And why does it matter?
I always find it interesting how salespeople and marketers differ on this, especially in larger corporate businesses where sales and marketing teams are separated but need to communicate closely.
'Marketing do advertising and create fluffy nice looking brochures' you might hear the salesperson say 'while we go out and get the business in and close the deals'. The Marketer might retort that their efforts to show social proof of a great brand with great products have already done the hard work while the sales guy just needs to turn up, have a chat and walk away with the order... and the credit. These thoughts might be harsh, but the good news is they are both wrong.
The majority might argue that marketing and sales are separate but in reality, the two functions are (or in practice should be) very closely aligned. The job of the marketer amongst other things is to look after the customer but in a slightly different way to the salesperson. While a sales person can be more personal they can only reach out to so many people with phone calls or face to face visits.
Similarly, a good marketer should know how to drive customers online to sales pages (or landing pages) and should know how to create those pages in a way that converts visitors into paying customers. The marketer's job is to work with sales to generate opportunities and help close sales where the salesperson doesn't have the bandwidth.
Sales and marketing should work together in many different aspects to drive a business forward. Here are some examples:
- Participating at exhibitions needs marketing to support efforts in using email marketing, social media and other ways to drive visitors to the event where salespeople can build relationships and generate more qualified leads
- Sales teams can provide valuable customer and market feedback to help marketers create more effective solutions that in turn generate more sales and more easily
- Online advertising and landing pages should be designed to generate leads that salespeople can call, visit or email to qualify further and convert into sales
So, are sales and marketing the same?
In theory, they are different but both roles share the common objectives to generate profitable sales, possibly through slightly different activities but always with the customer in mind.
In smaller businesses, one person may look after and manage the whole sales and marketing process (as well as run the business) so the lines are blurred between the two functions. Whether you believe that sales and marketing are the same or not, it's important that the two functions are as closely integrated as possible for a business to succeed. You could argue that marketing IS selling and selling IS marketing. After all, in his book 'To Sell Is Human', Daniel Pink argues that everybody is a sales person and every day of our lives we are constantly selling something, whether it's convincing friends to go out for a drink, telling the kids how important homework is or asking the boss for a pay rise.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree?
For a free review of your sales and marketing activities, contact Think Twice Marketing.
Optimising your blog posts for SEO is a great way to attract more visitors to your site and generate more business.
If you aren't familiar with the term SEO or 'Search Engine Optimisation' it involves setting up your website or specific pages on your site so that they appear as high as possible in searches when using search engines such as Google or Microsoft Bing.
Because Google is so dominant in worldwide search, this blog post is focused on Google Search rather than other search engines although the way they all work is very similar. In this post, we are also focusing on using SEO for blog posts and not a website in general.
3 main ingredients of SEO
It's important for Google to return valuable content in its search results and, while nobody knows for sure how Google Algorithms work, it's widely accepted that it decides what content is high value based on the following:
- Pages with the same or similar wording
- How many people visit the page
- How long they stay on the page
Let's take an example and imagine for a minute that you are Google. Which one of the two pages would you show in your results for people searching for 'ways to save money on cleaning':
Blog 1: 'Cutting costs when tidying your home'
100 visits a month
Average time on page: 15 seconds
Blog 2: 'How to save money on cleaning your home'
3,000 visits a month
Average time on page: 2 minutes
It might seem obvious but Blog 2 has more visitors who stay and read the content for longer. It also has keywords such as 'save money' and 'cleaning' which are not in the title of Blog 1.
In reality, the way Google works is much more complex than this and there are other factors such as how you use the keywords in the content of the blog post (not just the title) and if your site is secure but if you follow the above principles you are heading in the right direction!
Here are some quick tips on how to SEO your blog posts:
There are various apps or websites you can use to test what the right keywords should be. A free and quick solution is also just to type into Google what you think the title or the keywords should be. As you type, Google will try to complete your sentence for you, showing what it thinks are good phrases or words that you could use.
You should also use this opportunity to see what it returns as the results. It might be that there is a lot of tough competition to beat and alternative phrases that are not so widely used might return better results.
Use video and images to keep readers on your page for longer
Using video is a great way to keep readers on your blog page. You might include videos as part of your content or have a video that provides a summary of some or all of your post. Images also help to keep the readers' attention including the use of a slideshow that makes the reader swipe left and right to find out information.
Use an app or plug-in to help you
Similar to when doing research, there are various solutions you can use to help make sure your blog post is written optimally for SEO. A popular one we recommend for WordPress users is Yoast. This plug-in has a free version that advises on how to improve your content, title and other elements.
Fill in your search title and description
Depending on what platform you use for your website or blog posts, how you do this will vary but it's important to fill in the search title and search description so that Google knows more about what your
blog post is about. These don't appear on your blog post but they do appear in Google search results.
Promote it on all your channels
Blog posts should ALWAYS be promoted online using social media, email marketing and other channels so that you can attract business. This also helps to get the number of people visiting your pages up so that Google sees how important your pages are. If you are serious about SEO then we highly recommend running a short Facebook Ads campaign promoting your blog post to get the number of visitors up even higher and in a shorter period of time.
We hope this has given you valuable information on how to SEO your blog posts. If you need help writing blog posts, why not get in touch?
The opinions in these blog posts are those of marketing professional and book author Darren Hignett.