January 24, 2022
SEO for Civilians (eBook)
We wrote ‘SEO for Civilians’ especially for non-geeks, and anyone in the C-Suite or the marketing team who wants to level up. We firmly believe that SEO is most effective when it‘s a team sport, when everyone on your team can participate up and down and across silos. This e-book will give you the foundational information you need to join the conversation. You‘ll learn:
- What is SEO?
- Why is SEO critical to your website and business success?
- An intro to web metrics, including the basic lingo
- An explanation of topline performance analytics
- How keywords work
- Why engaged visitors are worth more
- The importance of going local
The more people who level up, the better you can whip up the SEO. Download our e-book right now.
How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions
If you're like us, some of those grand plans for a new you this year have already fallen by the wayside. What seemed like a good idea at the beginning of the month seems silly now. (Who thought up Dry January, anyway?) But it's not too late to get back in the groove and stick to your resolutions. Here’s how to make resolutions and keep them.
First, make resolutions that are actionable and achievable. Think SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. If your goal is to exercise more, that's great, but make it better. I will exercise for at least 30 minutes, three days a week, and I'll add it to my daily appointment calendar. That’s a specific goal that is measurable and timely.
Write them down. Writing resolutions down and posting them where you can see them helps set your intentions and keeps them front and center. If you're trying to curb calories and you've posted your resolution on your refrigerator door, you might think twice about opening it for a between-meals snack.
Get Techy. There’s a surfeit of tech out there, from Fitbits and Apple Watches to Mindfulness apps and Pelotons. Use the technology available to keep you on track.
Share your goals. Find a gym buddy to exercise with at appointed times. Detail your progress on social media. Get a trainer. Having someone else to be accountable to goes a long way in reaching your targets.
Habit Stacking. Habit stacking is a method of attaching a habit you want to create to an existing habit. For example, if you walk your dog every morning at 8 a.m. and you want to add 15 minutes of mediation to your day, try setting your mediation time as soon as you get back from walking the dog and hanging up the leash. Hanging the leash will trigger telling you it's time to meditate.
Celebrate Success. Reaching 10,000 steps a day and being rewarded with a digital fireworks display on my Fitbit might not seem like a big deal, but it does give me the incentive to reach the goal. If I haven’t reached the goal on any given day, I’ll often walk around in the evening to get in those extra steps. Determine what little goals you want to reach and reward yourself when you attain them.
Cut yourself some slack. We all slip up. If you get on the scale and it goes the wrong way one week, don’t chuck the whole diet. Or if you miss three days of meditation in a row, or are falling behind on your reading list, adjust your goals and get back on track. You got this!
Apple Throws Wrench Into Email Analytics
Your email stats just got wonkier, and in the coming year, they'll get worse. Apple's new Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) update, starting with its OS 15 operating system, will no longer support mail tracking. Ergo, your user's open times, device information, and geographic location will become unknowable. Although MPP is opt-in, experts believe 97% of consumers will opt-out of tracking. While this is a boon to consumer privacy, we marketers are screwed. (Source: Pentavision)
How MPP Works
According to Apple, Mail Privacy Protection works by hiding your IP address and loading images and other remote content privately in the background, even if you don't open the message
This behind-the-scenes pre-opening tricks the tracking mechanisms into thinking a user opened your email. The bottom line: your open rates get inflated but click-thru rates will remain reliable. Discover the impact for your email by checking your email platform's stats or Google Analytics for the percentage of IOS 15 users on desktop and mobile. Unless you're marketing to Neanderthals, you won't unearth good news. Because 80 days after its launch, iOS 15 has already achieved a 60% adoption rate. (Source: Mixpanel).What Can a Marketer Do?
- Find out if your email platform will allow you to suppress email from analytics based on an operating system.
- Remove all Apple Client Users from re-deployments to eliminate the user frustration from receiving the same email twice.
- Consider reporting the Click-Thru-Rate as a percentage (CTR%) of sends (the number of emails successfully sent). CTR% yields a lower number than the old open rate, but it's not affected by MPP. To compare campaigns, you'll need to calculate CTR% for a chunk of previous email campaigns.
- Focus more on Click-Thru-Rates per send in reporting as the most reliable engagement metric.
Mail Privacy Protection is here to stay because consumers demand it! So, keep a stiff upper lift and think about switching to click-thru-percentage of sends.
Perfect Your PR Pitch
Your company has a great story, and you’d like to get some media coverage. But journalists, like the rest of us, are inundated with emails, messages, and general noise, so it can be hard to get their attention. Here are some tips to make the most of your pitch.
Research your target. Before sending a pitch, you should know what topics the journalist covers. It might take a little excavating through past articles, but it can pay dividends. Pitching a story on your company's latest ophthalmic device to a writer who covers the urology beat doesn't make much sense.
Pinpoint your targets. If you're pitching a story about the latest medical device in the ophthalmology field, chances are Martha Stewart Living magazine is not your best bet. Unless you've heard that Martha is designing a new line of phoropters, then go for it.
Email is still the best choice for first contact. Most journalists agree that email is still the best way to contact them. If you can’t find an email address, try reaching them through social media like LinkedIn or Twitter. Helpful hint: Put your pitch in the body of the email and not as an attachment, so it doesn’t end up in the Spam folder.
Make your subject line interesting. Summarize what your email is about in the subject line and catch the journalist’s attention by piquing their curiosity. Getting them to open the email is the first step in getting coverage. And keep them under 50 characters. For example, “Tech changes the way patients see optometrists.”
Find the element that will sell your story. What makes your news compelling? Is there a human-interest angle? Highlight the aspects a journalist can sink their teeth into.
Keep your pitch short and sweet. According to surveys, most journalists (over 90 percent) prefer pitches under 200 words.
Make it easy on a reporter. They've got deadlines to meet and are (usually) overworked. As a good public relations practitioner, make sure you provide everything they need, from compelling quotes to hi-res digital photos. The less legwork they must do, the easier it is for them to say yes to a pitch. And if you can make all the resources easily accessible in a digital location (think Dropbox), all the better.
Follow up. People are busy. Email boxes are stuffed. A quick follow-up to see if they got your initial email can go a long way. Just don’t be a pest.
Be accessible, helpful, and friendly. Journalists work on deadlines (usually tight ones), so being available to answer questions, arrange interviews, send photos, provide quotes, or other additional support promptly is golden. And can go a long way in creating a good relationship for when your next pitch comes down the pike.
Get relationship-y. You don't have to be a reporter's best friend, but a warm relationship goes a long way. And if they know you are a reliable source of information, it's a win-win. Oh, and follow your favorite journalists on social media. Interact with them. Get to know their digital personas and the kind of stories that pique their interest.
Is it news, or will it work better as a blog post? Not everything your company does will be as exciting to the outside world as it is to insiders. Some things make more sense as a post on your company's blog rather than waste time pitching a story that will never see ink.
7 Social Media Trends For 2022
Is TikTok still hip? Is Facebook out (or at least morphing into Meta.) The social media landscape is ever-evolving. Here are a few trends percolating to the top this year.
Live, Baby, Live! Live video streaming on social media continues to grow in popularity, and "going live" had a real moment during the pandemic as we looked for ways to connect with other humans that wouldn't contaminate us. This trend isn't going anywhere, and we expect to see live video increasing in popularity in 2022. Brands will be using live videos to connect customers for Q & A’s, product launches, and just good old-fashioned digital chit-chats.
- Video Killed the Radio Star. Tiktok will continue to dominate with its mix of hilarious, mysterious, thought-provoking, and frequently silly videos. Instagram/Facebook will try to catch up with “Reels.” (Sidenote: Whatever happened to Vines? Can we bring that back?) To sum up: Video isn’t going anywhere.
- Going, going, gone. Thanks to Snapchat, we’ve all fallen in love with the idea of disappearing content. Just like a flash sale can entice us into buying something, the idea that content will only be around for a limited time gets folks to engage. Many brands are focusing efforts on Facebook and Instagram Stories that will ride off into the sunset after a limited time. Stories give brands a chance to be a bit informal and let their hair down.
- Rise of the Chatbots. Don't expect your father's chatbots. No longer clunky, the new A.I.-driven chatbots are sophisticated, understanding questions and concerns and offering solutions toot de suite. It's almost like messaging with an actual human. Adding these chatbots to your social media feeds can help you provide top-notch customer support 25/7.
- Welcome to the Matrix. Augmented Reality (A.R.) and Virtual Reality (V.R.) are heating up, and brands are looking to offer exciting user experiences. Platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook allow users to try on a bazillion of different filters to digitally augment their images and videos and then share them. And V.R. gear is now available at affordable prices, so more and more users enjoy immersive gaming experiences and group meetings. The Zoom meetings of the future might look very different.
- Influencers Are Still Influencing. Brands will continue to collaborate with influencers in social media promotion posts. Look for content to get a little more “real” and not just have a Kardashian posing with a product and hoping you’ll buy it.
- Let’s Get Real. User-Generated Content (UGC) will continue to gain popularity as real people post videos of themselves using (and abusing) products and services. The upside? UGC's are about as authentic as social media gets. The downside? Sometimes it can be a little too authentic and less than flattering. As a brand manager, you should prepare to hype UCGs that show your brand favorably as well as respond to negativity.
Want some help navigating social media? Drop us a line. We can help with everything from social media strategy and planning to execution and evaluation.
Facebook’s Meta Mistake Means Death
Facebook's new Meta joins a long line of advertisers who botched translations in foreign languages. In Hebrew, Meta means dead. Sometimes, these malaprops are just darn funny, like "Nothing Sucks Like an Electrolux."
And staying on theme, fling a few rotten tomatoes at the old Braniff airlines for their "Fly in Leather" campaign for the Spanish-speaking market in southern Florida. Translated into Spanish, it sounds like "Fly Naked." Whoops. Pepsi's "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation" translates into Chinese as, "Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead." You might brush off these goofs as minor insults, but they show consumers something else: The brand didn't care enough to get it right.
Accurate Language Shows Respect for your Consumer
The advent of the Internet now makes it possible for med-tech and medical device companies to sell worldwide.
American Marketing Association research reveals that "60% of the world's population speaks more than one language. (Source: AMA) Furthermore, Eurobarometer research suggests that consumers respond far more readily to messages in their native languages. It makes sense, right? For example, a BMW ad in German wouldn't make much sense to our audience.
Smart and well-healed marketers can build separate site structures that target consumers speaking different languages. That's the easy part. Getting the copy correct is still a challenge, and it's not cheap. Our number one tip is "don't bank on machine translation," like Google Translate. Even with all the advances in artificial intelligence, it's far from perfect. Our translation workflow works like this: We start by evaluating the copy and rewording idioms that may not translate well. Then we give it to a service, like Berlitz, to create the translation in consultation with our team. The copy is then translated back to English and reviewed by native speakers that fit our target audience. In our opinion, if you can't afford a rigorous translation, leave it in English, or translate parts of the work, like the home page of your website.