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The Whiteboard

our thoughts on marketing

Sierra
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A/B Testing

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A/B testing is comparing two versions of a web page to see which one is better. This is done when comparing two web pages by showing two variants to similar visitors at the same time. The winner is decided by the overall highest conversion rate. The main goal for all websites is to have a reason to exist. They want consumers to visit their website and buy their products/ services. Measuring the performance of a variation (A or B) means measuring the rate at which it converts its visitors to potential buyers.

Why Use A/B Testing?

This method allows you to get the most out of your existing traffic. Although the cost of acquiring paid traffic can be high, increasing your conversions is more budget friendly. The overall Return On Investment (ROI) of A/B testing can be substantial. This can be done by making simple improvements such as changing parts on a landing page or website. Inevitably, resulting in significant increases in leads generated, sales and revenue.

What Can Be Tested?

Basically anything available on your website that plays a role in visitor behavior can be A/B tested.  Some examples are listed below:

  • Headlines
  • Sub Headlines
  • Paragraph Text
  • Testimonials
  • Links
  • Images
  • Social Proof
  • Media Mentions
  • Awards and badges

More advanced testing includes sales promotions, pricing structures, free trial lengths, paid delivery and much more.

SEO Combines with A/B Testing

Here are some guidelines for running an effective A/B test with little impact on your websites’ search implementation.

  • Use 302s, not 301s: Using a temporary redirect instead of a permanent redirect will help to keep the original URL in their index rather than replacing it with the target of the redirect.
  • No Cloaking: Do not show different content to humans and Googlebot.
  • Run when necessary: Time for each reliable test will vary depending on certain factors, such as conversion rates and how much traffic has been driven to your site. Once you have collected the necessary date and a conclusion has been made, you should update your site with the correct adjustments.

A/B Process   

In order to have a successful A/B testing experiment, you need to follow a certain process. Below include the steps to achieve the desired A/B testing results.

  • Understand your Website Data: Analytic tools such as Google Analytics helps with finding problem spots in your conversion focus.
  • Be Aware of Your Users: Knowing what appeals to your visitor’s aids with conversion. Make sure to please the consumers because they are the main reason for your site’s success.
  • Form a Hypothesis: Create a hypothesis that intends to increase your conversion rate.
  • Test Said Hypothesis: In order to increase conversion, you need to figure out the most strategic and efficient way to achieve your hypothesis.
  • Analyze and Form Conclusions: Analyze the A/B test results to see which variation received the highest conversions. The obvious winner should be implemented. If results are inconclusive, repeat and reconstruct initial hypothesis.
  • Inform Others: Let other people in related fields aware of test results and the visions generated.
Sierra
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Pay-Per-Click Does the Trick

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Pay-Per-Click Advertising often referred to as PPC is a marketing technique that allows business owners to display their ads on a website, in return for a fee each time a user clicks the ad. Ultimately, it is a way of buying visits to your website, as opposed to earning the visits through organic strategies. Here at Butane Digital we can help create an effective PPC campaign. PPC offers many advantages to business owners. Let’s take a look at them below.

Fast & Measurable Results

PPC is simple and generates traffic quickly. One of the most luring benefits of PPC for advertisers is that it is one of the fastest ways to drive traffic. Once the ad goes live your website has the potential to be seen by a wide audience. This in turn drives traffic acquisition for your business. PPC campaign results can be measured easily. Metrics used in PPC allows advertisers to see if their ads are being effective in generating conversion and profit. These metrics show the number of viewers, what demographic saw the ad, number of clicks and if the clicks were effective. PPC also uses conversion pixels, such as AdWords. This tool allows you to see what key words are most effective in generating and driving traffic to your website.

Concentrate

PPC advertising can help your businesses gain profit. Concentrating on what you want is crucial to the success. It will be difficult if you don’t know the purpose from the beginning. Keeping a clear mind-set helps staying on track, selecting the right keywords, creating effective ad messages and increasing your conversion rates. When choosing keywords make sure to focus on specific words. Broad keywords tend to cost more and although it may generate a huge number of clicks, it won’t necessarily result to conversions.

Straight to the Point  

When writing ad messages make sure they are clear and easy to understand. If you want to attract viewers, you need to make sure they are done well so users know what your business has to offer. The market is constantly changing so it’s imperative to stay up to date with your viewers. Be aware of your target audience and competitors bid for a specific word. Once you become aware of these changes it’s up to you to make the necessary adjustments.

Meet Your Needs

PPC advertising gives your business the opportunity to design and control your campaign. You are able to decide the duration of when the ads are displayed.  PPC gives you the option of targeting your advertisements to a specific audience or paying more for certain keywords. Another benefit to the use of PPC is that it’s budget friendly. You are able to control costs when setting budgets. As a PPC advertiser you can decide how much you want to spend for clicks from specific keywords. Once you figure out what works best you can spend more of your budget in that area, while setting up limited budget tests to try new tactics.

 

Sierra
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B2B vs. B2C Marketing

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When working with prospective clients you need to realize the difference between marketing to a business and marketing to a consumer. The experience for each is different and needs to be approached correctly. Marketing to a B2B is based more on logic because businesses want to use their time and money efficiently. When marketing to B2C the focus is placed upon emotion, which in turns helps build customer relations.  To fully understand the differences between the two types I have broken it down a little further.

B2B Marketing

The key when marketing to a B2B is focusing on the logic of the product. This is done by gaging your attention to the overall features. There is not as much personal emotional emotion involved in regards to the purchasing decision. Rather, you should focus your attention on understanding the buyers. Be strategic and effective. Know what the organizational buyers want and how they operate. Discover what’s important to them. Business buyers are aware of your services and are looking for a company to help them stay profitable. The B2B market seeks information and wants what’s most effective for them. When making pitches to business to business clients be more in-depth with your marketing. Your most effective pitch will focus on how your service helps them save time, money and resources. While the main focus is placed upon logic, you can’t forget emotion completely. You need to keep in mind that behind the business are people. These people are looking for the best of both worlds; businesses that offer the right needs and attitude. B2B customer service is done with the initial contact of your company. Be aware of their overall needs, but back it with logic, strong data and financial benefits.

B2C Marketing

When marketing to a consumer the focus is placed on the benefits of the product. Consumers are not as interested in lengthy marketing messages. Instead, they want you to get straight to the point.  Rather than understanding your benefits they want you to directly point them out. Your overall message should be concise and easy to understand. The most effective marketing strategies will target the results and benefits of using your service. Business-to-consumer market is more interested in the benefit of the product. Specifically, they want to know how the company’s service helps them and what benefits it brings to them. Their overall goal is to convert shoppers into buyer as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Know Your Brand

Having a strong brand is valued in both B2B and B2C markets. However, each one views brand differently. In business-to-business market brand will only help with consideration of your service. Whereas business-to-consumer can become encouraged by your brand. B2B buyers are more rational when selecting a service. For consumers, brand plays into the equation. In either case a quality brand is needed, in order to make a good first impression. Be conscious of the type of market your clients are in to ensure your resources are being used effectively.

Sierra
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Social Media the Right Way

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Social Media plays a huge role in gaining customers. Getting your name out there is vital for success. It can be difficult to do social media marketing correctly. Quality over quantity is the mantra for social media. Every business has their own techniques on gaining loyal customers, so being able to adapt to the the needs of your target audience is crucial. Here are some ways to make sure your social media parallels with your professional persona.

Fundamental Questions

Having social media for your company helps with your overall success. Getting your name out there is what every business owner wants. When using social media, you need to ask yourself some fundamental questions:

  • Whose attention am I seeking with social media?
  • What do I want them to do?
  • Why am I investing time in social media?
  • Are there social media platforms that speak to segments of my market?

Asking yourself these basic questions allows you to truly gage your focus on your social media handles. Strategically planning out your posts on social media is pertinent. Be aware of your audience and avoid posts that could be misinterpreted.

Stay on Schedule

When using social media, you need to be consistent. Engagement is imperative. Keep your audience intrigued and informed about the success of your business. Using a social media management platform like Sprout Social helps to coordinate all of your social media accounts and allows you to schedule posts. Being active online gives your viewers a more interpersonal connection with your company. Delegating social media posts needs to be thought out. You need someone that is social-savvy and knows all the ins and outs of your business. Consistency and reliability is everything.

Don’t Waste time

Social Media marketing is most effective when posts are light on selling and small talk that’s not related to what your business has to offer. Rather be helpful. The overall goal of your social media activity must be gaged towards gaining and retaining customers. Be strategic with your posts. Don’t go idle on social media and make sure all communication via handles isn’t casual. Just because the messages are communicated informally doesn’t mean you can let your professional guard down. Keep track of your social media interactions. See what’s working and fix what isn’t. Experimentation is a vital component when dealing with social media marketing. Investing time in internal marketing is imperative when wanting to increase customer retention.

Sierra
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SEO: Not Dead, Just the Beginning

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Having online activity is a vital component to the success of your business. Everyone wants their company to be seen and that can be done with the use of search engine optimization (SEO.) Doubtful on the effectiveness of SEO? Here are some reasons for getting help from SEO experts like ourselves here at Butane Digital!

SEO Makes Your Website Seen

Creating a brilliant and creative website is nice and all, but it won’t be effective if people are not able to find it. Guaranteed success from your website is based upon grabbing attention from the search engines. Butane Digital’s expertise in SEO will contribute to the success of your website.  Here is a breakdown of how SEO works:

  • Find out what important words to include.
  • Have content that is significant.
  • Grab the attention of search engines.

Including the products/services in your website increases the chances of potential users landing on your website when entering a search phrase. Establishing solid key words will allow your website to be featured on the first page. The use of SEO experts can guarantee that your website will be found in the top search results. This in turn boosts recognition of your site and drives traffic.

Ranking Factors

Understanding how SEO works will attract more attention. Navigating your site with the correct keywords will bring more visitors. It is imperative to know what works for your site to drive the success of your website. With this in mind your site will be found in the top rankings on search engines. To ensure desired rankings here are some things to keep in mind:

  • If it’s working stick with it.
  • Be ahead of the changes in search algorithms.
  • Have your plan thought out before these changes are introduced.

Now while all of this may seem easy SEO does take time. Patience is a virtue and with the right attitude anything can happen.

SEO Enhances Credibility

Having a sense of credibility is essential to making your online presence effective. Without gaining the trust of your potential customers all of your efforts will have been for nothing. SEO is so powerful when it comes to gaining attention and validating your credibility. An essential component to credibility is link building. Having more links on your site boosts the reputation. However, make sure that the links are natural rather than forced. Top search engines like Google factor that in when ranking your website.

SEO is pertinent to the success of your business. This innovative tool keeps your site looking fresh while attracting users. It teaches you to be up to date with the latest trend. Customers are constantly looking for the next best thing. This can be achieved by updating your site frequently by simply replacing images and the content provided. Keep viewers engaged by uploading interesting things and recent successes. Creating the most efficient meta descriptions and tag lines are crucial. These simple things can help you gain customer loyalty and long term clients.

Sierra
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Agency Branding: Defining Your Company from the Beginning

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Establishing your company’s brand from the beginning is a vital component in the the business industry. Initially this can be a difficult task. The continual combination of being indecisive and a perfectionist can definitely play a key factor. Starting your brand off with a clear-cut motive is essential, in order to retain your company’s identity as a whole and gain competitors in the industry.

Your Brand

Defining your brand is a process! Answering these questions can help with that:

  • What is the overall vision of your company?
  • What beneficial outcomes are resulted from the use of your products/services?
  • How do you want your customers to describe your company as a whole?

Know the Overall Outcome of Your Company  

As a company you need to know what goals you want to be achieved in the long-run. “Branding” instills the image customers have on your company. This derives from how you define yourself, what you want to be, and the perceived image of how people view you to be.  While developing your brand, keep in mind your identity and the wants and needs of your target customers. Understanding your customers will result in a higher retention rate.

Butane

Here at Butane Digital we know our vision. We are always evolving and adapting to the latest cutting edge practices and innovations. Our team takes a business- centric approach and asks “does this really help the client?” We take pride in our core values: dedication, experience, transparency and energy. Butane’s fresh, spunky and driven team sets us apart from the rest!

 

Sierra
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New Year, New You? How to be Happier in the Work Place

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Starting the new year off can be full of optimism and high hopes. It’s the chance for you to start fresh and make new goals. Happiness is an essential component. No one likes working with a grouch, so why be one? Here are some simple ways to make you an overall happier person!

Exercise

Yep, you heard it. Exercising plays a huge factor in productivity, which can result in better motivation and work ethic. Exercising may not appeal to everyone because of the intense stigmas placed on workouts. However, studies have shown that there is actually no difference between the moderate and low intensity workouts: you still receive the same productivity. That’s great news when it comes to exercise newbies! Hate to work out by yourself? Ask a friend or co-worker to join you! Not only will they keep you company, but also act as your boost of energy to make sure you stay on track (best of both worlds!) Enjoy some time out of the office to rid away any stress and allow your mind to be free!

Get Out There

Connections. Connections. Connections. Make it a goal to broaden your social network with colleagues you haven’t spent much time with. No matter the size of your company, get out there and be a social butterfly. Make a list of people you would like to get to know more and make it happen! Exposing yourself to new people (or people you know, but not well enough) can optimize your knowledge by inspiring your mind with new outlooks and ideas!

Involvement

Nothing is more satisfying and rewarding than knowing you have made an impact and difference on someone. An easy way to accomplish this is by getting involved within your community. Make it a group effort with co-workers or take a detour from your fast paced life and go on your own, either way a difference is being made! Volunteering allows you to focus less on your problems, and be consumed by fulfillment and gratitude knowing you are doing something meaningful!

Show Appreciation

Give credit where credit is due! Recognition of one’s work or accomplishments not only reassures the individuals success, but continues engagement and instills an overall positive mood within the atmosphere. If you don’t have time to physically compliment their efforts, simply send a text or e-mail!

Think Positive

We all know that mistakes can  happen, but it’s up to you in how you move forward! Don’t be so hard on yourself, cheer up because the show must go on! Having a positive mindset allows you to detach from dwelling on the past, and continue your success. Don’t worry be happy am I right?

 

Anthony
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Aftermath: What You Need to Know About the Mobilegeddon

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A few months ago, Google rolled out a new algorithm change that affected all websites without mobile-friendly design. By now, you’ve probably heard all the doom and gloom about mobilegeddon—but did it really affect your website or your business? What does the future look like for mobile-friendly search? Here’s what you need to know for 2016.

Get Mobile…or Pay the Price

57% of consumers say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. Plus, 60% of all searches are performed on mobile devices. Google works to make the Internet more accessible to the world. The people have spoken, so businesses must get on board to ensure their website stays on top of search engine results.

Though the immediate effects of mobilegeddon weren’t as dramatic as marketers expected, the trend in algorithm changes will certainly continue to benefit mobile-friendly websites. So if you’re not working to ensure your website meets Google’s new mobile-friendly specs, your business won’t show up in mobile search results, time and time again—sending all that mobile traffic to your competitors.

How do we know how the new mobile algorithm will affect small businesses, long term? Truth is, we don’t. So it’s better safe than sorry—as consumers turn to more and more mobile devices, smartphones, tablets, and even wearables, it’s time to start moving toward mobile. Keep in mind that even if your site looks “ok” on your mobile device, it might not be up to speed as far as Google is concerned. Check it here with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.

B2B is Not Exempt

Think your B2B business wasn’t affected? Think again. Last year, 72% of B2B decision makers reported using mobile devices to research before buying products or services for their business. Couple that with the fact that there are billions of mobile devices out there being used to browse the web then it’s a pretty big deal.

Today’s marketing is flowing away from the traditional “B2B” and “B2C” labels. Now it’s all H2H: human-to-human. Your B2B website isn’t selling to other businesses. You’re selling to the people within those organizations.

Turns out business buyers make decisions the same way consumers do, and for the same reasons. They want information, competitive prices, and a vendor they can trust. Plus, they want to do their research in their downtime, on the train going to work or during an endless, boring meeting.

Bottom Line: Going mobile appeals to people. Your business website should, too.

Separate Mobile Site or Responsive Design?

While a separate mobile-friendly site or subdomain might seem like a quick fix, it’s worth evaluating your mobile-friendly website options. You can choose a responsive site design, a hybrid-responsive site design, an adaptive site design, or a separate mobile site.

Google openly advocates for responsive design, a kind of website design that readily adapts to the user’s screen, regardless of size. Responsive design has some definite advantages. You’ll only need to update and format one page, it updates across all devices, and it includes all features supported by mobile devices, including tablets. Your best bet is to consult with a creative team experienced in digital marketing to determine the best fit for your business.

The Social Shoe Drops

In May, there was another subtle algorithm change, involving social signals like bounce rate, for example. How long a user stays on your site, where they go when they leave a page, and how many people share your pages and posts further affect your search engine rankings. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, you could lose a lot of points in the social signals arena as well.

If you’ve lost search engine page ranking position recently, it could be any combination of issues, but if your site isn’t mobile friendly, that’s definitely where you should start focusing.

Google is really drilling down into user experience, with the goal of delivering the best possible content in the most accessible way. If you want your business to continue to stay relevant in search engine rankings, it’s your responsibility to craft a new mobile experience for your prospects, readily available on any and all devices your visitors might be addicted to at the moment.

Anthony
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Unlock Opportunities With A FREE Live Site Audit

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There’s an old saying out there that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. As marketers, we can draw parallels by saying you don’t know what’s wrong until you see it. That’s where we come in.

Value For You, The Customer

Having worked in the agency space for nearly a decade helping companies ranging in size from mom-and-pop eCommerce shops to Fortune 100 corporations, the biggest thing I’ve learned is that prospective customers want a taste of what’s to come in a prospective retained services engagement.  At Butane, we put everything on the table, true to our core value of transparency, throughout the sales process and we’re proud of it. As a result we’re rolling out FREE 30-minute live site audits via Join.Me.

Live Audit? What’s That?

For prospective clients looking to drive traffic, increase conversions and retain existing customers, we’re willing to put skin in the game and jump on a conference call to show you – live – how we can help via a screen-sharing session. While there’s no commitment on your end, we value thought-leadership and the idea of a sharing economy… We’re more than happy to illustrate our talent and provide you with takeaways to immediately increase traffic, improve conversion rate and retain customers like the “big brands” do.

What We Look At

If you haven’t read about our process and philosophy, it’s business-centric in nature. We know resources – both internally and at the vendor level – are scarce, so we prioritize what we look at by breaking down Effort vs. Impact. With that said, here’s a sample of what we look for, broken out by business goals:

Acquire Traffic

To drive more traffic to your site, we’ll look into both organic and paid strategies currently in place. If you’d like to give us access to Google Analytics, Google AdWords or Bing Ads in advance for additional insights that’s great, but not required.

  • Organic Visibility (SEO): 40% of what Google & Bing look for in organic ranking signals deal with on-site elements such as the technical side of your website (i.e. coding standards, markup, server configuration, etc.) and on-page optimizations such as keywords used in copy, quality of content and Meta tags. We’ll do an audit on that (we’re pretty technical but can speak marketing – so it may be advantageous to have an IT member with) along with the other 60%: off-site elements like the quantity and quality of links pointing to your site and social mentions.
  • Paid Media (PPC): Utilizing third-party tools like SEMRush, we’ll look into your current paid media strategies and compare them to others in your space… even competitors. With access to AdWords, though, we’ll be able to look into campaign architecture, bid & budget management, keywords, search queries and of course the latest extensions to increase your visibility in the paid arena.

Convert Website Visitors

Let’s face it – having a company website isn’t just informational nowadays. It should, and hopefully, is used as a sales tool to convert browsers to buyers. Current benchmarks (depending on industry) illustrate a 2.0% – 2.5% conversion rate is standard, with a proper analytics implementation. If you’re below that mark, we’ll look at everything from design, user experience, taxonomy, page layouts, content and calls-to-action to help increase conversion rate in 2016 and beyond.

Retain Existing Customers

We all know it’s a LOT more cost effective to retain a customer than acquire a new one. Not all of us in the marketing space practice what we preach, however, so we’ll take a look at current retention strategies and tactics from social media marketing, advertising and email lists to get you ahead of your competitors and the industry as a whole.

Let’s Get Started!

To get started, visit our sign-up page to schedule your FREE live audit. We’ll get back to you within 24 hours to put some time on the calendar and get the show on the road. If you have any questions about the process, feel free to email me personally.

Anthony
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5 Tips for a Successful Project Kickoff

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A lot of us have been there. Whether it’s been client side or at the other end of the table, the introductory kickoff meeting or conference call can make or break a project before it even begins. Having been on quite a few project kickoffs as both a client and an agency rep, we’ve recognized 5 key elements that can set the stage for the success (or failure) of your project:

    • Know who you’re working with. There’s nothing worse than going into a conference call and not knowing that your service provider doesn’t offer what you’re expecting of them. I’m guilty of this on the client side. We’re all busy, aspiring professionals but there’s no excuse for not taking 10-15 minutes to prep for your call. Luckily, I’ve recently begun putting it all on paper and everything is running a lot more smoothly.
    • Set clear, reasonable expectations. To some, “reasonable” is a very subjective term. Having worked the majority of projects on the agency side, however, we’ve come to realize that an effectively written services agreement will have everything spelled out. At an agency, “project scope” isn’t an abstract concept – it’s the definition of our role in your project.
    • Schedule weekly status calls. Making time either once a week or every other week will keep the project moving and keep all stakeholders apprised of any problems faced during the execution phase. Keeping an open line of communication is crucial in maintaining a positive relationship for both the client and the agency. Just remember to keep it consistent and not go overboard.
    • Invite key contacts and project leads. Text based communication methods like email, Twitter, and blogs are slowly becoming the primary tools when looking for a vendor. This is great in a digital world but it also limits interaction and makes it hard to actually get to know the people you are doing business with. Including important decision makers and key contacts in the project kickoff call will at least put a voice to a name and give us an idea of what kind of person we’re dealing with. We’re all guilty of labeling and assigning personas to clients or vendors that we only communicate via email (i.e. the cheap team lead that never wants to fund emerging media projects).
    • Assign a PM or Project Lead. This may be the most important piece of advice for any type of project, in any industry, in any type of role. Imagine a world where there are 4 client-side employees and 3 agency-side employees all sending email or calling eachother about the same project.
Now pop a couple of aspirin. Come back to the computer. Breath deeply. Exhale slowly. Continue reading…

Assigning one person to funnel communication to all internal team members will not only maintain your sanity but also keep the project moving forward. Communication and collaboration will do wonders in promoting a successful completion but over-communicating can be detrimental to progress.

Whenever we’re gearing up for a new project kickoff call, we use the above framework as a guide to start things off on the right track. Are there any tips you’ve found useful when planning and implementing projects on either a client or agency side?