Free Lead Gen eBook

Author: Rick Knutsen

10+ years of experience in SEM & SEO, online advertising, social media, with a documented record of success in increasing online presence and brand awareness

voice searchIn recent years, voice search has been dominating the search landscape. It has become a convenience to many, allowing everyday users to speak into their devices instead of typing keywords into a search query to get answers. According to Forbes, 30% of all website sessions will be conducted without a screen by 2020. Speech recognition in our devices has also become extremely complex and precise. Although voice search has been around for some time and is not a completely brand new concept, we’ve experienced a technological breakthrough in recent years with the introduction of voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.

As a result, a majority of devices are now optimized for voice search. What does this mean for brands and businesses? It is predicted that half of all online searches will be made through voice search by 2020. It’s now time for businesses to optimize their interfaces, platforms, and websites to keep up with the evolving landscape of voice search.

Here is how voice search will change the digital marketing landscape and what you can do to prepare for it:

Voice Search Will Prioritize Featured Snippets

When you ask a voice assistant a question, they will read the featured snippet of your search query. If you’re not too familiar with featured snippets, they are search results that are featured at the top of Google’s organic results on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). It’s important to understand why you need to start caring about On-SERP SEO so that you can begin effectively optimizing your content to attain a featured snippet on Google’s search engine results page. Businesses need to start accounting for a voice strategy and optimize their content for voice search.

Tips to organize your content for SERPs:

  • Create content to answer specific questions
  • Organize your content in a question and answer format
  • Make sure to create high-quality content

Looking to the future, featured snippets will be more valued and there will only be more competition to win a spot at the top of search engines.

Semantics of Search Will Change

When users are using voice search, they often use a more conversational tone. While users may be typing “Brooklyn weather” when conducting a text search, they may ask “What is the weather in Brooklyn?” instead when conducting a voice search. More often than not, users are more likely to phrase queries as a question. Since voice searches are more conversational and natural in nature, it will prioritize the semantics of search queries. As a result, this will affect the digital marketing landscape and marketers will need to reevaluate the keywords used in their content and overall marketing strategy.

Instead of using short keywords in your SEO strategy, make use of long-tail keywords and direct answers to users’ most common questions. It’s time to start paying attention to how your consumers talk. Brands and businesses will need to take into account the tone, word choice, and phrasing used in voice search in this voice search revolution. Reevaluating your content’s keywords to adapt to voice search will help your website rank higher on search engines or earn featured snippets.

Voice Search Will Grow the Mobile-Friendly Environment

People are no longer only searching on their desktops. Hands-free capabilities that come along with mobile devices encourage users who are always on the go to utilize voice search. Whether you’re cooking or driving, voice search and mobile go hand in hand as a convenient tool for consumers’ everyday life.

With users always on the go, voice search is only going to continue to dominate the mobile environment.

Brands and businesses need to ensure that their websites and content are optimized for mobile. It’s time to adopt a mobile-first mindset. Set your business up for success and stay ahead of the game. Around 70% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a business with a mobile-friendly website. From a marketer’s standpoint, it is your responsibility to make sure that your business’ interfaces, websites, and platforms are all optimized for mobile.

Key considerations to become more mobile-friendly:

  • Improve your webpages’ loading times
  • Incorporate vertical content and use larger text
  • Redesign pop-ups for mobile devices
  • Resize buttons and CTAs (Call to Actions) for mobile
  • Make information easier for people to find

It’s time to think with a mobile-first mindset if you want to set yourself up for success in this changing landscape. Work with your teams to develop mobile-friendly interfaces to stay ahead of the game.

Voice Search Will Place a Larger Emphasis on Local SEO

Many people who are using voice search use it to search up local things in their area. Where is the closest gas station near me? Top 10 Italian restaurants me? Nearly 22% of voice search queries are seeking location-based content. Local businesses, retailers, and boutiques should take advantage of this opportunity to build a local SEO strategy. A local SEO strategy can ultimately help drive traffic to your website and boost sales. Not considering local SEO is just another missed opportunity.

Tips to improve your local SEO:

  • Create, update, and optimize your Google My Business Account
  • Gather positive reviews from customers
  • Incorporate local keywords in your content
  • Use location pages or create a location specific “About Us” page

Keep in mind the key considerations in today’s evolving evolving search landscape. Optimizing your content for voice search is definitely one of the content marketing ideas to try in 2019. Seek out voice search optimization services and solutions and work to build out an effective voice search strategy that will help build your brand in the long-term.

30 ways to generate more leads free ebook

WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy.  Simply give me a call or email me at rknutsen@wsiebizsolutions.net to learn more.

video marketingI recently attended Social Media Marketing World, a mega-conference where social marketers go to discover the latest tactics and business-building ideas. If you’re a marketer and ever have the chance to attend, I highly recommend it (in fact I already purchased my ticket for next year).

The conference covered a wide variety of topics from how to humanize your chatbots, to building your personal brand, but not surprisingly one of the most talked about topics was, you guessed it, video. Almost every presentation I attended talked about using video in one way or another. But one of the most powerful sessions was presented by Marcus Sheridan, who spoke about the types of business videos you should create to deliver more transparency to your customers and ultimately “explode” your brand and bottom line.

Here are 7 types of videos to build your brand, business, and bottom line.

1. The 80% Video

Think about all the questions you get asked regularly by your prospects and customers. What percentage of these would you say you answer over and over again? I bet it’s close to 80% (see where I’m going here).

The 80% video is a mashup of the 7-8 questions you get regularly. Not only will your customers welcome a video that proactively answers common questions about the product or service they are about to purchase. But, if you use a different employee to answer each question, it’s also a great way to showcase the team that will support them after they become a customer as well.

2. The Landing Page Form Video

Will I get a bunch of emails? Will someone call me expectantly? Will my contact details be shared with anyone else? These are the sorts of questions that run through the mind of someone who is contemplating whether or not they should fill out one of your online forms.

Placing a video right beside your landing page form that explains to the visitor exactly what will happen after they hit the submit button will ease friction and as a result, increase your conversion rates. Research has found that if you are upfront about your form process, you can increase your form conversions up to 80%. And, if you call the video, “See what will happen if you fill out this form” your visitors will know what the video is about and be more likely to hit the play button.

3. The Bio Video

You know you have a fantastic team. But your customers don’t know your people are special until you show them they are. The bio video allows each of your team members to put a face to their name, tell their story, and talk about how they support your customer base. These videos should be no more than 90 seconds long and make for great additions to your team’s email signatures.

4. The Product/Services Page Video

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, a video must be worth a thousand pictures. This storytelling capability is why more and more marketers are enhancing the customer experience on their website with product videos. These type of videos help shine a light on the products you’re selling, dynamically showcase their features and benefits, and even demonstrate your service in action. According to a blog post by Neil Patal, entitled, Can Product Video Increase Conversion Rate? product videos can increase purchases by 144%.

5. The Cost/Price Video

This type of video provides your customers with upfront pricing details on your products or services. They help to answer any questions they may have as it relates to costs and are especially helpful if your service offering has a more complex pricing structure.

One of the critical comparisons consumers look at when evaluating which brand they want to purchase from is price. Having a cost/price video on your website is a great way to differentiate yourself from competitors who may not be as forthcoming with this information.

6. The Claims We Make Video

Start by sitting down with your team and writing down all of the claims that you make as a company. They usually sound like this, “we’re the best this,” or “we’re the most that.” Then, highlight the claims that are similar to those of your competitors – typically 80-90% of your claims will be similar. Next, ask yourself which of your claims you have visually proven and not just stated. Lastly, create a video to showcase the claims that are unique to your company, and that you can visually confirm on screen as well. This type of video makes for a compelling brand statement.

7. The Customer’s Journey Video

When it comes to creating videos about our client success stories, we tend to concentrate on capturing testimonials of our clients talking about how happy they are after purchasing our product or service. Seldom do we take the time to tell the full story of the entire customer journey, from start to finish. You may think your customers don’t want to tell their story, but you’d be surprised at how many are willing to share their experience if you ask them. At WSI we call these customer journey videos our Making Difference stories, and you can see an example of one below.

The key when it comes to creating videos as part of your content marketing strategy is to try not to do everything at once. It’s tempting to want to implement all seven of these videos, and you should, but start by selecting only one or two that you feel you can implement sooner than later and that will have the most impact on your brand, business, and the bottom line immediately.

30 ways to generate more leads free ebook

WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy.  Simply give me a call or email me at rknutsen@wsiebizsolutions.net to learn more.

 

As the name suggests, content marketing works by using content to attract and retain an audience. The entire purpose is to provide value and benefit that a build relationships with the target audience and eventually spurs them on towards action.

Content marketing is a less obvious, more subtle approach to building a brand. It’s not about direct promotion—it’s about providing something of value through content. This value may come through knowledge and information, or it might be through the use of humor and entertainment. In any case, the audience should feel that they have gained something beneficial (even if it’s just a chuckle) from the interaction with your brand.

As content benefits the user, it builds trust and establishes authority so that the brand eventually becomes part of the conversation. Of course, the goal is ultimately to bring the audience along on the buyer’s journey in order to convert them. This type of marketing is not meant for a quick sale. Content marketing is playing the long game to build up a business that has deep roots and a firm foundation.

Depending on the goals and needs of your particular organization, various types of content marketing are available to choose from. When beginning a marketing strategy, choosing to focus on just one or two is wise. Then, once you’ve become effective in an area, you may decide to expand your horizons a bit—as long as you can remain consistent.

Of course, the marketing tactics each company uses are based on their personality as a brand as well as who they are trying to reach. Here, we’ll highlight some of the content marketing types that you may want to consider as well as some examples that we think are stellar:

Blog Marketing: HubSpot

One of the best examples of authority within the blogging realm of content marketing is the HubSpot blog. In fact, since they coined the term ‘Inbound Marketing’, we can certainly trust that they have built themselves up as an authority and resource. And much of this has to do with the way that they use their blog to provide valuable knowledge for businesses.

One of the most critical aspects of HubSpot’s blog marketing/content marketing approach is the fact that their resources are easily accessible and available through their content hub. More than just reading recent posts, HubSpot’s archives can be searched by topic and readers can find almost anything that’s ever been written. This means that HubSpot’s articles are evergreen (able to withstand the test of time), regularly updated and placed within an organized system.

Social Media Marketing: Glossier

For obvious reasons, beauty and fashion brands depend heavily on visual content marketing to get their point across. That “picture is worth a thousand words” quote might be old but it’s still true. With more than a million Instagram followers, Glossier is taking its social media marketing game to new heights not only by using pictures, but by getting others to share the love.

Interaction with followers on Instagram, Twitter and the other platforms allows Glossier to build hype and create trust with their target audience. For instance, Glossier re-posted this shout out from a fan and received more than 95 thousand “likes” for it. That’s not too shabby for a post that someone else originated.

Of course, an effective Instagram campaign also includes tons of well-timed, eye-catching photos that educate and remind target audiences of the benefits of the brand. Making content that is on trend and shareable is what social media marketing is all about.

Video Marketing: Old Spice

Arguably some of the most memorable video marketing to date, Old Spice has a thing or two to teach us about getting the attention of the target audience. And it’s no small thing that this 80-year-old brand has seen a renewed life in the past few years.

Starting with “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”, the brand’s video marketing campaigns have earned millions upon millions of views and become a YouTube sensation. Through their catchy, non-sensical humor, the brand has found a way to get the attention of their audience in the first few seconds of their videos. Viewers are attracted by the clever humor but they also get a good dose of unforgettable branding along with it. But what viewers really love is the fact that it’s about so much more than the brand.

 

One strategy that Old Spice uses well in their video marketing is the Call-to-Action (CTA) they place at the end of each silly video. This encourages sharing with friends and family through YouTube or other social media outlets. Because, who doesn’t want to share a good laugh?

eBook and Resource Content Marketing: LinkedIn

If your brand has valuable expertise, then sharing it should be part of your content marketing campaign. Through eBooks, guides, and other resources, you can provide valuable information that your target audience may be clambering for. It might not be quite as trendy as makeup and hair tips on Instagram, but people really do want/need to learn things about insurance or financial markets, especially when you’re in a Business-to-Business (B2B) market.

LinkedIn is a go-to source for all kinds of B2B information, which means that pretty much everyone who functions within the business world wants an eBook that they publish. Recently, readers were provided with 30 pages of guidance on how to produce successful content marketing in their LinkedIn Content Marketing Tactical Plan eBook.

In offering this valuable information, the purpose is that casual readers will begin to trust the brand, understand what they have to offer and engage on a deeper level. Of course, the book wouldn’t be complete without Chapter 16, which is essentially a CTA that directs readers in how to go further with LinkedIn. Genius? Yes, very much so.


As the marketing world continues to change and grow, effective brands will continue to invest in smart, up-to-date strategies that provide valuable resources to their target audiences. Through these types of content marketing you can engage with your audience, leading them through the buyer’s journey and ultimately turning them into loyal customers.

30 ways to generate more leads free ebook

WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy.  Simply give me a call or email me at rknutsen@wsiebizsolutions.net to learn more.

Confused by SEO concepts? Wondering how to sift through all the jargon to find some simple answers? We understand your frustration. For many business owners and marketers, it is hard enough trying to keep your website ahead of your online competitors without getting side-tracked by confusing search engine optimization terms.

To help you get a better idea of some of the most commonly confused SEO concepts, we have put together a mini-glossary of the widely used jargon. Keep reading to find out more about ranking, algorithms, SERPs and other concepts.

seo

Confused by SEO Concepts? Here’s How to Sift Through the Jargon.

In no particular order, some of the most commonly confused SEO concepts include the following:

  • SERPs. SERPs is short for Search Engine Results Pages. This means where you are placed on search engines such as Google. Page one would be the first page of the search results (which is where you want to be), while page two and three mean that web users need to click to view your ranking. The harder it is to be seen on the first page, the less likely your website will be found. It’s worth noting that there are always exceptions to this rule. If you are not on the first page yet, don’t worry… this comes with time, solid SEO practices and a great deal of work.
  • Ranking. A ranking is essentially how well your website does online. A good ranking means that your site is found on the first page of the SERPs. Although many businesses think that they need to be right at the top, you are still doing well even if you are a few places down. Although not too far down! According to Advanced Web Ranking, the click-through rate for position 5 on Page 1 of the Google search results is only 3%, and it decreases for every position after that. So high up on Page 1 is where all the action is. A number of factors determine your ranking, including on and off-site SEO, content, industry and even the keywords you are using.
  • Algorithms. Algorithms are how your website gets to that all important first page. Every so often, Google updates their algorithms to ensure a better quality experience for consumers. Google is always trying to return the most relevant search result for a user’s search, based on their language, location and search history. Factors that are typically considered include quality of content, the relevance of the content, and others.
  • Penalties. If you have been trying to take shortcuts by buying dodgy links, or your website is loaded with poor quality content, and other elements that Google thinks have a negative impact on the user experience, you may face penalties. Generally speaking, penalties take the form of lost rankings. A website that may have been at the top of the SERPs may suddenly find themselves on page three if they have been penalized by Google.
  • Keywords. A more accurate term would be “search term”. Many people assume that keywords consist of a single word. In reality, search terms need to be as specific as possible or “long tail”. An example of a bad keyword would be something like ‘shop’. Because this term appears in many contexts, it would not help anyone find your specialty kids clothing shop online if they searched for this term. A better term would be ‘Durban shop’, but there are still countless shops in Durban, so this would not help much either. A term such as ‘kids clothing shop in Durban’ meanwhile would make it far easier for your shop to be found.
  • Keyword Density: This refers to how many times your keyword appears in your content. This is tricky because you want your keyword to have a good density on the page (around 3%) but you don’t want the content to sound overly repetitive for the user. It takes good copywriting skills to write content that is both keyword-dense & reads well. You can check your keyword density using this nifty free density checking tool.
  • Search volume. This refers to the number of searches done for a keyword over the course of a month. Although a higher volume can be a good way to find phrases that are frequently searched for, lower numbers for specific searches will generally have a better conversion rate since your site is more relevant to the searcher’s query.
  • Click Through Rate (CTR): This is how many times your website is clicked when it does show up for searches. Let’s say you show up on the first page for a search 100 times, and out of those 100 impressions, your site is clicked on 10 times. This means your CTR is 10%. Google wants your site to be relevant, so good CTRs mean your site is relevant to searches and will do better in the organic rankings.
  • Competition. This refers to how many other websites are using the same term and actively optimizing for it. Be wary of high competition phrases. Even if these have a high volume of searches, you will likely not be able to rank if many others are using the term as well. A low and medium competition will be easier for your content to be found. Just imagine, if there are 2 million pages returned for a specific search result, to get to the first page of the search results, Google has to decide that you are more relevant than 2 999 990 other web pages!
  • Backlinks: Google has confirmed that 30% of your ranking score comes from your backlink profile. This means the links that come into your website from other websites. Think directories, social media, and business listings.
  • On-SERP SEO: Is the optimization of any and all content on SERPs that you can either control or influence in some way (e.g. meta title, meta description, feature snippets).
  • Featured Snippets: A featured snippet is a summary of an answer to a user’s query, which is displayed on top of Google search results. It’s extracted from a webpage and includes the page’s title and URL.
  • Zero-Click SERP: A zero-click SERP is one where the answer is displayed directly at the top of a Google search result. The search intent of the user is satisfied without having to click any actual search result links.
  • Voice Search: Also called voice-enabled, allows the user to use a voice command to search the Internet, a website, or an app.

At WSI, we are passionate about making it easier for businesses just like you to get found online. We aim to make the process as simple as possible so that you don’t have to lose sleep (or waste time) stressing about getting relevant website traffic. If you have any questions on any of these SEO concepts, or you have a specific bit of jargon you’d like us to demystify, get in touch with your local WSI expert today.

30 ways to generate more leads free ebook

WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy.  Simply give me a call or email me at rknutsen@wsiebizsolutions.net to learn more.

More and more people have been talking about the importance of data and its positive impact on enhancing the customer experience. Nowadays, data analytics plays an important role as a driving force that’s affecting a business’ decision-making at each stage of the buyer’s journey. According to Forbes, 70% of enterprises have increased their spending on real-time customer analytics solutions over the past year. But what’s all the hype about?

Using Data-Driven Creativity to Enhance the Customer Experience

Analytics have become fundamental in shaping customer experiences across all marketing activities and operations. Many businesses now rely on data and analytics because it provides key information to make purposeful marketing decisions. 58% of business are seeing higher customer retention from making effective use of customer analytics.

Mapping Out the Customer Journey

In the digital world we live in today, it’s important to understand how to deliver the experience your future customers expect. First and foremost, take some time to map out the customer journey. What are your potential customers looking for? What is their demographic? What consumer habits do they possess? At each stage of the customer journey, figure out what information and data you’d want to collect to help you make specific marketing decisions that are specifically tailored to that stage. Identify and capture the right data for every touchpoint with customers. Doing so will help you discover specific behavioral patterns and identify focal points for your marketing efforts.

CX Journey Map

Creating an Engaging Customer Experience

Secondly, start thinking about how you want to go about creating an engaging customer experience as a part of your marketing strategy. This is the step where some businesses will gain a competitive advantage over others. Is your customer journey personalized, fast, easy and useful? What data do you need to help enhance the process? Keep in mind the the right data can make all the difference. These are all factors to take into consideration when striving for data-driven creativity to create an engaging customer experience.

Engaging CX

Building a Collaborative Culture

It’s time to break down the silos between departments and start working collaboratively to drive data-driven creativity and enhance the customer experience. Build a collaborative culture, not a competitive one. Create a culture so that everybody is accountable for each other. Don’t forget to also encourage effective cooperation to meet key objectives and goals of the business. Your business’ tech and marketing teams should team up and work together to drive growth in all areas of the business.

Collaboration

With that being said, here are some effective ways marketing teams can use data-driven creativity to enhance the customer experience:

Get Up Close and Personal

Customer analytics are becoming extremely important today, and marketers are heavily relying on data-driven creativity with personalization being a key driver for success. Marketers who are successfully adopting data into their strategy are concentrating on providing personalization at scale. As a result, enterprises are constantly working around the clock to fine-tune every aspect of the marketing mix for their target audience in real-time.

Netflix UX

Netflix is a prime example of a business that uses data-driven creativity to enhance their customer experience. Netflix gathers users’ profile data and activity to personalize their experiences on the website and app. Based on certain user activity, Netflix is able to use the data to curate personalized lists based on your viewing history. For example, the recommendations under the “Because you watched…” section are compiled based on the data Netflix collects from consumers’ behaviors.

Netflix uses AI to build out an algorithm that creates a unique viewing experience. With the help of machine learning, see how you can take your creativity to new heights and increase customer loyalty and retention.

Provide Data Analytics Training for Your Teams

With data analytics on the rise, it’s time to equip your teams with the proper tools and resources to stay ahead of the game. Take a holistic approach to data analytics, and this applies to all areas of your business including marketing! A growing number of marketers are building on their digital skills. The ability to transform data into key insights will help drive your business’ marketing efforts. This will give you an upper hand when it comes to enhancing the customer experience. Providing digital training for your teams will help them be agile in identifying key areas of improvement. The continual rise of emerging trends and technologies will only require strong data-driven creativity skills to keep up in such a fast paced landscape and environment.


Are you ready to take on data-driven creativity in 2019? It’s time to start working cross-functionally to support a data-driven approach to creativity for your marketing strategy. Marketers and creatives should start working closely with data analysts to make more informed marketing and content decisions. In turn, this will lead to more effective decision-making for each stage of the buyer’s journey. It will also help teams navigate the fast-paced and growing environment more effectively.

30 ways to generate more leads free ebook

WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy.  Simply give me a call or email me at rknutsen@wsiebizsolutions.net to learn more.

It’s time to step up your email marketing game in 2019. With people’s inboxes constantly overflowing with countless emails from businesses and brands like yours, you have to think of ways to stand out from the crowd.

email marketing

Email marketing has become an extremely powerful tool when it comes to nurturing leads, promoting consistent engagement, building customer relationships and driving lead conversions. To achieve desirable results, you need to have a well thought out strategy. Failing to do so will lead to your email marketing efforts slipping through the cracks and getting lost in the sea of unread emails.

Follow along to see how you can deliver compelling email marketing in 2019:

1. Understand your customer and their interests

A compelling email marketing strategy starts with how well you know your target audience. In order to deliver compelling email marketing this year, make sure you’ve done your research. If you’re not already doing so, it’s time to start collecting the data and creating customer profiles before building and implementing your email marketing strategy.

Remind yourself that you ARE the expert – you should know everything about your audience; from their consumer behavior to what draws them in to make them want to purchase your product or service. From there, you’ll be able to brainstorm different appeal tactics to engage with them through consistent email communication and guide them through the customer journey.

2. Understand copywriting best practices

Delivering compelling email marketing also comes with a strong understanding of copywriting best practices. If you want to send great emails that will help nurture your leads, here are a few tips and guidelines to follow when building the contents of your email, from the subject line to the body:

Subject Lines

An effective subject line is an essential component of a compelling email. The subject line acts as the gatekeeper, and if it doesn’t grab the initial attention of your audience, chances are they will not open and read the content of your email. To figure out which subject lines work best for your email campaigns, look into A/B testing. A/B testing allows you to test different subject lines to see which ones result in the highest open rates. Experimentation is key, and it ensures that your email marketing efforts are not going to waste.

Another tip to writing an effective subject line is to use personalization where possible. Emails that are more personalized tend to perform better than those that are not. Personalized and highly segmented emails can lead to higher open and click-through rates.

Visuals

Including a variety of visuals is an effective way to appeal to and engage with your audience. Incorporating visual elements such as images, GIFs, infographics, memes, and even videos can help influence your audience. Visuals also help break up chunks of text in your email marketing campaigns, and they’re a great way to engage with people (especially for all the visual learners out there). By ensuring that you’re using the right visual elements that reflect the brand of your business, it will play a huge part in delivering compelling emails this year!

Call-to-Actions

Don’t forget to use actionable language and be clear and concise in the body of your emails. Ultimately, you want your audience to act on something after they’ve read your email. Your goal is to lead them to the next step of the customer journey.

At the end of the day, make sure your email copy aligns with your subject line to ensure that readers will click through the email. Focus the attention on the reader with a ‘what’s in it for you” mindset; talk about how they will benefit from your product or service and what you can offer them. Don’t forget to add your own flair and personality to reflect your brand!

3. Segment your email list

Segmentation is more important than ever before because not everyone in your audience has the same needs and interests. Sending the exact same email to everyone on your mailing list is no longer effective, especially when it comes to driving lead conversion. That’s because they are probably at different stages of your marketing and sales funnel; some may have just entered the funnel and some may be closer to their final purchasing decision for your product or service. It’s important to understand and deliver the experience your future customers expect, even through email marketing.

As a result, segmenting your email list will help deliver more compelling email marketing this year. Brainstorm different appeal tactics that will help target your segmented audiences based on where they’re at in the customer journey. For a segmented list of people who have just entered the sales funnel, you will likely engage with them by tailoring your messages to be more awareness oriented. On the other hand, for a segmented list of people who are closer to the bottom of the sales funnel, you will likely want to tailor your emails to be more action oriented since they are approaching their purchasing decision. Craft and tailor the email copy so that it is relevant and relatable to your specific audiences.

4. Optimize your emails for mobile

In 2018, 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile devices. Another way to deliver compelling email marketing in 2019 is to optimize your emails for mobile viewing. By now, it’s clear that responsive web design is an integral part of your mobile marketing strategy. According to Hubspot, 48% of emails are opened on mobile devices.

To ensure mobile-friendly email marketing, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Keep subject lines short
  • Keep emails concise and avoid large chunks of text
  • Use visuals to break up large chunks of text
  • Use a font size that is easy to read
  • Place CTA’s and buttons in the middle of the screen

5. Marketing automation

Have you considered implementing marketing automation into your email marketing strategy? Not only can you use marketing automation to build a steady flow of leads for your business, it can also help lighten up the load so you can focus on other aspects of your marketing strategy.

Marketing automation can help turn your prospects into loyal customers. Instead of blasting your entire mailing list with endless sales messages, marketing automation can help you provide relevant information to your audience. That way, they have a chance to absorb the information about your product or service, building a mutually beneficial relationship.

One aspect of marketing automation is the use of email drip campaigns. Drip campaigns are essentially scheduled sets of marketing emails that are trigger-based. What does that mean? Drip campaigns help deliver the right messages at the right time. Depending on certain customer actions or behaviors, marketing automation enables consistent email communication to carry prospects through the customer journey, leading to a higher percentage of lead conversion. It’s definitely worth looking at how to create an email drip campaign that converts and there are a number of marketing automation software out there that can help get you started (e.g. Hubspot, Mailchimp, etc.).


If one of your goals is to deliver more compelling email marketing this year, I hope these tips and guidelines have given you a general idea on where to start. Don’t forget that there are also plenty of tools and resources out there that can help you achieve your email marketing goals. Marketing automation tools like SharpSpring, Hubspot and Mailchimp are a good starting point to hit the ground running if you’re really looking to dive head first to crushing those goals! You can also find a number of email templates to take the visual aspect of your email marketing to the next level. At the end of the day, make sure you stay organized and plan ahead so you can stay ahead of the email marketing game in 2019!

WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy.  Simply give me a call or email me at rknutsen@wsiebizsolutions.net to learn more.

 

 

There’s been a lot of talk surrounding marketing automation and it has become a key differentiator of high performing marketers in 2019. Whether you work in small biz or a large enterprise company, automation is shaping the future of marketing technology.

marketing automation features

What is Marketing Automation?

According to Hubspot, marketing automation is the software that exists to automate marketing efforts. Marketers often use marketing automation to build a steady flow of leads for their business, and to move leads through their sales funnel.

One of the biggest benefits of marketing automation is that it can help you, the marketer, save a lot of time. Implementing automation into your marketing strategy not only allows for better allocation of your time and efforts towards other tasks that help generate revenue, but it is also a great tool to help scale your business more effectively. In a nutshell, it enables you to make better and more informed decisions for your marketing campaigns.

According to Forbes, 82% of marketers recognized a positive ROI from marketing automation and that it makes them more efficient. In 2019, many businesses are now spending more on marketing technology than on advertising spend. So if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution to optimize your marketing strategy, implementing automation will help you enhance the multichannel experience for your prospective customers.

Here are 4 marketing automation features that will make your life easier:

Smooth Onboarding Process for New Customers

Do you want to ensure that you have the best possible onboarding experience for new customers to your business? Look no further, because marketing automation can help enhance that process!

brainstation

As I mentioned earlier, many marketers are using marketing automation to build a steady flow of leads to their businesses. A challenge that many businesses face is getting their product or service to new customers and making sure they are able to deliver a consistent flow of relevant information to retain new customers in their sales funnel. One of the many benefits and features of implementing marketing automation is that you can schedule a sequence of automated emails, tailored and personalized to new customers that will help guide them through the ins and outs of your product or service.

By automating the onboarding process, it allows for a more “hands-off” approach without having to spend or dedicate time to go through product demos with each individual new customer.

Effective Lead Nurturing

Just like how a parent nurtures their child to prepare them for adolescence and adulthood, marketers need to know how to nurture their leads and guide them through the customer journey to increase the chances of lead conversion. When a lead enters the sales funnel, it needs to be fed with valuable information in order to turned into into a valuable customer.

trello

This is where marketing automation comes in. Not only can automation help with the onboarding process for new leads, it can also help nurture those leads. What does that mean? One of the many features that come along with marketing automation that will make your life easier is the ability to provide the most relevant information for leads that have already entered the sales funnel. In order to turn a lead into a valuable customer, you need to engage in constant communication. With marketing automation, you can send an automated series of emails to educate your leads and build rapport.

Ultimately, automation is a useful tool for relationship building. It allows marketers like you to add your own flair and customize automated messages to be more personalized and not come off as too sales-oriented.

Automated Customer Service Experiences

Many customer service representatives spend a lot of time addressing inquiries about a business’ product or service, and much of the time is spent on educating new potential customers who know nothing about the product or service. It becomes a little time consuming, and that time and effort can be spent on other customer service-related tasks.

With the help of machine learning, marketing automation is particularly useful for providing automated customer service experiences. Implementing a live chat or chatbot feature is an effective way to capture leads because it gives leads a platform to ask questions and receive immediate answers. We see this pretty often nowadays. Whenever we visit a website, there’s a little live chat that pops up at the bottom right corner prompting us to ask questions and learn more about what’s being offered.

Social Media Automation and Scheduling

Building and maintaining a strong social media presence can take a lot of time and effort. Thanks to marketing automation, you can easily automate interactions on social media, whether it be building followership, thanking new followers, or sharing and scheduling content. This is one of the most common examples of marketing automation and there are so many tools and software available to help scale these efforts, like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Buffer and HubSpot. It was also one of the very first marketing automation strategies to make its way into mainstream digital marketing. Social media automation and scheduling keeps your audience engaged, and saves you time without having to spend countless hours posting in real-time.


It’s time to break down the silos between sales and marketing because marketing automation is the future of digital marketing. There are so many tools and software out there to consider, each with its own unique features. Popular marketing automation tools include Hubspot, Pardot, Marketo, ActiveCampaign and SharpSpring. It may be worthwhile to take some time to see how you can elevate your marketing efforts to the next level by investing in marketing technology.

WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy.  Simply give me a call or email me at rknutsen@wsiebizsolutions.net to learn more.

google+ shutdown

It’s been a busy few months in the world of Google+! Just this past October, Google announced that they would be shutting down Google+ in August 2019 for consumers as a result of lack of broader adoption and critical security issues they uncovered.

Then in December, Google announced that they would be expediting the Google+ shut down, bumping it up to March 2019, because the security issues (which Google thought they had patched up) were continuing to leave user data vulnerable.

 

The Who, What, and How of the Google+ Shutdown

Given the impact and the speed of this shutdown, here’s what you need to know so you can make sure you don’t lose any valuable content if you are a Google+ user:

Who is impacted?
Anyone with a Google+ consumer account, pages or profiles.

What is being deleted?
All of the content within your Google+ account will be deleted, including any photos and videos in your Album Archive or Google+ pages.

How do I save my information?
You can find instructions on how to save your Google+ content here.

If you have any content on your Google+ page that you haven’t posted elsewhere, or want to keep some of the comments you have received on your posts, be sure to go into your Google+ page soon and start saving your content.

Important Dates to Remember as Part of the Shutdown:

In association with this shutdown, Google has communicated a few dates that all Google+ consumer users need to be aware of :

Starting February 4th, 2019

  • Users will no longer be able to create NEW Google+ pages
  • Users will no longer be able to add non-Google+ users to their Circles
  • Users will no longer be able to leave comments on blogs using their Google+ profiles

Starting March 7th, 2019

  • Users using the Google+ Android app will need to update to the new app to be able to continue using it
  • Users will not be able to use Google+ gadgets

Starting April 2nd, 2019

  • Google+ content in consumer accounts will start being deleted
    • Community owners and moderators may download and save community data before April 2nd
    • You can find instructions on how to download your Google+ data here
  • Google+ Collections and Circles will start being phased out
  • Google+ Vanity URLs will no longer be supported
  • Google+ Pages, Events and +1s will be deleted

If you are a business owner being impacted by the Google+ shutdown, be sure to connect so you can make sure you have an exit management strategy for all your Google+ content. Or, you can always contact us directly at http://www.wsiebizsolutions.net/contact-us/, and we’d be happy to help!

WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy.  Simply give me a call or email me at rknutsen@wsiebizsolutions.net to learn more.

Today’s internet users are changing the way they search the web and as a result, search engines are constantly evolving to adapt to this change. This has had a significant impact on how searchers find content and how content is being ranked, which affects business’ overall SEO performance. Gone are the days when measuring your SEO success was solely based on keeping track of keyword rankings. With so many factors that now come into play to achieve SEO success, it’s time to rethink your content marketing and social media strategy to keep pace with the ever-changing search landscape. You’ll need to consider how you can restructure your content so that it appears in prime search locations.

Take a look at some of the ways search engines are changing along with searchers. We will address several key considerations to take into account on how to improve your content marketing strategy to keep up with this changing landscape.

Mobile Search is Dominating the Web

It is predicted that mobile is going to become the dominant device for search in 2019. Many users are now conducting mobile searches more than searches on any other device (e.g. tablets and desktops).

Key considerations: In order for your content to rank highly and achieve SEO success, you must ensure that the content on your website is fully optimized for mobile. How do users absorb mobile content? Mobile friendliness is key. Google now expects webpages to load in under 3 seconds. Improve your website load times by compressing images on your webpage and make sure that your content is easily digestible. Huffington Post is a prime example of a company who has nailed their mobile web experience.

Their content is easily scannable, digestible, and ideal for on-the-go mobile users. When you compare both the mobile and desktop versions, Huffington Post’s mobile site is optimized to fit a smaller screen and also has fewer words on the homepage. As a result, readers are able to easily skim the webpage for content.

Voice Search is Changing the Way People Search the Web

According to Forbes, 50% of search queries will be from voice by 2020. Voice search is dramatically changing the way people search the web. This has been made possible with the help of voice assistants such as Google Home, Alexa, and Siri. As a result, search engines like Google are placing a greater emphasis on voice search optimization.

Key considerations: With voice search on the rise, the way content is being ranked is also changing. How will this affect your overall content marketing and social media as ranking factors? Instead of using short and snappy keywords to optimize your content, try to make better use of long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords involve specific keyword phrases. To effectively adapt to voice search, try writing the way you speak in order for your content to rank better. For example, when users type a search query on Google, they’ll usually type “Toronto weather.” However, when users conduct a voice search, they’ll typically say, “What’s the weather in Toronto?” Since voice search and SEO pick up on users’ natural speech patterns, keep in mind to use a more conversational tone in your content and social media marketing strategy to help boost and improve your search rankings.

Drive Greater Traffic with Featured Snippets

Google is increasingly showing featured snippets at the top of search results. Content that ranks within Google’s featured snippet section often drives higher traffic for the given search query. In order to embrace the changing landscape of search, it’s crucial to understand why you need to care about On-SERP SEO. For example, when you search up “top phones 2019,” this is the featured snippet on the SERP (search engine results page) that shows up for the query:

The featured snippet appears above the #1 search result. How do you achieve this?

Key considerations: Develop a shortlist of specific questions that you can answer and rank for. If your content can rank on the first page for one of the shortlisted search query questions, look into optimizing the rest of the content on your webpage to specifically address that question.

Help More Pages Rank with the Topic Cluster Model

Because people are submitting more detailed and conversational search queries through to get information faster, search engines are getting better at providing the exact answers that searchers are looking for. Pillar content and topic clusters are becoming more popular as a way for marketers to organize their content to ensure their content ranks higher. What is pillar content? According to Hubspot, pillar content or topic clusters help more pages rank to give searchers better answers for their queries. This is known as the topic cluster model.

Key considerations: When planning your content marketing strategy, choose a few broad topics you want to rank for. After you’ve chosen the topics, create content (e.g. blog posts) for each of the specific keywords that make up the broader topic. This will result in broader search engine authority because you can then connect specific topics to each other via hyperlinks, linking your content to help more pages on your site rank on Google.


As we continue to move away from traditional search trends, how you approach your content marketing strategy is more important than ever before. Remember to be social with your content and keep in touch with current SEO trends and how the search landscape continues to evolve. As overrated as this phrase may be, it still rings true: “Content is King.”

WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy.  Simply give me a call or email me at rknutsen@wsiebizsolutions.net to learn more.

According to Twitter, with over 3 billion people on social media, more consumers are using the social media platform to connect with businesses when they have questions, compliments, or complaints. Many brands and businesses have been turning to Twitter as a customer service platform. And with the rise of direct messaging and the use of chatbots, 2019 is the year to approach your business’ marketing strategy with a customer care focus. What does this mean? It means being more proactive, using social data to shape interactions, and integrating customer care solutions into your business’ marketing strategy. It’s important and beneficial for you to understand why your customers want to chat and how it can change your business.

Here’s how you can provide more effective customer support on Twitter in 2019:

Develop a Customer Support Strategy

First and foremost, come up with a well-defined customer support strategy. Set some time aside to brainstorm and develop a solid strategy to execute. Here are a few questions to keep in mind and address:

When will you respond?

Now that social media has the power to connect businesses with their customers in real-time, customers expect brands and businesses to respond in a timely manner, especially to customer service inquiries. According to Hubspot, 80% of customers expect companies to respond to their social media posts within 24 hours. Defining your response times plays an important part in providing effective customer support on Twitter. Chances are most businesses are not operating 24/7. Be transparent and communicate the times your customer support team will be responding to customer service requests.

An excellent example of this is the TTC Customer Service Twitter account. The customer support team clearly communicates and is transparent about their response times. The tweet outlining the response times is pinned to the top of the profile, making it highly visible for customers. They also provide alternative customer support contact information as you can see below.

Since customers demand for relatively quick and immediate response time, the TTC Customer Service team does an excellent job updating their response times in real-time, even communicating when they’re on their dinner breaks!

At the end of the day, a high level of responsiveness is an indicator that shows your business cares about your customers.

Who will respond?

Once you’ve established when you will respond, the next question you want to address is figuring out who will take on the responsibility of addressing customer support inquiries. Depending on the size of your business, you will need to define which department, team, or individual(s) will be responsible for taking on this role. Some companies have a team or department solely dedicated to providing customer service and support. Others delegate this responsibility to their marketing or communications team members. Interdepartmental communication can also help streamline your customer support strategy. Assigning specific team members to take on this role in “shifts” provides opportunities to be more efficient and diligent.

It may also be worth considering whether or not you want to keep your business’ customer support inquiries separate from your main Twitter account. Some larger businesses have a separate Twitter account just for customer service and support.

Monitor Brand Mentions and Keywords

Don’t forget to keep a close eye on Tweets to your accounts, whether they’re brand mentions or product mentions. Monitoring and engaging with the right conversations help build the foundation for providing effective customer support on Twitter. Many businesses do an excellent job with this and don’t let any interactions go unnoticed. It’s especially important to capture these customer service opportunities as they arise to foster strong relationships with customers online.

Enable Direct Messaging for Your Twitter Account

Nowadays, more people are using direct messages for customer support over public announcements like mentioning or tagging in a tweet. Consider enabling your business’ direct messaging (DM’s) to provide more effective customer support on Twitter this year. Enabling DM’s opens up a private channel for people to communicate with you. It also protects the privacy of your customers. This is important because in some cases, people may not feel comfortable publicly inquiring or raising an issue about your product or service. At times, some customer support inquiries may also require people to provide personal or sensitive information.

Enabling DM’s paves a way for addressing more complex customer support issues. In return, it also allows you to engage at a more personal level, strengthening your relationships with customers. Did I mention that enabling direct messaging also allows customers to work with more characters? They’re not limited the 280 character limit!

Enhance Your Interactions With a Touch of Personalization.

As much as customer care bots and chatbots are on the rise, advanced technologies like chatbots continue to rely on traditional marketing. Configuring chatbots is a complex process, especially on social media platforms like Twitter. In the meantime, try opting for personalization instead of generic templates to provide a more effective customer support experience.

ClassPass, a popular fitness membership subscription, is a great example of a business that opts for personalization instead of generic templates to address their customer service replies. According to Twitter’s chat with ClassPass, all of ClassPass’ customer support responses on Twitter are typed out and sent by a real person. As you can see below, ClassPass also personalizes their response by addressing the customer’s name. Personalizing responses on Twitter builds stronger relationships, and it assures the customer that the response was genuinely written for them.

Many businesses are also adopting a more casual tone when addressing customer support on Twitter. This is a customer care trend that we are seeing more frequently across the board. Some brands and businesses are even incorporating the use of emojis to create a more personalized experience within their customer care strategy.

Don’t hesitate to show a bit of humor, give customers a taste of your brand’s personality, and engage in genuine interactions that reflect your customer care strategy.


Over the years, Twitter has evolved tremendously and it has become an excellent platform to connect with customers and collect product or service feedback. Don’t be afraid to innovate on this social media platform and continue to drive new opportunities to provide more effective customer support on Twitter this year.

WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy.  Simply give me a call or email me at rknutsen@wsiebizsolutions.net to learn more.