When to Outsource Your In House Marketing

When to Outsource Your In House Marketing

As a business owner there are different options for how to approach your marketing strategies based on what will be more effective for your company. At some point you may have to decide between creating an in house marketing team or hiring an external marketing provider. Digital marketing can be crucial so making the right choice can strongly influence the success of your business online.

There are many different things to consider when you are deciding whether or not to outsource your marketing campaigns. Analyzing your business’s current needs and plans can help you get a better perspective on when you should choose to outsource. Looking at the pros and cons of outsourcing can also be a good way to make a decision either way.

There are many advantages to having an in house marketing team but if you are a smaller company and don’t have the resources to run your own digital marketing strategy then outsourcing might be the better option. An established marketing provider has more experience working with a business like yours and will understand how to approach your digital campaigns.

A new startup business that has no experience with marketing will need to outsource so that they can get started and not spend too much time or money on figuring out a strategy that will work. A marketing provider can get more immediate results and get your digital marketing plan up and running quickly. The main thing to consider if you are planning to outsource is to find a marketing company that fits within your budget and will not charge more than your business can afford.

Outsourcing can be a great option for smaller companies that need help with their marketing or any business that wants someone with more experience and expertise to handle their ad campaigns.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

3 Strategies That Never Get Old Amidst The New Digital Era

3 Strategies That Never Get Old Amidst The New Digital Era

With the continuous emerging of cutting-edge technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning, the needs and demands of people also have changed. This has brought a paradigm shift in a way marketing works.

As most things go online and mobile, new marketing techniques emerge, resulting in some old tactics to take the backseat. But just because things have changed, doesn’t mean we can just ditch old marketing strategies.

You’ll be surprised to know that there are old marketing tactics that can still do their job. Let’s take a look at some of these strategies that still work these days.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has been around for a while now. But way back not so long ago, influencer marketing is a rather hazy and vague tactic to be used by a small and startup business. It was perceived as expensive and complex that only big players with enough marketing budget could perform.

Luckily, these days, influencer marketing isn’t only limited to big players. Both big players and small business owners can potentially benefit from this marketing approach.

How?

A survey revealed that 95% of consumers trust people as a source of recommendation when they see them as someone similar to themselves. This is an indication that you, as a small business owner, do not need to hire a famous personality to perform an influencer marketing campaign.

Your satisfied customer is your greatest influencer. To get your influencer marketing campaign running, you need to tap into the everyday people whom you have built a relationship with to support your campaign. These people you have a strong engagement with can share their opinions in a credible way which can move their connection to act in favor of your business.

Influencer marketing in the modern era of digital marketing is not exactly after conversion. It is about building the trust and confidence in your business by enhancing information sharing to capture the attention of new target consumers.

Influencer Marketing

Connecting Through Content

With the rise of innovations like AI and machine learning, data gathering has never been easier. Accessing information has never been better for both businesses and consumers.

However, this also has resulted in some backlash. The ability of businesses to utilize customer’s information in a large scale resulted in information overload.  Consumers, these days, are bombarded with salesy pitches that are irrelevant and annoying. Thus, making it difficult to capture consumer’s attention.

But with the right use of data, consumer’s impression can be reversed. Modern day technology gives light to a more efficient data gathering and analysis that are based on customer engagement and interaction. This provides a leeway for business to provide relevant and more targeted content.

The right use of data brings in an opportunity for personalization. Personalization supports dynamic content and marketing automation.  Hence, it is easier to capture the attention of your audience.

When customers engage with the business, an automation tool will gather relevant data and analyze them. It will then create relevant contents, set criteria for audience targeting based on the data analysis and send out different types of contents according to what the consumers are looking for.

This is how personalization works. This allows businesses to create contents that are valuable and answers the current needs and demand of people. Personalization enables you to craft contents that resonate the most with the users by considering their needs, desires, aspirations and problems.

Modern technology gives you an opportunity to have a deeper understanding of the consumers which allows you create a relevant content but also so you can use them in targeting the right people with the right content at the right time.

Competitor Research

Competitor Research

One way or another, your business has perhaps conducted some competitor research. Going back to the basics, competitor research is all about knowing your competitors including their strength and weaknesses.

This made most business obsessed with stalking competitors and isn’t cool. In this modern digital era, competitor analysis goes beyond swot analysis and other overrated methods. More than keeping an eye out for competitors, competitor analysis is performed to get a better knowledge of how your business perform in the industry.

Competitor analysis gives you a glimpse of how and whys your competitors perform in the current situation. This helps you determine the current problems you may be facing but you are not aware of. This helps you spot your own weaknesses and unique value proposition that you can resolve and utilize respectively.

Competitor analysis is a crucial business strategy of the modern days. Modern competitor analysis should be conducted to arm yourself with new knowledge that would guide you in performing business strategies to position yourself as a leader in the industry.

Final Words

Old marketing, in general, may not be an ideal approach in this modern digital marketing world. But that does not mean you need to toss away the marketing strategies that come along with it.

In this modern era, there are marketing strategies that just needs a little makeover to be effective. A slight revamp will help you restore these marketing techniques to its former glory.

The only way to do it is to integrate new technologies and innovations to answer the needs and changing demands of consumers.

Author’s Bio:

SEO consultant Al Gomez is the man behind Dlinkers.com, a company dedicated to provide quality digital marketing services for small business owners from Australia and other parts of the globe. With more than ten years of experience, he enjoys supporting smartpreneurs like himself achieve online success.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

What Can a Digital Marketing Agency Do for You?

What Can a Digital Marketing Agency Do for You?

Businesses that are looking to expand their reach online might be interested in getting some help from marketing experts. The world of marketing often changes very quickly and it can be difficult to focus on both running a business and advertising it online. A digital marketing agency can provide some support in launching bigger or more effective campaigns in order to grow your business.

Traditional marketing methods are rapidly becoming a thing of the past as most people focus on search ads and social media marketing campaigns. The tactics behind these methods can be complex because they work best when they are specifically targeted to an audience. A digital marketing agency has the experience and understanding of how to create ads that cater toward certain individuals online and can make sure that they see them.

A digital marketing agency has more skills in analyzing data so that they can target brand promotion more effectively. They can organize digital marketing campaigns and take the guesswork out of reaching audiences online so that you can immediately see positive results. Businesses that want to get the most out of their digital advertising efforts benefit from an agency that can make it easy for them.

Organized and Focused Marketing

What makes a digital marketing agency more effective than a business attempting their own marketing strategies? A digital marketing agency focuses on results-based marketing using a team of strategists, consultants and developers that work to create a campaign. They are not simply creating ads and hoping that they get results, they know how to use tactics that will develop your brand and generate leads.

A digital marketing agency has the ability to take over a businesses marketing efforts from top to bottom so that they see some real improvement. The agency can start by evaluating your unique needs as a company so that they can develop a strategy that will work to maximize your profits. They focus on the bigger picture of seeing your business improve rather than just producing individual ad campaigns.

The agency can help you set goals and define your objectives based on areas that could improve your business. Many companies find it difficult to clearly understand what their marketing objective should be or even what their best targeted buyer should be. The digital marketing agency can help determine the best target audience so that you can develop a message for them in your advertising.

Developing Your Online Presence

Once a digital marketing agency has created a definition of your ideal buyer they can then start to develop your images and find ways to showcase your brand. This could mean having a more effective website that appeals to your target audience and figuring out which platforms and channels will work best for you. Your ideal buyer can help determine which social media sites suit your brand and where most of your audience hangs out online.

A marketing agency can use these channels to position your company as a market leader and establish your brand authority. Target buyers can start to see you as an expert in your field and they will look to you for the best products. The agency creates content that showcases your expertise while also helping to build organic search results.

Your online presence will continue to grow with the help of a digital marketing agency in a way that establishes your brand and allows you to maintain your position as a competitor in your industry. The agency will identify your competition and help you stay in the game so that you aren’t left behind when it comes to what’s new in marketing. A refocused and more effective online presence can begin to have a big impact on your profits and increase your return on investment.

Save Time and Energy

One of the biggest advantages of using a digital marketing agency is that you can allow them to revamp your marketing from the ground up while you focus on running your business. You won’t have to use your valuable resources on advertising yourself and you can instead put more energy into making your business the best that it can be. Hiring a marketing agency frees up time and resources so that you can grow your business from the inside while they improve and develop your brand’s image.

Overall, a digital marketing agency gives businesses the chance to work with marketing experts that know how to get results and won’t waste time or money trying strategies that aren’t useful to you. They have all the experience and qualifications that make it easy for them to get the results that you might struggle with. Their efforts can help you boost profits, improve your business and  establish your brand authority and presence online.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Marketing Lessons from Cracked.com

You might have heard of a little site called Cracked.com. Or perhaps, you’ve spent countless hours being roped into reading article after article. Perhaps these articles can be considered a “waste of time” but some argue that the content is actually useful and educational. Regardless, you have to admit that it’s catchy. So, here are some marketing takeaways you can learn from Cracked.

Eye-catching headlines are click-worthy: Where else would you find articles like this? “6 Real People With Mind-Blowing Mutant Superpowers”, “6 Insane (But Convincing) Fan Theories About Kids’ Cartoons”, “6 Horrifying Implications of the Harry Potter Universe”. How could you not want to click these articles? Posts on the Huffington Post and celebrity tabloid magazines are also a good example of getting people to want to read.

Deliver what is actually promised: Sometimes, over-exaggerated headlines can seem like a scam because they don’t really deliver. This is especially true with spammy ads for weight loss or anti-aging solutions. However, Cracked gives readers exactly what they expect and be specific as possible. For example, with an article like “6 Lies About the Human Body You Learned in Kindergarten”, there shouldn’t be a surprise to what you expect.

Know what your readers want and offer them more: The best/worst part about Cracked are the recommended articles at the bottom. Even if you just came to the site to read 1 article, chances are that you’ll stay even longer when you get a glimpse of these other articles.
You can also do this by posting related videos are responses to each other on YouTube or listing related recommendations like Amazon’s “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought”. In other words, give them a good reason to stay longer.

Be mobile friendly: By just looking at the desktop version of the site, you can tell that Cracked is mobile device friendly. There are well-organized categories and catchy pictures to go with every article. They have an iPad app that makes it easy to browse for articles. Some articles are actually optimized for mobile while others lead you directly to the main site.
This is something you can do with your mobile website. Make sure to read out related blog post: Mobile Web Design Tips for 2013.

So, check out Cracked and have some fun. But don’t forget to notice the details that keep readers coming back for more so that you can implement the ideas into your own site.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Online Marketing Lessons to Learn from 3 Scary Movies (Part 2)

Happy Halloween Eve! Get ready for some more lessons from scary movies:

4) Gremlins
Gremlins and links – what do they have in common? One is cute and cuddly (Gizmo/white hat) and the others are just plain nasty (Mogwai/black hat). In the movie, the bad gremlins multiply quickly and can cause havoc if left to their own devices. (If it were only so easy to kill bad links with bright light…)

As we know, there are different types of links and automated services might not be the best. Links should be earned a few at a time and not by the dozens or hundreds one day out of the month to catch up. Even Google recently said that website submission services can be harmful to your site. Proceed with caution and just like having your own Gizmo, some people just aren’t ready!

5) The Fly
In this cult classic by David Cronenberg, Dr. Brundle turns into a human fly in an experiment gone awry. His ultimate wish is to be fused with his wife and unborn child to become… you know, the ultimate fly-human-hybrid. After his plot is foiled, he begs his wife to put an end to his misery – which she does.

Does this sound familiar to your website? Some owners can go overboard with content, design, over-optimization, thin content, and questionable SEO tactics over the years. Pair that with an exact match domain and you’re bound to be buried by Google in the post Panda and Penguin world. There’s a time for it and some people just need to know when to end it all… and start over new. This means 301 redirecting your content or affected URLs to a new domain and starting fresh with new content. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it. Don’t let the monster consume your pride and work things out before things get any worse.

6) Friday the 13th
At the end of the film, just when you think the masked killer is dead, there he is! Not only does Jason live but he also survives 11 other sequels including trips to space, hell and an intense battle with Freddy Krueger. The same goes with SEO. Many people claim that SEO is “dead” but it has really taken a life form of its own and is constantly changing to adapt to the evolving search marketing landscape. You can go on and on about how search engine optimization is a dying art but at the end of the day it comes down to the truth – SEO lives (and so does Jason Voorhees)!

Read our previous post here and let us know what you think!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Are Your Business Blogs Too Boring?

boring contentBlogging is an important part of a content marketing strategy but sometimes, it’s hard to get around the fact that your business is “boring”. Whatever you do, don’t get into this train of thought! Remember, there’s always a way to give your content a boost. It just takes a little self-analysis and adjustment to see how you can make your blogs a little more interesting!

Things to Ditch

Information That’s Way Too General – Are your blogs just written to take up space? Content that’s too general isn’t very interesting or helpful to anyone. Spun content is also a red flag for spam, which can lead to penalties. Instead, you can focus a post on one specific topic or question. This gives you an example to showcase your expertise and will hold real staying power. This can lead to followup questions and related topics so you’ll never run out of things to write about.

Detailed, Jargo Filled Content – At the end of the spectrum, detailed content can be just too much for a reader to digest. It’s important for a business to remember to use terms and topics that are easy to understand. At the very list, make sure to explain confusing topics and not to assume that readers know as much as you do. Finding a balance between being too general and too detailed can be tricky, but this is what practice is for – and blogging is the best way to get there.

Long Blogs – Have you ever scrolled past a long blog post that failed to hold your attention? Some companies may feel that quantity means quality. Long content doesn’t necessarily mean that readers are taking something useful away from your blogs. Remember, you don’t have to cram content in a small post. Take some time to organize your thoughts in more concise bullet points. The goal of business blogging is to effectively and efficiently get your message across and length isn’t necessarily a requirement.

Cold, impersonal language – The appeal of blogs are that readers can find out more about the personality and culture behind a business. Every once in awhile, it helps to update about company news, employees, neighborhood events, to show the human side of your business. These blogs will stand out and your words won’t feel as clinical and emotionless.

These are just a few problems that business blogs can encounter. Feel free to share your pet peeves and make sure to stay tuned for our next post on what you can do to improve your business blogs.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Why Your Content Marketing Strategy Needs SEO

Google’s Penguin update may have left you feeling down and out, but now isn’t the time to completely give up on SEO.

Penguin Penalties
If you’ve been dabbling in black hat tactics, or even gray hat, that is obviously a big problem. But there are many marketers who have been “punished” by the algorithm updates, even if they have played it safe. Some sites have dropped a few spots, while others have felt  a full on penalty by dropping 10+ pages. What does that mean for the future of SEO? Regardless of what you’ve read, search engine optimization isn’t “dead” as much as it has drastically evolved. It’s a matter of which businesses can hang on during this ever changing environment.

The Big Problem with No SEO
While this may lead to a focus on cranking out content without any optimization, there is a huge problem with that. The main problem with thinking about online marketing without SEO is that your content needs to be found and seen by search engines in order to be indexed and eventually ranked. Just think of it as if you have the greatest thing to share BUT no one will ever come across it because you’ve done no marketing or planning to bring the content to the people. A failure to plan for effective SEO may also affect other aspects of online marketing like social media marketing… things that’ can’t be found cannot be shared!

Lessons Learned
The best advice is to stay up to date on upcoming updates and to see how they are affecting your peers and industry. Gone are the days of building hundreds of links, pages, articles for a quick fix. As Google puts it, the face of SEO today yearns to reward high-quality content without unnatural links or methods that may seem to be created solely for the purpose of manipulating search results. If these updates teach you anything, it should be that you should have a balance in optimization tactics: content creation, inbound/outbound links, on and off page optimization. In other words, simple is better and less is more.

Helpful articles:
Reconsideration Request Tips From Google
SEOs Share Google Penguin Recovery Tips
Google Penguin Update Recovery Tips & Advice
Whiteboard+ on Google’s Penguin Update

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Looking at Google’s Evil Ways

While “Don’t Be Evil” is Google’s official motto, there are many recent arguments that can be made showing how the internet giant is slowing descending into the realm of being not-so-good.

Earlier this week, Google got caught utilizing SEO spam to promote its Chrome browser. They hired a video marketing company and bought sponsored blog posts on questionable sites, which bloggers caught onto very quickly. Not to mention that the articles and content that was pushed out wasn’t well-written or relevant to the sites they were being featured on!

This is the exact type of behavior that Google punishes, so what happens when they’re the ones violating this “golden rule”. As punishment, Google has penalized itself for its “mistake” so that Chrome doesn’t show up for browser-related terms (for the time being). Yeah, that will show them… but for how long? You have to admit that it is hypocritical for Google to get caught doing the same thing that they penalized J.C. Penney for doing early in 2011. And in some ways, this argument can be extended to the small scale – how Google is constantly adding more Panda updates to penalize content they deem as spammy or evil. These updates have greatly affected traffic for legitimate small business sites, so why do they just keep coming?

If the issue of spam weren’t so blatantly offensive to SEOs, it’s more frustrating to see that Google isn’t very transparent with their search algorithm and other ranking methods. As far as we can see, they change this as often as they please and leave reputable website marketing firms to guess what is going to happen next.

The more you look into it, the more you’ll discover of the dark side of Google and why so many people question their motives. Do you think Google made a honest mistake with this ad campaign are or they just sorry because they got caught in such a public manner? Maybe it’s time to retire that motto and think of a more fitting one…

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Pinterest Piquing Your Interest?

If you love pictures, Pinterest is the new social networking/bookmarking/photosharing community for you! The site went live in March of 2010 but it’s gaining more attention for its potential for SEO.

Looking at it for the first time, the site reminds me of Tumblr and Chictopia. Think of it as a virtual pinboard where you can add pictures as well as links. For now, the links from the images are not nofollow, which means that your site can benefit from getting link juice here! Many people speculate that this tag could be added in the near future, so it’s best to take advantage of it now!

People post pictures of everything including: food, inspirational quotes, celebrity crushes, scenic shots and more. Check out this image I found of an iPad cover. Now to the SEO part that can benefit your online marketing campaign! With every picture you post, there are three links you can add: 1) the picture itself 2) the link on the top right 3) a link in the description.

Businesses can benefit from pinning pictures but the purpose is to not be so self-serving. Instead, the things you post should be interesting and shareable. E-commerce stores can post pictures of their products and local businesses can contribute to categories related to their city or local neighborhood. All of these things help with your online reputation, while gaining momentum from linked pictures at the same time.

If you’ve used Pinterest, let us know what you think. As for now, I’m eagerly awaiting my own Pinterest invite!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

What are the Benefits of a SEO Friendly CMS?

Now more than ever, good content is a critical part of effective search engine optimization. Having a content management system (CMS) will help make this process easier – meaning that you can update your site more often with relevant content.

From a user standpoint, a CMS is very user-friendly and easy to use. But it’s time to look behind the scenes and see just how you can find the right SEO friendly CMS to help your search efforts.

Custom URLS – It’s important that you choose a CMS that gives you the option to create your own URL. SEO friendly URLs are tailored towards users and are more likely to have a higher click through rate. Sometimes, dynamic URLs can look spammy or relevant and lead to more problems in the future, especially if you are dealing with a website redesign.

Custom meta elements – An effective CMS should give you easy fields where you can fill out fields for title, description and keyword tags. Each page should have a unique Title tag that accurately reflects the content on that page. Did you know that aside from the content itself, page titles are (arguably) considered the most important element? Beware of a CMS that duplicates meta elements on each new page if you don’t customize it. I’ve come across sites that have hundreds of pages with of duplicate meta elements – not a good thing in Google’s eyes!

Speed and Usability – The main reason for using a CMS is that it is easy to use and that you can do it yourself if you need to. Older content management systems aren’t as user-friendly or practical to use. I recently had to use a CMS that took at least 5 minutes to save before you could view your edits. And of course, if you need to make more changes, that’s another 5 minutes just to preview! A CMS is meant to save you time and hassle, not make a bigger mess for you to deal with!

Affordability – When you have a website, there are multiple aspects that you have to consider including: web design, web copywriting, paid and organic search. Choosing the right CMS also means that you should see how it fits into your budget. If you “splurge” on a fancy/expensive CMS that you never have time to use, what’s the point? It could also take up the majority of your resources so that you don’t have anything left over to devote to a truly effective campaign.

A SEO CMS can help make website management an easier process and your organic search campaign more effective. Feel free to comment or give us a call (323) 340-4010 if you have any questions on a CMS for your small business.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.