3 Tips To Track Traditional Marketing Digitally

3 Tips To Track Traditional Marketing Digitally

Traditional Marketing | Bouvier Kelly

Over the past 20 years, digital marketing has grown with the ever-increasing amount of time that people are spending on the internet and the ability marketers have to analyze their marketing efforts. However, the best marketing strategies often still have a well-rounded tangible marketing mix that includes traditional marketing strategies. Analyzing the performance of traditional marketing is equally as important as tracking digital campaigns so that you have a more complete understanding of how your marketing strategies are performing as a whole, to increase your future return on investment. In this blog, we will cover three ways you can better track your traditional marketing tactics to make informed decisions and adjustments in future media planning.

1. Include vanity URLs in your ads

A vanity URL is a shorter URL or web address that automatically goes to your website when typed. Vanity URLs should be easy to remember so that users can recall later.

When someone enters the vanity URL they will be redirected back to your website, and you can track this redirect in Google Analytics. Consider creating a new vanity URL for each offline medium you advertise on so that you can track the performance of each ad individually.

2. Track phone calls with call tracking phone numbers

No matter what advertising medium you are using, your ads should always include a call-to-action (CTA). CTA’s such as listing your website or phone number are great ways for prospective clients to reach you if they’re interested in your product or service.

Call tracking is one way to track your offline ad’s effectiveness. All you need to do after you have signed up for a call tracker service is to include a unique phone number in each ad. When someone calls the number in the ad, the call tracker will record it in a call log and redirect the call to your actual business phone without the customer even knowing this happened.

It can also be beneficial to track calls from your digital efforts with the same tracking service so that you can be sure you’re measuring all events in the same place. If you set up a specific phone number for each medium.

Let’s say that you have decided to run a 15-second ad spot on a radio station. In the script of the ad, you insert the phone number that has been set up and associated with your radio ad. Once the ad is on-air, you can track its success by seeing how many calls that specific phone number received and calculate an actual ROI of your traditional marketing strategies.

3. Use QR codes to make print ads come to life

Recently QR codes have become more and more prevalent in print advertising. By adding a QR code to a print ad, you make it easier for users to go directly to your desired landing page. Users simply snap a picture of the QR code on their smartphone with an app and they are taken to the assigned landing page.

Tracking QR codes is easy as most QR code generators have reporting data included with the free and paid subscriptions. If you want to track the QR codes on Google Analytics, you should consider using a Vanity URL or a UTM code at the end of the landing page web address. When using a UTM make sure that it is easy to recognize in Google Analytics, for example, you can use the name of the publication in which the advertisement is published to know which ad sent the traffic from to the landing page.

QR codes can be used in print ads or on signage to drive web traffic and new leads. All ads are trackable in Google Analytics with the use of UTM codes, this enables you to make more informed decisions about advertising strategy for our clients as we continue as their marketing partner.

Another great reason to use QR codes is that they are fully customizable, so you can incorporate your company’s branding in them to make them stand out on the page.

The only issue with using QR codes in your print ads is that it requires users to have access to a smartphone to scan the code. For that reason, we recommend also adding the vanity URL mentioned earlier to the copy of your ad in case the person seeing the ad happens to not have a smartphone.

Track your traditional marketing tactics digitally

As mentioned earlier, the use of digital marketing has made tracking campaign performance so much easier with all of the great tools and resources like Google Analytics. Measuring traditional marketing campaigns digitally should be just as easy to track so that you can make informed decisions in the future about how you spend your marketing investment.

If you are interested in using any of the tips listed in this blog but are unsure of where to start, reach out to us today at pparsells@bouvierkelly.com.

3 Tips to Improve User Experience

3 Tips to Improve User Experience

3 Tips to Improve UX

To generate a good user experience (UX) and ensure you communicate effectively with your audience, start by following a user-focused design approach. User Experience is most often talked about in reference to websites, but a user-focused approach can help refine all of your marketing efforts and materials. The more you take your customers’ needs and preferences into account, the better your response will be.

1) Understand Your Users

Each type of user (or customer) that you have, whether they’re brand new or a returning customer, is going to have slightly different needs. You should start by understanding their goals, needs, behavior, and what motivates them. This research can be done once for general use and then tweaked for specific marketing pieces.

It can be time-consuming, but we recommend getting real feedback from real users. And you don’t need to delay your launch until you have this feedback. You can also gather data and use it to develop new iterations or make small improvements over time.

2) Start with Function, Not Form

Determine first how the piece needs to function and outline the pathway. On a website, for example, create a journey map to lead the different types of visitors to the information they want and the information you want them to see. If you start with design, it’s harder to fit functionality in on top.

On the other hand, it’s important to remember as well that UX isn’t UI. Your user experience is more than just the user interface and functionality. Experience encompasses UI as well as the emotional response to the design and messaging. So, while you should start with function, you can’t afford to forget the form.

3) Don’t Confuse Yourselves with Your Users

Typically, your team is not going to be a perfect match with the target user, and it’s important to separate what you like from what works better for them. When it comes to an internal debate with your team, circling back to your user data from Tip 1 can help settle the discussion quickly and get you closer to the right solution.

 

Some of these steps may seem obvious, but it’s easy to get caught up in the turmoil of internal discussions and multiple revisions. Before you know it, you’ve lost sight of your customer and their needs. If you can refocus on their perspective, you’ll communicate more effectively and make a better overall impression.

Read more about UX and Accessibility or check out more tips on developing a great website.

Infographic: The Key Elements of a Well-Built Website

Infographic: The Key Elements of a Well-Built Website

A few months ago, we put together a comprehensive list of our well-built website must-haves. If you haven’t seen that yet, we definitely recommend you check it out when you have some time to dive in.

But for those of who prefer a show-don’t-tell method (which, really, we’re in the same boat), we have translated that blog post into a shiny infographic.

So take a look and learn what a well-built website needs to capture the attention of your customers (and future customers). And if you’d like to download it, just click the button below for a free, hi-res PDF.​

5 Key Elements of a Well-Built Website

5 Key Elements of a Well-Built Website

A brand’s website is ground zero for all its digital activity. It’s where the brand can sell products, convey key marketing messages and collect contact information from interested customers. It also provides a platform to inform and educate customers with blog posts, white papers and more.

A good website serves as the central hub from which all your digital activity radiates, offering an “owned and operated” space where you control the messaging and experience for your audience. In fact, without a properly designed, mobile-friendly site, we would argue that there is little justification for investment in other digital tactics (email, social media, etc.).

But what does a complete website need?

For starters, you don’t have to break the bank creating a deep, robust website out of the gate. Many effective, conversion-attracting websites are quite simple. Over time, you can build out your website into a robust forum for sales and education (which will help with your SEO efforts, too).

But for now, let’s explore the 5 key elements of any well-built website, no matter how large or small they might be.

1. A Mobile-Friendly Framework:

Here’s the harsh truth: Google no longer indexes non-responsive websites in their mobile search results. This means that people searching for your brand or services will simply be unable to find your site if you don’t provide a user experience tailored to mobile customers.

The fact that more than 50% of all web traffic in 2018 came from mobile devices means this is a reality you cannot ignore. And that number is up from only .7% just 10 years ago, so don’t expect that trend to reverse any time soon.

Source: Statista.com

And “mobile friendly” doesn’t just mean that you reverse-engineer a responsive design after you’ve built your desktop site. Today’s best websites are actually built for the mobile experience first, and we encourage you to take that approach whenever possible.

2. Easy-to-Use Navigation:

Nothing is more frustrating than visiting a new website and being unable to locate the information you’re looking for. And while Google is your friend when it comes to being discovered, it can also penalize you harshly for providing a confusing, unintuitive user experience.

We recommend checking out one of our earlier posts about improving website navigation, but in short, here are a few quick tips:

  1. Show your website to someone who doesn’t know your brand: How easily can they find what you want them to find?
  2. What does your site look like on a mobile phone? Is it hard to navigate buttons or can you bounce between pages with ease?
  3. Keep on top of industry trends, but don’t feel like you have to redesign your site every 6 months.

3. Lead Collection

Growing your database of leads is one of the most impactful aspects of any website. Whether you’re simply trying to build your mailing list or collect more detailed leads from prospective customers, you’ll need a mechanism to capture data.

One important element to keep in mind here is that the amount of information you’re asking for should correlate to what you’re offering your customers in return. If you’re looking for a sign-up for your mailing list, you might consider asking for only 2-3 fields of information (e.g. Name, Email Address). However, if you’ve got a lengthy, detailed eBook full of useful insights, you can likely get away with asking for more information from your lead (e.g. Company Name, Phone Number, etc.).

Bouvier Kelly Landing Page

One of our own Landing Pages, which keeps key info and the primary CTA “above the fold.”

Whatever way you set this up, make sure you’ve got a system in place—like UTM tracking—to spring into action whenever a new lead is captured, as well as trace where they came from (e.g. Google Ads, organic search, Facebook, etc.). That way, you can tell what your most effective marketing channels are.

4. A Relevant, Insightful Blog

One of the key elements of modern “inbound” marketing theory is that you can’t just sell to your customer—you need to educate them, too. You can use a blog to offer insights and helpful advice that doesn’t have a sales angle (like this one 😉), helping to create a trusting relationship with prospective customers while also improving your own SEO efforts.

Your blog can reflect a number of different topics, and it does not always have to be a deep dive into a technical subject matter. You can also use it to update your customers about relevant internal news or observations about breaking industry news.

The key to a good blog is presenting digestible, interesting information in a friendly, knowledgeable voice. Your blog posts should not read like white papers, and they should never be written just for the sake of posting new content to your website—intentionality matters! 

5. Well-Crafted Landing Pages

If you plan on running any kind of digital ads, you’ll want to have the ability to build landing pages specific to those campaigns. For example, if you’re looking to promote your latest eBook, you’ll need a landing page that only educates the visitor about that eBook only. No one likes clicking on an ad for one topic only to have to navigate through the site looking for what they were interested in.

Landing pages can quickly become an afterthought for a campaign, slapped together hastily (or not at all) and thrown into the world. However, it’s our experience that the one of the biggest detriments to a digital campaign is the lack of a succinct, mobile-friendly landing page that encourages conversion.

To learn more about landing page best practices, check out this post.

Want to learn more about improving your overall digital marketing efforts? Download our free Digital Marketing eBook today.

Improving User Experience (UX) Through Accessibility

Improving User Experience (UX) Through Accessibility

Note: We’re marketers — not lawyers. If you have specific questions concerning ADA compliance and how to avoid legal issues therein, please consult a licensed legal expert.

When it comes to user experience (UX), we tend to think of the things that are immediately noticeable upon visiting a site.

Can I easily find what I’m looking for? How long does the site take to load? Can I navigate through pages on my phone?

But a crucial aspect of UX design involves things that many visitors won’t ever see: accessibility features.

For people living with disabilities that might affect how they navigate the web, these accessibility features are critical to their own user experience, and websites must take into account ways to accommodate their time on site.

And it’s not just best practices to do so — you could end up in legal trouble if you don’t. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was passed in the early days of the internet, but the courts have set a clear precedent in the last decade that shows just how liable website owners can be if they fail to make their site accessible.

So how can you make sure your site remains a good experience for everyone who visits it? We’ve put together a beginner’s list to website accessibility, which should help you get started towards improving access for every visitor.

1. Unplug Your Mouse

A truly accessible website should be navigable without the use of your mouse. Try unplugging or disabling yours to see if you can get around using the “tab” keys on your keyboard. Not only does this give you a good idea of how well laid out your site flow is, but it also allows you to experience the site from a device-independent mindset.

Cutting a computer mouse cord website accessibility

You could just, like, un-plug it, dude.

Use your “Tab” key to bounce from link to link (use Shift + Tab to navigate backwards) and see how easily you can access the main portions of your site. If you find yourself getting stuck at a particular point or unable to click on a specific portion of the site, make a note to fix that. 

2. Disable “Styles”

We know you’ve probably put a lot of work into making your site look pretty, but when it comes to accessibility, the more important concern is how navigable your site is. To figure that out, you’ll need to disable the CSS stylings that turn your black-and-white code into vivid colors and images. 

If you’re using Google Chrome, here’s how to do that:

  1. Download a web developer Chrome extension
  2. Open the extension, open the CSS options and disable “All Styles”

Now you’ll see your site laid out in all its glorious basic-ness. From here, you can investigate whether there’s a coherent flow to your sitemap and pages. If you’re able to logically follow from one section to another without the aid of images or animations, that means it will be more accessible and navigable overall.

3. Use a Screen Reader

This is another chance to walk a mile in someone else’s proverbial shoes, navigating the web the way someone with limited or no sight might. Your computer should come stocked with a screen reading option under your Accessibility settings, but a quick Google search should help you find alternatives if not.

Much like with disabling styles, a screen reader provides a very basic understanding of what your sitemap feels like without the benefit of visuals. If you find yourself having difficulty finding what you need without the use of visual explainers, you might consider finding ways to bolster the copy on your site. 

For instance, if you’re not already using alt-text on images (which you should be doing from an SEO perspective), a screen reader will highlight the gaps in your site where descriptive text can be given to images.

4. Evaluate Your Color & Font Choices

If your website was designed by a professional web developer, there is less chance that you’ll run into issues with color contrast and font sizes. But if you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person and put together your site internally, you’ll want to take a closer look at the decisions you made 

For example, certain color choices that might look great when paired on furniture or home stylings simply make it more difficult to read text on a screen. Though not all your color choices have to pass this contrast litmus test, anything you’re using for fonts should. If anyone with average vision has difficulty in parsing some words, imagine how it might look to the more visually-impaired.

Some examples of how color choice affects readability.

Additionally, it’s a good rule of thumb to stick to fonts no smaller than 14pt. That way, no one has to squint or increase their browser size to read your handy work. That has become increasingly important for mobile responsiveness, as well, where fonts will naturally look smaller on a phone than when viewed on a desktop.

While these are just a few recommendations to get you started, it’s important for any brand to undergo a serious evaluation of Accessibility on your site. Not only will it ensure a smooth, enjoyable user experience no matter who is visiting, it can help keep you ahead of costly legal troubles, too.

The 5 Pillars of a Successful Digital Ecosystem

The 5 Pillars of a Successful Digital Ecosystem

The breakneck growth of digital technology over the past two decades has forever changed the marketing and advertising world. And while many traditional tactics like out-of-home advertising and print publications still have a viable place for many clients, there’s no denying that very few brands can get away without having a stable digital presence.

So let’s take a look at the 4 key pillars of what we’re calling your “digital ecosystem.” These individual elements are often treated as related yet separate tactics, occasionally overlapping but often being thought of as distinct from one another. We believe that they must be taken holistically to be truly successful, and we’ll tell you why.

1. Your Website

This is ground zero for all your digital activity. Without a robust website, there is almost no justification for investment in other digital tactics (email, social media, etc.). That’s because you need to have an owned-and-operated platform from which to do things like sell products, convey key brand messages and collect information from interested customers. You can do many of those things on social media platforms or third party e-Commerce websites, but you will always be “renting” those distribution channels from other companies.

2. Content

Outside of the baseline information that makes up your website, you’ll want to invest in an ongoing content strategy as part of any digital efforts. This is particularly important for any B2B efforts, as without a physical consumer product to sell, content will be one of the ways you “sell” your brand and position yourself as a trustworthy, instructive partner for your customer. Content can run the gamut from as simple as a weekly blog post on industry news to in-depth instructional videos and tutorials. Some pieces of content will be easier and more affordable to produce regularly, while others you’ll want to plan for as part of a bigger strategy. Content will also help improve your SEO rankings, by populating your website with content that features your target keywords.

3. Email Campaigns

One of the oldest forms of digital communication has had a love-hate relationship with marketers over the years. With the rise of spam and less sophisticated marketing campaigns, it fell out of favor, but as social media is now being scrutinized more closely than ever, marketers are falling in love with email again. For starters, email campaigns still allow for direct, personalized communication with your audience. And unlike social media — which can also allow for those kinds of relationships — you will always “own” your email list.

4. Social Media

To use the parlance of the largest social media platform on the planet, our relationship status with this marketing tactic is “Complicated.” What was once dismissed as a passing fad has grown into a cultural phenomenon. It went from widely derided to widely adopted — and we’re starting to come full circle again. But that doesn’t mean social media shouldn’t still be a part of your digital ecosystem. In fact, the platforms themselves remain as powerful as ever, you just have to reorient how you’re thinking about them.

5. PPC: Pay-Per-Click Advertising

The final puzzle piece in your digital ecosystem is PPC advertising. As the paid complement to SEO, this tactic primarily revolves around Google Ads. Here’s how you’ll work to be the first result when someone searches for keywords or phrases related to your brand. Depending on how specific or broad your services or products are, this will be a very obtainable goal or one you’ll have to work very hard at.

So How Does This All Work?

Think of these five pillars as a kind of virtuous cycle. Each tactic feeds the other, working in harmony to help you meet your goals. For example, you can have a Facebook campaign that drives new visitors to your website, where you then offer them a free eBook download, who you later target on Google Ads with a more hands-on piece of content. Or, you can use an email campaign to drive webinar signups, and then send reminder Facebook ads to everyone who converted on your website. Whatever you do, make sure you take your campaign into consideration holistically, not just tactically.

In the process of writing this blog post, we realized we had a lot more to say about building a successful “digital ecosystem.” Check out our Quick Look white paper that features more details, tips and insights. Or simply give us a shout below.

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