Curious Jane values continuing education, so several members of our team attended the recent Digital Summit in Tampa. The conference is designed to provide thought leadership and practical solutions on topics like digital content, search, email, mobile, social and strategy.
We are always searching for morsels that matter in our industry and have selected some of our top takeaways to share.
- Be aware of ADA website compliance laws.
In Matt Weber’s session on ADA website compliance, he provided an important reminder that companies small and large can face issues if their websites fail to meet the needs of individuals with visual and hearing impairments. Fortunately, there are many steps to help those individuals have a positive and effective experience on your website while also lowering the risk of a lawsuit. His recommendations include strategies such as adding alt-tags to images and buttons, adding a skip link button, giving all links unique names and making form labels understandable. It also can be advantageous to consult with an attorney to conduct an audit. Taking the time to focus on compliance now potentially can save time and money in the long run. Additionally, an audit will help to ensure that all visitors to your site will be able to access the information they need.
- Don’t skip the middle phase of the sales funnel: consideration.
Millions of searches occur every day for any one type of product. As an example, look up “best frying pans” in Google, and searchers will get 18 million results. Consumers are served up nonstick pans, stainless steel, cast iron and more. They can wind up overwhelmed and still wondering what they should buy. Brands must look past awareness and understand the middle phase of the funnel, known as consideration. Consideration will help push the consumer down the funnel toward a brand’s ultimate goal involving a transaction. A brand must get today’s consumer to consider them among a sea of competitors.
To help consumers choose you, work with influencers to elicit stronger recommendations and engage customers by personalizing your interactions. Helping consumers understand what they need will improve your results.
- The customer is on a journey, and it starts with questions.
Content marketing is a key component of the customer experience. There are four stages in the customer journey: inquiry, comparison, purchase and installation. Ninety-three percent of online purchases start with inquiry: search and questions. It is important to understand what the customer is looking for and create content around that. Remember that content must satisfy both the audience and Google, so it is worthwhile to note that headlines that might seem clever in a newspaper do not work for search engines. Convert the customer questions into headlines.
Ask yourself: What would your audience search for? What’s the purpose? Is it educational and easy to read? Would I read and enjoy this?
Companies that anticipate and answer their audiences’ questions will see results with sales.
- Conflict in marketing is a good thing.
In 1759, Samuel Johnson said of advertising: “Whatever is common is despised.” In his session Conflict, What Is It Good For? Absolutely Everything, Tyler Farnsworth of August United encouraged a pattern interrupt, or something unexpected from your industry. Many marketers stick to what is safe and boring. It is time to create ads differently. The Lego Movie is a perfect example of a two-hour ad that people loved because it didn’t feel like an ad. People do not hate ads. They just hate things that look and act like ads. As marketers, we need to tease, create interest and engage. This can be done in three ways:
- Find core truths. What is true about your brand? Face it. Don’t hide from the truth.
- Find the tension, or villain, of your brand or industry. Face it. Don’t hide from the villain.
- Build a platform. Create a world with its own rules.
5. Emails matter!
Emails deliver solid ROI in marketing. Here is some advice to heed:
- Mobile allows people to spend more time in their inbox. People are reading more. Optimize your messages!
- “From Names” matter. Be sure to personalize. Customers want to connect to a person, not a company.
- Subject lines need attention. Remember that; sentiment matters; emojis make a good subject line better and a bad one, worse; different audiences may need different subject lines; and the simpler the subject line, the better.
- Get to the point. People will not work hard to read your content. Use vocabulary your audience understands.
At Curious Jane, we value insights from our peers in the marketing industry. We appreciate opportunities to recharge our creative batteries and be inspired by fresh strategies.