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Why the Perfect Ad Agency May Not Be Perfect for You.

 

Hot ad agencies generate a lot of attention. They always have.

Twenty-to-thirty years ago, the hottest firms tended to be the largest marketing houses. They had big hyphenated names and established themselves at elite addresses downtown. They had genius creative directors and the money to hire the coolest production teams. They generated quite a buzz. And companies flocked to them for killer ad campaigns, which gained a lot of awards.

But a funny thing happened along the way to the Addy Awards. Those large ad agencies began to lose their big clients to smaller agencies who were hungrier. The smaller ad agencies were more flexible, since they didn’t have to feed a huge staff. They were also more savvy and creative, offering more for their new clients, for less. So clients left the big firms and enjoyed being a big fish in a smaller pond.

The past ten years have seen the growth of smaller, quirkier marketing firms that specialize in things like tech, or industry, or not-for-profits. The firms are small and have colorful trendy names. They hire genius creative directors that communicate exceptionally well on social media. And they win a lot of awards. And attract a host of new clients looking for attention in a very distracted world.

The point is, there will always be a hot new ad agency generating a lot of buzz. And although it can be great fun to have your marketing done there, your company will find that it takes a lot of agency time and energy to maintain that buzz. A few clients of that agency will get great glossy, stand out work that wins eyeballs… and awards. But most of the clients will get to claim that the hot agency works for them, and get middling work. So after awhile, they will move their work to another hot ad agency. And on it goes.

Or not.

You could choose to hire an agency without a colorful name that isn’t trying to be the hottest new firm in the marketing world. A firm that provides you with solid marketing advice based on careful industry research, leading to memorable marketing directed to precisely the right eyes.

Sure, sometimes those ad campaigns will be quirky, visually stunning and even award-garnering. But not why we do the work.

At FocalPoint, we attract and keep our clients through dedication to our clients and impeccable work. That’s who we are and always will be.

 

 

What’s on your back burner?

When managing a company is your responsibility, a lot of important detail work gets put on the back burner.

So what’s simmering on your back burner?

  • Updating your web site with fresh page content?
  • Better utilizing social media?
  • Updating the navigation of your site?
  • Making sure your web site if properly protected?
  • Preparing trade show materials for your soon-to-be-released product?

Or maybe it’s larger than that. Perhaps what you don’t have the time or energy left to do is revamp your marketing strategy to bring in new business.

Interestingly, what’s relegated to your back burner can have a huge impact on the very thing that’s stressing you out right now. Such as your last quarter ROI.

That’s because when your marketing is taken care of strategically with a practiced eye towards your industry, your job gets a little less intense as your ideal customers begin to take notice of what your company can actually provide to them.

What you do

Carve out a 90 minutes to meet with us when the time is right for you. Tell us what you don’t have the time or the people to do, and what results you’d like to see. Give us your parameters, financial and otherwise.

What we do

When you say go, we do the work, providing you with feedback, details and a few fine-tuning decisions along the way. We don’t make assumptions. We research your niche and come up with several positioning approaches that tell your story to the right people — in a compelling and memorable way. We also adjust to your budget and your timeframe.

What we do is eye-opening. Don’t be surprised if we uncover a few fascinating things about your own rapidly shifting marketplace that raise your eyebrows. Or help you determine how your company can make the most of its sweet spot through well-placed ads in carefully researched places you may not even be aware of.

It all starts with a 90 minute meeting.

Say when.

 

 

 

Your Partner in Strategic Planning

The end of the year is a good time to take an in-depth look at your company’s strengths and weaknesses.

If you hit your targeted goals, terrific. But if not, why not?

That’s where we come in. Because while you are the undisputed experts on what you offer, FocalPoint can help you understand the rest of the marketplace.

Having a research team at your disposal can help you more fully understand what your competition is doing and why. And shed light on the where your industry is headed, so you can get ahead of next year’s learning curve.

Once you know where you stand within your marketplace niche and what your competition is doing and why, you can more accurately plan how to best set and meet next year’s goals. For instance, instead of correlating goals with quarterly growth desires, they can be strategically set for the marketplace as a whole, carefully defining your place within that market.

Defining the bigger picture

FocalPoint crunches numbers with the best of them. We also mine external data your business may not have access to. Beyond that, we think it’s essential to look at cultural norms that may be shifting including the businesses and professionals that depend on you.

Unfortunately, strategic planning doesn’t include a crystal ball, but it does glean as much information as possible from the resources at hand, forming a 360 degree view of where you’ve come, where you’re going, and what you are up against.

Once that information is set, a marketing plan it determined that targets your audience in the best way possible.

That could mean utilizing seven different social media sources and a series of correlating radio commercials. Or creating industry specific journal ads targeting key buying cycles.

Or none of the above. It’s good to shake up the expectations and break new ground. Especially when the research suggests a fresh voice is just what’s needed to break through your industry’s ‘tried and true.’

What we’ve come to understand is that although are clients are the experts about their businesses, there are bound to be a few blind spots.

We can help fill in the gaps and help broaden the marketplace view. Then together, we can set up your 2018 for new triumphs.

 

 

Adding Video to Your Website Can Bolster Search.

Not only can this be a cost-effective use of good creative work, but it can also help increase traffic to your site. By embedding the video directly to your site – such as on a landing page – you can increase search, keep visitors on your site longer, and increase repeat visits.

In fact, studies show that practically nothing beats the SEO benefits of landing page video right on your domain:

  • Search results found via a video have a 41% higher click-through rate than text alone and 30% higher than still images
  • According to a recent comScore study, “Visitors who view a video stay on average two minutes longer and are 64% more likely to purchase than other site visitors.”
  • Bingo! Combine high dwell time (staying on the page) with low bounce rates (see below), and you’ll have an enviable SERP — and an increased conversion rate.

That’s because videos tend to make your pages sticky. In other words, they help people pay attention to your site longer. They also tend to remember more about your product after watching.

The average online attention span is less than eight seconds. When visitors click onto your site and then lose interest and click away without moving to another page, you get a high bounce rate.

And that hurts your site’s SERP ranking.

Simply put, a compelling video on your web or blog site is a great way to make people stay. With that in mind, here are some best practices for adding video to your website from the team at FocalPoint:

  • Don’t let your video host monopolize your traffic. Embed video directly to your site. We can show you how.
  • Entice your readers into clicking the video with an engaging preview. Just give them a taste of what is coming up.
  • Use accurate video titles. Don’t deceive your potential viewer.
  • Add text where appropriate to highlight key points
  • Where to place the video is also critical. You want to imbed your video “above the fold,” meaning the imaginary line where users have to scroll to see additional content.

 Keep it short and sweet

In a world where even thoughtful articles get skimmed, videos can be a terrific way to communicate effectively. So, besides being enjoyable to watch, informative, and relatable, they should also be short and to the point. You might also consider adding closed captioning for those who watch videos with their sound off.

So yes, quality video marketing will improve the way you approach SEO to your website. That alone is worth more than all the search engine hacks, tips, and secrets you can dig up.

 

Creating a compelling video

Videos have super powers.

If done right, they can engage, entertain and educate an audience like nothing else can. That’s because using visuals, spoken voice, music and good editing, videos can break through to your audience intellectually and emotionally.

Videos forge a connection and built rapport.

Or – not.

It’s just as easy to miss your mark, losing an audience by packing in too much information, boring them with nothing new, or coming across as out of touch.

Finding the right mix of intellect, humor and emotional appeal is a delicate balance. The magic is difficult to explain, but — you absolutely know it when you see it. And when a video hits the right mark, making you laugh or want to watch it again, your impulse is to share it.

And that’s when you know you’re onto something – when a video gets shared. That’s the goal.

So, how to create a video with super powers?

It starts with clear vision, a great central idea, and excellent writing.

Then the magic really happens in production. All the elements come together; music, sound and narration, timed perfectly with effective visuals.

In a world where even thoughtful articles are skimmed rather than read thoroughly, videos should be concise and on point. And off-beat, funny, irreverent …or charming. Humor can be very effective and memorable.

What’s especially great about video today is that technology is making video more accessible than ever. You don’t need a six-figure budget to create a great video.

 How to make your video affordable:

  • Talk with us, for starters. We do our video work in house.
  • Use simpler video formats. Videos don’t have to be movies with actors and special effects.
  • Animation is compelling and can be very simple.
  • Include video with other marketing services such as websites, landing pages and enhanced listings. Use it or versions of it in lots of places. That can help keep costs down, too.

Yes, Virginia, videos really do have super powers. So by all means, consider a video as a part of your marketing strategy. Consumers like video, use video, share video, and remember video. And that means video brings marketing power to your site’s SEO.

 

 

“Can you help us pull together a website?”

At FocalPoint, the answer is, “Sure, we’d love to be your go-to company on your website project. But let’s talk about this before we get started.”

If this is our first work with a new client, we initiate a lot of conversations before we touch the cursor. We like to think of this as “Website Design and Development 101.” It really is a prerequisite before we begin work.

Why? Because the best place to begin is to really consider why you want a website in the first place.

  • Is this to replace or update an existing site? Why replace it? What was right and what wasn’t about the existing site?
  • What is your single most important message and why?
  • What does the site need to do?
  • Answer questions about what you do or be a resource to provide info or tools to existing customers?

We want to be sure that your website is more than a place to talk about who you are and what you do. If that’s all your website does, it won’t drive traffic. It will probably just sit there as a line on your business card.

For a website to do what it’s supposed to do, it has to:

  • Is your website responsive?
  • Draw you in
  • Provide you with needed information right off the bat. In three minutes, a potential customer should know who you are, what you do, and why your company matters
  • Be strategically engineered to drive readership
  • Built around intuitive navigation (i.e., making your key points easily understood and getting eyes further into the site to provide more information)
  • Set a strategically considered tone with color, visuals and copy.

Once we begin communication with new clients around the strategic design of their website, we often uncover previously undiscussed topics, for instance:

  • What really sets you apart from your competition?
  • How does what you do matter?
  • Does your logo accurately reflect a sense of what you are/what you do?
  • Does your tag line provide memorable new information about your company, or just sit there because you’ve used it for ten years and never thought much about it?

Even after the site work is begun, we’re really just getting started. Because once that website is up, you’ll need to manage it to keep if working for your business, adding fresh content from time to time.

So yes, we can help you build and design that new website. But with us, the site will be much more than new.

It will provide the right information to your audience at the right time. It will drive the right kind of traffic to your business.

It will also provide your potential client with a reason to contact you to learn more.

This is how we think at FocalPoint.

We position our clients strategically to succeed.