BarnRaisers


5 ways for marketers to win with Millennials (Infographic) 0

Posted on May 24, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

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by Richard Kao and COS, (BarnRaisers Community Builders)

1. Make Your Products & Services Useful & Affordable

Millennial consumers had to absorb the impact of the 2008 financial crisis characterized by massive student loan burdens and recession. The generation is hopeful, yet they remain cautious of their spending.

57% of the Millennials surveyed said their spending habits won’t change even with the $30 billion inheritance money that will come from Baby Boomers.

If you want to earn this generation’s support, making your products and services as useful as they can be while staying within reach of budgets is the way to go.

And for good measure, revamp your return policy as 55% of Millennials are always on the lookout for the most affordable return option when shopping.

Just take Zappos.com who built a business around shoes AND their easy, efficient return policy. If you’re not 100% satisfied with your purchase, just return the merchandise (within 1 year of purchase) and that’s it. There are no shipping fees to deal with, and there’s no need for receipts as you shopped online and orders are tracked.

Lesson learned: keep your products high-quality and affordable and your return policy easy and clutter-free like Zappos’ – your business could take off because of it.

win with millennials #2

2. Focus On An Integrated Customer Experience

An integrated customer experience is about providing products and services to customers in the smoothest way possible by adopting a multichannel approach. And when you live up to your business’ promises while delivering such a seamless service, it leads to conversions.

Let’s put the spotlight to Grainger, which has sold industrial supplies, equipment, and power tools for contractors and building professionals since 1927.

Their almost-century long presence and experience in the industry shows, especially in the way they use technology (their app especially) for providing an integrated customer experience.

Their app lets you find highly specific products by typing them or speaking to the search box. Products purchased can also be shipped to your chosen location or a nearby store – while even tracking your order’s progress real-time.

Consumers’ shopping cart data is also synced across their PCs and other devices, making it easy to access Grainger and their selection of industrial products while on the job site.

Also, Grainger features a “click-to-call” for help feature which lets you find the nearest Grainger location and share must-buy lists with co-workers. The company knows exactly what their consumers need and has built a smooth service framework from there.

The business and IT world are starting to explore the concept of omni-channel shopping – the next step from multi-channel retailing.

This provides consumers with an across-channel experience. It’s the inter-linking of multiple marketing and sales channels that makes this approach to customer experience truly seamless, benefiting both the consumer and retailer.

For example: a customer can check a product’s availabilityvia his desktop (using the merchant’s website); reserve the item and purchase it 2 days later using his smartphone; and pick up the item at his chosen location.

win with millennials #2 win with millennials #3

3. Build Brand Loyalty Through Rewards & Product Quality

In a world where many products and services are alike, Millennial consumers seek to be rewarded for their buying choices. After all, they could’ve bought from someone else instead of your company – and they’d still get what they want or need.

Research carried out by Thrive Analytics and Local Search Association in 2014 revealed that 71% of US smartphone users (aged 18 to 29) shared their location with businesses to get personalized offers and deals, while 67% said the prospect of gaining loyalty points convinced them to do so.

So set yourself apart from the competition by rewarding your customers for choosing you over other product / service providers.

Follow the example set by Starbucks. Their My Starbucks Reward program makes it easy for users to be rewarded.

They can earn points by paying with their registered cards,completing incentivized actions, participating in product promotions, engaging with Starbuck’s mobile app and social channels,buying in grocery stores and more.

The Stars earned are saved in the customer’s profile and can be used for redeeming drinks, food items, etc.But that’s not all: the program also has Green and Gold levels that members can move up to once they reach a certain number of points, giving the most loyal of customers and avid fans the opportunity to get more out of their membership.

win with millennials #4

4. Use Social Media To Engage & Get Millennials Involved

The phrases of note here are “engage” and “get them involved.”

Millennial consumers do “Like” and “Follow” retailers on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. They may find the brand cool but research has shown that their social media relationships with brands and retailers are mostly transactional.

In simpler words: to find good deals, coupons, and the latest promos.

One Millennial consumer noted:

“I would have to be pretty emotionally moved to just ‘Like’ a retailer for no reason.”

And that should be the plan! Businesses shouldn’t be on social media just to establish presence. The goal instead should be to generate positive buzz and to get talked about by Millennial consumers. Be the topic of social conversations for the right reasons and your brand and sales will enjoy a significant boost.

Consider this too: Millennials broke the record for volunteering hours, and the number of non-profit organizations and socially-focused businesses founded by the generation is just as astounding.

With that in mind, perhaps it’s a good idea to combine social media engagement with campaigns that address the social and economic issues this generation faces.

5. Create More Apps To Inform, Engage, & Educate

Tech manufacturers (especially those in the mobile industry) can look forward to sunny days ahead with 40% of Millennials gearing up to purchase a tablet in the next 5 years. Those ahead of the tech curve (38%), so to speak, are prepping to buy a wearable device like Apple’s new iWatch.

So what does that mean for business OUTSIDE the smartphone and tablet industry?

The statistics above means businesses should create better apps to inform, engage, and educate Millennial consumers…or risk losing brand exposure and even sales.

One fine example is CVS Pharmacy app which enjoys a 4.5 star rating and over 16,000 reviews on iTunes: it lets you easily find a store nearby,save money with digital coupons, and even collect points without leaving the app. The app also lets consumers scan prescription barcodes with their phone’s camera to refill their medications.

win with millennial #5

5. Create More Apps To Inform, Engage, & Educate

Tech manufacturers (especially those in the mobile industry) can look forward to sunny days ahead with 40% of Millennials gearing up to purchase a tablet in the next 5 years. Those ahead of the tech curve (38%), so to speak, are prepping to buy a wearable device like Apple’s new iWatch.

So what does that mean for business OUTSIDE the smartphone and tablet industry?

The statistics above means businesses should create better apps to inform, engage, and educate Millennial consumers…or risk losing brand exposure and even sales.

One fine example is CVS Pharmacy app which enjoys a 4.5 star rating and over 16,000 reviews on iTunes: it lets you easily find a store nearby,save money with digital coupons, and even collect points without leaving the app. The app also lets consumers scan prescription barcodes with their phone’s camera to refill their medications.

Below is the infographic. We appreciate this work from Richard and COS. Did it teach you something new about how to win with Millennials?

5 ways marketers win with Millenials

 

 

23 critical facts about mobile SEO; 3 steps to success 0

Posted on May 17, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

 mobile seo

  • Over 60% of online traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets (source: comScore)
  • 50% of all search users begin their search on a mobile device (source: Search Engine Watch)
  • 50% of mobile user activity results in a purchase (source: Mobile Path to Purchase)

The facts tell us mobile devices are now like a GPS system more people rely on for buying decisions.

How do people search on mobile? What points them to your brand?

Here are 23 critical facts about mobile SEO and 3 steps to success

MOBILE SEO

  • 173,000,000 people in the U.S. own a smartphone while another 93,000,000 own internet-connected tablets (source: Pew Research Center)
  • 125% is the growth rate of mobile traffic vs. 12% for desktop (source: Search Engine Watch)
  • 88% of mobile search is for a local business or establishment (source: Digital Marketing Philippines)
  • 83% of consumers using mobile to research make the purchase within a day (source: WOMP Mobile)
  • 81% of people prefer mobile for its convenience and speed (source: Vocus Blog)
  • 80% of their time on their smartphones and tablets is spent on apps rather than mobile browsers  (source: comScore)
  • 80% of smartphone owners use their device in stores to shop (source: Google – Mobile in Store)
  • 74% of mobile users make use of a search engine before they purchase (source: Search Engine Watch)
  • 66% of the time spent on online retail is done through smartphones and tablets (source: comScore)
  • 60% of consumers use mobile exclusively to make purchase decisions (source: Search Engine Watch)
  • 60% of digital time is spent of mobile devices vs. 40% for desktops (source: Search Engine Land)
  • 60 percent of mobile users expect a website to load in less than three seconds (source: Gomez – What Mobile Users Want)
  • 57% of users say that they won’t recommend a business with a poor mobile experience (source: Google Mobile Playbook)
  • 55% of consumers using mobile to research want to purchase within an hour (source: WOMP Mobile)
  • 53% of the time spent on the internet comes from smartphones and tablets (source: comScore)
  • Mobile searchers are 51% likelier to make a purchase (source: Google – Creating Moments That Matter)
  • 49% of mobile search engine users made a purchase on their device within the past six months (source: Small Business Computing)
  • 48% of consumers using mobile for research start with a search engine (source: Smart Insights)
  • 46% of mobile users say they are unlikely to return to a website they had trouble accessing from their phone (source: Gomez)
  • 45% of users between 18 and 29 use mobile search daily (source: Icebreaker Consulting)
  • 40 percent have turned to a competitor’s site after a poor mobile experience (source: Mashable)
  • 33% of consumers using mobile for research start wit a branded website (source: Smart Insight)
  • 28% growth in search queries on tablets; 17% on smartphone and -1% on desktop (source: Search Engine Land)

STEPS TO SUCCESS

User Experience Matters

  • RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN: Responsively-designed sites use CSS3 media queries to serve the same content to mobile and desktop users using a fluid grid and a flexible design to automatically adapt to the size of a user’s screen
  • PAGE SPEED: Beyond optimizing images, you’ll want to minimize code, leverage browser caching, and reduce redirects
  • SCROLL: Mobile devices are simplifying and revolutionizing the ways sites are designed. “Above the fold” no longer has meaning in a world where we scroll endlessly
  • FAT FINGERS: Accidental clicks occur if your buttons are too big, too small, or in the path of a finger that’s trying to get the page to scroll
  • CLICK TO CALL: Make it easy for users to get in touch with a touch rather than having to read, remember and dial your business
  • APP: Mobile users prefer App. For an established brand, an App can be a major advantage for user experience and SEO, Fortunately, apps can now be optimized for search in both Google and Bing
  • DON’T USE FLASH: The plugin may not be available on your user’s phone, which means they’ll miss out on all the fun. If you want to create special effects, use HTML5 instead
  • DON’T USE POP-UPS: It can be difficult and frustrating to try and close these on a mobile device. This might lead to a high bounce rate

Less is More

  • SHORTER KEYWORD PHRASES: Physical search query input are more challenging when typing on a tiny keyboard. Mobile users enter shorter phrases,
  • VOICE RECOGNITION: Search engines and mobile device manufacturers have invested heavily in voice recognition capabilities to ease the mobile input burden. Ask the Google App works in 38 languages

Go Local

  • GOOGLE PLACES: Create a profile within Google My Business and Bing Places for Business so you business show up with a map when mobile users search
  • LOCAL DIRECTORIES: Register in local business directories so mobile users and search engine know where you can be found

Below is an infographic on mobile SEO from Digital Marketing Philippines.

Do these facts cause you to care about mobile SEO? Has your business taken these steps to success?

mobile seo infographic

5 data-driven metrics prove ROI of SEO 0

Posted on May 10, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

ROI of SEO

 

  • 64% of traffic to a website comes from Organic Search (source: Conductor)
  • $750/month to $8,000/month is the range  for retainers companies pay for SEO (source: Search Engine Watch)
  • $100/hour to $300/hour is the range on an hourly basis

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.

These facts show:

  • An understanding of Organic Search is necessary for businesses to succeed on the internet
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is big business and costs vary widely
  • SEO should be tracked and measured to know its return on investment (ROI)..

With 5 data-driven metrics, you can prove the ROI of SEO. We’ll show you based on the SEO we do for our company, BarnRaisers.

  • WEBSITE VISITS FROM ORGANIC SEARCH: SEO that works drives more visitors to a website. For our business, we know 83% of traffic comes from organic search (more than average). We know it attracts over 11,000+ visits/month and over 85% are new. We get this information from Google Analytics. We work at SEO largely by providing relevant content (like this blog) to our visitors using priority “keywords” (metric #4). We track it every month.

ROI of SEO - Metric #1

  • LINKS: When search engines crawl your site, they look to see if you are an “authority.” This is determined by other sites that refer visitors through “inbound links.” If you’re providing relevant content on a regular basis, “authoritative links” should increase and the search engine raise your rank. We know we have 289 inbound links. We monitor them regularly and watch where they come from. Guest blog posts have served us well from increasing our inbound and authoritative links. There are many services that track links. These are tracked from Marketing.Grader.

ROI of SEO - Metric #2

  • INDEXED PAGES: Search engine catalog search pages for every query a user makes. The number of search engine pages your website is cataloged on are your “indexed pages.” More is better than less and, if your SEO is working, indexed pages increase. From the same source above, we have 1,100 indexed pages and are glad it has grown and continue to grow.
  • KEYWORD RANK: 32.5% of people click on the website in the first position in Organic Search from their search query; 90% click on a listing from the first page (source: Chitika). Understanding what keywords your business ranks high and how they match with what you do in very important. In our case, we achieve first page rank for keywords that reflect analytic expertise like “Key Performance Indicators,” “kpis” and “crm.” Since this is what we do, we’re glad about it. We also see how must value our efforts in Organic Search provide compared to paying for these keyworks on a CPC (cost-per-click) basis. The figures below come from SEMRush.

ROI of SEO - metric #4

  • KEY TRANSACTION ACTIVITIES (CONVERSIONS): People like to do business with people they know, If you like what you’ve read, you can: 1) Subscribe to our newsletter, 2) Download our free eBook, 3) Buy a book we’ve helped author or 4) View our process for working on SlideShare. We track all these activities and know a certain percentage of people who do their activities become customers. We also know what percent come from Organic Search because we’ve set up “goals” in Google Analytics. Through all these measures, we are able to determine if and how our efforts in SEO generate ROI.

ROI of SEO - metric #5

 

If you need more information on the cost of SEO, below in an infographic.

Do these 5 metrics prove the ROI of SEO to you? Did it help to show you how to measure SEO based on what we do? Does your business need help with SEO?

SEO costs

10 bad reasons to jump on the Millennials bandwagon 0

Posted on May 03, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

Have you noticed more and more businesses are jumping on the Millennials bandwagon?

Companies seem to have concluded by targeting Millennials, the generation born from the early 1980’s to the early 2000’s, this solves any business shortcomings now and ensures success for the future.

In many cases, companies, without research run by people much older, are pinning hopes, plans and resources behind those who are much younger.

Are they doing it for the right reasons?

To help separate right from wrong, here are 10 bad reasons to jump on the Millennials bandwagon.

  1. MILLENNIALS ARE THE BIGGEST GENERATION EVER. At 75.3 million in 2015, Millennial are the largest generation in U.S. history. They are also the most diverse. Share of Millennials born in foreign counties is the highest since 1910. There has been a 20% rise in the Hispanic population in the Millennial generation (source: White House). Millennials are a melting pot. Before concluding bigger is better, a little market segmentation is likely to go a long way.
  2. MILLENNIALS HAVE THE MOST SPENDING POWER: Millennials spend $200 billion dollars, annually, the most of any generation. But they make less money and actually have less spending power than older generations. On a per person basis, they are the smallest age group in spending today and won’t be the largest for another five years (source: Goldman Sachs). Student loan debt is also at a record high. It jumped from over $12,000 for the class of 1993 to nearly $27,000 for the class of 2012 (source: NPR.) If you’re going after the disposable income of Millennials, you’re chasing a small amount.
  3. MILLENNIALS ARE SHAPED BY TECHNOLOGY: Although Millennials can figure out how to use an app or site that is a clunker, they probably won’t take the time to do so. They are experts at finding alternatives. This means technology from smartphones to websites to mobile apps need to provide the most usable, self-guided, hiccup-free, efficient user experiences in history. Don’t think your online  experience is going to win favor with Millennials unless it’s great.
  4. MILLENNIALS ARE REACHABLE THROUGH DIGITAL MEDIA: 3 out of 4 Millennials own a smartphone. They are inseparable from their smartphones — and Facebook specifically, followed by YouTube and Pandora. Snapchat is the other notable mobile platform among Millennials and has grown 102 percent over the past year (source: Neilsen). If mobile isn’t central to your business strategy for Millennials, you’re not going to reach them.
  5. MILLENNIALS SEARCH ALL OVER THE INTERNET: 40% of Milleninals use product review websites before they shop (source: Edelman). 33% of Millennials rely mostly on blogs before they make a purchase, compared to fewer than 3% for TV news, magazines and books (source: Forbes). If you’re business doesn’t have a presence in these channels, Millennials are not going to find you.
  6. MILLENNIALS ARE BRAND LOYAL: 67% of Millennials believe it’s their responsibility to provide brand feedback (source: Edelman). A good customer experience and a “quality product” are the two most cited reasons for what influences Millennials to share information about a brand online. 62% expect a brand to engage with them on social networks to become a loyal customer. 43% say Facebook is the social network with the most influence on their spending habits, followed by Instagram at 22%.  (source: Millennial Branding) If you want to connect with Millennials, you’re going to have to rethink the way you market your product.
  7. MILLENNIALS ARE INFLUENCED BY THEIR PEERS: 68% of Millennials agree their peers’ social posts are ‘somewhat likely’ (or better) to influence them into making a purchase. 25% share online shopping content to their social networks; a rate of 4X that of the average user. They also share 2X more content than the average user (source: Adweek). These facts say Millennials trust people over brands and trust is likely to be built on their social networks then your brand’s website.
  8. MILLENNIALS ARE CAUSE CONSCIOUS: 80% said they’d be more likely to purchase from a company that supports a cause they care about (if price and quality were equal); 75% would think more highly of a company that supports a social cause (source: TBWA) ; yet, they check prices twice as often as Boomers, 83% budget a specific amount each month to pay off debt; if given money, 42% would use it to pay off debt (UBS)
  9. MILLENNIALS VALUE COMMUNITY AND FAMILY: Millennials may be connected but they delaying marriage and babies and taking time to “find themselves” in their 20s. The average age of first marriage is 27 for women and 29 for men, up from 20 for women and 23 for men in 1960, according to a recent Pew Research. Some millennials — 34 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds — are waiting longer to get married for financial reasons.
  10. LET’S HIRE MILLENNIALS TO LEARN ABOUT MILLENNIALS: They are very hard workers; but they’re different from previous generations. 56% would take a pay cut to work somewhere that is changing the world for the better; yet, 71% don’t always obey social media policies at work and 56% won’t work at a company if they ban social media access (source: BarnRaaisers). Millennials work hard, maybe even harder, than the rest of us, but they work differently and have different expectations of the workplace.

Are these bad reasons to market to Millennials to you? Does your business need help marketing to Millennials for the right reasons?

20 data-driven metrics every content marketer should know 0

Posted on April 26, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

 

data-driven metrics

Measure of success conceptual using measuring tape

  • 70% of consumers prefer to get to know a company or brand through original articles rather than through ads. (Entrepreneur)
  • Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional forms of marketing. (DemandMetric)
  • 61% of consumers report feeling better about a company or brand that offers custom content – and are more likely to buy from them. (Content Marketing Institute)

These facts suggest relevant content, after the product or service a company offers, is a brand’s most valuable asset.

Content marketing takes many forms from blogs, case studies, emails, guides, how-to’s, infographics, interviews, podcasts, product reviews, videos and even native ads. A brand should have a strategy for content marketing specific to the desired business results and then choose tactics.

Are there metrics to guide your company on effectiveness of the business strategy for content marketing? Ones that are most likely to give insights and serve as an actionable scorecard?

Here are 20 data-driven metrics every content marketer should know.

AWARENESS

  • VISITS AND UNIQUE VISITORS: The latter refers to the number of distinct individuals visiting your website during a given period; the former the number of times a site is visited, no matter how many visitors make up those visits. These are foundations for awareness. They let you know the size of your audience and if it is increasing or decreasing month to month.
  • TRAFFIC SOURCES: Tell you where your audience is coming from: Organic search, paid search, social media, other websites or coming direct, typing your website URL in their browser. This helps you learn if you’re attracting the type of people you want and if it is in line with how you are spending your time and/or money.
  • LINKS: Come from other websites, blogs or social network pages that mention your content with a link. It is not only a measure of your awareness; it is a measure of  your level of authority on a particular topic.
  • KEYWORD SERP RANK: 54% of people find a website through a search query. 34% click on the first website listed in organic search; 90% of clicks occur on the first page (source: Forrester). If your Search Engine Rank Page (SERP) is high for a particular keyword, consumers are likely to be aware of you on a particular topic.
  • KEY CONTENT: Is the best indicator of content on your website that visitors find unique and differentiating.
  • FAN AND FOLLOWER COUNT: 37% of consumers use social network sites for research to obtain information and feedback (source: Marketing Land). Social network followings are a source for awareness.

ENGAGEMENT

  • BOUNCE RATE: Is the percentage of visitors who enter your site and then leave (“bounce”) rather than continuing. It is a key measure of the relevance of your website, content and ability to engage your audience.
  • SHARES: Measure content that consumers find most interesting. They also are a means of showing the value of your “earned” media.
  • COMMENTS: Are important for lead generation, building relationship and finding your advocates and influencers.
  • SUBSCRIPTIONS AND REGISTRATIONS: From email newsletters, ebooks, webinars, subscriptions and registrations are a key lead generation vehicle in a content marketing program.
  • KEY INFLUENCERS: Are valuable in promoting your content. They are the people who share, comments, like, and re-tweet your content as well as people you might seek out through tools like BuzzSumo, PeerIndex or Klout who others turn to on topics important to your brand

CONVERSION

  • EMAIL OPEN RATES AND CLICKS: Represent the percentage of your audience that usually opens what you send or clicks on actions you want them to take. These metrics also come with their email addresses.
  • DOWNLOADS: Usually occur for more content rich pieces like ebook, product information or a podcast. They measure the most interested segment of your audience as well as people who might share your content with others.
  • RETURN RATE: If you send a survey out, hold an event or conduct a webinar, the return rate is a valuable measurement for seeing the percentage of people who express interest and respond.
  • UNSUBSCRIBES AND OPT-OUTS: It’s as important to know the percent of your audience you may be annoying as interesting with your content and to keep at a minimal level.
  • SALES: Are the most important conversion. But, so is understanding buying behavior and the buying cycle which all of the above help to do. For many content marketing programs, there are often “micro” conversion as well as macro conversions. That is, smaller actions that are often predictive of major events.

BUSINESS VALUE

  • QUALITY LEADS: Is a metric relative to the segment of your audience most likely to take desired conversion activities
  • PIPELINE GENERATED: As is it likely other sales and marketing activities are used to generate quality leads and sales, the pipeline from content marking should also be evaluated relative to its value.
  • PRODUCTION COST (TIME AND MONEY): Whether it’s time or money (or both) that are being invested, the human and dollar value should be calculated.
  • RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI): Just like any other investment, from the metrics above, the return on investment of content marketing can be calculated.

No business should take any major initiatives without an actionable scorecard. Do these data-driven metrics convince you of the measurement value of content marketing? Are there others metric you would include? Do you need help measuring content marketing?

  • About

    BarnRaisers builds brands with proven relationship principles and ROI. We are a full service digital marketing agency. Our expertise is strategy, analytics and data-driven results.



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