visual metaphor

The Advantages of Using Visual Metaphors In Advertising

When it comes to advertising, most assume that the message should be direct and clear to ensure that your target audience understands what you’re trying to say. However, a message can be more powerful if something more creative or meaningful is behind it. It’s why many businesses use metaphors.

Using visual metaphors in advertising will help deliver a strong message and engage audiences on another level.

What is a Visual Metaphor?

In a nutshell, a visual metaphor uses an image or object that implies something else. It’s essentially a picture representing a different idea.

Visual metaphors work because they tap into the power of your inner mind. You might not process everything right away, but you will understand some aspects of what’s being communicated on a deeper level. With repeated exposure to a visual metaphor, you will figure out what is being said underneath the surface.

Examples of Visual Metaphorsvisual metaphor

There are many common visual metaphors that you may be familiar with. For example, a red rose is often used to represent romance. A picture of someone walking out of the darkness and into the light can represent enlightenment.

A great example of a visual metaphor is Apple’s famous logo, which depicts an apple with a bite taken out. This image represents the biblical story of Adam and Eve, which talks about knowledge gained by eating from the tree of good and evil.

The bite of the apple indicates that Apple (the company) has gained knowledge from taking a bite off the apple. They applied this “knowledge” to its innovative and cutting-edge products. The apple logo can also represent the computer, the modern-day tree of knowledge

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Types Of Metaphors In Advertising

There are two types of metaphors used in advertising: the pure metaphor and the fused metaphor.

The Pure Metaphor

The pure metaphor is when two unrelated concepts are connected. For instance, a picture of a snail might represent the slow service of a competing company. The snail itself has nothing to do with the business, but the audience will understand that speed is vital in what that company is offering.

The Fused Metaphor

A fused metaphor is a bit different. Instead of using something visual to represent specific characteristics, you “fuse” your product with another image to depict the idea you’re trying to express.

For example, McDonald’s ran a fused ad for its Filet-O-Fish sandwich that showed a fishbowl in the shape of a hamburger. It also showed a fish swimming right in the middle (as if between the bun). The fishbowl and the sandwich were combined to create a fused metaphor.

The Benefits Of Using Visual Metaphors In Advertising

The following are a few reasons why you should consider implementing visual metaphors in your advertising efforts:visual metaphor

  • Visual metaphors get your point across quickly: Using visual metaphors can save you the trouble of spending time describing something. It will result in less effort on your part while still attracting more attention from your audience.
  • Visual metaphors generate curiosity: They encourage audiences to pay closer attention to what you’re showing them to figure out the meaning of the metaphor. Once you’ve made your audience curious about your ad, they’ll become more curious about your brand.
  • Visual metaphors are memorable: Your target audience will remember ads that use visual metaphors because they are unique and creative. As a result, it makes it even more likely that they’ll remember your brand.
  • Visual metaphors help your brand stand out: It can be challenging to differentiate yourself in the market. Fortunately, visual metaphors can help you stand out from your competition.
  • Visual metaphors add a sense of creativity to your ads: By using visual metaphors, you’re not only getting your audience’s attention but also their admiration for how inventive and unique you are.

Use Visual Metaphors In Advertising

Although being clear and direct is useful in conveying a message, visual metaphors can help you be succinct. Being succinct is just as important. Additionally, using visual metaphors in your advertising allows you to showcase your brand’s creativity and personality. As a result, your ads will be more memorable, and your audience will be more engaged. With that in mind, be sure to incorporate visual metaphors in your marketing strategy.

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20 Tips To Improve Your Website Redesign Process

Your website is your audience’s first impression of your business and what you have to offer. Today more than ever you only get one time to make a first impression. With so much competition out there and so many advancements in technology your website needs to keep up with the technology changes and deliver fresh new content. An essential part of attraction marketing is drawing in the target consumer.

Time to Redesign Website

The website redesign process may seem to be a daunting task however a redesign doesn’t mean you have to completely overhaul your site. A website redesign can just be changing graphics, rearranging page layouts, or other small design functions.

Before you start your website redesign process you need to come up a strategy first. Without a strategic plan your redesign could end up costing you more and contain elements that are not consistent what what you audience wants to see. Your website is your single most valuable piece of marketing so spending time strategically planning out the redesign is extremely important to the overall success of your sales. Begin your website redesign process with a thorough evaluation of your business KPIs as a whole and take them to the next level.

Read About Growth-Driven Web Design- Is It Right For Your Company?

20 Website Redesign Tips

1. Start with user testing to see what elements work for your users and which don’t.

2. Define the top three things you want to accomplish with your site.

3. Sketch out the new layout.

4. Go though the sales funnel of your site to see if it’s easy for a user to navigate.

5. Keep your conversion funnel as simple as possible.

6. Implement multiple lead capturing opportunities to grab your visitor’s email as much as possible.

7. Implement social media buttons prominently.

8. Have contact information be the easiest information to find on the site.

9. Select a color theme and typography that flows well together and maintain consistency on every page.

10. Keep call to actions limited to one to two per page.

11. Utilize motion in terms of layout and videos or image carousels.

12. Build a prototype of the new layout and have user testings performed before going live.

13. Think outside of the box by using disruptive imagery or bold colors.

14. Double check spelling and grammar- actually triple check.

15. Test all links and make sure they point people where they want them to go to.

16. Test site and mobile speed.

17. Make sure mobile site is user friendly and design elements maintain aspect ratios.

18. Optimize all of your pages for SEO and implement target keywords in page title, meta description, meta keywords, and page content.

19. Include some extra or fun pages. Users are expecting the standard contact, about us, and product/services pages. Make your website stand out with some fun or unique pages such as an FAQ page, a quiz page to match users to products/services, or industry pages that are directly relevant to users.

20. Incorporate testimonials.

  25 Website Must Haves For Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales

website redesign process

Growth Driven Web Design: A Website As Active As You

No company is stagnant. If you are a business owner, you understand this better than anyone. Revenues and sales change from month to month, goals shift and adapt as deadlines draw near, and new employees bring fresh perspective and energy to the company. So why do so many websites stay idle as the company they represent continues to change? Growth driven web design is a new approach that many companies, large and small, are benefiting from. Regarding attraction marketing, a good website design will help to attract customers.

What Is Growth Driven Web Design

With traditional web design, it is typical for a website to remain unchanged for over a year. This could spell trouble if your website does not satisfy the needs of your visitors. If visitors find that your website does offer a solution to their needs, they will move on to your competitors website without a second thought. With growth-driven web design, you are able to adapt your website to better fit your visitor’s needs as you begin to understand them.

Read More About Discovering the Growth Driven Design Process

As customers come to visit your website, what would you like to know about them? Things like how long do they stay on my website, what are their favorite pages, and how many of them actually are interested in my product are probably some of the first things that come to mind, right? With traditional website design, these questions cannot be answered until the website is completed, but by then it’s too late. With this new style of website design, these questions are not only answered, but addressed. By seeing where potential customers are looking, small changes to the website can help lead them where you want them to go.

Why Growth Driven Design Works

So how does one decide which changes to make? Obviously, every website and every industry is going to be different. With growth-driven web design, you are able to determine which aspects within the website should be given the biggest priority based on the characteristics of your website’s visitors. For some, the best way to increase conversion rates will be focusing on the landing page. Others may notice that the blog should be given the highest priority because that’s where most of their online traffic is coming from. In either case, this new approach to web design focuses on making necessary changes to these pages to meet the marketing goals we’d like to see you achieve.

A website should be as active as the person who owns it. A good sales associate would never stick to a single sales approach for each of their clients. They understand that constantly changing and adapting leads to their desired outcome. So why not let your website behave in the same way you would? By constantly and consistently improving your website, you are taking steps to optimize your customers online experience. As more traffic flows into your website and more of those people find what they are looking for, your business will see a significant increase in sales and customer satisfaction. We know this because growth-driven web design gathers information from your website’s visitors and uses that data to drive the decisions that will make your website stand out.

What about you? Do you think your business can benefit from a growth-driven web design? What would you like to learn about your website’s visitors? To learn more, click the link below for more information.

  25 Website Must Haves For Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales

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How To Use Social Media To Drive B2B Sales

In spite of the enormous success of social media marketing, many B2B companies still haven’t successfully jumped on the social train. This because many B2B companies are unsure how to utilize their social media platforms to the best of their advantage. Sharing will help alot, when it comes to attraction marketing.

Social media channels enable you to reach a wide net of potential customers and connect with individuals on a more personal level. More people are using these platforms to research potential purchasing decisions. Therefore, your posts should be educating potential buyers about what you have to offer and showcasing why you’re an authoritative source. Despite what you may have heard, you don’t have to post memes or funny videos to stand out.

If you’ve put your social media strategies on the back burner, you’re missing out on a great opportunity. Here are some ways social media can improve your B2B sales:

How to reach your target audience:

The first step in developing your social media strategy should be to develop a roadmap of whom you want to send your social media messages to. This outline will help you reach the right people at the right time and ensure your messages won’t be lost in all of the noise. Your outline should include the messages you wish to send to your target audience. You’ll want to ask yourself the following:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What social media platforms do they use?
  • What is the end goal of your social media posts?

Once you’ve developed your plan, it’s time to set your posts into action.

Read More: B2B Branding Tips For The New Buyer

How to target businesses on social media:

When most people think B2B sales and social media, they think of Linkedin. While LinkedIn is known as the top social platform for businesses, this doesn’t mean other platforms should be ignored. Social media isn’t solely about generating B2B sales leads; it’s also about strengthening your brand awareness.

With social media, you’re able to humanize your brand by personally engaging with your audience. Since most people are turning to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, to look for solutions to their problems, your company should be visible on these platforms and ready to assist them.

How to cater your message to businesses:

Social media is a great place to showcase your brand’s level of expertise and gain trusted adviser status. Since most buyers are 60% into the buying decision before they even reach out to a sales representative, your posts should reach them early on in their journey. You can do this by posting helpful and educational content that will nudge potential customers along the sales cycle without seeming “pushy”. Case studies, blogs, product demos, and videos are great ways to initially convey your messages to your audience.

How to turn interest into a lead:

Like all marketing, social media marketing’s end goal is to generate qualified leads. All of your posts should have a content offer or call-to-action in order to urge your visitors to take steps toward purchasing. Make sure all of your social media platforms redirect to your website, and vice versa. Easy navigation is key to successful online marketing.

Your company’s social media marketing will be successful if you create personal relationships with your customers and provide them with valuable and educational content. Social media gives you the opportunity to reach a larger audience than ever before. Take this opportunity and run with it!

Learn To Use Social Media To Find New Leads

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How To Develop Content To Build Customer Loyalty

Today, online content plays a critical role in marketing your business. It showcases the products and services that you offer, as well as positions you as an expert in your industry or niche. But, did you know that it is also critical for building customer loyalty? Online content can help you convert prospects and bring customer back. Additionally with attraction marketing, what you put out there affects how you look. Here is a step-by-step guide to creating content that will increase customer loyalty:

Attract:

Attracting new prospects is critical if you are hope to increase your online traffic in the future. Well-written, targeted pieces of content rank well in search engine results. which brings in traffic naturally. Sharing content on social media helps drive even more traffic. Remember, every new prospect is a potential customer, so your content needs to make a good first impression and build trust.

Convert:

Once you have your website traffic flowing, the next step is to convert this traffic into leads. You can use content to do this in a few different ways. Here are two to get you started:

  • Case studies:
    • These showcase how your business helped a customer with a specific problem. The study outlines what problem the customer was facing, how the company helped solve the problem, and the final results along with the customer’s feedback. It offers a glimpse into how your company can help the prospect and how current customers view your brand.
  • Thought leadership:
    • This positions you as an expert in your industry or niche. You share expert information that is useful to the prospect as well as answer any questions that arise. Prospects can see the value you bring forward, which helps build trust and loyalty.

Leads do not instantly become sales. You have to nurture each lead through the sales funnel from evaluating products, to making a decision, to making a purchase. Additionally, a lead at the evaluation stage requires different marketing than a lead closer to making a purchase.

A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is a lead who has gone beyond browsing and is starting to evaluate options. That person is not yet ready to talk to a salesperson, but they are looking for more details on certain products or services.

After evaluating the options, leads will move towards making a decision. This is when they become an SQL, or a sales-qualified lead. Now a salesperson can step up to answer any remaining questions the SQL might have and help them make a final decision.

[Read About How To Delight Your Customers]

Close and Delight:

Closing a sale often takes a dozen or more touches. That is why every piece of content you post or send must work to build customer loyalty.

Once you convert a prospect to a customer, your job is not done yet. The final step to building customer loyalty is to delight the customer.

  • Send focused email campaigns to keep your brand in the customer’s mind.
  • Use customer-only promotions to improve retention.
  • Ask customers to provide feedback or fill out a survey to demonstrate that you value their opinions.
  • Offer product updates at a special discount for returning customers.
  • Use video to provide product demonstrations, tutorials, and customer stories.

Don’t Let Your Blog Become an Afterthought:

Your company’s blog should be a centerpiece in your content strategy. It is a place where you can share just about anything you want. Here is a short list of what you can include in your blog:

  • How-to posts
  • Industry and company news
  • Accessories for popular products
  • Services offered along with products
  • Helpful FYIs
  • Customer stories
  • Tutorials
  • Professional resources

Consistency is critical when it comes to updating your blog and with sending emails . Regular updates with new content will keep customers interest, in turn building loyalty and promoting your brand.

There is one tried and true adage you need to remember: it costs a lot less to retain a customer than to attract a new one. With this in mind, building your content strategy will keep customers coming back for more. Customer loyalty will help you build a successful business long-term.

email marketing program

How To Assess Your Inbound Marketing Plan

Inbound marketing has become one of the most efficient ways for marketers to sell online. It is based on developing high-quality content to relevant to the prospective buyers who you can turn into buyers. This kind of marketing allows the user to determine whether the inbound marketing plan is productive or not. Marketing metrics is a part of attraction marketing and your inbound marketing plan is a part of marketing metrics.

For most business firms actual and quantifiable results are more beneficial for better business decision. By using real-time metrics it is easy to identify the best content and customize the conversion tactics for more sales. The following are factors to be considered when measuring the effectiveness of your inbound marketing plan.

The Desired Goals And Objectives

One way to measure the performance of your campaign is listing the organizational goals. Assessing available opportunities as compared to the current number of customers, allows you to ensure both marketing and sales efforts are productive. Some of the real-time metrics that can be used for this step include; the number of conversion produced, where your prospects are in your sales funnel and lastly the number of buyers in your marketing niche. By stacking the results from such a test against the organizational goals will help you know the results of your marketing campaign.

Read More: 5 Examples Of Goals For Business Development.

Competitive Benchmarking

At times comparing your inbound marketing techniques to your competitors will allow you to identify the best strategies. By selecting the tactics that your competitors are succeeding at and eliminating those that fail your competitors will help you stay ahead. The first people to use inbound marketing in their industry have the chance to create a benchmark for their competitors. For better access to the progress of your competition, online tools like Google analytics or website grader will give you more information. Some platforms like Hubspot allow the user to see traffic density and the domains linked to your site. Such data will allow you to select the best inbound campaigns.

Social Media

Social media offer a way to get maximum attention to your website. Researching carefully about the target market allows you to know what social media platform get to the best of your customers and prospects. After deciding the best social media platform, you should approach it strategically. You can start by developing a plan on how to release some posts or discussing some topics depending on the content calendar. The idea is to compare the number of conversions each post brings. If one type of content brings more conversions then you should focus on it and eliminate the ones with fewer reads. The concept behind this is to drive conversions to the website from social media community.

Financial Spending

For any inbound marketing campaign, there must be a budget that comes with it. The budget should be based on the organizational goals to be achieved and the time frame. This provides a chance to compare between the marketing campaigns that are currently running. If you have a part of the campaign that has more expenses with fewer leads yet there are other options that are more productive, it will be better to switch and focus on the productive ones. For those campaigns that use more money like free advertising and free samples, you can re-strategize and utilize inbound marketing that has more measurable ROI features.

Develop Your Nurturing Process

Though for most buyers if your products are amazing they will buy immediately but for some a relationship is important. Lead nurturing allows you to focus on the target market and depending on the buyer’s journey it is easy to make your sales funnel a metric. By carefully designing the sales funnel to provide the prospect with motivation to buy and include clear calls to action, this will provide a position of measurement and comparison. If there are certain goals to be achieved linking conversion rates with the number of new customers will give you a clear picture of the growth curve.

Conclusion

Every company has a unique business structure, meaning they have different inbound marketing approaches. The success of a marketing campaign will depend on the contributions of the company sales team, this means you should clearly state your inbound marketing plan and goals to be achieved for better measurements.

Integrating Social Media & SEO Efforts For Enhanced Search Engine Results

drip email marketing

Drip Email Marketing vs. Lead Nurturing Campaigns; When To Use Each

Many marketing tools seem similar and are often mistaken for one another. Two tactics that are often confused are drip email marketing and lead nurturing campaign. It’s true that there are similarities in the way they work. However, they are two distinct tactics that serve different purposes. You should have both in your marketer’s toolbox to use when appropriate, especially with attraction marketing. Let’s learn a bit about each tactic and when they should be used.

Email Drip Marketing

Emails are a huge part of modern marketing. One email marketing option is email drip marketing. Named after drip coffee makers, this marketing tactic sends out emails at specific timed intervals. Time is the only factor used to indicate when an email is sent. Nothing else.

When should you use email drip marketing?

  • Educating prospects on all the products and services in your company’s portfolio.
  • Keeping your brand in front of your customers while they are contemplating a purchase.
  • Announcing new products or services for your business.
  • Showcasing best sellers in your portfolio.

A well-crafted drip email campaign can educate and inform your audience. However, done too frequently, or used only to pitch products or services, your audience may perceive these emails as spam.

[Read About Interactive Email Marketing Trends Here]

Lead Nurturing Campaigns

A lead nurturing campaign is not based on timed emails. It is based on the lead’s behavior. When a lead performs a specific behavior, it triggers an email with targeted information to be sent to your audience. These emails are designed to guide the lead through the buying process.

This type of campaign depends on gathered information about the lead’s behavior. Specific behaviors that can trigger an email include:

  • Which whitepapers grab the lead’s attention
  • How many times they visit a specific page on your website
  • Which webinar they attend
  • Which of blog post category they spend the most time in

The goal of the emails sent during a lead nurturing campaign is to deliver useful information at critical points in the sales cycle.

A marketing automation system is ideal for lead nurturing. You can build full campaigns within the system that automates almost everything in the process. The power of marketing automation systems is their ability to capture key data. This then triggers the specific emails that nurture leads.

They Complement Each Other Very Well

Drip email campaigns and lead nurturing campaigns, if well designed, will do their jobs well. They both help leads engage with your brand and give leads the information needed to make an informed decision about your products and services.

They are each powerful tools in the marketer’s toolbox on their own, but working together, they are even more powerful. Coordinated campaigns can help close deals faster and keep your brand ahead of the pack.

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Lead Generation Strategy

The Right Lead Nurturing Strategy Can Help You Stay Top of Mind

Just as you put thoughtfully planned initiatives in place to help with new lead generation, you must also think about how you will then nurture these prospects through the sales cycle once you obtain the lead. Successful attraction marketing is having leads. A smart, strategic email and direct mail program can help you maintain a consistent connection with prospects and grow the relationships you have available to you—remaining ‘on their list’ and top of mind when they are ready to act.

Lead Nurturing Basics

It’s a proven fact: marketing needs to assist sales in order to achieve the most effective conversion results. So when you create a program that keeps prospects in touch with your thinking beyond just a salesperson’s outreach, you provide an opportunity to push the prospect through their journey faster. Utilize various outbound communications as key touch-points that complement the sales teams efforts, yet showcase your company’s thinking on a different level. Provide information contacts may be seeking out—not what you want to tell them—to build trust as they make their way to a purchase decision.

Key Considerations

The goal is to offer interesting, relevant and varied content that is not primarily self-serving in nature. Begin by creating a detailed plan for messaging and scheduling of communications. Think about common questions prospects may have, and how you can provide those answers while conveying your competitive advantages, promoting educational content you have to offer, and building trust in your abilities.

A study by DemandGen found that leads that are nurtured with targeted content produce an increase in sales opportunities of more than 20%. To ensure even greater success, target content to coincide with the behavior and mindset of your audiences at different points in their journey—naturally guiding them through the sales funnel by providing the right information at the right time in the buying process.

[Read About The Importance Of Lead Generation Content Marketing]

Fine Tuning

Set a solid foundation for your program by maintaining an up-to-date database with as much information on each prospect as possible. Determine the activity level, timing and quantity of communications that makes sense for each. Be organized, yet allow for adjustments as your program evolves. Track and score behavior and deliver content accordingly, allowing the sales team to receive better quality leads along the way to reach their goals. And remember: conversion is the ultimate objective. Always hold something back—never tell the whole story in your email—make them want to click through to your site or landing page to learn more.

How Marketing Automation Can Help

According to ChadwickMartinBailey, 56% of U.S. email users unsubscribe from a business or nonprofit email subscription because of content that is no longer relevant. Automation makes it easier to schedule emails, segment contacts, manage your content, trigger responsive emails based on actions, and track the lifecycle of prospects in your marketing funnel. By addressing their specific needs, contacts stay engaged; yet you are ultimately in control because you set the parameters for informing, interacting with and nurturing each lead. It provides you the ability to better target your contacts in a personalized way—assisting the buying decision based on their behavior—and leading to increased conversion rates. Consider investing in one of many standard marketing automation software systems to simplify your Top of Mind program initiatives.

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How To Nurture Your Leads With Email Marketing

How To Nurture Your Leads With Email Marketing

Despite some claims that email is dead, it is still a highly effective way for marketers to connect with consumers. It is an integral part of inbound marketing as well as attraction marketing, and is a great way to send nurture leads throughout the buying process. Here are a few email best practices that will help nurture your leads.

Segmentation

The segmentation of your contacts database will help define your audience into categories. If you are unfamiliar with buyer personas, read about them here, as they will be extremely useful in segmenting your contacts. Segmenting be done in terms of geographic location, company type, role within that company, behavior, marketing intelligence, or any other category that could be valuable to your company. Use segmenting to your advantage by targeting those different groups with useful content based on their specific needs.

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How To Use Targeted CTAs To Increase Lead Conversion

Lead conversion can prove a tricky mistress, but inbound software has changed the way marketers interact with their prospective clients. They now reach customers through clever virtual workflows and smart targeting. Specifically, targeted CTAs can help convert the visitors to leads 42% more often than standard CTAs. A good CTA is a part of attraction marketing. Let’s look at how to use targeted CTAs to increase lead conversion.

What is a “Smart” CTA?

Targeted or smart CTAs convert visitors to leads by tailoring the content to a specific user. They’re based on segmented lists and what stage of the customer lifecycle they’re in. Basically, based on the data your lead generation software is provided, a smart CTA changes dynamically enabling your pages and calls-to-action to be more effective and targeted.

Read More: 3 Helpful Tips To Improve Your CTAs To Generate More Leads

Slice Up Your Contacts: Use Segmented Lists

If you’re not already using segmented lists, you may as well be throwing darts at an indiscriminate and undefined dart board. In other words, if your contacts occupy one single list or a small handful, then you’re really not leveraging your lead conversion software to the max.

Start by creating filters that help define your buyer personas. For example, you may want to create a filter to put “C” level managers with 100-300 employees in a 3-state area in a specific list or perhaps you want to simply create a list where follow-up emails can be generated. In either case, making your lists and your leads more specific will definitely increase the effectiveness of targeted CTAs.

Get Personal: Design and Copy

Finally, let’s talk about getting personal with your leads’ CTAs. Not in a weird way, but in a way that can actually close some sales! Smart CTAs have the ability to change the copy on a CTA button or change the design based on the end user.

If you’re selling chocolate candy bars to a potential customer, perhaps you want them to click the “Get a Free Sample Here” CTA at which point they become a lead and potentially a sale. On the other hand, however, your website may be entertaining an existing chocolate buyer who already loves your product. As a result, giving them a sample won’t necessarily get the job done nor further the value of your expertise as a chocolateer.

This is where smart CTAs show their beauty. Instead of offering a sample, a smart CTA would show your existing customer the “There’s S’more to Chocolate” CTA. Here, they can learn about how to use your product to their advantage. While the example may seem silly, the fact of the matter is that both the design and copy can be altered based on the input of your CRM.

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