Beginner’s Guide to Marketing Funnels

When you’re just starting a business, you need to work hard to gain traction. Over time, however, you may notice that you need to change your strategy to continue to grow your business.

One of the most effective ways to boost conversions and generate more revenue is with a marketing funnel. This funnel is basically a sequence of steps that prospective customers take in order to become purchasing customers. After your business gets off the ground, you need this structured approach to monitor your process and be sure that you’re keeping existing customers and gaining new ones.

In this post, we’ll discuss what a marketing funnel is and how you can build one for your business to gain more customers and revenue.

What Is a Marketing Funnel?

A marketing funnel is the path a prospective customer takes from start to finish. This includes the first time they hear of your product or service to the moment of purchase.

Once you have this structure in place, you can analyze each step of the process to look for areas of improvement to increase conversions.

These are the stages of the marketing funnel:


The awareness stage is the top of the funnel and refers to the moment when a customer becomes aware of your product or service. Your marketing materials at this point include:

  • Tutorials
  • Guides
  • Blog posts.
  • Videos

Marketing strategies include:

The goal of marketing at this stage is to reach a broad audience and create awareness of your product or service.


The interest stage is when prospective customers are aware of your product and become interested in learning more about your product. Your marketing materials are geared toward education, such as:

  • E-books.
  • Webinars
  • Newsletters
  • Emails
  • White papers.
  • Case studies.

This is the stage in which you can encourage a customer buy.


The commitment stage is when a prospective customer is committing to your product and making the decision to buy. Your marketing materials at this stage include:

  • Product demonstrations.
  • Trials
  • Sales calls.

These are the basic stages, but some businesses further break down their funnel into smaller stages according to what aspects they want to analyze. Regardless of how complex your funnel is, having a systematic funnel gives you data about the customer’s buying journey that you can optimize along the way.

For example, if you were to determine that you were losing a lot of customers between the interest stage and the commitment stage, you could adjust your content or marketing materials to optimize for conversions.

How to Build Your Own Marketing Funnel

Your own marketing funnel is as specific as your business itself, but here are the basic steps you need to begin building your own:


The first step in your funnel is to get your product out in front of the widest possible audience. This is achieved through blogging, SEO, paid advertising, and the other marketing strategies we mentioned previously.

You should be specific in your targeting to reach a large audience, but still focus on an audience that is likely to need or want your product or service. Content marketing is a key tool in this stage, since it creates a lot of awareness about your business among users who are searching for solutions to their problems.


Once you have prospective customers in the awareness stage of your funnel, the next step is to increase interest and engagement to get them to return. This is best achieved with an email subscriber list.

For example, you could put an option at the end of your blog posts for users to subscribe to your email list. This will generate leads for your business while also giving you insight into the number of people interested in your business.

This is a systematic way to move customers from the awareness stage to the interest stage. If you start to notice high click-through rates but few conversions, you can work on improving the landing page or call-to-action to increase your conversions.


When you have a lot of prospective customers interested in what your business has to offer, then it’s time to move them into the commitment stage. This is the stage in which your customers want to learn more about your product and are looking to purchase, which can be done with content.

At this point, you should already have an email list, so you can use autoresponder emails to guide them into the evaluation stage. Autoresponders offer high-quality content to your customers and help you build a business relationship with them to earn purchases in the future.

You can also earn the conversion by giving them a compelling reason to buy. This can be done a number of ways, such as:

  • Create urgency by suggesting that a product or offer is short-
  • Ensure that the checkout process is smooth and streamlined.
  • Offer a discount or special promotion.

The goal here is to create a pleasant buying experience to assure the prospective customer that buying is a good decision.

Fixing Problems Within the Marketing Funnel

Marketing funnels are known as funnels because you will lose customers along the way, so the funnel gets smaller. Some people simply won’t move through to buy, and that’s just part of the process. To a certain extent, you should expect to lose some prospects between awareness and conversion.

When you’re losing excessive numbers of prospective customers at some point through the funnel, that’s when you need to review your process and see where you could improve. Having a systematic funnel is the first step in correcting this problem, which you may not even fully realize otherwise.

As you build your funnel, you should assign metrics to each stage:

  • Awareness: Visitors to your site.
  • Interest: Subscribers to your email list.
  • Commitment: Number of people purchasing your products.

Without these metrics, it’s difficult to know what part of the funnel is losing customers.

You should compare these metrics on a regular basis to see if you’re improving or declining. If you’re declining, you can then look for reasons that may be occurring.

Regardless of what stage is losing customers, there are two strategies that apply at any point:


If you’re seeing a lot of paid traffic to a particular post but your prospects are simply reading the article and clicking away without subscribing, downloading, or purchasing, there’s still a chance to convert.

Retargeting is a form of online advertising that lets you target visitors who left your site before converting. It gives you a chance to persuade them to come back and reconsider purchasing. This ad should be focused on an offer from the next stage of the funnel.

For example, if you’re seeing a lot of traffic without conversion, retarget those customers with an offer to subscribe to your email list. This can take them to a landing page that offers a free download they may have missed out on the first time around.

Once you’re familiar with this process, you can devise retargeting campaigns that address each stage of the funnel with relevant offers.


If prospects visit your site but aren’t able to find adequate answers to the questions they may have, it can be enough to cause them to click away. They could be reading your content and need further clarification, or looking at your price page and have questions about purchasing.

In these cases, live chat is an excellent tool. Regardless of where they are in the marketing funnel, live chat gives you an opportunity to answer all their questions and guide them into the next stage.

Get Started

Now that you know what marketing funnels are and how they can be used to improve your business, it’s time to build one. Start with the simple structure of a basic funnel, identify problems, and work on optimizing them. As you learn and grow, you can expand your funnel to gain more customers and generate more revenue.



Soapbox for Creating Videos

A simple browser extension makes it easy for salespeople to create videos for prospects.

Videos are one of the most effective and powerful ways to communicate a message and add personalization to a salesperson’s follow up process.

But creating videos can be a challenge for a lot of people and we certainly don’t want to bog down our salespeople with video editing and too much administration. We’d rather have them talking to prospects.

Enter: Soapbox

A new Chrome browser extension, called Soapbox, created by Wistia, allows anyone to create really nice looking videos that have an easy transition between screen shares, talking head videos, and split screen.

Even if you’re not a video editor and even if you don’t have any real experience creating videos this app will work for you. It is designed, specifically, with salespeople in mind.

Some of the features that salespeople will find very attractive about this service are that you can easily add branding and messages specific to your prospect or client to video thumbnails, and landing pages that are automatically created to go with your video.

You can also easily edit the video without any video editing skills right within your browser. So you don’t have to download the video to any third-party application to do your editing.


Soapbox features
One of our favorite features is that as soon as you’re done with this video, it is immediately shareable via a link that’s generated by Soapbox.

So as soon as you’re done, you can take that link and send it to your prospect or customer to immediately deliver your message. And because this was created by Wistia, which is a very powerful video hosting platform that’s very popular with marketers and salespeople it also includes analytics that will show you if a video was watched, how many times, and for how long.

That way the salespeople are armed with the best information to continue following up with our prospects and closing deals.

Try it!

Soapbox is free for a single user, but it has many powerful upgrade features for individuals and teams that would like more powerful capabilities to go along with their videos. You can learn more at

Try Soapbox
Give your salespeople the power of video to communicate with and see the prospect relationships move faster and see them close more deals. Or you can always contact Amrut Services for help.



17 Engaging Social Media Posts to Elevate Your Brand

A creative block is one of the worst things to experience when you’re a marketer, especially if you’re working with a tight deadline. Drawing a blank for a creative campaign, or even a creative post, can be disheartening; but we’re here to help.

Everyone experiences a creative block from time to time and needs inspiration, so let’s take a look at these 17 engaging social media posts that are sure to elevate your brand.

Company Blog Posts

If your business has a blog, why not share to your target audience through your own business social media accounts? Your audience is already following you, so it’s relevant; and you may find that your content will be shared among them to generate even more leads.

Company Blog Posts

Company Culture Posts

Internet users appreciate transparency and a more intimate experience when dealing with a business, which is why social media has become such a valuable tool for marketers. The best way to showcase your business is with an image or article that highlights your business, whether it’s recent news, an award, or just a behind-the-scenes shot of an office party, providing your audience with a glimpse into your company culture does wonders for your audience’s loyalty.
Company Culture Posts

Industry News

News articles tend to be shared more than other types of posts, but most businesses are shifting their focus to in-depth, long-form content. While this is valuable for SEO, the occasional, topical story that relates to your industry can clue your audience in to trends and breaking news.Industry News
To get started, make a list of news sources, trade publications or websites that relate to your industry, and follow them on social media. When they share industry news, share it with your followers on a different platform to stand out and to show your audience that you keep up with your own industry trends.

Curated Content

Curated content is just content from other industry professionals. If you want to share topics that have already been written numerous times or you want to fill in your social calendar without taking the time to craft the post, sharing the piece and giving the original poster credit can help you reach your audience and encourage others to share your content in the future.

Question Posts

It’s a common misconception that your entire social media account needs to be filled with in-depth articles and posts. Engagement is a benefit of social media that isn’t available with many other outlets, so take advantage of that by asking your audience a question to encourage interaction.

Taking a poll or asking a funny question for the purpose of engagement is good, but you can also take this opportunity to learn more about what your audience is looking for from you. Ask about content they’d like to see, current problems they’re encountering, or other questions about their needs, which not only gives you an idea for future posts, but also gives you insight about your audience’s pain points.

Product Videos

Videos get a lot of attention on social media and are more likely to be shared than other types of content, so you should be including product or company videos on occasion to showcase a new product or give you audience a peak into your daily operations.

Customer Reviews

If your business has a lot of good reviews and a dedicated customer base, let your social media followers see it. You can create a graphic with a review or testimonial to post, or share a customer’s post that mentioned your company to show your audience that you have a long list of satisfied customers.

Offer Advice

“How-to” posts and tutorials are helpful for your audience, but you can also condense this information into useful tips that are easily digested and quick to read. Make a list of the most important tips and tricks that you think your audience will enjoy, and post them periodically.

Memes and GIFs

In addition to other visual content, such as infographics, images, and videos, memes and GIFs can be used to put a fun twist on the same old post and catch your audience’s attention. This is not only on trend, but these types of fun, quirky content are becoming more and more popular among businesses. Just be sure to keep the message aligned with your brand identity and target audience.


Contests are nearly impossible to resist, so starting a social media contest that’s related to your business will boost engagement and participation among followers. You can also require people to like or follow your page to get involved, leading to more subscribers.

Before posting a contest, however, take care to be clear about your objectives, the rules and how you want your audience to participate. Social media contests are usually along the lines of liking, commenting or sharing a post for a discount or free gift, but the possibilities are virtually endless.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you receive many of the same questions over and over again, share a post that includes an answer to these questions on a regular basis. You can also “pin” these posts on your page so that they’re always quick and easy for your followers to find.


Infographics are quick to catch your followers’ attention, thanks to their visual appeal and the wealth of information they can present. Whether you have a step-by-step guide, statistics, or other complex information, putting it in an infographic to post on social media encourages your audience to stop scrolling and start reading.

Links to Free Resources

If you have white papers, e-books or other downloadable content for your business, offer it for free in a social media post. This will not only show that you want to help your audience solve their problems, but everyone loves free stuff.


Internet users get tired of reading, which is why videos and podcasts are such popular forms of content. Share a podcast that’s relevant to your industry, or start your own and share it on your social media page.

Hiring Announcements

When you have new team members, take the time to introduce them to your audience on social media. Include photos and a little blurb about the new team members, then ask for everyone’s welcome and well wishes.

“On this Day” and National Day Posts

“On this day” posts or articles share information that happened on this day in history, which people love to read. You can choose to share these posts on a regular basis, or only share when you find an interesting fact or article that relates to your industry.

National Day posts work similarly to “on this day” posts. These include “holidays” like National Coffee Day, National Blueberry Day, National iPod Day, and much more, for each day of the year. Find the ones relevant to your industry and post them on your social media

Live Video

Live videos are popular on most media platforms, making it even easier to include video in your marketing campaign. Using the platform that works best for you and that has the largest following, create live videos each week with a theme that relates to your industry, such as weekly tips or fun facts, to encourage your audience to tune in.

Elevate Your Brand

We hope that this list of engaging social media posts gives you some ideas for how to tackle your creative block and connect with your audience more on social media. While not all may be appropriate for your business or industry, use these ideas to craft your own engaging social media posts that make your followers excited to see what you’ll post next!


Eight Ways You Should Be Marketing on LinkedIn in 2019

LinkedIn continues to be the strongest social media platform for B2B marketing. In addition to being the easiest social channel for finding targeted B2B audiences, LinkedIn has made an aggressive push over the last 12 months to turn itself into a more powerful content marketing platform. This gives you a lot of new options to use LinkedIn for effective marketing in just about any industry.

1. Write Native Blog Posts

The first strategy is to create native blog posts on the LinkedIn platform. When we say native, we’re referring to taking the content that you would normally post to a blog on your website and posting it directly inside of LinkedIn’s content editor so that the content actually lives within LinkedIn, rather than linking out to your blog post.

Write Native Blog Posts
This is of course a preference for LinkedIn because it keeps their users inside of LinkedIn to consume your content rather than leaving the LinkedIn platform. That means that your content will get better distribution inside of LinkedIn.

2. Post Native Videos

The second strategy is to use native video. Again, in this case you’ll want to upload your video file directly into LinkedIn’s content editor rather than linking to a YouTube video outside of LinkedIn. Video has been given a much higher priority in LinkedIn in 2019 and gives you an opportunity to communicate with your audience in a way that’s more entertaining and engaging.

3. Use Hashtags with Your Content

Using hashtags is a great way to get your content found. Similar to other social media platforms, hashtags on LinkedIn create a way for users to search for content by keywords and topics. Use hashtags on all of your content to ensure that you’re showing up in searches.

4. Promote Your Content with Ads

Promote your content with ads. The LinkedIn ad platform doesn’t get much attention, but is actually quite powerful and very easy to use. When you create content inside of LinkedIn, use the ad platform to promote that content to your target audiences and make sure it gets the visibility that you desire.

5. Target Your Ads with Matched Audiences

Matched audiences are a way for you to find similar audiences to those that you’ve already had success with so you can expand the reach of your marketing beyond the audience that you’ve already built (very similar to Lookalike Audiences on the Facebook advertising platform). Matched Audiences are also a way to retarget visitors to your website and your list of prospects and customers, making it easy to retarget interested audiences with additional content and offers.

6. Start Your Own Group

Starting your own group within LinkedIn gives you a great opportunity to demonstrate leadership in your particular market and to create relationships with a large number of people in your market very quickly. It’s very easy to start a group in LinkedIn, and it can be a very powerful asset to your business and your personal brand.

Start Your Own Linkedin Group

7. Add Value to Other Groups

You don’t have to start your own group, and in some cases it may not be worth your time and effort if you feel like there are already really good well-established groups in your market in LinkedIn. In that case, be an active participant and demonstrate value to the group through your content and your comments, and you will extract a lot of attention from that group to your business and personal profile on LinkedIn like

Don’t just selfishly post your content to the group (big, common mistake). Instead, look for opportunities to consume and share other people’s content and add some value with thoughtful comments.

8. Leverage Your Team

Finally, leverage your team. Every business should create a business profile in LinkedIn and post to it. But it’s also a very effective strategy to have everyone on your team share the content from your company on their personal LinkedIn profiles.

When they share on their personal profiles it will greatly increase the visibility of your content and also demonstrate that the members of your team are all on the same page.

Take Action on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the most powerful B2B marketing platform in social media and doesn’t seem to be at risk of losing that title anytime soon. Make sure you’re investing effort and energy into these content marketing strategies for LinkedIn in 2019. Pick three and take action right away, then let us know how it goes for you!


Seven Ways to Generate Leads From Instagram

Instagram has been the fastest growing social media platform over the last several years, and now has hundreds of millions of daily users, making it an important place for all businesses to consider doing their marketing.

Until recently, it may have seemed like a platform that wasn’t necessarily ideal for generating leads, but that has definitely changed. Instagram now has several viable ways that businesses can use the platform to generate leads quickly and affordably.

Let’s cover seven of them.

Instagram Lead Generation Ads

First, Instagram lead generation ads are an obvious choice. If you’re comfortable running paid advertising, Instagram has an ad objective that is specifically designed for generating leads from the platform.

The format is simple. The ads are easy to create, and can be very effective. Particularly if you’re targeting a younger demographic, or creating content in the most popular content categories on Instagram, such as fashion, food, and travel.


Number two is to run a contest. Contests are very popular on Instagram. And they’re a great way to generate a lot of attention, and a lot of leads, very quickly. You don’t have to give away anything too valuable, or too extravagant. Just make sure that it’s closely matched to the interest of your audience.Contests

Conversation Ads

Instagram now has a cool ad objective feature that is designed to get someone to message you on Instagram, starting a conversation directly in your messaging inbox. What a powerful way to create a more personal experience than just collecting an email address!

Inside of that conversation, you can then give them an opportunity to provide you contact information to keep in touch, creating a very personal experience that’s highly effective.

Link in Bio

Adding a link in your bio that directs people to an offer page has been the most common way of generating leads from Instagram from the start. In your Instagram profile you have the opportunity to place just one link, making it a very important link. Use this link to connect to an offer page where you capture their contact information, and can keep in touch.

Visit link in bio

Instagram Stories

Instagram stories have been growing in popularity at an absolutely astonishing rate. They’ve actually become the most popular part of Instagram in terms of the time spent consuming the content. One of the best things about stories is that you can add a link to them, making them a simple way to give you more options to generate leads from your content than just the one link in the bio.
Instagram Stories

Story Highlights

Related to using Instagram stories is using story highlights. When you create an Instagram story you can choose to save that story as a highlight on your profile, giving it a permanent placement, or at least a semi-permanent placement on your account. These highlights – just as their name suggest – are more prominently displayed on your account, making them more likely to be viewed. That makes them a good place to put stories that link off to specific offers.

Tag an Instagram Account In Your Story

This is a great lead generation and prospecting approach for those of you selling high value products or services where a conversation with the prospect is necessary.

When you create Instagram stories, you can tag other accounts. When you tag another account, it creates a message inside of that account’s messenger inbox on Instagram, making the content that you created very high profile for the person that you tag.

Since messages on Instagram get a very high response, it’s very likely that you’ll generate a response from them, creating a conversation in your private messaging inbox and giving you the opportunity to get them additional information and follow up with that person outside of Instagram.

Your Turn!

That’s seven great ways to generate leads from your Instagram account. If you had thought that Instagram was only a place for posting pretty pictures – think again! It is absolutely evolved into a much more sophisticated platform, and a great channel to market to your audience and generate leads.

Take a few of these strategies and give them a try and let me know how it goes!


Nine Videos Every Small Business Should Create And Use For Their Marketing

As we all know, video has become a very important format for marketing for all types of businesses and all types of marketing platforms. From YouTube to Facebook, to Instagram, video has become the most important format of content in today’s marketing world.

How can you take advantage of video at your business? There are nine videos that every small business should use that are simple to create, but have a big impact.

Here they are.

The Origin Story Video

First is an origin story video. This is a video about how your business came about, explaining to your customers the history of the business, the story behind why the founders created it in the first place, what motivated them, and what personal hurdles they had to overcome in the creation of the business.

The Origin Story Video

The Purpose Story Video

The second is your purpose story. Today’s consumer, particularly millennials, love to buy from companies that have a reason for existence beyond just profit and loss. So creating a video that tells the story of the purpose behind your business – the reason why you operate your business that’s beyond just money – can give you a real competitive advantage in the marketplace and create more loyalty from customers.

The Positioning Story Video

Next is the positioning story. The positioning story is the story that you use to make it clear how you and your products and services compare to other products and services in the marketplace. You obviously want to make sure that your customers know why they should buy from you versus your competition, and the positioning story is your opportunity to make that clear.

The Transformation Story Video

Next is the transformation story. One of the most powerful videos that you can make is a video showing how your products or services transform something so that consumers can actually see that transformation.

A very common example of this is before and after pictures used by fitness and nutrition pros showing the dramatic weight loss and body image improvements in their clients. But it certainly doesn’t need to be limited to fitness transformations.

Every business has some sort of transformation story that they can capture. If you’re a painting company, maybe you show a before and after of a home that you’re painting whose paint originally was in very bad shape and now you’re bringing life back to that home. It could be that you’re a restaurant and you show a family sitting down and enjoying a night together at your restaurant. That is a transformation of connection, and love, and joy in that family.

So don’t take this too literally. Look for opportunities to show your products and services impact other people’s lives.

The Testimonial Video

Next is a testimonial video. A testimonial video is getting your customers to share their experiences with your products or
services so that other potential customers can get that sense of security and social proof from knowing that somebody else has had success with your products. It’s good to have as many of these as possible!
Testimonial Video

The Founder Profile Video

Next is a founder profile video. Again, consumers love to know about the why behind a business. They also love to know the people behind a business. The founder’s story of achievement and struggle that they went through to create your business are all very, very impactful pieces of marketing. So get the founder in front of the camera and have them tell all.

The Team Video

Next is a team video. Showing the people and personalities on your team and why they’ve decided to work for your company, and the pride and joy that they get from creating products or services and taking care of customers, is a very powerful way to create a human connection to your business.

This is particularly valuable if you have a business where the team may not normally be so visible and customers don’t often get that much interaction with the human side of your business – such as companies that manufacture a product that’s ordered online and shipped across the country. Capturing and sharing the personalities and team behind your business on video can be a very powerful marketing experience that creates an entirely different and more meaningful connection to your products.

The Behind the Scenes Video

Next is a behind the scenes video. It’s a lot of fun for prospects and customers to see behind the scenes at your business and see how your products and services are created, or the hustle that you bring to making sure that you’re providing the best possible service. So capture a video that shows behind the scenes, whether that’s in the kitchen, in the manufacturing plant, or inside of the office. Just show people a little authentic glimpse into your world.

The Product Demonstration Video

Finally is a product demonstration video. Product demonstration videos are some of the most popular videos on YouTube, so why not create them yourself rather than leaving it to other people? You can demonstrate your products, using the video as an opportunity to demonstrate your most powerful features and benefits compared to the competition, and have a good time

doing it. This is your opportunity to make sure that your products get showcased in the best possible light!

Get Started!

There you go, that’s nine ways that every small business should use videos in their marketing. They’re all very easy to create and don’t need to be professionally done or expensive to be impactful. Get out your camera on your phone and start creating these nine videos today.


The Six-Step Process For Creating Marketing Content Even When You Are Very Busy

We’ve all heard that we should be creating more content for our business. Blog posts, videos, podcasts, and social media content have all become a requirement of marketing and growth in just about every industry.

But creating content is definitely time consuming, and can be the last thing on your list of things to get done on an already busy day. So here’s a six step process for creating more content even when you’re really busy.

1. Create an Outline

The first step is to create an outline. Simply outline the core ideas for your content on a notepad. You don’t want or need a ton of detail, just enough to give structure to your thinking as you do your content creation.

Create an Outline for Content

2. Record a Video

Step number two is to then record a video. I know you may not be comfortable on video – many people aren’t – but it’s something that you’ll get used to over time, and the value of video in marketing today is tremendous. So record a video of you speaking to the outline that you just put down on the notepad. You’ve got your first piece of content!content creation for video

3. Create a Podcast

The third step is to then have the audio exported and edited as a podcast. \Podcasts are one of the fastest growing forms of content in terms of consumer consumption because they can be listened to while doing other things, like driving, working out, walking on the treadmill, or running on the beach.Podcast for content creation

For these reasons, podcasts are experiencing incredible growth, and many people consider them to be the most important form of marketing now. So you definitely want to make sure that you’re getting your podcast created. A simple way to do that is to record your video first, and then export the audio content.

4. Transcribe the Audio into a Blog Post

Next you’re going to take that audio content and have it transcribed into a post. I like to use an app called Rev for this. You simply upload your audio file or- even a video file – and the app will extract the audio and transcribe it for approximately $1 per minute of audio. I found that a typical blog post is five to 10 minutes long, so I can get the transcription done for $5 to $10.

The service is fantastic and creates a transcript that is very easy for me to put some final editing polish on, and use it as a blog post or use it as content for my social media posts and my YouTube video.

5. Have a Designer Create Images

Next is to have a graphic designer create images for every place that you want to post your content. Images are very important to go along with your content, regardless of whether it’s going up on YouTube, a podcast, Facebook, Instagram, or any other platform.

Images help sell the content and get the attention of your audience in the first place. Hire graphic designers from affordable services like UpWork or Design Pickle and you can quickly get custom-designed image – often within 24 hours.

6. Let Outsourced Editors Put a Finishing Touch on Things

Finally, a very effective and affordable way to save time in your content creation process is to hire outsourced video, podcast, and blog editors to put the finishing touches on your content. Our favorite place to find really qualified talent at very affordable rates is a site called Upwork.

You’ll see that you can find really high-quality talent on Upwork that is globally sourced, giving you access to much, much more affordable hourly costs than you may expect. You can use the platform to create your own virtual Content Marketing team that doesn’t have the expectation of a salary or even monthly commitment, so that your costs are completely variable and you only get charged when you create new pieces of content.

Your Turn!

There you go, that’s six steps for creating content for marketing even when you’re really busy. Use this process for creating content quickly and affordably, and getting it to market fast!


Digital Marketing Trends Leading into 2019

A savvy marketer will be looking ahead to the upcoming year and developing a digital marketing strategy to stay ahead of the competition and boost brand awareness.

With so many changes that occurred at the end of 2018, it’s important to revamp your strategy and account for current trends, strategies, and technologies to maximize your efforts.

Here are the biggest digital marketing trends leading into 2019:

Topic Clusters

Search engines are now favoring clusters of content that surround a particular topic, as opposed to keywords. If you want to stay at the top of the search rankings, you need to develop these content clusters that link to one another.Topic Clusters

To do this effectively, you need a broad topic outline that covers the most pertinent subcategories. Then, the surrounding content should have specific, long-tail keywords that connect back to the original outline with the same keyword.

This boosts your overall performance since any page performing well will result in the entire cluster performing well. This moves you further and further up the rankings.

In addition, choosing topics in which you have proven subject matter expertise or knowledge will give you an even better ranking, since search engines are now prioritizing the value and relevance to the user.

Shorter Video Ads

Internet users have much shorter attention spans than they once did, so it’s possible to lose a viewer with a long video that would’ve worked a few years ago. Audiences tend to engage with shorter ads, such as under 10 seconds, so you’re also getting more for your efforts.
Businesses are more likely to use shorter video ads in the coming year, so you want to work these into your strategy to ensure you stay with the current trends.


Chatbots are becoming more popular, due to their ability to address basic customer service needs and help businesses interact with more customers. Chatbots also create two-way communication between your audience and your business, which improves your customer satisfaction and your response time to messages. Both of these aspects will boost your search engine ranking.Chat bots

Chatbots have a reputation for providing negative user experience, leading many businesses to hesitate to include them in their marketing strategy. Overall, however, customers are pleased with the use of chatbots and the ability to access information 24/7, so there’s no reason to hold back on this trend.

Chatbots also operate in Facebook messenger often, which has a click-through rate of 80 percent. This offers incredible potential for how a chatbot can lead to more sales for your business.


Blockchain is quickly becoming a necessity for most industries, but one of its most overlooked potentials is in marketing.

With the poor attention span of many internet users, it’s more difficult to draw attention from content and keep your audience engaged. Blockchain can be used to incentivize customers to watch advertisements and engage in some way, whether it’s sharing, tagging, liking or commenting, through a Basic Attention Token (BAT). This technology breaks up the monopoly of digital ads to trade on the value of online attention and engagement and reward the audience that’s willing to interact.

Influencer Marketing

Social media influencers are achieving more influence in recent years, gaining significant followings on multiple social media platforms. Social media isn’t new, of course, but its reach is continuing to grow. Positioning yourself with the right social media influencer can make all the difference.

In the past, businesses were able to have influencer endorse products openly, but consumers are becoming more aware and are less receptive to this marketing tactic. Because of this, a subtle approach is needed to gain the benefits of a social media influencer.

Businesses with successful social media influence develop mutually beneficial, long-term relationships with influencers, so both receive more organic endorsements. These relationships not only provide you with a steady outlet for your promotions, but it also makes influencers less likely to abandon your brand.


Fields like advertising, marketing and sales have a negative connotation, with the belief that these representatives are only out for their own interests, using deceptive and aggressive tactics to get sales.

As a result, consumers are more skeptical and reluctant, as well as being more difficult to impress. The easy access to reviews and testimonials also gives them more information about a product or service’s strengths, and more importantly, its weaknesses.

Now, businesses are addressing this issue with transparency, openly admitting its own shortcomings, faults and negative feedback to show loyalty and dedication to customers. They’re also encouraging two-way communication on a public forum to not only build more trust with a specific customer but also to show their efforts to other potential customers.

Mobile Optimization

Though it may seem obvious, mobile optimization is one of the most important aspects of your digital marketing strategy to address in 2019. Though many businesses already work toward mobile-friendly sites, more and more users are switching to mobile. Google is even prioritizing mobile-friendly sites in search rankings.

With so many users going mobile, you can’t afford to lose a follower because of poor optimization. Small issues, such as links too close together, a poor zoom function or text that’s too small can be all it takes for a customer to abandon your site and move on to the next.

Be sure to check your site’s mobile user experience and make any adjustments you need to create a flawless user experience.

Voice Search

Voice search is on the rise, thanks to personal assistance devices like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri. Nearly one-third of the 3.5 billion searches performed each day are voice searches, which use natural human speech patterns to determine the searcher’s intent.

If you think you can use the same strategy for voice search, however, think again. Voice search differs from a desktop or mobile search in that you get fewer results. If you want to be one of the sites that comes up, you need to tailor your SEO strategy for voice search.

Voice recognition technology is only expected to improve and become more popular as well, which has the potential to disrupt marketing altogether. User experience and SEO have been the main focus of most marketing campaigns, but these aspects become irrelevant with a short search and no search results screen.

While there’s no clear answer to tailoring your strategy for voice search, a bit of brainstorming to understand the nuances of the human voice. How users tend to phrase voice searches and what types of phrases are prioritized is worth your effort.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence has become a hot topic in marketing recently, and though many are still unsure of its applications and limitations, it’s starting to find its place in marketing campaigns.

A widely implemented form of AI is chatbots, which improve customer service with lower costs and fewer resources. They’re also quicker than humans and offer targeted, personalized services to any customer at any time.

On a larger scale, the same capabilities of AI that make chatbots so effective can be applied to many aspects of marketing, such as forecasting, personalization, segmentation, and data analysis. The possibilities are truly endless, so it’s best to get on board before AI takes the marketing world by storm.

Final Thoughts

Marketing trends come and go, some of which reshape the industry and others that may just fade into the background. If you want to be successful in your marketing efforts year after year, it’s important to be able to identify the upcoming digital marketing trends and stay ahead of the competition.


How to Use Artificial Intelligence in Marketing

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, transformed the digital landscape in more ways than one. Image-recognition software, semi-autonomous vehicles, medical robots and other AI-enabled technology are all possible with this revolutionary technology.

For marketers, AI also presents opportunities we never could’ve dreamed of. With AI marketing, digital markets can improve personalization and generate better performance and profits, adding to an already strong data-driven focus.

With AI, the consumer experience can be personalized in a way that’s easier and more cost-effective. This allows brands to achieve incredible gains through a deeper understanding of the customer base.

Learn more about the applications for AI in marketing and see how it can revolutionize your marketing campaigns.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Artificial Intelligence is simulated intelligence in machines that are programmed to “think” like humans and mimic human behavior. At its best, AI can rationalize and take action to achieve a specific goal, which has virtually limitless real-world applications.What is Artificial Intelligence

AI automates repetitive learning and discovery through data and adapts through progressive learning algorithms. By finding structure and patterns in data, these algorithms become a predictor and the machine can optimize itself.

AI works on a much larger scale than the human mind, however, which gives it the ability to analyze larger data sets and more detailed data. On top of that, the more data AI has to work with, the better it learns and the more accurate the predictions will be. Because of this, AI gives you a competitive advantage, since the one with the best data has the edge.

Targeted Searches

Search engines have come a long way from the days when you needed to know the exact product name to find what you were looking for. Search engines with AI are getting smarter and more capable of discerning your intent behind a search, so it’s able to provide you with more relevant results.

Targeted SearchesBy using the techniques employed by AI-enabled search engines, businesses can help customers find the product or service they’re looking for, regardless of how jumbled the search term became.

As an example, searching for a product on a massive e-commerce platform, such as Amazon, only requires a general term. Like Google, it will finish your search term and correct any typos in an effort to give you the most relevant results. It also provides an advanced search feature, which offers more targeted searches.

Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising is the automated process of buying and selling ads. Advertisers and publishers connect to an ad inventory, through which they can exchange advertisements. AI helps this process by using algorithms that analyze user behavior and optimize the campaign for more relevant results.Programmatic Advertising

Like other sales platforms, this is achieved by targeting consumers with a high chance of converting. Basically, it’s targeting the consumers searching with the express intent to purchase. Cookies also provide insights to help AI tailor the campaign.

For example, AI and programmatic advertising can be used to target apprehensive buyers by analyzing internet trends and identifying preferences for better targeting. Matching the subscriber, cookie data, and other data sets offer a clearer picture of consumer behavior. This allows marketers to create better segments and duplicate audiences as well.

Market Forecasting

The customer experience is an important part of successful marketing, and it’s receiving more and more attention with the recent changes to the Google algorithm. Marketers want to meet or exceed customer expectations as much as possible, as well as determine if engagement will ultimately lead to the sale.

With AI, marketers can make better predictions about market demand, giving them the information needed to nurture a prospect or move on to the next opportunity.

For example, if you can gain an accurate prediction of how much inventory you’re likely to sell, you know when to boost your marketing efforts to get the sales. You can also double down on the inventory you have in anticipation of higher-than-average sales.

Though it may seem outlandish, AI can also analyze the conversations you have with a customer to identify your successes and failures. It can then advise you on whether to continue with the prospect.

Content Curation

AI systems can find, compile and present valuable content to your target audience by pulling information from different data sets. This is a complement to your content marketing strategy, because you now have relevant, highly targeted, curated content ideal for your audience.

Marketers can use AI to come up with marketing strategies based on this data as well. If the content curation is targeting the ideal customers with this insight, those insights can prove invaluable to developing a strategy to communicate with your audience.

A similar technique can also be used to gather information on prospects and send marketing messages to them. Over time, the prospect is likely to subscribe or buy, since the offer is exactly what they’re looking for.


Chatbots are a vital part of modern digital marketing. AI-enabled chatbots provide responses to customer inquiries and engage customers, leading to greater customer retention.

For example, a large business will struggle to keep up with millions of customers, even with a full team dedicated to customer service alone. Chatbots are available to address the minor needs of the customer, engaging them and freeing up a representative to handle the more involved questions and concerns. Chatbots are also available any time, day or night, which is more practical than having a full team around the clock.

Ad Performance

The only way to tell if your marketing campaign is performing well is with analytics, giving you insight into what is and isn’t working. AI and machine learning provide detailed analyses and insights into which advertising efforts are succeeding. This allows you to make more informed decisions about where to direct your future campaign efforts.

AI shows you how many clicks an ad received, which country or region they came from, what platform they came from, and other valuable data. Using this data to inform your advertising campaign will give you a higher ROI.

These same insights can also be used for future predictions. Instead of focusing on right now, AI gives marketers a better picture of overall trends to tailor the strategy for future goals and continue to increase conversions along the way.

Dynamic Pricing

Predicting future market trends is one thing, but being able to apply accurate dynamic pricing strategy is another. This allows you to optimize sales when the demand is high and find out when to offer discounts to increase sales. AI is able to keep up with the imperceptible shifts on a much larger scale than we can, giving you accurate predictions to keep with the dynamic pricing trends.

Bottom Line

With marketing enhanced by AI, marketers can rely on AI to determine the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and learn where to invest for the best ROI. AI also improves the customer experience and offers better opportunities for engagement, building a more loyal audience.

Regardless of industry, all modern marketing efforts benefit from the capabilities of AI. It not only simplifies the process and provides more cost-effective solutions, but it’s also more accurate and effective.

With so many businesses getting on board with AI-enabled marketing, you can’t afford to let your business fall behind.


8 Effective Content Types and How to Use Them

Content has become the currency of the internet, giving you limitless options to promote your brand, engage with your audience, hit new target markets and provide value to your customers.

That said, content is about more than blog posts. There are many types of content out there to keep your message fresh and your audience interested.

Take a look at these eight effective content types and learn how you can use them to drive growth for your business.


Info + graphic, or infographic, uses graphics and visuals to present information in an easily digestible way for your audience. At a quick glance, a reader can often get all the same pertinent information as they would from a longer blog post, making infographics a popular content type.infographics

Infographics get more views, shares and likes than other content types, mostly because of how easy it is to absorb the information. They also have viral potential and are shared far more often than other content types, and they work particularly well for data, statistics and research.

If you have a graphic designer on your team, that’s the person to recruit to create infographics for you. These creative professionals are experts at creating compelling visuals and organizing information in a way that communicates effectively to an audience.

If you don’t have a graphic designer, you can outsource your infographics or create them yourself with plenty of services. This route can be pricey, but worth it for the engagement you’ll receive.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that simply having an infographic isn’t enough for viral content. To make an infographic that stands out, you still need to apply the same principles of effective content and craft a specific, compelling message.


If you’ve spent even a minute on any social media platform, you’re familiar with memes. By their very nature, memes encourage sharing and have the potential to go viral. They’re also quite funny, in most cases, which automatically gets more attention.

MemesUnlike infographics, memes don’t require any special skills or graphic design talent. Many sites allow you to include your own text in a standard meme format. If you have a funny idea or the mood strikes, put it in a meme to share.

Memes may not be appropriate for your blog, however. Memes are a social media phenomenon, so it’s best to keep them on your social media pages. You also want to be sure that they still provide some value and aren’t overused.


Videos communicate valuable information in a concise, memorable way that is more likely to be viewed by a follower. From music videos to office tours to how-to videos, there are virtually limitless options for how you can use video to promote your brand and attract followers.Videos

Videos are a more expensive content option, but you can start small to begin with and see how they perform. As you learn more about the role of video in your content marketing strategy, you can put more effort and expense into creating professional videos.


Guides are super-sized posts that go into detail about a topic, often far beyond the length of a normal blog post. They typically include advanced information for your readers that’s backed by research as well.

If you want to create guides, you’ll need a good writer, a graphic designer and the right topic. This content should be top tier and deliver the message in an effective, readable way, especially given the length of the post. The graphic designer will need to fine tune the layout and presentation to ensure the post is attractive and readable.

You can also present your guide as a free download for your followers in exchange for email addresses, which boosts your subscriber list.

Book Reviews

If your following reads books, a book review is a great way to connect with them and present yourself as a thought leader. A book review can be simple or in-depth, depending on how you choose to do it.

Keep in mind that book reviews aren’t suitable for all industries, so be sure you have the appropriate audience and that reviewing books makes sense for your brand.


A “rant” or opinion piece is a popular content option, mostly because of its light tone and humor. If most of your content is heavily researched and detailed, a rant or opinion piece gives you a chance to express yourself more.

For a business, a rant or opinion piece should be relevant to the industry, such as opinions on recent news or industry trends and changes. With this option, you’re not only addressing popular topics that are of interest to your audience, but you’ll also boost your SEO and shareability.

Keep in mind that a rant or opinion piece should be occasional, since constantly ranting about a various topics can come across as obnoxious. You should also avoid personal attacks or people-bashing, since a rant isn’t meant to be angry or rude. Also, welcome opposing viewpoints to prompt a discussion, rather than being guided by your ego.

Product Reviews

Product reviews can help you establish authority and thought leadership in your industry. When you engage manufacturers, developers, service providers and other industry professionals, you gain respect and recognition within your niche.

Product reviews should include brief information about a product, the creator, aspects you like, aspects you don’t like and your recommendation. Complete your review with a call to action.

How-To and Tutorials

A how-to guide is one of the most popular content types, especially in niches that are specialized or technical. With their long introductions, they also offer long-tail search potential.

To plan a how-to guide, you need to identify a problem that’s common in the industry, then draft a post that provides a solution. There’s no limit to the possibilities for a how-to guide, especially for certain industries.

Keep in mind that detailed explanations, diagrams, pictures and videos are all helpful in getting your message across and helping your audience better understand your guide.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

Now that you have all these ideas for new and interesting content types, remember that you don’t need to try all of them. Not every type of content is suited to every brand, so if you don’t think that a certain type of content works well for your business, don’t worry about including it.

Still, don’t be afraid to experiment a little. Sometimes business owners will avoid different content types because they don’t know where to begin, they think it will take too long to create or they’re afraid to fail. Many tools are out there to help beginners create all types of content, so take a chance on something new and see how it performs.

Also, once you start learning how to create different types of content, don’t go crazy including something new every day. You’ll likely burn out and exhaust your ideas. Try a few new things each month to see how they perform, then commit to including the successful ones into your content calendar on a regular basis.

There are plenty of effective content types for you to choose from, and the more content you use, the more compelling your marketing strategy becomes. Content must always speak to the audience, however, so no matter what content type you choose, craft a message that the audience will share, listen to and learn from.