While we are a digital and Internet marketing company, you can't deny the reach of traditional advertising through mediums such as print, TV, radio, sky messaging, sticker bombing, sandwich boarding, etc...
The point is, there’s plenty of other ways to get your business’ name out there other than digital marketing. Smart business owners should take the best of both worlds and combine them to form a customized advertising plan that works the best for their business.
Using Google Analytics with your advertising campaign takes it to the next level. It’s one thing to hope you're getting results from traditional marketing, but it’s an entirely more valuable process to understand your action return on investment from these campaigns. While Google Analytics works wonders for seeing the results of your online marketing and where your traffic is coming from, it’s powers are dampened slightly with the real world. Google can’t index everything - at least for now.
Not all is lost, however. With the right tools, analytics makes it pretty easy to monitor your offline marketing efforts. The first of those tools we’ll discuss is a Custom Landing Page.
Custom landing pages should be directed at a very specific clientele that your offline marketing is advertising. For example, if you have a selection of Jazz Fest merchandise, throw that all on a single page under your root domain and focus your offline / traditional advertising, whatever form that may take, on sending people to that custom landing page. Through analytics, you can see how many people ended up there, how long they stayed, etc.
Shortened URLs achieve the same affect with a bit more technological spin. To make this even easier, sign up for a Bitly account, where you can keep track of all the URLs you have shortened. Remember to keep track of what URLs you use for what, and never just duplicate your website – Google will detect it as spam.
Another way to keep track of offline marketing is to use Redirects. You can achieve this with shortened URLs or even QR codes, but a smart way to do this is to buy up some similar domain names that pertain to your business. Let’s say you’re again selling some Jazz Fest merch, and your regular domain name is GiftsInNewOrleans.com. You could buy the domain name BuyJazzFestMerch.com and add it to any offline ad. Have that site redirect to yours. Analytics can track the traffic from that redirect, giving you access to who responded to that offline add. Again, don’t just duplicate your site for the new URL – Google doesn’t play nice with duplicate material.
So, all is not lost when combining traditional and digital marketing. Google Analytics makes it easy to keep track of both, making future marketing efforts even more effective. Saving money, while getting you more business? Who doesn't want that!
Trying to decide which SEO strategies are going to be around in a few years is like trying to catch smoke in your hands. Google’s algorithms are always considering the user’s experience and thus outlawing a majority of publishing tactics aimed at grabbing their attention. This has a two-fold benefit in that it provides the most useful information to the user and makes the publisher work harder to meet their specific needs. But there are a few methods that have stood the test of time and other tactics that are likely to remain.
The best way for anyone to want your links or follow your profiles or basically just to care about you is to become the expert of your field. You can do this with a number of methods including high-volume, quality content; active social media campaigns and engagement; tutorials and advice columns; answering questions and recommending products. Being an expert doesn’t just mean having all the answers, it means being the first responder to a user’s crisis as well as the follow-up friend. Be consistent as well as knowledgeable
With over $18 billion spent on content marketing and 2.5 billion pieces of content shared daily (according to the Custom Content Council Survey), it is obvious that content marketing that is the future of SEO. Hummingbird has focused Google search specifications to glean only valuable, authentic information for the user. That means that content marketing has to step up it’s game with longer content, statistics and examples, instead of relying on image saturation use useful tools like flow charts, graphs and diagrams as well. If you build the right content, the links will come.
The best way to know which SEO options is being continuously on guard for the newest algorithm updates and standards from Google. From what we have gathered, there is to be a co-mingling of social, content and search thanks to Hummingbird. Search engines now want localized, relevant and focused answers for their users. As a publisher, you need to focus on tailoring the content to the conversation, keeping the conversation interesting through social media, and building your brand as the expert choice.
Need expert strategies to help you stand out from the competition long-term? Call us at 504-521-6222 and we're happy to sit down and discuss what would work best for your business.Continue reading
The festival season is upon us here in New Orleans. April will be the host of French Quarter Festival as well as Jazz Festival, then in May we will be seeing Bayou Booglaloo as well as the Food and Wine Festival and in the hot summer months there will be Essence Festival and Satchmo SummerFest. And with all those visitors to the city and locals out and about, it goes without saying that companies should be finding ways to market and brand their businesses at the festivals.
Social media is going to be the first avenue that people explore when it comes to their favorite festivals. They’ll be sharing lineups, talking about their excitement, posting pictures of their tickets. Regardless of what your business is or if you believe your company will have no place at a particular festival, there are marketing options for you, especially with social media.
Festivals are a form of entertainment that people from all over your region will come into see. That means transportation, hotels, food so if you could offer to pay for their entertainment, you’d be doing them a real favor. Plan ticket giveaway contests through social media. Ask for a like and a share as a way of putting their name into the hat for the tickets to the event. If you really want to see some volume, make them VIP tickets or backstage passes. This way, you are making people do the advertising for you.
If you can secure some real estate at a festival, ask people to check-in at your station or tent for chances to win free promotion swag or food and beverage tickets. Offer a picture contest of certain bands or interesting sights for better content on your social media profiles. Lots of Instagram and Pinterest pictures and updates on all your feeds. Also, when you take pictures of people at the festival, let them know who you are and tell them to tag themselves in the pictures once they are posted. Free traffic, free advertising and great content to share, that is a win-win in the internet marketing field.
As far as your SEO and branding strategies, content marketing is going to be a major attraction for people during festivals. Have useful content like parking information, food and beverage places in the area, line-ups and schedules, maps and more will help people searching, arrive on your site. Blog posts with common festivals tags will help people find you easier and be sure to use content that people will want to see: images, reviews, interviews, and places to go after the festival ends. Imagine if you were coming to this festival and city for the first time, what would you be searching for?
In addition, be sure to advertise and promote yourself at the festival with tangible items like small gifts: t-shirts, bottle openers, cozys, hats, stickers, things that are small enough for people to take with them. Advertising on the festivals website or sponsoring the festival is a great way to earn promotional space. The prices might be steep but with the amount of traffic going to the site it could be beneficial.
The point being, you don’t want to miss out on these kinds of opportunities during festival season. You can market to a much larger audience, interact with your following and solidify brands and have a great time while you are doing it!
Need help coming up with your festival strategy? Give us a call at 504-521-6222 and we're happy to create a customized plan for you.Continue reading
When reading about branding techniques and methods, there appears to be a misrepresentation of branding as a form of marketing. Branding should be the underlying goal and overall effect of any marketing strategy. But what is branding exactly? Branding should be the manner in which you express the values and principles of your company. You want to encourage people to trust your business or product and ultimately, to work with you instead of your competition. So now that you know that, what is the best method to go about branding? The best manner to brand is by making yourself an expert, a reliable expert, one that customers are familiar with and consider the best of the best.
Hootsuite is social media management software that allows users a multitude of options and formats to better manage their social media accounts. Instead of having different windows of your computer open all day, constantly checking news feeds and logging onto 1-10 sites, Hootsuite allows for all of those portals to be in one window, with continuously refreshing streams. Hootsuite allows you to go even further than just managing your social media profiles, it allows you the features to expand your marketing strategy and branding goals to the world of social media in a faster, more lucrative way.
Using Hootsuite as a monitoring device is recommended but it is also the most rudimentary aspect of the software. You can use two different functions of Hootsuite: to monitor your company on social media or monitor the product or service your company offers. For example, if you are an ice cream shop in Boston and you want to monitor any tweets, Facebook posts or mentions of your shop on social media, you can easily go to the “Add Stream” button which will give you the option to either search with terms or keywords. You can search your company's Twitter handle, your signature flavor, and your location and see what people are saying. Or you can just search by keyword for terms like “#ice cream” “#Boston” and “#milkshake.”
This will allow Hootsuite to filter through all your feeds and followers and see who is searching these terms. You can use other filters like language, location even Klout score for more localized searches. But by knowing how to monitor for users searching for your products or company, you can see what the consensus is about your company. Furthermore, you can set up streams and keyword searches for your competition and find out what the buzz is surrounding them. The best defense is a good offense, right? What does this feature mean in terms of branding though? It means that these tools will help you understand the general opinion of your product so that you can go about changing or enhancing that image to become exactly what you want.
How else can Hootsuite help the company that wants to focus their branding techniques? Well, Hootsuite allows you to engage with fellow users quickly. If someone tweets at your company or shares your status, you’ll be aware immediately, and thus, be able to respond or start a conversation quickly with that customer, thereby cementing the acquaintance. If someone retweets you or favorites your tweet, you can see where that customer came from and be able to measure the success rates of your various social media profiles. The better and faster your engagement is the more familiar users will become with you and they will see more about your business as well. More familiarity equals more sales and proof that your company is becoming a brand.
Becoming an Expert
Regardless of what your company or service is, being considered the most knowledgeable in your field will make users and customers trust you more than your competition. By trying out various search term combinations and stream formations, you can format your Hootsuite profile to show you people with questions or problems in your field. Let’s say you are in the clothing retail business and you see a tweet that says “I love this designer bag, but I can’t afford it L” You can respond that you have a bag of similar color or style for a much lower price. Or a user asks “What goes best with white pants?” and you offer some of your store’s fashions as the answer. Before you know it, you’ll be recognized by that user as an expert in your field. Just because someone doesn’t engage at you personally, doesn’t mean you can’t engage with them. Remember, it is called “social” media for a reason.
As stated previously, an important aspect of branding is having your customers trust you. That means being consistent and reliable with all of your posting and content sharing. If you post something new every day then your followers are going to want to see that standard upheld. With Hootsuite, you can schedule posts and tweets weeks in advance. So if you need to take a vacation or become very busy with all of the sales that are flooding in, you can use this option to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. By creating a .csv document, you upload it into the “Schedule by Bulk” option and then pick the time and date that the information will be posted. This way, your users still receive information from you and you can finally take that vacation.
Hootsuite offers business owners the chance to be on several social media profiles at once and to cast their business net further into the stream. Want to become Hootsuite proficient? Take their certification test and save yourself time looking through the Help menu. Branding is a gradual process but with Hootsuite, you can speed up that process and have your brand fit perfectly to your company's values.
Now that the winter months have subsided, fresh ideas and innovative techniques are the verdant material that will nourish your digital marketing campaigns.
If you want to capitalize on the breath of fresh air that the spring months bring, you have to do a little cleaning and a lot of re-purposing. Marketing is an ever-changing field, making it impossible for you to remain with the same strategy season after season. Your client and customers won't be impressed by the same polished and re-sold ideas, and in order to create long-term success, you need to stay up to date with new marketing techniques and ideas.
Spring cleaning means more than just organizing that old junk drawer. It means taking an expansive view of your marketing strategy, SEO techniques and social media profiles to see what you need to keep and what needs to be thrown away. In order to do this, though, you need to ask the important questions. Have your gained followers provided any beneficial publicity or assistance? If not, weed them from your garden. Have your goals changed from when you began these profiles? Has your company’s strategy changed from gaining followers to increasing engagement or expanding your content? If so, then how you operate your social media profiles needs to change as well. Are you using the right profiles for your campaign? Many businesses might benefit more from Twitter and LinkedIn rather than Facebook, and as a result should shift their focus to those platforms.
Answering these questions will help your digital marketing become more focused and localized, and in turn give you better results.
Branding is becoming the most important form of any digital marketing strategy. Where as previous digital marketing focused primarily on creating a vast online presence, search engines and customers now want to see a more polished and stringent presence. Focus your efforts on creating a brand for your client. The easiest way to perform this task is to make your client or business an expert in their respective field. In order to make your client into an expert, use valuable content, answering the important questions, and create informative and unusual engagement.
If you have a product to promote, use springtime events like festivals, concerts and outdoor performances to show your product or company to the public. Try new methods of social media that you haven’t been using to stay ahead of the competition. New platforms like Whisper, a iPhone messaging app that lets you send and receive anonymous messages, or Quora for easy and fast content sharing are going to be the methods of the future.
If you do not have mobile capabilities for your company or websites by now, you are perceived as practically medieval in the technology world. During the springtime, people are out and about, spending more time outside and attending events. They’re so happy to get out of the house that their mobile devices are going to be the primary method that searches are performed and information is shared. In fact, according to Marketing Land, nearly 40 percent of total Internet traffic goes through mobile devices. Be sure that you are not missing out on that market.
Looking for internet marketing help in Spring 2014 and beyond? Just get in touch with us at Online Optimism by calling 504-521-6222, and we'll come up with a plan that meets your budget and exceeds your expectations.Continue reading