The CTA Conundrum: Naturally Including Them in Your Blog Posts

As one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) content repositories of your website, your business blog should be rife with posts that help you lead your readers to wherever you want them to be. Let’s say you’re calling readers to action to check out the many events in SEO and content marketing Toronto has to offer.

Using calls to action, one of the most effective tools in your marketing repertoire, you can do just that. But there’s a catch.

Awkward CTAs don’t work – they can even backfire.

You need to naturally and seamlessly weave the CTA into your blog post. Many business owners and webmasters, however, aren’t exactly artfully skilled writers or marketers. Luckily, there are ways to circumvent the dreaded awkward CTA and make everything sound (or in this case, read) natural.

First, let’s break your blog posts into two types.
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5 Reasons For Inbound Marketing To Your Current Customers

Inbound marketing isn’t just a great tool for closing new leads into actual conversions, it’s also perfect for maintaining a relationship with your current customer base with the aim of eventually getting them back into your sales cycle.

If you’ve never considered that before, you might want to ensure it now. After all, inbound marketing to your current customers will help in the following ways: Repeat Business, Continuous Lead Nurturing, Brand Positioning, Monitoring Sentiment and Edge over the Competition.


Repeat Business

It’s called a sales cycle. To maximize the return on the investment of setting up the infrastructure that makes it possible, it should be a recursive cycle of repeat business. It’s the most fundamental reason why you should perform inbound marketing on current customers, and it’s also the most practical.

Just because your customers have finished one cycle doesn’t mean you can’t invest resources on increasing their customer lifetime value. In fact, you’ll find that it’s easier and more affordable to increase CLV through inbound marketing to encourage repeat business than it is to close a new lead.
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Toronto: A Hotbed for Internet Marketing

We’ve known for along time that Toronto is truly a hotbed for internet marketing activity. What’s our social proof? The numerous internet marketing related conferences that are showcased in the city annually. From hardware to software; digital graphics to analytics; social to online marketing - there’s a conference for cover every aspect of digital marketing.  In May alone, there are three important conferences. We’ve checked out the websites and decided to share some of  the highlights. Is one in particular our favourite? We recommend them all - because there’s something for everyone.

Image Courtesy: mesh13

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Case Studies: Great Inbound Marketing Tools

One of the most promising facets of inbound marketing for Toronto companies is that it can take on a variety of forms from content, newsletters, social sharing to advertising. Case studies can also be a powerful lead generation tool just like Infographics and other types of content.

However, a case study that isn’t well planned, designed and executed isn’t going to generate the type of return that you expected.

Fortunately, maximizing the potential of your case studies just takes 5 simple steps:

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Smart Social Sharing: Tips for Improved Reach and Engagement

All major social media platforms have both business and a personal component. This means that posted content should reflect user expectation. Let’s discuss platform differences and the best ways to post content for optimal results with your inbound marketing.

Toronto social media content should be customized for the network. When posting on Facebook for example, eye catching images are proven to get the best response. Posting content that is just text is less likely to be appreciated.

It’s a good idea to post on a regular basis but important not to annoy your audience by posting too often. We suggest you schedule posting your content 3 or 4 times a day or week depending on your audience.

LinkedIn on the other hand requires a different mindset. LinkedIn is a business networking community. The emphasis is on connecting with people that have influence and presenting content that leaves a favorable business impression.

You can probably post the same content on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ with only minor modifications. This content may not be appealing to your LinkedIn audience unless it is somehow related to a business idea or concept.

Google+ appears to have a growing business component. An important note: +1’s are a proven factor in ranking website content. Posting your blog articles on Google+ is just another opportunity to get additional +1’s for your website content.
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3 Tips to Creating Great Inbound Marketing Campaigns

An important aspect of creating great inbound marketing campaigns in Toronto, is understanding the needs of your ideal customer. Knowing the questions that they have and the information they require to make a decision is critical to creating a campaign that will have high conversions. So, what are the critical issues to consider.

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Five website mistakes that drive your customers away - Part II

As an internet marketing agency in Toronto, we see simple mistakes that can drive away customers from client websites. It’s not that we are looking for them, they just seem to jump out at us.

In October 2012, we posted Five website mistakes that drive your customers away. Six months later, we decided to post PartII to illustrate another 5 common web mistakes that will potentially drive away your customers.  So, here is our second 5-point checklist  to help you give your visitors what they really want when they come to your  website.

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Nurture Your Current Customer Base With Dedicated Email Sends

Lead nurturing via email is an essential part of inbound marketing. Connecting with your current customer base is one of the most rewarding investments. The question is are you maximizing that opportunity?

Here’s a 5-point check list for dedicated email sends:

Nurturing Your Current Customer Base with Dedicated Email Sends
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How to create marketing your prospects will love

How to create Internet marketing your prospects will love

After spending 13 years helping clients with their Internet marketing, I’ve got a confession to make…

I personally don’t like being “marketed” to.

  • My email inbox is essentially bulletproof.  Meaning, I try to keep it spam-free.  As for the emails I subscribe to, the moment they become irrelevant or out of context I immediately “unsubscribe” from them

  • I rarely “click” online ads.  The only time I do is when I can’t find what I’m looking on the first page of Google’s organic search results (Note: online advertising can be useful when it is both targeted and extremely relevant to it’s intended audience. It’s also be very useful when testing out new products or ideas by running “marketing experiments”)

  • I personally use social media, but try to curate the content I receive as much as possible

  • When my wife and I watch TV we always mute the commercials

  • We never answer our home phone when it’s a 1-800 number

  • Our house mailbox has a “no junk mail” sticker on it

That said, I do…

  • Search for and read online content I feel is both useful and action-oriented (based on my current situation)

  • Listen to certain though leaders or people I know or trust

  • Make purchasing decisions only after I’ve done my research online (read reviews or have talked to people who actually use what I’m intending to buy - offline)

I know I’m not alone

When it comes to Internet marketing, I don’t feel I’m alone.

I’ve never meet anyone who wakes up in the morning excited about all the marketing messages they’re going to get assaulted with during the day.

I think the problem can best be described this way.

In life and business, we set both short-term and long-term goals.  Short-term goals give us an immediate reward.  Long-term goals, however, don’t reward us until later.

Clearly, the best way to approach our goals is to align our short-term goals with our long-term goals.  In marketing, however, we often find that short-term goals dominate the decision-making process, which leads to a short-term solution that under performs.

For instance, buying an email list, is a short-term solution.

Yes, you might get rewarded for growing your e-mail list, but in the long-term your list will shrink significantly along with your reputation.

The long-term solution for the same goal–growing your list of email subscribers–can be achieved using an opt-in policy and a compelling offer that appeals to subscribers who are interested in your content and expertise.  In this case, your content is not only useful but also relevant because the person has actually “asked for it.”

This is much more powerful and effective than the short-term solution because, in addition to becoming a subscriber, this person is a potential customer and advocate of your business.

That’s why, as an Internet marketing company in Toronto, we made a commitment years ago to care more about long-term solutions that work - rather than short-term - by creating marketing that people will love (not only for our clients, but also for ourselves).

Love might be a strong word, but - to me - it simply means creating marketing that people find useful or helpful.

Of course, this approach isn’t something you can achieve in a week or two. It’s something that requires thought and consistent effort month after month and year after year. But it’s worth it. In the end, the real metric you’re trying to increase is “trust.” You’re trying to gain people’s trust.

As we all know this takes time. By using short-term solutions, however, you lose people’s trust and as most of us know when this happens it’s hard, if ever, to regain it back.

How to create loveable Internet marketing

People, including myself, love marketing that is:

1. Educational and helpful: This type of Internet marketing tries to provide answers to a question or need that you might have.  This is also the marketing you love when you’re in research mode and trying to obtain certain information in order to achieve an objective or tasks. Examples of this are: how-to blog posts, video tutorials.

 2. Be consistent: To be successful with your Internet marketing, you must consider the experience of the user across different lifestyle cycles–from the first time they visit your website to the point where they become a client or customer.  By making this transition from stage to stage consistent and fluid, you remove hurdles and even encourage your audience to become evangelists for your company.  This is something Apple has been able to accomplish very successfully.

3. Find the right format: It’s important to create content that matches the needs and preferences of your target persona.  Looking at Landing Page analytics is a great place to start. For example, if the conversion rate for a specific content offer (i.e. Landing Page) is lower than average, the marketing offer might not be appealing enough to your audience. Examples of this might be: eBooks or Whitepapers versus Video tutorials or Webinars.

We can do better.

Yes, Internet marketing takes work.

Reaching prospects can be a challenge at times.

The answer, however, is not to think short-term, but instead, use long-term solutions that will gain people’s trust overtime.

I truly believe that if a company puts their energy and resources toward creating marketing people love, they’ll produce better results.

And when I say we all can do better, I’m of course, including Fruition too.

HubSpot’s Annual Review of Inbound Marketing [REPORT]

HubSpot’s Annual Review of Inbound Marketing [REPORT]

One of the great things about being a certified HubSpot partner is having access to their research and resources.

Like HubSpot, as an online marketing company, we also feel strongly about transforming the way companies “do” marketing.  Specifically, “help companies stop using interruptive and annoying tactics when attempting to reach their audience.”

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