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Alyson Phillips

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Holiday Marketing: It's Never Too Early to Make Plans

Posted by Alyson Phillips on May 15, 2017 at 10:45 AM

It might feel like the last holiday shopping season just ended, but there's no rest for the weary because this year's is coming up fast. Retailers depend on a strong holiday shopping season to bolster their annual revenues, and success requires a smart, well-planned holiday marketing strategy.

Even though the true start of the holiday shopping season is still months away, retailers can't afford to wait. They need to start strategizing now so there's time to prepare for a multi-pronged, engaging retail strategy. The time to prep is now, and we've put together a quick guide to help you get started.

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Topics: Digital Marketing Strategy

Measuring Your Content Marketing Effectiveness: 4 Key Metrics

Posted by Alyson Phillips on April 19, 2017 at 1:04 PM

Content marketing strategies don't unfold overnight. Once an organization commits to a long-term comprehensive strategy, it takes time for their campaigns to take root and flex their cumulative value.

Even so, the question of content marketing effectiveness needs to be answered on a continual basis. Management needs an indication that these various campaigns and strategies are moving toward solid returns. For that matter, marketing managers feel the same way. Marketers need evidence that their efforts pay off, even if those larger strategic goals remain far off in the distance.

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Topics: Content Marketing

4 Lead Generation Tips for Small Businesses

Posted by Alyson Phillips on March 22, 2017 at 1:12 PM

What business doesn't want more leads? But wanting more is the easy part. Getting leads is hard work, and acquiring high-quality leads from strong prospects is even more of a hassle. Reaching leads means finding the right place to make yourself visible and available. There are a number of ways to do this, even on a small budget, but it takes careful planning and a strong understanding of your audience.

If you're up to the task, here are four methods for capturing new leads for your business.

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Topics: Paid Search Engine Marketing, Digital Marketing Strategy, Social Media Marketing

10 Tips to Generate Leads in 2017

Posted by Alyson Phillips on February 17, 2017 at 9:32 AM

Small businesses face a razor-thin margin for error when it comes to generating leads and increasing their customer base. With a new year underway, businesses already have their resolutions in place to grow in 2017.

Increasing leads is almost always among these goals. If you're unclear on how to generate leads but know you've got to find a way, consider these 10 steps to create more opportunity for your company:

1. Send Personalized Emails

Personalization goes a long way via email. Simple efforts at personalization can increase open rates by more than 50 percent, and they have higher click-through rates as well. Start with adding personal names at the tops of emails and then experiment with other personal touches.

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Topics: Integrated Marketing

Marketing Practices to Kick to the Curb in 2017

Posted by Alyson Phillips on January 31, 2017 at 11:13 AM

The new year is well underway and with it comes the chance to take a fresh look at your marketing practices and make changes in preparation for the year ahead. Marketers need to adapt to this evolving landscape. Though it's true that old habits die hard, here are some practices that are definitely worth getting rid of in the new year.

Say Goodbye to Sales-Only Social Media

When social media rose to prominence in the early 2010s, wise marketers capitalized early on this trend by seizing the opportunity to market directly to their audience with what many saw as free advertising. However, in 2017, more consumers want to have conversations with brands and crave interactions over the same old sales pitches.

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Topics: Integrated Marketing

3 Irresistibly Click-Worthy Call to Action Examples of 2016

Posted by Alyson Phillips on January 19, 2017 at 1:03 PM

E-commerce depends on clicks, and these call to action examples (CTAs) have successfully generated not only clicks but conversions. If you're not sure how well your CTAs are converting, you can check your average bounce rate. Bounce happens when visitors leave your website without taking any action or, put another way, without responding to your site's CTAs. According to the research firm Compass, e-commerce businesses average a 57-percent bounce rate, while the best companies perform at 35 percent.

The higher your bounce rate, the more likely it is that your visitor didn't find what they were looking for when they got there. To achieve the hallowed conversion, your site's main function should be to help them find it. In addition to being obvious, however, effective CTAs are enticing. Check out how the following companies made their calls to action irresistible.

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Topics: Website Design & Development

Content Marketing: Questions to Ask to Avoid Costly Mistakes

Posted by Alyson Phillips on January 9, 2017 at 1:44 PM

If you can't answer these content marketing questions before you post about your company, you're probably wasting time and money. The idea that great content alone will drive traffic and customers to your business is a myth, which isn't to say that content marketing is dead — far from it. According to the Content Marketing Institute, some 200 million consumers have installed ad-blocking software on their computers. That means in many cases, if you're not taking advantage of content marketing, your message isn't reaching your audience. As this Marketing Land article shows, however, eyeballs alone don't drive results: Content alone isn't king, but content that drives engagement still reigns supreme.

So do yourself — and the internet — a favor. Before you publish another article, ask yourself these three content marketing questions:

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Topics: Content Marketing

2017 Digital Marketing Trends: 6 Storylines to Follow

Posted by Alyson Phillips on January 3, 2017 at 1:16 PM

The end of one year brings the start of another and an opportunity to make resolutions for the upcoming calendar. The same goes for businesses. This is a great time for organizations and businesses to reflect on lessons learned from the past while planning for a better new year.

For marketers, much anticipation is built around the 2017 digital marketing trends expected to dominate their industry. In such a fast-moving industry, these trends can change dramatically from one year to the next. Brands that don't stay on top of these changes risk falling far behind their competition in the coming year.

Save yourself the trouble and get familiar with these six trends that are likely to dominate 2017.

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Topics: Integrated Marketing

Brand Engagement: 3 Things Marketers Can Learn from the World of Sports

Posted by Alyson Phillips on December 29, 2016 at 1:07 PM

Brand engagement is vital for gaining and retaining customers, and a strategy can be a tricky thing to craft. However, a look at how the sports world has successfully used social media to engage and energize fans can give you a few ideas about how to drive engagement in a way that will truly grow your online presence.

Make Fans a Part of the Conversation

Being a part of the online conversation is essential for today's brands, as more and more consumers expect to have instant access to companies via Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. However, it's not enough just to post the occasional update or response to a comment or message. Marketing Land columnist Sanjay Dholakia has observed how thoughtful, deliberate interaction has helped sports teams develop brand loyalty and increase fan attention. You can emulate this by posting regular updates, as well as links to content and interactivity invitations (for polls and contests) that will help followers feel like a part of the community.

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Topics: Social Media Marketing, Integrated Marketing

6 New Year Marketing Ideas for Better Engagement

Posted by Alyson Phillips on December 16, 2016 at 10:44 AM

New Year's can be overlooked as a holiday, but with this list of New Year marketing ideas, you won't make that mistake. While it's true that consumer spending drops in January — as shown in this chart from Gallup polls — it doesn't disappear altogether. Let's count down six ways to take advantage of this sometimes neglected holiday before the ball drops in 2016:

6. Continue a Campaign

If you offered a prize for pictures of a holiday meal, follow up by asking what fans did with their leftovers. You can offer a prize for the Best Use of Cranberry Sauce or even Best Neighborhood Service (for followers who donated time or food). It doesn't need to tie directly to your brand — this is more about building relationships.

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Topics: Social Media Marketing

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