Mad Icarus Media

Author Archives: Chris Spinner

Social Media Advertising Will Become A Staple In Marketing Plans Everywhere

Think It’s Not For You? Think Again!

Taken a look at social media stats lately? If not, you should. The numbers are staggering. The ads that run on most social media sites are by far much cheaper than running ads on Google AdWords, both display and search ads.

Why? Well, we’ll get into that but before we do, social media ads are not going to be affordable FOREVER. We are in a sweet spot now. Come 2020-2021, these costs are going to skyrocket and for anyone not getting in on this action now, just know it will cost big to start after everyone else has already taken their training wheels off.

So why is social media advertising so important?

Don’t have time to read the whole blog? Check out our 30-Second Summary. Thank us later 🙂

Organic reach is just about dead for businesses that are just now entering the digital world. Even well-known and visited Facebook pages with hundreds of thousands of likes are suffering from lack of organic reach.

And Facebook simply can’t show your business post to everyone who likes your page, no matter if they have 50 likes or 1 million likes.

If they did this, businesses would catch on and realize they get free advertising from every single like they have and all our timelines would be filled with ads. On the other hand, people could simply STOP liking business pages and then business would stop using the platform as well.

Facebook knows this and made significant changes to please both sides. In part, they only show any given organic post to 6.4% of total likes, according to an article on AdEspresso.com. It’s enough to make businesses feel like they got something out of posting, but also made them realize that if they paid for traffic they could get more. And of course Facebook was happy to oblige.

Getting Your Ads Seen

Facebook also is having a problem finding places to deliver ads, which is why they rolled out the mid-video ads last year. Video viewership is up on almost all platforms, including YouTube, who recently topped Facebook for most used social media network.

LinkedIn also rolled out a video feature to compete with Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Now all social media platforms have video capabilities. So far, Facebook and YouTube are the only ones actively delivering ads in the middle of videos. Facebook just started this but YouTube has been doing this from the start.

Why Are Facebook Ads The Smart Choice?

With this early move to mid-video ads, Facebook has the edge over other social media platforms. But until about 8 months ago, most companies scoffed at the idea of Facebook and video ads.

Many business owners and executives are Baby Boomers who didn’t grow up with social media like millennials did. So they didn’t see the value or relevancy as quickly.

Now that Boomers are among one of the top growing user groups on Facebook, suddenly the idea of running ads there doesn’t seem so weird. And this is backed up by an article on AdEspresso, which found that 93% of social media advertisers are using Facebook Ads. And the even better news? They found that 26% of people who clicked on those ads made a purchase.

So What Does This Mean for Businesses?

With this new awareness, business leaders have to take action now on social media. They now realize that everyone is on social media and this is an ideal place to grab people’s attention.

They need to start diverting some of the marketing dollars into digital ads. Social media ads work and everyone is going to be rushing to take advantage. In order to get in front of the coming rush, businesses need to act NOW. Studies found that cost per ad jumped 17% in 2018, further proof that the ads aren’t getting any cheaper.

Still Think Facebook Ads Aren’t For You?

We get it. Facebook seems like a place for people to post pictures of their kids and not a place where business gets done.

We hear it all the time from our clients. But after we run test campaigns, all our clients saw significant increases in targeted traffic to their websites and sales in different ways.

What Does The Future Look Like?

With Facebook, the number of people who have joined the platform has leveled out. The younger crowd left, seeking newer social media platforms that were designed for them, which is another reason Facebook is driving the “Facebook Watch” part of their platform so hard.

The more engaging video series they have, the more places they have to run ads. This presents another great opportunity for businesses. Any company that wants to do a video series or a podcast should try it out because it’s the best time to do it.

As a nation, we are consuming more video minutes every day and YouTube is exploding yet again, taking the top social media spot away from Facebook.

Bottom line: Smart businesses are jumping on Facebook and YouTube and making these platforms work for them. Now is the time to move, before the platforms are totally flooded and your results are diluted.

30-Second Summary:

  • Businesses that aren’t using social media advertising are missing a huge opportunity.
  • Boomers are among one of the top growing user groups on Facebook.
  • As a nation, we are consuming more video minutes every day on Youtube and Facebook.
  • Now is the time to buy Facebook Ads – it’s only going to get more expensive and crowded in the future.
  • Facebook only shows any given organic post (non-ad) to 6.4% of total page likes.
  • 93% of social media advertisers use Facebook.
  • Costs of Facebook ads jumped 17% in 2018.
  • Businesses that advertise on Facebook see results – 26% of people who click on the ads make a purchase.

Make Social Media Work For You

 

Resources:
https://adespresso.com/blog/facebook-statistics/

We are recognized as Top Brand Naming Specialists on TopBrandingCompanies.com

LinkedIn Set To Explode With Boost From Millennial Leaders

How Millennial Leaders Are Using The Platform

Remember, you heard it here first, LinkedIn is set to EXPLODE over the next year!

Ok, let’s think about this logically for a moment. Millennials grew up on social media and cut their digital teeth on platforms like MySpace, Facebook and YouTube, not to mention AOL Instant Messenger (an oldie but a goodie!). So, as they grow and mature in their career, what do you think their choice in social media platforms is going to be?

More and more millennials are using LinkedIn to build their networks as well as share and gain expertise. About 38% of all LinkedIn users are millennials, according to Forbes. With 2 new people joining LinkedIn every second, millennials’ presence on the platform will only keep growing.

So what does this trend mean for millennials?

Don’t have time to read the whole blog? Check out our 30-Second Summary. Thank us later 🙂

Whether you’re trying to get noticed, attract more prospects or build expertise, LinkedIn is the right place. It’s packed full of decision-makers and influencers – all looking for people and products for their business!

And for those in the B2B space, you couldn’t find a better place to hang out. It’s the top channel that B2B marketers use, according to Omnicore.com. It’s the first place leaders look to find quality content, while still being relatively free of junk articles.

So How Can You Get More From LinkedIn?

Check in daily: Just like you check Facebook and Instagram every day (or 8 times a day like the national average!), make LinkedIn part of your daily social media checks.

All it takes a few minutes a day to check out what your network is doing. Like, comment and share the best stuff. Not only will this raise your profile, it will help strengthen your relationships and make them more likely to help you out with connections, recommendations and other requests.

Fill out your profile: Yes, I know it takes time, but trust me, it’s worth it. The more information you share, the better able other people are to gauge your expertise. The more details and experiences you share, the more likely they are to reach out and connect with you.

Don’t be afraid to show your personality: Yes, LinkedIn is for business, but it doesn’t have to be boring. Put your own spin on business news and world events. Just like you want your website to bring your brand to life, you can do the same on LinkedIn.

Make LinkedIn work for you: Just because everyone else is using the platform for their resumes doesn’t mean you have to. Millennial Josh Fletcher of BAMF media revolutionized the way people write on LinkedIn when he went to a long-form, double-line post, according to Forbes.

With mobile in mind, he made it easy to read and engage with content on LinkedIn. And this paid off big time, as he regularly gets millions of readers for his content.

Think about what you want to get from LinkedIn and tailor your profile and posts to that goal. If you’re looking for a new job, demonstrate your expertise with smart comments on industry news. If you’re building a business and looking for new customers, share helpful information that makes their lives – and businesses – better.

With just 10 minutes a day, you can build a strong network that will keep working for you, even when you’re off doing other things. And as more and more millennials take over companies, LinkedIn will only grow in importance. So, while Instagram is fun, make some time for LinkedIn, too. Trust me, your business and your own personal brand will thank you.

30-Second Summary:

  • Millennials make up almost a quarter of all LinkedIn users
  • As they become decision-makers and leaders, their use of LinkedIn will grow
  • Investing 10 minutes a day to grow your network will help you engage with potential prospects, employees and even employers.
  • Ready to get started? Follow these quick steps:
    • Check in daily
    • Fill out your profile
    • Don’t be afraid to show off your personality
    • Make LinkedIn work for you

Make Social Media Work For You

 

Resources:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2018/02/02/six-ways-millennials-can-take-linkedin-to-the-next-level/#51a9def45022
https://www.omnicoreagency.com/LinkedIn-statistics/
https://bamf.co//LinkedIn-views

Who’s Really Driving Those Big Buying Decisions?

Why Millennials Are The New Influencers

It’s not news that Millennials are making an impact in the business world. But as they make up a bigger segment of the corporate world, they’re becoming the key influencers in many buying decisions.

And for companies to stay competitive, they’ll need to abandon the old approaches to marketing and sales. Instead, they need to understand they’re talking to buyers and influencers with distinct needs and preferences.

So what do today’s companies want?

Don’t have time to read the whole blog? Check out our 30-Second Summary. Thank us later 🙂

Technology Is Changing The Sales Game

As business rapidly goes digital, companies have to adapt. Distributed teams, Skype, GoToMeeting, telecommuting – all new ways of getting things done.

Sales and marketing are hugely impacted by these changes. A few decades ago, most business was done face-to-face, over drinks or on the golf course.

Now buyers are going online to do research, compare products and look at reviews – before ever talking to a sales rep. I’m sure this isn’t news or even a surprise to you, but perhaps those who are helping to facilitate those purchases might be!

Millennials are driving this independent sales process, according to an article on snapapp.com. Unlike some of the Boomer and Gen X colleagues, they actively avoid sales reps until they’ve done their research. Often, they don’t talk to a sales rep until they’re in the middle of their buying process, according to the article.

But many companies are ignoring the impact and expertise of Millennials – creating a major problem for their sales and marketing teams.

Do You Know Your Influencers?

Millennials are between 18 and 35, making them a huge part of the buying process. They make up 13% of buyers and are 28% of the influencers, according to an article on Snapapp.com.

Also called digital natives, they never knew a time without computers and smartphones. The online world and the digital sales process are second nature to them.

With their innate knowledge of technology, they are quick to adopt new tools and proactively seek out new tools and applications to solve their work problems, according to the article.

So what exactly are they looking for? They want solutions that make their jobs easier, feel authentic and align with their social values, according to snapapp.com.

What Does This Mean For Your Marketing And Sales?

Smart marketers and sales teams know that they’re selling to a different market now. The old methods won’t work, so they need to make sure they’re paying attention to their buyers – Boomers and some Gen X – while realizing that Millennials are quickly becoming buyers, too.

In their role as major influencers, Millennials can’t be ignored. Boomers and Gen X buyers are relying on Millennials for their tech expertise, often just signing off on their product recommendations without doing their own research.

So What Works?

Sales and marketing must embrace the digital sales process and make sure that they have the information Millennials are searching for.

That means blogs, videos, reviews, social media posts and more. With Millennials turning to experts and their own network to validate their research, it’s not enough to just have a few blogs. Companies need to think about having that validation Millennials are seeking.

Participating in Linkedin Groups, getting customers to add reviews online and being mentioned by industry experts are all keys to getting noticed by Millennials.

What Doesn’t Work?

There are a few things that marketers and sales reps should definitely stop doing. Cold calls and emails are out, as they only annoy potential buyers, according to snapapp.com.

Buyers also hate those blanket emails that treat them all the same. Personalization is key in today’s digital world. Buyers want to feel like your company understands their unique needs and won’t just be giving them the same cookie-cutter stuff that everyone else gets.

And finally, they really hate it when companies call them when they download a whitepaper, according to snapapp.com. That’s way too early in the sales process to be reaching out. Instead, wait for them to take multiple actions on your site to show they’ve progressed into the buying process. They’ll be much more willing to listen to you and you won’t risk losing a great lead because you annoyed them.

Creating a successful marketing and sales program starts by understanding the new realities of the digital world. Smart organizations will adapt now and make sure they’re speaking to Millennials. This approach will pay off more and more as they become the new business leaders.

Is your marketing ready for the digital world or is it time for a strategic upgrade? Let us help you elevate your marketing.

30-Second Summary:

  • Millennials are the new driving force in the buying process, serving as the major influencers on many decisions.
  • Smart marketing and sales teams need to adapt to the changing buying process.
  • Buyers are relying more on online content, reviews and recommendations from their own networks.
  • They’re not contacting sales reps until they’re in the middle of their sales journey.
  • Companies need to be sure their marketing is speaking to Millennials, as they take on more and more of the buying decisions.

Supercharge Your Marketing

 

Resources: https://b2b.snapapp.com/b2b-buy-research

Boost Your Ecommerce Profits With These After-Sale Actions

Boost Your Ecommerce Profits With These After-Sale Actions

Here’s What You Do Now

Congrats – you got your customer to click the “buy” button. But before you celebrate, take a second and think about how you can actually keep growing your sale.

So many companies are just laser focused on getting that sale that they don’t think about how they can keep boosting their ecommerce sales.

The smart businesses realize that their customers are in a buying mood and put the options in front of them so they can easily add on to their purchase.

Don’t have time to read the whole blog? Check out our 30-Second Summary. Thank us later 🙂

Ready to see what the best ecommerce sellers do?

They use one-click upsell:

Once your customer has purchased an item, make it easy for them to get all the related accessories they need. Say you’re selling iPhones. Once they buy the phone, now’s the time to offer them chargers, phone cases, earphones, etc.

Create a section under the product that shows the most likely purchased items. Amazon is a master at this. Recommend all the related products and accessories. Keep it focused on what buyers actually need and don’t go overboard.

Most buyers will appreciate you making it easy for them to get everything in one purchase. You’re saving them the hassle of having to go and hunt it all down on your site or somewhere else.

They enhance the user’s experience:

Put together tips and videos about how to use and maintain their new product. It can be anything from how to assemble or install the new product, common mistakes people make or even how to clean or maintain the product.

Doing this shows that you care about creating long-term customer relationships and you’re not just focused on making a quick buck.

They offer perks to build customer loyalty:

Blame it on Amazon Prime – we all hate to pay for shipping now. Smart companies know this and either offer free shipping to customers whose orders hit a certain amount or offer it as a benefit to customers who sign up for a loyalty program or the company newsletter.

You might take a small loss on the shipping but it’s worth it to build that customer loyalty. Track how many customer take advantage of your free shipping offer and see if it results in bigger orders or in repeat sales. I bet you’ll be surprised.

They stay involved with their customers:

Once the sale is done, make sure you stay in touch. Send out an email two weeks after purchase asking your customer to review their new purchases. Share any links to support and educational info and videos, too. Making yourself an expert, not just the seller, is another great way to cement that relationship.

Once they’ve clicked that “buy” button, only you can lose their future business now. Think about their customer lifetime value. Are you doing enough to make your ecommerce experience legendary?

As a business owner, you’re thinking constantly about the longevity of your business, about the life of the customer and establishing relationships with your customers. So take the next step and create an ecommerce experience that builds that trust and loyalty with your customers. Trust us – it will pay off.

30-Second Summary:

  • If you’re not thinking about the post-sale ecommerce experience, you’re missing a huge opportunity
  • Make it easy for your buyers to build their loyalty to your business with perks like free shipping
  • Put all your recommended products in one place
  • Build trust by offering tips and videos on how to use and maintain their new products
  • Keep the conversation going by asking your customers to review their new products

Ramp Up Your Ecommerce Experience

 

We are recognized as a Top Website Design Company on DesignRush

Is Your Ecommerce Failing Your Buyers?

Why You Need To Go Beyond The Shopping Cart

You’ve just added Shopify to your company’s website. Now all you have to do is sit back and watch the sales pour in, right? Nope. Adding Ecommerce to your site is about more than just the shopping cart.

So many companies we talk to think that Ecommerce is just about putting your products on your site and then adding a shopping cart option. But this approach won’t deliver.

Your customers need to be lead through the buying experience for Ecommerce, just like they do on your site.

So where’s your Ecommerce going wrong and how do you fix it?

Don’t have time to read the whole blog? Check out our 30-Second Summary. Thank us later 🙂

Make It Easy For Them To Do Their Research

Ecommerce buys follow the same steps as any other purchase. So that means you’ve got to give your buyer all the info they need, preferably on your site.

So don’t just slap up one photo and a “Buy Now” button. Include multiple pictures or short videos, a full product description, specs and any other information that people will need.

Think about how Amazon, the master of Ecommerce, does it. They’ll show you the product, give all the product details and show you related products. You don’t to leave the site to seek out additional info – it’s all right there.

You don’t want your customers to have to seek out more info somewhere else because, chances are, they won’t come back to your site to buy.

You MUST Have Reviews

I know the thought of offering unfiltered reviews on your site can seem scary. What will people say? But trust me, you have to have them. People won’t even order takeout without checking out the reviews.

Encourage your customers to give your products reviews. And if you get a bad one, reply to it. Address their concerns, offer them a replacement or different product and try to remedy their experience.

Face it, most people understand that nothing is perfect. They just want to see that you’re a good company to do business with. Showing you’ll go above and beyond to give your customers a good experience will actually attract more people to your site.

SEO Is Your Site’s BFF

You can’t do all this work to make the buyer’s experience on your Ecommerce site amazing and not think about SEO. Search engine optimization uses a variety of tactics to ensure that when buyers search for products or services, your site shows up.

This includes using the right keywords, making sure you have your site crawled regularly by the search engines, using location data and fixing any errors. I know this is a lot to get into, so check out our SEO page to get more details.

Don’t Forget About The Upsell & Cross Sell

While you have your customer’s attention, take advantage of it. Show them other related products and provide links. Remember, you want to remove all the barriers to making a purchase. Give them all the info they need in one place.

And don’t forget about cross selling. No matter what you’re selling, there are always accessories that go with it. Think about getting a new iPhone. Not only are there several different models to check out, but there’s all the stuff you need. Car chargers, extra chargers (because we all lose at least one), extra AirPods, cases … the list goes on.

Don’t be afraid to really build out this section. People will thank you for making it easy to get everything in one place, from one business. You’re saving them time and the frustration of having to search out all this stuff on different sites. And they won’t mind paying a bit extra for the convenience.

The Checklist

So let’s break it down. Here’s exactly what your Ecommerce site needs to have:

  • Multiple photos of your product
  • 360-degree videos of the product
  • Full product descriptions – including how to use it, product specs and related accessories
  • Discounts and special offers – think multiple products, free shipping if their order reaches a set amount
  • Create incentives to sign up for your newsletter

Invest the time to build out your Ecommerce site. Make sure you take into account all the steps your buyers are taking and give them everything they need in one place. Making your ecommerce experience seamless means more sales and more loyal customers – and who wouldn’t want that?

30-Second Summary:

  • Ecommerce is about more than just putting up one photo and a “Buy Now” button.
  • The best Ecommerce sites include multiple pictures or short videos, a full product description, specs and any other information that people will need.
  • Show related products and link them to encourage cross-selling.
  • Encourage all your customers to give product reviews.
  • Respond to all reviews – especially the bad ones.
  • Don’t forget about getting your site found – use the right keywords, have your site crawled regularly, use location data and fix any errors.
  • Every Ecommerce site needs to have:
    • Multiple photos of your product
    • 360-degree videos of the product
    • Full product descriptions – including how to use it, product specs and related accessories
    • Discounts and special offers – think multiple products, free shipping if their order reaches a set amount, etc.
    • Incentives for signing up for your newsletter

Upgrade Your Ecommerce Experience

Check it Out! We are featured as one of the Best eCommerce Development Companies In The USA (That Are Up And Coming) on DesignRush.

Why Video Is The Key To Buyer Engagement

Your Business MUST Have Video

Trying to put together a marketing program can trigger an instant migraine. There are a plenty of tactics to choose from and they’re all promising to build your brand and help you haul in truckloads of money. But before you throw your hands up and go “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe”, we have one simple word for you – videos.

Yes, videos. They’re the go-to, top-performing content piece every business should have. They even outperform most blogs, eBooks, social media posts and webinars for many different industries and verticals. The great news is that videos are especially good at helping companies who are trying to catch the eye of their prospects. Think Jurassic Park and the T-Rex. Movement triggers them!

Don’t have time to read the whole blog? Check out our 30-Second Summary. Thank us later 🙂

Videos grab your prospects’ attention like nothing else. With short 2-3 minute clips, you can start telling the story of your business and building that relationship faster and more efficiently than other marketing tactics.

Still not sure about making the investment in video? More than 80% of companies that used video saw an increase in sales. Eighty-freaking-percent. Let that sink in for a minute.

Who Are You?

Whether you’re a new company, new to the market or just trying to launch a new product or service, getting noticed is difficult. Using video is a great way to bring some personality to your brand. A short, 1- or 2-minute clip is easy to watch on a smartphone and is great for all the visual learners out there.

What types of videos should you make, you might ask? Expand your video library by including:

  • Product videos
  • Explainer videos
  • Customer testimonial videos
  • Company culture videos
  • Training videos
  • Fun/viral videos
  • Commercials
  • Documentaries

How Do I Make A Video, Anyway?

Videos can seem complicated – where do you start? Do you have to buy a lot of equipment for it?

The good news is that you’ve got a great beginner camera in your pocket – most new smartphones are good enough to get you started with a simple 1- to 2-minute video. You can also use a DSLR if you have one.

You can find some easy-to-use editing software online and there are a million YouTube videos to help you get started. If this all still feels like too much to take on, you can always find a marketing agency to help you out. One word of advice, figure out who you are making the videos for and what they want and need to hear. Nine out of 10 times the video with awesome content will outperform the fancy-schmancy camera and editing software. Content and context are king.

I’ve Got Videos, Now What?

Just like when you create written content, you want a variety of videos to use on your website, social media and more. Use explainer videos on your services page, put testimonial videos on your homepage or about us page and use those videos of your crazy holiday party and community service day on your social media channels.

By aligning your videos with different parts of the buyer’s journey, you can use that content to educate and guide them to the next step in the journey.

Sharing Is Caring

Another great thing about videos is how easy they are to share. Post them to your Facebook or Linkedin page and with a click of a button, your videos can be in front of all your fans, friends and colleagues.

Nothing is better than the authenticity of having your fans share your content. This automatically boosts your credibility and makes your message that much more compelling.

Video Marketing, By The Numbers

So here’s a quick look at video marketing’s effect on your buyer:

  • 53% of consumers want to see more videos
  • Of those who watch videos, 83% made a purchase afterward
  • Live videos get viewed 3 times longer than standard, pre-edited content
  • 54% of companies that leverage video saw a reduction in support calls

You don’t want your business to get left behind. Now is the time to make video part of your marketing plan. Budget for a few videos this year, watch your traffic and leads increase, then completely trash next year’s budget for branded golf balls and t-shirts in exchange for a video budget worthy of growth! We promise if you listen to your target market’s needs and craft some easy videos around those needs, you’ll see what a difference video can make.

So, are you ready to hit the record button? OK – let’s go!

30-Second Summary:

  • There are a plenty of marketing tactics to choose from but don’t just go “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.” Make sure videos are at the top of your list.
  • Videos are especially good at helping companies catch the eye of their prospects.
  • Still not sure about making the investment in video? More than 80% of companies that used video saw an increase in sales.
  • Your video library should include the following types: product, explainer, customer testimonial, training, commercials and more.
  • Nine out of 10 times the video with awesome content will outperform the fancy-schmancy camera and editing software. Content and context are king.
  • 53% of consumers want to see more videos
  • Of those who watch videos, 83% made a purchase afterward

Start Your Video Journey

Facebook: Pay To Play And Get Your Content Noticed

Smart Targeting Gets Your Ads Found

Facebook – is it played out or exactly the right channel for your business? With 2 billion active monthly users worldwide (225 million in the US), how can you pass up an opportunity to get your company in front of that many potential customers? Only YouTube comes close to this reach, with 1.5 billion active monthly users, according to sproutsocial.com.

With the average users spending 35 minutes on Facebook a day, that’s more than 6 hours a week that your ideal prospect is scrolling through vacation pics and back-to-school posts, just waiting to hear from you.

Don’t have time to read the whole blog? Check out our 30-Second Summary. Thank us later 🙂

But how do you make Facebook work for you? Five years ago, you could write up a quick post and 50% of people would see it, like it and comment on it. Today, Facebook’s algorithm has significantly changed meaning that business pages only reach about 10-15% of their fans meaning that now more than ever businesses should strongly consider using Facebook’s boost button OR leveraging Facebook’s Ad manager software.

Now, with businesses flocking to the site, you have to be smart about how you’re using Facebook to make it work for you. In order to stay relevant, Facebook wants to make sure your Timeline doesn’t turn into an ad roll, so it’s selective about what ads you see and how often you see those ads.

So how can you make Facebook work for you?

Let’s Talk About Money

It all boils down to one thing – pay to play. The more money you’re willing to pay, the more visibility you’ll get for your posts. Now this doesn’t mean more eyes equals more money, you have to be savvy and smart on how you design your ads and who you want to see them.

To get noticed, you’re going to have to pony up some cash. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be thousands of dollars. Test out your Facebook plan with a set budget – say $100 to start.

You want to boost your post – so you give Facebook $20 to make sure it delivers your post to the targets you want. If you just post it, only 10-15% of your fans will see it, but if you boost it to those people and their friends, then it will get in front of 40-50% of your fans.

If you want to take it to the next level, you want to crack open the Business Manager end of Facebook and target these ads to people with a certain job title or interests within 30 miles.

I’m Looking At You

You can’t just throw money at your Facebook posts, you have to spend some time creating the right targets. Take a minute and think about your ideal prospect. Male or female? What age? Where do they live? What type of income do they make? What hobbies do they have?

Say you’re a landscaping company. You want to look at people who own homes, between the ages of 30-60, who may be married or have children, work a lot of hours, who like shows like “Fixer Upper.”

Take a post with before-and-after pictures of mulching listing all the benefits of having your company take care of their yard work and send it out to the target you created.

Don’t worry if it’s not a home run at first – it will take some fine tuning to get it right. By finding the right target, you can get results with a $20 spend instead of pouring hundreds of dollars into untargeted ads.

So Does This Really Work?

Let me tell you about a company that we worked with. They gave us a budget of $600 for some targeted Facebook ads. They were spending $50-$60 on Facebook ads and having 2,000-3,000 people like the post and about 10 people fill out the form.

With their $600 spend, they saw a huge increase in their results. They had 32,000 people view the ad, with a click-through rate of 30% and had a ton of people fill out the form.

This is a case where spending some cash paid off. If you’re hesitating about investing that much money, think about this compared to spending $300 to send out direct mailers. And we all know how that works.

So why not spend more and get the results you need with the analytics and data from Facebook to back up your targeting? With one look, you can see the breakdown between men and women, what time of day they viewed your ad, which part of the ad they clicked on, etc.

One caution – it’s not dummy-proof. You have to pick the right targets, with the right content and images. Powered with the right budget, it delivered the results this company needed.

Ready to put Facebook to work for you? Let us help you find the right target and power it with laser-focused content and images.

30-Second Summary:

  • With 2 billion users, Facebook is the top social media channel.
  • Businesses can’t miss the opportunity to get their content noticed on this channel.
  • But you can’t just post your content and get noticed.
  • Facebook’s new algorithm filters business content so you have to pay to boost it.
  • You don’t need a huge budget to get attention – start with $100 a month.
  • Hyper focus your content by creating an audience of your ideal customers.

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It’s Time To Reinvent Email Marketing

How To Make Email Marketing 2.0 Work For You

Many people think email marketing has been ruined – and they’re not wrong – but only to some extent.

With all the email scams, (I see you African prince who wants to send me millions!) we constantly have our guard up when we open our inboxes. That makes it so much harder for our prospects to notice the emails we’re sending.

So we need to think about email marketing in a slightly different way.

What’s The Goal Of Email Marketing?

Ultimately, you want your prospect to open your email, read it and click on the link to visit your website. It’s that simple.

The website is the end-all, be-all goal and once they’re on your site, you want them to read your content, learn more about your services and convert into a lead.

But first, you have to get them there. So how do you make that happen? It all starts with your email.

So What Makes A Good Email, Anyway?

How hard can it be to write an email? You throw together some copy and a call to action, put a short, sweet subject line on it and push send, right? Wrong.

The old days when you could do that are over. Today’s prospects are savvy, super busy and looking to be educated.

So how do you grab their attention? Your email needs to tell a story.

It All Starts With The Subject Line

If you really want to get noticed, you need to stop spending hours picking out an image for your email and instead spend that time writing a subject line that plays off of your target markets curiosity.

When writing your subject line, you want to avoid words like “free,” “buy now,” “be your own boss,” “free offer” or similar phrases. Also, never use the “[Re:]” to try to make it look like a fake reply.

Free is one example of a trigger word. And these trigger words are called that because they trigger your email client to dump them into the spam folder.

This doesn’t mean you should never offer a free eBook or a giveaway, but you have to be a little more creative.

Want an example of how this works? Instead of saying free, say “Receive 100% off.”

Now, What About The Email?

Once you have your subject line, you need to think about what your email will say. The best emails tell a story.

Let’s use a trade show as an example. You want to tell your prospects you’re going to be there, what your booth number is and then two to three things about what you’ll be doing while you’re there. This could be a giveaway, a free eBook, a demo or a Facebook Live event.

We’ve seen great results using visuals like animated gifs and making that gif clickable. Once they click it, it goes to a landing page where they can sign up for a demo or register for the raffle.

Email Statistics

How Does This Work For E-commerce?

While you can do educational emails for e-commerce, you also want to think about the buying process. If you’re a landscape equipment and services company, you may want to promote leaf removal and mulch in the fall or new plants and greener grass solutions in the spring. Just remember these product-based emails don’t usually convert as well as educational emails.

You can also use emails to help recoup shopping cart bounces. We all have those customers that go all the way through the process, put a bunch of stuff in their cart and then never click the buy button.

You can set it up to email them two days later and remind them about their cart full of great products and offer them a 10% discount to come back and complete their order. Careful though, savvy online buyers know businesses will send a discount if they don’t buy, so be sure to offer a friendly email before the discount reminding them their products are patiently waiting for you to take them home!

Get More From Your Blogs

Another easy way to create emails for your business is to send out a “Best of the Blog” email. It’s one email with short summaries from your last four blogs. This is great because you don’t have to write an email from scratch and you give your prospects four potential topics that may interest them enough to visit your blog to learn more.

So you’re probably thinking, if one blog email is good, four must be better? Nope. You don’t want to send so many emails that you burn out your list and have your prospects start ignoring all your emails. Each business’s email list should be treated like gold. Send relevant emails that speak to the customers needs or pain, track the data to see when people are opening and which emails they really loved. Analytics are a marketers best friend!

One Last Piece Of Advice

We know it takes a while to build your email list and it’s really, really tempting to just buy a list. But. Don’t. Do. It. Ever.

Buying a list of people who don’t know you and haven’t signed up to learn more about your product is a bad idea. So bad, it can get your company blacklisted and keep your prospects from doing business with you.

Like all things in life, there is one tiny exception – trade shows. If you’re going to a trade show, you can usually buy an email list of all the participants. For the most part, people who have signed up for the trade show know they’re going to get emails from companies who are going to be there. So they expect these emails and are usually pretty open to reading them.

Remember, email isn’t the end-all, be-all. It’s another tactic in your Authentic Marketing Ecosystem™, and if used with other parts of your marketing ecosystem like videos, blogs, case studies and social media campaigns, it will deliver real leads for your company.

Ready to get your marketing started? Learn how to put together a comprehensive marketing program now! We give honest and valuable marketing evaluations because we believe when you’re being honest and authentic with your customers, they will never be disappointed.

Send Emails That Work

Do I Really Need Educational Content?

Why Educational Content Is A Must For Companies Today

With all the things you have to do to take care of your customers and grow your business, creating content feels like the last thing you want to do.

After a long day at the office, who wants to sit down and write a blog or make a podcast? Trust us, we know how you feel! But before you pour yourself a beer and flip on the game, take a minute and think about what that content is actually doing for you.

Blogs, eBooks, videos, podcasts, websites and social media – all these channels help you tell your story and attract the attention of future customers. Without content, your business isn’t getting the attention it deserves.

You need to be using your content to not only tell the story of your business, but to also educate your customers. Share your knowledge. Share your best practices, share case studies, share tips and advice. Even share failures and what you learned. Failure only occurs if nothing was learned.

By giving freely of your expertise, you start building relationships with future buyers while demonstrating your own knowledge. A blog reader today could be a client in three months.

Not everyone is ready to buy right now. But by regularly creating and sharing content, you keep your business in front of them. And when they’re ready, they already feel like they know and trust you. You can’t pay for trust; trust is earned!

Then calling you up is an easy and logical next step for them. After all, they’ve been reading your content for months now. They know they can trust you and that you have the solution to their business needs.

But Why Should I Share My Expertise?

I know. It seems counter-intuitive. You’ve spent years building your knowledge. In some cases, it’s the secret sauce of your company. Giving it away for free in your content just seems … wrong.

What if they take your advice and do it themselves? What if they don’t buy your products or services because you helped them figure it out and you’ve lost out on a sale?

While it’s true that there will be some people who will do that (they were always going to do it themselves anyway), the vast majority won’t ever have the time, resources or commitment to do it themselves. Instead they’ll read your blog or LinkedIn post, think “Wow, that guy/gal is brilliant!” and give you a call the next time they need someone in your field.

Or they may be able to do some of the simpler things but get stuck trying to take it to the next level. Again, this is when they give you a call and you get a new customer.

And for the very few people who read your content and do it on their own, consider it a little bit of good karma. And who couldn’t use more of that?

Go Where Your Customers Are

So you’ve put down the beer and picked up the laptop. (Or maybe you picked up both, we’re not judging.) What should you write and where should you post it?

Think of your ideal customer. What do they ask about when you talk? What are their pain points? Where do they go for information?

If your ideal customer is just launching a new business and is looking to build their customer base, then think about the ways your business can help them do that. Share your best tips about finding and securing new customers. Share anecdotes, share what worked and what didn’t. Share the resources you used when you were getting started.

After you take a minute to proofread it, then think about where to post it. Should it go on your company’s website? Would it be better if you posted it on LinkedIn or Facebook?

Look at your website and social media traffic. Where are you getting the most visitors? If traffic is about the same or you’re just getting started, post content in both places.

Maybe you put the longer, “how-to” blogs on your website and some quick tips on your social media. Maybe you share a great article or funny meme on Facebook.

The goal is to get a conversation started. Encourage your readers to leave a comment. An easy way to do this is to ask for their own experiences or to submit a question for you to answer next week. And remember, this all takes time. Don’t worry if no one responds at first. Every great blogger, vlogger, celebrity and big-time CEO all started from scratch, so don’t get discouraged.

Do I Have To Do This Every Day??

So unless you’ve always dreamed of being a famous novelist, writing a blog every day may not sound like fun. But don’t worry – you can still get good results without posting every day. Start out with a blog every month or week and a few posts on social media. Make it part of your routine -check email, make coffee and spend 10 minutes on your blog.

Once you get into the hang of writing every week, you may find it’s not so bad and want to add another blog or social media post. Or if you find that writing really isn’t your thing, you can also find a freelance writer to write some blogs for you or your friendly neighborhood marketing agency can handle the whole thing for you.

A Word Of Caution

While your content should be educational and full of good advice, let’s make sure it’s not TOO conversational. You’re representing your business in front of the entire world, so be careful with the adult language. You should probably also steer clear of politics because this can go really, really wrong. But hey, you know your customers and audience the best, so really just use your best judgment.

We can’t stress this enough, you can end up doing some major damage to your company’s reputation with one poorly-worded tweet, insensitive post or ill- timed joke, so take a minute to think before you hit send.

Now Go Write Something!

With your ideal customer in mind, pick a common question and start writing. Aim for 500-800 words for a blog. Keep it concise and conversational. Break it down into steps and use bullet points to make it easy to read.

When you’re done, have a friend or employee give it a read. (And don’t forget to spell check!) Now it’s ready to go live on your blog.

Congrats! You’ve taken the next step in building your business and it’s digital presence. Keep up the good work and remember, patience and commitment are the keys to generating readership. Listen to them, provide value and the rest will take care of itself.

Get Content That Works For You

Do You Know Who Your Buyer Is? Here’s How To Find Out

Well Look No further! Wait…actually…keep reading

It’s so easy to dive into marketing your business and just starting throwing up Facebook ads, blog posts and a website. But please, take a minute and figure out who the hell is your target market. Seriously. We are not joking. Take a second to think about your ideal buyer.* que dream sequence*

Ok, have a better idea of that ideal customer? Good. Because If you don’t take the time to understand your customer, sadly, you’re just wasting all your time and money with ads and content that will do nothing but confuse your potential customers. Invest in building your brand first. With name recognition comes the buzz that will drive your sales.

Identifying Your Current Target Market

Defining your target market is really just identifying who you’re trying to sell to. It all starts with your current customers. Ask yourself (or better yet, ask your customers if you have them) some key questions:

  • Are they mainly men or women?
  • Age?
  • Married, single, engaged?
  • Where do they live?
  • What’s their income (or budget for your product)?
  • What types of content do they like to consume? Blogs, videos, podcasts?
  • What social media channels do they use? How often?
  • What do they do in their free time? Workout? Watch TV? Go to games? Shop?

Let’s look at a company that makes women’s clothing. Their target market might be women from 18-30 that are married with a few kids. They live in the Philly area and spend most of their time on Facebook.

Speaking To Your Target Market

Now that you have a picture of your target market, you can start marketing to their specific needs. Since you’re looking to sell clothing to moms that are juggling kids and a job, shorter 30-second videos or podcasts they can listen while they’re at the gym are better ways to reach them than longer blogs.

You know they like Facebook, so you can concentrate your ads and content on that platform. And because clothing is so visual, you want to make sure your website is easy to navigate and has lots of great pictures of your products.

Using The Right Keywords

As part of your target market research, you need to be thinking about the right keywords to use in your campaigns. With your target buyers in mind, think about trending keywords as well as the foundational keywords you need to be using in all the content you create. By using these specific keywords, you greatly improve the chances your ideal buyers will find your content when they’re going on their next shopping spree.

Know Your Competitors

You probably have a good idea of who your local competitors are. Take some time and look at their website, content and social media channels. Where are they posting? What kind of engagement are they getting? What type of campaigns are they running?

You can learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t and use this knowledge to help create your own campaigns. You can also look at other regional companies around the U.S. to get ideas. What are companies in the Midwest or California doing? Often you can get inspiration from seeing how other companies approach their marketing while saving yourself the trial and error!

Experiment, Experiment, Experiment!

Don’t be afraid to test out other channels when marketing your business. For fitness-minded moms, you can get great exposure for your business by sponsoring a local kid-friendly 5k run. Or look at getting a booth at a kids fair where you can display your new clothing. You could even sponsor a scholarship. Anything that gets your business in front of your target buyers is a great way to build your brand. Just remember, branding and sales are not the same. Don’t expect 50 leads to roll in just because you sponsored a 5k. If it were that easy… those 24” x 24” sections of marketing real estate on the starting line banner wouldn’t be $100 bucks.

Get The Attention Of Influencers

Another great way to get the attention of your target market is to work with influencers. Every market has a group of people who’ve built a strong following on social media and promote products and services they like. Even just one mention of your product can give your sales a huge boost!

Creating Your Future Target Market

Once you know who you’re currently selling to, you need to figure out your future target market. Who should you be focusing on to grow your business?

For the Philly-based clothing line, their future target market could be getting into a major retailer like Macy’s or Target. Knowing that, you can start creating content that will appeal to a major company and build that future market while your other content can still be serving your current buyers.

Researching these buyers can help you figure out how your company fits into their retail strategy. You can better market your product once you know what they’re looking for, the social media channels they post to and what types of brands they’ve worked with before.

The time you spend identifying and getting to know your target markets pays huge dividends. Once you know who’s buying your products, you can create the right kind of content in the format and channels that your buyers use. With this targeted approach, you can be sure that your marketing will pay off with brand recognition and better revenue.

Identify Your Target Markets Now

Boost Your Click-Through Rate With Targeted A/B Tests

Use A/B Tests To Boost Your Click-Through Rate

One of the easiest ways to tell if your website, content and ad strategy are working is to look at the click-through rate (CTR). Basically, it lets you know how many people are visiting your website, blog or social media ad and clicking through to the landing page.

It’s a great way to see if your potential customers like what you’re doing and are engaged enough to learn more about you by downloading more content or filling out a contact form.

So what if you check out your CTR and it’s low? How do you go about fixing it?

Set Up A Targeted A/B Test

Improving your CTR starts with setting up an A/B test. You want to pick two clear variables to test and then set up a randomized test over a set period of time. It’s important to only change ONE variable at a time in order to best discern which element of the ad/post/page is underperforming. Most website platforms have features that make this easy or you can work with a marketing company to create a custom feature for your site that randomly places different color CTA buttons on the site.

It’s best to set up your A/B tests for at least two weeks so you can enough data to analyze and act on.

Make A Color Connection With Your CTAs

One of the best things to test is the color of your call to action (CTA) buttons. You’ll find CTA buttons at the bottom of webpages, blogs, social media ads – anywhere you want to encourage your prospects to take the next step in the buying process.

As humans, we all respond subconsciously to different colors. Blue gives us a cool, soothing feeling and is a great fit for a CTA button for HVAC services. Red makes us think of hunger, so you’ll often see it on restaurants.

Using the right color can help give your prospects the push they need to click the CTA, boosting your CTR.

Here’s a quick example of how to A/B test using different colors on a CTA:

Let’s use a landscape company that wants to boost their mulch sales and service. Right now they have a plain black button that says “Buy Mulch.” For the A/B test, the second CTA uses a bright, vibrant green that says “Mulch My Yard”.

The green connects with the lush healthy landscape your prospects want, enticing them to click-through and fill out a contact form.

Want proof color choice matters? Software maker SAP found that using the color orange in their CTAs boosted conversions 32.5%, while marketing automation company Performable found that using red in their CTAs improved conversions by 21%, according to an article on quicksprout.com.

Choosing The Right Words

The other thing to think about when A/B testing is the wording of your CTA button. While it may not seem that difficult to pick out three to five words, it can be surprisingly hard to get the right message to encourage people to click through.

Let’s take another look at our landscape company example. The first button says “Buy Mulch.” But this isn’t really clear. Is the company just selling mulch? Who’s putting it down? Can you get more than just mulch from this company?

By making it seem like the company just sells mulch, they’re missing out on the opportunity to sell their full range of landscaping services.

By testing a new CTA button that says “Mulch My Yard,” the company is promoting their landscaping services, a much more lucrative sale than simply selling mulch.

Personalizing your CTAs also makes a huge difference in conversion rates. According to an article on protocol80.com, ContentVerve improved their conversion rate by 90% when they used “Start my free trial” vs. “Start your free trial.”

What If My CTR Is High But I’m Not Making Sales?

While it seems like all you need is a high CTR to boost your sales, it’s not really that simple. You can have a high CTR but once prospects are landing on that next page, they may not be following through.

Often you see this when a prospect clicks through to a contact us page but doesn’t fill it out. There may be too many fields to fill out, a required comments section or other deterrent. Just like you tested your CTA buttons, you can A/B test your landing pages.

Taking the time to A/B test and fine tune your CTAs can dramatically improve your CTR. Test on your own or talk to a marketing professional to ensure your website, blog or ad campaigns are optimized to deliver the results your business needs.

Get Call To Actions That Work

The Only 2 Metrics You Really Need To Know

Google And Your Visitors Will Be Digitally Delighted!

You’ve got a new website. You’ve spent a ton of money and time on. It finally launched and you’re done, right? Well… Wrong.

Now it’s time to figure out if your website is actually working for you. So you crack open good ol’ Google Analytics and dive into the sea of marketing metrics. With a million different variables, graphs and diagrams, it’s easy to focus on something like site traffic, verify traffic is up over last month and call it a day. I mean, traffic’s up right? So what’s the big deal?

Sorry, it’s just not that simple. But hey, don’t worry! You’re not alone. Many business owners stop there. Hell, your competitors are most likely stopping there and giving themselves a nice digital pat on the back because their traffic is up 4% over last month! Go TEAM! But in reality, this is probably bad news for them and good news for you!

Why?

Because while they are celebrating a 4% traffic increase at Applebee’s “bottomless appetizers” happy hour, you’re reading this blog and are dedicated to upping your digital marketing game! Feel free to pat yourself on the back, you’ve earned it! That is, after you finish this blog…of course

Ok, so you checked the site traffic and noticed your getting 10,000 (or 1,000, it’s all relative) visitors every month and think, “My website is amazing!”. But yet your sales haven’t increased and your lead funnel is drying up. Wait…all those visitors aren’t actually buying anything and your pipeline is looking pretty empty? But doesn’t more traffic mean more sales? More delighted customers?

Just because you have a ton of visitors doesn’t mean your website is functioning well. In fact, getting thousands of visitors who don’t stay long on your site can actually hurt your SERP rankings.

But before we get into SERP rankings factors, let’s talk about the real reason you came here; to find the two metrics you need in order to understand how your website is actually doing and how you can make proper growth adjustments.

But Your Visitors Just Got Here, So Why Are They Leaving?

Well, before panic sets in remember to first look at these two metrics – bounce rate and time on page.

Let’s start with bounce rate. It’s simply the number of people who come to your site, look at one page and leave.

To Google, this is a huge red flag. It means that people are looking to your site for answers and when they get there, they’re not finding any, so they leave – or bounce – to another site. Google sees this as proof that your site doesn’t have enough quality content to keep the user engaged which forces Google to lower your website in the search rankings, making it even harder for people to find you.

Think of it like calling someone, talking for a few seconds and then hanging up without saying goodbye. How rude!

Instead you want to be more like Wikipedia. You go there to learn more about the Roman Empire. Next thing you know, you’ve spent 30 minutes, read 10 different authoritative entries and feel confident you’re ready to rock your book club’s discussion on “The Ides Of March” by Thornton Wilder.

Welcome – Now Please Stay Awhile

For businesses, you want to use your site to answer all the needs or “pains” your customers have. If you’re an HVAC company, your content can tell people how to replace their filters as well as other ways to troubleshoot HVAC problems on your own time. You want people to start building a relationship and trusting your expertise by reading your content. This trust will help you convert them into customers. How? There will come a time that you will not be able to make a repair but will feel confident that the company who has been guiding you all along will easily have a fix your problem.

But like everything, there’s an exception to the bounce rate rule. If your customers are coming directly to a contact us page or other business offer, they may fill out the form or contact you and then bounce off the site. If your digital marketing team is savvy, they will ensure Google see’s these events as conversions not bounces. In the users eyes, since they’re setting up a meeting that will hopefully end in a sale, they don’t need to read your other content OR maybe they have already done that in a previous visit and now they’re ready to talk turkey.

You’re Really Going To Like What We Have To Say

The second key metric to track is time on page. This metric looks at how long a person spends on each page. It goes hand-in-hand with bounce rate because the longer they spend on each page, the more likely they are to find your content useful. Hopefully they’ll follow your links to other pages to learn more about your products or services.

Creating The Perfect Environment To… Make A Sale

OK – so what exactly do you want to see when you check out these two metrics?

It’s better to have 500 visitors with a 20% bounce rate who are spending 7 to 8 minutes on each page than to have 1,000 visitors with an 80% bounce rate spending just 30 seconds on your site.

In the first case, you’re getting 400 visitors that are clearly interested in what you’re selling. They’re much more likely to convert to customers and recommend you to their friends

In the second case, you’re looking at only 200 people who aren’t spending much time reading your content and probably won’t convert into customers and not recommend you to their friends.

Was It Something We Said?

Whether it’s poor content or a terrible user experience that’s driving up your bounce rate, you’re damaging your brand, ticking off potential customers and sending Google all kinds of red flags.

Your site needs to have good content from the homepage to the landing pages. Everything on your site needs to be focused on answering your customers’ pains with clear links to other pages to build their knowledge base while demonstrating that you’re the one who can help them.

While it’s easy to get bogged down in hundreds of website metrics, do yourself a favor and focus on just two – bounce rate and time on page for now.

These metrics will help you see if your site is working for you or if it needs attention pronto. If you find that you have a problem, don’t freak out. There are plenty of ways to turn your website into the revenue-generating tool of your dreams.

Click the link below for a free assessment of your websites performance. No strings attached.

Power Up My Website Performance

Are You Putting Enough Into Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing has become an epidemic. Why is that? Because it reaches today’s consumers. And in a world of digital, fast, immediate, image, content, tech this and tech that – inbound marketing is the business world’s saving grace.

Outbound marketing was our primary tool in the heyday of billboards, magazine ads and TV commercials. But now, outbound marketing takes you to a lost paradise, the islands of misfit communication, where advertisements blow away like a silent wind. Inbound marketing takes you to a treasure trove, where a million fanatically curious internet users are chomping at the bit.; and you have the ability to provide some of the juiciest bate. Inbound marketing is easily the smartest and most effective way to reach your audiences today.  So why do most inbound campaigns crash and burn? Continue reading

Social Media Marketing: The Platforms That Perform

One of the most common questions from companies using social media marketing is “Where do I begin?” Social media is a massive world of links, pictures, memes and… well you get the idea. New creations are being churned out every day. There are so many platforms to choose from within the social media spectrum, and before marketers can create their material, they have to figure out where to present it. Some companies go overboard with the platforms they utilize; some don’t market on enough; while some just market on the wrong ones. There is a fine balance to marketing on different social media platforms, from what to show your followers, to how much, how often and to what target markets. At the end of the day, it all depends on what your company is selling. Different audiences inhabit different platforms.

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Social Media Marketing Isn’t Going Anywhere!

If you thought social media marketing was slowing down or losing steam; think again! Things have been heating up, new corners are being turned, new pillars being built. Statistics have shown us that social media is still making a huge impact as a marketing tool. And there are things that you need to learn, as a professional marketer, to be effective in this arena!

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Can The Halo Effect Really Help Your Website Generate Business?

We often think of website design as a simple necessity; a place to house information that helps clients and prospects better understand our business. Unfortunately, this philosophy greatly underestimates the value of an aesthetically pleasing website – and it shows in today’s market. The sheer number of blasĂ© websites out there is mind-boggling. From single page, pixilated designs to over-the-top showpiece websites, companies are wasting money on digital assets that are not lead-producing.

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Responsive Websites Are The Future

Each time Google updates their ranking algorithm, businesses scramble to adjust. This year is no different – except that a much larger update is taking place. In 2013, Google came out with a 1st generation mobile ranking update – this was to set the stage for this month’s huge April 21st update, where Google will begin rewarding websites that are fully mobile responsive with better rankings.

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Is A New Website Worth The Investment?

Have you ever been to a website and thought, “Wow; this looks horrendous and I can’t find anything I want”? If so, you’re not alone. A number of websites out there are cluttered, unorganized and simply lacking in aesthetic appeal; a smorgasbord of links and information that offer no direction. To this day, there are successful businesses whose websites are still lagging behind, stuck in the 90’s, with a look, feel and experience that just screams “out of date.”. As successful as these businesses are, presently; that success will be short lived unless a shift in their website and sales strategy occurs.

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How Social Media Marketing is Just “Like” The NFL

Social media is by far one of the most effective tools used in sales. It gives companies the opportunity to educate, connect with and build on their relationships with prospects and customers. It also allows for a more fun, casual exchange of ideas between other industry professionals. Social media is a powerful marketing tool, but it’s very time-consuming; liking, following, commenting, and engaging in constant online interaction can get tedious. But it seems that Google is finally answering our prayers.

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7 Steps To Content Marketing Glory

So you have finally decided to give “content marketing” a try or at least entertain the notion that it might work. Great, but you have been warned, it is not for the lazy, fearful or timid. This type of marketing requires dedication and a bit of bravado. Think you have what it takes? Read on at your own success.

Top marketers have been using content marketing to produce qualified leads because customers are crying out for anything other than another salesy advertisement, interruptive TV commercial or computer crashing spam email. Face it, your customers buying behavior has changed. They research online, compare prices, vet sellers and make an educated decision before they buy. The content the buyers are reading is coming from one of two places, your competitors or you.

Below are the 7 ways to use content marketing to help you sell more and become a thought leader. This is the nitty gritty on what it is going to take to get your product/service in front of the right people – your target market.

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Want To Be On Page 1 of Google Tomorrow – Turn to Video Marketing

You finally had your company’s website redesigned but you’re not ranking as high as you would like to or even hitting page 1 of Google. Could it be the video marketing you passed on to save a few bucks? Or perhaps you didn’t think Google really cared that much about video on your website. The reality is Google spiders crawl your website looking for juicy tidbits, especially videos, to help them better index your site. Don’t let the spiders down, embrace video marketing and give them something to crawl about!

We hear it all the time, “I have no idea where to start or even how to shoot a video.” It’s ok, your inbound marketing gurus are here to help you get on page 1 of Google. Just like your video needs to have a beginning, middle and end, so does your video marketing strategy.

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The Secrets Behind How Blogging Helps You Get More Leads

The power of blogging can not be understated. It is one of the most influential and lead generating tactics of inbound marketing. It’s your company’s opportunity to share meaningful content with potential clients and customers on why your business rocks! Without blogging, it’s like trying to run your high-performance marketing engine on 87 octane.

Your company deserves to be heard. More importantly, your clients deserve to hear from you, not your competitors. Who else knows all the intricacies of your business and can articulate solutions your clients need, better than you? Start blogging today and thank yourself tomorrow.

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SEO Should be called CEO (Customer Experience Optimization)

Traditional SEO; from keyword stuffing to the old bait and switch technique; have become the bane of some companies existence. Even though those black hat techniques may have brought in tons of traffic in the past they actually only served to hurt the companies brand and contribute to a higher bounce rate now. Google has changed the game, and now demands website owners focus on the end user and build meaningful websites.

What does this actually mean? Google wants websites to provide a meaningful experience with quality content. The days of building websites to fit the needs of the search engines are dead. Gone. Those companies that claim they can make you #1 on Google tomorrow are wasting your time. A website focused on the end user will not only convert leads into clients, it will also organically increase your Google ranking.

Want to really rank high on Google, the right way? Follow these 5 quality guides.

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7 Ways Keywords Can Open The Door To New Leads

Keywords are the foundation and structure of a SMART marketing campaign. By integrating keywords into blogs, headings, page titles and content you will soon find more and more organic traffic flowing to your website.

Did you know that search engines have less than one second to analyze a page on your website? One second may not seem like enough time to properly categorize a website, but spiders crawl millions of pages a day, so one second is all your website might get. To make the most of this fraction of time, you need to ensure your website is optimized to help the spiders properly categorized your content and drive customers to you.

Specifically you need keywords to accurately describe your business or service. They only way to do this is to focus on the user, not the search engine. Try using the same keywords that your buyers use and avoid the mistake of talking OVER them. Using detailed industry terms, acronyms, and business jargon may confuse, annoy and even break that emotional bond they have formed with your business. You may be a seasoned vet in your industry but all that wisdom may not be common knowledge to potential buyers. Think like your buyers and remember; your website was built for your buyers.

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Defying Daedalus: The Story Behind Mad Icarus Media

Throughout time, people have learned about the world by the stories passed down to them by those before them. Cave paintings recounted the events of great hunts, bards educated through song and poem, and parents put their children to bed with stories we’ve all come to know as classics. While these stories help familiarize us with dangers and impress values upon us, they can also stunt us in a way.

The tale of Icarus is not one you might have heard before bed as a child. However, this myth deserves attention and, in the end, a new approach!
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5.5 Steps To Help Build Your Optimal Lead Nurturing Workflow

Did you know that 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales? So for almost 8 out of every 10 clients that designate themselves as potential buyers, only 2 of them actually buy. As a company, this is money slipping through your fingers, but there is good news; you can change that.

What if I told you that companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost per lead and those leads produce 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. The question is no longer “why”, but “how”. The process by which a company takes a potential buyer or lead from the beginning stages of their purchasing decision all the way to the end of their journey to when they become a sale is known as the “sales funnel”.

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Should Your Company Blog? Here’s Why…

The average number of people who read blogs in 2008 was just under 50%. This number jumped another 10 percent by 2013 and the number of people blogging has also increased 5 percent in those same years. These levels are set to double over the next few years, so a better question is why are you not blogging already?

Google loves new content, and blogs are easy and fresh ways of publishing that content. A blog can be created in the time it took you to have a boring meeting about your company’s parking policies (which no one really cares about) or the 20 minutes you spent talking about the stock market with your water cooler buddy (which neither one of you really knows anything about). Google bots or spiders rank active websites higher than static websites. Meaning, websites that are creating new content, by default, are making the site active since people who read the blogs will also comment. Those comments create interaction between the company and the buyer.

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Is Social Media Right For My Business

Last week we talked about how professional marketers ranked the top-performing social media platforms in regards to their campaign effectiveness. Fifty-four percent said Facebook was the most important; seventeen percent said LinkedIn. However, despite the popularity of these top two contenders, (and they hold that title for good reason) there are many other platforms on the world wide web, and, depending on what you’re saying, selling, preaching – another platform may be your perfect fit.

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4 Undeniable Reasons You Need Content That Connects

The times have changed and prospects are no longer driving from store to store looking for information to help them make purchasing decisions. They want to find information about your business quickly and efficiently.

Click the download button below to learn why you need content that connects.

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4 Undeniable Reasons You Need Content that Connects

4 Undeniable Reasons You Need Content That Connects

The times have changed and prospects are no longer driving from store to store looking for information to help them make purchasing decisions. They want to find information about your business quickly and efficiently.

Click the download button below to learn why you need content that connects.

wing

4 Undeniable Reasons You Need Content that Connects