Branding lessons from Deloitte and 195,000 brand managers, by Carlos Martinez Onaindia & Brian Resnick.
For our last post of 2016 we’d like to update one of our most popular blog posts ever. This book still stands out as the best B2B Branding Lessons we have ever seen. Get in touch if you would like a free copy.
Construction equipment marketing literature has evolved from patent drawings to amazing 3D animations. Here we will focus on the static limitations of photography, illustration and descriptive text. For inspiration you can stop by your favorite auto dealership on the way home, the big three’s sales literature will always be a great guide to technical communication. Cars are just as complicated as construction and processing equipment and they have to be sold to a general public. Just like the technical literature you design.
Every good piece of literature starts with the expert sales representative; they know what images to show and what benefits and features to address. For the best short summary of industrial marketing techniques, download Business Marketing Association Director Rick Kean’s presentation,“Marketing Skills Assessment,” delivered to the 2005 AdVenture Electrical Industry Marketing Conference. Learn more on our Marketing Handbook intro page.
When it comes to Internet Marketing the phrase “Content is King” is tossed around quite often, but when it comes to Internet Marketing, and especially Search Engine Optimization, it is important to remember that only the right content, the most relevant content to connect your business to your potential customer should reign supreme.
In considering how to streamline your site to attract visitors who match your several-to-many buyer personas, and when optimizing your site so that search providers can point these visitors your way, it is necessary to realize that there is no way that one or even a handful of pages could ever manage to cover all of this. Trying to gear even a forty-page site toward even one target audience, when so many possible keywords and long-tailed keywords are needed, will surely only result in a loss of keyword saturation per-page and hurt your search engine optimization.
Other Advantages of Fresh Content over a Static Page Site:
Static pages, though essential later in the decision-making process, do not make for the sort of content potential customers crave when seeking solutions.
Search providers are also on the hunt for fresh content in order to direct their users to the most relevant and most up-to-date information.
Having a larger site, allows for more-specialized content, each page with its own content geared toward a smaller, more-precise sample of the larger target audience, with content geared more-specifically toward their needs.
Blogging is not only the best approach at White-Hat SEO, it is a great way to avoid the pitfalls of Black Hat SEO
In order to understand why that last bit is so incredibly-important, one must first know a little bit about both White Hat and Black Hat SEO.
What is White-Hat SEO and What is Black-Hat SEO?
Search engine algorithms are constantly changing, and sometimes staying on top of it all can seem daunting, but when you think this work from a point of view outside that of a marketer, developer, or site owner, it all becomes much, much more simple:
The goal of the search engine is to connect users with the most useful, most precise, most specifically-targeted content to fit their needs. Site owners can benefit from this in that those who visit their site are more likely to be doing so intentionally, in search of related products, services, or solutions. Visitors also benefit from information relevant to the problem they are seeking to solve. These people may become return visitors or even customers, especially if they are brought to the correct page of the site to begin with, which is another important part of your site’s relationship with search providers.
Ideally, these visitors will land on that perfect page to encourage them to stay and read. If that content is informative and interesting, that content likely to be shared or bookmarked as a part of the visitor’s decision-making process. If that content does not offer valuable information, and does not give the visitor any feeling that they may be in the right place, the visitor will often return to the search provider and try other search results. You may never see them again, even if they were looking for services you offer.
Like visitors, search engines pick up on these things too. Search providers’ algorithms are streamlined more and more every day to help their users find what they are looking for, and avoid sites or pages that misrepresent or fail to represent what they have to offer. This is why you need to learn how to recognize and avoid Black-Hat SEO tactics.
Some Signs of White-Hat SEO
You are looking to bring the right visitors to your site, which are visitors who have problems or needs that you can solve.
You are seeking to reward their visit with information valuable to their decision-making process.
You use accurate keywords in your content’s description, title, and url.
Keywords can be easily found within the visible content of your page, and make sense in their context, because they are an actual part of the content.
Inbound links come from satisfied visitors, leaders in your industry, or magazines and blogs related to your industry.
A Few Signs of Black-Hat SEO
Keywords are repeated over and over in the content, to the point of making the content difficult to follow or unpleasant to read.
Keywords are in content that is hidden, where it serves no use to the visitor at all.
Inbound links are from pay-by-link sites, comments on blogs, pages/sites that serve no purpose other than to provide indexes of junk links.
Image alt tags are not worded to inform the reader, who may be sightless or may be a search crawler, what the image actually contains.
Content is duplicated from elsewhere, or copied and reworded to seem like unique content.
Black-Hat SEO is very-easily recognized if you think of it: Black Hat SEO is any approach that seeks to trick or manipulate search providers.
White-Hat SEO is just as easy to sum up: White Hat SEO is about creating great content in order reward the right visitors, and minimize bounce rates.
Bounce rates help no one. High bounce rates will only serve to make your marketing a more frustrating process, and prevent you from fine-tuning your marketing machine to reward the ideal visitor for finding your site.
Good SEO, and a good inbound marketing strategy is all about quality links from search engines leading to quality content specialized for quality leads. Quality *and* quantity are essential toward good keyword saturation because good keyword saturation is no-longer just about a page or a post, but the entire content of a site or domain. Site-wide keyword saturation *and* content keyword saturation work together to bring a visitor to the right page of the right site.
Diagram: How to annoy with alt tags
Blogging and Site-Wide Keyword Density / Keyword Saturation
Blogging is most beneficial from an SEO standpoint, not just in garnering shares and other relevant inbound-links to expand your authority, but in adding to the overall keyword density of your site. Adding to the keyword density of the site as a whole is much more effective than filling individual pages or posts with keywords. New posts also expand the site with fresh, unique content to be indexed, which search engines love.
If your site has 2000 original posts, and 1750 of those posts are somewhat-related to gardening equipment, your post on selecting the right tiller has a good chance of ranking well. If it is useful enough to be shared by a few individuals, it will rank even higher.
The Value of Unique Content
I stress original because unique content is very valuable to your SEO, but shared or duplicated content can have the opposite effect, and serves mostly to give authority to the website(s) of the originating source(s).
Have you ever searched for information and only found the same point of view over and over again in near-identical wording over a few hundred websites? Frustrating, isn’t it? In order to eliminate this frustration, those sites that are sharing information, white papers, and other content provided to them, are far less-likely to get good search placement. – and reword as you will, it will likely be recognized as duplicate content. Doing this only serves to boost the search authority of the originator. Sharing, in moderation can be beneficial to your site’s overall keyword density, if you don’t overdo it, and remember to only share content that has value for your visitors.
Unique content through blogging (and blogging regularly) will allow you to have focused, targeted information on your site for the many individuals that make up your many prospective customers and will allow you to boost the authority of your site for all of those individuals as a whole.
Blogging has become the most essential on-site tool for inbound marketing, and is a must for anyone whose business model depends on being found through search providers.
If you are interested in our services for blogging, articles, news releases, advertorials, other content services or custom-building a CMS/COS for your web site, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 513.961.1174 or contact us through our contact page.
It was built to reflect the look and feel of Roto-Disc‘s product catalog about as closely as could be done with a website. It matched Roto-Disc‘s catalogue so very well that the site itself felt like well-designed and well-planned literature.
Pages were designed, not as a whole in cookie-cutter fashion, but for their purpose. Much like a printed brochure, everything was cohesively-branded as one well-collected work – yet each individual page was custom-tailored to best-present the products and services on that page.
The existing outline was near-perfect. Divisions between pages and topics were pretty spot-on, easy to navigate and easy to follow.
Above: The standard HTML site that was.
It was however, as sites made years ago tend to be: static in size and format, with no mobile menus or even alternate mobile version, and no CMS or other way to dynamically-generate new content – all of which we know to be a problem today for these reasons:
Google now gives better indexing for mobile-friendly sites, and penalizes sites that do not have mobile-friendly design or versions.
Engineers and other decision-makers in the Process Industry cannot easily view these sites while they are out in the field, which is about the time that needs for new equipment tend to arise or happen to be revealed.
Sites not viewed by mobile users do not get shared by mobile users, who make up for an increasingly-large percentage of internet viewers.
Sites that are blogs, WIKIS, or otherwise CMS-driven, have a sizable SEO advantage over most sites that are not. Growing content and fostering inbound links are incredibly-important to SEO. Blogs also enable a company to position itself as an industry leader, and give them the tools to build and maintain better customer relationships.
From This We Created A Short List of Initial Project Goals:
Emulate the general look and feel of Roto-Disc‘s catalog, which we had recently updated for the new product line.
Preserve the image-based menu and allow for more menu items to be added.
Make their site completely responsive and mobile-friendly.
Make navigating and reading the site easy for *all* sizes: large screens, smartphones, *and* tablets.
Build it as a CMS (WordPress in this case) for blogging, scaleable SEO, Inbound Marketing, and ease of content editing.
Include the best SEO plugins available so that the SEO approach can be updated for new search rules and algorithms.
Which Enabled Us to Build This List of Challenges:
The new catalog was rich with very in-depth charts for most every product. Some of these would require tables with at least 15 columns. Large tables are very difficult to display on mobile devices and harder still to display in a size and format that is easy to read and does not require scrolling or turning the device to horizontal view.
We wanted the image-based menu to look good on desktop systems, and did not want to lose it to a simple mobile menu at tablet and mobile sizes.
The image-based menu would require dropdowns so that viewers would have direct access to the spefic product information they were looking for.
We needed dropdown menus to work for desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphones. Since touch devices do not have a hover state for links, we needed to make the menu expand and contract when clicked, not moused over. This was a major consideration when it came to tablet users, because the image would present somewhat like the desktop version, but with no mouseover capabilities.
We wanted to preserve the image menus even in the mobile version if possible.
Having “sticky” always-on-top navigation is always nice when it comes to desktops and laptops – We wanted to find a way to do this for both the header and standard navigation, as well as the image navigation. We wanted to do this without these items completely consuming the available viewport. We also wanted the sticky image menu to not be sticky on tablets because of limited space.
For tablet users who would lose this sticky navigation, we needed alternatives, such as an easy way to return to the navigation and/or adding navigation also to the footer of the pages.
Wide-open: The site design is based on the Brochure, but made for web, driven by WordPress, with an image menu plugin for ease of editing the image-based menu.
An Additional Consideration: For Desktop users, the image links display an instruction when moused over, letting them know that clicking will open and close the submenu (though the submenu will go also away on its own when no longer in focus).
The benefits of using a plugin and not hard-coding this aspect: All of the above menu and Submenu items can be added, removed, or edited through the control panel.
Two Sticky Menus in motion: The Image menu slides up onto the header when the page is scrolled, and stays – leaving the most important items of both sets of navigation always at the top of the screen for easy access.
Not so sticky: On smaller-sized screens not quite small-enough for the mobile menu the image menu items switch size to fall into three rows of three icons. The menu no longer sticks at the top so that content can be seen when scrolling.
Large Tables: These charts do not seem like they will fit well on a smaller screen… especially not on mobile, not even in landscape aspect. What can be done?
AHA! Jquery to the rescue: By rotating the table header text 90% and re-scaling those cells accordingly, we have a LOT more space to work with when presenting these tables on mobile devices. No scrolling necessary. Some strategic line-breaking in the product number column and Viola!
The Mobile Menu: It seems as though the image menu has been lost… and that would be sad. … but we can do better!
Huzzah!: There is that image menu again, not lost afterall.
The “Open/Close” Instructions: They are pointless here, because you cannot mouseover on a tablet or other mobile device, but they won’t be seen for this reason. Plus: They are still handy if you like keeping your browser window very small.
Tricky: Submenus on an image menu in a mobile menu. I can’t think of any place I have seen this before – actually *many* aspects of this project were something completely new.
Falling in line: Divs and most tables break apart – images set themselves to fill the viewport, and horizontal content becomes vertical in order to keep images large enough to view, also keeping text from being crammed awkwardly on the smaller screen.
Below: You’ll notice the menu does not stick to the top in mobile view. Sticky menus on mobile, especially for sites with many pages, are not a good idea. If the menu extends beyond the viewport, and does not scroll – then the only part of the menu that can be accessed is the part at the top of the screen. This will leave visitors stuck and incredibly frustrated. You can in some cases make another scrollbar just for the navigation, but if it is not seen visitors will think they have arrived at a broken site and move on.
Cincinnati native Myke Amend recently joined Lohre & Associates, the Over-the-Rhine-based marketing communications agency, fulltime as Web Design & Internet Development creative officer. Amend has worked with Lohre for the past 10 years as a web designer and web developer on a freelance basis from Grand Rapids, Mich.
Amend, who returns to Cincinnati for the new position, brings two decades experience as a graphic designer, web designer, programmer, and Internet developer, working on a variety of business-to-business and consumer accounts. Additionally, Amend is an illustrator, engraver and painter, whose work has been commissioned by other artists in film, music and literature.
“We’re very excited to have Myke working with us,” says Chuck Lohre, president, “He brings the creativity and skills of a fine artist, with his vast digital expertise. It’s a perfect combination for our agency, which is known for creative solutions to the wide variety of branding, strategy and digital implementation projects we handle for our clients.”
Adds Amend, “It’s gratifying to know Chuck and his team of designers, writers, strategists and brand experts welcome the years of experience I bring from fine arts with the in-demand digital know-how. I’m excited to develop ways we can continue to solve challenges for the companies who have looked to Lohre for ways to set them apart from their competitors.”
Amend’s illustrations have been featured in “Weird Tales” magazine, “Beneath Ceaseless Skies,” “Gatehouse Gazette,” “Kilter” magazine, “Gothic Beauty” magazine, the art collection “Gothic Art Now,” the art collection “Vampire Art Now,” the “Airship Pirates RPG” and many more print publications as well as popular online resources such as “IO9,” “Elfwood,” “Dark Roasted Blend,” “Fantasy Art” magazine, “Lines and Colors,” “Brass Goggles,” “Gawker, “BoingBoing.” His work has also been featured on the sites of literary creatives including Warren Ellis, Thomas Ligotti, Neil Gaiman and Clive Barker.
Additionally Dexter Palmer, Cherie Priest, The Pickled Brothers Sideshow, Vernian Process, Veronique Chevalier, the Borgia Popes, Automaton, Abney Park and others have commissioned Amend for works. He is often a special guest of art, horror and steampunk conventions. He also works in sculpture and kinetic art, most notably having created a 4000-lb. solar and wind-powered rotating mural and 3D work called “the Infernal Device,” which was displayed at the Gerald R. Ford Museum for ArtPrize 2011.
In between Myke has filled his time working on ModelARestorers.org, as sole designer, webmaster, and server admin of a site serving 180 chapters Worldwide, creating advertising art for Disney Fine Art Gallery, and of course working for Lohre and Associates, for whom he now works full time.
Effective today, Monday, August 3rd, Orbus Exhibit & Display Group is proud to announce price reductions on many of its popular product lines, including: Most Retractable Banner Stand hardware All Banner Stand graphics (all materials) Aero Banner System hardware &…
Lohre & Associates, Inc. is an Industrial Marketing Company, serving local companies and in business since 1934. We know industrial businesses, and we offer quality in-person service for Cincinnati-area industrial businesses.