“Matt Thompson and the team at Splash Omnimedia put our companies on the map. We highly recommend their products to all our clients and want to encourage you to join the Splash Team. Becoming part of the Splash Family changes everything.”
- Jimmy LaRose
CEO, The James P. LaRose Companies
We conceptualize, create and subsequently execute on a marketing strategy that is measurable. It is not just good enough to be good enough. Our success is measured by the success of our clients and the longevity of our partnerships with those clients in which we work.
Web Design, Mobile, SEO, Behavioral, Retargeting, Social Media, Video, Audio, Media Placement,Consulting, Branding & Graphic Design are just executables in which our team is extremely competent -- but it is the way in which we use these items that create the true Return on Investment!
We strive to create successful long term partnerships in which our clients can wake up each day excited to do what they do. When this happens, the return in investment in which they have entrusted in our firm is measurable and is continually increasing.
We truly love what we do but more importantly, our passion lies within the success of our clients. It is this passion that brings us back day after day and week after week. Call us and we will just simply show you why we actually do it!
If you're a business owner who desires to create a larger impact within your industry, then you're an ideal client for us. It is business owners who desire to communicate on a high level with their current and prospective clients. It is business owners who desire to obtain a consistent referral base. It is business owners who are ready to pull away from their competition and not just talk about it.
Our clientele are largely made up of senior management from small businesses through large corporations. We love working with for profit and non-profit businesses and if you are reading this, call us and let’s see if we are the right fit for your organization!
We execute on measurable, proven initiatives. All strategies are created based on research; this research starts with a business’s target market. Who are they? Gender? Age? Income? How do they buy? What do they buy? These are just some of the questions that we answer prior to formulating a plan.
Marketing vehicles such as web, mobile, video, social media, and traditional media are for some businesses but this doesn’t say that it is for ALL businesses. We will only recommend what is right for you and your organization -- and that is what our team will execute. We don't sell you things, we partner with you for true results that will enable your business to achieve ultimate success.
Have you ever just sat there and wondered what was wrong with your potential customers? Your offerings are irresistible – you’ve packed amazing features into your products and benefits into your services. But no one’s biting. Or at least, they’re not biting at the rate they should be.
When it comes to our marketing content – whether the text on our website, direct mailers, blog posts, or brochures – we can make the mistake of thinking that we are being persuasive and convincing by listing all the features of our products or services. It’s as if we’re saying, “Of course this is a great deal – just look at everything you’re getting!”
But the problem is, customers are not convinced by this kind of writing.
In fact, they’re not even convinced by the features themselves.
If you want your marketing content to convince potential customers to buy from you, you’re going to have to rethink your approach to what kind of content “sells”.
When was the last time you bought a piece of technology, like a TV? Did you understand half of the technical mumbo-jumbo listed in those descriptions beside each TV? If you understood the LED, LCD, OLED, HDMI, 1080p, or 720p letters and numbers in those descriptions, I bet it’s because you’re a tech salesperson or you were, like me, furiously googling what each of those meant on your phone.
The thing is, features like these are cool, especially once you start learning about them – but for the average consumer, they might as well be random letters and numbers. They don’t mean anything to us.
It doesn’t matter if you have handy-dandy charts comparing the features of different TVs to each other. When you don’t know what any of those features mean, you’re probably going to end up picking a TV at random.
That’s not the way we want to market to customers. That’s not the way customers want to be marketed to.
So let’s compare two descriptions of the same TV, and you tell me which sounds more convincing and persuasive:
• flat screen
• LCD HD TV
• multiple HDMI hookups
“Now, this TV is perfect for you. It’s big enough to see from anywhere in the living room area – 60”, so you can’t miss it. It’s a flat screen, too, so you can mount it on the wall or put it in an entertainment center; no having to completely rearrange your living room for the new TV. It’s HD and LCD, which means you’re going to get great, crystal-clear images. Controversial catch in this weekend’s football game? You’ll be able to see it in better detail than the refs on the field. And the best part is that you can attach multiple HD devices, like your cable box, Blu-ray player, or game console, so you can enjoy all kinds of HD experiences, not just one or two.”
Obviously, the second is more persuasive. Don’t fight it. You know it’s true.
So why is the longer paragraph more convincing than the list of features? It’s because the second description uses benefits language. And benefits language is going to persuade way more customers than pure features language.
If there’s only one lesson you take from this blog post, it’s this: people only care about features insofar as those features provide them with tangible, noticeable benefits. Just look at cameras – your average Joe on the street isn’t going to know or care about the number of pixels in his pictures. But he is going to notice when his pictures are sharper and more colorful than before.
In short, features language is the listing of the details and specs of a particular product or service; benefits language puts those features into specific context for the customer and highlights what benefits the product or service offers them. Features language assumes the customer will imagine how the product/service will impact them, while benefits language provides the exact imagery.
(“But how can I write something specifically for my customer?” you ask. And I reply: That’s why you should know your target market so well.)
So why isn’t every business or marketer using nothing but benefits language? Well, not everyone’s aware of the difference – and a lot of them are lazy. Features language is easy: just list the features you put into the product. Benefits language, on the other hand, is a lot harder. Pull up the list of features in one of your products or services and try it yourself.
Easier in theory than execution, right? But remember, if you put in the time to write benefits language now, you’ll benefit from the much more convincing language.
But I can already hear some of you doubting. “People don’t make decisions like that,” you’re thinking. “They want to know exactly what they’re getting out of their purchase. They like making point-by-point comparisons. The features are what sell my products or services.”
So let’s examine how people make decisions and what that has to do with the features/benefits language divide.
How do you make a decision? Most of us would say that we weigh all of our options, go through the pros and cons of each one, and then make a logical decision about which is the best one.
Psychologists say that you’re lying to yourself.
See, a few years ago, some neuroscientists noticed something odd: Patients who had suffered damage to the part of their brain responsible for emotions couldn’t make decisions. At all. They could still make logical arguments and deductions, but when it came time for decisions, big or small, they were stymied. They couldn’t make a single one.
This led to a revolutionary new understanding of how people make decisions: rather than primarily being a logical process, decision-making is a primarily emotional process.
In other words, we make decisions based on how we feel and then use logic to justify our decisions.
Do you see the fatal flaw in features language now? It assumes that people start with logic when it comes to making a purchasing decision. Benefits language, on the other hand, attempts to create that emotional reaction – “this is what I want” – and then provides the logic that the customer can use to justify their decision.
So what’s the takeaway message for your marketing content? Should you completely throw out your features list and just paint word pictures about how ecstatically happy your customers will be once they buy your product or service?
Not quite. Instead, make sure all of your marketing content is primarily benefits language - whether you sit down and examine it all yourself or work with a marketing agency who knows what they’re doing when it comes to marketing content. But balance that benefits language with your features language so that customers see that your features back up your benefits claims.
It’s not the easiest task in the world, but when you know that every detail of your product or service makes a positive difference in your clients’ lives, why would you accept content that doesn’t sell it effectively?
Whether you just recently started your HVAC company or you’re celebrating decades of being in business, you know the struggles when it comes to marketing your business. You know you’ve got great techs, amazing products to offer, and a customer service that really provides the “exceptional” that so many companies claim – but how do you reach the potential customers your business needs?
As a company working with many HVAC companies, we have mastered how to make companies stand out when the odds are completely against them. We want every company we work with to have the best ROI possible, and so we have found the challenges and implemented our solutions to create successful marketing for our HVAC companies.
That’s why we’ve created the infographic below, to not just explain the challenges facing today’s HVAC companies when it comes to marketing, but to show how the digital marketing strategies we use on a daily basis help you overcome them.
So the only question is: If your marketing is struggling, why aren’t you taking it to the next level?
(Click on image to enlarge.)
If you’ve been reading these blogs for a while, you know that there’s several reasons we love including business blogs in your marketing:
1. They’ll help with your SEO efforts.
2. They can help you create compelling content.
3. They can help jumpstart your social media marketing.
But that, ladies and gentlemen, isn’t all that blogs can do. Just as you can use blogs to get your social media marketing going, you can also use them to jumpstart your email marketing.
As the marketing tactic with the highest ROI of any other marketing tactic (more than $40 for every $1 spent!), email marketing is a critical tool in any business’s box. Yet, because it does require a good bit of time and effort to reach such a level of success, many businesses end up skipping email marketing or letting it flounder.
It makes some sense: if you’ve only got so much time on your hands, email marketing is a huge investment. However, if you’re already doing blogs, you can start doing email marketing now, and build a foundation upon which you can grow your efforts.
Not sure what kind of emails to send in your email marketing? You can always set up an email that will regularly go out to subscribers with your latest post(s). You can even do digests with different frequencies – send out once a week, collecting that week’s posts, or send out daily, as soon as you update with a new blog post.
Besides creating an ongoing email campaign that you can just set up and then forget about, this is a great way to grow your blog readership. Not all of your customers are going to be familiar with RSS feeds or follow you on social media in order to get the latest blog updates – because both of those require more time and effort on their part. By offering blog updates via email, you make it much easier for them to consume your content.
The first step is great if you already have a strong mailing list of potential customers – but what if you’re starting your email marketing from scratch? Don’t buy an email list; put a simple subscription form on your blog pages and tell them they can receive your blog digest emails if they sign up.
Now, what we mean by “simple subscription form” is this: name, email address. You may want to split “name” into “first name” and “last name”, depending on how you store this information, but that’s the extent of the contact information that you’ll need for these emails.
“But why stop there?” you ask. “This is my chance to start marketing to them – why would I only get the barest information from them?”
We’ll tell you a little thing about marketing: What you ask from potential customers must be equal or less than what you are offering them. In other words, people are aware of how valuable their contact information is to you. They’re not going to give up a ton of it just for a few blog posts from you. They know that that is committing, in a way, to being heavily marketed to, and they may not be ready for that yet. Maybe they just want to get your blog updates for now.
Just a name and an email address, though? That’s not asking a lot from them. That’s just enough to send them a personalized email.
Besides, you’re forgetting what makes these email addresses so valuable: these are people who are raising their hand and telling you that they’re interested in what you have to offer. And the thing is, once you have an email from these blog readers, you can grow that into further opportunities to get more information from them.
Do you have an ebook that visitors can download? Do you host webinars? Are you going to be at an event or trade show?
These are all opportunities to ask for more information from your blog readers. Because this information is more valuable than a short blog post, you can ask for more information from the potential customer, such as their phone number, address, or business. Just put your download or registration behind a form, and people who are truly interested will give you the information you seek.
But don’t just rely on social media posts or emails to tell people about these opportunities – include on your blog posts a written or visual call-to-action announcing the opportunity and encouraging them to sign up for it. There are several options for how to do this: a pop-up lightbox that appears shortly after someone visits a blog post, an ad-like call-to-action at the top or sidebar of the page, or a button at the bottom of the post.
You can also discuss the opportunities in the blog posts themselves: including an excerpt from an ebook in a post, video clips or the presentation slides from a webinar, or discussing what you’ll be doing at the event or trade show, for example. Make sure to include the link to the opportunity throughout the blog post, so that people can go straight to the form if they want to.
However you do it, sharing these opportunities on your blog posts just makes sense. People who are reading these posts are already interested in the information you have to offer – why not see if they’re interested in learning more? If they are, that tells you something about whether or not they’ll be a strong potential customer. And if they are, you now have more contact information on them, so you can start marketing more toward them.
You can create separate email campaigns for the contacts collected via this method, nurturing these leads with more information or special offers meant to convert them into becoming your customers.
Again, all of this just from your blogs.
By starting with a regular business blog, you can create your first, straightforward email campaign; start building an email list of interested potential customers; and promote other, more in-depth email collection (and therefore marketing) chances.
Do you see why we’re so thrilled about business blogging?
Let’s start today with a marketing fable (that may or may not be based on a true story). It’s the story of a business owner who is getting a new website designed. It’s ready to go, with only a few last-minute touches before launch. But the business owner keeps stalling.
Why? He’s not happy with the exact shade of red on a button on the homepage. The web designer tweaks the red of the button by miniscule degrees almost a dozen times, with the owner agreeing that that’s “the right red” each time – only to change his mind anywhere from a few days to a few hours later.
Finally, the web designer decides to do something. When the business owner asks her to change the red button just one more time, she agrees and promises to come back with the right color. Sure enough, five minutes later, she’s back, and she shows her choice to the business owner. The owner is thrilled. That’s exactly the color he wanted!
But here’s the twist: The web designer hadn’t touched the button color. It was the exact same red as before.
What the web designer understood was that the business owner wasn’t really concerned about getting the exact red correct on the website. Instead, he was nervous about going live with the website, and so focused on getting the button color exactly the right shade of red.
He was making what we’ll call a “red button change” – a change made for the sake of changing something, but that doesn’t actually make any significant change at all.
While these changes can seem small and innocent, they can derail your marketing (and your business in general).
There are several reasons you can slip into making a bunch of red button changes, especially when it comes to your website or marketing.
It’s understandable, especially with a big project like a website. If you’re worried about the overall success of a project, focusing on the details can be a way of assuaging that worry. “If we just get this button color right,” you think, “or get exactly the right picture under section 3 of that subpage…”
But once you get that all sorted out, you will still have to deal with your nerves. Which is why some business owners can get obsessed with one small detail of their website after another.
Delegation is not easy for all of us. Especially if you’ve put a lot of time and effort into your business, it can seem weird or unusual to be completely hands off when it comes to your marketing or website. And your input is, indeed, key to the process. It’s your business, after all.
At the same time, making a contribution for the sake of making a contribution is, well, pointless. The reality is that your web design team knows a lot more about designing a website than you do (which is why you hired them in the first place, right?). For all you know, the element you want to change may be related to a UX (user experience) design feature, or the change you want made may be difficult due to the limitations of coding.
Granted, these little red button changes are usually harmless and superficial – but at the same time, they are costing you time and money. That’s time that you are waiting on your website, your brand materials, etc. That’s time that your marketing team is wrapped up in creating and tweaking their designs. And all of that time is costing you money in fees and in lost income.
So, while red button changes are harmless, it’s a good idea to avoid making too many.
Do you tend toward a lot of red button changes? Never fear! It’s not as hard a habit to break as you might think. Here are a few things you can do to avoid these unnecessary changes:
• Look at the overall picture of the changes you’re asking for. Are they about the substance of the project? Would outsiders recognize the difference if they walked in?
• Ask yourself why you want the change. How would you justify it if you had to drop $1,000 to make it?
• Let someone else in your company take a look at it. If they see a similar issue or want to make a similar change, then it’s not just you.
• Listen to your marketing team. If they bring up that the changes are causing them to fall behind schedule or will force them to miss a deadline, ease off the tiny changes. With a website, for instance, you can continue to make small, surface changes after it’s live.
While it’s good to be involved and to care about every detail, you can end up derailing your marketing by focusing too intensely on the small things. That’s another reason to make sure you partner with a marketing firm you really trust – at the end of the day, you have to trust that they’re making the right decisions for your business and your marketing. When that trust is in place, red button changes are not a problem.
For many of us, the challenge with reviews and testimonials is just getting them – and so we don’t give much thought to what we want to do with them once we’ve gotten them.
Unfortunately, that means many great reviews and testimonials get wasted.
You’ve probably seen it before: testimonials squirreled away in some back corner of the website, found only by the truly intrepid; reviews left ignored or at least unaddressed on social media profiles; or reviews that are bland, boring, and straightforward. Testimonials are meant to help businesses convince potential customers to buy from them – so why are they underutilizing the testimonials they have?
If you want to maximize the benefit of your testimonials, you’re going to have to take them to the next level. Here are a few ways how:
When someone is debating buying from you or not, they are going to overcome several objections before making the purchase. These are usually objections like price, whether they really need it or not – and trust. If this hypothetical someone has never heard of your company before and has never purchased something from you before, you have to prove that you are worth their trust.
Reviews and testimonials are superb at this. So why have you buried them all on a single page of your website? Free those testimonials and feature them prominently on your website. There needs to be at least one on your home page (linked back to the full page of testimonials), any pricing or products pages, and any shipping pages. It’s fairly easy to have a testimonial section in your footer or sidebar, rotating through testimonials.
However you feature them, make sure that anybody who lands on your website can easily locate the positive things other people have said about your company and your product.
Whether you want someone to “BUY”, “DOWNLOAD”, or “CALL”, you want them to act, which is why your call-to-action is so crucial. By providing one, usually in a button or with large text, you’re telling people exactly what to do. But once again, you’re facing the challenge of overcoming their objections to whatever action you’re asking of them. Do you really want them to stop what they’re doing and go to your Testimonials page to overcome those objections?
No! Instead, provide a very, very short review or testimonial near the call-to-action. You may even want to quote just a snippet from a longer review. For example, if your call-to-action on this particular page encourages visitors to download an ebook on, say, basic garden irrigation, you might include a quote from a review saying, “A great book with a lot of examples to try yourself! It has already made a noticeable difference in my garden.”
By putting the testimonial right by the call-to-action, you’re laying it all on the line. It’s almost like you’re saying, “See? Other people were very happy they did this.”
We’ve talked about how frequently customers are ignored on social media when it comes to customer service issues – but those aren’t the only social media comments that business are ignoring. Many positive comments and reviews also go unrecognized.
Every single one of those comments is a major missed opportunity, both from a social media and review-gathering perspective. If someone goes out of their way to leave a positive comment, thank them! On Facebook, for instance, you can comment on the post itself with a quick “Thank you”, using the person’s name so that they feel special. You can even share the original post, which I especially recommend if the poster has posted a picture or a longer comment. On Twitter, you can simply retweet the positive tweet or you can use a “quote tweet” and add your thanks at the beginning.
Why do all of this? Not only will you show that you see the positive comments and are grateful, but you reciprocate their kindness with a visible, positive act yourself. By saying, “Thank you,” you are engaging them in conversation, which is the point of social media, after all; by sharing their post or tweet, you’re giving them a wide exposure, which can be very exciting for your social media fans. (Consider it like a small 15 minutes of fame kind of deal.)
There’s just something so convincing about a person-to-person recommendation, isn’t there? You can actually see how happy the person was with the product or their experience. You can hear their enthusiasm or their contentment. All of that can be lost in a written review – but you can reclaim it with a video testimonial.
While this can take more time, effort, and money than our other suggestions, the payoff can be much greater. Studies have shown that people will interact with content that includes video twice as much as content without it. Use this to your advantage – get people to pay attention to all these positive testimonials by presenting them in video form.
The other benefit of doing a video testimonial is that you can use it like any other web video – put it on your website, share it on social media, email it, etc. (The people who are in the video may even share it to show off their participation!)
At the end of the day, if you want to maximize your marketing efforts as a whole, you have to maximize the individual pieces of your marketing strategies to their fullest potential. This includes the testimonials you receive. Don’t just assume that they’ll be convincing on their own; take them to the next level and see how much more convincing they can be.