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F.A.T. Stacks 101: Digital Ads

After you’ve properly set up the backend of your website and carefully curated your contacts, you can utilize what you’ve set up to really get in front of people using digital ads. Read on for the basics in beginning to use digital ads to both drive new traffic to your site, as well as engage with existing users.

Driving New Traffic

Digital ads can be used to drive new users and increase overall traffic to your website. One way to do this is by creating a general ad to get in front of new audiences that do not already exist for you. Not sure who to target for your first ad campaign? Start with the data you already have. A great strategy for targeting new users is to create a look-alike audience based on the data of people who have already been on your site. This will allow you to cast a wide net, but with parameters by targeting people with similar features or attributes as those who have already interacted with your brand. 

Also important to note – you should exclude from this particular ad the audience that has already been on your site. The message to people who haven’t engaged with your brand will be different than the messaging you want in front of people who have previously interacted with your brand

Engaging With Existing Users

Digital ads can also be used to engage and re-engage with people who have already been on your site. You can create these ads to be more specific based on users’ activity while on your website. Remember those pixeles we talked about setting up? That’s how certain ad platforms track activity. You can now use that data to create an ad to specifically target people who have viewed a particular product or read a certain blog on your site.

An important step to keep in mind here is that these two types of ads (driving and engaging) should be run concurrently. This is important because it will allow you to get initial engagement, and also to send those new contacts through your retargeting systems. Now when someone in your new audience clicks through to your site, the brand will be reinforced in front of them as they convert over to an existing user.

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, don’t despair, contact us for a free assessment or to inquire about our simple stack install package.

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F.A.T. Stacks 101: Contact Curation

Now that you’ve properly set up the backend of your website, you are ready to begin your marketing efforts by really diving in to your contacts. For our purposes, let’s assume you already have a functional CRM up and running. The next step is then to both nurture and engage with your current contacts, as well as to capture new contacts or leads.

Think of your ultimate end goal – maybe you want people to sign up for your newsletter, download something or complete an action. How will you get them to do this? It’s as easy as simply listing and tagging your contacts. Read on for the basic steps to get you started!

  1. Create specific lists and tags for your contacts. Generally speaking, a contact will enter a list when they sign up for something (like your newsletter list), and a tag will be assigned to a contact based upon their activity (like a tag for contacts who have clicked a certain button on your website). This will then allow you to treat or target contacts differently based on their particular list or tag.
  2. Build forms that point back to those specific lists and tags within your CRM. These forms will be embedded as calls to action within your website, newsletter, etc. The corresponding lists and tags should be associated with the content in which the call to action is embedded.
  3. Design automations or drip campaigns specific to each list and tag. Remember that pixel you set up with tag manager? Now you can see the activity of anyone in your list on your website. By creating a tag in your CRM for certain actions, you can automatically enter these contacts into a drip campaign.
  4. Set up a tagging automation for newsletter and site activity for current contacts already in your list. You can set up alerts to be notified if they complete a valuable action on your site or through your newsletter.. You can also send contacts information that is valuable to them based on their actions.

Your new, enhanced CRM is now ready for you to double down on your marketing efforts. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, don’t despair, contact us for a free assessment or to inquire about our simple stack install package.

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F.A.T. Stacks 101: Backend Basics

While some marketing technology does require industry and tech knowledge, there are several easily accessible, user-friendly marketing tools that any entrepreneur can implement on their own. In order to do so, you’ll first want to ensure the backend of your website is properly set up. This will lay the foundation for everything that is to come, as your website is homebase and all of your future marketing endeavors should point back to content on your site.

Properly setting up the backend of your website enables you to identify high-performing content as well as to track visitors to your site and then target those visitors based on their activity while on the site. Sounds pretty great, right? It must be complicated. Not really – read on for the basic steps to get you started!

  1. Install google tag manager on your website. Tag manager is essentially a hack cheat code which allows you to insert tracking codes and pixels on your own without the help of a web developer.
  2. Sign up for google analytics and add tracking code. This will enable you to identify where traffic on your website is coming from.
  3. Connect google search console with your google account. Search console helps you see your high performing webpages, search terms and content. This will allow you to optimize your site for search engines.
  4. Insert facebook pixel. Adding the facebook pixel to your site will allow you to create custom audiences and then target those audiences with ads based on their specific site activity.
  5. Add google ad pixel. This will enable you to tell which of your ad clicks lead to customer activity on your website – such as purchases, sign-ups, and form submissions.
  6. Insert ActiveCampaign pixel to each page of your website. Installing this code will let you see the website activity of all contacts in your CRM and the follow-up with targeted email campaigns.

Your new, enhanced website will now be ready for you to dive in and double down on your marketing efforts. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, don’t despair, contact us for a free assessment or to inquire about our simple stack install package.

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Make Your Website a Brand Asset

It’s a common theme for entrepreneurs to spend an immense amount of time – and even money! – on their first website, only to forget about it as the business picks up. This can actually become detrimental to the digital health and searchability of the business. Think of your website as a living, breathing plant — it continually needs water and sun if you want it to grow your brand. When considering a rebrand, it is absolutely imperative that you plan to revamp and optimize your company website.

Websites Have a Shelf Life

Your website is the digital storefront for your entire brand, often serving as the first touchpoint for your potential customers. The backend of your site should be easily accessible to layman users to make it easy to update key points of your business. (e.g. hours of business, new phone numbers, etc.) Unfortunately, due to the perceived complex nature of a site, business owners can become too intimidated make these necessary changes. If this is the case, we can almost guarantee you need a new website. There are dozens of professional website and content management platforms designed for users with absolutely no prior design experience.  

Focus on the User Experience

It’s no secret that online users’ attention spans have grown shorter and shorter over the years. In an effort to keep readers engaged and moving through your website, you’ll need to evaluate the user experience (UX). How many tabs or menu items does the visitor have to click through to get to the information the need? Does your website function well on mobile devices? Can the user quickly find contact info? It can be tempting to use flashy videos or photos, but always remember that the user’s journey should be simple and easy.

Don’t Forget About Copy

Web copy should be just as streamlined as the design experience, written in short succinct sentences that briefly outline your offerings with plenty of calls-to-action (CTAs). As you’re evaluating your current website, read through every single line of website verbiage. You may be surprised at how much your brand language has changed. Consider your SEO strategy (or lack of strategy), and how you can fix that with content adjustments and ongoing contributions.

A subpar online presence will negatively affect your business in a variety of ways. As you’re considering a rebrand, your website redesign should be the centerpiece of your marketing efforts.

 

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Consistency in Brand Messaging is Key

If you want to find out how consistent your brand messaging is, ask three people to describe your business: a customer, an employee and yourself. If your company has been around for while, you’ll most likely get three very different messages. No matter who the public face is for your brand, it’s important that everyone involved be able to distinguish the key points that set your offerings apart from the rest.

External Branding

Once you’ve identified your target audiences, think about how you want people to interact with your business. Whether a potential client is holding your business card, using your website or reviewing a sell sheet, the essence of your company should be there and be familiar. If you want them to walk away feeling confident, work backwards and decide what your business can do to instill that emotion.

How did a boring yellow ‘M’ become one of those most recognized logos in the world? Consistent branding. You might not be as big as McDonald’s (yet!), but presenting a unified look and feel across every single marketing channel is crucial in communicating your value to your target audience. Part of your rebrand should be to decide how this will spread across every platform.

Internal Branding

Depending on what type of business you’ve built, there could be multiple internal audiences – from support staff who keep the company running to client-facing employees who interact with your target audience on a regular basis. However, when it comes to brand messaging, everyone needs to be on board.

A good analogy is how restaurants work with their serving staff. When a new menu item is released, a good restaurant will have everyone taste the item while they explain the flavors behind it. That way, the servers can make recommendations to the customer and be able to describe the dishes before placing their order. Now, ask yourself how your employees would be able to explain your offerings to your target audience. Can they describe your services? Do they know the key differentiators of your brand? Would they recommend working with your company to their own networks?

Strive to have every single person who interacts with your brand come away with the feeling and knowledge you want to communicate. You may never reach McDonald’s status, but that doesn’t mean you can’t strive to instill that same recognition among your target audience.

Still not sure about a rebrand? Take our quiz!

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Redefining Your Target Audience

The very first step in a company rebrand should always be to re-evaluate the target audience. Depending on how long you’ve been in business, what was true of your ideal customer back then is most likely not true today. (Those young Millennials fresh out of college aren’t so young anymore!) Don’t worry about starting from scratch because you probably have the information right at your fingertips. It’s all just a matter of taking another look at the facts.

Make a List of Your Favorite Past Clients or Customers

Think back over your years in business, and write down your best customer-centered experiences. This could be a short transaction that went better than expected or even a long-term partnership that helped define who you are as a company. Are there any similarities in the clients that were involved in these situations? This may just be the type of client you want to target in the long term.

Decide Who Your Product or Service Helps Today

Even if your core offering hasn’t changed, your target audience definitely has. A 10-year-old office furniture company may still provide chairs and desks, but the needs of today’s working spaces are vastly different. As you begin the rebrand process, you’ll need a realistic picture of who has the potential to purchase your product or service. If that same office furniture company opened its doors marketing to cubicle-ridden office spaces in the Loop, it’s time to adjust their focus.

Create a Complete Audience Profile

As you’re imagining your new target audience, really get into who they are and what makes them tick. What’s their story? How old are they? Are they tech-savvy? Where do they get their news? What makes them happy? Answering these questions now will shape your entire marketing plan later. You’ll be able to speak to your target audience in their language and through their preferred medium.

Don’t be afraid that pinpointing your audience will pigeonhole you into marketing ONLY to that group. Just because you choose an ideal client doesn’t mean you can’t work with anyone else. This is merely a jumping off point to help give direction to your rebrand.

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Quiz: Is It Time for a Rebrand?

Brands grow and change over time, morphing from the humble beginnings of an early stage startup to a full-fledged business. You’re proud of your success story, but how well are you sharing it with others?

From subtle changes in your core offerings to complete shifts in products and leadership, a rebrand will let your customers and network know who you are today as opposed to who you were before.

If you’re unsure whether or not your brand could use a refresh, fear not! We have put together a quick quiz to help you think about the different aspects of your business to assess whether a rebrand would be beneficial.

1. Do you have a clear target audience
You may have known who your customers were when you launched, but now it’s just….everyone?

a. Yes
b. No

2. Is your brand consistent across all channels
Think about whether or not someone who looks at your website will have the exact same impression as someone who is holding your business card.

a. Yes
b. No

3. Has your brand changed over time
This can mean a shift in product offerings, culture or even leadership.

a. Yes
b. No

4. Does your brand look attractive to potential recruits
Consider how you’re attracting top talent to keep your business growing.

a. Yes
b. No

5. Have you updated your marketing materials
Take a look at all of your marketing materials, starting with your logo.

a. Yes
b. No

5. Is your website working for you
Ask yourself whether your website is an asset or a liability.

a. Yes
b. No

Answer Key:

Mostly A’s
Congratulations! Your brand is in great shape, demonstrating all of your core values and offerings to the appropriate target audiences. Have you thought about how to expand your reach even further? Check out a few suggestions on how to boost your email marketing campaigns or launch a social media ad campaign.

Mostly B’s
You already know what we’re going to say. You might have spent $10,000 on a website eight years ago, and now you’re afraid to touch it. Maybe you have your 18-year-old niece making “graphics” for social media that aren’t quite aligned with your messaging. No matter what your reasoning, it’s never too late to refresh your image. Stay tuned to the Fetch blog for our series on how to make your brand work for you.

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A Business Owner’s Guide to Instagramming Events

Instagram is the place to be for business owners, but it can be hard to find your niche among the pics of avocado toast and expertly-posed babies. The easiest thing way to get started is to be your own paparazzi at community and networking events. Don’t worry, you don’t have to invest in a selfie stick. Just snap a few photos, and follow these steps for optimizing your post.

Tag the Event Host
If you’re at an event to connect with others in your community or field, chances are the event host is trying to do the same. Find out if they’re on Instagram, and be sure to tag them in your post. Extra points if you pay them a compliment in your caption. This will not only show them you’re active on Instagram, it will put the ball in their court to either comment on your post or repost to their followers. Either way, you’ve already drawn eyes to your Insta presence.

Know Your Hashtags
Ever wonder how someone with 100 followers can get 200 likes on Instagram? It’s all because of hashtags. They act as the ultimate search function, connecting users to what they want to see on the platform. For example, if you are located in Humboldt Park, using #HumboldtPark lets others who are connected to the area find your content. When you’re at an event, find out if the host has created a specific hashtag for the occasion, (e.g. #gala2018), and use it in your posts from the event. Not only will your photos appear when other attendees search the hashtag, you’ll also be able to find and connect with your fellow event goers.

Geotag Yourself
When you create an Instagram post, you have the option to add your location. The main reason to use this feature is to connect with others who are at the event. Instagram offers a search feature to see who else has checked in at the venue. Simply click on the location, and you’ll have a list of attendees who have also used the function. You can also look at their event photos to see if there are other hashtags you should use.

Businesses continue to find great success in locating and connecting with their audiences on Instagram. As you’re optimizing your IG presence, be sure to utilize Instagram for Business to track your results.

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What Small Businesses Should Know About the Facebook Algorithm Changes

Facebook announced last week a plan to overhaul users’ newsfeeds to weed out business and celebrity posts in favor of more meaningful engagements from friends and family. This has caused some serious waves in the social media world, as Facebook has been making it increasingly difficult for businesses to reach their audiences organically. Since the big brands have large budgets for highly-targeted, paid social media ad campaigns, this means it’s the small businesses that will suffer.

We’re still waiting on more details, but here’s what small businesses need to know right now:

Get Reacquainted with Your Followers

Think quality over quantity, because this new change means fans who don’t regularly engage with your content will probably never see it. Facebook’s news feed algorithm is designed to show you what it thinks you want to see. If someone is visiting your page (by actively navigating to the page), as well as sharing and liking posts, that will earn you a space in their newsfeed. If a fan liked your page awhile ago, and doesn’t appear to be that interested, the algorithm will note this and show little to none of your content.

Focus on Engagement

One of the first things a business can do is encourage fans and followers to add their pages to Facebook’s see first feature. After that, it’s time to really focus on engagement. Videos and Facebook Live continues to yield great results, as does colorful imagery that inspires comments and shares. Think of Facebook as more of a way to have a conversation with your target audience instead of just talking at them.

Commit to an Ad Spend

After this change, reaching your target audience organically is going to become virtually impossible. Decide what your goals are for Facebook – website clicks, lead form completions, etc. – and put together an advertising plan. Start by creating a schedule of boosted posts and keeping a close watch on the results. Is one type of content seeing more shares than another? Create more of those types of posts and go from there.

If you’re interested in more information about Facebook advertisements, check out our blog on how to get started.

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Simple Ways to Keep Your Clients for the Long Haul

Every business owner knows how important it is to bring in new clients, but don’t forget your bread and butter lies with retaining the clients you already have. Keep your current roster happy and thriving, and you’ll have a solid business in place so you can go out and win more. Here are a few of our recommendations to improving your client retention.

 

Understand where they want to go and how you can get them there

To ensure a satisfied client and deliver great results, you need to know what keeps them up at night. In PR, media placements are great, but they mean nothing if they don’t help your client hit their goals. Get to know their industry and competitors. Learn how to move the needle so you can help grow their business. Connecting your activity and results to your client’s bottom line goes a long way in extending your relationship.

 

Celebrate the wins and embrace the suck

Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. When something great happens for your client, let it be known and enjoy it! Of course, while it’s fun to dazzle with your amazing work, every business campaign will experience pitfalls and it’s important to inform your client when that happens. When bad things happen, get in front of them, Identify the problem and how it’s going to be fixed.

 

Be their business therapist

Business ownership is a lonely island. Having another professional to bounce ideas off of is as valuable as the service or product you are providing your client. Remember you’re essentially handling your clients’ livelihoods. By becoming a valuable partner in their business, it can go a long way toward retention.

If you are looking for a simple solution for managing, organizing and tracking your clients, consider investing in a customer relationship management system.