SEO Knowledge - Foxtail Marketing

Wikipedia and eHow: Using Information in Content Creation

When you’re trying to drive traffic to your website, it helps to look at other websites that have managed to do this on a large scale. What are your go-to websites? When you’re looking for detailed information on anything, don’t you generally go to Wikipedia? Sure, this website doesn’t have the best reputation for accuracy but most of us go there anyway, just to get a basic overview of whatever topic we might be researching.

For what’s happening in the world right now, we might go to reputable newspapers like The New York Times or TV channels like CNN. One website that has gained a good reputation for current events on the internet, without being present in any other form of media, is Huffington Post. Plus, if you’re looking for how-tos, you probably know that eHow is the way to go. And if you’re looking for information on movies, actors or anything to do with the movie-making world, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has a good reputation.

How Much Does Content marketing Cost

Content Marketing: Finding your Market

Alright, you’ve come up with the perfect business plan, developed the perfect product and are ready to take it to the next level. You feel an exhilarating feeling of success and achievement, but then you realize something: the hard work is just now beginning.

Before you get too excited about your future, take some time to think about who you are selling to. Developing your target market is the first step in creating a content marketing campaign. After you have accomplished this, you will be able to know exactly what your customers are looking for when it comes to content and how they expect to get it. Here are some steps for you to follow.

Content marketing strategy

5 Reasons to Create a Content Creation Calendar for Your Business Blog

You probably already know that your business blog — and other forms of posting content, such as on social media — is very important to your company’s success online. However, you might currently just be blogging and posting on social media when the mood strikes.

Although posting on your blog when you get in the mood is better than not posting at all, there are better content creation strategies to look into. For example, creating a content creation calendar can be a very smart idea.

Conversion Optimization - Foxtail Marketing

Conversion Optimization: The Holy Grail of Marketing

The market is always moving. When the Internet took off, the immediate goal was to build a website but it was then just an adjunct to the bricks and mortar store(s). Over time and particularly after Amazon took off, people realized that it was possible to operate without bricks and mortar completely, if enough people found and used the website. There was a lot of effort to make the websites easy to use, to load complete catalogues of inventory and tie sales back to inventory, and some websites even built a virtual model of people so that they could “try” on articles before buying.

All that was good but the key was if people could find the website when they searched. Search Engine Optimization became the next big thing. Google was the default search engine then and, even though they didn’t disclose the algorithms used, people were able to reverse engineer the websites depending on where they showed up in a search. The goal is to be on the first page – and near the top – as survey after survey revealed that the nature of people is to ignore the millions of hits to a search. The most relevant are usually on the first page, and if they aren’t, the people just rewrote the search. It took too long to search all of the hits otherwise. A side effect is that websites “landing” site are built to load quickly, due to people’s impatience with the slower loading sites. This also led to faster and faster data transmission and the phone companies built faster and faster transmission methods. And the hardware companies built phones, tablets, and laptops to take advantage of them – because most search is done on mobile devices.

So what is the next big thing? You have a website that loads quickly and is optimized to be found and ranked high by search engines, still mostly Google but Bing is catching up. Now you want to convert looks to sales. Conversion optimization is what you want and you want it to be as high as feasible. But, how do you do that?

All good salespeople work very hard at conversion optimization. They read body signals, try trial closes, move from interest to “owning” (see how Buick is offering 24 hour test drives. After 24 hours people think of it as theirs!), and even baldly ask questions such as, “What would it take for you to take this home today?” It is not so easy to do that through such an impersonal means as a website.

Jeremy Smith wrote an article on Marketing Land on September 3, 2015 that sheds light on this subject. It turns out that the best techniques aren’t using such minor tactics as button size or colors – they are really based on psychological factors of human decision-making. One of these is labeled as mere-exposure effect. In very simple terms this means that people generally prefer things with which they are most familiar. This is then also called the familiarity effect. And, most importantly, the mere-exposure effect builds dramatically based on the number of exposures or interactions between the subject and object.

There have been numerous studies, monographs, and papers on this subject. The late Robert Zajonc, a 20th century psychologist, was justly renowned for his research on this subject. He tested both verbal and auditory exposure and found that even when the objects were completely made-up nonsense, the more exposure the subjects had to them the more they liked them. This mere-exposure effect even works on animals. If certain frequencies and sounds are played to chicks before they are born, while they are still in the egg!, they prefer those frequencies and sounds when they hatch.

If mere-exposure effect has this effect, how can you make use of it?

1. Make your website look like other sites. Although we claim to value originality and independence, familiarity breeds acceptance. Notice how even the teenage rebels all look and dress alike? So, if your website layout and look doesn’t differ dramatically from other websites with similar offerings, it is accepted. In particular, features like “Buy” or “Checkout” buttons must be placed in similar locations and look the same as others. People don’t like change!

2. Mere-exposure of your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) increases the conversion optimization. A corollary to this is that you must understand your target audience as well as possible. There is no substitute for perceptive observation. Once you do, feature your USP, show your USP, talk about your USP, and display your USP to them over and over. Remember, familiarity fosters acceptance. Hollywood PR agents say, “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” They understand this phenomenon viscerally.

3. Evaluate the effect of the mere-exposure on your target audience. There are infinite subgroups and niches and you want to maximize the effect on your selected demographic. For example, millennials are going to react much differently than baby boomers. Which one do you want as your audience?

4. Observing the mere-exposure effect is a cost-effective and valid way of cross-checking the conclusions of big data. There are discrepancies if you market on more than a few social media sites. Observation helps validate the data. In the words of the article, “When you define psychographic data to the extent of intuiting the mere-exposure effect, you’ve gained a powerful conversion optimization advantage.”

5. Study of the mere-exposure effect will reveal things the analytics can’t. Odd but true – the way people react when they are on a mobile device differs significantly from how they are on a home PC. In fact, if possible you should segregate the data from mobile searches from those from static devices. There are limitations to big data analytics due to the way they handle data processing, access, and collection. While familiarity fosters acceptance, too much “breeds contempt.” People just tire of the ads.

6. Your presence must be ubiquitous to foster conversion. There is a marketing rule of thumb that says people don’t even register your advertising until they have seen it seven times. And, there are innumerable other ads competing for their attention. To counter, you must do whatever is possible and feasible to make your advertising exposed in as many locations as you can.

Thought Leadership Webinars

How Webinar Series Can Build Your Thought Leadership

If you’re an experienced marketer, particularly if you operate in the B2B sector, you likely know about the value of webinars to your lead generation content marketing efforts. Webinars continue to rank among the top inbound marketing lead generation tactics, even improving in effectiveness between 2013 and 2014.

You might also know that webinars play an important role in establishing your brand as a credible source of leadership within your industry. But did you know that you can take your quest for thought leadership even further with one simple strategic adjustment? Enter webinar series.

The Prevalence of One-Off Webinars

Considering their effectiveness, webinars of any type continue to be underused. But even among marketers who do take advantage of this type of content marketing, the vast majority choose the simple variety: single webinars, based on individual topics, that are relatively easy to plan and prepare.

Chances are you’ve seen these types of isolated events. But if you have not, here is a perfect example: The American Marketing Association offers some of the most sought-after webinars in its field, continuing to establish its position as a voice of authority within the marketing community.

Yet, a single look at its schedule of upcoming webcasts reveals a simple truth: each of them is focused on its own topic, isolated from the other events. Depending on their specific industry, marketers can sign up for one of the webinars, but due to the non-existent connection between the individual webcasts will have little incentive to sign up for a series of them.

Increasing Effectiveness with Webinar Series

Enter webinar series. As you might imagine, webinar series are a number of interconnected webinars that build on each other under one common, overarching topic.

Depending on your industry, you may want to create a series on the intricacies of the supply chain, dedicating each of its stages to one (or more) webinars. Or you could create a series on the importance of safety during home construction, aimed toward contractors. Compared to the prevalent one-off webinars, these types of series offer a number of distinct advantages:

  • Establishing a Relationship. The above AMA example illustrates perfectly the pitfalls of one-off webinars. While they work well for lead generation, they offer little opportunity to ‘hook’ your leads with recurring content. As any inbound marketer knows, lead generation is only part of the equation. Nurturing those leads by slowly guiding them through the sales funnel on their way to becoming customers is just as essential. And whereas one-off webinars can help provide one piece of the puzzle to success, webinar series can make up a large part of the puzzle by themselves. In today’s increasingly democratized digital advertising environment, building a relationship with your customers is important, not only to nurture your leads, but also to increase repeat purchases – which, as you probably know, is a major revenue driver. And webinar series do just that, tying your leads and customers to a topically-themed range of events that will keep you in their minds once they nudge closer to a sales decision.
  • Multi-Use Possibilities. Another significant benefit of webinar series is their use in more than just one area. Experienced webinar hosts know that while the live event is an important part the webinar experience, recorded webinar are just as (if not more) important. In fact, a 2013 study showed that only 16 percent of B2B customers preferred to watch a webinar live, while the vast majority either preferred the recorded alternative or did not have an opinion either way. Webinar series can live on your website as lead-generation machines long after the initial event. Of course, that’s not all that different from their one-off alternative. But here is something that is: turning your webinar series into a podcast. Podcasting is steadily growing to become a force in digital marketing, and spreading your brand identity to this medium allows you to tap your audience in new ways. And while one-off webinars are difficult to turn into effective podcasts, webinar series lend themselves perfectly to the changeover in medium. Potential listeners can subscribe to the podcast knowing exactly what to expect, as the entire series is focused on a distinct topic.
  • And then, of course, there is the most distinct advantage of webinar series:


How Webinar Series Enhance Your Thought Leadership Efforts

We’ve come full-circle. By building a relationship with your webinar attendees and utilizing the series in a variety of ways, you ultimately pursue and achieve one goal: building thought leadership. In addition to establishing the necessity of relationship building, the increasingly democratized digital environment we mentioned above also comes with another side-effect: your audience will only trust you if you have established an aura of expertise and credibility within your field. And while you can establish thought leadership using a variety of methods, webinar series can go a long way toward doing just that.

For starters, you can use your series to invite established experts in your industry to speak on certain topics. Thanks to your webinar’s Q&A session at the end, your event will serve as an outlet for industry clients to get an in-depth look into each of the topics you cover. For real-life evidence, check out the case studies in this whitepaper by the Content Marketing Institute on webinar series

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Foxtail Marketing is a digital marketing firm that provides content marketing, digital marketing, and lead generation services for small and mid-market companies.

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