Why Data Will Boost Your Marketing Effectiveness

We develop blindness towards all sorts of advertising. When first introduced online, banner ads achieved a 50-90% CTR. Now the majority of people can’t stand them. Marketing effectiveness demands a change.

It’s not so much that various methods of marketing are inherently ineffective. It’s just that people get used to them, so marketers need to innovate. Data-driven marketing is one result of this ever-present need for change.

Why You Need to Have Data-Driven Marketing

The proliferation of information in our time might lead you to believe that companies are using data all the time in their marketing. However, they are not.

The Harvard Business Review reports that while infographics are now fairly standard, very few of them portray data that tells an original story. Marketers tend to use data for their own decision-making, but not for creating content that adds value to their customers.

That’s really too bad because the insight data offers can be quite interesting and even enriching. Solid, data-driven content gives your company credibility. If you have reliable facts backing up your opinions, people will see you as trustworthy. Another advantage is that your own knowledge will increase as you share information with other influencers.

Data can also have a lot of power simply from the fact that much content on the internet is mediocre. If your content has integrity—if it is original and accurate—it will stand out.

The companies that are best at marketing with data use it to appeal to people’s emotions. They present their data in format that is interesting to look at (hence the popularity of infographics), and ideally they put the information in the context of a story.

If-youre-a-brand-publisher-feat Quote source

For the Google Trends “Year in Search 2015,” Google did an amazing job at turning data into a compelling story. The company presented the top searches of the year through a brief video. The opening text says, “In 2015 the questions we asked revealed who we are.”

The video goes on to show the questions people searched, such as “how can i help the refugees” and “how can we overcome prejudice,” interspersing the questions with pertinent footage from the year. The video used data not only to tell the individual stories behind the searches but also to tie them together into a larger narrative of unity within diversity.

Data Dangers

Businesses run into trouble implementing data effectively for a number of reasons. First, there is simply an overwhelming amount of it. It can be difficult to know how to sort through and productively utilize all of a company’s accessible information.

Another potential pitfall is that sometimes those in charge incorrectly estimate the costs of gathering and storing data. Sometimes information isn’t gathered correctly or analyzed thoroughly, and often there is poor or no communication across departments. Data storage is also a huge factor. There are too many options and providers to choose from, too many new concepts to learn and pros and cons to consider. Here’s how Hosting Australia explains data centre hosting.

Silos are in fact a significant challenge to success, especially in larger companies. The larger a company grows, the greater the challenge to be unified and to communicate well about any goal. It’s also easy for businesses to lose sight of their goals if they are not relying on data for what their priorities should be and whether or not they are sidetracked from them.

It is critical to remember that data is not a solution in and of itself; it needs to be reliable. Kimberly Whitler of Forbes states, “If the data is bad—disorganized, incomplete, inconsistent, out of date—then the resulting decisions will be bad, too.” That’s why it’s important to have people at your company who understand how to find, analyze, and organize trustworthy data.

How to Leverage Data Effectively

As you seek to leverage data-driven content for your business, there are some specific principles you should keep in mind.

First, be strategic. Choose your data team carefully; it’s extremely valuable to have people from different departments and perspectives. Have a clear idea of your goals and KPIs so that you are mining your data with purpose.

Know the best channels to tap for the data you’re trying to attain. Is your audience primarily on Twitter? Then don’t waste time gathering information from Facebook or Instagram. Have good analytics models in place, as well as metrics with which to measure your results.

It should go without saying that your data should be as accurate as possible. Once you’ve collected enough information, use it to build customer personas that will lead to customer-focused content. Avoid silos by having cross-company goals, and evaluate and re-evaluate the data as you collect it.

Remember, data is most interesting and valuable to your customers when it is presented with visually appealing, quality content. Fortunately, quality content is exactly what Google is looking for and is one of the main ways you can get Google to index your site.

Neil Patel notes that having a blog is one important way to increase site traffic: “websites with blogs get an average of 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links.”

Good content is interesting enough on its own, but having evidence to back up the content makes your position even more powerful. It’s also worth observing that Patel uses multiple infographics throughout his article, making use of their widespread appeal.

People Crave Insight into the World

People love to learn new information, especially if that information tells them something about who they are and is presented in a fresh way. Effective data-driven content will boost the power of your marketing because of its ability to make the truth interesting.

8 Tools For Your Social Media Team to Work Better Together

Man, social media is getting complicated, isn’t it? The attention to detail is extreme, and it is pretty much becoming mandatory for any brand to work as a team to accomplish their social goals. A little effort doesn’t go a long way anymore. Now it is all about the full scale social strategies if you want visibility and lead generation.

So, when you have to have an entire team working on your social media, what do you do to stay organized? A good collaboration tool – or more than one – is your best bet. It will let the manager of the team stay on top of things, and give everyone involved in social marketing a firm grasp of their role. That means fewer mistakes, and more productive engagement.

These are the eight I would personally recommend. Having maybe two or three of them for different purposes will give you and your social media team exactly what you need.

Google Drive

Google Drive

Google Drive is the most obvious on this list. I personally like it more for cloud storage of past blog posts, and as a database for strategies and data. It is a great tool for tying together all of your content, not just the social, so your team is always up to date and can go back and find something they need off of your main site.

Plus it’s free, and nearly everyone alive has a Google account these days. So it is a very convenient and efficient tool.

Coschedule

Coschedule

Coschedule is, to me, a hit and miss tool for the social aspect. On one hand, it does have a social planner and will auto-update your attached accounts. But on the other it isn’t exactly a social dashboard.

I would recommend it more as a tool for integrating social and content planning, so everyone is on the same page. It is a very good editorial calendar, with a hint of a social element. So worth getting, especially given how cheap it is. And it integrates with WordPress, right there into the dashboard. So it is easy to use for anyone.

Trello

I am going to come out and say this right now: I love Trello. Out of everything on this list, this is going to be the tool that I gush about the most. It is super easy, visual, versatile, and budget friendly.

Your team can use it with pretty much no instruction, since it is all pretty straight forward. I use it for team collaboration, personal project management, group project management, personal life planning, and I have even created Feature Roadmaps and Launch Timelines for startups. If you want to go a step further, allow anyone to contribute so they can offer suggestions for improvements.

Basecamp

With Basecamp, it can be hard to say whether it is a good tool or not. Features-wise, it is fantastic collaboration and project management option for both teams, and freelancers with an active client base.

But it starts at $29 per month, and is as much as $79 per month. Which means it is a bit of a steep price for a lot of startups and smaller businesses with a tight budget. Still, if you have the cash it is an undeniably helpful app.

Evernote

I have never been a huge fan of Evernote, but I know so many people who use it that I had to put it on the list. Collaborate with others, curate content, save links, and put it all in one place.

I would say the best thing about Evernote is that it is a major application, and so it integrates with just about everything. Making it a pretty useful tool if you need to go from one program to another, as well as across multiple devices.

Slack

Slack

I like Slack for its community building. You can create channels with multiple hashtag run sections for people to join. So you can actually create an account, and then make different areas for different projects.

It is very helpful it you need to communicate with multiple team combinations, especially since you can invite and lock out as necessary.

Skype

You have probably come across Skype at least once in your life. I know I use it on a regular basis, in spite of other tools coming around to take its place.

In fact, many clients prefer it as a method of communication, and so a lot of freelancers and teams for small businesses or startups already have it installed. It can be an easy way to hold meetings and keep on top of one another.

Redbooth

Redbooth

Want to streamline your team collaboration? This is an app that promises to do that for you, creating a high performance team of members that pretty much run themselves.

I have never used Redbooth, but I know several people who have and that swear by it. It starts at only $5 per month for small teams, and as low as $15 a month for businesses, so definitely not a bad choice.

Need more inspiration? Here’s how WME Digital describes the in-team collaboration.

Do you have a tool to go on this list? Let us know in the comments!

5 Tips For Selling Your Online Courses

With so many other e-learning course providers, selling online courses can be quite challenging.

How do you convince your target audience that you are offering the best online course among all the others? Realistically speaking, it will not be easy.

But, with the right approach and techniques, you will be able to  get your online courses noticed by your online learners. Here are a few tips:

Understand Your Target Market

It’s always all about your target market. After all, they are the ones who will be buying from you.

So, know your target market well enough to present your online course in a way that will make them see how your offer will cater to their needs.

Identify who they are, what companies they work for, their online preferences, and what will motivate them to sign up for your online course.

Invest in Your Website

Your website is your most powerful tool – it can establish your credibility, make raving fans out of site visitors, widen your market reach, and, the most important of all, sell your online courses.

They say content is king, so provide quality content that will make your readers want to share your page and come back to your website again and again. Optimize your webpages to ensure that you are visible on search engine result pages. Provide blogs that will show your readers that you are relevant to them.

And make it easy for them to sign up for your e-learning course by having a simple and straightforward online form that allows convenient and secure payment through various channels.

Focus on Your Unique Selling Point

Research on what the other training organizations who are targeting the same customers are offering and determine what is unique in the online courses that you are selling.

Focus on your unique selling point or USP and make sure that your target clients know that you are the only one among your competitors offering this.

Show them how this USP will benefit them or cater to their specific needs.

Set the Right Pricing

Applying the most appropriate pricing strategy for an online training course is very important and needs to factor in a few things. First, the cost of creating the online course. The cost should at least be covered by the price to breakeven.

Of course, you’d want to earn profits from selling an e-learning platform, but what is the best amount? Another would be the pricing of your competitors. You wouldn’t want to price your course too low and trigger a price war.

On the other hand, pricing too high might drive your potential learners to choose your competition.

Meet the Needs of Your Target Market

Today’s clientele is getting more and more demanding. It is important that you are able to meet these growing demands if you want to keep getting more people to sign up for your e-learning platform. One way to keep them satisfied is through branching.

This enables learners to maintain control over the process and makes their learning experience personalized and more engaging. It is also recommended that you make your online course accessible on mobile gadgets as more and more people prefer using their smartphones and tablets.

Selling an online training course is definitely not easy, but following these practical tips can help increase your chances of getting your target market to notice you and choose your online course. Always remember – it is not just about developing great online courses, it’s also about getting your potential learners to sign up!