Gated Content: Is Your Content Worthy of Capturing Leads?
Don’t know what Gated content is? You’re not alone.
What is gated content?
Gated content is information that is valuable enough to a visitor that they are willing to exchange their contact information to access the content. Consider the email address as the key, and the content as the treasure chest. The visitor just can't wait to see what’s inside.
It sounds simple. The lead gains access to valuable content and you continue building the relationship by keeping the conversation going.
It’s really not that simple. In a time where inboxes are saturated with promotional emails, it's difficult for visitors to hand over their precious contact information. Because it’s so difficult to gain and maintain trust, you need to make sure of two things:
1. Your content demonstrates Econ 101
2. You follow-up with the Golden Rule
There’s an exchange of information, for information. The user gives up something in order to receive something at greater or ...
Posted in: Inbound Marketing by Online Marketing Team on August 2, 2017
The Benefits of Pay-Per-Click Marketing
The Benefits of Pay-Per-Click Marketing
Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is a type of paid online advertising that uses search engine ads to get your website more visitors. Also referred to as search marketing, PPC marketing works by allowing marketers to pay only when someone clicks on their ad. The ads appear alongside the results generated when people search for specific keywords online. If you're intrigued by the prospect of creating a PPC marketing campaign for your business, take a look at the biggest benefits of this online advertising technique.
Your Ads Will Be Up and Running Quickly
When you set up a PPC campaign, you can look forward to seeing your ads within just a few days or even hours. That's because the ads are simple to make, so you can start directing people to your website the same day you decide to put up PPC ads.
You Can Target Your Competitors' Audience
PPC marketing allows you a lot of ...
Posted in: Online Advertising by Jon Ballard on August 1, 2017
Grow Your Bottom Line With Conversion Rate Optimization
Spending resources on a website design is only half of the battle when it comes to the growing your business online. The real ROI from your site comes down to two things:
Traffic: number of visitors on your site
Actions: what people are doing once they get to your site
Your business may have a great looking site. However, if you don’t have traffic or can’t convert visitors, it isn’t contributing to your bottom line. Website traffic and conversions really go hand in hand. The better you are at converting visitors, whether it’s making a purchase, requesting a quote, or signing up for a mailing list, the more traffic you can afford, and the more customers you can get.
Traffic is a matter of search engine optimization (SEO). No one will end up on your site if they can’t find you. Search engines are essentially the gatekeeper when it ...
Posted in: Conversion Rate Optimization, Inbound Marketing by Jon Ballard on July 27, 2017
Increase Sales on Your Website By Optimizing Your Internal Search
Increase Sales on Your Website By Optimizing Your Internal Search
I find that it's easy for website owners to overlook a valuable avenue for optimization. Internal search functions are sometimes thrown on as part of a design and otherwise ignored unless there's a problem. However, looking at your website visitor logs and discovering what they're searching for can help you generate more sales.
Audit Your Current Internal Search Experience
Review top searches on your site and try them yourself. What comes up in the results? If you don't see anything or the results aren't relevant to the keywords, fix the problem. Otherwise, you lose website visitors due to frustration.
If you see a lot of searches for a competitive brand consider a strategy to direct those searches to your alternative product.
You may need to switch to a new internal search solution if your current one is unable to generate worthwhile results for your visitors. You need to ...
Posted in: Inbound Marketing by Jon Ballard on July 24, 2017
Show Your Story, Gain Customers: How using video can hook more customers
When you think videos on the internet, you think cats. I can’t blame you, it’s what the creators of the internet intended. But what if I told you that video could also be used for marketing on your website? What if you used video to tell a story instead of sell facts and products? Commercials are one thing, hooking the customer and keeping them is another. Video represents a huge chunk of the internet, right around 74%. YouTube itself is the second largest search engine on the internet behind Google. 76% of marketers have said that video has had a direct impact on their business. But, there is a strategy to video and I’m going to break it down by telling you about three different styles of videos. Also, I’ll give some basic “dos and don’ts” when it comes to video on a web page from a marketing standpoint.
The first thing to remember is ...
Posted in: General, Online Advertising by Online Marketing Team on July 20, 2017
What Featured Snippets Mean for Your Ranking: Good for the user, bad for traffic?
What is a featured snippet?
Ironically enough, “What is a featured snippet?” is answered in a featured snippet. A featured snippet is an answer, or summary of an answer, to a user’s query that appears at the top of Google’s search engine results page (SERP). It is an outlined box with the answer and a link to the source site. With the answer to your query right there, why click through to the site? This is where it is helpful to the user, but might hurt the click through rate (CTR) of the site.
Studies have shown that 38% of desktop users do not click on results in their SERPs because they found the answer to their query in a featured snippet. On mobile, this number is 57%. That is a significant amount of traffic that could be on your site.
One of the hardest hit categories by the featured snippet is weather related sites. When you ...
Posted in: General, Search Engine Optimization by Online Marketing Team on July 18, 2017
The Complete Beginner's Guide to Marketing Automation
So, you’ve been sending mass emails to the same email list for months now. This list is beginning to dwindle down because your recipients can’t hit “opt-out” fast enough since they’ve received multiple emails from you with irrelevant content. Now what?
The goal is to have those receiving your emails engage with your brand and eventually purchase from you. However, it is difficult to know if the people on the other end of that email actually want to hear from you. Even if they do, how do you track the rest of their engagement? Did they visit your website after they received your email? What pages are they looking at? What content gets prospects engaged?
I am sure these are questions many of you face. You want to increase conversions and lead generation, but no one has the time to create email after email for prospects who may not even be interested in what you ...
Posted in: Marketing Automation by Online Marketing Team on June 22, 2017
Ransomware Attack – Windows Patch
As you may already be aware, on May 12, 2017 a new strain of the Ransom.CryptXXX (WannaCry) began spreading widely impacting a large number of organizations around the world and particularly in Europe.
Rest assured that the Foremost Media team works endlessly to perform regular maintenance and updates- including regular windows updates that help prevent our systems from being infected and this attack has NOT effected the Foremost Media hosting network.
Due to the severity of the exploit, an update we highly recommend that you review your systems especially if your running software on your PC's is past it's life-cycle (like Windows XP.) If you are unsure if you are patched we strongly recommend you contact your IT support team. You can also verify that you have received the update here https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/security/ms17-010.aspx. If you have yet to install the Microsoft fix—MS17-010— you should do so immediately.
In addition to the patch mentioned above please ...
Posted in: News by Tony Reynolds on May 15, 2017
Foremost Media Online Marketing Specialist Wins First Ever UW-Whitewater Award
Janesville, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin - Whitewater Communication Department held an award ceremony on Sunday, April 23, 2017 to recognize Award of Excellence recipients. The department awarded its first ever “Excellence Award for Non-Traditional Students” to Rose Stricker, UW-Whitewater senior and online marketing specialist at Foremost Media, Inc. in Janesville.
The “Excellence Award for Non-Traditional Students” was created by the UW-W Communication Department to recognize scholastic achievement of students who return to college after an extended absence. UW-Whitewater faculty nominated students for the award and Dr. Kathy Brady, Communication Department chair, made the final selection along with Jim Disrude, Communication Department Director of Advising.
Brady explained to the audience on Sunday that non-traditional students are valuable assets for UW-W teachers. Stricker attended Brady’s course in Persuasion. “Rose brought a wealth of knowledge and experience from her employment to the classroom,” Brady said.
Jon Ballard, Foremost Media President, values the work ethic of employees like Stricker ...
Posted in: News by Online Marketing Team on April 24, 2017
7 Step Plan for Switching Marketing Automation Platforms
Change is never easy, and changing marketing automation systems has the perception of being exceptionally difficult. Still, SiriusDecisions reports that every year nearly 10% of B2B organizations that currently have a marketing automation platform plan to switch to a new vendor.
There can be a lot of reasons to switch. Whether it is to save money or because of an integration issue, sometimes the best answer is to cut your losses and change platforms. It is easy to find yourself caught up in the hype of marketing automation to a point where you are lured in to paying over $1,000 a month or more on a platform that doesn’t even fulfill your needs. But, that doesn’t mean you have to continue with that system.
Marketing automation has the power to provide a substantial ROI, which is why 79% of the best marketers have already been using marketing automaton for years. However, with hundreds of ...
Posted in: Inbound Marketing, Marketing Automation by Jon Ballard on February 20, 2017
Five Things You Must Include In Your 2017 Digital Marketing Mix
As 2016 comes to a close, many companies are already planning their digital marketing strategy for 2017. Here are five essential elements to include in your digital marketing mix for the coming year.
Earlier this month, Yahoo suffered a security breach that affected more than one billion of its user accounts. A security breach of this size should serve as a reminder of just how critical it is to ensure that your website is secure in 2017. We provide our clients with server-level monitoring for maximum security.
As scammers become more adept at stealing sensitive information, phishing scams are also on the rise. The Anthem medical data breach of 2015 was one of the largest data breaches in American history, and it caused by a phishing scam that targeted Anthem employees. Today’s scammers will go to great lengths to separate you from your money or to access your customer data. In our blog post, Lessons ...
Posted in: General, Inbound Marketing, Local SEO, Marketing Automation, Online Advertising, Search Engine Optimization by Jon Ballard on December 30, 2016
Drive The Right Traffic To Your Website: Poor Marketing Could Be Costing You
It’s pretty exciting once you’ve made the decision to invest in a new website or redesign your current one. But simply having a shiny new website isn’t enough to guarantee success. You still need to figure out how to get your existing customers and prospects to visit your new website.
So how do you make sure you’re getting the right traffic to your website?
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is more than simply creating a company Facebook page or Twitter account. It’s about communicating directly with your target demographic on their preferred social media platform in a way they are receptive to. Effective social media marketing helps you create better brand awareness and customer loyalty by providing clients and prospects with content that is relevant to them, establishing your company as an authority in your industry and an indispensable resource for your customers.
Email marketing is a great way to re-engage with your existing customers. Today’s ...
Posted in: Inbound Marketing, Marketing Automation, Online Advertising, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media by Online Marketing Team on November 28, 2016
Common Mistakes Do-It-Yourself PPC Marketers Frequently Make
If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself. Not necessarily. French military leader, Napoleon Bonaparte is credited with that saying and, as history will attest, he probably should’ve left the Battle of Waterloo to someone other than himself. Most do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) set out to learn a new skill or save themselves some money by doing it on their own instead of hiring a professional. It can seem like a good idea to set up and manage your own pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns to save time and money, but doing so is akin to someone with no chemistry background walking into a lab and combining chemicals they think might mix well. As professional PPC marketers, here are some of the most common mistakes we see do-it-yourself PPC marketers make: Setting Budgets or Bids Too High or Too Low When determining which bids and budgets to set for their ad campaigns, ...
Posted in: Online Advertising by Online Marketing Team on October 28, 2016
10 Marketing Automation Workflows You Can Actually Use
Marketing automation platforms are powerful tools that create sophisticated automated workflows based on highly targeted list segmentation and behavior. As result, marketing automation has become an essential part of many successful marketing strategies.
Whether you are a seasoned marketing automation veteran looking for fresh ideas, or a beginner wondering where to start, the following workflow examples are designed to help you get the most out of your marketing automation platform.
1. New Lead Drip Campaigns
New Lead Drip campaigns typically start with gated content, such as a white paper, eBook or webinar, that visitors find valuable enough to provide their contact information in order to obtain. At this time, the lead is not quite ready to buy, but is interested enough to read the information. At this stage, the visitor is referred to as a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL). New Lead Drip campaigns send MQLs a series of timed emails that are designed to guide them through ...
Posted in: Inbound Marketing, Marketing Automation by Jon Ballard on October 12, 2016
Best Ways to Optimize Your Company's YouTube Channel
Many people assume that Google is the world’s largest search engine, (and they’d be right), and many people would also assume that the second largest search engine in the world is either Bing or Yahoo, except for this time, they’d be wrong.
With over a billion users, the world’s second largest search engine is actually, YouTube.
According to the 2015 Online Video Marketing Survey published by the Web Video Marketing Council , “96% of B2B organizations are engaged in video content marketing.”
As the folks at Search Engine Watch so aptly put it, “It’s no secret that YouTube is a traffic source with almost limitless potential. There’s only one problem: it’s a very crowded place.”
So how do today’s B2B manufacturers get viewers to find and watch their YouTube videos over the competition?
By making sure your company’s YouTube channel utilizes the following best practices, you can increase both the amount of traffic to your YouTube channel and the ...
Posted in: Search Engine Optimization, Social Media by Online Marketing Team on September 7, 2016
Close the Inbound Marketing Loop with Inbound Sales
The doorbell rang unexpectedly. As I walked to answer the door, I mentally prepared myself for the confrontation that was to come.
Not a physical confrontation mind you, but one filled with the fake pleasantries of listening to another door-to-door sales spiel that usually follows an unexpected doorbell ring.
Now, I understand door-to-door salespeople are just trying to make a living, so I always listen politely and hear them out, then respectfully tell them that I’m not interested.
I opened the door.
“Hi I’m Joel with XYZ Cable Company. I’ve heard there have been issues with our competitor in this area, so I’m seeing if you are interested in switching providers.” he said as he handed me a pamphlet about their services.
“Thanks, but we are fine with our current provider.” I told him.
“But this is fiber optic, so it is better than what you have!” he said.
“That’s nice, but I’m not going to make a switch. I’ll keep ...
Posted in: Inbound Marketing, Marketing Automation by Jon Ballard on August 11, 2016
How to Write Content For Your Manufacturing Website to Increase Conversions
As the convenience and popularity of search engines continues to grow, your company’s website is the first impression prospective customers get of your organization. Making sure your company’s website features an appealing design and layout is important, but aren’t the only aspects you need to consider when designing your manufacturing website. After all, your website needs to be more than just appealing. Your website needs to convert.
Today’s manufacturers know that their website needs good content in order to convert, but most aren’t sure of the type of content they should include on their website, or how to write content that generates conversions. To write web content that converts, you must:
Define your call-to-action.
Clearly define the action you want your website visitors to take. Do you want users to fill out and submit a request a quote form, request samples, make a purchase directly from your website, etc.? After defining your conversion action, write content that ...
Posted in: General, Inbound Marketing, Web Development by Online Marketing Team on July 27, 2016
Foremost Media Launches New Website
Foremost Media Launches New Website
Updated online presence showcases customizable website features and functionality
Janesville, Wis. – Foremost Media, Inc., a Janesville website development company, launched its redesigned website this week. The updated version of www.foremostmedia.com reflects new company logo and branding colors, and it serves as a professional showpiece to demonstrate website features to current and prospective clients.
In addition to new graphics and logo, the just-launched website has an updated client portfolio that features several industry categories of current projects completed by Foremost Media. There are over 70 projects on display that serve as starting places for new clients to glean ideas for new development or redesign projects.
The new website’s improved navigation is based on recommendations from the Foremost Media Online Marketing department. Team members gathered user habits from Google Analytics and determined the layout of the navigation links based on the order that users look for content. Art Director, Stephen ...
Posted in: News by Online Marketing Team on July 12, 2016
The Secret to Getting the Cheapest Website Possible
Looking to get the cheapest website you can? This blog will help you pay as little as possible for a website from a web development company.
The only thing you have to do is keep searching for a company to perform the work at a lower cost. That’s it! There is always someone willing to do a job for less money. If you search long enough, you will eventually find the lowest price company (more likely a single person) available!
What’s the catch?
The catch is that you will most likely end up getting what you paid for in terms of quality, and it will probably end up costing you more when you factor in lost revenue and the investment of your time.
Despite how it looks against the budget, cheaper is not always better. I was recently speaking with a new client of ours who is currently redesigning their website for third time in less than two ...
Posted in: Inbound Marketing, Web Development by Jon Ballard on July 7, 2016
How To Successfully Redesign Your B2B Manufacturing Website
Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” No one quite understands the truth of this saying more than today’s B2B manufacturers do. After all, they know all the work that goes into taking a product from concept to market.
In many ways, redesigning your website is similar to manufacturing a product. Just like Manufacturing Process Management (MPM), you also need to research, set goals, design, launch, and measure results to make sure your company’s website redesign is successful.
Do Your Research
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” You wouldn’t start manufacturing a product without doing your research first, so don’t start redesigning your company’s website before doing your research. As Jon Ballard, CEO of Foremost Media points out, “Studying your current website analytics provides you with valuable insight into how your existing customers are using your website and how ...
Posted in: Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Online Marketing Team on July 6, 2016
Video Killed The Radio Marketer Video Marketing Strategies That Convert
There are many stats that support the rising popularity of online video streaming. A recent Cisco Visual Networking study predicts that global “consumer internet video traffic will be 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic in 2019." But that does not mean digital marketers should only focus on video content. After all, a large portion of the consumer internet traffic increase will come from viral cat videos, and video streaming services such as Apple TV, Hulu, and Netflix.
So how should today’s digital marketers respond to the increase of consumer internet video traffic? By making sure the video content they create is:
Personalized: Users who watch your videos want to know more about your company, so be yourself, have fun, and let your company culture shine through its video content. Studies show that users want to watch a video before they buy. Your video should tell ...
Posted in: General, Search Engine Optimization by User on June 30, 2016
Content Marketing: Tell Your Story
Wesley* had given the last of his cash to the mechanic who had fixed the engine in his van. Wesley now sat inside that van parked in the Janesville Walmart parking lot wondering how he could afford gas to drive the van anywhere. Cancer and its treatments had sapped his strength. Medical bills had emptied his bank account and taken his home.
He lived in the van.
Careful budgeting of his monthly military pension had helped Wesley survive for a good long time. His next check was just one week away, but in order to receive it, he needed to attend a meeting with his counselor in Madison. He had left a message for his counselor explaining his financial/fuel situation, and now he waited for a return call hoping he had enough minutes on his phone to complete the conversation they would have.
He was out of money. He was out of gas. ...
Posted in: Inbound Marketing by Rose Stricker on June 8, 2016
Foremost Media Launches New Website for BCI Burke
New website features product catalog display module for distributors
Janesville, Wis - Foremost Media, Inc., a Janesville website development company, has launched a new website for playground equipment manufacturer, BCI Burke. The new website (https://www.bciburke.com/) features a product catalog module for distributors that displays real-time updates and an interactive product picker helps customers visualize completed play structures.
Each product on the website includes a photo of the component placed in actual parks and school yards or a digital rendition of the product. Product pages for complete playground structures have an interactive feature that allows visitors to choose from different components and colors and instantly view those options in place. Being able to swap out individual pieces and color schemes helps streamline the customized design process for both the customer and the manufacturer.
Jon Ballard, President of Foremost Media, explains how the product catalog module benefits companies like BCI Burke. "BCI Burke sells through a network ...
Posted in: News by Aaron Jach on June 3, 2016
Foremost Media Places In Top International Award – 2016 Summit Creative Award
Janesville, Wis - Out of more than 5,000 submissions from 21 countries, Foremost Media is named a Silver winner in the 2016 Summit Creative Award® competition for its creative website design for WEA Trust (https://www.weatrust.com/).
The Summit Creative Award (SCA) recognizes and celebrates the creative achievements of small and medium-sized advertising agencies worldwide with annual billings under $30 million. Entries in 20 major categories are judged against a stringent set of standards. During its blind judging, (entering company names withheld), the Board of Judges search for and identify innovative and creative concepts, strong executions and user experience, and the ability to communicate and persuade. Winners were selected in a wide-range of categories from print and broadcast, to online advertising and social media.
"WEA Trust was a fun project to work on,” says Foremost Media’s Lead Graphic Designer, Adam Zellmer. “We got the opportunity to use some new and modern design techniques. The feature landing video and ...
Posted in: News by Rose Stricker on June 2, 2016
Old School SEO Practices That Penalize Your Manufacturing Company
In recent years, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices have changed a lot. Between Google algorithm updates such as Hummingbird, Panda, and Penguin, new technologies, and shifting trends in the way prospective customers search for and find information online, it can be difficult for even those highly experienced with SEO to keep up with all the changes, let alone B2B marketers working for today’s manufacturing companies. To help today’s manufacturers understand which SEO tactics they should stop using as part of their overall SEO strategy, here are some of the most common old school SEO practices that are no longer effective.
Low Quality Content
You may’ve already heard that “content is king” in relation to SEO. The more content you have on your website, the more information search engine bots have to determine what your website is about and match it to what prospects are searching for online.
Because of this, a common old school SEO tactic ...
Posted in: Local SEO, Search Engine Optimization by Online Marketing Team on June 1, 2016