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Customer Engagement Highlights Reaching New Customers Strategy

Organizational growth strategies: Aligning purpose and practice

Organizational growth isn’t just about increasing revenue or market share. It’s about building a sustainable and purpose-driven organization. 

Sure, every company aspires to quickly grow and see revenue rise. However, understanding the “why” behind that growth is critical for attracting and retaining talent, authentically engaging customers, and achieving long-term success. Simply put, understanding your “why” and aligning your purpose with your operational practices can unlock true organizational growth.

Understanding the ‘why’ in business growth

Many companies define growth in terms of financial metrics. While these are important, focusing solely on profit and EBITA is like having a destination in mind without plotting a route to get there, which can leave business strategies directionless. A truly purpose-driven business clearly understands its “why”—its core reason for existence beyond making money. This purpose serves as a guiding star, rallying like-minded employees, inspiring customer loyalty, and fostering a genuine connection between your organization and the market you serve. When companies are guided by purpose, they’re more likely to find their way to financial success.

Consider Patagonia, a company renowned for its commitment to environmental sustainability. Their purpose isn’t just selling outdoor apparel but protecting the planet for future generations. This purpose informs everything they do, from product design to marketing campaigns, and has earned them a fiercely loyal customer base for good reason. Consumers get to feel as if they are playing a part in the health of our environment by purchasing Patagonia goods while having great gear to enjoy the great outdoors. This is a great example of how threading purpose all the way through an organization drives positive business outcomes.

The significance of authentic branding

Authentic branding is the outward expression of your company’s purpose. It’s about clearly communicating your values, mission, and the impact you strive to make. Customers today are savvy; they can sniff out inauthenticity a mile away. Remember when Kellogg’s CEO Gary Pilnick suggested on national television that American families consider “cereal for dinner” in response to rising food costs? Consumers certainly do, and an organized boycott is still underway.

When your branding authentically reflects your purpose, it fosters trust and creates a positive emotional connection with your audience. Here’s where crisp and consistent storytelling comes into your brand’s message and content strategy. Your company story should be woven into every facet of your marketing and sales efforts. This can include blog posts, social media content, website copy, and even customer case studies. By consistently telling your story, you reinforce your purpose and build brand loyalty.

Linking purpose with operational efficiency

Purpose is not just a feel-good slogan; it must be operationalized to fuel your company and ultimately growth. This means ensuring your business operations and processes are aligned with your purpose and your people are equipped to deliver on your promises, not just to customers but to one another. 

Here’s where data-driven accountability and data-centricity come into play. Leaders and decision-makers need access to the right metrics and data to assess operational efficiency. These metrics should measure progress toward company goals, client satisfaction, customer perception, retention, and growth. By holding leadership accountable for key performance indicators (KPIs) that connect to purpose-driven growth, you create a feedback loop that ensures alignment across all levels of the organization.

The critical role of sales and delivery synergy

Imagine a scenario where your sales team paints a rosy picture of your product or service to close a deal, but then the internal teams responsible for delivery lack the resources or capacity to fulfill those promises. This disconnect between sales and delivery creates a frustrating experience for customers and can damage your reputation (your brand). It’s important to remember that sales are just one step in the customer journey.

For true organizational growth, your sales and delivery need to be in lockstep. This requires clear communication between both teams, ensuring everyone understands the product or service capabilities and realistic timelines. Additionally, shared goals that prioritize customer satisfaction and advocacy are crucial. By aligning purpose with operational practices, you can foster strong collaboration between sales and delivery, ensuring a seamless and positive customer experience from initial contact to successful delivery.

When internal solutions fall short: Finding the right partner

Sometimes, organizations get stuck in their siloed workflows and struggle to create the internal alignment necessary for sustained growth. This is when partnering with a trusted external partner can be invaluable. Infusing fresh perspectives and outside expertise can help you refocus your strategies with your customer at the center and your purpose as the driver for greater resonance with your target audience and purpose-driven growth for your business.

Here’s why seeking external help can help bring purpose to your efforts:

  • Internal blind spots: Teams can be too close to the problem, losing perspective on the value your brand exists to create for your customers and missing potential solutions.
  • Leadership challenges: Leaders may lack the expertise or resources to implement necessary changes when purpose becomes disconnected from practice in their business operations and strategies.
  • Translation to execution: Even when the purpose is clear at the brand level, it’s not always easy to thread it through to execution at the hands of practitioners. From sales and marketing to product, IT, finance, operations, and every other business discipline, the subject matter experts across all these domains need to approach what they do from the context of why they do it, which stems from your purpose.

By partnering with an agency that aligns with your purpose, understands the digital landscape, and approaches marketing, product, and data strategies as tools to help you fulfill your brand’s purpose and create the kinds of experiences that your customers demand, you can overcome organizational inhibitors and achieve your growth goals.

At Tallwave, we’re passionate about helping businesses unlock their full growth potential by aligning purpose with practice. We believe that a well-defined purpose, operational efficiency, and authentic execution of the brand are the keys to sustainable growth in today’s competitive environment.

Ready to take your organization to the next level? Get in touch with us today to discuss how we can help you craft a purposeful and profitable growth strategy.

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Highlights News Reaching New Customers SEO

Reddit for SEO: Why user-generated content dominates search results

Is it just me, or DAE wonder why Reddit has become such a significant holder of SERP real estate? As a user and consumer, I’ve increasingly noticed that Reddit forums dominate the results I see for product and service-based queries, and as an ever-curious SEO and content strategist, I need to know why.

So, what’s happening here? Why has Reddit emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the SEO game? And what does this mean for us as marketers? Brace yourselves: we’re about to explore the complex and evolving world of Reddit and SEO, as well as the profound impact “the front page of the Internet” has on how users seek and interact with information.

ELI5: What even is Reddit?

Before we delve into the “why,” let’s quickly recap what Reddit is for those unfamiliar with this online behemoth.

Think of Reddit as a massive, decentralized forum where users create and share content on a wide range of topics. These communities, called subreddits, cover everything from news and technology to niche hobbies and local interests. Personally, I’ve used Reddit to discuss SEO news and trends with my professional cohorts, find volunteer opportunities in my community, and, most recently, connect with a fellow “elder emo” music fan to snag a ticket to a very much sold-out show for a “bucket list” band. Simply put, there’s something for everyone (YMMV on concert tickets).

Reddit’s diverse user base has more than 267.5 million weekly active users, solidifying its position online as a veritable melting pot of voices and perspectives. This rich and varied audience actively engages with all kinds of content, creating a dynamic platform where discussions and user-generated content (UGC) reign supreme.

Why is Reddit taking over search results?

Now, onto the juicy part: why is Reddit suddenly showing up everywhere in search results? Here are a few key factors contributing to its rise:

The power of user-generated content

In its relentless pursuit of providing the best user experience, Google’s algorithm increasingly values authentic, unbiased, and people-first content. Reddit thrives on UGC, offering a treasure trove of real-world opinions, experiences, and insights that traditional websites often lack. This authenticity resonates with search engines, making Reddit a valuable source of information.

Diversity and depth of content

Reddit covers a mind-boggling range of topics, with in-depth discussions and detailed information on virtually anything you can imagine. This depth allows Reddit to address long-tail keywords and niche queries with a level of specificity that traditional websites might struggle to match.

Community-driven authority

Reddit thrives on user engagement. Upvotes, downvotes, and discussions within subreddits organically signal the value and relevance of content. This community-driven authority system likely helps Google identify high-quality, trustworthy information.

The Reddit IPO effect

While maybe not a direct cause, Reddit’s recent IPO may have contributed to its increased visibility in search results. With heightened public interest and media attention, Google might be placing a greater emphasis on crawling and indexing Reddit content.

TIL why Reddit matters for marketers and SEOs

So, what does this Reddit SEO phenomenon mean for us as marketers and SEO professionals? A lot. In fact, you might think of Reddit’s rise in SEO and SERP positioning as both an opportunity and a challenge:

  • Opportunity: Reddit offers a powerful platform to connect with real users, gather valuable insights, and build brand awareness. Engaging with relevant subreddits allows you to participate in organic conversations, address customer concerns, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
  • Challenge: Reddit is a community-driven platform with strict guidelines and Reddiquette, not a marketing playground. Spammy tactics or self-promotion will be met with swift backlash. Building trust and providing genuine value are required for a visibility victory on Reddit.

Case in point: How brands are rocking Reddit

Is your brand up for the challenge? You’ll find success stories from brands like Nordstrom, Toyota, and Xbox One that have implemented effective Reddit engagement strategies.

Spotify was a pioneer on the platform. In 2014, the music streaming service created a branded account and sparked a virtual thread asking users to share the most emotionally impactful songs in their lives, and ended up with more than 10,000 responses. Leveraging this user-generated content, Spotify made a unique playlist, demonstrating their understanding of their audience and building trust within the Reddit community. 

Other examples of brands taking on the Reddit challenge:

  • Toyota: They’ve tapped into Reddit communities like r/forumla1, r/cars, and r/trucks, providing helpful content and insights from their engineers, fostering trust and brand loyalty among car enthusiasts.
  • Xbox One: By actively participating in gaming subreddits, hosting AMA (ask me anything) sessions with game developers, and addressing user concerns directly, Xbox One has built a strong community around its brand.

But wait, there’s more. Reddit’s presence at CES 2024 walked marketers through how their platform is an essential touchpoint on the customer journey with an activation called “Key to Context.” The hands-on walk-through experience showed how instrumental the platform was in a car-buying experience and unlocked opportunities for brands to engage with consumers through UGC and strategically promoted posts.

Who owns brand Reddit strategy? It’s a team effort

While Reddit engagement might fall outside typical job descriptions, brands can create a “Reddit village” for success. This village includes passionate brand advocates (including employees, partners, and even consumers), community managers who curate content, and SEO/content teams who translate Reddit insights into broader strategies.

LPT: 5 ways to use Reddit for SEO and online visibility

Now, the million-dollar question: how can we leverage Reddit’s SEO potential within the spirit of the platform’s core values? I’ve got a few pro tips and ideas from my experience and research, as well as those collected from the SEO hivemind.

  1. Find your niche: Identify relevant subreddits where your target audience actively engages. Research their interests, common discussions, the language they are using (linguistic profiling), and the overall tone of the community.
  2. Become a valuable contributor: Don’t just drop in and promote your brand. Actively participate in discussions, share your expertise, and answer user questions genuinely. Provide insightful comments and contribute valuable content that benefits the community.
  3. Focus on long-tail keywords: Reddit excels at long-tail queries due to its in-depth discussions. Optimize your content for these specific keywords to increase your chances of appearing in relevant search results.
  4. Embrace UGC: Encourage users to share their experiences with your products or services within relevant subreddits. This organic UGC can be incredibly powerful for building trust and brand sentiment.
  5. Track and analyze: Monitor your Reddit activity and track the impact on your SEO metrics. Use tools like Semrush and Google Analytics 4 to measure organic traffic and identify which subreddits and posts drive the most engagement.

TL;DR: Reddit and SEO success requires a long-term, user-centric approach

Reddit’s growing prominence in search results is a testament to the power of user-generated content and authentic online communities. As marketers and SEOs, we must adapt our strategies to embrace this shift. Success on Reddit comes from building genuine relationships, providing value, and becoming a trusted member of the community.

Leveraging Reddit in your online footprint is a long-term integrated digital marketing game, not a quick SEO win. But by approaching Reddit with a user-centric mindset and focusing on providing value, you can tap into its immense potential and elevate your brand to new heights.

Ready to talk about Reddit and SEO? We are. Let’s connect.

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CRO Customer Engagement Highlights Reaching New Customers Strategy

Measuring customer perspective: The key to great CX

Understanding and responding to your customers’ perspectives has become more vital than ever. Without understanding your customers’ points of view, making informed business decisions turns into a guessing game. And in today’s dynamic landscape, customer preferences can shift swiftly. When coupled with an increasingly volatile and competitive operating environment, gaining insight into their viewpoints isn’t just advantageous—it’s essential to unlocking growth and staying ahead of the curve. 

While business decision makers clearly desire critical insights into customer experience, it’s also becoming increasingly challenging. With growing concerns about privacy, the rise in importance (and difficulty) of capturing first-party data, and shorter customer attention spans, businesses face the task of navigating these complexities to comprehend their customers better. 

The good news is that there are best practices for measuring customer perspective that nearly every company can implement. Let’s dive in.

Building a customer-centric measurement approach: 3 core principles

Before we jump into the nitty gritty of measurement tactics, we have to align on three core principles that top-performing firms adopt into their operating philosophies and approaches to their customers’ journeys:

1. Embrace a diverse range of tactics. It’s not enough to rely on a single method; instead, a combination of approaches is essential to gain a comprehensive understanding of your customers’ experiences.

2. Automation and data are your friends. Many companies manually deploy an annual customer survey as their key measure of CX performance. While useful, this snapshot in time is far from ideal in terms of creating regular, rich insights that are actionable. Automating surveys allows for real-time data collection and the ability to capture the current voice of the customer.

3. Align data to your customer segments or personas. Every business knows its customers are far from homogeneous. The best companies ensure the data they’re collecting is appended to existing data they have on their customers (CRM data, for example) so that they can slice and dice as necessary.

How to measure customer perspectives: proven tactics

With those core principles in mind, below are some key tactics that can help you keep a pulse on your customers’ perspectives. While certainly not an exhaustive list of the metrics and data points businesses should be tracking, these tactics are particularly powerful when it comes to rallying teams around customer perspectives, solving issues, and making big strides in business performance.

Transactional Customer Satisfaction (TSAT or T-CSAT)

A riff on the age-old classic of overall CSAT, transactional CSAT is measured and triggered by specific interactions that represent only a portion of the customer’s experience with your brand. The power of this tactic lies in its fixed parameters. Unlike overall CSAT, which asks customers to think broadly, often leading to muted or generalized feedback, transactional CSAT captures customer perspectives in relation to a very recent, specific experience. The result produces two fantastic benefits:

1. Feedback is more visceral and clearly tied to a specific experience. It’s easier to find patterns related to a specific conversation, interaction, or even UX affordance, and you can directly measure or correlate changes made in these areas to future measurements.

2. Transactional CSAT feedback can be collected across the entire customer journey, giving you multiple points of feedback on specific interactions or experiences with a brand. This enables companies to build a complete, measurable picture of a customer’s experience across their journey, further boosting abilities to test, learn, and improve.

Leveraging these patterns, they implemented UX improvements across their digital properties, boosting the blended average of TCSAT scores by 23% in less than six months. 

A national insurance provider we worked with implemented Transactional CSAT at critical steps like their customer quote, customer bind, first billing, and even specific interactions within their service portal. It enabled them to pinpoint patterns of customer feedback both within the “steps” in the journey and across it. Leveraging these patterns, they were able to implement UX improvements across their digital properties, boosting the blended average of TCSAT scores by 23% in less than six months. 

Implemented using a mix of the standard Likert scale (scaled rating system) and 1-2 open response questions, Transactional CSAT provides the perfect blend of measurable quantitative and qualitative data to make decisions. And it’s all the more powerful if you can tie it back to some source of protected first-party data.

Quantitative data

Every company wants to be “data-driven,” but few truly are. By the same token, too many companies view quantitative data sources as the only empirical way to make decisions. At Tallwave, we view quantitative data as a key driver of decision-making, and we seek to complement it with qualitative data as well.

In a previous article, we outlined nine key metrics that every business should measure, but here are the top three that we recommend every company that has a tech- or digitally-oriented customer experience focus in on:

1. Metrics at the microconversion level: It’s particularly important that your team understands customer reactions along the path to conversion. While these micro-actions might seem like “obvious” metrics, we find that companies rarely track them on a granular enough level and, as a result, ignore minor changes that could have a major impact.

Looking for another resource? Hotjar has a great article on how to think about microconversions and how to start measuring them.

2. User paths/customer flow: This goes beyond the customer funnel and into actual user behavior. We track this data because it tells us where users think they should be looking for information or things they think will help them accomplish their goals. This, in turn, tells us where to focus to improve their journeys. The important key here is that we’re looking for where the volume of your user behavior is going. For example, if a customer abandons their cart, what percent go back to the previous page or edit cart vs. fully close out of the page? Where do they go next?

A couple of key questions your team should be asking themselves here:

  • How often do customers actually follow the “happy path” that I have designed for them?
  • When they deviate from that path, where do they go?

3. KPIs: This is an obvious one, but it has to be on the list. If your company does not have an existing dashboard that clearly tells a story around your top KPIs, we have a couple of useful articles on data quality management and the power of data storytelling that will help guide your journey.

User recordings

Simply put, there is no better way to visualize how your customers are experiencing your brand or product than watching them navigate the pages of your website or interact in your app. Better yet, there is no better way to illustrate the pain they feel when they run into a roadblock or can’t find what they’re looking for.

We strongly suggest implementing one of any number of UX recording tools to catalog, tag, and view user sessions. Even watching just 10-20 recordings per week could unlock major advances in understanding how to deliver on user expectations. While it’s not the only source of data you should rely upon, we’ve often found there is nothing better to bring a story to life than this.

How to make the most of your data to understand customer perspectives

We’ve covered a lot of ground here, yet there’s still so much more to unlocking the power of insight into customer perspectives. If we can leave you with just one thought, it is this…

Understanding customer perspectives is all about understanding their customer journeys. Each of the tactics we’ve covered here is oriented toward illuminating those journeys, either by collecting direct feedback on a string of snapshots in time, or by actually tracking the step-by-step progress of customers (microconversions) on the way to a conversion. 

And once you have collected the data, the next step is to leverage the data to understand how to remove friction, eliminate confusion, and simplify the process of customers getting to their ultimate end goals. See how we helped an e-commerce company double its revenue in just three  months by doing just that. Interested in learning more about how we can help your business measure and activate on your customers’ perspectives? Drop us a line…

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News Reaching New Customers SEO Strategy

Let’s talk about voice search optimization

Picture this voice search scenario: you’re elbow-deep in flour and cocoa powder, trying to satisfy a late-night chocolate craving by testing out a new recipe for killer brownies. However, as you’re about to mix up the wet ingredients, you realize there’s only one egg left in the carton when the recipe calls for two. If you’re like me and many others, your next move is to call out and ask a smart speaker for help. 

And depending on your intent and your preferred device, your pleas might sound like any of the following:

  • “Hey Siri, what’s a good substitute for eggs in a brownie recipe?”
  • “Alexa, can I order some eggs online for same-day delivery?”
  • “Hey Google, how do I get to the nearest bakery with brownies?”
  • “Hey Bixby, what are the top-rated brownie places closest to me?”
  • “Cortana, are any grocery stores near me open right now?”

In this moment of utter desperation, you’ve just proven the value of voice search optimization for queries with all kinds of search intents: informational, transactional, navigational, commercial, and even local. Data from Juniper Research suggests that consumers will interact with voice search on more than 8.4 billion devices by the end of 2024, doubled from just 4.2 billion devices in 2020. 

With so many devices in use and consumers seeking answers, voice search optimization is an increasingly important consideration in a robust digital marketing strategy.

Why should voice search optimization be part of your digital strategy?

It’s a scary truth: ignoring voice search will leave a giant chunk of potential customers on the table. Here are a few of the reasons why you should jump on the voice search optimization bandwagon.

Voice search is everywhere

More than a quarter of all searches in the Google App are conducted by voice. This presents a massive opportunity to reach new audiences who are actively seeking information and making purchases through voice commands on their smartphones and mobile devices.

Voice searches are high-intent and convert

Voice search queries tend to be more specific and have higher conversion rates compared to traditional text searches. It’s estimated that voice search generated over $40 billion in 2023, and that number is still on the rise in 2024. People using voice search are often closer to making a purchase decision, making it an important part of the sales funnel.

Voice search optimization improves brand awareness

Optimizing for voice search can help your brand appear in those coveted “featured snippets” displayed at the top of search results. This increases brand visibility and establishes you as a trusted source of information.

Voice search is rapidly becoming the preferred method of search, especially for mobile users. By optimizing now, you’ll be ahead of the curve and ready to capitalize on this growing trend.

What factors impact voice search rankings?

Remember our late-night brownie crisis? Imagine how many other people ask similar questions with their voice assistants every day. Optimizing your website for voice search boils down to understanding how people speak, not just how they type.

Here’s some of the secret sauce behind how voice search optimization works:

Keywords vs. natural language

Forget stuffing your website with generic keywords. Voice search users ask questions in a natural, conversational way. Think “How do I…?” or “What are the best…?” Optimizing for long-tail keywords and natural language phrases is key.

Local optimization

“Hey Siri, find a bakery near me” are powerful words for local businesses, especially those who cater to consumers on the go. Voice search in cars is rapidly replacing the center touch screen in our cars, with Volkswagen even integrating ChatGPT into its vehicles for the 2024 model year.

Mobile-first indexing

Because most voice searches happen on mobile devices, prioritizing a mobile-friendly website is crucial. Fast loading times, a user-friendly interface, and clear click-to-call buttons are all essential elements.

Structured data markup

Think of this as labeling your website’s content for search engines. Structured data and schema markup help search engines understand what your website is about and can improve your chances of appearing in rich voice search results. For example, a recipe website could use structured data to highlight ingredients, cooking times, and nutritional information.

How is voice search optimization different from traditional SEO?

We all know that SEO is here to stay. It remains the foundation of a strong online presence, ensuring your website is crawlable, indexable, and relevant for search terms. However, voice search optimization takes SEO a step further and into the future. 

Here’s a tasty analogy: traditional SEO is like your brownie base. You focus on high-quality ingredients (relevant keywords), precise measurements (on-page optimization), and a solid baking technique (website structure). This ensures a delicious foundation for your brownies. Voice search optimization is like adding the finishing touches to your brownies. You sprinkle on user intent with long-tail keywords and natural language phrases. You might then add a layer of conversational content, ensuring it’s clear and answers user questions directly. Finally, you can even consider adding some “voice search sprinkles” like schema markup for extra flavor and improved search ranking.

How to optimize a website for voice search

Are you ready to start a conversation with your customers and stand out in voice search results? 

Here are some actionable tips to get you started with voice search optimization, building on the strong foundation of your existing SEO strategy:

  • Focus on conversational AI: As voice search technology continues to evolve, consider how conversational AI can enhance your website’s user experience and inform voice search responses.
  • Conduct keyword research with a twist: Look at all kinds of keywords in your research but focus on long-tail and natural language phrases people might use in questions.
  • Consider content a conversation: Think of your website content as a conversation with a real person. Use natural language, answer questions directly, and address user intent.
  • Embrace long-form content: In-depth content that provides comprehensive answers to user queries is valuable for voice search.
  • Optimize for featured snippets: Aim to get your website featured in the coveted answer box at the top of search results. Focus on concise answers to frequently asked questions.
  • Prioritize local SEO: Since many voice searches have local intent (“find a restaurant near me”), optimizing your local SEO strategy is crucial. Ensure a consistent brand voice and accurate information across local listings like Google Business Profile, Yelp, and Apple Maps.
  • Implement schema markup: Structured data markup helps search engines understand your content and can improve your chances of appearing in rich voice search results.

By implementing these tactics and building on your ongoing SEO strategy, you can optimize your website for voice search and capture conversational users with a variety of search intents at varying positions in the conversion funnel.

Remember, the goal is to be there when those late-night brownie cravings (or any other search queries) strike, providing users with the information and resources they need through the power of their voice.

Is voice search optimization on the tip of your tongue? We’ve got ideas to keep the conversation rolling. See how Tallwave can support your digital endeavors with integrated marketing services and more. Let’s chat.

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CRO Customer Engagement News Paid Media Reaching New Customers SEO Uncategorized

The rise of social shopping: How your feed becomes your marketplace

The way consumers interact with brands has undergone a significant transformation with the growing popularity of social ecommerce. This emerging form of shopping allows consumers to explore products and complete transactions through social media while creating a more engaging consumer journey and presenting new opportunities for brands to capture consumer interest. What once served as platforms for sharing photos, connecting with friends, and staying updated on the latest trends have now transformed into dynamic marketplaces where users can seamlessly transition from liking a product to making a purchase, all within the same app.

The emergence of social ecommerce

Online shopping has seen substantial growth thanks to the swift expansion of social ecommerce.  Global regions like China are setting the social ecommerce bar high for all brands by hosting 2-hour live shopping experiences on Tik Tok, and by creating augmented reality (AR) lenses on Snapchat that allow social shoppers to “try-on” items and share with friends. These sales-generating trends have illuminated a social shopping opportunity that the US has begun to emulate, leading to an increase of social shopping. McKinsey estimates that by 2025, social commerce in the US will have generated about $80 billion in sales (up from $37 billion in 2021) and global sales will have exceeded $2 trillion.

Social platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, and Snapchat have integrated social ecommerce capabilities into their user experiences. Instagram’s ecommerce shop feature is essentially a storefront housed inside of the platform, making it easier for consumers to find and buy things featured in their feeds by enabling businesses to tag products in their posts and stories. In a similar vein, TikTok has debuted shoppable livestreams, which enable brands to showcase their goods in real time and enable instant transactions. This in turn allows customers to communicate with content creators directly during the live streams so they can ask questions about the featured products. This convenience creates a better customer experience that drives incremental sales. 

Customer behavior and mobile-first shopping 

The popularity of mobile shopping is another element fueling the expansion of social ecommerce. Through the use of mobile phones, consumers can link directly and immediately to brands, which in turn enables personalized recommendations as well as targeted ads and real-time promotions. Social media platforms are internet marketplaces where users can explore products, read reviews, or even interact with different brands in a single interface. Basically, social media apps have made it very easy for people to browse, share, and buy products, making shopping more accessible and convenient than ever before thereby completely changing the retail landscape. With social media platforms evolving to become more mobile-friendly and creating mobile-first experiences through their apps, the influence of mobile shopping is expected to further accelerate, shaping the future of ecommerce.

Blurring boundaries: Content and social ecommerce strategy 

In the contemporary digital world, remarkable social media content is critical in creating interest, user engagement, and subsequent purchases. Top-tier content incorporates helpful visuals, enlightening videos, and captivating product stories that go beyond basic product descriptions and feature lists to forge emotional bonds with customers. This blend is crucial for grabbing user attention and fostering trust. Leveraging targeted messaging, product tagging, and in-app showcases, brands can bring their offerings to life, highlighting their distinctive value propositions while tackling consumer concerns head-on. Additionally, user-generated content, plus real-life testimonials, helps boost credibility and influence purchasing choices made by consumers. Great social media contents enable brands to develop close relationships with customers, thus enhancing brand loyalty as well as conversion rates all through the immersive world of social ecommerce.

Know your customers: Social shopping by generation 

It is important to note that each generation views and utilizes social media shopping differently. Hubspot compiled data on generational shopping habits over a three-month period and unveiled how each generation shops on social media platforms, which can be used to inform marketing strategies. According to Hubspot, Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X exhibit more enthusiasm for shopping via social media platforms compared to Baby Boomers. Gen Z takes the lead with 23%, closely followed by Millennials at 21%. In contrast, Gen X accounts for 13%, while Baby Boomers lag significantly behind at 3%. Among those interested in online shopping, 28% of Gen Z and Millennials have made direct purchases through social media, with 18% of Gen X also participating, whereas only 4% of Boomers engage in social shopping.

Gen Z is dominating the realm of social shopping. This is probably in part because they grew up in such a technologically advanced era. This generation is using social media platforms as search engines in order to discover brands and their shopping behavior indicates that though they are buying fewer items, they are buying items with a high value. For all generations, posting high quality content on organic and paid social media channels, setting up social media storefronts, and tagging products are great ways to build trust, especially with the Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers who browse but do not always commit to making a purchase on social platforms. It’s important to remember that even if social ecommerce isn’t the preferred channel for transacting purchases, it can be an important part of the path to purchase in other channels. So a good social ecommerce strategy is cross-generational.

Challenges and considerations for brands

Social ecommerce, the amalgamation of social media and ecommerce, represents a dynamic frontier for brands seeking innovative ways to connect with consumers and optimize their marketing strategies. As with any new frontier, there will be both opportunities and bumpy roads ahead. 

Through data analytics and tracking tools embedded in social platforms, social ecommerce provides valuable insights into consumer behavior and preferences for brands. This information includes user interactions and engagement patterns as well as purchasing history that can help companies identify opportunities for improvement. Effective businesses will often use this data to segment their target audience so they can deliver content that has been personalized to meet individual tastes and wants. As a result, businesses develop stronger customer relationships resulting in brand loyalty.

However, despite its promises, social ecommerce also presents a range of challenges. One significant hurdle is the saturation and competitiveness of social media platforms, which makes it difficult for brands to cut through noise and attract consumer attention. One way for brands to do this is by doubling down on personalization to ensure relevance and increase the likelihood of grabbing consumers’ attention. Additionally, ever-changing algorithms adopted by different networks together with rules governing advertising create another, requiring companies to continuously realign their tactics. One potential solution is for brands to focus on building a strong foundation for their marketing strategy. This may include: 

  • Diversifying advertising on social platforms: This can help mitigate the impact of sudden algorithm changes on any single platform.
  • Audience engagement: Actively engaging with the audience on social media can help brands build a strong community that will continue to engage with their content regardless of algorithm changes, mitigating the impact.
  • Analytics and data: Regularly analyze advertising data and performance by conducting A/B testing to understand what strategies are most effective. This data-driven approach can help you optimize your tactics in response to algorithm changes.

Moreover, privacy concerns and data security issues are paramount considerations in the realm of social ecommerce. When collecting consumer information for personalization purposes, transparency, consent, and data protection must be observed to maintain consumer trust and compliance with regulatory requirements. If not properly addressed, these issues can not only damage the reputation of a brand but also lead to legal implications. Brands that wish to use social ecommerce should therefore put in place strong data governance practices and ethical principles so that they may protect consumer privacy while enhancing trust with consumers. 

Read more: Is SEO the secret to social media success? It could be.

Even though there are numerous opportunities for brands to foster engagement and sales through social ecommerce, marketers must exercise strategic, holistic approaches that consider both opportunities and potential obstacles.

Embrace the social media shopping revolution

The emergence of social ecommerce signifies a paradigm change in the way companies interact with customers and conduct online sales. Marketers can turn their feeds into dynamic markets that increase engagement, encourage loyalty, and increase revenue by utilizing social media’s power and embracing social shopping technologies. With the boundaries between social media and ecommerce becoming increasingly hazy, the future of shopping is in our hands as our feeds transform into virtual marketplaces.

Are you ready to grow your strategy for marketing? Get in contact with us, and together, we can begin converting your social feed into a dynamic marketplace that drives results. 

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CRO Customer Engagement Paid Media Reaching New Customers SEO

The road to victory: Paid media strategies in an election and Olympic year

For a few months every four years, the U.S. presidential election and Summer Olympics dominate the media landscape and create major challenges for advertisers trying to establish reach, maintain ad frequency, and meet cost per acquisition (CPA) goals. From roughly mid-July to early November, election campaigns and Olympic promotions overtake ad inventory, limiting supply and driving up costs for other advertisers. 

In 2020, the Tokyo Olympics attracted $2.25 billion in U.S. ad revenue and the U.S. election cycle totaled an unprecedented $2.5 billion of ad revenue. And that’s just for TV ads! With all of that extra competition in the market, breaking through the clutter and maintaining effective reach and frequency without breaking the bank becomes a major challenge for most advertisers.

Let’s explore how a thoughtful election- and Olympic-year paid media strategy can help you emerge victorious from this quagmire. After all, who doesn’t love a good underdog story?

Politics and pentathlons: The negative impacts on marketing

Before we discuss strategy, it’s important to understand what is at risk during these quadrennial events. Here are some of the ways your current paid media plan might feel the impact of the election/Olympic year:

Limited inventory

Channels like traditional broadcast, out-of-home (billboards, transit, airport advertising, etc.), and even CTV, have a finite amount of ad inventory. As politicians, advocacy groups, super PACs, the Olympic Games, and the likes buy up ad inventory, it becomes a challenge for other advertisers to secure inventory for themselves. 

For election candidate advertising specifically, the FCC requires broadcast stations and cable systems to charge legally qualified candidates the lowest unit prices, making TV advertising more affordable, and increasing the likelihood of those candidates purchasing a lot of inventory. Additionally, because candidates are guaranteed the lowest unit price that other customers receive, this means that you likely won’t be able to secure any zero-cost added value spots during this time.

In an effort to treat competing candidates fairly, the FCC also requires broadcast stations to abide by the “equal time” rule. This means that if one candidate gets a spot in the 6p news, the other candidates must also be able to receive a similar spot. As such, many non-political advertisers get preempted (“bumped”) during this time and may not receive makegoods during the desired window. This rule makes it especially challenging for advertisers who are operating within very specific promotional windows.

With political and Olympic ads taking over the airwaves, it becomes difficult for other advertisers to secure any ad inventory at all, yet alone enough to maintain an effective reach and frequency that will grow brand awareness or compel action from potential customers.

Cluttered ad space

As politics and Olympic promotion overtake traditional advertising outlets, many non-political and Olympic advertisers will move into the digital realm to secure inventory and lock in flat rates. The political and Olympic advertisers will be here too by the way. As you can imagine (or have experienced first hand in years past), the digital marketplace becomes inundated with heated political messaging and inspirational (usually sports-themed) stories, on top of all the normal ad clutter. 

It can be extremely challenging to break through all this noise. Consumers often get overwhelmed by excessive advertising, making it less likely that they will engage with or be influenced by ads.

Increased costs

While broadcast stations are required to keep costs low for advertisers, digital channels are not. Costs on Google, Meta, and other auction-based platforms will surge as competition increases. Cost per clicks (CPCs) and cost per conversions (CPAs) will increase as advertisers bid against each other to win ad space. Target CPAs are going to take more work to hit as each impression becomes significantly more expensive to secure. While you can still serve ads within a set budget, your paid media dollars won’t go nearly as far in auction-based platforms as they normally would outside the election and Olympic seasons.

Taking the podium: Overcome obstacles with a winning strategy

While the challenges that exist during an election and Olympic year may seem daunting, it’s not too late to implement a winning strategy. Strategically planning ahead can help mitigate these challenges:

Adapt your channel strategy

Perhaps the most obvious response to the challenges highlighted above would be to adjust your paid media channel strategy. The limited inventory on traditional broadcast channels will make it difficult to maintain an effective reach and frequency and auction-based digital platforms will experience increased costs. While you may not want to exclude these channels altogether, consider countering those challenges by:

  • Secure broadcast sponsorships and packages: These often guarantee a minimum number of impressions without the possibility of being preempted.
  • Extend your broadcast impressions with digital video and streaming audio: These channels have more inventory and often allow you to negotiate flat CPM rates.
  • Invest in podcasts: Podcasts break through the clutter by speaking to highly engaged listeners.
  • Incorporate flat-rate digital platforms: Plan ahead and collaborate with digital partners that will guarantee flat CPM/CPC pricing to avoid the increased bidding costs.

Understand your audience

As inventory shrinks and costs rise, efficiency is key. Don’t let your advertising dollars go to waste serving impressions to people outside your audience. 

Many marketers use demographics to define their target audience, but demographics have little to do with why a person takes a particular action. Well ahead of the Opening Ceremonies and primary elections, consider investing in values-based persona research to more clearly define who your audience is and what motivates them so that you can tailor your messaging and creative accordingly. Effective ad messaging and creative that resonates with your audience will help break through the ad clutter and drive action during a time when consumers are faced with significant distractions.

Additionally, make sure you’re investing in your first-party data to understand consumer behavior. Today, marketers collect more data than ever before, but often struggle to harness the power of that data in a way that yields actionable insights. Effective data quality management enables you to analyze the right data points that help you understand your customer, enhance their experiences, and optimize campaigns for more efficient and effective results.

Invest in Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy is the insurance policy for any paid media plan. A strong paid media strategy can drive significant traffic to a landing page, but if users are met with a poor website experience, they might leave without converting, thus creating a leaky bucket situation. A strategic CRO program systematically tests various iterations of website design and functionality to weed out points of friction and increase conversion rates. 

By investing in CRO strategy ahead of the election and Olympic year, you can help prevent valuable paid media traffic from trickling away pre-conversion during that time when paid media traffic is more expensive and harder to come by. During election and Olympic years, when digital costs increase and consumer attention is being directed elsewhere, decreases in conversion rates are almost guaranteed. An effective CRO strategy will help offset the anticipated decrease in conversion rates.

Learn more about CRO and other Integrated Digital Marketing Services from Tallwave.

Emerge victorious

Strategically planning ahead is key to ensuring strong paid media performance during election and Olympic years. Ready to get started? Let Tallwave help you get the most out of your paid media budget this election and Olympic year.

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Customer Engagement News Paid Media Product Design Reaching New Customers SEO Strategy

Building a business-ready website: Beyond the surface of your website strategy

In the fast-evolving digital landscape, a website is more than a digital brand extension— it’s a dynamic tool that can either advance or inhibit business. Creating a high-performing website requires moving beyond surface-level aesthetics to consider the functionality required to meet business goals effectively.

A website is arguably the most persistent external expression of a brand and one of the hardest working tools in the digital marketing arsenal. It’s the digital front door of your business and a frequent destination for customers at multiple points in their journeys. And yet, website strategy is often only skin deep, focused heavily on how a website looks rather than on how it functions. And it’s often short-term, considering the roles your website plays for your customers and your business today and note how it will need to evolve to meet needs in the future. When it comes to creating high-performing websites built to go the distance for both brands and customers, three is the magic number. 

The magic triangle: Role, goals, and audience

A triangulated approach that considers roles, goals, and audience can help you plan for successful and sustainable websites. This interconnected approach ensures that the website is not only visually appealing but also aligned with the broader business objectives. Let’s break down the elements:

Role: The purpose of your website

Understanding the role your website plays in your business is the first consideration in this website strategy power trio. At a basic level, websites can play two roles: business-enabling and revenue-driving. 

Business-enabling websites can support your business in a number of ways, including:

  • Acting as a support system for external revenue channels: Business-enabling websites act as a powerful support system for your existing revenue channels, such as your sales force. They don’t directly generate revenue themselves, but they play a critical role in nurturing leads, building brand awareness, and ultimately driving conversions through those external channels.
  • Encouraging high-value microconversions: While not the final sale, business-enabling websites excel at capturing high-value microconversions. These actions represent significant steps forward in the customer journey, indicating a prospect’s growing interest in your brand. Examples include lead capture forms, content downloads (e.g., white papers, ebooks), and newsletter signups.
  • Fueling the customer journey: Business-enabling websites are instrumental in moving potential customers through the buyer’s journey and down the sales funnel. By providing valuable content, educational resources, and clear calls to action, these websites nurture leads, build trust, and position your brand as a leader in your industry.

On the other hand, revenue-driving websites support transactions and encourage conversion, directly contributing to a brand’s bottom line. Consider how revenue-driving websites can support your business:

  • Acting as a revenue generating powerhouse platform: Revenue-driving websites are the engines that directly power your business’s revenue generation. These websites are transactional in nature, facilitating online purchases and financial transactions. Examples include traditional e-commerce stores selling physical goods, food delivery platforms where customers can order meals, travel booking websites where users can reserve flights and accommodations, and service-oriented e-commerce sites.
  • Encouraging transactions: The primary function of revenue-driving websites is to facilitate secure and seamless online transactions. This includes features like shopping carts, secure payment gateways, and clear order fulfillment processes.
  • Suiting your needs: Revenue-driving websites encompass a wide range of e-commerce models. From traditional product sales through an online store to service-based transactions, these websites cater to a variety of industries and customer needs.

Clearly defining whether your website plays a business-enabling or revenue-driving role for your business sets the foundation for the subsequent decisions in your strategy, from critical KPIs to key features and functionality, necessary integrations, and more. It also sets the stage for the expectations users will have when visiting your website.

Goals: What you seek to accomplish with your website

Now that you understand the role your website plays in your business, it’s time to define your website goals. You might consider setting these objectives with SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Website goals will vary depending on your website’s role and your overall business objectives. 

Consider the following examples:

  • Business-enabling website goals:
    • Generate a set number of qualified leads per month
    • Increase brand awareness and website traffic
    • Drive event registrations or webinar signups
    • Improve content engagement through downloads or shares
  • Revenue-driving website goals:
    • Increase online sales by a specific percentage
    • Grow average order value
    • Reduce cart abandonment rates
    • Improve customer lifetime value

Establishing clear and measurable website goals can help you track progress, identify areas for improvement, and ensure that your website strategy aligns directly with your business objectives.

Audience: Who your website is speaking to

Your target audience plays a critical role in shaping your website’s design, content, information architecture, and functionality. Here’s why understanding your audience analysis is vital when thinking about website strategy:

  • Tailored user experience: By understanding your audience’s needs, preferences, and online behavior, you can create a user experience (UX) that resonates with them. This translates to a website that’s easy to navigate, informative, and facilitates desired actions, ultimately influencing conversion rates.
  • Content strategy alignment: Knowing your audience empowers you to develop a content strategy that truly connects. This means crafting content that addresses their pain points, interests them, and guides them through the buying journey.
  • Personalization potential: Audience insights can unlock personalization opportunities. This could involve tailoring website elements, product recommendations, or even entire landing pages to specific audience segments, leading to a more relevant and engaging experience.
  • Search engine visibility: Understanding your audience paves the way for essential SEO optimizations fueled by linguistic profiling and search journey analysis. Implementing data-driven optimizations based on these findings can improve search engine rankings and organic visibility for your business.

Learn more about SEO and other Integrated Digital Marketing Services from Tallwave.

Having a clear understanding of your target audience is the bridge that connects your website’s features and functionality with the user experience that drives results. Effective audience analysis involves:

  • Buyer persona development: Create detailed profiles of your ideal customers, including demographics, valuegraphics, needs, challenges, and preferred online behavior.
  • Website analytics review: Utilize website traffic data to understand visitor demographics, interests, and content consumption patterns.
  • Market research: Conduct market research to gain insights into broader industry trends and competitor audience strategies.

By combining these methods, you can create a comprehensive understanding of your target audience and leverage that knowledge to build a website that truly resonates with them.

Evaluating your website’s business readiness: Beyond the surface

While websites serve as prominent brand outposts, often acting as the initial point, their multifaceted nature can pose a challenge. Teams can get caught up in the aesthetics – visuals, interactive elements, and the like – neglecting to truly get under the hood and identify underlying strengths and opportunities.

Before you put your website to work, it’s essential to get down to business and review your site under the following lenses:

  • Technical infrastructure: Is the website’s technical foundation robust enough to support your business goals seamlessly, both today and into the future? This includes aspects like website speed, mobile-friendliness, security measures, and content delivery efficiency.
  • Customer experience (CX): Does the customer journey feel intuitive and cater to your target audience’s needs? Assess whether the website is optimized for high-value conversions aligned with your business objectives.
  • Accessibility: Is your website accessible for users with disabilities? Ensure that your website’s design and content adhere to WCAG guidelines. This means implementing features like alt text for images, keyboard navigation options, and proper headings.
  • Navigation paths and flows: Does your website seamlessly guide visitors toward their next steps, building upon interactions with other digital touchpoints in your brand ecosystem? A well-structured website anticipates user intent and facilitates a smooth journey towards conversions.
  • Design: Does the website effectively reflect your brand identity? Validate your website against your brand guidelines to determine if the visual elements, as well as content, are applied consistently across all pages.
  • Marketing and sales strategy alignment: Is your website an active participant in driving your marketing and sales efforts? It is important to make sure your website integrates with your marketing automation tools, facilitates lead capture, and effectively supports your sales funnel. It’s also critical to ensure the content management system on which your website is built supports the frequency with which updates may need to be made and the level of technical skill of those who will be responsible for making them.

This multifaceted evaluation approach can help uncover hidden roadblocks and optimization opportunities that ensure your website is not just visually appealing but strategically positioned to support your business goals.

Ongoing optimizations: Sustainable website strategy

Your website is a living entity, not a static brochure. Don’t “set it and forget it.” To maintain your website’s strategic effectiveness, you must plan for ongoing and iterative optimizations. Here are some key practices to keep in mind post-launch:

  • A/B testing: Test different website elements, like headlines, call-to-action buttons, or page layouts, to see what resonates best with your audience and drives conversions.
  • Data-driven decision-making: Leverage website analytics and user behavior data to inform website improvements and prioritize resources effectively.
  • SEO optimizations and content enhancements: Regularly update your website content with fresh, keyword-rich, relevant information to maintain user engagement and improve search engine ranking.
  • Mobile-first approach: Even in B2B scenarios, first contact often happens in the palms of your customers’ hands. Ensure your website is responsive and optimized for mobile devices.
  • Security maintenance: Regularly update your website’s security measures to protect user data and website functionality, especially when relying on cloud-based tools and data storage.

A well-defined website strategy is no longer optional – it’s a necessity. By understanding the role your website plays in your business strategy, your target audience, and your desired goals, you can create a website that is not just visually appealing, but strategically designed to drive impactful results.

And you don’t have to go at it alone. Tallwave is eager to create website strategy solutions that align with your consumers and meet them where they are when they need you most. Let’s talk.

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Customer Engagement Reaching New Customers SEO Strategy

Holistic search strategy: A Grandmaster’s approach 

Conquering the digital landscape to boost online visibility and establish brand presence requires a strategic approach that mirrors mastering a chess game. It’s all about drawing up and executing a holistic search strategy that covers every angle of the digital marketing board. 

With time and money on the clock, crafting a holistic search strategy looks like the meticulous planning and execution required in a high-stakes game. Achieving grandmaster marketing status isn’t merely about making moves; it’s about anticipating your opponent’s next steps. And by combining search engine optimization, search engine marketing, and other winning tactics with a holistic approach, you’ll be prepared for success at every turn.

The opening gambit: Unveiling the holistic search strategy

A holistic search strategy breaks down silos between paid search and organic search efforts. By analyzing data from both channels together, you can create a unified strategy that maximizes your visibility across search engine results pages. This approach ensures your website aligns with user needs at every stage of the customer journey, ultimately driving overall search performance.

It’s about weaving together the threads of customer behavior, market trends, and competitive intelligence to inform strategic decisions with optimism and purpose. By gathering and leveraging data from diverse sources, such as search engine analytics, valuegraphics, and market research, a holistic search strategy strives to optimize many facets of a brand’s online presence. 

Much like a well-executed gambit, implementing a holistic search strategy can maximize ROI by aligning marketing efforts with the evolving audience needs and preferences, ensuring sustained success in the digital board.

The middle game: Key elements in play

SEM, SEO, and conversion rate optimization are a triple threat in the digital realm and serve as the key elements in a holistic search and integrated marketing strategy. 

SEM: The Rook

Our agile rook, SEM, charges forth with paid campaigns, reaching engaged audiences, amplifying brand visibility in search engines, and driving traffic to websites. Unlike the organic approach of SEO, paid search utilizes paid advertising platforms to quickly reach engaged audiences and achieve faster visibility. 

Like a rook on a chessboard, SEM is a very powerful piece in a marketing plan, but it requires strategic planning to effectively deploy:

  • Keyword strategy: Leverage organic keyword research to inform which keywords you will bid on and which keywords you want to exclude from campaigns. Include a healthy mix of brand and non-brand keywords, and test bid strategies on those keywords.
  • Aligned ad and landing page copy: It is important that the ad copy aligns with the copy on the landing page it drives traffic to. This helps ensure a cohesive user experience, which generally results in better performance.
  • Use your assets: Don’t settle for just headlines and descriptions— take advantage of site links, callouts, structured snippets, phone extensions, lead forms, locations, prices, and promotional features to capture user attention and drive immediate action.

SEO: The Queen

The queen of your strategy, SEO orchestrates content, keywords, and technical aspects, ensuring your website ranks high on the digital field of play. Imagine it as the most versatile force, attracting organic traffic through optimized content, targeted keywords, and a user-friendly website structure. Think of SEO as building a sturdy, well-defended castle, organically attracting visitors with relevant content and strategic placement with vast mobility. 

Here, SEO serves as that central force:

  • Keyword research: Like a skilled scout, SEO identifies the most relevant search queries and key phrases your target audience is using.
  • Content creation: Drawing on these insights, SEO transforms into an informed storyteller, crafting engaging, informative content that resonates with your audience and answers their burning questions.
  • On-page optimization: Finally, SEO acts as the architect, meticulously optimizing website elements like title tags, meta descriptions, and internal linking, ensuring search engines can easily understand and index your content.

See our latest client success story to understand how SEO and content strategy can lay the foundation for success in the SERPs.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): The King

As the game nears its climax, we focus on conversion rate optimization (CRO). Much like a well-executed endgame, CRO ensures that every move, or every click, counts. 

Here’s how:

  • A/B testing: A/B testing allows you to explore different variations of elements like landing page design, call-to-action placement, and content structure. This data-driven approach helps refine your tactics, uncover winning combinations, and constantly improve your conversion rate. Meticulously testing different strategies can help identify the most effective approach for your target audience.
  • Strategic landing page optimization: Landing pages guide visitors toward desired actions, such as making a purchase or subscribing to a newsletter. By optimizing them for seamless user experience and clear calls to action, you convert interest into tangible results. Think of landing pages as kings capturing website visitors by providing a clear path to desired actions.

SERP dominance: Checkmate

Securing top positions on the SERPs and winning clicks is the endgame in a holistic search strategy. Success looks like seeing your brand in the top positions for relevant keywords, increasing your brand visibility, and driving significant organic traffic toward your website. From organic and paid search results to Google Shopping ads, answer boxes, featured snippets, videos, and images, provide search engines and users with a clear understanding of your content and increase the click-through rate for your organic listings. Think of SERP dominance as securing the king’s position and establishing your brand as a leader in the digital landscape.

Learn more about SEO, SEM, CRO, and other Integrated Digital Marketing Services from Tallwave.

The ever-evolving chessboard: Adapting to change

The digital realm is dynamic, constantly shifting and evolving. Just as Garry Kasparov adapted in response to every single one of Deep Blue’s moves, brands too must be adaptable and responsive in their holistic search strategies. 

Here are some key moves to keep your holistic search strategy at the top of its game:

  • Embrace new technologies: Stay informed about emerging technology and industry trends, such as voice search and SGE, and incorporate them into your strategy. Get started with our blog about SEO trends in 2024.
  • Monitor algorithm updates: Search engines regularly update their algorithms, which can impact your rankings. Stay informed about these updates and adjust your strategy accordingly.
  • Analyze your data: Regularly analyze your website traffic and user behavior data with GA4’s new metrics to identify areas for improvement and optimize your strategy for long-term success.
  • Keep learning, keep growing: The digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving, so continuous learning is essential. Stay up-to-date with industry trends, attend workshops, and actively seek new knowledge.

Take the board with purpose (and Tallwave)

Just as in a friendly game of chess, adopting a holistic search strategy means thinking ahead, staying flexible, and making smart moves to outmaneuver the competition. In this dynamic arena, where algorithms are always changing and search trends are in flux from day to day, taking an integrated approach will help your brand stay sharp and ahead of the curve.

And when you’re ready to level up your search strategy and capture the king, Tallwave is ready to support your success. We’ve got all the pieces arranged on the board; take the first two squares forward by reaching out to us now.

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Customer Engagement Reaching New Customers SEO Strategy

Microconversions: Unlocking the power of incremental steps in your conversion funnel

Introduction: What is a microconversion?

In the dynamic world of digital marketing, where every click and interaction matters, understanding microconversions is crucial. But what exactly are they? Let’s start by demystifying this term.

What is a microconversion?

A microconversion is any incremental step a user takes to show initial interest in your brand or product. Unlike the grand finale of a macroconversion, like a product purchase or subscription that constitutes a final goal and often achieves a financial outcome, microconversions are the incremental steps along the way that lead up to those final actions. Imagine a visitor to your website as a curious explorer embarking on a journey. Along the way, they encounter various signposts, each representing a microconversion. These small actions might not lead immediately to a purchase, but they’re part of the breadcrumb trail that leads prospective customers to that final transaction.

Learn more about the power of the “micro-yes” in sales.

Why do microconversions matter?

1. Trust building and brand advocacy

Microconversions are like the first handshake between you and your potential customer. At the earlier stages of the buying journey, some common microconversions include:

  • Email newsletter sign-up: When a visitor subscribes to your newsletter, they express interest in staying connected. This small commitment builds trust and opens the door for further communication.
  • Social media sharing: When someone shares your content on social platforms, they vouch for your brand. Their endorsement reaches a wider audience, potentially attracting new visitors and signaling trust and confidence in your brand.

2. Insights into user behavior and intent

Microconversions provide valuable insights into user behavior. By tracking these smaller interactions, you gain a deeper understanding of what resonates with your audience and gain insights into the stage of the buyer’s journey they’re in and their needs at that stage. Examples include:

  • Page views: The number of pages a visitor views indicates their level of engagement. High page views suggest interest, while low views may signal disinterest. The nature of the content on the pages viewed can also illuminate stage and intent. For example, if a visitor navigates to specific product pages, adds products to a cart, or reviews a page on returns, those behaviors are all microconversions on the path to purchase that signal a higher degree of intent than a visitor that lands on your home page and then leaves.
  • Comments on blog articles: Engaged users often leave comments. These interactions reveal their preferences and pain points.

3. Optimization opportunities

Microconversions act as breadcrumbs leading you through the forest of user experience. They can also serve as a “canary in the coalmine” of your digital engagements, signaling friction that can then be resolved and highlighting areas for improvement. Consider:

  • Process milestones: These are linear steps toward the primary macroconversion. Analyzing them helps identify bottlenecks and UX pain points. For example, for one client, we pinpointed significant dropoff between the process milestones of viewing a product page and adding the product to a cart, particularly for mobile users. We discovered this was due to an issue causing the “add to cart” button to display much further down the page than intended, causing many users to overlook it and abandon the page. Addressing this issue allowed us to increase add-to-cart actions by 3.8x.
  • Secondary actions: These desirable but non-primary goals indicate potential future macroconversions. Examples include downloading an ebook, creating an account, or watching a video. Using these secondary actions as opportunities to deploy targeted outreach can be a great way to optimize the path to purchase with stage-specific content and messaging that nurtures prospective customers toward other high-value actions.

Monitoring and measuring microconversions: Enhancing your conversion insights

Understanding what microconversions are and the signals they represent is only half the battle. Unlocking their power to gain insights into the path to macroconversions and inform strategies for optimizing digital experiences to improve conversion requires ongoing monitoring and measurement. Both the types of data each microconversion produces and the methods for collecting and analyzing that data vary:

Qualitative data

Qualitative data can be invaluable for getting a sense for how effectively website visitors are navigating to and completing microconversions and where they may be encountering roadblocks in the path toward macroconversions. Here are some common approaches for gathering qualitative data on microconversions and examples of these measurement methodologies in action:

Heat mapping & scroll mapping

Heat mapping is like having a thermal camera for your website. It visually represents user behavior by highlighting the “hot” and “cold” areas of a webpage based on where users click, scroll, hover, and otherwise interact with the page (and where they don’t). Here’s how it works:

  • Heat maps: These colorful overlays show where users click, move their mouse, or spend the most time. Red and orange areas indicate high activity, while blue and green areas are less frequented.
  • Scroll maps: These reveal how far users scroll down a page. Understanding where visitors drop off helps optimize content placement.

Example: Imagine an e-commerce site. A heat map reveals that users consistently click on the “Add to Cart” button but rarely explore the footer links. This insight prompts you to enhance the checkout process and reposition critical links.

Session recording

Session recording is like a digital surveillance system for your website. It records user sessions, capturing every click, scroll, and interaction through the eyes of the user. Key points:

  • User behavior: Watch real users navigate your site. Understand their pain points, hesitations, and moments of delight.
  • Error identification: Spot usability issues, broken links, or confusing forms.

Example: You notice users repeatedly abandoning their cart during the payment step. Session recordings reveal that a confusing coupon code field is causing frustration. Fixing this leads to higher conversions.

Quantitative data

Quantitative data brings a numerical lens illuminating actions that can be counted, measured, or otherwise described in numbers. Where qualitative data can help you channel the perspectives and feelings of website visitors, quantitative can put that data into perspective in terms of its frequency and impact. Here’s how quantitative data on microconversions is often collected:

Basic analytics tools

  • Google Analytics (GA): The Swiss Army knife of web analytics, GA tracks user behavior, traffic sources, custom website conversion rates, and more. It’s free and essential for any website.
  • Built-in e-commerce analytics: Platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, or Magento offer built-in analytics. They provide insights specific to e-commerce, such as product performance, revenue, and customer demographics.

Example: GA shows that your blog attracts high traffic, but few readers proceed to the product pages. You optimize the blog-to-product link placement, resulting in increased sales.

Funnel reports

Funnel reports visualize the user journey. They break down the conversion process into stages:

  1. Awareness: Visitors arrive on your site.
  2. Interest: They explore content, view products, or sign up.
  3. Consideration: Users add items to their carts or engage with your services.
  4. Conversion: The final purchase or desired action.

Example: An e-learning platform’s funnel report reveals that most users drop off during the “Interest” stage. You tweak the landing page content, leading to better engagement.

Remember, microconversions are the stepping stones that pave the way for macro success. By combining qualitative and quantitative insights, you’ll create a conversion funnel that’s both user-friendly and revenue-boosting! 

Making the most of microconversions: Optimizing for conversion

The final step is putting qualitative and quantitative data-driven insights to work to optimize the digital experience to increase the microconversions (and ultimately macroconversions) your audience is successfully completing. This can be done broadly to optimize the digital experience as a whole or more narrowly to optimize for a specific high-value action through two distinct but interrelated approaches: 

Digital Experience Optimization (DXO)

Digital Experience Optimization (DXO) is the strategic process of enhancing user interactions with digital technologies to drive superior customer experiences. It encompasses a holistic approach to improving every touchpoint where users engage with your brand online. DXO aims to create seamless, personalized, and delightful experiences across websites, mobile apps, social media, and other digital channels.

Why does DXO matter?

  • Customer expectations: In today’s digital landscape, customers expect smooth, relevant interactions. DXO ensures you meet these expectations.
  • Business impact: Positive digital experiences lead to increased customer loyalty, higher conversion rates, and improved brand perception.

We discovered this was due to an issue causing the “add to cart” button to display much further down the page than intended, causing many users to overlook it and abandon the page. Addressing this issue allowed us to increase add-to-cart actions by 3.8x.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) focuses on improving the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action, such as making a purchase, signing up, or downloading content. It involves data-driven experimentation to enhance user experience and drive conversions.

Core elements of CRO

CRO applies a systematic approach to increasing high-value action completion by identifying and testing solutions to resolve friction points along the path to conversion to continuously improve performance. This process includes:

  1. Setting expectations: Clearly define goals and success metrics for each conversion action.
  2. User insights: Understand user behavior through analytics, heatmaps, and session recordings.
  3. Hypothesis development: Formulate hypotheses about what changes will improve conversions.
  4. Testing velocity: Regularly test variations (A/B tests, multivariate tests) to validate hypotheses.
  5. Cross-device testing: Ensure consistent experiences across different devices.
  6. Pre-test prototypes: Validate ideas before full implementation.
  7. Limit changes: Focus on impactful modifications rather than overwhelming redesigns.

Best practices for optimization

While CRO is focused on a specific digital experience, doing it effectively requires considerations that extend well beyond the specific microconversions you’re trying to improve, including:

  • Keyword research: Understand user intent and optimize content accordingly.
  • On-page SEO: Optimize meta tags, headings, and content for search engines.
  • User experience (UX): Prioritize intuitive navigation, fast loading times, and mobile responsiveness.
  • Content quality: Create valuable, relevant content that resonates with your audience.
  • Backlink building: Earn high-quality backlinks to improve authority.

Remember, DXO and CRO are ongoing processes. Continuously analyze, test, and optimize to create exceptional digital experiences and drive conversions. Let us show you how to incorporate this must-have continuous improvement cycle into your business!

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Customer Engagement Product Design Reaching New Customers UX Design

UX design: Define the problem, not the solution

About this series: In the fast-paced business world, it’s all too common to hear about companies striving to become “product-led” and chasing after metrics like velocity and conversion rates. While these numbers undoubtedly hold significance, they often overshadow the underlying force that drives the success of great products: design. Design is not just about aesthetics; it’s about understanding your customers, empathizing with their needs, and crafting solutions that meet and exceed their expectations. In this exciting three-part blog series, we will dive deep into the realm of design and design strategy and its pivotal role in achieving business goals. Let’s unlock the potential of great design as the ultimate path to great business.

Understanding the cornerstones of great product design

In the ever-evolving landscape of product design, success hinges on the ability to navigate a maze of user needs and expectations. Understanding the need at hand and then defining the actual problem is a crucial first step that can make or break the entire journey. You might have a fantastic idea for a product but if you aren’t drilling down to the true problem that this product is solving, then you aren’t going to be able to truly satisfy customers. This design stage uncovers true pain points for customers to ensure your product is solving the right problem and a real problem. Understanding user needs and defining the problem are cornerstones of successful products, ultimately paving the way for continually high business value.

Empathy: The heart of a user’s needs

User needs are the foundation of good design, placing the customer at the very heart of the product development process.  It’s imperative to empathize with users’ unique experiences, desires, and pain points when creating designs that resonate. User needs specific to a problem serve as a constant reminder that humans (specifically users) are at the core of the design process. By placing the human at the center of design, user needs act as constant reminders that the end goal is not just a product but a solution that addresses real-life challenges.

Moving from good to great design requires more than just a surface-level understanding of desired functionality. It requires a combination of both qualitative and quantitative UX research techniques that delve deep into user needs. First, quantitative UX research methods provide a structured and data-driven approach to learning about user behavior and preferences. Understanding the numerical data and statistical analysis can help you quantify user interactions, preferences, and performance. Surveys, questionnaires, A/B testing, and analytics tools are common examples of quantitative research techniques. Teams don’t need to use all of them every time, but carefully selecting a combination of methods will bring some helpful data to the surface as you assess user needs. These methods allow for the identification of patterns and trends, enabling UX researchers to create informed hypotheses about user needs. Quantitative research complements qualitative research by offering a more objective and measurable perspective, providing the necessary data to think through problems and have support for business decisions.

Qualitative user experience research methods provide valuable insights into the intricacies of user behavior, emotions, and perceptions. These methods delve deep into the more nuanced and harder to quantify psychological aspects of user interactions, aiming to understand what users do and why they do it. Qualitative research techniques, such as in-depth interviews, usability testing, and ethnographic studies, offer a way to channel the individual perspectives and experiences of users. Open-ended questions and real-time observations can help researchers uncover users’ needs, pain points, and desires, shedding light on the nuances that quantitative data often cannot capture. Qualitative research is an indispensable tool for human-centered design, enabling designers and businesses to truly understand user needs on a deeper level.

User needs are the baseline of effective design and encapsulate the essence of what the user truly desires and values. Before jumping to solutions or pixels, design teams must first empathize with their target audience, truly understanding their hopes, aspirations, and pain points. Taking the time to crystallize the human-focused needs and desires of the users ensures that every design decision is rooted in empathy and a genuine desire to enhance the user experience. Businesses that research, prioritize, and build products for these needs are not only better equipped to stay competitive in an ever-changing market but also to forge lasting, meaningful connections with their customers.

We know a thing or two about consumer values. Check out our post on the new persona playbook.

Crafting the perfect product design problem statement

With a solid understanding of user needs in hand, next up is crafting a clear problem statement to fuel product creation. A well-defined problem statement encapsulates the precise challenge that needs to be addressed, serving as instructions for design teams. Outlining the problem’s scope and context ensures that the design effort remains aligned with the customers’ real pain points and needs, allowing for a solution that truly resonates with them. This clarity and alignment fosters creativity and innovation in finding the optimal solution. It ensures that the entire team is headed in one direction, toward solving one problem. A well-crafted problem statement that is based on solid UX research guides the design process toward an excellent customer experience.

When thinking about the parts of a perfect problem statement, you must consider the person as well as the problem. This might be a problem that only a certain type of person has or a problem that lots of people have but only at specific moments in their lives. The person in the middle of the problem is just as important as the problem itself and cannot be separated from the problem statement. In addition to the who, problem statements must also consider the why but without the how. When the right amount of research has been done, there should be no trouble succinctly explaining for whom the problem exists and why. As the team sets out to create a solution for this problem, user needs and problem statements come into play. The goal is to reach an actionable problem statement that defines for whom you’re  building the product or feature and why.

The positive impact of a clear problem statement reverberates through the entire business ecosystem. First and foremost, it reduces the risk of costly missteps in product creation. By defining the problem clearly, teams can avoid the pitfall of investing time and resources into solutions that do not address the root issues. It ensures that design efforts are aligned with the actual needs and pain points of the target audience and that the team is setting out to solve for the user and their why. As a result, products are more likely to resonate with and create value for users, leading to enhanced customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy. A great problem statement empowers businesses to differentiate themselves in the market, gain a competitive edge, and drive sustainable growth. In sum, a clear problem statement acts as the catalyst for great design, and when design excels, so does business.

Learn more about Tallwave’s Digital Experience Design Services.

Wrapping Up: Great design, greater user experience

In the realm of product design and business success, two critical elements stand out as paramount: crafting well-defined user needs statements and clear problem statements. These statements act as the guiding light that illuminates the path to exceptional design and, in turn, outstanding business performance. User needs statements distill the essence of what customers truly value, enabling design teams to create products that resonate, cultivate customer loyalty, and fuel lasting trust. Clear problem statements also serve as a map for design, defining the challenge, scope, and objectives. They streamline decision-making, stimulate innovation, and ensure that design efforts align with real customer needs, ultimately reducing the risk of costly errors. The result is a positive ripple effect that enhances customer satisfaction, differentiation in the market, and sustainable business growth. In sum, these foundational statements are the key to unlocking the synergy between great design and great business.

Are you ready to embrace great design and improve customer experiences? We’re all ears. Let’s talk about your next project. And there’s more on the way; stay tuned for the second installment of this series! We’ll delve into how collaboration leads to the best design outcomes.

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