Monday, April 15, 2013

Using Key Insights to Optimize Your Marketing Campaign

Today, marketing optimization can be overwhelming. Marketers have to design a strategy and hit their lead gen goal, let alone optimize everything. As a marketer, it is important to focus your optimization efforts on the elements of your inbound strategy that will have the greatest impact. Here are six ways you can optimize to impact on your bottom line.

Landing Pages
Through your landing pages, you gather lead information so you can to market to them using personalized emails and web content. They are a key part of an effective inbound marketing strategy, and even small conversion improvements can impact the bottom line. In addition to the prospects and leads, repeat visitors will also come to your landing page, so optimizing landing pages will ensure that they engage with the content.

In order to begin uncovering opportunities for better optimization, ask yourself questions like: Can someone look at your landing page and after five seconds know what the offer is, why you're offering it, and why it’s valuable? Do you have an attention grabbing headline? Do you have a relevant image? Is your copy clear and compelling?

Conversion Path
The conversion path is the series of clicks that a visitor goes through on your website, from their first interaction with what you are trying to accomplish. It is very important to understand how all of your pages work together. Ask yourself: Which ones generate the most leads? Which ones are preventing your prospects from advancing?

The website is your primary online presence as all marketing channels, including PPC, SEO, and social media will all point back to the website. This is where you control the conversation about what makes your products unique, so optimizing your landing pages and conversion path is crucial to the success of your marketing campaign. Map out your site’s possible conversion paths. Then, look at the conversion metrics as visitors progress through these pages to see if any are over or under-performing.

Value Proposition
Your value proposition should power the messaging on every marketing channel. It should state why someone would make a purchase from your company among the others that do similar things. Online, the value proposition is the first sentence that your visitor will scan. It's important that with just one sentence, you can address why your company, products, and services are great.

Begin with defining your value proposition by asking yourself: Does everyone in your company agree with your one-sentence differentiator? Next, look at your competitors. How do your claims measure up against your competition? Once you have internal buy-in, run a test with different versions of your value proposition explanation on a high-traffic landing page. When you ask people that know nothing about your company, could they explain what value your company gives?

Your marketing content is made up of the words that populate your campaigns. But your content encompasses more than just the copy -- it's also the layout, the topics, the publishing strategy, etc. Great inbound marketing campaigns begin with great content -- you'll use this content to attract and convert customers, pulling people into your website, blog, and other online resources. The  language you use is the thread that ties all your channels together.

For online content optimization, you need to look at not only your copy, but your keyword strategy, topic selection, internal linking, SEO, etc. You need to understand not only what you're writing, but also why you're writing it, how to write it, where to add links and sharing buttons, and where to publish and promote it.

Your homepage is an ambassador for your brand. The homepage is a company’s most frequently-viewed digital asset. Optimizers need to pay attention to the design of and content on the homepage. In contrast with single purpose landing pages, company homepages are hard to design for one focused conversion goal.

Homepages are often burdened with the demands of multiple departments, which can make them hard to streamline. Step one in homepage optimization is to hone your messaging. Narrow down your goals to one target business outcome per web page. The purpose of a website is not to make your business units happy; it’s to accomplish your goals by addressing the customer’s concerns.

Email marketing plays a role in your lead nurturing efforts. Your email list is your most engaged audience -  the people who have opted to hear more from you. Email optimization is vital to converting your leads, and involves thinking about every aspect of your email campaigns, from headlines and design, and when you send your messages.

So to begin your optimization, start with a well-optimized list. When you design your email campaigns, it’s imperative to think from the prospect’s viewpoint. At the end of every template is a person who is going to get intrigued by your headline and open your message. Because your database includes people at different stages of the buying cycle, you must segment your list to align your content with your prospective buyers’ needs.

Optimization is one of the best ways to assess the success of your marketing efforts. By developing an optimization culture in your organization, you will develop a better understanding of your audience, better position your products and better execute your campaigns.

Want to learn more about the business impact of marketing insights? TMRE (The Market Research Event) is like attending seven events in one. TMRE will give you new skills to add to your departments like strategic decision making and insight integration. 

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