<![CDATA[Wix Partners]]>https://www.wix.one/partners/blogRSS for NodeThu, 07 Dec 2023 17:02:54 GMT<![CDATA[Introducing Wix's new Premium Plans]]>https://www.wix.one/partners/post/new-premium-plans6446f57e1a3b9babe76b1b2fTue, 02 May 2023 12:28:20 GMTWix Partners

Over the years we’ve grown our platform’s capabilities to meet the rapidly changing needs of you and your clients, with advanced design features, tailored eCommerce, SEO tools, marketing solutions, dev tools and complex functionalities.

We are continually testing and optimizing our platform to learn exactly what you and your clients need, including rolling out ,powerful new advancements like Advanced Developer Platform and ,Wix Enterprise, announced earlier this year.

To reflect the evolution of our platform, we restructured all Wix Premium plans and launched them in the U.S. on June 5, 2023. They will be rolled out gradually to the rest of the world. Our new plans represent the growing complexity of sites that Partners are building and a diverse range of client needs.

Please note: In the United States, the new Premium plans are available to Partners and all Wix users in English (EN) only. In Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, the plans are currently available to all EN Wix users. Partners and their clients in these countries don’t have access yet. We will update this article as soon as the new Premium plans open to Partners in more languages and locations.

For now, existing legacy plans won’t be affected, as long as auto-renewal is turned on.

Here’s what’s changing

  • We’ve restructured our offering into 5 segmented Premium plans: Light, Core, Business, Business Elite and Enterprise. Each new plan has been rebuilt with clearly defined capabilities, making it easier for you and your clients to view and compare plans at a glance.
  • All plans now include access to marketing tools that were previously part of the Ascend Premium plans, such as: lead-capture forms, social media marketing and automations. Send up to 200 emails a month for free, or increase your clients’ quota by purchasing a standalone ,email marketing package.
  • For clients needing custom web solutions or tailored eCommerce we’ve created Business Elite, an entirely new plan built around a powerful new offering: Advanced Developer Platform. This set of products and capabilities is designed to enhance the resources and computing power of any site.

An overview of our new plans

Finally, it’s important to note that Partners of all levels are eligible to earn 50% revenue share on purchases of Business Elite and Enterprise plans in 2023, including their renewals, as long as they meet the requirements for ,qualifying for revenue share.

To upgrade your site to one of the Premium plans, click here.

Until these updates go live outside of the U.S., you can view the new Premium plans in our downloadable PDFs for the following locations: Canada, Australia, U.K.

If you have any further questions, please get in touch with our ,Customer Care team.


  1. How will these new plans affect my clients’ current plans? For now, existing plans won’t be affected, as long as auto-renewal is turned on.
  2. What is a site collaborator? Are my teammates counted as separate collaborators? A site collaborator or contributor is someone that the Account Owner has invited to work on a site. For Partners, all team members under the same Partner’s account are counted as one collaborator. Partners who are Account Owners can add teammates to their account, and assign them different roles, permissions and access levels.
  3. What is the Advanced Developer Platform included in the new Business Elite plan? Advanced Developer Platform is a set of new products and capabilities tailored to better cater the needs of complex data-heavy and backend-heavy sites. This solution gives sites on Business Elite and Enterprise plans substantially more computing power, enhancing the experience for both developers and end users alike.
  4. Are Velo by Wix and the Content Manager available on all plans? Yes, you can use Velo and the Content Manager in all plans. Moreover, you can use them without purchasing a Premium plan. The difference is in the amount of computing resources and data processing power you get on each plan. You can view a complete breakdown of capabilities in the downloadable PDF.
  5. Will any of these new plans be eligible for Revenue Share? Partners of all levels are eligible to earn 50% revenue share on purchases of Business Elite and Enterprise plans in 2023, including their renewals, as long as they meet the requirements for ,qualifying for revenue share. Legend level Partners will continue to earn 20% revenue share on all other Premium plans.
<![CDATA[Kate Gunning, host of the CMO Show, says marketing resumes don’t tell the full story]]>https://www.wix.one/partners/post/how-to-hire-your-next-cmo644a6d4777fd1e20a5da2333Thu, 27 Apr 2023 12:42:51 GMTIdo Lechner

If you’re hiring your marketing team based on industry experience alone, you’re probably overlooking some serious talent.

“I think resumes are absolute BS,” says Kate Gunning, CEO of Crush, a marketing agency ‘that makes brands you can’t stop thinking about,’ and host of the CMO Show podcast. “I’ve come to realize that people's life experiences are more important than their actual marketing experiences.”

So, what should you look for when expanding your marketing team? “How one thinks, solves problems, creates and imagines new possibilities,” she says. “Those are the things that are more important in marketing than a resume.”

These qualities are even more relevant in a rapidly changing digital world. How many people have years of experience working with AI, for example? Not many. So the key is looking beyond the resume. Here’s what to look for when expanding your marketing team.

Start with your vision

“What kind of agency do you want to be? What vibe do you want to set for yourself? That's the person you should hire,” says Gunning. “Maybe you're an experiential, creative shop that makes mesmerizing experiences in retail. Or maybe you are a tech agency that provides scalable turnkey ways for brands of all shapes and sizes to build websites. Start with the insight about your audience that differentiates you - that real whitespace you’re filling - then hire around that.”

For her own agency, Crush, Gunning envisioned building a company that produces unforgettable brands for launch. She knew that in order to create experiences people couldn’t stop thinking about (much like a crush), she’d need to bring on people who understand how to stand out from a crowd and invite clients who really want to push the envelope.

You might be looking for something different for your agency, “but the ultimate hiring decision always needs to be based on the questions: Who are we? And who should we be?’” Then, you can tailor your interview questions accordingly.

Think of hiring like casting for a film

“I view marketing teams and CMO/CEO matches like directors and producers view casting for a show or movie,” says Gunning. “Casting is the most important part of building an effective and inspired organization, and it's especially imperative in marketing.”

Much like a film producer picks the director - a single decision that majorly shapes the entire project - the CEO must also act as a steward for the business by bringing on a CMO with the right vision, technical skills and style. If Steven Spielberg or Guillermo Del Toro direct the same script, you’ll get two very different outcomes, even though both have experience and talent.

Test for corporate compatibility

“Another important factor for hiring marketing leadership is the CEO/CMO compatibility,” Gunning says. “It’s often understated, but it can make or break a project.”

That’s not to say that subject matter expertise isn’t critical, only that it’s the start of your hiring considerations, rather than the end all be all. To that effect, Gunning recommends avoiding interviews and going for work dates instead. Conversational walks, coffee and lunch are fun ways to engage in fluid and organic conversations and gauge a candidates’ personality. “Create the interview environment that’s indicative of the person you want to cast,” she says.

But don’t fall into the trap of hiring your friends. You want people who can challenge your point of view and introduce a new skill set to the team. That’s all to say, compatibility is one of the most important aspects when it comes to scouting a team for the C-Suite, but it’s not the only factor to consider.

Be your own client

With the demanding speed of agency life, it’s often easy to forget to treat your own brand with the same love and care you’d provide your clients.

At its core, Gunning believes that agency development is largely the same as brand building. “You need to be clear about why you exist,” she says. “Why do you do what you do, and how is it different? You’ll find the best talent in that definition.”

If you’re unclear about who to hire as your next CMO or marketing leader, turn inwards and assess not just where your agency is compared to where it needs to be, but also who your agency is and who it will become with your new hire.

Find this article useful? Discover more industry insights, agency best practices and inspirational stories when you ,join the Wix Partner Program.

<![CDATA[How to reduce your agency’s carbon footprint ]]>https://www.wix.one/partners/post/reduce-agency-carbon-footprint644684f680e48e3b1a403b1aMon, 24 Apr 2023 13:36:39 GMTIdo Lechner

Watching Youtube, scrolling through Facebook or posting to Linkedin all have a carbon cost, and it’s likely higher than you think. The average digital ad campaign emits ,over 5.4 tons of CO2 based on the carbon costs of producing, distributing and measuring the campaign.

Emails are another unsuspecting culprit. According to Mike Berners-Lee's research in his book ,How Bad Are Bananas?,,, the footprint of a short email is estimated at 0.3 grams of CO2 (which can grow up to 17g for longer threads). At approximately 347.3 billion emails sent every day ,(according to research by Zippia) - or roughly 4 million per second - the carbon footprint of email tennis starts to add up.

Reduce your carbon footprint with some easy-to-implement tips and tricks that won’t pinch your pocket or slow down your workflows.

Get creative with your marketing creative

,Videoweek recommends slashing your production costs by opting to use 3D models in your creatives (as opposed to full on video shoots) and keeping videos short-form. This will inevitably change the type of content you produce, but as a general rule of thumb, staying digital with your creative production reduces your overall carbon footprint.

Asset optimization is also a quick win for agencies: ensure files are small and universally accessible across applications (ie: PDF, SVG, png and jpeg for most tools). Of course, this offers other benefits, such as improving overall page performance to foster a better customer experience.

Lastly, get creative with word-of-mouth marketing. While it’s more difficult to measure than digital ads, word of mouth marketing impressions result in five times more sales than a paid media impression, and people are 90% more likely to trust and buy from a brand recommended by a friend, ,according to Invespcro.

Take a public stand for climate change

If you think environmentalism is a competitive disadvantage, think again. Without necessary changes to the corporate landscape’s carbon footprint, there won’t be a competitive playfield to begin with.

There are numerous climate pledges you can enroll your agency into, including ,The Climate Pledge and ,Ad Net Zero, each with their own dedicated community of companies involved, as well as an action plan to cut down on carbon emissions.

On our end, we release an ,annual ESG report detailing our environmental impact (among other statements such as DEI and governance). Consider publishing an annual report of your own, and crystalize an action plan by starting with the end in mind that you want to achieve, then working backwards to devise a strategy to get your agency there.

Invest in carbon offsetting

Carbon offsetting is a way for businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and support climate change mitigation efforts. It means investing in projects that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, including renewable energy projects, afforestation (planting trees), and energy-efficient building projects, or methane capture projects, among others.

Typically this is achieved through the purchase of carbon credits. A single carbon credit represents one metric ton of carbon dioxide or equivalent greenhouse gas emissions that have been prevented or removed from the atmosphere by a project. By purchasing carbon credits, a business is essentially funding a project that reduces emissions elsewhere, which offsets the emissions produced by their own operations.

Carbon offsetting is not a solution to the climate crisis in and of itself, but it can be a useful tool for businesses that are working to reduce their carbon footprint. It allows them to take responsibility for their emissions and invest in projects that have a positive impact on the environment. However, it's important to note that carbon offsetting should not be seen as a substitute for reducing emissions at the source. The most effective way for agencies to address their carbon footprint is to reduce emissions as much as possible, and then offset the remainder.

Find this article useful? Discover more industry insights, agency best practices and inspirational stories when you ,join the Wix Partner Program.

<![CDATA[How to motivate creative teams to do their best work, according to research]]>https://www.wix.one/partners/post/how-to-motivate-creative-teams6425ba0ef2394bba302699f8Thu, 30 Mar 2023 16:36:23 GMTIdo Lechner

Between scheduling meetings across time zones and supporting colleagues as they navigate the complexities introduced by Covid (yes, still), it can be a feat to get everyone to hop on a call, let alone remain present. And what about fueling that elusive thing, creativity, when burnout is on your team’s doorstep? Deadlines need to be met, clients need to be pitched, deliverables need to be sent.

So, what’s the best route to elevate a creative team’s role within a company, and encourage divergent thinking without derailing business objectives or eroding team morale? The approach is diverse, but direct. To keep creative teams motivated, be the leader you’d want: someone humble with clear communication who fosters authentic buy-in and inclusivity. Basically, be real, but don’t be a jerk.

More on how to motivate your creative teams to do their best work in stressful times:

Nurture positive inner work life

As a leader, it’s key to both absorb pressures from stakeholders, board members, or c-suite colleagues and advocate for your creative team. Be sure that all messaging of need-to-know information is actionable and productive. A board member didn’t like the latest social media post for a client? Keep that to yourself, but do extract their actionable feedback and offer it constructively.

Similarly, it’s important to contain pressure you might be receiving, whether it be from the c-suite or a difficult client. While easy to do, try to avoid allowing it to cloud communication, clear goal setting, or other productive input for your creative team. When leadership leans on creative teams with high pressure, short deadlines, and a lack of understanding (or at the least, appreciation), this might breed motivation, but not the kind that’s going to inform talent retention, or frankly, great work. Without authentic buy-in from the creative team, these leadership mechanisms will repeatedly fall flat.

And research backs this up. For creative teams to be authentically motivated, they first need to feel secure and encouraged while nurturing “a positive inner work life,” according to an article in the ,Harvard Business Review by leading researchers, Teresa Amabile, Baker Foundation Professor at Harvard Business School, and Steven Kramer, independent researcher who has served as a postdoctoral research associate at Vanderbilt University, psychology professor at Brandeis University, and a researcher at Epidemiological Resources in Massachusetts.

As part of their research, Amabile and Kramer reviewed 12,000 diary entries completed by 26 different project teams belonging to seven companies to identify workplace attributes that can make up a positive inner work life: intrinsic motivation, positive perceptions of their colleagues and employer, and happy emotions. In addition to these components, they also established the importance of what they named the “progress principle,” which names progress in meaningful work as the top factor when it comes to heightening motivation, emotions and perceptions.

Progress in meaningful work, they say, cultivates positive inner work life. Through the diary entries of study participants, Amabile and Kramer discovered that workers who had a “best day” could account for progress made on a project. The alternative? Setbacks, which led to workers’ “worst days.”

Set small goals for big wins

According to the progress principle and inner work life theory, Amabile and Kramer suggest that workers will be most inclined to achieve a positive inner work life partly with the clarity (and achievement) of small goals, which feed into a large KPI.

“Across all types of events our participants reported, a notable proportion (28%) of incidents that had a minor impact on the project had a major impact on people’s feelings about it,” Amabile and Kramer write in the Harvard Business Review. “Because inner work life has such a potent effect on creativity and productivity, and because small but consistent steps forward, shared by many people, can accumulate into excellent execution, progress events that often go unnoticed are critical to the overall performance of organizations.”

Small goals occur more frequently, Amabile and Kramer assert, and as such, are breadcrumbs to bigger wins. “Even small wins can boost inner work life tremendously,” write Amabile and Kramer. “Many of the progress events our research participants reported represented only minor steps forward. Yet they often evoked outsize positive reactions.”

Forward motion is essential to building ongoing creativity and positive inner work life, they say.

But it matters how these small goals are accomplished, clarified a study in a 2023 issue of ,Journal of Creative Behavior.

Here, researchers noted that while there has been robust research on the impact of goal setting on productivity, less has been conducted on the impact of goal type on creativity. For the study, researchers analyzed whether outcome or process goals are most successful in maintaining creativity among teams. Outcome goals are intent on reaching a destination no matter the path while progress goals are mainly focused on the steps taken to achieve a goal. The experiment tracked creativity among 560 university students as they participated in community service projects — and the type of goal that led to higher creativity levels.

The findings: Creative performance was at its highest when the students were given clear outcome goals — versus a vague destination. On the flip side, general outcome goals, or none at all, led to low creative productivity. Share direct goals and KPIs, then let the creatives do what they do best: out-of-the-box thinking.

Be direct, specific and humble

To usher in all of this positive inner work life and buy-in, leaders are best suited to be direct and specific. Don’t beat around the bush, but don’t patronize your team, either.

Enter the groundbreaking book and all-encompassing leadership technique, ,Radical Candor by Kim Scott. Founded on the principle, “,Care personally, challenge directly,” Radical Candor provides a blueprint to dispel toxic workplace cultures and provide tactical tools to people managers. Scott explains in a deep dive on the approach in her blog that naming the approach “radical candor” emphasizes the empathy, compassion and kind straightforwardness that can get lost in corporate environments.

As the workplace continues to evolve, leaders must listen rather than lecture. What this means: Set up feedback cycles to understand how management is perceived among employees. According to research in a 2020 issue of, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, leaders who are humble have the highest positive impact on the creative teams they manage.

It makes sense. To invigorate creativity among your team, consider the environment most conducive to collaboration and creativity: clear outcome goals, positive inner work life, self-awareness and non-judgmental feedback.

Find this article useful? Discover more industry insights, agency best practices, and inspirational stories when you ,join the Wix Partner Program.

Liz Doupnik

A journalist, editor, and content strategist currently based in Nashville, TN, Doupnik's work has appeared in W, Women's Wear Daily, Cosmo, The L.A. Times, SHAPE, Stylecaster, Seventeen, WGSN, Architectural Digest, and others. When not writing, she's scavenging the South for vintage books to add to her growing collection.

<![CDATA[Google’s E-E-A-T update: how to make your client’s experience shine online]]>https://www.wix.one/partners/post/the-new-e-in-eeat641200c28e649a69c663088bWed, 15 Mar 2023 17:34:08 GMTIdo Lechner

You’ve likely heard of E-A-T, one of the signals Google uses to determine page quality, but did you know they recently added an extra ingredient?

With a new E for ‘Experience,’ the acronym has changed to E-E-A-T (“Experience-Expertise-Authority-Trust”) or “Double-E-A-T” to account for this overhaul. While it’s not directly reflected in ,Google’s Search Quality Rater’s Guide (QRG) because of its inherent subjectivity, it's still incorporated as a proxy for identifying how humans might assess content.

So, while better E-E-A-T doesn’t promise you’ll top the SERP every time, it’s still an important consideration for more personal, informed and helpful content that can potentially rank.

E-E-A-T explained

Before we dive into what Google means by “Experience,” let’s refresh our understanding of E-A-T, and how each element works together to create great content.

  • Expertise indicates a high level of knowledge. For example, if a reader is looking to get discovered online, they might seek advice from an SEO specialist, content strategist or marketing agency.
  • Authority displays compelling leadership or influence in a particular space. A well-known furniture brand would likely be considered an authoritative source on chairs and chair parts.
  • Trust: Positive reviews, author biographies and a secure domain are all examples of elements that convey trustworthiness to readers.

In retrospect, the missing piece of this formula is experience. Think about it: In the discoverability example above, you’d probably prefer to get advice from a content creator who constantly ranks highly on their SERPs, rather than someone with a degree in digital marketing who’s never personally optimized the SEO of their client sites.

By adding this “E,” Google is presumably factoring in someone’s firsthand knowledge on a subject, rather than simply counting on knowledge they might have gained from research, interviews, analysis and other means.

Now, it’s unclear if Google is truly looking at experience algorithmically since the QRG is not technically part of the algorithm, but it’s still important when creating helpful content. It can be argued that E-E-A all overlap to produce trust, which is arguably the most important piece of the puzzle.

Another distinction: Both expertise and experience are valuable, but they’re not necessarily the same thing. While an exercise physiologist can tell you what you need to do to build strength, an athlete can offer a firsthand perspective. Content offering both can be especially helpful, and all things being equal, may help you rank higher by signaling greater trustworthiness.

Ways to add experience to your content

How can you better acknowledge experience on your clients’ websites? Although there’s no telling exactly how the algorithm factors in this element, there are some tangible ways content creators can signal their experience with a topic, which benefits readers, too.

Create elements that signal trust and transparency

Eighty percent of shoppers cite trust as the key factor when making a purchasing decision,, according to a ,survey conducted by Clearchannel and JCDecaux. But how can a brand signal its trustworthiness?

Whenever possible, mention the creator’s direct experience with the subject matter being discussed (rather than just calling them an “expert” or listing their credentials). Demonstrate real world knowledge, and make examples vivid for the audience.

Additionally, a company’s “About Us” page should be comprehensive and thorough, detailing the company’s history in their industry and the experience of its leadership.

Share personal experiences

Perhaps the most obvious strategy for highlighting a company’s experience is to, well, share experiences. You might think publishing content directly by experienced authors would matter greatly, but Google analyst Gary Illyes ,recently said the benefits are overstated; authors and author bios are not heavily factored in.

Reach out to subject matter experts and see if they’re willing to contribute insights. In-depth interviews to uncover real-life experiences and unique perspectives is arguably the best route to integrating the new ‘E’ into your content, so long as you spotlight these subject matter experts to establish trust and make sure your content actually answers your audience’s questions.

Also worth noting: First-hand experience is an important factor in the Product Review Updates. For example, ,Google mentions you should take a picture with the product you’re reviewing to show you actually used it. Proof is important for demonstrating authentic, lived experiences.

Develop a strong keyword strategy

To emphasize experience in your content, focus on your long-tail keyword strategy, targeting phrases and words that are more specific and represent a higher level of experience with the subject matter. For example, for a SaaS client, consider targeting more technical terms and addressing questions asked by advanced users or programmers. Specificity demonstrates experience because it delves into the nuances that only someone who has truly gone through what they’re describing can know; a long-tail keyword strategy is highly specific.

Cite sources and use original images

Always cite sources — not only is it ethical, but it also offers a higher level of transparency and trustworthiness. In fact, the quality of your sources can itself demonstrate an author’s experience. For instance, using primary sources, such as historical documents, rather than secondary sources can exhibit a higher level of experience in a subject. Also consider posting YouTube videos that walk users through the process of fixing bugs or solve users’ most pressing problems.

Outsource insights

Direct, personal anecdotes are one of the strongest ways to demonstrate experience.

A person might start by explaining their background with the subject matter. For example, for an article about healthy diets for pets, the author might explain their background as a veterinarian or detail their experience fostering rescue animals. It would also be useful to include an image of their own pets thriving on their recommended diet or a video showing how they prepare their pets’ meals.

In some cases, the author might not be experienced, and that’s okay. This is where locating credible experts with a high level of experience can go a long way. The author can interview these sources to help increase the experience factor.

Another way to share firsthand experience is by sharing testimonials. Consumers often want to hear from people with direct experience with the products and services they might purchase. eCommerce sites that include detailed reviews from real customers, including video testimonials, stand to benefit from Google’s latest algorithm update.

Include examples

The more you bring concrete examples into your content, the greater success you’ll have with E-E-A-T. And, perhaps more importantly, conveying first-hand experience in a topic will make your client’s content stand out among more generalized, run-of-the-mill articles on the same subject.

Find this article useful? Discover more industry insights, agency best practices and inspirational stories when you ,join the Wix Partner Program.

Jesse Relkin

Founder & CEO, C-Pop Marketing

SEO content strategist with over a decade of copywriting experience and a passion for the written word.

<![CDATA[The influencer marketing trends agencies need to know]]>https://www.wix.one/partners/post/the-influencer-marketing-trends-agencies-need-to-know63f6227a9f890cc671f76c2bWed, 22 Feb 2023 14:12:59 GMTIdo Lechner

The past few years brought ,seismic shifts to the social media landscape, thanks to the rise of TikTok, Facebook’s massive rebrand initiative as Meta and Elon Musk’s rocky acquisition of Twitter.

Authentic content is on the up (see: the rise of BeReal), and people are starting to lose trust in influencers.

De-influencing, defined as the act of telling people what not to buy on social media, is trending after the now infamous ,Tarte Dubai trip, despite the industry growing tenfold since 2016. Is the influencer a dying breed? No, but the state of influencing is changing. Here’s what agencies can expect in the year ahead.

The state of influencer marketing 2023

Although the influencer marketing industry was valued at $16.4 billion in 2022—an 18.8 percent increase from 2021 — it pales in comparison to the 42.3 percent increase from 2020 to 2021. Still, when people ask, “is influencer marketing on the decline?,” the answer remains a firm “no.”

Here’s why: The huge spike in influencer marketing from 2020 to 2021 is largely credited to the pandemic, so those numbers would be hard to replicate in a year of standard consumer behavior. Still, the average growth rate per year from 2016 to 2022 actually exceeds it, at 46.9 percent, according to a recent ,Oberlo report.

That’s not to say influencer marketing doesn’t have its controversies. At the end of January, beauty influencer Mikayla Nogueira ,rattled TikTok with a controversial sponsored post for L’Oreal where she was accused of wearing fake eyelashes to show the “after” of a mascara product, and has since been accused of editing other images on Instagram. It all raises an eyebrow towards the future of influencer marketing.

So, what will influencer marketing look like in 2023?

Partnerships might look different than they did in years past, but there are still opportunities to work with influencers. Here are some influencer trends to help your clients nail their social media strategy in the current climate.

The rise of micro-influencers and nano-influencers

One of the reasons consumers used to trust influencer recommendations is because influencers on social media felt like people they know — like friends. Once considered more trustworthy than traditional celebrities, many have since amassed enough of a following to elevate their status to something of a mini-celeb.

To that end, it’s not always the biggest stars with the largest following that will have the greatest impact on your campaigns. Reach influencers with smaller audiences that best align with your target demographics. Micro-influencers (between 5,000 to 100,000 followers) and nano-influencers (fewer than 5,000 followers) operate within niche communities and typically receive the greatest levels of engagement. Indeed, brands exhibit a strong preference for working with nano- and micro-influencers over macro-influencers and celebrities, according to Influencer Marketing Hub’s ,State of Influencer Marketing 2023: Benchmark Report.

Thankfully, those are easier to find and connect with now than ever. The influencer pool only continues to expand — with some estimates putting the count at 37 million influencer accounts on a single platform today — and people continue to carve out more and more specific topics to specialize in.

Agencies shouldn’t have a difficult time locating the best match for their clients, no matter how narrow the scope. Even better, sticking with smaller influencers is also friendlier on your clients’ budgets than trying to pin down those competitive celebrity accounts. It also enables you to work with more than one influencer, branching out by targeting different niche markets with different collaborations.

AI influencers and computer-generated spokespeople

Who can forget when Microsoft released Tay seven years ago, only to rescind the Twitterbot just 16 hours after launch when it started posting inflammatory and offensive remarks? More recently, LensaAI, an app that produces ‘magical avatars’ based on ten user-provided images has been accused of ,demonstrating sexism in AI.

There’s still a lot to figure out in this space. The plus side of working with a virtual influencer is that you can fully control brand representation from these artificial entities if you oversee their output and don’t leave anything to automation. As the technology (and subsequently our collective understanding) develops, this may be something agencies and their clients will want to consider.

User-generated content (UGC)

Do you need to pay an influencer to become a fan of your client’s brand … or can existing fans and followers become your influencers? In some cases, fantastic testimonials and outspoken fans resonate so deeply with prospective customers that they can play a major role in decision-making and significantly increase conversion. Not to mention, this is a more authentic expression of your brand since you’re featuring people who truly want to share their positive experiences as opposed to people you’ve paid to do so. Start by interviewing real users, then turn their stories into influencer-worthy content that you can promote across social media.

The longer-term collaborator

It’s not uncommon for clients to jump at the opportunity to work with big, recognizable names. But their budget may only cover a one-time sponsored post.

Instead, discuss the potential benefits of finding an influencer who is passionate about your client’s brand and willing to work with the company on a longer-term contract, involving multiple posts and mentions over time. Consistent content featuring your client’s brand will make the relationship feel more authentic to the influencer’s followers and generate stronger interest and higher conversion.

For example, your influencer might share a post featuring your client on their account — and a few weeks later, appear at one of your client’s events (and post from it). This is especially useful if you find local influencers who can make regular appearances or those who have lots of connections within the community your client is targeting. Some ways to find them:

  • Browse LinkedIn to learn who’s connected to your client’s industry-relevant groups
  • Research local events and learn about keynote speakers and organizers; attend those where networking might help you get a better grasp of the key players are in the local area
  • Monitor what your audience is sharing and talking about; your perfect influencer might not have the highest following on a personal account, but they might still be generating buzz among the groups that best represent your demographics

These deeper relationships can go beyond a series of social media posts, developing into long-term brand ambassadorships. Such influencers can also provide valuable insights for new product development and offer creative input for marketing campaigns.

The in-house-fluencer

Who says companies can’t create their own influencers? Put an existing employee in the spotlight on social media and boost their presence among the brand’s target audience.

In some cases, a clear candidate might come to mind — whether it’s an entry-level hire with an acting background, or a particularly charismatic CEO or other senior leader. Agencies can offer their assistance in assessing the best candidate to ensure their personal brand aligns with the needs, values, and messaging of the company.

For B2B marketing, this strategy is commonly employed by having senior leadership teams post “wins” and industry insights on LinkedIn — it can be further amplified by appearances at conferences, webinars, and other events.

For B2C marketing, highlighting one individual’s presence across customer-facing channels and encouraging direct engagement between the in-house “celebrity” and customers can enhance trust. It’s always easier to connect with an individual than a company, but no one says that individual has to be a stranger with 30K followers and a mastery of Instagram filters. Sometimes, it's better if it’s someone less known - but more real.

Find this article useful? Discover more industry insights, agency best practices and inspirational stories when you, ,join the Wix Partner Program.

<![CDATA[How to help brands be authentic in a BeReal era]]>https://www.wix.one/partners/post/help-clients-be-authentic-in-a-bereal-era63f4f2b23ac1e79fe79bfe5dTue, 21 Feb 2023 16:40:20 GMTIdo Lechner

,BeReal, the French photo-sharing app that tapped into a desire to reimagine the social media experience, is at a juncture.

After a year that saw the app downloaded a whopping 93.5 million times and consistently top the Apple and Google App charts, user stagnation has set in, leading some to believe it’s destined to become the next ,Clubhouse.

Centered around authenticity, BeReal’s core feature is a daily notification that encourages users to share a “genuine” photo of themselves and their surroundings within a randomly selected two-minute window every day.

While its candid concept undoubtedly struck a chord with people – particularly Gen Z – BeReal has failed to move beyond its initial idea nor launch a model that can be monetized. This impasse presented an opportunity for incumbent platforms to step in and copycat its feature, resulting in the likes of ,TikTok Now and Instagram’s ,Candid Stories, leaving BeReal, its investors, and users wondering what’s next.

Some brands such as ,American Eagle Outfitters, ,e.l.f. Cosmetics and ,Chipotle have dabbled in the platform, offering promos and discounts but with limited success because, ultimately, BeReal provides no functionality for marketers.

“A few well-known brands are still using it,” says ,Matt Navarra, a leading social media consultant who has previously advised the likes of Google, Meta and Pinterest. “But its own terms of service say an advertiser is not permitted on the platform, and it has no features to help brands. In fact, it inhibits brands because you have a limited number of friend connections you can make.”

Shachaf Rodberg, Wix’s marketing trend analyst, says people’s growing disenchantment with brands portraying an always-positive, inauthentic side helped catapult BeReal’s popularity. That coincided with an increasing desire by people to be part of – and restrict their content to – smaller online circles, a trend further driven by Covid-19 when most of us were stuck at home yearning for meaningful human contact.

“People are moving towards smaller social groups, and posting and sharing in DMs or on WhatsApp, and not showing everything to the public,” explains Rodberg. “You can see it particularly with Gen Z. They have a public persona different from what they share with close friends. This has contributed to the drive towards authenticity. People are getting fed up having a public display, and even those who want to become influencers are still looking for closer relationships.”

While it remains to be seen if and how brands can use BeReal meaningfully in the future, the platform’s phenomenon – and the rise of other apps like ,Poparazzi, ,Locket and ,Slay – tells us that people are longing for a more intimate and real experience online.

With this in mind, Rodberg shares five ways you can help clients be relevant to those consumers seeking authenticity.

Show your vulnerable side

People connect with brands that show a human side, according to Rodberg. And humans are not polished or perfect. He highlights the case of ,Amercian olive oil startup Graza, which recently disappointed customers by delivering their holiday gifts late and poorly packaged.

Rather than get PR executives to pour over the most suitable response, company chief executive Andrew Benin wrote a lengthy email entitled “Learning from our mistakes” and hit send to over 35,000 customers. Littered with grammatical errors and typos but expressing genuine regret, the correspondence received an overwhelmingly positive response.

That’s not to say every company head should be given free rein on crisis communications, but it’s a lesson in how it can pay to be raw and honest with your words rather than stiff and safe through corporate speak.

Put your people in front of your brand

Companies that put their founders or employees front and center make real people an extension of the brand. According to Rodberg, it’s an excellent way for brands to resonate with consumers by making them feel they have a direct relationship with the company.

He cites AI platform ,Gong as a company whose employees ,produce engaging content and become thought leaders on social media. Customer communications platform Intercom is another company that knows how to ,put a face to its brand.

Editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur magazine, Jason Feifer, believes companies can successfully utilize their people externally and show authenticity by ,nailing their thought leadership strategy.

Inject personality where you can

Humor and personality can go a long way for brands and give consumers a sense that they’re engaging with companies on a human level. Rodberg sees brands like ,Burger King, ,Air, ,Wendy’s, and ,Ryanair as leaders in this space, winning over audiences with their smart, timely and sometimes audacious social media content.

“It's like when you go on Twitter, and it feels like the person in charge of the Twitter account is running the whole company,” he says. “They just happen to do it through a brand’s account. It can be tough for brands to let go and trust an employee or team with that freedom, but if done right, it’s a great way for them to connect.”

Before injecting personality into your social content, know your platforms and behave according to the channel. Your Twitter persona and its content might not resonate with the LinkedIn posse. However, keep your tone of voice consistent throughout to build familiarity with your audience.

Take your audience behind the scenes

To deliver a product or service, every company undergoes a process, whether in production or through a supply chain. Rodberg believes this offers brands an opportunity to bring people behind the scenes to show how they do things and create a sense of transparency between brand and consumer.

Software company ,37signals does a great job showing users under the hood, creating videos such as ‘,A week in the life of a product designer’ where an employee shares their screen and goes into fine detail about their day-to-day work. A glance at the comments section tells you it’s highly relatable content. This transparent approach to marketing, championed by founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, is becoming ,ever more embedded in the 37signals brand.

Think about how your clients can let the outside world in and make their audience feel like they’re getting a rare glimpse of something special.

Encourage customers to share their stories

User-generated content created and shared by a community of brand advocates is a surefire way to show authenticity and build trust among your audience.

Workspace platform Notion has an extensive community shouting about its products, which it files under the ,Spotted on YouTube section of its YouTube channel. Then there’s the super creative wheelchair cover design company ,Izzy Wheels, which has built a massive following of ,happy online customers (cleverly called ‘spokes-people’) who proudly share their purchased designs on social media.

User generated content also fits nicely with the lo-fi content trend being adopted by both small and large companies, something ,Wix Partner Daniel Azarian foresees continuing beyond 2023.

Consider these tactics to get your clients’ authentic expression out into the world. According to Rodberg and Navarra, irrespective of whether BeReal finds its place within the social media landscape, people’s desire for authenticity will remain.

“For the next few years, I don't see it changing,” says Rodberg. “In fact, I think it will come into sharper focus because that’s the expectation of the market. More and more brands will have to adjust their strategy to connect with these customers.”

Navarra predicts a similar outcome. “Being ‘authentic’ has become a bit of a cliché or an overused buzzword in the past few years,” he says. “But the need for brands and creators to build an honest, deeper connection with their audience is an ongoing requirement.”

Find this article useful? Discover more industry insights, agency best practices, and inspirational stories when you ,join the Wix Partner Program.

Joe O'Connor

Marketing Writer, Wix

Joe is a marketing writer with Wix Partners. He previously put words in magazines and newspapers and was editor of numerous Irish-based business titles. He lives in Dublin but loves to travel – writing, photographing and podcasting about it when he can.

<![CDATA[Never get ghosted by clients or prospects ever again]]>https://www.wix.one/partners/post/never-get-ghosted-by-clients-or-prospects-ever-again63f37b1ad15c1765e0e8a40cMon, 20 Feb 2023 13:53:29 GMTIdo Lechner

You signed a new client after chatting about their big ambitions, then you get to work… You show them what you’ve made, then they request an edit. After reworking your initial presentation, they’re thrilled and are ready to scale the work. You start preparing for launch and reach out to ask a question… crickets.

Or perhaps you didn’t even get that far. When a prospective client cuts off communication with no explanation for why, it can be alarming. When a current client does it, it can feel full on defeating. Hopefully you’ve signed contracts, but if they’re ghosting after pen met paper then it's all the more reason something’s fishy.

Dictionary.com defines ghosting as ‘the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.’ It’s an ‘easy-way-out’ strategy some clients unfortunately take up as well. No longer exclusively reserved for romantic interactions, the term refers to when a prospect or client starts pulling back and mysteriously vanishes despite your best efforts.

You can’t control how others act, but you can intervene early and set proactive measures to nip ghosting in the bud before it happens.

Why prospects ghost

It helps to know why people are disappearing on you in the first place. Usually, there are two main reasons prospects vanish:

1) The timing simply isn’t right for your prospect either strategically or due to some extenuating circumstances. They may even come to this realization on the precipice of signing a contract, in which case it might be best to cut the work short and give them a grace period to return at a later date.

2) Prospects might be leaning toward one of your competitors, which should raise alarms in your agency if you determine this to be the case. It’s one thing to lose prospects or clients to poor timing or unfit solutions, but if a competitor swooped in and pulled the rug from under you then you might want to reassess your unique selling proposition.

Discerning why your prospect ghosted is the most important step in scoring them as clients. More proactively, you can also take these steps to avoid getting ghosted to begin with.

Why clients ghost

When it comes to people you’re already working with, the circumstances are different, meaning they ghost for slightly different reasons than prospects as well. You might be thinking, “why would someone who signed a contract disappear?” ,but it happens. The two main reasons here are:

1) You’ve made a mistake somewhere along the way. In this instance, depending on the severity of the mistake, it’s best to apologize and offer a redeeming one-time service or discount. You can use ,these win-back strategies to incentivize clients to return.

2) More critically, your client might not see how your solution is fitting their needs. In this instance, you may need to better demonstrate value by walking your client through some case studies or offering a small freebie that will re-energize them after you get a hold of them. You don’t want to be in selling mode, though: focus the conversation on the problems they need solved, not the services you provide.

How to never get ghosted again

The key to avoid being ghosted (beyond being inviting, approachable and fully committed to servicing your clients) is overcommunication.

Be willing to be the first to reach out and always create a pleasant climate for prospects to return to. Never be snarky and mind your tone across all communications, even if you feel like you’re in the right (which you very well might be). Avoid being accusatory, but be clear in your messaging that things need to change for work to continue.

Another suggestion: assess early on if the prospect is comfortable saying ‘no.’ Signs include regularly agreeing to calls or meets they don’t uphold, conflict avoidance and ‘yes man-ing’ half-baked statements. It's easier for people not to explain why they don’t want a service (and feedback should be a request, not an expectation), so this subtle question provides a glimpse into their general behavior while also making you seem like you’re genuinely interested in solving their problems - because you are.

Lastly, make sure to establish social proof in your agency by going through referrals. Rather than cold emailing prospects, recommendations reduce the chances of getting ghosted based on the fact that both parties have already been vetted.

It’s time to get ghostbusting

Who are you going to call when things go south? It’s ultimately up to you to lead by example and set the tone for a strong agency-client relationship.

Ineffective communication is the enemy of getting the job done and scaling your business. Look out for ghosting cues long before they come to make ghosting a thing of the past.

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<![CDATA[Leverage nonlinear storytelling to redefine your marketing and web design]]>https://www.wix.one/partners/post/nonlinear-storytelling-is-redefining-marketing-and-design63ebaf7a0c3d0e013bec23e3Tue, 14 Feb 2023 16:06:26 GMTIdo Lechner

In conclusion, starting a story from the end is an excellent way to engage your audience and capture their attention.

See what we did there? Telling stories in a non-linear way can add mystery to your content, and more storytellers are using it to their advantage.

Let’s take a step back

At the start of 2023, Netflix released Kaleidoscope, a show told across eight episodes served randomly to viewers (which ultimately creates over 5000 permutations of the story). That makes it highly unlikely any two people will watch the show unfold in the same order.

Of course, it’s not the first time the streaming company released an experimental TV show. Most notably, shows like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and You vs Wild allow viewers to choose the story’s path, changing the outcome in the process.

While nonlinear storytelling isn’t a new concept, it’s recently being applied to fields like web design and content marketing to achieve business results.

,SputnikDesignTeam.com is the perfect example of this, a collage-like website that splits off into different case studies depending on which item the user selects. Other notable web experiences include ,Aino agency, ,Gakko.io, ,Unseen.co and this unique and unexpected ,BetterUp report website.

If you’re looking to try your hand at nonlinear storytelling, here’s how your agency can leverage it to create more unique, personalized and/or unconventional stories and designs.

Don’t start at the beginning

“One trend we’ve spotted that will take off in 2023 is the concept of telling a story mid-way through instead of at the beginning. It’s the ultimate hook - whether it’s decoding a trending topic or sharing a sound bite that’s bound to stop viewers in their tracks and make them want to play catch-up,” according to ,LaterBlog.

This is a great way to kick off an ,AIDA marketing creative, creating a sense of intrigue that compels the audience to further research a topic on their own. You can do this in a podcast, on a social media post (it’s hugely popular on Tiktok), in a blog, or even in drip email marketing series, you just have to make sure you aren’t being too cryptic so your audience can actually follow the trail you’re leaving.

Look to pattern disrupt

In web design, ,unconventional navigation is on the rise. Perhaps the most obvious nonlinear example can be found in ,Non-Linear Studio’s website, which runs true to form with unconventional scrolling patterns that captivate and afford more robust interactivity. Other creative agency examples include ,Jam3, ,Build in Amsterdam and ,Anton & Irene, each of which combine unique scroll and hover effects to let users hone in on selected projects.

To take the unconventional web design route, start by running a competitive analysis to determine the customer journey and messaging of other agencies and brands in your space. It helps to know how others are ,structuring their clients’ information architecture to get a better sense of how to differentiate your projects.

From there, you can start to break conventions either with small easter eggs that surprise and delight your customers (ie: hiding elements out of plain view to pop up unexpectedly or using an interesting scroll pattern), or else constructing an experience around the feature entirely. ,Emiozaki’s portfolio website does this well, built to function as a mobile experience on a computer.

Lean into the chaotic

By definition, nonlinearity has elements of randomness and complexity. Leveraging these elements as a design or marketing principle can increase engagement, raise awareness and incentivize action.

Adaptive web and graphic design Daniel Spatzek heavily embraces the chaotic by seemingly breaking all the rules of design (in a tasteful manner) on ,his portfolio site. ,Nathan Riley does the same with his own spin on things. Creative agency ,Poratron invites people to randomly check out different portfolio entries by randomizing which one pops up when clicking. It’s a fun element that injects a Kaleidoscope-like element of excitement into the experience.

Though starkly different from one another, what each of these websites have in common is a great deal of complexity that empower users to explore. It’s difficult to get right, so make sure you’re ,usability testing your website to ensure your audience is into it.

Think systematically about the story you’re telling

Nonlinearity typically involves greater user engagement as it’s more personalized and sometimes relies on the audience to cocreate narratives. Of course, that means you have to take a systematic approach to storytelling rather than thinking episodically - will it still make sense if you switch the pieces around? And how do the parts ultimately add up to the whole?

,Seen.space is a bold website that explores the interplay between race, ethnicity and the creators’ careers told as a collection of DMs. Lastly, ,wtfff.nl tells the story of 5 young people who were blackmailed, shamed and abused for their nude photos based on how the user navigates the site. And let’s not forget ,TheOtherSideofTruth.com, which tells split narratives through both the world truth and the Russian perspective on the Russia-Ukraine war using brilliant interaction design that combine horizontal and vertical scrolling.

Departing from conventional ‘this then that’ storytelling through clever marketing and design is difficult to pull off yet powerful when done right. Challenge your agency to tell stories differently to captivate your audience’s attention.

Find this article useful? Discover more industry insights, agency best practices and inspirational stories when you ,join the Wix Partner Program.

<![CDATA[How to do a brand audit, even if your client didn’t ask for one]]>https://www.wix.one/partners/post/how-to-do-a-brand-audit-even-if-your-client-didn-t-ask-for-one63e500642961d5d3f922fcddFri, 10 Feb 2023 13:41:51 GMTIdo Lechner

So you want to develop a brand package for your client, but you’re not sure what’s currently working in their favor versus what’s hurting their business.

Before deep diving into design work, it’s best to start with a brand audit, which allows you to build your package based on the most recent research into your client’s brand and their niche.

A brand audit is a comprehensive analysis of a brand, including its history, messaging, visual identity and market presence. It’s typically conducted to identify strengths and weaknesses, align service offerings with client expectations, identify where a brand stands within its market and learn how a target audience really views a brand.

Companies typically benefit from brand audits when they’re seeking competitive advantages. Or, they might be looking for a refresh in order to re-engage current consumers while garnering interest from new audiences. Crisis management and reputation repair can also involve a brand audit.

And though brand audits can be incredibly useful, your client likely already has a brand and may be reluctant to start with ‘an extra service they don’t need.’ Here’s how to get your clients to agree to a brand audit - for their own benefit, and yours.

Upselling a brand audit

First, you need to learn how your client currently feels about their brand. There’s a chance they’re already aware that it needs some work and will be receptive to hearing about how you can help improve it, especially if you can ,add this service onto your current contract.

Inform them that adding a brand audit now will spare them from potentially needing to do one down the road, then needing to redo their entire branding package. Plus, you’ll be providing them with insights and recommendations they can use in a number of ways to promote effective business strategies long after your project is complete.

Essentially, starting with a brand audit is a time and cost-saving measure in advance of purchasing a brand package. Not to mention, it’s a marketing best practice.

How to generate interest in brand auditing

If your client has never conducted a brand audit before, it’s important to explain the advantages.

  • Do a cost-risk analysis:
    • Help the client imagine a future where they decide to run a brand audit and discover they need a costly redo of the website design or branding package you’re doing today.
    • Similarly, consider the wastefulness of print and digital collateral that don’t resonate with your client’s audience or drive conversions effectively.
    • What’s the greatest risk? Is it paying for a brand audit only to learn that the current brand is already doing as well as it could be? If so, that’s valuable to know when designing a new website or branding collateral — and great to share with stakeholders, investors and company leadership.
  • Use case studies: Demonstrate how brand audits have helped other clients — especially clients in a similar market or the same industry as your client — by using clear-cut case studies.
  • Provide data that supports the importance of brand-building. For example:

What brand audits consist of

The elements in a branding package include:

  • Name/tagline: There’s a good chance your client is not looking to change their company’s name or tagline. But in some cases, the research might point you toward raising this possibility. If they don’t have a tagline, consider adding one.
  • Value, mission, vision statements: As stated above, today’s customers find a brand’s mission and purpose essential to their decision-making. Refining these is a core part of refreshing a brand identity.
  • Logo: This may or may not need to be updated, but you might help define how, when, and where the logo is used.
  • Colors: There should be a primary, secondary and even tertiary color scheme.
  • Typography: What fonts and styles belong to your client’s brand? Are any expressly forbidden?
  • Imagery: What kind of images are associated with the brand? Tonally, what makes sense?
  • Brand guidelines: In addition to aggregating all of the above, brand guidelines might include details about spacing, a set of template or design examples, and a style guide for both design and writing.
  • Print/digital assets: Building out from there, you might include a basic set of print or digital assets, such as email signatures, business card templates, iconography, social media graphic templates, and even merchandise.

How to do a brand audit

You’ve successfully persuaded your client to add a much-needed brand audit. Nice work. Now it’s time to deliver. Here’s how to conduct a brand audit in five steps.

1. Gather background information

  • Get to know the client’s business and goals.
  • Research their industry and competitive landscape.
  • Review the client’s current brand presence. This likely includes a website, social media profiles and marketing collateral.

2. Analyze the brand’s current positioning

  • Examine the brand’s messaging and positioning in the market.
  • Identify the brand’s target audience and evaluate how well the current branding resonates with them. This step will likely include an analysis of surveys, online reviews, social mentions and customer feedback.
  • Evaluate the consistency and effectiveness of the brand’s visual identity (colors, logo, imagery).
  • Assess the brand’s online presence (search rankings, social media following, visibility in forums, etc.).

3. Identify opportunities for improvement

  • Determine where the brand’s messaging, positioning or visual identity could be strengthened.
  • Identify any inconsistencies or gaps in the brand’s materials and presence.
  • Identify opportunities for the brand to differentiate itself in the market.

4. Develop recommendations

  • Based on findings from the audit, develop a list of ways to improve the brand’s messaging, visual identity, positioning and/or digital presence.
  • Present your findings to the client and gather feedback.

5. Implement changes

  • Incorporate the client’s feedback.
  • Coordinate with your design team to revise and develop new assets based on the brand audit findings.

Find this article useful? Discover more industry insights, agency best practices and inspirational stories when you ,join the Wix Partner Program.

<![CDATA[We’re at a turning point in social media marketing. Here’s what that means for agencies.]]>https://www.wix.one/partners/post/the-changing-social-media-landscape63e2713641fadb7cdae15574Tue, 07 Feb 2023 15:46:19 GMTIdo Lechner

Social media has had a whirlwind of a year. Elon Musk acquired Twitter, Meta recorded its largest loss ever in the neighborhood of $3.6 billion in Q3, and there’s talk about banning TikTok in the U.S. It’s already been banned on government devices and some university VPNs.

In the wake of all this change, new social media platforms are planting roots.

Almost as soon as Musk purchased Twitter, hundreds of thousands of users fled in protest. In late December, rising social platform ,Mastodon (which had around 300,000 users in October) reached 2.5million users by introducing a clever feature called ‘movetodon,’ which allowed Twitter users to easily find their friends on the new platform so they wouldn’t have to ‘start from scratch.’ Since then, the platform peaked and dipped, losing about 30% of its new traffic in a matter of weeks according to ,The Guardian.

This is just one of many companies duking it out. Polywork is looking to steal Linkedin’s professional crowd, while BeReal, Poparazzi (billed as the ‘anti-Instagram) and Discord (particularly popular with gamers and developers) are leading the new generation of social apps vying for major market share. (Check out our ,Freelancer X community on Discord.)

Of course, the emergence of new platforms is nothing new: Vine came and went, as did Peach and Google+, and Clubhouse’s growth has stalled. What has changed is that for the first time, there’s a growing perception that Facebook and Instagram might actually get dethroned.

So, what’s a social media marketer to do?

“With social media, everything changes so quickly that most brands don't make decisions until stuff actually happens,” says Lirut Nave, Wix’s head of social media. That’s a mistake; not only is stuff happening right now, but brands should stay proactive so they never get caught by surprise. “We see features getting dropped every day, different promotional abilities getting paused, and the popularity of the platforms themselves is subject to change every few months.”

Therefore, Nave recommends having your overall strategy in place but staying adaptable by making necessary changes, shifting budgets and reprioritizing based on what works. “You always want to know where your audience is going,” she says. “If they're going to leave TikTok or if Twitter's gone tomorrow, which new platform will you use to grab that audience segment’s attention?” Start with your audience, she says, not the platform, and work your way back. “Try to get as clear as you can about where clients spend their time and what they’d like to see from you.”

Here are some more best practices as you navigate this new world.

Don’t ignore the big players

The rise of these new platforms marks a departure from previous ways of framing digital interactions (think: likes, comments, shares and saves), focusing more on authentic online exchanges such as having actual conversations, building community and capturing unedited moments of your life.

Yet, despite reporting record losses last year, it’s still the big fish’s pond. Facebook maintains the most monthly active users (2.9 billion users), and Linkedin remains the biggest social media for professionals. Expect the ‘legacy’ players to pivot their strategies to reflect market changes, perhaps even mimicking certain features like when Instagram copied stories from Snapchat, or how Alphabet rolled out YouTube Shorts in response to Instagram Reels and TikTok’s success.

For now, we’re likely to continue seeing the Metas and Twitters of the world playing ‘feature catchup,’ but don’t let changes in consumer preferences catch you by surprise.

You should keep your eye on emerging platforms, but Nave says there's no point in making massive overhauls. “Social media is quick. It’s more about spontaneity and keeping up with where your target audience is moving.”

Educate AND entertain your audience

“Edutainment” is the future of content, and it's exactly what it sounds like: entertaining someone while teaching them something new. Think: thought leadership content that’s equal parts thought-provoking and attention-grabbing.

A perfect example of edutainment is ,After Skool’s YouTube whiteboard explainer videos, as well as ,@rishfits’ mobility training Instagram and ,Emily the Recruiter on Tiktok. Notice how the content tends to be quick, snappy and sometimes lighthearted depending on the brand’s tone of voice. This is true across all channels.

Develop your video capabilities

If ever there was a time to expand into video, it’s now. YouTube Shorts are growing 135% year over year according to ,Rootnote.co, and the average American now spends 80 minutes on TikTok per day, says ,The Washington Post.

“There's no question that short form video content will continue to dominate because it's the easiest format to consume,” as Susan Kaplow, Wix’s head of content and design, said in ,What agency work will look like in 2023. “Marketing is no longer about whitepapers or long articles anymore, rather it's creating content that’s approachable, real, honest and to-the-point.”

That goes double for video. Help the rest of the leadership team understand the risks that come with failing to bring in these capabilities asap, then paint a specific vision for what will be possible with these additional resources.

To that end, it helps if leaders share more online and offer a window into the business. “People are craving realness. They want to be seen, heard, and entertained—not sold to. Thought leadership will still resonate, but only if the leader is approachable” Kaplow adds.

Stay true to each channel

With increasing uncertainty as to which platforms will dominate in the mid to long-term, Nave recommends doubling down on the social media that's proven to work for your business.

“Don’t try to do everything at once - you’ll end up producing content that’s only 50% of the way there,” she says. “Do what you can do well, whatever is closer to that 100% quality bar.” That means your agency probably isn’t on every channel but does a great job tailoring content to one to three platforms instead.

“If your strategy is to create general content and post it across all platforms, you probably won’t get the same performance across each of them,” Nave says. “That said, there’s value in working on one platform that’s more visual, say Instagram, one that’s more video-based (maybe TikTok) and one with a more professional network such as Twitter or LinkedIn.”

That’s not to say that repurposing your work isn’t an effective strategy, but a large part of that entails making necessary tweaks to stay true to each platform. That includes tactical changes, like reformatting the dimensions of a post or captioning videos, as well as strategic changes, such as the goal of the content on that specific platform.

Use your resources wisely

Just because an emerging platform is generating buzz doesn’t mean you should dive in headfirst.

“If you have minimal resources, it just means you have to prioritize better,” Nave says. “You always want to create great content, so never sacrifice quality, even if that means taking longer to post.”

Before pulling resources from one department to reinvest them in new social platforms, start by determining whether the platform is worth your time to begin with. That might still take some time and effort to identify, but it shouldn’t take all of your time and effort.

“If you're a small agency, you don't necessarily want to put your resources into exploring something you still can't figure out unless you feel like it's a perfect fit for your offering and you can really go deep with it. Big brands have this advantage, of course, where they can test out their budget and let the people decide, but if you're a smaller agency, my advice would still be to put your resources where they're most valuable.”

,Use the Pareto principle to allocate resources effectively - that is, spend 20% of your time creating experimental content to test, and 80% of it doubling down on what’s already proven to work.

Looking forward

As it always has been, the true value of social media lies in, well, your social network. That’s why Linkedin continues to be a mainstay for B2B clients, and why Twitter’s declining popularity has many marketers on their toes.

While the social media landscape continues to be rife with uncertainty, the best advice is simply to make great content for your audience wherever they are, and stay nimble so you can move with them if they migrate.

Find this article useful? Discover more industry insights, agency best practices and inspirational stories when you ,join the Wix Partner Program.

<![CDATA[How SEO and web design agency Zoek scores big ticket clients - and retains them]]>https://www.wix.one/partners/post/how-seo-and-web-design-agency-zoek-scores-big-ticket-clients-and-retains-them63d92032c3762e778917d06eTue, 31 Jan 2023 14:13:09 GMTIdo Lechner

Client success is agency success.

But it often feels like agencies need to work twice as hard to ,keep clients happy in a competitive, rapidly changing landscape (or just keep them, period).

Web design and brand optimization agency Zoek knows how to delight clients over the long haul. It’s how they landed notable clients like Papa John’s, Sylvan Learning and Century 21, while boasting a 94% retention rate. We caught up with Kellyann Doyle, Zoek’s marketing operations manager to discuss some ways to ensure client success.

Set realistic goals

“First, we always make sure we set clear and realistic goals with our clients,” says Doyle. “That’s where a lot of people fall short. They don't have realistic goals. So the number-one thing we focus on is making sure we have the right goals in place.”

Doyle says that agencies should always make sure that their clients really understand what they're looking for. If they're trying to build a website, for instance, is the underlying motive to garner traffic, or to say, have a home for their brand? Are they using it in their marketing efforts? Are they selling products?

“From there, we can really start to understand what they would consider success to be in the first place, and then make sure we’re building strategies around their definition of success,” she says. “That way, when we hit those marks, they're actually excited about them, versus getting disappointed when unrealistic expectations aren’t met.”

Manage expectations

It’s important agencies test their messaging and general marketing efforts for clarity. You don’t want to spend precious time on call with prospects explaining what you do - that part should already be understood - rather, you should show them how your services eliminate their pain points.

“It’s once we actually start talking to the leads that we start converting them into customers,” Doyle says. “Now, the biggest thing we focus on is making sure that our onboarding process is top notch, starting with an in-depth questionnaire that gets quite nuanced, followed by a meeting to go over their answers and ask them to expand, or set a more realistic timeline.”

All sorts of different factors might go into site creation, so you’d rather know them all upfront instead of discovering them during the design and development process. As the agency, it’s your job to develop that understanding of what’s needed (and expected) in order to deliver against those goals in a timely manner.

Prioritize timelines by budget

This may seem obvious, but budgets are a good way to prioritize how much time you give to each client. “We do work with business owners that might only have $500 a month to spend on marketing efforts, and others that have upwards of $10,000, and so those are going to be two completely different strategies,” says Doyle.

She adds that normally people with smaller budgets might have shorter term strategies in mind, say, to get a website up and running, or enlist a professional agency’s help with a rebrand. Conversely, longer term strategies ,typically involve SEO growth strategies; people trying to build and evolve their brand from the ground up, not those pursuing a side project or extra work.

“And so, our timelines depend on who we're working with and what their goals [and budgets] are,” Doyle says. “If they’re not looking for SEO services and they’re not looking to create a whole new brand, maybe they just got their cosmetology license and want to do hair on the side, then a simple website might suffice. We’ll prioritize it as such.”

Find clients who understand the need for long-term marketing

“A lot of people don't seem to understand that marketing is an investment. It's not something automatic where you see results right away. And so whether that investment is just one month, or six months, or a year, clients need to understand that it’ll definitely take time to start seeing that money back.”

Perhaps counterintuitively, the right agency will communicate this truth up front. It’s best to let clients know if certain expectations are unrealistic, rather than getting to that point further down the line. This ties back to the previous points about setting realistic expectations for your marketing initiatives, managing client expectations from the start, and prioritizing clients who understand that true client success is a marathon, not a sprint.

Leadership must commit to being available for clients

“You might have 100,000 customers, but you want each one of them to feel like they're the only person you’re worried about,” says Doyle. To that end, she recommends setting up meetings as much as possible to demonstrate genuine effort in staying close to each client.

“Everyone speaks to a sales representative first, but eventually they’ll have a project manager or an account manager depending on what service they have,” Doyle says. “We make sure the client always has two points of contact: the sales rep and the dedicated project or account manager.”

It may seem like an unscalable practice for most agencies to uphold, so follow in Zoek CEO’s footsteps. Doyle explains that their CEO often responds to messages sent to the company’s general inbox. “Sometimes he’ll get notifications at five in the morning that someone forgot their password, and he’ll be the first to respond to help them reset it,” she says. “Him leading with ownership and accountability has really helped the rest of us step forward to the plate.”

While we’re not saying leaders should stop everything they’re doing to address lower level concerns, it’s critical that everyone has a direct pulse on customer needs, pain points and general sentiment.

Stay close to the customer

As the saying goes, it’s best to underpromise and overdeliver. In order to do that, make sure to set realistic goals, manage expectations, prioritize timelines by budget, find clients who understand the need for long-term marketing, and make sure leadership commits to setting time aside to engage with clients.

Find this article useful? Discover more industry insights, agency best practices and inspirational stories when you ,join the Wix Partner Program.

<![CDATA[What does the rise of AI mean for the future of creativity?]]>https://www.wix.one/partners/post/what-does-ai-mean-for-creativity63cfee1d6612f4f355101d12Wed, 25 Jan 2023 17:55:15 GMTIdo Lechner

This article was written by a human.

It’s worth stating from the outset because if much of the hype around the latest advancements in AI technology is to be believed, most content can be covered by bots.

Take OpenAI’s language model ,ChatGPT as an example. Launched in November 2022, the AI-based chatbot system uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to generate conversations, responding to questions with relevant, human-like answers. When prompted to produce an introductory paragraph for an article that questions what AI means for the future of creativity, it provided the following:

“In a world increasingly dominated by artificial intelligence (AI), the future of creativity is uncertain. AI has the potential to automate many creative tasks, from writing to art to music. This could lead to a world where creativity is monopolized by machines, with humans relegated to a supporting role.”

AI would suggest that it can take a leading role in creativity. Still, it’s not a bad effort and a glimpse of just how far the technology has come, and where it could go. But hype and cynicism aside, what is the real value AI offers creative industries, what are its downsides, and what can agencies do now so they don’t miss the boat?

Some key players and their AI tools

While OpenAI is the company currently making the most waves in generative AI – buoyed by ,Microsoft’s investment interests and the idea that ,systems like ChatGPT may someday replace Google – many other businesses are inventing similar technology to create ‘original’ content. And, as ChatGPT alluded to, it’s across the entire creative spectrum: fine art, poetry, long-form articles, video and music.

To generate content, these programs are trained on datasets of existing content that hold text, images, video files and code scraped from the internet.

Covering AI music generation, you have the likes of ,Amper Music and ,Soundraw enabling users to create melodies in minutes. For text-to-image generation, ,Astria, OpenAI’s ,DALL·E 2, ,Midjourney and ,Jasper create images and art to match your message. AI video makers such as ,Alai and ,Synthesia are generating convincing avatars that speak to camera. ,Latte is taking much of the creative effort out of social media content, while OpenAI has a range of competitors vying for top spot in AI writing, including ,Copy.ai, ,Rytr and ,Writesonic. The list goes on, including Wix’s ,AI Text Creator, which it recently opened to Partners who are building sites for clients.

While much of this software is still in its infancy or at beta stage, it is already disrupting creative industries. Some creators, like artist ,Refik Anadol, are fully embracing the tools and pushing the boundaries of contemporary art. Others, like designer ,Ammaar Reshi, are doing the unthinkable, producing work that would typically take months or years in just one weekend.

,Musicians like Nick Cave have weighed in, describing ChatGPT’s efforts to write a song in his style as “a grotesque mockery of what it is to be human.” While the future of journalism and publishing was called into question when tech news outlet ,CNET was found to be employing “automation technology” to write financial explainer articles under the guise of ‘CNET Money Staff.’ They later ,said that it was for research purposes only.

Such stories remind us what an extremely grey area AI is, as we try to figure out how to use the technology for good. Indeed, we must navigate many ethical issues, like ,plagiarism, ,copyright law, quality of output, ,environmental impact, ,misinformation, ,bias and ,job loss. It’s a journey fraught with risk, but as with any emerging technology, there is much to be gained.

Can AI replace human content writers?

With ChatGPT forming much of the current AI conversation, it’s no surprise that the future of written content is under the spotlight. For Laura Ramsay, content lead at Wix Partners, the emerging tech evokes both caution and excitement – excitement about how it might make us work more efficiently but caution about it replacing the human touch.

“It will save a lot of time when researching topics, writing briefs, and for technical writing, knowledge base and UX,” she says. “However, we can’t guarantee that its answers will be relevant or up-to-date. Most importantly, the tone of voice, feelings, emotions and nuances that are carefully developed and told by the personalities behind the brands can't be replaced by a machine. It can serve many purposes but replacing actual writers to create original, smart content? I'm not convinced.”

Ramsay believes AI can make the research phase of content creation much more efficient. It can also be used for inspiration when brainstorming ad copy directions or unique angles. For agencies, she says it saves time and money on repetitive tasks, such as writing eCommerce product descriptions, SEO duties like sorting Google search keywords into clusters, pitch support and proposals, but when it comes to writing brand stories and website copy, Ramsay believes personality is still key.

The truth is, many agencies are still at the experimentation stage of using AI. According to the ,2022 State of Marketing and Sales AI Report, 45% of marketers classify themselves as AI beginners, 43% say they’re at an intermediate level, while just 12% say they are at an advanced level. Expect more agencies to dive deeper in 2023, which many are calling ‘the year AI goes mainstream.’

With all this in mind, we spoke to six Wix Partners to hear how they’ve been using AI tools in their everyday work, plus see how it might impact their professions.

Take a hybrid approach

Matt Konarzewski, founder of ,Vision Marketing, is deep in the AI rabbit hole. He says agencies must adopt the technology to remain relevant to clients on all things digital. He’s been using AI tools for his agency blog. In one recent post, ,How to revolutionize your SEO strategy with Wix, he used ChatGPT to generate text, Synthesia to create video and Midjourney to build social media graphics.

Konarzewski says AI will boost the speed of development, design and content creation, but expresses concern about the volume of “random content” that will flood the internet and how it might affect Google’s guidelines for SEO.

Still, he believes agencies must take a hybrid approach and supplement their day-to-day work with AI tools to get the best results for clients. “With AI, we need to shift our creativity to different areas and work together with robots to achieve desired outcomes for our clients faster and better.”

Don’t be afraid of AI. Leverage it.

Carlos Cortez of ,S9 Consulting has been using AI writing software such as Jasper, Speedwrite and Copy.ai for the past two years and recently added ChatGPT to the mix. “It serves as a fantastic starting point for writing blog posts,” he says. “It can’t get you 100% there, but it gives you an excellent starting point for producing real content and SEO-driven phrases.”

Cortez says AI will allow agencies to be more cost-effective in their content marketing services due to reduced product costs and time. He believes the critical challenge it poses is the reduced barrier to entry for prospects who would otherwise become clients. Rather than hiring an agency to write a blog post, they might use these tools to do the basics themselves.

Still, despite the tech advancements, Cortez is optimistic about the continuing need for agency services. “Like anything, AI is just a tool,” he says. “All the greats know you have to grow and adapt with the times. This is no different. Don’t be afraid of technology; figure out ways to leverage it because it will never replace an agency’s expertise.”

Integrate AI with your favorite tools

Chris Sammarone, CEO of ,Upcode Studios, has been trialing ChatGPT and DALL·E 2 and describes it as a positive experience in supplementing his agency’s creative services. He’s intrigued about the technology’s potential to augment creative design and content.

“We see a few major pros and cons to AI tools, such as the ability to save time and money on labor power and the potential for faster, more accurate turnaround rates,” he says. “Conversely, the potential for aesthetic constraints could discourage more artistic pursuits. We anticipate using these tools for time and labor-saving tasks and potentially fill gaps in our current services.”

Sammarone expresses more interest in the research and development of the ,OpenAI API for his agency’s favorite development platforms. “We’re hoping to integrate this API into our client relationship and project management systems, follow-up processes and customer service workflows.”

Create solid UX/UI foundations to build upon

Jacob Murphy, founder of ,Act One Media, has been exploring the possibilities of AI tools but has yet to use them in a client project. “That may change soon, or it may never change,” he says. “AI tools are certainly interesting – and some of them are very cool – but it feels like they lack that indefinable human element that makes design surprising and fun.”

Murphy sees opportunities to use AI in the early stages of web projects – a tool to create solid UX or UI foundations that agency teams can then tweak and build upon. His studio will explore these opportunities in more detail, but for now, he’ll leave the true creativity to humans.

“AI can use a lot of rules to create something that feels creative, but I’m not sure it can create something that feels fresh or outside the box in the same way a great designer or writer can,” he says. “Maybe they can, and I just haven’t seen it yet, but for now, my feeling is there is something magical about a whimsical turn of phrase in copy or in a design full of personality, and that’s what I’m most interested in.”

Automate tedious tasks

Matthew Tropp of full-service media agency ,Blackthorn Publishing uses Jasper AI to generate content for press releases, blog posts and website copy. He says the results have been impressive and require minor revision. He’s intrigued by the potential OpenAI’s latest offerings bring to the industry and sees these tools as a way to produce high-quality client work in faster turnaround times.

“AI will likely play an increasingly important role in web design, with the potential to greatly improve user experience and make the process of creating websites easier,” he says. “AI can help automate tedious tasks such as website testing, optimizing images and colors for best display, and can suggest changes to optimize a website’s performance. Additionally, AI can help create website layouts and designs optimized for user experience, helping increase conversions.”

Tropp cites computer biases and copyright infringement as top concerns for professionals when it comes to AI, but believes the benefits outweigh the disadvantages and that the technology can revolutionize creative fields. “For me, It’s all about time management and efficiency when using AI,” he says. “It’s really helped my business grow.”

Stay ahead of the competition

Laylee Bodaghee, CEO at ,Shadow Knights Studio, predicts that in the next 3 to 5 years, AI will occupy 30 to 40% of most agencies’ capabilities. The studio currently uses systems like Midjourney, ChatGPT and DALL·E 2 to improve workflows and boost output.

“To not use AI means falling behind the competition,” she says. “Project management, design, graphics, music, art, writing and more will all be auto-generated with smaller professional teams tinkering to get better outputs from the AI. This will mostly be our trajectory as well.”

As AI tools continue to proliferate into most mediums, Bodaghee warns that industries must not allow these systems to exploit people and genuine expression. While she is excited about how the technology can improve performance and bring new ideas to the table, she says we must always encourage the real.

“The authentic experience will continue to be a currency of the future. Similar to how people still enjoy analog wristwatches, pottery, and crafts, music played by strings, there will always be a role for people who love to create by hand and strike an emotional response. Even when it’s no longer the norm, our team hopes to continue this long tradition of creative work well into the future.”

Use AI to augment your creativity, not define it

OpenAI says the ultimate aim of its technology is to achieve “artificial general intelligence.” That is, to fully mirror the intelligence, creativity and thoughtfulness of humans. It’s a big ask and a place we’re still some way from.

Rather than prompt ChatGPT for a concluding comment on how and when we expect to get there, Bodaghee neatly sums up the overriding view among creative professionals.

“With AI, you need to keep an open mind and explore what is possible within its confines or limitations,” she says. “You will find that AI can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, but nothing is perfect, and many AI systems often deliver wrong answers or bizarre outputs. It will rest on your shoulders how to appropriately package the end product. In short, AI should be used to augment your creativity, not define it.”

Ramsay echoes that sentiment and believes there will always be a demand for human creativity. “While we're all obsessed with content, absorbing it at all times and as much as we can, we're still searching for authenticity and connection,” she says. “And that can only be established by real people, with real emotions, with the ability to generate real responses.”

Ultimately, with these advancements happening at such a rapid pace, agencies – and creators across all industries – will need to figure out how to make an impact in a world inundated with AI-generated content and where clients have advanced AI tools at their fingertips. You’d be brave to bet against the creatives using their expertise and natural creativity to maintain leading roles in their industries, even if ChatGPT tells us otherwise.

Find this article useful? Discover more industry insights, agency best practices, and inspirational stories when you ,join the Wix Partner Program. To find out what AI-written content might mean for SEO, listen to ,episode 9 of The SERP’s Up SEO Podcast.

Joe O'Connor

Marketing Writer, Wix

Joe is a marketing writer with Wix Partners. He previously put words in magazines and newspapers and was editor of numerous Irish-based business titles. He lives in Dublin but loves to travel – writing, photographing and podcasting about it when he can.

<![CDATA[10 emerging niches creative agencies can target this year]]>https://www.wix.one/partners/post/10-emerging-niches63ceedd9c88c15a4995665ddMon, 23 Jan 2023 20:30:25 GMTIdo Lechner

To niche or not to niche? That is the question.

And how niche is ‘too niche?’

Many agencies face this dilemma at some point in their career. They want to clearly define their target audience yet they don’t want to harm their long-term growth prospects by limiting their total addressable market.

The sweet spot, therefore, entails finding niches that encourage repeat business and scale. One way to do this is to identify hot emerging niches with no signs of slowing down and dedicating your messaging to that market. This helps agencies stand out from the competition and attract high-quality clients willing to pay a premium for specialized services.

As 2023 unfolds, consider these ten promising areas agencies can tap into to score new clients.

Personal finance

Households across the world felt the sting of rising inflation costs in 2022. In the last quarter, less than half of Americans (45%) said they had at least $1,000 in savings, and over a third (36%) have no savings at all according to a ,State of Personal Finance 2022 report.

Agencies that can design websites, mobile app solutions and platforms for personal finance companies can make recurring revenue with such clients. Think: ,Acorns, which allows you to invest your spare change; ,Current, originally an early bank account for teens; ,Greenlight, which offers automatic allowances, chore tracking, budgeting, charitable giving and debit cards for kids; ,Klarna, the pioneer of buy now, pay later; and ,MoCaFi, the mobile-first banking platform for Black and Hispanic communities with traditionally less access to banking.

Sustainable fashion

As consumers become more environmentally conscientious, sustainable fashion is becoming an increasingly hot topic. This niche includes clothing and accessories made from environmentally friendly materials and produced in an ethical manner. Agencies can strike long lasting partnerships with brands by offering web design, social media and creative services.

Check out brands such as ,ETÉREA, ,Pact, ,Sotela and ,Dzukou for inspiration. If you’re looking to build powerful brands for sustainable fashion companies, take a look at ,Wix for eCommerce.

Mental health & wellness

The ongoing pandemic has put a spotlight on the importance of mental health and wellness. Agencies dedicated to areas in this space — like online therapy sessions and virtual yoga classes — are poised for success in 2023.

But just so you know, people can spot ‘fake wellness’ from a mile away, so be sure to authentically commit to the space by including mental health initiatives in your own agency, being well-versed in the lingo, understanding the landscape via competitive research and helping clients get granular with their target demographics to better serve their clients’ unique needs and pain points.

Business coaches & online course creators

Business coaching is a rapidly expanding space for freelancers according to ,Forbes, which has translated to more online coaches and course creators than ever before. Three quarters of all clients find their coaches online, according to a recent survey conducted by ,Upcoach.com.

Agencies that design websites for coaches who offer social media marketing, thought leadership, blogging and publishing online courses will go far in 2023. Focusing on individuals may require a different strategy than selling your services to B2B companies, so consider how much you’d need to charge each client to stay viable. Check out ,Wix’s Online Program to build and sell multi-step online courses of your own.

Travel and the outdoors

As we near the tail end of the pandemic, consumers are eager to reconnect with nature and go on adventures. An increase in demand for activities such as camping, hiking and rock climbing, as well as travel to remote destinations, has tipped travel brands to focus on more authentic and sustainable experiences.

And while many struggle to fork over the cash required to go on such adventures, Gen Z is leading the travel category. According to ,a report by trndsttrs media, over half of the generation already has an international trip planned for 2023, and 65% report that traveling is the most important way to spend their money. Moreover, Forbes reports that digital nomading has been on the rise since the start of the pandemic, hinting at the idea of servicing hotels and individuals with long term Airbnb accomodations.

Telehealth and private medical practices

Hospitals and medical practices were also heavily impacted by the pandemic, and many embraced telehealth when possible. The number of physicians using telehealth for virtual visits grew from 14% in 2016 to 80% in 2022, according to a 2022 ,AMA Digital Health study.

Creative agencies can provide a wide range of services for telehealth brands such as designing a visual identity including ,logos and color schemes to convey the brand's message and values. They can also create marketing and advertising campaigns that raise awareness of telehealth services and educate potential patients about its benefits, and develop educational videos, infographics, and social media and email campaigns to reach their clients’ target audience and explain how telehealth works and what the benefits are.


With the rise of remote work and eCommerce, there's a growing need for website design that caters to users with disabilities. ,The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ,Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) set the standard for accessibility on websites, and more and more companies are being held accountable for ensuring that their websites are accessible to all users.

Web design agencies that can conduct accessibility audits, implement accessibility features and provide guidance on how to make websites more accessible will be well-positioned to take advantage of this growing market.


Online learning platforms

With more college students learning remotely than ever before, the market for online learning platforms is growing rapidly. Platforms that offer interactive, engaging content and that can adapt to a wide range of learning styles will be particularly in demand, as will the agencies that help them do it. Specializing in learning management systems means your agency will need strong technical and UX proficiencies.

Digital fitness

Just 7% of US fitness enthusiasts expect to work out exclusively at a gym, according to ,Insider Intelligence, as compared to the 42% who expect to exercise at home, or the remaining 51% who plan on using some combination of the two. As such, new ‘digital fitness’ products and services have emerged, spanning the full gamut of new age fitness tools, including livestream workouts, at-home products such as Mirror, Tonal, Tempo or Peloton, new VR experiences and wearable apps.

Agencies looking to break out in this market can provide cutting edge web designs for emerging brands, branded app experiences, social media marketing and SEO services for big tech clients or online coaches. Here’s ,how to build a fitness website and more on Wix’s ,fitness software.

Virtual event planning

With the rise of remote work and social distancing measures, ,virtual events became more popular than ever as the ‘url’ alternative to irl events. And though lockdowns and social distancing are firmly behind us now, there’s a newfound understanding of how to leverage technology to improve the experience of gathering for a conference, keynote, panel discussion, hackathon, trade show, career fair or company event. According to a 2023 ,SkiftMeetings report, 71% of event organizers want to retain virtual elements for their in-person meetings and conferences.

There's a growing demand for event planners who can help organizations host successful hybrid events. That includes setting the business strategy, designing the event page, creating a connected app or online experience, publishing social media and email marketing campaigns, managing the live event as it's happening and creating follow-up campaigns afterwards.

Looking forward

Leaning into emerging niches can mean anything from adding a new customer segment to a full rebrand. You’ll need to update your messaging, but the route you take is entirely contextual and can depend on the size of each addressable market, how differentiated your agency is within the niche, your ability to serve customers in a particular area, as well as the industry’s general trajectory.

Of course, you don’t want to isolate your current clients while looking at new niches. We recommend dipping your toes in a new client pool before cannon-balling into what might prove shallow waters.

Ultimately, emerging niches present a wealth of opportunity for businesses to differentiate themselves and tap into new markets. By staying attuned to the latest trends and paying attention to evolving consumer needs and preferences, companies can stay ahead of the curve and continue to innovate and grow. Now is the time to think outside of the box and consider new niches to explore.

Find this article useful? Discover more industry insights, agency best practices and inspirational stories when you ,join the Wix Partner Program.

<![CDATA[Ethnography is the future of marketing, with WORTHI founder Myles Worthington]]>https://www.wix.one/partners/post/myles-worthington-worthi-interview63c953df680c1ec107af990dThu, 19 Jan 2023 14:32:44 GMTIdo Lechner

It’s taken a while for the corporate world to wise up to the need for diversity, equity and inclusion, and there’s still a lot of work to be done. Just think about how often teams create products for communities they know almost nothing about. And even when agencies and their clients want to do better, they often don’t know where to start.

That’s why marketing leader ,Myles Worthington started his agency, ,WORTHI, which he describes as an “ethnographic marketing, communications and content company.” This means WORTHI steeps itself in the behaviors of people around the world to create cultural relevance between their unique needs and a brand’s story. It’s not only about diversity, equity and inclusion. It’s about a distinct, long-term marketing strategy driven by research and connection.

Worthington fine-tuned his philosophy when building a multicultural marketing strategy as former head of global audiences, brand and editorial marketing, at Netflix. He spearheaded the company’s first multicultural PR initiative, led the Strong Black Lead channel, created and led the Most (LGBTQ+) and Netflix Golden (AAPI) teams, and built the Con Todo team for LatinX audiences.

“Ethnographic marketing is the start of any strong marketing program,” says Worthington. “It starts with the people, their cultures and their lived experiences as the foundation, backed by the strength of your own brand purpose.”

Consider the opposite approach by contrast: shouting about your brand into a mass void. “You're just broadcasting, not targeting,” he says. “You don’t talk to anyone when you try to talk to everyone.”

If you want to create lasting, meaningful relationships with consumers, check out Worthington’s advice on building an ethnographic marketing strategy with staying power.

Be specific

“At the foundational level, we uncover many brands that have a fear of being specific with marketing. It's like, ‘Oh, if we do this, are we only going to talk to that one group?’” says Worthington. “I always push back by saying, ‘specificity is a superpower.’ It's one of the strongest things you can do.”

Know your audience

To market to a specific audience, you need to deeply understand that audience, which is where ethnographic marketing comes in.

Ethnography is a subset of anthropology, the study of human culture, that describes the life experiences of different groups of people. Ethnographic marketing, then, is all about seeing how your audience uses a given service or product first-hand. This means conducting interviews, running focus groups and actively participating alongside the group you’re observing to garner on-the-ground information you wouldn’t get through dialogue.

From there, you can deduce what’s working well for them, and conversely, what isn’t. Then, you can begin drawing connections between your audience insights to get a more granular understanding of what compels them to purchase a service, join a community, enroll in a class and so on.

Of course, you’ll need to keep intersectionality in mind throughout this process. “How do we understand the most that we can about these communities within communities?” asks Worthington, hinting at the layers of nuance beneath the surface of any given group of people. “What are the traits we understand about them? What do they care about? What's their buying power? Who’s their audience, and who are they influenced by?” You’ll need to answer these questions in order to create something that truly resonates.

Take the long term view

This work is ongoing, an important shift for executives who are used to showing up just one month out of the year.

“Many brands historically have a periodic frequency of showing up,” Worthington says. “They’ll do a Black History month campaign, then shut it down. They’ll run a Pride campaign, then shut it down. So we generally have to reorient them around this idea of continuity. We’ll tell them that the data shows that Gen Z is the most diverse, most gender-fluid generation in history, then help them pinpoint how to address this audience in their day to day, versus only in June.”

Brands also need to evolve along with their audiences, so Worthington begins each client kickoff by acknowledging the need to continuously shift their understanding of the group they’re trying to reach.

“I fundamentally believe that you should always know exactly who you’re speaking to, which of course means doing your homework to strengthen your understanding of their needs and pain points,” Worthington says. “You can’t send them messages where they already are and speak in their language if you haven’t grounded yourself in this work first.” This work could involve running awareness campaigns, enabling access to helpful resources, creating spaces for open discussion such as a forum or social page, and planning out a DEI roadmap.

This will take time, but it’s worth the effort. “People want to be talked to specifically, and if you hyper serve an audience, they'll be your ambassadors,” Worthington says. “That ripple effect is bigger than you can even calculate.”

Find this article useful? Discover more industry insights, agency best practices and inspirational stories when you ,join the Wix Partner Program.

<![CDATA[Unicorns are dead. Why businesses should be zebras instead]]>https://www.wix.one/partners/post/be-a-zebra-not-a-unicorn63c948aa680c1ec107af96e7Thu, 19 Jan 2023 13:43:43 GMTIdo Lechner

Business goals are largely a reflection of the times we live in. Unicorns (companies with billion dollar valuations like Uber, Tesla and Netflix) were glamorized shortly before the pandemic. And when Apple reached a trillion dollar valuation, the pegasus was born, an even more elusive goal.

Since then, five companies (Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft and Tesla) now have a higher market cap than most countries’ GDP. It’s a disturbing fact that highlights the monumental shift in power from government to corporate, and with it the loss of regulatory control. That means companies can get away with things simply because of their valuation (see: WeWork and Theranos). Of course, while these unicorns focused on hyper-growth, they forgot arguably the most important aspect of doing business: the product or service needs to actually be profitable, and in Theranos’ case, it needed to actually work.

The great irony behind WeWork selling access to it’s community, is that it ended up gentrifying the communities it entered. And when it comes to the medical field, failed products can literally kill. While both company’s founders have been held accountable for lying to investors, they also reflect a harsh reality: the working world values growth and profit above all else.

As a result, society is waking up to the need for a more conscientious capitalistic framework. We’ve shifted targets from mythical beasts to zebras, a term coined in 2017 by Jennifer Brandel, Mara Zepeda, Astrid Scholz and Aniyia Williams, the team that published ,Zebras Fix What Unicorns Break, to describe companies that are simultaneously profitable yet attentive to the world’s social needs (hence the black and white stripes).

No one said companies can’t do good while turning a profit. Pivoting aspirations means rebalancing your priorities. Whereas unicorns are driven by growth and measure success by customers and profit, zebras prioritize customer success and the contributions made to their community.

Here’s how to be a socially conscious agency, without sacrificing revenue.

Expand your client roster

When it comes to doing good while making money, the key is to think AND not OR. Align your financial needs with your social impact efforts where possible by finding clients who fit the bill (and the cause). There are so many companies trying to do good now. Support minority-owned businesses and reach out to companies in the sustainability sector or non-profits with enough of a budget to work with you.

Wix Partner ,Lumo Design Studio worked with clients like Oui Finance, whose mission is to help clients level up their financial literacy, and KeepItCuteKitchen, a service that empowers black women living with autoimmune disorders to reclaim their energy through diet and lifestyle changes.

Run with the pack

Unicorns are creatures of solitude, but zebras ride together. While the former looks to be the last one standing in a competitive stomping ground, the latter embraces collaboration through diversity and strength in numbers. Fun fact: It’s probably why a group of zebras is called a dazzle.

Connect with mission-driven brands and individuals to embrace your core zebra. For example, last year, Czech Republic-based creative agency UON7 showed their stripes by hiring Ukrainian refugees who helped scale their business, a win for everyone.

“Dima is very native to the digital [world], so I have to keep up in some ways,” Julius Miko, founder of UON7, told us in ,Why this agency founder is committed to hiring refugees and leading with heart. “He’s really helped me elevate the brand’s sense of style, and he understands content.”

You can also join ,Zebras Unite, a member-owned co-op creating the capital, culture, and community to power a more just and inclusive economy. Members tap into rich resources of purpose-led VC funding and network with other progressively-minded companies.

Show your stripes

Naturally progressive, zebras seek to heal wounds inflicted by ‘business as usual’ practices such as environmental damage, mental health challenges and inequality. It all starts with ,leadership connecting the brand’s strategy with its higher purpose, as it sets the tone for all decisions thereafter.

,The Ethical Agency is an excellent example of a sustainability-minded agency leading by example in reducing their own footprint and forging relationships to design and develop for eco-friendly organizations. Similarly, ,Quixotic Design Co. builds industry leading brands for female entrepreneurs.

The future is zebra

Ultimately, zebras aren’t defined only by how much money they make—their social impact matters, too. This shift in our culture’s business priorities presents the perfect opportunity to be a part of something bigger than yourself, or even your agency. You can get started by being deliberate in the clients you work with and the values you stand for.

Find this article useful? Discover more industry insights, agency best practices and inspirational stories when you ,join the Wix Partner Program

<![CDATA[Freelancers are full-on businesses. Here’s how to start acting like it, even if you’re a team of one]]>https://www.wix.one/partners/post/freelancers-are-full-on-businesses-here-s-how-to-start-acting-like-it-even-if-you-re-a-team-of-one63c6d06e2e441ff464790e21Tue, 17 Jan 2023 16:45:56 GMTIdo Lechner

Freelancing often conveys freedom, creativity, and rewarding work. Less often, it says “entrepreneur.”

The truth is, freelancers are a crucial part of many businesses, often the very key to their success. Over 90% of businesses use freelancers, according to ,Forbes, and three quarters of these businesses said they plan to use more freelancers in the future. Indeed a recent report from ,Upwork found that freelancers made up 36% of the American workforce in 2021.

As a freelancer, it’s easy to put the expansion of your own enterprise on the backburner in the name of meeting your more immediate client goals or focusing solely on your craft, whether it’s design, development or social media marketing.

“It’s common to think of your work as a hobby in the beginning, especially if it’s something you love,” says ,Diana Kelly Levey, a professional writer who coaches freelancers. “But if you don’t treat your work like a business, you won’t take yourself seriously, and clients won’t take you seriously, either.”

For Levey, treating her work as a business means investing time in marketing, outsourcing busy work, and setting more competitive rates. And she found that once she started approaching her craft as a business, she could charge more and attract bigger clients who have more respect for what she does. (Read more: ,How to land your dream clients with account-based marketing campaigns)

This shift in mindset can be valuable for freelancers across industries and specialties, even if they’ve been in the game for a while and are ready to expand as an agency (perhaps, especially if they’re ready to expand as an agency). While it’s true that most freelancers start their solopreneur careers because they’re passionate about their work—often creative work—that doesn’t mean creatives can’t be business-savvy. In fact, they need to be. You need to be. Here’s how to reframe your freelance practice as a full-on business.

Write a mission statement. All legitimate businesses have one, and remember, you are a legitimate business. You can put this mission statement on the “about” page of your website and use an abridged version on your social media accounts. But in a way, the most important benefit is an internalized sense of focus: a mission statement can be your north star, helping you determine what projects to pursue and which to turn down. Here’s ,how to write a mission statement in 5 steps.

Create a business plan. There’s passive freelancing, taking whatever assignments land on your desk, and there’s active freelancing, where you steer the ship where you want it to go. “When I first started out, I took anything that came my way, but now I think about where a project will take me a year from now or five years from now,” Levey says. To do this, too, you’ll need a business plan. “As a freelancer, it’s important to consider how many days off you want and how many hours you want to work,” she adds. “Once you determine these things, along with your annual financial goal, you can set your rates and reach out to the appropriate clients.” We’ve got a ,business plan template you can use here.

Charge more for your services. Think about perception here, not just money. “If you charge low rates and seem wishy-washy with rate charging, then you can accidentally give the impression that you don’t know what you’re doing,” Levey says. “Charge accurately by doing your research online and people will take you more seriously.” (Join the ,Wix Partner Community on Facebook to ask other professionals for advice.) Importantly, this also attracts more serious clients, who value the work you’re providing. Here’s ,how to charge more for your services without losing clients.

Commit to marketing, even when you’re busy. “Marketing means different things to different people, but to me it means reaching out to new clients and previous clients, posting on Linkedin, sending a newsletter, and writing on my blog,” Levey says. “It’s hard to do that when you have a lot going on, but it takes a while for outreach to turn into money in your bank account, so the time to reach out is actually when you’re busy.” This helps you avoid the lows.

Rebrand yourself. Not everyone had a website when Levey first started her freelance business almost 20 years ago, so building one helped her stand out and look more professional. Of course, a portfolio website is non-negotiable today, but the advice remains the same: your online presence matters. Here’s ,how to nail your thought leadership strategy and ,feature case studies on your site.

Don’t worry about losing sight of the creative work along the way. Once you have a business, marketing and growth plan that reflects your brand, you’ll increasingly score projects and clients that align with your goals and core values.

Find this article useful? Discover more industry insights, agency best practices, and inspirational stories when you join the ,Wix Partner Program.

By Kiera Carter Editorial Director, Wix

<![CDATA[These ‘design thinking’ strategies can keep your agency innovative]]>https://www.wix.one/partners/post/these-design-thinking-strategies-can-keep-your-agency-innovative63c05b4051a55d2c890dc308Thu, 12 Jan 2023 19:14:04 GMTIdo Lechner

Innovation is a key underpinning in every agency’s growth strategy, now more than ever. In an ever-changing business landscape under the pressures of economic uncertainty, it’s reinvent or fade, which means agencies need to innovate to stay relevant and resilient.

How can agencies make innovation a systemic practice, instead of a sporadic undertaking?

Two words: design thinking.

Design thinking is a collaborative methodology agencies can leverage to create an innovation process that withstands the test of time. The term was first coined by cognitive scientist and Nobel prize laureate Herbert A. Simon in 1969, but it didn’t hit the mainstream until 1991 when global design and innovation firm IDEO popularized it as a business practice. Now, it’s been rapidly adopted by some of the world’s leading brands, including Google, Apple, Airbnb, Netflix, Starbucks and Nike, and is also taught in leading universities across the globe.

Design your way to a better innovation process model

Design is more than creating beautiful websites; you can also design processes, policies, business models and ecosystems. As Steve Jobs famously said, “design is not just what it looks and feels like, it’s how it works.”

That’s what design thinking stresses: a non-linear, iterative process used to deepen teams’ understanding of users, challenge assumptions, and create innovative solutions to prototype and test. It's a way of reflecting on concepts to create feasible, viable and desirable solutions to complex problems.

For agencies, this can be used to address roadblocks along the customer journey, redefine strategies, improve the employee experience or launch a new service altogether. The opportunities are limitless, so prioritize which road you’ll go down by assessing the impact, difficulty and cost of not addressing each problem.

The phases of a design thinking process

Design thinking isn’t only used to solve problems; it’s used to identify the right ones to tackle. Teams often discover halfway through the process that the original challenge they embarked on doesn’t quite hit the target of the deeper, more profound issue at play. Through this work, they unravel new challenges initially invisible to the naked eye, that when solved, yield profound impact.

Consider this example. When dental care brand Oral B enlisted the help of designers Kim Colin and Sam Hecht to upgrade its electric toothbrush, the company’s original request was to add more functionality such as frequency tracking, gum sensitivity detection and playing music. By undergoing the design thinking process, they came to realize that for many people, brushing their teeth often feels overwhelming; they don’t necessarily want gimmicky features ,(see: avoiding ‘featuritis’), instead they made the product easier to charge on the go and created replacement heads.

This is one of many examples that point to the importance of not assuming what your clients want. Instead, follow the design thinking process—up next—to discover their true pain points and unexpressed needs.

Empathize: Determine a challenge and map out all the stakeholders involved (hint: it may be more than just your clients). Understand each stakeholder’s needs and pain points by speaking with them directly. Don’t form any opinions just yet; remain objective and open to collecting information. So, if you’re working on a web design project for instance, you’d first want to form a cohesive understanding of your client’s clients, partners, investors and competitors before jumping to any conclusions.

Define: This is where you can begin to pool your information and identify patterns. It’s here teams synthesize information to express the big ideas behind them. This stage is sometimes referred to as sensemaking, so keep in mind that you can only ‘make sense’ of accurate information. That’s why the empathy stage is so important.

Ideate: Once you’ve crystalized your understanding of all the stakeholders and ,their respective core values, you can begin to mix and match insights to create new solutions. Collaborate with your team to envision the best possible ideas to take forward.

Prototype: Transform your solutions into tangible MVPs (minimal viable product). That is, the most basic, barebones form of your idea that conveys its core functionality. It's best practice to isolate the most important aspect of your idea when creating tangible solutions, as opposed to trying to bake in every ingredient in one shot.

Test: Run qualitative and quantitative analyses of your prototype. Use your MVP to determine how people think of and use your creation. This is critical for reflection and iteration since design is never truly finished. There’s always room for improvement, so it’s up to the discretion of the team when to iterate and when to move forward with a solution.

How design thinking helps agencies innovate

To change your agency’s process, you need to change your agency’s thinking. Design thinking encourages agencies to challenge what they know to be true to see the world in a different light.

Champion diversity to cross-pollinate ideas

Many of the best ideas for your agency are sitting in your employee’s heads right now. To truly embrace design thinking is to form diverse teams made up of different roles, ethnicities and lived experiences where everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas. That’s because diversity yields divergent thinking, whereas homogeneity leads to ‘more of the same.’

To reach greater team diversity, create horizontal roles in your agency that unite the company by connecting teams from different departments or verticals. Implement new ways of getting together to encourage teamwork (such as running hackathons) and consider ,switching to a pod model.

Innovate with your clients, not for them

Design thinkers rarely create on behalf of users. Instead, they engage them throughout the process to design alongside them instead.

This speaks to the collaborative mindset designers must foster to craft solutions that resolve issues at the heart of the matter. But co-developing ideas with your clients isn't a one-and-done moment; true collaboration means ongoingly engaging your clients to bake co-creation into your innovation process. This is powerful, because engaging clients in your innovation process minimizes the risk and uncertainty involved with innovating.

The best way to open up your innovation model to accommodate co-creation is to clearly define your objectives, as well as points of contact with people outside your agency. The saying ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’ rings true here; more important than mapping out action steps is developing a culture of curiosity that allows anything to be questioned.

Build your agency’s storytelling capabilities

The stories you tell inform the way you innovate. Storytelling is critical for design thinking because it provides clarity, aligns employees and informs your strategy. Some of the best designers are also great storytellers because they embed themselves in the shoes of others to project a narrative as if it were their own. Fortunately, storytelling is a muscle you can build in your agency by hiring strong writers, using data to inform your branding and narratives and articulating your agency’s mission and vision.

Make agile decisions

As an iterative process, design thinking affords agencies the ability to pivot on the fly. By testing prototypes early, agencies can optimize for what works and resonates with their clients. This is critical, as agencies often need to move at the speed of insight to deliver against tight deadlines.

Return to the prototyping and testing stages of your project frequently and maintain short feedback loops to address problems and new discoveries as they arise. Run usability tests to interpret how your audience makes sense of your proposed solutions, and of course, make sure learnings are communicated across your agency.

Since design thinking is non-linear, you can use the results of your findings to inform which stage of the process you’ll jump to next. If your solution works, it might be time to start the process anew with a new challenge, otherwise you’ll need to go back to the drawing board to determine what went wrong and how to address it. (Related: ,Win back strategies to turn angry clients into satisfied customers)

Grow your human-centric innovation

According to ,the Harvard Business Review, two of the most common innovation traps are (1) pursuing a phantom opportunity because it seems so big that there must be money in it somewhere, and (2) wandering into a new market where you have no natural advantage. Design thinking avoids both by maintaining a customer-centric stance.

Ultimately, design thinking’s hidden superpowers can be summed up in 4C’s: collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and communication. Together, these ingredients combine into a whole greater than the sum of its parts: human-centric solutions that shift paradigms.

Find this article useful? Discover more industry insights, agency best practices and inspirational stories when you ,join the Wix Partner Program.

<![CDATA[How to write a case study that will help you convert more clients]]>https://www.wix.one/partners/post/how-to-write-a-case-study-that-will-help-you-convert-more-clients63b6e48feace0feb4aad5106Thu, 05 Jan 2023 14:55:02 GMTIdo Lechner

Courting new clients can be one of the most difficult and time-consuming aspects of agency or freelance work. But there’s one tool that can help ease and expedite that process: showcasing your work through case studies. Case studies are the most trusted form of marketing content according to 60% of clients, customers, and consumers, far surpassing visual content (34%) or blog posts (31%) according to a recent survey conducted by ,Marketing research firm Ascend2.

With case studies, you have the chance to demonstrate your skills and emphasize the outcomes of your work. In effect, you’re drawing a line between your work and the results, whether that’s measured in terms of engagement, revenue or another impact. And what you get is instant credibility. It’s like being vouched for — not with a testimonial or recommendation, but with examples and evidence.

Still, it’s important to present this evidence in a way that’s appealing and memorable to your prospective clients, ensuring that they both take the time to look at it and keep it in mind as they shop around.

Here’s how to write a case study that will help you attract new clients and grow your business.

What is a case study?

A case study in marketing is an in-depth example of how a product or service has helped past clients. It usually explains the process in detail from start to finish and shows measurable results.

A case study is normally laid out as follows:

  • Objectives
  • Process
  • Outcomes

Visuals are often included showcasing the product or service, and the results are usually displayed in a graph or other illustration. When successfully executed, the result is a story that lets prospective clients imagine what it would be like to work with you and convinces them you’re the best match for their needs.

What is the purpose of a case study for marketing?

Case studies are powerful tools for those looking to grow their business by attracting new clients, especially in the B2B space. When a business is shopping around for a marketing agency, a set of compelling case studies on hand can ultimately be the deciding factor in choosing one agency partner over another.

Unlike standalone samples that show off top-tier work, a great case study incorporates storytelling, allowing prospects to see how your agency is different in terms of the quality of your work and your processes. And for marketers who are performance-driven, it offers a glimpse at potential outcomes and ROI.

A case study can be a particularly important tool for individuals who are fielding agencies. When you give them strong reasons to put you at the top of the stack, it makes their jobs easier, and it makes them look good, too.

How to write a good case study

First, you’ll want to identify 1) who your audience is and 2) what you’re trying to demonstrate before choosing the right client and project to feature in a case study.

Next, gather all of the background on the project that you’ll need in order to paint a compelling picture. Now, it’s easy enough to start plugging the information at hand into your case study outline.

A case study can be made up largely of images or video, but typically, they also contain a few hundred to a few thousand words of text. Your needs might vary; you know your business and your audience best. The most important thing to consider is how to attract and hold your potential client’s attention. Remember: No one wants to spend valuable time consuming overly long, self-important reports.

Therefore, case studies should be no more than a few pages in length and should contain some visual elements (like photos or charts) to break up the text. They’re usually sectioned off for easier reading — and though the headers of each section might vary, they should align roughly with the elements below.

Here are the four essential parts to include when writing a case study:

1. Introduce the client or customer

Case studies always start with an introduction to the client or customer. The reader of the case study will want to understand if this example is directly relatable to their company and business needs. That doesn’t mean that the client featured in your case study needs to be identical to the prospective client who’s reading it, but they might have a few things in common, such as size, industry or budget. An engaging headline and intro serve as a useful “hook,” which makes the reader want to keep reading.

2. Explain the project’s objectives

Why did the case study’s client or customer approach you? They likely had a problem they needed to solve or a goal they were hoping to achieve. Further details, such as aspirations and challenges, that inform how the project developed could be introduced here.

3. Describe your product or service

This is where you’ll explain how you created the final product or carried out your service in order to solve the client’s problem or meet their goals. Be sure to explain your rationale: Why was this the right product or service for them in particular, at this time? Include your process step by step.

4. Report the results

Finally, you have the chance to share the data that backs up why your instincts were correct. Here are some questions to address in this section:

  • Why did you choose these KPIs?
  • What process was used to measure the results?
  • What length of time was assessed?
  • Were there any other unexpected positive outcomes?

Help the reader stay engaged with graphics and charts. Tie the results back to the original objectives in order to paint the greater story arc. A testimonial from the client about their experience and results can be a great way to close.

Pro tips for writing a good case study

Following the steps outlined above can help you create a compelling case study, but there are a few additional tips to keep in mind that will take your work to the next level and can help your case study stand out from others that follow this standard recipe.

1. Make your client the hero of the story

It’s important that your prospective clients can see themselves in your case studies. Therefore, they shouldn’t be all about your work and how great your team is, which is likely to come across as promotional. (Besides, in a well-written case study, those elements will shine through anyway.) The hero of the story is your client: What drove them to find you in the first place? How did they feel once they realized you were successfully helping them resolve their original challenge? This is the heart of good storytelling. Explain the experience from their point of view.

2. Customize your case studies

As with all client engagement and marketing efforts, it’s important to understand your audience. This way, you can be sure to share case studies that address all of their questions, concerns, hopes and needs. (This might ultimately entail creating a small suite of case studies to resonate with your various lead types.) For example, if you’re targeting mom-and-pop shops, you might lose them with a case study featuring a huge global corporation.

3. Rely on eye-catching visuals and strong writing

Don’t forget the importance of eye-catching graphic elements and well-crafted copy. These aspects are vital to a solid case study — and what sets it apart from a dry and boring business report. Draw in your audience first, then drive your message home. Think of this as yet another chance to show off your skills.

4. Add concrete data and relevant metrics

As stated earlier, it’s not only important to showcase your awesome skills — it’s imperative to prove the results of that work. The more you can lean on measurable metrics to showcase how your work benefited previous clients and campaigns, the more obvious it will be that you’re the best choice as a business and creative partner.

Time to write a case study

Take some time to analyze some case study templates or examples online. See if you can dig up any case studies by other agencies in your niche, taking note of how you could take things up a notch or differentiate yourself from them. After all, just as with any marketing collateral, the goal isn’t to look like everyone else but to showcase what makes your brand unique.

Nailing a case study is just one of many ways to grow your client base. Discover more agency best practices when you, join the Wix Partner Program.

<![CDATA[7 ways to take your multichannel marketing strategy to the next level ]]>https://www.wix.one/partners/post/7-ways-to-take-your-multichannel-marketing-strategy-to-the-next-level63b442e20148356209b04088Tue, 03 Jan 2023 15:01:02 GMTIdo Lechner

Businesses in search of new products and services use multiple channels to identify, research and select vendors.

Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of B2B interactions with buyers and sales will happen on digital channels, which means that marketers must reach prospective clients across different platforms, channels and devices.

As an agency leader, you may have dipped your toes in multiple marketing channels, but your efforts aren’t truly unified until you create a multichannel strategy that considers the customer experience across your entire marketing ecosystem.

What makes a multichannel marketing strategy successful?

Popular digital channels like social media, search engines, SMS and email give agencies the opportunity to present different content types and messaging based on where buyers are in their decision-making process.

Offline channels like direct mail, print, radio and television help support a more comprehensive multichannel strategy.

As small business buyers gravitate towards a self-serve approach to seeking out new service providers, multichannel marketing is essential to reach them. Some key benefits of a multichannel marketing approach:

  • It gives you a single view of your customer: Multichannel marketing forces you to unify your customer data, providing insight into how customers are interacting with you across multiple touchpoints. It provides visibility into a holistic buying journey that often involves multiple interactions between the buyer and the vendor before a decision is made to purchase a product or service.
  • It enables consistent messaging: Since a multichannel marketing strategy considers every phase of the buying journey, it allows you to create a cohesive plan with content and creative that remains consistent across platforms, devices and channels. This makes for a better overall customer experience.
  • It increases reach: The goal of multichannel marketing is to reach customers across the many touchpoints and channels they use during the buying journey. The multichannel approach increases reach by ensuring your content and brand appear where buyers are likely to be, including in digital spaces like peer review websites, social media, SMS and email, but also offline via direct mail, radio/television and in-person industry events.

7 steps to creating a multichannel marketing strategy

There are many moving parts to consider when developing a multichannel marketing strategy, but getting started doesn't have to be overly complicated. The following steps provide a good road map for agencies who want to move from a single channel to a multichannel marketing approach.

01. Establish goals and KPIs

Define the goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) for your campaign. You can start by benchmarking past campaigns to determine which tactics and channels have worked well for your agency. Goals should be tied to measurable results—rather than focus on superficial metrics like clicks, sales and conversions. The total number of conversions isn’t as important as which channels drive the highest value leads.

Evaluating existing and past clients can help you identify which channels are most likely to resonate with your highest value prospects. Nailing down clear objectives will help inform which channels to prioritize and what creative approaches to take.

02. Identify your buyer personas

Creating buyer personas, or fictitious representations of the type of customer your agency wants to target, helps you understand who your audience is and the challenges they face. This will shape how you approach them when designing your multichannel strategy.

Include details like industries you're targeting, decision-makers you want to reach with your messaging (e.g., marketing managers), and key pain points your agency can solve.

03. Choose the right channels

Think carefully about which channels will be most effective in reaching your target customers and how you can use them strategically. It's a safe bet that digital channels like social media, search engines and email will be effective, but dig deeper to identify which specific platforms and touchpoints will resonate with your audience.

According to ,Gartner, Facebook and YouTube were the top social networks used in making a recent B2B purchase decision. Keep this in mind when creating content, since the type of content you create for YouTube (for example) obviously differs from text-based platforms like Twitter. Don't forget that your website is also a channel - and an important one - that will become the focal point and destination for many of your other initiatives. It should set the tone for the rest of your channels’ branding.

04. Create singular messaging for all channels

Your content should be unified across channels. Use the same messaging and visuals should be so that when customers move from one channel to another, they’ll recognize your brand. Keeping the message consistent will also help with scalability—as more channels are added, you won’t have to create separate strategies for each of them.

That said, make sure you understand the nuances of each channel. For example, LinkedIn is ideal for reaching high-level decision makers, whereas Twitter is better for reaching a larger audience and generating brand awareness.

05. Develop a content strategy

Create a content strategy that outlines what type of content you want to publish and when—from weekly blog posts to monthly emails. Creating content for each channel can be time-consuming, which is why it helps to create a unified set of visuals and messaging so that you can quickly adapt the content to different channels.

Make sure you consider your website when planning content. Content like an informative "About" page and a regularly updated blog keeps your website current, while helping target keywords specific to your niche.

06. Integrate your channels into one consolidated publishing platform

Having a consolidated platform for publishing, tracking and measuring your campaign and performance data is essential to creating an effective multichannel marketing strategy.

Wix Partners can use their agency dashboard to track all channels in one place and get insights into how customers interact with them. You can also use the platform to streamline communication across departments and manage workflows more efficiently. Wix also provides tools like Wix SEO, and Google Ads by Wix to maximize traffic and brand awareness.

07. Use analytics to measure and optimize performance

Campaign analytics are key to understanding how customers interact with your content across channels and what kind of return you’re getting on your investment. Using tools like Wix Analytics Insights helps you measure website engagement metrics like clicks, views, conversions and time spent on a given page.

You can use this data to understand what content resonates with your website visitors and inform how you plan to leverage content, campaigns and channels in the future.

Agency multichannel marketing examples:

  • A buyer views an agency's video on YouTube, then visits their website for more information about a service or topic. They sign up for the mailing list. That same buyer then receives an email from the agency, prompting them to sign up for a webinar expanding on the topic from the original video.
  • The tech lead for a buying group navigates from a Google ad to a landing page where they download your whitepaper about effective mobile design. That same lead sees an ad on LinkedIn for an article your agency CEO wrote about the importance of mobile design. This prompts them to return to your website to schedule a 30-minute needs assessment.
  • The owner of a local flower shop wants to update their website. They ask for vendor recommendations via a marketing group on LinkedIn. When your agency comes up as a recommendation, they visit your website and download an eBook. This enables you to begin an automated email marketing campaign educating them about the services you provide and highlighting your expertise in their business category.

Embrace a multichannel approach

A successful multichannel marketing strategy requires a unified message and an understanding of how customers interact with each channel. That means creating a singular message for all channels backed by the right content strategy. Be sure to identify the right KPIs to measure and use analytics to optimize your performance.