Wednesday, 17 February 2016 20:12

Writing Conversationally

A grammatically perfect blog post or email won’t necessarily generate the best results.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016 20:05

eCommerce Design

Trends come and go. In fashion, in hair, in business and in e-commerce. What does 2016 have in store?

Wednesday, 17 February 2016 19:58

One Part of the Mix

Jumping into social media as a stand-alone marketing effort simply because everyone is doing it is misguided.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016 19:50

The Speed of Consumption

Sneaking a peek at Facebook, a YouTube video, an email, or stealing a moment for a quick scroll through Instagram or Twitter is a common activity for smartphone users.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016 19:36

“Find Your Tilt”

The quantity of online content produced every day is staggering, and standing out can be incredibly difficult.

Monday, 01 February 2016 08:00

Anatomy of a Blog Post

A blog post isn’t just a string of semi-connected words and sentences about a topic.

Monday, 01 February 2016 08:00

Hate Writing?

Content marketing has become integral to business success but how do you produce content if you hate to write?

Monday, 01 February 2016 08:00

The Hype Cycle

Following the adoption curve of technology to discern hype from viability and how it applies to content marketing.

Monday, 01 February 2016 08:00

Subdomain or Subdirectory

Where should you put your company blog?

Monday, 01 February 2016 08:00

Super Ads

At an estimated $5 million for 30-seconds of airtime, under the scrutiny of about 115 million viewers, choosing to advertise during the big game is a big decision.

Monday, 01 February 2016 17:47

10 Ways to Improve Your SEO

Search Engine Optimization, done strategically, can be a complex, time-consuming undertaking.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 21:01

10K Character Tweets

Twitter is considering increasing its character limit from 140 to 10,000.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 20:57

Taking it Back

After a major public relations crisis, brands need to find the appropriate way to react and respond to preserve their integrity.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 20:28

Not just for Lead Conversion

Landing pages are often utilized for lead generation and conversion. They are stripped down of unnecessary navigation and distraction and optimized to elicit an action for a user such as the submission of a form. But landing pages can be used for a variety of other purposes.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 20:21

Curated Content and SEO

By now, you may have heard that great content is key to SEO, but what do you do if you just don’t have time to create content?

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 20:08

Find Customers with Twitter

Social media channels are a great place to engage with customers and “fans.” They are also great places for prospecting and finding local customers.

Monday, 04 January 2016 21:23

Governing Your Brand

In the age of social media, governing and protecting your brand can be difficult.

Monday, 04 January 2016 21:22

Content + e-Commerce

Content can help promote awareness and online purchases.

Friday, 25 September 2015 18:11

Score, Nurture, Convert - It’s That Simple

Lead generation, lead scoring and lead nurturing are distinct elements that work in concert to improve your marketing automation strategy.

Friday, 25 September 2015 17:58

Plan & Maintain A Better Website

A site’s colors, fonts and images might be what creates the first impression for a website. But it is planning and maintenance that ensures a website’s long-term success.

Friday, 25 September 2015 17:56

Email strategies

Email is the great-grandfather of online communications. But in the age of marketing automation, email remains key.

Monday, 28 September 2015 17:50

Stock photos for your content marketing

Images are an important part of your content marketing. But where do you find high-quality images for commercial use?

Friday, 25 September 2015 17:45

Optimizing Tweets for SEO

Social media participation is important in modern marketing and can boost your SEO.

Friday, 25 September 2015 17:36

A Return to "Mad Men"

The Emmy-winning TV show Mad Men shined the spotlight on the culture of ad agencies in the 50s and 60s. In a nostalgic look at small and large creative agencies that generated strategy, copy, and art for ad campaigns 一 the inner workings of Madison Avenue are revealed. Decades later, we are seeing a return to the Mad Men agency of sorts.

Thursday, 17 September 2015 18:27

The Marketing Mastermind Group

Join us for an intensive, hands-on training workshop to jump start your inbound and digital marketing efforts.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015 16:24

How CMOs are spending

Content marketing is growing and is slated to receive a big piece of marketing budgets in the next two to three years.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015 16:08

Monitoring your brand

Online reviews and review sites have exploded recently and become essential to business.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015 16:05

Promoting your blog

You’ve spent countless hours writing interesting and relevant blog posts. You’ve optimized for organic search. You’ve sent an email to your subscribers promoting your posts. But have you tried social media?

Tuesday, 15 September 2015 16:02

Hubspot marketing expertise

You may have heard of Hubspot, one of the top marketing automation solutions available today. But were you aware of all it can do?

Tuesday, 15 September 2015 15:56

Content for the funnel

Landing pages are an integral piece of any marketing automation strategy to convert visitors into leads. To optimize these pages for conversions, there are some “best practices” that should be followed.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015 15:42

Content ideation

Finding new ideas for your blog can become difficult and tedious, especially if your business or industry is particularly “boring.”

Thursday, 24 September 2015 08:13

Are you interested in Marketing Automation?

We’ve been writing recently about marketing automation: what it is; the tactics involved; landing page best practices; how to nurture leads; and how to measure results. But the real question is: why should you care? As with most things these days, we turn to Google for the answer.

The graph below shows the popularity, over time, of the search term ‘marketing automation,’ from Google Trends. The line illustrates the total searches for a term relative to the total number of searches done on Google. A line trending downward means that a search term's relative popularity is decreasing. It doesn’t necessarily mean the total number of searches for that term is decreasing. It simply means that the term’s popularity is decreasing compared to other searches.

Google Trends for Marketing Automation search

 

The second graph shows Google’s forecast for the term ‘marketing automation.’ You can see that, by July of 2016, the popularity of that term will be higher than it’s ever been.

Google Trends for Marketing Automation search

Google also shows a number of additional search terms that people searching for the main term also searched for. You can see below, that people who were searching for marketing automation also searched for marketing software and marketing automation software, in addition to a number of other terms.

Google Trends for Marketing Automation search

What does this mean for you?

Marketing automation refers to the strategy, software and tactics used to attract, engage, segment and nurture prospects, leads and even customers using your website and a host of digital marketing tactics. What you should interpret from the graphs and chart above is that this is a term, and a strategy, that is gaining traction in the business community. If you haven’t taken notice yet, it’s time to do so.

According to a study by the Annuitas Group, businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads. Add to that the Gartner study that said that, by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with a business without talking to a human being and you can see why marketing automation might be a worthwhile endeavor for your business.

The way we shop and make decisions has fundamentally changed because of the way we use the internet – it’s called the Digital Disruption. If you haven’t changed the way you market to and communicate with your prospects and customers, you’re getting left behind.

 

Monday, 31 August 2015 14:15

Businesses to spend more on analytics

Analytics and reporting in all aspects of marketing (from website use to social media engagement to traditional ROI metrics) is important to making informed, strategic decisions. New research suggests brands will significantly increase spending on analytics in the next three years.

Monday, 31 August 2015 14:07

Facebook jumps into live streaming

Meerkat, Periscope and even Blab  are the much talked about and widely covered live-streaming apps of late. However, before these launched, Facebook was experimenting with a live streaming feature for public figures.

Monday, 31 August 2015 13:58

Automated Retweet with IFTTT

The complexity of social media and content marketing, combined with business and personal accounts in each,  has led us to IFTTT - a great way to automate certain activities.

Monday, 31 August 2015 13:54

Track social posting with IFTTT

Have you ever attempted to track your social posting using an Excel or Google spreadsheet? It’s redundant and time consuming.

Monday, 31 August 2015 13:49

Editorial calendars

Content creation and management can quickly become unwieldy for any size company. A content or editorial calendar can help maintain organization, strategy and accountability.

Monday, 31 August 2015 13:22

Ghost spam in GA

Many businesses rely on data from Google Analytics when making decisions about website effectiveness, ad spending and more. But inaccurate data can cause businesses to make misguided decisions.

Thursday, 03 September 2015 11:52

Inbound Marketing: the Savoir Faire Way

I talk to a lot of business owners and managers about how marketing has evolved in the past decade and why their efforts aren’t producing the same, or as much, fruit as they used to. This is because of the profound changes we’ve seen in technology in recent years.

As I wrote in my post about frozen yogurt, “When you’re home in your kitchen, you order a TV, sneakers, a bathing suit, power tools, books or movies online – and you typically have a great experience doing it. What happens next is that you take that experience with you to work the next day; it doesn’t stay compartmentalized at home. So when it comes time to look for a new laser printer, or office supplies, or lawyer or accountant, you’re likely to want – or outright expect – the same kind of experience researching and making the business purchase. Our culture has unequivocally shifted to the digital and it’s not going back.”

Inbound Marketing has become the antidote to old, increasingly ineffective ways of marketing. (If you haven’t heard about Inbound Marketing yet, read this post and then come back. I’ll wait for you.)

At Savoir Faire, we have a four-step framework that we like to use with companies who are just making their way into inbound.

Step 1: Assess Your Current Position

Most companies we talk to these days already have some kind of website. It may have been revised two years ago, or it may not have gotten much attention for a decade. Either way, we’re going to take a look at your website and the rest of your digital presence. This includes the existing social media, analytics and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

In this assessment, we’re going to determine what’s in place and what needs attention. The strongest attribute of inbound marketing is its ability to be measured, analyzed and improved. However, if the foundation is weak, the measurements won’t be accurate and you’ll have a hard time making good decisions based on that data.

Step 2: Educate and Prepare for Change

Implementing an inbound marketing strategy can be challenging. I’m not going to sugar coat it. Traditional marketing could be completed from inside the silo of the marketing manager’s or marketing coordinator’s office. However, inbound marketing requires a commitment from the company leadership specifically because it will call for contributions from other departments in the company. We all know that a successful change only comes about if it’s embraced at the top.

Our process includes talking with the company leadership – owner, general manager, VPs – to educate them on how and why marketing has changed. We believe that, when the leadership understands what we’re trying to accomplish, and what these changes will not only entail, but bring about, then they have an easier time embracing and championing the changes.

During this stage we may involve people from different departments in the company through surveys, meetings or discussions to assess how and how much they might contribute to an inbound program. This could mean that someone from engineering or sales or customer service writes blog posts once a month. Or, maybe he or she simply helps to brainstorm content topics and reviews or edits any content developed in their area of expertise. Maybe it means that an administrative person helps with uploading blog posts into the software, or pulling regular measurements down and sharing the reports. There are many aspects to an inbound program and many ways – large and small – for people throughout the company to contribute to its success. 

Step 3:  Build (or Rebuild) the Machine

Whether you have an old, new, revised, spiffed up or reimagined website, we’re going to take a look at it.  There are a handful of things that we’re looking to do to your online presence in order to turn it into the engine that will produce results and impact your bottom line.

First and foremost, your website needs to be structured – both front and back end – the way Google wants to see it. Your first and ultimate goal for a website should be to make it easy to be found online. Google – and to a lesser extent, other search engines – are looking for a complex mix of elements on your website. From how the navigation is laid out and the terminology used on it, to the user experience, to the copy on your site and, yes, even the keywords, there is both a science and an art involved in setting the machine up to generate results.

Another important element of “the machine,” is your content strategy. Your online machine is the venue to serve content to your website visitors and social followers. What kind of content will you develop, publish and promote? What type? On what schedule? How will it be promoted? Google wants to see dynamic content on your site and original content, from blog posts to videos and e-books, can do that job.

When your program is running well, every page is a weapon, used to engage website visitors and convert them to leads that can be nurtured through the purchase process.

One last thing you want to do when you build “the machine,” is plan for growth. Six months or a year from now, you’re going to have a lot more content on that site than you do now. You may have landing pages and blog posts and educational downloads. It’s important to build – or rebuild – knowing that, over time, you’ll have more content to handle. Your site should be able to handle the content additions over time, as well as the traffic growth that the content will lead to.

A well-built machine will facilitate the execution of your program in the short term, and evolve as results demand over the long term. 

Step 4: Run the Machine

Once the machine is built, and you have a strategy and schedule developed for content development and social media usage, then it’s time to put all that planning into practice. While the first three steps are typically discrete and have a start and end, this phase is ongoing since any fine-tuned machine needs fuel to keep it running at peak performance.

The “fuel” in this scenario is typically your content: educational downloads; tip sheets; ROI calculators; case studies; white papers; e-books; blog posts; email marketing campaigns; videos. Each piece of content can require a number of related elements, like landing pages and calls to action, that turn a simple piece of content into a conversion opportunity.  Then, it needs to be promoted, whether via social media, paid advertising, public relations or another method. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Running the machine also means measuring and analyzing your efforts to identify which are showing results and which aren’t. The benefit of the digital channels is that they are more measurable than many traditional marketing tactics you may be accustomed to. You’ll be able to measure, down to the tweet, landing page, form, email or website page, what worked and what didn’t. This means you’ll soon be making decisions about your marketing efforts based on data, versus on hunches or guesses.

The final piece of running the machine is website maintenance. We recently launched an e-book about website planning, development and maintenance that outlines why maintenance is such an important piece of your marketing strategy.

Use your car as an example: Every 5,000 miles, you bring your car to your dealer or trusted mechanic for regular maintenance. They change the oil and filter, check the tires, inspect the brake pads and top off the fluids. At other times, it needs more in-depth maintenance, like tire rotation or manufacturer-recommended software updates, recalls or repairs.  You take care of your car to make sure it works and continues to perform at its best. Your website represents a significant investment and an important tool for your business. It warrants the same type of attention and regular maintenance.

 

I know that sounds like a lot, but now you have the lay of the land and an idea of how we approach working with businesses who are transitioning into inbound marketing or sharpening their digital marketing strategies.

If you’ve got any questions or comments about how we approach inbound marketing strategies for businesses, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or reach out to me directly at Stephanie (at) savoirfaire-us.com.

Thursday, 27 August 2015 11:31

#Inbound15 Printable Schedule

With less than two weeks left before #Inbound15, the Savoir Faire team is once again working on our plan of attack. We’re trying to make the best use of our team and the sessions, and suggest great topics for clients and colleagues as well.

While there have been some updates on Inbound.com, we found the online schedule to be a little overwhelming again this year. Once again, we have created a printable version that we’re happy to share with anyone else planning their conference schedule.

Let’s face it: This has grown to be one humongous conference. There are so many incredible sessions to browse before you make your choices. Some are offered multiple times. Some conflict with other great sessions you want to attend. You can use the filters on the online schedule to look at sessions by day, session type, or level to find those that will be right for your goals, but it’s tough to remember which sessions you thought sounded interesting before you scrolled and changed filters!

Our printable version (available ungated by clicking here or following the CTA below) organizes session information by day and time period to give you a bird’s eye view of the schedule, session and tracks.

Download Sessions At-A-Glance

 

Here’s another tip: No matter what, you’re going to run into WiFi issues at the BCEC during the conference. No matter how many additional hot spots they put up, when 15,000 people try to access the app or mobile web version of this schedule at the same time, there’s gonna be an issue. Trust us. This has been an issue every year. So having a printed version of the schedule has come in handy each year.

This year, Hubspot has created an online tool to build your schedule. Go to Inbound.com and click on the Agenda tab. Sign in to access the schedule builder.

  • Click "My Schedule." You'll see keynotes and spotlights have already been added for you. 
  • Search for the sessions you are interested in and click "Add to my schedule." Sessions you have added show an orange button that says "Added to my schedule." You can remove a session by clicking again.
  • Once you have built your schedule, click "Printable Schedule" at the bottom of your schedule listing to access a print-friendly listing of your schedule. 

One caveat: this was created based on the current schedule on Inbound.com. There will likely be updates and filled holes between now and conference time.

We hope you find this planner to be useful as you get ready for this monster of a conference. And, we’d love to hear from you – or connect with you at the event. Tweet to @StephMcL or @Monkeybutt during the conference or leave a comment here prior to the show!

Monday, 17 August 2015 10:10

New Facebook Features

It seems Facebook is always updating something, adding features, changing its privacy policy or terms of use, or updating what you see in your feed.  Some of the most recent features could have a big impact on business.

Monday, 17 August 2015 10:10

The Google shuffle

As apps, online tools, websites or other products gain popularity and become more used, it is important for the product owner to evaluate and refine based on user feedback.

Monday, 17 August 2015 10:10

Joomla releases coming faster

Joomla, one of the most popular content management systems, has been more active in its incremental releases and updates since version 2.5 was launched in January 2012. However, the CMS also makes major leaps in development and functionality that can increase the difficulty of making updates and upgrades.

Monday, 17 August 2015 15:18

SEO Myths

SEO  has seen remarkable change in the past decade in terms of how search engines crawl, index and rank pages; how people search for information; and how marketers influence the search engines to improve traffic. However, there is a shocking amount of misinformation about current SEO practices.

Monday, 17 August 2015 10:10

What’s good for the goose...

A key element of your marketing automation or inbound marketing strategy is landing pages. Landing pages are necessary to convert visitors to leads via a form. Generally, there are best practices for common page elements that can improve your conversion rates. However,what’s good for the goose isn’t necessarily good for the gander.

Monday, 17 August 2015 15:07

Marketing automation tactics

Marketing automation refers not just to software but to a combination of software, strategy and tactics to attract, engage and nurture leads. Those tactics play out on different channels including your website and social media.

Monday, 17 August 2015 15:05

Tying it all together

Inbound marketing campaigns have a number of elements from blog posts to calls-to-action that need to be tracked in order to achieve success.

Tuesday, 04 August 2015 13:58

Take stock of your photos

There once was a time when finding images for your blog or website or other marketing materials was difficult and costly.

Tuesday, 04 August 2015 13:56

Don’t “Set it and forget it”

Technology is rapidly changing. From our cars to appliances, to communication methods and websites.

Tuesday, 04 August 2015 13:51

PHP mail vs third-party providers

Email marketing is a vital component of inbound marketing and marketing automation. It is cost-effective, cuts through the clutter, and gives leads and customers the information they want when they want it. However, creating great email messaging is only one important step.

Tuesday, 04 August 2015 13:37

Certified!

Have you heard the news? Savoir Faire is now a Certified Agency Partner of @HubSpot!

Tuesday, 04 August 2015 13:23

SEO Grown Locally

An important but sometimes overlooked aspect of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is local directory listing.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015 14:48

The self-serv situation

Despite being allergic to dairy, I love Orange Leaf, a frozen yogurt chain with outlets in my area (though, thankfully, none too close). If you haven’t been to an Orange Leaf, chances are there’s something like it near you. This is one of those self-service yogurt shops where you can choose and mix your yogurt (or in my case a non-dairy frozen treat) and decide how much you want to eat. Then, you take your tub of soft serve to the toppings bar and add whatever your little heart desires. (They even have toppings I can eat, too!)

Oh, man. It’s good stuff. I’m giving myself a hankering.

Monday, 20 July 2015 09:26

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation combines strategy, software and tactics to allow businesses to nurture leads and communicate with customers efficiently. While no one piece of software will do everything, there are sophisticated tools that will automate lead generation and nurturing in the top and middle of the funnel.

Monday, 20 July 2015 09:26

Our work IRL

Good work and satisfied customers make us happy. But we do a special “happy dance” when we see our work “in real life.”

You’ve seen the memes showing “the most interesting man in the world” from the Dos Equis beer commercials that launched in 2006. They are easily recognizable, easy to create and leverage a connection the consumer already has with the brand. But did you know they potentially violate copyright laws?

Monday, 20 July 2015 09:26

Update not redesign

Facebook recently made two very subtle changes in their graphics. The first to the Facebook logo and the second to their ‘friends’ icon. These changes, though small, represent larger statements about the company and its brand.

Monday, 20 July 2015 09:26

Thou shalt not steal

The internet has given us a giant library of information, images and video at our fingertips. We are encouraged through social media to share, share, share. But sharing is not the same as appropriating content and passing it off as your own.

Monday, 20 July 2015 09:26

The only constant is change

Take a look around you. How has technology evolved in your appliances, your car, your phone, your computer?

Monday, 20 July 2015 09:26

Not just for breakfast

Like many things we use for marketing, social media has evolved tremendously in recent years. Not only have some early channels died a quiet death, others have expanded far beyond their initial audiences and uses.

Wednesday, 08 July 2015 13:46

Food for thought

We all know that eating a nutritious balanced diet is necessary for good healthy. What you eat during the day can also affect your  productivity at work.

Wednesday, 08 July 2015 13:42

Choose wisely

Choosing a company to host your website, one of your biggest marketing assets, can be confusing.

Wednesday, 08 July 2015 13:33

Content marketing and bacon

What’s bacon got to do with Content Marketing? Everything.

Wednesday, 08 July 2015 13:28

The rise and fall of social networks

Believing that reaching a “tipping point” could allow a network to go viral, social networks work furiously to spread the word and encourage sharing in the early stages of the game. However, they neglect the value of growing organically, focusing on the initial spikes in early growth rather than the long haul.

Wednesday, 08 July 2015 13:17

Brute force lock down

Sometimes, just monitoring and blocking isn’t enough.

Tuesday, 04 August 2015 19:09

Quick Story: New to Twitter

I met Ken at a conference recently who was new to Twitter. I was a little surprised by his feedback as it’s a less-than-common response: “I love it,” he said. This was a Boomer-aged business owner, which made it all the more surprising. Most Boomers I’ve encountered hear “Twitter” and their immediate reaction is “who cares what I had for breakfast?”

It turns out that Ken had started out on Twitter by following other people in his industry, and a handful of industry publications. Within a month of checking in on Twitter, he had seen a piece of news from an industry publication that affected one of his customers. Ken reached out to the customer and said something to the effect of, “hey, this is a big deal.” The customer’s response was “huh?”

This allowed Ken to break the news to the customer, positioning himself as knowledgeable and well-informed - and set himself up for a whole new vein of business based on that news.

Most people I talk to who aren’t familiar with Twitter, and some of those who have just dipped their toe in, don’t see the same opportunity that Ken did.

After the event, I took a stroll through Ken’s Twitter stream and found out that he’s taken to it like a duck to water. He tweets a combination of business and personal, including both pictures of his business travels and his pets. He retweets a combination of industry news, interesting pictures and tidbits, and a bunch of hockey tweets when the Manchester Monarchs won the Calder Cup. (w00t!) He’s doing a great job and I anticipate he’ll continue to see good things come of it.

Free guide: Social prospecting
Tuesday, 21 July 2015 16:51

Creating Inbound Marketing Campaigns

We’ve written previously about inbound marketing and the elements of an inbound campaign. I’ve talked about how inbound marketing takes things you already know – your website, blog, email and social media – and activates them a little differently to create a completely different outcome. That website you built as a standalone tower some time ago MUST now be integrated with your other online channels to create a village of inter-connected, inter-related activities.

Once you do that, you can begin to run distinct, measurable inbound campaigns. A campaign typically starts with a desired outcome from a desired audience. You want Customer Type A to learn X about your industry or solution. The “bait,” if you will, is a specific piece of content. The campaign would be all the connected activities you do to: promote the piece; draw attention to it; attract people to it; and demonstrate enough value that they will exchange their name and contact information for it.

If you tie all these elements together and track them as a campaign using Hubspot or another marketing automation platform, you will be able to identify what is or isn’t working in the attract > convert > close cycle for that goal and audience.

We know that there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to planning and executing an inbound marketing campaign. We’ve put together a resource that outlines some of Hubspot’s best resources, templates and workbooks for each stage of a campaign. If you’ve got questions on any element of an inbound marketing campaign, this resource is a great place to start. If you have further questions after reviewing the reference guide, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment here, or email me directly at stephanie(at)savoirfaire-us.com.

Download the Inbound Marketing Campaign Reference Guide
Thursday, 25 June 2015 20:32

Technology: the only constant is change

Recently, my microwave died. It did so in flamboyant and hysterical fashion. It was late; we had been out with friends. We were hungry. We put something in the microwave and hit Go. Some number of seconds later as we were going about our merry way in the kitchen, there was a loud POP and a flash of light. Somewhat like a military flashbang, we were surprised and disoriented…and then pretty amused by the demonstration.

In the light of day, I got down to finding a replacement – and it got me to thinking. I hadn’t replaced the microwave in nine years. (A good run, I know!) In that time, microwaves had changed dramatically. Now there are all manner of specialty programs for a wide variety of foods. There are sensors to know when my frozen block of hamburg is thawed - and a complementary program that accounts for a one, two or three pound block.

Then I remembered that my mom redid her kitchen a couple years ago and ran into a lot of the same things.

Refrigerators these days have freezer drawers on the bottom, where they were traditionally on top. They have internal or external water and ice makers. They have door alarms and configurable shelves and temperature/humidity zone settings for different foods.

Now, you can get double ovens nearly standard – a feature that was only available on commercial cookers in the not too distant past. There is convection; there are built-in meat thermometers; warming trays; timers; delay mode; warm mode. Just 10 years ago these features either didn’t exist or were only available in the $$$$$ category. (Then again, we weren’t all obsessed with competitive cooking shows a decade ago, either.)

My point is, when you look around your kitchen, no matter what appliance you light upon, you’ll find that it has probably evolved quite a bit in recent years. And, if you were put in the position that my microwave put me in, it wouldn’t be a matter of just going and grabbing a replacement. In fact, your model likely doesn’t exist anymore. You’d probably want to do some research and learn about the new features available to decide if it makes sense to have them in your next version.

The same could be said for the technology in your living room. The TV, stereo, speakers, game-box-turned-entertainment-system – even your cable box – has evolved dramatically in recent years.

Wait. Then there’s the whole Internet of Things (IOT) that’s evolving everything from home security to your lights and thermostat.

So, after wandering around the house and looking at the technology evolutions, let’s head to the computer and look at your website. I’ve got a couple questions for you:

  • How long has it been since you built/rebuilt/redesigned, or even attended to, your company’s website?
  • Do you suppose the way we use an oven has evolved as much as the way we use the Internet in the time since you did?
  • And has any of these changed since you last updated your website? Your business model, business objectives or web channel goals?

Are you catching my drift?

Stephanie

Website redesign checklist

When I talk to business owners about social media, they invariably make one of a couple kneejerk responses that make them sound a little like Austin Powers when he told Scott “I’m with it; I’m hip,” right before he busts out with the Macarena.

The problem is, their reactions are based on old information about the use and value of the various social media platforms. They think Facebook is for vacation photos; LinkedIn is an online Rolodex; and Twitter is about what you had for breakfast. While these things may have been among the headlines in each platforms’ infancies – and they can still be used for those things, should you want – they have grown and evolved dramatically since then. Hopefully, it’s just that you were too busy running your business to keep up with the changes.

Monday, 22 June 2015 21:03

Small change; big difference

In user-experience design, everything matters: fonts, location, colors, relativity, architecture, feel, texture, etc. On websites, small changes to elements can vastly improve the user’s experience and overall satisfaction.

Monday, 22 June 2015 20:45

Are you missing out?

Businesses and marketers agree that branding is essential to relationship building, attracting new hires and communications. Yet, according to a June AdvertisingAge article, only 62% of companies have a formal brand platform.

Monday, 22 June 2015 20:41

Live broadcasting for business

Since 2015’s SXSW, live broadcasting apps Meerkat and Periscope have been discussed and debated on a number of major tech and trend websites. So what can they do for your business?

Monday, 22 June 2015 20:38

We need you

Websites are not created in vacuums. There are a number of moving parts and questions that need to be discussed and answered, making client participation tantamount to choosing the right web agency.

Monday, 22 June 2015 20:34

Up, up and away

Ensuring a new event or conference takes off involves a lot of work, from event logistics to marketing and communications. To help launch inaugural NH Aerospace and Defense Conference, Savoir Faire provided marketing support and also exhibited at the event.

Tuesday, 09 June 2015 18:53

Don’t forget desktop UX

The recent update to Google’s algorithms adds user experience (UX) on mobile devices as a requirement for search ranking. However, that doesn’t mean you can ignore  UX on desktop computers.

Tuesday, 09 June 2015 18:38

Knowing where to look

According to research by Kapost reported by eMarketer, nearly four in 10 B2B marketers have said that coming up with ideas for content marketing is difficult. Half said they didn’t have enough ideas to fuel content efforts. Finding ideas doesn’t have to be difficult.You just have to know where to look.

Tuesday, 09 June 2015 18:31

Silence is Golden

Have you ever gone to a website or news page and suddenly had sound blaring from your computer speakers? Annoying sometimes, isn’t it? Advertisers vying for your attention turned up the volume trying to reach you...to interrupt you. But sometimes, silence is golden...

Tuesday, 09 June 2015 18:27

Email Marketing Services

While email marketing may seem like a dinosaur among so many new marketing and social media channels, it still plays an important role in the inbound marketing toolbox.

Tuesday, 09 June 2015 18:23

Good fences make good...websites

Globally, there are millions of cyber attacks each day. According to WordFence, maker of the WordPress security plugin of the same name, there are more than 15,000 attacks per minute on Wordpress sites that their plugin monitors and protects. 

Friday, 29 May 2015 18:24

The Importance of Quality Backlinks

There have been many questions posed about backlinks and if they’re important for your website. We have the definitive answer.

Friday, 29 May 2015 18:22

Personalize Your Content for Success

Personalization of content is growing in importance and the tools and techniques to guarantee success are here!

Your business needs a strong local search engine presence to stay competitive. Google’s “Pigeon” has set the stage for success.

Friday, 08 May 2015 18:19

Design follows content

If content follows function then design follows content. 

Friday, 08 May 2015 18:14

There be GOLD there!

Social media is an important part of your marketing mix. You can communicate with prospects and customers, educating, nurturing and delighting. But did you know you can also prospect on social media? 

Friday, 08 May 2015 18:12

Moving Parts

Creating a marketing campaign can be overwhelming. There are a lot of moving parts involved: landing page, blog post, call-to-action, email…
Fortunately, there are resources to help you. 

Friday, 08 May 2015 16:48

This isn’t Facebook

LinkedIn first and foremost is a business-focused networking site which also has a lot of professional resources for finding jobs and promoting your company. Read that again...professional. Stop treating it like Facebook. 

Friday, 08 May 2015 16:46

Upcoming SNHHUG

Our next SNHHUG event is May 27. We’ll have Al Biedrzycki from Hubspot to discuss “Conversion Paths.” We love Al so much, this will be his second visit to our HUG (Hubspot User Group). The event will be held at The Shaskeen, an Irish pub and restaurant in Manchester NH. We'll have light appetizers and we’ll even buy you a drink. 

Monday, 27 April 2015 19:59

More fonts than ever

Arial, Times, Verdana, Courier or Tahoma. Those were your choices for web safe fonts that would accurately render across browsers and operating systems. Boy, have times changed!

Monday, 27 April 2015 19:57

Embracing Change

“Well it's time to change when it's time to change...When it's time to change you've got to rearrange” sang Peter Brady in 1972.  The time to change has certainly come for marketing.

Monday, 27 April 2015 19:55

New Wordpress Vulnerability

Last week, several websites posted about a major WordPress vulnerability stemming from the improper use of certain functions. Sucuri and Yoast announced the issue affects more than the popular Wordpress SEO plugin.

Monday, 27 April 2015 19:50

Work with David

The dawn of the digital age brought little change to the traditional advertising agency techniques and culture. Web 1.0 simply equaled Mad Men 2.0.

Monday, 27 April 2015 19:41

Campaign Reference Guide

With so many moving parts, keeping track of all the elements of an inbound marketing campaign can be difficult.

I read an article in The Boston Sunday Globe a couple of months ago that has stuck with me. TV Critic Matthew Gilbert discussed the evolution of TV acting in a way that struck me as stunningly similar to the evolution that we’ve seen in marketing in the past several years. I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the evolution of marketing and how to convey to business owners truly how much has changed and why it’s time to learn some new tricks.

In discussing a character from the Netflix show “Orange is the New Black,” Gilbert talks about actors who are “embracing the medium’s great advantages – the wealth of screen time to flesh out a character, the opportunity to earn every inch of a character’s transformation, the synchronicity of having a screenwriter writing specifically for them as the seasons accumulate, the nimbler pace than on movie sets, and the sweet mystery of exactly what stories will be coming down the pike.”

It’s a lot to take in but it has much in common with the transformation of marketing. With the evolution of the web and how people use it to shop and buy, the medium – in our case the web – does, indeed, have great advantages. As businesses, we also have a wealth of screen time to flesh out our company’s personality, offerings and credibility while the buyer makes their way through the purchase process. We can offer website content, educational content, videos, white papers, social media updates. We can engage with them at their computer, on their phone or via their tablet. We can bring our companies to life for those who are asking questions and looking for solutions that our services and products can provide.

Tumblr Ndyvm5VJTx1tubinno1 1280

In this analogy, we as marketers become that screenwriter and we truly do have the opportunity to write specifically for the types of characters that are interested in our products and solutions. And, we can write for them progressively, as the seasons of our customer acquisition process accumulate. With our content and all the things we can do online, we can accompany our potential customers along their purchase process, including the stages of asking a question, researching a solution, qualifying a provider and, finally, making a purchase.

The web is certainly nimbler than the traditional marketing and advertising methods – on television and in newspapers and magazines.

Honeymooners
Audrey Meadows, Jackie Gleason, Art Carney. CBS.

Gilbert says, for decades, TV was considered the poor relation to movie and theater acting – with some validity. He says that it was “rooted in radio soaps and vaudeville, where staying on the surface and directness were critical.”

The same was true with traditional marketing and advertising tactics. They were built for the mass audiences of the mediums they employed and needed to be built with lowest-common-denominator messages to attract as many people as possible.

Gilbert agrees: “Before the cable explosion, the creators of network shows were avoiding subtlety in order to attract as many viewers as possible. The stories and the acting had to be obvious, so as not to confuse the less sensitive or less sophisticated audience members.

By this paragraph in the article, I was practically hooting and hollering because it parallels so closely the evolution of marketing. I posit that the evolution of the mediums brought about the evolution of their usage. Prior to the cable explosion, there were just the main networks to watch. And so, TV shows had to appeal to the broadest possible audience. But now, with not only cable and premium cable and streaming options available, there is a place for different types of shows. We all know the one-note sitcoms still live on today! But now there is a place for people who want to get emotionally involved with their characters. HBO, Showtime, Netflix, Amazon Prime – and so many others, can now provide shows for smaller audiences and, thus, make them more relevant – and binge-worthy.

We can do the same thing with our marketing. Truly. I had a client recently point out the “Journey to $100,000” blog to me, with the claim that she sat and read every single post one evening, after coming across a single post on Twitter. Today, we can create marketing that’s so good and so relevant and so engaging that people will binge on it.

Gilbert calls some of today’s TV performances “particularly TV-esque,” because of their “organic unfolding over time.” There isn’t a better example of marketing built to unfold over time than the Groove HQ blog.

Season2CastEW
Entertainment Weekly promotional photo. From left to right Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Peter Dinklage.

I suppose the bottom line is, if you’re a fan of the new kind of TV – from OITNB to “Game of Thrones” to “Mad Men,” and a whole host of others – it’s worth asking yourself if you like how juicy, and real, and engaging they are, how they hold your attention over time. If you do, then it might be worth also asking whether you can apply some of those same loveable traits to marketing your business.

Friday, 10 April 2015 19:10

Start Pinning

Pinterest can help you get more traffic, make more sales, gain market intelligence, increase search rankings and expose your brand to a wider audience.

Friday, 10 April 2015 18:56

Effective CTAs

You know Google wants you to create lots of good, relevant content to improve your chances of appearing on SERPs. And, like a good marketer, you’ve create blog posts, white papers, case studies and other downloadble content. Now what?

Thursday, 09 April 2015 21:10

Algorithm update and mobile

It’s possible that recent Google updates, Penguin and Panda, didn’t affect your website’s search rankings, but according to Hubspot, the next update will be bigger and will use mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. That means if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you might not rank as high in the SERPs when a user searches on a mobile device.

Thursday, 09 April 2015 20:16

The right tools for the job

You wouldn’t drive a nail with a wrench. And you wouldn’t snake a toilet with a garden hose. And you wouldn’t spread joint compound with a butter knife. (Would you?)

Thursday, 09 April 2015 20:08

Getting started with Inbound Marketing

Business owners and marketers ask us all the time: “how do I get started with Inbound Marketing?” The best first step may be our Inbound Marketing Assessment.

Thursday, 09 April 2015 19:55

All work and no play?

Email on your computer and your phone, chat, productivity tools, to-do lists, family, appointments, meetings, shopping, cleaning, commitments, social media, events, classes...and you want to squeeze in some time at the gym?

Thursday, 09 April 2015 19:39

Inbound15

Inbound, the conference that always gets us fired up, inspired and incredibly excited about Inbound Marketing and about what we can do with the tools we have, is coming! It isn’t until September, but you can’t plan too early.

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