Marketing Blog https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog Your FUTURE Marketing Agency Tue, 10 Oct 2017 15:06:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 121362421 5 Tips On Optimizing Your Google AdWords Campaign https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/5-tips-optimizing-google-adwords-campaign https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/5-tips-optimizing-google-adwords-campaign#respond Mon, 25 Sep 2017 14:00:22 +0000 https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/?p=155931 Google AdWords has been one of the most powerful marketing tools used to grow a business. If set up properly, your advertisements have the potential to send highly targeted leads right to your website. When working in AdWords, it is important to check the performance of your campaigns after launching, usually once a week. It […]

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Google AdWords has been one of the most powerful marketing tools used to grow a business. If set up properly, your advertisements have the potential to send highly targeted leads right to your website. When working in AdWords, it is important to check the performance of your campaigns after launching, usually once a week. It is also important to optimize regularly to ensure that you are getting the most return on your investment and not wasting away at your ad budget. Here are five tips that can help you optimize your campaigns.

1. Make sure to set ads to “Rotate Indefinitely.”

When setting up your campaigns on AdWords, the default option for the ad rotation is “Optimize for Clicks.” This option will allow Google to determine which one of your ads in each ad group will appear to the user. While this may be helpful to some, it limits the control that you have over your ads. When setting your ad rotation to “Rotate Indefinitely,” it will distribute your ads evenly across all users to allow for more consistent A/B test results. “Rotate Indefinitely” will help when determining which ad is performing better than others, as there are times when the “Optimize for Clicks” rotation will have one ad appear 90% of the time with maybe 1000 impressions, and another ad only appears 10% with only 100 impressions. Ad rotations like this make it harder to determine which ad is performing better than the other.

2. Check for landing page relevance.

It is important that your ad reflects the content on your landing page. Potential customers may get discouraged and leave your page if your advertisement makes a promise that your landing page cannot deliver. Your conversion rate will suffer as a result of this. This problem can develop when creating many different ads that move away from your original concepts. When developing the copy to your advertisement, keep your landing page in mind and make an effort to keep your advertisement and landing page relevant to each other.

3. Use keywords with high commercial intent.

Try to use words with high commercial intent when creating your list of keywords for your advertisement. There are certain keywords that users enter into Google that indicates where they are in the product purchasing process. For example, when someone searches for “Do I need a lawyer?”, they may not have as much intent to purchase services as another person that searches for “lawyers in my area.” The former person may just be curious as to if he would need the service as opposed to the latter person who may be looking to contact a lawyer immediately. It is important to use words that suggest that a user is further down the buying cycle to increase your conversion rates, such as “buy,” “discount,” or “shipping.”

4. Tighten up ad groups.

When creating ad groups, try to make a short, tightly-knit list of keywords. Move some keywords to another ad group if the list begins to grow too long. Some users even list only one keyword in an ad group. Use these keywords in the headlines of your advertisement and throughout your landing page to increase your ad relevancy. Remember, the more relevant your combination of keywords/advertisements/landing pages are, the higher your click-through-rate should be. A higher click-through-rate would increase your Quality Score which would then decrease your cost-per-click. Search marketing is all about relevance and laser-focused ad groups can get the most out of our budget.

5. Pause underperforming keywords.

Monitor the performance of your keywords regularly. New campaigns should be checked daily and then a little less often as you start to analyze the data and see what works. It is important to look at which keywords may be driving more traffic to your site than others. Don’t be afraid to pause a keyword that isn’t driving conversions as you’ll be paying for clicks to your website without getting the leads that you are looking for. A keyword with clicks and no conversions can be the main reason your campaign isn’t performing as well as it should.
Optimizing Your Google AdWords
Understanding how to effectively set up and optimize a Google AdWords campaign is essential to driving traffic and leads to your business. If you are interested in learning more about how Google AdWords can help your business, please contact our agency or call us at 1-888-964-4991.

Stay up-to-date with Future Design Group! We publish a new article once or twice per month so make sure to follow us on social media and allow for push notifications if you want to stay in touch with our digital marketing agency.

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How Do Customer Reviews Help Your Online SEO? https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/customer-reviews-help-seo https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/customer-reviews-help-seo#respond Fri, 21 Jul 2017 14:00:46 +0000 https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/?p=155894 It is undeniable that customer reviews help other customers find your products and business since 92% of potential customers real online reviews and 68% trust a local business with positive reviews. When looking to make a purchase or become a client, customers value online reviews because they consider genuinely shared experiences from other customers more […]

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It is undeniable that customer reviews help other customers find your products and business since 92% of potential customers real online reviews and 68% trust a local business with positive reviews.

When looking to make a purchase or become a client, customers value online reviews because they consider genuinely shared experiences from other customers more trustworthy than information the business creates for itself. Search engines agree with them. Google’s goals are to provide accurate but easy to find information. Online customer reviews provide your business with micro-targeted relevant keywords pushing it higher on search engine rankings.

Search engines like Google are very picky about businesses they show and they want extremely relevant results. Every new search becomes more and more specific as the customers become informed and aware of their potential results. By the time a customer comes across reviews, they already know what they are looking for. They just need to find the best company to provide the service or product they need.

When does a customer see online reviews for a business?

Due to mobile searches exceeding desktop searches worldwide we have seen a downsize for who is on page 1. Now it matters more about who has the highest ratings from the most reviews. You have just a few seconds to impress your potential customers. So, not only do you want to appear at the top of the listings, but you want to have the best reviews and highest customer satisfaction rating.

Reviews also show up in Rich Snippets. When they are coded correctly, search engines will display the text and the star ratings beneath the business. This draws your potential client’s eyes in and helps with your click-through rates.

If your business has a higher rating but may be further away than a lower scoring competitor, you still have the possibility of landing a new customer. Is has been proven that customers searching for a service or product will drive an additional distance for businesses with a higher review star rating.

How does customer reviews help drive my online reputation?

Think about this, Google gives preference to websites that are linked from high-authority websites. Most review websites are pretty high on this list. The most sites you have reviews on, the better. Also, what better way to prove relevance and authenticity to search engines? If you have a business that has similar, good testimonials posted across the internet at high-authority websites then you tell Google that your customers rely on you and endorse you. Let your customers help explain to each other and Google what your company is and how working with you has helped them.

Search engines also prioritize fresh, unique content, and new customer reviews keep company pages updated with zero maintenance.

Customer reviews also lower bounce rates. Since customers trust online reviews more than company posts, they will likely spend more time on review pages actually reading content rather than skimming for facts in formal business articles. Further, reviews will prompt readers to explore the website to learn more about products and services mentioned by the reviewer. Longer time periods spent on your site with lower bounce rates lead to higher search engine rankings.

The easiest way to generate a steady flow of customer reviews is to automate the review collection process. Next, as you start collecting reviews, prompt customers to share their feedback to top review sites. Customer feedback is the most cost-effective form of advertising. A positive testimonial is more convincing than even the catchiest tagline.

Not sure which sites your customers care about most? Look up “[your industry] + reviews” to find out where most customers are posting and reading reviews. A brand identity fueled by the voice of the customer is both powerful and sustainable. Amp up review management efforts, launch to the top of search results and watch as your positive business reputation promotes itself.

How Do You Get Started?

With Future Design Group, it’s easier than ever to get new authentic customer reviews, building trust that leads to more sales. In today’s reputation economy, Future Design Group provides the eyes, ears, and algorithms necessary to create the five-star customer experiences that keep your business at the top.

To learn more, go to reputation.futuredesigngroup.com or call toll-free 1-888-964-4991. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

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Infographic: Small Business Blogging https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/infographic-small-business-blogging https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/infographic-small-business-blogging#respond Tue, 18 Apr 2017 15:10:40 +0000 https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/?p=155873 How blogging can add value and credibility to your business Blogging is one of the most widely used tools to achieve content marketing success. When you blog you have a chance to speak directly to your audience, engage with them on issues that you find significant, and share insights and news that they find important. […]

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How blogging can add value and credibility to your business

Blogging is one of the most widely used tools to achieve content marketing success. When you blog you have a chance to speak directly to your audience, engage with them on issues that you find significant, and share insights and news that they find important. It’s a win-win for both the business and your customers who are looking to learn and buy from your business. Plus, as you would update promotions and social media, updating your website and digital presence is a must and blog writing is a great way to accomplish this!

Check out the infographics below to learn more about how blogging is a necessity as a growing or established business!

Blogging as a Small Business Infographic

For more information on how to increase engagement, SEO, and leads for your Mississippi Gulf Coast business, please contact Future Design Group by calling (888) 964-4991 or through our website: https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/.


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Facebook Ads vs. Boosted Posts: How They Differ https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/facebook-ads-vs-boosted-posts https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/facebook-ads-vs-boosted-posts#respond Mon, 03 Apr 2017 16:18:53 +0000 https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/?p=155864 Businesses are beginning to gain more interest in Facebook marketing (as they should), and have frequently been boosting their posts. If utilized correctly, this valuable practice could make the difference in your business as well. I will be going over what sort of ads you should be running as well as the general differences between […]

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Businesses are beginning to gain more interest in Facebook marketing (as they should), and have frequently been boosting their posts. If utilized correctly, this valuable practice could make the difference in your business as well. I will be going over what sort of ads you should be running as well as the general differences between what constitutes a boosted post as opposed to a Facebook ad.

Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts

Post Relevant Content

The days of boring, one-sided advertising practices are over! If you are repeatedly running advertisements that only serve to benefit your business (specials, discounts, services, etc.), you could find yourself running headlong into a mass unfollowing. Your brand can easily become associated with the outdated, annoying, and spammy ads of the past. Try spicing things up!

Modern advertising now involves keeping up with trends while creating relevant content and images that appeal to your target audience. The average attention span is around 8 seconds, and your advertisements could have less than one second to capture the attention of your audience. It’s time to get creative and post the entertaining, exciting, or intriguing content which gives value to your brand and engagement with your followers.

Boosting Posts: What Actually Happens?

The ability to boost posts has been one of the most popular methods of Facebook advertising, especially to those who may not have the time to fully research and set up a highly targeted ad.

When you boost a post, the post is set to receive as many engagements as possible. This means that the main objective of the post is to gather as many likes, comments, and shares as possible depending on targeting.

Boosting offers simple targeting options such as choosing the location, age, and interests of the target demographic you are appealing to. These targeting options are enough to make noise, but there are other options to fine-tune your targeting approach.

Facebook Ads: Pinpoint Accuracy

Creating Facebook ads requires using either the Ads Manager or Power Editor. This route offers advertising options such as increased:

  • App installs
  • Video views
  • Conversions to your website
  • Store visits
  • Product catalog sales
  • Brand or local awareness
  • Website traffic
  • Lead Generations and more!

Not only can you target-market based on location, age, and interests; you also have the freedom to:

  • Advertise the image on Instagram
  • Place a specific button depending on the objective of the ad (sign up, subscribe, learn more, apply now, get quote, download)
  • Place the ad in specific locations (feeds, instant articles, in-stream videos, right column)
  • Set daily or lifetime budgets across a specific number of days or months
  • Set automatic or manual bidding costs
  • Schedule your ad to run at specific times or days

Facebook Marketing is Highly Effective

Facebook has become the pay-to-play social networking platform for businesses. Why struggle to make an impact on your own over the course of a year? You can boost one post and make a bigger impact! Even with an advertising budget as low as $10 a month, you can make a big difference in local marketing.

We understand that not everyone has the time to plan out an in-depth marketing campaign. We at Future Design Group do our best to share our knowledge of advertising strategies so that you can experiment and grow your business. If you would like to ask us how you can improve your business and marketing strategies, we would love to help you grow!

Fill out our contact form or give us a call at 1-888-964-4991 and mention this blog to receive a free consultation. We will set up an hour-long meeting to discuss your business and what strategies you should implement to increase brand awareness and expand your business’ reach.

Share this article on any of the social platforms below and help one of your friend’s and/or family’s business benefit too! If you share this article on Facebook, tag @futuredesigngroup for a special shout out! 🙂

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The Wonders of WP Engine https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/the-wonders-of-wp-engine https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/the-wonders-of-wp-engine#respond Thu, 30 Mar 2017 14:00:59 +0000 https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/?p=155834 Are you looking for managed WordPress hosting for your website(s)? Well, we have been doing some research on the best-managed WordPress hosting companies on the internet and found WP Engine. Take a look at what they have to offer and how you can move your site to WP Engine in less than 30 minutes. WP […]

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Are you looking for managed WordPress hosting for your website(s)? Well, we have been doing some research on the best-managed WordPress hosting companies on the internet and found WP Engine. Take a look at what they have to offer and how you can move your site to WP Engine in less than 30 minutes.

WP Engine provides best-in-class customer service on top of innovation-driven technology. This is why over 60,000 customers in 120 countries have chosen them for their mission critical WordPress hosting needs.

Run Your Website Through Their Speedtest

WordPress Speed Test
With WP Engine’s new Speed Tool, you can find out just how much the speed, or lack thereof, of your WordPress site is costing you. Our speed tool examines how quickly parts of your site load and render. We use that data to recommend possible ways to improve your site’s speed and performance.

Use the image link to take your website for a speed test to see if making the switch could benefit your website or take a look at their plans. Currently, they have 5 plans ranging from $29 to $249 per month with an additional 2 plans made specifically for businesses.

Upgrade now and take 20% off your first payment using our promo code wpe20off.


If this sounds like a paid post, that is because it is. Typically, we do not do these types of post, but WPEngine offered a nice discount to our readers if we wrote about the services they offer. Don’t get me wrong, we hate paid posts…but we have used WP Engine before and it has huge advantages compared to other WordPress-specific hosting solutions. We would have recommended it even without the discount for our readers.
WP Engine

Don’t take our word for it. Do your research about WP Engine and see how they can help your website. If you like them, great. If not, no hard feelings. We have worked with a multitude of hosting companies over the years and have opted for companies that meet our specific needs. For our typical hosting we have A2Hosting, but for more specific hosting platforms we use things like WP Engine. Find what suits your needs.

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5 Basic SEO Tips You Can Implement Without Knowing Code https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/5-basic-seo-tips https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/5-basic-seo-tips#respond Mon, 06 Mar 2017 15:00:54 +0000 https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/?p=155825 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can quickly become complicated, however, there are steps you can take to ensure that your website starts off on the right foot. I will be going over 5 basic SEO tips that you can implement on your website without knowing any code (assuming you are using a content management system). Have […]

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can quickly become complicated, however, there are steps you can take to ensure that your website starts off on the right foot. I will be going over 5 basic SEO tips that you can implement on your website without knowing any code (assuming you are using a content management system).

5 SEO Tips You Can DO

Have Enough Page Content

If you have any pages on your website with a paragraph or less of text, it’s time to add a little bit more content. Use short 2-3 sentence paragraphs and have at least 2 or 3 paragraphs per page. Remember, quality over quantity, so make sure you publish relevant information that will have users coming back.

If you start going over 4 paragraphs of content on a page, separate those out a bit with images for easy reading.

Read Why Text is Still Essential in a Visual-Focused World

Optimize Titles and Keywords

Avoid using the same keyword for multiple pages as each should have their own unique keyword(s). Make sure the title of the page, the permalink or URL, and first paragraph of content have the keyword listed.

While having the keyword spread throughout the page, make sure to not spam. Too many occurrences of the keyword can have a negative effect on your SEO ranking.

Always Have Fresh Content

A blog is PERFECT for keeping your website fresh. Not only will your digital presence seem live and consistent, each blog article you post should implement all the tips in this article! Each blog article posted has an opportunity to dominate a keyword which will boost your rankings in the location you advertise in.

I would recommend posting at least once a week, then sharing your blog post throughout your social media outlets. This will assist with keeping your social networks consistent and will drive traffic to your website. The more traffic you have going to your website, the more relevant your content will seem to Google.

Insert Internal Page Links

Have links throughout your web pages which link to other pages within your website. In some form or fashion, you will have content that “cross-promotes” other services or aspects of your business.

For example: If you visit our “About” page, you will see buttons throughout the page, one of them being “View Our Social Feed”.

Aside from valuable content, you always want to make sure people are always navigating through your website. Internal links will ensure they go from page to page with ease.

Include Social Sharing

Social sharing is especially important on your blog posts. If you are using a content management system like WordPress, there are a multitude of plugins you can download which will insert a social sharing option on pages you desire.

Social sharing is the social network icons you usually see on the bottom of pages which allow individuals to share a page on their social media account. Make it easy for people to share your content and drive more traffic to your website.

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10 Marketing Tips for Your Restaurant Business https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/10-marketing-tips-restaurant-business https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/10-marketing-tips-restaurant-business#respond Mon, 27 Feb 2017 15:00:41 +0000 https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/?p=155792 Do you own a restaurant and are looking to expand your overall marketing plan? Well, take some tips from the pros. These 10 marketing tips can help get the word out about your restaurant. Don’t worry, there is no coding involved…just a bit of elbow grease. So, lets get started with Future Design Group’s Top 10 […]

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10 Marketing Tips for Your Restaurant Business

Do you own a restaurant and are looking to expand your overall marketing plan? Well, take some tips from the pros. These 10 marketing tips can help get the word out about your restaurant. Don’t worry, there is no coding involved…just a bit of elbow grease. So, lets get started with Future Design Group’s Top 10 Marketing Tips for Your Restaurant Business.

1. Cater to Foodies

Foodies typically have huge followings online, usually other foodies. Capitalize on their success by making your food photo-worthy and giving them a reason to share it with their friends. Foodies are not like critics…foodies love food…any type of food. They love the taste, the texture, the look and especially the social aspect of it. Let them enjoy their food online and offline.

Basically, this item would work with any Top 10 Marketing Tips. Cater to a specific audience online. In this case, foodies are your biggest bet.

2. Use Yelp and Google+ Local

Now, most people use Yelp as it is intended.  If you are not using it to get stellar reviews, then you are doing it wrong. Yelpers can help make or break your business. So, be nice to them.

On the other hand, Google+ Local is not a widely used tool, but it is very important for your visibility. Google uses reviews from across the web like Facebook, Yelp and FourSquare as well as their own reviews to create your local business profile. This profile is used for local searches and is typically displayed on the right of the search results. The better and more reviews you have, the higher you rank. So, make sure you are using both Google+ Local and Yelp to make your business succeed in user search results.

3. Use Social Media Better

Using social media may seem obvious, but what is not obvious is how to properly use social media. Do you make sure that your images and message is proper, that your ads using less than 20% text to reach the maximum visibility or that your not posting to much or too little? There is an art to social media.

4. Show Off Your Staff and Customers

In an age of robotic customer service reps and soon to be self-driving cars, the human element is severely lacking. Show off your 5-star staff doing what they do best! Seeing happy, smiling employees does wonders for your reputation, as customers long to be served by joyful workers.

Showing off your pleasant employees also provides major reputation points – happy workers say a lot about a business, and fans are sure to take notice.

The exact same thing goes for your customers. Find a regular and show them off because the next thing you know, that customer is sharing your post because they are a part of it, then their friends and family shares his post and creates a snowball effect.  Once the word gets out how much you appreciate your customers, more will come.

5. Setup Google Alerts

Google Alerts notify you when your business name (or other designated keyword term) appears in a new piece of content on the web! This makes it easy to keep tabs on who is talking about you and your accolades. This one is another key tip of our 10 marketing tips. Be proactive and look for your business or niche online…the more responsive you are the better for your business.

6. Reach Out To Local Food Bloggers

When you’re a new restaurant, you may find it difficult to generate reviews and hype about your business. One great way to get reviews and press on the web is to invite food bloggers to your restaurant to give you a try, and consider offering a free meal or appetizer to get them in the door. Politely ask if they’d be willing to review your restaurant and share their experience online.

You can’t outright ask for a positive review, as that would be dishonest, but it’s fine to simply ask them for an objective restaurant review. Some bloggers might decline your offer, but the more you ask, the better your chances are of getting some positive feedback and generating more interest online.

Some food bloggers have big followings, and getting their attention can have a huge influence on your restaurant. Even just one write up or mention from a major foodie can be a huge for restaurant promotion efforts.

7. Use Twitter during Optimal Times

Twitter is one of the best tools to get your message out quickly. For a restaurant, it can be crucial to for people think of you when they are hungry. Use Twitter to remind people that your food smells good, looks tasty and is waiting for them…just do it when they are hungry. Post Tweets during the breakfast, lunch or supper rush. When people are hungry, you can easily get their mouth watering at the very thought of your food. You just need to time it just right.

This tip will be on almost every top 10 marketing tips articles you read. It is super important to be visible when people need you.

8. Create USABLE Online Menu

Users love to do research online before ordering from or visiting your restaurant. Don’t make users scramble to find your menu – publish a high-quality, easy to read menu,  that is up to date and accurate. Also, NO we are not talking about having a PDF version of your menu online…that is a terrible user experience and forces the user to leave your website to actually view your menu. I am talking about a menu that is actually part of your website. Text and images, things that can be indexed by Google.

Create a beautiful menu online since that’s often the #1 piece of information users are looking for when visiting your site (along with hours, location, and contact info).

If you don’t have a good menu online and available for customers, most of your other restaurant marketing strategies are basically useless! In this day and age customers need to have access to an online menu, otherwise they’ll simply look elsewhere.

9. Offer Coupons Online
Providing coupons and discounts for your restaurant is always a surefire way to bring customers running. Offer a free dish to your new email newsletter subscribers.

Alternatively, you can try advertising a discount through Groupon or Living Social – if you go that route, you’ll get a TONS of exposure, but you’ll end up paying a hefty portion of sales to the deal website, so keep that in mind.

10. Use Online Reservation Systems

One fine dining restaurant marketing idea is to consider signing up for Open Table. Open Table is an online reservation tool that lets customers book reservations for your establishment online! Patrons love it when you make life a bit easier for them, and Open Table already has a base of loyal customers you can tap into.

That concludes our Top 10 Marketing Tips….

So, there it is. Our Top 10 Marketing Tips for Your Restaurant Business. Not hard but it will take time to improve your reach. If you need help, you know where to find us. For now, get out there and start marketing your restaurant business.

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Tweet with a Purpose https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/tweet-with-a-purpose https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/tweet-with-a-purpose#respond Mon, 20 Feb 2017 15:00:59 +0000 https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/?p=155805 A Summary of Twitter Tactics for Small Businesses Twitter is a great social media platform for you to connect with others! There are hundreds of millions of users sharing millions of Tweets daily! Through this sharing users can discover new people, learn new things, watch live events, and catch up on what is going on […]

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A Summary of Twitter Tactics for Small Businesses

Twitter is a great social media platform for you to connect with others! There are hundreds of millions of users sharing millions of Tweets daily! Through this sharing users can discover new people, learn new things, watch live events, and catch up on what is going on around their community and even the world! And, Twitter is not just for personal use, businesses have been using Twitter as an outlet to reach, connect, and engage with their customers as well! Many of your favorite brands and companies have Twitter business pages, where followers can have access to up-to-date information, promotions, news, or even workplace gossip.

Twitter logos in conversation bubbles above a person's head

Joining Twitter can be the easy part, opening a line of communication with your audience can seem difficult to a small business when social media feeds fill up faster and faster. This blog will offer some strategies small businesses can utilize to attract and communicate with their growing audience.

Algorithm

Understanding how and why Twitter displays your posts to your followers is important and it can change periodically, so keep up-to-date with what the new algorithm is and how to use it to your benefit. As of right now, Twitter and many other social media channels are focusing on content and engagement. That means that if your posts are generic, stale, or sell more than offer your posts might be seen less or not even at all. If your business posts content that your followers want to see and engage with then it is more likely that your posts will show up in their feed. As more engagement happens with your posts then Twitter will take notice of the pattern and showcase more of your Tweets to those users.

Key: Post great stuff that will matter to your audience!

Videos

While there are many online video search systems available, Twitter has become a leader for users to discover new videos! For a business, this gives you an opportunity to talk directly to your audience rather than the standard 140-character count. Many users will stop scrolling to watch a video play and that can start the conversation between you and your customers. Plus, videos add more dynamics to the endless scrolling seen these days on social media, where words and images just do not stand out anymore. Twitter videos are short, with a maximum length of 140 seconds, but that can give you time to introduce yourself, your message, ask questions, show quick product tutorials, offer advice, present a solution, or just say hello and happy weekend to your followers!

Key: Even with a small number of followers, videos can offer a great chance to spark a conversation!

Tweeting too much

Twitter is growing every day, which means users feeds are growing, so to have a chance to be seen you have to increase your Tweets! Post multiple Tweets about your new blog, promotions, or information at different times throughout the week or month. Try out different content, headers, images, or videos to see what gets engagement. Using different content pointing to the same information will help you to not sound stale but still get your information out there. Review your Tweets; track the Tweets that are having the best reach and engagement, use those for inspiration for future posts.

Key: Quality and Quantity! If you have something awesome to say, say it!

Spark Up a Conversation

With how big Twitter is and how much is grows continually daily, just sending a post once or twice is not going to cut it. Your audience has to care about what it is you are saying and why you are saying it, and “special pricing or deals” is not always going to persuade your followers. Instead, create personalized experiences for your followers and engage in conversations, ones that they will want to share with their followers. Treat Twitter like it is a one-on-one phone conversation that anyone can see. Share facts, interests, or industry tips. Ask your followers for input on situations. Join in conversations that are already going on, search themes in your industry and see what is already being said about topics and share your input. Keep the conversation going by using a light and entertaining voice and always leave with a positive impression.

Key: You are not a robot; so do not sound like one on social media.

Adding the Real Value

For a business, to get real value, i.e. leads, then you have to add value to your posts. Your posts are what your audience will see, what they will engage with, what they will share with their followers! This starts with creating content that will matter to them, providing them with the information they need to know, and Tweeting at times when your audience is active. Provide answers to common questions you may get and showcase your expertise in your field through Twitter. Give your followers a reason to come back to your business when they need relevant information and then engage with those that do. Comment or share, open the conversation up!

Key: Real value comes from providing valuable information!

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How Often Should You Post To Social Media? https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/often-post-social-media https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/often-post-social-media#respond Mon, 13 Feb 2017 15:00:19 +0000 https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/?p=155780 Social media is a powerful marketing platform for businesses, big or small. Having a business profile over multiple outlets and staying active daily is a necessity in 2017. Every outlet has their own personalities that should be respected for the best results. In this article, I will be discussing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. If […]

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Best times for posting on social media, image of three time clocks

Social media is a powerful marketing platform for businesses, big or small. Having a business profile over multiple outlets and staying active daily is a necessity in 2017.

Every outlet has their own personalities that should be respected for the best results. In this article, I will be discussing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. If you are just getting started, or have established profiles, here are some tips on how often you should post to certain social media outlets for the best results.

Facebook

Recommended Posting: 1-2 times per day
80% Valuable Posts, 20% Promotional Posts

Facebook, hands down, is a powerhouse. There are more active users on Facebook during the time of this article than any other platform. Facebook has its own posting pace which should be respected, or you will appear as spam and will immediately lose credibility with your audience.

I would recommend the 80/20 Rule. This means 80% of posts should provide value to your audience. This is content they enjoy seeing which sparks positive emotion and promotes engagement. 20% of your posts should be promotional. You want to keep these posts around 20% to prevent coming off as irrelevant spam.

Twitter

Recommended Posting: 5-20 times per day, 2-4 Retweets per day
80% Valuable Posts, 20% Promotional Posts

Twitter is… LOUD. There are hundreds of thousands of conversations going on at once, so at times it may seem like everything you post is for nothing. 5-20 posts per day, accompanied with relevant hashtags, will get your foot in the door to a variety of conversations. The more consistent you are, the more people will recognize and engage with your brand.

Retweeting and replying to posts is also important. When you Retweet a post, it lets the user know that you appreciated their content enough to share it with your audience. Retweeting 2-4 times a day (depending on how many times you choose to post per day) will encourage engagement and build relationships.

Instagram

Recommended Posting: 1-2 times per day
80% Valuable Posts, 20% Promotional Posts

Instagram is a lot like Facebook in the amounts of posting per day, but Instagram tends to have some flexibility. You can effectively post 10 or 20 times per day and see amazing results, but you will have to consistently post at that rate to keep the ball rolling. The minute you drop from 10 posts a day to 1, you will see a dramatic decrease in engagement.

I would recommend starting off with 1 post a day and accompany the post with at least 11 relevant hashtags. You should also like other posts, engage and comment frequently to build relationships and stand out to other users who are casually browsing.

LinkedIn

Recommended Posting: 1 post per day

LinkedIn is strictly professional. This shouldn’t be an outlet that becomes “loud” with random posts. Business professionals get on LinkedIn to read valuable content and build business-to-business relationships. This is a perfect outlet to promote your blog and spread any kind of knowledge you have related to your line of work. Not only will this inform others that you know what you are talking about, it also increases the chances of businesses reaching out to you.

Consistency is Key

The world of social media can be noisy at times. By posting quality content and sticking to the recommended posting rates, you will begin growing your audience and brand awareness.

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Case Study Series: Mental Health Association of South MS https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/case-study-series-mental-health-association-south-ms https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/case-study-series-mental-health-association-south-ms#respond Thu, 02 Feb 2017 15:00:55 +0000 https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/?p=155773 The Mental Health Association of South Mississippi is a client near and dear to our heart. On this case study we give you an idea about how we helped this wonderful organization and how we helped them land new donations and ways to spread their message across the Mississippi Gulf Coast.   If you would […]

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The Mental Health Association of South Mississippi is a client near and dear to our heart. On this case study we give you an idea about how we helped this wonderful organization and how we helped them land new donations and ways to spread their message across the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

 

If you would like to learn more about this project, please visit our full case study on the Mental Health Association of South Mississippi or visit the website we created for them.

We are always looking for non-profit organizations that need help with their digital or traditional marketing. So, if you have an organization or know someone that has an organization that could use a professional touch, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our agency.

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6 Reasons Your Business Needs a Website https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/6-reasons-business-needs-website https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/6-reasons-business-needs-website#respond Mon, 23 Jan 2017 16:31:38 +0000 https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/?p=155768 In our ever-expanding digital world, having a website for your business is essential for continued growth and success! Finding information about a brand, product, or service online is how many people make their purchase decisions today. So as a small business always looking for growth, why would you not take advantage and have a website […]

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In our ever-expanding digital world, having a website for your business is essential for continued growth and success! Finding information about a brand, product, or service online is how many people make their purchase decisions today. So as a small business always looking for growth, why would you not take advantage and have a website for your business? This blog article will discuss the value a website gives businesses and will list the top 6 reasons why a business needs a website.

I found a great local shop for dresses and cute clothes on Instagram the other day, but I was amazed that the only way I could learn about their products was from the few lines they added in the comments section and was surprised that when I went to find them online, they only had a Facebook page! As a marketing person, I understand how social media is great for businesses to communicate and create relationships, but as a consumer I left their page and went elsewhere to look for products similar to theirs on another website, i.e. Amazon.

Think about how people find information today. Instead of making a trip to the mall or store of their choice and looking around until they find what they need, consumers can now search straight from their phone, tablet, or computer. Why would any business take the chance that their products and services would not be available to customers? Not only does having a website mean that your business can be found online anytime and anywhere, but it also adds value to your brand by letting your customer get to know you and your business on their own time.

1. Credibility – Your customers expect you to be online
Today your customers expect to find the information they want online. Having a website allows them to learn about you, your business, and the products/service that you provide when they have the time to look for them. If a customer cannot find what they want when they want it they will look somewhere else, which could be your competition.

2. Accessibility – E-Commerce
Your store may have hours of operations, but your website is always open for them to search. Your website gives your customers instant access to information about your products and services, access which they can have any time day or night.
Online purchases are expected to increase immensely in the coming years, so what better way to increase sales than to have a website where your customers can purchase online?

3. Competition –
If your business does not have a website, you can expect that your competition does. Why would you want them to have an opportunity to take those customers and the sales away from your business? Get ahead of competition by having a website that offers your customers a place to find the information they need from your business!

4. Marketing and Customer Service – Social Proof and Saves Money
Having a website not only can increase the value of your brand, but also allows for better customer service, increases your credibility through customer testimonials, and provides marketing at a lower cost. Customers look online to find information they want. Your website can give them that information, allowing them to research your business and provides access to reviews about your products and services. Also, digital marketing is key in today’s economy and the price is much lower than traditional marketing, saving you money while still making connections.

5. Search Results –
Having a website is key to increasing search results. How many times have you used Google to locate a business, check hours of operations, or find out what the menu is at a restaurant? Well, if your website offers all of that information, then it is more likely that your business will show up on Google’s search results when customers look for products and services that your business offers. If your customers cannot find what time you are open or what you serve, they will look somewhere else.

6. Blogging –
Having a blog for your business is a great way for your customers to get to know who you are! Your blog can showcase your business’s message, your mission, and how your business offers a solution to your customers. With a blog, you can provide information about the latest trends in your market, product reviews, access to manuals, or even show off the personality of your business! Not to mention, that by adding new information to your website, you are adding more keywords for search engines like Google to point your customers towards your business!

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Getting Smart With: Content https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/getting-smart-content https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/getting-smart-content#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 16:53:06 +0000 https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/?p=155759 Are you content with your content? If that seemed confusing, it probably is for the majority of readers as well. The concept is sound enough, are you as a business owner happy with the wording and organization of the subject matter presented by your business both online and offline? However, somewhere in the execution of […]

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Are you content with your content?

If that seemed confusing, it probably is for the majority of readers as well. The concept is sound enough, are you as a business owner happy with the wording and organization of the subject matter presented by your business both online and offline? However, somewhere in the execution of the sentence the meaning got lost due to the similarity (or resemblance) of the two words. The English language is a vast, complicated forest that many businesses get lost in, but your business can benefit from someone with a map of the terrain. This is where a content marketer comes in.

Getting Smart With Content

Content writing is often thought of as little more than filler for websites or promotional materials. No one knows your business or what it is capable of better than you do, so you are best-equipped to do it justice in terms of content generation. In actuality, the act of content generation is much more involved than that. If you get it right, you will bring in more readers and the opportunity to convert them into customers. But, if handled incorrectly bad content makes a greater and more-lasting impression than good content. Often, you have one real shot to make a good impression, and glaring misspellings and grammar errors will be held against your business for longer than you want to believe. Years ago, I worked with a recording studio who declined my offer to look over their content, claiming that the services of a copywriter was outside their budget. Apparently funds to have t-shirts, vinyl banners, bumper stickers, and two magnetic trailer wraps re-printed was, because the entire first printing had the word “rehearsal” misspelled. One misstep can put your business in an unnecessary bad light, which you want to avoid at all costs, especially in terms of something that is so simple to fix.

Proof that all that Reading wasn’t wasted

It’s not just branded merchandise orders that need proofreading though, blog posts and everything that is posted on social media can be considered content. Therefore, it should be treated with the same respect and subjected to the same amount of scrutiny as a legal release or employment contract. And while you could easily proofread it yourself, you’ll more than likely miss the majority of errors even after a second read-through due to something known as an “inattention blindness”. You know that you meant to say, “the customer is entitled to fair treatment” so even though you read the text that says, “the costumer is entitled to fair treatment” you don’t see the error. Wait… did you have to go back and check? So, if I am not engaged in the practice of designing and sewing costumes, I’m not getting fair treatment at your business?

As ludicrous as it seems, without a dedicated content marketer you are often working on multiple projects with varied deadlines, which can cause unnecessary and easily avoidable mistakes. You can’t be expected to simply create something in one pass and hope that it makes sense. There are few better ways to proofread a document than to edit it with someone else. Oftentimes, one or more extra sets of eyes can suggest better ways to present the information so that it can be easily understood and shared by your audience.

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How To Rock Social Engagement with Imagery https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/social-engagement-imagery https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/social-engagement-imagery#respond Mon, 09 Jan 2017 17:13:56 +0000 https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/?p=155741 They say a picture is worth a thousand words and today in our digital world that means so much more than it has in the past. Consumers are constantly looking, researching, selecting, and even making purchases from businesses they find online. What can make your business stand out more in our ever-scrolling world of digital […]

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They say a picture is worth a thousand words and today in our digital world that means so much more than it has in the past. Consumers are constantly looking, researching, selecting, and even making purchases from businesses they find online. What can make your business stand out more in our ever-scrolling world of digital marketing? Images, that’s right! A post, blog, or ad with an image is more likely to receive positive attention than without, especially on social media. Content may be king, but research shows that images alongside relevant content stand out more to consumers. People are visual learners; we are great at remembering pictures.

“Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65%.” – Brain Rules

Adding an image to your posts is a great start, but the images have to mean something to the viewer for it to make an impact. This week, our blog will offer some suggestions as to how a business can use images to increase their brand’s awareness and engagement on the various social media outlets.

How To Rock Social Engagement With Imagery

Free Stock Images

There are many sites online that now offer royalty free images for anyone to use without penalty. Such as FreeImages, Pixabay, or Unsplash. These sites are great for those businesses that do not have access to a professional photographer or the time to create images for posts. When choosing images remember to match the mood, voice, or style of your audience, images that do not relate will be passed by without a second look.

Data/Infographics

Supplying relevant data to your audience is a great way to show off your expertise in a particular field. Infographics are great for data because they let you say a lot without having to use a whole bunch of words by presenting the data in charts or graphs. Using infographics helps to supply relevant information without overloading your viewer with a list of statistics.

Storytelling

“Stories are the way that humans make sense of the world.” – Hootsuite

Telling a story connects your consumer with your business on a personal level, rather than shoving features, products, facts or figures at them, they can relate to what you are selling and see why they can benefit from your product or service. Social media is all about connecting, so what better way to connect than with a story that your audience will relate to.

Sharing a Feeling

Alongside telling your story online, evoking an emotion that will relate to your audience is great for engagement. People want to know that someone else feels the way they do, even from a business. You start a business with an idea to solve a problem, a problem that someone else has probably also experienced. They can relate to your feelings, making a connection to your solution.

Behind the Scenes

Showing off who you are humanizes your business. People are more likely to engage with a real life person than a business that appears to be a robot. Taking the time to show your viewers who you really are entices them to take to time to personally connect with your business.

Inspirational

Everyone can use some inspiration sometimes. Sharing what inspires you and your business can inspire others to act accordingly. Posting quotes, achievements, or accolades can motivate your viewers in a positive fashion.

Social media is a visual culture, where scrolling has become the new channel surfing. Consumers pass by those ads that have no meaning to them, especially those that only use text. Posts that share content and images that are significant to their viewers are more likely to have successful engagement, which can to lead to increased brand loyalty and repeat business. Take the time to consider who your audience is and what content will matter to them.

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5 Digital Marketing Trends to Boost Your Business in 2017 https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/5-digital-marketing-trends-2017 https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/5-digital-marketing-trends-2017#respond Mon, 02 Jan 2017 17:31:12 +0000 https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/?p=155726 It’s a brand new year, but the market never stops. We have spoken before on the fact that social media has taken control of the digital marketing game, and we will continue to write on that topic throughout the year. This article will not go over the importance of social media, but will go a […]

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It’s a brand new year, but the market never stops. We have spoken before on the fact that social media has taken control of the digital marketing game, and we will continue to write on that topic throughout the year. This article will not go over the importance of social media, but will go a little bit in detail on 5 digital marketing trends that you will see a lot of in 2017 within social media.

5 Digital Marketing Trends To Boost Your Business in 2017

1. Mobile Dominates

This is the news of yesterday. Everyone knows that mobile has become extremely important in today’s use of technology, but one thing that people are not doing, is using the power of mobile to boost their business.

Everyone is looking at their phone. That is where the attention is, point blank. As Gary Vaynerchuk says, “the television is becoming the newspaper and radio, and your cell phone is becoming the television”.

2. Live Video

If you have been on Facebook in the last year, you should have noticed an increase in live video. This should be of no surprise considering apps like Snapchat has have pushed the trend of a more engaging way to communicate to the masses.

Modern marketing, specifically digital marketing, no longer involves spreading a bunch of “sales offerings” or “discounted pricing” posts. The attention span of modern consumers does not allow spammy advertisement to stay in their lives. You need to provide value in your content in order to effectively earn the respect of your target audience. I went a bit off topic, but the main message to take away is: live video is one of the best and powerful tools to engage DIRECTLY with your audience and provide valuable content.

3. Target Specific Niches

I touched a little on the attention span of the modern consumer above. The specific targeting that can be done with social media advertising definitely eliminates those who have no interest in your type of business. One of the most powerful platforms to use specific targeting for advertising is Facebook. Running Facebook ads should have been crucial to your business this past year and even more important in 2017.

If you run a business selling custom made pottery, you can tailor your ads to only show to those interested in categories like art, pottery, custom art, homemade pottery, etc.. You are not limited to just that, if you happen to purchase a spot or table for an art/pottery conference/event in another state, you can create a video making a special piece of pottery (say your signature piece), while engaging and entertaining, then run that video as an ad! You can target the specific area you are going to visit, and in the content of the ad, mention the event, event date, and your booth information.

This is just one of many things to think about when considering how you want to take advantage of social media or Facebook ads. Get creative!

4. Video Ads

I mentioned a good example of this in the point above. With live video becoming a powerful tool in digital marketing, this means video itself is a powerful source. The digital marketing trends are pointing towards a more “vlogging style” of engaging with your audience. People who are interested in your type of business or service are interested in what you do behind the scenes. They appreciate transparency and this allows for a more personal connection with your audience, which they have shown to appreciate and will gladly help your business grow.

At the end of the day, it’s people who make your business what it is, and what it could be. It’s time to engage more with these individuals and provide content they will appreciate. Make them happy and provide quality content often and they will reciprocate.

5. Dense Content with an Image

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of video, let’s not forget the power of quality images with relevant content. As mentioned above, you need to produce value in the content you are spreading in your daily posts. Along with the valuable content, an eye catching image to accompany your content will produce significantly higher results. If you scroll down a Twitter feed or Facebook feed, the post accompanied by an image will grab someone’s attention more than standard text.

Give your audience something visually pleasing and accompany that image with valuable content, every single time you post.

Your Thoughts on the Digital Marketing Trends

When it comes to digital marketing, social media is not a science. It takes constant evaluation and research to keep up with the trends. What worked for your business 2 months ago may not work now or for the months to come, so it’s important to constantly study your social media analytics and tailor to your audience.

I’ll say it again, social media marketing is not a science. So what has worked for your business? Have you tried any of the trending categories above? If not, what’s stopping you? We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences, and will continue to provide helpful tips that you can use for your business.

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Simplicity is Design’s Best Policy https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/simplicity-is-designs-best-policy https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/simplicity-is-designs-best-policy#respond Mon, 26 Dec 2016 15:00:36 +0000 https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/?p=155711 Whether it’s a simple letterhead or a complete branding package, a designer must be very careful not to put too much into a project. The negative space is just as important as the text and images associated with an overall design. However, it is oftentimes overlooked. Even with something as straightforward as a logo, complexity […]

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Whether it’s a simple letterhead or a complete branding package, a designer must be very careful not to put too much into a project. The negative space is just as important as the text and images associated with an overall design. However, it is oftentimes overlooked. Even with something as straightforward as a logo, complexity can sometimes ruin the overall viewing experience. A designer doesn’t want to overwhelm the viewer. It is our job to comfortably guide the viewer through our design leading the client to whatever knowledge our design presents.

Negative Space Plays a Part

Use of negative space plays a huge part in good design, and separates the pros from the amateurs. Although color, typeface, and images are important, placement and spacing can sometimes be what makes a design. Too much of something can be a bad thing and cleaning up clutter creates a more pleasing experience for the viewer.

Keep It Simple

Have you ever seen a logo that just had too much going on? Oftentimes this occurs with fresh companies that do not yet have the finances to afford a Graphic Designer. Flat logo design has become popular again for a good reason. It is often easy on the eye and oftentimes minimalistic by choice. Application Icons are becoming increasingly important and due to the importance of a logo’s Icon large or small, Minimalistic design is oftentimes preferred.

Within design, the key fundamental to remember for a client is that oftentimes, they don’t even know when they are appreciating design. However, they definitely remember a design that is confusing or less than pleasing to look at. It is our job as designers to utilize both the negative and the positive space of our work, and not worry so much about complexity. No one is out there looking for the most intricate brochure or a logo that makes them scratch their heads in confusion. It is our mission to serve up design in the most pleasing fashion possible, so keep it simple!

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3 questions to Gain Traction Online https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/3-questions-gain-traction-online https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/3-questions-gain-traction-online#respond Mon, 19 Dec 2016 16:13:54 +0000 https://www.futuredesigngroup.com/blog/?p=155708 Targeting your Digital Audience Being present digitally is one of the most important things you can do as a business owner. One of the advantages of having a digital presence is the opportunity to stay up to date and assure that your website is utilized efficiently and effectively. Digital marketing agencies provide many of those […]

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Targeting your Digital Audience

Being present digitally is one of the most important things you can do as a business owner. One of the advantages of having a digital presence is the opportunity to stay up to date and assure that your website is utilized efficiently and effectively. Digital marketing agencies provide many of those solutions for businesses, but there are other proactive ways to reach out if owners want more exposure for their website.

In business, there are unlimited avenues to gain customers. Focusing on online traction is one of those avenues to research. Most local business owners prefer to interact with customers physically when discussing their service or product. Yet, how can you find those people digitally and remotely?

The issue with finding customers online is making contact while not knowing if someone would even be interested. The solution involves knowing your audience, both where to find them and how to best deliver value to them. The trick to figuring out how to reach out to more potential customers online can be found within the following questions.

Who is your ideal customer?

The internet adds 300-500 websites every minute, so knowing where to look and how to stand out can be very beneficial. Narrowing down the places to look first boils down to identifying who your customer is. No one knows a customer’s needs more than the business owner himself, so developing a customer profile consisting of their likes, needs and wants is necessary. Understanding exactly who you’re trying to target will shed light on certain websites and apps that align with your ideal target customer profile.

Where would your customer hangout digitally?

The online world is filled with plentiful of focal points with opportunities for engagement. Finding out which websites/apps your ideal customer uses will increase your inbound traffic. Recognizing which applications or sites reflect the interests of your customer can give you a pathway to communicate with prospective clients on many different platforms.
For example, a pool cleaning business may search online to see if any local swimming pool clubs/events have a website they can join in order to network and build professional relationships. Alternatively, an artistic painter who takes the digital advantage on Pinterest or DeviantArt can build a following of avid fans, increasing her presence online. Almost every community website has other social platforms for you to connect on such as Facebook, Twitter or a YouTube page.

What interests the customer other than your service/product?

This question brings up many creative inquiries. Figuring out what other things your ideal customers like to do is solely dependent on the experience of the seeker. A computer-building business can gain access to clients through a local video game store’s website because there is a strong possibility that some of them are interested in both fields. There is no clear-cut way to define what people’s interests are other than your service or product, but it puts you slightly ahead of the curve when you branch out into other avenues.

Results over Time

Having extra access to clients from the web can prove invaluable when compared to only speaking to those who arrive at your place of business. It can seem like an overwhelming task at first, but through practiced efforts, the results will compound exponentially over time. Depending on your line of work, there can be different processes to follow to find those customers, but the core method remains the same.

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