Monthly Archives: October 2013

Is Your Target Audience 45+?

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55% of Americans aged 45-54 have a profile on a social networking site.

There is still some perception that social media is purely recreational, and even the assumption that social networking is the domain of youth. While it is certainly true that social media is entertaining, the “serious” side of social media continues to grow. And it is important to recognize this in light of the growing numbers of older adults participating in social media.

The biggest growth of any age cohort from 2011 to 2012 was 45-54 year olds; 55% of this age group in America have a profile on a social networking site [Convince and Convert June 2012].

Many older adults are making big decisions. They are in leadership positions in business. They hire, fire and affect policy. They are investing, spending their retirements and mentoring others. More and more of this demographic is turning to social media to gather information to use in this decision making.

So what does this mean to your business?

1. If you have an older target audience, don’t discount using social media marketing.

You might not target consumers considered a “youth market.” Even established businesses with stable and consistent bases want to grow their business. Consider that your demographic is changing they way they make buying decisions. Reaching out to your audience where they are is good, common sense marketing savvy.

2. Older adults are more brand loyal.

Studies show that older adults are more likely to stick with a brand they have a positive experience with the first time. Brand loyalty is the holy grail of marketing and you have an audience waiting to be won over. More resistant to the passing trends, this market segment develops a trust in a brand that will keep them coming back. They are less likely to be distracted by the new and shiny.

3. Regardless of age, more social network users are engaging with brands every year.

All indications point in the direction of a steady increase in brand engagement, with no signs of stopping. Social media gives a business the chance to engage leads and customer outside of the hard-sell. You get to listen as well as talk in social media, answering questions about your product or service that you might never even hear otherwise. You can demonstrate that you know the context in which your customers buy your product, engaging them in the peripheral areas of your established relationship.

As the variety of devices available to access social media grows, the overall usage across age groups is likely to grow. Are you meeting your customers where they are?

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Making a Great Video

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Video marketing grows every year as more and more video-friendly devices become available. The video medium is a fresh opportunity to interact with your audience and builds a unique rapport. If your video goes viral, the benefits can be virtually limitless. But whether your video is destined for Gangnam Style-level fame, or it is just seen by your key customers, you can’t ignore the value of videos for social media.

Here are some basic things to keep in mind:

1. Don’t be shy— If you are not excited about getting in front of the camera it is easy to put off trying out video. Don’t be shy! Pick a topic you know, make a compelling point and make your first few videos short. It doesn’t have to be perfect or complex to be effective. In fact, the simpler the better.

2. Use the talent you have -– Maybe you are not the ideal person to be in front of the camera. You never know who would be the best person to represent your company. It is not necessarily your marketing people or even your CEO. Give several people a chance, experiment with personalities and you might be surprised who is the perfect cheerleader(s) for your brand.

3. Consistent publishing –- Develop a realistic schedule and stick to it. Don’t fret about the quality of your camera or your editing capabilities. The more natural your videos are the more likely they are to connect with people. Start with short, easy videos and produce them on a regular basis. As you get more comfortable with the medium and your content, your videos will likely evolve all on their own.

4. Make sure your videos can be found—SEO is the key! It is essential to understand from the beginning of the process just how to make sure your video will be seen. Use all the opportunities you have to describe or tag your video. Use keyword rich titles and subtitles. This will help the search engines to identify your content. Always provide links back to your site or a call to action to help create traffic.  Optimize all the verbiage surrounding or linking to your video. You don’t want all your hard work to go unseen!

With a small investment of time you can reap big rewards if your videos are done right. We can help! Contact us to learn more.

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Local SEO and How to Do It Wrong

Local-Search-EcoSystem-KatalistikIf you’re a local business owner in your town or city and you do not know what local SEO is, you’re missing out on some prime opportunities. Local search engine optimization allows local business owners to expand how much they are seen and/or talked about via internet. Any business with a street address and phone number should be able to be Google searched or found on various other search engine platforms. How many times have you looked up a restaurant and wanted to know how good it was or what street they were located on downtown? Local SEO allows for this and so much more.

Despite how simple it seems to share information about a place and have it be visible on various websites, there is plenty that can be done wrong in regards to optimizing your site’s visibility.

To start off, if you are going to work with a digital marketing company, be sure to check their credibility and voice what you want seen in regards to your business. Some companies charge an arm and a leg for minimal site visibility whereas others will do the whole shebang for a lot less. Educate yourself by using your own tool: search engines.

A simple, yet seemingly obvious way to lose traffic and visibility of your business on your website is to not use local-specific keywords. Using generic phrases will make it much more difficult for viewers to find and review your business, not to mention could point them in a completely different direction if they pick out the wrong selection.

Although search engines will definitely help to increase traffic, they aren’t the only tool that is available for online advertising. Blogs and sites where locals have actually reviewed businesses will help build trust and security to users who search for you. There may be strength in numbers, but there’s comfort in familiarity.

Be very careful not to abbreviate or change any of the phone number or address when using various platforms. Any changed details from Street to St. will confuse the search engines, and results will differ between the two. Make sure that wherever your business’s information is seen, it is the same everywhere.

When creating a title for your business page or in the description of said business, do not use keywords or location names that are not pertinent to the business itself. A local listing should tell you what you are looking for, not what you should be digging for in relation to key terms or phrases. Relevancy is key.

Although reviews are definitely a great tool to bringing in traffic and positive stamina for a business, NEVER buy a review. Just don’t do it. The credibility of your name and your ability to run a business or website is at stake, and buying your way into the market is no way to start off a business deal. Also, Google may not be the best detective when catching culprits of this nefarious act, but Yelp is hot on the trail of those who do this. Be aware; they are watching.

And finally, along with keeping things honest, whenever you’re building your website for and/or about your business, always use original content. If you wouldn’t pay for reviews, don’t bother copying information from other sites. Keep in mind that plagiarism isn’t just caught in a high school classroom.

To avoid losing business and money spent into building that business, make sure to be cautious of these areas and ALWAYS educate yourself before dabbling in advertising. Being proactive with your knowledge on the subject and the people helping to make you a success will get you that much more ahead of the game.

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Small Business Online Behavior

Small businesses can succeed or fail simply by tending to their online presence. Yes, a viable business idea and the right people are also necessary, but with 97% of consumers going online before making purchasing decisions, you have to go where the customers are. And this means your business needs to shine online. Here is the “what” and “why” behind the importance of your digital brand.

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How to Build an Organic Twitter Following

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Building a social media community takes time. Organic building means that authentic conversations are growing out of sharing information.  These conversations are opportunities to find customers, prospects, colleagues, and many other valuable connections.

Yes, you can “buy” followers for your Twitter account. These followers are good for boosting your numbers and not much else. If you want your community to be efficient and effective at sharing your message, you are better off concentrating your efforts on growing organically.

1. Share your handle

Once you have your twitter ID don’t be shy! Share it on your business cards, in your email signature block and anywhere else you find people you want to network with. If your account is brand new, don’t wait until you feel like you have something built up to share.  You will need other people to help you build your Twitter Empire. Don’t’ waste anytime getting started.

2. Cross promote with other social media

If you have other social media accounts or online presence, you want to put that great little Twitter icon right where people can see it and click on it with ease.  If you already have a digital presence somewhere, you simply want to tell people to also look at your Twitter account.

3. Comment, and comment some more

The best way to quickly build a relationships and followers is to comment on other people’s tweets. When you sign up for your Twitter handle, take time to look at who is already tweeting in your area of interest.  Make your comments to these accounts. Reference them in your own tweets or use hashtags in common with them.

4. Retweet

Everyone loves a retweet! If you take the time to read and share a tweet you are building a valuable relationship.  Likewise, if someone retweets something of yours, send them a quick thank you and you can foster a great conversation.

5. Follow the followers

Once you have identified accounts you like to follow, take a look at who they are following. You are likely to find a wealth of quality accounts that will have the information you want and offer you a great place to share your own.

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