Tag Archives: Content Marketing

Digital marketing illustration with technology icons, computer and people.

The Truth About Digital Marketing

Digital, inbound vs. outbound, SEO, web, budgets – oh my! When it comes to marketing, the vast amount of options and ‘things you should be doing’ can seem daunting.

While each option has its place and benefits, it’s wise to look at your unique business and see what makes the most sense for you. This post will take a look at what digital marketing is, how to know if it’s right for your business, and what you can do to make the most of your investment.

What is digital marketing?

‘Digital marketing’ is an umbrella term for numerous tactics used to reach your audience online or in some electronic form. Basically, it refers to any marketing efforts on the web and electronic devices that promote your business in some way.

Digital marketing tactics and examples include:

  • SEO
    • Websites
    • Blogs
    • Infographics
    • Retarget marketing
  • Content Marketing
    • Blog posts
    • Ebooks
    • Online brochures, newsletters, lookbooks
  • Social media channels
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • LinkedIn
    • Instagram
    • Snapchat
    • Pinterest
  • Pay-Per-Click Ads
    • Google Ads
    • Facebook boosted posts
    • Instagram sponsored posts
    • Twitter promoted tweets
    • LinkedIn sponsored messages
  • Email Marketing
    • Email newsletters
    • Social media scheduling
    • Blog subscriptions
    • Follow-ups to site visitors who shared their contact info

 

What is the difference between digital and inbound marketing?

 ‘Wait, isn’t that the same as inbound marketing?’ Look at you with all the smart questions! Digital marketing refers to the number of tactics you can utilize online to attract customers, but it is not compelled to focus solely on two-way communication like inbound.

While they may use some of the same tactics, inbound differs from digital in that inbound is a marketing method that focuses solely on pulling an audience in by providing helpful info (think ebooks, infographics, etc.). Outbound is a push method where marketing messages are put in front of the audience whether they ask for it or not (web banner ads, direct mail, etc.). Digital marketing incorporates both push and pull methods into a strategy.

 

Woman and man at table looking at data and graphs on computer.

The lowdown on digital marketing and how to make it work for you:

Digital marketing can be an amazing tool to help businesses reach their audience. However, it’s important to be mindful of how digital marketing plans are presented to you and think logically about what’s right for your business.

Beware of oversold data.

A note of caution: Beware of the companies that are not actually in the business of digital marketing and are just selling plans on the side as an additional service. Oftentimes, these tend to oversell data and numbers that actually hold little weight and can be useless to your business.

For example, if a company comes to you with a retargeting ad campaign plan that shows you can get as many as 100,000 impressions – number of times content is displayed, regardless of whether or not it was clicked – in one month, and convert on average 10% of those, that all sounds great! But if your site gets less than 2,000 visitors a month, this data can be extremely misleading. Oftentimes, unless you have 100,000+ monthly visitors to your website, data of this nature does not apply to you and your business.

Additionally, information on this scale relates best when applied to e-commerce sites that actually sell something. Sites like this are able to ‘convert’ potential customers into paying customers by getting them back on their site to complete a purchase. So how do you increase site traffic, and what if your site does not sell anything?

 

Papers with data and graphs on table.

How to increase traffic to your website.

So, you don’t have 100,000+ visitors to your website and you’re not sure where to go next? We get that. A good place to start is to focus on increasing your site’s traffic organically, in addition to digital marketing, so that both can work more effectively while also setting you up for long-term, sustainable growth.

 

  1. Build site traffic organically
  2. Pay to get people to your site
    • Paid Social Posts
    • Google Ads (formerly AdWords)
    • Retargeting

 

Set your own definition of ‘conversions’.

Conversion rates determine the value of your digital ad, and ‘conversion’ can mean different things for different businesses. Perhaps the nature of your business requires someone from your company to speak with potential customers in order to get their business. In this case, your definition of a conversion could be when someone completes a contact form on your website.

Some types of conversions:

  • Complete purchase
  • Fill out contact form
  • Inquire for ebook or other content
  • Sign up for blog
  • Complete questionnaire or quiz

At Stray Media Group, we primarily work with small- to medium-sized businesses in the country, mostly situated in the Midwest region. We understand the challenges you may be facing in the daunting world of digital marketing and finding the solutions that fit your business best. If you’d like to learn more about how we can build a digital marketing strategy that fits your needs and budget, feel free to give us a call.

Writing a blog

5 Steps to Build a Better Business Blog

Stop making excuses or procrastinating; if you’ve thought about posting regular business blogs or you’d like to sharpen up your skills and increase your posting frequency, the time is NOW!

Why are blogs so important? They:

  • – Improve SEO so you’re easier to find
  • – Give businesses clout to position you as an industry expert
  • – Increase leads
  • – Open lines of communication with customers

Learn how to write a blog for your business with these 5 steps:

Blog Target Audience

Marketing communication is all about your consumer: Who are they, what do they like, what are their goals, hobbies, and interests? Find answers to these questions and formulate customer personas to more effectively connect with your audience.

A woman standing in a crowd waving.

This will help you choose topics, guide your writing style and find the best avenues to promote your content. You spend valuable time writing excellent content, so make sure it speaks to the leads you are trying to generate!

How to choose a blog topic

You have identified who you want to speak to, now it’s time to choose something to write about. Keep your business blog conversational and not entirely product- or service-oriented.

Potential clients want a solution to a problem – not to be bombarded with messages about your product or service. Keep your content focused on topics that offer useful information that adds value to the lives of your customers.

A person drawing black business graphics.

 

How to write a blog headline and intro

Content is surely king these days when it comes to a marketing strategy. We live in a Game of Thrones-esque world where there are more kings than you can count, with more and more popping up each day. In order to conquer the content world, you will need an epic headline and an intro that not only grabs attention but keeps the readers wanting more. Using numbers, keywords, and exciting verbiage is key – tell them why they must read this article!

How to organize a business blog

You’ve figured out the who and the what, now it’s time to write, organize, and condense your content so it is easy to read and retain.

Start with research. You’re well versed in the products and services your business offers, but it’s also helpful to research what others are doing and search for industry updates. This allows you to see how you stand out from the competition and helps you find new, unique, and interesting ways you could connect with potential clients or solve their problems.

A person typing on a laptop, the screen shows a WordPress blog.

After research, organize your information for optimal readability. Try breaking up the information into 3 to 5 sub-topics that would be most beneficial to the reader. This helps to keep your blog full of valuable information but organized in a way that the viewer can easily retain.

Remember to keep it short and sweet. Your blog doesn’t need to be a novel with every last feature and benefit, just something to answer potential clients’ questions and get them interested. A good starting point to go by is a maximum of 1,000 words but remember every blog goal is unique so do what works best for you.

Posting and promoting a blog

Once you’re done writing, the fun begins! It’s time to take a break, delete the blog from your brain for a bit (at least a few hours!), and focus on something else. Giving yourself a little time to refocus will allow you to have fresh eyes and reassess what you have written, reorganize, and edit better.

It is paramount that your content flows well and doesn’t contain grammar and spelling errors, which can reduce the blog’s credibility. Always allow an outside set of eyes with grammar and spelling strengths to take a second look and make necessary proofreading corrections.

Two people sharing an Apple laptop.

After that, you are ready to post and promote. Writing your blog is only half of the equation; in order for potential clients to see and benefit from your content, it is vital that you choose where the best place to reach your target demographic is, both online and through your active social media platforms.

We get it – building and writing a business blog can seem like an extremely daunting task when you aren’t one of the few who loves to write, but not having a blog can be a business marketing killer in this modern research- and consumer-driven market.

Let us check this task off your to-do list with our team of professional content creators, who love to write engaging and shareworthy content. Meet the team today by getting hold of us at 701.757.2000.

Typography

Content is King and Typography is its Crown

The importance of content to your marketing is incredible. Well-written and eye-catching copy attracts and sustains your audience. “Content is king” is undoubtedly true in the world of marketing, serving as one of the most essential components to a solid marketing and SEO strategy for your company.

So what will help get your content noticed? How can you get your customers to look twice at your website or your direct mail piece? Well, if content is king, than typography is its crown. Typography is the art or process of printing with type. In other words, making your copy look bigger, brighter, and better with careful selection and planning of typefaces, point size, line length, leading, etc (and we’re not talking about switching your font to Comic Sans here!)…

Typography is powerful, and learning more about what it can accomplish is invaluable to your marketing efforts.

Check out your not-so-typical history lesson by watching The History of Typography.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Things to Know Before Building a Website

5 Things to Know Before Building a Website

Websites are more than just pretty faces. Developing a custom website is no small feat – it takes research, countless sugar-powered brainstorms, ample amounts of time, and great communication between you and your web developer to bring your vision to life. Here are 5 key things we at Stray Media Group advise you to know before diving headfirst into the wonderful, wacky world of web design.

 

Understand What You Want

 

What we really mean by this is “understand what your customers want and how you’re going to provide it.” Do you know who your target audience is? Have you done your homework on what problems they seek answers for and how your service will help them? Putting your personal preferences aside and digging deep to truly understand who your customer is and what they want is the first step to building a killer website.

 

It’s important to note here that you have to put personal preferences aside and focus solely on the customer. Love the color green and pictures of cute kids? Green is awesome and cute kids rock, but if that only resonates with you and 5% of your target audience, you need to let it go.

 

Building a Website Takes Longer Than You Think

 

Like pretty much every single thing in life, there’s more to building a website than meets the eye, and it takes longer than you would think. It takes time, attention to detail, drafts, revisions, more revisions, and did we mention revisions? Timelines will also depend on the depth of your site – if it’s a simple one-pager it will take less than an in-depth e-commerce site, but all in all you’d better call it “Rome” because a good site won’t be built in a day (or month).

 

There are a few key things that you can do to help move the process along more quickly, though. One thing we advise is to begin collecting and taking photos, so you have your own image library to work from – the fewer stock photos the better, and the more personable your business will appear.

 

Another key is content – ‘tis king, after all. You don’t have to be a professional copywriter – psst, shameless plug about how our Stray Media Group team has your back on this one – but even a general direction or voice you know you want to portray to your audience will help speed up the content process.

 

Final note is to be on the ball when you do have something to review from your web developer. We see this a lot, where it’s ‘When will the site be ready?’ for weeks and then when the site is ready for review – crickets. Working with your web designer to turn things around quickly will help speed the overall process along.

 

The Pros That Knows

 

We’ve touched before on not trusting friends with your marketing and the fact that you get what you pay for. If you want someone dedicated to making your website as great as you want it to be and on a reasonable timeline, the best route is to hire a professional. A good developer or company is going to give you the attention you deserve, and help guide you in the right direction in areas that are foreign to you.

 

Scared of the price tag a professional web designer will put on your start-up company’s website? You’ve got options. Let’s say you want a baller website with XYZ but you find out that your current marketing budget will cover a fraction of that X. You’re better off starting small with a pro and updating your website in phases to work up to that XYZ, rather than resorting to a friend of a friend that can give you XYZ for $500 and finding yourself a year down the road with nothing. We may or may not know you, but we know you (and your business) deserve better than that.

 

Be ProFOUND

 

You invested your time and money into building the brain child that is your beautiful site. Everyone and their mother will recognize this and be chomping at the bit to check it out – right? If you live in a fantasy world, yes. Reside in the real world? Great, us too – and no, that’s not how it works.

 

Turn that frown upside down – there are solutions. Solid SEO strategies and emphasizing your business’s unique selling points are two key areas to focus on. This will help to A. set you apart from your competitors and B. make you easily found on the web by your target audience.

 

Building Is Only the Beginning

 

Technology changes at an alarmingly fast rate. In order to keep up and provide your customers with the best possible user experience, understand that your website will need to be continually updated. Plan for monthly if not weekly updates to stay on top of things, and keep your site at that top level.

 

Building a website is a big project, and we hope these tips will help ease the journey for you a bit. Feeling a little lost? We’re here for you. At Stray Media Group, we work with companies of all types, sizes and budget levels to help point you in the right direction and give you the killer site you deserve. Chat with us about your vision today.

Video Marketing Stray Media Group

4 Things Your Video Marketing Strategy Needs

Connecting with your audience and building relationships – this is why we do what we do in the marketing world. There are countless ways it can be done, but some frontrunners prove time and again to be the most effective. A specific genre of marketing that amplifies your overall strategy by providing viewers with a dynamic and captivating way to consume content is what we like to call video marketing.

Did you know 65% of your audience are visual learners? With content marketing best practices continually evolving to accommodate short attention spans and cutting through the overwhelming amount of content already out there, video marketing can be your cut-to-the-chase saving grace.

What makes great video marketing? Here are four of our go-to tips:

Add value

Your video marketing strategy should have a strong focus on providing value. Just like in a content marketing strategy, it’s important not to push a sales angle but rather give answers to the questions that your audience is asking. Testimonials can also be a valuable tool – having other real people talk about how your products or services actually helped them will be a great addition to your strategy. Positioning yourself as a reliable and follow-worthy expert in your industry will help you build credibility, grow your audience and gain leads.

 

Inspire

Messages should be compelling and inspire viewers to do what you are promoting. If they are not moved by it, why would they share it or even keep watching? We are bombarded by ads all day every day (some estimate upwards of 5,000 a day) so when it comes time to press that ‘Share’ button, it had better be worth the customer’s time and effort.

The feeling you’re going for here is like this:

via GIPHY

 

Dare to be different

Dare to be humorous, edgy and fun. Show a human side of your business – people connect with this engaging type of content, so it provides an exceptional opportunity for them to see your team, products or services in a different light.

Some companies or more professional industries feel that taking risks with their content – written, video or otherwise – is too dangerous. In our eyes, it’s more dangerous to be so cautious that you end up morphing into every other business just like yours. It’s important to note that “edgy” should not be confused with explicit or offensive – there should always be a level of tastefulness to any marketing strategy. Rather, our caution here is to not stifle yourself into a boring state for fear of daring to be different.

Dare to be different...its where the magic happens

 

Make videos concise

You’ve got about 10 seconds (or less) to captivate your audience with a video before they hit ‘Skip’. Make it so good they can’t possibly click that button. Give them the valuable content that they are looking for, but in a concise and to-the-point manner. In the vast sea that is existing content, it’s important to cut through the noise. Package up those videos in nice, quick and informative nuggets so they’re easily digested by audiences.

65% of audiences are visual learners

Video viewership continues to increase exponentially each year, and it’s not slowing down any time soon. This medium gives audiences a fast, convenient way to get the information they want, in the visual manner that has proved to be how the majority of consumers prefer to learn.

Every business can benefit from including video marketing in their stratgey

One of the best things about video marketing? It could be applied to literally ANY business, industry or promotion, and – with the right SEO – get successful results. We believe video marketing should be a cornerstone in every company’s strategy. If you’re ready to shine some lights, camera, action on your marketing plan, give our team at Stray Media Group a call to see how we can help.