Insight Marketing Blog

Facebook Tips for Small Business Marketers

Facebook is a great way to market your small business

Facebook is a great way to market your small business

Businesses of all types are successfully using Facebook to market their companies. In September 2016, there were 60 million business pages on Facebook, one-third more than a year prior.

Depending on your demographic, Facebook can be a powerful marketing tool. Age 25 to 34, at 22% of users, is the most common age demographic. (Source: comScore) What this means for you: This is the prime target demographic for many businesses’ marketing efforts, and you have the chance to engage these key consumers on Facebook. Here are some important things to keep in mind when defining your Facebook strategy:

Post Consistently. Spend some time working out what frequency you can commit to and dig into your analytics to find out when your audience is most likely to be online – this will maximize your reach. However, don’t let your page “go dark” for any extended period of time.

Include Both Text and Images. Images have stopping power in a way that words never will. Facebook posts that include images tend to get wider distribution than those that are text only. But once someone focuses on your post, you need text to keep them engaged and tell them what you want them to do next.

Be Yourself. Facebook is a personal medium. Treat it that way. Ask questions, post responses, express preferences. Give fans a peek into your operation. Introduce your staff. And always make your posts conversational.

Vary Your Posts.  Social media is all about engaging the end user–and nothing disengages people more than selling all the time. That’s not to say that you can never sell, you just need to earn the right by posting other non-sales content.

  • Customer photos almost always drive tremendous engagement.
  • How-to tips establish your company’s expertise, and give fans a reason to keep coming back to your page.
  • Videos, always powerful, are especially attention-getting on Facebook since they auto-play. Facebook’s algorithm favors native video – not outside links to places like YouTube or Vimeo – allowing for a better opportunity for more people to see your content.
  • Product photos are especially appealing when you create a lifestyle image. Still product shots on white backgrounds are great for your eCommerce store, but can be boring on Facebook. Style your products on a background that conveys the lifestyle of the target demographic. Model shots are also engaging and they don’t need to be professionally done.
  • Contests can create engagement and generate lots of new fans.

Increase Visibility of Important Posts. This is a simple tip, but many people aren’t aware that posts can be “pinned” to the top of a Facebook Timeline. It’s frustrating when a post describing an important announcement or special offer disappears down your page.

Use Facebook Ads. I cannot express how important it is to consider using Facebook ads or boosts to increase the reach of your content. Without ads, Facebook has said that organic content (on average) will be shown to 6% or less of your fan base.

Messenger for Business. Just recently, Facebook officially launched Messenger for Business to let users chat directly with the companies. This is a great tool to have a personal, real-time conversation with customers. Many companies are using this to replace email as a customer service tool, including real-time order confirmations and shipping notices.

Of course, the overarching objective of Facebook is to stimulate engagement and produce valuable and exciting content. Therefore, tailor your post content to your audience, be personal and conversational, and use fresh and simple wording. Executing these optimization tips will improve your Facebook Business Page visibility and user experience, both of which are crucial for your success.

See Valerie Gosset’s marketing ideas for the Garden Industry at Evergreen Marketing

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Why Video is Important to Your Digital Strategy

Why Video is Important to Your Digital Strategy

Is this the year you are ready to jump on board with video marketing for your business? The answer should be a resounding “yes” for many reasons. Maybe you have been hesitant because of high production costs, or you are not sure which platforms to use, or how to produce quality content. However, video is a powerful medium that provide tremendous opportunities to engage customers, expand your brand messaging, generate leads and even sales.

Research shows that video content has been proven an effective marketing tool in multiple ways:

  • According to news shared by HubSpot:
  • Video is projected to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019.
  • Adding a link to a video in your marketing emails can boost click-through rates by over 200%.
  • 90% of customers report that product videos help them make purchasing decisions.
  • 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.
  • A third of all the time people spend online is dedicated to watching videos.
  • Digital marketing expert James McQuivey estimates that a single minute of video content is the equivalent 1.8 million words.

Effective ROI

With the multitude of smartphone cameras, goPro video cameras and free or inexpensive editing software available, not to mention plentiful options for low cost animation, video production does not have to be the high expense it once was. Online videos are more about content than quality and with the impressive metrics observed; video offers higher ROI than other forms of content.

Effective Content?

Video content is very effective in promoting brand recall and reinforcing brand messaging. Content can include useful product tips, answering customer FAQs, How-To demonstrations or real-life customer testimonials. These all add legitimacy and personality to a brand’s messaging, while at the same time engaging customer attention span.

Effective Platforms?

Now that you created a video, what should you do with it? Along with the traditional platforms of YouTube and Vimeo, there are now multiple live options as well, such as Facebook Live, Periscope and Instagram Live. And nothing helps boost click-through rates in emails like video links. In addition to all these platforms, you should also embed your video directly into your site – like on a landing page with a clear call to action. Video never fails to increase the web traffic and provides significant SEO benefits in raising your website’s ranking within search engines.

Effective SEO?

Video creates immediate SEO results. Ranking on Google’s first page is an SEO’s top priority, so it is difficult to ignore the 2009 Forrester study that says, “pages with video are 53Xs more likely to rank on the first page of Google search results.” That study may be eight years old, but the Google algorithm continues to prioritize video results, especially videos placed on YouTube – no doubt because of Google’s ownership of YouTube.

Video can also help lower your bounce rate. The average online attention span is less than eight seconds. If viewers leave your domain after viewing a single page, it will hurt your site’s SEO ranking. Video is a very effective way to engage visitors to your website and have them stay longer.

Just make sure your video is entertaining, informative and consistent with your business goals. Nothing is worse than a video that provide little or no value to your marketing strategy or viewer. When sharing videos on social media platforms, shorter is better – between 30 to 45 seconds. Longer, more informative videos are more appropriate on YouTube or Vimeo.

A Couple of Final Do’s and Don’ts for Videos

  • Avoid having your video automatically start playing when someone visits your website.
  • Create an interesting title image for your video to entice your visitor to click on it.
  • Avoid one person, talking head monologues without any changes on screen
  • Finally, don’t use cats in your video (unless you’re selling cat nip)
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What Football Can Teach Us About Marketing

Marketing Game Plan

Like Football, the key to winning is having an effective “game plan.”

In many ways, football and marketing are very similar. Both require a sound strategy, an effective game plan and good execution to win!

Generally there are two key elements for effective marketing. One, is to have a strategic marketing plan;  the second is to determine which are the best marketing tactics to execute the plan.

Since it’s football season, let’s use a football analogy to help clarify between these two.

Think of the coaches of a football team as being responsible for developing your strategic marketing plan – the  “game plan” on how to win your next game. They will analyze and research their next opponent – compare the strengths and weaknesses of their team versus their opponents; consider the opportunities they can exploit during the game and the threats the other teams pose against them. Many of you may recognize this as a typical S.W.O.T Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).

This analysis and research helps the coaches develop their game plan (your marketing plan). The coaches may decide that on offense they will try to establish a running game that will control the clock and keep the other team’s offense off the field. Or they may discover a weakness in the opponent’s secondary and decide to go with a quick strike offense, throwing the ball deep to score quickly and force their opponent to play from behind.

On defense, they may counter with putting “eight-men-in-the-box” to stop the run, or use a two-deep zone to take away the deep strike.

Similarly, your marketing plan should include your specific marketing strategy and competitive advantage you’re going to exploit in the marketplace versus your competition.

“People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.” – Vince Lombardi

A football team’s game plan will also include the plays, formations and players to be used in specific situations during the game – will they utilize two running backs and tight ends to establish the power running game, or four wide receivers to stretch the field for a passing attack?

In much the same way, your marketing strategy will determine which marketing tools, tactics and media you will use, when you will use them and how often. Will your strategy rely on TV advertising, or newspapers? Will public relations be your primary marketing tool or is direct marketing more effective? Will the Internet be used to support these other tools, or will it be your main offensive threat?

In marketing, just like in football, where the coaches don’t actually run the plays on the field, you may find that the firm which developed your strategic marketing plan may not be the best choice to handle the actual execution of your game plan.

For example, if your marketing plan calls for a heavy emphasis on public relations and direct marketing, you are probably better off getting two separate firms that specialize in each of these two key disciplines, rather than a generalist who really is just a bench warmer and not a star performer!

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