The Power of Good Branding

When you think of branding your business, you may think of only the visual aspect of it: the logo, tagline, website design, etc. In actuality, branding your business goes way beyond mere imaging. It’s everything about your company, product, and service that makes an impression on consumers. Yes, your logo and website are an important part of that but so is customer service, your mission statement, and your “voice” or personality.

Your brand influences people’s reaction to your product or service, even their gut reaction to it. Think about the brands you love to use. How do you feel when you see their logo, or a special deal they’re offering? Now, think about a brand you had a terrible experience with … how do you feel when you see their marketing messages? Yikes! Powerful stuff.

Good branding is critical. Not only does good branding make an impression on customers and earn their business, it builds loyalty. How does a consumer decide which company to do business with? They choose the one they’re familiar with; the name they trust. That’s what your branding does. Even if they’ve never done business with you before and haven’t received a direct referral, your brand shows consumers who you are, that you’re trustworthy, and it inspires them to choose you.

Good branding makes an impression.

Arguably the most important part of making a lasting first impression on consumers is your logo. A great logo is not only eye-catching but memorable. Whether done through design or wording, it informs consumers what type of business you are. In honor of the playoffs, let’s look at two NBA logos for a good and not-so-good example.

First, the good example. The Toronto Raptors logo is clear and well designed. Gone are the days of the cartoon dinosaur dribbling a basketball on a purple background.

The team’s newest logo is much more bloodthirsty. Raptor claw marks are a nod to the team’s name and mascot, while the basketball tells you straightforwardly what kind of organization it represents. It gives the impression of a fierce brand, perfect if you’re a sports team hoping to dominate all the other NBA teams. Even non-NBA fans will identify this logo as belonging to a basketball team.

Now we have the Portland Trail Blazers with a less successful logo. What is this? Are the black lines supposed to be trails? The white section could vaguely resembles a ‘P’ so maybe it’s intended as a monogram for Portland?

The truth is, we don’t know, and if you’re not already an NBA fan, you probably have no idea that this is a logo for a well-known sports team. A non-fan who spots this on merchandise as they’re walking through a store will have no idea what type of business it represents.

Instead of this logo sparking brand recognition from the first moment it’s seen, the Blazers brand must already be known to the consumer. For an NBA team who really only markets to its fans, that’s probably okay. For basically every other type of business under the sun, that’s a  problem.

Your Brand Tells Consumers What to Expect from You

Depending on what area of the country you live in, you may be familiar with a sandwich shop called Jimmy John’s. Every commercial, jingle, or ad you’ve ever seen or heard from Jimmy John’s promises that they are “freaky fast.” If you walk up to the counter to order, they’ve usually got your sandwich made before you’re done paying. They don’t put it in a bag or give you a napkin – because they ain’t got time for that – but that’s okay, because you’re probably there because you like and appreciate their “freaky fast” brand promise. Going for delivery? If you order Jimmy John’s and a coworker orders from a pizza place, everyone knows who’s going to be digging into their lunch first.

Now, if Jimmy John’s branding promised to deliver food super fast, but they were routinely slower than they promised, that stigma becomes part of their brand, because a brand is not just the branding you try to portray, but it’s the overall impression a consumer has of your business.

Your Brand Helps You Connect on an Emotional Level

When you show consumers that you “get them” or have the same values as them, you connect on an emotional level. How can branding help you do this? There are many ways and here are a few:

  • Highlight that you’re a family-owned, local business.
  • Be active in your community.
  • Give military discounts.
  • Know your target audience and market it to it. For example, if your clientele is mostly women over age 50, use images and wording appropriate to them.

Make sure your brand’s personality meshes with your audience. For example, if your target demographic is 40-something dads, ads with hipsters probably won’t do it for you. Through what goggles do your target audiences view your marketing content?

Your Brand Creates Loyalty and Generates Referrals

If you look deeper, past the logo, packaging, and website design (although these can impact customer loyalty), here’s where the intangible aspects come into play. Your brand builds loyalty when you follow through on your branding promises. Customer service, expert knowledge, and high-performing employees are all parts of your brand that build loyalty.

For example, if your branding is all about quality, make sure your products stand the test of time, and be there for your customers if problems arise. Similarly, If you promote great prices, then focus on providing your customers products at price points they can’t get anywhere else.

That’s why Customer Relationship Management is essential. Building your relationship with your customer brings them back to you when they’re ready to purchase. As a great example, we offer custom CRM programs for our clients. We customize email campaigns so you can stay in touch with your current customers to fulfill more needs as well as generate sales with your leads.

Your Brand Sets the Culture with Your Employees

You can motivate and give your employees something to believe in with your branding. A strongly branded company gives your employees a team to be part of and a goal to work toward, something to take pride in.

All aspects of branding can seem overwhelming especially to a new business but if you focus on how you want customers to view your brand, the branding steps to take become easier to see.

Need help with your branding? Let The Get Smart Group help! From CRM email campaigns to social media posts, we can help you grow your brand!


What Social Networks Pay Off For Your Business?

 

Being a savvy business owner, you know that being on social media is crucial but have you wondered which networks you need to be on? Do you really need to have a presence on all social networks? To be an active participant on every available network, you could easily hire a large, full-time social media team to manage your accounts. Would it be worth it?

Nope. That would be a waste of resources, because in truth, the only social networks where you need to be active are the ones that your target demographic are on. If you’re active on Snapchat but your target audience isn’t there, that doesn’t help you one iota.

With so many choices—Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter, and counting!—how do you know which social networks will pay off for your business? It might be simpler than you think. As long as you know your target demographic and which social networks they’re active on, you know which ones are important for you. And we’ve done the work for you! Check out this breakdown of the most popular social media platforms.

…Coming in at #1. . .

Facebook!

You’re probably not surprised at that. According to the Pew Research Center, Facebook is the most popular social media network in America with 68% of all Americans using the network and roughly 75% of those users being active every single day. When you take a look at the specific demographics, (see the fact sheet here), you see that 78% of Americans aged 30-49 use Facebook while only 27% of this age group are active on Twitter. So, if your market is adults in the 30-49 age bracket, Facebook is imperative for you but Twitter, not so much.

Source: https://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/social-media/

YouTube

Would you be surprised to know that the second most popular social network in the U.S. is YouTube? If you think about it, it makes sense. Thanks to YouTube, there’s never been an easier way to get a tutorial in a split second  – for free! Users from the very young to the very old can all be reached via YouTube.

You might be thinking, “Making and editing videos is a lot of work.” But here’s the thing to remember: YouTube gives you the chance to show potential clients that you’re the expert in your field. When you put out informative video content introducing products, showing proper techniques, and helping people troubleshoot issues they may run into, they start turning to you for your knowledge. Then, because they trust you, they stay to buy your products and services.

Instagram

Another popular social media network across most demographics is Instagram. This network is growing and, if you’re not currently on Instagram, it might make a lot of sense for you to join! In 2016, just 28% of Americans were active on Instagram. Last year that number had risen to 35%. It’s especially popular among women. The key to Instagram success is to be able to produce visually-appealing content as it’s a very image-centric social platform.

Snapchat, Twitter, and others

While Snapchat, Twitter, and other networks are still very popular with some users, the demographic narrows on these. Here, you’ll mostly find teenagers and users in the 18-29 age bracket. If that’s the group you’re marketing to, you definitely want to be on Twitter! However, we understand that most businesses are marketing to an older, more financially-established demographic, in which case, you can feel safe to focus on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

There are ways to target your demographics even more specifically within these platforms, optimizing your ad spend and maximizing your ROI. That’s where The Get Smart Group comes in. We’re experts at finding and targeting the best possible targets for your ads.

For a more detailed demographic breakdown, take a closer look at the Pew Research Center Study.

Hopefully, this article has helped you know which social media networks to focus your resources on. If social media really isn’t your thing, you can still win at social network marketing! How? Get Smart and let us do the hard work for you. For more information, start with our free 30-minute consultation!


The Anatomy of a Smart Digital Marketing Campaign

Nearly half of all businesses don’t have any kind of digital marketing strategy. Don’t move past that too fast. These businesses are all engaged in some type of digital marketing but they don’t have a strategy.

If that’s where you are, we’re here to help.

The best digital marketing campaigns are part of a larger strategy because each campaign works together to build your brand, connect with your audience, and sell your products.

Here’s what all smart digital marketing campaigns have in common:

It has an Objective

Girl: “Let’s get in the car and drive.”

Boy: “Where are we going?”

Girl: “Who cares! Life is a journey, not a destination!”

Traveling without a destination is a romantic idea in the movies but it doesn’t play out the same when it comes to business.

Employee: “We can reach 100,000 people for $500.”

Owner: “Then what?”

Employee: “Who cares! Life is a journey, not a destination!”

Nope, that’s not how it works. Structuring ads to capture cold traffic, and then keep them engaged via remarketing ads, is the best way to convert a digital marketing campaign into cold hard cash. That’s a language that every business owner understands fluently.

It is Targeted

Digital marketing platforms like Facebook and Google allow very specific targeting options so the ad dollars you spend are exclusive to your ideal customers. Here at The Get Smart Group, we build complex avatars to help us hit your ideal customer. Using the right language in your ad, the right image to catch your audience’s attention, and the right targeting sets you up for a smart digital marketing campaign.

It Stays on Budget

How many people are you able to reach in your market? In an ideal world, you’ll have enough of a budget to hit all of them. However, that doesn’t happen often. Look at your bottom line and determine how much money you can set aside to run a smart digital marketing campaign. We recommend that businesses new to digital marketing start with a smaller ad budget because it’s easy to increase as your ads build momentum.

It Evolves

Not every digital marketing campaign is a home run but the smartest marketers take what they learned and apply it to the next one. Smart digital marketing campaigns evolve over time with language, imagery, targeting, and budget to find that sweet spot where your ROI is right where you want it!

Many business owners know they need a smart digital marketing campaign but they need a little help to get started. We’re happy to help! Schedule a free consultation today; our team would love to get to know your business a little better to see how we can help!


Did you know, Facebook Ads are less expensive than Google Ads?

 

You’re probably already using Google AdWords to target customers who are searching for your type of product or service, but are you taking advantage of Facebook ads, as well? While they won’t replace your need for Google ads, they are a powerful marketing tool in their own rite. The cost per click is generally lower with Facebook compared to AdWords, allowing you to get more bang for your buck. Plus, Facebook ads are built for any budget. You can spend thousands of dollars a day or just one.

Facebook vs. Google

The important thing to understand about Facebook ads and Google AdWords is that they are apples to oranges when it comes to their intended purpose. Google is a paid search ad. Meaning, you’re targeting customers that are specifically searching for your product or service. So, if Jane is looking for a baby crib on sale, and you happen to have nursery furniture for 30% off, you and Jane are a match made in heaven. You just have to step into her field of vision so she can see you’re perfect for her. In this scenario, Google is the pair of binoculars that lets her skip over everybody offering sofas, dining room tables, and recliners so she can focus in on your baby furniture-filled hands.

Facebook, on the other hand, is a paid social ad. Instead of targeting customers who are using search terms to find a product or service, social media ads help users discover businesses based on their interests. Basically, paid social lets customers find you, even when they aren’t specifically looking for a product or service.

So, in the case of our nursery-planning friend, Jane, even though she might not be searching for that crib at the moment, Facebook knows she fits your target demographic in gender, age, and many other ways. Plus, she’s doing lots of things online that have told Facebook she’s interested in family planning and nursery furniture and baby names—making her the perfect potential customer to appreciate seeing your ad in her feed.

The Facebook Benefit

Another way to think of Facebook ads, and social ads in general, is that they are all about awareness. By marketing to Facebook users who fit your target demographic and have shown their interests line up with your product or service, you get the chance to bring awareness of your brand directly to your ideal customer, who may not have even previously known you existed.  

Facebook ads can also earn you more “likes” and followers, drive more traffic to your site and blog posts, and encourage more engagement in general with your target audience.

Bang for Your Buck

As we said, you can advertise on Facebook for mere dollars. But since you can be sure that every person on Facebook who sees your ad is someone who you directly want to be influenced by your brand, you can see a big return on your investment! The important thing about your marketing budget, is that you’re making each dollar you spend work both harder and smarter. That’s where using a mix of search ads (Google) and social ads (Facebook) come in to play.

Want to be confident you’re maxing out the “work harder and smarter” when it comes to digital marketing? Let The Get Smart Group take you to the next level!


Essential Foundations of Digital Marketing


Any business owner knows, it’s a digital world out there. Gone are the days of posting flyers around town or simply placing an ad in your local paper to drum up a little business. To succeed, you need a comprehensive digital marketing strategy to help you stay top-of-mind with your customers.

But, digital marketing is … complicated. Multilayered. And doing it right means focusing on all five key foundational pillars to give your business a truly holistic digital marketing approach.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

How do you research anything anymore? You use a search engine. From phone numbers and addresses for businesses, to questions about history, recipes, shopping and more, search engines have become central to our lives.

Search engines use complicated, proprietary algorithms to determine search results, but there are some things we know always help improve search engine rankings. Key among these is good, updated content. For example, consider adding a blog to your site and updating it regularly to help increase your SEO.

Mobile Marketing

Have you ever left your mobile phone at home by mistake? It kind of feels like you’ve misplaced a part of yourself. People almost ALWAYS have their phones – for business, for social networking, for gaming – and marketing has quickly adapted. Your digital marketing must include a mobile ad strategy, and the website you point people to MUST be mobile-friendly.

Social Marketing

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Snapchat. Pinterest. LinkedIn. You’ve likely used at least one of these in your personal life. Your business may even have an account on one or more. But what’s your full-scale social marketing strategy?

Social is where your customers are spending a lot of their time. For that reason alone, it’s a place you need to be. Experiment with video, GIF, carousels, filters and other options to create shareable content that will spread your message.

Email Marketing

Social didn’t kill email. In fact, Experian reports that every dollar spent on an email marketing campaign returns $44.25. People use their email, typically checking it at least once a day, and will act on a well-targeted campaign.

Multimedia Search

Today’s web searches are smart. They return categorized results not just for web pages, but also for images, videos, shopping opportunities, etc. Build your website and categorize your assets correctly so that your business shows in as many appropriate categories as possible.

Of course, you can tackle some of this on your own. But it’s always best to work with a trusted digital marketing partner who has an eye for strategy and details – one who can combine these five fundamentals of digital marketing with a deep knowledge and understanding of your business to get the results you want for your business success. A partner like The Get Smart Group. Contact us today.

415-800-2040 Extension 701


Inbound and Outbound Marketing: The Magnet vs. the Megaphone

 

Outbound advertising used to be the only way to fly. Marketers sprayed their messages far and wide — capturing few leads for their many efforts. Outbound ads continue to have a place in the advertising universe, though it’s been greatly assisted by more modern means for tracking where those messages should go and honing the messages for better results.

But digital advancements have paved the way for a different kind of marketing. Instead of going out to reach your audiences, you can now bring those audiences to you. It’s less intrusive, and if done right, more effective, because you’re focused on people who’ve expressed an interest in your business and/or your products or services.

For most businesses, a healthy mix of inbound and outbound promotions hit the spot. Outbound marketing is the megaphone you use to attract initial attention, and inbound marketing is the magnet you use to reel them in.

Where does inbound and outbound promotions fit into your business model?

Outbound Marketing: The Megaphone

Outbound marketing is what you probably think of when you think of “marketing.” Advertising, direct mail, cold sales calls – things that get your business message out to the largest number of people as possible. Like a megaphone, outbound marketing is the act of spreading your message to as many people as possible.

And there’s a lot of value in that. That’s the reason why so many big brands use outbound advertising to raise awareness about and pique interest in their products – it works. If you use it yourself, and track your efforts appropriately, you’ll quickly see which outbound marketing efforts work best for your business. Plus, today we have more ways of targeting outbound messages than ever before, by segmented social media advertising audiences, geo-targeted digital ads, mailing lists sorted by income and age, and so much more. It isn’t the “spray and hope” of ages old.

We live in an incredibly ad-savvy world. People know where ads are going to be and diligently avoid them. They record shows on DVRs so they can fast-forward through the commercials, or opt for Netflix and ignore your ads entirely. The only way for outbound marketing to be effective is to target only those who are inclined to want your message, using tools like SEO and keywords, well-written and informative blog posts, and a fresh, inviting approach to social media channels.

Inbound Marketing: The Magnet

Once you’ve attracted your audience using smart outbound techniques, you switch to smart inbound tactics. Done right, it doesn’t really feel like marketing at all. Instead of yelling it out through a megaphone to everybody, you’re attracting those most interested in your message to you. It’s the magnet of the marketing world.

Inbound tactics convert the leads drawn in through outbound efforts and nurture them into qualified leads, closed sales, and eventually, delighted customers! This is done through various methods, including lead forms, Calls to Action (CTAs), landing pages, etc. You close the deal using targeted emails, direct calls, smart social media interactions, and other nurturing tactics.

Excellent inbound tools include sleek brochures, an attractive and easily-navigated website, an informative and interesting blog, e-books, whitepapers, valuable email newsletters, and similar methods.

Draws like e-books for free download, email newsletters, and other free (but valuable!) content build your inbound “magnet.”

Compared to outbound, inbound costs significantly less, because instead of paying to reach a gazillion people with no interest in buying or money to buy, you’re reaching out to people with an expressed interest in what you have to offer. Inbound marketing is an essential part of your advertising mix today.

Whether you choose to leverage the magnet, the megaphone, or both, it’s important to have the right partner. Someone who can help you find the mix that makes the most sense for your market and your business.


The Get Smart Group is a talented team with the knowledge and experience poised to help take your business exactly where you want it to go. Let’s get your marketing strategy planning started today with a free consultation.


How to Create Powerful Marketing Emails (That Actually Get Opened)

 

What gets sent 205 billion times per day but only gets read about one-quarter of the time?

Your emails.

Depending on the industry, marketing emails might be opened more or less than that, but it’s a general indication of how many emails you send out versus how many do what they’re intended to do — nurture your leads and engage your customers.

From the moment we wake up, every couple of minutes during the work day, and right up until we go to sleep, we’re constantly checking our email. That alone is a pretty great reason to make email marketing a focus for your business. Want another one? Email marketing has the highest ROI, with approximately a $40 return for every $1 spent.

Obviously, email can be beneficial to every business. But, what can you do to ensure that your emails are effective, don’t end up in a spam box, and actually get opened? Just follow these tips for success.

Understand Your Focus

While every email doesn’t have to stick to the same theme, by and large, you start an email marketing campaign with the idea that the emails are going to accomplish a particular thing. Do you want to grow your community? Get more engagement on your site? Highlight specials? Bring more attention to your store and convert that into sales? For example, if you own a fitness center, your goal for your email list might be to educate and inspire clients to keep them motivated and returning.

But it’s important to define and stick to your email marketing goals. Sorry, “lead nurturing” is way too narrow a goal. Shoot for something solid like, “increase lead conversion by 30% this calendar year,” or, “encourage 15% more people to use our products and services after the sale.”

The List Matters

Third-party lists aren’t very effective. To get a real return on your investment, whether you want to build engagement or convert new customers, you need an email list that is composed of people who want to be there.

So how do you build that list?

A great way is with a pop-up on your site for first time visitors, all the better if you’re giving away a little freebie with signup. Have a signup form in the sidebar or at the top of your site, and link to it occasionally on social media. Any time you have a contest or giveaway, make signing up to your email list one of the ways to get an entry. A good old pen and paper signup sheet at your retail checkout and at all events is always a good bet, too.

At The Get Smart Group, we use a number of highly effective ways to generate solid, high-quality leads to build email lists: lead forms, landing pages, webforms, and more. Furthermore, we can help you target these leads effectively by designing drip campaigns that match your specific products and services. No more general emails that don’t speak to what a particular lead originally showed interest in.

Meaningful Emails

Once you’ve built that email list, how do you get people to open your emails, keep opening them, and stay subscribed? With well-designed, highly-targeted content!

Depending on what your focus is, this will be unique for each business, but in general, if your email is adding value to your subscriber, they’ll stay subscribed and keep reading. Here’s a few ideas.

  • Does your email content answer their questions?
  • Is it wholly a sales pitch, or does it provide useful, actionable information?
  • Are you sending subscribers blog posts or a newsletter? The content needs to stay fresh, well-written, and engaging.
  • Are you sending marketing offers? You may think the only time customers will be interested is if you notify them of specials or sales, but announcing new stock, limited editions, or focusing on a specific feature of your product is effective, too.
  • Invitations and event notifications are a great way to improve CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Every time you host or sponsor a special event or class, or have something noteworthy on your calendar, it’s a good thing to include in an email to your subscribers. Sending pictures and an update after an event is also good email fodder.
  • Always include images, graphics, and other visual content.

If you follow these tips, you can confidently create that subscriber list, knowing your emails will be well-received. Need a little help with emails, or managing your online marketing in general? Let us give you a review of your current online marketing methods, plus give you a few tips on meeting your goals with a Free 30 Minute Marketing Consultation!


Have you dismissed Facebook for advertising? Think again!

What once seemed like a slam-dunk for advertisers quickly morphed into a love-hate situation. During the Facebook boom, everyone who was anyone ran Facebook ads. Then, the privacy issues. The hacks. Fake news. A country divided over gorillas, politics, and dress colors. Questions about the character of Facebook’s upper management. Congressional hearings. Things turned sour. The New York Times accurately describes the current relationship status between Facebook and advertisers in Facebook’s own words: “It’s Complicated.”

As digital marketing specialists, we’ve talked to countless business owners, many of whom have given up on Facebook advertising. Some don’t want to be associated with accusations of improper handling of consumer data. Others simply don’t think Facebook is relevant any more or that their ad dollars are better spent elsewhere.

On the other hand, we work on a daily basis with many businesses who see the value in Facebook advertising. We have the metrics to show the potential, and we have proven ways to advertise on Facebook (as well as other valuable platforms), while maintaining the highest standards of integrity and professionalism, as well as results.

Why should you consider including Facebook ads in your overall marketing strategy?

Facebook Ads are Surprisingly Affordable

Sure, we have clients who spend tens of thousands of dollars monthly on Facebook ads. We also have clients who generate a good number of high-quality leads for a few hundred bucks. When you compare the cost, not just to run the ads, but to generate high-quality ads, Facebook emerges as an excellent value. For example, if you advertise on YouTube or Instagram, you have to invest heavily in video production or high-end photography. You’ve got costs for voice overs, music to buy, and a considerable amount of time to edit videos and images, not to mention the time spent uploading. Google ads require multiple sizes and versions of the same image, driving up production costs. Facebook ads can be as simple as a photo and caption, or as complex as a well-produced video. But it is possible to keep costs low enough that even the mom-and-pop corner shop can afford it.

Sometimes, You Can Get ‘More Than You Pay For’

If it’s less expensive, it must be less effective, right? No, not really. Consider this: people are used to tuning out advertisements in most content. This is true online, as well as IRL (in real life). You barely pay attention to the billboards on the way to work, and you likely manage to ignore most of the ads lining the sidebars of your favorite news site, sports pages, and industry mags. But users do pay attention to what scrolls across their Facebook feed. They’re looking for it. They’re engaging with it. They want to express their opinions with Likes, Shares, Comments, and Emojis. They don’t look at Facebook ads with the same apathy or cynicism. After all, this is where they connect with friends and share their innermost thoughts and feelings. They’re more relaxed and less guarded. Simply put, Facebook ads are effective because they aren’t ignored or discarded with the same ease as most other advertising platforms. Plus, you can easily target those most interested in products or services like yours. You aren’t just “spraying and hoping”. You’re reaching only people with a reasonably good likelihood of being interested in and able to afford what you’ve got to offer. More on this in a moment …

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Facebook Supports All Your Other Marketing Efforts

Facebook literally fits within any marketing strategy you’re aiming for. Whether you’ve got written content to promote, a killer new website, slick videos, or just some snapshots of your warehouse or showroom, Facebook has options for getting it in front of the widest possible audience and the audience most likely to want what you’ve got. Almost three billion active users, folks. Three. Billion. Active. Users.

Facebook Offers Powerful Targeting Options

Due to the aforementioned privacy concerns, Facebook has (and continues to) change their targeting options. For instance, we used to be able to target directly to certain income levels. Now we cannot. We used to be able to target only homeowners, now that isn’t an option. However, there are some amazing work-arounds that perform as well, sometimes better. You just have to understand those work-arounds. Want to advertise only to working-class moms in suburban Topeka? Want to target only middle-aged men who own motorcycles? People who birdwatch in the Appalachians? Those who participate in rattlesnake festivals in Lower Alabama? Yeah, we can do that. In fact, we can even help you target the hidden markets for your audiences that you never even thought of. Did you know that racquetball enthusiasts are most likely to DIY home building projects? Did you know that people who follow Zillow are most likely to buy a hot tub? We do. And that’s just the beginning of what we do all day every day for our clients.

 

Come on. Get Smart! Don’t dismiss Facebook advertising, and turn to us for this and many other marketing strategies to take your business to new heights this year. Get your free, no obligation consultation now.


The Power of Images in Digital Marketing

The Power of Images in Digital Marketing

When a consumer lands on your site or social media page, countless research studies tell us they’re deciding in mere seconds, sometimes even a fraction of a second, if your content is for them. If, in just a heartbeat, you can’t grab their attention, they’ll click away, back to their search. It doesn’t matter if you have the perfect product, solution, or content if no one sees it because you weren’t able to capture their attention instantly.

Marketing in a Google World

With Google analytics measuring everything from general clicks, to bounce and conversion rates, to the tiniest detail like if a consumer uses the back button while on your site, it probably seems like metrics are a constantly shifting target.  

But really, it all boils down to a couple basic things. First, is your content and website attracting consumers to click into your site, post, or article from a search engine? Then, is your content fulfilling the promise you made in those search results—that is, are consumers finding the info they were looking for and staying engaged?

How does a company stop the click-aways?

Stage right: enter images and other dynamic content! When you’ve only got seconds to make an impression and convince a consumer you’ve got what he’s looking for, images are a great way to do it. We’ve all heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words” and in digital marketing, there’s a whole lot of truth to it. A picture or an infographic tells the consumer what your content is about before he’s even read a word.

A high-quality image that is immediately noticeable not only conveys what the rest of the content in the post is about, but it also gives a strong impression about your business in general. Grainy, low-res image? Savvy consumers will make negative assumptions about your business. Worst case? They’ll think your business is unprofessional or that your product is lower quality than a similar product on another site that features glossy, appealing images.

Get their attention and keep it

When a consumer chooses to click on your site from the search results, there were probably a few other results that also caught his eye. The moment your content stops holding his attention is the second he’ll click back to the search engine results to see if one of the other options might be more relevant. A great picture might get his attention, but follow that with a 1,000 word wall of text and see how fast he retreats.

Instead, break up articles into short paragraphs with subheadings, quote boxes, charts and graphs, and you guessed it, images! For a short blog or social media post, one image is good, but for very informative, longer articles, the more images, the better.

Not to worry, that doesn’t have to translate into hiring a professional photographer! Besides pictures of the exact product you’re talking about, other images can do the trick as well. Think funny memes, word clouds, colorful charts, and generic images that connect to your brand or message.

What not to do

Believe it or not, it is possible to go overboard with images. While some blogs and sites are built around images more than words, by and large, you want pictures to complement and emphasize your written content, not the other way around. If you have an 800-word blog post, but it scrolls on forever because you’ve added so many images, readers might not make it all the way through.

Another way to go wrong incorporating images is to use the same one all the time. Your goal with a blog or social media account is to build brand loyalty and bring your customers back over and over. But If you use the same image, the returning consumer is likely to assume they’ve read it and skip it entirely.

Probably the biggest way images hurt our content rather than help is when they’re poor quality. Low-res, blurry, grainy images will make a statement about your brand that you just don’t want said, even subconsciously. You wouldn’t take out a blurry, sad-looking billboard on the side of the interstate in your city, so don’t put one up online, either!

Need a little help?

Now that you know the power of images in digital marketing, are you a little at sea when it comes to putting them, and other online marketing power tools into action for yourself? That’s where we come in! From helping you keep a vibrant presence on social media to incorporating expert content (with impactful images, of course!) into your site, The Get Smart Group can help you achieve marketing success.