This week, our very own Angie Schottmuller will be speaking at the annual Zenith Social Media Conference in Duluth. We sat down with her to ask her three questions about her session Thursday morning: The Incredible-Edible Social-Mobile Revolution.
Mobile Actions for Marketers
Diane: If there is one thing marketer’s can do for mobile, what would it be?
Angie: The top 2 actions taken on mobile are placing a phone call and finding the nearest location. In response to those needs, a marketer should position the business’ phone number (including the area code) and office hours (with correct timezone) in the top right corner of your website. It’s also important for brick and mortar locations to also include a link to directions to the location.
Most smartphones will now render a phone number as a hyperlink from the website, enabling mobile visitors to call your business instantly. However, with international phone numbers, this can be a problem. It would be ideal if you can use simple CSS to stylize the hyperlink for the phone number, creating a standout call-to-action for the visitor, and generating good traffic.
What if my business doesn’t have a mobile website?
Diane: What if a business doesn’t have the finances to invest in a mobile website, or they have one planned rolling out soon, what can they do?
Angie: There are other content opportunities that can be leveraged from a lead generation and engagement standpoint. These can include embedding videos, Slideshare presentations, and sometimes, photo galleries. There are many WordPress plugins that can be optimized to be mobile friendly. Tools such as Fit Vids and Fit Text require just four little scripts to get moving easily and help your business accelerate the transition to mobile. These tools already include expected mobile behaviors such as swipe gestures. If you also have a blog on your website, you can consider plugins such as WP Touch for an instant mobile usability for the website. It’s ready in less than 15 minutes.
Another thing businesses can do is employ QR codes in your business at appropriate spots, such as cashier spots, or on menus at your restaurant. Include links to social media for customers to leave reviews while they’re still at your business.
Apps vs. Mobile Sites
Diane: What’s your advice on building a mobile app versus developing a mobile website?
Angie: The reality is that the vast majority of online users would not be able to distinguish an official app from a mobile-optimized website. For example, Facebook actually made their app identical to their mobile web experience. When you build a mobile app, it’s a staged process. You’ll have to ask users to go to their app store, which can be a barrier to conversion. You’ll also have to develop the app for a variety of platforms, Android, iOS, Windows, etc. Not to mention, the platforms are constantly evolving and changing, forcing you to keep up with Ice Cream Sandwich and iOS 6, all while still serving the small population of those that download your app. In most cases, I’d recommend using a mobile-optimized website with responsive design and HTML5.
The Case for a Mobile App
There are a few key qualifiers I use in justifying the case for a mobile app. These include:
Large amounts of data required for complex tasks: An example might be a home improvement visualization tool in which a homeowner uploads a photo and the app renders possible home improvements
Data needed for offline use: With HTML5, there are cases in which the content can be provided offline, but there are still some cases or platform exceptions
Integration with phone features: If your functions require integrating with the camera, contacts, GPS or mapping, it’s best to consider an app
If those qualifiers do not apply to your website, there is usually better ROI investing in a responsive design website that benefits all and not just a select group of users who downloaded the app.
If you have more questions about mobile optimization, we encourage you to contact us or check out Angie’s #Zenith2013 presentation tomorrow!
A few weeks ago, one of our clients contacted us because they had been approached by another SEO agency claiming that their website was poorly optimized for search. After reviewing the advice from the other agency, we discussed our thoughts with the client, who then told us that they weren’t actually concerned about our work, just wanted to inform us.
This hasn’t been the first time one of our clients has received such claims of poor SEO on their website. So why are they receiving such emails?
Continue Reading Do You Really Want Unsolicited SEO Advice? →
Hi, I’m Jeff. You haven’t heard from me in a long time on this blog, but rest assured, I have been involved with a flurry of activity over the past few weeks from local events to nationwide webinars and more.
For the month of October, Three Deep has committed to no less than 10 speaking engagements, award ceremonies, industry events, sales meetings and educational opportunities. It has been an exhausting month, but it has also been very fulfilling!
Fast 50 Awards Ceremony – October 6, 2011
Three Deep finished #6 on the list of the Twin Cities 50 fastest growing companies. This was our first time applying for the event, and we were very excited to receive local recognition. We look forward to being on the list again next year – maybe even higher!
MIMA Summit Intensive Workshops – October 11, 2011
As a speaker at the 2010 MIMA Summit and current MIMA board member, I wasn’t sure that I would be invited back to do a workshop this year. The good news is that not only was I invited back, but my session was popular both in person and on the web. It currently has over 53,000 views on Slideshare!
This was my “day off” where all I was expected to do was represent MIMA to our speakers, sponsors and membership… And give introductions to two people I look up to: Marty Weintraub and Rand Fishkin. I also got to talk with Avinash Kaushik, the Michael Jordan of web analytics. The highlight was going to dinner with Rand Fishkin, who is an all around great guy.
Three Deepers meet Rand Fishkin
Google Think Branding in NYC – October 13, 2011
After about 5 hours to sleep off the Summit I headed out to New York to join clients, colleagues and friends at Google’s Port Authority offices. The event was private, so I can’t share any details, but I can share that the key message of the session was reaching customers at the ZMOT. What is ZMOT? Well, it’s the Zero Moment of Truth, the time before visiting a retail store when a consumer makes their decisions about what to buy. Guess how they make decisions? Online!
This was arranged by friend of Three Deep, Colleen Foster and was my first BMA event. My role was to moderate the event on Social Media for Business to Business (B2B) organizations. We saw great case studies from 3M Interactive and Ergotron on how they have been able to use social media to bring revenue and cost savings to their business. To paraphrase a member of the crowd “This is my first BMA event, and if this is the quality of production you put on every month, I will be joining your organization and coming to a lot more events”
I have a feeling that I will be more involved as well!
James Hardie Social Media for Home Improvement Webinar – October 19, 2011
You may have seen James Hardie more than you have heard of it. They make beautiful and long lasting exteriors for homes. They also have been doing a great job of educating home improvement contractors on how to be better marketers. In September, Tom Audette from Three Deep hosted a webinar on online marketing. This month we were asked back to talk about social media where we provided some great examples of social media for the home improvement industry. Check out our 55 minute webinar below!
University of St. Thomas MBA Lunch and Learn – October 20, 2011
You either love your alma mater or are indifferent. I love mine, so I take every chance I can get to give back to the community that gave me many major life and business skills. The presentation was to 15 MBA’s who are interested in career opportunities in Interactive marketing. I provided stories about how Three Deep became a company, my career path, and what we look for in new candidates.
They must have taken the advice to heart, because I got 5 business cards and 6 LinkedIn invites within hours of the session!
Met with two of the largest insurance companies in the US, had introductions with three Minnesota based Fortune 500 companies and I will be doing a lunch and learn with a local PR firm. Oh yeah, I’m also a groomsman in the wedding of a fellow Partner at Three Deep.
October has been a jam packed month, but it has also been among the most exciting months we’ve had at Three Deep. Now we just need to figure out how to top it in November and beyond!
Note: Forgive me on the timing here, but this post has been in my drafts folder since mid December. Have been meaning to post, but 2011 has already proven to be busier than ever. Better late than never I guess.
At the beginning of 2010, I wrote a post about why Three Deep is going to have a great year in 2010. My predictions were right. We were named the 9th Best Place to Work in Minneapolis-St. Paul in the Small Business category, were one of the Inc 5000 fastest growing companies in the country, and have added enormously to both our staff and our clients. 2010 was very successful year for the company and I am already looking forward to seeing how things shape up for Three Deep in 2011.
To kick off 2010, I posted my personal work goals on our website for everyone who visits our website to see. It was an interesting experiment in public accountability that was equal parts invigorating and scary. Thankfully, I was able to achieve most of these goals(with some going above and beyond my original expectations), so the post certainly helped me stay on track. For those interested, here is how I did:
Conduct primary research with a client or trusted partner and have it published: Success! We helped conduct research for one of our clients on the value of search engine marketing and how it correlates to in store purchase intent. This research was published internally at our client organization and the results helped prove the value of our search marketing campaigns. In addition, I wrote an article that was published on the Google CPG Blog, highlighting the impact of research conducted by BabyCenter and Google on moms online.
Get Three Deep certified in all available areas of the Google Advertising Professionals Program. We are currently certified in two of the three areas, and I have complete confidence in our team’s ability to become certified in the remaining area: Fail! I didn’t make this enough of a priority in 2010 and I am not sure if we will get there in 2011 either, but remain hopeful
Continue to help Three Deep get more press: Success! We succeeded here in several ways, starting with a Star Tribune feature in January, extending into our open house in July, being named a Best Places to Work and making the Inc.5000 list. Each little piece of notoriety counts, and our efforts are starting to result in more awareness of our company in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
Continue to innovate new ideas, techniques and services while staying on top of changes in the Interactive space: Success! while we add more people to the Three Deep team, we’ve also added new expertise and our team has continued to develop their knowledge. We’ve added new offerings for our Home Improvement contractors and are working on further developing some of our other offerings to add to our increased innovations.
Become a Seminars for Success leader and be more active in the search marketing and web analytics community: Neutral! While I have inquired several times about becoming a seminar leader, it is apparent that this is not an area where there are openings for new leaders. We have, however, become more active in both the search and web analytics communities in the Minnesota area. This should continue in 2011, as we have already announced our sponsorship for the MNSEM Search party in February.
Rewrite the service descriptions on our website: Success! In a team effort with Diane the intern, we’ve been renovating our service pages throughout the year. Stay tuned in 2011 for new pages that better communicate our expertise and why you should consider Three Deep for your online marketing needs.
Total 2010 Tally: 5 successes, 2 failures and 1 neutral. While I don’t like seeing any failed attempts, the successes we have seen more than make up for them.
For 2011, I think that a lot of my goals will fall into similar buckets as they did in 2010, with further focus on growth as a marketer, a businessperson and personal growth as well. New goals for 2011 include:
Become involved in non-profit organizations through volunteering and board memberships
Help Three Deep grow by 25% in 2011
More speaking events
Continue to help grow our interactive services team professionally and in total employees
Travel to my 6th continent (Australia)
These seem to be pretty easy to achieve, so perhaps I need to add another stretch goal. However, that may cause me to push this post back even further, and posting a 2010 recap in March would be pathetic.
Hope you enjoyed this post – post your goals in the comments if you would like… or send me an email!
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that Three Deep has been growing exponentially over the past few years. Since 2008 we have grown our team from 5 to 30 people, opened a call center, and have recently moved our office to Downtown St. Paul in the “up and coming” Lowertown area.
Our move gives us reason to celebrate, and we would like for you to join in on the fun!
Come join Three Deep for our open house Thursday, July 15, 2010 between 3 and 7 PM.
Head down to our office on Thursday afternoon and enjoy food and refreshments (including some of our clients’ popular products and a signature cocktail). You’ll have the opportunity to tour our new office, network with Twin Cities marketing professionals, and find out exactly what Three Deep has to offer you and your business.
Continue Reading Three Deep Marketing Open House – July 15, 2010 →
So you know how weekdays can seem routine? You get up, shower, get dressed, drive to work, do your thing, go to lunch, do more of that thing, go home, watch TV, go to bed x 5 (intersperse exercise, personal development and significant others as needed). You know what I mean; even the best offices can become monotonous after a while. Until a challenge comes along; the ultimate test of man versus man. I’m sure you can imagine where I’m going with this…. That’s right, the cook off.
Those who are familiar with our company and our culture know that we are constantly thriving to be thought leaders in our industry. Our blog has proven to be an excellent channel for conveying useful information to our peers. By extension, many of our employees use Twitter and other social networks to further extend our reach.
Continue Reading Keeping up with Three Deep? There’s an app for that! →
Some time in September of 2009 I saw a “tweet” that contained a link to the slide deck embedded above – a presentation by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings about how they formed an inspiring company culture at Netflix. Throughout this massive deck (128 slides!) I was both awed by the openness of the slides (revenue numbers and business models revealed) and inspired at how interesting and unique Netflix approaches innovation, compensation, and several other vital aspects of their business.
Hastings credits this company culture and the core values of the company as a major reason why they have been able to consistently grow their business, fight off competitors (they rendered Blockbuster’sbrick and mortar model obsolete), and constantly develop new ways to improve value they deliver to their customer base (like streaming to my Xbox 360 – which is an amazing value add to their service!)
Continue Reading Thoughts on Company Culture – What is Yours? →
I am writing this post on the second business day of the new year, and I’m already very excited to see what 2010 holds. At Three Deep, we have already had two great accomplishments to start off the year:
Upgrading Our Website Design
Depending on who you ask, our old website design needed anywhere from a “cosmetic refresh” to a “complete overhaul” – for this design, we chose to go somewhere in between. We updated the layout to be wider (using the 960 grid system) and make the site less cramped. We also softened some of the corners and made other tweaks in order to make the site look more inviting.
The major change on the site is that we improved the animation/offer area on the home page to better highlight the core services we offer. Rather than our old home page focus of lead generation (which is definitely part of our business, but not the only part of our business as the graphic implied), we decided to create a very SEO friendly carousel that showcases our core services and easily understandable to our visitors. Using jQuery, we were able to animate the features area while still keeping it search friendly; it’s amazing how well it works!
We had been talking about updating the site for months, and we finally put a date on when it needed to get done; January 1st. We knew we had to get the site updated before January 4th, because we would be getting a lot of traffic from …
Continue Reading 2010 is Going to be a GREAT Year! →
As marketers we have gotten very good at setting measurable goals for projects, moving away from work that attempts to influence intangible business objectives. In my experience with most agencies, we usually take a look at our KPIs at the end of the campaign, and then try to do a post-mortem on what worked or why we missed the target (thankfully, I have found that this is not the case at Three Deep, where measurement often drives the campaign).
There is another way, but it requires commitment to flexibility – that is to reserve funds and plan resources to adjust as you go. We should be reviewing results regularly and having a “plan B” to step up traffic generators, or adjust content or functionality to improve results if we aren’t on track to reach our initial goals.
Let’s take a minute to review the criteria for a focused goal. It must be: