Why Startups Need to Accept That Digital & Content Is the ONLY Marketing.

Why are there so many new technologies revolved around content? A how-to-guide on making digital marketing turn into conversions.

Kate Swanberg
Jul 22, 2014 · 6 min read

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A fellow boss and Silicon Valley friend of mine, Nathan Zaru, wrote an excellent post on new content marketing technologies. After reading his article, I felt the innate marketer in me to immediately respond. Why are there so many new technologies revolved around content? The increase of the latest content services and apps like GatherContent, Scripted, and Cision floods my inbox daily. Do I use them? Absolutely. Because if the title suggests anything, content and digital marketing is the ONLY marketing you need to help your business succeed and turn your online presence into conversions. Technologies like these help us to execute our digital plans properly. If you’re a startup in need of marketing, you need to adapt fast, some might even coin the term Agile Marketing, where you need to start the marketing process before the development of your product.

Many of whom I’ve talked to (Startup CEOs and Directors of Marketing of well-established companies both USA and International) still have no idea what the Social idea or ROI is for them, and little do they know their companies are falling behind at a fast pace by not implementing it properly and by not setting up a digital marketing campaign early on. Nor do they have the right dedicated people under them who understand how it works or can execute (yes this is at least 2 full time jobs). You have the prime example of a company that is “pushing” instead of “pulling” their audiences or is automating Tweets (which to an extent is ok, as long as you don’t want to do what Progressive did, where you get caught being a robot and not actually engaging with your users), and DMing them with spam. That is not an engaging strategy to build an audience, now is it?

Many who are just joining this digital marketing experience often make those rookie mistakes and get fed up for it “not working” properly. Well, duh. Give it a chance. It’s going to take you at least a month to get set up, get used to the right tools, and hire the best content writers. It’s all a process and really just takes dedication and execution. Much of what I’ve learned (when it comes specifically to execution) deserves a huge shout out to Ellie Cachette my marketing mentor, boss, and guru.



Do you see how I just embedded social media into this blog (content) my company’s contact form? I used content & social to backlink and engage, messaged to the right audience (those looking to build products), boosted website traffic, and I took you somewhere where I can convert you into a lead (if you clicked the link and were interested). BAM!

Allow me to explain…

I found this image the other day, that in a nutshell explains how everything comes together. Social media, blogs, events, webinars, SEO, website traffic, and conversions. In other words, how you can get that “Social ROI” or website contact conversions. People reach out to me all the time asking “How do I start a Business Twitter account and make money doing it?” My answer is long because usually I need to start from the beginning, teach them how to tweet, hashtag, mention, use Followerwonk, Moz, Google Analytics, and before I know it, I’ve already set up their entire digital marketing campaign. The infographic below can hopefully give people a better understanding of how it all works, but there’s one thing people don’t know how to do. EXECUTE. Sure you understand the philosophy but you don’t know how to make it happen.

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  1. 1st research. I’m not going to tell you how to do that, because everyone should teach you because it’s a Business fundamental. SEO research is different and isn’t for whimps. Get your target market figured out, find out what blogs they hang out at, make lists, (Hint: then eventually with this list you can co-write blogs, guest blog together, webinar cross-promote together, upload helpful presentations on slideshares,), validate your product, and do a sales safari.
    *Use Google Keyword Planner and Moz to get your SEO words figured out…
  2. Start writing content. I hope you hear me, because CONTENT is KING! Getting your evergreens, or awesome, reusable content together is just part of the madness that makes the marketing world go round and round, and convert. Mention the SEO words you put together using the keyword planner, put up cool presentations on Slideshare, cross and backlink your OTHER evergreens and contact website pages at least 2 per paragraph. Don’t have a content writer? Hire one. But it’s still up to you to promote and get it out there.
    Hire Writers (Taken & revised from @yes)
    or simply ask me for some references (I only know tech writers): katherineswanberg@gmail.com
  3. Back up with social: promote, promote, and promote it as much as you can (without sounding spammy)Around 5 Tweets per day is standard and as long as you are giving benefit to the user and not all “we, we, we” you are safe to do more. As you’ve probably already heard the rumors, Facebook organic read is dead. I’ve experienced it, fellow marketers have experienced it, and if you don’t have the ad spend in your marketing budget to do suggested posts, newsfeed ads, or right hand ads, things won’t work out. Twitter for business is currently where it’s at. See my article on “Facebook Business Pages are DEAD (coming soon).” Make sure you hashtag, @ mention people that are in your blog on Twitter so that they can Retweet and spread the publicity and audiences.
    Social Resources:
    https://zapier.com/app/dashboard (for social automations)
  4. Guess what you’ve just done? If your blog is a part of your company website, as it should, you’ve boosted your website traffic! These aren’t spammed visitors on your site either. If your blog content messaging is tailored to the correct audience you’re going to attract the right people. One day after posting your blog, and promoting it, I DARE you to check your Google Analytics (don’t forget to integrate the code!).
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Google Analytics Website Traffic

5. Last step, that’s right, you’re almost there, seeing if those have converted onto your online contact form. In other words, these people want to learn more about your product or services. The online contact form is more of a way of measuring value for services. Of course if you’re an online product, you will have other ways of measuring the success, such as your Purchase Page which is a goal you can set up in GA.

In order for you to know what’s working you need to track your results (and then get back to me to let me know how it went.) Steps 1-5 take time. I would expect at least 1-3 months to get the strategy right, figure out your tone, and actually see the progress and website conversions. I recommend either super dedicated consultants or at least a Social Media Manager. Bottom line you need setup, execution, and results. There are tools out there (like below) but you can also set up a simple excel form. To keep track of the stuff that really matters.

Analyze your Resources:
https://www.google.com/analytics (This is obvious.)

I’m absolutely not a mathematician, but there is some truth to finding the perfect digital marketing formula. As marketers we A/B test everything to find what works and what doesn’t. As Nathan Zaru puts it, “My prescriptive and more realistic [marketing] model is 1) Message 2) Media and 3) Math.

Webinar*Events*Whitepapers*Evergreens= Quality content + SEO reach

SEO + Quality content(Newsletter*Blogs*SocialEngagement*Cross-promotional)= Website traffic + Engagement

Time * (Quality content + SEO) * (Website traffic+ Engagement) = Conversions

I’d love to hear some feedback, comments or questions on this blog. Feel free to tweet at me or shoot me an email ☺.

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