Top Five Marketing Mistakes You Need to Stop Making Now


Written by guest blogger Corianne Burton, SEO Specialist with N2Q Consulting

“Make the customer number one.” “The customer is always right.” “Customer service is priority numero uno.”

These platitudes may seem tired, but they speak a long-known marketing truth. However, foundational marketing often makes the mistake of simply denying the fact that the customer comes first.

Thinking you know better than your audience, seeing consumers as numbers and not people, and failing to give customers their due attention are seemingly trite mantras from days of old… but they’ll come back to haunt you. If you become tone deaf to these truths, you’ll pay in lost traffic, missed prospects and opportunities, and even your loyal, long-time customers going a new direction. The good news is that you can still take back the success of your marketing campaigns. Just make sure to address these key foundational errors that many marketing firms make.

1. Thinking You Have All the Answers

…Or thinking that you need to have them. Marketing is tricky; it’s an ever-changing field of consumer attraction. While you may have great ideas, keeping current and creative requires humility. You must step back from all the good that you know (or, believe you should know) in order to listen. To learn. To ask questions.

Stop relying on the tried and not-so-true marketing methods. They only maintain the status quo and – as you can tell by our name – this is something we don’t like. To say no to the quo and move into the great beyond, you must listen to experts in the field, ask questions and get creative with marketing efforts that work well for your company and with its goals. If you need help, ask. After all, holding fast to the idea of being a jack-of-all-trades may hurt your endgame.

2. Believing One Size-Fits-All

Furthermore, making assumptions and following stock strategies reaps problems for campaigns and your client relationships. In other words, marketing proposed to “fit everyone” likely fits no one. Failing to listen to your audience or understand the goals of your company lead to lackluster marketing campaigns.

Focus on a segmented, targeted audience rather than a broad one. Taking into account the habits, triggers, interests, goals and hopes of prospects allows you to tailor your marketing to better meet their needs. Plus, matching these details to the goals, products and services of your company helps build relationships. This considerate attention leads to loyal customers.

3. Avoiding the Social Scene

You may desire to remain aloof from the crowd (whether digital or real world), but being antisocial in marketing efforts hurts your business. While social media proves vital to success (for those companies whose customers engage with it), half-hearted efforts produce full failures. Yes, nothing is better than a poorly run campaign.

To take advantage of social media, make sure you’re attending to Facebook or blog comments and questions. Build relationships rather than broadcasting or promoting yourself through these platforms. You’ll be rewarded by knowing more about your audience. The truth is consumers want to know that you see who they are beyond a mere notch in your sales belt.

4. Not Taking Advantage of Analytics

In the activity of a week, assessing the impact of marketing campaigns by “feel” proves difficult. Often this critical assessment gets set aside for lead chasing and advertising. Yet, marketing 101 teaches that tracking and measuring results is crucial for knowing what is working.

Fortunately, a host of analytics offer help in determining your return on investment. Google Analytics, social media analytics such as Facebook insights, and email campaign data give feedback to let you know where adjustments need to be made for greater success. Use the figures and switch up campaigns by concentrating your efforts on what works.

5. Failing to Draft a Strategy

Digital marketing and technology bring a flurry of business boosting options to your door step. It’s exciting! Unfortunately, these opportunities also prove overwhelming, even paralyzing to your marketing efforts. Or, if you eagerly jump in with both feet wherever you can, you run the risk of landing in the wrong place.

Marketing objectives and goals culminating in a strategy are vital. Identify where you want to go and the tactics on how to get there become clearer. Plus, assessing each marketing component to ensure it leads to the same destination proves easier. Your analytics will more accurately measure what you intend to when your direction is set.

The Wrap

Whether you go DIY or hire a creative agency to get your efforts flowing, addressing the details of your marketing campaign proves critical to your success. Your audience does come first. The customer really is numero uno.

Humble yourself to listen to your prospects, customers, industry experts and even your competition to adopt a marketing strategy which tailor fits your company and demographic. Engage with your audience to build loyal relationships. Be sure to use analytics to measure and adjust as needed.

Doing nothing out of fear or everything out of eagerness yields poor marketing results. Money and time are precious commodities poured into these efforts. Use them wisely by developing an intentional marketing campaign that avoids these top marketing mistakes.

To speak with a beyond the status quo marketing firm for help with any marketing efforts that overwhelm or allude you, reach out to N2Q today. We love to see you succeed.



How to Refresh Your Brand in 2017


The close of one year and the start of the next brings many things. For most individuals and businesses a new year means a new start, providing a clean slate with which to move forward. While this may not be technically correct – after all, the clock striking midnight on New Year’s Eve doesn’t erase previous performance – the mindset of change and starting over can be refreshing, especially for small businesses with big goals.

Whether 2016 was a year overflowing with success or wrought with challenges, the coming of 2017 is the perfect time to refresh your brand, fine tune your focus, and get started on the right foot. A brand refresh can have great potential, reminding you of your vision, ensuring consistency, and encouraging growth rather than stagnation. Here’s what you can do to ensure 2017 is your best year yet.

Connect With Your Audience

Most companies choose to leave outsiders in the dark when it comes to business strategy. For many, this is a logical decision, preventing competitors from overtaking your ability to gain ground. However, this approach can have the opposite effect with customers, putting up walls that create unnecessary distance.

The beginning of the year is a perfect time to inspire some loyalty and emotional ties. Consider posting a blog summarizing your activity and successes in 2016 and thanking your customers and fans for all that they do for you. When shared on social media, these posts provide the kind of information that stimulates a connection between you and your customers.

Target a New Market


If you’re a small company or a new business, you may not be reaching everyone who can make use of your products and services. In order to maximize potential, use the start of a new year as inspiration to grow and improve.

Take time with your marketing team, and review who you are targeting, what you are targeting, and where the majority of your sales are coming from. With this information, you can draw conclusions regarding what areas you can approach more aggressively, and which audiences likely aren’t receiving the attention they deserve.

Reevaluate Costs

Even the most successful companies in the world can feel the pain of pinching pennies. To improve your odds of financial success in the new year, it’s important to take a deep dive into your expense reports.

Start from the top down and evaluate each category that drives your spending. Sure, you may not be able to do anything about monthly rent, but making minor energy saving changes, like limiting printing to must-have reports, can really add up over the course of the year. Look for unnecessary expenses that your team can do without that won’t compromise employee morale, and make some cuts for the new year.

Try New Marketing Techniques


How you market your products and services can be a great opportunity for growth and change. With so many options from social media marketing to email newsletters, there’s bound to be a strong strategy you’ve never considered.

Instead of doing the same things day after day, take a look at what your marketing campaigns may be lacking. Are you tracking your success with Google Analytics? Are you focusing solely on Twitter instead of taking advantage of Facebook? By taking the time to identify shortcomings, you can find a great way to move forward in the new year.

Brainstorm New Ideas

When the status quo is positive, it’s easy to fall into a predictable rhythm every year. However, there’s no good way to grow without incorporating changes. The start of another year is the perfect time to start brainstorming new ideas, whether that means putting more focus into research and development, or simply improving community relations with volunteer activities.

Consider putting out a suggestion box and soliciting ideas from your team. Take at least one option offered, whether functional or recreational, and implement it company-wide. This strategy not only shows that you listen to feedback, but can also demonstrate a willingness to keep moving forward.

A brand refresh offers many benefits, providing a new perspective on your corporate identity and an opportunity to build connections with current and prospective customers alike. If you’d like to do more than simply exist in the new year, this can be your chance to revitalize your brand and move your business forward. By changing up marketing techniques, building emotional connections, and launching new products or services, you help ensure that 2017 will be a smashing success.

Seven December Marketing Ideas for Your Business

Christmas gifts in vintage style

Looking to give your year-end sales a boost this holiday season? Want to create a captivating, seasonal marketing campaign that’s both fun and effective?

Here’s seven simple ways to market your business this December:

Deck the Halls

Whether you have a retail outlet, an office space, or an industrial location, a little time and effort spent decorating your space can help make your business more noticeable, and more inviting. With just a few sprigs of evergreen branches, a couple strands of garland and some colorful LED lights, you can easily add a welcoming, festive vibe to your shop, office, or store.

Be Charitable


Consider partnering with a local charity this year to create a campaign that benefits people in your community.

Contact your local toy bank, children’s hospital, or other non-profit group of your choice to discuss how your business can help. For example, you could run a promotion that gives customers a discount off a product or service in exchange for an unwrapped toy to be donated to a non-profit, or food items that can be given to a food bank.

Print Calendars

Despite the wide-spread use of smart phones and other tech gadgets, many people still love to use a simple, old-fashioned calendar to keep track of their day-to-day appointments.

A customized calendar that’s branded with your business name and logo makes the perfect customer appreciation gift at this time of year and it’s a great way to keep your company front-and-center for your clients throughout the year.

Decorate Your Social Media Pages


If you maintain a Facebook, Twitter, or other social media accounts for your business, it’s easy to decorate your pages with holiday-themed backgrounds, fonts and photos. You can even update your pages with a new design each day to keep your audience engaged!

Offer Holiday Promotions

Regardless of what type of business you operate, chances are good that your customers and clients will expect to get a deal during the holiday season.

Consider offering a promotion on gift cards (such as buy a $100 card, get 10% off your next purchase), and look for ways to encourage your customers to come back to your business in the new year by creating time-limited deals that are good in the month of January.

Send Real Greeting Cards


Although ‘snail mail’ is on the decline, people still love to receive cards in their mailboxes – after all, a card is better than a bill!

If your company has a mailing list of loyal customers, why not take the time to mail out a personalized, hand-signed greeting card to each one? Sure, it can be a bit time-consuming, but with all the e-mails and digital marketing materials flooding consumers these days, a traditional, old-school holiday card is sure to make a positive impression on the recipient.

Host A Holiday Social

Everyone loves a great party, right?

This year, consider creating a holiday-themed open house as a thank-you to your neighbors, customers, and fellow business owners. Make sure to serve up lots of finger foods and non-alcoholic drinks, and if possible, source your supplies from another local business.

When it comes to making the most of the holiday season, it’s easy to make your business stand out with just a little bit of effort and some creative marketing efforts!

Enjoy your holidays, and have a safe and Happy New Year!

10 Fall Marketing Ideas for Your Business


Fall means falling leaves, plentiful pumpkins, longer nights and cooling weather, but it can also mean great marketing opportunities for local businesses. Make the most of the changing seasons with fall marketing that brings customers in during the lead-up to the holidays.

Here are ten ideas to get you started:

  1. Focus on Fall Themes: Decorate your business in traditional autumn colors, and spread that theme to your website, social media and printed ads. The reds, yellows and oranges of fall naturally command attention, so use the autumn palette to draw eyes toward specific items you want to promote in your store. Print seasonal shopping bags that spread your fall-themed message all around town.
  1. Celebrate the Classic Autumn Holidays: Halloween and Thanksgiving are the two main holidays that fill the stretch between summer and Christmas season. Take advantage of the fact that these holidays are on customers’ minds by offering special promotions centered around Halloween and Thanksgiving themes. Offer trick-or-treating at your store on Halloween or give away special customer appreciation gifts at Thanksgiving time to create an instant holiday tie-in.
  1. Delve Into Lesser-Known Fall Holidays: Move beyond the holidays everyone knows and start making a point to promote lesser-known fall holidays such as National Coffee Day (September 29)and the end of Daylight Savings Time. If your business has a unique cultural angle, you might also want to introduce your community to related fall holidays from a different culture, such as the Chinese and Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival or the Hindu Festival of Lights.
  1. Make Up Your Own Fall Traditions: Instead of just jumping on the pumpkin spice bandwagon, you might consider coming up with your own fall-related themes that you can repeat every year. Temporarily add a seasonal apple-flavored product to your lineup, or start an annual tradition of handing out deep-discount coupons in the shape of fall leaves. Repeat the same promotion every year to build an association that customers start anticipating months in advance.
  1. Engage Customers with Athletics-Related Promotions: Fall is football season, so support your local professional, college and school teams with special promotions. Give special discounts based on wins or game scores so loyal fans associate you with victory, or offer a promotion that’s only available to people who show their game ticket stub or school ID.
  1. Create a Contest: Invite customers to enter a fall-themed contest with a gift certificate from your business as the prize. Halloween costume contests, seasonal coloring contests for kids and essay contests describing what the entrant is thankful for are some potential ideas you can use. Contests can be live at the store, or you can have people submit entries online.
  1. Bring Fun to Fall Festivals: From Oktoberfest to outdoor music events, local fall festivals are a great way to get your name out in the community. Sponsor a booth to sell your wares at festivals, or hand out promotional samples and coupons at events to generate interest with a huge pool of potential new customers.
  1. Share Seasonal Stories: Give the media fresh ideas during the often slow fall news cycle with press releases and story ideas tying your business into the season. Give interviews or post blog content teaching local residents about fall decorating, pumpkin carving, Thanksgiving cooking tips or seasonal home maintenance.
  1. Go Social with Posts About Fall: Spread the joy of autumn across all of your social media platforms with pins, posts and pictures that celebrate the sights of the season. Tie your seasonal contests into your social media by encouraging customers to post on your boards and share their own fall photos featuring your products. Award prizes for the best contributions or give rewards for user-generated pictures with the most shares and comments.
  1. Prepare Your Customers for the Upcoming Holidays: Fall is the lead-up to the busiest time of year for most businesses, so use it to help customers get ready for Christmas. Offer special sales and deals, such as buy-one-get-one promotions and buy-now-save-later coupons that invite people to shop early and to keep coming back as the holidays approach.

Fall can be a fantastic time to promote your business, and transitioning from sizzling summer specials to amazing autumn deals is easier than ever. Market smart during these often overlooked months to boost your business and reap the rewards all year long.


Why Your Business Website Needs Google Analytics

Web analytics concept with data icons

You invested in a great website and spent time working with designers and web developers to truly capture your brand, but nothing has changed. Your traffic is stagnant, leads aren’t converting and sales aren’t increasing. Why?

In good times and bad, monitoring your website is a valuable way to determine performance, source traffic and receive feedback that can help you make wise business decisions. Whether you’re doing great or struggling to keep up and need to know why —the right analytics can make a huge difference.

The most popular free tracking opportunity for businesses of all sizes and industries is Google Analytics. It provides the opportunity to track many of the important metrics related to operating a successful website. With capabilities like determining traffic sources, calculating key performance indicators and providing insight into average duration and views per page, it’s easier than ever to monitor your site’s performance on the web.

Here’s why your business website needs Google Analytics:

Identify Traffic Sources


Having traffic is a great start, but it’s not the only thing that matters. Where your traffic is coming from also makes a difference. Google Analytics can help you track your traffic sources, offering insight into what marketing is working and what marketing isn’t. It also tells you what most of your viewers are doing to get to your page.

This information can be extremely valuable in identifying weak spots in marketing and advertising that can be bolstered, successful areas that can be perpetuated and even the keywords most important to your operations.

Stay Up to Date on Google’s Changes

As all website owners know, Google is anything but consistent. With frequent algorithm changes that may or may not be announced in advance, or even announced at all, keeping up with Google is often an uphill battle.

Google Analytics makes things easier by helping you to identify what was working before that isn’t now, or what new requirements your site isn’t meeting. For example, if your formerly adequate mobile traffic plummeted overnight, it’s highly likely that Google made a change that’s negatively driving your performance. By understanding your positioning, it will be easy to make the changes necessary to maintain your position in the search engine results page.

Explore Mobile vs Desktop


As Google’s Mobilegeddon update proved —mobile use matters. While desktop ranking was left alone, Google made changes to how mobile sites are ranked. This change boosted companies with mobile-specific or responsive web design and penalized those without.

Instead of assuming all is well, get the scoop with Google Analytics. You’ll be able to see where traffic is coming from across all devices. The information is beneficial to noting strengths and weaknesses across laptops, desktops and phones. Platform breakdown can also help identify areas of improvement, especially when users appear to favor different functionalities from desktop to mobile.

Learn What Your Readers Value

You know your site viewers are invested in what you have to offer, but what information means the most? Without knowing what pages, blog posts and product descriptions are hitting home, it’s hard to know what to prioritize when it comes to site design and product creation.

By analyzing metrics, like page visit duration, you can ascertain which posts and pages are successful and which ones fall short. This data can also help you to identify what visitors landed on your site and left right away and how many stayed to read, absorb and invest in what your company has to offer.

Keeping an eye on performance behind the scenes can be extremely valuable. By understanding more than what you see at the surface you can fine tune what works and tweak what doesn’t. With Google Analytics on your side, you can ensure your site will always stay at the top —no matter how the tides may shift.

6 Tips to Drive More Traffic to Your Business’ Blog

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Blogging is a powerful, cost-effective marketing tool that can help you engage with your customers, increase conversions rates, and establish your reputation as a creditable source of information among both your clients and your peers.

Of course, the impact your business blog has on your bottom line is directly linked to both the volume and type of traffic it generates for your website. If your online content isn’t actually reaching your target audience, you’ll be missing out on the wealth of opportunities that blogging offers your business.

Here’s what you can do to drive more traffic to your business’ blog:

Know Your Target Audience

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In order to create blog content that reaches the right audience it’s important to understand exactly who you’re hoping will read your blog. Otherwise you could wind up writing a blog that fails to engage your ‘target market’.

Start by developing a persona – a description of your ‘ideal’ blog reader that covers basics like their age, location, level of education, and income. Consider what your business can offer this person, and think about what problems you, and your company, can help them solve.

This information will help guide the development of your blog content, and increase the odds that your blog will actually reach your target audience.

Blog Frequently

Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! all use a semi-secretive algorithm to determine what results users see when they’re looking for online content. While the actual formulas that the search engines use to rank websites are a closely-guarded secret, companies like Google have made it clear that websites with fresh, user-friendly content, like regularly-updated blogs, will be rewarded with higher search engine results rankings.

Share On Social Media

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Sharing your blog posts through social media is a quick and effective way to boost traffic to your website. Publish links to your latest blog on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds, and be sure to make it easy for your readers to share posts by integrating social media ‘widgets’ in your content.

Diversify Your Content 

In the early days of business blogging posts were exclusively text-based. Thanks to the development of faster Internet services and computers, bloggers can now integrate both still images and videos into their posts, providing users with an engaging experience that’s both informative and entertaining. Consider diversifying your blog content by adding infographics, photos, Vine loops and tutorial videos to boost your audience and search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.

Keep It Brief

Internet users’ attention spans are notoriously short – a fact that’s important to keep in mind when developing your blog posts. Aim to create blog content that’s 750 words or less. Otherwise you run the risk of having your readers tune out before they’ve reached the end of the article. Be sure to break the content up into small, scan-able ‘chunks’ that are easier to read than a large ‘blob’ of text, especially if your audience accesses your blog via a mobile device.

Engage Your Audience 

When crafting content for your business’ blog, aim to use a tone that reflects the personality of your organization. If your brand is light and fun, make sure that’s accurately portrayed in your blog posts (while making sure to respect social norms and boundaries).

You should also focus on providing value to your audience – give them a reason to ‘like’, ‘share’ and return to your blog by posting insider information, tutorials, or answers to frequently-asked questions.

Remember that your business’ blog can be a great, low-cost way to promote your enterprise, but only if you’re able to generate and retain traffic to your website.

What is Google RankBrain?

RankBrain Blog

Google is nothing if not variable. As the dominant search engine in many countries around the world, the company’s mission to stay ahead of the curve is both admirable and incredibly important. From the Panda algorithm change in 2011 to Mobilegeddon in 2015, Google’s changes are often radical and extremely influential —to the chagrin of many marketers. RankBrain, however, is something a little different. Announced ambiguously in 2015, it was confirmed in June 2016 as a constant feature in Google’s search engine results pages.

RankBrain may be the foundation for the future of web searching as we know it.

What Is RankBrain?

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So, if RankBrain is so important, what exactly is it? According to Google, RankBrain is a machine-learning artificial intelligence system that is used to assist in the process of sorting search results. In essence, this means that RankBrain isn’t taught by humans but rather learns by itself through the course of experiencing tasks and witnessing outcomes.

Artificial intelligence, more colloquially known as AI, is a concept in which computers are able to learn, make connections, and gain knowledge much like humans do. While true AI as seen in science fiction is not yet a reality, Google’s strides forward are remarkable, adding a unique edge to what search engines can accomplish by analyzing user behavior.

What Isn’t RankBrain?

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Unlike most of Google’s big changes, RankBrain isn’t an algorithm. The current algorithm in use, Hummingbird, is unchanged; RankBrain is only one component, a modification, per se, in how Google processes web searches and exits as one of Google’s hundreds of ranking signals. RankBrain is also not a replacement for other AI functions Google uses, like Knowledge Graph. Instead, it works in conjunction with these features.

Users expecting to see big changes in SERPs due to RankBrain may be disappointed, as most adjustments will be below the surface and results users see should not differ significantly. RankBrain is designed to supplement, enhance, and improve what Google offers, rather than replacing current vital components in how search rankings are delivered.

What RankBrain Means for You

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As a web user, you’ve likely entered search queries that came up with limited or irrelevant results. While most questions and keyword combinations are easily deciphered, there are exceptions to everything, and not all queries entered makes sense to search engine algorithms. Sometimes, there may not be words to describe what you’re looking for, or you may be using keywords that are too similar to other concepts to generate helpful results. In this space, RankBrain should be quite an improvement, learning how to interpret less clear queries by correlating them with effective keywords and high ranking results.

In terms of SEO, RankBrain isn’t bringing many changes to the table, despite its position as a ranking signal. As an AI function that fits within current algorithms, RankBrain’s objective is to make searching easier for consumers rather than improving traffic from organic searches for businesses with web presences. While long tail queries may suffer slightly, actual search results should not change significantly. Algorithm changes generally require shift in SEO tactics, but that’s not what this specific AI component is intended to do. As long as you’re adhering to best practices, RankBrain shouldn’t affect how customers search for you and find your site.

The Future of Search

When Google announces changes, this often means big things for marketers, but to the internet’s collective delight, the confirmation of RankBrain doesn’t mean costly or time consuming adjustments. However, like every technological advancement Google implements, RankBrain will likely get better, faster, and stronger over time, leading to developments that may require action for a site to stay relevant.

The utilization of machine-learning AI in SERPs is still in its infancy, but this is likely the path more and more search engines will take in the future. Consumers may not notice any immediate changes with the use of RankBrain, but with all things Google, nothing stays constant for long. Marketers may not need to act now, but keeping up to date on what’s changing and developing is always a good way to ensure a strong, visible web presence, no matter what developments may be on the horizon.

How to Turn Marketing Data into Actionable Results

Online marketing concept

If you’re trying to turn your analysis into actionable items, we have a few tips that can help to get you started so you can focus on the analysis that matters.

Marketers all over the world are looking for keys to success to help them strategize how to get their Google search data optimized for increased traffic. If you look at the various types of analytical data that can help fine-tune the particular strategies that you’re working on, it can be time intensive. With different types of tools and resources to increase your marketing’s effectiveness, there are also different case studies and different ways that can help you to strategize how to optimize your landing pages, social media management, and so forth.

While a lot of the data analysis and market studies are great, if you’re looking for effective ways to help cross-channel your marketing campaigns, there’s a true road map for success that can help you to build your business and to give you a better presence online as well as to maximize your web traffic.

Getting from point A to point B

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When you look at your website, your business and how you want to get customers drawn to your pages, it’s like having a road map that’s going to guide you from one direction to another. Tapping into your ad campaigns and creating a strategy along with your Google analytics can help to ensure your business strategies will flow in a direction that’s the most effective for increased sales.

There are also key considerations in terms of how much you set in your budget, your finances, the status of your business, i.e., new, successfully scaling, and even how your customers view your products and services.

Because customers are online now more than ever, you want to ensure your online presence is not only going to set you up strategically with Google, but also effectively help you with mobile devices. This ensures that customers can access your business no matter what device they are using.

Descriptive analytics

When you look at your business, you may want to think about what you’ve done in the past that has strategically worked before starting new campaigns and exploring analytics. If you’re a new business, a great way to learn business is to look at a competitor to see what’s working on their landing pages, the various social media tools they’re using and how they reach their customers.

Consider tapping into a website that can help you to view your competitors’ web pages to better understand the various links and data points that they’re using and this may help you to translate this into your own pages to build your analytical data. Because filter analytics can help turn the data that you have into actionable items, this will give you more meaningful results and increased insight.

Action item: Make sure when you set up your Google analytics page so that you’re also looking at it from a marketing perspective. Also look for things like negative keywords and other areas that can help you to better filter your ad campaigns. Crunch Base can help. Check it out here…

Cross-channel insight data and attributions

Another way you can effectively build up various customers’ accounts is to use social media across all different channels. Consider using websites that will link all of your messages, blasts and blogs at once so you don’t have to keep posting the same messages again and again across Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram.

Targeting customers strategically

As you look at your analytics, keep an eye out for the various points where you’re building your customers and what they’re responding to so that way you know how to maintain that momentum. If you see them drawn to one particular ad, mirror the ad. If it’s a landing page, mirror that.

Actionable item: Look at your competitors’ sites to see how their ads are set up and note which are getting the most attention so you can build your ads in a similar format. You may even want to factor in guest speakers for your particular website to get more focus on your landing pages.

Predicting demand

To better understand what your customers need, you have to be a customer. That means you need to see it from their perspective and understand what your competitor is giving them that you are not. Sign up for competitors account to see how their email subscription is set up and what they send customers. Buy a product from them so that way you can better understand the benefits of being under that competitor as well as how you need to make changes on your own site.

Filter out the noise

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Another area that you may want to target and strategize is how to build a better customer base and not just get tweets out there that no one’s really responding to. An effective response is one that’s going to elicit a customer coming to your website and your pages and making a purchase.

If you simply send a tweet about Mother’s Day or nationally televised sporting event, while it may draw a response, that’s not necessarily going to lead to increased revenue. Quantifind discovered that with online stores, where social media has a strong presence, only about 20 percent of the ads will actually correlate into future sales.

Actionable item: Make sure that you’re looking at that 20 percent because that’s the main point that you want to consider. Strategize effective ads, don’t waste space, and minimize random tweets and emails to help get customers to your landing pages and make that sale. Check out sites like HootSuite that can help you with effective ad campaigns.

Other Findings

It is important to understand your data but don’t over exhaust yourself.

Check out that great ad – and mirror it: Sometimes people shop at a particular site or store because they have a great ad or color scheme that they like, so it may not be their campaign or key words per se. Also, ask other people what they are looking for when they shop and that’s it relates to your particular type of business and who they use and recommend because you really need to get better at a better feel for your customers.

Don’t abandon them: Next, don’t ignore the abandoned cart information that you have on your pages because when you look at the data for this, each person who has an abandoned cart should be getting the subsequent emails that follow up. These are still potential customers so don’t abandon them.

Give them a voice: You also want to make sure you’re not just focusing all on data. People want a voice they can identify with. Having a personal approach when you send a blog message or sending a note from the owner can sometimes lead to more increase sales as opposed to just random ads that will just generate likes, shares and hits.

Key Takeaways

The takeaway from this is that the more data that is online, the more you have to filter through. You want your ads to be effective and you also want actionable items that are going to drive traffic to your pages and increase your sales. Look for areas like your correlations to the various KPIs and different types of visuals that people are drawn to as a way to better understand how you can keep customers happy. Then look at your competitors’ pages to help you get an idea of what they’re doing with their ads as this can help lead to increased sales in the future from your effective ad placement to help turn all that analysis into actionable items – and increased sales.

Podcast: How to Market Your Restaurant Online

In this month’s podcast David Quinlan, Vice President of Marketing, talks about the best way for restaurants to market themselves online.

Marketing your restaurant online may require a new approach to make your business stand out from the crowd, but the right combination of methods can be extremely beneficial.

Subscribe to our blog to get updates on future podcasts!

Marketing Your Small Business Infographic