MaxAudience San Diego and New York are 2021 UpCity Excellence Award Winners

Digital Marketing Agency MaxAudience has received the UpCity National Excellence Award for the third consecutive year.  The agency is honored to be recognized as one of the top 100 marketing providers in the United States.

The Top 1% in the Marketplace

The Upcity Excellence Awards are presented to the top B2B service providers.  These providers have the best customer satisfaction and brand integrity ratings.  UpCity is an online marketplace that helps businesses find high-quality service providers.  The UpCity rating is a proprietary algorithm that measures a provider’s credibility, recommend ability, and reputation based on digital signals.  They gave the yearly awards to the top 1% of the UpCity marketplace.

Over the years, MaxAudience has proven that they are not just another digital marketing agency.  The team creates marketing campaigns that deliver results to help their clients win in their marketplace.

MaxAudience Creates Strategies To Improve Brands Online Marketing

MaxAudience has worked with Fortune 500 companies to startups over their 10 years in business.  By helping brands create mission statements, design and messaging solutions, establishing powerful websites, ad campaigns, social media campaigns, content, and SEO strategies, it improves leads and ultimately conversions.  The dedication that the agency gives to its clients is clear in the reviews that they receive on UpCity.

The past year, they have dedicated the MaxAudience team to helping clients focus on their online presence during the pandemic.  They did this by implementing strategies that would not only allow them to survive but in fact thrive.

“Here at UpCity, we are always very proud to announce our Excellence Award Winners. We are fortunate to work with the best, most trustworthy partners across the U.S. and Canada,” said UpCity SVP of Product & Marketing, Heidi Sullivan. “This is a great opportunity for us to honor the partners that help us fulfill our mission of helping businesses find B2B service providers they can trust.”

Mary McIntyre, CEO of MaxAudience, “Especially this year, heart wins the day, great job team.”

MaxAudience clients’ testimonials that are part of the UpCity ratings:

“Although the partnership just began, the website already looks more professional. Timely and responsive, the MaxAudience team fully commits to meeting objectives. They are digital marketing experts, especially in the realm of social media.” – Kelly Watson

“They are pros and they are always there for me.” – Ryan Gagajena

“I feel very fortunate to have locked links with Ben, and MaxAudience. I will be their client forever.” – Bethann Christopher

Does Your Brand Have a Customer Journey Map?

In 2021, the customer experience is more important than ever for brands to focus on.  One way to improve your customer experience is to create a customer journey map.  The map is a way to understand the customer’s perspectives and how they will interact with your brand.  This map will help your employees and your marketing strategies appeal to your target audience.  This will increase your bottom line.

What is a Customer Journey Map?

The customer journey starts the minute they hear about your brand all the way to when they purchase and receive a thank you for their order. A map details every step that a customer experiences within your brand when traveling in the sales funnel.

Understanding your customer will help you create the most efficient process and one that speaks to them when creating marketing strategies.

Why Should You Create a Map?

A customer journey map is a beneficial tool for your brand.  Mapping the journey helps create a consistent and effective path for the customer experience.  The map is a guide for the team from sales, content creation, management, and customer service to teach what step comes next for the prospect to become a customer.  It keeps all of your marketing from the perspective of the customer and speaking to each party of the journey.  The steps from finding your brand to purchasing can look different for your audience, and many times parts get skipped over by brands.

The map should not stop with the purchase, the smart brands will have the journey continue with emails and offering exclusives and promotions.

Improve Your Customer Retention Rate

When you have the journey mapped out it is easy to see what areas need improvement.  When you improve on sections, fewer people will leave your brand for the competition.  All a potential needs is one bad experience to switch brands.

Attaining a new customer is 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.

Creating the Map

Your map should achieve the following:

  • Desired Outcome – What is your map’s desired outcome?  Are you trying to improve the customer experience or generate more sales?
  • Find Touchpoints – Touchpoints are the platform or location where customers first interact with a business.  These can be social media posts, search engine results pages, PPC ads, or Google reviews.
  • Customer Personas – part of the journey is mapping out solutions for the personas.  Personas will help you gauge what they want and predicts their behaviors.
  • Customer Experience – Focus on making their experience better.

Taking the Map and Working it into Your Marketing

Once the map is created, then it is time to set your marketing plan and how you are going to reach your customers and potential customers.

The map is your guide to when in the journey is a good time to send a marketing email and what type, more information, checking in, introduction, or thank you.

White papers, case studies, and blogs are great resources and provide useful information to customers on the journey.  The map will let your team know when it is time to provide these items to them.   The personas will tell you which studies will help the potential customer the most.

If you are not sure where to begin or how to take your customer journey map and work it into successful campaigns, we can help.  Our team has helped small to large businesses overcome their marketing question and generate leads and conversions with our experience in email marketing, SEO, branding, website design, and content creation.  Contact us today to beat out the competition.

How Does Brand Messaging Affect Digital Marketing Strategies?

Brand messaging is a huge part of the creation of branding and integral in the creation of marketing strategies.  In this guide, we are going to dive into what makes messaging so important and how you can use it in your marketing strategies to dominate online.

What is a Brand Message?

A brand message refers to the underlying value proposition.  It is what makes prospects relate to your brand by inspiring them, persuading them, motivating them, and finally want to buy your product.

A brand message sets your company apart from the competition.  Prospects understand your values and what you stand for.

How Does Brand Messaging Drive Marketing?

Strong brand messages drive content writing decisions and future campaigns.  Brand messages and value propositions set the theme for all of your future blog posts, website content, social media, ads, and more.  Brand messaging is about the language and phrasing that is used.

When brands are not strategically using their message, it can lead to misalignment and inconsistency.  Brand messaging strengthens a brand’s identity.

Start with Your Website

The home page of your website is sometimes the first thing that a potential customer sees.  Your brand message should be visible on the page.  Highlight the story of what makes your brand distinguishable unique and how it relates to them.  Identify your customer’s pain points and how you can help them.

The focus of pain points is how you offer a solution to the problem, it is about the benefits, not the features.  People want to feel like your brand understands them and has the answers they are looking for, whether it is through a product or a service.

Social Media

Social media is a great place to share and attract prospects.  The first thing to figure out is which platform is your target audience on the most.  Start with where your audience is and then branch out from there.

Social media allows you to share content that aligns with your brand message and values.  Share industry news, give advice and showcase original photos of your product or service.

Blogs

There is a lot of talk about whether blogs are read and useful going forward.  Yes, blogs can help give information and reiterate your brand message with useful information.

Blogs offer a way to share expertise in an informational blog post that establishes industry authority.  It helps build trust with your readers.  If you would like to focus on a customer benefit that your brand offers that the competition doesn’t a blog is a great way to speak to that benefit specifically.

Case Studies

Case studies are social proof that your product or service gives value.  These studies are an excellent way to showcase your expertise.  They tell a story of a person or a company that had a problem and how your product or service helped them.  Case studies have an impact that will help sell your brand to prospects.

Brand Messaging and Value Propositions are Vital

Brand messaging is critical to your online presence.  If you are not using your brand message and your value proposition, you are missing out on opportunities to increase sales.  While there are so many daily activities that owners and managers get caught up in if there is no brand message you are running in circles.

If you are unsure how to create a strong brand message and then how to best use it, we can help.  We develop brand messages that have helped companies generate a stronger presence and dominate in their marketplace.

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.

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.

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.

Digital Marketing Strategies to Boost Sales for Shopify and eCommerce Sites

Shopify is known as the biggest eCommerce platform for businesses.  The platform is also known for its ease of setup and usage.   However, are you maximizing opportunities and digital marketing strategies to improve your sales? Whether you are using Shopify or another platform, you need to have a solid digital marketing strategy in place.

SEO for eCommerce Sites

Search engine optimization applies to any website, and eCommerce sites are no exception.  Shopify users find that they are able to increase their search engine rankings and get better visibility when they apply strategies.

The first step is keyword research and finding the right keywords and phrases that your target audience is looking for.  Think about broad-based and long-tail keywords, also phrases like the “best” and premium.  Many searchers will type “the best” and whatever it is they are looking for.  Using the right keywords in the meta titles and descriptions of your products will improve your rankings.

Meta Descriptions That Drive Clicks

The meta description is the brief text that shows up after the title tag.  The max is 155 characters, while your description can go longer that is the only part that will be seen.  On the flip side, you want to utilize all 155 characters.  The descriptions should sell your product by giving the customers why it will help them.  Within the meta description include keywords while being concise and to the point.

Use Social Media

Instagram has over 500 million daily users.  Are you selling your products on Instagram?  With an eCommerce site, you can integrate your storefront and Instagram.  The key is consistent posting, great content, compelling images, and engagement.

Many eCommerce brands will find that they get questions both in the comments and in their DM’s.  Make sure that your brand is responding and giving them the answers to their questions.  The more engagement a brand has, the more likely that the viewer will go to the site.

Content Marketing

Another strategy that you will need is powerful content.  Content allows you to reach, engage, and connect with your target audience.  The most essential piece is that your content needs to provide value and give the customers a way to solve their problems.  SEO is a part of a content marketing strategy as you need to use the keywords and search phrases within the content for better ranking.  However, the content needs to make sense and give value.

Abandoned Cart Emails

Have you set up your email marketing?  Specifically, the abandoned cart strategy.  In eCommerce cart abandonment happens all the time.  Yet, by setting up an effective email marketing strategy, you can recover lost sales.

Once the cart is abandoned, your automated email system will send a reminder asking them if they forgot something and to take a second look.  If the customer does not return within 24 hours, then you may decide to set up a second email this time with a deal on shipping, or a discount code to entice them to come back and take a second look.

Test what works best for your customers and apply that strategy and you will see an increase in sales conversions.  The results can be phenomenal.

Need a More Personalized Strategy

These are just a few of the strategies that we use for our eCommerce clients when they approach us on how to improve their sales conversions.  If you are in need of a consultation, our team is ready to help you go from a page 2 ranking to page 1.  Contact us today and let us create a personalized digital marketing strategy.

The Power of Case Studies in Digital Marketing

There are many digital marketing strategies when it comes to creating content to engage with prospects.  There is one that sometimes gets overlooked by brands, case studies. Case studies give social proof that your brand has the solution to their pain points.

What is a Case Study?

A case study tells of a challenge or conflicts your customer was having, how it was approached and resolved by using your product or service.  The best case studies have data that confirms success.

The Power of a Case Study

Research has shown that a prospect that reads a successful case study influences their buying decision.  Case studies resonate with prospects more than just a bullet point list of data.  They position your company as an industry leader.

Case Studies can help educate prospects on the benefits and value of your product or service.  It also is a great sales tool for your sales department.  It is a way for them to present your brand in a storytelling deck that will close deals.

How to Write a Case Study

The best case studies go through the entire customer process with the start, middle, and end the journey with a solution.  The customer should be relatable and have commonalities with the reader, the more they can relate and see themselves in the story, the more compelled they are to reach out after.  The formula we have found effective is the intro of the customer or the hero of the story, the challenge they face, the solution, and the results.

Keep in mind that the hero of the story is not your brand, your brand provides the service or product to make the hero’s life better.

Marketing the Case Study

Now that you have a strong case study, it is about using it effectively.  As mentioned above, positioning a case study in a sales deck is one way to showcase it to sell your product or service.  Here are some other ways to market it.

Website

Case studies are powerful tools on a website.  They drive conversions and sales.  You should have a case study page for visitors to look at.  However, a case study on a home page will get the most views.  It will encourage them to stay on your site longer and click-through.

Blog

Another way to share a case study is by using the content and turning it into a blog post.  Share more details than in the case study so that it is a combination of story and key information.  Include a call-to-action at the end of the blog.

Social Media

Case Studies can give you some great social media content and link to your website.  A few sentences to intrigue the reader and then a link to the full story.  If you have a testimonial from the client featured in the case study, it makes for a great graphic and content piece to share.

Brands that share authentic content build credibility and trust with viewers.

Email Marketing

Case studies make for great email nurturing content.  Email marketing still produces the highest return on investment when compared to other tactics.  Studies have shown that emails are the marketing channel most customers say they want businesses to communicate with them.  So why would you not take the case study and turn it into a series of nurturing campaigns?

We Can Help

If you are still unsure about how to best write your case studies, implementing them into a strategy, we can help.  At MaxAudience we have a proven track record of helping clients take leads and convert them into sales.  Contact us today so you can dominate in the marketplace.