Posts

7 vital questions to ask before hiring a marketing company

Nothing frustrates us more than when we see businesses paying out hundreds (or even thousands) of pounds each month to a marketing company that isn’t giving them the level of service that they should be. For example, in marketing attention to detail is vital – a common aspect often overlooked. If you are considering hiring a marketing company, make sure you ask these questions:

1. What do you need to know about my business?

How is a company meant to market your business if they don’t know the ins and outs of it? Many marketing companies have the same marketing strategies for businesses in different industries, which is rarely effective. Marketing strategies and action plans need to be tailored to your business. This is so they can reach out to your target markets in the best way.

We have a 28 Point Discovery Session we go through with you in the initial process. This covers everything we need to know about your company, your products and your services. It includes your background, client demographics, sales processes, current marketing efforts, and more.

2. Do you have the same passion for my company as I do?

Passion is important – how can a company market and promote your business if they don’t love it themselves? Larger marketing companies work for so many different businesses that you might be concerned that their work will be robotic and not personal to your business.

At Bellüber, we work with clients who we believe have the potential for lots more growth, something that we will assist you in achieving through our tailored marketing strategies and implementation.

3. Do you know how important it is for me to get a good return on my investments?

Do they have lots of experience in owning and running businesses? A good marketing company will understand the day to day issues you face with managing your time and resources for marketing as well as how important it is to get a good ROI.

We analyse every aspect of the marketing activities we implement, through to the sales that result from them. We then adapt the strategies and activities to reflect the results.

4. Will you analyse my competitors?

Every company has competitors, and it’s important for marketing companies to get to know these well. They should research how your competitors market their businesses and analyse what is most effective, as part of the extensive research. This is something that marketing companies can overlook!

In part of the initial process, we also put together a very detailed competitive analysis of your competitors, in a table where we can easily compare all of their different marketing efforts. This is summarised with a SWOT analysis, identifying each competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, along with your opportunities to take advantage of and threats to your business. We also provide a list of recommendations as a result.

5. Do you pay attention to detail?

As we said before, attention to detail in marketing is key. Your marketing content (website, social media posts, printed media and so on) is what your audience will see and make a decision on, so it’s vital that it is up to the highest standards, and in particular has no spelling or grammatical errors. When choosing a marketing company, take a good look at their website, social media posts and/or emails, to ensure they pay attention to what they put out there.

6. Will I be kept informed of the actions being taken and the results?

It’s vital that you are aware of what is being done as well with your marketing. You want the marketing company you choose to keep track of (and tell you) what is working and what isn’t, then focus on the activities that get the best results.

We provide regular monthly reports of our activities, with recommendations on what we need to do next, in order to achieve the best results.

7. Will I be in a long term contract?

While contracts are important for protecting both the client and the provider, a good marketing company won’t try to lock you into a contract that doesn’t meet your needs, right from the beginning. A lot of initial contracts last too long or are more restrictive than necessary. A marketing company may start to pick up their efforts at about ten months into a one-year contract in the hope of signing you up for another year.

We provide you with a six-month contract, completely tailored to your specific goals and requirements. During and after the six months, we analyse the results of our activities and the return on investment to you. We then give you these choices:

  • To opt out of marketing (this is very rare as our clients realise how vital it is to continue)
  • To proceed with a second 6 month contract, tailored to take account of the previous 6 months’ results
  • Continue on a monthly rolling term with no commitment
  • We train someone in your team who can then take over the activities (with our guidance)

Whether you are considering us or another marketing company, make sure you ask these questions first.


content marketing calendarDownload our free Content Marketing Calendar

Use this template to create a full schedule of activities for marketing your business over the next 3 months.

Click here for more info and to download.

How to review and improve your website

Many of our clients are surprised at how many important things they are missing from their website which can improve their marketing, growth and sales. These range from site loading speed to your navigation menu. Here are some of the factors that we check apply to our clients’ websites…

The homepage shows USPs and benefits

You have such a short amount of time (reportedly just 6 seconds!) to grab a visitor’s attention before they move onto another website in their search results. An important way to entice them immediately is by highlighting your unique selling points on the homepage.

The homepage immediately tells the visitor what you’re about

It’s important that your homepage shows the visitor straightaway what you offer and how you can help or benefit them.

The URLs contain keywords/phrases

The page URLs need to have relevant keywords/phrases in them, e.g. about-us could be ‘about-typeofcompany-location’ so the URL could be www.yourwebsite.com/about-business-coach-london which would help you appear higher in results when the search term ‘business coach London’ is entered.

Links to social media pages

Not only should you have links to your social media pages on your website, but these should be high up the page – ‘above the fold’.

Google Analytics integration

This enables you to view your site statistics. It provides the number of visitors, where people on your site came from, and more. If you want to improve your marketing and get more visitors, your website needs to be visible on as many platforms as possible. Tracking your visitors and where they come from is critical in knowing what marketing tools work.

picture1Meta tags

These are codes in the background of your page containing words and sentences that search engines can read and display in results. People often put loads of keywords in the code hoping that Google will then place them in a higher position. But Google is cleverer than that. Title and description tags are vital as these are what is shown for your page in search results. These need to stand out from your competitors and grab the attention of the people searching.

Keywords and phrases in the content

Think about the words your target market will enter into search engines – anything they might want that you provide. Ensure the content of your site includes these keywords and phrases. For example, if your target market includes businesses and you give advice on cash flow, think about what a business owner might enter into a search engine to find advice on that topic and make sure that phrase is within your content.

Site colours

picture2Many websites that we have redesigned have had too many colours and fonts! The colour scheme needs to be simple and consistent. Links/buttons should all be the same colour to help visitors become familiar with navigating around the site. Don’t use more than 4/5 colours in the site’s main content or it will look untidy and unprofessional.

 

 

Using stock photos

Avoid using those cheesy stock photos on your website. There are websites where you can download great quality royalty-free images that look professional which include Pixabay and Unsplash.

picture3The website is mobile friendly

Around 50% of website visitors are via mobile phones. Your website should be able to adapt in size for a mobile or tablet. Google are now giving mobile-friendly sites priority positions in search results performed on mobiles, as you can see in the image.

Navigation labels

The labels on your navigation need to be clear and concise, as well as relevant to what the pages are about. They should also be enticing – for example instead of ‘Blog’ it could say ‘Free Advice’ and instead of ‘About Us’ it could say ‘Get To Know Us’.

Regular blog posts/news/articles

A great way of keeping your website updated regularly is by having a blog. It will also show that you’re an expert in your industry; building the ‘know, like and trust’ with your potential clients. Blog posts could be top tips, ways to avoid something, etc. These need to include keywords that your target market are likely to enter in search engines.

picture4Having ‘Where did you hear about us?’ on your forms

This is a simple way to keep track of how people filling in your forms on your website heard about you, to see which advertising methods are most effective.

There are clear calls to action

On every page of your website there should be clear calls to action to encourage visitors to take the next step in your sales cycle, whether you want them to subscribe, contact you or make a purchase.

Testimonials and reviews

Saying how great you are is one thing but having other people say it is so much better. Case studies and testimonials can show how you have helped other businesses.

It’s all well and good knowing what needs to be on your website to make it most effective, but do you know how to implement these features so they can be most beneficial? At Belluber we do this for many different businesses – if you would like us to review your website and give you a personal list of recommendations that apply to your business and target market, please get in touch.


Marketing TipsDownload our free marketing tips whitepaper

Download this whitepaper for useful marketing tips that you can implement into your business immediately.

Click here for more info and to download.

4 reasons why Richard Branson is better at social media than you

With nearly three million Facebook likes, more than seven million followers on Twitter and nine million followers on LinkedIn, Richard Branson joins Elon Musk and Mark Cuban as one of the most prominent entrepreneurs on social media. He follows several social media best practices that elevate him to the top of the pack. Success on social media goes well beyond likes and follows. Use these four practices to establish leadership, drive leads and create relationships on social media.

Read more

10 brilliantly free stock photo websites

If you’ve ever had to search for free stock photos on the internet, you’ll know what an annoying hassle it can be. Free stock photo websites are difficult to find, with many stock photo companies charging £10 or more for a single photo. Then even when you can find free stock photos, often they’re low resolution or watermarked.

Read more

The key elements of content marketing

This seven-step guide can be used for anybody who needs inspiration on any type of content for their business.
Read more

Why does my business need a competitive analysis?

A competitive analysis is a way of establishing your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, to provide you with an advantage. This is vital in your marketing plan, as it can help you identify what makes your products and services unique and how you differentiate from your competition. It’s a great way of discovering opportunities and threats, and how to overcome both.

Read more

Why do I need a marketing strategy for my business?

Many new business owners struggle to know what their marketing strategy is; they often have a blurry plan to ‘sell more products/services to customers’. Without having a specific strategy, it isn’t going to be measurable and achievable. It includes short-term and long-term activities in your marketing that hugely contribute to the goals in your company.

Read more

4 Vital Ingredients of Successful Facebook Ads

With over 890 million people signing into Facebook every day, most of your potential customers are likely to be part of Facebook’s community. But throwing money at Facebook ads to bring people to your page and website only works if you’re smart about it.

Read more

The best ways to promote your small business event

“We might live in a digital world, but there is no better way to create and maintain customer relationships than a face-to-face meeting”, Cathy Mueller, executive of Mapping Your Future says.

Read more