5 top tips for marketing metrics

5 top tips for marketing metrics

Q: So, you’ve set your marketing budget for the coming year but how do you know with any certainty how much each pound spent on marketing brings back in new instructions?

A: Marketing metrics. Conquer the data with key analytics and turn data into information into insights into outcomes. Chambers growth through marketing can only truly be understood via effective analytics.

But, where to begin? Here are five top tips to get you started…

1. Maintaining consistency and alignment
Be sure that your measurement decisions are consistent with your chambers’ established business plan. Align the two (metrics and strategy) for best success.

2. Starting small
Select one marketing tactic to measure, apply the metric and see how it works for you. Then refine the metric based on what you learn. Meanwhile, select an additional tactic to measure. And so on. You can keep building your measurement programme reasonably and gradually, until eventually you’re productively measuring every tactic.

3. Selecting your first tactic to measure
If you’re unsure which tactic to select as your first, either choose an easy or important tactic to measure. Some tactics are easy, some are impossible or nearly impossible, and most are somewhere in between. You can gain experience and confidence more quickly if you start with an easier challenge, hence why to choose the former.

The latter option may relate to the most expensive tactic in your marketing plan. Whatever the reasons, if it’s important, get to grips with it.

4. Utilising software where possible
Lots of commercial tools exist for the purposes of monitoring your marketing, ranging from Google Analytics (website analysis) and Klout (social media scoring) to MailChimp (email marketing statistics) and Moat (online brand advertising reviews). Some are free to use too. If you have the cash, paid-for versions and chargeable software (such as DataXu) can be utilised for more in-depth studies.

5. Mastering the full range of metrics
Customer acquisition cost, percentage of customers generated by marketing, brand awareness, organic search ranking, net promoter score / customer satisfaction, conversion ratio, marketing mix modelling, social media mentions, communications share of voice, customer lifetime value… the list is endless. Select your metrics wisely or you’ll have too statistics than you know what to do with!

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Setting up a PPC campaign

Setting up a PPC campaign

Pay-per-click advertising, otherwise known as sponsored links, appear in prominent areas of search engine pages. To get listed in these prime positions, you bid against other chambers for keywords that are relevant to your services. However, you only pay when somebody clicks on your advert. If you bid more for relevant keywords than another set, your advert will be placed above theirs.

To set up your PPC campaigns, follow these 6 basic guidelines…

1. Define your objectives
What do you want to achieve? Are you trying to drive traffic to your website, get people to subscribe to a newsletter, download an e-book etc? Be clear about why you’re advertising as this will help you select appropriate keywords and write a persuasive advert.

2. Choose your search terms
The keywords or phrases you bid on must reflect what your potential clients will type into search engines when looking for your services. Be specific. “Barrister Watford immigration” is preferable to the too-generic “barristers’ chambers”.

3. Set your budget
Decide what you’re willing to pay for your keywords and phrases, remembering that costs will vary with the competitiveness of your market.

4. Write your advert
Your advert will contain a heading, small amount of text and URL. Stay focused on giving browsers the information that will encourage them to click through to your website.

5. Create your landing page
Direct surfers to a landing page that’s relevant to your advert rather than just taking them to your home page. Make it easy for someone to take the next step – whether that’s a subscription, sales enquiry or other call to action. At all times, make it clear how visitors can contact you straightaway.

6. Track your users’ journey
Experiment with different keywords, approaches and budgets to discover which generates the best results for your chambers. Track where users arrive and, once there, how they interact with your site through Google Analytics.

To outsource your PPC campaign planning and execution, drop us a note.

 

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Making your site mobile friendly

Making your site mobile friendly

Remember Google’s mobile friendly algorithm update in April 2015? Labelled “mobilegeddon” in SEO circles, Google’s changes were designed to favour sites optimised for mobile devices.

Google’s reasoning is to make browsing as easy on mobile devices – such as smartphones and tablets – as it is on PCs and laptops. Websites not mobile friendly have too-small text and too-close links which lessons the user experience.

Research shows that we’re all spending increasing volumes of time on mobile platforms and it keeps rising. So, to keep your clients and prospects happy, you need a mobile friendly format.

Fair enough, but how exactly should you go about it? These 4 handy hints should do the trick…

1. Is your site responsive?
Check your web analytics (via Google Analytics – check out our article on this subject on the Infolaw website) to see what proportion of site visitors come to you via mobile as this will help determine how you might need to consider your design needs.

A responsive design will begin with your desired desktop design or layout with certain elements dropped as the screen size shrinks (for tablet then mobile).

2. Test how mobile friendly your site is currently
There are a number of free-to-use tools to test whether your site is already mobile friendly. Google’s mobile friendly test site is an obvious place to start. Go to https://www.google.co.uk/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly, type your URL in the bar and click “Analyze”. Results will show the points you need to address for touchscreen use.

There’s also Google’s PageSpeed Insights (visit https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights, type your URL in the bar and click “Analyze” again) which will calculate how quickly your pages load on mobile. Look at your “user experience” and “speed” rankings (out of 100) as well as your “Should Fix” and “Consider Fixing” lists to resolve any issues.

The speed at which your site loads is fundamental, especially on mobile. Any delay will see your browser’s patience snap and go elsewhere.

3. Find out what clients using mobile devices actually want
Next, think about what clients want when they visit your site so you know what your mobile version should look like. Check your web analytics to look at:

  • What pages are most popular?
  • What proportion of visitors use mobile devices?
  • Which pages do visitors tend to jump to from your home page?
  • What are the most-used drop-down navigations?

4. Keep your mobile design as simple as possible
Based on the above analytics, provide less text, smaller images and fewer menu options accordingly. Here’s a quick checklist:-

  • Include sufficient white space around buttons to avoid users accidentally clicking the wrong link
  • Make form-filling easy with drop-down selections and limited text entering
  • Avoid dense copy and small font size because they’re harder to read on smaller devices
  • Decide which features are a necessity and which you can lose

You’re always welcome to instruct us for guidance.

 

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On-page SEO perfection

On-page SEO perfection

A keyword is a word or sequence of words that a search engine uses to index web pages when browsers type them into the search bar to locate companies, products or services.

Sometimes called organic keywords, these differ from pay-per-click (PPC) keywords in that they’re free. Paid-for results appear under the “Sponsored” headings; organic in the natural listings directly underneath and to the side of these.

Typically, tactics for boosting your ranking on search engines will vary between organic and paid keywords strategies. With PPC, costs are constant. You need to keep paying to appear against certain keywords and ultimately outbid your competitors.

For organic success, however, it’s all about writing content that will index well and drive revenue-boosting traffic your way. So organic’s important.

The way to perfect organic listings is on-page search engine optimisation (SEO). This is both the wording on every page of your website and each page’s metadata. The former needs no explaining. The latter is text such as your page titles and page descriptions within your content management system (CMS).

We’re here with 10 top tips to get you started with on-page SEO…

1. URLs: keep your URLs short and keyword rich. The first 3-5 words carry most weight.

2. Titles: title tags are the most important element here. Where possible, start with strong keywords (rather than use them in the middle or end).

3. Multimedia: images, videos and diagrams reduce bounce rate and increase time on site; both of which influence Google ranking factors.

4. Outbound links: links to external related authority sites boost a page’s rank.

5. Keyword-rich first 100 words: fire your biggest guns first to emphasise your page is all about those keywords.

6. H1 tag titles: check that your CMS allocates a headline tag to your main title. This may be automatic.

7. Loading speed: this is another ranking signal so ensure pages are quick to load. If not, get on the case of your website hosts!

8. Long content: as a general guide, aim for 1500 words per web page, particularly when targeting competitive keywords.

9. Social sharing buttons: search engine algorithms like these plus you’ll engage browsers better if they’re prominently displayed.

10. Bounce rate: with high bounce rates, search engines will penalise you. To reduce your bounce rate, write compelling copy, add internal links, create straightforward navigation and invest in a clean website design.

Get in touch for SEO support.

 

 

 

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Three steps to setting your chambers’ marketing budget

Three steps to setting your chambers’ marketing budget

To set the scene, a marketing budget is effectively your marketing plan written in terms of costs based on your estimates as to the spend required to promote your chambers’ services to achieve your defined objectives.

Without a solid budget, you can easily accidentally overspend on marketing costs so it’s a control mechanism. Similarly, you can underspend which may have a disastrous impact on your revenues and could backfire on you this time next year when you’re fighting for your share in your set’s budgeting allocation.

But, budgeting’s not an easy task. With such an important role to play in your success, you can’t afford to get it wrong. We’ve got three steps to help you organise current finances, determine where to spend marketing pounds and make strategic adjustments throughout the year.

Step #1: Organise your financial information
Get organised about your current financial situation. When you’re working around estimates, it’s impossible to create a realistic marketing budget.

Understanding your finances starts with your revenue information. You need to know how much money your chambers makes on a monthly basis and the variations that might exist. Although income can vary significantly month-by-month, you must use reliable revenue. This is the minimum amount your chambers earns each month. Anything over this monthly minimum is extra revenue that cannot be added to the budget because it’s changeable.

Next, subtract your business expenses. This includes everything from office space rental to clerks’ room salaries. Monthly expenses should be subtracted from revenue before defining your marketing budget. A realistic budget plan will always focus on income that exceeds expenses, not just total revenue.

When you’ve determined disposable income available for your chambers, decide where this money will be spent. Marketing is only one business area so divide the money based on your strategic goals, of which marketing should form a key part.

Step #2: Decide where to spend marketing monies
Once you know the total amount potentially available for marketing, decide how you intend to spend the money. If you have a limited budget, then you should consider lower-cost activities such as small print adverts, social media and email marketing. With a larger budget, you can afford some events, sponsorship, ambient advertising, printed newsletters and more.

Integral to this stage is reviewing which activities have worked in the past. If email newsletters do the trick, then you should continue, even if you have the funds for more expensive alternatives.

Also, consider which channels allow you to reach the right audience. This comes down to customer profiling and finding out where your clients and prospects hang out.

When considering a new marketing channel, you should set aside some funds for testing. Since you don’t know if it’ll work for your chambers, you should only use a small portion of your budget. Once it’s tried and tested, invest a little more.

Step #3: Assess data and make appropriate changes
The final step to build a solid marketing budget is analysing the plan and making adjustments which impact positively on revenue. Ultimately, marketing is designed to achieve more revenue. If any of your activities don’t do this, then it’s better to remove and try something else or invest in proven activities.

Evaluation’s the process of comparing performance and recording changes to revenue – has it increased, decreased or stayed the same and can you attribute to any particular marketing activities?

Always keep the budget in mind when you make decisions on marketing spending. That way, you can explore different ideas and find the best marketing mix for your chambers.

 

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10 killer web copywriting tips

10 killer web copywriting tips

Use these 10 copywriting tips for knock-out content that’ll tempt browsers onto your site, lower your bounce rate and encourage repeat visits in the future.

1. Learn to write powerful headlines
All your copy is worthless if your headlines don’t entice visitors to click through and read further from the outset.

2. Be concise
People have shorter attention spans than ever; particularly in an online capacity. Use short sentences and short paragraphs. Of course, there are occasionally exceptions to this rule.

3. Remember the important details
Who, what, when, where, why and how are critical for good copywriting.

4. Use short words
Simple words communicate better than big words and pompous language or corporate speak. It’s easier to read and makes it feel more like a conversation.

5. Make it skimmable
Online readers don’t read everything word for word. Instead, they scan to find what they’re looking for so make your content easy to skim. Use various formatting techniques that break up the text and draw the reader’s eye to important points, for example headings, subheadings, bulleted lists and images (or other media) with captions.

6. Craft a compelling call to action
What happens when your reader’s finished your page? Call them to action by requesting they visit another related web page, complete a contact form, download a white paper etc.

7. Use positive language
Write sentences with positive words ie. “Don’t get left behind” might become “Get ahead of the competition”. Sometimes negative language is necessary and adds variety to your copy, but don’t overdo it.

8. Back up your claims
Logic influences decision making. Use statistics, research data, case studies, testimonials and other sources to prove what you say is true.

9. Balance text with images
Not a copywriting tip as such but incorporating various media (like photos, videos, infographics, slides and more) in your website makes a huge difference.

10. Link to reputable sources
Nothing online exists in a vacuum. Linking out to high-quality websites is helpful for your visitors. And, associating yourself with other credible websites will do wonders for your own reputation.

Contact us for assistance with your website copywriting projects.

 

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How to schedule posts

How to schedule posts

Even the most reliable clerks in chambers have time off work occasionally. After all, everyone needs a holiday and it’s impossible to plan for sickness. Of course, there are many reasons for absences, unexpected or otherwise. The point is this: you can schedule LinkedIn posts in advance. So, if you’re due some time off work, your LinkedIn page doesn’t have to stop with you.

In our experience, Buffer’s a popular tool for scheduling posts. Its free-to-use ‘Individual Plan’ allows you to schedule up to 10 posts at any given time. This is only for one social media account though. To connect up to 10 social profiles and store up to 100 scheduled posts at a time, subscribe to the paid-for ‘Awesome Plan’. Head to buffer.com to make a start.

In terms of monitoring conversations people are having about your chambers on social media (and, ultimately, take part!), Hootsuite’s just the job. It’s purpoted to be the world’s most widely used social relationship platform. You can track your interaction history and analyse conversations around the globe (in various languages). Be exactly where your audience is and join in the discussions. Go to hootsuite.com to sign up.

 

 

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How to design a new logo

How to design the perfect logo

When it comes to logos, some companies are undisputed crown bearers.  This visual aspect of these logo heavyweights’ brand identity is universally recognised.  For example, think about Apple’s bitten apple or Wikipedia’s jigsaw-puzzle globe.

However, champions of the logo world don’t always use images in their logos.  Sometimes, it’s the typeface and colours alone that make logos so distinguishable.  For instance, consider Coca Cola’s easily identifiable red handwriting-font.

Of course, what these brand greats have in common is big marketing budgets.  With such ample funds, it’s possible to create iconic logos such as these.  But, we’re here to prove that, even with modest finances, you can still design a knock-out logo.

Here’s how…

Be unique
Forget the old saying “imitation is the best form of flattery”.  With logos, plagiarism is a definite no-no.  Be original and, once you have some logo artwork in mind, check it out online to be sure a similar form doesn’t already exist elsewhere.  You don’t want to land yourself in hot water after all your hard designing work.  You can check to see if your logo is already being used here.

The way to achieve true originality is to brainstorm what your brand means to you and other clerks or barristers in your set.  Your logo is, after all, your visual keystone and should reflect your chambers’ personality.  Researching your clients and prospects is another great way to see how you are currently positioned in the marketplace and what values you are perceived as having.  Often there is a huge difference of opinion between what the set believes and what the market believes.

Choose a fitting colour scheme
According to psychologists, every colour has a different, significant implication.  Orange suggests creativity, friendliness and youthfulness; black oozes credibility and powerfulness; white’s all about simplicity and purity; etc.

While it may be tempting to opt for bold colours which stand out from the crowd, this may actually be sending the wrong message about your brand.  Your colour scheme should support your messaging, not damage it.

Decide upon wordmark and / or symbol
As stated earlier, your logo may comprise a wordmark and / or symbol.  When deciding upon typefaces, avoid gimmicky fonts as these often quickly turn out of fashion and can be tricky to read.  Helvetica is a simple, well-used logo font.  Or, you could maybe use an off-the-shelf font as a starting point and tweak it to your tastes.  You must also consider the written version of your company name.  Too many designers produce complex fonts that aren't freely available.  The result is that chambers' employees will simply use the font that looks closest to the logo, causing a cacophony of typefaces, inconsistency and a huge waste of marketing money.

Your logo should work equally well on paper as well as on multiple digital devices for both off and online purposes.

Additionally, you should be able to use the logo in part or whole form (with the words and symbol or the symbol alone).  This gives you much greater flexibility for placement of the logo.  Sadly, too many companies have not thought of this and have been left with a cumbersome logo they are unable to use credibly.

Generate diverse logo formats and usage guidelines
Once you’ve arrived at your new logo design, produce it in multiple formats and file types including full colour, reverse (for use on dark or photographic backgrounds) and monochrome (grey and black, all-black and all-white) as gif, jpg and pdf images.

And, some usage guidelines wouldn’t go amiss either.  This will clearly define things such as colour palettes, minimum sizing, exclusion areas, shaping and backgrounds with examples throughout of both good and bad practice in collateral such as letterheads, compliments slips, business cards, tender documents, PowerPoint presentations and adverts.  These will ensure your logo’s applied correctly and consistently.

Register your logo and trademarks
You can register your trademark to protect your brand eg. the name of your product or service.  When you register your trademark, you’ll be able to: take legal action against anyone who uses your brand without your permission, including counterfeiters; put the ® symbol next to your brand - to show that it’s yours and warn others against using it; and sell and license your brand.

Learn more about registering logos and trademarks here.

Be patient
Your logo won’t become iconic overnight.  It’ll gain popularity slowly and build brand awareness gradually.  Launching your new-look logo should be supported by marketing activity.  Don’t be shy.  You’ve spent time and effort on your artwork so tell everyone about it.

Over the years, I’ve worked at a number of high-profile businesses who felt that in order to obtain the perfect logo they needed to spend a fortune.  I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve sat in logo design meetings with some of the UK’s biggest agencies only to be presented with re-hashed AT&T logos or logos dragged up from the early 1970s (the designers tend to be younger and therefore don’t realise that some of us dinosaurs were around when these logos were used first time round and, furthermore, we remember the disasters they were associated with!).  In fact, it became so difficult to find an agency that listened to what we, on the client side, needed that we bought an up-and-coming agency and put our faith in them.  Twenty years after that first meeting, that agency is now the graphic design element of Bar Marketing!

Hence, we’re able to offer a cost-effective logo design service that understands how the brand identity will be used in everyday life and how to represent your brand value.  To benefit from our extensive experience, complete our contact form for further details.

 

 

 

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Content: recycle and reuse

Content: recycle and reuse

It’s readily acknowledged that the more content you produce, the more engagement you’ll drive. Maintaining a steady stream of content establishes your chambers as an authority in your specialist areas, solves problems for your audience and raises brand awareness.

But, none of us have a limitless list of ideas and endless time in which to write new content. So, recycle and reuse instead.

It isn’t cheating. In fact, it’s a good opportunity to put a fresh coat of paint on an old – but highly reliable – machine, and make sure new audiences see past content at more convenient times or places.

Here are some ideas of how to get started with recycling content:-

E-books and white papers
Larger content pieces such as these are robust enough to get you through a quarter before having to push out another one. If you’ve got a lengthy resource in this format, release it at the beginning of the quarter then use it to fuel the rest of your content strategy for those months.

Pull segments, paragraphs or sections and repurpose them into shorter blog posts or emails. All you’ll need is a new headline, introduction and conclusion plus perhaps a few minor text alterations. Link these shorter content pieces to your e-book or white paper as a call to action.

Blog posts and emails
As an opposite tactic to that suggested above, instead of distributing your e-book or white paper at the beginning of the quarter and using it to write shorter content, do the reverse. Use your shorter content to write your longer content, and release the lengthier piece at the end of the quarter.

Pick out the posts or emails related to the larger topic umbrella, connect together like a puzzle and revise accordingly so the content flows smoothly.

Another way to repurpose these shorter content pieces is to simply share them again. To re-share, include an “ICYMI” (“In Case You Missed It”) tag and create a new caption. This tells your current audience that they’re seeing something they have already read, and informs your new audience that this is an important piece of content that’s worth sharing again.

Social media
Social media platforms don’t let your entire audience see each one of your posts, not without paying for coverage anyway, so it’s in your best interests to recycle the content that you post. Again, re-post on a different day with an “ICYMI” in the title or caption.

A few words of parting advice:-

  1. Don’t post the same content twice on the same day.
  2. Don’t re-post to the same channel or page with the same caption.
  3. Don’t post on a business page and then re-share on Facebook from your personal page on the same day.
  4. Don’t forget to tweak the language for different platforms. 140 characters for Twitter, no hashtags on Facebook and LinkedIn etc.

Keep recycling to really see the fruits of your labours. 

 

 

 

 

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How to amplify your email click-through rates

How to amplify your email click-through rates

Click-through rates vary industry to industry, customer to prospect, opt-in to purchased database. An oft-quoted baseline is 15%. We receive more and more emails each day and have ever-diminishing time in which to read them.

A decision is made in only 2 seconds as to whether or not to open and read items in our inbox. That’s reliant on three attributes of your email – from address, subject line an preview header.

Here’s how you can make the most of them and get your emails noticed:-

1. From address
This is all about your chambers’ brand on an individual relationship level. Even if recipients know your chambers, however, they’re likely to ignore info@ email addresses. Emails from personal email addresses are far more likely to be opened.

2. Subject line
In short (6 words or less), you need to show recipients what’s in it for them if they read your email. The more relevant your title, the more opened your email will be. Including the words “you”, “your”, “how to” and numbers will all encourage the reader that the email is about and of use to them.

3. Preview header
Your preview gives a sneak peek into your email. From there, recipients can decide if they think what you’re offering is personal and meaningful. It’s essential that your first sentence is enticing, to the point and matches your subject line.

Play around with these key attributes and see your nurture stream increase to up to 15% click through. 

 

 

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