Creating usable content to brand your business

  • By Phase 3 Digital Agency
  • 18 Aug, 2017
Creating usable content to brand your business

There are many actions one can take to increase leads. One of those actions is to create content, through words, diagrams, photographs, or videos. Having different types of content is essential for any business, as it positions you as an expert in your industry.  But how do you create content that is usable and how does it create leads?

What is content usability?  Content usability is when you focus on distributing information that the viewer can read easily, while ensuring that color and layout are visually appealing. Content usability entices people to view the information you are providing them.

Tips to help you start creating usable written content

Be Consistent:

If viewers are looking at your material and there are too many bolded or italicized words for no reason they will become confused.  A confused viewer will leave your content page a whole lot earlier.  Keep fonts and formatting identical throughout the written work.

Don’t Needlessly Underline Text:

Underlining text has been reserved for hyperlinks on the web. If you are trying to make that word or phrases seem more significant within the content, underlining is not the correct solution.  Make content more exhilarating by finding a different phrase to emphasize your point.

Tips for creating usable photographs

Symmetry:

Viewers will find your photographs more appealing if you use symmetry.  A picture is symmetrical when the lines within the photo are straight and evenly centered.

Guide/Lead Lines:

Guiding lines or lead lines are lines the photographer purposely makes in order to draw the viewer’s attention towards a specific part of the picture.  If using lead lines make sure the lines included do not take away from the central idea of the photograph.

Tips for creating usable videos

Appearance:

How does the video look? Make sure the viewer can identify the video screen when it first starts playing.  Is the content something that fits your business’s brand? Think about the meaning of the video and how it represents your business.  Is the video sized accurately, or does the placement look off compared to the rest of the content? These attributes are important when deciding if the video is usable.

Delivery:

Does the video buffer when someone tries to view it, or does it play immediately?  The viewer will become uninterested if he or she must wait for either the video or sound to sync up.

Content can be a powerful instrument. Make sure your message is not lost in a sea of misunderstanding, along with your brand or business. Provide valuable content to your users for repeated web traffic.

The next time you think about publishing content make sure it is usable not only for the business’s sake but for the viewers as well.


Phase 3

By Phase 3 Digital Agency 20 Nov, 2017

We find that our smaller local advertisers depend on direct response or return on their advertising efforts. Some are not at a point to run larger reaching branding campaigns. Instead, they drive highly targeted advertising with strong and urgent promotional messaging.

With goals to drive leads and foot traffic into their stores, they tend to gravitate towards tactics like paid search. It’s the low hanging fruit of someone already actively searching for their products or service, and advertisers want to be found when their potential customers search on Google or Bing. However, with advanced tracking and ad development options provided by Facebook and Instagram, social media advertising is now at the forefront for direct response campaigns.

If you haven’t started using Facebook and Instagram to drive leads, it’s time to hop on the bus and start believing. When building an ad campaign through Facebook, advertisers are asked about their specific goals and offers, matching strategies for ad delivery and call-to-action options to meet those goals.

Advertisers don’t have to have an e-commerce site to win with Facebook users. They can have people sign up, book, call, and now advertisers can ask people to give their information for something in return. Yes, Facebook has created a wonderful new ad type appropriately named Lead Ads.

Lead Ads on Facebook help advertisers collect contact information from people interested in becoming their customer or receiving whatever it is the advertiser is offering. Automotive dealers can schedule test drives, retailers can offer coupons or elicit quote requests, and consultants can offer newsletter or educational downloads, all directly through Facebook. When clicked, Lead Ads open a customized form providing a quick and seamless opportunity to gather customer information.

We all know the more clicks, and the more pages to load, the less likely the user will complete the action advertisers have tried so tirelessly to achieve. Unlike many website forms, Lead Ad forms are mobile-friendly and easy to complete on-the-go, making it easy for the customer.

Why wait for your customers to search for you, especially when people are so busy and easily distracted, when you can remind them to contact you through social media advertising instead?

People spend an average of 50 minutes every day on Facebook’s properties* and it’s one of the surest ways you’ll reach your customer. Drill down targeting by demos, interests and even occupation, then deliver your message with inspirational visual elements (imagery or video is much more appealing than a 3 line text ad) and elicit measurable direct response, all through Facebook.

If you think you might be getting a bit caught up in being at the top of search results and measuring lead form submissions from your website, take a swing with Facebook Lead Ads.

 

*Adweek 2017

http://www.adweek.com/digital/mediakix-time-spent-social-media-infographic/

By Phase 3 Digital Agency 13 Nov, 2017
On any given day, Facebook users have the potential to be exposed to hundreds if not thousands of different content posts and ads. So how does Facebook decide what to show its users?

Facebook aims to connect its users with the most relevant content to them. They assess what matters most to the user, and prioritize that content within their news feed. Facebook employs algorithms to determine relevancy of content so that each user gets served the appropriate content.

What the heck is an algorithm?

An algorithm is a mathematical set of rules for solving a problem. In this case, Facebook mathematically looks at all available content from friends and pages the user follows. They then look at signals to define how relevant each post may be, including who posted the story or how old it is.

From there, Facebook makes predictions on whether the user will react or engage with the post, largely based on previous interactions. They assign a relevancy score to determine how each post will be ordered in the user’s news feed.

So what can I do to stay relevant in Facebook’s news feed?

In order to ensure your posts are seen in users’ news feeds, adopt a customer-first approach to messaging. Be sure to both inform and entertain through your Facebook posts, and focus on developing a deeper relationship with your followers.

Vary your posts, and post frequently. Include photos, videos and links as much as possible. Links can drive meaningful audiences to your website.

Connect with your audience in a deeper, more meaningful way in order to enjoy better organic ranking within your followers’ news feeds.
By Phase 3 Digital Agency 10 Oct, 2017

In the world of digital advertising, there are literally hundreds - if not thousands - of options you can use to reach a potential customer. Do you want to serve a pre-roll video ad on Youtube? Get competitive on Google? Do you want to touch base with them on Facebook? Maybe you want to do all of these things! Truth is, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the options digital advertising contains. It’s a field that’s growing quickly, and every new option sounds flashier and more advantageous than the last. But which ads are most effective?

It’s an important question to go back to, sometimes multiple times during your advertising campaigns. The first step is to determine what effect you want this ad to have! Advertising isn’t there for the sake of advertising; it’s there to serve your business purposes. Whether you’re trying to increase newsletter signups, make the public aware of a new service you offer, or to convince people that your prices are better than your competitors’, your ads should tie into this in order to be effective.

We’ve found the most effective advertising campaigns are those that tie the core messages to both the delivery vehicle and the creative means. For example, let’s say you’re trying to sell more pizzas to a young, urban audience. An effective campaign might start with some research – What do young urbanites do? What do they like? Let’s say we learn that they love cat videos and spend all day on Instagram – a series of Instagram ads with cats eating pizza might be just the trick to engage them right meow!

Then in order to track the effectiveness, we look at the campaign’s result. Look at Google Analytics, advertising dashboards; follow the consumer from the ad served to the pepperoni pizza they order. And once you get significant data, start looking at how effective they are. Which ads are driving traffic? Is the traffic converting to more pizza orders? Maybe people who click on the ads with Mr Whiskers are more likely to order multiple pizzas – that would mean Mr Whiskers might need more screentime!

In the end, we need to conclude that there’s no magic formula for an effective online ad. There’s just solid marketing fundamentals with new tools, new platforms and amazing possibilities.

By Phase 3 Digital Agency 20 Sep, 2017

Digital content is being consumed on mobile devices at ever-increasing rates. Today’s global on-the-go culture demonstrates that phones and tablets are the primary tools for not only connecting people, but also conducting research, shopping and navigating day to day activities. Therefore, digital advertising tactics need to mirror the same behaviors as the exponentially growing mobile consumer audience. Here are a few top strategies that can be used to connect with potential new customers in the mobile space:

1.       Create meaningful content. It always starts at square one, and content still reigns king. If a company’s advertising message does not resonate with the consumer’s interests, meet a need, or address a pain point, then it will be overlooked, skipped or worse- seen as a nuisance. Instead, provide marketing content that provides meaningful value to your target audience.

2.       Find your audience where they are spending their time. Getting the attention of ideal viewers can be a challenge, so placing video and display creative in the most visited online places is critical. Social media platforms experience high traffic rates, and running ads in those spaces can lead to very fruitful leads. The social media world provides opportunities to boost a business’ voice to highly targeted audiences and form meaningful relationships with those consumers.

3.       Utilize cross-platform advertising. Ensure that ads are compatible in all digital formats and across multiple devices. Display sizes and streaming videos must be able to scale to any size screen, and perform seamlessly in a responsive web environment. Equally important, consider the brevity and immediacy of the call-to-action to ensure that fast-paced mobile web browsers will want to engage with that content.

4.       Video provides optimal value. Capitalize on the time and attention of target audience members with video collateral that will play to multiple senses. Imagery and audio content that clips along in order to keep viewers engaged will result in the message not only being seen, but being fully consumed. Keep it short, simple, and fun for maximum watch-ability.

5.       Always consider the user experience . Reverse into the role of your audience, and recognize the behaviors of desired consumers. By taking the perspective of the viewer, marketers can better optimize their messaging and strategy in order to make a measurable impact on the desired audience. Constantly question, test, and re-test tactics to ensure consistently positive results.

By Phase 3 Digital Agency 20 Sep, 2017

The world of online advertising has opened up possibilities for reaching the ideal customer that extend beyond what was previously available with traditional media such as TV and print. A multi-media approach is most advantageous for reaching consumers throughout the entire purchase funnel, but digital advertising can reach the customers most aligned with your product when they are doing research, and subsequently when they are ready to take action.

Many business owners utilizing digital marketing appreciate the ability to target their ideal customer and send them specific, highly trackable messaging. Asking a consumer to join an email list, click through to learn more, or even click to make a purchase, are all calls to action that can be measured and then used as indicators of success for the campaign. As we learn more about how users engage with digital advertising, we know that the metrics don’t mirror the success of a campaign fully; consumers take action in a multitude of ways much like with television ads. Still, the idea that they can glean tangible results from digital campaigns is extremely valuable to business owners. If they can market to only the people most likely to purchase their product, then they will be using their advertising dollars most efficiently.

How does a business owner begin implementing a data-driven marketing strategy? Understanding their ideal customer and laying out their campaign goal(s) is the first step. Deciding what benchmarks they will use to measure the success of the campaign is also crucial. Do they need to increase foot traffic by 10%? Will 25 new members to their email database be deemed a success? Once these framework pieces are in place, the last step is picking a solution that matches their goals. Whether this is an internal employee running the campaign or an external digital marketing partner, the likelihood of a successful campaign worth the investment increases exponentially.

By Phase 3 Digital Agency 18 Aug, 2017

There are many actions one can take to increase leads. One of those actions is to create content, through words, diagrams, photographs, or videos. Having different types of content is essential for any business, as it positions you as an expert in your industry.  But how do you create content that is usable and how does it create leads?

What is content usability?  Content usability is when you focus on distributing information that the viewer can read easily, while ensuring that color and layout are visually appealing. Content usability entices people to view the information you are providing them.

Tips to help you start creating usable written content

Be Consistent:

If viewers are looking at your material and there are too many bolded or italicized words for no reason they will become confused.  A confused viewer will leave your content page a whole lot earlier.  Keep fonts and formatting identical throughout the written work.

Don’t Needlessly Underline Text:

Underlining text has been reserved for hyperlinks on the web. If you are trying to make that word or phrases seem more significant within the content, underlining is not the correct solution.  Make content more exhilarating by finding a different phrase to emphasize your point.

Tips for creating usable photographs

Symmetry:

Viewers will find your photographs more appealing if you use symmetry.  A picture is symmetrical when the lines within the photo are straight and evenly centered.

Guide/Lead Lines:

Guiding lines or lead lines are lines the photographer purposely makes in order to draw the viewer’s attention towards a specific part of the picture.  If using lead lines make sure the lines included do not take away from the central idea of the photograph.

Tips for creating usable videos

Appearance:

How does the video look? Make sure the viewer can identify the video screen when it first starts playing.  Is the content something that fits your business’s brand? Think about the meaning of the video and how it represents your business.  Is the video sized accurately, or does the placement look off compared to the rest of the content? These attributes are important when deciding if the video is usable.

Delivery:

Does the video buffer when someone tries to view it, or does it play immediately?  The viewer will become uninterested if he or she must wait for either the video or sound to sync up.

Content can be a powerful instrument. Make sure your message is not lost in a sea of misunderstanding, along with your brand or business. Provide valuable content to your users for repeated web traffic.

The next time you think about publishing content make sure it is usable not only for the business’s sake but for the viewers as well.


By Phase 3 Digital Agency 26 Jul, 2017
After spending time, money and effort building a website, you'll want to make sure it has the greatest possible chance of being found. In the modern era, it's unlikely your customers are just going to guess your website address. Instead, they're likely to stumble across your website thanks to the help of a search engine.

Search engines check websites and use a number of 'rules' to decide on how they should rank each website. For example, if you're a law firm in London, you'll want to show up on search engines when someone searches for 'law firms in London'. If you've followed the rules, you'll show up among the early search results, but if not, you're not going to appear.

What are the top five golden rules to be aware of when it comes to website optimization?

Give Search Engines a Map

If you're looking for the best route to a new restaurant, then it's likely you'll have a look at a map of some sort. Search engines, like humans, like having a map when they're exploring. If you can set up an XML sitemap, you'll be giving search engines information on how best to explore and then list your website in their rankings. Sites without them do not have a good chance of being ranked highly on search engine results.

What's your Keyword?

Each page on your website should have a focus keyword or phrase. Keywords and phrases are a short summary of the content of a page. For example, 'Website Optimization' could be a good keyword for this article. When creating a page, the titles, body text and images should all include the keyword you set per page.

It is not enough to stuff a page full of the keyword repeatedly in the hope search engines will rank it higher. They won't, and they'll punish you for it instead. You need a more delicate approach. Authentic content and keyword use work best.

URLs are Important

Many people forget the URL structure that you use can play an important role when it comes to optimizing your website. The URLs used for pages should include the keyword from the page they represent, and they should have a file/folder type structure - just like those in your 'My Documents' have on your PC. Both these little tips will help search engines work out how relevant your page is and figure out what the content is on the page in question.

Stay Fresh

Search engines are constantly searching to check up on websites they've already included in their rankings. Ranked websites are searched to make sure that new content is found and listed. Search engines look favorably on websites that produce fresh content on a regular basis. That means once you have a site set up, you need to put a plan in place to keep developing and adding new content.

The Battle is Never Over

SEO rules seem to change all the time as search engines change their criteria and come up with new ways of ranking websites regularly. These shifting goal posts mean even a perfectly optimized website can slip down search engine rankings if the optimization isn't kept up to date with the new rules. For the best results, you need to make sure you're always keeping on top of the news coming out of search engine companies.

Which one of those five SEO essentials for website optimization have you not been following? Which one are you going to start straight away? Contact us for a free website analysis of your business.
By Phase 3 Digital Agency 25 Jul, 2017

Having a responsive website is imperative, since mobile web browsing has overtaken desktop usage. But when your website appears completely different on a desktop than it does on a small phone screen, it’s hard to shift from catering the design for the desktop to making sure your website is designed for mobile first.  

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when creating a mobile website.

1. Keep your navigation short. Reorganize your menu so that you have as few items as possible. With the small screen size you have limited real estate above the fold, so you don’t want users having to scroll down very much when going through your navigation. You also want to make sure you are using clear and conventional icons to convey information to your users. For example, use an intuitive symbol like the plus sign to inform users that they can tap to display more options.

2. Link your contact information.  Mobile websites allow users to conveniently tap to call or tap to get directions directly from your site. Use that opportunity to your benefit to increase the chance that your visitors will interact with your business.

3. Make sure your site is fast. Mobile users have a very small attention span and have been found to be less patient when waiting for sites to load than desktop users. When designing your site, make sure you keep it as basic as possible to ensure that mobile users don’t leave your site while waiting for it to load. 

4. Your design should be simple. Mobile users are more easily distracted, since they generally visit mobile sites with a purpose and want to move on as fast as they can.  People searching on their phones are also more likely to be in an environment with a lot of distractions and do not have the patience for complicated sites.

5. Keep your content short and put more focus on visuals. It is always a good idea to include a lot of visuals on any website, but the importance of them increases for mobile visitors. More visuals will help to keep your content short, and you can communicate better with people who are on a small device with images, graphics and videos.

Need help making sure your website is designed for mobile? Contact us for a free website analysis of your business.

 

By Phase 3 Digital Agency 16 Jun, 2017

A primary business goal is always to strive for growth in the ever-changing market economy, and what better way to grow than to invest in marketing to enhance your business’ brand awareness? Better yet, why not invest in the fastest growing, and most profitable marketing sector? Digital marketing.

Digital marketing reaches the largest audiences because viewers attention is predominantly focused on the internet. People today are constantly surfing the web researching, shopping, emailing, and certainly maintaining an active presence on social media. We stay connected with our friends, family, community, and even our favorite brands and companies on social media.

Social media provides an environment in which people can interact with businesses unlike ever before. For better or worse, the public can broadcast their reviews of companies, products, services, and so much more for all to see and read. And likewise, businesses can respond to their active customers and engage with potential new clientele in an immediate fashion. This type of connectivity provides significant, and perhaps unmatched opportunities for companies to grow their brand and foster positive relationships with their customers. Here are a few concepts to keep in mind as your business ventures into the social media space:

  • Chose your channels wisely : The number of platforms and profiles available to market to your audiences on can be overwhelming, but play to your strengths and don’t spread your efforts out too thin. Establish clear outcomes and viewer demos for optimal social media success.
  • Master your bandwidth : On a related note: when selecting Facebook vs. Twitter or Instagram vs. Snapchat, be sure that you have the ability to constantly monitor, navigate and know the various best practices of each platform. Demonstrate social media savviness and avoid a #fail for your business’ presence.
  • Stimulate Shares: The key to successful social media activity for any business is to encourage engagement with your content. Generate simple, eye-catching, and most-importantly shareable posts that truly resonate with your ideal viewers.
  • Be Consistent: In order to grow your business’s brand using social media, a regular flow of familiar, yet interesting material is imperative.
    • Increase recognition by incorporating your logo or alternative branding imagery into every piece of content
    • Multiply your audience by posting regularly at alternating times, with fresh subject matter
    • Plan ahead! Reduce stress and manage your time by organizing a social media posting calendar, but be flexible enough to align with trending topics and popular news. 
By Phase 3 Digital Agency 09 Jun, 2017

In this blog entry we break down the basics of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.

Search Engine Optimization is the process of achieving free, organic search results in Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search portals. Well-executed SEO drives site traffic to a website from general web searches.

Search engines such as Google send crawlers out to millions and millions of websites to read data and store it, in order to materialize the site later when a consumer looks for information matching that data.

While there isn’t an exact formula for making it to the top of the search engine results page (SERP), marketers and web designers alike should be focused on these key SEO factors:

  • Focus on your customer. In the most general sense, create the best web experience for your customer. What’s best for your customer inherently yields quality SEO.
  • Consistently produce robust, quality content. The quantity of links on your domain matters—make sure you are balancing quantity with trusted, keyword-friendly content.
  • Be relevant. The number of websites that link back to your site affect your page rank, though not all links are created equal. You want to be organically connected to websites that have influence in your content category.
  • Make sure your content loads quickly and securely.
  • Drive audience via other marketing channels. The more visitors to your website, the more relevant search engines will see you.
  • Understand how people are searching for your content or product offerings. Utilize common keywords at the page and domain levels.

None of these factors works exclusively. Even if your website has a solid foundation, SEO must be cultivated over time. Search Engine Land has a great Periodic Table of SEO , which visually breaks down the many contributing factors to organic search optimization.

Questions? Contact one of the experts at Phase 3 Digital Agency for a free SEO or other digital analysis of your business.


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