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Digital marketing news & advice, written from the heart of the Big Easy

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Recent blog posts

The Value of Hiring Local Copywriters

Defining the exact nature of a copywriter’s (and for 2015, content creator's) job is easier said than written. They have a variety of functions and none of them have anything to do with copyrights. Copywriters take ideas and concepts and transforms them into marketable packages that can be translated to customers, vendors and advertisers. If you are planning to hire a copywriter, be sure to find one that is a local to New Orleans so you can avoid the cliched and stereotypical go-to language of a visitor.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Pens.pngCopywriters are a form of creative advertising. They take an idea or a product design and try to find a successful way to package and market the idea in their advertisements. Their goal is to find the right formula to express your ideas to the marketing world and have them pay attention. The benefit of having a local perform your copywriting needs is that you can have a voice that sounds like your own, only with better adjectives. You can avoid the dreaded “-eaux” suffix in every sentence. You can avoid “laissez bon temps rouler” at the end of every commercial. You can avoid that terrible Cajun accent seen in the movies and all the other cheesy quotations that are frequented by those not from New Orleans.

If you find a marketing scheme for New Orleans that contains someone flashing or mentions Hurricane Katrina, their content creator is not from the city. If they were, they’d understand that the former is ridiculous and the latter is an event most locals do not want to associate with their home. Putting a fleur-de-lis on something doesn’t make it New Orleanian anymore than adding “yat,” “dem” or “cajun” in the name. By hiring a local to do your copywriting services, you can avoid the inevitable eye roll this type of lingo is going to get your advertisements.

By hiring local content generating services, your business can be appreciated by the locals. And lets face it, they’re a tough crowd to please. It is about building local businesses and enriching the community by giving jobs to the people that live here and want to help the city grow.

Locals can give your business ideas proper shape and description so that they can be respected by marketers and customers alike. But even more important, local copywriters can help to change the conversation and language of the city. They have the first hand knowledge to bring original language and content to your business model that will be appreciated by the locals and breath of fresh air to the national advertising industry. They understand what the locals have seen and what is going to surprise them out of monotony. Your content generator can either repackage the same, tired ideas and try to sell them as something new and exciting or start the conversation to positively transform the stereotypical images of the city. The choice is yours.

Need help creating content for your New Orleans or Louisiana business? Get in touch with us and we'll create a plan customized for your business. Just call 504-521-6222!

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5 Things People Don’t Understand About Social Media Marketing

Despite it being 2015, convincing strangers about the importance of social media marketing can sometimes be a difficult task but we’re always willing to take a shot. Here's the five biggest misconceptions we run into every day.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Social-Media.jpg1. It’s More Than Hashtags and Likes

For the most part, the reason behind this disbelief is that most don’t understand the difference between social media and social media marketing. Social media is the umbrella term for any kind of communication sharing platform. Anything sharable becomes social media. So ultimately every piece of content on the internet is social media or resides on a social media platform. For some, social media is about sharing their lifestyle, building or adapting to a brand or just showing your high school bullies how much better you are doing in life now.

Social media in this aspect is great for building a brand, making a following, finding a voice that customers and fans can appreciate and recognize. Once you have established this, you can move into social media marketing.

Social media marketing is using data, trends and your audience to help sell a product or promote your services. Believe it or not it can be done, you just have to know the right platforms and have an actual strategy. Make goals and a plan before you begin doing your social outreach and especially before you do paid promotions.

2. You Can Sell your Brand or Product for Free(ish)

The great thing about social media, especially for start-ups and small businesses, is that social media platforms are free to join. Yes, you can do paid promotion (becoming more necessary every day)and pay a social media employee’s salary, but if you aren’t there yet, you can still participate and try to catch as much business on social media by remaining active on your profiles, interacting with people for more than just a sale, and producing content that people want to see and share. If you don't have a budget, we'd definitely suggest starting on Instagram or Pinterest.

3. If you're on Facebook & Twitter without doing paid promotion, what are you doing?

What you see in your Facebook newsfeed is based on a carefully calibrated algorithm that was originally called EdgeRank. Not to mention, EdgeRank is an always changing algorithm. Its design is made to give a better interface and experience for the user but advertisers and business owners are made to work harder to get their products seen and their ads shown. It used to be that getting enough likes would allow your posts to be seen but that just isn’t the case anymore. Today’s social media marketing consists more so than ever of paid promotion. Twitter cards in particular “now allow marketers to increase conversions and display more rich and engaging content than the mere 140 characters.” For 2015, more social media influencers are predicting that social media conversions will be easier to make thanks to “methods...that provide direct action through engagement.”

4. Selling Bad Content Looks Just Like That

Consumers aren’t stupid. They can see an angle pretty quickly and they won’t respond to it. That is why creating organic interest and branding is a good way to begin your social media marketing strategy. That means sharing relevant content, crafting interesting stories, and being reliable with your posting. Which in the real world equals fresh images as well as engaging articles and video. It is all about quality over quantity, so make sure that each post to any social media platform has a call to action and valuable content.

5. Shortcuts Are Not the Way to Go

Outdated social media strategists will tell you to buy likes by the thousands from sketchy sites in order to make your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter look more popular and established. But do not be persuaded to buy likes for a page. It’s a waste of money that will only make it harder for you to engage with real customers down the line.. You would do better to invest your time and build valuable, interesting content and engaging with people. As Jon Loomer says, “Anything that doesn’t bring in an authentic ‘fan’ won’t help you.” Not only is it inorganic, buying likes will negatively impact Edge Rank and your post’s reach.

If you need advice or help implementing social media marketing for your company, give Online Optimism a call, tweet, email, or comment! We’re always happy to talk to businesses and help guide their strategy!

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Internet Marketing Tools to Understand Your Customer Base

Whether you are a business owner or an advertiser, knowing what your customer base is searching for in connection to your product is the #1 priority. In order to market yourself to the right demographics you have to know key features like:

  • Who is primarily buying my product/service? (Who can afford it?)
  • Who would benefit from my product/service?
  • What is the easiest way for customers to find me?
  • What language do people use to find my product?
  • Who is my competition?

These essential questions can be answered with a little elbow grease and a little research. Just remember to put yourself into the mind of your potential customer.

Google Auto Complete

This tool from Google can be extremely useful for both advertiser and business owner. When you use the search box in Google, Google helps you find what you are trying to type. These auto complete suggestions are compiled based on searcher’s requests in the hopes of getting the user directly to what they are looking for. Type in your product or service and see things like highly searched locations, synonyms, and the preferred style of your product or service. Quick, easy and doesn’t cost you anything.

b2ap3_thumbnail_How-Does-Google-Know-How-To-Finish-My-Sentence.png

Google Trends

Google Trends is a program of Google that lets you compare differing keyword and subject trends throughout the internet. By entering different keywords you can see where, when and who is trending that topic and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.

Competition Search Sites

In order to really understand your market, you have to know who your main competitor is and what they are doing. The best part about digital advertising is that there is always a data trail to be analyzed. Finding out what keyword combinations your competition is using is the key to understanding your customer base. Not only can you see things like keywords, SEO rankings, and PPC advertising but you can see related sites that are considered your competition. Is this the market you want to be involved? If not, you need to analyze your marketing and brand awareness to get to the right market.

Observing Competition Complaints

In order to market your product or service successfully, you have to have product awareness. Product awareness means understanding what makes your product different from the competition. One of the easiest ways to do this is to look at the complaints posted against your competitors. Are they too expensive? Is their product defective? Does it have a missing component? Is there a problem with one of the features? Is the company offensive or operates in socially unacceptable ways? These could be the features that make you the better choice to buy.

Forums & Social Media

Forums are a good way to get an idea of what customers are saying about your product or products like it. Furthermore, you can find the information you need to know about people trying to subvert your prices or trying to unlock your private features. In a less malicious intent, you can find out what people do and don’t like about your business and respond accordingly. Social media is another avenue that is great for observing the organic conversation and you can respond, engage and interact with your customer base.

These are just a few of the easiest and most affordable methods to perform market and customer research. If you have more questions about internet marketing or how to get your business in front of the right customers, give Online Optimism a call at 504-521-6222. We live, eat, and breathe the internet and would love to help you reach your marketing goals.

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Internet Marketing Tools to Understand Your Customer Base

Whether you are a business owner or an advertiser, knowing what your customer base is searching for in connection to your product is the #1 priority. In order to market yourself to the right demographics you have to know key features like:

  • Who is primarily buying my product/service? (Who can afford it?)
  • Who would benefit from my product/service?
  • What is the easiest way for customers to find me?
  • What language do people use to find my product?
  • Who is my competition?

These essential questions can be answered with a little elbow grease and a little research. Just remember to put yourself into the mind of your potential customer.

Google Auto Complete

This tool from Google can be extremely useful for both advertiser and business owner. When you use the search box in Google, Google helps you find what you are trying to type. These auto complete suggestions are compiled based on searcher’s requests in the hopes of getting the user directly to what they are looking for. Type in your product or service and see things like highly searched locations, synonyms, and the preferred style of your product or service. Quick, easy and doesn’t cost you anything.

b2ap3_thumbnail_How-Does-Google-Know-How-To-Finish-My-Sentence.png

Google Trends

Google Trends is a program of Google that lets you compare differing keyword and subject trends throughout the internet. By entering different keywords you can see where, when and who is trending that topic and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.

Competition Search Sites

In order to really understand your market, you have to know who your main competitor is and what they are doing. The best part about digital advertising is that there is always a data trail to be analyzed. Finding out what keyword combinations your competition is using is the key to understanding your customer base. Not only can you see things like keywords, SEO rankings, and PPC advertising but you can see related sites that are considered your competition. Is this the market you want to be involved? If not, you need to analyze your marketing and brand awareness to get to the right market.

Observing Competition Complaints

In order to market your product or service successfully, you have to have product awareness. Product awareness means understanding what makes your product different from the competition. One of the easiest ways to do this is to look at the complaints posted against your competitors. Are they too expensive? Is their product defective? Does it have a missing component? Is there a problem with one of the features? Is the company offensive or operates in socially unacceptable ways? These could be the features that make you the better choice to buy.

Forums & Social Media

Forums are a good way to get an idea of what customers are saying about your product or products like it. Furthermore, you can find the information you need to know about people trying to subvert your prices or trying to unlock your private features. In a less malicious intent, you can find out what people do and don’t like about your business and respond accordingly. Social media is another avenue that is great for observing the organic conversation and you can respond, engage and interact with your customer base.

These are just a few of the easiest and most affordable methods to perform market and customer research. If you have more questions about internet marketing or how to get your business in front of the right customers, give Online Optimism a call at 504-521-6222. We live, eat, and breathe the internet and would love to help you reach your marketing goals.

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How Blogging Helps Your Search Engine Marketing

b2ap3_thumbnail_Blogging.jpgNow that there are sites like Tumblr and Wordpress, it is much easier to create and maintain a blog no matter what level of proficiency you are in terms of technology or code. Besides having a space to share your information, blogging can actually do wonders for your website’s search engine marketing efforts and get you ranking for the key phrases you need.

Blogging is more than just writing something clever or attention-grabbing, it has to have a strategy, just like every other marketing technique. Some might think that blogging only as a way for businesses and people to write whatever they feel. In fact, there should be much more work that goes into it. Here's our best tips for using your blog effectively.

You Have to Know What to Write

Writers have a saying that “you should write what you know.” While that might work if you are planning on penning a novel, blogging from a business standpoint is somewhat different. The trick is to be both informative and attention-grabbing, without being too highfalutin or sensational. Think about what would grab your customer's attention. Think about something that confuses them, find the answer and then write it in an easier way. Think about something that hasn’t been said about the subject. Take the idea and look at it from multiple angles. One easy trick, type your subject into Google News and see what the most recent developments are and go from there.

Know What You’re Going To Say

Our teachers have been saying “make a brainstorm, an outline, and then a rough draft” since the beginning of time and you know what? They knew what they were saying. If you are writing a particularly long blog post, having a rough outline at the very least will keep you on track and will help your readers quickly find the information they were searching for in your article. In our society of 24/7 content and instant gratification, you have to accept that people may not be reading the entire post, but if you have a clear outline of your points, your searcher should be able to find what they are looking for quickly instead of immediately bouncing.

Google Wants the Good Stuff

Ah, the Almighty Google. How often we meet here at Online Optimism.

Google’s search engine algorithm is designed to gather and glean the most valuable sources in a millisecond every time someone has a search query. In order to even be considered as a search result, Google has to determine that your content is relevant and informative enough for the user. They do this through many factors including: keywords, meta-descriptions, URLs, heading counts, word count, backlinks, image descriptions, and a host of other variables. You can use whatever keyword research you prefer like Google Keyword Planner, Wordstream, SEMrush, what have you but know this: because of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm, long-tailed keywords are being targeted more than in previous updates. This is both good and bad for bloggers. On one hand, it is harder to get quantifiable estimates for long-tailed keywords and on the other hand, more focus on long-tailed keywords makes it easier to rank and has higher probability of becoming a conversion. It does require a certain finesse that can be learned.

Blogging Helps Businesses Be Found

So instead of putting every keyword that you want to rank for on your homepage, blogging can help you to streamline that desire. If you have different facets of your business you can use blogging to advertise and rank for them. Let’s pretend you are a furniture store. You have a wide range of products: couches, chairs, office furniture, bedroom furniture, etc. While you [should] have the tags for these products on your homepage, you can blog about each facet of your collection, not only using those keywords more than once but as a branding method. Like social media profiles, your blog can serve as a unique voice for your business and be a way of expanding your search engine marketing efforts.

Do you have questions about blogging or SEO for your site or company. Give Online Optimism a call at 504-521-6222 and we can help get your blog started and get you ranking the way you need!

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SEO - Search Engine Optimization

 

PPC - Pay Per Click

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