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girl on video using camera on tripod to build her digital marketing strategy

Are you a business owner? If the answer is yes, please tell us you’re incorporating video into your digital marketing strategy… If you’re not, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. 

Why? Because video is crucial to showcasing your brand and ultimately, getting more clients. And what business owner doesn’t want more clients? After you’re done with this article, circle back to find out how to attract the right clients.

But for now, we’ve got Andrew Marr, Owner and CEO of Digital Storyteller on camera to discuss the importance of using video in your digital marketing strategy.

Let’s hear what this ranting Scot has to say.

Why is Video Important to My Digital Marketing Strategy?

So, why is video important? At Digital Storyteller, we love our metrics and statistics. (Our awesome SEO manager, Devin Aubert, however, is on another level when it comes to statistics love!)

This considered, we thought we’d demonstrate the importance and popularity of video with some stats from Techjury. Let’s take a look at the booming industry. Did you know…

  • “Video is the number 1 source of information for 66% of people.
  • Over 500 million people watch Facebook videos every day.
  • More than 75% of all video views come from mobile devices.
  • The global video market was valued at $39.61 billion in 2018…” (Imagine where it’s at now!?)
  • “YouTubers upload 300 hours of video content to the platform every minute.
  • 93% of businesses gain new customers as a result of branded video content.”

The point is so many individuals watch videos nowadays.

In fact, our owner and CEO Andrew admits to watching at least 50 to 100 short videos a day through Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Hey, it’s where his enjoyment sits!

But it’s not just cute puppy videos that grab his attention, Andrew reminds us.

“I learn from video. Most clients in the financial services world, the clients that we work with, have a hard time with video, and understandably so…”

Why? Truth is, it’s hard to sit in front of the camera and talk, especially about ourselves!

Today, Andrew says, your digital marketing strategy must include not only long-form blogs, newsletters, white papers, etc. but also videos. Why? If not, you’re missing out on a huge group of viewers, and therefore, prospects.

How Can I Get Started?

So, if you’re a business owner, you might be wondering… “How do I get started with this video stuff?”

Don’t worry, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

All you need in terms of video length is 30 seconds to a minute.

“But what do I talk about?!” Don’t worry—Think about the questions you receive over and over as a business owner.

For Andrew, these questions include the following:

  • Why should I outsource my marketing?
  • How long does it take to see an ROI when it comes to organic marketing?
  • Why does Digital Storyteller specialize in financial services?
  • How much does your marketing cost?
  • What is organic content marketing?

So, think: What are the five main recurring questions you get? Then, sit down and answer those questions.

Make your videos short and to the point.

If you’re not answering a question that you frequently get from clients, consider telling a story instead. You can tell a story about…

  • How your business helped a client
  • Someone on your team

You can even ask a client to record a video testimonial for you if you’re not quite ready to jump in front of the camera yourself! Here’s how to ask for a client testimonial.

Still Not Convinced?

Video is social media’s favorite form of content right now. By using video, you will increase your traffic, up your engagement, AND people will simply get to know you better by seeing your face, hearing you talk, and getting to know your personality!

Read on for more information about boosting your engagement via video in our article “Want to Connect with Your Prospects? Use Video.

How to Record a Great Video

Need more guidance? Not sure what to wear in the video? Or, how to position your camera? Read our article “How to Record a Great Zoom Testimonial” for all the answers you seek.

PS: These tips apply just as well to non-Zoom video recordings! Happy recording!

tracking marketing kpis

SEO, CTA, KPI … The list of terms you need to know for your marketing strategy seems to go on and on. We’re here to help break it down and make it easy for you to understand. Keep reading for our full guide to marketing key performance indicators (KPIs).

What is a KPI?

KPI stands for key performance indicator. They are a way to measure performance over time. Following certain metrics over time can help your business reach milestones, gauge processes, and provide insight to make better business decisions. 

What Marketing KPIs Should You Track?

Tracking the right key performance indicators can provide a holistic view of how  your business is performing. 

We, like Semrush, believe that these are some of the best KPIs you should be tracking:SEO KPIs

  1. Conversions: How many of your site visitors are qualified leads? How many of them convert to closed sales? 
  2. ROI: Return on investment is a metric that tells you how profitable an investment is/was, in this case, likely how profitable your marketing investment was.
  3. Organic Visibility: How are people finding your site? Are you showing up through organic search?
  4. Organic Sessions: How many users are finding your site through an organic search? 
  5. Bounce Rate: How quickly are users leaving your site after visiting? If your site is not user-friendly, loads slowly, or doesn’t provide the information your users are looking for, they might exit the site after viewing only a single page. 
  6. Average Time on Page: How long are your users spending on your site pages? Pages with more content, such as blogs or videos, typically tend to drive longer time on-page.
  7. Organic CTR (click-through rate): Does your site have clear calls to action (CTAs)? How often are users clicking buttons or links on your site? Which buttons/links are you driving them to click?
  8. Backlinks: Sites with higher authority are more likely to see increased backlinks. If your site provides valuable, authoritative information that users find helpful, and useful, they may be more likely to link to it from their own sites. This helps drive referral traffic to your site and continues to support authority improvements. 
  9. Keyword rankings: Keyword rankings are the primary driver of organic search traffic. Targeting specific keywords relevant to what your business does is critical to increasing organic search traffic. It’s important to track keywords in two ways: total ranking keywords, and keyword ranking positions. 
  10. Branded vs. Non-Branded Traffic: Branded keywords are directly related to your unique business. For our brand, this would include keywords such as “Digital Storyteller,” “Digital Storyteller marketing agency,” “Andrew Marr,” etc. Non-branded keywords are those that your site ranks for that are not specific to you, such as “digital marketing,” “social media management,” and “search engine optimization.”
  11. Page Speed: Page speed is a huge determinant of how your site performs. According to backlinko, the average page loading speed is 10.3 seconds on desktop and 27.3 seconds on mobile. If your site takes longer than this to load, chances are your user won’t wait and will instead visit a competitor’s site instead. Safe to say we’ve become a pretty impatient society … 
  12. Coverage Issues: Performing site audits can ensure that your site is functioning properly and that Google is indexing and reading your site as it should be. Google Search Console is a critical tool in identifying coverage issues and can help you solve any issues that you find.  

How to Develop your Marketing KPI Strategy

Your business’ marketing KPI strategy should be unique to your business needs. Sure, you can glean ideas from other similar business models, but tailor yours to help guide you where you want to go. 

Here are a few tips on how to develop your marketing KPI strategy.

  1. Define your KPIs- Which specific KPIs will your business track? How will you collect the data and how often will you track shifts? 
  2. Use the SMART Method- KPIs should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. For example, “Onboard 7 new clients in the next 12 months.”
  3. Keep your KPIs clear- Your team should understand your KPIs and how to act on them to make decisions that ultimately lead to reaching your goals.
  4. Revisit your plan- Sometimes plans need to change. Revisit your KPI strategy to make sure the strategy is still working for you. Maybe you need to adjust a few action items based to keep propelling forward in the right direction. 
  5. Don’t overdo it with KPIs- Try to avoid doing too much, too quickly. With access to a plethora of data, it can be easy to try to measure every little thing. We recommend using the information to stay on track with your most important targets- however you define them. This will help you avoid KPI overload. 

See an example below of how we at Digital Storyteller keep track of the important KPIs to our business strategy.

Woman conducting a work meeting

At Digital Storyteller, we market for financial services companies. This can encompass a lot of different types of businesses that offer different products or services. Think law firms, HR consultants, commercial real estate firms, wealth advisories, commercial insurance, and more.

We know, a little bit random… but we love it! Read on to hear more about why we chose marketing for financial services (hint: this industry is wildly underserved).

Working in the financial services industry means helping our clients might look a bit different from your typical B2C marketing agency. So, how do we help our clients?

Today, we’ve got Andrew Marr, CEO and Owner of Digital Storyteller answering that very question. It’s your lucky day.

But what is the main goal of a digital marketing agency? We’re going to hand things off to Andrew.

What is the Main Goal of a Digital Marketing Agency?

There’s one major goal, and it’s simple. That is to shorten the sales cycles of our clients.

What is a Sales Cycle?

A sales cycle is defined as “the repeatable and tactical process salespeople follow to turn a lead into a customer.”

This includes everything from the first encounter a client has with your business (whether it be through seeing your posts on social media or through receiving an email) to closing the deal and follow-ups.

sales cycle seven steps
A great illustration demonstrating sales cycles, courtesy of Snov.io.

How Do We Help Our Clients Shorten Sales Cycles?

Well, there are a lot of things we do to achieve a shorter sales process at Digital Storyteller. This might look like:

As you can see, there are a lot of different branches that come off of that tree.

The number one goal, however, for any marketing agency, is to use their toolkit to shorten sales cycles for their clients.

Want to hear some more of this Scottish lad ranting? Visit this page on our site that’s decked out, head to toe, with Andrew reviewing chardonnay. (We know, it’s kind of ridiculous—but we promise it’s entertaining!)

Outsourced Marketing

Outsourcing isn’t as complicated as it sounds. When you outsource your digital marketing services, you save time, energy, and money. Here are six benefits of outsourcing marketing.

Outsourced Marketing

When it comes to marketing your business, there are a lot of options available to you. Not all marketing efforts, however, are created equal.

Do you know what outsourced digital marketing is? How much does it cost to outsource marketing? How exactly does it work? Here’s what to expect working with an outsourced digital marketing agency.

What Does It Mean to Outsource Your Marketing?

The word ‘outsource,’ by definition, means to “obtain (goods or a service) from an outside or foreign supplier, especially in place of an internal source,” according to Google.

Therefore, as Precision Marketing Group puts it, outsourced marketing is “the engagement of a professional marketing firm to serve as your own firm’s marketing department.” Simply put, outsourced marketing means letting a third party take care of your marketing efforts. You then have more time to do what you do best—which is run your business.

Who Can You Expect on an Outsourced Marketing Team?

Well, depending on the outsourced marketing agency’s specialties, you could work in close contact with a variety of different marketers. At Digital Storyteller, for example, our team is made up of:

  • A Creative Director
  • Social Media Manager
  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Social Media Specialist
  • A Client Success Manager
  • SEO Manager
  • Graphic & Web Design Manager
  • Junior Graphic Designer
  • And numerous content specialists!

Why Would You Hire an Outsourced Marketing Team?

By hiring an outsourced marketing team, you allow your team to place focus on running your business.

An outsourced digital marketing agency covers every aspect of marketing so you don’t have to worry about:

  • Posting creative, consistent content
  • SEO optimization
  • Managing your online reputation
  • Website design and branding
  • Staying up to date with social media updates and algorithms 

The list goes on…

As we mentioned previously, by hiring an outsourced digital marketing team, you gain access to creative directors, social media experts, content specialists, and more, at a fraction of the cost it would take to hire an in-house team.

All the support you need is wrapped up into one flat monthly rate.

How Much Does It Cost to Outsource My Marketing?

Now, as a business owner, one of the first things you’re wondering when you hear about the benefits of outsourced marketing is: How much is this going to cost me? The short answer? It’s cheaper than doing it yourself. 

Let’s talk numbers. Our most popular package at Digital Storyteller sits at $5K a month, which totals $60k for the year. Sound like a lot? Let’s consider the cost breakdown of hiring a team of four marketers in-house instead:

Hiring four marketing experts in-house, after salaries and benefits will cost your company $260,000 annually, plus some $16,000 for new hire costs. In just one year, your company has racked up $276,000. That’s only with four experts. The cost grows as you continue building your own team. 

We know it’s not spooky season anymore, but for more frightening math, visit this blog post where we break down the cost-benefit of outsourced digital marketing.

At Digital Storyteller, we try to make things less frightening, which is why our most popular digital marketing package is $60K annually as opposed to $276,000.

Our rate gives you access to an entire team that’s also dedicated to building your business. Outsourced marketing is a great, cost-effective way to invest in your company’s marketing efforts.

How Do You Know if You’re a Good Fit to Outsource Your Marketing?

There are many reasons why outsourcing your marketing is a great option. Here are some signs you’re a good fit.

  • Your current marketing efforts are not consistent
  • The world of digital marketing is overwhelming to you — so many changes are constantly taking place!
  • You want to focus on what’s most important: running your business
  • You don’t have a marketing “strategy”
  • You want to take your marketing to the next level, but aren’t sure how to
  • The idea of hiring someone in-house worries you — how could a single person have all of the marketing skills I need?
  • You are ready to trust an agency to get to know your business and market for you

How Effective Marketing Can Be When You Let Your Outsourced Agency Do Their Job

The last bullet above is SO important: “You are ready to trust an agency to get to know your business and market for you.”

When companies bring in outsourced digital marketing agencies but don’t let them do their job (i.e. hold off on pushing content, stay inside their comfort zone), the results of outsourced marketing are poor. 

Part of our job is to challenge you! We get that it can be hard to let someone take the reins and run a big piece of your company. But that’s what we know and do best. You’re juggling a million things when running your own business, let us take a large chunk off of your plate so you can focus on what you love to do.

Here’s an example of a client who lets us do just that, take the reins.

SBMA is an Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) benefits provider that provides affordable coverage for thousands of employers. We’ve been working with SBMA for nearly two years. Here’s what we’ve done for them during our partnership.

When we first started working with SBMA, they had very few keywords. What are keywords, you might ask? Check out this article for everything you need to know. 

Anyway, all of the keywords that SBMA was ranking for on Google were branded keywords (think names of specific employees and the literal name of their company ‘SBMA).

Long story short, if you only rank for branded keywords, you won’t come up on Google very often, unless someone is searching that exact, specific keyword. You really want to rank for more than just branded keywords.  

SBMA, as a benefits provider, would also want to rank for things like ‘MEC plan,’ ‘Health Plan Administrators,’ and ‘Worksite Benefits,’ to name a few.

With our ongoing content marketing strategy, we’ve been able to work wonders for them. Here are some numbers to prove it.

Currently, 80% of SBMA’s site traffic comes from organic search. Last October 2020, SBMA had 2,155 site users in a month. This October, in 2021, SBMA had 3,566.

Additionally, they had a 60% increase in their authority score. Last October, they had a domain authority score of 16 whereas this October they have grown to 23.

Authority score is based on a number of various factors including site health, organic keyword growth, backlinks, and more. It takes time, research, and consistent effort to grow an authority score, so a seven-figure jump in authority score is incredible.

When we first began working with SBMA, they let us know that they wanted to rank for ‘MEC.’ Now, SBMA dominates the organic search engine results page (SERP) when it comes to the ‘MEC’ space.

Lastly, SBMA currently ranks for 965 keywords whereas last October they ranked for 408. The graph below shows SBMA’s organic keyword growth over time.

SBMA Organic Keywords

Marketing: It’s What We Do Best

The goal of an outsourced digital marketing agency is to understand your business and your brand voice to then let the world know how awesome you are.

We start every engagement with a Brand Storytelling Session where we identify your unique brand voice. Then, our team uses bi-weekly client calls, Monday emails, and content calendars to make sure you know what’s happening, always.

We have monthly reporting where we let you know what the return on investment that you’re getting is from your relationship with us.

Of course, there’s always a team member available to you just a call, email, or even text away. Not to toot our own horn, but we’ve been told on multiple occasions that our bi-weekly calls are their favorite calls!

Happy with the direction we’re headed in? We’ll keep running that way. Want to tweak something? More than happy to adjust.

We’ll bring you fresh ideas from our kick*** creative team from a relationship built on trust. Because that’s the beauty of digital marketing.

For those who are interested in learning more about the difference between outsourced marketing and in-house marketing, read on here.

Outsourced VS In-House Marketing: What's Best For Your Business?

So you’re wondering what type of marketing you should implement for your business? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
The two biggest types of marketing are outsourced and in-house. Both want to promote your business to the best of their ability, but they have a few big differences. Learn more about the differences between outsourced and in-house marketing below!

man on computer looking at presentation that says "outsourcing"

We know. In many cases, making the decision to outsource any aspect of your business is a scary one. It might feel like losing control and not being able to make your business exactly what you want it to be. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Outsourcing your brand’s marketing efforts allows you to hand over the reins to the pros to ensure that your efforts are as successful as possible. The goal of an outsourced marketing team is to combine our knowledge and expertise with the goals and wishes you have for your brand.

Think: As a B2B financial services company, your focus is on exactly that, financial services. Allow us, an outsourced digital marketing agency, to be the marketing experts so you can focus on your own unique expertise.

You bring the charcuterie board and we’ll bring the wine, we’ll create the perfect pair.

At Digital Storyteller, we start every partnership with a one-of-a-kind brand storytelling session to understand who you are and what you want for your business. We discuss what your brand voice is to nail down our language and design practices to appear as if they were coming directly from you. 

Still need further convincing? Here are our top five reasons to outsource your business’s marketing.

What are Financial Services?

Sorry, we lied… Before we jump into the top five reasons to outsource your marketing, we need to first address the question: What the heck do we mean by financial services?

According to the International Monetary Fund, the financial services sector “covers many different types of transactions in such areas as real estate, consumer finance, banking, and insurance.”

At Digital Storyteller, we have clients ranging from law firms to HR consulting firms, commercial real estate firms to wealth advisories, and commercial insurance. Geez, that’s a mouthful, isn’t it?

Anyway, when we say financial services, that’s the realm we’re talking about.

Interested in learning more? Read on to find out why we focus on marketing for financial services companies.

Why Outsource Marketing?

1. Focus on Your Company

As mentioned above, outsourcing your marketing efforts allows you to focus on the core of what your company truly does rather than the marketing efforts needed to support it.

For example, if you’re a lawyer, focus on that. You went to law school for a reason, so take advantage of that and leverage your passions. Marketing is our passion, so we’ll do the same!

We understand that giving up a bit of control of your business can be scary. The most successful outsourced marketing relationships we’ve observed, however, are built on a close relationship with clients.

Developing such a relationship over time fosters a mutual level of trust and understanding of your business’s ultimate goals. 

Overall, a business owner’s duties should be focused on running the business. A successful marketing strategy demands time allocation that is likely not attainable for someone focused on running a business.

Read on for five signs you need a digital marketing agency on your team.

2. Aim for Rapid Growth 

Building a full marketing team from the ground up takes significant time, effort, and dedication, something that many businesses don’t have.

In many cases, when a business decides to begin investing in marketing efforts, they want to get started immediately.

But content marketing is a long-term marketing strategy. Read on to find out how long it takes for content marketing to work.

Whether it be building social media platforms, paid advertising, or beginning to produce other forms of content, hiring a team to facilitate these requests takes substantial time in and of itself.

By the time you’ve hired, onboarded, trained, and brought a marketing team up to speed, an outsourced team may very well have already had content flowing.

(Not to mention how much more expensive hiring in-house is! Keep reading to find out how much you’ll save when you outsource by using our in-house vs. outsourced marketing calculator).

3. Cost Management 

The question of cost differences is perhaps one of the most common at play. As can be expected, there is a significant financial difference between marketing options: in-house vs. outsourced.

At the end of the day, there’s no right or wrong answer. What’s right for your company might not be the right fit for another.

When deciding to outsource your brand’s marketing efforts versus hiring a team in-house, you should consider the following associated costs:

  • Recruiting and Hiring
  • Onboarding
  • Training
  • Salary and Benefits

While hiring an outsourced marketing team most often consists of a single recurring monthly payment, in-house marketing teams have significant additional associated costs to consider. Find out how much you’ll save when you outsource by using our in-house vs. outsourced marketing calculator or, read on for a deeper breakdown of typical marketing costs.

4. Access to Unique Perspectives and Industry Expertise 

In relation to the previously mentioned cost factor, one should consider that there are costs associated with each individual specialist hired onto an in-house team.

One single marketing manager might not be an adequate resource to facilitate a complex marketing strategy. 

For example, in comparison, our Digital Storyteller team consists of a variety of team members in varying specialties. With our outsourced team, you gain access to social media managers and coordinators, SEO experts, content specialists, graphic designers, web builders, and more (all while still paying one monthly sum).

Utilizing a pre-established outsourced marketing team gives you access to a variety of specialists without having to individually hire ten or more different people.

We already have a proven system in place and some pretty kick a** team members that know their sh*t, prepared to invest their expertise and knowledge into your business.

5. Gain a Competitive Edge

The marketing industry is a rapidly growing and evolving industry. As such, it’s often a challenge for non-experts to keep up with.

For example, let’s say your business’s expertise and specialization are within the capital lending industry. You and your team are experts within your industry and pay close attention to the ongoing changes and evolution of the industry.

You watch as rates rise and fall and observe the lending patterns of alternate lending sources. Doing so is a full-time gig in and of itself, let alone trying to keep up with how to market your business too. 

The marketing industry is a whole new ball game when it comes to trends and observations. In the same way that your industry takes up the entirety of your time, keeping up with marketing changes can do the same.

While some may be quick to slide marketing updates right off the table, you can bet that not all of your competitors will decide to do the same. 

If your competitors are utilizing the resources to keep up with changing industry standards, they’re gaining a competitive advantage over your business.

Now, think about this in the other direction. Your business decides to hire an outsourced marketing team whose sole goal is to stay up to date on changing marketing trends and updates.

Now YOU’RE the one with the competitive advantage, and it was no sweat off your own back.

Read on to learn the top marketing trends of this year.

Overall, the decision to outsource marketing efforts or keep them in-house will vary from one company to another. That being said, there are significant benefits to choosing to outsource your marketing.

If you’re interested in learning more about what Digital Storyteller offers as an outsourced marketing partner, reach out and schedule your FREE Brand Storytelling Session today!

Organic Marketing Team

Marketing is a complex and ever-changing industry. Trying to keep up with the times is a challenge that may not be within the capabilities of your business. So you may decide to outsource your marketing. But even then, there are multiple options available to you.

outsource or in-house

The decision of whether to outsource your marketing or keep it in-house can be a difficult decision to make. So we’re here to help you make it.

outsourced digital marketing

Outsourced digital marketing agency

outsourced marketing

As a Financial Services Company, making the decision between outsource marketing efforts and keeping them internal can be a challenge.

Roll of money with a Paid label

At Digital Storyteller, we like to think of paid advertising as adding fuel to the fire, giving things a little kick. Paid advertising shouldn’t be the whole cake, just an ingredient you add toward the end for some flavor.

Organic search

3 best small business marketing ideas so that you can fall in the small portion of startup businesses that don’t fail. Originally posted by Express Text