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Fresh Thinking

Category Archives: Content Marketing

11 ways to make your website stand out

11 ways to make your website stand out

By | Content Marketing, Email 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.



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, Email 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.


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, Email Marketing, Fun, 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.

The Power of #: Using Hashtags to Heighten Marketing

The Power of #: Using Hashtags to Heighten Marketing

By | Content Marketing, Digital advertising, Social Marketing, social media, Twitter | No Comments

Once upon a time (aka 2006), using “#” in a sentence meant that you either (1) neglected to check it for typos or (2) were referencing the number of typos you made in the aforementioned sentence.

Flash forward ten years, and hashtags have become a truly unavoidable aspect of life. They’re everywhere: in movie titles, on magazine covers, sprinkled into casual conversation (#seriously). Twitter was the first platform to hyperlink hashtags to search results, and that practice has since infiltrated the digital marketing world. Of the world’s top Interbrand 100 brands, 97 percent had embraced the hashtag by 2015.

As a small business owner, it’s unlikely you have the cash to fund a massive marketing campaign. Hashtags are free, fun, and a truly valuable method of connecting people with your brand. Case in point: Tweets with one or two hashtags show 21 percent higher engagement than those with none.

  • Come up with a unique hashtag and ask your employees/clients/friends/family to use it whenever they mention your company on social media.
  • Hashtags enable users to categorize an often overwhelming amount of content. Use the same hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to identify and organize posts about your company retreat, conference or other special event.
  • Ride the wave of an already-trending hashtag. Check Twitter for a popular tag that relates either directly or abstractly to your business and join the party! But be careful to research the context first – you don’t want to follow in DiGiorno’s footsteps.
  • Make your hashtag actionable. Audi’s wildly successful #WantAnR8 campaign encouraged car enthusiasts to use the hashtag for a chance to get behind the wheel of an R8. Even if you don’t have a $160,000 sports car to use as bait (which, unfortunately, most of us do not), you can still offer your customers incentive to use your hashtag.

Still want help nailing modern usage of the symbol formerly known as “pound sign”? #CallCounterintuity!

The Kardashians: Capitalizing the ‘K’ in Marketing

The Kardashians: Capitalizing the ‘K’ in Marketing

By | Content Marketing, Social Marketing, Strategy | No Comments

The past decade has been permeated with a pop culture phenomenon unlike any other: the Kardashians. Since 2007, the Kardashian/Jenner family has captivated audiences around the world by doing…well, the verdict is still out on exactly what they all do, but suffice to say it’s been enough to consistently entertain, appall, and otherwise engage millions of people for going on 11 years. So what’s the big secret? Is Kris Jenner a marketing genius? (Probably.) Are we all simply mesmerized by the mind-bending amount of beauty and booty in the K/J gene pool? (Definitely.) Regardless of the questionable tactics and unquestionable body parts that have kept them on top all this time, there are a few things we marketers can learn from the Kardashians – even if we can’t keep up with them.

  1. Never surrender. Say what you will about this family, but they don’t back down from a challenge. Someone leaks your sex tape? Turn it into a reality show. Get both married and divorced within the span of one year? Brush it off and proceed to marry someone infinitely more successful. Have psoriasis? Endorse a cover-up spray. While many would willingly fade into obscurity following such misfortune, the Kardashians make their problems work for them. Obviously, starting a reality show isn’t an option for most of us (what do you mean, Paris Hilton wasn’t a childhood friend and Ryan Seacrest didn’t come to dinner last Thanksgiving?) – but regardless, there is a lesson there.
  2. Socialize. All five of the Kardashian/Jenner sisters have massive social media followings and post regularly. Recently, they all created their own apps and websites (subscription-based, of course) so that, for the bargain price of $2.99/month, fans can feel even more involved in the lives of these mythical creatures they’ve never met. Not only have the Kardashians maintained a valuable online presence, they’ve monetized it.
  3. Incentivize. The Kardashians reach out to their fans in a way that both shows appreciation and provides motivation. For instance, Kim is known for rewarding each landmark number of Instagram followers with a cleavage selfie. Of course, in a professional setting, we recommend expressing thanks with something like a fruit basket. No one forgets a nice pair of melons.
  4. Know your audience. The Kardashians know their fan base, and expand their empire accordingly. What do hordes of teenaged girls want? A new lipstick line with Kylie’s face on it! What do female 20-something professionals need? Styling products created specifically for their hair type! What do straight males between the ages of 26-35 want because they secretly think the sisters are super hot but won’t admit it to their girlfriends? A Kardashian conveniently bikini-clad on the cover of Maxim!
  5. Be consistent. Even when you don’t want them, there they are. It’s hard to escape the Kardashians, simply because…they’re everywhere. On social media, on magazine covers, on TV, on billboards. No matter how you strive to ignore them, their omnipresence is undeniable. You have to talk about them, if only to talk about the fact that you don’t want to talk about them.

So there you have it, folks – five valuable things we’ve learned from America’s most famous family. Now go kill it like a Kardashian! (But don’t say we told you to.)

Image by Faye Harris is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

2016: The Year of Better Email Marketing

2016: The Year of Better Email Marketing

By | Content Marketing, Email marketing | No Comments

Did you know that the right email marketing strategy can increase your return on investment by 4300 percent? Sounds like a crazy number, but that’s the average return for US brands and businesses. Here’s how to make this lucrative channel work for you!

  • Slay that subject line. As in, kill it. Make it unforgettable and impossible to ignore. Keep it clear and catchy (and keep in mind that a standard cell phone will cut you off after 20-40 characters). Think about how many marketing emails float through your inbox every day, and think about how many of them you never open because the subject line doesn’t interest you. Don’t feel bad for judging an email by its intro – we all do it. Just make sure that your title stands out.
  • Fit the mobile mold. As of 2014, 66 percent of emails were being opened on mobile devices. That’s a percentage that will only increase, and it’s crucial to optimize your emails for this medium. Keep image file sizes down, stick to responsive templates, and steer clear of long-winded paragraphs. Even if your subject line is great, a lagging load time will certainly dissuade consumers from reading on.
  • Make it personal. The last thing your reader wants is to feel like another faceless victim of another marketing gimmick. They want to feel like a person, which means you need to avoid speaking like a robot. Give your marketing email a voice, and craft that voice to appeal to the specific demographic for which it’s intended.

We get it – you’ve got a lot on your plate this year, and it’s tough to juggle all those goals at once. Let us help. Contact Counterintuity today!

Image by Joe the Goat Farmer is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

To Blog or Not To Blog?

To Blog or Not To Blog?

By | Content Marketing, SEO | No Comments

As a business owner, you need to stay relevant. You realize that the best way to accomplish this is by getting yourself a snazzy new website, so you call in some professionals and do it. It’s pretty, fancy, and does all sorts of stuff the cool kids will appreciate. Now, you just need people to see it. This is where content plays a crucial role, and the point at which most website owners ask themselves: Do I need a blog? Here are a few reasons why cranking out a weekly blog might be right for you:

  • One very effective means of driving traffic to your website is by updating it regularly – and a good way to accomplish this is by posting a weekly blog.
  • If you want Google to notice you (and who doesn’t?), blogging is a great way to up your domain rankings.
  • Through informative, well-written posts, you can position your company as an authority in its field.
  • A blog is a fun way to connect with your customers, and allows you to establish your brand and company voice.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words – but hey, you already have an Instagram account. A thousand words here and there can’t hurt.

Image is licensed under Creative Commons Zero.