Category: Article

15 Jan 2019
after the holidays

Marketing after the Holidays

You always hear about everyone getting ready for their holiday campaigns, but what about after the holidays? The shopping rush may be over but there are still opportunities.

Benefits

In the days right after Christmas, everyone is still busy with returns. This is a good time to reach out through email to stay on the customers mind. Rather than sending out sales pitches, send helpful emails with how-to’s and tips.

You can also email your customers special offers on accessories or services for gifts they have already purchased.  It is important to keep your customers in the loop and to let them know that they are more than another number in your holiday statistics. After being bombarded with high-pressure sales emails for nearly two months, many consumers will welcome a change in pace from promotion to useful information.

Key points

Stay focused and limit the email to one call to action. This makes the readers decision easier, but also helps keep the content streamlined toward a specific purpose.

Create exciting subject lines. As the first part of your email that readers see in their overflowing inbox, your subject line needs to really catch their interest and tell them what they can expect from the message.

At the same time, try to avoid being too over the top. That can turn readers away from you, as can an offer that sounds too good to be true. When writing subject lines, keep these tips in mind:

  • Keep it short with no more than 50 words.
  • Avoid using all caps, special symbols, and words like “free,” “reminder,” or “percent off.”
  • Ask a question, and answer it with your preview text.

Marketing campaigns after the holidays are not a waste of time. Step up and reach out to your customers when everyone else is taking a step back.

10 Jan 2019
brand development

Tips on How to Develop a Brand

Developing a brand is crucial to any up and coming business. There are different aspects to brand development that together build a brand image. In order to successfully develop your brand, make sure that you cover each aspect.

Visual Brand

The visual portion of the brand includes everything from fonts used to the types of images that are used. By picking a theme and continuing it, the consumer will be able to associate those specific fonts, colors, and imagery. It is important to stay consistent with these over time.

The only way to make a dent with your visual brand is to make decisions, and apply them consistently over time. Use them next month, six months from now, and two years from now.

Resist the urge to redesign. Stay the course and give your visual brand a chance to sink in and be remembered.

Verbal Brand

The verbal aspect of the brand is not only the type of voice you have when speaking on behalf the brand, but also the way that you speak about the business. This expands to a compelling business name to the brand promise.

For a verbal brand to make an impact, it is important to apply these words in the same order, in the same way, every time you talk about your business. For your particular verbal brand to be remembered, you have to say it the same way consistently over time.

Digital Brand

The digital brand is a combination of the verbal, visual, and just a bit more. Your digital presence is the major factor in determining your digital brand. How active do you want to be on social media? How often will you post and how responsive will you be with your audience?

Build out a social media schedule for each social media platform that will be used. Then decide if you will be responding to comments along with messages.

Each aspect of your brand helps with your brand development. Each is important and can’t be ignored. Take them day by day.

07 Jan 2019

Top New Year’s Resolutions for Your Business

Have you ever set New Year’s resolutions for yourself? The same idea can be applied to your business with 2019 just starting. The following resolutions are some of the top for the new year.

Make Planning a Weekly Task

Making time to plan is crucial in creating and maintaining a healthy business. Planning for your business allows you to easily keep track of what is being done and what works for the company. By checking this information weekly, or even monthly, adjustments can be made to make things run smoother.

So why do it just once a year or once a quarter? Set aside the time to review and adjust. Not only will this help avoid small mistakes that could turn massive, but it can help ease the stress of the workplace.

Create Deadlines

Making a year-long resolution is what is typically associated with a new year, but maybe what is best for the business is deadlines. Instead of having a goal for the end of the year, make small deadlines along the way. Add specific deadlines to your goals to create a sense of urgency to get them done.

Improve Digital Presence

When was the last time that your company’s site was updated? How active are you on social media platforms? If the answer to your site is two years or more, you’re past due. Your mobile-friendly site is crucial in your web presence now. Make sure that you are maintaining and adding to you email marketing list. Digital should be its own component when laying out a marketing plan.

Forgive the Bad Days

There will be bad days. Accept this and let it roll off. Don’t hold yourself or your company to unrealistic standards that will drag you down in the end. Take the bad days and use them to fuel the others and maintain your New Year’s resolutions in 2019.

 

17 Dec 2018

Favorite Holiday Treats

Happy Holidays!

We have been building up for the holidays at Crisp Marketing. Today we brought in our favorite holiday treat. Some of us brought in a treat that our families have enjoyed for years, while others just brought in their favorite sweet treat for the time being. Then some of us that enjoy baking brought in our very own baked treats for everyone to sample. Since food is such an important part of the holiday season, we thought this would be the perfect build up to our office Christmas party.

What would you have brought to the table?

13 Dec 2018

3 Mobile Marketing Trends

Mobile marketing is vital in any marketing plan today. And just like any other aspect of marketing, it is always changing. It’s important to keep up with the trends in order to stay relevant and be successful.

Targeted marketing

Location technology has improved so much in the past year alone. Companies can better target their audiences. And it’s not just targeting a large group of their audience, but the capability of targeting individuals. When targeting an individual, businesses must use a more personal approach.

A great personalized way of doing this is incorporating native advertising into their mobile app marketing strategy. Businesses are using mobile app marketing techniques to create a more personalized experience for their users.

Going native provides a more personalized and meaningful experience for users. Through location technology and knowing a user’s mobile history, businesses can target each user with relative mobile apps and sites. Doing this means their users are more likely to download the apps and visit the sites shown, which also means those businesses will better monetize their mobile visitors.

Use social media apps

Our society is addicted to social media. Social media has penetrated nearly every society.

And why shouldn’t we be? It’s a way to stay connected with friends and family, a way to get and share information, and a great way for businesses to reach their consumers. About two-thirds of smartphone and tablet users access their social network accounts from mobile devices, with Facebook being the top smartphone app accessed.

This means businesses looking to better connect with their consumers and market their brand to a wider audience  should look at ways to use social media apps for ad campaigns. Facebook for example lets you quickly set up mobile app ads to push to users.

More mobile video

Mobile users engage with video content daily. Nearly 40% of YouTube video views are via mobile. Video is a fun way of sharing information, not to mention easier for users to digest that information. Because video is such a strong mobile traffic driver, businesses need to start producing awesome video content. Here are some best practices to remember when making videos:

  • Keep videos short
  • Create engaging content
  • Make videos available on various mobile devices
  • Test the video on multiple devices before releasing

Businesses are able to capitalize on mobile video platforms to connect with their audiences similar to Facebook. Businesses can capitalize on this by using tactics like YouTube’s true view ad channel.

10 Dec 2018
office gift exchange

Holiday Gift Exchange at Work

There are plenty of holiday gift exchange games that are appropriate for playing at the office. Office gift swaps give the opportunity for coworkers to not only give each other gifts on a budget, but interact with each other on something that isn’t all about work. An office holiday gift exchange allows employees to celebrate the holiday season together!

Office rules

It’s important to have some guidelines when it comes to gift exchanges in office activities.  Either limit the cash value of the gift, or organize Dirty Santa or White Elephant. You could even prohibit gift-giving altogether, but where’s the fun in that?

Before planning any fun festivities, ask a supervisor and co-workers about the office protocols. It’s important to know the rules that are already in place and to see if your co-workers want to participate at all.

Some company cultures avoid the gift-giving season and don’t exchange office holiday gifts at all, so it’s important to know the tone of the company. Many employees simply don’t have the extra cash or don’t want to offend those who don’t celebrate religious holidays. What’s important is to take other’s feelings into account.

Secret Santa

Secret Santa is a traditional office gift swap game with many variations. To play, first invite everyone in the office to participate. Emphasize that participation is not mandatory, but it is more fun if everybody plays. Once you have the list of participants, write each name on a slip of paper and put the slips into a bowl from which each player will draw a name. Each person then chooses a present for the person whose name was drawn. Set a strict spending limit, usually between $5 and $20.

White Elephant

White elephant gift exchanges lean toward silly, and require little to no money and can be played in two ways. One approach involves all participants bringing a gift from home. For the other, everyone brings a funny gag gift, usually valued at $5 or $10. On the day of the gift swap, collect all the wrapped presents and draw numbers to decide playing order. The first player gets to pick and unwrap the gift of their choice. The second player then has the option to steal the first gift or to open a second. This continues until everyone has a gift to take home.

Gift Theme

It can be tough picking a gift for co-workers. Something that can help ease the stress of the gift giving is by setting a theme. This still leaves the decision of how to exchange gifts, but helps give guidelines on what to buy. A few popular gift themes for the office are the following:

  • Coffee
  • Ornament
  • Snacks
  • Desk Decoration
  • Gift Cards

Celebrating the holidays in the office can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to be mindful of how everyone in the office celebrates individually. Remain respectful and have fun with however you choose to do your gift exchange!

06 Dec 2018

Boost Your Load Time for Better Performance on Word Press

Have you found that your website performance is slowing down? It might be because of your slow load time.

Why speed?

Studies show that from 2000 to 2016, the average human attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 7 seconds. Well, what does this mean for you as a website owner? You have very little time to show users your content and convince them to stay on your website.

A slow website means users will potentially leave your website before it even loads.

Is it costing you money?

Google and other search engines have started penalizing slower websites by pushing them down in the search results which means lower traffic for slow websites. That means that if you want more traffic, which also means more subscribers and revenue, for your site, the speed is key.

Checking website speed

Just because you feel like your website isn’t running slow does not mean that is the case. Since you frequently visit your own website, browsers like Chrome store your website in cache and automatically prefetch it as soon as you start typing the address. This makes your website load almost instantly for you.

However, a normal user who is visiting your website for the first time may not have the same experience. Users in different geographical locations will have a completely different experience. That is why it is recommend to test your website speed using a tool like Pingdom.

Pingdom

Pingdom is a free online tool that allows you to test your website’s speed from different locations. After running your website speed test, you might end up with more questions. Questions like, what’s an ideal website speed?

A good page load time is under 2 seconds. However, the faster you can make it, the better. A few milliseconds of improvements here and there can add up more than most realize.

What to avoid

The speed test report will have multiple recommendations for what can be improved. If you find this hard to understand, don’t stress!

What’s important is understanding what slows down your website, improving performance, and making smarter long-term decisions.

Some of the primary causes for a slow WordPress website are:

  • Web Hosting
  • WordPress Configuration
  • Page Size
  • Bad Plugins
05 Dec 2018
email marketing

Tips for Holiday Email Marketing

Holiday email marketing is a big driver of the seasonal sales. Email marketing is responsible for 20 percent of holiday sales. That means email marketing alone brings in billions of dollars every year.

Timing

Timing is everything and marketing during the holiday season is no exception.  Start your holiday email marketing campaigns between November 1st and 15th. That’s when most people open your holiday marketing emails; after that, open rates drop.

It’s not just your email campaigns that you should plan in advance. If you want to have somebody to market to, you’ll need to grow your email list ahead of time.

Build your email list when you start your business, even before you launch it formally. You should be building your list all through the year from you are up and running.

Holiday Campaigns

It is not uncommon for companies to change their website themes during the holiday season. Change your colors and style based on the holiday. Do the same with holiday email marketing campaigns. It is important to change up the style of your emails periodically so the audience doesn’t get bored.

Switch things up with some holiday email templates to get more attention for the marketing campaigns.

Add Urgency

Urgency is a great way to boost sales in the holiday email marketing campaign. A limited time holiday offer will encourage visitors to take action now. Use a strategy that makes the audience take action now in order to get the deal. In doing that, it will also add the customer to the emailing list for future sales.

If you use this strategy, you can also segment your audience by the package they buy so you can send appropriate offers their way moving forward.

29 Nov 2018
SEM Tips

5 SEM Tips for Your Company

Are you struggling with your SEM plan? SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. It’s a simple idea, but it’s a powerful tool that should be taken seriously. Here are some tips to using SEM successfully.

Set and define a goal

In the big picture, everyone has a goal of making money, but that doesn’t usually happen overnight. Before you can really decide if a SEO campaign is right for your overall marketing plan, you have to set goals. These goals will help measure the progress.

Choose Keywords

A big first step is to find your “Keyword Gems.” Keyword Gems are keywords that you are already getting found for with low traffic, clicks, or page rank. You can find your Keyword Gems in the Google Analytics queries section or through a SEO tool like moz or soovle. Your keyword Gems can serve as the starting point for your keyword research process. You can expand on your keyword list by thinking of way to use variations with the same phrase and/or keyword.

Ad Copy

There is limited space for SEM ad copy, and it shows next to competition that is using the same keywords. Ad copy is extremely important. Unless you are able to entice a user to click on your ad, the steps to come won’t matter.

When writing the ad copy, look at the competition to see how they are targeting their SEM. What are they focusing on? It’s important to find ways to distinguish your ad from others and you’ll have a tough time doing so unless you know what your competitors are doing.

Landing Pages

Navigating users to a particular landing page is vital. Users want to go directly from the ad to the exact item it was offering. The content and URL for the landing page should be relevant to the keywords that the ad is using for targeting.

A successful landing page will make it clear what the next steps are, through a call to action. Make the call to action obvious with simple phrases like click here, call now, buy now, etc.

Finding success in SEM goes beyond setting up a keyword list and budget. It takes experimentation and strategic data analysis. Don’t be afraid to make changes and find what works best for you and your brand.

Review

It’s extremely important to stay on top of your bids for keywords. Stay on top of what is and isn’t working. Increase the spend on certain keywords and eliminate or decrease spend on other keywords that are not giving you the results that you want. While it may be time consuming to check this often, you will need to periodically adjust bids and conversion ratio for every keyword.

Make sure that you are looking at the relevant date. The more the better can be true in this situation, but it’s not always the case. Don’t wait to make changes due to worry about waiting long enough. Sometimes making changes will improve things, and sometimes making a change won’t change the results at all. Test out what works best for you.

27 Nov 2018
Web Design Forms

What Makes Efficient Forms?

Forms are one of the most important types of interaction for users online and in the apps. They are used for registration, subscription services, customer feedback, checkout, transactions, or as data input to search or share information. Developers should pay special attention to improving their forms and making them as usable as possible, because careful form design has a huge impact on the speed with which users can accurately complete a form.

When designing a form, it is important to know which type will be the most successful, order, and layout.

Forms

  • Structure – includes the order of fields, the form’s appearance on the page and the logical connections between multiple fields
  • Input fields – includes text fields, password fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, sliders, and any other fields designed for user input
  • Field labels – tells users what the corresponding input fields mean
  • Action button – when the user presses this button, an action is performed
  • Feedback – user is made to understand the result of their input through feedback
  • Assistance – explanation of how to fill out the form
  • Validation – automatic check that ensures a user’s data is valid

Logical Order

Make your form as simple as possible by thinking about the progression of the questions that you ask. What order will feel the most natural to users, and how will they expect questions to be grouped together?

Start with the basic questions, then ease into the more complex ones. This will increase participation and reduce the number of users who don’t complete the form.

Layout

Users want to complete a web form without any hassle, and are likely to quickly work their way through the form by scanning questions. To help users, make sure the form is in a single column.

Multiple columns can cause confusion and increase the time it takes the user to interpret the information as they read in a “Z” pattern. If the form is set as a single column there is a clear and direct path.