Monthly Archives: May 2014

Interactive Marketing Monthly Roundup: May 2014

We’ve nearly come to the end of May! You know what that means; it’s time for our monthly roundup of marketing articles that we’ve gathered from across the web!

We hope you enjoy the list of our favorites.

Email Marketing

Have you ever been worried about sending your subscribers too much email? Let this article by Willie Myers put your worries to rest with three key points.

There’s a lot to learn from email marketing — especially the fact that email reminders serve to re engage users in a positive way. Learn more in this piece by DJ Waldow.

Copywriting

Copywriting doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking; all you really have to do is follow a few important principles. John Zeratsky presents five principles for great interface copywriting.

Put passion into your words and inspire the reader if you want a worthwhile result from your copy. Keep in mind all this and more in Marya Jan’s post on Copywriting 101.

Mobile Advertising

Do you still think mobile marketing isn’t relevant? Read the statistics behind the platform in Kane’s post on the Waterfall blog.

Walmart is doing more interesting work on the mobile marketing side. Read how the brand is using receipts to personalize mobile marketing in this post by Linda Bustos.

PPC Management | Paid Ads

Not everything is perfect when you run paid ads — its inevitable that you’ll run into some mistakes along the way. Rachael Law shares with us the top PPC mistakes to avoid.

What tools do you use to optimize your PPC campaigns? Melissa Mackey posts 26 free must-have tools for your success!

Search Engine Optimization

You can create your own keyword research strategy from the ground up… or just use this one right here! Nasir Uddin Shamim writes an in-depth strategy for your SEO research.

Have you ever wanted a sneak-peek into your competitors’ local SEO? David Prochaska shares his method in a smart post.

Social Media

After sorting through the innumerable social media resources, Kent McGroarty has picked her top 22! See which ones work best for you.

If you think Google+ is old news, think again! Jon Mowat believes that the platform could be marketers’ next bustling metropolis.

Web Development & Branding

Good design decisions requires meticulous planning and goal-setting. A writer at the Prismatic Blog offers a huge amount of insight in this article.

Is the average web page these days getting smaller or larger? Tammy Everts writes an interesting piece on web performance today!

*BONUS*

Do you still struggle to be productive? Here are 22 productivity hacks for small business owners by SurePayroll.

Lastly, get more insight on Facebook’s newest feature, the “Ask” button in this article from Alyssa Newcomb.

Let us know what you think of our marketing roundup! If you want to suggest any other notable stories from this past month, please share them in the comments section below.

Top 10 Mobile Marketing Tips

It comes as no surprise that the mobile device is rising in relevance. Every day, the interest in mobile marketing grows stronger as consumers spend more and more time on their mobile devices. In 2014, mobile advertising expenditures are expected to grow 75.1% to $31.45 billion, nearly one-fourth of the digital ad spend worldwide. Now that’s a lot of ad spending!

To help guide you on the correct path to mobile marketing success, we’ve included a list of the top 10 mobile marketing tips to properly promote your content or services.

Here they are:

1. Make sure to keep your words short.

Think of the attention rate of a mobile user. Unless its something extremely relevant to them, chances are you’re not going to have a lot of time on his or her radar. Keep things short and to the point, emphasizing the value to the user.

2. Use images to capture attention.

Nothing captures emotion more than images (or motion pictures). Use bold imagery to keep hold of your audience’s focus.

3. Incorporate native advertising.

If you want to get in front of your audience, you might want to invest in native advertising. Advertising of this nature appears directly in your target groups’ social media streams.

4. Use video to increase the time users are on your site.

Video is another medium where mobile users spend most of their minutes. Use video to engage your users and possibly spend more time on your site.

5. Mobile-optimize your design.

There are several business owners that think shrinking their main site down to the level of a mobile device suffices. On the contrary, often times the miniature versions of their sites make usability much more difficult. Make sure its simple and painless to use your services across several devices.

6. Make your call-to-action easy to spot.

Everything is smaller on mobile phones, so don’t forget to blow things up for mobile users. Once you have that down, you’ll be much more likely to convert.

7. Know your audience.

Understand the mobile user. How much time do you spend on content? What do you wish was easier, in general. Send surveys and read blogs on the mobile user if you have to!

8. Create an app.

Build an app for your service. You’ll learn a lot more about mobile devices and how customers perceive usability on mobile.

9. Encourage sharing of your product or service.

Word-of-mouth can go much farther than you think. All it takes is a quick click on a social share button to send your services to thousands of different people.

10. Engage your customers on social media.

Speaking of social media, engage your users where they are most likely to be on their mobile devices: social networks! Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and others are prime places to engage users.

How are you utilizing these tips in your mobile marketing strategy? Let us know some of your favorites in the comments below.

What is a Content Marketing Stack?

You’ve heard of the ad stack and the sales stack… but what about the content marketing stack? As we move forward into the future, content is becoming outsourced more and more. Several businesses have popped up in anticipation of this rush for the need of valuable content, such as Contently, Kapost, and Betaout. Using content to drive sales is now the new initiative in the digital marketing world, and businesses will have to put their best foot forward in order to keep up.

What specifically is a “content marketing stack”?

Simply put, a content marketing stack is software that allows for a consistent process in creating, promoting, and verifying content to a specific target audience. No true solution exists right now, but rest assured, it’s coming.

Think about the process of getting an ad into circulation. First, you must create the ad; then, you must buy/bid for impressions or clicks. After that, you must select your target audience. In the end, your ad gets served, and you have a measurable process for determining how many potential customers clicked through to your offering. You also have an idea of where you can optimize your ad spend, reach, and audience targeting. There is no such process for content marketing, or, at the very least, one that is consistent and replicable across industries.

How do we use it?

It’s not in existence yet… but it soon will be. This is a powerful opportunity to think about how you currently optimize your content. Do you outsource creation and/or curation? Do you promote your own content, and how do you do the promotion? How do you measure the level of its effectiveness in converting to sales? Do you know exactly who is reading your content and for how long?

Having a content marketing stack would solve the majority of these problems.

How does this help my business?

Simply put, you’ll be able to quickly and effectively optimize your content for the right audience. You’ll have data-driven analytics to determine how you can improve your content and the best ways by which to promote it.

When you have a more streamlined process to content marketing, you end up being more consistent and spending less time wondering how to circulate your content. What matters more is whether you can execute quickly enough. Also, you can spend more time generating ideas for the person who really matters; the customer.

So… what do you think of the content marketing stack that is to come in the near future?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

How to Craft Better Email Subject Lines

Email marketing is one of your most essential tools in your marketing toolbox. You’re able to target specific customers, send valuable email promotions, and more! Email also gives you a personal space for communication that social media and content site platforms don’t allow for. This is precisely why an email is more likely to convert than a tweet or blog post.

Now that we know how valuable email can be, how do we use it effectively? In truth, there a lot of little nuances to email marketing. First, you have to captivate your audience enough so that they’ll sign up for your content in the first place. Then you have to entice your new subscriber enough to open your recurring emails. Once your email gets opened, your content has to be of enough value to the reader for them to convert to a purchase or site visit. For the purposes of this blog post, however, we’’ll be focusing on crafting powerful email subject lines.

A proper subject line can mean the difference between a high clickthrough rate for your links and several unopened messages. In this brief guide, we’ll walk you through some of the most important touch points you can improve upon in writing smart subject lines.

Let’s get to it!

1. Focus your subject line and make it relevant.

Depending on who your audience is, you don’t want to make a headline that’s too far out of their scope of interest. The subject should always relate to the reason your reader subscribed for future correspondence.

Example: 10 Little Known Ways to Save Time on Design

2. Keep it straight and to-the-point.

No overly long headlines that go off into the distance. In the modern, people want short and clear messaging so they can quickly decide whether or not to keep the email. All you have to do is be upfront with your email’s purpose, and you’ll get the readers you want clicking through to your products.

Example: How to Make Your Site Load Faster

3. Ask a question.

Questions go a long way towards engaging the reader. You’ll want to ask a question will make the reader curious of the answer.

Example: What’s the Best Way to Increase Conversions to Your Site?

4. Integrate current events.

Stay abreast of the current goings-on in your area so that you can incorporate them into your titles. It demonstrates that you’re aware of your audience’s everyday life; you can become a part of it.

Example: Why Spring is the Best Time of Year to Get Your Site Redesigned

5. Mark a sense of urgency in your emails.

The easiest way to get customers to open your emails is to announce a limited time deal or purchase for them to click on. This instills a sense of urgency that your email campaign would have otherwise lacked.

Example: Only X Days Left to Get 50% Off on this Redesign. Limited Spots!

These are just a few basic ways you can craft improved email subject lines. Do you have any other strategies on increasing your open rate? Let us know in the comments below!

Top 10 Ways to Increase Traffic

As the Internet age continues to move forward, garnering attention to your site is becoming both easier and more difficult at the same time. This is described as “easy” because if your website provides value and is properly optimized, you stand to get a massive amount of traffic. Similarly, it can be hard to build traffic if your site doesn’t provide a unique experience and value that isn’t anywhere else. Simply put, an average site gets below average traffic.

For the websites that are right on the cusp of being great, we’ve come up with 10 top ways to build traffic. Keep in mind, this is for site owners looking for strategies they haven’t tried in order to get more viewers to their pages. This won’t help a site that doesn’t offer something useful to the visitor.

Now without further ado, here are the top 10 ways to grow your traffic levels:

1. Write relevant content.

Sounds easy enough, but make sure what you’re writing is a unique take on the content in your industry. The more engaging your perspective, the more people will be drawn to your website.

2. Engage in more targeted social media.

Don’t just try to talk to everyone on your social network. Be smart about who to target so you can establish a relationship.

3. Guest blog on related websites.

Lots of people still guest post. Use this opportunity to showcase your best work on another person’s site.

4. Link out to people in your industry.

You can’t grow a website all on your own. Link out to other notable people in your industry (even competitors) so you can get a boost in the search rankings.

5. Collect visitors’ email addresses.

It’s a common case that even if new visitors like your website, they will forget the experience you gave them if left unprompted. Make sure you establish a way to capture emails to keep them coming back for more.

6. Automate your social profiles.

In the quickly-evolving web, you can’t be everywhere, all the time. Do your research on tools that make content marketing that much more versatile.

7.  Make sure your webpage is navigable.

Usability is key to operating in the online world. Make it easier for users to get to the important information, and you’re already five steps ahead of the competition.

8. Use video to capture nonreaders.

Content on the web appears to be primarily written (for most business sites, at least). Stand out by crafting both visual and written content.

9. Make your website faster.

A slow website not only receives less traffic from visitors, but it gets dropped down in search engines. The faster your site loads, the faster you can get people coming back to your site.

10. Optimize your site for mobile devices.

This is a space many businesses are neglecting. Outsource this part of your website optimization to a design team, and you’ll definitely get your money’s worth of traffic!

What did you think of our tips? Are there any strategies you use to generate more traffic? Let’s us know in the comments section.