As the global leader in digital marketing, WSI Digital Marketing in Montreal is proud to introduce one of our network’s consultants to discuss how you can digitally transform your business in 2021. Kelly Biggs has over 20 years’ experience in sales and marketing, obtained her MBA in 2009, and has won numerous awards including Top Sales Consultant at Fortune 500 and small to medium businesses.
Here is a recap of the 45 minute presentation.
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation incorporates digital technology into all areas of business which results in fundamental changes to how your business operates and the value that you bring to your customers. It requires a willingness to experiment and being at ease with failure.
It is important to note that transformation is driven by customers NOT your business. You must always lead with the customer experience in mind.
Should You Digitally Transform Your Business?
It might be time to digitally transform your business if you have experienced any of the following:
Decreased (or lack of) referrals.
Repeat business is falling off.
Your technology feels old.
Five Ways to Digitally Transform Your Business
End-to-end digital processes keep the customer in mind and should be performed concurrently and continuously.
1. Attract Prospects
Inbound marketing is designed to drive prospective customers to your website using enticing content such as; keyword research, PPC, SEO, content marketing and social.
A successful inbound marketing strategy has the potential to generate high quality leads.
You can make the most of your inbound marketing strategies by:
Building a buyer persona to fully understand your target market.
Leveraging keyword research to increase SEO and marketability of content.
Showing up where your customers spend their time online.
2. Convert Visitors
When someone visits your website the goal is to convert them into leads and ultimately into clients. This is important because conversions will improve your ROI.
There are 2 ways to convert visitors into leads:
Traffic focused approach: increase traffic to your website to get more leads.
Conversion focused approach: increase the conversion rate of the visitors that are already on your site.
3. Close Leads
Once you capture your leads in the marketing or sales funnel, you want to turn them into customers. Sales and marketing automation can help you do this more effectively.
The benefits of sales and marketing automation:
Create workflows in advance and automate repeatable processes.
Pinpoint sales and marketing KPIs to increase ROI.
Personalize the customer experience.
Increase sales team efficiency.
Email automation nurtures top-of-funnel leads as they move through to sales-qualified leads.
CRM – customer relationship management – allows sales teams to walk leads through the sales funnel using established processes until the sale is closed (and beyond).
Establish sales stages.
Set weekly cadence.
Review stalled deals.
Evaluate data without judgement.
4. Delight Customers
Your online reputation is critical to your success. A great online reputation helps build your credibility which can generate more customers.
Most businesses are not proactively managing their online reputations.
Online reputation management (ORM) allows you to control online conversations about your business, because 79% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations:
Set up a process to proactively get reviews.
Respond to all reviews within 24 hours. A bad review is an opportunity to engage.
Measure your ratings to identify how you can improve.
5. Measure Your Performance
Measuring the performance of your marketing efforts is critical to your success.
Here are some reasons why you should use analytics to measure your performance:
Today, consumers rely more and more on the information Google serves up to them when researching products/services or making a purchase decision. And with the top 3 paid ads getting 41% of the clicks in Google, brands across industries invest heavily in Google Ads to try and capture more sales-ready leads.
But to make a return on your Google ad investment, you need to optimize your campaigns continuously. Including tweaking and refining your ad groups, ad copy, keyword phrases, and even your landing pages, all while paying attention to your consumer’s purchase behaviors.
So, how can you make sure you have a solid search strategy in place that includes a strong organic presence and paid search ad placement? And how can you get a better ROI from your Google Ad campaigns?
Join us at our webinar on October 21st. As a Google Premier Partner, we’ve lined up Angelina Miller, an Agency Development Manager at Google, to be our guest speaker and share key insights around Google Ads.
Here are the details:
PPC Optimization Tips from Google
Wednesday, October 21st @ 9 AM PDT / 12 PM EDT / 4 PM UTC Featuring Guest Speaker: Angelina Miller, Agency Development Manager at Google
In just 45 minutes, you’ll learn:
Why having a solid PPC strategy in place is so important and how to plan, execute and optimize paid ad campaigns effectively
What the latest search experiences your consumers are having and how they are impacting brand perception
PPC optimization tips directly from Google you could get started to build strong and effective Google Ads campaigns
Spots are filling up fast, so register to claim your seat. Doesn’t fit with your schedule? Don’t worry—as long as you register, we’ll make sure you get the recording and slides from the session so you won’t miss a thing.
Summary: A quick recap, plus the recording from our Ahead of the Curve webinar on How Using Video Creates Revenue, Retention, and Relationships.
If you’re an avid reader of our blog posts, you’ll know that WSI has been in the digital marketing space for quite some time – 25 years to be exact!
So, when the Coronavirus pandemic hit, we knew we had a responsibility to share our digital marketing expertise and help businesses around the world navigate through COVID-19.
One way we are doing this is through our Ahead of the Curve webinar series, which aims to share digital marketing tips and best practices on key tactics that can help you overcome the marketing obstacles you’re facing today.
Our digital marketing educational webinar series kicked off this past Wednesday to an impressive response and covered the topic of video marketing, and specifically, How Using Video Creates Revenue, Retention, and Relationships. In this session, Ryan Kelly and Cynthia Barillas from the WSI Smart Marketing team based out of California, USA, joined us to share six ways you can use video across the core areas of your business.
We’ve included a quick recap below, and the full webinar recording can be found at the end of this blog post.
1. Use Video During the Prospect and Client Communication to Boost Sales
The next time you jump on GoToMeeting or Zoom (or whichever virtual meeting technology you are using), turn on your webcam. Sharing your webcam when conducting a virtual meeting humanizes the conversation you are having with your prospect or client. You can’t read a person’s emotion or passion or share how much you care about their business as effectively over text as you can with video.
2. Use Video in your Emails to Enhance Your Customer Service
Delivering exceptional customer service isn’t always about how fast you can answer a question or get an issue resolved. A lot of the time, customer service is enhanced by the type of rapport or relationship you can build your customers. Using video in your emails to share a quick how-to, results of a service you delivered, or even just to say hi and check-in, will take your customer communications to that next level.
3. Use Video in Your Social Media to Make Your Post More Engaging
Social media is one of the easiest ways to incorporate video into your business. As part of your social media strategy, consider adding video to your social posts and stories. Look into doing a live video stream on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube to share content with your followers immediately. Social media is a great way to share new video content but also video content you have created in the past as well.
4. Use Video on Your Website to Showcase Your Client Testimonials and Solutions
Adding video to your website is the quickest way to make your web pages more engaging. Today’s website visitors are much more likely to consume content by watching it than reading it,
especially on their smartphone. Videos are also more likely to keep your visitors on your website longer and even entice them to fill out a form. So take a moment to go through your website and make a note of any content that could easily be adapted into a video – like blog posts, FAQs, service and product pages, or client case studies.
5. Use Video in Your Marketing Messages to Build Your Brand and Reputation
Video is a great way to show-off your service expertise and builds your professional brand and reputation. If you’re looking to make a name for yourself and become a recognized expert in your industry, set-up a YouTube channel and start sharing essential tips, tricks, and advice that your target audience is looking for in video format. Then, optimize these videos to build up a following, and you’ll be on your way to being a trusted expert in your field.
6. Use Video while Your Team Works from Home to Increase Employee Engagement
Many businesses and employees were thrust into a remote working environment as lockdown protocols suddenly took effect due to COVID-19. During this time, when many outside factors could negatively impact your employee morale, business owners and team leads must be doing what they can to maintain your company culture and keep employee engagement up. Turn those webcams on during your team meetings, bring all employees and departments together in weekly team huddles, and for all the CEOs and Presidents out there – send the occasional company update via video.
For more details on all of the above, watch the recording from our webinar, How Using Video Creates Revenue, Retention, and Relationships (posted below).
We hope all our WSI friends, clients and business contacts are staying healthy, complying with the social distancing policy and coping with the Coronavirus situation that our country and the world find ourselves in and are able to keep a positive frame of mind.
Our Montreal Digital marketing team has put together a list of valuable marketing tips that will not only keep you keep you busy during this quiet time but will improve your Web presence and social media properties and allow you to rebound faster on the other side of this work stoppage.
How to Make the Most of this Downtime
Social Media Announcements
The quickest way to reach your audience is via social media. Make a post and let everyone know exactly what your business is doing. Include working hours, remote work, and any changes to your service and the easiest way to communicate with you and your team. During a time when people have less physical access to your business, you can stay connected on social media and share positive messages.
Post Notices on Your Website
Consider adding a popup to attract website visitors’ attention or add a note on the homepage that’s easily visible. Include helpful information about what your business is currently doing. Remember to update your hours, contact info, location, availability, etc.
Take This Time to Update Your Website
Since our government has paused business activity for the next few weeks for the sake of our country’s health, why not take this opportunity to make the revisions to your Web presence that you have been putting aside for the past few months.
Create New Content
In Google’s eyes, content is king. Our Montreal SEO team are big advocates of fresh new content that prospects or clients would find valuable and informative. Consider writing some FAQs that would be of value for Google’s voice search. Create a Case Study demonstrating how you helped a client solve a unique situation. By creating new content, it may help increase your search ranking results, so it will pay off in the longer term.
Proactively Work on your Online Reputation
People have plenty of time on their hands over the next few weeks. Take this opportunity to contact clients and ask for reviews and testimonials in Google My Business, Facebook or LinkedIn. Reviews are important credibility boosters and these user-generated content pieces can be shared on your social media channels in the future.
Create a New Social Media Channel
You have been meaning to create that new social media channel and there is no time like the present. Read a few articles about getting started and go for it. Research some of your competitors for ideas about what to post. Set up your profile with all the relevant info about your business and come up with a plan of the type of info to post and then write a few posts, choose your visuals and then just start. You will learn along the way. If you do not have the time, our WSI marketing team can help you with your social media on an ongoing basis.
Update Your Online Listings
Google My Business, Yelp, Bing Local, etc. These are often the first things people see when searching for your business. Make sure they are updated with your hours and service info.
Send an Email
Yes, we all received numerous emails from businesses about COVID-19 but it’s still important for your business to reach out. Customers (especially those with current purchases, appointments, reservations) should know what’s going and what to expect from you.
Our WSI Team is Here to Help and we are Fully Operational
Here at WSI Digital Marketing, we continue to work remotely, serving our clients. We have launched a number of new websites in the past couple of weeks and have started a number of new projects that our clients decided to initiate, while things are quieter than normal to be better prepared to attract new customers when people get back to work. Our focus is on helping our clients stay relevant during this time, so they can rebound quickly.
Our Message of Hope
It’s such an uncertain time but our hearts are filled with hope. People all over the world are taking action, communities are supporting each other both offline and online. We will get through this and we will better ourselves because of it. Our team is fortunate enough to have the ability to work from home. We are 100% available for our clients and community and are here to provide guidance, discuss new initiatives and are here to support you and your business.
We wish everyone to stay healthy, safe, and hopeful.
At its core, WordPress is a very secure content management system (CMS). However, lack of security updates, maintenance and neglectful security updates can leave a WordPress site vulnerable to attacks. A hacked website can be very damaging for any business owner and it can lead to a loss of your online reputation. There are an estimated 75,000,000 sites online using WordPress and the majority of the most popular websites are vulnerable to an attack due to the lack of maintenance.
At WSI we value the importance of an updated system, plugins and files. We ensure the following:
Setup the right WordPress security plugin,
Schedule updates for WordPress plugins
Configure and deploy automatic backup and recovery tools
Secure reliable WordPress hosting that is complimented by web application firewalls for intrusion prevention
This is our Typical Setup for the System and Protection of a WordPress Website
WordPress Security Plugin
Using a trusted plugin we lock down WordPress and change its various default values that are typical for hackers to target. This prevents brute force intrusion attempts, file change detection, 404 detections, lockout bad users, hide login and much more. We receive monthly reporting of the overall security grade for proper monitoring of the system status and set requirements to review user passwords on a regular basis to deter bots from targeting a specific user. Best practices for strong password enforcement typically including 8-15 characters, 1 lower case, 1 uppercase, 1 special character and something unique for that user account.
WordPress Plugin Updates
Updating plugins is the most important maintenance factor for WordPress. 40% of online WordPress websites are vulnerable to hackers because of a lack of updates. We will always update plugins immediately when we’re notified of a potential vulnerability or exploit detected by the plugin author. Every quarter we update all of the other plugins on the website. Once the updates are complete we perform a thorough quality control check to ensure nothing has been compromised and verify that the version of the WordPress CMS is updated to the latest security patch.
We work with a sophisticated backup and restore plugin that will automatically backup and save the website files and database once a month on a secure remote server. If ever there are any issues we can use this to restore anything caused by broken code, a broken plugin or if any content was accidentally deleted. Website backups are always performed before any plugins or WordPress version is updated to ensure a roll-back is easily accessible in case of conflicts.
Secure Web Hosting
Our trusted partners use high performing load-balancers using NGINX that securely and rapidly deliver fast content served with always updated PHP versioning. Our Server performance complimented by a secured (SSL) Content Delivery Network (CDN), provides powerful load speed and the secure delivery of content and images. Server monitoring is also set to detect if there’s an intrusion through unsecured ports and will lock them out if there’s a suspicious login attempt.
Use of a Web Application Firewall & Protection Against Input Fields
The Firewall authenticates and blocks out the bad robots attempting to break into your site in a single session or steal any data that it can scrape. It detects them and blocks them out of the site and server. We also use a secure form system that prohibits any cross-site scripting (XSS) and locks out any backdoor attempts considered to be vulnerabilities or potential exploits.
Without a thorough checklist it can be very difficult to remember all of these steps but at WSI we are continuously proactive in the maintenance of WordPress CMS, plugins, files to secure and protect our customers. Learn more about our WordPress maintenance and security or feel free to contact us to discuss your needs.