agency,marketing

How to Reprioritize Marketing Efforts for COVID-19

  • Savvy
  • ON
  • March 24, 2020

Here are five things that companies can do to offset some of the revenue and sales pipeline losses associated with COVID-19.

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1. Focus on creating SEO-focused content as part of your marketing efforts for COVID-19

Consider asking ALL EMPLOYEES to start writing content. Especially those who have less on their plate right now.
Create a content calendar for your employees, and get everyone involved in the effort. Have an agency support your content creation by performing keyword research and creating content assignments for people to write.
Get invested in this now, and your organization could produce an incredible amount of lead-generating content by the time things get back to normal.
Creating SEO-focused content can help bring in an influx of new leads in Q4 to make up for the leads and sales you are missing now. And even better – this work will have a lasting impact on your digital footprint, and may even help generate leads for years to come.
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2. Invest in targeted non-branded paid search campaigns.

Think about each of your offerings, and create a specific paid search campaign for each one to bring in new leads.
This approach can put a lot more leads into your pipeline and plant the seeds for sales that materialize in Q3 or Q4.

If you do it right (super-targeted ads, keywords, and landing pages), you can start creating these new leads very inexpensively. Check out this case study about how we created 12 new non-branded leads for $280 in ad spend.

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3. Consider paid social campaigns in your marketing efforts for COVID-19

During this period of social distancing, there will be a lot more people on social media.
With paid social campaigns, you can start to raise awareness about your brand and your products.
You can also begin to gather a lot of information about people who might be interested in your offerings by the time this crisis has waned.
Paid social campaigns are an excellent option for companies where brand awareness is crucial.
Strategically placed paid social campaigns can also benefit companies with an incredibly unique, timely, or special offer.
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4. Focus on your website.

During slower periods, you can give more attention to building or augmenting your website.
If you have a website project on the horizon, now is a smart time to get it launched and have it ready in time for the market when the crisis calms down.
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5. Make your conferences virtual.

If you have a conference on the horizon that poses a health risk, consider building a virtual version rather than canceling altogether.
Leverage live streaming services for keynote speakers, set up messaging services for real-time participation, and create breakout rooms for networking.
Find ways to up the ante like offering virtual solutions and consultations for attendees and creating forums for people in your industry to talk about ways they are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.

Moments of crisis can cause a lot of anxiety.

Rather than focus on the thoughts and worry, we hope impacted businesses can use these ideas to expand their digital footprint and reprioritize their marketing efforts for COVID-19.

We’re always ready to help you find digital ways to drive your sales and improve your pipeline. Contact us today for a free evaluation.

Get info about the Coronavirus here. 

agency

We’re a verified development & digital marketing agency on Clutch

  • Jason
  • ON
  • March 4, 2019

At Brain Bytes Creative, we strive to develop the best custom digital marketing strategies for our clients. We focus on their goals and use distinct approaches to meet their project demands. Our services include web development, web design, content marketing, SEO & PPC, and more. Our team of highly skilled employees, headquartered in Atlanta, is dedicated to providing clients with the services they need to meet their goals and improve their businesses.

Thanks to hard work and a result-oriented approach, we’ve been featured as one of the best digital marketing agencies and WordPress developers on Clutch.

As a B2B ratings and reviews firm in Washington, D.C, Clutch connects businesses with the best performing consultants and services providers through in- depth analysis and by conducting interviews with the clients who have worked firsthand with the companies they feature on their site. Based on their evaluation of Brain Bytes, we’ve obtained a 4.9 out of 5-star rating. That’s pretty cool (in our humble opinion).

We’re thrilled with the feedback our clients have given us. Getting direct, honest feedback from business partners is critical to everything we do. Some favorite quotes so far:
“They surpassed some of the best agencies in the world I had worked with.” – Marketing Manager, Resurgens Orthopaedics “They can capture what you’ve said and then translate it into marketable content.” – Chief Marketing Officer, Northplains Systems “They are invested in the success of the product, and they believe in it.” – President, Theravent, Inc.

The effort and attention we place on each project has also earned us recognition on Clutch’s sister site, The Manifest, where we are shown as one of the leading web developers in Atlanta in 2019. In addition to that, we also appear on their Visual Objects directory of leading web design agencies in 2019, where buyers can view visual examples of our development and design expertise.

We are super grateful to the Clutch team for recognizing us one of the best agencies in Atlanta to our clients for sharing their experiences. Thanks, Clutch! We love you back.

agency,conversion rate optimization

10 Google Analytics reports we love (and a couple gifs, too.)

  • Laurel
  • ON
  • February 25, 2019
Did you know there are over 78 standard reports in Google Analytics? And that’s before you create any custom reports.
You have limited hours in the day and a finite marketing budget. So it’s important to spend your resources analyzing data that can have a meaningful impact on your business KPIs and bottom-line.
So the question is: how do you know where to start?
We’ve compiled a few of our favorite reports to help you get started or dig deeper with Google Analytics. We recommend you open up Analytics and follow along with your own data as we explore these reports. You just may be surprised by what you find.

In this post, you’ll learn about the reports we love, how to access them within Analytics, and how to derive meaningful data to help your business succeed. At Brain Bytes Creative, we use Google Analytics in conjunction with other CRO tools. (If CRO tools peaked your interest, you should read about the CRO techniques + tools we love!)

P.S. If you’re new to CRO, we recommend reading about what CRO is and taking a look at our CRO glossary.

1. Landing Pages Report: Where are users landing on my site? How are they interacting with each landing page?

The landing page experience you serve your users dramatically influences what they do on your website.
When it comes to landing pages, the more you can align your pages with what users are looking for, the better. In fact, websites with 40 or more landing pages average twelve times more leads than sites with 5 or fewer.
Isn’t that wild? This is why you need to study which of your current landing pages are performing well.
  • How to get there: Behavior → Site Content → Landing Pages
  • What you’re looking for: This report is useful for seeing where users land on your site, and how they engage with the page they’ve landed on (and the site in general.) Specifically, look for these things in the Landing Pages report:
    • Pages that have a high bounce rate: A high bounce rate could indicate that the content on this landing page isn’t resonating with users. It may be too much info, not enough, or not the right content — meaning it could be higher or lower in the funnel or simply not what users are looking for.
    • Pages with a high session duration: A high session duration generally indicates that the landing page was engaging enough to encourage a user to stick around. Study the elements of the page to see what you can glean — and what you could test on other landing pages.
    • Pages that have a high conversion rate: If a specific landing page has a high ecommerce conversion rate, study it. What is unique about it? Does it have a lot of CTA’s? Is it short form or long form? Is the content specific or general? What kinds of visuals, multimedia and trust points are on the page? Note these elements, as you should test them on other landing pages.
    • Pages with a low conversion rate: A landing page with a low conversion rate is especially alarming when its a specific, lower-funnel landing page or when it’s a page that gets a lot of traffic. Take note and build out some tests to identify how you can better serve users.
    • Pages that get a lot of sessions: When you have a lot of landing pages where you can run tests, prioritize those with the most sessions.

2. Referrals Report: Where are my visitors coming from?

Understanding where your users are coming from when they land on your site will help you align your website with their desires.
Are your users finding you through google search? Display ads? Social media? It matters.
  • How to get there:  Acquisition → All Traffic → Referrals
  • What you’re looking for:  This report shows you how users are finding your site.

3. Organic Keywords Report: Which keywords are bringing traffic to my site?

Keywords are the cornerstone of search engine optimization (SEO), but did you know that they matter for CRO too?
Notice organic keywords are used to get traffic onto your site for free. They’re different than pay-per-click (PPC) keywords which are bid on.
  • How to get there:  Acquisition → Campaigns → Organic Keywords
  • What you’re looking for:  This report shows you which organic keywords are bringing traffic to your site, and how each segment of traffic is behaving.
    • Notice which keywords have the most users and sessions. This is where the bulk of your organic traffic is coming from. Based on their searches, can you tell what they’re looking for?
    • Which keywords have a high bounce rate? It’s likely those users aren’t finding what they need quickly on your site.

4. Source / Medium Report: What is the origin (example: google) and category (example: pay-per-click) of traffic arriving to my site?

Understanding the sources and mediums of traffic landing on your site, and how they interact with various landing pages, can give you valuable insights into how your users behave.
  • How to get there: Acquisition → All Traffic → Source Medium + add secondary dimension “Landing page”
  • What you’re looking for: This report is useful for seeing where users come from and how they interact with a site. We like to add landing page as a secondary dimension, like I’ve shown above. This allows us to study how users from various sources engage with particular landing pages. These are some specific things we like to take note of in the Source Medium report:
    • Source Medium / Landing Page pairs with High Bounce Rates: This could indicate that a landing page is not resonating for a particular group of users. The content could be misaligned with what they’re looking for, or the design could be making it hard for users to find what they need easily.
    • Source Medium / Landing Page pairs with Low Conversion Rates: Again, this could indicate that users are not finding what they’re looking for, or that you’re not presenting the content in a way that leads them to convert.
    • Source Medium / Landing Page pairs with High Conversion Rates: Take note of sources and landing pages that have high e-commerce conversion rates and see what you can learn. Are those landing pages long? Short? Detailed? Do they contain multimedia? What kinds of CTA’s do they have?

5. Behavior Flow Report: How are users navigating through my site?

One study showed that 47% of users look at the products/services page of a website before clicking around to other pages.
Do you know what the most common paths are for users to take on your site? How about which paths convert the highest? Are those paths the same or different? How can you make them more similar?
  • How to get there: Behavior → Behavior Flow
  • What you’re looking for: This report shows you how users navigate through your site. As you study the report, ask yourself:
    • What are the most popular paths users take? Are they leading to conversions?
    • Are users going straight to checkout or viewing multiple product pages?
    • Note: you can also filter for new vs. returning users and frequency vs. recency.

6. Mobile Overview Report: How are visitors interacting with my website when they use mobile devices?

This year mobile officially surpassed desktop use for the 1st time. The average American checks their phone every 12 minutes (which is 80x per day!) And according to the Pew Research Center, over half (51%) of Americans make purchases through their smartphones.
Even when your customers are in physical stores, use their phones as part of their decision making process. Now more than ever, you need to understand mobile-first CRO.
  • How to get there:  Audience → Mobile → Overview
  • What you’re looking for:  
    • How are mobile users behaving differently than those on desktop? How about tablet?
    • What percentage of your users are on mobile?
    • How does the bounce rate compare to desktop?
    • How about session duration and number of pages visited?
    • Conversion rate?
These data points can give you really important insight on how to optimize for your mobile audience.

7. Site Search Report: What are users searching on my site?

What are users searching for on your site? This report can give you enormous insight into what content you need to make more easily accessible for your users.
  • How to get there:  Behavior → Site Search
  • What you’re looking for:  
    • The million dollar question: What are your users looking for? What are some popular search terms?
Depending on what you discover, you may find that you need to make certain CTAs easier to find, or that you need to build out high or mid funnel content people are searching for.

8. “Converters” Visitor Segment: How do users who convert behave differently than those who don’t, leading up to their conversion?

It’s amazing to think about the data we have access to compared to marketers 20 or 30 years ago. In the 80s and 90s, marketers had to rely heavily on industry market research or commission expensive studies to get real data points. Or worse — rely on guesswork and hunches.
But today, that guesswork is replaced with data. We can isolate particular segments and study how they behave. For example, how to users who convert into customers behave differently than those who don’t?
  • How to get there:  Sign in → Reports → Add Segment → New Segment → Create a “Converters” segment. Then, go to the Behavior Overview report and add the Converters segment.  
  • What you’re looking for:  
    • What do users who convert have in common? Do they spend more time on the page? Less time? Do they visit more pages?
This should inform how you optimize your site: building more pages, adding more content, simplifying your design, etc. How you optimize should be based on the data you see here.

9. Multi-channel Funnels Report: How do micro conversions, previous referrals and searches lead to overall conversions?

The Google developers guide says “Multi-Channel Funnels reports are generated from conversion paths: the sequences of interactions (e.g. clicks/referrals from channels) that led up to each conversion and transaction.” Understanding these reports can help you understand the user journey of your customers.
  • How to get there:  Conversions → Multi-channel Funnels → Overview
  • What you’re looking for:  
    • What types of assisted conversions do you see?
    • How to various types of traffic: organic, direct, paid, referral, social and display contribute to conversions?  

10. Exit Pages Report: Which pages are my users last visiting before leaving my website?

Exit pages can show you where your users are dropping off. This can give you insight into what types of content you should add or how you can serve your users a better CTA or next step to keep them on your site.
  • How to get there:  Behavior → Site Content → Exit Pages
  • What you’re looking for:  
    • Which pages have the highest exit rates?
    • What types of content is on those pages? Is it high or low funnel?
    • What types of CTAs are you offering on those pages?

Phew! That was a lot. (Time for some high fives!) Hopefully now you have some great data jumping-off points to create some AB tests for your site.

Thinking about using an agency? Here are our tips for choosing a great CRO agency. Want to contact Brain Bytes Creative? You can do that here.

Thanks for reading! Hope it was helpful.
Sources
agency,conversion rate optimization,user experience

CRO Glossary

  • Laurel
  • ON
  • January 29, 2019

Ever feel like the digital marketing world is full of jargon? We created this glossary so you have the most popular conversion rate optimization terms in one place. No BS. Just straightforward definitions. Hope it’s helpful!

AB Testing: a method of website testing that compares two variations of a webpage, “A” and “B” to see which converts better. “A” is the control while “B” contains copy or design changes. Performance is measured using Key Performance Indicators, KPIs.  

ABn Testing: a subcategory of AB testing which compares three or more variations of a webpage, “A” “B” and “n” additional variations to measure which performs best. “A” is the control while the other variations contain copy or design changes. The more variations, the longer the test will take.

Above the fold: the top of a web page visible to users without scrolling. The fold cutoff is different for desktop, tablet and mobile devices. The term “above the fold” is adapted from print marketing, where “above the fold” refers to the top half of the front page of a newspaper, visible from a newsstand.

Banner: a prominent graphic display that stretches across a website. Banners are typically rectangular and are usually displayed across the top of a page. Banners can also appear on the sides or bottom.  

Banner blindness: a situation that often occurs as users learn to ignore information presented in the form of banners. Banner blindness causes users to skim over banners or mentally block them out.

Baseline: the data/metrics used as a starting point when comparing a webpage to a variation. Baseline data usually includes a mix of KPI’s (key performance indicators), TPI’s (tactical performance indicators) and LPI’s (leading performance indicators).

Bounce: to leave a website after visiting only the landing page.

Bounce rate: the percentage of visitors who leave a website after visiting only the landing page.

Buyer persona: a characterization of a typical or ideal customer based on qualitative and quantitative market research. While some characterizations may be imagined, buyer personas are based on real data and customer insights. They are used to help marketers create more relatable content and a better user experience.

Call to action (CTA): an “ask” that aims to induce a user to take a specific action that moves them closer toward conversion. Examples include:

  • “Buy Now”
  • “Click Here”
  • “Sign up today and receive 20% off”

Cart abandonment: a drop off that occurs when a user adds a product to their online cart but navigates away from the site before completing the purchase.

Churn rate: the percentage of users who don’t renew a subscription. Churn rate is often used as a KPI for ecommerce sites that are subscription-based and even B2B services like SaaS.

Click map: a visual map of a website that shows of how users interact with a given page. Click maps show which buttons, text and other elements users click on.

You may be wondering which is more important between on-page and off-page SEO and the truth is, you can’t have one without the other. If you have no content, there is nothing for people to link to, and if you have no links you have no credibility or reason for search engines to rank your content.

Clickthrough rate: the percentage of users who “click through” from a hyperlink or ad to a landing page, or from one page to another linked page within the site.

Confidence level: the percentage of all possible future cases that can be expected to have the same outcome as a test.  For example, if a variation outperforms an original webpage with 95% confidence level, we can expect that the new variation will outperform the original in 95% of cases.

Control page: the original webpage which is kept the same throughout an experiment, in order to keep a baseline of metrics and ensure changes to metrics in any variations are not due to an outside influence.

Conversion: a defined action taken by a user. Usually, this action moves the user from browsing closer toward converting. Examples include:

  • Purchasing a product
  • Subscribing to a newsletter
  • Downloading a whitepaper

Conversion rate: the percentage of users who take a defined action. Conversion rate is calculated by dividing conversions by total traffic.

CRO (conversion rate optimization): a set of methods used to increase the percentage of users on your website who convert.

Cookies: small text files that are stored in the user’s device. Cookies allow marketers to recognize users and track their preferences. Marketers use cookies to target specific users for particular experiments. For example, we may choose to show a particular webpage variation to returning users only.

CPA (cost per acquisition): a pricing model in where marketers pay for a desired action, for example, a form submit or purchase.

CPC (cost per click): a pricing model where marketers pay for each time their ad is clicked.

Cross selling: a tactic that increases sales by suggesting complementary products to a user who has already added products to their cart.

Decision fatigue: the deteriorating quality of decisions made by a user after a long session of decision making. Decision fatigue can cause users to bounce or exit a website.

Exit popup: a popup that displays when users start to navigate away from a website. Many exit popups include coupons designed to entice users to stay.

Exit rate: the percentage of visitors to leave a website from a given page, after possibly visiting more than one page on the site.

Experience optimization: a high-level approach to optimizing a customer’s experience across various channels. Experience optimization is holistic and encompasses CRO.

Eyeflow: the path where visitor’s eyes flow throughout the page. Studying eyeflow can help marketers discover which areas of a webpage are used often and which are ignored by users.

Form testing: a specific type of CRO testing that tests the elements of a form like length, design and copy in an effort to increase form fills.

Friction: any points in the customer journey that are annoying or cause frustration. Friction points make users less likely to convert.

Funnel: a marketing model based on a visual where customers move from the “top of the funnel” where they become aware of your brand to the “bottom of the funnel” where they convert.

Growth hacking: rapid experimentation across product research and development, sales and marketing to identify the most efficient ways to promote business growth.

Heatmap: a visual of a webpage that is overlaid with color to indicate how users interact with various elements. On most CRO software, areas with warm colors like red have high engagement and areas with cool colors like blue have low engagement.

Hero: the large banner image placed prominently above the fold on a webpage.

Hypothesis: a testable idea used as a starting point for further investigation. CRO hypotheses are based on quantitative web data and engagement metrics, as well as qualitative data from user testing.

Impression: the point at which an ad or piece content is displayed to a user. For example, if an ad appears 100 times in Google search results, there are 100 impressions.

You may be wondering which is more important between on-page and off-page SEO and the truth is, you can’t have one without the other. If you have no content, there is nothing for people to link to, and if you have no links you have no credibility or reason for search engines to rank your content.

Landing page: a page of a website accessed by clicking a hyperlink or ad. Historically, the landing page was most often the homepage. However, the best-performing landing pages are optimized to closely match user intent. High-converting sites often have many landing pages.

Lead generation: the initiation of consumer interest. For example, a user may become a lead when they click “request a demo.”

Leading Performance Indicators (LPI’s): secondary metrics used to track actions that eventually lead to KPIs. LPIs are more valuable than TPIs but less valuable than KPIs in terms of revenue.

Macro conversion: primary conversion goals; for example, purchasing a product.

Micro conversion: supporting conversion goals; for example, signing up for a newsletter.

Mobile first: the concept of designing or optimizing a page for mobile first before optimizing for desktop. Mobile first is becoming increasingly important as mobile use becomes more popular than desktop.

Multivariate testing: a testing style in which multiple variables are changed (as opposed to AB testing which isolates one variable). Multivariate tests are less precise but usually higher impact than AB tests.

Qualitative data: non-numerical data like survey responses and user feedback.

Quantitative data: numerical data like click rates, session duration or pageviews.

Responsive web design: website design that allows pages to adjust and display properly on a variety of devices and screen sizes.

Retargeting: a marketing tactic that involves using cookies to follow traffic who bounces from your website and targeting them again.

Sample size: the number of users needed to run your AB test until it reaches a desired statistical significance (usually 80-95%).

Segmentation: the act of dividing users into segments based on common traits; for example, mobile users or desktop users.  

SEO: Search Engine Optimization. SEO focuses on getting the right traffic to your website while CRO focuses on encouraging traffic already on your site to convert. The two work in synergy to optimize your website’s performance.

Session replay: an anonymized recording of a user interacting with a website. Session replays help marketers identify frustration points and create ideas for optimizing a page to better serve users.

Shopping cart abandonment (also called cart abandonment): occurs when a user adds a product to their cart but leaves the website before completing their purchase.

Social proof: In general terms, a phenomenon that occurs when people copy the actions of others. In digital marketing, social proof is the use of trust points like customer reviews, testimonials, social media mentions, etc, to make users more likely to convert.

Split testing: a broad term that encompasses AB testing and multivariate testing.

Split URL testing: a testing style where traffic is split between two different URLs of the same page, allowing marketers to test multiple design or copy elements at once.

Statistical significance: the level of certainty around whether a given test result is real (correlated with the change being tested) and not due to chance.

Tactical Performance Indicators (TPI’s): the lowest level of metrics used to track actions that eventually lead to LPIs and KPIs.

Trust icons: icons, logos or other symbols that boost a user’s confidence in a website. Examples of trust icons include an SSL certificate or McAfee logo.

UI: user interface; the way a user interacts with a computer or device. UI is more specific than UX.

Unique visitors: the number of unduplicated users who visit a site in a given time. If the same user visits two times, they will count as 1 unique visitor.

Upsell: the practice of introducing users to more expensive but similar items or add-ons. Examples could include an upgraded product or expedited shipping.

Usability: a website’s ease of use. Usability optimization is similar to CRO but nuanced in its focus. Usability optimization focuses on optimizing the user’s experience while CRO focuses on optimizing conversions. Usually the two go hand in hand.

User flow: the click path taken by a typical user from the moment they enter the website to the moment they convert.

User intent: what the user is looking for when they land on a page.

UX: user experience; the overall experience of a user as they interact with a brand. UX is broader than UI.

Value proposition: an feature intended to make a product or service more valuable to the user. The best value propositions can be communicated clearly and succinctly.

Variation: a web page that will be tested against the original. AB tests contain one change per variation page while multivariate tests contain many changes on a single variation page.

Whitespace: also known as negative space; the space between graphics, text blocks, CTA buttons and other design elements.  

Widget: a web application that makes it possible for a user to perform a function. Widgets can be used to add forms, live chats, etc.

agency,PPC,search engine optimization,SEM

What to look for in a search marketing agency

  • Jess
  • ON
  • November 30, 2018
Search marketing combines all the elements you can use to improve your presence on search engines. It builds a complete strategy with the ultimate goal of making your website more visible so that a larger audience can reach you and purchase your products or services. At times a complicated assortment of details, having a search marketing strategy is so important in today’s digital landscape. According to Payfirma, over 50% of mobile searches lead to a purchase, so it’s absolutely essential your website comes up on the first page of relevant search results, as close to the top as possible.
So, does it? If you feel as if your current place online isn’t what it should be, it may be time to consider hiring a search marketing agency. Not only can they help you navigate the details of flushing out a complete search marketing strategy, they can also take the stress off you in managing this ongoing and intricate process.

Before you hire an agency, know what search marketing is

Search marketing includes both the paid and unpaid efforts a business utilizes to drive traffic to their site. These methods increase your site’s visibility and improve your search engine ranking.

Unpaid Search Engine Optimization (SEO): This includes features involved with SEO; those which help improve your ranking on search engines. It also helps drive organic traffic to your site. The focus within unpaid search marketing tactics includes optimizing site content, utilizing relevant keywords, and reviewing the overall structure and links of your site.

Paid Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Also known as pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, paid search centers on text-based ads that appear at the top or side of any search engine results. These are closely aligned with key search words or phrases to ensure they appear when the right types of queries are entered into a search engine.

Finding the right balance of the two search marketing strategies for your business is just what the best search marketing agencies will help you do.

Why you should consider search marketing support

Hiring a search marketing company to help with your strategy addresses many common pain points your business may be suffering as you work to maximize the return of your online presence. Digital marketing is still a relatively new aspect of an overall marketing plan, and with constant changes in social media rules, online advertising best practices, and search engine algorithms, it can be difficult to keep up. Bringing in the expertise found within a search marketing agency can not only enhance your knowledge about the functioning of your own website, but keep you up-to-date with relevant changes to search marketing in order to take advantage of the latest developments.

Working with an agency also helps you stay on top of the minute details of search marketing without spending time doing all the research yourself. Especially at agencies like Brain Bytes Creative, where each team member brings their expertise on a specific area of digital marketing to the larger team, you get an in-depth understanding of the whole process broken down into digestible pieces. You’ll also have the confidence that enough time is being spent delving into best practices in all areas since there’s not just a single person handling everything.

A partnership for the long haul

Improving your standing in search engine results often takes longer than most people expect. Typically, when you implement changes in the way you market your business, you expect quick results. With search marketing, results can take time to be fully realized. “Search doesn’t happen in three months,” says Jason Sirotin, Chief Creative Officer at Brain Bytes Creative, “it happens over years,” which is why it’s important to think both short and long term when working on your search marketing strategy. Building a plan that demonstrates a positive return on your investment will trickle in for years to come, so it’s necessary you manage expectations in a way that doesn’t diminish the rewards of your hard work. A search marketing agency partners with you throughout the whole process, totally in it for the long haul. They should connect the dots for you over time, explaining how the work you’re implementing will affect traffic to your site for a long time to come.

What to look for in a search marketing agency

Once you’re ready to start exploring options for the ideal search marketing agency to partner with, it’s important to consider whether or not they exhibit certain qualities that can help make them a good fit, including:

Inquisitiveness

A good agency will continually ask questions to get to know your business and understand your marketing goals. Without this information, they can’t set meaningful strategies for you that will yield the right results. Make sure they’re curious about you and your business and are genuine in their interest.

Experience

Research past clients and check each potential agency’s website for feedback. Ensure that the work they’ve done in the past aligns with what you’ll need them to do for you. Additionally, it’s good to do a little research on the individuals at the agency themselves. Make sure they have the right skill sets for the work you will need done, and that the overall company boasts a variety of talent in different areas. You should also check that they’re up-to-date on all relevant information for SEO, including Google’s latest algorithm, as well as any new criteria for PPC ads. A good team should have a deep understanding of marketing principles as they relate to a digital audience.

Communicative

This is a multi-faceted quality a good search marketing agency should have. You want to know not only how often they check in with you, but whether or not they clearly communicate reports and data back to you in way that’s helpful. You need the ability to take the information they share and pass it along to your own internal stakeholders, so a proper agency should do more than just send you Google charts and graphs.

Integrity

Any agency you work with should put you first. There should be a willingness to partner with you at all levels of service in order to do good work. Your agency team should strive to deliver the best results and let actions speak louder than words.

Finding the right fit

So, does it? If you feel as if your current place online isn’t what it should be, it may be time to consider hiring a search marketing agency. Not only can they help you navigate the details of flushing out a complete search marketing strategy, they can also take the stress off you in managing this ongoing and intricate process.

The team at Brain Bytes is dedicated to this process. Putting the customer first, they work tirelessly to get to know you as they establish a partnership whose primary goal is to improve the functionality of your online presence. Prioritizing transparency, communication, and service, Brain Bytes looks forward to learning more about your search marketing needs. Contact us today to get the conversation started.

agency

Atlanta digital marketing agencies with the best websites

  • McCracken
  • ON
  • November 27, 2018
At Brain Bytes, we love to see examples of other companies with excellent websites — even if those websites belong to our competition.

Whether you’re looking for a trustworthy digital marketing agency in Atlanta, or looking for inspiration for your own site: These are a great place to start.

So, in no particular order, here are some of our favorite websites, for companies ranking highest in organic search for atlanta digital marketing agency.

Located right in Inman Park, FortyFour has one of our favorite local agency websites.

Right off the bat, you’ll notice their site is super sleek. The design is not overwhelming; they’re not throwing loud colors or huge CTAs in your face.

Even the animations scream “subtle but effective” as you scroll through.

That’s a great sign. Many people, when building a new site, have prejudices against pages that “feel too long.” But many users love scrolling, especially on pages that offer a more high-level view of your organization.

So to give those users a pleasant, almost soothing scrolling experience means taking this theory to the next level: Take a user already open to scrolling, and make them want to keep scrolling.

Additionally, many of their pages take traditional layouts and turn them on their heads a bit. On their homepage, they’re not afraid to think more horizontally instead of stacking every single thing vertically.

Case studies are inviting and engaging without being overly word-heavy.

On their service pages, they give different elements and sections room to breathe. There’s a subtle difference between “some white space” and “big awkward gaps between content” and they’ve nailed it.

You’ll also notice that their imagery selections are thoughtful, clean and consistent. You won’t find weird stock images on their site.

Often, we see great elements like the ones mentioned above on a company’s desktop site, but then those elements don’t translate to mobile. Animations become annoying, horizontal layouts will cut off, whitespace means scrolling takes forever…

But not for FortyFour’s site! All of these things translate excellently and easily to mobile.

What does all this mean for FortyFour, and for you? It means that if you’re looking for an agency of people who intuitively understand UI/UX design, they seem like a great fit.

Swarm is another Atlanta agency with a clean site with pleasing animations and layouts (and a well-done, consistent color palette).

They have a few unique features on their site worth calling out.

The biggest one is their blog. First, they do a great job regularly updating it with new, fresh content.

That not only shows that they’re smart people with a lot to say. It also shows that they really mean what they say.

They’re not just sitting there telling you, “You should publish fresh content regularly on their site if you want to succeed.” They’re doing it themselves for their own enterprise, which means there’s a great chance they actually understand what it takes to do content marketing well.

The blog also features elements that speak to expertise in user experience design.

Each blog comes with an estimated reading time, encouraging you and other users to click and give each article a couple minutes.

And their blogroll has “load more” functionality, as opposed to traditional pagination.

This majorly benefits users and likely helps them stay on the blog for much longer, since they don’t have to wait for the blog homepage to reload every time they want to see the next few articles. And loading the next set of older articles doesn’t mean taking away the most recent ones.

Swarm displays their knowledge of UI/UX best practices in a few other ways as well.

The case study headlines on their “Work” page actually communicate the specific value their agency has provided to their clients, so you feel more enticed to click.

And it looks like every page on their site includes a CTA specially written to be specific to that page’s content. That means they’re not just thinking about what they need to write on that page to answer users’ questions — but also about what those users will want to see next.

All of this goes to show that Swarm not only understands how to design a pretty site, but how to identify user needs and then directly answer them.

Bearpaw is another agency whose website shows off their knowledge of user experience, as well as their eagerness to try out non-traditional approaches.

To start, their individual service pages feature slightly unexpected layouts: Like their email marketing page.

They’re not afraid to play with horizontal arrangements and overlapping elements. As a result, their pages feel new and fresh — not like the same old thing you’ve seen on every other marketing site.

You may have noticed their service pages also include another unexpected element: At the end of the page, before their contact CTA, Bearpaw provides an option to navigate directly to the next or previous service page.

This is useful for users who are looking for an overview of all the agency’s offerings, but who don’t want to navigate back to the services category page each time.

Additionally, Bearpaw’s main navigation features something you don’t typically see on agency websites: a “Stats” page.

It’s like a slightly different approach to a “Portfolio” or “Work” page. But instead of focusing on individual clients, they’ve chosen to zero in on their specific offerings (SEO, social, development, content) and the impressive metrics they’ve each accomplished. 

The stats cover everything from follower growth and bounce rates to pieces of content written and number of projects completed without going over scope.

Judging from their site, Bearpaw is more than just an agency that uses cool fonts (though we are loving the use of Playfair Display) — They’re clearly open to challenge more traditional, and therefore potentially overused, website standards.

Hughes Media also does a good job on their website of trying out non-traditional techniques to serve a variety of user needs.

To start, there’s their newsletter signup. Tons of companies include a feature like this on their site, but the CTA is usually very general: “Sign up for our newsletter.”

Hughes, on the other hand, has a very specific offer for you: “Interested in a *FREE* Email Course On Marketing?”

This not only makes the offer inherently more enticing because they’re offering you something, it also makes you more likely to sign up because it’s an offer specifically targeted at their target audience: Other marketers — whether that’s other agencies or prospective clients.

Next, Hughes features a “reviews” page on their site. This is a cool move for a few reasons.

First, of course, they’re dedicating an entire page to proving their trustworthiness to users, using the words of real clients.

And second, they’re anticipating that some users may not just be looking for those “proof points” on their site, but may actually be using search engines to track down agency reviews.

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There’s one more thing on this website that shows Hughes thinks differently about how websites can serve prospects: their “free photos” page.

Hughes isn’t just offering you blogs and case studies about marketing best practices.

They’re apparently so dedicated to your marketing success that they’ve effectively set up a mini version of a stock image website on their own company site.

Any marketer knows that finding good free stock photos is hard enough. Finding good free images not already plastered all over every website in the US? That’s a whole other challenge.

Thankfully, Hughes is here to help.

Cardinal has a special place in this article for a few reasons.

First, they have the highest domain authority score of anyone mentioned here at 34. Not bad for a website whose domain may only be 3 years old!

Second, in a similar vein, they are (as I write this) the agency local to ATL ranking the highest for “atlanta digital marketing agency” in organic search.

Then, there’s the actual site.

Upon landing on the homepage, you immediately notice the hero: Yes, it appears to use a stock image, but the messaging hits home: “CINDY’S PUMPED BECAUSE HER BOSS JUST FOUND OUT SHE DROVE A 116% INCREASE IN LEADS THIS MONTH.”

As does the accompanying CTA: “SEE HOW SHE DID IT.”

Business prospects and fellow marketing agencies alike can instantly relate to the hero. Immediately the user can tell that Cardinal knows what’s important to them.

In fact, they prove it in numerous places around the site, especially on their individual service pages (like this one about SEO).

They not only break out plenty of helpful info to explain each of their offerings (and win search for the associated terms), they also use data callouts to hit precisely on the value they’ve offered to other clients.

The “Who we help” section of their site has a similar effect, giving them an opportunity to speak directly to prospects and prove that they understand the unique pain points and vocabularies of a variety of industries.

Finally, Cardinal ensures that no matter where you are on the site, you can click on the “Get Started” button in their sticky nav — opening a popup contact form and enabling users to instantly convert, the moment they’re ready.

Cardinal, much like all the other companies in this article, appears to really understand user needs, as well as how to translate them into an effective website.

Are you looking for an Atlanta digital marketing agency to build your company’s website? Didn’t quite find what you were looking for on this list?

Brain Bytes Creative is an Atlanta-based digital marketing agency with an obsession for data-driven decisions, true partnerships, and constant self-improvement.

We love to learn and challenge ourselves. And we’d love to help you too. Want to talk? We’re ready when you are.

agency,musings

Be a thought leader in digital marketing

  • Jason
  • ON
  • November 14, 2018
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What is a thought leader? It sounds nebulous; a kind of vague term that we assign to the individual at the head of the table in a conference room stock photo.

To set the record straight, here are two undeniable truths I know about thought leaders:

  1. The definition of “thought leader” is vague. There’s no set amount of thoughts you need to have to qualify as a leader. Basically, you should have more knowledge about a specific subject than 90% of the population, and use that knowledge to become a trusted guide for others. You don’t have to know everything, especially if the public is mostly ignorant. You just need to know more than most people.
  2. They are one of the most important drivers of marketing trends in the world today. There are a million examples. I’ll get into some of them here, but for now, I’ll say that digital marketing revolves around a person, or business, being able to to answer questions quickly and accurately. This is what a thought leader does. What’s more, a thought leader tries to predict (as best they can) what questions the public will be asking next.

The obvious question is why, right? Why does answering questions matter? Why is being a thought leader so important?

It’s Google’s world

This is a critical fact. Everyday, people say, “It’s amazing how much information is available just on our phones!” If you have a query, you’re probably Googling the answer. Google uses an algorithm to try to find the site with the best answer. Then they ensure it’s the first one you see. In both paid and organic search, the best answers get the best spot. Period. At least, that’s Google’s goal,but as we all know the first results are not always the best.

The algorithm isn’t constant. It’s always changing, trying to provide the best result. That means businesses have to always be changing, too. That’s what’s cool about digital marketing: it’s a constant war of clicks, fought in nonstop daily battles. You can’t ever lose track of it, or you fall behind. If you fall behind, you’re irrelevant.

Google recently changed the landscape of the war in a big way. They changed the meta-description length from 165 characters, to 300 characters. Why? They want to give people answers in the “search results” page. They don’t want people to have to click into a website to answer their questions.

Making the best answers readily available to searchers is a hard task. To do it right, Google crawls the internet. They look for sites with a lot of content centering on whatever question is being asked. The more content you have around a particular subject and keyword, then the more likely you are to rank in search for those topics. That’s where being a thought leader comes in. When you’re providing the answers people are demanding, and people look to you as a resource, that makes you a thought leader.

Provide answers

Marketing is about consumers. It’s about planting an idea in a person’s head. It stays with them and they associate the idea with your brand. One of the best ways to do this, and build trust with a prospect base at the same time, is by providing answers to questions. That’s why Google is on top.

Here’s where businesses get mixed up: they don’t share information. There’s no one who understands more about a product than the company that makes it. If you’re not providing the answers people want about your product, your prospects will find (and trust) another company that does.

To be a thought leader, you have to be willing to give away your knowledge.

Think about it like this. When people want to see a movie badly enough and they can’t find a way to watch it (no theater near them, or lack of money), they’ll pirate it. The internet finds a way. If people are searching for information, they will find a way to retrieve it. But if you can make that process easy, then why wouldn’t you? There’s so much value to be had by making knowledge available. And yet, some people shy away from it. That’s crazy!

I mean, don’t share your proprietary secrets. But aside from that, consumers are begging for information. That’s not something to fight against. Shouldn’t you be the one providing the answers?

Learn the questions

Being a thought leader in terms of digital marketing means even more than answering questions. You can have the information and be willing to share, but you can still fail to increase business if you don’t transmit and share it the right way.

To answer questions, you have to know what the questions are. And I don’t mean generally. I mean you want to know EXACTLY. What words are people using to ask their questions?

These are keywords. They’re vital. Say you write an article. You answer millions of people’s questions perfectly, but you don’t include the right words in the title or meta-description. You just release some valuable information into the endless vacuum of space.

Seem harsh? Some analysts speculate that each one of us is hit with between 4,000 and 10,000 messages every day. You need to cut through the fluff. You can’t become lost in the shuffle. But that’s what happens when you’re not leading your field.

Website flow mapping is all about thinking of how users will navigate through your site. You add on layers of complexity as you think through how a user will navigate through every page of your website. Many website companies and their clients believe that people go to your homepage first. That could not be more wrong. People arrive on your site by searching Google for a specific keyword and land on a related page. This is why at our agency we see every page as its own “homepage.” By looking at your website holistically, we can control what happens when someone lands on any page and push them into a sales funnel where appropriate so they convert. The next time you are doing a web search, think about where you are landing. Take note. You’ll see that understanding how users navigate though the site is critical to conversions, goal completions, and revenue.

Lead, don’t follow

I don’t want you to lose track of how important being a leader is. Marketing is a constantly changing game. What is and isn’t valued content changes day-to-day, sometimes hour-to-hour.

Google will inevitably reward sites with a wealth of information on sought-after subjects. If you have the most search-relevant keywords, and a lot of content, you’re in good shape. It will be difficult for the competition to catch up if they have to generate 9,000 posts of content just to catch you.

BUT, they will catch you if you don’t keep learning, keep growing. You have to stay on top of trends, events, fashions. A true thought leader is going to identify consumers’ needs, and move to fulfill them. Then, they’re going to be there to answer questions about their business moving forward. Always.

These things add legitimacy to a business, and cultivate trust in their customer base. That’s a path to long-term success.

agency,musings

Seven reasons why digital agencies get fired

  • Savvy
  • ON
  • November 6, 2018
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BBC is known as the agency for clients who have been burned by other agencies.

But the truth is that we weren’t always so great. In fact, early in our lifecycle, we got fired… a lot.

This created the impetus to learn everything we could about why companies fire their agencies. Over the last 7 years, we have collected information from former clients, current clients, and employees to figure out why companies fire digital agencies.

Website flow mapping is all about thinking of how users will navigate through your site. You add on layers of complexity as you think through how a user will navigate through every page of your website. Many website companies and their clients believe that people go to your homepage first. That could not be more wrong. People arrive on your site by searching Google for a specific keyword and land on a related page. This is why at our agency we see every page as its own “homepage.” By looking at your website holistically, we can control what happens when someone lands on any page and push them into a sales funnel where appropriate so they convert. The next time you are doing a web search, think about where you are landing. Take note. You’ll see that understanding how users navigate though the site is critical to conversions, goal completions, and revenue.

1) Agency fails to drive results that matter to the client’s business.

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We’ve all seen the pretty powerpoint decks showcasing impressions, bounce rate improvements, and other up-pointing green arrows promoting metrics that don’t drive revenue.

The problem with these types of “results” is that eventually someone from the top of the company will ask, “So how is this work impacting our business?” And the relationship unravels from there.

We also know that vanity marketing like pretty redesigns, clever tagline development, and web features that make a site feel “slick” will not survive the digital age.

At BBC, we work very hard to gain alignment on the metrics that matter and to pursue engagements that are more about solving quantifiable problems than pursuing vanity activities and metrics.

For example, if a client hires us to do Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”), the first thing we do is create a broad baseline of metrics we plan to increase, and then gain agreement with the client on their importance.

Then, every quarter, we identify the specific metrics we plan to tackle over the subsequent three month period and align all activities around them. At the end of every quarter, we report on the metrics we promised to tackle across all previous quarters.

This ensures that everyone is rowing in the same direction and helps clients and agency employees maintain accountability for driving the right results.

Our favorite tool for measuring baselines and uncovering shared SEO priorities is something we built called an “Advanced Organic Opportunity Tool.”

Want us to make you onefor free? Shoot us a message and we’ll craft one for you.

2) Agency lacks responsiveness.

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You can mess a lot of things up and be forgiven as long as you always respond as soon as humanly possible.

Responsiveness builds a lot of trust with clients and helps them relax, especially those relying on us for their technology.

On the flip side, digital agencies who are slow to respond to clients create feelings of uncertainty and nervousness. Eventually people have to correct things that make them feel uneasy, which means firing the agency that contributes to this discomfort.

One of the first values we instill in new employees is the importance of responsiveness.

At BBC, our standard is to reply to as many client emails as humanly possible within 24 business hours of receiving them — and a large percentage of queries get someone’s attention within an hour.

Even if we don’t have the answer, we let eager clients know that we hear them and are working to resolve their query.

3) Agency overcomplicates technical issues to avoid accountability.

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Some agencies convey a lot of jargon, especially from their development team.

On occasion, this jargon is appropriate.

But sometimes the jargon is used to intimidate clients — or worse, cover up mistakes. (Turns out “propagation” can’t be used to excuse every website failure. Who knew?)

The problem is that clients will eventually resent an agency they don’t understand.

When you purposefully try to intimidate a client with tech talk, they may back down the first few times. But eventually they will overthrow you. Why? Because relationships that rely on confusion cannot create value.

Our job is to create clarity, and to ease the flow of information between ideas and technical implementations. Not add to the confusion and chaos.

Here are some examples of what this means at BBC:

  • Sales people refrain from using jargon and one-solution-fits-all language in project briefs. Instead, they are responsible for clearly articulating the problems we are trying to solve and the activities/deliverables we intend to pursue in solving them.
  • Developers are interviewed based on their experience but hired based on their culture fit and communication skills. Divas, ego maniacs, and golden basement builders do not make it past the first round of our interview process.

4) Agency fails to uncover and disclose issues in a way that builds trust.

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Failing to solve and disclose an issue as soon as it’s discovered can mean big trouble for digital marketing agencies.

Sitting on issues or mistakes can cost you the trust you’ve spent months or years trying to build. By contrast, being transparent and solution-oriented about problems builds character within the agency and can bolsters trust with clients.

Even if the issue isn’t your fault, you should always try to be the party who finds the mistake first. Try setting up alerts (e.g., Pingdom, WP alerts) and regularly checking your analytical tools to make sure you always know if something is off.

Then, try something bigger: Build a company culture that promotes fearlessness and ownership, and show agency employees that there is no “punishment” for honest mistakes.

Brain Byters are programmed not to protect weaknesses. Most of us strive to call out any cover-your-ass techniques or language that might keep us from taking accountability and becoming better marketers (and humans).

Owners, leaders, and employees company-wide challenge themselves and each other to reward risk-taking and owning failures (and subsequent learnings).

As a result, clients get true transparency and benefit from everything we are learning along the way.

Agencies that don’t make mistakes are not trying hard enough. And agencies that hide their mistakes are denying clients the precious gems that come from failing up.

5) Agency holds clients hostage.

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A successful client relationship should be built on the mutual desire to work together, not on the fear that everything will fall apart if the agency leaves.

An agency that employs rhetoric or policy to force or pressure a client to maintain a relationship will eventually get the axe.

This includes agencies who demand long contracts with stiff penalties, mystify SEO processes and approaches, set up and hijack paid search, social media, and Amazon accounts, and don’t disclose information to partnering agencies.

Agencies can’t and won’t keep clients by handcuffing them, but rather by constantly pushing themselves to add more value.

6) Agency fails to clarify the problem that needs to be solved — from the start.

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It can be eye-opening to look through the scopes your sales team has sent out in the last few years.

We did this, and discovered that several doomed relationships started with gobbledygook scopes covered in jargon sauce.

These insufficient scopes had one commonality — they failed to distinguish the problem that needed to be solved. As a result, the work we prescribed failed to solve the most important problems first, which led to slower results and eventual parting of ways.

At BBC, we will not take on new work until it is hyper-clear what problem(s) we are trying to solve.

The first step we take in our sales process is seeking alignment on a project brief that articulates the problem as we understand it, including data points to prove it is actually a problem.

Once the work is sold, our employees align proposed tactics with the problems identified, and choose activities and experiments that will have the most significant impact on the problem. And we specially train account management to evaluate plans and raise flags when they do not see a clear connection between the problem and the proposed activities.

This approach helps each of our clients to more accurately assess their marketing tactics, set the right priorities, and demonstrate the value of their marketing work all the way up the ladder of their own organization.

7) Agency doesn’t solicit regular feedback and make steady improvements.

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The only way to know what you could be doing better is to ask — ask your clients – and ask your agency employees.

We have detailed processes for making sure we understand what is going well and what could improve from the client’s perspective, and we have a shared commitment internally to address issues in a logical and systematic way as they are uncovered.

Our employees are also very keen on broadcasting concerns and issues as they arise, and letting us, the owners, know when a process or standard needs to evolve internally to meet upcoming challenges.

But beware. Becoming a feedback-persistent company may require a culture shift.

In an industry where egos run high and employees can be laid off anytime a big client leaves, employees can easily become more focused on how they are perceived than on becoming the best version of themselves.

At our agency, the first thing we ask new hires to do is to read three books: Lean In, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, and A New Earth. Then we keep cultural learning going through regular book clubs.

We find that these books set the foundation for a culture that values the greater good more than being right and helps people get past their own bullshit to see the world and themselves from a cleaner, more objective lens.

Do you own or work for a digital agency? If so, I hope this list helps you as you strive to continually grow and evolve your team. Brain Bytes Creative has been around for almost a decade, and we’ve made just about every mistake imaginable along the way. So, yeah, we know that losing a client hurts. But to ignore the opportunity that it offers for reflection and improvement would be the worst mistake of all.

Want to learn more about the Brain Bytes way? We’d love to meet you. Contact us!

agency,musings

Five ways to have a successful digital marketing agency in 2019

  • Jason
  • ON
  • November 2, 2018
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2018 has not been the best year for advertising agencies. To expand on that fact, agencies did not deserve the best year in 2018. There hasn’t been a significant shakeup in agencies’ MO since the 1950’s and that leads to complacency. What happened in 2018 was client pushback against a system that didn’t work for them.

The landscape of marketing is changing more rapidly than ever before. Digital is a huge part of that. So, how do you learn from the mistakes of the past and become a successful digital marketing agency in 2019?

1. Be nice.

I almost called this tip something else, but it wouldn’t have fit the theme. When I say be nice, I mean you can’t treat your clients like dirt. Don’t be elitist. You can’t be hard to reach, you can’t be inattentive, and you can’t be rude. The fact is, this is how agencies have come to be perceived over time. Clients aren’t going to tolerate that anymore. They’re going to turn to internal marketing teams, for better or worse, and your agency will lose that business.

You need to be honest, first and foremost. As radical as it may seem, you need to do everything you can to actually help your clients. Do away with the stereotype of the sleazy marketing executive. Clients won’t pay for him anymore, assuming that kind of interaction is just part of the deal. Which leads me to my next point….

2. Be transparent.

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If a client asks you why they’re being charged for a service, you should be able to tell them exactly what that service is and why it costs what it does. Some people reading this might be thinking, “Well, yeah, obviously.” But as crazy as it sounds, there are a LOT of agencies – and other businesses for that matter – that can’t or won’t do this.

In 2019, itemizing the costs of your services, and being able to back them up with data, is going to be a major point in your favor. Luckily, that data is available. When you build a site, you can track conversion rates, you can make sure your client sees how much of a difference your services make. That’s not something to shy away from; it’s a major advantage.

At Brain Bytes, we make it a point to use all the data we have at our disposal, and share it with our clients. Not everyone may understand what a benefit having a good agency in their corner can be, but everyone’s heard of of agencies swindling huge fees out of clients for nothing in particular.

Build trust with your clients and let them know what you bring to the table. Honesty will be rewarded.

Do your research.

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Remember all that data I mentioned? You should be using all the tools at your disposal to do your job better. Stay up late and read books. Read articles, and learn more about the business of digital marketing and branding. You should be a thought leader in the space. Not only will Google rank you higher in search, but you’ll be more equipped to help your clients.

Good ideas don’t come from nothing. They take work.

For example, you can learn the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing. Bea marketer. That’s what Google wants, and it’s clear that winning search means great things for your agency and your clients. Supply reports and plans that have strong KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and track them. Measure everything. Use analytics tools. These are things that a digital marketing agency can provide that an internal marketing team can’t.

Living in 2019 means you have an absurd amount of scientific information available to you. You’re doing a disservice to yourself and your clients by failing to make use of it.

4. Be proactive, not reactive.

The lessons of 2018 are out there for anyone. There are already agencies that are doing things right, and there will be more. Don’t wait and learn the hard way that the status quo is shifting. Be proactive and start making the changes.

However, being proactive refers to much more than changing the way you engage clients. Trends come and go overnight, and you need to know what’s popular, what’s relatable. You need to know what content has the best chance of being successful.

Content is a moving target. At the same time, it’s deeply ingrained in our society. Whatever your clients are trying to sell, you need to push them towards being thought leaders in their space, because that will drive the most relevant and useful content. To do that, you need to be a thought leader in your own space.

You need to be the one with the answers, and that means doing your best to know the questions. You can’t perfectly predict what the next hit will be, but you give yourself the best chance when you monitor keywords, stay on top of social media trends, and pounce on opportunities when they show themselves.

I should note you need a great team of people working tirelessly to make this happen. Work hard, be bold, and be topical.

5. Build long-term relationships.

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Agency employee turnover rates are really high, around 30% in recent years.

The average person stays at their job for five years. There’s no way agencies are close to that, since agency turnover rates are second only to the tourism industry. This creates a major problem for both agencies and clients. Not only are agencies working to get used to new people every few months, but clients aren’t sure who they’re talking to. They used to talk to Patti? Too bad, Patti’s at a different agency now. Here’s Kevin.

It’s a bad look, and it reinforces this notion that agencies are faceless, soulless organizations worth avoiding. You should want your clients to feel like you have a relationship, and you should want to have a relationship with your employees. A positive work environment makes people want to work harder.

When I look to hire people, I want people who are willing to go the extra mile. They want to do it because they want to be here. Not for six months, or a year and a half, but for five years or more. It’s about fostering an environment where everyone’s pushing each other to be better all the time because they enjoy their work and they like their coworkers.

I look for shared goals with my employees because we all work better when we’re all working towards the same thing. I don’t just ask them where they want to be in five years, I tell them where I want to be. The best results come when we have common ground, because we know that when one of us pushes in a certain direction, we’re doing it because we really believe it’s getting us closer to our goals.

That team mentality is so key for building relationships with clients, too. All these tips point towards the idea that a client should feel like their agency is working for them. When we go really hard for our clients – and have the numbers to back it up – they appreciate what we’re doing.

Website flow mapping is all about thinking of how users will navigate through your site. You add on layers of complexity as you think through how a user will navigate through every page of your website. Many website companies and their clients believe that people go to your homepage first. That could not be more wrong. People arrive on your site by searching Google for a specific keyword and land on a related page. This is why at our agency we see every page as its own “homepage.” By looking at your website holistically, we can control what happens when someone lands on any page and push them into a sales funnel where appropriate so they convert. The next time you are doing a web search, think about where you are landing. Take note. You’ll see that understanding how users navigate though the site is critical to conversions, goal completions, and revenue.

The upside for agencies

I believe companies can really only have these types of relationships with independent agencies. Relying on an internal marketing department means relying on people who have no extra incentives to do great work. They have the same vacations, work the same hours, and only really need to work hard enough to keep their jobs.

When a company hires a digital marketing agency, they should do it knowing that agency is invested in the success of their clients. They can find people at the right agency, who are striving to be great because they a) love what they do, and b) are invested in their own success too.

As agencies, working with clients to the best of our ability should be mutually beneficial. 2018 showed that companies are tired of agencies that don’t care about them, that won’t be open with them, that shroud their activities in mystery.

Clients want expertise with simplicity and openness, and agencies can find the most success by providing those things. It’s weird they weren’t doing that all along.

agency

Why PR agencies love Brain Bytes Creative

  • Jason
  • ON
  • March 7, 2017

At Brain Bytes Creative, we take pride in our ability to build strong, long-lasting relationships with our clients. This is what sets us apart from the pack. We don’t believe in simply working on a project and moving on. Our belief is that partnerships are much more meaningful and beneficial for not only our clients, but for our own business as well. Why? Because, helping our clients win and achieve their goals is our biggest motivation. When you win, we win. It’s that simple.

When we think about some of our best partnerships, we immediately look to our relationships with PR agencies. Our team has worked hard over the years to build strong partnerships with some of the best, most reputable PR agencies in the country.

So, let me go over a few reasons why PR agencies love Brain Bytes Creative.

First of all, we are responsive.

Brain Bytes Creative was built around this simple yet seemingly difficult to find idea. Our founders heard over, and over, and over… and over again, complaints and dissatisfaction around the responsiveness of their digital agencies. We work hard to change this notion. Our goal is to deliver vital information you need to make your business stronger. Data is everything in today’s business world. The Brain Bytes Creative team commits to deliver projects, information, and meaningful data on time and on track. In fact, sometimes we go over the top to make sure our partners get the responsive service they deserve. So, don’t be surprised to get an email after midnight from one of our team members!

We make PR agencies look good.

We understand that your relationship with your clients is top priority and key to your success. We strive to make your company the hero! Whether it’s website design, a digital marketing campaign, graphic design work, mobile app development, writing fantastic content, business strategies, or even the need for a solution or software that doesn’t yet exist. We are there to make that happen.

We are critical thinkers and problem solvers.

Solving specific problems is the basis of everything we do. Your clients have probably come to you with the problem of an outdated website, that needs a new website design. With consumers functioning more and more in digital, we understand this and are there to help. We build beautiful, thoughtful websites and mobile apps that are easy to use maintain and navigate. But, a great website is only half the story. Digital marketing is what brings it all together. Our team is composed of digital marketing experts. We also know that your clients may simply need graphic design work for a great one page mailer or a pamphlet. We are here to help with the small “easy” projects too! Our clients have even brought requests to create software solutions to resolve their most frustrating and difficult technical problems.

Passion is one of our best traits.

Finally, we are passionate about everything we do! That passion translates directly to our clients as well as yours. We love to help them win, and we have fun doing it! Passion is what drives us!

In closing, we are here to help and we always love a new challenge and new opportunities to build relationships. So, if you are tired of the same old song and dance from your current digital agency give us a call.