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Marketing Automation A to Z

Marketing Automation from A to Z | TeamworksCom

If you own or manage a businesses, one of your primary responsibilities to make it grow and thrive is finding, educating and converting new prospects into paying customers. As a result, online marketing is something that you simply can’t avoid. Why?

Buyers used to have very limited information for evaluating resources to address their pain or challenge. But today, they have more insights and choices than ever before. That’s because people evaluate solutions though online search, social network sharing and subscribing to online content that’s relevant and valuable to them.

For those responsible for growing a business, online marketing today also requires addressing Marketing Automation. What’s that?

Marketing Automation is a valuable advancement in how to more effectively and efficiently market a product or service online. It drives more qualified leads and collects important insights and sales intelligence to improve closing rates. It also helps to forge rich relationships and sustained connections with both new prospects and existing customers.

The result enables you to:

  1. Fill your sales funnel by capturing leads with gated content delivered through dynamic forms
  2. Identify highly qualified and sales-ready leads with a numeric score that you monitor and set
  3. Develop leads that aren’t sales-ready by automatically engaging and deploying nurturing campaigns
  4. Instantly notify salespeople about leads that have crossed your set threshold and are more ready to buy
  5. See exactly when leads fall out of your pipeline and take action to bring them back in
  6. Know which tactics are driving revenue and what investment you made to get there
Make no mistake, Marketing Automation is not some light-weight, digital trend of the moment. It’s grounded in the core idea of aligning your sales process with how to identify, nurture and close targeted customers in a structured, repeatable and measurable way. Think that might be valuable?

Success, however, requires a new level of sophistication and integration with a number of critical technologies, processes and content. The result is that this discipline and methodology presents new terms and language that some find unfamiliar or worse, confusing. The good news is that the basic concepts behind Marketing Automation aren’t complicated.

So, whether your managing digital marketing for your organization or you’re looking to a partner with an agency to guide you through how Marketing Automation can help grow your business, it’s time to get familiar with some basic terms, concepts and techniques. This A to Z guide is an easy-to-understand place to start. And for eager beavers that want to drill into more detail, there’s plenty of informative content behind each LEARN MORE button below.

Marketing Automation A to Z | A

A/B Testing

This is the process of comparing two versions of marketing content, typically a web page or an email, to determine which version produces better results. Most A/B testing is directed toward improving conversion rates. It’s also called Split Testing.

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Advanced Blog Post Scheduling

There are optimal times of the day and days of the week to publish blog posts. Rather than waiting to write content at that time or just publishing whenever it’s completed, marketers can schedule publication of their blog content in advance. The best way to do this is with a structured content calendar that identifies essential information about the content that you’ll be creating for your prospects and customers.

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Advanced Segmentation

Leads rarely fit an identical pattern. This is why marketing campaigns are developed for specific types of prospects or customers. These are often referred to as buyer personas. Advanced segmentation enables marketers to automatically divide leads accordingly. They can then analyze specific groups of traffic data and use their insights to make better marketing decisions. While it’s important to know how many people viewed an email and clicked on links within it, it’s their activity once they’ve clicked that’s most important. With Advanced Segmentation, you can set up and analyze after-the-click email tracking to find out more about what inspired your target persona to take action.

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Analytics provide essential insight | TeamworksCom

Analytics provide essential insight into website visitors and content performance.

Analytics

This is the general term for information collected from websites, landing page campaigns, emails, paid search ads, forms and social media. Analytics provide essential insight into website visitors, customer personas, their behavior, and the actions they take on the journey to becoming a customer.

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Andy Crestodina | Orbit Media“Marketing Automation tools are expensive, so the trick is to maximize your investment. If you use Analytics to find your most compelling content, repackage it into a lead magnet and then make it available from your top traffic pages, you’re on the right track.”
Andy Crestodina | Orbit Media
Marketing Automation A to Z | B

Behavioral-Based Automation

This powerful process tracks a lead’s online behavior and then uses the information to automate marketing and lead generation efforts. Examples include:

  • Clicking on an email that triggers a specific follow-up email
  • Visiting a page that puts a lead on a specific list
  • Completing a form that triggers delivery of a specific piece of content

Behavioral-Based Automation is usually planned at the outset of a campaign and then integrated into each component of the campaign to yield the maximum conversion result. The more you use this powerful technique, the more effective you become at getting your prospects to take the actions that you have planned for.

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Blog

Websites are typically broken up into two types of content:

  1. Web Pages | deliver information on an organization, products or services
  2. Blog Posts | deliver longer-form, multi-media, content designed to engage visitors with related topics that address a prospect’s pain or challenge

Short for “web-log,” blog posts perform best when they are timely, rich in detail and focus on the needs of the customer—not the organization that deployed the post. Blogs also invite feedback through comments, which can be used to engage visitors and cultivate a relationship with new and existing customers. Blogs are the original, and perhaps most important, form of social media. And if the content in a blog is properly planned, conceived, deployed and optimized, it can deliver online value forever. That’s because it’s one of the most effective ways to attract visitors to a site, and the content in it, through search engines.

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Branching Workflow

Branching logic is when marketers use certain pre-set conditions to trigger an automated action. Once an action is triggered, it pushes leads through workflows to a desired outcome. In its’ simplest form, actions are determined on a “yes” or “no” basis. For example:

  • if a prospect or site visitor answers “yes” to a desired outcome then “Action 1” happens
  • if “no” then “Action 2” happens

Long chains of “yes” and “no” outcomes and their associated actions are branching workflows. And with the right Marketing Automation platform, you should be able to easily see and track, every visitor that went through the action path, who completed the path and when someone dropped off along it.

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Buyer Persona

A buyer persona is a hypothetical customer made up of common attributes typically seen in real buyers. Based on researched data, personas reflect who customers are and what drives their behavior. Personas also define how, when and why they buy certain things or take certain actions. A business can have multiple buyer personas. The more detail you invest in developing your personas, the better the outcome you’ll have with online marketing.

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Buyer persona | TeamworksCom

Personas reflect who customers are and what drives their behavior.

Marketing Automation A to Z | C

Call-to-Action | CTA

Calls-to-action are one of the most essential components of every marketing campaign. CTA’s point visitors, leads and customer to a single specific action that you want them to take to continue engagement. This can include:

  • Call now
  • Download a white paper
  • Fill out a form
  • Get a special offer
  • Learn more

The Call-to-Action is what should be considered at the early planning stage of any piece of content or online campaign. This action, and the performance of it, becomes the benchmark for understanding if your content was a success or if there was room for improvement.

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Sue Sanford | Upstart Group“It’s often a challenge for organization’s to implement and adopt Marketing Automation due to their lack of defined processes and agreement on the steps in a sales pipeline.”
Sue Sanford | Upstart Group

Click-Through Rate | CTR

Typically presented as a percentage, the click-through rate is the metric of people visiting a web page who clicked on a link or button for a particular offer. It’s a measure of the effectiveness of an online marketing campaign—especially a pay-per-click online ad campaigns. CTR is calculated as ‘clicks’ divided by ‘impressions’ equals ‘CTR.’

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Contact

A contact is anyone who has engaged with an organization—by phone, email, online form, social media, or even face-to-face at an event or trade show. Contacts may not always be described as a lead. But leads are always contacts. Think of a contact as an early stage member of a group traversing along a simple progression to becoming a customer. Like this:

Suspect > Prospect > Contact > Lead > Sales Qualified Lead > Customer > Advocate.

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Content Management System | CMS

Content Management Systems are platforms that enable marketers to create online content for a website or a blog. They typically come with all the tools needed to create, edit, schedule, and even A/B test content. A robust Marketing Automation platform should integrate with a variety of CMS’s.

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Short story on why content should be long

Research reveals that longer content ranks higher in Google search results.

Content

The most widely used Content Marketing tactics today include social media posts and e-newsletters. But content that B2B buyers value the most include longer form articles, case studies, technical guides, white papers and research reports. Recent research found that longer content ranks higher in Google search results than shorter content. What’s more, to rank in one of the top 10 positions of search results today, your content will need to be at least 2,000 words in length. Even more revealing, content that’s more than 3,000 words is shared 2—3X more than content that’s less than 1,000 words.

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Content Marketing

This term is defined as an essential marketing function that involves the planning, development and structured distribution of valuable educational material online to a clearly defined audience. This includes: blog posts, presentations, videos, research, presentations and more. The content does not explicitly promote a product or brand. Instead, it’s intended to drive actions by the audience to help them address their unique pain or challenge.

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100 Things You Need to Know About Content Marketing

What you need to to know to succeed with Content Marketing.

Conversion

A conversion is defined as the moment a contact or prospects engages on a measurable event such as a click, completing a form, requesting a demo or watching a video. The ultimate goal of a number of cumulative conversions that a prospect completes is to turn a converted lead to an actual paying customer. The is the holy grail of all sales and online marketing efforts.

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Custom Domain

A custom domain is a unique, branded name that identifies a website. The domain appears at the beginning of every web page address in the address bar at the top of every browser such as Chrome, Safari or FireFox. Web addresses, or URL’s, are what everyone uses to navigate around the web or to a specific page. It’s important for a custom domain to be brief, memorable and easy to share.

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Customer Relationship Management | CRM

CRM platforms are used to collect contact information, establish and measure a sales pipeline and drive leads to conversion. For optimal online marketing, your CRM and your Marketing Automation platform should work seamlessly together. Some marketing automation platforms include a CRM, others integrate with other popular CRM’s.

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Marketing Automation A to Z | D

Distribution

Today, anyone that posts content on their website and simply expects people to find it there is delusional. There’s simply too much noise, nonsense and distraction clamoring for internet users attention. As a result, it’s increasingly difficult for any really good content to stand out, get noticed or get found. What’s more, whatever business you’re in today, you must now figure out how you’ll be in both the publishing and media business too.

Your goal should be to map a plan for distribution before you publish anything online. Because when you expose your story in a different channel, it improves the opportunity for others to notice it, share it or act on it. So, if you’re investing in creating lots of online content that your prospects and customers will value, make sure that you make the biggest impact with it by having a plan to expand its reach—before you publish.

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Content Distribution | TeamworksCom

Plan on how to spread your content around before you publish.

DKIM

DKIM stands for “Domain Keys Identified Mail”. This geeky acronym is defined as an encryption authentication method used by many ISPs designed to detect email spoofing. DKIM establishes whether or not the email originated from an authorized system. Then it prevents spammers from stealing the identity of legitimate entities by permitting the receiver to check that an email claiming to come from a specific domain was authorized by the owner of that domain.

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Dynamic Lists

Dynamic lists are contact lists that are created and organized based on pre-set rules. A change in a lead’s behavior can change his/her membership on different lists. Dynamic lists allow you to generate prospect lists that can be tailored to any specific criteria.

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Tim Pogge | SharpSpring“One of the best ways to put your domain at risk is to purchase a third-party list and send email to it.”
Tim Pogge | Email Delivery Specialist | SharpSpring
Marketing Automation A to Z | E

Email Marketing

This widely used marketing method targets prospects and customers through electronic mail. It includes sending information, promoting with ads, requesting response, or soliciting sales or donations. When planned, managed and executed properly, email marketing can build loyalty, trust, and brand awareness. It’s also considered one of the most economic and effective methods of online marketing.

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Email List Best Practices | TeamworksCom

Email is one of the most effective methods of online marketing.

Engagement

This often overused term is defined as any interaction between a business and a lead. It’s also sometimes called Lead Interaction. If you want to improve your interaction with both customers and prospects, there’s no better place to start than with the quality of your content. And, more often than not, that means you need great written content. Get this wrong and it’s a virtual guarantee that you’ll have little or no engagement. The exact opposite of the desired outcome of online marketing.

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Marketing Automation A to Z | F

Form

A form is a data collection tool used within websites to gather information from leads. Forms can be used as “gates” to more valuable content that requires visitors to populate and submit them in order to get to the higher value content. Forms can be “native” and reside within a marketing automation platform. Or they can be provided by a third-party. Either way, data is collected from completed forms and imported into a dedicated data repository. All form submissions can then be analyzed in a number of ways to inform organizations and marketers on a number of important performance metrics.

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Next Step Partners Leadership Exchange Landing Page + Event Graphics | TeamworksCom

Forms are great data collection tools for gathering lead information.

Marketing Automation A to Z | G

Google Analytics

Whether you use Hubspot, Pardot, SharpSpring, or Eloqua, these Marketing Automation software platforms have important performance dashboards built into them that provide important Key Performance Indicator | KPI summaries including: keyword search terms, pages/posts rankings for views, email open + click performance, lead scoring/ranking, and much, much more.

But all of this insight comes at a price and the cost of these solutions can be a barrier for many. The more prevalent and free online measurement tool, Google Analytics, can provide many of these metrics as well as very granular insights on KPI’s. Google’s powerful tool is something that every online marketer should use as a compliment to their Marketing Automation or Content Marketing software. Having multiple data sources to rely on can only sharpen your focus and improve the results you seek.

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Marketing Automation A to Z | H

Hashtag

A hashtag is simply a way to categorize and identify the key topic of a Twitter tweet. By integrating a hashtag into a tweet proceeded with a #, it makes it easier for people to find tweets about that topic when they do a search in Twitter. Think of a hashtag as simplified SEO for tweets on Twitter. For example, if you type #Hamilton (or #hamilton or #HaMiltoN, because it’s not case-sensitive) into the Search box at the top of any Twitter page and hit Enter, you’ll get taken to a list of tweets, most of which will be related to the Broadway musical. So if you want to get your tweets found on Twitter, integrate a hashtag into every tweet you make.

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Hashtag | TeamworksCom

If you want your tweets to get found on Twitter, integrate a #hashtag .

Marketing Automation A to Z | I

Inbound Marketing

Old-school paid advertising was based on the idea of renting an audience and pushing a message to them by yelling and selling as loudly and frequently as possible. Inbound Marketing is the exact opposite of that. It’s used to pull potential customers into a company’s marketing funnel. By using custom content, SEO, blogging, social media, events and more, Inbound Marketing has proven to be a more caste effective way to create brand awareness and attract new leads. Success with this initiative requires the use of many diverse tools, skill sets and technologies.

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Marketing Automation A to Z | J

Jobs | As in Steve

Steve Jobs taught me a lot about Content Marketing. All of the interest, attraction and rapid growth of Content Marketing was a bit ahead of his unfortunate passing. But without the vision, tenacity and remarkable innovation that Steve created in his abbreviated life, many of the foundational technologies of Content Marketing would never have been possible.

I was fortunate to work with Steve Jobs at two different companies and in two different roles while he was still with us. Steve’s passion for excellence, simplicity and quality are legendary—and well deserved. He engrained many essential ideas in me that are worth applying for anyone engaged in Content Marketing. They include:

  • It’s got to be great or it’s not worth doing
  • Have an enemy
  • It’s better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission

Steve’s influence lives on and his lessons and experience should guide your effective approach to online marketing.

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Lessons learned from Steve Jobs about Content Marketing

Lessons learned from Steve Jobs about Content Marketing

Marketing Automation A to Z | K

Keyword

Wikipedia defines keywords, and the research for them, as a practice used by search engine optimization professionals and marketers to find and assess search terms people enter into the search engines when conducting a search. Keyword research is a process that must be done regularly for it to deliver your content in a higher position on the search results page. Frequent research also gives you valuable insight into your industry’s trends as well as which products and services are in demand at different points in time.

Comprehensive keyword research can also help boost your business and website visibility through cost-effective organic search engine traffic instead of spending valuable resources on pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-click (CPC) ad campaigns like Google AdWords.

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Keywords get your content found.

Integrating targeted keywords into your SEO helps get your content found.

Marketing Automation A to Z | L

Landing Page

A landing page is a specific web page that a visitor is directed to or incented to “land” on from a link, button, email or ad. This unique web page must be thoughtfully written and constructed to track, manage, and convert a visitor. The information on a landing page must be explicitly connected to the content that was on the page that a visitor clicked from. The single purpose of a landing page is to convert. Typically, the visitor who arrives on a landing page is required to provide information via a form in exchange for a offer of value. This can include: savings, an eBook, a webinar, an event and more. The Landing Page should only display content that is specific to the link, button, email or ad that the visitor came from. And it should include a single, prominent and clear Call-to-Action. Extraneous content will only serve to diminish conversions and should be avoided.

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Lead

A lead is a contact that has the potential to become a paying customer. Lead Generation activities help to identify and segment prospects and contacts that have engaged with your organization or brand and have expressed interest in your product or service. If you successfully pull them into the early stage of your sales cycle by capturing and qualifying some information about them, they become a lead. From there, every lead needs to be nurtured through a buyers journey to become a customer.

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Lead Score

Measuring and scoring leads is an essential requirement of a quality lead management system. With Lead Scoring, contacts and leads are given a numeric value based upon their actions, behaviors, engagement level over time, profile, demographics and more. Each action or behavior receives an assigned point value which is defined and identified by those managing the lead management system. These point values automatically accrue as the contact progresses through the buyer’s journey. And when the lead score hits an established threshold, the lead converts into a qualified lead that can be passed to sales for follow up and additional nurturing. From there, the objective is to eventually close the sale.

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Are you scoring or ignoring your leads? | TeamworksCom

Are you scoring or ignoring your leads?

Life of Lead

This extremely valuable measurement tool provides a timeline of all of the interactions between a lead and an organization, including: website activity, form conversions, email interactions, time spent on specific content, event attendance, and much more. It’s also called Lead Interaction Timeline or Online Marketing Activity Log. It enables marketers to visually see and expose detail about a lead’s interactions with virtually all website and content interactions. By drilling into the Life of a Lead, it provides valuable insight into understanding:

  • Where a lead is on the customer journey to becoming a paying customer
  • What content was most valuable to them
  • Where the lead converted

It also proves the ROI and effectiveness of online marketing campaigns or content with certainty.

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Marketing Automation A to Z | M

MarTech

This is the collective software tools and platforms used by marketers to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of online marketing. Proper integration, management and deployment of many diverse tools can also demonstrate and support return on marketing and technology investments. This includes, but is not limited to, Marketing Automation, CRM, social media, CMS, analytics and measurement platforms.

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Metrics

The term “metrics” refers to general statistics and performance measurements. Metrics allow organizations to track lead behavior over time and create greater precision in the execution of marketing activities. They help marketers identify, target, and effectively reach leads by studying their preferences, behaviors, devices, geographies, search queries and much more.

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Mobile Optimization

Mobile optimization refers to the realtime reconstruction and display of a websites pages to accommodate the mobile device used to view it. Think iPhone, Tablet, Laptop, etc. When a website is mobile optimized with “responsive design,” all website pages will appear to automatically arrange themselves or simplify the display of content for optimal viewing based on a given user’s screen size and orientation.

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Mobile Content Optimization | TeamworksCom

Content should display for optimal viewing on a user’s screen.

Marketing Automation A to Z | N

Nurturing

This is a lead is the process of managing relationships with leads that are not necessarily ready to purchase. The purpose is to educate, inform and provide incentives to win their business when they are ready to buy. A lead nurturing workflow includes automatically following up with leads, guiding them through your buyer’s journey, and finally, converting the leads into a customer.

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Marketing Automation A to Z | O

Outbound Marketing

Think of this as old-school marketing. This traditional paradigm is well understood by marketers and has been defined by making significant investments to “buy” an audience as the default practice for the greater part of the last century—pre Facebook.

With Outbound Marketing, marketers “purchase” a target segment through a proprietary media channel for a high CPM (cost per thousand) that includes a pool of suspects—many of who may not be interested or receptive to a highly-crafted and refined marketing message. This message is then pushed to them with as much frequency as possible based on a media budget. The challenge with this practice has always been to reduce the amount of spending “waste” in the CPM to get the most efficient access to an audience possible.

In this scenario, marketers “RENT” an audience to reach them with their message. And like renting anything, the prospect or new customer is only reachable as long as someone is willing to continually pay the price for the proprietary channel to deliver a message.

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Marketing Automation A to Z | P

Professional Services | For Online Marketing

Let’s recognize that Inbound or Content Marketing is not for the novice. How you separate and differentiate your brand or organization from your competitors comes down to who is defining, guiding and implementing this now essential business requirement. Connecting all of the disparate dots of brand story and message, a responsive website, content management systems, CRMs, lead scoring, SEO, lead nurturing, multi media content development and distribution that consistently extends content reach is anything but a walk in the park.

And when you consider the analytics, communication, management and never ending training of all parties involved in this endeavor, the challenge increases exponentially. Without seasoned, experienced and uniquely talented resources continually working on the never ending task of defining, refining and implementing a good content marketing strategy along with fluency in the best tools and techniques, long term success becomes questionable.

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Progressive Profiling

Rather than discouraging visitor engagement by requesting too much information, progressive profiling boosts lead generation by gathering user data over time. Ideally, this is accomplished through a series of less demanding touch-points that advance the lead through the sales funnel. An alternative to progressive profiling is autocompleting forms, which gives leads the freedom to update information as their situation changes, while also relieving them of the burden of filling out forms.

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Marketing Automation A to Z |

Query

How we start almost everything online? With a search for data. Whether with a well known search engine or on a social network, people want to get to the content they’re looking for ASAP. And search delivers. A query is the term or keyword people enter into the search box. So if you want prospects or customers to find what you have to offer that answers their challenge or need, you’ll have to get a lot of things right for them not to go wrong and miss your page link.

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Tips to find exactly what you need with Google | TeamworksCom

The buyers journey begins with search.

Marketing Automation A to Z | R

ROI

This now ubiquitous term stands for “return on investment.” Today, it’s one of the most important metrics for any organization because it compares all investments made in marketing against the resulting conversions and outcome—including sales. The formula for calculating is: ROI = Net Profit / Cost of Investment x 100. The result is expressed as a percentage.

Without the ability to prove ROI with a robust set of online tools and platforms that you can confidently rely on, you’ll never succeed with online marketing. Or continue to get the investments and resources you need.

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Marketing Automation A to Z | S

Sales Funnel

Sales funnel, or conversion funnel, is a term used to describe the journey a person takes on their path from being a suspect who might be interested in a product or service and how they turn into an actual paying customer. The sales funnel maps the key stages of marketing and lead nurturing that ultimately results in a conversion from a prospect to a customer. The metaphor of a funnel is used to describe the narrowing or decrease in the number of people that occurs at each stage of the process of passing through the funnel.

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Sales Funnel | TeamworksCom

Map the key stages of attracting and nurturing prospects to turn them into customers.

Search Engine Optimization | SEO

SEO refers to various strategies employed to optimize a top listing position of a website page for specific terms entered into a search engine such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. The purpose of SEO is to maximize web traffic. And there is a distinction between organic and paid SEO. Organic SEO refers to the listings that appear on a search results page after a user makes a search query with a search engine. The results of the listing is determined by the relevancy of the search engine’s algorithm for both the query term/s and the content of a website page. Search engines display and rank individual pages, not websites.

Paid SEO refers to paid placement ad on a search results page such as Google AdWords or other platforms. Search engine users are 3-5X more likely to click on organic search results than paid search results. That means that more often than not, people DON’T click search ads. In order for your content to be found by users online, it needs to be optimized for search. Dismiss this requirement at your peril.

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OnPage SEO Checklist | TeamworkCom

Check the Search Engine Optimization checklist to get your content found.

Segmentation

The process of separating your target audience into groups that act
similarly. Messaging will ideally be tailored to specific segments in a way that reflects their specific experiences or interests. In a Marketing Automation platform, these segments can be turned into lists and then used to send targeted and tailored messages.

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Site Visitor

A site visitor is anyone who lands on a website. And more often than not, they’re anonymous. An IP look-up is therefor required to determine who they are, where they’ve come from, and much more about their behaviors and traits. Reverse IP look-ups typically work only on businesses as opposed to individual visitors. Analysis of a site visitor can be used to suggest specific options for content or desired actions on a website.

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Social Media

Social media websites and applications allow users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. Hundreds of millions of online users have flocked to social media with the aspirational promise of making new connections, sharing valued content, and building community in real time over the web. Blogs were the first form of social media, but in recent years, most social media applications tend to exist within the context of a widely used, proprietary platform. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snap are examples of social media platforms. Social media has placed a significant new burden on organizations that market online. That’s because continually thinking and acting like a publisher does not align with the skill sets and resources in most organizations.

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Social Media Conversions

This refers to social media visitors who are guided towards the sales funnel and ultimately become sales. Social Media Engagement usually refers to any kind of interaction by a visitor with a brand’s social media profiles. A “like” on Facebook or a “retweet” on Twitter are examples of this type of interaction.

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Social Media Profiling

A social media profile is a description of an individual’s social characteristics as identified through social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. As with brand personas, social media profiling enables marketers to create better targeted messaging and also to connect with thought leaders and online communities.

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How to feed the Social Media beast

Continuously feeding the Social Media beast with great content is no walk in the park.

Social Media Publishing

This refers to publishing online content in any new or emerging social media platform that allows for interactions such as sharing, likes, comments, and more. Make no mistake, Social Media will require significant investment and new costs to the “free” sharing platforms. That’s because there’s a relentless and unmet appetite for not just mediocre, but high quality, engaging content that will differentiate a brand, influence customer interaction, further a relationship and ultimately lead to increased revenue.

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Marketing Automation A to Z | T

Time-Based Automation

This is also known as “time-based event automation.” It enables an action based on a pre-set schedule or a delayed delivery after a lead completes a specific task. For the marketer, the automation of recurring tasks produces increased efficiency and usability.

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Mateo Puig | SharpSpring“When planning a lead nurturing campaign, successfully mapping all of the details determines the outcome.”

Mateo Puig | Product Area Manager, Automation | SharpSpring
Marketing Automation A to Z | U

Unique Selling Proposition | USP

Developing and presenting a voice online necessitates a Unique Selling Proposition | USP. The objective of structured value proposition and brand positioning process is to invest the resources, time and effort to develop a relevant and compelling summary of:

  • the value that you offer
  • what you stand for
  • how you’re different
  • why prospects should consider what you offer over others

The outcome of doing this properly with a qualified resource will provide you with a specific target benefit that can be “owned” in your marketplace. The result becomes a foundation for all communications messaging including: online, traditional, and social.

Without agreement and alignment on this essential marketing foundation, it’s virtually impossible to have a credible or enduring voice online. Your voice should be authentic and unique to you with a personality that reflects what you want to be known for. So having something to say and saying it with conviction and consistency is a requirement for success, not an option.

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Marketing Automation A to Z | V

Viral marketing

Earned media is now the aspirational goal of many marketers. Here, the goal is to outsource marketing to prospects and customers where they disseminate content created by others that they think their fellow community members will find useful, informative or entertaining. Research from Nielsen indicates, an impressive 92% of consumers surveyed around the world said they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth or recommendations from friends and family much more than traditional advertising.

The challenge for marketers is to forego attempts to be a predictor of knowing in advance what a community will find of value. Only by continually listening, creating, enabling content to be easily shared, testing and analyzing can success be achieved in determining what will cross over into this highly coveted reach methodology.

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Viral marketing | TeamworksCom

People trust earned media, such as recommendations from friends + family, much more than ads.

Marketing Automation A to Z | W

Workflow

In order to conceive, design and implement a successful online or nurturing campaign, it’s essential to have an easy-to-understand, one-sheet plan that will keep everyone informed, accountable and on the same page. For instance, if your goal is to deliver a sequence of emails sent using automation, a campaign workflow will define how all of the content assets in an integrated online or lead nurturing campaign connect, interact and depend on one another to achieve the desired strategic outcome. Think lead nurturing, cross-sell, subscription, multi-page engagement, change in lead status, and more.

A campaign flowchart and individual workflows acts just like a sheet of music for a musician, a set of architectural plans for builders or a choreograph for performers on stage. The medium may be different but the function is the same.

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Include details in your Campaign Flowchart | TeamworksCom

Include all of the details in your campaign flowchart + workflow.

WIIFM

This timeless acronym stands for “What’s in it for me?” Every piece of content you create better successfully answer this question by providing a clear, simple benefit to your site visitor or reader. If you’re not continuously providing education, insights or entertaining content that will aid your prospects and customers in helping them find, choose and use your product or service, you need to rethink what the heck you’re doing. The long term goal of your online marketing efforts should be for you or your organization to become the trusted destination that attracts visitors and keeps them coming back—forever. If you’re just yelling and selling, hoping for another customer, it’s questionable if that’s going to happen.

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Marketing Automation A to Z | X

XML | Extensible Markup Language

XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language. It defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable. The W3C’s XML free open standards and several other related specifications all define XML. The design goals of XML emphasize simplicity, generality, and usability across the Internet. It’s a textual data format with strong support via Unicode for different human languages. Although the design of XML focuses on documents, the language is widely used for the representation of arbitrary data structures such as those used in web services.

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Marketing Automation A to Z | Y

Year-to-date | YTD

Flexibility in reporting online performance for a specific time period is essential for an online marketer. For example, understanding how many site visits a particular campaign has delivered, how many Facebook posts brought traffic to your site or how many referrals a pay-per-click ad delivered over a specific time period is critical for evaluating the effectiveness of a marketing campaign, technique or channel. And understanding how all of these efforts roll up as a group is even more important. As a result, online marketing analytics tools need to provide the ability to choose a specific time period for reporting such as a year-to-date and compare them to any month, day or week.

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Marketing Automation A to Z | Z

ZZZZZZ

No time to nap. Today, the internet, social networks, and mobile devices, all affect our personal and professional lives with an immediacy that’s unlike anything any of us have ever known before. And the race to get content out to your audience is no different. Because if you’re waiting around in an over-structured, antiquated approval or deployment process, your peers—or worse, competitors, will beat you to market.

Whether you’re using landing pages, email marketing or multi-faceted digital experiences, speed and online velocity matter more than ever. So get on with getting your content produced and deployed without delay. Those that wait will be playing catch up instead of being out front, shared, heard and acted on.

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Content creation must be your habit | TeamworksCom

Will you leave Content Marketing and Marketing Automation to your competitors?

Where to from here?

If it’s not obvious by now, the rules of marketing have changed forever. Traditional marketing no longer works the way it used to because the consumer is now in complete control.

So if you want to fill your sales funnel and know with confidence which tactics are driving revenue and how you got there, it’s time to consider Marketing Automation. And if you’re already on board to more effective online marketing, share your success or where there’s room for improvement.

We look forward to hearing from you.