50 Digital Marketing Terms You Need To Know!

Important Digital Marketing TermsSEO, PPC, UVP?

Does this sound like another language to you? If so, you need our top 50 digital marketing terms glossary. Keep this list handy as you meet with your marketing team and you will never be in the dark again.
Do you have any terms to add to our list? Leave your comments below.

 

A/B Testing Testing different images, phrases, copy, layout, colors, design, etc. to maximize significant actions desired in online marketing efforts like email marketing, website design, landing page development, conversion optimization, advertising, etc.
Anchor Text A clickable link in text – usually highlighted in a different color.
Backlink A link from anywhere on the Internet back to your website that may contribute to the credibility of your website according to search engine algorithms. This can also work in reverse, where a poor quality backlink can devalue the credibility of your website (in the eyes of the search engines).
Bounce Rate In google analytics – the number of visitors to a given website page that do not progress past the entry page within a certain time period.
Brand Identity Logo.
Branded KWs or Terms Keywords and keyword phrases that include the name of your company.
Content Any digital asset used to develop a website outside of programming – examples would be images, copy, video, drawings, text, etc. Also the non-coded assets used in social media and other digital marketing efforts.
Content Marketing Any development and distribution of content – typically used to post to a blog, social networks, and other article posting and bookmarking websites – the idea is to create ebooks, white papers, infographics, images, videos, audio files, press releases, guest blog posts, events, books, comments, etc.to attract leads from the Internet to your own website or other owned digital properties. This content can and should be ‘the best answer’ to all your customers questions as they shop, research and search the Internet for solutions to their needs.
Conversion Conversion rate – usually the rate at which website visitors become buyers – it can be any conversion point in the sales process though.
Copy Text or written creative work – like articles, titles, blog posts, text on a website – can also be interchanged with ‘content.’
Creative When used as a noun, it refers to either the creative product or the creative person involved in producing the creative (the artist).
Crowdsourcing Using the talents, skills & influence of others, usually through social media platforms.
CTA Call-to-action. Can be calls-to-action as well – CTAs.
Differentiators What makes your company different from your competitors?
DIY Do-it-yourself efforts.
GP% Gross profit percentage.
Horizontal A set of diverse entities grouped according to a common need for selected goods and services. In contrast, a vertical market is a chain of goods and services providers within a single industry or government sector. Horizontal markets spread across multiple industries; yet have a common need for a given product or service.
Hummingbird A named Google algorithm update that better understands peripheral keywords, languages, and search habits – it has helped to evolve the way we approach keyword research and keyword-related SEO efforts.
Inclusive Design Website design that specifically considers any and all possible viewers – sometimes considered “accessible” design – in light of accessibility standards.
Intra-linking A link from one page of your website to another page – usually to discover “more information” about a particular keyword.
KW Keyword phrase also KWs as keyword phrases
Net Revenue minus expenses.
Non-Branded KWs or Terms Keywords and keyword phrases that do not include the name of your company.
Off-Site Any marketing efforts occurring somewhere else – not on or within your website – will occur on other websites (off your website).
On-Site Any marketing efforts happening on or within a website – usually used for on-site SEO.
Organic A type of search marketing – natural search marketing efforts – not paid display or pay-per-click search advertising.
Panda A named Google Algorithm update that is a search filter which is meant to stop sites with poor quality content from working their way into Google’s top search results.
Paid Usually refers to paid search marketing and advertising activities (like Google AdWords) – can also refer to paying customers or paid users. Pay-per-click.
Penguin A named Google algorithm update that targets sites deemed to be spammy, especially those found in violation of Google’s guidelines about linking.
PPC Pay per click advertising.
ppt Power point presentation or document type.
PR and PR0-10 PR is “public relations” efforts and activities. PR with a number from 0 to 10 after it (like PR5) refers to Google’s credibility measurement tool for websites (which as of the end of 2015 has not been updated in at least 2 years and has become less relevant). PR0 does not have any credibility built up yet and PR10 is a top website like Google, Facebook or YouTube. Most small business sites have a PR1-4. A PR3-5 is a very good quality site. A PR6+ is very hard to obtain for a small business website.
Project Increase revenue, decrease costs or improve relationships.
Prospects Likely customers or buyers who fall into at least one segment of your target market.
Responsive Usually referring to responsive design – where a website is designed and developed to respond to the user device type – whether a desktop, mobile, tablet, phone, etc.
Revenue Top line revenue brought into the company – not net.
Search Search engine marketing efforts.
Segments Target market segmentation – breaking down the buyer type into the smallest possible group of potential buyers or prospects.
SEM Search engine marketing – includes both paid and unpaid search marketing efforts.
SEO Search engine optimization – also refers to organic or natural search marketing efforts and specifically refers to those experts who perform SEO (example: “we’ll get an SEO to review this”).
SERP Search engine results page.
Signup Usually when a website visitor takes a significant action to signup for a newsletter, free trial, free download, etc.
Site Website (usually) – sometimes refers to an actual physical place.
Social Social media marketing efforts.
ROI Return on investment.
Target Market The group of people most likely to buy your product or service – this target market can be broken down further into segments.
Traffic The number of people who visit your website in any given time period.
Uniques Refers to website visitors who are both new (not returning visitors) and unique.
UVP Unique value proposition.
Verticals Target market segmentation by industry type (example: healthcare, arts, culture, history).

 

A Differentiating Edge for Ecommerce: Packing and Packaging

Below is a guest post from Jessica, a staff writer at Rakuten (aka Buy.com).

WebScout may help you design and develop a smashing ecommerce website that converts like a king, but if you don’t follow through with differentiated packaging during your fulfillment process, you’ll be missing out on high-potential repeat and referral business over time.

Packing, packaging, shipping and fulfillment is a big, big deal in the ecommerce today. When just under 90 percent of all online customers confess to leaving their shopping cart because of shipping costs alone, this is something to examine when trying to build business for an online store.

But creating innovative, smile-producing packaging is also just as critical to generating referrals and repeat orders. Many online retailers think as long as what the customer ordered arrives safely and on time, that is all that matters. Clearly this does matter, but it isn’t the only thing that matters, as the example below demonstrates.

A Question: Which Retailer Would You Choose?

If you were an online shopper and you had the choice to order from two different online retailers, with everything else (including product price and shipping) remaining the same, but one retailer’s package came in a plain brown box while the others’s came gift-wrapped like a present and filled with pretty paper, which would you choose? According to a 2013 survey, more than half of all customers would choose the retailer who sent the items in premium packaging.

How to Make Your Packaging Stand Out

You may think it will cost a lot more to make your company’s packaging really stand out. It will definitely cost you some extra time to scope out how to make your brand stand out from the pack. But it doesn’t have to cost a lot to actually put your plans into action.

Here are some ideas to price out:

– Choose a box color other than brown – preferably one that matches a color in your company’s logo.

– Order bulk stickers and place one above the return address on each package. Place a few more inside the box for customers to use and share.

– Instead of just using a box, package your smaller items in decorative gift bags (available for just cents online) tied with colored twine that matches your company logo.

– Be SURE your products are secure inside the container – no one feels good opening a box to see broken purchases!

– Tuck a note inside each order – on the front is your logo and inside is a handwritten PERSONALIZED note saying “Thanks for ordering!”

– During holidays and special events, have some bulk postcards printed up and add one to each order to encourage customers to take advantage of coupons, sales and freebies.

A Word About Free Shipping

The word “free” and all that it suggests will always be popular among consumers. But the key to offering free shipping is to offer it in a way that will not adversely impact the minimum profit your company needs to make per order.

Here are some ideas that can help you offer free shipping:

– Determine the point at which it makes financial sense to offer free shipping (is it a minimum order of $30? $50? $75?) and advertise that as a perk to customers.

– Hike your product prices to incorporate the costs of offering free shipping.

– Negotiate with your wholesale vendors to buy in larger quantities to get lower prices or change what you order so it is affordable enough to throw in free shipping too.

– Find another way to cut your costs: such as spending less time on inventory tasks, or optimizing your pay per click spending, or using smart automation technology to control ongoing marketing efforts and other operational expenses.

– Shift advertising funds you may have unknowingly been wasting to fund free shipping instead.

– Offer free shipping only for purchases that qualify for ground or media mail delivery.

– Offer free shipping as a promotional perk only at certain times each year.

– Offer free shipping instead of offering coupons or product discounts (many customers prefer the former anyway!).

– Give each customer the option of free shipping under certain sets of circumstances – they can choose the most cost-effective for their needs.

With these tips, your company can reinforce your brand and value to customers and earn referrals and repeat business as a reward!

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who has worked in eCommerce for the last five years.  She currently writes for Rakuten Super Logistics and recommends them for all your online order fulfillment needs to further your success.

 

What Is The Difference Between Social Media And Online Marketing?

What is difference between social media and online marketing

Social media, online marketing, digital marketing, internet marketing – the list could go on. These are all terms we hear when we are trying to develop a marketing plan. Let’s learn to distinguish them a bit and get your business on the right track with digital marketing in 2015 and beyond.

What is Online Marketing?

Internet marketing or online marketing is the big umbrella which includes website development, email marketing, blogging, digital marketing, search engine marketing, pay per click advertising and all the efforts associated within those efforts. Each of these individual components make up most of a companies’ online presence.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is simply marketing your business using social media platforms. This may include the most popular social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+. Social media is a way to keep your customers up to date on the latest trends and buzz around your industry. It is a place to build relationships and brand. Social media marketing can include setting up free accounts on the most popular platforms mentioned above and creating meaningful content on your pages on a regular basis. Most networks also have paid advertising options. These can be helpful to build followers and promote specific events or promotions your business may be running. We recently published a list of why your business needs to be using social media here.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is also a component of online marketing but may also include offline tactics such as radio and TV ads. Digital marketing will drive your customers online to your website or social media accounts through online and offline measures. Businesses also use digital marketing when incorporating a pay per click campaign for their business. These may include banner ads on industry related websites or forums, Google AdWords or Bing Ads. A complete digital marketing campaign will usually include the following: search engine marketing, social media promotions and email marketing.

Social media marketing is only one small component of online marketing. Online/Digital marketing is the catch-all term used that incorporates all of the marketing efforts used to promote your business both online and offline. Online marketing is the way of the future and is an essential part of your companies’ marketing plan.

WebScout offers a free 15 minute consultation. Give us a call or email us here to get your digital marketing plan started.

 

How successful is video marketing and should my business use it?

With the continued popularity of YouTube and video blogging, companies are beginning to discover the power of video to promote their products. Through tutorials, webinars, walkthroughs and more, the possibilities for video marketing are innumerable.

So who’s using video marketing, and how successful is it? According to Cisco, video will make up 69% of consumer internet traffic by 2017. So now is the best time for businesses to start using video marketing, because it’s only going to become more popular. This video from American Greetings shows video marketing done right.

With the rise of other streaming content on platforms such as Netflix and Hulu, even more people are looking to video for their entertainment and news. Buzzfeed hit big with their viral videos, offering interesting and highly sharable content. At the same time, YouTube is the second most popular search engine behind Google, and receives over one billion unique visitors per month. The number of people subscribing to specific YouTube channels has tripled in the last year alone.

According to Nielsen, 64% of marketers expect video to be their dominant strategy in the near future. Many companies are already employing the use of video marketing to promote their products and services. It’s not hard to see why; the benefits of video marketing are highly valuable. Videos often present narratives, which can help build your brand. Brand building can then lead to greater brand awareness. If viewers link your company or product with an interesting video, they’re more likely to remember who you are. Video marketing is a great way to improve Search Engine Marketing(SEO), because videos often have higher click rates. Also, videos can help improve conversion rates and link building. Online retailer StacksandStacks.com reported that customers that viewed product videos were 144% more likely to purchase the product than those who did not watch a video.

Another benefit of video marketing is that it offers improved user engagement. Because people’s attention spans are lowering, video is becoming a much more effective method of communication than text-based content. A good video will keep the viewer watching. Also, people can’t skim a video like they can a text, so if they watch the entire video, your company has a greater chance of making an impression on the viewer.

For example, retailer Advance Auto Parts found that adding instructional videos to their website and Facebook page led customers who watched to stay twice as long on the site and visit twice as many pages compared to those who did not watch any videos. An important consideration, especially with YouTube, is to create videos with content, instead of just an ad. This makes people more willing to watch, and increases the potential for viewers to share your video with others.

For businesses looking to start their video marketing efforts, here are a few ideas for effective content. An introductory video, offering visuals and sound as to who your company is and what it does, is always a good starting point. Secondly, you could create a video responding to customer questions. This engages the customers directly and shows that you care about their input. Similarly, you can produce a video that stars fans and users of your service or product, which adds a personal and authentic element to your business. This can be beneficial because it can allow the viewer to connect with the video emotionally, something that is much harder to accomplish through text. Here’s a good example of a case study video, which features users of GoToMeeting.com, relaying how the product has benefited their business. The testimonials are engaging, not static, which makes for a more effective video.

When deciding whether or not video marketing will benefit your business, you should consider your demographic. For example, videos are great if you’re looking to reach a younger audience. Nielsen reports that YouTube reaches more people in the 18-34 age demographic than any cable network.

Take a look at this guide to help you jumpstart your video marketing strategy or contact WebScout for a free 15-20 minute consultation.

 

New Website Checklist – Top 25 Tips – 2015 Version

Building a new website or changing your current site can be a daunting task (see this list of website checklists)! We have put together a website checklist of the top 25 tips to get you started. Good Luck!

  1. Establish your differentiation. Isolate the specific things that set your business apart from your competitors and prioritize them according to their importance, potential and effectiveness, respective to the wants and needs of your audience.
  2. Do some basic keyword research to determine the best possible keyword phrases for your company’s business; then prioritize them (choose your top 10 to 15). This will be needed for your websites’ sitemap and architecture, as well as for any ongoing website marketing efforts you may plan after your website is up and running.
  3. Figure out your ideal clients—your “target markets.” Segment these markets into groups based on demographics, roles and buying habits. Prioritize the segments.
  4. Have you developed your UVPs (Unique Value Propositions)?
  5. Ensure that you maintain control of your site as its owner. You should be able to make small changes like adding video, images and new content without having to ask permission or wait on your web designer. A CMS, or content management system platform is usually best for small and medium-sized businesses.
  6. Make sure your website partner does not use a proprietary custom development platform. After your website’s initial build, it’s best to keep your options open when it comes to whom you want to work with. If the relationship between you and your web company falters, you don’t want to end up “stuck” working with them just because no-one else is familiar with their proprietary development code. This type of custom development can be slow to evolve and typically can’t keep up with new technologies and the new functionality being built daily for other open-source platforms. It can also be expensive, and may not give small businesses enough control over their own websites. That said…since I first wrote this website development checklist in 2012, a lot has changed and many custom solutions are just as easy to transfer to new ownership, etc. If you’d like to learn more about the good and bad – just call us for a conversation and we’ll share some of the risks/benefits with you directly.
  7. Choose a CMS website development platform that’s search-engine friendly. Some platforms and/ or hosting companies are not ideally suited for successful search engine marketing efforts—research carefully before choosing.
  8. Make sure you own your website, your domain, all of your site content, any custom development you have had done, the hosting account, and everything else related to your site. This is very important! Some web companies will hold your website and information hostage if you decide to work with another partner. You must have administrative access to everything…keep all those user names and passwords!
  9. Base your site architecture on relevant calls-to-action, or CTAs. CTAs act as a guide for your site’s visitors and make navigation easier for them. They let you choose where you want a visitor to “go” and what you want a visitor to “do” on your website in a clear and simple way. CTAs must be prioritized for each web page (and sometimes for different audiences).
  10.  Be sure your website is optimized for mobile viewing. Mobile viewing and accessibility is a critical component of your website’s visibility in today’s marketplace. Most CMS platforms will have mobile responsive options for your site and it is not always necessary to build a separate mobile version of your site. Ask for “responsive design.”
  11. Find out who is responsible for security updates and regular security maintenance on your website once it’s completed. It might be YOU! In addition, figure out who is responsible for other essential elements of your site, such as website updates, hosting, email, and so on.
  12. Get a search engine optimization or SEO specialist on board early. This isn’t a must for every website, but it’s definitely necessary if you plan to use your website to bring in more customers.
  13. Hire a copywriter to help you think through your site architecture. Share your keyword strategy with him or her to ensure that your content is keyword-rich in the most effective way for your audience (and for the search-engine “eyes” too).
  14. Identify and begin collecting the exact elements you may want on each page of the site, such as imagery, staff photography, staff bios, credibility icons, your mission statement, product and service details and images, testimonials and client success stories. Ask your site architect to help you through this process.
  15. Develop keyword-rich titles for each webpage. Page titles, headers and meta-descriptions should clearly indicate what each web page is actually about.
  16. Keep your keywords in mind when you name the images on your site. Choose keyword-rich names. Give your images alt tags. Alt tags enable search engines to “read” what the images are about.
  17. Make sure your site architect, copywriter and SEO expert work together to develop the best possible site map. Submit it to main search engines like Google, Bing (includes Yahoo) and Ask. You can do this yourself, but an SEO expert will have access to lists of the most effective search engines.
  18. Don’t use Flash animation on your home page if you want your website to show up in a Google search (unless it’s tucked away deep inside your site’s sub-pages).
  19. Incorporate a blog within your website (not a blog that’s separate from your website). This is an easy way to add fresh information and content on a regular basis.
  20. Install Google Analytics (GA) on every page of your website. This is a must. Note: the GA account should be set up using a Gmail account that is owned by you…not the website or web marketing company. Google Webmaster Tools (WBT) is also a great resource for your site to help you monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google search results.
  21. Decide on the best website visitor tracking methods for your site. If you plan to track different types of inquiries from your website, such as calls, emails, or contact forms, install the appropriate tracking codes. You can add thank you/confirmation pages to track contact forms.
  22. Use your web analytics data to isolate the IP addresses of all of the people who work on your site. Separating these addresses from general web traffic will help improve the accuracy of your visitor data (visits are now called “sessions” in Google Analytics).
  23. Make sure your web developer plans to test/edit everything before you go-live. And make sure you have plenty of time after you go live to make adjustments to your site.
  24. Set up any operational needs that may derive from website inquiries, such as click-to-call or 24/7 chat services.
  25. Connect your social media profiles to your site. Only add the social media profiles that you actively post from. If you have a blog, make it easy for followers to share your content with their own social media profiles.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by all of this, or you want to make sure you don’t end up needing to reinvest in your website just because you forgot to include a specific step . . . then hire an online marketing consultant to see you through the process!

 

This Info Will Help Get Your Website Mobile – Ready in 2015

tips to make website mobile ready

If you’re wondering whether or not your business needs to have a mobile presence, the
resounding answer is YES. Consumers are using their phones to review items and make purchases now more than ever, a trend that experts say will skyrocket in 2015. The benefits of mobile marketing are endless: accessibility, affordability, immediacy, visibility, and many more. But with changes in technology and how people use their smartphones, there are a few ways in which mobile marketing is changing in 2015.

Here are a few key reasons to embrace mobile marketing in 2015:

  1. Mobile purchasing is becoming easier: With more companies building mobile sites and new technology being developed, making purchases on your smartphone has never been easier. WebScout’s Laura Greeno was quoted in Web Retailer’s 2015 predictions for ecommerce. Greeno says one reason why mobile purchasing will be so prevalent in 2015 is “Additional mobile pay options will emerge to compete, expand and integrate with Apple Pay to make m-commerce even faster and easier.” Also, mobile purchasing allows for impulse buying that satisfies the consumer’s desire for instant gratification.
  1. Continued Proliferation of Smartphones: one of the greatest benefits of having a mobile friendly website is the simple accessibility of the medium. In 2014 alone, the amount of people using smartphones globally grew 25%.  And by 2017, it’s predicted that ⅓ of all people will use smartphones. Mobile marketing allows you to reach potential customers no matter where they are. According to Inc., more than half of email marketing messages are viewed on mobile devices. This is significant because email marketing is still reported to be the most effective form of marketing, period. Social media is also a factor. Inc. reports that smartphone users are 33% more likely to be engaged on social media than PC users. This matters because social media is a common way people find out about and make decisions regarding products and promotions.
  1. Greater Efficiency: According to IBM’s analytics, 22% of Cyber Monday sales were mobile purchases, up 27% from the previous year. With the possibility of so many people accessing mobile sites at once, companies are focusing on making sure their mobile platforms are functional and user-friendly. This means more mobile friendly websites and less apps. While apps can be innovative and flashy, they’re also prone to bugs. They require consumers to download the app, as well as install occasional updates. People are much more likely to access your company through a Google search leading to your website. And speaking of Google, mobile websites can improve your overall search engine visibility while an app cannot — it’s not the same as a web app and isn’t viewed in the same way by Google and the like. Also, when searching on a smartphone, websites with mobile optimized interfaces seem to enjoy better prioritization than those that are not.
  1. More Personalized Service: In 2015, mobile marketing will be more integrated than ever. Rising trends such as proximity technology will allow customers to have their orders ready before they step foot in the door. Also, customer loyalty is becoming more of a priority in mobile. Starbucks, for example, has succeeded in cultivating not just a mobile site, but a mobile experience for customers. Their platform is complete with a loyalty program that offers multi-tiered levels of discounts and promotions to incentivize consumers. It’s no wonder they’ve been named Mobile Marketer of the Year twice in the past 3 years.

The number of people with smartphones today is rapidly increasing. And while in previous years mobile marketing has simply been an advantage for those savvy enough to use it, in 2015, any company that doesn’t have a mobile presence will be at a disadvantage.

WebScout can help you optimize your website for a better experience for the growing number of mobile users. Contact us for a free consultation.

WebScout Quick Tip – Questions to Ask When Hiring a Marketing Company or Marketing Consultant

When you’re developing a product or service, it can be difficult to gauge what stage in the process is appropriate to start marketing. Marketing helps introduce your company to the masses, and when done right, can significantly improve your chances for success. But when do you stop handling marketing yourself and hire a company to take over? If you’ve gotten too busy or are running out of ideas, it may be time to hire a marketing company to help grow your business. But before you hire anyone, you need to consider what kind of marketing expert would benefit you and your company. Here are a few questions to ask when doing your research:

  1. Am I willing to listen and try new things? Hiring someone outside your company to plan and execute your marketing strategy means giving up some measure of control over it yourself. This can be difficult for some business owners, because they believe they know what is best for their company, and understandably so. However, relinquishing some control over to trained marketing experts can undoubtedly improve the long term success of your business. It’s important to have an open mind when listening to the ideas of your firm or contractor. Their ideas are objective, founded upon facts, research, and previous experience.
  2. Should I hire a marketing consultant or a marketing firm? Hiring a marketing consultant costs less than hiring a marketing firm, which can be beneficial for small businesses or start ups. However, if you have the resources to go bigger, marketing firms offer a variety of marketing experts with a range of specialties, allowing for greater success of finding your perfect match.  According to Business 2 Community, the cost of hiring a marketing agency is $3,000 to $5,000 per month. This may be a small cost to ensure that your product or service is visible to your target market. Hiring a marketing consultant would make more sense if you’re not looking to get help with every project. For the projects that you do need help with, however, you can hire a marketing consultant whose skills are especially tailored to your needs.
  3. Do I need marketing assistance full time or part time? Consider the size of your business, amount of sales, and number of projects to assess whether you need full or part time marketing help. Also consider if it would be beneficial to your business to have a marketing consultant on a project by project basis. This can be a cost effective way of getting the marketing expertise you need without committing to long term payments. A marketing firm would be more appropriate for businesses that are looking for a consistent source of marketing assistance or a vast array of differing skills. For example, graphic design for a printed brochure is a completely different skillset than website development or video production. In a larger company, they will have more variety of skillsets to accommodate a wide range of marketing needs. This can help keep operations running smoothly and ensure that marketing efforts aren’t taking employee’s time away from other concerns.
  4. Should I hire a local company? When hiring a marketing firm, their location is not as important as the question of whether or not they can really help you. Look for a marketing firm that has previous experience with companies of your size, and if possible, within the market you’re looking to target. Also ask the firm about their strategy and how they have helped other businesses–increased revenue, increased number of people reached, etc.–and see if it matches the results you are aiming for. That said, hiring a local company allows you to interact with the people handling your marketing more often than you would if the firm was not local. This can be extremely beneficial when developing a brand identity, working on strategic marketing planning and any creative work where a face-to-face meeting could vastly improve the outcome.
  5. What results am I looking for? When you’re looking for a marketing consultant or firm, the most important thing to keep in mind is what you want the final outcome to be. Are you looking for a new website to draw potential customers, improved SEO, more social media followers, or greater brand awareness? According to QSR Magazine, the best goals for successful marketing campaigns are specific, can be measured and are closely related to the avenue of marketing itself. For example, you may say you expect at least ten new prospects to derive from a certain Facebook promotion, instead of relying on less direct or short-term results like a temporary increase in website traffic.

Once you’ve thought about these questions, the next step is to do your research on which marketing firms or marketing consultants may be right for you. It will take time and effort, but the more research you do, the more likely you’ll be able to find the right match for you and your company. The quicker that happens, the sooner you’ll be able to execute a marketing plan and start seeing results.

WebScout has done the research for you and offers a free 15-20 minute phone consultation for anyone starting a new marketing project. Contact Us today.

5 Reasons Your Business Needs to be on Social Media

From your local news station to the White House,                                                                              it seems like everyone has a social 5 reasons your business needs to be on social mediamedia presence today. But is it just a passing fancy, or something that can genuinely have an impact on the long term success of your business? Is it worth your time and energy? The answer is yes. Cultivating  a social media presence has become an integral part of marketing strategy. The trick is figuring out which platforms will work best for your business, and making sure they’re ones that your demographic is still using. For example, young adults have largely moved past Facebook and into Instagram and Tumblr. Yet older demographics are just now embracing Facebook.

No matter whom you’re looking to target, there are several reasons why having a social media presence is necessary for your business.

  1. Increases Consumer Trust: Social media is an inherently personal product. It’s fundamental purpose is to allow one person to share their personal information with many others. By creating social media posts for your business, your audience is allowed to interact with your business in a personal way—the same way they interact with friends. A good social media profile can help increase customer trust, because they can communicate with you as a person instead of just a business. And of course, increased trust leads to increased sales and brand loyalty. The key is to be authentic. According to Digital Buzz Blog, auto-posting to Facebook decreases likes and comments by 70%. So rather than canned comments, be creative, and take the time to write personal, relatable posts, and most importantly–reply to comments left by your customers.
  2.  

  3. Builds Brand Awareness: As recently noted in this post, brand awareness is key to the long-term growth of a company. Social media can be extremely effective in building brand awareness, simply because it allows your business to be showcased on more platforms. The way you use social media for your business can help make your brand’s message more cohesive and its image more identifiable. Brand awareness is especially important in the early days of your business, so creating a social media presence early can make for a more effective launch. Also, the cost is relatively low compared to other advertising methods, making it optimal for a startup. With regular updates, using social media for brand awareness helps legitimize your business by proving that is alive and well, compared to the often-static content of websites.
  4.  

  5. Improves Targeting of Audience: According to Media Bistro, 74% of consumers rely on social media to influence their purchasing decisions. Using social media helps you see who your customers are and what’s important to them. People who connect with your business on social media are potentially the best representations of your target audience. With social media tools, you can track who is looking at your profile, including age, gender, and occupation, allowing you to target potential customers more effectively. Also, you can gain insights about what people are gravitating towards on your social media, through likes and comments. If photos are getting 20 likes and videos are getting 10 likes, you may want to focus more on posting interesting photos.
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  7. Allows for Quick and Easy Updates: When launching a new product or service, there’s no faster way to inform your audience than social media. For example, when someone likes your page on Facebook, posts from your company will show up on their news feed, meaning your customers will be made aware of new content without even having to look for it. Updates can also be shared and spread easily from person to person. Facebook has recently changed their algorithms and businesses have to work harder to get their message to the fans. Less than 10% of fans will see your updates if they are not sponsored. We encourage our clients to spend a portion of their ad budget on Facebook each month to gain exposure.
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  9. Increases Traffic and Conversion: According to Media Bistro, 81% of consumers are influenced by their friends’ posts on social media when making purchasing decisions. This is just one of the ways a good social media presence can increase traffic for your business. Posts can be seen by your customers and their friends, allowing for greater dispersion and visibility of your business, which can lead to increased sales. Also, your social media profiles and posts can be linked to your website, resulting in increased traffic and improved SEO. Social media increases conversion in part by increasing credibility. Companies with a high number of followers are often seen as more legitimate by consumers (and search engines), which may prompt them to choose your company over a competitor.

 

WebScout offers a free 15-20 minute phone consultation for anyone starting a new marketing project. Contact Us today.

WebScout Quick Tip – How to Build an Audience on Social Media

Next up on the FAQ list: How do I build an audience on social media? Here are 5 simple tips for building an audience on social media. Stay tuned for more specific tips for each network in future posts on some of the most popular social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest & Instagram. Let us know your own best practices and tips in the comments.

  • Communicate often and regularly.

Be sure to answer questions in a timely manner and acknowledge a fan who takes the time to reshare, comment or like your content. Fans love to be acknowledged by a company and are more likely to engage with your page if they know they are being heard.

  • Don’t be pushy.

Don’t “sell” your business. Instead, share your expertise with your followers so they come back to you time and again for more useful information.

  • Get personal.

Share information about your industry 70% of the time and something more personal 30% of the time. People need to see the “human” aspect of your business and they love “behind the scenes” details.

  • Stay consistent.

Get focused on sharing content that keeps your readers coming back for more. We all know it is tempting to post those funny cat memes, but too many of those will cause your fans to “unfollow” you quickly. Your fans are following you for a specific reason – give them what they want and what they expect from you.

  • Know your audience.

We will cover this in more detail soon. Yet, you should have a good idea about who is buying your products and services already. If you haven’t already identified your ideal customer and your not-ideal customer, then get busy learning more about them!

Incorporate these 5 simple tips into your social media playbook and your audience will start to grow on its own.

WebScout offers a free 15-20 minute phone consultation for anyone starting a new marketing project. Contact Us today.

WebScout Quick Tip – 5 Easy Steps to Build Brand Awareness

According to Wikipedia, brand awareness is “the extent to which a brand is recognized by potential customers and is correctly associated with a particular product. Expressed usually as a percentage of the target market, brand awareness is the primary goal of advertising in the early months or years of a product’s introduction”.

This leads us to one of the most asked questions we receive from potential clients. How do I create brand awareness? Brand awareness is an ongoing effort that every business should work on over time. We have a few tips to get you started using social media to help build brand awareness.

1.  People follow your brand to learn more about you.

Share content about: company culture, company news, employees, products and/or services. Customers want to see the faces behind your business. We love this post from ecomdash because it gives the customer a glimpse into the office.

5 steps to build brand awareness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Incorporate a “Fun Fact Friday” “Tell Us Tuesday” “Throwback Thursday (#tbt)”, “Wisdom Wednesday.”

You get the idea – anything catchy that you do each week that will keep your fans anticipating something specific from you on a given day. Make your content consistent, regular and relevant and your fans will start to look for your posts on those specific theme days.

3. Promote content that shares your expertise.

This will tie-in to another blog post about building relationships, but is also a building block of brand awareness. Find the people who are talking about the subjects that you want to be engaged with and share their content that is already getting attention. Not only share it, but comment on it and ask your audience questions about it. This will start a relationship with the influencers in your business community and over time hopefully they will reciprocate and share your content as well, thus building brand awareness.

4. Ask your audience questions.

This is a great way to start engaging your audience and learn what is most important to them at any given time. Share industry news and ask your audience their opinions about news in the industry. For example: You are a local retail business who is looking to open a new location. Ask your customers where they would like to see you expand. Ask your customers how they feel about retail companies being open on Thanksgiving Day; ask about new brands they would like you to carry, etc.

 
5. Feature an employee of the month.

Not only will fans like celebrating your employees, your employees will share their accomplishments with their own social networks and as a by-product begin to spread the word about your brand. Post an employee picture, tell a little story about the person (where they went to school, what they like to do for fun, where they grew up, etc.). If your company is growing and you’ve brought on a new employee – let your audience know about it – they love to see your company grow!

 

Use these tips to get started and work on them a little each week. Be sure you are consistently publishing new content to your social networks. This will keep your company top-of-mind with your audience and allow them to build a deeper connection with your brand.
WebScout offers a free 15-20 minute phone consultation for anyone starting a new marketing project. Contact Us today.