4 Texas Companies with Killer Unique Selling Propositions

No matter what products or services your company offers, you have competition. Even if you’re the first to market with, say, a unicorn that helps out with household chores, you’re bound to see other companies offering a similar product soon (let’s not get too caught up in the logistics of the unicorn business analogy). The only way to survive is to show that you are different and can deliver something to your customers that others cannot.

This is your unique selling proposition (USP), and it should clearly explain how you set yourself apart from your competition.

So what makes for a really, really good USP? Rather than trying to nail down a magic formula (there isn’t one), I’m going to share 4 examples of businesses that I think do a great job of connecting with customers on the basis of their USP. And, since Leverage is an Austin-based business, I’ve chosen to highlight 4 other companies headquartered in the Lone Star state.

Bunkhouse Group

Photo Credit: Todd Dwyer


Most vacation rental and hotel groups tend to focus on their properties’ modern amenities and nearby attractions. However, the Austin-based Bunkhouse Group has taken the opposite approach with their El Cosmico vacation rentals—they emphasize the lack of modern technology and nearby metro areas—and it’s working.

El Cosmico is a collection of tents, tepees, yurts, and trailers in sparse West Texas, near Marfa. Most rental units don’t have their own kitchens, but there is a communal cookhouse. Showers are outdoors. Cell phone reception is spotty. And somehow, Bunkhouse makes this seem amazing by tapping into a desire that many of us have to temporarily disconnect from the modern world. Check out their ‘Mananifesto’ to see how they really sell this concept.

Sometimes it pays to take the opposite approach of others in your industry. Tweet: Show how something that might be perceived as a weakness actually make you stronger and sets you apart.


Perform a Google search for ‘cloud faxing’ and you’ll find that there’s actually a pretty crowded field. Scrypt is one of many, but they manage to stand out by targeting a specific demographic: healthcare and insurance providers.

Scrypt’s cloud faxing system is HIPAA-compliant, meaning it adheres to strict regulations that have been established to keep patients’ personal healthcare information private. The average small business owner or freelancer might not need such a high level of security for their faxed documents, and as a result they probably won’t turn to Scrypt. However, Scrypt’s HIPAA-compliance standards are ideal for customers in healthcare—which is a $2.9 trillion dollar industry. Scrypt certainly isn’t hurting for having targeted its unique selling proposition to one vertical.

Don’t try to be all things to all people. Tweet: Hone in on a selling point that will appeal to a specific demographic whose needs aren’t being met by your competitors.

Fueld Films

Fueld Films specializes in turnkey video production (meaning that if you need to film a commercial production, they’ll source an entire production team and make it happen) and currently has offices in Austin, Denver, and Salt Lake City. There are plenty of other companies that have the resources and connections necessary to put together a production crew, but Fueld Films positions themselves as the company that really connects with their clients and understands creative industries. Here’s an excerpt from their ‘About Us’ page:

Our production team gets to know you, your client and your creative idiosyncrasies. We’re the best friend you can call in the middle of the night and we’ll show up with booze, or ice cream, or that extra camera no one thought you could afford.

I’m not currently planning a large-scale video production, so I haven’t tested Fueld on their middle-of-the-night promise, but I like that they take a friendly, offbeat approach to describing their services rather than simply saying something clichéd like “We go the extra mile”. They’re able to show off their dedication in a way that is likely to appeal to clients working in creative industries.

Tweet: Don’t be afraid to sound like a real person when sharing your unique selling proposition. You’re selling to humans, so connect with them by showing the human side of your company.

Vital Farms

Photo Credit: Vital Farms

Eggs may not be the easiest product to make unique, but Vital Farms has found their niche. They started as a single farm just outside of Austin, with 50 egg-laying hens roaming around plenty of open pasture space. The business now consists of about 90 family farms which collectively produce 1.5 million eggs every week. As the company has scaled, they have remained true to their original vision: they take a humane and ethical approach to chicken farming that yields high-quality eggs.

Vital Farms’ eggs aren’t cheap—a dozen typically costs between $4.99 and $8.99 at grocery stores. To be able to sell their product at such a high price point, Vital Farms has to work hard to show that the cost is worth it. Their website is full of valuable information about the benefits of pasture-raised eggs, and each carton of eggs comes with a mini-newspaper (The Vital Times) that cover topics related to sustainable agriculture and the hens raised by Vital Farms. Their significant growth in the past couple of years shows that the approach is working.

Tweet: Think about what motivates your customers. People are often willing to spend a little more for a cause they believe in.

Know of any other unique businesses in Texas, or anywhere else in the US? Let me know about them in the comments!

21 Resources to Improve Your Visual Content [UPDATED]

You’ve probably already figured out that visual content is valuable to marketing—it’s eye-catching, can be processed more quickly than text, and helps add variety to written content. But how do you choose the right images for your brand, avoid copyright infringement, or even create your own original visual content if you don’t have a design background? You’ll find the answers to these questions and more in the link roundup below.

Getting Started

The Science of Great Visuals

You shouldn’t have to wildly stab in the dark to come up with effective visuals for your website, blog, or social media channels. This post looks at design ideas such as the value of a simple layout, how fonts can match a brand message, and how certain colors evoke strong emotions and promote sharing.

How to Get More Engagement with Your Visual Content (Infographic)

After sharing some statistics on the value of visual content, this infographic dives into some actionable tips to help you create images that will make your audience take notice. One of the things I found most useful in this infographic was the breakdown of all the different image dimensions for the biggest social media platforms. Refer to this guide to avoid ever awkwardly cropping a social media photo again.

Want People to Share Your Visual Content? Avoid These 6 Common Mistakes

Sometimes the best way to learn how to do something is to see examples of what not to do. This article covers some of the most common mistakes brands make in visual content marketing, from using images that don’t fit the message to obscuring images with too much text.

Tips for Creating a Visual Content Marketing Strategy

This slide show put together by the Content Marketing Institute relays what classic children’s stories can teach us about visual content marketing and how to implement these ideas in our strategies.

Useful Tools

100 Brilliant Color Combinations and How to Apply Them to Your Designs

If you’re an aspiring graphic designer, or even if you’re a non-designer tasked with creating visuals for your company, you may want to bookmark this post and reference it whenever you need to create a colorful image. The 100 palettes shared here are helpfully broken down into 4 categories: nature-inspired, food and drink-inspired, travel-inspired, and everyday item-inspired.

7 Best Visual Marketing Apps to Create Social Media Graphics

I don’t have a background in design, so whenever I need to create or edit images, I rely on free, user-friendly tools like Canva and Pixlr. You can learn about these and 5 other handy online design tools in this post.

The Ultimate List of Visual Content Tools

While it’s generally better to use original images whenever possible, this post contains a good list of sites where you can find high-quality, free images to incorporate in your content. It also has a list of easy-to-use design tools, including tools you can use to create and edit images directly from your smartphone or tablet.

Going Beyond the Basics

Animate Your Social Media Marketing with GIFs

Have you ever considered using GIFs (short, looped animations, usually from TV shows or movies) to add some humor to your marketing? Check out this post to learn how to use GIFs well and avoid copyright issues. (Note: This post says that you can’t share GIFs on Facebook, but Facebook recently issued an update that allows for GIFs in status updates.)

How to Create a Cinemagraph in 7 Easy Steps

Cinemagraphs—still photos with subtle, looped animation added in—look pretty cool and can definitely help your images stand out on social media. If you have Photoshop and a little bit of time, use this step-by-step guide to learn how to make your own cinemagraphs.

This Is Your Brain on Emojis

Whether you’re a fan of the trend or not, it’s becoming more and more common for people to communicate using tiny smiley faces, palm trees, hearts, and other emojis. Check out some examples of brands that get emojis right and read through tips to use emojis in your marketing without being obnoxious.

The Power of Instagram

How to Promote Your Business with Instagram

Instagram can be a great place for brand exposure, as long as you don’t take an overly sales-oriented approach. This article has some useful tips for how to fit in on Instagram and even collaborate with social influencers to build your following.

How to Gain a Massive Following on Instagram

This Buffer blog post shares the value of posting on Instagram consistently, engaging with similar accounts, cross-promoting on other platforms, and more. And the nice thing about this guide is that all the tips are backed up by cold, hard research.

These Luxury Hotel Ads Use Instagram Shots Instead of Professional Photos

This is a great example of how user-generated photos can help build credibility. If you decide to go for this approach, just make sure you get permission to use the photos in your advertising!

Getting Social

How Much is Too Much Visual Content on Social Media?

It’s a question that’s worth thinking about before you start making every single social media update an animal meme. Marketing experts weigh in here, and the general conclusion seems to be that it’s important to have a variety of content types, and that images are appropriate as long as they are on-brand and do not distract from your message.

10 Simple Design Hacks to Increase Your Social Media Traffic with Visual Content

Some of my favorite tips from this Canva post are to think of your page headers as a billboard, make the most important terms biggest when using typography, and share visuals that encourage your audience to reply.

5 Visual Storytelling Tips to Power Your Content Marketing on Facebook

This post reminds us that videos on Facebook get twice the shares of text posts and links combined—so you’d better make sure you’re using images to tell compelling brand stories. You’ll get some helpful tips on how to do that here.

4 Visual Marketing Ideas to Boost Twitter Engagement

Twitter may not be as big on images as Instagram and Facebook, but you can still share images on the platform and should absolutely take advantage of that.

11 Killer Tips to Leverage SlideShare’s Power in Your Visual Content Marketing

SlideShare is often overlooked as a social platform, but with an average of 3 billion presentation views per month and more traffic from business owners than any other major social media site, it clearly has a lot of potential as a visual content marketing tool.

Top 5 SlideShare Marketing Tips

Want to learn how to generate leads from SlideShare? This is the article for you.

How to Get More from SlideShare

The advice in this post is worth listening to because it’s coming straight from the people behind SlideShare. This is a good place to start if you’re trying to figure out what kind of visual content does well on this platform.

Bonus Resource

70+ Free Image Sites to Make Your Content Dazzle

While I already shared SEMRush’s list of where to find free images online, I also wanted to share this even more expansive list. The more options you have for free images, the less likely you are to end up recycling the same overused stock photos in your online content. Just remember to review the licensing rules for each site and give credit where credit is due!

Know of any great articles on visual content that I missed? Let me know in the comments!

7 Ways To Conquer Summer Hospitality Marketing Online

School’s out, leisure travel’s up. If you work in the hospitality industry, summer is probably your busiest season. But are you getting as many visitors as you could from your online marketing efforts? If your online marketing went into hibernation this winter and failed to get a fresh start this spring, it’s especially important to make some changes now.

Here are 7 actionable tips to help travelers find your site when they’re booking their summer trip.

Update your website content to reflect the season.

As a hospitality business, failing to keep your website updated is kind of like leaving your Christmas lights up year round… only worse. Not only does an infrequently updated website look bad, it’s also likely to rank lower in the search engine results pages (SERPs) than sites that regularly add new, original content—and that means visitors are less likely to discover you organically.

Of course, SEO value isn’t the only good reason to add fresh summer content to your site. Chances are, visitors who land on your site are already contemplating a summer getaway, and having visual and written content that aligns with their wants will help convince them to book. Try adding bright outdoor photos taken on or around your property, and consider writing summer guides letting visitors know what there is to do in your area this time of year.

Make sure your site is optimized for mobile.

According to a recent update from Google, mobile searches have outpaced desktop searches in the US and 9 other countries. On top of that, sites that are mobile-friendly (i.e. are easy to read and navigate no matter what size screen they’re on) rank higher in the SERPs than those that are not optimized for mobile.

Even if they convert on a desktop computer, many of your prospective guests will begin their summer travel research on a phone or tablet, so you need to make sure your site utilizes responsive design and looks good on all screen sizes.

Pay attention to the window between booking and traveling.

Many hotels and vacation rental companies are discovering that the window between when a guest books a room and when they arrive has narrowed considerably in the last several years. To figure out when your PPC ads for summer travel will be most effective, you need to figure out the average window for your business. For example, if the 4th of July week is typically your busiest time of year, and you determine that your guests book 30 days out on average, you should start running PPC ads for this holiday weekend in early June.

So how do you find your business’s booking window? Look at historical data from recent summers, as well as emerging trends in your booking system. You should also pay attention to when competitors are increasing their PPC spend.

Spruce up your local SEO.

Location matters, online and off. When most vacation-goers start planning a trip, they search for some combination of a place name and a venue, such as “Las Vegas hotels” or “best restaurants Atlanta”, so you need to make sure your business is ranking for relevant local searches. Here are a few things you should be doing for local SEO to increase the return on your summer hospitality marketing campaigns:

  • Claim your business listing on as many relevant places as you can, including Google, Bing, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and UrbanSpoon (for restaurants)
  • Make sure your Google+ business page is completely filled in
  • Make sure your name, address, and phone number are structured as data on your site so that search engines can easily categorize them
  • Research keywords that have a relatively high volume of traffic but low competition from other area businesses (e.g. “Austin hotels” is a very broad search, while “Austin hotels near South Congress” is a more specific search that will likely have less competition)
  • Try to get your business listed in well-ranked niche and local directories

Target staycationers.

Don’t forget about local web users who aren’t traveling far but still want to take a mini-vacation. According to a 2015 Skift survey, 62% of Americans don’t plan to take a big summer vacation this year because they are too busy or can’t afford it, but 33% of Americans say they will still take short trips on the weekend.

Consider crafting PPC ads that are specifically targeted to people within your city or state. Use your site and social media to promote a special discount rate or package deal for locals. Add content to your blog that gives readers tips on how to be a tourist in their own city. There are great hospitality marketing opportunities for businesses even when travelers are sticking closer to home.

Use retargeting ads with compelling incentives.

Taking a summer vacation is a big decision, and most people don’t commit after just one short perusal of a hotel or vacation rental company’s website. Keep in mind that people who visit your site are likely in the research phase, and be ready to remind them about your accommodations as they move closer to the decision-making phase.

You can stay top of mind by retargeting ads to people who have visited your site without converting—just make sure the ads give them a good reason to choose you. For example, for people who looked at your ‘Rooms’ page, you might create an ad offering a one-week only discount on a standard room.

Invite summer visitors back again.

The end of this vacation season doesn’t have to mean the end of your relationship with your summer guests. Encourage guests to follow you on social media or subscribe to your email newsletter (try offering an incentive, like a special discount for subscribers), and keep sharing engaging content about your facilities and region that will make them want to come back again next year.

It’s impossible to fit a complete guide to online seasonal hospitality marketing into one blog post. Want to learn more? Share your question or comment below, or contact us to start a conversation.

All You Need to Know About Native Advertising

You’ve seen labels like ‘Promoted’ and ‘Sponsored Content’ floating over certain headlines on sites like Slate, Buzzfeed, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic. Maybe you’ve checked out some of these native ads—which are structured to look and read like editorial content on the site—and wondered how well this approach works for the brands that use it, or how well it might work for your company.

To help you learn the ins and outs of native advertising (or even to just figure out a working definition for ‘native ad’), we’ve gathered up some of our favorite articles and infographics on the subject. Check out the links below.

What Is Native Advertising?

Time to Define Native Advertising

This post was written two years ago (an eon ago in internet years), but Josh Sternberg lays out examples for native advertising, sponsored content, and branded content that still hold up well today.

How Every Business—Including Small Local Players—Can Use Native Advertising

Although primarily aimed at small business owners, this is a good primer on native advertising for anyone.

The Shift to Native Advertising in Marketing (Infographic)

For those visual learners out there, here’s a pretty cool infographic that covers a lot of ground.

Women Inmates: Why the Male Model Doesn’t Work (Native Advertising)

This is one of the most-frequently cited examples of native advertising done well. It fits with the format of The New York Times, it contains compelling research on the US prison system, and it clearly states the post is paid for by Netflix but does not overtly promote the video streaming company or its show, Orange Is the New Black.

What Does Your Audience Think of Native Advertising?

4 Things People Really Think about Native Advertising

You’ll hear plenty of praise for native advertising in marketing circles, but keep in mind it’s what your target audience thinks that matters. (Fortunately, not all the things people really think about native advertising are bad.)

What Millennials Want from Native Ad Content

It’s worth pointing out that this survey was conducted by a native ad platform company that has a stake in what people think about native advertising, but the trends it points to are still pretty interesting.

Best Practices

Success in Native Advertising Hinges on Preserving Best Practices

Let’s review some of these best practices so that we know how to preserve them.

7 Questions Marketers Should Ask About Native Content

There’s well-crafted, transparent native advertising, and then there’s the kind of nebulous, irrelevant native advertising that makes readers lose trust in a brand. Answering these 7 questions can help you steer clear of the latter category.

The Startup Marketer’s Guide to Sponsored Online Content

A basic roadmap for SMBs looking to jump into native advertising.

Despite What You Might Have Heard, Native Advertising Can Scale

A good read if you’ve launched your first native advertising campaign and are wondering what to do next.

Dell Shares Best Practices in Native Advertising

One of the best ways to learn more about a marketing strategy is to look at someone who is using that strategy successfully, and so far, Dell is doing native advertising well. Read an interview with Dell’s managing editor, Stephanie Losee.

Distribution Platforms/Channels

4 Tools and 5 Tips for Making the Most of Native Advertising

The 4 Tools section of this post nicely outlines the main distribution channels available for native content promotion.

Which Channels Are Best for Content Promotion? (Infographic)

A useful visual that breaks down owned, earned, and paid media channels.

6 Companies That Are Trying to Solve the Native Ad Scaling Issue

An overview of 6 companies that place native advertising content on publisher sites. The article was written in late 2013, and all 6 startups are still alive and well today (perhaps a testament to the demand for native ad placement).

The Complete Guide to LinkedIn Sponsored Updates

LinkedIn is turning into a powerful content distribution platform in its own right, and B2B owners might want to think about using it for their native advertising. Here writer Jeff Haden walks through the step-by-step process to start using LinkedIn Sponsored Updates.

7 Tips to Help Boost Your Content on LinkedIn

Learn how to get more eyes in front of your LinkedIn content, whether you spring for Sponsored Updates or not.


Native Advertising is All Over the Map

This WSJ blog post points out the importance of coming up with standardized metrics for native advertising.

How Publishers and Brands Can Measure the Value of Native Advertising

If you’re not sure where to even begin with measuring the success of native advertising, start here. You’ll learn about attention minutes, social sharing, click-through rates, and conversions.

Eye-Tracking Study: Native Ads vs. Banners Ads

Ready to get a little more granular? This eye-tracking study shows how participants visually focused on native ads considerably more than banner ads.

Maximize ROI via Content Distribution Networks

This in-depth Moz post shows you how to use metrics to compare content distribution platforms so that you can stick with the one(s) that give you the best ROI.

The Reach, Engagement, and ROI of Content Marketing vs. Native Advertising

Here’s another very thorough Moz post, this time featuring original research on the ROI of content marketing compared to native advertising. It also includes a link to Fractl’s content ROI calculator to help you determine what’s best for your business.



Describing Leverage Marketing – and digital marketing as a whole – has proven to be met with mixed responses over time.


A few weeks back, for example, my wife and I were at a school function for one of my daughters when we were introduced to a fellow classmate’s mother through a mutual friend. After some small talk (our kids, sports, weather, smelly gymnasium), the mother inquired to my profession.

 “Internet marketing? Is that where you sell ad space on the Internet?” she inquired.

 “No,” I replied. “What we do is…”

 “Are you the guys that put ads on Facebook?”

 “Well,” I started, “We …”

 “Do you know what I don’t like?” she interrupted, looking at my wife. “When I go on Facebook and I see ads there. I don’t go on Facebook to look for ads.”



It’ll be probably to the chagrin of our mutual acquaintance, but promoted Facebook posts and other forms of native advertising are shaping up to be popular and valuable forms of digital advertising.

Sponsored post on Linkedin


This year, it is expected that the spend on native advertising will increase by more than a third compared to last year, according to an article on adage.com, with big names such as General Electric, Ford Motor Co. and Hewlitt Packard expected to be major players in this form of advertising that is expected to surpass $4.3 billion in spend this calendar year. By 2018, that figure is projected to double.


For those uninitiated, native advertising is a form of digital advertising whose design matches that of the natural content of the web page. Another way of putting it is sponsored content. Native advertising can be utilized in the form of articles, videos, music and other media to match the type of content the consumer might be browsing at the moment.


Social Media sites aren’t the only ones jumping onto the native advertising wagon. Click onto CNN, still a go-to for up-to-the-minute news for many online, or Rollingstone, once the great arbiter of all things musically hip, and it won’t take long to find an ad in between the headlines.


Native advertising on CNN

While this is proving to be a hit with many companies and websites, there are some out there, like our mutual acquaintance, that are taking issue with native advertising.


Last summer, comedian John Oliver, on his HBO series “Last Week Tonight,” lambasted native advertising in regard to its growing appearance on news sites in a lengthy segment.


“Ads are baked into content like chocolate chips into a cookie. Except, it’s actually more like raisins into a cookie—because nobody … wants them there,” was one of his more memorable quotes. “I like to think of news and advertising as the separation of guacamole and Twizzlers. Separately they’re good. But if you mix them together, somehow you make both of them really gross” is another.


I, though, like to think all parties – the companies buying the ads, the sites providing the space, and the readers on the web pages – are much smarter than Oliver and other native advertising critics will lead you to believe.


Despite their blending in with the sites design, it only takes a small modicum of common sense for readers to distinguish between what is news/content and what is an advertisement. Like the many choices of content/articles that are a click away on a news site’s page, readers can click on the ad if they want more information or simply leave it be. Additionally, content that is paid to be circulated by a company is often just as valuable to the reader as any other content on the page, when it’s done right. Paid content is researched and developed with the intent of informing its audience. Whether or not that audience wants to go on to browse products or make a purchase is entirely up to them.


Describing Internet marketing in a sentence or two may be confounding to some, but dealing with native ads is quite simple, if you ask me.

How to Stand Out from the Content Marketing Crowd in 2015

Here’s a frightening statistic: more than 2.73 million new blog posts are published every day. On a positive note, this shows that the overwhelming majority of businesses now recognize the power of content marketing to increase brand awareness and generate leads. Unfortunately, this also means that there’s a glut of not-so-great content, and making your voice heard over the clangor can be challenging. So how do you make an impact when it seems like everybody’s using the same basic content strategies? Try these five tips to stand out from the crowd this year. Read more

Why Inbound Marketing Conquers All

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-salesman-vintage-image29689455Are you a fan of the door-to-door salesman? What do you do if some stranger comes knocking while you’re in the middle of a meal or your favorite TV show …Ignore them? Most people do. What about annoying telemarketers that intrude on your dinner conversation? That’s what traditional outbound marketing is all about. Outbound marketing, also aptly named interruption marketing, attempts to approach people with no demonstrated interest in a product or service and reel them in. This type of marketing abruptly bursts into people’s lives uninvited and includes radio commercials, TV commercials, direct mail, telemarketing, door-to-door, spam or e-mail blasts, and even networking. It is also often ignored, just like the salesman.


Times Have Changed

Best-selling New York Times business author Daniel Pink who recently wrote To Sell is Human points out that this predatory approach to selling is quickly becoming outdated. He believes that sales has changed more in the past 10 years than it did in the last century, and most of this is due to the internet. Many adept marketers and business professionals have taken note of the same, and realize that the predatory approach is slowly being phased out of our culture. Most of us these days have a radar for aggressive sales tactics and don’t appreciate being hunted down like dogs. So, what is taking the place of these outdated, bothersome sales tactics? That would be inbound marketing, or inbound demand generation.

Rather than wasting time with trying to convince uninterested parties to take a second glance at your product or service, inbound marketing draws people who are already somewhat interested in your business, and they have the choice as to whether they want to listen to what you have to say or not. Creating inbound demand generation involves blogging, social media, SEO, and targeted emails. Does this really work? Companies that practice inbound marketing and marketing research institutes emphatically say that yes, it works even better than the old approach, and it’s less expensive to top it off.

Average cost per lead and cost per customer are lower with inbound marketing than with outbound –about 61% less according to the Search Engine Journal. Inbound marketing also generates more qualified leads through blogging and SEO:

Inbound Marketing vs Outbound 1

What Do Professional Marketers Think?

The majority of CEOs and marketing executives are devoting more of their marketing budgets each year to inbound marketing.  2013 budgets for inbound were around 50% higher than that of the previous year.  Almost every marketer realizes that SEO is a valuable aspect of inbound, with about 54% of clicks going to the first search result of search queries.  Apart from SEO, 60% of marketers dedicate at least 6 hours per week to social media. Interaction on social media platforms produces 2X more leads on average than trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail, and even PPC. Companies report that social takes more time than blogging and email marketing, but most of them are putting aside the resources to do it for obvious reasons. Marketers also enjoy the fact that inbound marketing efforts are far easier to measure than traditional outbound efforts.

Why SEO is important

Customers Prefer Inbound Marketing over Traditional Advertising

On the side of the customer, 82% say that they enjoy reading relevant content from a brand. Over 70% would rather learn about a company or product by reading an article rather than seeing an ad. Wouldn’t you? Through inbound marketing, potential clients and current clients are able to learn about a company on their own time instead of having it shoved in their face, and they can explore products that revolve around their interests.

Switching over to a mostly inbound marketing system can be difficult and time consuming, but it’s definitely worth the effort. If you don’t rank on the first page of search results, or you’re not blogging or bothering with other inbound tactics, you’re missing out on a lot of traffic, leads, and revenue. Most companies can’t do it all on their own and get outside help from professionals. Drop us a line or give us a call to learn more about getting leads to come to you, not the other way around.

leads closed by source

*Data from the chart above compiled from Hubspot, The Houston Chronicle, & Smart Insights.

*Data throughout compiled by Hubspot unless otherwise indicated.

Good Content Hasn’t Changed: How to Take Advantage as a Company

On a recent trip to Mexico, I pulled out the in-flight magazine and began to flip through the pages as I prepared for a couple of hours of boredom in the usual tiny, cramped space that airlines pass off as a seat these days. The content immediately got my attention, and I was soon immersed in the descriptive prose that revealed interesting tidbits about both obscure and commonplace travel destinations alike. The photography was vibrant and seducing. I wanted to experience these places immediately. Then it hit me: This is good content, and this is what good content has always been. This magazine was obviously compiled by businesses for advertising, but it was informative, powerful, and well-researched, just as any good journalistic periodical might be. It was really advertising at its best. Read more

Digital Marketing or Marketing in a Digital World?

The shift is coming and most of us already know it. The Don Draper dinosaur is extinct. Not only has most of advertising become digital, but the majority of marketing departments will also be digitally-focused. Let’s reflect on all the old mediums of advertising: radio, TV, and snail mail. All of these things are now functioning digitally through podcasts, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and of course e-mail. The future of TV and radio is through the internet, and so it is with all forms of communication, including the telephone. As the future of internet TV progresses, digital advertising will surely become more involved, and cable TV will slowly fade into the background. So as you can see, digital marketing IS marketing, the marketing of the future. Sure, you’ll still have the occasional hard copy of a newspaper, magazine, or brochure, but for the most part, marketing strategy will be internet-based and integrated. Any other marketing efforts will be secondary. Read more

Destination Marketing: Content that Captures the Imagination

These days the vacation decision-making process begins with a search query. A study by Google and Ipsos MediaCT showed that 65% of leisure travelers start their vacation search online with no idea of their next destination. So is the travel marketing industry really taking advantage of this? According to many experts in the field, they are not. Read more

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