Marketing Strategy for Startups – Part 2
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Marketing Strategy for Startups – Part 2

Paid Advertising Channel. Let’s now check the status of paid search. Here are some facts. More than half, of the trillions of searches
in 2016, run on mobile devices, so it makes sense to shift the marketing actions towards mobile. Remember, not everybody in the niche, will
be ready for the mobile shift. Google is pushing for the change, and they
have released the so-called, ‘Responsive Mobile Display Ads’. They now support the Native Google Ad Inventory, introduced the Expanded Text Ads, sitelinks, etc. All advertisements pass through a quality
check, thus all search marketers need to optimize their ad copies, to meet the quality criteria. Ad optimization entails also rationalizing
the spending, so the budget suffices for the entire duration of the campaign. Another thing is, that Google decided to trim
the right sidebar ads. If you recall, depending on the search query
and the niche, they could show up to 10 ads on the right sidebar. For months now the feature is gone. There only three ads, showing on top of the
organic results, while in the finance niche, we can see up to four. Imagine how fierce is the competition with
more than 8-10 spots gone. It means higher bids, more revenue for Google, less to none placements. The ad marketers struggle, to make their clients stand out. Regarding the quality criteria of the page
content, I will briefly say that the target landing page, must offer the best content
optimized for mobile devices. This way, they can get more conversions out of their paid advertising. Paid Traffic. I have prepared a chart, so you can see that
most of the traffic is coming from the US, which is also a point of concern for a startup like this one, that is based abroad. They should have also placed some campaigns in their country; it is surprising that they have not. Still, their paid traffic chart, shows that
it is growing, but if you take the actual numbers, they are getting no significant traffic. Bottom line, their paid advertising efforts
are inefficient. Paid Traffic Spending. Next screen shows the evolution of spending, so again here, we see it growing Month-over-Month, but not much, with an event happening in October (note the gap). Either they have exhausted their budget, or
stopped for some reason the paid campaign. To sum it up, I would suggest them to prepare ad copies with the best messaging, optimize their bidding, monitor the status of competition, and show resilience for optimum performance, to avoid incidents like the one in October. Organic Traffic. About the organic search, or Search Engine
Optimization, my understanding is, that it can be way cheaper than paid search, but over-deliver compared to its cost. So Search Engine Optimization is cost-efficient, an affordable marketing action, that requires more time to deliver results, but can exceed
in efficiency all other online channels, and can be evergreen. In this chart, you can see Search Engine Optimization represented with the blue line, and paid search with the orange one. It is a good way to spot any issues for both
search channels. I see a problem with organic search. We have gone through the paid channel in the previous sections, so here we see the organic search trending flat, Month-over-Month, during the two years 2015-16, but starting from July, we see a significant and suspicious drop. The drop is an indication of some website
issue. It can be technical or content-related. Now at the bottom of the chart, you see a
series of colored G’s. With the G letter, we have each Google update placed in time. So, four G’s, densely happening one after
the other, and with every Google refresh, the site reacts either increasing, or dropping
its traffic. The fluctuation is not big, but it is indicative
that is impacting the website. If you add, that the decline started after
the Google update in May, we can assume that a Google penalty has probably hit the site,
and it needs investigation and fixing. Search Engine Optimization values We can see some quality Search Engine Optimization values, and check how the competition is trending. With orange is the audited website, and following its competitors. The competition number one, has a domain authority of 76, and that tells us that we are looking at a very strong domain. This domain and the one before the last, show very high authority, and will be strong competitors to outrank in search. There is another group around 30 to 50, with the website I audit sitting between them, showing a value of 34. Their values are satisfactory, as it is a
relatively new domain, and I do not see any issues for the time. Technical Checks. To summarize how they can start with Search Engine Optimization, here is a table, showing some initial actions to optimize the website. They can start with a technical audit like
this one, to make sure they have a solid foundation for growth. Addressing indexation concerns, response errors, duplicate content, website speed, and other stuff, it will take two to four weeks. Content Marketing. I intentionally left the content marketing
for the end, as I consider it an essential step, towards populating the business message, and driving leads. Content marketing belongs to the top of the
funnel activities, so not all referrals can be measured. Besides that, it is 100% necessary to run
content marketing campaigns. I understand that a business needs to present some data, to justify the spending both internally, and to its shareholders. So measuring the content marketing can be
done via inserting tracking pixels, into the content grouped by campaign, attributing the referrals to each marketing action, monitoring the content shares, etc. When the start-up looks into building a content marketing campaign, we need a high-level view of the channels involved, and what will be
the impact on the other channels, not used by a particular campaign. If they run for example a YouTube campaign, they need to know that channels like the direct, the organic, and maybe the paid search will
benefit from it. But they will not be able to measure, the
campaign attribution to those channels, because its impact develops in time, and visitors
may come later to the business website, when the cookie duration is over. That is why, I classify content marketing,
into the top of the funnel activities. Now to plan an online campaign, I will reiterate, that it all starts with understanding the customers, segmenting them to shaping a customized approach, taking into account the insights of the market, and then offering them content, in different formats and platforms. They may want to write a press release, record a video, prepare a podcast, or organize a webinar. Those are four types of content, that can
be on the same topic, but take a different format and publishing platform. Remember that with each content piece, they are looking to offer a solution, or provide new knowledge, or fulfill a need. If they prepare content just for the sake
of marketing, it will be inefficient. If the message sounds too promotional, their content will not differ, from the related industry news. The startup needs to stand out from the crowd, to succeed and to keep the readers/viewers engaged, with the business message and the new brand. Their content might also need localization
into other languages, so they will need a separate budget, for the translations. Common content types are blog posts, press releases, videos, infographics, data maps and visualizations, calculators, social network postings, photos, polls, contests, educational, or technical documents, etc. The active content can be published on their
properties, their website, or external properties controlled by them, or distributed to other
platforms by them, or third parties. The intent is as said earlier, to make their
content readers interact with it, either by doing an action they expect from them. For example fill in a form, call the company
number, visit the location, or share the content with their peers. If they take content marketing as a valuable
tool, to outreach and amplify their efforts, they will find the best way to do it. Content is the best way to stay in touch with their customers, without contacting them directly. Measuring Content Engagement. Let’s see how they are doing on social networks, and their audience engagement. In the table we find the second column the
client website, and the other three on the right its competitors. Regarding the tweets, there maybe an issue
with the data, looking at Facebook likes the biggest competitor shows 11K. The same happens with its other metrics. There is no coincidence, that this opponent
is showing so strong, all over our data. The competitor is again strong in social marketing. That is also an opportunity for the start-up,
to copy the best practices, and grow in areas where the other competitors show weak values. Social Media Marketing. In the social media channels, there is enough posting from the competition. Some are working with Facebook posts, offering relevant content to their solutions, one is publishing an article, about how they succeeded in ranking number one on the App Store. Social Media Efficiency. Besides the content that the start-up uploads on the website, explaining their services, it also makes sense, to reach the customers
in other places with targeted content. Do they do that? If we look at their social media postings,
we find no engagement, nor followers. I have researched their social accounts, and
it seems that they are not maintained. Their Twitter account date since 2011, has
only 59 tweets and a few followers. On Facebook, they have only one post, and
their Linkedin business account, offers no updates. There is no need to talk about targeted content here, so what is the point of having accounts on social networks? Video Marketing. I would like to elaborate about the last channel in the marketing plan. I firmly believe in the power of video marketing, and YouTube offers a great resource, to do something great. They could run a True-View, YouTube campaign, and get a lot of views, completed views, and clicks with relatively low costs. About the content they can offer, it could
be a promotional video, or a how-to video, informing on how to use more efficiently their paid service, and get maximum results out of it. Measuring the marketing plan performance. Now we need to talk briefly about the tracking, and the analytics. It is essential to track what we are doing,
and how we spend our budget. Primary intervals to measure the growth can be: Month-over-Month, and, Year-over-Year. Essential metrics are:
– Customer Acquisition – Customer Retention
– Interactive Visits – Registrations to the free-trial
– Registrations to Paid Accounts – Cost per Registration (CPR) More KPIs to add. Bounce Rate, Page Views, Device Types, Referrals, and others. We measure the KPIs with the Last-click, or
Last-touch methodology. We can have Google analytics as the analytics package, it is a good option, and offers a free version. So we can set up targets and goals, to monitor all conversions. We should also connect Google Analytics, with our paid campaigns running in Google Adwords. More opportunities we can find, if we connect Google webmaster console, to Google Analytics. Marketing Budget. And finally, it all comes down to how much
money we need, so speaking of the budget in 2017, a right mix will provide them the results they need, for a start-up business. A comprehensive marketing approach, will elevate their lead generation, and will introduce the company to its audiences. Here is briefly some methods they can try
and measure how successful they are: Mobile Marketing Affiliate Marketing Paid Advertising (SEA) Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Retargeting Landing Page Optimization Social Media Advertising YouTube Marketing Marketing Roadmap. There are ideas, but the channels referenced
here will suffice. We need to build a roadmap, and a content
calendar, to help execute the marketing plan. So we start with an audience research in the
first month, and then next month we optimize the landing pages, and within 60 days we can launch our marketing campaigns. Within the first 90 days, the proposed roadmap will start delivering leads. And here are the costs of this marketing plan for our Start-up. Since they are planning to spend 200K a year, it is 50K per quarter. I take five main channels and work with them. So we are looking for 120K to spend in Paid
Search, with 14K new customers, and a $8.57 Cost per Registration (first conversion). Then we have organic search, expected to deliver more customers with less spending, and so on. Expected Growth The final screen shows the expectations from this marketing plan, to build the business case for approval by the management. So we project a 200K spending for 12 months, with a conversion rate of 1.7%. We can expect that we get 47K registrations
to the free-trial, and around 800 paid accounts. Calculating with an average of 49 dollars
per month, for a paid account, we have 39K gross revenue per month. That is 470K per year, so the marketing plan
will probably justify the spending, for the first year. This way they could start on the right foot,
when they hit the market with their service. I hope you liked the plan, and let me know
your questions in the comments. If you like my video, please subscribe to
my channel. Take care

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