SEO Optimization Tips for Spring

seo optimization

SEO Optimization for Spring

Since website performance and SEO optimization is affected by things such as bad links, sloppy code, and poor content, it is a great time to do a semi-annual tidying to eliminate any problems. What does something like this do for search engine optimization efforts? Here are a few ways to be sure any essential SEO areas that tend to collect internet ‘dirt’ is cleaned.

Analyze with Analytics

Using analytic software such as Google Analytics and run a full array of reports normally monitored, especially important ones like site and page errors. Error reports are the most significant and probably the lengthiest. As much it may seem like doing such work could be put off – don’t do it! Every error detected by analytics tools is one more that is affecting website efficiency.

Inspect your site.

Start the process with a crawl of your site to collect the data you’ll need. Use a crawler such as Deep Crawler (which is especially helpful for sites on Angular, the front-end platform) or Screaming Frog. Crawlers help you identify all manner of metadata and site errors, as well as the server header status for each page. Each of these data points will identify an area that needs attention.

Review Your SEO Optimization

Since it can be somewhat difficult to systematically review websites for SEO, content, and other aspects, adding this job to the twice-yearly cleaning can help make sure it actually happens. Be sure content is correct and complete; review upcoming content ideas to be sure of current relevancy. Discover the latest trends in SEO and coding; update any techniques or HTML to benefit the overall website.

Site Errors

The annoying truth of the matter is that site errors need to be fixed. Many will be simple such as dead links or URLs with typos; others may be quite important. SEO reports can point out errors such as pages missing header tags, nonworking links, and other such information. Troubleshooting site speed may show other types of problems that unknowingly exist. It may be tedious; however, it is necessary to fix page issues regularly. This will improve site speed and result in fewer problem pages on the website.

Social Profiles

Check those important social media pages to be sure that they work, especially for any unknown issues. Be sure links from main websites to different social pages are not broken, out of place, or have been forgotten. Such problems should be corrected quickly, as this can potentially affect website traffic both to social sites and back to the corresponding website.

Claim Your Local Listings

Just like with social media, the more local listing sites you’re on, the better. Find out where your company should be online and start claiming your businesses profiles. Most, if not all of these sites are free and require very little effort to claim. Once you’ve done so, start filling out the profiles with relevant and useful information including products/services, location(s) and contact information. Be sure to save all the credentials for these listings as you may need to update them over time as new products/services come out, you change locations or need to change contact information.

It probably seems like a lot to go through twice a year; however, doing so can keep any website and its search engine optimization efforts functioning smoothly and reaching planned goals with very few concerns.

Have any question about SEO Optimization? Contact us here! 

4 Facebook Marketing Tips for Your Small Business

facebook marketing

Facebook Marketing

Facebook marketing has become essential for any business to have a strong social media presence in the digital world. With over 2 billion monthly active users, there’s no reason to leave this section of your audience potential untapped.

To get started, here are 4 of our favorite tips for your small business to succeed on Facebook.

Post to Facebook at non-peak times

Every time someone visits Facebook, they could have on average 1,500 potential stories to see from friends, people they follow, and Pages. A majority of these posts published during the day with peak times between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. ET.

Engage your fans by asking questions

One of the most popular post types on Facebook? Questions.

It’s one of the recommended strategies by Post Planner, and anecdotally it makes a lot of sense for getting more comments, likes, and interactions from the community. The thinking goes that as Facebook notices people engaging with your content, future content stands a better chance of reaching more people.

Facebook Advertising

Social networks aren’t always the first thing companies think while building local marketing strategies, but Facebook advertising is an exception.

It’s an inexpensive way to advertise your business to the target audience. Like Google, Facebook also knows to buy and click patterns of all their one billion-plus users. They are experts in putting the ads in front of a relevant local audience.

Visual Content is King

Facebook marketing has turned into a very visual realm. Pictures and especially video are gaining more reach on average than text-based posts.

As humans, we are much better at remembering pictures than words. When you post a text-heavy post, your customers will only remember 10% after a couple days. But if you add in a picture, they’ll remember 65%. Your posts will have much more impact if you included a relevant image or graphic with it.

Have any questions about Facebook marketing or your strategies on other social platforms? Contact us here!

How To Reuse Content For Your Business

reuse content

How To Reuse Content For Your Business

Content is a great way to convert visitors, but it’s hard to consistently come up with new and engaging content. But there’s still hope. You can bring in more traffic, and convert more leads by simply repurposing your existing content. Here are some of our tips on how to reuse content for your business.

Turn Written Content Into Infographics

Transforming a long blog post, short articles, or text post into a visually appealing infographic is a great way for you to get your audience to better engage with your content. Actually, it’s been found that an infographic is 30 times more likely to be read than a text article!

It’s less time for a reader to process your information visually with pictures and graphics than just text. Breaking down your current content into more visual posts will help you get more bang for your content buck. Plus, it will get you more engagement from your audience. Parts of the graphic can also be repurposed as multiple image posts for Instagram or Facebook.

Turn Videos into Blog posts and Vice Versa

After you’ve created a video, you don’t need to just upload it and move on. Take the script you created for the video, or write a transcript, and use it as a basis for a blog post!

Or on the flip side, taking key points from a blog post and turning it into an informational video is a creative way to reuse written copy.

Blog Posts into Newsletter

To really get the most bang for your blog post, consider promoting your blog posts in a weekly tips newsletter. You hopefully have a solid list of email subscribers, but even the most dedicated of fans won’t catch every post you write. That’s where your newsletter comes in!

A friendly tips-oriented newsletter can showcase your best blog posts of the week, providing an extra nudge to get users on your site and reading your cream of the crop content.

Webinar into Video Content

Turning one of your webinars into reportable social media videos is a great way to extend the life of your content.

Webinars are a great way to engage with members of your audience, but not everyone can make it to your webinar when you host it. Instead of letting the footage gather dust, you can save, edit, or upload the footage to Youtube to give it life. You can either post the whole webinar, or you can edit it down to multiple short videos on specific topics.

This way no one misses out on your information. Plus, it can be used as an assist to drive visitors to your website.

Turn Longer Posts Into a Series

Why create one long post that no one will read when you can create a series of shorter posts?

If you have a longer blog post, consider dividing it up into a themed series of posts. The posts can help drive engagement, while the shorter lengths allow your audience to fully engage with the posts.

Having any questions on how your business can reuse content? Contact us here. 

Tips for Killer Emails

emails

In today’s market, emails are one of the most effective ways to pique the interest of consumers.

But how do you make sure that your emails are effective? Here are some of our favorite tips for increasing the effectiveness of your email marketing.

1. Think About The Format

All your emails should be optimized for mobile. No matter the device someone reads your email on it should automatically adjust itself to fit their screen.

Luckily, optimizing for mobile is easier than ever before. The majority of emailing list providers automatically provide you with optimized mailing campaigns.

2. A Great Subject Line Equals A Great Open Rate

That fancy template you chose and great copy you wrote won’t matter one bit if people don’t open the message. Increase your open rates by writing intriguing yet concise and direct subject lines. You want to let your audience know what to expect in the email plus entice them to actually open it.

3. Clear CTA

The aim of most email marketing campaigns is to increase traffic to a site, sometimes a specific landing page. No clicks mean no customers, it’s that simple. Always try to include visually striking buttons with text that give readers more than one opportunity to interact with your content.

4. Watch Your Language

If your email is caught in a spam filter, your messages will never reach potential customers. You should avoid any sales-oriented language, using all caps, too many exclamation marks, and hyperbolic phrases like “BUY NOW!”. Poorly formatted HTML in your emails can also hurt how they’re handled. Every spam filter is different, so an email might pass through one filter but get flagged by another. The best way to keep your email out of the spam folder is to test it by sending it to yourself on different email accounts.

5. Add a Personal Touch

Personalization goes a long way. What a lot of marketers fail to grasp is that customers don’t want to be seen as a nameless face. They want to be acknowledged as unique human beings. This is relatively easy to do because all you have to do is indulge in some personalization.

Rather than sending out the same emails to everyone, use the feedback you’re getting to segment your email list. That way you can make sure customers feel like you’re reading their minds. Some people choose to invest in systems that will allow you to add people’s names to the subject line and body of the messages, but this approach is not for everybody. You can segment your mailing list, for example, by geography, age or purchase history and then send messages written specifically for each group.

6. Send Clean Emails

When sending your emails, you need to make your content is visually clean. To increase their readability and deliverability they need to be free from spelling errors, broken links, images, and aesthetically pleasing to your audience.

You should also use shorter paragraphs and ensuring that keywords and phrases relevant to your readers stand out. Including bullet points to help people skim the content and take in the vital points is a great idea to present your content in a clean and concise way. When using images within your email, be sure that they are relevant to your content and they have the correct keywords in their alt-text.

Have any questions about email marketing? Contact us here! 

Radio Marketing: The Pros and Cons

radio marketing

Radio is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you are thinking of ways to advertise your business. Especially in these days of social media and Facebook pages, radio might seem old-school. But radio marketing can be an important part of your media strategy. To do it right, you need to know the pros and cons.

Pros of Radio Marketing

The primary advantage of radio marketing is that it allows a brand and business to target a specific core demographic. Because radio stations have different formats, you can reach a specific group of consumers to raise brand awareness.

It’s affordable

If a brand and business is willing to advertise during low listener times, then getting their advertisement on the radio can be highly affordable. This is why it is so important to explore when a core demographic listens to the radio. The cost per customer, if core demographics can be targeted during off-times, can be incredibly low.

Reach

Radio doesn’t just reach a large number of consumers specifically, it reaches 93% of Americans, and radio is actually the number one in mass reach for adults 18 to 34. It also reaches people throughout the day, even when they’re at work, reaching 41% of listeners between 3 and 7 pm.

Repetition

In the world of radio, an advertisement can be repeated every few minutes and still feel fresh to the listener. If you imagine radio listeners are always spinning the dial and skipping commercials, you’re simply wrong. Nearly two-thirds of all radio listening occasions involve staying on the same station, and that jumps to a hearty 90% when looking at listeners who are loyal to the station. Coupled with the amount of time regularly spent with radio, that means listeners are sure to hear your ad sets. That also means it’s easy to build frequency and help lift brand and ad recall.

Target to a radio audience

There’s a lot of geographic, demographic and psychographic data out there to help brands reach the right audience, especially thanks to their loyalty. This means you can not only select the right station, but you can also select the right daypart based on the genres and shows they love most.

Cons

The primary disadvantage of radio marketing is that the information contained within the ad can be difficult to remember. There is no way for a potential customer to store a phone number, address, or brand name for later like they can with emails, print ads, and other forms of direct marketing. You have to rely on the consumer’s memory to write down key information.

No visual appeal

Humans are incredibly visual creatures, and that can help strengthen the impact advertising has on consumer recall. It can be easier to express certain complex ideas, like how to use a new kind of product, by showing the audience. That being said, the theater of the mind is still incredibly powerful. The right creative can paint a vivid picture in a listener’s mind.

Poor attentiveness and Fragmentation

A primary drawback to radio marketing is that people listening to it are often engaged in other activities, such as driving. Therefore, you don’t get the same level of attention with your ad as you might through other media. It can take many impressions before a listener actually hears your message.

Key times can get expensive

Many brands and businesses like to target key commuting times in their communities for their advertising. This creates a high demand for those times, which allows them to charge more for every spot. The best times often go to those who are willing to pay the most.

Have any questions about radio marketing? Contact us here. 

How To Improve Your Search Engine Ranking

search engine ranking

How To Improve Your Search Engine Ranking

Here are important factors when trying to improve your search engine ranking.

Keywords are key

The first step to choose the search term or phrase you want your page, blog post, or website to show up for. If you’re writing a blog post on the best ways to grill a burger, you’ll need to find out what people are actually searching for to find that answer.

What makes a good keyword?

The answer is both broad and targeted keywords. Search engines will associate specific keywords with their more general phrases. When you use both on your site, it will help the site become an authority on the subjects you discuss.

A general term may yield a higher search rate than more specific terms, but search engine ranking for a target keyword phrase will give you a higher conversion rate.

Where to include the word?

It’s important to include your keyword in all of the necessary locations to ensure your page ranks for the word. First, your page title should contain your keyword. You should include it and make the title interesting enough that people will want to click on the title to read your blog post or webpage. An engaging title can help you pull in your audience and turn them into customers with your engaging content.

Including your keyword in a header will not only help you organize your page but will help it rank. This organization is helpful not only for people in skimming blog-post articles but it’s also helpful in showing Google exactly what your blog post is about. Therefore, be sure to use your exact keyword phrase at least once in your sub-headers.

Next, if your blog post contains images, you can use them to cement how Google will crawl your page about your post’s topic. There are a couple of ways to do this. You can change the image name and the alt tag.

To change the image name, simply change the name of the image on your computer before uploading. Instead of a file called “2831274.jpg,” you can rename it something like “juicyburger1.jpg.”

The “alt tag” is something you designate after you upload the photo to your website. Without getting too technical, the alt tag is simply the text that the web browser will show if the photo can’t load for some reason.

Research your competition

Good content is better than none, but bad content is worse

Now that you know what your competition looks like, it’s time to create the content that is going to blow those folks out of the water. This is perhaps the most difficult part, but it’s the most important. Your content needs to be engaging for the reader, and written so that your audience and Google can understand it.

Links for Search Engine Ranking

-Internal

If you aren’t talking about your best content, why should anyone else care? For this reason, it’s important that your best SEO content is linked to internally by other pages on your website.

Yes, this means you may need to go back and edit some older posts to include links to the new, incredible content.

-External

Okay, finally we’re finally at the big one: external links.

External links are links from websites other than your own. Google relies heavily on external links to determine how good a post is. And this makes sense, doesn’t it? You can talk about yourself and your own skills all day long, but no one will believe you. But as soon as other people begin bragging about you, others take notice.

While producing incredible content may get you some links, the truth is, you are going to have to do some “link building.” This means reaching out to other website owners in the space to ask for links.

Have any questions on how to improve your search engine ranking? Contact us here.

 

The Pros and Cons of TV Advertising

TV advertising

TV advertising reaches a larger audience than the newspaper or radio. They allow you to display your message with sight, sound, and motion. TV, in all its forms, is the world’s favorite video. On average, TV accounts for 90% of the average viewer’s video time. But with growing costs and production time, is creating advertisements for TV profitable for business’ in today’s climate?

Today we’re discussing the pros and cons of TV advertising.

Pros of TV Advertising

TV advertising has a large reach

TV reaches a much larger audience than local newspapers and radio stations, and it does so during a short period of time. As long as the advertisement is able to gain the attention of the targeted viewers, you will be able to make an immediate and lasting impression. It tells the viewer that you are serious about what you are offering. It also gives a viewer some video evidence that you can offer a superior product or service compared to the competition

TV advertising has a big impact

TV advertising often reaches consumers when they’re at their most attentive and alert. When you air a television advertisement, you often have a captive audience. The average American spends four or more hours a day watching television, according to the Nielsen Company. The chance of a viewer channel spinning during their program of choice is low because they don’t want to miss anything, and even some On Demand viewing options disable the ability to fast forward through limited commercial breaks.

TV advertising is multisensory

By putting your brand, service, or product there, you’re able to convey a message with sight, sound, and motion that can leave a lasting impact. TV ads allow you to show and tell a wide audience about your business, product, or service. You can show how your product or service works, demonstrate the benefits of ownership, and show how it’s packaged so prospective customers will know what to look for at the point of sale.

TV advertising helps you establish a brand identity

How your message is presented to the public is a way to add some personality to your brand. They give you a chance to be creative and attach a personality to your company or product. TV ads give you an opportunity to be creative and to give your business a real sense of personality. That’s a great way to connect with customers and to build a loyal clientele that keeps coming back for more

Cons

TV advertising can’t be changed easily

Unlike display ads, social media posts, or even print ads, you can’t hop in and change a TV ad without shooting a new ad or at least contacting the network. If you do choose to change anything, it’ll cost you more money. Also, changing a TV ad isn’t just expensive; it’s also a slow and time-consuming process. Re-shooting and producing an updated video can take days or weeks, making it impractical to adjust your TV ad strategy on the fly. And even if you do manage to make changes to a TV ad campaign, the people who view your ads might notice the changes and find them confusing.

TV advertising can get expensive

No other advertising medium will eat up your budget as quickly as television. Even if you’re buying late-night cable TV spots, air time can run into thousands of dollars. You’ll also have to deal with production costs, including hiring scriptwriters, actors, editors, and other professionals. An ad agency can coordinate this process and even help you design an entire ad campaign, but they’ll charge you by the hour to do so. And since TV ads are far more effective when they’re viewed repeatedly, you’re going to have to buy multiple ads.

TV advertising makes it hard to target

One challenge, of course, is the fact that even niche cable TV channels still appeal to relatively broad audiences: stay-at-home moms, for example, or retirees. Also keep in mind, however, that TV advertisers have a hard time knowing exactly who sees their ads at any given time. This lack of feedback gave rise to the old adage that half of all advertising works but nobody knows which half! This doesn’t mean TV advertising is completely ineffective; it has its time and place. But if your business wants to reach very specific audience groups or access detailed analytical feedback, consider using online advertising instead.

Pros Vs Cons

People decide if they are interested within 10 seconds of seeing a video. So it’s up to you to decide if the pros of Tv advertising outweigh the cons. In advertising, that leaves no time for anything else. Ads on TV need to be compelling from the start. Fortunately, there is a solution for catching your audience’s attention: professional video production. Professional video is a great way to create rich content for your business. We have all the skills necessary to turn your video dreams into a reality. Contact us here.

How To Improve Your Content Marketing

content

Content Marketing

Content is everywhere. From viewing street signs to reading articles on the internet, content is a major part of our day-to-day lives. Anyone can start a blog and create content, but great content marketing is about creating stellar content with a purpose and strategy.

One of the most important ways to lure in potential clients or customers is to make sure your content is catchy, consistent, and entertaining. Here’s how:

Catch Their Eye

8 out of 10 people won’t read an article/blog if the title isn’t appealing to them. So, focus on creating a catchy, relatable title. Some ideas include: stating an unknown fact that will entice the reader or create a list-style subject line. List-style articles make it easier for people to skim.

Less Content is More

When writing, make sure to keep sentences and paragraphs short. Most people skim over what they read in order to save time. It’s important to be consistent, so keep paragraphs to a 3-4 sentence maximum. Another option is to use bullet points. This way, readers can jump right to what they want to read.

Don’t be boring!

If you want your readers to stay interested, you need to write conversationally. Nothing is worse than reading something boring and awkwardly formal. If you write as though you’re addressing a good friend, people are more likely to be absorbed in your writing.

Educate your prospects.

A blog is essentially a publishing platform for your business. It allows you to speak directly to your prospective customers and educate them about what your business does. Educating is far more powerful, more trustworthy and more relevant to website visitors than pure selling or even traditional marketing content. Education means that you have thought about their situation and can anticipate the questions they may have. It also means that you understand who they are.

Why blogging?

By publishing blog articles, you create relevant content for your site. For some businesses, it’s very difficult to actually update website content and a blog platform provides you with a solution to that problem.

Publishing content on your blog enables you to attract organic traffic to your site. These are new visitors who are finding you because of your content and not because they are searching directly for your business and your company name. In so doing, you are expanding the circle of awareness and opportunity for your business.

Remember that generating blog momentum takes time and commitment. The sooner you start, the sooner you see results. Plan on a minimum of 24 to 50 articles before you can expect to see the traffic build-up.

Why are Videos Important?

In the marketing and advertising world, content is key. Video has recently become one of the most prevalent ways to pique an audience’s interest. Therefore, it’s only fitting to create a type of video that immediately appeals to consumers.

Since the average attention span is decreasing rapidly, it’s crucial to keep all forms of content short, sweet, and to the point. The shorter the content, the easier it is for people to remember it.

Short-form videos have the power to get right down to the point, which first catches viewers’ attention, and ultimately leaves them wanting more.

Another perk of the short-form video is that smaller file sizes are easier to upload. In the end, that saves you time!

How to Create Them

Reevio, a web-based video-making platform, allows you to create and edit professional-quality videos or animations. It has the largest library of templates of any online video software. Additionally, Promo by Slidely lets you create customized marketing videos that include music and logos.

All in all, short videos are the best way to grab attention online. The best part? Shorter equal less work for you!

Have any questions about improving your marketing ventures? Contact us here. 

4 Things You Should Know About Advertising on the Radio

radio advertising

Advertising on any medium will take a lot of prep, strategizing, and effort from your business. Radio advertising is no different. Today we’re discussing everything you should know before looking into advertising your business on the radio.

Radio is very cost-effective

Digital and TV advertising are not as cost-efficient as radio advertising.  The costs associated with advertising on the radio have grown less than other common forms of advertising. Newspaper advertising rates continue to climb as circulation for printed newspapers has fallen. More viewers record shows so they can skip the commercials, which means costly Television commercial rates run the risk of being unseen.

It’s easier to have consistent messaging through Radio because it’s cheaper than other mediums.

If you’re looking into saving even MORE money with radio advertising, you should look into purchasing your ads further in advance. This will help reduce the costs of your time slots and could maybe convince your buyer to include a bundled service package or discount.

Radio advertising has the largest reach

According to a recent report from Nielsen, radio has the highest weekly reach across all American age groups, as more than 90% of all adults listen each week.

Reach is required if your objective is promoting your business. If you want to talk to a lot of people about your brand you should look into advertising over a longer period of time, advertising during multiple times of day, using a few different stations, and taking advantage of short-duration commercials. An advertising strategy using six-second ads at the beginning of every commercial break all day long. Or you could opt for: 15-second ads with a short and sweet message.

Radio is great for branding

With radio advertising, you are front and center in the listener’s attention span when your ad is on the air. You’re never buried on page 42 and you’re never surrounded by your competitor’s ads on the radio. You’re always on the front page with radio.

Radio advertising can be very effective for branding and awareness campaigns, or for specific calls to action. It’s important to remember the modern shopper and their journey. As such, only making use of one channel for any given campaign is lessening the success rate of the venture.

Brand recognition is fortified with radio advertising in ways other mediums just can’t compete with. More than 243 million American adults listen to the radio each month. Frequency is a specific component and kind of “secret sauce” when it comes to the principles of media advertising and is unparalleled anywhere else.

Great ROI

Additionally, radio is a great way to get the most bang for your bucks. The medium offers huge returns on your advertising investment. Radio can even deliver an average 8$ incremental sales for every $1 spent on advertising. 

As a small business owner, measuring the ROI of your advertising efforts is critical for success. You shouldn’t continue spending money on campaigns that aren’t delivering results. Even if the radio works for most businesses, you should analyze the ROI, and track how much business it brings you.

Have any questions about advertising on the radio? Contact us here. 

Why Radio Advertising Is Still Relevant

radio advertising

Advertise. Rinse. Repeat.

The great thing about radio advertising is that it generates substantial bang for your marketing buck. In fact, when done properly, businesses can experience exponential growth within the first year or two. Businesses that use radio experience tangible results in terms of metrics like brand visibility, website traffic, and overall revenue.

Radio matters to businesses. It reaches more people than any other medium, is relevant in today’s culture, and is highly trusted by loyal listeners. Most importantly, it helps businesses grow their bottom line.

Psychologists tell us that consumers need to be exposed to an advertising message at least three times before it begins to resonate. When businesses review their advertising budget and take this factor into account, radio is one of few mediums to choose from that offers an affordable, repeat-ad plan.

Brand recognition is fortified with radio advertising in ways other mediums just can’t compete with. More than 243 million American adults listen to the radio each month. Frequency is a specific component and kind of “secret sauce” when it comes to the principles of media advertising and is unparalleled anywhere else.

Targetting Your Radio Advertising.

You hear a lot about millennials, the so-called lucrative consumer segment that most brands spend all their money on. However, the over 50s are one of the fastest-growing and richest demographics in the United States, according to research. And with a great radio commercial, you can target this group effectively and generate more leads to your business. It’s not just the over the 50s, however. All age groups listen to the radio at some point, providing you with ample marketing opportunities.

Pinpointed advertising on the station or stations that best match your customer’s interests is like serving them their favorite meal at the time they expect to eat and that targeted effort can save you dollars. Even with all of these proven reasons, the method you will choose will depend on a number of factors – who your target audience is, and what your budget will allow.

Due to the targeting potential in radio, from access to the local community to the ability to address very specific submarkets using individual stations, a well-crafted radio message can provide the insight necessary to reach the right listeners – the individuals who likely will become customers. Once you know whom you’re talking to, it becomes much easier to determine an authoritative, trustworthy way to communicate.

Spend Your Money Where The Ears Are

Facts are facts. Radio is a top medium for adults of all ages, 93% of us listen to AM/FM radio over the airwaves, which is higher than TV viewership (88%), PC use (50%), smartphone use (83%), and tablet use (37%).

With radio advertising, you are front and center in the listener’s attention span when your ad is on the air. You’re never buried on page 42 and you’re never surrounded by your competitor’s ads. With radio, you are always on the front page.

The costs associated with advertising on the radio have grown less than other common forms of advertising. Newspaper advertising rates continue to climb as circulation for printed newspapers has fallen. Television commercial rates are costly and run the risk of being unseen as more viewers record shows on DVR just so they can skip the commercials.

Radio resonates for longer than other mediums. In fact, studies show that average radio listening times have more than doubled in the past five years. While a YouTube ad or banner ad might be momentary, radio commercials continue to produce results. Consumers hear the radio on their commute to work, for example, making this a profitable marketing opportunity.

Have any questions about radio advertising? Contact us here!

A Great Process Equals A Great Design

process

Great Process. Great Design.

Having a great process when designing is important to produce great work. You will have a smoother path from the beginning to the end. Everybody’s process is different, but there are some key points that you should remember: Research, brainstorm, creating a mood board, sketch, putting your design ideas into the computer, and refine.

Research

Researching before you jump into your design is important because it will provide you with an arsenal of inspiration and information to pull from for your designs. The more inspiration you have to pull from, the better. Your research process could be gathering images or written information. Putting together a visual library will help you get started. Some good places to look are designspiration.net and Pinterest. Designspiration.net has a wealth of images and designs from professionals to students of design in almost any subject you are looking for. Pinterest is great for keeping track of what is trending. Even using Google to find images works just as well. This is for you to help you in your process. You might learn something in your research and it may help you in another project or design in the future.

Brainstorm

This is when you take all the information you’ve gathered. You can make word webs or lists of keywords to get some general ideas out. This can help you think outside the box. See where your word web will take you. Brainstorming should be done quickly. Don’t dwell on something for so long and talk yourself out of an idea. At this point, no idea is a bad idea and you’re going more for quantity than quality. If you find yourself hitting a block go for a walk or take a break and clear your mind. Don’t feel pressured at this stage. After you’ve finished your idea generation talk it over with someone and see if they have any additional ideas to add to what you already have.

Mood Boards

Mood boards are helpful in that you can create a visual feeling and make sure you are on the same page as the person you are designing for. A mood board is a collection of images and typography to establish a feeling for your design. It can be structured into a grid or expressive. These boards can be made by hand using found materials or made digitally. Whatever way works best for you. There is no wrong way to put together a mood board if it is conveying a mood. You can reference your mood board throughout your process to make sure you are keeping on track. Making more than one with different moods can help you narrow down what direction you would like to go in.

Sketching

Sketching is important in design. This is a visual way to get your ideas out. At this point, it’s helpful to get out the good, the bad, and the okay at best. I find that if I can get my cliché ideas out of the way first I can move on to more creative ones. Just like with brainstorming you are going for rapid ideation and quantity over quality. You’ll worry about quality later in the process. I also prefer to do a lot of sketching or thumbnail sketches, which are ideas sketched out roughly. They don’t have to be finished, just enough to get the idea across. Don’t be afraid to draw from your brainstorms and research. Use different materials, such as pens, pencils, markers, even crayons. These may help to generate unique ideas and styles.

Computer

Putting your ideas into the computer is where you really start to see your ideas come alive. Take your best ideas and digitize them. Here they will begin to take shape into something more substantial. Sometimes what you think looks good on paper doesn’t quite work on the screen. That’s okay. You can try one of your other ideas. Something to keep in mind is that the design process isn’t always a straight path, sometimes you have to take a step back to get the most of your designs. When working on the computer, I find that working with several different unique designs and working on them helps to create variety to choose from.

Options

If you are designing for someone they are going to like options. Also, this is where you can push your designs. Don’t be afraid to break them and try something different. As long as you are saving copies you can always go back. Take risks. If you are working in Adobe Illustrator, you can create multiple artboards to test out your variations and in Adobe InDesign you can create new pages. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, especially if you can find people who are in your intended audience for the piece. This will help you create a better design.

Criticism

Criticism doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You also have to use your best judgment for what is a good critique and a not so good critique. If you are designing for print, print it out and mark it up. Your colors will be darker on paper and you can catch little things that just don’t look right. A computer screen is lit from the back making everything brighter and more vibrant.
Once a single design has been decided upon, you can make revisions and refine it. Really nitpick. You want your design to communicate clearly and concisely. This is when you will finalize your design and present it.

These key points will help you stay on track on your designing journey and make it a smooth process from beginning to end. Remember to research, brainstorm, create a mood board, sketch, put your ideas on the computer, and refine. Don’t be afraid to take risks. The most important part of the process is to have fun with your designs.

Have any questions about designs or marketing? Contact us here. 

What Instagram In-App Payments Could Mean for Business

Instagram In-App Payments

An Instagram in-app payments feature was just added early this month.

This new feature allows social media users to make purchases on Instagram. How? Users can add a credit/debit card to their account, with a pin for security. After they set-up and verify the accounts, users can make purchases through their Instagram account.

Instagram hasn’t stated when it plans to roll out this service.

Weaving commerce more deeply into social media apps offers potentially huge rewards for companies behind the apps, as well as those with products to sell.

Instagram says that more than 80 percent of its 800 million-plus users follow a business on the social network. With numbers like that, the Facebook-owned company will be keen to build out its shopping services to draw in more advertisers and boost revenue even further.

What does this mean for businesses?

You’re able to show your product and store where your customers already are.

One of the biggest challenges businesses face is getting your customer to your store and check out.

While Instagram already offers shopping opportunities via tagged items shown in an image, making a purchase currently involves navigating a pop-out page and completing various steps, including entering payment details for each new merchant.

Instagram in-app payments are now erasing that hurdle for businesses. Your customers won’t even need to leave Instagram to purchase the product you’re showing on your feed. The more steps involved in the buying process, the more likely a customer is going to fall out of the funnel.

It might not seem like Instagram is the place for businesses to communicate with their audience, but Instagram reports that over 200 million Instagrammers actively visit a business profile every day.

How will Instagram in-app payments work?

One of the first equipped is a dinner reservation app Resy. Some of its clients’ Instagram Pages now offer this native payment for the booking. And in the future, Instagram says you can expect direct payments for things like movie tickets through the app.

A tap through to the terms of service reveals that Instagram Payments are backed by Facebook’s Payments rules.

With its polished pictures and a plethora of brands, shopping through Instagram could prove popular and give businesses a big new reason to advertise on the app. If they can get higher conversion rates because people don’t quit in the middle of checkout as they fill in their payment info, brands might prefer to push people to buy via Instagram.

The whole point of Instagram not allowing links in captions is to keep you in a smooth, uninterrupted browsing flow. Getting booted out to the web to buy something broke that. Instagram Payments could make impulse buys much quicker, enticing more businesses to get on board. Even if Instagram takes no cut of the revenue, brands are likely to boost ad spend to get their shoppable posts seen by more people if the native payments mean more of them actually complete a purchase.

How can businesses utilize Instagram in-app payments?

Whenever a new trend or update comes to social accounts, your first thought should always be “How can this benefit my account?”?

Once Instagram opens up the payment option to the general public, you’ll be able to enable your audience with the ability to purchase your products and services directly on Instagram.

Until then, there are things you can do to prepare for the upcoming update.

Make sure you have an Instagram Business account

Business accounts provide businesses a lot more flexibility when it comes to managing your account and presence on Instagram.

They allow you to have an office location and hours in a separate section from a regular Instagram bio. Business accounts also have access to helpful analytics and promotional tools.

You’re also able to boost specific posts that will help you reach a wider audience.

Make sure your site is mobile-optimized.

Since you’re wanting to drive your audience to purchase from you online, the first step is to drive them to your site and store. Instagram is a mobile app, so visitors will be accessing your site from their phone or another mobile device.

Giving them a poor first impression will seriously hurt your chances of ever nurturing them into a customer.

Looking to the Future

Overall, the Instagram in-app payments update is very exciting for businesses and customers alike. Instagram is helping streamline the buyer’s journey through their app, and we’re excited to see how this will pan out.

Do you have any questions about marketing on Instagram or other social sites? Contact us here!

Must Have Social Media Tools for Small Businesses

social media tools


Must have Social Media Tools for Small Businesses

Here are some must-have social media tools for small businesses

Twitter

You can use Twitter to build connections with a relevant audience. These connections can lead to actions across a network of loyal customers for your business. As a local business, you can use Twitter to promote special promotions, deals and or coupons to your followers and audience. There are a lot of different strategies to use for this.

Facebook

Facebook is a great opportunity for a company to make online sales, get a following around the brand, and create a platform where customers can discuss products. Marketing on Facebook has become essential for any business to have a strong social media presence in the digital world. Therefore, with over 2 billion monthly active users, there’s no reason to leave this section of your audience potential untapped.

Instagram

Instagram’s highly curated and personal environment is more likely to inspire action. The content is seen as trustworthy, authentic and relevant. Additionally, over the past couple of years, Instagram has become a powerhouse in the realm of social media. With over 700 million monthly active users, the platform has become a great place to share content with your audience.

Tumblr

Tumblr is the best place for creators to find an audience for their content. There are over 200 million blogs publishing 80 million posts per day. Therefore, it’s a great way to get your content seen by a large number of users.

Pinterest

Finally, Pinterest is an online tool for collecting and organizing images. The platform has become important for some people to find inspiration and new ideas, particularly designers.

Have any questions? Contact us today! 

Website Design Trends for 2018

website design trends

Website design trends are constantly changing from year to year. This makes it hard for designers and agencies to keep up with the latest web design and tech advancements.

We’re here to help though. Let’s take a look at some notable web design trends coming poised to take over in 2018.

Website Design Trends

Bright Colors and Bold Fonts

To complement these modern design styles, you’ll need type font that stands out. Bold font styles help users focus on your content, while the whitespace makes it easier to read and skim through.

The goal is to create an easy and enjoyable experience for the user to keep them on your site for as long as possible and eventually convert them into paying customers.

In 2018, we may also see these fonts and colors taking the place of images. This makes sense for mobile especially. Unlike images, which slow pages down, scaling the size of your typography won’t impact performance.

Sticky Elements

All those tiny ads at the bottom of apps and mobile websites are making their way to desktop and tablet designs as well. And it’s not just ads in this down screen location, chat boxes, pop-ups, notifications, and even navigational elements are sticking to the bottom of the screen.

This less obtrusive location is a prime viewing area and mobile usage has trained users that these types of placements are acceptable.

Animation

Small, simple animations can surprise and delight users. They can also help provide information and lead the user through more active engagement with the design.

But subtle animation isn’t about a loading feature that hides logging time, it’s movement within the design itself.

To make the most of subtle animation in the design stick to a couple of basic rules: pick just one animation “trick” and stick to it, animation should feel realistic and mimic the laws of physics, don’t force sound or click actions to motion and make sure the animation plays on a reliable loop so users know when the animation is complete.

Interested in improving the design of your site? Contact us here!

Facebook Marketing Do’s and Don’ts

Facebook Marketing

facebook marketing dos and donts


Facebook Marketing Do’s & Don’ts

Facebook marketing has become essential for any business to have a strong social media presence in the digital world. Therefore, with over 2 billion monthly active users, there’s no reason to leave this section of your audience potential untapped.

Here is a list of do’s and don’ts

Do’s

Keep It Short

Fewer words get more engagement, think of Twitter.

Post Frequently

Keep your Facebook audience informed by posting photos, promotions, and special offers. Also, provide relevant links.

Be Genuine

Connect with your user in a non-robotic way. Also, talk in a conversational way.

Get Feedback

Listen to your users, it will help you develop new products and improve on the existing ones

Respond

Don’t get tired of answering questions and responding to feedback on Facebook. Also, never forget to say thank you.

Don’ts

Always Sell

Use the 80/20 rule, 80% content, 20% product

Spam Your Audience

Don’t overpost and annoy your Facebook audience. Also, avoid oversharing or ranting about employees or customers

Talk Politics

You may lose potential customers whose opinions differ from yours

Go Dormant

Fewer posts, less value for future posts from Facebook’s algorithm. Users will also forget about you.

Ignore

Finally, ignoring may only add fuel to the fire, respond with your email and settle the matter privately

Have any questions about Facebook Marketing? Contact us today!

Visual Content Marketing Facts

visual content


Visual Content Marketing

Discover why you need a better visual content marketing strategy

Content is everywhere. From viewing street signs to reading articles on the internet, content is a major part of our day-to-day lives. Anyone can start a blog and create content, but great content marketing is about creating stellar content with a purpose and strategy. This past year, we’ve seen the importance of visual content emphasized by the changes that occurred across almost every major social network. Including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. At the same time, both video and infographics have become powerful tools for brands looking to communicate more easily with their readers with visual content marketing.

Social Media Stats

Tweets with images received 150% more retweets than tweets without images.

On Instagram, photos showing faces get 38% more likes than photos not showing faces

Facebook posts with images see 2.3x more engagement than those without images

57% of teens use Instagram, and nearly as many as (41%) use Snapchat.

46% of marketers say photography is critical to their marketing and storytelling strategies.

34% of marketers selected visual assets as their most important content

73% of content creators plan to prioritize creating more in 2016

Have any questions about visual content marketing? Contact us today! 

Marketing Trends for 2018

marketing trends

2017 is drawing to a close, and it’s already time to start thinking about next year!

The goal of any business is an overall improvement. Therefore, one way to ensure your business stays on top is sticking to marketing trends.

Here are our top 4 trends you should focus your marketing going into 2018.

Social Marketing

It is worth dealing if you invest in social marketing to promote your brand. The social media platform is the one which takes information from you and prevails this information among thousands of people in a few seconds. Such as Facebook’s News Feed. Almost every business today has adopted the news feed.

Smart Content Marketing

Content marketing is all which can win the whole game of marketing in the future. Quality content is prepared to understand the needs of your potential customers. For this, the smart content approach is used by various marketers nowadays.

Content marketing professionals used to add personalization elements in their content in order to drive better performance. To fulfill the needs of your customer you should create customer-centric content.

Video Marketing

Additionally, a video is a key element in video marketing. Whether it is a simple ad, top commercial regarding anything or any other informative thing, videos if embedded into this would surely attract most of the people and provide visually-rich, interactive content to them in order to convey their message.

As a result, the audience takes considerable action towards it and further like it or post it or share it by making use of various social channels viz. Like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. The high-quality content video is the demand for the future now.

Automation

Finally, marketing automation is a great tool for marketing which automates all marketing activities easily. It mainly includes behavioral Email marketing, CRM, and web personalization. It allows marketers to use their time and efforts in an efficient way to get potential customers and for lead generation. Therefore, it combines your marketing campaigns across all channels from direct mail to social initiatives.

Have any questions about marketing? Or looking for help improving your marketing ventures? Contact us here!

 

4 Holiday Marketing Ideas for 2017

holiday marketing

Are you ready to cash in on the holiday shopping craze? If so, you need to create a few holiday marketing campaigns to attract customers to your store. But, creating marketing campaigns takes time, and who has extra time during the holidays?

To take the hassle out of the holidays, we’ve put together a list of four holiday marketing ideas that every business can and should use during the holidays.

Run a Social Holiday Marketing Giveaway

Speaking of Instagram, another great way to utilize the platform is by running a social media holiday giveaway. We’d recommend running a social campaign across all the major platforms your business uses to get more and more eyes on your business.

And who doesn’t like free stuff, especially during the holidays? Whether it be a big discount, a free add-on with an order or just something completely for free, get into the holiday spirit of giving. Typically, asking followers to comment, share, like, etc. are great tactics to get even more engagement with your giveaway.

Make Seasonal Emails

If you’re not incorporating the holidays into your email marketing campaigns, you’re making a big mistake! Holidays instill powerful memories into your shoppers’ minds, so enticing them with fun seasonal emails is a great way to connect in their inboxes.

Pull at their Heart Strings

While holidays may not be loved by all, most people have an emotional tie to them. And we all know that emotions drive action, so now is the time to get emotional with your marketing.

Emotional doesn’t mean you need to make every one of your audience members cry – even using humor in your messaging can go a long way during the holiday season.

Build Customer Loyalty with Personalized Gifts

Lastly, don’t forget about marketing to your customers.

Small acts of personalized kindness towards your customers make a huge impact and can strengthen the relationship, turning a happy customer into a brand advocate.

Use these tips to make all of your holiday marketing dreams come true!

Have any questions on how to increase the reach of your holiday marketing? Contact us here!

 

Cleaning Up Your SEO For Fall

SEO for fall

Since website performance and optimization is affected by things such as bad links, sloppy code, and poor content, it is a great time to do a semi-annual tidying to eliminate any problems. What does something like this do for search engine optimization efforts? Here are a few ways to be sure any essential SEO for fall areas that tend to collect internet ‘dirt’ is cleaned.

Analyze with Analytics

Using analytic software such as Google Analytics and run a full array of reports normally monitored, especially important ones like site and page errors. Error reports are the most significant and probably the lengthiest. Don’t put off the work! Every error detected by analytics tools is one more that is affecting website efficiency.

Review Your SEO for fall

Since it can be somewhat difficult to systematically review websites for SEO, content, and other aspects, adding this job to the twice-yearly cleaning can help make sure it actually happens. Be sure content is correct and complete; review upcoming content ideas to be sure of current relevancy. Discover the latest trends in SEO and coding; update any techniques or HTML to benefit the overall website.

Site Errors

The annoying truth of the matter is that site errors need to be fixed. Many will be simple such as dead links or URLs with typos; others may be quite important. SEO reports can point out errors such as pages missing header tags, nonworking links, and other such information. Troubleshooting site speed may show other types of problems that unknowingly exist. It may be tedious; however, it is necessary to fix page issues regularly. This will improve site speed and result in fewer problem pages on the website.

Social Profiles

Check those important social media pages to be sure that they work, especially for any unknown issues. Be sure links from main websites to different social pages are not broken, out of place, or have been forgotten. Such problems should be corrected quickly, as this can potentially affect website traffic both to social sites and back to the corresponding website.

It probably seems like a lot to go through twice a year; however, doing so can keep any website and its search engine optimization efforts functioning smoothly and reaching planned goals with very few concerns. Don’t overlook this important fall website tidying effort – and keep that website running like new!

Have any questions about updating your SEO for Fall? Contact us here! 

6 Killer Tips for Great Websites

website

As a business in today’s world, it’s important now more than ever, to have a functioning website that works well and looks amazing.

Today we’re going to discuss the basics that are important to have a website that you and your audience will love.

Colors, colors, colors

Color is critical on web pages, but colors have meanings to people, and using the wrong color can have the wrong connotation if you’re not careful. When you create your web color scheme keep in mind color symbolism.

Spellcheck is your friend

Very few people are tolerant of spelling errors, especially on a professional website. You lose credibility from your readers and audience when you have errors in your text. Having a rigid internal editing process is a great way to cut out the mistakes and put a clean, professional site in front of your customers.

Loading Times

If you do nothing else to improve your web pages, you should make them load as fast as possible. You also need to consider mobile visitors who may not have such wonderful connection speeds at the moment that they are visiting your page! The thing about speed is that people only notice it when it’s absent.

Stop, Navigate and Listen…

If your readers can’t get around on the page or on the website they won’t stick around. You should have navigation on your web pages that are clear, direct, and easy to use. The bottom line is that if your users are confused by a site’s navigation, the only place they will navigate to is a different site altogether.

Be available

If someone cannot easily contact you on a site, they won’t! That likely defeats the purpose of any site hoping to be used for business reasons. If you do have contact information on your site, follow up on it. Answering your contacts is the best way to create a long-lasting customer.

Links need a destination

Broken links are another sign for many readers (and search engines, too) that a site is not well maintained. Unfortunately, link rot is something that happens without even noticing. Even if links were coded properly at the launch of the site, those links may need to be updated now to ensure they are all still valid.

Interested in updating your website or have any questions about design? Let us help! Contact us here.