Buyer Personas – Why Do the Research?

Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers, and they are an invaluable marketing tool. Understanding who your customers are and what motivates them should inform every part of your digital marketing strategy.

Why Identify Buyer Personas?buyer personas

You might think that you already know who your customers are and be reluctant to spend valuable time and resources on the necessary market research, but it WILL be worth the time spent. Developing customer personas will help you:

  • Inform marketing and sales strategies – buying behaviours are changing rapidly, and your buyer personas can reveal not only who buyers are, but also the situations they are facing, how they are reacting to change, and the goals they are trying to achieve.
  • Develop your brand voice and language – connecting well with customers demands you speak with a voice they understand and can trust.
  • Drive your content marketing strategy – create content that your audience is looking for with your knowledge of primary and secondary buyer personas.
  • Target your email campaigns – get better open and click-through rates by addressing each buyer persona with a tailored email series.

Don’t know how to create buyer personas? Give us a call, we’d love to help.

Facebook Video Marketing Tips

Scroll through your Facebook news feed today and take note of how many of the posts contain video content. For me, Facebook video dominates, and most of them autoplay as I scroll down. From live news reports to funny bloopers, inspirational moments and informational how-to pieces, this content is on the move, up to the minute and, perhaps most importantly, easy to absorb.

As marketers, we know that video is one of the best ways to engage an audience, and there’s certainly an audience to be found on Facebook. According to Statista, there were 1.33 billion active daily users on Facebook in the 2nd quarter of 2017, and Facebook claims more than 4 billion video views every single day.

Facebook Live videos in particular can help you build a personal relationship with customers. Everyone loves getting in on the action first, and live videos cater to this desire, offering an exclusive look at your offering that’s only available right now, to those who are online at that exact time.Facebook video marketing

Are you taking advantage of the attention-getting benefits of Facebook video? If you are just getting started, here are some best practices to incorporate in your Facebook video strategy:

Facebook Video Best Practices

  • Upload your videos directly to Facebook, so that they will play automatically as users scroll over them. Don’t worry about your audio disrupting and annoying them, it doesn’t play unless they tap or click it.
  • Start strong – because your video begins silently, those first few frames must be interesting enough to catch people’s attention so that they turn on the audio.
  • Provide context – publish a key bit of the audio as the text component so that the purpose of your video is crystal clear. Don’t try to trick people into watching and listening, it will only anger them if you promise something and then don’t deliver.
  • Exclusivity is attractive. Video content that offers something your audience can’t get elsewhere is very appealing.

Track your Facebook video metrics by checking your Page Insights, where you can see how many views and unique views your video gets, average duration and audience retention stats. This data is valuable to inform your video strategy going forward.

If you need help with Facebook video, drop us a line.

Tweak your Email Marketing Campaign with these Tips

Email is one of the best ways to reach customers and a well run email marketing campaign can outperform almost any other marketing channel – if you do it right! Even better, when your email campaign operates in conjunction with other online strategies (social media marketing, ppc and seo), you can create an omni-channel digital marketing campaign that is hard to resist.

Let’s focus for today on how to craft an email marketing campaign that engages your audience and encourages them to further action. Incorporate a few of these tips into your next email, and see how it goes, and as always, measure your success. You won’t really know if there is an improvement unless you measure it.

Improve your Email Marketing Campaignemail marketing campaign

  • Always start with research. Find out what your audience wants to know, read or learn about, NOT what you want to tell them about.
  • Personalize your email. Show that you understand who they are and what they like. Speak to them as a friend, so that you can begin to build a relationship based on trust and familiarity.
  • Keep it short. Nobody wants to slog through too much text. Use links to encourage them to find out more, learn more, or GET more.
  • Offer them a special reward. Keep readers engaged by giving a deal on something they want.
  • Invite your email list to add you to their contacts – it will prevent your emails from being shunted into their junk folder.
Keep your audience happy by:
  • Asking for feedback. Regularly invite them to tell you what they want to learn about, which products they like best or how you could improve your products and services. This info will inform your research and, an engaged customer is a repeat customer!
  • Not overwhelming them with frequent correspondence. Daily emails will almost certainly annoy them.
  • Making your unsubscribe option easy to find, and ensure it WORKS! There’s nothing more annoying than unsubscribing and then continuing to get emails for weeks afterwards.

Strengthen your email marketing campaign with these ideas, or give us a call, we can help you do so as part your overall digital marketing strategy.

How to Write Effective SEO Pages – Meta Data

Meta data best practices have shifted greatly over the past few years. Your Meta tags used to be a primary factor used by search engines to rank your page and site.  They are less critical now that Google et al have gotten so much better at parsing the quality and intent of your content.

This doesn’t mean that you should dispense with Meta data. It’s still useful to both search engines and searchers, to help them understand what your page is about.  Another reason to use Meta tags properly is to avoid running afoul of Google’s quality algorithms. Duplicating Metadata on multiple pages is NOT a good idea.

Meta Data Standards for 2017

The tags that are most important for you to pay attention to are the Title and Description tags. This is because your Title will be shown to searchers and the Description MAY be shown as well. Use a relevant, keyword-based title and a succinct description containing the keyword and accurately describing the content on the page. This will provide the best indication to searchers of what they will find when they click to your page. An accurate description is more likely to be served in the snippet, rather than a chunk of text from the page itself, as long as Google finds it relevant and unique to that page.

Both the Title and Description should be unique for each page, and written for people, not for search engines. Duplicating this Meta data across pages will not strengthen your SEO game, even if you are using your hottest keywords, and your site may be punished for the duplication.

Keyword Meta tags are not worth spending time on– Google has said clearly that they don’t use the keyword Meta tag and searchers don’t see it, so save your breath!

The robots Meta tag is an option, but if you don’t fully understand how to use it, your best bet is to not. Google’s default is to index the page, and follow links. If you don’t wish them to do so, you can use the robots tag to ‘noindex’, ‘nofollow’, or employ various other instructions to robots governing their behaviour.

Meta Data is so much less important for ranking your page and site than your content, so you shouldn’t spend much time fiddling with it. Focus your efforts on providing the best information/experience for visitors, and write your Title and Description tags to support the on page content.

Ask us about creating effective SEO content.

How to Write Effective SEO Pages – The Keyword Phrase

Most people don’t appreciate all that goes into creating well-written SEO pages. When you read them, you shouldn’t even notice the SEO tactics, but there are several basic standards that must be met to have your page ranked highly.  No matter how engrossing and informative your writing is, if you ignore the SEO signals that search engines use for ranking, your content may simply never be seen by your audience as it languishes on page 32 of the search engine results.

One of the most important SEO factors is the keyword phrase. Your primary keyword or keyword phrase is the foundation of your SEO page and must be researched and selected carefully. Get it wrong and you’re fishing with the wrong bait.

Once you’ve settled on the right keywords, you need to use them properly, and that doesn’t mean repeating them everywhere on the page until your content looks like word salad.

The Basics of Keyword Phrase Use

Even though keyword stuffing has long since been proven detrimental to search strategy, you still need to utilize the keywords that searchers are using to find the information they need. Just don’t be jamming your hot keyword into every heading, paragraph and sentence on the page. That tactic will surely backfire on you.

DO use your keyword phrase in the:keyword phrase

  • Page title
  • URL
  • Meta description
  • First paragraph, and
  • In the call-to-action, at the bottom of the page

Don’t be afraid to use variations of the keyword throughout the page in a natural manner. Google can understand the focus of your content even when you substitute related keywords, or use them in a different order or form.

Your main goal should be to write something that is interesting and informative for those who are searching for your chosen keyword phrase.

If you have already developed SEO content based on your best keyword phrases, you might want to revisit and edit them for current best practices. Material that you wrote a few years ago might not be performing well any more, and if you can boost the ranking of a landing page written for a high value keyword phrase by reworking it, you could bring a lot more traffic to your site!

Give us a call if you’re not sure how to choose or use your keyword phrase effectively. We’re happy to help.

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