Real estate profs: Our PPC advertising can decrease your CPC

We already told you that search optimization is a critical success factor for real estate marketing. What we didn’t tell you was that our PPC advertising agency can actually lower the cost of your CPC campaigns. It’s vital to utilize natural as well as paid channels to reach people who are researching housing options. The trick is to optimize your ad spend so that you can invest as little as possible in paid search marketing and leverage your natural content and digital assets to your advantage.

To do this, you need to find and partner with a PPC advertising agency who can serve as a trusted search advocate. Here are three pro tips we help all of our clients accomplish when they work with us on their search needs, to get you started.

1. Invest local, optimize global: One of the best strategies a PPC advertising agency can support is investing in local ad spend. Unless you have a massive budget, you may find it difficult to compete on the national (or international) level, so use your digital marketing agency to determine who your regional competition is and let the games begin. By focusing narrowly on key, local terms, you can reduce your CPC because there are fewer people bidding on those words; however, when targeted correctly, you can maximize exposure in your own back yard. And in the real estate market, it’s your own back yard that matters most. On the flip side, your agency should also be able to help you optimize your content and website for organic search so that you still have that national and global presence you crave.

2. Test everything: All pay per click management companies have the ability to test how your PPC spend is performing in the market. Ask them to test multiple ad bid and spend combinations to find the sweet spot where you’re getting results without increasing your CPC. Additionally, when you choose a PPC advertising agency that is creatively driven, they can help link your ads to your holistic marketing strategy to your cross-channel goals. As customers increasingly switch between devices, it’s important that every channel – whether it’s paid or not – works together seamlessly.

3. Don’t forget about social: Because word of mouth is such a powerful referral source within the real estate market, using PPC ads on social media can support your desire to appear authentic, local, and more natural. Paid social media ads (more so than search ads) are designed to look and feel like shareable, organic content. By doing so, you get two opportunities to reach future residents: first, through the ad itself; and second, when those people share your content.

Balancing CPC campaigns against your other advertising efforts and natural search optimization is one part art and one part science. Let our team show you how they’ve struck the perfect balance for clients just like you.

4 marketing secrets to increase customer engagement in hospitality

Having an amazing destination or an amazing hotel isn’t enough to keep today’s jet set consumers coming back to your property for their annual vacation anymore. There are simply too many other enticing options vying for their attention and disposable income. But as US unemployment rates drop to the lowest they’ve been in close to eight years and the average wages skip past historic highs, there will be more revenue to go around for everyone. The rise of picture-based social media such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook have made it easier than ever for travelers to virtually explore new destinations, plan trips that fit their budget, and delve into new tourism options. As a result, the tourism and hospitality market is expanding – which is good news for you. To remain competitive, you simply need to remain relevant. Hospitality Marketing and engaging with new and existing customers online is an incredible way to pique their interest in your destination and help increase your reach to new audiences. The trick is: how?

Constantly seek new audiences to invigorate your hospitality marketing: 

Use social media to engage new audiences (not just those users who are already interested in your brand) and create a bridge between your tried-and-tested marketing campaigns with your point-of-sale experience. Blog posts, customer references, social listening, contests, and social influencers are all lynch pins when increasing your reach to new audiences. It’s especially important that all your channels complement each other so that no matter how new prospective customers discover your brand, they are receiving a seamless, on-point experience.

Measure everything:

Measure everything. We simply can’t say it enough. Before you generate or release any creative content, consider your goals and what you want success to look like. This will help you craft the appropriate call to action for each activity. With a bevy of data tools to choose from – from Twitter, Google and Facebook analytics, Klout, and HootSuite, to more robust platforms such as Adobe Analytics and Campaign Manager – you can track almost any output in the digital world. As certain channels and entry points prove valuable, you can begin investing more in those areas. This systematic measuring allows you to make decisions in a world where your customers expect you to be everywhere they are … even if you haven’t met them yet.

Intelligently invest in your hospitality marketing:

While returning guests are the bread and butter of any business, they should be part of your maintenance strategy – not necessarily your growth strategy. Methodically invest in high-impact marketing tools by testing new channels and entry points in a way that won’t expose your business to too much risk. For ideas on how to test new ideas that will break through the clutter and keep your marketing materials fresh and engaging without overexposing yourself, partner closely with a creative, multi-platform agency like our team of Orlando marketing experts. Click here to see how we have helped customers like you add new to their foundational marketing plans.  

Pay attention to new hospitality marketing trends:

In that vein, don’t be afraid to try new things. The hospitality industry is constantly changing, and your marketing techniques should reflect those changes. Social media is often a “safe space” to introduce new ideas, survey your audience regarding potential product or service enhancements, and gain customer insights about experimental ideas. The tourism industry, perhaps more so than any other, is constantly changing as new ideas and trends enter the market, so keep up.

Embracing new audiences, setting goals, investing in new techniques, and staying on top of emerging trends are all ways to keep your customer base engaged with your brand and eager to visit you again and again. Our team is here to help create a comprehensive marketing plan that allows you to do all of these things with ease. Give us a call today to find out how. 

10 things healthcare providers should know about content marketing

If you’re in the healthcare industry, a strong content marketing strategy can help you differentiate your practice from your peers, or position your organization as a subject matter expert. Although you may be dealing with more complicated or sensitive topics, the basic principles for successful healthcare marketing campaigns aren’t much different than if you were in the marketing or financial services industry. To get you started, here are our top ten healthcare marketing ideas and why they work for healthcare professionals:

1. First, provide value:

Your patients are flocking to the internet to research their ailments, furnish their own second opinions, and understand their bodies more than ever before. Being a source of trusted information for your patients when they are in your examining room OR surfing the internet builds deeper doctor-patient relationships, helps solidify your reputation, and can expand your practice. Providing value to your patients is as simple as posting real, actionable information and answers to common questions on your website. If you’re a nutritionist, provide starter meal plans or supplement regimes. If you’re an internist, share common tips for preventative care. If you’re a plastic surgeon, talk about the pros and cons of certain procedures. We know there’s no substitution for a face-to-face consultation, but a little foundational information goes a long way. Giving your patients access to substantive information will teach them to seek your guidance when they need to and use your website for self-service when they don’t, creating a healthy and effective patient lifecycle.

2. Optimize for keywords:

Make sure your potential patients can find you. The vast majority of people choose service providers based on reviews or referrals and cross check their decision against the internet to set expectations or prepare for their visit. Optimizing your content by the keywords your patients may be searching for will help your audience find you and encourage them to reach out for a consultation. If you’re new to SEO or medical marketing, don’t worry. Simply write your website copy the way you would if you weren’t thinking about keyword rankings. Next, use Google Trends to find words specific enough that you aren’t competing against mega-corporations with multi-million dollar marketing budgets, but general enough that the average person would search for your practice using those terms. Last, plug them in where the content makes the most sense by replacing existing phrases. And that’s it.

3. Don’t underestimate gated content:

If you are still growing your practice, try using gated content to generate leads and invite potential patients in for a consultation. Gated content is marketing speak for downloadable information that is only accessible once you’ve entered your email address or phone number. For example, during flu season, you may offer a white paper outlining common symptoms and ways to avoid exposure in exchange for your potential patients’ contact information. Next, simply follow up by offering a consultation, flu shot, and winter survival kit. Gated content allows your potential patients to self-select into your practice and for your to reach out to a pre-qualified patient base.

10 Things Healthcare Providers Should Know About Content Marketing4. Make it shareable:

Some studies suggest that the average person spends 61% of their day in front of a screen – whether it’s their computer, a television, or a smartphone. People also love to share information about themselves or ideas that engage them. Making your website easy to read, informative, and actionable will encourage patients to share your information. And don’t forget to maintain a presence on social media. We aren’t suggesting you cultivate inappropriate personal relationships with your patients, but having an open account for your practice, or even a generic (secondary) set of profiles for yourself, can help humanize your services and make you more relatable to your patients. It’s an easy way to boost your bedside manner and make your patients feel comfortable entrusting you with their bodies.

5. Showcase your value:

Being a generalist is good, but don’t be afraid to show off your professional interests and specialties. Your unique value proposition sets you apart from the competition and lets your practice shine. Talk about your medical passions, your recent niche trainings, and any publications that have peaked your interest. Whether you choose to share this by posting on social media, blogging, or creating a projects overview page on your website, your patients will thank you – and enjoy – understanding why you are different from the many other providers out there. As insurance becomes more widespread and medical networks fan out, your patients have more options to choose from than ever before. A strong healthcare content marketing strategy that shows off what makes you – well – you can help your practice stay on the cutting edge as the medical industry evolves.

6. Size matters:

On the flip side, you don’t want to overwhelm your web visitors with information. The sweet spot for healthcare marketing pages is between 300-500 words. After that, your audience will probably start skimming or tune out all together. Especially when translating medical information to a non-medical audience, it’s extremely important to keep your messaging short, sweet, and to the point. Keeping your pages and posts around 500 words also helps search engines crawl your pages for the most important content. Google and Bing rank search results based on relevancy and follow a strict quality over quantity policy. Ensuring that your keywords, and most relevant content fall within the first 500 words of each page will help boost your search rankings dramatically.

7. Audience engagement:

Give your audience a chance to interact with you. As a medical provider, patients feel reassured that they can reach out to you with questions. Giving them comment forums, Q&A sections, or email access to your practice is a great strategy to drive engagement with your healthcare content marketing materials. It’s wonderful to provide useful information, but people also like to know that their situation is normal, or share their unique experiences.

8. Never save the best for last:

Put your best information front and center on your homepage. Although it’s tempting to build a complicated website ecosystem of links, backlinks, and sub menus that seems hyper-organized to you, this can be confusing for the average visitor because they aren’t living and breathing the information everyday the way you are. It can also hurt your search ranking. Put all the most common and relevant information on your homepage and build depth into pages that you feel may be frequented less often. If you’re unsure what content is most important, try running some simple A/B tests using a tool such as Optimizely. You can place certain information on the homepage and test it against other content. To determine which is resonating most with your audience, track web metrics such as time spent on site, clicks, and email submissions.

9. Pictures are still worth 1,000 words:

It almost goes without saying that few things build an emotional bond the way pictures do. Sharing pictures of your staff, your office, or your tools, can help patients connect with your practice on a new level and envision themselves receiving care with your team. This is especially important for hospital marketing or if the work you do has any fear associated with it. Knowing that your office is a safe, peaceful environment can encourage patients to seek medical attention more frequently and feel less hesitant to reach out. Pictures act as a powerful healthcare marketing tool that builds a human and emotional bond between the services you provide and the people you serve.

10. A little blog goes a long way:

We know that healthcare professionals log long hours and dedicate a lot of emotion and time into the job. Which is why we also know that the thought of writing a weekly blog might seem tedious or like a waste of time. That said, we couldn’t emphasize the importance of blogs enough. They are one of the most powerful medical marketing tactics and help boost SEO rankings, user engagement, brand awareness, loyalty and leads. They are a chance for you to showcase yourself, generate shareable medical marketing content, and spread the word. Writing 300 words per week (or even every other week) is a key strategy that shouldn’t be overlooked no matter how many other items are on your to do list.

Many of the tactics we discussed are tried and true practices that most major corporations employ. For medical providers, healthcare content marketing serves the added bonus of elevating your practice – and website – to a safe place where your patients want to visit … not just need to visit. For more strategies on developing the best content marketing strategy for your brand, contact our team of experts today to get the conversation started!

Top 10 secrets of successful visual merchandising & retail design

Visual merchandising and retail design don’t just improve the aesthetics of your retail space, but they also have the potential to enhance functionality, customer loyalty and brand identity. Want to ensure that you retail store makes a brilliant first impression, as well as a lasting final one? Use these top 10 visual merchandising and retail design tips and tricks to optimize both space and sales.

1. Access matters

A cluttered retail floor is not only unattractive, it’s confusing to the consumer. Prioritize a clean and simple layout above all else when it comes to designing your store. The easier it is for consumers to navigate your space, the more time they’ll spend in your store. A cramped space with insufficient passage, conversely, can quickly send customers packing.

Remember: the ultimate goal is a welcoming space, so forego “don’t touch” signs and instead invite shoppers to touch and interact with your display.

Lastly, keep in mind that today’s customers have brief attention spans. Place items at varying heights, and create visual breaks between long, product packed aisles to help maintain their attention of easily-distracted shoppers.

2. Reduce visual clutter

Clutter isn’t just a matter of physical space. It can also manifest in the form of excessive and overwhelming marketing displays. Rather than barraging your customers with multiple marketing displays, take a streamlined approach. For example, if you’re advertising many different products, consider implementing a rotating digital display board. This has the added potential advantage of drawing a customer’s eye to an item or deal he/she might otherwise have missed.

Factor in the latest research indicating that a whopping 90 percent of in-store shoppers use their mobile devices in stores, and the task becomes less about inundating them with information and more about giving them the means to access this information for themselves — a particularly appealing prospect for today’s “just Google it” Millennial generation.

3. Catch their attention

Reducing visual clutter doesn’t mean forsaking all color and style. Rather, it means incorporating well-cultivated display pieces designed to attract customer attention in a unique way. It’s not about inundating consumers with everything you have to offer, but instead about highlighting particularly relevant or compelling items. Avoid monochromatic displays. Color — particularly bold blacks, whites, and reds — quickly attracts attention.

Take Target, for example. Its signature red is such a principle part of its logo, lettering, and store decor that the company has trademarked it.

Or consider this: consumers are 15 percent less likely to return to stores with orange color schemes than with blue color schemes.

Heinz EZ Squirt Blastin’ Green ketchup, meanwhile, is a perfect example of how color can drive sales. In the switch from red to green, Heinz experienced historically high sales — a whopping $23 million over seven months.

Additionally, many visual merchandisers and retail designers find planogram software to be particularly useful for gaining a better understanding of how the space will look.

Once you’ve captured their attention, don’t risk losing it by leaving off price tags. Consumers hate having to request a price, so make sure all stock prices are well-displayed.

4. Tell a story

Establishing product segment areas — from pet supplies to paper goods — not only helps shoppers understand the landscape, but also encourages them to stock up on related goods. But that’s just the beginning. Establishing narrative “themes” adds both practical and inviting appeal. By setting up a coffee-themed display, for example, you not only appeal to shoppers’ needs, but also to their sensibilities. Use a variety of display props — from tables to wall fixtures to shelving — to keep things interesting while showcasing your wares.

Take Chick-fil-A’s #CoffeeWithAStory campaign, for example. Not only has the brand constructed an appealing narrative around the role coffee plays in our lives, but it also prioritizes engagement by inviting consumers to share their own experiences via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

5. Exceed their needs

A bookstore sells books. A pet store sells pet supplies. A hair salon sells hair and beauty treatments. While these models may have worked 20 years ago, today’s consumers are looking for something more. Bookstores which offer coffee bars and reading areas, pet stores with pet bakery counters and “puppy playdate” sessions, and hair salons that also sell jewelry and other small accessories invite shoppers to stay longer and buy more. By embracing creativity and “thinking outside the box,” enterprising retail businesses build customer loyalty while also generating new streams of revenue.

6. Front and center

Your store window, along with the front area of your store, is essential for enticing foot traffic to venture inside. Not only should you keep new merchandise front and center, but you should also highlight trademark products to reinforce your brand identity and foster a sense of familiarity and trust among shoppers.

And don’t underestimate the value of proper lighting: people are drawn to light. A well-lit entry or display not only makes merchandise more appealing but also beckons to passersby.

Meanwhile, the days of enduring long lines at store entrances and exits are long gone. Rather, a centrally located checkout counter delivers immediate convenience. Stock the surrounding areas with frequently purchased goods to encourage impulse buys. Better yet? Incorporate point of sale solutions to help shoppers buy what they want when they want it while streamlining operations.

7. Build your brand

Visual merchandising and retail design aren’t just about deciding what goes where. They also deliver a valuable opportunity to reinforce your brand identity. Consider popular stores like Apple, Anthropologie, and Lululemon. These stores aren’t just selling products, but a lifestyle. By linking the look of your store with your products, you make a strong, consistent brand statement with which shoppers will identify.

Conversely, the failure of the JCPenney’s widely publicized reboot is largely attributed to lack of culture and the resulting dearth of brand experience. In short, your visual merchandizing and retail design efforts are part of delivering on your promise to consumers.

8. Stop shoplifters

Beyond building brand identity and boosting sales, savvy store design is also an effective deterrent for shoplifters. Make sure store employees have clear sight lines of the entire space.

9. Be dynamic

Customers are enticed by attractive displays, but the same tired display windows and tables have the opposite effect. To keep things fresh, frequently rotate your displays. If sales on a particular item are lagging, meanwhile, strategically mix them in with the latest arrivals to give them new life.

Also, when deciding on new displays, focus on relevance based upon recent purchase trends, seasonality, and new inventory in order to best match customer needs with your strategic business imperatives.

10. Play to wants, not needs

Many customers come into your store to buy a particular item. Odds are, they’ll leave with that item regardless of your visual merchandising and retail design efforts. Rather than highlighting these obvious, need-based buys, focus your efforts on showcasing wants, instead. After all, a shopper can’t make an impulse purchase without first being confronted with an unexpected and irresistibly appealing product.

Ultimately, the look and feel of your store has as much weight in the success of your business strategy as the products and services you proffer. By incorporating these 10 key visual merchandising and retail design techniques, you can enhance the shopper experience, while lending invaluable benefits to bottom line.

These 10 secrets are just the beginning – at BIGEYE, we know there’s a plethora of tips and tricks to help ensure that your brand is primed for success. Contact us today to continue the conversation!