content marketing,strategy

Get obsessed with creating content

  • Jason
  • ON
  • December 29, 2018

Why great content and strategic content marketing are the future.

Since 2013, I have been obsessed with the power of a great piece of content. That year, I wrote blog for another one of my businesses. It was raw and factual and had a very strong opinion. Within 24 hours of releasing the post it went viral on Reddit. At one time there were 19,000 people on our website at one time. I was floored especially because it was the first blog I had ever wrote. (Talk about peaking early!) To this day — 100+ blog posts later — I still have not been able to create a blog that had the same power. But trying has been an incredible experience with many lessons that has made me obsessed with content. My hope is that this article encourages you to start your content journey because the thrill and the rewards are worth it!

Content is king, queen and everything in between online.

Without content the internet would be nothing. Without Google and other search engines, the internet would be mass chaos. The creation of the internet and Google, to me, is on par with the Big Bang — it’s the beginning of the new world of marketing, communication, and society. Today most of us, from the moment we wake up, start to consume content and it goes on throughout the day until we can’t look at our phones anymore and we fall asleep. This phenomenon has made online content the most important marketing tool in the history of man. If you are not creating content, as a brand, you are falling behind.

Why? Because everyone searches for information the same way. If we want to know something, we go to our favorite search engine and type in a query. The content that is served up on page one of search engines is decided by complex algorithms that take into consideration thousands of ranking factors like readability, page speed, keywords, image tags, geo location, and so many more. If your content hits on those, if you do content right, your content is powerful. Doing content right means creating content that helps solve a problem or educates in a meaningful way will get you far in the kingdom of search.

Search engines are looking for thought leaders.

When a search engine crawls your website, it’s looking for many things but one major factor is subject matter expertise. For example, a company that sells devices that reduce snoring should be an expert at all things snoring. Let’s look at a scenario of two anti-snoring device companies. One company, Company A, has been in the business ten years but has very little content on their website. The other company, Company B, is only two years old but has over one hundred pages of content and is generating five to ten articles a month about snoring. It is highly unlikely that Company A is out ranking Company B in the SERPS (search engine results pages) unless Company A has a ton of authority and back links that prove to the search engines that they are the authority. It is much more likely that Company B outranks Company A because the search engines are seeing them as thought leaders.

One example of this kind of thought leadership might be Company B’s content hub around snoring devices. The below grouping of articles/pages shows the search engines that Company B has a vast amount of linked content and knowledge in the snoring space. Therefore, in order for search engines to do their job properly (getting people to the best result for any given query), they are likely to award Company B with a better ranking in the SERPS than Company B.

Example of snoring devices content hub:

Snoring Devices

Snoring Mouthpieces

Which Snoring Mouthpiece is Right for Me?

How Do you Clean a Snoring Mouthpiece?

Snoring Chin Straps

How do Snoring Chin Straps Work?

Snoring Nasal Strips

Does Breathe Right Nasal Strips stop snoring?

Snoring EPAP

What is EPAP for Snoring?

Snoring Throat Spray

Snoring Device Technologies

Top Five Snoring Devices

This content hub shows a strong knowledge and understanding of snoring devices. If the content is written so it is SEO-friendly, it is highly likely that Company B is on page one of the SERPS for “snoring devices.”

Being a thought leader is critical for brands. The ones that started four years ago have a huge advantage over ones that just started, and the companies that just started have an advantage over companies who refuse to understand the power of content and thought leadership.

The right content delivered to the right audience will grow your business.

Creating content is just the beginning. You can’t put up a blog and expect the leads to just start coming in. It’s important to share your post on social networks, encourage other thought leaders to share, etc. Below is a sample email that you could send to thought leaders in an effort to transmit your content.

Hi Thought Leader,

I wrote an article that I think your audience would benefit from. Here’s the link _____________. I enjoy the content you create and I share it regularly. Thanks for all you do!

Best,

Jane Doe

Transmission of content is critical, and it becomes easier as you establish an audience. To build an audience here’s a quick list of things to get you started.

Quick tips to build an audience.

  • Social media accounts. (Boost posts when you can.)
  • Build an email list by gating valuable content.
  • Sign up for Help A Reporter Out.
  • Invest time in creating email drip campaigns for your email list.
  • Speak at small or large events on your areas of expertise.
  • Write content for other thought leaders websites as a guest author.
  • Submit content to relevant online publications like Forbes or Fast Company.

The key is delivering your content to the right audience at the right time. Social networks are a terrific place for this while also being very affordable. Select your demographic and geolocation and start reaping the rewards!

New platforms and technologies are giving content creators the ability to do extreme targeting.

Last week I met with the founder of a company whose advertising technology has the ability to geo-target very specific areas. During his demo, they used the Atlanta airport as an example. In real time, he showed me the areas of the airport where people were most active on mobile. As we drilled down further, he showed me what apps where being used the most and the demographics of those who were using them.

Because my agency works with a ton of sleep and snoring companies, I asked to see a real-life example of how we might geo-target them. He pulled up all the coffee shops next to our offices and showed me heat maps that indicated high activity. One specific Starbucks was bright red on the heat map. “You want to push ads to these people for snoring devices?” he asked. “A few have probably been up all night and need that caffeine jolt to get through the day. Wouldn’t it be nice to spend a fraction of what you are spending casting a wide net and connecting with prospects where they are likely to convert?”

“Hell yes!” I replied. Who wouldn’t want to target their message to the right consumer? This is just one example of the technology available to digital marketers today. Do a little research on tools that in theory could be useful; chances are those tools already exist, or else you might be tapping into the future of digital marketing!

Creating content and watching the data is fascinating and fun.

Lastly, creating content about which you’re passionate is fun! If you are writing about something you love, it’s almost effortless. But if you’re forcing yourself to write, you are likely writing about things that you don’t care about and therefore you should not be writing about it! Go do something else. Life is too short to spin your wheels working on shit you are not passionate about.

For those of you who love sharing your passion with the world you’ll love seeing the data analytics come in from your website, social and all the other sources. You’ll find out what your audience connects with and what they don’t give two shits about. You’ll see which article produced revenue and which ones only drive loads of traffic because they are too general. All of it is valuable and all of it will help you grow your business or influencer status.

It’s time to get obsessed with content. It’s the future. You’re being left behind if you are not playing the game! I warned you!

The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the second best time is now.
– Chinese Proverb

nikola-jovanovic-631527-unsplash
conversion rate optimization,strategy

Why should I invest in CRO marketing

  • Nathan
  • ON
  • December 11, 2018
rawpixel-570908-unsplash-300x181

There’s no time like the present to consider a CRO program.

Suddenly, you’re faced with an all-too-familiar scenario: You have a limited budget and aggressive sales goals. Now, you’re deciding where to invest your budget to generate the strongest impact. How you invest your budget will determine whether you meet your goals, and whether you meet your goals will determine your performance. The pressure’s on. This is the hard part, right?

It certainly doesn’t have to be. It’s time to consider investing in a robust Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) program.

Alright, fair enough. But why?

Let’s take the next few moments to walk through the benefits of a CRO program together. By the time you’re done reading this article, you should be well equipped to decide whether your website and business could benefit from CRO.

Spoiler alert: It very likely can!

Defining CRO

Common sense tells us we need a solid definition for CRO before we can really dive in head first.

Generally, we can define Conversion Rate Optimization as a set of methods used in digital marketing to increase the percentage of users on your website who convert. Conversion in this case refers to users who take desired steps forward on your website, either converting them directly into customers, or bringing them ever closer to becoming one. In other words, CRO is all about improving your website’s effectiveness on its users to drive sales.

On paper, it almost sounds like the marketing scheme of some evil mastermind… except in our scenario, it’s a plan that actually works.

Pretty neat, huh?

Now, let’s begin exploring some of the advantages of our potential scheme plan.

The Advantages of CRO

When it comes to CRO’s strengths, there are several key benefits that distinguish it from other website investment opportunities. Here are the major highlights:

CRO is unique in that focuses on your website’s current traffic.

Think of it this way: People who are visiting your site are already in your sales funnel, regardless of how close they are to the end goal. If they’re visiting your site, it must be because they’re interested in something you offer (sparing an accidental visit from a cat walking across the keyboard).

Imagine how exponential your results could be if you began optimizing your website for these users.

(Brain Bytes Creative is based in Atlanta, so sometimes traffic has a …slightly different meaning to us.)

CRO also reduces the cost of acquiring customers.

It doesn’t involve paid ads, emails or other forms of pricey advertising. Simply put, you’re making the best use of what’s already on your site. In other words, it’s not cheap, it’s working smart.

Here’s another way to think about it:

Have you ever been in a typical department store and thought to yourself something along the lines of, “I can’t find what I’m looking for?” If you know another store has the item in question, you might be tempted to leave and go there instead.

In this scenario, CRO would be the equivalent of optimizing your store’s layout for those customers that are already in the store, so that you can ensure they always find exactly what they’re looking for.

On the other hand, a paid ad would be trying to reach people who are either not inside your store, or don’t know about it yet. It’s much more lucrative to focus on those who are already closer to converting. You don’t want them to leave because of inconveniences.

Taking a valuable lesson from the example above, we can also glean that CRO helps you tap into your most valuable customers.

Research suggests that the highest quality leads come from organic traffic. If your traffic isn’t converting, this suggests that your website is clearly not persuading its users to buy in. This is why CRO focuses on creating the best service experience for your users as is possible.

CRO builds trust and brand perception.

One of the major components of CRO is improving your site’s overall design, which offers clear trust points your users are looking for.

Here’s a right on the nose example.

If you looked at two different sites that were offering the same product, who would you be more willing to trust with your business? The website that’s designed with a clear intention and is easy to navigate, or the site with a few broken images and missing links (or dare I even say: Comic Sans)?

It’s kind of a no brainer, isn’t it?

(On the one hand, at least he wasn’t making his website’s logo in MS Paint…)

But let’s think realistically now.

Even in the smallest of instances, CRO’s design oriented marketing strategies may yield an incredible impact that would otherwise very likely go unnoticed by many great thinkers in marketing.

One of my favorite examples I found was when Veeam Software, a data management company, changed one single word on their website and saw their click through rate increase by 161%!

Can you imagine that?

Using a survey on their website, they asked their users what additional information they would like to see on their product pages. The number one response was “pricing.” Of course, the company was unable to publish their pricing information given they sold explicitly through partners, whose discounts may vary.

The solution?

In one simple but clever move, they changed the text on their “Request a quote” link, which would lead users to a sales inquiry page, to “Request pricing.”

What likely accumulated into a two minute change led to a 161% jump in their click through rate. At the risk of sounding cheesy, that’s the power of CRO.

So, it’s not just the website with the nicer design that will win people over, but also the website that provides its users with the experience that is closest possible to their desired expectations. Which leads us to the next benefit…

CRO helps you steal business from competition and earn repeat customers.

These are the words you’ve probably been waiting to hear! If your site offers a better checkout experience than your competitors, it’s almost a guarantee that they’ll become repeat customers. Again, all you’re doing is simply maximizing your site’s usability. It’s simple, but effective.

CRO yields data that allows you to gain sharper insights into your customers’ wants and needs.

This next highlight is dedicated to that inner geek in all of us: CRO also includes a lot of data digging. The good kind! Any good marketer knows this is an information goldmine consisting of possible high-impact, far-reaching implications. Just take a quick peek at some examples of the sort of data CRO can return:

  • User flow analysis
  • Heat maps showing where users click and how far along they scroll
  • Session replays showing user frustration
  • Form analytics, including drop-offs and fields that slow users down
  • And of course, good ol’fashion A/B test results (can’t live without them!)

CRO & SEO

One last thought here! Have I mentioned yet that CRO also works hand-in-hand with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? It totally does, and it’s glorious.

Anyhow, back on the topic of data (and geeking out)…

Now that we have a greater understanding of CRO’s benefits, let’s take a closer look at some of the data that shows proof that CRO is as effective as it sounds.

Let’s Look at Some Numbers

Within the past few years, many new statistics regarding the effectiveness of CRO have been surfacing, and they carry nothing but great news to go around for any marketers worth their salt.

According to the quotes found on Sessioncam’s “20 Conversion rate optimization stats you need to know”, the average ROI from CRO tools has been estimated at 223%! In addition, out of a total of 36 CRO tools that companies have studied, only two have failed to generate a substantial ROI. Only two.

With only 22% of businesses being satisfied with their inherent conversation rates in 2017, it’s no wonder Google is beginning to see a stark increase in searches for CRO and its related services.

Speaking of which, here at Brain Bytes Creative, we’ve seen more than our fair share of CRO successes too!

To name just a few:

  • We generated 13 new leads in one quarter for an Orthodontics Manufacturer by identifying several opportunities to place CTAs.
  • We saw an increase in “Request an Appointment” form fills by 46.95% and increased page value by 19.99% for an orthopaedic practice in the Southeast by simply moving a form field.
  • We witnessed increased page engagement by 5.45% and form submissions (leads) from brokers by 0.35% for an insurance company by changing a single button’s text! …Sound familiar?

And the list goes on and on!

We use advanced CRO techniques as well as low-hanging fruit, as described in a few of the examples above.

(The More You Know: Originally, Brain Bytes Creative’s logo was a cartoony brain with a bite taken out of it. I wish we had kept it.)

Calculating CRO’s ROI

Moving on to the topic of ROI, Nabler mentions a KPI entitled “ROCRO” (Return on Conversion Rate Optimization) which calculates and measures the ROI you receive from your CRO efforts.

Let’s breakdown how to calculate ROCRO with a quick example using Nabler’s ROCRO calculator:

Imagine you’re a busy retailer who aims to primarily make sales online. The first thing you will need to do, is gather six key points of data:

  • Your average website sessions per day
  • Existing website conversion rate
  • Average order (or lead) value
  • Average contribution margin ratio
  • Estimated annual cost of your CRO program
  • Your estimated conversion rate lift from said CRO program

In this example, let’s say you roughly receive about 2,400 unique visits to your website a day, with an existing conversion rate of 2.5%. If the average order value is approximately $100 and the contribution margin is 50%, what sort of ROCRO could we generate if we bought a CRO program for an annual cost of $28,000 a year to help us manage our CRO program?

Even if you’re only estimating a 0.5% increase in your conversion rate lift (now 3% total), you’d be increasing your conversion rate by a mind boggling 17%!

Is It That Time Already?

So, by now you should have a solid grasp on why investing in a CRO program would greatly benefit you. To sum up, it’s a powerful and inexpensive tactic for a wise marketer who is taking steps towards leveraging the greatest possible results. Purely by optimizing your preexisting website’s design and usability, you will be taking massive, thoughtful strides towards hitting your conversion goals.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, now is the best time to consider investing in a CRO Program. More businesses are researching and investing in CRO each day, so now is the best time to get invested yourself, if you want to stay ahead of your competition.

If you’re interested in starting now, Brain Bytes Creative offers highly effective CRO services (not just speaking strictly out of bias here…).

But you don’t just have to take my word for it. Learn more about Brain Bytes Creative’s CRO approach by checking out some of our other wonderful articles here:

And of course, if you’re interested in contacting us directly to learn more, we highly encourage it! Drop us a line, and thanks for reading!

design,strategy

Billboard design and placement in Atlanta

  • Jason
  • ON
  • November 7, 2018
architecture-billboard-building-373589-300x200

Billboard advertising is one of the few advertising media maintaining business as marketing shifts to digital. While other advertising methods have taken a hit, the demand for billboards hasn’t changed. Especially with the inclusion of digital billboards, considering this as an option in your overall marketing campaign can be a very smart move.

The reach of billboards 

A billboard’s audience is typically larger than those looking at advertising in a printed piece or on television or radio simply because it’s dependent on the number of people who drive by. In Atlanta alone, over 76% of daily commuters get to work using their car. With an average drive time of 31 minutes, there is a lot of opportunity for them to regularly view billboards along the roadside, specifically when you note that over 70% of drivers and passengers take notice of billboard advertising when they pass it.

Picking the right spot for your billboard 

Looking at your options when thinking about purchasing billboard space may feel like a daunting task. There are billboards everywhere, stretching across major highways, busy urban streets, and primary roads throughout Atlanta’s suburbs. How do you know which one is right for you?

  • Location: Narrow down your search for the best billboard by being strategic in your location. Maybe you want advertising close to your brick and mortar business, maybe you want to target an audience in a specific part of town, maybe you’re after a certain sect of consumers — whatever the parameters for your target audience, it will translate into an optimal billboard location around town. 
  • Audience: In addition to reaching the right audience demographically, you also want to think about reaching the right size of your ideal audience. Will you have better odds along a freeway, city street, or around a neighborhood? Where does your audience naturally cluster? Factoring in the behavior of your ideal audience will help in your location selection when it comes time to purchasing a billboard.

Now that you’ve narrowed down where you want your billboard to be, the next thing to remember is that a picture is not worth a thousand words in this instance. Looking at pictures of potential billboards may hide glaring issues with their location, intentionally. Your billboard could be obstructed by trees. It could also be further away from the road that you’d prefer, making it harder to read as cars zoom by. The best tip, given by the outdoor advertising experts at Effortless Outdoor Media is to visit your potential billboard before you buy. Seeing it for yourself will ensure you’re getting the best billboard in the best location to be seen.

Designing the best billboard 

Once you know where your billboard advertising is going to live, it’s time to design it. Billboards, whether traditional or digital, are unique in their design requirements because the audience is on the move as they’re reading it. “Less is more” is especially true in billboard design. Less text makes a bigger impact when it comes to billboards. Limit yourself to between five and nine works when crafting your billboard message. Seven words tends to be the sweet spot to get a complete idea cross.

Selecting one graphic or photo rather than sharing a few on your billboard takes the “less is more” concept into the design itself. You’ll make bigger impact with a single, expressive image, that aligns with your message. This also leaves room to include a visible version of your logo so that passersby can easily identify who’s talking to them.

Don’t forget to leave room for an easy call-to-action as well. This ensures your audience has a reason to follow through once they view your ad. A website, phone number, or your physical address all give your audience a way to directly connect as soon as they see your billboard.

A few final billboard design tips:

  • If your board is next to a road, don’t forget to check if it will appear on the driver’s lefthand or righthand side. Your design should take into account where the human eye is most likely to start and move as your audience passes the board. 
  • How far is your board from the ground? The further away the board (especially if it doesn’t increase in size with that distance), the simpler and bolder your design should be to ensure it will still be eye-catching and easy to read. 
  • What’s the backdrop? You should take background into consideration when designing. Is it up against a building? Trees? The sky? Knowing the surroundings will help you pick the best design and palette to ensure your board really pops.

Working with experts to stay on track with billboard advertising 

Brain Bytes Creative prides themselves on working with organizations looking to expand their reach through creative marketing strategies. Should you be in need of outdoor advertising as a component of your overall plan of action, they’re happy to help get you started with the process in addition to the wealth of services they provide to ensure strong returns on your digital marketing.

When BBC needs an outdoor advertising expert, they turn to the competent folks at Effortless Outdoor Media (EOM). The personalized attention EOM gives each client creates a partnership for narrowing down billboard options to the very best choice to achieve advertising goals. Through in-depth conversations, where EOM gets to know your business, they help determine where your billboard should be to generate the highest return on your investment.

Ready to get started?

Reach out to the team at BBC in order to get the conversation started on how we can help your business generate higher returns in marketing and advertising today.