Monday, June 26, 2017

Why Your Business Needs To Hop On The Video Marketing Band Wagon

Is Your Company Utilizing Video To Market To The Masses?

Video is one of our favorite forms for bringing in new customers and keeping existing customers engaged. There are all kinds of crazy estimates about the percentages of which video will be the main platform of internet consumption by the year 2020. In this write up we will cover the reasons your company has to be using video NOW to keep up with demand and continue to grow your business.

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We have been firm believers in the power of video for years. 7 to be exact. While ranking factors and the process of getting videos ranked and viewed has changed, the fact that video consumption has not, and is continually growing.

Jordan Kasteler recently wrote a post on one of our favorite blogs - MarketingLand.com. We like what he made the title of the article - "It's time for SMBs to go all in on social and mobile video". We couldn't agree more. In his article he writes:

Why video marketing is now a ‘must-do’

Sure, most of the marketing sphere is already well aware of the power associated with video content. Consumption and creation are at an all-time high, and according to an April Google-commissioned Nielsen study, YouTube reaches more adults 18+ during prime time than any cable network does.

But if Cisco’s projection that 82 percent of all consumer web traffic will be video-based by 2021 comes to fruition, it’s crystal-clear that the adoption of video has to be a matter of “when” and not “if” for SMBs.

We constantly hear the cry that the barrier of entry to video content is lower than ever for small businesses, which is indeed true. The wealth of video creation apps available continues to widen, while the popularity of live broadcasts, with their lower standards for production value, make it easier for scrappy SMB marketers to feel comfortable experimenting.

By now, we’re all familiar with the top channels available to both produce and distribute video. Through YouTube alone, there are plenty of opportunities for first-timers to test the waters, right? Then why are 39 percent of businesses still sleeping on video, despite visual content being heralded as the be-all, end-all of modern marketing?

Continue Reading His Article Here...

Jordan makes a lot of great points in his article. One of the most staggering statistics he gives is that on Mobile devices alone, YouTube reaches more Adults 18+ during prime time than any cable network does! That alone should be enough reason for some larger companies to stop putting so much money into TV ads and start making more use of online video.

We also agree with him that there is no reason that any company needs to be overly concerned or overwhelmed with just the though of making a video. It is extremely easy for any company to put out a quality video now. If your company is smaller and doesn't have the budget to hire a professional video production company, there's no reason you can't do it yourself. There are plenty of online editing sites where you can edit your own video and make it look very professional.

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What Are The Components Of A Good Marketing Video?

Before you just "wing it" making your own video, you need to put in just a little thought first to make sure you are conveying the proper message and reaching or connecting with your target audience.

Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen wrote an article last Thursday on OnlineVideo.net that gives some good tips about the fundamentals of selling with video:

  1. Understand the video sales formula: Present a hook in the first 2 to 5 seconds, reveal the problem your product solves in the first 20 to 30 seconds, reveal the solution to the problem, introduce the solution for the first time, present solution benefits, and then offer credibility and a call-to-action—and use emotional triggers like shock or humor throughout the video. Conventional wisdom says you have 5 to 10 seconds to grab the audience’s attention, but Vest believes you have 1 or 2. He pointed to the Squatty Potty viral video that grabbed audience attention from the very first frame: a unicorn pooping rainbow ice cream.
  2. The product or service must connect to the audience and seem useful: Be sure to provide viewers with a clear answer to the question “Why should I buy this product?” Also, give your customers a compelling, easy-to-navigate experience around the video in the landing page, the mobile version, and the purchasing process.
  3. Broaden distribution and discoverability: Besides ads, how are people going to find your content? Are there fan pages for the product or company? Can you send your product to hundreds of influencers? Vest says VidPow typically contacts 100 publishers for each product it creates videos for, looking for as broad distribution as possible.

Continue Reading "7 Fundamentals to Help Brands Maximize Selling With Video"

He gives some great advice for businesses that want to jump into video. At the end of his article we like the fact he stated that if you are not ready to implement all 7 factors, just start with what you can and then basically fill in the blanks later!

Something else that we feel we should add is that you don't have to try and make a video go viral from the start, referring to Eric's first point of a video that went viral because of a unicorn pooping rainbow ice cream. To get started you can just make a video with pictures of your work with before and after shots if you have a service type business, or multiple pictures of your products, and then voice over with a description about how your services or products can help solve your customers problems. Do not drone on about how great you are or how many awards you have received.

Take Action!

We briefly covered why your business needs to be using video, as well as covered a few points about how to structure your video. So get to it, don't let your competition get ahead of you by getting on the video band wagon before you!

If you would like to learn more about our video marketing services, please feel free to visit our site to find out more :)

 

The article Why Your Business Needs To Hop On The Video Marketing Band Wagon is courtesy
of http://www.mdimsolutions
.com/

Friday, June 23, 2017

What Are The Types Of Online Marketing?

The Different Types Of Internet Marketing

Digital marketing, online marketing, internet marketing. Ask 10 different people what it is and what it involves and you will get 10 varied answers. Still, it's probably the most cost effective way with the best ROI for reaching the masses. There are multiple platforms for companies to reach their prospective audience across the web. In this short article we will cover a few of the most popular methods, along with our favorites.

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Which type of marketing is best for you will totally depend on your field of expertise and niche.

The main types, and our favorites that give our clients the best ROI include:

  • PPC - Pay Per Click:
    These are the very first results that are available when performing a search. When searching in Google you will be able to identify these results because they have a green box with "Ad" in it before the URL of the website. PPC can also be done on other search engines as well as social media.
  • SEO - Search Engine Optimization:
    This is where you or a digital marketing company works to get your website to the top of the organic searches. For instance, when performing a search for a service, the ads come first and then the "organic" or "natural" results. When searching in Google and Bing, this also includes the "Map Pack". It's important to note that the maps do not always appear and depend on the search query.
  • SSM - Social Media Marketing:
    Yes you can not only advertise on most social media platforms with paid ads, but also posting information about your company and services. It's everything from Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat and many others and includes of course one of our favorites for our customers - YouTube.
  • Content Marketing:
    This is a big one. By just having a blog on your website and producing quality content that is helpful and informational for your audience speaks volumes. This content can also be shared across your social media platforms to help keep up engagement. Then you can also combine content with SEO to get your posts found in the search engines to gain even more exposure.
  • Email Marketing:
    This form has been around for quite some time. While it has become harder to "cold email" people because of spam defenders, we do find that this is a great way to market to your existing customers for upcoming sales or new products, etc.

These five are our favorites. But like we said in the beginning, there are a lot more opinions out there about the different types of internet marketing and what they involve. In fact some marketers actually consider Tv and radio to be forms of digital marketing.

Other Forms Of Marketing Online

There are a few other methods to get your marketing message across. Another somewhat popular form is Affiliate marketing. Susanna Gebauer wrote an article that gives a good description of affiliate marketing:

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based type of digital marketing. In contrast to PPC advertising with affiliate marketing, the advertiser does not pay for traffic but rather for conversions. The rates are usually higher but the risk on the side of the advertiser are limited since he only pays for conversions.

Affiliate marketing is popular with bloggers and high-traffic website owners who make money from selling other people’s products to their audience.

Continue Reading "10 Types Of Digital Marketing You Should Know – And Consider For Your Marketing Strategy"

We couldn't have said it better. For most of our clientele, affiliate marketing really is viable. Susanna also backs up our point for email marketing and that it has to be for someone that is already on your list and not cold emails.  She also is a marketer that subscribes to Tv and Radio as methods of digital marketing.

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Another term and form that is gaining popularity is what is known as "Viral marketing". It's a bit more complex and requires a little more work, but can have excellent results and involves using video. Viral marketing is when your create a marketing campaign that is hilarious, about a "trending topic" or perhaps even weird, and then gets shared - and shared a lot! It usually causes a big spike in website traffic in a very short period of time.

Ivan Ivanov recently wrote on Business2Community about what makes up a viral campaign are current events, emotional uptick, the ‘WoW’-Factor, tackling a societal issue and using the correct social media platform.  He also goes on to ad:

When it comes down to the basics, every marketing campaign has the purpose of making an impression. This is especially true for viral stunts. The mistake marketing specialist often make is to think that to achieve viral success you need to go big or go home, but this is not always the case. Each successful viral marketing campaign shines in one of five categories. Some ads successfully tackle the latest current events, while others rely on the randomness of the ‘wow’ factor.

However, to dive deeper into the five pillars of viral marketing, we’ll take a look at some of the most recent viral marketing stunts that went completely astray. Without further adieu, here’s what you need to avoid when doing viral marketing stunts, as these five companies learned the hard way.

Finish Reading "What to Avoid When Doing Viral Marketing Stunts As These 5 Brands Learned The Hard Way"

That's a good read. We especially like his advice about before launching your attempt at a viral campaign to look at other company's failures and triumphs.  It is important to note that your attempts to make a marketing campaign go viral isn't always possible.

Summing It All Up

So there you have 7 types of online marketing. If you dig around the web you will find more explanations and types, but for the best bang for your marketing dollars, the first 5 we listed are tried and true methods for all businesses.

To learn more about our internet marketing services, visit us @ MDIMSolutions.com

The following blog post What Are The Types Of Online Marketing? Find more on: http://mdimsolutions.com

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

What Is The Meaning Of Brand Reputation?

Brand Reputation

Your Brand reputation? Just what does this term mean and how does it apply to your business or company? That is exactly what we will cover in this short article.

What brand reputation really boils down to is how your company is perceived by customers or clients online, and offline. It's also involves the emotions and ideas the customers associate with your brand. It revolves around everything your company does, again not only online, but offline as well. The main components that can have the biggest effect on your brand reputation involve public relations, promotions and advertising and customer service.

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This can be as simple as someone typing into Google search your company name + "reviews" and what shows up in Google My Business reviews and also reviews left on Yelp and YP.com. It can also involve what people are saying about your company on social networks and talking about your product or services.

With some careful thought and planning, you can actually use the theory of brand reputation as a great tool for marketing. If your product is used by millennials, then making your marketing campaigns stand out and geared towards them is a must. This would be done by making sure your site, product pages or service pages are mobile friendly and making use of the latest social media platforms. Then portray the image that your product or services are the coolest around, and everyone that is cool is using it.

How Is Your Business' Brand Reputation?

There are some important things to remember when it comes to your brand reputation management. Not all of your marketing campaigns will be interpreted the way you intended, or you may have a problem with a product, or for whatever reason, things go wrong.

Amanda Marie wrote a great article on Business2Community.com about do's and don'ts when it comes to your brand's reputation:

Before Al Gore invented the Internet, there were fewer avenues of perception that brands had to pay heed to. It was simple, there was TV, newspaper, and radio.Through a combination of good service and well-intentioned, well-designed advertisements, brands could effectively shape their image to the one that promised them the most success. Now it’s TV, newspaper, radio, and a hundred online variations as well. In truth, there are thousands – but the average brand only needs to focus on those relevant to it’s customers and industry.

The playing field is larger, the competition is fiercer, and there are significantly more angles to consider. Brand reputation management, once a subset of a business’s marketing plan, is now the driving force behind it.

There are several key facets of online brand reputation management, each of them equally important.

Don’t Spam Search Results

If you create a large number of web profiles in an effort to overwhelm Google, you’re digging a hole for yourself. There are a lot of reputation management companies that offer to build a lot of social media profiles, press releases, and other garbage web content. It’s both cheap and ineffective. Google and Bing are smarter today, and they don’t fall for this technique anymore.

Do Work to Improve Your Search Ranking

The view from the top of the search engine rankings is pretty great. A study from online ad network Chitika found that the first organic listing on any given Google search page (that is, the first listing that is not a sponsored ad), receives 32.5% of the traffic. The second listing receives 17.6%, the third listing just 11.4%. “Position zero” search results, like Google’s “Featured Snippet” and “People Also Ask” boxes may garner even more attention.

Your brand reputation management strategy should put particular importance on getting your listing to the top of the search page, and making sure it stays there. That means providing varied, quality content, and doing the proper SEO legwork to make sure you stand out.

Continue Reading "Some Do’s and Don’ts for Brand Reputation Management"

Amanda wrote a really good article. However, there is one point that she makes that we don't totally agree with. She says that you shouldn't spam search results with social media profiles and press releases. We do agree that you shouldn't just build a lot of profiles and abandon them.

We take the approach of building these properties and then pushing quality content to them. This can be extremely helpful when your company has received some bad publicity and push that bad content farther back in the searches. By building these other properties and maintaining them, you will also be able to leverage one of her other points of improving search ranking results.

How Do You Begin Working On Your Brand's Reputation?

Getting Started With Brand Reputaion Management

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Some companies let this first step overwhelm them. It's really not that difficult for local businesses. Angely Grecia wrote a good article on MeltWater.com that gives some great advice on taking the first steps:

Online content adds a dimension to your brand – and ultimately your reputation – because the same brand can be perceived differently by online and offline audiences. The best way to manage brand reputation is to tell a cohesive story – to a receptive audience. While controlling the message in an age of social media is no longer an option, you can still steer the dialogue.

Here’s how:

1) Make a Good First Impression

What first impression do you want your brand to portray? … Time’s up. It takes less than 50 milliseconds to form a first impression. First impressions are so important because they give way to a ‘halo effect.’ Consider how visual design and the colors you use impact the way people feel about your website open the first view, that assessment is often transferred to its functionality.

2) Own and Embrace Who You Are

Your brand is derived from a mix of who you are (your executives and colleagues), who you want to be (your brand values), and who people perceive you to be (the user experience and branding). In a perfect world, your reputation follows the brand. Help this along by making your brand present across the customer touch points in the business: how employees answer phones, what employees and salespeople wear, what language they use when describing your services or products, e-mail signatures, social media presence and how they engage online, everything one can think of. The brand is every employee’s responsibility–not only the communications team’s. As a PR pro, you can ensure the whole company understands the corporate mission, vision, values, and goals so you can all believe, live, and breathe this.

Continue Reading "5 Steps to Brand Reputation Management"

Great article from Angely. We especially like that her first point about making a good first impression. That ties into what we were talking about earlier about how your brand reputation can be tied in, and to your marketing.

Summing It All Up

How your brand is perceived is extremely important to your companies survival. It can make the difference in spectacular sells, or your business going under. By managing your reviews in search, what is being said on social media, as well as "buzz" about your business, you can take your company to new heights.

To learn more, or take control of your company's brand reputation and management, visit our site @ MDIMSolutions.com

 

 

 

What Is The Meaning Of Brand Reputation? is courtesy
of MD Internet Marketing Solutions
LLC

Monday, June 19, 2017

What Is Reputation Management?

What exactly is reputation management, and how can it effect your business? In this brief article we will cover what it is and why your company needs to monitor it's online presence and what your customers are saying about you and your services.

What is reputation management?

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Online reputation is becoming more important for businesses of all sizes that do and don't have an online presence. Just because your company doesn't have a website, which in this day and age is ludicrous, or doesn't have a Facebook page, or Twitter account, doesn't mean that these platforms aren't important or relevant to your company.

Not only do you have to be concerned with what's being said on social media, but also the countless directories online like Yelp, Manta, Kudzu, YP.com and a host of others.

The Affect Of Your Online Reputation On Your Business

So down to the nitty gritty - let's first look at some statistics about online reviews and how they are perceived by the public.  In an article done by Kent Campbell on Reputatoinx.com blog, he shares some brutal statistics:

Eight Reputation Statistics That Affect How You're Seen Online

91% of North American consumers read online reviews to learn about a business.

For better or for worse, most consumers are checking out Google Reviews, Yelp, and other customer feedback systems to get more information on businesses, says the most recent BrightLocal Consumer Review survey. Consumers often take into account what other people write about a brand, product, or service to determine if it’s a “good” business or not.

60% of consumers: Negative reviews turned them away

If reviews are overwhelmingly positive, the survey reports that 74% of consumers have greater trust in the organization. On the other hand, 60% of respondents said that negative reviews made them not want to use a business. Those with mostly 1- or 2-star reviews fail to convert 86% of prospective customers –– a major loss, especially for startups, who need the initial momentum to get going.

Recent reviews taken more seriously

The report also shows that consumers are getting better at sorting the real reviews from the fake, and they’re more likely to take a recent review seriously than an older one. Consumers will catch on when businesses hire people to write fake reviews, or resort to other automated, non-organic means of cultivating a positive reputation. Only authentic reviews will do.

Continue Reading Kent's Full Article Here...

Good information from Kent that simply can't be ignored. He also stated in his article that businesses with mostly 1 star and 2 star reviews fail to convert about 90% of new potential clients!

In Kent's article,  that was mostly about what is happening with what can be found in Google search. But what about social media?

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Monitor Your Social Media Reputation

Usually with social media your reviews are in the form of comments. Now there are more platforms that you need to be concerned about. The two major sites that you must monitor are of course Facebook and Twitter. Fortunately, it's easy to respond to these comments, but you must respond to these comments calmly, intelligently and most importantly - RESPECTFULLY. Get this wrong and it can cost your company thousands, if not millions in lost revenue!

Kissmetrics wrote an article with some great examples of "getting it wrong" or "reputation management failures" as they call it:

Here are three famous cases of reputation management failure in the digital era:

  • Dark Horse Café received a tweet criticizing their lack of electrical outlets for laptops. Their response was something like: “We are in the coffee business, not the office business. We have plenty of outlets to do what we need.” Needless to say, this kind of defensive/aggressive behavior doesn’t work in the online world. Many blogs reported the fact as a negative public relations case.
  • Nestlé received negative comments about their environmental practices a few years ago, and they did not address them. People started becoming aggressive and posted altered versions of the Nestlé logo, forcing the company to close their public page. Takeaway? Do not pretend people are not talking, and address criticism as soon as possible.
  • Amy’s Baking Company fought fire with fire against a one-star internet review. Their insults against the reviewer eventually were picked up by the local news. It is obvious that negative attention is not good publicity.

What are people saying about you? Good online reputation management is not only about reacting well to what people say about you, your brand, or your products and services, but also about whether to react at all and, if so, when. Sometimes a reaction is not necessary, and sometimes a reaction that is too late can cost you millions.

A proactive approach to the matter consists of monitoring your public reputation on a regular basis, and not just when you come to know about a specific event to deal with. How do you do this? The magic tools invented to solve this problem fall under the name of “social media monitoring.”

Read The Full Article "The Definitive Guide to Online Reputation Management"

Great article for Kissmetrics. There is a lot of good information there. How you respond to unsatisfied customers and reviews for social media also needs to be applied to Google reviews and other review sites like Yelp as well.

Summing It All Up

Reputation management consists of just what it says, managing what customers are saying about your company online and giving a proper response, if required.

All to often it's something that companies and businesses think about after it's too late. Bad reviews and negative comments are on multiple platforms and sales are plummeting.

Our company prefers the avenue of "reputation marketing", which is something we will get into in later posts. So stay tuned to our site for more on how you can protect your online presence.

If you would like a free consultation about your company's online reputation, visit our site at https://www.mdimsolutions.com

 

What Is Reputation Management? was
originally published to MDIMS Digital Marketing Blog

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Why Your Company Should Use Digital Marketing

Why should your business be using digital marketing? In this short article we will give you some examples of how the internet can help grow your business by increasing traffic by reaching customers where they are spending their time, and most importantly, how you are able to measure your ROI.

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If you pay any attention at all to your surroundings in your daily life, it's easy to see why you should be using digital marketing to reach new customers. When you are at the mall, walking down the street, or even at a restaurant, people are on some type of device. That alone should be reason enough. For you naysayers, we will give you more.

Top Reasons You Need To Be Using Digital Marketing

We started to write out a long description, but found this article by Eleana Stylianou that she wrote on CareerAddict.com that gives 10 reasons you should be using digital marketing:

1. More Cost Effective

It is more cost-effective than traditional marketing. This is especially important for small businesses as they don’t have many resources or a lot of capital. New media can provide you with a cheaper and more effective advertising channel.

2. Use Content to Connect with Customers

Using digital content either sponsored or free allows you to connect with consumers much more effectively than billboards, direct mail or PR campaigns. The strength of your online presence now directly linked to the success of your business.

3. Cater to the Mobile Consumer

Technology has evolved so much that mobile gadgets are no longer considered mere alternatives to personal computers or laptops. 91% of adults in the US alone always have their mobile devices within reaching distance and regularly use them to browse the internet. The largest group of consumers is using their mobile devices daily, so it’s essential that you use a marketing solution that targets these devices properly.

4. Realise Higher ROI and Revenue

By increasing your digital outreach, you can increase your revenue. The more data that you can extract from your outreach campaigns, the better your predictions and subsequently ROI will be.

5. Track Your Customer’s Journey

Using analytics services like Google analytics, you will be able to monitor all your customer’s actions, preferences and get a better insight into their behaviour. Analytics allow you to build the persona of your customer so that you can offer them the perfect experience.

Finish Reading Her Full Article Here...

It's important to note her point 3. Everyone has a smart phone now! You need to finish reading her full article to find out more, especially points 9 and 10.

Measuring Your ROI

At the end of our last article - "What Is Digital Marketing And What Does It Consist Of?", we briefly touched on the advantage of digital marketing for measuring your marketing dollars ROI. One of the best ways to check and monitor your ROI is by using Google Analytics.

digital marketing and google analytics

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If you have never used the Analytics tool before, you may be a little overwhelmed at first, but after digging around for a little while, you will come to realize just how powerful this tool can be. This tool can give you a wealth of information.

We found a post on ValueWalk.com which gives a quick overview of what is available with this awesome tool and backs up our claim of how powerful it is, as well as pointing out other uses besides measuring ROI and traffic:

Learn the tricks to master Google Analytics

Google Analytics, a powerful tool for web analytics and a master key to a successful digital presence. It is extremely important for a website manager to know the type of visitor it receives, data on the type of resources they access and other relevant factors; in order to improve their website performance and to cater to a larger number of audience.

Most Google Analytics account holders have been observed to be looking at the top layer of this powerful tool, and this includes looking at numbers which signify the number of views and visitors, but there is much more to this free yet amazing analytics tool. Features that can provide you an insight of visitors, they activities and demands; and thus enabling the webmaster to enhance their website experience. Here are a few handy tips and tricks that would allow you to get the most out of Google Analytics tools.

Read the full article here...

Two key take aways from the article is the ability to measure site speed as well as mobile device reports.

However there are some things that you need to do to be able to use this tool to it's maximum potential. As part of our internet marketing series of posts, we will cover this more indepth in upcoming articles. So be sure check back to learn more about Digital Marketing @ MDIMSolutions.com

The following blog post Why Your Company Should Use Digital Marketing Read more on: http://www.mdimsolutions
.com/

Thursday, June 15, 2017

What Is Digital Marketing And What Does It Consist Of?

We decided to write this article to help clear up any confusion as to what it is that our company does. It's been a long time coming, and with our new website completed, we thought now would be a great time to go ahead and publish it.

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Digital Marketing, or sometimes also referred to as Online Marketing - unless you don't have a computer, tablet, smart phone or an Internet connection, you have been exposed to it in one form or another. It has become the best way for businesses of all sizes get and maintain Brand awareness as well as bring in new customers. It's the fastest growing and evolving form of marketing on the planet.

Why has digital marketing been expanding at a phenomenal rate? That's because other forms of marketing to the public have really lost their value and effectiveness in recent years. TV ads have become increasingly expensive and out of reach for most business owners. Regular radio has lost potential listeners to commercial free satellite radio and other platforms like Pandora. Even roadside billboards have lost their effectiveness because most passengers in a vehicle are on their smartphone checking out Facebook.

So exactly what is Digital, or Online Marketing?

Basically, it's an umbrella term used for several methods of reaching your audience or clients across the web. A few of the main platforms to reach your company's audience or clientele include:

  • Your Website
  • SEM, or Paid Ads
  • Video Marketing
  • Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.)

There is a lot more to marketing online, but these are the basics. Now we will cover how you can reach your audience or new customers with these platforms.

Your Website: In our opinion, and many other professional online marketers, this is the most important part of the equation. Almost all of your ads, social media outreach, emails and everything will send customers back to here to learn more about your services and products. Your website also gives the first impression of your Brand.

One of the biggest assets to your website is to have a  blog. You can write content for your audience (like this post). Your viewers can learn more about your company, your services or your products.

Then Local SEO comes into play. You can get your website to rank high in the search results for terms that people using the internet use to find your company's services. This can also be applied to your blog posts as well.

SEM (Ads)Ads are everywhere! You've seen them on Facebook, Twitter and every social media platform, as well as your favorite browser when you search for something on the Internet, like a service or product. It's still a good way to expand your business and your Brand. There is some debate as to if they are still viable as most people skip the ads and get to the content they are after.We feel that it's still a great method and should be combined with SEO.

Video: This is a medium that is growing very rapidly! There are all kinds of estimates on different blogs as well as research that claim crazy numbers like 80% of all internet traffic will be through video by the year 2020. While we don't think it's will be that crazy, by looking at the past history of video, it will definitely take it's lion share of marketing!

Video is extremely engaging. People have short attention spans and would rather watch the internet than read it. You can quickly inform the viewer of who you are, your service, and why they should choose you over the competition.

Social Media: This platform is growing by leaps and bounds daily as well. It seems like there is a new platform every month. However, the tried and true giants are Facebook and Twitter. Others that are really paying off with an excellent ROI are Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Depending on what type of business you have and your projected audience will depend on which social network will work best for your company.

This is in no way an exhaustive list of all the different types of digital marketing. It is, however, our favorites and work the best for every business type that we serve and help grow.

There Are Almost As Many Different Explanations Of What Digital Marketing Is As There Are Digital Marketers!

To give you a great example, Lee Odden from the Top Rank Marketing Blog wrote an excellent article where he asked 9 Digital Marketers what it meant:

Have you noticed the phrase “digital marketing” being bounced around a lot more lately? Me too.

I admit that I’m one of the sources of that bouncing. With the rate of change occurring in the marketing world, I think describing what we do is something that isn’t really satisfied by just one phrase. Content, Search, Inbound, Multi-Channel, Integrated, all seem to have their place, but “Digital” seems to express what most companies are creating in their marketing right now.
What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is a term used to describe the integrated marketing services used to attract, engage and convert customers online. Digital marketing utilizes multiple channels such as content marketing, influencer marketing, SEO, social media and online advertising to help brands connect with customers and uncover performance of marketing programs in real-time.

As much as people toss around “digital marketing”, I get the impression that we’re not all on the same page in terms of what it actually means. Just a few weeks ago, we posted a digital marketing predictions post that now has nearly 8,000 social shares. Both the answers and the feedback were quite varied.

Read The Full Article And What They Answered Here...

 

If you read that article and saw all the different answers, you know what we mean!

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But here is the kicker - with all of these types of online marketing, it is very easy to track what types are performing and giving your company a satisfactory ROI. This is explained in a fantastic, lengthy article written by Mike Tomita in his article  "Measure the ROI of Digital Advertising Beyond Revenue Impact":

Return on investment (ROI) is an important part of digital marketing (and really, almost every part of marketing)—it tells you whether you’re getting your money’s worth from your marketing campaigns. And if you’re not, it’s critical to get to the bottom of it, and understand why so you can learn how to improve your campaigns. But first, you need to understand how you can effectively measure the ROI of digital advertising.

The most instinctive way to measure digital advertising ROI is to track metrics that tie directly to revenue and profit (think conversions, opportunities, etc.). While it sounds great on paper, in the real world, this oversimplified view can paint an inaccurate picture of your ROI, especially if your product is sold at a low price per unit. Big picture measurement often factors in soft metrics—things like brand impressions, impressions, website visitors, and downloads—which help tell a more complete story.

Read The Entire Article Here...

You need to take the time to read that full article if you are interest in some of the best ways to measure you digital marketing ROI.

So there you have the basics of online marketing. If you want to learn more about Digital Marketing, stay tuned to our website!

The post What Is Digital Marketing And What Does It Consist Of? Read more on: http://mdimsolutions.com/

Friday, July 8, 2016

Creating And Reinforcing Your Brand

The post Creating And Reinforcing Your Brand is available on MD Internet Marketing Solutions
Blog

So what is branding? Some old school people may think of branding and applying to cows and cowboys :)   A hot iron of the fire and burning an emblem on your steer to identify them from other ranchers cattle. Branding for your company is somewhat similar, only you won't be taking a hot iron and burning emblems on your computer or other places.

Branding is a must no matter how large or small your business is.

Creating Your Brand

building your company brand

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The first thing in creating a brand for your company is your logo. In my opinion, your logo is probably the most important starting point for creating your brand. When you see logo's like the 2 red circles or bullseye for Target, or an apple with a bite out of it for Apple, you know right away who you are dealing with.

At Entrepreneur.com, they wrote a great article about things to take into account for creating your logo:

Ideally, your company logo enhances potential customers and partners' crucial first impression of your business. A good logo can build loyalty between your business and your customers, establish a brand identity, and provide the professional look of an established enterprise.

Consider Allstate's "good hands" logo. It immediately generates a warm feeling for the company, symbolizing care and trust. With a little thought and creativity, your logo can quickly and graphically express many positive attributes of your business, too. Continue reading "How To Create A Logo"

Really good article that goes on to explain more about how to create your logo including logo types and what colors to use and to avoid.

One piece of advice that they recommend, as do we, is that if your aren't very artistic go ahead and higher a graphic designer. Once you start using your logo to establish your brand the last thing you want to do is change it.

Creating Emotion To Go With Your Brand

Also notice how in Entrepreneurs article they state how Allstate's logo creates a warm feeling. This is another major part of your branding. The emotion of your brand. You can create your brand to be warm and inviting like Allstates, or fun and simple like Apple's.

One other thing to take into consideration is the size of your audience and who your audience is. You will notice in our branding that we have a logo, but on a lot of our different profiles I use a nice profile picture. The reason for this is because we don't ever intend to get as big as a McDonalds or Nike. If your company is smaller and just in one general location this may be a better option for you. The reason being is people in general prefer connecting with a person over a company.

Branding Your Website

Branding Your Website

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This should seem like a no brainer, but you would be surprised at how many companies don't ad their logo in a prominent space on their website and everywhere on their site. You want your logo on every page and post of your site.

As I explained above, I also use a nice profile picture as well. It's always the same profile picture. This profile picture is also on our homepage and every page of our site, with posts the exception. You could probably ad your profile picture to your posts if you wanted to, as many authors do. I'm just sure people get enough of seeing my ugly mug:)

Beyond Your Site To Social Media

Now put your logo all across the web everywhere you can. Your Yelp listing, YP page, Kudzu and every other place you put a citation or listing for your business. (More on what citations are and how to build them here)

Branding On Social Media

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Then of course ALL of your social media pages. A few of the top social platforms we like and use are Google+, Company FaceBook page, Twitter and Tumblr. This actually helps 2 fold.

  1. It helps reinforce your brand with your consumers and makes you recognizable across all the web.
  2. Search Engines love this type of branding. It REALLY helps with your SEO. (Learn more about how social media can help your SEO here)

When it comes to branding for SEO, just look at big companies like Home Depot and Walmart. It's a fact that Google loves branding. By building a large brand you are telling the search engines that you are a legitimate business by being everywhere on the web with multiple sites.

Add Your Brand Logo Everywhere You Can

There are a few other great places that you can ad your logo.

The first place that a lot of people neglect is their Email signature. Everyone of your professional correspondences should have your logo on it in the signature line, as should everyone that works in your company.

Next, packaging. If your company delivers a physical product with packaging, put your logo there as well.

Lastly, your business cards. In addition to your logo being on your card, also consider using your branded profile picture as well. This is a great trick to get people to remember who you are. Months later they may look at your business card and wonder who you are. If you have a profile picture on your card, it's makes it a lot easier to remember.

Summing It All Up

To get started building your brand, start with a great logo. Then create the feeling and emotion that you want to go with your brand which can be tied in with your logo. Then put your logo everywhere you can possibly think of to reinforce your brand to your audience. Then by using branding as part of your SEO strategy, you will help your website with better rankings in the search engines.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

How Using Images Boosts User Engagement And SEO

How Using Images Boosts User Engagement And SEO was
originally published on http://mdimsolutions.com

Images are important to include in your blog posts, for a few reasons. They are great for helping to break up your content as well as help "tell the story" that you are trying to convey. Good pictures also help with social engagement and shares. A couple of things that bloggers neglect to do is optimize them for SEO and speed. With this short post we will cover why you should be using images if you aren't, as well as optimizing them for SEO.

Using Images for user engagement and seo

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Using Images For The Reader

Everyone knows the old saying - "a picture is worth a thousand words". Images are easier to process and visitors to your site will be drawn to them. Articles with great images are also more likely to get shared more across social media platforms. When is the last time you went to a blog posts that was long or all text and just read it?

Images help break up your content and should be visually appealing. It is important however to remember to use the right image to help tell your story or convey your message. Your image should be relevant to the article and should be somehow related.

Posting a picture of some beautiful woods scene when your article is about exercising doesn't relate. A picture of someone actually exercising or wiping sweat from the forehead after exercising would be a much better choice.

James Balm wrote an article on BioMedCentral a while ago on the science behind the power of images and why you should use them in your blog posts:

Why do we love images so much?

We are very visual creatures. A large percentage of the human brain dedicates itself to visual processing. Our love of images lies with our cognition and ability to pay attention. Images are able to grab our attention easily, we are immediately drawn to them. Think about this blog, for example: did you look at the words first, or the image?

We process images at an alarming speed. When we see a picture, we analyse it within a very short snippet of time, knowing the meaning and scenario within it immediately. The human brain is able to recognise a familiar object within 100 milliseconds. People tend to recognise familiar faces within 380 milliseconds, which is pretty speedy. Read The Full Article "The power of pictures. How we can use images to promote and communicate science" Here.

Great article from James. Later in the article we really like where he talks about how images help with learning. He talks about how infographics really help with this. Yes, inforgraphics are considered images :) and are great for helping people skim your content. Read the full article to learn more about why you should be using images in your posts.

Images And SEO

So we covered why you should be using pictures. So how can they help with SEO?

Images And SEO

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The first thing is naming your images. We actually like naming our images BEFORE we upload them to our website to make it easier. Using one of your keywords that you are trying to target is good to use as part of the image name. Just don't over do it by keyword stuffing.

Rizvan Ullah, someone we have quoted before, wrote an article on Johnchow.com that explains optimizing your photos or images very well:

Now that the images have been uploaded, it’s important they are named correctly before adding them to your content. It’s important to be strategic when naming them because Google does have an “image search” option, which can generate enormous traffic to your website. Through “image search”, in Google, users can visit the page of the hosting website, which will lead them directly to your content. Here are the things you should do when naming your images…

First, makes sure you rename them using your “targeted” keywords. Next, make use of the meta-data fields that easily allow you to optimize your images. For example,

  • Alt tag – The text within the “ALT” field will be displayed to users if your image cannot be loaded or if it’s taking too long to load.
  • Title tag – Here is where you can add additional text to display to your users when they hover over. Great place to add keywords and relevant information about the image perfect for search engines.

Read Rizvan's full article here...

Great article from Rizvan, with another great point that he makes earlier in the article, and the it's important to compress your images as well.

Images Without Compression Can Hurt Your SEO

Image compression is a BIG part of the SEO equation as well. Why? If your images aren't compressed they will make your website load slower. A slow loading site is not only a turn off for visitors, but the search engines as well. Site load speed is a ranking factor.

Compressing your images is fairly easy if you are using a WordPress site as there are a multitude of plugins that will compress the images. Earlier on in Rizvan's article he lists 3 plugins and one of them is one that we use, EWWW Image Optimizer. If you don't like any of his recommendations, there are a LOT more :)

Summing It All Up

If you aren't using images in your posts - start. Our brains are wired for images. Make them relevant to your topic and also use infographics where possible. Images also help get your content shared more on social media. And by taking the time to find some great images you can help boost your website search engine ranking as well!

 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

What To Do With Your New Business Videos

What To Do With Your New Business Videos Find more on: MDIMS

So you just spent some time or money on creating a new company video. So what do you do with it now? Just let it sit on your desktop and collect digital dust? Just leave it on whatever platform you chose to upload it to and HOPE someone views it and takes action? In this short article we will cover a few things you can do with your new business videos to help increase visits to your site and increase sales.

Business Videos

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Your Website

First, let's consider what your video is about. Did you create a video that explains your business and who you are? If so, then a great starting point for the video is on your website. Studies show that websites with a video on the homepage rank higher in the searches.

Your homepage is also a great place if your video is about your company and who you are. This type of video will actually help the viewer trust you more over your competition that doesn't have a video on their site.

If your video is about your services, product overview or product demonstration, consider making a separate page on your website to showcase all of your videos.

Using my favorite example, a plumber, ideally you would have separate pages for hot water heater replacement, new construction, and so on. It would be great to have a separate video for hot water heater replacement and have that at the top of your page for hot water heater replacement. A video that demonstrates how careful your company is and your guarantees will always convert higher than your competition that doesn't have a video on their page.

Optimize For Google

If you have followed any of our previous posts or checked out our site, you should know by now that YouTube is our favorite platform for our marketing videos. Why? Well, YouTube now reaches more 18-49 year olds than any cable network. AND, with proper optimization of your channel and your video, your video can rank in Google search. Read our previous post "YouTube SEO"

Google Search Optimization for Video

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This is a great place to start with any video that explains your services, or a video that is meant to drive sales. It may be a little more difficult to get the video to rank for some niches than others, but well worth the effort.

If you made a video that has customer testimonials, then this is another must. You need to get the video ranked for "Your Business Reviews". People are constantly searching business reviews. Again, studies show that people are much more likely to click on a video thumbnail over text. This is also a GREAT way to help with your online reputation management as you can help push bad reviews back a page by having multiple customer testimonial review videos on the first page.

With YouTube as your platform, you can also connect your website to your channel. This allows you to have clickable annotations directly inside your video so that the viewer can click through to your site, from inside the video! These annotations work on almost platforms that the video is shared on without stripping out the clickable annotations.

There are also what is called "cards". These cards work pretty much the same way as annotations, except that they also work on most mobile devices with the exception being mostly Apple devices.

Social Media

Of course social media! Post that video everywhere you can! It's almost like social media was created for video and vice versa. Your company Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn and every other platform you have. Depending on the type of company video you made will depend on the results that you get from social media.

Social Media For Video

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If your video is about your company, then posting this video across social media helps with your branding. This works well, even with "boring" type niches. Check out this snippet from Cameron Uganec over at HootSuite:

Employer branding is another common use of social video. This allows you to show a more fun or hidden side of your company, regardless of how ‘boring’ it might seem from the outside. Even accounting firms (sorry accounting firms!) can have great company culture. Social video, whether live or on demand, is a great way to lift the veil on your business and attract new applicants. Read The Full Article Here...

That's a great post from Cameron, and I suggest you read the full article that gives even more reasons and ways to use your videos.

Videos that show the inner workings of your business and show the human side of your business are GREAT for social media. People don't like connecting with businesses, they like connecting with other human beings :)  Also remember to ASK for shares and likes of your video to help get it out to more potential customers.

Summing It All Up

Optimize that video! Get it ranked in the searches. If it's a video about your business and who you are, get it ranked for your company name. If it's about your services, name it your service, i.e. "hot water replacement Marietta" and get it ranked for that. Testimonials - "Your Business Reviews". And lastly, don't forget about the all mighty social media card and ASK for shares. Until next time :)

 

 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Will Regular Blogging Help Generate Traffic To YOUR Site?

The post Will Regular Blogging Help Generate Traffic To YOUR Site? was
originally seen on MDIMS

Blogging. Some people love to write, others hate it. But the question we want to address here is will blogging on a regular basis really help drive traffic to your website? The short answer is Yes. But, you have to do it properly, otherwise you are just putting up content without helping drive visitors to your site. This will more than likely be the first in a series about blogging.

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The first thing to make sure that your posts drive traffic is to know how to create engaging content to get people to read and ultimately share your content.

Catchy And Curious Post Titles

The first part of your blog post, and probably the most important is the title. Writing engaging titles that sparks interest with your audience is a must.

One of our favorite tactics for this is making our title a question, such as the title for this post. In our opinion it really helps spark the interest of potential readers, especially to people that are really seeking the information that your blog post is about.

Rizvan Ullah wrote a post on JohnChow.com that can give you some more great ideas as far as how to write great titles to increase click throughs, including another favorite of ours and we should use more often, using numbers:

5 Ways to Write Effective Headlines That Double Your Traffic

Use Numbers

Numbers within your headline are a great way to play the psychological game with your reader. People have been programmed to accept headlines more effectively and it draws people to click through to your content. It works because it indirectly tells people your content isn’t “1” long piece of text and they’ll be able to engage with it better. As a matter of fact, this is the reason numbered lists tend to perform so well with readers and in search engines because it a shorter form of content that can still be of high value. Read The Full Article Here...

Great post from Rizvan. He also covers more about how he uses questions to drive user engagement as well as using superlatives and being to the point. If you are having problems coming up with engaging titles, read the full article.

When it comes to writing the article itself we really like Rizvan's point of being to the point. With some business types or niches, it's even possible to help tell a story. I don't want to get to in depth about how to write, as this post is more about will blogging get you more traffic and how.

Social Media Shares

One of the most important reasons that we want a catchy title is for our next point, sharing and getting your content shared on social media. A lot of local search engine optimization companies skip or don't even address the importance of using social media.

Social Media Shares

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Using social media is part of our core SEO strategies. After all, our objective is to drive more traffic to your site and get more sales. You really don't care where the traffic or sales come from, as long as they come.

So once you have crafted and posted your new article, go ahead and share it on your social media profiles, especially your business profiles (which you should definitely have!). And here is the kicker, ASK people to retweet, share and like your content. Studies show that asking people politely such as "please retweet" or "please like and share" can practically double the amounts of retweets and shares a piece of content gets. We don't think the search engines put a lot of weight on likes but they do on shares, so the more shares the better. For more on likes vs shares, check out this post - "Will Social Media Help With Your SEO?"

So to sum it up with social media, the more shares, the more eyes that will be on your content driving more traffic to your site.

Okay, so we have a good post that is being shared across social media and your site is getting more traffic. However, there are some things that you MUST avoid to keep people from bouncing off or clicking the back button and leaving your site.

Avoid Making These Mistakes!

One of my biggest pet peeves is pop ups. Everyone has seen them. You are looking for some information, a headline gets your attention, you visit the site, and right away you are bombarded with a pop up trying to get you to sign up or buy something. Then sometimes there are multiple pop ups, one right after the other. Sometimes you can't even find the "X" to click out of the darn thing. In those cases, I always hit the back button.

Will Regular Blogging Help Drive Traffic to Your Site?

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Another turn off and sure way to get someone to leave your site in a hurry is to many ads. Over at ProBlogger, they recently made a post that gives you some excellent tips of things to avoid on your blog that talks more about advertisements:

9 Reasons I Hate Your Blog

Advertisements everywhere

Advertisements make for a spammy, ugly blog. Some bloggers put ads everywhere you can imagine. They might place an ad between paragraphs, inside popups, in the header, on sidebars, or even sugarcoat an ad as “other relevant resources” at the bottom of a post.

The truth is that, yes, there is tons of money to be made with these kinds of strategies.

Scott DeLong, founder of ViralNova, sold his site for $100 million. His site was similar to BuzzFeed and was chock full of advertising. His success (though big part of it depends on how he grew his site traffic, not jamming ads to his site) has sparked ambitious bloggers to build a similar site/blog and maximize the number of ads they can squeeze onto one page. Continue Reading "9 Reasons I Hate Your Blog".

Be sure and read that full article as it really has some great tips as to what to avoid with your blog to help keep people on page and not click the back button.

It's funny that earlier in that article another thing that makes them "hate" a blog is pop ups. I'll give you one more tip with pop ups, because we know that they do work. In my honest opinion, the best place to have them is when someone is getting ready to leave your page. That way they have had the opportunity to absorb your content, and if you did a good job, maybe they will subscribe, or do whatever it is that you want them to.

Final Thoughts

In my honest opinion, if you craft your post correctly with good titles, Yes, they will help generate traffic to your site by getting more clicks in the organic searches as well as getting shared more across the social media networks. More clicks + more shares = MORE TRAFFIC AND MORE SALES!