Digital Agency Services

News

Living Under a Rock? Your Website Makes Us Think So.

Posted by on 12:50 pm in News | Comments Off on Living Under a Rock? Your Website Makes Us Think So.

You’ve got a website but is it doing your business any good? Flip through these 16 reasons your business needs one; a new one.  Reason #1 – It is the 21st Century That’s it. Get with it. Tech is changing quickly and to keep you, you must adapt and invest in maintaining if not flourishing with the changes. Reason #2 – It is Your Online Brochure Companies spend millions creating brochures and distributing them. By simply having a website you can skip that entirely. Again, it’s the 21st century and your potential customers will find out about you and your products online. Check out what a new design, with greater functionality and mobile-friendliness did for the Steamboat Pro Rodeo! Reason #3 – The Internet is Vast, Lean in to the Vastness More than 2.4 billion people use the internet every day, and some 90% of those have purchased something, or contacted a company, online in the last 12 months. Don’t miss out on a big piece of the pie. Reason #4 – Add Value to Your Business Plan Have you tried getting a business loan recently? It’s not easy, but if you try and the bank manager asks to see your website, you better have a pretty good one. Without a website, the perceived value of your business will be lower, especially from a customer’s perspective. Reason #5 – Help Meet Your Business Goals A well maintained website gives you the opportunity to showcase content that highlights all the aspects of your company. Content requires you to revisit aspects of your business that may have fallen to the wayside; this process gives you the opportunity to reassess your business goals. Reason #6 – 24/7 Connectivity Your website runs 24/7 without any supervision or need to lock it up. Giving your customers peace of mind as you can always be there for them. Reminder: a simple question or query form can calm a pressing concern for a customer because, at the very least, they were able to send you a message. Be sure the submitted forms land somewhere (like, your inbox!) and you have the ability to respond in a timely manner. Reason #7 – Communication with Customers By having a blog or even just a feed on your website, you can update customers on your newest offers, products, promotions, events, photos, or any other content. Communication, like blogs and events, give you something to share on your social media accounts, too, further benefitting your connectivity efforts. Reason #8 – Marketing The internet has opened up a whole new world of marketing that didn’t exist before. Your website can attract new business by using a whole host of low cost marketing techniques. Reason #9 – Customer Support You can greatly reduce the cost of customer support by have a ticketing system, or even just an FAQ on your website. Again, see Reason #6. Reason #10 – Email@MyWebsite.com I know there are other ways to do this, but by having a website you can have your own email address@whateveryouwant.com. It is more professional and easier to remember. I know you love your steveman99286534@gmail.com , but it doesn’t really resonate with customers and can negate all your professional intentions. Reason #11 – A Safe Home for Press Releases Have a great event coming up? Have big news to...

read more

What the Heck is Retargeting and Why Does it Work?

Posted by on 12:48 pm in News | Comments Off on What the Heck is Retargeting and Why Does it Work?

What the Heck is Retargeting and Why Does it Work?

A customer who visits your site and looks in to a product but does not buy it is, officially, an interested shopper. For them to then see that product elsewhere online, like in their Facebook newsfeed or on the sidebar of your Google searches, will reinterest that shopper and reignite their purchase. Customer Retargeting converts window-shoppers into buyers. Generally 2% of shoppers convert on the first visit to an online store. Retargeting brings back the other 98%.Retargeting works by keeping track of people who visit your site and displaying your retargeting ads to them as they visit other sites online. Activating retargeting banner ads that follow your customers around the web with your marketing message is something you should expect from any reputable digital marketing agency. This method of online marketing will generate more web traffic to your site and help convert your best performing audiences into sales. Retargeting is most effective if you segment your visitors (eg, people who looked at cupcakes vs candy) and tailor the retargeting ads shown to each group, or not retarget them at all (eg, people who converted.) The best performing retargeting creative has a clear call-to-action and promotes an offer. Different products warrant different retargeting time windows. Eg, people shopping for travel should be retargeted immediately; people shopping for luxury goods should be retargeted later.   Steamboat Digital has paired with the most respected networks in the country to offer this service to you. We capitalize on audience insights your competitors only wish they had. We work to reach your exact target market with laser-focused campaign precision. Our media buying partners have access to publisher inventory so your message captures attention within the national websites your customers spend the most time...

read more

Case Study: an Artist and a Video Montage

Posted by on 12:44 pm in News | Comments Off on Case Study: an Artist and a Video Montage

Case Study: an Artist and a Video Montage

John Fawcett is an artist who has accomplished a rare feat in the art world by mastering both watercolor and oil. This diversity, along with his tremendous talent and a tenacious spirit, allows him to depict his subject matter in a way that immediately connects with the viewer. To properly showcase his magnificent pieces, Steamboat Digital created this professional video which highlights John’s installation at the Steamboat Art Museum. The video was embedded on his website and used in John’s e-newsletters to his growing and interested email database to enhance reader followthrough. John saw such great interest in the first digital video that he is collecting pieces to for another video showcase this fall. John Fawcett’s online video success story highlights the importance of graphic diversity on websites and in communication efforts. Having a professionally produced and edited digital video enhanced John’s already impressive works by bringing the narrative to life and giving them action the internet otherwise negates. Ways to Make and Use Video for Marketing your business v1 from Steamboat TV on Vimeo.    Lets start filming your story-telling digital video today....

read more

What Would You Want in Your InBox? Add Value and Timeliness

Posted by on 10:07 am in News | Comments Off on What Would You Want in Your InBox? Add Value and Timeliness

Email marketing isn’t dead, it’s just overdone, boring and often spammy. Avoid losing those hard-fought contacts by following these two simple tips: Provide Value and Be Timely. Provide Value, Not a Sales Pitch The old metaphor stands here: No one wants to hang out with the guy who talks about himself the whole time at the party. Likewise, your email subscribers don’t want to hear about how great you are and be continually pitched on products and services. Your email subscribers just aren’t that into you. You need to provide value for them and a reason to continue the relationship. A good rule to follow is the 80/20 rule: “80 percent of your content should be devoted to valuable and useful information, and 20 percent should be devoted to your offer or sales pitch.”  Why is this important? According to research from GetApp, a digital resource for email marketing software, two of the top three reasons people unsubscribe are due to the appearance of spam (17.2 percent) and irrelevant content (15.8 percent). Send Your Emails at an Opportune Time And if the stats above aren’t concerning enough, GetApp’s research shows that 46.4 percent of unsubscribes are due to simply receiving too many emails. Although every list is different, that’s no excuse. You can do your due diligence and do some testing to see how changing the frequency of your emails affects your metrics. You can also simply look it up using your email campaign software. MailChimp, for example, offers insights based on industry and geography. Open rates vary by industry, but in general, the highest opening rate for email broadcasts (21.7 percent) occurs in the evening after people have left work and had dinner, such as between 8 p.m. and midnight. Such times also had better conversion rates. Avoid losing those hard-won contacts by providing content, through email marketing, that adds value to their day, answers questions they didn’t even know they wanted to ask and communicates your company’s understanding of their needs. Be sure your 80 is genuine and thoughtful and that your 20 is effective and clear. Email marketing is one of the most direct and most effective ways you can drive immediate interest in your business — you just have to do it right.           Have more questions? We’re here for...

read more

Blogging: Get Started, Get Good or Get Left Behind

Posted by on 9:57 am in News | Comments Off on Blogging: Get Started, Get Good or Get Left Behind

Blogging is one of the most valuable tools that businesses have to engage with customers. If you’re not blogging, it’s time to get started or get left behind. First, let’s think about the ways people find your website: Current Customers: they could type your name right in to their browser, but that’s an audience you already have. They know who you are, you’re on their radar, and that doesn’t help you get more traffic on top of what you’re already getting. Tisk Tisk: you could pay for traffic by buying an email list (don’t you dare!), blasting them, and hoping some people open and click through on the emails. But that’s expensive and, you know, illegal, not to mention the poor success rate of unsolicited emails… Mad Men: you could pay for traffic by placing tons of paid ads, which can be quite expensive. And the second you run out of money, your traffic stops coming, too. So, how can you drive any traffic? In short: blogging, social media, and search engines. Think about how many pages there are on your website. Probably not a ton, right? And think about how often you update those pages. Probably not that often, right? (How often can you really update your About Us page, you know?) Well, blogging helps solve both of those problems. Every time you write a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your website, which means it’s one more opportunity for you to show up in search engines and drive traffic to your website in organic search. Blogging benefits your SEO, giving Google one more cue to bring yours to the top! An active, SEO rich blog can make a huge impact on how easily you are found by those looking. Blogging also helps you get discovered via social media. Every time you write a blog post, you’re creating content that people can share on social networks — Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest — which helps expose your business to a new audience that may not know you yet. Blog content also helps keep your social media presence going — instead of asking your social media manager to come up with brand new original content for social media (or creating that content yourself), your blog can serve as that repository of content. You’re strengthening your social reach with blog content and driving new website visitors to your blog via your social channels. Quite a symbiotic relationship, if I do say so myself. So, the first benefit of blogging? It helps drive new traffic to your website and works closely with search engines and social media to do that. Compelling Blogs Should Convert Traffic into Leads. Now that you have traffic coming to your website through your blog, you have an opportunity to convert that traffic into leads. Just like every blog post you write is another indexed page, each post is a new opportunity to generate new leads. The way this works is really simple: Just add a lead-generating call-to-action to every blog post. Often, these calls-to-action lead to things like free ebooks, free whitepapers, free fact sheets, free webinars, free trials … basically, any content asset for which someone would be willing to exchange their information. Calls-to-action are an awesome way to get readers to spend more time on your website, as they click through your CTAs, they will receive more...

read more

Become LinkedIn Savvy in Three Steps

Posted by on 9:54 am in News | Comments Off on Become LinkedIn Savvy in Three Steps

While social media redesigns the meaning of branding, consumers change, too. From buying habits to keystroke searches, your business now relies on more than what you sell but also, how you look. Your content is probably awesome, because you made it and you’re really good at what you do. How, now, do you get others to find it? Social media, that’s how. There are two places your content is guaranteed to be published: your website and social media. While Facebook can feel silly and Twitter can seem flighty, LinkedIn is tried and true, and happens to be considered a professional site, so it’s ok to read, write and publish articles while at work. Three Rules to Follow When Publishing on LinkedIn. Link Back, Attribute Authentically and Restate: Posting to LinkedIn is done with the goal of generating leads and excitement. Therefore, you want to be sure to always link back to your blog, or state that this article was previously published there, or you’re accidentally nullifying the platform’s main utility. You’ve got an educated audience, interested in what you have to say, be sure you state it clearly, link it back and restate how your X will make their Y better. Tracking URLs and Improving ROIs: Acronym this and acronym that. Everything has an ROI (return on investment), including your LinkedIn posts, and to increase that ROI, you have to measure your content. Utilizing a tracking URL when linking back to your company blog or website, ensures that you will collect important data on what posts are directing readers to your site. With a tracking URL you can easily identify what articles and topics resonate most with your readers, as objectively shown by the metrics. Call to Action: It is always prudent to include opportunities for readers to make their way through the next steps, find out more or simply land on your page. Do this with a clean, simple and attractive call to action (CTA). Think of a CTA as a guiding light to gated content, the true aggregators of qualified leads. Include CTAs that can provide value to your readers, and entice them to continue engaging with you. Don’t go crazy with sales pitches here; simply offer them something in exchange for an email. You want to avoid making your content in to an advertisement, which is definitely not the goal of your content marketing efforts. LinkedIn’s most valuable asset is it’s natural tendency towards Inbound Marketing. Inbound marketing uses marketing efforts to bring potential customers to you, rather than having your marketing efforts fight for their attention. It’s simple, really: by creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more and sharing their great find (you) with everyone they know. LinkedIn’s entire publishing platform reemphasizes your natural tendency towards inbound marketing and you’ll see the results. Happy linking,...

read more

9 Steps to Making Email Marketing Work for You

Posted by on 9:58 am in News | Comments Off on 9 Steps to Making Email Marketing Work for You

Tried and true methods never fail, right? Maybe… maybe not. Accordingto a new survey from the Content Marketing Institute, 83% of B2B marketers are still using email marketing via eNewsletters to reach their target audience. Of that 83%, only 58% are finding these methods to be effective. And while that’s still a decent percentage, there’s a lot of room for improvement. Follow these simple (but wildly effective) steps to make sure your email marketing campaign opens all the right doors for your company. Use subject lines, headlines and subheads to your advantage headlines and subheads to your advantage. Statistics show: it is worth your time to put some thought into crafting great headlines; they may be small but they are valuable.Be simple and straightforward, but clever in your subject line and headline. The recipient should be able to understand the purpose of your message with just a 3- to 5-second scan. Make sure your subheads support your headline and offer further information and instruction without distracting from the body of your copy. Make it personal. Personalization increases response rates and boosts engagement.Use names in email messages to grab attention, but don’t use full names–that can come off as creepy and even make customers feel uncomfortable. Make sure the customer information you have on file is accurate. Misspelling names or using incorrect titles can damage your reputation instead of helping it. Write targeted, brief and enticing body copy. Open with text that will hook your audience, like a rhetorical question or compelling offer. But avoid yes or no questions, as these can deter customers based on their answers. Introduce the most compelling benefits of your offer, summarize important details and focus your energy on one clear call to action. Make your copy easy to scan by using short sentences, simple language and bulleted lists. Bonus tip: a 10-second video is worth 1.8 million words. Use (good quality, well crafted) videos in your email marketing strategy to boost engagement and click-through-rates.  Use the side column wisely. In an email with limited space, the right column is your friend. Use this valuable space to reiterate the value of your offer or insert direct links that lead to the same destination as the main offer. Be consistent and avoid using the right column to promote other offers–this can be confusing for your readers and can even decrease the performance and value of all the offers in the email. Don’t overlook the little things. In email, a bit of extra effort on your end goes a long way for the readers, especially for mobile users. You can boost user experience by pre-filling forms, limiting the number of fields on a form, pulling in user data through progressive profiling and sizing the fields to match the length of the information to be entered. All of these steps lead to better response and engagement rates. Know when to send and when not to send. The ideal send frequency can vary depending on audience expectations, product, service or campaign type. Generally speaking, you should send emails at least once a month. But don’t send an email just for the sake of sending an email–communicate with your audience when you really have something good to offer. Make sure the content is useful and the topic is relevant. Avoid sending emails too often...

read more

Pro Tip: Optimize Your Title and Headlines to Enhance SEO

Posted by on 9:53 am in News | Comments Off on Pro Tip: Optimize Your Title and Headlines to Enhance SEO

Optimizing your website for search engines can be difficult and seem daunting, especially when the algorithms are constantly changing, keeping up can seem like a full-time job in and of itself. As search engines evolve, it’s more and more important to keep your website’s content fresh and neatly optimized; so we’re going to break it down into practical steps for the small business owner to manage effectively. Although it’s not recommended to do quick fixes to get a handful of your pages to rank, as good SEO is all about refining your strategy overtime by using sustainable and proven best practices, keeping a website well-maintained is the basis for any high-ranking website. And the first thing someone sees when they search for a keyword is the snippet {Title + Meta Description} on the Google Search results page. This snippet, meta or title, is the first place you should update your SEO practices. The snippet includes your the page title, url, and meta description. The title should be short and concise as it impacts your ranking for keywords. Your meta description should accurately describe the content your page offers and, while it doesn’t directly impact your search ranking, it will impact your click-through rate. Hands-on tips for title optimization: • Keep the title short. Google truncates anything past 70 characters. • Use keywords you want to rank for in the page title. • Go back and add page titles to any of pages currently missing one! Hands-on tips for optimizing the description: • Limit your description to 175 characters. Otherwise Google will cut off the rest! • Try and integrate a call-to-action in your description that encourages users to click on your website. • What added value does the user get from visiting your website? Make it clear in the description. • Use important keywords.   Remember, it’s not always about getting visitors to your site, but about getting the right kind of visitors. That’s why knowing which keywords to use, how to use them, and where they should be used, is critical. For more information about updating your SEO, contact us and we’ll happily help you...

read more

Great Ways to Use Video for Marketing

Posted by on 9:48 am in News | Comments Off on Great Ways to Use Video for Marketing

Remember when it was enough to have a decent-looking website with a couple of your keywords on a few product pages? My oh my, how times have changed. More and more, marketers have to come up with innovative ways to grab visitors’ attention. Today, one of the most effective marketing tactics is video: both of the pre-recorded and live variety. According to Cisco, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic by 2017. And according to Smart Insights, simply stating that the piece of content is a video appears to increase engagement across all channels. When it comes time to sitting down and creating a video, most marketers feel lost. Here are a few ideas to help you navigate your first pre-recorded videos that your business could actually use. Pre-Recorded Video Ideas If You Are a Beginner Create short “Thank you” videos from your team to customers, like Facebook did. Screencast a demo of your product, like Patagonia does for nearly every product they create. Create an animated GIF of how to perform a function of your tool. (Want help? Learn how to make an animated GIF in this HubSpot blog post.) Film 15-second testimonials from real customers and evangelists. If You Are an Intermediate Film extended customer testimonials and user cases (roughly around 3 – 10 minutes), like this stellar CodeAcademy collection. Create longer product demonstrations and whiteboard-style videos with recognisable members of the company. Do a short introduction of the company and its mission and vision. If You are Advanced  Create a full product demo. Turn blog posts into short, how-to videos, like these Social Media Marketing students at the Ross School of Business did. Film longer interviews with key members of the company, like this small charter school did.  Shoot live presentations performed by company members and add in their slides in post-production. Create videos for each of your core calls-to-action (one for “call us,” one for “sign up for a free trial,” one for “tell your friends and get free credits,” etc.). You Have a Quality Video, How Do You Utilize It? Customer Stories and Social Media While traditional text-based testimonials and case studies are great, the best format to share customer testimonials is through online video. And one of the best formats for sharing online video is through social media outlets like Facebook. Featuring real-life customers in these videos evokes positive emotion in your prospects mind, instills a sense of trust and makes the viewer want to feel the same way as the customer in the video. Leverage customer stories on key parts of your website, showcasing the video and also use them in your email marketing efforts. Facebook, for example, gives the viewer a way to not only engage with the video, but also gives them the opportunity to share the experience, too, exponentially compounding viewership and customer conversion possibilities. Pro Tip: this type of video should be 1-5 minutes long. Website Page Placement and Your Videos If a picture is worth a thousand words, a product video could very well be worth a thousand sales.  Considering that video now appears in 70% of the top 100 search results listings, and that viewers are anywhere from 64-85% more likely to buy after watching a product video – this is one marketing force you can’t afford to ignore. Customer testimonials, how-to videos and product spotlights are great ways to showcase the wonderful things...

read more

Defining Inbound Marketing and Why Every Business Needs It

Posted by on 9:34 am in News | Comments Off on Defining Inbound Marketing and Why Every Business Needs It

First, let’s discuss exactly what inbound marketing is and does. Inbound marketing is about using marketing to bring potential customers to you, rather than having your marketing efforts fight for their attention. It’s simple, really: by creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more and sharing their great find (you) with everyone they know. The inbound methodology has been officially around since 2006and has proven, time and time again, to be the most effective marketing method for doing business online. Inbound marketers decided to throw out the days of interruptive marketing and start a more educational, informational approach. outbound marketing methods are outdated buying ads buying email lists telemarketing praying for leads inbound marketing methods are a more natural way of sharing information creating quality content that is made to educate, enlighten or inform sharing that content in the correct context building a reputation of consistency, expertise and personal touch turning customers in to promoters by delighting them with your content By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time. Next, let’s discuss the steps to make Inbound Marketing work for you.  Content Creation + Distribution Create targeted content that answers prospects’ and customers’ basic questions and needs, then share that content far and wide.  Personalization Tailor your content to the wants and needs of the people who are viewing it and to whom you want as a customer. Consider your ideal customer and think of questions they may ask, issues they may have; then, create content that preemptively answers those questions and solves those issues. As you learn more about your leads over time, you can better personalize your messages to their specific needs. Share It, Everywhere Inbound marketing is multi-channel by nature as it approaches people where they are, in the channel where they want to interact with you. If you create a blog post, share it on your website, in a newsletter, on social media and beyond. Pro Tip: even if it’s a rough draft, a social media marketing strategy can make or break your business, so you should make one and revise it as you and your company grow.  Natural Integration Content creation, publishing, distribution and analytics all work together, like a well-oiled machine – allowing you to focus on publishing the right content in the right place at the right time. Be sure to pay attention to the analytics of your content (Likes, Shares, etc) and do more of what works and tweak what doesn’t. Rinse + Repeat Content won’t always be the best, but you can always do your best. Be sure to tweak your content and continue to improve your strategy so that the inbound method continues to grow and work for you...

read more