5 Reasons Why Blogging Is Essential For Your Marketing Strategy

why-blogging-is-essential-image

When it comes to marketing it is important to ensure that you are always up to date with the latest trends and marketing techniques. A consistent marketing tactic that has been used for several years is blogging, although it has developed along the way. Some people may view blogging as an old-fashioned approach however when used to its full capabilities it becomes an essential element for any business. Regardless of what genre of company you run, it’s vital that you have a blog and here are 5 reasons why.

  1. Blogs can help to attract new customers
  2. Blogs provide an insight into your brand
  3. Blogging improves SEO
  4. Blog content helps with your social presence
  5. Blogging boosts brand awareness

Blogs Can Help To Attract New Customers

Blogging is a key component to any digital marketing strategy, and it is proven to increase leads as well as direct more traffic to your website. Provided that your blog posts are well-written and informative readers should be able to gain an insight into your business and the products or services you have to offer. Blogging not only provides a platform for creative and informative content but it also allows you to showcase calls-to-action that make it easy to convert into leads.

Blogs Provide An Insight Into Your Brand

A blog provides a platform to tell your brands story, it is a great way of giving consumers a better insight into your company, employees and the product or service you offer. Writing a blog post is an opportunity for marketers to share the brand identity through tone of voice and personality which will in time build up a customers trust and increase brand likability.

Demonstrates how to create a blog post

Blogging Improves SEO

Content is key when it comes to producing blog posts and as marketing has evolved blogging has played a huge part in improving a company’s SEO performance. When you develop a blog, you are able to reach a wider range of search queries. Blogging is great for generating broader search results that your website alone would not be able to attract.

Adding a blog to your website is an easy, yet effective way of increasing the amount keywords and search queries you can rank for on Google. This makes it easier for potential customers find YOU!

Blog Content Helps With Your Social Presence

Creating regular blog posts for your business can help to direct people to your social media platforms. Every time you are publishing a new article you are producing helpful content that people can share across various social networks which in turn will help with brand awareness. Blog content helps to boost social presence by driving new visitors to your blog via different social channels.

Blogging Boosts Brand Awareness

When you product blog content on a regular basis this will naturally increase your brand visibility. It can only take one relatable post for your post to go viral which will in turn increase your audience. Blogging allows you to determine an authentic voice and persona behind the brand image and logo.

The best way to grow your business is by providing the information that customers are searching for. Blog posts can broaden your site visitors while still staying within an appropriate target audience.

To Conclude

Whether you’re a small business owner or blogger, your blog is an extension of the company’s online presence. It provides value by providing information on what sets them apart from others in the industry. It also showcases products that can help people achieve success with whatever goal might be important enough for this purpose!

A blog is a great way to reduce your marketing spend, increase website traffic and generate new leads. But most importantly for businesses: blogging provides value in the form of content that helps build strong customer relationships!

How to become a self made digital marketing expert

Person using the internet to become a self made digital marketing expert

If you’re wondering how to become a self made digital marketing expert, here is the perfect place to start. Read on to find out the best tips and tricks to start a successful digital marketing career.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is how you connect your brand with your customers, normally over the internet.

As more and more of our life becomes digitalised, digital marketing has taken over and there is a large demand for digital marketing everywhere. It is a great time to pick up the skill and take advantage of what digital marketing can do for your brand, or to start a career in digital marketing.

So, now you know what digital marketing is, you may be wondering how exactly to do it. Well, there are lots of new and exciting ways to get your brand out there, but let’s start with the basics.

Read on to find out how to become a self made digital marketing expert.

Types of Digital Marketing

There are many different forms and channels in digital marketing. however it mainly refers to:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing

These are the main channels a digital marketer will use to reach their goals. A self made digital marketing expert will have to master all of these areas and more to understand how to grow their brand.

All of these channels have their own individual uses and you will need to learn the proper industry standards and best practices for them.

Getting digital marketing right

The most important part in getting digital marketing right is setting clear and realistic goals. You should start any digital marketing campaign in this way. You may want to get some new leads, or more sales on your website, or you may even just want to generate some brand awareness.

Whatever it is, you should keep a record of your targets and measure your success against them.

How to improve Search Engine Optimisation

Here are five quick ways you can improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation):

  1. Publish relevant, useful content
  2. Update your website frequently
  3. Optimise metadata
  4. Build up your backlinks
  5. Use alt tags on your images

Search engine optimisation is an often overlooked part of growing your brand, however it should not be disregarded. The initial investment of creating content may be high, but it is certainly worth it.

Here are 5 ways to generate more website traffic.

How to use Pay Per Click

Pay Per Click is just that – you pay advertisers per click you get on an ad. This is most often done through Google.

This is how you set up a PPC campaign in five steps:

  1. Set your goals
  2. Choose an advertiser
  3. Select the keywords you want to bid on
  4. Set up your budgets
  5. Write your advert and create a landing page for it to link to

PPC is a much faster way of seeing your return on investment (ROI), however it can be costly. Just remember to keep your budgets small at first, until you have an idea of what works for you.

Content marketing for beginners

Content marketing is all about finding out what makes your target audience ticks, and using that to attract them to your brand. This may include articles, videos, podcasts, and other media.

Content marketing is not to be confused with SEO. SEO is the process of optimising your web pages to rank higher in the search engines, whereas content marketing is used to reach more people to connect with your brand with the use of content.

As you can see, SEO is more technical, while content marketing is more creative.

Here are 7 ways to generate more website traffic.

How to up an email marketing campaign

Email marketing has been around since the start of the internet, and is still a very effective way of reaching the right audience. Here are some tips for always creating an successful marketing campaigns:

  1. Build your mailing list
  2. Set your goals
  3. Send different email types for different purposes
  4. Segment your audience
  5. Monitor your analytics
  6. Make your opt-in attractive
  7. Always follow up
  8. Create original subject lines

An important thing to be aware of is that sometimes less is more with email marketing. It may be tempting to always send everything to your whole subscriber list, but this will quickly begin to feel spammy and won’t generate the leads you’re looking for.

Instead, personalise and tailor your content for different audience segments and it will be much better received.

Here are 5 free email marketing tools to create effective campains in 2022.

How to launch a successful social media campaign

Now it is time to launch your first social media campaign. Follow these simple steps to never fall short again.

  1. Research your competition
  2. Decide on your strategy and change it if you need to
  3. Use different types of content within a campaign
  4. Use a mix of promotional and informative content
  5. Find out what’s trending
  6. Make your content stand out
  7. Create a social media schedule

Social media is a great tool to use as a digital marketer. You have the option to set up either paid or organic campaigns, suited to any budget. But which platform should you choose?

Find out more ways to make your social media campaigns successful.

Pie chart of social media for digital marketers

Pie chart of social media

It is also important to use the right platform. Research by Statistica shows that the most popular social media platforms in 2021 were:

Most used social media platform (millions)

  1. Facebook – 2,895
  2. YouTube – 2,291
  3. WhatsApp –  2,000
  4. Instagram – 1,393
  5. Facebook Messenger – 1,300
  6. Weixin / WeChat – 1,251
  7. TikTok – 1,000
  8. Douyin – 600
  9. QQ – 591
  10. Sina Weibo – 566
  11. Telegram – 550
  12. Snapchat – 538
  13. Kuaishou – 506
  14. Pinterest – 454
  15. Twitter – 436
  16. Reddit – 430
  17. Quora – 300

Must have digital marketing tools

  • Some must-have digital marketing tools include:
  • Keyword research tool – SEMrush
  • SEO dashboard  – yourSEOmarketingreport
  • Website analytics – Google analytics
  • Email marketing tool – Campaign monitor
  • Social media scheduling tool – Loomly
  • Photo editing tools – Canva or photoshop 
  • Website tool – WordPress
  • Google data studio

These will help make your life much easier by automating certain tasks, tracking metrics or assist with content creation.

Is digital marketing a good career?

Digital Marketing a great career for anyone who is both creative and analytical.

You’ll have a lot of variation in your job. From creating social media campaigns, to PPC and display advertising, to SEO and the daily running of a website. You’ll never be bored in digital marketing.

It is important to note that you will need good english and maths skills, as the job involves a lot of analysing data and writing content. So, as long as that sounds something you’ll enjoy, digital marketing is definitely for you!

How much money does a digital marketer make?

The salary for an entry-level digital marketer, like a digital marketing assistant can range from £18,000 to £22,000.

Once you are more experienced in digital marketing, you could be earning p to £30,000 a year.

In a more senior management role, you could get up to £40,000 and more.

Level 3 digital marketing apprenticeships

The best way to start a career in digital marketing is to take a digital marketing apprenticeship. This way, you’ll be able to earn and learn, while gaining experience in digital marketing. But what does this mean?

If you take a digital marketing apprenticeship, you won’t have to pay a penny towards your learning costs, as this is covered by the apprenticeship levy. You also will get paid for full-time work while getting extra paid time to work towards your apprenticeship.

Another great thing about a digital marketing apprenticeship is that you’ll get the chance to gain valuable insight, knowledge and experience while you learn. You’ll even get a recognised qualification after you finish!

Level 6 digital marketing apprenticeships

After completing a level 3 digital marketing apprenticeship, you’ll be able to progress onto a level 6 digital marketing apprenticeship, which is actually a degree course. So, you’ll be able to gain a university-level qualification without any student debt.

After completing a level 6 digital marketing apprenticeship, the world will be your oyster, giving you unlimited opportunities for career progression – you will truly be a self made digital marketing expert.

Starting a Digital Marketing L3 Apprenticeship? Here’s what you need to know

Firstly, welcome! You’re about to spend a year learning about all the fundamentals of Digital Marketing. As you can imagine, that covers a lot of different areas and specialisms, and there will be many, many kinds of tasks for you to do. Do not despair though, we are here to guide you along the journey and give you practical tips on how to manage your workload. Let’s start.

What will I learn about on my digital marketing apprenticeship ?

Digital Marketing is a broad term that covers many areas, so we’ll break down a few of them for you here:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): SEO is something digital marketers work on to help a website or a page to rank higher in search engines.
  • Social media, paid and organic: this covers the posts that business make on social media channels as well as ads which are paid for and targeted at specific audiences.
  • Email marketing: you will learn how to create them and how to analyse the data in order to optimise your campaigns.
  • Google Analytics: an important one, because it tells us all sorts of information about user behaviour, as well as indicating how well content is performing on a site.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg – but I’d like to turn your attention to other, more practical matters.

A man working on digital marketing on his laptop in a nicely decorated apartment

How will my digital marketing apprenticeship be assessed?

In a nutshell, you are assessed in four parts:

  • Summative portfolio
  • Synoptic project
  • Employer reference
  • End Point Assessment (EPA) Interview

The latter three come towards the end of your apprenticeship. Your portfolio is going to be important from now until the end. It summarises all the work you are about to do for the next 12 months, based around ‘competencies’. You can read about all 13 competencies here.

To summarise, you need to give evidence of all the work you do, demonstrating that you are learning the necessary skills to become a good digital marketer.

How do I make sure that I achieve all the competencies?

It may seem daunting to have to think about so many different skills at once. It can be hard to keep track of whether or not you’ve completed a competency, or whether one of your tasks fulfils more than one competency. Luckily, you will be provided with a competency checklist which looks like this.

A screenshot of the first page of the digital marketing level 3 apprenticeship competencies checklist

Here’s what you do next.

  • Ask your line manager to take half an hour to go through the list with you. They will be able to advise you on whether any given competency can be fulfilled in the role you are doing. They may be able to give you additional tasks to help you get there.
  • If there are still gaps, ask them who on your team you could shadow. This will also count towards your Off The Job (OTJ). You will be learning a new skill and networking at the same time!
  • As well as the checklist, you can use a competency tracker like this one. If you make time to update this weekly, it will keep you on track for hitting all those competencies!
  • Make notes on all your relevant projects as you go. Even if you don’t write them up in your portfolio straight away, you will thank yourself when you have these to look back on to jog your memory.
  • Do not leave your portfolio to the last minute! It may seem tempting. Put time in your diary each week to write up a little bit more. Take screenshots of your work. Just an hour or two to start with should be enough.

Any other tips for my apprenticeship?

Enjoy your apprenticeship! It’s an amazing opportunity and you’re surrounded by a bunch of talented people. You’re here to learn, as well as work, so ask all the questions.

Throughout the day, keep a list of questions that  come up so you can ask your line manager the next day. You’ll find that people love to help, especially when it’s with something they are good at.

And finally, stay up to date on digital marketing trends by following reputable sources and thought leaders. It’s both interesting and useful.

5 Free Email Marketing Tools to Create Effective Campaigns in 2022

Three emails in a Gmail Workspace inbox

Contrary to what many may think, email marketing isn’t dead. In fact, the average order value of an email is three times higher than that of social media. It is thus no wonder that email marketing remains one of the specialisms listed in the digital marketing apprenticeship standard. Use these best email marketing tools and software to develop effective email marketing campaigns.

  1. Best Email Service Provider (ESP) | Mailchimp
  2. Best Email Template Builder | Stripo
  3. Best for Email Marketing Analysis | Google Analytics
  4. Best Email Copywriting Tool | Grammarly
  5. Best for Email Compression | Compress JPEG

Best Email Service Provider (ESP) | Mailchimp

Let’s start with the most essential: email service providers. ESPs allow you to send email campaigns to a list of subscribers using email software. Mailchimp is a great free one because you can split your subscribers up into groups and segments. This means you can send targeted emails improving click-through rates and conversions. In 2022, personalisation continues to be an important part of email marketing strategies, and email automation is a great way to achieve this. Email automation is available on Mailchimp and can be used to create effective drip marketing campaigns, ensuring you send the right message at the right moment to the right people. Other ESPs you could look at are Zoho Campaigns, which is free with up to 6,000 emails per month to 2,000 contacts, and Klaviyo, which is also free with up to 500 emails to up to 250 contacts.

Cost: Mailchimp Free includes up to 2,000 contacts, with 10,000 sends per month and a daily limit of 2,000.

Digital marketing apprenticeship standard: Technologies, implementation, specialist areas (email marketing), digital tools

A person planning their email workflow strategy on a whiteboard for abandoned cart emails
Email automation workflows can be directly created in Mailchimp

Best Email Template Builder | Stripo

Most ESPs provide a host of free email marketing templates, but they are usually basic newsletter designs. Stripo utilises drag-and-drop content modules to help you create HTML email templates, and is one of my personal favourites as you can set the branding for headings and other design elements. Additionally, each content block can be optimised for mobile. Using Stripo you can create beautiful email mock-ups and reuse the templates. Sections of your email templates can also be saved as modules, which can be dragged into new designs. Altogether, Stripo guarantees brand consistency across your email campaigns.

Cost: The free version of Stripo allows you to create two email templates and export 4 emails to ESPs per month

Digital marketing apprenticeship standard: Technologies, specialist area, digital tools

Best Email Marketing Analysis | Google Analytics

ESPs are great sources to collect email metrics, such as open rates, click-through rates and email deliverability. But, once a user clicks on a link and leaves their email inbox, ESPs can no longer track their behaviour. This is where Google Analytics comes in. Using UTM tracking parameters, Google Analytics can track where users came from, how long they spend on a page and whether they ended up completing a goal. As a result, digital marketers can calculate their return on investment for their email marketing strategy.

Cost: Google Analytics is free for small and medium-sized businesses

Digital marketing apprenticeship standard: Data, analysis, digital tools, digital analytics

Best Email Copywriting Tool | Grammarly

Have you ever sent an email and then realised there’s a typo? It can happen, but unfortunately, it could make your brand look unprofessional. While email best practice is to write copy in Google Docs or a Word Document, this can often be time-consuming. These word processors do not analyse the text for the tone of voice either. Grammarly is a writing assistant that does not only review your spelling but also your grammar, inflexion, and clarity of the sentences. The best features are Grammarly’s plug-ins that can be used in apps, word processors and, you guessed it, email clients. This ensures you can write easily readable and typo-free email campaigns even when time is of the essence.

Cost: Grammarly free checks for spelling, grammar and punctuation.

Digital marketing apprenticeship standard: Written communication, technologies

Best for Email Compression | Compress JPEG

If you have used an ESP before, you may have noticed a warning comes up when you try to import an image that is too big. The reason ESPs have these pop-ups is that emails over 3MB in size risk being flagged as spam. One way to reduce an email’s size is to compress the photos in it. Compress JPEG makes it easy to import or drop the files into its compressor. After the software compresses the file, you can download the minimised version. Any files uploaded on Compress JPEG are deleted after one hour because security and privacy are key to the operations of most businesses. You can also adjust the quality, and in turn the file size, manually. In addition to JPEGs, PNGs, GIFs and PDF files can also be compressed by clicking on the appropriate tab on the website.

Cost: Compress JPEG and its sister sites are free to use with unlimited file compressions

Digital marketing apprenticeship standard: Problem-solving, digital tools, interprets and follows

Screenshots of where you can upload the file, adjust the quality and download the minimised file format on Compress JPEG
On Compress JPEG, you can upload a file, adjust the quality and then download the minimised version.

Creating Effective Email Marketing Campaigns

As a digital marketer, it is important to understand the wide range of tools at your disposal. Using various email marketing tools will bring you one step closer to building and implementing a great email campaign that is sure to impress your line manager and EPA organisation.

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10 Pro Email Marketing Tips for Beginners

email marketing, email creation, women, laptop, notebook

Whether you are a new Digital Marketing Apprentice ready to take on Email Marketing or simply want to know how to develop your content as a starter, here is your guide to ensure the maximum results from your campaigns. By creating email marketing campaigns, you can reach more customers and grow your business heavily by putting your company’s name on the radar. In order to achieve your desired results, here are the Top 10 Email Marketing tips which new email marketers should take into consideration.

1. Pick a suitable email marketing platform

The first and probably most obvious would be to decide on which platform best suits your email marketing requirements. The things to take into account are your budget, recipient size, email design and so much more. HubSpot is an amazing tool that allows you to easily redesign and configure your emails for your audience, however, it is a paid feature. A free version that would be suitable for large email lists and designing opportunities would be MailChimp. So as previously mentioned, research heavily into which platform is the best for your company.

2. Segment your audience

Segmenting your audience is the practice of grouping customers who have certain attributes together. You may ask why this would be beneficial, the first reason being personalizing content becomes much easier for future campaigns. Also, measuring results for particular contacts is more accurate and precise.

3. Designing your content

It is extremely important that your email campaigns reflect a similar style to your brand colors and website design. This as a result creates more brand awareness surrounding your company and makes your content look professional and easily identifiable.

Ways to Improve SEO content writing

4. Personalisation

Personalizing aspects such as Subject Titles/Lines, Intro Texts and more, causes higher open rates as recipients are more likely to open emails that are addressing them directly. This tip also aligns closely with Segmentation as you can increase the relevancy your emails have to your receivers by making your content more personal for different groups.

5. A/B Testing

Also famously known as split testing, A/B testing allows you to test certain elements of your content to help improve your campaign as a whole. Changing small things like one word in your Subject Line can go a long way in terms of measuring the results and seeing which performs better to adapt your future campaigns and see which best suits your audience.

6. Optimising campaigns for Mobile Users

Considering the percentage of users who are more likely to check their emails on their phones, it is crucial to make sure your content is optimized for their device. 70% of users are more likely to open emails on a mobile device so make sure your links work, your font size is readable and your email loads quickly on mobiles.

young woman using laptop, email creation, marketing tips

7. Make sure you have an unsubscribe button

As soul-crushing as it can be to have a dedicated contact unsubscribe from your content, it is crucial you give them the option to opt-out. This ensures you stay in GDPR regulations and also makes sure you stay on the good side of your target audience.

8. Do not spam

Creating a marketing campaign plan before releasing your batch of emails over the next month is very important. This ensures you are not overloading your recipient’s inboxes whilst also creating excitement for your next campaign release. Weekly campaigns are a great way to dive into the email marketing sector as a beginner.

9. Make your CTA contextual

Recipients should know exactly what action you are pushing them to take with one small message as your CTA. Clearly defining your wording such as ‘Read More’ or ‘Buy Now’ pushes the reader to take those desired actions. Another benefit is, good CTAs will drive traffic to your other platforms if the links work correctly.

10. Measuring Metrics and KPIs

The top 3 email metrics to look out for are: Open Rates, Click-Through Rates, Bounce Rates, and Conversion Rates. By measuring these KPIs over a period of time you can develop reports to see which campaigns settled better with the recipients and what sort of content pushed for the best results. With this information, you can cater your future campaigns for their stronger interests.

email creation, women typing on laptop

To reach customers in the most effective manner, follow these tips so you can ensure you get the maximum results for your company – whether you are an apprentice for a start-up or large organization. New and improved email campaign platforms make it easier for you to personalize your content, so you ensure CTAs are perfect and your content focuses on what your audience wants to hear rather than what you want to tell them. See better results, reach more potential customers around the world, and make a memorable impression with our top email marketing tips.

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Social Media – The vital aspect of digital marketing

Social media on mobile

Social media has quickly become one of the most influential and important virtual spaces. Platforms aren’t just used for social networking, but also as an effective way to market your products and services digitally. With a huge number of online users – adding up to almost 59% of the world’s population. Not using social media as a from of digital marketing is a missed opportunity.

Here are 5 reasons as to why social media marketing is vital for your business

Engaging with your customers via social media

Social media is a good way of engaging and interacting with your customers, as well as potential customers online. The more communication there is with an audience, the higher the chance of a conversion. A two way communication stream should be set up with your businesses target audience, allowing them to know and understand that the customer always come first, and that as a brand you are there for them. Moreover, communication with customers is an easy way to gain their trust and win their attention. Thus a wider established audience will be reached.

Improved brand awareness

Social channels such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can be used to increase your businesses visibility in an stress-free and profitable way. Just simply create a profile for your business and begin networking with others. Having a social media strategy will help significantly increase your brand recognition. By spending only a few hours on social media per week, it was recorded that 91% of marketers had reported that they had seen an increase in brand visibility and heightened user experience. Undoubtably, by regularly using a social platform, your business will gain a wide audience in no time at all. It is a way of spreading the word about your business among the community.

A cost-effective solution

Most social networking platforms allow for free registration to create an account. This makes it a very cost-effective approach for an advertising strategy. To achieve a greater return on investment, you must be cost-effective if you decide to use paid advertising on social channels. The ability to hold a more extensive budget for other business expenses and marketing is equally as important. It’s not particularly difficult to increase conversion rates over the course of a few months with investments of time and money. This will eventually provide you with a return on investment.

Screenshot of Hootsuite – a social management media platform, aimed at supporting social network interrogations for Twitter Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Youtube

Increased traffic

Additionally, another benefit of social media is that it can also boost your website’s traffic. When you share your content on social networks, you are encouraging and enticing people to click-thorough onto your website. As a result of this, the more quality content that is shared on your social account, the more inbound traffic you will generate, and the higher your conversion rate will be.

Enhanced SEO rankings

The importance of social media presence is no longer just about optimising your website and regularly updating your blog. Today, to secure a successful search engine ranking (SERP) SEO requirements are constantly changing. Consequently, it is no longer enough to simply optimise your website and regularly update your blog. When business share their content on social media, they are sending a signal to search engines that speaks to your brands legitimacy, constancy and integrity.

In conclusion, social media marketing is a B2B technology that offers significant advantages to startups and established brands. Regularly updating a social marketing strategy will increase traffic, improve SEO, build brand loyalty, boost customer satisfaction, and so much more for startups and established brands alike. You are already competing on socials, so don’t let your competitors take your potential customers. The earlier you start – the faster your business will grow.

Take a look at these marketing and social media blogs if you enjoyed this article

Tips for Digital Marketing Tools – Google Data Studio

person using digital marketing tools

Google Data Studio is Google’s answer for creating bespoke, tailored and visually engaging reports for any digital marketer out there. Digital marketing tools allow you to create reports from activity across a range of digital marketing channels, including Paid Social, Paid Search and Organic reports in a simplistic but unique way. If you are working towards a Level 3 Digital Marketer Apprenticeship, this may be useful for you. Showing you can use digital tools effectively and with ease is an important competency to meet. Read on to find out my top tips for using Google Data Studio to enhance your reporting methods…

Tip 1 – Know your metrics

When creating any report, the first question you should ask yourself is what the most important metrics are I should be looking at. From ROAS to revenue, clicks to CPCs, traffic to sessions, every businesses’ digital marketing needs will be slightly different. If your client is an ecommerce business, perhaps focusing on ROAS, cost and revenue are the most useful metrics to include in your Google Data Studio report. Alternatively, you might be working on an Organic client therefore rankings by day or week-on-week traffic fluctuations are most valuable to you so these metrics will be included in your marketing report. Establish what your report needs to reflect, depending on the business goals, and then get ready to get stuck in creating the report!

Top Tip 2 – Use a Template

Google Data Studio can be a scary place if it’s your first-timer using digital marketing tools. If your digital marketer apprenticeship requires you to create a report however, this tool is quick to find your way around. You can find lots of available templates when you click to create a new report. Using a template allows you to customise the metrics you see, change font styles and colours and makes the whole process stress-free – saving you time and wasted energy!

google data studio templates

Top Tip 3 – Decide How to Present your Data

The way you present your data is key. Google Data Studio is great for digital marketers wanting to create varied visual reports. The tool offers

  • Time series
  • Bar chart
  • Pie chart
  • Tables
  • Scorecards

as some of the ways to show your data. Perhaps you need to show revenue by day so using a bar chart, set by day, could be the best presentation of your data. Or you may simply require a ‘scorecard’, which can help you track budgets throughout the month so you can keep on top of your monthly digital media spends. Whatever the need, GDS can aid you in effective reporting.

Top Tip 4 – Sharing your report

If you’re a Digital Marketer working in an agency environment or perhaps you need to share your report with another team member, GDS allows you to control and specify accessibility and permissions when you share a report. Navigate to the top right of your Google Data Studio report and click ‘share’. From here add in the email addresses and your report will reach them in a matter of minutes!

google data studio sharing permissions

Conclusion

To round up, there are lots of tips and tricks you will find on reporting hacks but using GDS as a starting point is a great way to create simple yet useful reports for your business or client. As a Level 3 Digital Marketer, this may be one of the tools that can help you secure hitting the important competency that shows off your skills and abilities when using digital tools. From Databox to DashThis, the tools are endless. But starting off simply and easily isn’t with Google’s free reporting tool.

For some more detailed training on Google Data Studio, you can try the Introduction course to brush on your skills. Or if you’d like to learn more about how to become a Level 3 Digital Marketer check out our post to learn more whether you’re a learner or looking to hire digital marketers for your business.

Top 5 Digital Marketing Tools: A Marketing Toolkit

digital marketing tools

As a digital marketer, there are plenty of different tools to choose from. In fact, there are so many it can become overwhelming. Through-out my career in digital marketing, I have trialled many different tools and software that promised the world but deliver nowhere near. So I have put together a digital marketing tool kit that will be sure to take your digital marketing game to a new level.

Discover my top 5 digital marketing tools:

Later

Usually, the best is saved for the last, but in this case, I had to start with my ultimate top digital tool. Later is the best social media scheduling tool I have tried, not to mention it comes with so many additional benefits. This tool can be used to schedule Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest posts. 

Like all scheduling tools Later does what most scheduling tools do. What makes Later different is you can schedule Instagram stories and visually see the layout of your Instagram feed, including posts that have not been published yet. Furthermore, Later has comes with a great social analytics tool, including hash-tag analytics, and a place to reply to comments on all posts, from all platforms. Not to mention, Unsplash comes free with Later. Based on my time using this tool, it is clear that they constantly update their site to reflect social media updates. This ensures it consistently stays the best social scheduling tool available.

Unsplash

Following on from later, Unsplash is the next tool you need to add to your tool kit. Unsplash is a royalty-free photo website that includes only high-quality photos. Shutterstock is the most common choice but the quality of images that are available on Unsplash outway the choice that comes with Shutterstock. A lot of photos uploaded onto Shutterstock are amateur and are not at a standard good enough for brand content. On Unsplash there is also a wider selection of portrait images that fit better with image size options on Instagram. Finally, there is no cost involved with Unsplash if you choose Later as your social media scheduling tool.

digital marketing tools

Spark

Spark is an easy to use graphic tool that allows you to create high-quality social content, from Instagram stories and Pinterest posts to Facebook banners and collages. There is some debate when it comes to Spark vs Canva, but personally, I think Spark is the better choice. Spark allows you to create cohesive content with a much more friendly user interface. Canva is great for icon selection, however, you have limited choice unless you pay for the software. Spark is free if you already pay for creative cloud. Spark allows you to create a brand by adding your logo, brand colours and brand font. This makes it easy to design work that is cohesive to the rest of your content. The duplication feature allows you to quickly create Instagram stories and the animation tool makes the stories much more captivating.

Klaviyo

Klaviyo is an email marketing platform for eCommerce that has really elevated my email marketing. Prior to Klaviyo, I was using Mailchimp which is a good tool, however, Mailchimp’s biggest downfall is its inability to adequately segment audiences. Subscribers are not automatically added into audience segments unless you ask their interests, you have to add them manually. This can be extremely time-consuming. Klaviyo is extremely sophisticated as you can create dynamic audience segments. This automation feature saves time and allows me to spend time on more important things, such as designing the emails.  Moreover, when you create emails you can be extremely specific with who you want to receive it. For example, people that have viewed a specific product in the last 3 months. Klaviyo has significantly helped in personalising emails and decrease our unsubscribe rate.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a great social media platform for brands, but it is also a great way to collect content. By creating private Pinterest boards, you can visually brainstorm ideas for different campaigns, social media content, or even the aesthetics of your brand. An additional feature of Pinterest in the Pinterest plugin tool that you can add to your browser. This allows you to collect images for your boards both on and off Pinterest. This is particularly useful if you want to create a collection of Instagram posts for inspiration or to repost.

Conclusion

There are many different digital marketing tools out there, but these 5 digital tools are a must as a digital marketer. They will improve your skills within your job role, from scheduling content to email marketing. Not to mention the automation aspects of these tools will free up time so you spend time on more important things such as creating content or researching new developments with the industry. To conclude, these digital marketing tools are the best of what is currently available and will be sure to improve your performance within your job role.

To find out more about the skills involved in digital marketing, click here.

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Email Marketing Best practices for 2020

Laptop and mail icons Email marketing

Want to learn top tips for email marketing in 2020? From audience segmentation to dynamic content, email marketing is the strategy of sending emails and cultivating relationships with your customers and prospects to ultimately drive engagement, revenue and retention. Email marketing is one of the many digital standards and technical skills I have learnt on my path to become a digital marketer through the level 3 Digital marketing apprenticeship. As a result here are some of my key takeaways for email marketing best practices to make your campaigns stand out from the crowd!

1. Segment your email marketing target audience

Firstly, don’t just send a generic uninspiring email to a mass audience and hope for the best. In email marketing, segmenting your target audience is key to brand loyalty by providing the customer with relevant content based on their wants, needs, values and interactions with your brand or service. As a result there are typically, are 4 market segments which are commonly used to define the consumer:

Demographic segmentation

This has several variables such as age, gender, family size, income, occupation, religion, race and nationality. Demographic segmentation is the best place to start planning your email segmentation strategy. Segmenting your audience by one demographic identifier, can open several opportunities to massively increase email personalisation, so you can target your customers with the products or services they want.

Behavioural segmentation

This style of segmentation is based on the consumers behavior such as their decision making pattern and what actions your prospect takes at each touch point in the customer journey. What pages are your customer looking at on your site? What journey did they take on your website? A simple way to analyse behavioural segmentation is to add tracking codes across your customer touch points. As a result this will give you a wealth of knowledge in understanding how your consumers are interacting with your email campaigns, website and where the rest of the customer journey takes them.

Geographical Segmentation

Is a great way to divide your customer segments by geography. You can implement geographical segmentation to target your audience by their location based on the products or services you offer.

Psychographic segmentation

This focused around the lifestyle of people such as their activities, social beliefs, social status, values and attitudes. It is similar to behavioral segmentation but considers the psychology of the consumer in line with their buying behavior.

2. How to use different types of email marketing campaigns to target audiences

Once you have analysed you audience and segmented them effectively, you can start sending your email campaigns. Email campaigns can be broken down into the following list:

Welcome emails or a welcome series campaign

This is the first type of campaign you should send to all new subscribers. It’s normally the campaigns that generates the highest engagement and open rates. It’s a balance of providing the consumer with educational, promotional and incentive driven campaigns as well as offering them the opportunity to shop.

Promotional email campaigns

This campaign style has the ultimate goal of increasing revenue. As a result, it should be focused around selling your product or service with a bold CTA (call to action) button. Do be sure to include the promotion as the main focus at the top of your email and also include further value with free content. This could be educational or anticipates what other products the customer may like to view.

Loyalty and reward Campaigns

This type of campaign can offer a wealth of value to the consumer and nurture your brand relationship with them. For example you could send your customer rewards or a discount as part of a VIP scheme.

Behavioural email campaigns

Are types of campaigns based on the consumers interaction with your brand as well as the action they have taken on your website or app. As a result, these are broken down into triggered, transactional, behavioural and automated emails. For example, if your customer has abandoned their basket on your website you could send an email to tell them they still have items in their basket.

Surveys, testimonial or asking for reviews

This campaign style is a great way to gain insights into your product or services and how you can evolve your business or service, as well as your digital strategy based on direct reviews from the consumer.

Newsletters, company announcement

These types of emails are key to keeping the consumer engaged with your brand, as a result of announcing new products or services and building brand advocacy. These types of campaigns should be a consistent touch points in your email marketing strategy.

3. Boost your email marketing engagement with relevant content 

Email marketing has moved on since its infancy of sending simple static emails to consumers with a hard sell. As a result, it’s more about nurturing that relationship and building brand advocacy to drive their attention to valuable content with your business goals in mind.

This is where the content creation comes in, ensuring there is a relevant message for every customer at every open. There are some top email marketing platforms and software out there, proven to improve your email campaign engagement, such as recent trends in:

  • Kinetics
  • Gamification tactics
  • Countdown timers / time targeting
  • Device targeting
  • Image personalisation
  • Store locators
  • Weather forecasts
  • Scratch to reveal elements
  • Real time data content through API
  • Real time UGC
  • Video
Mobile phone Email marketing

4. Optimize your email marketing campaigns for mobile

Did you know that the main device used for viewing email campaigns is mobile? The practice of optimizing your email campaigns for mobile is essential to drive consumer engagement, open rates and clicks. A good starting for mobile ready campaigns is to:

  • Use email marketing tools to create mobile-ready templates
  • Create a shortened compelling subject line which will read well on a smaller screen with a maximum of 30 characters
  • Check your pre-header is no longer than a maximum of 50 characters
  • Optimize your image and video assets for mobile view 
  • Test your email using tools such as the litmus platform so you can see how your campaign is displayed on different mobile devices
  • Link the customer to a mobile ready landing page and website
  • Track your campaign metrics by device           

5. Test, analyse and review your email marketing campaigns

One of the most important practices you can do in any digital marketing strategy is to analyse your success and this same approach is applied to your email marketing campaigns. Below I have listed some of the key metrics for email marketing statistics to track success:

  • Open rate
  • Unique open rate
  • Click through rates
  • Unsubscribe rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Bounce rate

6. Always be GDRP compliant

Since May 2018 it became a legal requirement to include a privacy policy and unsubscribe link in all email campaigns, because the consumer needs to be able to access how their personal data is being used and stored by a business. Without these links you are in breach of being GDPR compliant and therefore breaking the law. You are also in dangerous territory of damaging your brand image and relationship with your consumers. As a result the links need to be clearly visible in your email content, normally found in the footer elements of an email.


So there you have it, the email marketing best practices I have learned as part of the level 3 digital marketing apprenticeship. If you apply these tips to your email marketing strategy it can only lead to success in your digital marketing plan, along with keeping up to date with the latest email campaign trends and tools to become an email marketing specialist.


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The Ultimate Guide for On-Page SEO

Letters displaying SEO

From title tags to images, this is the ultimate learning guide for On-Page SEO.
This guide includes key 9 factors to boost your SEO efforts in 2020 so your web content is always optimised.

What is SEO?

Firstly, SEO stands for search engine optimisation and it refers to a process of techniques that help you achieve better rankings for your website in organic search results .

Human working on a Mac

What is On-Page SEO?

On-page SEO is the process of optimising web page content for search engines and users. On-page SEO methods include optimising title tags, content, internal links and URLs.

There are lots of factors on your website which you can control and enable search engines to index your content, understanding what it is about.

Here are the 9 factors that affect On-Page SEO.

Indexability

For any website to achieve any kind of ranking in the search engine results page, it has to be indexable for the search crawlers to find it. Storing a text file called “robots.txt.” on the server, communicates and sets instructions for bots to tell search crawlers which pages they can crawl & index from your site and which they cannot. This “ban” is applied using the word “Disallow”.

It’s useful if you want to hide confidential pages that shouldn’t be published on the search results page but is part of the website. For example, customer login dashboard.

graphic design illustration of WWW.

URL structure

The way your URL is structured, affects your SEO. Your URL should always include your brand name and a relevant slug that indicates to the searcher what type of content will appear on the landing.

  • Keep it short and sweet if possible.
  • Avoid special characters in the URL: It makes it difficult for search engines to crawl.
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Images (alt attributes)

Block and blocks of text can seem overwhelming & put off searchers who are just looking for a straightforward answer. Images are a great way to break up content, allowing the eyes to focus but it also helps SEO too.

Search engines struggle reading images unless it has ‘alt text’. Alt text are short pieces of text which simply describes the image. Its useful for many reasons:

  • Browser will display alt text if your images can’t be displayed due to technical error.
  • Improve accessibility: Reading software for the blind use alt attributes.

Title Tag

A title tag is the text that is displayed on your browser tab when you open a webpage. It is also shown as a blue header link that appears when your website shows up in the search engine results page. It is part of the ranking criteria for Google so you should:

  • Use the website’s central keyword in the title tag.
  • Not exceed the maximum length of the title tag (70 characters)
  • If possible, use your brand name in the title tag.
  • Use a unique title tag for each web page.
search results on mobile

Meta Description

This is a bit of text that describes what a specific page is about. Meta descriptions are typically displayed as text below the title tags.

Google may not use your description to understand the content on your page, but searchers use it to figure out which result to click on – so it needs to be enticing, short & sweet.

You should:

  • End your meta description with a call to action.
  • Limit your description to maximum length of 175 characters, or the description will be cut off in the SERPs.
  • Use a separate description for each web page.

Headline Tags

Using headline tags helps structure your website content, making it easy for web users and crawlers to understand it. Use H1 tag per web page and use header tags in chronological order.

Internal Links

Using anchor text to link between pages of your website suggests that the linked page is about the keyword or phrase in it. So, you can greatly increase the relevance of a web page to a particular subject or keyword.

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Loading Speed

Search engine also monitor the technical performance of your website. How quickly your site content loads, is a big factor that counts towards SEO success.
To improve performance, you can:

  • Use low resolution image files so it loads faster and doesn’t take up too much storage space.
Google search engine on mobile

Mobile Optimisation

For many years now, mobile friendliness has been a major factor in search engine optimisation. Traffic is becoming more mobile, whatever the topic. So, if your website is not optimised for mobile, you will be giving potential traffic a bad user experience and therefore decrease in traffic which will affect your SEO.

You should:

  • Activate responsive web design so your website adjusts to different size of screens.
  • Mobile users use touch screens so UX is different and you should make sure buttons are not too close together.

And there you have it. You are officially an On-Page SEO king. If you practice these 9 On-Page SEO factors for your blog or other web content as-well as staying updated with the latest digital marketing trends, you’re guaranteed SEO success.


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