LIFT DIVISION
What is with the name "Lift Division"?

Essentially, we help clients "lift" their sales, authority, client base and brand awareness. By increasing a client's online rankings for key searches and developing their brand into one of a thought leader, we can foster some serious lift. Put another way, we like to think of ourselves as an extension of a client's marketing team--or their "lift division".

What does Lift Division do differently than others?

We put a lot of thought into things before we do anything. First and foremost we're laser focused to help clients meet their goals. Whether those goals are increasing sales, increasing new clients and/or better retention of existing clients, we focus on what is important to you. Often, we'll literally do whatever the heck it takes to meet those goals.

But besides working our tails off to make our clients happy, unlike others, we have internal differentiated areas of expertise and a large team to both develop and execute client strategy. With over 25 people on the Lift team, we bring a group of experienced talent to each client.

We also make a concentrated effort to give back. Whether giving back is through philanthropy or educational efforts (e.g. adjunct professors at Mizzou, Startup Weekend Mentors, etc..) we enjoy discovering new ways to invest in people and the community.

At Lift Division, We are experts at inbound and digital marketing and have a proven process of getting results. By
1) performing research and goal determination
2) building optimized conversion mechanisms for new sales
3) ongoing brand and search growth
we've been able to practically guarantee performance. Feel free to check out our case studies or guiding principles some time.

Is Lift Division a web design company?

No. We're actually not a web design company as many may think. While we have designed and developed over 400 responsive websites, we are a digital marketing firm that specializes in inbound marketing and implementing measurable, scalable strategy. Having said that, often website design is an initial step in the growth process. Often we can't deliver maximum value to our clients without first back-tracking and making sure the foundational elements of branding and client conversion are in place before taking next steps. And often that includes updating their website to a modern design. Essentially, we're a marketing firm that also does web design as a step before moving on to phase-two traffic and brand growth.

Do you have annual contracts for ongoing consulting and SEO work?

Generally no. Other companies like to strong-arm business owners into contracts and we hate that as much as you do. We strongly feel our results will speak for themselves and therefore, in most cases we simply bill month to month.

I realize you offer many inbound marketing services. Can I hire you for consulting only?

Absolutely. We can help on a monthly on-going basis or a one-time basis. We've helped business owners consult during strategic planning meetings, we've been paid to meet with boards and we're on retainer with several clients on an "as needed" basis.

What is your hourly charge for service work?

It varies from as low as $50 to as high as $300/hour for our most advanced consulting work. To help our clients get the most bang for their buck, however, we literally charge by the minute. E.g. If we work on a small project for 52 minutes we charge for only 52 minutes.

INBOUND MARKETING
What is inbound marketing?

Well...it's the opposite of outbound marketing. Outbound marketing is promotional advertising (or push marketing) that includes ad purchases in media like TV, radio, magazine and other print advertising. Many have compared outbound marketing spend to "renting" a house. While it can be helpful short-term, it's doing little long-term for building equity in your brand.

Inbound marketing is all about getting in front of your target audience when they are actually seeking your service or products. Unlike most traditional techniques that are interruptive (t.v., radio, magazine and billboard), inbound marketing is non-interruptive. The goal with inbound is to get found when it is most valuable.

Inbound is a pull marketing technique that involves creating and publishing valuable content (articles, blogs, interviews, white papers, case studies, posts, etc...) that get published in various ways. The content created and published naturally draws consumers to one's brand. Investing in an inbound marketing strategy is often compared to buying a house as each investment made in one's brand can have effects many years from now.

Inbound marketing includes solutions like SEO, content marketing, web/app design, social media marketing, email marketing, reputation management and video marketing. (And yes, we do all this stuff if you were wondering. :)

Why is inbound marketing important?

What is the first thing people do when they want to find anything about a business? They look online, right? They probably find your business in a Google search and then research who you are and what you do-often visiting your website first.

Having a great website is vital but it's only the starting point because a website doesn't mean anything without traffic and traffic is only valuable if it converts. Ongoing inbound marketing strategies such as SEO, content creation, authority management and conversion optimization create the opportunity for you brand to be found by searchers who are likely to convert. Study after study has shown that providing value (via the content created and disseminated) can not only create more leads, but those who become your clients often feel compelled to be a brand advocates for your business.

What is the ROI of inbound marketing?

While this completely depends on the strategy implemented, in general inbound marketing actually provides value in more ways than one. Besides converting visitors to customers at a much higher percentage than traditional (outbound) marketing ad spend, inbound marketing builds brand authority in your industry that greatly increases customer retention.

Inbound marketing is actually what we call equity marketing. Every investment made into an inbound marketing growth plan creates assets (articles, infographics, video, etc..) that will have long term value. Why rent media (tv, radio and print) when you can develop your own that can lasts decades?

What is SEO?

If you want to increase the search engine rankings of your website in search for key products or services you offer, SEO is what you're looking for. It's an inbound marketing technique that consists of two very different components. An effective SEO campaign should involve on-page SEO (or things you should be doing to optimize your website) and off-page SEO (generally considered the most important component of SEO).

A word to the wise....it's important to note that while many marketing agencies throw out the word SEO few actually have the staff and ability to perform professional off-page SEO.

How much does SEO cost?

This is a pretty difficult question to answer because each business is completely unique and pricing can vary substantially. In general there are both on-page SEO costs (or things that must be done to the website itself to rank and convert better) as well as off-page SEO costs. Usually on-page SEO optimization begins in the $500-$1500 range unless a new website is needed which will obviously run higher. Off-page SEO (where you generally get the greatest return) is generally going to be a minimum of $750-$1,000/mo or more depending on your business goals.

Unlike other marketing investments in traditional media (e.g. tv, radio, print) one huge benefit of investing in SEO is that the actions performed, whether it's on-page or off-page SEO, can have benefits for many years.

What are inbound links (or backlinks)?

While there are different types of links (e.g. inbound links, outbound links, internal links) generally the links most people care about are inbound links because they're one of, if not the most crucial, component to ranking well in search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Essentially, getting inbound links back to your website across the web are popularity votes for your business. And search engines only want to show the best possible businesses for that searcher. While search engines don't treat all inbound links the same, generally the websites that have more inbound links from really great sites will rank higher in search engine results.

How do you get links back to your website? Many ways actually, but one of the most popular is by creating great articles and getting them posted in rock solid publications.

What is content marketing?

In its simplest form, content marketing is the process of creating relevant and valuable content (e.g. white papers, articles, infographics, video) and getting that content published to your target audience. It is an inbound marketing technique that can attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience to drive a profitable customer action. Unlike search rankings being the goal with a search marketing campaign, creating a stronger, more authoritative brand is the goal of content marketing.

Generally, content marketing is best integrated into your overall marketing strategy and it focuses on owning media, not renting it (like traditional marketing). Unlike the content often associated with link building, which is focused on increasing visibility in search results and campaigning for votes of popularity, content marketing is target audience related. The two, however are very closely linked and are becoming even more similar with the amount and type of content now being produced and published online.

Content marketing can increase brand awareness, build audiences, establish authority and can bridge the gap between searchers simply being aware of your business and searchers trusting your business.

What is online marketing?

Online marketing (or internet marketing) is a marketing term that includes multiple types of digital different marketing solutions and tools to get your company name out to the public. It includes various organic marketing techniques like SEO, social media marketing, and email marketing. It also includes targeted, paid ad purchases such as PPC or banner and display ads which are often considered Search Engine Marketing (or SEM).

Website development is a crucial piece of online marketing and is often a first step before additional marketing solutions should be considered.

Should I invest in outbound marketing, inbound marketing or both for my business?

It really varies on a case by case basis, but generally we believe a combination approach is best. Having said that, we very much believe business owners generally spend way too much money on outbound marketing methods too early. Why? An investment in inbound marketing first, such as website re-design, website optimization or conversion optimization could easily double the conversions of any outbound campaign.

Think about it this way. What do you think generally happens if you invest in tv, radio or print advertising and get someone interested? They typically go to your website and do a little research before calling you, right? Guess what, if you have a crappy logo, a crappy website and provide little value to the searcher, then you're going to waste a lot more money with an outbound marketing ad spend. Getting your branding and conversion funnel right (with inbound marketing) before investing in an outbound strategy can pay off significantly.

How quickly can I see results with inbound marketing and SEO?

Increasing in the results of search rankings (via SEO & authority management) and becoming a thought leader (via content marketing) doesn't happen overnight. Additionally, each geographic market and what competitors are doing can vary substantially. Inbound marketing takes patience (often 3+ months) to start seeing substantial results. But being patient can lead to significant rewards. It is vitally important to remember that with inbound marketing you are making and investment into your business and building equity. The time, resources and dollars spent on inbound marketing can show returns for years after the investment.