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5 Reasons to Hire A Digital Marketing Consultant

You may have your own in-house team of talented marketers, or you perhaps you are on the fence about hiring a full-time employee to take on your marketing needs.  Regardless of where your company stands with it’s marketing strategies, your business can always benefit by bringing in a digital marketing consultant.

Below are 5 key reasons you should consider hiring a marketing consultant:

1. Digital Marketing Consultants stay on top of the latest trends in the marketing world.5 reasons to hire a marketing consultant

A digital marketing consultant NEEDS to know exactly what the newest and greatest strategies are in order to stay in business themselves. Consultants make sure to continuously educate themselves by attending webinars, expos, conferences and networking events. The greatest part is that the consultant does this all at his/her own expense, not on your company’s dime.

2. Digital Marketing Consultants have great insight from working with  other companies and multiple industries.

This is one of the most motivating reasons, if not- the most important reason to hire a consultant.  A successful digital marketing strategist or consultant works with an array of clients.  When a specific campaign is successful with one client, the consultant will likely implement it with all other clients where deemed appropriate. Consultants will also use his/her positive experiences with other business’s marketing platforms (pros/cons of email platforms, tracking software, lead generation systems etc.) to bring to your company as recommendations.  It is this type of constant exposure to other options that sets a consultant apart from a full time employee.

3. Digital Marketing Consultants give you what you pay for… and then    some.

Unlike a full-time employee, a consultant only gets paid for actual work produced. Great consultants work hard until the job, campaign or project is complete, which in most instances means quicker turn around time.  Consultants also have great resources of marketing experts. Need a web developer? Looking for a graphic designer? Marketing Consultants likely have a plethora of names to refer.

4. Digital Marketing Consultants have a fresh take on your company.

Let’s face it, things get stale. Even the greatest content developers hit a wall at some point.  Bringing in a consultant will also bring in fresh ideas.  Digital Marketing Consultants also often pick up on areas that can be improved that have been a part of the strategy for so long, no one else even gave it a second thought. A consultant can also work as an additional asset to your marketing team.  Many companies are confined by time and resources.  It can never hurt to bring on an expert to help loosen those restraints on the team.

5. Digital Marketing Consultants can connect you to other clients.

Building your network also builds your company. Many inbound marketing strategists/consultants will connect clients to cross-promote events, guest blog for one another, send targeted emails to segregated lists and feature each other’s products on social media.  This is a great way to expand customer reach and gain greater exposure.

To see if you business would benefit from a digital marketing consultant, contact us here.

Why your Company Needs a Weekly Tip on Social Media | 4 How-To Guided Steps

One of the first pieces of advice I give to new clients looking to increase engagement on Social Media is to create a monthly content strategy plan.  Part of that plan involves creating a weekly tip to offer followers and fans.

The benefits of providing a weekly tip for followers include:

  • Content Manager HiringPositioning your business or brand as a thought leader.
  • Opening up dialogue for customers who may have questions about that topic.
  • Building trust with your followers and showing your expertise.
  • Learning what subjects your customers find popular through shares and likes and then turning them into blogs or e-books.
  • Increasing visibility on that subject with search engines (as they crawl and show public status updates with keywords relevant to search terms).
  • Keeping followers and fans coming back to your company page in anticipation for that weeks tip.  This will in turn increase your post updates showing up in their feed.

4 tips to sharing tips on Social Media: 

  1. Pick a day of the week when your audience is likely online.  You can see when they are online through Facebook insights, or timing + (which measures your google + fan activity).
  2. Create an editorial calendar 6 months out (which is only 24 tips).  Create a spreadsheet and include the month, date and time you plan on posting the tips.  Add fields for topic, subject and content developer (if you have multiple experts in your company that will be contributing).  Then add the field where the actual tip content belongs.  The tip itself should be 2-3 sentences at most.
  3. Hashtag your tip name. Prior to launching your tip strategy come up with a clever name that you can place at the beginning of each tip post.  Examples are “Monday Marketing Tip” or “Tuesday Tips With Jon” or “Fridays Health Tips”.  Keep it brand and industry appropriate and make sure it is relevant to what your customers would expect to see from you.  Then Hashtag it so people can eventually search for and see all the previous tips by clicking on the hashtag. Example: #SocialMediaWeeklyTip.

     

  4. Create a visual of the tip.  Hubspot launched a very successful 30 day blogging tip in which each day they provided a visual of a tip dealing with blogging.  When you post a picture on any Social Media platform you increase the likelihood of the post getting shared and liked.  You can also share the tip picture on Instagram and Pinterest!

For advice on launching or re-launching your company’s social media strategy, contact us here.

2 New Facebook Updates for Businesses and Pages

Facebook has recently made 2 updates that will shake up how you use the Social Networking platform to market your business.  And, if strategized correctly, you will see a positive outcome from both these changes!

Change #1 | Facebook Page Manager Tracking

On February 20, 2014, Facebook introduced a new feature to allow Page Administrators to see which of their page managers posted a status update.  The update shows under the company name of each post ( see visual below).  All admins of the page including moderators, advertisers and insight analysts will see the name of the poster next to the update.  It is not visible to the public.

Facebook Manager Posts

 

 

Benefits of Tracking Facebook Mangers’ Posts:

For companies that have multiple managers or content creators on their business page this will help with tracking, metrics and success measurements of each employee. 

  • You can now track whose content generates the most likes, shares or comments and provide incentives or bonuses based on performance.
  • You can utilize this information when training social media interns or entry level employees as a means of providing constructive criticism and suggestions.
  • If you outsource your social media to freelancers or a marketing company, you will gain better insight as to who is doing what and when.
  • It is an overall means of holding all your digital marketing employees accountable.


Change #2 | Tagging Another Page In A Status:

On February 25, 2014, Facebook began rolling out a new algorithm for page status updates.  Going forward, if your page writes a post and tags another page in that post, your post may been shown to the followers of that tagged page.  It is worth noting, however that Facebook will only show the posts that are relevant to followers with a history of interacting with that correlated content.

Benefits of Tagging Another Page in your Page Status Update:

  • Exposure to the followers of the tagged page, which may have thousands of more fans than yours.
  • Creating a give/take relationship with the other brands/pages that have the same target audience.  For example, when you tag another page, you are giving them exposure to your fans.  Hopefully, they will want to “give back” and promote you as well!

New Trending Feature On Facebook

Facebook is rolling out a new feature titled “Trending” (currently only in a few countries and only available for certain users) on the right side of your homepage.

Trending According to Facebook: 

“Trending shows you the popular topics and hashtags that are being talked about on Facebook. You’ll see stories from people and Pages who’ve shared them with you or have shared them as Public. From the right side of your homepage, click a topic that’s trending to see what people are saying about it.”

Facebook Trending Feature

How The Trending Feature Can Increase Your Business And Brand Awareness:

Up until now, using hashtags was not something that proved to be effective for businesses.   A Social Media Examiner article from October 2013 explains:

“According to EdgeRank Checker, Facebook hashtags have done nothing to help with additional exposure for your brand. In fact the opposite is true.
The research indicates that posts with hashtags are not only less likely to go viral, but also make people less likely to engage with the content.”

Now however, Facebook is using popular hashtags, personal preferences, user engagements and user “likes” to decide what they display in that user’s trending column.  This means it is very important for your Facebook strategy to now include trendy hashtags to increase your exposure.  When a user clicks on a “trending” keyword, they will see all posts about said keyword.  You want your posts in there!

3 Tips To Using Hashtags On Your Business Page:

  1. Find an already popular industry related hashtag and use it in your post.
  2. Create an amazing hashtag unique to your business and ask your best fans to use it as well in related content posts.  As an example: ask fans a question and tell them to use the hashtag in their answer.
  3. Use a well known celebrity name, something big in the news or an upcoming popular event.  It’s already trending, the work is done all you have to do now is incorporate it into your posts!

5 Reasons why your Facebook Posts Create Awkward Silences

It goes like this: You think you’ve created something that will go viral.  You post it and wait….and wait…..and wait.  30 minutes go by and there is still no comment, “like” or share at all.

Here are 5 reasons why your Facebook posts may not get the reaction (or any reaction) your were hoping for:Awkward Facebook Posts

  1. You ask yes or no questions.  You have to give people the opportunity to express themselves.  If you are asking a question with an obvious answer or one that doesn’t require much thought, you won’t generate much response.   Ask open ended questions, and give your followers the chance to share their full thoughts!
  2. You are posting yesterday’s news. It’s nice to share the viral video that everyone is talking about.  Guess what though: if everyone has already seen it, they will scroll over your post.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt to share, but it’s even better to be one of the first pages releasing it!  Tip: when you first wake up, peruse your industry news and post on your page the top story/video/picture.  Be the thought LEADER… not follower.
  3. You post the same things over and over again.  So many pages do this.  They love to promote a specific E-Book, product or service and they keep posting about it.  Think about meeting someone and, after that first time, every time you see them they tell the same story.  You will start avoiding them.  That is exactly what will happen to your page posts.  People will hide them, ignore them and because of the Facebook algorithm, they will eventually stop seeing your posts altogether on their feed.
  4. You are boring.  Post something funny, exciting, provocative, scary, visual or even confrontational.  Switch up your tone every once in a while.  Some of the most interactive posts are the ones that drive emotion (good and bad) from followers.
  5. You are self absorbed.  The best way to get people to share your post is if it’s about them.  Not you or your business.  Don’t just concentrate on your services, concentrate on your followers.  Follow the 20/80 rule.  80% of your posts should be industry or client related and 20% should focus on your business.

Click here to talk with our experts on how you can take your facebook marketing to the next level!

Word of Mouth Marketing; Then and Now

word of mouth marketing

It was only a few years ago when the term “Word of Mouth” was interpreted literally: Person A heard about Product or Service directly from Person B’s mouth.  Through the past few years, it has taken on a completely new meaning as communication on a whole between people has drastically changed.

Many businesses, primarily small-medium sized ones were built on and sustained by customer recommendations and through the “old word of mouth method”.  As technology expands, our communication skills among people, customers, families and friends has adapted as well.  Many schools have lessened curriculum on cursive writing, and increased curricula surrounding computer skills and even teaching coding and social media.  People now share life history, pictures, and personal stories through social media, texts and emails.  When someone is looking for a suggestion of a doctor, service or product, they crowd-source online.

So how do we utilize this relatively new way of communication and still hold on to our word of mouth marketing strategy?

5 Ways to Increase your Word of Mouth Online Marketing Success:

  1. Generate likes on your products, services and pages.  Make sure your website is optimized with social media buttons.  While in the past, people verbally told their friends they liked something, now people are share their preferences through “likes” and clicks.  When one person “likes” a website, Facebook business page, LinkedIn update etc. all of their followers are potentially exposed to seeing that “like”.  Just as with the traditional word of mouth, this new way is powerful in that people “trust” what their friends share and like online.
  2. Solicit Positive Reviews.  Set up your company YELP, Google Maps, Facebook and LinkedIn pages and encourage your happy customers to write a short review about why they come to you.  These reviews are magnificent in that they are always available (24/7!) and can be found by just about anyone looking for information on your company.
  3. Watch your “company” with Google Alerts.  Strategically outline important Brand and Industry keywords and sign up for notifications whenever those keywords are mentioned online.  Then, JOIN THE CONVERSATION.  If someone is searching in an online group for a product or service you sell, Google Alerts will let you know so you may answer them in that group in real time.
  4. Become the thought leader in your industry.  The more you position yourself as the expert, the higher the likelihood people will recommend you to others for that service.  If you are blogging all the time about a specific subject, you will be seen as the professional, even if that reader has never used you before.  When people read your blogs, watch your videos, see your tweets and posts about industry related services or products, they begin to respect and TRUST your knowledge.  They then feel comfortable recommending you to others as that expert!
  5. Find influential people in your target industry.  This one takes a bit more research work, but there are always tweeters, bloggers and facebookers who love to write about YOUR product and industry.  They have tons followers who already trust them, and they can become a very strong ally when it comes to recommending your services.  Find them, befriend them and join forces to create an equally beneficial partnership!

How to Increase Newsletter Sign-ups

Before covering the tips on how to increase sign-ups, you need to be clear on why you want more.  People often think the larger number of sign-ups means you are doing better at marketing your business.  This is not the case.  It’s what actions the subscribers take after reading the content- that matters. Increase newsletter signupsTherefore, you need a newsletter goal.  Each piece of communication should have a planned purpose and desired outcome prior to sending it.  Once you have an idea of what action you would the readers to take, you can strategize the content you want in it.

 6 Tips to Increase Newsletter Sign-ups:

  1.  Create Sign-Up Forms.  This seems simple enough, yet I have seen many clients that enter in emails personally whenever they get them and don’t provide website “passerby’s” to sign up on their own.  Remember that there may be a potential customer who is not ready to call you about services, but is still interested in your content.  By providing sign-up forms on your site, you are supplying customers with an easy and non-pressured way to learn about your company.
  2. Place the forms everywhere! Have a link in the navigation of your site titled “newsletter”.  You should provide sign-up forms in the sidebar of your site and buttons to sign up on appropriate pages.   You should also have a sign-up extension on your Facebook business page.
  3. Opt-in option.  No reputable email platforms these days allow you to use unauthorized or purchased emails.  If you want to gain the trust of your readers, gain their subscription and ultimately gain their business, make sure your opt-in (and opt-out for the matter) options are set correctly and easy to manage!
  4. Provide subject choices.  Email open rates will increase when the email is specific to the needs of the reader.  Provide a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 different subject check-boxes for new sign-ups.  See example here by click here.
  5. Clearly state the value.  Explain in a sentence or two above the newsletter fields, what the reader will receive or how they will benefit by signing up.  What makes your emails unique?  Keep it short and sweet.
  6. Make the emails forwardable and sharable.  Make sure you have a “forward to a friend” option inserted in every email communication that goes out to the public.  You also want to connect your newsletters with your Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook pages to autopost.  And thirdly, insert social sharing buttons in each email campaign.  As outsiders see the emails from a friend’s (whom they already trust) page or a forward, they are likely to sign up as well. 

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How to Embed a Facebook Post on your Website

Previously only permitted to developers, Facebook now allows people and businesses to embed a facebook post, picture or video on a webpage/blog.  See below for an example of an embedded post:

How Embedding a Facebook Post On Your Website Can Help You:

  1. Create engagement right there on your blog
  2. Allows readers to “Like” your facebook page from the post
  3. Readers can like, share or comment on the post immediately from your blog
  4. Readers can even embed the post onto their website increasing brand awareness for you

How to embed a facebook post on your website:

  1. From your Facebook Page, choose the post you want to embed (note: only public posts can be embedded)
  2. Click on the ‘down arrow’ in the upper right corner of the post to open a pop up box of options
  3. Choose “Embed Post”
    Facebook Embed
  4. Highlight the code in the new pop up and copy it to your clipboard
    Facebook Embed code
  5. Paste the code on the webpage you want it to appear on