• FAQs

          Search engine optimization (SEO) helps businesses drive visits to their website through organic search traffic. Given that the top organic search results receive a third of the clicks, a decline in ranking could be detrimental for your business. Implementing SEO best practices on your website will help to ensure that your web content is seen by as many potential customers as possible. The more visitors you have, the better your chances are of converting those visits into sales!

          Local search engine optimization (SEO) helps local businesses gain visibility by optimizing their local business listings for local search. A business that leverages local SEO will include its address, phone number, local opening times, and exact location in the form of a local citation. The goal is to rank for local searches which are usually performed by people in a specific geographical region looking for a business near them.

          We typically see results within the first 30 to 60 days, but when it comes to SEO, there are many factors at play. It's important to remember that SEO is a long-term strategy and results may not come as fast at you wish.

        • FAQs

          Digital advertising uses the internet to send advertisements to customers who are online through different websites and social media platforms like Google, Bing, LinkedIn and Facebook.

          The price for Google Ads management depends on the monthly ad spend. For accounts with $1,000 in monthly ad spend, the price is $550/month. Between $1,000 and $5,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $950/month. For $5,000 to $10,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $2,000/month. For more than $10,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $4,500/month.

          The price for Social Media Ads management depends on the monthly ad spend. For accounts with $1,000 in monthly ad spend, the price is $550/month. Between $1,000 and $5,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $950/month. For $5,000 to $10,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $2,000/month. For more than $10,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $4,500/month.

        • FAQs

          This depends on the complexity and size of a redesign and if eCommerce is needed. On average, it takes around 14-18 weeks from the web design intensive stage to launch.

          If your website experiences the following issues: it’s not responsive on all devices, has a slow loading speed, the design appears old and tired, users don’t spend long on the site, sales are stagnant, or your business is going through a rebranding - your website needs a redesign to boost your brand awareness and sales.

          Sometimes there’s no need to rebuild a website. Minor edits, refreshing page content and images, or restructuring page layout for SEO best practices can boost traffic and sales.

        • FAQs

          Semantic search launched in 2013 with the release of Google's Hummingbird update. Since then, Google's search engine has become more complex. The integration of machine learning, with RankBrain, and NLP, with BERT, has enabled the search engine to better understand the context of a query and deliver more personalized and targeted results. Semantic SEO is the process of creating machine-readable content using structured data and linked open data to help search engines better understand your content.

          On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. On-page SEO refers to both the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimized, as opposed to off-page SEO which refers to links and other external signals. From meta tags to page content, website structure, and HTML, on-page optimization services are focused on making your website more visible to search engines.

          Structured data refers to any organized data that conforms to a certain format, such as information in a relational database. When information is highly structured and predictable, search engines can more easily organize and display it in creative ways. Structured data involves using a piece of code that is laid out in a specific format easily understood by search engines. The search engines read the code and use it to display search results in a more dynamic way.

        • FAQs

          An SEO agency has experts in different areas of search engine optimization that may be out of the realm of your marketing team's abilities. SEO can be very complex and time-consuming. Furthermore, as search engine algorithms change it can be difficult to stay current on the latest ranking factors and strategies for improving online visibility. You will likely see a greater return on investment and better results from using a professional SEO agency than you would from tackling this on your own.

          As a digital marketing agency, SMA Marketing provides products and services in four areas: SEO, Local SEO, Digital Advertising, and Web Design

          We focus on building authentic, long-lasting relationships with our clients. We’re goal oriented and results driven and believe in doing good and making a difference in the world.

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Stories Sell: How to Write a Powerful Customer Success Story

Facts tell, but stories sell. That statement has never been more relevant than in the realm of inbound marketing.

Stories have the power to draw us into the lives of others, cause us to feel empathy, and can motivate us to act. When we see ourselves in the struggles, conflicts, and dilemmas of the heroes of stories, we can then also see ourselves making the same decision they made to overcome the problems.

HubSpot explains that today’s consumers make about 60% of their buying decision before speaking to a sales rep. They are searching the internet, browsing your website, and gathering intel prior to buying. In addition to product features and benefits, demo videos, and blog articles, what are they looking for? Testimonials and customer success stories. They are looking for proof. They want to know, directly from real product users, “Is this product worth my investment? Will it do what is promised? How did it help someone like me?”

What is a Customer Success Story?

The terms case study and customer story are often used interchangeably. However, they’re not the same. Both have their place in inbound marketing and are useful at different points in the sales funnel. This article focuses on writing customer stories, but it’s helpful to examine the difference between the two first.

The Case Study Reports

A case study is typically technical and includes details about the problem and the solution that the business provided to their customer. It ends with data and reports of ROI, revenue growth, and cost savings. Think of a case study as a scientific report. You’ll often see case studies used in technical businesses such as manufacturing and software.

Case studies are excellent for the decision stage of the funnel. At this stage, decision-makers want to see the data on relevant use cases. They need to know exactly how the product or service can be implemented, solve their specific problem, and have a positive impact on their bottom line.

The Customer Story Inspires

Whereas case studies tell the facts, customer stories sell the experience.

A customer story has an emotional undertone which highlights the customer’s problem and the change which occurred as a result of using a product or working with a business. Emotional impact wins over cold hard facts when buyers are exploring their options.

Customer stories, also known as success stories or case stories, are best used in the consideration stage of the sales funnel. When stakeholders are considering different solutions to their problem, they typically want to cut to the bottom line. They want to know whether or not similar businesses have had success using a solution and what their experience was like using the product. They will leave the technical details and financial analysis to the decision-makers.

So, how do you write customer stories that engage buyers and lead them further down the funnel? How can you write compelling success stories that make them want to book a demo or schedule a consultation?

How to Write a Powerful Customer Success Story That Engages Buyers

In a customer story, the use of characters, plot, conflict, and resolution engage the reader and impact them emotionally. Writing a compelling customer success story involves telling the customer’s story in lively language and descriptive details. You’ll want to structure it with four scenes: situation, obstacle, solution, and outcome.

Scene 1: The Situation

Set up the situation and introduce the customer. They are the hero of the story. Like the beginning of any good story, the first scene allows us into their world. The reader starts to empathize with them and finds the customer’s story relatable.

Describe the customer, a bit about their history and their mission. What are their goals? What’s important to them? Help the reader connect with the customer by humanizing the business. Tell about the people behind the brand and why we should care about them.

Scene 2: The Obstacle

Next, describe the roadblocks the customer faced in achieving their goals and carrying out their mission. What were these obstacles doing to their business? Be very descriptive about the pain these hurdles were causing to their business, their employees, or their customers. Help the reader, who is likely experiencing similar pains, feel empathy toward the customer.

What did the customer need to solve their problem and how did they know it would take outside help to get them out of their situation?

Scene 3: The Solution

Finally, the wise guide comes along to rescue the hero from peril. In this part of the story, tell how the customer knew you were the one to solve their problem. What fantastic benefits of your product or service factored into their decision?

Describe how you and your customer worked together to help them overcome their pains.

Scene 4: The Outcome

What was the result of your relationship? What successes has the customer enjoyed since implementing your solution? Did they achieve their goals? How much has their business grown as a result of using the product? How has their business turned around with your help?

Numbers are great here to illustrate the significant impact your solution had on the customer’s business.

A Final Thought on Customer Success Stories

Customer success stories are powerful content that shouldn’t be relegated to the “Customers” page of your website. They make great video content, blog articles, social media posts, and can be added to eBooks and white papers as proof of the viability of your product or service.

Further reading: 4 Ways to Leverage Customer Success Stories in Inbound Marketing

Make it a practice to ask your customers not only for testimonials but for additional details to flesh out their customer story. Compelling customer success stories have the power to engage potential buyers and lead them to contact your company or make a purchase. Adding them to your marketing and sales content should be a key piece of your inbound marketing strategy.

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