Archive for the ‘FiG Marketing Thought’ Category

The Importance Of Accessibility In Digital Marketing

Thursday, July 12th, 2018
Glasses over a screen reader

Did you know that 330 million people worldwide have some sort of visual impairment? Did you know that this audience has more than $1 trillion – yes, trillion with a “T” – in disposable income? Are your digital marketing efforts inadvertently leaving out a major percentage of your target audience? Let’s go over some best practices for marketing accessibility to ensure that you’re not losing an audience that’s equivalent to the population of the entire United States.

Don’t Dismiss Your ALT Attributes

It’s easy to leave out ALT attributes, dismissing them as a minor factor in your overall strategy, but as any SEO will tell you, that is far from the case. The ALT attribute is not only the feature that allows bots to “read” your images but it is also the text that is used when a user is accessing your content with a screen reader.

Screen readers and other similar types of technology are used much more often than you’d think and by a wider audience than just those with a visual impairment that hinders the ability to see the content you’re creating. Consider your smartphone – many users are asking Siri to read their texts and emails for them. An empty ALT attribute in your email will force Siri to read the file name and other irrelevant information that take away from the actual message you want to convey.

Is Your Color Palette User-Friendly?

When you’re establishing your branding and choosing a color palette that will be used throughout your marketing efforts, accessibility is not often at the forefront of the decision. This could mean that the colors you’re using make it impossible for those who are color blind to see your message. If you’re not working with an experienced designer, your color palette could be hard to digest for even someone who isn’t color blind.

When you’re looking at colors, two displays of the same color are going to have a contrast ratio of 1:1. Your contrasting colors, white and black, for example, are going to have a contrast ratio of 21:1. When you are using two colors in your marketing, the recommended contrast ratio is a minimum of 4.5:1. If you’re not meeting this standard in your designs, it is likely that your marketing is going unseen by a large portion of the worldwide population.

Let’s Talk Links

Your links play into your color scheme, too. Often, designers like to make your links stand out with a contrasting color that sets the anchor text apart from the rest of the body. However, it’s nearly impossible to know what types of visual impairments, including colorblindness, your target audience has. Chances are, a contrasting color alone is not going to resonate with everyone. Links should always be underlined, even when the anchor text is a different color. This ensures that everyone in your audience knows that’s where they should click to be directed to related content.

Lay Text To The Left

It is estimated that 1 in every 10 people are affected by dyslexia. Did you know that your text alignment can actually help those who have dyslexia read your content more easily? Text should be left aligned in all of your communication efforts. This provides an anchor for those with dyslexia to come back to, making it easier to read the text.

Talk Is Cheap

As we mentioned earlier, more and more people are interacting with digital marketing on their mobile devices. From display banners to emails, this concept of mobile-friendliness is not new, but there is more that plays into mobile friendliness than just the way it looks.

As the technology evolves, people are using voice-activated assistants, such as Siri, to access different things on their phone. This means that it is more important than ever to ensure that you’re fulfilling even the smallest of details when launching any sort of digital marketing campaign.

Turn on the accessibility feature on your phone and test your emails and other digital marketing content using the Voice Over (IOS) or TalkBack (Android). This will help you identify areas of weakness for the visually impaired audience and anyone else who prefers to listen instead of reading content.

Accessibility Can Move Your Bottom Line

With such a large percentage of the population requiring these accessibility tools to access your content, it is vital that your marketing efforts meet the standards. Otherwise, you’ll lose your audience.

Do you need assistance reaching your target audience? Contact the digital marketing experts at FiG Advertising + Marketing today for a consultation.

3 Steps To A Digital Strategy That Converts Micro Moments

Friday, June 22nd, 2018
Person illustrating micromoment

As with many of the other popular themes in marketing, Micro-Moments have become a common buzzword that is thrown around in conversations. The idea of a micro-moment was introduced a few years back but has become increasingly more popular as consumer behavior continues to adapt to a digital-centric mindset. But what does this idea mean for your business?

The Evolution Of Consumer Behavior

There has been a significant shift in the expectations of consumers – they want what they want and they want it now. We live in an era of information overload, though, so finding what you want can be challenging. Moreover, finding what you want without being forced to invest a lot of time or effort can be nearly impossible.

How Do Micro-Moments Play Into This?

Google defines a micro-moment as “when people reflexively turn to a device – increasingly a smartphone – to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped. In these moments, consumers’ expectations are higher than ever.”

Micro-moments are the “I want to do…” and the “I want to go…” moments when a consumer realizes they need or want something – this is when you, as a brand, have the opportunity to provide that something, but you have to be where the consumers are looking to do that.

Capitalizing On Micro-Moments To Drive Sales

The idea of being top-of-mind with your target audience is rapidly becoming obsolete. You now need to be top-of-the-phone-screen. In order to do this, you need to have an effective digital marketing strategy in place that keeps you in front of the ideal consumer in their time of need or want. There are three key factors in developing a digital strategy that does this for your brand.

Finding The Right People

At the end of the day, the people who are going to buy your product or service have to want what you’re offering. Analyzing the qualitative and quantitative characteristics of your current consumers can help you create detailed buyer personas that you can tailor your communications to.

Getting In The Right Place

Once you know who your ideal target audience is, you’ll be able to better understand their behavior to intersect their life in a way that makes sense. Does your target audience spend their free time browsing Facebook? Are they more likely to intersect with an ad that will encourage them to convert on a sports news site? You have to know what channels your consumers are on when they are seeking a solution in order to be there.

Having The Right Plan

The right plan makes or breaks a digital strategy. You can talk to your ideal consumer through the ideal platform, but without the right message, you won’t see any conversions. Your plan should include ongoing analysis of what is and isn’t working in order to have the most effective digital strategy.

With the right digital strategy, you are able to be where your ideal consumers are when they have a need or a want. Whether you are a local coffee shop who wants to be the first in the search results when potential customers are browsing a nearby mall or a professional development center that wants to maintain relevance on a social platform like LinkedIn, you have the capability to convert customers during their micro-moments with an effective digital strategy.

Do you want to incorporate the three P’s into your digital strategy? Contact the digital marketing experts at FiG Advertising + Marketing today for a consultation.

Understanding What GDPR Means For Marketers

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018
Data Collection and GDPR Compliance

As a marketer, you should be familiar with the General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) that will be fully enforced on May 25th. Having been ratified in April 2016 by the European Union with a two-year grace period for implementation, the timeline for compliance is rapidly coming to a close. It is important to understand how these changes can impact your marketing approach.

What Is GDPR?

According to research done by HubSpot, a mere 36 percent of marketers have heard of GDPR, meaning many organizations are at risk of non-compliance, which comes with a significant price tag and other penalties.

The GDPR is an EU regulation that increases the protection of personal data that is gathered on EU citizens. Organizations based outside of the EU are not exempt from these regulations. Any organization that collects, handles or processes data of EU citizens will need to be compliant with the GDPR or face fines up to 4 percent of their global annual revenue (or more than $25.5 million).

Data-Driven Marketing Is Changing

Data-driven marketing has been a buzzword that has floated around the industry for some years now. Marketers love data because it helps them get the right content in front of the right consumer at the right time. Consumers have a love/hate relationship with it because when done right, they do appreciate the targeted, highly-specific content. However, more often than not, it is done wrong and it can feel invasive. Privacy has become a major concern and this is where the GDPR comes in.

Marketers who have already adopted, or even pioneered, white-hat techniques for using data to put the consumers first will continue to be able to curate and distribute targeted content in a positive way, but they will have to work harder than ever before.

GDPR And Marketing Best Practices

Many of the requirements for GDPR compliance are already recognized as marketing and data collection best practices. Let’s go through some of the more common tactics and what is expected of marketers.

  • Communication – Controllers must clearly communicate that data is being collected, what information is being gathered, and what it will be used for.
  • Consent – Subjects must consent to have their data collected, stored and/or transferred. The subject must be informed of their right to withdraw said consent at any time.
  • Depth – Data collected must be limited to that required for the intended and declared purpose.
  • Updating Capabilities – Subjects must have the opportunity to update collected data at any point. Furthermore, a subject may request that data be deleted at any point and that request must be honored.
  • Storage – Data may only be stored for as long as necessary to perform the intended and declared purpose. A retention policy must be clearly dictated for any information that is retained beyond the termination of the relationship between subject and controller.
  • Security – All data storage must comply with the GDPR security provisions. Compliance must be documented.

Marketers Held To A Higher Standard

All in all, the GDPR is raising the bar for marketers. Black-hat tactics that afforded some marketers short-term success will no longer be effective. Value is being brought to the forefront of communications and marketers, brands, and consumers, alike, will reap the benefit of GDPR compliance.

This content is not legal advice for compliance, nor the interpretation of compliance, with data privacy laws like GDPR. If you’re seeking guidance for how the law applies to your specific circumstances, consult an attorney.

We can expect to see innovation, creativity, and strategy taking off faster and going further than ever before. If you’re looking to work with an agency at forefront of cutting edge marketing efforts, contact the trailblazers at FiG Advertising + Marketing today to schedule a consultation.

Which Is Better: SEO Or PPC?

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018
SEO vs. PPC concept

As digital marketers, we get this question all the time. Each time we speak to someone who is wondering about the best marketing tactics to drive traffic to their website, our answer is always the same: “It depends.” In order to choose the most effective tactic to complement a marketing strategy, one must take into consideration a number of different aspects of the company’s current situation.

We start by narrowing down a couple of the major factors to help our clients get the most out of their marketing budget. There are three key questions we ask:

  1. What is your budget?
  2. How competitive is your CPC market?
  3. How competitive are the SERPs in your market?

With a little research, we can help our clients navigate the marketing landscape and start driving meaningful traffic to their website.

Understanding Your Options

Search engine marketing falls into two main categories: SEO and PPC. You often hear these buzzwords thrown around when people are discussing digital marketing, but having a better understanding of what each does and how it can impact your overall reach can help you make the right decision on how you spend your marketing budget.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of improving rankings on search engine results pages to drive organic traffic. Traffic from SEO is technically free, in the sense that you are not charged when a user clicks on your site in the SERP. However, upwards of 65 percent of clicks go to the top five organic results – and that does not take into consideration the number of clicks that go to the paid ads at the top of the SERP or the search queries that do not result in a click at all – so building the awareness and high-rankings does take time, effort, and, in many cases, money.

PPC, or pay-per-click advertising, is the process of utilizing programs like Google AdWords to bid on keywords. These ads are the sponsored results that appear at the top and bottom of the SERP. You bid on targeted keywords and pay only when the results are clicked on. Keywords costs can range from a dollar or two per click to upwards of $50 per click, depending on the specific industry.

So…SEO or PPC?

Both PPC and SEO have their benefits and drawbacks. Choosing one over the other depends entirely on what your goals are.

Benefits of SEO

  • High-ranking organic results can improve your credibility among consumers
  • Long-term return on investment can be higher
  • A sustainable tactic that when maintained can be highly effective over time
  • The scope of rankings is much wider with strategic SEO

Drawbacks of SEO

  • Long-term process that takes time to develop and show results
  • Requires ongoing maintenance with expertise in the execution
  • Algorithms change over time and require adjustment to strategy

Benefits of PPC

  • Immediate results when the campaign is activated
  • Highly specific targeting capabilities
  • A/B testing options to improve the effectiveness of campaigns
  • Flexible budgeting with tight control

Drawbacks of PPC

  • Can be expensive and requires ongoing investment
  • Clicks don’t confirm conversion
  • Short-term solution – when you stop putting money in, the ads stop

An Integrated Strategy

While both of these marketing tactics can be used on their own, they are exponentially more effective with used strategically in tandem with one another. The data you gather from your PPC campaigns regarding keywords and A/B testing results can be fed into your organic campaigns to improve the overall success. You are also able to increase visibility and authority in your niche market by appearing in organic and paid SERPs.

An integrated search strategy is the ideal approach for increasing visibility and driving traffic to your website to ultimately converting potential customers into loyal ones.

If you’re interested in developing a more robust search engine marketing campaign, contact the search experts at FiG Advertising + Marketing for a consultation today.