After two decades of watching clients develop amazingly sophisticated website metrics, we’ve learned there are two rules for designing website key performance indicators:

  1.  Keep them clear.
  2. Don’t have more than three on the C-Level Dashboard.

We love Big Data.  Nothing else in history has given us the ability to make such informed decisions. Yet an unstructured data funnel leaves client teams with information overload.  In order to handle the overwhelming amount of data, the data shuffling department staff numbers grow.  Information that drives decisions becomes bogged down, secondary to data acquisition, analysis and report generation.  You’re back to missed deadlines and sloppy information management.

What works for most of our clients, especially those without impressive content analytics teams?* Continue reading

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You’ve heard the statistics before: Social media posts with visuals receive 94% more page visits and engagement than those without; businesses who market with infographics grow traffic an average of 12% more than those who don’t; and 60% of consumers are more likely to click on a business whose images appear in search results.

Still not convinced? Take a look at this blog post for an infographic on the growing importance of visuals, which have been taking over the social media landscape in the past few years. To catch the eye of an audience increasingly inundated with media and information, we must feature unique and striking visual content on a frequent basis. Continue reading

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There’s no denying that the use of quality content is important to any marketing plan. Producing 3 times more leads than other online advertising mediums, content marketing can bring inbound traffic to your website, generate natural link popularity and build brand awareness through engagement.

Here are 5 of our best suggestions to increase search engine rankings and sales through engaging content.

1. Create mobile-compatible content. Almost half of web traffic is from mobile users. Make sure your website is mobile-compatible, and that the format looks just as good on a smartphone as a computer. Since Google is now taking into account mobile users when ranking websites in search results, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re not missing out on these potential customers.

2. Make one-of-a-kind content. Ever see the same topics covered countless times across different platforms? So much of the Internet is clogged with overused, mediocre content that circulates quickly and has a short shelf life. Focus on topics that haven’t been covered–or tackle old subjects in a new way, such as using an InfoGraphic. While various content may come and go quickly in the digital age, good writing, thorough research and eye-catching graphics are always the best way to captivate an audience.

3. Don’t be afraid to tell your story. It’s not a secret that the easiest way to connect with an audience is through personal interaction. While your brand may not be comfortable with overly casual content, adding a special on an employee’s story or a tidbit on how your company got started can work wonders for adding a real, memorable touch to your brand.

4. Remember: Quality, not quantity. Posting to your brand’s blog 10 times a day might seem ambitious, but your followers are more likely to tune you out than pay attention if all of your content is mundane. You want to be seen as a savvy industry leader who can be turned to for up-to-date, reliable information, so keep your posts timely, relevant and informative.

5. Don’t be overly wordy. Remember that classic marketing writing tips still apply: Try to use accurate, to-the-point language that packs a punch without losing your audience’s interest. In an age of shortened attention spans, overuse of adjectives and adverbs will turn viewers off; instead, try action verbs and concrete nouns.


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Remember the days before social media? When the term “content marketing” wasn’t the topic of countless webinars (and, in fact, the term “webinar” would’ve elicited looks of confusion)? The internet may have not been anything new in the year 2000, but our use of (and reliance on) it have heavily evolved in the past 14 years. Check out how the emergence of technology has revolutionized the way we see marketing in this handy infographic:

[image via:]

[image via:]

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Business marketing last year was a roller coaster ride. We saw new platforms, new channels, new roles and new tools pop up all over the place. It’s as though innovation and growth is speeding up all around us and we are surrounded by opportunities to reach new customers and delight them.

It’s been an exciting year for sure. But what’s next?

1. Omni-channel advantage. This past year we saw huge developments in mobile analytics and mobile marketing, which combines in 2014, enabling us to take advantage of omni-channel marketing.

This year, entrepreneurs and marketers need to go beyond just responsive web design and creating supplementary mobile apps to ask ourselves: how are our companies meeting the mobile challenge?

We need to be cross-device compatible and raise the bar on mobile customer experience. Are you taking advantage of the feedback opportunities? Are you capturing the data and leveraging it for personalization? This year it’s all about the omni-channel marketing advantage.

2. Smart objects take over. By now, you’ve likely heard about the Internet of Things but are you participating as a consumer or a marketer? As business managers, we should keep an eye on how these smart objects change the consumer’s expectations around user experience and engagement.

As new gadgets and technologies emerge this year, there will be new ways to leverage these smart objects in our marketing campaigns and more effectively reach our audiences.

3. Content marketing continues to explode. We spent the last year getting our company onboard with inbound marketing and content creation as the way to grow our businesses. From that we saw new tools built, new communities created and new resources emerge to help us make our case.

This next year will bring the solidification of this new arena through things like better content analytics and measurement, new job titles such as chief content officer, and new forms of content grow in popularity. I, for one, am most excited to see content marketing bring beautiful, original, inspiring stories to the masses.

4. Paid organic social amplification. This year, marketers will turn their efforts and budgets toward paid marketing on social platforms. Twitter advertising, Facebook advertising, LinkedIn advertising are prime with readership and opportunity for us to meet our next customers. Newer platforms such as Pinterest. Google+ and Instagram will continue to open new ways for us to amplify our content in less intrusive ways to meet customer needs.

5. Influencer marketing is now part of your job. These past few years we’ve seen the rise of social media, and then the mainstream adoption of it and now from that we are left with a huge opportunity to leverage influencer marketing. This year will bring teams dedicated to social outreach, outlandish influencer campaigns and a turn toward offline.

Marketers are now returning back to “thank you” gifts, hand written notes and tangibles to catch an influencers eye and build a relationship. We will see more of that in the coming year.

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