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Navigating the World of Infographics

There’s something intimidating about clicking on an article and seeing block after block of dense text. Who has time for that?! So, what if you have great content but want to showcase it in an attention span-friendly way? Time to turn to infographics.

What Is It?

Put simply, an infographic is an illustrative way to showcase the key points of your content. Infographics allow you to simplify your message, removing the jargon in favor of eye-catching graphics. Doing so allows you to reach your target audience in a more streamlined way.

When Should You Use It?

The modern world is highly visual, and your social media channels should reflect this with original, visual content. Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest were built solely for this type of content, and today they are among the most popular social sites out there. In order to be relevant in this space, you need to understand the medium, and how to speak to its users.

Consider using an infographic if your message is long or difficult to understand. The average consumer will not read large blocks of text, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to hear from you. Breaking the information down into small, visually appealing segments will grab attention and communicate your key points quickly.

How Do You Make One?

You don’t need to be a certified graphic designer to create good content. Start by clearly defining your message. What are the main points you are discussing and why are they important? Be concise with your text so viewers are not overloaded and present many corresponding visuals.

When it comes to actually creating your infographic, look at free design services like Canva or Venngage for simple, fill-in-the-blank templates. You’ll be able to keep your information organized with a selection of charts, symbols and headers. As you’re playing with these tools, remember to stay consistent through your brand colors and voice. (A corporate law firm may want to stay away from bubbly graphics and smiley faces.) When you’re finished, label your work with your logo as this will increase brand awareness and keep other users from “borrowing” your work without providing credit.

Find out more about how your brand can improve its social media presence by checking out our next article.

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Should Your Business Have a Facebook Page? The Answer Is Always Yes!

With 1.18 billion daily active users on Facebook, you can bet your target audience makes up a portion of the users. Luckily, with Facebook’s incredible targeting tools they are not that hard to reach either. Although Facebook has paid features, it is free to use. So, setting up a profile for your business will cost a little bit of time and can help you reach a huge potential audience.

A Second Website

With an unfathomably large pool of users, Facebook is used as a primary news source for many and generates a significant amount of referrals. Similarly to the website of a business, having an active social media presence increases your SEO by making your brand more visible. Facebook is also another avenue of showcasing products, promotions and services to a potentially highly targeted audience. People who see your posts can often be taken directly to your website to purchase a product, effectively making Facebook a lead-generator. Not only is it fantastic for generating sales, but it is also the perfect platform for the voice of your brand and generating positive conversations among your customers.

Word-of-Mouth Advertising

One of the greatest forms of advertising is the word-of-mouth recommendation — this is when a friend tells someone about a great new product or service. This type of referral already has trust built into the relationship, making the conversion rate much higher. The struggle for a business is that this is hard to control, but Facebook provides another microphone for your brand’s voice.

Time Investment

To reap the maximum rewards of running a Facebook page for your business, you must be willing to commit the time to consistent posts. While Facebook is free, advertising on the social media giant is not. However, creating a highly target advertisement is very possible on Facebook. Advertising here is one of the largest and widely used avenues to advertise on. While results will vary from business to business, growing your audience on Facebook can become extremely rewarding. Advertising on this platform allows you to build a highly curated audience. That way your Facebook followers will all be potential customers allowing you to get the most out of your efforts.

Facebook is a free opportunity to build a second, curated platform to deliver your content to your target audience. If you’re still not convinced you should have a healthy Facebook page, then remember that your competitors likely have one and are soaking in the full range of your target audience, competition-free. Facebook also provides exposure for your brand, allowing you to increase awareness and build relationships with your customers. Thanks to its highly in-depth and accurate targeting options, Facebook’s advertising platform becomes a must-use tool for any business. However, you shouldn’t stop at Facebook as there are other popular social media sites with strong benefits for your brand.

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Get the Most out of Holiday Events

Your full calendar of holiday events throughout December and January means tons of opportunity for making new connections, discovering new learning opportunities and upping your social media game. But don’t think these chances are limited to work-specific gatherings; you can include family gathering, friends’ parties and even bar gatherings. You never know when you may meet someone important to your business.

New Connections

Running a healthy business is all about gaining exposure for your brand, and creating new connections. The best way to build new relationships is to attend networking events. With the holiday season loaded with networking events, this is the prime opportunity to capitalize on expanding your brand and connections. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

Tip: Bring a wing-person, it can help take some of the pressure and nerves off of you, and the other person can talk you up to potential connections. This keeps you from sounding egotistical about your achievements.

How to Find Networking Opportunities

Networking opportunities are abundant if you know where to look. Perhaps the best ones are events orchestrated by the local chamber of commerce and small business councils. Visit their websites and learn how you can become a member to gain access to their events. Some Chambers of Commerce will allow you to attend events if you are not a member but for a raised price. A few other places to look would be to search through Meetup.com and Eventbrite, or simply google searching for networking events in your industry and city.

Tip: Follow your local chamber of commerce on social media as they will begin promoting their events well in advance. This way you can also see who may be there ahead of time allowing you to do research on them and their business.

Social Media

This should already be a regular habit, but make sure you take a lot of photos at these networking events, and that they are good quality. If you only acquire low-quality pictures, then you should not post them on your social media channels. Taking quality photos opens the opportunity for you to jump in on relevant hashtags to join engaging conversations and increase your brand’s exposure. As an added bonus, it is always enjoyable for others to see business owners involved in other organizations.

Tip: Hold your phone sideways to make sure the photos are the highest quality. Try to make sure the photo has good lighting, is focused and taken in landscape format.

Networking is a skill you need to practice to grow your business. You want to sell yourself to others while simultaneously impressing them and sounding modest. It is a tricky balancing act, but once it is mastered can prove to be extremely rewarding to the success of your business. The holiday season gives you ample opportunity to meet people who could potentially connect you to a new client or business partner.

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Why Your Company Should Be Using Instagram for Business

With over 500 millions users and the second highest ranking for engagement, Instagram is a necessary social media platform for every business. Now that Instagram has recently rolled out the new business profiles, there are even more opportunities for you and your brand to thrive on this platform. Here are some new features to check out on the app:

1. Contact

Prior to Instagram for Business, the only way Instagram users could get in touch with a business outside of the app was to click their website link in their profile. Once you provide contact information for your business account, you can choose how you want customers to get in touch: call, text or email with a tap of the ‘Contact’ button.

2. Analytics

Before ‘Instagram Insights’ was introduced, you could monitor analytics through a free or paid third-party tool, but unfortunately, they were not always accurate. Now, you can get an overall view of your Instagram posts by going to your profile and clicking the Insights icon on the top right of the screen. When you go to the Insights section, you’ll see analytics for impressions, reach and follower information within the past week.

3. Ads

The Instagram business account makes creating ads easy. Ad creation could only be accessed through Facebook’s advertising tools prior to Instagram for Business. Now you can promote a post by clicking on it and then selecting ‘Promote’.

How to Setup Instagram for Business

Instagram is a mobile-centric app, which means most of the features can be only be accessed through the app on your smartphone, including analytics. Prior to setting up Instagram for Business, make sure your Instagram app is updated to the latest version. Once you have done so, here are the next steps:

  1. Go to your Instagram app, tap on the profile icon at bottom right and then tap the settings wheel icon at the top right. If you see ‘Switch to Business Profile’, you have access to the new Instagram business profiles. Note: This feature is gradually rolling out, and it may not be available to you right now. You will also need to have an Instagram account set up in order to access Instagram for Business.
  2. On the ‘Connect Your Facebook Page’ screen, you’ll see all of the Facebook Pages you’re currently an admin on. Select the Page you’d like to associate with your Business Profile on Instagram.
  3. On the ‘Set Up Your Business Profile’ page, review your business’s contact information, make any changes and tap ‘Done’.

Pro Tip: If you want to upload a photo to Instagram from your desktop, there are a few options. Fetch PR recommends Gramblr or Deskgram. Keep in mind, that these add-ons only allow you to post a photo and a caption. Anything beyond that, you will have to use the mobile app.

While the new analytics are not as robust as other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you should always take advantage of opportunities that will enhance your brand on social media. When you’re ready to do so, we’re happy to assist in anyway possible.

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Entrepreneurial Resources for All Stages of Business

Whether you’re a budding startup, a growing business or a seasoned entrepreneur, access to resources to help expand your venture is essential to your success. Fortunately, there is a wealth of opportunity at your fingertips if you just know where to look. Here are a few of Fetch’s favorites for just about any stage of business.

Business Development

Business owners often bemoan the many taxes and regulations imposed by the government, but there are plenty of resources offered to help small- and locally-owned startups get off the ground and on the road to success. Illinois Small Business Development Centers can be found across the city and beyond, offering one-on-one business advice, including financial planning, tech training and marketing plan development. You’ll also find a variety of services and workshops offered through SBDC partners like Women’s Business Development Center or the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Partnerships for Growth

Ongoing networking is crucial to maintaining the success of your business. Joining your local chamber of commerce is a great way to connect with other business owners, but you’ll need to dig a little deeper to expand your network. Groups like Business Leadership Council or Business Network Chicago (BNC) are excellent groups that create valuable connections with other like-minded entrepreneurs. The Small Business Advocacy Council Illinois even provides shared office space opportunities.

Investing in Your Brand

Even the very best business concepts can be hampered by a substandard website or poor online reviews. If online marketing isn’t one of your strengths, there are experts who want to help. Chicago’s 1871 is a tech center that teaches design and technology skills, as well as hosts regular networking and support events. If you’re still not comfortable building and managing a killer website, remember to build the cost of outside assistance into your marketing budget. It’s more than worth it.

Click here to listen to more advice for business owners from Fetch’s own Lina Khalil.

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Your Website Has a Shelf Life

Businesses spend enormous amounts of time and money to create their website, ensuring they leave a positive and lasting impression on their audience. However, many don’t realize their efforts should continue long after clicking “publish”. Think of your website as a living, breathing plant — it continually needs water and sun if you want it to grow your brand.

No matter how busy you are, keeping your website fresh and relevant should be at the top of your to-do list. Here are a few reasons why you should consistently update your website.

Always on the Go

Having your website mobile-friendly is no longer an option, it’s a necessity. In 2014, the number of people who used their smartphone to go online surpassed the number who used a desktop, and that number has been increasing ever since, according to a report by comScore. Be sure to schedule time each month to check your site’s usability across all devices: desktop, tablet and mobile.

The Bells and Whistles

Thanks to a variety of online tools, web layout has taken a completely new approach. Developers are switching from the static and cluttered multi-page design to a sleek, single-scroll page. Not only that, there has been an upward trend in interactions between customers and brands. Many business websites have implemented live chat and app integration to enhance the user’s experience.

Refreshing Content for SEO

As we have mentioned before, SEO is key to getting more visits to your website. However, if you neglect to update your site with new content, search engines will start ignoring it. Google, specifically, loves websites that update routinely. What happens is the “Googlebot” searches for websites that have new or recently updated content and adds that content to the Google index. New content means you rank higher in search engine results.

The online landscape is always changing, so it’s important to prepare for new trends on the horizon and regularly updating your website. In fact, we recently updated FetchIMC.com to get with the times. Check it out and let us know what you think!

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How to Set a Marketing Budget

Marketing is an absolute necessity for every business, and so are the inevitable associated costs. Whether you’re a brand new business or an established institution, you’ll need to figure out how much you can set aside for your marketing budget so you can get the word out about your brand.

Define Your Needs

Seeing your business on a billboard over the Kennedy Expressway during rush hour would give any small business owner a warm, fuzzy feeling…but if you’re a boutique pet store in Frankfort, you probably aren’t going to see much of a return on your investment. You can’t be everywhere all the time, so start small with a few channels. For example, a Chicago consulting firm may want to engage a social media marketing company to launch a targeted LinkedIn advertising campaign.

Start with an Estimate

If you go into the process of hiring a marketing manager or agency without doing research ahead of time, you’ll probably experience some major sticker shock. Before you even begin the conversation, have some preliminary figures in mind. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses with revenues less than $5 million should allocate seven to eight percent of their revenues to marketing. However, this can vary greatly depending on the growth stage of your company — a retail startup can expect to spend up to 20 percent.

Measure, Reevaluate, Repeat

Your consumers are constantly changing, and your marketing plan should be flexible enough to catch their attention. The key is to have a system for measuring how your marketing dollars are affecting your business’s bottom line. Is your ecommerce site seeing more traffic? Did you get more service inquiries after a particular e-blast? Keep track of these important metrics and use them in determining where your budget should go.

To learn about more specific marketing tactics, check out our blogs about PPC and PR.

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3 Things You Should Know About PPC

Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is one of those tricky tech abbreviations that most overworked business owners just don’t have time to master. While you could throw a bunch of money at a company that claims to be able to move your site to the front page of Google (spoiler alert: they’re lying), it’s important that you learn what this vital tool is and what it does for your business.

Here are three things you should know about PPC:

1. The Meaning of PPC
PPC is an internet marketing strategy that directs traffic to a website through clickable ads. For example, when you search for something using Google, you’ll see several results at the very top of the first page or along the side — sometimes they’re highlighted or have the word “Ad” next to it. When a user clicks on one of those ads, it directs them to the advertiser’s website. The advertiser then pays the platform a small fee every single time one of their ads is clicked.

2. Pay-Per-Click vs Search Engine Marketing
You may see PPC interchanged with another acronym, SEM which stands for search engine marketing. The difference between these two strategies is the location and the way the advertiser is billed.

Facebook, for example, provides pay-per-click opportunities. However, these ads are more straightforward; provide ad copy, an image, a URL and a budget. Facebook will run your PPC campaign for however long you want with the money you want to spend.

SEM only uses search engines’ custom platforms, such as Google AdWords and Microsoft Bing Ads. Here, advertisers actually bid on the keywords that are relevant to their target market. The more common the word, the more it costs and the more likely you are to have your ad seen and clicked.

3. Keywords are the Key
A killer list of well-planned keywords is essential for your PPC campaign. What is your target audience searching for that could potentially lead them to your website? There are many tools to help you get started – we love the Google Adwords Keyword Planner – and you should always see what your competition is doing and how it’s helping their business. Really get into the mind of your consumer and the online journey they’ll take that will lead to your brand.

PPC is a viable resource for any business looking to increase visits to its website or to reach a desired targeted market. To learn more about PPC, feel free to contact us!

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PR: What is it and why do you need it?

The days of spending your entire marketing budget on flashy ad campaigns passed by long ago. Today’s consumer wants to know who you are, and what you’re about. According to Forbes, 62 percent of millennials say that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal consumer. That’s huge!

Public relations (or PR) is about creating proactive and strategic ways to interact with and be perceived positively by a brand’s audience. Whether you’re an international Fortune 500 company launching a new product or a local nonprofit trying to raise funds, the public has to like you if you want them to give you their money.

Guy Kawasaki said it best: “Advertising is when you say how great you are. PR is when other people say how great you are.” Fantastic quote, but kind of vague…that’s because the practice of public relations constantly evolves to keep up with today’s consumer.

People want to hear a good story — whether it’s on the local news show, in their social media feed or directly to their email. The trick is to figure out how to tell your story, and where/when/how to tell it. Yes, we’re biased, and we think PR is awesome. But, in all actuality, PR is an extremely powerful tool that can have a profound impact on your company and your bottom line.

What more information specific to you and your brand? Hit us up!