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Digital Marketing

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the advertising of products or services through digital technologies. Examples of these technologies include search engines, social media, email, and mobile apps. Today’s businesses utilize digital marketing as one of the most efficient forms of communication amongst their customers. While there are many forms of digital marketing, each digital marketing strategy can be customized for a particular target market.

What is a Digital Marketing Strategy?

As we mentioned above, there are many different types of digital marketing approaches. For this reason, it is important for every business to develop a digital marketing strategy that will help advertise the products or services for a particular group of customers. It is essential to narrow down ideas that can be executed within the different arenas of digital advertising; for example, these include content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and video marketing.

What are Marketing Analytics?

Marketing analytics are crucial to the development of any digital marketing strategy. The utilization of marketing analytics will help your business to measure, manage and analyze its marketing performance. These results will help you figure out how to be more efficient with your digital advertising methods.

How can a Digital Marketing Agency Help your Business?

A digital marketing agency strives to produce results-based marketing with digital strategies. In other words, traditional marketing strategies (such as cold calling and direct mail) are generally dismissed among digital marketing agencies. The idea is to provide digital marketing strategies through the use of an agency that is made up of digital marketing professionals with years of experience in this field.

B2B vs. B2C

There are two types of models that businesses usually adhere to: B2B and B2C. B2B stands for business-to-business. This is when you sell products or services to businesses. B2C stands for business-to-consumer. This is when you sell products or services to customers in the general public. Every business needs to establish one of these models in order to hone in on the proper type of digital marketing strategy. For example, B2B strategies are much different than those of B2C strategies. With a B2B strategy, the marketing efforts need to be designed in ways that are attractive to a business as a whole, rather than an individual consumer.  

How to Develop a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy

Take a look at these how-to steps to help guide your forward with your digital marketing strategy:

  • Set your goals. Establishing your goals will help shape the overall strategy.
  • Evaluate the tools that you have on hand. It helps to understand the framework that you have in place when it comes to digital channels and assets. You can use these digital assets to help get started with your plan. You can add more assets along the way as you develop your plan further.
  • Create a content strategy. Develop your content and establish a landing spot for each piece of content that you develop. Whether it is social media, a video, or website content, an established guide will help you place these content pieces in the right spots.
  • Monitor your results. At the end of the day, you need to rely on analytics to get a handle on your results. If something isn’t working, you need to be aware of the issue so that it can be adjusted in a way that will improve your ROI (return on investment).

Keeping up with Digital Marketing

Let’s face it, technology moves fast in today’s world. Digital marketing is an ongoing component of every business that requires time and dedication. For this reason, many businesses will turn to a digital marketing agency for assistance. These are trained professionals who regularly keep up with all of the latest trends and tactics that are relevant in the world of digital advertising. At the end of the day, digital marketing is all about finding efficient ways to reach your customers. It takes a thorough, well-thought-out strategy to achieve this goal.     

SEO Trends For 2019

In 2019 we have some new emerging trends in SEO as well as trends that have been on the rise for several years now. Let’s take a look at seven of the most important SEO trends to keep in mind in the coming months.

  • Less organic traffic to your site.

Because the use of search engine results page (SERP) features, that are becoming more and more commonly used by search engines, click through rates (CTR) are at an all-time low. One way you can avoid this is by not using simple keywords, basically nothing you could look up and be able to find the answer without clicking on a single link. An example of this type of query could be the searcher asking for the time in Tokyo, most search engines have features built into the results page that shows whatever time you searched for. (Plus advertising giants like Google are still looking to please their investors and reducing organic traffic means more money in their pockets.)

One way you can reduce the effects of SERP features is by building and maintaining your brand and creating brand loyalty among your customers. In the end, if you want to maintain or grow traffic to your sight, hiring a search engine optimization company may be your best bet!

  • Voice search gaining more and more popularity.

Voice search has been on the rise for quite a while now, but it’s just going to keep getting bigger and bigger. The good news is that there are little changes to be made to your current SEO process in order to optimize voice queries. One difference is that voice search requires simpler, easy to read content. In a case study done by Brian Dean, research found that most Google voice search results were written at a ninth-grade reading level. Plus, according to Bright Local, “58% of consumers have used voice search to find local business info in the last 12 months.” So, since local searches still depend more on the distance from searcher to business than, searchers may need to have more detailed queries to find your website if you’re not as close as the other guy. For instance, instead of “digital marketing Boise” they may have to say “search engine optimization Boise” to get the results they’re looking for.

  • Mobile searches still on top.

In today’s society, everyone seems to be constantly on the go, busier than ever. Due to this, mobile queries have been and will continue to be the majority of all internet searches. While mobile searching is really similar to desktop, it is critical that you make sure you are optimizing for mobile users and the UX needs to be on brand and easy to use… which brings us to our next trend of 2019.

  • Pretty matters and UX is more important than ever.

Ever come across a very poorly designed website? You know the type, tons of white space, confusing (or nonexistent) navigation features, just overall boring to look at and hard to use, maybe even glitchy. This can actually be detrimental to you and your organization because people generally make their decisions based on first impressions and aesthetics, not necessarily the content on your page. Make sure to keep UX in mind and keep your loading speeds high, your pop-ups and disruptive ads low, and your site mobile friendly and you should be in good shape. Another thing to keep in mind is user intent (UI). When considering keyword placement make sure your content matches the intent of the keyword and can actually be useful to the searcher or this can hurt you too.

  • Don’t discount backlinks.

So you’ve optimized for mobile, you’ve made sure your website is looking amazing, and your content is well written and easy for voice searches to use as a result, that’s all there is right? Wrong. Never ever forget about the importance of backlinking. While UX is extremely important to the success of your site, backlinking may be even more important. In a study of over 1 billion web pages in their content index, Ahrefs discovered that “there’s a direct correlation between total linking root domains and total organic search traffic.” So don’t get too caught up in UX that you forget that this is the most important ranking factor.

  • Need for accurate, well-written content.

The internet is HUGE. Trying to wrap our minds around the actual size of the entirety of the internet is pretty difficult. In order for your site to stand out amongst the billions of other web pages, you NEED to make sure your content is well written, accurate and easy to understand. Your information needs to come from a credible source or you will lose traffic to those who do.

  • More video.

YouTube reports that by 2021 80% of all web traffic will consist of video. If this doesn’t convince you that video is extremely important to your site’s success, it should. Owned by Google, Youtube is the second largest search engine, so it should not be forgotten. Plus, pages with video are 53 times more likely to show up on the first page of Google search results, so adding video can be a simple step in order to increase your site’s traffic.

How Video Can Help Your Marketing and Online Presence

We all enjoy a good YouTube video or even a funny commercial, but have you ever considered the benefits of using video as a marketing tool? Here are our top five reasons why not using video as a marketing tool can leave you in the dark ages:

 

It is highly digestible.

One of the best things about video is how, when used properly, information can be laid out in a way that is extremely easy to understand. Video requires much less effort from the audience and is therefore way more likely to be watched through completely than an article is to be read from start to finish. Plus, with 90% of consumers watching video on mobile devices, video content is ideal because it can be accessed and watched from anywhere in the world.

 

It can be entertaining and engaging.

While there are many different types of video, the best ones for online marketing are explainers, interviews, product reviews and demo videos, live video and video ads. While these may seem pretty straightforward, there’s a few key factors you may not have yet considered.

 

Types of Videos for Online Marketing:

 

  • Explainer
  • Interviews
  • Product Reviews and Demo
  • Live
  • Video Ads

 

 

1. Explainer Videos – These type of videos are great when you release a product that may need more explanation, for instance this video made by GTBank, a Nigerian financial institution, has a short anecdotal hook at the beginning and then proceeds to explain what their newest application is and how to use it. It is entertaining and funny and has almost two million views on YouTube, which is awesome exposure for the company. It’s also animated which can be a great choice for explainers and video ads as using storytelling as a marketing technique engages more people and is overall more memorable content than the alternative. After all, 97% of marketers say videos help customers understand products and help them to make purchasing decisions. (explainer videos are also great for social causes too, like this video that illustrates the dangers of texting or talking while driving)

 

2. Interviews – Say you work for a company that spells specialty shoes that are supposed to improve posture, circulation, etc. Making a video interviewing someone like a foot and ankle specialist who can give an expert recommendation for your product can be extremely useful. This is also a great opportunity to bring in social media influencers or celebrities who can vouch for your product and get your video more exposure as well.

 

3. Product Reviews and Demo Videos – Ever heard of user generated content, or UGC? This is the perfect opportunity to spread awareness of your product to potentially a previously untapped audience. You or your company can use brand ambassadors to make their own content or review of your product and promote it to their followers. This is especially important when trying to reach a younger audience as many college students are willing to be a brand or campus ambassador just for the experience. Another great thing about UGC is that because it is mainly posted and shared on social media, you can actually consider it a form of market research, helping you to identify key publics to appeal to and where to put out your main messaging. There is also a ton of YouTube videos that are product reviews and serve as free or earned advertising, assuming it’s positive feedback of course.

 

4. Live Video – Live video is great because it builds trust in your company or organization by letting your audience get to know the inner workings of your organization. This type of video is more engaging as it’s seen as a more face to face type of interaction than just you sending out messaging to your audience. It’s also fun and interesting for consumers to see a “behind the scenes” view of your company, it’ll make them feel more familiar with your company and in turn fosters brand loyalty.

 

5. Video Ads – As we mentioned before, storytelling is a great marketing technique, and while a picture is worth a thousand words, video ads that have a distinct beginning, middle and end are much more entertaining and memorable than their still counterparts. In 2017 84 Lumber wanted to increase brand awareness for their company so they created this video ad. It has an emotional appeal, grabs people’s attention and is very memorable. Another good approach for video ads could be illustrated or animated because they can advertise your product in a way that is understandable and retainable.

Videos give high ROI and Search Engines love websites with embedded videos.

To make a really professional, good looking video, you could either hire a video production company, or try to do it yourself. Now either way, it is going to cost you, but because video can reach such a large audience, you have the potential to make back the money you spent on the process and then some. Also, search engines like Google love videos embedded in websites. In fact, they love them so much that pages with video are 53 times more likely to show up on the first page of Google search results than those without. This is a great way for your company or organization to improve your search engine optimization, or SEO, because search engines see video as high quality content.

 

Video boosts conversions and can improve sales.

In a study conducted by Social Media Today, 90% of consumers claim a video will help them in making a purchasing decision. Since most people look at product reviews before making a purchase, having a video that stands out from the rest can boost sales and improve your conversion rates.

 

It is easily shareable.

Consumers prefer watching a video to reading an article, so keeping that in mind, creating a video that is entertaining, engaging, tells a story and is also consistently branded has the potential to go viral and in turn increase traffic to your website, which, once again, can lead to more sales and conversions.

 

If these reasons didn’t convince you that video is an excellent marketing tool, you might be interested to know that YouTube reports that by 2021 80% of all web traffic will consist of video. Another reason to get ahead of this trend is that 81% of businesses are already using video for marketing purposes. So, next time you sit down to write an advertisement, consider using a video instead.

 

7 Reasons to Drop Yellow Pages and Get On Google

7 Reasons to Drop Yellow Pages and Get On Google

If you are still paying your $100 monthly fee to stay “relevant” in the Yellow Page phonebooks that most people use for kindling, now’s the time to ditch them. In an increasingly digital world, it’s safe to say that most consumers go to Google when they are looking for a new service – whether it’s a doctor, dentist, plumber, restaurant, yard service, you name it.

Think about the last time you were wanting to try a new restaurant or that time when your furnace broke and you needed an HVAC tech. Did you thumb through the phone book that you had so readily available? Maybe…But more likely, you pulled your phone out of your pocket and did a quick search on Google.

If you own a small business that offers local services, then you totally need to be showing up there! Maybe you know this already, maybe you don’t, but there are still so many businesses who are struggling to break free of their phone books and who are not on Google. It’s time to make sure you are showing up in the Yellow Pages of the online world.

Google My Business, the online platform that allows you to show up on Google Maps, provides so many wonderful benefits to local businesses and to the consumers who search for them.

Better Conversions

Typically, Google Maps and the businesses it lists are the first things that show up when someone does a Google search for a business or service. You know this, you’ve done it. Because of this, these businesses at the top of the search results often capture the majority of the clicks that come from that search.

And when a searcher comes to Google looking to solve their problem through a new service, they are showing explicit intent to buy. They have that shopping mentality and are ready to make a purchase. So you want to make sure you’re showing up when someone makes that search.

Trust Metrics

Everyone knows Google, and most consumers put high trust into familiarity and big brands. If Google is displaying your information, that trust is then carried over to your business. You might have companies calling you to get listed in their online directories, but their websites are not the first place that consumers go to conduct a search. Google is.

Reviews

One of the most wonderful benefits of Google My Business is that customers can leave their feedback of your business on this platform. Have you ever left a review on Google?

Customers can leave reviews that convert other people who come across your listing. When you do an excellent job providing service and create an awesome product, people will naturally want to share it with others and part of that comes through leaving reviews. Of course, you need to make sure that you are providing the best service you can in order to ensure positive reviews.

Exposure

When your business is showing up on Google Maps, people see it. Not everyone will come to your business the first time they do a search for your service. Some of them might go to another similar business, but if they are let down by that one, you can bet they are going to come back and search again – and who’s going to be there? That’s right – you.

This is also a great tool for brand awareness. Even if people are searching for other similar businesses to yours and don’t click on you, they probably saw your listing, and after a few more times of doing the same search, they will start to recognize your name.

Updating Information

It’s not just about getting new leads, but also about keeping current customers up to date. Don’t make your customers have to call and find out what your hours are or second guess if you’re open on a federal, but not widely recognized, holiday.

If you move locations, change your phone number, get a new website, update your hours – you can share all of that on your Google listing and keep new and current customers in the loop in a matter of minutes. You can’t just backspace and retype your info in a phonebook.

Gain Valuable Insights

Google My Business also offers tons of great insights that have the potential to really help you increase business. Their insights will tell you how people are interacting with your listing – whether they are clicking to call your business, asking for directions, visiting your website, or even messaging you.

You can also see which search queries brought people to your Google listing. If someone searched for “orthodontists in Boise” and your business showed up, but you only do general dentistry, that could be a good indicator that you need to update your website or change the category on your listing.  

It’s Free

And the best part – it’s free! Google My Business is not limited to the big businesses that can afford to show up there. It’s available for everyone. That’s not to say that you will automatically show up at the top of every search query just because you got a Google My Business listing. There are several factors that tie into it, but it gives you a good place to start.

When you are ready to really make the push for local SEO and get your business showing up well on Google, you can find a specialist to help you out.

 

Author Bio

Kaili Killpack is the lead SEO Specialist for Manwaring Web Solutions. She manages SEO for dozens of small businesses in and out of Idaho. Building client relationships, solving problems, writing content, and basking in their successes make her job something that she truly loves doing.

These 3 Things Make or Break your Homepage Header

Here’s the problem:

You have worked incredibly hard to design this beautiful website. You have gone through the rigorous process of gathering content, shooting photos, and planning out the structure of the website. Once that’s done, you still had to build it. You swore to yourself that business would increase because of the new site. You knew it in your gut. It had to work.

But did it work?

Most businesses build the headers of their websites wrong. They try to be cute and clever. They assume a beautiful image, a well-established logo, and a catchy slogan is enough to seal the deal with the visitor.

But it’s not.

The visitor doesn’t care. They have a problem that needs to be solved and they want to do it as efficiently and effectively as possible. Here’s the deal, every human wants two things; We want to survive and we want to thrive. We all have our own problems that we are trying to solve and we look for external solutions or guides to help us solve those problems. So why not make your website as clear as possible? Stop being cute and clever and be incredibly clear with your visitor. Tell them exactly what you do.

So here are the 3 things that will make or break your homepage header. If you are missing any of the 3, then you are leaving money on the table.

Your website should answer 3 simple questions in the first 5 seconds of the visitor looking at your site.

  1. What do you offer?

    Be incredibly clear with as few words as possible. If you are an HVAC company and your service and install heaters and AC units, here is an example of what not to say: “Established in 1972 and serving you for another 50 years”. This is incredibly vague and the visitor has to work very hard to understand what you are saying. Here is a good example to follow: “HVAC Installation and Repair that You Can Count On”. This tells the visitor exactly what you do while speaking to some internal frustration and moves them down the sales process.

     

  2. How does it make my life better?

    The good example above speaks to a better life with “Repair that You Can Count On”. In your headlines, it is important to be crystal clear about how it makes the visitor’s life better. Spell it out for them: “No more unbearable summers,” “No more layering clothing to stay warm”. With this type of imagery, you will paint a picture of how it makes the visitor’s life better.

     

  3. Where do I click to buy it?

    Add 2 call-to-action buttons to the header of your website. The first should be in the top right of the website and the second should be under your main headline. Additionally, your button needs to be a direct call-to-action. Don’t say, “Contact Us”. Use direct phrases like “Call Today” or “Schedule Now”. It might feel pushy to you, but the visitor will never receive it that way. They just want to know what to do next if they are ready to do business with you.

If you look at your website and you are NOT answering these 3 questions, then your website is losing business. Make all of that hard work worth it and double check your header. Your website is too important to be confusing visitors. For a video explanation of this post, watch this video.

BIO

Zach Rinard

Rinard Media

“Most business owners don’t feel confident in their marketing strategies. At Rinard Media, we collaboratively work to build marketing strategies that help them achieve their goals. This frees up business owners to get back to doing what they love. They get more time with their families and ultimately have less stress.”

Social Media Predictions for 2019

Since the world became entranced with social media – or indeed reliant upon it as many would say –
it has been customary for industry insiders to look for future trends. Not only is social media a fun
way to keep in touch with people and share information, but it is also an important business tool. In
fact, there are many who will tell you – and perhaps quite rightly – that it is under-utilized in terms
of marketing.

What do we see as the primary social media predictions for the next year? With 2018 having been
quite a turbulent one in many ways – we have seen a number of data security breaches after all,
with the very public Facebook breach being the one that raised eyebrows – 2019 promises to be a
year of changes, but where will these changes be, and how will they manifest?

We took a look at a few of the predicted social media trends for 2019, so you can take a step
forward and be prepared for what is about to happen.

1: Will Facebook Continue to Decline?

As we said, 2018 has been a troubled year in the social media world, and not the least for Facebook,
which for many is the poster-child of social media. In Europe in particular, user numbers have fallen,
the main catalyst being the major security breach that occurred mid-year.

In fact, when analyzed closely, the information gained was not as great as many of us thought, but
the very fact that it was easily done raised a lot of red flags in the industry.

Furthermore, with the ongoing problems of ‘fake news’ – a big problem with all areas of social
media and not just Facebook – plus concerns that many areas of the platform have become more
politicized, things are not looking great. To add insult to injury, recent updates to the way the page
looks met with little satisfaction from users.

It could be that people are becoming bored with the platform and are more in tune with Instagram
and Snapchat, which focus on much less involvement and faster interaction, but look to the USA for
signs of falling numbers here next year, and it might be the beginning of the downfall of the king.

2: Real-Time Interaction

This is an area that is already seeing some serious movement, and it’s one you need to look closely
at if you are searching for social media trends for 2019. By real-time we mean interaction with
customers in marketing and online retail. Think of it this way: you talk to your friends in real time, so
why not those who are doing you a service?

Yet, it goes further than that; chatbots, for example, are for many online businesses the way
forward. The tools are there – it happens in advertising already – for even smaller companies to have
an automated search bot looking for mentions of its products. Two people talking about a particular product
– be it on Twitter, for example, or any other platform – may find a real-time chat box
opening asking them what they are interested in.

It makes sense; why should anyone wait, when they want instant answers anyway? The next year
could see this as the biggest development in online marketing, and without anyone really noticing!

3: Personalization

There is no doubt that the ongoing personalization of social media marketing is controversial, but
then is there any area of social media that is not? The fact is, we put so much information out there
without even thinking about it, so why wouldn’t marketers use it?

It’s happening to a great degree: head to Netflix, for example, and it will give you a category of
‘Because You Watched. You will find Amazon ads on your pages featuring products like those you
recently searched. It can feel a little ‘Big Brother’, but how many times have you clicked on that
recommended film, or bought the product suggested?

This sort of thing is set to expand across the digital arena in no small way, and in all honesty, it is
nothing more than the modern version of direct mail, in which likely buyers were targeted with
physical maildrops.

You may also find this technique in an advanced form known as ‘social listening’; this is searching for
not only mentions of brands and products, but also monitoring reputations. Don’t get this mixed up
with the current raft of rumors that ‘your phone is listening to you’ – it may be, it may not – but
consider it as just a way of personalizing the consumers’ information for their own convenience.
Social listening relies on things like IP addresses and cookies instead of your phone’s mic, so take off
that tin-foil hat and relax knowing that at least the marketers aren’t listening in.

4: Video Content

The inexorable rise of video content is clear to see. Inspired by YouTube, and enabled by the ability
to film content fit for broadcast on cheap, hand-held devices, it is no surprise that the video is set to
be the digital marketeers chosen weapon when targeting social media.

It’s 2019…Let’s face it, people like to watch video, and don’t like to read slabs of words brought
down from a mountaintop. People like to be amused, and that’s something that is far easier to do in
moving picture form. And, with the tools we have now, you can even ‘go live’ and put out a real-time
broadcast inviting your potential clients to engage with you, on the spot. If we are to credit anything
as the fastest rising medium of 2019, it’s live video content, and video marketing as a whole.
The simple facts remain that social media is fluid, it’s powerful, and it’s here to stay. People sign on
to talk to someone, and if you can engage them with relevant content while you are both online, you
have a live potential customer right there.

 

The trends in social media are moving away from the fun and frivolous towards the practical and
beneficial – beneficial to both the customer and the provider – and it pays to stay one step ahead.
Keep an eye out for the trends mentioned above, and be aware that these are the probable movers
and shakers in terms of social media for the coming year.

 

This post was submitted by our friends at SociallyIn, a social media marketing agency located in Birmingham, Alabama. They were voted one of the fastest growing companies in Birmingham during 2018 and are also known for hosting the annual Southern Social Summit which is a gathering of creatives and social media marketers. SociallyIn is listed in the top 10 social media marketing firms on Clutch.

Engaging and Responding in a Virtual Landscape

Today, the business landscape has shifted firmly into the virtual business realm. Companies establish profiles, build reputations, manage customer relationships, and make transactions online every day. You can spend money on print advertising, creating in-store signage, or launching direct mail campaigns, but the digital arena now requires equal attention.  

By far the best way to communicate with people and connect with them is to employ online strategies for establishing loyal and lasting relationships. It’s a cost-effective and efficient way to do business because it’s much less expensive than more traditional modes of marketing. And customers respond to businesses via websites and social media channels like never before.

The Social Media-sphere

The virtual marketplace has long since spilled over into the social media-sphere. It’s simply an indispensable way to do business by making that one-to-one connection with people who make it their business to find the very best deals and discounts online. So, it’s important to have some kind of social media plan in place, one that takes full advantage of this opportunity to influence ready-made customers in an easy-to-reach venue.

Social media is also an excellent avenue for really boosting your marketing. For example, Facebook enables you to employ direct advertising, and it’s a great way to dip your toe in the water when it comes to building your brand through social media. If you’re not super savvy yet when it comes to social media, use a site like Hootsuite to help manage your profiles and posts. It’s like having a social media team right at your fingertips.

 

Translate Customer Service Into Web Reality

One of the best ways to win over consumers is to make it as easy as possible for them to do business with you. This requires more than setting up an efficient, reliable, and secure payment page. Your customer service ethos has to play out online for everyone to see. Proactive outreach is key — customers should have multiple channels of communication in case they don’t want to wait on hold to speak to a customer service rep. They should be able to easily access any information they need on your website or record a complaint or comment.

Offer friendly customer service “helps,” such as timely payment reminders and making it easy for customers to view invoices and past transaction histories online. Also, send out birthday greetings or a “thank you” note for having been your customer for a year.

Demonstrate Responsiveness

Between your website, social media, and your phone line, there’s no excuse for ignoring or overlooking and failing to respond to requests and complaints. In fact, one failure or oversight in this area is sure to play out online, much to the detriment of your business. Your customers’ thoughts and feelings should be a top priority for everyone who works for you, so monitor them carefully and use the opportunity to point out when and how you responded to a customer need or request. It shows responsiveness, concern, and responsibility.  

Online Reputation

In this day of immediate gratification and overnight successes (and failures), there’s no substitute for knowing what’s being said online about you and your business. To stay on top of these conversations, subscribe to Google Alerts, which will allow you to track your online reputation, thank grateful customers for their business, and take advantage of positive reviews/comments. It’s easy to do and, best of all, it’s free.

Make It Fun to Be Your Customer

Your website is a marketing powerhouse, there’s no limit to how creative you can be. Use it as a venue for entertaining and tantalizing customers. Hint at a new and exciting product or service launches, and employ social media to give small clues leading up to a big announcement, replete with free samples, discounts, and even a giveaway contest. Loyal customers like feeling that they have a special relationship with you, so follow through and prove to them they do.

The great thing about doing business online is that you can accomplish multiple objectives with one well-conceived plan. You can become more efficient, improve your brand reputation, generate new business and make it easier for customers to do business with you all at the same time. Remember, proactive customer service and responsiveness to your customers are essential for your business to succeed.

 

Our guest author, Lucy Reed, has been starting businesses since she was a kid, from the lemonade stand she opened in her parent’s driveway at age 10 to the dog walking business she started while in college.

Google Ads or Social Media Ads – Which is Right for my Business?

It seems like there are so many different options in digital marketing, and for those in business sometimes the information just seems overwhelming and confusing. That doesn’t mean you should avoid digital marketing altogether, on the contrary, internet marketing can provide great exposure for your business at a cost that is generally more reasonable than traditional marketing—and what’s best it works.

What is Your Business & Who is Your Customer?

The very first step is to define your business and your potential client before you hone in on a strategy that will work for you. For instance, if you work in a service industry such as plumbing or appliance repairs, your strategy might look completely different from someone who is selling a specific good. Determine what you are selling and more importantly how your current or potential client come to purchase—then you will have a better idea of how to strategize moving forward.

Digital Advertising Options

While there are many options for digital advertising online, the majority of businesses usually participate in one (or both) of the two big options– Google and Facebook.

Google Advertising

Google is continually growing and changing, but what they always offer are robust options for those who are looking to market online. Even with all the options, most clients tend to rely on two main forms of Google ads.

Google Adwords – Search engine marketing is undeniably effective because it allows you the most important potential client targeting available. When your future consumer is looking for the goods or services you provide, their first stop is almost always Google. There are over 3.5 billion searches on Google each day—and that is activity that should not, and really cannot be ignored. Google Adwords allows you to capitalize on those searches and on that very moment when your potential customer is looking for your product or services by listing your business at the top their search engine result pages.

As a business, you only pay for the ad placement Google provides when someone clicks– which is why this strategy is aptly named “Pay-Per-Click.” Depending on the business you are in, there may be high competition for placement on search engines, which drives up the cost per click.

Google Display Ads – Display ads provide another avenue to advertise your business. You’ve all seen banner ads when browsing—and often you question “How did they know?”. And the while the long answers is complicated, the short answer is: Google. This type of display advertising is generally referred to as remarketing, and it allows marketers to send ads to you based on your search engine or browsing history. It’s sort of a way for a business to say, “Hey! Remember us! We’re still here, come check us out again!”

However, display advertising doesn’t end there. Google has a large family of advertisers, allowing marketers and business owners to place ads on specific websites that your customers are likely to visit. With the large network of advertising and both arms of a display campaign, your company can be everywhere your potential customer is and keep you front of mind at the most opportune times.

Facebook Ads

Social media advertising, specifically on Facebook and Instagram, is a different strategy altogether. Google enables you to introduce your company to a client base that needs your goods or services, however Facebook allows you to introduce your good or service, to someone who may not have realized they needed you in the first place– giving you access to a new potential clientele base that you may have not even known existed.

Unlike other traditional advertising, Facebook allows you to target, rather specifically, to the people who are your most likely customer. While geographical targeting is a feature of most forms of advertising, Facebook goes a step further. Looking to market to parents or mothers? No problem. Want to target to homeowners? Done. Have a product great for outdoorsy folks? Social media can cover that too. You can target so many different interests and determining factors that your ad, and your budget, will me far more effective and allow you a great return on your investment.

 

Which Advertising Platform is Right For Me?

First, they might both be beneficial to your marketing efforts, so take the time to determine your ultimate objective. If you’re in a service industry goal is getting more phones to ring, Google search engine ads is a great way to go. Plumber marketing, for instance, is a great example. When someone needs a plumber’s services, they generally need them immediately and go straight to Google—so a PPC campaign is a great strategy. A company selling a specific product, however, knows branding and loyalty are important, so utilizing social media advertising can help them stay relevant with their client base.

However, in most cases, companies often succeed using a combination of both strategies. It’s also important to consider your budget and competition– cost per click can go up depending on the competition in the field, so do your proper research, or rely on a digital marketing company, that can help you with the process.

Getting Started

Though we haven’t mentioned it just yet, no digital marketing is going to be effective if you don’t have a quality website in place. The website must be up to date and work well with different devices and operating systems. Your site should instill authority and give the potential client a feeling of trust. The website also needs to easily convey contact information—in varying formats, email, phone, contact forms, etc. Landing pages are also an important factor—if you are running an ad for a sale on a coffee mug, but the ad just dumps you on a main page, you’re going to navigate away from that product and never look back. Making sure your ads link to the right pages is of huge importance.

Once you have a webpage that will help encourage new business, then you can begin creating and running ads. A lot of businesses opt to hire professional marketing help to manage these ads, which can often save time and create a much stronger and more effective campaign.

However, outsourcing is not an option for all businesses, and both Google and Facebook are aware of that. Both provide excellent training courses, customer support, and tutorials that can help people navigate the process.

In the end, no matter what strategy you adopt, the results you experience with effective digital marketing are hard to ignore. Analytics and tracking capabilities enable you to see results and utilize that data to reach your overall marketing goal. Don’t be overwhelmed, and don’t be afraid—and if you are, contact us today.

Three Tips for Creating a Great Online Reputation for Your Plumbing Business

How to Create a Good Online Reputation for Plumbing Business in 3 Easy Steps

In today’s digitally focused world, a business’s online reputation is of utmost importance. Before doing business with a company, almost every customer will go online to learn more about their rates, services and, yes, their customer reviews.

An online reputation is especially important in the plumbing industry. After all, people will be letting workers into their homes to repair vital and expensive pieces of equipment. They want to make sure that the workers are clean and respectful, and that work will be completed successfully and fairly.

There are several things you can do to maintain a good reputation in the plumbing industry. The first of these is to build a strong social media presence.

Social Media

Many people are on social media today. Being present on social media will help people to find your business. Establishing the right kind of profiles will also let your customers know you are trustworthy, credible and have good standing in the industry.

Start by using professional photos that feature your workers and the people behind your company. When people can attach a face to a product, it will make the brand seem more personable and relatable. A great company story can also increase engagement and allow consumers to make a personal connection.

Follow up by engaging in conversations with your customers. Ask for their opinions and respond to their questions and comments. This will show an extra level of customer care.

Post regularly to stay present in the public eye and show that your company is on top of things. Share pictures of jobs that have been completed successfully, and your workers interacting with customers. Post informative blogs on your website and share links on your social media accounts.

Managing Reviews

As much as we would all like to avoid bad reviews, they are likely to occur in any line of business. Sometimes mistakes are made or sometimes you are dealing with a customer that is just having a bad day. Either way, it’s important not to dwell on these mistakes, but to deal with them effectively.

Here are some tips on how to deal with a bad review:

Respond promptly: Never let a review go unanswered. Respond promptly. If you wait too long, your customer may get more upset and the issue could escalate.

Be Polite and Professional: When dealing with a bad review, it’s important not to take things personally. Stay polite and professional and avoid being defensive and insulting. If your communication escalates into an argument, it will look bad for everyone involved.

Take the Matter Offline: It is likely that, for customer complaints to resolve, action will eventually have to be taken offline. You may have to send your customer a coupon or exchange to make things right. If this is the case, be sure to mention that in your online communication so those following the thread will know things are being handled on another level.

Be sure to respond to good reviews as well! Let customers who take the time to write something positive about you know that they are appreciated.

Integrate Reviews on Your Website

You can also use your website to help build your online reputation. The best way to do this is to include customer testimonials in your content. You can also include links to 3rd party reviews that appear on sites like Yelp and Google in the footer of your website. Including these links and testimonials will benefit your business in the following ways:

Conversion Rate Optimization: Customers that see positive customer reviews will be more likely to use your business.

Ethical Link Building: Having quality embedded links on your site can help increase your search engine visibility. The links you include to third party sites on your page can work as quality links while showing your company in the best light.

Rich Snippet Generation: If you use structured data, your reviews will be displayed as part of your Google search results.

SEO: Well reviewed companies are likely to rank higher on search engines.

If you are a plumbing business owner, you know how much your business means to you. Reputation management is vital in helping your company to grow and continue to move forward.  Be sure to do what you can to show your business in the best light, so you can keep those pipes clear for years to come!

Digital Marketing Terms to Know

Library

Digital Marketing & Web Development Glossary

You’ve finally decided to take the plunge into digital marketing and immediately you are hit with words and concepts that may seem slightly foreign to you. Fear not, the tech world and the marketing world are working together more and more every day, and digital marketers, like Social Eyes Marketing, have the tools not only to help you succeed online, but to help you understand how you are doing it.

If you are totally new to digital marketing and website development this handy guide may serve to answer some questions and help you understand what those tech people are talking about.

 

A

A/B Testing –  For digital ad campaigns, an A/B test allows marketers to determine what will help an ad perform more efficiently. A traditional A/B test will run two ads simultaneously and measure their effectiveness and response from the audience to determine what method is better received with a specified target audience.

ALT Attribute/Tag – The ALT text will be displayed inside the image placeholder while the page is loading and it contributed to overall optimization of a site for search engines performance.

Analytics – Statistics gathered about website users and how they interact with the website they are on. Analytics can reveal such information as how they got to your site, how many people are on your site, how long they browse, or any specific actions they may take on your website as well.

 

B

Browser –  The software that users implement to navigate the World Wide Web. Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Firefox are all examples of browsers.

 

C

Call to Action (CTA) –  A call to actions is text or an image within an ad that encourages the user to take action, such as “Call Now,” “Learn More,” or “Sign Up Today.”

Clickthrough Rate (CTR) –  A percentage that relates to the amount of times an ad was seen (impression) and how often it was clicked on.

Content Management System (CMS) – An application that enables the building and on-going modification of website content with a simple to use interface that supports multiple users. WordPress is the CMS Social Eyes uses for all their clients’ sites.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) – CSS is the code that developers use to design the look and overall feel of your website. The CSS sets styles for fonts, images, menu, colors and other visual elements.

 

D

Domain – The web address that is entered in to a browser when a user wants to visit a specific site. Our domain is getsocialeyes.com.

Domain Authority – A number based on a 100 point scale that determine how much strength your website has which contributes to how well it will rank on search engine results pages. The higher the domain authority, the higher search engine will rank your site organically.

Display Advertising – In digital advertising, display ads are graphic ads that are shown on a webpage. They can be graphics or video and encourage the user to click on them to learn more.

 

F

Favicon – A small icon image, usually a logo or variation, that appears in the title bar or browser tab, as well as with bookmarks.

Frequency –  The amount of times an ad is shown to the same consumer during an ad campaign.

 

H

Hosting – Hosting refers to the web servers where your website files are stored and maintained in order to be on the World Wide Web.

HTML – Hypertext Markup Language is the code that is used to build web pages. It is more frequently used in conjunction with other code languages, such as CSS and JavaScript.

 

I

Impressions – The number of times an ad is shown to potential customers or clients.

 

K

Keyword –  Specific words and phrases that a consumer or client might be likely to use in searching for products or services. Keywords are specifically chosen by businesses and advertisers to enable their ad to show up in specific search engine results.

 

L

Landing Page –  The web page users “land” on after they click on a display ad or a paid search ad.

 

M

Meta Tag – An HTML tag that stores information about a web page. They provide information about a website and its content to sort websites and display the most relevant information on a search engine result page.

 

N

Navigation – Often navigation refers to simply the menu which contains the links within site, more broadly however it just denotes the way a user can “navigate” the page. Often navigation is also included at the bottom of a webpage as well.

 

O

Organic – Search results that are organic are ones that appear in search engine results naturally based on their determined relevance, as opposed to paid searches, which provide non-organic links via the placement of paid search engine results.

 

P

Page Authority – A number based on a 100 point scale that determine how much strength a page in your website has in relation to how it will rank on search engine results pages. Page authority refers to the specific page, while domain authority refers to the whole site under the domain.

Pay Per Click (PPC) –  Pay Per Click refers to the pricing model for digital advertising where advertisers pay based on the number of clicks a link or ad receives.

 

R

Reach –  The total amount of users who see your ad.

Remarketing –  Showing ads to people who have already visited your site, encouraging them to reconsider your products or services and revisit your page.

Responsive Design – A website with a responsive design will easily adjusts to the screen it is being viewed on no matter what the device the user is on. This is in contrast to adaptive design where there are several different designs to handle the change among devices.

Return on Investment (ROI) – ROI measures the amount of return, or profit, on an investment in relation to the cost of the investment.

 

S

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Search engine optimization is the process that helps search engine understand the information that is on your website in order to rank your site higher and more relevantly on search engine result pages. This is the process to getting you to the first page of search results and in a place more likely to be seen by potential customers and clients.

SERP – Search engine results page.

Slider – A “slide show” banner of images or videos that is usually placed on the homepage of a website.

Social Advertising – Running a paid ad campaign on a social media platform, such as Facebook or LinkedIn.

 

T

Targeting –  Targeting is a specific way to identify your most likely customer based on their various attributes.

Behavioral Targeting focuses their efforts on identifying consumers based on their previous online behavior, such as searches, websites visited and online purchases.

Geographic Targeting helps you select an audience for your ad campaign based on geographical identifiers like zip codes, regions, cities, states and countries.

Contextual Targeting is about selecting audiences based on the type of content they are viewing based on the text that is on the website they are visiting.

 

W

WordPress – Web-based, open-source content management system designed to make accessing the site easy for all users.