How to Improve Your Google Business Profile

With Google being the world’s top search engine, every local business should be trying to get the prime real estate on the first page of the search engine results page (SERP). This is done through a Google Business profile. And the best part is that it’s free. It simply takes a bit of time and effort to get going, but once you’re moving, there’s no looking back. The perks of appearing in local search results cannot be understated. They bring in foot traffic to your store, drive more sales for local businesses and ultimately improve not only your search engine optimization efforts but your overall online visibility. If all this sounds pretty good to you and you’re wondering how to improve your Google Business profile, keep reading below. 

How to improve your Google Business profile

Formerly known as “Google My Business”, your Google Business profile - once created - should appear among the top results in Google’s local or map packs. These are the first three results on the SERP for a local search and they help give prospective customers more information about your business. It doesn’t matter if you’re a store, a restaurant, coffee shop, service provider or something else. As long as you’re a local business with a physical presence, your Google Business profile will work wonders for you. Here’s what you need to know. 

  • Ensure your NAP details are accurate

NAP stands for name, address and phone number. It may seem completely obvious that these details need to be as accurate as possible but many businesses fail to update their NAP details. This results in customers visiting a store during hours when the shop is closed, visiting the wrong address and other small business faux pas which can result in lost customers and a loss in revenue. Because businesses may, from time to time, change their addresses and telephone numbers, ensuring this information is as up-to-date as possible is crucial.

  • Choose the right category and subcategory for your business

Secondly, once you’ve made sure your NAP details are as accurate as possible, you need to choose the right category and subcategory for your business. This is a way of highlighting crucial information to your clients who may be looking for one thing only to see another. This also adds to the relevance of the business and its offerings. An accurate category and subcategory means the listing will be optimised. The opposite is also true.

  • Prepare a compelling business description

Google allows you a maximum of 750 characters for your business description. And you need to utilise this retail space to its maximum potential. Use as much of this character limit as possible to showcase what you stand for and what you offer. In addition to this, be sure to incorporate keywords and key search phrases that many customers use to find businesses like yours but avoid keyword stuffing because this will not only sound spammy but it will also get you penalised by Google. 

  • Add photos to your listing

Research proves that we humans are driven by the visual element. Pictures and images can capture our interest and attention in the blink of an eye. This is much faster than reading textual information. As a result, your listing should be optimised with photos (and even gifs and videos, if you’ve got these available). For your images, don’t hesitate to display your business’ logo. Then, provide interior and exterior shots of your business. Action shots of work in progress such as a waiter serving a couple or a plumber carrying out work, or anything else for that matter, will help your customers better visualise your offering and pick you over your competitors.

  • Manage reviews

Think of reviews as the digital form of word-of-mouth advertising. Today, with so many things taking place online, customer reviews and comments regarding their experience with your business is just another avenue for them to express themselves. Your business can and probably will get both positive and negative reviews. And the trick here is to respond to ALL of them. Reviews may relate to your customer service, amenities, the experience with your brand, your products or services and more. However, it’s crucial not to leave any review unanswered. Positive reviews can get a simple “thank you”. Meanwhile, negative reviews can offer a discount, a promise to deal with or improve the situation in the future or something else that’s suited to your business. 

  • Complete your products or services

Another way of optimising your Google Business profile is to add your products or services. This is like giving your customers an online menu from which they can pick and choose from your offering and decide on what they want. Completing your full range of products or services means more information is provided on your listing and it will be more fully optimised, giving customers even more information to enable them to choose you over other competing businesses in your area.

  • Engage with your profile by posting regularly

Much like search engine optimisation (SEO) works with optimising your site and building your online presence to be authoritative in your field, local search results need to do the same. Although you don’t necessarily need to write 2,000-word blog posts each week and publish these, there is other information you can post about on your local listing on a regular basis. These include special offers, a product or service showcase, Covid-19 updates, company news and more. But perhaps the best part is that you’ll also be able to add calls-to-action buttons to your post. These will enable your customers to perform immediate actions ranging from buying a product, booking a service, booking online, signing up for something you’re offering, calling your business, etc.  

  • Optimise your Q&A section

Finally, there’s the Q&A section of your local listing. Here, you can anticipate questions that your customers may have about your business and preempt these questions with readily prepared answers. Alternatively, you can respond to real customer queries quickly and timeously to ensure that other prospective customers can benefit from these Q&As and make a more informed decision.

In conclusion

Optimising your Google Business profile may seem like a lot of work but it actually isn’t once you get into the process. In addition, its benefits cannot be overstated and all this can help boost foot traffic, increase sales, drive web traffic, get you more calls and bookings and so much more. To ensure your Google Business profile is optimised, be sure that you follow the tips mentioned above and you’ll be well on your way to reaping the rewards for your business.

If you need some assistance with your overall social media and digital presence, let us know and get in touch with us. We’d be happy to help.


Google Analytics 4 vs. Universal Analytics

Google, as the biggest search engine in the world, plays a significant role for any business with an online presence. It’s the go-to place for users looking for information, product, and services. Naturally, the analytics provided by Google will be of vital importance for your business, no matter how big or small. The search engine can offer insights into what users are doing on your site, how much time they’re spending on certain content, what they’re looking for, what percentage of your visitors convert into customers and more.

All of this data was provided by Universal Analytics. However, on the 16th of March 2022, Google made an announcement that it will be disconnecting Universal Analytics and moving on to Google Analytics 4 or GA4 from July 2023. This is an extremely important transition that pretty much any business with an online presence should know about. 

And although the release of Google Analytics 4 was months ago, there are still questions about the differences between GA4 and Universal Analytics. In this article, we’ll go through the key differences in hopes of making the topic more comprehensible and easy to understand. 

Key differences between GA4 and Universal Analytics 

Before we start exploring how Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics differ, it’s worth making one important note. The main role of the release of GA4 is to provide an enhanced version of Google Analytics, where siloed data is eradicated from web and app analytics. Rather, it’s merged into a single data collection and reporting interface. This offers the much-needed connectedness between your website, Android, and IOS applications. Data from these different devices and channels can be found in one property for easy tracking and analysis. 

Now that we’ve covered this fundamental fact, we can jump on to the core differences between GA4 and Universal Analytics. 

Event-based vs Session-based

One of the differences that GA4 brings to the table is a transition from sessions to events. While Universal Analytics used cookie tracking to monitor user sessions and behaviour on a particular site. Each user-generated hit was based on that session and without it, there was no option to connect a hit in Universal Analytics to a specific user. 

Although GA4 also relies on cookies, it will also use Google signals. Rather than using session and hit tracking, all activities a user performs whole on your site or app will be stored as an event. In other words, GA4 uses an event-based model rather than the session-based model we were familiar with from Universal Analytics. The model empowered GA4 with more flexibility and the ability to integrate web and app data into a single tool.

No monthly hit limits 

Another improvement that GA4 offers is the fact that there are no longer hit limits that apply. With the free version of Universal Analytics, users were limited to a monthly hit limit of 10m hits. This was considered a significant drawback, as a lot of people found it challenging to store all the data they were interested in. In Google Analytics 4,  the limit is based on events. You can capture up to 500 events, but there is no limit to the number of hits that you can collect. 

Customisation 

For a lot of UA users, custom reports were not an easy-to-use, intuitive option. These reports were only used for a few specific cases. In addition, Universal Analytics only provided three parameter options that could be sent with each event. These were Category, Label, and Action. With Google Analytics 4, you now have the option to send 25 parameters for every event. This enables users to take advantage of the option to explore a multitude of different funnel events. This also allows you to create any type of table report in GA4’s Exploration segment. 

Predictive audiences and metrics

Another important point of differentiation between GA4 and UA is that GA4 offers predictive audiences and metrics, unlike UA. Google Analytics 4 leverages machine learning, allowing it to predict future transactions and revenue. This empowers advertisers with the ability to create targeted ads with increased chances of scoring sales. 

Segments and Audiences

How users can compare segments in reports is completely different in GA4 than it was in UA. In Google Analytics 4, to create a new segment, you’ll need to add a segment to your exploration. As with Universal Analytics, you can still use all dimensions. Once you’ve added the segment to your exploration, you will have to add it to your report. In a nutshell, users have to recreate segments for every exploration. The same exploration can contain a multitude of reports and you can reuse segments for every one of them. 

Also, a fundamental difference is that users are allowed to only segment with existing parameters in predefined reports. If your goal is to segment your reports, it’s impossible to do so without using explorations. 

User-friendliness 

If we had to compare Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics in terms of user experience and user-friendliness, GA4 would certainly win. It’s a lot more beginner-friendly when compared to UA thanks to the models used. While Universal Analytics was designed based on the principle that page views were at the heart of performance and were the most essential metric to track, GA4 acknowledges that page views are not enough and more analytical data is necessary. 

As a result, certain tracking events, like video plays and button clicks are built within GA4, without the need for users to alter any settings. 

In a nutshell

Without a doubt, Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 are not at all the same. There are a number of differences introduced into the new version of Google Analytics. You can make the transition from UA to GA4 more comfortable and stress-free by familiarising yourself with the changes in advance. This will allow you to continue analysing your business’ performance, your users, and customers to ultimately make strategic decisions that will reward you with more visibility, more customers, and more sales. 

If you need some assistance with your overall social media and digital presence, let us know and get in touch with us. We’d be happy to help.


Top most essential email types you should know

If you’ve ever shopped online or signed up for something on the web, the chances are that you would have received an email welcoming you to the business, offering you discounts or special deals, confirming your registration and a whole lot more. Email has fast become a major part of a marketer’s toolkit. And with over four billion people in the world using email, it’s an essential part of your marketing strategy. If you’re just getting started and you’re wondering what the most essential email types are and why you should use them, this post is for you.

14 Essential email types

Without further ado, here are the most essential email types you should be sending to your email list. Not just because it nurtures your clients but also because it builds credibility, reliability and trust. It’s also a great way of engaging with your clientele, especially when you’re asking them for feedback.

  1. Welcome emails

The very first time someone engages with your company and offers you their email address, you need to send out a welcome email. Most customers these days expect it. And receiving it does not have to be limited to saying “Thank you for joining us”. It can go a whole lot further by providing users a sneak peek into what they can expect to get when they sign up with your business.

  2. Feedback and survey emails

We all know that online reviews are the new form of word-of-mouth marketing. Most people will check out product or service reviews online first before they make a purchasing decision. This is why gaining feedback from your customers is so important and this is where feedback and survey emails come into play. They can be used to nudge a client to leave a positive review. Or they can be used to send surveys which can ultimately help you improve your product or service offering in the future.

  3. Product or service updates and new features

Many businesses innovate. And this innovation comes in the form of new products or features. One of the best ways to tell your audience about these is to send them an email. In this type of communication, it’s essential to emphasise the main benefits of the product or service update for your clients so that they know what’s in it for them.

  4. Transactional and lead nurturing emails

The transactional and lead nurturing emails are actually a sequence of emails that are sent automatically when a user takes a certain action or interacts with your online platform in a particular way. For example, if a client has made a purchase, this will need to be followed up with a confirmation message. If this is the first time they’ve registered with your business, you need to send them a form submission thank you email. Other email messages that can form a part of this category include subscription cancellation emails, reorder emails for subscription services and even abandoned cart emails that notify a user that there are still items in their cart and encourage them to complete their purchase. 

  5. Holiday emails

Holidays are an excellent time to send emails to your customers because this gives you the opportunity to get personal. Christmas or Easter are just two examples of holidays you can use to communicate with your audience. And they can be used to not only send season’s greetings but be informative, educational or even transactional.

  6. Milestone emails

Milestone emails take place when your business reaches a certain event that’s of special importance. Has your business reached the 10-year in business mark? Is it your business’ birthday? This is a great opportunity to notify your customers of your achievements and in addition, throw in something like a special deal or offer to mark the celebration.

  7. Newsletters and digital magazines

If you operate a blog and publish content regularly, then new content announcements through newsletters or digital magazines is a good way of not only boosting your readership but adding value to your audience as well with information they would otherwise have missed.

  8. Event emails

Whether you’re hosting a webinar or you’re going to be attending a conference and you’d like to invite your readership to it, event emails are the way to go. Keep them short and sweet and highlight the most important parts such as the date, time and place for the event. Make it catchy and show why you’re considered an industry authority and why they should not miss out on the event.

  9. Gift emails and special offers

These are another excellent way of boosting sales while offering your customers added value. Make your gift or special offer emails enticing and easy to use. This will mean having strong call to action buttons as well as easy navigation that takes them to the exact place where they can shop or order from you.

  10. Co-marketing emails

If you’ve entered into a partnership with another company that’s considered a well-known and established brand, then emphasising this collaboration to your audience will be to your advantage. Highlight who you’ve partnered with, why the partnership and what your users stand to gain from it.

  11. Social media emails

If you’re wondering what social media emails mean, don’t worry! These types of emails are those that are typically sent through social media platforms such as LinkedIn and others. They are just one more way of reaching your audiences outside your traditional email list and no matter what your message or call to action may be, they need to be compelling and personal.

 

  12. Brand story emails

Brand story emails tell the unique story and elaborate on the journey your business has taken to get to where it is today and where it’s going. Storytelling in marketing is a huge plus in a marketing toolkit and it needs to be utilised to its full potential. If you’ve got a story that you’d like to share with your audience, these are the emails that will do the trick for you.

  13. Video emails

Video is quickly gaining traction as one of the most sought after sources of information. They can act as powerful agents of persuasion because if they are engaging, informative and catchy. Sending an email with a video in it is also proven to get much more clicks than those emails without one. So, whether you’re offering a sale or launching a new product that you’d like to show your audience how to use, video emails are a must.

  14. Internal emails

Finally, don’t forget that your employees are your company’s ambassadors and if you engage them well and show your appreciation through valuable emails and internal communication, your business will get that much more exposure and a positive brand reinforcement. 

Wrapping up

Although the quantity of email types that you can send out may seem somewhat overwhelming, it must be remembered that emails in this day and age are a must in any marketer’s toolkit. They help foster engagement, they drive more sales, they help improve your bottom line and they lead to customers who are loyal to your brand. If executed correctly, you’re much more likely to reap the rewards of email marketing than if you were to sideline this critical email tool and use it sporadically or haphazardly.

If you need some assistance with your overall social media and digital presence, let us know and get in touch with us. We’d be happy to help


What is local SEO and why is it important?

In the past, before the internet, we literally had the Yellow Pages directories to help us find anything from hairdressers to plumbers, doctors or restaurants. With Google stepping up to the plate and dominating most of the world’s internet searches, these “Yellow Pages” have become somewhat obsolete. Only to be replaced by “local packs” on Google. So, what are local packs? These are the three top local results for searches conducted on Google regarding an actual brick-and-mortar business, its name, location, address, telephone numbers and so much more. All this ties in with local search engine optimisation (SEO). But what exactly does it mean and how can you utilise it for your business? We take a closer look below.

What is local SEO?

Local SEO can be explained as a marketing approach or strategy to get businesses visible and ranked on Google’s search engine results page. However, this visibility appears above adverts and the so-called “blue links” results. They are listings of businesses in a local area that contain pretty much all the information a customer or visitor is looking for in order to make an informed decision about a business and whether they should frequent it or not. Local SEO is the back-end of getting this visibility. It involves several processes that work in tandem with each other to get ranked in the local or map pack of Google searches.

When a user enters, for example, “hairdresser near me” or “hairdresser in Manchester”, they’re likely to get the top three results with an associated map to help them find exactly what they’re looking for in a location near them. To help users optimise their searches and get the best results, Google utilises its algorithm and crawls spiders using a three-pillar approach. The main factors for these pillars are relevance, distance and prominence. Here’s a brief breakdown of how they work in conjunction with each other.

 

  • Relevance: relevance is the connection, bearing and usefulness of a search that’s entered on Google to a local business. There essentially needs to be a solid “match” between what the user is searching for and what results Google shows them. This match is achieved when a business targets keywords that are relevant or which align with a user’s search query. 
  • Distance: distance refers to the physical distance between a business and a user’s location. If a user does not specify a location in their search, such as mentioning “Notting Hill” or “Sussex”, Google will calculate the distance “based on what is known about their location.”
  • Prominence: finally, there’s prominence, which refers to the recognisability of the business in the real and not digital world. Prominence is calculated based on several criteria. This includes a collection of information that Google has about a business from the entire internet. This information includes links, articles and directories. Others include online customer reviews, questions answered and more. Examples of businesses or attractions that may receive higher prominence and, therefore, more visibility in a user’s search include well-known museums, landmarks, hotels or even shop brands. 

 

Benefits and importance of local SEO

Local SEO is critical for SMEs which have a physical location or service-based businesses and also for franchises and franchisees. By having that visibility on the local pack, you can immediately reach more people, drive more conversions, drive more foot traffic to your store, boost traffic to your website, increase calls, bookings and leads, as well as build trust, loyalty and engagement with searches, all this in addition to enhancing your business reputation.  

Why is this important? In essence, it all boils down to what businesses are after: more leads, customers, conversions and sales. In our digital world, the higher your web traffic, the higher the chances of online visibility and then conversions and product or service sales. Also, depending on the nature of your business, local SEO becomes important because you can further boost signups for accounts and newsletters, get more phone calls, offer free trials to more people and get more form submissions.

Some data to back this up includes that:

  • 78% of users who search for a product or service in their locale on their phone visit that business within a day;
  • 70% of customers are more likely to visit businesses with a complete business profile;
  • Around 50% of the latter are more likely to purchase from them;
  • 28% of local searches actually result in a purchase;
  • 30% of searches conducted on mobile phones are linked to locations;
  • 61% of consumers conduct local searches on a daily basis;
  • 82% of consumers check out online business reviews prior to making a decision; and
  • 86% of consumers depend on Google Maps to find the location of a business.

Top tips to excel with local SEO

Now that you understand why local SEO is so important, you might feel out of your depth in terms of approaching this broad subject. But there are some tips we’d like to offer you to ensure you make the most out of your business profile on Google. Here’s what you should consider:

  • Choose accurate categories for your business on directories and on Google Business Profile
  • Use keywords in the description and content
  • Create content that’s relevant to the expertise of your business
  • Add keywords in your title tags and meta descriptions
  • Acquire links from local and industry websites
  • Be sure the proximity of the business is relevant to the user’s location
  • Add your business’ name, physical address and telephone number to your listing and be consistent with this information across your entire online presence
  • Make the phone numbers clickable on mobile
  • Ask your users for reviews - the higher the reviews and your response rate to them, the higher the chances of ranking and converting leads
  • Be sure to have a contact page and map on your website, including testimonials
  • Claim your business’ social profiles
  • Create content that’s locally targeted (e.g. a list of local events)
  • Be sure to build citations on local search engines, blogs and local directories
  • Develop your business’ reputation through digital PR
  • Monitor your competitors and changes in Google
  • Engage in local SEO reporting (where necessary)
  • Ensure your website is mobile-friendly.

Final remarks

Local SEO is a must for any business these days - whether you offer products at a physical store or services at people’s homes. It’s an often overlooked marketing strategy but if used in a holistic way and optimised as well as your organic SEO efforts, it can yield significant results for your business’ success. These days, everyone’s online - both businesses and customers. Catering to their search needs means more visibility for your business and therefore more leads, bookings and sales. 

If you need some assistance with your overall social media and digital presence, let us know and get in touch with us. We’d be happy to help.


How to increase your Instagram organic reach in 2022?

Instagram is becoming a vital part of the social media strategy of every business. This mainly goes for companies that work on the B2C level and sell goods and services to end-users. Investing in ads may be something that everybody does, however, there is another important aspect to consider - boosting your organic reach on the social network. Luckily, there are still some ways to do that on Instagram and we are going to give you a few essential tips. 

In this article, we are going to feature only proven tactics that we use for our clients. Keep in mind that the results may vary. If you are consistent and have high-quality and engaging content, the increase will come sooner rather than later. 

Use Instagram Stories and Instagram Reels

Last year, the Head of Instagram - Adam Mosseri, said that “Instagram is no longer a photo-sharing app”. He mentioned that “the company is looking to lean into entertainment and video after seeing the success of competitors like TikTok and YouTube.”

That’s why stories and reels should become your primary focus.

We know that they are two different things. However, both of them will boost your organic reach in 2022. Instagram Stories remain a key factor to share some brief insights from the company's everyday life or to announce something interesting that will be coming up - a new product, a new service, or maybe a promotion. They are the ultimate engagement tool for your audience where you can ask questions, run polls or quizzes and this way directly interact with your followers. The more they take action on your story, the more it will be prioritized by the algorithm because these actions will “tell” the platform that this content is cool and interesting.

Instagram Reels on the other hand will be pushed by the algorithm of Instagram itself (they have to overpower TikTok in some way, as Mosseri said). You can use reels to even share a short story that can be funny or creative and get your audience engaged. Maybe you can outline what awesome place for work you provide. Imagine an Instagram reel that tells that story: 

  1. Work from the boring office as usual;
  2. The weather is nice and people are looking out the window; 
  3. The manager tells the whole team to head down and work from the beach;
  4. Final shot with some refreshments and a few people on laptops with their feet in the sand. 

Not bad, right? However, you need to follow and apply the trends in the niche your brand operates in. Otherwise, you are going to have boring content that nobody interacts with. 

The right post at the right time

This might look very simple. Yet a lot of people out there are not paying attention. You can get the most of your posts if your schedule is aligned with the time of day when most people from your target audience are active. If you don’t pay attention to the details some mistakes can happen like: 

  • Not considering that your target audience is in a different time zone; 
  • Not taking into account holidays and vacation periods people have; 
  • Not posting relevant content to some major events going on. 

In order to get the best out of your posts, you have to be sure to post the right thing at the right time that will get your audience engaged. This may sound complicated, but you can check when your audience is most active (from profile insights) and check if there is something interesting you can use as inspiration or the subject of your post. That answers the questions “When?” and “What?”

For example, for a client of Markception, we post on Instagram in the relevant time for Chicago (around 10 AM local time) and browse for local interesting events, historical facts, or celebrity visits to use as information in our posts. 

Engage the audience with challenges, giveaways, and contests

The best way to increase your organic reach is to engage your audience. And you can do that by involving them with something easy: 

  • Have a challenge; 
  • Ask them a question; 
  • Organize a giveaway; 
  • Get them to vote in the comments; 
  • Organize some contests. 

All of these can be integrated into the social media strategy of your brand. For example, one of the best performing stories for a client of ours that offers beauty procedures was related to the way women put on their under-eye patches. There was a poll on an Instagram story and the results were amazing. It was the most engaging story ever posted on this client’s account. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go live, use hashtags, inspire user-generated content, and tag other users and brands

This may seem like too much stuff for one final tip. However, most marketers don’t use the full potential of the social network. In order to increase your Instagram organic reach the most, you have to use all the tools to your advantage. 

That means you can go live and share something awesome that happened to you. Did you land a new client? Opened a new office? A new store? Got some reward? Be spontaneous and go live when there is something big to share. You can always say at the end: “More news on our website soon!”. 

Hashtags are important because your post can be discovered by someone who doesn’t follow you. However, people don’t tend to use them that much. The same goes for the location. And you could be missing out a lot if you are one of these people. Explore the #s which are relevant to you based on your service, location, experience, trending topic, or something else that can be related to your business. 

Tagging on Instagram works both ways. Yes, it is great to interact with users and brands. However, the big boost will come if you inspire user-generated content that is related to your brand. For example, here is something you can do:

  • Announce a contest for the best makeup routine with the cosmetic products you are selling;
  • Communicate a reward that will be attractive enough to get the people engaged; 
  • Get your audience to post a story with their makeup and share what they love about your product; 
  • Get them to tag your account. 

That, right there is just one of the examples you can do. Get creative and you will achieve awesome results. Users are tired of the same old ads, posts, and content. They want something new, something fresh and they want it now. So give it to them! 

If you need some assistance with your overall social media and digital presence, let us know and get in touch with us. We'd be happy to help.


What are some of the social media trends for 2022?

Another year is about to pass. And while people are still opening their Christmas gifts, we at the marketing agencies are planning meetings with clients to discuss strategies and are exploring useful trends that will be hot in 2022. In this article, we have summarised the best ones for you. A huge help in our research has been reporting on global trends by Hootsuite, Social media examiner, CMS Wire, and the Influencer marketing hub.

Trend #1: Influencers will help brands build communities 

Influencer marketing is not something new. However, it was more directed to increasing sales rather than creating communities. People are getting tired of seeing someone famous to try to convince them to buy something they don’t need. We foresee that one of the big trends of 2022 will be the joint work between marketers and influencers in creating communities around the brand with people that share the same values and vision. 

Trend #2: Content will be king again

Yes, it is true that people have shorter attention spans and are reading less as each year goes by. However, this makes written content even more important. You need to share compelling and engaging messages with your audience using fewer words. This requires a lot of skill and the development of the right copy for your brand. 

Good copywriting is just part of the bigger formula for content marketing. The main thing about a great content marketing strategy is the diversification of content formats and using them to achieve different goals. Brands should create audio and video content in different formats and distribute it via different channels. And not only that. 

The option for creating and distributing good content is a lot: 

  • blogs;
  • vlogs and videos;
  • podcasts and audiobooks;
  • ebooks and infographics; 
  • different forms of visuals; 
  • email and newsletters;
  • presentations; 
  • expert article and white papers;
  • reports;
  • free courses and training and many more. 

You need to find the rind formula that fits the needs and goals of your brand. 

Trend #3: Ads that don’t feel like ads

Consumers are tired of seeing the same old ideas, same old CTAs, same old visuals. The brands that risk it with their ads will have better chances than the ones that don’t. Ads in 2022 have to give some added value, not just be another brick in the wall of sponsored content people see. This can be done with the implementation of more creative concepts - ads that don’t feel like commercial material are the thing that will encourage people to trust the brand. 

Trend #4: Social media customer care becomes vital

Users are interacting with big brands more and more on social media. Yes, phone and e-mail remain a vital part of customer service. However, if brands underlook the customer care experience they offer on social media, they are going to be in big trouble. Communicating with customers on social networks is not about only chatting - you have to answer reviews or some status where an unhappy person has tagged your brand. Do not underestimate this - your brand might suffer a lot of reputational damage if you do. 

Users on social media expect brands to have an immediate and adequate reaction to their questions and needs. For them, social media is a channel for direct connection and interaction with a brand or business and their expectations are quite high. 

Trend #5: Nostalgia will work like a charm

The final trend in our short overview is nostalgia marketing. This will again bring benefits to the brands that know how to use it right. People are nostalgic and care about the past. The best thing is that it can be used by brands in almost any industry: 

  • If you are a sports club issue limited edition shirts from several years ago; 
  • If you are a diner, have a retro evening night. 

There are a lot of great ideas out there. When you sit down to figure out your marketing strategy for next year just make sure to stay true to your brand and follow the trends. If you need some help in that area, feel free to contact us


How can Pinterest bring added value to your marketing strategy?

When most businesses plan their marketing strategy in terms of social media, the top social networks that come to mind instantly are Facebook, Instagram, Viber, and even Tik-Tok. However, an important piece of the puzzle remains overlooked and left behind - Pinterest. In this article, we are going to explore how this social network can be used as a strategic marketing tool for your brand. 

What is Pinterest and how does it work?

If we look at Pinterest, we will discover that the keyword here is one - images. The essence of this social network is the sharing of images. The people behind Pinterest say that its mission is to connect people worldwide through interesting things. While users browse through photos, videos, and other types of multimedia content, they can organize what they like on the so-called “boards”. When people browse the internet and see something they like they can put a “pin” in it and find it later on their profile in Pinterest on the right board. A lot of people do this for wedding planning, for example, to store in one place everything they have seen and liked - from wedding dresses, through decorations and food. In this short video, you can check it out.

Pinterest allows users to follow other people on the social network, to share and comment and tag each other. For business owners and their brands, Pinterest is a great option for sales and marketing in a creative way. It combines two of the best things that make it so popular for users - visual content and the option for users to share everything they like. This social network is based on interests and that can help brands reach relevant audiences that are interested and actually looking for products and services like the ones they have.  

Who is using Pinterest the most? 

Data shows that Pinterest has 478 million users that actively interact with the social network each month. Half of them are from the USA. Another country with a large number of users is Germany (17,5 million). If we speak about numbers, here are some statistics that can show you the potential of the network: 

  • People have used the “pin” option 240 billion times; 
  • There are over 50 billion different boards created on the social network; 
  • There was a 30% growth in the number of users in just one year for 2020. 
  • Since 2016, Pinterest has increased the number of active users by almost 330 million people. 

From a demographic point of view, women, in general, use Pinterest more. They account for over 77% of all users. 

Can Pinterest be an important factor for increasing sales? Definitely! Almost 90% of the users say that Pinterest is an inspiration for them before making a purchase. Data shows that ⅓ of all users earn in the range 50 000 -75 000 $ per year, which indicates a good purchasing potential. 

How can Pinterest help your business? 

Like everything in life, the usage of Pinterest to promote your business has some pros and cons. It can turn into a strategic tool or it can be a waste of time and effort. It is really all up to you (and your marketing team). The main things you can do with Pinterest are: 

  • Become more visible to potential customers (helps you increase traffic and sales); 
  • Integrate a “pin” button on your website to allow Pinterest users to save something that they like and review it later;
  • Generate backlinks to your website - this is possible because every pin from a website keeps the link as well. 

A lot of people use Pinterest for inspiration and to find something that is similar to their taste. The social network shows relevant visual content based on the interests of the users, which often are actively looking for something specific. This can help your business a lot if you are going strong with high-quality visuals in your marketing strategy. You can achieve great organic results with good visual content. 

There is also the option to advertise on Pinterest to achieve even better results. You can create a campaign, set a budget, and choose the target audience. You will have to select specific pins to promote. Data shows that brands running campaigns to increase brand awareness spend 2 to 5 dollars to reach 1000 impressions, while a single engagement from users on ads is valued between 0,1 $ up to 1,5 $. Think of Pinterest as the pre-sales stage - this is the place where a lot of people decide what to buy. 

On the downside, there is the fact that maintaining this social network can take a lot of your time. You can dedicate some people from your creative or/and marketing team to this task and If the strategy is not good, you might lose their time without achieving any results. On the other hand, if you are looking to automate the processes, it can also be challenging and time-consuming. Pinterest still remains a niche social network and if you don’t have the right strategy, it might turn out to be a waste of time, despite the potential it has for your business. 

Is Pinterest suitable for your type of business?

There are several industries that Pinterest is great for. Keep in mind that the majority of users are female and this influences the results a lot. Here are the top industries for Pinterest: 

  • Fashion and clothing;
  • Cosmetics; 
  • Wedding agencies; 
  • Travel and tourism; 
  • Food and gourmet. 

There are many more as well. Any brand with good visual content can use Pinterest. Online stores (B2C) are also a prime industry that can look into Pinterest as a marketing tool. Don’t forget that users are there to enjoy beautiful visuals and be inspired. A picture can tell 1000 words - use that wisely. 

What is the place and importance of Pinterest in our marketing strategy?

The place of Pinterest in the marketing mix depends on your current goals. We know that everyone wants to sell, but you might have to work a little bit in other aspects as well. That will help you drive sales up eventually. Pinterest as a marketing tool is great for any companies and brands that want to: 

  • increase their brand awareness; 
  • drive conversions up (and sales eventually); 
  • create a bond between the brand and the target audience. 

We already mentioned that Pinterest can bring added value to your SEO. 

How to successfully adopt Pinterest in your current B2C communications? 

The first thing you can do is remember that this is not about you. People go on Pinterest to be inspired and they look for something beautiful. Give them that. See what the users like that are relevant to you. Not all pictures on the boards can lead to your website. Create thematic boards that can be explored, see what is trending and try to “catch the wave”. 

When you put a pin with a link to your website, make sure that you want to take users to the right section or product. This will help you increase your conversion rate a lot. 

And remember to socialize. At the end of the day, this is a community in an open social network. 

Will Pinterest work as a marketing channel for your business?

We get to the most important question - is Pinterest going to work for my business? At the end of the day, Pinterest can be an essential channel in your marketing strategy for getting more sales and traffic. This social network can become a powerful tool for any brand and business that sells to end customers (B2C) and provides different levels of interaction with your potential customers. We definitely recommend using Pinterest as a channel in your marketing strategy, especially if what you sell can be represented by inspiring visuals. 


Myths and legends about social media

Social media changed the way we interact with each other. More importantly - it changed how businesses communicate and sell to their clients. In today’s world, it is almost impossible for a brand not to be active on different platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. The presence there is integrated into the marketing strategy of the company. There are tons of details about the target audiences, the types of posts, the tone of voice, and many more. 

It is fair to say that social media changed our lives and boosted the area of digital marketing in a way never seen before. However, there are several myths and legends about the networks that are still going around to this day and in this article, we are going to break some of them. In the following lines, consider us the “Mythbusters” of digital marketing. 

Myth #1: You should be present anywhere

Up to this day, a lot of people consider that they should be present everywhere and try to maintain accounts on all social networks. This is something that is not necessary. Depending on their target audience and type of business, companies can choose several channels in their marketing strategy. If they identify additional ones along the way, that is okay. 

It depends on the type of business you have. If you are selling clothes, then you want to be active on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. However, there is no point to be on LinkedIn with the same offers. People are there for other things and expect other interactions from this type of social network. Another mistake is that people rely on the same strategy for each of their pages. You have to adapt to the types of posts you can share, see what works best and brings you followers and engagement. And most importantly - that achieves your goals. 

Myth #2: You have to share engaging content at all cost

Some people consider that their pages must have a lot of likes, comments, and interactions. And while that is true, it shouldn’t be done with any type of content. For example - if you are a restaurant that has a social media page and shares pictures of cute animals you are probably going to receive a lot of engagement. However, it will be from people that like cute animals. Not from potential customers that will come and eat in your place. It is the same with other types of thematic content. You can use it, but you have to modify it from the scope of your business. Any page can post a funny picture - just make sure it is in line with your business area and target audience. 

Myth #3: I work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. I am going to post at that timeframe

This is not that common myth. A few years ago it was and people considered that they can be active on social media from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and post regularly there. However, if you look closely, you will see that successful brands are active almost 24/7. And while some posts can be scheduled, for others you have to be the first one to reach. This is very important for media companies - whoever is the first is guaranteed the most likes, shares, and comments. 

You have to understand that people are online all of the time. And that is something they expect from brands as well. Today the brand follows the client, not the other way around. 

Myth #4: Social media is used by young people only

Once they started over 10 years ago, social media was used mainly by young people. Now, this is just a myth. What can be considered to be true is that young people prefer specific social media platforms. TikTok and Instagram are just two examples. Facebook and LinkedIn are left to professionals and the majority of people there are not students. This is not “a young man’s game” if we have to put it in a way to reference James Bond.  If you are interested in specific numbers and demographics, sproutsocial.com has compiled an amazing list of people from different age groups using each platform the most. 

Myth #5: I don’t need investments or expertise to achieve results

Social media is very complex and if you want to be successful you must hire professionals to help you. It is almost impossible to achieve results on your own. And there are several reasons for that. You can share posts and stories on your pages. However, social media has to be part of the overall marketing strategy you have. The SM networks should be chosen based on the type of business you have, the goals you want to achieve, and your target audience. The different platforms have constant actualizations and change their algorithms and functionalities. For a person that doesn’t have the proper background, this information will be hard to track. And those factors are crucial for how a business will perform on social media. 

Myth#6: Social media is marketing with no cost

In the early 2010s, some marketers referenced social media as a place where you can promote your business without investing in ads. This wasn’t true back then and it is not true today.  If you want to be successful you need to deliver amazing content to your target audience on that social network. And here we come to the content plan and the strategy for social media ads. What and when to be published, what types of ads to be prepared and run. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. It is complex and it costs money. Some marketers still reference social media as “marketing with zero budget”. Well, they don’t know what they are talking about. 

Those are the six main myths about social media that still can be witnessed today. If you want to be successful you have to be active on social media today. The best way to achieve results is to work with professionals. If you want to learn more about how you can take advantage of the potential that the social networks have, feel free to contact our team.


Why do keywords matter and how to use them in your SEO strategy?

In a digital world where a picture can tell 1000 words and a video, even more, some might think that writing will be obsolete. If you work in the area of marketing you know that words are still heroes because you know how much words and written content matter. High-quality content used in your marketing strategy can be the rocket that takes your business to the next level. In this article, we are going to focus on a very specific aspect of that area - how to properly use keywords in your SEO strategy. 

What are keywords and how do they work? 

When you search for something in Google (or any other search engine for that matter) you put in a specific set of wording to see the results you want. For example: “Cheap hotels Chicago” or “Shoes on sale”. Based on that, the search engine algorithm tracks and puts in lists website results that rank in the best way to answer your search. 

The results are based on how the websites and the web pages you see are optimized to the specific keywords you are looking for. And for businesses and marketers, the race is to be in the top results - not just the first page but the first 3 positions. The competition is very big and positioning a brand can be quite a challenge. However, when you succeed in being among the top 3 results, you are going to reap the rewards. There is an old joke among SEO specialists: “The best place to hide a body is on the second page of Google. Nobody looks there”. 

Keywords in our SEO strategy - tips and tricks 

You are probably eager to find out how to get all the keywords and mash them all together on your website. Unfortunately, this is not how it works. Search engine optimization is an ongoing process that requires time, effort, and investment. The good news is that it pays off. A lot. By appearing in searches you will generate more traffic and leads for your website. And that means more sales. Why? Because people are looking for the things you offer. And if you want to be visible, you have to know how to do it.

The first step is researching relevant keywords. Depending on your industry there are going to be some specific phrases that will be interesting. However, thorough research is needed to see where your business and website can rank. There are specific tools that you can use. 

While you are picking keywords with high search volume, you should also look into the competition. The best thing you can do is find some phrases that have a lot of monthly searches from your target audience and that there are not that many businesses that have ranked for them. You should find a variety of keywords that are relevant to your business, product, and services. The more, the better. After you find them, let’s see how you can use them.

What are the different types of keywords and why does it matter?

Once you get into the subject, you will discover that there are differences among keywords as well. Talking about SEO there are several keyword categories to consider. Alexa.com defines them in several ways - based on their category, by how long they are, and the so-called “on-site keywords”. Let´s check each one of those three main areas. 

The category of the keywords can vary on many factors - the product or service you like to target - cashmere cardigan, cashmere cardigan from Gucci. They might be also correlated to a specific profile of the shopper - cashmere cardigan for pregnant women. The other option is to relate to a specific location - cashmere cardigan stores LA. 

When we speak about the length of the keyword, there are short, mid, and long-tail keywords. Here the main thing is how specific the search is itself: 

  1. Cashmere cardigan - that is considered short-tail keyword; 
  2. Cashmere cardigan extra soft - that is the mid-tail keyword; 
  3. Cashmere cardigan extra soft for sensitive skin - long-tail keyword. 

When we speak about on-site keywords in SEO Alexa.com outlines that there are primary and related keywords. The primary keyword is the one centered in all of your content. THE KEYWORD. In the case above that would be “cashmere cardigans”. It has to be present in any relevant pieces of content that you create for your blog and is related to the product or service. 

The related keywords are the ones that go along by the primary. They can be other common expressions for it or synonyms. In our case, these can be cashmere vests or cashmere pullovers. 

What is Rankbrain and why does context matter? How to build a semantic core for the content of your business?

RankBrain is the AI algorithm that became part of the search engine. It has one main purpose - to provide you with the best result, based on what you put in the search bar. It is important to know that RankBrain updates and changes based on the input over time. 

The introduction of RankBrain context will matter even more, as the main purpose of it will be to handle long-tail searches of users that the search engine can’t handle that well. The better explanation you provide to a specific question, the bigger chances you have to appear in the results to people that are looking for something specific. 

Blog articles - the tool any business should invest in

One of the best ways to integrate keywords into your SEO strategy is by creating a blog for your website. Blog content can be written in a way that is SEO friendly - by using specific keywords and phrases in different parts of the text, including internal links, and most of all - by actually giving added value to the readers. 

Imagine you have a company that is offering shuttle services. Choose your target audiences - people that will need a transfer to the airport, tourists going on a group trip, and other relevant ones. Then write useful blog articles about each target audience, include the relevant keywords in the text, and outline the importance of the usage of your services. And your readers will be people that are looking for them. Over time the blog can turn into a good attracting force for customers.

Where should you place keywords in your articles? What are the best practices?

When it comes to implementing keywords in articles, there are several good practices that experts use to improve SEO from bkacontent.com

  1. One of the places where there should be a keyword present is the meta description of the article; 
  2. At the beginning of the main headline (the <h1> tag) of the article is a must to have the primary keyword 
  3. It is good practice to put keywords in the first and the last paragraph of the article; 
  4. Put keywords in internal headings that you have - H2s and H3s.
  5. You can also put keywords in the image alt tags if the image itself shows the product or service. A bonus would be to rename the image with long-term keywords as well.

Remember, don’t mash a ton of keywords in the text! The upper limit is 7-8 depending on the length of the text itself.

Why should you invest in SEO? 

In your marketing strategy, there are various channels that you can use. SEO is something essential for any business that wants to achieve results. This is a long-term and ongoing investment that pays off. Let us just explore some facts: 

  • Your business will be visible among people that are looking specifically for the things you offer; 
  • The better your website is positioned to appear in various relevant searches, the more leads you are going to generate; 
  • A well-optimized blog article can deliver results years after it has been posted. 

SEO is here to stay and many businesses have already used it to increase their traffic, leads, and sales. If you want to be one of them, but you are not sure where to start, don´t hesitate to contact us. Together we can discuss your marketing needs and help you achieve your goals. 


What is Empathy Marketing and How to Use It?

Empathy. Such a wonderful word and feeling. Most of us have felt it in our lives at some point. How does it fit in the world of marketing? Well, very simple. Advertisements can lead to people feeling emphatic about something. It can be to bring awareness of a social cause or product made by a social enterprise - emotions work just as well. In this article, I am going to talk about empathy marketing and my experience building a startup around it. 

Empathy marketing - how it works? 

So, what exactly is empathy marketing? This means looking at things from the point of view of your customer, or actually - becoming the customer yourself. In the cases where you are an entrepreneur that discovered a business niche by solving a problem you and others have, it is relatively easy. That is because you as a person are part of the target group you want to sell to and you know how to communicate to them. 

Once you put yourself in the shoes of the customer, you will be able to understand what their needs are and make certain changes to adapt to them. It sounds very easy and simple. But as you probably know, simple things are the hardest to implement.  

Good practices in empathy marketing

When we look at ads and marketing strategies that do it the right way, we can turn our eyes to the East. A lot of Asian companies and agencies are using empathy marketing in their approach. According to moz.com, there are several ways to use empathy marketing right and they include understanding the problems of your target audience, addressing them, and using educational approaches and moments from regular life in the campaigns. And those are all things that advertising companies in Asia do great. Just take a look at this video: 

 

The MetLife commercial addresses challenges, issues, and fears of almost any parent and their end goal - to provide the best for their children. And hoping that what you are doing is enough. Even if people don’t have children, they can relate and feel emphatic about the parents that are in the shoes of the main character of the storyline in the ad. And if you think about it, all the checkboxes for great empathy marketing are covered. 

The ad is connecting to the needs of the target audience, there is the educational message and the whole thing is just an ordinary everyday life story that a lot of people go or have gone through at some point in their lives. And the emotional kick is there as well. 

What can empathy marketing achieve? 

Empathy marketing is about provoking emotions. And you can get to the feelings of your customers. However, there is one very important question - are those feelings going to result in any action? And what are you hoping to achieve? In many cases, empathy marketing will help you create something that will go viral - a video or other sort of visual. However, it rarely will lead to an increase in sales. 

Empathy marketing can be used to get people to be more aware of a problem related to a social cause. A good example of that is campaigns related to domestic abuse - the video BEAT by FineActs in Bulgaria is an amazing example: 

BEAT. from Fine Acts on Vimeo.

As powerful as it can be, sometimes it doesn’t help you achieve the end goal. Also in Bulgaria in 2016 there was a campaign to inspire people to buy hand-made products from elderly people in the country. There was a lot of buzz on the subject but very few sales. The reason? 

The creators of the social movement provoked pity in the people. And pity is a powerful emotion. But it doesn’t get people to buy. 

The curious case of “Buy from Grandma” 

Before I got into copywriting, I had some experience in the field of e-commerce. One of my startup projects was called “Buy from Grandma”. The idea was simple - we hired elderly women to knit woolen slippers and sold them. We divided the profits 50/50 with the old people that needed money while covering all expenses for product, materials, and delivery. 

The difference between this and the campaign mentioned above? We went after different emotions. 

We managed to market the hand-made slippers as a thing made with love like a grandmother would knit such for her grandchildren. And we picked the right timing - Christmas. Our marketing message was - a gift made with lots of love, that also contributes to a social cause. And it worked like a charm. We sold our products within days with almost no budget (there was attention from regional and national media). 

And the only difference in the approach was the emotion we managed to provoke in people. We knew that nostalgia and love will be a driving force for purchase. And the social benefit was there, but not as the main thing. More like the cherry on top.

Can empathy marketing work for you?

Empathy marketing is a concept that can be applied to almost any business out there. The principles are clear, but the planning and execution are where things get slippery. To achieve results, you need to have a clear vision of what you want. The best way is to turn to professionals that can help you. If you want to be successful in implementing empathy marketing in your strategy, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!