Blog post by: Kali Kraft, Baer Performance Marketing Intern

 

Blogging is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to boost business and enhance your marketing efforts. Despite the variety of newer online content formats, blogging remains a valuable tool for engaging with customers and building brand awareness. Here are 3 reasons why starting a blog for your business is a good idea.

 

  1. Boost Search Engine Optimization

Fresh content is a large factor in search engines determining where your business’s website will land on the results page. While most aspects of your website will remain static for longer periods of time, blogging is a great strategy for providing new content and keywords that will increase your visibility on Google and other search engines.

Use keywords, topics, and categories that pertain to your business, and write about a variety of different topics in order to broaden the reach of user searches.

 

  1. Drive Traffic to your Website

Increasing your SEO means more people are likely to see your business (and subsequently visit your website). However, blogging has the ability to drive traffic to your website through other tools as well, such as social media. Whenever you write a blog post, you’re creating content that can be shared on social media and direct new potential customers back to you. Additionally, posting blog posts on your company’s social media pages invites users to head back to your website and click through the other pages.

 

  1. Establish your Brand as Knowledgeable

By providing interesting insights and valuable knowledge that resonates with your audience, users will begin to recognize your business as an industry leader. Creating helpful content allows you to build credibility with customers and establish yourself as an expert in the industry. It also helps to increase trust in your brand, which can lead to higher customer conversion rates after reading.

 

Learn more about blogging through this helpful infographic provided by Websitebuilder:


Additional Sources:

https://blog.wishpond.com/post/47804902390/4-reasons-why-blogging-is-important-for-your-business

http://www.openvine.com/small-business-internet-blog/5-benefits-of-blogging-for-your-small-business

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/the-benefits-of-business-blogging-ht

 

Blog Post By: Kali Kraft, Baer Performance Marketing Intern

 

Automatic Content Recognition, or ACR, is a relatively new technology that could have major implications on advertising as we know it. Its identification and analysis of ad information allows advertisers to provide a more interactive and consumer-focused experience for viewers. Here is a quick rundown of what ACR is and how it could impact ads in the future.

 

What is ACR? ACR is a kind of technology that identifies content being played on internet-connected devices without any input from viewers. It also collects data about the viewers of the ad, allowing advertisers to more accurately measure and target their audience. ACR has been incorporated into many commonly used media devices, such as smart TVs, which can create personalized lists of suggested programming based on what you already have watched.

 

How do the ads work? ACR allows advertisers to truly customize their brand messaging. The technology can provide additional information about products it knows people have recently viewed ads about. For example, a viewer might see an ad about a product, and then the option for them to put in their phone number might appear, which results in them being sent a coupon for the product. Or, a family could view a commercial about a restaurant on their TV, and then an ad for that restaurant could be sent to their mobile devices. This provides a customized ad experience for the viewer and helps the advertiser target the right people.

 

How does this help advertisers? In previous decades, advertisers were generally unable to accurately measure who is seeing what ads where and for how long. As a result, they would target future advertisements incorrectly or neglect to measure them at all. [1] ACR allows advertisers to see a wide variety of data about their ads, eliminating this uncertainty and allowing for more accurate marketing and the ability to incorporate the data in future messaging to viewers.

 

Automatic Content Recognition is an interactive way to engage your audience and target the right people. Though ACR is a relatively new technology, it soon could become the next big thing in the world of advertising.

 


[1]https://viantinc.com/news/blog/what-every-advertiser-needs-to-know-about-tv-acr/

2 http://www.adweek.com/tv-video/6-steps-to-an-automatic-content-recognition-campaign/

3 https://www.acrcloud.com/docs/acrcloud/introduction/automatic-content-recognition/

Blog Post By: Kali Kraft, Baer Performance Marketing Intern

 

Understanding your target audience is a necessary step in implementing any marketing strategy. If you want your message to resonate with consumers, it needs to be targeted towards their preferences. Knowing your audience helps you to understand what kinds of things they want out of your company. Here a few ways to get to know your audience better.

 

Do your research

This may seem like an obvious step, but it’s an important one to get done properly. Making sure you know who your target audience is is vital to all future marketing efforts. What kind of demographics would benefit most from your product or service? What does a customer gain by choosing you instead of your competition? Determine who your ideal customer would be, and try to consider how they would interpret and react to everything you do. There are a large variety of helpful social media and social listening tools that can help you to do this, such as Facebook Insights and Hootsuite.

 

Interact through social media

After understanding who your audience is, that information should be used to tailor your social media content to your audience. However, the essential next step after that is to listen to what they have to say about that content. Read their comments and posts, and connect with your audience by responding to them. Address their concerns, answer their questions, or just thank them for engaging with your company online. Creating a simple poll for customers to participate in can make them feel like you are listening and care about their opinions, and it provides you with information on how to better serve your customers.

 

Conduct surveys

Surveys are the most straightforward way of getting answers, because they allow you to ask your customers exactly what you want to know about them. They can provide the answers to what your current customers like best about your products and what improvements they would find valuable. Include a survey on your website, send one to email subscribers, and/or post a link on your social media pages. Including an incentive, such as a discount or coupon, can help increase the number of respondents.

 

All of these strategies will help you better understand your audience, and in turn, help you to better resonate with them. Connect with your audience, and let them know you’re listening!

 

Sources:

http://www.adweek.com/digital/7-ways-to-learn-more-about-your-community/

https://coschedule.com/blog/how-to-find-your-target-audience/

http://marketingland.com/7-ways-get-know-audience-better-181862

Blog Post By: Kali Kraft, Baer Performance Marketing Intern

 

Facebook video ads are a great way to capture the attention of your target customers. Millions of people will have access to your video on any given day.

They might seem easy to create, but social media provides unique challenges, and Facebook video ads are not the same as your typical commercial. Here are a few ways to make your Facebook video ads more effective.

 

Grab the user’s attention

Consumers are bombarded with videos every time they scroll through Facebook, so they make quick decisions on whether or not something is worth watching. If your ad doesn’t draw them in within the first few seconds, they will move on. Grab their attention right away with something that piques their interest and makes them curious enough to keep watching.[1]

Most videos are automatically muted and require users to click to listen to the audio. This means that in the first few seconds of the video, you need to complement the audio with a supporting visual that intrigues the viewer and tells the story just as well.[2] This could be as simple as adding a caption to make sure the point you’re trying to get across is understood.

 

Tailor to your audience

Making a single, general ad to be shown to all of the different types of people on Facebook is inefficient and ineffective. Create different ads for different customers by tailoring to their preferences. An ad created for a potential new customer who has never heard of your company should be focused on building brand awareness, whereas an ad for someone familiar with your business should discuss additional aspects of your product or service that may benefit them. You can also take advantage of Facebook Audience Insights to know your audience based on age, demographics, lifestyle, gender, relationship status, and more.[3]

 

Don’t make your ad look like an ad

When most people are scrolling through Facebook, they aren’t typically looking to buy. Delivering the message in a unique way that doesn’t necessarily look like a typical ad draws people in and makes them more likely to keep watching. Your ad should tell a story, and user engagement and getting your story across should be prioritized over explicitly selling the product. Consider formatting the video in a way that incorporates insightful information, funny content, or news.

 

Following these few simple tips can help turn your Facebook video into an effective and valuable form of advertising.


[1]https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/6-tips-for-better-facebook-video-ads

[2]https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-make-better-facebook-video-ads/

[3]http://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-networks/7-brilliant-tips-making-effective-facebook-video-ads

 

The most important time of the year for retailers is fast approaching! In the U.S. alone, holiday retail sales are expected to increase 4.5 percent from last year’s $658.3 billion. So, how can your business ensure this season will be jolly?

 

  • Put together a marketing schedule. After you’ve finalized a marketing strategy and determined the tactics and channels you’ll be utilizing, map out a schedule indicating when every eblast, blog, Facebook ad, etc. will be sent out. This will ensure all of your well-thought-out tactics are launched on time and in the smoothest way possible.

 

  • Review the audience your ads are targeting. Media costs tend to go up after Thanksgiving as retailers ramp up their schedules. In some areas of the United States, advertisers have reported a price increase by as much as 20-30 percent. It is especially important this time of year to focus on who is being targeted by your ads to ensure an ROI with your ad spend.

 

  • Don’t forget your existing customers. Consider offering current customers early access to sales or personalized promotions based on their purchasing history, and keep them well informed about all of your holiday promotions through email marketing.

 

  • Make checkout easy. By offering additional online payment options, you’ll convert more visitors to your e-commerce store into customers. If you’re currently only accepting credit cards, consider adding alternative payment methods, including debit cards and Paypal. Some payment processers such as Braintree, Stripe, and Worldpay accept both credit cards and debit cards. However, it may not be clear that both are accepted within your site’s checkout page. It is important that all payment options are clearly listed within your online store.

 

 

A Final Thought

Don’t just focus on your marketing strategy or website’s online shopping experience during peak sales times. Consistency is key. Without it, your customers will likely jump ship after the holiday shopping season is over!

 

Online advertising has grown considerably in the past couple of years. If your business is not allocating any budget online, odds are you are feeling the pinch. With all of the options for advertising online, such as Google AdWords and all of the other social media platforms, Facebook might be the easiest to use if you wanted to dip your toes in.

With that being said, Facebook has evolved into a pretty complex marketing tool. A few years ago, Facebook allowed advertisers to run down a list of targeting options from the target customers’ location to what interests they had. Nowadays, you could find yourself with a few questions.  This article will provide some insights as to why your Facebook campaigns may not be working the best these days and other newer features to consider when creating a new Facebook campaign for your business.

Before launching a Facebook advertising campaign, it’s important to start off by thinking about what your end goal is for the campaign. Most people who are using Facebook are there to catch up with old friends, post braggadocious vacation photos, or admire the newest addition to their friend’s family…that cute, new puppy they adopted. What this means is that your ads need to be able to catch someone’s eye rather than get scrolled by.

One thing Facebook is a huge stickler for is the use of imagery in ads.  Like the old saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words.” However, try not to use a thousand words over the top of your picture. What I mean by this is that your image should contain less than 20% text or better yet, none at all.  Facebook is trying to help you create an eye-catching ad without letting the target (customer) know it is an ad.  If your image is enticing, you will draw that customer out of “puppy-mode” and into your business.  In the case of this BBQ ad, you can clearly see the image of the BBQ will draw you in much better than the logo of a company that clearly looks like advertising.

Another common mistake is narrowing your targeting down too far. Adding demographic targeting, location and interests can really add up quickly and turn an otherwise promising campaign into a non-converting campaign.

For example, say you are a BBQ restaurant owner who knows your key demographic is 40-60 year old males. Now you start building your campaign on Facebook and entering the target info focused on 40-60 year old males who live in your city and have an interest in BBQ. You only put in a few criteria. However, you may have narrowed your target too far to produce working results. Let’s say your city is 100,000 people. Then you narrowed it to men between the ages of 40-60.  That brought the possible targets down to 10,000. Now you include that out of those 10,000, they should have an interest in BBQ.  That might bring that total down to fewer than 1,000 with just two – three targeting options.

To run a better campaign, open up the targeting to women, as well (who tend to tell their husbands/significant others where to go).  Don’t narrow it down to just BBQ as an interest either.  Open it up to include restaurants as an interest. Get some new people who may not have tried BBQ before. With these new targeting options, you might end up with an audience of 10,000 – 15,000.

The last thing I would like to touch base on is not necessarily a new feature but one that is oftentimes overlooked as an option.  This is using a custom audience and a Facebook Pixel. Does your business have a mailing list that you send emails to? Perfect! Facebook allows you to import a .csv file of your contacts directly into their advertising software.  Once loaded into the Ads Manager, you have the ability to create not only a target of your current email subscribers, but you can create a lookalike audience which has the same interests as your email subscribers. Now other people on Facebook who have similarities to your subscribers will be served ads.

Another way to serve ads on Facebook is by using a Facebook Pixel.  This allows you to remarket to customers who have been to your site along with other sites and actions you specify. Let’s say a customer got to your site, browsed around and left without making a purchase.  You now have the ability to display that product they were looking at in their newsfeed.  The Facebook Pixel allows you to bridge the gap between online research and talking directly to your customers while they are on Facebook.

As I’ve mentioned, if you’re looking to dip your toes into online advertising, Facebook is a great place to start. Don’t let fear of change get the best of your business. Start advertising online today!

 

Like many fields in today’s workplace, marketing is collaborative. If you’re employed by an agency, you will likely find yourself working very closely with colleagues. This provides an excellent opportunity to learn from others while expanding your skill set, but it’s possible you’ll hit a few bumps in the road. Differences in personality and the way work is approached can often delay a project’s progress. Below are a few communication guidelines to help future workplace collaboration go smoothly.

Practice active listening.

One of the first steps in improving communication is learning how to listen. During conversations, it’s easy to get lured into letting your thoughts wander…thinking about what time kids need to be picked up from practice, what you’re making for dinner, or what’s left on the day’s to-do list. This, alongside the backdrop of a busy office, can prevent you from understanding important messages managers and coworkers are communicating. Always try to keep your focus on actively listening to what others are saying. Maintain eye contact, give encouraging non-verbals, and don’t interrupt or shift too much of your focus to what you’re going to say next. By actively listening to others, you’ll foster respect and prevent future misunderstandings.

Keep an open mind.

It’s human nature to make snap judgments about others. Many people, for example, categorize millennials as entitled, lazy or self-absorbed. Of course, not every millennial conforms to those qualities, and making assumptions about colleagues can cause real problems. They’ll drive a wedge between you and your coworkers and prevent you from uniting as a team.

Communicate face-to-face when possible.

In today’s workplace, there is a heavy reliance on emails, texting and instant messaging. And as our use of technology has increased, face-to-face interactions have become markedly devalued. As a result, messages often get lost in translation. When possible, speak to coworkers in person, and if email is necessary, focus on making your message concise and easy to understand.

Be straightforward.

Whether you’re presenting an idea or project at a meeting or emailing a request to a coworker, it’s easy to get longwinded. When this occurs, people can lose sight of your message’s objectives. Strive to make your workplace communication speedy and straightforward with your goals made clear.

React sympathetically.

Before you react to what you believe is baseless criticism, consider the source of the attack and the possible circumstances surrounding it. When people are having a bad day, they sometimes respond by attacking others for no reason. After hostilities have defused, contact the coworker to learn more about the problem they’ve communicated and how you can help address it. When heads are cooler, the coworker may admit they’ve overreacted and that the attack had nothing to do with you or your work.

 

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