Posts Tagged ‘digital marketing’

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Three core components of content marketing

Content is at the epicenter of digital and social platforms:

It’s the single most important component that ensures that businesses are communicating—and connecting—with their clients.

But content can make or break a brand: Clients will either pay attention, or they won’t. But when businesses authentically connect with their audience, they have the opportunity to leverage their content, which generates more search traffic, trust and, ultimately, leads.

In a nutshell, content marketing is one of the most effective communication strategies available to businesses, but while slapping blog posts on your website and posting on social media channels seems easy enough, businesses too often misjudge their audience—and, more important, the content that most appeals to them.

It’s not about direct sales; it’s about engagement and inspiring reactions.

Still, even when it’s done right, content marketing can be tricky. It’s a crowded field with major competition at every click, and it’s becoming ominously more difficult to reach potential clients and retain existing ones. To best your competition, follow these content marketing tips:

Have a strategic plan in place: Before creating content, build a smart and solid strategic roadmap that considers your company’s growth and revenue goals, your target audience, the ways in which you’ll deliver content (videos, tweets, blog, Facebook and Instagram posts, infographics), a list of salient topics that clearly positions and defines your company’s brand and image, an assessment of your company’s distinguishing perspectives and, finally, metrics to measure the achievement of your content.

Don’t tell your story all at once: Storytelling is key to content marketing, but you want your audience to keep coming back for more. Teasing a story on social media platforms is a great way to keep your audience engaged and intrigued. If your business is considering hosting a special event, for example, build momentum by running promotional, brand-aligned giveaways or contests that last a few days, or even weeks.

Use your website to promote it and take advantage of social networks to extend its reach. The longer your footprint lasts, the better.

Be conversational: No one appreciates an overbearing sales pitch. And now, more than ever, audiences want (and demand) value, authenticity and the opportunity to respond. When you write content, think of it as a feedback-oriented conversation between you and your audience. A conversational style builds relationship over time, whereas a hard sell often drives audiences away.

Real Estate Corner:
What’s up with Denver’s baffling real estate market?

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Unprecedented low interest rates, a record-high stock market and a Denver real estate market that’s suddenly underperforming:

What on earth is going on? June is historically one of the highest performing months for Denver home sales, but not this year: Inventory was up 28 percent, sold homes were down 14 percent and the time a home spent on the market soared to 23 percent. Not since 2013 has Denver seen such a high inventory of houses for sale.

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Test My Site, an updated Google tool, delivers a better, faster and more user-friendly mobile experience

Every second it takes for your pages to load, you risk losing both new and existing users.

Several factors come into play when businesses build their websites and blogs, but most important among them is ensuring that your website provides the best experience possible for the user, especially on mobile devices.

Visuals – color schemes, font size, text placement and overall layout – are important, but they’re also subjective. Page load speed, on the contrary, is highly objective, not to mention measurable.

Numerous case studies, including one conducted by Pinterest, which increased its search engine traffic and sign-ups by 15 percent when the social media web and mobile application company reduced wait times by 40 percent, have concluded that speed performance plays a huge roll in the success of retaining users.

At best, slow performance causes annoying delays, but if your mobile website or blog is unresponsive or takes too long to load, users may give up and point their browser elsewhere.

As a business, you want users to read your website content and blog posts, but for every second it takes for your pages to load, you risk losing both new and existing users.

DoubleClick by Google found 53 percent of mobile site visits were cast aside if a page took longer than three seconds to load. In that same study, sites that loaded within 5 seconds had 70 percent longer sessions, 35 percent lower bounce rates and 25 percent higher ad viewability than sites taking nearly four times longer to load.

Just how important is it to ensure your users experience a fast and easy mobile experience?

According to a study released by The State of Online Retail Performance, “a one-second delay in mobile load times can impact conversion rate by up to 20 percent.”

It was that statistic that propelled Think with Google, a one-stop online shop for consumer, industry and marketing trends and insight, to create Test My Site, a tool that enables businesses to optimize their blogs and websites on mobile devices. Specifically, the tool allows businesses to see:

  • The speed of both their entire site and of individual pages 
  • Whether their site/page speed is faster or slower compared to the prior month
  • Whether their site speed/page speed ranks fast, average or slow
  • How their site speed compares to others in the industry 
  • The potential impact of site speed on revenue
  • A detailed list of recommended fixes to increase speed on up to five pages on their site
  • A complete report to share with colleagues

With Google’s updated Test My Site, businesses now have a single destination to measure, benchmark and take action on mobile site speed—the first step toward a better mobile experience for your clients.

Real Estate Corner:
Fall could result in a seller’s market, thanks to falling mortgage rates and low inventory

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According to realtor.com, the real estate slump that took hold last summer may be showing signs of reversal, especially as we look toward fall. If that prediction comes to fruition, sellers will profit the most.

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Voice search, an emerging mobile technology trend, is the future for digital marketers

Hey, Alexa! Hi, Siri! Hey, Google! “Can you tell me what the temperature is going to be today?”

There’s no question that voice search, which allows users to speak directly into a device in lieu of typing text into a search field to generate results, is gaining momentum.

And with the increasing popularity of voice search (also known as digital assistants), businesses would be wise to add it to their digital arsenal. 

Voice search improves the user experience of search engines—it’s faster and easier—and provides more accurate results. Bottom line: if your website content is effectively optimized, especially for mobile users, your business could be the first one that Google recommends.

That’s a big deal when you’re considering the ways that voice search affects SEO.

“Voice search trends are already making it clear that effective, customized SEO plays a vital role in getting your content featured. Optimizing your site and content for voice search is step one in the transformation to voice marketing. Consider all things audio and how they translate when broadcast on an audio channel,” writes Merilyn Pereira, a staff writer for martechadvisor.com.

Even more persuasive: Google claims that by 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be conducted using voice search. And even if you’re not a tech titan, it’s not difficult to optimize your website content with voice search technology.

There are, however, a few tips that make the optimization process easier, including creating content that keeps the conversation flowing, researching keywords that often appear in mobile searches and foregoing superfluous lingo and buzzwords.

“The expression “keep it simple” applies now more than ever before. From talk to text, voice prompt calling and more, we’re doing less typing and more talking. Companies can optimize both content and connection by keeping things simple. Skip the jargon. Use clear, succinct verbiage to improve your efficacy and amplify your message,” suggests the Forbes Communications Council, which outlines 14 other top tips to optimize your content for voice search.

Real Estate Corner:
Voters in Lakewood, a Denver suburb, approve cap on new housing construction

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Voters in Lakewood, a Denver suburb and Colorado’s fifth-largest city, approved a ballot initiative that caps new residential construction.

The Denver Post reports that almost 53 percent of the tally, or 18,771 votes, was in favor versus 47 percent, or 16,913 votes, against.

SEO

The best Google marketing tools for businesses

Whether you’re a new business or one that’s been a part of the landscape for years, you want to take advantage of every tool that has the potential to increase your online visibility.

To that end, Google offers a multitude of free (and paid) services that businesses can use to their benefit. From designing a more intuitive website that also tracks site traffic to improving your website’s SEO rank, these Google services should be part of your company’s marketing arsenal.

Google Trends
Google Trends isn’t your everyday SEO tool. The search feature is all about products and topics that are currently trending, and a large part of your marketing strategy should be focused on understanding how your target audience can find you.

With Google Trends, businesses can monitor industry trends and test specific words, terms and phrases in their marketing vernacular to see how well they hold up.

Updated in real time, this tool enables businesses to evaluate the popularity of their marketing language and compare them against other keyword variations, a feature that can be helpful in getting new keyword suggestions.

Think with Google
Full of industry insights, helpful articles, case studies, research documents, data reports, innovative ad campaigns, videos, digital trends, infographics and interviews with top industry leaders, Think with Google is a one-stop shop digital newsletter that takes a deep dive into consumer trends, marketing insights and industry research.

The site is frequently updated with useful and inspirational content to help drive business growth and reach.

Google My Business
More than 100 billion searches are performed on Google every month, which means that if your business isn’t discoverable in a search, you’re losing out.

Google My Business generates free business profiles that pop up when consumers search for related terms through Google Search and Maps.

By default, Google includes what it knows about a local business, including customer reviews from across the Web. But you can tweak your listing – and attract more customers – by submitting your own information, including photos, offers, promotions, news and text edits to Google Places.

As well, businesses can respond to reviews, message with their customers and see who follows you.

Google Alerts
To stay updated about industry news – and news about your own company – take advantage of this useful free service from Google that sends you email alerts whenever there’s news about a topic that you’re following.

Signing up is free, and after adding a topic or search phrase, you’ll be notified whenever there’s a mention of your company, products, people or your competition.

Google Keyword Planner
If you want to tun paid ads on Google, Keyword Planner is a must-have tool for your search network campaigns.

Aside from giving businesses estimates on search traffic, the free tool also shares the most relevant and successful keywords, URLs and phrases that people are searching for most often.

The tool even allows you to input your own list of keywords to see how they might perform.

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Improve your marketing email campaigns by integrating these successful tips

Marketing pros live and die by email, and with good reason: Email marketing provides the highest ROI of any marketing channel, especially when it’s done correctly.

But while your ROI has the potential to be monumental, the strategies behind successful email marketing campaigns aren’t always quick or easy.

To maximize your reach and covert your copy into a convincing narrative, you’ve got to be thoughtful, captivating and customer-centric.

Follow these effective tips for crafting compelling email marketing messages that will help grow your business.

Research Your Target Audience

Your audience is the most valuable asset to your business, and it’s your job to ensure that you develop customer profiles that align with your business and its values and mission.

That starts with compiling organic email lists based on everything from demographic data to hobbies and interests.

Verify that every name on the list wants to be included in your email marketing campaigns. The fastest way to get blacklisted by the major ISPs is to purchase or rent email lists.

Building the lists from scratch is time-consuming, but the reward is much higher engagement.

Test Your Email Content

Before you send out a campaign to hundreds, if not thousands of readers, be sure to test your content first for broken links, image resolution issues, spelling errors, grammatical mistakes and design layout.

It’s always best to send a few test mails to yourself to ensure that everything looks correct.

Beware of Spam-Like Content

Always, always keep your content relevant to your audience and consistent with your brand.

Everyone has spam filters and “junk” email inboxes, and if your subject headers, for example, are too gimmicky, have too many exclamation points or contain misspellings, it’s likely that your email campaigns will be promptly dumped into the trash bin.

Always Include a Call-to-Action

There’s nothing worse than leaving your audienceat a dead end.

One of the most crucial email marketing best practices is to be abundantly clear and direct with your audience – and that means telling them exactly what you’d like them to do next.

The point to any marketing message is to get a response.

Provide sign-up links, for example, if you’re promoting a class, workshop or webinar. If you’re hosting an event, be sure to include an RSVP link. And if you’re offering promotional offers, use action verbs – “reserve,” “act,” “subscribe,” “save,” “start” and “get,” for instance – to persuade your audience to respond.

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