Ruth Bader Ginsburg

2020

Wishing Spiral Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Strategy Wide

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Some of our favorite videos of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and some of her quotes.

My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I said on the equality side of it, that it is essential to a woman’s equality with man that she be the decision-maker, that her choice be controlling.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Women will only have true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

It helps sometimes to be a little deaf (in marriage and in) every workplace, including the good job I have now.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

“Dissents speak to a future age. It’s not simply to say, ‘My colleagues are wrong and I would do it this way.’ But the greatest dissents do become court opinions and gradually over time their views become the dominant view. So that’s the dissenter’s hope: that they are writing not for today, but for tomorrow.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Marketing and seo for Lawyers & Law Firms
Marketing SEO

Law Firm Marketing & SEO

Marketing and SEO for Lawyers & Law Firms

You have an amazing opportunity to seize a market by doing things right online, after working with many law offices and firms with excellent result, we thought it might be helpful to some if we put a post together with a few insights and techniques.

A warning for those looking for a quick fix, it doesn’t exist, online marketing and SEO, when done right, takes time and effort but the compounding benefits are astounding.

If you are left with any question or want our agency to work with you, just reach out to us, we’ll be happy to help.

Jump-start your law firm marketing

1. Create your law firms marketing DNA

Your law firm is more than just a business – it’s a brand than people and companies need to trust. Creating your brand DNA means getting up close and personal with your business, including who you’re trying to reach, what your core values are and what the primary goals of your business are. Identify your core competencies and develop a strategic marketing plan that works best with your schedule, resources and image.

2. Find your target market

Market research, a phrase that everybody uses but in the case of law firms, you already have the data and experience, nobody knows better than you who your optimal client is. Think about it, write it down. You can’t have an effective marketing strategy without a target market.

3. Plan your roadmap / strategic plan:

Once you know who your marketing efforts are aimed at, you’ll know which content, ads and platforms are right for your legal business. Depending on your situation and the time frame you have for each goal, PPC campaigns might not be a wise investment, we always bet for content marketing as it is the best mid and long term investment you can make, specially for law firms.


SEO Tips for Lawyers & Law Firms to Grow

Apply the tips that resonate with you, it’s better to take your time and do them right than to just run through them. As an agency we would obviously recommend getting help, especially if it’s with us 🙂 but in any case, if you decide to do it yourself, read this article, do more research and don’t hesitate to send us a question, we will gladly provide you with resources and a professional answer/opinion.

I tried using very little Technical Jargon, but there are a few concepts and acronyms that you have to get confortable with so I used them but tried to put them in context so that you know what they mean, if I failed, please just search for the term or acronym + SEO and you’ll get an answer right there on the SERP, probably as a rich snippet (yes, this last three are examples) so here we go.

– Target Specialized Keywords

Keyword research and variations are a whole subject within online marketing and SEO, but the important thing to keep in mind is basically that they are the words or sentences that search engines will associate to your website.

In the beginning, forget about conquering generic terms like “law firm”, instead try and focus on specialized keywords. Targeting specialized keywords is an amazing strategy for you to appear in search results for specific queries by potential clients.

  • Location-specific keywords: Keywords based on location can be a powerful force in catching web traffic, the high usage of mobile devices and the need for immediacy has made location based keywords a king for lead generation. People trust what they can relate to and what is within reach. This is specially true for most law firms and legal services.
  • Practice area keywords: People don’t search for “lawyer”. We all are way more likely to search for what we need, like “divorce attorney in Zurich” or “Seed funding lawyer”. Make sure you have a list of plausible and likely keywords, make a list, use incognito search to see what other people see when they search your keyword in your country, city or town.
  • Intent keywords: There is a lot of information you can extract from the queries people make and intent is one of the most important. In the client acquisition cycle, we can distinguish low-intent or information searching and high-intent. There is a vast difference if you rank for “What does an immigration lawyer charge” or for “Best immigration lawyer in Tel Aviv”. The second one will without a doubt, get you more clients.

There are many many tools out there that can help you figure out what keywords to target in case you’re unsure.

– For SEO, Content is king

Demonstrating your expertise through the internet is a difficult thing to do, people are programmed to doubt everything so they look for clues that will put them at ease and allow them to trust. That’s why every eCommerce website has testimonials, reviews, stars, images from trusted third party providers to assure people that the payment is secure, etc.

For a Law firm, the bar is higher. Besides having a nice website that looks and loads well, an “about us” page with all the awesome people that work there, etc. The most important indicator of trust for a lawyer is its content.

When looking for a lawyer, everybody wants the best, the most knowledgeable, the person that you will trust with your problem or project, the one who is going to interpret this messy world and the one that will be in your corner through thick and thin. Pardon my boxing hyperbole but you get the point, as a low firm, you need to show me that you know what you are talking about – That’s through content: Blog posts, FAQ pages, videos, social media posts, etc.

  • FAQs: Google now supports structured data for Q&A pages (explained a few point down) which makes this type of content very important. On one side, you can incorporate question based keywords that target every step of the client acquisition funnel for any of your services and if the odds are in your favor, thanks to the inclusion of feature snippets, your answer to a searched question will be shown directly on the SERP, positioning you at the very top for that keyword.
  • Blog posts: Optimized content that help you build a relationship of trust with your audience which will give a boost to your online credibility and allow you to attract more leads per click.
  • Video: Weather you host it in your server, youtube or vimeo, even a simple “common questions” video presented in a nice way can bolster sharing, trust and leads. Videos can be one of the most impressive pieces of content if looked from an SEO ROI stand point but do them right, nice quality (easy with today’s smartphones), good description, links and good editor to put it together so it looks the way that matches the look or brand you are building.

– Get on Google My Business

Google My Business is a way of listing your law practice or firm as a local business so that it appears on local searches with snippets like reviews, address, contact info, etc.

When signing up, you can select a primary category which should be used for you particular branch of practice if there is one:

If you have a particular specialization, take advantage and select that so that you dont compete with the general terms like “law firm”, “lawyer” or “attorney”. Owning a niche, if you have one, is far better than trying to compete with everyone. By qualifying your law firm based on your specialty gives you a better chance to attract potential clients.

You can add a ton of information in Google My Business:

  • Law Firm description: keyword rich and long (200-300 words)
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Business hours
  • Average reviews
  • Specials, coupons, and updates
  • Photos of the team and offices
  • Social Media links

Whenever possible, take advantage of your happy clients (hopefully all of them) and asked them to write a review, this allows you to be considered “more important” in the eyes of google and adds to your credibility and trust.

– Focus on Link building

Having important, heavily trafficked, top domain websites can be a game changer for you by giving you what its called “Domain Authority”. There is a ton of information to unwrap within this topic but, the gist of it is, getting linked from a popular page is like getting praised by the most popular guy/gal in school and Google likes popular websites.

The link building strategy can be slow and annoying, but it has proven to work time and time again since the beginning of Google times. But it’s important that this links are from respected, not spammy websites.

And if you combine this strategy with content marketing, the results work beautifully. Guest posting opens many doors which is why so many people want to write articles for magazines, publications, blogs. Each article that you post or that you collaborate with should have a link back to your website.

Another way of getting links is finding respected legal directories and submitting your firm. This way you get listed, linked and prompt up as a player in the field. Here you can find a list of more than 100 US focused places: reputable online directories but if you need for any other market, search on google or get in touch and we’ll send some awesome links.

And one last resource for creating links, even though most of the links you get are “no follow” which means that the source page doesn’t share domain authority, its still a valuable source of traffic and reputation when used correctly: Yelp, FourSquare, and Yellow Pages.

– Structured data or Schema Markup: the rising star

Schema markup (the structured data) allows you to show and provide google with the information it needs to use your content in rich snippets of information directly on the SERP. Its an amazing way to stand out and is becoming more and more accesible for no-code humans like must of us.

Schema has a whole array of options and some are a must in law firm websites:

  • Legal Services markup: This identifies law firms as providing legal services.
  • Review markup: This allows you to showcase reviews in the form of a star rating and author.
  • NAP or Name, Address, and Phone Number markup: This can help your contact information be more easily identifiable by google directly from your website (different from Google My Business).

As an example: 

Rich snippet example for law firms marketing

Even though is still a complicated implementation even for web developers when dealing with already made websites, there is an increasing offering of easy tools that will help you. If you are using WordPress, the very famous plugin yoast now has an easy way of identifying a page or post with a schema markup (it’s not perfect but they will get there). And you can also find tools that will help you with your schema markup generation like this one from technical SEO.

– Reviews, the social proof everybody needs

Reviews, good reviews to be precise, are the easiest way of telling the search engine and you potential clients that you mean business, that you are not only very good but so amazing that people take the time to write about the experience the had with you and your services. I might not know who you are but if five hundred people are publicly saying that you are the best law firm in town, the most dedicated and the fastest most energetic and auspicious lawyer or law firm in town. Then I just might want you in my corner!

Reviews also help you rank higher in the local SERP and it makes since considering all of the above.

  • More than Google: Google is very important but remember that google has eyes everywhere, E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E, so instead of asking every client to leave you a stellar and honest review on your Google My Business, take into consideration other platforms where you have little presence and take the opportunity to boost your reputation there. Give your client options, maybe they’ll leave more than one review!
  • Copy and Share in Testimonials: Check with your client first and copy their review on your testimonials page or section. This technique might be the push that a possible client needs to get on board and hire you.
  • Make it easy for them: Its common practice to give one or two simple templates for your satisfy client to use on their review. I’ve had the situation that I would love to leave a review but its just so hard to come up with something different to write. Take the pressure off of them and give them a guide and tell them to just give you 2 minutes of their time. They will spice it up if they feel creative and have time.
  • Time it properly: This is an obvious point but make the request at the appropriate time and to the right clients. I often see the request on a template that is used with every client, even though it might work, you also have the possibility of annoying a client that maybe is not as happy yet. Wait and ask when you know they are happy and grateful. Takes longer but the results are much better.

– Social Media, a strategic choice

Are your customers on instagram? on facebook? on twitter? maybe only on LinkedIn or Xing? Every social channel has to be evaluated for what they bring to the table. I understand that is nice to get the @yourlawfirm handle for every social media channel but where are you going to put the effort? where are you going what?

  • LinkedIn is an amazing tool and very versatile, the best in my humble opinion, it allows you to participate in groups, comment on legal matters, post your blog posts, share what you teammates share and the law firm profile is a great way to present your services, location, etc.
  • Instagram, Tiktok and still snapchat have a younger audience, if you like making fast paced, young and casual videos and want to attract a younger type of clientele, then you know what to do but its definitely not for everyone and the return on investment for law firms is extremely low. Specially with the last two.
  • Facebook has become a 30+ audience and it has hundreds of groups where you can participate on. In every city there is a divorce group, a expat group, a business group, etc. Be there and try and find good places where to give advice and offer your services. Its also a very good place to create a law firm profile where to offer your services, contact information, location, collect reviews and post blog posts, videos, news, polls and anything that your ex clients, clients and future clients might find interesting.
  • Twitter is also an interesting place to participate in conversations, share news, share articles and blog posts – Also recommended, specially if you have time and enjoy twitter. If not, there are tools that can automate reposting from Facebook or linked-in onto your twitter profile. Check IFTTT.

Every social channel has an audience and a way of communicating and participating in conversations. Find a way to be very good in your top 2 channels and automate the rest, but keep an eye on them.

This last text is a simplistic way of introducing marketing opportunities in social media without touching the advertising (Social Media Marketing) If you want to know more about social media organic reach, built audiences, re-marketing and all that wonderful range of possibilities that social media channels offer, there are thousands of websites and youtube videos on each of those topics. Its an ever evolving subject and a book could be written about it every two months.

– URL, your links matter

URL stand for Uniform Resource Locator, but lets called them web addresses. They are a very simple and important part of your SEO strategy because if you put them all together, they should be as effective as a book index.

Follow what we like to call a Silo Structure where everything is under the domain umbrella but each section and sub section is well named and makes since. For example, if you see this URL: www.mylawfirm.com/services/contractlaw/drafting, you intuitive know the website organization, and expect to see a page about this law firms drafting contract services. The same should be applied to every section of the website.

You can rank for more than one service or product if you create separate pages for each. This allows users to find a specific page more easily and increases the navigability of your website.

If you work in many locations and offer different services, consider adding the city name into the URL so that you can increase your ability to rank in multiple locations. i.e. www.mylawfirm.com/city2/services

A few last words

I left out many, many factors that contribute greatly in SEO for two reasons in particular:

  1. Obvious website requirements like having an SSL certificate on your website, you know if the website starts with http or https. In 2020 security is non-negotiable and thanks to tools like letsencrypt you can get an SSL certificate for free and must hosting services offer it as a 1 or 2 click installation.
  2. Things that are to technical, nuances or lengthy to be explained in a law-firm marketing and SEO overview. Landing page optimizations, script reductions, load times, A/B testing, analytics, search console, alt texts, image compression, and a myriad of big and small stuff that contribute in some way in your SEO. Some of these things are the reason you can find computer scientists and statisticians in any modern SEO and marketing agency.

But, don’t be discouraged, if your website is secure and works well (like most maintained wordpress sites) and you follow the tips mentioned in this article, you will most likely get amazing results over time. Whether you are trying to build your law firm from scratch or want to start taking advantage of the possibilities that the internet offers, SEO should be an important part of your marketing strategy.

Marketing and SEO take time and effort but the compounding benefits are astounding.

If you enjoyed this article, please share and get in touch if you have any questions!

Blog UTM codes for nonprofit marketing
Analytics Marketing

QR Codes for Nonprofit Marketing

QR and UTM codes for nonprofit marketing

There are hundreds of articles explaining the usefulness of QR codes for businesses but rarely have I seen an article explaining this amazing tool and how it can improve the nonprofit marketing efforts. Bear in mind, I’m taking the liberty of assuming that everybody uses Google analytics.


QR Codes are perfect for nonprofits! They are exploding in popularity once again in 2020 and if used properly, they can help you dissect and analyze the traffic created from flyers, donation boxes, stickers, leaflets, etc.

Why you ask? Well, they allow us to not only send people directly into a video, article, landing page, donation page, funnel, etc. But also to easily track the what, where and when much easier than before. And data, as we all know, when interpreted right, is priceless.

If you work within a charity or nonprofit, you probably have seen that every piece of offline content has a URL or website. Some may have had a QR Code but was rarely used by the public and in most cases, they where just direct links to the homepage. right? Well, in this article I want to delve into what they are, how they work and why you should include UTM parameters into every link.


Now, the right way for nonprofits to use QR Codes for marketing and fundraising is by utilizing UTM parameters on the link from which you create the QR code. Now, Quick Response codes as we all know are visual links or matrix bar code that sends the reader to a website or app and when done correctly, we can see a lot of information on our google analytics.

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UTM Parameters on Google Analytics

What are UTM parameters?

So, we know that QR codes can store a URL, now we want to make that same URL tell us something more and here is where UTM parameters come in.

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URL with UTM parameters — example

UTM parameters (also called tags or codes), are pieces of text that allow analytics software like Google Analytics to track campaign traffic. Attaching them to the end of a URL can help you figure out answers to questions as like “Which fundraising poster and campaign did this donor came from?”

The five types of UTM parameters you can add to your content to help track traffic. The more you use them, the more your analytics platform will be able to show you.

utm_source (Required) The source that is sending the traffic.

utm_medium (Required) The marketing medium where the link was shared.

utm_campaign (Required) The name of your unique campaign.

utm_term (Optional) The keywords tied to your campaign (used for CPC campaigns — not here).

utm_content (Optional) Phrases that differentiate similar content on the same page, such as unique call to actions or buttons.


Lets build one together

Lets assume you are thinking of placing some beautiful leaflets promoting your nonprofit saving abandoned dogs.

You decide you will place them in local shops but you will do 2 or 3 designs with different call to actions with one simple objective: get people to go to your website and donate or better yet, become a monthly donor.

After you place them, how would you know what sparked more interest, which one made more people donate and if there is a difference, which one made more people become regular donors.

Here is where UTM parameters come in handy but a word of advice, once you decide on a parameter, be consistent so that the data is clean afterwords.

Let say your website is savedogs.com:

Our utm_source could be for example “localstores” or “madridstores” or “localpharmacies”.

Our utm_medium could be “qrcode”, “leaflet” or “qrleaflet”.

Our utm_campaign could be “julydogs01” and “julydogs02” if you have two different campaigns running.

Our utm_content could be “calltoaction1” and “calltoaction2” if you have 2 different call to actions for each campaign or overall designs.

URL result: https://www.savedogs.com/?utm_source=localstores&utm_medium=qrleaflet&utm_campaign=julydogs01&utm_content=calltoaction1

Now we are ready to create our QR Code. We can go to any page like qrstuff.com for example (there are many, just grabed the first one I saw on google) and voila:

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https://www.savedogs.com/?utm_source=localstores&utm_medium=qrleaflet&utm_campaign=julydogs01&utm_content=calltoaction1

On consistency: Its important that you keep a record of what UTM parameters you’re using and for what. I will link to a simple tool we created at Wishing Spiral Agency that can help you do this. Feel free to make a copy on your google drive and use it.

I am not going to get into how google analytics works and how you can track this information because that has been thoroughly covered in many blog posts from people with much gooder 🙂 English than mine.


Successful use cases: QR Codes + UTM parameters

Artiful.org  Raising awareness with art

Artiful is a beautiful canvas art eCommerce with a social twist, some collections and pieces help nonprofits. Artiful decided that it would be great that with every piece they sold, they would send a thank you letter and promotional leaflet about the nonprofit they where trying to help.

When approaching the nonprofits to do the design, nobody was worried about tracking the effectiveness of the campaign so we decided that every single leaflet, design and call out would be tracked using UTM parameters — It worked fantastic.

We created a landing page for each nonprofit and send all the traffic created through there, that way we could see if the campaign was worth doing this way or we should find another way to promote awareness and maybe donors.

Donabox.com  Versatile donation boxes

Donabox is the probably the must-used donation box in the world, at wishing we got to be part of the founding team.

A few years back many clients wanted a new type of box, one that could lead to more information about each donor and facilitate credit card single and regular donations.

Adding QR codes to every display was a no brainer but considering we have worked with nonprofits that have over 3000 charity boxes placed, placing the same QR code was not an option.

We helped them segment each type of store or office and areas of the city. After everything was in place, we could see the difference in credit card donations and cash donations per area and type of place.

Bakeries where high in cash donations and low on credit card donations, but shoe stores where the reverse. And many more insights that shaped the future fundraising plans for that particular nonprofit. And all while receiving more money and using UTM codes correctly.

UTM Builder: make a copy and is yours. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YV2M5PRz8_3SnfQXjn8D2XQv0Ekeo_Pl5bHhlwiUOtU/edit?usp=sharing

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Creativity

UI/UX – Whats the difference?

UI design and UX design are two of the most often confused and conflated terms in web and app design. And understandably so. They’re usually placed together in a single term, UI/UX design, and viewed from the surface they seem to be describing the same thing. It’s often hard to find solid descriptions of the two that don’t descend too far into jargon. But fear not!

What follows is an easy-to-digest primer on these terms.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a good understanding of what differentiates them and how they relate to each other. So let’s dive in!


What is UI Design?

The “UI” in UI design stands for “user interface.” The user interface is the graphical layout of an application. It consists of the buttons users click on, the text they read, the images, sliders, text entry fields, and all the rest of the items the user interacts with. This includes screen layout, transitions, interface animations and every single micro-interaction. Any sort of visual element, interaction, or animation must all be designed.

This job falls to UI designers. They decide what the application is going to look like. They have to choose color schemes and button shapes — the width of lines and the fonts used for text. UI designers create the look and feel of an application’s user interface.

UI designers are graphic designers. They’re concerned with aesthetics. It’s up to them to make sure the application’s interface is attractive, visually-stimulating and themed appropriately to match the purpose and/or personality of the app. And they need to make sure every single visual element feels united, both aesthetically, and in purpose.

What is UX Design?

“UX” stands for “user experience.” A user’s experience of the app is determined by how they interact with it. Is the experience smooth and intuitive or clunky and confusing? Does navigating the app feel logical or does it feel arbitrary? Does interacting with the app give people the sense that they’re efficiently accomplishing the tasks they set out to achieve or does it feel like a struggle? User experience is determined by how easy or difficult it is to interact with the user interface elements that the UI designers have created.

So UX designers are also concerned with an application’s user interface, and this is why people get confused about the difference between the two. But whereas UI designers are tasked with deciding how the user interface will look, UX designers are in charge of determining how the user interface operates.

They determine the structure of the interface and the functionality. How it’s organized and how all the parts relate to one another. In short, they design how the interface works. If it works well and feels seamless, the user will have a good experience. But if navigation is complicated or unintuitive, then a lousy user experience is likely. UX designers work to avoid the second scenario.

Designing in a vacuum leads to less than ideal results.

There’s also a certain amount of iterative analysis involved in UX design. UX designers will create wireframe rendering of their interface interactions and get user feedback. They’ll integrate this into their designs. It’s important for UX designers to have a holistic understanding of how users prefer to interact with their applications.

How They Work Together

So a UX designer decides how the user interface works while the UI designer decides how the user interface looks. This is a very collaborative process, and the two design teams tend to work closely together. As the UX team is working out the flow of the app, how all of the buttons navigate you through your tasks, and how the interface efficiently serves up the information user’s need, the UI team is working on how all of these interface elements will appear on screen.

Let’s say at some point in the design process it’s decided that extra buttons need to be added to a given screen. This will change how the buttons will need to be organized and could require changing their shape or size. The UX team would determine the best way to lay out the buttons while the UI teams adapt their designs to fit the new layout. Constant communication and collaboration between UI and UX designers help to assure that the final user interface looks as good as it can, while also operating efficiently and intuitively.

Research is Key

Research is vital for both UI and UX designers. It’s important for both disciplines to gather as much good information as possible to assist them in crafting appropriate designs, and both follow a similar approach.

Both will research what users want. What they expect from applications of the sort being developed. This research is often iterative, involving usability sessions, where real users will interact with scaled versions of certain functionality or visual designs being tested to determine whether the designers are moving down the proper path. Feedback is integrated with each iteration.

This process involves generating low fidelity prototypes, like wireframe renderings of interface elements in order to gauge a user’s response strictly to the functionality being tested. This can also involve fast visual prototypes and A/B tests of different possible versions of the look and feel of the interface to determine which one users prefer.

In all cases research helps guide the steps designers take as they build their contributions. However, the information UI and UX designers are looking for is very different.

Research in UI Designs

UI designers need to make sure the visual language they choose fits the class of application they’re writing. They’re trying to predict user expectations. If your team is designing a travel app, it’s important to research how other travel apps have been developed in the past. Which ones worked? Which ones didn’t? There are design lessons to be learned from the work others have done before.

Research might indicate that people prefer outlined icons instead of bold shapes. This is a visual shorthand that people are comfortable with and enjoy. UI designers would then do well to incorporate that lesson.

The exact aesthetic they choose is up to them, but the basic “rules,” or the need to conform to user expectations, is something designers ignore at their own risk.

Not to say risks shouldn’t be taken. UI designers want their interface designs to stand out and be memorable. But this must be balanced against making sure people recognize the purpose of the elements you’re placing on screen.

Research for UX Design

UX design is particularly interested in user expectations. All of the experiences and interactions that users have had with every application they’ve used in their lives have helped set their expectations for how interfaces are supposed to work. If a UX designer isn’t intimately familiar with these expectations, they could inadvertently design an interface interaction that seems logical to them but breaks commonly accepted conventions. Users don’t like when an interface behaves very differently than they were expecting, and this could negatively impact their experience.

If a UX designer decides to do something different, they need to have a very good reason, because breaking a deeply trained expected behavior will likely cause people to do the wrong thing frequently.

As an example, most people are comfortable with the idea that you click twice on a file to open it and once to select it. This is an interface behavior that has existed almost as long as there have been graphical user interfaces.


UI vs. UX: Two Very Different Disciplines that Work in Harmony

UI design and UX design involve very different skill sets, but they are integral to each other’s success. A beautiful design can’t save an interface that’s clunky and confusing to navigate, and a brilliant, perfectly-appropriate user experience can be sunk by bad visual interface design that makes using the app unpleasant. Both UI and UX designs need to be flawlessly executed and perfectly aligned with pre-existing user expectations to create an excellent user interface/experience. And when those stars align the results can be astounding.

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Strategy

The Ideal Marketing Team?

Marketing is an essential part of a successful business, and the structure of the marketing team within a company will define how successful the department can be. There are different ways to structure a marketing team based on the company that the team is a part of. Picking the right structure and team members creates the foundation for success. 

However, many companies need to learn more about marketing teams and structures to be more effective. Here is a look at the structures of marketing teams and how companies can choose the ideal marketing team for their needs.

Changes in Marketing Teams

Workplace, Team, Business Meeting, Business People

The organizational structure for marketing teams has changed in the past two decades. The traditional model included a department separate from the rest of the company that focused on print marketing operations as the primary means of reaching customers. 

teamfuture-traditionalmodel
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Television and radio changed this to make all three options equally weighted and forced teams to add new skillsets for different mediums. Digital marketing is forcing another change in how companies structure their marketing teams.

Today, marketing teams are moving away from focusing on a specific medium, like newspapers and television, and toward customer and relationship-focused models. This change puts the focus on the experience rather than on the means of reaching customers. The result is a potential improvement in quality and engagement among a much wider audience. 

teamfuture-concentricmodel
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However, companies must adjust to see the benefits of digital marketing and the restructuring of marketing departments.

The Types of Marketing Department Structures

Current research shows that marketing departments are shifting toward six defined department structures. These structures are based on the views of the company when it comes to customers rather than focusing on the best methods of different mediums. Overall, this shows a greater concern for the quality of the connections made with customers rather than focusing solely on reaching the greatest volume of customers. 

Here is a look at the six types of marketing department structures.

Customer Experience Model

Currently, one of the best options for marketing departments is to switch to a customer experience model. Companies that provide services see the best returns on this model, but product companies can see similar levels of success if they focus on the customer experience aspects of their operations. This model often incorporates brand management and awareness methods that are tied to how customers interact with the company.

Ideal Marketing Team Structure CXM
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For this method to be successful, however, the company has to have a strong focus on the customer experience. Many companies are making this transition because they want to draw in customers based on having a better experience than competitors, even with similar products and product quality. Many companies have found that customers are more focused on experiences and even ignore products and quality to some extent in favor of a better experience.

Ideal Marketing Team Structure Survey 1

For marketing teams, this means highlighting the positive aspects of the customer experience by focusing on a complete experience. Social proof is often a useful tool since it is easy to collect and gives customers a reliable look at how customers currently feel about working with the company. This also means taking advantage of social media and similar tools to create an online brand with a positive message.

Segment-focused Structure

Ideal Marketing Team Structure Segmenting 2 1
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Rather than focusing internally, a segment-focused structure pinpoints the needs of a segment in an industry. This is similar to how marketing departments performed in the early years of digital marketing. However, it is more focused on identifying specific target segments and creating content for the needs of the segment. It focuses more on the group rather than on the individual customer. That way, it can reach a wide audience of people with the same problem to solve.

Ideal Marketing Team Structure Segmenting
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For marketing departments, this means creating an online persona within that industry and focusing on being a problem solver. Companies want to be the go-to option for people with a specific problem. So, focusing on the experience of solving that problem using the available products and services is essential. 

Marketing departments need to have an acute awareness of what is happening in that segment and industry so that they can adjust as needed to target the right segment.

Operational Teams Model

Ideal Marketing Team Structure Operations Model 1
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The internal structure of a marketing department can cover many different areas of operations. In an operational teams model, the department is divided into teams that focus on specific goals or functionalities. 

For example, a department can have separate teams for advertising, social media, and research. Each team excels in its area and does not overlap with the others.

This structure is useful for building teams of specialists that excel in a specific area. That way, companies can see major improvements in specific operational fields. However, the teams must be able to collaborate to reach marketing objectives. If the teams cannot collaborate, then much of the specialized effort could be wasted.

Geography-focused Model

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Marketing teams for major, national, and international companies may need to be divided into functional teams that focus on a specific geographical area of operations. This is because marketing needs change based on location.

Ideal Marketing Team Structure McDs Geography 2
McDonald’s Menu in India

For example, a company that advertises in the U.S. needs different methods for advertising in India. The tastes of consumers changes in each area, and legal requirements may also necessitate the need for different methods.

In this case, companies can see major benefits because the teams are experts in their areas. Therefore, many companies develop teams with specialists who live in those areas. With that level of immersive experience, marketing methods can be much more effective. 

However, the company needs a unifying department leader or structure to help the teams work together. This will keep the underlying brand and message of advertising the same across the regions.

Channel-specific Teams Model

While many companies are trying to build multi-functional teams, the rise of different digital marketing channels makes the challenge more difficult. A channel-specific teams model creates teams that focus on specific channels. 

Ideal Marketing Team Structure Channel 2
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For example, a company can have a social media team, a print team, and a video content team. This can be drilled down even smaller by creating teams for different platforms like Instagram and YouTube.

The key to being successful with channel-specific teams is to have a unifying structure that  makes sure that the advertising delivers the same quality and message across all of the channels. Each channel can have its own unique look and feel, but it all must represent the brand cohesively.

Product-based Teams Model

Companies that have many products may benefit from using a product-based teams model. Each major product gets a team of marketing specialists that can promote it effectively when and where it is needed. The biggest benefit is that every product can stand on its own and be placed with the segment that most needs it. 

Ideal Marketing Team Structure Product
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The potential drawback is that these products should function completely separately from any other major product from the company. That way, multiple teams won’t have to coordinate to increase sales. They can just focus on one specific thing to get the best results. It also makes it easier for the company to see which products are worth investing in based on marketing returns.

How to Choose the Right Marketing Team Structure

Choosing the right marketing team structure for a company begins by identifying how the company needs to operate. Product-based businesses need to sell products either on volume or by value. If the product has a high value, the company can get by selling less of it and focus on the quality of those transactions. Alternatively, companies that need to sell on volume will focus on a different approach. Knowing what the company needs to do to survive makes the decision much easier.

Companies that provide services or can stay open with lower volume levels can focus on experience and relationship-focused methods. For example, a company that has services should focus on the customer experience model. Customers are often most focused on what their experience with the company will be, and companies curate experiences to match. So, that should be the marketing/selling point for the company.

A company that sells high-value products should focus on a product-based teams model for the marketing department. For these companies, they often have fewer customers that spend more money with the company. 

Many companies cultivate relationships with consistent buyers, including other major companies. So, the marketing department should focus on marketing the product as a solution for these types of clients. SaaS (Software as a Service) companies do this often by connecting with other major companies that need technical infrastructure for their operations.

Companies that are international or cover a wide area should focus on the geography-focused model. This gives them the best options for adjusting to the needs of different markets. Companies like Microsoft do this since the needs of each market vary widely based on their location. Each product and marketing strategy is tailored to the needs of each market for maximum effectiveness.

Companies that use a diverse collection of channels and mediums should use either the channel-specific teams model or the operational teams model. Both options provide flexibility and infrastructure for addressing the needs of specific platforms. The difference between the two is how the company markets. However, many companies incorporate elements of both structures to accommodate the needs of the company.

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Finally, any company that focuses on solving a range of problems that are specific to a group of related customers should use a segment-focused model. Apple is a prime example of this as it covers an entire segment of tech users. By offering multiple related products to them, the company makes the lives of customers across that segment easier. The marketing structure should reflect that to provide the most value.

Choosing a marketing team structure is easier once it is clear what the company needs. Start with some internal research to see what drives the company forward. Then, identify the structure that matches the needs of the company. The result should be a dramatic change in how the company’s marketing efforts affect sales and customer relationships.

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Strategy

Domain Authority 2.0

Domain Authority used to be all about links.

Not anymore.

Today, Google also evaluates your site based on ExpertiseAuthoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

Also known as E-A-T. In many ways, E-A-T is Domain Authority 2.0.

Last year’s Google Quality Rater Guidelines REALLY focused on E-A-T.

E-A-T section of guidelines

To be clear:

E-A-T has been a part of the guidelines for years.

But E-A-T seems to be a more important ranking factor than before.

For example, Google’s new “How Search Works” report mentions that they want to rank “reliable sources”.

Google search report on prioritizing reliable resources

They even cite E-A-T as a key ranking signal:

Google search report on E-A-T

Here’s how to bump up your site’s E-A-T.

Be An Expert (Or Hire One)

If you hire random freelancers to write your content, you’re in trouble.

That’s because Google wants to feature content that’s written by legit experts in their field.

Google guidelines – Creator of the main content

They even go as far to say that medical content needs to be written by health care professionals.

Google guidelines on creating high E-A-T medical advice

This is a tough thing to fake.

In fact, Google might be using a new form of Google Authorship to figure out who’s behind a piece of content… and whether or not they’re experts in that space.

Google may be using a form of Google Authorship

So if you want your content to rank in 2020, it needs to be written by people that know their stuff.

(Especially in the health niche)

Be Transparent

Google probably focuses on off-site signals to figure out your site’s E-A-T.

That said:

The rater guidelines spend a lot of time on evaluating the site itself.

For example, the guidelines point out that:

Google guidelines on creators information

This means having:

  • Thorough about page
  • Easy to find contact page
  • References and external links to sources
  • Privacy policy and terms of service
  • Author bylines on every article

Get Cited

Most of Google’s evaluation of E-A-T happens off of your website.

Which makes sense.

Any random person can claim to be an expert.

But getting other websites to agree with you?

That’s a totally different story.

In fact, Google’s guidelines state that:

Google guidelines on trusting external sources

So:

Besides creating an awesome site, how do you get other people to mention you and your site as a go-to resource?

First, you need to be cited on lots of other trusted websites.

These don’t even have to be linked mentions.

Marie Haynes tweet about external mentions

Something like this can help Google see you as an expert on a given topic:

HackTheEntrepreneur – Brian Dean podcast

Second, your site as a whole needs to be associated with a specific topic.

Again, this comes down to off-site mentions. Specifically, mentions from other authorities in your field.

Google guidelines on website reputation

For example, getting listed as the #1 SEO blog by Ahrefs probably boosted Backlinko’s reputation in Google’s eyes.

Backlinko as "Number one SEO blog" on Ahrefs
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SEO

Design trends 2020

With the year 2020, graphic design trends have reached an important milestone. It’s the dawn of a new decade, and graphic design is poised to reach new heights as designers begin to define the era. There’s a feeling in the air that anything can happen—that we are about to witness the next evolution of graphic design as we know it.

Although it might take a few more years for the 20s to hit their stride, designers are already showing us glimmers of what is to come. Let’s take a look at the reigning graphic design trends 2020 that are already starting to characterize this new decade.

10 graphic design trends that will be huge in 2020:

  1. Cyberpunk color schemes
  2. Street art styles
  3. Ultra thin geometry
  4. Paper cut-out collages
  5. Hand lettering with big personality
  6. Dystopian aesthetic
  7. Hyper-pastiche
  8. Continuous animation sequences
  9. Bevels and chisels
  10. Live data visualization