The (Often) Forgotten Art of Sales in Digital Marketing
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In most industries, growth is a requirement to stay in business. Over the years, customer lists need to expand, and revenue needs to break last year’s records. Most business owners don’t have the time and expertise to keep their business competitive online. Managing social media, creating website content and internet advertising are all incredibly time-consuming. This is especially true for results that are anything above average. Digital marketing agencies that assist with this process are becoming more of a necessity than a luxury in today’s competitive marketplace. As a result, the competition for clients between marketers is stronger than ever.
As one of these agencies, we’ve spent countless hours analyzing information to gain a competitive advantage in our business. Learning from our own mistakes is crucial, but learning from the mistakes of others helps us avoid ever making them. This allows us to attract more clients and ensure they’re satisfied with our work. After all, keeping a client is much easier than acquiring a new one.
There are many reasons that clients could be disappointed with marketing performance. Even the most experienced digital marketers can’t control a slow economy or a dying product (no advertising could revitalize cassette tape sales, sadly). But when accounting for uncontrollable factors, often marketing isn’t getting the best results due to a common factor; it’s created for traffic rather than sales. This is why results can constantly be improved by taking a more sales-minded approach.
Customer Focused Content
SEO professionals are responsible for a substantial portion of people’s internet views. Generally, if someone is reading a blog on a pediatrician’s website, it most likely wasn’t written by the doctor. This is essentially the case whether it was created by an outsourced agency or an in-house professional.
Professional content creators understand that writing something unique doesn’t matter if no one ever reads it. Good SEO practices like keyword research and heading tags are so important. And the more competitive the industry, the harder it is to get to the front page of Google.
While professional content writers are constantly churning out high-ranking work, they’re often missing the point of why it’s being written in the first place. To grow their client’s business.
Most people know that great content will increase the overall value of the entire website. But if a potential customer of your client ends up on that high-ranking blog post, is that information going to help said client increase their business?
One example is a recent blog our agency created for a client. The article was written for a company that installs windows, and the topic was ways to winterize your home. It was a reasonably essential “ten tips” style article, but at the bottom of each item, we included a “Pro Tip” from the client. The goal was to sell the company’s value to viewers only searching for winterization tips. Judging by the bounce rate (number of viewers going to another page on the website after reading this one), there appears to be a positive effect.
Client Benefits from Ad Traffic
Another area where digital marketers often miss the mark is PPC ads. While it can seem that, based on reports, everything is working correctly. Traffic from paid ads doesn’t always have a direct correlation with conversions. At least not the ones clients are looking for. This is why success from the marketing side needs to be measured by its effect on the client’s actual business, not just traffic.
We had a client who hired us back after working with another agency for several years. That agency generated monthly performance reports detailing their work performance, as expected. In those reports, all the campaigns seemed to be achieving the same results they had been for years. The client was booking fewer jobs than in the past while spending the same ad budget and fees.
The client brought this to the agency’s attention on more than one occasion. Each time, they would revert to the reports as proof that their ads were generating traffic. Ultimately, their client ended up leaving them and signing with us.
The last example might have been resolved if the client and the agency were both on the same page. The client’s expectations from the PPC campaigns were only more jobs. The agency was more interested in generating traffic. In the end, both parties ended up losing.
Proper communication will be crucial to a strong foundation in any long-term relationship (which should be the goal of any digital marketer). This starts with setting the proper expectations and sticking to them. Keeping a sales-minded approach isn’t going to matter if your goals differ from the client’s. There needs to be a clear understanding of how they will define success. What needs to happen for them to get a good return on investment?
It’s also essential to establish the necessity of good communication from the client side. Fluctuations in sales that aren’t cyclical need to be addressed as soon as they are noticed. It’s no secret that Google frequently performs massive updates that can severely disrupt well-performing websites. While many of these smooth themselves out over time, it’s essential to get in front of any issues that can be resolved internally.
The Benefits of Keeping a Sales-Minded Approach
It can be easy to get caught up in the digital side of digital marketing and sometimes forget that these efforts are directed towards humans and not computers. Everything marketers do needs to have the end user in mind, at least as much as page ranking or ad stats. This can sometimes be difficult to remember when working with multiple clients in varying industries.
A sales-minded approach can help create content that will generate more revenue and increase website traffic. The result of everything a digital marketer does should be for the targeted audience, first and foremost. Doing this will increase revenue, grow companies, and increase client satisfaction. Clients who know marketers have their best interests at heart become lifelong accounts that refer others.
Sale is an essential aspect of digital marketing, but it is often overlooked in favor of other tactics such as social media, content marketing, and search engine optimization. Here are a few reasons why sales should not be ignored in digital marketing:
- Sales drive revenue: At the end of the day, marketing aims to drive sales and revenue. While other tactics may contribute to brand awareness and customer acquisition, sales ultimately translate into revenue for the business.
- Sales help build relationships: Sale is an opportunity to build customer relationships. By providing personalized recommendations and solutions, salespeople can create a sense of trust and loyalty with customers, which can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth marketing.
- Sales enable data collection: Sales interactions can provide valuable insights into customer preferences and needs. By tracking and analyzing sales data, businesses can better understand their target market and tailor their marketing efforts accordingly.
- Sales enable cross-selling and upselling: Sale is an opportunity to promote related or complementary products or services to customers. This can help increase the value of each sale and drive revenue for the business.
- Sales help to build credibility: By demonstrating product or service expertise and providing value to customers through the sales process, businesses can establish credibility and trust with their audience.
Overall, sales should not be overlooked in digital marketing. Integrating sales into your marketing strategy can drive revenue, build relationships with customers, gather valuable data, and establish credibility with your audience.
Author’s Bio: Eric N. Allen is the owner of Border West, a growing digital marketing agency based out of Austin, Texas. In addition to creating content and managing PPC for clients, he loves traveling with his wife and a border collie and writing about their adventures.