Lead Generation Tool

Lead Generation Tool 

A freebie to help educate your audience is a great way to build some trust with your audience. For example, we put together a resource called “Digital Marketing Checklist.” That document walks someone through the major areas of digital marketing and gives them a few points to start with to make sure they get off on the right foot. We believe it provides some value, without providing so much value that would make us not worth hiring. But it does start to establish a relationship with our potential customers. We usually require someone to submit an email address to receive our freebies. This leads to more emails for your email list, which can help you stay in touch with consumers on a regular basis for almost no cost. 

This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on Amazon.com.

Hero Video

Hero Video 

Video has become a staple of any business that has an online presence. A hero video is the one video you want people to watch about your brand or product. We call it a hero video because it might be the best representation of you to the consumer. A hero video will cover the uniqueness of your company, your value proposition, possibly a bit of history, and will look good doing all these things. Ideally these videos will be 2-3 minutes in length so that they are not an enormous investment of time for someone learning who you are. Host this on Vimeo to prevent customers getting dragged elsewhere by suggested videos.

This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on Amazon.com.

Website

Website

In our society today, a website is a required part of any company’s marketing success. There was a time when a website was optional and even today some point to social media profiles as being sufficient. But I think relying on a social media profile in lieu of a website, even a very small one, is short sighted.

Social media profiles and networks will come and go. They exist in a “walled kingdom.” To fully experience a social media profile, you normally need to be active on the network. You will have customers who are not active on that network. When you create your business with a Facebook page only, you limit your reach to that network of social media users. You are also building on “rented land.” Facebook and other social media platforms are going to push you to spend money for advertising by reducing your marketing effectiveness. Lastly, it also hurts your ability to show up on search engines. Search engines prefer real websites because they help them to index information and present the most helpful sites to their users.  Some of our top things we look for in a good website: 

1. Important Information: Many people visit websites solely for the critical information like: address, phone number, business hours, and other contact information. This information should be READILY AVAILABLE, especially if you are a local business.

Additionally, we think there are a few more categories of essential information:

What do you do? What service do you offer and why should the customer buy it from you.

What does the process look like? How does working with you work? It helps answer a lot of questions the customer might have.

What do others say about you? Including reviews on your website can help provide social proof that doing business with you is a good idea. More detailed testimonials might also be helpful. And consider including headshots, photos, and project summaries and outcomes.

Be sure you include your accreditations and connections to important associations to show your legitimacy.  

2. SSL- SSL or “SECURE SOCKETS LAYER” is now a standard in the website world. Google released an update in 2018 that made SSL a standard for websites. An SSL is a way for companies to help secure their website activity and establish secure network links for users. The short version is that SSL is good for your site security and Google will lower your search ranking without it.

3. CTA- What is your call to action? When building a site, it’s good to consider what you want a visitor to do. For our site, we have two: download our digital marketing checklist and schedule a meeting. We are not selling anything directly on our site, but we would love to build a relationship with a potential customer.

4. Mobile Friendly- This has been the standard for years now but it still needs to be said because we still get asked in the proposal process, “Will this work on my cell phone?” Web traffic is always increasing from mobile devices so if your site does not work well on a mobile device, you are missing out on lots of traffic.

5. SEO- SEO or Search Engine Optimization has evolved a lot over the years. Originally, SEO was done through blunt options like keyword stuffing. For example, if I put the word “marketing” on my homepage 1,000 times then I would be the top result in Google right. But today, there are some clear things you should do to have good SEO, in no particular order: 

A. Site Structure

1.  Tags- This is an SEO Classic. Make sure your meta tags are set up on at least your major pages. A meta tag is a short description that Search Engines use to get a quick description of the purpose of that page or site. It’s best if all your pages have well written meta tags. 

2. Mobile Friendly- Though this should be standard now, Google will lower your rating if your site does not work well on mobile devices. If your buttons are too big or your text gets cut off, Google can detect that and will penalize you for it. 

3. H1 H2- H1, H2, and so on mean Header 1, Header 2. It is a way to break out information for those who are not seeing the styling on the website. For multiple reasons, including accessibility (the ability to access the website by those who need to use screen readers), it is important to have your text divided by H1 and H2 and more definers. It helps a screen reader (technology that reads websites to individuals with visual impairment) or a crawling bot (programs used by Search Engines to learn what your website is about) realize what is most important on your page. 

4. A site designed for humans with SEO in mind. You can certainly make a site that is only designed for SEO. In fact this used to be the standard for SEO. But this is no longer the case. Google has really focused on website structure and content that work for humans. They take signals of how people interact with your site to see if it’s worthwhile or not. Keep SEO in mind as you design but as a secondary function.

B. Site Health – When you think about site health, one thing to think about is: how many of my internal links are working correctly or have other errors. If your site has broken internal links due to articles missing or domains being changed, that hurts the health. Is my SSL Certificate active and working on all pages, how is the site’s load speed? Is your written content helpful?  If your website is useful to humans, it will help on SEO. You might have been able to rank #1 for shoes in the past by cheating SEO but still you only sell socks. If people are looking for shoes and come to your site for socks, they will have a bad experience and it will hurt your results in the long run. 

C. SSL- A Secure Socket Layer certificate is a security device that helps protect website traffic from prying eyes. Having an SSL is important now. It is almost like a badge of, “we know what we are doing” for Google. It also offers security value for your website which is why it started in e-commerce, but thanks to Google’s influence, it has become a global standard.

D. Backlinks- Backlinks are one of the most valuable things you can invest in for your business’s SEO rankings.  Backlinks are links from other sources that help establish your site as authoritative, safe, or legitimate. Some easy examples of acquirable backlinks: Chambers of Commerce, Social Media Sites, blog submissions to other sites. Adding these backlinks over time will help your ranking on search engines and help increase your domain authority which is how valuable your site looks to search engines. 

E. Google My Business/Google Search Console- Google, while difficult to navigate some of its SEO algorithms, also provides free tools to help with the search results.

Google My Business: If you can do one thing after launching your site to help with SEO, it would be to fill out your Google My Business profile. This helps Google surface you and you even get to customize it.

Search Console- This is another fantastic, free tool by Google. You can submit sitemaps to help speed up the crawling by Google’s bots. You can also get notifications about site problems for SEO. This is a great free application. 

F. Site Speed- Becoming more important to Google is site speed. Google knows that experience is important to how useful a site so loading quickly affects your ranking. Google actually has its own PageSpeed Insights tool that you can find via a Google Search.

G. NAP Info is Correct- NAP information is Name, Address, Phone number. You want to make sure that the NAP information is consistent across your site and consistent with your Google My Business listing. If you are labeled as 742 Evergreen Terrace on your site and 742 Evergreen Tr. on Google My Business, you have a problem, make sure they are the same. 

H. SEO Tools – We love AHREFS (ahrefs.com) as a tool that helps us manage many SEO research options. It does cost some money, but if you are serious about SEO improvement, you will need to invest in AHREFS or one of its competitors.

6. Content – Who is the content on your site for? It is for your customer. I repeat: It is for your customer. You need to think about what your customer wants and needs as you prepare content for your website. Frequently people will want to focus on things that they care about, not things that their customers care about. Why should they care about you? What do you provide for them? It’s the benefit not the technical details. A pest control company provides a pest free environment, not necessarily ACME Formula 1027 Pest Control Spray. You might be very proud that you use ACME but unless that means something to the customer, it’s not worth covering. However, if ACME is all natural and environmentally friendly, and won’t hurt your kids or dog if they accidentally consume it, that is a benefit that would be worth mentioning.

Content also needs to be laid out in a way that is easy to use. If you have some information that is accessed all the time, like location or phone number, make that easy to find and “above the fold.” Above the fold means that it is visible when someone loads the website without scrolling. This term originated with newspapers because important stories were always printed above the bisectional fold of the newspaper, being the area that is shown first to the customer.

We encourage you to think about the personas (or avatars or customer profiles) of your customers and to think about what is important to those customers. 

7. Imagery – Avoid stock photos if you can. People can spot them from a mile away. Real photos taken of a company create more authenticity which is a valuable commodity in our era. Keep your customer personas in mind as you develop imagery for the site. If your customer base is largely teenagers, you probably do not want to exclusively feature senior citizens on your site imagery. Site imagery should reflect your customer base and what their aspirations are. 

8. Analytics – If you are running a website without Google Analytics on it, you are doing it wrong. Google Analytics is a free tool from Google that does a fantastic job of measuring website traffic. But beyond website traffic, it can also help show where traffic is coming from, what pieces of the website visitors are interacting with, and potentially where conversion traffic is coming from. This information can prove pivotal when deciding where to invest future dollars for the growth of your company.

This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on Amazon.com.

 

Imagery/Photography

Imagery/Photography

The world’s largest companies have detailed photography standards for marketing. They will have entire guides dedicated to how their products should look, who should be included in photos, and even what types of situations the photos should show. While you might not have a giant library of photography rules, you should consider some broad thoughts about selecting imagery for your company:

A. Diversity- One of the biggest faux paus we see when working companies is failing to include diversity in their messaging visually. When working with a company or a community that has a diverse customer base/collection of service providers, it’s important to reflect that in the marketing materials. This will sometimes require intentionality on the part of the customer and the photo provider. 

B. What do you want to be associated with?- When doing styled shoots or selecting community sourced images, we need to evaluate what we want to be associated with. If you do a photoshoot with someone wearing a six shooter on their hip, you should ask yourself, does your brand want to be connected to guns? I use that example because the reaction normally goes strongly one way or another. If you are using community generated content, you may want to do a quick look on the social profiles of those submitting content. This may help you flag potential trouble spots before they arise.

C. Quality of the photos- Do you want highly polished stock photos or are you looking for images that feel a little more organic. This will guide your selection of stock photos or investment in local photography.

D. Sizes- If you do not tell photographers what size of photos you want, they will deliver you whatever size they want to. It’s a good idea to plan ahead. Think about what you want in return for working with a photographer.

E. Color Themes- If you go for a highly styled version of photography for your company, you may want to have a lot of a specific color involved in the shoot. Think of a company like T-Mobile; they have pink everywhere.

F. Outside Brands- When working with models or in a location, be sure to scan the photographs and sets for outside brands. People may be wearing a Nike shirt or have Nike shoes on. A party shoot might have specific brands of beer in the shoot. This may not be a problem for you, but it’s something to consider. You never know when the next big brand will become toxic to your customer base.

G. Formal vs. Informal. When thinking about the setting of the photos, the wardrobe, the expressions on the faces of the people, ask: Are we going for formal or informal in our photos? Some companies may want a more formal looking photograph, while others opt for informal and fun. A lot has to do with who your customers are and how you position yourself in the market.

This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on Amazon.com.

Graphic Elements (Collateral)

Graphic Elements (Collateral) 

When making sure you have all the builders in place, it is not necessarily exciting to think about all the many graphic elements that one might need to have on hand. Here is a list of essentials::
-Business Card
-Letterhead
-Signage
-Slideshow Template
-Notecard (you should be writing notes to people)
-Brochure/Sales Card
-Email Signature
-Facebook Profile Image
-Facebook Cover Image
-Twitter Profile Image
-Twitter Cover Image
-Youtube Profile Image
-Youtube Cover Image
-Other social media channels
-Social Media Template Image
-Video Logo Reveal
-Video Branding (Lower third, information screen, transitions)
-Email Marketing Template

Having consistent branding through all of these elements will allow you to have clarity in message and professionalism throughout your marketing. This will help you leave no doubt that customers are dealing with a professional organization. Also, an important note for all the social media channels: test these on mobile. Often these social channels change the crop of the image when on mobile so test it on both before committing to it. Additionally, social media profile icons are tiny on mobile devices so be sure to minimize what is in the image.

This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on Amazon.com.

Messaging Elevator Pitch

Messaging Elevator Pitch

The classic imaginative scenario, you wind up on an elevator with a potential customer or investor and you get 60 seconds (or less) and what do you say? Do you bumble through it or do you crush it? I hope you crush it. However, unless you are exceptionally good on your feet, without a prepared elevator pitch, you might be in trouble. So how do we come up with an elevator pitch? I think one of the greatest resources for this is StoryBrand by Donald Miller. The main concept of StoryBrand is that when you are thinking about messaging for your business, you need to think about how to make your customer the hero of the story and your business the guide that will help that hero succeed. A short marketing message should address, at the minimum: who you help and how you help them.

For Adelsberger Marketing, we realized that most of our customers come to us because they are having problems with digital marketing. They are either confused about what to do, scared to do something about it, or realize they do not have enough time to do it right. We wanted to position ourselves as the expert they come to help guide them through digital marketing. Ultimately we want them to succeed at digital marketing with our help. Our logo is a shield which invokes some fierceness, so we say, “We lead businesses to conquer digital marketing.” We then follow up with some ways we do that for people. I frequently add on to that core message based on who I am speaking to. If it’s a company I feel like needs our design services, then I start talking about who we have helped recently in that service area.

When thinking about a marketing message, we need to consider what our customer needs from us, not necessarily what we want to brag about. I may want to brag about our newest camera gear, but most customers don’t care. They only care how I solve their problems. Your marketing messaging should reflect that.

Our recommendation would be that you have a one to two line marketing message and a somewhat longer paragraph that both you and your team can spit out at any moment. When working on a longer form pitch, get into more details like: specific services lists, success stories, and notable client lists.

Once you have your basic messaging, it is important to keep it consistent across all your builders and drivers. You may highlight different aspects for different elements of your drivers, but for the most part, you will come back to this well of messaging again and again.

This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on Amazon.com.

Branding (Logo, Fonts, Colors)

Branding (Logo, Fonts, Colors)

Branding is a fundamental part of any business and every company should have a good logo as part of the brand. Branding is a term that has a lot of different meanings depending on who you talk to; so we are going to define it. A brand is all the ways your company is represented to the world. Branding is the use of your logo and the imagery/materials that go with it. There are three key parts to branding: Logo, Fonts, and Colors. 

  1. Logo- The masthead of your company, the sign that, when used properly, people in your community will know over time and instantly connect with your company. A good logo can help raise the value of your company and raise the expectations of your service, which can allow you to charge more. A good logo should be memorable, work in one color, and work in all sizes. Will it look good both on letterhead and also on a billboard? Now we even need to think about how the logo will look when it’s tiny on your phone. Think about the Favicon, the icon a website puts in your web browser’s tab to represent your website, will your branding work there?  Think about where you will need to use the logo. Different mediums and uses may affect the design of the logo. A good logo will also not require updating every few years, so it’s worth investing in to get a good one made. 
  2. Fonts- To achieve consistency in use across design applications, certain fonts should be used repeatedly. For our company, the Gotham font makes a lot of appearances. Within fonts, there are sometimes different weights that make differentiating information much easier. Oftentimes, when a legitimate design company delivers a logo project, they will also deliver a family of logos and a guide on how to use them. Refer to these. If you do not have one, develop a guide of fonts to use. These do not have to be the same fonts as in the logo, but sometimes they will be. Be sure to include the use of fonts for special occasions. 
  3. Colors- Like fonts, colors are something that should be used consistently across the branding of a company. If your primary colors are red and blue, hot pink will have a hard time working its way into marketing. But if your company’s only color is Pink, like Lemonade Insurance or T-Mobile, you are going to see it in almost every element of their branding. Colors are more noticeable to the average consumer than fonts. It is important to be consistent over time. A good design company will provide you a family of colors to use when creating a logo. 
  4. Brand Identity Guide: All of these elements should be delivered to you in a branding identity guide and kit. We make sure our clients have all the logo files they need to use the logo without us, whether we were to get hit by a bus or they decided they didn’t like us anymore. The brand guide should contain information on: Logo types, color schemes, font names, colors, color values, and potentially things like messaging and terminology. 
  5. Vector vs Raster: If you are reading this and are not a designer, you need to know the difference between a Vector and a Raster file. We run into this all the time: We ask clients for a logo file and they send us a .jpeg. There are few things that make a designer want to pull the hair out of their head faster. A raster file is a static image file that does not scale. It’s almost like it’s printed on paper. If you stretch the paper, it will rip. In digital terms, it will pixelate and look horrible. A vector file is an image file that uses math to keep all the elements in proper proportion to each other. If you stretch it, it will expand and look great. A vector graphic usually comes with the following file formats: .svg, .eps, .ai and sometimes they are saved in .pdf. Rasters have their place. But do all designers a favor and learn where your vectors are saved and send those to people. We suggest you save them in a Google Drive or Dropbox folder that has your logo kit in it so that you can quickly send a link to any vendor.  

This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on Amazon.com.

Introduction

Branding and Builders

When we work on marketing projects, we like to think of two categories: Builders and Drivers (a concept we are borrowing from Paul Roetzer and PR 20/20). Builders are things that we make that have a long lifespan. These are our fundamentals, the blocking and tackling of marketing. Nailing these components sets you up for success, looks professional, prepares you to convert inbound leads, and pays dividends in the long run. When you see an Apple or Nike Ad, you know they are an Apple or Nike advertisement. Their style is part of their brand. Companies that work on design are more successful than those who don’t, according to McKinsey (https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-design/our-insights/the-business-value-of-design#) When establishing a brand, these are elements that every company should have and have in good order.

This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on Amazon.com.

Who Are Your Customers?

Who Are Your Customers? 

You need to know who your customers are in order to grow a business. We start every project with an exercise to help us create “avatars” (also known as Personas or Customer Profiles) that represent our customers. Picking out a few of the major types of customers for your business and thinking through their wants and needs allows you to better engage these customers. But also you need to understand their levels of awareness. Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz does a great job of breaking this down; but the book is several hundred dollars. So here is a bit of a summary. First, we break customers down into four groups:

• Customers who don’t know your product or that they need your product
• Customers who don’t know your product but know that a need for your product exists
• Customers who are aware of your product and they have a need
• Customers who are ready to buy your product but have not yet.

You need to treat each of these customer awareness groups separately. An ad for converting group 4 while they are in your store will work less effectively on someone in group 1. You can read more about this in Chapter 1. Map these stages out and let them influence when and where you communicate. 

This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on Amazon.com.

Messaging and Terminology

Messaging and Terminology

The way we talk about things can be important to convey what they mean to us. Calling someone who works in your organization a team member rather than an employee may seem trivial, but it can send a different message. When we work with a company, it is important for us to understand why they use certain terminology. Additionally, they might never have outlined for the organization which words to use and why. In some cases, it can make a huge difference. When beginning the marketing process, it’s important to talk through what words we use for which things. Defining the words and terms that are important to your brand can even be part of your branding process with an agency. If you want your “team” to use the word “customers” instead of “patients” then you have to weave those terms into the fabric of your business. Another example would be a personnel company who refers to its staffers as “associates” instead of “temps.” It has a different ring to it and can help direct the parts of your company to treat those people differently.

It is also important to share those terms and meanings with your marketing partners. Using those words internally is one thing, but making sure that the use of those words is consistent externally is also important. The words you use paint a picture of your company to the world. 

This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on Amazon.com.