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Inbound Marketing Blog

December 20, 2017

4 Must-Try Website Design Trends for 2018

by Ashley Daniels

The year is drawing to a close. You know what that means? The "best of 2017 " and "things to look for in 2018" lists are here! No matter your area of interest, there is a list for it: movies,travel, or web design (which is of course is one of our favorite topics here at MINDSCAPE). I asked our Senior UI/UX designers what they believe will be some of the biggest website design trends of 2018.more

December 12, 2017

5 Tips for Getting the Most out of Your AdWords Spend

by Ashley Daniels

Here at MINDSCAPE, while we primarily work work to drive website traffic using Inbound Marketing tactics,  we are actually big fans of PPC. PPC is a fantastic way to bolster your SEO and media efforts. A well executed paid search campaign can give you insight into the keywords your audience is using when they search and what type of content resonates with them. more

December 5, 2017

"Please, for the Love of God, Stop Using Page Builders!" -  A Developer's Plea

by Matt Brand

I get it. Your website is due for an update. You've spent weeks, maybe months, designing what you'd consider the best web design to ever bless the internet. You want to share this design with the world and have them bask in its eternal glory. The problem is, you don’t know how to code.more

November 28, 2017

5 Signs a Chatbot is a Good Fit for Your Brand

by Ashley Daniels

If you’ve spent any time browsing the web in the last few years, you’ve probably encountered a chatbot. It popped up in the bottom corner of your screen and asked if there was anything that you needed help with. But that’s a very basic chatbot and in recent years they have come a long way. Now they are capable of making recommendations, qualifying leads and engaging visitors. But I'm getting ahead of myself. First, take a step back and talk about what a exactly a chatbot is.more

November 16, 2017

Beating Big Business by Owning the Buyer's Journey

by Connor Manion

In a world where the average shopper can have Amazon deliver anything to their house in under two days, life is rough for a smaller e-commerce site. I mean, how are you supposed to compete with brands like Walmart, Target, and Nike? You're not going to make 12 billion ( Apple's total in e-commerce sales in 2016) in sales revenue by giving your team a good pep talk.more

November 13, 2017

The Cost of Selecting the Wrong CMS

by Ashley Daniels

A content management system or CMS, is at the heart of each and every website. It’s the thing that makes your website, well a website. So, choosing the right one for your business can be a huge decision. You want to choose one that meets your needs without breaking the bank.more

November 7, 2017
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6 Tips for Designing a Click-Worthy CTA

by Mark Swanson

One of the key aspects of developing a good UX ( AKA user experience) on a website is outlining clear user paths (the series of pages that site visitors are most likely to view based on their needs and interests). One way to move people down a particular path, and forward in their buying journey, is with a well crafted CTA.more

October 26, 2017
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Increasing Brand Awareness Through Speaking Engagements

by Amanda Brand

What tactics are you using to raise awareness for your brand and help move people along in their buying journey? Do you blog? Post on social media? Dabble in paid search? While those are all extremely effective tactics, sometimes one of the best ways of reaching your audience is getting out in the marketplace and interacting with them face-to-face. So if you are looking for another way to reach your audience, consider doing some speaking engagements!more

October 24, 2017
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3 Examples of Why You Should Avoid the Latest Digital Marketing Trend

by Connor Manion

At somepoint in time, we have all fallen victim to trends that, in hindsight, have been...regrettable. Leg warmers, jeggings, man-buns, Crocs - I think we can all agree that we were blind to their incomprehensible trendiness. Luckily for us, following these trends only led to a few terrible school photos. Getting on board with the latest digital marketing trends, however, could have more...adverse effects. Let's take a look at a few popular digital marketing trends that are now being questioned. more

October 19, 2017

The Who, What, Where, When, and Why of Your Content Strategy

by Connor Manion

There are a lot of people out there with a lot of different opinions on what a content strategy is. In fact, many believe that a content strategy is just the "why" in the who, what, where, when, and why of the title of this post. I don't really care to argue semantics with other marketers,more

October 17, 2017
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5 Tips for Keeping Clients & Customers Happy

by Ashley Daniels

As marketers, we spend a lot of time and energy trying to move leads through the buyer’s journey and keeping them happy all the while. But what about once someone is actually a customer? What steps are you taking to make sure that your happy leads convert into happy clients and customers?more

October 16, 2017

Why You Should be Using Heat Maps

by Ashley Daniels

Have you ever wondered what exactly people are looking when they visit your website? Or perhaps where they are clicking? Or if they are scrolling all the way to the bottom of a web page? If you've wondered any of these things, you might want to spend some time looking at heat maps of your web pages. more

October 12, 2017
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How to Pick the Perfect Inbound Agency

by Connor Manion

Awhile back we wrote a blog post about how you can find success in your partnership with an inbound marketing agency . We didn't, however, give any tips on how to actually choose an agency. To give you some advice on this decision-making process, I talked to our CEO (and top salesperson), Pete Brand. Here is the advice he had to offer. more

October 10, 2017

How to Create Content to Get Customer Feedback

by Ashley Daniels

When you think about creating content for your business, I’m sure the first thing that comes to mind is creating content that will benefit your customers and help move them along in their buying journey; content like blogs, videos, and content offers. You know, all the things that we and other marketing blogs, spend a majority of our time talking about and dispensing advice on creating.more

October 5, 2017

10 Vlogs for the Aspiring Photographer and Videographer

by Connor Manion

I don't think I need to say how crucial video content is to a digital marketing strategy.  YouTube has over a billion users, and more than 500 million hours of videos   are watched on YouTube each day. Four out of five consumers believe that demo videos are helpful.  Including video in a landing page can increase conversion by 80%.  Using the word ‘video’ in an email subject line boosts open rate by 19%.  Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.  The statistics go on and on. The proof is there; video is an essential component to a successful digital marketing strategy. But you already knew that, didn't you?  You're problem isn't a lack of knowledge. You're problem is a lack of resources. You know what you should be doing, you just don't have the resources to get the job done.  Well, you're in luck. About 10 months ago, MINDSCAPE hired a photographer/videographer, and she shared some of the most helpful video and photography resources she has used to improve upon her skills - all taking the form of Youtube vloggers.  Let's take a look at these vlogs so you can begin your journey to becoming a better video marketer (and a better photographer).more

September 26, 2017

How to Measure the Success of A Marketing Event

by Amanda Brand

If you are a seasoned marketer or event coordinator, then you know know that even the simplest of marketing and networking events are often more than they appear. There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to make sure that the event is a success! Take a free lunch and learn (like the ones we host each month) for example. They are a fun, laid back, information filled hour and half. Lunch and Learns are a great way to meet others in attendance and also leave with some great nuggets that you can immediately implement in your own marketing efforts. Sounds simple enough to pull off, right? But there is a lot more going on behind the scenes of this casual lunch event, than meets the eye. Let’s take a look! First we thought about our buyer personas. We considered who our ideal client is and how we can host an information session in a way that is appealing to them. Well, we achieved this by:more

September 21, 2017
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Paid Web Fonts & Your Brand

by Ashley Daniels

One of the key elements of a brand are the fonts used in your print and marketing materials. Which makes sense because they are the thing that presents one of the most important things in your materials, the copy. I would be willing to bet you’ve probably spent a lot of time searching for and selecting the font that you feel best represents your brand and your message.more

September 20, 2017

Creating the Perfect Video Testimonial Part 2

by Connor Manion

Awhile back,  we wrotea blog post covering all of the prep work that needs to be done to shoot the perfect video testimonial...but we never actually covered the shooting part. I talked to our in house photographer/videographer, Rachel Cohen, for a little advice on getting the job done. more

September 14, 2017

Measuring the Performance of Your Content Offer

by Connor Manion

Measuring the performance of a content offer is one of the hardest things to do in digital marketing. Why? Because there are a million and one factors that play into a visitors decision to download your offer... and another million that contribute to whether or not they take action after. In this blog post, I'll take you through the vast majority of these factors and explain how they fit into the performance of your content offer. At the end of this post, you should be able to accurately assess the performance of your content offer and break down which areas of your campaign need attention. The Pieces of a Content Offer A content offer is an informative and relevant piece of content that you offer in exchange for a visitors personal information. This can be an ebook, a how-to-guide, a free trial or demo, or a tool or other resource. For a content offer to be successful, there are many other things that should be created including (but not limited to):  A CTA Button A Landing Page A Thank you Page A Promotional Email A Social Promotion Campaign A Follow-up Email Campaign Let's take a look at how these things play into the measurement of a content offer. Content Offer Clicks - CTA Buttons, Social Ads, Email Promotions One way to measure the performance of your content offer is with clicks. How many CTA clicks does your content offer have from your various avenues of promotion? This is not an indicator in itself of how well your content offer is performing, but rather an indicator of how well your ads, promotional emails, and CTA buttons are performing. What this can be an indicator of in regards to your offer is whether or not your idea hit the mark. How well is your offer resonating with your desired audience? A lack of clicks may represent poor promotional material, but it may also represent a missing of the mark. Conversely, a high number of clicks could indicate great promotional material, but it could also indicate an interest in the topic/tool/resource you have provided to your intended audience. It is up to you to look at your content and assess which is likely to be true. Click here for advice on desiging CTA's that convert! Content Offer Conversions - Landing Pages, Forms, the Offer When reporting on the success of a content offer, many digital marketers immediately jump to conversions. If the conversion rate is high, the content offer is a success. While lead conversion is often the primary reason for creating and publishing a content offer, the line of thinking above isn't very logical. High Conversion Rate ≠ Content Offer Success A good content writer can make even the most mundane and useless content offer seem exciting and worthwhile with a little copy writing finesse on the landing page. On the other hand, a bad landing page or a form that sets too high a price may lead to the failure of a riveting and informative offer. What does this mean for your performance metrics? Conversions really don't have a lot to do with the successful the offer itself is. Customer Conversions (and other lead actions) One last way many measure the performance of their content offers is with the actions leads take after interacting with an offer. How many visitors interact with the offer and then become customers? How many leads spend a significant amount of time on site after receiving the offer? How many take another step in their buying journey after receiving the offer? This metric, like those listed before it, has its complications. Your content offer might not be directly responsible for any of the actions your leads choose to take after interacting with it. Their intent to take a specific action may have existed before they chose to download your offer. If you have a lead nurturing campaign in place, it could also be responsible for the lead taking action. Any way you slice it, you can not directly correlate a leads actions (after downloading your offer) with the quality of the offer (this isn't 100% true, but we'll touch on that in a second). So How Do you Measure the Success of Your Content Offer? Like many other digital marketing efforts, a content offer is just one piece of a much larger picture. The success of the CTA button, the landing page, the form, and the follow-up email campaign are all the success of the content offer. And each piece tells you something new about your offer. Your promotional materials - social and paid ads, CTA buttons, etc. tell you how marketable your offer is. Your landing page and form give you some insight into whether or not your audience is interested in the information or the tool you have provided, and the follow-up campaign tells you how good of a job your content offer did at guiding your leads down the sales funnel. Looking at all of these metrics is important in assessing the overall performance of your content offer. And when evaluating individual aspects of your overall digital marketing strategy, you should consider what role they play in the grander scheme of things. That being said, there are a few things you can do to assess the performance of your content offer itself. Hypothesize, test, measure. Let's say you aren't receiving any form submissions on your landing page. You believe the copy is the problem, so you change it - you see no change in submissions. You reevaluate your landing page, and you believe the design is the problem. You change the design - still no change in submissions. Finally, you conclude that your form is just asking too much of visitors. You get rid of a couple of form fields and... still nothing. The problem might be that your offer is not as valuable as you believed it would be. Hypothesize, test, and measure the difference. This will lead you to a conclusion about your offer.  Provide a next step on the offer itself. If you give users a direct step to take at the end of - or in the middle of - your content offer, you can rate its performance based on how many individuals take the step provided. Sometimes assessing success is as simple as a survey. Yeah, it's that easy. Just send a follow-up email to those who interact with your offer asking them to rate it - better yet, ask them to rate it right there at the end of the offer or on the thank you page! Getting direct feed back is a sure fire way to know if your offer is successful. Regardless of how many clicks, conversions, and customers a content offer can be associated with, a bunch of one out of five's will point you in the right direction.  Start with a clear goal in mind. I don't think I need to tell you that having S.M.A.R.T goals recorded is important when launching a content offer. Hopefully, this post has helped you nail down the M, but regardless of what you have learned here, if you have a specific goal in mind, measurement is easy. Did you reach your goal? If no, then your offer under performed. If you met or succeeded your goal, then it looks like the offer did its job. I know that is egregiously simplistic, but this isn't a post about setting goals.   Conclusions we can draw about measuring content offer performance It isn't easy to measure the performance of an offer, but if you look at all of the different pieces that contribute to its success, you should be on your way to creating an amazing campaign. For the best results, remember to go through every possible cause for an outcome befoe making any changes.  If you'd like more tips on content offers, measurment, and all things digital marketing, consider subscribing to our blog. You'll receive an email notification everytime we publish new blog content, allowing you to stay up-to-date without having to run to google. Just click below to subscribe! more

September 12, 2017

4 Questions to Ask When Choosing a CMS

by Connor Manion

A CMS or Content Management System is a digital program or application that allows multiple users to create, edit, review, publish, manage, and archive the various forms of content that make up a website. Though, if you're doing research on them, you probably already knew that. There are a thousand different Content Management Systems out there, and it is hard to say if one is definitively better than the rest. Despite that, there is one that is definitively best for you. Asking the following four questions is a great place to start your search. Happy Hunting! 1) Is this CMS easy to learn and use? A big benefit of having a CMS is that with a simple password, anyone at your company can manage your website content. However, that benefit is useless if no one but the technologically-savvy no how to use your CMS. To get the most bang for your buck, you'll want to choose a CMS that is easy for everyone to learn and use. Non-technical individuals should have no problem navigating the system after a little training. Even if you plan on having one incredibly capable individual doing most of the work within the CMS, I strongly urge you to look for one that is at least somewhat user friendly. At some point down the line, you may want other, less technologically inclined individuals, to work within the CMS. If don't want to have to train them for two months straight before they understand what they are doing. 2) Does this CMS help maintain and even improve your current SEO rankings? If you want to improve your rankings with the search engines, or at least maintain your current rankings, you will want to check the SEO capabilities of a CMS before deciding upon it. Does it allow you to create meta-descriptions and meta-tags? Does it have a built-in SEO grader that allows you to see where you can improve your on-page SEO? If not, does it have integration capabilities with other SEO tools? All of these things are critical to developing and maintaining a good SEO strategy for your website. 3) Will this CMS grow with you? Another big question to ask when choosing your content management system deals with scalability. When you choose a CMS you aren't just deciding for right now; you are deciding for the years to come. Right now, your website might have 12 pages and two forms. But three years from now, who knows where you'll be? Choose a CMS that can support the growth you not only plan for, but dream of - best case scenario. If you have a 1,000% increase in traffic tomorrow, will your CMS be able to handle it? 4) Does this CMS keep your website safe and secure? You want your data, your content, all of your hard work to be as safe and secure as possible. While it is possible (in theory) for any website to be hacked, some content management systems offer more security than others. When making your decision, be sure to assess the threat your website faces from malicious sources and the effects a breach in security would have on your business. Here at Mindscape, we support multiple Content Management Systems including: BigTree (PHP) Wordpress (PHP) Hubspot (HubL) SiteCore (Enterprise, .NET) webTRAIN (Our own prioprietary platform on, .NET Magento (Enterprise, PHP) Shopify (Ruby) Volusion (.NET) We work with you to ensure the selection you're making is best for your company, your needs, and your future. It's not dependant on a specific language we can code.more

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