Why Content Marketing Isn’t a Numbers Game

It’s easy to see big numbers (or small ones, if that’s the case) and get excited. Numbers and figures are often an ancillary part to any presentation and clients often demand the biggest and best no matter what.

Hey, that’s totally fine in our books. We demand the best from ourselves every day, and clients should too. But, here’s the kicker: looking just at the numbers is not healthy. One of the best ways to illustrate why is in a conversation often had regarding content marketing and its effect (or lack thereof) on conversion rates.

Great content writing often drives conversion rates down. Why? Better yet, why is that a good thing?

Engagement

The reason content marketing exists is because of a firm belief in engagement. Engagement, at its core, is about giving the customer something. Are you giving them handy guides, tips, tricks, information, overviews of products and services? The marketing landscape continues to evolve. It’s a wide berth, but engaging the consumer on a basic level is integral to moving them through your sales funnel. Without engagement, you just have a bunch of visitors gumming up the works.

SEO

When you’re working to engage through the offer of more content, you increase the likelihood of being found online. Without getting into most of the details, this is because search engines love data! They love words, and they love to index the pages where these words are found. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process where we use specific keywords to get that search engines attention. It’s not as simple as it sounds, but that’s your basic principle.  It’s a tool to help potential leads that would be interested in your product or service find you.

The Conversion Process

Moving through the sales funnel, you want to attract visitors, qualify leads, convert them to customers and eventually have customers become advocates of your brand. Converting a lead into a customer can be tricky, so you want to give yourself the best chance at success by targeting as many people as possible. That is exactly what great content helps you do!

By offering potential online visitors more opportunities to see your web site, and draw them in with great content, they’ll be more likely to re-visit your site and trust you as an authority on your product or service. Looking at raw numbers in this sense can be very misleading. Below I’ve created an infographic that does a good job of explaining:

As you can see, the biggest box is the amount of visitors to your site through utilizing content marketing — you reached 100 people. The smaller box represents the amount of visitors to your site utilizing a more product-focused method — reaching 40 people.

Both websites converted 10 percent of their visitors into leads! That’s great, but in this case the content-focused site was able to attract a larger amount of visitors, producing more customers and potential customers across the board.

The example becomes even more potent if we shrink it further. If a traditional, product-focused website has only a product page, category page, and maybe one or two information pages, and reaches less than 10 percent of the content-focused websites, it may still retain those four conversions giving you a conversion rate of 33 percent. A great figure, but not within context.

More Than the Sum of Its Parts

The main takeaway here is this — producing content that allows you to be searched for more, that offers your visitors something more than just information on how to buy, and delights while doing so, may appear to push down your conversion rate. But, upon closer inspection, you’re converting more than you would without that content.

Are you doing everything in your power to capitalize on attracting visitors to your website?

7 Reasons Why Batman is Great at Marketing

Growing up in the 90’s was a magical time to be a kid. In a small town lit by the light of a TV screen, there were several juggernauts that vied for the unwavering love and attention of young minds. For those too young or old, I am sorry, but it was awesome being young in the 90’s.

I’m in my late 20’s now, and if you asked me what my favorite fictional character of all time is, my answer would be the same as it was then.

I know it sounds silly but, to me, Batman is just the be all, end all of superheroes. He’s awesome, and I’ve realized there is a parallel between Batman and my career — he is the perfect marketer. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you why.


1. Batman is just a normal person.

At the most basic level, Batman is just a really rich guy running around beating bad guys up. If you break down exactly what he does, that’s him in one sentence. He doesn’t have super powers, he’s not an alien, or the victim of a tragic radioactive accident. He’s human, but that’s what makes him super.

He’s a person with flaws, feelings, thoughts and a story. We all are. Sometimes, it can be easy to forget that our target audiences are made up of people in a shared experience called life — even ourselves. It’s okay to be flawed, and it’s important to remember that in order to create content that truly speaks to people.

2. He has sidekicks.

No one can do it all on their own, not even Batman. To fight off the dregs of society he has Robin, his butler Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, and Batgirl (in some comics) to turn to.

No one can be the end all, be all resource of information in marketing. It is such a multi-faceted business that we must rely on each other for help sometimes.

3. He is prepared for everything, and extremely versatile.

Despite needing help sometimes, Batman is prepared for everything. In many comics, he literally has a file on every member of the Justice League and how to take them down, even Superman, if they go rogue.

While I won’t be planning the imminent demise of a villain anytime soon, being prepared for possible crisis situations and avoiding those that are within my control is just good business practice.

4. Batman has tools at his fingertips, and is a super sleuth.

Speaking of asking for help, you won’t ever catch him flat-footed on the job. Nope, within his utility belt he keeps all kinds of useful gadgets to fight crime.  He is also a master detective that uses his mind as a super power. Having the batmobile in your garage doesn’t hurt either.

Alternatively, any worthwhile marketer has their metrics and analytical tools to help them target their audiences.  They are studied in their profession and know how to use that knowledge efficiently and effectively. Like Batman, a marketer should always be solving problems.

5. He has a symbol, and it evokes emotional responses.

That iconic symbol is so engrained in society that it’s almost always recognizable. He obviously understands the importance of brand-building.

Our take away from this should be that building a brand isn’t about how flashy it is, but how we use it and what emotions we can attach to it to illicit the kind of response that evokes a positive action out of our audience. That doesn’t happen overnight.

6. Bruce Wayne is Batman.

Without getting too meta about it, Bruce Wayne is Batman’s alter-ego — when the mask is on, the true mask is really off.

What I’m really driving at, is that being a true marketing professional means this isn’t a costume you take on and off, this is who you are. We believe in the values we use to guide our marketing campaigns. There is no clocking out, we’re always ready to pounce.

7. He is unstoppable, and relentless.

Once he has a goal in mind, he goes for it. Batman is unstoppable and relentless in his pursuit of justice. Once a marketer has a clearly defined vision and goal for a client’s campaign, we should be just as insatiable.

Could we be your superhero? It’s possible!

The Magic Bullet Marketing Theory

I sat across from Sherri, our business development director, last week in one of our weekly think-tank conference room meetings with a bemused disposition. It had been one of those sessions—one where you throw yourself at a problem until something gives and you hope it isn’t your brain.

We had gone over it several times, and this wasn’t the first time for Todd or Austin, who were all asking the same question.

How do you get the client to see there is no such thing as magic bullet marketing?

We had circled it, highlighted it, and talked about it. But, it’s a problem every agency has to overcome. Every client is different, there are some that will absolutely get it and partner with you. There are others who simply don’t seem to grasp the concepts we try to lay out. In the middle, there are a million shades of gray.

But, what is “getting it” and how can marketers remove the dissonance so often found between themselves and decision makers?

Busy Buzzwords

The biggest culprit is how people see marketing — some see it as a cost, and some see it as a tool for revenue generation. Often, the answer to a client’s objections lies in one word: “deliverables.” It’s being heralded as the buzzword of 2015, but I couldn’t disagree more.

However, I believe defining “deliverable” as a buzzword is a misnomer. A buzzword is defined as “a technical term and may have very little meaning, being used simply to impress others.”

Deliverables is defined as “something tangible, or quantifiable”. A client is always after real numbers, often asking what’s in it for them, how we can prove to be cost-effective, and how we can improve their bottom line. Here, we often point to our prior successes and proven strategies that showcase our tangible quantities as successful.

“Getting it” has nothing to do with pulling a fast one on someone, or awing them with flashy presentations. It has to do with showing them we deliver on the concepts we ourselves rely on. Be it SEO, keyword placement, ad targeting, lead generation and conversion, our own methods propel us as well.

The problem therein lies that the client thinks this is done overnight. That their product is so good, that it is so vital, it will need very little help getting off the ground.

Magic Bullet Marketing

The internet is a vast place. It’s less an open field and more like a million Time Squares all tied together. In a world that moves as fast as an internet connection can take you, and constantly bombards you with information, sticking out often appears impossible.

But a client wishes for one thing more than any other — to have the magic bullet that cuts through the noise. They may think that magic bullet comes from social media, a certain e-mail marketing campaign technique, or combination of words on a landing page. They might think it is traditional, interruptive advertising or the perfectly placed billboard. If you do, we hope you’ve checked out this recent entry in our blog.

None of that is true. The magic bullet, if you really want to call it that, is in the execution. It’s putting all the pieces together in a cohesive form. A puzzle is incomplete if only one piece is out of place, and it’s our job to make sure they’re all there and that the image meets client expectations. Put a Louisville Slugger in the hands of someone who isn’t familiar with baseball, and they may not even know which end to hold. But, put it in the hands of Babe Ruth… and you get the idea. The secret isn’t the bat, it’s knowing how to swing it.

Time After Time

Understanding that is important, but the greatest and most perfect marketing campaign does not garner overnight success. Where some may see what we do as assembly-line work— mindlessly putting together the pieces of a campaign without thought to what it does or where it’s going, we see ourselves much differently.

Rather, we are farmers that use our tools to nurture leads and create lasting results for each client. Over time, we want to see growth for them and point to our metrics and say, “this is what we’ve been able to accomplish.”

It’s our daily struggle, and everyone comes to a conclusion differently.  We left the conference room that day with our own puzzles to figure out, but we’ve come to our conclusions and those continue to evolve on a daily basis. Are you thinking outside the box?

Making Video a Part of your Branding Strategy

It’s a no-brainer right? Wrong. We’ve even discussed this topic before. Depending on whom you ask, you can get an emphatic yes or no on if they think video is a necessary part of their branding strategy. Well, I’m here to tell you that it absolutely is; and here’s why.

Look around you, the days where the internet was an intangible concept of far-off servers and dial-up connections are long gone. Some of us are still haunted by the memories of dial-up connections. Connecting to the internet through a series of loud buzzes and tones, the idea that it was a place we visited during the day felt very real.

Face the Facts

Fast forward– it’s 2015, and the internet is a very different place. It’s everywhere, and it’s much faster than it used to be. Today the USA ranks 5th in the world for average download speeds, clocking in around 11.5 Mbps (megabits per second). That’s almost triple compared to the global average of 4.5 Mbps!

Not only this, but more than 80% of citizens in the United States say they use the Internet. Doing the math, that’s over 250 million people if you go by the most recent census information! On a global scale, it’s been reported that over 3 billion (with a ‘B’, folks!) people use or have access to the internet.

Not only are there a lot of people on the internet, we spend a lot of time here as well. Averages for the United States tally in at around 5 hours per day on a desktop or laptop, and 2.5 hours spent online through a mobile device. Global averages come in just below that at 4.4 and 2.7 hours, respectively.

Show and Tell

Okay, so we have a ton of people online, how do you talk to them? Engage them! One of the best ways to do this is through video. I’m willing to bet your eyes have already darted below to get a glimpse of what video is embedded in this post. Don’t worry, you’re just proving my point!

Creating stylized content that uses both visual and auditory senses to keep the consumer interested in your content can really sell a product or concept. If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine how many words a video is worth.

Is your brand experiential? If you find yourself saying, “you just have to hear it/see it”, it’s probably true. Sometimes not even an image is sufficient. For instance, our video for the Paducah Convention & Expo Center allows them to showcase their scalable facilities. Trying to use words and pictures alone would have little impact compared to the engaging footage shot on site, mixed with animated graphics and narration. Take a look for yourself:

It’s easy to see how much more effective this was than a block of text interlaced with a few pictures. This type of thinking can be applied to all types of products! Whether you’re a B2B, or B2C retailer, video has a place in your marketing budget.

A common objection to the inclusion of video is how expensive it can be. However, 52% of marketers name video as the type of content with the best return on investment for their clients. With the right creative team and vision, that can mean big things for generating leads and sales. When two out of three consumers watch product videos some, or all, the time they are encountered, you run the risk of being left out of the conversation if you don’t use them.

Eyes Forward

It is suggested that 74% of all Internet traffic will be video by 2017. YouTube is already the second-largest search engine, behind Google. That is a lot of noise and competition that requires something closer to a machete than a scalpel. Remember that scene from Back to the Future Part 2? It seems crazy, but it really wasn’t that far off the mark.

Cutting through the static in the next few years will revolve around creating quality, engaging content and strategically placing that content in front of targeted audiences that your product speaks to. Here at Innovations, we handle all of that and work to help you move visitors through your sales funnel, so they can not only become customers, but advocates for your brand and business.

How do we do this? Well, here’s Todd to go into a little more detail.

 

 

 

 

Do you get it yet? Maybe you do, and you’re ready to move forward. Great! Video is just one part of the inbound process, and we would love to help you put the pieces together for a great marketing campaign. If you think video is the right tool for you to take your brand to the next level, get in touch with us today!