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11 ways to make your website stand out

11 ways to make your website stand out

By | Content Marketing, Marketing, Viral Video, Websites | One Comment

The internet is a big place. Accordingly, you don’t want people playing “Where’s Waldo?” with your website. Here are 11 ways to help your website stand out from the crowd.

  1. Give people something extra. In exchange for their email signup, give them a downloadable how-to, some free research, or a coupon code.
  2. Update frequently. And show them where the updates are, with a news scroll, or blog preview, or even a popup.
  3. Focus your visitors’ eyes on one thing. Remember, you can’t focus on multiple things – that’s the opposite of “focus.” So point people to the key thing you want them to do, and make sure it also benefits them.
  4. Make it fun. Graphically, and with words.
  5. Make it searchable. Because we’re busy, and we expect everything now. If you’ve got a lot of content, no one is going to hunt around in your site, so help them find it.
  6. Add a blog. Certainly you know things. Share them. Become a recognized expert.
  7. Update it at least 11 times a month. (And triple your traffic.)
  8. Make sure it’s mobile friendly! More than 70% of all visits to the internet are via mobile. Run this; if you failed the test, you’d better address this quickly, because it’s already dampening your traffic.
  9. Use video! Research shows that video will keep people on a web page an average of 50% longer – and the longer they stay there, the more likely they are to get involved.
  10. Think “headlines and graphics.” Because that’s what people will see, that’s what you should spotlight. Supporting text is just there for support. (And for SEO.)
  11. Be you. Whether “you” is just you, or an entire team at your company, no one else can be you, so you should be good at it. Make the site sound like you, look like you, and make sure it reflects your values. Because just as there’s someone for everyone, there are people searching for a company like yours. Make sure it’s you they find.

 

 

Why you should use influencer marketing with your marketing strategy

Why you should add influencer marketing to your marketing strategy

By | Social Marketing, Twitter | No Comments

Influencer marketing is a relatively new form of marketing that feeds off the fact that ad-wary millennials trust people, not brands. The traditional approach to advertising is losing its effect. We can’t just tell ‘em what we want them to hear – in fact, 92 percent of consumers say they trust peer recommendations while a mere 33 percent trust ads [Nielsen]. What does that mean for marketers? 

“Many marketers realize the power of connecting with influential social media users, and as a result many have increased their budgets throughout the year.” [AdWeek]

Here’s why you should consider it too.

  • It’s social.
    Love it or hate it, social media is a huge component of successful branding, and it’s also where to find the best influencers. Finding people with a large network (i.e. lots of followers) or someone who’s tagged your brand in a post is a good place to start; from there, it’s a matter of reaching out to your selected influencer and asking them to start a dialogue with their followers about your product.
  • It’s effective.
    According to AdWeek, 81 percent of marketers who have tested this strategy found it effective (with 47 percent voting “very effective” and the remaining 34 voting “somewhat effective”). The influencer approach lets you tap into a market you might otherwise not have access to. People follow influencers because they value (and are more inclined to listen to) their opinion. As Who Pays Influencers founder Amber Discko puts it, “They don’t care what the brand has to say, that’s why they’re not following the brand” [TechInsider].
  • It’s the next big thing.
    If you hop on the influencer bandwagon now, you’ll be riding a pretty sweet wave. While it’s not brand new on the scene, this type of marketing is still developing and establishing a presence. In 2015, only 35 percent of social media professionals considered it to be at a “mature stage” and only 14 percent had no intention of integrating it into their social strategy [Altimeter Group’s “State of Social Business”].

Ready to give it a shot? Give us a shout!

Help, I don’t have enough visitors!

Help, I don’t have enough visitors!

By | Digital advertising, Websites | No Comments

Of course you don’t, and it’s normal – you’re new on the block and that’s OK. Kick your new website or brand new landing page off with the online equivalent of an Open House: Run an Ad Campaign. (Facebook and Google Ads are our favorite platforms.)

If you don’t announce yourself, how will people know you’ve arrived?

The great part of running Ad Campaigns? It boosts your searchability. It’s like the internet knows to give you a nametag, and sets you up at the punchbowl.

What are you waiting for? What’s your line?

How to make heads and tails of features vs. benefits on a landing page

How to make heads and tails of features vs. benefits on a landing page

By | Content Marketing, Digital advertising | One Comment

You’re going crazy…so you think. You’ve created a landing page, and have reached A Very Normal Point in the process of creating an awesome landing page: What’s the difference between my features and my benefits? Can I mix them in with each other? Which is which? Does it matter which order I put them in?

The answer is: sometimes a feature and benefit ARE the same. And yes, you can mix them in with each other, and re-order them and so on. The best way to make heads from tails is to TEST your landing page.

Create a few different versions and see which one gets the most clicks. The ones with the most clicks wins. Test again. Repeat.

Image by Andrés Nieto Porras licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

What makes a landing page work?

What makes a landing page work?

By | Content Marketing, Digital advertising, Marketing | No Comments

Think of a landing page like a free giant classifieds ad in the newspaper. Except your ad can be more than three lines and have pictures.

A landing page is a goldmine of information – for both you and your customers.

What makes a landing page work?

Here are seven checkpoints your landing page should pass with flying colors:

1. Right at the top in bold clear wording, it tells a customer what you are offering and what you want.

“Sign up and get your free virtual scratch-and-sniff sticker now!”

2. Right along with your beautiful top header, you will have a beautiful stunning image that helps you sell your offer.

Maybe it’s a real-life picture of what a virtual scratch-and-sniff sticker looks like. Maybe it’s just the colors of my flavors that get you happy to click. Point is: It will be so beautiful, you will want to keep reading what’s next on the page.

landing-page-scratch-sniff

3. And you will be rewarded! A landing page should next give a nice summary (think elevator speech) of what the offer is.

Perhaps this includes a short bulleted list of 3-7 features on what that offer includes. Keep it simple. People want to know what they’re getting when they sign up. The important question these features answer for the customer is: “Is this product (or service) something that I want?”

Our free virtual scratch-and-sniff sticker is the new future of electronically delivered items—Watch out Amazon!

  • No wrapper
  • Instant delivery!
  • Comes in 5 assorted scents in delicious flavors (Grape, Bubblegum, Lime-tastic, Very Berry and Licorice)

4. It also lists 3-5 benefits that make your product (or service) especially unique.

  • Lasting scent through our special e-delivery system – sign up now!
  • 100% no flavor mix-up guarantee
  • Immediate access to our 300+ flavor catalog

5. You’re on the edge of your seat now, right? You definitely want to submit the form and see what happens next. Let’s close the deal with your Call To Action (CTA)!

Yes, I want to get my free delicious sticker now!

6. Just fill out this form, and click submit.

Note: Make sure your form is just the right length (not a questionnaire), and that it helps you help them. Here’s the form:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • E-mail
  • Choose my flavor

You can also ask for 1-2 other things that might help tailor future offers like:

  • Who’s your favorite cartoon character?
  • What country are you in?

But keep in mind that the more fields you ask for, the less chance someone will fill it out.

7. The last part of a successful landing page is a thank you page that re-directs back to your website.

Don’t forget this! This page is often called your “conversion tracking page” and where your conversion tracking code will go, if you’re running an advertising campaign.

Ready to go? You can do it! Just leave us a comment and let us know where we can send your free sticker…

Image by Joe The Goat Farmer licensed under CC BY 2.0.

GIF It Up: Why You Should Incorporate GIFs into Your Marketing Strategy

GIF It Up: Why You Should Incorporate GIFs into Your Marketing Strategy

By | Content Marketing, Fun, Marketing, Social Marketing | One Comment

The GIF (pronounced with a hard ‘g’) has ventured far from its natural bitmap habitat in the CompuServe nerdosphere. It can now be found posing as punctuation, starring in texting conversations, dancing through every Buzzfeed article you’ll ever read, and hogging any available space on your phone. (Do you have available space on your phone…? Teach us your ways.)

Recently, the GIF has also become an important presence in email marketing, digital ad campaigns, and company blogs and social media – for good reason. Here’s why you should consider working these little guys into your marketing strategy:

They’re a great solution for that short attention span we’re always talking about. People just don’t pay attention the way they used to; a 10-second lull and they’re already deep in phone mode, sucked into an endless Reddit thread they may never escape. GIFs are an easy way to keep people interested – because regardless of how easily distracted they are, who can look away from this?

Images boost your engagement. Facebook posts with images see 3x more engagement than those without, and researchers found that “colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80 percent.” [Xerox] Additionally, people are 40x more likely to share a post with visual content.

GIFs are trendy. Want to be seen as a cool, hip company? GIFs are the ticket. They show that not only do you keep up with pop culture (from which GIF-makers most often draw inspiration) but you’re in tune with your younger audiences – and that counts for a lot, considering millennials count for one quarter of the American population and boast approximately $200 billion in annual buying power. [Forbes]

Already using GIFs in your marketing? We’d love to hear how! Let us know in the comments section.

Counterintuity team at Burbank Temporary Aid Center (BTAC)

Counterintuity’s day of service: BTAC

By | Fun, News | No Comments

Last month, we closed for most of a day so that we could volunteer at the Burbank Temporary Aid Center (BTAC). Counterintuity has long supported our local community with sponsorships, selected pro bono work for underfunded clients and our annual holiday toy drive for underserved youth, but on this day we wanted to take a step further. For five hours, all work stopped (even checking email), and we helped.

Located just down the street from our office, BTAC is dedicated to “providing the poor, working poor, and homeless of the local community with basic services they need to live with dignity, and to serve citizens of the city in times of emergency and disaster.” Our staff was on site to help to do inventory – making it easier for BTAC staff to service those who need their support. Amy, Brian, Andrew, Jin, Val, Shannon, Sandra, and even Lee moved, systematized, stacked, schlepped and corralled canned goods, office supplies, clothing and more so that BTAC’s full time volunteers and staff could more easily do their regular jobs.

We were honored to have been able to play a small part in helping BTAC serve needy families.

If you would like to coordinate your own day of service with the Burbank Temporary Aid Center, please contact Facility/Pantry Manager Edward Stapleton at estapleton@theBTAC.org or (818) 848-2822, extension #107.

More About BTAC
As a conduit between the generous donors of the community, foundations, and government resources, BTAC works to provide clients with help such as food, utility assistance, transportation assistance, emergency shelter (off-site and short-term), medical assistance, referrals to other community resources, and holiday outreach.

Make that Pokémon-ey: Monetizing the World’s Pokémon Go Obsession

Make that Pokémon-ey: Monetizing the World’s Pokémon Go Obsession

By | Culture, Economy, Fun, Sales, Strategy | No Comments

“Have you played Pokémon Go?”

Unless you’ve spent the two weeks hiding under a rock (which is a totally legitimate pastime, of course), someone has asked you this question by now. Released on July 6th, the tremendously popular app has already been downloaded at least 15 million times [Heavy] and is worth approximately $29 billion [MoneyNation]. There’s no doubt that Pokémon has been a financial success for its developer, Niantic, and rumor has it that McDonald’s is already preparing to pounce on this marketing opportunity [Gizmodo]. But what about the rest of us? Is there a way for small business owners to get in on the game that so quickly made its way to the top?

Turns out, there are several – and most of them are free!

  • Pick a side. If you haven’t already played Pokémon Go, the basic premise is this: 1) Create your trainer (i.e. avatar), 2) Choose one of three teams: Team Instinct (yellow), Team Valor (red) or Team Mystic (blue), and 3) Scurry about collecting and training Pokémon in various locations. Once you’ve picked your team, you can get in on the fun by providing corresponding deals to other “team members.”
  • Buy a lure. Purchasable in-game, lure modules last 30 minutes each and attract a bevy of “wild” Pokémon to a specified location. As many business owners have already discovered, they’re also a great method of enticing patrons. Inc estimated that it only costs $1.19/hour to keep the lures (and the humans that follow them) coming all day – and you can bet you’ll make that money back in no time!
  • Connect with millennials. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to appeal to marketing-wary millennials by actually playing the game, sharing your finds on social media, and offering discounts on products to people who’ve caught certain valuable Pokémon. Your younger audiences will appreciate the fun vibe!
  • Work that Pokéstop. If you’re fortunate enough to have a storefront near a landmark, monument or other prominent building in your town, advertise it. People flock to these spots in order to restock in-game items, and if you happen to be nearby…well, you just found yourself a whole bunch of potential customers.

We don’t know exactly when this idea might be implemented, but Niantic CEO John Hanke has already expressed interest in further monetizing the app with sponsored locations. “Pay us to be locations within the virtual game board – the premise being that it is an inducement that drives foot traffic” [Financial Times]. In the meantime, let the above suggestions keep you busy.

Happy hunting!

Make that Pokémon-ey: Monetizing the World’s Pokémon Go Obsession