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Tag Archive for: Content marketing

PR vs Backlinking Strategies: What's the Difference?

Once you’ve developed a solid digital marketing strategy, it’s important to consider how you’ll spread awareness of your efforts. Although organically sharing content to your social media channels and home site is essential, there are additional ways to spread the word about your company and its kick*ss marketing strategy.

Client Spotlight: Frank Crivello, SBMA Benefits

Frank Crivello is the founder and CEO of SBMA Benefits. SBMA provides affordable ACA-compliant benefit packages to employer groups. Their goal is to meet ACA mandates while providing excellent service and accessibility.

CEOs, Why SEO is Important for a Financial Services Company

As a CEO it’s your job to ensure that all operations of your company run smoothly. That being said, there’s obviously quite a bit on your plate to maintain and keep track of. The team that reports to you is responsible for managing the details of their respective departments under your guidance and support.

Want to Connect with Your Prospects? Use Video.

Content marketing includes a variety of mediums. Some content sources may include blogging, social media posting, ebooks, and infographics. But this doesn’t include one of the most successful storytelling content mediums — video.

Creating Content That's Not a Sales Pitch

Yes, we agree, the overarching goal of effective marketing is to help increase sales. Whether it be through customer awareness, gaining market share, driving site traffic, or increasing followers, at the end of the day, most clients have dollar signs in their eyes.

Brand Storytelling

Who can resist a good story? Character development and relationships, drama, adventure, and suspense all contribute to a reader’s desire to have a vested interest in a story. In fact, it’s a scientific reality that stories light up the human brain in a unique way that draws us in and mirrors the neurological activity of the storyteller. We are not just sociologically wired for story, it’s neurological as well.

Andrew Marr

Who can resist a good story? Character development and relationships, drama, adventure, and suspense all contribute to a reader’s desire to have a vested interest in a story. In fact, it’s a scientific reality that stories light up the human brain in a unique way that draws us in and mirrors the neurological activity of the storyteller. We are not just sociologically wired for story, it’s neurological as well.

Social Media for Financial Services Companies

The use of social media in financial services is often disputed. Some believe that social media does not hold the same value for B2B businesses as it does in the B2C market. This, however, is not the case.

What’s the Difference Between Google Analytics and Google Search Console?

Google Analytics and Search Console are both valuable marketing tools to track and understand data. Do you know the difference between them?

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!

What are the components of a good blog post

A successful blog post should include certain elements to ensure that your content marketing is best optimized to draw traffic and readers.

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.

Why Digital Storyteller is a Pot of Gold for Financial Services Companies

At Digital Storyteller, we find the right audience of people that want to follow your tax law updates and we write content that addresses their real-world problem to position you as a thought leader in your industry. Keep reading to learn how Digital Storyteller is a pot of gold for financial services companies!

laptop with hourglass sitting on top of it

If you’re looking for instant gratification and immediate marketing results, content marketing likely isn’t going to get you where you want to be. Well, we take that back. It’ll definitely get you results… But it’s likely to take months of consistent effort.

If you’re curious about whether or not content marketing is the right fit for your business and what the process should look like, read on.

In this article, we’re sharing the secret sauce for how to get started and what you can expect out of content marketing.

Did you know traditional marketing costs 62% more than content marketing?

How Long Does It Take for Content Marketing to Work?

Content marketing is a long-term marketing strategy.

We’re talking at least six to nine months of consistent effort.

While this is not a definite timeline for every business, this period serves as an approximation based on general industry averages.

Your business’s personal results timeline may depend on the following factors, including your:

  • Business model
  • Industry and market
  • Unique goals
  • Marketing strategies 
  • Definition of success

Did you know over 90% of B2B marketers and 86% of B2C marketers use content marketing?

Now that you know how long content marketing takes on average, let’s chat about the secret sauce for how to get started and what you can expect out of content marketing.

Define What “Success” Means to Your Business

One of the first steps your business should take when pursuing content marketing is to determine how your business defines success. Consider the following questions:

  • What are your goals?
  • What steps can you achieve that will help you reach those goals?
  • Is your success based on the number of qualified leads you develop? Or, perhaps success is based on traffic to your site? Or the number of followers you have on your social media accounts?

However you decide to define the success of your content marketing efforts, it’s important to do so before jumping headfirst into a full marketing strategy. It will help you measure your efforts as you go along and adjust your strategy if need be.

Remember, success looks different for every business.

Know What Metrics to Use 

Similarly to defining your success, it’s helpful to identify which metrics you’d most like to see improvements in. Be it lead generation, site traffic, follower growth, etc., different metrics require different strategies and focus.

Some that we may suggest are the following:

Site Traffic

Driving website traffic is often at the forefront of content marketing. The goal here is to get more eyes on your site.

Within your site traffic, there are additional metrics that hold relevance, such as bounce rate and time on page. Looking at overall site traffic, however, is a good determination of ongoing growth and views of your site.

Qualified Leads

At the end of the day, the reason you want to drive traffic to your site is to identify qualified leads. Whether through calls to action (CTAs), form fills on your site, or email outreach, the number of qualified leads developed from your marketing efforts may be the most reasonable metric to maintain.

Social Following

If you’re a business startup working on building growth while still finalizing the nitty-gritty of your business, building your social media following may be a great metric to start with.

Developing a relevant following not only helps drive traffic (see above) but also helps establish your business as an expert in your field.

Think about it: If you’re a consumer searching LinkedIn for a credible lending partner and your options are a new profile with only six followers or a similar competitor with thousands of followers, you’re likely to assume the business with a larger following is more credible.

Email Subscribers

You may decide that email subscribers are your most important metric to track. After all, email is one of the most direct ways to get in contact with your target audience. Perhaps investing time in research and outreach to develop email lists will be your best bet to reach your identified definition of success.

This metric is strongest tied to businesses that intend on performing significant email marketing down the road.

Identify Your Target Audience 

There’s not much use in doing much of anything until you determine who you’re doing it for. Let’s say that again…

There’s no use in doing anything until you determine who you’re doing it for.

OK, so you’re a team of loan officers partnering with banks and private investors. Are you willing to work with any client? Student loans? Mortgage loans? Business loans? You’re best suited to be as specific as possible.

While the specifics will be most helpful as you solidify your marketing strategy, keep in mind that your target market may consist of a couple of different personas. We find it most effective to identify them as exactly that: Different personas.

Think about WHO the people are that you’re marketing to. Give them a name and occupation, and ask yourself what they like to do for fun, who they hang out with, and what social platforms they’re on most often. Do they read? Who do they look up to?

Read on to find out how to attract the right client (and determine your target audience!)

Once you’ve created any number of buyer personas associated with your potential customers, you’re ready to build out your marketing strategy. Your brand voice should be identified as the correct way that you’d speak to the people that you’ve identified.

Think about it this way, you’re probably not going to talk to your 85-year-old grandmother the same way that you talk to your long-time best friend. The same goes for your marketing strategy.

Your voice should appeal to the people that you’re talking to. Read on for more information on the importance of brand voice.

Make SMART Goals

OK, we’re jumping back a couple of steps here in a sense… Bear with us.

So, you’ve identified your definition of success, but how are you going to get there? This is where SMART goals come into play.

Gone are the days of goals as vague as “I want to boost social media followers!” SMART is an acronym used to create goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.

A SMART goal for wanting to boost your social media following might look something like this:

“My goal is to gain 100 new Instagram followers per month over the next five months to accumulate at least 500 new followers at the end of the five months.”

Creating SMART goals isn’t always easy, but if you do the heavy lifting at the beginning and set standards for yourself and your business, it’ll be easier to maintain accountability in the long run.

Perform Analysis Regularly

Marketing is a flexible, adaptable field. If something isn’t working, you have the luxury of being able to change it. Adjust your content marketing efforts to meet your business’s needs and suit the demands of your market and audience.

But how do you know if something isn’t working out for you? After all, your boyfriend isn’t going to sit you down to explain that ‘it’s not you, it’s him.’ 

All you need to do is pay close attention to your stats and perform regular analysis. 

No different than watching the ebbs and flows of the stock market, watch how your business metrics react to different things that you change. For example:

Does your traffic spike on days that you publish new blog posts? Does traffic fall on weekends? When are your social media followers most active? Did you get significantly more responses from one email than another?

These questions can all be answered easily by looking at the data easily available to you. Try new things and adjust based on what you’re seeing. That being said…

Be Patient and Consistent

Like we said at the beginning (yep, wayyyy back up there), content marketing takes time. It isn’t going to happen overnight. While you want to pay close attention to your metrics and analyze performance, don’t jump to conclusions too quickly.

You need a base layer of knowledge to be able to compare changes. If you start trying to make changes and adjustments to your strategy without allowing it to grow and develop fully, you might never recognize its true potential.

Should You Invest in Content Marketing for Your Business?

Content marketing may not necessarily be the right fit for every business. But for some, it may be exactly the saving grace you’ve been searching for.

If you’re willing to have the patience for a payoff, we’re here to help. If you don’t believe us, how about believing this stat: businesses that blog produce 67% more leads than those that don’t (psst… blogging is a form of content marketing!)

If you think that content marketing might be a good fit for your business, we know some people that can help. Get started today! Reach out to us directly to schedule your FREE brand storytelling session.