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Inbound Marketing

iOS 9 is Going Local: 6 Tips To Getting Optimized for iOS Search

By | Inbound Marketing, Mobile, News, Search Marketing | No Comments

“Location, location, location” is no longer a mantra for those in real-estate alone. Apple is turning marketers’ heads with its latest mobile operating system, iOS 9, to be released this fall; this time, having a stronger focus on local search. Just like with any major update (we might recall Google’s Mobilegeddon earlier this year) brands and businesses have a brief opportunity to implement changes in an effort to rise to search stardom, or they may sink between the cracks.  

For the first time, mobile app content will be integrated into search, providing an opportunity for users to connect with location-based content. Apple Maps, a local search platform for millions, will implement features to enhance location detail and provide local business search results, as well as detailed public transit information.

These changes could prove to be a great opportunity for local business to be brought to the forefront; having store locations and other important information displayed in Apple Maps though Siri, Spotlight, and Safari search.

Your site may already be marked, “mobile-friendly”, but there is a narrow window to get your site and apps optimized for iOS local search in time for the update. Here’s what to look for to be sure you’re up to speed:

1. Check your location data

Getting your business on Apple’s radar is just the beginning. Check to see that your location data is up to date and visible to its web and app crawler, Applebot. Keep your location data consistently visible and include a store locator feature for you app or website.

2. Provide rich results

Make your content richer by using images, reviews, actions, and adding metadata wherever possible. Keyword usage is an imperative practice as well but be careful not to “over-stuff” and to stay relevant to the content topic. Applebot will ideally recognize it and reward you for having ample, relevant information to scan.

3. Index your best

Improve your “engagement-to-shown” ratio by indexing your best content with a focus on local search. Always index positive user-generated content, as well as content that provides any information on location. Avoid duplicate content by using the same identifier for the same item across multiple APIs.

4. Use schema

Help iOS return more of your information results to users by making sure to markup your website with schema. Two actions are currently supported by iOS; calling a phone number, and getting directions to an address. There are plenty of resources available to help you implement schemas to build out your SERP real estate with more detail, as in this example:
schema-seo-rich-snippetsImage Source

5. Know that speed is a factor

Check the amount of time it takes from from tapping a search result to the content displaying in your app. Apple will be measuring it as well and using this information as a ranking factor.

6. Get user-generated content

Let your users speak for you. Incorporating ratings, reviews, and testimonials will help to give your content a more local focus. Allow users to engage in these actions via your app, website, and social media platforms, and your content will be more likely to show up in search results.

The new iOS 9 update provides the chance for local businesses to be seen in a new light. By taking the necessary actions to implement changes to your site or app, your local business or brand can stay ahead of the curve and gain a competitive advantage over the big players in search results.

What changes are you making to be ready for iOS 9 local search?

Share and comment below!

What We Learned From IMSLC

By | Content Marketing, How-To, IMSLC, Inbound Marketing, PPC, Uncategorized, Video | No Comments

We had a crazy-fun time last week, bringing you the first ever IMSLC event, hosted by Stryde! Things started off a little shaky with some technical issues, but our speakers’ on-the-fly skills pulled through to hopefully give you some new insights into this content marketing game.

Many thanks to everyone who kept it lively and held a good sense of humor throughout!

 

In case you missed it…

Or if would just like to revisit the presentations, here is a recap of the event. We want to keep you in the loop on where we are and where we’re going with IMSLC.

Bryan Brandenburg, CMO and Co-founder of Salt Lake Comic Con shared his successes with video marketing and how investments in Facebook marketing have dominated referral traffic for SL Comic Con.

Tyler Whittingham and Michael Query, the brains behind Admind, illustrated the importance of PPC and covered everything from targeting and bid strategy, to optimization and reporting.

Emily Burkhart, our very own Marketing Manager at Stryde, drove home the value of proving content marketing ROI. With a content marketing budget increase across the board, and 79% of B2B firms not tracking ROI or feeling mediocre about their tracking abilities, it could be a perfect time to reassess where your efforts are leading you.

 

The Future of IMSLC

We get a lot of work done in front of a computer screen but that can never surmount the value of face-to-face communication. Offline events allow the marketing community to connect in a more personal learning environment. This was only our first rodeo, and we’re not hopping off yet! Here are some ideas we’ve brainstormed for coming events:

  • Smaller groups or conferences
  • Structured group networking session
  • Single centralized theme
  • Targeted based on audience experience level
  • Single keynote speaker
  • Panel discussion
  • Changeable location

As always, the direction of our next chapter depends on you! Please share with us your feedback from the last IMSLC in this short survey so that we can bring you an even better event!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZY5D6WQ

The future of IMSLC may take a new name, structure and venue, but the goal will always remain the same; to bring valuable, actionable insights to our marketing community. We’d like to thank our sponsors once again. And thanks to you for your continued support! What would you like to see at the next free inbound marketing event?

STRYDE | Nurturing the Sales Funnel Using Social Media (Infographic) 2

Nurturing the Sales Funnel Using Social Media (Infographic)

By | Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Social Media, Strategy | No Comments

Social media is taking the marketing world by storm. It’s crowded, competitive, but if you do it right, it’s golden.

Haven’t formulated a strategy for your businesses’ social media accounts yet? To successfully capture leads you need a fully developed plan, not a half-hearted attempt to be semi-visible.

To nurture your company’s sales funnel using social media, consider the following:

Awareness through repeat visibility.

Interest through engagement.

Conversion achieved through landing pages.

Sales through targeting new leads.

Loyalty through repeat visibility and engagement.

Easier said than done. So what’s the next step for you and your company? Put your strategy into action by following the funnel recommended in this insightful infographic.

SocialSalesFunnelIG

 

Inbound Marketing SLC & StartSLC Combine Forces for Most Successful IMSLC Yet

By | Creative, IMSLC, Inbound Marketing, Video | No Comments

Utah is swiftly becoming what many are calling a “mini Silicon Valley”. Year by year, venture capitalists have been investing more and more money into Utah-born companies – so much so that the state has become one of the most popular destinations for venture-capital funding.

This is not your typical valley.

saltlakevalley

startslc logoBeehive Startups recognized the need to bring more attention to the growing startup community and recently helped host the largest startup and technology festival to ever be held in Utah. Lucky for us, we were able to witness the great success of StartSLC with our own eyes. Over 4,000 people attended StartSLC, which offered over 66 different events to choose to attend.

Inbound Marketing SLC was just one of the 66 events offered, but for us, was our most successful event yet. In keeping with our themed events, this time we could think of no better topic to focus on than, well… startups.

We invited four speakers with four very different but notable backgrounds to come preach to us about what it takes to find success in small businesses.

danbischoffDan Bischoff, Content Hook,  spoke about finding success from a content marketing perspective. Over the past couple of years, content marketing has grown into somewhat of a necessary evil (everyone’s doing it), and an annoying, overly-used marketing term at the same time. What does content marketing mean, anyway? And why are so many people failing at it?

Bischoff answered these questions, and also the question of why less and less companies are using content marketing, in his informative presentation. View his presentation below for insights into what content marketing roles are necessary for domination.

View Dan Bischoff’s Presentation: 10 Roles You Need for Content Marketing Domination

danrodenDan Roden gave a compelling speech about branding. He pointed out that the actual product or service sold by a startup is, in many cases, secondary to the branding behind it.

“So many people think that their marketing is about their product. No one gives a rip about your product if your product is some product they can buy anywhere else. How does your product make them feel?”

Roden also described the one most important thing you can do for your company to differentiate yourself from others – watch for it in his presentation.

View Dan Roden’s Presentation: StartUp Marketing Tips from the Trenches

williamlamWilliam Lam, founder of Dark Energy, shared his experience and knowledge of how startups can find success on Kickstarter. Building a supportive network and being aware of industry trends were two of the many useful suggestions he had for small businesses wanting to gain support from the community.

“You have to be willing to go out and ask people to pledge for you,” said Lam. Not only that, but you have to put a heck of a lot of thought into what you are trying to accomplish with your project.

View William Lam’s Presentation: The Anatomy of a Successful Kickstarter

belovedLastly, three guys from Beloved Shirts spoke to us about the evolution of their brand voice. From a silly instagram account to a product list of over 22,000 skews, Beloved Shirts came out of nowhere and become a unique voice that resonated with people. College students to celebrities loved seeing a company image that wasn’t afraid to be just straight up strange.

Robbie, the face of the brand, pointed out that “…if you have no voice you have no brand. If you have no brand you’re just a commodity. And it just becomes a price battle at that point.”

View Beloved Shirt’s Presentation: Crafting a Voice for the Company

Inbound Marketing SLC is getting a little bigger with every event. Partnering with Start SLC was definitely a step in the right direction and we look forward to more opportunities to partner with local startup communities.

In the meantime, stay tuned for slide decks and full summaries of what we learned from our IMSLC guest speakers in upcoming blog posts by yours truly.

What topics and/or speakers would you be interested in hearing from at the next IMSLC? Let us know in the comments below!

5 Twitter Tips for Boosting Ecommerce Sales

By | Content Marketing, Conversion, eCommerce, Inbound Marketing, Internet Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

Think about a sales pipeline. At the top of the pipeline you have prospects, somewhere in the middle you have a sales pitch, and at the end of the pipeline you have actual sales.

Where does Twitter fall in the pipeline?

Social networks, like Twitter, are at the top of the pipeline. They are used to generate awareness about your product with the end goal of sending a potential client to your website where the actual sales pitch takes place. The sales pitch doesn’t take place on Twitter.

I’ve included 5 Twitter tricks for increasing ecommerce sales below. These tricks are focused on getting people to leave Twitter, and land on your website where the actual sale can take place.

Optimize Your Twitter Header for Sales

Twitter implemented a design overhaul on April 22, 2014. One key change in its new design is the addition of a Twitter header photo that spans the entire length of the screen at 1500×500 pixels.

Located at the top of every Twitter profile, the new Twitter header serves as a digital billboard allowing ecommerce companies to highlight products or services.

As an ecommerce site, use your Twitter header to drive sales by creating awareness about new products or deals you’re currently offering.

At RedbirdMetrics, we found that using a Twitter header as an advertisement resulted in a ~.07 increase in website traffic.

Here’s an example of how we use our Twitter header as an advertisement:

redbirdtwitterheader

Here’s a couple of tips for crafting your Twitter header:

  • Don’t forget to check out what your Twitter header looks like on a mobile device. When your Twitter header is condensed for a mobile device some of your images or text may not appear to users.
  • The link placed in your Twitter bio should take users to a landing page your Twitter header is promoting. Be sure to include a strong call to action in your Twitter header that encourages visitors to click on the link in your Twitter bio.

Use Twitter to Test Ads

One of the challenges of crafting digital advertisements is figuring out the perfect choice of words that will increase click-through-rate.

Sadly, many companies burn through mountains of cash trying to figure this out before they start to see an ROI.

Here’s a not so well known secret: you can use Twitter to test your ads before you make a significant investment.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Use bit.ly to create a custom link for the ad you’d like to test. Let’s say your landing page is www.landingpage.com. To make this link into a custom link simply add “?src=sometext” to the end of the link. I use the “sometext” portion to describe where the link is coming from. For example, www.landingpage.com?src=advertisementone could be used for the first ad and www.landingpage.com?src=advertisementtwo could be used for the second ad. Both of these links take you to the same page, but by making them customized you are able to track how much traffic is coming from each link. Shorten your customized link, and paste it in your Twitter bio.
  • Change your Twitter header into an advertisement. Focus on one value proposition for the product or service you’re trying to increase sales for.
  • Type a keyword or phrase you’re planning on targeting for ads into Twitter’s search bar in quotes. This will pull up tweets that contain that keyword or phrase specifically. Follow 50 people per day using that keyword or phrase for one week.
  • At the end of the week, check to see how many clicks your custom link received by looking up that link on your Bit.ly account. Record this number in an Excel spreadsheet.
  • Change your Twitter header to focus on an alternative value proposition for the same product or service, and repeat the above steps.
  • Compare the clicks you receive for each custom link to determine which advertisement gets more clicks.

Create an Online Catalog with Hashtags

Trendy restaurants, like Comodo, will crowdsource pictures of their food on Instagram around a specific hashtag. Comodo does this by including the hashtag #ComodoMenu at the bottom of their real-life menu. This helps their customers make decisions when ordering food. It also helps bring in additional clients because each picture shared serves as a word of mouth endorsement for the restaurant.

comodoinstagram

Ecommerce companies can adopt a similar strategy on Twitter. Create a hashtag for your company that helps customers see your products in action. For example, if you sell clothing you could encourage your buyers to post a picture of themselves wearing your clothes on Twitter.

Add your company hashtag at the end of each product description on your website. Enjoy the increase in visibility and sales.

Do a Giveaway

Giveaways are a powerful tool for increasing brand awareness. iFit, a fitness tracker, often utilizes giveaways on Twitter. Check out this recent giveaway they did:

ifitgiveaway

A couple tips for launching a giveaway:

  • Include at least one hashtag to increase the visibility of your giveaway. iFit used the #Giveaway hashtag.
  • Ask your followers to retweet, favorite, and follow to qualify for your giveaway. iFit did a great job of this by giving additional entries for a retweet, and a follow.
  • Use a picture in your giveaway tweet. Tweets using pictures are 94% more likely to be retweeted.

Follow Intelligently

Following people on Twitter is one of the best ways to increase brand awareness. Here are a few tactics that you should look into implementing:

  • Follow your competitor’s Twitter followers. Many of your competitors have likely spent years building a Twitter following. Harvest this low hanging fruit by following their followers. Tweepi, a free social media management tool, is perfect for doing this.
  • Follow people based on what they tweet. You can type anything into Twitter’s search bar in quotes. This will pull up people using that exact phrase or keyword. For example, if you type “I need new shoes” it will pull up people who need new shoes. Consider following people based on what they tweet.
  • Follow influencers. Every niche has it’s influencers. Identify the influencers in your industry and follow them on Twitter.

Do not aggressively follow people on Twitter. If you follow too many people per day then Twitter may suspend your account. Here’s some advice on following:

  • If you have less than 100 followers then you should only follow 10 people per day.
  • If you have more than 100 followers then you can follow up to 100 people per day.
  • When you have less than 1,800 followers you can only follow 2,000 people total. Once you get over 1,800 followers you can follow 110% of your following.

These are just a few tips and tricks for using Twitter to increase ecommerce sales. Remember, Twitter is for the top of your sales pipeline. The goal of Twitter is to drive people to your website where they can make a purchase. Don’t try to close on Twitter.

Can you think of any additional Twitter tips or tricks? Comment below.


joshlight

Josh Light is the co-founder and CEO of RedbirdQ, the most intelligent way to share to Twitter and Facebook. Josh writes about social media tips and tricks on the Redbird blog. Contact Josh on Twitter @JoshuaJLight; he loves people.

IMSLC Recap: When Ecommerce Meets Marketing Part 1

By | eCommerce, IMSLC, Inbound Marketing | No Comments

Reddit, eBay, and YouTube lovers alike oohed and aahed during our fifth installment of Inbound Marketing SLC on Thursday, December 4th.

With over 347 billion dollars expected to be spent on online shopping in the year 2015, we figured it was about time we conquered the topic of ecommerce – how to attract, capture, and close sales with your target audience. If you work in ecommerce, you know this is often easier said than done.

Over 120 people attended our event and were enlightened by experts in the field. Mahonri Madrigal kicked us off by talking about how marketplaces are taking the world by storm.

Optimizing Marketplace Listings on Amazon and eBay

Mahonri’s Presentation:

When you look at Amazon, for example, the numbers are pretty incredible. In 2013, the company made over $67.9 billion in sales and claimed 1 out of every 7-8 online transactions that occurred that year. eBay also earned a stunning $16 billion in sales with over 84.5 million monthly unique visits. To put it lightly, marketplaces are kind of a big deal.

So what does that mean for your business?

Optimizing on marketplace channels can be a critical area of your ecommerce business success. Mahonri suggested considering the following when listing your products:

  • Using keywords in your titles
  • High quality/resolution images
  • The more photos, the better
  • Keep the description simple (200-300 words)
  • Use bullet points
  • Practice good customer service by a quick email response time

View Mahonri’s presentation above for more tips and tricks on how to optimize your marketplace listings.

Next up we heard from Kaela Gardner – Reddit’s Brand and Media Relationships Manager. If we had to sum up what we learned from Kaela in one sentence it would be this: any wise ecommerce marketer would be silly not to at least consider reddit. 

Marketing to a Suspicious Audience

Kaela’s Presentation:

Kaela’s Slideshow:

Reddit is an extremely powerful yet underrated way for companies to reach their target market… their very specific target market.

Kaela demonstrated this fact by  showing a list of existing reddit communities. There are the generic “travel”, “backpacking”, and “camping” groups, but there are also communities revolving around extremely specific interests such as “hammock camping”, “wilderness backpacking” and “colorado hikers”. For a marketer who understands their buyer persona, these communities are gold.

Reddit also holds a unique space for text advertising, which is quite a rarity in the ad industry. While most experts would tell you that less is more when it comes to text, Reddit encourages ads with more copy than visuals. In fact, users expect lots of written information with almost no pictures. Not only this, but users can have discussions revolving around specific ads and products. Kaela showed the example of a simple chair ad that generated a discussion of over 400 comments.

In summary? Reddit is a win-win for everyone.

Stay tuned for more ecommerce insights from our last two presentations given by YouTube star Christian Busath (real-life fruit ninja) and SEO.com founder Dave Bascom. In the meantime, visit our #IMSLC December 2014 playlist to check out all the speaker introductions and presentations from this month’s event.

Inbound Marketing SLC on Dec 4th

By | Inbound Marketing | No Comments

Our fifth installment of Inbound Marketing SLC is just around the corner, which means now is the time to grab your free tickets.

IMSLC 5.0 will focus on understanding how to prepare your online business for all of the upcoming holiday madness. Deloitte is projecting double digit growth for ecommerce sales this holiday season, so being prepared is a must.

We’ve gathered a great lineup of ecommerce marketers who will explain how to grow your business through inbound marketing:


Mahonri Madrigal
: Mahonri is a Senior Consultant for Marketplace Ignition, a company that focuses on helping online retailers with Operational (Feed-Based) Marketing strategy. Prior to that, he spent 10 years at eBay where he was a Premier Account Manager and Senior Business Consultant, managing a portfolio of accounts with more than $50 million in annual sales.


Kaela Gardner
: Kaela is the Brand and Media Relationships Manager at Reddit, inc. She excels at creating marketing plans that incorporate multiple strategies and platforms. With a background in publishing and journalism, she is especially passionate about content marketing and turning brands and products into stories and personal connections.


Christian Busath
: Christian has collaborated and performed in many entertaining brand integrated YouTube videos, with popular YouTubers such as Devinsupertramp and ScottDW. His video views total close to 40 million and have been featured on NBC, MSN, Yahoo, ESPN, and The Huffington Post. His brand collaborations include such companies as Universal Studios, Ubisoft, Ford, P90X, Mattel, and Ryan Seacrest Productions.


Dave Bascom
: Dave is the CEO of Fit Marketing. Dave has been doing inbound marketing since the pre-Google days, helping top companies like Dell, Volkswagen and Mrs. Field’s get found online. Dave was a pioneer in the search marketing field in Utah, leading the marketing teams at SEO.com, KSL Local, Big Start, and Utah.com.

Event Details
Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014
9 a.m.–11 a.m.
Salt Lake Community College Miller Campus
9750 S 300 W., Sandy
Miller Free Enterprise Center, Room 101

Register Now

11 Tips for Maximizing Ecommerce Traffic during Black Friday & Cyber Monday

By | Inbound Marketing | No Comments

Much has been made about the decline of American manufacturing. Notably, China overtook the United States as the top manufacturing country in the world in 2010.

And now, they’re even beating us when it comes to manufacturing holidays.

Screenshot 2014-11-21 15.44.28Yesterday (November 11) was a holiday known as “Singles Day,” and it was created by Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba Group. It fittingly falls on November 11, or 11/11, because all the 1’s represent singles. It is an anti-Valentine’s Day in which people are encouraged to buy gifts for the singles in their lives.

And “buy gifts” is exactly what they did.

Singles Day easily surpassed Black Friday and Cyber Monday as the world’s most lucrative online shopping day. By 11pm local time in Hangzhou, China (where Alibaba is headquartered), the company had surpassed $9 billion in sales. By comparison, U.S. consumers spent $2.9 billion globally online during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, according to ComScore.

So we’ve got some catching up to do. And you can do your part to inch us closer to that $9 billion mark by making sure your website is set up to take advantage of the boosts in traffic you should see between Nov. 27-30.

So in honor of 11/11, here are 11 tips for maximizing ecommerce traffic during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

1. Understand user experience

It can be easy to get caught up in the frenzy of driving traffic around the holidays, but don’t let that get in the way of providing your visitors with a first-class experience when they get to your site. To do this, it helps to understand how website visitors are using your site, which you can do with tools like usertesting.com. You can get videos of real people speaking their thoughts as they browse your website.

2. Customize product photos and pages with holiday visuals

I was in Los Angeles a couple weeks ago, and nearly every billboard or bus stop bench I saw had an ad for a new television show that began airing earlier in the season. On more than one occasion, the promotions were for shows that had already been cancelled. They served as nothing but depressing reminders of projects that failed miserably.

Nothing says, “I’m lazy” more than having something that clearly shows you’re not paying attention. By that same logic, you can prove you’re not lazy by making sure that your product photos and pages are customized with holiday themes as the season quickly approaches. That way, people know that the content on your site is relevant and updated. It’s also a good way to play on people’s emotional connection to holiday imagery. Just don’t forget to remove the themes at the end of the season.

3. Think mobile

Last year, mobile shopping on Black Friday increased by 118 percent from the prior year, and 24 percent of all online shopping was done on a mobile device. That trend will only increase as mobile continues to establish itself as an easy way to shop online. Make sure your site is optimized for mobile devices, and take advantage of this trend by creating mobile ad campaigns.

4. Price sorting

In my family, we have price limits on how much each of us can spend on each other. I also have a friend who prepares his holiday budget on January 1 of every year, and then each month he stashes away 1/11th of that budget so that it’s there for him to spend come December.

I bring all this up to say that many people have budgets that they are trying to stick to for their holiday shopping. You can delight these website visitors by giving them the option to sort by price so they can instantly see what products fall within their budget.

5. Increase ad bids

If only you were the only one that knew that ecommerce traffic surged on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But, alas, this is common knowledge, and so CPMs will skyrocket. According to AdRoll, the average CPM for industry goes up 40-200 percent. As such, AdRoll recommends that you plan to increase your bids by up to 60 percent.

6. Offer coupons in shipping confirmation emails

Transactional emails – those messages that are triggered by a user’s behavior on your site, such as making a purchase – are typically the most read emails that a company sends. When someone makes a purchase on your site, they will be expecting a confirmation email letting them know that the purchase was made and that the shipment has taken place. While you’ve got their attention, why not remind them about some of the other killer deals you’ve got on your site?

7. After Black Friday, start getting people excited for Cyber Monday

The Saturday and Sunday in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday are crucial. Your audience will quickly shift their attention from the hot deals of one manufactured holiday to another one. To maintain their interest and attention, you can deploy teaser ad campaigns or offer early bird discounts in anticipation of Monday’s events.

8. Make sure site is ready to handle uptick in traffic

Be careful what you wish for – if you want a lot of traffic, you better be prepared for it. You can lose visitors for life if they are greeted with an error message after clicking on one of your ads or social media posts. Take a good hard look at your back end to make sure it can handle what will hopefully be a surge in traffic.

9. Use holiday countdowns to encourage daily visitors and repeat customers

Doing something like “12 Days of Christmas Savings” or “30 Days of Holiday Sales” will get people to keep coming back to your site even after the madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You can either start your holiday countdown during this weekend, or you can begin promoting a future countdown to get people to come back to your site after they’ve taken advantage of the killer Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals you’ve offered them.

10. Delivery calculator

If someone is making a purchase on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, they should be fairly confident that whatever they ordered will arrive before December 25. But a lot of people have company parties or other Christmas gatherings earlier in the season, and if you provide them with a delivery calculator, they will know whether or not their shipment will arrive in time for the special event.

11. Give people what they want: Killer deals!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are ubiquitous enough that people have extremely high expectations for the bargains that will be offered. Your website visitors are expecting free shipping, two-for-ones, and discounts of up to 50 percent. They want to know that the discounts they are getting are the best deals they will see all year.

The only way for you to succeed is by offering these types of deals. It may mean slimmer profit margins, but if your site is easy to use and you provide users with a phenomenal customer experience, you will win repeat business that will more than make up for it. Remember that you are always trying to delight your customers, and there’s no better way to do this on Black Friday and Cyber Monday than by offering them can’t-miss deals. Shopping during this time can be stressful, so try to do your part to give them something to smile about amongst all of the madness.

How to Solve Marketer’s Lovability Problem (Cool Things We Learned at IMSLC)

By | Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Search Marketing, SEO, Uncategorized, Video | No Comments

Marketers have a lovability problem.

At least that’s what Nick Salvatoriello, an Inbound Marketing Professor for HubSpot, told the 250 people who attended Inbound Marketing SLC on Thursday. He cited a study that showed marketers to be behind lawyers and stockbrokers on the likability scale (although they were slightly ahead of car salespeople and lobbyists).

Nick, who flew in from HubSpot’s Boston headquarters for the event, suggested that marketers combat their image problem by providing marketing that customers love.  This is the driving force behind inbound marketing, he said, because inbound marketing aims to treat each precious contact as an actual human with needs that need to be addressed.

Next on the mic was our very own Owen Fuller, president and founder of Fit Marketing. Owen explained how important it is for marketers to harness the power of good storytelling. Stories can produce visceral responses from your customers, and the experiences they have with you will be much more memorable.

To create stories, think of the problems that your customers are facing and identify the possible solutions. If you don’t know what their problems are, then you must not be listening.

We then got to hear from Abe Niederhauser, marketing manager at Orabrush. Abe explained how his company takes a data driven approach to its video marketing efforts. When they launched an oral care product for dogs, for example, they went through 55 variations of the conversion video, 245 variations of the landing page and 46 different price points.

Orabrush’s strategy has been highly effective. The company has over 42 million YouTube views, which Abe noted is roughly 1/5 of the views of giants like Old Spice and Pepsi but at 1/100 of the budget.

The last speaker at IMSLC was Dave Bascom, CEO of Fit Marketing. Although Dave is the founder and former CEO of SEO.com, his presentation was titled “Fire Your SEO Agency and Grow Your Search Traffic”.

Dave advised companies to think of SEO as a mindset, not a department. Three “non-SEO” tactics he suggested are 1) juicy content creation, 2) influencer outreach and 3) social media engagement. All of these tactics would be good ideas even if Google didn’t exist because they would increase direct traffic, exposure, leads and sales.

The event was sponsored by Utah Business Games and Signs.com. A big thanks goes out to them for helping to make IMSLC happen.

If you weren’t able to attend IMSLC, you’re in luck. We’re doing it again on May 22. We’ve already received a lot of great feedback from you and look forward to making the next one bigger and better.

5 Questions to Ask Before You Begin an Inbound Marketing Campaign

By | Inbound Marketing | No Comments

Smart inbound marketing is marketing with a purpose. That, you probably get.

But what is your purpose? That, you may not get – at least, not entirely. The more you understand your purpose, and the more defined your purpose is, the smarter your inbound marketing can be. Simply put: The more you know, the better off you’ll be.

Got it? Good.

In order to get the most of your inbound marketing efforts, your purpose can’t merely be to “improve business,” “make my boss happy,” or “I don’t know, we gotta do something.”

So how do you nail down your purpose? When you are considering a new marketing plan or marketing partner, how do you decide where to start?

We’ve found five very helpful questions that we ask businesses when we first get together. Their answers help us figure out exactly what the purpose of their marketing efforts are and organically create the strategy moving forward.

And what should you do if, after asking these questions, there is still not a fully functioning purpose? Nothing! Go find a purpose!

Here are the five questions, along with video clips related to them. Well, the videos sort of deal with them. Actually …okay, fine—I really just wanted to find an excuse to search YouTube videos during work. Don’t tell anyone. Anyway, enjoy.

1. What are your goals? Without goals—specific goals—there is no way to know if your efforts are working. Without goals, your efforts will likely be without focus. You will end up trying to do a lot of things without actually accomplishing anything. The more specific, and the more defined your goals are, the easier it is to know what needs to be done. This classic speech, taken from Miracle, shows one coach who clearly understood what his goal was: Beat Russia. (Spoiler alert: He did!)

2. What are your tactical plans to accomplish those goals? You now have this clear goal in mind. Okay, how are you going to get there? The great thing about inbound marketing is that there are ways to find what does and does not work for your type of business. If you have the right analytics in place, you can pinpoint what has worked for you in the past, or perhaps what has worked for your competitors. Equally important, you will know what doesn’t work. Obviously, you won’t have all of your plans in place at the beginning, but it helps to have something in mind to begin with. Here’s an example of a reporter who did not have an adequate plan in place.

(If you liked that video, here’s another one for the fun of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_w5aYLieL8)

3. What are the challenges you expect to face in the pursuit of these goals? To create a plan, you must have a solid understanding of your challenges, whether they are internal, external, budgetary, imaginary, short term, long term, or The Terminator. You can’t climb over a mountain if you are unaware of the mountain. These men (some of which you might recognize) knew exactly what stood in their way, and that made all the difference in the world. (Skip to the 1:28 mark)

4. What is the time frame by which you want to accomplish your goals? When do you need to get going? If you need to start soon, you better have the first three questions figured out. If you can’t begin for quite some time, don’t spend too much time on them when time will alter your plans (I just broke the record for the amount of times the word time was used in one sentence!). When do you need to reach your goals? The urgency of your goals will affect how aggressive you need to be with your plans. If you’re planning on doubling your business in one month, you either better be a brand new business, or you better be ready to spend some serious cheddar. Regardless, it’s vitally important to be realistic with your timelines.

5. What will happen if you do not meet your goals? What will it mean to you if you do?  This is big picture thinking. This is understanding whether you really want to put the necessary time into goal-setting, strategizing, and implementing. If the answer to this question is “Nothing much,” you’re either wasting your time or money (or both).

But if the answer to this question is something meaningful (something like “Get one step closer to my dreams”), well then, get to work! Understanding the consequences of your inbound marketing helps prioritize your efforts in a way that ensures you are on point. It is also what creates the necessary culture in order to succeed. As this final video demonstrates, understanding the consequences of your actions gives you great purpose. Whether your goal is to live on a private beach someday (in a good way, not in a Castaway way), or simply to get back to your family (refer to this clip), consequences should always be on the forefront of your mind.