Monday, July 11, 2016

DATA + CREATIVE = HOME RUN


In our last blog we talked about reading data and how to interpret it for our marketing efforts. Using our partner “Swings-N-Things” as an example, we used data to set up our advertising efforts. We went over how to read and analyze the different data sets, organized information to create a better look at how we should go about strategy, and made practical sense of obscure numbers to lead us to a plan of action. It gave us a healthy start, but now it’s time for the right side of the marketing brain to be the clean-up hitter. We’ve got everything set, bases loaded; now it’s time to hit that homerun! With the right balance of creative know-how, you can’t miss.

Okay, before we get ahead of ourselves let’s talk about the ways that you can use creative power so that you don’t end up striking out.

Storytelling – Chances are, if you’re doing it correctly, that your targeted users are going to see your ad more than just once. Most of the time when you see ads online you see the same redundant ads, don’t be like those people. Your marketing mix should complement itself rather than perpetuate itself.  Your different channels should use an array of messaging while adhering to the same theme This helps your ads tell a cohesive story with your business as the star. Now, it doesn’t have to be Goldie Locks and Three Bears but it does need to be something the users can digest. Maybe that’s explaining the benefits of your company through different ads or promotions, or maybe that means enforcing yourself as an industry leader by recapping your businesses’ long running history of success. Using the same ad over and over again lulls your audience to sleep and definitely doesn’t set you up for that home run you’re looking for.

Graphics- Visual representation is huge! That’s what draws users’ eyes in and pulls them into your message. So how do your graphics look in your ad? Are they grainy pictures that were shot on your flip phone from 2009? You should be using up-to-date images that are correctly scaled and sized to fit perfectly on that mobile screen it’ll be displayed on. Social media can be quite tricky these days with various dimensions needed for different platforms, but luckily we have the internet. You also want to make sure that your graphics are in-line with your brand image. Using your branded colors and images/logos give it that extra push to reinforce who you are and why they should do business with you specifically. It shouldn’t be a guessing game.

Emotion –The strongest creative ads connect with its target on an emotional level.  When we can visualize ourselves in a situation, it helps to create a perceived benefit. When we look at Swings-N-Things, getting the most elicit response out of parents and driving action takes specific fic things that they can connect with. So instead of having something that reads: “Come into Swings-N-Things this weekend, we’re open.” It’s best to capture the attention by truly connecting with the users.  For ads targeted to mothers you can say something that connects a mother, her child and family. “Bring the kids into Swings-N-Things this weekend, fun for the whole family.”  Or for ads targeted to father you could say: “It’s time for batting practice! Bring the kids into our batting cages at Swings N Things. Open from 10 am to 8 pm this summer.” Can you tell the difference? The latter copy striker that connection that we’re looking for.

Use data gets the bases loaded but creative allows you to hit a grand slam. At WDD we use both analytical part of our brain and the creative to deliver the best results for our clients.  Visit us at wddonline.com/agency to meet our starting lineup.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

3 Ways to Turn Data into Revenue



Do you know where to look for data? Right now, it’s everywhere. Companies are using data right now as I type to create better decisions and taking actions that have been proven to work. Since this data is so accessible why aren’t you using it to grow your business? And how do you turn all of this data into action? Furthermore, how do you turn your data into revenue? 

Data is a small four letter word that carries so much weight. It’s commonly referred to as a body of facts. So it could be facts about how people are reaching your site, seen through Google Analytics, or the demographics of your followers on Twitter. Data is everywhere and can virtually be anything. It’s a limitless supply of information. The creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee stated, “It’s difficult to imagine the power that you’re going to have when so many different sorts of data are available.” With the access to so much data, you as a business have been given so much power. Let’s look at ways to leverage it to your advantage.


Getting a Glimpse of Your Customer


Do you know who your true customers are? If you could describe your typical customers’ profile, what would you say? If you’re not exactly sure or if you’re just guessing, good news your data can help. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter Instagram etc. all include analytics that can tell you exactly who your audience is. Let’s take Facebook as our example.

Facebook’s out-of-the-box data analytics (what they call “Insights”) give you a glimpse of those who like your page. For this, we’ll take a look at our partners at Swings-N-Things in Olmsted Falls, Ohio. When we look at who likes their page we see that their largest audience is women aged from 25 to 34 years old -, 65% of their collective fan base. So what does this tell you? It tells you that you need to cater your message to reach these women. For Swings -N -Things, our primary message is to focus on mothers who are seeking an outlet of play for their children, based on the park’s offerings. So that’s what our strategy is for this client. We use the data given to us to create the strategy that makes the most sense. 

Proactive Data Analytics 


Another tool that we use to turn the power of data into revenue is Google Analytics (GA). Now varying from Facebook’s “Insights”, Google’s analytics gives you so much more data that it can be a little overwhelming. Once you are able to read and understand the data, it leads you to understand your customers’ actions better. For example, where are your users coming from? Do they come from your social media accounts, Ad Words or simply through organic search?  Or you can use the data from Google Analytics to find the reason why your bounce rate on your homepage is so high. When you’re able to proactively read this data, it gives you the insight to make accurate decisions. Things such as the behavior flow, give you a perfect look into the movement of activity on your site. You can see where you have the most users dropping from your site. From there you can make the inference of what you need to do to keep them on board.  This is isn’t something that you can use leave at the bottom of your list. You need to be proactive when looking at this data. That’s how you turn data into revenue.


Social Media Data for Optimizing Ads



Now, we talked about looking at our Facebook “Insights” and Google Analytics. Next we’ll talk about using this data to create social media ads that will connect and convert. Continuing with our current example, Swings-N-Things, let’s venture into how we would optimize our ads with the data that we have access to. When you go into creating an ad, if you’re not familiar, the first thing you’ll need to do is to select a targeted audience. We know already that we want to make sure we target women aging from 24-35 years old. If we look at where most of users from G.A. come from we see that it’s Cleveland, Ohio. So to optimize this ad, we’ll target Facebook users who live in Cleveland, Ohio and surrounding areas, based on their current organic reach. Next, we move to our detailed targeting section. This is a place to specify which users you want to target that have these said interests. Switching back to our G.A. screen we can see the affinity categories that fit our users the best. It looks like we have movie lovers, TV lovers, shoppers, news junkies and travel buffs. So to translate that to our ad, we’ll enter movies, maybe some area malls and local news stations. This is gives us that holistic view of what our typical users looks like. From there you’ll go ahead and add your budget, schedule and creative components.

Yes, we used data to create the ad, but remember we need to still be proactive with this data. The great thing about online advertising is that you can go in and view how your ad is preforming in real time; see the data associated with your ad, and make proper adjustments. It’s best to check on your ad at least once a day or maybe even twice, that way you get the most out of what you are spending.


Hopefully this taught you a little of what data can do for you if you use it correctly. At WDD, data is one of our key components when building a strategy. From seeing where our clients lie and how we can reach them better to focusing on areas to improve on sites to keep the users there longer, data helps. But remember, data is useless unless you take action. Let’s use the power of data to increase your revenue.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

It’s Hard to Compare Apples-to-Apples When You Don’t Know What An Apple Should Be

How much does a new website cost?

This is a question I am presented with from existing and prospective clients almost on a daily basis.

What is frustrating about this is not that the client is asking the question – it’s just that the answer is really insignificant.

If a client says, “I only have $1500 to spend on a new website. Can you do it?” I will tell them that we are not the right design company for them. More often than not they are not actually locked in to such a rigid budget, but instead they are looking for the “best value” and trying to compare “apples-to-apples”.

So business owners get on the phone with a number of web design companies and digital marketing agencies to gather a collection of proposals, often with no justification to make their decision. This company charges $3000. That one $6,750. This one $9000. Aren’t all of the companies basically offering the same thing and just charging different prices? 

This is where clients get thrown off. 

How do you compare apples-to-apples when you don’t know what an apple should be?

Let’s look at it this way. We’re going to go out for dinner. I can tell you that whatever restaurant we choose must have a diverse menu, hot food, a big dining room, plates, utensils, salad and free water. 
Well, how much is that going to cost?” you ask.

I respond, “It depends”. This is when my client sighs.

Will we be dining at the “Rusty Spoon Buffet and Flea Market”? It seems like lots of people eat there. They meet all of the requirements mentioned above. Diverse menu, hot, food, big dining room, plates, utensils, salad and free water.



Or will we be dining at the “Silver Springs Resort”? They also meet all of the requirements mentioned above.



Or maybe we will be dining at an establishment somewhere in the middle?

The challenge is to identify what you really want. Is it just “food”?

If so the Rusty Spoon will probably do just fine. 

But when it comes to a client expressing their digital marketing needs for their website, they don’t envision much further than “how much is the food?”

To many, a website is just what you see when you look at it on your computer screen. But just like a dining experience there is so much more to consider.


If done well:

  • You will work closely with your digital marketing agency to outline marketing goals for your website and digital marketing strategies. (A great looking website that was created with no specific purpose other than to look good is not a great website.)
  • It will be designed to work well across many devices
  • It will be created by professional, experienced, talented artists that take the time to understand your market
  • It will be created with the goal of optimizing your ability to be found in search results. That includes using proper page titles, headers, image tags and page content. (For the average client, if these things aren’t done well - or done at all – you will never know.)
  • You will be trained on how to update, edit and maintain your site even if you don’t know anything about website design.
  • You will be provided on-going support to make sure your website continues to be secure, function well and look great.

Just like choosing a dining experience, when designing a new website there is so much more to consider than “how much does it cost”. Be willing to educate yourself so you can find a digital marketing partner that will provide you with the level of expertise, service, and abilities that meet with your professional expectations and business goals. Otherwise, you might find yourself scraping off the crusty skin on a big bowl of day old chocolate pudding instead of enjoying an amazing dessert that was made just for you. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy 2015! Here's hoping that all our readers, staff, clients and their families had a wonderful New Year's celebration.

We'll be back on Monday with more great daily content. Have a great weekend!

-Jeff 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays from everyone at WDD.