Posts Tagged seo

Integrated Marketing


integrated-marketing-puzzle
Using customer intelligence and buyer behavior to your advantage directly drives brand value. Are you using integrated marketing to generate leads and brand awareness across multiple mediums? It becomes easier to increase customer interactions with your brand and influence behavior in different situations of the life cycle curve if you’re swimming in different content streams so to speak.

Nurturing, qualification and decision-making all occurs at very different stages in the buying process. You can drive value to your audience by using a multiple tactic approach, even when your content strategy is similar or messaging stays consistent. Inbound mediums like pay-per-click and SEO can help move your audience from the status quo phase into considering alternatives. Then use brand building mediums like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and SlideShare to guide your audience through the objections and decision making stages.

Research can help close the feedback loop in the ROI phase and translate customer intelligence into your brand. It can also help define the journey a customer goes through to become a passionate promoter of who you are. Ask your marketing team this question: are your tactics cooperating with or impeding the progress your brand?

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Content for SEO


SEO-optimization-bullseye
Google, Bing and Yahoo are all focused on creating a great user experience. To climb the search rankings, you need to keep in mind how relevant your content is directly plays a role in this experience and where you land in the rankings. The process of creating original and quality content is essential to being found, and more importantly, helping search engines and their visitors find you organically as research is conducted.

White papers and web copy should be optimized for SEO. Make sure your copy includes the highest traffic short tail keywords that generate a high volume of searches on a monthly basis. Then reposition your content to Facebook, Twitter, SlideShare and any social site that can help aid your reputation as an authority in your field. Blogs can help you increase your conversions by playing a positive role in information search before the purchase decision occurs.

Paid links are wonderful for increasing traffic as well. Just keep in mind there is a game to be played between increasing your impact and the nuances of site interaction. Watch your bounce rate and click through rate to determine if your content is compelling enough to keep visitors on your site. The value of your usability and readability can also be measured by an increase in new likes or new followers as you measure Return on Influence.

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Joby Semmler is a partner at Eclipse and marketing strategist based in Indianapolis.

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Search engine optimization content links and keyword analysis


google-search-engine-optimizationYour marketing firm or advertising agency should realize a website must satisfy both humans and Google spiders.  Increase your search engine optimization success by adding clickback weblinks into your body copy: this can simultaneously increase your page clicks per site visit and enhance the overall user experience.  Keep in mind that marketing and branding can only go so far.  By adding content links in your body copy, your website will better support unique information useful to the reader.  Your metrics should specifically measure how your audience engagement is growing through an increase in number of site pages per visitor.

Always conduct market research on the best search engine optimization keywords for your body copy.  One of the most important aspects of search engine marketing is including in your content these phrases that users are actively searching for on Google. Long tail keywords can provide high quality, low volume search conversions specific to your marketing strategy. Short tail keywords increase the frequency of being found in search results, but are more difficult to win in general based on high competition. Add a mix of both to increase your success with local results and support with incremental pay per click campaigns that augment traffic.

Joby Semmler is a partner at Eclipse Marketing and Advertising, an Indianapolis marketing firm. For additional marketing strategy content, please contact Joby at joby@eclipsethem.com.

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Lead scoring increases sales conversions


Lead scoring is the methodology of ranking an incoming consumer inquiry from a marketing event based on critical success factors to closing the sale.  The rules of engagement may change from company to company based on the voice-of-the-customer but they have the same common essence: to best identify where a prospect is in the purchase life cycle, and create urgency for sales teams to contact prospects in order of those who have the most urgent decision making needs.

There are many benefits to scoring incoming leads from customer centric criteria.  First, sales associates have a limited amount of resources and time available at their disposal.  By aiding the sales team’s ability to analyze the best opportunities that are the most likely to result in a sale, marketing management increases positive collaboration between all teams.  In short, when a sales associate believes marketing understands how to drive their business, there is more likelihood they will buy in at a greater rate of speed, directly influencing the success of the program.

Second, a marketing team must maximize their potential to create events that consistently get the best sales associates in front of more customers who are qualified as sales-ready.  This scenario presents the greatest likelihood of growth: leverage the most efficient use of company resources that generates the greatest marketing contribution to sales revenue.  The sales team is a critical asset to marketing resource management: are you helping your team to accurately qualify prospects so they can maximize their time spent selling?

Finally, the initial conversion rate of an incoming lead plays a critical role in determining the potential for customer lifetime value.  If a customer views your company as responsive to their needs, there is more likelihood they will purchase from you and have a greater loyalty response to future marketing events.  This directly increases your channel pricing power and allows you to promote at a consistently higher price point instead of using heavy discount programs that reduce margin.  The ability to reduce follow-up marketing costs in retention programs is critical in building customer lifetime value.

When creating your rules, assess purchase decision drivers into a measurable scorecard.  Recognize the sphere of influence the prospect resides in through campaign landing page questions.  Simple behavior questions can also help in the scoring process, such as questions that involve product motives and patronage motives. Anticipate the needs of your target customer and the positive feelings your value proposition must resonate inside of them to initiate a response.  Have a clear call to action that encourages a passive user to inquire about how you solve problems in their world.

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Retention marketing: developing consumer preference into partiality


Developing a consistent dialogue between your brand and consumer is essential to long-term market share growth.  While lead nurturing campaigns create awareness to the market problem your product/service offering can solve, retention programs communicate to existing customers that you are willing to go to any lengths to keep their business.

Strategy efforts that truly enhance customer partiality focus on eliminating available customers from the market, not necessarily eliminating competitors from the marketplace.  Customers are the “air flow” that every business needs: when your tactics eliminate the air your competitor needs to breathe, you end their potential for growth.  How are you using retention marketing to develop preference into partiality?

The main goal of retention research is clear: what kind of marketing programs would it take to make your customer voluntarily take themselves “off the market” and only buy from you?  An effective medium of confirming this connection is to conduct satisfaction outreach with your existing customer database and listen closely to the voice-of-the-customer responses.  Survey responses can help you understand the relevance your value proposition resonates with your existing customers and the consistency your messaging must maintain to hold their attention.

Use a research professional to write your survey questions so that skip patterns are determined in advance to guide the user experience.  Data collected from respondents will give you a clear perspective of the issues you need to resolve before departure occurs.  Promoter customers will confirm core competitive advantages that connect your value proposition to the messaging that develops the greatest potential for success.

Build your strategy by understanding the emotional connection between the research data that connects buyer behavior and purchase intent.  Realize quickly that if your company does not give a comprehensive brand experience that highly exceeds customer expectations, there is minimal potential for creating partiality.  Dialogue with your customer needs to be clear and consistent, and must connect fresh and compelling content in line with the evolving needs of the customer.  Determine the most profitable characteristics of existing customers, including how sync your resources in alignment of when to pursue a customer and when to walk away.

Never lose sight of the perception that how you sell a customer determines how you will serve your customers.  When positioned correctly, loyalty programs offer an influential incentive for the customer to continue participating in your brand experience after first purchase.  This type of tactic can be highly successful when you need to differentiate your product/service offering without sacrificing quality or price.  Consider the highly profitable business traveler: hotel loyalty programs offer an incentive to show partiality for their favorite hotel chain without specifically giving revenue back at the time of purchase.  Traveler incentives are given only after buyer behavior confirms partiality through a revenue stream of earlier purchases.  Airline frequent flyer miles are an example of how status and service is translated into partiality: the illusion of premium beverages at no cost, focused attention on all the details and a brand experience that exceeds expectations goes over very well with millions of travelers.

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Using internet search to reduce purchase risk


Engaging your target consumer and holding their attention is a difficult task, especially when technology aids our ability to reduce messaging exposure (e.g. satellite radio, voice mail, digital video recorder).  Many of these barriers revolve around limiting marketing that consistently over-delivers campaigns of significant mass media.  For example, is it really necessary to have that tenth Viagra commercial during a single three-hour Major League Baseball game on television?

Internet-based pull tactics, such as web development, search engines, blogs, and rich media content, are emerging mediums the educated consumer consistently turns to as a source of information.  They can become a very positive influence for your brand since the consumer engages in the learning process and brand evaluation on their terms.  Pre-purchase evaluation is a critical because it increases brand comprehension and helps consumers to make a “feel good” choice.

Think about the many reasons why product sampling is an effective tactic for reducing risk through awareness, and what the internet shares in common: low entry cost, minimal risk of use, ease of availability and consistency for learning.  Is your brand developing an inbound marketing identity that leverages internet search to reduce purchase risk?

Search engine optimization plays a critical role in this process.  The relationship between web development success and unique traffic can be confirmed through understanding your inquiries and a simple click-to-conversion analysis.  Ask yourself how important the cover of a magazine is in standing out on the shelf at Barnes & Noble?  Does your value proposition create compelling interest from the moment the user arrives at your website?

Graphic identity and typography can mean the difference between new leads and a skyrocketing bounce rate.  Examine both the visual and sensory elements that develop the greatest levels of interest in what you offer and the problem you can solve.  Simple changes like white space and header tool bars can enhance the ability to interpret and enjoy the brand experience you are creating.  Start your analysis by realizing why top content pages are important to your audience, copy that increases time spent on each page, and percentage of unique visitors organic traffic brings in comparison to return clicks from previous visitors.

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Developing a customer lifetime value model


Customer lifetime value (“CLV”) is critical to sustaining a long-term dialogue and relationship with the audience driving your business.  CLV is used as a quantifiable metric, and defines how you measure the “value” of your customer base.  Are you currently segmenting your marketing resources into key performance indicators of acquisition, retention and cross-selling?

A solid CLV strategy can help your business in multiple ways.  It can help you directly increase the accountability of your marketing programs.  Tactics and resources can be properly allocated once the most influential programs that cut churn are discovered through voice-of-the-customer research.  Next, consider the critical problem that lack of retention has on generating revenue.  Analyze customer deflection for a specific time span and research if your value proposition speaks to the benefits that increase response rates and repeat buying.

Recognize the differences between the “awake” phase of the consumer buying cycle and the “awareness” phase.  Someone who is awake to your brand has given you the ability to share in their purchasing power.  This profile may need nurturing, and dropout rates segmented by tactic and messaging helps measure churn.  Understand your process of customer acquisition by recognizing the marketing influence that drives your “awareness” phase audience closest to the buying decision.  E-mail open clicks and landing page conversions can be simple measures to defining the difference between a dialogue that is current and a relationship that is over.

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