and discover opportunities to get an edge.

It is getting more challenging and expensive to reach buying audiences online, but it’s not impossible. With a little creativity and willingness to test and explore the waters of internet marketing, you’re bound to hit a groove that can make a substantial impact on your bottom line.

If you want to get serious about your small business internet marketing, here are some basic marketing strategies to consider when getting started.

Small Business Internet Marketing Tips for Beginners

Know Your Objective

Small business internet marketing starts with knowing your marketing objective. Are you looking to spread awareness about your brand or products, convert someone from brand awareness to buyer or take them from buyer to brand evangelist? Sometimes, you have to start with one marketing objective that could lead to another.

For example, if you’ve got a product that requires your market to be more educated on its use, you might just aim for exposure as a goal. If you’ve ever seen an ad in your Facebook or Instagram feed demonstrating a quirky product, this is an example of an awareness campaign. Sales could come from this type of campaign as a bonus, but the real aim is reach and awareness.

Once there’s sufficient awareness, you might move on to an objective that focuses on sales, adding email addresses to your list, Facebook fans or YouTube subscribers. Your ad copy, text image, platform or entire approach may change based on each unique marketing objective.

Understand Conversions

Many times, you’ll hear the word “conversions” when it comes to taking a prospective client from one level of engagement to the next. For example, taking a website visitor to an email list subscriber is considered a conversion event. Other conversion events include purchases, providing additional contact information or event sign-ups.

Conversion rates are what you’ll check to measure your success for online marketing campaigns. You might check conversion rates for a website landing page, Yelp listing or a Facebook Ad.

Typically, conversion rates are measured in a ratio of audience to action takers. Let’s say you have a website landing page with 1,000 visitors per day. Of those visitors, 100 signups for your email list per day. You’ve got a 10% conversion rate for this particular marketing objective on that particular page.

Once you have 10,000 email subscribers, let’s say that 300 of them purchase a product or visit your store to redeem an offer. Your email list converts at 3% (email subscriber to purchaser.)

This drop in conversion rate can happen as your “asks” become bigger. From here, you can either work to increase your conversion rates with different approaches or you could work to get more web visitors or people subscribed to your email list.

Conversion rates will vary for different industries and platforms. You might find that one marketing approach “converts” better and will eventually determine where you’ll focus your marketing efforts.

Read: How to Use Buying Keywords to Improve Conversion Rates

Consider Paid vs. Organic Traffic

As the internet becomes more of a crowded space, getting organic traffic to your website gets more difficult. Many platforms, especially social media, start off as great places to start marketing because the organic web traffic is plentiful and free.

Then, as business users begin to benefit from this traffic, the platform eventually monetize its own web presence through advertising offerings. Many digital marketers used clever long-term SEO (search engine optimization) tactics for years before Google introduced algorithm changes like the Penguin, Panda, and others that made these tactics ineffective virtually overnight.

Many of these seasoned internet marketing gurus found they had to change their web traffic strategy entirely. Some found success on social media platforms while others began paying for traffic with Google Adwords or other internet advertising networks.

Though good, white hat SEO techniques still work for organic web traffic, the rules are ever changing among search engines. Their attempt to reward high-quality websites, brands and good information has had adverse effects on many internet marketers across the board.

At some point, you may have to figure out when your go-to traffic and sales referral sources are no longer sending you quality organic traffic. You may have to eventually invest in paid traffic, through ad networks or social media to get better results.

Leverage Social Media

Social media is also a great way to leverage an internet presence. However, customized user experiences means that organic reach on social is limited. As a result, paid social ads are the most effective way to get in front of audiences on these platforms.

For example, Facebook fan pages were once a great, inexpensive way to raise brand awareness and push business updates out to millions of Facebook fans. Facebook eventually changed its algorithm so that Fan page updates are seen mainly through paid advertising on the platform.

Pinterest, a visual content aggregator, had been a godsend for bloggers and brands when it launched 7 years ago in 2010. Pinterest soon became an abundant, free source of traffic that still attracts large audiences for many fashion, food and beauty brands today.

Recently, Pinterest has been making algorithm changes to reduce automated pinning and favor manual Pinners and users that truly spend time directly on the platform. To reach your audience on Pinterest there are plenty of options for “Promoted Pins” which allow you to pay for more exposure to an audience.

Track Analytics

Once you get into paid traffic, marketing analytics will be extremely helpful. This data will help you analyze your main sources of traffic, along with how well this traffic “converts” into sales. From here you’ll want to figure out your lead acquisition costs. For example, you may pay $0.5 per email lead on Facebook or $2 per purchasing lead on Pinterest. Your Google Ads could fare much better or worse, but your analytics will tell the story.

Individual marketing platforms will usually have their own reporting features to give you insight on how your marketing efforts are coming along in real time. Google Analytics is a popular tool that helps you analyze traffic from many sources, while Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest also have their own tools related to help you determine the effectiveness of your internet marketing campaigns.

Nurture with Email Marketing

We can’t have a conversation about internet marketing tips and tricks without talking about email marketing. It’s still one of the most effective ways to market products and services to an audience. In fact, one source says that email marketing converts four times better than other marketing methods including social media, direct mail and paid search!


Email marketing converts 4x better than other marketing methods
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The idea about email is that people on your list have signed up to hear specifically from you and about your business. In this way, an email list is usually a highly valuable engaged audience.

Email marketing can work with a variety of approaches: sequences, funnels and webinars can cultivate a lead through a series of emails that work for different purposes. Some email sequences can welcome a lead into your world, while another one primes a customer for buying big-ticket items by selling smaller, related products.

Because of how effective your email list can be, it makes sense to craft many of your marketing efforts to attract people into your email list. For example, many people run Facebook ads for the sole purpose of adding people to their email list.

Visit any website these days and you’ll likely encounter a pop-up that asks for your email address. Websites are chock-full of capture mechanisms for email and for a good reason: email converts better! For this reason, you should make starting and growing an email list a priority in your small business internet marketing efforts.

Discover Local Marketing

If your product or business requires offline interaction, these online marketing tips for small businesses still work for you. You may just have some different routes to explore when it comes to getting clients with internet marketing strategies.

Some tools you might consider:

Overall Internet Marketing Approach

Remember, digital marketing is not a silver bullet for boosting your sales, nor is it a quick fix for your revenue woes. Think of it like farming- you’ll take time preparing the soil, planting the seeds, watering them and ultimately reaping a harvest. Each of these steps are separate and require resources like time, effort and money to make a real difference.

The good news is that internet marketing methods are more accessible than ever. You can start simply and pivot quickly to find the best marketing strategies for online business that work for you. Before long, you’ll have a well-crafted, comprehensive marketing approach.

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