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.

 

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.

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.

WebScout Quick Tip – How to Write an Introductory Email that Gets Results

We have put together 5 easy steps to help you write those “cold call” emails you have been putting off.

1. Think!
Spend 5-15 minutes thinking about the exact reason you are emailing the prospect. Think in terms of UVP (Unique Value Proposition) that you can offer; the most relevant information you can share. Why are you contacting them now – is it timely?

2. Determine The One Main Goal.
Determine just one main goal (CTA or “Call to Action) for this email. Asking for more than one thing can sometimes produce zero results. Know what you want – be purposeful.

3. Craft a Standout Opening Sentence.
Separate your opening sentence from the body of the email so it stands out visually. Always start with something about the prospect, never “My name is”…
Has something specific triggered this communication today? Examples: I noticed you…, [Mutual credible connection] mentioned you…, Saw that we both…, I noticed your work in …, Congratulations for…

4. Make Body Copy Reflect your UVP (Unique Value Proposition) 
Share your segment-specific UVP (avoid generic UVP’s) to give them a reason to care that you are contacting them. Keep this portion short. Use bullet points, links and make important phrases bold. Examples: Wouldn’t it be nice if…, Is ________important for you or a priority right now? Do you have unanswered questions about ______?

5. Signature
Use a plain black common font, simple contact information, website name and link. If appropriate, include one profile link of choice (LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, etc). A salutation can create personality, additional interest, additional connection or an emotional connection. Examples: Cha-Ching! (specific to ebay sellers). We found this great list on Forbes.

Follow these tips for writing emails in the digital marketing world and start to see your inbox fill up with responses! And remember: for great email communications, you want to:

• have a good, clear and interesting subject line
• get to the point right away – what’s in it for them?
• call out important items
• short paragraphs and/or bullet points
• ask them to do something – what exactly do you want them to do?

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

 

WebScout® Cares: Growing Beards—A Masculine Stance for a Women’s Cause

WebScout® Cares, founded in December 2012 by WebScout® CEO Laura Greeno, is a program that devotes online marketing time, resources, and talents to local non-profit organizations that help women overcome difficulties of exploitation, violence, and poverty. One organization takes a unique stance on supporting women in the fight against domestic violence. It started with a beard growing contest. 

Beards BeCAUSE:

Beards BeCAUSE

When it comes to sexual and violent abuse against women, men are typically seen on the defensive end. Beards BeCAUSE turns the tables. It started in 2007 with a beard-growing contest. The founders, Jared Yerg and Scott Doerr, decided that their hairy competitions made all in good fun should support a cause, so they started by raising money for the United Family Services’ Shelter for Battered Women of Charlotte.

With 36 men growing beards, they raised $22,000 for the shelter. Thus, Beards BeCAUSE was born.

Beards BeCAUSE has since spanned across the nation, raising awareness and money for victims of domestic violence. But it all started here in Charlotte.

For Greeno, domestic violence is also close to home. Both her and at least two of her sisters have suffered from abusive relationships in some way. A very sad ending to an abusive instance for her oldest sister involves the estranged boyfriend shooting her in the back as she tried to escape, intending to kill her. Greeno’s sister is now a paraplegic, reminding her and her family daily how domestic violence can change our lives and potentially take our loved ones from us in an instant.

Growing beards for a feminine cause reminds us that the fight against domestic violence must be combated on both fronts. Men taking a stand to support women is just as important as women standing up for themselves.

Greeno’s family suffered from domestic violence in a way that has impacted them forever. Greeno donates to this organization because she knows that this cause cannot only be fought by women for women; everyone must take a stand against issues of domestic violence.

Greeno wanted to thank a fellow marketer and entrepreneur Wendy Shanahan with Asterisk Creative for introducing her to this cause. Wendy has been instrumental in raising awareness and funding to support this organization nearly since its inception. Thanks Wendy!

WebScout® Cares: Finding the Hope in Situational Homelessness

WebScout® Cares, founded in December 2012 by WebScout® CEO Laura Greeno, is a program that devotes online marketing time, resources, and talents to local non-profit organizations that help women overcome difficulties of exploitation, violence, and poverty. This week focuses on the Hope House Foundation, an organization that offers an oasis of protection for women who cannot escape situations of violence and abuse.

Hope House Foundation

WebScout Cares Hope House Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

The Hope House Foundation offers a safe haven, a home for women who have nowhere else to turn. Greeno’s special connection to this organization comes from personal experience, yet again. When she found herself in San Jose, without aid, she was compassionately escorted by an official to a local halfway house. After asking an officer for an “inexpensive, hostel-like place to stay,” the officer discerningly recognized the greater need.

Once there, she met and befriended a pregnant woman who was only weeks away from delivery. Coping together, the two became friends.

“I was a part of her life during that time and I witnessed her hardship,” Greeno said. “She is still a very important friend to this day.”

Important because she was a comrade during a time of hardship, important because she introduced Greeno to God in a new way, and important because only five years later, Greeno found herself in a similar situation…a single parent, abandoned by her husband, with little resources to stay afloat, let alone “get ahead.”

Living as a single parent, working multiple jobs, working to obtain a college degree, and struggling to get through that tough period of time, Greeno remembered how her friend relied on Christ and just kept moving forward. Celeste was her friend’s name. She was “crazy for God,” is how Greeno puts it. Celeste was determined to provide for her family as a single mom, even if that meant she would need to voluntarily live in a halfway house for a period of time in order to get the best care (and housing) she could for her newborn and his first years in this world. This similar rough spot in Greeno’s life, where she just needed a little help to make it to the next step toward a better life, and with Celeste in the back of her mind, had inspired her to help places like the Hope House.

“I know first hand how these situations create circumstances beyond our control, and sometimes we need a little help getting on our feet,” she said.

Hope House Foundation does not identify itself as a battered women’s shelter or a substance abuse recovery center; rather, they seek to be a place to call home for up to six months for women who need time to regain strength and get back on their feet. Situational homelessness is extremely prevalent for single mothers or other women who are trying to escape from abuse or a violent situation in their home. Hope House fights this homelessness by offering a comfortable environment where these women can transform their lives for the better.