Last month I began my journey towards simpler, more focused digital marketing. And hopefully as a welcome bonus: less stress – and more success:)
Basically I’ve given myself this 12-month digital marketing challenge:
How much can I grow my business by using ONLY the digital marketing tools available on the Rainmaker Platform?
Essentially reducing my digital marketing to the max ?
For the next 11 months I’m doing everything I can to simplify my marketing – striving to use only the content marketing tools of the Rainmaker Platform. Truly use what Rainmaker offers.
3 vital questions will be answered:
- Will I need to supplement Rainmaker with other digital marketing tools?
- Can I muster the courage and willpower execute/perform?
- Can I part with all the digital marketing tools I’m currently using?
Accountability is a great thing – although scary at times. It beats perfectionism and procrastination (two sides of the same coin). So at the start of each month, I gather and share my key metrics and results with you – in a blog post, like this one!
WebMatros KPI Report – May 2016
My current digital marketing tools list
Last month I began with a list of 24 content marketing tools and services total – in addition to Rainmaker. Did I succeed in reducing that number? Read on! Below are my notes for each tool. Spoiler alert: some got killed!
♥ = amount of love for current tool/service. ♥ heart = a little. ♥ ♥ hearts = some. ♥ ♥ ♥ hearts = a whole lotta luv.
RIP = tool/service axed. Number of crosses indicate ferocity of execution. ✝ cross = a reluctant goodbye. ✝✝ crosses = “jolly good fella – he just ‘adda go”. ✝✝✝ crosses = executed at dawn, with no last breakfast.
- ♥ ♥ Advanced Marketing Institute’s Headline Analyzer – I’m gathering data to determine whether this or CoSchedule’s headline analyzer best predicts / correlates with my audience.
- ✝ Alexa – I love Alexa for market/keyword research and competitor analysis. I just realized I only need it about once a year.
- ♥ Buffer – Better than Rainmaker’s social scheduling tool. However, I wonder whether cross-posting across networks is even a good idea? Thoughts?
- ✝ BuzzSumo – Great for audience research and competitor analysis, but like with Alexa: I realized I only need it about once a year or so.
- ♥ ♥ CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer – See notes above for Advanced Marketing Institute’s Headline Analyzer.
- ♥ ♥ Crazy Egg – Excellent for heatmaps (seeing where on pages users click and scroll to).
- ♥ ♥ Followerwonk – Not for Twitter analytics but for audience research. How do they describe themselves (in their bio) f.e.
- ♥ Google AdWords – Its Keyword Planner is useful for combining lists of words to new combinations. Not just keywords.
- ♥ ♥ Google Analytics – Rainmaker gets its stats from it, making it a definite essential/keeper. I’ve loathed Analytics in the past, but recently derived great insights and answers to vital business questions, easing my GA-reluctance a bit.
- ♥ ♥ ♥ Google Search Console (f.k.a. Webmaster Tools) – Essential. It’s how Google perceives our websites.
- ♥ ♥ ♥ Google Trends – I still love Google Trends. I’m almost addicted to it.
- ♥ Heap Analytics – Still wondering whether Google Analytics’ new Cohort Analysis and User Explorer features can replace Heap for me. Thoughts?
- ♥ ♥ ♥ Hello Bar – I love it! Simple, elegant and effective. The world’s easiest A/B split-testing tool.
- ✝✝✝ RIP ✝✝✝ Hootsuite – Booted for its UI-ugliness. And I’m losing faith in the notion of cross-posting content across social media platforms. Didn’t even just stop using, staying on the free plan. No… I fully deleted my account with a vengeance. And no: that owl got no breakfast!
- ♥ ♥ ♥ KeywordTool.io – Still digging its question-based keyword research – great for content creation.
- ✝ ♥ ✝ Mailchimp – A sad goodbye to Freddie. We’re still in a relationship – but I’m shamelessly dating Rainmaker’s hot new email service on the side. Knowing me, knowing you… We all know where this is going Freddie…
- ✝✝ RIP ✝✝ Majestic – With Moz Pro, I don’t really need it.
- ♥ Moz Content – Moz’ new BuzzSumo alternative. Buggy “as beta” (yet not in beta) – I’ll keep it around for a month or two more, hoping they fix it.
- ♥ ♥ Moz Pro – A full SEO suite. Useful… when one is using it, which takes effort. I’ll commit to that in the coming months though. Will get back to that in a minute.
- ♥ Perry Marshall’s marketing tools – On the brink of my abandonment. Still, occasionally useful tools.
- ✝✝ RIP ✝✝ SEMrush – As above with Majestic: using Moz Pro, I don’t really need it.
- ♥ ♥ SEO Book’s tools – The Keyword List Cleaner has been indispensable for me.
- ✝✝✝ RIP ✝✝✝ SERPs Keyword Research Database – totally lacked keyword data for some (newer) popular keywords, leading me to the conclusion its database is past its expiry date. Mold and all. Obviously axed.
- ♥ ♥ Vimeo – still intend to check whether Rainmaker’s built-in video hosting is good enough to replace Vimeo.
Of 24 marketing tools and services used last month, I’ve already axed 6 of them, taking the total down to 18. Still a lot, me finks! Agree?
Anyway… I also added a new tool (Mixpanel’s A/B Split Testing Calculator) to the mix! Making the total: 19 tools/services.
The woes of A/B Split-test significance calculators
I’ve begun A/B split-testing a lot with Hello Bar, last month. I love how easy it is with Hello Bar.
However… most A/B split-test significance calculators (of which there are many) are very unforgiving – relentlessly reporting anything below 95% significance: not valid. While that’s true (and I am aware of the many pitfalls of A/B split-testing) I’m not running a phase 3 medical trial for a biotech company, that have to publish the results to a peer-reviewed science journal + the FDA.
95% significance requires a lot of traffic and conversions. That means running each test for many months. Not viable.
Not all A/B Split-testing calculators are created equal though! I’ve thoroughly tested many of them, and I like Mixpanel’s simple A/B Split Testing Calculator a lot. It reports from 80% significance and up. Yes, sometimes 85% or 90% is enough confidence for me. Now, I may (or may not) decide to run such a test for longer. Nevertheless it’s nice to have a a wider margin to work with, and the choice to run the test longer, if uncertainty is still an issue.
I guess we can say Mixpanel’s Split Testing Calculator is “A/B split-testing significance for the rest of us”.
Trivia: did you know that Tim Ferriss split-tested the title of his bestselling book, to arrive at the title “The 4-hour Work Week”? Cool eh? The original working title was Drug Dealing for Fun & Profit.
Did I reach my Top 3 Goals for May 2016?
My top 3 goals for May, focused on collecting more email addresses. Or, rather; making it possible for me to collect email addresses.
Goal #1: Sort out my email marketing platform
I love ConvertKit. If they went public, I’d buy as many stocks as I could get my hands on. Solid product that solves the specific needs and challenges of bloggers and online marketers much much better than the current market leader – Mailchimp – who’ve rested on their… banana peels… for far too long.
However, as much as I love ConvertKit, the Rainmaker Platform’s fresh new native email service is too good to pass. A fully integrated part of the Rainmaker Platform, it’s hard not to see the convenience as well as huge future potential for ultra-tight, super-neat marketing automation formulas. The pricing per email subscriber is extremely competive too, something I’ll appreciate when my lists have grown “much huger” :o)
I haven’t yet migrated my subscribers from Mailchimp to the Rainmaker email service though. That’s a goal for June! But new subscribers are already going to Rainmaker instead of Mailchimp. So far so good. I’ll miss Freddie though!
Goal #2: Create more landing pages (with opt-in forms) offering unique, real value
Red ears… I didn’t execute on that one… Due to time-pressure, I decided to create Hello Bars, popups and page takeovers instead. I’m glad that got done.
Goal #3: Send more traffic to the landing pages
My plan was to blog more often (aiming for one blog post per week) and use Hello Bars to direct site-wide traffic to relevant landing pages (with opt-in forms). As you can read above, I did create the Hello Bar stuff. I just did not “blog often” – I blogged once. Hmmm. Bummer. Not good. I did however write some cool drafts that’ll will be released during June. So I guess you can say I’ve set myself up for success this month, by failing my goals last month :o)
So… with May 2016 now “a thing of the past” (literally) what’s my focus for June?
Top 3 Goals for June 2016
With email opt-ins now in place, I need more traffic. So “more traffic” will be my goal for June 2016.
I’m off to a bad start though! As you can see on the scorecard; my organic traffic is trending downwards. Not good! Whether it’s just a seasonal thing (summer holidays) is of no relevance to me. It’s still my job and duty to make sure it doesn’t affect me 🙂
Goal #1: Create new, highly relevant, targeted/focused content
Post more new content. Publish at least 4 new blog posts, in June. Needless to say, I’m referring to GREAT, genuinely useful and relevant content – I don’t believe in pumping out meaningless “10 Tips to Be a Pinterest Superstar” blog posts on a daily basis. That’s not content marketing. That’s content pollution, IMNSHO.
Goal #2: Update and optimize old content
I have lots of old content that needs serious updating. Good idea me thinks! “Help” old content perform better.
Goal #3: Leave Freddie. Get engaged with Rainmaker’s hot new email service
Switch fully from Mailchimp to the native Rainmaker email service. Mailchimp no more. Freddie no more. In June I’ll migrate all my current subscriber lists to the Rainmaker email service. I’ll also set up the usual opt-in confirmation emails, templates and such.
What will that switch give me? Easier, more targeted email marketing – with less friction. That’s the benefit to me, the sender. But to you, the recipient, it’ll let me deliver more relevant content. I hate spam more than most people – heck, I even deem most outreach emails 100% unsolicited spam. Hence I intend my email marketing to be hyper-targeted, radically relevant.
Final thoughts on May vs June and this Marketing Challenge
Summer? Yes. Low traffic? Hell no.
As expected, this is a tough challenge! That said: I believe June will be more fruitful than May:)
Your questions and ideas/suggestions are very welcome! Write a comment below!
Any tips or comments? Am I the only one suffering from marketing overwhelm? How about you?