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Marketing Consultant Myths Debunked

1. A marketing consultant won’t understand my business

You absolutely do not need your marketing consultant to fully understand every aspect of your business. You don’t hire a marketing consultant to manage your business, you hire them to hone in on the critical pieces of your business and do market research that will help them create an effective marketing strategy.

Having fresh eyes on your business practices often helps narrow in on what’s working, what isn’t and allows your marketing consultant to be creative and think outside the box you might have unintentionally put yourself in. While you will obviously want whoever you hire to have a general understanding of what it is you do or sell, you ultimately want them to be focused on their own area of expertise, not yours.

 

2. SEO is expensive

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts do involve paying for someone who has a certain expertise as well as the hours it will take for them to carry out a variety of tasks such as researching your industry, doing market research, writing keyword-rich content, building links, and analyzing results. Many business owners believe their money is better spent on Pay Per Click (PPC) efforts, which are faster to set up and have immediate results.

While it’s true that SEO cannot compete with the speed and ease of PPC, it most certainly wins out when it comes to lasting effects and cost over time. Keep in mind that if you want to pay for clicks, you’re going to have to work those costs into your budget every month because as soon as you stop shoveling money into your Google Adwords account, your traffic will plummet. SEO efforts, on the other hand, keep working for you long after you signed the check to your marketing consultant. The truth is, SEO is the much more cost-effective option.

 

3. No one will read or respond to long-form content

This myth is likely perpetuated by people’s severely shortened attention spans when browsing the internet. However, those 30-second attention spans generally pertain to things that appear on users’s Facebook feeds or as a suggested video, not something they actively searched out. This analysis definitively shows that in-depth, long-form content outperforms short content over and over again when it comes to search results.

 

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So if you are publishing a 200-300 word blog every so often to cover your content marketing efforts, you are not very likely to see any results. Marketing consultant services can be a very valuable asset when it comes to things such as creating in-depth content that draws people to your business and delivers results.

 

4. You don’t need a marketing consultant to run social media

Businesses often avoid allowing marketing consultants to set up social media accounts because they believe they can just handle it on their own, or pass it off an intern. If that’s what you think, consider the unfortunate Twitter mishap Digiorno suffered. A clueless employee at Digiorno Pizza saw that #IStayedBecause was trending on Twitter and tweeted “#IStayedBecause he had pizza,” accidentally offending millions because the #IStayedBecause hashtag was actually an outlet for victims of domestic abuse to speak out about reasons they had stayed with their abuser in the past. Ouch.

That’s just one of the many cringe-worthy social media mishaps that brands have suffered, many of which could have been avoided if companies had had a dedicated marketing consultant team in charge of their social media instead of an intern or some random millennial they assumed would understand Twitter.

The truth is, social media can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool, both through organic content and paid advertising, as long as you have a consistent strategy that is carried out by people who are dedicated to the task and knowledgeable in the nuances of social media.

 

5. Marketing consulting services are too expensive

Obviously, hiring an expert in any field involves paying for the expertise you are going to receive, but marketing consulting services don’t have to break the bank. Blank Page Consulting can go work with you to design a marketing strategy that fits into your budget, and start working on projects that will bring a return on your investment, because that’s what hiring a quality marketing consultant is – an investment in your business. If you don’t think you can afford to budget for marketing, consider this – can you afford not to, and risk losing customers to your competitors who were ready to take their marketing to the next level?

dear entrepreneur to be

Dear Entrepreneur-to-be…

Dear Entrepreneur-to-be,

I’m rooting for you. In fact, I’m kind of your biggest fan. I see your sparkle and I can’t wait to see what you do with this vision that’s driving you.

As you embark on 2016 with visions of business cards dancing in your head, ready to make the leap into the unknown, hoping that your talent and optimism will help you find a solid place to land, I want to share things with you I wish I’d known when I did the same a few years ago. I believe so much in the spirit of those that are willing to strike out on their own to do something different – something better – and I want you to have an easier time of it than I have.

The world won’t reward you for being talented alone.

You have to be willing to do things that make you uncomfortable – like networking and pitching people on your services, occasionally humble-bragging and actively seeking out new business. Yes, you’re talented, but your talent isn’t a spotlight in a loud room, where suddenly people see you and everything else goes dark and quiet in comparison. You’re a gifted person in world of gifted people. You still have to prove your worth and show people why they should want to work with you, listen to you, buy from you. Realize that now, and you’ll avoid tremendous difficulty later.

You will pay people to grow your company for you, and this may make you uncomfortable.

I struggled with this deeply in the first year of my business – essentially hiring people to make money for me. To alleviate my own guilt, I often paid them sums that were unreasonable for the market and gave bonuses, bought lunches, even while my business was still finding solid footing. In year 2, I began working more closely with my accountant who helped me reframe my way of thinking. I was providing them with value beyond their hourly – in the form of software subscriptions, working conditions, exposure to new projects and opportunities, resume-building connections and portfolios. Once this came into focus, my guilt and fears began to subside, and I was able to run my company from a more practical perspective, with my company’s stability being a higher priority.

No one will love your company as much as you do.

I tell my clients this all the time. Your company was born of your ambition to do something different and better. Your company only came into existence because of your sacrifice – financial, personal, or both. You have to be willing to market your own company to your friends and family, and associates, because your authenticity is what will help you stand out as your young company starts to grow. You have to understand that your employees will never be quite as invested in your company’s success or failure as you are – even with a really motivating pay structure.

If you’re going to make the leap in 2016, you have to be all in. Do the things that make you uncomfortable. Be an amazing boss, but manage with your company’s long-term viability in mind – so that you can continue to do something BETTER and DIFFERENT for your clients and customers for the long haul. And, perhaps most importantly, be your company’s greatest advocate. Shout what you’re doing from the rooftops. People are rooting for you to succeed. Go out there and do what you were meant to do – and do it well.

With love from a fellow entrepreneur, Danni CEO, Blank Page Consulting

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Higher education marketing consulting yields incredible results

 

Blank Page Consulting’s work with a national university results in 100% increase in student enrollment

Earlier this year, we were asked to assist a national university in marketing their new online Masters and Doctoral level exercise science programs to prospective students. This week, we learned that our work (Phase I of a planned multi-phase approach) resulted in a DOUBLE the enrollment in their fall semester over their spring. We are so thrilled to know that we helped them achieved this milestone, and wanted to share our approach, in the event that it can help others working on university enrollment marketing or higher education growth campaigns.

Setting Goals for Higher Education Marketing 

In meeting with the client, we laid out goals for a multi-phase approach to long-term growth and outreach to support the university’s brand awareness and growth. We set out to:

  • Increase the number of students enrolled in the programs
  • Enhance the professional reputation of the University’s program as a leader in exercise science education.
  • Attract high quality students
  • Attract and retain world-class faculty

Strategy & Tactics

In order to achieve these goals, we put our initial focus on:

  • Increase the number of students enrolled in the programs
    • Achieved with a comprehensive SEO and PPC strategy
    • Complemented with a strategic higher education social media strategy
    • Working to consider user experience on the website – enhancing content and design in order to improve the likelihood that visitors would want to reach out to recruiters and apply for the program.
  • Enhance the professional reputation of the University’s program as a leader in exercise science education.
    • Creating content to showcase their expertise as leaders in athletic training and exercise sports medicine.
      • Worked to showcase student success, job placement, employability
      • Highlighted program flexibility, asynchronous curriculum, program cost saving and value.
  • Attract high quality students and world-class faculty
    • Achieved by working with recruiters to develop a better experience for students
    • Creating content to highlight achievements of students and instructors
    • Working to develop a broader strategy to grow brand name awareness with their industry

Higher Education Marketing & SEO Impact

At the end of this short-term consulting engagement, we were able to provide the university with long-term plan recommendations that would ultimately DOUBLE their registration from the spring to fall semester. During the short period where we worked hands-on with their team, we were able to realize the following increases:

SEO Impact 

In just 3 months, we were able to improve the university’s search visibility for their strategic keywords from 2.49% to 10.49%. We also realized the following improvements:

  • 622% increase in search impressions
  • 127.94% increase in clicks from search
  • 8.88% increase in keyword positions overall

General Website Analytics

In just 3 months, we were able to realize the following website traffic improvements:

  • 85% increase in sessions since start
  • 107% increase in users since start
  • 15% increase in bounce rate (reviewing)

Is your university seeking a higher education marketing consulting team to increase brand name awareness and to increase student enrollment? We’d absolutely love to help. Contact us to discuss your goals and to learn more about the support we can offer.