Archive for October, 2012

Inbound Marketing or is SEO Really Dead?

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

If you follow tech marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) you may have heard these two buzzwords:

SEO is Dead” and “Inbound Marketing”.

Thousands of words have been written that describe both of these terms and what they mean to the online marketing industry. As marketers, our reality is that the “How To Cope With Change” manual has yet to be written. Inbound Marketing - FiG AdvertisingWhether or not SEO or Search Engine Optimization is Dead and Inbound Marketing exists, the online marketing industry is definitely in uncharted waters.

Are you wondering if it is time to let go of your current marketing strategy yet? Read on and discover just a few of the changes that may be headed our way in the online marketing industry:

1. The opportunity for social engagement continues to expand: New social media websites that show us new and inventive ways of displaying our lives, such as Instagram, (similar to Pinterest), Medium (text and pictures), and HangOuts on Google + which make it insanely easy for families to stay in touch and for businesses to network.  In the meantime Facebook and Twitter continue to grow in both size and influence across the world to the extent now that revolutions have been started in some countries as a result of social media. Stock market drops have resulted from Twitter posts and I am sure there are more worldwide effects of social media to come. But remove the window dressing and what do you have, our lives in words and pictures, known to the marketing industry collectively as “content”.

2. Google continues to move forward with search engine innovation that allows the best content to float to the top: Google Algorithm Change History. Also on the horizon are potential competitors for Google, and, both of which compete for marketshare with unique concepts.

3. Business website empires are becoming decentralized as a result of increased social media opportunity and the rise of mobile device marketing, will you need a corporate website or will you move to online customer communities in the near future?

4. Measure twice, market once, website and social media analytics are expanding and changing to keep up with the need for business intelligence, particularly in the social media analytics arena.

5. Brick and mortar retail establishments are now learning how to maximize the influence of mobile phone and internet shopping Will retail establishments become showrooms only? Check out the business model of Tesla Motors, the premier electric car.

6. Search is now going social and those businesses who depend on local search and local reviews are exploring new and creative ways to increase social media engagement, improve reviews and expand their reach in local search. Review providers continue to grow and expand, most notably Yelp. How will this centralization of local business information and reviews change the internet landscape for small business?

7. Small business owners are discovering that their online marketing needs to shift to an owned and earned content strategy to keep up with social media and increase their inbound leads.

So change is upon us and whether or not you call it the Death of SEO or Inbound Marketing, FiG is here to help your business and your business identity continue to grow and take advantage of the fast moving shift online from outbound marketing to inbound marketing.

Case Study – Premier Data Systems A-B Testing

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Premier Data Systems is a company which provides customer relationship management (CRM) software solutions for organizations.  They have exceptional customer service and industry specific plugins to help companies streamline their operations.

Problem Posed:

Premier Data Systems came to FiG back in July 2011 in need of:

  • A more user friendly website
  • An e-commerce function

Service Solutions:

  • FiG revamped the existing website
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of the new site

The site was launched September 2011 and after a year, FiG completed a conversion analysis and noticed the analytics were not where we wanted them to be.  There was no clear answer or solution as to the best way to change this so to find out what was going on, we began A-B testing of the home page.

The point of an A-B test is to improve something on a site and reach a certain goal.  It is best to make improvement with reasoning behind it.  This test looks at two pages where something is different, whether is be the way things are worded, a call to action is different, the layout is different, or it is an entirely different design.

For Premier Data Systems, we looked at the original home page design and then did a complete layout change, creating a second home page to help test. The goal was to find out if we could make a change and receive more clicks and longer visit times.

FiG designed the test with one goal of receiving increased click through and longer page visits and two presentations to provide goal completion data. We were looking for how many visitors of design A completed the goal, and how many visitors of design B completed the goal.

Through the use of code, Google dynamically served up one page or the other as individuals came to the Premier Data Systems website.  Over 3 months, the results were recorded within the analytics.

The test resulted in the discovery that the original design had a better completion rate than the alternative design, so no change was needed.  The test was successful because it told us that to change the design would do nothing to improve the site and my actually confuse or deter visitors from looking further.

Not happy with how your website is performing? Thinking of changing your website?  Visit FiG or contact us to find out how we can help!

Ad of the Month – Monsters University

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Business, Science, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Scaring…

Yes, you read that correctly, scaring. At MU, or Monsters University, there are 5 schools and a variety of majors to choose from including Door Technology, Canister Design and Scream Energy.  It is a place committed to discovery and learning and it’s not real, but it’s website sure is.

Pixar has a new movie in the works, Monsters University, a prequel to Monsters, Inc., which takes us back with main characters Sully and Mike to their good old college years. Attending Monsters University, they are studying and planning to become scarers at Monsters, Inc. In correlation with the film, the animation studio created a full fledged website for the university, complete with all the information one would look for including admissions, academics, campus life and even a functional store for all your campus gear needs.

So why does this work? The MU website is a strong example of the media funnel so many companies are going for. For many companies, the first thought would be social media and what an ad campaign would look like through those channels. Pixar didn’t rule social media out, creating 4 variations of the trailer with Mike sleep talking a different line in each, displaying them on a Monsters University Facebook page with the ability to share your favorite one. The website just lets them take it one step further. Its something different, its interactive, it makes the movie come to life. It looks good and for a made up university, it contains a whole lot of details and information for people to read through.

The movie is due to release June 21, 2013, so we have plenty of time to learn all the ins and outs of the university. Don’t forget to get your gear!

Visit FiG or contact us to find out how we can help you with your website and advertising needs.

Advertising Consumption – How it is Changing

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

The way consumers are digesting content is changing, and changing rapidly.  More and more individuals are using their mobile devices – tablets and smartphones – to view content.  For advertisers, analyzing this advertising consumption could mean changes to how they gather information, create and deliver their message.

A recent article from Advertising Age discusses digital versus mobile, describing the current mobile model for delivering content and advertisements to be along the lines of the digital model, only at a poorer level.  Many publishers have been unprepared for the rise in mobile consumption with it growing drastically in the past 12 months and becoming a sweet spot for digital advertising.  Mobile visits are up to 20-30% of overall traffic, and according to The New York Times there has been a 95% increase in revenue for mobile advertising and 14% increase for digital in the first half of 2012.  It is in publishers’ best interest to evaluate their marketing strategy and their efforts towards mobile.

Mobile and digital advertising is also changing when it come to television.  Viewers are more often going to their computers and tablets to keep up with their favorite shows.  Video on Demand (VOD) is beginning to play a large role in how people view television and video.  They no longer have to remember to set their DVR because many programs are becoming available online for the consumer to view on their own schedule.

So what does this mean for TV Networks and advertisers?  The way it looks now, it could be a big advantage.  With DVRs you are able to record your show, watch it whenever you want and fast forward through all the commercials.  With VOD, the ability to fast forward is no longer there and advertisers are beginning to track viewership and devise plans to get their message out.  For companies and networks this means more relevant content for viewers, whereas with DVR they had no control over the content.

Nielsen has also taken notice of this changing trend.  Last year the company rolled out their Online Campaign Ratings to gather demographic information for online ad campaigns.  Now, they  recently launched their Cross-Platform Online Campaign Ratings which will measure where people viewed an advertising campaign either on TV or digitally as well as the overlap between the two.

For TV networks and advertising agencies, this means a much better way of tracking and getting information.  The entertainment category is said to be a large source of where mobile ads are coming from so with the able to track what viewers given all the VOD and online streaming abilities, it should allow advertisers to plan and spend for ads more accurately and hit the right consumers.

What all these changes truly mean and how to best market to the consumer on these mobile platforms may take time, but it it something advertisers need to consider when planning and executing campaigns.

Choosing the right format for your advertising can be a challenge.  FiG can help define your audience and make sure your message is delivered in the best way to reach your consumer.  Contact us today to see how we can help you.