How to Create Content Your Audience Wants to Share

Digital marketing has made a major turn during the last few months as the Coronavirus affected business. During this time, your content marketing has probably been altered. Don’t let that stop you from creating content that users want to read. After all, we all need to prepare for this next week and the slow transition back to a somewhat normal life. Not even sure we can say normal because things won’t be completely normal for some time. However, let’s build on what we know and keep up ways to prepare for this time. So, I want you to ask yourself these five questions when developing your content over the next few months. 

Is my content relevant?

Your audience wants to relate to the content you share. Whether they are social media posts, blogs, or video segments on Youtube, they want specific content to share to their platforms. Being able to evoke the “I feel the same way,” or “This is so me,” emotions in your posts will get those clicks and share. The more content that is relevant not only to your audience but to your brand will help them identify the two together. Your main goal with content is to obtain a type of feeling, provide them with a solution, or inspire them. You got this!

Do I have a call to action?

For emails, social posts, blogs and videos, give them a reason to want to know more information about your business. Some of the best content can miss a share if the user doesn’t think about clicking the button. Encouraging your audience to share your content by commenting with a tag of a persons’ name on social, sharing your video because it relates, or giving them a way to email or call from a blog. Although it may seem redundant and simple, this is how leads are generated. Keep that in mind!

Is my content original?

Authenticity is what sets us apart from our competition. After all, what’s the fun in having 50+ businesses with the same content? BORING. While sharing popular, trending memes to boost engagement, there are other ways. Creating content that is specific to your brand requires being innovative and creative. Why do you think some advertisements begin trending online? They are original and people want to support and be a part of that. Having an active online presence raises your brand visibility, and can directly impact retaining customers. When your audience can recognize and relate to you, they will want to share your content on their own page. 

If I were scrolling through social media, would I want to click?

Knowing what to post, at what time and on what platform can be difficult to figure out. The main thing to always remember is…KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. This goes hand-in-hand with knowing your platform. Visual content seems to respond best for engagement, which makes sense. Most people see videos and photos first before reading the caption. Keep in mind that just because you received 100 likes on Instagram does not mean the same will happen on our Facebook page. You have to adapt your content to make it platform friendly. Also, a major thing to never forget when doing so – follow the guidelines for video and photo sizing. 

What are the current trends, and how can I keep up?

Standing out from your competition with being original is very important, but knowing trends is also important. Taking those trending topics and making them your own is another way to create content. You can visualize new ideas and adopt the trending topics on your own terms. Having a reliable audience already that supports your content helps as well. 

Ask yourself these questions to better identify your content marketing efforts and if they are headed in the right direction. Keep your brand in mind when adjusting your content strategy, even if it is temporary. Content is constantly changing and it is our job to keep up with it as digital marketers.

If you’d like to learn more about how digital marketing can help build your brand and drive a new source of business your way, feel free to contact us here at AdEdge at (203) 682-4585 or email us at [email protected].

 

Online Activity Has Increased During the Coronavirus – How is Your Digital Marketing? 

We know there is a lot to see on social media about COVID-19 and how you can avoid or prevent it. However, most companies need to refrain from pulling back their marketing entirely. Here’s why. Most of our population is working remote, or have reduced hours due to the Coronavirus. What’s the result of this, you ask? Consumers and business owners are now online more than ever. They’re conducting more searches and scrolling through social media. Do you know what that means? I am glad you asked. Here are 5 tips on how to keep your digital marketing efforts going.

Content is Important

Understand what works for your business. Look for to develop a new content strategy around the Coronavirus and creating a safe place online for your clients, partners, etc. As most people have put a hold on their plans for the beginning of 2020, content is also a good way to keep them engaged. So, after you have addressed the Coronavirus and made your statement online, take that time to ramp your content for the long haul. Maybe your sales are down, or clients have cut their costs. However, this is now in your favor. Customers can read, research and consume this engaging content now. Build your brand reputation through engaging blogs, social posts, and email newsletters because they’re stuck at home. Keep in touch with them. And while building that content, make sure it is still relevant to your target audience.

Your Target Audience is Online Now More

Have you thought about better ways to connect with your target audience? You most likely already have this defined since your business hasn’t changed in that aspect. However, understanding what they want to read during this time of reduced spending is key. How can you capitalize on the research, discovery and awareness stages to convince them, when they are financially ready to buy again.

Make it Easy for Customers

I’m sure it probably sounds easy to you, but conversion rate still has an entire industry dedicated to it. Being able to drive users is partial art and partial science. Now is the time to take a deeper look into your website and identify ways to better optimize for conversion. A website audit could be beneficial during this time.

Keep an Eye on Your PPC

Many industry leaders have reported that ad spend has increased due to customers shifting to online shipping. Overall, it seems the click-through rates are dropping especially for industries like auto, retail, home improvement and real estate. Even with revenue falling during the Coronavirus crisis, marketing and advertising spend is essential to stay in front of your consumers. Keep an eye on your PPC and adjust your spending and strategy.

Local Search Still Works

Local search is still important even though everyone is staying home to quarantine. Communicating through Google My Business listings is the best way to gain traffic during this time. Google has also instituted changes in local listings that include new reviews, review replies and Q&As. Freezing reviews is a smart way to protect businesses from frustrated customers during this time while businesses are limited. So, double-check your Google My Business listings to make sure it’s accurate.

Are you keeping up with your digital marketing efforts during this time? We want you to prepare your business for what’s to come after this passes and how your business can stay in business during, and after.

If you’d like a learn more about how social media marketing and advertising can help build your brand and drive a new source of targeted prospects to your website, feel free to contact us here at AdEdge at (203) 682-4585 or email us at [email protected].

How to Leverage SEO and Marketing During a Crisis

As we continue to be in this uncertain time in our business ventures, that doesn’t mean our marketing needs to end. Technology is our major source of communication, so let’s utilize it the best way we know how. Let’s not give up because our present efforts will ultimately decide the future of our business. It’s time up your marketing efforts because we will recover! How; you ask? SEO is how. Since spending money on advertising, lead generation, and other ads do not seem to be the best idea. However, businesses need a robust way to strengthen their brand’s position now and generate revenue in the future. SEO fits well into that goal so let me tell you more.

Your to-do list for SEO

Be aware of Timeliness and Relevancy

Your target audience hasn’t changed, so you know what your audience wants to read about. Be ready to leverage ways to come up with multiple communication materials to give your insights into the current situation. Don’t make the mistake of being ‘salesy’ because you don’t want to promote your business at a time like this. Come up with content that is a combination of business and current events in our world. Show them you are mindful of your surroundings and genuinely care to contribute.

Optimize, Optimize, Optimize

Your content efforts around the Coronavirus will be considered wasted if the content cannot be found in search results. Be mindful! Whatever you decide to write, make sure it is optimized for better rankings. Hello, this is where SEO comes into play. Focus your efforts on all aspects of SEO – keywords, social media, website, link backs, etc.

Follow Along with Current Search Trends

What’s trending? Do you know? If you focus your efforts on SEO and PPC campaigns on a short-term basis, know what is trending. I cannot stress this enough. For example, schools are looking for different ways to connect with their students and their families. If you are looking to target schools to use your services, running SEM campaigns can bring a boost. Having relevant content answering searches can help.

Prepare Business for the Future

I don’t want to confuse you thinking that SEO will have immediate results if you never had it. SEO does take time and is a long-term strategy. However, cutting down your CURRENT SEO budget could negatively affect your business in the future. Another way to prepare for the future is by creating new landing pages, updating your website, improving the server, etc. There are several ways to benefit your business in the long run and how you can up your marketing efforts during a time of crisis.

Pay attention to cheap SEO

We know that cutting costs is almost essential for businesses right now. With that being said, they are going to be attracted to cheap SEO services. Don’t cut the corners for an expense that is worth utilizing. Now is the time to seek experts who will work to strengthen your SEO continuously. Cheap SEO services are equal to no rankings, no traffic, and maybe even some Google penalties once this pandemic is over.

Why should SEO be a focus during the Coronavirus Crisis? Here’s a list of why.

  • Get ahead of your competition
  • Position your brand for the future
  • Implement your future SEO initiatives
  • Identify future hurdles NOW
  • People are still searching for products and services

Although we cannot predict the impact of the Coronavirus and when it will slow down, we can still prepare our business for the future. SEO = a long-term strategy. The effort put in today will impact your business in the long run. So my advice to you is to start including paid and organic SEO in your marketing plans.

If you’d like a learn more about how social media marketing and advertising can help build your brand and drive a new source of targeted prospects to your website, feel free to contact us here at AdEdge at (203) 682-4585 or email us at [email protected].

The Best COVID Marketing Strategy?

Let’s look at the silver lining. During COVID-19, you have an unprecedented opportunity to assess your business in meaningful ways. Revisit your marketing strategy, connect with your audience through social media, focus on online services, engage via email, and focus on projects that have been stuck on the back burner. Whether you decide to focus on one or all of these key strategies, you will see dividends from your investment once the world returns to a “new normal.”

Just because you’re not in the office doesn’t mean your business has to come to a standstill. Do you feel your sales numbers decreasing? Your business may not be generating that ‘goal’ number you had in mind, but with a good digital marketing strategy, your business can get through this. Have an experimental approach to your business plan, change what doesn’t work for your business to get the best COVID marketing strategy possible. Your business can even come back stronger than before. How does that sound? Here are a few ways to adjust your marketing strategy for our current reality.

Revisit Your Overall Marketing Strategy

The fact that most people are now working from home instead of in an office is a pretty big shift. With it, your strategy needs to shift. Revisit your social media schedule. Communicating exactly as you had before as if nothing has changed, could be taken as insensitive or tone-deaf. Think about how to speak with clients and customers with the reality of our situation in mind, allay their fears and tell them that your business is OK …if it is. Alongside that, revisit your advertising. What ads are currently running that are no longer relevant? Let’s change those as well! Take this time to collaborate with your team to understand your customers and how their needs have changed.

Try to figure out how you can be a resource to your customers in our current environment and how they can safely interact with you …and then tell them! The best COVID marketing strategy will come from listening to your customers during this time. However, have a plan for when things begin to get back to normal. It will probably happen slowly but for certain seasonal businesses such as real estate or warm-weather industries, there will be pent up demand that could be released rather quickly. Be ready and get ready now to catch that business!

Social Media During COVID

Since we need to maintain social distancing, many people are turning to the next best thing to being there – social media! More people than ever are relying on Facebook, Instagram, and other social channels to connect. Use that to your advantage! Especially to our B2B friends out there, you have a rare and fleeting opportunity to get your brand in front of decision-makers on social media. Your messages and images will be noticed! Keep your sphere up to date on what’s going on with your company, your operations, and any products or services that are unaffected but make sure to keep the element of sensitivity in mind. In other words, don’t press for sales. Now’s not the time. After all, we are in this together and when reaching out to your customers, they should feel that as well. Save the sales pitch for later. Now is a good time to build brand and relationships.

Online Marketing Strategies Beyond COVID

As we all know, in-person events and conferences are most off-limits right now. Focusing on digital offerings right now is the best COVID marketing strategy. There is a lot of uncertainty around when brick and mortar or in-person events will be back. Double down on digital to prepare for that shift.

So, how can we connect with our business community online? Webinars are a good start, but even before going there try a live Facebook or Instagram video to start. It will feel a little off at first if you have never done one, but this could prepare you for your future online presence and can be something you continue to improve after the coronavirus. Although social media can be sudden, you still need to produce these videos that will engage your audience now and continue to benefit your business after the pandemic dissipates. The skills you learn now will be a huge asset in the post-Corona world where a virtual business is going to be far more common. Be a leader!

Engage Your Audience Via Email

Email marketing. Do you currently use it? If not, email is an inexpensive and effective tool to connect with your customers. We have all received lots of emails about the coronavirus in the last few weeks. Have you sent any emails out? If not, this could be the perfect way to begin a new customer retention program or just a good way to check in with your customers.

Since your customers and clients probably have more time to read emails than in pre-COVID, now’s a great time to reach them. When you email, instead of sending blanket emails about staying safe and keeping distance, etc., think about how your business is uniquely qualified to offer assistance with products and services that matter most right now. Not only is email marketing a great tool for now, but starting to learn how to better utilize for the future is a major plus for your business.

Work on Projects You Have Time For Now

Remember those projects that you’ve been putting off forever? Now’s the perfect time to dig in and get them done! …or cross them off the list for good. In the marketing world, this could include a webinar, a video series, updating your website, re-branding your company, creating a plan for podcasting, developing a white paper or case study, redesigning your website, developing a new product or service, or preparing for your next great marketing campaign.

One of the most overlooked projects for any brand is SEO. We released an SEO guide for anyone interested in improving how their brand shows up on search engines. Whatever the task may be, now’s a great time to revisit these big but old plans. For those of you who commute, take that time you would have spent driving, training, or walking to work and put it towards your projects!

Take some of these tips and think about how to shift your marketing to address current business needs. Shifting your business operations during this time will produce the best COVID marketing strategy.

Digital marketing is a powerful tool that can be easily adjusted to address shifting business needs and challenges and the needs and concerns of your clients. If you would like more industry-specific ideas about how to communicate with your customers and clients during our challenging times, feel free to schedule a call with us or email [email protected]. We’ll do our best to brighten your prospects for success …and brighten your day.

Marketing During a Health and Financial Crisis …and Grants!

Wow, what a Spring it has been! Here at AdEdge, we hope you are doing well in spite of all that’s going on – our health crisis, the economy, and the inconveniences you face of being quarantined. A friend of mine put it well, “It’s like being in a Sci-Fi movie!” I don’t know about you, but I prefer watching them, not being in them!

I wanted to let you know that here at AdEdge, we’re operating at “full strength”. In fact, being a remote company to begin with, we are fully unaffected by the “stay home” rule. Or should I say, nearly unaffected? After all, our kids and teens are home too, doing their best to get under our skin.

As with any major social or economic shifts, the Coronavirus presents various business threats and opportunities. As a highly awarded digital marketing agency, I feel it’s our job to research and share marketing strategies with our circle of SMBs. A shift in strategy and digital marketing tactics, even if temporary, is a good way to speak to clients in a way that is sensitive to, and directly addresses, our challenging business environment.

Tell me, how is Coronavirus impacting your business?

Every industry is different and the impact ranges from severe to not at all. Here at AdEdge, we are watching our accounts very carefully and optimizing accordingly. We’ve also spent time hashing out ideas to keep our clients out of trouble and their digital marketing performance strong. Here are a few ideas we’ve shared, and implemented with our clients and I wanted to share this with you as well, whether you are managing your website and digital marketing in house, through an agency, or if you are an agency yourself.

The key here is to communicate with your customers and clients in a clear, and confident way so they understand how your business is impacted by the virus and how the products or services you are providing, are impacted. Or, if they are not impacted. The unknown can lead to fear so take the mystery out of what is going on and communicate with confidence. Long story short, talk about it!
Here are some things you can do:

1) Encourage and communicate business as usual, whenever reasonable and possible. These messages should go in a callout box on your website’s home page.
2) Address concerns that your customers are likely to have and allay those fears with specific solutions and safety protocols. These messages can go on your home page, landing pages, and on product/service pages.
3) Shift your marketing efforts and communications but keep them going for three reasons.
i) Pitch products and services, or new ways of doing business that are more likely to appeal, given our current market.
ii) Lots of decision makers are at home right now paying close attention to social media, and even snail mail. Talk to them!
iii) This will pass and by June-July we will be in full recovery mode. Depending on your industry, there will be pent up demand. Be ready for it, and keep your brand out there to capture recovery business.
4) To help struggling small businesses, Google plans to offer a certain amount of free advertising to be offered as credits. So if you’ve been thinking about advertising on Google’s network, now could be a great time. To stay abreast of this opportunity, give us a call or sign up for our newsletter. Here’s what we know: https://wersm.com/google-announces-340-million-in-ads-credits-available-to-all-smbs/
5) Take a look at the new CARES act. This is the 2 Trillion dollar zero-interest small business loan program that in many cases, converts to a grant after one year. Here’s what we know: https://blueprintbenefit.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ea861735f531e60728f298427&id=2a7980b1bd&e=a522df1d45

Do you have questions about how to adjust your marketing strategies or tactics in this challenging marketscape? If you would like to talk about it, please schedule 15 minutes with us here at AdEdge, contact us or give us a call at 203-682-4585 and we’ll be happy to share some ideas specific to your industry. We can also offer an evaluation of your current digital marketing efforts because while it may not be a good time to begin throwing a bunch of money at a new campaign, it’s certainly a good time to begin planning one.

PS Stay healthy, follow the safety guidelines and most importantly, try to have some fun too. I’m encouraging our team to enjoy this rare opportunity to spend quality time with family and the great outdoors!

Very best regards,

Anthony LoFrisco, Jr.
Managing Director

Everything you need to know about social media algorithms

Moving the goal posts

In many ways, social media is a marketer’s dream. It’s a space where millions of customers and potential customers gather together, many with interest in your brand and your message.

But it’s getting harder and harder to reach those consumers.

Social media channels in recent years have introduced algorithms that determine which posts to prioritize and which to push aside.

Digital marketers often have suffered as these channels move the goal posts, changing the rules quickly, often without warning or explanation.

Algorithms can be challenging, but they don’t have to freeze your digital marketing efforts.
It might take time and trial-and-error to find the best way to work the algorithms, but there still are ways to get your message to your target audience.

Social media algorithms are computer code that sort posts in a user’s feed based on relevancy instead of publish time. The algorithms determine who sees which messages and how prominently they are displayed.

Most social media feeds initially displayed posts in chronological order, with the most recent posts at the top. But Facebook, Twitter and other channels increasingly are turning to algorithms designed to more prominently display posts that their algorithms think viewers are most likely to pay attention to. They also increasingly grant greater access to paid posts.

The use of algorithms has grown at least in part because of the sheer volume of posts and data added to social media platforms every day. For users who follow hundreds or thousands of accounts, it’s impossible to see every post. So algorithms have been created to “learn” about each user and move to the top of the list, posts they’re most likely interested in.

In 2018, Facebook changed its algorithms, promoting “meaningful conversation” over news and advertising. Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that the change was designed to promote organic content and reduce the prominence of brands on the site. “We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the group of people that matter to us. That’s why we’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience. … But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that led us to connect more with each other.”

Other channels have followed similar paths, introducing their own algorithms.

While algorithms vary by channel and over time, there are similarities. In general, the algorithms are designed to promote interest (how much the algorithm thinks a consumer wants to see a post), timeliness (promoting recent posts over older posts) and relationship (posts that users interact with more tend to be displayed more often).

Here are 12 tips for boosting your posts’ prominence with social media algorithms.

Be real. Authenticity is essential. People want to connect with brands they’re interested in, but they don’t want constant commercials.

Post regularly and often. Posting around the same time and day of the week can help boost interaction.

Be engaging. Algorithms encourage “meaningful conversations,” including comments or likes, reacting to a post someone else has shared, and multiple people reacting to a post someone else has shared. So write your posts in a way that encourages people to comment, respond to questions, or otherwise interact with your post and brand.

Return the favor. Like, favorite and comment on other people’s messages.

Tag, you’re it. Tagging other accounts can encourage them to look at and share your messages. If you mention a customer, partner or other brand, tag their accounts in your post.

Use hashtags. People often use hashtag terms to search for posts and brands. Make it easy for them.

Be interesting to your audience. Appeal to their interests and passions.

Post directly in the app. Algorithms encourage organic posts. Upload images and videos to your post. Don’t just link posts to YouTube or some other site or channel. Facebook doesn’t like sending users away from their site – especially from organic posts.

Encourage friendly support. Encourage employees, existing customers and other fans to promote your content. Social media algorithms reward content from friends and family over businesses. So your employees and fans’ posts will be prioritized among their friends and family.

Be original. Don’t post the same message with the same wording on multiple platforms. Each channel has its own audience and its own feel. Write your posts accordingly.

Use video. Short videos — especially live videos — can catch viewers’ attention and lead them to interact with your post and your brand.

Consider paying for advertising. The fastest and easiest way to increase your reach is to pay for it.

If you’d like a learn more about how social media marketing and advertising can help build your brand and drive a new source of targeted prospects to your website, feel free to contact us here at AdEdge at (203) 682-4585 or email us at [email protected].

How to boost your conversion rate

It’s about time

People are finding your website, but what are they doing when they get there? Are they buying your products or services, signing up for a newsletter, requesting additional information or otherwise interacting and engaging with your website?

If not, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

Conversion rate one measure of your online marketing success. While branding plays an important role in any decent marketing effort, and website activity is an important step, lead and sales conversions are where the rubber meets the road.

A conversion rate is the percentage of website visitors who convert into a sale, a lead, a sale or some other kind of targeted goal. It’s measured by dividing the number of conversions by the number of website visitors during a given period of time. For example, if you ran a campaign in January to get people to sign up for your newsletter and that effort drove 3,000 visitors to your website (or landing page) and out of those visits, 150 signed up for your newsletter, your conversion rate for this effort was 5%.

While it may seem reasonable to set simple lead and sales conversion goals, you need to be a little careful here. Not all products and services lend themselves well to traditional conversion goals. Know your sales cycle. If you sell simple and inexpensive products or services that are well known, you likely have a short sales cycle. Short sales cycles can be more easily measured with conversion rates as the expectation is for a sale, lead or other measurable conversion during the first website visit.

Longer sales cycle products and services like jets or business consulting services are higher cost and complexity, requiring a longer and more involved sales cycle. For these, conversion rates should not be measured in terms of sales and leads. Repeat visits, time on site and key pages viewed or combinations of such activities can and should be set as conversion goals. A combination of post-click goals can be combined to create aggregated values of each website visit. This can be expressed as a dollar amount with a certain threshold set as a conversion goal.

So in basic terms, how do you boost conversion rates?

Find the numbers. The first step is to know what your conversion rate is today. Use Google Analytics or a similar tool to track your visitor data. This information can help you create a behavior flow report, which can show you the pages that most often drive people to take action and the pages that most quickly lead people away. With that information, you can do more of what people respond to and optimize (update) the pages that aren’t driving engagement.
Know your audience. Digital marketing allows you to target a deep, but narrow audience. It’s narrow in the sense that you can have a very specific target audience, such as fans of 1990’s games, movies and memorabilia or fans of Ford Mustangs made between 1965 and 1967. But it’s deep in that you’re targeting every fan of that specific genre all over the world. Such specific target audiences likely will not respond to the same messages and styles as many other specific genres.
Be what they need. Your visitors made it to your website for a reason. What are they looking for? How can you help them find it? Or better yet, how can you supply what they want or need, or answer their questions? One huge mistake people make is asking visitors for information (such as name, email, phone, etc.) too quickly before giving information. Think from the customer/client perspective. They came to your website to get information, not give it. Also, it today’s digital world, people don’t want to be sold, they want to be in control. Give them what they are looking for, be a resource, make them feel in control. After you’ve developed a virtual, digital relationship with visitors, it’s OK to ask for their information, it it’s done in conjunction with giving them something of value that they want or need.
Test everything. Test every campaign, advertising platform, ad format, image, message, call to action, etc. Boost what works, jettison what doesn’t.
Don’t neglect the conversion funnel. An old mainstay of traditional marketing strategy, a conversion funnel shows how you move customers from awareness to interest to consideration to preference to conversion. Be aware of your industry’s specific sales cycle when you build your funnel and set up conversion goals. Pair your ideas with the analytical data to see what works and what doesn’t.
Optimize your pages. Design matters, and trends change often. Keep your pages appealing and to the point. Provide visitors with easy ways to engage with you or your website at every point so when they are ready to take that next step with you, it’s there and it’s easy. And make sure your pages load fast for SEO.
Don’t be afraid of trying something new. Styles change. Don’t be afraid to test new angles but make sure you do so in a test and control environment. Stick with what works, pause or delete what doesn’t.
Pay attention to your calls to action. Use different kinds of calls to actions with different types of buttons and languages. Experiment with button size and color. Use strong words and images to catch your viewers’ attention
Use testimonials. Website visitors increasingly are relying on the opinions and experiences of other “regular people.” Take advantage of that trend by including testimonials from your customers. Honesty is always the best policy here. If customers were compensated for their testimonial, it’s best to disclose the relationship.
Use specific keywords. Specific (long tail) keywords tend to have better conversion rates than general keywords. People searching for specific models or product numbers are likely to have researched the product and know what they want to buy. Make the buying process easy for them.
Use negative keywords. These will prevent your ads from showing to those who are searching for something similar but irrelevant. For example, if you offer appliance repair, a negative term such as “book” will prevent your ad from showing for searches for “dishwasher repair books”. Without that negative, broad- or phrase-match keywords would trigger your ad to show.
Ask for as little information as possible. When asking for information in an opt-in form, don’t ask for more than you need. Too long of a form can lead people to bounce away.
Consider adding a guarantee. People are more likely to sign up if there’s less risk to them.
Be specific. What is your unique selling proposition? Clearly state the benefits of your products or services and how it is unique or better than that offered by your competitors.
Protect privacy. Include a privacy statement on opt-in forms to help your customers feel more confident sharing their information.
Keep it simple. Don’t offer too many options. Don’t make people think too hard. If a visitor feels overwhelmed, the back button is just a click away.
Avoid jargon. Fancy, complicated business language is more likely to lead people away from your page than to lead them to buy from you. Use conversational language.
Be trustworthy. Tell the truth. Make it easy to verify the accuracy of your information by using testimonials and backing up your claims with facts and citations. Point out the expertise in your organization. Make it easy for people to find and contact you.

If you’d like a few tips on how to increase conversion rates in your specific industry, or if you have a product or service you’re trying to market online, feel free to contact us here at AdEdge at (203) 682-4585 or email us at [email protected].

How long should a digital marketing campaign last?

It’s about time

For smart business owners, marketing never stops.
That’s especially true in today’s digital world, where trends, technology and algorithms that drive search results change regularly. To keep up, your digital marketing strategy should include an ongoing effort.

But how long should an individual marketing campaign last?

Digital marketing isn’t a one-time effort, and while it can make an immediate impact, full optimization takes time. Even after you’ve achieved acceptable performance, ongoing optimization is critical to keep competition at bay and costs down.

One of the main advantages of digital marketing is the ongoing collection of performance data. By using Google Analytics and other post-click performance tools, you can see what’s working and what’s not, and shift resources and creative energies accordingly. Individual Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can help you make changes in ads, placements, keywords, match types, day parts, plus contextual, lifestyle, demographic and geographic targeting, among many other campaign attributes.

The effective length of a digital marketing campaign can vary widely based on factors such as your budget, industry, competitors, consumer habits and campaign style.

Still, there are basic guidelines that can be used as a starting point for setting up and measuring a campaign’s success.

Typically, it takes at least 90 days to build momentum around a digital marketing effort, most of which generally extend six to 12 months.

Like traditional forms of marketing, digital marketing requires frequency of ad impressions to make an impact. Customers need to see your brand and product or service images and message repeatedly before it sinks in. Repetition builds recognition, trust, and ultimately, preference. And this takes time. On the other hand, if a specific message or image runs too long, advertising fatigue could sink in. In other words, when people see the same ad too many times, it becomes white noise and they stop noticing it.

While a campaign may last several months, a specific message should change more often. Changing creative every 45-60 days is ideal. Research shows that 45 days is about how long it takes a consumer to retain and recall information.

Marketing efforts involving simpler products or services, or from recognized brands, may call for shorter campaigns. For example, political campaigns and promotions for concerts, shows and events should generally run for a shorter time.

Multi-channel campaigns typically contain one message spread out over most or all of your channels.
The following guidelines can be helpful in determining the length of a channel-specific digital marketing campaign:

Content marketing

• A content marketing campaign typically lasts around six months, depending on how frequently you post.
• Hubspot found that companies with at least 400 blog posts per year get twice the traffic as those with less than 400.

Search Engine Optimization
• A typical SEO campaign takes at least 12 months to be fully optimized.
• The first month is spent evaluating keyword performance data, competitors and your current SEO performance.
• The second and third months are spent on primary on-site optimization (website changes) as well as off-site optimization that includes social account updates.
• The remainder of the years is spend optimizing for specific terms including both on-site and off-site optimization including website changes, new pages and blog posts as well as off-site optimization including social media marketing, link building and online directory listing optimization. A competent digital marketing agency will also implement numerous proprietary SEO tactics based on years of experimentation and performance analysis.
• Improvements in organic rank will typically begin within three or four months.
• After a year to 18 months, improvements from SEO typically begin to level off. From this point, ongoing SEO is important to maintain rank and keep competition at bay. This is also a good time to focus on any new products, services or events.
• Search Engine Journal published a case study that showed it typically takes four to six months of sustained effort to generate 100 or more organic search results per day on a new website.

Paid search

• Paid search generally produces the fastest results for the lowest initial investment and is therefore, a good short-term strategy.
• Paid search is an excellent precursor to SEO in that it can identify top-performing keywords relevant to your market.
• It can complement an SEO campaign – for low-ranking organic keywords, Paid Search fills the gap.
• As your SEO campaign begins to generate results for specific keywords, you may choose to discontinue paid search for those terms.

Social media

• Social media is a good platform for communicating with fans and followers. By utilizing targeted keywords in social media communications, it also can support an SEO campaign.
• A smart social media effort should ongoing and integrated with a content marketing plan that includes blogging, PR, article submission and email marketing.
• Social media advertising is critical in order to build your fan base and generate website visits from targeted users outside of your current fan base. While the performance of social media communications can be difficult to evaluate, social advertising performance can be more easily measured if using Google Analytics or other tracking tools.

If you’d like to learn more about building and launching a digital marketing campaign, or if you’d like a free evaluation of your digital marketing strategy or performance of a current or recent campaign, feel free to contact us here at AdEdge at (203) 682-4585 or email us at [email protected].

Unethical digital marketing practices

Avoiding the unethical digital marketing minefield

The Internet allows marketers to reach a global audience, expanding their networks and growing their brands in ways unimaginable just a few years ago.

It also has created a much larger opportunity for scammers and unethical companies to take advantage of consumers and businesses.

Good marketing can involve education, promotion, persuasion, and even “puffery”, pushing the boundaries of persuasion by exaggerating benefits. While marketing must always be legal, it should also be ethical. Unfortunately, not all organizations work that way.

Above all else, ethical marketing is honest and transparent. It does not use deception to trick someone into buying a product or service. It does not involve subterfuge to convince someone to buy something they don’t need.

The American Marketing Association states that “marketers are expected to embrace the highest professional ethical norms and the ethical values implied by our responsibility towards multiple stakeholders (customers, employees, investors, peers, channel members, regulators and the host community.)” The AMA identifies core values as honesty, responsibility, fairness, respect, transparency and citizenship.

Unethical behavior ignores the above values. There are many examples of unethical behavior, but most center on some form of dishonesty or lack of transparency.

We recently received an example of deceptive marketing from a company pitching website hosting services. We got a letter in the mail appearing to be an invoice. It included a due date and a balance of $180 for annual website hosting. The text of the letter stated, “This is a solicitation for the order of goods or services, or both, not a bill, invoice, or statement of account due. You are under no obligation to make payments on account of this offer unless you accept this offer.” But the letter clearly was designed to appear to be a bill, invoice or statement of account due. This is a perfect example of legal behavior that is not ethical.

Similarly, some digital marketers have turned to the unethical practice of writing or buying fake reviews. As we have discussed here over the past two weeks, consumers increasingly are relying on consumer reviews and comments as they decide whether and what to buy. As a result, online reviews and endorsements are becoming ever more important to brands and marketers. Responsible marketers encourage real customers to leave positive reviews. Ethical marketers can hire or otherwise work with influencers, but they must disclose the relationship. It’s OK to pay someone to write or say nice things about your brand, but if you do, you need to let the consumers know you compensated them for their efforts.

Another common ploy that most of us have encountered involves phone solicitations where a company claims that, “We’re calling from Google. Your Google Maps (or Google Plus) listing is out of date and we need to update it”. There are a few reasons why any call like this is a clear red flag. 1) Google doesn’t call businesses about problems with their map listing. 2) What is the problem with the Google Maps listing? There rarely is one. 3) Here at AdEdge, we get calls like this all the time. Do these people thing a highly awarded digital marketing agency needs help with their Google listing? 4) Long story short, they are almost always looking to overcharge businesses for services they don’t need, gain control of their Google listing and then extort them additional moneys.

Have you ever been called by a company promising to “Get you at the top of Google”? There are a number of problems with this one. 1) Without keyword and competitive research, an organization is unable to determine if they can get you to the top of Google. 2) What keywords are they proposing to have you rank at the top for? Most will run your name a keyword. The problem with this is twofold. 1) Getting your business to rank #1 for your business name is very easy. 2) It is unlikely to generate any new business for you since most customer who search for you are already customers!

The same unethical digital marketing companies who promise you a top rank in Google often promote unethical practices in SEO called “black hat” tactics. One common example of this is offering to build thousands of inbound links to improve your SEO. Yes, inbound links are good for SEO but doing it in this way is not approved by Google. Google rewards one-way, inbound links from popular, relevant websites. If Google catches you practicing a black hat tactic, (which they almost always will) you will likely get banned from Google. You heard that right – a total ban from Google where you don’t show up at all for any search, not paid, organic or on a map. We’ve seen it happen. Don’t fall victim. Better yet, if you hear from an agency who is promising the world or something specific you’d really like to do, do you own search for a local, ethical and highly awarded agency like AdEdge Digital Marketing.
As a marketing technology still in it’s infancy, digital marketing is the “wild west” of marketing, complete with unique rewards …and perils. If you want to succeed, find yourself a trusted guide; a digital marketing firm with lots of experience and values that match yours.

If you’d like to learn more about how to build an ethical digital marketing effort, or if you’d like a free evaluation of your digital marketing footprint, and ideas to improve it, feel free to contact our principal, Anthony LoFrisco, Jr., board member of the Better Business Bureau of Connecticut from 2017 through 2019. Call (203) 682-4585 or email Anthony at [email protected] to schedule a call or a visit.