All Blog Posts

In Search of the Perfect Key Phrase

Many salespeople I run across these days are inherently lazy. They expect the internet to replace the outreach, customer visits, and trade show trips to secure new accounts. One of my least favorite exercises is sitting in a conference room with a sales group brainstorming the one key phrase that will open the floodgates to […]

Read More
 

Inbound Marketing for a Homebound Society

The coronavirus global pandemic has people all over the country and world practicing “social distancing” by staying in their homes and minimizing contact with the outside world. This also means that with travel limited and fewer people going into the office every day, face-to-face meetings aren’t happening. Your marketing efforts need not come to a […]

Read More
 

How to Create Trust in Business

The sales process has dynamically changed over the past decade from pushing buyers toward a purchase to more of a persuasive nudge. However, in spite of this shift, the sales process from the buyer’s perspective is still viewed as an “us versus them” mentality, which makes building a trusting connection nearly impossible. Modern sales are […]

Read More
 

2020 Inbound Marketing Checkup for Medical Practices

Start the new year off right with a strategic marketing plan to build your practice. Inbound marketing includes all the tactics to attract new patients to your medical practice website. For greatest impact, these elements should all be used in harmony to communicate consistent messaging. Check the ease of navigation and clarity of communication on […]

Read More
 

Attracting Best-Fit Patients for Your Health Care Practice

Recruiting patients for healthcare practices is typically physician-driven and depends largely on patient referrals. High-quality customer experiences are critically important to growing a sustainable practice. Another key element often overlooked is differentiation of the practice culture from those offering similar services down the street. This can be accomplished by creating a messaging strategy that clearly […]

Read More
 
Local marketing agency North Carolina

Benefits of Hiring a Local Inbound Marketing Firm

When you need professional marketing help, there are a variety of options to consider. You could always hire your own in-house marketing team. Or a huge marketing agency with a bloated payroll and expensive rent — but there are also a multitude of advantages to working with a small marketing firm that understands the area […]

Read More
 

7 Ways to Get Your Website Into Shape for 2020

If your company’s website isn’t getting the traffic you expected – and need – we’ve got a seven-point plan for shaping up the website in 2020. If you don’t have a good website designer on-staff, X-Factor stands ready to help you with the following cyber resolutions. Simplify Content When’s the last time you read every word […]

Read More
 

The Importance of the Rule of Three

A best practice in clear communications is the “rule of three.” In math, the rule of three suggests that if there are three known numbers, the fourth unknown number X can be solved. Application of this idea is found in “The Three Little Pigs,” “The Three Musketeers,” and The Bible (e.g., Father, Son and Holy […]

Read More
 

Aristotle: Ancient Greek Philosopher and Marketing Strategist

Born in 384 BC and often referred to as “the father of Western philosophy,” Aristotle contributed an abundance of important concepts to our society. His interests and prolific studies covered physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, music, poetry, theater, psychology, politics and more. Perhaps his greatest contribution to the marketing world were insights into persuasion: […]

Read More
 

As an OEM, Can I Sell an $80,000 Machine on Facebook?

Yes, you can. If your current perception of Facebook is a bunch of photos of food photos, you are behind the times. Today’s Facebook has evolved from a relatively youthful space to a space involving people with significant buying power. While plenty of “fluff” continues to be on Facebook, you can socially relate to your […]

Read More
 

Increase Company Valuation with a Strategic Marketing Plan and Rebrand

Many companies today opt for “growth by acquisition,” where they purchase a competitor or a business aligned with their overall goal set. This can be a lucrative deal for smart business owners who are prepared for a “due-diligence” exploration of their company as a potential asset. There are many facets involved in successfully selling a […]

Read More
 

Hiring an Internal Marketing Person vs. Outsourcing Marketing Operations

If you are a business owner, tough choices are likely an everyday occurrence. Assembling all the right pieces to ensure your business is running like a well-oiled machine is critical. When it comes to marketing, the ideal scenario is a steady flow of interested and educated prospects for your products and services. Following up on […]

Read More
 

Three Reasons Why You Can’t Ignore Advertising on Bing

It is easy to assume Google dominates search, and rightly so. In 2018, Google Search made up more than 90% of all worldwide searches. Looking at those figures, why would any business invest in advertising in Bing Ads? Below are a few compelling reasons why advertising on Bing should be part of your inbound marketing […]

Read More
 

Does Your Web Designer Really Understand SEO?

SEO (search engine optimization) is just as important as website design and development in building a highly functional website. Web design and SEO are not necessarily interchangeable. A top-notch designer who builds killer webpages aesthetically doesn’t necessarily understand SEO. Are the meta tags optimized on every page of your site? Do your images contain alt […]

Read More
 

The Critical Nature of Mobile Responsive Websites

The way the Internet is accessed has changed significantly over the last few years. If your website is not mobile-friendly, it will dramatically affect not only the user experience, but also the potential for high rankings on search engines. Smartphone and tablet users experiencing difficulty loading or viewing your content will be less likely to […]

Read More
 

Outsourcing Inbound Marketing for Rapid Sales Growth

Marketing managers and CMOs have tough jobs. They not only have to manage their organization’s brand, balancing the overall marketing strategy with their company’s goals, support sales and identify opportunities but they also have to objectively sift through the mountains of data to identify and stratify if all their efforts are effective. Enter the modern […]

Read More
 

Inbound Marketing Is Mission Critical to Your Business’s Sales Growth

Inbound marketing no longer applies to only hip retail stores, restaurants and tech companies. Inbound marketing applies to ANY company that wants to grow sales. What exactly is inbound marketing? These are tactics to “pull” your audience vs. “pushing” your brand, product or service outward. This includes SEO (search engine optimization), SMM (social media management), […]

Read More
 
Lean Marketing

Employ Lean Marketing Tactics to Optimize Your Marketing Budget

Lean Marketing is to sales and marketing what continuous improvement is to manufacturing. Agility and responsiveness separate effective marketing from the status quo. Startup mode is the mindset. Using digital marketing channels for customer and prospect engagement is becoming the new norm. Consistent measurement using web analytics tools like Google Analytics is key. The goal […]

Read More
 
Content Marketing Agency | Web Content, Blogs, Articles & Case Studies

Blogging for Visibility, Credibility and Leads

According to the Hubspot, business-to-business companies that blog generate 67 percent more leads per month than those that don’t. And companies that have effective blogs tend to come across as knowledgeable resources. Here are some of the benefits B2B companies stand to gain through a company blog: More leads More credibility More inbound links pointing […]

Read More
 

The Effectiveness of Pay Per Click Advertising

Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising is a form of Internet marketing in which advertisers pay for ad placement on search engines, websites, and social media platforms, and pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Cost can be controlled with a daily budget. Once your budget is met for the day, your […]

Read More
 

Maximize Your Social Media Outreach

The following Q&A article written by Jennifer Goodman was recently featured on Builder.com. Marketing expert provides tips for using social media to get your message out (and mistakes to avoid). Web-based marketing platforms like Facebook and Twitter are crucial to reaching out to potential home buyers. Here, BUILDER talks with Woody Stoudemire, president of Hickory, N.C.-based […]

Read More
 

What is Responsive Website Design? And Why Do I Need It?

One Size CAN Fit All! With more online searches being made on smartphones than on personal computers, it’s important to make sure that everybody who’s in the market for your product or service can comfortably view your website. Your site may look great on a desktop or laptop monitor, but how does it appear on […]

Read More
 

Social Media Marketing for Manufacturers

Social Media like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Google + and YouTube are just a sampling of platforms for promotion of industrial products and services. Social media is an affordable way to market, meets prospects where they spend time, demonstrates company culture and is measurable. Social media marketing for manufacturers requires diverse content that engages the market […]

Read More
 

Keeping the Sales Funnel Full

To a business that depends on leads and conversions, keeping the sales funnel full is always a top priority. While your marketing and sales teams have dozens of tools and techniques at their disposal to make this happen, there’s one “salesperson” that can sometimes be forgotten in the mix: your website. Used properly, your website […]

Read More
 

Philosophical SEO: If You Don’t Exist on Google, Do You Really Exist?

Let’s be honest. You don’t exist if you don’t show up on Google. It’s just a fact these days. Sure, there are plenty of other ways to market your business, and many of them can be very effective. But at some point, prospects are going to Google you, and what they find can make or […]

Read More
 

Three Powerful Reasons To Outsource Your Website Maintenance

Can you imagine saving up for a brand new Ferrari, then driving it off the lot, parking it in your garage and leaving it there forever? Of course not!  What a waste, right? Unfortunately, that’s exactly what a lot of people do with one of their most valuable marketing assets: their company website. You’ve probably […]

Read More
 

Building a Personal Branding Strategy for Today’s Tough Job Market

In the Old West, there was only one way to differentiate between your cattle and the next rancher’s; you branded your cattle with a mark uniquely your own. No matter how far afield your cattle went, they couldn’t be rustled because that brand meant they belonged to you and everybody knew it. It’s not the […]

Read More
 

Go Viral! Ways to Increase Your YouTube Presence.

So you’ve created a YouTube channel, yet you have no views on your videos? There are several easy things you can do right now to increase your channel traffic. First things first, add a YouTube icon on your website to link viewers from your website to your YouTube channel and influence more traffic. YouTube remains […]

Read More
 

Want to know what your competition is up to?

Your website is the core of your marketing program.  It is working for you 24/7.  Is it working as effectively as it can be? Do you know who your online competitors are?  Is your competition outranking your website on major search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing? An online competitive analysis is essential for businesses today. […]

Read More
 

How Does Your Website Measure Up?

Many companies operate without understanding the value of their website to their overall marketing performance. Some feel that if they have a website, their job is done. The most beneficial websites to prospects are those that change frequently, have beneficial case studies and demonstrate how a company’s products and services add  value to a prospect. Once […]

Read More
 

How To Read Your Google Analytics Report

Did your web developer add Google Analytics to your website? Great!  That’s the first step in measuring your website’s success.  Now, do you know how to actually read all of those great reports? It can be a bit overwhelming. Here are a few things to look for when reviewing the data: Dashboard View: This snapshot […]

Read More
 

How Online Public Relations Can Boost Your Company’s Profile

The Internet has revolutionized the marketing world.  In fact, online marketing initiatives are arguably more powerful and affordable than traditional advertising strategies because of the wider reach the Internet offers.  Not everyone watches the same television or reads certain publications, so marketing towards traditional media forms exclusively can cost companies thousands (if not more) in […]

Read More
 

The Difference Between “Push” and “Pull” Marketing

What is marketing? Marketing is everything that leads up to the sale of a product. Many people confuse advertising or public relations with marketing when in fact, they fall under the marketing umbrella. “Push,” or traditional marketing, is what we think of as interruptive advertising: TV ads, radio spots, billboards, direct mail, email, etc. They […]

Read More
 

Build Your Online Network Now To Escape the Recession

Now that the dust is settling on social media a little, it’s time to  think about what it can mean for your business. Initially, people  flocked to My Space and Facebook because it was viewed as a new  technology “toy”.  Many of us have reconnected to people that we  hadn’t spoken to for over 20 […]

Read More
 

The Power of Analytics

Websites are now the core of any company’s marketing program. It’s the 24-hour storefront that never closes. It’s a resource of information enabling the showcasing of products pictorially, in video and in text. This is changing the face of marketing, which use to be a “push” message that utilized persuasion to educate prospects. With the […]

Read More
 

Improve your Bounce Rate

Google Analytics has a feature on its dashboard called a “Bounce Rate.” This is one of the key metrics in web analysis. Essentially, it is the percentage of times that someone “bounces” almost immediately when they find your site. A bounce rate of over 40% is cause for concern. It may mean that your site […]

Read More
 

Why are keywords so important?

Selecting the right keywords for your website is essential when optimizing for search engines. Many people think that adding basic keywords to their website will do the trick. Not true. For example, a website promoting “vacations” should not optimize their home page with the word “vacation”. Your chances for ranking for such a basic, highly […]

Read More
 

Case studies promote your company and showcase your expertise…

Charles Stewart Contract, a long-time X-Factor public relations client, hired us to compose a case study regarding a recent project. A case study is a detailed account of a company, person or project over a given period of time. It describes a problem or challenge that a company may have faced, and their process for […]

Read More
 

“Who You Gonna Call?!”

Completing the Web Optimization Services Loop “I’ve worked in the private sector. They expect results.” – Dr. Ray Stanz Times are tough, budgets are tight, and clients are scared. “Who you gonna call?” No, not Ghostbusters, even if many folks are running around looking like they just saw a ghost. If you’re looking to build […]

Read More
 

Seven Deadly Sins of Web Optimization

Web optimization, often referred to as search engine optimization (SEO), should be an integral part of your internet marketing strategy. As with any new(er) product, service or technology, it takes time to work out the kinks and get it right. This process is Darwinian in nature, as individuals and businesses of all shapes and sizes […]

Read More
 

What is the Difference Between Public Relations and Advertising?

Two distinct disciplines, two distinct definitions, one age-old debate. No, we’re not talking about butter and margarine. What is the difference between public relations and advertising? Here is one of the most basic explanations you’ll ever find: Public Relations is what others communicate about you, your business, your client, etc. Advertising is what you communicate. […]

Read More