Roger, thank you for your feedback. I am sure everyone reading this article would appreciate the tips you included, Thank you! : smileyface : In an attempt to keep our video short, we focused on 4 quick tips. I think Mail Chimp is a good email marketing platform. However, because they do not offer phone support, I usually do not recommend it to small businesses that are handling their own email marketing.
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Many of us invest time and money into Social Media Marketing, however we often wonder if our efforts are being matched with results. Watch this video to find out how you can measure your social media ROI.
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The task of promotion for small business owners is never an easy one. While striving to get the ball rolling when it comes to public awareness, the question that seems to plague most businesses is, how do we reach our target markets online in a more successful fashion? Well look no further, the following are some tips business owners should implement when it comes to SEO.
First things first, what is SEO? Simply put, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization–which is the process of ensuring your website can be found in a search engine’s results page (Google, Bing, etc.) when searching for words or phrases relevant to the content on your website. So this would require editing your website and it’s content in order to affect the visibility of your site and improve your ranking for searches.
Here are some DO’s and DON’TS when it comes to SEO:
1. DO use keywords from questions your customers would routinely ask. If you know that customers continually ask a certain questions, its best to include keywords in order to help draw them to the right information as well as your site. If you offer local services, don’t be afraid to optimize your site around those local keywords. Think of SEO as trying to answer the question your customers or prospective customers are asking. Read More
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When it comes to your marketing strategy for 2016, you'll want to continue the things that have been working well for you, as well as rethink what wasn't so successful. Savvy marketers are also anxious to see what is new and trending in the marketing world. Whether its new tools, techniques or platforms, there is something new each year, so let's take a look and see what you might want to try in the year ahead.
1. Increased Automation
As marketing campaigns become more complex and time-consuming, smart marketers will make use of powerful automation tools that allow them to manage their social media, blogs and email campaigns easily.
2. It Will Be All About Mobile
Mobile will become the primary way marketers engage with customers. This will affect relationship building, creating increased connections. Increased connection will lead to increased brand loyalty. It's not about the quick sale. People are in it for the long haul, and with a large portion of engagement taking place on mobile devices, it's more important than ever to gear content, ads, communications and more with this in mind.
3. Changes In Search
It's important to change the way you think about SEO. While most people are steering clear of bad SEO practices such as keyword stuffing and low-quality backlinks, many are still not understanding how important high quality content is, and that you simply can't rush to the top of the rankings any more. Good SEO is more than keywords. It's showing search engines that your content is more valuable than your competitor. A fast, responsive website rich in quality written content and eye-catching graphics is a good start. Adding video is even better.
4. Don't Neglect Video
Whether you use YouTube or Vine, stream live on apps like Periscope or engage your audience in a fun way with Snapchat, video is one of the best ways to reach out, let your audience get to know you and build trust.
5. Is It Time To Revamp Your Site?
If you haven't redesigned your site in a few years, it's probably time. It's recommended that you redesign your website every one to two years to keep your customers happy, attract new visitors and keep it compatible with the latest technology and trends.
Keep these things in mind as you develop your marketing strategy for the upcoming year. Remember that things are always changing, but some remain the same. So stay on top of trends, but always keep your customer in mind.
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When you are building an online presence it can feel like you are doing a juggling act. You blog, you make sure your website is up to date and responsive. You moderate comments. You manage your social media and you keep track of email signups.
Putting out quality blog posts, revamping your site pages and creating stellar landing pages and call to action are great, but your work isn't done. You need to be tracking the ROI on things like blog posts, lead conversion, referrals and more. If you aren't analyzing this information, then you could be wasting time and money and missing out on traffic.
The Importance Of Analytic Reporting
When you go to your Google Dashboard you will see there is a ton of information beyond just page views and bounce rate. The amount of data available on Google Analytics is overwhelming, but when used correctly it is a powerful tool that can increase traffic and rankings. Read More
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Does your website need a refresh? The Internet moves fast: if your website hasn't been redesigned in the past two or three years, it may need to be entirely remodeled. There are a few major reasons why you may want to redesign your site from the ground up now
Updating to Current Web Standards
Just a few years ago, mobile devices weren't as popular as they are today. Today, all websites need to be accessible via mobile device -- and this is just one example of an area in which web standards have changed. If your website hasn't been updated in a few years, it will likely both look out dated and function poorly on modern devices. Modern security standards have also changed: there are many new requirements for those who process credit cards that you may not be properly following if you haven't updated your e-commerce portal
Reacting to Your Customer's Needs
Your clientele from three years ago is not identical to the clientele you have now. Not only can your customer base have shifted, but their needs may have changed. Remodeling your website to emphasize the services and products that you are selling more of now is an excellent way to maximize your own revenue. [Read More]
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On average 25 million LinkedIn profiles are viewed every day by businesses looking for individuals who may be future candidates for job openings at their company. LinkedIn is a solid platform for Business to Business networking especially when recruiters are trying to pinpoint the perfect candidate for certain positions in their company. LinkedIn is referred to as the largest professional networking social media platform for conducting background research and building relationships wit h individuals in order to network and discover potential customers. This article outlines to pros and cons associated with using LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great tool that gives business owners the ability to research potential clients for a compan LinkedIn builds strong networking opportunities for particular industries by making industry posts available for research , establishing credibility with prospects and establishing a solid search technology for companies or individuals to narrow down options.
LinkedIn organizes content from across LinkedIn and categorizes it into relevant industries to keep you updated on upcoming trends or big ideas in the news. LinkedIn allows you to link your accounts and blogs to share experiences and advice on topics that are important in your business or industry . Read More
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It’s never too early for your small business to start preparing for the holiday season. With Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday right around the corner it’s time to start thinking about how your business can ramp up your marketing. Having a solid plan in place going into the holiday season will help your business be prepared and avoid any last minute rushing to get ready. You want to start early so you have time to develop your plan, create any marketing materials and train you staff on how to handle the holiday rush. Whether you are a business-to-business, business-to-consumer or a non-profit it helps to start planning early for your holiday promotion.
Whenever you create a holiday marketing plan you want to make sure that it ties into your overall strategy. You want to make sure it is a cohesive fit with everything else you have been doing all year. You also want to set goals and objectives for your holiday promotion so you know how you did looking back. By having benchmarks in place you are able to compare your seasons from year to year and see how changes you’ve made have helped grow your business during the holiday season.
Some simple things that you can do to help promote your business in the holiday season are to:
Send out a staff holiday email to all of your customers thanking them for being loyal customers.
Offer holiday based promotions such as your own version of a Black Friday Sale, offer free holiday shipping or a discounts and coupons.
Hold holiday based social media contests, like Facebook sweepstakes to increase your engagement and grow your email list. An example can be share your favorite holiday tradition for the chance to win some sort of prize.
Send out holiday themed emails with trackable coupons so you can easily track who used the code and how many total people used the coupon.
Make sure to cross-promote your Holiday Marketing efforts on all platforms including email & social media.
Whatever promotional material you create should relate back to your brand in some way. You can use holiday colors but make sure that you logo is present and you use a similar font to your website so people can easily recognize your brand. Make sure to pick a theme and stick with it, you don’t want all of your print to one theme and everything on social media has another. You want to make sure everything is cohesive and looks similar.
So make sure that you start planning early for this holiday season! Give yourself an adequate amount of time to plan, create and execute your plan. Keep in mind that most people feel that it is normal to start seeing holiday promotions in November. Make sure that whatever plan you come up with ties into your overall marketing strategy for the year and stays true to your company’s brand. Pick promotions that your customers will appreciate and make sure to thank them for being your loyal customers!
Need help with getting ready for the holidays? Contact us at IGV to see how we can help! 330-425-0922
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In today’s business world there are so many hot topics like social media and search engine optimization (SEO) that are constantly thrown around without people fully understanding what they are and how they work together. The purpose of this article is to define what exactly social media and SEO are, their relationship to each other and how they can help your business grow. Social Media The official Merriam-Webster definition of social media is: forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos). From a business perspective it is a channel that allows you to connect with your customers and followers on a more personal level. You can quickly communicate with your followers, share your expertise and show your business off to a community that is passionate about your brand. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) According to Search Engine Land, SEO is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines. It involves optimizing your website with keywords in the content to help Google when it ranks your site. There are many elements that go into SEO such as content, social media, video, links and more. You want to make sure to avoid keyword stuffing (ie: placing large amounts of keywords throughout content even if the content does not make sense) Google will knock you for that and will lower your search ranking. SEO is a complex topic so more research may be needed to fully understand the topic. Social Media & SEO Together Social media and SEO have an important relationship together when it comes to search rankings. Google will look at your social posts and urls and information and consider the information there in the search rankings. You want to make sure that you fil out all of your company information on your social profiles to help with recognition and your rankings. The higher visibility your posts and pages receive will also help with your rankings so the more engagement your page receives the better your rankings will be. But an important thing to keep in mind is that you want quality followers over quantity. Buying large amounts of followers will not help your rankings and some social media sites will go through and occasionally delete out fake followers. You want to focus on building up a loyal following on social media who are genuinely interested in what you have to say. The biggest thing to keep in mind when it comes to social media is to be honest (aka no fake accounts or followers) and create quality content that your followers will want to share with others.
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With the rise of the digital age some people believe that social media is overtaking email but there are some key statistics that prove otherwise. About 73% of Americans value email and believe it is important and email marketing has a 56% retention rate the highest in all digital marketing platforms according to Gigaom Research. The key to email marketing is to always make sure that you are creating emails that your receiver wants to open and read. In our Marketing Minute we cover some tips and tricks to help optimize your emails & open rates. Have clear call-to-actions so your reader knows exactly what you are asking them to do. Create short & personalized subject lines as many people are reading their emails on the go so you have to grab their attention quickly and by personalizing the email it will increase open rates by 20%! Make sure that your emails will render correctly on both desktop and mobile devices to ensure proper delivery and reception of your emails. Perform A/B testing to see which types of emails and subject lines your audience is more receptive to. This will help you to send out the best possible emails. In conclusion don’t give up on email, it can be a huge asset for your business. Always make sure to test, test and test again before sending to make sure the email looks and feels professional. Need help getting started with email marketing? Contact IGV today at 330-425-0922!
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With technology and things like social media overtaking our lives it’s no surprise that people are moving away from reading traditional articles and how-to guides and more towards video. Video has become so popular that Forbes deemed this year the year of video marketing. Just how popular has video gotten? It is predicted that by 2017 69% of all consumer internet traffic will be video. Currently about 100 million people watch videos online each day. Video marketing can have a huge positive affect on your company. 90% of online shoppers have said that video is helpful in making buying decisions and 64% of visitors to a website are more likely to purchase a product if there is a video on the site. They also tend to stay on websites with video about 2 minutes longer than one that has no video. Those numbers are huge and really show how much of an impact video marketing is having on today’s businesses. In fact 64% of marketers are expecting that video will dominate their strategies in the future. Still on the fence about video? Keep in mind that it has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, well video is said to be worth 1.8 million words! Think of the impact that video can have on your business and your customers. There are endless statistics showing that video is one of the best tools marketers can use today to reach their consumers. You don’t need to be a professional or in some cases even hire a professional. Video is a learning process and as you create more videos you will become better and understanding what goes into creating a great video. Not sure how to get started or want more information? Contact IGV today at 330-425-0922 to get started with video marketing today!
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As a small business it may seem daunting to get onto social media. You may not know how to use social media or know what to post or you may just not have enough time to feel that you can really post effectively. With so much of marketing going online and consumers spending 28% of their time on social media sites it is crucial that you are on these platforms. While it can seem like a daunting task at first following these steps can give you a great foundation to build your social media platforms on.
Choose the site that is right for your business
You want to make sure that your consumers are actually on whichever social media platform you choose. It would be a waste to put all of your time and energy into Twitter when your consumers are actually on Linked-In. Pew Internet has a great demographic breakdown of each social media site and will help you choose the correct platform for your consumers.
Have Attainable Goals
You have to accept that you will not get tons of engagement the day after you make a Facebook page. It takes time to build your audience and to build engagement. It will take some time initially experimenting with different types of posts to see what your consumers are responding to. Your audience also won’t explode overnight, consider sending out an email to your customer list stating that you’re now on which ever social media site you chose. You can also place the social media icons on your website linking to your pages to encourage people to click-through to the social media site.
Monitor Social Media Analytics
You want to track what you are doing so you know if your efforts are working or not. This will also tell you what times of days to post and the types of posts your fans are engaging with. This information will allow you to perfect your posting schedule and provide the content that your fans want to see.
Most social media sites have free analytical tools within the site for business pages to monitor their performance
Schedule Your Posts Ahead of Time
One of the biggest hesitations that small business owners have with utilizing social media is time. By using a tool that allows you to schedule posts ahead of time you will be able to set your posts to go out when you want them to and then go on with your work because the software posts them for you. Taking a few hours to come up with and schedule the posts for a week, 2 weeks or even a month is much easier than trying to think of one each day. These tools allow you to post every day without having to actually post them yourself which will ultimately save you time.
Some free scheduling tools are: Hootsuite and Buffer
Don’t be intimidated by social media as a small business owner! These platforms are a great way to reach your consumers and interact with them in a more personal manner. You can share helpful information, advertise sales and promotions and have conversations with the people who are buying your products. Start off slow and then once the ball is rolling watch your followers and hopefully your number of customers grow!
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The saying "New Year, New You" has been floating around for decades but what does it mean for your business? Most small businesses are hindered by small budgets or lack of expertise and cannot afford to make drastic changes to their existing marketing strategy. But there are small changes that can be made in order to breathe new life into your company and get your consumers excited about your brand. Listed below are some minor changes that small businesses can make in order to revamp their marketing strategies and efforts in order to keep up with the times and the ever-distracted consumer. 1. Know Your Consumer This seems simple and many businesses have an idea of who is buying their products, but do you know enough? You probably already know the basic demographics of your consumers like age, gender, income, etc., but you also need to know how they're shopping and what kinds of media they are using. Are they shopping at brick-and-mortar stores or are they strictly buying online? What types of social media do they frequent and are actively engaging with? What types of ads are they responding positively to? Knowing all of these things can help you tailor messages to your customer and effectively reach and communicate with them. 2. Utilizing Social Media Marketing A key way to revamp your marketing strategies is to make sure you are utilizing social media marketing to its full potential. Businesses need to make sure they are on the correct social media platforms for their consumers. You should know which platforms your customers are frequenting so you pick the right ones to engage with. You also want to make sure that you are posting relevant and meaningful content. There should be thought behind each post and everything should be posted with the intention of giving the consumer some form of information as opposed to just trying to sell them something. 3. Mobile- Friendly Sites Make sure your site is mobile friendly. Many consumers are doing most of their researching and browsing from their phone so having a mobile friendly site or app is crucial to a business's success in today's fast-paced society. You can test if your site is mobile friendly or not on Google if it is not they will have tips on how to achieve a mobile-friendly site. 4. Update Your Site If your site is looking outdated or tired consider changing a slogan, logo, color scheme or if you have a little extra in the budget consider a complete site redesign. Small changes can bring new life to your site but you want to make sure you are consistent over platforms with any changes. If you change the logo on your site you want to make sure you carry it over to any social media sites you are using as well. You also want to make sure that any changes you are making are consistent with your brand so you don’t confuse your consumer. 5. Search Engine Optimization Make sure your webpages have keywords sprinkled throughout in order to help with search engine optimization. The more optimized your site is, the higher on the Google results page you will be. The higher you are the more likely it is that consumers will follow the link to your site and hopefully chose you for whatever their need is. 6. Analytics and Metrics Finally make sure you are utilizing all metrics available to you to analyze and track your progress. The only way you’ll know if something is working is if you monitor it. You should have measurable benchmarks in place so you can see if your efforts are where you want them to be after a set period of time. This will allow you to see if this new strategy is worth your company’s time and energy. Some good tools to look into are Google Analytics, Social Media Analytics and conversion tracking to name a few. With all of the changes that have happened in the past year alone the marketing landscape is drastically changing. Consider revamping some of your marketing strategies in order to keep up with the market and your consumer. Whether you make a big or small change, switching up or boosting your marketing efforts will help your company vastly in the long run and keep your consumer engaged.
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In an attempt to stop people from “gaming the system,” Google has recently implemented a series of dramatic overhauls to the way websites are ranked in the company’s search results pages. With each passing change, businesses have to completely rethink the practices they’re using when designing their sites along with SEO in general. One of the major changes that Google has enacted in recent years has placed an increased emphasis on mobile sites – that is, sites designed primarily with smartphones, tablets and other devices in mind. This is important for a number of reasons.
Take The Google Mobile-Friendly Test
Ever wondered if your site is truly mobile-friendly from Google’s perspective? With the launch of Google’s new Mobile-Friendly Testing tool, there is no longer a need to guess. Simply TAKE THE TEST!
You will receive a Pass or a Fail certificate from Google.
The two results that show up are :
Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly.
The Increasing Popularity of Mobile Devices
For starters, a dramatically large amount of Internet users aren’t actually visiting sites in the comfort of their own homes throughout the day. In years past, people would commonly wait to get home from the office to do the majority of their website browsing, which was then done from a desktop or laptop computer.
Times have changed and users are now visiting the Internet almost exclusively on small, mobile devices with touch screen interfaces. They are doing using links that you send to customers via email, for example, or by links found on social media sites like Twitter or Facebook. One of the main indicators of this advantage is that mobile sites are now being given a “Mobile Friendly” badge in search engine results, letting users know right away which sites are optimized for these devices and which ones are not.
The challenge that this represents for businesses has to do with a dramatically different viewing landscape. If you design a site with only the desktop experience in mind, mobile users will be left with a cluttered mess that is impossible to properly navigate on a device like an iPhone or iPad.
Responsive Sites Over Mobile Sites
As a result, responsive mobile-friendly website design becomes hugely important – not just for Google search engine purposes, but for the users themselves. Responsive sites and mobile sites are not the same concept. A mobile site is a layout designed exclusively for a mobile device, while responsive web design allows you to design your page once with all possible viewing environments in mind. With a responsive design, the site will then automatically adjust based on the device that the user is viewing it on. Desktop users can still have their traditional environment while mobile users get a friendly, responsive environment that can be controlled on a small screen with a touch screen interface.
If you’d like to find out more information about responsive mobile-friendly website design for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact IGV today at www.igvinc.com or (330) 425-0922.
We offer SEO and Mobile-Friendly Development services to help give your site the boost it needs.
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As the old saying goes “you can’t compare apples to oranges” Wouldn’t you want your company to be the orange in barrel full of apples? In that barrel full of apples, you the orange will catch the eye of the customer. Strong branding is an essential to any size business. Moreover, imperative for the small businesses, who aim is to demonstrate that their product or business will exceed expectations of customers; comparative to the national brand. Effectively utilizing Email Marketing as a Branding Tool is an low-cost technique to educate consumers about your goods or services, bring bring traffic to your website, which entails raises overall brand awareness. Brand awareness is key in maintaining and acquiring new customers. 3 C’s to adhere to effectively utilize Email Marketing: Consistency, Content, and Comfort. Consistency Follow a uniform approach. Use the same fonts, color schemes, graphics, and logos that you use on your website or social media pages within the newsletter, blog, or coupon. This ensures that customers or potential customers, are able to recognize your company at first glance. To help achieve this consider a template. Templates will assist in keeping a uniform color, layout, subject line, and content from email to email. Constant Contact is an excellent source for templates that you can customize to the precise appearance you desire. Consider sending out your newsletter, blog, or coupon around the same time each month or week. Capable of leading to a build of anticipation Content A strong suggestion is to follow the 70:20:10 rule, for email marketing Using 70:20:10 framework 70% of the content should consist of sharing tips, tricks, of beneficial information with your audience. 20% of the time you are sharing information new trends from within your industry, which you perceive has helpful information. The last 10% should be a Call-to Action. This is the time to push a certain product or promotion. Be sure to add links to your website and social media site to help foster a relationship Comfort This may be the most difficult to achieve out of all the C’s. Comfort involves assorted aspects. Can your newsletter, blog, or coupon be accessed on mobile devices? Is it wordy? Do you use sense of familiarity? Is the content relatable? In short it’s all about meeting the customer where they are at. The only work that the customer has to do is click and buy.
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