Staying ahead of trends like content marketing, search engine optimization, and email marketing can be tough. This is especially true when every site has something different to say. Marketing guides give business owners like you the chance to learn from the experts with a straightforward, step-by-step plan.
So, instead of scouring the internet for hours, we’ve listed a few of the best free marketing guides right here for you.
Online Marketing Guides
Kissmetrics – Fix your “leaky online funnel” with Kissmetrics’ “How to Measure and Fix Your ‘Leaky’ Marketing Funnel guide.
QuickSprout – QuickSprout offers a 14-chapter marketing guide titled “The Beginner’s Guide to Online Marketing” (by Neil Patel and Ritika Puri) that’s designed to help every level of marketer. As such, this guide is for everyone from the very experienced to the first-timers.
Google – If you’re more interested in a hands-on approach, Google has an interactive online marketing guide – “Google’s Small Business Online Marketing Guide”. It comes with a “getting started worksheet.”
Email Marketing Guides
Kissmetrics – Kissmetrics also offers a “Beginner’s Guide to Successful Email Marketing” that’ll teach you how to approach each phase of email marketing. This covers everything from getting started to the day you launch.
WhenIWork – If you’re a small business owner, then WhenIWork’s “A 101 Guide to Email Marketing” is for you. It covers the basics and offers some need-to-know practices for getting started with email as an SMB. Especially for small businesses, use an email validation tool to make sure that once you set up your email campaign, you’re reaching inboxes.
Digital Marketer – Digital Marketer has created “The Ultimate Guide to eCommerce Email Marketing”. Included is a three-part plan that walks readers through the eCommerce email marketing process.
Social Media Marketing Guides
Mashable – Twitter is intriguing, but if you’re unsure how to use it, it can be detrimental for business. Fortunately, Mashable has created a comprehensive “Twitter Guide Book” for novices of this social media platform.
Social Media Examiner – If you’re more of a Facebook person, then Social Media Examiner’s “Facebook 101 for Business: Your Complete Guide” will help you cover all your bases. The guide even includes how to optimize your business page.
Moz – For those who are just interested in social media marketing as a whole, Moz released “The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media”. This comprehensive guide is designed to help you learn all the basics of every platform, from Facebook to Twitter.
The internet is teeming with free marketing guides. The hardest part is figuring out which one is the best. This list, however, will get you on track.
A colleague recently contacted me that their site was hacked and they were struggling to correct the issue. As soon as the team found and removed the malicious code, the site would get re-infected. The core issue is that hacks made to sites don’t simply infect a single file, they infect all files and even the database. When you remove it from one location, another script is executed that re-enables the infected site. Correction requires the site being disabled and all files and data thoroughly cleansed.
The problem doesn’t stop there, though. By the time Google Search Console or a browser alerts you that your site is infected, contact data from your site is extracted, and search engines are burying your site from page one search results. Now, your users are getting SPAM, or worse, getting phishing attacks that use the compromised data against you. And your prospects are visiting your site and being warned that it’s now untrustworthy.
Core to the issue is that a company made the decision years ago that it was unnecessary to provide the additional budget for external or cloud hosting, that hosting would be more cost effective if managed internally. Liquid Web released the results of a study that pointed to a shift in opinions on inexpensive or internally hosted sites:
- 91% of web-dependents noted security is a top factor when selecting a hosting provider.
- The average number of technical hosting issues is 4.5 times a year.
- 80% of web-dependents expect to be more web reliant in 5 years.
- 86% of web-dependents believe selecting the right hosting provider can affect a company’s competitiveness.
You’re not simply losing revenue from your downtime; you’re losing search visibility that could take months to regain. You’re also losing credibility from prospects that may have been researching their next purchase decision for months. This issue that started with a few minutes of downtime may now cost your company thousands of dollars, upset users, and valuable prospects. Your decision to save a few bucks may have cost you your business.
If a website or application fuels the revenue generation of a business, the choice of a hosting provider should be a strategic one. Yet, often businesses make the mistake of choosing their provider based on price rather than ensuring they have a dependable partner. It’s important not to buy into empty promises of “best support” or “most secure” without validating the performance and security of the offered hosting solutions, reviewing current customer testimonials and customer satisfaction results, and researching the skill level of the resources that will be assisting you to design, migrate and support your solution. It is definitely worth the time to make sure you are picking a partner, not a vendor. Liquid Web CTO Joe Oesterling
The unforeseen threat, of course, is security. Instead of researching how much managed hosting services with security, support, automated backups, and other benefits cost, businesses need to reverse the question.
What will the cost be for our business if it’s hacked, dropped from search results, our client data exposed, and we’re publicly displayed as untrustworthy to our prospects? What will the effort and expense be to overcome that loss in credibility?
It’s a lot more than most companies think. Especially as our systems and sites are being automated, integrated, and collaborated across services and organizations. A single security issue, like dominoes, could lead to a chain of events that severely damage your brand’s marketing efforts and investment.
As data breaches, hacks, and phishing become frequent occurrences, customer attitudes are dramatically changing as well. In fact:
- 39% of consumers said they’d remember a major privacy or security breach for a lifetime.
- 44% of consumers would permanently stop using a site that sold their data to vendors without their knowledge.
Source: Adroit Digital
While services like Neverbounce aren’t hosting your site, we are importing and managing precious data from your company. We’re often surprised that marketers will evaluate similar services that have no terms of service, data policies, or even secure hosting considerations. Uploading their customer data to one of those services could be handing over your most precious digital asset to organizations that will abuse its use.
It’s time that marketers got serious about security. And, as Mr. Oesterling stated, it’s time that marketers ensured they were picking partners, not vendors!
Data shows the uptick of mobile usage as the dominant means of retail purchasing. This holiday, keep your focus on ease of use at your customers’ fingertips. Through simple, clear, concise and effective marketing techniques designed around an on-the-go consumer, your holiday campaigns should earn a spot on your customers’ “nice” list.
Create immediate action through mobile devices this holiday season with these proven holiday tactics.
Deck Your Halls Seamlessly
Grabbing the attention of your customers is a challenge. Once you have their eyes on your prize, it’s critical you make the most of it by making their experience seamless.
It’s also important to remember that 71% of consumers use a combination of in-store and online channels to buy holiday gifts. Recreating the in-store experience on your mobile app or store will help increase conversions.
After you’ve decked the halls with all of your new merchandise, ensure the experience of your online store/app is seamless:
- All customers want easy, so give it to them by creating a simplistic means of searching for the product they want. Mobile search should be easy peasy.
- Help customers readily find the information they need to make an informed purchase by categorizing effectively, further encouraging a sale.
- Make your mobile experience feel like the physical store, which creates cohesion across marketing channels.
Make your company’s goal to offer such an amazing user experience that customers will recommend you to all of their friends.
Speaking of referrals…
Sharing is Caring
Share, share, share! Great deals are hard to keep private when we’re all strapped for holiday cash. Making it easy for consumers to share what they find could be your easiest and greatest marketing tool yet.
- Consider sharing a referral link they can share with up to 5 friends that gives consumers an additional percentage or dollar amount off if their friends purchase using the link. Incentives are king!
- Make it easy for customers to find and share deals and coupons from social media or email; this could be crucial in the holiday countdown.
- Don’t forget to make it easy for consumers to redeem promo codes once they get on your site. Once you’ve shared them, they have to be able to redeem them.
Beyond sharing the great deals that you’re offering, don’t forget to align your messaging across all channels. Your social media messaging should align with the messaging in your emails and vice versa. If it isn’t consistent, it could erode trust in your brand.
Oh, Holy Mobile!
Did we say that mobile was taking over this holiday season? Ok, we know, you get the picture. But here are some specific ways to make your campaigns mobile this holiday season:
- Make sure your email templates are mobile responsive across email clients. Seems pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how many emails we get that aren’t.
- When in doubt, think of your mobile subscribers and how they would want information displayed. Most subscribers are checking emails on their phones, which then directs them to your site. If they are on your site on their mobile device, is it an optimal experience?
- If you’re feeling brave, utilize SMS messaging to market to your consumers in real-time. Make sure you’re compliant with the opt-in standards to be able to market to them this way.
“Mobile is now the primary access point to online retail for most consumers,” says Andrew Lipsman, Vice President of Marketing and Insights at comScore. “As a result, retailers really need to rethink how they deliver their online shopping experience.”
Prepare for a Clean Sweep
It’s no secret consumers are researching products before purchasing nowadays. There’s actually a term for it: webrooming. As defined by HubSpot, webrooming is “what happens when consumers research products online before going into the store to make those purchases.”
Conversely, showrooming is “when a shopper visits a store to check out a product but then purchases the product from home,” according to techopedia.
Are your visitors going to find what they need when searching online?
Let’s take that one step further. Are they going to find what they need when they’re searching online on their mobile device?
Check in on your SEO. Google searches on mobile for the “best” products are up 50%; consumers are using their mobile phones for shopping-related activities, such as comparing prices and searching for coupons.
Review and prioritize the optimization on your product pages. Incentivize Google reviews. Create consistent and relevant content on your blog. Launch paid social advertising to drive traffic. By utilizing these tactics and paying attention to your online mobile search strategy, you’ll sweep those customers straight to your site and to your shopping cart.
The Gift of Mobile
Anyone wishing to capture customers this holiday season must create the best user mobile experience possible for their market. If glitz isn’t in your bag of tricks, no worries. Stay true to your brand. Keep it simple. Just make sure you reach out across the available mobile mediums and at minimum – offer gratitude to your customers. You reap what you sow, and you may be paid back in spades.
You made it onto our good list this season. Create a free account and analyze your list now:
With Black Friday right around the corner, now is the time to step up your holiday email marketing strategy to bring in more dollars than ever before.
In a digital world where everything is public, email marketing moves the conversation about your business to a more personal environment — the inbox. How can you make the most out of it?
In the land of email marketing, there are many different considerations for determining whether your email program is successful. We all know to check click-through and open rates, but what other email metrics should you be monitoring to find your groove?
With tablets, desktops, and mobile devices, options are abound for when and where an email may be viewed.
Trends show that mobile email is taking command. In fact, according to Sign-up.to’s 2016 Email Marketing Benchmark Report, mobile email will account for 27 to 71% of email opens, depending on your target audience, product and email layout.