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Category: Digital Marketing Ideas

Christine Nelson, Communications Consultant with Ingenuity Marketing

Digital Marketing Lead Generation Tools – How to Get in on Online Ads

 

Are you wondering how to get in on the retargeting wagon? One of the most widely used lead generation tools is digital ads. Whether you’re on Google or Bing, you’ve seen ads follow you around online once you’ve browsed similar sites.

And they work!

Make sure your digital marketing includes digital ads, email capture and a solid content calendar and you are setting yourself to land more leads than your competition.

Watch Christine’s video to hear more.

 

If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

I love shopping in person, but I also get tired of it after about three hours. The options are just overwhelming.

Online shopping is convenient, but it’s also limited by my shopping history because of search algorithms. I don’t see everything available to me like in a real store. This includes professional services firms.

Because I do a lot of research for my clients, I will visit engineering firm sites, accounting firms law firms and professional associations. I choose the results on the first page and I don’t look further, but when I see ads pop up after I visit these websites, it reminds me that these firms are really smart. How else are they going to thank me for visiting their website?

Search engines control what visitors find. Even when someone finds your site, you only have a few seconds to grab their attention. Here’s what you can do about it:

  • Create fresh content
  • Use strategic digital ads
  • Collect their email

You will get exponentially more visitors to your site combining fresh content with digital ads. It’s the new reality. But once they arrive, you have to capture their email.

If you have questions about lead generation tools, digital marketing or you want us to manage your online ads, send us a message. We are here to get eyes on your brand and feet in the door.

Robert Wasulik, Design Consultant at Ingenuity Marketing

How to Deter Website Hacks

Whether you’re stepping into a new marketing director role or you’re a seasoned business owner, your digital marketing strategy should include regular website security updates.

Your website is your lead generation tool, your CRM portal and brand billboard. When you focus solely on content and appearance, you leave yourself open to spam and cyber-attacks, which could bring down your site in an instant.

That’s why website security should be on your priority list. Update your plugins regularly and protect your website from hacks.

Watch this video for Robert’s tips to keep your website healthy and keep your digital marketing strategy on track.

If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

I have built out a few websites in the past year, and one of the big things I stress with clients is to maintain their plug-in, theme and security updates on their websites.

Some clients assume that their web host keeps their website up-to-date. That is not a guarantee. If your website host does not specifically state that this is part of the service, it’s up to you as the website owner to do it regularly.

Without regular updates, your site is vulnerable to spam and content hacks. That means your website could be blocked as a security risk by search engines, and it may even crash.

Don’t let that happen. In addition to maintaining your site plug-ins, security certificates and website theme, you want to monitor your search analytics and email capture forms for suspicious activity. Make sure that online marketing can occur 24/7 without the risk of turning away qualified leads.

If you need help reviewing your site for security as well as search optimization, contact us for an SEO analysis. We have a special rate to offer you if you apply now, just fill out the contact box below!

    Should I include Keyword Analysis in my Marketing Plan?

    Whether you’re in construction, finance, engineering, architecture or law, keyword analysis should play a central role in your marketing plan.

    Do you know what your clients want? Are their search queries in alignment with your target keywords? When your marketing plan reinforces your keyword strategy, you can be sure you’re giving your clients the information they want, and expect to receive, when visiting your site.

    Watch this video for tips on keeping your keywords fresh and accurate so your brand stays at the top of Google search, from Ingenuity Marketing Digital Communications Consultant Shannon Bohnen.

    If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

    When I work on website keyword research for clients, I need to understand who they are trying to attract to their site. For example, a construction firm may only want commercial projects, so I would not include a keyword like “home building” that may attract visitors who want their dream home built.

    Choosing keywords is a science and an art. At the end of the day, you need the right keywords to boost your ranking on search engines like Google. Here is my advice with keywords to get the right visitors to your site:

    • Limit the keywords you want to rank for. Maybe 5-7 keywords in any major service category is a good place to start.
    • Use your keywords in your website content.
    • Review your keyword performance quarterly.
      • Which keywords are getting visitors to your website?
      • Are they the right visitors?
    • Research keywords annually to add to your list or to replace ineffective keywords.

    If you need help with your keyword search and analysis, give us a call here at Ingenuity. We build digital lead strategies specifically for professional services and associations.

    Or you can sign up for our digital audit analysis right on this page. Just say yes to success!

    Get My Digital Analysis

    Writing with a Robot – Artificial Intelligence (AI)

    Can robots handle your content marketing? During a recent webinar hosted by Associations North, a technology enthusiast/consultant gave attendees an update on marketing copywriting tools using artificial intelligence (AI). One of the most popular software tools is called Jarvis, which marketers can use to create blog posts, product descriptions, emails or ad copy. You type in a few keywords, describe the intended audience, tone of voice and other prompts. The tool does the rest.

    The artificial intelligence of Jarvis, and other tools like it, will crawl the Internet and build unique content from the data. Some of the promised uses of these tools include:

      • Creating original, SEO-infused content marketing
      • Writing first drafts faster
      • Boosting digital ad conversion
      • Offering ideas to writers
      • Translating copy into other languages

    Is AI the perfect, infallible answer to your content marketing needs? Can it replace a business ghostwriter? Not yet. The webinar describes AI like a “junior copywriter” who needs supervision. The webinar presenter frequently emphasized that a human writer must still review and maximize the final copywriting.

    Use caution with AI copywriting tools

    One of the cautions about AI copywriting tools is that they are not advanced enough to distinguish true features and benefits from exaggeration. In other words, “AI lies.” Particularly in professional services or marketing for associations, overpromising on client outcomes could create a legal and ethical mess.

    Secondly, artificial intelligence doesn’t always understand intention or business goals for your copywriting. AI-generated content can be very interesting, and it can spark the human writer’s creativity, but it isn’t creative or original in itself. When writing copy for websites, you don’t want your content to sound like every other website.

    Experiment with AI Copywriting Tools

    Before you invest in a monthly subscription* for AI copywriting software such as Jarvis or Rytr, you can experiment with the product demos. Costs can range from about $30/month to several hundred a month. For a free tool to try, Write Cream offers a free monthly demo plan to try out its features.

    As you experiment, think about the ways that AI-supported content marketing can save you or your team time. On fairly simple articles or sales copy, for example, the tools may help you generate a rough draft in minutes. Sometimes it’s easier to maximize existing copy than to stare at a blank page, right?

    Also, the software may help you maximize existing copy to improve SEO strategy. By adding in your preferred keywords, these tools could help with writing multiple responsive ad descriptions or writing copy for websites.

    As you experiment, the tool will learn from your inputs and should produce better results over time. That might seem either creepy or exciting to you. Either way, it’s how AI works. It continues to learn and adapt.

    We will revisit this topic to give you an update on new tools for creative content marketing. If you have questions about SEO strategy or hiring a business ghostwriter, contact us at Ingenuity.

    *Ingenuity Marketing Group, LLC does not endorse or receive compensation from mentioning any marketing copywriting tool in this blog post, and this blog post is not intended as professional advice. Readers should use their best judgement and read terms for use of any subscription-based digital marketing tools.

    More Insights: Proposals Copywriting and Design Tips

     

     

    What Do Your Colors Mean?

    Professional Services Branding

    Your color palette can communicate the promise you make to clients in professional services marketing. It is important to choose colors that match your professional services branding messages. Use your color palette consistently to strengthen brand awareness.

    Design Consultant Robert Wasiluk talks about how to choose the right color combinations and why you need to pay attention to how colors affect readability, such as on your website. A good understanding of color theory along with ADA compliance standards can help you get started. See more tips in our video.


    If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

    Adding color is a great way to help your proposals, your presentations or your website stand out.

    But too much color can take away from your messaging. It can get distracting instead of helpful. 

    It’s important to understand how each color complements the other colors. You also want to have some white space and neutral colors to give your eyes a rest! 

    When I design a color palette for professionals, I consider their industry but also the industry of their clients. A color like blue is associated with trust, for example. But a touch of orange adds energy. 

    The same goes for a primary color palette of green, which is associated with wealth or growth. You could add fuchsia as a secondary color, which means that you take action. But a little goes a long way!

    To get some inspiration, start with a color wheel and see which colors work well together. 

    As a designer, I also use online resources like the Adobe Color website, where I can start to create my own color palettes or be inspired by palettes that other users have uploaded. 

    Once you have established your color palette of primary and secondary colors, use them consistently in your marketing and sales. 

    For example, include color in your proposals for subheadings or a tinted box to emphasize certain information. 

    Use bright colors to grab the eye. You should also keep your paragraphs short, because black is also a color. It can make your information feel heavy when it’s in a long block.

    And finally, check your website for any color combinations that make your information hard to read. This often happens when text is placed on top of an image like a slider or call to action. This can adversely affect your site’s ADA compliance.

    As you can see, there is a lot to think about when creating a branded color palette and using it well for professionals. If you have any questions, I’m happy to help here at Ingenuity.

    See more ideas to refresh your brand with color.  


     

    Marketing Content and Sales Content: What’s the Difference?

    Professional services firms and associations create marketing content and sales content to reach their goals. Marketing content builds credibility while sales content persuades and asks for new business. When should you use marketing content? When should you focus on sales content?

    Communications Consultant Christine Nelson gives examples of marketing content and sales content in this video. You need both types of content, but learn why marketing and sales content are not the same thing! 


    If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

    What is the difference between marketing content and sales content? It is sometimes confusing to tell the difference, but there is a difference.

    Marketing content is written to educate and interest your potential clients. It should offer a glimpse of your knowledge, your approach, and even your firm’s personality. You will see marketing content in blog posts and social posts, on your website’s homepage, and as part of your public relations.

    When should you use marketing content? You should educate and engage your audience with marketing content when they are new visitors and as they begin to consider becoming a client or a member. Sales content, on the other hand, is about influence and persuasion. It’s written in a way to get your potential clients to take action. Sales content should share the features and benefits of working with your firm or association and then ask for a conversation, a download, or attendance.

    Persuasive sales content is for prospects that are deeper into their consideration. It can be in the form of sales sheets that discuss the features and benefits of your service or an assessment for a nominal fee. While marketing content establishes your credibility, sales content gets specific about your desire to work with new clients and why you are the best option.

    Often marketing content and sales content work together, especially when you can’t talk to your leads in person. For example, a blog post can educate a visitor about new legislation, but at the end of the blog post you can include some sales content to invite the visitor to have a conversation or to explore your services further through an assessment. After you host marketing events such as a seminar, your sales content could be the carefully-written emails that encourage a conversation with your team.

    As you can see, marketing and sales content should work together, but they aren’t the same. If you have questions about how to create the right balance between marketing and sales content, contact us at Ingenuity.

    Here is an example of branding messages woven into an ad campaign for credibility and prospecting.

    INVITE US TO SPEAK


     

    A large sandwich.

    Social Media Marketing That’s ‘Snackable’

    We don’t know how your schedule looks lately, but it seems to be heating up around here. That means less time and attention to posts and emails that aren’t directly tied to work or families. 

    It’s the perfect time to reinvent your social media marketing strategy. We have these trends and tips to help you grab attention as prospects scan your channels. 

    ‘Snackable’ Social Content

    ‘Snackable’ is the new marketing term. People are tired of being online, and they want quick, clear content that is easily consumed and shared. We’re talking about inspiring quotes with cool images, posts that include animation and short video clips that take seconds to view. 

    To apply snackable social media to engineering firm, accounting firm or other professional services marketing, here are a few tips: 

    Tip #1: When creating social media posts, build your image in an app like Canva and make use of their free library of animated gifs to add to your post.

    Woman smiling with her arms raised in a sea of confetti.

    Example: We added a confetti gif image over the static best workplaces image to catch attention.

    Tip #2: Use inspiring quotes as part of your weekly social posting to showcase your firm’s core values or culture.

    An example of a inspiring quote.

    Here at Ingenuity, we liked this quote because it spoke about intelligence and relationships which are part of our firm’s core strengths.

    Tip #3: Include snackable video clips edited down from longer videos with a quick message that people can consume and use right away.

    In this example, we took a longer video with five tips and focused on the color palette tip. The shorter clip can play live over and over on social channels. It promotes services in a new way, and it re-uses content you have already created. 

    Other Social Media Marketing for Professional Service Firms

    Of course, your posts are only helpful for professional service branding and marketing if people actually see them! You need to focus on your number of followers, how often they like or comment on your posts and if they share them. 

    Start by encouraging your own team members to like and share your firm’s content. This expands your social media reach by getting in front of the networks of each team member. That can represent thousands of new possible connections and followers on your company pages. This works because your team members probably have connections in target industries that could use your services. Plus, personal posts get better social media ranking than your company page posts. 

    You can also boost your social engagement by mentioning or “tagging” a client, a referral source or your connections. Just make sure the tagging relates to the social post. People don’t want to be tagged if the post doesn’t relate to them. 

    For example, in the Best Workplaces post we showed you, you could tag the media company that gave your firm the award. The media outlet will appreciate the shout-out, and they might even like, comment or share your post!

    Increased likes, follows and comments – engagement – with your posts helps your firm or association rank higher on social channels as an influencer. When those busy potential clients flip through their social feeds, they won’t pass you by!

    Learn more about Ingenuity’s social media strategies and creative insights. You may also be interested in How to Use Social Media for Leads.


     

    Cat sniffing catnip

    3 Things to Make Your Association Like Cat Nip to Members

     

    What if your association offerings were like cat nip to members and potential members? They rush to it. They actively engage in it. It makes them happy.

    This is exactly the experience you want members to have, especially with the changing demographics of professionals. They consume information and socialize differently than they did within associations 20 years ago. If we know anything about digital marketing ideas, we know that you can adapt your outreach to become catnip to your members. Try these three things.

    Help Them Browse and Shop

    Your buyers are comfortable shopping online, and they do it with services just as much as with products. A GE Capital Bank “major purchase shopper study” found that 81% of buyers go online before talking to someone. They also spend an average of 79 days gathering information.

    Your online presence should allow your members and potential members the ease of shopping your site, gathering information and resources and confirming the value of membership. Don’t have all your good stuff locked behind a “members only” wall. Your potential members need opportunities to browse and consider contacting you.

    Some of the top resources we’re seeing on association sites include industry studies and survey reports, videos by current members and infographics that show the results and benefits of membership. Reinforce how your association is a critical avenue to their success.

    See an example of a valuable industry report.

    Provide News and Listen for Trends

    Marketing for associations is all about being a resource. You want to be the go-to source of valuable information. You do this by providing up-to-date news, but also by listening for emerging challenges or trends.

    Your social channels are invaluable for providing this service. Don’t just promote the results of your educational events or conferences. Photos and videos are great to showcase your member culture, but also post legislative news, industry breakthroughs and studies relevant to your audience.

    In addition, listen to your members for issues they are concerned about. Follow their posts and identify opportunities to create events, resources or articles and videos that address those needs.

    Offer Multiple Points of Interaction

    As your members go about their day, they consume information in different ways. They may use their digital notebook to read the news in the morning from various digests. Then they check their social networks. Later, they may listen to a podcast while exercising or driving. Your association marketing must consider how your members consume information at different points in their day. Provide your information in those multiple formats.

    If you record your webinars, for example, turn that valuable information into a podcast series. It’s easier for members and potential members to consume while they’re on the go. The technology is available to easily transform an MP4 file into audio only.

    In addition, you will find that some members prefer attending virtual events even as in-person events ramp up. Keep that hybrid option available, and think about how to make the virtual experience special and impactful.

    Meet your members and potential members at the crossroads of their needs and lifestyle, and you will keep them coming back for more!

    For more cat nip ideas and marketing for associations, contact us at Ingenuity.

    SEE HOW THIS GLOBAL ASSOCIATION IS MAINTAINING ITS COMPETITIVE POSITION AND MEMBER INTEREST.


     

    Illustration of computer monitor with Google Ads logo on the screen

    Best Practices for Digital Ad Campaigns

    If you’re reading this, you may have made the decision to maximize your online presence by investing in Google Ads. Or, maybe you have been using Google Ads for some time but want to change them up to improve their overall performance. Let’s talk through best practices to create engaging, persuasive and reputable online advertisements.

    READ: How Google Ads Can Support Business Development

    The Importance of Versatile Ads

    When investing in Google Ads, you want these ads to be placed in front of people that are interested in information related to your firm or association’s services. Your goal is to attract people to your website that need our help.

    When creating a Google Ad, you have the ability to create multiple headlines and descriptions. Google is an intuitive machine that will then interchange your headline and description based on what someone is searching for online. The keywords that you implement into the ad content should attract people who are actually searching for information related to your services. If you have been using the same ad copy for a while, it might be time to change the headlines and descriptions to better reach your target audience through refreshed keywords and phrases.

    READ: 3 SEO Boosters and How to Implement Them

    Create an Engaging Landing Page

    Think of the landing page associated with your online ad as the face of your organization. How do you want new website visitors to view your brand or services when they visit your website for the first time?

    Tips to make your landing page engaging and effective:

    1. Deliver on the ads promise. Does the landing page provide information a viewer would expect to find based on the content of the ad? Make this information front and center so it can’t be missed.
    2. Create engaging content. Instead of the usual, printed copy on a page, turn your message into a video to better explain your services or upcoming event. Create a downloadable resource to share, or display a case study. These engaging content ideas better position your firm or association as a thought leader by displaying your expertise, and by making your message memorable.
    3. Make it easy to reach out. Create a contact form for website visitors to fill out if they want to get in touch. Visitors that click through your ad and land on the website are potential leads. Collect contact information to follow up with them and add them to your newsletter. This follow-through helps you stay top-of-mind when they are ready to become a client.


    Ask yourselves these three questions when designing an ad landing page:

    Google prefers to showcase ads with landing pages and that have these three factors: relevance and original content, transparency and navigability.

    1. How will a visitor navigate the page? Design your landing pages with your target audience in mind. Encourage engagement and navigation to other areas of the website.
    2. Are you providing clear information? Be direct and upfront with the information and services you want to highlight on each landing page.
    3. Is your landing page relevant to the ad? Use similar keywords and phrases on the landing page as you do in the ad. Assure visitors that your information is what they were looking for.

    The Impact on Quality Score

    The relevance of an ad and an engaging landing page do make an impact on your ad’s overall performance. These elements are critical to making your Google Ads a success because these elements impact the ad’s quality score. Quality score is Google’s rating system to show you how user friendly your ads, landing pages and keywords are. This rating is represented on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, or best performing. If your ads have a lower quality score, they are less likely to be placed in front of people searching for services related to what you have to offer.

    You can improve an ad’s quality score by creating specific landing pages for each ad you have. Meaning, don’t link to the same landing page for multiple ads. Quality score can also be improved by using relevant keywords. Just like we mentioned before, make sure your ads are relevant to the landing page you’re directing them to.

    We hope you now have a grasp on how to make your ads relevant, how to make the landing page engaging and how these elements impact your ad’s overall performance. With these tips in mind, your ads and web content will encourage new visitors to engage with your firm or association, supporting your business development strategy.

    Curios to learn more SEO tips? Check out our SEO Checklist, a tool designed to help you improve conversion.


     

    Illustration for Digital Campaign

    How Are Your Digital Campaigns Performing?

    How effective are your digital ads?

    You have probably implemented digital campaigns into your marketing strategy, but do you routinely monitor them to see how they are performing? Monitoring results allows your firm or association to keep a pulse on what’s working and what’s not. If you’re seeing positive results, keep doing what you’re doing! But we all usually have areas we want to improve and business goals we strive to meet.

    Implement these quick takeaways to improve common problem areas in digital campaigns.

    1. Improve Open Rates

    Encourage more people to open your email campaigns by grabbing attention with your subject line. The subject line should be a brief summary of the information in your email or newsletter. Best practice is to keep your subject line no longer than six to eight words, or 60 characters.

    Try A/B testing to see what subject line resonates with your audience. A/B testing allows you to create two or three subject lines. Your email marketing platform will monitor how each subject line is performing with a small segment of your email list, and then distribute to the rest of your audience using the subject line that performs the best.

    Try incorporating numbers or questions into your subject lines to catch the reader’s eye. “Have You Registered for Our Webinar Series?” or “2 Tips to Make Tax Filing Simpler” are examples of how to make your email stand out.

    2. Click, Click, Click

    In any digital campaign that you have; whether that’s an email, Google Ad or social media post, you want people to click on the links that you’ve included. These links should drive viewers to your website to learn more about your firm or association. But how do we get them to actually click the link? It’s not always as easy as we hoped!

    Here are a few quick tips to get people clicking on your digital content:

    • Make your digital campaign and website mobile friendly. We are all on-the-go. Some people clicking on your google ad or reading your email will be on their phone. Having a mobile friendly site ensures your new visitors won’t leave right away.
    • Incorporate images. Digital content with images tends to have a higher click rate.
    • Encourage clicks by offering more information through the link. Use words like “learn more,” “download” or “check this out” in your call to action to spark interest.

    3. Follow Up with Leads

    The purpose of your digital campaigns can vary, but at the end of the day, we all want our marketing strategy to support new business development.

    You loop people in with an intriguing subject line or header, the engaging link makes people click, but now what? Offer a resource to position your firm as a thought leader and to collect contact information. Once you have this contact information, it’s so important to follow through with these new leads. In our latest podcast, Marketing Made Simpler for Busy Professionals, we share tips to make business development a priority, such as setting aside specific time to reach out in your calendar. It’s a task that can’t be passed up. Get to know how you can support them and become top-of-mind when they need your help.

    Start incorporating some of these best-practices today and monitor your results to see the improvement!

    Integrate Google Ads into your business development strategy. Here's how!