Come and join me April 1st at the next meeting of the Hawaii Internet Marketer's Association as I explain--for the first time--how to set-up the best online marketing funnel for your business.
Get your tickets here: http://bit.ly/1dxJHEz
For the past 10 years I have been helping start-ups and small businesses develop and measure strategic marketing campaigns that grow businesses. I also head up Hubspot Hawaii, a user's group for online marketers, business owners, Web developers and designers who want to master online marketing and generate more business leads for their business.
I'm very excited about this event. The Hawaii Internet Marketer's Association (HiMA) is a place where you can network with local business leaders and professionals, while learning from Hawaii's best Internet Marketers.
In this event I'm going to talk about:
1. What turns an "information ready lead" into a "sales ready lead"
2. How to find the best places to put your call to action
3. A 3-week quick start template for turning website traffic into new business leads
Free for HiMA members. Guest tickets are $10 via Eventbrite or $15 at door. So get your tickets now:
Tuesday, April 1st, 2014, 6:15 pm to 9:00 pm
Manoa Innovation Center, Presentation Room
2800 Woodlawn Dr.
Honolulu, HI 96822
We all know how important a website is to a business's online strategy, but what does it really take to have a great website that drives visitors, leads and sales? Hawaii's award-winning inbound marketing agency is making this resource available to small business owners, particularly for those in the process of redesigning their own website.
This complimentary, 52-page guide is the ultimate resource to having a killer website.
You will learn:
- How to get found online with search engine optimization (SEO), including
- building inbound links, meta tags, and more
- Important design and usability factors you need to know
- Tips for creating content that attracts and keeps visitors on your website
- Best practices for converting traffic into leads, including Calls-to-Action, Landing Pages, and Forms
Get Yours Here:
When asked about goal-setting, top marketing agencies will say, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there," and never has than been more true than in the world of inbound marketing.
Having a clear, specific goal will keep you on the right path. I like S.M.A.R.T. goals--Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, Time-Specific.
- “By Dec. 31, 2014 5% of visitors to our website will turn into a brick-and-mortar customer within a 6-month time period.”
- “Starting 12 months from now, our website will generate 10% of retail revenue.”
- “80% of people surveyed within a 10-mile radius will be able to correctly identify and describe our primary business.”
These are just some ideas to get you started...
Outputs, Outgrowths and Outcomes
Ultimately, any effort to measure the Return-on-Investment of your social media marketing program will come down to a combination of closed-loop customer data tracking, customer surveys and/or specific behaviors such as number of downloads or expressed interest in offers and trials. Each marketing tactic must have a specific goal in mind and linked to it's own measures of success. Be clear about what you are trying to do, and link your initiatives to the audiences and metrics you care about most. For a sample ROI metric dashboard, send me a tweet at @lkinoshita.
With your marketing dashboard, you will be able to measure:
- Outputs (clicks, followers, retweets, website traffic, likes, etc.)
- Outgrowths (cost savings, engagement, word-of-mouth, influence, reputation)
- Outcomes (change in sales, change in behavior, change in opinions or values
Marketers have direct control over outputs, but outgrowths and outcomes will also be influenced by other factors – like the responsiveness of your staff, the quality of your customer service, your level of consistency, effectiveness of your sales team, etc.
Even factors such as consumer confidence, seasonality and what your competitors are doing (like outspending you in advertising) will affect your overall marketing outcomes.
But one factor will always hold true—the more power you put into your marketing effort, the more you will get out of it.
Back in 2009, a friend of mine told me that “no one in Hawaii is on Facebook,” and it inspired me to write this blog post. About the same time, a local Internet marketer also stood up in front of a room full of small business owners and told them all that “Facebook would be dead in five years.”
Well, it’s now five years later, and just in the state of Hawaii alone Facebook has 470,000 active profiles. Worldwide, the number of users has grown to 1.23 billion and more Americans check Facebook daily than read the Bible.
We're also using Facebook on mobile devices much more than we were five years ago. Today, 91% of Americans have a mobile phone, and 67% of them use it to find businesses. But did you know that less than half of small businesses in Hawaii even have a website? How will businesses without websites get found in a post-Facebook world?
It was only a few short years ago that we first identified a small minority described as "Motivated by Mobility.” They were a rare, and many marketers struggled to explain them. But now, that person is us. All we have to do is look in the mirror.
We’ve gone from talking about who’s online and why to who’s not online and why in just a matter of five years
As marketing consultants, we want to reach the right people in the right place at the right time, and nowhere is that more possible than on the Web. It's where people are spending increasing amounts of time, including time on Facebook and other social platforms.
So what does this all mean for Hawaii marketers?
1. Invest in your website and digital marketing. Stop putting this important aspect of your business on hold. You're just slipping behind and making it harder and more expensive to catch up later. Market leaders invest 2.5% of revenue toward digital marketing and you can too.
2. Invest in social platforms. Google's +1 will help you get found in search and Facebook will help you get others talking about you. Invest an hour each week and encouraage two-way dialogue.
3. Save the sales pitch. People don't want to be sold to on Facebook or social media. Use your relationships to build trust and credibility. Provide value over and over again. Show your sense of style and what you believe in, who you support (but leave the politics and religion out of it.) There will be a time to make the sale later. See #1 above.
4.Don't put all your eggs in one (Facebook) basket. Things are changing fast over at Facebook, and users are moving to other platforms, a trend that will only accelerate in the next two years (Princeton Researchers). Be aware of where people in your community are going and connect with them on thier terms. Be ready for text and SMS apps.
5. Keep growing. Stay active with what's happening and don't take your users or your relationships for granted. Learn what your community wants and give it to them. Investments in your own website will pay you back for years to come.
Get This eBook Today
Inbound marketing agency Kinoshita Communications earned five awards in the 2013 MarCom Awards competition, two of which were Platinum.
The MarCom Awards is a creative competition organized by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP) that recognizes the achievements of marketing and communication professionals across the world. The prestigious Platinum Award is presented to those entries judged to be among the most outstanding entries in the competition. Platinum Winners are recognized for their excellence in terms of quality, creativity and resourcefulness.
One Platinum award was given to Kinoshita Communications for excellence in a Website Element/Infographic on behalf of PAYDAY Workforce Solutions of Orange, Calif. The Infographic provided a one-page summary of new payroll tax laws following passage of the Affordable Care Act. The Payroll Infographic was part of a larger campaign to boost website traffic and new business leads. As part of that effort, Kinoshita Communications received two MarCom Honorable Mention awards, one for the PAYDAY blog and another for a Payroll Toolkit Landing Page. The landing page produced a 49.6% conversion rate.
The second Platinum award was given to Kinoshita Communications for a communications plan developed for MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty of Kamuela. The marketing plan delineated a clear, 8-step process for unifying all marketing activities under one umbrella and aligning specific tactical initiatives to the needs and desires of ideal target prospects. As part of that plan, Kinoshita Communications provided a detailed Online Content Strategy, which aligned important keywords to the purchase process of buyer personas. That content strategy was honored with a separate MarCom Gold Award.
We often get asked, "How long before we see results?" and our answer is often the same: Plant your seeds, water and take care of your contacts, and soon you'll see tender green shoots appear.
If you forget to water, or let the hot sun try out your fledgling sprouts, then your results will take longer than someone who watches over their garden every day.
Also, consider whether you're trying to grow a Christmas tree in a desert. Is your industry a fertile field? How competitive is your industry? Are other companies eating away at your garden like birds or garden pests?
All things being equal -- which means you have a good product, good service and can engage in marketing activities -- then the above graph is fairly typical of what you can expect from your inbound marketing campaign in the first 3 months.
In the above example, we began optimizing the site for industry-related search terms and began building out all the ways a prospect could engage with the business. The more landing pages and offers your site has, the greater the number of your conversions will be.
On November 1st the client changed their domain name and moved their site to another server, and we stopped tracking the older site. Traffic dropped, but what remained was better traffic and site conversions tripled.
You can read more about Conversions in the ABCs of Inbound Marketing or feel free to request a complimentary website marketing audit for more information about how long it will take to achieve your goals.
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With more than 1 billion users, Facebook is a great platform for reaching your ideal target customer. But what are the best ways to turn that audience into actual paying customers?
Being able to advise clients on Facebook strategies that provide ROI has been a key to our success, and that's why we've put together this guide on How to Turn Your Facebook Fans into Paying Customers.
This guide will help you to create a strategy that will engage with fans and direct them into a marketing funnel.
Download this ebook and learn how to:
- Plan Your Facebook Strategy
- Direct Fans to Your Company Website
- Turn Leads Into Customers
- Close the Loop on Facebook Marketing
- ...and much more!
Start running a more effective Facebook campaign!
Click the picture of the book below and get your copy today:
As we explained, "Inbound Marketers Could Benefit From Google's Hidden Keywords," marketers are scrambling to figure out how to move forward from Google’s supression of keywords. As of November 13, nearly 80% of all keywords associated with Google Search were "Not Provided" to Web publishers.
Despite the fact that Bing and Yahoo still provide keyword data, together they currently control just about 30% of the online search market. As a result, many marketers who relied heavily on the keyword data for their inbound marketing campaigns are feeling left in the dark.
But there's a hidden benefit to this many are not considering. By not focusing so heavily on keyword data, inbound marketers are forced to focus on what matters most: providing highly valuable content tailored to their ideal customer prospect, or buyer persona. It may take a little extra thinking, creativity, research, and some good old-fashioned trial and error – but coming out of this guns blazing is a surefire way to prove that you really are a marketing pro.
To get you started, we have a little marketing trick to help you quickly find the best keyword phrases for your online marketing campaign.
You have already seen Google's Auto Complete (or Auto Suggest) feature. That's the phrase that pops up underneath the search bar and predicts what users want before they've even finished their request.
So, go ahead and type in phrases related to your products and services using phrases such as "best" or "how to" or "how can I" and see what Google's AutoComplete feature says are the most common and most-used keyword phrases.
Here is a screen shot of what this would look like for a credit union marketing campaign:
Bingo! Google has done all the work for you!
See all the great things you could blog about? Any one of these phrases would be a great blog post title! And these are the most popular searches overall! What a great opportunity to reach your ideal target customer!
Now go ahead and get even more search results with similar phrases such as: why credit unions, credit unions how, best credit unions, etc.
Use these suggestions in the headline of your next blog post, subheads, anchor text and content and you'll be helping your readers by giving them the information they need most!
With this very simple work-around, inbound marketers can still discover the words and phrases people are using to find the best content. Focus on what people need and want most (price lists, comparison reviews, product features and services, how-to guides, instructions, etc. and you'll see growth in your traffic.
Note: Keep in mind results are based on the most common keywords and phrases for a particular geographic region and language, as well as your own personal browsing history. A person searching for something in Boston will see different results than a person searching from San Diego. So be sure to use "Private Browsing" or an "Anonymous Browsing Window" for the most accurate results. If you don't know what these are, leave a Comment below and we explain further with links to resources.
But overall, Google's Auto Complete feature is a great way for inbound marketers to discover the best keywords and still continue to develop the most useful content, even without the intelligence of Google's keyword data.
Do you have a marketing hack or loophole around the Google Not Provided count? aka the encryption of keyword data? We’d love to hear it! Let us know in the Comment section below.
MIT's Technology Review reports Tweets have become shorter since 2009 and some scientists say it may be proof that Twitter is changing how we communicate.
Between November 2009 and December 2012, researchers Alis and Lim say the median utterance length in words decreased from 8 words to 5 words.
This shortening is a global phenomenon which is true for the dataset as a whole, for tweets in English alone and even when all the links are removed from the dataset. The shorter Tweets indicate more use of jargon, researchers said.
Burt Lum, Executive Director at Hawaii Open Data and host of Bytemarks Cafe thinks shorter Tweets may be due to changes in the way people are using Twitter. "I think people are relying more on their links. I sent out a tweet today without any link or added media and it felt empty."
In looking at a subset of 800,000 tweets, researchers found a clear geographical trend: “Southeastern and eastern US states tend to have shorter utterance lengths,” researchers Alis and Lim say. Just why this is the case isn’t clear.
The only variable that correlated strongly with shorter utterances was the African-American population percentage. Why this should be isn’t clear but Alis and Lim point out that there is evidence that the black population uses Twitter significantly more than other groups and that jargon may be more common in this group. Of course, it's important to remember correlation does not imply causation.
Since 2009 the number of automated tools that post to Twitter have increased. These tools often shrink content. Others just post URLs:
Some marketers use a script that can automatically scan a page of website content for sentences that will fit within Twitter's 140 character limit.
Meanwhile, users may be just be more comfortable and better at using Twitter shorthand in 2013 compared to 2009. For example, leaving out vowels and unnecessary words.
Do you think Twitter is changing how we communicate? Please share your thoughts below.
by Laura Kinoshita
The following is a guest post from Adam Penenberg about the information that others can learn about you from what you share online. As inbound marketers and social media consultants our personally identifiable information is exposed in ways that make this relevant.
So, In honor of Halloween, I present to you one of the more frightening articles of the season:
If you enjoyed this, you may also enjoy my other scary article:
(provided by Laura Kinoshita)