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
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
In the eternally evolving world of the internet and online marketing, there are always innovative new ways of attracting and keeping your customers. We give you Leverage in 2014 with four core online marketing strategies that must be implemented for continued success in generating leads and revenue online this year and beyond. Read more
Hub and spoke marketing is quite simple in theory, but not so much in practice. Many marketers think of the company website as a hub, and the spokes are the possible channels through which leads may be attracted to your website such as social media, press releases, search engines, directories and advertising. The idea is to have as many different channels as possible leading to your site. Hub and spoke is an accurate depiction of this theory, but allow us to present a better one…
Presenting the Death Star Analogy
Rather than the hub and spoke theory, I prefer to think of the company website as the Death Star and all the other online channels make up the tractor beam that pulls the ships in. Not to say that your website is deadly, but it should be an effective conversion machine with attractive landing ports (pages) and enticing content. Here we’ll show you how to start catching those ships in your tractor beam.
Building Your Tractor Beam
You want your tractor beam to be as powerful as possible to attract the right leads and search engines. In order to make sure your pull is stronger than that of any other competing death stars, strategy-based content needs to be provided on multiple fronts.
- Verbal Social Media & Blogs
Your blog should be SEO optimized and designed to pull traffic in through informative and engaging content about your industry. Many companies utilize sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to post brief content that can draw people into the website. Posting snippets from your blog, company or industry news, and information about events can motivate people to go to your site and check it out or share your information with hundreds of others, thereby increasing the reach of your tractor beam. Keep your keywords in mind when posting on social media as well.
- Visual Social Media
Most marketers are aware that images and photographs can significantly boost conversion rate. Unlike verbal communication, visuals attract attention quickly and can draw people into your site with a one-second glance. Pull people into your tractor beam by sharing attractive and informative images on sites like Pinterest, Flickr or YouTube. By informative I mean that a consumer should be able to see what your product or service entails in your images. When it comes to a photo of your product or service, a picture really is worth 1,000 words.
- Press & Directories
Getting an article about your company in the press, whether it’s traditional paper press or digital media, is a great way to get more traffic coming in. Start by finding a local industry blog or small publication that provides news from your industry and provide an informational piece. Or, find an industry site where you may be able to guest blog. There are also several online directories and consumer review sites where your company can be listed to pull in more traffic. Start with Google Places, Yelp, Yahoo Local, small business directories, and industry-specific directories.
Good old advertising. PPC campaigns and Google Adwords may not be free like organic search. (Well, hopefully you do pay your content writers.) But, these ads are guaranteed to get people to your website and directly to one of your landing pages. Ads should never lead to your homepage. People who click on your ads already have a product or service in mind and should be directed to an informative landing page where they may be easily converted to a customer without much fuss. Make sure your landing page headline matches your ad campaign, or you may not end up with the droids you’re looking for.
Hub and Spoke, or the new and improved Death Star Theory, is a simple concept but it does require time and strategy. If you need help building your tractor beam, or you aren’t finding the droids you’re looking for, give us a call. We’ve got tractor beam engineers at the ready.
If your company relies on generating leads or selling products online, landing page optimization (LPO) is essential to your success. Depending on the size of your company, you could be losing thousands to millions of dollars a year due to something as miniscule as the text on your call to action button. Let’s take a look at some of the factors on your landing page that could boost your customer conversion rate between 20%-300%.
The most important thing any business needs to do to survive is reach customers. Traditionally, this can mean cold calls, billboards, flyers, and a slew of other advertising means. However, inbound marketing allows businesses to create a web presence that encourages clients to seek out and make use of the company. Harnessing this ability can be difficult, so being aware of the options and goals of this type of marketing are vital to being effective.
Social media is an amazing way to connect with clients immediately and intimately. Being able to post updates about your business and useful tidbits that would intrigue clients is a great way to connect with people and keep your name in the forefront of the customer’s mind. Moreover, your clients have a way to give praise and discuss concerns directly with you. As soon as they contact your business, you can reply and meet whatever needs they put forth, even if it’s just needing a thank you for a compliment.
Blogs are a great way to share your expertise with your clients. You have knowledge about your field that is both useful and powerful. When you give that information in a simple and accessible way, your clients will be able to take advantage of your knowledge and you’ll be establishing your company as an expert in the field. When it comes time to buy product or start a service, those clients will be drawn to you.
Though one of the most underutilized forms of inbound marketing, eBooks are a great way to find leads. In essence, an eBook is a source of information about something your clients want to know in depth. You can post the first page or two as a taste, then ask the client to download the eBook if they want to read the rest. In exchange for the download, you ask only for contact information. Every person who reads this free literature is someone who is interested in your company and someone you can reach out to.
For many people today, the first way they try to find a product or service is online. Making your company’s website appear on search engines is an absolute necessity to be found. There are many tactics that can accomplish this, but basically you want to create a site that has a significant amount of relevant content and keywords that people are likely to search for. You can also create a site map that helps search engines determine exactly what you offer and where it’s located.
Bringing customers to you is essential to thriving in today’s marketplace. Whether your company is a one person start up or a fortune 500, a social and content driven site will bring more people in. When you’re ready to see your leads and site visits increase, explore Leverage Marketing to see what they can do for you.
Say farewell to the days of keyword stuffing and to text that reads poorly. 2012 has been a year of cleaning up for Google. In the wake of these updates, we find ourselves revisiting our SEO campaigns to make sure that our SEO content writing strategies we have in place for our clients don’t cause rankings to drop thus hurting opportunities for conversions. Writing for SEO has become more about delivering a better user experience.
What keeps your visitors interested in you? What keeps your visitors interested in your products? What keeps your visitors ON your website?
As most of my colleagues know, my writing for SEO was based on a love/hate relationship. I’ve had to make several adjustments that have taken many lessons and lots of practice. With my new lessons and techniques in hand, I would like to share with you what new lessons I have learned throughout my time at Leverage Marketing.
For my writing to be successful, I have followed several tips. Most of these tips are basic SEO content techniques, but some are SEO content writing techniques that have been taken up a notch.
An Interested Reader – Doesn’t Read the Entire Page Content *GASP*
It’s the truth. When writing for SEO, remember that your readers are only going to consume a short amount of information. When you land on a website that ranks well for the information you searched for, what is the first thing that grabs your attention? The content on the page or a call to action? When you read the content, most of the time unless you are reading a book, you stop before you come to the middle of your screen. If you don’t find what you are looking for above the fold, you have lost interest and have moved on to the next page or site in search for your 411. As a SEO content writer, your best and most important work should be above the fold. It is vital to your website and conversions that you get your point across quickly and efficiently.
Headings that Convert
Every company has unique selling points and benefits that differentiate themselves from the competition. Keeping a balance of your differences and benefits with focused keywords is key to capturing your audience’s eye with headings. I have learned that a general rule of thumb to follow is to include a major selling point or call to action in your H1, second major H2 and so on. Remember, your job as a SEO writer is to keep the visitor interested, and help them find what they need and get them to convert.
Call To Action
Make sure you remind the reader why they came to your page. Place call to actions more than once on your page, but make sure your call to actions are in alignment. We don’t want to confuse the audience by sending them mixed messages.
I haven’t the chance to use this technique in my own SEO writing, but I have read positive stories about the use of:
I was thinking the same thing…how can bullet points help my SEO content writing be interesting and informative? But after reading some of the benefits that bullet points bring to the table, it’s definitely worth a try.
Dylan Thomas of Search Engine Journal tells us “Like headings, bullet points offer dual incentives for your SEO. They break up the page and stand out from the rest of the text, which means they’ve got a better chance of being read.” He also goes on to say that the information listed in the bullet points can be prominently linked to relevant internal pages.
Each SEO campaign has different goals. But within these goals, still lies the goal to rank well, to increase traffic and to make a sale of some sort. If you use some of the SEO tips that I have provided, your goals can see improvements. If you use your keywords in interesting copy intended for the audience and not the search engines, you will see a difference in your websites results.
Read our new article on Valentine’s Day for updated information on Valentine’s Day Marketing!
As we all know (because retailers started promoting it before our Christmas trees were even brown) Valentine’s Day is upon us again. This is typically seen as our annual reminder to parade our loved ones with affection, romance, and surely some sappy gifts, but it is also a much-overlooked opportunity for businesses to do the same and show they are smitten with customers. Here are some marketing ideas on how to say, “I love you,” and cultivate customer loyalty this Valentine’s Day.
Contests and giveaways
If staying in theme, hold a 14-day contest for a product or service giveaway via your website and social media. People love free stuff and are even willing to work for it. If in need of some feedback, ask that customers complete a brief survey to be entered into a drawing. There’s a strong likelihood that your contest will result in positive karma for your company in the form of some always welcome (and free) exposure from bloggers promoting the giveaway to their readers and customers sharing it with their network.
Develop a frequent shopper program
If you have a brick and mortar store, you can create a check-in program through Foursquare or Gowalla to offer a free or discounted product after a specified number of visits. For online retailers, you can offer a coupon code in your receipt or post-purchase email. Even lead gen operations can offer an incentive for referral love.
Coordinate a daily deal special
Hook up with Groupon, LivingSocial, Google Offers, or any number of these daily deal companies to offer a discount on product offerings. This can be especially lucrative if your product happens to be couples oriented, like a massage or water bike ride. This opportunity allows you to cozy up with both new and existing customers.
Promote a coupon or discount through email and social media
Even your most traditional ‘20% off with coupon code FREE’ can go a long way, especially when offering this incentive to current customers. Shoppers have become all too accustomed to seeing such promotions only offered to new customers.
Send sweet nothings and other messages of affection
Utilizing social media or an email newsletter, send out regular customer care oriented notes, letting customers know just how much they are appreciated.
You can share Valentine’s cheer through in-store decorations or online by sweetening up your website or blog. A great example of this was Gilt Groupe, a discount designer website, which integrated hearts into their product detail pages for those items that could be delivered by the big day. Another impressive marketing move on Gilt’s part was the use of love letters hidden throughout the website. If you found all three, you were automatically entered into a drawing.
Create a themed application
Develop a complimentary app, game, or tool that customers can utilize for their own Valentine’s (or otherwise) pleasure. This may be a card template that users can customize and send out to the apple of their eye. It may also be a custom Facebook app that fans can share or play depending upon the functionality. This option would probably be the most time, labor, and cost intensive but may also have the greatest payoff and allow for high levels of creativity.
Keep in mind that there’s no reason to wait until Valentine’s Day to express love for all of your customers. This should be a year-round initiative.
Let me take this opportunity to say thanks to all of our Leverage Marketing clients and partners. Happy Valentine’s Day! Contact us at Leverage Marketing to learn more about how to take advantage of these Valentine’s Day marketing tips.