Are We What We Buy? Entering a Conversation about Brand Marketin

Contemporary marketing has evolved over the years with the emergence of branding and neuromarketing. Such marketing is strikingly different from the old marketing trends whereby people used to purchase products based on their availability and cost. Modern day purchasing patterns have changed whereby people have continually opted to buy products and services based on the manner in which their brands are presented. As such, the decisions to purchase a product or not have not been informed by the conscious thought but stimulus embedded at deeper levels of the human brain. While people argued about the science behind neuromarketing, supporters have successfully address all the concerns. Branding and neuromarketing have influenced the purchase decision made by modern day consumers through knowledge of how mind psychology works and despite criticisms, it would continue to become mainstream.

According to Satel and Lilienfeld, marketing strategies have significantly changed to incorporate neuroscience. Although this technique is yet to revolutionize the entire marketing industry, these authors acknowledge that most marketers are increasingly incorporating strategies that determine the purchasing patterns and other features that influence their capacity to buy products, at the neurological levels. Neuroscience and related tools that help researchers get new insights regarding various aspects of brands and its perception are slowly getting into mainstream marketing. These techniques assess parameters such as the products the customers want, the things that attract them to buy such products, and the way companies can get consumers to buy products. Due to its perceived effectiveness, companies are enticed to study and apply it.

Based on the findings, it is true to argue that neuromarketing is a positive development for both businesses and their customers. Whereas corporations benefit by having to produce the products their consumers want, consumers are also relieved of the process of selecting products, which may not only be tedious but expensive. Although neuromarketing is perceived as landmark invention in the world of advertising, consumers need to be wary of the tricks applied by most marketers looking to “super-influence” them into purchasing products they would otherwise not be willing to purchase. According to Satel and Lilienfeld, the neuromarketing firms apply brain teasing techniques that blow out the mind of potential consumers who feel obliged to buy the said products. The authors also feel that neuromarketing is hyped since it capitalizes on the vulnerability of clients who are blown away by the thought of neuroscience in marketing.

Although Satel and Lilienfeld illustrate that only a few advertisers have integrated neuromarketing, the fact that big players in the market such as Google are adopting the corresponding techniques highlights the effectiveness of neuroscience in modern day marketing. However, few studies have been put forth to support such claims since companies are coy about sharing their advertising techniques. They won't even tell anyone how to start a compare and contrast paragraph for free. According to Satel and Lilienfeld, Columbia University researchers discovered discrepancies uncertainties on the websites of companies that claimed to have used neuromarketing. It turned out that the companies used old techniques to examine consumer behavior. To counter this notion, various research iniatives had been implemented with the aim of studying how this new phenomenon works.

A major part of the emerging studies is related to the aspect of advertising that seems to invade the human brain through the brands. According to Klein and Byam, corporations began incorporating the idea of producing brands rather than products in the mid-1980s. Klein illustrates the wave of global companies that adopted branding up to date. For instance, Nike, Microsoft, and Intel are known for the image brought about by their brands rather than the products they sell. Just as neuromarketing, Klein and Byam illustrate the effects of branding on the lifestyle and purchasing trends of consumers. Advertisers of brandings used a technique of using advertisements to change the way people live. After that, they would be vulnerable to be convinced to purchase these very brands given that they changed their lifestyles. Lifestyle brands have since been prevalent. Brands conjure a feeling that may influence consumers at comforting and deeper levels just as neuromarketing.

It is arguable that branding has also invaded the human brain. This deduction stems from the fact that some people use the brands because they were born or they interact in environments in which the given lifestyle is prevalent. Branding has its drawbacks as illustrated by Klein and Byam in their piece. She presents a scenario in which a major player in the cigarette industry, Marlboro, which had a strong brand, collapsed owing to the exorbitant prices charged for the products in relation to other competing companies. Corporations can use branding to overcharge customers on products that would cost less. Klein and Byam describe the invasion of branding into the everyday life of ordinary customers. She perceives branding as a positive development that allows consumers to achieve the best feelings out of products pertinent to their day-to-day activities. For instance, Nike has leveraged the deep emotional connection consumers have with fitness and sports. Another company is Starbucks that has leveraged an emotional connection people have with their coffee. Consequently, a great brand creates an enhanced sense of purpose to the purchased product.

In conclusion, the neuromarketing and branding have invaded the human brain when it comes to their purchasing trends. These two techniques are a positive development in marketing as they improve the experience of customers as well as enhancing their satisfaction levels. As such, consumers are easily capable of acquiring the goods they desire. The products they purchase also enhance their emotions and feelings in their everyday endeavors, be it going for a jog or just taking coffee. Consumers should not fear neuromarketing and branding although should be cautious of the ones that are exploitative. The best forms are the ones that increase satisfaction levels without necessarily having to charge exorbitant costs in relation to competing brands.

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Television Advertising

Advertising is a non-personal marketing communication used by business through media channels to inform, persuade and convince the public or the intended customers of a product or service offered by the company or organization, some of the media through which advertisement is done, Television, the Internet, radio, magazines, and others. Over the years advertising through television had been more prevalent as compared to other forms but due to the advancement in technology, and secure access to data, more and more people spend time on other forms of media, specifically the Internet. The following discussion will enlighten us on how television advertising has evolved with time.

According to majority of people spend more time on the internet compared to watching television, which has, in turn, attracted a substantial number of advertisers, a clear indication that television advertising is gradually losing its tact. Furthermore, the need for effective advertisement medium, time and speed over which the advertisement gets to the target consumer is well supported over the internet

In my opinion, television advertisement has lost its grip due to technological and social media knowledge advancement that has seen a majority of young and a share of educated old people of this century to prefer more the use of the internet. The emergence of smartphones and tablets coupled with the availability of the cheap mobile data for internet access has further almost brought television broadcast to its knees, due to the change in viewing habit, as well as live video content can also be easily streamed over the internet.

From the above, it is wise to say that television is no longer the powerful advertising channel; the internet has overtaken the old medium.

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Learn How to Make Your Content Interesting for Google

Have you ever wondered what it takes to create interesting content not only for your readers but also for Google? The internet is flooded with content from all over the world, trying to get the readers’ attention and become top ranked on search engines. Google follows different criteria in defining what an interesting article really means. For instance, the time spent by the readers on your page talks about your content’s quality. Keep reading this article and you will find which are the top 5 tips you can use to make your posts interesting for Google.

Top 5 Ingredients for Engaging Content

1. Clearly determine what is your purpose

Before starting to write, you will need to determine what is your main purpose. This includes defining your target audience and researching what type of content are they most interested in. These will help you build your content strategy. A successful and interesting content for your audience should follow some simple rules like:

  • Provides detailed information on your product or services
  • Provokes readers to start a conversation on the topic
  • Talks about some of the most trending topics of the moment
  • Constantly delivers value

2. Pick good keywords

Keywords are extremely important if you want your content to be displayed in the first search results. There are plenty of tools you can use to find which are the trending keywords for your domain. What is more, you need to also keep an eye on your competition. The top 10 results that appear on Google when you search for your keywords represent your primary competition. This is how you can discover other interesting keywords you can successfully use to leverage your business. Moreover, keywords bring the best results if they are used not only throughout the content but also in the page title and header.

3. Your content must be original

If you want your content to have a long life on Google, then it must be 100% original. Google has clearly stated in their rules that they firmly punish any copied content. But, if you think a bit deeper, original content will not only protect you from Google punishments but will also speak more about you. An original content means that you are reliable, and you care about what your readers. You should be original when you write your content and pick the topics. The readers like when they receive answers to their questions and they are surprised with interesting topics. This will make them come back the next time as well as share and promote your page.

4. Tell a story ALWAYS

It is a proven fact that people like to read stories. Therefore, if you want to keep your audience engaged, you should always tell a story. It doesn’t matter which is the topic you have chosen. As long as your content is relatable, then you have won your readers. Add a bit of humor in your stories and you will make them even more interesting. This will make your audience feel part of the story and want to come back for more. Finally, you can enhance their experience and make your content easier to understand if you add some images or videos.

5. Write about something you believe in

Your readers will immediately notice if you write about something you haven’t tested yourself and you don’t believe in. The internet is full of information, but not everyone writes about their personal experience. What is more, Google relies on user interaction metrics to determine your content’s level of credibility. Therefore, a clever idea would be to interview experts or influencers in your area to make your content more reliable. On the other hand, you can do extensive research and support your claims with proven data. People like when they are given clear data on different situations. This will help you pass the message better than your competition.

In conclusion, even though it might seem easy, creating interesting and shareable content requires a lot of research and skills. Each article is an investment that you make to strengthen your brand and image. Therefore, each piece of content should tell a story and talk about proven facts.

One of the biggest difficulties that appear in the life of a new blogger or business owner is making his brand more popular. There are many marketing strategies promising incredible results and increased visibility. However, not all of them manage to bring an organic reach. Guest posting is one of the most efficient methods if you want to increase your brand awareness.

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6 Easy-To-Use Keyword Research Tools

Website traffic

There are a lot of things you need to consider when you launch your website. Everything is important, from site to content development, and continuing to marketing strategy and SEO. When it comes to keyword research, this should be a priority topic for you as it will help you shape your content strategy. But, have you ever wondered how proficient you are in using keywords to promote your business? This article will tell you more about keyword research tools and how they can help you create engaging content for your readers.

Top 6 keyword research tools

1. Ubersuggest

This is an excellent tool especially when you are just beginning your keyword research journey and you want to learn as much as you can. First, it is very simple to use. You just have to type in your query and it will show you hundreds of keyword options. What is more, it will not only give you a lot of keyword suggestions, but it will also tell you more about the topic you are interested in. Ubersuggest is great when you want to analyze if a keyword is worth targeting. In addition, it will tell you what the competition is doing by showing you their ad copies.

2. Google’s Keyword Planner

This is a great free tool that brings a lot of benefits on the table. It is incredibly useful when you want to search for long keywords. It has become one of the most used tools thanks to its reliability. It takes the results directly from Google and surprises its users with highly accurate information. Even though it works best for paid advertising campaigns, this doesn’t mean that you cannot use it as a keyword research tool. You can enter the country, language, city, and the keyword and it return the search volume together with details on your competition.

3. Soovle

Even though at a first analysis Soovle seems similar to Ubersuggest, they are slightly different. For instance, Soovle uses auto-suggest features from various search engines like Google, Amazon, YouTube, Wikipedia, Yahoo, Answers, and Bing. Therefore, it is the best tool when you want to list and promote your products on Amazon or want to start vlogging on YouTube. It uses autocomplete suggestions from all the before-mentioned sources, making your life a lot easier.

4. SEMRush

When you use SEMRush it is enough to type your domain or topic you are interested in, and it will display incredible amounts of information. It gives you details on the keyword search volumes, which are the relating keywords, and shows you how the competition is using the selected keywords. In comparison to Google’s Keyword Planner, SEMRush doesn’t allow you to search for a group of keywords at the same time. On the other hand, it is an excellent tool if you want to project the eventual costs for a Pay-Per-Click campaign.

5. Moz’s Keyword Explorer

Moz’s tools are known for being among the best on the market. Therefore, the Keyword Explorer couldn’t fail the expectations. Many business owners consider it as their first option when they need a detailed keyword research. It is great if you want to discover new questions that you can use in your content development strategy. Moz Keyword Explorer is different from other keyword research tools because it can show you how qualitative are the keywords you are searching for.

6. SpyFu

This is another tool that can tell you more about your competition. In comparison to other keyword research tools that give you insights on the other companies, the research mechanism is different in the case of SpyFu. You can enter directly your competitors’ site and you will receive data on what keywords they are using and how strong they are. This is how you will get an important competitive advantage and consolidate your position by using their most profitable keywords.

In conclusion, keyword research can be extremely useful when you have the right tools to help you. Keywords will help you develop your content strategy and stay ahead of your competitors. Therefore, a tool that can show you what they are doing, and which are the most successful keywords is exactly what you need.

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This Is How You Overcome Guest Posting Hidden Obstacles

Website traffic

One of the biggest difficulties that appear in the life of a new blogger or business owner is making his brand more popular. There are many marketing strategies promising incredible results and increased visibility. However, not all of them manage to bring an organic reach. Guest posting is one of the most efficient methods if you want to increase your brand awareness.

Why is guest posting so efficient?

Apart from the increased traffic, this is a strategy that can also bring you more authority on the market especially when you are a professional contributor. What comes after all these? More clients who will bring more revenue and business opportunities. Apart from these, there are many other benefits connected to guest posting:

  1. It will make you more visible to a new audience who can easily become your loyal client.
  2. High-quality posts will help you be perceived as an expert and so build your authority.
  3. You will experience a steady traffic growth.
  4. Your SEO performance will be positively impacted and strengthen your position on the market.

Guest posting challenges

Even though it may seem a piece of cake, guest posting has many hidden obstacles. It takes a lot of research if you want to be successful in using this strategy. While this is a rewarding method, there are many aspects you should consider before you start. Keep reading this article and discover how to overcome guest posting challenges:

1. You don’t have any writing samples

You don’t have to feel discouraged if you don’t have any samples to send together with your ideas. There are many top websites accepting guest bloggers without any samples. If you still want to present a portfolio to increase your chances, you can choose a niche you are best at. You can do an extensive research to find out what are the most popular posts on the chosen topic. You can start writing a couple of samples on the selected topic and send them as your portfolio.

2. It is difficult to find surprising ideas to pitch

Everyone wants to be unique and stand out with a viral guest post. But how do you find those incredible topics? There are plenty of sources that can inspire you. For instance, you can have a look on social media and read the comments to find out more about what people are interested in. YouTube and the bookstore nearby your house can also be a great source of inspiration.

3. You are not sure who reads your ideas

You already have the list of topics and websites you want to contact, but you feel it is not enough. Do you know who is the person reading your email? You can find more by having a look on social media and discover who are the editors of the sites you want to contact. Therefore, when you can personalize your pitch and include subtle details that will catch their attention.

4. You don’t know how your pitch should look like

How can you send a successful pitch if you don’t have any template to help you? There is no such thing as a flawless pitch. You will do mistakes and you will learn from them in your future pitches. However, a good pitch should include the following elements:

  1. A straightforward subject
  2. The editor’s name
  3. Shortly introduce yourself and your experience
  4. Why you want to guest post
  5. What is your idea and how the readers will benefit from it
  6. Portfolio or samples

5. When to follow-up

Not all the websites will reply immediately to you. There might be some that will never come back. Usually, bigger publications receive hundreds of pitches daily. So, you should take into consideration a reply within 7 or 14 days. Moreover, you need to consider the date of your submission. This means that you should expect more delays if you sent your pitch before the weekend or bank holidays.


In conclusion, guest posting is an amazing experience for any new blogger or entrepreneur. It brings a lot of visibility for your brand and helps you build your position on the market. You should also be prepared for rejections and not get discouraged in case not all your pitches are accepted.

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Actionable Content Marketing Stats You Should Know

content marketing metrics

Content Marketing Works & Research Shows Buyers Respond to It

Consumers’ average attention span is 8 seconds – 1 second less than a goldfish.

70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads.

57% — that’s how far the average B2B buyer is through the purchase decision before engaging a supplier sales rep.

Inbound (content) marketing delivers 54% more leads into the marketing funnel than traditional outbound leads.

Content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62% less.

60% of people are inspired to seek out a product after reading content about it.

The top content formats that B2B buyers seek to research a purchase include: whitepapers (78%), case studies (73%), webinars (67%), eBooks (58%), videos (58%), blog posts (56%), and infographics (52%). All other formats fall below 50%.

B2B buyers share these content formats more frequently with colleagues: blog posts (40%), infographics (39%), videos (37%), white papers (34%), case studies (29%). 

Blogging  Creates a Relationship with Prospects & Customers

82% of marketers who blog see positive ROI for their inbound marketing

80% of internet users are reached by social media sites and blogs

82% of buyers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content

78% perceive a relationship with a company after reading custom content

Companies that increase blogging from 3-5X/month to 6-8X/month almost double their leads.

SEO & Keywords Meet Prospects Where They Are

B2B buyers conduct an average of 12 searches before ever jumping on a specific brand’s site.

61% of global Internet users research products online. 

SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate. (Source)

Email & Lead Nurturing – The Most Effective Way to Convert

Emails sent via marketing automation drive 18x more revenue than email blasts.

79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance.

Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.

Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads.

Facebook – 72% of Online Adults Use It. You Can’t Ignore It.

Posts that contains photos make-up 93% of the most engaging posts.

Most engagement occurs towards the end of the week from Wednesday to Friday. [Source

Question posts get 100% more comments than standard text-based posts.

35% of users participate in contests, 42% like a page in order to get a discount or coupon. 

Timeless Twitter Tips

Image links can get 2x the engagement rate.

Tweets with hashtags get 2x more engagement

Tweets have a 12x higher chance of being retweeted if you ask for it, and 23x higher if you actually spell out the word “retweet” 

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>> Overwhelmed by the thought of creating your own content marketing strategy? Or simply need a one-off, conversion-friendly white paper, infographic, or case study? Email carla@3to5marketing and let’s generate some leads!

 

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Hofects Marketing | Guide Your Customers Through Their FOMO

The paradox of choice, marketing. consumer marketing, product marketing

At first, it may seem like a benefit to be able to offer a whole lot of choices to your customers. Whether its choice of products, product bundles, colors, sizes, or pricing options, more is better, right? You offer so many choices, it sets you apart from your competitors. Your customers can pick exactly what they want because you offer so many. That’s how the thinking goes, right?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way at all — a fact which we often forget in our “more is better” world.

Here’s why. There’s a concept called the “paradox of choice”, which was identified and studied by lots of psychologists in recent years. What they’ve found is that having too much to choose from actually creates high levels of stress and anxiety, especially if the choices represent high-value purchases or outcomes. It turns out there’s a point at which too much choice causes paralysis (and hence indecision) at the thought that we might choose poorly. You may have heard this described as FOMO (fear of missing out). We’ve all been there, right?

Americans make 70 different choices every day. Talk about overload! Is it any wonder we can be indecisive?

Therefore, when you’re creating marketing messages for your products and services, think about the fact that someone’s purchase decision around your product might be #68 for that day. You can see why, at that point, they just want you to tell them what to buy!

So, guide them. Curate the information for maximum relevance.

  • Think hard about whether or not your marketing message should lead with the fact that your product comes in 50+ variations. Maybe that’s not actually a good thing.
  • If your product can be easily customized to reduce choices by say, asking a few questions; or it comes with a “default” setting; or additional choices can come at different stages of the purchase, then promote that in your messaging. Consumers will feel relieved that you’re helping them make a choice.
  • (And if your product doesn’t come with the above, consider changing it so that it does).
  • When offering pricing packages, for example on online subscription services, default to the medium option, rather than the highest or lowest priced.
  • And finally (my own pet peeve), cut down on your CTAs! Whether it’s an email, blog post, or web page, don’t cram it full of multiple calls to action. Pick one primary and make it prominent. If you need to have secondary CTAs, make them less prominent so that there’s a clear hierarchy of choice.


>> Trying to find the balance between too much and too little in your marketing messages? I can help you negotiate that fine line. Give me a shout.

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Interested in reading the scholarly evidence behind the paradox of choice? (I’ll admit, it’s a fascinating view into human behavior!) Start here:

  • Zbigniew Lipowski, The Conflict of Buridan’s Ass, The American Journal of Psychiatry, 1970.
  • Sheena Iyengar, When Choice is Demotivating, The Journal of Personal Social Psychology, 2000.
  • Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, 2004.
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I’m busy. I’m stressed. I have 8.25 seconds. WTFSIC? | Marketing for Our Short Attention Spans

Copywriting, marketing

WTFSIC? aka Why the F**k Should I Care?

The average attention span of a consumer today is 8.25 seconds. That’s down from 12 seconds in 2000. That’s also less than the attention span of a goldfish (9 seconds), although I have no idea how they go about measuring that.

Put yourself in your overwhelmed, frazzled, impatient customers’ shoes, and for their sake, ask yourself WTFSIC? every time you create / write / develop / post a marketing message / tagline / tweet / headline / blog / email / or ad.

That’s right. Every time.

If you follow this advice, it should keep you from falling into the trap that businesses so easily fall into –

  • talking about your products from your company perspective instead of the customers’.
  • describing the product’s features, but not the benefits.
  • thinking that a prospect will make the leap of logic that you’ve made in your clever ad, and understand why your product is so great, without you spelling it out.
  • assuming that prospects will take the time to click around your website to learn about your product.
  • believing that the only thing you have to do to get prospects to give you their email address or request a sales call, is to display a “Learn More” button on your website.

“Learn more”? Seriously. Why would the average adult consumer, who has 360 messages firing at them every day via TV, radio, web, and print media (source: Media Dynamics), take the time to click a “Learn more” button? Even prospects who are actually in the market for your product don’t have that kind of patience.

What they do want is for you to describe your product’s benefits (not features) in a very brief, concise message, using simple, non-buzzword language, in a way that tells them immediately how it will make their life better, starting tomorrow. This goes for the B2B and B2C space (after all, all purchase decisions are made by the same frazzled humans).

Oh, and maybe give them a value-added resource too (like a white paper, an infographic, a how-to guide). Note: I did not say “give them a brochure about your company”. Because that requires thinking. A purely value-added piece will be useful to them and will make it abundantly clear what your product will do for them, right away.

Don’t make them think. Don’t make them click. Don’t make them hunt for where to click. Put the WTFSIC right on your homepage. In fact on every page of your site. Or at the top of your email (or better yet, the subject line). Or at the top of your ads. Make every single word in your marketing messages be meaningful to your audience. Spell out for them exactly why they should consider your product.

So, what do I want you to do now?

Every time you craft a marketing message, stop after every sentence and ask “WTFSIC?” It will force you to think from your customers’ perspective (after a while, this becomes embedded in your thinking process) and craft marketing messages that get them to take action. And ultimately sell more of your product. Because that’s why you’re in business, right?

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If you need help crafting concise, meaningful, compelling marketing messages, websites, blogs, or graphics, give me a shout. This is what I do best. But be prepared to hear WTFSIC a lot.

 

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