How to Create eLearning Content That Sells

eLearning has many advantages over traditional classes and it is not just for schools, businesses can offer eLearning courses as part of their services and an additional revenue stream.  The important part is to teach something relevant and that your target audience wants with great content.  Creating eLearning courses can be a great content marketing strategy to increase interest in your brand, but also add a new product.

Think of the Why

Everyone is busy!  However, if you can hit why your target audience wants or needs this course, then they will make time.  Give them enough details on what they will learn, how they will learn it, and why it will be useful.  The goal is to get them invested in the eLearning.

Think of the course as a tool, however, it is not only about the marketing of the course, or driving traffic, it is about giving them a course with information that they need.  The course will drive traffic and will receive social proof to encourage others to take your course.

Micro-Learning

The best eCourses are the ones that break up the information into small sections.  It is a short burst of content for learners to study.  Retention is found to be better, and it also makes them come back for more, instead of overwhelming sections of content.

Micro-learning appeals to individuals as it takes up less time and the quality of the content is richer.  That is the key when thinking out the lessons. While it is smaller chunks, it is quality, concise information.

Provide For All Learning Styles

The best eLearning courses have a balance of visuals, audio, and kinesthetic (moving or doing).  Incorporating different elements of each will involve your audience and engage them in the process.  Some ideas to combine all three learning styles are video content, graphics, written notes, and activities.

There may be some repetitiveness when trying to accommodate all three styles, but that can lead to better retention and increased understanding.

Give Information But Hold Back A Little

With eLearning courses there are often two mistakes made: one is giving every single piece of information you know or giving very little information to entice them to come back for the next.  When it comes to giving knowledge, you want to give information, however, not every single thing you know all at once.  Too much can actually overwhelm your audience, and it does not leave room for a deeper dive course to follow.  However, be aware of holding too much back. They want to learn and you need to give them quality information.

Engagement with Interactive Learning

Corporate training many times gets labeled as dry and boring.  When creating eLearning courses, you want to balance between passive and active content.

Passive content is when the lesson is being presented and the viewer is watching a video, reading notes, and listening to explanations.  Once the passive part of the lesson has been presented it is, then a great idea to add some active content, things like quizzes, simulations, discussion forms, an assignment.  All of these examples get the student thinking and brainstorming, taking the lesson and putting it into use.

It is about creating an experience and making the course not only memorable but shareable.

Market Your Course

Once you have the course created, it is ready for students.  It is then time to get the word out through your digital marketing campaigns.

Utilize your social media, create Ads, email marketing, newsletters, and webinars that will preview the eLearning course.  It is about reaching out to your customer base and your target audience.

The goal of an eLearning course is for it to teach, have a high completion rate, for them to share your course with others, and register for another one of your courses.  When you incorporate these tactics, you will have a great reputation as a must-do eLearning class.

A Guide to A Successful PPC Marketing Campaign

Brands that want to increase traffic, generate new leads, and obtain brand visibility find success with pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.  However, like any good campaign, it is about the due diligence that makes it effective.  Here is a guide to creating a successful PPC marketing campaign for your brand.

Details of What is PPC Marketing

PPC marketing is run on a variety of platforms, including social media and search engines.  On social media, the ads may pop up if the person is in the right target audience, or on search engines when the target audience runs a search the ads will pop up.  These ad campaigns are a way businesses can target who sees their ad.

When a user clicks on the ad, the advertiser pays for their click.

Keyword Research

The goal of a PPC campaign is to target the audience that needs your product or service and will convert to a customer.  This targeting begins with keywords and researching those keywords.  It is important that you select the keywords and phrases that your potential customers are searching for.

What are the keywords your competition is using?  It is important to know who your competition is and what they are doing.

Keywords are also about phrases that are being searched.  You want to be specific when it comes to keywords for ads.  You do not want your ads to show up for people who are not searching for exactly what you sell.

Understanding what people do not want is also important, and that is where negative keywords are useful.  These are words that prevent your ad from being generated by a certain word or phrase.  By using negative keywords, you will save your ad spend.

Remember, the better your keywords are the more clicks and conversions you will get.

Analysis the Keywords

Once you have your list of keywords then it is time to get the analytics on these keywords.  There are several good keyword tools that will rank keywords based on their cost per click ) CPC, search volume, and competition.

The analysis will give you an idea of your ad spend as well as what keywords and negative keywords to start with.

Content and CTA Creation

What is the goal of your ad?  Once you know what you are trying to achieve with your ad then you can begin creating a killer ad with the best call to action (CTA).

The ad should have a compelling headline, description lines with more information, a URL, and a Call to Action.  You want to engage and entice your target audience.  Think about how your product or service helps them and write to that.

When creating a call to action, you want to deliver on your promise.  There is nothing worse than an ad that promises something and never follow through.  There are many actionable words that are popular for CTAs such as Get, Now, Free, Save, Top and more.

Successful CTAs give the potential customer an action item, whether it is to call, chat, or fill out a form.

Landing Page

Where does the ad URL take them?  You want them to go to a Landing page that is set up to coincide with your ad.  It should be visually appealing and have more content that relates to the ad.

The landing page needs to look good on a computer and mobile device.  You never know what device is being used when someone clicks on your ad.

Run the Ad and Measure Performance

Once the ad is created, then it is time to watch the ad and measure the performance.  There may be changes that need to be made to the keywords or the ad itself to get more clicks and conversions.  When you work the steps, the ad will bring in the leads and generate sales.  Take the time to put in the research and creation.

Is it Time for a Website Re-Design?

Websites need to speak to your brand identity, mission, and values, they are your online calling card.  As your brand evolves, so must your website.  Bad websites will reduce your lead conversions, increase your bounce rate, and ultimately lose out on sales.  Whether your website needs a refresh or a re-design, it is a necessary step for your digital marketing strategy.

Understanding the Difference Between Refresh or Re-Design

A website refresh is when there are older images, content, or maybe older keywords are being used.  The site itself is user-friendly and great, it just needs some updating.

A website re-design is when the site is not easy to navigate, the pages are not accurate, you have major changes to products or services offered, the color scheme is out of date, and it is not a good representation of your brand today.

Why Invest in A Re-Design?

Websites are powerful tools and having a fast-loading impressive site that gives visitors what they are looking for will improve your bottom line.  Website redesigns boost organic search and reduce bounce rates.

A powerful working website only needs maintenance instead of a major overhaul, and in the end, the conversions pay for the redesign.

Questions to Help with Website Design

There are a series of questions that digital marketing agencies ask when learning about a client’s website.  These questions will help determine what needs to be changed with the redesign.  Look at your website with fresh eyes and then answer these questions.

  • Who is your target audience?
  • Why does someone come to your site?  What problems are they trying to solve?
  • Are the answers easy to find?
  • What are your most valuable pages?
  • What is the bounce rate on your site and pages?
  • Which pages get the most traffic?
  • Have you received complaints about the website or experience?

Navigation

Does your navigation make sense to someone who does not know much about your brand?  The home page is the first page a visitor lands on, does it have some quality information but not overwhelming amounts of information.  Is the navigation clearly marked and makes sense.  Navigation is something that can make or break a visitor.  If they can not get around the website, then they will leave.

Aesthetics – Visual Branding

The visuals tend to be thought of as the fun part.  Choosing colors, fonts, and images seems easy enough.  However, when choosing colors and fonts make sure that the color scheme is on target with your brand messaging.  There is a psychology behind colors and a graphic designer understands that it is not just about fun but also about meaning.

With website aesthetics comes the idea of not overloading pages with content and images but leaving white space for the visitor’s eye.

Content

Content is about giving quality information, using keywords in the content, and making sure that it reads well.  While having keywords is important for SEO, it is a balance of that and useful information.  Remember your website is a sales tool, that helps visitors make informed decisions about why your product or service will help them. 

The better your content is the high indexing the pages will have.  While you do not want to overwhelm a visitor, having very little content will not index well either.

Mobile Friendly

Websites are more often viewed on a mobile device than on a desktop, which is why you must design a website to be mobile-friendly.  The mobile design needs to be less cluttered than the full site.  The images will need to be scaled down along with any other assets.

Don’t Forget Speed

Slow websites encourage visitors to leave, which increases your bounce rate and brings your search engine rankings down.  A web design will include optimizing images, minimizing plugins, and permit browser caching.  All of these factors will improve a website’s loading time.  There is nothing worse than a beautifully crafted website that takes minutes to load.

There Is Still More To Do

Within the design, there are other factors that will need to be done before the site can go live and start bringing the clients in.  Once the site does go live, the work is not done, there will be adjustments and alterations to be made.  If you are unsure about your website or the work involved in a redesign, our team can help.  Let us help you beat out the competition.

Is Your Brand Utilizing Location-Based SEO Marketing Strategies?

Location-based SEO is a great way to improve your brand awareness and drive traffic to ultimately close deals.  Is your brand utilizing location-based targeting?  46% of all searches are local, which means if you use this strategy your brand will be found by your target audience that is searching for you.

What is Location-Based SEO?

Location-based SEO also known as geo-targeting, is about getting your brand to be seen for a specific location.  When someone does a search, Google will display brands near the person’s location.    You want to have your brand set up so that search traffic will find you.  This is important for all businesses, however, for brick-and-mortar location-based SEO is crucial.

Location specifics include state, county, city, zip code, or where your brand services.

Brands that have multiple locations will need to have a separate strategy in place so that search engines can differentiate between the locations.

Location-Based Keywords

All marketing strategies begin with keywords and location-based SEO is the same.  Your keywords will be long-tail keywords and include the name of the city or town and the product or service you provide.  Consider using a variety of variations to maximize your efficiency.

Google My Business will Get You on Maps

The next step is to get the brand address to show up on maps when being searched.  Your business has to populate on maps for the strategy to work.

Google My Business is the best way to set up your business location.  GMB is a free tool that brands can create a listing and get your online presence in searches and maps.  The listing must be completely filled out with accurate phone, address, contact name, and photos.  Google will verify the location.

Once the listing is created, be sure to monitor it and manage the listing.  Customers can leave reviews and you want to make sure to respond.  If hours change or any information, it will need to be updated as well.  The more current and up-to-date your listing is the better return you will get.

Your Locations Need Website Pages

When setting up a website, most brands will have the locations on their home page and a contact us page.  While this is a common way to set it up for location-based SEO, it is not enough to get you on page 1.

Each location needs a separate page that is specific to the city and town and optimizing those keywords.  Websites are about being organized for users and for search engines.  The better a user can navigate the more likely they do not bounce, for a search engine the better they can categorize a website the better search ranking they will receive.

Location Page is Set Now What?

Having the location page is a start, however, like all pages, it needs to be optimized so that you will get a better rating.  There are several steps to successful optimization.

  • Content – The content on the page needs to contain the location keywords besides your other keywords.
  • Title Tag – The title tag needs to contain the location, product, and/or service in 50 characters.
  • Meta Description – The location, keywords, and enticing information all need to be in the meta description.  The character count is 155 characters, so it needs to be concise but engaging.
  • Alt Image Text – The images on websites need to have keywords in the alt image text line, for location pages it must include the location keywords to do its job.  There is a penalty if the text does not match the photo.

SEO Takes Time and Updating

Search engine optimization does not happen immediately, it takes some time.  While the search engines will notice the changes, it may take a few weeks to go from page 5 to page 1.  However, if you utilize the strategies mentioned above, it will happen.

The other trick with SEO is that it is something that needs to monitoring and updating over time.  As a digital marketing agency, we monitor monthly our client’s rankings and make adjustments to the websites.  It is a process that trends and algorithm updates can change results.

We can help if you are not getting the brand awareness that your company needs.  Our team can help with website design and content marketing strategies that will get you the leads to convert into sales.  Contact us today!

How to Use Social Proof as a Marketing Strategy

Social proof is an excellent strategy to use in online and offline marketing.  It is a powerful psychological approach that can be used on websites, social media, landing pages, product pages, google, and other places.  Social proof as a strategy is about getting the proof and then leveraging the evidence that your brand is indeed what they need.

What is Social Proof?

Social proof is the idea that people will follow others when making choices.

Looking at reviews of products online is reading how other people see the product is social proof in action.  Customers’ experiences can sway your opinion of an item and encourage a purchase if the proof is positive.  Social proof is most powerful when it comes from a friend or family member.

Common Ways Brands Use Social Proof

There are several different ways in which a brand can use social proof.  It is about proving that other people like your product or services and they will too.

  • Reviews
  • Testimonials
  • Influencers
  • Awards and Recognition
  • Social Media Following

Reviews

A positive review will help establish credibility for brands.  This is why you want to ask for reviews from happy customers.

As a brand, you want to get reviews on major sites like Google and Yelp.  You will want to get them on multiple sites, as people will check multiple review sites if they are trying to make a decision.  Once reviews go up on a site you should use it in marketing materials add to your website, use in a social media post, or a landing page so that it is visible.

Keep in mind that as much as positive reviews will increase sales, negative reviews have an equally strong effect as well.

Testimonials

A testimonial differs from a review in that it will tell the client’s story.  Storytelling is a compelling tool, and it engages the reader so that they see the struggle and how your brand gave them a solution and made their life better.

Influencers

Social media influencers are a great resource as they have a large following and they can persuade their connections to purchase from your brand.  The first step is to find the right influencers for your brand, if you sell pet products then you want an influencer who has a pet and fits your target audience.

Having an influencer post about a product that they like or giving a discount code can create social media buzz.  Successful brands are using influencers to market for them and create social proof.

Another way to work with influencers is to create a brand ambassador program.  Ambassadors will post about products or services and will announce their relationship on social media bios, blogs, or websites.  This again is about working with the right people and making sure that they model your brand’s vision.

Awards and Recognition

Awards and recognition validate a brand as a stamp of approval from a group.  The more prestigious and recognizable the source of the award is the more valuable it becomes to your marketing efforts.  Awards and recognition should be listed on your site, in social posts, and in press releases.

Opportunities to Use Social Proof

Social proof can improve the way your brand is seen and in turn gain more customers.  There are many opportunities to use social proof as a marketing strategy.  The important piece is to take a few of these ideas and do them well.  If you are unsure of the best way to get more social proof for your brand, we can help.  MaxAudience has been helping brands big and small get the credibility that they need in the marketplace.  Contact us today.

Is LinkedIn Still Relevant as a Business Marketing Strategy?

LinkedIn offers a different avenue than Facebook and Instagram when it comes to marketing.  The social media platform is frequented by business owners, senior-level influencers, and decision-makers.  LinkedIn is a treasure-trove for B2B marketers.  Here is a look at what makes LinkedIn a great avenue for marketing and what you can do to build your brand on the platform.

About LinkedIn

LinkedIn has a community of 700 million professionals and 30 million companies around the world.  It is a booming online community that will help brands build awareness, promote products and services, and connect with investors and business partners.

Outline Brand Goals

Before you publish content on LinkedIn, you want to define brand goals and determine what the final objective is.  Here are some goals that you may want to focus on with LinkedIn.

  • Build Brand Awareness
  • Improve Brand Reputation
  • Engage with Target Audience
  • Sell Services or Products
  • Generate Qualified Leads

Build Relationships

For a brand that is starting out, join industry-specific groups.  These groups will get you connected with who you are targeting to connect with.  Answer questions and engage within the groups whenever possible it will give credibility and authority.

Encourage employees and business partners to promote your brand across their networks.  By having them spread the word, it attracts more people and grows your brand’s network.

Engaging with followers and answer comments and shares.  It is about engaging with the individuals that are showing interest in your content.

Network Search

When working on building relationships, a great way to connect with the right people and brands is to use LinkedIn’s network search.  There are six main search filters that you can use: people, companies, groups, schools, jobs, and posts.  Within these main filters, you can put in additional parameters to narrow down your search.

The importance of narrowing down your search is about connecting with your target audience.  The content that you post and create will speak to a specific audience, and that is who you want to seek out and connect with.  The best LinkedIn strategy is about tailoring your content to meet your audience’s needs.

Create Informative Content

Content marketing on LinkedIn is about creating posts based on sharing informative and high-quality subject matter.  Compelling content is best when it addresses concerns helps with pain points.  In addition to posts, long-form blogs are another way to get a brand noticed as an expert.

Recommendations

Whenever possible, ask for recommendations from associates and clients.  Reviews reinforce your brand’s reputation and with great recommendations, you will get more inquiries through LinkedIn search.  Recommendations are great sources for social proof.

Advertising Platform

What many do not know is that LinkedIn Advertisements have higher lead conversions when compared to other options.  There are several types of paid advertising options including sponsored updates, inmail, and text ads.  The options within the ad platform allow you to get your message to a targeted audience and direct traffic to your brand page.

Get Results

If your brand wants to develop a stronger LinkedIn presence and get high-quality leads, MaxAudience can help you.  We have created campaigns that leverage the LinkedIn platform and get results.  For a B2B brand, there is no reason to not utilize this social media marketing strategy.

Improve Conversions by Reducing Bounce Rates

Are you finding that your bounce rate is high?  You are not alone.  High bounce rates are the most common problem that businesses find when it comes to low conversion rates.  The good news is there are many adjustments that you can make easily to change bounce rates.

What is a Bounce Rate?

A bounce is a single-page session on your website and then the visitor leaves.  A bounce rate is the percentage of viewers that leave your site after only viewing one page.  The lower the bounce rate, the higher your conversions should be.  It also means that your website is engaging customers and converting them.

Google Analytics will show you details so that you can see which pages and how long they were there.

The general goal when looking at your bounce rate is to have a bounce rate that is less than 40%.  If your bounce rate is over 90% or under 20% then that indicates that there is an error somewhere in the tracking.  Most websites are somewhere between the 41 to 51% range.

Why Do Visitors Leave Your Site?

There are a few reasons why visitors bounce so fast, and in some cases, it can be a quick fix.

  • Mobile-Friendly – This is a common problem, the page is not geared to be mobile-friendly. Most searches are from a phone or tablet, make sure your site looks good on a smaller device.
  • Speed – A slow-loading website will make the visitor lose interest immediately.
  • User Experience – If the navigation is not easy, then visitors will leave because of poor user experience. Your site needs to be very clear.
  • Content – If the content on your page is not of quality, then it is time for a rewrite. Is it informative and giving quality information?  Do you have headers that break up the information?
  • Meta Descriptions – If your title tags and meta descriptions are not clear, visitors will come for one thing and then leave when they realize it is not what they are looking for. Look at your search engine listing to be sure it is accurate.
  • Call to Action is Unclear – Do you have a clear call-to-action on your page? If you do not have a clear call to action on every page, sometimes a visitor doesn’t know what the next step is.  Also, the placement of them is critical.

Audit your Site

Now that you understand why visitors leave, it is time to audit your site.  Start with the homepage and move through each page and look at it as a visitor would.  Think about your target audience and what pain points they have.  Does your website address these problems and offer solutions?

Compare your audit to the bounce rate analytics and see if your top pages are the ones that you found problems with.

Additional Things to Consider When Auditing Your Site

Consider adding videos to your landing pages and site.  Videos grab visitors’ attention and are an effective way to draw them in and present more about your brand than just an image.

Images are an effective website tool.  Are you using high-quality images that effectively showcase your products or services?  Original images speak louder than stock images.

Leave some white space on your pages.  Pages should not be overloaded with information and images.  A balance between content, images or videos, and blank space make for the best pages.

Get Professional Help

If you are stuck as to why your bounce rate is high, then it may be time to get a professional website audit.  At MaxAudience our team is trained in looking at websites and figuring out what we can do to help get you more conversions.  From graphics, content, web development, user experience, to speed, we understand how to get the most out of a digital experience and adjust a current website to make brands more money.  Contact us today so we can help you get more conversions and decrease your bounce rate.

Digital Marketing Trends You Need to Be Aware of in 2021

The first quarter of the year is a great time to think about what you want for your business by the end of the fourth quarter.  Once you decide what you want, it is time to make it happen.  Digital marketing trends are a guide as to ways to improve your presence and close business.

Up Your Social Media Game

Social media marketing is here to stay, and in fact, it is time to up your marketing budgets.  Social media is creating opportunities to engage and retain customers no matter where they live.  2020 saw a huge increase in social media followers and it is not going to decrease going forward.

As a business, you will want to create a monthly calendar with content, images, themes so that you can post regularly and monitor responses.  Responding to comments and DM’s is critical if you want a better following.  With engagement comes retention, which leads to buying.

Local SEO

One of the best SEO tips is to make sure that you have a geographically defined service area within your local listings.  What this does is make sure that your business will show up when someone searches near me.  You want people to be able to find you in real life in addition to online.

Local SEO will improve your search rankings not only locally but overall search algorithms.

Improving Segmentation in the Sales Funnel

While getting the next sale is important, are you take the time to engage with those customers that are in your sales funnel?  Put more effort into the customers that are on the buyer’s journey.  They are interested in your product or service and may just need some more information.

Engaging with clients and potential clients is important, but it is also about giving them what they are interested in.  Segmenting your customers gives you the opportunity to reach out to them personally.  Segmentation allows for a more cost-effective way to spend marketing dollars.

Conversational Marketing

Conversational marketing is about having conversations with potential clients and moving them through the sales funnel faster.  It is about making it easier for individuals to engage with a business while being personalized.  The biggest difference is that instead of leading customers to landing pages and filling out forms, it is about being able to click on a chatbot to ask questions.  The use of an intelligent chatbot is key, as it is not possible to have a live person 24/7 waiting to answer questions.  An intelligent chatbot will increase engagement and proactively reach out to people who are serious about buying.  It takes your funnel from giving what they want in days to minutes.

Now What?

The suggestions listed above are a great place to start with to get your digital marketing in a strong starting point for the first quarter and then moving into the rest of the year.  Start with one or two that will be the most impactful and move from there.  This is the time to analyze your marketing strategies and look at what is working well and what can improve.