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Published on January 25, 2013
Tags: Web Design London
Whatever you decide to do with your marketing, if you ensure that you identify your target audience, know what your desired action is (buy a product, sign up to a mailing list etc), and can measure your success rate to see what is and isn’t working, inbound marketing could help your business gain new customers and a whole new brand awareness online.
Published on January 25, 2013
Tags: Web Design London
With all the current focus on new and exciting marketing methods for online business promotion, email can sometimes get left behind, but the truth is that email marketing is constantly changing and improving, and it can still be a useful tool in gaining and keeping customers.
Published on January 18, 2013
Tags: Internet Communication
A wedding photography directory has achieved a massive increase in its Facebook fans by up to 900%, simply by posting a social media contest on their Facebook page, according to a recent case study by MarketingSherpa.com.
SnapKnot had previously tried using Google Adwords and other marketing strategies to get people to use their website, with little success. When the company set up a social media contest however, they began to see a huge increase in their fans, along with their Twitter followers, site visitors and paying customers.
The purpose behind SnapKnot is to encourage photographers to sign up for membership or to open an account on their website. Those photographers are then available directly to any customers who browse the site.
“Our main goal is to increase our membership, but we also wanted to provide a platform where we could have on-going lead generation and then just build up that general brand awareness, specifically with photographers but also with the bridal audience," said Mike Rheaume, Co-founder of SnapKnot.
The company could only do this if they had a large database of wedding photographers. They decided to set up a social media contest with the prize being a choice of two high-end cameras including a Nikon D800 or a Canon 5D Mark III.
What the social media contest involved
Fans submitted basic information into the web form such as their name, job title and if they were a professional or amateur photographer. Only one entry was allowed, although bonus entries could be earned by sharing the campaign in a unique referral link. If someone entered the contest through that link, the sharer then received five bonus entries.
The contest went on for 90 days from August 15th to November 15th. Since then SnapKnot have received a 900% growth in their Facebook fans, 64.5% growth in their Twitter followers and a 60% increase in unique visitor traffic to their website. During the free month which was included as an entry bonus, around 250 photographers signed up to the website.
These figures are phenomenal for a small start-up business. But how do you mimic these results?
Steps to inbound marketing success
The first step is to know where you’re at as a company. It’s wise to have some experience with business and consumers before launching a contest. The next step is to look at what other organisations have done and try to adapt their approach to your own.
Understand your audience, who they are, what they do and set guidelines for the contest which makes it easy for them to enter and to share. Promote the contest via social media, email marketing and other partnerships and then finally, announce the contest winner. It’s also a good idea to have secondary prizes and keep your fans informed of upcoming contests, so they don’t feel too disappointed. In this way, they are encouraged to keep interacting with your website and remain loyal to your brand.
In 2012, marketing campaigns began to use more inbound elements in their efforts to generate more lead traffic and convert these to sales. The MarketingSherpa 2012 Inbound Marketing Handbook states that when going into 2012, the most important lead sources were SEO, social media and blogs.
Statistics from the MarketingSherpa handbook indicate that ‘94% listed SEO as an important lead source,’ while ‘85% listed social media as an important lead source.’ Blogging meanwhile came in at third place, with ‘68% listing blogs as an important lead source’.
Some good case studies of companies who used these marketing tactics include the regional eye care provider, Hauser-Ross Eye Institute & Surgicenter based just outside of Chicago. They managed to use geo-targeted keywords to bring in more traffic to their business, ‘through the side door’. In doing this, they brought in 333% more revenue. The key to their success here is that the company found their niche and conducted the keyword research necessary to create a strategy that’s right for them.
Social media strategy for attracting more inbound marketing
Meanwhile a good example of a successful social media strategy which is being used to generate more lead sales is software company, Firefish Software – an online recruitment software company. They started in January 2010 and by October 2011 they had created a campaign which utilised the best of their marketing activities; trade shows, traditional marketing activities and outbound lead generation, i.e. social media.
By executing an inbound strategy and focusing on creating multiple inbound social media channels, i.e. building twitter followers and increasing Facebook fans, FireFish managed to build on their success quickly from an early stage. Along with promoting FireFish both virtually and at trade marketing shows, the overall effort was on focusing the inbound marketing team’s efforts rather than on sales.
The results speak for themselves and over a one year period, the inbound strategy proved to be successful with a 335% increase in FireFish’s overall website traffic, along with a 190% increase in leads generated. This meant a higher quality of leads and a customer retention rate of 94%.
Create fresh content
A good example of how content marketing has been successfully used to attract more inbound traffic is by creating user-generated content. Coffee4Less is an ecommerce website which offers coffee and other related products. The website allows customers to write reviews of their products. As a result, they have seen a 10% lift in organic search traffic and a 125% higher conversion rate for the visitors who interacted with them. This was all from having 6,000 reviews added to their website over 3 years.
The reason for each of the above case studies receiving an increase in inbound traffic is because there is a consistent flow of fresh content being produced in each of these instances. Based on these statistics, which of the above strategies will suit your business in attracting inbound traffic to your website in 2013?
Published on January 11, 2013
Tags: Web Design London
The year 2012 saw an exciting change in the way we view web design, as more websites started transforming their layouts to become more responsive and mobile friendly. So what exciting trends in web design can we expect to see this year in 2013? Here are just a few…
Responsive web design
This won’t just be for handheld devices such as tablets and smartphones. It’s already being tested across a range of sites including Mashable, USA Today, TIME and even the WordPress blogging site. The idea behind this is to create a fluid, responsive website where content can be distributed across all platforms; whether you’re viewing it on a desktop computer, tablet or handheld device. Large screen web browsing is thought to become commonplace whether at home or in the office boardroom. All of this could transcend into other devices such as web-enabled car dashboards and even the possibility of using Siri or Windows 8 from the comfort of your own car.
This term was coined by Apple and refers to the latest generation of computer displays which contain a pixel density which is now four times that of non-retina displays. The problem is that there can be issues with image-heavy websites as retina displays can make some of the images appear ‘grainy’. Web designers and developers have started creating pixel query solutions, retina.js and HTML/CSS in a bid to solve these problems and created a more ‘Retina friendly’ web experience.
Twitter Bootstrap will take precedence
In 2013 we can expect to see more support for the Twitter Bootstrap platform and more readily available resources appearing to support this web creation platform as it gains more widespread usage.
Content marketing is still king
After the 2011/12 Google updates Panda and Penguin changed SEO tactics businesses had to adapt their approach. No longer could they rely on keywords and meta-tags to rank their website more highly. Now only websites with relevant high quality content would rank in search engine results. In 2013 this principle will become essential for a business’s online survival. This may mean businesses have to invest in their content marketing to produce a website which is valuable, useful and share-worthy.
Web design education will be made easy
Now anyone can educate themselves to become a web designer or an app developer thanks to Treehouse and The Starter League which teach people all over the world to code, design and ship apps using a variety of tutorials and projects to get you started. This means in 2013, the task of web designer/web developer will become a skill which is more readily available, if people wish to learn it.
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