How Snackable Content is Going to Power Your Future User Experience

The User Experience (UX) Needs to Continually Evolve

There’s no doubt that snackable content is the way of the future. According to a study by Microsoft in 2015, people now have an attention span of eight seconds – down from 12 seconds in 2000. Who knows how short attention spans will be five years from now, or even next year! Social media fuels the fire – so to speak – for the decline, allowing people to absorb information quickly, in tiny snippets.
This bite-sized revolution is now spreading into all types of digital content. In fact, it is going to change the entire user experience (UX) as we know it.

What is Snackable Content?

We’ve talked about snackable content before. It’s basically content that has been pared down so that it can be ingested quickly and easily. It’s accessible, relevant, and enlightening. It’s also based on the idea that users are going to read it when the right situation presents itself, which means that it needs to contain the right information for the right circumstance.

Enter the UX.

Impatience is changing the way designers are arranging content flows. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, developers are now tackling customized digital journeys for users.
The new UX needs to:

    • Account for different delivery methods. Not only does your website need to be responsive, but it also needs to keep your omnichannel marketing strategy in mind. To maintain a consistent brand, your UX needs to uniform – whether a customer is in your store, watching a television commercial about your products or services, or looking at one of your ads in a local newspaper. Can customers access the same information on your website as they can in the store?
    • Be location-specific. Metadata is paving the way for more customized content experiences. With meaningful classifications and characteristics, snackable content can be tagged based on a particular location or other unique attributes. This means that users will only see content that is relevant to them, based on what they are searching for and where they are located.
    • Know the context. Again, metadata is key here, but machine learning is also an important factor. As machine learning improves and devices are connected through the Internet of Things (IoT), the UX can be shaped based on a user’s individual preferences and behavioral patterns.

How will It Work?

To redefine the UX, webpages will soon become template-driven. Pieces of snackable content will be displayed based on each user’s journey. Part of this UX will be based on journey mapping, where web developers take the various levels of interaction a customer has with your company into account. The other parts will be derived from technological breakthroughs in machine learning and artificial intelligence – many of which we haven’t even heard of yet.

One thing is certain: keep your content short, sweet, and snackable. Before you know it, that content will be personalizing your customer’s UX and impacting his or her journey on your website. Searching and scrolling will be as foreign to the UX one day as rewinding a VHS tape is to the Generation Z crowd.

Is your content ready?

How to put Snackable Content on Your Menu

Anything that can sound both meaningful and adorable at the same time is bound to become a buzzword. Enter one of the latest terms to infiltrate marketing circles: snackable content.

What Exactly is Snackable Content?

Although the phrase hasn’t been around that long, the concept has. Back in the late nineties, I heard the term “scatter stories” being thrown around college campuses and high schools. The internet seems to have no knowledge of that phrase, though, except in one document I discovered from a yearbook publisher. Scatter stories had precisely the same premise as snackable content: break content down into fun-sized, bite-sized pieces so that it’s easier – and quicker – for your audience to digest.

Why Does Your Content Need to be Bite-Sized?

It may seem impossible, but our attention spans are continuing to decrease. When trying to market your business, that means that you have even less time to grab your audience’s attention before they lose interest and leave your site.
We live in an age of information overload. It’s easy to forget sometimes that we spend our days reading – and reading, and reading some more. We read emails, newsletters, social media posts, and texts, just to name a few. If you want your audience to pay attention, you have to give them something that grabs their attention and that they can consume and share rapidly – while standing on the subway or riding up the elevator at work.

How Do You Make Your Content Yummy?

Just like your favorite Halloween candy, the easiest way to make your content snackable is to deliver it in smaller chunks. Think outside the box, though. There are many ways to draw in users with little pieces of information, so consider items like:

  • Videos
  • GIFs
  • Photos and Maps
  • Infographics
  • Q & As
  • Graphs
  • Charts
  • Bulleted Lists
  • Engaging Headlines
  • Sub-Headings in the Form of Questions

No matter what cute phrase you call it, it’s all about the maximum impact with the smallest amount of words. Just make sure that what you’re providing makes sense with what you do, and it isn’t super-salesy. Snackable content is meant to make your readers want more.

What’s on your bite-sized menu?

Blogging and Content Marketing are not SEO

We’ll let you in on how Blogging, SEO and Content Marketing work together.

In our line of work, we see a lot of confusion when it comes to blogging, content marketing, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Writing a blog or placing the popular term “content marketing” on a proposal, sales collateral or website does not mean that you are conducting SEO.

Blogs = Tool

Blogs are simply words on a webpage. While they can contain some keywords that help direct organic search traffic, they are merely one method for carrying out an effective SEO strategy. Blogs by nature are more of a customer retention tool – they help to make your website sticky. Well written blogs make visitors stick around and come back for more … and if you are lucky they share it with friends.

Content Marketing = Strategy

Content marketing is a marketing strategy. It involves giving customers – or potential customers – valuable information in hopes that those customers will eventually buy from you. If your audience believes that you are the authority on a topic, research shows that they will reward you for it. Blogging is commonly used in content marketing. But, downloadable guides, case studies, infographics, videos, podcasts, and books are other content marketing vehicles.

SEO = Strategy

SEO is also a strategy. It consists of all the different techniques that you use to get your website ranked higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). Search engines like Google and Bing appreciate:

  • Keywords, especially long-tailed (thanks to the increasing popularity of voice searches)
  • Fresh, high-quality content
  • Links, both internal and external
  • Images and videos
  • Social media integration
  • Alt and meta descriptions

SEO is an art, yet it’s highly technical and analytical. Blogs and other content marketing techniques are used within SEO strategies to provide consistent, new, relevant content.

Here’s a great way to visualize it: think of SEO as a set of blueprints. If you are going to build something – say, great search engine rankings for your website – you need a plan. To carry out your plan, you need to use a variety of tools.

If you look inside a marketer’s toolbox, you’ll find a wide variety of tools. There might be print tools, website tools, and branding tools. Blogs are one important tool. Let’s say they are the screwdrivers in your toolbox. Content marketing is more like a multi-tool – like a Swiss Army knife. It has a screwdriver, a knife, scissors, and more in it, but without a master plan, it doesn’t do anything by just sitting in your toolbox.

Content Marketing and Blogs are Just Part of SEO

It’s wonderful to provide quality content to your customers. If you are going to spend time and money buying tools, why not actually build something? A powerful SEO strategy can bring your business visibility, which can lead to relationships, and ultimately sales.

If you need any assistance in creating blueprints for the future of your business, Conveyance can help. We not only have architects who are skilled at drawing up plans, but we have a team of “tool experts” ready to help you build something big in 2017. Give us a call today!

Beating the SEO Plateau, Part 3: Analytics

Responding to SEO Analytics

In our past two blogs, we have discussed how content and audience can help you get over the dreaded SEO Plateau. The third – and final thing you need – to push past the stagnation is analytics. Google Analytics, Yahoo Web Analytics, Compete, Crazy Egg, and other services offer a wide array of tools and statistics for marketers to exploit. Sometimes, though, knowing how to act on the information provided is just as important as getting the right data.

Keep on top of organic traffic.
Use your analytics tool to filter data based on where your organic traffic is landing. What pages are getting the most visitors? Why? What is your most valuable user flow? Once you can answer these questions, you can address areas with lackluster traffic.

To help out the pages that are slacking, refer to Part 1 of Beating the SEO Plateau: Content. The better your content, the better your organic traffic will be. Utilize blogs, improve content on your website, and encourage clients, partners, and other bloggers to link back to you.
If certain pages already boast an adequate user flow, augment the content on those pages too. Great content will make search engines, and your customers, happy.

Audit keywords.
Once you have a good handle on which pages are working for you – and which aren’t – you can then filter your landing page data by keywords. Look at what organic and paid keywords are the most popular. Which ones are leading to sales? Which ones are underperforming? Google Trends is a great place to see if your keywords are even still pertinent in today’s ever-changing marketplace.

It’s important to remember that search engines are continuously refining and improving their algorithms. The better they get, the less relevant your strategy and perhaps your selected keyword could be. The focus of search engines is shifting to quality content, site speed, and security.

Note: Don’t forget that long-tail keywords are also making a comeback thanks to the increase in voice searches.

Examine demographics.
Demographics reports offer some of the best details from analytics providers. Many marketers have shied away from this information because it might require a change to their base Google Analytics code, or it may necessitate an update in their site’s privacy policy. Don’t follow suit, though; the demographic data provided by Doubleclick is worth the effort.

What age groups are coming to your site? What gender searches better than the other? What age range converts on your site? With answers to these questions, you can see what traffic your current marketing strategy is bringing to your site – and adjust accordingly.

There’s no golden ticket when it comes to getting over the SEO Plateau. It takes constant innovation and flexibility to navigate the SEO waters successfully, no matter how exceptional your current marketing strategy may be. Just remember to keep quality content at the core of everything you do, continually grow your audience to find new customers, and take advantage of the information that analytics tools provide. If you can remember those three things, you’ll find yourself clear of that awful plateau in no time.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Beating the SEO Plateau, Part 2: Audience

Augmenting your Audience

In our last blog, we talked about how content is key to getting over the dreaded SEO Plateau. By personalizing it and distributing it in different ways, you will be able to reach a broader audience. It’s imperative to grow your audience continuously when it comes to beating that Plateau, which is why Part 2 is all about expanding your audience.

Broaden your keywords.
Once you have desired results on the most competitive keywords in your industry, you can’t just sit back and relax. You should constantly be looking for new keywords to bring into your SEO strategy. Try going after some less competitive keywords; you may be surprised at how much traffic there is outside of the top 100. Also, bring more long-tail keywords into the mix. Long-tail keywords are phrases that usually have anywhere from three to five words. It might seem like a stretch, but the traffic that gets pulled in from long-tail keywords is always very high quality. People who search using longer phrases are generally more informed and may already be in the decision-making phase of the buying process.

Find a new target market.
In marketing-speak, someone might tell you that you should find a new “vertical.” It means that if you want to broaden your audience, the answer may be to find a new one. Segway is a good example of a company that found itself a new vertical market. When they marketed themselves generically for home use, they failed miserably. One day, they realized that police departments were utilizing their vehicles. So, they switched gears and marketed directly to the police department niche – and it was very successful. In fact, tour companies could be considered another vertical market for Segway.

Do you do any vertical marketing? Maybe instead of finding a new niche, you just need to find your first one. What do you do especially well? What customer base do you resonate with? For example, if you have several clients that are teachers, ask yourself – or even them – why they come to you. Maybe your staplers are perfect for stacks of graded papers, or maybe they are safe for younger children. Whoever it may be – you could easily find your vertical market by stepping back and taking a look at your current customer base.

Move up the buying cycle.
Generally speaking, every buyer goes through a purchasing cycle:

  • Awareness of needs
  • Evaluation of choices
  • Issue resolution
  • Decision
  • Implementation

Needs may change over time, but if they do, consumers simply enter into the cycle again. An excellent way to increase your audience is to move up the cycle, targeting customers who are in the earlier stages instead of just those ready to make a decision. Targeting is simple: provide content geared towards the clients in that phase. Since it takes multiple interactions to generate a customer – typically seven touches – moving up the cycle will give you a better chance of establishing a relationship with the client well before they are ready to buy. This can also help you build brand loyalty.

Now that we’ve discussed magnifying our audience, the final step to beating the SEO Plateau is coming up next: Analytics.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Beating the SEO Plateau, Part 1: Content

Content is still king when it comes to beating the SEO plateau

You’ve worked hard to get your website ranked well with your most relevant keywords, and you’ve started to see traffic from organic search results. All your hard work to increase your search engine optimization (SEO) has finally paid off.

Then, abruptly, the organic traffic starts to level off.

You’ve hit the nasty little secret no one has told you about: The SEO Plateau.

Every business that markets online will eventually hit it. To get yourself over it, though, your SEO strategy has to evolve continually. We believe that you can do this by focusing on three parts: Content, Audience, and Analytics.

Part 1: Turning the spotlight on your content.

Personalize and pinpoint.
One of the best ways to increase the quality of content is to personalize it for each customer group. The easiest way to do this is through the creation of avatars – or buyer personas – for every customer “type” in your target audience. An avatar represents the personality and demographics of one of your customer “types.” Generating content with a “person” in mind allows you to focus on the needs and wants of just that “person.” Each group will feel like you are creating content just for them, making them feel like you understand their needs and appreciate from where they are coming. Appreciation equals sales and also customer loyalty.

For more information on avatars, check out our blog on Using Avatars to Hone Your Content Management Campaigns.

Change it up.
Once you are developing content for each customer, it’s time to change up the way you deliver it. If your SEO strategy has been centered on just one type of content, then aim at getting a second type of content ranked with your most important keywords. If you have always been a fan of blogging, try producing some video content or maybe a slideshow heavy with images. If you have always composed videos, then write a technical document to support customers who learn better by reading. Your audience, even when broken down into individual avatars, is still comprised of clients who have different learning styles (i.e., visual, verbal, aural, logical, and physical). Even with the same keyword, producing multiple content types will help you reach more of your audience.

Survey the SERPs.
One last consideration when reviewing your content is how it looks on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Even on the first page of Google, your content may not be standing out from everyone else’s. Does it look inviting? Does it look informative or like it’s coming from a trusted source? By improving meta titles and descriptions, you can ensure that your content looks just as good on the SERP as it does on your website. Also, if your content doesn’t “look” inviting, it will hurt your organic traffic and your actual search engine ranking. Punch in one of your keywords and then objectively ask yourself, “Whose link would I click on first?”

Content is still king when it comes to beating the SEO Plateau. Stay tuned for Beating the SEO Plateau, Part 2 where we will discuss how to increase your audience.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Content Marketing: Bringing Marketing Back to its Core

An educated consumer is a better consumer.

Content marketing is a hot term in the marketing world right now. Although it isn’t a new invention, it’s a new way of looking at marketing strategy as a whole. It’s the act of educating your target audience via valuable content: ebooks, infographics, blogs, survey results, video, podcasts. The goal is that your audience will appreciate your content and will eventually reward you with their business – because you have proven yourself as an expert on alleviating their pain.

Advertising tactics in the past were very “in your face” and repetitive. Today advertising tactics are about educating and persuading through words.

Content marketing doesn’t involve re-creating the wheel. Honestly, the only thing content marketing does is bring branding and marketing back to its core: consistency, differentiation, and customer focus.

The goal is creating content that your target audience will appreciate and putting it out consistently so that your audience can eagerly anticipate it. Differentiation is achieved through the quality of the content. The more your audience earnestly waits for your next segment of content, the more you will set yourself apart from your competitors.

Can you imagine someone actually looking forward to your next blog post before you’ve even written it?

It’s a different way of engaging your customer base. Is an ad really still an ad now? Or, is it content marketing? It’s probably both. If it hits a nerve and makes people think, then it’s content marketing. If it doesn’t, then it’s just advertising.

Content marketing won’t be the death of advertising. The lines are simply going to continue to blur.
There are countless ways to distribute your content. Blogs, videos, movies, magazines, podcasts, e-books, infographics, and whitepapers are all ways to get it out, and there’s more channels being created all the time. As long as what you are giving away is free, valuable, and specifically focused on your audience, then the method is up to you.

Most companies utilize multiple methods because not every person learns in the same way. Some prefer infographics while others may just want to listen to a podcast on the way to work. Finding the right mix involves devising a marketing strategy that is intelligent and reactive – cue content management. If something doesn’t work, try it via another channel.

One thing is certain – managing and producing quality content is the future of marketing. An educated consumer is a better consumer.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Content Management Strategy Courtesy of Ben Franklin

Words are more strategic. Words are more effective. Words persuade.

I came across a quote the other day that I haven’t seen in a while. It’s from Benjamin Franklin, one of our Founding Fathers and an indisputably brilliant man.

He said, “Give me 26 lead soldiers and I will conquer the world.”

The 26 “lead soldiers” he was referring to were the 26 letters of the alphabet, in the form of letterpress printing blocks that I’m sure he became very familiar with during his days of publishing Poor Richard’s Almanack.

The sentiment is rather deep, especially when you think of the time he lived through. He witnessed the birth of the greatest nation in the world! He spent time governing Pennsylvania, he was Postmaster General for the United States, and he served as an Ambassador to France and Sweden.
And yet, through all of that, he’s saying that words are the best soldiers. Not flesh and blood. Not bullets or fists.

Words are more strategic. Words are more effective. Words persuade.

Franklin was basically referring to what we now call content management.
Content management is the act of strategically managing content throughout your organization. It’s treating your content just like any other business asset – giving it the same level of attention and scrutiny.

Content management determines what content should be used, where, and for how long. Then it analyzes the results to see if that cycle was effective or needs improvement.
And of course, there’s always room for improvement.

Franklin’s content management probably included a little propaganda and a lot of opinion. He controlled the newspaper, Pennsylvania Chronicle, chastising the British and vocalizing revolutionary sentiments.
During this year of political campaigning, content management is no less important. What information do the campaigns release about their candidates? When is the information released? Why was it released? In what way was it released? No information is released haphazardly. You can bet that a room full of people pour over polling data and other statistics before each official announcement or comment.

Why? Because every word counts.

In a world where content is king, you can’t just use the “build it and they will come” mentality. The business world is a battlefield. Your competitors are your enemies and your networking buddies are your allies. How can you attract customers in this environment?

You can’t fight a war without a strategy.

It goes back to what Franklin said. If you can say the right thing at the right time, in the right way, you can win any battle.

He used his lead soldiers to fuel a revolution. Just imagine what you can do with yours…

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Convey It – Copywriting Tool Chest

Here’s the skinny on topic generation, titling, and voice

When it comes to writing copy for content marketing campaigns, blogs, and website content, some days you enjoy a wonderful flow of ideas but other days you stare at the screen for hours hoping for some kind of inspiration.

We’ve all experienced days like these. And regardless of whether the ideas come easily or painstakingly slow, there’s a good chance that you aren’t uncovering all the potential topics available for your next piece. Everyone who writes can benefit from additional resources and insights in content topic generation, titling, and voice – the right tools will help you get the job done. At Conveyance, we love to write — blogs, website content, headlines, ads, case studies, business plans, white papers, sales collateral … you name it! If you realize that copywriting isn’t for you, please call us and we can lend a hand.

7 ways to find better content
A single good idea every now and again is not enough — you need several. And if you’re working efficiently (in batches), you should be coming up with at least 50 at a time, but then writing about only the best ones. Read More.

Blogging tools you can’t live without!
Blogging takes planning, research, and original ideas. The right tools can help you stay organized and focused on the right topics. These tips will help you improve your blogging strategy. Read More.

4 must haves for headlines that hook readers
A headline isn’t a final flourish, just something to tack on after the writing or video production is done. It’s your critical first impression: 80 percent of visitors will read your headline, but only 20 percent will go on to read the piece itself. Read More.

Step-by-step guide to writing content marketing campaigns
We’ve scoured the Internet for content marketing strategy templates, tried a few, and put together an approach to building your own content marketing plan step-by-step. Read More.

4 content marketing tips to boost your personal brand
Content marketing — in the form of sharing useful content such as blogs or videos with web viewers who relate to your brand — can be one of the most successful digital marketing methods for your personal brand, but only with a solid strategy in place. Read More.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Using Avatars to Hone Your Content Management Campaigns

The rise in digital and content marketing has made tight target market identification critical to campaign success.

We develop and use Avatars to laster focus marketing campaigns and sales strategies to very specific targets – for our own business and our clients. When you walk into a networking meeting, a sales call, or even out at a non-business social event, you’ll know who you should talk with when you have a set of Avatars at the ready.

We have a lot of fun at Conveyance developing our avatars – the more details you can include, the better. We give each avatar a name, a job title, personal history, goals and describe how they need us. We then direct our content marketing campaigns towards the “person” we are trying to reach. It’s a way to visualize and humanize our target customers.

Here’s an example of an avatar for a photographer looking to book family sessions over Mother’s Day.

Melanie -avatarThis is Melanie.

Melanie is a busy professional. She works in accounting for a local government contractor. Every day, she commutes back and forth from Ashburn to Tysons Corner. She hates the commute.

Melanie has three children aged 8, 6 and 2. She has to rush every evening to pick up the baby from day care, get the kids fed, and then taxi them around to whatever sports activities are in season.

Although her husband helps when he can, he works in DC and often gets home when the kids are ready for bed.

Every day is a marathon for Melanie. She dreams of relaxing … a vacation in the Dominican. She loves her kids, but they are exhausting sometimes!

When the photographer is ready to advertise her Mother’s Day sessions, she will be creating her content with Melanie in mind. What type of content would Melanie find valuable? What is important to her? What would get her to book a family session?

Most companies have several different avatars. Some may only pertain to certain lines of business, while others may apply to all departments. Even a small business can have multiple avatars.

If you take the time to properly research your target audience and develop their avatars, then you’ll be that much closer to generating quality content you need. When you know exactly who you are talking to and what they want, your content will show it.

Avatars give life to your target audience – visually and mentally. Try creating one for your own business and see how much simpler it is to produce content for that “person.” Share them with us on our Facebook page!

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.