Without a comprehensive strategy, even the best talent is under-utilizied. Every (good) plan requires Time Management.
Best Practices in Digital Marketing
Providing in-depth functional toolkits and templates that help build businesses.
1 – Define Values
One of the reasons people fail to achieve personal goals in the long term is that their goals are not clearly aligned with personal values. After overcoming initial intertia, they lose motivation to finish the project.
2 – Audit Current Practices
While we think we may be doing everything right, a deeper examination may reveal “lost time”.
3 – Develop a Plan
Without a customized plan based on lifestyle, values, aligned with past, present and future objectives there is no path forward.
4 – Enforce Accountability
Holding oneself personally accountable to one’s own stated values is a powerful method for harnessing natural motivation and reward systems.
Develop a Digital Marketing Plan
Based on any current stage of business, budget and resources, while targeting the most valuable channels for your niche.
Understand 360 Omni-Channel Digital Marketing
Functional skills in different digital marketing disciplines that target your KPIs and funnels. Let’s demystify digital marketing.
Use the Right Tools & Best Practices
There are a thousand tools and even more ways to use them. It can be confusing to discern how to best proceed. Following a plan you understand will ensure a clear and successful path forward.
Outsource Your Work
The biggest impedement to scaling for small and medium business is a lack of time and or money. Leveraging existing resources to manage the outsourcing of different functional areas is one of the fastest methods for scaling.
The Best Digital Marketing Tools in 2019
– Resource List
One of the most common stumbling blocks people have when entering into the world of digital marketing is where to find good information, tools and resources. Our Marketing Toolkit is updated regularly as new tools become available. It is free of charge.LEARN MORE
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Why Case Studies?
Put your money where your mouth is, so to speak.
The techniques and best practices used to market these sites are field tested and continually produce a positive ROI.
We only recommend strategies that have worked for us.
Case Study Results – Metrics
No matter how good you think you’re doing there is always more to do.
Case Study Results – KPIs
Selecting the right KPIs to measure helps determine where to allocate resources.
We are continually working on eking out better percentages and funnel optimization through constant testing.
Don’t assume you know – unless you have data.
Structuring your marketing department can be difficult. From establishing goals, a budget, planning and tracking, to hiring the right talent and managing teams, there are a wide variety of skill sets required to conquer challenges and establish consistant growth.
We Provide Resources to Help With…
Search Engine Optimization
Tired of being in the dark when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? “How do eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” There is a step by step best practices model to follow for SEO. No matter where you are with SEO, there is always more to do.
Digital advertising requires campaign creation, management, testing and reporting. It can also include a wide mix of publishing platforms (not just Google). PPC can bleed your budget dry if you are not optimizing, have poor targeting/creatives or funnels.
Social Media Marketing & Management
From organic to paid, social media is not a “set and forget” endeavour, it requires daily engagement but the rewards are highly engaged audiences, strong ROAS and powerful targeting data.
One of the simplest and most effective long term growth strategies. Don’t lose a lead when you can convert a lost sale into an email. Email marketing is an essential part of any sales funnel.
Want to make a big splash online? That means posting a lot of the right content. Articles, videos, pictures, infographs, comments, guest posts, blog rolls. It can be exhausting and overwhelming without a plan.
Do you sell online? Physical product, digital, subscription, services or locally? Marketing an existing ecommerce platform or starting one requires a driven focus on conversions; “always be closing”.
Online Distribution Channels
Did you know you can sell on Facebook, Instagram, Google, Pinterest, Houzz, KIK, Telegram and of course Amazon. Setting up a seamless CMS/CRM portal to manage all your online distribution channels can increase your sales exponentially.
One of the worst kept secrets of digital marketing is the use of affiliate programs. The advantage? You only pay when your KPIs are reached and you select the comission structure. Have a web property with lots of traffic and no revenue model? Become a publisher.
One of the most overused buzz words is branding. It’s not complex. It’s how you are percieved in your market. Branding a company correctly requires an understanding of company objectives and the marketplace they operate in. It’s your story, tell it right.
Influencer & Cross Promotional Marketing
Get others to spread the word for you. Influencer marketing is a growing part of digital promotion. Cross promotional partnerships can help companies leverage their strengths with complimentary personalities and advocates.
You’re paying for traffic one way or another. Ensure you take visitors through a process that turns them into customers. Building high converting sales funnels is both an art and a science.
Landing Page Optimization
When a new visitor hits your landing page, you have few precious seconds to capture their attention and lead them to a targeted action. In this regard the data really doesn’t lie.
It can take your audience well over five exposures of your brand in order to convert them. Re-Marketing optimization helps convert those audiences.
Harness the power of machine learning to automate your PPC bidding and optimization strategies with the fastest growing method in digital advertising.
An increasing level of automation is permiating marketing strategies, the use of Machine Learning and A.I. can help automate the process and increase efficiency and conversions. It has never been a better time to market digitially.
Auditing should be a regular part of your marketing cycle. Determining what is working, what is not and identifying opportunities for growth. In fact, the best companies have dedicated marketing auditing departments led by theorists and data scientists.
Targeting the right keywords requires an understanding of your highest converting customer profiles, current position, competition, traffic analysis, creative research and a knowledge of the tools. Selecting the right keywords can dramatically increase your organic traffic and PPC conversions.
There is a system of best practices regarding technical SEO. A checklist of on page optimization techniques that help increase your visibility, CTR and rank. Simply making a few changes to your code can mean the difference between first and 10th SERPS. Poor technical SEO ruins sites with otherwise great content.
There is no excuse to not link build. It is one of the long running backbones of SEO and also one of the most challenging. Your company could have fifty people working full time on outreach and link building and you could still do more. Selecting the right link building strategies given your resources allows you to maximize for the largest amount of the highest quality links given your limitations.
Page Speed Optimization
Did you know that approximately 50% of people who click on an ad bounce before the landing page loads? The primary reason for this is because of a slow page load time. With the majority of traffic coming from mobile, many websites are failing to do all they can to give audiences a user experience that caters to even the most impatient visitor.
Developing a sales training protocol for your website and customer services / sales staff should integrate perfectly within the sales funnel system. Even the most qualified lead can drop off when their first experience with a representative from the company doesn’t fit into the brand and sales strategy.
Effective copy writing helps qualify propects, hook engagement and ultimately drive sales. Split testing ad and sales copy can increase conversion rates. Copy writing is an art. Fortunately, it can be tested and tested until the best copy is found. As they say, a good copy writer is worth his or her weight in gold.
Developing an insight into the psychological profile of your existing and potential customers helps to connect with them on a deeper level, ilicit their values orientation, increase engagement and ultimately convert.
Continual market research can help identify customer demographics and product niches that could be added to your website’s portfolio. Scaling horizontally can add secondary revenue streams.
Most companies are not charging the optimal amount for their products. Split testing volume vs margin strategies in conjunction with your CPA/ROAS can help nail price sensitivity and customer acquisition, while maximizing profit.
What is shopping cart abandonment? It’s when your customer “bounces” during the checkout process. Increasing your conversion rate is low-hanging fruit and it pays to simply audit this process. It’s easier to convert an already interested prospect than it is to acquire a new one.
Data Analysis & Google Analytics
Developing the right KPIs and analytics methodologies helps identify on-site customer behavior allowing your business to determine where there are leaks and opportunities.
User Interface Design – U/I
Your audience interacts with your brand across a number of touch points. Having a clear, consistent and functional design is essential for conversions.
User Experience Design – U/X
Did you know that changing a color, layout, typeface, font size, or word can dramatically alter the experience of your audience and conversion rates?
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
One of the most targeted ways to attract the right customers is by ensuring that the people who need your services/products can find you. Be the first site they see on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) through SEM.
No two businesses are exactly alike and Google Ads allows for a variety of different Ad formats and targeting strategies, which can either turn your site into a cash cow or a money pit (if you don’t know what you’re doing).
Google Tag Manager
Having tags on your site allows you to track KPI’s and user activity in different stages of the sales funnel. It’s a free and essential tool that works without having to modify any code on site.
Google Seach Console
An essential tool that allows webmasters to index, monitor, manage and optimize their portfolio of websites through the official Google portal.
Google My Business
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps.
Google Data Studio
Manage large scale data and custom reporting options beyond Analytics with data sources from Google products; Analytics, Ads, Search Console, Sheets, YouTube, and more.
Test any element that exists as HTML code on a page including calls to action, fonts, headlines, point of action assurances, product copy, product images, product reviews, and forms; via A/B testing and Multivariate testing.
Plug-Ins, Extensions and Tools
Deciding which tools to use with your CMS can be a mess. Most companies fall between a complete lack of tools or a redundancy in them… All of which can slow your site down. It’s amazing to audit large corporations still using outdated methodologies and tools, when their market share affords them all the advantages to innovate. That gap is something start-ups and competitors can and will exploit.
Project Management & Process Optimization
The hardest thing for most medium sized businesses is getting a handle on process. Literally, the how we get from A to B. Things get done because competent people work hard. Yet, managing a multimillion dollar a year business is easy with the right processes in place and the right tools and protocols can help.
A Simple Approach to Digital Marketing
Customizable marketing solutions
that produce results.
Your time should be spent on the highest value activities for running your business.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t need to think about running your marketing department?
Our resources are designed for businesses that need either;
à la carte tools, a lesson in best practices or looking to scale customized turn key marketing solutions.
The Gray Shadow Consulting Team
United by a passion that includes over 50 years of combined experience in Digital Marketing.
Structuring the right processes based on a proven methodology ensures that predictable results will follow.
Keeping current with Digital Marketing best practices is essential for continued success in any industry.
Editor & Strategist
Working with offshore teams, freelancers, VAs and sub-contractors allows for economical scaling.
The best ideas are nothing without artful execution.
A competitive advantage is in the details.
Let us know what you’d like to see more of.