Hiring a Marketing Expert Vs Doing It Yourself

Marketing is a complex field that includes different strategies designed to improve visibility, establish a brand presence, engage prospective customers, and earn more revenue as a result. Business owners need to invest time and money into marketing if they want to stay ahead of the game and stand apart from the competition. A good marketing strategy can help businesses grow and enjoy more success.

However, many small business owners hesitate to hire professional marketers to handle their marketing campaign. It could be lack of trust, no budgetary means for it, or that they feel it’s a manageable task. In the end, they struggle to share responsibilities and delegate tasks while they run a business; which means they don’t outsource marketing and rely on inexperienced in-house employees to plan and implement the strategies that they end up overseeing.

Why Hiring a Marketing Expert can Help

Modern marketing is an expansive field, and it includes everything from digital marketing online to traditional offline marketing. Business owners rarely have enough time to learn different marketing techniques and understand how to implement them well on their platforms. All kinds of businesses, especially small companies, can benefit from professional assistance. Here are some reasons why hiring a professional is a good idea:

1. To Navigate the Complexities of Modern Marketing Strategies

Modern marketing strategies involve a wide range of techniques, tools, skills, and platforms, which is why people work in teams to implement it. The digital marketing team includes professionals with different skills and qualifications who handle different tasks. These strategies are just too complex for a single person to manage, even if they’re qualified in the field. Even the simplest marketing strategy requires steps like:

Establishing Your Audience
Branding the Service for the Audience
Graphic Design & Collateral Creation
Creating a Website that Sells
Making the Website SEO Friendly
Promoting the Website
Creating Social Media Profiles
Establishing Brand Presence
Generating Content
Creating Ads for Paid Platforms
Managing Ad Spend
Managing Authoritative Links to the Website
All of these things require different skills and most business owners have to invest time to learn these skills if they want to handle marketing without professional assistance.
2. To Create Content that Establishes Industry Authority

Content is an important aspect of modern marketing strategies because it helps establish authority in the industry, engages with customers, distributes information regarding products and services, and include keywords to catch the attention of search engines. The Internet is saturated with content, so users are very selective about what they read. It’s not enough to just create generic content and include relevant keywords in the text. The content should provide the target audience with significant value.

Content should be well-written with sound grammar and spelling.
All the information should be current and relevant to the keywords included in the text.
The content should be in long-form and range from 1,000 to 2,000 words. The average word count of the web pages search on the first search engine results page is 1,890.
The keywords used should be specific, and the content should include long-tail phrases.
All information should be well-researched and as accurate as possible.
The primary purpose of content marketing is to attract organic traffic to the website and to ensure that users stay long enough to become interested in the products and services offered. The secondary purpose of content marketing is to establish authority and win the trust of the visitors.
Skilled and experienced content marketing experts know just how to generate the right kind of content for their target audience. This job requires skills, training and deep knowledge on the nitty-gritty of writing for online audiences. It’s something most individual business owners aren’t able to manage.

3. To Develop Creative and Interactive Resources

Content marketing doesn’t just involve text though it is one of the most commonly used formats in modern marketing. Text content is easy to create, and business owners can develop good articles and blog posts if they put in some time and effort. However, experienced marketers know content marketing must be diverse and approach the target audience from different directions. A sound content marketing strategy will include:

Videos and tutorials
Podcasts and live streams
Infographics and animations
White papers and research papers relevant to the industry
These types of content require different skills and software, and a business owner doesn’t usually have access to them. In comparison, professional marketers have all the tools and knowledge required to create visual and text content and can handle it with a marketing strategy in mind.
4. To Deliver your Brand Socially

Social media is a great platform for small businesses because it allows them to reach out and connect with their target audience. They can engage with their audience regularly, establish a personal relationship, hear customer concerns, complaints, and provide resolutions promptly; this helps ensure customers remain interested in the brand.

However, social media is a double-edged sword if it’s not handled properly. Even the smallest mistakes can compromise the reputation of the company and alienate the target audience. Experienced social media professionals know how to navigate these platforms well and will:

Understand different platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., and develop unique strategies to engage audiences on every platform.
Explore the paid ads, promoted content, and other such paid marketing options available on these platforms and use them to the best advantage.
Monitor engagements and interactions between the business and target audience to understand customer preferences.
Handle complaints, questions, and requests from customers on the social media platforms.
Build and maintain a good reputation on these platforms and establish authority through content.
Professional marketers will use sophisticated social media management tools to keep track of all this activity and ensure nothing goes wrong. Managing social media requires time and commitment, but it can be very rewarding. Social media marketers are very savvy on these platforms and know how to engage the audience efficiently.
Many small business owners struggle with this aspect of marketing and have neither the time nor knowledge to keep track of their social media accounts. The time to update, post content, respond, and then interact with their audiences just isn’t there.

5. To Develop your Brand and Website Concepts

A marketing campaign will fail if the business doesn’t have a well-designed website and a carefully crafted brand presence. A website is the foundation of all marketing campaigns and needs to provide a good user experience to visitors, regardless of the platform they approach it from.

The website should be easy to navigate, mobile-friendly, SEO-friendly, quick to load on all platforms, aesthetically pleasing, and informative. It should be designed in accordance with the branding to ensure it conveys the right message to the target audience. Experienced website developers and marketers will consider the factors mentioned below when they create a platform and branding:

Target audiences and their preferences
Type of products and services provided
Competitors and the industry in general
The company’s ethics, goals, and message
The location of the company
All of these factors are considered in the website design and branding process to ensure the online presence is unique and appealing to the target audience. While business owners know their industry, product and target market well, they don’t have the skills and knowledge on how to position themselves best when it comes to branding. A haphazard approach or unplanned branding strategy can have a long-term impact on the success of the venture.
6. To Research and Analyze Your Engagement Campaigns

Modern marketing strategies are fluid and dynamic. They need to change and evolve in response to the changing market conditions, search engine regulations, target audience preferences, and other such influential factors.

A marketing campaign that’s successful today might not be as successful six months down the line, which is why experienced marketers always keep an eye on the campaigns through analytics and research latest marketing trends regularly. Here are some of the many analytic reports professional marketers browse through regularly:

The analytic reports containing website activity like a number of visitors (repeat and unique), duration of the visit, bounce rates, most popular pages, etc. This information will help them improve the overall quality of the website.
Analysis of paid ad campaign performance on search engines, social media platforms, and even off-line strategies like direct mail marketing. They keep an eye on the performance of the paid ad campaigns and determine if the ads provide sufficient ROI.
Analysis of organic social media interaction. This often includes impressions, opened posts, comments, likes/dislikes, shares, etc. Experienced social media marketers will study these reports and alter their social media strategy accordingly.

Gift Vouchers And How To Use Them For Marketing

Gift vouchers are a way to improve your sales and profits. How you ever tried gift vouchers as a way to get more new customers? If not, then I think it’s something that you should be considered doing. Vouchers can be an excellent marketing strategy if you know how to do it right.

So what is a gift voucher? Well a gift voucher is something that operates somewhat like a gift card. You can redeem them in stores, and as a result, you get to choose items that cost below what your gift card is worth

Implementing vouchers in your business is something that works in the same way too. You can mail out gift vouchers to your select group of customers, and tell them that they can redeem it in your store for a purchase of some sort. If there are a lot of items that you want to get rid of in your store, then running a voucher campaign can be a good thing to do.

When it comes to making your voucher worth something, you may want to take a look at how much the products in your business costs. If the majority of the products in your store costs $40 – consider offering a gift voucher for around $20. This is a half-off deal, but if it’s something you want to get rid of quickly I think it’s something that you will want to look into doing in your business.

Another way to market your gift card is to offer them when selling high priced items. You can offer a $50 give voucher at a restaurant for any one who makes a purchase of $1000 and above. To make this work, make sure the restaurant is something that is well known in your area. Plus, make sure that your $1000 product is perceived as something that is incredibly valued.

Gift vouchers can be done with these tips in mind. All it takes is a little creativity and a good offer, and you can use this technique to your advantage. The bottom line is that gift vouchers are a great way to boost sales, and it’s something that you should be using in your business today. If you’re stuck on ideas on how to offer your vouchers to the world, then review these tips for ideas.

When giving out the voucher, make sure you don’t do it for something this isn’t cheap. Use it to inspire customers to make a large purchase, and tie in your voucher so that you can get a high priced sale, all while redeeming the coupon at the same time. So it’s a win-win situation for both.

Don’t overlook the power of using vouchers in your business. The way that you see gift cards being promoted everywhere online and offline – you want to promote your voucher in the same way. This way you can know if whether or not the venture is working for you.

Use these tips for gift voucher marketing to boost your sales and profits in your business. A gift voucher is something that many people overlook when it comes to marketing their business, but you should know that it can really turn your business around slowly but surely.

Good luck with using gift vouchers in your business today.

Self-Directed Investing For the Canadian Investor

Are you interested in taking control of your portfolio and becoming a “self-directed” investor within the stock market? If so then here is what you need to know.

An Overview of Self-Directed Investing

For most people the idea of self-directed investing comes with a myriad of misconceptions and fears but with the right information and knowledge, making your own decisions can produce significant results. It is not unusual, for example, for self-directed investors to outperform managed money and certainly with a good strategy you can produce well above average returns on a consistent basis.

In a nutshell, self-directed investing means taking the responsibility and control of the decisions surrounding your investments. By opening a self-directed online trading account, you retain the authority to choose the type of investments you want in your portfolio (e.g. mutual funds, ETFs, individual shares, etc), as opposed to ‘managed accounts’ where these decisions are made by a financial planner or an other financial professional. Managed accounts typically have a fee associated with them. (The industry average in Canada is about 2½% of your portfolio per year.)

Why should we self-direct?

So is self-directed investing for you? Knowing why you want to do something usually means you have spent some time looking at the pros and cons. For self-directed investing consider the following.

  • Pros: More control and the potential for better returns, reduced fees, increased liquidity and greater capital appreciation.
  • Cons: Investors assume the risk – and the emotional stress. Many also lack the time, knowledge, and discipline.

If you list out your pros and cons then you can work towards getting the answers you need to make an informed decision.

How much money do we need to start investing?

Many people believe that to self-direct an account, you need ‘lots of money’ but this is not true. You can self-direct any amount. For example, the new Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) that allows Canadians over 18 to deposit $5,000 each year beginning in 2009, is eligible to be self-directed.

People with a large portfolio (e.g. $250,000 and above) often start by self-directing only a portion of it. There is nothing wrong with using the TFSA as a starting point. And as you become more knowledgeable over time, you can transfer a portion of your retirement savings plan account to a self-directed account without forgoing the tax deferral status.

Know What You’re Getting Into

Before you open your trading account and start putting your money to work, it’s important to take stock (no pun intended) of a few things. First, understand what you are getting into. Most Canadians express a sense of fear when it comes to making their own investment decisions and investing directly in the shares of companies doesn’t reduce that fear. The root cause of this fear, either consciously or subconsciously, often stems from a lack of knowledge on how the markets work and how successful they can be. People often think of investing in the stock market as gambling yet nothing could be further from the truth. If you were to ask those that have built great wealth utilizing the markets, you would rarely find “gambling” as a description of their activities.

For starters learn the terminology. A great resource is www.getsmarteraboutmoney.ca Developed by the Ontario Securities Commission, this website is a wealth of information on making and managing your own money. Then consider your options for education. If you are a novice investor with little to no experience a good foundation is important. Look for a company that provides a well-rounded learning experience and compliment that with your own reading and research. Think about how you have learned other skill-sets in your life and consider adopting that same process.

Create A Strategy

Part of your education should include the development of goals and a strategy including a trading plan that matches your risk profile. Setting goals means you can quantify your success at any given time against where you want to be. A good strategy will help you achieve your goals no matter what the market conditions are. And understanding your risk profile will protect you from making decisions that go against your tolerance level. Most novice investors get excited about making money because of course that is the point; however that by itself is not a good plan. A good education will teach you three important principles:

  1. Capital Preservation – keeping your money so you can invest it tomorrow and beyond.
  2. Money Management – knowing how to segregate your portfolio and your individual decisions.
  3. Risk Management – learning how to protect your capital if you make a mistake.

All of these need to be a part of your strategy and decision process.

The Conclusion

Self-directed investing doesn’t have to be time consuming and it doesn’t require a million dollars but it does require knowledge — good goals, a good plan and a good strategy.