I recently put together a stackable model for strategic content marketing for clients which places a heavy focus on content marketing. This allows clients to see at a glance how all of the strategic planning and execution phases of a marketing strategy work together and inform the later stages. It’s difficult when putting together proposals for clients for them to visualise how all of the pieces fit together. This content marketing stack attempts to do this.
There is an intensive focus on content marketing for good reason, because content – whether it’s paid, earned or owned is the foundation of all marketing activity.
Think of your website as a hotel you own
If we think of the marketing stack as a hotel building, the design, development, UX and maintenance of websites and apps are the concrete pillars, outer walls and structural integrity of the building. The chaos outside of the building is kept at bay by the sound management and security of our hotel.
The navigability through the building and way-finding through the building and attention to detail is the UX, IA and interface design. This ensures our guests find their way through the building, towards the various amenities and service offerings.
The website content is the reception desk, tourist information, customer service, sales team, marketing team, HR and general manager. It’s the heart and soul of a business – the human side. Content is the memorable experiential side which makes one business stand out from another. After all, you can have the nicest hotel in the world, but if the staff are rude or incompetent, you won’t have buckley’s chance of getting repeat guests. It’s the same with content. When it’s not performing as it should, or when the meaning and intention of your content is not clear – your users will go elsewhere.
Content is the foundational marketing principle from which everything else in a website flows…
I hope I haven’t taken this metaphor too far, and I hope you get my drift. Content is the foundational marketing principle that helps a business to grow from original concept to start-up to multi-national brand.
Register now for a free content audit of your website
No matter what kind of business you’re in, your website needs to effectively sell your offerings.
Organisations that deliberately and consciously invest in conversion optimisation are twice as likely to see a boost in sales.
However the reason many businesses don’t, is that they are far too focused on BAU – the business as usual syndrome.
When more pressing tasks need to be addressed right now, then
optimising the home page of your website takes a backseat. Although what
could be more important than ensuring your website visitors convert
In this article we will explore research into conversion optimisation
and UX and how your business can implement some fixes to increase
1. Use product videos on your landing page
Recent research by HubSpot found that using a self-explanatory product video on your landing page can increase conversion of 144%.
2. Create multiple landing pages for your products and services
Landing pages can be tailored and customised to your Pay Per Click advertising. Put yourself in the website visitor’s shoes.
If a website visitor clicks on a Google Ad and gets forwarded to your
home page, not to a page that directly relates to the ad – will this
visit convert? Most likely no.
That’s because when someone clicks on an ad, they are after a
specific product or service on your website. They don’t want to read all
about your other offerings or your staff or blog posts – that’s
irrelevant to them. Instead they want to be taken to a page that will
give them pricing and everything they need to purchase, with the minimal
effort, if they don’t get this information easily – they leave.
Tailoring your landing pages to have the same content as your PPC ads is really important.
3. Keep the headline simple and related to your USP
You only get 0-8 seconds to tell a compelling story with website visitors. If your headline isn’t good enough, people will abandon their session.
A great way of ensuring you have the best headline is to split test
your landing page’s headline for different visitors, to see which one
Headlines should be short, make an impression quickly and tap into
the pain points of the customer and how the product or service
alleviates these pain points.
Here are some examples
4. Keep your call to action above the fold
Whether you decide to use an opt-in form or a button to gain conversion, keep this prominently placed.
‘Above the fold’ means that the content is visible to website visitors before they have to scroll down the page. This technique is obvious for the brand landing pages mentioned in the previous section.
5. Make sure that your images and graphics mean something
Using stock photos on your home page without any
context and direct relationship to your products or services isn’t good
So how do you correlate stock images to your own brand? You could
superimpose a customer testimonial or short quote from a customer over
the top of your stock image to make it relevant.
6. Use the landing page to overcome common obstacles to purchase
Firstly, do a bit of market research into the kinds of reasons why prospective customers may be turned off from purchasing from your business.
These reasons may be manifold, but if you can resolve some of these
doubts on the home page, then you should use this opportunity to do so.
If your product is largely unknown and also highly priced, in your headline, you should allay website visitor’s concerns by clearly mentioning the 30 day money back guarantee in your headline.
If your product is in a controversial vertical, such as clothing made
in Bangladesh, you could have a video on your home page showcasing the
production process. You could use the homepage as an opportunity to
allay customers’ concerns about the ethical standards of this workplace
and the workers’ rights.
7. Make opt-in forms easy and breezy to complete
As a web user yourself, you will understand the frustration of completing an opt-in form that seems to have a thousand fields.
So make it easier for your website visitors by only asking them for the very bare minimum of information. Their name, email and telephone will do.
8. Use a ‘chat now’ pop-up plug-in
According to the VWO blog
adding a chat now plugin is estimated to increase customer signups by
31%! A simple pop-up can be answered by a chat-bot initially and then
forwarded for human interaction to the website content manager.
9. Add testimonials to your home page
Testimonials and customer recommendations are worth their weight in gold for gaining more customers. Ensure that you use these prominently on your landing page in an interactive or automatic slider.
10. Make your CTA button the most prominent and obvious element on the page
Split test the copy for your call to action button and also the colour of the button itself. One study showed that simply changing the button colour to red increased conversion.
There are many factors that impact the conversion rate for a website. You can get a comprehensive assessment of your brand messaging, marketing and communications needs for your landing page by getting in touch with me on +61 3 9028 7745 or email@example.com
As we enter into 2019, it’s a great time to consider future trends in marketing for the next year or two. No matter what industry your business operates within, it pays to know about the next big thing around the bend.
1. The diminishing power of digital ads
30% of all internet users are now experiencing the online world devoid of ads, thanks ad-blocking software they can install into their browsers.
This means that the Google Ad network isn’t perhaps as robust at reaching your audience as once thought.
Although that doesn’t mean you ought to abandon your AdWords campaign all together. There are still many ways to reach your audience through targeted PPC ads. Along with social media and interactive content marketing. The latter provides your audience with valuable, helpful and entertaining content that they want to see.
The existence of AI in relation to marketing is nothing new. Although in 2019 many businesses and their marketing teams will implement easy fixes to business challenges by harnessing the power of marketing automation and AI. This will be done in several ways.
CRMs and most analytics platforms allow for a granular view of the demographics of your target audience. From this data, marketers can produce more relevant and high quality content that will resonate with the audience.
Many analytics packages feature machine learning that can predict the likelihood of a result in a campaign. This is based on past performance parameters and the program makes an educated guess on how to proceed with marketing campaigns. Handy!
By harnessing the automation power of a CRM like HubSpot or Marketo, it’s possible to completely personalise the customer experience. You can personalise all touch-points and communications over email, phone, chat and social.
Workflows and business processes can be automated through using Zapier and other process automation tools.
3. An alternative to Google
Search engine dominance belongs unquestionably to Google. Yet history shows that there will always be other search engines and tech companies waiting in the shadows for their big opportunity to shine. While Opera ascended and then disappeared from our lives and Bing is almost laughable in comparison to Google, don’t write off other contenders too soon. The competitive landscape is big and other players may still enter the game in 2019!
4. The power of voice
Voice-based Google searches are set to become more popular in 2019. Voice search is a helpful bit of functionality which arose out of mobile-first design.
As a result of an increase in voice searches on Google, the world of SEO and keyword research has to caught up. SEO’s new frontier is voice-powered search terms and phrases. These are going to be different to how people type written phrases into Google.
Key to note here is that:
People speak in full sentences rather than a string of random words, as they do when writing search queries into Google. There is a semantic difference that needs to be accounted for.
Key to findability on Google for voice-search is therefore writing content as though you’re speaking to someone rather than writing. That’s possibly going to become a new comms and copywriting art-form in 2019!
5. Interactive marketing and video marketing
Video is booming now thanks to countless mobile apps. It’s possible to tweak your face, add stickers and background, and even generate artistic wonders using a simple app.
Recently, marketers have attempted to blur the line between normal video content and native advertising. This is possible on platforms like Instagram stories.
Interactive content like quizzes, surveys, polls and videos create interactive, fun and educational information for users that blurs the line between regular content and advertising.
6. Use outliers their strange creative ideas
It’s an obnoxiously loud online world with many players vying for attention. In 2019, only the most unusual and strange marketing campaigns will get attention and stick. Therefore you should push your brand outside of the norm. Don’t be afraid to take creative risks, often these pay off by increased interest in your brand.
Attention all of you closet weirdos out there. Let your true colours show also embrace a robot, you never know if one day they might be your overlord. To future-proof your marketing, make sure you enjoy a free assessment of your content!
There’s not much involved in writing 150-160 character sentences for metadescriptions, right? Well actually these descriptions appearing in search engine result pages (SERPS) are critical for engaging with potential site visitors. So here are some tips on crafting compelling and engaging 150 to 160 character selling points.
1. Write for Users First
In order to dominate search engine rankings, it’s crucial to write for the user first and the search engine second. So that means no badly formed sentences of tautologies, including multiple keywords crammed uncomfortably into the short sentences.
It’s also important to keep that human element to your metadescriptions. Try injecting some personality or localised phrases into the wording, however steer clear of using jargon or cliches.
2. Inject Some Personality Into It
People are less likely to respond to ”Game of Thrones. DVD and merchandise here. Game of Thrones Merch. Visit us”. However, they could be likely to engage with ”Game of Thrones: Summer is over, winter is coming. Game of Thrones Sale On Now.”
Write in a personalised way as though speaking to a friend, in a warm and welcoming tone. It’s like holding up a sign in the airport arrivals lounge, smiling at everybody’s approach saying ”Here I am, this way Mr. Jones…Mrs. Smith, etc.”
3. Stick to the Value Proposition
Write from the users’ perspective. This means articulating your offer in a way that answers the question: ”What’s in it for me?”. When you position the metadescription in this way, the results will be immediately positive. If you’re stuck for words, take the time to evaluate competitors’ metadescriptions. Then try to create a more punchy and powerful value proposition.
4. Keep it Short and Simple
Keep the metadescription to a limit of 150 to 160 characters. This can be really challenging, particularly for complex web pages that require more explanation. Although it’s an absolute necessity, otherwise the SERP will cut off the description mid-sentence. This tends to obfuscate the meaning and rarely encourages visitors to click through to the web page.
5. Use a Strong Call to Action
It’s important to use a call to action in the metadescription. There should be a clear purpose to the ad and a reason to click on the ad. So isolate this reason and think about the benefit of the offer to your potential visitor. Then ask for their cooperation. It’s amazing how actually asking and requesting an action from a user gets better results. A short call to action at the end of a metadescription can really boost click-through rates.
6. Bring in the Big Guns
If your business has some big names, brands, certifications or celebrity endorsements behind it, then add this into your metadescription. This may be difficult in the allotted 150-160 characters, but if you’re clever enough, by all means do it!
Metadescriptions are the bread and butter of search engine optimisation. They combine the best of both worlds, SEO and copywriting. With these tips on writing excellent metadescriptions you will be on your way to high volume click-throughs in no time.
Did you enjoy this brief foray into the weird and wonderful world of metadescription writing? Then pull up a pew and talk to me. I would love to help you with your marketing. Straight off the bat I can offer you a FREE CONTENT AUDIT of your existing marketing assets. Let me at it!
The lead up to Christmas and the holidays is the biggest time of year for retailers. This is prime time to use social media marketing to gain new customers and brand advocates. Social content is a vital part of the overall marketing mix. To help you to make the most of the busy period, have a read of the following tips.
1. Build genuine trust with your audience
During the silly season, you could noisily tout your wares like a old lady brandishing fish in a village market. Or you could use your social media to listen to the chatter and conversations about your brand. Then respond and attempt to create a personalised, generous and positive interaction.
Unlike other forms of marketing, social media is a two-way dialogue with evenly distributed power dynamics. It’s all well and good to blatantly sell on social media, but if the storytelling around your offer is non-existent, then your posts won’t resonate with your target audience.
2. Plan, plan and then plan some more
In order to win market share, it’s a great idea to start planning early. The earlier you begin planning, even as early as July or August, the more your business stands to gain out of the holiday period.
When you start early, it’s easier to avoid getting bogged down with BAU operational needs. Instead you should focus with laser-sharp awareness on long-term strategic marketing goals. Also social advertising and search marketing gets expensive in December. So filling the top of the funnel in July makes more sense!
3. Don’t be afraid to get creative
The more creative and edgier your holiday season offerings are, the more likely your business will be to stand out, in a crowded room of competitors all tooting their own horns.
4. Don’t forget brand storytelling
In amongst all the excitement (and pressure) of having to make yearly sales targets for the year, it’s possible to lose sight of the long-game of growing and nurturing brand advocates and fans. The holiday season isn’t just for selling stuff. It’s about building loyal customers who continue to come back time and time again.
5. Remarketing is important
Remarketing strategies through social media and PPC are going to attract huge returns during this time. In other words, the more frequently a relevant target audience sees your message, the more likely they will be to buy from your business. So make sure you wow them in your ads, so that they remember your brand.
6. Combine social with search
Search marketing is where you can really see some sales conversions. So be sure to change up your keyword strategy so that it’s relevant for the holidays. Also you should adjust your social strategy so that it’s relevant.
7. Social ads are a must
Even if your social strategy only goes so far as organic posts, it’s always a good idea to initiate a paid campaign over the holidays. This is when the majority of shoppers will be primed and ready to purchase. Sweta Patel of Silicon Valley Start-Up Marketing found that social conversions can increase from 0.6% to almost 20% from social ads alone.
8. Up the ante with your ads
Your ads need to be memorable. To do that they must stand out and be compelling for prospective customers. Split test a broad variety of ad copy and artwork combinations, to find that magnificent combo that your audience resonates with.
9. Think broader than social media for your overall marketing
Social media platforms will be thoroughly saturated over the holiday period. So in your holiday marketing strategy, be sure to integrate unexpected guerilla marketing campaigns, and competitions to spice things up.
10. Consider Facebook groups for people with specific interests in your business.
After all, people prefer to purchase from an individual and not a
company. They would like to engage in a two-way dialogue with an
individual who can help them, not a nameless social account. Any sort of
selling in this group needs to be incredibly laid-back and a subtle for
it to be effective. The primary goal here is to resolve challenges that
people face by offering solutions.
11. Email marketing and social combined are a cash-cow
Gift card offerings, competitions and last minute offers to email subscribers and via social are going to be highly effective for revenue growth. Start testing and retargeting your ad groups as soon as possible, to get the most out of that opportunity.
12. Scarcity works
Create limited time offers and limited stock offers to generate FOMO with your target audience. Create a limited number of coupons or exclusive offers that are only available until a certain date.
13. Visit and engage with people in niche online communities
Are you selling rental furniture to a young Uni crowd? Then visit the forums of a subreddit and post valuable information there. Avoid any kind of sales approach and instead aim to be solutions-oriented. Take a personalised approach to resolving challenges.