Your company’s name means something. It’s the first thing potential customers learn about you. It’s how your story with them begins.

Our name means something, too. In fact, Flying Cork came to be because we are driven to help our clients create celebratory moments of their own. Whether that means closing your first sale, increasing year-over-year metrics, or delivering a greater number of sales leads to your team, those moments mean everything to your business. Big or small, when we link our name with yours, we become a part of your team, helping create those wins.

Our name means your success.

How can you learn from our experience and create a company name that aligns with your vision?

The marketing team at Flying Cork put together a comprehensive list of tips that you can lean on to help you get the most out of your branding.

Wordplay is Memorable.

Although it can undoubtedly be stressful, having your own business means that you get to be the boss and call the shots. With the decision-making power in your hands, we encourage you to push the limits and think about using a play-on-words or phrases that help make your brand stand out from your competitors in your niche. This technique, if carried out correctly, can result in a very memorable name that aligns with your overall business strategy and mission.

If you’re simply not sure if your audience will understand the play-on-words that you’re thinking about using, the only way to see if it will resonate is to get valuable feedback. We suggest that you employ the resources that are readily available to you and use them to gauge interest. A great tool to use is social media. Use your social channels as a means to engage with your target audience and get their feedback on potential names.  Now, if you want a more targeted approach, you can use additional resources like Squadhelp to help you nail down a company name.

Be Direct and Meaningful.

Sometimes, a simple approach to deciding on a name is exactly what your company needs. If you want your name to reflect your product or service, start to collect and pinpoint words that will help customers make a quick correlation between your name and what you do. This approach to branding your company can become a bit difficult when it comes to snagging an associated URL for your website.  We suggest that as you’re brainstorming company names, you search for the URL on GoDaddy to make sure that you can reserve one that matches your company name. Consistency across all aspects of your business, from the URL to your social profiles and everything in between, will help create a harmonious connection that will help create and solidify a sense of cohesion and brand recognition.

A great example of being direct and meaningful when deciding on a company name is the Original Mattress Factory because their name clearly articulates their product and service. A consumer can, at first glance, process the type of business and its function.

Pick a Name that Will Grow with Your Business.

Don’t limit your company’s potential growth because of a name. If you pick too narrow of a name and one that’s laser-focused on a particular niche, you’re limiting the future development of your company because your name reflects a granular aspect of your business. Consider a name that’s all-encompassing and one that’s general yet relevant and can grow with your business as you expand.

Choosing the right name for your company can help you be easily recognized while the wrong name can lead to anonymity and, worst case, failure. At the end of the day, you want your company’s name to mirror your expertise, promote your uniqueness and supplement your overall brand strategy and mission.

Where does Flying Cork fit into all of this?

Once you’ve decided on your company’s name, we’ll help you tell your unique story to your ideal audience, making your marketing dollars work harder finding, engaging and retaining your customers.

Find.

Flying Cork will create a profile of your ideal customer – how they think, behave, and convert. We’ll identify where and how your audience wants to hear from you, and what they need to learn from your message. Then, we’ll use that data to create marketing and content strategies, and start telling your prospects all about you.

Engage.

Once you’ve generated leads, how are you keeping their interest piqued? Flying Cork’s marketing automation and content syndication strategies can deliver regular content to prospects and customers alike based on where they are in your sales cycle. Whether you’re first engaging with them, or working to ensure next year’s contract, we can deliver the right message, right when they need it.

Retain.

Just as you engage with prospects, you need to keep the lines of communication open with your existing customers. Stellar customer services goes without saying. To back that up, Flying Cork can develop a detailed, evolving content plan to establish a continuous dialogue between your brand and your right customers, ensuring they keep coming back.

If you’re ready to take your business to the next level with digital marketing, we want to invite you to the first installment of our Google product webinar series, “The Future of Paid Advertising: Google and Beyond!”.

Another year is quickly coming to a close and as we prepare for 2018, I wanted to take the time to dive a little deeper into the future of pay-per-click (PPC).

Let’s get started.

Search Advertising

The paid search market is highly competitive; nothing less than perfection is the general expectation. Because of this, Flying Cork focuses on more creative, impactful and effective digital advertising campaigns. Search advertising is one of the most effective ways to generate more exposure and business for your brand.  Whether your focus is B2B or B2C marketing, search ads are a must in any digital marketing campaign strategy.

We understand the stakes are high, so we take advantage of each component of search advertising by increasing our reach and conversions at a cost-per-acquisition that makes sense for your KPIs. Along the way, we identify a scalable process so the PPC formula can grow as your brand magnifies its reach online.

Display Advertising

Display advertising, also known as retargeting, requires more than just bid management from a marketing team. This strategy, if executed correctly, can be an extremely effective approach to increasing brand awareness and conversions.

Flying Cork focuses not only the PPC managers for this approach but also our designers. When executing a retargeting advertising strategy, it’s essential that user-centric design is included.

Focusing on the end user from the very beginning of the ad design process and continuing that mindset through launch, allows for a higher probability of conversions. In addition, Google’s display ads appear on over two million sites, that translates to thousands of users that could see your ad.

On the flip side, the impact on the brand if the ad didn’t appeal to these users could be grave.

Whether you’re executing search or display advertising it’s important to remember to do your homework. Make sure you know your brand and your competitors. Remember, your ad will be seen by thousands of potential customers, so make a good first impression!

Here are a few steps you need to take before publishing your ads to the public.

Executing a Successful Digital Marketing Campaign

Digital advertising comes in many forms, knowing what PPC channel and what portion of the campaign budget should be allocated to PPC, can make or break your digital strategy. It’s the difference between outperforming your competitors or getting lost in the internet shuffle.

It’s important to note that allotting too much in digital ad spend can put you at risk to burn through your budget before the end of the month which will give your competitors an advantage.

Now, if you don’t allow enough spend or you’re not strategically spending, then you run the risk of underperforming and never setting the campaign up for success. When this happens, a brand’s digital footprint never fully matures, leaving the company with a major sales deficiency.

In the end, if the issue is left unresolved, the campaign will fall short and will never produce the desired conversions or adequate traffic.

As you can see, managing your ad spend correctly is a balancing act and if you don’t have an experienced in-house marketing team creating a strategy that will produce ROI within a designated timeframe, then you need to hire one and fast. Remember, the longer you wait, the longer it could take to catch up to the competition.

Designing a Digital Marketing Strategy

Whether you plan on going on this journey on your own or are actively searching for an experienced marketing team to hire, you will need to do your homework.

Well planned digital marketing campaigns are developed based on information found in three areas, competition in your vertical, financial goals established for the business, and what your audience is searching for.

So, dig into your competitors; understand who they are, how you stack up against them and what their online strategy is. This information should then be handed off to your marketing team along with the goals created for the business. From there, research on your brand’s audience will be completed to better understand who they are, what they respond to and what they need in order to convert online. All of this information will act as the foundation for a successful digital marketing strategy.

If you’re unsure of who your online competitors are or where you can find information on your competitor’s strategy check out SPYFu.com. Not only will SpyFu pull your online competitors based on the date you input, but they will also include the portion of the market they cover for organic and paid results.

The graph below shows you how your competitors will show up in SpyFu.

A SpyFu screen-grab of ASPCA.org for keyword research.

More than Words

Once the initial research is completed, the next step is keyword research. While developing your keywords list, it’s crucial to remember that these terms should mirror or act as an extension of the foundational research completed and the call-to-action you want users to engage with once they click on your ad. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner and Moz to determine the level of competition around certain key terms. Then, use tools like SEM Rush or SpyFu to better understand how your brand performs when placed alongside competitors at your designated price point. This should give you a general idea of how easy or difficult it will be for your brand to reach a level of success.

Most business owners or marketing team members have a general idea of what keywords users are utilizing in search. If you know what keywords your audience is using (based on your experience with marketing this brand), then research those terms and check out the competition level. Like most companies, you will probably have an initial PPC budget, so spend it wisely. If you find certain terms are just too pricey for you early on, find and include alternatives that are less expensive but still effective.

Remember to dig deep, think about the users that are further down in the buyer’s journey. What terms are being used when they are ready to convert?

Tip: Successful advertisers use 5 – 20 keywords per ad group.

In this scenario, our call-to-action (CTA) is “pet adoption”. We know that users searching for “dog breeds” are the type of users that we want to stay in front of. The problem here is that a user searching for “dog breeds” may not ready to adopt, so placing CTA “pet adoption” in front of these users will not be effective.

These users are still trying to find the right type of breed that fits their lifestyle. That said, education would be a better option for them. A blog that is created to help users decide what type of breed is best for different lifestyles would work well here. In this case, make sure your blog page is optimized for organic traffic.

Tip: If you’re a local business, consider using local advertising tactics. This will help your site rank for long-tail terms that include “near me” (i.e. pet adoption near me)

The Final Touch

Once you have your CTA and keyword list, it’s time to create your ads. Make sure you naturally tie your keywords and CTA to your ads. Google will provide you with a quality score that will influence your CPC (cost-per-click) and ad positioning.

When PPC is executed correctly results are somewhat immediate and just like other digital marketing channels, PPC can have a positive impact on brand authority and overall conversions. After the initial 60 days of a digital advertising campaign, you will start to experience quick wins. For example, you will begin to get conversions on some long-tail keywords. Once we’ve achieved those quick wins at Flying Cork, we then double down and integrate high-priority phrases into your PPC campaign. This will increase your space on SERPs placing your site in the first position and allowing the brand to take up more real estate.

To help you better understand the rules in place for Google AdWords, we have teamed up with Google to host a hands-on webinar, but that’s not all!  Flying Cork would like to help you start the new year off right, so we will be auditing PPC accounts! The goal is to help you apply what you learn in the webinar to a well-organized and freshly audited AdWords account.  Both the webinar and the audit are free!

We hope to see you on Friday, January 12 at 1 p.m. (EST).

Millions of marketing dollars are spent every year on digital paid advertisements. Wouldn’t it be great if you could make those dollars work harder for you?

Imagine if you could increase lead volume by 20-50% while keeping spend levels unchanged. With an effective landing page strategy, it’s certainly achievable—and may be easier that you’d think. Whether you’re dabbling in paid advertising efforts or you’re a long-time veteran, remember to pay special attention to your landing page content and design—it can make or break your campaign.

Ready to pump up your paid advertising efforts? Try out these easy tricks to increase landing page conversions.

Minimize any opportunities for a user to click away without converting.

That means taking out the top navigation or any links that could direct users away from the landing page. If you’re paying to send traffic to your landing pages, you really don’t want them to leave before you capture the lead. The ROI for that tactic is roughly equal to flushing your money down the toilet.

Put a form at the top right of the landing page, above the fold.

At Flying Cork, we’ve built a lot of landing pages. The ones with the best conversion rates almost exclusively have the form in this position. Why does this work so well? When a user sees the form first thing above the fold, they immediately understand that there is a value proposition: Is it worth it to trade their information for the offer? They don’t get stuck reading a page only to find out that they have to fill out a form in order to get what they really want.

Furthermore, a typical Internet user looks at a page like a book, reading from left to right. If there’s a form on the right side, then where does the headline, text and imagery go? In the empty space to the left, of course, becoming the first thing the user sees. With the right copy and feel-good imagery, you can prepare users for the information request.

Include a clear call to action on the form.

And by clear, I mean something that helps the user understand exactly what they’re getting in return for filling out your landing page form. Good button text includes language such as “Download,” “Get More Information,” or “Schedule Appointment.” Avoid vague text such as “Click Here” or “Go!”

Think about the mobile experience.

Mobile visitors usually have a different intent than someone on a desktop or tablet, and they tend to have a more urgent need for information. They want to act quickly rather than draw out the research process and wait for a reply after filling out a form. To help them get what they need as fast as possible, consider using a trackable click-to-call phone number.

Use clear headlines and scannable content.

No one is going to stick around to read paragraphs upon paragraphs of text on your landing page. Well, some might, but for the majority who won’t, make sure your headlines and design are conducive to scanning. Do your best to enable users to understand your offerings and unique benefits at a glance.

Up the trust factor.

You can make your landing page more trustworthy by including relevant partnerships, certifications or customer testimonials. Partnerships with or endorsements from recognizable associations can make users feel more comfortable with giving away their information. Including testimonials shows users that other people have used the product or service before them with good results. This should go without saying, but always make sure to include REAL testimonials—never fabricate them. You want people to trust you, after all!

Always have a thank you page.

Remember in tip #1, where we said to minimize any opportunity for users to click off the landing page? Well, if you have a thank you page, you can encourage users to click around your properties all you want. I wouldn’t suggest adding a top navigation here, because it will most likely lead to an inconsistent design experience. However, you can include links back to your website so users can learn more, or try directing them to your blog and social pages. Help them get engaged with your online properties—open up those gateways for them and make it easy for them to discover more. Of course, make sure you’ve got plenty of fresh content there to keep their attention!

Intrigued? Check out this blog post for more tips on thank you pages, or read how a former unbeliever saw the value of paid search.

Have you ever tried to run a Facebook ad only to find that it didn’t achieve your goals? Did you find yourself with no extra sales, little engagement and the overwhelming feeling that you’ve just wasted some money?

It’s easy for that to happen with almost any online advertising platform, really. I hate to say it, but platforms like Facebook Advertising and Google AdWords are big companies who aren’t afraid to take advantage of small-time advertisers who don’t really know what they’re doing.

That doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel. Before you run your next Facebook campaign, follow a few of these tips and see if it helps your efforts.

  1. Get the Facebook pixel on your website, pronto. The pixel will slowly collect data as users visit your website, which will give you the opportunity to remarket to them later or build a custom audience, depending on how you set up your pixel.
  2. Always remember that Facebook is a social platform before it’s a business platform. Keep your ads authentic to this purpose, and always make sure that you’re engaging with anyone who posts comments, questions or feedback—positive AND negative. Show your fans that you are listening to them and you care about their satisfaction.
  3. Pay extra attention to your page when you’re running an ad campaign. When you’re putting money into Facebook efforts, it’s not the time to slack off on the organic side of things. Make sure you’re nurturing your page with fresh content; you don’t want to disappoint or turn away any potential new fans.
  4. Always have a clear call to action. Make sure users can figure out exactly what action you want them to take. Don’t have enough text space in the ad builder? Use headlines and CTA buttons to help. You can put a headline directly on your creative, but keep it short – Facebook requires that text in ads occupy less than 20% of the image.
  5. Track, track, track. Facebook offers some limited analytics, but it’s not as powerful as what you can get with a third-party tool. Make sure you’re using URL parameters and shortened tracking links that will feed into your analytics. That way, you can follow your consumers all the way through their purchasing journey.
  6. Always keep a mobile-first mindset. According to their earnings report, 80% of Facebook advertising revenue comes from mobile users, so you want to make sure that your ads are displaying properly on mobile devices. Make sure your landing pages are mobile-friendly, and double-check that your creative and ad copy looks good on mobile, too.
  7. Try growing your fan base. Having a higher number of followers is like getting a vote of confidence, and it can make your brand more credible. These people are fans of your business and are interested in what you have to offer. The more fans you have, the more engagement you’re likely to have. When you start to advertise for sales-related goals, your fans are the most likely to buy from you. Try using the “promote your page” ad objective to build up an audience of relevant users that you can reach out to again and again.
  8. Don’t advertise to an irrelevant audience. There is an overwhelming amount of targeting options for ads and it can be easy to get sucked in to all of the options, so make sure you’re choosing the ones that are make sense for your business. After you’ve chosen your targets, go back through and ruthlessly prune away. (In a future post, we’ll give you some more pointers about how you can target the right people!)

Try implementing some of these tips before running your next Facebook campaign. Think you’ve tried it all, but you’re still stuck? Reach out to Flying Cork to up your Facebook advertising game!

Late last week, Google announced that they will be removing the right rail ads from desktop searches, and now will only serve ads at the top and bottom of the SERP (very similar to the current mobile ads layout).

First, let’s get one thing straight: Whenever Google says they are testing new changes, the only number they are looking at is total ad revenue. Meaning the removal of the right rail ads has shown an increase in ad dollars in Google’s pocket. Google is certainly banking on the increased in cost per clicks for positions 1 – 3 offsetting the ad revenue from the right rail ads. Simple economics say decreasing supply will increase demand and drive up costs.

That increase will come from the fight for relevancy for the top three or four positions, depending on the search query. If your ad is not listed above the organic results, you can expect a large decrease in your ad impressions coming from desktop searches. I pulled data from several accounts to see what we can come to expect when Google pulls the trigger on the change for all search queries. To do this I pulled an average position keyword report for non-branded search terms and filtered them by desktop vs. mobile.

More than 95% of mobile impressions are from ads in positions 1-3, and more than 97% of clicks come from top three positions. When looking at desktop volume, 72% of impressions and 77% of clicks come from ads in position 1-3. I would expect the desktop numbers to shift more in-line with what we are currently seeing in mobile. Meaning 20% of desktop impressions will be virtually removed from the mix unless you can pay a premium to get your ads in the top three positions.

For years I have worked with advertisers that rely on being creative with their ad dollars, meaning they often could not afford top placements but were able to generate cost effective traffic in positions 4-8 on the right rail of the SERPS. This change will either result in these vendors needing to ante up to compete, or needing to find more cost effective advertising channels because the cost of desktop search does not justify the return.

I do anticipate those with strong organic search presence will experience a click increase from the change because there will be less ad options available to end users. This is certainly one of Google’s bigger moves in search over recent years and should be monitored closely to understand how this could shift your ad dollars and account performance.

Winners

Google, Google Shareholders, SEO

Losers

AdWords Advertisers (specifically small- to mid-size budget companies)

Are you prepared to be a power player? Or do you need to refocus your attention on SEO? Flying Cork can help solidify your strategy. Reach out to learn more.