Sales Funnel

When talking about content, it’s more than just an occasional blog or social media post. There’s a proven strategy to what you post and in what order, so you can lead a potential customer to a sale.

That means, you start with broad engagement, and then continue through to very specific types of content.

The funnel itself is divided into three parts – Top, Middle and Bottom, with content types associated with each portion.

Here they are:

Top of the Funnel


This includes:

  • Search-optimized blog posts. Done right, these can generate lots of traffic over many years from low-intent visitors, or those who haven’t yet decided that they want to purchase anything from you yet.
  • Social media videos. These can include tips, opinions and inspiration and are designed to encourage engagement and interaction.
  • Infographics. They are designed to provide information in a concise, visually appealing way that will get shared and attract links. We’re not to selling yet.
  • Round-ups and interviews. These can be collaborations that will drive traffic and create more trust.
  • Guest posts. Again – a lot of visibility and exposure to a new audience.

Now we move to the middle of the funnel.

  • How-to-articles. These help DIY visitors, but are directly related to your services/products.
  • How-to-videos. Same as above but more engaging and memorable. Done right, they are also big trust builders.
  • Original research. This can be a powerful credibility builder, but the relevance may be indirect.
  • Gated guides. More commonly called newsletters, they are opt-in, long form subscriber communications. Now they’re connected.
  • Welcome series emails. Okay – send them your best stuff to keep them interested.
  • Webinars and events. Collaborate with others and engage in the Q&A. What would you want to see?

Now we reel them in!

  • Sales enablement articles. These include specific information with one goal – conversion.
  • Your story. A specific traffic source with one goal – conversion.
  • Landing pages. These come from a specific traffic source with a singular goal – conversion.
  • Service pages. This page is filled with answers, evidence and calls to action,
  • Testimonials. This one speaks for itself.
  • Case studies/customer stories. You solve problems in the real world and there’s evidence.

Sound complicated? Spot can help with strategic, targeted content at every stage. Drop us an email or give us a call and let’s get started turning your prospects into committed customers.

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Guilty of One (or more) of the 7 Biggest Digital Marketing Mistakes?

Are you marketing to yourself and not your audience?

Do you really understand your digital audience? What are their other interests? What platforms do your customers and potential customers use? What appeals to them besides your business – their other interests and likes? Where do they live? What age are they? Where are they in their life stage? Why are they buying from you? What influences them?

It can be hard, but you have to take your own preferences out of the equation and rely on what the metrics tell you about who responds to your offers.

Not maximizing your Search Engine Optimization?

We know – there are a lot of moving parts to SEO. And it can be hard to keep up with all of them. Fresh, relevant website content in the form of blogs. Keyword-laden articles submitted to garner reputable backlinks. A website that loads quickly and works great on mobile devices. All the on-page optimization done with A1 headlines, photo descriptions and more. If you’re missing one or more of these aspects, you’re not ranking as high as you could in search engines and you’re losing business. 

Not integrating your social media strategy?

Does your social media strategy tie in with your overall sales strategy or is it an afterthought? Do you create posts that lead to your website? Follow a consistent schedule? Stay active on it with “likes”, comments and follows on other accounts? Participate in online chats to stay in front of potential customers? Boost strategic posts on a regular basis to garner more followers? Social media can be a valuable tool in your arsenal, but only if you use it correctly.

Treating every platform and channel the same?

It’s definitely not one size fits all out there. Each platform has its own style and way of maximizing engagement, not to mention different demographics. Do you know which ones to focus on based on your audience? It’s better to do two very well than to attempt to leverage five and do them all poorly.

Prioritizing the wrong analytics?

Are you still just looking at followers or impressions? What you ultimately want are conversions – no matter where they come from. Are you looking at the right information that will tell you where your actual customers are coming from or are you just looking at topline numbers? Two online ads could vary widely with the number of impressions, and you might think the one with the highest number is best – but the other may actually be a better one to utilize more widely if it’s leading to more customers and costing you less to get each one. It’s imperative you understand what the numbers say, and how to adjust accordingly.

Not testing enough (or at all)?

With digital marketing, it’s so easy to compare to see what’s working better. Not just the ad copy itself, but offers, time of day, platforms, landing pages, days of week and even tone and voice. Decide ahead of time what you want to compare and then let it run for long enough to get you valid results. Keep the one that works best and try another variable until you find the perfect formula for your audience.

Not keeping up with new trends, technologies, tools, platforms, and search algorithms?

Things are changing all the time in the digital world and if you’re not keeping up, you risk getting left behind. You need to be nimble to stay up on trends if you want to tie in with them. And new technologies and tools can help you maximize your results with less work. Search algorithms are always being updated as well, and you’ll need to be able to adapt to garner the best results here as well.

We know – it’s a lot! That’s why we chose to specialize in digital marketing. Because we keep up on all this stuff so you don’t have to. Let us know if we can help you be more effective with your digital marketing and maximize your sales.

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Why is December the most important time of the year for a company?

It’s not for the reason you think – your last chance to maximize sales and close the year out strong, although that’s crucial as well.

It’s the most important time because it’s when you should be devoting as much time as possible to reviewing the results from the year and planning your marketing for the following year.

Too often businesses just coast on autopilot and keep the same plans as the previous year because they don’t make the time to really evaluate them and make changes.

What worked? What didn’t? What new options are available? Has the creative gotten stale? Are there new products or services that need to be highlighted? Are there expanded audiences you should be reaching?

All these questions need to be posed and answered. Only with comprehensive strategic planning and evaluation (not just at the end of the year but throughout), can you maximize your return on investment from your marketing efforts.

And since marketing and branding drives your business, it should be the priority all the time, not the afterthought that many make it. It’s easy to let day-to-day operational duties and issues preempt the time that could be spent on marketing. If that’s the case for you, perhaps it’s time to consider working with a firm that can help examine your past year’s efforts, help you objectively evaluate the results and messaging, and then present you with a fresh look – keeping what worked and presenting some options that will be a better and more effective use of your marketing dollars.

And speaking of marketing dollars – how do you decide what to spend? Is it an arbitrary number? Is it a percentage of your gross sales? Is it as little as possible without considering what effect a bigger budget could have on sales? Is it balanced with other efforts through social media and branding through added value and customer service efforts?

All of these components can be evaluated by an experienced agency like Nug, which can do a comprehensive review and present you with a coordinated, integrated marketing campaign that will amplify your message and amortize the cost for elements across multiple channels.

Contact us today so we can get to work making 2022 your best year ever!

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Spot Helps Catapult Mel Mason, The Clutter Expert, to New Heights

Mel wanted to take her business to the next level and Spot stepped in to help. This included:

  • New logo
  • Multiple landing pages with payment integration
  • Marketing video
  • Custom backgrounds for her many live presentations
  • Custom graphics featuring Mel and her bestselling books
  • Custom graphics to help launch her new on-air series – “Dare to Thrive”

As a consequence, Mel’s business is thriving and many additional opportunities are presenting themselves because of her new professional branding.

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Targeting keywords in your blogging strategy

Achieving a high rank in search engines should be the goal of every business with a website. And since that should be every business, it’s crucial that all aspects of your website be optimized.

But let’s start at the beginning – what are keywords?

They’re the words we speak or type when we’re looking for something. It can be just a single word or a phrase or just a list of words. Long-tail keywords are those with more than one word.

Search engines want to give people the best reply to their query so it pulls those websites that seem to answer the question best. And how does it know? It knows because:

  1. Those websites load and function great on all devices
  2. The headlines have those keywords
  3. The images are described in tags with those keywords
  4. They have a lot of those same words in their content
  5. There is a lot of new, relevant content being added
  6. The website is linked to from a lot of other reputable websites (backlinks)

Let’s concentrate on #5 for a minute. Much of the new, relevant content on websites comes in the form of blogs. The sole purpose of blogs should be to answer questions customers or potential customers might have, as well as provide more in-depth information on your products or services. But your ulterior motive should be to use the keywords you are targeting with enough frequency to add to your credibility as a reliable source for questions that include those keywords.

Your list of keywords can start with the obvious ones related to your business. It can be expanded with terms related to your business but not exclusively about it. If you have an insurance company, you can have terms about insurance, but also financial well being, trusts, wills and other related subjects.

You won’t use all of them when writing a blog – just focus on one or two that are related. But it will give you a list of topics to work from.

And it should go without saying that the writing should stay natural and not force words into an article that seem out of place. Take advantage of the meta description – additional text that appears in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and lets the reader know what the link is actually about. Try to link the blog internally – that is, if you have information about a particular product, and then you delve into an aspect of that product with a blog, use a link on your website to guide the reader to the blog. You can also link from your social media accounts to your blogs.

Sound confusing? Spot can help you implement a blogging strategy or take over the whole process if you like. Let us know if you’d like to learn more!

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SEO Success Leads to Dramatic Cut in PPC Ad Spending

Blue Door Vet needed a new website to capture their distinctive differences and be a strong tool for SEO, along with ongoing SEO efforts and Pay-Per-Click advertising.

Spot came through!

  • Completely new WordPress website with compelling images and copy
  • Fully optimized through on-page, H1 headlines, photo tags and functionality on all devices including mobile
  • Ongoing SEO efforts led to multiple keywords on Page 1 of search (74 keywords on page 1 of Google).
  • Overall 298 keywords rank on Google page 1 and 2 combined
  • Website traffic jumped 264% after just a few months
  • Blue Door Vet was able to cut PPC spending to a minimum because client demand increased so dramatically, and SEO had them ranking strong in all their categories.
  • Top GEO (Portland, OR) placement on Google My Business on both Maps and search listings.
  • Website load speed on mobile decreased by 89% and desktop is under 1.54 sec.

Overall, the PPC and SEO programs were so successful that the client is not in a position to take any new clients and is in maintenance mode only. After six years, Spot continues to work with this client as they consider franchise opportunities.

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Spot’s founder, Nicole Weber, shares 6 non-intuitive ways to grow your marketing career.

portland web design company

As a part of my Marketing Strategy Series, I’m talking with my fellow marketing pros at the top of their game to give entrepreneurs and marketers an inside look at proven strategies you might also be able to leverage to grow your business. Today I had the pleasure of talking with Nicole Weber.

Nicole is the founder of Spot Color and also the founder & CEO of Nug Digital Marketing. She has worked professionally as a graphic designer, art director, and creative director since 2001. Her passion is leading the studio in shaping effective and powerful experiences that focus on increasing our clients’ market share.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share a story about the funniest marketing mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

This is not a funny story, but it was the biggest “almost” marketing mistake that I made close to 20 years ago: Our client was going on TV to pitch her new products, we had been working for months on the campaigns and most importantly, a new eCommerce website and special landing page with a discount for the TV launch. I was speaking with our client at 6am and finalizing some details, I mentioned that I was excited about tomorrow’s launch…and she said, “Tomorrow? Oh no…I’m going on TV this morning in two hours!!” ARRGH! Thank goodness the site was done, but we never worked so fast and furious turning it on…talk about stress! Lots of lessons there…double, triple check deadlines! My motto since then is “being early is being on time”.

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

I went through the dot com boom and bust. During the “bust”, my title was Web Graphic Designer, which basically meant that I did all the graphic design for print and for the web. However, when 70 people got let go from the company in one day, including our website developer, I got to keep my job with four others because they thought I could build websites! The exec team requested a brand new website to be delivered in four days. I stayed up for three nights straight learning HTML and I pulled it off! From the next two years, I was the company web developer. I learned a new skill but also learned a lot about myself and my capabilities. When I started my own business a few years later, website design and development was and still is, a key focus.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

We are a small and nimble agency. About five years ago I didn’t renew our big office lease in downtown Portland. Instead, we bought everyone laptops and the team started working from home. This move allowed us to cut overhead immensely and bring in some really high-end talent. We have been able to keep our costs down as well, which our clients appreciate. And our team has been able to truly enjoy an amazing work-life balance.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Yes! We saw a need for digital marketing and advertising in the cannabis/CBD space four years ago. We created a separate brand to help those clients. Its been quite the ride with rules and regs changing daily, but we have done some amazing campaigns in that space to help our clients. We work growers, cultivators, distributors, dispensaries as well as ancillary businesses that want to get into the industry. We have been doing digital marketing in the space that most agencies haven’t figured out how to do yet. We’ve also been curating an email list of two million cannabis/hemp consumers that our clients can use for their email marketing. Exciting stuff!

What advice would you give to other marketers to thrive and avoid burnout?

Work/Life balance is crucial. It’s often repeated, but since we need to be responsive to clients/co-workers it can be especially hard to unplug. With the “away” messages on your phone and email pointing to colleagues who can handle client or company needs, avoid the temptation to keep looking at your phone or device. Put your ego aside that says you’re the only one who can handle things. And it’s not enough to be physically away — you need to be mentally away as well to recharge. Especially in a creative field — this type of recharging is essential in order for you to stay mentally alert. You may also be surprised by the organic ideas you generate just by being in a new environment.

This is so important…as a business owner you have a bazillion other things to worry about and keep you up at night too! I discovered early on that in order for our business to succeed, I needed to hire creative talent that was on par or better than me…letting the ego go for sure! Having junior folks meant that I constantly had to check their work and often redo it to meet my standards. It was a huge time suck, not efficient, and really stressful.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful to who helped get you to where you are?

Growing up, I was known as the “artist of the class”. I knew I wanted to pursue a career in art, but I didn’t want to be the typical starving artist…trying to hock my wares. My uncle, Estin, was a “commercial artist”…this was in the late 80’s. I had no idea what that meant, or what he did, but I knew he did something creative, and he always drove a nice car, had nice clothes, and a great house! He mentored me, helped me select a college, and gave me a list of agencies to call once I graduated. If it weren’t for him, I have no idea what direction I would have gone. Creating design and campaigns to help others grow their businesses is extremely satisfying and fun.

That is wonderful. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. There are hundreds of memorable marketing campaigns that have become part of the lexicon of our culture. What is your favorite marketing or branding campaign from history?

Allstate’s “You’re in good hands” was created in the 1950s and has really stood the test of time. To their credit, the company has stayed with it and kept it contemporary. Don’t change something because you’re bored with it — it’s probably just starting to sink in with the public. Consistency and repetition are still cornerstones of good marketing.

If you could break down a very successful campaign into a “blueprint”, what would that blueprint look like?

1.Start at the end and work your way backward.

Find out what the end goal is — it may surprise you. A new company may have positioned themselves to be sold, not to have a primary focus on sales. You can’t know the right steps to take until you know where they want to go.

2. Ask about a budget but recommend one as well.

The company or client may be working on an arbitrary figure or percentage without taking into account what stage they’re at. Starting out — you’ll need more. Established — enough to maintain momentum. Understand the budget will change as the company matures.

3. Thoroughly understand the target audience.

One size definitely does not fit all and don’t let your company or client tell you “everyone” because that is never the case. Drill in and find their avatar and ideal customer.

4. Choose the right media for the audience.

You love Instagram but the target audience of 60+ isn’t on it as much. Make sure your own preferences and that of your client are not influencing your media/outlet choices. And don’t forget traditional media. Just because you can’t measure billboard conversions like you can with digital ads, it doesn’t mean they might not be an important component of your strategy.

5. Make sure your messaging is on point.

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Come up with a snappy headline with a clever pun? If members of your target audience won’t get it, throw it away. Messaging doesn’t always have to be clever — it just has to invoke an emotion to be memorable. What do you want them to feel and what action do you want them to take? And never assume the public knows who a company is and what they do because unless you’re a major brand like Coca-Cola or Nike or Starbucks, that’s not the case.

6. Be willing to be nimble.

If you can work in some A/B testing online be willing to shift to the more successful messaging. Understand all the implications and analytics down the line of your marketing strategy. Lots of impressions but few conversions. Dive deeper and see if you can find fewer impressions with a bigger percentage of conversions to sales. The most obvious isn’t always the final solution.

Thank you for breaking that down! Companies like Google and Facebook have totally disrupted how companies market over the past 15 years. At the same time, consumers have become more jaded and resistant to anything “salesy”. In your industry, where do you see the future of marketing going?

We are already seeing more organic integration of brands into experiences. I thought the Taco Bell pop up hotel in Palm Springs was a great example of this. They really brought the brand to life with a real-world experience and got a lot of free press and exposure for it as well.

What 6 things do you wish someone told you before you started?

  • Pressure to perform: In school we had 3 weeks to complete a project, in the agency world sometimes we have three hours and it better be good and make the client lots of money too!
  • Servant mentality, always having a client to answer to. If you don’t have thick skin, you won’t last in the agency world. Put the ego away, it’s all about your client’s target audience, marketing to them, and still making the client happy too. We are here to serve.
  • Personal obligation. As an agency owner, the buck stops at you. Most of our clients turn into friends, which is great, but it also increases that personal obligation to do 100% all the time.
  • Take some business classes: It would have been nice if I had taken some business classes in school. I have had to take classes and learn a lot on my own throughout the years….you don’t just wake up and know how to run a business!
  • Ideas waking you up in the middle of the night: This is a funny one…the creative mind never stops!
  • Having employees is like teaching kindergarten without the nap! Over 20 years running an agency, I have seen it all when it comes to employees and contractors…oh my, I could write a book!

Can you share a few examples of marketing tools or marketing technology that you think can dramatically empower small business owners to become more effective marketers?

  • Email marketing/CRM system like Active Campaign, MailChimp, SalesForce, etc.
  • Social media scheduling software like HootSuite, Sprout.
  • Competitive analysis tools like SpyFu.
  • Calendly calendar scheduling. Love this one.
  • Grasshopper phone service — this is a huge time saver and super important now that we are remote.

One more question: What books, podcasts, documentaries or other resources do you use to sharpen your marketing skills?

  • Marketing Groups in LinkedIn
  • News360
  • DigitalMarketer
  • Neil Patel
  • Mike Michalowicz

This list could be a mile long, I am an avid learner and take several classes each month, I hire coaches, belong to marketing groups, masterminds, and read all things marketing, business, and leadership related.

Thank you so much for sharing these fantastic insights!

All credit to Kage Spatz | Authority Magazine. Find original posting here.

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Top Digital Agency

digital marketing Porland

We recently sat down (virtually) with Spot Color Marketing founder and CEO Nicole Weber to get her thoughts about the current situation in regard to digital marketing. Here’s what she had to share.

Q. Spot has really established itself as a top digital marketing agency in the Portland and Palm Springs area and beyond. Can you tell us how long Spot has been operating and what prompted you to start it?

A. I wanted to create a digital marketing agency to help businesses take advantage of what was really a strong, emerging advertising and marketing option 20 years ago. So I started Spot and surrounded myself with other really talented professionals. We were also pioneers in working remotely, as it has been a way to team up with team members who have the most relevant experience without needing to be tied to a physical location. It also means that client fees don’t go to help pay for overhead – they go right into services. And it’s also an advantage for clients because we’re well equipped to work with your team no matter where they’re located. Others are doing it out of necessity now, but we’re very experienced with it and have all the right tools in place.

Q. As far as digital marketing agency services, what do you offer your clients?

A. We can add to a client’s existing efforts or create a comprehensive program for them with components including creating/enhancing/updating their website, search engine optimization, listings management, content creation, social media content and strategies as well as the strategy, design, and placement of ads for Pay Per Click and banner ad campaigns. We also have a lot of experience with some of the newer options like geofencing, retargeting, and precise mobile polygoning, where an online banner ad continues to follow a customer even after they have left a specific geographic area and you can receive detailed information about them.

Q. We have to ask the question – what has changed for clients with the current situation?

A. In the digital world, there’s actually a silver lining with people spending so much more time on their digital devices. Now is a great time to create and refine programs to stay in touch with current customers and find new ones. As details like delivery, hours, and services stay in flux, it’s also crucial for businesses to stay up-to-date with information so they make it as easy as possible for customers to buy from them.

Q. There are a lot of digital marketing agencies now, what makes Spot different?

A. We are very customer-centric and transparent. For example, we don’t hide our PPC management in a client’s total cost and just promise a certain number of impressions. We are also a full-service agency so, in addition to digital marketing, we can assist with branding, logos, traditional media advertising, public relations, graphic design for collateral and packaging, in addition to digital marketing agency services. It’s so much easier to have an integrated, consistent business development strategy when all the pieces are being coordinated and handled by a single entity with a real depth of experience in all of them.

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Why does digital marketing make more sense than ever right now?

digital marketing

If you’re like most of us, you’re staying home a lot more right now, not just during work hours but in the evening as well. And that probably means a lot more time in front of a screen of some sort to entertain yourself.

For example, in usual times, our fellow residents who are 65 and better spend nearly 10 hours a day on their computers, smartphones and televisions.

About 75% of that time is spent in front of the TV. That’s 12 percent more than people ages 35 to 49 and a third more than those ages 18 to 34, according to Nielsen market research released in August 2019. Now all of it has increased for every age group.

And that’s not all that’s changing. While watching TV did account for about twice as much time as radio, consumers are shifting the specific media they spend time with as options broaden.

Not driving in a car much anymore and that’s where you listened to the radio for newstalk? Now you’re accessing it online. Used to watch cable TV? Now you’re watching Hulu or another streaming service, increasingly on your phone. People for whom zoom meant go fast, now use it as a verb when talking about connecting with others. And even some of the 2.5 billion users on Facebook who swore off of it are finding that it provides a valuable connection to friends and family when there are fewer options and returning.

And the old advertising adage holds true more than ever – reach consumers where they are. And they’re online more now than ever, which makes them easy to reach and results easy to track. So that’s where your money should be. Reach them on Facebook and Instagram with compelling photos and offers. Put up great content on your website so you do well in organic search. Run banner ads on news sites and other places where your audience is likely to visit for information or entertainment. Place ads on YouTube when people are visiting similar brands or related topics. Native advertising where articles you create are placed in the correct environment for potential customers to find them. Retarget those who visit your website. It’s even possible to fuse virtual and actual by setting up a program to send a postcard to the home of those who have visited your website.

The other reason it’s important to reach consumers now is that with the right message, you can provide a solution to a problem, which is something that’s even more highly prized than before. We’re also living through a shared experience, so it’s a chance to connect with your customers in a deeply personal way.

And many experts believe that these new habits will stay with us long after everything starts to return to normal, so it’s a great time to understand all the benefits that targeted messages can bring to your business. Especially when you consider that according to HubSpot, on average advertisers make $8 for every $1 they spend on Google ads. Let Spot Color Marketing help you find your best possible online return on investment.

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What’s Your Online Reputation?

Online Reputation

We all worry about our reputations (or we should) and that’s never been more important for businesses than today. That’s because people’s opinions of your business are not limited to their friends and neighbors, but can travel across the internet via their social media, online review sites, and more.

That being said, what can be done about it?

  • Make sure all your directory listings are “claimed”. There are about 80 different internet directories where your business can be found. All of them need to have accurate information including your phone number, address, hours, etc.
  • The most important ones include YELP and Google+. In Yelp, you also need to make sure you have messaging enabled so people can reach you through Yelp. You get scored on how quickly you respond so you need to make sure the email address you put in here goes to someone on your team who can act quickly.
  • Check your scores – consumers are using review sites more than ever. It’s internet word-of-mouth and it’s powerful. A score of less than four practically guarantees you will lose potential customers. A program should be put in place to increase your positive reviews and raise your score.
  • When someone does leave a review, it needs to have a response posted quickly. In just a few words, you can thank someone for the nice comment and reinforce what they are saying. For example, “I really appreciated that Acme didn’t do a hard sell with me – they just presented the information and let me decide.” Your response? “Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and I’m glad you appreciated our “inform and educate approach.”
  • When someone does a search for your business, what do they find? Does an old negative article come up? Something else that’s not good? While these can’t always be eliminated, it is possible to create positive articles and work to have them “trend” up so eventually they will be the first thing that potential customers see, and the negative responses will move farther down the list, and thus be more likely not to be seen.
  • Are you considered an “expert” in your field? Well regarded articles on LinkedIn, on your website blog and more, can be boosted out and help raise your profile with peers and potential customers.

All a bit overwhelming? Spot Color Marketing has reputation management packages at several different levels to help you create a customized program that will help tell the true story of your business to enhance your online reputation and increase your sales.

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