Category Archive: Content Marketing

The Client Asks: “Why Is My Website Traffic Decreasing?”

Website traffic

I’ll start by saying that this question is more complex than it looks. Bad news.

But the good news is that you can uncover the issues impacting traffic, and/or jump right into resolution, depending on your timeframe and resources. Here are some of the top reasons for decreasing website traffic (assuming it’s even a metric you need to get worried about – see#1 below), with suggestions for resolution, as well as additional resources.

  1. First, know that the success of a website is not necessarily measured by web site visits alone. Additional metrics from Google Analytics should be considered. Ultimately, you want qualified leads coming to your site; rather than an increasing number of unqualified leads. Unless you can tell which you’ve got, it’s hard to make a judgement about traffic alone. If you know your site is set up well to drive traffic, then look to optimizing your marketing efforts as a start.
  2. In reality, businesses have to market a lot to drive traffic to their site. (I’m going to assume you’ve already optimized your site for SEO).
    1. Email is the most successful traffic driver. Make sure you’re doing all you can to collect the email addresses of your interested-but-not-yet-ready-to-buy prospects. If you are, then email them regularly with valuable content which includes links back to your website (and make sure there are good reasons why they should want to click back to your site!)
    2. The next best source of traffic is Thought Leadership, otherwise known as Content, i.e., blog posts, webinars, white papers, conference talks, etc.
      1. Frequent (but valuable!) blog posts drive traffic. A recent Hubspot study showed that “companies that publish 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts.” . In other words, you gotta’ blog a lot!
      2. In addition, consider other content mechanisms. For example, host a monthly webinar series providing prospects with valuable and relevant industry information. Find well-known guest authors to write white papers for which you can require email addresses to download. Record any panel or conference talks you give, and then post that content on Slideshare, as well as your own site, after the event. 
      3. Finally, make sure you are distributing all this content across relevant social media channels frequently (this post shares frequency best practices)
  3. It may be that one or more of your competitors has done something new (such as increasing marketing efforts) and is suddenly drawing away prospects that may have gone to your site. It goes without saying that you should keep an eye on competitor marketing efforts.
  4. In the beginning of 2015, Google made a change to its search algorithm so that it now requires sites to be mobile-optimized in order to rank well. If your site isn’t truly mobile-friendly, it will definitely impact traffic.  
  5. Finally, there are a host of website technical issues that can impact website traffic (e.g., site load time, accidental duplicate content, expired SSL certificate, etc.). You’ll need your developer(s) to investigate these.

There are certainly other issues that can impact site traffic, but if you go through the list above, you should be able to turn that trend around.

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Actionable Content Marketing Stats You Should Know

content marketing metrics

Content Marketing Works & Research Shows Buyers Respond to It

Consumers’ average attention span is 8 seconds – 1 second less than a goldfish.

70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads.

57% — that’s how far the average B2B buyer is through the purchase decision before engaging a supplier sales rep.

Inbound (content) marketing delivers 54% more leads into the marketing funnel than traditional outbound leads.

Content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62% less.

60% of people are inspired to seek out a product after reading content about it.

The top content formats that B2B buyers seek to research a purchase include: whitepapers (78%), case studies (73%), webinars (67%), eBooks (58%), videos (58%), blog posts (56%), and infographics (52%). All other formats fall below 50%.

B2B buyers share these content formats more frequently with colleagues: blog posts (40%), infographics (39%), videos (37%), white papers (34%), case studies (29%). 

Blogging  Creates a Relationship with Prospects & Customers

82% of marketers who blog see positive ROI for their inbound marketing

80% of internet users are reached by social media sites and blogs

82% of buyers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content

78% perceive a relationship with a company after reading custom content

Companies that increase blogging from 3-5X/month to 6-8X/month almost double their leads.

SEO & Keywords Meet Prospects Where They Are

B2B buyers conduct an average of 12 searches before ever jumping on a specific brand’s site.

61% of global Internet users research products online. 

SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate. (Source)

Email & Lead Nurturing – The Most Effective Way to Convert

Emails sent via marketing automation drive 18x more revenue than email blasts.

79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance.

Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.

Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads.

Facebook – 72% of Online Adults Use It. You Can’t Ignore It.

Posts that contains photos make-up 93% of the most engaging posts.

Most engagement occurs towards the end of the week from Wednesday to Friday. [Source

Question posts get 100% more comments than standard text-based posts.

35% of users participate in contests, 42% like a page in order to get a discount or coupon. 

Timeless Twitter Tips

Image links can get 2x the engagement rate.

Tweets with hashtags get 2x more engagement

Tweets have a 12x higher chance of being retweeted if you ask for it, and 23x higher if you actually spell out the word “retweet” 

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>> Overwhelmed by the thought of creating your own content marketing strategy? Or simply need a one-off, conversion-friendly white paper, infographic, or case study? Email carla@3to5marketing and let’s generate some leads!

 

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I’m busy. I’m stressed. I have 8.25 seconds. WTFSIC? | Marketing for Our Short Attention Spans

Copywriting, marketing

WTFSIC? aka Why the F**k Should I Care?

The average attention span of a consumer today is 8.25 seconds. That’s down from 12 seconds in 2000. That’s also less than the attention span of a goldfish (9 seconds), although I have no idea how they go about measuring that.

Put yourself in your overwhelmed, frazzled, impatient customers’ shoes, and for their sake, ask yourself WTFSIC? every time you create / write / develop / post a marketing message / tagline / tweet / headline / blog / email / or ad.

That’s right. Every time.

If you follow this advice, it should keep you from falling into the trap that businesses so easily fall into –

  • talking about your products from your company perspective instead of the customers’.
  • describing the product’s features, but not the benefits.
  • thinking that a prospect will make the leap of logic that you’ve made in your clever ad, and understand why your product is so great, without you spelling it out.
  • assuming that prospects will take the time to click around your website to learn about your product.
  • believing that the only thing you have to do to get prospects to give you their email address or request a sales call, is to display a “Learn More” button on your website.

“Learn more”? Seriously. Why would the average adult consumer, who has 360 messages firing at them every day via TV, radio, web, and print media (source: Media Dynamics), take the time to click a “Learn more” button? Even prospects who are actually in the market for your product don’t have that kind of patience.

What they do want is for you to describe your product’s benefits (not features) in a very brief, concise message, using simple, non-buzzword language, in a way that tells them immediately how it will make their life better, starting tomorrow. This goes for the B2B and B2C space (after all, all purchase decisions are made by the same frazzled humans).

Oh, and maybe give them a value-added resource too (like a white paper, an infographic, a how-to guide). Note: I did not say “give them a brochure about your company”. Because that requires thinking. A purely value-added piece will be useful to them and will make it abundantly clear what your product will do for them, right away.

Don’t make them think. Don’t make them click. Don’t make them hunt for where to click. Put the WTFSIC right on your homepage. In fact on every page of your site. Or at the top of your email (or better yet, the subject line). Or at the top of your ads. Make every single word in your marketing messages be meaningful to your audience. Spell out for them exactly why they should consider your product.

So, what do I want you to do now?

Every time you craft a marketing message, stop after every sentence and ask “WTFSIC?” It will force you to think from your customers’ perspective (after a while, this becomes embedded in your thinking process) and craft marketing messages that get them to take action. And ultimately sell more of your product. Because that’s why you’re in business, right?

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If you need help crafting concise, meaningful, compelling marketing messages, websites, blogs, or graphics, give me a shout. This is what I do best. But be prepared to hear WTFSIC a lot.

 

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How to Write the Perfect Blog Post | Follow this Guide to Maximize Your Post’s Visibility

After writing hundreds of blog posts for different audiences, industries, and organizations, you definitely learn what works and what doesn’t. This infographic reflects best practices I’ve used to achieve post visibility, social reach and shares, and conversions on the calls-to-action. Enjoy!

A Guide to the Perfect Blog Post

Want a copy of this infographic for yourself? Why not hang it in your cube for quick reference, or just for cube decorating purposes. Contact me for a printable, hi-res PDF.

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Secrets from the Field: 10 Questions to Ask on Facebook to Boost Social Engagement

conversation

Facebook is still king of social media. With 1.35 billion monthly active users, its just too big to ignore. Two-thirds of online US adults are Facebook users and the average user spends 21 minutes per day on Facebook.

To make the most of your time investment in your Facebook page, you’ve got to grow your followers and generate lots of engagement (comments, shares, clicks to your website) amongst them. And there are ways to accomplish this that are guaranteed to boost your numbers. I know, because I’ve done it.

Just like in a social situation, you are much more likely to be the center of attention if you engage in a two-way conversation, i.e., ask interesting questions of those around you, rather than talking about yourself ad nauseam. Right? The same thing holds true on Facebook.

So, if most of your organization’s posts are all about your business (for example, using Facebook only for sale announcements), you won’t gain a large following, and those followers won’t become engaged evangelizers of your brand because they won’t feel emotionally engaged with your brand.

Therefore, mixed in with the sale announcements, try a few truly conversational posts where you pose interesting questions of your followers. (When you start out, you may have to “plant” a few answers to get people responding – sometimes no one likes to be the first one to speak up).

Here are ten of the questions/conversation starters I’ve used with success on Facebook (you’ll want to customize them for your own business). Note, they are in random order.

  1. If you had your own personal theme song, what would it be?
  2. If you had an hour for yourself, what’s the one thing you would do?
  3. What book inspired you the most? And why?
  4. What’s your word for the day?
  5. If you had your own tagline, what would it be?
  6. What are your 3 top goals for this year?
  7. What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
  8. What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to ______ ?
  9. What was a turning point in your life?
  10. If you could run a workshop for a day, what would you teach?

And don’t, don’t, don’t forget to post your question with an image or photo! If you haven’t heard the news by now, Facebook posts that include imagery garner 3 to 5 times the amount of engagement as posts without an image. That can add up to a lot of shares and clicks to your website.

If you are too busy actually running your business to think about social media, 3to5 Marketing can help. Contact me today for advice, implementation, post-writing, social media graphic design, or all of the above!

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