Social media means more to the brand-consumer relationship than ever before – and there’s always opportunity to strengthen those customer connections.
Social media users are switching between seven social networking platforms, and they’re spending 95 minutes per day on average searching their socials.
Can you imagine the possibilities for reaching your ideal audience? We can.
Let’s get started with three ways you can sharpen up the rest of your 2023 on social media.
We get it. Change can be hard. Especially when that change means doing things like getting in front of a camera.
But keep this in mind: Your customers want to see you. And if getting in front of a camera makes you break into a sweat, remember you’ll be talking about what you know best: Your business. Unless you’re doing a live stream, you can hit “Record” as many times as you need before publishing.
David Ogilvy concluded his book Ogilvy On Advertising with 13 predictions.
Many of them were flat out misses (billboards are just as prevalent as ever, direct response is still effective and politicians lean on negative advertising even today).
Because for as creative as he was, he wasn’t Nostradamus reincarnated.
But, seeing as how this is January, we want to give you our 2023 advertising predictions, delivered by Stealth Creative Owner and President, Dan O’Saben.
(And if you prefer reading, keep scrolling.)
What a time to be alive.
You can give ChatGPT a prompt to write a blog post. Use Midjourney to create images. And then use Grammarly to edit the post itself.
Impressive, yes. Ethical? While still unresolved, we’re starting to see this issue play out in legal arenas.
Effective? Kind of. After all, AI isn’t creating anything new per se. It just scrapes content and images from the web and rearranges it.
All of this can seem great for a company with a limited budget. But if you ask someone to compare work produced by a person to that made by machine, that someone will probably gravitate towards the authentic, non-AI work.
AI is still pretty nascent. It lacks that quintessential human touch. More importantly, AI hasn’t perfected groundbreaking concepts, even with the best of prompts—yet.
Gone are the days when people tuned in at the same time to the same channel. Music playlists are generated by songs you’ve streamed and liked.
We live in a fractured environment, where we all consume media tailored to our tastes, with narrowcasting gaining hold on traditional broadcast.
So while traditional media isn’t going anywhere soon, that’s why we think there will be a bigger investment in OTT/CTV advertising in 2023.
Here’s another reason: There are no elections, which works against the amount companies typically spend on traditional media.
With an influx of budgets ready to be deployed in alternative formats, that means the need to identify and segment audiences with even greater precision becomes critical.
There seems to be a misconception that the average person has the attention span of a gnat.
That’s not always true—at least when it comes to content we care about. Who among us hasn’t spent more hours than we’d like to admit watching or listening to a true crime docuseries?
We’ve learned that when it comes to consequential content (like videos on an assisted living facility where a loved one may reside), long form still reigns supreme.
As a result, we see brands leaning into short form reels for teasers or to raise awareness and long form, in-depth content to educate when an important decision needs to be made.
That’s what we see happening next year. What do you think? Will our prediction be more accurate than Ogilvy’s? Do you have a different take?
We’d love to hear your thoughts. Drop us a comment or reach out to us. We predict we can help you crush your marketing goals.
Talking first-party data is now trendier than a Kardashian wearing vintage NASCAR apparel—and it’s becoming more important than ever for companies to recognize its value. This is largely because consumers are getting savvier when it comes to protecting their personal information.
First of all, what is first-party data?
First-party data is personal information that customers willingly provide, such as entering an email address to qualify for 10% off a first purchase. Or submitting their birthdate to get a discount or any other personally identifiable information. And anything you can offer in return to the customer will increase their willingness to share this valuable info.
You may have already been collecting this information for years. The question is: how you deploy this information to grow your business?
Not only must a good digital marketer be strategic with targeting, timing and messaging but they must be flexible and adaptable to whatever is going on in the world. And in the background, advertisers are continuing to grapple with the eventual demise of the third-party cookie.
This initially had online advertisers in a panic, since so many depend “crumb trails” that users leave behind when going from website to website for their targeting efforts.
With Google pushing the date of full third-party cookie depreciation back again and again, this news is starting to feel stale. But marketers still need to adapt, both to technical regulations and the increasing savviness of today’s consumer.
“Be mindful of the shoes your customers are walking in, and how you can help them.”
-Stefanie Grossman, CMO, Prezi
Moving towards this identity-based approach ideally means that advertisers will have a clearer picture of their customers, and customers will have more trust and develop a stronger connection with brands they interact with.
Some benefits of focusing on personal identity in your digital strategy:
When you know exactly who you are talking to, there is great opportunity to maximize ad content with dynamic creative, exclusive offers and other touchpoints.
Advertisers should feel inspired by this push to capture attention and give customers what they want, sooner. More intelligent marketing and stronger relationships between companies and consumers will be the result.
But how do I start building/using my database of first-party information?
Our advice is to look for ways to connect with your existing customer base in any way you can and give them something in return for sharing their information with you. Not only will you have better a chance of converting one-timers into repeat customers, but you will be able to constantly hone your target audience profiles. For example, if a customer just bought a new living room couch from you maybe you target them with an offer of a floor lamp or coffee table.
A strong digital partner can help you get the most out of your data.
Sure, there are still plenty of unknowns when it comes to effectively replacing the third-party cookie. Google, along with many other online marketing platforms, are doing what they can to get ahead of the change by developing tools that use data aggregation rather than individual tracking. (That is a topic for a different day.)
But no matter what is going on in the digital landscape at large, the key to success is ensuring your digital marketing team is paying attention and serving as a true partner—not just a vendor. That way, you can work together to focus on attracting and retaining customers, no matter what the ever-changing digital landscape has in store.
So, if you are ready to:
Contact our expert digital team at Stealth Creative, receive the individualized attention and dedication to understanding your needs that you deserve—and start seeing how the identity-based approach can help you get the results you’re looking for.
The Google Overlords have brought big changes to the next iteration of Analytics—a tool that has become essential in the daily life of digital marketers and business owners the world over. And within a year’s time, we’re all going to have to adapt to a totally retooled version of what we’re used to.
So, naturally, everyone’s freaking out a little bit.
Okay, not everyone. But it’s true that the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4) interface looks pretty different from the Universal GA we’ve become familiar with over the last decade. And what’s more, Google hasn’t exactly been on their horse about getting tutorial support out—so far. More official information continues to trickle in, though, and third-party support is already out there (although a lot of it may be hard to understand unless you use Analytics on a regular basis).
Here’s some good news: All the familiar features you’ll probably be looking for are still in there. You just have to know where to look.
So, we at Stealth Creative figured we should lend a helping hand and share what we know (so far), and what we’re doing to help our clients prepare for the inevitable changeover. But first:
“Great. Now I have to get used to an almost entirely new interface, just to continue tracking my website’s performance! There better be some damned good reasons for this…”
Trust us, there are. As Google puts it: “Google Analytics 4 has the flexibility to measure many different kinds of data, delivering a strong Analytics experience that’s designed for the future.”
What that’s basically telling us is event-based data is now where it’s at.
Google has fundamentally changed its measurement model for GA4, with actionable items (called “events”) taking priority over page views and other session-based metrics.
Page views can give you a general idea of where customers are spending the most time on your site, but event-based analytics better track the behavior of site users (their active engagement with your website’s buttons, form-fills or other features).
Dovetailing with Google’s efforts to prioritize first-party data with the (now delayed) elimination of the third-party cookie, event-based tracking is all about personalizing and refining the user experience for the customer—and giving the marketer more valuable data to work with.
If we can successfully swing with these inevitable-but-not-quite-here-yet changes, we’ll have a better understanding of our customers’ wants and needs. Therefore, everybody wins.
“I get it—this is all about making the digital journey smoother for my customers, everything changes with time, yadda yadda… but how about a little help here?”
First and foremost, we’ve got a year to get used to the new digs. The biggest piece of advice we can offer, which may seem obvious, is to start diving into GA4 ASAP.
The good news is you can run GA4 and UA at the same time, so you can familiarize yourself with the new property and set up a campaign or two while continuing to collect that juicy familiarity data in UA. At Stealth Creative, this has allowed us to start digging in and learning the new ins and outs early—to the benefit of our clients.
Here’s one example: While migrating some campaigns over from UA, we discovered that GA4 defaults to showing only the most recent two months’ worth of data when we’d create a custom report. Therefore, it appeared we were missing a ton of historical information at first—until we went in and adjusted.
Check out the video below to view our simple fix for this issue!
*We will update this post as we find further “quirks” to watch out for.
You have to look under that new “Explore” tab, instead. Truly a prime example of the seeming lack of intuitiveness that folks are reacting to with GA4 (Why wouldn’t it be under “Reports?”), the “Explore” tab takes the place of the old “Analysis Hub.”
Presumably, Google put the custom reporting functionality here instead due to the number of new dimensions you can track, such as “Variables” and “Segments.” It’s all designed to help measure what’s most meaningful to you and achieve better results.
Here, too, we will update this post as we uncover more organization oddities.
When Google changes the rules, it’s more learning for us. More work. More delays. More things to remember. More aggravation.
But it also means progress. As we discussed earlier, the changes Google Analytics 4 brings (along with other sweeping changes related to improving the protection of consumer privacy) are all about refining the experience.
Sure, it will take some time to learn the new interfaces and use the new tools. Sure, Google owes us some further guidance on how to use them. But in any case, we must remain open to change and remember these tools are there to help refine the way we think about the customer journey, become more relevant to our audiences and (let’s be real here) become more successful and profitable.
Otherwise, we’ll just be swimmin’ against the tide.
The digital strategy and content creators at Stealth Creative would love to hear your thoughts and questions. Drop us a line today at email@example.com!
One huge advantage of digital marketing is that real-time data is available to show you how effectively your campaign is engaging your audience. Another advantage is that you can use that data to make informed decisions about ways to increase that engagement, even mid-campaign.
That’s why it’s important to work with a marketing partner who believes in the power of data and has the experience and discipline to read and respond to the story it tells.
At Stealth Creative, we’re devoted to data. We think being able to identify key metrics, dig into the numbers and communicate results in clear language is table stakes. What we do with those results to fine-tune tactics, placement and frequency is the real difference-maker.
Because our digital clients represent a wide array of industries, we use an assortment of digital tools and platforms to drive the results they desire. Whether it be ecommerce, ticket sales, form fills or email opens, we never lose sight of our goal to deliver a strong return on investment for our clients.
We may design a programmatic digital display campaign to reach a custom audience, create and optimize an ecommerce search campaign, drive form fills, create segmented content for an email campaign and improve a customer’s Google review ratings—all to ensure our clients’ marketing dollars are being spent efficiently.
A recent ecommerce search campaign for one of our national health and beauty clients produced a return on ad spend of 33:1. Not only did we track spend and correlate it with product sales, through access to their ecommerce and Google Analytics, we also were able to identify the users who made purchases from the campaign, which products they purchased, the dollars spent and other identifying characteristics. With this information, the client was able to send personalized messages to folks who made purchases for similar products or routine maintenance.
We all know how important online reviews have become for companies. Some of our clients have asked us to help them develop a strategy to engage with customers so they will leave reviews or contact the company directly if they are not satisfied with the product. By working with one of our clients in the insurance industry, we identified customers who had recent contact with the company and created a personalized email asking them to leave a 5-star review. This approach resulted in a significant increase in the ratings for our clients.
A well-planned and developed social media campaign helped one of our entertainment clients set a record attendance at their event. More than $56,000 in ticket sales resulted from a spend of $3,600.
Our media buying, from traditional to digital, is handled in house, resulting in greater efficiency for our clients. We took the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau’s digital media buying in house and reduced their cpm by 40 percent, which allowed us to buy an additional 1.2 million impressions. For more details, check out this case study.
Madison Mutual Insurance Company wanted to increase the opens and clicks on their policyholder newsletter. Our solution was to segment the newsletter by geography and policyholder type. The result was an increase of 36 percent in opens and 250 percent increase in clicks. For more details, read the full story.
Spend some time with our other case studies or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charlie Kolsky is a digital and analytics specialist who’s dedicated to delivering results for our clients. He’s also a pretty mean pickleball player.
The agriculture sector across the U.S. can be described as anemic at best thanks to the muddled political world that anyone working in Ag is well versed in. China used to be the No. 1 buyer of commercially grown soybeans in the U.S.; however, that has changed during the last couple years with a tariff-riddled trade war occurring between the two countries.
But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t opportunity for effective marketing. Let’s dive into the current environment before taking a peek at how you can put digital, social media and video marketing to use to promote and feature your grain marketers.
Put simply, President Trump and his administration promised on the 2016 campaign trail to hold China accountable for their trade practices. Just last week the White House identified China as a “currency manipulator,” which has been argued by economic analysts on both sides of the coin. The reality is that China is not a direct currency manipulator, but they don’t play by the same rules because they have the demand pull on their side.
The U.S. had mastered the supply push of soybeans to China from both the Pacific Northwest and the Gulf of Mexico until the two countries started slapping tariffs on each other. At first, it sounded like just political rhetoric, but to Trump’s credit, he has dug in and continued to escalate tariffs on imports from China to maximize pressure on the communist country.
China has seen their economy slowdown from these tactics among the current administration, but China tends to strategize over the long-term outlook and is most likely waiting to see how the 2020 elections turn out before proceeding one way or the other.
U.S. steel mills were printing money due to the new barrier of entry of Chinese metal until March, when things took a turn for the worse. Exports are what suffer (e.g., soybeans). The only hope for life in the soybean market rests on poor growing conditions or the off chance that China comes back to the table and buys U.S. origin soybeans.
The bad news is the Midwest experienced a wet spring where acreage that usually gets planted with corn was oversaturated, and farmers ended up planting soybeans instead. Not to mention there will be an estimated 1.05 billion (yes, with a “b”) bushel surplus across the United States before soybean harvest starts this year in October.
All of the above supply/demand scenarios make it awfully hard to get bullish soybeans for the next couple years. The good news is the Trump administration has pledged and delivered monetary relief for rural farmers who elected him into office in the first place.
In other words, prices are bad, but the government is cutting a check so life can go on as usual for those making a living off of the land. I’m still not seeing shiny new combines being driven off the lot of the John Deere dealership or land being bought up by producers of every size. Today’s environment feels like 1,000-acre farmers are making it ok, but the 5,000-plus-acre farmers are expanding operations slowly. All signs point to another strong soybean crop again this year with timely summer rains keeping prices depressed.
It appears Agriculture will have to remain in wait-and-see mode and battle with the cards they’ve been dealt as they always have. Large commercial exporters like ADM, BUNGE, CARGILL and LDC are not profitable in the current environment as grain divisions keep weighing down the balance sheets.
The overall outlook is that the industry will continue to constrict despite massive corporate tax cuts being awarded to Ag companies; all that did was allocate money to a rainy-day fund for corporations. Those working in Agriculture will continue to be told to do more for the same amount of money, or find a new career.
The Mississippi River and railroads in the northern plains are ready to get back to business as usual, but the whole value chain appears paralyzed, wearing a lot of temporary Band-Aids. During the next five years, the two major threats to Agriculture will be global warming, creating extreme weather patterns for growing conditions, as well as trade relations with China.
Yes, the market is volatile, and recent quarterly earning reports – among publicly traded companies at least – point to more consolidation in the industry. In other words, we should see more company mergers, organizational centralization and cost cutting among major players in the industry.
Keep in mind there is opportunity in that shift.
Farmers will continue to try and eliminate risk amidst the volatility. Grain companies are becoming more vocal with daily market recaps before and after daily trading sessions to establish credibility and provide advice for producers.
Eventually, farmers will sign up record amounts of production towards specialty marketing programs that establish floors and ceilings on yearly prices. Every grain company calls these marketing programs something different. Bunge called it the Alliance Advantage Program; Consolidated Grain and Barge called it their Equalizer family of products. They all take risk off the table.
And all of these major players have invested significant amounts of money training grain marketing specialists on the right marketing plan for each producer. Market factors, farm size, production risk and cash flow can steer a grain marketing specialist towards a specific type of marketing contract each year instead of simply holding town hall meetings every spring and summer across the Midwest to establish credibility.
In fact, the days of the vice president of your grain company spending two weeks holding town hall meetings discussing S&D’s from Fargo, ND, to Lettsworth, LA, are over. Ok, maybe you still have a handful of in-person potlucks with your top customers, but why not work smarter – not harder – by advertising your top marketing specialists?
In a very disciplined manner, you can coordinate a digital and social media marketing plan that drives farmers towards your company and experts. Setting up monthly spend budgets and targeting the right geographic areas stop costs from getting out of control and put less strain on your employees.
Let’s say you have a grain marketing specialist based out of West Memphis, AR, who covers northern Mississippi to Cape Girardeau, IL. Digital and social media marketing requires less in-person attention, and allows you to cover more ground for the same price as paying for monthly travel and entertainment.
If you still had money in the budget, you could supplement digital marketing and social media campaigns with a direct mail campaign that has the same look and feel, and drives the messaging home through multiple media.
You could also create a professional video of each grain marketing specialist that links to a landing page with a form fill to schedule an appointment to learn more.
Interested in learning more about how to put your marketing budget to the best use? Reach out today; we’d love to chat with you more to understand how we can help you do just that.
Did you know that 96% of employees who are happy with their benefits are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs?
So, how do you ensure employees not only know which benefits their employer is offering, but also understand those benefits to make an informed decision about their health and voluntary benefits selection?
As you gear up for your clients’ – or your own employees’ – fourth quarter open enrollment, here’s a few things to keep in mind:
And then when you think you’ve communicated too much, communicate again! Remember the Rule of Seven: People need to see or hear your message at least seven times before they take action. And this becomes even more important with benefits communications, when education is crucial.
When you’re communicating, change up the way you share your message. Don’t assume everyone will see the table tent on the lunch table or the poster in the hallway. Use email, social media, the intranet, instant messaging, desk drops (yes, the old-fashioned paper kind), direct mailers to the home to engage the spouse, group meetings, manager meetings, one-on-one meetings – and more! The sky’s the limit. Just make sure you change up your media.
Are you talking to a Baby Boomer? A Gen Xer? A Millennial? Or maybe a Gen Zer? Each is going to need different info – and each will react to your messages differently. It’s imperative to vary your messaging within your media to hit each audience.
No, not Ghostbusters! This time, it’s needs to be your company’s benefits expert: Someone in HR, your broker, the president of your company, etc. Determine who can answer employee questions about their benefit package – and do it in a timely manner. Employees need to know they have someone they can turn to with their questions before open enrollment.
Think about how employees would be most inclined to participate in open enrollment. With a dedicated benefits expert on hand to help and answer questions? With their spouse at their side to discuss? Think about how you would want to enroll, and what would make the process seamless and smooth for you. Then consider how you can make it just as easy for employees.
Enrollment isn’t finished when the applications are all submitted. Not by a long stretch. It’s time to follow-up with surveys for all! That includes not only the employees who enrolled, but also the HR and benefits staff, managers, marketers, senior leadership and anyone else who was involved in putting the program and process together.
By putting some extra thought into the planning process and marketing efforts, you can pull off the best open enrollment you’ve had to date!
Want to talk more about how best to communicate, promote, educate and market before, during and after open enrollment? Reach out today – we’d love to chat more.
As always stay tuned until the next time we go Off the Radar.
If you’re a brick-and-mortar business, the news has been rather grim lately. Chain after chain has announced mass store closings as digital giants like Amazon have cornered the market share on low-cost-high-convenience purchases and home delivery. Business Insider recently reported that as many as 7,000 big-name stores will close this year.
For years e-commerce has taken the world by storm, re-writing everything we know about marketing. Nowadays you can’t go through two pages on the internet without stumbling across the option to buy something from a digital store. We’ve even come to depend on the presence of an omnipresent digital store to fulfill our daily needs (see Amazon’s grocery service).
It’s not so shocking, then, that the digital world of shopping has entered a new phase in its evolution: Virtual commerce.
Gone are the halcyon days of static product images next to a little shopping cart symbol. The internet wizards have cooked up another crazy idea – combine the experience of an actual store with the anywhere-accessibility of the internet.
Sometimes change can be scary. Don’t worry, though. We’re here to bring you four reasons you should become one with cyberspace and jump on the v-commerce train before it leaves the station – and two reasons you might want to sit this one out.
In all seriousness, though, v-commerce picked up where e-commerce left off when it comes to market reach. The internet is everywhere, all the time. If you’ve got products you want to sell and a large target market, v-commerce is a good idea. Not only are the storefronts more engaging (e.g., Alibaba’s Buy+) but seeing the product in a 3D space is a language that transcends all barriers. And now with the growth of mobile e-commerce, v-commerce is poised to make your reach nearly infinite.
Think you’re the next Steve Jobs? Have you created the new great invention that no one will be able to live without? V-commerce will help you get your product out there in a more interactive way.
Wouldn’t it be cool if you could have a freakin’ dragon attempt to sell you a new TV? What about if Taylor Swift appeared in your living room and told you some behind-the-scenes information as demos of her latest tracks played?
With v-commerce, all of this is possible.
The beauty of virtual reality is that you can program all sorts of cool things to show off your products. Set up live virtual demonstrations to help customers see how your product works. Give demos to show people how your product fits in the real world. As we discussed in an early blog post, IKEA has an app using augmented reality that does this perfectly.
With v-commerce, the possibilities are endless. We live in a world where you have all the tools at your fingertips to engage your consumers in a spectacular and memorable way. Whatever you can imagine, you can create.
The big thing now is data collection. From the moment you log on to the world wide web, companies are collecting information on your interests, likes and dislikes to create a marketing profile. This is used to serve you ads that better meet your needs and are more appealing to you. But until now, that’s where consumer targeting stopped.
With v-commerce, target marketing has been revolutionized once again. With the proliferation of personal assistants like Siri, Bixby, Google and Alexa, data can be collected well beyond the confines of cyberspace. In addition, initiating shopping has never been easier. People can search products, browse options, and make purchases all by issuing commands to integrated AI.
In the future, these digital helpers may even be able to pull up virtual storefronts. But if you don’t optimize your business for v-commerce, you miss your chance to become part of a growing trend – and the opportunity to snap up a share of the market.
We mentioned how integrated AI is key to the operation of v-commerce markets. This is also a benefit to you.
V-commerce lets the algorithms and AI do the work for you. While it’s not entirely a set-it-and-forget it approach, v-commerce allows you to take it easy when it comes to selling your product.
V-commerce takes the window-shopping experience of a brick-and-mortar establishment and puts it online. However, there are very important differences between these virtual stores and actual stores. For starters, there’s no need for a store manager or sales associates or even call centers. The integrated AI handles all of those functions to deliver a sales experience that is flawless.
V-commerce is the ultimate route for cutting down on costs while maximizing profits.
If you’ve seen Rene Magritte’s famous “This is not a pipe” painting, you’re familiar with the idea that symbols or images are not the actual thing itself.
V-commerce is all well and good if you’re selling say, handbags or electronics. But the whole virtual store concept starts to fall apart when your business is predominantly service based.
While getting your haircut or having a suit tailored through the magic of virtual reality sounds super cool, we aren’t there yet. If you work in an industry that requires a more personal touch when dealing with customers, don’t be afraid to bow out of the v-commerce race.
While brick-and-mortar retail might be suffering, brick-and-mortar services are alive and well.
It sucks being a little fish in a big pond. That’s why when you finally find your niche, you’re probably pretty reluctant to leave it.
Maybe you’re happy being a local business with a low geographic profile. Or maybe that’s really all you can afford to be right now.
If this is the case, v-commerce is not for you. As we mentioned before, v-commerce opens up the floodgates of global e-markets, and if you’re not prepared to handle them, you can quickly get overwhelmed.
Not every business needs to be a global superpower. Stick to your guns, and do what your business does best.
Still feeling a little out of your depth? No worries. Stealth Creative is at the forefront of marketing and advertising. If anyone knows whether it makes sense for you to go virtual, it’s us. Drop us a line today, and we’ll navigate the digital world together.
As always stay tuned until the next time we go Off the Radar.
Have you ever showed up to a party and immediately felt out of place? We’ve all been there, and no matter how much you try to talk the talk and walk the walk, you stick out like a sore thumb, and leave early.
The internet can be the same way! If you don’t pay close attention, it can quickly feel like you’ve stumbled into an evening party where everyone is in sweats, but you showed up in a black tie or ball gown.
The only difference is the always-on, ever-changing nature of the internet means these trends, symbols and languages change much faster than any other community.
But here’s the good news: You can fit in, and click with your target audience online. Check out our tips to be the life of the party.
If you want to capture a younger demographic, and turn them into lifelong customers, you need to determine where they’re hanging out. And chances are they probably have a community online.
We get it. It’s tough to learn and be active on more platforms, but here’s the secret no one tells you: Once you find your customers online, you can narrow your focus. If you haven’t found that magical place yet, keep experimenting, keep scrolling, keep trying new things, and keep exploring.
In the process, we promise you’ll gather invaluable information about your audience and the internet itself. The more you experiment, the more confidence you gain online, and the more your fans will be drawn to your presence.
And guess what? Hanging out online is fun! If you find yourself never knowing what to say or post, it probably isn’t the right platform for you. So try a different one; the options are endless.
Finding your online community means learning new apps! If you’re frustrated or lost on an app, do some more research (or give us a call 😉 ). If you want your marketing strategies to stick, you need to devote time every day to immerse yourself in the social and digital worlds.
You might spend a few extra minutes (or hours) figuring out how to put up an Instagram story, but once you learn, that tech knowledge will transfer to other digital spaces as well.
Don’t be intimidated by social apps with lots of features; mistakes can be deleted and reuploaded, and almost every social post can be edited. If you stay true to yourself and your brand, your audience will know instantly you’re being genuine, and support your efforts to share knowledge or make connections.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet for the primary platforms:
But online communities don’t stop there. They live on Reddit, MyFitnessPal, company and industry blogs, podcasts, email campaigns, etc.; the list is endless.
Building an engaged audience takes time. We know it can be frustrating when you’re not attracting customers as quickly as you’d like, especially if you’re spending a lot of time writing and sharing content.
The thing is the internet can be jaded. Most people don’t end up sticking with posting consistently; so users are hesitant to follow new accounts that don’t have a lot of consistent content.
Prove to your fans you’re in it for the long haul. Create a schedule you can stick to, and make it a priority. It will start at turtle speed, and your reward might not seem worth the effort immediately, but building up a community takes time. Think of it as developing long-lasting friendships instead of instantly finding 10,000 people to invite to your party. Slow and steady does win the race when it comes to building relationships online.
We are your biggest cheerleaders! This isn’t rocket science; it just takes focus and a little knowledge. Anyone can create an engaged community online with a little time, patience and some hard work.
Stealth Creative boasts a social media and digital team who’s wired into the internet. We know what to meme, when to meme, and how to meme, so that your business doesn’t become a meme.
Drop us a line if you want to talk more about your social media marketing – and how we can help!
The last of the figgy pudding is long gone, and the smoke from the last fireworks has cleared. You know what that means.
It’s time to start the new year! (Yay!)
And that means a whole set of brand-new challenges for your marketing team to tackle! (Smaller yay.)
The beginning of a new year can seem like a daunting time for your business – whether B2B or B2C. What worked last year may not work this year, and for many B2C companies, your performance during the holiday season can drastically alter the way you plan for the coming months.
But what you do in the short term has a crucial impact on that end-of-year internal audit. That’s why we, here at Stealth, are offering you five tips to start off this year’s marketing on the right foot.
You think things were crazy during the end-of-year push? Wait ’til you see how your clients fared.
No seriously. Go check on them. Right now.
Just as your marketing needs may have shifted from 2018 to 2019, your clients may also have different needs. It’s a good idea to strike up a conversation to understand what may have shifted – and how your business can best help.
The last thing you want to do is to offer your clients solutions to problems they no longer have. How embarrassing! That’s soooooooo last year.
Your clients will also appreciate the fact you were thinking of them during this hectic time.
Success is literally an email or phone call away. But don’t wait too long!
No, we don’t mean invite them over for tea to discuss trade secrets.
It’s always a good idea to keep your eye on the horizon in case something shifts in your industry that impacts your business. This is especially true as the new year rolls out.
Make sure you give your rivals a good once-over before finalizing your plans for the year. Seeing how they “right the ship” – or hit choppy waters – can contain important lessons for your business as well.
This is doubly so if they do a complete about-face. If your competitors are completely changing up the way they’ve done things for a while, it may be time to assess what’s going on that caused the turnabout, and react accordingly.
For example, if you’re active on social media, you may want to pay attention to the way Facebook disregarded the notion of privacy. Facebook’s recent news debacle involving the way it handed out private information like candy to big-name companies is a perfect example of how not to woo your customer base.
Failing to read the current surrounding rival businesses is a sure way to be left adrift in a changing market.
Don’t get stranded in last year!
So you’ve figured out what your clients’ needs are, and you’ve figured out what your competitors’ needs are. There’s just one thing missing – your needs!
Now is a great time to pour through all that analytical data you’ve been saving from this year. Put on a pot of coffee, dust off your digital marketing binders (virtual or otherwise) and get settled in for a final marketing review.
Make note of everything you struggled with this year. Did you have trouble getting clicks on certain types of content? Was your traffic count low? Was engagement low on social media? Take a moment to reflect on why that might have been the case. Then determine what you can do differently in 2019 to shore up those weaknesses.
Equally important is looking at what went right. If you created a piece of content that did really well, or you had a dynamite strategy for SEO, how’d you do it? Will it still work for 2019? If so, incorporate it in your strategy for the new year; if not, tweak it a bit to build on the success you saw in 2018.
If something works, don’t be afraid to stick with it.
This next part is important. So if nothing else, pay attention to these next few sentences.
Make goals for the coming year using the strengths and weaknesses you found. What would you like to do better? What do you want to keep doing? Where do you want your business to go?
These goals will help guide the next step of the new-year marketing process…
Yes. It’s finally time to embark on that most crucial of marketing endeavors: Reviewing or formulating your marketing plan for 2019.
Using everything you’ve learned from the previous steps, create a plan of attack – or adjust the one you had. Make sure to include baseline goals, stretch goals and how you plan to achieve them.
Figure out what you’re doing, when you’re going to do it – and who’s going to be in charge of making it happen.
Most importantly: Stick to your plan. If your calendar says ‘go rock climbing to get a grip on the market,’ you better grab your ropes and pitons, and rock out. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Your marketing plan is your company’s most important document for 2019. Plan everything to support your business needs, and do everything according to your plan.
Communication is the true currency of business. It’s not what you know. It’s not even who you know. It’s all about who knows you – and respects and values you. And being accessible to your clients and business associates is crucial.
You might think you’re doing it just fine — but when it comes to communication — whether you’re a mom-and-pop shop or Amazon, there’s always room for improvement.
The new year is a perfect time to assess how you’re keeping in touch with everyone you depend on to keep your business moving forward.
Have you been sending out enough emails – and to the right audience? Are you following up on leads as fast as you can? Are you reaching out to your connections on a consistent basis?
The answer is probably ‘not really.’
We know, we know. The year gets into full swing, and sending follow-up emails to potential clients gets pushed to the back of your mind as you find yourself buried under a pile of new projects.
But communication should always be a priority. As we’ve described in a previous post, acquisitions require you to keep your consumer touch points in mind, and strong communication is the best way to do it.
Internal communication isn’t exempt from scrutiny either.
As your employees prepare to embark on another year-long journey with your company, now is the time to open lines of communication to brainstorm new ideas and receive feedback.
Consider offering ways employees can give you feedback. Surveys might seem passé, but they are an efficient way of gathering data about employee attitudes within a business – providing they’re truly confidential and anonymous. Success starts from within with a strong team who works well together.
Make sure your team is starting strong.
Whether you need help combing through your analytics, formulating your marketing plan, or improving your communication channels, Stealth has your back.
Start preparing for the new year now; drop us a line today!
And as always, stay tuned for more great marketing tips and tricks from Stealth next time we go Off the Radar.
Well, it’s that time of year again: Fourth quarter marketing audit time. A time of extra coffee, the pulling of proverbial teeth, and long nights spent compiling four quarters worth of marketing analytics into an investor-friendly report.
Keeping a constant eye on the world of marketing technologies, or MarTech for short, can be a never-ending task. Every business is looking for ways to set themselves apart from the competition, and using technology is a great way to do it.
New technologies are coming faster than ever before. And as technology changes, so do the things your business needs to do for success. But in a world saturated by MarTech, where do you turn?
Well, we’ve got good news. The supersonic pace of digital marketing trends may seem overwhelming, but it’s really about what works best for you.
So let’s put your fears to rest with these tips on how to keep up with digital marketing.
Augmented reality, virtual reality, ads on streaming music services, ads on virtual assistants, traditional email marketing, social media marketing, and more. Where does it end? How can you possibly do it all?
Psst. Here’s a secret. You ready? You’ll want to write this down:
You don’t need all of it.
The most successful businesses are the ones that realize which marketing strategies work best for them.
Like people, businesses each have their own style. And when you find yours, it just works.
For example, if you’re a local ice sculptor (a popular career choice, we know), it probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to focus on VR technology. Sure, a 3D swan made of ice is pretty cool (no pun intended), but do you really need all that expensive hardware when a photo catalog will do? Chances are you aren’t looking for customers outside of your immediate area, and you probably have the market cornered (let’s be honest, here). In this case, a simple bit of software that helps organize customer orders will suffice.
Now if you’re a regional or national chain store, you need to go that extra mile to separate yourself from the competition. Building your own burger with an Augmented Reality Wendy’s app? That sounds like a hot idea (ok, this time it was intentional).
So don’t feel like you’re missing out if you aren’t keeping up with all the latest advances in MarTech. Remember, you know what your business needs better than anybody else.
While blindly following every new MarTech trend isn’t recommended, successful businesses ought to keep an open mind towards new trends in their particular field.
Knowledge is power, and knowing what the options look like in your industry puts you that much closer to dominating it.
Subscribing to a trade magazine or following the social media posts of thought leaders in your industry are great ways to stay informed about the latest trends and happenings in your sector.
You might even discover some new trick or technique you’ve never thought of before. (For example, a “Build Your Own Ice Swan” feature on your website (if we’re continuing with the ice sculptor theme). Sometimes something simple is all it takes, and you’ll find that old-school MarTech can be combined with new applications for a truly great strategy.
Trade shows are another great way to stay up on the latest trends. (Are there ice sculptor trade shows?) This allows you to keep up to date on the direction your industry is heading, and network at the same time. If you have something particularly noteworthy to share, you might wind up being the business other businesses come to for advice.
But remember, if you’re paying attention to your business landscape, you can be sure your competition is as well. There really is no reason you shouldn’t be keeping an ear to the ground. It’s sure to give you the edge needed to stand out and conquer your field.
You might be subscribed to all the popular trade magazines. You might be better at ignoring MarTech hysteria than LeBron is at ignoring Cleveland. But there are still only so many hours in the day.
The biggest challenge businesses face in choosing how to use MarTech, is recognizing when you have too much to handle alone.
There will come a point where you’ll have to choose between keeping your icy creations from melting too soon, or devoting increasing amounts of time and resources towards finding, creating and implementing a custom digital marketing strategy.
This is a good problem to have. It’s the sign of a healthy, growing business.
We know: Handing your MarTech over to someone else is a big decision. But if your business refuses to seize the day by asking for help, further growth is just going to get harder and harder.
You don’t want to pick just anybody to run your MarTech strategy. You’ll want someone who knows your industry and your needs – and who’s willing to work with you to meet your goals.
Stealth keeps tabs on a variety of industries; so we’re always in the know on the latest trends. Whether your business is big or small, we know just how to find which MarTech works best for you, and how to help you get the most out of it.
So when you finally decide to cross your Rubicon and claim your business empire, drop us a line, and let us be your legion.
As always, stay tuned for more great tips next time we go Off the Radar.
Web design is the Netscape of the digital world.
Now that you have a better idea of where in the consumer journey your clients are losing interest (hint-hint, it’s in Part 1), it’s time to crank those conversion rates as high as they can go!
Conversion rates are a useful statistic for any successful business.
A lot of businesses struggle with static or falling conversion rates. Not to worry! A low conversion rate doesn’t necessarily portend doom for a business, but it can be an indicator that something isn’t right.
If your conversion rates are stuck in neutral – or worse – try one of these four tactics to get them in the gear you want.
We’ve all been there: You’re shopping online, and click on a link for a DVD rewinder offering. But instead of being greeted by a colorful listing advertising low, low prices, you get a bland error page telling you your broadband took a wrong turn somewhere. How infuriating!
Well, maybe you’ve never needed to buy DVD rewinders, but the concept still holds true.
But the 404 experience doesn’t have to be like that. Did you know your business can design its own 404 page to be displayed in the event your webpage is unreachable? (This happens more often than you might think.) Well you can, and you should use it as an opportunity to keep your customers engaged.
A few simple lines of copy like: “Congratulations! You’ve found our secret webpage! But you know what isn’t a secret? Our great deals!” can turn an otherwise unpleasant experience into an amusing one that lessens the frustration of not being able to reach your webpage. But more importantly, it creates a desire for visitors to give your business another chance.
Here’s a website with great examples of fantastic 404 pages to help you learn to error with style.
Not surprisingly, a big part of customer conversion is customer retention. Just because a customer bought something from you once, doesn’t guarantee they’ll do it again.
But if you entice them to continue buying from you with limited-time deals available on the “thank you” page after they make a purchase, they are more likely to return. In fact, a study demonstrated 6 out of 10 customers claim these deals as the reason for staying loyal to a brand. Doing this for the first few purchases goes a long way towards ensuring they stay converted.
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of businesses don’t make this a priority, and they miss the mark.
Now this may seem a bit counterintuitive, but hear us out: CAPTCHAs. Are. Not. User-friendly.
We know, we know, you need those confounded contraptions to keep all the spambots at bay. But requiring your customers to prove they aren’t robots by typing the Fibonacci sequence backwards while standing on their head and barking like a dog isn’t a great way to make them want to buy something from you.
All right, that was a bit of an exaggeration, but the reality isn’t much better. Let’s look at an example.
Just recently we were trying to set up an email account for a Stealth employee. When we got to the registration page it asked us to fill out a seven-letter CAPTCHA. The letters were warped beyond all recognition, and at one point we had three people pouring over it trying to figure out what to type. Eventually we tried (and failed) to type the CAPTCHA, and they gave us a new one that was 12 letters long – 12!
Imagine if that had been your customer. After two attempts they’d probably never consider using your business again!
But don’t take our word for it. A new study suggests using CAPTCHAs can actually drop your conversion rates by 3%!
Yes, you’ll be dealing with more spam, but your conversion rates will thank you.
A lot of ad agencies will tell you the key to eCommerce conversion is creating a sense of urgency. They even recommend things like putting up fake timers to drive a customer’s stress through the roof and nudge them towards making an impulse buy out of fear.
As it turns out, this is more transparent than you might think. Customers can be turned off by these cheap sales tactics.
The real timer starts counting down once a customer makes up their mind to make a purchase from you, and you’re the one on the clock! At this point, customers have decided they want the product, and they want it now! The worst thing you can do is make them wait.
Speeding up your landing pages and simplifying your checkout process are two great techniques to streamline the whole ordeal, ensuring your customer makes a purchase before they close their minds (and their wallets) to anything your business offers. Remember: Buying from your business should be an enjoyable experience. Make sure it’s hassle free!
By the way, Stealth has tons of experience in designing landing and checkout pages that will keep your customers hooked until you can reel them in.
While these four tips are a great start, there are way more tricks for boosting your conversion rates that didn’t fit in this post. If you want to know more, drop us a line today, and stay tuned for more great advice from Stealth next time we go Off the Radar.
Every business struggles with converting leads into customers to a certain extent.
And unless you’re the exception to the rule, we want to explain why (and shake your hand).
In this two-part series, we’ll discuss some common problems businesses experience when trying to convert customers, as well as the strategies for boosting and maintaining conversion rates.
In Part 1, we’ll be focusing on consumer touchpoints, which we’re defining as any contact a consumer has with your business or brand.
You’re most likely familiar with the common touchpoints: Your actual brand, social media presence, your advertising and even your website content.
Still, conversions may elude you, even if you’re on top of maintaining these, leading to the universal ¯_(ツ)_/¯
As it turns out, there are a whole lot of touchpoints on the “hi to buy” journey, and a single slip up at any of these steps can be an instant turnoff for potential clients
These touchpoints can be anything from old signage to getting directions to your business from Google.
Individually these irksome things may seem minor, but if there are a lot of them, they tend to snowball into an infuriating mess. The last word you want people using to describe your business is “annoying”!
But have no fear! Here are some pro tips to help you assess and fix some of the most common touchpoint issues – turning customer chagrin into a customer win.
We’ve all been there: Calling a customer support line only to come away with a bad taste in your mouth and a rising temper.
Your phone line is a crucial point of contact between a consumer and your business. Whether they need more information or wish to engage your services, a real hang-up here can lead people to tune out your business.
People want friendly, reliable customer support. But they don’t always get it. Luckily, there’s an easy way to check under the hood from time to time to ensure a smooth-running operation.
Have someone call in and pose as a potential customer. If they report problems, you’ll need to work with your team to ensure they reflect the quality your business represents.
We know this sounds a whole lot like an episode of Undercover Boss. But keeping on top of your customer service is a must if you want to stay on top of the conversion game.
In the age of connectivity, GPS has become an essential part of our day-to-day navigation needs.
But what if the location we enter into Google Maps doesn’t have a clear route to it?
If you don’t stay up to date on getting people to your door, you’re liable to end up as lost as your customers when trying to figure out where they’ve all gone.
Take time every once in a while to look up these things, and correct as needed. Keeping your customers’ commute in mind will help ensure that when it comes to conversion, you’re always in the driver’s seat.
Ok, we’ll be the first to admit that not every company can operate a social media account like Wendy’s. Just because you aren’t roasting the competition, however, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attempt to engage with customers.
Social media offers an unprecedented opportunity to receive and respond to consumer feedback.
As one of the few opportunities for two-way interaction between your brand and your customer base, you can’t afford to skimp on devoting resources to a robust presence on social media. You can even use social media to drive consumers into other touchpoints you highlight.
We often encounter businesses that will throw up an account with consumer comments disabled and just a post or two containing a short company bio with a link to their business’ website. If you aren’t interacting with your customers, you’re missing the whole “social” part of “social media.” If ever there was a justification for a facepalm, it would be this right here. (If your company did a good job of using social media, you’d know what we’re talking about.)
Ignoring a touchpoint as important as this tells your customers you’re out of touch.
If you guessed this next section has something to do with websites, you’re absolutely right! Specifically, we’re talking about your website.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Your website is your brand.
Your brand itself is THE most important touchpoint a consumer has. So imagine being a frustrated consumer trying to figure out how to navigate through a clutter of poorly placed tabs and broken links. Yikes!
A lot of businesses build spiffy websites meant to showcase their company’s capabilities. But if you sacrifice user-friendliness for that cool new look, you might be paying for more than just a clever URL.
If customers have trouble clicking through your webpages, you can be sure they will take their surfing (and their business) somewhere else.
We understand how difficult it is to design a webpage that really works for a business. It can take time and resources your business may not have. But because – say it with me – your website is your brand, it’s a project well worth it!
Lucky for you, Stealth has years of experience in designing websites that are both stylish and functional.
But wait! There’s more! Stealth offers customer journey mapping to help you figure out ALL of the touchpoints where your business could stand to improve, from big to small.
If you want to find out more, drop us a line today. And stay tuned for Part 2 of our Conversion series where we’ll be discussing creative ways to raise the roof on conversion rate
Welcome to Part II of our Client/Agency Relationship series. We’ve already covered how to decide if you need an agency. Now let’s talk about how to choose the right agency for you.
I would have a blast with telecommunications digital marketing if I owned a midsized telecom operation! The world would be my tomato, because local marketing is a huge advantage in digital.
Have you heard the expression, “The good things in life are the enemy of the best things?” The principles found within this statement have application to every area of our lives, but especially to our professional careers.
Time is a commodity of which we have a fixed amount each day. There are pressures related to your time. How many times have we used the phrase, “If I only have a few extra hours in the day?” Unfortunately, no matter how many times we’ve uttered these words, we haven’t received any extra time with which to work.