Making Your Content Count

Making Your Content Count

Three Tips to Stand Out in a Crowd

You know you need to create “content” for your site to rank well.  You’ve considered your business and your target audience, you’ve defined a problem they have, and you set out to solve it for them.. in blog form.

So far so good! But chances are – if you think your customers need to know something – someone, somewhere has thought the same thing as you. The internet is full of articles on how to do and what to know about, well, everything! When your customers turn to Google they can just as easily find their answer from a competitor. In this age of information, how do you stand out and create unique content and not just reiterate what many other people in your industry are saying? If you’re staring at your laptop, not knowing where to start, here are few key tips.

1. Give it a twist

You know your business better than anyone, so speak about what you know, be the expert. When was a time you solved that problem for one of your customers? What were some of the things you learned? Chances are you have more than a few examples and stories that you could share to show your readers that you have the knowledge and experience necessary to answer their questions.  

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, if there’s a resource out there that’s already said it perfectly, link your content to that web page, (especially if you are associated or affiliated with the source) but still give them a something fresh to consider. In fact, linking to other reputable sources that you are affiliated with can be a great way to validate your authority. 

Does that mean you should go on to tell long, drawn-out stories? Absolutely not. A recent study by Microsoft Corp revealed that the average human attention span went from 12 to 8 seconds from 2000 to today (source). That’s less than a goldfish, people!  You want to keep it short and get to the point quickly, users are searching for answers and you have to capture their attention before they move on. How? I thought you’d never ask.

2. Speak or write?

Talk to them. Do you know who your customer is and are you speaking their language? You may say, but we aren’t speaking here, we’re writing, right? Well, sort of. You want to write as if you were talking to a friend, keeping your words authentic and conversational.   This will not only make your article much easier and more enjoyable to read, it also has a higher comprehension and retention rate (source). 

Empathize with your reader. “Have you ever had this problem? We know how hard it can be.” You want your writing to have a voice. Customers can see right through marketing speech so don’t be afraid to be who you are! People do business with people they like and, let’s be honest, you also enjoy working with people that you like.  So let your personality out and let your customers find you.

3. Local + Relevant

Does everyone have to find you? Ideally, to gain higher ranking in the search engines, yes.  But let’s say you’re a landscaping company in Wisconsin, does it matter if someone in Texas finds your article? Sure, it may be useful to them, but they aren’t your target and aren’t likely to become your customer. Unless you’re trying to reach a national audience – focus your content on your target geography. 

Think: What does local mean to you? Is it the state of Wisconsin, is it Green Bay, or Northeast Wisconsin?  What is relevant to your audience? Lakefront landscaping solutions, plants appropriate for zones 4 and 5, preparing your plants for the winter season, snow removal anybody? Okay, so those are obvious, let’s try less obvious… How about “What you need to create the perfect outdoor grilling space for your next Packer party!”?

 

Finally, taking all of this into consideration; solving a problem, giving your customers the information they seek, keeping it local, and being genuinely you, there’s one message that should be loud and clear – YOUR PASSION.  Your customers will easily be able to see that your business is driven by what you love (which is what they’re looking for)!

 

BRING repositions with new space and video production studios

We’re happy to feel at home in our new space. We’re putting the finishing touches to our new digs and are excited to get energized with the new vibe. Our new 3,000 sq ft office is adjacent to Pixelmax Studios with several room sets and a huge white sweep. So, in addition to our focus on Brand and Web Development, we have expanded our Video Production capabilities to be some of the best in the area. Don’t be shy! Stop over for a tour at 900 Challenger Drive, Green Bay.

 

BRING handcrafts new video for DLM

Just finished up a new video to show the “details, dedication and delivery” of DLM. Shot at Lambeau, in Milwaukee and in Chicago, the video supports the brand promise while focusing on the high level of craftsmanship for the Green Bay Packers, Godfrey & Kahn, and Kimpton Hotels. From start to finish, the project was created by our in-house video department.

Suamico is Officially Unstoppable

On December 20th, Xperience Fitness Suamico opened its doors.  We watched this location develop from a pile of gravel, to Suamico’s premier fitness destination.  We previously developed the Xperience Fitness – Be Unstoppable branding which was communicated through digital, television and outdoor media in Northeast & Southeast Wisconsin as well as the Minneapolis/St. Paul areas.

As part of the continued brand elevation of Xperience Fitness – Be Unstoppable, we focused on environmental branding in Suamico first. This ensures that no matter where members go in the gym, they are always motivated and supported on on their unstoppable journey. Well, maybe not everywhere. You’re supposed to keep your eyes closed in the tanning booth!

Xperience Fitness Suamico

 

Even as you’re about to walk out, you’re reminded that you’re leaving stronger than when you came and encouraged to come back for more!

Xperience Fitness Suamico

We’re so happy to be a part of Xperience’s growth in Northeast Wisconsin and can’t wait to roll out this environmental branding to other Xperience gym locations in the future. Xperience Fitness is passionate about helping their members meet their fitness goals, and BRING is passionate about elevating brands.  You can read our full Xperience Fitness case study here.

Enough is Enuffintop!

Helping our clients succeed and connect with their audience is our number one goal, and for Xperience Fitness we saw a great win/win opportunity for both our client and their customers. From “Thirsty Thursday” straight through to “Sunday Funday,” summer can be a challenging time for those looking to lose weight and focus on health. Ironically, summer is also one of the slowest seasons for gym memberships. We wanted to connect with the people who spend Sunday night regretting a week of overindulgence and promising to start their new diet and fitness routine on Monday. Our goal was to strike a nerve in a fun and relevant way, and with ads that read “Enuffintop – Get Fit Monday,” people can admit that now is the time to hit the gym. Summer is short in the Midwest, but now we can still enjoy our festivals, barbecues and fairs, as long as we hit the gym on Monday!

Enuffintop Animated Gif

Do you trust yourself?

The answer should be YES, of course. If you can’t look at yourself in the mirror and love what you see what hope do we have? The same goes for brands. Every brand has a personality, a promise and an attribute that makes them stand out, connect and engage with the right audience. As a brand development company, we work with clients to research, discover and create a brand and often a name that resonates in the marketplace. What does it say and what does it stand for? Our 4-6 week brand development process provides a new brand position and graphic/communication strategy to deliver our new message to your world – looking to make new and meaningful connections.

So, back to the mirror. As an experiment on engaging with brands and names that we trust, I spent 20 minutes on LinkedIn and sent connection requests to 40 other David Richards across the country in all industries. One by one, 39 David Richards’ from all walks of life and professions, saw the equity in the name and the instant brand recognition based on their own perceived values. That’s a 97.5% ROI!

Ultimately your customers want to do business with a brand that they can identify with, own, and share values that they see important to themselves. Does your brand do this? If the answer is no, or I don’t know – perhaps we should talk.

Salute to Smiles on NBC26 Cares

To help Bay Oral Surgery continue with their mission to give back to the community, we developed the Salute To Smiles Program in the fall of 2015 as a way to connect area dentists with military backgrounds and local veterans in order to provide much needed dental procedures. The inspiration for this program came from Bay Oral Surgery’s three ex-military oral surgeons, Dr. David LeMoine, Dr. Bradley Koch and Dr. Charles Ellis.

After coordinating and matching patients with local dentists and Bay Oral surgeons, it was time for the kick off party where the all the participating veterans, dentists and surgeons got a chance to meet each other and share their stories before their care plans started in December 2015.

As of today, the restorative portion of each patient’s care plan is nearly complete. All the veterans are extremely thankful for the dental care they received, and we are in the initial planning stages for Salute to Smiles 2016!

We reached out to Stacy Engebretson at NBC26 because we knew this powerful story had to be shared right away. She interviewed patient Michael Schuenke, Dr. David LeMoine and Bay Oral Surgery Office Manager, Katie VandeVoort to find out what Salute to Smiles meant to them personally.

The day after the story aired, Bay Oral Surgery started getting calls from veterans in need of dental care who want to be a part of Salute to Smiles in 2016. We couldn’t be more proud of Bay Oral Surgery and we are honored to be a part of such a wonderful program to help our local veterans.  Stay tuned for Salute to Smiles 2016!

Design Trends: UX & UI

It is exciting to see that websites are moving in a different direction that allows information to be easily accessed while not bombarding the user as soon as they get to a website. The recent UI trend to organize information in a way that isn’t directly in your face and keeps the viewer on the homepage is picking up steam. Here are three ways in which websites are taking a fresh, new step forward.

The Hamburger Stack

Photo Credit: http://matterglobal.com
Photo Credit: http://matterglobal.com

The Hamburger Stack has become a commonplace and easy way to indicate to users that more information is available while not cluttering the top of a website with numerous links. By using the Hamburger Stack, it frees up the top of the page, which adversely helps content stand out.

Worried about adding clicks to the UX? No need. The Hamburger Stack is a staple in responsive websites, which is now even more prevalent due to Google’s update in April 2015 requiring all websites to be responsive across all devices. That being said, users will see the Hamburger Stack much more which will easily transition to the computer monitor.

The Scrolling Page

Photo Credit: http://www.details.ch
Photo Credit: http://www.details.ch

Also based off the prevalence of responsive websites and how they are viewed on mobile devices, scrolling pages are becoming more common. According to Jerry Cao of uxpin.com, “placing all your important elements above the fold is now a well-known myth. Furthermore, almost everyone is accustomed to long scrolls thanks to mobile devices. The technique works especially well for sites that want to lure users through storytelling, and you can still mimic a multi-page site by breaking the scroll into clear sections.”

If used correctly, the scrolling page can replace clicks with scrolls down the page. However, an important aspect to consider in this scenario is the accessibility to the main menu, no one wants to scroll down to a deserted island in the middle of a page.

Inserting some smooth scrolling code might also help to vary what type of scrolling is occurring at different sections of the site.

The Death of the Slideshow

Photo Credit: http://www.oxfordhouse.nl
Photo Credit: http://www.oxfordhouse.nl

Almost every slideshow is located under the main menu and cycles through a few different images. Breakout! There are other options that will help your site be more relevant and unique.

While talking to Alex Blicharz, Interactive Director at BRING, I learned this. A site’s Google search results directly correlate with the amount of text there is relative to the top of the page. Enter search engine optimization…

Many sites already use slideshows, and in some cases it is warranted. However, in order to build a unique site, an easy first step is to swap out the old, played slideshow. An alternative is to utilize typography in an expressive way that also gives insight into the website’s focus. This text, which is close to the top of the page, will also boost SEO results. Another way to draw interest is to incorporate motion, which could be seen in a quant video or subtle animations throughout the site. Humans are naturally drawn to motion. If used effectively the user will automatically be drawn into the site.