Digital reputation management is not optional, it is essential 

Digital reputation management is not optional, it is essential

The internet is a powerful marketing tool and has a huge potential to make or break a brand. On the one hand, it allows businesses to reach wider audiences than any other traditional advertising channel in existence. And on the other hand, it allows prospects to look businesses up online before making a buying decision.

A decade ago, things like reputation and PR management were mostly a concern for celebrities, CEOs, and politicians. Smaller brands seemed not to care much about it. And they didn’t have to since their brand perception was a one-way street with customers having little to no room for feedback. Besides, the worst that a customer would do was refrain from buying their product or service. Their perception had little to no impact.

But that’s not the case anymore. We’re now in a digital era where customers have a voice and a range of platforms to express their opinions about brands. Happy clients are eager to leave positive reviews and comments for others to see. But guess what, so are the unhappy, dissatisfied ones. And with 85% of consumers trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations, you cannot afford to appear disreputable and untrustworthy on SERPs. That’s where online reputation management comes in.

What’s online reputation management (ORM)?

ORM is the strategy that influences or shapes public perception of your brand. It involves monitoring all aspects of your online presence and doing whatever it takes to improve it. ORM uses positive material to balance, counteract or “push” negative material to a position of insignificance.

Is managing your reputation necessary?

Your online reputation determines how people perceive your brand when they stumble upon it or search for it online. When consumers or potential clients search for a product, service or organization, they are actually performing a three-part search. 1) They search for something that will satisfy their want or need or need, 2) they focus on recognizable brands. and 3) they filter for “the best” solution to their need. Your reputation (reviews and ratings) often determine whether you or your competitor will pass through the reputation filter. How appealing is your reputation against your competitors?  Your reputation and perception of quality will often determine who gets the click and ultimately, the business. As such, it has become critical in most industries to manage your reputation to build positive brand equity, a competitive edge, and growth.

ORM proactively influences the information these people will find. It combines public relations, SEO, marketing strategies, etc., to monitor and improve your brand’s online reputation. This strategy helps your business put its best digital footprint forward, helping you show the world the picture of your business that you want others to see.

Why is a good reputation important?

Take a moment to think about your marketing strategy. You buy ads on multiple online and offline mediums, invest in public relations for quality brand mentions, and even send out dozens of press releases to drive interest in your solutions. In the end, all these efforts drive prospects to one place: online. What prospects discover online through Google or Social Sites will influence their perception of your brand. Positive results that align with your brand messaging amplify your marketing effort. But negative ones will hurt your marketing ROI. People across the world turn to search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo first. In fact, 62% of global respondents in the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer said they trust search engines the most when researching a business. Meaning, your prospects are researching your business online, and the result will influence whether or not they’ll visit. Surveys further reveal that businesses with 1- or 2-star reviews fail to convert 86% of prospects – which can be a great loss for startups.

Online reputation affects offline brand perception

The problem with a bad online reputation is that it doesn’t just stay there. It extends beyond the internet into all corners of your sales and marketing. A survey by Weebly showed that 56% of consumers did not trust businesses with poor reputations. Any form of distrust can negatively impact any and all forms of sales and marketing, whether it involves digital media, traditional media, or sales.

Tell the story the way you want

This is perhaps the most distinct benefit of online reputation management. It allows you to create the brand image that you want your prospects to see. Effective ORM capitalizes on positive stories and reviews that highlight your brand – but suppresses those that conflict with your brand image. This lets you show your best face and attract customers.

Rank higher on search engines

Most businesses desire to rank on the first page of the search engine. But if you’ve been at it for a while, you understand that it takes more than a good website and content. Reviews are now the fifth most important factor in where a business ranks online. They make up 16% of the search engine decision-making process, particularly for local rankings. So, making the best effort to manage your online reputation can help you gain SEO visibility.

Builds credibility and trust

With prospects trusting online reviews, earning their trust is critical. Good online reputation management helps you gain customers’ trust. When customers trust your brand, they’re more likely to buy from you than your peers. If you’re lucky, they’ll leave more positive reviews and even refer your brand to others through word of mouth.

Reinforces your brand

You need a clear and consistent brand message across all platforms for people to trust your business. Online reputation management involves scouring the internet for inconsistencies and fixing all issues to ensure uniformity and positive exposure across the web.

Higher revenues

Customers who trust your business see your brand as reliable. So they will always prefer your solutions over your competitors – translating to higher sales conversion and retention rates. Also, as we mentioned earlier, consumers who see your good reputation are more likely to refer you or give positive feedback when your name comes up, which again, will improve your sales conversion rate.

How online reputation management services can help

The last thing you want as a business owner is to leave your brand’s reputation to chance. It takes years to build a reputation, but only a few months to destroy it. An online reputation management service can give your business a voice. It will promote the positive and build upon your hard-earned brand reputation. It will also subdue the negative comments that can ruin your reputation.

If you have any questions or concerns about your online reputation, feel free to contact us and we’ll do our best to help!

How to Generate Leads with Digital Marketing

Your business is as successful as your lead generation strategy. Essentially, customers are the lifeline of any business. Having an effective customer acquisition and retention strategy can place your business on a path of perpetual success. In other words, lead generation is essential for your business growth.

What is Lead Generation?

A lead is a prospect who has shown interest in your business, either by submitting their details through a form or making an inquiry about your products or services. Lead generation, therefore, is the process of attracting web surfers and converting them into interested prospects.

There are various channels and ways of capturing leads. But the ultimate intent is to have a prospect submit their details, which you can then use to reach them and nurture them down the sales funnel to conversion.

According to Think With Google, 53% of customers conduct online research before buying to ensure they’re making the right choice. What does this mean for you? Your potential customers are constantly scouring the web for information about the products or services you offer.

This means you already have a potential online market. All you ought to do is develop strategies to capture qualified leads and get them on the sales pipeline.

Lead Generation Strategies

Generally, there are online and offline lead generation strategies that you can set up to create a constant flow of prospects. However, in this post, we focus on digital marketing strategies. There are various of them, but here are our top six picks.

Optimizing Your Website

Optimizing your website enhances its discoverability and indexing by search engines. An optimized website also provides a smooth user experience, which in return boosts rankability. Usually, a website that offers a poor user experience has a high bounce rate. On the contrary, when users have a better experience, they stay longer on the site. As a result, search engines assume your content is valuable, hence index the site more.

Once you have your website optimized for high ranking, you should place a lead magnet strategically on each page to net visitors into your sales funnels. This could be a pop-up or a sidebar widget with an exciting offer – free trial, webinar invitation, gift, newsletter sign up, etc.

Thanks to advancements in marketing technology, it’s now possible to target leads based on their interests. Instead of serving the same offer to every visitor who comes to your website, you can now have multiple lead pages with customized offers based on the specific interest of each visitor. This allows you to append an offer on each web page or post based on relevancy, thereby capturing the most qualified leads.

Creating Gated Content

Content marketing is the pillar of digital marketing. Producing regular high-value content can help boost your brand image immensely. Besides positioning yourself as an industry thought leader, it enables you to win your audience’s trust, making it easy to convert them.

Creating gated content is an effective way of capturing qualified leads. This involves locking up some content (e-books, guides, white papers, courses, etc.) and requesting visitors to complete a free sign-up to unlock it. Besides, as they interact with your site, you’re able to track their behavior, which helps you customize the most relevant (beneficial) offers to them.

Optimizing for Local SEO

Perhaps, this is the most potent way of marketing local businesses online. According to statistics, 46% of all Google searches are local-oriented. Besides, 86% of consumers search for local businesses online. This shows how many prospects are up for grabs online.

However, to capture the leads, you need to optimize your online visibility for local SEO. Among other things, you should set up and optimize your Google My Business profile, manage your NAPs (Name, Address, Phone), create local content, among other tactics.

In a nutshell, optimizing for local SEO raises your chances of showing up on the map pack and the organic first-page results for all relevant local searches. Once you show up on local queries leading to a click, you can then count on your optimized website to net the leads.

Leveraging Paid Advertising

Paid advertising remains one of the most effective marketing tools for reaching broader audiences and increasing conversions. Recent advancements in marketing technology have increased the efficiency of paid advertising campaigns thanks to powerful targeting tools.

Whether you opt for social media ads or paid search, there are tools to help you target the ads to the most relevant audience. This optimizes your advertising budget as only prospects who are highly likely to be interested in your products or services see the ads.

Optimizing Your Social Media Presence

Social media presents a ripe marketing opportunity for businesses to net high-quality leads. Statistics indicate that more than 50% of social browsers use it to search for products. Optimizing your social presence with relevant brand content raises the chances of being discovered by users searching for your products and services.

Besides, by optimizing your social profiles, you keep your brand constantly in front of your followers, whom you can woo and nurture to conversion. For example, you can set up a Facebook profile funnel or a Facebook sales funnel to direct your followers to a lead magnet. Again, doing regular posts with brand-related keywords can help you feature in relevant searches.

But overall, the secret to succeeding in social media marketing is identifying your most ideal channels (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) and concentrating your efforts on the ones that drive the highest brand engagement.

Honing Email Marketing

Email marketing continues to hold the trophy for digital marketing. Despite the success of other lead generation strategies, email’s return on investment (ROI) still remains the highest, estimated at 4400%. Perhaps, the success can be attested to its powerful relationship-building model. Unlike social, where followers may or may not catch up with all your updates, email provides a systematic way of following up with prospects as all messages are delivered to their inbox.

Generally, once a lead submits their information, it sends a signal that they wouldn’t mind interacting with your brand further. This opens a window for you to build their trust and hopefully convince them to buy from you. You can begin nurturing the relationship by sending them newsletters with valuable information or freebies. If they continue showing interest in your brand, then you can send them special offers, product announcements, etc. Once they convert, you can continue cultivating the relationship by emailing them thank you notes, review requests, related products, up-sells, etc.

Conclusion

In summary, every business requires a solid lead generation strategy to keep the customers flowing in. Digital marketing has opened up different channels that you can exploit to capture qualified leads and nurture them to conversion. From website optimization to local SEO, social, email, and paid advertising, you have powerful tools to help you rock digital lead generation.

Should you need help rolling out your digital marketing strategy, Ad Edge Digital Marketing has got your back. Contact us today, and let’s assist you to win more leads.

Reach for the most impressions

You’re active on social media, putting together creative posts and interacting with your fans.
But how do you know your efforts are paying off?

It’s important to look at impressions, reach, and engagement when evaluating the impact of your social media marketing effort.

Impressions and reach are often are confused or misunderstood.

Impressions measure how many times your content is displayed.

Reach refers to the number of unique people who see your content. In other words, it’s the number of users that have been exposed to your message, regardless of how many times they’ve seen it.

Social media marketing reports usually show more impressions than reach because each person you are targeting (reaching) tends to see your post (impression) more than once.

For example, if 50 followers each see one message twice, you have achieved 100 impressions and a reach of 50 people.

Some social media marketing platforms offer a deeper level of reporting. For example, Facebook reports impressions and reach in three categories:
• Organic — unpaid posts in your news feed
• Paid — Facebook ads or boosted posts
• Viral — Pots that were liked, shared or commented on

Tracking impressions and reach can help you better understand how well your social media effort is working.

Increased reach leads to increased awareness because it means more people are seeing your posts. Increased impressions mean your posts are finding their way into users’ feeds more often, which can build your brand with greater message retention and lead more people to respond by liking, commenting on or sharing your posts, which further spreads your message.

Don’t extend your reach by expanding your targeting into groups that are not ideal prospects. Likewise don’t plow too many impressions in front of the same people over and over again. 5-10 repetitions is usually enough to get your content noticed at least a few times, without being spammy.

If your ads are experiencing high impressions but limited reach, it could be an indication that your audience is experiencing ad fatige, meaning they are getting tired of seeing the same ad repeatedly. If this is the case, it’s time to start updating ads.

If you’d like some insights on building, managing and optimizing an effective social media marketing and advertising campaign, feel free to Contact Us here at AdEdge at (203) 682-4585 or email us at [email protected]

Digital Marketing During Covid: 3 Marketing Tactics That Thrived

When coronavirus struck, the marketing sphere was greatly impacted. Physical interactions were restricted, most brick and mortar shops closed down, and foot traffic fell significantly. CMOs were also faced with the difficult task of finding effective ways to reach their customers without going over budget.

Brands have been marketing their products for ages, so how hard can it be? Well, consumer behavior was greatly altered, and internet usage increased by a whopping 70%. The truth is, people were bored at home, so they turned to the internet for information and entertainment. This was the Hail Mary that marketers needed; they could easily market to their audiences on online platforms, at their desired budget. 3 platforms, in particular, experienced a boom during the pandemic; Facebook, Search ads, and YouTube.

1.  Facebook Advertising

The most newsworthy internet usage was social media and, specifically, Facebook.  As social distancing and remote working increased, Facebook use exploded, making it far easier to reach both consumers and business professionals. People moved to the platform to share news, stay in touch with their friends & family, and as a source of interaction. In fact, when the virus was declared a global pandemic, Facebook usage rose by 50% in the most affected countries.

Why Did Most Marketers Favor Facebook Ads?

Brands using social media have the unique advantage of interacting with their target audiences on a personal level. It is their opportunity to create lasting connections without coming off as too promotional. Most importantly, social platforms are great for selling items that can be bought on impulse. Here’s why Facebook ads boomed;

  1. Budget Control: you are in charge of your marketing budget and can easily adjust it based on how the ad is performing. At a time when most companies had to slash their marketing budget, this aspect was vital.
  2. Goal flexibility: do you want to increase brand awareness, drive people to your website, or generate new leads? You can easily set these goals with Facebook! You just have to find a way of keeping your audience engaged and making your ads click-worthy.
  3. Remarketing: it’s possible to target people that have interacted with your brand in the past using Facebook. These people are more likely to convert since they already have a relationship with your brand.
  4. Targeting options: Facebook has great targeting options that make it easy for marketers to define their audiences based on various criteria, e.g., age, gender, interests, geographical locations, etc.

Facebook was also a great platform for B2B companies to interact with their target customers by sharing relevant blogs, company information, and live webinars.

2.  Paid Search Ads

Paid search has always been a strong marketing tool because you are in a position to reach a local market at “the moment of intent” when they are searching for the products and services you sell. During the coronavirus pandemic, marketers had to revisit their PPC strategy because search trends changed considerably. Few consumers were searching for products & services, and most keywords were health-related.

However, now that people were stuck in their homes, search ads became more important. Customers couldn’t visit physical shops and had to look for alternative ways of shopping. All markets had to do was assess their ads to make sure they reflected the current times.

Tricks Marketers Used For Search Ads

  1. Promotion of Products in demand: brands had to evaluate the products they were promoting earlier to those that were in demand. How did they know which products to promote? They based their decision around; social distancing, essential products, entertainment, homeschooling, etc.
  2. Messaging that accommodated the tough times: the ad copy had to reflect the restrictions of the pandemic and call to actions changed; ‘visit store’ was replaced with ‘shop now.’
  3. Communication of value using ad extensions: ad copies had to relay information that shoppers now considered essential, e.g., turnaround time, free shipping, fast delivery, etc.
  4. Use of negative keywords: to avoid getting irrelevant traffic, markets leveraged negative keywords to ensure the ads were only shown to people who were likely to convert. This, in turn, increased ad efficiency and budget allocation.

3.  YouTube Advertising

Many more people turned to YouTube during the pandemic, relying on this media for entertainment. This, along with YouTube’s ability to target by search history and retargeting previous website visitors, made it a super-strong platform for; building brands, driving website visitors, and generating leads and sales.

YouTube Marketing During the Pandemic

Video ads are a great way of increasing brand awareness and audience engagement, especially when on a low budget. Here are some tricks marketers used for YouTube advertising:

  1. Tailoring video ads for passive listening: yes, YouTube ads have always been visual, but there has been a fundamental shift. People working from home used the platform for passive listening, so advertisers made their ads more ‘listenable;
  2. Quality video content: competition was fierce, and companies had to find a way to stand out. The video ads had to be creative and unique, content that will keep the user glued to their screen.
  3. Webinars: now that companies couldn’t attend events and seminars, the only best option was to hold webinars to interact with their potential customers. YouTube videos also provided brands with a great way of sharing company information and relating knowledge interactively.

Even though YouTube isn’t effective for maximum conversions, it was perfect for brands looking to create a rapport with their audiences and then convert them later. Some of the calls to actions that were used include; stay safe, we’ll help, free tips, view more, etc.

Marketing Your Business During the Pandemic

The coronavirus fundamentally changed how businesses interacted with their customers. Foot traffic was low, so they had to revisit the most basic marketing rule: the best way to interact with your customers is by doing so in the platforms they are most active on. Since people were stuck in their homes, the only way to market to them was through digital marketing, most specifically Facebook, search ads, and YouTube advertising. Even though the economy is slowly opening up, digital marketing is here to stay!

Are you looking to create a winning digital marketing strategy? Contact us today for a free consultation!

An SEO Audit For Any Brand

By using free tools like SEOptimer, you can get a quick, top-level audit of your website’s SEO performance. It will tell you if there are broken links and certain ways you can improve your site. There are a bunch of SEO tools that show what is wrong with a site, but how about some constructive criticism? The AdEdge Team uses some of these tools but focuses on implementing actionable items, following up on them, and increasing ROI, for instance.

The crawl will generate a page like the one displayed below once complete. Notice that even Chipotle.com needs some improvements. By the end of this guide, you will be able to say that you have a better SEO rating than Chipotle.com.

Chipotle SEO Audit

 

Have A Purpose

First, consider the purpose of each page of the website. How do customers use it? What information do you want available on this page and what action do you want users to take on the page? Identify what the ideal call to action (CTA) would be for the page.

Keywords That Bring The Right Crowd

Hooray! You defined the purpose of the webpage, next identify a ‘Target Keyword’ for the page. Target Keywords directly affect your Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), or how a webpage appears in search engines like Google. If the page includes information about ordering burritos, the keyword should be something like ‘order burritos online.’

Meta Descriptions That Convert

Next, check your meta description. Your Keyword is highlighted in bold and accompanied by a straightforward CTA. Chiptole wants to convince users to click and order now.

Meta Description Example

Optimized Headlines

The next step in your SEO Audit is to focus on headlines. Also known as an H1, this is one of the first things search engines look at when crawling a site. Update headings in the text field of your Content Management System or an SEO plugin like Yoast. Be sure to include your Keyword within your H1 to reinforce that the page is about a certain topic. 

Now how do you implement these changes? Updating your website can be done in the text field of your Content Management System or through an SEO plugin like Yoast. Below are all free tools that will give you more insight throughout your SEO Audit.

(Free) Tools Of The (SEO) Trade

Google Search Console identifies broken links and other technical site issues. Use Google Analytics to take a deep dive into where the traffic on your site is coming from and going. Google PageSpeed Insights analyzes the load time of a webpage, if it’s slow Google will not prioritize the webpage. Google Structured Data Testing Tool reveals another layer of information when analyzing websites that is useful. Analyze structured data for interactive tools, graphs, charts, or images and whether the data is clean and working properly. it acknowledges. SERP Simulator will give you a preview of how a webpage will appear in search engines. 

In conclusion, generate business from your Search Engine Optimization effort by showing up in the Search Engine Results Page when prospects search for products or services and building a great reputation in the form of positive reviews and ratings. If you have any questions about your online reputation or need some words of advice, feel free to give us a call at 203-836-8390 or shoot us a note. If you’re not a client yet, feel free to schedule a 15-minute demo of our affordable and highly effective AdEdge Reputation Builder service. And do sign up for our newsletter to get monthly digital marketing tips delivered straight to your inbox.

Creating Your Social Media Strategy

It is important to create a social media strategy before jumping into the weeds of engaging prospects on social media. Create a social media strategy that works best for your brand, cultivates new followers, and converts customers into brand advocates. Understand the audience you are trying to reach and what interests them. Do they respond best to images, videos, or longer written posts? Establishing a tone, style, and cadence when posting as your brand should all be laid out prior to launching your social media profiles. Understand how your brand’s audience consumes content. Do they like in-depth long white papers or memes? Social media audience information will help you focus on the types of content that will lead to the best results. The AdEdge Team previously wrote about how to Manage Your Professional Brand On LinkedIn, but what about a social media strategy for your business?

 

Creating Social Media Business Profiles

 

The next step is to set up business profiles on the social media platforms that matter most to your business. Don’t spread yourself thin. Simply being on a social platform doesn’t mean that it will help your business image. It may even hurt your brand if a profile lays vacant and inactive.

 

In addition to a personal profile, creating a business page lets you connect with people who want to know more about your work. You can share updates, progress reports, and ideas with a wide range of folks who may not visit your website on a regular basis. Take a look at some quick tips to get your business profile started.

 

Get To Know Each Social Media Platform

 

LinkedIn

On LinkedIn, you can create a company page and build an online community around it, getting customers and potential customers to follow you. To learn more about LinkedIn for business, see its official guide

 

Twitter

Twitter’s ad platform allows you to target particular audiences and reach them so they learn about your business and have an opportunity to become followers and engage with you. Take a look at its official guide to see how it can be part of your online business efforts.

 

Facebook

For a business to succeed on Facebook, it’s about connecting with a community that engages with your content. If your product, service or idea is something people like and want to connect with, they will want to do the same on Facebook. To learn more about using Facebook for business, take a look at its official guide. When content is posted to your business page, the number of people that see it is called Reach. Increase your content reach with a few helpful tactics.

 

Instagram

You should also explore Instagram’s advertising options and see how they fit in with your overall strategy. Instagram is all about getting existing and potential customers excited about what you do, so be sure to explore it. To learn about its business potential, take a look at its official guide.

 

There may be other social media platforms that your customers spend the majority of their time on – dive into where your audience is and adjust accordingly. Note: AdEdge team will continually update this blog with new and relevant social media platform information to best inform your business decisions.

 

Expanding Your Brand Via Social Media

After determining where your target audience is and spends the most time, you can start pumping out useful content that your following will love. If you haven’t already, find out how to create content your audience will want to share. Each platform has a different algorithm that it uses to release content, expand your brand with a unique approach for each of your social media business accounts.

Smart, relevant, timely posts can help you build a better company profile, especially when you use hashtags in a professional manner. Participating in popular hashtags when they are relevant to you works well. This should be a prioritized element of your social media strategy, while occasionally using hashtags around your products or services. 

Features like Instagram Stories, which allow you to update your audience using multiple photos and videos, are ways to use Instagram in a business environment. These stories last for 24 hours, which could be time-consuming to produce when considering the limited time it is available to your audience. Most of the time, you are better off creating visuals and graphics you can use on multiple platforms that will also have a longer shelf life. 

Advertising Is Different For Each Social Media Platform

Learning how Facebook ads work is essential for your digital marketing plans. You may find yourself under pressure to pay to boost your posts. However, organic growth models on social media almost always work better than paid acquisition. Instagram ads are often (but not always) created in conjunction with any Facebook campaign that is being launched. Their ad platforms are unified because Instagram is owned by Facebook. There is also a lot of cross over between campaign metrics and options for visual elements.

As with the other platforms, you should see if LinkedIn advertising features make sense for you. LinkedIn notoriously has higher costs per action than other social media platforms. But is that worth it when dealing directly with your target audience. CEOs or Product Managers from specific companies can be targeted for instance. Looking for a place to start? The AdEdge Team wrote about the costs and benefits to using LinkedIn or Facebook.

While creating a social media strategy may seem complex at first, these tactics are fairly simple to implement. More importantly, a good social media plan can build a community around your brand and be highly cost-effective. Want to learn more about social media strategy?  Contact an AdEdge Specialist at 203-682-4585 or [email protected] If you’d like to keep up with the latest and greatest digital marketing tactics, sign up for our once-monthly newsletter.

What Is Retargeting And Should You Be Using It?

 

Retargeting is a way of reaching people who have previously interacted with your website. It works by presenting this audience with digital display ads created specifically for them. Have you ever visited a website and seen ads about their products or services soon afterward? Congratulations – you’ve been retargeted! Retargeting is an extremely effective conversion tool …but it’s also a great retention tool. You can use it to reach past customers, keep your brand on top, and upsell or cross-sell new products. Retargeting has become an essential tool for online e-commerce businesses.

Why is it so important to reach those people who did not make a purchase? On average, only 4% of purchases are made by first-time website visitors. Depending on your industry, buyers may take weeks, or even months to make a decision. This is especially true with higher-end, complex, or more expensive products or services. It’s vital that you stay top of mind while your prospects are considering all of their options.  

Retargeting Helps Your Sales Funnel

 

In digital marketing, the “sales funnel” is the process that moves prospects to leads to customers. Like an actual funnel, a business initially captures a wide net of people and as they move toward making a purchasing decision, this group of prospects narrows down to leads and eventually purchases. The funnel starts with awareness, then moves to interest, consideration, intent, evaluation, and finally, a purchase. 

Retargeting makes it possible to re-engage with those customers who are further down the funnel but have not yet decided to purchase. You can set your focus on those very close to purchasing, by targeting only “cart abandoners” if you have a limited budget.  You can also set your efforts to reach all website visitors if you have a high lead time that involves a lot of evaluation by your audience. Examples of highly evaluated products are cars, legal services, higher education, or any product or service that requires a significant investment in time or money from the buyer.

 

Retargeting For Your Sales Funnel

The great thing about retargeting is that you can give each type of customer the attention that they need in the manner that they need it. It gives you a second chance to advertise, an opportunity to cross-sell, up-sell, or nurture your audience with your content marketing efforts. You can now engage with visitors even when they leave your website, encouraging them to convert at their own pace.

Why Should You Try Retargeting?

 

As we already mentioned, since only 4% of first-time visitors purchase, that leaves 96% of your website visitors potentially lost if you don’t continue to engage with them. Over 63% of digital marketing campaigns on Google and Facebook do not use retargeting tactics. This represents a huge opportunity for those who do to strengthen their brand and improve their conversion rates. In a world with increasing distractions and competition, reminding your “online window shoppers” why your brand is important to them is crucial. 79% of people abandon their shopping carts on average. You can reach those people with retargeting.

Remarketing vs Retargeting

 

Retargeting is the process of targeting users that have visited your site with ads.  There are many ways that you can retarget your audience but it falls under the umbrella of Remarketing.  Remarketing entails how you are targeting your audience in terms of which channels to use, what audience to target, and what message the ad should contain. This whole process is Remarketing. Some still say Remarketing is only focused on emails but that theory is outdated with all the new ways that you can re-engage with your audience today.

How Do You Deploy A Retargeting Strategy?

 

A “pixel” or “cookie” is placed on a website to traffic users. The pixel is a piece of JavaScript code that is stored on computers of people who visit your site. The pixel identifies website visitors, enabling you to serve ads when the time is right. After they leave your site and continue to surf the web, you can show them ads to convert them from leads to customers, cross-sell, or up-sell based on what they viewed on your website.  

Initially, you may find that remarketing volume is relatively small, simply because there are a few pixels placed at first. But as the number of people who capture your pixel grows, your remarketing audience grows, exponentially improving the effectiveness.  For smaller organizations, retargeting may not be the best fit for your marketing strategy. A 30-day window to build an audience could be too small to reach the Google Ads minimum of 1,000 users.

Retargeting By The Rules

Utilizing email lists retained from customers by using “Customer match” in Google Ads enables you to engage with existing customers. This tactic allows you to reach those on your CRM list or another external list with banner ads. We’ll dive into that tactic in another blog.

Prior to implementation, notify your website visitors that you will be using cookies to track them for advertising purposes. Update this on your website’s privacy policy page. It is also necessary if you service anyone adhering to GDPR rules and guidelines.

While Remarketing and Retargeting may seem complex at first, these tactics are fairly simple once you dive in. More importantly, a good remarketing plan can beat your competition to the punch and be highly cost-effective. If you would like to learn more about how remarketing may benefit your industry and company specifically, and how it fits in with your overall digital marketing strategy, feel free to contact us at AdEdge at 203-682-4585 or [email protected]. If you’d like to keep up with the latest and greatest digital marketing tactics, sign up for our once-monthly newsletter.

 

How To Choose A Marketing Agency

Agency Services

Choosing the right marketing agency can be difficult. There are so many specialties when it comes to marketing that the choice can get overwhelming. However, learning more about the types of agencies can help you make informed decisions on what firm you may need to hire to accomplish your goals. Maybe you need multiple agencies, which is not uncommon, to execute a full marketing strategy for your brand.

How To Choose A Marketing Agency

How to choose the right marketing agency is less about what you think you need, but more about educating yourself on what options are available. If you ask your agency how media buying can fit into your creative strategy and the answer is ‘we don’t do media buying and that doesn’t fit with your marketing strategy’ that’s a big red flag. Your agency or consultant should educate you as to what media buying is and what abilities it can bring to the table. Education is the key to making informed decisions.

Here is an outline to learn more about different types of agencies and how to choose the right marketing agency for your company.

7 Types Of Marketing Agencies

 

Full-Service Agency

A full-service advertising agency offers a comprehensive range of marketing and advertising services for any business. This typically includes strategic planning, content creation, web design and development, SEO, social media management, TV and radio ads, and paid search ads. A full-service agency is a one-stop-shop for all your marketing and advertising needs. The value of working with a full-service agency is that it limits the needs for coordinating between partners and vendors. Because full-service agencies do it all, they could make your choice of marketing agency very simple. However, hiring a full-service agency that does everything may rob you of a skillset a specialist may bring to the table. Interview a few agencies, gather some information and vet your current agency to see if they are offering you the best strategy.

 

Digital Agency

A digital advertising agency specializes in online campaigns. Execution of a digital-first marketing strategy will most definitely include SEO, social media marketing, website design and development, lead generation, email marketing, and marketing automation. Digital agencies generate more leads for clients through their website and create more awareness online.

 

Social Media Agency

A social media agency focuses solely on social media. However, content creation for specific audiences can be a very in-depth process of coordinating video production, copywriting, and photographers. Once curated content is chosen for an ad campaign, it must be optimized. These teams create targeted ad campaigns behind social content will be a large part of their process. They will typically charge a budget for ad spend on top of a retainer. Social media agencies are a good fit for companies that sell specific product lines, such as headphones.

 

Public Relations (PR) Agency

Public relations, or PR, agencies improve and manage the public image of a company and its employees. Often used by enterprise companies and CEOs, PR agencies get their clients featured in the news, on industry websites, and talked about in the community. Their efforts are typically broken down into paid and earned media. Paid media is buying air time, sponsored content opportunities, or ad placement. Earned media is thought leadership, SEO, social media, and bolsters online reputation. PR agencies are best for companies or individuals that want to improve their public image.

 

Branding Agency

Usually, these teams conduct thorough market research and analysis to better understand company positioning, branding agencies offer a range of services including logo design, brand name development, creative production, and signage. Because of their ability to differentiate brands consider branding agencies when rebranding your company. Branding agency teams develop how a current brand is perceived in the market and provide the research your team needs to make informed business decisions.

 

Creative Agency

Creative agencies develop the design, graphics, and copywriting of a brand. They specialize in logo design, print marketing, letterheads, billboards, and business cards. These types of agencies make companies look a specific way and stand out in the marketplace. If you hire a creative agency it should never be short on new ideas and ways to promote your service or product.

 

Media buying agency

Media buying agencies focus on media planning and media buying, typically focusing on specific channels. Developing target audiences over time, media buying agencies hone in on specific customers by using targeting capabilities. The targeting criteria varies per platform and are provided by third-party websites such as Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Although these agencies are effective on their own, they deliver the most positive results when paired with creative agencies.

 

How To Choose The Right Marketing Agency

Choose the right one, or combination of marketing agencies to generate leads and influence how your brand is perceived. Marketing changes fast, make sure the firm you hire isn’t stuck in a mindset of the past. Test them to ensure they are familiar enough with today’s evolving marketing landscape. 

Transparency is key. It is your right as a client to demand accurate and up to date reporting. These numbers will give you an accurate depiction of how your campaigns are performing.

A Marketing Consultant can create a stellar marketing strategy, tie all of these offerings together, bringing in appropriate specialists where needed. Coordinating between trusted agencies is ultimately a job for a trusted member of your team.

What Is Display Advertising?

What Is Display Advertising?

Display advertising is a type of paid online advertising that consists of text, image, video, audio, and motion ads. These ads display on websites, apps, and social media platforms, in several different sizes. 

To start, all display ads go through a display ad network to reach customers. The top display ad networks are Google, Facebook, and Twitter. You choose what demographics or other targeting criteria you want your audience to consist of and they take it from there. They serve your ads to users who fit that description. Those users can then click on your ad and (hopefully) convert into a paying customer.

Types Of Display Advertising

There are several types of display ads, however static, rich media, video, and interstitial ads are predominantly used by marketers.

Static – Static ads are hyperlinked, image-based ads that clearly stand out on any webpage. Often called banner ads, this format is a good place to start for branding and product placement.

Rich Media – Rich media is one type of display ad that involves using interactive elements such as video, audio, and clickable elements to make the advertisement more engaging.

Video – When comparing cost, video ads are slightly more expensive but provide a whole different experience that can definitely be worth the additional ad spend. Platforms like YouTube and Instagram have made it extremely convenient for marketers to deliver video ads and attract a lot of attention to their products or services.

Interstitial – Interstitial ads load as a separate webpage or window before you are directed to the original page you wanted to visit. They take up the entire screen and often require being closed by the users in order to continue.

Your company can take advantage of these display ad types and see which works best for your product or service with display advertising. If you came to this page for a definition then you can stop reading, but if you want to know how to start using display advertising for your company, that’s what this entire page is for.

How To Create Display Ads That Convert

If you’re beyond definitions and want to dive right in and start designing your display ads, start with these steps:

Follow Best Practices For Landing Pages

Yes, the first thing to focus on is not the ad itself. Make sure your landing page is optimized for conversion. The landing page should be where you drive traffic from an ad, and please don’t make it the homepage! A landing page should be specific to your product and offer an easy way for people to convert. Have a clear call to action (CTA) and follow these best practices:

  • Build a responsive and mobile-friendly page
  • Keep it simple, anything that is too intricate will be distracting
  • Make sure it includes company branding
  • Include company awards, certifications, testimonials or other signals that encourage trust in your brand
  • Use a CTA that stands out on the page

By following the best practices, you will have an attractive and optimized landing page for your audience.

Use A Compelling Design

Just like your landing page, using a simple and attractive design for your display ads should be a focus for your ad campaign. Too much information can be overwhelming too. Keeping it simple with some clear copy and basic visuals can effectively tell the customer what you sell and why they should be interested.

Create A Clear Message And Offer

Honing a clear message and attractive offer for your audience should be identifiable in about 3-seconds. A glance. If you don’t grab someone’s attention within that time frame you run the risk of losing their interest. Brainstorm various options before deciding on your messaging and offer. Most times, creating multiple ad variants and testing which is best creates the best ads.

Use Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising can help your business advertise to the people that matter most to your company. Programmatic offers immediate value for any display ad strategy because it utilizes user data like demographics, topics of interest, and age to deliver relevant ads.

Creating ads for display is one thing, but the experimenting and careful planning behind successful campaigns takes time. If you want to learn more about the process reach out to an AdEdge Team member today at [email protected].

How To Measure Display Advertising Performance

The story is always in the numbers. No matter what kind of campaign you decide to run, continuing to do so will be determined by its performance. When you take a proactive approach to campaign monitoring, you can improve your strategy on an ongoing basis.

Impressions – An Impression is the number of times an ad is served to a user during its placement. Every time an ad is loaded and displayed on a webpage or mobile app, it counts as an impression. This metric is important when analyzing your campaign metrics. If your impressions are very high or increasing and your conversion rate is low or decreasing, you may want to reconsider your display ad management plan.

Click Through RateClick Through Rate is a crucial indicator of engagement as it indicates the number of people who have clicked on your ad. It is the ratio of impressions to clicks. If your ad receives 1,000 impressions and 200 clicks, the click-through rate is 10%.

Conversion RateA conversion is the most important metric because a conversion is the main objective of running ads. A conversion takes place when a person clicks through to your landing page and performs a definitive action such as downloading your app, signing up for a newsletter, or buying a product.

These key performance metrics are generated by the ad you choose and your target audience. 

How To Choose A Display Advertising Target Audience

There are many elements to the best targeting audience for your ads. Getting there is a process. But it can be so worth it. Perfecting a targeting audience takes time and careful planning.

Define Your Demographic – Segmenting audiences based on information like age, gender, or interests can benefit any campaign.

Identify Target KeywordsReaching the target demographic based on selected keywords that relate to your product or service. The display ad network will match the keywords you choose with words/phrases present on the sites where your ad will be displayed.

Double-Down On TopicChoosing a group of websites that fit a specific category will greatly focus your ads towards people within that niche. Sometimes display ad networks provide categories broken down by business type or you can upload custom audiences.

Develop The Ideal PlacementChoosing the best placement is a process that always evolves. But you should be asking the question – where would the most influential place be to see my ad? If you’re targeting customers of a specific vacuum brand, you can display the ads on articles related to that model, or even on a product review page.

Ads Based On InterestGoogle collects data on its users’ behavior, and depending on what users are searching for, you can run display ads that resonate with specific interest groups. For instance, a grill enthusiast may be researching spatulas, grill baskets, etc. Interest-based display ad targeting will place your ad on all of these relevant web pages.

Retarget Based On Past BehaviorAlso referred to as retargeting, this display ad targeting feature lets you target users who have already visited your website. This process reinforces brand impact and recall.

AdEdge’s Strategies Incorporate Display Advertising

If you have struggled with where to start or with other elements of an effective display advertising strategy, our team of experts is working on more content for you! Reach out to ask any additional questions at AdEdge at (203) 682-4585 or email us at [email protected]. Have you found other best practices that were not mentioned work well for you? Let us know!

The Best SEO Practices To Start With

What are the best seo practices to start with?

Understanding the basics of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and best practices can be challenging for people who aren’t specialists. Defining what best practices are can be an illusory and frustrating pursuit. Google is constantly updating its indexing policies and ranking scheme for search results. It can seem like a daunting task.

 

SEO Starts With On-Site Optimization

Before we hop right into some best practices, the better place to start is in website infrastructure. Some of you might cringe and think about complex coding. Nope.

When building a house, do you start with the roof or the windows because they look good? No, you start with the foundation. Building a website that is an effective marketing machine starts with the infrastructure. 

Having a blog is vital to a successful SEO strategy. It contains content that can be created easily and often. It is also one of the most effective SEO best practices. Blog posts allow you to share your knowledge not just with your industry but the entire online world. Finding inspiration on how to create content specifically for your audience can be difficult without a solid strategy – so we created an SEO guide for you. Ultimately, your content should position your brand as an expert in your industry.

Another element of your site should be an area on your website for resources. Long-form content (white papers, webinars, ebooks, guides, etc.) lives here. This content is your main source of conversions. You should feel comfortable in asking visitors to these pages for an email address. That also means that the content should be exceptionally helpful. Including promotional materials or news about yourself in this area is bad form – steer away from that. Including educational, non-promotional content is the way to go.

Here Are Best Practices For Any SEO Strategy

1. Keep Your Titles Under 60 Characters

Keeping your blog post titles short will ensure the entire title appears in search results.

SEO Best Practices For Title Descriptions

2. Add Compelling Meta Description (Under 160 Characters)

The description under the clickable title is called the meta description or page description. These descriptions directly influence your click-through rate. Since it’s the second thing people will be reading, consider meta descriptions a broader description of what the content has to offer.

3. Identify Relevant Keywords For Your Company

Your prospects are looking for solutions to problems they are having with their business. Helping them often comes in the form of education and more specifically being there when they ask questions. Most of the time, people type their questions into search engines. So be sure to learn how to do keyword research.

Sharing A Blog For The Best Results

Ensuring that your blog can be shared will help your marketing efforts. This will help create backlinks. A backlink is an incoming hyperlink from one web page to another website.

If you share your blog and others find it useful enough to link to it on their blog this increases your ranking on Search Engine Result Pages (SERP). A SERP is basically what shows up when you ask a search engine something.

We wrote another blog post about how to optimize your LinkedIn Profile. One part of improving your profile is to publish content. By identifying relevant groups and sharing your content there, you are releasing your content to a much larger audience (than just the followers of your company page).

Guest blogging can also improve your searchability and relevancy in the topics you cover. However, you will do yourself a disservice if you post your guest blog on low-quality or irrelevant blogs. Your domain and page authority will plummet. Keep it relevant. Keep it genuine.

Pitching well-known publishers in your industry is a great way to enhance the reach of the content you create. Go for it!

SEO Best Practices For The Long Term

Too often, firms abandon their strategies for various reasons. Adjust along the way. Alter what or how you deliver content. But please don’t completely abandon your strategy.

Come to grips with the fact you may not see the immediate results you expect from an SEO project. That’s OK. Just change elements of the strategy and keep moving. As your strategy evolves so will your SEO best practices. We created an SEO To-Do List adhering to best practice guidelines.

If you have struggled with where to start or with other elements of an effective SEO strategy, we wrote the blog for you! Reach out to ask any additional questions at AdEdge at (203) 682-4585 or email us at [email protected]. Have you found that other best practices work well for you?