What are your most daunting and horrifying marketing fears?
Have you confronted them, or are they still lurking in the dark corners of your marketing mind?
The uncertainty of the pandemic has given rise to new fears for many, and brought out long-recessed ones for others.
Luckily with all of these fears come new opportunities for tackling them, learning more about ourselves, and perhaps even becoming better marketers in the process.
Let’s take a look at some of the top fears in marketing, including examples from some of our own team, and explore how you can take action to conquer your greatest marketing fears and turn them into 2021 successes.
1 — Fear of Boring and Losing Your Audience
A top fear shared by many marketers is undoubtedly creating content that does nothing but bore your audience.
Especially among B2B marketers, the fear of producing dull and dry content is a valid concern, where many worry about how to bring life and energy to the latest whitepaper data or statistics.
Thankfully, the B2B marketing industry has undergone a significant sea change in recent times, as methods for infusing interactive and experiential elements, genuinely interesting storytelling, and the trustworthiness of expert industry influencers have proliferated — all methods you can incorporate into your own efforts to ditch the legacy of dusty old boring B2B.
Over the years we’ve written many articles about how B2B marketers can bring energy, inspiration, and genuine excitement to digital efforts, and here are just a few to help you overcome the fear of creating boring B2B content:
- 6 Ways to Bring More Boom! & Less Boring to Your B2B
- How to Hit a Marketing Home Run with Experiential Content
- Bye-Bye Boring B2B: Lee Odden Shows B2BMX Attendees the Power of Interactive Influencer Content
- Break Free of Boring B2B with Interactive Influencer Content
- What B2B Marketers Need to Know About Experiential Content
- Infographic: 5 Must Have Ingredients for a Great Content Marketing Strategy
[bctt tweet=”“B2B marketing has undergone a sea change in recent times, as methods for infusing interactive and experiential elements, storytelling, and the trustworthiness of expert industry influencers have proliferated.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]
2 — Fear of Not Doing Enough & Being Unmotivated
As Tim Herrera, smarter living editor at The New York Times recently wrote in the piece “7 Months Into the Pandemic and I’m Losing Motivation. Help!”, now isn’t the time to pretend we’re living in normal times.
“Accepting that it’s OK to not feel as inspired as you did a year ago can help us adjust to this new way of life,” Herrera suggested.
Anxiety and stress can take a huge toll on productivity, so it’s important for marketers to reassess — daily or even hourly — just what progress and personal success are during a lengthy pandemic, and to define them in more forgiving and graceful ways during the pandemic.
During the pandemic some 23 percent of people across the world have turned to online communities for stress management, according to Facebook’s recently-released “Connected Convenience: How People Are Finding And Fostering Togetherness Online” report, which for marketers has given rise to newfound digital connection opportunities to reach audiences.
The fear of facing lost motivation and the decreased productivity that often follows is a significant challenge, however there are ways to start turning the table on them.
We should remind ourselves that we’re in the midst of a pandemic, and that simply making it through a day can in its own way be the biggest victory we can hope for.
It can also be helpful to take stock of anything extra beyond the bare minimum that we’ve been able to accomplish during the day — even if it’s just one small task — to remind ourselves that we not only have the power to push on and survive the daily challenges of the global health crisis, but also the ability to perform in ways that may surprise us if we take the time to seek out and acknowledge them.
B2B marketers are a busy bunch, and while having a chock full or overbooked schedule can in some ways help us make it through the next day, it’s important to take care of our own needs — whether by boosting happiness hormones or through other methods — and to work in time for reflection, physical and creative activities, and other self-care elements that will help avoid marketing burnout as time passes.
[bctt tweet=”“It’s important to take care of our own needs and work in time for reflection, physical and creative activities, and other self-care elements to help avoid marketing burnout as time passes.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]
3 — Fear of Uncertainty
During the pandemic the fear of uncertainty has affected us all. Most marketers are still dealing with the upheaval of remote work, and the uncertainty surrounding a future that remains more of a mystery than anyone would like can at times feel overwhelming.
This fear of uncertainty has played a part in a significant drop in confidence among corporate executives, according to Deloitte’s new Global Marketing Trends 2021 report, surveying over 400 global CMOs and other executives. From CEOs and CIOs to COOs and CMOs, confidence has understandably fallen during the pandemic.
Marketing activities that boost trust can help overcome the confidence debt that has risen during the pandemic, such as those our CEO Lee Odden recently explored in “In Search of Trust: How Authentic Content Drives Customer Experience.”
To help face some of the fears surrounding remote work, we’ve also written several articles to assist you in turning those remote work challenges into newfound advantages, including my own “Day 4,777: Remote Work Tips From 13+ Years As A Distance Marketer.” Here are the others:
- 5 Project Management Tips for Adrift Remote Marketing Teams
- 6 Tips to Keep B2B Marketing Teams in Rhythm While Working Remotely
- New Research: How B2B Content Marketers Are Impacted and Pivoting During the Pandemic
- Remote Communication Opportunities For B2B Marketers
- Marketing Lessons from Lockdown: What My 3-year-old Has Taught Me
- A Day in the Life of a Content Marketer During the Pandemic: Challenges and Tips
- 6 Dynamic Tactics For Solving The Post-Pandemic Marketing Rubik’s Cube
[bctt tweet=”“Marketing activities that boost trust can help overcome the confidence debt that has risen during the pandemic.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]
4 — Fear of Giving Away Your Secret Sauce Recipe
It’s not uncommon in the marketing world to face the fear of divulging what may appear to be too much information — to the point where you might think a client would simply be able to take your secret sauce recipe and create the same type of success that you have.
One of the greatest elements in both content marketing and B2B influencer marketing, however, is the expectation and respect of freely sharing helpful information.
Content marketing has been built on a foundation of giving away helpful information — whether in the form of writing or visual elements — which has undoubtedly been a primary reason why it’s become such a popular and successful method marketers use to connect with people.
B2B influencer marketing similarly counts among its core values the free exchange of expert insight and advice, which has likely contributed to a rise in the use of B2B influencer marketing among top brands, such as with our own clients Adobe, LinkedIn, AT&T, Dell, Oracle, and other top organizations.
Face the fear of giving away your secret sauce recipe by learning more about content marketing — we have you covered with the following recent articles about the practice, and for learning more about the power of B2B influencer marketing a great starting point is our groundbreaking and authoritative 45-plus page 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report.
- 50 Top B2B Content Marketing Influencers To Follow in 2021
- Your Guide to Effective Storytelling in B2B Content Marketing
- 5 Steps for a More Powerful B2B Content Marketing Strategy
- 7 B2B Content Marketing Tactics For Long Term Success
- Why Content Marketing is More Important Than Ever for B2B Brands
[bctt tweet=”“One of the greatest elements in both content marketing and B2B influencer marketing is the expectation and respect of freely sharing helpful information.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]
5 — Fear of Oversharing of Under-Sharing
“I must be sharing too much content too often? But what if I’m not sharing nearly enough to be effective…”
These common fears arise when marketers haven’t conducted tests to determine the sharing cadence that works best among a particular audience or on a specific social platform.
Although it can take time to fine-tune your social media sharing frequency, finding the cadence that best resonates with with your audience is well worth it to not only attract new followers but also keep existing fans.
In our informal poll asking B2B marketers their primary reason for unfollowing a brand, sharing too much content and irrelevant content were the top reasons aside from poor quality content.
Each year firms produce reports based on the examination of social publishing data in an attempt to pinpoint the top times to publish on various platforms, such as Sprout Social’s “How COVID-19 Has Changed Social Media Engagement,” and Hootsuite’s “The Best Time to Post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.” This data can be helpful in developing your own plan, however it should be considered a starting off point rather than social posting gospel.
[bctt tweet=”“Finding the social publishing cadence that best resonates with with your audience is well worth it to not only attract new followers but also keep existing fans.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]
6 — Fear of Messaging That Appears Too Old or Too Young
Aside from our physical age, the messaging we create can be constructed in a vast range of tones, with only certain ones ringing true with your intended audience.
Many marketers are afraid of crafting messaging that goes too far in either direction — appearing to be made for much older audiences than intended, or taking on tones that make the content skew far too young.
You can help overcome this fear by learning more about your audience — who are they, what questions are they asking, and what tone will work the best when communicating with them?
Our “10 Smart Question Research Tools for B2B Marketers” shares many tools B2B marketers can use to uncover the questions people are asking, while our “5 Essential Questions to Guide Your B2B Influencer Marketing Strategy” explores how B2B influencer marketing can help connect with audiences, and in “Your B2B Marketing Book of Life: 10 Inspiring B2B Marketing Tips From Family History,” we take a family history themed look at getting to know your particular marketing audience.
7 — Fear of Aiming For the Stars
“I can’t compete with that — it won top honors at Cannes!”
The fear of aiming too high is another common one among marketers, as it can be daunting to contemplate going head to head with the very best marketing efforts the world has to offer.
Looking at examples of award-winning efforts, however, is a great way to help you dream big and see how brands are making their marketing dreams come true. Breaking down award-winning examples into bite-sized chunks — from start to finish — can help us see that even the greatest digital campaigns were formed by perfectly piecing together small elements that all work together in harmony.
In the following articles we’ve explored some top examples to help you conquer your fear of reaching for the marketing stars:
- What Does Award-Winning B2B Influencer Marketing Look Like?
- Get Ready For Video In 2021: Watch 5 Creative Examples of B2B Marketing on YouTube
- 5 Refreshing Examples of Imaginative B2B Marketing To Inspire You in 2021
- 6 Cannes Revelations About B2B Marketing in 2020
- Award Winning B2B Influencer Marketing at B2BMX
- 5 B2B Brands Innovating with AR & AI Marketing
- 4 Ways Brands Can Use Creativity & Comedy to Create Award-Winning Content Marketing
[bctt tweet=”“Even the greatest digital marketing campaigns were formed by perfectly piecing together small elements that all work together in harmony.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]
8 — Fear of Missing Deadlines
“I need to put in a twenty hour day to be absolutely certain this project meets the deadline!”
The fear of being unable to meet deadlines can be daunting for many marketers, but doesn’t have to rule your professional life if you put your projects in order and implement scheduling touch points that keep things on track through the process, so those last minute surprises are few and far between.
Getting into good deadline scheduling habits that include plenty of built-in time for leeway needed to ward off last-minute chaos is well worth the effort.
Here are several articles we’ve written that will help overcome those efficiency and time management fears:
- 5 Time-Saving Tips to Overclock Your B2B Marketing Efficiency
- 5 Ways B2B Marketers Can Boost Productivity and Focus
- 5 Project Management Tips for Adrift Remote Marketing Teams
- In a Fast-Paced Digital World, B2B Marketers Can Benefit from Slowing Down
- 7 Efficiency-Boosting Martech Tools & Platform Features B2B Marketers Need to Consider
- A Well-Oiled Machine: Why Every B2B Marketing Team Needs Marketing Operations
- Smooth Sailing: Our Guide to Effective Project Management for B2B Marketers
- B2B Marketing Fitness: 16 B2B Experts Share Top Tips for Optimized Performance
[bctt tweet=”“Getting into good deadline scheduling habits that include plenty of built-in time for leeway needed to ward off last-minute chaos is well worth the effort.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]
9 — Fear of Presenting New Ideas
Even if you never miss a deadline, many marketers face another fear that arises when plans abound and suggestions are plentiful — the fear of presenting new ideas.
Our own influencer marketing strategist Nic Michael has several tactics for facing and overcoming this widespread fear.
“One of my biggest marketing fears is presenting new ideas,” Nic shared.
“Whether an influencer list or a creative execution, I always fear that my client stakeholders will hate what I have done. Over time, I have realized that coming in with strategic thinking, enthusiasm, and confidence, makes presenting a much less stressful situation than it plays out in your head,” Nic observed.
Our own vice president of client accounts Alexis Hall takes a look at these and other methods for better marketing presentations in “How to Power Marketing Presentations With Data Visualization & Win Over Your Audience,” including helpful tips to overcome even the strongest fear of sharing new ideas.
10 — Fear of Missing New Industry Trends
Plenty of marketers also fear missing out on new industry trends, as keeping up with the swift twists and turns of today’s marketing scene — with mile-a-minute product launches, ever-new platforms, feature changes and additions — is not an easy task.
It can be done, however, as our director of search and analytics Seth Epstein explained.
“For a long time I was fearful that I wouldn’t be able to stay up to date on everything I need to know to be relevant as a marketer,” Seth said.
“To overcome that, I’ve learned to focus on business goals and on understanding who potential customers are and what they want. Testing new strategies and tactics, and keeping up with trends becomes easier — and fun — when you’ve got confidence in your marketing foundations,” Seth observed.
One way to keep up on the latest B2B marketing industry trends is by following blogs such as our own, and by keeping up with our B2B Marketing News, which publishes every Friday.
Don’t Look Back At Your Marketing Fears
Whether it’s the fears we’ve explored here or some of the many more marketers are facing today more than ever because of the pandemic, it’s important to move forward and not look back — like Count Orlok in F.W. Murnau’s fear-riddled Nosferatu — on the fears we’ve either already overcome or are working to face in our daily lives.
Facing our fears can make us better B2B marketers and in many aspects of our professional and personal lives as well, so I encourage you to use this first-ever Halloween pandemic season to take the methods and suggestions we’ve looked at to heart, and to create your own new form of fearless marketing and living.
Want further help facing your marketing fears? Contact us and find out why brands from SAP, LinkedIn, AT&T Business, and Adobe to IBM, Dell, Cherwell Software, monday.com and more have chosen TopRank Marketing.
The post 10 Horrifying Marketing Fears & How To Turn Them Into 2021 Successes appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.
Small companies create almost all the jobs. They are the insurgents, the agents of change.
Big companies are a backbone, reliable providers of goods and services. Big companies operate at a scale that most of us can’t even imagine.
The two points of view often conflict. And each can learn from the other.
Net neutrality is an argument between freedom of innovation by small business vs. control from big business.
Campaign finance reform is an argument against big companies and their leaders buying the outcomes of elections.
It’s not always about capitalism vs. the alternative. It’s often about the status quo vs. what’s next.
Worth noting: A small business is not a big business that hasn’t grown up yet. It’s different. A small business has an owner, someone who can make decisions without meetings, who can listen to customers and who can embrace the work at hand.
If you run a small business, I hope you’ll check out the new workshop from my friend and colleague Ramon Ray. The folks at Akimbo are working with Ramon to help connect small business people on their journey to making a bigger impact. It works better together.
Assuming you’re able to attract a decent number of regular visitors, blogging can be a valuable way to make money. You can use advertising or affiliate links to generate passive income, or more popularly, you could use your blog as a vehicle to sell something else—you could sell merchandise or premium content related to your blog content, or you could point people to your online store.
If this is the case, you’ll need some kind of conversion optimization strategy to improve your results.
What Is Conversion Optimization?
Let’s start by defining conversion optimization. A “conversion” is any desired action taken by a visitor on your website. For example, common conversions include purchasing a product, filling out a form, signing up for a newsletter, and watching a video. Oftentimes, the point of conversion can be a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your blog post, a form that pops up during the visit, or a specific landing page for your readers.
Your conversion rate is the number of visitors who convert, often expressed as a percentage; for example, a conversion rate of 2 percent means that 2 percent of people who visit a page of your site ultimately “convert,” taking your desired action. Conversion optimization is a set of strategies intended to increase your conversion rate, increasing the total number of conversions you receive.
Landing Pages and Sales Funnels
According to ClickFunnels, two of the most valuable assets in your arsenal will be your sales funnel and your landing pages.
Your sales funnel is a construct that hypothesizes and plans the “ideal” journey your visitors take on their path from being merely aware of your brand to becoming full-fledged customers. For example, you might win your visitors over with a compelling blog post, guide them to a landing page with a specific CTA, push them to a sales page, then finalize the deal.
Your landing pages are specific pages designed and written to achieve a conversion—or possibly, to push a visitor to the next stage on the path to conversion. These are valuable opportunities for conversion optimization, since you can tweak many variables related to their design, writing, layout, accessibility, and functionality.
Strategies to Increase Conversions
There are countless viable ways to increase conversions on your blog, including:
Make your CTA obvious. First, make your call to action (CTA) obvious. If you have a button that users can click, make it stand out with a bright color and clear font. Otherwise, use powerful action words to drive users to the next phase of conversion.
Add a pop-up. Pop-up ads can be obnoxious, but a small, noninvasive pop-up requesting a signup can help you earn a higher conversion rate.
Make it easy to convert. People will abandon forms and shopping carts if it’s too hard or if it takes too long to convert. Keep your forms simple and use as few fields as possible.
Make it more rewarding to convert. Conversions are typically a form of exchange. For example, you might give your users a piece of premium content in exchange for signing up for your newsletter, or more simply, you might give them a product in exchange for money. You can encourage more conversions by increasing the rewards; consider throwing in an additional bonus or offering a discount.
Add elements of social trust. People will be more likely to convert if they trust you, so consider adding things like trust badges, user reviews, testimonials, and brands you’ve worked with in the past. Any form of social trust can boost your conversion rates.
Strengthen your headlines. Your headlines and bullet points need to be compelling and concise if they’re going to succeed. Tweak them to capture the essence of your message and appeal to specific people.
Increase urgency. Many conversion opportunities fail because a user procrastinates; they decide to complete their purchase at some point indefinitely in the future, rather than right now. Combat this by creating a sense of urgency with limited-time offers and/or countdown timers.
The Importance of Experimentation
There are some strategies that seem to work well in increasing conversions for a wide variety of websites, but some audiences may not respond well to them—and every situation is unique. For this reason, conversion optimization is both a science and an art.
It’s essential that you commit to ongoing experimentation to learn which strategies work best for your blog and your target audience. With the help of AB tests, you can create multiple versions of your conversion optimization strategy, and study the variables that are most likely to lead to your success. Over time, you can throw out the tactics that don’t work and invest more heavily in the tactics that do work, polishing your strategy to perfection.
The post How to Use Conversion Optimization to Improve Your Blog appeared first on Blogtrepreneur.
Strictly speaking, collateral is fairly straightforward: It’s the assets you own that can be leveraged to borrow when buying something new, a car or home, for example. But the collateral definition speaks nothing of the wide ranging value of your assets as leverage to continue growing a portfolio of value.
Collateral is one of your most powerful assets when working toward a bright financial future, but you have to learn how to leverage it to its full potential.
How to Use Collateral
Most often, collateral is used to complete a home loan application for those with a less than stellar credit history. Some borrowers can procure unsecured loans for new home purchases—that is, a loan without collateral attached. However, even if your financial institution is willing to extend a line of credit to you without any additional skin in the game, there are some significant advantages to including some of your physical assets as a part of the deal anyway.
Attaching additional contingency items to a loan application adds the benefit of reducing the interest rate you will have to pay or extending the lifetime of the loan so that you can pay less each month. This is particularly helpful for buyers looking to rent or flip houses for immediate cash profit. The less you pay out each month, the less your upfront costs will be before you start receiving a monthly check from your tenants or a payout from a buyer. You will owe back whatever you end up borrowing, so the less you are forced to pay out of pocket before the revenue starts streaming in the better off you will be.
How do you build a reservoir of collateral?
Collateral is a funny thing. It takes money to make money, but cash is the only thing that can’t be used in this way to secure a collateral loan. This means that your income—whether derived from a traditional paycheck or through investment vehicles—needs to go toward building capital in two primary silos. On the one hand, investing in stocks and more traditional savings products will build a cash reserve that you can fall back on in times of hardship or when you retire. On the other hand, it’s also important to begin collecting items of fiscal value that can be leveraged in order to build more capital down the line. Buying collectibles in certain arenas might be a great way to start on this. Another great investment choice is in gold bullion. Gold operates just as any other investment product and fluctuates in price, however, a stockpile of gold can be leveraged for additional purchasing power, whereas stocks or cash reserves cannot. And collateral is only in as much risk as you allow it to be. If you maintain payments, ultimately clearing the loan, then no transfer of ownership must be made. You are simply offering your tangible assets in the event of non-payment.
Real estate is often one of the first pieces of collateral that an investor seeks to put up in order to reduce interest payments. Real estate is a versatile type of collateral and is easily valued by a bank or insurance investigator—unlike a collection of vintage wine, guitars, cars, or baseball cards. Real estate is immediately transferrable and easily resalable, making it a favorite among lenders who can judge exactly what they are being offered without much speculation or specific market-related insight. Building a formidable stable of real estate or other tangible financial instruments in order to leverage better borrowing terms in the future is an essential consideration for any serious investor. It’s a good idea to diversify your portfolio and using collateral to obtain mortgage loans can be a good way to do so.
Technology has completely transformed how businesses operate. Every entrepreneur is on the hunt for IT systems and tools that will make business operations efficient. While that is the case, most technologies, especially advanced ones like machine learning, predictive analytics, big data, can be quite challenging to manage and implement for small businesses. Sadly, you can only benefit from tech if you use and manage what you have at your disposal in the right way. Let us take a peek at some great tips to help you manage your business technology for improved functions.
Make use of cloud-based tools
One great way of managing your business technology is by utilizing cloud-based tools for better security. Remember introducing any new technology comes with risks; however, using the cloud for business can mitigate those risks. These tools are accessible, scalable, cheap, and secure. All you need to do is find those that fit your business needs.
Keep your software updated
Software updates are important in keeping your tools and machines running smoothly. They often include critical patches to security holes. In addition to security fixes, software updates usually come with new or enhanced features, better compatibility with other devices, and improved stability. Updating your software improves your experience and ensures you get the most out of your investment. For example, if you are using Mac for your business, then upgrading to the new Big Sur 11 for better features and security will be a good move for your business. Luckily, this installation update and pretty much most of them are quite easy. Your software vendor will avail updates often via notifications and you can simply click to install them. Beware that some updates can lead to glitches that can hurt your operations.
Train your employees
Training your employees is crucial in managing your business technology. If you think about it, your employees are the ones who are going to use the technologies you have implemented. Imagine what happens if they are not trained to handle them? You will be forced to fix the mess and incur costs that were meant to be sliced by investing in technology. Every time you make changes or have new software, make sure to train your employees adequately.
Invest in a CRM system
As your business grows, it might become difficult to keep up with customers and continually serve them better. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. The system is integrated with software that allows you to collect, organize, and manage all customer information. It allows you to treat each customer individually rather than a group by taking note of their specific needs. As you know, better customer service fosters loyalty, which is a recipe for growth.
Business intelligence tools will help!
If you do not know the power of business intelligence tools, it is time you got acquainted. The business intelligence tools can collate data from different sources, including websites, blogs, apps, and the likes. They then help you create actionable reports. Have you ever heard of Microsoft BI, Sisense, Tableau, Google Data Studio? These are just some of the tools that you can look into to manage your business technology and improve operations.
Technology is an investment that should be managed and maintained to get the best returns. Managing business technology simplifies and smoothens business operations. It will in turn translate to better services and growth.
Marketing is an industry encompassing, well, frankly, quite a lot. There’s the high-level strategy and all the many varying marketing tactics falling into categories such as sales, advertising, and the vast world of its own that is digital.
The world has gradually been moving online for years upon years. Now, you can hardly find one person without a smartphone with some sort of internet access. If any brand hasn’t already moved into internet marketing at this point, they have fallen severely behind.
For the modern marketing era, internet marketing is simply a must. And one of the best forms of marketing on the internet is search engine optimization.
Our question today is whether SEO might be the tactic that drives the future of marketing. What does SEO mean to the modern marketer?
What is Search Engine Optimization?
SEO is much more than just pressing a single, simple button and then declaring that your website is optimized. There are actually a wide range of different tasks, from the technical aspects of a website to the creation of quality content, that contribute to the optimization of a website.
It requires a lot of work on various aspects in order to get on the right side of search engine algorithms. It’s not necessarily easy, but it’s what’s necessary to compete in the current marketing landscape.
Just the right SEO strategy is needed for a brand to get found by any customers that are online. Since almost every single customer is now online, SEO’s importance simply cannot be denied.
SEO’s Journey to Being One of the Top Marketing Practices
Now, obviously, it has not always been this way. Considering the internet’s own youth, it must be understood that SEO is still a fairly new strategy.
Yet, SEO has quickly emerged as one of the best options for those pursuing a better marketing strategy in our world of always-growing competition. As soon as the internet captured attentions, SEO took no time at all making itself known as well.
The Emergence of SEO Strategy
The internet, at the first moments of its invention, did not come with search engines. The first methods of navigating this new world were nothing like we would recognize as the search engines of today.
It began, in a way, with directories. Think in the vein of the Yellow Pages, that ancient thing we knew as a phone book, not anything like the internet directories we are familiar with today. Breaking into these was also a very different game than today’s process of SEO, and it was just about impossible for small businesses.
When the very first search engines appeared, it was definitely a game-changer. Yet these were nowhere near as sophisticated as what today’s continuously-evolving algorithms offer us. With some very simple actions, the first efforts in the name of SEO, the early engines were quickly manipulated.
The problem was that the ranking was almost purely based on keywords on a page, with no safeguards in place to fight against those just looking to hack the system. Nothing stood in the way of keyword-stuffers winning the top spots on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
At that time, a successful SEO strategy didn’t require real skill to craft a quality website. And even as search engines got updates, growing better at separating the high-quality sites from the spam, SEO tricks were adapted.
Yet Google and the other big players eventually got wind of this black hat SEO as well. With more and more endeavors on the part of the search engines to stamp it out, SEO has had to truly evolve.
It is not what it used to be. It is not an easy strategy that you can succeed at with tricks or hacks, but it’s really something better now.
As the sphere of SEO has grown and matured, its place in the marketing world has only further become cemented. Moving forward, it is certain that we will see SEO move into the forefront of the entire marketing industry.
Seeing the Evolving Benefits of Doing SEO
SEO requires a lot of effort to really get it right, but it is absolutely worth it. The benefits that embarking on an SEO strategy can bring are numerous.
Without requiring a huge investment, an SEO process can get your website seen by increasing its visibility on search engines. And each new visitor to your brand’s website is another potential customer that you can profit from. Considering how many people now discover brands in this way, through the internet, this seems like too big of an opportunity for anyone to miss out on.
We’ve gotten to the point where businesses need SEO. It has left being an option behind to become vital. And that is why SEO is the forefront of marketing.
Search Engine Optimization as The Forefront of Marketing
It is really time now that the marketing world makes way for its latest champion: SEO. Its dominance can no longer be doubted.
For all that the process of SEO offers businesses and beyond, it can be declared to be the forefront of marketing.
The Best Way to Get Found Online
Organic search engine traffic is the number one way brands get discovered online. Search engine optimization tasks make that happen more consistently for the brands implementing them.
Here’s how it works.
SEO experts work on the website, optimizing content to better match the keywords that are being typed into search engines, improving the overall website itself to make it appealing to those that do arrive, and performing a variety of other tasks like link-building and meta optimization to rank higher and pull in more ideal potential customers. All these items, the small and the big, add up to a brand’s website showing up more and more often to the internet users that are most likely to be interested in the business.
Take Wag! For a good example of this successful SEO plan in action. A dog owner who has any question about their dog, whether it’s on their behavior, health, or another advice topic, can find the answer on Wag!’s comprehensive blog. Yet, straight to this blog is not where most people would turn. Wag!’s blog is filled with posts on a variety of topics because when that dog owner turns with their question to every internet user’s most trusted friend, Google, a link to Wag!’s website (specifically those blog posts) will show up as one of the top results. And, of course, if you are asking about these dog topics, it can be assumed that you are a dog owner who might be interested in one of this company’s many services.
What this example showcases is that SEO works. It gets brands found online, through those most-loved tools, the search engines.
As getting found is that very first critical step, this power of SEO alone shouldn’t be taken for granted. Neither should SEO itself be.
One of the Most Important Marketing Techniques Right Now
There are other marketing endeavors that you can use, that you should use, if you really want to get your brand out there and in front of customers. But the valuable strategy of SEO supplements all these other methods.
All other advertising mediums intersect with and feed into good SEO. When prospects see and engage with any type of traditional advertising that you put out, SEO is often the next tactic to lure them. Consider it: Is the next step after viewing a billboard or television commercial not to then visit that business’s website?
Having potential customers on the website can also then allow you to lead them into other marketing methods. By getting them to submit their contact information to join the mailing list or encouraging them to follow your social media accounts, you can lengthen their consumer journey. In this way, it won’t end at its search engine beginnings, though it does all come back to SEO.
With the whole world online, a business’s website couldn’t be a more important asset. Websites enable customers to get to know a brand, to stay in contact, and to make the purchase. SEO is what powers these websites.
SEO is one of the most important marketing techniques there is right now.
A Smart Strategy Moving Into the Future
SEO is not going anywhere any time soon. It will continue evolving, sure. Just as the SEO of the past is not now the SEO that we know today, the SEO of tomorrow will also be something completely different. Still, it will be there.
In fact, SEO’s changes moving forward may only provide us more opportunities. We can already see the direction that’s being moved in, with AI, mobile, and voice search shining bright as the modern technologies of our future. These are what SEO experts will have to adapt to as the industry grows. Yet with more ways for customers to find their new favorite brands online, the more opportunities there are for SEO to give your brand the best fighting chance.
Never Stop Investing in SEO
SEO is not a marketing method you will want to neglect at any point, now or in the future. It is the forefront of marketing. Only with SEO can every brand find its success.
Author Bio: Dmitrii Kustov is founder of Regex SEO. Currently, as Internet Marketing Director for Regex SEO, he is helping businesses and entrepreneurs grow their presence online. Due to his experience and background, he has been able to share hands-on knowledge about the following topics: Internet marketing (SEO, paid advertising, social media, content marketing, etc), statistical analytics, web development, and entrepreneurship.
Do you know how to keep your data safe on your Apple devices? Have you been taking data security seriously?
If you own an Apple device such as a Macbook or an iPhone then it’s important that you do everything you can to keep it secure. It’s important to protect your data from hackers and intruders and to take steps to prevent sensitive data from being uncovered.
Fortunately, we’re here to help with that. Below we’ll tell you how you can keep your data safe and secure on Apple devices.
1. Set Strong Passwords
One of the best ways to keep your Apple devices safe is to make sure you’re using passwords and passcodes whenever possible.
Setting a password to log into your Macbook or a passcode to log into your iPhone is essential. When setting up passwords, however, make sure that you choose them wisely. Ensure that the passwords you set for your devices aren’t easy to guess. Instead, use a combination of letters and numbers to make your passwords more resistant to intruders.
Additionally, make sure that you enable two-factor authentication for your devices as well to add an extra layer of protection.
2. Install Anti-Malware Software
Another great thing you can do to secure your data is to install malware and adware protection software on your Apple devices. Installing antivirus software on your Macbook and on your iPhone can provide a lot of extra protection and will make it less likely that your devices will be hacked. It will prevent spyware, adware, and viruses from being installed.
Ideally, get malware protection software that monitors your devices 24/7 and be sure to run malware scans regularly to check for malicious code.
3. Back Up Your Devices Regularly
One of the very best things you can do to keep your Apple data safe is to get into the habit of making regular backups. Backing up your data is important and will help ensure that if anything ever happens to the data on your computer or on your other Apple devices you’ll be able to recover it.
Backing up your devices can be helpful in case your computer or mobile device ever gets physically damaged or if malware infects your device and ends up corrupting important data. Be sure that you learn how to back up my iPhone or Apple computer if you want to be fully prepared for the possibility of data loss.
4. Update Your Software
To keep the data on your Apple devices safe and sound, one of the top things you can do is to make sure you always install software updates in a timely manner. Updates often help to fix vulnerabilities in the software on your Apple devices, so by keeping it updated you’ll ensure that your system remains as secure as possible.
Be sure that you go into system preferences and set the software on your Macbook and on your other Apple devices to update automatically whenever there are updates available. This will help ensure that any software vulnerabilities are fixed as soon as possible and that you’ll have a better chance of keeping your data secure.
5. Start Using a VPN
Using a virtual private network (VPN) client is another great way you can more fully protect the data on your Macbook, iPhone, or other Apple device. A VPN helps to encrypt your connection with any public Wi-Fi networks that you’re using and will give you greater privacy, preventing anyone else who is connected to the network from seeing what you’re doing.
If not protected with a VPN, a hacker could potentially see sensitive data and personal information over the wireless connection. A VPN client will help to prevent this and will help keep your data more secure when you use your devices in a public place.
6. Remember Physical Safety
While there are many things you can do to keep your data safe, it’s important to remember that you should keep your devices physically secure as well.
If you’re using your phone or your computer in a public setting, you should never leave it unattended. Be sure to always keep an eye on your devices and ensure that it is never far from your reach. If your computer or phone is stolen, sensitive data and personal information that is on the device will be compromised and this could lead to big problems.
By always being mindful of your devices and knowing where they are you’ll avoid problems and will ensure that your data is kept secure at all times.
7. Locate Your Device
Apple understands the potential for devices such as MacBooks or iPhones to get stolen or lost from time to time, and because of this, they have a service called “Find My” that lets you easily track your device and find out where it is.
Before anything happens to your device, you should make sure to protect it by going into your iCloud preferences and setting your Find My app settings up. You can this for any of your Apple devices.
Once the Find My app is set up properly, you’ll be able to track your device and even view a map of where it is. This can be a lifesaver if you ever experience a worst-case scenario and a device gets lost or stolen.
Using These Tips to Keep Your Data Safe
If you want to keep data safe on your Apple devices then it’s important that you have a gameplan in place. Be sure that you make use of the tips above to protect your sensitive data and to block intruders from stealing your personal information.
Looking for more helpful technology tips? Explore our blog now to find more tips and advice for making the most out of Apple technology.
The post 7 Tips For Keeping Your Data Safe on Apple Devices appeared first on Blogtrepreneur.
It’s a difficult time to be a student or graduate. The current pandemic has brought around economic uncertainty and there are fewer jobs out there. However, it’s important to remember that this will pass. A successful career is still very much achievable.
If you studied English at university, it can be difficult to know what career to pursue. While you learn and develop a number of useful skills studying English, your career path might not be as obvious as someone studying business or medicine, for example. Here are some ideas if you’re feeling a little stuck.
Marketing is a growing industry with plenty of career options. It’s a great career for an English graduate as plenty of roles rely on good writing abilities. You might be crafting email campaigns, writing social media posts or creating slogans. This means that marketing companies are often looking for graduates with excellent written abilities and an understanding of English language. There are plenty of entry-level roles or internships in marketing companies where you’ll be working on a range of digital marketing services. You could find that you become a marketing guru.
There are many benefits to becoming an educator. Teaching can be an extremely rewarding profession. You get to meet bright and enthusiastic young people and influence the way they think. Most of us can remember at least one of our school teachers and the way they encouraged us to think differently. Teachers need to have good written abilities and an understanding of grammar – especially if they’re teaching English. Your English degree will put you in good stead to go into do a PGCE or other teaching course.
If you studied English, you probably enjoy writing, right? Becoming a writer might be the most obvious career path for an English graduate. But it can also be the hardest, too. You might want to become a professional freelance writer, writing your own novels, screenplays or poetry. It’s a great career choice with the option of being incredibly creative, but you’ll need to work hard. Freelance writers have to find their own work and network widely to ensure they can make a living. However, as an English graduate you probably love writing and have the motivation to follow this exciting career path.
All lawyers need to have some kind of law degree. However, English graduates are well suited to do law conversion courses, as studying English teaches them the right transferable skills. Lawyers need to be excellent linguists; knowing how to use words to persuade and convince. They need to analyse information and rely on numerous sources to get information. And they need to work hard and know how to study. Most English graduates understand this. They will have spent their degree reading, analysing, writing and gaining an understanding of language. So, if you want to take on interesting cases, meet new people and become and expert in your field, a career in law might be just the ticket.
Password management is the building block of security for your business. While there are many aspects of staying safe online, maintaining a strong password is the best and easiest way to ensure your business doesn’t suffer a data breach
There are five crucial business password management practices that can protect your company.
1. Use a Password Manager
By far the easiest and best investment is to use a corporate password manager. Companies like Keeper Security specialize in keeping your business safe.
Password managers implement a single sign on system where all of your individual passwords and account information is stored under one master password. This allows for individual passwords to be used on each application, which is standard password protection protocol, without the hassle of trying to remember which password goes to which application.
Gone are the days of having to sit on hold with IT while they perform yet another password reset of your most used applications because you forgot your password.
2. Encryption is Essential
Password Management Companies offer more than just password storage. They also have encryption practices that secure your data so that in the event of a breach, all the hackers are receiving is a file of scrambled characters.
Unscrambling encryption is something even the most advanced hackers won’t have the ability to do in the time before passwords change and the information is useless. This is an easy and effective way to keep secure information safe.
Encryption is especially important if your company handles protected health information, social security numbers, or banking and credit card details. Not only is it important, but not having encryption means you are out of compliance with laws such as HIPAA.
3. Limit Password Sharing
While there may be one or two times where sharing a password may be necessary, for the most part, you should never share your password with anyone. Even the employee who seems to have your best interest at heart should not be privy to your password.
Passwords are confidential for a reason. Sharing your password with one person could seem harmless. But if they do not share the same confidentiality as you, they can easily pass that information on, even unintentionally.
There is no easier way to have a security breach than to just hand out your password.
4. Implement Two-Factor Authentication
Utilizing two-factor authentication protects you from someone who may be able to guess your password actually being able to enter your accounts. When you enable two-factor authentication, it sends a text with a code to your phone. You must enter this code before the system will let you continue.
Without the code, you are locked out and you won’t be able to access any of the information. If someone is able to hack into your account and not complete the two-factor authentication, you will be notified and will be able to change your password on your next login. It is a great tool in keeping you safe.
5. Educate Employees on Safe Internet Usage
While most of these tasks seem simple on the surface, a lot of times employees forget that they are dealing with a company and not just their home computer. Educating your staff on the importance of safe internet usage is essential in keeping your business safe.
Educate on the importance of not opening links on emails where they don’t know the sender. It is much easier in business to want to trust a link from an unknown source thinking they are a potential client or vendor. Ensure that the link you are opening does come from a trusted source and not a phishing scam.
Set up web blocks on sites that employees are not permitted to use. This usually includes all social media sites, unless their use is part of their job. Limiting access to certain websites helps maintain security across sites that are notorious for creating data breaches.
Maintaining a password change schedule can ensure that all of your employees are compliant with constantly changing their password. Instead of suggesting a change, mandate that they change it on a recurring interval. 90 days is a standard timeframe, but some companies opt for 30 to ensure their security.
If you follow these simple steps to password security and invest in a password management system like the ones offered by Keeper Security, you can be confident that you are providing your business with the toughest internet security you can get.
Maintaining your passwords and keeping your information off the dark web will not only help you sleep at night but can save you from a very expensive data breach that could potentially end your business.
Hackers are smart and very resilient, but good security can keep them at bay and your information safe.
Running a successful business in today’s environment requires a high degree of efficiency, collaboration, and security. And while there are thousands of apps and tools on the market, a comprehensive intranet solution could be exactly what your organization needs to get ahead.
What is an Intranet?
An intranet is basically a private enterprise network that’s designed for the exclusive purpose of serving the organization by providing a fully integrated digital platform for internal collaboration.
The first intranets were created in the early 1990s, but wasn’t until the 2010s that they began incorporating social features and advanced elements that make it possible for individual users to have profiles and interact with other users in real-time.
Over the years, intranets have pivoted from primarily top-down communication to fully collaborative platforms that encourage organic engagement throughout each layer and department of the organization. Think of it like a centralized portal for sharing documents, ideas, and messages.
6 Tips for Choosing an Intranet
The rapid advancement of intranet technology has been fueled by increased competition and innovation in the space. While this is ultimately good news for teams that need intranets, it also creates challenges with determining how to proceed.
As you conduct your due diligence and compare options, here are some helpful tips that will allow you to choose the right fit for your organization.
Know the Different Types
Not all intranets are the same. They come in a variety of types and formats.
There are custom solutions and off-the-shelf solutions. But unless you have deep pockets and highly technical needs, paying a developer to create your very own custom solution isn’t affordable or necessary. Instead, you want to look for a cloud-based option that offers the flexibility to pick and choose the features you want to use.
Cloud based intranets are excellent alternatives to on-premise intranet software (which the organization actually purchases, owns, and hosts in their own data center).
As Happeo explains, “The provider hosts, manages and maintains the intranet software and the user pays for the licensing fee. With data stored in the cloud organizations are able to access their data at any time and from anywhere in the world.”
The easy setup and flexible pricing explain why so many of today’s leading organizations choose cloud-based options like Happeo.
Think about the vendors behind the platforms. It’s one thing to have an intranet solution with a bunch of bells and whistles, but is there a reliable and trustworthy support team working behind the scenes to ensure everything runs smoothly? This is something to consider as you evaluate different vendors.
Look for Attractive UI
Don’t ignore the importance of the user interface (UI). It might seem like a tiny detail, but the reality is that you want your team to use the intranet. And the easiest way to encourage them to adopt it with open arms is to give them something that’s aesthetically pleasing and highly intuitive.
UI might not be the most important element, but it’s certainly not the least. Consider it once you get further into the due diligence process and it may help separate two intranets that otherwise seem to be fairly equal.
Think About Integration
Unless you’re starting a business from scratch, your company already has numerous tools, processes, and workflows in place. The worst thing you can do is implement an intranet that’s incompatible with what you’re already doing.
Think about integration from the very start. (The goal of an enterprise intranet is to make things easier – not more complicated!) If it won’t work with 90 percent of the activities you carry out on a daily basis, it’s probably not the software for you.
Hopefully your business grows over time. And if it does, you need an intranet that grows with you. Avoid investing in a cookie-cutter solution that works now, but will no longer be as effective in two, three, or five years. Scalability is a must!
Collaborate With Your Team
Finally, involve your team in the decision. At the very least, you should form a team that consists of one representative from each department. This ensures everyone’s voice is heard and that nobody gets the raw end of the deal by being forced to use something that will negatively impact output.
Welcome to the New Age
Every intranet has slightly different features, interfaces, strengths, and weaknesses. As you compare different options, consider how each will impact your business both now and indefinitely. An intranet solution is an investment. Don’t commit until you’re ready.
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