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Effective Email Marketing

March 26, 2015, posted by Chelsea Bishop

Effective Email Marketing

Some say email marketing is going out of style. Consumers are already inundated with online ads and marketing ploys in their day-to-day lives; who’s going to take the time to open yet another annoying marketing email?

Well, lots of people.

It all depends on your approach. A marketing email is only annoying if you let it be. Here’s what to focus on if you want to get the best response from your readers (and potential customers!):

  • Subject line. This might seem like a small detail, but it can make the difference between someone opening an email and sending it straight to Junk. Keep subjects short and fully stocked with powerful words.
  • Write to a person, not a mailing list. Your reader is a human being – treat them as such and remind them that you’re one, too. Make them feel like you’re writing to them as a friend, not a target or potential sale.
  • Reward. Offer your reader something for taking the time to be your reader. Whether it be sage advice or a simple pat on the back for staying awake at work, brighten their day. A little sunshine never hurt anyone.

Still need some help? Send us an email!

Image by Sean MacEntee is licensed under CC BY 2.0.




It’s Not You, It’s Facebook

March 19, 2015, posted by Chelsea Bishop

It's Not You, It's FacebookIf your business’s Facebook page recently experienced a dip in likes, don’t let it get you down. It’s not something you said! On March 5th, Facebook began removing likes from inactive accounts and that means your numbers may be lower – for now. Facebook’s goal is to make likes more meaningful by verifying that data on Facebook is up-to-date. Now, you’ll know that the people who have liked your company actually like your company. And that, my friends, is a good thing. Here’s why:

  • More insight into your audience. You use your Facebook page to gauge the interests of your potential customers and how they react to your products, posts and plans. Now, you’ll know that this audience is genuinely interested in what you bring to the table and won’t be wasting time gathering details from dead accounts.
  • Targeted audience growth. This narrowed pool of likers will also make it easier for you to broaden your targeted audience based on the one you already have through tools like Facebook’s Lookalike Audience.
  • More consistent information. Facebook already filters out comments made by deactivated accounts from business page posts, so removing said accounts’ likes from business pages will ensure accurate, congruous data.

The good news is, if a deactivated account is reactivated it will be re-added to a page’s likers. But if you’re still a little wounded by the sudden drop in likes, we’ll gladly come to your aid – with a shoulder to cry on and a whole lot of social media knowledge.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.




Seal It with a Smiley Face

March 13, 2015, posted by Chelsea Bishop

Seal It with a Smiley FaceThe smiley face: bet you’ve never given this little guy much thought. So you may be surprised to hear that a recent study by the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory showed that a simple smiley face has the power to positively influence your social media presence and alter a reader’s perception of you. Here’s why you might want to give the emoticon a space in your daily discourse:

  • Scientists have determined that looking at a smiley face activates the same parts of our brain as looking at an actual smiling face. It’s easy way to add a human element to your email. Interestingly, this only occurs when the colon is put first; parentheses first doesn’t have the same effect.
  • Emoticons suggest a friendlier, more competent person is behind them. Not only can emoticons increase the likelihood that your reader will like you, but they can help the reader more easily remember what you’ve said.
  • There is a strong link between emoticon use and user influence on social media. The more powerful the user, the more likely they are to use emoticons in their online communications.

Are emoticons okay to use in your work emails? That’s a judgment call. But research shows that the writer’s credibility isn’t affected by the use of emoticons. So if something makes you smile, don’t be afraid to show it!

Image by PublicDomainPictures is licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal.




Make Your Mark on Social Media

February 24, 2015, posted by Chelsea Bishop

Make Your Mark on Social Media

Social media has taken over the world. We can all agree that sometimes its ubiquity can border on obnoxious. Everything’s being recorded or photographed, your grandparents are on Facebook, and the term “selfie” is in the dictionary. But even if you’re not updating your Instagram every five minutes, you can still find a way to make social media work for your company. Here’s why exploring this method of marketing might benefit your business:

  • Brand awareness (for free). Social media is one of the few avenues through which you can influence a large audience without spending a cent. You can familiarize your fans with your name, logo, and mission all just by creating and maintaining a profile on Twitter.
  • Easy access. You can reach your audience instantly. That next brilliant idea or marketing tactic can be tested out immediately, and you’ll know nearly as quickly if it will garner the desired reaction.
  • Choice of audience. If you’re willing to pay for it, many social platforms make it easy to target your advertising, ensuring that you’ll reach the demographic you want to. On the flip side, you can be pretty sure that people who bother following your company want to see the content you post.
  • Freedom of content. Something like a Facebook profile gives you the opportunity to show your customers that your company isn’t all business all the time. You guys like YouTube videos of cats, too! So go ahead, share one on your Facebook wall every now and then and let your fans relate to you.

And remember: should you prefer to keep your personal distance from social media upkeep altogether, just pass it off to the pros. We’re here for you.

Image by Jason Howie is licensed under CC BY 2.0.




Discover: Snapchat

February 17, 2015, posted by Chelsea Bishop

Discover: SnapchatLike many other apps, Snapchat started off as a fad. The entire purpose of Snapchat is to provide something temporary: a photograph, a video, a message that’s there one second and then gone forever. But considering the air of impermanence permeating both its foundation and its industry, Snapchat has done a pretty good job of maintaining its value. A few weeks ago, Snapchat launched Discover, a new media hub feature with the potential to turn the app into a marketing destination. Here, we examine just a few of the ways Snapchat is brilliantly positioned for success with its new addition.

  • Advertising. Brands have been using Snapchat in some capacity for a while now, but Discover could make Snapchat a vital part of the advertising industry. Discover allows users to watch media content (refreshed every 24 hours) from partners such as ESPN, BMW and CNN.
  • Appropriate timing. Snapchat is the perfect offering for this age of short attention spans. The app practically demands engagement by requiring that users press and hold on their content to view it. But what it doesn’t do is force content down its users throats; people get to choose what they view on Discover. It allows impatient users to see the ads they want in the way they want to see them; i.e., quickly and painlessly.
  • Audience. With around 100 million active monthly users, Snapchat offers brands an appealing channel through which elusive young millennials can be reached effectively.

What’s interesting is that, as opposed to its platform, Discover’s content is not based on social media. Its content is curated by industry experts. Snapchat already has the manpower and the capital to back Discover; now, it’s only a matter of whether the feature’s traditional method will appeal to Snapchat’s very modern demographic. But as long as the app continues to evolve as it has, something tells us that Snapchat will do just fine.

To discover how to keep your company relevant, contact us today!

Image by Maurizio Pesce is licensed under CC BY 2.0.




Copy Worth Writing

February 10, 2015, posted by Chelsea Bishop

Copy Worth Writing
Copywriting is tricky. There’s a fine line between persuasive and pushy, and striking that delicate balance can be challenging for even the most seasoned wordsmith. Not to mention, there are those fussy technical details that the modern copywriter has to address. Here are a few things to keep in mind during your journey to first-class copy.

  • Tell a story. Treat your readers as if you’re engaging them in conversation. Don’t be afraid to have a voice, an opinion, maybe even a sense of humor. Of course, keep in mind that the appropriate amount of each is dependent on the product you’re representing.
  • Integrate your copy with the web design. Many of our clients don’t realize how important it is for the content on their website to mesh with their image. When writing copy, remember that it needs to reflect the tone of the site. For instance, the aforementioned humor and/or opinion might be much more appreciated on a Buzzfeed sister site than by the curators of an esteemed law firm’s website.
  • SEO before you go-go. Don’t underestimate the importance of SEO keyphrases, but don’t let them drown your copy. Density isn’t as vital as it once was, and nobody likes to read an article with abundant, obvious keywords. Make sure to choose proper keywords and handle them delicately. Also, try to avoid terrible jokes like the one that started this paragraph.
  • Elicit a response. The point of copywriting is to inspire action. By the time they’re done reading, your audience should know what you want from them and they should actually want to do it.

Finally, put yourself in the shoes of your reader. If the copy speaks to you, you’re off to a good start. Best of luck! And if you need an extra nudge in the right direction, we’re right here.

Image by Adikos is licensed under CC BY 2.0.




Just because an idea is different, that doesn’t make it good

February 4, 2015, posted by Lee

My experience of people first thing in the morning is this:  They do not want to be messed with.

They want their coffee, they want to get to where they’re going as quickly as possible, and frequently, they want their Egg McMuffin.

Unfortunately, McDonald’s lame “Pay With Lovin’ ” campaign (more like a social experiment), seems determined to hinder, embarrass and infuriate customers precisely at a time when McDonald’s needs all the help it can get, and at a time of day when people have no patience to be toyed with.

Today’s Wall Street Journal contains this personal story of someone asked to dance with other strangers at a McDonald’s in exchange for a free Egg McMuffin. Me? I’d rather pay the two bucks, especially if it’s at any time before 10 a.m.

Is asking people to perform personal missions in exchange for free fast food a different idea? It sure is. So is asking people to show up for funerals in clown costumes. But in neither case is it a good idea. Part of brainstorming creative marketing ideas involves free thinking–but the crucial next part involves winnowing out the bad ideas before it’s too late. Which is something that should have happened with this one.

What should they be marketing? That Egg McMuffin in the morning. How easily and affordably it’s gotten, and how wonderful it tastes. Sometimes it really is that simple.

 

 


8 Ugly Website Designs

February 3, 2015, posted by Chelsea Bishop

If you’re looking to cut back on web traffic, take a page from one of these sites:

  1. It’s an amazing thing to find a website this outdated.
    Ugly Website Designs
  2. Mama’s Cheesies – where cheesy websites come to shop.
    Ugly Website Designs
  3. This may not be the worst website in the world, but any site that puts dark blue text on a black navigation bar deserves a spot on our list.Ugly Website Design
  4. Translating the text from Norwegian actually doesn’t make this site any easier to understand.
    Ugly Website Designs
  5. On the Mr. Bottles homepage, a tiny man will pop up in the corner to show you around and coin the phrase, “Stay glassy.” Seriously.
    Ugly Website Designs
  6. What is this website trying to say? Unclear. But when in doubt, definitely use five text colors in one sentence.
    Ugly Website Designs
  7. Allegedly, you can purchase a vehicle from this website. Not sure we’d trust it with our credit card info, though. Or the rooster.
    Ugly Website Designs
  8. How could we not include this gem? The World’s Worst Website Ever purposefully encompasses virtually everything that could go wrong with a website. Well done, guys.
    Ugly Website Designs

 
Don’t sell your site short. Enlist our award-winning website design services today!

 
 


What You Can Expect from Facebook in 2015

January 26, 2015, posted by Chelsea Bishop

What You Can Expect From Facebook in 2015

Facebook won’t stop at Facebook; they’ve got some big plans for 2015 and have already taken steps toward their future goals by investing in some unexpected companies this past year.

  • Facebook surprised many by dropping $2 billion on Oculus Rift, a company that makes virtual reality headsets. While Facebook admits the benefits of this acquisition are not immediate, they predict that in time consumers will have a desire for the service Oculus provides. Acquiring Oculus also upped Facebook’s credibility among its peers in the developer community.
  • Even more unusual is the fact that Facebook acquired U.K.-based aerospace company Ascenta for $20 million. As a part of its Connectivity Lab project, Facebook hopes to use drones to provide wireless Internet access to the two thirds of the world without it.
  • In addition to these less conventional acquisitions, Facebook has snapped back from Snapchat’s snub by purchasing messaging app WhatsApp for $16 billion and launching a company called Slingshot, meant to serve the same purpose as Snapchat. While its efforts in the field of ephemeral messaging have yet to reach the same success level as Snapchat, it’s unlikely that Facebook will easily relinquish that share of the market to its competitor.

As a company, Facebook realizes how important it is to stay relevant no matter what the landscape. As well as meeting their clients’ needs today, they’re anticipating their prospective needs. Ask yourself: what do your clients expect from you? Better yet, how can you exceed those expectations?

Here at Counterintuity, we pride ourselves on staying at the forefront of Facebook technology and keeping our clients informed on the latest trends so that they’re best equipped for success.

Want to know more? Shoot us an email.

Image by mynetx is licensed under CC BY 2.0.




Brands That Best Maximize Instagram for Success

January 13, 2015, posted by Chelsea Bishop

Brands That Best Maximize Instagram for Success

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Ninety percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, which means a single photo can say far more than its description. If your brand has a new product, photograph it. Don’t just talk about its merits; show someone using it. Better yet, show the sides of your brand your products can’t. Post a photo of your employees, hard at work (or not so much). Give your followers a behind-the-scenes look into your company and what goes into making that newest product. Make them feel like they’re a part of the process.

Pick a favorite all-purpose hashtag and use it.

Brand recognition is often achieved via repetition. Frequently using a token hashtag leads followers to associate it with your brand, and they may even use it to connect with you as well. Once you find one that works, consider registering it. While that can’t stop others from using it, it can show them that you’re serious about what those words mean to your brand.

Post regularly but responsibly.

It’s important to recognize that your followers primarily use Instagram to keep involved in their friends’ lives. Limit your brand account to no more than one high-quality, interesting image per day and write succinct captions.

For inspiration, here are a few brands that do Instagram right:

  • Starbucks
    With 3.5 million followers and more than 650 posts, Starbucks has an impressive presence on Instagram, exceeded only by its customers’ enthusiasm for its products. Starbucks both posts original content and reposts Starbucks-centric images from customers, showing that its brand truly is known and loved all around the world.
  • Timberland
    Timberland uses Instagram and the hashtag #inmyelement to showcase its popular shoes and outdoor wear.
  • GoPro
    GoPro is the go-to brand for outdoor adventure enthusiasts. This Instagram account primarily serves as a place for intrepid fans to share photos of their recent excursions while conveniently showing off the capabilities of their HD cameras.
  • National Geographic
    Known for its breathtaking photography, National Geographic is a natural winner on Instagram, with more than 10 million followers. Animals, people and scenery from around the world fill this account. Posts are often accompanied by detailed captions that elucidate the story behind the photograph.

If you need more help establishing and strengthening your Instagram presence, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Image by José Moutinho is licensed under CC BY 2.0.




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