Content Marketing

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Are you in need of a content audit?

Content-AuditIn the age of information overload, there is no shortage of online content.  Be it good or bad, weak or strong, it’s everywhere.  You can easily see this on your own site, where you probably showcase a blog with regular posts, pages devoted to your products or services and copy supporting your brand or company identity.  This sheer amount of content can be a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, Google could reward you with higher search rankings for the sheer amount of content.  On the other hand, you could be killing the user experience and seeing low conversions. With changing search algorithms and an increasing shift toward focus on user experience and content relevance over sheer quantity, the importance of providing content that is helpful, informative and appealing to the target audience will only grow more important as time passes.

A routine evaluation of your site’s content might be helpful to make sure your content meets this criteria, is current and of high quality.  In these cases, a content quality audit is necessary.

When performing a content audit, there are a few characteristics to look for to routinely evaluate its quality, and ultimately produce that of higher quality.

Audience

It is imperative to ensure universal application of an appealing tone that caters to the wants or needs of your audience.  If you shift back and forth between a whimsical and monotone presentation from one piece of copy to the next, this generally doesn’t sit well with the reader.  People want (and expect) consistency, and you need to be sure to deliver consistent messaging.  If you realize that what you’ve been pushing out lacks consistency, figure out exactly how you want to portray yourself to the targeted audience, and eliminate or revisit anything that strays from this.

Graphics

Photos or graphics of some kind are vital, as they not only enhance the overall user experience, but they also help with SEO when tagged accordingly. Graphics that you use should be interesting, add to the showcased copy and be appealing to the intended audience.  Sometimes a photo does the trick; other times it’s an infographic; other times it’s a diagram.  Whatever it is, be sure that it supports your copy and adds an extra little element of interest. If it doesn’t, you can swap it out for something better. If the content is weak based on other criteria, then you can (and should) just eliminate it.

Format

This is often one of the most overlooked aspects of content, but it is one of the most vital—especially in terms of user experience.  When reviewing your content, you want to ensure that it is visually appealing, while also being easy to follow. Content today is meant to be able to be scanned, not necessarily always digested.  Be sure that your content has regular headlines and subheads to guide the reader’s eyes.  If your current content doesn’t have these, the solution is easy – add them.  If the content misses the mark on the other criteria, then consider eliminating it altogether.

Once you get in the routine of maintaining a focus on these characteristics and consistently seek to push out interesting content, you will quickly find that the occasional content audit will becomes much less of an undertaking and can grow to be enjoyable.

Ready to take some steps toward better content?  If so, we encourage you to chat with the Holland team.  We can help generate compelling content that not only drives people to your site, but keeps them coming back.  From blogs to general site copy, let us be your content generation experts! For more information, contact Bryan Holland at 513.744.3001, or email him at bholland@hollandadvertising.com.

4 Ways to Increase Your Small Practice’s Healthcare Marketing ROI with Minimal Investment

Healthcare-marketingSmall medical practices are constantly seeking ways to increase their reach and expand their existing healthcare marketing programs. The problem here lies in the fact that these same practices often appear to lack the appropriate resources to do so. Luckily, the growth of the digital space and opportunities both within and beyond are making it increasingly simple and affordable for even single physician practices to successfully break into the healthcare marketing realm.

If you’ve found yourself falling into this “small practice, limited resources” category, here are four simple ways to increase your healthcare marketing reach without spending a fortune.

1) Make social media your best friend.

Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) act as great healthcare marketing tools.  Using these various platforms, you are able to share information relating to your practice with a wide audience, including current and potential patients.  Post material that your audience wants to see—photos of your practice, helpful health information or even inspiring patient stories (with permission, of course).  Be sure to respond accordingly to all comments and inquiries, as this is one of the best ways to encourage both current and future activity and engagement.

2) Offer your expertise to local media outlets.

Media outlets are constantly on the lookout for the latest industry news, developments, health fads/tips and expert opinions on the matters at hand, so there is definitely no shortage of opportunities for a healthcare professional to demonstrate his or her knowledge in this arena.  Don’t be afraid to pitch a story idea based on a trending healthcare topic, or to jump at an opportunity to serve as an information source.  In getting media coverage, you can successfully increase your professional credibility and healthcare marketing reach, with no required investment of anything other than time.

3) Work to uphold and strengthen professional relationships.

Doctor referrals are often one of the best ways to grow a small practice, and easily the best way to gain new patients. Get to know the doctors in your area and establish yourself as a trusted, reliable expert to whom fellow medical practitioners would feel comfortable sending their patients. Patients often seek a primary care physician’s recommendation when it comes to seeing a new doctor, so this offers a great opportunity to increase the influx of new patients, while also helping you establish yourself as a respectable staple in the medical community.

4) Make yourself approachable and personable by sending welcome letters.

A simple, effective healthcare marketing tactic and great way to grow your practice with minimal investment is to send letters (or emails) to new patients, introducing yourself and explaining the goals of your practice. Keep a warm tone throughout, and encourage any patients with concerns to reach out to you or your staff.  This will help establish relationships with patients that you have not yet seen, and ultimately increase the likelihood that they will return after their initial appointment.

If your practice needs a little healthcare marketing TLC, let us help!  Holland Advertising: Interactive can help you build your brand, establishing your practice both within and beyond your given industry.  With fresh ideas and experienced execution, we are here to help deliver our clients greater marketing ROI. For more information, contact Bryan Holland at 513.744.3001.

Manufacture More Sales With Inbound Marketing!

If your internet marketing plan includes a great website loaded with product specifications, accolades about your company, information about how to contact you and easy online ordering, GREAT, but you could be doing more to generate leads and convert surfers to buyers.

When we are working with marketing professionals in the manufacturing industry we are often met with resistance to internet marketing. The argument we hear sounds a bit like this, “We are a B2B company, most of our prospects are attending tradeshows and reading trade publications. They aren’t surfing the web and using social media to find out about us, they use searches to shop for lawnmowers, cars or to get a deal on electronics or shoes.”

The truth is, the more expensive a purchase, the more research is done before the purchase. Prospects DON’T want to make a mistake, and the overwhelming majority is turning to the web to start their searches. Good, no GREAT, prospects are surfing for better products and solutions, and social media and other web analytics are leading them to your competitors’ websites with targeted ads and content-based web results. If they don’t find YOU, then you aren’t making their list of potential sources.

Resistance to developing a solid internet marketing plan is futile.

Creating an internet marketing plan that successfully integrates inbound marketing is essential. Yes, inbound marketing includes someone picking up the phone and calling your company, but now it is so much more. There are five major components to inbound marketing:

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – This is the most important component in your internet marketing efforts. Without an optimized site, surfers won’t find you, and chances are your competitors are optimized. This could result in surfers being driven to your competition when they are searching for your products. There is a good chance your competitor is smart enough to include your company name in their optimization, so people searching for you will get THEM!

Email Marketing – You have a good list of customers, right? How about leads and prospects? Hopefully you do, and regular emails with relevant, compelling content will get prospects to click through to your site to take advantage of your offer or learn about your products.

Retargeting and Google AdWords Marketing – You can increase visits to your site exponentially by using keywords that prospects are using to search for your product. It’s as easy as it sounds, and this is how Google says it in their marketing, “People search on Google. They see your ad. You get more customers.” By using AdWords you get the top section and/or the right ad column in searches, and customers are more likely to click them and visit your site. Retargeting is an effective way to reach out to surfers that have visited your site and left. The next time they surf they are presented with one of your ads that allows them to click through to your site. This gives you another chance to convert them or at least get a great lead. Both of these tactics are an integral part of any effective internet marketing plan.

Blogging and White Papers – You’ve invested in SEO, emailed them and compelled them to click through, and/or reeled them in with a retargeted ad, now KEEP THEM THERE, and keep them coming back for more with fresh, relevant, interesting information. This makes you look like the expert you are and will help your search engine rankings. Everyone wins in this internet marketing scenario – informed, interested customers and prospects, great leads for you and more sales! Creating compelling content via articles and blogs will not only drive more business to your site, it can start a dialogue between you and your prospects and customers. The information they share with you can be an invaluable asset, and help you market to them more effectively.

Social Media – Never underestimate the power of online interaction – social media works in great ways. Opening a dialogue with your customers and prospects can have a multitude of benefits. Your website must include a link to your Facebook and Google+ page, and you really should be on LinkedIn, too – it’s not just for job searching anymore. Once you set up your pages, it’s easy to update regularly – repost your blogs, ask questions, showcase new products, welcome new customers – with great content and information.

Once you have your internet marketing campaign up and running, you will need to nurture the leads and interest that are generated, either from email capture from downloading your whitepapers, or requests for more information on your contact us page. These are great leads and keeping a close eye on them will generate more sales. A simple email and follow-up call can be effective, but if it isn’t, keeping these contacts in your sales funnel is a great way to push them further down towards a purchase. If you don’t, you’re missing the opportunity to create a new customer – and isn’t creating a new customer what your internet marketing plan is all about?

If you’re concerned that creating an internet marketing plan will move you too far away from traditional advertising, you need not worry. The good news is your traditional marketing is even MORE effective when customers have already been exposed to your brand message. You don’t have to abandon these methods in favor of internet marketing, in fact, updating your collateral, print ads and tradeshow information to communicate the same message as your inbound internet marketing is a must!

Need help implementing an effective internet marketing strategy? Holland can help. Call Bryan Holland at holland advertising : interactive at 513.744.3001 or email him at bholland@hollandadvertising.com.

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah! Is THIS what you’re saying to your customers?

We often blog about social media and website marketing, and at holland advertising : interactive, it’s one of our most common topics of discussion with customers new and old. Social media is a great way to connect, but if you’re only using it as an extension of your marketing efforts, your audience will most likely tune you out.

So your company IS using social media to reach out to customers and prospects to generate sales. How is that working for you? We hope it’s going well, but if it’s not, it may be because you’re missing the mark with your posts, tweets, blogs, shares, etc. It may be that you need to improve the content of what you are saying and how you say it instead of blanketing your audience with buckshot attempts to connect.

This concept is called Content Marketing, and here is how Wikipedia defines it: Content Marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation and sharing of content in order to attract, acquire and engage clearly defined and understood current and potential consumer bases with the objective of driving profitable customer action. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty.

Information is king. Social media is no longer just tooting your own horn, because if someone is unfamiliar with your brand the message will get lost in the chatter. Provide them with good, no GREAT, information and they will more likely see the value of your brand. As you provide relevant content to your customers, you can position yourself as hero – the service or product provider that can help them succeed.

How do you do this? That is the big question. To connect with customers effectively, there has to be a benefit to them – whether it’s informative or entertaining. Hint: it can also encourage further interaction with some sort of reward, whether it’s a shout out on your Facebook page or a coupon for participating – how you interact with them is up to you. With any interaction remember: providing them with information that will make your product seem indispensible is key.

Here are some great ways to promote your business with effective Content Marketing without hitting your audience over the head:

1. Comments from happy users
2. Information on the best use of the product
3. Reviews of your product
4. Questions (and your answers!) about your product
5. Unique uses for the product that have been submitted by your customers
6. Hero shots of your product

If you are a service, then getting people talking, tweeting, and sharing information about your brand is imperative – and easy. You can apply bullets 1 -4 from above and change “product” to “service” and add the following:

1. Specials that can be earned with repeat patronage of your service
2. Ways for your customer to connect with others via social media – they will share their likes!

An impressive example of quality, employee-driven B2C Content Marketing is the “Store Experts” campaign by Guitar Center. The employees were encouraged to set up individual profiles that highlighted their unique talents, and enabled customers to directly contact the employee – a plus for commissioned employees. It generates 200 qualified leads every day – a success by most standards. It’s a great example of successful Content Marketing, and Marketing Sherpa has a comprehensive case study that is well worth the read. You can access it here:

http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/how-employee-content-drove-2002

There are many great examples of how successful, customer-focused Content Marketing can grow your business by leaps and bounds. Check out the links below for more examples of both B2B and B2C campaigns.

http://sproutsocial.com/insights/2012/10/branded-content-marketing/

http://econsultancy.com/us/blog/11015-five-great-examples-of-b2b-content-marketing

Get help from Holland. We can plan a Content Marketing Strategy that can generate new customers, leads, referrals, and best of all, loyal customers that love your brand. Visit HollandAdvertising.com or call Bryan Holland at 513.744.3001.

Drive Visitors to Your Site and Keep Them There – With Effective Web Videos.

The problem is most companies aren’t using video effectively.  We’ve all visited sites with low resolution, long-winded videos that focus on the history of the company and a long list of products, but there are plenty of sites that leverage video effectively. The key is having videos that showcase the benefit of doing business with your company, and how your solutions and products will improve their lives or businesses.  To use videos on your website effectively, you need to pay close attention to three important things:

  • Quality & Content
  • Optimization
  • Tracking & Analytics

Ok, that’s 5, but only 3 categories and once you embrace them, you’ll see a much bigger ROI on your site.

We’ll address #1 first – Quality and Content. To get your videos ready to be added to your site there are a few tips you need to remember:

      1. Shorter really is better.
      2. It’s important that your videos are high quality with appropriate content, but don’t spend a fortune.
      3. If your videos include demonstrations of your products, be sure to have just one product per video. If they are instructional, break them down into steps to keep them short.
      4. If you are selling products, keep your videos benefits-driven, instead of including a laundry list of features. This will help you connect with potential customers more effectively.
      5. Keep intros to a minimum and music at the same level as the rest of the video.
      6. Put logos and contact information in the letterbox and at the end of the video.
      7. This may be obvious, but it needs to be mentioned – be sure your videos are topical and only reflect positively on your company, employees, service, and products.

The above list is just the start – now is the time to put your web designer to work getting the videos placed on your site. Once you have perfected your videos, it’s important that you optimize them on your site.

      1. Use unique URLs for each video.
      2. Feature your videos prominently on your site – don’t make customers dig to find them.
      3. Have a preview shot that is both inviting and relevant to the content.
      4. Encode video files with metadata including keywords, titles, dates and authors.
      5. Use keywords, including the word “video” in the filename.
      6. Optimize the page following general SEO principles.
      7. Use embedded players rather than links or pop-ups.
      8. Create navigation links to the video content.
      9. Enable comments.
      10. Include social bookmarking tools, so they can be shared easily.

Now that you have your videos loaded and optimized, you COULD stop there, but WHY? Unless you track what happens on your site and analyze the results, you’ll never know how effective they are. With analytics you’ll know how long someone stays on your site, whether or not your site converts potential customers into revenue, and what videos are the most effective. This information can be invaluable source of information about the effectiveness of their content, including whether or not people watched the entire video, hit replay to view it again, or forwarded it on to others.

Important information can be captured from your video player, and many video analytic providers create easy-to-read displays that show key metrics, such as embedding and emailing (viral sharing), unique or repeat searches, or the most important of all – play rates – the percentage of player loads where the user actually views the video. Another important metric that is intricately related to the views is load time. If it takes too long to load, you’ll find that interest is quickly lost and the result could be someone exiting your site altogether.

Your website is out there to engage and inform, increase awareness, and convert interest into sales. The appropriate use of video can ensure that people stay on your site, and remember your products and service. For help optimizing the use of videos on your site, talk to Holland, we can help. Call Bryan Holland at 513.744.3001 or visit hollandadvertising.com.

Caution: Words Scream Louder Than Pictures

Did you get the message? Did you get the email? Did you see what so-and-so said about such-and-so? We feel there is so much to say in so little time, that often the words that are used scream for our attention instead of providing the big picture of what’s going on around us.

I watched in horror a few weeks back as a bus crashed a news conference (literally) following a tragic event where several workers were injured at a construction site. Proper etiquette would have been to back out from the location and park it until the conference was over. Ah, in a perfect world, maybe. In this instance, the driver opted to jump out of the bus and scream to the world about the importance of keeping to the route and what in the world was the press doing there anyway?

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