How a Marketing Automation Tool Will Guide You to Create a Perfect Strategy

Marketing strategy is probably the most abused word in the marketing industry. Everyone talks about strategies, but few know what it really represents. It has nothing to do with curating your presence on Facebook nor developing a Chatbot for your website. Trust me, strategy is something completely different.


Being an entrepreneur who is running a small business is already tough itself. Marketing, in most cases, is a process that slows you down as you have to learn it, hire people to execute your vision or deal with an agency (and their high fees). Luckily, with tools like groost life gets a bit better. Prepare a good strategy and automate your marketing efforts. Let's find out how.


Luckily, some tools can guide and educate you without you having to learn. Automation platforms are built to cover the majority of your marketing tasks. Having said this, they search for ways to guide you through the process of a successful onboarding in a simple way.


Before we get started, let's clarify what a marketing strategy means.


A strategy sets a target of where it is we want to be within a certain period of time. Now we are at point A, so where is the point B we want to reach. Marketing strategy, to narrow it down, answers these three core questions:


  1. Who is our customer?
  2. How do we position ourselves?
  3. What objectives do we set?


First, we need to clarify who we're aiming for – our target audience. Our target audience represents our potential customers. Getting to know them as thoroughly as possible will be crucial for the next steps. Secondly, we must focus on positioning – the way our customer sees us, what he thinks of us, what jumps to her mind immediately after the name of our brand or product is pronounced. If you think of Volvo, what jumps to your mind? Is it safety? This is not by mistake. Volvo wants to be considered the safest car, and they do everything they can to be perceived this way. That's positioning. Lastly, we ask ourselves, what goals we want to achieve. Knowing where you want to go and being able to quantify it helps you stay on track at all times!


Of course, you may want to conduct in-depth research on both internal and external factors (SWOT analysis works for internal factors, PESTLE for external) to find out how your business gets both positively and negatively influenced. While analysing, keep an eye on your competitors to know how well they do (and why). These points are, nonetheless, tied to your overall business, not solely marketing. Let's just focus on marketing for now.


Did you answer the three core questions? Great! Now see how automation tools can guide you to not just create, but also execute your strategy – complete the tactical steps.

1. They encourage you to focus on your customer

All tools from the most complicated to the easiest ones focus on a customer. Look at how Hubspot does it – they offer you a CRM to store all your customer data, track the website activity of your customers and segment them for email marketing and social ads. Customers are at the very center of their product features. So that should be the case in all of your marketing activities. In our latest post, we've covered the importance of being where your customers are – be customer-centric. Marketing automation platforms guide you without your assistance, so you can use your energy elsewhere. 


We've built a tool for an easy and efficient campaign management. It is so easy that non-marketers run their campaign within minutes. We focus, needless to say, on a customer- first approach. We encourage you to create your marketing persona and center your campaign around this. See how we do this below:

2. They offer you many ways to create content

Content – be it emails, social media ads, website forms or blog posts – is what should give a real value to your customer. There are many types of content (educational, comedic, aesthetically pleasing…), but all of it should be easily recognisable. What I mean by that is that every piece of content shows it's YOU and your business, and does not belong to anybody else. Using your logo in the header of an email or a social media creative helps easily identify your business. Your claim in headlines shows it's you, your brand colors signify it's you, the tone that plays at the beginning of each of your podcasts says it's you… With every piece of content you build the complete picture that pops into a customer's head when someone says the name of your brand or product. Presenting your unique attributes over your competitors and repeatedly identifying yourself with a certain market category helps your target audience discover who you really are – and what makes you unique. Automation platforms not only allow you to create content you need for your business to be successfully present online, but also guide you through these steps, so that you don't do it wrong.


3. They encourage you to analyze results

I can not emphasize this any more – if you can't measure something, you can't improve it. Tools like Keap, Hubspot or Mailchimp give you an in-depth analysis of your campaigns and efforts. They truly show you what's important to track and what isn't. When it comes to measuring results, things can get pretty complicated. Don't look at hundreds of metrics, unless it makes sense to you and you see the dependencies between them. If you run campaigns for 200 USD a month, focus on a few things (key metrics) that are tied to your goal and nothing else. Make sure to update your dashboard and, ideally, let the tools send you regular emails with the metrics you are most interested in. It'll save you a bit of time.


To codify the results of any campaign, it is crucial to tie them to your goals. Any campaign needs to be set up with goal(s). Say you want to increase the engagement for your Facebook post and lead people to your website. The number of people reached and the number of people that interacted with your content is what you'll be looking for –the  click through rate will show you the difference between those two (number of people who interacted / number of people reached). Simply put, this metric shows how good and juicy your content is. Did you get a 5% click through rate? Good job! Do you think 5% is too low?  I suggest you check the (industry) standards and judge this afterwards. Some metrics seem to be low, but if you dig deeper, you may realize that your campaign rocks.


To wrap it up, focus on three important questions, choose the right tools to help you execute your strategy and always measure your efforts. Being a small business owner is tough itself, don't put in more work. Let automation platforms help you get rid of the routine tasks and, thus, deliver better results. We've mentioned some of the tools here, so make sure to check it out.

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How To Use Facebook Groups For Your Business

Facebook Groups are one of the basic components of Facebook. You are probably even a member of some of them.


It's a place where people with the same interests can connect online. The basic principle is that it is an online place for people to discuss, share experiences and express their opinions and attitudes. It also allows people to organize events, share photos, videos, or broadcast live videos.


Any Facebook user can create a group and its operation is completely free. Each user can be a member of up to 6,000 groups at the same time. 


Unlike FB Pages, groups can be closed, and while the Page serves primarily for brand presentation, groups are focused on users and their activity in the community.


There are 3 types of Facebook Groups:

Public groups are the ones anyone can find and join. On the other hand, Closed Groups can be found, but their content is hidden and the membership must be approved by its moderator or administrator. This is a great tool to control who wants to join the community and thus control the membership. The highest level of privacy is offered by the Secret group. You cannot view or search those on Facebook. Members of these groups are directly invited by administrators or other members.


Key takeaways

  • Anyone with a Facebook account can create and run a group for free
  • A user can be a member of up to 6,000 groups at the same time
  • Groups can be public, but also completely hidden and closed
  • You can create events, share content, and discuss, exclusively in a group, without showing content on your wall
  • As an administrator, you can delete a group at any time

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10 Best Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

There are over 7,000 marketing tools you can use today. And I'm going to name them all. No, just kidding, Scott Brinker already did. Actually, he updates the database every single year, so I don't have to. ;)

  • If you have a lot of time on your hands and want to spend it browsing a list of tools, here is an Excel sheet
  • If you want to print it as a poster for your bedroom wall, click here
  • If you are a marketing expert, I would appreciate your feedback down there, in the infamous comments section.

If you are new to marketing and want to learn about the 10 most useful tools for small businesses, keep reading!

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How to Choose the Right Online Channel for Your Business

The benefits of online marketing are: marketing perspective (obviously) which leads to customer engagement, building the brand, product discovery and all of these increase the amount of purchases. Online marketing can be done almost everywhere on the internet, so the question you may have is should you go for email, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter or Bing? Is the “I don't know where to start” holding you back?


Most businesses have already begun to harness the unique features of social media marketing. These businesses spend as little as 6 hours per week and over 66% of businesses enjoy lead generation benefits with social media. So do not wait! A properly executed social media strategy can improve your business' search rankings, drive more website traffic and increase conversion rates. 


“Internet access has become vital for communication, obtaining information, job-searching, and participation in an ever-changing world economy. The United States, the fourth largest country (by land mass) in the world, is no exception. With over 312 million internet users as of 2018, it is one of the largest online markets worldwide” says Statista.com


It's obvious you are supposed to boost your business online, as well! So how do you find the best online channel for your business? 



Find out:

1) Who is your target audience? Do you know who you should have in mind as your ideal buyer? What are their needs, what do they desire, how and when they like to consume content, and through which channels? To answer these questions, it's extremely helpful to create buyer personas. The personas are developed based on a combination of customer behavior and your understanding of their motivations and challenges. In the process of creating these personas, you’ll gain valuable knowledge about your audience. You will discover the communication style that works for them, and the ways in which they like to consume content. Also, you can find out the ideal price they are most likely to pay for your product. Learn how to create your buyer persona.


2) What are your social media strategy objectives? Being able to link your social media channels to your strategy’s high level objectives is essential. If you can’t explain why or how a particular channel will help you achieve your goals, then it’s more than likely you shouldn’t use it. It would be a waste of time. Always remember that the purpose of your chosen social media channels is to support the achievement of your strategic goals.

3) What channels are the people from your target audience using? After you’ve set social media strategy objectives, you need to consider where your audience is interacting online. For instance, it could be deemed wasted effort if your largest customer segment is composed of retired people and you chose Tik Tok as your prime channel.  


Similarly, it may not be very effective to establish your brand on Facebook if you’re only targeting teenagers. The most effective social media strategies are informed by social media demographics. 


Use data-driven insights to ensure that your strategy, and the channels you choose, facilitate the most relevant, targeted approach possible. This will help increase the chance for conversions. 


To sum it up, when choosing your social media channels, always base your decisions on demographic data, don't just go with the flow of trends. 


Define: What kind of content do you want to create? This is a relevant question as there are a bunch of different content formats you can use – some of which will complement your business goals and brand identity, and some that won’t. Certain content formats will be more suited to particular social channels than others. 


At the end of the day, personas tell you where buyers prefer to get their information. Are they bookworms? Do they like to sink their teeth into 100-page guides, or do they prefer short, concise texts and easy graphics? This information will help you set the way you create your content for each persona and how your buyers will discover it. The same goes for your creatives. Some of the people won't watch a video, some will only respond to a colorful picture and some only to a call to action post. Create content that will engage your buyers more effectively. 


Don't stick to one channel!

As social media has become more integrated into daily life, people are starting to use more than just one network. According to Pew Research Center, more than one-half of adults have their profiles on various social platforms. Most of the brands also administer more than one channel.


If you haven’t yet chosen any channels, or you’d like to expand into other platforms, the Pew Research Center have conducted an analysis that outlines the key demographics for a number of social media platforms. 


Let's talk about the most common channels, so you have some ideas when picking the right ones for your business.


Demography 

Facebook -  very common! 72% of adult internet users and 62% of the entire adult population. 70% of Facebook users visit the platform daily.

Pinterest - It's growing! It's mostly used by women. 31% of adult internet users and 26% of the entire adult population. 27% of Pinterest users use the site daily. 

Instagram - online women are more likely to use Instagram than online men (31% vs. 24%) and 28% of internet users. 59% of users visit the platform daily.

Linkedin - 25% of adult internet users. And 41% of LinkedIn users earn a salary over $75,000! LinkedIn is the only major social media platform for which usage rates are higher among 30- to 49-year-olds than among 18- to 29-year-olds. 22% of daily users. 

Twitter - 23% of all internet users. Internet users living in urban areas are more likely than their suburban or rural counterparts to use Twitter. Twitter is more popular among younger adults — 30% of online adults under 50 use Twitter, compared with 11% of online adults ages 50 and older. 38% of those on Twitter use the site daily.


Are you interested in more information about the demographic of the channels? Check this analysis.


Ask yourself: What is my product/ service? Who is the ideal buyer? Where are they? What content do they like?


Once you know who you are targeting, it's easy to find out which channel or channels to use. 


Also, you can adjust your content to that channel as well as to the audience you are talking to. Once you know who you are talking to, focus on your target audience’s needs and preferences. Your created personas will help you understand your audience’s concerns, preferences, and goals. When you know these, you are able to create content your buyers will find engaging, relevant, entertaining and valuable. Personas help you determine that very sort of content you will need.


Remember:

Because you already know who you are talking to, set the tone, style, and delivery strategies for your content according to your personas. For example, some buyers respond best to a friendly, conversational voice, with some jokes and questions, while others trust a more formal tone and serious negotiation. By creating your personas, you’ll determine the best tone and style for your content. You can even target the topics you should be writing about for each persona. 


Don't try to manage every single channel out there. It will be exhausting, chaotic, time consuming and, most likely, your audience is probably not active on every channel. Pick two to three of them, that are most suitable for your buyer, aka marketing persona, and stick to them. Manage them continuously, engage with people! Plan your posts, represent your brand identity, and track important metrics! When you're ready to manage your growing community, check out this article.

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How to Build Your Personal Brand

We’re all used to connecting the term ‘brand' with relationships to companies and products. However, that’s not what we’re going to talk about right now. A personal brand is kind of like a stamp that defines your persona and how people see it. In the past, personal branding used to be only about business cards, logos and websites. Today, it’s much more diverse. (Although websites are still useful for anyone building their brand and if you'd like to know more, you can read about this topic here.) Anyone who has access to the internet and social media can showcase themselves as an expert, build an audience, and attract clients that might be interested in their business. It’s a connection between how you see yourself, how you communicate with others and how they see you. Now, where do you start and how do you build a brand for yourself?

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One Channel Dependency Might Kill My Business!?

Is all your revenue coming from one source? That's a huge risk! Using a single sales and/ or marketing channel to market your business might be a fatal mistake for you. Single-source dependency means over-reliance on one thing and that could ruin your business. It's like having no backup. As much as you diversify your effort into various marketing channels and revenue sources, it’s unavoidable that you find a disparity in results. But that’s not to say you should stop doing it. You never know when a small revenue driver can become your main income and vice versa. 


Some businesses are dependent on one revenue source so they make themselves unduly exposed to forces outside their control. What if that source is over?


For lots of businesses this source is Google, when sales are primarily driven through Google Ads. And they take huge hits when a new competitor outbids them. 


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Beginner's Guide to Facebook Advertising

Facebook gathers more than 2,4 billion monthly active users. That being said, it is obvious that the possibility to reach your potential customers is high. On the other hand, getting to know the platform takes time or costs tons of money (for agency fees). For small business owners who decide to leverage this platform, time and money are the core assets.

So how can you get the most out of the biggest social network? First of all, know the basics. Facebook (and any other advertising platform) can be overwhelming, which makes it easy to get lost. Don’t try to understand everything. Choose to learn what matters to your business the most!

We have prepared content that will help you get to know the very basic idea behind advertising on Facebook. We call it the Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Advertising and within it we cover the following topics:

  • Setting up the right strategy.
  • Get to know the Facebook interface.
  • What is Facebook optimisation and how does it work?
  • How can you effectively target your audience?
  • Where does Facebook show your ads?
  • How do you pay for your ads?
  • What are the types of ads you can run?
  • Petr’s case study- a story of a man who successfully sold his company after a few months by growing his business on Facebook.

Dig into the Facebook advertising by downloading the e-book below and let us know how it helped you boost your business!

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