Agile marketing, BIG data, conversion rate optimisation... What does all this mean?
Digital media and marketing influencers are guilty of changing even well established terms, to create a language that most don't understand.Even those that do - or think they do - often get confused.
If you're not immersed within the marketing world every single day, it can be difficult to keep up with the ever-developing marketing language. Your struggle is over (for now), as we have put together this digital marketing for manufacturing guide to help explain some of our terminology...
The increase of social media has contributed to this new breed of real-time marketing, brought about by the need to react quickly on social channels to drive brand awareness and engagement.
Agile marketing is reacting quickly with a specially created piece of content, that is normally shared on social media to capitalise on a current topic or popular news story.
The clue is in the name with this one, it is the process using tools to analyse large sets of data to reveal patterns and trends. Big data often focuses on trends relating to human behaviour and interactions - which is really important for marketing.
A common misconception about blogging is that it's a place to share company news such as expansion plans, new business wins or awards, and the annual team 10k photos... While this content has a place, it should account for a maximum of 20% of the content that you produce.
An effective blog should include frequent, keyword focused posts, written with your audience and their information needs in mind. This way, when your prospects are searching for answers to their problems online, your keyword centric blog post will appear in organic search results. Your blog is also a great way to position your brand as an expert, and trusted adviser in the industry.
Content can be anything from videos, blog posts, downloadable guides, infographics etc. Basically, anything that is produced via any media that is subsequently shared on the internet and hopefully the fans or followers of your brand.
The purpose of content marketing is to create and distribute relevant and valuable content to attract and engage a clearly defined target audience - with the goal of driving customer intreactions such as sharing content or downloading content to become a lead.
What is the goal of your website? What is the point of guiding your visitors there? Whatever this goal is, a conversion is the successful completion of this action.
If the visitors to your website aren't achieving the goal that you intend them to achieve, then you need to optimise your site to increase your conversion rate. This can be done by testing different elements of your site to make it easier for your visitors to use, maybe by changing the navigation, or by using more actionable language.
Usually taking the form of a link or a button, CTAs or calls-to-action are an effective method of signposting website visitors towards relevant content and offers to answer their questions, solve their problems and most importantly, prompt an action, conversion or sale.
The desired action will vary depending on the type of business or audience's requirements, but examples could include a link to a landing page where users can download a case study or eBook.
This is the process of aligning the content that you publish with your customer's interests so that you naturally attract traffic which you can convert and close over time. By creating content that is designed to appeal to your buyer persona, it is more likely that your visitors are going to convert into leads, and continue to convert over time to become customers & promoters.
Search engines crawl websites and record pages into their index. This measure takes into account the number of pages indexed by popular search engines like Google and Bing. Generally, the more indexed pages on a site, the better.
Ah links. The confusing world of SEO.
Also known as Moz Rank, this is a measure of link popularity and credibility on a scale of 0-10. Companies that have a higher rank are often considered to be industry leaders, influencers or experts, and their links are more likely to be shared and clicked on.
If you're going to include a link to another website, it's worth checking what their Moz Rank is before you do, as linking to low ranking sites can be damaging to your SEO.
This refers to the number of other domains currently linking to a site. Factors such as the authority and popularity of the sites these links come from also makes a difference. So, building links back to your site from sites that are influential, is a must.
The HubSpot marketing grade is a holistic measure of a website's overall performance, taking into account factors such as social media, blogging, SEO, lead generation performance and mobile responsiveness.
The marketing grade is measured on a scale of 0-100, and the higher then number, the better your grade.
Making sure that your website offers a good user experience on mobile devices as well as desktop is vital. Responsive website templates automatically re-structure and stack content to suit the size and layout of the device that the website is being viewed on.
As well as providing a poor experience for users, websites that aren't optimised for mobile are now also being penalised by Google, meaning your search rankings could be damaged.
See link authority above.
Online PR activity is similar to traditional, but instead targeting online properties, anywhere from search to social media. The process and goal from online PR is the same, to build mutually beneficial relationships between organisations and managing communications between you and the public - but you're using online channels rather than more traditional print media.
This is where you contact a site where you feel you could add content that's valuable to their audience, and suggest that you write something for them as a guest post, similar to contacting a magazine and asking them to include an article. Within this guest post, you can also include a link back to your site which will help your SEO.
If you're wanting your business to appear in search engine results for a particular term, or keyword phrase, you have to bid against other marketers who also want to appear for that phrase. On Google, PPC ads aim to push your site into the 'sponsored' section above the organic search results.
Factors such as the search volume of your keyword and how competitive it is will dictate your bid for cost-per-click. In other words, how much you'll need to pay each time a searcher clicks on your advert. As a rule, the more you pay, the more likely you are to appear, but go too high and you're unlikely to see the ROI.
PPC can also apply to other channels such as LinkedIn sponsored updates, Twitter ads and Facebook sponsored posts.
Search engine optimisation (SEO)
SEO is the process of optimising your website and its content so that it can easily be indexed by search engines. Search engines use the information they find when crawling your pages to provide searchers with the most relevant results based on their search terms. This is why it's important to understand your buyer persona, and what they'll be searching for, so your information will be there when they search.
Analytics company Alexa rank millions of websites on the internet against each other to determine how well they are doing relative to all other sites on the web over the past three months. Factors such as average daily unique visitors and number of page views make up the traffic rank - and in this case, the lower the number, the better!
Find out how successful manufacturing firms are doing it
We've taken a cross section of manufacturing and engineering businesses within the Midlands and ranked the Top 50 based on their marketing performance. Now in its second year, the Midlands Marketing Index aims to draw attention to examples of excellent digital marketing practice within the industry and hopes to inspire others on how they can get ahead in an online world.
Has your manufacturing firm been included? Find out who has by downloading your copy of the Midlands Marketing Index: Manufacturing and Engineering edition here.