Author Archives: Melanie Stern

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About Melanie Stern

Looking at the world through word-colored glasses, I am continuously in awe of how we evolve as people in business. We strive to communicate in a direct approach and, when we see fit, through subliminal channels. As a content strategist, I look forward to sharing all perspectives to help entertain, enlighten and engage more in others.

The Power of Online Video for SEO and Brand Trust

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Power Of Online Video For SEO Brand Trust - Eminent SEO
There is some truth to the phrase “seeing is believing.” And in today’s world, skepticism isn’t just for the paranoid. Business owners and clients believe they aren’t as gullible as they used to be, thanks to Snopes.com, E-Verify and a social culture that’s never heard of doing business on a handshake.

To provide a visual of what the initial interaction with a potential customer looks like, picture a stone-faced man or woman seated with arms crossed on the chest, void of emotion, waiting for the next round of B.S. to present itself.

Think about most of the marketing pitches you get online, whether through organic search or pay per click. Expecting a bait and switch? How often is that delivered? Right. No wonder we’re so distrustful.

Marketing Without Video Is as Reliable as Online Dating

YouTube Second Largest Search Engine Behind Google - Eminent SEOWith much of our business-to-business and business-to-consumer relationships made across local, regional and national borders, any opportunity to engage in face-to-face communication is essential to building trust.

Remember when the idea of having your photo on your email signature was introduced? The reason behind it is the same. But it’s anticlimactic to have a conversation with a photo.

If you’ve ever engaged in the online dating process, it’s easy to get the message about why marketing with online video is such a powerful tool. You begin by conversing online with photos being the visual that entices.

You have no idea what these people sound like, how their mannerisms dictate the way they move, how they react to the unexpected or what drives them as human beings. And yes, you really can’t authenticate whether that photo is really him (or her).

Apply this to your business. If your online presence only includes the use of static imagery, there is no dimension to your brand and you’re missing a key opportunity to increase the reach of your SEO.

Every Business Is in the Business of Telling Stories

Now that social media has superseded print and physical collateral for marketing agency and business owner spends, as well as footing heavy competition for the television space, how your company represents itself is dictated by the stories it tells.

Breaking Down the Art of Storytelling

Whether you are a brick-and-mortar operation or solely online, the moment customers enter your facility or website, they are expecting a story. The visuals need to speak to them. The words need to engage emotion so that they stay long enough to purchase or at least remember who you are and why they should come back and/or share the experience with the people they know.

This is relationship marketing; it’s based on the ability to create a story that has dimension and depth. Nothing does that for you better than online video.

Salespeople Are the Biggest Storytellers of All

Business Video Marketing Spend 2018 Statistic - Eminent SEOThere remains an ongoing, friendly feud between creative marketers and salespeople. Salespeople generally have a disdain for marketers and believe that marketing content is nothing but fluff.

On the other hand, marketers know that a good story is needed before a salesperson ever gets the chance to tell their own story.

Marketers and salespeople aren’t that different. Here’s why:

  • Marketers – Devise a story, direct or indirect, meant to get the attention of a prospect and lead them to the sales department or immediately convert a sale.
  • Salespeople – Listen to the prospect and, based on what they hear, create a story that will resonate to convert a sale.

Online video supports marketing and sales initiatives because the story can be retold over and over again. Just hit play.

Video: The Next Best Thing to Being There

Marketing in motion (that’s what video is) provides a unique layering of flexibility to your creative campaigns. You can adjust the tone, the language, the lighting and effects on the fly. If it’s realism you want to convey to your audience, this is how it’s done.

For a more polished look, high-end equipment and professional videographers are the way to go as they better understand the mechanics behind the machinery and how to maximize the production to get better results. Make sure to create your own YouTube channel to post the videos, and incorporate keywords to help boost views and increase organic rankings.

Remember that Google sometimes chooses to show videos on page one of a user’s search, and that YouTube itself is the second-largest search engine on the web. Leverage your videos accordingly.

Why Video Is Business Marketing Royalty

According to a 2017 video marketing survey by Wyzowl,

  • On average, 90 minutes per day are spent watching online video.
  • 15% of those who watch online video do so for three hours or more daily.
  • 99% of businesses who already use video will continue this year.
  • 82% of businesses plan to increase their marketing spend on video in 2018.
  • Two out of three businesses that do not have an online video presence will start in 2018.

Where does your business stand? How are you capturing audience, brand awareness, SEO and conversions? If you’re not doing video (or creating the right kind of video), you virtually don’t exist.

What Does Online Video for SEO Do for Your Business?

Nothing creates a sense of believability and credibility to online users like video. It allows you to craft a message and deliver it in a way that keeps you in control.

If you like the response it generates, you can build other videos around it for a full-bodied campaign. If the response is not what you’d hoped for, you can repurpose some of the content, add new footage to shift direction and monitor audience reception from there.

Remember these numbers when it comes to video marketing:

  • 57% of online viewers feel more confident about purchasing a product or service after watching a video.
  • 74% purchased a product after seeing a tutorial video.
  • 78% of businesses who use online video realized positive ROI.

Love it or hate it, Google runs the online SEO show. Might as well make friends with the virtual giant. By the way, Google adores video. If your website doesn’t have an embedded video on it, you’re missing out on a 53 times greater chance of showing up on the first page of search results, according to Moovly.

Optimize Your Optimization

If you already have a strong online video presence, your business no doubt is already receiving the benefits it brings. But if the back end isn’t working just as hard, your videos aren’t reigning in what you justly deserve. The right long-tail keyword phrases, headlines and descriptions also add value to your SEO positioning.

If you want (no, you need) to learn more about how the right online video marketing strategy can bring big changes to your business, ask the experts in digital marketing and brand strategy: Eminent SEO.

Read More About Refining Your Content Marketing Strategy for 2018

Keep Your Content Marketing Fresh

Avatar for Melanie Stern

Melanie Stern

Looking at the world through word-colored glasses, I am continuously in awe of how we evolve as people in business. We strive to communicate in a direct approach and, when we see fit, through subliminal channels. As a content strategist, I look forward to sharing all perspectives to help entertain, enlighten and engage more in others.

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How Businesses Are Wasting Money on Marketing That Doesn’t Work

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Businesses Are Wasting Their Money Marketing That Doesn't Work - Eminent SEO

This is probably the conversation I have the most frequently with marketing industry peers and clients. It is just a repetitive chat; the subject gets people animated, agitated, confused and eyes-bulging, vein-popping frustrated. Why? Because nobody listens.

Here’s one note of caution for starters: If you think you know marketing because of a Google search or two, you don’t know squat!

Marketing and Sales People Are the Biggest Suckers on the Planet

We’re in this conundrum together – because there isn’t one answer on how to do marketing. Instead, it’s essential that you understand the options and how they work together (or fail).

Even with the best industry gurus on your side, watching the SEO analysis month over month and staying current with the latest Google and Facebook algorithm shifts, there are no guarantees that your creative campaigns or media placements are going to work. Depressed yet?

Here’s what I can tell you. Marketing, just like people, shifts. What works today can be gone with the wind of tomorrow’s latest and greatest trend. Yaaass. This business is not for the emotionally thin-skinned. In other words, grow a pair, do some due diligence and have fun.

Beware of Snake Oil Yes Men (and Women) That Guarantee Anything

Recently, I had a client call me on the phone (old school, I know) to share his excitement. He’s got a handful of websites and just got a call from this guy in Chicago who swears he can deliver a branded TV commercial and media placement on 30 some odd stations. Wait for it… all for 1,000 bucks.

You’re laughing, right? It gets better. This guy also says he will guarantee 300 leads, calls that will go directly to my client’s call center.

Remember what I said earlier about there being no guarantees? Yeah. It applies here. So I called the guy in Chicago. I told him that if he wanted to swear to God that 300 leads are guaranteed, it was on him. I wouldn’t bet on that and I don’t think the Lord would appreciate being the brunt of a wager in futility.

How did I call him out? With one easy question: “Can you send me the list of media channels where the commercial will run?” I asked with a snarky smile. He replied, “No.”

This was a sketchy operation with phony leads that would undoubtedly go nowhere. Trust (sort of), then verify. Works like a charm.

@eminentseo
@eminentseo

Businesses are wasting money on #marketing that doesn't work because they do not think QUALITY over QUANTITY. They are also thinking about the past instead of evolving.

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Secret Keywords Are Like a Losing Game of Hide and Seek

Ever since Google has been cracking down on those who try to outsmart it (some do so successfully, but it’s temporary) one such solution appears as a “miracle grow” for SEO rankings. Watch out for the companies that say they will boost your presence by using targeted keywords strategically placed and hidden within your fine print of terms and conditions or right-hand-side testimonial content, for example.

Do really you think this is smarter than the peeps and tech that crawl websites for Google? Naw, probably not.

Marketing That Doesn’t Work: More Isn’t Mo’ Better

Marketing Tactics To Use In 2018 Keywords Video Content - Eminent SEOOverconsumption comes by us honestly. We’re Americans. It’s what we do. While some people have an issue with taking in excessive amounts of food, alcohol, drugs, toxic relationships or shoes (yes, shoes), many business owners believe that a handful of websites to represent their product offerings are better than just one.

Moreover, these duplicate (basically that’s what they are) sites house essentially the same content as one another. Not only is this so passé and ineffective; it’s naughty.

Why the marketing tactics mentioned so far don’t work isn’t just about cheesing up our industry standards. Our core audience detests it. Millennials are now the largest group of consumers. If your business doesn’t understand this audience, you might as well hang it up right now.

If you’d rather get a clue as to what you should be doing to get their appeal and more accolades for your product or service, keep reading.

Pander (I Mean Cater) to Your Audience

Millennials can be cruel. Maybe not cruel, but brutally honest. They don’t understand the merits of privacy (thank you MySpace, and now Twitter and Facebook) and believe that everything is subject to discussion, rant and opinion on the web. If your product or service doesn’t cut it, you’ll know, quickly. Here’s what to do to angle it all in your favor.

Invite the Criticism

Take a deep breath. Swallow that lump of insecurity in your throat. Be bold enough on social media to have a unique presence and put posts out there that speak to who you are and what you stand for. Take the heat that comes.

Pay attention; it’s the most inexpensive way to get an understanding of what’s working or not…and it’s ideal for discovering gaping holes of opportunity. Although, social media is not the place for ongoing product pitches. It’s about having a personality and building a following.

Make Millennials Matter

Leveraging the right social media platforms is essential to owning the millennial market. How you position your profiles is even more important. Make sure your content doesn’t talk down to them, as it needs to include them.

Position this audience as instrumental in your success. They must be part of your conversation. If your brand strategy allows them to lead the conversation, that’s golden.

Create the Experience

Product and services aren’t flat surfaces (though many smart devices are pretty close). The world isn’t flat either; it’s full of dimension. Enter marketing and editorial content.

What resonates with people today is a full-bodied experience with your product, service or brand. It taps on the emotion, the most powerful place your marketing can target. People may not remember what you said or did, but it’s how you made them feel that matters.

Provide Information That’s Unique and Individually Topical

The definition of an information junkie = millennial. From their childhood, web surfing was the only way to get the answers they needed. Ask a question of their parents, and “Google it” was the go-to response. As such, the information you put out must be accurate, relevant and thought-provoking, which gives them a reason to investigate further (they will) and respond.

Build Your Brand with Integrity That Is Globally Relevant

Long gone are the days where providing a free product offering would win over potential customers. Today’s consumers are cynical, and for good reason. With the onslaught of cyber theft and security breaches, people understand that if it says it’s free, there’s probably a cost.

If your product or service doesn’t provide global impact by its very existence, then your company brand should. If it doesn’t – to a millennial – you don’t exist.

Top 6 Marketing Angles Worth the Expense

Sales, web development and marketing firms will try to entice you into needing what they offer. With all the choices, it’s difficult to discern between necessity and fluff. Use this list of must-haves to position the marketing of your business well.

2018 marketing angles that work:

  • Quality content – original copywriting and optimized alt tags for imagery should rank organically
  • Video often – boosts viewership and experiential marketing
  • Cause marketing – brands your business with emotional substance
  • Niche campaigns – all media outlets, segment your audiences
  • Embrace the screens – use cross-channel marketing to increase impressions
  • Long-phrase keywords – catches the low-hanging fruit of search engines

Final Thought on Marketing to Your Audience

Not every business can claim millennials as its target audience. True. However, early adapters of web use and the culture of instant gratification aren’t merely for the young. This is how every generation under 65 years of age consumes.

Today, we are all millennials. Your marketing efforts need to align with our new, collective behavior.

See How to Appeal to Generation Z Online

Avatar for Melanie Stern

Melanie Stern

Looking at the world through word-colored glasses, I am continuously in awe of how we evolve as people in business. We strive to communicate in a direct approach and, when we see fit, through subliminal channels. As a content strategist, I look forward to sharing all perspectives to help entertain, enlighten and engage more in others.

More Posts

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‘Mad Women’: Companies Flourishing Due to Women in Marketing

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Mad Women Of Marketing Companies Flourishing - Eminent SEO Staff
In comparison to the “golden age” of advertising in the 1960s, when the best creative and strategic brand initiatives came from men (because women were only perceived as adequate for secretarial work and bringing coffee to the big guns), today’s women in marketing are a force to be reckoned with. How we got from then to now took a lot of blood, sweat and tears. I should know. I’ve been in the business since 1980.

While my early days fell long after those represented in the hit television series “Mad Men,” some of the misconceptions about women’s abilities back then are still evident today, yet tucked under the whispers of men and women at the office Keurig machine. This is what gives rise to the mad women of marketing, and it goes well beyond the #MeToo movement.

Perception of Feminism vs. Actual Roles

Women In Marketing Experience Sexism Boston Globe Statistic - Eminent SEO“Business is business.” It’s a common philosophy among the successful. But if you are a woman who has been passed over on a promotion or accolade due to gender, it’s hard not to take it personally.

Sure, there are situations when a man has more experience, more formal education, more talent, more entries in his book of business. In this instance, I am speaking to an apples-to-apples scenario. Why then, would a man get the advantage and is that still the case?

While working as an on-air talent, producer and marketing writer at a No. 5 U.S. market FM radio broadcast company, I was an integral part of a team saddled with going through the ratings reports when they came in.

During one intense session that took us in to the wee hours of the morning, we broke to stretch our legs. Nonetheless, I stayed at the conference room table, as did our boss who sat across from me.

I mused to myself for a moment, taking note of how everyone in the group, except for the boss, was a female. So I asked, “Why is everyone in here a woman?” He smiled and without hesitation responded, “Because if you want something done and you want it done right, ask a woman.”

At that moment, I thought it was an empowering thing to say. Over the years, I’ve changed my mind. It took me a while, and with more career disappointments under my belt, some sexual assaults on the job, a divorce and a real understanding about how strong women in marketing threaten an entire vocational culture, I finally get it. And if you don’t just yet, let me help.

“Marketing requires intricate attention to detail and organized processes to
execute a strategic campaign…because it’s evolving by the minute. It’s about telling
a story, building a brand with compassion and reaching business goals as an empowered team.”
Lacey Bertnick, SEO Director, Eminent SEO

Women in Marketing Experience Sexism

Back to what my old boss said about his favored choice in hiring women. The following facts illustrate the truths that led to his hiring preference:

  1. Single moms make up a large portion of the workforce.
  2. Many single moms must work.
  3. They can take a pay cut due to item No. 2 above.

I fit the profile. Many of my coworkers over the years have fit the profile as well. If you don’t, you probably know someone who does.

Aggressive or Driven?

When a corporation looks to promote from within, the one awarded with the title can be a result of a singular characteristic or a myriad of them. Seniority, ability, an internal reorganization or the infuriating “it’s who you know” offer some of the reasoning.

Though when it comes to a woman in the position of a possible promotion, the following factors are taken into account:

  • The effect on others within the company
  • Industry and public perception (if it’s a high-profile opportunity)
  • How the candidate will respond

Oh yeah, and there’s that important subject known as pay rate. Are these also the terms of consideration when a male is contemplated for hire? It depends.

According to MarketingWeek.com, the “pay gap between male and female marketers
has widened from 20.8% in 2016 to 22.4% in 2017,” favoring men.

You’ve probably heard that a man with wisps of gray hair is distinguished, while a woman is old. When a woman is in a position of power, she is often viewed as a bitch. For a man, he is simply driven.

“A woman who is outspoken and assertive in the workplace would be
perceived as overly demanding, whereas a man exhibiting
the same characteristics would be praised for his passion or tenacity.”
Nicola Yap, Organic Marketing Strategist, Eminent SEO

Unfortunately, this isn’t the intellectual skew beholden to men only. Some women share this ideology, which is self-defeating in the quest to climb the corporate ladder in marketing. But times are changing.

“Women are changing the way consumers feel about
brands with more cause marketing and less sex appeal.”
Jessica Feldman, Digital Marketing Specialist, Eminent SEO

The Good Ol’ Boys Club Is Dead

Nothing can be more frustrating to a woman in sales, marketing or creative than coming up with a great promotion, product positioning or ad campaign and then presenting it to a male supervisor only to get it passed on to the decision maker as if the idea came from him – the man.

“When I first started working in digital marketing, it was an ‘old boys club’ and
they weren’t too happy to see a girl step in. My male coworkers wanted me to fail,
left me out of important meetings and memos. I was ridiculed, harassed and talked down to,
paid less and given fewer opportunities than the men. It’s part of why I started my own company.
No one should put up with daily sexism just to earn a buck. I hope to help change that.”

Jenny Stradling, Founder and CEO, Eminent SEO

Some women got tired of the disrespect and mistreatment. Instead, they broke the rules and formed their own marketing agencies, tipping the uneven scales of an industry to make a decades-long wrong, right. In Arizona, I’ve had the privilege of working with two great female business owners in marketing communications, Carrie Martz of the Martz Agency and Jenny Stradling of Eminent SEO.

The Tide Is Turning

The “Mad Men” show was engaging with solid storylines and on-target acting. Perhaps part of its allure and strong audience following is that it served to remind us where we (women) started in marketing and how far we’ve come. In fact, we have arrived.

“If you want to create a successful multi-channel campaign, get a woman to help you.
She can use her insight to attract many others from the female realm. It’s like using the ‘Girl Code.’”
Danielle Knox, Creative Director, Eminent SEO

Now that there is immense public outcry regarding racism, gender-bashing, safe spaces and equality in all forms, the mad women of marketing can take a load off, put their feet up and bask in the glory of our force in the business community. A fun example is a new TV ad campaign for Overstock.com that pits a man against a woman.

Mad Women of Eminent SEO and Others Represent Well

Creative business industries such as advertising, design and marketing have been known for bucking tradition with more flexible guidelines in where we work and how we work. Ours is an industry that can easily connect the most intriguing and successful initiatives with a truly collaborative environment. For example, Thrive Marketing just opened its doors to a new, women-focused working space in Gilbert, Arizona.

The end of silo office environments, strict organizational hierarchies, and the 8-to-5 business models have shifted across many industries, but started in marketing. Remote work, shared work shifts, and team achievements have much to do with women in marketing, because to survive, we had to be flexible.

Juggling family obligations, meeting client deadlines and staying current with industry trends requires a flexible and scalable business model, especially for women. Now many companies have adopted these pathways, supporting women more than ever before.

In final thought, remember: A scorned woman hath no fury (laughing), but we do a hell of a job!

Comment Time: Discuss How You’ve Seen Women Change the Face of Marketing and Business for the Better.

Avatar for Melanie Stern

Melanie Stern

Looking at the world through word-colored glasses, I am continuously in awe of how we evolve as people in business. We strive to communicate in a direct approach and, when we see fit, through subliminal channels. As a content strategist, I look forward to sharing all perspectives to help entertain, enlighten and engage more in others.

More Posts

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Why You Need Multichannel Marketing More Than Ever

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Why You Need MultiChannel Marketing More Than Ever - Eminent SEO

I know what you’re doing right now. If you’re reading this on a smart device, you’re either in the car or somewhere that has another media channel turned on. Radio, television, laptop, maybe your buddy’s phone.

So while you’re scrolling down this content, there are other media impressions close by, bombarding every fiber of your being, whether you like it or not.

According to statistics, we like it. A lot.

Today, All Consumers Have A.D.D.

In fact, media multitasking continues to drive media exposure up because it’s just how consumers spend their time. While older generations have modified their singular focus thought patterns to adjust to the new norm, those who only know digital media are naturally wired to divide their attention simultaneously.

Less Is NOT More

To align with consumers, marketing efforts need to maximize exposure and strengthen the impressions made through multiple channels of media communications. Multi-channel marketing reaches more people because the premise involves the use of multiple media distribution touch points that can include digital, direct mail, broadcast and physical stores that together are meant to expand the audience reach.

But multi-channel marketing has changed recently. It had to. Early multi-channel marketing often dropped the ball on consumers, forcing them to put two and two together.

Our Product Your Interest Equals Sale - Eminent SEOAh! Not so fast. In life and marketing, you may assume NOTHING. The word “assume” broken down makes an ass out of u and me. So where was the disconnect?

The buying life cycle is ever so longer, thanks to the digital space. The gaping hole that businesses need to address in their multi-channel marketing efforts was and remains the impetuous, demanding nature of customers and how best to get them to give a damn about your product.

Simply and silently your audience cries, “Convince me.” Hence, multi-channel retailing was born.

Why does the multi-channel marketing model fit now more than ever? It matches consumer expectations and behaviors.

No one wants to work more than they have to, especially online.

Multi-Channels Turn On Your Audience

US Consumers Spend 12 Hours Day In Front Of Media Channel - Eminent SEOEvery media channel used to promote your business should provide something that inadvertently says, “See me, feel me, touch me!” Websites, offer videos, downloadable eBooks and case studies are prime examples of this.

If it’s a social media ad or post, ask users to speak their mind or visit your latest and greatest upcoming event. If it’s an email, entice them with a special promotion or webinar – the dangling carrot – that can only be bitten by filling out contact information and/or a three-question survey first.

Make It Move in 3 Ways

Here’s how to connect with consumers through a multi-channel approach:

1. Keep It Pretty

Even though people are searching for quality content, what gets their attention are quippy headlines and killer design.

2. Keep It Real

People love the notion of getting what they want in real time, wherever THEY are. Mobile rules the multichannel mainstream. Google continues to strengthen a mobile-friendly ranking system that penalizes websites that aren’t mobile-optimized. Also, Google announced last October that it would further favor mobile search by splitting off desktop and mobile into separate search indexes, favoring mobile as the primary index.

3. Keep It Profitable

In the past, social media was all about getting people to see you, feel you, relate to you and build an ongoing connection. Your business’ social presence was to be nothing more than the resource ‘go-to’ – never to ask for the sale. But now, who has time to waste time?

Make your move as soon as possible by subliminally asking for the sale with a redirect to another channel that provides a shopping cart or a direct link to ecommerce. There’s a saying in sales, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” Facebook, Google/YouTube and Pinterest have already positioned themselves within the not-so-free market.

If You Aren’t Competitive, You Have No Business Being in Business

This multiple platform concept might seem too busy, let alone too expensive, for your marketing budget. On the contrary and here’s why.

If you don’t update your communication strategies to follow consumer behavior:

  • Marketing campaigns will have minimal effect.
  • Marketing effectiveness will equate to missed opportunities.
  • Marketing reach and conversions that shoulda-woulda-coulda been yours will go to your competitors.

Multi-channel Marketing Can Actually Increase ROI by Cutting Costs

If Customer Is Here There Everywhere Thats Where Marketing Should Be - Eminent SEOSpread the quality content you generate thin to increase market reach. What? If your content is good and relevant (and it better be) why wouldn’t you want to use it over and over again?

Remember, a consumer needs to be hit over the head by your message before it resonates and sticks. This happens with multiple touches. So why reinvent the creative wheel if you don’t have to?

Repurpose Your Content. Really. Just Hit Repeat.

To writers, designers and any creatives with artistic integrity at their core, the very term repurpose would make their innards recoil at the sound. To repurpose content was the lazy man’s (and woman’s) way to put out more marketing, with less than half the effort, often at the client’s full expense. A cheap shot? Well, yes.

But now with multichannel campaigns, repurposing breathes new life into existing ideas, with a simple twist of forethought.

How Many Impressions Does It Take to Get to the Center of Your Buyer?

Let’s get to the Tootsie Roll center of multichannel responsiveness: the sale. What exactly do marketers need to do to increase the likelihood of making the sale happen? Let’s find out.

Let’s take a step back in time when marketing was simpler. You can build on the complexities from there. Your multichannel creative and messaging should embrace the following in every medium used:

Give some special attention to pay per click. Categorically, dollar for dollar, it’s the best marketing investment you can make as long as you know who your audience is and target them. Sometimes, you gotta pay to play.

So now that you know the markers needed to hit your audience effectively, don’t forget to make your campaigns memorable and shareworthy. You’ll get even more bang for your buck.

Solid Multi-channel Marketing Isn’t Random; It’s Native

Native Ads Visual Focus Stat - Eminent SEOIf you ask yourself, “Do I enjoy being ‘sold’ on something,” thoughts of greasy car salesmen wearing checkerboard polyester slacks waiting to pounce on you the moment you arrive on the car lot might come to mind. Yeah. Being blatantly and shamelessly coerced into buying something is creepy.

Marketing can be like that, but there are more approachable ways to speak to your buying audience.

Keep it native, because your audience won’t really know what hit them. Native ads are, in most cases, advertorial (remember that word?). The content is created to mirror the surrounding media.

If it is for a print placement, the native ad will be designed and written to mirror editorial. The same goes for online advertorial and video. And not so conversely speaking, television and film showcase native ads through cleverly orchestrated product placement.

Why do native ads work? They provide a seamless experience that meets customer expectations, providing the information they need through user-friendly outreach. Nothing over-the-top, just a natural progression of what’s already in front of them.

How Do You Know What’s Working?

Multi-channel marketing campaigns are like reconnaissance missions. They’re only as effective as the results they bring in. But if you’re not monitoring, tracking, managing and updating strategy and responsiveness, how would you know? You wouldn’t.

But that’s a whole different story. Literally. Find out how A/B tests disclose the truth in your marketing by reading my previous blog post.

When You Cross-Channel Your Multi Channels, It’s Marketing Nirvana

Cross-Channel Multichannel Marketing City Highways - ESEOImagine the power of the same message connecting all the right channels to all the right people. It happens by using the benefits found in tracking consumer behaviors, readily available, through online intelligence.

When you segment your consumer data, by demographics or psychographics for example, you can take your multichannel marketing campaigns and direct them, cross-channel them, to the individuals that would more likely respond to your specific messaging.

Or to turn it another way, take your audience-specific messaging, identify the cross-channels, and make that marketing campaign meet that audience face to face in the media channels they use most, but let’s take that one step further:

  1. Each media channel will either redirect them to another channel through a link or other prompt, or
  2. Each media channel ad works as a standalone but is strengthened if each channel crossed is part of the same cohesive campaign strategy.
  3. What do I mean in #2?

Here’s an easy, “old school” illustration of the concept. Note the images below in support of Greenpeace. (No, I’m not getting political.) The first page shows a lush, healthy tree. We know that Greenpeace is all about supporting the environment. Because their brand presence is so strong, the first image as a standalone ad tells their story.

So, as you’re looking through this magazine, you come across the first ad and you “get it.” Then…

Greenpeace Tree Magazine Ad - ESEO… you turn the page to see the next ad and kapow! It really hits you, hard. Are you more likely to react, respond and engage after viewing page two? All day long, right? But its strength was built by the first page.

Swap out the print ad concept, page to page, with multichannel marketing, and the various channels can serve similarly as multiple “pages” in a campaign.

Multi-channel Marketing Invigorates You and Your Customers

Reflect on your current marketing initiatives. Could they use a good swift kick in the nuts? So far as I can see, they just might be ready for a facelift.

Businesses truly represent our better half. For better and for worse, we’re married to them. That being said, you might as well give yours the attention it deserves. Through multi-channel marketing, you can.

Solidify your long-term marketing relationships with multichannel marketing: It’s more lucrative than divorcing yourself from success.

For Your Channel Overview, Just Push Play

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Melanie Stern

Looking at the world through word-colored glasses, I am continuously in awe of how we evolve as people in business. We strive to communicate in a direct approach and, when we see fit, through subliminal channels. As a content strategist, I look forward to sharing all perspectives to help entertain, enlighten and engage more in others.

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A/B Testing Cracks the Code of Online Intelligence

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A-B Testing Code Of Online Intelligence - Eminent SEO

Digital marketing is a wide-open, challenging space. For business owners, advertising and editorial campaigns are the fruit of sales initiatives meant to entice audiences and feed their hunger for products or services. Will they bite? It depends – on a lot of unknowns.

Marketing plans, in their infancy, are like seedlings: tiny, thought-provoking concepts that require warmth, love and attention to reach their full potential.

In the earliest stages of development, online presence is a collaborative process using the talents of web developers, content strategists, graphic designers, writers and more. There many human touchpoints along the way, though each embraces a common fear: the unknown.

Who is our audience?
What if our brand has no appeal?
What if the messaging is off target?
What do customers care about today, tomorrow or at 6:32 p.m. on Thursday night?

With the best marketing director, creative director and product managers that money can buy, no marketing campaign can bank on success before it happens. How do you know what creative strategy and market positioning is guaranteed to work? You don’t. But here’s where you’ll find the clues.

The Benefits Behind A/B Testing

A-B Testing Nutures Your Baby - Max Monster Egg - ESEOIf you’ve never considered adding A/B testing to your marketing plan execution, it will provide more clarity than you might think. A/B testing could also bring more questions to light, but there’s clarity in that too.

Time efficient? Cost effective? Boosts ROI? Definitively.

Perhaps you’ve tried A/B testing before but weren’t happy with the results. Isn’t that the point though?

Digital A/B testing measures more of what you need to know and streamlines marketing efforts. It forces you to delve deeper into the details of your product or service offering, audience, brand and goals. A/B testing allows creative ideation to meet with user reality – and that’s the sweet spot.

There are added benefits to ongoing A/B testing as it helps you keep a pulse on your audience and if or when your business garners relevance.

Online Marketing Without A/B Testing Is Like Target-Shooting Blind

Doing digital A/B testing measures more of the efficacies in new product or service launches and is highly recommended, even for a soft launch. Unless you’d rather bite your nails to the quick, suffer from a bad case of insomnia, take your chances on performance, and pray you still have a job when the campaign goes sideways.

Your vision for success is only as clear as the ability to target succinctly and deliver. Everything else is noise. A/B campaign rolling is the only fair and true test to measure creative messaging and audience engagement.

Know-It-Alls: Digital A/B Testing Measures More than Ego

There’s a sanctity in “being right.” Coming up with award-winning creative messaging might get you kudos from your industry peers but if it doesn’t convert your audience to act, it is so wrong.

Business-minded narcissists and braggarts can use the A/B online platform to measure just how right they are. But digital A/B testing measures more than ego. When ideas align with A/B measured results, you show a knack for marketing intuitiveness and then have just cause to say, “I told you so.”

A/B Test Everything, Often

As consumer wants and needs change with the tide of online influences, so too should your marketing outreach. What works in the summer of 2017 will most likely vary greatly from what works the winter of 2018. A/B testing allows you to stay current and top-of-mind.

To better understand the basic process of A/B testing, use the following steps as a mental illustration.

A/B Testing Mental Process:

  1. Pick a product or service
  2. Decide what you’re testing for
  3. Forecast the right answer/approach (ego ergo here)
  4. Predict the anticipated response
  5. Live with the truth and consequences
  6. Adjust where needed
  7. Test again

The knowledge you can acquire through A/B testing is astounding. You can even generate love, at first sight.

A/B Testing Gives You a Second Chance at First Impressions and More

A-B Tests Can Measure Audience Design CTAs - Eminent SEOIt’s been said that you can never get a second chance at making a good first impression. With A/B testing, you can in five seconds.

The right messaging entails many variables. Focus on who will receive the messaging, and that should dictate design and layout, colorization, verbiage and tone, and the call-to-actions applied.

With A/B testing, you can alter any single aspect of your messaging to discover what works best.

If you’re not sure of who your target audience is or if your business has multiple types of consumers and prospects, A/B testing is the perfect forum to segment your market reach through:

  • Demographics
    • Age
    • Gender
    • Education
    • Average household income
  • Psychographics
    • Personality
    • Values
    • Opinions
    • Attitudes
    • Interests
    • Lifestyles
  • Geotargeting

It’s a Matter of Time

Keep in mind that some user behavior is a direct result of predictable timing. You can use this to your advantage during A/B testing.

For example, industries that are entertainment-centric would probably fare better by marketing on Thursdays when consumers are thinking about the weekend. If your luxury product offering might appeal to middle America, A/B test its marketability within two days of the 15th or 30th of the month (paydays).

Finding Value in Pricing

Price points can dictate a do-or-die success rate for a product launch or rebrand campaign. To get a better idea of what monetary number consumers will accept or reject as a purchase point, explore your options with A/B testing.

Use the other elements of measurability:

  • Messaging
  • Audience
  • Timing
  • How they create a consumer’s perceived value

This type of value is then weighted against competitors’ offerings, product benefits, misgivings and price.

Choose focal points that promote your value and segment them within the A and B rollout. Note the psychology behind numbers and how they affect human behavior. For most people, $39.99 is more pleasing than a $40.00 price point.

SEO Makes It Easier on You and Your Audience

Why not give consumers what they’re searching for? If they don’t know you exist, how can they find you? Instill A/B varied keyword campaigns to find out what people are looking for. You’ll gain important insights as to what consumers want and how they look for it online.

A Good Approach Sets Up a Smooth Landing

Pay-per-click ads and social media posts aren’t the only places that A/B testing can prove to be constructive. As long as you’re evaluating the strength of the initial ad or post, complete the campaign assessment by A/B testing the corresponding landing pages.

Use the same seven-step mental process shown earlier in this article as a guide to formulate variances in landing pages. You may want to do two sets of the testing, A/B and A/B, to measure the performance of banner designs, headlines or call-to-actions.

To read more about A/B testing and other optimization tips for landing pages, click the button below:
Read 8 Tips for PPC Landing Pages

The Patience and Virtue of 90 Days

A-B Tests Take 90-Plus Days For Results - Eminent SEOIt might be asking a lot of anyone to exercise patience in the creation, execution and measurement of digital content. Consider this: Just because user behavior indicates impulsivity at a click or swipe doesn’t mean the artists behind the content should be just as reactionary, though the attraction to do so is understandable.

Let’s say you’ve worked hard on every aspect of a given product launch. You launch the online campaign. You’re not getting the anticipated results, even with A/B testing.

Give it time. Oh the difference 90 days can make to judge marketing effectiveness, engagement and conversion rates.

Consumers’ interests ebb and flow with pop culture trends, seasonal changes, employment adjustments and the best reason of all: just because. Your business representation online should be solid. If your digital presence shifted as quickly as consumer interest, you’ll find that it’s hard to tell what’s working and what isn’t. It might feel as though you’re spitting into the wind. Only you know where that spit’s been.

Give your current marketing campaigns three months to season. If they’re not bringing you the results you’d hoped for, there’s no reason to start from scratch. Make small changes to what you already have, then A/B test again and run those versions live for another 45 days.

A/B Testing Refines Virtual Imperfections

In the quest for perfection, we tend to home in on the details of marketing initiatives and adjust them, based on measured performance. No matter how diligent you are about using A/B testing, there is one truth that cannot be changed and must be accepted:

User behavior is measured; human behavior is not.

The intuitiveness about online use provides the data needed to structure marketing campaigns. The quirkiness of human behavior cannot be adequately measured as it comes from individual thoughts, emotions and dreams that flow with changes in personal life circumstances.

Is there an A/B test available to measure that? Technology moves mountains…

Great A/B Testing Is Born with Purpose

Marketing content at its finest should inform, entice and draw engagement to elicit brand awareness, customer loyalty and commerce (direct, deferred and referred).

A/B testing isn’t meant to replace original campaign strategy or ideology, but to measure or tweak it. Based on performance numbers, your strategy, positioning and content can be realigned.

Imagine how much more your business could thrive, faster, by partnering with a one-stop digital shop that knows how SEO and creative content work best, collectively, from day one.

A/B Test Us

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Melanie Stern

Looking at the world through word-colored glasses, I am continuously in awe of how we evolve as people in business. We strive to communicate in a direct approach and, when we see fit, through subliminal channels. As a content strategist, I look forward to sharing all perspectives to help entertain, enlighten and engage more in others.

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Why Going Green in Business Is Good for Your Bottom Line

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Going Green In Business Is Good For Reputation - Eminent SEO

Business mentality has shifted. Profitability remains important. Notoriety is often more important than profitability, as good and bad attention can help drive profitability. (Reputation management can fix the online backlash.) Perhaps now, more than ever before, what you do in business is second to how you do it.

Why the collective enterprise shift? Why is going green in business good?

Millennials. According to the Census Bureau, millennials outnumber baby boomers. In order for businesses to be competitive and stay competitive, their product or service offerings should appeal to the millennial mindset.

Because millennials possess a DIY mentality and appreciate acquiring knowledge, knowing how to save time and financial resources whenever possible will provide you with some clues. Certain business practices will also need to align with cost- and time-effectiveness on a local, national and global scale. After all, the accepted business mantra is “Think Local, Grow Global.”

So how do we do this, attain, maintain and grow financial success without sacrificing human consciousness? Be green.

Being green in business today is far different than it was 10 years ago. Your green initiatives must go beyond a mere positioning statement. It has to literally define your existence. Seriously.

Being Green Before Was the Seed for What’s Blossomed Today

If you were in business within the first decade of the year 2000 or worked for a company back then, having the ability to say you were a “green” corporation was all the rage. There were changes to the way employees experienced the office space, eliminating the use of paper, unnecessary lighting, and low-flush toilets.

This was all a very big deal. Companies wanted to boast about these changes. So they’d do a press release about how green they were. They’d add a tab on their website menu dedicated to their green initiative so that the public would know how important the environment was to them.

Green in Business Is Good and Even Better for Industries

Construction and real estate companies seized the opportunities available in green. Energy efficiency was proving to be big business. Properties, both residential and commercial, that had low-e windows, artificial grass or solar panels seemed more attractive to buyers and tenants who were looking for built-in ways to lower operating costs. But this wasn’t enough – and that’s a good thing.

Public Outcry and Government Support Create a Brighter Hue

“The use of green products generated more than $500 million in energy-efficiency savings and more to come in 2017.” Inc.com

The spiritual floodgates of consciousness have opened up about thinking greener. With government programs now supporting the private sector in selling green products to consumers, the opportunities appear, in a word, limitless. Business, maybe even your business, needs to step it up.

What was good enough before isn’t enough today.

Baby Boomers, Millennials and Generation Z Demand More

Many of today’s baby boomers came from a more holistic approach to living. Remember hippies? For them, in the 1960s and 1970s, life was all about peace, love and harmony. Those desires still live in the hearts and minds of many mid-lifers and young seniors.

Millennials and Gen Zers invoke a deeper consciousness about the products they buy. They don’t take our natural resources for granted. Water is treated like a gift: It is used for washing and rinsing in the sinks and showers of America but turned off during those moments in between. Additionally, if your business, at its core, doesn’t have an environmental social consciousness, your product or service – no matter how good – isn’t even considered.

Green Today Must Translate to a Greener Tomorrow

Consumers want to feel comfortable in the products and services they sign up for, not just for today but how they impact tomorrow. It’s a strange paradox really. Although people don’t want to “own” anything, when they do make a decision, it should make a positive difference to someone else down the road, whether it’s their family, friends or strangers abroad. Doing business green-minded allows this to play out, naturally.

Green Is Good for Business Profitability and Longevity

Studies Show Consumers Buy From Environmentally Conscious Companies - Eminent SEOIf you watch what’s trending (and who doesn’t), people are demanding that feelings matter. Many business success stories are not led by how magnificent their sales are but by how their business connects people. The sales funnel lives in the relationship-nurturing process.

So is there room for sentiments in business? Absolutely, and sharing them through your green philosophy is a great way to communicate them.

Going green in business is good for producing cost and time efficiencies in logistics, production, employee head count, and more. When businesses can minimize operating expenses and increase customer satisfaction, not only do they have a better ability to expand their market share, but grow positive brand awareness and existing customer loyalty, which collectively goes a long way in building longevity.

Incorporating green into your company doesn’t have to be a long-winded, complicated process. For example, allowing employees to work remotely lessens gas consumption and pollution. There are little modifications that can be made to help all of us realize the big picture: Together, we can create a more sustainable way to live and thrive.

Even if your business doesn’t directly fall into the following types of industry, you can certainly think of ways to use them to help your company’s environmental stance.

Sustainability businesses include:

  • Printer Ink Recycling
  • Cleaning Services
  • Solar Installations
  • Energy Auditing
  • Home and Commercial Property Improvement
  • Landscaping
  • Organic Foods
  • Restaurants

These Companies Should Make You Green with Envy

There are three different companies that I’d like to highlight as complete purveyors of green. I believe their missions will serve to inspire and remind us all that it’s never too late to do business better.

Every business that uses water, plastic or fuel, with the right alternative, can strengthen their green. Here are a few examples of how it gets done.

Airespot.com

With its consumer focus on the millennial market, Airespot took a look at urban living and wanted to make it more proficient for professionals and local businesses. They’ve done it with one seamless app. The Airespot app is available for those living in specific high-rise apartments where getting to and from anywhere can be a challenge.

The purpose of the Airespot app is to connect apartment owners or property managers with their tenants and also put them in touch with local service providers who can make their life easier, all at a discount. Dog sitters and walkers, cleaning services and restaurants are part of the mix.

Through app use, residents can get what they want with a swipe, but what makes this even sweeter is that the more people that use the same business service, the deeper their discount. Residential logistics issues are solved.

Dynamic Water Technologies, LLC

Large-scale enterprises like resorts, hotels, industrial and manufacturing plants need expansive water systems to keep their businesses running. Over time, these systems require upgrades to sustain safety and health requirements, costing millions of dollars in new equipment and production delays.

Dynamic Water Technologies in Scottsdale, Arizona, part of Universal Environmental Technology (UET), provides businesses a cost-effective and time sensitive solution. Through best-in class technology and sustainable engineering, chemical additives to water are removed and water consumption is reduced. In fact, Dynamic’s clients experience up to 80 percent in water savings and up to 40 percent in energy savings.

The Plastic Bank

Imagine combining two of the world’s largest problems and solving them with one multifaceted idea: world hunger and oceanic pollution, eradicated. The idea behind The Plastic Bank is for people – in both private and public sectors – to work together to remove the plastic waste in our oceans and prevent it from ever getting there. But who and how?

Some of the worst offenders in oceanic plastic waste come from the most impoverished countries. The Plastic Bank offers the poor a way to generate income and sustain their own livelihood, simply by cleaning up the plastic.

Individuals can bring plastic to designated recycling centers where they have the option of being paid in local currency, or in green-generated goods or services. Sustainability drives The Plastic Bank’s entire business lifecycle.

Is Your Business Green Enough?

Truly green companies use sustainable solutions at every possible opportunity. How green do you think you are? Could your business pass the judgment of your customers on this subject?

If you’re not sure, use the following questions as a guideline:

  1. Does your business give back to the community in every business transaction?
  2. Does your business represent a green mentality in operations?
  3. Does your business represent a green mentality in its culture?
  4. Does your product or service (in its use) support a lower carbon footprint?
  5. Do you partner with other green-minded corporations?

Talk Green to Me, Just Comment Below…

Avatar for Melanie Stern

Melanie Stern

Looking at the world through word-colored glasses, I am continuously in awe of how we evolve as people in business. We strive to communicate in a direct approach and, when we see fit, through subliminal channels. As a content strategist, I look forward to sharing all perspectives to help entertain, enlighten and engage more in others.

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Web Copy Is Like ‘Show and Tell’ for Your Readers

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Web Copy Show And Tell For Readers - Eminent SEO

Content needs to shift almost as fast as lightning, almost. But lightning never strikes in the same place twice.

Web content does, daily. At least that’s what every business owner hopes – to have multiple hits on their web presence from the same user. Content trends indicate that the possibility is more than likely.

The Content Marketing Institute-Marketing Profs study in 2016 showed that most North American business-to-business marketers planned to increase their content generation. How they will develop content strategies going forward will be representative of a difference in today’s web copy mindset. It’s all about the storytelling – and then some.

Web Copy Plays Show and Tell with Your Business and Its Customers

Whereas content was once looked upon as food for thought to fill a blank web screen, content is now deemed more serious than ever. The disdain for “fake news” and Snopes-worthy stories (that are rumors at best) has borne a new kind of web consumer: the truth seeker.

The demand for solid, substantive web content is not only echoed from businesses and consumers alike, but from Google analytics as well. Why?

Effective and Efficient – Either It is or It Isn’t

Google has reset the way it values content. Content optimization is still important, but the quality of content versus quantity of SEO indicators has been brought back into balance.

Consumers aren’t just hungry for great content: They want to be able to bite their teeth into it, leaving them chomping at the bit for more. It’s a business’s dream come true.

Today’s content needs aren’t just about having accessibility to all things information. It’s about time: the value of our time – and not having it wasted.

We want the right information on the first click or swipe. Content needs to possess effectiveness and efficiency. No bait-and-switch copy. No guts-without-the-glory gab. It should be “just the facts, ma’am” with a little entertainment on the side.

Scroll, Stop and Share

According to an article last year in Adweek, more than 82 percent of video views come from mobile devices. More than 65 percent of consumers make purchases online through mobile as well.

When creating web content, most digital marketers struggle to have their desktop content translate well to mobile devices. It’s not an easy task.

Content strategists mull over this dilemma, looking to find alignment between effective messaging and efficient delivery. It’s now all about the scroll, how to get the user to stop and share your story. Results matter. Don’t they?

Content Breeds Opportunity

Web copy, on a company site, can effectively do two things: establish a brand presence and execute sales enablement. Sure, there are other sub-categories within each, but brand presence and sales enablement are the large-scale objectives.

Your web copy strategy should also involve:

  • Prospecting
  • Lead generation
  • Customer retention
  • Nurturing relationships (with customers and affiliate partners)

But before you can go there…

…Your web copy has to start here:

The Audience Says, ‘Are You Talking to Me?’

Ayn Rand Contradiction Quote - Eminent SEOWhether your online audience is a specific niche or broad-based, your web copy must speak their language – literally and figuratively. The story told should be compelling, yes, but it should be laden with texture and color.

With words? Absolutely. Here’s how.

Great copy should:

  • Create a picture
  • Create an experience
  • Evoke viewer emotion
  • Elicit viewer response

In sales, there’s an adage, “You don’t get if you don’t ask.” Use that analogy for web copy. If you don’t ask for a response, you most likely won’t get one.

Use actionable words that entice the user and drive engagement. Where warranted, use the talents of industry experts to help create pertinent content to generate authenticity, which speaks volumes to your business community.

Southern-Fried Chicken Ain’t for Yanks

In marketing and in life, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. Once you’ve got a good grasp on who the audience is, remember it with every breath of copy exhaled. It is the crux of web success.

This was evident in an online creative campaign I once worked on for an assisted-living company located in the Southeast. They wanted to appeal to three audiences: those who need in-home care, loved ones of those needing care, and potential health care partners.

In an effort to position this company as an industry resource with empathy for its audience, we created a vlog and blog strategy based on a character named Grace who spoke eloquently with a Southern drawl, of course. Going on about “fixin’ to eat bean pie” may not appeal to a viewer in New York or Arizona, but it didn’t have to. We were targeting the South.

Expectations Are Like Opinions, Everyone Has Them

Now that the importance of audience identification and language, tone and manner has been established, let’s delve into the realm of expectations.

Web copy directly and indirectly sets up the following expectations about your business:

  • Culture
  • Brand
  • Experience
  • Products or services
  • End result

Take a web walk through your site to ensure that the above-listed expectations mirror what your content speaks.

Words Can Over-Promise and Under-Deliver

Copy can be overzealous in approach, dialect and rhythm. But at the end of the consumer web experience, did the copy tell a good story for story’s sake, or did it pitch the truth?

Put a filter on self-serving creativity. It might get you an entry into The Webby Awards, but that doesn’t mean you’ve attracted your viewers, much less represented your product or service honestly.

The No. 1 Question in Web Copywriting

With every piece of content you put out there to support your business, ask yourself (from the reader’s perspective), “Do I care?” The answer should be an unequivocal, “Yes!”

The Best Web Copy Show and Tell Safeguard

To stay a head above your competitors’ web positioning, think hats. Your brand positioning is one hat, and your audience is another hat. With the right web copy, you can show and tell your company’s story in a manner that resonates with your audience and reflects your brand.

And then your two hats effectively become one. Isn’t that the point of your website?

Let Us Create a Better Brand Experience for You

Avatar for Melanie Stern

Melanie Stern

Looking at the world through word-colored glasses, I am continuously in awe of how we evolve as people in business. We strive to communicate in a direct approach and, when we see fit, through subliminal channels. As a content strategist, I look forward to sharing all perspectives to help entertain, enlighten and engage more in others.

More Posts

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The Retail Online Shopping Experience Differs for Generation Z: Are You Ready?

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Generation Z Online Retail Shoppin Experience - Eminent SEO

There’s probably nothing more generic than the phrase, “Let’s go shopping”! Over the years, how people go shopping has changed just as much as where they go shopping because with online purchasing, the how, where, when and why of shopping shifts – in an instant.

Consumers demand choices, more than ever before. With Generation Z moving into the forefront of retail business owners’ minds (as they should), the face of the retail online shopping experience is only part of the larger picture in targeting consumers’ wants to equal product niches and availability.

Retail Websites Need to Drive Intrigue, Not Just Sales

Generation Z Girl Entertained By iPad - Eminent SEOSome U.S. retail hubs, like JCPenney, have totally missed the mark on changing consumer behavior. Sure, they have websites, but doesn’t everyone?

If your web presence isn’t more than a poster board for your corporate culture or a lengthy display ad for your wares, what is it really doing for you? Better yet, what is your website really doing for your customer?

According to senior national retail consultant Catherine Mountain, brick-and-mortar retailers have been closing their doors in record numbers in recent years because they were, and are still, “homogenized.”

“Generation Z wants a compelling reason to shop at your business,” said Mountain. “There has to be a good why. They have the money, but they don’t want their time wasted. When they figure out what they want, which might take a while, they are ready to act and don’t want to wait for delivery.”

Even online retail giant Amazon.com is opening physical stores, as Mountain pointed out.

If retail online shopping experiences don’t create interest or provide content that engages the viewer and leaves them wanting more, all you really have are multiple landing pages, a destination. Generation Z wants so much more. They want the journey.

Gen Z Craves Unique Experiences Where Retailers Provide the Tools

Generation Z Parents Want Children To Work In High School - Eminent SEOThough there are exceptions, as a whole, each generation comes with a mindset or unspoken cultural guidelines. The young people of Generation Z are fueled by innate intelligence and seldom take things at face value. Why should they? What gets their attention is unabashed authenticity, and more.

Generation Z appreciates:

  • Innovation
  • Craftsmanship
  • One-of-a-kind products
  • Customization
  • Anti-establishment
  • Quality
  • Meaningful customer service
  • Purchases with cause
  • Good stories

Discriminating? Perhaps. Selective? Undoubtedly.

Where did this mentality come from? It came from them, honestly. In fact, it’s how Gen Z was raised.

Childhood and Parenting Play a Role

2.6 Billion Generation Zers By 2020 - Eminent SEOThere is an interesting oxymoron embedded within Generation Z. On one hand, they are dedicated to social consciousness to a point where if you don’t have it, you’re just not good enough.

On the flip side, they want to be taken care of through a level of service that is more than attentive, but actually intuitive. Is this an impossible expectation?

Let’s dive deeper.

Digital communication for Gen Z is not a choice, but their only reality. The intuitive nature of the internet shopping experience over the years has blossomed and is somewhat oversaturated with deceptive pay-per-click ads and data-mining techniques that mirror online consumer behavior, to a point. Gen Z desires change, not merely for the sake of change, but with purpose. It’s just how their minds work.

Their parents believe in entrepreneurship and, more than likely, both are working. Helicopter moms were replaced by empowering role models that pushed coping skills instead of protective barriers.

These children and young adults are self-directed and do not have the fears that many millennials carry. If a Gen Z child wants to know something, there is no hesitation in asking. Their individuality is the new norm, as conventional attitudes are not only so yesterday, but offensive.

The Evolution of Shopping

For decades, there was an art in shopping known as salesmanship. Today, people don’t want to be sold, convinced or coerced into a single purchase. Generation Z personifies the compilation of generations before it.

Baby Boomers want their shopping experience to be simple, Generation Xers want it fast and millennials don’t want the purchase to involve any work.

Meanwhile, Generation Z wants all of the above – but honest, transparent and specific to their needs, every time.

Loyalty Matters

Many retail online shopping experiences include special rewards programs or referral incentives. These fall flat on the Generation Z population. They know that these programs are geared to benefit the retail business more than the customer, as businesses are trying to pursue customer retention and build their list of prospects.

Ernst & Young learned in a 2015 study that only 30 percent of Gen Zers thought that a rewards program made a store worth their attention, compared to 45 percent of millennials. To gain customer loyalty from Gen Z requires the retailer to show them respect and loyalty first. It appears that the adage “respect is earned, not given” is resurfacing.

Cause and Conscience Matters

Even the way business engages social consciousness has transformed. In the past, many companies included a charitable component as an afterthought or a requirement to garner tax benefits and positive press from the media.

Generation Z can see through it and demand that altruism is an integral part of a business’ platform. Even Stevens, a local sandwich shop in Gilbert, Arizona, fulfills the Gen Z requirement. For every sandwich it sells, the owners donate a sandwich to the hungry. To date, Even Stevens has provided more than 1.2 million sandwiches to help eradicate hunger in America.

What’s Your Story?

When you appeal to Generation Z, your marketing world opens wide with possibilities. This is the target audience that yearns for a good story. They want to be part of something bigger than themselves, and if your product/service and company culture resonates with them, they will be your best marketers.

Your brand voice will become their brand voice, socially sharing their consumer experience every step of the way. If you have an on-site retail center or store – the benefits are even better.

The Resurgence of Brick-and-Mortar Shopping

With research and inquisitiveness leading the buying lifecycle of Gen Z, many retailers are fulfilling the need for more a personal touch with the redesign or new construction of actual on-site stores.

International retail chain AllSaints has addressed the changing needs of the consumer to positively engage Generation Z. Young people can go to any AllSaints location, after ample research online, and gain more product knowledge from hipsters who live in big cities and speak their proverbial language.

AllSaints’ website, physical stores and customer experience engage interaction through a consistent, no-nonsense brand voice, displays, and high-end, private-label products.

Brick-and-mortar shopping isn’t a dinosaur. Generation Z has provided the reason to bring it all back in the form of shopping with purpose.

If your business needs an online refresh or strategic update to align with new target audiences, Eminent SEO can help! Give us a call at 800.871.4130 today to learn how.

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Melanie Stern

Looking at the world through word-colored glasses, I am continuously in awe of how we evolve as people in business. We strive to communicate in a direct approach and, when we see fit, through subliminal channels. As a content strategist, I look forward to sharing all perspectives to help entertain, enlighten and engage more in others.

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