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11 ways to make your website stand out

11 ways to make your website stand out

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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

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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!

Making your business a special place

Making your business a special place

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Lately, we’ve been talking about “the specialness of space.”

Here’s an excellent example of how one brand took the time to make its space special. I strongly encourage you to invest four minutes in watching this video about designer Rebecca Minkoff’s store of the future. And then ask yourself, how can I make my space special?

Are you making your place special at a physical location?

With a physical location you’ve got lots of potential opportunities. Here are eight ways to take advantage of it.

  1. Put out a sign! Preferably one with an arresting graphic or color, so that people who pass by notice it and stop in. I’ve never driven by Amazon, have you? But I’ve certainly passed restaurants and shops and stopped in, based on a sign.
  2. Direct people to buy other things, with in-store signage and displays. I may have come in for a book (I’m old-fashioned that way) – can you interest me in a calendar, too?
  3. Speed up the check-out process. Don’t make me wait in line. Take a cue from Apple, Nordstrom Rack and others – station people with portable checkout stations around the store
  4. Got something that’s not moving? Discount it, or bundle it with something else, so I feel that I got a bargain. (And you moved slow inventory.)
  5. Focus on local marketing! Local signage, and local involvement with charities and with your local Chamber of Commerce, will spread the word in places online can’t compete.
  6. Let people touch/taste/try. Until scratch-and-sniff goes electronic, this is something you can provide that digital can’t touch.
  7. Say hello! If you and your team greet me in a friendly, helpful way, you’ve established a relationship. As every successful bartender knows, that’s the key to repeat business.
  8. Finally, ask yourself, “If I were the customer walking in, what would make my visit here even better?” And then do whatever that is.

Whether online or at a physical location, find what makes your business special and take advantage of the opportunities available to you. Make your business the next store of the future!

Image by waferbord is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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 | No Comments

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 | No Comments

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.