I am fortunate to work for a local media organization that produces fantastic content on a daily basis. For a fifth straight year, The Columbus Dispatch (and our website, www.dispatch.com), was named the best large newspaper in Ohio by the Ohio Associated Press Media. For the second year, Columbus Monthly was nominated for the General Excellence Award by the City and Regional Magazine Association. There are countless more awards and points of recognition for our 10+ publications.
It is no surprise that mobile activity continues to climb and account for more time spent online than any other device. In fact, 40% of people say that they prefer to complete their entire shopping journey on mobile. However, businesses are still seeing more conversions taking place on desktops than they do on mobile. Why is this? Not because of the smaller size screen as you may think. It is because the experience is not great for the consumer.
There has been a lot of buzz about the pending changes to the Facebook News Feed that were announced last week by Mark Zuckerberg. This post will address what those changes are, why they are being made, and what it means for your business.
For several years, the amount of time people spend consuming video content online has increased significantly. This trend is not changing in 2018 as viewers now watch more video content online than on traditional television. The growing platform of online video continues to create an immense opportunity for advertisers.
According to Google, 50% of internet users looked for online video related to a product or service before they visited a store, whether in person or online. Video is impactful and drives emotion and trust behind decision-making. Arguably, a strong marketing plan for any business must include an ongoing video advertising strategy.
When meeting with my clients, most understand the benefit and need of producing strong video content, but the questions I hear most common are, “Which online video platforms should I advertise on?” and “What are the benefits of each?” In this post, I’ll help make sense of three platforms that have a large and engaged audience, but that can be leveraged to impact a business’s advertising success and increase ROI.
Recently I read an article on one of my favorite industry sites or apps, Marketing Land, titled Measuring How Offline Marketing Drives Web Traffic: The Fundamentals, and I was reminded of all the things I can do to help my clients’ marketing efforts in general, not just the digital portion.
As I’ve met with clients in and around Ohio over the last several years one question always seems to come up no matter the industry or customer, “How do I know if this is working?” Over the last several years we have seen a seismic shift in advertising dollars from traditional print, radio and television into more easily trackable digital products. With an online display campaign let’s say, we can tell you how many people saw the ad, how many clicked on it, how many saw the ad didn’t click on it but visited your site at a later date and thanks to Google Analytics we can tell you what your visitors did on the site once they got there. Rightfully so, there is a huge premium placed on tracking the results of our marketing spend.
Unfortunately the days of just asking “How did you hear about us?” are long gone. A consumer may see your billboard, display ad, receive your email, visit your site and three weeks later click on your paid ad on Google. When you ask that potential customer “How did you hear about us?” they will either say “I saw you on Google,” or “someone referred me.” They almost never tell you the ten times they saw your message before they went to Google.
As a Digital Specialist, I am a firm believer that digital is the way to go because of its’ track-ability and audience. We keep learning more and more about how consumers are using the internet, and where they are going to use it. There is no reason we can’t do some of the same with a traditional medium. Below I’ve listed 3 ways you can track the effectiveness of your offline marketing tactics.
Whether you’re using your landing page to make direct sales or gather emails from leads, it is one of the most crucial steps in the conversion process. After all the outreach and advertising, it comes down to this final act. Will your prospects turn into customers? They will if your offer is solid and your landing page is optimized for conversion.
Landing Page Optimization Tips
As with other steps in the process, you want to ensure that your landing page is compelling visitors to take whatever action you want them to take. Here are a few ideas on how to increase your conversion rates.
According to BrightLocal, 88% of online shoppers trust reviews posted to consumer websites over word of mouth. Who knew that the opinions of strangers would make such a difference in consumer behaviors? So, where do you want your reviews posted? How do you encourage customers to take the time to review your business? Let’s take a look at how you can amp up your online credit (and business reputation) by jockeying for five stars across the board.
Where Can You Get Five Star Reviews?
Many of the websites you want your company’s listing to show up on (with said 5-star reviews) are the sites you use personally when perusing the internet. These include:
Yelp is one of the most popular company directory websites with an easy-to-use platform for consumers who want to leave their opinion regarding products and services.
Once you set up your Facebook business page and designate yourself as a ‘local business’ there will be on option on your homepage for users to write a review.
When your business is Googled, a business summary will populate on the right-hand side of the page which also displays your rating. You can set yourself up to get 5-star reviews via Google through a Google My Business listing.
If you’ve got a service related business this is a terrific review site where five stars can go a long way.
Any and all businesses should have their info with the Better Business Bureau. Audiences who are less tech-savvy or social media-oriented are still likely to know about the BBB.
10 Tips for Getting Five-Star Reviews
Many business owners see search engine optimization (SEO) as a mystery, an enigma that only those with inside knowledge can solve. The truth is that SEO is an important part of any marketing strategy, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Read on to find out what SEO is and why your business needs it.
What Does SEO Stand For?
At its most simple, SEO is an acronym that stands for Search Engine Optimization. Let’s look at each component more closely.
One of the most common ways to find information on the internet is to use a search engine. On a site like Google or Bing users will enter a search term or question. Then, using a complicated algorithm, these sites return what they think are the most appropriate and useful results.
This is different than browsing a news site or scrolling through social media looking for information. Users are actively looking for a specific answer, which you should keep in mind when creating effective content.
The search “engines” that people use to find information are essential because they return prioritized results for users. They first use crawlers to explore the web, then they record everything they find in databases (or indexes). When you perform a search, the engine is actually returning results from its index rather than the live internet.
The important thing to remember is that all these engines use specific criteria for returning results. They look at factors like keyword density and meta tags to understand what your pages are about. Also, they keep track of which pages have linked to your content, and they use that information (along with other factors) to determine what page has the most authority.
In order for users to find you via search, you need to show up on the first few results pages (usually the first) for their search terms. That’s why you need to optimize your content for the search engines. This doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does require some attention.
If you want to rank highly in search engines, you need to make sure:
• The search engines can find you
• They can tell what your web pages are about
• They believe your page/site has authority and credibility for the content you’re promoting
How Does SEO Work?
A company’s reputation is as important as their products and services. Often times it takes one disheartened customer to voice their disappointment and suddenly, you’re seeing a drop in business. With the channels by which people may learn about your organization growing by the day, it’s vital to stay ahead of the chatter and in control of how the public at large views your business. Here are some best practices you can implement to be sure you’re reputation remains in good standing.
Why Practice Reputation Mangement?
Your business reputation isn’t just your rating on a review site. It is the general feel of the public toward your business, based on your actions, that gets expressed by the public across online and offline channels; and those same channels by which others express their feelings toward your business are the ones you use to generate those feelings.
Is your head spinning yet? Your business reputation is an entity in an of itself, neither fully in the public’s control nor fully in your control. This is why it’s so important to monitor your business reputation and be proactive in managing it.
We get it. Online advertising is complex and for most, it’s a foreign world that you don’t really even want to think about trying to understand. The truth is, online advertising isn’t as bad as it seems. Well, it’s not bad at all. What we mean is, getting a grasp on it isn’t as hard or as far away as you might think. If you’re wondering whether you should advertise your business online, the answer is most likely yes. Read on to understand the features, the facts, and the benefits of online advertising that make it a worthwhile investment for your business.
Why Advertise Online?
In order to have an effective marketing strategy, you must diversify the ways in which you reach your target audience. While you may be an expert on traditional marketing mediums like print ads, billboards or broadcasts, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity if you haven’t made the foray into advertising online. The reasons why you should advertise online are vast. To name just a few: