Tag: marketing strategy

Monetize a digital brand with these strategies!
Digital Branding

15 Ways How To Monetize A Digital Brand

At this point in the game, virtually every company has a website. Websites are so easy to come by, any kid in high school can whip one out.

A few years ago, that was all that was needed. Just a website, with an email and a way to allow a potential customer contact you.

We used our websites as glorified company brochures.

But technology has advanced and today’s customer demands more. They reach for their computer or smartphone to find a service or a product, often before they even look locally.

When they find your site, they expect to be educated and entertained. They expect visual, and audio and immediate interaction. Though, your product may be better than the one they sell next door, if the owner next door has invested in his brand via his website, he will get the business.

Great examples such as Nelson Kitchen & Bath of design are definitely the ones that will take the business!

Keeping abreast of the latest technology, keeping our websites fresh and inviting, and getting our users to share on social media takes time and time is money.

Let’s see what 15 experts we’ve consulted have to say about their ways:

Strategies On How to Monetize A Digital Brand

Below you will find some insight from successful businesses who have harnessed the power of the internet to grow their brand and have managed to let the website pay for itself.

1. “In remodeling, you almost have to become the voice of the industry. Homeowners are looking for an expert. Give them just that. Provide tips and tricks regularly on your website and social media. Showcase and review new products to educate your target audience. Do these things consistently and watch as your organic leads start to grow.” – Kyle Baptiste, www.nextlevelremodeling.com

2. “We firmly believe that no matter the size of your business, it is critical to pay attention to your online brand and reputation. Even though we are a local business, our customers no longer find us just by word of mouth or passing by our showroom. They look for us online, and they want to see that we are active, engaged, and trustworthy. We demonstrate this to our customers by making our online storefront as user friendly and attractive as our physical store – by keeping the content updated, by providing useful industry relevant insights through our blog, by demonstrating our expertise through concrete examples of our work, and by engaging our professional and local community through social media.” – John A. Lang, www.langskitchens.com

3. “Monetizing your website is more than offering ad placement and joining Amazon as an affiliate. It’s a strategy that starts with your SEO and the time you invest in building your audience. The programs you choose that provide residuals, like Amazon and AdSense or even selling your products or services, won’t prove successful unless your website has traffic.” – Lindy Chaffin, www.unstoppablestart.com

4. “Getting your website on the first page of Google is all well and good, but if you want it to remain there for any length of time, you need to make sure that your homepage’s content engages the people who land on it.

There are two simple ways to increase audience engagement that are often overlooked. The first is a call to action: a concise instruction telling the visitor what action you would like them to take. This could be something as simple as, “Call Us For A Free Estimate,” and must include an action word and ideally, a benefit. The second is video. People like video. Google is well aware of this and counts the presence of a video as a positive factor in its ranking algorithm. So if you not only want to get but also to keep your website on the first page of Google, don’t forget to include a call to action and a video on the homepage.” – Philip Trapkin, www.sterlingworks.net

5. “There are many great ways to monetize a website such as an email newsletter lists, allowing ads on your site, e-commerce products and more. With that in mind, one very easy way to earn some extra cash many often forget about is affiliate links.

Affiliate links are a great way to monetize your blog RIGHT NOW with little effort! Many blogs already promote products and services throughout them. If you’re already promoting products why not get paid for doing it?!

It has become even easier with the use of Amazon affiliate links as you can easily set it up and find almost any product to link to. In fact, if someone follows your Amazon link and buys anything on the site you get a percentage of the purchase! ” – Adam Scheid, www.thebrandsmen.com

6. “The best way that I have found to monetize my website is, of course, affiliate marketing. This allows me to earn money on the deals that I share with my readers. I use Google AdSense and earn money on pay per click advertising. I also find that it is very important to keep my Facebook page updated daily and to interact with my followers and readers. This is key in driving traffic to my site every day.” – Laurie Floy, www.stealsanddealsforkids.com

7. “Every page should have unique content that captivates the audience, a call to action for the desired response, a contact form to grow an email list, and a social plugin that allows visitors to share posts, videos, and images.

Mix it up when it comes to content. Use interesting images to attract, properly SEO’d information the visitor wants to read and video whenever possible.” – Randy Lyons, www.advantagelocalagency.com

8. “Monetizing a digital brand has become one of the most sought after segments in the internet and social media marketing. It is not easy, but when executed well can yield some of the biggest rewards for any brand/website.” – Timothy Roman, www.imperialbuilder.com

9. “To introduce our services in a very competitive real estate market we understand the need to exceed our client’s expectations. Since the inception of our business in 1991, we have taken the approach that we need to offer more than just experience and professionalism.

Utilizing our online presence, we have placed quite a bit of emphasis on local brand awareness from both a search and education viewpoint. Keeping our clients abreast with the latest information on what Prescott, Arizona has to offer as well as the most recent information on the local real estate market through our blog is one of our primary tools.” – Kathleen Yamauchi Group Real Estate, www.kathleeny.com

10. “For a B2B service provider like us, creating a non-sales Aesbus blog was at the top of our to-do list for lead generation. By providing rich content, we’ve been able to pull prospects through marketing gravity. Our blog generates secondary interest in our B2B services. And as part of our backend process, we’re able to capture that interest via contact/inquiry forms that correspond to specific services described on our website. The captured contact information is then routed through our sales funnel. Our blog is a friendly way of building credibility that helps us monetize our content. We don’t necessarily make money off of our blog—but, it helps drive indirect sales. We have acquired leads generated directly from our blog.” – Gloria Hernandez, www.aesbus.com

11. “The #1 way I monetize my site is by working with brands through sponsored posts. I’m very selective and only work with brands I trust. To get the attention of big brands, my content and photography must be top notch. Social media also plays an important part in monetization. The more followers you have on social media, the more willing brands are to work with you. It does take time and patience to build a presence on social media, but it’s well worth it in the end.” – Alli Smith, www.anallievent.com

12. “Our website is our sales channel. First and foremost we sell web design packages to other businesses. Using website worksheets and lead generation forms, we are put in contact with clients who need custom responsive websites to represent their brand. Secondly, we also provide recurring monthly WordPress Maintenance packages. Also, we provide Organic SEO services where we take a holistic approach in optimizing websites from the ground up. This way, our lead generation efforts have always been supported by strengthening our digital brand and website.” Lori Newman, www.newmanwebsolutions.com

13. “Keeping the integrity of my blog is the number one priority. Don’t be afraid to turn down sponsored opportunities that don’t fit your blog or your standards. Publishing bad content on your blog can have a very harmful and lasting effect on your future success.” – Julia DeLeeuw, www.everydaymomideas.com

14. “The best way to monetize a website is to sell your digital product, one that can be downloaded like a book. You have to create the content (or you can rebrand other’s content, but I don’t recommend that) and then people can purchase it over it an over again. Second to that would be a membership/subscription. Ads such as Google Adsense are great if you have a ton of traffic, but most people can’t generate enough traffic on their own to make it worthwhile. Creating digital content like a book or an online course is what I consider to be the best way to monetize a website, you just have to decide what it is you want to specialize in and then learn all about it and generate the content that is compelling, so people want to buy it.” Jennifer Brown, www.ghostworks.us

15. “Once you’ve generated enough traffic, the next option is to start getting the most out of your website visitors. Adding Google Adsense ads to your website is a quick and easy way to start monetizing your website traffic. You can also offer relevant affiliate offers through networks like Commission Junction, ShareaSale, Rakuten, or ClickBank.” Chris Cabaniss, www.falcondigitalmarketing.com

Conclusion

There are many ways to use your website and get an almost immediate return on your investment.

It is important to understand that our websites are the first impression we give to a client. This is our storefront, brochures, catalogs, and business cards.

These clients will access you from around the world and at all hours of the day and night. They will slip in, and if you do not provide what they need, they will slip out again.

Being SEO smart and user-friendly will assist you in the land of search engines, but it is the content of your website that brings the customer back.

It is the care and attention you place on your digital brand that makes them share the information.

By using the tools listed here, you can make money with your website on many levels. How you utilize your website and promote your digital brand is up to you.

Your success is in your hands.

6-Examples-of-Great-Co-Branding
Digital Branding

6 Examples of Great Co-Branding

Partnering strategically with another business in your marketing can be wildly successful for everyone involved. However, if the relationship isn’t constructed properly, a co-branding campaign could turn into an epic failure. Both companies have to be on the same page with their target audience, vision, promotion, and price to create a successful campaign. The whole point of co-branding is creating an agreement that will make both parties more successful than they could have been on their own by finding a partner that complements them well. There are plenty of examples of great co-branding and below you’ll find six from major brands that can help you in your own business.

Red Bull and GoPro

Red-Bull-and-GoPro

In 2012, Red Bull and Go Pro teamed up for the event “Stratos” which featured Australian Skydiver Felix Baumgartner jumping from a helium balloon 24 miles above the earth. During the jump, Baumgartner broke three world records, shattered the sound barrier, and used a Go Pro camera to capture everything. The event was wildly popular and a successful project for both Red Bull and Go Pro.

Stratos worked because both brands target the same audience. These companies market to thrill-seekers, extreme sports fans, and those who want adventure. Red Bull’s director of sports marketing Sean Eggert has said that “GoPro camera technology is allowing us to compliment the programming by delivering new athlete perspectives that have never been seen before.”

Cold Stone Creamery and Tim Horton’s

Cold-Stone-Creamery-and-Tim-Hortons

In 2009, ice cream chain Cold Stone Creamery and coffee shop Tim Horton’s launched a partnership where each company would put the other one’s menu in 50 of its stores. Executives from both companies decided to partner with each other because they share many of the same customers and each company does most of their business during different parts of the day. Tim Horton’s sees most of its sales come in during the morning and afternoon while Cold Stone serves more customers in the evening. After seeing an increase in sales during a test run, both companies decided to expand the initiative. The two even started offering joint menu items such as coffee floats after listening to the requests of customers.

This co-branding strategy made sense because each company looked at their sales activity and realized that they could complement each other since many of the same customers enjoyed products from both brands at different times of the day. They believed that creating co-branded stores would draw in more customers and they were right.

Uber and Spotify

Uber-and-Spotify

Who doesn’t like listening to music in their car? This partnership allows Spotify users to listen to their favorite songs while they’re in an Uber ride. When you’re waiting for your car to arrive you can queue up a playlist so that your song starts playing as soon as your driver begins your trip. It gives an exclusive experience for Uber riders, Spotify customers have another a reason to pay for a premium membership, and it also gives both companies a unique differentiation over competitors like Lyft, iTunes, Pandora, and YouTube.

MasterCard and Apple Pay

MasterCard-and-Apple-Pay

Both Apple and MasterCard understand that cashless transactions are where our society is headed. MasterCard became the first credit card company to support Apple Pay. This gave Apple an ample customer base to work with while it tweaked its service and gave MasterCard a brand new functionality that was exclusive to their customers. Apple has since teamed up with other major credit card companies to expand their user base.

Dr. Pepper and Bonne Belle

Dr.-Pepper-and-Bonne-Belle

The oldest partnership on the list started in 1975 between cosmetics company Bonne Belle and beverage company Dr. Pepper. After launching the flavored lip balm line Lip Smacker in 1973, Bonne Belle successfully formed a partnership to create Dr. Pepper flavored lip balm. This flavor of lip balm still exists today and continues to be successful.

Nike and Apple

Nike-and-Apple

This is an absolute no-brainer and is an example of very successful complementary branding. Nike knows that their customers who are runners want to listen to music when they exercise and track their progress. So, they formed a partnership with Apple so that their customers could do both. Nike developed a footwear line called Nike+ and Apple created a microchip that fits into the shoes which records the users progress when they activate the feature from their iPod or iPhone. This microchip will tell the user statistics like the number of calories burned, speed, distance, and time. You can even program your Apple device to start playing a particular song when you reach a certain point during your run.

Conclusion

Co-branding can be an excellent way to grow a company without having to make a major investment in resources or create expensive marketing campaigns. It creates a “best-of-both worlds” relationship where each business benefits from the reputation, image, and customer base of the other. However, co-branding isn’t an end all be all solution and should be executed with caution. If co-branding initiatives aren’t performed correctly, they can turn into absolute blunders. However, if executed properly, they can pay off greatly for all involved and make customers happy.

5 Steps to Content Marketing Success for SaaS Companies
SaaS Branding

5 Steps to Content Marketing Success for SaaS Companies

Content marketing helps you cut through the noise on the internet by providing relevant and useful information to your clients and to the public at large. It’s a great way to build relationships with your customers. Done right, it will set your company up as an expert in the field, meaning customers will come to you when they need a software solution.

A successful content marketing campaign takes planning and effort, but the results can be well worth the investment. This simple five-step guide will put your SaaS business on the path to content marketing success.

Step 1: Research

step 1. research

Don’t just crank out content and throw it online. Before you write a single word, you should take some time to learn about your industry and identify your audience. The better you know what information is already out there and who might be looking for information in your subject area, the better able you will be to create relevant content.

The good news is you don’t have to start from scratch. If you’ve already developed your software and

are ready to market it, you probably have a lot of the information you need. You already know who your ideal customer is, what types of problems they are trying to solve, and what they struggle with in the day to day running of their lives and businesses.

If you don’t already have the answers to these questions, go out and find them before you try to write.

Step 2: Develop a Strategy

Step 2: Develop a Strategy

Now that you know who you’re talking to, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to reach them. First, define your goals. Do you want to raise brand awareness, build an email list, upsell customers?

Next, narrow down your target audience. Who specifically are you trying to educate and inform? Is it the customer who needs a little help with technology, the customer focused on dramatically growing her client list, or the potential customer who doesn’t yet realize they have a problem that you can solve?

You might identify more than one type of customer, and that’s okay. Just make sure that each piece of content or each series focuses on one of those types.

Step 3: Work Out the Details

Step 3: Work Out the Details

It’s time to decide how you will structure your content. Will you create written blogs or videos, white papers or eBooks? You can include any of these (plus a lot more) in your content marketing strategy. Which ones you choose depends on your audience, your goals, and the money and equipment you have available.

Finally, develop a publication schedule. Online users are more likely to trust you if you reliably post your content. Just like on social media, posting too often can overwhelm users, but if you post rarely or sporadically, users may just forget you exist. So make a schedule and stick to it.

Step 4: Create Content

Step 4: Create Content

Now that you have a plan, you can create your content. This may be harder than it sounds. The blank page is a great intimidator.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are writers and marketing specialists out there who can create content for you if writing is not your strong point. Hiring a professional videographer can make a big difference in the quality of your videos.

If you’d rather do it yourself, but these skills aren’t in your wheelhouse, think about taking a class to hone your skills.

Keep in mind that content should be relevant to the consumer but also advance your strategy. If it doesn’t do both of these things, you probably shouldn’t be spending time on it.

Step 5: Post and Share

Step 5: Post and Share

Once you’ve created your content, it’s time to put it online. Ideally, you’re publishing on your own turf –

that means publishing on a web domain you own, so you’re not at the mercy of the newsfeed algorithms on social media sites.

Even though you’re hosting your content on your website, you should use social media to direct users to your site. Put teasers to new blog posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Pin your Infographic on Pinterest. Share your latest video on your YouTube channel.

You may even create advertising for your content marketing collateral. Many companies market their eBooks and white papers on Facebook or other sites.

Bonus Step: Working through these four steps will get you started, but a truly robust content marketing strategy needs continuous adjustment. Monitor the performance of each post to find out what’s working and what isn’t. If you had planned a video series but your users are responding better to your blog posts, ditch the video and keep blogging.

Content Marketing Explained: A Guide for SaaS Businesses
SaaS Branding

Content Marketing Explained: A Guide for SaaS Businesses

You’ve probably heard of content marketing. It’s one of the many buzz words that saturate the marketing world today. You may even know that content marketing involves creating and curating content to help your business attract and retain customers.

What you may not understand is how content marketing can work for your SaaS and how to incorporate it into your marketing strategy. This guide will give you a basic introduction to what content marketing is, why you need it, and how it works.

What is Content Marketing?

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing can include blogs, videos, white papers, eBooks, lists, infographics, and a lot more. The form your marketing takes should be based on the type of content that is most likely to appeal to customers.

The key is to provide relevant, useful information. Your content should engage, inform, and inspire your customers and potential customers. Ultimately it’s about building a relationship with the user by convincing them that you understand your industry and have the expertise to help them succeed. If you do this right, customers should look to you as a subject matter expert.

Why Should I Use Content Marketing?

Why Should I Use Content Marketing?

Advertising is everywhere. It’s splashed across the pages of your favorite magazine, printed on billboards, and inserted into your Facebook or Instagram feed. Advertising has reached such a saturation point that it has become white noise. Consumers are adept at tuning it out.

This disengagement can be a real hurdle for SaaS companies who are trying to reach potential customers. Advertising that’s quirky, off-the-wall, or controversial can sometimes break through the noise. That type of advertising doesn’t work for all companies, however. If your SaaS provides payroll services or CRM software, being known as the company with the bizarre advertising might work against you. You need to be seen as professional, competent, and well-prepared to handle the sensitive data that your clients need to run their businesses.

So what’s an SaaS company to do? That’s where content marketing comes in.

Who Needs Content Marketing?

Who Needs Content Marketing?

Instead of pushing and shoving for attention on the sidebar of a blog, you can stand up in front of customers who actually seek you out to hear what you have to say. Instead of pitching a product or service, you’re educating potential customers. Do this well, and customers will place their trust in you. When they need something in your industry, they’ll come to you.

SaaS companies like HubSpot, DocuSign, and Salesforce are making content marketing work for them, and you can too.

Where Does Content Marketing Fit In?

Content marketing should be part of a wider marketing strategy. DocuSign doesn’t just have a resource center where they post whitepapers, webinars and case studies, they also have Google Ads, a FaceBook page, and even print advertising in the Wall Street Journal.

Your content should be fully integrated with your other marketing. It should use the same tone and carry similar messages. Ideally, it should be collected in one location and you should own that space. That means you should not be posting your content exclusively on Facebook, Google or some other branded site. You should have your own blog or website where your content can appear and where you control how people see it.

When Should I Start Content Marketing?

You can add content marketing to an established marketing strategy or you can integrate it from the very beginning of your marketing and branding efforts. Whenever you start, have a clear plan for what you want your content to accomplish and how you’ll go about achieving that.

Content marketing without an established strategy and goals is likely to be ineffective and may even hurt your marketing campaign. Customers may be confused by content that doesn’t align with the brand persona you’re trying to establish. They may even begin to feel like your company can’t be trusted.

How do I Implement Content Marketing

How do I Implement Content Marketing

The first step to a successful content marketing campaign is research. Learn who your customers are, what problems they are trying to solve, and what types of content are likely to engage them. Fortunately, much of this information can be found in your exiting marketing research.

Once you know your customers you’re ready to develop a strategy. What content is your company able to (or able to pay others to) create? Where will you post it? How does it fit into your existing marketing strategy.

Finally, you’re ready to create and post your content. Remember to share it on social media, on your website, and wherever else you can.