Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

5-easy-ways-to-generate-website-traffic
Liz-headshot

Meet the Author

Liz Hersh is the founder of Hersh PR and Marketing, a digital marketing agency. Together with a team of marketing professionals she helps clients generate leads and increase revenue. 

Achieve Your Business Objectives With a Content Agency 

In a world where online sales channels have become increasingly important, digital content is a necessary part of your marketing strategy that you cannot ignore. But creating quality content takes time, creative energy and a strong understanding of digital platforms.

Chances are, you don’t have the necessary resources to do this in house. Between basic website maintenance and supporting your sales team, producing thought-leadership content doesn’t seem to fit in your schedule. 

If your manufacturing firm wants to gain more market share or cultivate better brand awareness, an increased content marketing effort may be exactly what you need. The right agency can be an invaluable partnership, ensuring the right customers find your business. However, hiring a content agency isn’t as cut and dried as you might think.

Here are several steps and considerations to discuss before you hire an agency.

Consider This Before Partnering with a Content Agency

The objectives of your business can be achieved through a focused content strategy, but only if you are clear on your goals and how you are measuring success.

Before hiring a content agency, discuss items such as sales goals, creating awareness for your brand, and positioning your organization as a leader in the industry. Content plays a role in all of these.

You also need to ask yourself a few tough questions about your existing content.

For instance, when was the last time you updated your website content? When was the last time you published or shared something new that provided real value to your target market?

Chances are good that you’ll need an agency partner if you are still relying on print materials that haven’t been updated in several years.

As I’ve mentioned, your internal bandwidth will also play a major factor in outsourcing your content. It can take 50+ hours per month to produce and promote high quality content, and most brands don’t have the capacity to do this in-house.

Pro Tip: Developing meaningful content is built on a strong understanding of your target market so make sure you have detailed buyer personas to reference.

Ready to take action? Let’s have a conversation

Understand the Content Landscape

There are dozens of different kinds of content that you can use for your manufacturing brand – blogs, videos, podcasts, eBooks, infographics or webinars are all viable types of content you might consider incorporating into your strategy.  

The sheer number of content opportunities means you’ll need to evaluate each potential partner carefully to understand what’s in their wheelhouse. Large, full-service agencies can provide a full suite of services, but they understandably come with more overhead and higher rates. Smaller agencies, on the other hand, often have several niche areas. Most of these specialize in one or several types of content production and are generally friendlier to your budget.

What to Look for in a Content Agency

The content agency you hire should do more than just churn out content for you. Think of this as a long-term relationship and an extension of your in-house team. Here are a few items you can use to evaluate potential partners. 

Areas of Expertise

  • Does the agency have experience creating content for manufacturers? And are they comfortable writing slightly technical content as your strategy evolves?
  • What types of content do they excel at?
  • What is the agency’s breadth of expertise? Are they strictly copywriters? Or are they familiar with related concepts such as keyword research and search engine optimization?

Who is Doing the Work?

  • What specific services are handled in-house, and what services (if any) are outsourced?
  • If any services are outsourced, how is quality controlled?
  • Will you have an account manager supporting you?

Measuring and Reporting

  • Does the agency have a solid track record of success? And will they actively measure and report on their content marketing efforts in relation to your business goals?
  • Does the agency make an effort to understand your business and its goals?
  • What tech tools or other reporting tools are used? How often do you receive reports?

Remember that mistakes with outsourcing can be costly. While content creators can quickly familiarize themselves with your brand, you’ll want to make sure it’s a long-term creative fit for both of you. Starting from scratch is a massive drain on company resources and you will lose momentum that you have built, which can be frustrating.

Next Steps for Your Marketing Team

Creating content for your brand, making sure that it is optimized and sharing it across multiple channels takes a considerable amount of effort. If you’re ready to commit to a content strategy to achieve your business goals, hiring an agency is a smart move. Content comes in many different forms, styles and voices, so do your research on each potential partner to ensure that they are the right fit for your brand. 

Hopefully the tips above will help improve your digital marketing. Have more questions about hiring a content agency? Reach out to us directly.

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Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

In a world where online sales channels have become increasingly important, digital content is a necessary part of your marketing strategy that you cannot ignore. But creating quality content takes time, creative energy and a strong understanding of search engines.

read more
10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

Automated emails are one of the best methods to nurture leads and convert them into paying customers. When you have an effective email campaign that provides significant amounts of value to those who follow your content, your organization can generate revenue with minimal ongoing effort.

read more

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Contextual Targeting in 2021: Here’s What You Need to Know

Contextual Targeting in 2021: Here’s What You Need to Know

Contextual Targeting in 2021: Here’s What You Need to Know

5-easy-ways-to-generate-website-traffic
Liz-headshot

Meet the Author

Liz Hersh is the founder of Hersh PR and Marketing, a digital marketing agency. Together with a team of marketing professionals she helps clients generate leads and increase revenue. 

Remain Relevant and Visible with Contextual Targeting 

Advertisers see the best results when they showcase their brand alongside relevant content that their target audience pursues online. However, in today’s environment, this also means balancing concerns over third-party data and reaching consumers without intruding on their privacy. You probably know what this entails. How many times have you gone on a social media platform and seen advertisements related to your recent internet searches?

While cookie-based advertising has been the norm over the last decade, concerns over data privacy have led to contextual advertising making a comeback.

What is Contextual Targeting?

Contextual targeting isn’t new. In fact, it’s an approach used by marketers for decades. Think of vendors in a trade magazine, make-up in a fashion publication or a sporting goods manufacturer at a sports event.

In the realm of digital advertising, contextual targeting means that you’ll be selecting where your ads appear, or dynamically adjusting your ad creative to better align with the content and keywords on a website.

Contextual Targeting vs Behavioral Targeting

For the last decade or so, behavioral targeting has been the industry standard. This approach selects ads for users based on past purchases, browsing behavior and even in-store movement from data captured by mobile phones. Behavioral targeting allows organizations to “purchase” intent via cookies, mobile/location data, purchases on third party websites, payment processors and other shared data sources.

Behavioral targeting isn’t going away, but it will be more difficult to accomplish with recent changes to cookie policies and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For this reason, contextual targeting holds several benefits over behavioral targeting.

Benefits of Contextual Targeting

Companies can protect their brand, enhance their favorability, and engage more consumers with contextual targeting.

Relevancy: This approach places advertisements that are relevant to the content, making it much more genuine than behavioral targeting. Remember that behavioral targeting utilizes cookies and other stored data to push advertisements, which is not the case with contextual targeting.

Remain Privacy-Friendly: Because you are creating and placing ads yourself in contextual targeting, it values the privacy of the buyer much more. The content of the website is used for targeting rather than past behavior.

Pro Tip: The better you can understand the context of a page, the better your ad matching will be. 

How to Get Started with Contextual Targeting

One of the reasons many marketers turned away from contextual targeting is because requires a little more effort than behavioral targeting. While both forms of advertising aim to serve relevant ads to audiences at the right time, behavioral targeting leverages data to select most, if not all, ad placements and bidding strategies.

Here are some initial steps you can take before you engage with an agency. Unless you’re extremely familiar with the nuances of digital ad campaigns, you will likely need a trusted partner to guide you.

Review/revamp your buyer personas: Contextual targeting is successful if you know exactly who you want to target and what their exact interests are. Remember, the goal of this kind of targeting is to marry content with advertising to make sure that the visitor’s problems will be solved. Every organization should have a clear and concise description of their target audiences.

Understand your buyer’s journey: It’s also helpful to understand the various stages a buyer will experience prior to purchasing your product or service – from education to consideration to decision. Organizations should focus on creating a consistent experience for potential customers, ensuring all channels work together to bring customers through the buyer’s journey across different touchpoints on different platforms.

Brainstorming topics and keywords: To place your ads on relevant websites, you’ll need to tell your advertising system what topics and keywords are important. Topics are broad categories like “sports” or “yoga”. Keywords are for more precise targeting within your broad topics. Together, topics and keywords will help determine where your ads should be placed.

Your Next Steps 

If you want to keep your brand visible and relevant, then contextual targeting is an ideal option. It’s about making sure that the right product/service is shown alongside the right content of any given website or social media page — without intruding on privacy.

Hopefully the tips above will help improve your digital advertising. Have more questions about contextual targeting? Reach out to us directly.

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Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

In a world where online sales channels have become increasingly important, digital content is a necessary part of your marketing strategy that you cannot ignore. But creating quality content takes time, creative energy and a strong understanding of search engines.

read more
10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

Automated emails are one of the best methods to nurture leads and convert them into paying customers. When you have an effective email campaign that provides significant amounts of value to those who follow your content, your organization can generate revenue with minimal ongoing effort.

read more

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SEO for eCommerce: Keyword Research and Why it Matters

SEO for eCommerce: Keyword Research and Why it Matters

SEO for eCommerce: Keyword Research and Why it Matters

5-easy-ways-to-generate-website-traffic
Liz-headshot

Meet the Author

Liz Hersh is the founder of Hersh PR and Marketing, a digital marketing agency. Together with a team of marketing professionals she helps clients generate leads and increase revenue. 

Keyword Research is the Foundation of Your SEO Efforts 

Businesses currently exist in an environment that is driven by two things: Visibility and internet traffic. These elements are necessary for generating leads and moving merchandise. 

Search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO, will improve both elements. When the content on an eCommerce website is optimized, it is more likely to appear on the first page of search results for a set of search terms, which will improve visibility and traffic.

Keyword research is the X-Factor when it comes to the overall success of an eCommerce business. While keyword research requires extensive knowledge of search engines and industry tools, there are several basic concepts that every entrepreneur should understand to quickly evaluate their current situation and understand where there’s room for improvement.

Understanding User Intent

To understand keyword research, you need to understand that user intent drives Google searches. Some users will be looking for general information about a topic while others are looking for very specific information related to their keywords. 

Search engines are getting better at understanding user intent, but it’s also incumbent upon the business to test keywords and understand what delivers results. Transactional queries are important to eCommerce websites because a user might be looking for a specific item, color, brand or style. Over time, retailers can begin to understand the journey a customer takes to learn about their product and eventually make a purchase. 

Tools for eCommerce SEO Research

Of the dozens of SEO research tools that are available, there are two that stand out as being highly reputable and effective: Moz and Semrush.

These two tools are what agencies use for eCommerce keyword research to ensure that products and services appear on the first page of searches. Here are a few ways they support keyword research:

  • Conduct audits: In-depth audits take time, but these tools automate the process to help quickly identify SEO issues.
  • Identify keyword opportunities: Find high-converting opportunities or keyword variations that can be beneficial.
  • Dissect competitor SEO strategies: Use this insight to formulate your own strategy.

Although anybody can use Moz and Semrush, it does take a significant amount of time to learn the full capability of these tools which is why SEO and keyword research is typically outsourced to an agency partner.

Pro Tip: Explore your competitors top-ranking pages to discover phrases you may have overlooked. 

The Importance of Keyword Mapping

Keyword mapping is an important step in the process. This is where you connect a specific keyword to a specific product or category page. This step brings structure to your strategy, and if your document is organized properly, it will help you track what keywords/pages are performing optimally.

We typically evaluate and select keywords based on monthly search volume and keyword difficulty, but you might identify niche keywords or longtail keywords that provide value. Research tools can provide valuable insight, but the best way to discover what works is to test and evaluate!

Your Product and Category Pages Matter

An eCommerce site is generally only as good as its best performing product pages. Identifying what products are performing well and further optimizing these pages can yield results. 

Optimizing pages that already rank while working on new phrases/products is a balancing act that takes time. The key here is to demonstrate to search engines that you have relevant products and you’re consistently updating your website.

As you continue to work your strategy, you’ll begin to rank for more search terms. And remember that pairing an organic SEO strategy with paid advertising is an effective way to begin generating traffic while you build trust and credibility with search engines.

Getting Started with Keyword Research

Effective SEO keyword research is a process. It takes time to determine which keywords will place your products and services on the first page of any given search engine. Doing the necessary research involves an understanding of your products, buyer intent and third-party SEO tools. This combination of expertise is why many eCommerce retailers opt to partner with an agency. Make sure this partner not only has a proven track record of SEO research, but can show demonstrable results.

Hopefully the tips above will help improve your eCommerce conversions. Have more questions about keyword research? Reach out to us directly.

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Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

In a world where online sales channels have become increasingly important, digital content is a necessary part of your marketing strategy that you cannot ignore. But creating quality content takes time, creative energy and a strong understanding of search engines.

read more
10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

Automated emails are one of the best methods to nurture leads and convert them into paying customers. When you have an effective email campaign that provides significant amounts of value to those who follow your content, your organization can generate revenue with minimal ongoing effort.

read more

Subscribe to Get The Latest Insights.

What makes marketing so challenging?

Trying to keep-up with the tools, technology and the limited attention span of your target market are all challenging. Get our tips on how to grow leads and revenue, delivered directly to your inbox.

Join The List

Request a Consultation.

Are you ready to take action? Let's see how we can reach your
goals with a 20-minute introductory call.

10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

5-easy-ways-to-generate-website-traffic
Liz-headshot

Meet the Author

Liz Hersh is the founder of Hersh PR and Marketing, a digital marketing agency. Together with a team of marketing professionals she helps clients generate leads and increase revenue. 

Use Email Automation to Improve eCommerce Sales 

There is no denying that automated emails are one of the best methods to nurture leads and convert them into paying customers.  When you have an effective email campaign that provides significant value to those who follow your content, your organization can generate repeat conversions with minimal ongoing effort.

Your email list is the backbone of your eCommerce business, and making sure you are sending the right kinds of emails to those who have signed up for your list is incredibly important.

Why Automate Your Emails?

The savviest eCommerce companies understand that consistent communication with an email list generates web traffic and sales. By automating these emails, you’re freeing up time to spend on other areas of the business.

Automated emails are carefully planned emails sent to subscribers at a specific time or as a response to the actions of users on a website. Automation allows eCommerce companies to save time, boost sales, warm up leads, and create highly targeted offers.

Think of automated emails as a function of your business. Just as your business contains different departments that take care of each aspect of the business, the same can be said for automated emails.  Make them a regular part of your communications and marketing, and you will understand what a game-changer this can be for your business.

Transactional Emails

The purpose of transactional emails is to confirm that your customer has completed a purchase and that their order is on its way. Obviously, this matters because you need to let your customers know their order has been received and is being processed. We consider these to be standard transactional emails:

  • Order confirmation
  • Shipping notification
  • Delivery notification

As straightforward as this may seem, there are a few other things that you can do with transactional emails:

  • Provide an offer for their next purchase. It could be a fixed discount or free shipping.
  • Remind customers of products they might have been interested in purchasing.
  • Obtain feedback on your ordering process.

New Subscriber Welcome Email Series

The first major step in any prospect’s buying process is to subscribe to an email list. After they have subscribed to your email list, we recommend initiating a new subscriber email series.

This series matters because if a prospect is interested enough to subscribe to your email list, it turns them into a hot lead who is more likely to buy from you.

Emails in this series should be sent out immediately. Consider including content such as your most popular videos or blogs, more insight about your company and your mission, or an offer exclusively for new subscribers. The intent is to keep them engaged and encourage frequent visits to your website.

Pro Tip: You don’t have to activate all 10 of these automated emails at once. Start with what you can and expand as your company grows. 

New Customer Welcome Email Series

Once a customer has bought something from your organization, they need to be reassured that not only did they make the right decision, they also need to be assured that they are valued. The new customer welcome email series does this.

The emails in this series need to do two things. They need to cement that you provided a seamless buying experience and they need to encourage new customers to make a second purchase.

Start these emails off with a strong brand statement to establish credibility and trust. You can follow that up with information about social media channels and support resources if necessary. We also suggest including a request for product feedback, just make sure that email will arrive only after the order is delivered!

Abandoned Cart Emails

Abandoned cart emails in your campaign have the potential to be some of your most profitable emails. These need to be taken seriously.

Potential customers abandon their carts for various reasons, and the goal of this email is to get them to complete the purchase. These emails should be sent about a half hour after the cart is abandoned. Focus on helping the customer more than selling to them. They may have abandoned their cart due to technical issues so consider including contact information for customer support.

Back in Stock Notifications

Items that are out of stock are inconvenient for everybody involved and it can be a legitimate reason why a customer doesn’t buy anything. This is where the back in stock notification comes in handy.  It will let customers know that what they wanted is back in stock, which will hopefully lead them to buy.

Most of the time, back in stock notifications can take the place of an abandoned cart email in that it makes more sense for your customer to receive this email instead of the abandoned cart email if anything in your catalog is out of stock.

Showing pictures of the product that was previously out of stock, linking the email to a regenerated session of their cart and making alternative suggestions if the item has been discontinued are the best ways to use back in stock notifications.

Product Education Emails or Evergreen Blog Articles

Content in the form of information that provides infinite value is known as “evergreen” content.

If executed properly, these can be very profitable emails in your campaigns. These messages can convert followers into buyers and they can convince buyers to purchase more. Product education emails can vastly improve a buying experience and give you loads of opportunities to cross sell.

Product education emails should be part of your new customer or new subscriber email series, as they can provide information that those on your email list will appreciate tremendously.

Cross Sell Emails

There are two steps you should take when somebody buys one of your products.

First, make sure that the customer’s buying experience is as perfect as it can get. Make sure there is product education content attached to the purchase if necessary, and make sure any questions about the product can be answered easily.

The second thing you should do is send a cross sell email. This is where you send an email that sells something that is related to what was just sold to the customer. Cross sell emails are important because they will help your customers find something else that is useful for them as well as help you generate more sales.

Pro Tip: Test different variables like subject lines, delivery times and workflow spacing to determine what generates the best response. 

VIP Emails

Your most valuable customers ought to be treated differently than customers who just come and go. When your VIP customers remain happy, they will keep buying from you and you won’t have to work as hard to generate conversions.

This is where the VIP email comes in. VIP emails target the top 5 to 20 percent of customers, giving them an incentive to continue making purchases.

Executing these kinds of emails means you need to know who your VIP customers are. When it comes to determining your VIP customers, consider how much your customers have purchased and how frequently they have ordered from you. You can even take this a step further by creating a formal rewards program with different levels based on how often someone makes a purchase.

Win Back Emails

When a customer has not purchased something from your website for a long time, you’re going to need to win them back.  These emails are important because once a website visitor has bought from you, the chances of them buying from you again are very high, and a well executed win-back email campaign can accomplish this.

Executing a solid win-back email campaign is done by determining when customers lose interest. One way you can do this is by tracking how much time has passed between purchases. The average time between orders will vary from one online retailer to the next. Determine what makes sense for your business and build an automation with an offer they can’t refuse.

Date-Based Emails

Everyone can relate to important dates and milestones, whether it is a birthday, anniversary, or another similar event. Your customers and subscribers will appreciate anybody who remembers their birthdays or the date of their first purchase.

Executing date-based emails is as easy as collecting a subscriber’s birthday or anniversary, then putting those emails into your campaign. You’ll then be able to offer anything you want to them within your date-based email.

Your Next Steps 

Having one email campaign for everyone who visits your website is simply not enough if you are serious about acquiring and keeping customers for your brand.

Ten different email campaigns may seem overwhelming, but given that most email campaign software allows you to easily build automations with different kinds of triggers and parameters, this is much easier than it looks.

Hopefully the tips above will help improve your eCommerce conversions. Have more questions about setting up successful email automation campaigns? Reach out to us directly.

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Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

In a world where online sales channels have become increasingly important, digital content is a necessary part of your marketing strategy that you cannot ignore. But creating quality content takes time, creative energy and a strong understanding of search engines.

read more
10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

Automated emails are one of the best methods to nurture leads and convert them into paying customers. When you have an effective email campaign that provides significant amounts of value to those who follow your content, your organization can generate revenue with minimal ongoing effort.

read more

Subscribe to Get The Latest Insights.

What makes marketing so challenging?

Trying to keep-up with the tools, technology and the limited attention span of your target market are all challenging. Get our tips on how to grow leads and revenue, delivered directly to your inbox.

Join The List

Request a Consultation.

Are you ready to take action? Let's see how we can reach your
goals with a 20-minute introductory call.

7 Marketing Metrics Every Manufacturer Should be Tracking

7 Marketing Metrics Every Manufacturer Should be Tracking

7 Marketing Metrics Every Manufacturer Should be Tracking

5-easy-ways-to-generate-website-traffic
Liz-headshot

Meet the Author

Liz Hersh is the founder of Hersh PR and Marketing, a digital marketing agency. Together with a team of marketing professionals she helps clients generate leads and increase revenue. 

How to Use Data to Run More Effective Campaigns 

What gets measured gets not only managed, but improved.

Marketing metrics are no different, and as the world becomes more and more digital in its communication, marketing campaigns utilize a set of metrics that are much more trackable and manageable than they ever were. However, you can find yourself getting overwhelmed and even wasting a lot of time if you are unsure of where to focus your attention.

Of the dozens of marketing metrics that you can track, there are seven that not only matter tremendously but also fall in line with the inbound marketing approach that we follow. The goal of inbound marketing is to generate more leads through your website which can place you in control of the sales cycle, allowing you to pursue stronger partnerships with potential clients.

Once you have a good handle on these seven metrics, your organization will run more effective campaigns. You’ll find that your internet visibility is stronger, and your expertise is in much higher demand, especially in the world of manufacturing where there is a lot of competition.

The best part about these metrics is that they can be easily tracked using Google Analytics or similar tracking tools. Sure, there are more advanced tools available, but you won’t need to spend a lot of money to obtain insight on these basic data points.

Website Visits/Traffic Sources

Site visits are a basic but very important metric. Every campaign should have a “visits” goal because traffic is often the early indicator of how effective your message is. If clicks to a landing page are lower than expected, then the message, graphics and/or the call to action needs tweaking.

A closely related metric is traffic sources. Within Google Analytics, there are several primary “sources” you need to be aware of:

Direct Traffic: Visits that comes from those who directly typed or copied the URL of your website into their browser, clicked on a bookmark or clicked a link in an email/SMS chat.

Search/Organic Traffic: Visits to your website from an unpaid search result on Google, Bing or Yahoo.

Referral Traffic: Traffic that comes from a third-party website rather than a search engine. This could include links from press releases, guest articles, business directories or social media websites.

Paid Website Traffic: These are visits to your website from people who have clicked on a Google paid search ad or display ad. This only applies to businesses running advertising campaigns, and you’ll need proper tracking set-up within Analytics.

All four of these are equally important in that search engines like to see traffic coming from each source. There aren’t any hard and fast rules about the ideal breakdown in traffic, but direct traffic and organic traffic are still highly coveted. Take steps to improve traffic from all sources and you’ll be moving in the right direction.

Pro Tip: Use your existing data in Google Analytics to create a baseline. Understanding your baseline is critical to developing an effective marketing strategy.

Ready to take action? Let’s have a conversation

Time Spent on Site

Do the visitors of your website leave after just checking out a few articles or pages?

Do they spend significant amounts of time surfing your website?

A little more than half of all website visitors spend less than 15 seconds on any given website, and we obviously want these visitors to hang around longer than that.

The first step to increasing time spent on your website is making sure your strategy includes buyer personas that focus on their pain points as well as content that addresses the challenges.

Publishing original content such as blog articles, case studies, podcasts, videos or white papers gives visitors a reason to explore your website. Plus, when you create thought-leadership content, you demonstrate to search engines why your website is relevant.

Bounce Rate

Related to time spent on a website is something called Bounce Rate.

A “Bounce” refers to the act of a visitor getting to the website and then leaving said website without any further interaction.

Ideally this rate should never rise above 60%. You need to make some serious adjustments to your message, homepage design, and some of your CTAs if your bounce rate is this high.

If your campaign message aligns with your landing page and you give visitors the information they want, you’ll begin to see your bounce rate fall. This is an iterative process that takes time. Systematic tweaks over time can yield results. Use your existing data as a baseline and start tracking your progress. 

Pages Ranked

Website success will always be related to search rankings, and the number of pages you rank for represents the number of chances for your potential customers to discover your content as well as your website.

Ideally you want this number to be the majority of pages that you have on your site. You can use a free tool like Google Search Console to track ranked pages. If you are ready to invest in a paid tool, you’ll get a little more insight on your ranking pages as well as those of your competitors.

Blogs, case studies or podcasts with specific key phrases are opportunities for your website to rank. These individual pages will begin to rank over time in searches, generating more visits and leads.

Leads Generated

Leads are generated by what is known as a call to action, or CTA.

Determining how many leads a given CTA in your content generates is one of the most useful marketing metrics you can track. Optimizing for leads (and quite often the goal is better qualified leads) is also an iterative process, involving incremental tweaks over time.

If you are running several campaigns and testing multiple CTAs, then you’ll be well on your way to understanding what is most appealing to your target customers.

Conversion Rate

Related to the number of leads is the conversion rate, the percentage of visitors to your website that complete a desired goal out of the total number of visitors.

A high conversion rate is ideal. Traffic doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t convert into leads who could possibly benefit from your services.

Think of conversion rate as a journey that a buyer takes that leads them to pursuing your product or service. You can segment this journey into three phases and track your conversion rate for each phase: The awareness phase, the consideration phase, and the decision phase.

By tracking your conversion rate through this journey, you’ll understand how far your visitors get into the conversion cycle. You can then alter your strategies and campaigns to improve conversions.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Probably one of the most important metrics to measure is ROI because it shows you directly which tactics work and which ones do not.

ROI is best expressed in a percentage. For example, a $1000 investment that generated $1200 in revenue would have an ROI of 20% since 1200 is 20% greater than 1000.

Determine your target ROI during planning and strategy conversions. Then work backward to further define the resources required to achieve this goal. Consider all of the resources you have at your disposal when doing this with the understanding that successful marketing campaigns don’t come together over night!

Next Steps for Your Marketing Team

Digital marketing strategies are a marathon, not a sprint.

This is why you should keep a close eye on these metrics and make adjustments as you go along. The same principles of traditional marketing apply to web-based marketing campaigns. You need to build trust and authority with your digital audience, using these metrics as indicators of your progress.

Hopefully the tips above will help improve website conversions. Have more questions about running successful marketing campaigns? Reach out to us directly.

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Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

In a world where online sales channels have become increasingly important, digital content is a necessary part of your marketing strategy that you cannot ignore. But creating quality content takes time, creative energy and a strong understanding of search engines.

read more
10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

Automated emails are one of the best methods to nurture leads and convert them into paying customers. When you have an effective email campaign that provides significant amounts of value to those who follow your content, your organization can generate revenue with minimal ongoing effort.

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WordPress Websites: What to Look for in a Web Design Company

WordPress Websites: What to Look for in a Web Design Company

WordPress Websites: What to Look for in a Web Design Company

Liz-headshot

Meet the Author

Liz Hersh is the founder of Hersh PR and Marketing, a digital marketing agency. Together with a team of marketing professionals she helps clients generate leads and increase revenue. 

Find the Right Partner to Build Your WordPress Website 

Having a strong website is important because it’s often the first impression you will make on potential customers. Whether they found you through a search engine or through a link shared by a connection, your website is typically the first point of contact.  A strong website is well-organized, easy to navigate, modern (in terms of style and layout), functional, branded, and motivates the visitor to do business with you.

A company specializing in website design and development will help you achieve a website that looks great and is suited to your style or brand. A website developer will use the designer’s specifications in order to bring the concept to life. Here’s what to look for when choosing a WordPress web design company:

Are They The Total Package?

It takes a surprising number of specialists to launch a successful website. A content specialist will ensure you nail the marketing messages. A graphic designer can make those words pop. And a developer has the technical expertise to ensure everything functions properly. Make sure the company you partner with is able to handle the content, design and any custom coding needed for your website to function the way you want it to.

Review Their Portfolio

What has the web designer or developer done for other companies? Do you like their past work? While it’s true that the definition of what makes a great website varies slightly from company to company, you should observe a level of design and function that is indicative of a professional. Looking at the projects that your web design and development firm have already completed will give you the best idea of what they can do for you.

How Big is This Company – And How Big is Their Average Client?

Designing a website for a small business is much different than designing a website for a large corporation. The scope of work and resources required are drastically different. If a firm doesn’t understand your needs and how to fill them (one-on-one meetings, the ability to change things on your own in the content management system, follow up help after the project is complete), you might need to consider a firm better suited to work with small and mid-size businesses.

Pro Tip: It’s advantageous to work with a company that you can form a long-term business relationship with. Not all freelancers are interested in long-term relationships because they may not have the resources to support your future goals.

Consider Your Timeline

Do you need this project done quickly? Is there a specific date you have in mind to launch? Making sure that a company can plan a reasonable timeline, or that they can follow the timeline you have in mind, will help the project go smoothly. And don’t forget to ask how the relationship between your company and theirs will continue once the project is complete.

Upfront and Ongoing Investment

Depending on the status of your business, price can be a major factor in deciding who designs, builds, and maintains your website. Websites are a lot like cars, ranging from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the functionality, appearance and security required. That’s why it’s important to clearly define your goals and requirements and educate yourself on the resources required to make it happen. And remember, even after design, development, and implementation, websites require maintenance. They are a tool that can help your business grow and thrive when properly maintained.

We believe the best way to achieve your dream website is by hiring a single company dedicated to the design, development, and implementation of your site.  Contact us today for more information.

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Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

In a world where online sales channels have become increasingly important, digital content is a necessary part of your marketing strategy that you cannot ignore. But creating quality content takes time, creative energy and a strong understanding of search engines.

read more
10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

Automated emails are one of the best methods to nurture leads and convert them into paying customers. When you have an effective email campaign that provides significant amounts of value to those who follow your content, your organization can generate revenue with minimal ongoing effort.

read more

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Trying to keep-up with the tools, technology and the limited attention span of your target market are all challenging. Get our tips on how to grow leads and revenue, delivered directly to your inbox.

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Increase Website Conversions: Simple Site Edits for Manufacturers

Increase Website Conversions: Simple Site Edits for Manufacturers

Increase Website Conversions: Simple Site Edits for Manufacturers

Liz-headshot

Meet the Author

Liz Hersh is the founder of Hersh PR and Marketing, a digital marketing agency. Together with a team of marketing professionals she helps clients generate leads and increase revenue. 

How to Convert Website Traffic into Leads 

An eye-catching website is an essential component of any digital marketing strategy. However, having a good-looking website won’t necessarily convert web traffic into qualified leads. The best websites engage the audience, educate them, and demonstrate that your product or service is a viable solution to their challenges.

The challenge for marketing departments is knowing what site changes to implement because there are many variables that affect conversions. Short of conducting extensive split testing, in-house marketing teams must incrementally test different variables to see what performs best.

Set aside any preconceptions you have about what you think might work and what won’t. It’s amazing how much of our own perceptions influence our decision making. And remember that a website is always in development. You should always be testing and learning to better understand your audience and improve conversions.

Here are some of the most common website edits we implement to help clients increase website conversions.

Define and clearly highlight your value proposition

Don’t bury this information! It should be front and center on your home page and any campaign landing pages. Knowing your target market, their pain points and how you solve them is of utmost importance. Do you understand the journey they take in order to solve these challenges? If you don’t immediately speak to your target markets’ needs, you’ve lost them.

Crafting these messages, both written and visual, is an art and a science. You need to consider how the visitor is arriving at your site – via organic Google search, display ad or PPC ad – and how the verbiage on the page builds on the information they expect to find.

Here are some content/messaging best practices to consider:

  • Make the text scannable and use short paragraphs. Visitors will only read about 20% of your content.
  • Be concise. Be relevant. Use action verbs.
  • Omit unnecessary words and minimize jargon.
  • Incorporate plenty of headlines. Be short and direct. Headlines should stand on their own and be understood out of context of the rest of the text.
  • Front load important information.
  •  It’s OK to leave the visitor wanting more.

Pro Tip: A meaningful value proposition is built on a strong understanding of your target market. Make sure you have detailed buyer personas to reference. 

Ready to take action? Let’s have a conversation

Make Your Objective Clear

Just like with your value proposition, don’t bury this! Make it clear and obvious what you want your website visitors to do.

Is the first step in your buyer’s journey educational? Perhaps they should download an eBook or review product specs.

Is your product highly customizable for the unique needs of each client? Perhaps you might want to highlight case studies that demonstrate your ability to partner with customers and solve complex problems.

Remember this is step one of what could be a long and winding buyer’s journey! It’s your job to test and learn what’s going to move the lead through this journey efficiently.

The Three-Click Rule

Whenever we’re working on a website, we constantly ask this question: Are we getting the visitor to the information they want in three clicks or less?

If users can’t find what they are looking for quickly, they are likely to become frustrated and leave your website. This gets tricky for manufacturers with a robust set of products or services, or products that are complex in nature that might require the visitor to explore technical specifications.

Here are some items to keep in mind:

Navigation Bar: Make sure you have clear navigation at the top of the site. Visitors shouldn’t have to think too much about where they need to go; good navigation will lead them throughout the site naturally.

Site Search Tool: For websites that contain a lot of product data, consider an optimized search tool that will return relevant and accurate results.

Website Forms: Placement of lead capture forms is critical. You don’t want to turn customers off by immediately shoving a contact form in their face.

Buttons and Links: Use well labeled buttons, links and calls to action that tell users where they are and where they will be headed.

Build Trust With Reviews, Testimonials, or Case Studies

Testimonials play a valuable role in building trust and increasing sales. According to research from BrightLocal, 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Case studies also play a role in shaping buyer perception by illustrating a company’s success. By explaining how a customer used a product to solve a problem, you can demonstrate what your brand delivers and represents. Your leads are more likely to convert if you can show that others have benefited from what you’re offering.

Full-Length Case Studies: For longer case studies, we like to use the S.O.A.R. format. This stands for Situation, Opportunity, Action Taken and Results Generated.

Mini Case Studies: Some projects don’t require a detailed case study, but we find that there is still a story worth telling. Use mini-case studies to highlight customer wins as well.

Add a Live Chat or a Chatbot

Big companies like Amazon or Zappos have trained us to expect instant gratification, if not demand it. A recent study by Salesforce Research has shown that all buyers have the same expectations regardless of the purchase type. The study also indicated that 80% of business buyers expect real-time communications.

Don’t let this create unnecessary stress for your marketing and sales department. Chatbots can bridge the gap between getting questions answered immediately and speaking with a live human. Even a simple chatbot can capture contact information and reassure the website visitor that help is on the way.

Before you shoot down this idea, reasoning that chatbots are impersonal and don’t align with your brand, consider how this could accelerate your sales and marketing. Depending on how you build your chatbot, you have the potential to streamline lead qualification, lead nurturing and meeting scheduling. Aren’t these the same reasons we leverage other tools like email marketing?

Be available to your customers where and when they are looking for your services. Test a chatbot or a live chat feature and measure how it affects conversions.

Hopefully the tips above will help increase website conversions. Have more questions about your website content, design or user experience? Reach out to us directly.

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Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

In a world where online sales channels have become increasingly important, digital content is a necessary part of your marketing strategy that you cannot ignore. But creating quality content takes time, creative energy and a strong understanding of search engines.

read more
10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

Automated emails are one of the best methods to nurture leads and convert them into paying customers. When you have an effective email campaign that provides significant amounts of value to those who follow your content, your organization can generate revenue with minimal ongoing effort.

read more

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What makes marketing so challenging?

Trying to keep-up with the tools, technology and the limited attention span of your target market are all challenging. Get our tips on how to grow leads and revenue, delivered directly to your inbox.

Join The List

Request a Consultation.

Are you ready to take action? Let's see how we can reach your
goals with a 20-minute introductory call.

Manufacturers: Five Easy Ways to Generate More Website Traffic

Manufacturers: Five Easy Ways to Generate More Website Traffic

Manufacturers: Five Easy Ways to Generate More Website Traffic

Liz-headshot

Meet the Author

Liz Hersh is the founder of Hersh PR and Marketing, a digital marketing agency. Together with a team of marketing professionals she helps clients generate leads and increase revenue. 

Generate More Traffic, Leads and Sales 

Your company’s new website just went live. You’re eagerly monitoring traffic and keyword performance. While it’s everyone’s hope that visitors start browsing your content, good marketers know that it takes more than just a fancy new website to generate traffic, leads and sales. You have to work to get your message and your brand in front of customers.

Even if you’re seeing a decent amount of traffic to your site, the more quality traffic you generate will help increase the number of leads and conversions for your sales team. This is a numbers game that’s built on maintaining strong internet visibility. Here are five tried and true ways we’ve generated more website traffic for our manufacturing clients.

Always Be Optimizing Your Website

Website optimization isn’t one and done. It’s an ongoing task. While the frequency of these updates will be determined by the competitiveness of your specific niche/keywords, it’s necessary to make this a reoccurring priority. Updating on-page elements like title tags and meta descriptions are important.

The single biggest step you can take is to publish new content in the form of articles, case studies or podcast transcripts. Search engines continue to reward new content, so keep this in mind if your goal is to attract more organic traffic.

Pay-Per-Click Ads with Google and Bing

Google Ads is a great way to capture the attention of website visitors who are doing some serious shopping, so to speak. Pay-per-click ads send you straight to the top of a search results page. For potential customers who are looking to take quick action, this is probably the best way to drive serious traffic to your website and convert them quickly.

The caveat to this is that will take some testing to nail down the exact targeting in order to get results.

Pro Tip: Digital advertising on Google places you at the top of a search results page, getting your brand in front of potential customers immediately.

Ready to get started? Let’s have a conversation.

Retargeting Campaigns

Estimates say that 75% to 85% of people who visit your site will never return. You’ve dedicated time and resources to get visitors on your site, but without staying top of mind, they are off exploring other websites – perhaps even your competitors’ websites.

We’ve all experienced retargeting campaigns. You might be casually shopping for a new bike helmet, and suddenly those helmets start popping up wherever you go online. You can do the same thing with your own products and services. Most companies target recent website visitors for a period of 15 to 30 days. For manufacturers that have longer sales cycles, you might consider “following” them around for longer.

There are several tools that make retargeting campaigns super easy to implement. Our two favorites are Google Ads and AdRoll.

Submit Guest Articles to Industry Publications

When you’re an expert in a particular area, don’t be shy about it! In addition to publishing helpful articles on your website, we suggest contacting industry blogs or publications about submitting guest content. This is what’s known as “earned media” and it’s a great way to demonstrate thought leadership. It helps build your brand and prove you are a trusted source within your industry.

Targeted Emails to Current and Perspective Clients

Email is one of our favorite ways to generate a noticeable uptick in traffic to your website. If it’s a warm audience composed of past and current customers, you can ensure top of mind awareness through emails. A cold email list of prospects that you have acquired from, say, a trade show can be nurtured over time to build awareness for your brand.

Increasing the traffic to your website is the first step to generating results if you want a larger customer base. Contact us if you have questions about these strategies.

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Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

In a world where online sales channels have become increasingly important, digital content is a necessary part of your marketing strategy that you cannot ignore. But creating quality content takes time, creative energy and a strong understanding of search engines.

read more
10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

Automated emails are one of the best methods to nurture leads and convert them into paying customers. When you have an effective email campaign that provides significant amounts of value to those who follow your content, your organization can generate revenue with minimal ongoing effort.

read more

Subscribe to Get The Latest Insights.

What makes marketing so challenging?

Trying to keep-up with the tools, technology and the limited attention span of your target market are all challenging. Get our tips on how to grow leads and revenue, delivered directly to your inbox.

Join The List

Request a Consultation.

Are you ready to take action?
Let’s see how we can reach your goals with a 20-minute introductory call.

The Current State of Marketing and Sales

The Current State of Marketing and Sales

The Current State of Marketing and Sales

Buying Behavior is Changing Rapidly

Consumer buying behavior is changing constantly, depending on the latest devices, technology or economic conditions. As professional marketers I believe it’s our job to have a pulse on this buying behavior. It’s our job to sift through the information and distill it in a way that helps your organization make more informed marketing, sales and business decisions.

Things have been unfolding at a rapid pace the past few weeks. Let me share a few insights that we’ve garnered from conversations and other resources:

  • In general, internet traffic has increased by roughly 50 percent.
  • Organic traffic and conversions are a bit of a mixed bag. It really depends on the industry.
  • The pandemic is rapidly shifting buying behavior. There’s obviously been an uptick in online purchases and 13 percent of consumers are using this opportunity to discover new brands.
  • The cost of digital ads like those on Facebook or Google Ads has fallen significantly. We’re seeing some clicks cost as little as three cents.

With some industries booming and others at a standstill, you might be wondering what your marketing and sales looks like in the coming months. In my last article, I wrote about the importance of continuing to market, but I want to take a closer look at what exactly that means.

Right now, experts and economist predict that consumer spending will resume anywhere within three to 18 months. You should be working now to prepare for that uptick because the most successful organizations see big wins during the upswing, not when the economy is at its peak.

Selling When Few Are Buying

For many industries, now is not the time to sell. Simply put, many companies are not making purchases – or at least large purchases outside of immediate COVID-19 needs.

Rather than selling, focus on building relationships. If you look at any sales cycle, cultivating initial rapport with a lead or prospect is step number one. Building rapport is nothing more than making a connection with someone and establishing a relationship – that’s what you need to work on right now.

In the near term, your goal should be to remain top of mind. Demonstrate that you’ll be available when the customer or client is ready to buy.

Strengthening Your Marketing

If you’re not generating significant sales right now, strengthening your marketing should be a priority. Here are a few steps to take.

Revisit your target market. I harp on this one quite a bit, even when business is smooth sailing. Remember that the best marketers have a strong understanding of their audience. Use this time to clarify who you need to reach and how.

Identify your ROI positive channels. Rand Fishkin used this phrase in his latest Whiteboard Friday and it perfectly sums up how to approach any active marketing campaigns.

You don’t want to blanketly cut your budget. Instead understand what’s working and what’s not. Analyze specific campaigns or keywords to understand what can be temporarily paused and what can continue to run so you maintain visibility.

Continue to leverage your subscriber list. This is another thing I harp on constantly on our podcast! Your subscriber list is your biggest marketing asset. Make sure you remain in communication with the individuals who actively want to hear from you.

Use this time to educate and prepare for future marketing. If you are slower than usual, it’s a great time to educate yourself on channels or tools that you’re not actively using. Maybe that’s Google AdWords or YouTube. You don’t need to become an expert, but it’s wise to have a basic working knowledge of the tools available.

Now is also a great time to revisit your past content and understand what can be updated or re-purposed. Ensure your content is ready when people start buying again because they will, and they’ll be looking for thought leaders like you.

Many organizations don’t know how to market during times of uncertainty.  If you have questions or want to discuss next steps, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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10 must-haves for law firm internet marketing success

10 must-haves for law firm internet marketing success

Internet marketing helps law firms attract new leads and clients.  It’s an effective option because you’re able to reach a large audience. Many firms rely on the partners to bring in new business, but a group of partners doesn’t have the same reach as the internet. ...

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How law firm SEO can generate better leads

How law firm SEO can generate better leads

The longstanding way to grow a law practice is through word-of-mouth referrals.  Leveraging your network is a smart strategy, one that you should continue to use to drive business. But it shouldn’t be your only source of business.  It’s scary to think how many...

read more

Subscribe to Get The Latest Insights.

What makes marketing so challenging?

Trying to keep-up with the tools, technology and the limited attention span of your target market are all challenging. Get our tips on how to grow leads and revenue, delivered directly to your inbox.

Join The List

Request a Consultation.

Are you ready to take action?
Let’s see how we can reach your goals with a 20-minute introductory call.

Marketing During COVID-19: Advice and Best Practices

Marketing During COVID-19: Advice and Best Practices

Marketing During COVID-19: Advice and Best Practices

Organizations Can Not Only Survive, But Thrive 

In April of 2009, I took a crazy leap of faith and started Hersh PR and Marketing. I was 23 years old, essentially fresh out of college and I had no idea how the Great Recession would play out. Fast forward to 2020 and it’s become clear that many of the lessons I learned in the early years of my business can be dusted off and applied once again. Unexpected events such as floods, earthquakes or epidemics can rattle even the most prepared business. The events that have unfolded in the past several weeks have demonstrated that it’s important to have well-document strategies for your business that are based on sound data and can be revised quickly as economic conditions shift. During this time, I suggest that you have the right individuals participating during your internal conversations about business strategy and marketing. Be mindful that your initial reactions can and will affect the perception of your organization and it’s smart to have an external (third-party) voice participate in these conversations.

Don’t Exploit the Situation

I’m not a fan of (extreme) fear-based marketing tactics* and now is certainly not the time to capitalize on people’s fear. Attempting to make a quick buck as a result of COVID-19 is extremely short-sighted. Play the long game (more on that below) and be very mindful of the messages you’re distributing.

Don’t Stop Marketing

It’s easy to “turn off” your marketing. It’s extremely difficult to rebuild your momentum when you attempt to turn it back on. Studies going as far back as the 1920s indicate the advantages of maintaining or even increasing your marketing budget during a weak economy.

The relative noise level in your particular industry might drop as competitors cut their budget, creating an opportunity for you. This is also a great time to project stability and strength.
As my long-time business advisor Ron Finkelstein said, “I’ve seen companies cut marketing in times of crisis and it’s the single biggest mistake they can make.”

Think Long-Term

It might be tempting to focus time and money into short-term sales and promotions. But for many businesses that’s either not an option or could result in long-term damage to their brand. Consider retailers like J. Crew and Banana Republic. During the Great Recession, they conditioned consumers to never-ending sales. Ten years later they continue to struggle to sell items at full price. For many of Hersh PR’s service-based business clients, offering discounts would immediately cheapen the brand. Right now, it’s wise to focus on brand-building initiatives that support your mission. Remember that clients will return and will be in need of your products and services.

Flex Your Creative Muscles

Over the past week, I’ve witnessed some incredibly creative marketing – virtual bingo on Instagram, video trainings and businesses supporting those out of work. Now is the time to flex your creative muscles. Try something you’ve been thinking about for ages but didn’t have the time to implement. Create the video you’ve been brainstorming, but perhaps held-off because you wanted the production value to be “perfect.” Leverage the resources you have and market heavily to your existing clients. They need, and probably want to hear from you.

Many organizations don’t know how to market during times of uncertainty.  If you have questions or want to discuss next steps, don’t hesitate to contact us.

*Generating action such as a phone call or a sale from potential clients will involve a level of healthy fear. For example, you can give clients a feeling of exclusivity without using doom and gloom.

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The pros and cons of hiring a digital marketing agency

Digital marketing is one of the most effective ways for companies to market their services, generate leads and grow sales.  But it can also present challenges to entrepreneurs and businesses due to the ever-changing nature of search engines and other websites. Staying...

read more
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10 must-haves for law firm internet marketing success

Internet marketing helps law firms attract new leads and clients.  It’s an effective option because you’re able to reach a large audience. Many firms rely on the partners to bring in new business, but a group of partners doesn’t have the same reach as the internet. ...

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How law firm SEO can generate better leads

The longstanding way to grow a law practice is through word-of-mouth referrals.  Leveraging your network is a smart strategy, one that you should continue to use to drive business. But it shouldn’t be your only source of business.  It’s scary to think how many...

read more

Subscribe to Get The Latest Insights.

What makes marketing so challenging?

Trying to keep-up with the tools, technology and the limited attention span of your target market are all challenging. Get our tips on how to grow leads and revenue, delivered directly to your inbox.

Join The List

Request a Consultation.

Are you ready to take action? Let’s see how we can reach your goals with a 20-minute introductory call.