A Guide to Guest Blogging

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Although the term “guest blogging” might seem like an axiomatic statement, in reality, there’s quite a bit to it. Before you attempt to reach out to a blog with the hopes of guest blogging, it’s essential that you find out how guest blogging can benefit your content marketing campaign, whether you’re in Utah or the Midwest. Spend some time getting to know the blog and the blog’s content — this will give you the most accurate feel for audience and tone.

After you’ve successfully determined the tone of your target audience, you’re ready to craft a post. Here’s the rundown on everything you need to know about creating a stellar guest blog post.


Landing Page Essentials

By | advertising, content marketing, digital marketing, marketing, web development | No Comments

The landing page of your website is so much more than just a place where end users go to learn more about your products and services — it’s also where they make a first impression of your company or business. There’s a specific science behind what makes a successful landing page and what might cause people to bounce from your site faster than a fifth-grade game of dodgeball. If you’re attempting to pursue any type of content marketing campaign — whether you’re in Utah or the Midwest — there are a few key components you should know about landing page content and layout.

From an attention-grabbing headline to straightforward design basics, here are a few tricks and tips to help you achieve a landing page that simultaneously attracts positive attention while decreasing your bounce rate.


You Know You Work at an Ad Agency When…

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The workplace is full of stereotypes; however, nothing quite defines typical marketing agencies like the quirky copywriter, music-geek art director or the frantic accountant. Walking into an ad agency is a bit like playing Russian roulette — depending on the day, you might either be met with a cranky, coffee-deprived crew or you might be applauded by a group of interns playing a competitive game of ping pong. One thing is for certain — you can never be sure of what happens behind the creative doors of a marketing agency. Depending on the type of day the team has had, you might be walking into Rivendell or you might be strolling into Mordor.

From the Justice League-certified programmer to the moleskin-clad copywriter, here are a few of the stereotypical people you might meet at your local ad agency.


These Content Marketing Statistics Are Changing the Game

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Content Marketing and SEO

Close to 70 percent of all marketing companies lack a steady, cohesive and effective content marketing plan. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Utah or in the Midwest — not having an effective content marketing strategy dates your company considerably. There is a compelling collection of statistics regarding this field that shed a substantial amount of light on the current state of content within the marketing hemisphere. While navigating the highly competitive nature of this field, here are some of the major stats you should be aware of.

Trade Secrets of Effective Content Marketers

Thinking about skipping that weekly content meeting? You might want to stick around. Approximately 61 percent of the most effective content marketing companies in Utah and around the country meet on either a daily or a weekly basis to brainstorm and collaborate. Additionally, the most successful B2B (business-to-business) content marketers dedicate nearly 42 percent of their entire budget almost exclusively to this area. Statistics don’t lie — the right verbiage is an integral part of any successful advertising strategy.

The Cohabitation of Content and Color

Although black and white color schemes have made a notable comeback in certain modern realms, recent research confirms that a vibrant color scheme can increase consumers’ willingness to engage with a written piece by 80 percent. If adding a little color to your layout can propel someone to read your content by this large of a margin, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be analyzing color schemes for your site right now.

Pairing Images and Content for Long-Term Impressions

If an 80 percent increase in content readership isn’t convincing enough, the next statistic might shock you. On average, people only remember 10 percent of information they hear when asked about it a couple of days later (approximately three days). However, if that same information is presented with a corresponding image, people retain close to 65 percent of the information. Whether you’re targeting audiences in Utah or on the East Coast, don’t underestimate the potential of pairing visuals with your content marketing strategy — it’s a critical combination that can make or break your online presence.

Dissecting the User-Generated Content Revolution

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Numerous Hands Using Mobile Devices

User-generated content, or UGC, is the hot new marketing buzzword of the day. Yet what is UGC, and how does it work? And not only that, but how well does it work? Content marketing companies from Utah to the Midwest are using UGC tactics for authentic, effective campaigns.

Research Shows Millennials Favor UGC

UGC is any type of content (such as blogs, videos, tweets and advertisements) that is uniquely created and shared by the end users of an online business or website. On average, 64 percent of millennials everywhere want more choices when it comes to sharing their beliefs regarding their favorite brands. These statistics show an overwhelming partiality towards UGC — so much so that content marketing firms from Utah to the East Coast are readjusting their marketing campaigns to focus specifically on UGC.

Marketing Agencies Increase Digital UGC Campaigns

Research shows that UGC is 35 percent more memorable and 50 percent more trusted than other kinds of content. So what does this look like for digital marketing from a practical standpoint? In lieu of creating content — although content is still as always a critical aspect of digital marketing — agencies are providing more opportunities for outside content development. Content marketing agencies from Utah to the Midwest are actively inviting their audience to participate in digital campaigns by challenging them to document fragments of their lives.

User-Generated Content Improves Marketing Think Tanks

Engaging in a UGC campaign serves a dual purpose: not only does it shed significant light on the thinking patterns, behaviors and preferences of a company’s consumers, it also creates a special interest in the product — usually in the form of a creative challenge. Instead of engaging in traditional “think tanks,” marketing teams are accessing the preferences of their target audiences via UGC campaigns.

Popular social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter are providing a dynamic stage for marketers to curate multi-faceted UGC campaigns. And due to consumers’ overwhelmingly high approval rate for UGC campaigns, it seems this strategy is here to stay.

Why Web Development Agencies Supersede Freelancers

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When it comes to Web design and development, you can go one of two ways. You can hire a freelancer to handle your website design, content creation, social media marketing, SEO efforts and any other issue that may come up. Or, you can hire the services of a Web development agency. Although employing the services of a freelancer might be an attractive idea initially, it will always benefit your company in the long run to hire the services of an established agency.

A Web development company can provide you with four beneficial components: client support, communication, expertise and post-launch support. Here’s why each of these areas is so critical to the success of your business.

Agencies Focus on Client Support and Communication

Any professional Web development agency will be adequately staffed with enough customer support employees to immediately address complaints, answer questions and help familiarize your company with developmental projects.

Coupled with effective communication, this creates a pathway for success that a freelancer will have a hard time paralleling — no matter how talented he or she may be. Overall, a marketing agency will employ a more structured, systematic method of organization that ensures you always stay up-to-date with current projects.

Agencies Offer Expertise and Post-Launch Support

While a freelancer may be an expert in a couple of areas — at best — an agency will have a broad spectrum of expertise that extends into dynamic fields that go above and beyond design and content creation. Search engine optimization, social media marketing and online reputation management are just a few areas that can and should be addressed by an advertising agency for any successful online marketing campaign.

Post launch support is also an essential aspect of running a successful campaign online. Inevitably, your site will encounter some issues after it launches, making it essential to have the right team behind you to handle these issues as they arise.

How to Get Through a Content Marketing Slump

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So you’ve started using content marketing to advertise your business. Things are going well: you’re producing good, high-quality content and seeing sizeable increases in both traffic and conversions. Then all of a sudden the numbers start to level off — social media interactions stop increasing, traffic stagnates, and returns come to a plateau. What can you do?

Slow growth levels in your content marketing strategy can be more frustrating than trying to get a martini in Utah. If your content marketing plan is no longer bringing in the double-digit results you’d hoped for, it may be time to switch things up.

Increasing the amount of content you produce is probably the easiest way to break out of a content marketing slump; just be sure not to sacrifice quality in the face of quantity. Increase your social media presence by sharing content more than once a day, or bump up blog posts from a weekly affair to a multi-weekly one.

Already producing a fair amount of content? Try introducing more variation in the formats and mediums you use. Invite prominent guest bloggers in your field to contribute a guest post or two. Include news roundups, video roundups and valuable tips from industry insiders. Offer long-form pieces in addition to short-form listicles, and don’t forget to take advantage of visual media.

Give videos a try. While an elaborate video can bring in serious traffic, you don’t have to report live from the top of a mountain in Utah to get views. Even a short video of you speaking in front of a blank backdrop can significantly boost numbers.

If all else fails, you may simply be focusing your content marketing efforts on the wrong audience. If you’re a local business in Utah, reaching out to consumers in the Midwest is probably a waste of time and money. Reevaluate your priorities and make sure your content is successfully reaching the kind of people who will follow through—they’re the customers who matter most.

Does Text Message Advertising Work?

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In an age where 90 percent of American adults carry a cell phone, digital advertisers and marketing agencies alike have been reluctant to connect with consumers the way teenagers have for well over a decade — through text messaging.

One reason for this hesitation is straightforward: the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has strict guidelines when it comes to text message marketing. Automated dialers used to send unsolicited messages without the express consent of the recipient are illegal, and subject to stiff penalties.

Besides the unlawful aspect, unsolicited text messages have terrible response rates. Opt-in text message advertising, however, tells a different story. According to James Citron, CEO of text messaging service Mogreet, not only do 95 percent of opt-in text message customers open and read the mobile messages they receive, they do so within an average of three minutes.

That response rate trumps even email newsletters, the unsung champion of marketing agencies across the country. But it’s not enough to just text customers your average marketing fluff — opt-in customers want to get something special out of a text marketing service, such as coupons or access to exclusive sales.

Take the Armani Exchange text service, which previously offered a series of sales available only to text message customers — the campaign was so successful, lines formed out the door and down the street at the Manhattan flagship store.

Text message marketing can work especially well for geo-targeting purposes; customers can sign up to receive offers exclusive to their physical location, or coupons that recommend a particular location. Small boutique businesses can also capitalize on geo-targeting, by only messaging customers when they come within a certain range of a store or business.

Since text message marketing is still relatively uncommon among marketing agencies, the efficacy of text advertising remains a topic of future research. However, when done well — and in accordance with FCC guidelines — text message advertising can be a new and innovative way to reach consumers in the 21st century.

How Market Research Effectively Enhances SEO Efforts

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Market research is a pivotal aspect of any vibrant search engine optimization campaign. Market research finds relevant data about competitive landscape, customer values, demographics, effective mediums and market trends while providing enrichment across several platforms. By employing current market research, reports and methods, you can substantially enhance your current SEO efforts. Whether you’re in Utah or the Midwest, market research can help you accomplish three major things.

1. Market Research Provides Relevant Keywords

If you aren’t using the right keywords or keyword phrases to optimize your website, then you’re going to have a difficult time getting it to successfully rank within the first three pages of a search engine results page. SEO efforts, whether done in Utah or on a national platform, will need to be custom-tailored to fit your target audience and to retain an edge over your competitors.

Market research exposes you to current industry keyword trends, overall keyword competitiveness and the monthly search volume for each term. Being aware of these factors before you launch a SEO campaign in Utah or elsewhere will help you achieve the most profitable results.

2. Market Research Creates a Competitive Edge

Market research and specific, tailored search phrases will help attract organic traffic to your site while giving you beneficial insight about your competitors. By understanding which keywords and keyword phrases your competitors are targeting, you will simultaneously be able to recognize which keyword topics they are not focusing on. By utilizing market research to cue you in on your competitor’s weak spots, you will be able to substantially increase your overall SEO rankings.

3. Utilizing Research for High Value Content

Last but not least, market research can help you hone in on the specific wants and needs of your consumers. As a result, you will be able to craft more focused, relevant content — which will ultimately do much more for your rankings than mediocre content stuffed with keywords. In the process, you’ll also position yourself as a trusted, veritable industry expert.

How the HTTP/2 Updates Will Affect SEO

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HTTP/2 is raising as much excitement within the Web development community as it is raising speculation. As the most recent update to the HTTP protocol by the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force), HTTP/2 succeeds the 1999-drafted and painfully out-of-date HTTP/1.1. SEO experts from Utah to the Midwest are preparing for the updates that HTTP/2 will usher in, the most noteworthy of which include increased efficiency, advanced security measures and improved speed.

HTTP/2 Adds Single Connection and Multiple Requests

Based considerably on Google’s protocol SPDY, HTTP/2 boasts an impressive list of improvements. HTTP/2 will utilize a single connection to load a website, which will stay open for the duration of how long the website remains open. Additionally, this updated protocol will allow for multiple requests at the same time and will assert prioritization by assigning requests to dependency levels. But here’s the real question that everybody is asking: How will HTTP/2 affect SEO efforts, whether in Utah or on a national platform?

HTTP/2 Boosts Rankings — If Done Correctly

Because GoogleBot will provide additional support for HTTP/2, any website that endorses the protocol will most likely experience an increased boost in rankings due to HTTP/2’s speed updates. However, SEO experts in Utah and elsewhere caution that there are several technical items that must be completed accurately; otherwise, you may experience a brief drop in rankings.

Protocol Updates Will Provide a Better User Experience

There are no drawbacks to implementing HTTP/2; on the contrary, upgrading to this protocol will substantially enrich your website by providing visitors with a faster user experience. And because Google considers speed as a major ranking component, there is a possibility that HTTP/2 will itself become an additional factor in the process. Regardless of the changes that HTTP/2 will make to search engine optimization, opting to implement the update will provide your site visitors with a better overall experience — resulting in more conversions and increased sales.